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

Friday, June 06, 2008

I Like Ike

Ike Davis was a solid pick for the Mets giving them the ability to fill whatever need is there be it a corner outfielder or a first baseman. Most likely Ike will stick at first and that is a huge hole for the Mets and they got a good one.

The Mets said they wanted to focus on college bats with their first two picks, and Davis was probably the best hitter left on the board. His pitch recognition is good, and he has a clean swing once he gets it started. He has 30-plus homer power in the big leagues if everything clicks. He's also a good defender with a plus arm at first base.

With the second pick, the Mets went with Reese Havens. If the guy can stick at second, the Mets would pick themselves up a nice offensive second baseman and one that I liked better than Weeks because he can add more with the stick. Best of all, the words 'great' and 'pick' were in the same sentence when Keith Law spoke about this Reese.

This is a great pick for the Mets. He makes all the plays at shortstop because he reads the ball off the bat so well. At the plate he has excellent pitch recognition and hand-eye coordination. If he has to move to second base because of the presence of Jose Reyes at shortstop, he has more than enough bat. Havens has a great approach and instincts, and he should move quickly through the Mets' system.

Brad Holt was not my favorite pick at 33 being that he appears to be a Mike Pelfrey clone with less sink on his fastball, but it is what it is. He throws mostly fastballs and lacks good secondary offerings and will most likely be shifted into the bullpen as a result or be doomed to be jerked around by the Mets organization. I would have preferred Zach Collier, who got picked right after Holt, but the Mets probably felt the need to get an arm rather than pick up another bat.

The key for now is getting them playing this year and starting their pro careers. With arms, you are OK with letting them have the extra time off, but get Havens and Davis moving ASAP. They should not represent tough signs and should go for slot which makes life easier.

The biggest shocker of the day was the Reds taking Yonder Alonso. What happens to Votto? There was plenty of other talent on the board to take that would have made more sense, but I guess his pop was too much to pass up.

The biggest steal of the day was Justin Smoak going to Texas at 11. Scary to think about how much damage he could do in that park and it is really good to see the lower teams get the top guys. No one really fell because of signability with the exception of Gerrit Cole, but there is other baggage that comes with that one.

* * *

  • If you have some time, fish through these pictures. There are some crazy ass ones in there like some guy who dislocated his ankle and it makes a left turn, the first one obviously, Nick Blackburn laid out, Aaron Rowand sliding, etc...

  • Mike Pelfrey continues to toss up encouraging performances and the Mets finally seem committed to giving him a chance. He can go out there knowing he has everyone's support and is not fighting for a job which should allow him to concentrate on getting big league hitters out.

  • The Brewers drafted Cutter Dykstra.

  • Javier Rodriguez, who is the Mets pick at 68, has a sweet swing. Check it out...

    Sean Ratliff knocked 20 homers in 61 games this season, but he also k'd 76 times. He is an intriguing pick, but he needs to substantially cut down on his k's.

    Overall, only one HS kid was selected by the Mets which is certainly interesting.

  • dg speaks the draft...

    Dare I say it? I like the Mets picks so far. We actually grabbed a two bagger with some cojones, then grabbed another for good measure. Plus, watched video of the kid from Puerto Rico and the kids has serious bat speed!

    BP's Kevin Goldstein had Brad Holt as their 50th best prospect and applauded the Mets' choice.

    And here's John Manuel on our Sixth Rounder:
    How did Josh Satin last until the sixth round? That’s a surprise, but he’s a college value pick with legit power and a small chance to stay at second base as a pro. The California senior has enough ability to be a useful outfielder and has the raw power to at least have a chance to reach the big leagues. He could be a utility player if he retains his athleticism and can play second or third base. Satin was the Cape Cod League all-star game MVP in 2007.

  • Today's game plan? Get Brett Hunter.


  • Thursday, June 05, 2008

    Chats, chats, and more chats 6/5/08

    First up...Steve Phillips.

    (yes that was done with MS Paint...I have Photoshop but I have no idea what I'm doing)

    Steve Phillips: (1:40 PM ET ) I lived through similar circumstances with Bobby Valentine. Ozzie, like Bobby, lacks that filter between his brain and his mouth that the rest of us seem to have. That being said, the passion and emotion that makes Ozzie good as a manager is the same thing that gets him in trouble every few weeks. With the team in first place and seeming to still respond to Ozzie, I think it would be wrong to make a move and let him go. Sometimes with managers like Ozzie, you can't focus on the content of what is said, you just have to focus on the emotion and where it is coming from.

