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

Friday, March 09, 2007

It's Willie Time!

Willie is obviously not my choice for premier manager of the league, but the guy has his bright spots and this is definitely one thing he does well.

"Willie prides himself on running the camp on time," a staff member said. "I think he wanted to nip this kind of thing in the bud."

"If you want get on my bad side real quick," Randolph said, "be late. I don't have a lot of rules, but that's one that easy to follow."

It is very disappointing to read these things about Duaner. We really heard nothing about this in the past about Sanchez's rebelliousness, but it's out there now like Janet Jackson's boob at a halftime show. I think Willie did a great job in handling this and he won't let it fester. For him, I truly believe it's done if Duaner can manage to be on time. However, his teammates might not be as forgiving.

"As much as I love Duaner, this shows a message that this isn't a one-man circus, this is about 25 guys," David Wright said. "When you have 24 guys relying on you as heavily as we are Duaner, it's not too much to ask to be on time, to come in here and get your work done." Sanchez hasn't pitched off a mound yet this spring. He had hoped to be ready for Opening Day, but if he hasn't been doing the proper rehab work that seems less likely.

"He needs to realize he's not only hurting himself by not getting his work in, he's hurting the 24 other guys," Wright said. "Hopefully it opens up his eyes, and he comes back with a fresh mind and wants to get the work in to be the Duaner of old."

Sugar Pants has spoken.

* * *

  • Dayn Perry hops right on the irrational train.

    Pelfrey boasts one of the best fastballs in the minors (good velocity, lateral movement and sink), but he needs to work on his secondary pitches. He's also not very polished for a collegian, which is why label-mate Philip Humber is ahead of him in the organizational queue. Pelfrey might eventually wind up in the bullpen, but the fastball will remain a pitch to die for.

    If this was written a few weeks ago, it would be more understandable, but still not that understandable. While I had some issues with him not being as polished in terms of his secondary stuff, his ability to start has really never been questioned by anyone. In lieu of his apparent steps forward, Dayn's comments are utterly ridiculous. Suck it Perry.

  • While Perry is on his way to forcing the Mets hand in including him in the rotation, Shawn Green is heading in a different direction.

    As for Green, the hitch he discovered in his swing looking at videos led to an extensive session with hitting coach Rick Down, Carlos Beltran and the venerable Julio Franco on Wednesday from which he emerged feeling a new sense of confidence. Yesterday, however, it seemed that had been replaced by confusion.

    This slow start from Green is just dripping with irony. He was all happy and looking forward to baseball with his renewed confidence in his swing and has completely shit the bed. I'm not giving up on the guy and when I wrote the Pelfrey article the other day, I wanted to include Milledge/Johnson and their battle with Green for right, but the reality is Green will have a chance to fail, but it won't be in spring. He'll have to lose his job twenty games or so into the season because no matter what, he'll be the opening day right fielder.

  • Steve Phillips has been off my radar for quite a while, but he's not off Ozzie's radar. For the record, I do not think Ozzie is on the hot seat. That is a tough division and they are a team that just turned over a pretty good chunk of their rotation. They have question marks and they don't have the best team in the AL Central, but them not finishing in first, second, or third won't have all that much to do with Ozzie as much as it will have to do with the talent of the other ball clubs.

    While on the topic of Steve Phillips, he is at it again. I read the first two paragraphs of his new article and I thought he was going to make a valid point on the Josh Hamilton situation. The right point to make is that teams get too cutesy in the Rule 5 draft and pick up guys like Josh Hamilton and Jesus Flores when all they are doing is essentially ruining a much needed year of development.

    Hamilton is not your normal prospect and needs to play everyday at this point because he is making up for lost time. In the case of Flores, it is essential young catchers play everyday. It is irresponsible and selfish to just set a player back like that. I get the fact teams are interested in trying to pull of a coup of sorts, but there was a point why these two guys were not protected. Flores never played a day above A ball and has a .257 career average and Hamilton has played 23 games over A ball in 2001 and has played in only 15 games since the 2002 season.

    Instead of running with the obvious, Phillips takes the illogical route.

    The decision to acquire Hamilton and give him a chance to be a major league player without doing anything to earn it over the past four seasons makes a statement to current Reds major leaguers and especially to the organization's minor league players. This one decision contradicts everything the organization claims is important.

    Fucking perplexing that Steve Phillips is. Every year there are a number of players who get picked in the Rule 5 draft and spend the year in the bigs. It's been happening since the Rule 5 draft was created. Also, the Reds players (at least from what I've read) seem to be very supportive. It's understood that this is part of the game and while they may not have earned it and paid their dues, GMs are tasked with upgrading their team and the Rule 5 is a way to do that. Also, they have the ability to offer them back to their old team if things do not work out as they often do not. Another dumb article by Steve Phillips and why ESPN even publishes his articles is beyond me. I mean, isn't there someone to monitor the content?

  • Maine was sharp and Phil Humber was the antithesis of sharp, but still better than the last time he was on the mound. Humber managed to make it through two innings and give up only three runs. In the end, he will be fine, but it certainly looks like he'll need some seasoning in the minors.

  • The Mets had four prospects crack BA's top 100.

    20 MIKE PELFREY, rhp, Mets
    Made the majors three months into his pro career, and should be even better now with his new slider
    Opening Day Age: 23. ETA: 2007

    Again, I'm really pumped about what is being said about Pelfrey. Obviously it is hard to read into five innings of spring ball, but Peterson does not usually pull punches and he has been raving about him as have the journalists.

    22 FERNANDO MARTINEZ, of, Mets
    Followed up an impressive debut as a 17-year-old by holding his own in the Arizona Fall League
    Opening Day Age: 18. ETA: 2009

    ETA 2009? He'll be 20 years old. Let that one sink in.

    60 CARLOS GOMEZ, of, Mets
    Career-high .773 OPS last year shows he's only scratching the surface of his potential
    Opening Day Age: 21. ETA: 2008

    That is certainly a glass half full observation in regards to his OPS, but as I've sated before, he needs to start producing. He's actually gone sideways with his numbers but steadily improved his prospect status. Gomez owes it to everyone in the universe to show off why people like him so much as a prospect.

    73 PHILIP HUMBER, rhp, Mets
    Blew out his elbow 15 starts into his pro career in 2005, but bounced all the way back last year
    Opening Day Age: 24. ETA: 2008

    Sick hook. Sick fastball. Nice changeup. It's only a matter of time for this kid to be dropping off wicked hooks at Shea.
  • Labels:

    Tuesday, March 06, 2007

    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.

    * * *

  • Mike Carp had a big day and Tom Glavine stays focused in getting himself ready for the season.

  • Ollie is taking steps forward...

    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.

  • Reyes is legit....

  • Phil Humber seems like the perfect student for Rick Peterson.

    "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."

  • It's Willie Time!

    "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.
  • Labels: