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

Saturday, April 29, 2006

So Many Choices, But Only One Is Right

Not that anyone wants to hear what I would do, but I have firmly made up my mind. With Heath Bell doing well at AAA and Henry Owens making batters look silly at AA, the Mets have some interesting options. Right now, Owens has sat down 79% of his outs via the strikeout after striking out all four batters yesterday. Right now, the Mets bullpen is working strong one through seven and that includes Jorge Julio who has not give up a run in his last five outings. If I had may way, Julio would not be in the equation junk time or not. The guy is not trusted by the club in tough situations and I would rather junk time at least go to Heath Bell who at least has the potential to be trusted more high leverage situations. However, Julio will be in the mix whether we like it or not.

So, knowing Jorge is staying put and everyone else in the bullpen is doing great, I would move Henry Owens up to AAA and have him and Heath Bell continue to pitch well there. They can make room on the AAA roster with demoting one of the retreads up there or moving Blake McGinley into the rotation for Iriki or the player who will sit in for Bannister's replacement. As for Bannister's replacement, this should be a no brainer and should go the guy who will be turning 25 soon and has big league stuff and not an over 30 big league retread.

John Maine has four legitimate pitches. He has low 90's fastball that has movement and he changes speed on it, a curveball, a changeup, and a slider. He's not afraid to work inside and in a few ways, seems similar to Brian Bannister, but with a little more velocity. Bannster's stint to the DL could end up being a positive if the Mets get a good look at Maine in two or three starts to see if there is anything there. He may not be considered to have a large upside, but he still certainly can profile as mid-rotation starter at this point in his career and that is not a bad thing.

As for Ownes and Bell, they should stay at AAA until an opportunity presents itself on the big league level whether it be by injury or someone shitting the bed, they both need to be ready. If someone can step up from the minor leagues like Heilman did last year, the Mets bullpen could become even more devastating than it is now and they could also possibly allow Aaron Heilman and opportunity to start should disaster strike without significantly weakening the pen and the Mets should absolutely be prepared for that and not get caught with their pants down.

Yeah, it's not rocket science and it all seems obvious, but that is my two cents with how I know management want to structure this team.

* * *

  • Mike Pelfrey speaks.

    "I try not to worry about any of that other stuff," Pelfrey said Wednesday night after joining the Binghamton Mets following his call-up from Single-A St. Lucie. "Those are things I can't control."

  • Bannister gets DL'd and it seems the Mets have learned from Carlos Beltran's situation.

    "Hamstrings are very mysterious injuries. Feasibly, there was no way he'd be ready."

    Mysterious indeed.

  • Hey, at least the Mets save money.

    Iriki was suspended for 50 games, effective yesterday, for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. The pitcher reportedly is the first player on a major-league 40-man roster to suffer the stiffer penalties that were agreed upon over the winter.

    The first? That has to count for something, no?

  • It was a good win last night.

    Pedro Martinez = Ace
    David Wright = Stud

    Kaz even got into the action with a good offensive night and made a great play on a David Wright throw to catch a one that almost got away.

    Wagner made it interesting, but he got the job done.

    "What are you trying to say? That was textbook right there, man," Wagner kidded. "That was like 1-2-3 . . . with a couple of extras. You've got to get your work in when you can."

    "We have come back from nine-game deficits late in years in pennant races before," Braves GM John Schuerholz said. "But I'd rather not make my living doing that."

  • So the All-Star Ballots are out and I'm going to make some predictions.

    1) Carlos Delgado will make the team.
    2) David Wright will lead all third baseman in the NL in votes with the increased media exposure.
    3) Jose Reyes will lead all shortstops in the NL in votes, not that he will particularly deserve to.
    4) Paul LoDuca will make the team.
    5) Pedro Martinez will make the team.
    6) Tom Glavine will make the team.
    7) ...and Mr. Billy Wagner will make the team.

  • Steve Howe dies as his pickup trucked rolled over in California. He was best know for his drug abuse during his time in the big leagues.

  • Kevin Mench homered for the seventh straight game in a row.

    He became the first right-handed batter ever to reach the plateau, joining Jim Thome, Don Mattingly, Dale Long and Ken Griffey Jr.

    "When you say 'ever' in our game, that better get your attention," Texas manager Buck Showalter said.

    One more to go for the record and his slow start seems like a distant memory at this point.

  • Thanks to Jake for pointing out this gem of film.

    Any time A-Rod is being made fun of, The Metropolitans will be there. It is out civic duty and we recognize that.
  • Friday, April 28, 2006

    A Letter to Alfonso

    Dear Alfonso,
      I apologize for thinking you would hit 18 homers and bat .250 this year as a National. So far, you have hit seven in twenty-two games and have a .326/.370/.628 line. Hell, you might even top forty walks for the first time in your career and make the 40/40 club. I'd still like to know why you could not hit away from Arlington though. Maybe you were pressing too much or maybe it was two years of bad luck. Whatever it was, I would still like to know. Your teammates complain about not being able to hit homeruns at home and you have ten hits at home and five of them are homeruns. I did say that you would 'be a disaster waiting to happen in Shea Stadium and I am not just talking about defense. I think a Carlos Beltran 2005 type batting average from him in 2006 would be wishful thinking'. I take it all back.
    The Metropolitans

    Soriano has been impressive at the plate and has adjusted pretty well in left field. What was once something he was really worried about, turned out to be the best thing he could have done. He is not pigeon holed as a second baseman and he could have opened up a larger market for his services in the off season. If he keeps hitting like he is now, he will have no problem profiling as having enough offense for whatever position he wanted play and still get paid big cash.

    While I'm apologizing....

  • I apologize to my mom for fornicating with girls in the house during high school going against her strict no fornicating policy.
  • I apologize to my ex-girlfriend for not being able to convey how cool it is to date a guy who has nothing better to do than blog about the Mets.
  • I apologize to my liver for laying out serious punishment constantly. I owe you one buddy.
  • I apologize to that McDonald's employee who I was not able to convey how dumb you are when you would not allow me to get a regular size soda instead of the super sized bucket of soda with my super sized (when they still had super sizing) meal because I do not have enough self control to not consume 40 gallons of soda in one sitting. I'M PAYING YOU THE SAME FOR LESS SODA!!!
  • I apologize to cashier at the A&P from the other day. You gave me an extra dollar back in my change and took it an ran for the hills.
  • I apologize to Danielle. I really was just saying that to sleep with you.
  • I apologize to the company I am gainfully employed from because I waste too much time doing this stupid blog and reading about baseball.
  • I apologize to the people of Iraq. When I voted for him, I didn't know he was going to blow all that stuff up.
  • I apologize to the city of New York. I have relieved myself on your lovely streets one too many times.
  • I apologize to my stomach. I know the medical community says spicy foods and hot peppers do not cause or aggravate ulcers and some say capsaicin may even help protect the stomach, but you tell me otherwise every time I pile it on.
  • I apologize to god. I don't capitalize the 'g' in god and because I don't believe you exist. I think Jesus existed, but he was just a swell guy and not your son.
  • I apologize to Roger Cedeno. I have wished harm on you numerous times, but it is not your fault the Mets gave you that contract.
  • I apologize to the Palm Oil industry. Sure it wasn't me who started a slander campaign against your trans fat free, rich in antioxidant, high in tocotrienol, and cholesterol reducing goodness, but it was the Hydrogenated Oil companies in my country that started it. I feel partly responsible and now we are all fat.
  • I apologize to Omar Minaya. Yes, I did not say the Cammy deal was a horrible deal, but I simply did not think you got enough back. I was wrong.

    "I don't know what he did over there in San Diego, but he's one of the best dudes I ever met in my life," said Cliff Floyd, who was Cameron's best friend on the Mets. "Honestly. I mean, Cam's my boy for life, but I like this guy a lot.