    Steve Phillips: (1:41 PM ET ) Plus, they just signed him to an extension, and it's highly unlikely that anybody would make a change with that much time left. Is till think he is effective as a manager.

    There are two things that no one is allowed to do.
    1) Put baby in the corner.
    2) Say such mean and hurtful things about Bobby V. Sure, he was not my favorite, but even mentioning him in the same breath while speaking about what Ozzie did is preposturous and especially so coming from Steve Phillips.

    Chuck (Massachusetts): Who do you think the Pirates will take with the #2 pick and what is your assessment on how the new management is doing?

    Steve Phillips: (1:52 PM ET ) From what I've heard, it sounds like they'll take Pedro Alvarez, third baseman from Vandy, even though he is represented by Scott Boras. The new management is doing what they can, and it's difficult to judge over such a short period of time. They have an interesting decision to make on Xavier Nady in that they have to decide whether he's figured something out, or whether he's at his peak value now. I think they should trade him.

    Trade Nady and trade Bay. It sounds harsh, but they can draft Alvarez and give him whatever he wants since they will save cash by not having the Bay and Nady around and they can get a nice haul for both. Of course both should be deal if they can get a princely return, but they should at least try. This is a long term project and they should mimic the Marlins method of rebuilding for sure because they are far away.

    All in all Phillips answered twelve or thirteen questions and none of any substance. Congrats.

    Next up...Keith Law.

    Dennis (New Canaan, CT): Keith your draft coverage has been incredible, and I am excited for the draft tomorrow. I have 2 questions, first are you going to be on during the coverage tomorrow? Secondly, what directions do you think the Mets will go tomorrow?

    Keith Law: (2:26 PM ET ) I will be on, analyzing picks with Jim Callis of BA. I hear the Mets are leaning towards bats at both 18 and 22, and maybe a reliever at 33 to come to the big leagues this year.

    Music to my ears! It seems they are hot on Weeks though, but I am on the fence with him. I want a masher. Masher!!! Although, Ike Davis and Jamile Weeks would not be the worst thing. Wright, Reyes, Davis, and Weeks in the infield with Martinez and Beltran in the outfield? Could be good stuff all around. Maybe Castro at 18, Davis at 22, and Weeks at 33 if he falls a bit. If not Havens should do at 33 in place of Weeks as I am just not seeing a big enough difference to overdraft Weeks.

    The Mets need to just buy their way out of trouble. If they take two hitters early, they can take the best available arm unless they can get a steal at 33 with a bat that dropped and they can go pitching later. Take some high ceiling guys like when they nabbed Efferson in 2007, but actually sign them this time, and shell out tremendous piles of cash for Micheal Inoa. Their best prospect was an international signee and if there is a once in a lifetime arm out there, they need to be pursued by the Mets.

    Inoa, a 6-foot-7, 200-pound righty, creates easy velocity through relatively sound mechanics. At the workout, Inoa consistently sat at 91-92 mph with his fastball, topping out at 94. He also throws a softer breaking ball which was inconsistent at times, and will also show a splitter. Inoa turns 17 in September.

    Of course the tricky part is getting past the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Braves, etc. who will be chasing the lanky Domincican, but the Mets are in dire need here and big time draft with bats coupled with some high ceiling pitchers in the 2nd and 3rd round and Inoa would be a tremendous one year improvement. I feel the need to repeat it. It would be tremendous one year improvement.

    Two more names mentioned in the article are Johenser Cevallos and Carlos Perez. Let us see if Omar can pull off some magic and put the money the Mets are getting from the 20% ticket hike, $5 dollar hot dogs, $8 beers, and $15 parking to good use.

    Ken (Tarzana, Ca): Tell me the Padres are not going to draft a college pitcher who needs Tommy John surgery?

    Keith Law: (2:27 PM ET ) I don't think they've done that on purpose in the past.


    Jonathan (Tampa, FL): What is your take on UC Davis Irvine catcher Jake Jeffries?

    Keith Law: (2:48 PM ET ) Late first day draft. Good catch and throw guy, makes a lot of contact, probably 20 or 30 power.

    Seems like another option if Castro is not their guy at 18 or 22.

