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New York Mets: Best Team on the Junior Circuit

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#1 FortyFive

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 12:04 AM

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2005 Record: 83-79 (.512)
Finish: 3rd in NL East (7 GB)
Home Record: 48-33 (.593)
Road Record: 35-46 (.432)
RS/RA: 722/648
Pythag: 89-73

Projected 2006 Lineup:
C – Paul LoDuca
1B – Carlos Delgado
2B – Kaz Matsui
3B – David Wright
SS – Jose Reyes
LF – Cliff Floyd
CF – Carlos Beltran
RF – Xavier Nady/Victor Diaz

Bench: Julio Franco (1B), Ramon Castro (Catcher), Jose Valentin (IF), Chris Woodward (IF), Endy Chavez (OF)

An interesting sidenote – blurb in the NY Times today about Bret Boone – who is pretty much in the mindset – “2B or bust” – he’s got a minor league deal with the Mets and alluded he may pack up and go home if he does not get the starting job. Let's hope we'll be spared the press conference waterworks if this is the case.

Projected 2006 Rotation (2005 starts, innings, record and ERA):

1. Pedro Martinez (31 GS, 217.0 IP, 15-8, 2.82)
2. Tom Glavine (33 GS, 211.1 IP, 13-13, 3.53)
3. Steve Trachsel (6 GS, 37.0 IP, 1-4, 4.14)
4. Victor Zambrano (27 GS, 166.1 IP, 7-12, 4.17)
5. Aaron Heilman (7 GS, 108.0 IP, 5-3, 3.17)

Comments: With the trade of starters Kris Benson (28 GS, 174.1 IP, 10-8, 4.13) and Jae Seo (14 GS, 90.1 IP, 8-2, 2.59), and the release of Kazuhisa Ishii (16 GS, 91.0 IP, 3-9, 5.14), the Mets are hoping that Trachsel can overcome injury (disc issues last year) and that Heilman can blossom in his first full season as a starter. The big story right now is (of course) Pedro and his wounded toe. He hasn’t thrown off a mound since September, and missed his final two scheduled starts in 2005. According to ESPN, “there is no timetable for when he might throw off a mound”. Translation – don’t bet on him pitching in the WBC. Nike has designed a special shoe (déjà vu all over again) to help lessen the pain in his foot.

Bullpen Components:
CL – Billy Wagner (LHP)
RHP Jorge Julio, RHP Duaner Sanchez, RHP Chad Bradford, RHP Bartolome Fortunato, RHP Heath Bell, RHP Steve Schmoll, RHP Juan Padilla

Comments: The signing of Wagner (4-3, 1.51 ERA, 38/41 saves, .84 WHIP, .165 BAA) represents a considerable upgrade over Braden Looper (4-7, 3.94 ERA, 28/36 saves, 1.47 WHIP, .271 BAA). In 2005, opponents batted .265 against the Mets bullpen (consisting of 17 different relief pitchers over the course of the season) – which posted a 3.92 ERA, with a 1.44 WHIP in 413 IP. Interesting to note the lack of LHP on the bullpen depth chart – only closer Wagner. They have an additional lefty reliever on the 40-man roster, Royce Ring (15 games, 10.2 IP, 0-2, 5.06 ERA in 2005) and several lefty non-roster invitees.

Offseason Activity:

Notable Acquisitions:
P Jorge Julio (from Baltimore for Kris Benson)
1B Julio Franco (Atl)
IF Jose Valentin (LAD)
C Paul LoDuca (trade with Fla)
P Billy Wagner (Phi)
1B Carlos Delgado (trade with FL)
OF Xavier Nady (from San Diego for Mike Cameron)
P Duaner Sanchez (from LAD for Seo in 4 player deal)
P Chad Bradford (Bos)
OF Endy Chavez (Phi)
OF Tike Redman (from Pit for cash)

P Felix Heredia (released)
P Braden Looper (club declined option, signed with STL)
P Roberto Hernandez (not offered arbitration, signed with Pit)
1B Doug Mientkiewicz (club declined option, signed with KC)
C Mike Piazza (not offered arbitration, signed with SD)
P Kris Benson (traded to Baltimore for Julio)
OF Mike Cameron (traded to San Diego for Nady)
P Jae Seo (traded to Dodgers)
P Kazuhisa Ishii (released, returning to Japan)
P Gaby Hernandez (LoDuca trade)
1B Mike Jacobs (Delgado trade)
P Yusmeiro Petit (Delgado trade)
IF Grant Psomas (Delgado trade)

Notable Non-Roster Invitees:
RHP Jose Lima
2B Bret Boone
LHP Darren Oliver
LHP Pedro Feliciano
RHP Jose Parra – (status uncertain - needs ligament replacement surgery on elbow)
LHP Matt Perisho
C Sandy Martinez
IF Juan Tejada
OF Julio Ramirez
RHP Jeremi Gonzalez

More to come. . .

Edit - 2/24: Most of what I'm reading projects Trachsel as the #3 starter and Zambrano as the #4, so I removed the "3A" and "3B" designations.

Edited by FortyFive, 01 July 2006 - 03:55 PM.

#2 FortyFive

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 10:19 PM

Bob Klapisch yesterday with more on the status of Pedro and how his injury could affect the Mets rotation.

The article contains this interesting tidbit regarding the Mets top pick in last year's draft, who is apparently making quite an impression at camp:

The other scenario, albeit a long shot, is hurrying rookie Mike Pelfrey, who has the kind of physical skills, mechanics and makeup to make a GM light-headed. Pelfrey, the Mets' first-round draft pick last year, hasn't even thrown an inning in the minors yet, but has stunned the hierarchy during his mound sessions this week.

Randolph said trying to hit off Pelfrey "could be like facing Randy Johnson" after watching the 6-7, 230-pound right-hander throw off a mound on Saturday.

"He's huge," the manager said. "I was impressed at the way the ball exploded out of his hand."

The Mets would obviously prefer not to pressure Pelfrey, who is only 22. But every day that Martinez grapples with pain creates its own kind of pressure on the club's hierarchy.

A little bit more about Pelfrey, who the Mets picked 9th overall in the June draft and who (in January) agreed to a four-year major league contract for $5.2 million plus a possible $1.3 million in incentives (way to go, Scott Bora$!):

Baseball America's John Manuel reports New York Mets SP Mike Pelfrey will likely open the season with high Class A St. Lucie, but brings an impressive pedigree with him. Pelfrey had a 33-7 record with a 1.93 ERA, 366 strikeouts and only 69 walks in 360 innings over his college career at Wichita State. Baseball America had him ranked as the top pitcher in last June's draft, but he fell to the No. 9 overall pick mainly because of the perceived cost of signing him. Pelfrey features a four-seam fastball that runs from 93-96 mph and naturally sinks, along with a better-than-average changeup. His curveball still needs a bit of work.

Edited by FortyFive, 23 February 2006 - 10:41 PM.

#3 AlNipper49

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 07:55 AM

Some pics

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Delgado in a Mets uni

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Julio Franco

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The aforementioned Bret Boone

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David Wright signing autographs

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Matsui doing agility training

#4 FortyFive

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 12:16 AM

Great piece in the NY Times about the Mets second base job (registration required, or not).

"I can say to you: 'The job is his.' But what does that mean?" Randolph said of Matsui. "If someone comes in and plays much better, then I'm going to pick the best guy."

So while Matsui is technically at the top of the depth chart, the position is essentially there for the taking for any of the following candidates:

Kaz Matsui
Bret Boone
Anderson Hernandez (prospect, listed second on the depth chart)
Jeff Keppinger (prospect)

So how to handicap this race? The Times article predicts that "Boone will win the job if he can prove that he can still play", however I don't necessarily agree.

Looking at each candidate:

Kaz Matsui:
-Incumbent 2B, apparently has gotten serious about his conditioning in the offseason
-May be the incumbent, but only played 71 games in 2005 (all at 2B), and 3 games at 2B in 2004 (disappointing Mets fans with his not-so-great play at SS for 110 games and 23 errors).
-Has been hampered by injuries during his tenure with the Mets - back, hamstring, knee. . .putting into question whether he can be relied upon for an entire season.
-If the Mets are looking for defense first at 2B, he could end up with the short end of the stick - in 2005, he had a zone rating of .799, with 9 errors (for those of you looking for a "better" defensive measurement, PMR ratings for 2nd basemen in 2005).
-He's making $6.7 million in 2006, and has a limited no-trade clause where he can only be traded to the Yankees, Mariners, Angels or Dodgers without his written consent. For someone who had such promise when he was signed, and who has not really lived up to it to this point, any sign of improvement could tip the scales in his favor. . .

