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

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Smackdown

So how does the pitching situation look nowadays? Not so bad. Sure there are concerns with the two primary set-up men for the Mets, but the bullpen has enough arms that I'm confident something will fall into place. However, the big concern for the Mets (according to the entire world outside of the Mets organization) was their rotation and everything seems to be coming together.

Here's our read on the current state of the NL East: The Phillies are much more worried about their bullpen than the Mets are about their rotation. The Mets seem to have very few concerns about Mike Pelfrey or John Maine, and they'll take their chances on Oliver Perez. And Omar Minaya isn't second-guessing his lack of free-agent activity at all. "Our young pitchers at least have upside," Minaya says. "I don't know that the guys that were out there in the free-agent marketplace, aside from [Barry] Zito and [Daisuke] Matsuzaka, had upside."

While the naysayers will still whine about spring numbers this and spring numbers that, is it really that hard to envision that a 25 year old who used to be a highly touted prospect that put up a 1.13 whip, .212 BAA, and 3.60 ERA in his first full season will keep it going and {gasp}....get better? Is it hard to imagine that an elite prospect who already has one of the best pure fastballs in the league has found a handle on his secondary stuff? Is it hard to imagine that a guy that was entrenched in a poorly run franchise that screwed him up is now on the right track with a tightly run franchise?

No, no, and no. It's not that hard to see those things happening and it is not really something that needs the stars to align for that happen. These guys were not no names coming into the year. With Pelfrey, it wasn't a question of if, but when. That time seems to be now. With Maine, you just had to watch him last year to see that Omar stole him from the Orioles. He is not an ace, but has legit big league stuff. As for Perez, he was the biggest wildcard. He will still have his inconsistent moments, but his continual steps forward are enough to make a grown man shed a tear.

The fact of the matter is, Omar saw the talent that was out there. He set his pecking order and it just so happens that all his in house guys were right below the only two impact free agents on the market. First and foremost he is a talent evaluator and he seems to have a pretty good handle on that. Come mid season, people will be lauding him once again. The scary part is that he has been so right so far in his short tenure, he is due to be wrong in a big way one of these days....right?

* * *

  • Oliver Perez keeps up the solid pitching performances giving us all hope that the kid is back on track. Six innings of five hit, one run ball is amazing. But the best part of the night?

    Jose Reyes scored four runs on three singles and a walk, with three stolen bases.

    This kid is so ridiculously good it is scary.

  • We all know how Met fans chant "Yankees suck" arbitrarily at games that do not involve the Yankees. Lots of Met fans would get pissed because it makes the general populous look stupid since there was no relevance being the Yankees weren't even playing. Yankee fans would say that it's because Met fans are so consumed with the Yankees. It could also be that some douchebag was wearing a Yankee shirt. Who knows...it's a world of possibilities. Now? Well now it seems the Yankee fans are getting in on it.

    In the bottom of the third last night, when David Wright came up, there was a chant of "A-Rod's bet-ter!"

    Looks like some fans are getting a bit too consumed with the awesomeness that is the New York Mets. Believe it bitches.

  • Daisuke? Legit as fuck.

    After watching Daisuke Matsuzaka pitch for the first time Wednesday, I couldn't tell you for sure that this guy is about to win 20 games, a Cy Young or possibly a Nobel Peace Prize.

    But I can tell you this:

    We've never had any foreign-born player come here with the ability to generate this much intrigue and this much fun.

    I mean, you would think, after watching this guy pitch 5 2/3 one-hit innings Wednesday, from a vantage point no more than 75 feet from home plate, I could at least tell you how many different pitches he threw -- and, theoretically, what they were.

    Nope. Sorry. I'm still not sure. But at least I wasn't the only one. I had scouts tell me they thought they saw four -- fastball, curve, slider, changeup.

    I had a member of the Japanese media tell me it's more like seven -- four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, curve, slider, change, splitter and the mysterious "shuto" pitch. Not to be confused with the even more mysterious (not to mention fictitious) gyroball.

    Normally, at times like this, you would just ask the hitters who had to face this man. Not in this case. In this case, they were even more confused than the eyewitnesses.


