Age Before Beauty
There are plenty of GMs who will go down with the ship and get fired before they trust youth over grizzled veterans. I do not think Omar is one of those guys, but him and Willie have certainly showed a propensity to lean that way and hedge their bets in Spring Training with the veterans. A lot of it is confidence (or lack there of) in the young guys and a lot of it is that the team does not want to lose the veteran while the young kid can be put in AAA while waiting for his chance should the aforementioned vet falter. As of this point in time, I'm extremely excited with Mike Pelfrey.
While it would be incorrect to say I soured on him last year, I certainly was not has enamored as I was before I saw him. His weak secondary stuff made me less excited since I thought he was too old and too high of a prospect to be having these issues. Everything I've read about him this off-season and his first action of the spring has renewed my desire to see him in the bigs sooner rather than later. A guy who consistently brings it 95 mph would be tremendous to see and it would be about time the Mets had a successful starting pitcher come up through the ranks.
Realistically, the Mets will not implicitly trust Pelfrey until he proves himself at the big league level. Chan Ho Park will not get tossed aside for Pelfrey because he would be gone and the Mets depth would be altered dramatically should Pelfrey falter. He would have to put up an epic performance this spring to change his fate, but you have to wonder what the right move should be. At this point, I think Mike Pelfrey has the chance to be the Justin Verlander of '07. It would not surprise me to see Pelfrey be the ace until Pedro returns if given the chance.
I do think Park could be effective, but his upside at this point in his career is dwarfed by Pelfrey's. With the Mets pitching being a bit suspect and the fact that this division could come down to a game or two, the Mets can ill afford to waste a start. The best pitcher should win out and if Pelfrey is clearly the best pitcher, they cannot toss him aside in favor of not wanting to lose Chan Ho. While it would not be an easy decision and would represent some risk, it could pay off big dividends in the long run. Hopefully the best man wins.
Oliver Perez pitched effectively against Cleveland, allowing one run on two hits in three innings. "I felt better keeping the ball down today," he said. "I felt pretty good." Perez struck out three and did not walk a batter.
That is what it is about. Working on specifics. Forget the outs, throw strikes, work on keeping the ball down, and repeat your delivery. If you get hit, big deal. Spring Training numbers do not count.
"I know I'm constantly thinking about being better," he said when asked how his intelligence might transfer to the pitching mound. "Sometimes that can be considered a fault, if you overdo it, but I think the more you know about what you do can only helps you get better. Our coaches at Rice were always getting us to think about playing on a higher level."
"I'm not sure where I'm going to hit David this year," Randolph said cautiously. "I'll make my decision based on a number of things: who's pitching against us, whether we need more speed at the top of the lineup, whether we need that left-right look, which is actually overrated. And sometimes it's just on my feeling, my instinct."
Enough of your gut. While I'm not against Wright hitting second at times with Alou batting fifth on those days, I draw one bright spot here. Willie actually seems like he will move people around in the lineup depending on the day. He really annoyed me when he would sit a starter and bat a bench player in their spot instead of moving everyone up a spot like it would have long term ill affect on them. Willie is certainly a curious one, but he still seems to struggle a bit too much on easy things for me. He has a ways to go, but he is showing some progress.