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

Friday, September 07, 2007

Randon Tidbits 9-7-7

  • So I was watching the Cyclones game last night and I got to watch Dillion Gee on the mound who was the Mets 21st round draft pick. He was drafted out of U Texas Arlington and has had a nice first exposure to pro ball. He has a solid low 90s to mid 90s fastball with excellent control.

    He has a 6.22 k/bb ratio and has struck out 8.13 batters per nine innings. He supplants his fastball with a tight breaking ball. He did not do all that well in college, but he certainly looked decent in yesterday's game and has put up nice numbers so far for Brooklyn.

  • Delgado is down and no one is really sure for how long. The contingency plan is a Green/Conine platoon. If you take their righty/lefty splits and then extrapolate that into 501 at-bats, which is how many Delgado has, you get the following:
     R  2b   hr  rbi   bb   so    avg   slg
    64 38 14 65 53 61 .291 .457
    67 29 22 80 50 110 .255 .455
    The top line being Green/Conine and the bottom line being Delgado. I am not concerned about Delgado's injury for two reasons. For one, I do think he will be back by the playoffs. Secondly, even if he is not, the Mets can put together a reasonable facsimile of his production this year.

    As much as Green makes me wretch, him and Conine will do fine and get dropped down towards the bottom of the order and hopefully in the 7th or 8th spot. Alou slides back up to the fifth and everything is swell.

    The x-factor between the two scenarios is that Delgado has the ability to carry the team when he is hot and the other two do not in any capacity. Delgado was hot and showed some encouraging signs, but there were no guarantees that was going to be the Delgado we got for the rest of the season.

    As long as Wright, Beltran, Reyes, and Alou are happy and healthy, that is the most important thing for this Met offense. All the others are pretty much superfluous.

  • The big talk of the off-day is David Wright. He is on the verge of a 30/30 season which we are all extremely aware of.

    With four more longballs over the Mets' final 23 games, Wright (born Dec.20, 1982) would become the fourth-youngest member of the 30-30 club.

    Only Alex Rodriguez (22 years, 3 days in 1998), Bobby Bonds (23 years, 182 days in '69) and Jose Canseco (24 years, 35 days in '88) would be younger than Wright when they reached 30-30. Hanley Ramirez, Florida's 23-year-old shortstop, is six homers away.

    He would also log the fifth season a Met has done it joining HoJo who did it three times and Darryl who did it once. The other big news item for Wright is the fact that he is quickly becoming the prime MVP candidate in the National League and is trying to become the first Met to ever win the award. That is truly big on so many levels for this Met franchise as they have had some pretty good players come through here and no one has ever won an MVP award.

  • Reyes is excited about his rest.

    Jose Reyes said he welcomed yesterday's day off, just the second time he had been out of the lineup this season. "Basically it's going to be two days for me, so it's going to be nice," Reyes said, alluding to today's off-day before the Mets welcome the Astros to Shea tomorrow. "Sometimes you're going to feel tired."

  • I guess Willie is just one of a long line of people that have lowered their arm slot as a Met.

    Lefty reliever Willie Collazo, taught a three-quarters delivery by pitching coach Rick Peterson before the season, made his major-league debut with 1-2/3 scoreless innings in relief of John Maine. Collazo, 27, allowed two hits and a walk. He arrived from New Orleans with a 33-inning scoreless streak.

    It seems to be a working formula.

  • Orlando is almost back.

    Orlando Hernandez threw his first bullpen session since receiving a cortisone shot in his right foot. El Duque expected to throw another bullpen session tomorrow or Saturday, which could set him up to pitch as soon as Monday against the Braves at Shea.

    When he gets back, the Mets should seriously think about giving Maine and Perez a break with Pelfrey or Humber getting the call for them.

  • So Rick Ankiel received a 12 month supply of HGH back in 2004. While that does not mean that he is taking it now, it certainly just about confirms a lot of people's suspicions that it is circulating around the league. If you cannot test for it and many were OK with taking steroids, why not?

  • It seems Mike Lowell would be too pricey for the Red Sox? I thought he would have been a bargain. Go figure... It looks like this off season is going to be another doozy and prospects might even become more valuable than they already are further throwing the trade market out of whack.
  • Labels:

    Wednesday, September 05, 2007

    Looking Good....Feeling Good

    The big news in Met-land is Pedro. If you are going to tell me I am a bit late on that one, I would agree with you, but I would be remiss not to discuss the triumphant return of our fearless leader. He started off the game with an 82 mph and gave up two runs in the first inning. It certainly did not seem like a storybook game was going to take place, but Pedro settled down and put forth one encouraging start.

