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

Friday, July 27, 2007


Can anyone explain to me why the Mets hottest hitter would be removed from the second spot and moved down to the bottom of the order in favor of a backup? That only makes sense in one person's mind and to have him behind someone that has become somewhat of a double play machine just compounds my confusion. Not that it is really haunting the Mets in today's game or anything, but just bizarre to say the least and quite nonsensical.

Jon Adkins looked decent. Hard to really get a read off of one inning, but my first impression was a good one. With Smith gone and Heilman seemingly better with a bit of rest between outings, there should be opportunities for him to show that he is a big league reliever.

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  • Just let this sink in. A pizza that is 646 calories per slice and has crust that consists of bacon wrapped sausage. It also has mini burger patties, garlic chips, mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, parmigiana cheese, and pepperoni. Not enough? I didn't think so either...for an more kick, it comes with ketchup and maple syrup for 'extra flavor'.

    I have my ticket ready and I'm moving to Japan.

  • This isn't funny at all, but if you have free time go for it.

  • I'm really not sure why this is a big issue. He made a throwing error. If he walked eight and looked like the 2005 Oliver Perez, that is one thing. He has easily been the Mets most consistent starter and still managed to lower his ERA to 2.84 during a game in which he game up five runs. I am not concerned about him in the least bit.

  • It looks like Pedro might be pitching on a mound in an actual game situation.

  • Talk about her glass being half empty. I don't buy trading talent for anyone marginally better than what we have and certainly not for Vazquez (though he has the most upside) or Livan. That is just a ridiculous suggestion as the Mets already have a solid four man rotation set for the playoffs baring injury. Stand pat on the rotation unless Roy Oswalt gets put on the market, which he won't.

  • Demoting Joe smith for some rest and relaxation might end up being a very, very good thing. If he is taxed mentally and physically, a bit of time off will do him good. Hopefully, he can come back because he is sorely needed in the bullpen...or at least the March/April/May version of Joe Smith.

  • Who knew?

    This date in Mets history -- July 26: An error by shortstop Julian Gotay, the uncle of Mets second baseman Ruben, and a sacrifice bunt by Al Jackson were ingredients in the rally that allowed Jackson to prevail over Bob Gibson in the Mets' 1-0 victory against the Cardinals in the first game of a split doubleheader at the first Busch Stadium on this date in 1962.
    Jackson, who pitched a complete game, threw the only four shutouts for the team that lost 120 games.

  • This is certainly encouraging:

    "We don't necessarily go out to work on stuff," Milledge said. "We go out to chat, just talk about the game. I feel relaxed when I talk to Rickey. It kind of focuses me a little bit more. Gets me ready to play."

  • This sucks and I actually mean it. Utley is one of my most favorite non-Met players and even if I was concerned about the Phillies (not concerned one iota about them or anyone else unless a certain team reels in Mark T.) I would not want to see this happen.

  • Here is another thing that I just do not get. Why they did not trade Belliard and Young is beyond me. Even if you get a B prospect back, it is better than two useless years of these two with no upside. They really need to gear for three or four years down the line when their better prospects might make an impact. Newsflash, Bowden is a bad GM.

  • Mark Herrmann thinks the Mets need a bit of motivation.

    They need something that puts them on the right track and keeps them there. The 2006 Mets were self-starters who never lost stride and finished with a kick. These Mets need a little nudge.

    Nothing major, mind you. Just enough to avoid lapses like the one that ruined their sleepy noontime game against the Pirates at Shea Stadium yesterday. As embarrassing as it was to waste Oliver Perez's gem-in-the-making and fall to a lowly team, 8-4, it was only one loss, not Greek tragedy.

    Part of me thinks they already had their wake up call, but it is hard to argue with the man's logic.

  • I personally do not like 'buy now and pay later' deals for any players. However, sometimes you have to make concessions for some players for the betterment of the team. The only question is, is Torii that guy?