    "It's not even funny. You ask anyone in here, and the first thing they'll tell you is that he's one of the best guys they know. He just has an aura about him that makes you want to be cool with him. He's quiet, but he keeps you loose. Hates when you talk negative."

    That's enough for now. This could go on forever and I've said too much anyway.

    * * *

  • Bud Selig is testing the baseballs due to the 25% increase in homeruns.

    And he was curious enough about the jump to ask that Major League Baseball test the baseballs, he disclosed yesterday during an annual meeting with newspaper sports editors in Manhattan.

    Michael blames crappy pitching.

  • Well, which is it?

    Good news?

    An MRI of Brian Bannister's right hamstring revealed the lowest level of strain, not a significant tear, leading the rookie pitcher to hold out hope team brass might let him take his next scheduled start.

    Or bad news?

    Bannister was diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain of his right hamstring - the least severe - after yesterday's MRI here, but the Mets remain unsure of his status for Tuesday, which is when the rookie's turn would come up again.

    It seems doubtful that Bannister would make that start based on how he looked hobbling around third to score in the sixth inning of Wednesday's 9-7 win over the Giants. The best he was hoping for after the game was a cramp, and now that team physician Struan Coleman has confirmed the strain, Bannister may wind up on the disabled list.

    There are many more articles saying he should not be going on the DL, but the point is that the situation is still pretty much in the air.

  • Diaz is set to travel to Atlanta just in case.

    Victor Diaz was expected to travel to Atlanta as a hedge against Carlos Beltran or Bannister being placed on the disabled list today, but there's no guarantee Diaz will be activated. (Last season, reliever Tim Hamulack traveled to Arizona to join the Mets, but returned to Triple-A Norfolk without ever officially joining the big-league team.)

  • Mr. Billy Wagner likes Duaner.

    "He makes it look too damn easy, personally," Billy Wagner said after Wednesday's game. "I think they should let him close and see how easy it is for him."

  • Ken Rosenthal likes the idea of moving Dontrelle Willis.

    For example, what if the Reds offered a package including third baseman Edwin Encarnacion and top pitching prospect Homer Bailey?

    The notion isn't as far-fetched as it might appear.

    The Reds' new owners want to win. And while Encarnacion and Bailey would be a high price, the Reds would get Willis for the rest of this season and all of 2007 and '08 before he becomes a free agent.

    Billy Beane would never close the door on any trade and listen to all proposals. Loria and Beinfest would be stupid to not at least listen. There might even be a trade that makes sense.

  • Fugly, fugly, fugly.

    Since it opened in 1997, the Mets are 20-51 at Turner Field. They went 1-8 here last season, 2-7 in 2004, 3-7 in 2003. In all, the Mets have not won a season series against Atlanta since 1997, and they lost two of three games last week in a match up of hobbled teams at Shea Stadium.

  • The-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e Mets win! The-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e Mets win! (in John Sterling hack voice)

    The City Council overwhelmingly approved the Mets' and Yankees' financing plans for new baseball stadiums Wednesday. The votes keep both ballparks on track for 2009 openings.

    The council approved the Mets' plan in a 48-1 vote, and the Yankees' vote was 46-3.

    "I like the fact that we got a couple of more votes than the Yankees, but I'm glad theirs passed as well, and this is all good for the city," Mets Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon said after the voting.

  • You ask...BA answers....

    Mets outfielder Fernando Martinez is off to a strong start at low Class A Hagerstown as a 17-year-old, hitting .323/.408/.538 with one homer, eight RBIs and three steals in 17 games. If Martinez were a high school senior right now, where would he likely be drafted in June?

    Jason Phillips

    Martinez signed for $1.4 million out of the Dominican Republic last summer. Though he was a free agent then and would be restricted to negotiating with one team in the draft, he'd do better this June.

    In a draft crop that's very thin on position players and is getting the worst early reviews since the 2000 bunch, Martinez would be coveted. Realistically, he's at three years away from the major leagues, so that might keep him from going No. 1 overall, but he'd likely be one of the first five or 10 picks. He's better than any high school position player available, and you could argue him against the top college position players. Martinez has a higher ceiling than Long Beach State third baseman Evan Longoria, and scouts believe he's a safer bet to hit than Texas outfielder Drew Stubbs.

    Martinez already is an advanced hitter and he also has above-average power potential. With solid speed and a strong arm, he projects as a quality all-around right fielder. For the sake of comparison, he's outperforming the other 17-year-old phenoms in the South Atlantic League, Braves shortstop Elvis Andrus (.221/.279/.284) and Yankees outfielder Jose Tabata (.329/.342/.452).

    Nice. Omar looks like he pulled a fast one with this kid. Possibly the top position player available period?

    Strangely enough though, this Jason Phillips person in Boston has got his questions on here a few times while they ignore my questions like 'where do babies come from' and 'why is the sky blue'.

    Because of their physical stature and electric stuff, I always look at Tigers righthander Justin Verlander and project what he's doing in the big leagues to see what type of pitcher Mets righty Mike Pelfrey will become. Is that a fair comparison? Who has the better stuff and who will be the better pro?

    Michael Frank

    That's an interesting comparison. Verlander had the best pure stuff in the 2004 draft, when he was the first pitcher selected (No. 2 overall), while Pelfrey was the best pitcher available last year and would have been the first taken if not for signability concerns (he went at No. 9).

    They do have a lot in common. They have similar builds, with Pelfrey slightly taller (6-foot-7 vs. 6-foot-5) and heavier (210 pounds vs. 200). Both can light up radar guns. Verlander hit 101 mph against the Mariners on Sunday and usually operates at 94-97 mph, a couple of ticks quicker than Pelfrey. Their changeups are comparable, and Pelfrey's may have a little more potential because he uses his more often.

    The biggest difference between the two is the quality of their curveballs. Verlander has a power breaking ball that qualifies as a true plus pitch, while Pelfrey's curve is an average offering. Neither pitcher has any red flags on their medical history and both throw strikes, so the edge goes to Verlander because of his curve.

    Sick. Both are good. I love the Mets-centric Ask BA.

  • Delmon Young is suspended indefinitely.
    "The Devil Rays organization supports the decision by Randy Mobley to suspend Delmon Young," the statement said. "We do not tolerate this type of conduct from anyone in the Devil Rays organization. We will meet with Delmon and his representatives as soon as possible to further address this unfortunate situation. It cannot and will not be repeated."

    Punk ass, punk.

  • There is bucket loads of good stuff at Metsgeek.com today. Go there and revel on it's goodness.

  • Update 11:20 AM: From Benny....

    Young hitting the umpire with a bat.

    Now that I've seen it, he shouldn't play for the rest of the year. Really, you just cannot do that. It wasn't a little toss. Holy shit.

    This just cracked me up. Also from Benny and a gem.

  • Thursday, April 27, 2006


    DEF EFF = Defensive Efficiency

    Defesive efficiency is the rate at which balls put into play are converted into outs by a team's defense.

    BP showed the Mets some sabermetric love yesterday with their stat of the day. (thanks to Jake for pointing that out)
    Team                    DEF_EFF
    Chicago Cubs 0.760
    New York Mets 0.735
    Milwaukee Brewers 0.734
    St. Louis Cardinals 0.732
    San Diego Padres 0.716
    This was an excerpt from a letter sent to fans from Jim Duquette back in November of 2003.

    First, we are already hard at work to continue the process we started in the middle of last season, > recasting our team by focusing on pitching and defense, with a healthy mix of athletic, young players and effective veteran stars.

    Pitching: incomplete
    Defense: metts expectations
    A Healthy Mix of Athletic, Young Players: far exceeds expectations
    Effective Veteran Stars: exceeds expectations

    Of course Jim Duquette had a vision for this team and really did not have much of chance to implement it because it did not seem like he had a long enough leash to get it done, but he did plants some seeds. Omar Minaya picked up where Duquette left off and defense has not been a strong point of the Mets who lacked strong defense ever since 2000. Good stuff and the Mets pitching should be able to feel the tremendous improvement in their defense and even Carlos Delgado has been a pleasant surprise. He will never win a Gold Glove, but he can hold is own and dig a few balls when he needs too.

    Speed, athleticism, and veteran stars are a big part of this team and this team is very close to being as well rounded as any team out there.

    * * *

  • It is sad when three of your starting pitchers are better hitters than one of your bench players who is not on the roster for speed or defense, but hitting.

  • I didn't watch the game or listen to game with regularity yesterday, but it seemed like it was another frustrating game for Bannister. I did hear some of the Giants commentators remark that the umps were not calling the curveball for a strike much and it was a tight zone, but they also mentioned earlier that Bannister was not throwing his much. Whether or not it was a case of getting squeezed, he had more control issues, though he only walked two. He ran a lot of full counts and gave up more hits than he usually does. My fear was that if he was around the plate more, he would get hit more because he does not have over powering stuff. My opinion of him is always changing since I have not seen him much, but I still think he might be on borrowed time. The Giants did not seem to be having very much trouble with him and their lineup was not exactly strong yesterday.

    In the first inning, he allowed one run and left two stranded.
    In the second inning, he allowed another run and left one stranded.
    In the third inning, he allowed another run and left one stranded.
    The fourth inning was his only 1-2-3 inning.
    In the fifth inning, he walked two and left two stranded.

    All in all, 86 pitches were thrown and 53 were strikes and 33 were balls. That was an improvement, but Bannister has been fortunate enough to play weak offensive lineups. He needs to pick it up and soon.

    Bannister may not miss much time at all if any. Willie reschuffled the rotation so that Bannister will go on Tuesday at the earliest. If he cannot start, Darren Oliver, John Maine, Jeremi Gonzalez, or Lima Time!™.

    "They think it's a really tight cramp," Bannister said. "They don't know if it's a strain or a cramp. It's grabbing on me now. It's not torn, not anything severe."

  • Be careful what you ask for, right? I wanted the big time match up with Barry vs. Billy with the game on the line and well....it did not end up like I wanted. Barry went boom (yes, that was me ripping off that hack John Sterling but using the past tense because no matter how many times I read 'Barry goes boom' over, it just didn't fit). It's all good since the Mets won, but steroids aside, just enjoy watching Barry play baseball. When he is up at the plate, you almost feel like the pitcher has no chance. That being said, I agree with the idea of going after him.

    "They pitched to Barry with a guy throwing 98, 97 mph," Giants manager Felipe Alou said. "...If that guy doesn't pitch to him, who will?"

    With where we are in the season, intentionally walking in non-intentional spots is a no-no for me. Wagner is one of the best and he brought it at reportedly 99 mph so if you are not going after Barry with him, who are you going to go after him with? Also, Barry owns a career .231/.286/.538 line against Wags. Right call, bad outcome. Mets win, everyone is happy.

  • Delmon Young threw a bat into the chest of a plate umpire. Nice.

    Young argued with the umpire after taking a third strike on a 1-and-2 pitch. The umpire ejected Young, who then threw his bat and hit the umpire in the chest.

    Replacement umpires have been working all minor league games this season because the regular umpires are on strike.

    Bad call or not, you simply cannot do that. He may have a slight edge in talent over Lastings, but Milledge has a big edge in perspective and professionalism.

  • Larry Beinfest strikes back.

    "What gnaws at me in this instance is the phone call was never made," Beinfest said. "I've talked to Omar three times since New Year's. Once because of a rainout in spring training, the second to check on the availability of a minor league player and after the rainout at Shea Stadium."

    The New York media making up stories? Noooooooo. Not that I think spin control would not come into play to make Dontrelle feel better because it could be damage control at this point.

  • Piazza went deep for this 400th homerun of the year.

    “Hopefully it would come in a win, but what are you going to do?” Piazza said. “Personally it is a nice milestone, but it would have been a little sweeter if we were playing a little better baseball.”

    Piazza is batting .228/.262/.439 with three doubles, three homers, and six RBIs. Stick a fork in him....Sad to see Mike struggle like this and he could turn this around, but his previous seasons suggest otherwise. He should be DH'ing in the American League, but there were no takers.

  • The Nationals picked up Zach Day off of waivers from the Rockies.

    We've talked to Dr. [Tim] Kremchek, who said both his shoulder and elbow are sound. It's just that he has muscle spasms in the back," Nationals general manager Jim Bowden said. "We've had some history with him. He's only 26 years old, so it certainly makes sense for us to take a chance on him and see if we can't get him back to the effective pitcher he was in the past."

    I feel for any pitcher sent to the Rockies. Andrew Miller, the consensus best pitcher in this upcoming draft, might be heading to the Rockies when they pick this upcoming draft. If I were him, I would hold out. It's not worth wasting six years of your career in that place.

  • See? The Yankee fans can boo too.

    Alex Rodriguez - 0-for-4 with two strikeouts - heard several rounds of boos and he wasn't the only one. Wasted chances doomed the Bombers, who left 16 runners on base, went 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position and couldn't take advantage of the 14 walks issued by the Rays.

    Fourteen walks? That's serious. Good to see A-Rod get booed though.

  • The Brewers dish out some help for the Mets and swept the Braves. The Braves are sitting five games out of first and the Mets have the largest lead out of any big league team and sit 4.5 games above Philadelphia. No other team leads by more than 1.5 games at this point so the Mets are doing well to say the least despite their recent struggles.

  • The Twins have moved closer to a new park.

    The Minnesota House gave the Twins stadium hopes a big lift Wednesday, voting 76-55 in favor of an open-air ballpark that would be paid for mostly by taxpayers.

    The focus now shifts to the state Senate, where the proposed increase in the county's sales tax could run into some early trouble. The Senate Taxes Committee, headed by a lawmaker opposed to the plan, will begin its deliberations on Thursday.

    The downtown Minneapolis stadium project would cost $522 million — three-fourths from a higher Hennepin County sales tax — and would allow the Twins to leave the Metrodome, their home since 1982 and the place where they've clinched two World Series crowns.

  • You keep your best pitchers on the schedule they feel comfortable with. Glavine needs regular rest, Tracshel needs regular rest, and Pedro certainly doesn't mind more than regular rest, but should be keep on it so he can be on the mound as many times as possible. Moving Zambrano back is a no brainer. It keeps this team better.

  • Smoltz vs. Pedro. Nice.

  • Chat Wrap with Jim Callis:

    Mike(Pequannock, NJ): With Pelfrey getting promoted to AA as quickly as he did, does this mean that the Mets might be thinking of moving him into the rotation later this year if he continues to succeed?
    Jim Callis: (2:06 PM ET) Pelfrey was the top pitcher available in the 2005 draft, and those guys have a tendency to rush through the minors. The simple reason he got promoted was that high Class A wasn't much of a challenge. I could see him in Shea Stadium by the end of the year, especially because I see the rotation as the Mets' Achilles heel.

    Sounds good to me. No pressure Mike, the entire fan base will be looking to you to save the back end of the rotation.

    Mike A. (Chico, CA): If health was a non-issue: Pelfrey or Hughes?
    Jim Callis: (2:13 PM ET) Hughes, because he has a better breaking ball. But right now, factoring everything in, I'd give Pelfrey a slight edge.

    They are both good. Besides, I already said Pelfrey was better the other day and thought I ended the dispute.

