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

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Last Man Standing

Out of the five original starting pitchers of the Yankees on opening day, one guy remains as Randy Johnson has missed one start and though he is slated to start for Tuesday, people are not so sure he will able to make that start either. Throw Wang into the mix, who has been arguably their best starter this season, and the Yankees have five of their top six starters out of the rotation at one time. Carl Pavano is on his way to see Dr. Andrews and we all know what happened when Phil Humber went to talk to Mr. Andrews and there are rumblings he may miss the entire season. 33 year old Aaron Small has been tremendous for them, but things are not looking rosy in the Bronx. Luckily the Yankees can pound their opponents into submission, but at the White Sox series showed the entire world, good pitching can shut this team down.

'Tis a sweet thing to watch.

* * *

  • I wrote this the other day:

    Not that 99% of you care about steroids and testing, Buster Olney and Mark Madden from ESPN the Magazine said that there are rumors of another big star being outted for 'roids. Olney did say he has heard this stuff before and it never materializes, but that is the steroid rumor de jour.

    Looks like it happened. A big name has been released for failing their steroid testing. Drum roll please......Wilson Delgado will serve a 30 days suspension for failing his steroid test.

  • Floyd on Mike Cameron:

    "He said he's going to play again this year. ... I'm going to go with that. I wouldn't second-guess him too much. You all know him."

  • Jonathan Mayo, who repeatedly told me he would do an interview and kept telling me he was doing it only to just keep snubbing me and telling me he was too busy, put out his top fifty prospect list. Lastings Milledge checks in at number 17 and Mr. Mayo does nothing to redeem himself to me by leaving Yusmeiro Petit off the top fifty entirely. Thanks.

  • Minor update:
    • Norfolk beat Lewisville 3-2 behind a solid pitching performance by Steve Trachsel. Trachsel declared himself ready to move back up to the Major Leagues by going seven innings, allowing five hits, two earned runs, one walk, and struck out five. He ended up getting the no-decision as Royce Ring picked up the victory in relief in .1 innings of work. Wil Cordero picked up a hit to keep his average from going under the .100 mark which I have dubbed the Duncan line. Angel Pagan went 1 for 3 with his 23rd stolen base and a walk, Anderson Hernandez went 1 for 3 with a walk, and Steve Trachsel even got his lumber working and went 1 for 2.
    • Binghamton beat New Hampshire 3-2 as two of the brightest Met prospects led the way. Lastings Milledge went 3 for 5 with a double, his second homer since moving up to AA, and an RBI and Yusmeiro Petit went eight innings of three hit, one walk ball and gave up only one earned run and struck out eleven. He continued to have the long ball plague him and Ron Davenport hit a homer for Petit's only run allowed. As for the rest, Aarom Baldiris went 2 for 5, Mike Jacobs went 2 for 2 with two runs scored, a double, one RBI, and two walks, and Brett Harper went 1 for 4 with two runs scored, two RBIs, a walk, and his twelfth homer on the year. Harper knocked those twelve homers in only forty-three games at AA and has 32 homers between St. Lucie and Binghamton in only 105 games.
    • St. Lucie played Brevard County in a double header yesterday. In game one, the Mets third best prospect Gaby Hernandez had some trouble and did not make it out of the fourth inning. Gaby went 3.1 innings and gave up eight hits, six earned runs, two walks, and struck out three en route to his third loss in high A ball. He is now 2-3 with a 5.54 ERA in six games for St. Lucie. On the offensive side, Grant Psomas went 1 for 2 with a run scored, and RBI, and a walk, Dante Brinkley went 1 for 2 with a run scored and a walk, Andy Wilson went 2 for 3 with a run scored, and Tony Piazza hit his first homer of the year and drove in two runs while going 1 for 3. In game two, the Mets came back to beat the Manatees 5-2. Aaron Hathway continues to hit and got moved up to second in the lineup and went 3 for 4 with an RBI to bring his average up to .298.Ivan Maldonado Oquendo got the win and went five innings, gave up two hits, no walks, no runs, and struck out four.
    • Hagerstown beat Greensboro by a field goal 10-7. Carlos Gomez continues his hot hitting and went 3 for 5 with two runs scored, a triple, and his fifty-third stolen base on the year. It would not be a game without Carlos Gomez and Ambiorix Concecion not stealing a base in the same game which they have been seemingly doing nightly and Concepcion went 1 for 4 with two runs scored, and RBI, and hits thirtieth stolen base on the year. The big offensive star of the day was Jesus Flores who went 3 for 4 with a walk, double, his sixth homer, and five RBIs. Russ Triplett went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, his third homer, and two RBIs. As for the pitching end, Matt Durkin continues to struggle with what is keeping him back from being a solid a solid prospect. Durkin walked five in only 2.2 innings and has more walks allowed (45) than hits allowed (43). He managed to give up only one run despite adding three hits allowed to his five walks for a not so tidy WHIP of 3.00 on the day and his season WHIP is up to 1.49.
    • Brooklyn beat Tri-City 2-1 behind a 7.2 inning, five hit, one run allowed, one walk, and two strikeout performance by Jeffrey Landing. Robert Paulk went 1.1 innings to finish the game for his second save and now has a 0.84 era in 10.2 innings in the New York-Penn League and has struck out fourteen so far. Nick Evans and Drew Butera picked up four of the Cylclones five hits and drove in both of the runs. Evans went 2 for 4 with a run scored, a double, and an RBI and Butera went 2 for 3 with an RBI.
    • Princeton beat Kingsport 5-4. Sean Henry went 2 for 3 with a run scored, a triple, and two RBIs and Cory Wells went 2 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI. Jim Wladyka pitched four innings in relief and gave up two hits, no runs, and struck out four.
    • Not only did the big Dodgers beat the big Mets, but the GCL Dodgers pounded the GCL Mets 12-3 in a game which every Met pitcher joined the fun and gave up some runs. There was not much in terms of offense either, but Brahiam Maldonado went 2 for 4 with an RBI.
  • The prognosis is good a good one.

    Further tests on Mike Cameron and Carlos Beltran revealed Friday that both were more seriously injured than previously thought, and the outfielders are unlikely to rejoin the Mets any time soon.

    Cameron, 32, who sustained fractures of both cheekbones in Thursday's collision with Beltran, could be lost for the season. He was being transferred from San Diego's Mercy Hospital to Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, Calif., on Friday and was scheduled to undergo surgery Friday night. He also has been diagnosed with a broken nose and a slight concussion, though a CT scan did not show extensive damage to his brain.

    No extensive damage to his brain? Shouldn't it be NO damage?

    "He said his face felt like it broke apart," Floyd told reporters in L.A. "It's amazing that they basically came out of it like they are. All you can do is just thank the man above.

