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Friday, December 31, 2010

Thank You and Happy New Year

At this time last year the blog was just a little pup, not sure which direction it would develop. Well 800+ posts this year and I'm very pleased with where this I blog has been, and where it will be going in the future. So I once again wanted to thank you, the readers, for encouraging me and developing the dialogue. I know I don't have all the answers, but what makes it great is the comments and e-mails I get from the loyal readers. We may not always have the same points, but if we did, there is no point for the blog.

So Long Live Shea Stadium wants to thank the readers for a successful 1st year in 2010, and wishes you a Happy New Year, filled with happiness, healthiness and maybe even an exciting Mets club.

52 days until I'll be in sunny Port St. Lucie and out of this mess! Some where in that disaster was my car!

Let's Go Mets!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Mets Acquire Another Middle Infielder

The Mets today traded with the Dodgers and acquired Chin-Lung Hu in exchange for Michael Antonini.

I don't know much about Hu, but my immediate reaction was "good glove, but he can't hit a lick right?" Albeit in a small sample size, his numbers in the majors agree with me .191 batting average.

I guess a part of the vision of the Mets is to acquire as many 2B/middle infielders as possible, and hope one of them steps up?

In other exciting news, it is confirmed that I will be down in Port St. Lucie for Spring Training again this year; the dates are February 21-25. Hopefully it's a little warmer than last year, but at this point after we got 30 inches dumped on us yesterday/today, I'll be happy for 50 degrees!

57 days until I'll be in Port St. Lucie!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Phils Load Up

Roy Halladay
Cliff Lee
Cole Hamels
Roy Oswalt
Joe Blanton (for now)

Not a bad starting rotation. The Phillies realize their time is now to win another title (or two) with their current core group of position players aging/declining (Rollins, Howard, Utley), and they signed Cliff Lee to a 5 year 120 million dollar contract, with an option for the 6th year which should be "easily attainable."

The Phillies aren't resting on their laurels, and even though they've had 130+ sell-outs in a row at CBP, they are going for gold. Good for them. Bad for us and the rest of the national league. "On Paper", the Phillies are easily the best team in the National League, even after losing J Werth as a free agent. They need to be able to stay healthy, which is never a guarantee.

2011 just got even tougher Mets fans, get ready for a long year. But I'm still happy about the long-term direction for this team with Sandy and Co. at the helm.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mets Select Two in Rule 5 Draft

The Mets didn't get the opportunity to take Pat Egan as he was taken by the Brewers the pick before the Mets, but the Mets picked up Brad Emaus, 2B/3B from the Blue Jays, someone that J.P. Riccardi drafted when he was in Toronto. Jason Gray of ESPN.com had this to say about Emaus,

Primarily a second baseman but also capable of playing third, the 24-year-old Emaus drew some comparisons to Ty Wigginton earlier in his pro career, though he might have better on-base skills than Wigginton, at the expense of some pop. When he's on, he features a stroke that scouts call "short to and long through." In other words, a short path to the ball, and his bat stays in the hitting zone a long time. He'll likely be given an opportunity to earn at least part of the second base job during spring training.

The Mets also selected Pedro Beato from the Orioles, whom they had drafted back in 2005. Beato is a local product from Xaverian high school.  Beato is 6'6, 240 pounds, features a mid-90s fastball, low-90s sinker and a 12-6 curve. He transitioned to the bullpen last year and had success (2.11 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 43 appearance in AA). He was born in the great month of October 1986; what's not to like?

My Take: For a team that has rarely participated in the Rule 5 draft in recent years/kept the players on the team, this is a significant step in the right direction. The Mets aren't built to win 90 games in 2011, so why not take a chance on two young players who could continue to develop and help the team in 2012 and beyond?

Let's Go Mets!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Baseball Bloggers Alliance

Some of you may have wondered what the Baseball Bloggers Alliance Logo is on the side bar of the web page. Read below and you will find out more information about the group. 

December 10, 2010 has been designated as the first ever Baseball Bloggers Alliance day.  Granted, it's not been so designated by anyone on high, just the BBA itself, but it gives members a chance to talk about the organization and what it is doing.

The BBA started up around September of last year.  The idea was to get some bloggers from across baseball together, have some interaction, give each other some contacts to help enhance their blogging.  Once people started joining, though, the thing continued to grow.  Now, there are roughly 240 blogs claiming membership in the organization.

One of the great things about the BBA is getting the perspective of other fans, knowledgeable ones that follow their team with the same enthusiasm and intensity that we follow the Mets with.  Following most of these guys and girls on Twitter gives you the complete view of most everything.  You'll see both sides of a trade or a signing.  You'll hear rumors and see them lauded or shot down.  Plus, you get a ton of witty comments and conversations.

To go along with the stated purpose of the BBA, to encourage discussion, we've also tapped into the power of groups by doing our annual post-season awards.  When we started that last year, I expected that we'd see a vast difference between our selections (done by a newer, more statistically-oriented generation) and the baseball writers' picks.  Surprisingly, both years the two groups have agreed on most things, including all of the major awards.  It seems like the writers are moving into the 21st century as well.

Are you a blogger interested in joining the BBA?  Drop an e-mail with your pertinent information to founder@baseballbloggersalliance.com.  There are some new membership requirements going into effect in January, so be sure to check out the constitution and make sure you are able to handle those.  Otherwise, the door's always open!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mets Ink Minor League Pitcher

The big signing of the day today was BOOF BONSER. The former Twins pitcher got inked to a minor league deal. He has a career ERA over 5, but had a lot of swing and misses last year (9.4%) in limited time in his 25 innings pitched for the Red Sox and the Athletics.

My Take: Another no-risk signing. He may be a long man out of the pen, a 5th starter for a month, or he could never leave Port St. Lucie. But we didn't lose anything on signing him.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mets Will Come Home with Players

Reports are that the Mets will sign two players in the near future: C Ronnie Paulino, and RHP D.J. Carrasco.

Paulino is reportedly signing a 1 year, 1.3 million dollar deal, with the thought that he will be the back-up/right-handed platoon catcher with Thole. Paulino has hit over .330 for his career against lefties. It's not going to transform the Mets from an 82 win team to the playoffs, but he will make the team better. My one big concern though is that we are once again limiting and stunting the growth of a young player, not allowing Thole to see left-handed pitchers. He can not improve vs LHP unless he faces them regularly.

D.J. Carrasco is a RHP who will contribute to the Mets bullpen for the next 2 years. His contract is reportedly 2 years, 2.3 million dollars. He will turn 34 in April, and last year he posted his best K/9 rate (7.5), while also increasing his BB/9 to 3.9; not what you are looking for in a reliever. He features a 90 mph fastball and 87 mph cutter (his best pitch), and increased the use of his curveball to 21% last year (76 mph). He also will throw a slider (80) and the occasional change-up (84 mph). I don't necessarily see the need to make this signing; I'd rather just bring in a bunch of non-roster invites to spring training and have an open audition to fill the bullpen, but again this isn't going to make or break the 2011 or 2012 Mets season.

Lastly, there has been increased chatter about the Mets and Red Sox talking a deal centered around Carlos Beltran. It has been rumored that the Mets would be interested in Dice K and/or Scuturo, but there hasn't been any public confirmation/news from the Red Sox camp that they would have any interest in that sort of deal. Dice K has 2 years, 20 million dollars left on his contract. I would trade Beltran for Dice K right now if that offer is on the table;  both players may benefit from a change in scenery.

Let's Go Mets!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Winter meetings update (Tuesday AM)

The Mets haven't made any moves thus far, as expected.

The major surprise was the mammoth contract Jayson Werth got from the Nationals. As I told someone yesterday, "I would go anywhere they were will to give that many millions of dollars, even if it was South Africa or Japan." I'm glad the Mets were on the sidelines and not the one giving out this startling contract.

S Marcum was traded from the Blue Jays to the Brewers for a top prospect B Lawrie. The Brewers were in desperate need for pitching and Lawrie had his path to the majors blocked. Makes you think if the Mets could've been involved in that deal; probably would've had to give up Pelfrey and a small piece?

Adrian Gonzalez was traded to the Red Sox for 3 top prospects and a player to be named later. The Mets were never a player and didn't have the players of the Red Sox caliber. I wonder if this raises Prince Fielder's trade price tag. Not that I think it will happen, but you have to see if it's fair value or not.

This sweet swing is going to do major damage at Fenway Park
Only about 70 days until spring training!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Mets non-tender Maine, Green, and Carter

Maine wasn't a big surprise, it was written every where for the past 5 months. S Green wasn't good last year, so it's no big loss. I hope the Mets do re-sign C Carter as I think he can be a valuable bench piece/pinch hitter if allowed the opportunity. This was more of a money decision and trying to save $100,000 (his contract would've been $200,000 even if he spent the year in AAA this year). For a team that has given away so many bad contracts, it's interesting they make that move for "pennies", but I will continue to trust the new regime.  I wonder if the new regime is going to try to sign K Escobar to a guaranteed contract for 2 million again...

Other free agent pitchers that are on the Mets radar are two previous "winners"; soft-tossing lefty Jeff Francis who is recovering from shoulder injuries and tall Chris Young who also is struggling recovering from injuries. Neither of whom can throw the ball hard enough to break a pane of glass, but I wouldn't mind bringing in as a low-risk signing with no guaranteed money if possible (but I doubt that's possible).

Also for those Mets fans clamoring for Lastings Milledge to come back to NY, he was non-tendered by the Pirates last night. Don't spend too much time thinking about that reunion though...

Let's Go Mets!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

State of the Mets 11/30

As we approach December, here are a couple news and notes.

  1. Pedro Feliciano has declined arbitration, and if (more like when) he signs elsewhere, the Mets well get a sandwich pick.
    1. My Take: Awesome. We don't have to spend 4 million dollars on a situational lefty and we get a draft pick.
  2. Chris Young (formerly of the Padres and is famous for being tall), is 'close' to signing with the Mets.
    1. My Take: This is a low risk/potential high reward signing if it does happen. Paul D. is very familiar with CY, and if he may fill a spot in the rotation until Johan is fully healthy/could be a great sign if he stays healthy all year.
    2. Again low risk, so I'm actually ok if we do sign him, depending on the price and assuming it's a one year deal. 
Let's Go Mets!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

And the Mets have a new manager

Below is the e-mail announcing the Mets manager.

Dear Mets Fans:
We are pleased to announce we have hired Terry Collins as our new Manager.
Terry's a lifelong baseball man who comes with the entire package - leadership, preparation, emotional commitment, and the drive to win. We believe Terry's knowledge of our players, energy, intelligence, intensity, and direct approach will make an immediate, positive impact both in the clubhouse and on the field.
Terry spent six years as a major-league manager, leading the Anaheim Angels and Houston Astros to winning records and second-place finishes in his five full seasons. He managed the Angels from 1997-1999 and the Astros from 1994-1996, compiling an overall record of 444-434 (.506).
We will introduce Terry to the media this morning during a press conference at 11:00 a.m. at Citi Field. SNY and Mets.com will carry it live.
Terry will work closely with the Baseball Operations department with the goal of delivering a team of which you can be proud in the short and long term.
Thanks for your ongoing support and interest.
Sandy Alderson
Sandy Alderson

My Take: YAWN. As I've stated a number of times throughout this off-season, I don't buy tickets due to the manager, so choosing between Terry Collins, Bob Melvin, Chip Hale, or Wally Backman would not have made me buy season tickets. My vote was for Wally Backman, but in the end, it doesn't make a big difference, and I have put my faith in Sandy and Co. Their job is a lot more important than Terry Collins job. Let's hope he learned his lesson and won't have his team admittedly quit on him once again.

Let's Go Mets!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Quick Hit...Terry Collins also has previous run-in with Drinking and Driving?

Hat tip for Mets Today for being the first (and only) one to report this thus far. Everyone loves to write and talk about Wally Backman's DWI charge, but no one has mentioned that "the current favorite" Terry Collins also has one on his record.

As Joe Janish points out in the article, if you are going to dig up people's pasts, make sure you dig up all the candidates pasts, not just cherry pick some people's past wrongdoings...

My Take: I still have Wally Backman as my top choice to be the next Mets manager, but in reality, it's not a big deal whoever it is. I'm happy the Mets seem to have a capable front office right now and I put my faith in them. If Sandy makes Bob Melvin or Terry Collins the manager, will I buy more tickets? No...but I don't buy tickets to see a manager. I buy tickets to enjoy the game and the players on the field. And that doesn't change if Wally, or Bobby V. or who is writing out the line-up card.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Weekly Mets Update

Three newsworthy items from the past week.

  1. Mets have hired J.P. Ricciardi as a special assistant to Sandy Alderson. Ricciardi had a standing offer to join the staff of Theo Epstein and the Red Sox, but he chose to be reunited with Alderson instead.
    1. My Take: I was thrilled with this hiring, but then it's been brought to my attention all the bad contracts he gave out while the GM of Toronto. I still think it's a positive move, and he may be groomed by Alderson as his successor.
  2. The Mets managerial search has begun, with at least 6 names being addressed
    1. My Take: I still want Wally Backman to be the next manager, but it seems like he is a long-shot, although he is on the short list. Many beat writers think Terry Collins will be the next manager, and that elicits a yawn from me. I'd rather keep him in his current role of minor league development.
  3. Charlie Manuels, long-time Mets Clubhouse Manager, has been suspended without pay, and has been connected to a gambling ring, which is under investigation. He has supposedly admitted to betting mainly on football, but also on baseball.
    1. My Take: Hopefully this is the whole story, and not just the tip of the iceberg. Jeff Francoeur gave Manuels on $50,000 tip on his way out of town to Texas; hopefully it was just a giant thank you. 
That's all for now, the blog will continue to be operating in off-season/maintenance mode with weekly/bi-weekly updates, or more as necessary.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Today is a Good Day

Today, for the 1st time in a long time, I proudly wore Mets attire. I wore Mets attire proudly because for the first time in over three months, I am happy that the New York Mets have direction, have leadership, and have something to have faith in.

I got at least 3 high fives or "Let's Go Mets" greetings at the boardwalk and the outlets today; rejoice Met fans, today may very well be the turning point in our franchise's history.