    "If I'm sitting in [the Mets'] dugout, I'm more than pleased with what I saw today," Brantley said. "His changeup was around 74-75 mph, but he had six pitches that were 88-89. I can tell you right now, if Pedro can throw 88-89, he's going to be highly competitive for the times that he goes out there."

    He then struck out Aaron Harang in the second inning for his 3,000th strikeout and cruised through the rest of the game without command or feel of his curveball. With Pedro limited to 75 pitches, it was going to be difficult for him to win a game in which he was expected to be rusty, but he did. He went five innings and got the win and everyone rightfully has reason to be really excited and Jeff Brantley is 100% on point.

    The Mets are fielding an excellent rotation right now when you include The Duque and things are finally settling in. He still has a ways to go as do the Mets, but these are certainly positive signs and certainly something that should energize a Met team that has been all to lethargic at times. In the midst of a season in which the Mets were sometimes too complacent, Pedro could serve as a shining example of why you simply can never get complacent no matter how far in first you are or how much better than the other team you think you are.

    "I had to just think about some of the people who never stood a chance, who never had the opportunity [to come back]," Martinez said. "I see my family and all the people who have hope that I'm going to come back and have me as a role model ...

    "A lot of people don't understand. The better you are, the bigger your responsibility is."

    The Mets are on pace for 91 wins and have the fourth best overall record in the Major Leagues. They are 28-25 within the NL East for a .528 winning %, 17-18 against the NL West for a .486 winning %, 8-7 against the AL for .533 winning % and 25-11 against the NL central for a .694 winning %. Obviously they have been feasting against the Central and thankfully so. Against everyone not in the NL Central, they own a .515 winning # in 103 games.

    Is that cause for concern? It probably is since they really failed to excel in what was a weak National League this year. Overall, the Mets have only been firing on all cylinders for a few weeks at a time. Every time they look like they are going to run away with it or are in a commanding position, they seem to fall back down to earth.

    Of course they look comfortable right now, but we have been here before haven't we? Twenty three games and five games out is seemingly insurmountable as long as the Mets play above .500 ball, but I am reluctant to declare anything at this point.

    * * *

  • Amy K. Nelsom from ESPN wrote a nice piece on Pedro.

  • The Duque is going to miss his start this week and there is certainly no need to push him. Mike Pelfrey earned himself another start for the first time all year and we shall see if he can build off of his extremely encouraging performance. Also, going against Houston in Queens should certainly helps things a bit. But needless to say, if he can build upon that performance he could certainly be a force out of the bullpen for the Mets down the stretch with the ability to locate his fastball better, his improved slider, and the balls to attack hitters.

  • Wright's MVP candacy is gaining momentum daily.

    Jose Reyes seemed to be anointed early as the Mets' designated MVP candidate. But we think Wright has passed his favorite shortstop, with a season that gets better as it rolls along. Sheez, this man has a .477 on-base percentage (best in the big leagues) and .366 batting average since the All-Star break, with 44 runs scored (second only to Jimmy Rollins) and a .593 slugging percentage (better than A-Rod, Magglio or Prince Fielder). Wright also has a shot to be a 30-homer, 30-steal, 100-run, 100-RBI, .300-hitting on-base machine. And Baseball Prospectus ranks him atop every player on an NL contender (and behind only Hanley Ramirez) in VORP. So as much fun as Reyes can be on any given trip around the bases, it's the guy playing next to him who is really the Mets' MVP.

    Utley's name has been the sexy name the last few months despite the time spent on the disabled list, but the same thing that perhaps hampered Beltran last year will play a role in Wright getting it this year. With Howard and Rollins set to get a good number of votes, they could actually steal some from Utley. In fact, Reyes' recent struggles down the stretch after such a great start actually put the focus on Wright as the MVP of this Met team and perhaps the entire league. It sure does not hurt to play in New York City and man the hot corner while batting third as well.

  • From Rob Neyer:

    As David O'Brien notes today, in their last 250 games, the Braves are 122-128. And while they've played pretty well this season, it's worth noting that their best pitcher is 40 and their best hitter is 35. Well, I suppose their best hitter is actually Mark Teixeira, who's only 27. But you look at this team, about to lose their best fielder to free agency, with two starting pitchers better than average, and you wonder how they're going to compete with the Mets over the next few years.

    I don't have to wonder. They have golden boy Jeff Franceour. How can they not compete?