    "You always think, in baseball, nothing like this ever happens. But this goes to show you that at any second, everything can change. He told me, 'Other than my face, I'm fine.' So he'll be all right. We're in California, and they've got the best plastic surgeons here."

  • To sum up last night's game for you all, it stunk. Diaz was good knocking two out and driving in three runs for a big boost, but the rest was not good. I was at a bar where my friend was bartending hanging out with another friend, who is a Yankee fan. He was getting ready to leave in the seventh inning until the Dodgers got the first two on. "Oh, I'm going to stay and watch the Mets meltdown", the smug bastard said. Right on cue, the Mets meltdown ensued.

  • Jae Seo goes against DJ Houlton today. Houlton got banged up by the Mets earlier in the year and if Jae Seo steps up and wins today and continues to pitch brilliantly, the Mets need to figure something out quickly because I cannot see how you can take him out until he proves he should not be there.

  • "I'm fine. I'm playing. It's sore," the left fielder said. "I've got to go out and play and just hope I don't get hit (there) again. If you can go out there, you have to go out there this time of year."

    You just cannot say enough about Cliff Floyd this year.

  • Changes, they are a coming. Read the article as it is pretty interesting, but here it the short of it. They are talking about getting rid of the Gulf Coast League and the Arizona Summer League, moving the draft day back about a month, adding a signing date about four to six weeks after the draft, and the creation of an MLB-sponsored combine. Oh baby.

  • Craig Hansen made his professional debut for the Portland Sea Dogs, the Red Sox AA affiliate.

    Hansen, a dominant closer this spring at St. John's, pitched a scoreless ninth inning to save a 3-2 Sea Dogs victory against Norwich. Allowing only a soft single, Hansen hit 96 on the radar gun and struck out the first professional batter he faced on three pitches. All nine pitches he threw were strikes.

    The kid is good. A slider in the 90's, a high 90's fastball, and a developing change. Genetics has failed me.

  • Buckle your seat belts for another long hold out with the D-Backs. Justin Upton is asking for a record $6.25 million dollar signing bonus.

    "We have nothing to talk about with him,’’ one high-ranking D-Backs official said Friday.

    The D-Backs are believed to have offered $4.7 million dollars. Look kids, Big Ben..Parmliment.
  • Friday, August 12, 2005

    Plan B

    Omar has some decisions to make.

    Further tests on Mike Cameron and Carlos Beltran revealed Friday that both are more seriously injured than previously thought, and the hospitalized outfielders are doubtful to rejoin the Mets anytime soon.

    Cameron could be lost for the season after the Mets announced Friday that the fractures of both cheekbones he sustained in Thursday's collision with Beltran will require surgery. He also suffered a broken nose and a slight concussion, though a CT scan did not show any more severe damage to his brain.

    Beltran was held overnight at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla and a CT scan indicated that he had suffered a minimally displaced facial fracture that the Mets said "most likely will not require surgery." The Mets centerfielder, who also sustained a concussion, was scheduled for more tests Friday.

    First, it is time for Wright to moved into the third spot in the order. Second, it is time to figure out who is going to play center. Woodward and Williams are not going to get it done during such a vital stretch of the season even if it will only be five games that Beltran is out (it seems like it may be longer) and the Mets went from two centerfielders deep to everyone’s favorite teammate, Gerald Ice Williams, being the only one left. The Mets really do not have many options. However, I have seen Eric Valent play the outfield and while nobody would confuse him with a gold glover, it appears he can adequately cover some ground and would provide the biggest bat out of all the other options. Angel Pagan may very well warrant a look and his .267/.324/.400 line is not far off Valent's in terms of average, but his SLG and OBP are way off. I guess it really depends which direction the Mets choose to go, but I think they need to look towards offense. Either way, Pagan or Valent should get some serious consideration when all options presented.

    Centerfielder + Centerfielder = Bad Shit

    Yesterday's collision was by far the worst I have ever witnessed since I have been watching baseball and there have been some bad ones. Nothing compares to watching a pitcher get smashed in the face with a line drive back to the mound a la Ishii when he was with the Dodgers, but this is pretty close. I'm guessing everyone has seen it by now and Cameron suffered a broken nose and two broken cheek bones. It looks like he went face first into the side of Carlos' head and that is why he suffered so much more damage than Beltran. He will most likely not be coming back this year and we can only hope he comes out of this without any apprehensions about playing his game and has no lasting mental effects.

    "I knew those guys were so competitive," Floyd said. "You try to block that out when they run together, two center fielders. They're taught to chase the ball. They're taught to give it everything."

    A regular rightfielder does not even get close to that ball, but the Mets have two speedy centerfielders who were going balls to wall for a ball and instinct took over for both of them and they went for ball. I had no inkling that this may be a pitfall and there was danger in having two spectacular outfielders. The loss is inconsequential as it resulted largely from that play and you are left almost happy because things could have ended up worse all around. Cammy is clearly in bad shape, but I'm sure it could have been worse and a lot worse for Beltran.

    The Mets are going to miss his stellar glove and his hot bat and Victor Diaz, who was left out of yesterday's game, will replace his spot on the roster as he was DL'd just about immediately. I am not sure how much time, if any, Beltran will miss, but the Mets run at the Wild Card certainly just got a bit more complicated. Cameron has been hitting the ball well and has given the Mets some great defense, but I still think Victor Diaz's bat has some more upside and he proved to be capable right fielder earlier in the season. What the Mets need from him is some more consistency and I hope that Willie has there intelligence to not bury him in the 8th spot. Yes he had struggled before being sent down, but he was playing with far less frequency and has the ability to possibly be a run producer and that is just what the Mets need right now.

    The Mets need to step it up and start winning some games for Cammy and get their emotions into this Wild Card race. There are just too many games when they look tired and listless. It is time for them to make something happen. With last night's loss they dropped to four out of the wildcard. Since Mike has come here, he has done nothing but be a model citizen and given the Mets 100%. Maybe Mike going down will give them the motivation they need to make a late season push.

