A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

One Down, Two to Go

Last night's game was probably my favorite of the season. Not because the Mets beat the Yankees on their home turf, although that is part of it, but because the Mets were the anti-Mets. They did everything well. They played the field, pitched, manufactured homers, and looked like a sound baseball team.

Wright, Beltran, and Cammy all made sparkling plays in the field to pick the team up and helped Pedro go eight innings. The Mets actually ran the bases well and did not strand runners at third base, and for those of you who missed the game, they were the first team in NL history to hit three sac flys in one inning. Have they even hit three all year coming into today? It is nice to watch a team execute and to be honest with you, it would have been OK if they lost and still executed. Of course I can say that now, but nothing is worse than watching your favorite team lose and lose because they refuse to help themselves win. If you get beat, then fine, you get beat. Shooting yourself in the foot in unacceptable. Forget their lack of one more bat in the middle of the order, they do need one, but their biggest current problem is execution. If they execute, they can go on a nice little streak and compete in the NL.

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  • Minor update:
    • Not only did the Mets beat the Yanks last night, but the Tides beat the Clippers. Eric Valent seems to be benefiting from the extra hacks and went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, a triple, a homerun, two RBIs and a walk. But who needs offense when Jae Seo is on the mound? He continues to pitch great and went six inning, gave up seven hits, two earned runs, two walks, and struck out six. He gave up two homers for the only two runs and sits with a 5-2 record and a 3.18 ERA.
    • Binghamton beat Erie 9-8. Mike Jacobs continues to tear the cover off the ball and went 2 for 4 with three runs scored, two homers, three RBIs, and one walk. Chase Lambin went 2 for 4 with one run scored, one double, one RBI, and one walk. Yusmeiro Petit went six innings, gave up eight hits, two runs, one walk, and struck out six. His ERA sits at 2.77.
    • St. Lucie beat Daytona 6-3 behind a solid pitching performance by Phil Humber and huge game at the plate by Brett Harper. Harper went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, one homer, and four RBIs while Shawn Bowman hit his 12th homer of the year and knocked in two RBIs. Humber had his best game as a pro in my opinion and went seven innings, gave up three hits, one earned run, NO walks, and struck out 10, which was my favorite stat. It was his first double digit strikeout game as I pro I believe. With those two bad starts taken out, in ten games, he is 2-3 with a 3.02 ERA, 7.88 K/9, 3.92 K/BB, and 8.05 H/9.
    • Lakewood beat Hagerstown 8-2. Not much happened.
    • Huh? What is going on with the Kingsport team? For the third game out of four, they scored double digits in runs scored. They scored a season high eighteen runs against Bristol and won 18-4 and beat their previous high of 16 on opening day. Sean Henry went 3 for 5 with two runs scored, one homer, and five RBIs. Nick Evans is officially a favorite of The Metropolitans. For the second day in a row, he hit two homers. He went 3 for 5 with two runs scored, one walk and six RBIs. That is eleven RBIs between Henry and Evans for those of you keeping score at home.
    • Brooklyn beat Aberdeen 6-5. Drew Butera made his pro debut and went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts. Ouch. Jonathan Malo es muy bueno. I do apologize for that, but he did go 3 for 4 with two runs scored, two doubles, and two RBIs.
  • Met starters did pretty good last night. All levels combined, Met starting pitchers thrown 38 innings and posted a 2.37 ERA, 9.00 K/9, 7.34 H/9, 2.84 W/9, and a 3.17 K/BB. On top of that, I am going to go out on a limb and say that no minor league system has four starting pitchers as good as Humber, Petit, Pelfrey (when he signs), and Hernandez. Throw on top of that the likes of Bannister, MacLane, Lindstrom, Durkin, Seo, Scobie, and Hyde and the Mets have a pretty impressive pitching rich farm system with several potential stars and front of the rotation guys. That is extremely impressive considering what they gave up last year.

  • Is Dougie Mientkiewicz waking up?

  • Ryan Zimmerman appears to be warming up to pro ball pretty well. He went 3 for 5 yesterday with one run scored, one double, one homer, and four RBIs. In four games he is batting .471 with two homers and six RBIs.

  • I do not understand the purpose of a first half champion, but I do not understand a lot of things. However, the Hagerstown Suns will face off with the Lexington Legends for a one game playoff to decide the first half champion. Gaby Hernandez gets to show off a little more against Troy Patton in what should be a great game.

  • Last night, when Bernie Williams dropped Reyes' fly ball, it was a perfect example of why Mike Cameron is worth a blue chip prospect from other teams. Defense up the middle is invaluable when you are talking about a close playoff race.

  • Is it not getting weird on Beltran's propensity to homer during Pedro's starts?

    Omar on Beltran:

    "Believe me," Mets GM Omar Minaya was saying last night, leaning against a wall deep in the bowels of Yankee Stadium, "you haven't even seen a little bit of what this guy is going to do for us."

    We know it, but we are patiently waiting.
  • Friday, June 24, 2005

    Promotion Time

    It is about that time that players have played a substantial chunk of the year and have proved something to their teams. They may have proved they need more time at their current level, need to be demoted, or need to be promoted. The Mets have quite a few guys that seem to be playing way above their level and some other guys who should just be promoted.

    1) Brian Bannister: I figured we would start off with the feel good story of the year. Son of ex-Major League pitcher Floyd Bannister, Brian owns an advanced feel for the game and five pitches in his arsenal, including two possible out pitches. He pitches in a slight hitter’s park and a division that features many good hitter's parks and has flat out dominated. He already spent eight games in AA last season and did pretty good and has fifteen starts this year already. Coming off his best performance of the year going nine innings for a shutout, he deserves to get a look. He is 24 and is not getting any younger and looks to be ready to make the jump.