  • Joel Sherman is rather sick of Clemens' act. Anyone else really happy the Yankees plunked down the equivalent of one third Kiribati's GDP to watch Clemens be a Princess?

    Just an aside....the Astros are in big trouble. Any shot that they make another play for Clemens for simply a PR move? Maybe they will let Roger pitch in home games only?

  • By way of Rob Neyer's blog, a must read.

  • Johnny Baseball continues to pitch himself out of the playoff rotation and could just be flat out gassed. His is very close to the most innings he has ever logged and while that is a nice little excuse wrapped up with a swelltastic bow, we are not sure if anything else is going on. Whatever the reason for his second half struggles are, his pitching woes march on.

    With the B-team going, it was tough to really expect a sweep anyway. Willie gave some of the elders a bit of rest since it was a day game after a night game. However, after not playing an entire game on Tuesday, Delgado injured, having an off day anyway following the game, and being on fire over the last week, his exclusion of Alou is curious. Seems like Alou should have enough gas in the tank to play a day game after a night game with a day off following, but I'm not going to complain if it got Milledge a rare start these days.

    Collazo and Humber came in and ate up some innings and did an admirable job not letting the Reds pile on some runs.

  • In Jim Callis' chat he said he'd take Ian Kennedy over Mike Pelfrey. That's Joba, Hughes, and Kennedy over Pelfrey for those of you keeping score at home. Just one man's opinion, but worth noting.

  • It is a good thing I only use my tires as lawn ornaments.

    Chinese-made products have been under scrutiny recently after several high-profile recalls including toys made with lead paint, pet food that contained dangerous additives and tires that could allegedly come apart under use.

  • Notes:

    Triple-A New Orleans clinched a Pacific Coast League playoff spot with a 10-2 win against Round Rock on Sunday night. Kevin Mulvey, the Mets' top pick in the '06 draft, threw six scoreless innings in his Triple-A debut. Joe Smith, who had dealt with biceps tendinitis, made his first relief appearance in two weeks with a scoreless frame. Smith is not expected to be immediately promoted, although he should rejoin the Mets this month. New Orleans opens a best-of-5 series against Nashville tomorrow.

    1) Good for the Zephyrs.
    2) Good for Mulvey.
    3) Good news on Smitty.

  • Joe Sheehan pens a sniffle worthy piece on Pedro.

    I’m kidding, of course. Pedro Martinez’s return to the mound Monday afternoon in Cincinnati was a terrific baseball moment. No matter who your team is, you have to enjoy watching one of the all-time greats on the mound. At his peak, Martinez wasn’t just a fantastic pitcher, he was an entertaining one. He dominated games with power and precision—no member of the 3,000-strikeout club has fewer career walks allowed and just one a better K/BB. He was a showman as well, firing up crowds by wearing his heart on his sleeve, by being openly competitive, and by showing as much love for the game as the people in the seats. Watching Pedro Martinez pitch is a treat in a different way than watching his peers in greatness, Roger Clemens or Greg Maddux, is.

    Go ahead....cry. You know you want to. He also lays some rare love from the media on the Mets rotation.

    What is going to be interesting is seeing how the Mets use him, not so much in September—you can always go to a six-man rotation—but in October. As big a concern as the Mets’ rotation was at the start of the season, it has been an absolute strength in 2007, arguably the reason this team has the best record in the NL, a five-game lead in the NL East and a 98 percent shot at making the playoffs, which is just two percent shy of the random strike zone’s chance of appearing in October.

    I for one feel just fine about the Met starting pitching.
  • Labels: , ,

    Sunday, September 02, 2007


    Has rock bottom been hit? After such a horrific series on Philadelphia, have the Mets woken up out of some funk? Perhaps. You cannot get too knee jerk because the red hot Phillies are within striking distance to say the least, but there have been encouraging signs.

    As Keith stated the other day, Delgado had four really good and productive at bats on Friday and he followed that up with another solid game on Saturday. Might they all be coming around? It is certainly worth keeping an eye on Delgado to see if he still utilizes the left part of the ball field it will be a positive.

    As for Pelfrey, I did not watch the game for a myriad of reasons, but it's a good thing we are covered.


    Poor fifth inning. Lost all command from the stretch after hitting Francoeur.

    Flashed a plus slider and a decent change. Definitely the most impressive slider i've ever seen Pelfrey throw. Nasty bite, great tilt.

    Fastball command was okay. Definitely mediocre. He seems to have the same disease Maine does, only worse. His fastball moves more than Maine's and being that tall only exacerbates the issue.