    John (London): Jim - Can you give me 3-5 top prospects not named Delmon Young or BJ Upton who might have the opportunity and ability to come up in 2006 and produce for their major league clubs. An example of what I'm looking for is Jeff Francoeur of 2005.
    Jim Callis: (2:24 PM ET) Howie Kendrick just came up, so he's out. Alex Gordon would be the Royals' best hitter right now. Lastings Milledge (Mets), Stephen Drew (Diamondbacks), Brandon Wood (Angels, but may not get the opportunity), Carlos Quentin (Diamondbacks), Andy Marte (Indians).

    Lastings is serious.

    Kyle (Chico, CA): Could you envision a Pelfrey for Zito trade? Milledge for Zito?
    Jim Callis: (2:38 PM ET) I can't see the Mets giving up a potential star with no service time for someone they can sign as a free agent if they're patient.

    Yes, good point Jim, but if the Mets feel they are one pitcher away this year...look out.

    Andy (St. Louis): Milledge or Quentin?
    Jim Callis: (2:51 PM ET) Lastings Milledge.

    Quentin is serious. This is a good compliment.

    Trevor (Orange County, CA): Jessica - Alba, Simpson or Beil?
    Jim Callis: (2:54 PM ET) You can add more options, but you're not going to get me to pick against Jessica Alba.

    Evangeline Lilly...she wasn't an option? Too bad, the answer is always Lilly.

    Mike (NJ): In August: Pelfrey or Zambrano?
    Jim Callis: (2:58 PM ET) Pelfrey. I'd take him right now, too.

    I think we all would....

    Jenny (Durham): More exciting future: LA teams or NY teams?
    Jim Callis: (3:03 PM ET) LA teams.

    As much as the Mets have a bright future, the prospects in those two organizations is silly.
  • Wednesday, April 26, 2006

    Is it Lima Time!™ yet?

    Um, it could be. Give Bannister credit for gutting it out to home plate, but Jay Horowitz told the broadcasting crew that it is not good. That my friends means Lima Time!™ could be around the corner. I guess we will hear more tomorrow.

    On Pace: Pitchers

    Ah, now to the pitching. What was once extremely deep in the starting arena is now frightening thin and a lot needs to pan out for this team to be successful while the bullpen is just straight nasty serving up Cream of Whoop-ass (sorry, stole that from BP's hitlist) nightly. The entire argument about what to do with the pitching has been tossed around and a lot of people say it is too early, but let's get this straight, it's never too early to start looking at things. If the Mets cool spell has taught us anything, it is that every game counts.

    Pedro Martinez
    Oh, what's there to say about him? The guy is on pace for a 32-0 year with 227 strikeouts to 81 walks and only 122 hits allowed. Best season ever? Not likely. Despite the unlikelihood of a 30+ win season, it amazes me that he has only won 20 games twice in his career. That is something that I fully expect to change and I expect him to notch 20 wins this season with the improved offense and the vastly improved bullpen. The thing about Pedro that is such a joy to watch, and this includes last season, is the guy will come to the mound with 80% of his best stuff and just dominate. Who else can say that? Guys like him and Clemens reinvent themselves and watching a guy like Pedro do what he does best and throw a baseball is simply what this game is about. Met fans have a treat every five games when he is on the mound and he define what an ace should be.

    Tom Glavine
    Tom got rocked for six runs in six innings against the Giants on Monday and still has a 2.78 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. What really has been shocking is the amount of strikeouts he has amassed so far. Glavine has not struck out more than 150 batters in a season since 2000 and has not topped 109 since putting on a Met uniform. Those 109 strikeouts took him 33 games to achieve and he already has 28% of that number in only 32.1 innings. Glavine is pace for 198 strikeouts, which would be a personal record for him, 73 walks, 178 hits allowed, and 13 wins. The way Glavine has looked this year and the second half of last year tells me 13 wins is a bit conservative and 2006 will be the year he notches highs in wins and strikeouts as a Met. Tom has looked tremendous and has been the front end starter the Mets have needed to compliment Pedro.

    Steve Trachsel
    Traschsel was a year older and coming off a back injury last year so he was a bit of a concern for me this year. However, Trachsel has done nothing but be vintage Trachsel when he was the most reliable arm in the Mets rotation from 2002 through 2004. He will not dazzle you, but he will give you innings and keep you in the game. So far, he is on pace for 177 innings, 162 hits allowed, 46 walks, 116 strikeouts, and 16 wins. I expect him to finish with about 200 innings pitched and about 13 wins and be vintage Trachsel for his final year with the Mets and he will be a nice affordable starter for someone in 2007. Hey, maybe even the Mets will finally be able to offer a free agent arbitration?

    Brian Bannister
    Bannister is a guy who a lot of people had said looks like the real deal, but there are some who still think he is running on borrowed time with the amount of walks and base runners he has been allowing. Bannister is on pace to walk 122 batters and allow 122 hits while going 16-0 with 186 innings pitched. His WHIP is a respectable 1.30, but Brian simply cannot succeed walking so many. The main reason he has a 2.35 ERA so far is the fact that he has knack for getting out of trouble and has held the opposition to a Pedro Martinez-like .181 BAA. Bannister's minor league h/9 ratio was 8.16 and his ratio so far this season is 5.87. We know that he will most likely give more hits up down the line and we know is control was light years better in the minors than in the majors so I do believe the trust does lie somewhere in between for both cases. Bannister should give up more hits, but he should also cut down on his walks but where his control went is anyone's guess. Rookie jitters has to wear out it's welcome as an excuse at some point and the Mets need Bannister to tighten up and go deeper into games and throw more strikes.

    Victor Zambrano
    It's not pretty for Zambrano which is obvious considering the rocky start to his season. Victor is on pace for 144.2 innings, 207 hits allowed, 52 homers allowed, 93 walks, 83 strikeouts, 10 wins, and 20 losses. He owns a .328 BAA and a 9.64 ERA and has thrown 84.3 pitches per game. Of course he had a bad April in '05 before straightening things out and my guess is his leash at least gets him that and May to see if he can put it together. I'm not going to get too much into Victor as he has been a hot topic of late, but instead, I'll delve into something that speaks louder than anything I could say.

    Funny thing happened today, i was on the phone with my mother and she said to me "all week i haven't been able to watch the games because they've been on late, and i go to watch today and this guy is pitching, its just not fair". When my mom makes a comment about VZ then you know its gotten bad.

    That was an email from Brian B. and he touched upon that while we were talking about something else and yes, when a person's mother comments on VZ then it has gotten bad.

    Aaron Heilman
    Heilman got off to a rocky start and then had some help from Sanchez, but he has not disappointed. The guy came into Spring Training thinking he was going to be starter after the Benson deal only to lose his rotation spot to a rookie and has handled all of it well. While he has not been as dominating as he was in the second half of last year (...and really, how could anyone be and how could we expect him to) he is on pace to throw in 81 games, allow 86 hits, 32 walks, and 73 strikeouts. His strikeouts are down a bit and his walks are little higher than we all would prefer, but he has yet to give up a homerun and has gotten stronger as the season has gone on. Lefties are having more success against him this season and they are batting .278 off him with a .381 OBP, but I think that will settle down as time wears on. He will be a rock in the bullpen and I do not think these projected numbers are very far off of what we can expect at the end of the season.

    Jorge Julio
    Julio is on pace for some very interesting numbers to say the least. He is on pace to appear in 73 games, give up 105 hits, 24 homeruns, 32 walks, and strikeout 138 batters. Julio is bad, but not this bad. His career G/F ratio is 1.04 and this season he is looking at a 2.29 G/F ratio. His walks are high, but right in line with his career numbers and his 15.83 K/9 will not last. His BAA will settle down a bit, but he has been a guy that has given up his share of hits throughout his career. In short, Julio will settle down, but I doubt he'll be used in tight situations if it can be avoided and he'll mostly see junk time and appearances in extra innings games.