Sandy Alderson, welcome aboard, and thank you for giving us hope and excitement on October 29th, 2010.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

And the Mets have a GM

It was one of the worst kept secrets in baseball, but the Mets have decided that Sandy Alderson will be their next GM, with the official announcement coming as early as Friday (the first off-day of the World Series).

My take: Sandy was the consensus front-runner from the time he said he is interested in the job and the only downside seems to be his age (he's been around the block a time or two), but he instantly commands respect and will bring a fresh perspective to the Mets, and hopefully finally a long-term direction for the team. Once this is official, I'm sure it will lead into a month-long manager search, which as of now is being reported that Wally Backman will not be one of the choices. Alderson will likely bring on "his network" and we may not have ever considered/thought of the manager before; which again, may be a good thing.

It's a happy day in Met-land.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Molina Brothers

Adam Rubin at ESPN New York has a recap of how the Molina brother's will always remember October 19th for series-changing Home Runs.

Another Molina Tops NY

The memories make me nauseous.

The State of the Mets, 2010 Recap will continue, with the bench players to be covered this week, and the pitchers next week.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

State of the Mets Outfield, 2010 Recap Part 4 of 7

Yesterday I looked at the infielders, and Wednesday I covered the catchers, today I will tackle the outfield positions.

The hyper links are the spring training scouting reports/more in-depth previews. I had looked at the players as of June 1st, so I will include that data as well as the final stats.

Overall, the Mets outfield offensive production was 15th (2nd to last) in the NL. 

Left Field:
Overall, the Mets production from Left Field in 2010 was 10th in the National League

J Bay

  • June 1st: 52 games, 55-192, 3 HR, 23 RBIs, 7 SB, .286/.374/.438
  • Final: 95 games, 348 AB, 48 R, 6 HR, 47 RBI, 10 SB, .259/.347/.402
  • My Projections: 650 at bats, 98 runs, 32 HRs, 100 RBIs, 10 SB, .270/.370/.525. 
  • June 1st Commentary: The power simply hasn't been there as expected (he never slugged < .522 outside of his injury plagued season), but he has shown surprising speed and above average defense. Is a positive influence in the clubhouse supposedly. 
  • 1/3 of the season grade: C+ 
  • Final Grade: D/Incomplete. Missing 66 games isn't what we were expecting, but a concussion ended his season prematurely. Hopefully he recovers fully and actually gets extra base hits next year. League average NL LF slugged .434 this year...
Center Field:
Overall, the Mets production from Center Field in 2010 was 6th in the National League

    A Pagan

    • June 1st: 50 games, 54-179, 4 HRs, 18 BB, 27 Ks, 9 SB, 3 CS, .302/.364/.441
    • Final: 151 games, 579 AB, 80 R, 11 HR, 69 RBI, 37 SB, 9 CS, .290/.340/.425
    • My Projection: I didn't give predictions as I didn't think he'd play more than 50 games this year
    • June 1st Commentary: Needless to say, he has been a very bright spot for the Mets and has made Mets fans jokingly say "Carlos who?" more than a few times this year. He's cut down on his bad base-running decisions and has been one of the top 5 outfielders in the National League so far this year. 
    • 1/3 of the season grade: A 
    • Final Grade: A. More based on the fact he was expected to be a 4/5th outfielder and he outperformed J Bay and C Beltran. He's an above-average CF and should stay there with Beltran moving to RF. As a reference, the average CF in the NL's stats were: .260/.330/.407.
    C Beltran
    • My Projected stats: 500 At bats, 100 runs, 20 HR, 90 RBIs, 16 SB, .290/.380/.500
    • Final: 64 games, 220 AB, 21 R, 7 HR, 27 RBI, 3 SB, .259/.347/.427
    • Grade: D/Incomplete. He played below average CF defensively, and looked old, before starting to get into a groove in September, hitting .321 and 5 home runs in 78 at bats, before shutting it down with knee pain once again. He is in the last year of this contract.

    Right Field:
    Overall, the Mets production from Right Field in 2010 was 16th (last) in the National League

    J Francoeur
    • June 1st: 52 games, 43-176, 14 walks, 31 Ks, 5 HRs, 27 RBIs, .244/.305/.392
    • Final: 124 games, 401 AB, 29 walks, 76 Ks, 11 HR, 54 RBI, .237/.293/.369
    • My Projection: 680 plate appearances,  20 walks, 70 runs, 16 HRs, 80 RBIs, .270/.315/.425.
    • June 1st Commentary: He started out hot then regressed to the player he has been over his career (.271/.311/.432). As a reference, major league average for right fielders last year was .272/.346/.447, so he's below average in all three. He is hitting .211/.276/.383 versus righties this year. He has played well defensively, but not enough to be an every day regular. 
    • 1/3 of the season grade: D+ 
    • Final Grade: D-. Glad we got rid of him, as he simply isn't a major league average offensive right fielder.
    C Carter, J Feliciano, N Evans, L Duda will all be covered in the Bench Recap.

    Starting 2011 Outfield:
    LF: J Bay
    CF: A Pagan
    RF: C Beltran

    Anyone out there want the Mets to try to make a big splash and try to get Werth or Crawford? Knowing they would need to find a trading partner to take Beltran's contract.

      Wednesday, October 13, 2010

      State of the Mets, Infield 2010 Recap. Part 3 of 7

      Yesterday I looked at the catchers, today I will tackle all of the infield positions.

      The hyper links are the spring training scouting reports/more in-depth previews. I had looked at the players as of June 1st, so I will include that data as well as the final stats.


      Overall, the Mets production from 1st base in 2010 was 11th in the National League.

      I Davis
      • June 1st: 39 games, 34-132, 9 2B, 5 HR, 15 RBI, 22 BB, 39 Ks, .258/.365/.439 
      • Final: 147 games, 523 AB,19 HRs, 71 RBI, 72 BB, 138 Ks, .264/.351/.440
      • Was not on the 25-man roster to start the year and I didn't expect him to get this much playing time this quickly, but here were the previews: Ike Davis Era, BP, and K-Law when he got called up.
      • June 1st Commentary: He has struggled lately at the plate (.235 in May), but he has been better than advertised defensively (despite 3 errors). As a reference, here is the major league average for 1B last year: .276/.362/.483.
      • 1/3 of the season grade: B 
      • Final Grade: B. I know a lot of people will want Ike Davis to be graded higher because he's a rookie, but I'm basing it on the fact that he is merely a league average offensive first baseman. This year NL 1st baseman's stats were: .269/.354/.459. So league average approximately in batting average and OBP, and below average slugging. He was better than advertised on defense. 
      2nd Base:
      Overall, the Mets production from 2nd base in 2010 was worst in the National League.
      L Castillo

      • June 1st: 43 games, 33-138, 0 HR, 22 BB, 8 Ks, 7 SB, .239/.340/.275
      • Final: 86 games, 247 AB, 0 HR, 17 RBIs, 8 SB, .235/.337/.267
      • My Projections: 550 AB, 2 HRs, 35 RBIs, 15 SB, .280/.365/.340
      • June 1st Commentary: He's struggling to stay healthy and is battling heel pain on both feet. He turns a great double play, but has minimal range on defense. As a reference, MLB 2nd baseman hit: .271/.336/.417
      • 1/3 of the season grade: C+ 
      • Final Grade: D-. He couldn't stay healthy and didn't want to be apart of the team when he lost playing time. He still has 6 million dollars owed to him next year.
      A Cora

      • June 1st: 30 games, 17-78, 4 extra base hits, 0 HRs, 1 SB, .218/.303/.282
      • Final Stats: 62 games, 169 AB, 0 HR, 20 RBI, 4 SB, .207/.265/.278
      • My Projection: 150 at bats (hopefully thats all), 1 HR, 12 RBIs, 3 SB, .245/.320/.330
      • June 1st Commentary: He is well on his way to get his 2011 option vested for 2 million dollars. As you can see he provides negative value offensively, and has minimal range defensively. But don't forget he's a consummate professional and good for the clubhouse...
      • 1/3 of the season grade: C- 
      • Final Grade: D-. At Least he didn't get his option vested and was released.
      Ruben Tejada and Luis Hernandez will be covered on the bench players for those concerned.
      Overall, the Mets production from SS in 2010 was 5th in the National League (we are finally above league average at one position!)
      J Reyes

      • June 1st: 48 games, 53-205, 4 3B, 1 HR, 21 RBIs, 12 SB, .259/.301/.361
      • Final: 133 games, 563 AB, 83 Runs, 11 HR, 54 RBIs, 30 SB, .282/.321/.428
      • My Projection: 700 at bats, 115 runs, 16 HR, 60 RBIs, 45 SB, .288/.360/.450
      • June 1st Commentary: He really struggled to find his swing and it didn't help he changed his approach when he was hitting 3rd in the line-up. He is finally showing signs of life as of late (9 game hitting streak to end May, 7 of which was multi-hit games).
      • 1/3 of the season grade: B-
      • Final Grade: C+. .321 OBP for a "premier lead-off hitter" is terrible. As a reference, league average this year for NL SS was .266/.325/.388.
      3rd Base:
      Overall, the Mets production from 3B in 2010 was 4th in the National League (behind the Nationals, Reds and Braves)

      D Wright 

      • June 1st: 51 games, 47-182, 22 extra-base hits, 8 HRs, 34 RBIs, 9 SB, .258/.364/.473
      • Final: 157 games, 587 AB, 87 R, 29 HR, 103 RBI, 19 SB (but 11 CS), 161 Ks .283/.354/.503
      • My projections: 700 plate appearance, 105 R, 28 HR, 110 RBIs, 25 SB, .315/.400/.520
      • June 1st Commentary: He started out the year well, but since May 7th, he's only hit .204 versus fastball. He has 65 strike outs to 32 walks. He is still on pace for around 25 HR and 100 RBIs.
      • 1/3 of the season grade: B
      • Final Grade: B. Yes his strike out rate is concerning, but his power returned. I'm disappointed in his SB/CS %. Coming into this year it was 79%, but that dropped to 63% this year, and at that rate it isn't worth the risk/reward.

      2011 Starting Infield (I can dream):
      1B: Prince Fielder (Ike and Niese for Prince, and we sign him to a contract extension)
      2B: Orlando Hudson (Free Agent coming off a 1-year 5 million contract with Minn)
      SS: Jose Reyes
      3B: David Wright

      Reality 2011 Starting Infield:
      1B: I Davis
      2B: R Tejada
      SS: J Reyes
      3B: D Wright

      Tuesday, October 12, 2010

      State of the Mets- Catcher 2010 Recap. Part 2 of 7

      Overall, the Mets production from catchers in 2010 was 12th in the National League, with only Josh Thole being above average offensively.

      The hyper links are the spring training scouting reports/more in-depth previews. I had looked at the players as of June 1st, so I will include that data as well as the final stats.

      H Blanco

      • June 1st: 16 games, 14-46, 4 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, .304/.370/.457
      • Final: 50 games, 130 AB, 2 HRs, 8 RBI, .215/.271/.300
      • My Projection: 40 games, 150 AB, 5 HRs, 20 RBI, .230/.295/.340  
      • June 1st Commentary: He already has 6 walks and is playing well in a small sample size. Keep in mind his career OBP is < .300. Defensively he is controlling the running game as expected.
      • 1/3 of the season grade: B+
      • FINAL GRADE: C-. I can't judge/weigh how good he was mentoring Josh Thole, but based purely on baseball contributions, he doesn't deserve to be on a major league roster.
      R Barajas

      • June 1st: 41 games, 41-135, 11 HRs, 30 RBIs, 4 BB, 20Ks, .269/.292/.552
      • Final: 74 games (+25 with LAD), 249 at bats, 12 HRs, 34 RBIs, 8 BB, 39 Ks, .225/.263/.414
      • My projection: 110 games, 360 at bats, 12 HRs, 50 RBIs, 20 BB, 50 Ks, .235/.276/.400 Slug %
      • June 1st Commentary: He has pleasantly surprised everyone with his power and his "clutch" hits, but he still is the same player we thought he was: a sub .300 OBP, and a guy who strikes out and doesn't walk. He is a fly ball machine.
      • 1/3 of the season grade: B+ 
      • Final Grade: C+. He was the exact player I thought he was when the Mets signed him. And his OBP was even lower than expected, .263. That's awful and I'm glad we saved a couple dollars shipping him to the Dodgers. 
      J Thole
      • Didn't get pre-season projections as I didn't expect him to be called up until September. Well September came early due to injuries and the other catchers ineffectiveness, and he played 73 games. 
      • Final Stats: 73 games, 202 at bats, 3 HR, 17 RBI, 24 BB, 25 K, .277/.357/.366
      • One thing to note, he only got 30 at bats versus LHP, so the Mets feel he is strictly a platoon catcher at 23 years old?
      • He also threw out 11 of 25 prospective base-runners
      • Final Grade: B+. Catchers in the national league averaged .253/.326/.388, so he can provide above average OBP from the catcher position, something Rod Barajas knows nothing about.
      2011 Starter: Josh Thole, with TBA for the 2nd catcher unless they are convinced he can catch 140 games and hit lefties (then why didn't they give him a chance to develop in 2010)? He isn't going to be an above average catcher, but he can be league average, and for the league minimum, it's better than paying Barajas 3 million or Molina 5 million for simliar/less production.

      Who would you like to see as the starting catcher/back-up for 2011? There isn't any one else in the organization, so it would most likely come in the form of a trade.

      State of the Mets, October 12th. Part 1 of 7

      One word: Disarray.

      The Mets are interviewing 5 candidates this week to fill the vacant GM position: Sandy Alderson (most people's 1st choice), Allard Baird (former Royals GM and most recently in the Red Sox organization), Rick Kahn (White Sox assistant, and a University of Michigan alum, so that makes Fred Wilpon happy), John Byrnes (former Arizona GM), and now Logan White (Dodgers assistant GM).

      Some people are wondering who my choice is for GM, but it's hard to say. Sandy Alderson has been around the block and is well respected within the baseball circle, and I don't know enough about the four young candidates to glowingly endorse them. So I will leave the discussion of who should be the GM to others, and elaborate more once the decision is made.

      Once the GM is hired, then he will have strong input into hiring the manager, but with each passing day I believe it will be Wally Backman. I don't think ownership wants to pay Bobby Valentine the 3 million dollars he would want; Backman provides the fans a true "Met" and also won't cost a lot of money. But again, this is all for naught until a GM is named.

