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

Monday, May 14, 2007

Injury Concerns?

I've spoken about this before, but the anti-Met propaganda about the Mets rotation, the age of some players, and the fragility of some of their players (i.e. The Duque and Moises) has been seriously overblown. We all know what to expect from The Duque and Moises and that's 20-25 starts from The Duque and 120 to 130 games from Moises. They are going to get dinged up and spend some time on the DL and will need their rest. That was a given and it comes as no surprise that this is exactly where we are at this point in time.

Moises is hurting a bit and a trip the DL for some rest would not be the worst thing in the world while he heals up and as Jorge Sosa is proving, a trip to the DL is hardly a detrimental thing to a team like the Mets. As sexy as their pitching might not be, John Maine and Oliver Perez appear to have been greatly underrated during the off-season. With Sosa in the mix now and Vargas, Humber, and Pelfrey on the farm with Pedro's rehab coming along well, it is hard for the Mets to not feel comfortable at this present time.

The Mets top three starters in Glavine, Maine, and Perez own a 2.59 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and a 7.36 k/9 in 22 starts with a 13-4 record. If you take a look at the Mets probable starting five when The Duque comes back, you have a 2.59 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 7.12 K/9 in 29 starts and 180.2 innings. Simply amazing. One thing of concern is Maine and Perez's bouts with wildness from time to time as Maine has two six walk games and a four walk game in seven starts. As for Perez, he had one seven walk game early on. However, when you look at Maine's seven starts and see that four have him going at least seven innings and going at least six and all but one in conjunction with Perez's seven walks in 39+ innings outside of that one extremely wild game, it quells those concerns.

As for Moises getting injured, it provides a perfect opportunity to get Gomez, Milledge (when he's back), and Chavez more playing time while resting an old player keeping him fresh for the long haul. You can almost say the DL is a good thing for certain players on the Mets roster and better in the long run. Injuries will happen over the long haul of the season and the Mets can handle them. While some people showed their anti-Mets bias and went with teams like the Phillies or the Braves for the NL East, this team is better than people give them credit for and many think they will be very good. The Mets are far and away the best team in the NL as evidenced by their extremely large lead in run differential which is a great predictor of success and true record of a team.

* * *

  • Mike Pelfrey has been optioned to AAA to gain some confidence and work on his secondary stuff in an environment more suitable to do so. Keith Law weighs in on the situation:

    He's just short of 30 innings, but Mike Pelfrey merits his own mention. His need for a reliable breaking ball has been put into sharper focus in his five starts this year, and even more concerning, he hasn't been getting groundballs at his usual rate. His velocity is fine, but his slider is inconsistent, and he seems to overthrow his fastball when he gets into trouble. Pelfrey's upside is huge, but he's moving further away from fulfilling it.

    You don't want to get down on him, but after he built up our confidence in his ability to be effective this year in the bigs, it is hard not to. It is clear he is a bit further away than originally believed after Spring Training and as I've stated before, it is disturbing when you consider his age, his experience, and the quality of his secondary stuff. Furthermore, his extreme lack of ability to miss bats leaving him with no true out-pitch despite a ++ fastball is not a great future predictor of success. He is still extremely young, but he needs to make some great strides in AAA. His success in AAA will be hard to decipher via stats because he should mow down hitters, but he needs to work on his pitches more than getting batters out.

  • Can Reyes keep his amazing season up? I would say absolutely due to his newfound ability to take a walk. He had 53 last year and already has 20 this year, which puts him on pace to for 90 walks, to lead the entire Mets team which is astounding considering Wright and Beltran's ability to take a free pass. Selectivity has always been the thing holding him back and the early returns on him overcoming that are positive.

  • Carlos Gomez makes his Major League debut!
    • He looks strikingly like Reyes in regards to his stance at the plate.
    • He is clearly a plus defender. He was tight out there and made a spectacular diving play. He has centerfielder instincts and was sitting under every ball as it came down rather than catching every ball in stride as Shawn Green does when he has to move.
    • Also similarly to Reyes, he exudes electricity and joy to play the game. He has the same perma-smile that Jose Reyes has.
    • Though his in-game power has not shown up yet, you can definitely see the kid has game changing ability that is rare.
  • Mr. Billy Wagner has been great this season thought he has not gotten all that many save chances.