  • Did anyone actually think they were drinking spring water? They are reporting this like some big dirty secret was found out. Dasani and Auquafina were well known as being tap water. Brilliant strategy if you ask me. I don't have new info on this, but back in '03 things looked like this:

    1. Aquafina (PepsiCo) $936 million 11.3 %
    2. Dasani (Coca-Cola) $834 million 10 %
    3. Poland Spring (Nestle Waters) $649 million 7.8%

    That's a whole lotta scratch for tap water.
  • Labels:

    Wednesday, July 25, 2007

    Fun With Game Scores

    There comes a time in everyone's life when they have to look into the mirror and admit something. As hard as it may be to face the truth sometimes, it needs to happen. For Tom, he needs to look in the mirror and admit he has lost a little something...or maybe a lotta something.

    I know I am getting ahead of myself here since there is a lot of baseball to be played, but 'tis my nature. When the playoffs hit, I cannot help but think a certain pitcher with some porcelain veneers will be toeing the rubbing in game #1. That means he is the guy most likely to start more playoff games than any other Met. Those are not odds I'm prepared to take.

    I'm a proponent of putting your best foot forward as obvious as that seems. When you are running in a race, you would be ill advised to start off sitting down, facing backwards, or parcheesi. But if Glavine starts because he is the 'ace' of the staff, that could spell bad news for the Mets.

    For one, if there is a game #5 in the NLDS, the least effective Met pitcher would be trying to keep the Mets season going. I know there are legions of fans out there that would say they trust him in the playoffs, but I just point back the 'no such thing as clutch hitting' theory. Is it possible that someone actually pitches better than they are normally capable of just because it is the playoffs?

    I would tend to think that anyone who has outstanding stats (or conversely for guys who struggled like Bonds had in the playoffs early on) are subject to sample size. While I think people can shrink in big games, others simply pitch to their ability. Is there any logical reason that Jeff Suppan is post-season beast? I do not think he rises to the occasion per se, but he goes out and has confidence and pitches to his ability. He only has 54 innings and his nice stats are probably just a result of sample size more than anything.

    I would prefer not basing the game #1 starter on the false notion of rising to the occasion or past successes. I think Maine or Perez showed they can handle the pressure of the playoffs and if Mets want their best chance of winning, Maine and Perez should be heading the playoff rotation and they should be followed by The Duque and Glavine. By setting it up that way, you can ensure your three best starters are getting the first three starts of the first two series.

    You simply cannot be worried about bruised egos and you simply cannot be living in the past. Maine and Perez have been outstanding for the Mets this year whereas Glavine seems like he is running on fumes. For some proof of the gap between their performances, let us look at the current Mets five starter's games scores. Game scores are a good way to slap a number on the overall effectiveness of a pitcher whereas a quality start is a yes or no thing. This gives you more depth.
               # of GSc over 50       % of GSc over 50
    John Maine 13 65%
    Tom Glavine 10 45%
    Oliver Perez 13 76%
    Jorge Sosa 7 54%
    The Duque 11 65%
    A quality start is a score of 50 or above. Glavine has put up a non-quality start in more than half of his starts. Oliver Perez has gone from Mr. Inconsistent to just being the pantheon of consistency. Also, a stunning twelve of Maine's starts have been over 60 and eleven of The Duque's have been over 60. More than half of their starts have been flat out gems. In the playoffs, pitching wins out most of the time and the Mets best shot for a shut down game does not involve Glavine. I'm not giving up on Glavine and would not mind him starting in the playoffs and believe he should, but he should get less starts than the rest. Lately when he pitches I would rather be waxing the hair from around my nipples than watch him.

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  • Milledge got hit for hot-dogging and Willie gave him what appeared to be a stern talking to for a hustle play...what a surprise! Was Lastings supposed to shun Reyes when he came out to celebrate yesterday? It took a perfect throw to get Milledge or else he would have been safe and it was a perfect throw. Sucks, but hardly a punishable offense. I wonder if he is going to get hit tomorrow for that fancy handshake with Paul LoDuca by the mound after the game.

    Lastings has a bad reputation already and I'm not quite sure what he can do. He brushed himself off after getting hit for the second time in two games and ran to first with no looks or anything and that is what he needed to do. I guess the Pirates took more offense than they should have but again, they could always show him up by...you know...winning.

    "I like to use the word colorful," Milledge said. "It's kind of like if you've got two TVs, and one's in color and the other one's in black-and-white, which one do you choose? Both are kind of the same thing, but the other one is kind of more appealing to the eye."

    Overall though, Willie is not against Milledge and giving him reminders is not a bad thing. Hopefully he just keeps proving that he can be a spark for this team much in the way Pence and Braun have sparked their respective teams. I am by no means suggesting he will put up crazy numbers like them, but he can make a difference.