      I am going to be breaking down the Mets performance by position, comparing my pre-season predictions, my update at the 1/3 mark (June 1), and who I would like to see starting in 2011.

      LET'S GO METS!

      Fred Wilpon showing his moves

      Wednesday, October 6, 2010

      End Of Season

      Real life is getting in the way right now of devoting more time to the blog, but good thing it's the off-season early for the Mets are the 4th year in a row.

      Omar and Jerry are obviously gone, which was the worst kept secret in baseball/world. Now all the rumors of who the next GM will be and then after that, who will be the manager.

      For those who weren't able to listen to Jeff Wilpon on WFAN on Tuesday morning, it was laugh out loud funny, and well worth a listen. He didn't/couldn't say much, but he did throw Oliver Perez under the bus, which is more than I expected.

      And for those who are looking forward to next June's draft, the Mets will have the #11 pick. The significance of that is even if they sign a type A free-agent, their 1st round pick is once again protected. Not that I expect them to sign a Crawford/J Werth or C Lee, but if they did, at least it won't cost as much in terms of losing players; it's more just increasing the payroll past the 150 million mark, which is highly unlikely.

      I will begin doing some year in reviews hopefully this weekend/next week, for those who care (that may be no one, but I'll do it anyway).

      Hope you are enjoying the MLB playoffs.

      Monday, October 4, 2010

      Season Is Over. 79-83

      It is fitting that Oliver Perez walks in the winning run in the top of the 14th inning, and that's how the season ends, losing 2-1. It really was a microcosm of the Mets season.

      I want to thank the readers for a successful 1st season; your witty comments were/are always appreciated.

      The plan for the off-season will be to review each player's season similar to what I did back in Spring Training, and look to see how my predictions for each player's stats were.

      I won't be able to provide "breaking news" re: the meetings occurring today, but will provide my thoughts on it tonight/tomorrow AM.

      Again, thank you for continuing to read, and now that the 2010 Mets season is over, LET'S GO METS IN 2011!

      Nobody's Job is Safe; Apply for any/all jobs

      Friday, October 1, 2010

      And Thole Wins it on a Walk-Off HR!

      3 home runs accounted for all the runs in the game, but the Mets hit two of them (Ike and Thole), and they win the 1st game of the series.

      Nice crisp game. Wish October baseball meant something for the Mets.

      3 Games Remain, Mets Ensured a Losing Record

      Not that there is a difference between 80-82 wins in my opinion since it's the same result: No Playoff Baseball. And that's the goal every season, and it hasn't been achieved in the last 4 years.

      The Mets had more errors than runs yesterday, and the only reason to even look at the box scores the next three days is to see if D Wright can get to 30 HRs (has 28 and has 100+ RBIs), and if A Pagan can steal 40 bases.

      And I'd be amiss if I didn't congratulate Pedro Feliciano for trying to give his left arm to the team, and Jerry gladly accepting, as he appeared in > 90 games, which was a goal I had asked him about in Spring Training. Congrats Pedro. And for those wondering at home, that also included a franchise record 22 game appearances in the month of September. 22. It's just another example of bullpen abuse, which is inexcusable and a fire-able offense in my opinion, especially with expanded rosters in September. "That's all I got to say about that...". 22.

      All signs point to a countdown to Monday when there will a much-anticipated (albeit just rumored, nothing official) press conference discussing the future of Mets baseball, including the Manager and General Manager.

      If I get low, maybe they won't see me, and I'll be able to manage this team again next year

      Wednesday, September 29, 2010

      And the Mets get Swept in a Doubleheader

      I watched most of both games today, and I got to watch another 2 losses. The Mets battled back in the 1st game down 6 runs (due to a very poor outing from Niese), but still wound up losing. Then Dickey threw well in game 2, but the offense was non-existent.

      Some estimated the game 1 crowd to be "in the hundreds", and watching on TV it seemed accurate.

      4 games remaining before another long off-season.

      Tuesday, September 28, 2010

      Ruben Tejada with a Walk-off Double!!

      He drives home two runs off of closer John Axford, and the Mets win the opening game of the series 4-3. First win for the Mets after trailing after 8 innings.

      Doubleheader tomorrow, 4:00 start.  Anyone going?

      Sunday, September 26, 2010

      Mets Win the Series

      Normally I'd be very excited to win a series versus the Phils in September, but this year it means nothing. Two nice outings for Gee and Misch which is nice. And it also prevented from the Phillies to clinch the division and having the Mets to watch them celebrate.

      Mets have a 4 game series versus the Brewers staring Monday night. All games are 7:10 starts. Plenty of seats are still available.....

      Thursday, September 23, 2010

      Mets Lose 5th in a Row

      Coming off being swept by the Braves, they go down to South Florida and get swept in a 2 game series. They are now 4 games under .500, and have a 3 game series versus the red-hot Phillies starting on Friday.

      Might as well keep losing and get another top 10 draft pick next year. Right now they have the 12th worst record in baseball, but just one game ahead of both Houston and the Dodgers, so they have a chance to get the 10th pick in the draft.

      10 miserable games remaining.

      Who do you think I should hire?

      Wednesday, September 22, 2010

      What has happened in the past few days?

      The real world has gotten in the way of posting the past few days, my apologies.

      To get you up to speed, the Mets got swept and lost game 1 of the series last night to the Marlins. They are now 3 games under .500 at 74-77, and the season can't end soon enough.

      In other news, Joel Sherman of the New York Post came out and ripped Jeff Wilpon saying the job isn't that appealing because Jeff is

      not short-tempered. Tone deaf. A credit seeker. An accountability deflector. A micro-manager. A second-guesser. A less-than-deep thinker. And bad at self-awareness. Fine, he’s none of these things. But here is the problem: This is his perception in the industry as the Mets try yet again to fix their baseball operations department.


      In other news, Joe Torre one day says he'd listen if the Mets were to call him for the soon-to-be vacant job opening at manager, then the next day, retracts and said he won't. I am not a fan of Torre and would rather have Wally or Bobby V at the helm next year (with a new GM above as well).

      Bobby Parnell has been shut down for the season with an injured elbow, and there are whispers Johan is not going to be able to pitch more than 100 innings next year. Maybe the poster who was referring to R.A. Dickey as "ace" was very forward thinking and may be right...The reason for the pessimism or Santana currently is the fact the surgery could not be done arthroscopic, and had to be an open procedure, which causes a lot more muscle damage and scar tissue.

      That's all that I think I missed, if there is something else, feel free to post and I'll write a brief comment on it.

      Saturday, September 18, 2010

      Scouting Tim Hudson yet again

      I have done the scouting report on Huddy a few times this year, so here is the link to the one on September 2nd, and I will discuss his starts since then.

      Sept 2nd vs Mets 7 innings, 8 hits, 4 runs (3 ER), 1 W, 4 Ks. Takes the loss (Braves lose 4-2).
      Sept 7th vs Pirates 6 1/3 innings, 6 hits, 4 runs, 1 W, 4 Ks. Takes the loss (Braves get shutout 5-0).
      Sept 12th vs Cardinals 5 innings, 9 hits, 6 runs, 2 W, 1 HBP, 5 Ks, 2 HRs. Takes the loss (Braves lose 7-3).

      He is now 15-8 and his ERA has risen from 2.24 to 2.62. I may still have a chance that it gets over 3 (but I doubt it). Have his BAPIP or LOB% regressed back to the mean?

      On July 10th, his BAPIP was .234 and I said it was unsustainable. By September 2nd it had risen to .244, but I once again said it was unsustainable. Today it is now .254. Baby steps in regressing back to the mean (.286 for Hudson's career, higher for MLB average). His LOB % was 84% back in July and it is now down to 81% (career average 74%). And his strikeout rate is still under 5.5 for the year (career > 6 K/9) and whiff rate is 7.2% (career average is 9.2%).He's also throwing strikes a career low 46% of his pitches.

      It may seem like I'm nit-picking on Hudson, but I wanted to prove a point that he is not deserving of the NL Cy Young (as some Braves fans believe). Hudson is a quality pitcher, don't get me wrong, but his performance was over his head. He is pitching closer to a 3.60 ERA rather than a 2.60. Even still, I'd love to have a guy throwing 200+ innings and have a 3.60 ERA, I just don't need him to be discussed for best pitcher in the National League.

      Mets Lose 6-4

      For those still interested and who watched the game last night, J Niese let up 6 runs, but 0 "earned runs" due to a D Wright error. But even after that, Niese walked the .109 hitting Tommy Hanson. He simply couldn't stop the bleeding, and threw 91 pitches in 4 innings, losing for the 4th time in 5 starts.

      L Duda hit his 1st major league home run.

      D Gee vs T Hudson on Fox, 4:10 start.

      Friday, September 17, 2010

      Game 148: Mets vs Braves

      Here is the line-up that will face T Hanson and start the process of the sweep:

      Reyes SS
      CARTER RF (Pagan scratched due to family matters)
      Beltran CF
      Wright 3B
      Davis 1B
      Thole C
      Duda LF
      Tejada 2B
      Niese LHP

      Do the Unthinkable, make me go crazy....

      Let's Go Mets!

      Thursday, September 16, 2010

      Mets Sweep a 4-game Series

      Can they do the unthinkable?

      Mets start a 3-game series versus the Braves tomorrow night. They win that, and then...

      only 6 games out of the wild card with 12 games to go.

      The Mets have a .1% chance of making the playoffs.

      "So you say we have a chance!?!"

      Wednesday, September 15, 2010

      Mets come from behind and Win.

      The Mets were down 5 runs and came back to win 8-7. R Valdes got the win, and Takahashi with another save. But again the big story is the young J Mejia got hurt and underwent an MRI tonight on his injured shoulder. Any time a 20 year old pitching prospect has 2 MRIs in the matter of 4 months it's not good.

      Hope he won't be standing on the outside next year at Spring Training
      For those counting at home, the Mets are now at .500.

      And Mejia is Done....

      He leaves in the 3rd inning with what appears like a shoulder injury. Yes, this is the 2nd time he has had shoulder pain.

      Is this a result of jockeying him between starting to a reliever to a starter??


      Game 146: Mets vs Pirates

      Here is the line-up that will face Paul Maholm:

      J Reyes SS
      A Pagan RF
      C Beltran CF
      D Wright 3B
      I Davis 1B
      N Evans LF
      H Blanco C
      R Tejada 2B
      J Mejia P

      Let's Go Mets, get back to .500

      Tuesday, September 14, 2010

      Scouting Report Zach Duke

      Tonight the Mets face a 27 year old former all-star, and he's left-handed. Will it be a long night for the Metsies?

      Zach Duke, 6'2", 205 pounds out of Texas, is in his 4th year with the Pirates after being drafted in the 20th round of the 2001 draft. He finished 5th in the rookie of the year voting in 2005 after going 8-2 with a 1.81 ERA, but he's 36-66 for his career since then. His career ERA is now 4.47 and his WHIP is 1.48. The turning point in his career seemed to be in 2007 after having elbow trouble; he hasn't been the same pitcher since. He has fared well against the Mets though, as he's 4-1 (7 career starts, 46 1/3 innings), with a 2.91 ERA and 1.18 WHIP, including a win versus the Mets on August 22nd, when he went 7 innings, allowed 1 run on 5 hits, 2 walks and recorded 5 strikeouts.

      Duke's stuff doesn't seem impressive on paper. He has a very deliberate delivery and throws from a high 3/4s arm slot. He does hide the ball well, and he needs to, as his fastball averages 87 mph. He also throws a 72 mph curve, 81 mph plus change and 79 mph slider. The only plus pitch this year (and for his career) has been his change-up. He loves to throw the ball away, and rarely throws inside. He's throwing strikes a career low 44%, and getting a meager 6.8% swing and miss rate. That combination has resulted in a career high W/9 rate (2.9 W/9 which is still decent), but only 5.5 K/9 rate which is not good.

      This year Duke is 7-13 (25 starts, 138 1/3 innings) with a 5.47 ERA and 1.64 WHIP. In his last 3 starts he's thrown 11 1/3 innings combined and allowed 12 runs on 20 hits and 6 walks. In his last start he only lasted 1 inning, allowed 4 runs on 6 hits, walking 2 and striking out 0.

      For those wondering how he made an all-star team last year, you can thank the selection system that every team needs a representative. Duke was 8-8 before the All-star break, but then fell apart in the 2nd half, going 3-8 with a 5.17 ERA in 14 starts.

      It seems a bit much for the Pirates to be paying Duke 4 million this year for that performance, and he may be a non-tender candidate this off-season.

      Over Under on Last Night's Crowd

      Official attendance of last night's game was 24, 384.

      The attendance from Wednesday afternoon April 28ths game versus the Dodgers was 29,724. Congrats to all those who voted under, you win your pride.


      UPDATE: NY Post is reporting the actual attendance was around 8,000 people versus the 24,000 + the Mets reported (which is the number of tickets sold)

      Monday, September 13, 2010

      Mets win 1-0

      Mets pull within 2 games of .500!! N Evans drives in R Tejada in the 10th to win the game.

      The Mets were more exciting to watch than the Jets offense tonight.

      Rex, your offense was HORRIBLE today.
      Good luck with surgery tomorrow, Johan

      Game 144: Mets (70-73) vs Pirates (48-94)

      I can't wait to see the attendance for this game tonight. More or less than this afternoon game in April?

      Dillon Gee vs James McDonald is the pitching match-up, 7:10 start.

      Sunday, September 12, 2010

      Mets fail to reach 2nd base

      They tried 27 times, got to 1st base 4 times, but were unsuccessful. Oswalt dominates and Mets lose 3-0.

      Gee vs James McDonald tomorrow night 7:10. Maybe the Mets 1st no-hitter will be thrown tomorrow.

      Mets Win 4-3

      Pelfrey throws into the 8th inning, Reyes hits a Home Run, all is well in Met land right?

