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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