    * * *

  • Minor update:
    • Lousiville beat Norfolk 2-1. Eric Valent went 2 for 4 and Anderson Hernandez went 1 for 3 with a walk. Will Cordero went 0 for 4 with three K's to bring his average down to .107. Neal Musser went seven innings and struck out ten while giving up eight hits, two earned runs, and one walk. Victor Diaz was not in the lineup as I can only assume he was on his way to LA.
    • Binghamton beat New Hampshire 5-0. Lastings went 1 for 4 with a run scored, Brett Harper went 3 for 4 with a run scored, a double, and an RBI (good thing Will Cordero is taking all the AAA at-bats), and Aarom Baldiris went 1 for 4 with a run scored, a double, and an RBI.
    • Palm Beach beat St. Lucie 6-5 in twelve innings. Grant Psomas went 2 for 5 with a run scored, two doubles, and one RBI, Andy Wilson went 2 for 5 with two runs scored, a double, a walk, a homer, and two RBI, and Dante Brinkley went 1 for 4 with a walk and two RBIs.
    • Greensboro beat Hagerstown 9-7. Carlos Gomez went 1 for 3 with an RBI, a walk, and his 53rd stolen base. Ambiorix Concepcion went 1 for 4 with a run scored, a double and his 29th stolen base.
    • Tri-City beat Brooklyn 5-1.
    • Pulaski beat up on Kingsport 11-3. David Wabick went 2 for 4 with an RBI.
    • The GCL Mets beat the GCL Nationals 10-3. Emmanuel Garcia went 2 for 4 with a walk, a run scored, and two RBIs, Jose Castro went 3 for 6 with a run scored, and Joshua Thole went 3 for 5 with an RBI.
  • Floyd is pissed.

    "I was a little ticked off," Floyd said. "We already lost two of our guys, and instead of just putting four fingers up and walking me, he throws the ball right into my knee. You can't let teams disrespect you like that. Unfortunately, we don't play them anymore."

  • From the Journal News:

    The Mets are expected to use Chris Woodward or Gerald Williams in center field tonight if Beltran is unable to play.

  • From NY Post:

    The Mets have agreed to a minor-league deal with released White Sox reliever Shingo Takatsu.

    Takatsu, a 36-year-old righty, will be in Norfolk today. Takatsu went 1-2 with a 5.97 ERA and eight saves in 31 games with the White Sox this year. Last season, though, he had a 2.31 ERA and 19 saves.

    According to Takatsu's agent, Joe Urbon, "It's going to be a 21/2-week tryout," referring to the fact that playoff rosters have to be set by the end of August.

  • Dave O'Brien seems to be the leading candidate for the Mets network play by player.

  • Zambrano gets moved up to start on Friday to keep him on regular rest and Seo gets moved back to Saturday.
  • Thursday, August 11, 2005

    A Hot Streak Away

    Check out my piece on Carlos Beltran on Metsgeek.com as a compliment to today's post. People smarter than me did their projections for Carlos Beltran before the season started. With Carlos' current projected numbers this year, who was furthest off?
                      AVG  OBP   SLG   HR   SB   Total % Off
    Actual Projected .269 .325 .436 19 13
    Mr. Met .290 .390 .560 32 40
    -7% -17% -22% -41% -68% -154%
                      AVG  OBP   SLG   HR   SB   Total % Off
    Actual Projected .269 .325 .436 19 13
    PECOTA .280 .377 .508 26 30
    -4% -14% -14% -27% -57% -115%
                      AVG  OBP   SLG   HR   SB   Total % Off
    Actual Projected .269 .325 .436 19 13
    ZiPS .278 .373 .504 29 38
    -3% -13% -13% -34% -66% -130%
                      AVG  OBP   SLG   HR   SB   Total % Off
    Actual Projected .269 .325 .436 19 13
    Marcels .282 .363 .520 28 32
    -5% -10% -16% -32% -59% -123%
                      AVG  OBP   SLG   HR   SB   Total % Off
    Actual Projected .269 .325 .436 19 13
    James .285 .368 .524 31 38
    -6% -12% -17% -39% -66% -139%
    Since I did not use anything but wishful thinking and had no mathematical equations whatsoever simple or complicated, I was the furthest away from his actual projected numbers this year bases on his current performance. PECOTA had the least total percentage points, but was still far away. There is not one category for any of the projections that Carlos is on pace to exceed. However, prior to the season it was said that what Carlos does will not show up in the box scores all the time. He basically does everything and does it with such ease that he almost looks like he is not trying. He was also said to be streaky. He is not a type of hitter like Vlad Guerrero that is the go to guy for the entire year, but he has the ability to carry a team for a while on a Carlos Beltran hot streak.

    I understood all that and largely agree with that. I have been waiting for a ten or twenty game stretch that he plays like the best player in the universe, but it has not come yet and that got me to thinking. If Carlos ripped off a thirteen game streak like he did in the 2004 playoffs, how would his numbers look? Of course this means nothing, but for shits and giggles I wanted to look at it. In thirteen playoff games for the Astros, he put up a .390/.471/.864 line with four doubles, eight homers, fourteen RBIs, nine walks, and six stolen bases. If you add that to his current numbers of today, that would leave him with a .284/.345/.489 line with thirty doubles, twenty-one homers, seventy-three RBIs, and forty-four walks. Would those numbers look more in line with what was expected? Yup. It is not inconceivable Beltran can go on a trademark tear and seems to be hitting the ball hard and to the opposite field a lot recently, so he could be primed to take off and it would certainly be the right time for the Mets who are on the cusp of the Wild Card.

    * * *

  • Minor update:
    • Norfolk beat Charlotte 5-1. The senior citizens were responsible for all the runs and Brian Daubach and Mike DiFelice knocked in five. Anderson Hernandez went 1 for 3 and got caught stealing for the fourth time in twenty-two attempts. Victor Diaz went 1 for 3 with a run scored, a double, and a walk. Heath Bell went three innings and gave up two hits, no runs, no walks, and struck out five. The dude does not belong in the Minor Leagues working on a change up or not.
    • Binghamton beat Norwich 9-6. Mike Jacobs had his homerun stroke and knocked two homers out and went 2 for 3 with four RBIs. He now has twenty-five on the year. Aarom Baldiris went 2 for 3 with two runs scored, a walk, his sixth homer, and two RBIs.
    • St. Lucie beat Palm beach 9-7 by scoring two runs in the top of the ninth. Jamar Hill went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and Grant Psomas went 2 for 4 with a run scored, a double, and two RBIs. Aaron Hathaway was moved up in the order and continues to hit the ball well and went 3 for 5 with two runs scored and two RBIs.
    • Hagerstown lost to Greensboro 4-3. Ambiroix Concepcion's average keeps creeping up and he went 2 for 4 with two doubles and accounted for half of the Suns hits. Concepcion also picked up his twenty-eighth stolen base and got caught for the twelfth time on the season.
    • Tri-City beat Brooklyn 7-6. Joseph Holden went 3 for 4 with a triple, an RBI, a walk, his thirteenth stolen base on the year, and got caught stealing for the third time. Drew Butera went 2 for 4 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored. Bobby Parnell only went 4.1 innings, but was victimized by three unearned runs and gave up only one earned run, eight hits, no walks, one homer, and struck out four. He took the loss to drop his record to 2-1 with a 1.79 ERA.
    • Kingsport beat Pulaski 6-4. Matthew Anderson went 3 for 4 with two runs scored, a double, his fifth homer, and three RBIs.
    • The GCL Mets beat the GCL Nationals 6-5. Jonathan Schemmel went 2 for 5 with a run scored, a walk, and three RBIs and Leivi Ventura went 2 for 4 with a run scored, a double, his fifth homer, a walk, and two RBIs.
  • Baseball Prospectus has a great rundown of Felix Hernandez's second start. It is only two starts, but if you read this you really get a sense of how tremendously talented this kid has and makes you pissed off you were not born with an arm that could throw a baseball 100 mph. As much as I like this kid already, I had forgotten why he should one of my most favorite players.