    I got blacked out today (thanks FOX), but the radio guys were raving about him. Sounded like he lost control once or twice, but went right after guys otherwise. Set down first 11, mostly on broken bat grounders. 7 K's, 3BB's, 1 H in 6 IP is pretty darn good...


    Wow Pelf. We hardly knew ye! Surprising performance as he was aggressive and threw the change even though he knew maybe 30% of them would be strikes. Braves are a strikeout team, but it was still nice to see 7 k's. And best of all, when Francoeur got all hippity about being him, Pelfrey walked towards him like he wasn't going to back down if it came to that. All in all, the most satisfying stuff I've ever seen from him. Not perfect but really workable. Is it a game comparable to Johnny Maine in last year's playoffs or Ollie's sudden appearance in the same? This could realistically change what we may come to expect from Pelf (as it was for the other two mentioned).


    I’m not sure of the Fox guns accuracy but Pelfrey touched 97 at times and 95 more than a few times. The movement on the fastball was good and although it makes it tougher to command his pitches I don’t want him to reign in that movement or ease up on the velocity. It caused all the broken bats and ground balls.

    I was most impressed with his slider or slurve that he threw in a couple of critical points in the game to left handed hitters in fastball counts that made the Braves hitters look inept.

    All good and encouraging stuff and if he can build some sort of consistency, he could be extremely useful out of the pen to say the least with his propensity to get groundballs off of his fastball.

    Definitely great to see those two wins after that horrific Philly series with Philly losing one yesterday to drop three back. However, it simply cannot be overlooked how fast things could deteriorate and how just vulnerable the Mets lead could be. And it cannot be stressed enough that the division will be won in the head to head matchups within the division.

    I know many just expect the Mets to roll over non-Brave and Philly opponents and think it is irrelevant what happens when they play the Braves or Phillies, but I think it is clear the Mets need to wake up and start playing better and more consistent balls. I have no idea if there is a big complacency issue in the clubhouse, but it sure explains a lot.

    If there is, hopefully they have been given a reality check on what they have to do for the rest of the season so the can manage to stay on track.

    * * *

  • Rob Neyer has a nice blog on the Clay Buchholz no hitter and it is nice to see him simply silence (for now) Yankee fans who are insistent on comparing him to Chamberlain and Hughes. Let it go....they are all good and just be happy about that.

    I'm sure a lot of the talk of the day centers around Buchholz being the sandwich pick the Red Sox got from the Mets signing Pedro. I do not want anyone to confuse that with that pick really having anything to do with the Mets. They had already picked Pelfrey ninth overall and only gave up their second rounder for signing Pedro.

    Even if it was a pick they did surrender, you have to give up something to get Pedro. Congrats to Clay and congrats to the Red Sox fans for having a young kid with a tremendous curveball, tremendous change-up which already might be one of the best in the bigs, and apparently has a big set of cojones to watch for a long long time. It should be exciting to watch the Red Sox and the Yankees over the next few years with all the homegrown talent doing battle.

  • Maddon had A-Rod's bat confiscated after Torre had Iwamura's bat confiscated.

    "It's just retaliation. There's nothing wrong with Alex Rodriguez. He's a great player. It was tit-for-tat entirely," Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "I said, 'It's an illegal bat.' I said, 'I can't see inside it, but there might be something inside that bat. I don't have X-ray vision. He's got 45 home runs, it's Sept. 1.' That was my argument."

    Some people think Maddon was being out of line and immature by retaliating that way, but I do not see it that way. It was just a response to a ridiculous move by Torre, who did the immature and ridiculous thing in the first place.

  • The Yankees apparently think Mussina showed up out of shape and just didn't have it. It seems he will get another shot in '08, but the best place for him is on the Cardinals or something if you ask me.

  • Also from the above link:

    Talk about a sign of the times: Former Met Julio Franco, having signed with the Braves and called up by the major league team Saturday, wandered into the visitors' clubhouse to say hello to his ex-teammates.

    Not only did Franco's visit violate the unwritten rule of fraternization among players, it clearly irked some Mets, including Willie Randolph and Tom Glavine.

    The manager said, "That wouldn't go over too well in the clubhouses I grew up in."

    Added Glavine: "You play long enough, I guess you see everything."

    Turns out the great Franco might not be so great after all. Of course it could have been him taking at jab at the Mets outright disrespecting them, but whater it was, I am glad he is not on the Mets.

  • My how quickly things can change.

