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

Saturday, July 23, 2005


For those of you who missed the pre-game on channel 11 or was not able to check it out, they had a quick piece on Fernando Martinez. The one thing that stood out was that it was said that the Mets did not offer the most money, but Martinez chose them anyway because he felt like it was a family-type atmosphere in terms of cohesiveness between everyone. It was also said that Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran were two of his favorite players and the chance to play in their organization and possibly play along side them factored heavily into his decision.

I guess Omar knew a thing or two about what he was doing and his assumptions about the ripple effect of signing Pedro Martinez.

From the Daily News:

Fernando Martinez, the 16-year-old Dominican outfielder handed a $1.4 million signing bonus by the Mets, drew a crowd as he took batting practice yesterday at Shea. The onlookers included Jeff Wilpon, Omar Minaya, Willie Randolph, Jose Reyes and David Wright.
"I like the way he attacks the ball," Randolph said after two shots cleared the outfield wall during Martinez's first round. Still, the manager cautioned: "He's a baby. Really, he's an infant."

Martinez is scheduled to play in the instructional league in Port St. Lucie in September, then in the minors next year. Minaya said Martinez's skills and projected timetable to reach the big leagues are comparable to any high school player drafted in last month's first round. The GM noted that he signed Ivan Rodriguez at 15 and Juan Gonzalez at 16. Both players' major-league debuts came at age 19.

From the NYPost:

"Of the high school kids that were drafted number one this year," Minaya said, "all those kids, he's right in the mix with those guys."

* * *

  • Jerry Crasnick had a chat yesterday, and here are the highlights.

    Kyle pointed this one yesterday in the comments section:

    Jose (NY, NY): What's the likelihood that the Yankees will be able to acquire Santana(Minn.), Zito or Carpenter (St. Louis) before the deadline?

    Jerry Crasnick: Jose,

    Is zero, zero and zero percent a decent answer?

    You have to love Yankee fans. Did he really ask about three teams that are in the playoff hunt, or in the Cardinals case, in the driver's seat, about trading their ace to the Yankees? Why must Yankee fans think everyone is there to farm their good players to help them win?

    joe (maryland): Hi Jerry, do you see Eric Milton being a good pitcher for the Mets? they play in a pitchers park and in a division where most of the parks aren’t homerun parks which seems to be Milton’s problem.

    Jerry Crasnick: Joe,

    Let's put it this way -- there aren't many parks that would be a worse fit for Milton than Cincinnati's. Shea is a good park for a fly ball pitcher. But the Mets had their chance at Milton over the winter, and they passed.

    Ah, if only the Mets needed starting pitching. Hey, but if they want to throw in Dunn, I'll eat that contract in a heartbeat.

    Aaron (albany, ny): What's your take on Jose Reyes? He's becoming a whipping boy for statheads. Is he going through growing pains or he just another Christian Guzman/Neifi Perez mediocrity?

    Jerry Crasnick: Aaron,

    I think Jose Reyes is going to be a heck of a lot better than Christian Guzman and Neifi Perez. Of course, you'd like him to have a higher OBP. But he's young, he's got a ton of talent and even more energy. I'm going to cut a kid a lot of slack when he's 22 and playing SS every day in New York (although there's no way in the world he should be batting leadoff).

    Guzman? Please. Reyes has some growing to do, but it is worth noting that Christian Guzman has the lowest VORP out of every player in the Majors. He checks in at 842 out of 842 and he has a -17.2 VORP and has a comfortable lead over Miguel Olivo, who has -11.6 VORP. Neifi Perez has a 5.6 VORP and Jose Reyes has a 13.8 VORP and is well above their skill level at the ripe age of 22 and will get much, much better than they ever dreamed of being.

    adam (hartford): Has aTony Womack for Corey Patterson deal been explored at all? Their respective teams are sick of them and a change of address could be good for both of them....

    Jerry Crasnick: Adam,

    I would run that past Cubs GM Jim Hendry, but he'd either bust out laughing or hang up on me in anger, so I think I'll pass.

    Again, you just have to laugh. Tony Womack, a 35 year old useless player, for a five tool talent still in his mid 20's that could turn it around and break out. You cannot make this stuff up.

    John (NY): Are the Mets going after Sweeney? and who would they give up Heilman?

    Jerry Crasnick: John,

    Sweeney isn't a fit with the Mets. He's strictly an AL player, and he'll make $12.5 million each of the next two years (I think) if he's dealt. That's too much money for him.

    If he was not so injury prone, I'd take a look at him and his iron mit, but alas, he cannot stay on the field.

    Franco (Hoboken): Jerry, Is there anyway the Mets could pry Adrian Gonzalez away from Texas? Say dealing them Heilman and Diaz??

    Jerry Crasnick: Franco,

    The Rangers seem reluctant to trade Adrian Gonzalez, even though he's blocked by Teixeira and growing frustrated in their system. Given that Texas needs pitching and Diaz is an AL type player, I think that proposed deal makes some sense. Send Omar and John Hart an email.

    What's that? A trade in which their team gives up too much? I think the Mets give up too much here, but it is certainly a foundation for a deal. Substitute Seo in for Hielman and give the Mets a power arm that is not quite refined and you have yourself a deal.

  • I hope no one is still upset about the Jason Phillips trade. Despite his two hits yesterday, he is one of the worst every day catchers in the Major Leagues. He is nothing but a reserve catcher at best.

  • Minor update:
    • Norfolk beat Richmond 6-1. Anderson Hernandez went 0 for 5 and Victor Diaz and Eric Valent went 1 for 4. AAA All-Star Jason Scobie went seven innings and gave up six hits, one earned run, three walks, and struck out four.
    • Binghamton beat Bowie 4-2 and two the Mets brighest stars in the Minor Leagues were a big factor. Yusmeiro Petit was vintage and went nine innings, giving up five hits, two earned runs, no walks, and struck out seven. Lastings Milledge went 2 for 4 with two stolen bases, a double, a run scored, and two RBIs. Mike Jacobs went 2 for 4 with a triple and an RBI.
    • Vero Beach beat St. Lucie 2-1. Grant Psomas went 0 for 2 with a walk and is 1 for 6 since being called up from Hagerstown.
    • Lake County beat Hagerstown 6-5 in fourteen innings. Ambiorix Concepcion went 3 for 6 with three runs scored and a homer, Mike Carp went 3 for 6 with an RBI, and Carlos Gomez went 2 for 7 with a run scored.
    • Brooklyn beat Jamestown 11-1. Nick Evans is finally hitting his stride after struggling since being promoted and went 3 for 5 with two homers and six RBIs. Caleb Stewart went 2 for 5 with a run scored. Andrew Butera is living up to his billing as a no bat catcher and is batting .093 with four hits in forty-three at-bats.
    • Johnson City beat Kingsport 9-3.
    • The GCL Dodgers beat the GCL Mets 7-3. Greg Cain went 1 for 3 with a walk.
  • According to the Boston Herald, the O's are close to obtaining AJ Burnett.

    According to sources, the Orioles, Florida Marlins and Tampa Bay Devil Rays are on the verge of consummating a deal that would bring Burnett to Baltimore along with infielder Mike Lowell and minor league outfielder Eric Reed. In return, the Marlins were to receive outfielder Larry Bigbie, starter Hayden Penn and relievers Jorge Julio and Steve Kline.

    The deal would also have Sidney Ponson being moved to clear payroll and a deal has been made and is awaiting approval by Phil Nevin that would swap to the two.

  • According to the Daily News, the Mets are considering a push for Odalis Perez.

  • Kaz Matsui could start a rehab assignment in St. Lucie late next week.

  • John Harper echoed Joel Sherman's sentiments of yesterday that Victor Zambrano is a good trading chip.

  • According to the Star Tribune, the Reds have no interest in trading Adam Dunn or Austin Kearns and apparently no interest in improving their team.

  • Victor Zambrano had nothing yesterday, which is fine. That happens sometimes, but your manager needs to take notice. After already being down 3-0, Zambrano let up a double to Jeff Kent with one out. At that point, I was yelling at my car radio to get the bullpen up, but Willie did not get anyone up. He should have sent Rick Peterson to the mound and called Heath Bell to get up and stalled as much as possibly and got him in as soon as possible. That didn't happen, and one out and two hits later, the Mets were down 5-0 and were down 6-0 on Werth's single off Bell when he finally came in. I got the feeling that Willie had already conceded the game and was trying to get six innings out of Zambrano to save the pen. If he was throwing well, just not having any luck, I can see him being kept in. However, he could not throw it by anyone and should have been on a much shorter leash. It was blatant to me, but Randolph seemed to not play for a win when his team was in the midst of a winning streak, but more playing to save the pen. Sure enough, that was a huge run or two. The Mets made a bunch of errors, but that is more excusable though a problem that is killing them. Those things will happen, but Willie's lack of strategy there is inexcusable and needs to stop.
  • Friday, July 22, 2005

    Much Ado About .500

    Many of us, including me, look at the Mets record this year and scratch our heads and say it looks strikingly similar to the Mets in 2004. Through 95 games last year, the Mets were 47-48. This year, they are 49-46 and 4.5 games out of first place. After reeling in the two biggest off season prizes, one has to wonder what the hell is going on. However, sizing these two teams up by record alone just simply is not fair. While the Mets were hanging around the division race last season, they were being held together by spit, glue, and a Richard Hidalgo hot streak. The 2004 Mets team featured a starting lineup that looked like this on July 21st last year:

    2b Jose Reyes
    SS Kaz Matsui
    1b Ty Wigginton
    LF Cliff Floyd
    RF Richard Hidalgo
    CF Mike Cameron
    3b David Wright
    C Vance Wilson

    The rotation at that current time was Jae Seo, Tom Glavine, Al Leiter, Scott Erickson, and Steve Trachsel. Last year's team was a far cry from this year's team. The record aside, they are not even comparable. Of course, things only got worse shortly after the Mets decided they were buyers, but that team was a group of over achievers. Hanging in as long as they did was a huge feat and Richard Hidalgo being a monster for the first two months after the trade before falling off the face of the earth was a huge boon.
    Through 95 Games in '04  Through July 21st, '04
    Teams W L GB Teams W L GB
    Braves 50 45 - Phillies 50 44 -
    Phillies 50 45 - Braves 49 45 1
    Marlins 48 47 2 Marlins 47 47 2
    Mets 47 48 3 Mets 47 47 2
    Nats 34 61 16 Nats 33 61 17
    Last year's ace was Tom Glavine and the Mets seemingly have three pitchers better than Tom Glavine '04 this year. I look at this current group of Mets and see a group of under achieving players that should be playing better baseball than they have played to this date, but they are worlds better than last year's squad. They are comparable by record alone, but these Mets are a cut above last year's Mets. While last year the Mets finished twenty games under .500 and I believe this year's club will finish above .500 and actually has a shot at the playoffs and I did not feel that way about the '04 Mets at the same time. There is no reason to compare where they are at the same point in '04 and '05 because it is the end of the year that counts.

    * * *

  • Even Rob Neyer cannot deny the Mets any longer:

    Franco (Hoboken): Now that the Mets swept the Pods... you see them making a big move? they have won 6 of 8 and reyes is heating up... wadda ya think?

    Rob Neyer: (2:21 PM ET ) The Mets are now one of only six teams with legitimate WC hopes, so I think they have to start thinking seriously about their October chances. And they sure could use a first baseman with some pop (unless Doug Mientkiewicz recently started hitting again and I missed it). Too bad they traded Justin Huber last summer...

  • Minor update:
    • Norfolk beat Ottawa 4-3. Eric Valent brought his average up to .288 and went 2 for 4 with a double, a walk, and an RBI. Chase Lambin went 1 for 3 with his fourth homer and his eighteenth on the year overall. Victor Diaz went 1 for 5. Jae Seo recovered somewhat from his last disaster start, but was not great. He went 6.1 innings giving up six hits, three earned runs, two walks, and struck out three.
    • St. Luice beat Vero Beach 4-2. Gaby Hernandez only needed one start to adjust to high A-ball and went six innings, giving up four hits, no walks, no runs, and struck out four. The Metropolitans thinks he is good. Andy Wilson went 3 for 4 with a double and Dante Brinkley went 1 for 3 with a homer and two RBIs.
    • Hagerstown beat Lake County 7-2. Mike Carp went 3 for 5 with two runs scored and an RBI. Ambiorix Concepcion went 1 for 5 with a homer and two RBIs and Jesus Flores went 1 for 4 with a homer and two RBIs.
    • Brooklyn beat Oneonta 10-9. Caleb Stewart, who was hitting well two levels higher in St. Lucie, went 3 for 5 with two runs scored, a double, a triple, a homer, and five RBIs. Anyone know why he is here? If you do, let me know. Nick Evans continues to pick up some hits and went 2 for 6 with a run scored, a double, and two RBIs.
    • Kingsport beat Johnson City 5-4. Jose Coronado went 1 for 2 with two runs scored, a homer, two RBIs, and a walk.
    • The GCL Nationals beat the GCL Mets 8-6. Gregory Cain went 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored, and Jose Mateo went 2 for 3 with a run scored and two doubles.
  • The Reds do not want to trade the wrong guy, but something has to give. They seem more intent on keeping Kearns and Willie Mo with the untradable Ken Griffey Jr., but they can also try and slide Casey out of the picture. Money could factor into this and they may ultimately have no other choice but trade Dunn because something needs to happen.

  • Joel Sherman suggests that Omar must shop Victor Zambrano, Braden Looper, and Mike Cameron. I cannot agree with Zambrano since I really love the top three pitchers in the Mets rotation, but I suppose if he can bring back a big bat, Omar should at least listen.

    Does that get Jorge Julio and pitching prospect Hayden Penn? Can Looper and Cameron entice Arizona into giving up ready-now first base stud Conor Jackson? Can Penn then be spun as a part of a package for a slugger, maybe Adam Dunn from the pitching-desperate Reds?

    If trading those guys brings back Julio, Jackson, and Dunn, it's a no-brainer, but that all seems far fetched to have it all fall into place. If the Mets land Jackson, I would be happy enough, though this team would never rely that heavily on a guy who has not played a day in the majors, but I think he is the real deal and could help. Sherman is dead on that Omar needs to put it out there he is accepting offers to see what can turn up.

  • Most important, as manager Willie Randolph said after an impressive end to an impressive series, "The bottom line is that this team is still in position to make some serious hay in this division."

    Added Floyd: "I don't know what 'hay' is. It's for feeding horses, I guess. I just want to keep going."

  • People are writing about how the Mets should be interested in Soriano, but I'm not sure why.
               Home              Away
    2005 .332/.364/.689 .230/.270/.382
    2004 .317/.360/.526 .244/.291/.444
    2003 .274/.325/.480 .306/.350/.567
    2002 .281/.312/.510 .319/.352/.582
    Back when he was with the Yankees, the splits were not as bad, but for some reason, Soriano has become a non-factor on the road. Whether it is because he had more protection than any player in the Major Leagues when he was with the Yankees or he has gotten pull conscious trying to hit too many homers in Arlington, or something like that, he is just too big of a question mark to put in Shea where right handed hitters get eaten up.

  • Ramon Castro is doing a great job backing up Piazza this year:

    Castro comes on: Ramon Castro is hitting .317 with 11 RBI and seven extra-base hits in his last 11 starts behind the plate. He had his most impressive hit of the season yesterday, a line-drive homer to left field in the fifth inning.

  • Steve Trachsel feels good after his first start since Spring Training.

  • What doesn't Wright do?

    During Wednesday night's game, Wright sidled up to Mientkiewicz and told him to start his hands quicker at the plate. Although Wright bats right-handed and Mientkiewicz left-handed, the two have similar batting styles and Wright felt he had picked up something that might help his struggling teammate.

    "If we don't get our hands moving, we're garbage," said Mientkiewicz.

    Remind me again what Rick Down does?

  • Jesus will be at Shea Stadium at 4:00 PM.

    16-year-old from the Dominican Republic whom the Mets signed to a contract last week, is scheduled to take batting practice at Shea Stadium before tonight's game.

  • Until yesterday, he hardly hit with the bases loaded, either. The speedy shortstop ended an 0-for-8 drought in that category with a two-run single that was part of a seven-run sixth as the Mets clubbed the Padres, 12-0. He was 1-for-5 with the bases full last season.

    "That's my first hit? I didn't know that," Reyes said with a smile when writers told him the significance of his single off Paul Quantrill, one of three hits that raised his average to .267. "One of the guys should have said something."