    2) Yusmeiro Petit: What else do I need to say? The kid probably could have pitched in AAA last season and I loved what I saw of him in spring training this season against Major League hitters. The Mets have been notorious for treating their pitchers with kid gloves after Generation K, but Petit is special. They thought highly enough of him to move him up from low A ball Cap City to high A ball St. Lucie after fifteen games and then move him from St. Lucie to Binghamton for the playoffs after only nine games. Yusmeiro has never spent more than fifteen games at any level in his professional career and has no trouble moving up. So far, he has pitched in thirteen games for AA Binghamton and looks to be ready for a shot at the next level. Besides, if the Mets need to trade him for some young talent come this trading deadline, being closer to Major League ready sure does not hurt.

    3) Mike Jacobs: Been there, done that. In 2003, Mike Jacobs had a stellar year at AA Binghamton putting up a .329/.376/.548 line with 17 homers and 81 RBIs. The man without a position already proved he could hit there and is reinforcing the idea that it was no fluke season. This year he is flashing even more power and it is time to sit down the retreads catching at the AAA level and let Mike have a taste of AAA ball again. Last season his injury stifled his progress, and like Brian Bannister, he is 24 and not getting any younger. If they are to be proven true prospects, they need to start playing at a level more appropriate for their ages and their skill.

    4) Brett Harper: Why are we even having this conversation? He hit .350/.440/.564 last season with St. Lucie and at 24, he needs to be at a higher level. He did not exactly fall on his face after being promoted to AA last season and hit .247/.309/.437 and deserves a shot with Binghamton. He could move quickly and with the breakout power numbers he is putting up so far this year, it is time to get him moving up the ladder. He is first baseman and that is not exactly a position of strength for the Mets at higher levels in the system.

    5) Lastings Milledge: Why rush him? Because he is that good. His numbers may look just decent, but if you subtract a slow first month, he has been on a tear and has been getting a hit just about every game. Yes, his power numbers are down, but he had a sprained wrist which could be zapping some of his power and his league is particularly tough on hitters. I think it is time again to push Lastings to see what the kid can do. He is much more improved at the high A ball level this year than last year and his newfound plate discipline shows that he has made a lot of progress this past off season on his biggest offensive deficiency.

    6) Philip Humber: I know this will not be a popular one, but John Sickels does a great job of pointing out why Phil Humber has been better than his numbers would suggest. If you take out the two starts that were sandwiched around his injury and could be attributed to his injury, Humber has a 1-3 record, 3.28 ERA, 7.14 K/9, 3.08 K/BB, and a 8.68 H/9. Also, during his last start that was rained out, he went 4.2 innings and was throwing no-hit ball. St. Lucie was supposed to be a warm up for him and he was to be moved when the weather got warmer. Well, the weather is warmer and it is safe to say Phil Humber is pretty much on track. Give him two more starts and if does well in those starts, tell him to pack his bags. Though it may not look like it, he should be tabbed for a promotion that should be done in tandem with the promotions of Petit and Bannister.

    7) Dante Brinkley: The numbers he has put up this year so far have been absolutely astounding as he leads the league in batting average and on base percentage and is second in slugging percentage. Brinkley was drafted in 2003 out of college and played his first full season of pro ball last year. He did pretty good last year, but has gotten really, really comfortable this year in Hagerstown. He was a very good college hitter and exhibited some pop with some good plate discipline and is clearly ready to make the jump to St. Lucie. He already posted a career high in homeruns in his pro or college career in less games than in his previous high and needs a bit more of a challenge. He has 53 strikeouts to 36 walks, which is just a tremendous ratio, and he is slugging .643 with an OPS of 1.133. He could have been a 23rd round steal when we look back in five years and the Mets should put him at St. Lucie so they can really see what they have in this kid.

    8) Gaby Hernandez: When Yusmeiro Petit was 19, he started the year at Cap City, moved up to St. Lucie, and finally saw some time at Binghamton. Petit was 9-2 with a 2.39 ERA in with his first exposure to low A ball with Cap City with 5.10 h/9, 2.39 w/9, 13.23 k/9, and 0.83 WHIP in 83 innings. So far at Hagerstown, which is Gaby's first exposure to low A ball, he has a 5.45 h/9, 3.13 w/9, 9.37 k/9, and a 0.95 WHIP. There is precedence for the Mets to move a kid so young quickly through their ranks and it happened last year. Throw on top of that he has better pure stuff than Petit with a sinker that is faster than Petit's fastball. The force is with this kid and he is very good. When Phil Humber gets promoted to take Bannister's place or Petit's place, Gaby should pack his bags too. While some people may be hesitant to rush players, I'm not. If he proves he can pitch at a level, it is time to give him a shot at the next level.

    On the bubble:

    Anderson Hernandez: Anderson Hernandez is a guy that could be considered on the bubble. With the recent injury to Jeff Keppinger and the Mets future need for a second baseman, it may be worth a shot to get a look at Anderson Hernandez outside the friendly confines of the Eastern League. The only thing that puts me on the fence about him is the fact that he has had a relatively light stick in the past. On the other hand, 2004 represented his best offensive season, so he is possibly an improved player. He got in 101 games at AA with when he was with the Tigers last year and has now played 68 games with the B-Mets this year. With the Mets middle infield set when Keppinger returns in Norfolk, Anderson Hernandez will have a tough time cracking AAA this year, but with Keppinger not due back for a bit, it could sure help the Mets find out if his offensive improvement is Eastern League aided or the real deal.

