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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Position by Position Scouting Report- Josh Thole

Josh Thole- #30

23 years old
6'1" 20 pounds
2nd major league season
Bats L/Throws R

The Good: Was born in October of 1986, the day after the Mets won championship #2. He knows his abilities, works the count, and rifles balls up the middle for singles. He also is an on base machine.

The bad: Average defense (adequate receiver), below average arm strength (low arm slot causes his ball to tail), and not a great game caller; needs more experience (Only played 26 games as a catcher in his 1st 3 years of pro ball). Doesn't have any/a lot of power (8 HRs in 402 minor league games).

Role: Will spend time with Chris Coste mentoring him in AAA, and may be called up in September for more experience. Doesn't project as an all-star, but could be a solid regular if he continues to progress/improve his defense. 

Link to the other catchers on the 40 man roster:
Rod Barajas
Henry Blanco
Chris Coste
Omir Santos

Position by Position of the 40 Man Roster - Omir Santos

Omir Santos- #9

6'0", 200 pounds
28 years old (29 in April)
3rd major league season
Bats R/Throws

The Good: Hit .260 and slugged .391 last year in 306 at bats. Also hit 7 HR's. Provides adequate defense.

The bad: Omir is a career .258/.304/.348 in the minor leagues. He only hit .218 vs lefties last year.

Role for 2010: 3rd catcher/AAA Catcher/Trade bait (not likely to get anything substantial in return)

Projection if he did capture the back up gig: 50 games, 5 HRs, 30 RBIs, .250/.295/.345.

Links to the previous scouting reports:
Rod Barajas
Henry Blanco
Chris Coste

K escobar

Yesterday Jerry Manuel said Kelvim escobar will most likely start the year on the dl.

I'm really shocked by this news. He has pitched 1 game total the past 2 years combined, but we give him a guaranteed contract; of course.

"when he is healthy he really is good"

Mets 40 man roster

If it seems like it's taking me forever to get through the scouting reports for the Mets catchers, it's because they are the only team in the Majors to have 5 catchers on their 40-man roster. The Cardinals are the only other team in the National League to even have 4.

Seems like an interesting use of resources for the Mets, carrying 5 average/below average catchers...

The scouting reports for Thole and Santos will be posted today to finally complete the catcher position.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Position by Position Breakdown of the 40 man Roster- Chris Coste

Chris Coste- #3.

6'1", 210 pounds
37 years old.
5th major league season.
Throws R/Bats R

The Good: A Baseball "lifer", has spent 13+ years in the minors/independent ball. Well liked and respect. Student of the game. Had a good 2008 season with the Phillies, with 9 HRs, and .423 slugging %. Also filled in at 1B last year with the Astros.

The Bad: Not very strong defensively, and then slugged only .252 last year between the Phillies and Astros.

Role: Mentoring Josh Thole in AAA/emergency catcher if Mets catchers get hurt in bunches like last year.

Not going to give a projection due to a projected < 100 at bats at the major league level.

Links to the scouting reports for the Mets likely 2 major league catchers.
Rod Barajas
Henry Blanco

Position by Position Breakdown of 40 Man Roster- Henry Blanco

Henry Blanco- #4

5'11", 220 pounds
38 years old (39 in August)
13th major league season
Bats R, throws R

The Good: Well respected for the way he handles the pitching staff; throws well and is well liked by his teammates. Termed a "quintessential reserve catcher". Threw out 34.1% of base runners last year. Was more patient at the plate last year. He likes the ball out over the plate and pulls the ball with occasional power.

The Bad: Very long swing. Struggles vs breaking balls. .228 career hitter, and sub .300 on base percentage. Struck out 50 times last year, vs 26 walks. Had 18 extra base hits last year in 232 at bats (6 HRs, 12 2B), for a Slug % of .382

Role: Most likely serve as Johan Santana's personal catcher

My projection for stats: 40 games, 150 at bats, 5 HRs, 20 RBI, .230 BA/.295 OBP/.340 Slug %

As a reference, all catchers in MLB last year BA/OBP/Slug % was .254/.320/.395

Link to the Mets starting catcher, Rod Barajas, scouting report:
Rod Barajas

Felipe Lopez to the Cardinals

As Buster Olney first reported in the middle of this week, he felt Felipe Lopez would sign a 1 year deal with the Cardinals, and it turns out to be for 1.75 million plus incentives.

Signing Alex Cora for 2 million (1.75 million for being a nice guy), keeps looking better and better...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Joe Beimel to the Mets?

Joe Beimel has been offered a contract from the Mets and he is considering it, according to his agent and the Denver Post (contract offer was first reported by Adam Rubin).