    Billy Wagner
    What is amazing about Wagner is he has not even looked like the nasty Wagner that we signed. Billy had missed two weeks at the end of spring training and was throwing in the low 90's to start the season and has walked entirely too many batters. That being said, he still has posted the second lowest ERA out of the bullpen outside of the impressive Duaner Sanchez. His heat has progressively been getting higher and he is almost running on all cylinders. Wagner is on pace for 73 appearances, 81 innings pitched, a ridiculous 24 hits allowed, 40 walks, 64 strikeouts, eight wins, and 40 saves. Hopefully the hits and strikeouts will rise while the walks come down, but Wagner is as advertised and will only get nastier.

    Duaner Sanchez
    If you make enough deals, one has to work out right? Oh, relax, I'm just kidding...partly. The Mets rarely come out smelling like roses in trades and this dates back to before Omar's time, but the early returns on this one look criminal. Sanchez is on pace to appear in 73 games with 114 innings pitched, 49 hits allowed, 49 walks allowed, 97 strikeouts, and eight wins. The guy wants the ball everyday and is not shy about making that known.

    Overall the pitching results have been a mixed bag. By my estimation, the Mets rotation was weakened by moving Heilman to the bullpen and has some potentially huge gaping issues. Overall, the starting pitchers are 11-5 with a 7.11 K/9, a 1.25 WHIP, and a 3.63 ERA. That is really nothing to complain about and every starter with the exception of Victor Zambrano has an ERA of 3.13 or below. If the top four can continue being solid starters, Zambrano's inclusion in the rotation will be more palatable, however, if he does not improve, the Mets can ill afford to give games away. This is the biggest potential issue with the Mets that certainly deserves the most attention.

    The rotation was made weaker, but it is hard to argue with the results produced in the bullpen. The bullpen has put up a 9.70 K/9, a 1.16 WHIP, and a 2.53 ERA and has been outstanding. Only Jorge Julio has an ERA over 3.52 and strangely enough, the top three strikeout artists for the Mets have been Bradford, Oliver, and Julio with 13.50, 10.57, and 15.83 K/9 respectively. Julio has looked better of late and if he can put up 4.00 ERA from here on out and be serviceable, he should find some usefulness on this team. Regardless of how Julio pans out, this bullpen is probably the best in the National League.

    * * *

  • Bonds vs. Wagner...Wagner vs. Bonds...that alone was worth the price of admission. With the fans chanting "Barry, Barry, Barry", that is what it is all about. He did not represent the tying run, but a great match up regardless. Wagner dialed it up to 97 and into the mid 90's again, but the slider eventually got him to pop out. I was hoping for strikeout, but hey, the Mets won.

    "I'm out there to get him out," Wagner said. "I'm not out there to be a stat for him. We're competitors and we respect what each other brings to the table."

  • Cliffy's bomb last night was absolutely launched into orbit. I've given up my share of shots in the day and there are sometimes when a pitcher just does not need to turn around and that was one of them.

  • A message from David to Carlos?

    "My favorite player growing up was Cal Ripken Jr.," Wright said. "To play that many consecutive games, he played hurt a lot. I loved that about him. You know he wasn't going out there at 100 percent and I'm sure his numbers were hurt by that. But that's the kind of guy I want on my team. That's the kind of guy I want to go to battle with, the kind of guy that wants to be out there every day."

    We all know he has been hurting, but we all have to wonder if there was another message being sent.

    "I have a lot of respect for guys who go out there and play hurt, that's what makes team chemistry, when guys go out there and put their bodies on the line."

    Of course, Beltran is the only one who truly knows how he feels.

    "Its frustrating for me right now because the MRI shows that it's nothing major. But I still feel it," the center fielder said.

    "They want me to give them an estimate of how many days I'm going to be ready. I cannot give an estimate because this is the first time it happened to me. I'm just taking it day by day and looking forward to one of these days wake up with no pain, no soreness and be able to play."

    We all know he had a very bad experience last season so it is not like no one knows where he is coming from, but to string the team along for this long is just silly. You cannot be day to day for the duration of a DL stint. That is just ridiculous. DL it or play in a weak. The DL is there for a reason. Use it.

  • Mike Pelfrey is good.

    "He moved himself up," Omar Minaya said. "He's had pretty good performances all along. We said basically he would move himself up based upon the way he's pitched, velocity wise, command wise, strikeout to walk ratio wise, which is about what we expected. We expected it to be about a month. We just said let's move him up right now."

  • The Mets pitched to Bonds last night and it resulted in one run.

    Trachsel confronted Bonds, striking him out on a 1-2 splitter off the outer half of the plate in their matchup after the homer. Bonds is now hitting .302 with three homers, 13 walks and eight strikeouts in 56 lifetime plate appearances against Trachsel.

    "I was more worried about Moises Alou personally just because of past experience," Trachsel said. "They're both dangerous but I think Alou has done a lot more damage against me."

  • First Brett Harper miraculously sneaks in the top ten for minor league first baseman and now Jeff Keppinger cracks the top then.

    Keppinger, who came to the Mets from Pittsburgh as part of the Kris Benson trade, is certainly old for a prospect, but he's put up solid-to-excellent offensive numbers at every stop. This past season, Keppinger was hitting .337 AVG/.376 OBP/.455 SLG at Triple-A Norfolk when he went down with a broken left leg. If not for the injury, he might be starting in Queens right now. Once he settles in, he'll hit for average in the majors, play reliable defense and run the bases well. He makes a better long-term solution at second than Anderson Hernandez does. If Hernandez continues to founder at the plate, don't be surprised if Keppinger gets a crack at the job at some point this season.

    While I agree he might be a better long term solution, Kaz will finish the year at second base...or should at least.

  • Melvin Mora looks like he is going to get a three year deal worth $27 million dollars. With a quintuplet, he'll need the money.
  • Tuesday, April 25, 2006

    On Pace: Batters

    The season is young and the hot players will cool down and regress towards the mean and some struggling players might improve and move towards the mean, but it's fun to take a look at the numbers anyway and see what some Mets players are on pace for. The Mets started off on fire and started the season 8-1 but have cooled down a bit to go 4-6 in their next ten games to settle in with a 12-7 record and are only three games in front of the Braves despite their uber hot start. The Mets current winning percentage is .632 and if they play that way the rest of the season, they will finish 102-60. If they play one game over .500 for the rest of the way, they would finish 84-78. If they play .400 ball like they have the last ten games, they would finish 69-93.

    Of course we knew the Mets would not keep the pace they set to start the season especially with questions in the staff, but no one quite expected them to cool off this quickly. Beltran is still down and will be reevaluated on Friday according to Gary Cohen. That's right, Friday. He was first hurt on April 16th and will be reevaluated twelve days later. That does not mean he will play mind you, just that they will talk about it and he might even go to the DL. I like playing it safe, but again, with the history of this team and handling injuries and evaluating injuries, you have to wonder if someone dropped the ball here or is Beltran not being blunt enough. The Mets have been 4-5 since he went down and Beltran started and played half a game and pinch hit once since then. That just pushed the time up that they can retro him to and that is where the larger errors come into play with this issue.

    Off to the meat of the post...

    Jose Reyes:
    Reyes is on pace for 34 doubles, 17 triples, 9 homers, 68 RBIs, 51 stolen bases, 153 hits, and 42 walks. Of course he is not going to hit .225/.271/.363 for the entire year and has looked like he has a better eye, but he has quickly regressed into some bad habits. Reyes is still young, but at some point, he needs to produce. Delgado has not had many RBI chances the last few games and that simply cannot go on if this team wants to put runs up on the board.