Bret Boone:
-14 years of major league experience at second base - 4 gold gloves, the most recent coming in 2004.
-His motivation level is probably off the charts, after the humiliation that was his 2005 season - plus it is apparently do or die for him - if he doesn't get the job, it could spell retirement.
-And speaking of his 2005 season - can we say "abysmal"? Cut by Seattle, cried on national TV, .221/.290/.350 for the year with a .737 zone rating in the field (career ZR of .818).
-Relatively low-risk for the Mets, Boone only has a minor league deal - he gets $1 million if added to the 25-man roster and once there can earn $500K in performance bonuses (per data here)

Related tidbit from Gammons' blog today (extolling the virtues of John Dewan's "The Fielding Bible") - commenting on Dewan's findings with regards to best/worst defensive 2B:

Second base: Craig Counsell was the best in 2005 and Robinson Cano the worst. Orlando Hudson, Marcus Giles, Adam Kennedy, Mark Ellis and Brian Roberts were the best for three years, Counsell, Chase Utley and Mark Grudzielanek the best in 2005. Worst? Bret Boone, Alfonso Soriano and Luis Rivas for three years, Cano, Boone and Soriano in 2005. Best at turning the DP in 2005? No surprise, Grudzielanek.

Anderson Hernandez:
-Virtually no major league experience, save appearing in 6 games in 2005, where he was dismal at the plate, going 1-18 with 1 BB. Has fared better in the Dominican Winter League (Licey) - .298/.348/.349 in 141 AB in 34 games.
-Converted shortstop, known more for defensive prowess until he broke out in AA/AAA offensively last year (.326 in 273 AB with AA Binghamton and .303 in 261 AB with Norfolk)
-#8 prospect in the Mets system, according to Baseball America as of 11/11/05, and rated best defensive infielder in the system (his defensive ability could be a huge factor with regards to his chances to beat out Matsui and Boone)
-Generally projected to be ML-ready in 2007 - will the Mets really rush one of their best defensive prospects when they have other serviceable options?

Jeff Keppinger:
-Again, virtually no major league experience - he played 33 games with the Mets in 2004 (.284/.317/.379) in 116 AB, zone rating of .844
-Coming back from injury - missed most of 2005 due to a fractured knee cap (suffered in June). Before this injury, he was doing well in AAA Norfolk - hitting .337/.377/.455 in 255 AB.
-Probably the real dark horse of this "competition" - I would bet on seeing him start the season in AAA and be used at the major league level on an as-needed basis throughout the season until he's called up when rosters expand on 9/1.

So. . .IMO, time will tell on this one (which is probably going to be one of the biggest stories for the Mets this spring, along with how the starting pitching unfolds) - if Matsui has a good spring, I think we'll see him starting (and at this point, I would anoint him the favorite to win the job). If there are still question marks about him after camp breaks, it's anyone's guess - and I've heard buzz that Minaya is watching the Vidro/Soriano situation in Washington with great interest if Soriano refuses to switch positions.

Edited by FortyFive, 25 February 2006 - 08:12 AM.

#5 FortyFive

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 08:33 AM

Is Victor Diaz in contention for the 2B job? Wasn't he converted to OF to get his bat in the lineup and to free him from the Kaz/Reyes log-jam in the middle infield? It seems to me that he might be given a chance to work his way back there since Matsui seems tarnished now, and since he suddenly seems blocked in the outfield too. Any word on this?

He is not being mentioned anywhere as a contender for 2B - no word of him getting workout time there either. Though he is a converted infielder, everything points to him being the fourth outfielder for the upcoming season - I think at this point, he's less blocked in the OF than in the IF - and he likely won't start in either position (but has a better chance of being the starting RF than the starting 2B).

I'll keep my eyes open for anything that suggests otherwise. . .

#6 FortyFive

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Posted 26 February 2006 - 05:37 PM

Buzz from Port St. Lucie (other than the fact that Pedro threw off the slope of the mound) is that another young pitcher is impressing people at camp - Brian Bannister.

This spring, the orange-and-blue No. 61 around Mets camp belongs to Brian Bannister, a right-handed starting pitcher whom the team internally believes may be the Minor League pitcher closest to playing at Shea Stadium.

Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson said that Bannister, the son of former Major League pitcher Floyd Bannister, has been a presence in camp. Peterson is impressed by what Bannister has brought to the table thus far.

"He has four pitches that he can locate to both sides of the plate, and that's exciting," Peterson said. "You're just excited to see him in competition against big-league hitters and see how they react."

Bannister, whose repertoire comprises two fastballs, a 12-to-6 curveball that he considers his out pitch, a sharp cutter/slider and a developing changeup, got a head start during the team's annual January minicamp in Port St. Lucie.

The folks at Mets Blog weren't as high on him, based on a scouting report from a May 27 Binghamton-Trenton game last year.

The unidentified scout thought Bannister could be a backend guy in the Major Leagues at best.  There is, however, a decent chance Bannister could get to the Majors because of his confidence, overall command, pedigree, and ability to throw different pitches to keep hitters from sitting on his fastball, the scout said.  And I agree…

However, with the nature of the Mets organization, I wouldn't give Bannister much of a chance to ever pitch at Shea on a regular basis.  He might be a backend guy somewhere else, of course.  I could see him moving to Norfolk for a year and becoming an emergency call up, but currently he has Jae Seo and Aaron Heilman, who are better and also more experienced, ahead of him…

If Bannister is used in a trade this summer, it wouldn't upset me at all…

Though now that Seo is with the Dodgers, and Heilman is penciled in as the 5th starter, Bannister could get his chance. Interesting sidenote - Bannister was originally drafted by the Red Sox in the 45th round of the 2002 amateur entry draft (out of USC). I'm assuming he didn't sign because he underwent surgery in 2002 for joint inflammation in his pitching elbow and redshirted his junior season (he pitched for USC in 2000, 2001, and 2003), and the Mets took him in the 7th round of the 2003 amateur entry draft. Since being selected, he's ascended through the Mets Minor League system at a fairly decent pace - from A Brooklyn (NYPL) to AAA Norfolk last season (after starting 2005 in AA Binghamton).

His numbers in AA (over 2004 and 2005): 26 starts, 153.1 IP, 2.99 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 122K, 44 BB

AAA numbers (2005): 8 starts, 45.1 IP, 3.18 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 48 K, 13 BB

Edited by FortyFive, 26 February 2006 - 08:16 PM.

#7 FortyFive

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 10:59 PM

Latest Mets news:

- Randolph Ponders Batting Order

Randolph identified Wright, Carlos Beltran, Paul Lo Duca and Kaz Matsui as potential No. 2 hitters. The magazine cover is all about fantasy -- fantasy baseball. Wright is identified as "Franchise Player."

Baseball Musings has the projected runs scored by various lineup here. Most of the top scoring projected lineups have Wright batting second, though some have Delgado.

- Pedro throws off a mound!

Although Martinez said the situation -- the inflamed toe and the impact of the modified shoe -- had improved, he also acknowledged that pitching with pain for the remainder of his career hardly is an unlikely scenario. "I know that is a possibility," he said. "But I'm not going to retire as long as I can pitch effectively."

Related content, from Mets Blog/Rotoworld:

Pedro Martinez threw 34 pitches today in his first mound session of the spring and had no complaints about his toe.
"So far, healthwise, it's improving," he said. "I was expecting to feel the way I feel right now. It's improving a little bit." Martinez, though, does feel like he's behind where he should be. "I'm out of shape," he said. "I'm just trying to get back to the mound, see how my toe is. My arm is not full-strength. I still have a lot of work to do." He expects to be ready for Opening Day, but an appearance in even the latter stages of the WBC seems less than likely.

- SI's John Donovan has a nice piece on Tom Glavine here. He may be 40, but he's still feeling good!

After that bad start in 2005, though, Glavine stopped trying to get too fine on the corners and started pitching like a 27-year-old again. After the All-Star break, Glavine went 7-6 with an impressive 2.22 ERA, finishing with a 13-13 record and a 3.53 ERA. His second-half ERA was the third best in the league, behind Houston's Andy Pettitte and Pittsburgh's Zach Duke.

"I feel better in a lot of ways than I did when I was 27," Glavine said at the Mets' spring training camp. "The last two years my arm's felt as good as it's felt in a long time. I haven't had any issues with it. That, to me, is what I judge everything by. I still feel like I can do everything on the field that I've always wanted to do."

Some Mets sources I'd recommend:

Official Mets MLB site
NY Times Mets coverage
NY Post Mets coverage
Newsday Mets coverage
Yahoo! Sports Mets Team Page
ESPN Mets Clubhouse
SportSpyder (news from many sources in one central place)
Mets Fan Club (same kind of thing as SportSpyder)
NY Sports Day

Mets Blog (best of the bunch - latest news, intelligent analysis, links & opinion - I'd actually call this the one-stop shop for Mets info online)

#8 FortyFive

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 06:01 PM

Boone retires!

More later. . .

#9 A Bartlett Giamatti

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 11:44 AM

Wagner and Pedro have both opted out of the WBC.



I'll be a frequent visitor to this thread, and I'll also plug The Crane Pool Forum, the best Mets board out there. The pinned topic where they interview the Daily News' Adam Rubin is excellent.

#10 FortyFive

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 10:54 PM

I'll update this post with spring training scores and highlights. . .

Thursday, 3/2
Mets 12, Cardinals 7 (Away)
WP: Wylie (1-0) LP: Suppan (0-1)
Mets Highlights:
Delgado 3-3, 2R
Nady 4-4 (1 HR, which was a GS), 6 RBI
Wagner 1 IP, 1H, 1K, 0R
Mets Lowlights: Trachsel (1.0+ IP, 4H, 4BB, 4 ER, 1K); K. Matsui 0-4

Friday 3/3
Cardinals 11, Mets 8 (Home)
WP: Falkenborg (1-0) LP: Schmoll (0-1)
Mets Lowlights: 3 Mets errors (Matsui, Woodward and Hietpas). . .Mets bullpen not so good – 5 runs scored by St. Louis in the 8th and 9th innings (4 earned, all given up by Schmoll, who got 3 outs in the 8th, and none in the 9th after facing 5 batters).

Saturday 3/4
Mets 5, Nationals 4 (Home)
WP: Heilman (1-0) LP: Traber 0-1) S: Ring (1)
Mets Highlights: Heilman (2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K); A. Hernandez 3-4, 3 R, SB

Sunday, 3/5
Dodgers 16, Mets 2 (Away)
WP: Lowe (1-0) LP: Soler (0-1)
Mets Lowlights: Scobie (0.0 IP, 4 H, 8 ER, 3 BB and an ERA of infinity!)
Other Notes: Should be noted that Hernandez and Diaz were the closest thing to everyday players in the Mets lineup for this game.

Monday, 3/6
Mets 6, Indians 3 (Home)
WP: Fortunato (1-0) LP: Tadano (0-1) S: Owens (1)
Mets Highlights: Floyd 1-2, 1 HR; Glavine (3.0 IP, 4 H, ER, BB)

Tuesday, 3/7
Mets 7, Astros 1 (Home)
WP: Trachsel (1-0) LP: Nieve (0-1)
Mets Highlights: Trachsel (3.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB); Matsui 2-5, 3B, 2 RBI; Wagner (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0BB, 1 K); Franco 2-2, 2 RBI, 1 R

Wednesday, 3/8
Mets 7, Indians 1 (Away)
WP: Iriki (1-0) LP: Byrd (1-1)
Mets Highlights: Iriki (3.0 IP, H, ER, 3 BB, 2 K); Hernandez 2-3, RBI; S. Martinez 1-3, HR

Thursday, 3/9
Astros 3, Mets 2 (Away)
WP: Astacio (1-0) LP: Schmoll (0-2)
Mets Highlights: Heilman (3.0 IP, 2 H, ER, 3 K); Bannister (3.0 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K); D. Oliver (2.0 IP, H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 K) – a very well pitched game on both sides of the ball (Oswalt gave up the 2 Mets runs in his 4.0 IP). Schmoll got the loss, giving up a run after getting 1 out in the bottom of the 9th.

Friday, 3/10
Cardinals 11, Mets 3 (Home)
WP: Mulder (2-0) LP: Gonzalez (0-1)
Mets Highlights: Keppinger 1-2, 2 RBI
Mets Lowlights: The Mets pitching and defense – 5 unearned runs on an error apiece by Woodward, Wright and Matsui). Old friend Jeremi Gonzalez (3.0 decidedly not scoreless IP, 5 H, 3 R, ER) and much buzzed about Mike Pelfrey (3.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 3 K) bore the brunt of the bad defense. Billy Wagner’s spring scorelessness went kaput (1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB)

Saturday, 3/11 (Split Squad)
(Game 1)
Braves 11, Mets 7 (Away)
WP: Davies (1-0) LP: Maine (0-1)
Mets Highlights: Castro 2-3, HR, Milledge 3-5
Mets Lowlights: Maine (2.0 IP, 3 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, 2 K); Soler (1.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 K); Keppinger 0-5 at the plate, 1 error in the field.
Other Notes: Mets fell behind early in this one, down 11-3 after 4. . .got some runs in the 8th and 9th, but not enough to close the gap.

(Game 2)
Mets 10, Marlins 6 (Home)
WP: Ring (1-0) L: Bowyer (0-1)
Mets Highlights: Ring (2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K); Wright 1-4, HR, 3 RBI; Nady continuing his torrid spring (.476 average, 9 RBI) with a 2-4 showing (RBI, 2 R)
Other Notes: Lima got the start, but was not all that sharp (4.0 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K); and Matsui continued his not-so-torrid spring (his average currently sits at a robust .160) going 1-4 (albeit with an RBI and a run scored), and making his 3rd error of the spring in the field.

Sunday, 3/12
Orioles 3, Mets 2 (10 innings) (Away)
WP: C. Morris (1-1) LP: Edwards (0-1)
Mets Highlights: Steve Trachsel looking good again (4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 2 K)
Mets Lowlights: Mets were winning this one 2-1 before the bottom of the ninth - where LaVigne allowed the tying run to score (unearned, I'm assuming on Tejeda's error at 1B, which was the only Mets error of the game). Edwards then proceeded to give up the winning run in the bottom of the 10th (on a double off the CF wall)

Monday, 3/13
Mets 10, Nationals 4 (7 innings) (Home)
WP: Iriki (2-0) LP: K. Denney (0-1)
Mets Highlights: Iriki (2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, BB, 3 K); Nady 3-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R; Matsui 2-4, 3 RBI, SB
Mets Lowlights: Glavine (4.0 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 K)

Tuesday, 3/14
Mets 11, Orioles 4 (Home)
WP: Bannister (1-0) LP: Bedard (0-1)
Mets Highlights: Bannister (4.0 IP, H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K); Floyd 2-4, HR, 4 RBI; Wright 2-3, 3 RBI, 2 R
Mets Lowlights: Perisho (1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 hit batsman)

Wednesday, 3/15
Mets 8, Nationals 5 (Away)
WP: Owens (1-0) LP: Martinez (0-1)
Mets Highlights: Heilman (4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K); Basak (3B) 2-2, 3 RBI, R; Sandy Martinez 1-3, HR, 2 RBI
Mets Lowlights: Rule 5 draftee Mitch Wylie (1.0 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K)

Thursday, 3/16
Mets 6, Braves 5 (Home)
WP: Wagner (1-0) LP: Lerew (1-1)
Mets Highlights: Wagner (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB); Floyd 3-3, HR, 3 RBI, SB; Milledge 2-4, RBI, R

Friday, 3/17
Mets 7, Dodgers 7 (10 innings) (Away)
Tie Game – no pitchers of record
Mets Highlights: Keppinger 2-3, 3B, 3 RBI, R; Milledge 3-5, RBI, R; Diaz 2-4, HR, 2 R, RBI
Mets Lowlights: Perisho (0.2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, BB); Fortunato (gave up tying run in 9th)

Saturday, 3/18 (Split Squad)
(Game 1)
Nationals 10, Mets 2 (Away)
WP: R. Ortiz (1-2) LP: Iriki (2-1)
Mets Highlights: Ring (2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K); Milledge 1-4, HR
Mets Lowlights: Iriki (3.2 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 5 BB, K); Owens (1.0 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, K)
Other Notes: Victor Diaz was the closest thing to a starting regular in the lineup for this game.

(Game 2)
Mets 3, Braves 2 (Home)
WP: J. Perez (1-0) LP: White (1-2) S: Wagner
Mets Highlights: Pelfrey (4.0 IP, 3 H, ER, 0 BB, 3 K); J. Perez (2.1 IP, H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K); Wagner (1.0 IP, H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K); Lo Duca 1-3, HR
Mets Lowlights:
Other Notes: Mets were outhit by the Braves 7-4 (all 3 Mets runs were earned, and they worked just 2 walks).

Sunday, 3/19
Marlins 5, Mets 0 (Home)
WP: Olsen (2-1) LP: Bannister (1-1)
Mets Highlights: Bannister still strong in the loss (5.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 K), and 1-1 at the plate
Mets Lowlights: Mets defense (4 of the 5 Marlins runs were unearned); 1 error apiece from Sandy Martinez and Anderson Hernandez.

Tuesday, 3/21
Orioles 6, Mets 5 (Away)
WP: Ray (1-0) LP: Fortunato (1-1)
Mets Highlights: Zambrano (5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, ER, 0 BB, 1 K); Beltran 2-3, RBI, R
Mets Lowlights: Bartolome Fortunato (who only could muster 1 out) – the Orioles were down 5-2 entering the home half of the 9th, and proceeded to score 4 runs to win the game – Fortunato’s line (0.1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB).

Wednesday, 3/22
Mets 2, Dodgers 1 (Home)
WP: Julio (1-0) LP: Kuo (1-1)
Mets Highlights: Heilman (5.0 IP, 6 H, ER, 0 BB, 3 K); Milledge (1-2, 2B, RBI) cranked a run scoring double in the bottom of the ninth to win it for the Mets; Reyes 2-3, SB

Thursday, 3/23
Mets @ Marlins, PPD due to rain

Friday, 3/24
Mets 12, Cardinals 2 (Away)
WP: Glavine (1-0) LP: Rincon (0-1)
Mets Highlights: Reyes 3-4, 3 R; Mets bullpen (Feliciano, Bradford, Julio and Sanchez) – posting up this line (4.0 IP, H, 0 ER, BB, 2 K); Lo Duca 1-3, 3 RBI, R; Wright 2-4, 2 RBI, R
Other Notes: Glavine not really a highlight or a lowlight – I’d grade him as mediocre (5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 3 K), but he gets the win.