  • Some interesting tidbits from Tim Kurkjian's last chat.

    Mark (Boston): What is your opinion of Terry Francona? I think he really gets a bum deal in the media considering he manages a club with a lot of vetrans and egos.

    SportsNation Tim Kurkjian: (3:09 PM ET ) I think Terry Francona is a really good manager, because of the people he manages on that team the town in which he manages. Every day there is a new story with the Red Sox whether it's with Schilling or Manny or someone else. Few managers deal with people better than Terry Francona. For those who think he's not a great strategist, I'll take a great communicator as a manager over a great strategist any day.

  • Of course we can relate this to our very own favorite team. I'm not saying I prefer one or the other, but I am saying there are guys out here who can do both. They are not mutually exclusive.

    Alon (Brooklyn): What do you think of Maine performance and do you think he can keep it up?

    SportsNation Tim Kurkjian: I don't think he's going to be this good the rest of the way. But he has become a well above average Major League pitcher. The Orioles told me when they traded him that they might not be able to handle the pressures of New York and that his ball was awfully straight. And yet, he has handled the pressures of New York very well. I'm told his ball has very good movement.

    Maine has gotten better in leaps and bounds and appears to be the real deal. It seems as though my estimation of John Maine as a legit #3 was a bit of an underestimation.

    Josh NY: Better Career, Jose Reyes or Hanely Ramirez?

    SportsNation Tim Kurkjian: I'm taking Jose Reyes, even though I really like Hanley Ramirez. Last year, no player in history matched Reyes's numbers in hits, runs, steals, HRs in one season. He is a dynamic offensive player who can also change a game on the basepaths and with his defense. He is the most exciting player in the league and I think he's getting better every day.

    Put that in your pipe and smoke it Marlin fans. Of course they are both great players, but Reyes is simply the better long term bet at this point though Ramirez should be really, really good.



    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    It seems that Pelfrey is really struggling with the command of all his pitches including his fastball. I don't know if hes nervous or what but he doesn't seem to be able to locate the ball at all.

    Gomez was nice in his debut.

    It was too bad Perez couldn't get the shutout but he was pretty great.

    12:20 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Valentin seems to have shared his magical elixir with Easley. I understand its active ingredients are not detectable via the standard drug tests. Easley hasn’t been an everyday player since the year 2001 so I don’t know how he will hold out for the long haul if Valentin is out for 2 months or longer. But he should consume a greater amount of this magical elixir daily. Perhaps he can convince Moises Alou to partake of said refreshing drink. Easley for MVP.:)

    3:22 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hmm. I get the feeling either Pelfrey or Humber should be traded at some point. I just know, in my bones, there is no chance in hell both are going to fulfill their potential.

    Hello, Dan Haren. Greetings, Rich Harden.


    3:39 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Yesterday was a nice statement game of sorts. With all the hype of the Brewers arrival in town, I think the Mets pretty much showed who should be looking up to whom. I'm still a bit surprised by the continued tenacity of the Braves; man, I don't know what kind of helium they're using, but I want some! There are about six teams that can make the playoffs in the NL. That's it. The Cubs are not one of them, and three reside in the NL Waste.

    Funny how Gomez almost crouches down when he runs. Boy's got speed! When he misjudged the line drive to right, changed direction & turned on the jets for a diving stab, you knew Ollie was going to be fine. You cannot under-rate the importance of an outfield like that for a fly ball pitcher like OP or John Maine. Oliie has had one bad game. I cannot blame him for the mess in SF. We've seen the same sloppiness afield mess with a stable sort like Glavine. Re: Gomez - his double was a groundout versus most third baseman as Graf was out of position, but his other hit was a nice level stroke to right.