    Carlos Delgado:
    Where would the Mets be without Delgado and with Nady at first and Diaz in right? I'll tell you, second place or third place. Delgado is on pace for 68 homers, 153 RBIs, 17 doubles, 136 runs scored, 170 strikeouts, and 68 walks. Of course I don't expect him to set career highs in RBIs, homers, and strikeouts, but the guy is going to put up MVP-like numbers. Omar had it right going after him last off season and finishing off what he set out to do last off season. This guy has been huge for the Mets and could set a Met record for homers in a month in April.

    Xavier Nady:
    Nady has put a lot of people in their place for criticizing the Cameron deal and he has been probably the biggest surprise of 2006 so far. He hit 13 homeruns last season and his on pace for 43 this season with 51 doubles. Not much you can say about that but fucking swell. Really, he will not be pushing 100 XBHs by seasons end, but one thing that is clearly apparent is that Nady has pop. His homeruns have not been clearing the walls by a little bit, but have been clearing them by a whole lot. He has more power than most of us thought and though people were expecting him to hit about 20 homers, 28 or 30 does not look so off at this point.

    David Wright:
    Now to the golden boy. The MVP articles have slowed down a bit since he has hit a bit of a funk, but Wright has still been productive. He has been walking a bit more since his slump and is still getting some hits along the way. He is on pace for 43 doubles, 17 triples, 26 homers, 119 RBIs, 43 stolen bases, 60 walks, 60 strikeouts, 188 hits, and 111 runs scored. I think his season will pretty much end up that way too with the exception of triples and stolen bases. I still expect him to be in the top three for MVP voting and still light the league on fire.

    Paul LoDuca:
    We all know how much I was against bringing LoDuca here and nineteen games into the season, he has grown on me. That being said, he shouldn't be batting second when Beltran comes back. I like him and he started off doing the things you want a number two hitter to do, but he is on pace for 26 walks and eleven stolen bases. With Reyes' struggles in getting on base and LoDuca not exactly being an OBP monster and not being able to hit like he was the first week for the entire season, something has to give. If people want to see Delgado drive in runs in bunches, he needs people on base. LoDuca is a good catcher, but he can still be a good catcher batting seventh. That way Nady can get bumped up one permanently and Beltran can bat second. That still makes sense to me.

    Carlos Beltran:
    Beltran has been sitting for a while and is due to sit the entire Giants series so I am going to ignore what he is on pace for. As of now, he is on pace to play in 102 games and we know he will play in more. Beltran has look worlds better this year and that is partially why everyone is being so patient to avoid a repeat performance of last year, but everyday he is out of the lineup it looks like a mishandled situation because the Mets are struggling. Guys that get hurt should not go on the DL twelve days after the injury.

    Tomorrow, the pitchers.

    * * *

  • This is chock full of good stuff....

    First, I'll start with the pertinent information.

    Q: Jim from New York asks:
    What should Met fans make of Carlos Gomez? The Mets are hyping him as having better tools than Milledge, but he seems to struggle at the plate. What's the deal?

    A: Matt Meyers: Some people in the org say he has better raw tools than Milledge, which means they could be better, but aren't yet. At this moment, he is faster and has a better arm than Milledge. In fact, his arm and speed might both be legitimate 70 tools (on the 20-80 scale). But the most important tool, hitting, he lags behind Lastings. The organization certainly believes in him and this spring they felt they finally saw him truly responding to instruction and applying it quickly. As a result, they decided to have him skip high A. So far, he has been OK when you consider he skipped a level. He has a ton of upside, but has a ways to go. Guys like him often fail badly (see Escobar, Alex), but can be spectacular (see Guerrero, Vlad).

    He is 19 and at AA. It was pretty much expected for him to struggle but he still has plenty of time and with the Mets outfield set for while, there is not reason to rush the kid.

    Q: Eric Cuomo from ct asks:
    wouldnt you agree Milledge is now ready for the majors? With floyd needing more oscal as the day goes by and diaz not all that great of a hitter, i think milledge would be perfect in the mets lineup right now. not to mention his great OBP

    A: Matt Meyers: Settle down Mets fans! Milledge is off to a fantastic start, and his improvement in plate discipline to this point is very impressive. If that is for real, he might turn out to be better than I initially thought, which is very, very good.

    Matt Meyers: At the same time, there is no need to rush. The Mets are 11-4, and even though Floyd and Beltran are dinged up, the team is in great shape. The Mets rushed Jose Reyes in 2003 because the team needed an injection of life. As a result, I think they retarded his growth and I worry that he will not reach his potential because he did not get the chance to work on his pitch recognition and plate discipline in a low pressure environment. Let the improvements Milledge is making sink in, and give him some time at Norfolk. He is not going to hit .400 all season, so he needs to go through a slump and work through that. Yes, he could hold his own in the big leagues now, but better off letting him take his time in hopes of him reaching his full potential.

    Taking a wait and see approach on Lastings discipline is the best way to go because it has been so much better than last season seems like the prudent thing to do. From Adam Rubin by way of Always Amazin'...

    “More impressive is he did it a lot with two strikes,” Tijerina said. “He can fall behind in the count and showed a lot of patience, worked a lot of counts from two strikes to a walk. He’s been very impressive.”

    If his new found eye is for real, as Matt Meyes said, "he might turn out to be better than I initially thought, which is very, very good". Really awesome stuff. That being said, it is shame that Reyes was rushed but what is done and done and the Mets hopefully learned. If he needs to come up for a two week stint, I hardly think that it will impact him, but letting him play out the year unless disater strikes for the big club should absolutely be the plan. Good to hear Meyers thinks he can hold his own in the league if he was in it right now too.

    Now, for some good 'ole Yankee vs. Mets stuff....

    Q: Paul from NJ asks:
    You have to admit that Phillip Hughes is probably the best pitching prospect in High A.

    A: Matt Meyers: No, I don't have to admit it. He is certainly in the discussion, but I think Cole Hamels, Homer Bailey and Mike Pelfrey would have something to say about it. Hughes is a great prospect, and he might certainly be the best, but I don't think it is so clear cut. In fact, when we did our Top 100, Pelfrey was No. 36, Bailey was No. 38 and Hughes was No. 39. So clearly they are close.

    Settle down Paul. I'll settle it though, Pelfrey is better. Hughes is younger, but Pelfrey is better and always will be anyway.

    Mets 1 - Yankees 0

    Q: Jim from Texas asks:
    Jose Tabata is unbelievable. How does a 17 year old hit .327 and lead the league in doubles?

    A: Matt Meyers: Tabata's line of .321-.327-.434 is certainly impressive, but you have to be a little concerned about his 15-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He is only 17, so there is plenty of time to work on that, but it is something he needs to work on. What is even crazier, is that he has not even been the best 17-year-old player in the SAL, the Mets Fernando Martinez is hitting .333-.407-.569 with six walks and five strikeouts in two fewer at-bats then Tabata. Both are special talents, and it will be interesting to see how they compare up the minor league ladder. Particularly since they are both New York prospects.

    Tabata could give Fernando six of his strikeouts and Fernando would still look great. Both are very good prospects but in terms of being refined, F-Mart has a leg up on Tabata.

    Mets 2 - Yankees 0

  • Bonds says he does not think he will catch Aaron and if you watched him run last night, you would agree. He looks like he'll be on crutches to carry that huge frame in another year.

  • Clemens to the Yankees? Does anyone care?

  • Enough..enough..enough.

  • Walking Bonds in a 0-0 game with one guy on base while he is not exactly knocking the cover off the ball makes no sense on so many levels. Then it was done again in the seventh. The best you can say is that they both did not end up with Alou smacking homers, but they did both result in runs. Of course Nady did not get to a ball he clearly should have setting up the entire situation in the first, but Bonds should have been pitched to. The season is not even 20 games old and Bonds is being pitched to like the division is on the line in game 160.

    Glavine wanted to continue to pitch to Bonds. "Willie told me to put him on," said Glavine, who seemed displeased with the strike zone. "I tried to throw a fastball in (to Alou) and didn't get it in."

    Why am I not surprised it was Willie's idea? Everyone else does it, so I should too? As for Alou, that guy must stand on top of the plate more than any other player. After Glavine got two in on him and he jumped back though they were over the plate, you knew what Glavine was coming back with to get him out. Alou did too and destroyed the ball. Alou is no slouch and has hit better than Bonds when he has swung the bat, so the decisions were curious. Glavine is a smart pitcher. If anyone can figure out a good way to pitch to Bonds it is him. Have some faith and pitch to Barry. Make him beat you do not beat yourself.

  • Nice. Let's break some ground soon.

  • Phil Humber update:

    The 2004 first-round pick Philip Humber retired all five batters he faced in an intrasquad game in Port St. Lucie yesterday in his first game setting since Tommy John elbow surgery last July 19. Humber expects to pitch two innings Saturday and three innings May 3 in an intrasquad setting, then could be cleared to pitch in an extended spring training game. "It's nice to pitch to hitters and have defense behind you," Humber said. "My arm has been 100% for a month or a month and a half."

    Looking good....

  • Bob Klapisch has the read of the day.

    Unlike Kazmir, who's learning how to change speeds and pitch to both sides of the plate -- even if it did get him into trouble with the Red Sox recently -- Zambrano seems as clueless as ever. Even more mystifying is Willie Randolph's blind allegiance to a pitcher he inherited from the Jim Duquette-Art Howe regime.

    Why the usually discerning Randolph is still soft on Zambrano is anyone's guess, unless he's trying to absorb the slings and arrows for the front office. But it wasn't on general manager Omar Minaya's watch that Kazmir and Zambrano traded places, and it's hard to believe Randolph would keep making the same mistake every five days just so Rick Peterson, his new-age pitching coach, can make good on a promise to fix Zambrano in 10 minutes.

    I do not even blame Peterson for anything. You look at the guy and the movement he has on his pitches, a pitching coach cannot teach that. They look at his arm and thought he had considerable upside. However, none of their scouting could include his capacity to learn and use the advice he is given. Zambrano is a disaster fifth starter or not.

  • BA's Prospect Hot Sheet is out and Lastings is still firmly implanted in the second spot.

    Maybe it's the four multi-hit games over his last eight, maybe it's the five extra-base hits, maybe it's the nine walks, but Milledge is proving himself after just a half-season in Double-A.

    Ambiorix gets some love too as he earns a special mention.

    Ambiorix Concepcion, of, Mets (High Class A St. Lucie): Seven doubles last week
  • Monday, April 24, 2006

    Special Circumstances

    I call this the post of 2,500 words.

    David Wright is not your normal player. We all know that and the Mets obviously know that. The Mets also do not like to really give long term contracts to arbitration eligible players in their first six years of service. They prefer not to and that is not a bad thing because once the precedent is set, players might be looking for a long term deal and develop a sour attitude towards the Mets if they do not get it.

    Instead, the Mets have told Wright's people they intend to talk with him at year's end about a long extension, assuming the year goes as expected. Taking a cue from the Indians, who locked up young stars Grady Sizemore and Victor Martinez with lengthy deals, the Mets are interested in a contract for Wright for six or five years and a team option because they want to delay his free agency by two years. If they get that done, Wright, 23, gets security, and the Mets could save millions and ensure he's theirs through his 20s. "If the Mets are interested, I'm all ears," Wright said. "I love it here. I know I've only played a year and a half. But I love it. I love everything about this organization."

    However, David Wright is not your average player and giving him a contract extension before he hits his arbitration eligible years will be the best thing the Mets could do. Not only would they be saving money as the later years of his contract will end up looking like bargain as salaries will continue to inflate and players usually sign for reasonable contacts when this type of thing happens, but you make a guy who is arguably the best position player in the universe under 24 a happy guy. You take a load off his mind and make him feel as appreciated as he should be. Rewarding the kid for the type of performance he has put up and the way he carries himself sends the right message. Some rules that make sense have to be ignored once in while for a seemingly once in a lifetime type talent.

    * * *

  • How about Jose Reyes coming off the bench yesterday to pinch hit and taking a walk?

  • Dontrelle Willis was offered for David Wright? I love Dontrelle, but c'mon. Did they even think that had a chance in hell of going down? I guess it does not hurt to ask and you cannot fault someone for that.

  • The WB11 had a poll about whether or not Mike Piazza's number should be retired and 59% said 'yes' and 41% said 'no'. That was certainly weird considering Piazza will most likely have a Mets cap on his plaque in Cooperstown. To not have a Hall of Famer's number retired that played with a team for a majority of their career and put up some serious numbers is pretty nuts. Of course the entire idea of retiring numbers never to be worn again is pretty dumb in my mind and there should be some other homage paid in my opinion, but I get how it's an honor for a player to never have his number worn again in that uniform. My guess is that his number will not get handed out unless it is a pretty important player if it does not get retired, but it certainly should be. He was iconic for the Mets and a tremendous player that seemingly carried the franchise during his time up to 2004 when age kicked in.

  • If I can bash people to no end, I have to give credit to where credit is due. We know that Jorge Julio was not going to sport an ERA north of 10.00 the entire season and he was going to toss up some goose eggs, but he has looked a lot better. As Gary Cohen said, they backed him off a bit on his fastball and he has been throwing well. Can he keep it up? Consistency the big issue with him as he typically does this all season. The Mets bullpen has looked solid and that includes Darren Oliver and Pedro Feliciano and if Julio can pitch himself into being a useful pitcher, the Mets will have some serious bullpen depth.

  • Shaun Powell breaks it down.

    Martinez won his fourth straight start when he spotted the Padres only a Mike Piazza homer two nights ago. Clearly, Pedro is on pace with last season, his first in town, the difference being the Mets are actually giving him all the help he needs.

    Throw in Bannister, who hasn't looked bad yet, and Steve Trachsel and the Mets go four deep among starters, and not many teams in baseball are feeling this comfortable. It allows them to occasionally stomach Jorge Julio's lapses in relief, and closer Billy Wagner looks like money well spent.

    "Overall," Randolph said, "we've done a good job."

    True enough. The belches from Zambrano do not overwhelm the big picture. Despite what you saw yesterday, the Mets are still throwing good pitches. They shouldn't be afraid to give Bonds a few.

    He says Bannister hasn't look bad yet, which I think he largely has. Brian has not hurt the Mets much yet so I guess it is pointless to keep pointing out until he does. Steve Popper pointed something out that at least rings true and bodes well for Bannister's future.

    While a rookie like Brian Bannister can spot a flaw in his approach and promise a change or a potential Hall-of-Famer like Tom Glavine can shift his game plan after nearly 20 years in the game, Zambrano stubbornly plods ahead with the same troubles. And for now, at least, Randolph stubbornly believes it will change.

    I do agree that Bannister at least has ability to approach an issue and try and fix it. He has been making the same mistakes and has not been sharp yet, but I do get the idea that he can turn things around a bit. He is not pitching characteristically of himself so it stands to reason that he can refine his game and rather quickly. But for Zambrano....

    "Today, obviously it's pretty much bad game management," Randolph said. "Anytime you give up 0-2 home runs, that's not what you want to do. We had that quick 1-2-3 pitcher and then all hell broke loose in that one inning where he should have gotten out of that real easy. He just made bad pitches at the wrong time."

    That's his life story. You can just copy and past this after every start.

    "I know that we have to find a way to rectify this," Randolph said.

    Yes, you do.