  • Why is Lee Mazzilli orange?

  • If Beltran is injured, he needs to rest. Pulled muscles are nothing to screw around with and pushing it can make it much worse. Rest Beltran and let Milledge roam center for a few days against these weaker teams so he can be ready for the Brewers and the Cubs.

  • I like the sound of Ted's jib. Milledge's stock is hotter than the 2003 version of Kelly Clarkson, but Omar would probably have to be bowled over at this point to move him.

  • I don't think Minaya is really counting on Pedro as much him just giving obvious answers to the media's questions. However, I am starting to get a bit leery of his return. I wasn't really counting on him to start the season and I let myself get mixed up in the hype and started thinking he would be back.

  • No need to rush Alou. As with Beltran, why rush him back and risk further injury for the dregs of the NL and with Milledge providing some firepower?

  • Adam Bostick had a nice start for the Zephyrs.

  • Caleb Stewart and the Double-A for lifer Brett Harper each went 2 for 4 with a homer in the B-Mets win over Altoona.

  • Nick Carr went five innings and gave up three hits, one earned run, three runs overall, and one walk while striking out nine for the Cyclones.

  • I know I have not been playing nice with Tom Glavine, but it is great to see him get win #299. If he does not win #300 on the road, I will dust off my Glavine jersey and head out to the stadium to support him and watch him go for 300.

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  • Tuesday, July 24, 2007

    Tough Road Ahead

    The Yankees are hot right now to put it mildly and they seem to be putting up a touchdown and a field goal every game. While they may look like the best team in the bigs, they have sixty four games left entering today's action and have dug themselves a bit of a hole. I was at a BBQ this Sunday and baseball starting getting discussed. I never miss a chance to jump into some baseball talk so I dipped my toes in the proverbial pool. Of course it was a meat headed Yankee fan blow hard-ing about how easy their schedule was with 28 games against under .500 teams to start the second half and how they were going to win the AL East.

    He did make a true statement in regards to their schedule, but I wanted to point out that the Red Sox do not exactly have it hard with twelve! games coming against the hapless Rays in the second half and many more games against Baltimore and Toronto. To which he replied, "I guarantee they finish first...the Yankees are the best team money can buy." I tried to go beyond that and how historic their comeback would be, but he kept repeating his previous statement and being very dismissive to whatever anyone tried to counter with. It was just another failed attempt at constructive baseball talk with a Yankee fan that was stunted by ridiculous statements serving as the basis of an argument that really cannot be countered.

    While it would not take much of an argument to prove the Yankees are in fact not the 'best team money can buy', their bigger problem seems to be consistency. They are hot now, but they probably will not remain so for the remainder of the season.

    Games 01 through 21: .381 winning %
    Games 22 through 32: .727 winning %
    Games 33 through 50: .278 winning %
    Games 51 through 67: .824 winning %
    Games 68 through 78: .182 winning %
    Games 79 through 98: .750 winning %

    While the Yankees are clearly in a better position now than they were in the beginning of the year with their rotation picture setting up nicely, they still have bullpen issues and they will not outscore their opposition by double digits every game. They need to make up a lot of games and need their bullpen to help out in a big way and they have no room for error at this junction.

    If the Yankees go 42 and 22 (.656 wining %) for the rest of the season and Boston goes 35-28 (.556 winning %), Boston still takes the AL East. The Red Sox would have to have a .524 winning % with the Yankees owning a .656 winning % for them to take the East. In short, it is not likely. If Boston simply maintains their current pace, the Yankees will finish four games out with a .656 winning %. An admirable comeback for sure, but it is not getting it done. Furthermore, New York would have to have a .734 winning % to take the East if Boston continues at the same pace.

    But we are not just talking about the AL East and we are including the Wild Card. If Cleveland (.586), Detroit (.608), Seattle (.563), Los Angeles (.582), and Boston (.606) each play out the rest of the season at their current winning % while the Yankees play .656 ball, the Yankees miss the playoffs by one game. If we assume Detroit continues looking like the team to beat and Cleveland is the favorite for the Wild Card, they would have to play .556 ball from here on out with the Yankees playing .656 ball to slide into the playoffs over them.