    John Manual...

    Rob (Cranford, NJ): Hey Jim. The Mets seem to be linked with Ike Davis and Jason Castro as first round picks. What can you tell me about them? Thanks.

    John Manuel: I did our West draft stuff so I'll be answering a lot of West questions. The Mets have been linked hard to those players, and I am particularly a fan of Ike Davis. He got better this year, incorporated his lower half into his swing more and improved his power considerably. Long track record, big league dad (Ron Davis), I think Davis can be a big league corner OF. Jason Castro, Stanford's catcher, hit well on the Cape last summer and carried it over to the spring, he's got a lot of AJ Pierzynski in him as a player, without all the drama.

    I would not be unhappy about that duo for the Mets.

    Fred (Davidson, NC): Wouldn't the Mets be better off drafting Tim Melville and Garrit Cole with their two first round picks than Davis and Castro if available?

    John Manuel: Maybe, but I happen to like those two college bats.

    Neither would Manual...Besides, taking two young arms like that is dicey to say the least. How many of those work out verus college bats? I am not turning into some guy who hates to draft upside and wants to go conservative, it is just that these bats are extremely good and Lawrie would be a great pick as a high school bat if he falls.

    * * *

  • tc added a nice bit to the conversation the other day that should not go unnoticed.

    Jon Miller, Joe Morgan, Tim McCarver, and Joe Buck need to be put out of their misery for the sake of all humanity.

    What is just crazy is that no one gets it. I mean, there is no way they get it. How can these TV execs and TV producers think this is ok? I do not HATE Morgan and Miller like I hate McCarver and Buck, but I can appreciate anyone's disdain for them. It is not like I do not get it, but is there that much of a dearth of talent out there?

    Even the Yankees, who are the classiest sports team in the galaxy, have two horrible teams on the TV and the radio. I mean worse than the FOX and ESPN teams bad. I mean Rock Star bad (I have not seen it, but my brother had bought it in some bargain bin because he wanted to see it anyway and it cost as much to buy as a rental but took the DVD out midway and actually broke it in half).

    I, too, am a fan of binge drinking copious amounts of alcohol on the weekends. It makes me forget about things like my job, my girlfriend, and my asshole boss (if you are reading this, you are truly a dick, ... and I did nothing in work today but watch YouTube videos of draft prospects).

    We salute you! I'm typing my blog during work so fuck you to my boss too! However, I actually like mine so I am issuing a public apology because I already feel bad. Sorry.

  • Josh Hamilton is good.
           2007 2008
    Games 90 49
    ABs 298 243
    Runs 52 43
    Hits 87 80
    2Bs 17 16
    HRs 19 17
    RBIs 47 67
    BA .292 .329
    OPB .368 .375
    SLG .554 .630
    OPS+ 131 171
    So basically he has equaled his output from last season, which was already very impressive, in 59 games this season.

  • K-Rod can barely feed his family.

    So far he has earned $11.9 million and is earning $10 million this season. By my accounts, that $21.9 million should be able 'take care of them' and give them things he 'never had'. I have no problem if people want to chase their highest payday, but I have an issue with them doing so under some ridiculous premise that he is trying to feed his family. He will get $50 million at least no matter where he goes giving him a total of $71.9+ million in guaranteed and pocketed money.

  • Jose Reyes is on fire. Fire! His OPS is right there with Hanley Ramirez and his OPS+ is about 10 off. The Mets took down Matt Cain and went on to win their seventh out of nine games. Smells like a hot streak to me.

  • John Smoltz pulls a shocking move and gets shoulder surgery. I completely thought he would be done after this year rather than get surgery, but this is a shocker. Let's see if he can make it back at 42 years of age after yet another surgery.

    The only pitcher in baseball history with 200 wins and 150 saves already has returned from four operations on his elbow, but it's highly improbable for someone his age to come back from a major procedure. No wonder the news conference took on the tenor of a retirement announcement.

    If you are wondering if he is a Hall of Famer, he is.

  • Pedro feels fine and dandy.
  • Labels: , ,

    Wednesday, June 04, 2008

    Drafty, Draft, Draft. I Like The Draft: Part Dos / Fuck Yeah: Pedro Edition

    I was praying for a little Eric Hosmer (#4 on K Law's list), but it appears as if the Royals are fed up with being losers and have decided that they are undeterred by the potential price tag of Hosmer. And methinks that if they go after him that early, they will have a pretty good idea if they can afford him.