    And the Orioles totally misjudged JM thankfully. The hardest point, I'd say, is that moment a hot prospect stagnates, and Maine was one of the finest prospects in the O's org before he hit a dead patch. The Mets will have to find patience with Pelfrey and afford him his growing pains. He has a great fastball, yes, but the biggest problem at this point, is not his less than stellar secondary offerings but his essential maturity. He could use that double plus fastball in college and not much else; now he's got to think. To borrow a bit from The Jacket, he's got to actualize. The Mets should leave him at New Orleans for the rest of the season and stop trying to rush him.

    Horse race? Not really. I'd bet a year's supply of fois gras that Jason Vargas is going on Thursday. Phil Humber pitched very well yesterday against Las Vegas, the bottom of the PCL, and thus is not on schedule. No one else even comes close to being likely. And I think JV could benefit from some time with Zen master Rick.

    Mets could trade if they want to, but I'm not sure Omar is going to burn youth before the offseason unless things are desperate (and I don't see that happening). Once Duque is back you have a very solid four with a hopefully new found Sosa in the five spot. Pedro may or may not be back, but the depth at Norleans should allow the Mets all they need until the playoffs when they will only need four starters. Does that soud overly confident?

    I could see the Mets going after a second bagger if Valentin doesn't return well, but I must say I like Gotay quite a bit. He has a nice stroke and a nice glove (Saturday's tactical mistake notwithstanding). Unlike Anderson H, he can drive the ball.

    A Carlos, Carlos, Lasto outfield would be as awesome as yesterday's with Endy and the Carlos's.

    4:23 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    "Fuck the Brewers."
    - The 2007 Mets

    The Mets were tied for best record in the major leagues. In the offseason they adress thier needs and get better. BUT... the Phillies or the Braves were picked for the division. Yeah that makes sense. I mean the Braves are doing well but they're not winning the division.

    Reyes leads the team in walks. WOWZERS! Who woulda thunk it?

    I don't know why people are so impressed with Easley. This is what he's been doing for the past 3 seasons now. He comes off the bench he hits clutch homeruns, He fills in during injury time and he has his big game. That's all he's done the past few years. He'll hit about 10-12 HR's, bat around .240 and that's it. Easley in a nutshell.

    Here's a good question. If you had to trade one of them. Do you trade Milledge or Gomez? dun dun dun.

    Hanley is just a poor mans Reyes and that's not even in a badway. It's in the "only $2 cheaper" type of poor mans.

    6:33 AM

    Blogger michael o. said...

    Perez was awesome. Another tight start from him and the Mets could have three starters who have been in since opening day with ERAs under 3.00. Pretty impressive stuff. A lot of fly balls by Perez and probably wouldn’t have been near a shut-out in Philly, but he has been really impressive outside of that one bad start.

    Emad, I was just thinking about that yesterday. Whether or not both fulfill their potential, one had to make strides in the bigs this year while the other broke in the next. No way they carry both as wet behind the ear starters. So having both of them for next season is rather pointless. Trading one with a outfielder makes utmost sense at this point unless things drastically change on short order.

    DG, I thought the 3b was playing in a bit. If he was playing back more he would have gotten it, but it appeared as though he was playing in for the bunt.

    RE: Burning youth….trade youth for youth. That’s the key. Omar wouldn’t trade one of those studs for anything less than a young stud.

    Gotay is definitely more projectable than A Hern. In a bit time lineup he could work just fine.

    Benny, I have to say I’m really happy with Easley and I hated the signing before. Milledge or Gomez is a tough one. I still think they are both going to be pretty good. Gomez better in the field and on the bases with Milledge getting the nod at the plate. I say keep Milledge.

    Preferably I’d keep both and see what happens, but if a trade presents itself in which you can bring back something you need and it’s the right player, you cannot be gunshy like the Reds and the Rays always are. You have to trust your instincts and Omar seems to be pretty good at that and we know he’s not shy.

    9:52 AM

    Blogger Toasty Joe said...

    It should be noted that Gomez's great catch was necessitated because he initially misjudged the ball.

    11:00 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Toasty, that's alright.
    I went to alot of games last season where Endy made AMAZING catches, including one during Game 1 of the NLCS where he completely misjudged a ball but made a sick diving catch.
    So as long as he has the speed and skill to make up for his original mistake, I think its ok, nobody is perfect.
    Someone like Shawn Green fucks up? THEN we have a problem and on the field, he has been a problem...