    Anderson Garcia: That Armando Benitez trade may turn out good for the Mets yet. Anderson Garcia was picked up by the Mets when they unloaded Armando Benitiez to the Yankees for Jason Anderson, Ryan Bicondoa, and Anderson Garcia on July 16, 2003. Anderson is a hard throwing right hander who is having his best year to date for the B-Mets in '05. His 1.98 ERA is impressive, but his body of work is small enough to keep some doubt until he proves himself over an entire season. His career ERA was 3.62 heading into this season and he is compiling his best season to date.

    Jae Seo: Perhaps no Met was as disappointing as Jae Seo in 2004. After a strong 2003 campaign in which he surprised most Met fans, he was being counted on for some stability in the rotation in 2004. However, due to a lack of zip on his fastball and some problems with Rick Peterson, he was largely ineffective. In 2005, he has regained the few extra MPHs that he lost and has made his off speed pitch the dangerous weapon that is was in 2003. When he is on, his off speed pitch looks like a breaking pitch and makes him a very effective pitcher. He was stellar in his short stint with the Major League club and has been nothing short of spectacular after returning back to the minors from his stint with the Mets. He really has nothing left to prove but has no place to fit with the team unless he gets a shot at the bullpen at some point this season or a few trades open up a spot.

    Grant Psomas: Grant Psomas is another candidate who was a good college hitter who has discipline, power, and the ability to hit for average like Dante Brinkley. However, there simply is not room enough for both to be promoted and Dante Brinkley is having the better season so far. Besides, Dante had a more consistent college career and looks like the better prospect at this point and therefore is a bit ahead of him on the food chain.

    For me, when it comes to college guys playing in the lower levels who are coming off of good college careers that are flat out hitting well or pitching well deep into the season continuously, they need to be moved along. Unless you play with a some of the top programs, it is hard to get a pulse on how good their numbers truly are since they are playing against lesser opponents. Tyler Davidson has had some great college seasons, but has not quite responded and moved up as quickly as the Mets might have liked, but guys like Dante Brinkley and Grant Psomas look like much better prospects than Davidison and are much more seasoned. For high school guys or international signings that sign young, I do prefer they prove themselves for a few years before they start getting promoted quickly unless they are like Lastings Milledge or Gaby Hernandez and clearly are special players. The Mets have a few guys that fit into this category and I am all for challenging the right players and see how good they really are.

    * * *

  • From ESPN Insider:

    Jay Payton, a $3.5 million insurance policy as the Red Sox's fourth outfielder, wants to play elsewhere, the Boston Herald reports.

    "There's probably a half a dozen other teams, a dozen other teams, I could be playing for," Payton told the newspaper. "Actually, as far as playing time, this is one of the worst situations I can be in because if I'm hitting .800 I still wouldn't be playing any more than I am right now because they've got their boys."

    Umm, but you are not hitting .800.

  • Minor update:
    • Buffalo beat Norfolk 5-4 and Billy Traber got the win for Buffalo. Prentice Redman, Benji Gil, and Chase Lambin each picked up three hits in the game and Jason Scobie took the loss and went six innings giving up four earned runs.
    • New Britain beat Binghamton 10-2. Anderson Hernandez continues to pound the ball and went 2 for 5 with one run scored and two doubles. Matt Lindstrom continues to be an enigma and went 1.1 innings giving up three hits, two runs, two walks, and one homer.
    • St. Lucie beat Daytona 3-1 and Brett Harper provided all the offense needed. Harper went 2 for 4 with one run scored, one homer, and two RBIs. Lastings Milledge went 1 for 4 with one double and a stolen base while Shawn Bowman went 3 for 4 with one run scored, one double, one homer, and one RBI. Harper's homerun was his 19th and Bowman's homer was his 11th.
    • Lakewood beat Hagerstown 6-3 and Aaron Hathaway continues his hot hitting. He went 4 for 4 with a run scored to bring his average up to .263.
    • Brooklyn beat Staten Island 6-4. Joshua Peterson went 2 for 4 with one run scored, one homer, and two RBIs.
    • Kingsport beat Johnson City 11-7 and scored double digit runs for the second game out of three games this season. Nick Evans continues to punish the ball and went 2 for 6 with two runs scored, two homers, and four RBIs. Sean Henry went 0 for 2 but walked three times. He now has six walks on the season to his three hits.
  • Quien es tu papá? How many times you think the Yankee fans will be spewing that tomorrow night at Yankee Stadium when Pedro takes the hill to shut down the horribly disappointing Yankees?

    "They'll probably start again with that stupid 'Who's Your Daddy' thing,' " Randolph said. "They'll call him a bunch of names and be cutesy. But I don't think he cares. I'm sure he'll hear it, but it may motivate him and fire him up."

  • The Mets are sitting at 35-37 as of right now and were 36-36 at this point last season.

  • Peter Abraham has a good article on Roberto Hernandez who must have had a nice feeling shutting down his old team.

    Hernandez hasn't allowed a run in 10 straight outings, dropping his ERA to 2.03. He is 2-2 and has one save.

    "It's been a pleasant surprise," Randolph said. "Going into the season, I can't say that I knew he'd do this for us. He's been super for us because without him we'd be in bad shape."