    I was also feeling greedy and was hoping that Gerrit Cole (#10 on K Law's list) would fall as well due to signability concerns and Mets would nab him at 22, but I have backed off of that desire and would prefer they pass on him if he is on the board and wait until 33 to see if he really falls. I like the arm, but there have been mixed reports on him and while his upside is sky high, he is far from a sure thing and there stands to be some pretty good talent on the board that I would rather see get drafted first.

    There are few guys that have had the Mets associated with them for either the fact they are actually a good fit or there is legitimate interested in them. If there is no Yonder Alonso (#14 on K Law's list) falling down in the draft or Justin Smoak (#3 on K Law's list), then Brett Lawrie (#52 on K Law's list) is the guy I want at 18. The Mets could gamble and wait until 22 if they really, really want Castro and he is still on the board, but Lawrie reminds me a lot of Jay Bruce.

    He is a very good high school bat who just keeps impressing and is hot riser close to the draft. According to MILB.com, he has plus, plus raw power and a he is recognized to have tremendous upside with the bat. He may drop a bit due to concerns about where he play, but that may be the break the Mets need to pick him and he will not be a guy that will cause them upset the commish with some outrageous contract.

    For the Mets second pick, I am sure a lot of people may be down with Jason Castro (#20 on K Law's list), but I am bit unsure about that one. I would go Ike Davis here (#46 on K Law's list) because I believe in the bat more and any catcher would take longer to hit the bigs than a position player. It is not that I dislike Castro, but Jason is no stud behind the plate and if he has to move, his bat simply will not play as well as a guy like Davis'. Also, Ryan Babineau will be available in the later rounds as a guy who could really be the Schneider-esque backstop Omar likes so much and might be a better fit than Castro if the Mets can get some big time bats with their first two picks.

    For the third pick, I am down with a gambling pick on an arm. Brett Hunter and Gerrit Cole would play perfectly here and it not unfathomable that one of them would be available here and would be a solid, solid pick. If Ike Davis is gone or the Mets choose to go with Jason Castro at 22 (or 18 for that matter and pass up on Ike Davis altogether), Allan Dykstra (#60 on K Law's list) would be a solid pick at 33.

    A popular pick here would be Cutter Dykstra (out of the top 75 on K Law's list), but he would be a bit of an overdraft here to say the least. I would not mind him with a later pick if he is still around and having him shift to second, but the novelty of having a Lenny's son as a Met might be clouding my vision a bit.

    As always, things change on draft day and it is impossible to predict who will be around at 18 much less 33. However, outside of the standard studs that we all know would be a gift at 18, I would love to see Brett Wallace (#9 on K Law's list) fall to the Mets because he can flat out rake. He is Ike Davis' teammate and the best hitter on the team which is pretty impressive because Davis can rake pretty well himself.

    As for the 33rd pick, I would take Andrew Cashner if he fell, which I do not expect to happen. I just see too much offensive ability being available at 18 and 22 and I have become allergic to college relievers and even ones that that throw in the high 90s and look dominating (thank you Craig Hansen). I would also take Reese Havens at 33 if he falls out of the first round as a Dustin Pedoria type with a little bit more pop.

    The reality is after all of my whining about the Mets needing to go over slot, they might not have to nor might they have the opportunity to. Just because a guy like Cole might be on the board at 18 or 22, does not mean he is the best investment. However, at 33 he would be a good risk to take on. I think the Mets should focus on offense unless a stud arm that falls in their lap with less questions because there could be some absolute mashers on the board.

    * * *

    Pedro Martinez may not have struck out ten or threw a shut out, but for the love of Evangeline Lilly and all that is holy that was an amazing performance. Pedro was hitting 90 mph for most of the game and owned some pretty impressive secondary pitches. The party pooper might point out that the Giants have the 14th best offense in the NL, but to you I say may you be banished to a life in which you can only watch Yankee games and hear Michael Kay refer to Derek Jeter as Captain Jetes.

    “It’s not over until the season is over,” Martinez said afterward. “But I would say I feel really, really good and really confident that I’m going to be healthy this time for a little while. So I’m going to pray to God that I stay that way and I just continue to do what I did today, give the team an opportunity to win and be here with the team especially – be here with the team. Have my presence out there every five days.”

