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

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Randon Tidbits 5-26-07

Virtual verbal exchange of the year?

Louis (Brooklyn, NY): Jose Reyes is overrated, one great year, the previous year he made the 4th most outs in the histroy of baseball and he's still injury prone, your thoughts?

SportsNation Keith Law: (1:03 PM ET ) My thoughts? You're insane.

Oh so misguided Yankee fan. Too bad he's not in the minority. Jeter is the best player in the universe!

It was oh so appropriate that this question came a few later.

Markward (Aarhus, Denmark): Hi Keith. You always seem to have great knowledge about european cities... been traveling a lot there? Did you notice Jeter blowing a bubble while rounding 1st base when he hit a triple agains the Red Sox.. very impressive.

SportsNation Keith Law: (1:15 PM ET ) Haven't been to Europe in several years, but I do love traveling there. Never been to Denmark, though - maybe we'll go to the original Legoland when my daughter's old enough. Jeter's bubble-blowing was yet another example of how clutch he is.

I love it. It should also be noted there is no way Jose Reyes could do that.

While on the topic of Jose Reyes, he is fantastic and has been for long period of time now. However, his 0.98 G/F ratio is very concerning. In his previous two seasons, Jose maintained a G/F or 1.36 or higher. At the end of the game Thursday night he popped out with two outs in the ninth and the tying run on third. It seems he is getting away from his game a bit and hitting more and more pop-ups. The other strange thing is that although he is walking more, he is still seeing less (though marginally less) pitches than he saw in 2004 and 2005.

While Reyes still figures to be very good this year, there are some indicators to suggest that Reyes could be in for a slight regression this year. He has pop, but not enough to be flyball hitter. He really needs to concentrate more on being the batter he was in 2006 with the eye he has in 2007. Unless he makes some adjustment, I expect him to continue to struggle.

  • Back to Thursday. One out...tying runs in scoring position....let's bring in Franco! I have no issue with the bunt laid down by Gotay. Willie says he took the bunt sign off to Eddie Coleman on WFAN, but that's not the issue. The issue is by bringing in Franco you are relegating yourself to hoping for a single to right field from a guy that couldn't hit a watermelon right now. Me? I'd prefer to go with the pop in that situation. On top of that, as much as I am for dropping Delgado in the order until he starts hitting, I'm not so sure he should be batting behind Paul LoDuca.

    Weird stuff going on in Willie's head. Weird stuff.

  • Pedro is long tossing 250 feet and says he will be able to throw 95 mph when he comes back. Fuck me baby.

    "Those were the days I felt like this - like I could just pick up a ball and shoot it without any hesitation, anything to think about," Martinez said. "That's how good I've been feeling."

    For a guy who said he would retire if he didn't feel good, this is very, very, very encouraging. And for good measure, he went after the Rocket.

    Martinez also whistled a verbal fastball under the chin of Roger Clemens, saying he watched Clemens pitch Wednesday and "I can do that and probably even better at this point."

    I love this guy and we need his edge back on this team.

  • The Duque? Solid. The Mets are back to a 2.5 game lead over the Bravos.

  • Ha ha!

    George Steinbrenner hung a bull's-eye on the back of general manager Brian Cashman by saying that he alone will shoulder the blame if the Yankees don't turn their season around.

    More drama. Remind me why it's good to be a Yankee again?

  • Jose Valentin is Willie's man when he returns.

    "He's my everyday second baseman," Randolph said of Valentin.

    I actually like Valentin in the super utility role getting work in the outfield as well as in the infield with Easley. Especially with Green going down and Moises' penchant for getting hurt, I wouldn't be so quick to make any assertions. That would also allow the Mets to perhaps clear up a roster spot by getting rid of super-utility man David Newhan. Also, this is weird because Willie is Mr. Non-committal who continually makes guys earn things. Even Jose Reyes has to earn his spot every spring so why he would commit to Valentin of all people is beyond me.
  • Labels:

    Thursday, May 24, 2007

    Rob Neyer? On Board?

    Rob Neyer finally has come around to what we have all know for months now.

    Remember what everybody was saying about the Mets two months ago?

    "Sure, they've got a good lineup. But what about their starting pitching? How can they win with that sorry bunch of has-beens and never-weres?"