Saturday, 3/25
Astros 3, Mets 1 (Away)
WP: Pettitte (1-1) LP: Bannister (1-2) S: Lidge (1)
Mets Highlights: Redman 2-4, RBI, the Mets bullpen (Bradford, Julio and Sanchez) pitched 3 innings (1 inning apiece) and gave up no runs – Julio also had 2 K’s.
Mets Lowlights: The Mets defense – 2 of the 3 runs allowed by Bannister were unearned, on errors by Keppinger (2B) and Lambin (3B).
Other Notes: Bannister was not as sharp in this outing, despite allowing only 1 earned run – he went 5 innings, and gave up 5 hits AND 5 walks, striking out 4 and hitting a batter (plus one wild pitch). Tough to match the excellent performance of Andy Pettitte, who also went 5 innings, giving up just 1 hit and striking out 2 (the Mets lone run came off of Brad Lidge in the 9th).

Sunday, 3/26
Mets 8, Orioles 0 (Home)
WP: Pedro Martinez(1-0) LP: Benson (1-2) S: V. Zambrano (1)
Mets Highlights: Pedro looked great – 3 innings pitched, 1 hit, 0 ER, BB, 2 K; Reyes 2-4, 2B, RBI, R, SB; Zambrano 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2BB, 4 K

Monday, 3/27
Dodgers 12, Mets 3 (Home)
WP: Tomko (3-0) LP: Trachsel (1-1)
Mets Highlights: Wright 1-3, HR; Reyes 1-3, RBI
Mets Lowlights: Mets pitching – Trachsel 4.0 IP, 9 H, 8 ER, 2 BB, 2 K; J. Perez 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K; Julio 1.0 IP, 2 H, ER, 2 K; Sanchez 1.0 IP, 4 H, ER

Tuesday, 3/28
Marlins 12, Mets 7 (Away)
WP: Molldrem (1-0) LP: Lima (0-1)
Mets Highlights: Reyes 2-4, 2 RBI, 2 R; Beltran 2-3, RBI, R
Mets Lowlights: Mets pitching for the second day in a row - Lima 2.0 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, BB, K; Iriki 1.0 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 3 BB; Felicano 1.0 IP, 2 H, ER, K; Bradford 2.0 IP 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, K; Heilman 2.0 IP, 2 H, ER, BB, 3 K

Wednesday, 3/29
Braves 4, Mets 1 (Away)
WP: Hudson (1-2) LP: Glavine (1-1) S: O’Connor (2)
Mets Highlights: Woodward 2-4, RBI; Iriki 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 2 K
Mets Lowlights: Felicano 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, BB, 2 K
Other Notes: Glavine again more mediocre than highlight/lowlight worthy - 4.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K

Thursday, 3/30
Mets 6, Cardinals 1 (Home)
WP: Oliver (1-0) LP: Ponson (2-2)
Mets Highlights: Oliver 2.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, K; Lo Duca 3-3, 3 RBI; Nady 3-3, 2 R, SB; Hernandez 3-5, RBI, 2 R
Other Notes: Mets bullpen was much-improved - Bell and Heilman combined for 3 scoreless, hitless innings; Bradford 2.0 IP, H, 0 ER, BB, K. Lima gave up the Cards’ only run (as well as 4 hits, in 2.0 IP).

Friday, 3/31
Cardinals 9, Mets 6 (Home)
WP: Mulder (3-1) LP: Pedro Martinez (1-1) S: Isringhausen (1)
Mets Highlights: Woodward 2-4, RBI; Iriki 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 2 K; Felicano 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K; Reyes 2-2, 2B, R; Floyd 2-3, RBI
Mets Lowlights: Petey was not so sharp in his second outing of the spring – 4.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K (88 pitches); Zambrano was downright awful (and left the game with a strained left hamstring) 2.2 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, BB, 3 K

Saturday, 4/1
Mets 2, Cardinals 1 (Away)
WP: Sanchez (1-0) LP: Looper (1-3) S: LaVigne (1)
Mets Highlights: A very well-pitched game by the Mets - Trachsel 5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K; Julio 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB; Sanchez 1.0 IP, H (HR), ER, 3 K; Wagner 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K; LaVigne 1.0 IP 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, K

Mets 2006 Spring Training Record: 16-14-1

Last updated: 4/2

Edited by FortyFive, 02 April 2006 - 04:40 PM.

#11 FortyFive

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 11:22 PM

Latest Mets news:

NY Post piece today on Mike Pelfrey (and the Mets dubious history with "prodigy pitchers").

an organization should be tempering the hype for its elite pitching prospects. Minaya said the Mets have reinforced to Pelfrey he is not making this club (he is likely to start at Single-A). But, in some cases, actions have offered another message.

For example, when Pelfrey threw batting practice for the first time, Jeff and Fred Wilpon, plus Minaya, Willie Randolph and their staffs eagerly crowded the cage. Pelfrey could not miss the meaning there.

In other news, David Wright is unhappy with his salary in 2006 - $374K ($47K above the league minimum of $327K).

Though the Mets clearly recognize him as an extraordinary talent and charismatic figure, they treated him as they would treat any player with equal Major League service and a comparable resume who hadn't agreed to a contract by the club's self-imposed deadline: They renewed his contract.

#12 FortyFive

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 09:41 PM

More on the Mets 2B situation here.

Matsui has more pressing issues. Billed as a stronger version of Ichiro Suzuki and immediately anointed the Mets' leadoff savior after being introduced at a news conference in Manhattan by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in 2003, Matsui is now fighting for a roster spot for the first time since 1995, when he was a rookie in Japan. If he does not win the Mets' second-base derby, he will not make the team; the Mets are not inclined to pay him $8 million to sit on the bench.

And. . .speculation involving potential trades (from same Times piece):

There is always the possibility, however, that General Manager Omar Minaya will pursue Tony Graffanino, who has been made expendable by Boston, or Washington's Jose Vidro, if the Nationals want to appease Alfonso Soriano, who has resisted a switch to the outfield. Last week, Matsui acknowledged paying attention to the Mets' persistent efforts to trade him over the off-season, and he said he had tried not to let it bother him.

And from the NY Daily News:

When he wasn't busy adding marquee players (Carlos Delgado, Billy Wagner) and trading for power relievers (Jorge Julio, Duaner Sanchez) over the winter, Minaya desperately was seeking a taker for Matsui. There was really only one, Tampa Bay, and once the D-Rays passed, Minaya began talking up Matsui as "our second baseman going in."


So until further notice, and Boone's departure and Matsui's $8 million salary notwithstanding, second base still is being classified as an open competition for the Mets this spring. Randolph even went so far as to say that Jeff Keppinger, a .314 career minor league hitter reputed to be average at best in the field, will be given a good look, as will Chris Woodward, the manager's favorite all-purpose man.

It may well be a brave front and Matsui's salary has already dictated that he start the season at second. But somehow you get the feeling that even those in the Mets' hierarchy determined to get a return on their investment in the erstwhile Japanese All-Star are of the opinion that the second baseman most likely to finish this season will be Hernandez.

Interesting stuff - obviously the Mets aren't going to find a taker for Matsui, without paying most of his salary. Will they end up paying him to sit on the bench or play elsewhere? In my opinion, he will have to be beyond awful, and his play will have to be seriously damaging to the team's winning for them to do either of these things. Of course, if Hernandez has a breakout spring, it makes the call that much harder to make.

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 02:00 AM

He might actually be a good fit in Washington, and could slide back to SS there. I'm sure the Mets would have to pick up the difference between his and Vidro's salary.


VAL, that's interesting, and the thought crossed my mind, but they already have one overpaid underperforming SS - not a great tradeoff for the Nats going from a Vidro/Soriano logjam at 2B to a Guzman/Matsui logjam at SS or a Soriano/Matsui logjam at 2B - and Matsui was pretty bad defensively at SS for the Mets during his time there - 23 errors in 110 games, zone rating of .810. If they were going to ship Matsui out to get Vidro or Soriano (the idea of the latter acquisition being met with almost unanimous anger on a lot of the boards/blogs), I'd think they'd have to get a 3rd team involved to take Kaz (who knows how much of a reality that is, because apparently the only team that was interested in him this past offseason was Tampa, whose management is pretty much absurdly demanding when it comes to what they get in return in trade scenarios).

Edited by FortyFive, 06 March 2006 - 02:01 AM.

#14 FortyFive

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 11:44 PM

Several news blurbs - just got back from the West Coast, so I'm a bit out of the loop (love that Mets Blog has all this in one place):

Cliff Floyd could be a question mark, with potentially serious kidney issues (from Newsday):

Floyd is scheduled for an ultrasound of his kidneys today after a team physical revealed above-normal creatinine and blood urea-nitrogen levels - two early indicators of renal failure. Floyd won't know the results until Wednesday, when he returns to see a local specialist. But he's already developed high blood pressure and high cholesterol, two more genetic markers from his father, and Floyd said there is blood in his urine.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution has exerpts from John Schuerholz's book, where it is revealed Glavine wanted to back out of his initial agreement with the Mets to remain a Brave after his tentative agreement with NY. Brief exerpt (too much to copy from the actual article, which is a good read):

Schuerholz wrote that in the interim between telling the Mets on a Thursday that he would take their deal and flying to New York on Sunday to sign the contract, "Tommy went through a purgatory of second thoughts. . . . With all the second thoughts swirling around in his brain, Tommy called Bobby Cox at his farm in Adairsville, Georgia, that Saturday and, as Bobby related to us, said, 'I made a mistake. I don't want to do this.' Bobby called me, concerned about Tommy's well-being. He liked the guy. Tommy was like a son to him. Bobby said: 'John, I think you should call him.' "

In the "no surprise" department, if Pedro isn't ready to go on Opening Day, Glavine will get the start.

Tom Glavine merely shrugged. The assignment that may become his -- starting the Mets' first game on April 3 at Shea Stadium -- is not one he takes lightly.

So when the Mets altered Glavine's work schedule so that he might be in line to start Opening Day -- in case Pedro Martinez can't -- he accepted it and moved on.

And Rule 5 draftee Mitch Wylie could shake up the bullpen mix when the Mets finalize their 25-man roster at the end of spring. If they think he's worth keeping. . .

Even if the Mets decide that Wylie is unlikely to begin the season in the big leagues, the longer they retain him, the more likely it is that the Giants will have diminished interest in him and the less likely it is that they would pay the Mets $25,000 to bring him back.

Wylie is, after all, 28 years old and probably closer to the end of his career than the beginning. But he has something that appeals to the Mets, and when the Giants' last-minute decision was not to protect him, the Mets put their money where the "might-be" was.

Wylie had produced a 3-5 record, a 4.50 ERA and two saves in 22 appearances with San Francisco's Triple-A Fresno affiliate after the Giants found him pitching effectively for Sioux City in the independent Northern League and his native Iowa.

#15 FortyFive

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 10:30 PM

Pedro thew 81 pitches in his bullpen session today!

Each time he stretched, he was symbolically reaching for April 3 and the Mets' Opening Day assignment. It remains a possibility, he said. And no one disputed that -- not publicly, anyway.

Eighty-one (60 of them with serious effort) throws -- they don't qualify as pitches until an armed batter stands in -- won't get it done; Martinez knows that. He threw in some breaking balls Saturday, an '06 first. And the 81 qualified as a Spring Training high for him.

Still, he seemingly is at least a few days away from throwing batting practice, and in-game competition is so far away no one ventures a guess. It all makes April 3 seem closer than St. Patty's Day.

And. . .to keep with the theme of topics hashed and rehashed over and over again. . .more from Willie Randolph on the second base situation, which included this interesting tidbit:

the Dominican team took Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, leaving a temporary void in the Mets' Spring Training lineup. And now Mets manager Willie Randolph says the absence of Reyes has forced him to play Anderson Hernandez at shortstop more than at second base. That, Randolph says, has led to Kaz Matsui playing more innings at second base than he might have otherwise.

And -- now, the final domino -- all that has put Matsui in a better position than Hernandez to win the Opening Day second-base assignment. Randolph, while neither dealing with dominoes nor naming Matsui his second baseman, said as much Saturday afternoon following another uneven performance by the former Japanese shortstop.

Other item of interest from the same article:

they think his professional pride may prompt greater production. A person familiar with Matsui said Saturday that he declined an offered -- from the Tokyo Giants, no less -- to return to Japan because he wanted to prove himself in the Major Leagues.

Good to see Boston isn't the only city that beats stories into the ground! :lol:

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Posted 12 March 2006 - 05:57 PM

On SI.com's list of the Top 100 Minor League Prospects in Fantasy Central, the following Mets make the grade:

21. Lastings Milledge, OF, New York Mets
Expect to see Lastings' name atop next year's preseason rankings. Milledge is a great prospect, but he's just a little too far away still get too excited about. 2005 saw this 20-year-old split time between Class A and AA. A full season in Class AA may be helpful. His power is developing (12 HRs total last season), but his peripheral numbers are strong, and his speed (36 SBs) is unquestioned. Little to no fantasy value for this season, but a great name to remember in keeper leagues.

58. Anderson Hernandez, 2B/SS, New York Mets
Hernandez improved his prospect status by having a strong 2005 season across two levels. The switch-hitter posted an above .300 average at each stop, and combined for nine homers and 35 SBs. And he plays exceptional defense, which could be why Hernandez gets a promotion to the bigs before the end of this season.

95. Phil Humber, RHP, New York Mets
Humber pitched only four innings at the Class AA level last season. In Humber, you have a guy with excellent peripheral numbers (67:20 K:BB), but a less-than-impressive ERA (4.99) and record (2-7). His season was cut short due to Tommy John surgery. Why are you still reading this bio? He's a Class A pitcher who just had an operation that will put him on the shelf for 16 months -- trust me, your league is not that deep. Move on.

Baseball America's 2006 list ranks the following Mets:
9. Lastings Milledge (LF)
36. Mike Pelfrey (RHP) - projected ETA of 2007 (and one spot ahead of Papelbon!)

And on the Baseball Prospectus Top Prospects of 2006 list:
13. Lastings Milledge, OF, New York (NL)

Interesting to note that a couple of hot former Mets prospects are included - Yusmeiro Petit (RHP) makes all three lists and Mike Jacobs (1B) makes two of the three (Petit was SI #69, BA #69 and BP #33; Jacobs was SI #20, BP #42, while being omitted from the BA list). Both were sent to the Marlins as part of the Delgado deal.

Edited by FortyFive, 12 March 2006 - 05:59 PM.

#17 FortyFive

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 10:09 PM

Latest Mets news (thanks to SJH for the heads up on the Pedro story):

Pedro gets candid with the NY Daily News about his toe injury - which apparently has been plaguing him since the 2004 playoffs (which thankfully, at least for my own sanity's sake, was not reported at the time):

Martinez admitted that he was forced to alter his pitching mechanics last season because of his troublesome right big toe. He also went into greater detail about what it's been like for him to pitch through such pain since the 2004 playoffs with Boston, and about his strong resistance to surgery to correct the problem, which he referred to yesterday as "the last resort."

Kind of makes what he did in 2005 (15-8 with a 2.82 ERA) all the more impressive. Looking at his month-by-month breakdown, it appears he was pretty consistent throughout the season, save for a 1-3 August (in 6 starts) where he gave up 15 earned runs in 39 innings (which even then isn't all that bad, a 3.46 ERA - his bullpen and offense continuing their 2005 trend of jobbing him).

Looking further at his 2005 numbers (15 wins, 8 losses, 8 no-decisions), he was absolutely brilliant in his wins (112 IP, 22 ER, 1.77 ERA, pitching on average (rounded to the nearest 1/3 of an inning) 7.1 innings per start with 3 CG. Additionally, he posted a 0.77 WHIP (!!!), with 9.24 K/9 and 5.75 K/BB.

He was solid in his no decisions, surrendering 18 ER over 54 IP, for a 3.00 ERA, lasting on average 6.2 innings per start. In fact, 7 of his 8 no decisions would be considered "quality starts" - he went at least 6 IP in each of the 8, and gave up more than 3 runs just once (4 runs in 6.0 IP vs. the Cardinals on 5/14). Some particularly tough no decisions - 2 ER (and 9 K) in 7 IP vs. the Marlins on 4/16, 1 ER in 7 IP vs. the Yankees on 5/22 and 2 ER in 8 IP vs. the Astros on 7/28. In these 8 no decisions, he posted a still impressive 1.00 WHIP, with 9 K/9 and 3.6 K/BB.

And he was not bad in most of his losses (save for a couple, including one particularly bad outing against SD where he gave up 5 ER in 5 IP) - giving up 28 ER in 51 IP, for a 4.94 ERA. The toughest loss was the almost perfect game against the Dodgers on 8/14 (a Jayson Werth 2-run HR in the 8th inning the batter after Pedro lost the perfecto). 3 of his 8 losses would be considered "quality starts". While (obviously) not quite as sharp as in his wins (and no-decisions for that matter), his numbers are still decent in the losses - 1.29 WHIP, 6.88 K/9 and 3.25 K/BB.

In other news. . .

Cliff Floyd's possible kidney issue from last week? Now a non-issue - the results of tests last week indicated that he "needn't worry about the health of his kidney"

A piece on the non-emergence of a lefty reliever in the bullpen (touched on briefly in my ST preview, the only lefty we know will be in the BP is closer Wagner). Randolph had this to say:

Willie Randolph insists he isn't duty-bound to include a lefty specialist among the relievers on the Opening Day roster -- at least not one who throws left-handed.

"We're not going to carry a lefty just for the sake of carrying one," is how the manager puts it.

The article mentions the possibility of Brian Bannister (who has continued to be impressive) getting a spot in the rotation while Heilman (who handled left- and right- handed hitters out of the bullpen in 2005 - lefties hit .208 against him, righties batted .236) will be re-relegated into the reliever role. This would not make Heilman happy:

Of course, the willingness of Heilman to serve as a reliever is an issue if the Mets decide they need him to pitch more often than once every fifth day. He wants to start.

Ask him why after all the success he had in the 'pen last year and he says: "I was 15-0 in college. I didn't stay there."

He pitched in the Dominican Winter League to regain the arm stamina he believed he lost last season when he pitched 66 innings in 46 relief appearances.

Gonna be interesting to watch this one unfold. . .

Edited by FortyFive, 16 March 2006 - 08:57 AM.

#18 FortyFive

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 01:10 AM

Important news -

Matsui sprains his MCL, and is now out for at least 3 weeks. Apparently, this happened when he was sliding into second base after the first inning of the game on Thursday against Atlanta.

An MRI administered on Friday confirmed and quantified the injury Matsui suffered Thursday night in an awkward slide into second base: a Grade 2 sprain of the right knee (a Grade 4 being the worst). The Mets said Matsui was restricted -- no real baseball activities -- for three weeks, a timeline that reaches into the first week of the regular season and, as Willie Randolph said, "Probably will put him back where he has to start over."

Perhaps the injury has put the 30-year-old Japanese infielder where starting over will be the only starting he does for the Mets. If Matsui was the favorite to win the second-base assignment, it was by a narrow margin and only because the club is not thrilled by the notion of paying him $8 million to serve as an understudy.

The piece (from the Mets official website) actually contains some insight as to what options may be for Willie Randolph (who is pretty much in the same position he was before the injury, with no guaranteed palatable option at 2B). The article says there is "no indication the Mets would look outside the organization for another alternative".

Edited by FortyFive, 18 March 2006 - 01:13 AM.

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Posted 19 March 2006 - 10:30 PM

Piece in the NY Times on the Mets batting order (I'm working on my analysis, which I will probably have posted next weekend)

Randolph, a lifelong baseball man, retains a traditional image of what the top of his lineup should look like: A leadoff speedster (in this case, José Reyes), then a patient bat-control man (perhaps the new catcher Paul Lo Duca), then a veteran all-around hitter (Carlos Beltran), then the top slugger (the newly acquired Carlos Delgado).

This would push Wright — whom Randolph kept in the 7 and 6 holes most of last year to protect him from undue pressure — to No. 5 in the order, despite his growing reputation as the Mets' most potent offensive threat.

Randolph claims to be considering all his options, including having Wright hit as high as second.

"David saw more pitches than anybody on our team last year," Randolph said. (Wright's 3.98 pitches each plate appearance were the Mets' most.)

Looking at the data I've gathered thus far, Wright was most productive in the 6th spot last season, though he spent the most time batting 5th (324 AB vs. 215 AB hitting 6th and 174 AB hitting 7th).

Also, a story on Brian Bannister (see one of the posts above for more info on him), who is making it hard for the Mets to not take notice - 3 hits, 1 BB and 6 K's over 9 innings this spring.

From the article:

As the Mets begin the final two weeks of Spring Training, they are thinking more about Brian Bannister -- and more of him, as well. The latest read-between-the-lines evidence is the club's decision to have Tom Glavine make his third "start" of the spring in a simulated game on Sunday rather than having him pitch against the Marlins, as originally scheduled.

That Glavine is likely to face Pedro Martinez on Field 2 and Bannister is to pitch against the Marlins from the Tradition Field mound suggests that the right-handed rookie, who has intrigued the Mets with his nine scoreless innings, has a genuine chance of winning a position in the rotation. Moreover, Glavine explained his change of assignment Saturday morning by saying, "They told me they want to get a look at Bannister in a real game."

Speculation is that Heilman will move back to the bullpen, which was made more rampant with the injury to Padilla (because as also mentioned, there isn't really confidence in any of the remaining relievers to get left handed hitters out).

Edit (3/21): Another story on the Mets official website about Bannister - to update, in his start yesterday, he gave up 1 run in 5 innings (his first earned run of Spring) - the totals thus far - 4 starts, 14 innings, 1 earned run (.64 ERA), 5 hits, 1 BB (.43 WHIP) and 9 K. I know it's only spring, but I'd still say that's a pretty impressive record, especially when the player in question is under the pressure of fighting for a roster spot (and one in the starting rotation at that).

Edited by FortyFive, 21 March 2006 - 12:04 AM.

#20 FortyFive

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 11:55 PM

The Mets having all kinds of injuries/injury scares this spring. . .Pedro and his toe, Delgado and his elbow, Floyd and his kidney, Kaz Matsui and his knee, Juan Padilla and his TJ surgery, and now. . .Billy Wagner and his finger

It appears Wagner's finger is manageable, diagnosed as "tendon sheath stiffness" after a negative MRI.

Wagner has been "shut down" -- baseball slang for "ordered to remain inactive" -- at least until the weekend and "maybe a week," according to manager Willie Randolph. The Mets are proceeding with caution, because the injury appears to be a recurrence of a problem that Wagner endured to the same finger in Spring Training 2004, when he was a member of the Phillies. The injury is to the same area, about 1 1/2 inches from the fingertip. That year, Wagner missed two weeks of Spring Training -- in early March -- but he was ready for Opening Day.

One reason the Mets may be taking the side of caution here is because they've dealt with a similar injury (from the same MLB/Mets story as above):

Mets doctors told Wagner of an injury suffered by former Mets reliever John Franco in July 1999. Though the circumstances sound ominously similar, Wagner was told that his injury is not as serious as Franco's. The Mets can only hope. Franco lost more than two months of his season and his job as a closer -- to Armando Benitez -- when he suffered a partial tear to the sheath of the flexor tendon in his left middle finger while pitching against the Braves.

Wagner's line thus far this spring? 6 appearances, 6 IP, 1-0, 1 save, 2 earned runs (3.00 ERA), 3 K, 3 BB, 1.33 WHIP.

Edited by FortyFive, 21 March 2006 - 11:56 PM.

#21 FortyFive

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 11:58 PM

It's official - Glavine will start on Opening Day.

Glavine has made six Opening Day starts, including 2003 and '04 with the Mets. He knows about the double-edged sword. He called it "cool" and described it as "a pain in the neck." He said, "It's neat for all those reasons," but said, "In the end, it's just one game, and you want to get it over with."

Reporters told Glavine of Martinez's abdication after Martinez had explained his reasons to them. The club had made no announcement to that point. Martinez had explained his situation, saying he couldn't start Opening Day "unless I can really work some magic.

"But I don't think I'll have enough time," Martinez continued. "I need at least two outings. You're not going to throw me three innings in a game and then straight to Opening Day. I don't think it's fair to either me, my teammates or anybody."

All of this was settled -- it seemed -- after Martinez had yet another on-the-mound, no-batters, side-session workout. He emerged from it saying he felt better, stronger and all that. Then he finally acknowledged that pitching Sunday -- probably for only three innings -- and one time thereafter wouldn't provide enough preparation for an April 3 start.

Glavine is 3-3 lifetime on Opening Day, 1-1 as a Met.

His lifetime line when starting on Opening Day:
36.2 IP, 32 H, 18 ER (4.42 ERA), 13 BB, 24 K, 1.23 WHIP, 5.89 K/9 and 1.84 K/BB

His starts?
1990 (Atlanta) vs. San Francisco (L)
1992 (Atlanta) vs. Houston (W)
1999 (Atlanta) vs. Philadelphia (L, to Schilling)
2002 (Atlanta) vs. Philadelphia (W)
2003 (Mets debut) vs. Chicago Cubs (L)
2004 (Mets) vs. Atlanta (W)

Edited by FortyFive, 23 March 2006 - 12:06 AM.

#22 FortyFive

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 09:49 PM

According to the NY Post, Anderson Hernandez is pretty much locked and loaded as the starting 2B on Opening Day:

The Mets are not asking much from their second baseman. Bat eighth, play well on defense, show the promise for growth.

Kazuo Matsui again failed to ascend to those mild requests. Anderson Hernandez has.

So the Mets now are all but set to go with a 23-year-old with one major-league hit as their second baseman when the season begins.

With Matsui ticketed for the disabled list after a tepid beginning to his spring, Hernandez has emerged from an underwhelming cast and almost certainly will start when the Mets open their season a week from Monday at Shea Stadium, according to two people familiar with the organization's thinking.

With Matsui's knee injury (more on that in the Star-Ledger), and Boone's retirement, it came down to Hernandez and Jeff Keppinger. Again, from the NY Post piece:

Hernandez, a switch-hitter, has had a decent spring, batting .286 (12-for-42) with no homers, one RBI and two steals. He has committed one error playing second base and shortstop.

Keppinger, a righty, also has hit .286, going 10-for-35 with five doubles and a triple. Hernandez's 12 hits all are singles.

Keppinger has one error, as well. However, his reputation is as a sub-par defender, and the Mets have talked about emphasizing defense at second base, feeling their offense is much improved and can carry an eighth-place hitter who excels in the field.

Hernandez starting could create an interesting scenario - what to do when Matsui returns. Mets Blog is speculating that he won't return until mid-May, which is not unreasonable speculation, given that he's missed 123 games since signing with the Mets. He does tell the Star-Ledger that he feels his knee is getting better. . .but I'm sure he probably feels some pressure to at least create the impression that he will be returning in a more timely manner, as the (getting smaller) hold he has on the position could dissipate if Hernandez plays well during this DL stint. Will the Mets sit their $8 million dollar man when he's healthy? Only time will tell. . .

In other news. . .three pitchers were reassigned: Mike Pelfrey, Bartolome Fortunato and Jeremi Gonzalez.

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 11:39 PM

One of the major question marks about the 2006 Mets is the batting order. With all these new parts being imported (Delgado, Lo Duca, Nady), Randolph has to figure out how to mesh them together with the old parts to create the most effective lineup.

I took a look at the projected starters (Lo Duca, Delgado, Matsui*, Wright, Reyes, Floyd, Beltran, Nady) and their career splits hitting from different spots in the lineup, in addition to their overall statistics from last year. Making the assumption that the pitcher will bat 9th (a pretty safe one, even though some of the lineup projectors have spit out effective lineups with the pitcher hitting 8th), we’re looking at the 1-8 spots here.

I’ll go around the diamond, with each hitter’s stats/strengths, and end with the lineup I’d recommend based on the numbers and/or factors.

Catcher – Paul Lo Duca (Bats Right)
2005 (Florida): 132 games, 445 AB, .283/334/.380 (.714 OPS), 34 BB, 31 K, 6 HR, 57 RBI
Most Time Batting: Over his career (772 games total), Lo Duca has spent the most time batting 2nd in the lineup (222 games, only accounting for approximately 32% of his total AB). In the 2-hole, he’s put up .271/.330/.363 (.693 OPS).
Optimal Stats: His most optimal position in the lineup is the 5th spot – 150 games, 551 AB with a .307/.357/.466 (.823 OPS). Also from the 5th spot, he’s got 86 RBI and 41 BB. Additionally, though he’s only got 194 AB leading off, Lo Duca put up decent numbers - .330 BA, .379/.588/.966, with 15 BB, 10 K, 36 R.
Other Factors: In 2005, Lo Duca had a horrible time grounding into double plays – 16 of them in 91 opportunities, to be exact. To put that in greater perspective, 1 out of every 5.68 plate appearances with less than two outs and runners on 1st, 1st & 2nd, or bases loaded, Lo Duca put 2 outs on the board. He batted mostly in the 6 spot for FL in 2005 (67 games), and grounded into 7 of his 16 total DP’s from this spot in the order. Randolph has mentioned him as an option for the 2-spot, but the last thing you want your #2 hitter doing is GIDP (though if Reyes is leading off, he stole 60 bases last year, so perhaps the #2 spot wouldn’t be AS bad a place for him because a guy like Reyes can either move himself over and/or is so fast that there is no shot of getting him at 2B). This 2005 GIDP rate is actually not an aberration – looking at his career numbers, he’s grounded into 95 double plays in 556 plate appearances where it was possible to do so (1 out of every 5.85).

1B – Carlos Delgado (Bats Left)
2005 (Florida): 144 games, 521 AB, .301/.399/.582 (.981 OPS), 72 BB, 121 K, 33 HR, 115 RBI
Most Time Batting: Over his career (1,567 games total), Delgado has spent the most time hitting in the cleanup spot – 1,134 games, 4,079 AB (over 72% of the time), and justifiably so. The man is one of the most dangerous power hitters in baseball (and spent the bulk of his career on mediocre Toronto teams). He’s compiled some sick career numbers, looking just at numbers from the 4th spot - .292/.407/.580 (.987 OPS), 293 doubles, 288 HR’s, 909 RBI, 712 BB (albeit with 977 K).
Optimal Stats: Obviously, with 70% of the time he’s spent hitting being from the cleanup spot, he hasn’t spent much time batting elsewhere. That being said though, his numbers drop dramatically (and the sample sizes aren’t THAT small – 692 AB, 336 AB, and 298 AB from the 3, 5 and 6 spots respectively) from other spots in the lineup (.269/.361/.486 - .846 OPS hitting 3rd, .271/.363/.577 - .941 OPS hitting 5th, and .252/.348/.490 (.838 OPS) hitting 6th). Randolph would be foolish to hit him anywhere else but 4th – and they have enough variety of righty/lefty/switch hitters in the lineup to not be hampered by the fact that he bats lefty.

2B – Kaz Matsui (Bats Both)
2005: 87 games, 267 AB (had some injury issues), .255/.300/.352 (.652 OPS), 14 BB, 43 K, 3 HR, 24 RBI, 6 SB
Most Time Batting: Has spent the most time hitting 2nd (93 out of 201 career games, just over 46% of the time, with 377 AB), where he has been not bad, but not nearly as good as expected when he originally signed with the Mets – .292/.335/.395 (.730 OPS), 21 BB, 57 K, 55 runs scored.
Optimal Stats: Nowhere, really. He’s spent most of his time batting either leadoff, second, or eighth – and in none of those places do any of his numbers really stand out. Leadoff (63 games, 254 AB), he posted a .224/.300/.346 (.647 OPS), with 27 BB and 63 K. Not exactly the numbers you’re looking for from a leadoff guy. Batting eighth (23 games, 68 AB), he posted .279/.342/.441 (.783 OPS), with 6 BB and 12 K (plus 3 doubles, a triple and 2 HR’s).
Other Factors: Matsui doesn’t hit for power no matter where you put him, and he strikes out a lot. He rarely GIDP (just twice in 43 opportunities in 2005). However, because the Mets downgraded defensively at 1st in order to get Delgado’s bat in the lineup, they’re not concerned about having a light hitting 2B, as long as he is sound defensively. From everything I’ve read, they’ve already penciled the 2B in the 8th spot in the lineup. Additionally, though he hits from both sides of the plate, almost 3 times more of his AB’s have come hitting lefty (.257/.310/.369, 115 K in 561 AB) than righty (.295/.352/.416, 25 K in 166 AB) – though his numbers from the right side of the plate are a lot better (though a lot of that could be attributed to the differences in sample size).

3B – David Wright (Bats Right)
2005: 160 games, 575 AB, .306/.388/.523 (.912 OPS), 72 BB, 113 K, 27 HR, 102 RBI, 17 SB (the sick thing is, this guy is only going to get better – has the potential to be one of the best players in baseball)
Most Time Batting: Over his short career (229 games, 838 AB), he’s bounced all over the lineup. He’s spent the most time hitting 5th (89 games, 324 AB – almost 39% of the time), where he’s posted .299/.380/.537 (.917 OPS), with 20 doubles, 19 HR’s, and 70 RBI.
Optimal Stats: Most of his AB's have come hitting either 5th, 6th or 7th. His best numbers have been posted from the 6-spot – 215 AB, .344/.395/.642 (1.037 OPS), 16 doubles, 16 HR’s and 42 RBI (along with 16 BB and 37 K). In the other spot where he’s spent some time (7th), he’s not been anywhere near as good – 174 AB, .241/.327/.379, 33 K. He’s one of the guys Randolph has been talking about batting 2nd, though he doesn’t have much experience there (4 games, 16 AB, .313/.333/.375).
Other Factors: Another one who has some issues with the GIDP – 16 times in 138 opportunities in 2005 – that’s once every approximately 8.6 plate appearances when the GIDP is possible. The great thing about David Wright on this Mets team is that the success of the offense doesn’t rest on him – this is a lineup loaded with talent, so Wright can do his thing batting 5th or 6th with less pressure than if he were “The Guy” on a less talented team (where he’d likely bat 3rd or 4th). Additionally, Wright is a lefty masher (though his stats against righties aren’t bad by any stretch of the imagination) – .336/.415/.602 (1.017 OPS) vs. LHP, and .298/.380/.501 (.881 OPS) vs. RHP.

SS – Jose Reyes (Bats Both)
2005: 161 games, 696 AB, .273/.300/.386 (.687 OPS), 27 BB, 78 K, 99 R, 7 HR, 58 RBI, 60 SB
Most Time Batting: Leadoff – 209 of his 283 career games and 919 of his 1,190 career AB’s have been from the leadoff spot. The guy is freakin’ speedy (note the 60 SB’s in 2005, he’s got 92 in his career (in 283 games, with a .821% career SB rate). This is the thing though – his OBP leaves a lot to be desired – his career numbers leading off - .273/.297/.392 (.688 OPS), 31 BB, 109 K with 40 doubles, 18 triples and 11 HR’s. Of NL teams, only the Cubs and the Rockies had a lower OBP in the leadoff spot (however, his 99 runs as a percentage of the team’s total (13.7%) are middle of the pack with regards to the percent of total runs other NL leadoff hitters posted). The problem is, the Mets don’t really have anyone else more suited to this spot in the lineup.
Optimal Stats: Reyes hasn’t spent much time hitting elsewhere in the lineup – he’s got 177 AB batting 2nd (.322/.365/.429), but that’s not really a large enough sample. With a base-stealer as prolific as Reyes, he has to bat at the top of the order – can’t let that speed go to waste.
Other Factors: Reyes is a switch hitter, and his career numbers are fairly close batting lefty (.278/.304/.391) and batting righty (.275/.301/.409). Of course, a disproportionately larger percentage of his AB’s have come hitting left-handed (77%), but he still has 276 AB from the right side of the plate.

