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

Friday, July 14, 2006

Let The Rumors Begin

This one is a doozy.

The Mets may have found a partner willing to deal a starting pitcher after all, which could be even more pressing as Pedro Martinez is about to miss his third straight start.

The White Sox have been calling around to clubs - including the Mets - letting it be known that Javier Vazquez or Freddy Garcia would be available. The price: top-notch relief help, which would allow the Sox to fortify their bullpen leading to closer Bobby Jenks, sources told the Daily News. Chicago has 23-year-old Brandon McCarthy ready to step into its rotation.

Freddie Garcia:

Signed though 2007 and he will receive $10 million in 2007
WHIP: 1.39
ERA: 4.91
K/9: 5.23

Garcia throws a mix of fastballs, curveballs, sliders, and changeups. He throws his fastball about 92-93 mph.

Javier Vazquez:

Singed through 2007 and is due to make $12.5 million in 2007
WHIP: 1.35
ERA: 5.07
K/9: 7.14

Vazquez throws the same pitches as Garcia and about the same speed.

They are really more or less identical. When you look at their record, salary, BAA in 2006 and 2003 through 2005, their age, and their repertoire, it's a toss up. Both are work horses that can give you 200+ innings year in and year out, but if I had to choose one, I would choose Garcia. With the production that they are giving this year, you are really trading for playoff experience and a known quantity of a decent big league pitcher. The idea of dealing from the bullpen and giving them Sanchez or Heilman may not be optimal. Dirty Sanchez in no way can be moved and is the best Met reliever and possibly the future closer. I'd give up Heilman if he was solely a reliever, but it is not out of the realm of possibilities that he can produce just the same as these two while being younger (albeit not too much young) and cheaper.

I have no problems rolling the dice with Owens and Bell if a deal is struck, but it boils down to who Omar trusts. If they really do not like the idea of giving Heilman a try out as a starter (and they don’t), then trade him for starting pitching. Heilman should have been tried out a bit ago to asses their needs, but there is no more try out period. Also, they are picking up a lot of salary in '07 and though I do not think that would preclude them from going after Zito, it is a lot of money for what could be mediocre pitching. If you can keep Sanchez and Heilman it is a no brainer, but that is never going to happen. I'm sure Chicago would not mind some salary relief for the remainder of '06 and in '07 and might have a guy in Brandon McCarthy who is better than either of Garcia or Vazquez, but it is not something Kenny Williams would do. They are possibly the best team in baseball and will be looking for a certifiable upgrade and not a marginal one.

I really see this as a possible lateral move and the Mets just adding salary. I like the fact they are more of a proven commodity for sure, but you are still rolling the dice that they suddenly become more effective with the Mets. Yes, the change of leagues will help, but I’m a big fan of paying for current performance rather than past performance. I would just as soon roll the dice on Heilman in the rotation and have him as a cheap and versatile player for the future. With Bannister, Maine, Pelfrey, and Heilman in the running, I could see two emerging for the Mets as solid starters in 2006. In the end it is entirely possible the Mets have soured completely on Heilman, but I hope not. If they have, make the deal like I said because then they view him solely as reliever. If he is not going to get his shot now or down the line, get a starter that can help you this season and next.

* * *

  • The Yankees picked up Ponson. I expect him to fail miserably, but I would not mind seeing him in the bullpen. He throws hard and might be able to good reliever and the Yankees are certainly thin in that department.

  • Jon Donovan is the second guy to hand the Mets the only A in the National League. If you are asking me (and I realize no one is), the Mets, Red Sox, Tigers, White Sox, and the Yankees get the only A's. Why the Yankees? What they have done missing Sheffield and Matsui and not having pitching really leaves them as big over achievers. I know their payroll is high, but they kept pace with the Red Sox and as much as I hate them, it is praise worthy.

  • Stomach virus? Raise your hand if you believe that. No one? Ok, raise your hand if you are getting nervous.

  • Brian Bannister is looming, but I'm not sure I would get excited about him throwing 86 mph fastballs.

  • Don Burke gives us his five things to watch in the Mets second half.

  • The Mets inquired about Abreu and Gordon, but I do not expect Gillick to do a salary dump. I do not see either of these happening because the Mets simply would have to give up too much since it gets pretty sparse after Milledge in terms of tradeable talent. I guess Heilman is a valuable commodity, but I would think the Phillies are looking for a lot of talent in return and more than just a Heilman-type player.