    However, that scenario ignores the AL West altogether and Seattle can finish in front of the Yankees in that scenario with a .621 winning % while LA can finish in front with a .594 winning %. Overall, the Yankees' playoff odds have improved and they now have a 1 in 5 shot of making the playoffs. However, a lot has to go right and a lot of teams have to falter. The Twins are also on their heals which adds in another dynamic.

    Most scenarios that include them taking the Wild Card have them winning a lot more games than they lose with a lot of other teams playing worse than they have all season. Chances are, there will be quite a few teams that play better or the same rather than worse with the Yankees playing not quite up to the level of a .656 ballclub. That is just too hard with their bullpen as it is currently constructed. Can they do it? Obviously, but it is still unlikely.

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  • Dayn Perry has his Power Rankings out and the Mets check in at #6 and the top NL team on the list.

  • Mike Carp gets some praise.

    One NL team official praised Double-A first baseman Mike Carp yesterday, saying, "Carp's a really good-looking young hitter. He's 20 years old out of high school and he works the count and does everything you want in a young hitter." As of yesterday, Carp, who turned 21 last month, was hitting .268 with six homers and 29 RBIs in 54 games for Binghamton.

    He may be working the count, but he is not walking all that much nor flashing much pop in a hitter's league. Being first baseman, that is simply not good enough. He knocked 17 homers in a pitcher's league last year and looked to be on the precipice of becoming a top notch prospect and heir to Carlos Delgado, but his stock as undoubtedly fallen a bit.

  • Mike Pelfrey gets some mixed reviews...

    As for the Mets' prospects, another NL team official praised Pelfrey, despite his major-league struggles this season (0-7, 6.12 ERA), calling him "everything you look for."

    One AL team executive, asked if Pelfrey had lost value because of his struggles or whether that was too small a sample, said, "That's a good question. I would say some of these guys are more famous when they're not in the big leagues. The Baseball America buildup seems to carry a little more weight than when these guys are in the big leagues."

  • Julio fires back at the Mets.

    "When you get a month without playing, when you get four at-bats in a month against closers, the best in the league, I don't think anybody's that good," Franco said yesterday before the Braves played the Giants at AT&T Park. "I don't think anybody is good enough to have four at-bats in a month against closers and be successful at it."

    Point taken, but there was a whole lotta unproductive at-bats that led to that point.

    The Braves have given Franco more of an opportunity, with little to show for it so far. On July 18, the Braves picked up Franco off waivers; in his first game, July 19, he stroked a two-run single in a 10-1 victory over the Cardinals. He then went hitless in his next 10 at-bats.

    That sounds about right.

    "If there's someone that knows how to use me and get the best out of me, it's Bobby [Cox, the Braves' manager]. Coming back here, I only have good memories."

    A manager cannot production out of a player who does not have the ability to produce in the bigs anymore...not even the great Bobby Cox. I'm still shocked the Braves thought he would be a value add to the club.

  • Some people use Victoria's Secret catalogs and Tim Marchman uses Jose Reyes.

  • Who wants to bet "Stand" Pat Gillick does nothing at the break? And really, do they have much to trade anyway?

  • The Mets are interested in Mark Lorretta and that is certainly a move I would welcome. Slotting him in the two hole or having him come off the bench would be swellicious, but GMs are asking for the moon these days and Ruben Gotay is killing it anyway.

  • Also within the above link, some nice pictures of Pedro.

  • I now dub thee....Johnny Long Ball. Really, it is hard to not giggle like a school girl when a pitcher goes deep and takes a curtain call. However, I wouldn't be surprised if he gets brushed for that homerun trot he has.

    Lastings again last night consistently had good at bats and he just punishes the baseball when he makes contact. He topped off his night with a monster shot and I loved how Keith asked Willie about getting him more playing time even when Alou comes back. Randolph said that he would try while working everyone in and apparently Willie is still the only one who doesn't get it. As Gary pointed out, he has eleven hits and eleven RBIs. Lastings can make things happen and can greatly help this team out with his bat, glove, speed, and arm.

    One thing that I was not all that thrilled about was when he got hit in the elbow and did not move. However, the problem is that everyone does it and I think the umps should start taking a stand. It is hard to get aggravated with him specifically because I've seen the scrappy and ever intangible David Eckstein to superstars to unknowns do it. Of course, I'm sure someone will blow that out of proportion along with his little homerun dance with Profesor Reyes.

