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

Monday, February 26, 2007

No Love

Lastings Milledge went from golden boy to enigmatic, overly brash outfielder before he even took a swing at the big league level. The Mets spent the winter trying to deal him, but his stock dropped a bit and that contributed to them not being able to extract proper value for him. Now? The Mets lack of faith in him continues.

Martinez is as talented as he is young. But fellow outfielder Carlos Gomez is more advanced and likely to reach the big leagues sooner, maybe even by the end of the 2007, but certainly by the end of the 2008 season.

The club's whispered fantasy is to have Martinez (probably in left) and Gomez flanking Carlos Beltran when the new ballpark, Citi Field, opens in 2009.

Not only does Lastings have to silence the critics in the media (which could be seemingly impossible with the NY media), but he has to silence the people in his own organization who have lost faith in him.

"This team is going to be it for the next decade. I want to be here for that, for the dynasty we're building and the new stadium. I want to be on the best team, on the Mets in New York. That's why I'm glad I'm here." -- Milledge, on his place with the Mets and his inclusion in so many trade rumors and reports

Milledge showed up to camp with some extra muscle and a new attitude. Throw on top of that Milledge flashing some of his tools that made and still make a lot of scouts drool. The character around the clubhouse is a direct result of the players that Omar Minaya brought in and those players will have a big effect on Milledge. Lastings might not have a big chance at making this team out of Spring Training. In fact, I do not think he has much of a chance even if he tears it up and Green sucks. However, Lastings might end up making it an extremely hard decision for Omar to not bring him north once the dust settles.

* * *

  • Behold...the anit-Coop.

    Am I the only person who thinks the Mets made a mistake by not resigning Steve Trachsel? El Duque is already hurting in 2007. It amazes me how much people love Oliver Perez and his 6.00-plus ERA. He would have been a goat in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series if not for one of the greatest catches in the history of baseball by Endy Chavez. And people want Perez in the rotation. Yet people point out Tracshel's 4.97 ERA as being bad. I see him as a guy who will start 30 games and be a consistent starter.
    -- Billy M., Tallahassee, Fla.

    I can't shoot many holes in what you say. But Perez clearly has a higher ceiling than Trachsel, and the last month of Trachsel's time with the Mets -- his absence from late regular-season games and his performance in the postseason pretty much ushered him out of New York. The Mets won 20 of his 30 starts. If Perez makes 30 starts -- i.e., if he pitches well enough to be part of the rotation for the entire season -- the Mets will be delighted.

    I wonder if Billy M. had a straight face on when he wrote that question.

  • I like Mulvey as a prospect, but I am still extremely curious as to why he put up such mediocre numbers while playing for such bastion of college baseball in Villanova. Regardless, he is drawing some high praises in camp.

    Mulvey, who is from Parlin, N.J., and played at Villanova, throws a fastball, curve, changeup and slider. He's hit 96 mph on the radar gun and can throw between 92 and 94 on a regular basis, said Rick Waits, the Mets' Minor League pitching coordinator.

    "Usually a young pitcher might have command of one or two of his pitches," Waits said. "But Kevin has four solid pitches he can throw for strikes. It's a rare pitcher you can say that about."

  • John Donovan echoes the sentiment that the Mets are heavily counting on John Maine and Oliver Perez to step up and help carry this rotation.

    As much promise as the two pitchers may hold, they both have well-defined shortcomings. Maine's off-speed repertoire is sorely short-handed, which is bound to hurt him if he doesn't perfect the changeup that he's been working on this spring. And though everybody loves Perez's stuff, his control is a huge issue.

    The baseball world is not buying into the idea that these two are going to pan out, but I have faith. Maybe it's blind faith, but I still have faith.

  • This is why I love Rick Peterson. I used to doubt him, but I have the utmost confidence in him to guide the Mets young arms and get Oliver Perez back on track and get Mike Pelfrey to be 2007's Justin Verlander.

    "If someone says to you, 'I'm lost,' what would be the first thing that you would respond?" Peterson, the Mets' pitching coach, asked. "Where do you want to go? It's a logical question. Can you show me your map? [Perez said] 'I don't have one.' No wonder you're lost."

    It is really scary what the Pirates managed to do to him.

    "I'm back," Perez said. "I'm happy. The last few games I was feeling really good. I know that's me. After the season I was trying to continue to learn and understand about what happened last year. Now that feels like a long time ago. The Mets believed in me. I understand I can do this. That's why I'm here."

    As for Pelfrey, he reminds me a lot of Verlander. A guy that didn't have all that much time in the minors and got a bit roughed up in limited exposure to the bigs in his first pro season. Pelfrey's fastball can certainly set him up for success in '07 at the big league level.