    What is even more impressive that since September 16th of 2005, he only threw 109 or more pitches once on June 22nd of 2006. I know it was not his arm that kept him on the sideline this time, but there were positives here and it was a good moment for the Mets. At least for a day, the Mets were a feel good story both for the fans and for the team.

    It was a big shock to all of us," Ryan Church said. "Now it's a big shot in the arm for us that he's back. Everything he does, he just makes it fun and keeps everybody loose."

    I am tempering my excitement right now in regards to the state of the Mets, but things do not feel as dreary as they did a week or so ago.

    * * *

  • Willie quotes...

    "I'm not worried at all," Schneider said. "It's not something I've ever thought about. ... I knew there was a chance coming in that I wouldn't get to play as consistently as I have in the past. Before anything like that happens I'm sure Willie will come talk about it."

    One thing good about Willie is that he will sit his guys down and let them know what is happening like he did with Green last season. However, the only caveat here is that it is most likely a vet because rooks haven't earned the right, but that is another story.

    "He's got to finish the year out," the Mets' manager said. "It's too early to say he's not going to have the year he had last year."

    I think it is good that said that publicly, but I hope he is sitting down with Perez behind closed doors and really digging into it. Also, Willie issued a conflicting statement that did not instill much confidence.

    Randolph described Oliver Perez's start Monday as both "horrible" and "terrible" but took it one step further when he did not completely dismiss a reporter's question about moving the lefthander to the bullpen. "We haven't got to that point yet," Randolph said

  • Barry Zito is a disaster. A big time disaster. Barry costs a lot of money and is giving them an ERA+ of 72. Last year he gave in a Glavine-esque 98 ERA+. If he can get back into the 113 / 116 range he was in during his last two years in San Francisco this thing will not look like the worst contract in the history of baseball, but it does not look promising for him. He never topped 4.48 in terms of ERA in the AL and posted a 4.53 in 2007 and has a 5.87 in 2008 so far.
  • Labels: ,

    Tuesday, June 03, 2008

    Drafty, Draft, Draft. I Like The Draft...

    Klap speaks about the draft.

    Minaya says the Mets will abide by only one edict when choosing between college or high school candidates, and deciding whether to pursue pitchers or position players: This time around, the GM said, "we're going after the best available players. That's going to come first."

    We can only hope that is the case dollars and commisioner's office be damned.

    That sets the stage for the draft, in which the next generation of Mets is waiting to be plucked. With Alou, Wagner, Delgado and Pedro Martinez all nearing the end of their careers, the next set of decisions the Mets make will be important, if not critical.

    Damn straight. With so many early picks and what looks like a decent draft class, the Mets have the ability to give the farm system a quick facelift like the Red Sox and Yankees have been able to do in recent years.

    Michael Salfino is also talking draft and thinks the Mets should go for Andrew Cashner, who is a college closer who can pump it into triple digits, Reese Havens, a shortstop the Red Sox are rumored to be hot for, and Isaac Galloway.

    For the record, more triple digit arms fail than succeed. That doesn't mean Cashner will not be good, but it certainnly appears that the Mets have a dire need for starting pitchers and positional players more and should focus on that. If he really is the best player on the board, so be it. However, it does not seem like he will be to me. If he falls a bit more to 33, shake and bake. However, at 18 and 22, they should focus on something better.

    A little tidbit for yo' bad selves...K Law has Cashner as the 22nd overall prospect in the entire draft so the Mets taking him there would be in line with his talent, but another college reliever?

    * * *

  • Steven Goldman brings up some good questions.

    The chicken-and-egg question is, are the two teams bad at drafting or bad at development? That is, did Eric Duncan fail the Yankees, or did the Yankees fail him? Would Billy Traber have been an ace starter if he signed with a team other than the Mets? There is no sure answer, but "both" is a disconcerting possibility.

    Sometimes you have to wonder...

  • Nate Silver has some pretty good insight to managers and their effect on a team.

    Mark (Milwaukee): Along the lines of the BP home page today, would you consider manager affect be one of the unchartered areas in baseball analysis? Randolph has been in the news of late and around here Ned Yost is taking a thumping but I'm not convinced. Do you have a general philosophy about how much any manager affects the play on the field? I have a hard time blaming Yost for a number of the Brewers problems.