    I thought those worries were a bit overblown. I never thought the Mets' starters would have the lowest ERA in the National League. Which, at this moment, they do.

    Mets 3.62
    Padres 3.63
    Giants 3.78
    Cubs 3.89
    Brewers 4.00

    Of course that did improve with Oliver Perez's tremendous seven inning effort against the Braves. After picking the Mets up after dropping two in a row, he stated his case for being the current ace of this squad. Only Jake Peavy, Brad Penny, Tom Gorzelanny, and Tim Hudson have better ERAs and Perez is 4th in BAA in the NL out of starters with five starts or more.

    His BB/9 is 2.86 overall and looks even better at 1.83 if you take out his seven walk and 2.2 inning performance. Of course that is cherry picking numbers, but you get the idea. He's been stellar. In case you missed it (by way of Neyer's blog), Howard Medgal wrote a terrific article about Oliver Perez.

    Oliver Perez had managed to defeat, if not dominate, a lineup stacked with offensive stars. He did it on a night when his best command was elusive, and his fastball was less explosive than usual. But baseball’s truly elite pitchers don’t excel only when their pitches are otherworldly. They manage to keep their teams in games even on their off-nights. On Friday night, Oliver Perez finally showed himself capable of doing just that, with a sellout crowd and seemingly all of New York watching.

    I think it is safe to say there aren't two Oliver Perez's this season and the one that we have been getting is seemingly getting better. Does anyone miss Xavier Nady anymore?

    * * *

  • [13:10] yankeescum: its funny, by the way, watching franco try to get around on a fastball
    [13:10] yankeescum: poor ol' guy cant keep up
    [13:21] Mr. met: tell me about it

  • Mr. Callis fielded quite a few Mets related questions in his last chat.

    Pete (St. Pete): Hi Jim. Close to a .300 BA for Fernando Martinez in AA. At his age, that's pretty darn remarkable right?

    SportsNation Jim Callis: Yes. Martinez is shooting up the list of the very best prospects in the game.

    Possible top prospect candidate next year with Jay Bruce, who the Mets were heavily scouting along with Pelfrey in 2005.

    Greg (Cleveland): Jim, Welcome back. A lot has been said about Carlos Gomez (Carl Crawford comparisons, now an Andruw Jones one on ESPN...). Looking at the minor league numbers, he does project much like Crawford from the right side. What is your take on Gomez? Thanks!

    SportsNation Jim Callis: His tools always were way ahead of his performance in the minors, and I'll admit I've underrated him in the past. But he looks like the real deal and is punching Lastings Milledge's ticket out of New York.

    I like Gomez as much as the next guy, but how exactly has he showed he's the real deal? He can field, but so can Anderson Hernandez. Gomez has hit well, but not great. I need to see more before I'm ready to anoint him anything.

    Nigel (Palo Alto): Doesn't a Jonathan Sanchez for Milledge deal make some sense?

    SportsNation Jim Callis: That would be interesting. I think Sanchez is underrated, and the Mets probably want to get what they can for Milledge.

    My how his stock has fallen. It's a shame that this Milledge thing has taken on a life of it's own that is not really warranted. Does he have any value anymore? They might as well keep him now since they will surely not extract value for guy that still has an excellent chance of being a very good big league player.

    rob (philly): Rank the young NL arms over the next 5 years: Hamels, Cain, Lincecum, Bailey, Pelfrey.

    SportsNation Jim Callis: Lincecum, Cain, Bailey, Hamels, Pelfrey. And I really like Hamels.

    Completely unfair to group Pelfrey in there. He's good, but the other four are waaaaaaaay better. Everyone is under 23 with the exception of Hamels and Pelfrey. Also, Hamels is only two+ weeks older than Pelfrey. That's not to say Pelfrey isn't good, but he is no where near the same level as the other guys.

  • Can the petty and utterly ridiculous writers that try and pretend that Milledge is anything close to a problem stop now?

    Tampa Bay rookie Elijah Dukes was held out of the lineup Wednesday night against Seattle following a published report that his estranged wife sought a restraining order after being threatened by the 22-year-old outfielder.