    "I don't like the Yankees. I never did. I don't know why. The Yankees are too big. I could have gone with the Yankees but I really didn't like them. It's not the people. It's the team."

  • In case you missed it, Baseball Prospecuts had a chat with Scott Boras and he answered some of us normal folk's questions.

    Max (Montreal): What do you think of what Drew Rosenhaus is doing with Terrell Owens in the owner friendly NFL?

    Scott Boras: A few Owens questions... "Renegotiate" is not in my vocabulary. I advise players to consider all the variables, such as injury vs improvement, before they sign a contract.

    I have had players call me about bad contracts they had signed and I always advise that the sanctity of the contract is important for the survival of any system based on performance. To change it when there is improvement is a double-edged sword that will inevitably lead to degrading the contract when the player malperforms.

    Unless there is a provision allowing for changes based on performance, anyone who advocates change puts all his clients in jeopardy. It becomes subjective, degrading contracts just as often as improving them, and anarchy results.

    Terrell Owens argues that the owners have the ability to void his contract at any time. While this seems unjust, this is in the NFL CBA. This is a huge issue that should be raised at the next collective bargaining session, but not in the context of an individual player. Owens knew this provision existed when he signed his contract.

    It was a really interesting read.

    While I am on the topic of Scott Boras, he weighs in on Carlos Beltran's 2005 season.

    "I think his thigh was bothering him a great deal more than he let on," his agent, Scott Boras explained. "Now he's healthy again and I think you are starting to see his numbers rise."

    Boras admits there has been a transition period for Beltran.

    "There's no question that a player who signs a big contract has to go through that," he said. "He has got to learn that he has to return to what made him successful, that is taking a lot of pitches and getting deep in the count, and he's been doing that lately and we're starting to see the Carlos of old.

    "This guy is a great talent, and I'm sure Mets fans will have a lot to cheer about."

  • Doug Mientkiewicz is at it again.

    - David Wright was so self-conscious about his defense earlier this season that he admitted to lacking faith in his own ability, a rare confession for a professional athlete.

    Now, after Tuesday's amazing bare-handed catch, Doug Mientkiewicz, a Gold Glover himself, wants to be his date to next year's ESPYs award show.

    "He totally better take me," Mientkiewicz said. "Because if that's not the play of the year, I'll protest. He better not have a girlfriend by then."

  • "It's definitely odd to try to get used to this," Graves said. "But at the same time, I've never been on a team that had every starter go six, seven innings every time out. In that aspect, that's odd, too. But I'm learning to deal with it.

    Reds staff? Under the bus.

  • From NorthJersey.com:

    Randolph said that he would not insert Miguel Cairo there to fit Kaz Matsui into the lineup and that he would not use Woodward full time, preferring to keep him for a utility role. One thing the Mets haven't done is reach down to the minors, where Eric Valent and Victor Diaz have played the position and are hitting well again.

    Stubborn ass. Why would you not try that for a game or two. Willie in all of his infinite wisdom will probably give Kaz a start when they return home so he can get booed in his first start.

  • Carlos is smart, heads up player.

    It's rare that a catcher will be lured into such a situation, but Beltran, who knew Olivo from his days with the AL Central rival White Sox, had inside information.

    "Olivo was going to throw to second," Beltran said. "He's got a strong arm, he loves to throw people out."

    Beltran became the first Mets player to steal home since Roger Cedeno did it in 2002 against the Yankees, and it was also the first time for him personally.

  • "It's pretty obvious he was not on top of his game," manager Bruce Bochy said. You can say that Brian Lawrence was not on top of his game, but David Wright is showing San Diego fans first hand just how good he is. After a stellar play in the field on Tuesday, he goes 4 for 5 with a double, a homer, and six RBIs to drive his average over .300. Of course, he did not need to do all that since Kris Benson took a one hitter into the ninth inning and had a great slider going all game only to be pulled in the ninth to let Danny Graves finish the game off. Benson had this crazy stoic and blank stare the entire game in the dugout. I have no idea if he was focused or on xanax. Whatever it was, he needs to do it again.
  • Wednesday, August 10, 2005

    A Retrospective Look

    John Sickels took a look at the top pitching prospects of 1983. For anyone that missed it, take a look as it is definitely interesting. It does however seem that is was particularly weak year because very few of them had what could be called electric stuff.

    OFF from Metsgeek.com chimed into the conversation in the comments section.

    I'm a believer in TINSAAP when it comes to middling prospects, but not when it comes to top prospects. Obviously, I understand that due to injuries or bad luck, some top pitching prospects won't make it, but I think they are relatively safe. When I say "top" prospects I mean guys who have clearly dominated a league a la King Felix, Kazmir, etc. I'm not really sure if any of these guys really qualifies. I checked out the minor league career BB/9 and K/9 of the top six guys on the list, and based on this very quick and dirty evaluation (and I use the term loosely), I don't think its that surprising none of these guys became aces:

    2.21 BB/9 6.94 K/9 Trax
    3.27 BB/9 7.72 K/9 Sele
    2.69 BB/9 8.07 K/9 Helling
    3.36 BB/9 7.77 K/9 Baldwin
    4.11 BB/9 8.47 K/9 Bere
    4.23 BB/9 8.00 K/9 Van Poppel

    by OFF on Tue Aug 09, 2005 at 02:06:36 AM EST

    There is definitely some good banter going on for the topic. But I think OFF really nailed it with his observation. While they may have been some impressive prospects, there weren't that many with electric arms. When you look at the top prospects coming into this year, the top arms were Felix Hernandez, Scott Kazmir, Adam Miller, Chad Billingsley, Jeff Neimann, Jeff Francis, and Jose Capellan. With the exception of Francis, all of those guys bring it and bring it hard. It seems a lot of the top pitching prospects in '93 owned more pitchability than stuff. All in all it was very interesting and I hope he keeps doing these retrospectives on the past top prospects because it really puts things in focus about how volatile prospects are, especially pitching prospects. Also, while some people may look at this as a reason to trade prospects for established players, I look at it as a reason you need a deep system. The more prospects you have, the more you have a chance of someone actually turning out to be good. The Mets have a long way to go to build depth, but they need to keep an eye towards the future and look at the Angels who are a first place team with the best farm system in baseball. Armed with cash, prospects, and a solid Major League club, they are poised for a long successful run and are the model organization for all of baseball. Bill Stoneman does not get much ink, but what he has done over there is nothing short of amazing.

    * * *

  • Steve Phillips actually has a really interesting piece on ESPN.com that is scouting reports on the GMs of today. It is an insider article and for you cheap bastards who do not subscribe to the service which is nearly useless (I stole my login from someone else, so I'm a cheap bastard too), here are the highlights.

    John Schuerholz, Atlanta Braves
    Schuerholz is the dean of all GMs. He listens more than he talks. He only answers the questions asked, never expounding and telling you more than he should. He would make a lawyer proud if it were a deposition. It doesn't matter how you ask a question, he doesn't tell you much about what he is doing.

    He is also creative, and is capable of making the big deal just as he is capable of letting young prospects play. He always seems to know what the right thing to do is. It is a very rare occasion that a player leaves Atlanta and improves. He lets players go at just the right time. He believes in his philosophies and his decisions. Simply put, he is in charge and there is no doubt about it.

    It really sounds dead on for a guy who has to be one of the best GMs of all time.

    Jim Bowden, Washington Nationals
    Bowden is one of the most aggressive and flamboyant GMs around. He wants to make a deal. When I was the general manager of the Mets, he would call in the middle of the night and leave messages like, "I have the deal that will make you Executive of the Year. You will win it all. Call me back." Of course, when I called him back expecting a blockbuster deal, it was usually a lopsided deal in his favor. But he would try to sell it like it was something he really believed would help me. Beware of the GM who sells his proposal too hard; the harder the sell, the more he thinks it isn't fair.

    I have no idea what Bowden sounds like, but I'm picturing he sounds like those executives from the Astros organization from Seinfeld that called everyone a son of a bitch. This guy sounds great, but not a GM I want for my team. He is definitely fun to watch because he does make deals and he did a pretty good job outside of Christian Guzman.

    For Paul DePodesta he said that he is always the smartest person in any conversation, but judging how his moves worked out this past off season I would tend to disagree unless we aren't talking about baseball here.

    Omar Minaya, New York Mets
    Minaya is cool in his approach. He is also creative, and very aggressive. He lives to make the big splash of a deal, but gets just as much satisfaction with a small baseball trade for a utility man. He wants to win and has a "go for it" philosophy.

    He is also a hard worker and a friendly guy. People like Minaya and include him in conversations. He is also willing to think outside of the box, and is willing to take a chance. He has good street smarts and relies on them, as he wants very much to make deals, and he likes players, which is important.

    Minaya has been well-trained … well, he was my assistant GM! That said, he also played in the minors, coached in the minors and scouted on the amateur, professional and international levels.

    Most GMs say no to every trade proposal initially to buy time to consider all of the possibilities. At some point, the GM has to stop analyzing and pull the trigger. Sometimes the GM needs someone on his staff to push him to decide. Minaya was that guy for me. Minaya is a pioneer and I am proud of him.

    The fact that Minaya was an understudy of sorts of Steve Phillips is scary and I am amazed he is so good in lieu of that.

    Overall, it was pretty interesting but he was reluctant to say anything bad about anyone. Most of the scouting reports were similar to each other and he failed to mention what a douchebag Chuck Lamar is and he instead called him a a tireless worker and very serious guy. I would have liked to see a more fair evaluation of guys and it seemed he really did not want to say anything negative about anyone, but it was interesting nonetheless.

  • Minor update:
    • Norfolk beat Charlotte 9-4. Anderson Hernandez continues to rebound after a big slump and went 3 for 4 with two runs scored, Angel Pagan went 3 for 5 for two runs, one homer, and two RBIs, and Victor Diaz went 2 for 5 with a run scored, a double, his tenth homer, and four RBIs. Brian Bannister picked up his third AAA win and pitched decent. He went five innings giving up seven hits, two walks, three earned runs, and struck out five. He is 3-1 with a 3.58 ERA. Royce Ring went 1.2 innings and gave up one hit, one walk, and struck out one.
    • Binghamton lost to Norwich 8-5. Lastings Milledge went 1 for 4 with a run scored and a walk, Aarom Baldiris went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and Mike Jacobs went 2 for 3 with a run scored, two RBIs, and two walks. Why this kid is still at AAA at this point is just ridiculous. Evan MacLane went five innings and gave up six hits, two earned runs, one walk, and struck out five.
    • St. Lucie vs. Palm Beach was suspended in the 8th inning due to wet grounds. Andy Wilson went 1 for 4 with his 23rd homer of the year, Grant Psomas went 1 for 3 with a double, Aaron Hathaway continues to pick up some hits and went 1 for 2 to bring his average up to .289, and Brahiam Maldonaldo continues to impress and went 1 for 2 with a double.
    • Lexington beat Hagerstown 5-4. Carlos Gomez went 2 for 4 with a double and his 52nd stolen base, Ambiorix Concepcion went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and an RBI, and James Burt went 2 for 3 with a run scored, a homer, and three RBIs.
    • Mahoning Valley beat up on Brooklyn 11-3. Jonathan Malo went 2 for 3 with his second homer on the year, a walk, and two RBIs.
    • Pulaski beat Kingsport 5-2. Gregory Gonzalez went 2 for 3 with a run scored, a double, and a walk.
    • The GCL Mets blanked the GCL Marlins 6-0.
  • Jamie Moyer was claimed off waivers by the Yankees and declined to join the club.

  • Kaz had a nice rip up the middle returning from the DL. The Mets need pop and he might be able to provide it. Take a chance Willie and stop being stubborn.

    "He's just going to be a part of our team and play his way into whatever I feel is best for him," Randolph said. "That's all. Miguel's playing right now, he's doing well for us, so I can say [Matsui's] not going to be thrown back into the lineup to play every day. This time of year, it's about winning ballgames. I play who I think will help us win."

    I like Miguel, but he is certainly expendable.

  • "I wouldn't come back if I wasn't," Trachsel said about starting. "I've never done anything else. I wouldn't be myself in the bullpen."

  • While we are at it, I want to catch too.

    Roberto Hernandez, who converted from catcher to pitcher while in college, wants to catch an inning before he retires, a la Todd Zeile last season. That can wait. Not only does Hernandez want to pitch again next year, the Manhattan product made it no secret that he wants to re-up with the Mets. Talks with the organization likely will wait until the off-season, however.

  • From NY Daily News:

    Agent Scott Boras, who represents Carlos Beltran and Padres starter Chan Ho Park, had a lengthy chat with Jeff Wilpon, Minaya and Mets special assistant Tony Bernazard during batting practice. The sides are not believed to be close on a deal for first-round pick Mike Pelfrey, another Boras client.