    "He's going to have to continue to pitch out of what he's doing," Randolph said. "And we'll see what happens in time. I don't look at my pitchers as being on trial."

    Paul LoDuca is confident though that things will turn around.

    "He just got off to a little rough start. He's got way too good stuff not to succeed, and hopefully we'll straighten it out."

    Though this reasoning is flawed since there are tons of guys with 'stuff' that never make it, I expect the players to stand by their teammates and never say anything bad. Whatever, it's just another start for Victor and another frustrating day for the Mets and Met fans. Well, not all of the Mets are frustrated.

    "I'm not frustrated," Zambrano said.

    As David Lennon put it, if so, that makes him the only one. A few teammates were not all that happy with the events leading to Giles' grand salami.

    "It never should have reached that point," one of them said, shaking his head.

    The broadcasting team had said Zambrano was shaking off LoDuca a lot. That tells me one of two things. Either he has no faith in some of his pitches or he has no idea what he is doing. Both are not very good situation.

    More venting...
    In all my years of watching the Mets, there have been many players that I disliked. Bobby Bonilla, Jeff Kent, Roberto Alomar, Mel Rojas, just to name a few. But never, NEVER, have I actually hated any one. Never have I ever wished pain and horror on anyone. Then came Victor Zambrano. I hate everything about him. I hate the way he looks, I hate his inability to throw strikes, and I hate the way he always squints like he's looking directly into the sun. I just hate everything about him? Why is he still on the Mets? Why did we trade Scott Kazmir for this guy? Why is he breathing my air? Even when he is long gone from the New York Mets, the fact that he still exists will always haunt me. Some one just has to do something. Because for every day that passes, Victor Zambrano will still be out there, walking somebody, and I just won't have it.
    David | 04.23.06 - 9:10 pm
    I disliked Cedeno. For some reason I don't dislike Victor, but I hate watching him pitch and think something will eventually need to be done.

    Time for the Trachsel treatment!

    Let Zambrano figure out his game in Norfolk.
    Will | 04.23.06 - 11:09 pm
    I do believe he has options left too.
    Why not send Victor to Norfolk so he can work his shit out? Much like Trachsel a few years back. I don't want him trying out his changeup at the ML level. It is beyond frustrating. Everyone knows the Kazmir was an awful trade. Why compound it by blindly sticking with Zambrano?

    The Mets seem to take a few steps foward and then negate it all by sticking with this guy.

    Bada | 04.23.06 - 11:11 pm
    Biggest oversight of the off-season by Omar was the rotation. It was assumed that Heilman would be a part of it and it was left alone only to have him move into the pen. Not that the pen thing was a bad thing, but it certainly left a weakness elsewhere.

    And fuck victor zambrano. I didn't even watch the game yesterday because I wanted to prevent the ulcer I knew he would give me. It took me WAY too long, but I too have finally broken. No more Victor Zambrano games for me, he's just too painful to watch, and in this regard ignorance is bliss.
    Kyle | 04.24.06 - 8:06 am
    Ignorance truly is bliss. I agree wholeheartedly.
    Regarding VZ, everyone here has pretty much said it, but I have an additional question--what happened to his fastball? As a D-Ray and in his early period with the Mets, I seem to recall Victor throwing in the low-mid 90's. Yesterday, he seemed to top out in the high 80's. I mean, if he doesn't even have gas, then what is he doing out there? BTW, it has gotten so bad, that Peterson is being mocked on Rotoworld: http://www.rotoworld.com/content...guenum=&id=3294

    "Forunately, pitching coach Rick Peterson still intends to have [Zambrano] straightened out any minute now."
    Matt D | 04.24.06 - 10:45 am
    I don't particularly blame Peterson for this. He probably saw the arm and he has always said you cannot teach stuff like Zambrano has naturally and thought he could work on him. However, none of that had anything to do with Victor's mentality, makeup, and ability to adjust. Also, when the Mets got him, he was 'one of the premier power pitchers in the game'. Here, he never really tops 91 and it is certainly perplexing.
    its lima time

    if lima comes up at least he'd be fun. he wont suck anymore than zambrano and you wont expect shit from him.

    lets face it. zambrano is here because the wilpons allowed duquette to trade him. the only reason he was traded for was because he beat the yankees three times that year.

    we gotta cut our loss. i think that this is gonna go down as one of the worst trades ever.

    this guy is a fucking losing streak waiting to happen.
    ossy cocotaso | 04.24.06 - 11:12 am
    Ouch. Actually calling for Lima Time!™?
    Victor who? I don't know a Victor Zambrano

    Victor's Mom | 04.24.06 - 11:22 am
    That's cold.

    Well, I've got come to terms that the Mets will lose on the day Zambrano pitches.

    We cant, in theory, 'win them all', so if we're to lose, might as well be on the day that he pitches.

    It's cool guy. Mets will still make the playoffs by winning every 4 out of every 5 days, so dont beat yourselfs over it. Shit happens. Hell, we could be Kansas City and be eliminated already.
    Nokes | 04.24.06 - 1:35 pm

    Nokes takes the glass half full approach.

  • At least someone has a sense of humor....

    "It amazes me that somebody of that caliber that has obviously played the game before and is in front of an audience of millions of people would say something like that," she said. "It's a little shocking, but you know what - it happens.

    "He not only discredited me as a person, but he discredited women," she said.

    Calabrese then walked down the hallway to the Padres' training room and joked, "Should I go in the kitchen now?"

    Just for the record, I think this is all dumb. People get all uptight over little shit. He shouldn't have said it, but I say lots of things I shouldn't say. The obvious difference is that I'm not on TV, but Keith voiced his opinion and did not say anything all that bad. Besides, he loves women.

    "I'm only teasing," Hernandez said. "I love you gals out there. I always have."

    I do to Keith, I do too. I just wished they would talk less.

  • Let's review. Dougie Eyechart gives the ball to his wife when the Red Sox win. He then puts it in a safe deposit box. Then he lends it to the Red Sox for a year to put on display and then they steal it and tell him they are not giving it back and take him to court. Now, the ball goes to the hall.

    First off, whatever you think Dougie did, that was far less of dirty thing that the Red Sox did. They came to an agreement and they took the ball despite their agreement. Second, it is a fucking ball. Him having the ball doesn't change that the won. Who gives a shit? Who cares about the 715th homerun ball that someone will pay oodles for that Bonds will hit. Doug had the ball and they should have figured something else out. At this point, he was better off chucking it into the crowd and let a blood bath ensue and at least some lucky fan could have made a pretty penny off it.

  • Shut up and play.

    "This ballpark cannot contain [Carlos] Delgado," Nationals General Manager Jim Bowden said, speaking of the New York Mets' first baseman. "It couldn't contain [Mets outfielder Carlos] Beltran. It hasn't contained Soriano. It's still a pitcher's park, and it depends where your power is."

    Everyone has to deal with the same park when they play you.

  • A manager more clueless than Willie? Maybe, Charlie Manuel had moved down Ryan Howard to seventh in the batting order last week. Here's the only problem though, he was hitting over .300. Yeah, the power was not there, but c'mon. Batting in front of him at some points? A guy batting .250 average, a guy with a .235 average, and a guy with a .238 average. Really, you knew the power was going to come from Howard and dropping him for batting .300 with little power was almost criminal. Is there a wonder this guy is already on the hot seat?

  • In case you were wondering, the White Sox are pretty good.
  • Sunday, April 23, 2006


    Four innings, seven hits, three walks, and five runs. Fugly. I do like that he is trying to work the changeup into his repertoire more and it honestly did not look all that bad, but the spotting of his pitches is just horrendous.

    Also, Keith had to apologize for some comments in regards to a woman in the dugout during yesterday's Padres game. Does anyone know what he said?