He is 33 years old, and was really bad last year with the Nationals, giving up too many home runs for a supposed ground ball/sinker ball pitcher (and then traded to the Rockies). Last year he threw 17% fewer sinkers (which produce those ground balls), replacing them with curves and change ups. He let up 10 hits per 9 innings last year and had a 1.47 WHIP.  He let up 5 HRs last year in 55 innings, when the prior 2 years he let up 1 HR combined (116 innings).

And lefties have hit .256 against him in his career, compared to lefty specialist Pedro Feliciano who's batting averaged against vs lefties is .216.

I know the fans are glamoring for another lefty out of the bullpen, and Beimel MIGHT be the right guy if he throws more sinkers again, but sometimes people are just fascinated with the idea you need 2 lefties out of the pen, when in reality that was the problem last year for the Mets. No one could get the opposite-side hitter out...If they (Parnell, Igarashi, Escobar) can accomplish that, then there is no need to get a 2nd lefty for the bullpen.

Twitter post from David Lennon

Got a chuckle out of this Tweet from Newsday's David Lennon

'Good Ollie, Bad Ollie ... Porn Ollie? Perez shaved his beard and left the mustache. Weird.'

Position by Position Breakdown of 40 Man Roster- Rod Barajas

I had teased all week that I was going to start providing a scouting report for each person on the 40 man roster/battling for the 25 man roster.

We will start with the catcher position and under the assumption that Rod Barajas was signed to be the major league catcher earlier in the week.

Rod Barajas- #21

6'2", 245 pounds
34 years old (35 in September).
12th big league season
Bats R/ Throws R

The Good: Known as a good defensive catcher (thrower) with some pop (15-20) HRs

The Bad: Career .238 hitter and an awful .284 on base percentage. To put that .284 OBP in perspective, everyone (including myself), didn't want the Mets to sign Bengie Molina because he was slow and never got on base and has an awful OBP. Well, since 2003, Rod Barajas has had a higher OBP than Bengie Molina, ONCE (2007). There is a huge difference in the salaries though (1 million for Barajas), and thankfully we are not paying a bad catcher 5-6 million for the next 2 years, although the 6 catchers we have in camp might add up to that much $.

Role: Mets starting catcher (65-70% of games)

My projection for this year: 110 games, 360 at bats, 12 HRs, 50 RBIs, 20 BB, 50 Ks, .235 bat aver., .276 OBP, .400 Slug %

As a reference, all catchers in MLB last year BA/OBP/Slug % was .254/.320/.395

Fans: what are your thoughts/expectations from Rod Barajas this year? Vote on the poll and/or post them in the comments sections

Pictures from Wednesday's Spring Training

Here are a few pictures from Wednesday's workout.

All the pitchers and catchers meet up for the last day before position players arrive.

He needs no explanation.

That looks like it hurts. We will see how long this experiment lasts before a DL stint. Surprised they aren't emphasizing his upper body needs to get lower (side bend more).

Good balance and flexibility by Oliver Perez. He really looks like a changed player.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Videos of Live BP from Wednesday

Bobby Parnell- 3rd base side

Johan and Oliver long tossing - 30 second clip

Sean Green from 3rd base side

Pat Misch- nice and smooth and effortless. 1st base view

Pat Misch- 3rd base view

RA Dickey throwing his knuckleball

Recap of the Marlins Camp- February 22nd

As I was driving down and across Florida to go to Marco Island for the day, I stopped in to check out the Marlins and Cardinals spring training camp in Jupiter. They both share the same facility, but it is a solid 15 minute walk between the 2 facilities, or a short trolley ride. We parked over in the Marlins side of camp and walked over to the Cardinals side.

When you first enter the Cardinals camp, you only have access to 2 fields, then have to walk around another field to get access to 4 other fields. There was very little security/people to ask where to go (I'm comparing this to the plentiful security guards at Tradition Field), and it was more just follow where everyone else was walking.

After taking a trolley back to the Marlins side, there is one entrance and it opens you up into 4 fields, with a walking path to another 2 or 3 fields all in close proximity. Pitchers were working on PFPs (pitchers fielding position), as well as bunting on 2 other fields. 

There was no BP going on, nor any bullpens being thrown, so not much to report on skill-wise.

The biggest contrast between the Mets & Cardinals vs Marlins camp is the lack of fans. There were probably 10 fans there for the Marlins. The players would walk on the same path as the fans, and make eye contact, practically begging you to recognize them.

Here is a couple pictures from the workout:


And my favorite picture of the day, courtesy of the Marlins player's parking lot (anyone know who's car is this?):

Recap of Cardinals Camp- Monday February 22

As I was driving down and across Florida to go to Marco Island for the day, I stopped in to check out the Marlins and Cardinals spring training camp in Jupiter. They both share the same facility, but it is a solid 15 minute walk between the 2 facilities, or a short trolley ride. We parked over in the Marlins side of camp and walked over to the Cardinals side.