    Nate Silver: Sure. My general philosophy about managers is embodied by the Hippocratic Oath: first, never do harm. Don't railroad your young players, don't overuse your young pitchers, don't overmanage. I don't think that either Randolph or Yost have any of those problems particularly. At the same time, I also don't think that there's a whole hell of a lot of difference between an "established" manager and a replacement-level one, and so I don't think you should need too much of an excuse to let go of a Yost or a Randolph if you think you need a change of direction.

    1) Never do harm: Randolph has been guilty of that. Yes, he has done some good, but his stubborn attitude and his propensity to stick with vets too long and kids too short outweigh that. He likes to be even keeled and tries not to have some knee jerk reaction to things and while I think that is a good trait at times, Willie takes it to the max. Also, he likes to utilize his gut rather than make decisions based upon information which is just an egregious errror. Numbers do tell us things.

    2) Don't railroad your young players: There have been many times that young guys did not get a chance. Keppinger, Bell, Humber in the pen last season while Mota was scuffling, Milledge while Green was adding next to nothing, Gotay while the field was performing at a dreadful level, keeping Wright down in the batting order for way too long (minor, but indicitive of a trend).... While he has not burned anyone's arm out (he tried hard with Joe Smith in '07), he seems to give them a really short teather while the grizzled veterans have all the time in the world.

    3) Don't overuse young pitchers: He has been pretty good in not beating anyone up, but the Mets really have not had a young pitcher putting up a good enough performance to warrent being overused. Smith came close and it is unclear if he was beat up early on which lead to him folding in the 2nd half, but Randolph gets the benefit of doubt here.

    4) Don't overmanage: Sometimes his pitching matchups are bit too much for me and he is not the greatest double switcher, but I cannot say he overmanages. To that end, I think he just lacks the ability to really be a good tactical manager and often just makes the flat out wrong moves.

    I agree with Nate a lot in what he says and agree that you can get a league average manager in here to do the same job Randolph has done. Now that may not be reason enough to switch and I am sure there is sentiment out there that if the Mets fealt they had a viable option Willie would be gone, but a change like that shakes this up and that can help.

    His job is safe for now because he went 5-2 in the last seven games, but my view has not changed since day #1.

  • Howard Medgal writes an article that is my worst nightmare and suggests that some believe Joe Torre should have, would have, or could have been the Met manager had he been available. Just thinking about that makes me cringe and that is exactly something the Mets would have done. They would have tried to capture some of that 'Yankee magic' with a 'proven winner' and 'consummate professional'. Blech. Anyway, before I get too derailed, I just wanted to bring to you all this excerpt.

    There certainly are aspects to Willie Randolph’s managing that could improve—for instance, his use of Pedro Feliciano, his most versatile and effective reliever besides Billy Wagner, in primarily blowouts, or only as a lefty specialist, despite his ability to get righties out, and pitch multiple innings at a time. Feliciano has now pitched in 30 games—16 of them in games the Mets won or lost by 4 runs or more, and in 6 of the 14 close contests, he’s faced two batters or less. A change to a more optimal usage pattern would help every other member of the bullpen, Heilman included, to pitch in more comfortable roles.

    Not that Feliciano has been terrific against righties, but it is worth a shot, no? Historically he has been proficient against batters from both sides of the plate and with the bullpen in a weird spot, it would help if Willie had the ability to optimize what he has.

  • Oliver Perez came into last night's game with the Giants with an 84 ERA+, the most walks allowed in the National League, and a 1.525 WHIP. After the game, it got worse. He had a 71 ERA+, the most walks in the National League, and a 1.633 WHIP. Good times.

    With all the talk about Mike Pelfrey moving out of the rotation, one has to wonder why Oliver Perez would not at least be in the discussion. In May, he has posted game scores of 41, 58, 67, 33, and 47. He has been what everyone outside of us Met fans thought he would be. Just an erratic lefty who could not put it together. After last season, I was rather sure he was the real deal and was coming into his own, but I was wrong.

    At this point, I am glad I am not the GM because I wanted to hand Perez a rather hefty sum of money. I am not sure what the Mets game plan is for next season, but giving Oliver a few wheel barrels of money might prove to be a bad idea.

  • Mike Pelfrey will remain in the rotation and that is the right thing to do.