    Closer Braden Looper has pitched more than one inning only twice this season, thanks to Hernandez's reliability in the eighth inning.

  • Under the bus:

    "The ball got over the bag and I was thinking double, double," Wright said. "I saw the replay. Nice play."

    Tom Glavine, the reigning judge on the Mets' kangaroo court, said, "Might be a punishable offense." He also said he was going to buy Wright the Tom Emanski base running video.

  • Huh? Trade the entire team to for two marginal prospects? Why didn't I think of that? Lets review. Kazuo Matsui, Braden Looper, Mike Cameron, and Tom Glavine for Wang or Robinson Cano, plus one of two Duncans at Trenton or even Melky Cabrera. Then he suggested that the Mets can shop for catcher, which is fine, or inexplicably flip the prospects they get to Colorado for Todd Helton and his mega-contract. Even if Colorado picks up some of it, it will be a burden and a half for a very, very long time. Crack smoking and writing just does not go together.

    I'm all for trading Cammy and others if it makes sense, but Cammy is possibly worth more than Cano or Wang, plus Duncan or Cabrera. The Mets are not looking to cut bait just to save money, but they are looking to improve their team in the near future.

  • Bob Klap is bored by the entire Subway Series.

    Because the Yankees are just so bored by the whole thing.

    And the Mets like it?
  • Thursday, June 23, 2005

    Huh? Tom Glavine, Hot Commodity?

    I completely missed this one from Jayson Stark's trade deadline Rumblings & Grumblings.

    So, looking for a big name? How about this one:

    GM Omar Minaya keeps saying the Mets plan to be buyers, not sellers. But when an official of one club that has spoken with the Mets was asked if Glavine could be had, he replied: "Yes. Absolutely."

    There is, however, one major hang-up: Glavine has a complete no-trade clause. And one baseball man who knows him well says that means you can cross all of the West and Central teams in each league off his list. In fact, he says, it's very possible the only places Glavine would say yes to are Boston and Atlanta.

    And then come two more issues: Glavine also is 119 innings away from vesting an option for next year at $10 million (and he could guarantee that option at $8 million with only 79 more innings). And his ERA is currently over 5.00, even in a pitcher's park.

    But he's still a two-time Cy Young winner whose 300-win countdown stands at 34. And when measured against the other names that could be out there, it's easy to envision that a team or two looking to make a splash might not care much about the small print.

    So Glavine could easily evolve into the biggest name on the market – as soon as the Mets decide how they want to approach that market. And in a market like this, we can use all the marquee names we can scrape up.

    Glavine could easily evolve into the biggest name on the market? I'm sure he would love to get his ass out of New York, which has been an unmitigated disaster for him. Though Stark says Boston and Atlanta are probably the only two teams he would consider, I'm not 100% sure that would be the case if teams came calling, but do people really want him?

    Maybe I'm selling him a bit short. He is Playoff Proven™ and he has been very solid in 11 of his 15 starts. In the 11 starts that he made it through at least six innings, he has a 2.90 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP as opposed to a 16.07 ERA and a 3.50 WHIP in the four games he made an early exit. For a team looking for a starter, maybe he is an attractive target.

    Of course the option is a sticking point and his inning total will be cutting it close. However, would a team be more willing to bite if the Mets offered to pay a percentage of his 2006 option if it does vest? If Omar Minaya could turn Tom Glavine into some solid prospects or a young player to plug into this club, that would be a miracle. Could it happen?

    Cruel Joke

    Of course. I finally get my wish, which was the same as 99% of the rest of you, and Aaron Heilman spit the bit. He goes 16.1 innings without allowing a run to score or an inherited runner to score and finally gets shot in a high leverage situation. Heilman let an inherited runner score, only got one out, gave up five runs, three hits, a walk, and hit a batter. He still has a tidy 2.70 ERA out of the pen, but I fear that this sets him back in Willie's eyes. The Mets still played a bad game and gave them a few runs on mistakes, and that has to end.

    The Mets seem like their own worst enemy right now and cannot get out of their own way. Whether it was David Wright making a bad decision on the field to allow a runner to score, a pitcher giving up a crucial walk, or whatever else, the Mets hurt themselves more than their opponents do lately. When Spring Training started, Willie had the Mets working harder and longer than the Mets teams in previous years and most other teams. I thought it would pay off with a fundamentally sound team, but maybe Willie needs to rethink their training regimen. The Mets are anything but fundamentally sound and whether you want to chalk it up to growing pains with young players or just bad luck, it is ugly. The Mets are in danger of losing their fifth series in a row with the Yankees on the horizon in Yankee Stadium. Now, the team looks to Kaz Ishii to stop the bleeding.