  • I love it. People yelling at the kid to jump or sit down. Well, he obviously jumped.

    Dumbass Yankee fans.

  • On of my new most favorite things to do is read the logins for newspapers on Bug Me Not. For the NY Post:


  • Wright's bare handed catch last night just looked amazing.

    "It was over my right shoulder and I couldn't reach it with my glove. So I took a stab at it with my right hand," Wright said. "It found my hand. ... I was pretty shocked I caught it."

    Mike Cameron told Wright it was one of the best plays he had ever seen, as did Cliff Floyd.

    "He better take me to the ESPYs," Doug Mientkiewicz said. "If that's not the play of the year I don't know what is."

    He got a standing ovation from the crowd.

  • Last night's game was painful. Petco is supposed to be an extreme pitcher's park, but the Padres hitters sure did not make it look that way as they were getting plenty of good swings on Pedro.

  • Jeff Duncan has asked for his release.
  • Tuesday, August 09, 2005

    They Still Don't Have a Leadoff Hitter

    Darryl Hamilton, who has some issues and still has a hex on the Mets from an unceremonious breakup, was listing issues why the Mets have a lot to do before they can be considered serious Wild Card contenders. One of them was that they still do not have a leadoff hitter. Huh? If my job was to talk about baseball all day and my show prep was to read up on games, players, etc. I think I might have taken notice that Jose Reyes has been on fire.
              R 2B 3B RBI BB SO  SB  CS  AVG  OBP  SLG
    Last 60 42 9 4 25 8 22 27 5 .296 .316 .360
    Last 40 33 5 3 19 8 14 18 3 .311 .341 .373
    Last 20 19 4 2 9 4 6 11 2 .374 .400 .462
    I love people perpetuating something that is simply wrong. I like Darryl Hamilton despite the fact he has a hex on the Mets, but c'mon. Too many radio show hosts mail it in and set their mind to something earlier in the year or just hear someone else perpetuating a false fact and run with it. Fact is Jose Reyes has been on fire since the All-Star break and all of July and August. That is not exactly a small sample size. How a baseball show glazes over that fact for a team three games out of the All-Star break is nuts. Who needs show prep anyway?

    Of course he cited some other reasons like the streakiness of Mike Piazza, the lack of production by Carlos Beltran, and the bullpen. The Mets seemed to have found a winning combo with sitting Piazza bit more and getting Castro into the game and despite a recent bullpen blowup, which was helped along by some short outings, they have been more solid than people really give them credit for. Beltran is another story and his struggles have been well documented, but he has been playing a bit better and stinging the ball.

    I look around the Wild Card race and I see the entire NL East, with the exception of the Braves (who should have more holes with all the injuries), and everyone has just as many question marks. The Mets are one game out of second place in the NL East and one game out of second place in the Wild Card race. After winning 15 of 17 games, the Astros have dropped three of four. The Astros were on an incredible hot streak and will not keep that up. With the Mets facing the Padres, the Dodgers, the Pirates, the Nationals, the Diamondbacks, and the Giants in the next six series, they could be poised for an impressive run of their own. There is no question the Astros are the favorites as their top three starters have hit their stride, but they are just not deep one through five. The Mets are very much in this no matter how down I was on the team after the left Houston. The Mets have thrown it all away when they work hard and get close, but if they can manage to keep the goodwill going in San Diego and against the Dodgers, it will go a long way to prove they can win on the road after all and close the gap some more.

    * * *

  • Minor update:
    • Norwich beat Binghamton 7-5. Lastings Milledge went 2 for 5 with a two runs scored, his first AA homerun on the season, and he was also caught stealing.
    • St. Lucie beat up on Brevard County 11-3. Andy Wilson went 2 for 4 with an RBI, Jamar Hill went 2 for 3 with a homer and two RBIs, Aaron Hathaway continues to hit and went 3 for 4 with two runs scored, Grant Psomas went 1 for 2 with two RBIs and two walks, and Brahiam Maldonado continues to hold his own and went 1 for 3 with two runs scored and an RBI.
    • Lexington beat Hagerstown 10-4. Corey Coles, Carlos Gomez, and Ambiorix Concepcion got all of Hagerstown's hits and went a combined 5 for 12 with two homers. The rest of the team went 0 for 18. Gomez went 2 for 4 with three runs scored, a homer, and a walk. It was his eight homer of the year and he also stole his 51st base on the year. Concepcion went 1 for 3 with his fourteenth homer on the year and two RBIs.
    • Brooklyn beat Mahoning Valley 6-2. Joseph Holden went 1 for 3 with two walks and a run scored, Jonel Pacheco went 1 for 4 with a homer and three RBIs, and Josh Peterson went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, two homers, and two RBIs. Kevin Tomasiewicz, who started the game for the Cyclones and pitched well, is going to give Douggie Eyechart a run for his money in most misspellings of his name category.
    • Kingsport beat Burlington 10-6. Joan Martinez went 2 for 5 with two runs scored, a double, a homer, and four RBIs and Jose Mateo went 1 for 3 with two runs scored, a homer, three RBIs, and two walks.
    • The GCL Mets beat the GCL Marlins 3-1. Parris Austin went 2 for 4 with a homer and two RBIs.
  • Steve Trachsel will start Thursday for AAA Norfolk with an eye to return back to the Mets rotation the following week. At the very least, if Seo pitches a solid game against the Dodgers, the Mets might as well let both pitchers throw the following week to give Pedro and extra day of rest. With the season coming to a head, giving Pedro little extra rest might go a long way.

  • "I like my teams to have a feel for the situation. You don't want to raise robots and tell them everything. I thought about that going into Colorado and I said, 'You know what, if I have to tell these guys that we need to start playing and be better, then we are not going to be the team we want to be.'

    "I try to stay away from things like that. I always trust my guys if you want to be a champion, if you want to be the best, you have to know what the situation is."

    Obviously everyone knows the object is not to lose, but sometimes they need to be reminded. Once again, these are not the Yankees and they may very well need some Lou Pinella type motivation.

  • Anthony Rieber is excited about the return of Kazuo Matsui.

  • Anderson Hernandez is getting some ink again after slumping for a while.

    Mets second baseman Anderson Hernandez has been on fire recently at Triple-A Norfolk. Over the last week, the 22-year-old Dominican is hitting .455 (10-for-22) with five stolen bases. Since being called up from Double-A Binghamton, Hernandez is hitting .314/.368/.425 in 153 at-bats.

  • Buster got some Yankee fan's panties in a bundle.

    cd (nyc): David Wright, the next Jeter?

    Buster Olney: cd: In some ways, he's going to be better than Jeter -- more power, the type of guy you can hit third in a lineup. We'll see if he gets the post-season chances that Derek has had, but it's unlikely. Really, really nice player...