      Niese versus Oswalt, 1:10

      Saturday, September 11, 2010

      Game 142: Mets vs Phillies

      Here is the line-up that will face Kyle Kendrick:

      Jose Reyes, SS
      Jesus Feliciano, RF
      Angel Pagan, CF
      David Wright, 3B
      Ike Davis, 1B
      Josh Thole, C
      Lucas Duda, LF
      Luis Hernandez, 2B (he's needed in the line-up for his offense according to Jerry Manuel. According to me, there is no reason he should be on the team, let alone playing. R Tejada or J Turner are better options)
      Mike Pelfrey, RHP

      Beltran is out of the line-up due to left knee tendinitis. But as usual, the Mets expect tendinitis to resolve in one day. That's not how it works.

      J Reyes admits he's not 100%, but is going to play anyway, and he won't be 100% until he rests in the off-season. Stupid. And this is even dumber from Jerry Manuel.

      “I gave him too many days (already) ... I’m hoping he can play the rest of the way,” Manuel said.

      I'm at my max with this team...20 games remaining...

      Scouting Report Kyle Kendrick

      Mets faced Kendrick on April 30th. Here is the write up and his update stats to see if he is changed from being terrible.

      As any Phillies fan would tell you, I have been saying Kyle Kendrick is terrible for four years now. I guess I need to defend why he is terrible, and see if adding a cutter this off-season makes him less terrible (short answer, NO).

      Kyle Kendrick is a 25-year old, who pitched brilliantly in the second half of the 2007 season (15 out of 20 starts were quality starts), and had a 3.87 ERA. Optimistic Phillies fans thought he was going to be a fixture in the rotation for years to come, but then a few major issues started to show up: 1) He doesn't strike any one out (3.95 K/9, which is the lowest of any starter the Mets have faced this year/lowest I've seen on any player of looked at), 2) He can't get lefties out (lefties have hit .327 and slugged .540+ against him over his career).

      Kendrick relies on 90 mph fastball/sinker that is effective if it's in the lower half of the zone, but he gets into trouble when he leaves the ball up. He throws an 81-83 mph below-average change-up, and got rid of his slider this off-season in favor of a cutter, which he throws 86-87 mph. He throws either his fastball or cutter > 85% of the time. When he is effective, he is a ground-ball pitcher.

      This season Kendrick is 9-8 (29 games, 27 starts, 158 1/3 innings), with a 4.89 ERA and 1.39. His strikeout rate is still bad, 4.2 K/9, and he's let up 25 home runs, the highest rate of his brief career. Not ideal for a ground-ball pitcher. And he isn't even a ground-ball pitcher this year as his GB % has dropped from 56% to 44%. All three of his pitches have been below average this year, with his change and cutter being very bad, and his fastball only mildly bad. His swing strike % is 4.9, when league average is 8.5%. And he still can't get lefties out, as they are hitting to the tone of .323/381/.574.

      In his last 4 starts he hasn't thrown more than 6 innings, and has let up at least 4 runs in each of those games for an ERA of 7.84 and 5 strikeouts in those 20 2/3 innings.

      I don't know how the Phillies, fighting for the division title, can still afford to trot Kendrick out to the mound every 5th day. He is still terrible.

      Mets Lose 8-4

      Mejia didn't look good either stuff-wise or numbers-wise, and didn't even throw 5 innings.

      Pelfrey vs Kendrick today. Don't know why any Mets fan wants to watch that. Which starting pitcher will be less terrible?

      Friday, September 10, 2010

      Game 141: Mets vs Phillies

      Listless Mets vs Doc Halladay.

      Jose Reyes, SS
      Angel Pagan, RF
      Carlos Beltran, CF
      Ike Davis, 1B
      David Wright, 3B
      Josh Thole, C
      Lucas Duda, LF
      Luis Hernandez, 2B
      Jenrry Mejia, RHP

      Johan Surgery.

      3 straight seasons ending with a surgery.


      From the Mets press release:

      "An MRI at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan yesterday revealed that Mets pitcher Johan Santana has suffered a tear of the anterior capsule of the left shoulder. The injury is located on the front and bottom part of the shoulder close to the pectoral muscle, resulting in discomfort radiating through both the pectoral muscle and shoulder. Santana will undergo surgery in the near future and we anticipate he will be able to resume throwing in the spring."

      Wednesday, September 8, 2010

      Mets win a road series!

      Good pitching today, as Mets win 3-2.

      Day off tomorrow, Mejia vs Halladay on Friday night at Citi Field.

      Meaningless Game 140: Mets @ Nationals

      Game time 12:35, Livan vs Dickey. Here's the line-up who will face L Hernandez:

      Pagan RF
      Hernandez 2B
      Beltran CF
      Davis 1B
      Wright 3B
      Carter LF
      Thole C
      Tejada SS
      Dickey P

      Who will throw the slowest pitch of the game? I'm voting for Dickey.

      Scouting Livan Hernandez for the 3rd time

      1st pitch thrown by a NY Met at Citi Field)
      Below is scouting report from July 1st, with updated stats at the end.

      I widely assume that every single baseball fan knows 35-year old Livan Hernandez, and everyone knows he throws slow, slower and slowest as his pitches these days. I'm not going to highlight his career stats or anything, as he has changed as a pitcher over the past 15 years and the data from his early starts against the Mets are meaningless. His career ERA is 4.39 and it hasn't been under 4.0 since 2005; his WHIP hasn't been lower than 1.5 since 2005 as well.

      To start the year, in seven starts, 4-2 record with a 1.46 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. Someone explain that to me?

      Looking at his pitch data, the only thing he has changed is that he is throwing more 2-seam fastballs than in the past and increased his curveball to 10% from 6%. His fastball averages about 84 mph, change-up 78 mph, slider 79 mph and curve-ball (eephus) 65 mph.

      Since he faced the Mets on May 19th (6 1/3 innings, 4 hits, 3 walks, 2 runs), his ERA now sits at 3.10, and a 1.28 WHIP. He has been getting very lucky, as his FIP is 4.40, or in other words, 'typical Livan'. He is striking out a meager 4 K/9, and allowing a unsustainable BABIP of .266 (up from .197 in mid-May), which is completely fluky. He also has a 80.3% (98% LOB% in Mid-May), which is still very high, as league average is around 70% (his career is 72%). Livan Hernandez has regressed over the past 6 weeks, but he still has more to go.

      UPDATE September 8: Mets faced him on July 1st (7 innings, 7 hits, 1 run, 0 walks and 7 strikeouts). Since then he is 3-6, and his record is now 9-10, with a 3.81 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. His strikeout rate as increased to a still poor 4.7 K/9, and is BAPIP has regressed closer to the mean, now up to .293, and his strand rate has regressed as well to 73%. So pretty much everything that was going for him early in the year has gone back to "typical Livan." This is a perfect case study of sabermetrics, that he started out great, but it was all based on luck. He has let up 5+ runs in his last 3 starts, but the Nationals still gave him a 1 year contract extension last week.

      Mets win 4-1, and An afternoon meaningless game 140

      D Gee took a no hitter into the 6th inning, and the Mets only had one hit after the 2nd inning, but the Mets win 4-1, powered by a monster 3-run HR from Ike Davis.

      Today's game is a 12:35 start, RA Dickey vs Livan Hernandez. The scouting report will be posted for Livan.

      Tuesday, September 7, 2010

      From a loyal reader at tonights game. Enjoy!