    * * *

  • Minor update:
    • The Norfolk Tides lost to Buffalo 7-4. Prentice Redman continues to hit well going 2 for 4 with his third homer of the year and two runs scored. He is now batting .306 on the year.
    • Brian Bannister was on the mound for Binghamton, so they undoubtedly won. The B-Mets beat New Britain behind another stellar Brian Bannister performance. He went seven innings, gave up four hits, two walks, no earned runs, and struck out six to bring his record to 9-1 and lower his ERA to 1.73.
    • St. Lucie beat Jupiter 6-0. Lastings Milledge went 2 for 4 with a double and two RBIs to bring his average up to .308. Evan MacLane got the win and went 8.1 innings, gave up six hits, one walk, and struck out ten. He is now 6-3 with a 2.86 ERA.
    • Lakewood beat Hagerstown 7-5. Sean Coultas went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and a double and Aaron Hathaway went 2 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI.
    • After the offensive explosion yesterday, Kingsport only scored one run against Johnson City and lost 2-1. Jusef Frias took the loss and went five innings, giving up seven hits, two earned runs, and struck out four.
    • The Staten Island Yankees beat the Brooklyn Cyclones 5-2 and the Cyclones took their first loss of the season.
    • The 2005 Futures Game rosters are set and Lastings Milledge and Yumeiro Petit will represent the Mets. Brian Bannister may seem like he got snubbed and his numbers are very deserving, but at 24, he would be older than most of the prospects in the game and is not a top prospect anyway. This game is usually reserved for rather young players that are all top tier, blue chip prospects and it is not simply an All-Star game with whomever is putting up great numbers on the year.
  • I heard this one on the radio yesterday. The Yankees have not won a game when they scored three or less runs. Every win they had, at least four runs were scored by the Yankees. Yesterday, they only scored three runs so they obviously lost. Carl Pavano had another outing to reinforce that he was the 2nd most overpaid player signed this past off season behind Eric Milton. Pavano gave up five runs in 6.2 innings.

  • From the NYTimes.com:

    After the ticky-tacky Shea Stadium, which opened in 1964, the Mets' new place will have to conform to some needs of a potential Olympic stadium, at least until the International Olympic Committee picks the 2012 host on July 6.

    Wilpon once had ambitious blueprints for a retro stadium that recalled the Ebbets Field of his Brooklyn childhood (with a rotunda, no less), but they were stalled for years because of negotiations with the city. Wilpon has my permission to make the Mets' new ballpark as architecturally quirky as he dares. Pay homage to the auto chop shops that fester behind right field. Bring back the late and lamented Serval Zippers sign behind center field. Or go for graceful arching stands like the ones at new soccer stadiums around the world. Go for it. It's bound to be an improvement, even though Wilpon has said he will sell out and take a corporate name for the stadium.

    Great. I seriously hope this 'conforming' to the needs of a potential Olympic stadium die quickly after July 6th.

    Anyone care to guess on the corporate sponsor who is going to open up their wallet and purchase naming rights?
  • Wednesday, June 22, 2005

    Ice Ice Baby

    The harsh reality is, Gerald is probably the most logical choice to have been brought for several reasons. Whoever was brought up, would not be spending a lot of time with the Mets and would be sent down and possibly exposed to waivers again. For instance, if Eric Valent was brought back up, he would have to clear waivers yet again to get demoted to AAA. Many thought it was a mini coup that the Mets were able to retain him, so to expose him to that again to have him ride the pine does not seem like the right thing to do. I am guessing the same holds true with Calloway and Redman as well and Omar may not have been excited to enact Angel Pagan's first option. Would it have been a big deal to bring Pagan up? Probably not, but I guess there is little to no reason to have him sit on bench.

    Despite all that, seeing Gerald on the Mets roster is scary. It is almost worth taking a chance that another team would have picked up Valent, Redman, or Calloway on their way back down to AAA once one of the wounded return from the DL. Reading his name on the roster sends shivers down my spine and even if it was the most logical move for bringing up a position player, it is not one I can condone with the current state of the team. Maybe a pitcher or even Craig Brazell would have been better, but I'm guessing the Mets have their reasons. Let's see how other people feel about the topic that posted on Metsgeek.com.

    Eric, I don’t know why you’re confused. The Ice Man has a .697 OPS this year in AAA. That’s the kind of production we need in Shea. We’ll just have to see how it translates vs. major league pitching…
    -tim in la

    Oh my God. How can a team DL/release 2 awful players and turn around and replace them with even worse players? That clearly articulates how this organization has its collective head up its ass. You can’t make this stuff up. Its almost as if this team is trying to lose on purpose, with the idiotic moves that they are making.

    I refuse to root for any team that has Gerald Williams on its roster.

    I want to throw up.
    -Jeremy Heit

    Gerald Williams? Ishii’s batting .357. I’ll take him in right over Ice.

    Put Koo in right field
    Start the Ice Man at second.
    Start Diaz behind the plate.
    Mike Piazza gets one more shot at 1st.
    Jose Reyes throws middle relief and Woody spells him at SS.
    I believe.

    Almost forgot… Kris Benson should probably bat 6th in front of David Wright.

    Quoting Omar, “We just thought we needed to bring in a guy of Williams’ experience into the clubhouse”

    Separate from whatever beef there might be with Pedro, I tend to think Williams has not been on 6 different teams because of anything positive he brings to the clubhouse.

    Another concern is the value placed on experience regardless of the talent level. Not that it should be a surprise, but god save us all if he bats above Wright.

    Clearly, Ice Williams isn’t gonna turn this team around all by himself.

    That’s what they signed Jose Offerman for. Omar’s building a dynasty, bit by bit.
    -Dan in L.A.

    Daubuch was absolutely killing the ball in AAA, has a decent ML pedigree, is still relatively young. He gets on base, and has shown flashes of power. He’s a good cheap in-house option for first base. It may not work out, but I love the move bringing him up.

    Gerald Williams is useless and an awful call-up. He spots a career 301 OBP, and was getting on-base at a tidy-280 clip in Norfolk. He’s 38, and hasn’t been a useful player in the past 8 years. He has no business near a major league roster, and if the Mets waste him any at-bats, I may be force to heave a cinderblock through my television set.

    I… I can’t breathe… So furious… Please God, just don’t let Steve Phillips do the ESPN analysis of the call-up… Think of the children…

    How could you bring up Ice when Rickey Henderson is sitting out there?