    Another hit, and who knows, maybe the Braves would've started peeling away layers of Pelfrey's psychological flesh. Maybe they uncover the self-doubting rookie who, until Saturday, had been winless in the big leagues, sporting an embarrassing 0-7 record.

    All that might've unfolded – had Pelfrey actually thrown a fastball. Instead, he delivered the kind of slider that lights up the major leagues' gossip network. It won't be long before scouts are talking about the downward trajectory of Pelfrey's slider, how it handcuffs hitters who already are defending against his 95 mph fastball.

    Johnson? Never had a chance. He swung right over the slider, ending the Braves' rally and all but ending their season, too. The Mets' 5-1 win at Turner Field ensured a series triumph against their toughest opponent this year, putting them 6½ games ahead of the Braves and three games up on the Phillies, who lost to the Marlins in a night game.

    And don't just take Klap's word for it.

    "I don't know if he was well-rested or what, but the ball came out of his hand really well," said Teixeira, the Braves' first baseman. "He got it up to 97 mph, he was sitting at 95. And the way his ball moves, he really didn't give us much to hit over the plate."

    "His ball just bores in on you," said Bobby Cox. "When he throws that breaking ball, it's hard to lay off."

    Hitting Frenchy on top of it and jawing back at him certainly earns tons of bonus points.

  • Pedro is on a 75 pitch limit. They could have given him one more rehab start and used Humber here, but at least the Mets will be deep enough in the bullpen to pick up the slack and I do not put it past him to go five complete innings.

  • Hernandez might have to skip a start and that is fine. Let him rest up, the Mets have kids ready to step in.

  • A dig at Torre?

    Minaya did say Pelfrey might be used in relief this month. But he said, unlike the Joba Rules, there would be no restrictions enforced from above. "I don't believe in locking yourself into rules," Minaya said. "You try to use common sense as far as being careful with things like back-to-back situations."

  • Hmmm....

    There have been rumblings of dissatisfaction for Randolph both in the front office and in the clubhouse. Four different major-league sources said Mets upper management has expressed concerns about Randolph both tactically and in failing to get his team to play with consistent passion this year. Two agents with players on the Mets both said their clients have conveyed the sense of a clubhouse that is more consistently second-guessing managerial strategy.

    Vindication is mine...sort of. How many people defended Willie to the ends of the earth when anyone said anything negative about his lack of skills? A lot. Some here, but not as much as on other pages. Also, from 2005 and on he has showed a lack of ability to get it done tactically and I for one think that playing in the majors and coaching there for 30+ years should have prepared him better and if doesn't know now, what can we reasonably expect from him in the future?

    I'm still pulling for a miracle and that would entail Gary Carter or Ken Oberkfell. Sorry to the Willie lovers, but he is simply to inconsistent for my tastes, but of course, he just got extended. Good times....

    Nevertheless, while voicing displeasure about the inconsistency of both the play and emotion of his team, Jeff Wilpon said, "Not at all," when asked if his manager was in trouble. "There have been no conversations at all about Willie Randolph."

    Omar Minaya said, "With all the injuries we have had, Willie has done a very good job. We are very happy to have Willie Randolph as our manager. That (his removal) has not even been a topic of discussion."

    What else would they say? I do not think he is close to getting fired, but I can see this ending when his contract is up and not in the most pleasant of manners with animosity in the clubhouse in the way there was between the players and Art Howe a few years ago. For me, he is just Art Howe with more of a personality.

  • Glavine is still undecided on playing in '08. I do think the Mets should walk away from him either way, but I would not mind see him giving a go at it for someone else to pile up some wins.

  • Huh?

    MLB.com reported that the contract of Rudy Jaramillo, the Rangers' highly regarded hitting coach, expires on the last day of Texas' season. That is unusual, as coaches' contracts more often run until November or December.

    The Rangers are working to re-sign Jaramillo, but if they can't agree to terms, he figures to be in demand. Mets general manager Omar Minaya has such a good relationship with Jaramillo that he interviewed him as a managerial candidate in 2004.

    Just how would he fit on the Mets? With HoJo as the hitting coach, jerry manual on the bench coach, Willie as the manager...I'm not seeing it. Not that I would mind, but I'm not seeing it.

  • Peavy was insanely good again yesterday and he is easily the Cy Young for me right now. 2.10 ERA, 1.03 WHP, 1st in the NL in wins, 1st in K's, 1st, in WHIP, 5th in IP, 1st in ERA, 1st in ass kicking.
  • Labels: