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

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I cannot help but think the Mets now own a very deep ball club. The have two catchers that can contribute meaningful innings, they have pop off the bench, four outfielders when Alou returns that can contribute, the bullpen has turned it around a bit and even Sele has looked good, the rotation is deep and set to get deeper, etc.

However, there are few things that have irked me. As Gary pointed out, the Mets have been carrying three catchers and Willie failed to use Ramon as a pinch hitter outside of one time. Why even bother carrying three then? He started in four of those games and pinch hit in one since July 4th, which is when Alomar got called up. One of those starts was after a seventeen inning game in which Castro only made it into the game during the bottom of the seventeenth to catch Wagner. Just let that sink in...three catchers and only one caught until the bottom of the sixteenth with not even a pinch hit appearance for Castro, who has shown pop this season.

My thing is that if you have the depth, use it. I would not suggest sitting LoDuca for the hot hand because I have my reservations about Castro getting exposed if given a daily spot, but Castro can certainly play more than once a week. Speaking of hot hands, Willie is notoriously a hot hand kind of guy. Sitting Gotay for three games straight after collecting six hits in thirteen at-bats is curious to say the least. We've spoken about how Willie feels obligated to Valentin, who now might be done for the season, for whatever reason and you never like to see Major Leaguers lose their job due to an injury (isn’t that how Valentin got his job last season?), but enough already. I could see giving Valentin a start or two, but Gotay needs to be in the lineup. He is hitting and this team is struggling on offense. It is time to let commonsense prevail and let Gotay have second until he proves otherwise. He might prove us otherwise, but his bat looks lively.

Damion Easley has some pop off the bench, but the guy is buried so far on the bench it is mind boggling. Here is the scenario...5-4 San Diego up on the Mets. It is the ninth inning with Trevor Hoffman on the mound. Lastings Milledge is up representing the tying run. If he gets on, the Mets have some life. On deck, David Newhan. Newhan! The guy who got cut literally ten minutes after the game was going to usurp a perfect chance to Easley to flash some pop off the bench. His batting average as a pinch hitter is Newhan-esque, but Newhan has much more than double the at-bats and I would like to Damion get more chances and see some platoon time with Gotay. Why he is not is curious to say the least.

Finally, when Alou comes back, there is mention of LoDuca moving back to the two hole. Two things on that one. First, if he is going to move there, why is he not there now? If it is believed that is where he should hit, what does Alou have to do with it? Is he batting sixth to provide some missing pop in the space that Alou left? I'm not missing the connection. Second, why move him up into the two hole? He should be moving down further. He is a singles hitter that had done nice things in the two hole last year, but better options have emerged. I'd prefer a Reyes, Beltran, Wright, Delgado, and Alou lineup or a Reyes, Gotay (or whomever is at second), Beltran, Wright, Delgado, and Alou lineup over anything with LoDuca batting second. Part of me wants to get Alou as high up in the lineup as possible, but I know Willie's thinking and his apprehensive stance on stacking righty/righty and lefty/lefty bats in the lineup in the top six spots. Whatever....

This team is coming into its own and taking shape. Sometimes teams need a while to sort things out and figure out what they have. It has happen with many teams before and while the Mets did not have that issue last year, they did have some turnover and injuries and things were not settled. They are now for the most part and I want Willie to start optimizing the team. I have liked things he has been doing like getting Feliciano more meaningful innings and not trying to ride him everyday. He is trying to spread opportunities around and keeping Joe Smith in the mix despite a rough patch, which I think is the right move. I like his edict of making pitchers contribute in every facet of the game. He has been doing some good things, but again, he gets a bit stubborn. It is time to start doing things in a more efficient manner so this team can continue to surge.

* * *

  • Omar is in full spin right now and we have no idea if there is really no problem or there is a problem. But as DG stated, you are putting yourself at a serious disadvantage by divulging anything. Of course, the media does not care and would make things more difficult for the Mets at the expense of breaking news. Good times!

  • Alou should be back next week after sitting out with the galaxy's worst strain.

  • Also from the above link...

    Although Ruben Gotay has been excellent, Anderson could certainly see time there. “He’s a pro, man,” Randolph said of Anderson. “He knows how to play the game.”

    Riiiight. I love Marlon off the bench and I think he helps this team, but that outlines Willie's greatest fault. He thinks all vets 'know how to play the game' while young guys are too bereft of intellectual ability to know how to play the game.

  • Also from that luscious link...

    The Mets’ first draft pick this year, reliever Eddie Kunz, is still not signed. Agent Dan Horwits said yesterday that the sides were “making good progress the last few days.”

    Get the kid signed and get him some work immediately. I expect him in the bullpen by mid '08.

  • David Lennon is calling for Sammy Sosa? Please tell me that's a joke. Sosa has been a nice story for sure, but keep his empty homers in Texas with his sub .300 batting average. The Mets need to work pitchers more and not less.

  • Angel doesn't get it.

    "Yet another anti-Met article from Wally. Is he dense enough to believe that the Mets will actually sell over 40,000 season tickets? Of course there will be tickets, and of course there will be plans. Does he even take that into account? Of course not, because such facts get in the way of yet another negative story by him."

    - Angel, Bronx


    I do not want to state the obvious, but you do not need to sell 40,000 separate season ticket packages to fill up 40,000. Something like 54% of the seats are on field level. Field level is notoriously a corporate area and those boxes come in chunks of eight or six. In packages of six, they would need 3,600 companies to fill up half the stadium (I have no idea how many are going to actually buy them of course and have no way to make a reasonable estimate so I’ll shoot off unsubstantiated claims in lieu of real information) . That is before individuals jump into the fray and ticket brokers, who will undoubtedly buy plenty of season ticket packages to broker off tickets in high demand. How many partial packages (if any) do you think will be available? How many years in a row did SafeCo and Camden sell out? Factor in this being New York. You might not be able to get a ticket outside of a scalper for a looooong time. Red Sox tickets are pretty much gone by February and I’m not so sure this situation would be much different.

    Maybe I'm off here and let me know if I am missing something. Maybe I shouldn't complain until the 2009 season actually hits. I don't mind buying tickets for 10 to 20 games off the bat and essentially making my own package (it is not like they are discounted or anything with my current package), but life is easier with partial packages. I do think that 81-game season ticket packages are going to account for a lot of the seats and there is precedent here. If places like Colorado, Seattle, and Baltimore can sell out for years and years in a new stadium without a tremendous product in place, New York should be a frenzy to put it mildly. Overall, I think they might have been slightly misleading to partial season ticket package holders. Granted, I don't expect people to make business decisions five years ahead of time. That obviously is not smart business and I know they are trying to maximize their dollar, but I think they owe it to the fans to accessibly in some form.

  • How much is Cordero worth? Not all that much. Again, another missed trade opportunity. Teams need to be better at evaluating their long term outlook and need to do a better job building for the future. The Marlins will regret the day they didn't trade Dontrelle while people were clamoring for him while they had no shot a winning.

    The Nationals, however, know him as a 25-year-old who isn't a free agent until after the 2009 season and who has saved 108 games with a 2.63 ERA in his less than four full major league seasons.

    However, another thought came to mind. With Hoffman's 500th save, someone had made a comment that 500 should be the magic number for Hall of Fame closers. There should not be any magic numbers anymore in today's game. Being 25 with 100+ saves is Cordero’s best asset. He can close for another 15+ years and just accumulate saves. Does that make him a Hall of Famer? I think the game has migrated away from magic numbers these days because of so many guys that are good, but not spectacular over a long period of time thanks to modern medicine. In another ten years, would it surprise you to see few guys that are 50 playing a role on a big league club?

  • Those wacky foreigners... Really, for anyone that has watched Most Extreme Challenge or any Japanese prank shows, you know what I'm talking about when I say America is way too uptight and sue happy. We are really depriving ourselves of some really funny stuff.

  • Good win last night and it looks like the Mets might have a little run in them to start the second half. Putting some nice separation early between the Braves and themselves would be nice to deflate their confidence a bit. Also, for those of you who thought the Yanks were making a little run, the are definitely not as bad as their first half, but the damage is done. They could play great in the second half, but making up eight games in 60+ is really tough. Especially since the Tigers and Cleveland seem to be locks for two spots. Time will tell, but no matter what streaks they go on, they'll have lulls. I think they are done.
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    9 Comments:

    Anonymous benny said...

    It sucks that Jose Valentin got injured is likely out for the year. BUT that's what happens when you rush things and try to come back when your not a 100% and ended up hurting the team, all for the selfish reason of getting 400 AB's or whatever it was. Karma's a bitch Zorro. And that would have never happened to Zorro if Willie never put him in that lineup, your a career killer Willie!

    Mike, I think Easley wasn't even in the stadium because he is on the bereavement list looking after his sick pops, that's why Ambres is up, so... yeah. There was an explanation for Mr. Newhan swinging in the on deck circle.

    Sammy Sosa, ehhh. He strikes out too much, is shit on the field, is most likely a douchebag. I mean there's nmo evidence of this BUT I get the feeling he'd whine, bitch, and complain about playing time the way Julio Ceasar Franco did...
    Sosa is a good fit for the Twins, Mariners, Padres, and MAYBE the Angles.

    Besides the season tickets there are going to be those stupid corporate seats that will take up a big percentage of the stadium.

    Cordero won't get as much as he would have 2 years ago but that's not fair. The Nationals THOUGHT they'd be headed in the right direction. And I thought they'd be better but it just didn't work out. With that said, Cordero is having a very nice year!

    That video was great but damn that TV show! That was NOT Tetris, that was fucked up! It seemed soo easy in the demonstration video, haha. One thing is for sure, they sure do love video games! My kinda town!

    On the Yankees, they have a double-header and are being lead by pitcher Kei Igawa and Matt DeSalvo, Hmmmmmmmmmm, not good.

    1:09 PM

     
    Blogger AE said...

    mike, sorry to do this to you, but you're wrong.

    easley could not have pinchhit against hoffman wednesday night. he wasn't even with the team. he was placed on bereavement leave tuesday night and has not been with the team since.

    anyway, i condone using broham in that situation. 1, he's a lefty bat going against a righty. 2, he started his career with the pads so he has familiarity with hoffman. does that mean he would have succeeded? probably not, but i think he would have been the best choice off the bench at that point...

    1:35 PM

     
    Anonymous benny said...

    OMGZ!!!1
    James Loney has a big wooden cross/chain! He's a badass! He's a gangster, he's a trouble maker, get him out of here! AHHH! What a thug!

    4:23 PM

     
    Anonymous Two-By-Four said...

    BTW the Yankees swept that doubleheader and 7 games back in the loss column is insignificant when you look at all the comebacks in baseball history. The 1964 Phillies had a 6.5 game lead with 12 games to play and blew it. Don’t forget the 1951 Giants or the 1969 Mets. It would be a mistake to count the Yankees out.

    It’s interesting to compare PLD’s line with Castro’s. In 305 at bats PLD has 5hrs, 27 rbi’s and a .665 OPS. In only 86 at bats Castro has 6 hrs, 20 rbis and a .949 OPS. Castro is by far having the better season. He deserves to get much more playing time to see the effect of exposing him. The Mets should see if Castro has improved his game enough to assume the #1 catching position nest year. If nothing else PLD should not be hitting in the 6 hole. I don’t care about the righty/lefty division in the batting order because it depends on the quality of the hitter and is vastly over rated. PLD sb batting 7th or 8th.

    If Gotay is the regular 2nd baseman we will see more errors similar to today’s error. He is a work in progress and needs to work hard to make himself into an acceptable defensive 2nd baseman. Valentin was the best balance between offense and defense the Mets had.

    12:07 AM

     
    Anonymous Two-By-Four said...

    This coming week could be a very productive and interesting week. The rumor mill will be rampant with trade news and it will make for interesting discussions.

    The Yankees acquired Jose Molina from the Angels for right-handed pitcher Jeff Kennard. I checked Molina’s stats and his OPS is .539. Enough said.

    At first I ascribed Sosa’s bad performance to simply he didn’t have it. But there was a red flag that changed my thinking. He got through the lineup the 1st time around giving up only 1 run. The second time around they just lit him up. His fastball had very little life to it. The gun Fox used had him at a peak of 91 mph. There was little or no movement on it and he kept on getting it up. But what alarmed me was the pitch Kemp hit for the HR. It was a high and inside fastball. If Maine had gotten it up there with the hop on his fastball I don’t think Kemp would have done much with it. The high and inside fastball was a staple of Jon Matlack. Matlack’s fastball up there left many a hitter with a broken bat. After Matlack hurt his back and arm he was traded to the AL. I watched him pitch in a game against Thurman Munson. Munson creamed that pitch and I thought he couldn’t have done that before Matlack hurt himself. So I’m wondering if Sosa is still feeling the effect of the pulled muscle. Of course it’s possible the Dodgers just adjusted to him and Sosa needs a 3rd pitch.

    4:40 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Ah...Bereavement list. I suck.

    Still not buying the Yanks! It's the Devil Rays! They won two...they just lost two...that's .500 ball. If they come back I'll lick a doorknob of a McDonald's bathroom in NYC, but I do not think I am.

    8:32 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    RE: Newhan pinch hitting...there had to be SOMEONE. Did Castro start or get in?

    8:33 AM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I wouldn't get too worked up about the ticket plan. Yeah, it'll be a bit different than Shea, but that doesn't mean worse. I live in SF, and up until this year they've sold out most games. Friends of mine buy a ticket pack and sell the tickets tehy don't want on eBay or Craig's list. Because there are less tickets, it's easy to sell spares for over face value. They usually end up going to 15 games or so and sell the other 65 to pay for everything. Really not a bad deal...

    12:50 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    In the end, I think I'm going to buy 81 with a few people...divvy them up and bet on midgets jello wrestling for the playoff tickets.

    10:40 PM

     

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