    Wow! After months of calling for the head of Mike DeJean we finally get it and still you find something to complain about. While Williams isn’t the ideal choice or even necessarily a good one, the Mets are no better than a .500 team and it won’t matter if they bring up Calloway, Williams or the frozen head of Ted Williams. This is reality. Be happy DeJean is gone and start hoping that Ishii is next…

    In response to the above post:
    I wonder what Bryan is smoking and where I can get some.

    Bryan, we’re a .500 team because we don’t put out best talent on the field. When was the last time you heard a championship team say, “We’re a .650 team, it doesn’t matter who we bring up as a 5th outfielder?” Weakness is no excuse for idiocy.
    -tim in la

    Good Stuff.

    * * *

  • Who knew? All the Mets needed to wake up was to face one of the best pitchers in the Major Leagues. They smacked up Brett Meyers and every Met starter had at least one hit with the exception of Marlon Anderson. Kris Benson even got in on the hit parade to raised his average to .294 with a .400 OBP. However much maligned this signing was by "experts", he has shown to be solid pitcher that looks like he is going to get much better as the season goes along.

  • The good news? Randy Johnson got tagged last night and got knocked out after three homers, eight hits, and seven run in three innings. The bad news? The damn Yankees still figured out how to win the ball game and had a thirteen run eighth.

  • What's a guy got to do to get on BA's Prospect Hot Sheet? Throwing a no-hitter for one.

    15. Gaby Hernandez, rhp, Mets (Low Class A Hagerstown)
    Hernandez makes the list in part due to his no-hitter on Sunday, but last year's third-round pick has been getting the job done all year, with a 5-1, 2.32 mark in 15 starts, with just 47 hits allowed in 78 innings.

    16. Brian Bannister, rhp, Mets (Double-A Binghamton)
    An early-season fixture on the Hot Sheet, Bannister has recovered from a mediocre May by striking out 10 in a four-hit shutout last Friday, lowering his ERA to 1.87 to go along with an 8-1 record.

    Gaby has been deserving of the hot sheet all year, but is finally getting some virtual ink.

    As for Bannister, he is just a monster up in Binghamton. His home park has a park factor of 1010 and the entire league has a park factor of 1029. While his home park is only a marginal hitters park, plenty of players have big offensive years down there and it is not the easiest league to pitch in.

  • Minor update:
    • Hagerstown beat Lakewood 8-5. Dante Brinkley continues to rake with a 3 for 4 night, with two RBIs, his tenth homer, and three RBIs. Aaron Hathaway hit is first homerun and went 1 for 3 with two runs scored and two RBIs.
    • St. Lucie won in barn burner with Jupiter 14-6. Brett Harper picked up four RBIs and hit his 18th homer of the year and went 2 for 4 with three runs scored and a double. Corey Ragsdale, Brett Harper, Andy Wilson, Jamar Hill, Shawn Bowman, and Blake Whealy picked up at least two hits a piece.
    • Binghamton won 10-4 against New Britain. Anderson Hernandez continues to rake and went 3 for 5 with three runs scored. Kevin Deaton went eight innings for the win and gave up four hits, one earned run, one walk, and struck out six.
    • Norfolk lost to Buffalo 1-0. Eric Junge was the hard luck loser going seven innings, giving up six hits, one run, two walks, and struck out three.
    • The Kingsport Mets beat Johnson City 16-1. Sean Henry went 2 for 4 with a run scored, two doubles, two RBIs, and two walks and Nick Evans went 3 for 5 with one run scored, one double, one walk, and two RBIs. The Kingsport staff combined to throw a three hitter in a rather convincing season opener.
    • The Cyclones beat the Staten Island Yankees 10-7 in their season opener. The newly, and strangely demoted Caleb Stewart went 1 for 4.
  • The Mets get Sean Henn on Saturday vs. the Yankees and they absolutely have to take advantage of that. The need to exploit this game against them and try and pull out one of those two other games.

  • Cammy should be back in the lineup tonight.

  • I love Wright in the two hole.

  • From Mets.com:

    The club signed the 20-year-old left-handed pitcher it selected in the 16th round of the First-Year Player Draft two weeks earlier, Eric Domangue of Alvin Community College in Texas. The Mets have signed 27 of the 48 players they selected.

  • Zambrano takes the hill tonight against rookie Robinson Tejada and the Mets face Cory Lidle with Kaz Ishii on the hill tomorrow. Mets should take tonight’s game and Thursday's game is up in the air. The Mets could be primed for a sweep of the Phillies.

  • TCPalm.com has a nice piece on Lastings Milledge and tells us what we already know. The kid is good.

  • In case you are keeping track, Carlos Beltran is no longer running at 80%. He is now running at 90%. I know everyone can sleep easy now.

  • Shaun Powell has a must read on Carlos Beltran today.

  • Floyd was held up by third base coach Manny Acta, and third base umpire Jerry Layne on Mike Piazza's two-out double in the first. Floyd said Acta thought Kenny Lofton caught the ball in right-centerfield and stopped him because he thought the inning was over. Layne raised his arms, signifying the end of the inning.

    I was wondering how Cliffy did not score on that Piazza double.

  • From NorthJersey.com:

    Kaz Matsui was stunned to learn Monday that his sore left knee was injured enough to earn him a spot on the 15-day disabled list. An MRI revealed a deep bruise.

    "I was really surprised with the result," Matsui said through an interpreter. "I was like, 'Are you sure? Really?'"