    Sure it was the Pirates, but he confused everyone. He only allowed a single and only three more balls left the infield. Imagine the press in New York if the Yankees Golden Child had done that? If I had to put money on one guy throwing a no-hitter this year, it would be Daisuke. The article just goes on and on and on and on about how ridiculous he was. As good as he will be on the Red Sox this year, it is scary to think what type of silly numbers he would put up in the NL. His stats might have looked like something out of a video game.

    Of course, the Yankee fans cannot handle it and have the following comments:

    robcho (3/21/2007 at 11:20 PM)

    I had what I thought was a bacon-cheeseburger today for lunch but it didn't look like your normal bacon-cheeseburger. The bacon was glowing and the lettuce did not seem to be the right color. I opened it up and saw things that just didn't look right. It left me baffled. I was so hungry I had to eat it. I did. In the end, it was just another bacon-cheeseburger. Translation, this column was about as interesting and my bacon-cheeseburger. Please have ESPN make sure to cover the event when the Red Sox deliver him into Fenway Park on a helicopter too. What will ESPN write about when Dice-K goes around the league a 2nd time? Oh, it turns out he's the right-handed version of Zach Duke?

    No offense to anyone involved, but he threw well in a spring training game against a line-up of tomato cans from a perrenial doormat team. If he's this mystifying in Yankee Stadium in July, call me a believer.


    Let me start off by saying that first comment was an insanely horrible analogy. I mean, really horrible. Aside from that, you can point to the obvious that is was a bad team, it is spring, and no one has seen him repeatedly, but to deny the fact he is filthy is just silly. The above two are so out of touch they would probably rather have Philip Hughes. It is not the first time we are hearing about this guy and he does what good pitchers have to do to succeed. He keeps hitters off balance. If he keeps doing that, I don't see how you catch up to a guy who throws six or pitches and changes speed with the best of them. Daisuke is the real deal.

  • From the link in the main piece at the top:

    evan0238 (3/21/2007 at 8:55 PM)

    uhhh anyone noticing how the O's might be this years sleeper team. we have 2 potential aces in bedard and cabrera and Chris Ray at closer. plus we got up and comming superstar nick markakis!


    There are optimistic O's fans! Although, there certainly is a thin line between optimistic and delusional.
  • Labels:

    26 Comments:

    Anonymous bronx from benny da blanco said...

    "Our young pitchers at least have upside," Minaya says. "I don't know that the guys that were out there in the free-agent marketplace, aside from [Barry] Zito and [Daisuke] Matsuzaka, had upside."

    This is why I love Omar Minaya, the man is amazing. I love Omar because he makes me feel like I'm GM. Everytime he makes a move, its a movie that I would make if I were GM. There's nothing to complain about when it comes to his moves because if I criticize its as if I'm criticizing what I would do. He runs a franchise the way I would. It's all about impact players and acquiring them, leave the mediocrities to the losers. My prospects can put up mediocre production for much cheaper.

    He just shit on the Phillies rotation and its true. The Mets atleast have upside, and if they bomb well then the Met shave depth to put someone else in. And if they fail they'll make a trade. The Phillies don't have that luxory.

    Regarding the whole Yankee fans don't make anti Met chants at Yankee Stadium, its bullshit. I've heard some Mets Suck as well as Boston Sucks chants at Yankee Stadium in games that don't concern either of the two teams. Yankees vs Indians does not warrant a Mets Suck chant. So they're just as obssessed as the Met fans are, so fuck them and thier imaginary "integrity" they can kiss my ass, they're just as guilty. And I myself, I love those Yankee Sucks chants, I have no problem with them.

    Yankee fans at a Mets spring training game? Why?
    Also regarding Yankee fans and A-Rod I love how they shit on him ALL THE TIME, but get real defensive when you talk about trading him, specifically to the Mets. They start buggin' out. "Who's going to replace his .300 45 HR and 140 RBI production?" they say, the same production that causes them to boo, call up sports radio and complain because its not "clutch" enough, fucking douchebags.