  • I saw Reyes kiss his bat tonight during the game, but did anyone see Kent lick his bat on Sunday? He licked the fucking bat! Who licks their bat? It was definitely slightly disturbing and I have had nightmares ever since.

  • Eddie Kunz has signed for a reported $720,000. He will be reporting the GCL and probably be moved up quickly to Brooklyn.

  • Moises just cannot win. Him and Cliff Floyd must have some sort of hex.
  • Labels: ,

    Monday, July 23, 2007

    The New Top Ten

    1) Carlos Gomez
    Gomez jumps to the top of the list with his admirable play on the big league level. The numbers will not tell the entire story of his time with the Mets as you had to see him play. His defense was great, his arm was filthy, his speed is Reyes-esque, and his bat looked lively. He seems to swing for the fences at all times, but he looks like the real deal. He also showed that he needs more work and with his lost time this year he needs more time in the minors to start '08. However, there is no reason to think he will not be ready for the bigs in late '08 or be there in case Alou goes down (the Mets will pick up Alou's option).

    2) Fernando Martinez
    It is still a lot of projection and upside with him and though some are disappointed in Fernando so far, he is doing impressive things at his age. In his first year in pro ball he did a lot of things right and followed that up with a great showing in the Arizona Fall League. He started off hitting well in AA, though with little power, and went down with another freakish injury. His biggest problem is all the time he has sat out with annoying injuries hampering his much needed development time. While the Mets wanted him ready for 2009, it would be a more conservative estimate and probably beneficial to target him for a spot in the bigs in 2010.

    3) Phil Humber
    Phil has done well for his first full season back from Tommy John surgery. He is on the leaderboard in plenty of categories in the PCL and has kept his walks down. A 3.25 K/BB ratio and a 1.13 WHIP is very encouraging and a power pitcher with a 12-6 curveball would provide a nice change of pace in the Mets rotation. Of course there are no spots for him this year, but he should have an opportunity to fight for a rotation spot in 2008.

    4) Deolis Guerra
    Like Fernando, it is a lot of projection with him. He has done some really impressive things at his age in pro ball and has been reported to pick up some velocity on his fastball this year. He already has the makings for a plus change and if he really did pick up some velocity on his fastball, he has the ingredients to be a front line starter. He just needs to get his curveball to be a usable pitch to keep hitters honest. Deolis is pitching in St. Lucie at this point and with Pelfrey, Humber, and Mulvey ahead of him, there is no reason to rush him. At this pace he should be ready for big league action in 2010.

    5) Mike Pelfrey
    I've spoke about him a lot so here so it will not kill anyone to read some more. Whether it is mental or mechanical is anyone's guess, but he is struggling. His secondary stuff is horrible despite him breaking out some really impressive changes and sliders occasionally and his command is not pretty. He seems to nibble too much and runs up high pitch counts instead of attacking hitters. He continually gets himself behind hitters and therefore into trouble. If he can get his change-up, which is more advanced than his slider, to click and stop nibbling, he can probably start getting big league hitters out. Until then, he is useless as a starter.

    6) Francisco Pena
    Upside, upside, upside. Until he proves he is a bust, he will be a highly regarded as a prospect. He has a good bat, good catching skills, and big league blood lines. His stats might not look good, but few catchers jump into full season ball at his age and that is just an impressive feat in itself and he should most likely repeat Savannah again next year. After next season, he should be moving up one level per year with 2012 as his target for being in the bigs and he will still be at the ripe old age of 22 for the entire regular season of baseball.

    7) Kevin Mulvey
    He is the only guy on the B-Mets with an ERA under 4.00 and has certainly passed his first test of his first full pro season. He owns four solid pitches with a low 90's fastball. He is never going to make scouts drool or make his way to the top of any prospects lists, but he has the ability and he has the repertoire to succeed at the highest level. He is precisely the type of pitcher that Shea (and hopefully Citi Field) will make look better than they probably are and I have high hopes for Mulvey. He should be ready by mid 2008 should the need arise.