  • Lastings Milledge is still very impressed with himself.

    "Obviously, I want to be with the Mets, but that's out of my reach," he said. "I'm pretty sure the Mets would be glad to have me and any other team would be glad to have me. We'll see what happens.

    "It's cool. It's funny how 11 other teams passed on me and now all of a sudden they want me."

    I'm sure his teammates might have plenty more to say than this.

    While Milledge's teammates were careful not to criticize the organization's top prospect on the record, off the record they said the kid's ego is as big as his upside.

    "It's gone to his head," one member of the Tides said.

  • Jose is not ready to play yet.

  • On Nady...

    Nady said a four-day layoff doesn't seem to have alleviated discomfort with the broken bone in his wrist, which a doctor on Sunday told him could take six weeks to heal. Nady said even grabbing the railing on a ladder while getting out of a pool during the break was uncomfortable.

    Rumor has it he feels discomfort when counting his millions too.

  • David Lennon hands out his mid-season grades. I agree with all of them, but the rotation. It is looking pretty average right now and will continue to look average if Pedro and Glavine do not regain early season form. I'd stick them with a B.

  • Maine is pushed to the bullpen.

    Pelfrey got the nod over John Maine for Tuesday -- although Maine also was with the team and will pitch out of the bullpen for now.

  • Here is a gem from Rob Neyer's latest chat...

    Brad (New York, NY): Rob- I get my baseball info from ESPN...I know much about the Yankees and Red Sox but who are these A's and Royals you speak of?

    SportsNation Rob Neyer: They're these other teams, playing many of their games west of the Appalachian Trail. There was a time, before modern marvels like the InterWebNet and wireless telephony, when these teams ruled the baseball world. And you can find their tales written in "books".


    Mary (Brooklyn): Mr. Cashman says he has no plans to trade young pitcher Hughes. I have heard him compared to a young Dwight Gooden. What do you say?

    SportsNation Rob Neyer: That's preposterous, the Gooden comparison. Felix Hernandez is the only pitcher in the last 20 years who was remotely comparable to Gooden, and even Hernandez has had his problems. Hughes is an excellent prospect and I believe Cashman is sincere about keeping him. But if he belonged to any other franchise he'd be just another Grade A pitching prospect.

    Just keeping it all in perspective.

    Michael (KC, MO): I got your Book of Blunders in May and loved it. If you ever revise it, do you think you'll add the Pierzynski + cash for Liriano, Nathan, and Bonzer. With even 2 of those 3, I would have to think SF would win the West.

    SportsNation Rob Neyer: I think that's fair to assume. And while it's hard for a modern trade to be considered a huge blunder because of free agency, a three-for-one deal makes it possible. I think Brian Sabean's going to be hearing about this one for a while, and it's a LOT worse than Kazmir-for-Zambrano.

    Kind of makes me feel better....kind of.

  • Royce Ring threw one scoreless inning with one strikeout for the International League All-Stars as the IL beat the PCL 6-0 and two hit them on Wednesday.

    Michel Abreu went 1 for 3 with a run scored for the North All-Stars in the AA All-Star game. The South was victorious in the game 5-3 as they out hit the North twelve to six.

    Joe Smith keep on rolling as he picked up hiw fourth save for Booklyn on Wednesday as they beat Williamsport 4-1. Smith has now given up four hits and two walks in ten innings while striking out thirteen. I do not expect him to be here all that long considering his college experience and should finish up the year in high A St. Lucie with an eye on Binghamton in 2007.

  • Barry Bond's ex-friend has ratted him out and said that he used steroids and suffered from 'roid rages'.

    Laura Enos, Bonds' attorney for business matters, told The Times that Hoskins threatened her client after Bonds confronted Hoskins in June 2003 over the alleged forging of Bonds' signature on contracts.

    "He came and we met in a conference room," Enos told The Times. "He said: 'I have three doors. If you don't drop this memorabilia issue, I'm going to ruin Barry. Behind door No. 1 is an extramarital affair. Behind door No. 2 is failure to declare income tax. And behind door No. 3 is use of steroids. And I will go to the press and ruin Barry. His records will be ruined. He will never get into the Hall of Fame.'"