    The St. Petersburg Times reported NiShea Gilbert filed for court protection after receiving a threatening message on her cell phone on May 2, as well as a text message that included a picture of a handgun.

    Gilbert played a voice mail allegedly from Dukes for the newspaper. "You dead, dawg. I ain't even [expletive]. Your kids, too."

    Lastings is not a bad kid. Does he make some questionable decisions? Who doesn't? If people heard of some of the stupid shit that I've done and continue to do in my late 20's you would be left speechless. Life is a learning experience and Milledge is still a kid. I don't know him but I can certainly tell he's a good kid and doesn't mean to do any harm. Cut him some slack already so he can blossom into the player he can be without distracting him further.

  • Billy Wagner? Stud. 0.90 whip, .192 baa, and 0.90 ERA with 11 saves.

  • Joe Smith? The Mets go to guy before Wagner. 1.07 whip, .197 baa, and 1.45 ERA.

  • David Wright has certainly picked things up of late. He's gunning for 80+ extra base hits and he is fifth....yes fifth in the NL in steals. His average is still a bit low for what he can do but that will continue to climb.

  • I applaud Willie for dropping Delgado. As soon as he starts hitting, he will be moved up immediately. Until then, he needs to be dropped in the order. The Mets are in a dogfight here and need to win games more than coddle people's egos. Not that Carlos Delgado has an ego, he is one of the most humble players out there and I'm sure he understands the situation and would agree with the manager at this point.

    “It’s about getting your swing together,” Delgado said. “It has nothing to do with where you’re hitting in the lineup. It’s not going to change the way I get pitched.”

  • Ummm...yeah. Not what Giambi needed right now.

    Jason Giambi failed a Major League Baseball-administered amphetamines test within the last year, which has subjected him to additional drug testing, sources told the Daily News. Giambi tacitly admitted last week that he has used steroids, but he failed to mention that he has been caught using other drugs.

    Just down a few tall boy Amps before the game or drink some of that shitty coffee at my work which could quite possibly be rocket fuel.

  • A-Rod is at it again. He did a shady ass slide and though I'm not a big fan of payback, this certainly warrants it.

    “He went in late and kind of threw an elbow,” Pedroia said. “It was a little cheap but no big deal. I’ll remember. I play second base. I’ve got to turn two with the Yankees 19 times a year, so I know now when he’s coming in, my (arm) slot gets dropped to the floor. That’s it.”

  • Mike Pelfrey went six innings in his no decision against Albuquerque and gave up four hits, one earned run, and no walks while striking out four.

  • Fernando Martinez went 3 for 5 with a run scored and an RBI in Binghamton's win over Connecticut.

  • Matt Dukin lives! He took the no decision against Rome in the South Atlantic League and gave up two runs in six innings.
  • Labels:

    Tuesday, May 22, 2007

    To Z or Not To Z

    One thing that appears to becoming clearer and clearer with the Cubs staff outside of Zambrano leading the charge is that Carlos Zambrano will probably hit the market this off-season. What is also clear is that he is going to get paid regardless of his performance this year. The hub-bub is that a lot of people are not exactly enthralled with the idea of their team bending over and signing this guy. Me? If I was OK with signing Zito to a five year contract worth $75-$85 million I would have to certainly be OK with signing Zambrano to a similar contract.

    From 2002 through 2006, Zambrano posted a .235 BAA, .239 BAA, .225 BAA, .212 BAA, and a .208 BAA and did not allow a slugging percentage higher than .351. While his pitch counts could be an area of concern, there does not seem to be anything to suggest that Carlos Zambrano is injured as he has maintained his velocity. Well, , almost nothing.

    As for Zambrano, this video analysis by Carlos Gomez makes it clear that Zambrano's arm slot today is much lower than it was in 2005. And it's something of a truism in baseball that when a pitcher drops his arm, he's doing it to avoid pain. So I'll say this right now: Zambrano might not be healthy, and if he's not healthy, the Cubs are finished. Because Marquis and Ted Lilly can't carry the team.