    11:05 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Green has been no superhero with the glove, that is for sure! But, I could see the Mets, however unlikely, going with the Lasto/Carlos/Carlos setup next year if and only if the Mets were to sign/trade for a serious two bagger. A couple of weeks ago I suggested that Alou for another year with Lasto starting the year in right might make a lot of sense, but then no one expected Gomez to be thrust into May callup mode. Lasto getting hurt was bad for Lasto like Baniister getting hurt last year was bad for Bannister (but good for John Maine!). That's how things pan out. That said, while Gomez may make it for a week or two, he is not nearly as ready as Milledge is to play every day in the majors.

    At some point the Mets will have to consider trading one of those young stud outfielders, no doubt, but, boy , let Omar decide! Obviously, Fernando, batting near .300 at Bonghamton, will likely arrive in '09 if not mid-'08, so there's wealth to spare. Fernando will never be dealt, but it's almost mix and match between Gomez & Lasto. Is it trade who brings more? Or keep the higher upside? They're all jewels, man.

    11:31 AM

    Blogger metdynasty said...

    Who should hit in the 2nd hole is still debatable, but Easley looked great there yesterday.

    Why not? Why not give him a few more games at the 2nd spot?

    The way he crushes fastballs reminds me a lot of Nady. With Reyes on base, pitchers are forced to throw more fastballs to him. Easley is faster and hits for more power than Lo Duca. He is an experienced hitter and capable of being clutch. You can't really use his numbers in the last five years to project how he will do this year. Just look at how Valentine and Green performed with this team.

    As for our future at 2B, I am all for Orlando Hudson. He is a great guy and a good friend of Delgado's. He is clearly heading into his prime and we can surely use his gold glove. He is a must-have after this season.

    11:45 AM

    Blogger michael o. said...

    Toasty…he still had the athleticism to make the catch. I’m blinded by my homerness.

    That said, while Gomez may make it for a week or two, he is not nearly as ready as Milledge is to play every day in the majors.

    Very true. Very true. 100% agreement.

    DG…Both are slated to be good so you trade the more valuable commodity to maximize the return. That of course is predicated upon both being impact players. If you believe there is a serious difference in skill, you lower you trade expectations and keep the better one for sure. In this case, it could be a virtual toss up. 50/50 shot to make the right or wrong move.

    11:47 AM

    Blogger michael o. said...

    When is Hudson on the market?

    DE in the two hole is cool for now for sure.

    11:48 AM

    Blogger metdynasty said...

    Hudson will be a FA after this season.

    He has two GGs already and he clearly is the best defensive 2B in the NL. No one comes even close.

    He is only 29 and his progress at the plate this year is astonishing.

    He is only making 4 mil this year.

    I say 40 mil should be enough to keep him here for 4 years. A big bargin considering the contract Utley got.

    12:05 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hey, I can live another year without a first rounder for Hudson!

    Mike, those be wise words, essence of a connundrum.

    With Hudson, I'd keep both!

    12:09 PM

    Blogger metdynasty said...

    Hudson will be a FA.

    He won't cost us anything but money.

    Delgado should have a lot of pull in getting him here.

    He respects Delgado very much.

    12:14 PM

    Blogger michael o. said...

    Hudson a free agent. Swellicious.

    1:18 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    hudson... i like it.

    1:57 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    didnt valentin reup for 2 years?


    2:16 PM

    Blogger michael o. said...

    Valentin needs to hit 400 ABs or something. I don't think he'll get there....though I'm not sure if it's plate appearances for ABs....

    2:22 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I was wondering why the outfield was playing so deep with Capuano at the plate yesterday. That first hit was probably in there anyway, but.....

    I hate to be in the minority about Hudson, but I think Omar is going about manning 2b the right way. You can get decent quality for low dollars at second, then use the money to over pay for pitching or catching. The Red Sox has a $40 mill SS again, Lugo's a repeat of the Renteria disaster.

    I'd keep Gomez - his swing is more under control, and I think he'll be more selective as he gets more experience. I don't think Lastings will ever shorten that swing of his, and that means lots of strikeouts relative to the number of homers he'll generate.