  • If one thing is more of an indictor of the fans disgust with the Mets this season than the All-Star voting, please let me know. The fans have booed before, but they have always kept some Mets in the voting no matter what. This year? Not so much.

  • I was quite shocked ESPN was allowed to play the Mets games as their Sunday night game being the Mets had a Monday night game in San Francisco. Whether they wanted the game or not should be irrlevant because ESPN put the Mets in a bad spot which should not be allowed.

    The Mets are going to have a grueling flight all the way to San Francisco, where they open that series tomorrow night with the Giants," Miller said.

    Naturally, Miller neglected to explain why the Mets were forced to make that "grueling" late-night, cross-country flight. In order to have done that, Miller would've had to say this: "If the guys I work for at ESPN didn't move the game from day to night, the Mets would not been forced to make that grueling flight. In fact, they probably would have already arrived in San Francisco."
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    Monday, June 02, 2008

    It's Monday and We're Mediocre!

    For now at least....

    I say that thinking maybe, just maybe the Mets are poised to break out. Jose has his OPS+ up to 117 and is looking like an MVP again. Shame on everyone who started to say crazy things like the Mets should have dished him off for Santana and not Gomez (102 OPS+ in the OF...a 117 OPS+ at short is miles more valuable), Mulvey (4.07 ERA and .279 BAA in Rochester), Humber (5.53 ERA and .300 BAA in Rochester), and Guerra (4.23 ERA). I like all those guys and still believe in them long term, but Jose Reyes is worth more than all of them in a trade.

    The Mets are now tied with Atlanta who has been in a bit of a free fall and are 3.5 games in back of the Phillies. One game of .500 means the Mets are pretty close to under .500 which is a bad thing for a $140 million team. After going 1-7 from May 14th through May 26th, the Mets have went 5-1 to get over the hump of respectability and need to apply the pressure with San Fran, San Diego, Texas, Seattle, and Colorado in their not so distant future.

    Sure I am stating the obvious, but the obvious is not always that obvious. Take Aaron Heilman for example. He is murdering righties to the tune of a .209/.291/.239 while getting murdered by lefties to the tune of a .391/.473/.783 line. And yet he faces way too many lefties. Why is this? I have no idea but he has to be a ROOGY or demoted to figure things out. Those are the two options. I still think he has some skill, but it is not showing itself right now. Enter the problem....Feliciano is playing more like a LOOGY and now the Mets have two ROOGYs.

    That is entirely too many guys who have trouble with batters from the opposite side of the plate. Schoeneweis has been great, but still showing a bit of a LOOGY split. This bullpen has the ability to be tremendous, but Feliciano and Heilman need to figure out how they got guys from the opposite side of the plate out in 2007 or else they will be in trouble. Simply too many specialists and bullpen that is not deep enough. If Dirty can actually stick this time, that will be a big boon and I think Vargas should help out in the pen as well, but right now, Heilman should be a ROOGY with Smith and Feliciano picking up more of a role as a non-specialist until something works itself out.

    * * *

  • Keith Law talks draft and it seems as though the Mets might have to rethink their choice of picks.

    Brett Lawrie is heavily in Cincinnati's mix at No. 7, while Jason Castro has popped up at No. 8 to the White Sox or perhaps at No. 9 to Washington. If the Reds don't take a college pitcher, then both Houston (Aaron Crow?) and Texas (Shooter Hunt, Christian Friedrich) will likely go in that direction, unless a top player falls to Texas due to signability concerns.

    Castro was who the Mets were targeting with one of their two first rounds picks and Law mused that Lawrie might be a fit for the Mets who are looking for more positional depth.

  • With so many bad managers out there, you would think Wally Backman would get a shot.

    "All I need is an interview," Wally Backman said. "If they want the best person to take care of their players, I know I'm the right guy. I'll earn my spot."

    Backman wasn't talking about Willie Randolph's job. He was talking about any job in the New York Mets organization or any job in affiliated baseball. Because each major league team has about seven minor league teams, that's about 200 managerial jobs. Backman, a three-time manager of the year award winner, is not good enough for one of those?

    What is the harm in giving him a spot in the farm to see how he does?

  • Mark Prior = D - O - N - E

  • Jay Bruce? Pretty good. And really, this really shows you a thing or two about drafting. The Mets were down to Pelfrey and Bruce in the 2005 draft and they went with Pelfrey. Not that I could argue all that much at the time because Pelfrey looked special, but their age and perceived 'closeness' to the bigs probably factored in.