When you first enter the Cardinals camp, you only have access to 2 fields, then have to walk around another field to get access to 4 other fields. There was very little security/people to ask where to go (I'm comparing this to the plentiful security guards at Tradition Field), and it was more just follow where everyone else was walking.

I saw the last few pitches of Jason Motte's bullpen from across a parking lot. Couldn't see enough to gauge how he was throwing, although from this picture below I would be worried about a potential arm injury in his future (that's a lot of scapular loading/increased pressure on the anterior portion of the shoulder).

 The largest crowd was gathered around the field where Mark McGwire was watching a couple minor leaguers take batting practice and he really seemed comfortable and enjoying it.

The field next to him a couple of the infielders where taking ground balls, and D Freese was taking fungoes from Tony La Russa. Such a stark contrast to Jerry Manuel just walking around all day talking and smiling with the fans...

D Freese looked very comfortable defensively, and showed good hands and nice footwork going in the hole, as well as back-handed plays. 

There were probably 50-70 fans there, a pretty good amount for a weekday.  I did feel like the Cardinals were accomplishing more at this point in spring training than the Mets were (Mets infielders were just fielding ground balls right at them, not requiring very much range or footwork).

And this was my favorite picture of the day (no one else was sporting the stirrups).


Hope you enjoyed a different perspective; it definitely was enjoyable for me to see how another team runs their spring training vs the Mets.

Spring Training Wednesday February 24th

Couple quick hits:
  • K Escobar did not throw at all again today.
  • Johan and Ollie P once again long tossed from foul line to the center field fence but it was not as much pure strength/power as Sunday's display
  • Sean Green is definitely more submarine rather than side arm, as you will see in the videos.
  • Bobby Parnell's motion looked free and easy
  • Jeff Wilpon was in camp (1st time I had seen him this year)
  • The position players weren't on the fields in the morning due to physicals. First team workout is today.
  • Pedro Feliciano gave a baseball to a little girl he sees as he jogs between fields, which is a nice gesture, and I've seen him do it twice already
  • I didn't get a chance to see either Hisanori Takahashi and Ryota Igarashi throw bullpens or live bp.

Other posts today will feature videos of Sean Green and B Parnell throwing BP, Johan and Oliver Perez long tossing. Also will put a couple pictures up from yesterday, as well as a post recapping my trip to Marlins and Cardinals camp on Monday, with some pictures.

It was a lot easier posting these blogs in 80 degree weather than watching snow fall.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Spring training this am

I did get a chance to go to spring training this morning for an hour. Rain is definitely on the horizon, but was able to take some video of Johan and Ollie P long tossing, as well as Parnell and Sean Green throwing live Bp

check back tomorrow for the videos.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tuesday night update

I went to Cardinals and Marlins camp yesterday, and I will have a recap with pictures either Wednesday night or Thursday morning. It was a different experience for Mets camp that's for sure!

I am planning on going to Mets camp again tomorrow morning, weather permitting (70% chance of rain/thunderstorms), then flying back to reality tomorrow afternoon.

Plans for the blog for the rest of the week include beginning the preview of the 40 man roster, as well as more pictures from Spring Training.

Pray for no rain so you get more exciting news updates tomorrow night/Thursay morning.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Thank you and welcome

I just wanted to say thank you to my loyal followers and welcome to any new readers from this weekend.

The last 2 days at spring training were awesome, and I will continue to provide valuable insight and analysis leading up to the season and during the hopeful journey to the post-season.

Opening day is 6 weeks from today, and as a countdown, I will be previewing/providing a scouting report each day for a player on the 40 man roster/ those battling for a roster spot.

Again thank you for your support, and please continue to provide feedback and comments.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Pictures from Day 2

Hey Johan, it's good to see you too! (He was pointing/dancing with a 12 month old right next to us)

Pelf's is Big, and was having fun with J Maine today

Mejia waiting to run after his bullpen. Such a young kid, but he has an electric arm.

The two home-grown hitters (D Murph and D Wright).

And saving the best picture for last...

And here is a video (taken the wrong way and couldn't rotate it, sorry!)

Be sure to check out the post 'thoughts from day 2', as well as the other posts from Saturday. Enjoy!

Thoughts and Observations from Day 2

Today's crowd was probably 1/2 the size of yesterdays, but it was just as much fun as Saturday. I saw some other die-hard Mets fans that I met yesterday, and really enjoyed the comraderie. I got there around 9:45 and walked right in, and the team was still listening to Jerry talk and then went into their stretches. During the stretches, Johan and K-Rod were both joking around/talking more than anyone else.

  •  K Escobar didn't even warm up toss, or throw a baseball during drills. When I asked him about it, he said he wasn't throwing today, but would throw tomorrow. Guess this is all part of the strengthening/rehab program he is following.
  • Not sure if Johan/Ollie P saw my post yesterday that no one was long tossing yesterday, and they definitely took the crown today. Johan was on the left field line, and throwing to dead center (the 408 sign), without even crow hopping. Such an impressive display of power/strength. Ollie P was very accurate from that distance as well, but was using a crow hop. At times Johan looked like he was trying to throw the ball over the fence. No one else long tossed to within 75 feet of Johan/Ollie.
  • The 2nd group of pitchers threw their bullpens today, and that was again blocked from the public's view. I could get a good view of Sean Green, and agree 100% that he is a lot more submarine vs the side-arm he was last year.
  • J Mejia threw a bullpen, and from a far I couldn't see his results, but his motion was so free and easy, almost effortless. It was definitely nice to see him throw besides doing PFPs yesterday. 
  • Jerry Manuel was once again walking around and interacting with the fans, and when one fan yelled to him 'this is the year', Jerry responded to the tune of, 'it's gotta be this year. you look like you're getting old with your gray hair, we got to do it for you!'  Of course with a wink over his shoulder. 
  • Omar stayed off of the fields/out of the public's view for the most part today, and spent most of the day on the phone. Trying to acquire another catcher? (tongue in cheek)
  • D Wright was back at practice today and is bigger/stronger, and a leader of the position players/infield. He was definitely driving the ball with authority during BP today.
  • Position players who weren't at camp today: Jose Reyes, Luis Castillo, J Bay, A Pagan, F Tatis, C Beltran (no surprise).
  • Gary Matthews flew in last night and was at camp today for the 1st time. He is a big guy and looks like he is in good shape. However, he probably had the worst round of BP of all the position players that I saw. He did spend a lot of time talking with hitting coach, Ho-Jo, so hopefully he was just working on some different techniques. I also welcomed him to the Mets and he said 'thank you, i'm happy to be here'.
  • Nick Evans was isolated from the rest of the outfielders (Frenchy, Matthews, J Pridie, K Nieuwenhuis), and didn't interact with them at all, which definitely was odd. Evans, Pridie and Niuwenhuis all sprayed the ball well, using all fields. Frenchy did show some signs that his power is still there. And for those wondering, it seems like Francoeur beat D Wright in golf yesterday.
  • D Murphy had a rough day fielding at 1B, which I was surprised to see. M Jacobs and C Carter made all the plays, but they didn't need to show much/if any range.
  • N Green and R Adams were both in camp playing 2B; I didn't see either of them take BP, but they both made all the easy plays during practice. N Green was also getting on D Murphy for him being so popular with the females, which was funny (I think he used the word 'special').  S Bowman was here today for the 1st day, and had a couple nice strokes during BP.
  • Mike Jacobs again had some glimpses of the power he has during BP. Again, no one has questioned his power, just the ability to make consistent contact/decrease the number of strike outs.
  • I wish Ike Davis was here at camp so I could've gotten a look at him, but oh well.
  • Johan Santana's contagious attitude was on full display, and he was laughing and interacting with the fans, and also signed at the end of the day. He also didn't run the same program as the rest of the pitchers, but he can do whatever he wants and has earned that right (after winning his cy youngs).

So another positive day with no known injuries; I had a great 2 days and hopefully every one else enjoyed reading the recaps.

I will be following this post up with a couple pictures. If anyone has any questions, feel free to e-mail me at ARMarsala@gmail.com, and I will answer it to the best of my ability.

Let's Go Mets!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Few Select Pictures from Today's workout

Omar interacting and being very friendly with the fans

Daniel Murphy styling and "smiling for my wife"

C Carter (1B), making solid contact.

Jose Reyes is focused, but also ready to have fun.

I LOVE watching him play, and I know I'm not alone.

Again, I will update with more pictures/storylines from tomorrow's camp.

P.S. Yes Carlos Delgado did have a 2nd hip surgery today and is out for 4 months. Hopefully Omar will finally close the door on him after this...

Jose Reyes video

Here is a video of Jose fielding today; So smooth and should bring joy to any Mets fan.


Spring Training Day 1

First and foremost, for anyone who has not been to spring training yet; YOU NEED TO GO. Today is a day that everyone feels like a kid again. There is something special for the first time you see guys throwing the ball, practicing fundamentals etc. I got to the park at 7:30 AM, and the gates didn't open til 9:45, but it was completely worth it.

Getting there so early I was able to see most of the players arrive in their vehicles of choice, and R.A. Dickey had the most original mode of transportation: a bicycle. I will definitely root for anyone that shows up to work on a bicycle and throws a knuckleball.