  • Thursday, July 13, 2006

    Thursday Is Offically Fun Facts Day

    Yesterday I asked if anyone knew how A-Rod wearing silly white shoes during the All-Star game was a tribute to the mid-80's Mets. You all flooded me with emails to answer to my question and I do appreciate it....ok I'm lying, it was one email. Thanks you ingrates.

    Don was nice enough to fill me in so I'm filling you in.

    your question about a-fraud's tribute to the mid-80s mets...gooden and
    strawberry in the 86 all-star game worse white Nike cleats with a mets' blue

    i guess a-fraud figures the yank-off fans hate him enough already, so why
    not tell them he's a mets fan at heart....what's another nail in the coffin?

    Way to endear yourself a little more to the Yankee fans who are already booing you.

    * * *

  • More fun facts...

    The dot over the lower case 'i' is called a tittle.

    Mike (me) is dead sexy.

    Tibetans drink tea made of salt and rancid yak butter....mmmmm, rancid yak butter....

    The oldest pig in the world lived until 68....my ex-girlfriend should be beating that record in about 40 years.

    Supposedly worms taste like bacon. Can anyone confirm this? I have a hard time believing that one.

    Mark Wahlberg has a superfluous nipple.

    The silhouette on the Major League Baseball logo is Harmon Killebrew.

    Enough of that...

  • The Giants should have a fire sale. Sell, sell, sell. If the White Sox are offering Brian Anderson and Brandon McCarthy for Jason Schmidt, make it happen and see what you can get for your other soon to be free agents. The West is tight, but the Giants have lots of problems and not a great farm system. Sabean has been put in a bad place to try and win with Bonds for so long and Bonds is no longer the same player that he was building around. It's time to pull the plug on the Bonds-era.

  • Willie fights back.

    He grew up in New York, played in New York and coached under the spotlight in the Bronx for a decade. So surely he knows the drill. Surely he turned on his radio as a child and second-guessed Gil Hodges, right?

    "No," he said, animatedly. "I never did that. Even when I go to a Broadway play, if I see a bad play, I don't criticize because they're having a bad day. That person is trying to pour their heart and soul out. What I do is from my heart and soul. It's passionate. I try to respect people and not disrespect anyone that I don't know. It's almost like, is it personal? How can it be personal? You don't know me."

    Then go manage somewhere else. New York is not a town that applauds for effort. Sometimes New Yorkers will, but they like results more.

  • Matt Simpson predicts a White Sox/Mets World Series and says the White Sox will eventually repeat as champs.

  • America, meet David Wright. In case you missed it (I did, I forgot to DVR it) or didn't hear about it, Wright was on the David Letterman Show.

    Letterman showed photos of Wright's tongue hanging out while playing. The host jokingly asked about biting part of it.

    "It's something that I'm very concerned about," Wright said. "Obviously, your tongue is important to you."

    To which Letterman replied, "Especially on the road."

    He is already the top selling shirt/jersey in New York and unseated Jeter as the face of New York baseball and Wright should be the face of baseball soon enough.

  • Kevin Kernan has a nice piece on Michel Abreu.

    After the problems with Abreu's age came to light, the contract was voided. The Mets signed Abreu to a deal worth $217,000 this past winter. They essentially have nothing to lose. Besides, does age really matter if your backup first baseman is Julio Franco?

    There is one reason why Abreu is worth taking a shot at.

    "He can hit," says a scout, shortly before Abreu singles in his first at-bat. "And he can hit with power."

  • Pete Botte has five questions about the Mets and I have answers to all of them.

    1. Is Pedro healthy?

    No, but he can get the job done this year because he is that good. Even at his worst, Pedro is still an elite pitcher. However, this is the last season he can be relied on to be the ace and the Mets are in dire need of bringing in Barry Zito in the off-season.

    2. Can Pelfrey answer the call?

    Yes. Pelfrey will be one of the answers to the starting rotation if the Mets let him work out his stuff on the MLB level. He is good enough to dominate in the minors without his secondary pitches being up to snuff and needs more a challenge. Luckily the Mets have enough of a lead to let him work it out on the big stage.

    3. Can Aaron Heilman get back on track?

    As a reliever? Maybe. But he should get his shot as a starter. It may take him five starts to get up to throwing 100 pitches, but it's worth a shot. The Mets bullpen is deep enough and there are not enough slots for MLB ready relievers as it is.