    Jay Bruce owns a cool 331 OPS+ (albeit in six games) at 21 years old and looks like a super star and Mike Pelfrey owns an 81 ERA+ at 24 (soon to be 25) and is still trying to find his way. Who do you think would help more this season? Draft the top talent on the board and operate in no other fashion. The rest will work itself out and they really need to take note of this for the upcoming draft.

    Kunz is in AA with a 3.91 ERA. I would have preferred a high school guy with huge upside than a close to the bigs reliever. Enough with the draft disasters of the past few years and loosen the purse strings and get some fucking talent.

  • Pedro is more of a character to me these days than a big part of this team's success. It is nice to have him around an all, but I am not expecting much. That is not to say he can not and will not add much, but I think people should temper their expectations on what type of impact he will have on this team. I think he adds to the clubhouse in a big way, but I find it hard to pin the happiness of the team on one guy.

    I used to think otherwise, but I have changed my mind. He might help out the bullpen by pushing Vargas out there, but that will remain to be seen as a big help until Vargas starts producing out there.

  • Pelfrey has been bad, but not bad enough to jettison him back to the minors. How bad would any one of us rip another organization for taking a big league retread like Vargas, who has done well, over a guy who might be a big part of the team's future?

    I think Pelfrey needs to stay. Vargas has an ERA+ of 90 vs. Pelfrey's ERA+ of 81. Vargas is 30 going on 31 and Pelfrey is 24 going on 25. Unless Pelfrey blows up, he needs to stay in the rotation and the Mets have to think about what they really want from him because right now the difference is minimal. If they are done with him and think he offers nothing, then move on. If they still think he can offer something, as I do, he 100% needs to stay.

  • Ryan Church is still playing some insanely good ball. He was concussed and just came back so I get batting him sixth, but he needs to start hitting in the top third of the order. Bat him 2nd or 3rd and adjust accordingly. I would not mind getting Church more RBI opportunities and more protection.

    Enter in the problem....Castillo now has an OPS+ of 98 and has become league average. But it is the worst league average you can be with his nine XBHs. Sure he steals a few bases, but with the exception of his recent power surge, does not offer much thump. Give me some thump through the top of order and I'll show you a team that can wear out the opposing starting pitchers quickly.

  • Tatis has been playing well and the Mets should ride him like a rented mule.

  • At least Aaron has a good support system... Just so crazy how one of the top relievers in the bigs can go to crap. I still believe he can turn it around, but now you have to wonder if it is more mental than anything else.

  • BP has some valuable insight into Johan.

    When Santana was supposedly heading to the Red Sox or Yankees, there were whispers that his problems with the long ball would be exacerbated there, due to their parks' respective leanings towards aiding offense. When he was eventually dealt to the Mets, these whispers were silenced, thanks to the offense-dampening Shea Stadium. However, what we have seen from Santana in 2008 belies the nature of the stadium, as his HR/9 has climbed from 1.4 to 1.5 per nine. Granted, he's gone from giving up 30 homers per 200 innings to 32 over the same time frame, but the thing that has Mets fans worried is that he was supposed improve, at least superficially, thanks to a league switch and move to a pitcher-friendly haven.

    This has not happened for a few reasons. First, Santana has lost additional velocity. He's dipped another half-a-mile per hour on his fastball, which had already dropped from 93.1 to 91.7 mph. He rarely used his cutter in the past, but it's been cut out of the equation entirely at this point. The past two seasons have shown Santana using his fastball more so than in the past, despite its status as an inferior pitch relative to what he was capable of before. It's a bit much to say Santana's lost it—he's still one of the top pitchers in the NL thanks to low walk totals and a still-excellent 7.9 K/9—but this is not the Santana the Mets thought they were trading for, the one they signed to pitch for them through 2013. Though it has not hurt them too much in 2008—the Mets have other problems to focus on outside of Santana's rising homer totals—it's something that's going to become bothersome and problematic in the future if their expensive ace can't figure out a way to pitch his way out of this recent trend.

    It is hard to say he has been a complete disappointment, but his drop in velocity and the fact he is not as dominating as expected is worrisome. Pedro was more dominating in his first year as a Met at four years older. While Johan has basically been in line with his 2007 performance, I think we all expected more.
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