    I think this is fairly obvious observation since Jeter is not exactly a prolific offensive player. Jeter will pile up hits and runs, but other offensive categories are not going to look that special. However, obvious things tend to fly over Yankee fans heads.

    josh (edison,nj): David Wright is going to be better than Jeter? Are you serious? I think you've been paying too much attention to sabr types.

    Buster Olney: Josh: In some respects, yes, he's got potential to be better than Jeter. He'll hit for more power, he'll be more selective. Will he go into the Hall of Fame, like Derek almost certainly will, if he gets 2,500 hits? Who knows if he'll stay healthy.

    Ah, back to the intangibles. By Josh saying he was paying too much attention to SABR types, he was actually saying that with Jeter, his greatness is beyond the stats. Let's get this straight, Jeter is a heads up player in a day that does not have many of them. We live in a day of Manny being Manny and people more concerned with offensive stats for their next contract rather than winning. Jeter is a heads up, smart player. However, so is David Wright and Wright has the potential to out hit Jeter when all is said and done and be better than him in certain respects.

    Tyler (Baltimore): Did you just infer that Jeter doesn't have Hall of Fame credentials yet?

    Buster Olney: Tyler: yes, I think he's got more work to do, but not a ton of work. He doesn't have 2,000 hits yet; he'll probably go past that mark next year...

    Uh oh. Did some just infer that Jeter might not a Hall of Famer if he retired today? Derek should not be a Hall of Famer in any capacity if he did not play beyond 2005. Sorry. If you went to the Hall on guts and doing the right things, David Eckstein should write his speech for his induction after he retires.


    Joe Benigo, New York: Joe Benigo from WFAN. Will the Mets trade for Manny Ramirez after the season.

    Buster Olney: Joe: If that's you, welcome... Yeah, I do think they'll trade for him in the off-season, when they've got more time to put together a deal. And I'm convinced that when his name hits the waiver wire (if it hasn't already), the Mets will put in a claim. Almost certainly, at that point, the Red Sox will withdraw Manny from waivers. The Mets were ready to pick up $45 million of his salary last week, so $57 is hardly overwhelming, especially because in a waiver claim, they wouldn't have to shed a single prospect.

  • The great Steve Phillips weighs in on Carlos' struggles.

    isaac (ny): Hey Steve, I was wondering your opinion on the Mets. What is wrong with Beltran, he is certainly not playing like the 119$ million he was signed for. Also, shouldn’t Pedro’s name come up in the NL Cy Young talks, he is 12-3, leads the league in K's, and the Mets bullpen has blown 3 or 4 games for him. Thanks again Steve

    Steve Phillips: I'll take the easy one first ... Yes, Pedro's name should come up. But Clemens and Carpenter have been slightly more dominant. As for Beltran, he is suffering from Shea Stadium-itis. It's a common disease that hits first year position players in NY. He will play better in the future. He is not the guy who hit 8 HRs in the postseason last year, he's' the .284 career hitter, 25 HRs, 100 RBI, 30 RBI, etc. He is a good player, not a great player. The Mets overpaid for what he is. But he is still an important player to the organization.

  • I learned it by watching you!
  • Monday, August 08, 2005

    Double Standard

    I love double standards as much as the next person when it helps me out, but I find the way the media treats the Mets and the Yankees is ridiculous. The Yankees signed Randy Johnson to a two year, $32 million dollar extension for 2006 and 2007 when he will be 42 and 43 respectively. Randy Johnson is currently posting his highest ERA since 1998, posting his lowest K/9 since 1990, his highest BAA ever, his second highest SLGA ever, second highest OPSA ever, his lowest P/GS since 1989, and should easily eclipse his career high of homeruns allowed of 30 as he is on track for 36. Moving the AL everyone expected some of those numbers to take a hit, but not quite like this.

    What headlines do you see in lieu of all this? Johnson can't make his pitch and Unit Looks Blue. Nothing referring to the Yankees bad decision making. Jayson Stark wrote and article about Carlos Beltran's Un-Met Expectations, but everyone has been relatively quiet about Randy Johnson's struggles this year. You can argue that if Randy was the Randy of the past, the Yankees could easily be in first place as they sit only 3.5 games out as you can make a somewhat similar argument for Beltran and the Mets in terms of the Mets leading the Wild Card. Bob Klapisch came the closest to in the direction of negativity in an article for ESPN.com earlier his year, but he still had pretty good peripherals and while he said he was not the star the Yankees needed, he was still and asset. That is about as bad as it gets.

    Talk radio has pretty much stayed away from ripping him and the Yankees inexplicably even after the grisly lefty blew up at reporters for simply asking post-game questions. The guy has pretty much been a prick since coming here and basically a bust as he was the ace that was supposed to make the Yankees the team to beat and Buster Olney said was the move that would have the biggest impact for a team. The Mets are basically where people expected them to be with Beltran actually producing. The Yankees are playing well under expectations and in danger of missing it the playoffs for the first time since I was still high school and the fact that trading for Randy Johnson has basically blown up in their face has gotten absolutely no play and they continue to receive a free pass for putting together an atrocious team is simply crazy. They were heralded for building their rotation this off season and infusing some youth with two established starters under 30 and it has been an unmitigated disaster. Is it too much to ask for some balanced reporting in this city?

    * * *

  • Minor update:
    • Norfolk beat Lousiville 3-2. Anderson Hernandez went 1 for 4 with a run scored, a walk, an RBI, and his eighteenth stolen base since being called up to AAA. Jason Scobie went an impressive eight innings and gave up six hits, two earned runs, one walk, one homer, and struck out eight.
    • Binghamton beat Portland 4-1. Yusmeiro Petit was dominant in seven innings allowing only three hits and one walk while striking out seven. He gave up one run, and it was a homerun. He is now 7-3 with a 3.28 ERA. Kaz went 2 for 4 with a double and two stolen bases.
    • St. Lucie was being beaten by Brevard County 1-0 before it was suspended due to rain. Gabby Hernandez had started the game and went 2.2 innings giving up four hits, one earned run, and struck out two. Now it all gets thrown out.
    • Lexington beat Hagerstown 5-2. Carlos Gomez went 1 for 4 with a walk, Ambiorix Concepcion went 2 for 5, and Jesus Flores went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and a double. Matt Durkin went three innings and gave up two homers, two total hits, two total earned runs, one walk, and struck out three.
    • Mahoning Valley beat Brooklyn 5-4. Drew Butera went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI.
    • Kingsport beat Burlington 5-2. Gregory Gonzalez went 2 for 4 with a walk, two runs scored, and a stolen base.
  • "He's going to just be a part of the team," Randolph said before last night's game. "I'm not going to throw him right into the lineup and have it just be his job. Miguel (Cairo) is playing well, and I believe in being loyal to guys who have busted it for me and who have played every day for me."

    If Seo pitches another gem, does he get the job? I have no problem if Willie has this sort of mindset, but be consistent. Jae has done what has been asked of him and done it well. Besides, with Mienky getting injured, why not move Cairo to first and let Kaz get some games batting eighth? The guy is going to be paid a lot of money and be around next year. He is better than he has shown. Let him have a chance against these lesser NL West teams.

  • Steve Trachsel will make a rehab start in Norfolk before returning to the Mets.

    "It was a normal, standard, boring bullpen [session],'' Trachsel said with a wan smile. When asked if he is on schedule to return, he said: "I've heard 15 different schedules. I've got my own schedule." That would be ASAP.
    - J.P Pelzman

  • Doug Mientkiewicz may go to the DL to make room for Kaz Matsui, not because he really needs to, but because he cannot play right now. If he really, really needs to be fine. However, if it is being done to make room for Matsui and he could be ready in five days while Ice hangs out and never sniffs a game outside of a pinch running performance, the absurdity will just continue.

  • Not that 99% of you care about steroids and testing, Buster Olney and Mark Madden from ESPN the Magazine said that there are rumors of another big star being outted for 'roids. Olney did say he has heard this stuff before and it never materializes, but that is the steroid rumor de jour.

  • Last night, Beltran made Nomar Garciaparra hurry a throw into a first-inning error then, running on 3-2, scored from first on Cliff Floyd's soft single to right-center. Next two times up, Beltran walked, singled and scored twice more.

    Three runs hot enough for you, for $119 million? Nope, Beltran got booed for hitting into a double play in the seventh, when he failed to drive in his 60th run of the season to go with his 13 home runs.

    "That's the way [the fans] are, nothing I can do about it," Beltran said, looking more wounded than defiant.

    Booing Beltran when the Mets are on the verge of a sweep in which he had a decent game is pretty ridiculous. He grounded into a double play to earn the boos but he scalded the ball. I think people need to relax. Booing him when he harmlessly grounds out down two with two runners in scoring position on the first pitch is OK to boo on, but riding him like this is sure not helping.

  • Out of players 22 and younger of age, Reyes has one of the longest hit streaks in history.

    According to the Elias Sports Bureau, a 21-year old Edgar Renteria hit safely in 22 straight and 21-year old Alex Rodriguez went 21 straight games, both during the 1996 season.

    Floyd had a 20-game hit streak earlier in the year and I would be surprised if the Mets had two players in one season have 20-game hit streaks before.

    "I thought he jinxed himself [Saturday] when he told me I had to look out," Floyd said.

    The Mets record for hit streaks is 24 games.
  • Sunday, August 07, 2005

    No Margin for Error

    Jae Seo is 3-1 with a 1.42 ERA with a 0.71 WHIP in four Major League starts this season. What does that mean? Well, it could mean nothing. Four games is an awfully small sample size. However, if you have watched his starts, you know that he looks different. He looks better. He has a better fastball than he had in 2004 and he is working in some sliders more. Like Heilman did when he dropped his arm angle, he looked like he had things a bit more figured out. Jae Seo has done nothing but look great when given the opportunities. Steve Trachsel is barreling his way back to the rotation but what can the Mets realistically expect from him? When faced with the decision to start Ishii or Traxx, it is a no brainer. If you throw Jae Seo into the equation who has looked great, you have to scratch your head.

    The Mets are sitting three games out of the Wild Card right now and 7.5 games out of first. When you are sitting in those positions on August 7th with some streaking teams, there is no margin of error. It is not a stretch to think that Steve will have some rust, why not let Seo prove that he is not worthy of an extended look? With him, the Mets are solid one through five in the rotation and you can let Steve Trachsel, who might not be with the organization in 2006, know that there is simply too much on the line. The Mets wasted enough time with Kaz Ishii, it is time they get serious and see if Seo can give them what they are looking for. It is unreasonable to ask Steve Trachsel to come in and be as good as he can be, which may not be as good as Seo at this point in his career. He will need to shake off the rust and with less than two months left in the season and about eleven games per starting pitcher left, why not put your best foot forward? Introduce Steve to relief pitching and explain to him how it is unfortunate, but this kind of thing happens and Jae Seo is throwing well enough to make people think. If Seo falters, by all means, give it back to Steve. However, at this point, Seo looks sharp. Of course we are talking about the Mets and they value quite a few things above winning and Seo will assume his position in AAA soon enough. He will most likely get one more start and if he is solid yet again, I just cannot see how Omar and Wilie cannot rolle the dice with the 28 year old Seo.

    * * *

  • Minor update
    • Norfolk beat Lousiville 3-2. Angel pagan went 2 for 4 with a walk and a run scored and Anderson Hernandez wetn 2 for 3. Heath Bell got the start and went three innings and gave up five hits, one walk, two earned runs, and struck out four.
    • Binghamton took both halves of a double header against Portland. In game one, the B-Mets won 3-1. Steve Trachsel went seven innings of four hit, one run ball and gave up only four hits while walking none and surrendering one earned run. Kaz Matsui went 1 for 2 with a walk and a run scored. In game two, the B-Mets won 8-7. Mike Jacobs hit his 23rd on the year and went 2 for 3 with two RBIs and a walk.
    • St. Lucie lost to Brevard County 4-3. Grant Psomas went 2 for 4 with an RBI and Brahiam Maldonado went 1 for 3 for the third consecutive game. Aaron Hathaway continues hitting and went 1 for 3 with a double and a walk.
    • Hagerstown beat Lexington 7-3. Carlos Gomez went 2 for 4 with a run scored and a walk and Ambiorix Concepcion went 1 for 4 with a walk, three RBIs, and his 13th homer on the year.
    • Vermont beat Brooklyn 3-2.
    • Burlington beat Kingsport 5-2.
    • The GCL Mets were held to two hits and were beat by teh GCL Dodgers 5-0.
  • You want to know about Lastings Milledge? Scott Lauber has it covered.

    Some scouts who've watched him in Binghamton question his size (6 feet, 187 pounds) and ability to hit for power. Since his July 10 call-up, Milledge has lined doubles into the gaps but is still seeking his first Double-A home run after going deep four times in 232 at-bats for St. Lucie.

    "Power is the last tool to develop," LaRocque said. "We have no concerns there. He can beat you in a lot of different areas."

  • From the Journal News:

    Brett Harper sits among the home-run leaders in all of minor-league baseball. The 6-4, lefty-hitting first baseman had 30 for the season through Thursday — 10 in 33 games with Class AA Binghamton after launching 20 in 62 games with Class A St. Lucie. Harper, a 2001 45th-round pick, was batting .290 with 84 RBI between the two stops.

  • Nick Parish gives Anderson Hernandez some ink.