    That is certainly interesting. I have never heard this before, but Rob Neyer is certainly more in the know than I am. I guess it is entirely possibly that him dropping his arm angle has to do with being injured, but I would assume his velocity would be down as well. It seems that this Zambrano thing is going to be one hot issue and a whole lot of guessing as to what the root of his pitching problems are. It will be a toss up as to whether he is going to be more like Jason Schmidt and show up throwing in the high 80's or if he is going to be more like Jason Marquis and show up to camp and pitch like an ace for his new team.

    I would not be surprised if someone leaks out some misinformation to try and screw up the market to snatch up a guy who can be a legitimate ace for some team.

    * * *

  • Also from the above link...

    One thing I've noticed about blogging -- both as a reader and now as a producer of them -- is that when you're writing multiples times each day, you tend to hit the same themes over and over again. There's a fine line between exploration and repetition, I suppose, but the blog naturally becomes a sort of ongoing discussion, which (I think) means it's OK to return to familiar subjects every so often.

    This is something I happen to think about. I definitely think twice about writing about certain things because it feels like I talk about them everyday. But then, I always come to the same conclusion and these crappy blogs are about inciting some discussion about the Mets and then I give myself the OK to be as redundant as I want.

  • If you were looking towards Delgado for some answers, you might want to check elsewhere.

    “It’s been 45 days in a row,” Delgado said. “It’s frustrating when you’ve been doing this your whole life and then, hey, it’s not working anymore.”

    Wow. Not very encouraging.

    “One thing about power — if you don’t drive the ball, stay behind it, then you’re not going to hit home runs,” Delgado said. “And I’m not driving the ball now. I’m jumping at it. I’m not concerned about losing power. I feel great in B.P. when I hit the ball 500 feet. It’s just that I can’t carry it over into games.”

    The mind is a scary thing and it could really shut you down.

  • There are two good things in this link.

    "Things with Pedro are moving forward very nicely," Minaya told the Associated Press during a visit to the Dominican Republic. "We are hoping for his return in August, but the most important thing is that he recovers from his injury."

    Gammo says Pedro is going to start throwing off of a mound next week.

    The other tidbit was about the Mets breaking ground on a facility in the Dominican Republic.

    Minaya and Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon were in the Dominican Republic to break ground a $7.5 million baseball academy. The team also announced it will play three exhibition games in the country next spring.

    What's even better is that they will also play three exhibition games there next season. If they want to extend into the Dominican and create a huge footprint, sending their entire big league team down there will certainly go a long way to doing that.

    The complex will feature three regulation-size fields, including one with the dimensions and wall height of Citi Field, where the Mets will open in 2009.

    The academy will include a half field (for infield drills); bunting field; four batting tunnels; five covered pitching mounds and weight and training rooms.

    The complex will have housing accommodations for 60 and a dining hall.


  • Giambi is being vilified for telling the truth? The Yankees want to void his contract for saying he's sorry he did 'stuff' as if they had no idea this 'stuff' existed before. They certainly didn't care when he was hitting. Now? They care again. Giambi will be silenced, but he'll tell the story at some point.

  • All of sudden Lastings seems to be the odd man out. I still am behind the kid though and think he can be a stud.

  • Cole Hamels is frighteningly good.

  • I love how there was plenty of ink about the Yankees turning it around with two wins over two good teams. Well, they lost on Tuesday. It's a long season and the Yankees have not shown all that much. How about we all wait until they show everyone over a ten or fifteen game span they have awoke from their funk before everyone gets excited.

  • I hate Kyle Davies and the Braves.


  • The Incredible Dissapearing First Baseman

    Is Carlos Delgado injured or is he healthy?

    Mets first baseman Carlos Delgado has hit only three homers — four fewer than Damion Easley, who began the season as the team's backup second baseman. Delgado's slow offensive start might be related to the surgery he underwent on his right wrist last Oct. 23. "You never know how long a hand injury is going to take," one Mets official says.

    Is it his wrist? Did he lose a bit of his bat speed? Is his batting eye way off? Is he having trouble in the bedroom? What is clear is that something is going on with Carlos Delgado. What is not clear is what it is. Delgado has been largely silent during this slump so it's not too obvious what is going on in his head.

    But a .214/.294/.321 line with a .168 batting average against righties forty+ games into the season is disturbing. May has been better with Delgado putting up a .254/.342/.413 which is way better than the .188/.262/.260 line he put up in April and it also bears noting that he is still on pace for 91 RBIs, but at some point, people are going to get really concerned.

    Delgado is a borderline Hall of Fame bat. He is also a below average fielder and with no offense and a sub-par defense, he is a not really adding much outside of veteran leadership, which Julio Franco provides plenty of. What if he is injured? Would he speak up? If he is injured, they need to let him heal. Put Green at first and let Endy and Carlos tear it up and play stupendous defense in the outfield. However, there enlies the problem. No one seems to know what the issue with Carlos Delgado is though people seem to think he is turning a corner. He was huge for this Met team last year and carried them at times while being a beast in the playoffs. As good as this team is, they need Carlos to be Carlos.

    * * *

  • The Duque is on his way back and Jason Vargas will inevitably be the odd man out of the rotation.

    Orlando Hernandez threw a simulated game in Port St. Lucie, Fla. on Sunday, throwing 72 pitches in five innings and coming through the session feeling fine. Hernandez is scheduled to throw a bullpen session in the next few days and could be slotted into the rotation for the series in Florida next weekend.

  • The Mets are still kicking some ass in the run differential department.
    NY Mets         57
    San Diego 32
    Chicago Cubs 30
    Milwaukee 22
    Atlanta 21
    LA Dodgers 17
    Philadelphia 8
    San Francisco 7
    Houston -4
    Florida -10
    Cincinnati -10
    Arizona -13
    Pittsburgh -31
    Colorado -57
    St. Louis -62
    Washington -63
    Out of the bigs, only Boston has a bigger run differential and they seem to be running away with that category. The Cubbies seem to be the big surprise here being the only team with a losing record and a run differential in double digits and they are #3 in the NL overall. Lou Pinella might have a stroke before this season is over.

  • Phil Humber had another rough outing for New Orleans and gave up four earned runs in five innings to raise his ERA to 4.59. In fact, only three pitchers have an ERA under 4.50 on the Zephyrs and one is future Cy Young Award winning Jorge Sosa. The others are Mike Pelfrey after one start and Willie Collazo. Though the park factors say that New Orleans is a pitcher's park, I'm having a hard time believing that. I wouldn't be surprised to see Humber pitch better in the bigs than in the PCL.

  • Sammy Sosa is quietly putting up some nice power numbers and is on pace for 36 doubles, 36 homers, and a .507 SLG%. Not bad for a guy who has been out of baseball. What is bad is his .319 OBP but for $500,000, he's certainly earning his paycheck.

  • It looks like Big Z. is going to hit the market and you can be sure he'll fetch a ton of money even if he finishes with a 5.00 ERA.

  • The D-Rays have it down to Matt Wieters, Josh Vitters, and David Price. Only Price is a pitcher and with a team like the Devil Rays being desperate for pitching, it is beyond me how they can pass up a pitcher. Although, there have been statements made that Price may be the best pitcher in the draft, he is still not as refined as you would like from a college pitcher and will not rocket through the system for some quasi-immediate help. One has to wonder if Rick Porcello is the better choice for Tampa though he is further away from helping.

  • Griffey hit his 572nd homer on Monday. Just go back and look at what he did back in the 90's and his first season with the Reds. He is a first ballot Hall of Famer as is, but just imagine if he didn't get hurt? Easily a 3000 hit, 2000 RBI, 700 home candidate. He will get to 600 homers early next season and has an shot at 3000 hits still, but his career has gotten lost in the shuffle somewhat. He was hands down the best player in baseball for a long time.

  • Courtesy of DG...

    Tattooed on the newest Marlin's buttocks is the phrase: "I (heart) Billy Koch." Koch, a former reliever who spent time with the Marlins, paid Miller $1,000 plus picked up the $80 tab from Mom's Tattoos in Dunedin before the 2004 season for the advertisement. Koch felt so bad for Miller's wife, Jessica, for "having to see it every day," that he gave Jessica an additional $500.

  • Ollie Ollie Ollie....what can you say? 3.00 K/BB, .202 BAA, 1.09 WHIP, etc. John Maine is on track for 100+ walks and Oliver Perez is on track for 58 this season. He looks to be official.
  • Labels: