Monday, August 16, 2010

What now? Four Thoughts on K-Rod.

K-Rod needs to go.  But knowing the Wilpon's track record, and the way the MLB Player's Union works. This guy isn't going anywhere.

First thought that comes to everyone's mind first is: "Void the contract!" Huge round-off chorus of that going around.
My second thought: "Can that happen?" Of course it can't happen! Given that the Player's Unions in all sports today will defend their players to death, and the soft nature of the Wilpon Family, it ain't happening!
My third thought: "Trade him?" No, this guy is more un-tradable than Carlos Zambrano! (But then again, he more tradable than Ollie at least... *shiver*) He has nasty stuff but he less control of his pitch than Jerry Manuel has control of "ummmm".
Fourth thought: "Drop him?" never. The Wilpons would never do such a thing. I don't think any other owner would cut him either, he's owed way too much to cut.

I wonder what would have happened had the Mets not signed K-Rod in the first place, who/what would that money have been used on? Derek Lowe? CC? More money to keep JJ the Putz and his broken elbow in New York? You tell me.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Is Renting Cliff Lee worth it?

I've been thinking about it, and would renting Cliff Lee really make sense at this point? We know that Cliff lee and his agent have said he is only wanting to be rented because he wants to test the free agent market. So, is renting Cliff Lee going to make a difference for New York?

Let's say, hypothetically, this is our team when we get Cliff Lee:
(Assuming Beltran is back at this point)



Do we have a chance to utilize renting him or are we just going to waste good and talented prospects for him? We'd be wasting such big Mets minors' name such as Wilmer Flores, Brad Holt, etc. Can this team use Lee to their advantage?

On paper, yes. A team would die to have some of this talent, let alone our lineup. On paper, our lineup is very heavy. If you throw around names such as Reyes, Wright, Beltran, and Bay, that is deadly. But after watching this team every day you see the flaws with all of them. Reyes pops up too many balls and seems to swing at the first pitch, Wright struckout as I wrote this sentence, Beltran would be coming off of a major surgery, and Bay is either hot or cold, just like the rest of the team.

This team is so streaky that you'd never know what's going to happen. Hell, Johan Santana chucks shutouts and the Mets can't get a measly run home while other games end them losing 8-6. There is never a coupe of people slumping and the rest of the team puts up numbers. It seems like this team is never just playing regular. A player is either hot, or a player is either cold. Why can't a Met player just play? It's ridiculous.

So, if we rent Lee and we keep up this .500 play, he'll most definitely leave. If he likes it here, likes the spotlight here and helps us get far, maybe he'll accept a contract that will lock him up in New York to continue success with the team. How likely is that?

Players must look at Johan Santana and really take into consideration if they want to risk spending a good chunk of their career trying to right the ship of a rocky organization. Who knows though, I guess we'll see this play out and go from there.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

If I Were GM...

So, if I were GM I would make a lot of moves that would make sense. This club has more potential than a .500 team and everyone knows it. Making key acquisitions can change this all around and this is how I would do it. And this is in no particular order or importance:

1. Demote Elmer Dessens, promote Bobby Parnell.

Why is Elmer Dessens not in AAA? I don't think anyone can answer that. The only logical reason I can think of is that when they tried to promote someone, it got lost in translation and Elmer accidently came up and Omar was too chicken to say anything. I mean, why else?

Parnell can gas it up to the high 90s. That is a plus fastball that was able to throw past MLB batters last year pretty effectively but he was sent to the minors to work on his secondary pitches. But wait, isn't Jenrry Mejia IN the majors to work on his secondary pitches? Something doesn't add up.

2. Demote Gary Matthews Jr, promote ANYONE

Gary Matthews Jr. is batting .193 and has 1 RBI. That is not a player worthy of the major leagues. Why can't we promote something like Mike Hessman or Jesus Feliciano? Some say they're quadruple-A players and will not carry over their numbers to the bigs... So?? Will they hit better than .193? Would they not be so much better than 11/57 at bats?

The main argument I guess is that they can't play the outfield. If that is what is keeping GMJr on this squad then that is outrageous. Stick Tatis in the outfield, or even Chris Carter. This choice is obvious and is being handled very poorly.

3. Demote Jenrry Mejia after the All-Star break

I have recently accepted the idea of Mejia on the big league roster. If they see Jenrry as a top of the rotation starter, why not prep him by giving him big league batters to adapt against? He's done a great job and now that he's gotten his feet wet, my move would be to send him down. People were outraged when he was granted the bullpen role, but in all honesty, he is 20 years old. How can we say that this will mess him up when he probably won't be in a big league rotation until 2011, with 2010 being a stretch?