    4. Who is the most valuable Met?

    Tough one...but I say Carlos Beltran by a nanometer over David Wright.

    5. Too much of a good thing?

    Too much of a good thing? Enough of that silly talk you bed wetting communist. America was built on a foundation of too much of a good thing.

  • The Mets dropped to #5 on Prospectus Hit List.

    Shea Hey! The Mets enter the break with the NL's best record by four games, and with a 12-game lead in the NL East, they're poised to end the Braves' decade-and-a-half dominance of the division. The resurgence of Carlos Beltran (.279/.388/.606) and the emergence of Jose Reyes (.300/.357/.481 with 39 steals) and David Wright (.316/.386/.575) as the game's best left side of the infield (8.4 combined WARP1, compared to Hanley Ramirez/Miguel Cabrera's 7.9, Jeter/Rodriguez's 7.5, and Tejada/Mora's 5.2) have helped the offense score 5.31 runs per game (2nd-best in the NL) via a .269 EqA (third best in the league). The staff, despite Omar Minaya's indefensible infatuation with Lima Time, is second in the NL in Runs Allowed (4.54 per game) and features a retooled bullpen with five pitchers among the NL's top 30 in WXRL, headed by offseason acquisitions Billy Wagner (third at 2.784) and Duaner Sanchez (sixth at 2.506). Is it too early to call them pennant favorites?

    It should be noted that they are one of two NL teams in the top twelve.

  • From Ossy in the comments from last night:

    the star ledger had a cover page story on young baseball stars. they were:

    C: mauer
    1b: pujols
    2b: utley
    3b: wright
    ss: reyes
    lf: Bay
    cf: sizemore
    rf: matt holliday
    SP: kazmir

    four of them were in our system at one point. for years we heard about the mets having a crappy farm system but that says alot considering the good secondary players we got up now and coming soon

    Impressive stuff. Of course you cannot go back in time, but it is fun to think about what could have been if the Mets held on to all four of them. Throw in Milledge, Pelfrey, Humber, and F-Mart and the Mets would have been naaaaaaasty for a long time. Now they will just have to settle for being nasty with one 'a' for a long time.

  • Wednesday, July 12, 2006


    David Wright and Carlos Beltran were impressive in the All-Star game and watching Wright go deep on his first at-bat and Beltran steal third only to score on a wild pitch warmed my cockles. If fans around the league didn't believe the Mets were for real, they do now because of how the team was represented and they still missed Reyes. Last night's game was also one of the best pitched ones I've ever seen (or maybe worst offensive displays). There may be a lot of mediocrity in this league when it comes to pitching and not much in between the large group of mediocre pitchers and the small group of elite pitchers, but the good ones are just sick. Just think of the arms that did not get into the game on the American League side of things in Francisco Liriano and Jon Papelbon.

    Wright and Beltran looked like they were going to control the game and power the National League to victory which would have been fitting since they will make it to the World Series, but Trevor Hoffman's blown save in the ninth was the final nail in the coffin. Homefield advantage goes to the American League again. Not much you can do about that I do not have a good suggestion of how they should actually determine homefield in the World Series, but it should not be decided on the All-Star game winner. The previous method of switching the homefield advantage from league to league every year was OK and simply choosing whomever has the best record to have homefield has it's flaws, but either one of those seems better than what is currently in place.

    Joe Sheehan had some interesting observations in his All-Star Game Diary, but one was particularly interesting.

    One last Ozzie note: he used two of his manager's selections on Mark Buehrle and Bobby Jenks, then didn't put either into the game, while at the same time using the best pitcher on a division rival who started and went seven on Sunday.

    I'm just saying.

    After all of that, he just wanted to make some of his players All-Stars just so they can say they were All-Stars and not because he was going to use them. Just really, really weird. The homefield advantage is a minor gripe compared to the manager getting to fill in the roster with players from his own team. Seeing the endless line of White Sox on the team was plain ridiculous. The sooner they figure out that this just does not work, the sooner the All-Star game will be slightly better.

    * * *

  • One of the biggest Olympic flops is going to try his hand at baseball.

    Miller has signed a one-game contract to play for the Nashua Pride of the independent CanAm League, ESPN reported on Monday.

    I guess he's not so bad after all.

  • Looks like Ted Robinson had a new gig.