Michael Baron of Metsblog got the 100 or so fans going with the 1st "Let's Go Mets" chant of the year around 9:30.

As many of you guys know, I love taking pictures, and I estimated today that I had 700+ pictures of the festivities. HOWEVER, I had trouble with my camera and 3/4+ of the pictures were deleted. So today's pictures today will be very limited, (I will make up for it tomorrow AND make sure I don't delete any of it), but if you are looking for more pictures of today, check out this awesome gallary: http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelgbaron/sets/72157623351069175/

Some thoughts from today:

  • Everyone was smiling and signing autographs (as they should, it's day 1)
  • Ollie P. looks so much more flexible and in control. I know people will doubt all the work he put in this winter etc., but after seeing him today, I believe. My expectations could be 15 wins, around 4.00 ERA from Perez.
  • It was great to see Fred Wilpon today, and no sign of Jeff Wilpon...
  • One part that I was disappointed with was that the bullpens were closed off from the public, but overall the access to the fields/players were great.
  • K Escobar is definitely behind the other pitchers. He didn't extend past 60 feet, and was "tossing" with a member of the training staff, not another pitcher.
  • Figgy (Nelson) long tossed the longest of the pitchers, but no one seemed really concerned about "airing it out" today.
  • Mejia (the Mets #1 prospect) looked very young/inexperienced during PFPs (pitchers fielding position), throwing away numerous bunts to 1st and 2nd base, as well as looking lost trying to put a bunt down. Thank goodness he's young.
  • Both Omar Miyana and Jerry Manuel were very friendly with the fans. Omar, when I asked about Rod Barajas, said he had yet to hear from him, (now we know he has signed with the Mets). I gave Jerry a fist bump and told him to "keep it gangsta" and he turned around and smiled.
  • 12:50 or so the position players that were at camp, jogged onto the field and had some fielding practice, followed by a short BP. The infielder group was highlighted by the presence of Jose Reyes, D Murphy, M Jacobs, and C Carter (I'm missing one person from that group). Jeff Frenchy was on another field with the outfielders. The regulars that were not present: J Bay, L Castillo, D Wright (had a promo to do according to Jeff F.), and C Beltran (recovering from knee surgery). Position players are not required to be there yet, but a lot of the regulars are already here obviously.
  • Seeing Reyes having fun (playing catch with his shirt out, without a hat etc), was a delight to see.
  • Mike Jacobs definitely has pure power, and hit multiple bombs today. That follows the scouting report, just hopefully he makes contact more and strikes out less. One interesting thing was that he was warming up throwing with Jose; I know a lot of people feel there is no way Jacobs goes to AAA with the Mets, and after today, I am tending to agree.
  • D Murph keeps hitting line drives and I love watching him work. He also signed probably for 100+ people after the workout.
  • C Carter (traded from Boston in Billy Wagner trade), had more power than I realized, and hit multiple HRs in BP. I understand it's BP, but again, I thought he was more of a doubles hitter vs a power hitter.
  • While signing autographs for the fans, Frenchy said "sure" when one fan asked if we could expect 30 HRs from him this year. I'll take the under, but I did grow to appreciate Jeff's attitude and passion for the game after watching him up close today. He seems very happy to be getting a new start in NY and very happy here. He was going to play golf with D Wright this afternoon. I will try to let you guys know who won tomorrow.

I will be posting a few pictures, and a video of Jose fielding ground balls in a little bit.

Final thoughts: I'm very excited for the upcoming season, and hopeful/expecting the Mets to outperform the national expectations this year.


PS. Be sure to check out the video of Jose Reyes fielding and the post titled a few select pictures from yesterday's workout also. These can be found on the home page or the upper right hand side where all the blog posts are listed. Enjoy

And pitchers and catchers 1st official workout begins today!

It's currently 54 degrees, the sun has yet to rise, but I'm so excited baseball is finally here. I'll be heading over to Port St. Lucie and will be there by 8 AM to watch the pitchers and catchers workout.

Expect a big post later today/tonight (after the beach of course). Really looking forward to seeing the pitchers throw and what they are working on this early in camp.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Yesterday at Port St. Lucie

I did sneak down there for a few minutes, but there was nothing to see, as all the fields were closed down to the public. The only people we saw were spectators waiting for them to leave to try to get autographs.

I should've gotten that press pass!

Tomorrow's workout should be open to the public.

Happy Friday, and thank goodness Spring Training has finally arrived! Enough talking about the off-season, let's play ball!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Travel day/ misc thoughts

So yesterday was a travel day down to Florida, and the weather wasn't quite as nice as we were expecting. It is currently 46 degrees and windy. Not ideal baseball conditions, but still warmer than the tri-state area, barely.

K Escobar has shoulder discomfort; this is almost as shocking as Rich Harden having shoulder discomfort. Glad this was a guaranteed contract...

Mets are considering signing Rod Barajas, yet another catcher. Not much else I could say about that.

I probably won't head to mets camp til Saturday for the 1st official pitchers and catchers workout.

Happy Thursday

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wang signs with the Nats

It seems to be the place where players who wanted to pitch for the Mets but didn't get an offer go (Marquis I'm looking at you also).

So the Mets really are going into the season with a rotation of Johan, Big Pelf, Ollie P, J Maine and ______

Let's hope we are all wrong and we have enough pitching; but don't bet on it.

Again, Wang wasn't the complete answer for the Mets, especially since his return date is highly questionable, but it couldn't have hurt to sign him to a deal similar to Alex Cora, but let's stop beating a dead horse.

In other news, the Mets may be a front runner to a Cuban pitcher, Yuniesky Maya, who defected last year, and it's being described as a race between the Mets and Red Sox. Jorge Arangure of ESPN.com quotes a scout who watched Maya as saying he threw in the 88–92 mph range, while sporting a fastball, two-seamer, a slider, curveball and a changeup.

He is 27 years old, and is looking to go to a team where he can start right away.

That sounds like a good fit for the Mets, and maybe this is the ace up their sleeve...even though I do not believe he has officially been declared a free agent yet.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Adam Rubin's pictures from Today

Good old Sandy Koufax is at camp, as well as D Wright, D Murph (does he ever leave?), M Jacobs, the 2 Japenese imports, J Maine.

Nice work Adam, although this is still all your fault.


48 hours until I'm down in Mets country...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

5 days until Mets pitchers and catchers report

and a week from today will be the first organized workout. Counting down the days/hours to get out of this cold and snow, and be reporting live from Port St. Lucie.

Here is a couple of pictures from last year's disaster of a team.

Can't wait to see Carlos back, HEALTHY, this year.

Will he regain his confidence/mechanics to hit 25 HRs + again this year?

So thrilled we don't have to see any of those awful swings any more (although I should never say never with Omar).....

Hopefully he continues to develop as a professional hitter that he is; he certainly works hard enough.

And last but not least, one the keys to the season...

Can't wait to see a healthy AND happy Jose Reyes.

Let's play ball!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Mets sign ANOTHER catcher

Shawn Riggans, formerly of the Tampa Bay Rays, has been signed to a minor league deal. He has hit .202 over the past 3 years, and had 0 walks last year (in 14 plate appearances).

I'm overwhelmed with joy (insert eye roll here).

Yes its a slow day today.

Bill James projections for The Mets Starting Rotation

Oliver Perez 8-11, 4.73 ERA
Mike Pelfrey 9-12, 4.45 ERA
John Maine 9-9 3.86 ERA

All I know is that that doesn't look too good, and Bill James is a lot smarter than me.

But I would take the over on Maine's ERA, and under on both Pelfrey and Perez's ERA.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Need for 2nd lefty out of the bullpen?

A lot of fans have been glamoring for the Mets to get a 2nd lefty out of the bullpen, and according to reports out of Japan, the Mets may be signing 34 year-old Japanese free-agent LHP Hisanori Takahashi to a minor league deal. 

All of that sounds good and dandy until you realize that lefties hit .300 off of him last year; so much for being a lefty specialist.

The Dodgers are also in the running to sign Takahashi

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New poll

Who is our #2 starter? Vote now.

8 days

Right now I look out my door and see this...

But in 8 days We will be seeing this:


He's auditioning for the 5th starter spot I hear... (picture taken from newsday archives)

Mike Jacobs close/done deal with Mets- Minor League deal?

From Buster Olney today:

The Mets signed Mike Jacobs, colleague Jerry Crasnick reported, and the most ardent Mets fan at ESPN, Mark Simon, sent me a note on this signing. Mark, the floor is yours: "Mike Jacobs is an ideal (sarcasm intended) fit for the Mets. He had the 2nd-lowest OPS in 2009 (.698) among players whose primary position was DH. No player with as many home runs as he hit last year (19) had a lower slugging percentage than Jacobs' .401. And over the past three seasons, Jacobs ranks last among first baseman in the defensive stat 'Runs Saved' (similar to UZR; measures many aspects of a defender's ability, via the company Baseball Info Solutions). This despite his starting only 13 games at first base in 2009 (which tells you how bad he was in 2007 and 2008). That should work out especially well, considering that over the past three years, their second baseman -- Luis Castillo -- ranks LAST in MLB in runs saved for second baseman."