    Hmmmm...Another phantom injury? The Mets seem to be better at DL-ing people with fake injuries than real ones. There is no doubt the hit was hard one, but was Kaz really DL worthy?
  • Tuesday, June 21, 2005

    White Flag

    Sometimes things just happen when you know it is time to give up and you just need to admit defeat.

  • And now pitching for the New York Mets, Todd Zeile.

  • Doctor: I have good news and bad news. Which do you want to hear first?
    You: The good news.
    Doctor: Ok, you have four hours to live.

  • Finding out the hooker you just paid for has plenty of junk, but it's not in the trunk.

  • Now batting for the New York Mets, Gerald Williams.

    Has it really gotten to this point before the All-Star break? Being a Met fan is like a nightmare that you just cannot wake up from. Cammy is on the verge of rejoining the team and Diaz will resume his spot as the fourth outfielder basically negating any need for Ice with Woodward and Anderson able to play the outfield in a pinch. The fact that Williams had a place in the organization was disturbing enough, but now he is a Major League player again. Not even the Pittsburgh Pirates have a player as bad as Gerald on the team. Was he really the best use of that last roster spot?

    In the coming weeks, Mike Cameron will most likely be traded. There is a lot of interest and with the direction this team has decided to go, there really is no reason whatsoever to keep him around. I heard a ridiculous rumor from a very unreliable source about Robinson Cano for Mike Cameron, which would just be highway robbery of Kazmir-like proportions. We all know Cano alone would never get a deal done and it sounds like a Michael Kaye show caller proposed deal, but I do not even know the Yankees could even make a match. Philip Hughes is their best prospect, but he is a low A-Ball pitcher who can have many, many things go wrong during his ascension to the majors, as any young pitcher can, and is just not enough of a sure thing to trade Cammy for. In fact, Cano, Hughes, and Eric Duncan may not even be a great deal for the Mets.

    Many think the Mets should take it even one further and trade Mike Cameron and Cliff Floyd, amongst others. I'm not ready to go that far to think Omar should even think about a fire sale, but I think they should use their one and only valuable chip when the bidding reaches a fever pitch, and it looks like it will. As bad as the Mets have looked, they are not this bad. With some tweaking to the roster and using the right players in the right spots will make them undoubtedly more productive a team in my opinion, but right now, it is hard to figure out if the Mets are even going to try and go down that road. Playing under expectations seem to be an organizational philosophy and the Mets have been reluctant to do the things that need to be done and continue to mismanage this team on all fronts. It looks like another long summer in Flushing.

    * * *

  • Adam Rubin lays out the mismanagement of the New York Mets.

    Would Carlos Beltran still be struggling to reach expectations had he gone on the DL in late May, rather than go unused for 10 days, then prematurely return from a quadriceps strain that he estimated would take three full weeks to heal?

    And wouldn't the Mets be better served with Triple-A call-ups available on the bench rather than going long stretches with unavailable players?

    Earlier this season, Miguel Cairo stayed active for nine days while limited to one pinch-hit opportunity because of hamstring tightness. He returned to the starting lineup June 10. The injury obviously didn't mend. Six days later, Cairo went on the DL with a recurrence.

    You just cannot make this stuff up.

  • Minor update:
    • St. Lucie beat Jupiter 7-3. Lastings Milledge went 2 for 3 with one run scored and one walk. The disappointing part of Milledge's season is his lack of power. His SLG% is only .418 and he has only three homers, but his doubles are decent with eleven. He also has a stellar .382 OBP to go with his .305 average so there are a lot of good things going on with him, but it would be great to see him return to the complete package and knock some more out of the park.
    • New Britain beat Binghamton 4-3. Anderson Hernandez went 2 for 4 with a walk, Wayne Lydon went 2 for 4 with double, and Mike Jacobs knocked his 12th homer of the year and knocked in two RBIs to bring his total up to 46. Matt Lindstrom surfaced in the bullpen and pitched one inning, giving up two hits and no runs.
    • Buffalo beat Norfolk 4-3. Eric Valent went deep for the second time since being demoted and placed behind Gerald Williams on the food chain. Steve Coyler went one inning, struck out one, and allowed no earned runs.
  • Koo and Cammy back, DeJean and Matsui out.

  • Matsui is open to a deal.

    "I chose New York and I want to stay in New York. But there is a certain limit to a player's feelings on this matter," Matsui said. "There could be a situation that could come up that would benefit me and the Mets. I would have to be open-minded if that were presented to me."

    Who can blame him? The guy gets verbally mauled nightly.

    "I don't sympathize for him," Randolph said. "We all have a job to do. Just do it, that's all. It's his second year with the ball club. We want him to play and the environment should be comfortable for him. At some point it becomes a game of production. I have to see that production."

    That hard stance is great and all, but he needs to apply to all 25 men and not just one or two. Willie likes to flap his jaws, but not meaning comes out.

  • "We just have to figure out something soon here," said Cliff Floyd, one of the few Mets who has produced. "But I was telling (Mike Cameron), 'Players, because we're so competitive, think we're worse than what we are.' It seems bad because we've been losing a little bit, but what are we, three games under .500? It could be a lot worse.