    For two years, I watched, frequently in frustration, as Reyes swung wildly, and barely brushed the .300 on-base percentage mark.

    Last year, a new hitting coach arrived. Rick Down told Reyes he had one responsibility: swing at strikes. Don't worry about walks, ignore on-base percentage, and forget about being another Rickey Henderson.

    Now, Reyes is the National League's All-Star shortstop, leading the league in runs scored (still the essential number in the game), and stolen bases, and second in hits.

    And, in one way, he has become the next Rickey Henderson. Once on base, he is the most disruptive force in baseball. And no one knows or should care about his OBP.

    Well said.

  • What horrible parents.

  • Words not necessary.

  • I truly hate this argument.

    In 462 at-bats in the postseason, Jeter has a .307 average. Reyes has no such experience. None.

    The gap between A-Rod and Wright is just as telling. The Yankees third baseman has a .305 average over 118 at-bats in the postseason. Wright may have won the New York war in the All-Star Game, but he's still waiting to make his first plate appearance in October.

    Big whoop. They have not had a chance to be there and do it. Jeter is otherworldly in terms of his clutch ability so will Reyes get there? Probably not. As for Wright vs. A-Rod, what has A-Rod done in the post-season? If you are actually talking about winning not just today and tomorrow, but long enough for a modern-day dynasty like Klapisch's original question, you go with Wright and Reyes. It's a no brainer.

  • Scott Kazmir certainly looked like baseball's elite yesterday and apparently Alex Rodriguez called him one of the top five pitchers in the league. When he hits free agency, you know the Yankees are going to be big players for him. If he lands there, I might go crazy.

  • Update:

    Alex Rodriguez, wearing white shoes in tribute to his mid-'80s Mets heroes, went 0-for-2 and dribbled a ball on defense.

    First, how do you dribble a ball on defense? I've heard of bobbling, but not dribbling.

    Second, I had no idea that is the reason he wore those silly shoes. Did the mid-80's Mets wear white shoes or something? I'm missing how it shoes tribute to them. Does ugly shoes = the NY Mets? If that's the case, I see tons of people showing tribute to them daily. If someone can shed light on this, please do.

    Tuesday, July 11, 2006

    Fun With Money

    Fun with Forbes baseball team valuations...

    The last year either New York baseball team turned a profit was 2003 and the last year the Mets turned a profit was 2002. Anyone calling Wilpon cheap can stop. Although, with roughly the same payroll this season, the launch of their new channel, a higher attendance, and a probable trip the playoffs, the Mets might actually turn a profit this year.

    Mets Operating Income
    Total   Year
    -$16.1 2005
    -$11.2 2004
    -$19.3 2003
    $11.6 2002
    $16.84 2001
    $21.3 2000
    Yankees Operating Income
    Total   Year
    -$50.0 2005
    -$37.1 2004
    $26.30 2003
    $16.10 2002
    $18.69 2001
    $21.9 2000
    Predictably, the Yankees were by far the biggest earners over the past three seasons and no one else is even close. The Mets were one of six teams to top $500 million. I was aware that the Mariners was the most profitable team since 2000, but I did not know that they brought in comparable revenue with the New York Mets. Of course the Mets have a much higher earning potential when they are playing good, but still interesting to note how close they were over the past three seasons.
    Team             '03 to '05 Revnue
    New York Yankees $779
    Boston Red Sox $597
    New York Mets $533
    Seattle Mariners $521
    Los Angeles Dodgers $509
    Chicago Cubs $505
    Atlanta Braves $490
    San Francisco Giants $483
    Philadelphia Phillies $458
    Houston Astros $456
    Arte Moreno purchased the Angels in 2003 has seen his team's value increase an incredible 53%. The Mets were impressive movers as they jumped nearly 40% as the Yankees increased 23% in team value which is impressive because they were already worth $834 million and they are the first baseball team franchise to top $1 billion in value. However, the biggest suprise was the Blue Jays increasing their team value an astonishing 69%. Of course, when your team is worth $169 million, there is a lot of playroom. No team decreased in value and only the Atlanta Braves, Seattle Mariners, and Colorado Rockies failed to increase in value at least 10%. Overall, Major League teams increased by a 27% average in team value since from 2003 to 2005.
    Team                 % Change
    Toronto Blue Jays 69%
    Anaheim Angels 53%
    Philadelphia Phillies 51%
    Washington Nationals 42%
    Kansas City Royals 40%
    Tampa Bay Devil Rays 38%
    New York Mets 37%
    St Louis Cardinals 37%
    Milwaukee Brewers 35%
    San Diego Padres 34%
    Since 2000, big league clubs are sitting at $653,260,000 in positive income for an average of $3,629,222 per team per team each year. The biggest earners over that period were not teams that are considered the big market teams, but mid-market teams.
    Team             '00 - '05 Operating Income
    Seattle Mariners $86.53
    Baltimore Orioles $84.76
    San Francisco Giants $77.94
    Cleveland Indians $72.78
    Atlanta Braves $69.35
    Cincinnati Reds $68.27
    Houston Astros $65.57
    Milwaukee Brewers $62.75
    Chicago White Sox $62.30
    Oakland Athletics $61.20
    The bottom ten has mostly big spenders with a sprinkling of poorly run teams.
    Team             '00 - '05 Operating Income
    Montreal Expos - $3.00
    Toronto Blue Jays - $9.90
    Florida Marlins -$12.75
    St Louis Cardinals -$17.20
    Texas Rangers -$22.96
    Boston Red Sox -$39.21
    Anaheim Angels -$44.98
    Arizona Diamondbacks -$46.11
    New York Yankees -$56.71
    Los Angeles Dodgers -$85.08
    Good 'ole Fred has kept his team the closest to breaking even without losing money with a total of $3,140,000 saved up for a rainy day. Overall, baseball owners have enjoyed a lot of success lately. For the most part, they are putting their money back into their teams which is precisely what the players want and what the fans want since it should in theory translate to a better product on the field. The state of baseball is a very good one right now with the league enjoying a lot of popularity and plenty of fans are coming to the parks to watch games.

    * * *

  • They both had a total of 18 homers in the first two rounds to make it the finals, but David Wright was edged out by one homerun off the bat of Ryan Howard as Howard took the homerun derby."I was unconscious in the beginning," Wright said. "Then we had the break, and I cooled off. I was brought back down to earth. I wish I would've had all my 30 outs in that first round. I might still be hitting."

    Wright had 16 after the first round but ran out of gas after that and only hit six more in the next two rounds. Sugar Pants didn't win, but did us all proud and maybe not winning is the best he could have done for the Mets and Met fans.

  • Chat Wrap stuff...

    Richard, Tampa FL: Robert, who's your NL mvp right now?

    Buster Olney: Richard: Only my parents can call me that name (just kidding). Pujols, with Wright a close second.

    Not enough???

    Brien Fletcher(Carle Place,NY): Do you think david wright has a chance at the NL MVP

    Gary Gillette: Yes, an excellent chance with the Mets playing so well. He will have strong competition from Pujols, Berkman, possibly Garciaparra, maybe teammate Beltran, outside chance of Rolen. But I think he would win if the votes were cast now.

  • This just somehow pours more salt in my deep wounds.

    Following Sunday's game against the Yankees, shortstop Alex Rodriguez asked the Devil Rays ace if he wanted to travel to Pittsburgh along with him and Mariano Rivera aboard the slugger's private jet.

  • Miguel Cabrera is apparently no David Wright.

    Olsen was seen shouting at Cabrera as they came off the field before Cabrera reached past teammates in the dugout to poke Olsen in the head with a finger. Olsen attempted to jab back before Cabrera slapped at him with his right hand.

    Cameras then caught Cabrera blowing a bubble with his chewing gum while being spoken to by manager Joe Girardi.

    Cabrera irked his teammates last season for his lack of maturity and poor work ethic. He was suspended for one game in September for arriving late for a game and said of the veterans, they "better not come tell me anything."

    For all the flack that Lastings Milledge has caught, he has at least exhibited respect and willingness to learn.

    Just another side note about his size, did anyone see the homerun derby and the clips of Cabrera during his rookie year? He looks like a different person in such a short time. I maintain my assertion that he may look Mo Vaughn-esque in a few years.

  • Carlos Gomez makes is first appearance of 2006 on the Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet.

    Carlos Gomez, of, Mets (Double-A Binghamton): Since returning from an injury in mid-June, Gomez is hitting .321 and is 14-for-32 in July in what is the best offensive run of his career. Plate discipline is still a problem though as he has 58-13 strikeout-walk ratio in 245 at-bats.

    Anderson Hernandez? Not-so-hot.

    Anderson Hernandez, ss/2b, Mets (Triple-A Norfolk)
    Hernandez was Wally Pipped in New York by Jose Valentin and it has only gotten worse in Norfolk. No Met did more to improve their prospect status in 2005, but he is hitting .246 for Norfolk on the season and is 6-for-34 in July with 10 strikeouts and zero walks.

    In theory you were nice, but you never fooled me.

  • Here are some highlights of Baseball Prospectus' This Week in Quotes.

    "If he hits .400, I’ll buy him a car."
    --Twins outfielder Torii Hunter, on what he'll do if teammate Joe Mauer hits .400 (Kansas City Star)

    "A Hyundai."
    --Hunter, when asked what kind of car

    "David [Wright] should get Jose [Lima] to throw to him. He'd win for sure."
    --An unnamed Met, on how teammate David Wright may win the Home Run Derby (MLB.com)

    It's easy to feel bad for Lima after that quote, but sometimes the truth hurts. He doesn't recognize he is done, but I guess the Mets are enablers. They took a shot (twice) and it didn't work.

  • Mike Carp went 3 for 4 with two doubles, a walk, and three RBIs while driving in each run for St. Lucie in their loss to Jupiter.

    Brooklyn has recovered after a horrendous start and beat State College yesterday 5-4. New draftee and uber sider armer Joe Smith picked up his third save after striking out the side in the ninth while not allowing a baserunner.

    2006 third round pick John Holdzkom threw two scoreless innings for the GCL Mets in their loss to the GCL Marlins and has a 13.50 ERA in eight innings.

  • Monday, July 10, 2006

    I don't believe in God.....

    ....but I believe in David Wright.

    Yesterday's game was probably played in some of the best weather that I've ever had while going to a game. Not too hot and enough clouds to not have the sun beat down on you. Two guys in Tom Glavine and Xavier Nady were pitching in to help my fantasy team. Life was great. Then the Mets fell behind. Even though they fell behind, I just felt there was no way they were going to lose. They kind of kicked the ball around and played some ugly ball at times, but it just too nice of a day. The weather was perfect and the D-Rays were fighting back against the Yankees, how could my team lose?

    Of course, they didn't. David Wright put the Mets up for good with a three run homerun and it is so hard to keep in mind that he is just 23 years old. He is putting up a .316/.386/.575 line and is on pace for 109 runs scored, 40 doubles, 37 homers, 136 RBIs, 20 stolen bases, and 71 walks. Wright has gotten so good, so fast that it is just ridiculous in what we have come to expect out of him. David is hitting .340/.413 /.571 with runners on, .358/.436/.558 with runners in scoring position, and .296/.364/.570 in close and late situations.

    I always thought Wright would hit with some pop, but more like 25-28 homers and touch 30 mostly because of where he played his home games. He has come out this year and shown that he has lot more power than a lot of people thought. He has more RBIs than any other Met in their relatively short history by the All-Star break. I truly think the Mets will lock him up long term after this season and that is the right thing to do. There is nothing this kid cannot do and every facet of his game is great. Obviously I don't need to tell anyone this because we all already know, but it's easy to forget sometimes how good he is at such a young age.

    * * *

  • Mike (me) likes Mike (Pelfrey). He is a guy who we were told that throws a certain speed and actually throws it. In the first inning he was tossing 96 and 97 (TV radar gun for what it's worth) and brings it. His slider was nice, but not great, and flashed an off speed pitch. He was a bit too wild, but you can certainly chalk it up to anxiousness. Is he quite ready now? Maybe not, but with the lead the Mets have, let him work on it up here. He might get jacked, but everyone does sometimes and Traschel has even gotten pretty much jacked in his six game win streak. He will have to work harder to succeed than just having to beat up on players he is more talented than on the farm and that is not necessarily a bad thing. While you cannot do this some people, Pelfrey's stuff certainly allows him to learn on the job. I think it really might benefit this team this year to try and bring him along fast.

    As for Henry Owens, he looks like a keeper. How he'll fit in with this team in 2006 is the big question, but it doesn't look like he'll have a space when Heath Bell is factored in. As for 2007, he better help shift Heilman to the rotation though I’d like it to be tried in 2006 since the Mets do have plenty of wiggle room, but people seem to think it is a bad idea. Francisco Liriano had to work up to normal pitch counts and innings after relieving for a while and since Heilman started in Winter Ball, it would stand to reason he would have less of a problem getting up to speed as opposed to a guy who has been solely relieving over the past five years.

  • Phil Humber got roughed up a bit, but I'm too busy being happy about him just pitching to even think twice about it. He'll come around soon enough and it is a good sign that he went six innings in just his fourth start back. Ex-Met prospect Grant Psomas went deep in each game of the Jupiter Hammerheads sweep of the St. Lucie Mets.

    Binghamton lost to the Trenton Thunder, but Ambiorix Concepcion went deep for his first homer in AA and Carlos Gomez continues his hot hitting with a 2 for 4 game as he raised his average to .249.

    Adam Loewen beat the Tides as Lastings Milledge went 2 for 4 with two doubles and three RBIs and Anderson Hernandez continues to struggle with an 0 for 4 night with three strikeouts as while his average dipped to .249.

  • The New York Mets are the only National League team to get an A at the mid-season point by Dayn Perry.

    Despite upheaval and inadequacy at the back of the rotation, the Mets have all but locked up the NL East. They've already used 10 different starting pitchers this season, but when your offense is slugging .467 away from pitcher-friendly Shea Stadium, it makes up for many a sin on the mound. Getting Pedro Martinez healthy again will be critical, but the Mets' lead is insurmountable at this point.

    Taking the division by the All-Star break? Not too shabby.

  • Not to be outdone by the Yankees signing Jesus Montero, the Mets inked Francisco Pena for $750,000.

    "The kid is a good defensive catcher, but it is his bat what will take him far in baseball. We could say that he is a combination of Tony Pena's defense and Mike Piazza's bat," said Leo Mercedes, who runs the young player's career.

    "I feel embarrassed to talk about my own son, but I think Francisco has a natural talent for batting, and as a catcher I can say that right now he has a better arm than I had when I was 16," said Tony Pena, now a Yankees coach who won four Gold Gloves and played in five All-Star games during his 18-year major-league career.

    Whoa, whoa, whoa.....Those are some lofty expectations, but good to hear anyway and great to see Omar make it happen on the international front.

  • There was six....now there are three. Glavine has opted out of the All-Star game and with him throwing 100 pitches today, it was hard to see how he would make it.

  • There are only three starters who posted a 9.00 + K/9 in their sophomore season. Can anyone guess who is on track to be the fourth?

  • If you are not going to the Ask a Ninja website, you are missing out. You can find tons of his stuff on Youtube.com as well.

    Good times...

  • Veterans usually could care less about the minor leagues. If they have not done it, they don't expect them to do it. Even when Bonds was asked about Pujols early in his career while Bonds was on top, he basically said we'll see. Until anyone proves themselves on the biggest stage, vets really don't care and would rather have a proven commodity and go for it now. They could care less about four years from now, but Omar should as that is his job. That being said, Willis for Milledge should be done, done, and done. The Mets did learn their less with Kazmir for Zambrano and while I don't think they will be gun shy, they will certainly be smarter.

  • Jim Callis lists out the top 15 high school prospects over the last twenty years. There are a few interesting names on the list, but Josh Hamilton's is probably the most interesting because he has started his comeback trail yet again. ESPN had written a great article on him a few years back and I stole it back in 2004 and posted it. Scroll down and check it out if you have some time.

  • Matt Lindstrom was impressive in the Future's Game.

    Righthander Matt Lindstrom, 26, was the Mets' lone representative, but he did the organization proud as the oldest player on either club. The reliever picked up the save in the U.S. team's 8-5 win over the World team, retiring the side in order and showing a fastball that touched 100 mph on the radar gun.

    "I've never thrown in front of that many people," Lindstrom said. A former starter, he never threw with such velocity before this season, he said, crediting the Mets for switching him into the bullpen and shutting him down (with a stress fracture in his pitching elbow) last October.

  • Just because you are twelve games up, that does not mean there are not problems. Anyone that pointed out problems early in the year was chastised by a lot of other fans telling us to be happy and stop complaining, but there were glaring problems. While this team is good, the problems are still there. No one doubts this team's ability to get to the playoffs. Their trip is just about guaranteed, but they are a four game sweep candidate in the World Series.

  • Here is a Mike Cameron fluff piece.