    How fast he grasps command of that pitch will dictate when he comes to the majors. Why get rid of the curveball?

    "When you make adjustments with pitch selection with pitchers, it's based on making an off-speed pitch that matches the strength of your fastball," Peterson explained.

    "So if you got a power sinker, that's going at this angle," Peterson said, making a left to right cutting motion with his right hand, "the best thing that you can do is have a pitch that goes softer in the opposite angle."

    How does Peterson get this point across to pitchers like Pelfrey?

    "I use this analogy," he said. "I ask them, 'Do you like vanilla ice cream?'


    'Do you like ketchup?'


    'Do you like ketchup on your vanilla ice cream?'

    'Not a good mix.' "

    Swellicious. One thing about being a good teacher is being able to get people to understand what you are talking about. I'm not specifically referring to Peterson's little analogies when I say this, but Peterson seemingly has the ability to get pitchers that have the desire listen and learn to do the right things to make them better.

    "You look at these Fortune 500 companies," Peterson said, "and they come out with new products, and people go, 'It's so simple. Why didn't I think of that?' And the reason is, you didn't have that vision.

    "You only see it after someone showed it to you. It's not really telling them what to see, but where to look. So they can see it in their own way."

  • It's go time...game #1 is today. Spring Training is boring and can drag on at times, but these games need to happen before th regular season can start so bring it on.

  • Bada...RE: your comments from the other day. I think we all agree that the Mets rotation is not ideal. Zito or Daisuke would have been spectacular. A trade for Haren would have been great too. But the Mets were not able to execute on those plans, but not for a lack of trying. However, this team does not need to be carried by their starting rotation. This team is well rounded and you have to look at their rotation last year and digest the fact that there were 12 starts made between Zambrano, Gonzalez, and Lima with another 30 by Traschel. If Pedro can return in time to make ten starts to warm up for the playoffs and be Pedro (yes, that is a sizable if), I have reason to believe this rotation will be better than last year's version. Things could fall apart, but that can happen with any team. The upside is here for the Mets and there is the possibility that Maine is a mid-rotation guy that can be depended on, Oliver Perez starting to figure things out in his last few starts, Mike Pelfrey finally found a pitch to compliment his immensely special fastball, and that the doctors patched up Pedro's arm. That sounds like a lot to go right, but I didn't say anything that was that much of a leap of faith. The arms are there. Things could fall apart, but the talent is there.



    Blogger Itsmetsforme said...

    I heart Lastings, always have.
    I suspect Omar hearts LM too.

    I'd rather watch Opie fail than Trashy suceed. There. I said it.

    Wasn't Mulvey a Seinfeld punchline?

    As my Brazillian friend used to say, [rick peterson] "he speak so bullshit."

    1:36 AM

    Anonymous benny said...

    I love Carlos Gomez but I love Lastings Milledge more. I have faith in Gomez him but... he still has a higher chance of failing than the other 2 outfield prospects.
    I'd deal Gomez and keep Milledge.

    Is Billy M. from Tallahassee a fucking idiot? And if Rolen hits the homerun can you really blame and get mad at Oliver Perez for pitching 7 innings of 2 run ball? Billy M. should go to the corner and think about what he just said.

    The ffseason wa sa dissapointment, no doubt. But with Dice-K, there was nothing Omar could have done.
    With Zito I don't blame Omar for not signing him, he'd "hamstring" the Mets in the future for not being dominant. And with Harden/Haren, who knows if those rumors were even true?

    Also guys, I have decided for a date for the draft. It's going to be on Sunday, March 11 at 7:45pm EST. I figured a Sunday would be good because everyone's pretty much home on Sundays at night. No one really goes out, just home because of school/work early the next day.

    7:22 AM

    Blogger Kenny said...

    Billy M from Tallahassee? Where are the Orioles having spring training? That's gotta be Steve.

    I was waiting to hear about 15 wins.

    8:55 AM

    Anonymous sidd finch said...

    Opie pitched great in game 7. I'm with you, Benny, 2 runs would have been great in game 7. Don't forget, there was a trip to the mound just before Rolen smacked that ball. Willie dodged a bullet on that one.

    I hope Lastings makes it tough to send him to AAA, it sounds like he has done a lot of soul searching, and let's hope that has a big impact.

    9:27 AM

    Blogger Kenny said...

    Yahoo sports has a very solid article up on Lastings today.

    9:49 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Opie failing is much better than Traschel succeeding. But Opie failing short of expectations could provide better results than Traschel meeting expectations at this point.

    Mulvey was not, Mulva was however in the episode he was trying to remember his girlfriends name, which rhymed with a female bodypart.

    Rick Peterson speaks the truth. ‘Nuff said.

    I agree that Gomez has the biggest probability of not reaching his potential. It would not kill him to redo Binghamton and it would not surprise me to see F-Mar pass him.

    Benny, for the draft, you picked the worst day for me. I might be in Vermont. We’ll have to talk about this one. The following weekend would be immensely better. Give me a day or so to confirm that 100%.

    15 wins! 15 wins! I loved when Steve came out with his conspiracy theories about why a 15 game winner remained unsigned for so long.

    10:25 AM

    Blogger bmc said...

    People can say what they want about the Mets' rotation.

    At least they're not starting Braden Looper.

    11:00 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    At least they're not starting Braden Looper.

    I continually forget that Looper is actually starting. If that is not the storyline of the year, I do not know what is. The Mets have about seven people that will/could be more effective than Looper.

    11:14 AM

    Anonymous Danny said...

    A lot would have to go right for the Mets to have an above average rotation. But they didn't have an above average rotation last year. They didn't even have an average rotation last year. It was below average last year. Check out the starters' stats in relation to the other NL teams.

    As long as the bullpen stays dominant and the offense productive, if the Mets can piece together a slightly below average rotation like they did last year, they will win 90+ games. It's as simple as that.

    If the young guys blossom, the Mets will dominate the NL even more then they did last year.

    If the bullpen and offense regress a little, that will put the Mets into serious trouble.

    12:54 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I think you summed that up well Danny. The Mets do not need to rely on their rotation like other teams do. It may haunt them in the playoffs if they don't have Pedro and Glavine, but that is impossible to predict at this point.

    3:31 PM

    Blogger Coop said...

    Geez, I'm a cult hero (or heroine, in my case). Thanks for the shout-out Mike -- it's funny, cause the writer agreed with me. Although -- I don't think I would have entirely HATED trash-ball coming back....

    Nahhhhhh, I'm just messin with ya

    Soul Glo Peterson reminds me of the Kevin Nealon character in Happy Gilmore -- I can just see him going up to the mound and saying -- feel the flow...it's circular. The ball belongs in Paul's glove. Paul's glove is the ball's home. Bring the ball home.

    I'm also surprised at Benny and ItMetsForMe -- Stings? You guys are my heroes. I have said it so many times, but I was at a game last year that I felt *this* is the Stings we all know about. He was the **star** of the game and drove in a couple of runs, got on base a bunch of times.

    Oh and Benny - I don't believe ANY rumors involving Mets and A's anymore. There was some article yesterday calling Beane and Omar the masters of moneyball. Or some shit. I think they think a lot alike, so it's easy to make these trade rumors up.

    I also saw Pelf pitch live last year. Dude is filthy. He can be a Verlander, at worst a Robertson. Which is not bad AT ALL.

    Lastly, I agree with what Danny says. I mean, we all have to agree that the Mets CANNOT coast next year -- they need to hit the ground running -- and beat the piss out of the Philthies in the first home series.

    9:07 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    Coop, you shouldn't be surprised by my love for Lastings Milledge. I've been following him since the day he got drafted.
    I remember going home after school and me and my friend running to the computer to check out the draft and seeing the Mets draftedMilledge. I've heard his name mentioned before and on draft day we researched him and saw video so we got REAL excited. So I'll always be biased towards him, I've always liked him. It's like when scouts fall in love with the guys they've "discovered" only I didn't discover anything more like... I dunno, something.

    11:15 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    The Kevin Nealon comp is spot on. Really funny stuff and Soul Glo’s quote from today (or yesterday) on Burgos was so classic. It was his analogy about the car with the brake one.

    ‘Stings is a solid player. I still think he can turn into a Sheffield-type hitter with less power. I’m seeing about 20 to 25 on the high end a year for him and I can see him dropping some pretty high batting averages in there. A few years of .330+.

    Pelfrey will be better than Roberston…so will Humber for that matter. Good times.

    3:51 PM

    Blogger Itsmetsforme said...

    ladies and gentleman, i have a feeling the mlb directv deal will be announced soon, and i just want to share my profound sadness. I know everyone here isn't affected, but. It just sucks.

    i double posted this because im sad.

    But i still love Lastings, mostly because with Jose Reyes and David Wright, he makes up 1/3 of a super crime fighting team. 3 young stars. 3 totally different personalities. flashy, goofy, and um, whitey? What were those Highlights for children characters? David Wright is Galant, Milledge is Goofus. I got room in my heart for all.

    12:34 AM

    Blogger roba. gad3 said...

    Very nice post. I definitely appreciate this site. Stick with it!

    4:20 PM


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