My take:
Before every one kills Omar, this is a low risk, probably low reward move, but it can't hurt and won't break the bank. No, he isn't a good baseball player, but does have some pop IF he ever can cut down on his swings and misses and thus not strike out every 3 at bats. I'm not counting on that happening, but stranger things have happened.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Spring Training Is Almost Here

Equipment bus packs up tomorrow and leaves for Port St. Lucie at 11 AM. Hopefully it doesn't get derailed due to the impending snow storm. That would just be a fitting continuation of last season and this off-season...

I will be reporting live from Spring Training the 1st 2 days of pitchers and catchers workouts (Saturday February 20th and Sunday the 21st), and will be posting pictures and videos, to make all you guys from the northeast jealous.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Poll closed

88% of the readers think the Mets will end up between 82-87 wins, which shows an educated fan base.

The blog/baseball world has been quiet the last few days (outside of a pair of 2nd baseman signings and Bedard re-upping with Seattle).

I will begin a countdown to spring training previewing position by position as the Mets currently stand, give some projections for the players stats, and ask for your opinions of over/under on a category or two on each player.

Is anyone else keeping an eye on the Caribbean series and "F-Mart"? I saw him hang in nicely against a tough southpaw throwing curve after curve last night; I am still optimistic he can be a solid major league player in his future

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Meet the Mess


Just another article echoing what Ken Rosenthal and Buster Olney reported last week.

The only thing that will cure this is playing and winning baseball games. Other than that, this will continue to be written and talked about because everything else is quiet over the next 2 weeks until pitchers and catchers report.

(Hat tip to Kevin for sending the article)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mets go back and offer 6 pack of tickets

At least the Mets realized they shouldn't force fans to buy 15 games in order to get premium games, and have gone back to offering 6 game packs, including an opener pack.


Nice work finally listening to your fans Mets, although I find it hard to believe that the best seats available for the opening pack is only promenade reserved (left/right field upper deck) and I would love to find out what the $35 order fee is for.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Another Mets fans top 10 moments at Shea

Anyone that takes the time to write out their top 10 memories deserves to get a blog post, so here is John Scat's top 10 moments at Shea.

Nice work Scat, good list.