      From tonights game
      D Wright scratched from tonight's game due to a bruised finger. Hessman starting 3B and hitting 5th.

      Meaningless Game 139: Mets @ Nationals

      Y Maya makes his major league debut vs this stellar line-up:

      Pagan RF
      Hernandez 2B
      Beltran CF
      Wright 3B
      Davis 1B
      Duda LF
      Blanco C
      Tejada SS
      Gee P.

      For those excited to watch D Gee, here's your chance to watch a AAAA pitcher. Enjoy

      Scouting Report Mets SP Dillon Gee

      Dillon Gee
      6'1" 200 pounds
      Bats R/Throws R
      Drafted in 2007 in the 21st round out of University of Texas-Arlington

      The Good: He has great strikeout rates in AAA, the best of his minor league career (9.21 this year). He also minmizes walks (2.3 W/9). He has very good control and opened Jerry Manuel's eyes last year in spring training.

      "Stuff": Below average fastball with good command, a plus change-up, and mixes in a cutter, slider and slow curve.

      The Bad: He has below average velocity (88-92 mph) and fringe stuff for a right-handed major leaguer. He has little margin for error, so he can get hit hurt if he can't locate his pitches. He's been very prone to the long ball this year, and has let up 22 HR in 157 innings in AAA. He was ranked #22 and #23 on the Mets prospect list coming into this season. Suffered a torn labrum last May, and rehabbed instead of surgery.

      This year he's 13-8 and a 4.96 ERA in AAA. In his last 10 starts, he's let up 4 or more earned runs in 5 of them, and 3 starts of 2 runs or less. What exactly did he do to earn this promotion to the 40-man roster and this start? His last start he lasted only 4 innings, let up 7 earned runs on 7 hits and 1 walk, while striking out 4.

      Bottom Line: A "crafty righty" or a fringe major leaguer/long man/AAAA pitcher.

      Scouting Report Yuneski Maya

      The 28-year old Cuban defector is making his major league debut after signing with the Nationals; the Mets and Red Sox were reportedly interested, but the Mets got out bid by "the big market Nationals", who signed Maya for 4 years/6.5 million dollars on August 1st. There isn't any pitch-fx data or anything on Maya, so the scouting report is based on scouts reports when he pitched in the World Baseball Classic (7 1/3 innings, 1.23 ERA). In his first year in the Cuban National Series, he won the equivalent of the Cy Young, going 13-4 with 7 complete games and a 2.22 ERA.

      He throws a sinking fastball 88-92 mph, and then throws the kitchen sink: slider, curve and change-up. He changes arm angles and speeds based on the situation and the hitter's response.  In a recent game versus the Buffalo Bisons (4 2/3, 1 unearned run on 2 hits), his curveball varied from 65-70 mph. He described himself as a pitcher as aggressive and pounds the strike zone with good command on the corners.

      Most scouts view him close to a finished product and as a back-end of the rotation arm, but that's still not bad for a guy making 1.5 million per year and the Mets could've had him for that price. Back in February I advocated for the Mets to sign Maya, but why would they? They were confident in Perez and Maine et al.

      Monday, September 6, 2010

      Mets Lose 13-3


      Nothing else to say

      Meaningless Game 138: Mets @ Nationals

      Here's the line-up that will face young RHP J Zimmerman.

      Pagan cf
      Hernandez 2b
      Carter rf
      Wright 3b
      Davis 1b
      Duda lf
      Thole c
      Tejada ss
      Pelfrey p.

      Sunday, September 5, 2010

      Meaningless Game 137: Mets @ Cubs

      The series finale, R Dempster on the Mound.

      Pagan RF
      Hernandez 2B
      Beltran CF
      Davis 1B
      Hessman 3B
      Duda LF
      Thole C
      Tejada SS
      Niese P

      Enjoy the beautiful day!

      Saturday, September 4, 2010

      Mets Lose

      The box sore tells me the Mets lose 5-3. The beach tells me I made a great choice of visiting it versus staying inside and watching the game.

      Game 136: Mets @ Cubs

      Mejia makes his 1st major league start today and squares off against the Cubs and Carlos Zambrano:

      Pagan RF
      Castillo 2B
      Beltran CF
      Wright 3B
      Duda LF
      Davis 1B
      Nickeas C (major league debut)
      Tejada SS
      Mejia P

      Let's Go Mets!

      Scouting Report Carlos Zambrano

      (From my trip to Wrigley July 15, 2006)
       Mets faced Big Z back on April 20th. He's had a very turbulent season (got shipped to the bullpen, spent some time on the restricted list and went to anger management classes). Here is the scouting report from April, and his season stats updated at the end.

      Today, the Mets face RHP Carlos Zambrano. The 10 year veteran is getting paid to be an ace, and that frustrates numerous Cubs fans because he isn't an ace, but he is still an average/above average pitcher.

      He throws from a low 3/4s arm slot, features a 91-94 mph sinking fastball, a late-biting slider, a decent change-up and an improving split-finger. He uses his split as his main strike out pitch, which increased his walks (4.15 W/9 last year), but also increased his strikeouts (8 K/9). He's a fly-ball pitcher, but had an unexplained decrease in Home Runs last year, which contributed to a better than expected ERA (3.77). He probably is a better hitter than two or three regulars on the Mets, with a .632 career OPS and 20 home runs.

      So the positives seem great, but here are the negatives: He's making 18 million dollars (signed through 2013) and people repeatedly question his work ethic and mental make-up. He missed time last year with back spasms that were blamed on poor conditioning. Also loses focus often in games and his mechanics are tough to repeat.

      Update September 4: He's appeared in 30 games (14 starts, 88 2/3 innings), and is 6-6 with a 4.36 ERA and 1.67 WHIP. He's walking an Ollie P-like #, 5 W/9 innings. He's been able to limit the HR again this year (only 1 HR allowed since May 15th), but you can't survive when you are walking that many hitters. He's only throwing strikes 44% of his pitches, a career low. His fastball velocity has also declined this year to an average of 90 mph, down from 92-93. He's increased his use of his cutter to 16% and is relying more on his split-finger as well. He's made 5 starts since his return from anger management, and is 3-0 and hasn't allowed more than 2 runs in any of those games. But his control has been erratic, walking 20 in the 29 1/3 innings. His last start versus the Pirates he went 5 1/3 innings and allowed only 1 run (unearned), but allowed 4 hits and walked 4.

      Game Recap 135

      Mets lose despite home runs from D Wright and L Hernandez.

      Mejia starts Saturday, so it gives Mets fans reasons to watch, although I won't blame you if you go to the beach like I am today. Happy Saturday.

      Friday, September 3, 2010

      Meaningless Game 135: Mets @ Cubs

      This game was so meaningless that I didn't get to post the line-ups or scouting reports. Dickey vs R Wells.

      The next 3 games are afternoon games as well for those that care.

      Have a Happy and Safe Labor Day Weekend (I will try to post the scouting reports for the remaining pitchers, but don't have it done just yet).

      Thursday, September 2, 2010

      Mets Win 4-2

      Big story, Johan leaves after 5 innings and 65 pitches with a "pectoralis strain."  I'm not buying it.

      Can't wait to see how the Mets spin this...

      See you in Spring Training Johan. Rest up with Reyes.