    Didn't he hit a grand slam in Texas in his rookie year? That is probably why no one said anything.
  • Thursday, July 21, 2005

    Rally Killer

    I guess what I was trying to say with this post from Metsgeek.com and this post from my site was that the Mets were primed to run off a hot streak. The Mets took the first two games from the first place Padres and face Jake Peavy, who is 3-3 in his last seven starts with a 4.22 ERA, today. Today's game is a game that the Mets can win against an ace who has not been on his game and it would be nice if the Mets put their best foot forward. Originally, Kaz Ishii was going to be skipped, but he has since been reinserted into the rotation. Since June 1st, Ishii has a 5.70 ERA and has left every game in the middle of an inning. However, what is more disturbing is that he is getting beat up while only walking 3.19 BB/9, which is great for him. Basically, he is finding new ways to lose. Willie needs to keep implementing a quick hook with him and not let him get to that inning where he keeps coming unraveled. If he goes five good innings today, pop a cork and celebrate and get him out.

    Ishii may win, but not one person in the grand 'ole US of A will put money down on it. Obviously miracles can happen, and if Al Leiter can win a game at Fenway Park after getting designated for assignment, Ishii can win against the Padres. However, with current options in the organization better than Kaz Ishii, it is time the Mets put winning in front of whatever reason Kaz is still around. The Mets are not good enough to have a weak leak in the chain when better options are available to them at little cost. Sometimes I get sick of the Mets not acting like they play in the biggest market in the entire world, and this is one of those times. Their strong pitching has them primed for a solid streak of games and they can rattle off ten wins in the next fourteen games when they face the Dodgers, Astros, Rockies, Brewers, and their last game with the Padres. They have to get serious about winning and give their team a chance to win every five days like they have the ability too. If they can complete the sweep, the potential of taking that momentum and flattening the downward spiraling Dodgers is immense and the Mets can start a much needed streak to put .500 behind them, but it all rests in the incapable hands of Kaz Ishii.

    * * *

  • Minor update:
    • Norfolk was beat by Ottawa 7-2. Anderson Hernandez went 1 for 2 with a run scored and two walks. Neal Musser went six innings giving up eleven hits, six earned runs, one walk, one homer, and struck out one. He is now 2-8 with a 5.66 ERA.
    • New Britain beat Binghamton 10-8. Lastings Milledge went 3 for 5 with four runs scored and a stolen base. Mike Jacobs went 3 for 4 with one run scored, one double, one walk, and three RBIs.
    • Vero Beach beat St. Lucie 3-2. Steve Trachsel went 2.2 innings giving up four hits, one earned run, one walk, and struck out two.
    • Brooklyn beat Oneonta 10-8. Caleb Stewart went 3 for 5 with one run scored, one double, and one RBI. Nick Evans is starting to hit after a slow start and went 2 for 5 with one run scored and two RBIs.
    • Kingsport took on Greenville in a double header yesterday. In game one, Greenville beat Kingsport 1-0. Kingsport only mustered one hit and their pitchers did not allow an earned run and only surrendered five hits and one walk. In game two, Kingsport beat Greenville 7-2. Gregory Gonzalez went 3 for 3 with three runs scored and a double and Matthew Anderson went 1 for 3 with a homer and four RBIs.
    • The GCL Mets beat the GCL Nationals 11-7. Brahiam Maldonado went 2 for 6 with a run scored and a double and Gregory Cain went 3 for 6 with two runs scored and an RBI.
  • Jose Reyes went the other way yesterday batting from the left-handed side of the plate and I almost fell off my barstool. Over the last seven days, Reyes is batting .292/.346/.417 with four stolen bases, two walks, and three doubles. Over his has 25 games, he is batting .271/.310/.336 and over his last fifteen games he is batting .297/.338/.344.

  • From the NY Post:

    The Mets have no interest in two relievers who were recently designated for assignment: White Sox righty Shingo Takatsu (1-2, 5.97) and Baltimore righty James Baldwin (0-0, 1.61). Takatsu, 36, saved 19 games for the Sox last season.
  • Wednesday, July 20, 2005

    The Big Four

    I posted an article going over at Metsgeek.com about how the Mets' top three starters stack up against other teams' top three starters since June 1st. I had also gathered the stats on the top four, so instead of letting it go to waste, I'm going to use those numbers here and add in Tom Glavine and see if the Mets still stack up favorably.
    Teams        ERA   Teams         H/9
    Astros 2.58 Athletics 6.55
    Athletics 2.82 Braves 7.60
    Cardinals 2.90 Cardinals 8.03
    Mets 2.97 Astros 8.03
    White Sox 3.23 Cubs 8.08
    Braves 3.28 Mets 8.37
    Nationals 3.45 White Sox 8.43
    Angels 3.60 Indians 8.65
    Blue Jays 3.78 Angels 8.74
    Padres 3.93 Padres 8.80
    Mariners 4.01 Nationals 9.03
    Tigers 4.04 Red Sox 9.04
    Cubs 4.10 Mariners 9.13
    Red Sox 4.15 Brewers 9.41
    Indians 4.17 Blue Jays 9.53
    Twins 4.20 Dodgers 9.59
    Dodgers 4.21 Yankees 9.67
    Brewers 4.30 Tigers 9.68
    Rockies 4.41 Twins 9.71
    Yankees 4.56 Marlins 9.82
    Marlins 4.57 Orioles 9.88
    Phillies 4.78 Phillies 9.94
    Royals 4.79 Diamondbacks 9.99
    Diamondbacks 4.81 Pirates 10.03
    Orioles 5.01 Rangers 10.28
    Pirates 5.26 Rockies 10.30
    Rangers 5.36 Royals 10.41
    Giants 5.44 Giants 10.43
    Devil Rays 6.48 Reds 10.73
    Reds 6.70 Devil Rays 11.11
    The Mets top four rank 5th in ERA, 27th, in K/9, 7th in H/9, 13th in K/BB, and 9th in wins. Tom Glavine has taken a lot of heat lately, but when added back into the equation, The Mets are still atop nearly every team when it comes to ERA and remain very solid in terms of H/9. When you take the Mets top four starters and they way their are pitching right now, they hang with any team and give the Mets a chance to win. As for the only weak link, we know his days are numbered, but what can we reasonably expect from Steve Trachsel when he returns after he returns from a year off at 34 years old? I think Trachsel is going to have some issues coming back, and being that there are two months left in the season, I'm not sure he is the better choice of Jae Seo if the Mets are going to make a serious run at things. It will take him a while to get up to speed and he will need a few weeks as is in the minors pushing him back to mid August to possibly join the big club anyway. It's time to let Seo get a few shots and give the Mets five solid starters.

    * * *

  • Minor update:
    • Ottawa beat Norfolk 6-5. Anderson Hernandez went 2 for 5 with an RBI and Eric Valent went 2 for 4 with a run scored, a double, and a walk.
    • New Britain beat Binghamton 8-5. Lastings Milledge went 0 for 4 with a walk and a strikeout, Mike Jacobs went 3 for 5 with two runs scored, a triple, and his 19th homer on the year, and Brett Harper went 2 for 3 with two runs scored, his fifth homer at AA, two RBIs, and two walks.
    • Hagerstown vs. West Virginia was rained out.
    • Kingsport vs. Greeneville was rained out.
    • The GCL Mets beat the GCL Marlins 6-2.
  • Lastings Milledge gets some love from BA on their latest Prospect Hot Sheet.

    5. Lastings Milledge, of, Mets (Double-A Binghamton)
    Put on the fast track after heating up in the Florida State League, the 2003 first-round pick responded to his Double-A promotion by going 10-for-21 (.476) in his first five games.

    Gaby also continues to be on their radar.

    15. Gaby Hernandez, rhp, Mets (High Class A St. Lucie)
    After limiting Sally League batters to a .179 average in 18 games, the 19-year-old Hernandez got the win in his Florida State League debut with five solid innings.

    Want more?

    19. Brian Bannister, rhp, Mets (Triple-A Norfolk)
    Gunning for a look at the major league level, Bannister walked a season-high five in his Triple-A debut on Monday, but got the victory by allowing just one run on two hits over 5 2/3 innings.

    That could be the first time I have ever seen the Mets with three players in their top 20 and Anderson Hernandez is still an honorable mention and one hot week away from joining the top 20.

  • I love how the bench players are continually topping each other and they are all coming up huge time after time. After having a lackluster bench over the past few seasons, the Mets seemed to have found a good formula.

  • Is Matt Durkin and Scott Hyde playing poker with Kaz Matsui and Alay Soler somewhere? What happened to those guys?

  • Just to give everyone and idea of how much Adam Dunn will cost, the Orioles inquired about him and any deal for him started with Eric Bedard. Not finished, but started with Bedard. The Reds are in no rush and are looking to cash in large.

  • "I would think that we would add somebody or a couple of bodies to address some of our needs," Glavine said, adding later, "We tend to judge it by who we've played, who we're chasing. And you evaluate it talent for talent. And you really don't see anybody that's, talent wise, any better than us."

  • So much for drafting Humber because he seemed safe and healthy. I guess the idea is that Phil started overthrowing since he strained his abdominal muscle and that could have been the root of it. This sucks, but the Mets have two guys on the depths charts in front of him in Yusmeiro Petit and Brian Bannister and have Jae Seo and Aaron Heilman as well. It does however alter Omar's possible plan of dealing some minor league pitching. You do not know if Humber will ever recover and he will not be pitching in games until next August at the earliest. Best case scenario is that he gets four or five starts in '06 and he will have all of '07 in the minors with an eye on the majors in late '08. It is good that he gets his out of the way now and it does not interrupt his career once he reaches the big leagues.

  • Steve Trachsel will start for St. Lucie today vs. Vero Beach.

  • Willie on dropping Piazza:

    "What's the big deal?" Randolph asked. "It's from fifth to sixth. ... He's on my team. He's in the lineup. He's playing. Instead of hitting fifth, he's hitting sixth.

    "I just think I'm putting the best lineup together and I've said that from Day One. I've moved my lineup around all year long. This is a waste of time to talk about."

  • Kaz Ishii will regretfully get to start against Jake Peavy tomorrow. Basically, if the Mets are to win the series, they need to win today and I predicted a sweep on Metsgeek.com, but now I am just predicting 2 of 3.

  • Oh jeez...

    POTENTIAL CATCH: Padres catcher Ramon Hernandez deserves a close look this week. Hernandez appears likely to become a free agent this winter, when the Mets figure to pursue him as Mike Piazza's successor. Hernandez, 29, has a solid reputation for pregame video preparation, likely the product of his time in Oakland with Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson. He's reportedly dumping agent Eric Goldschmidt for Scott Boras, with whom the Mets have developed a recent relationship.

  • The Yankees time in first place was short-lived. They are back below the Red Sox where they belong.

  • Tuesday, July 19, 2005

    Setting the Bar Low

    It has recently come to my attention that some Yankee fans are just in a tizzy about being in first place after yesterday's 11-10 win over Texas. If people are excited about a team that just took first place for the first time since April 10th that costs over $200,000,000 that just acquired Randy Johnson, Carl Pavano, and Jaret Wright in the off-season, then they have really set the bar low. Sure the Yankees have been hot, but they should instead focus on the fact that Kevin Brown did not make it through five innings and gave up more runs than innings pitched and is sniffing an ERA of 6.00 after many fans have begun to place entirely too much faith in Al Leiter being a savior of sorts.

    Yankee fans have really learned to take what they can get. They uncharacteristically got excited over a 20 year old outfielder that has no place being in the Majors or arguably even AAA after one good game and have been forced to take whatever small victories they can get this season after being officially labeled the worst team money can buy by myself. Instead of getting giddy over pounding other teams heads in, they better fixate their attention to their favorite team’s starting rotation and center field situation. Most of what has been going on in centerfield has looked like a comedy routine and their rotation could not match up against any team's rotation that will make it to the playoffs this season. The Orioles are getting Erik Bedard back and are on the verge of acquiring AJ Burnett to bolster their rotation so the Yankees are far from being out of the woods. As quickly as their witless smiles have returned, they could slip back away. This season is the most quiet I have seen Yankee fans and they have rarely emerged to spew out the same Met jokes I've heard over the last ten years and I would love to keep it that way. The way things are right now, the Yankees will not win with Bernie in center and their rotation pitching the way it has. The Yankees have been very streaky all year and are just on a hot streak right now with the bats.

    * * *

  • Minor update:
    • Brian Bannister was the big story on Monday winning his first game at AAA despite trying really, really hard to beat himself. He went 5.2 innings, giving up two hits, one earned run, five walks, and struck out five. He is now 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA. Victor Diaz continues his hot hitting and went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and his seventh homer at Norfolk in only 21 games. I think he has found his homer stroke.
    • New Britain beat Binghamton 11-5. Lastings Milledge went 0 for 4 with a walk and a strikeout.
    • St. Lucie continues to play hot and beat Clearwater 9-0. Wilson Batista went 2 for 5 with two runs scored, Andy Wilson went 2 for 5 with one run scored, one double, and three RBIs, and Jamar Hill went 2 for 5 with two runs scored, a double, and two RBIs. Vincent Cordova went the distance and gave up seven hits, no earned runs, one walk, and struck out five. St. Lucie is 10-3 in their last thirteen games.
    • Hagerstown beat West Virginia 8-2. Ambiorix Concepcion went 3 for 5 with one run scored, a triple, and one RBI. Mike Carp went 1 for 5 with his 19th homer and two RBIs. The Brewers shiny new draft pick Ryan Braun went 3 for 4 with a double and a homer.
    • Auburn beat Brooklyn 4-2.
    • Kingsport beat Greensville 7-2. Gregory Gonzalez went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and one double.
    • The GCL Mets downed the GCL Marlins 6-0. For anyone who is a closet Jerrod Riggan fan, he made an appearance for the GCL Mets and has now thrown six scoreless innings this year against teenagers.
  • Kelly Shoppach has absolutely been on a tear. He went 3 for 4 last night with three runs scored, his eighteenth and nineteenth homers, and five RBIs to bring his season total to 53 in only 66 games. He has brought his average up to .269 and was batting .252 back on the 10th.

  • The Yankees are back in first place, and they certainly did not get there by pitching and Scott Kazmir helped them get there. He went six innings and gave up three hits, no earned run, SIX walks, and struck out seven to help down the Red Sox.

  • The AJ Burnett to Baltimore deal has added another team into the equation.

    Sources close to the talks indicate a deal, likely with Baltimore, is nearing completion, although a three-way trade between the Marlins, Orioles and Pirates surfaced late Monday.

    In the three-way deal, the Marlins would acquire pitcher Mark Redman from Pittsburgh, along with Orioles pitchers Hayden Penn and Jorge Julio and outfielder Larry Bigbie. In return, the Marlins would send Burnett to Baltimore and Mike Lowell to Pittsburgh.

    Burnett was asked Monday if he thought he'd be a member of the Marlins tonight.

    "Do I think? No," he said. "But I'll be ready if I am."

  • Lee Jenkins sums up what has been predominantly the Mets' story over the two years.

    Entering their three-game series against the San Diego Padres, the Mets are 46-46, so average that they have become uncommon. Twenty-three times this season the Mets' winning percentage has been at .500, setting a franchise record and a precedent for equality in baseball.

  • The Mets bench has been good.

  • Danny Graves is still surprisingly optimistic.

    "I know the results aren't as good as we would like them to be, but I think I am making progress," Graves said. "I just hope that things start turning around real soon than later. But I'm starting to get the feel. I'm just not getting the results, but I feel like I'm getting close."

  • According to the NYPost, Steve Trachsel will make a rehab start in the next few days.

  • David Lennon has a great look at just how good the pitching staff has been.
  • Monday, July 18, 2005

    Food for Thought

    David Wright is a stud, we all know that. He has a chance to be the Mets best position player ever if he stays with the Mets for a while and stays healthy, and I think he will. He should be tops in homers (current leader is Darryl with 252), runs scored (current leader is Darryl with 662), RBIs (current leader is Darryl with 733), games (current leader is Eddie Kranepool with 1853), walks (current leader is Darryl with 580), hits (current leader is Eddie Kranepool with 1418), and doubles (current leader is Eddie Kranepool with 225) by the time he is done playing for the Mets and lucky us, we get to watch the entire thing.

    If you take his projected numbers for this year, which are 158 games, 94 runs, 160 hits, 39 doubles, 25 homers, 84 RBIs, and 70 walks and multiply that by ten, he will be far and away the best Mets position player ever. Granted a lot of things can happen, but being that he should get better, using this year's numbers as a ten year average is probably pretty safe. He would stand to smash the previous high in runs by 278 with 940 (though Jose Reyes should own this record if he is around for while), beat the previous high in hits by 182 with 1600 (Reyes should make a run at this one too), beat the previous high in doubles by 165 with 390, be only two homers off Darryl's homer lead, beat the RBI record by 107 with 840, beat the walk record by 120 with 700, and would need thirteen or fourteen seasons as a Met to beat the games played record. I think some of those numbers are conservative and some should be right on after some years above and below what his projected numbers are this year, but David Wright should be the best position player the Mets have had by the time he is done with the Mets.

    * * *

  • Minor update:
    • Norfolk beat Syracuse 10-8. Anderson Hernandez went 3 for 4 to bring his average up to .381 in 21 games and 84 at-bats. Eric Valent went 3 for 4 with three runs scored, his seventh homer, two RBIs, and one walk.
    • Reading beat Binghamton 7-4. Lastings continues to swing a hot bat since being promoted and went 3 for 4 with two runs scored. In seventeen at-bats, he has picked up ten hits and struck out in five of this seven outs. Brett Harper went 3 for 4 with his fourth homer since being moved up to AA and is batting .308 since being promoted.
    • St. Lucie beat Clearwater 10-1. Evan MacLane went five innings giving up no hits, no runs, no walks, and struck out five. Kevin Rios went 3 for 5 with two runs scored, one double, one homer, and two RBIs. Jamar Hill went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, a double, and one walk and Andy Wilson went 1 for 2 with a run scored and three walks.
    • West Virginia beat Hagerstown 8-5 in fourteen innings. Carlos Gomez went 2 for 6 with two runs scored and a double, Mike Carp went 2 for 6 with a homer and two RBIs, and Grant Psomas went 2 for 4 with one double, two walks, and one RBI.
    • Brooklyn vs. Auburn was suspended due to fog.
    • Kingsport lost to Bluefield 5-4. Joan Martinez went 1 for 4 with one homer and four RBIs.
  • Rumors, rumors, rumors. Larry Bigbie, Hayden Penn, and Jorge Julio could be headed to the Marlins for AJ Burnett, Mike Lowell, and Eric Reed. The deal could be announced as soon as today. The Red Sox are still trying to jump in with a three way deal between with Padres and Marlins, but the Orioles are in the driver's seat. In fact, it has gotten so bad for the Marlins, Jack McKeon is possibly on the firing line with Yankee bench coach Joe Girardi, a favorite of owner Jeffrey Loria, a possible candidate to replace him. Carlos, what was that question your joke of an agent asked Mr. Loria about being a buyer or seller at the deadline if they were close? You are 5.5 games out and looking to sell.

  • Al Leiter certainly pitched well on Sunday, but Yankee fans need to get a hold of themselves. That would qualify as one of his top three starts since 2003 and that is not going to be the norm. You will be calling for his head in two weeks.
  • "It's not acceptable to be where we are, in my book," Floyd said after the Mets blew away the Braves 8-1 yesterday at Shea to split the four-game series. "It's OK for teams that aren't supposed to be good. But for a team of our caliber, I think we should definitely be a lot better. It's unfortunate that it hasn't happened."

    "We really are in desperate need of a winning streak, seven, eight, nine, something like that," Floyd said. "It's really hard to do, but we're in desperate need.

    "I was looking at our schedule today. Whoever made our schedule for the second half, I should go holler at him. It doesn't get easy. We've got these (Atlanta) guys coming in, and then you go to Colorado with a tough ballpark to win in and Houston. If we're going to do anything, it has to start to come around soon."

  • "If I'm going down, I'm going down my way," Mientkiewicz said, "and that's relaxed; let the cards fall where they may.

    "I wanted the teams that I played for before (in Minnesota and Boston) to feel like they made a mistake. I was trying to prove everybody wrong (in the first half), instead of just going out and trying to do what I can do."

  • Jose Offerman is the new Marlon Anderson.

    With his RBI single in the seventh inning, Jose Offerman improved to 7-for-11 with six RBIs as a pinch hitter for the Mets.

  • Willie is pissed at Jose.

    "I absolutely don't want him to hit the ball in the air from the left side," Randolph said after the game. "That's for sure. But he got mad that he missed that ball to right field. I didn't even give him (a high) five for that. He shouldn't have hit the ball there anyway. I don't care if it was at the warning track. What are you doing?"
  • Sunday, July 17, 2005

    The Cammy Quandry

    Should he stay or should he go. That has been a hot topic this season for the Mets. While his defense is stellar in the right field and been a real positive thing, his offense is streaky and comes in bunches. He missed the entire first month of the season, returning in the first game of May. He went .372/.476/.686 in May with five homers, eleven RBIs and five stolen bases. He looked like a different hitter than he did in the past using right field more and shortening up on his swing with two strikes. Then came June. Cammy went .205/.289/.342 with one homer and six RBIs and only two stolen bases. July has not been kind so far as Cameron has gone .176/.222/.412 with three homers, nine RBIs, and no stolen bases.

    On the Year he is .262/.348/.491, which is pretty much in line with his career numbers and one thing is for sure, Cammy will go on a tear soon and cool off and repeat that throughout the year showing flashes of brilliance and then looking completely lost at the plate. In 2004, I thought Cammy was the MVP of the team for a few reasons. I loved his attitude, he helped the staff immensely, made a run at 30/30, and was everything we expected him to be. Mike brings value to the team in terms of cohesiveness and is great clubhouse guy.

    However, he has a lot of trade value right now. He could slump and see his average drop into the .230s, but he could get hot too, you just never know. Right now, he is still good trade candidate for the Mets, and while his defense would be missed, Victor Diaz was starting to look pretty good in right field. Is Diaz completely ready to play everyday? Maybe not, but he looked like a Major League ball player in his earlier stint with the Mets sitting in for Cammy. Offensively, there is more upside with Victor and with the trade market being what it is, there are still teams that would love to have his services patrolling centerfield.

    The Mets have control over Cammy for at least one more year. He will cost $8,000,00 in 2006 with a $6,500,000 team option for 2007. Mike is only 32 and could be under control until he is 34. He has plenty left in the tank and would be tremendous pickup for a team looking for a defensive centerfielder with a good bat. Right now, he is in the #2 hole and really is not fit for that role. Mike could help the team address other areas. I know it seems like I have been going trade proposal happy lately, but how about the Padres for instance? They are rumored to have a possible interest to have him patrol that immense centerfield, why not try and snag Josh Barfield and Scott Linebrink? The Padres bullpen is on the best in the Majors and they could stand to trade one of their arms. The Mets could throw in Jeff Keppinger to replace Barfield as the possible replacement for Mark Loretta in 2006 as well. The Mets get a potentially power hitting second baseman, who could also be shifted to the outfield or even first base, and a reliever to help bolster their bullpen while Victor Diaz can come up and take Cammy's place. Then they need to move Wright to the 2nd or 3rd hole in the lineup, stick Diaz 6th and are the Mets really that much worse of a team? I think the Mets have a great sell in a very affordable guy that will only cost $14,500,000 in 2006 and 2007 should a team keep him. Though some people may disagree with me, I truly think the above deal is not only plausible, but it helps the team more than keeping Cammy. It is tough to part with a great guy like Cammy, but that is the nature of the business.

    * * *

  • The Red Sox are rumored to have a deal in place for AJ Burnett. The Red Sox could use Bronson Arroyo in the trade.

  • The Red Sox and Hansen could be nearing a deal.

    General manager Theo Epstein wouldn't confirm a rumor that draft pick Craig Hansen was in Boston Friday to be medically evaluated, which, if accurate, could mean the team is approaching a deal with the former St. John's University closer who was rated No. 1 on at least one major league team's 2005 draft board.

    Hansen fell to the Sox, picking at No. 26, largely because he was expected to be a tough sign. He has been, though Epstein sounded more optimistic yesterday than he did earlier in the week.

    "We're making a lot of progress," said Epstein, who emphasized that there's no deal at this time."

    If Hansen signs and is to be used as a starter, the market could be set for college pitchers who are polished and throw 97 mph. That could kick start negotiations for the Mets and their first round pick and with Humber's potentially really bad news looming, both sides should be motivated. Phil Humber, meet Tommy John. Tommy, meet Phil Humber. While this sucks for Humber, it really is not the end of the world for the Mets since they are deep in the starting pitching area in the minors, but it does take out Yusmeiro Petit in terms a being expendable for me with Humber's future in doubt.

  • Minor update:
    • Syracuse beat Norfolk 14-11. Angel Pagan went 3 for 6 with a triple and two runs scored, Anderson Hernandez went 3 for 5 with two runs scored, two RBIs, and one walk, and Victor Diaz went 3 for 5 with two runs scored, his fifth and sixth homers of the year, and six RBIs. Jae Seo had a forgettable night and went 4.2 innings and gave up thirteen runs on fifteen hits. That game raised his ERA by 0.94 and his WHIP by 0.12. Just a bad, bad day.
    • Binghamton beat Reading 7-2. Lastings Milledge went 3 for 5 with two RBIs and a stolen base, Brett Harper went 3 for 5 with three runs scored and an RBI, and David Bacani went 3 for 4 with two doubles and three RBIs. Yusmeiro Petit continues to give up the long ball, but had a good game going seven innings, giving up two runs on two homers, and struck out eight. Scott Lauber pointed out that lefties are hitting Petit for a .297 average with nine homers this year.
    • Clearwater beat St. Lucie 6-5. Andy Wilson hit his 21st homer of the year and went 1 for 4 with two RBIs.
    • West Virgina beat Hagerstown 2-0.
    • Brooklyn beat Auburn 3-2.
    • Kingsport beat Bluefield 5-3. Elvis Cruz went 3 for 4 with two runs scored, one double, one homer, and two RBIs.
    • The GCL Mets lost to the GCL Dodgers 6-2. The Mets were held to only four hits on the night.
  • Mientkiewicz said he is not 100 percent yet. But he noted yesterday, "It's good enough to play."

    "I'm not going to come back after 15 days and be Jose Reyes," he said. "But hopefully I can score from third on a triple."

  • Victor Zambrano continues to assert himself as a solid top of the rotation starter with another great start. He has lowered his ERA in six consecutive starts and has averaged 7.11 innings pitched with a 2.32 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 4.85 K/9, 1.53 K/BB, 108 pitches thrown, and an average game score of 59.5.

  • Barry Zito seems like he is back. So far this year, he is on pace to throw 234 innings and owns a 6.23 K/9, 1.17 WHIP, .216 BAA, and a 3.74 ERA. After a first month with a 6.60 ERA, he has put up 3.49 ERA, 3.05 ERA, and a 1.57 ERA.

  • Adam posed a great question in the comments section on yesterday's post.

    Why is it that Braves rookies with 15 dayd ML experience are more fundamentally sound than Mets with 15 years experience.

    Easy. Bobby Cox as opposed to Willie Randolph.