    3:05 PM

    Blogger metdynasty said...

    Sorry folks. I feel like an ass.

    This MLB service time confused the hell out of me.

    It seems that Hudson will not be a FA until the end of 08 season because he only played 54 games in his first season which doesn't count as a full season.

    I want to apologize again for the false information that I gave earlier.

    On the bright side though, it seems that Perez and Chavez won't be FAs after this year.

    3:17 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Mr m, et al:

    I am as giddy as Willie was yesterday. Yes I am a huge Ollie proponent and his 4 wins have been rivetting and drool inducing, just as his losses excrutiating.

    But: I am writing because MLB.com and other have alluded, the brilliance of Ollie was aided by the best outfield the Mets have fielded this year. As the Met site says...THERE WERE NO GAPS the 13 fly balls had little if any chance and Gomez was a DEFENSIVE revelation.

    As such (benny)I think it is difficult to send down this Reyes protoge who has already relegated Green to the DH position. The only hole this team has is defense and Gomez's ability to play RF really will make us better (ask Endy).


    3:40 PM

    Blogger michael o. said...

    Ed...good stuff. It outlines the importance of defense, but I don't think Ollie would have done appreciably worse.

    Would he have going 8.1 with one hit? Probably not, but I still think he was dominant yesterday and the Mets would have won no matter who was starting.

    Ok...so no Hudson. It should be interesting to see how the Mets handle '08. I do think bring Moises back and rotating Milledge, Moises, and Gomez around has it's merits. I think they could find enough time for all of them or just start off with Milo and bring up Gomez for the rotation after he tears AAA up for bit.

    Moises is a guy that will always allow other people to get some opportunities and I think he'd be ok with a more limited/scaled back role.

    4:09 PM

    Blogger AE said...

    at some point earlier this year the d-backs were considering trading hudson as he was considered to be a player they didn't think they could afford when he becomes a free agent. for all i know, he could still be on the market...

    with that said, who would you trade for him? it's too bad the d-backs have a good young cf (chris young) and a good young rf (carlos quentin). you think the mets can get him for milledge (to play left once byrnes becomes to expensive) and another minor league throw in would get it done?

    personally i dont think the mets get a top 5 2nd baseman for less than milledge and "c" level prospect at this point because it's the only position that the mets don't have an all star caliber player at.

    now don't get me wrong, valentin and easley/gotay have done a good job there however, none of the above are long term solutions.

    and as all of you know, having hudson on my fantasy team, i'm a fan....

    5:09 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    2B: but do we NEED it. willie is using Easley and Gotay and quite well. Gotay to me projects as next years starters and Stache is insurance. The other name floating is the guy that set us back several yrs ago...luis castillo.

    Mr Met: I agree. But, I want to draw attention to Green's POOOOOR defense. For example the Sat fiasco was exacerbated by Green not catching the short fly (Gotay did) and 2 runs scored on Pel, On Monday Ollie was victimized by the worst OF blunder again by Green, this allowed 5 subsequent runs to score.

    Good defense makes good pitching. One other comment on Gomez from the press was Gomez was UNDER every ball, ...there was no adventure involved. I'd like to see him for two weeks at least. Given his AAA, he does not appear to need advanced seasoning.

    Ohh: Someone remarked at selling high...Green would fetch a fair Penny given his hot start, FA status, and proven track record.

    5:29 PM

    Blogger michael o. said...

    Green might get a decent middle reliever or an enigmatic young arm at best. I'm not seeing much upside in trading him unless you are simply trying to save $2.5 million or so still owed to him this year or you want to desperately get Milledge or Gomez in the bigs, which I don't see as the case.

    6:11 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Mr Met:

    OF is one place we have depth. Ben Johnson, Newhan, Milledge, Gomez.

    I really am nauseated about Green's defense. $$$ is not an issue, but I love the idea of a good middle reliever/ enigmatic arm. I need to stop postulating on trades but that Minnesota has ZERO HR from its DH and many young enigmatic arms does make me salivate.

    3:32 PM


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