    Dice-K is like El Duque with all those pitches and variations of them.
    Robcho, is a douchebag as well. He probably boo's A-Rod and then gets pissed off when there's talk of him signing with the Mets.

    Poor evan, nobody is noticing the Orioles. They don't deserve to be noticed.

    7:54 AM

     
    Anonymous JAKE said...

    YANKEES SUCK

    YANKEES SUCK

    YANKEES SUCK

    YANKEES SUCK

    8:07 AM

     
    Anonymous Danny said...

    Great as always Mike...

    Looks like some fans are getting a bit too consumed with the awesomeness that is the New York Mets. Believe it bitches.

    Ha, that is awesome. I personally hate the Yankees suck chants, just because I felt the fed the enormous ego of the Yankee fan. But hell, if they are doing the same shit, Yankees Suck chant away...

    If the Red Sox had not gone completely bananas with the Matsuzaka bid, we would have Dice-K and our rotation would be sick.

    we have 2 potential aces in bedard and cabrera and Chris Ray at closer. plus we got up and comming superstar nick markakis!

    I do like the 2 arms he references. Daniel Cabrera has phenomenal pure stuff, like phenomenal. I saw Cabrera 2-hit the Twins in person, where the Twins pulled one ball. Everything else was a strikeout or a meekly hit ball the other way. Of course, I think he walked 8 his next start. One scout called Bedard a "lefthanded Roy Halladay". Yeah...

    No, no, and no. It's not that hard to see those things happening and it is not really something that needs the stars to align for that happen. These guys were not no names coming into the year.

    Amen. It was a reasonable chance to take, and Omar trusts his scouting eye. This offseason, more than others, has caused me to place full trust in Omar. He could have overpaid for mediocrity but he didn't. He trusted himself and his internal evaluations and told everybody else to screw off. And now he will have the last laugh.

    9:14 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    "Our young pitchers at least have upside," Minaya says. "I don't know that the guys that were out there in the free-agent marketplace, aside from [Barry] Zito and [Daisuke] Matsuzaka, had upside."

    Benny, my fault here. He is awesome and I missed a great time to insert a ziiiiiiiing!!!. Completely dropped the ball on this one 110%.

    You hit the nail on the head. It’s the mediocre guys that you overpay that hamstring a franchise. It’s not the big ones that got away. It’s rare when you have to bite on one and I get the fact that sometimes you do, but it’s rare. Continued off-seasons of panicky moves will leave you in a big time lurch (see Mets 2001 through 2004).

    RE: Yankee fans @ Met spring games…didn’t they move to AZ? I think that’s why. They have nowhere to go, but beyond that, what Yankee fan likes A-Rod? That was the most confusing part.

    Dice-K is like El Duque with all those pitches and variations of them.

    Agreed on Daisuke being able to change speeds like it’s no one’s business. Zack Greinke is great on hitting every speed from 91 to 60. Daisuke can do it up to the mid 90’s and with more pitches. Dude is nasty.

    Jake, NICE.

    Danny, let it be none, I’ve never taken part. I don’t mind it. I personally don’t think it’s ever out of nowhere. I think it is a some douchebag Yankee fan 100% of the time instigating it. They could just be standing there, but they are instigating it. Once you hit double digits in age, you are n longer allowed to wear Yankee gear @ Shea and vice versa. It’s weak.

    The Red Sox (and the Mets for that matter) went bananas because they knew he was instantly an ace. Treat the initial cost as a sunk one and go for it. They both did…there is no way to fault what the Mets did.

    Cabrera will be my fantasy stud this year. I predict 1,000,000 idiotic trade proposals for him over the course of the year.

    9:24 AM

     
    Anonymous Bernard White currently residing in England said...

    Mike, you can have Cabrera and his inconsistant starts, I have Rich Harden. And unlike last year, the man is healthy. Harden is SOOO healthy its not even funny.
    Rich Harden a true blue, real deal ace, and I got him in the 7th round.
    Then got co-ace Erik Bedard in the 9th.
    Damn I'm good.

    And Zack Greinke is good, the man is talented as hell no doubt, too bad he's a tad bit crazy. I'm pulling for him to be the 5th starter instead of Bannister over in Royals camp.

    10:35 AM

     
    Anonymous jake said...

    correction, the chants sometimes do come out of nowhere, most often because of red sox fans. for example:

    two summers ago my buddy got married in wisconsin. it was a nice drunken raucous wedding like all of my friends have. everyone was cool except the DJ, who took his job too seriously. so when my buddy who likes the red sox stumbled up to the DJ and politely asked if he could borrow the microphone to start a FUCK THE YANKEES chant, the DJ almost punched him.

    i guess you had to be there. but trust me it was very funny.

    don't even talk about fantasy pitching unless your going to give my team props. but yeah, harden's sick, i took him high in my other draft.

    btw, you guys were mentioning some hot tv chick i'd never heard of. i don't watch tv shows, so may i humbly request we get a pic posted please.

    11:16 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Those were good late inning snags, but I'll take Oswalt and his sick changeup, Cabrera and his 10 k/9, and Glavine to anchor my staff.

    11:17 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Oh…FYI…I don’t care if Harden is going to light it up. I’ve been burned by him two seasons in a row and ESPECIALLY last year when I drafted him so early predicting a Cy Young year…been there…done that…enjoy.

    Hating the Yankees is on his mind while at a wedding? Nice. I’ve thought about baseball plenty of times whilst at weddings, but normally what the Mets are doing. You friend seems consumed. A bit too consumed perhaps.

    As for your fantasy team Jake, the word underwhelming does come to mind.

    Oh, that weather girl or something. I still haven’t check that one out.

    11:20 AM

     
    Anonymous Your 2006 Fantasy League Champion said...

    I'm not going to lie Mike, for a guy who had NO preperation whatsoever your team is looking pretty decent. MUCH better than last year my friend. But being decent doesn't win leagues.
    I went in there with a plan and executed the shit out of that plan.

    Jake, everytime I see that pitching staff its just... fucking unreal.

    11:45 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Plan? Who needs a plan. I take a page out of the Omar Minaya book of baseball and draft talent and character above all. The rest will fall into place baby.

    11:47 AM

     
    Anonymous seattle steve said...

    Our pitching and defense will be fine but my concern is timely hitting and creating runs, as a team we have to do a better job of giving oneself up for the good of the team ( redundant)anyway I finfd spring training boring and can't wait for the real season to start.

    1:02 PM

     
    Anonymous DG said...

    Biggest story you left out today - or at least the potentially biggest story - is Freddy Garcia being pulled out of a start yesterday with bicep stiffness. I've never been an enormous fan of Garcia, but being that he is essentially the only significant improvement that Phills have made to their lineup, his loss would be enormous.

    José Reyes was awesome last night; he looks like he's going to take it to the next level or two all at once. And Wright practiced hitting to right which must be real proof that he's getting ready for the season, but I must say, I really don't like the idea of him batting second.

    Ollie was good not great last night. He clearly did not have the electric stuff (imagine a TM sign there), but worked well with what he had. He looked better as he got momentum, which is always a good sign.

    John Sherman gets all philisophical today: Is OP an illusion? Does his potential success expiate the Kazmir mess? And was the Kazmir mess perhaps the best thing to have happened to the Mets?

    He starts out and I quote:

    Now here is something to keep in mind about this time in spring training: Veteran hitters are all trying to get out of Dodge alive. They have toughened up their hands, recalibrated their swings and honed their hitting eyes. So a good deal of the veteran hitters are thinking about not getting hurt, that is Goal No. 1 the rest of the way. The remainder of spring training is essentially pitching practice to build arms,...

    Well, yeah, partially, maybe, I'm not so sure. Watching Wright just working on going to right field, etc. I think if hitters just glided through the last few 10 days, they'd end up losing the accumulated timing and whatnot and start the season stale. This is the time of ST where you begin to face pitchers who are going to the show this year. You watch out for a wild pitcher like Kuo last night, who nearly took off Delgado's head, but these are arguably the most important days of the preseason, and not just for the players on the edge of the 25 man.

    I do agree that the Kazmir debacle allowed for a GM who wouldn't be interfered with on a decisional basis. That said, Perez & Zambrano don't make a good comparison. It's too easy to bunch them together, and No Brains never had the success that Perez had had, nor the smarts enough to allow himself to be coached.

    Aaron Sele throws tonight? Yawn! I'm so glad that it's not on MLBTV!

    1:51 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Eh, I’m not really getting overworked about Garcia either way. We’ll see how things shake out, but I agree, without him, it’s not really a great picture considering how underwhelming everyone has looked.

    Reyes is going to step it up and it’s going to be glorious.

    Is OP an illusion? Does his potential success expiate the Kazmir mess?

    I’m not even going to get into that and what ramifications Oliver has the Kazmir deal in terms of vindicating the Mets (hint none), but I will say this, Perez’s slider is right there with Kazmir’s if he is on. IF being the operative word there, but it’s devastating to lefties and righties. Sick, sick, sick stuff.

    3:49 PM

     
    Anonymous DG said...

    "I’m not even going to get into that and what ramifications Oliver has the Kazmir deal in terms of vindicating the Mets (hint none)"

    Exactamundo! Just journaleeze for what to do with all the days you have to write something.

    4:09 PM

     
    Blogger Anthony said...

    I've said it from day one about Jose Reyes. If he keeps his shit together, he will be one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Fuck the comparison to Jeter shit. Seriously. There is no comparison to the natural talent that Reyes has over Jeter. Jeter is great at what he does and works hard at it. But Reyes is in another league. He will prove this year what that level is all about. As long as he stays clean and focuses, he will go down as one of the greatest players to wear a uniform. I've always believed that since the first game I saw him come up and play in Texas.

    Our rotation is going to be badass this year. I love that Pelfrey is being "considered" as our front runner for the 5 spot. Please, the way he's looking, he will be our ace by June. It's all coming together. Maine has balls and is going to be a solid three. The only guy I'm actually concerned about is El Duque. I see him possibly not being so good and hurt a lot this year. Just a feeling. Hope I'm wrong. Our lineup is sick. Get ready, we're going to roll this season. Can't wait.

    7:10 PM

     
    Blogger Coop said...

    Omar is the fucking man. Nuff said.

    10:16 PM

     
    Blogger Coop said...

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    10:16 PM

     
    Anonymous jake said...

    always good to hear anthony tell it like it is.

    11:24 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Why can we not vote for this blog as 'Favorite Blog' on SI.com??

    - Nokes

    9:10 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Because I get no respect....NONE!

    Way to lay it down Anthony.

    10:01 AM

     
    Blogger Rick M said...

    According to the NY Times this morning, Carlos Delgado has left for Puerto Rico, presumably to be there for the birth of his child. Congrats to Carlos, and hooray for having him back before opening day!

    12:48 PM

     
    Blogger Kenny said...

    The Mets homepage has a poll where you can vote for Suger Pants new at-bat song.

    Seriously, you all need to go vote for the A-Team theme song. I pity the fool that doesn't.

    1:51 PM

     
    Anonymous DG said...

    While you are there you can vote for Kermit the Frog's trademark "It's not easy being Green" for Willie's Right Fielder!

    I'm quite partial to the Archie's "Suger" for DWright, but A-Team could work for me too. As long as it's something dorky.

    2:04 PM

     
    Anonymous The Stupid Guy at the Back of the Bus Who Never Shuts Up said...

    And Mike, I voted for MetsGeek because it has your stamp of approval. All I can say regarding your egregious omission is that there's a difference between an every day vin de table and a world class Bordeaux, and you are most clearly a world class Pabst Blue Ribbon, ahem..., Bordeaux! We're way too refined for stupid comments (excepting my own that is!).

    2:11 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    My omission is not surprising and I'm not really offended.

    Where there any small Met related blogs or just the two heavyweights?

    4:31 PM

     
    Anonymous Dep said...

    Mike,

    I think Metsblog, Metsgeek, Mike's Mets and Faith and Fear in Flushing were the four nominated blogs.

    6:04 PM

     

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