    8) Jon Niese
    The hard throwing lefty is having rough season statistically. He is getting hit pretty hard in a pitcher's league but the big positive here is that he drastically cut down on his walks, which was his biggest issue in the past. His strikeouts are down substantially, but that could be a product of him throwing more strikes and pitching to contact rather than striking batters out. He should still be moving up to AA next season despite a less than stellar ERA and WHIP as long as he does not implode during the final weeks of the season. He is still 20 years old and a bit unrefined so I would not expect him to be ready for the bigs until mid 2010. Luckily the Mets have plenty of depth so he should not get rushed and should have all the development time he needs.

    Here is where it gets dicey. If Eddie Kunz and Brandon Efferson had signed, I would have slid them right into the top ten with Kunz sliding into the 8th spot and Efferson sliding into the tenth spot. Though they will most likely sign, they have not yet and I have to play by the rules.

    9) Scott Moviel
    Scott was the second round pick this year for the Mets and was signed for $414,000. He is gigantic and he has an arm with big potential. He is pitching in the Gulf Coast League and the early returns are good. He has a 2.12 ERA, .219 BAA, and fourteen K's in seventeen innings. He has as much upside as any pitcher in the system and could move up quickly. If all goes well this season he could find himself pitching for Savannah next year in his first full season of pro ball. His target would be 2012 if everything goes well and he continues to develop.

    10) Nathan Vineyard
    Big Nate was the Mets second pick in the compensation round of the 2007 draft and signed for nearly $700,000. He is a lefty who throws in the low 90's with a nice slider. He has gotten knocked around so far giving up twelve runs in 13.1 innings but he also managed to strike out sixteen batters so far. He is getting hit to hard and giving up to many fly balls, but it is still early and it would be silly to judge any rookie in pro ball on such a small body of work. His target would be 2012 barring injury and could be moved through the system alongside fellow draftee Scott Moviel.

    The issue I see with the top ten is there are three teenage pitchers, another twenty year old pitcher, and two college ones who have not pitched as well as many would have expected. With young arms, there is so much that can go wrong and so many things that can derail their progress. Also, it is rare that you can look at a guy and predict greatness like in the cases of Felix Hernandez or Homer Bailey (who can still have many things go wrong) so you never know what you truly have until they get closer to the bigs. When four pitchers are at High-A or lower, there is a ton of projection and a ton that could go wrong.

    Throw on top of that Fernando, who has a lot more developing to do, Francisco having a ton of work to put in and a hard road to the bigs, Pelfrey and Humber not meeting expectations, and Gomez still being raw and you have a potentially explosive top ten. The likely scenario is a few make an impact with the downside being everyone burning out and the Mets getting a few middle relievers and corner outfielders who do not hit enough to keep their day jobs. However, the upside there is pretty immense as well. I would prefer some more sure bets, but the Mets youth and cash on the big league level certainly make things more palatable.

    Other Noteables:
    Dustin Martin, Sean Henry, Josh Stinson, Mike Carp, Jose Castro, Bobby Parnell, Tobi Stoner, and Brahiam Maldanado.

    Mike Carp had been injured this season, but after a solid spring with the big club, expectations were high for him to make the next jump. That never happened and though he has not been horrible, he drops from the top ten it wasn't all that hard of a decision. His fifteen walks and sixteen extra base hits in 54 games in a hitter's league is certainly disheartening for Carp fans. Not to add fuel onto the fire, but he's hitting .140/.173/.140 line against lefties.

    Martin, Henry, and Maldonado are solid and have been impressive at times, but I'll go with the young arms over guys who are slightly old for their leagues any day of the week. That being said, I do like them and there is value there. Henry is the best of the group and his athleticism is well known, but he needs to continue to add some pop and follow up his solid year in St. Lucie with a slightly better year in Binghamton to take that next step.

    Bobby Parnell gained some velocity and is not too far behind Mulvey, but 78 baserunners in the FSL at 22 is nothing amazing. Parnell would have been #10 if Vineyard or Moviel did not sign, but they did and young unknowns with good arms and higher ceilings take precedent. Parnell still could be a #4 or #5 in the bigs if he keeps progressing, but should ultimately end up in the bullpen.

    I'm still not sold on Castro. Too many singles...too little walks...too small...too many errors. He is 20 and leading the FSL in batting average so that does count for something, but he would have been in the #11 through #15 range for me and that is more of a reflection of a system that is not very deep more than anything.

    Tobi Stoner is a somewhat of a cult hero amongst Met fans, but he's 22 and not doing anything special in the FSL. He has decent stuff but really is more of a middle relief prospect. He would be in the #15 to #20 range.

    Josh Stinson is a decent prospect with a good sinker, but has not translated his ability into results.

    Overall the Mets system is pretty much what it has been since 2003. It has some potential impact players with little depth behind them. That seems to be the Mets thing these days and although the system does have a bit more depth that it has had, it is all the difference from them being a top ten system and a bottom fifteen system. One thing that is curious is the Mets lack of Latin American signings.

    Is there a dearth of talent out there? There has to be someone out there and with the Mets not exactly spending big in the past two drafts, holding steady on big league payroll, greatly increasing attendence, and their own network, it would make sense that they would be out there and active bringing in the top international talent as they did with Fernando and Deolis.

    * * *

  • More prospect talk....Benny and Danny checked in with their thoughts on Pelfrey.

    You know how Peterson preaches location and with some pitchers he tells them to take off a few mph for some location?
    Well Pelfrey still has shitty location so maybe he should just throw as hard he can, taking off a few mph obviously isn't helping.
    Cause I mean c'mon, throwing 92 mph just isn't that special. I'm VERY dissapointed in Pelfrey and I'm a very patient guy.

    Pelfrey's fastball just has not been too special to this point which is part of the problem. He needs two very good secondary pitches to supplant his fastball whereas many said he just needs passable secondary stuff because his fastball was that good. He was supposed to throw 94 mph consistently and up to 97 while keeping it up in late innings. Now he is down to 92 to 94 mph and touching 95 mph. Could taking off a couple of notches on his fastball affect the movement?

    The Mets have completely screwed up Pelfrey. They did two things to him:

    (1) They flew him through the minor leagues before he had even mastered a decent offspeed pitch.

    (2) Peterson tried to turn Pelfrey into a sinker-balling, groundball inducing machine, by asking him to take a couple of miles off his fastball and pound the bottom of the zone with sinkers. And oh yeah, even though that is not how you have ever pitched in your life, learn how to do that at the major league level.

    It's nearly a crime the way they have mishandled Pelfrey. The worst thing the Mets could do is trade him now that they have submarined his value. The prudent thing to do is slow down and allow him to develop this year at AAA, and stop yanking him up and down, and certainly don't move him to the pen.

    Be very wary of giving up on young pitchers. That's why I actually sort of liked what Pelfrey did when he came back to the bigs this last time. He was letting the fastball go at 95-97 and getting more swings and misses with it. The problem is, this is not Peterson's philosophy and they are going to butt heads on Pelfrey's approach. Pelfrey wants to be a power guy and Peterson stresses efficiency. It's not a good mix.

    Pelfrey will thrive is he is traded somewhere and gets with a pitching coach that can exploit his strengths. I like Peterson a lot but he is screwing Pelfrey up.

    Seems like what the Pirates did to Perez in a way. His fastball will induce groundballs, but that does not mean he should be confused with a sinker-ball pitcher who's job is to do only that and pitch to contact. He needs to simply miss more bats and worry less about groundballs since he doesn't have sinker per se, but a fastball with heavy sink. There is a big difference between what he throws and what Lowe and Webb throw.

  • Genius or stupid? You decide....

    "I said to Jerry [bench coach Jerry Manuel], 'He's going to get a hit here. He's going to come through and do it for his dad.' I get those feelings sometimes--and sure enough, the next pitch he got a hit on. So I'm happy for him because he's been in Triple-A and he's been around a while."
    --Mets manager Willie Randolph on Chip Ambres' game-winning hit.

  • Alou will be back tomorrow.

    "I think my presence will help there," Alou said. "I think my bat will help in the lineup. I know I am not 100 per cent there yet, it is going to take a while to get my swing back."

    While Alou's swing may not be completely back yet, he believes his quadriceps is.

    "I think I am 99 percent," said Alou, who called the injury the worst muscle pull of his career.

    The thing with Alou is that his injuries are more freakish than anything at times, but it has been yet another bizarre year for him.

  • The Nats are inexplicably trying to trade for Adam Dunn. For a team that is so far away from competing, words cannot describe how insane that would be. If he does get traded, they will have a crack at him in the off-season as his contract would be up after the 2007 season with 2008 being voided.

