What to Expect? The Jeremi Gonzalez File
I was not at all interested or pulling for Lima Time! to get a start for the Mets this year, but I must admit, I have been somewhat interested in seeing Jeremi Gonzalez get a shot to throw in a big league game for some reason. Gonzalez last pitched in the bigs in 2005 for the Boston Red Sox. He throws predominantly fastballs and tosses them about 75% of the time. He throws two different fastballs as he throws a four seam rising fastball that tops out at 92 and a two seam sinking fastball that tops at 89.
His second pitch is his slider. His slider gets thrown in the mid 80's and gets used about 15% of the time while he keeps it out of the strike zone a lot of the time. He also has a curveball that he uses which is decent and a changeup which is his weakest pitch relative the other ones. I say relative to the other ones because they all may be weak for all we know compared to an average Major Leaguer. He will try and work each side of the plate and stay out of the middle. Not surprisingly with a guy who works the edges that does not own pinpoint accuracy, Gonzalez can get a bit wild. At this point he is nothing more than a middle reliever and a spot starter, but he might be able to give the Mets a solid start before he gets thrown to the wolves and starts the first game in the Yankees series unless Brian Bannister can make it back by then, which I am mixed on anyway.
He faces a weak Brewers team today that has had trouble offensively all year with the exception of last night which is somewhat encouraging. His last two years in the big leagues have resulted in ERAs north of 6.00 in decent sample sizes while posting solid numbers in AAA in each of those years. Last year, he had a 2.61 ERA with a 5-2 record in eleven starts for Pawtucket. This year, he has been Norfolk's best starter with a 3.03 ERA, a 7.57 K/9, a 1.12 WHIP, and has allowed only one homer in 35.2 innings. Being that he might get at least two starts, I am feeling a split from him. Check that. I'm praying for a split from him. I'm predicting/praying he will give the Mets a win tonight and I figure he will lose in his next start to the Yankees. If they Mets could get a .500 record from him, it would be an absolute success. That also gives the Mets two starts to figure out what they are doing with the last two spots in the rotation because they simply cannot leave Lima Time! and/or Gonzalez in the rotation for very long if they enjoy sitting in first place.
Heath Bell's four-day stay ended when the Mets returned him to Triple-A Norfolk after last night's game in anticipation of activating Gonzalez. With a 40-man roster spot needed, relievers Bartolome Fortunato and Matt Lindstrom would seem the most vulnerable. Bell allowed two runs and four hits in an inning against the Brewers in his second '06 appearance.
He didn't look good in his two innings and he absolutely needed to.
The Mets might aggressively pursue Livan Hernandez as the trading deadline nears, if the Nationals become more inclined to absorb some of the $7 million owed to the innings-eating righthander in 2007.
I didn't know he was due money in 2007 too. I'm not sure I can condone that, but this team is desperate. If he takes up a spot in the rotation it certainly makes it tough for them to pursue Barry Zito or some other better option that it is clear they need.
John Maine (finger inflammation) is ready to grip a baseball for the first time since landing on the DL, according to Randolph.
It is sad that the Mets have gotten to a point where Maine getting healthy is a big deal.
He then was asked if he liked pitching at Yankee Stadium, a question that certainly was an attempt to measure Zito's interest in becoming a full-time resident of the Bronx. He was noncommittal.
"I like pitching here, it's a great park," he said, before adding: "But I like pitching everywhere. It's the big leagues."
What do you expect him to say? They 1.5 games out of first with Rich Harden on the DL. They are going for it.