10. Date unknown, 2000: It was a Sunday day game and I have no idea who the Mets were playing but it must have been of relative importance because Christopher Russo was broadcasting from the WFAN box. On the way to my concession stand I decided to walk inside the stadium along the Loge level to get a glimpse of batting practice. As I walked below the WFAN booth I stopped to listen. When I heard it go to commercial I shouted out, “Hey Mad Dog!” Russo stuck his head outside the booth, waived and shouted back “How ya doing buddy!!!” 9. July 11th 1999: Another Sunday day game and the Mets were going for a series sweep against the Yankees. I was working concessions for the game at the Kosher stand in the right field corner on field level. I don’t remember much about the game but we were required to get to the stadium extra early for the Yankees games. Waiting for the stadium to open I took a seat in right field and watched John Franco throw batting practice to his son, who was using the right field corner as the backstop. His son fouled one off into the stands not too far from me. Faced with the decision of keeping a batting practice ball or giving it back I decided to throw it back to Franco. I threw a perfect strike to Johnny. He thanked me. Unfortunately, Mets lost 6-3. 8. July 16th 2008: Billy Joel’s Last Play at Shea…almost. Only the second time I felt the Upper Deck rock. The national anthem and Take Me Out to the Ballgame never sounded so good. It was a great night that couldn’t be spoiled by a Mets loss. 7. May 19th, 2006: I had never been so unexcited to go to a Subway Series game. It was a Friday night and the pitching matchup of Geremi Gonzalez vs. Randy Johnson really made me wish I was home watching the game on the couch with some pizza. It started as anticipated with the Yankees scoring 4 runs in the top of the first. Delightfully, the Mets responded in the bottom half with 3 runs and later tied it at 6 in the bottom of the 5th. Darren Oliver and Aaron Heilman combined for 5 scoreless innings of relief and Billy Wagner struck out the side in the 9th. The great Mariano Rivera came in to pitch the bottom of the ninth. With two outs and two on David Wright hit a drive to deep center well over Johnny Damon’s head for the walk off victory. 6. October 4th 2006 NLDS Game 1: Got to the ballpark for my first ever playoff game expecting to see Orlando Hernandez pitch. Amazingly he hurt himself in warm-ups and John Maine took the mound. My biggest memory from the game was Jeff Kent and JD Drew being tagged out by Paul Lo Duca at home plate on the same relay throw. After Mota blew the game by giving up 3 runs in the 7th, the Mets took the lead back in the bottom half. Wagner tried to blow it the 9th but the Mets held on 6-5. 5. April 11th 2005: Unlike some people, I didn’t get to cut school to go to Opening Day back in high school and Michigan was a little too far to come home during college so this was my first chance to go to a Home Opener. It was also the first time Mets fans got to greet Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran. Pedro got the loudest pre-game cheer I had ever heard and was winning over the crowd with his dugout antics. The pregame excitement ended early as the Astros scored in the top of the first. That would be all Glavine would allow over 6 innings and the Mets took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the 6th. But the Astros scored one in the 7th and took the lead with two more in the 8th. The day became memorable as the Mets scored 5 runs in the bottom of the 8th. John Franco gave up runs 4 and 5 in that inning on a single by Cliff Floyd. It was the only batter he faced in his first return to Shea. The scoring ended there as the Mets won 8-4.
4. June 11th 2005: Down from my usual bird’s eye view in the Upper Deck I got to watch this one from Field Level. Mets were trailing 2-1 with 1 out in the bottom of the 9th when Marlon Anderson tied it on a thrilling pinch-hit Inside-the-park Home Run. It appeared to be for nothing when the Angels scored an unearned run in the 10th thanks to an error by Doug Mientkiewicz. But the bottom of the 10th proved to be more exciting than the 9th. Reyes led off with a single and Mike Cameron followed with a walk that put the tying run in scoring position and the winning run on with Beltran and Piazza coming up. Carlos and Mike both struck out swinging leaving it up to Cliff. Floyd hit a bomb over the right center field wall creating a great scene at Shea. 3. September 28, 2008: To add my own personal experience from the last game at Shea, I was sitting way up in the Upper Deck all the way out in right field. I couldn’t see the scoreboard and therefore couldn’t see the score of the Brewer’s game. I could only judge by the reaction of the crowd. Not being used to the view from my seat combined with the desire I had for Church to hit a home run I thought he got enough of it to drive it out. Instead, I had a perfect view of the last out in Shea Stadium history. 2. June 30th 2000: Trailing the hated Braves 8-1 heading into the bottom of the 8th inning they closed my concession stand in the Upper Deck. That allowed me to stand inside Section 11 to witness the greatest comeback I’ve ever seen. Single, fly out, single, ground out, single, single, walk, walk, walk, walk, single and the game is tied 8-8. Up steps Mike Piazza for the second time in the inning. He hits a laser beam down the left field line that bounces off the retired numbers. I am jumping up and down high-fiving complete strangers. And to think I was being paid to watch that. 1. October 19th 2006 NLCS Game 7: I don’t have to tell you the details of this game but sitting in the Upper Deck out in left field I actually saw the ball going into Endy’s glove, and I’ll never forget how the Upper Deck shook afterwards. There is no way they would lose now, right? Endy would add to the legend when he came up with men on in the bottom half of that inning, right? Cliff Floyd was going to do his best Kirk Gibson impersonation, no? But when Carlos left the bat on his shoulders I learned how quiet 56,000 people really could be. Everyone filed down the ramp in silence and disbelief. I took the train to Port Washington. When I got into my car at the train station I couldn’t stand to listen to WFAN. So I switched from AM to CD and the first song that just happened to play was “Bitter End” by the Dixie Chicks. And it goes “It’s not alright, I can’t sleep tonight, Knowing you should have played on, On and on.”

Jose Reyes

So at least the Mets and their fans got some positive news last night/today, with video showing Jose Reyes running and working out at full speed, and best of all, "smiling".

He has been working out at probably the best rehab facility on Long Island, Professional Athletic Performance Center in Garden City, attached to Professional Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy.  They have a great staff and a great facility, and are turning into a professional training haven for most long island based athletes. Rob Panariello (director of the Performance Center), and Tim Mauro (director of the PT facility), have done an outstanding job; keep up the good work guys.


I am very excited and anxiously awaiting seeing a happy Jose and helping the Mets become a fun team to watch this season.

As Jose goes, so do the Mets.

Monday, February 1, 2010

JJ Putz

I'm not sure what happened, but JJ Putz is claiming he knew he had bone spurs in his elbow before he was traded to the Mets, but he didn't really have a physical, and was told by the Mets to not talk about the injury to reporters.


When it rains, it pours.....

New Poll

Since the Mets are done making moves for the pre-season according to Buster Olney, I have added a poll on the side to gauge the fans expectations for the upcoming season.


Ryan Garko signed with the Seattle Mariners for $550,000, or 1.15 million LESS than the Mets signed Fernando Tatis.

By no means is Ryan Garko an all-star, but could he have had a positive impact and been a good Right Handed bat/platoon vs lefties? The answer is a resounding yes.

Why are the Mets cheap in some areas, but sign someone who is good in the clubhouse but just a replacement infielder for 2 million, a good reclamation product 2 YEARS AGO but now just a declining skill player at 35 years old for 1.7 million, but then won't sign a 29 year old who hits lefties better than the aforementioned player for $550,000.

I believe if you continue to make the same mistakes over and over again, yet expect different results, is Einstein's definition of insanity.