  • Some Pedro news but I'm not sure exactly what it all means.

    The club said only this much: that Martinez had thrown 50 pitches and that his next activity -- throwing batting practice, a sideline session, another simulated game or pitching in a Minor League game -- would be determined Tuesday after Martinez's condition had been re-evaluated.

    I'm not really sure what time frame those next activities would occur in, but August 20th seems like an aggressive target date at this point.

  • Joe Smith says he is not tired, but it certainly looks like he is.

  • Belliard is now off the market with his bargain two year contract being inked with the Nationals for 2008 and 2009.

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  • Sunday, July 22, 2007

    Greenaphobia / Humberitis

    First off, just a great win by the Mets coming from two behind and scoring a run in the 8th, 9th, and 10th innings for the comeback win. The bullpen was tight getting two innings from Heilman, one from Feliciano, and one very interesting one with Wagner. So far, they have looked like the 2006 Mets more in the second half and have to feel great coming away with a 4-3 left coast trip. Since the break, they are 7-4 which is good for a .636 winning %.

    Now the Mets face Pittsburgh and Washington who are a combined 29 games under .500 before facing the Brewers, the Cubs, and the Braves. They need to feast on the Pirates and the Nationals before their second test of the second half, but so far, the early returns are good. And with Moises Alou returning on Tuesday, their offense should receive another shot in the arm.

    One thing I'm sure everyone has been keeping an eye on with Alou's return imminent is Shawn Green. Just what is going to happen with Green? Through the first 42 games he played, he hit .320 with a .507 SLG%. You could not argue with the Mets riding his hot streak and while not many people thought it would last, it was certainly something to take advantage of. Now? Not so much.

    Green is not adding much at all. He is not going to help you out on defense and he is turning into a groundball machine with roughly a 2 to 1 groundball to flyball ratio. In his last 42 games, he has hit .222 with a .320 SLG%. You might accept that if he was playing gold glove defense, but that is certainly not the case. He is not hitting lefties in any form as he owns a .195/.263/.264 line against them, but lately, he has not hit much of either righties or lefties.

    Obviously it is not Willie's thing to bench vets for the younger players and it will usually take an injury for someone to lose their job, but Milledge should certainly see some time if common sense takes over. It was nice to get some production from Green to start the season off, but I'm not sure many people expected it to last. At this point though, Milledge's upside dwarfs Greens. Though Milledge may not be lighting the world on fire, he has the ability and if given the chance could surprise.

    * * *

  • Mike Pelfrey had a marginal game in New Orleans' blowout against Albuquerque. He gave up four runs in six innings and picked up his third win while watching his ERA rise to 3.88. Just a hunch on my part, but Mike Pelfrey will not have a big league rotation spot in '08 and I'm curious as to what his long term role will be with this team. He seems like trade bait at this point, but his value has diminished and is not worth all that much. In the end, I would tend to think he is going to be pegged for the bullpen in '08. Guys with two good pitches typically end up there and that seems to be where he'll end up until he develops further.

    Thanks to DG for pointing out that Humber is actually having a better season than his stats would seem to indicate. He is 13th in the PCL in ERA, ninth in strikeouts, first in wins, and second in WHIP. The negative here is his 15 homers in 18 games (17 in 19 if you count tonight so far), but the PCL can be hell on pitchers.

    So far tonight, Humber has given up two homers in five innings for two runs and and five hits overall with six strikeouts. As DG stated, he should be the next call-up should they need a starter. He has pitched well this season and has been his best of late.

  • Jon Niese had a nice start in St. Lucie's loss to Vero Beach. He went 6.1 innings and gave up nine hits, three runs, and no walks while striking out two.

  • Just an awesome picture of Placido Palanco flying over Gary Sheffield as they both go for the same fly ball.

  • "I like Gotay, but I'm not ready to throw him in as 'the guy,' " Randolph said.

    You don't have to, but at least play him until he stops. Gotay looks horrific from the right side of the plate, but we have only seen him bat from that side twice. Maybe for good reason, but I'm not sure they have other options at this point.

  • Milledge can kill fastballs and sitting in the two spot he would certainly see a lot of them. Oh...and in case you didn't know, Rickey likes Rickey.
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