In my opinion, getting his feet wet with big league batters is a decent move to get him some of the action he'll be expecting when he is finally ready to fulfill the hype. We all know he's meant to be a starter and a 1-2-3 of Johan, Mike, and Jenrry will be nothing short of incredible.

4. Activate Beltran, Francoeur to the bench

Sorry, Frenchy, but when Beltran is eventually activated from the DL its bench warming or water boy duties for you. Frenchy won't even be a good bat off the bench due to his serious and almost concerning first pitch swing addiction. It almost looks like he just wants to swing at the first pitch and doesn't necessarily believe he got a good read on it.

Pagan has been real solid all season and I can't see him going back to the bench. I can see a RF platoon with Pagan/Frenchy with Jeff only hanging on due to his arm. I love Francoeur, he's a great guy and I love his passion, but I can't watch him struggle at the plate any longer. Hell, I can't even spell his last name.

5. Send Castillo to the DL, promote Reese Havens

I don't know if I'm breaking a certain Mets code, but I like Castillo. I'm not saying I love him, but he's been pretty solid this year and continuing his success from last season. He'll get on base, he'll steal a base, he'll give you average defense, he'll never strikeout. Watching him last night limping with that foot injury, yet also stealing a base, hustling down the line and making a couple of great plays really shows something to the fans. Nobody likes Castillo, but hey, he's not as bad as people say.

I want Castillo out, but he is a pretty solid second baseman for us. I say send him to the DL so he can get his foot a rest and promote Reese Havens. Havens can hit and field, so I think giving him playing time for the 15 or so days that Castillo will be on the DL will get his feet wet and prep him for a serious look he'll most certainly be getting next spring training. Worst comes to worst is he's not ready, and you promote Ruben Tejada or just give Cora the nod.

These are the moves that I would make right now if it were up to me. They don't seem outlandish and they don't seem like a stretch. I didn't add a Cliff Lee trade or a trade for another pitcher because that would be something that would take a while to accomplish, and these moves are meant to be active immediately.

Tell me what you think.. I think it's pretty reasonable.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Gross Over-reaction

I don't know how many Mets fans I have talked to who have said that the season is over already because the team has gone 4-10 in May and 18-20 overall on the season.
This is what I say to them:
This is basically the same team that had a 14-9 record in April.  This team is capable of doing that again at anytime even without Carlos Beltran.

Speaking of Beltran, when he finally does get back, the Mets become a much better team.  Those who disagree that a team can benefit from the addition of one player can look at the example of Ike Davis; the Mets won 8 straight game after his call-up much accredited to the bat and glove of Ike himself.  Beltran gives the Mets an actual #3 hitter, great center fielder, and a smart baseball player.  But for now, he is injured and we are forced to play Angel Pagan in center. (Which isn't terrible... imagine if Gary Matthews Jr. was our CF... I shiver at the thought)

Along with Beltran's injury there have been a few others, which happens over the course of a 162 game schedule (plus spring training and post-season games).

There have also been bad starts by pitchers, which also happens over the course of a season.
I'm not saying that Ollie Perez was just a victim of a a few bad starts, because there is something clearly wrong with him; whether it mental or physical, I have no idea, but there is something very wrong.  Although he may not show it now, Ollie is capable of being a very good pitcher.  I remember in '07 and '08 when Ollie used to have 6 to 8 starts where he would look like an ace, 10-12 looking like a #3 or #4 starter, and the rest made it look like he was throwing soft toss.  Everyone wishes they could see that Ollie again...

John Maine on the other hand, seems much more likely to turn it around.  He has the stuff to be good, but he needs to pick up the velocity and just let it go.  It seems like he's holding back when he pitches, and tries not to injure himself.  And that is something you just can't do, you can't pitch scared.  But once he gets past the injury in his mind, he will get back to being the pitcher that he once was.

The Mets will find a way to replace Ollie Perez (for probably the rest of the year) and Jon Niese (most likely for only one or two starts).  But I hope that way will be Dillon Gee getting called up and Takahashi starting for them.  But from a long term stand point what happens after Niese comes back? do the Mets option Gee back to Buffalo?  What about Raul Valdes or Jenrry Mejia?
We will all find out in time, but for now, we Mets fans must stay patient and quit over-reacting over a few losses!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Can Dillon Gee soon be replacing John Maine?

The 24 year old right hander Dillon Gee was selected in the 21st round of the 2007 draft and has been fantastic in his two AAA starts going 13 innings, 5 hits, 1 walk, 0 runs, and 12 strikeouts.

One must assume if Gee's success continues at the AAA level, John Maine's job is in trouble. I would throw Maine in the bullpen and send Mejia back down. John Maine's career as a Met is over and I'm not sure if there's anybody on his side to bring him back for another year. I know it's only been two starts for Maine but with a team in last place coming off a miserable year, things have to change because they are clearly just not working.

And I know it's only been two starts for Gee too. People can argue that he's always hurt and never healthy, but so is Maine and so is the majority of the team.

I think the team should try to add Maine in a trade package at the trade deadline or before. I'm not sure who would take him, but if he's added in the right package I don't know who wouldn't. Let's hope because Maine is really giving Mets fans nothing to root for.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Who would replace Maine?

John Maine has been doing awful, no getting around that. If he's plunked from the rotation, who would take his place? We clearly didn't think about this before Opening Day, you know, if our starters weren't going to pan out to what everyone was raving about in spring training (because the previous years weren't clear enough). So, my question is, who would replace John Maine is he bombs his next start?

My first thought would be Jenrry Mejia, as if everyone's probably. If they wanted him up in the MLB bullpen, what's stopping them from wanting him in their starting rotation? If they're this high on him and eventually see him as a dominating starter, why not throw him in to the rotation? They'll say he's not ready, but is he really ready to be in the bullpen?

I can obviously scratch off Fernando Nieve for the starters role. Jerry's frequent usage for him late in games, and Nieve being effective, makes me wonder if he'll ever see another start as a Met again. I think if he can lock up the 8th inning and maybe Igarashi can lock up the 7th inning, our starters would only have to go 5 or 6 innings and that helps. But is 5 or 6 innings of giving up a reasonable amount of runs too much to ask of Ollie these days?

I think the next plausible choice would to give Hisanori Takahashi a go. He was fabulous in spring trainging when he started and Manuel might take that into consideration. Though much of the off season was to get a second lefty in the bullpen, I'm not sure if he'd pluck Takahashi as a pen lefty to stick him in the rotation but could easily just be a short term solution.

Maybe give Raul Valdes the nod? He's been talked about a lot and his name has been going around so maybe Manuel will give him the start. He's been highly effective in the bullpen, pitched 5 innings of 3 hit ball, giving up no earned runs and striking out 7. I'm not sure if Manuel wants to tamper with the rhythmn he has being effective in the bullpen, but that's his decision.

Let's not forget about Bobby Parnell, though. Sure, he wasn't sharp when he had a few starts in the 2009 season, but he's over his first season woes and has been fine tuning his splitter in the minors. Why can't Parnell be a starter? Yes, he was good in the bullpen with that fastball that lingers in the upper 90s but if he can improve his secondary offerings and harness a nice splitter, then age is on his side compared to the other contenders for Maine's spot if he loses it soon.

With the bullpen being completely lights out so far, I find it hard to believe Jerry will yank one of those guys without looking at other options. Due to a dominant bullpen early on in the season, maybe Mejia will be sent down to the minors or maybe stick him in the rotation (!). Maybe they'd bring in a free agent (Pedro???) or maybe just leave Maine in there and watch him embarrass himself every fifth day.

Time will tell. What are your thoughts?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Are Mets fan (and fans in general) too quick to call for the head?

Many fans, after a slow start of a team or player, become anxious about them.  This is a very very common occurrence, no matter the team or the player.  For example, as another blogger, Old Backstop made some interesting points about Fernando Tatis, the Mets' part time first baseman/utility man that I would like the point out:
Tatis is really with the Mets to be a pitch hitter/utility man who can make spot starts at first for Daniel Murphy.  He was never expected to be an all-star hitter, he was never expected to start more than maybe 30 games last season, ditto for this season.

People are saying that Bay should have been signed because he got off to a bad start.  Bad starts happen!
Same with Mike Jacobs, but he hit a home run today.  Although it may have come when they were 5 runs behind, it is a sign of good things to come.
I know the Mets have gone 2-4 to begin the season, and that they lost 2 of 3 to the Nats and Marlins, but it's the very beginning of the season, things change, players and coaches learn, players have bad days (like Johan did today).  Right now, things can only get better.  You can't expect everything to work at the start of the season; there is no way that will happen!

In the big picture, Beltran will come back in May, Murphy will come back soon, and Reyes has already come back.  These things will help the team get better.

To all Mets fans:  The Mets may have had a horrible year last year, but let things play out a bit.  It is a new season, game 2 of the Marlins series showed that.  They may not have won, but they showed fight.  They came back from a 6-0 deficit in the 7th inning to tie it in the bottom on they could win any game 8th.  They lost in extras, but this is a good start.  It reminded me of the '06 Mets; they had a chance to win any game they played, and they would fight when they were behind.  Last year, you may remember that when the Mets were down by more than 2 runs, it seemed like the game was over already.  That is not the case this year.  The Mets will have a chance to win any game at any time.  Look at it this way, the Mets have had 3 let down/unlucky seasons in a row, the ball is bound to bounce their way this year!