    "We feel it should be a lot better. It's just right now it's unfortunate that it's not. There isn't anything we can do about it. We can't go back and change anything. We just have to keep going forward."
  • Monday, June 20, 2005


    The sweet smell of success is in the air, just not at the Major League level for the Mets organization. While the big club is struggling mightily after dropping five of six games against the bottom of the AL West, the Hagerstown Suns and Norfolk Tides are well on their way to the playoffs. Yesterday, Gaby Hernandez threw a no-hitter that guaranteed a playoff birth for the Suns and Yusmeiro Petit was sparkling in his second start since coming back after some time off for the B-Mets. If there is a silver lining to anything, it is the future is still bright with some very, very good impact players on the near horizon. The Mets may not have a deep farm system, but there are a few players to drool over and build around.

    The Mets have lost four straight series and have not won a series since visiting a bad San Francisco team. This stretch of series was the time for the Mets to get back on their feet while feasting on teams which we had thought were lesser teams. The Mets started off good enough taking the San Francisco series, but then did not take the Houston series, lost the Oakland series, and things culminated by getting swept by the Seattle Mariners even with Pedro Martinez taking the mound in the series with a 13-0 record against Seattle. That of course was before he was a Met.

    Since that last series won against San Francisco, the Mets have dropped 9 of 12 and have moved down into last comfortable with a 2.5 game cushion between them and fourth place and 7 games behind first place Washington. During that stretch, the Mets have put up 27 runs, which is good for 2.25 runs a game, and their staff has surrendered 71 runs, which is good for 5.92 runs per game. It's getting late early. I know people are saying the season is still young, but the Mets are falling fast and are digging quite a hole for themselves heading into a stretch that they face the red hot Phillies twice, the red hot Yankees in Yankee Stadium, the Marlins, and the first place Nationals. Those teams have a compiled winning percentage of .542. The last five teams they face are a combined 26 games under .500, and that is when you include the first place Angels and the Astros', A's, and Mariner's records after they padded their win totals against the Mets. They were collectively much further under .500 before the Mets came into town.

    I think it is safe to say these next 16 games are going to pretty much define this club for the season. They can either keep their head above water or pretty much take themselves out of the race indefinitely. They may only be five games out of the Wild Card, but it is safe to say they are not headed in the right direction.

    "This is serious," left fielder Cliff Floyd said yesterday after the Seattle Mariners completed a three-game sweep of the Mets with an 11-5 victory at Safeco Field. "If we think we're any kind of good team, we can't play like this."

    * * *

  • Minor update:
    • Norfolk did their best NY Met impression by squandering a solid pitching performance with quiet sticks. Jae Seo went seven innings while giving up five hits, one walk, and three earned runs. He struck out five in his performance and Eric Valent provided the only Tides run on a homerun.
    • Hagerstown beat West Virginia despite scoring only one run on the bat of James Burt. However, Gaby did not need much since he threw a no-hitter. He surrendered two walks and struck out six en route to bringing his record to 5-1 and lowering his ERA to 2.32. It took him 115 pitches to get through nine innings.

      "I didn't think I was going to last past the seventh inning because of the organization's strict pitch count," a euphoric Hernandez (5-1) said after the game. "But once I knew that coach was going to let me go out there, I just really concentrated on throwing strikes, getting groundballs and getting in and out of innings."

      The kid has figured out low A ball for sure.
    • Binghamton beat Norwich 5-3 behind another stellar pitching performance by a Met pitcher. Yusmeiro Petit went six innings, giving up four hits, no walks, one earned run on a homerun, and struck out six. He is now 2-2 with a 2.74 ERA. On the offensive end, Anderson Hernandez continues to swing a hot bat going 3 for 5 with one run scored and one RBI, Bobby Malek went 2 for 4 with one run scored and two RBIs, and Mike Jacobs went 2 for 3 with one run scored, one walk, a homer, and two RBIs.
    • Also, in case you missed it, the Florida St. League All-Star game happened on Saturday and three St. Lucie players played for the Eastern squad. Andy Wilson went 1 for 4 with a double and a run scored while Brett Harper went 1 for 2 with one run scored, a homerun, and three RBIs. Greg Ramirez pitched 1/3 of an inning giving up no runs and no hits. The West won 5-3.
  • The Cleanup Crew™ got into the game log some junk innings in yesterday's game and they did not disappoint. Well, maybe Heath Bell did, but he has been struggling for a little bit. I tend to chalk that up to irregular usage, but who knows. As for the king of the Cleanup Crew™, Heilman has now pitched 16.1 innings in relief without an earned run and has 9.92 K/9, 0.92 WHIP, a 9.00 K/BB, and has not let any of the 13 inherited runners cross the plate. You think he is comfy coming out of the pen? Aaron has not given up a run whether is be earned or unearned since May 15th, which was his last start.

    "He's moving up a little bit in the chain," Randolph said. "I want to get him in a spot he feels comfortable. To me, 2 2/3 [innings] is really good for him. If I had left him in longer, it could have been 3 2/3 and we'd have lost him for Tuesday. Who knows how he would have responded.

    "Aaron is throwing the ball well, but we know our staff and how we want to use guys."

    You cannot make this stuff up. Lost him for Tuesday in case what? In case you are down by five runs and have more garbage time?

  • Kris Benson was on the mound the last time the Mets won and ended a three game skid and the team will once again look toward him to be the stopper and end the losing streak at three once again when the team takes the field again Tuesday in Philadelphia.

  • Pedro Martinez was at peace late Saturday night despite losing to the Mariners for the first time in 14 career starts against them. But he expected a little more fire from his teammates. "I'm actually surprised I haven't seen a lot more [anger] around," he said. "But they're pretty relaxed. They're not worried."

    Watching the Mets is like watching any zombie movie. They look completely devoid of emotion despite getting kick around by bad teams.