LF – Cliff Floyd (Bats Left)
2005: 150 games, 550 AB, .273/.358/.505 (.863 OPS), 63 BB, 98 K, 85 R, 34 HR, 98 RBI, 12 SB
Most Time Batting: 3rd in the lineup – though he’s had large numbers of AB’s hitting cleanup (1,211 career AB) and 5th (646 AB). His numbers hitting 3rd are solid - .291/.374/.510 (.884 OPS), 220 BB, 358 K, 61 SB.
Optimal Stats: His numbers are fairly consistent from the 3rd and 4th spots, with some tail off as he gets lower in the lineup. . .batting cleanup, he’s put up .282/.371/.522 (.893 OPS), with 155 BB and 247 K (in 1,211 AB). The drop-off when he hits 5th is more a matter of OBP, and a slight dip in SLG – .285/.329/.489.
Other Factors Floyd was beyond terrible vs. LHP in 2005 – hitting .224/.284/.427 (.711 OPS). . .Delgado’s splits vs. lefties aren’t much better (.234/.308/.461, .769 OPS) – so hitting them back to back could make it easier for opposing managers to use lefty specialists to take out 2 of the most dangerous hitters in the lineup. Also, Floyd rarely GIDP – 5 times in 106 chances in 2005 (4.72%). Randolph hit Floyd cleanup most of last year (about 81% of his AB came from the cleanup spot), though he did spend some time hitting 5th (92 AB).

CF – Carlos Beltran (Bats Both)
2005: 151 games, 582 AB, .266/.330/.414 (.744 OPS), 56 BB, 96 K, 83 R, 16 HR, 78 RBI, 17 SB
Most Time Batting: Just about 53% of his career AB have come hitting 3rd in the lineup (2,128 of 4,049) - .275/.342/.471 (.813 OPS). Randolph hit him here virtually all of 2005 (560 AB), which coincidentally (or not) was one of the worst years of his career, stats wise (for his career, including 2005, he’s hit .282/.350/.479 (.829 OPS)).
Optimal Stats: Beltran has fared much better hitting 2nd – in 860 AB, he’s batted .292/.379/.547 (.926 OPS).
Other Factors: Beltran is a switch hitter who bats lefty more often than not – career as LHB - .279/.349/.475 (.824 OPS) in 3,034 AB vs. career as RHB - .291/.353/.494 (.847 OPS) in 1,015 AB. Yes, the samples are lopsided, but 1,015 AB is a pretty decent sample size. Beltran GIDP 9 times in 100 opportunities (9%).

RF – Xavier Nady (Bats Right)
2005: 124 games, 326 AB, .261/.321/.439 (.760 OPS), 22 BB, 67 K, 40 R, 13 HR, 43 RBI, 2 SB
Most Time Batting: In a limited number of career games/AB (269/775), Nady has spent the most time hitting 6th (345 AB, .284/328/.467 – .795 OPS).
Optimal Stats: Has put up better career numbers from the 5th spot in the lineup (117 AB, .315/.380/.453 – .833 OPS), though he spent most of 2005 batting either 6th or 7th.
Other Factors: He is abysmal vs. RHP - .223/.270/.431 in 2005. Much sharper against lefties (.323/.400/.452). 5 GIDP in 61 AB where it was possible in 2005 (8.20%). ESPN Insider’s scouting report indicates that he is more of a junk ball hitter.

So those are the strengths, weaknesses and/or tendencies of the Mets lineup (IMO, one of the most loaded offenses in baseball) – if they stay healthy, these guys are (duh) going to score a LOT of runs.

This is how I would bat them:
1. Reyes (B) – An inevitability, because there is nobody with his speed. Even if his OBP doesn’t improve, he’ll still score 100+ runs in this lineup, and steal a ton of bases.
2. Lo Duca (RH) – Mets would be best served with Lo Duca here – and I think batting 2nd will allow Lo Duca to minimize the GIDP with Reyes in front of him, plus he’s a good contact hitter (only 31 K’s in 2005)
3. Beltran (B) – Mets are hoping down 2005 was an aberration, but he gets the 3 spot by default, because other guys that could go here (Delgado or Floyd) are better slotted in other spots in the order (for necessary balance or other reasons)
4. Delgado (LH) – Biggest power threat, spot where he is most comfortable in the lineup. If he stays healthy, he’s going to put up monster numbers this year in the middle of this lineup.
5. Wright (RH) – right (break up the L-L combo of Delgado/Floyd) – his individual production might be slightly down (though not many guys wouldn’t take a .917 career OPS, which is what he posted hitting 5th), but his value is greater in between Delgado and Floyd – he kills LHP, decreasing the odds that a manager can bring in a LOOGY to handcuff both Delgado & Floyd.
6. Floyd (LH) – hasn’t spent much time here – just 110 career AB), but you can’t bat him 2nd, and I wouldn’t hit him consecutively with Delgado, who needs to bat 4th.
7. Nady (RH) – Bottom of the order guy, gets this spot by default.
8. Hernandez (B)/Matsui (B) – Unless either of these guys explodes offensively, this is likely where the Mets 2B will bat all through 2006.
9. Pitcher

*This analysis was started before Matsui’s (un)fortunate knee injury. These projections will include Kaz for two reasons:
1. Unless Hernandez is putting up Roy Hobbs-esque numbers at the plate, Matsui will at least get a shot to reclaim the starting job upon his return from the DL.
2. Hernandez doesn’t have nearly enough major league data to use, and since the team has pretty much come out and said that they don’t mind sacrificing hitting at the position to get good defense, he will be batting 8th for the time being.

I’ve been compiling this over the past several weeks, so I may tweak the components a bit in the next several days.

#24 FortyFive

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 08:52 PM

Mets fans everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief - Pedro was lights out in his first appearance of spring - 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K. The one hit was a Brian Roberts high pop-up that caused a collision between Wright and Lo Duca. Pedro is very tentatively scheduled to start the Mets 3rd game of the season, vs. Washington on April 6. His next outing will be 4 innings vs. the Cardinals on Friday. From the piece on the Mets website linked above:

"He doesn't look too bad to me," Orioles third baseman Melvin Mora said. "Nasty. Pedro's always nasty. He looks ready. He made Miguel Tejada look bad."

As if the 35 pitches Martinez threw in three scoreless innings against the Orioles on Sunday hadn't provided sufficient warning, Martinez's former Idiot teammate Kevin Millar provided more with two simple words: "Pedro's Pedro," he said. The unspoken "still" was understood.

"He was Pedro the way you remember him," Millar added. "Hitting spots, changing speeds, working both sides of the plate, great arm action on his changeup."

From Marty Noble's mailbag on the Mets website:

- Rule 5 draft pick Mitch Wylie is now a free agent - he was offered back to SF, they declined, and he declared for free agency rather than go to the minor leagues.

And Jerry Crasnick has his best/worst case scenarios for 2006, with this blurb about the Mets (listed as one of the "Top Tier" teams):

Best case: Pedro Martinez gives them 220 innings worth of brilliance. The words Billy Wagner and "irritated tendon sheath'' never appear in the same sentence after spring training. The offense is lethal with Carlos Delgado and David Wright in the middle, and the Mets run away with the NL East title.

Worst case: Pedro's toe attracts more attention than Adam Vinatieri's. Jose Reyes posts a .310 on base percentage out of the leadoff spot. And Carlos Beltran's mediocre 2005 season was no fluke; he really is allergic to playing in New York. Omar Minaya takes a beating in the tabloids as the Mets finish third behind the Braves and Phillies.

Lastly, Billy Wagner is optimistic about being ready for Opening Day:

Billy Wagner was even more optimistic after long-tossing for the second straight day, saying he not only would be ready by Opening Day, but expects to pitch at least once before the Mets break camp.

"I'm going to get in a game," Wagner said, although he wasn't so sure about working in consecutive games. "There are a lot of spring trainings when I haven't gone back-to-back, so I'm not worried."

Wagner has been shut down since last Tuesday with stiffness in the tendon of his left middle finger. The left-hander said the injury has improved, and yesterday threw from over 100 feet to further loosen the finger.

Wagner plans to play catch again today and throw off the mound tomorrow, with Thursday the tentative target to get in a game.

#25 FortyFive

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 11:27 PM

In a move that isn't really all THAT shocking considering the way the bullpen has been shaping up, Bannister will be in the rotation, Heilman in the bullpen.

Until Tuesday morning, little guarantee of comparable reliability in the 2006 bullpen existed. Not until the Mets assigned Heilman to the role in which he excelled last summer did the Mets have what they coveted -- a killer 'pen.

To achieve that objective and create what general manager Omar Minaya called the best bullpen in the National League, the Mets confidently entrusted a role in their rotation to rookie Brian Bannister, whose performance in exhibition games and poised persona made moving Heilman from the rotation more than possible.

Willie Randolph acknowledged on Tuesday that the rotation with Bannister is comparable to the rotation with Heilman. It goes without saying that the bullpen is significantly better with Heilman than it would have been without him.

Heilman's obviously not thrilled with this, but he was quoted in the piece above:

"I'm happy to be here," he said. "We're going to have a good team this year, and I want to be a part of that."

I'll have more on the Mets bullpen in my ST wrapup (ETA for that is this weekend).

Additionally, from the same piece, the following roster moves were made:

- Royce Ring (RP) & Juan Perez (RP) were assigned to minor league camp
- Milledge (OF), Tike Redman (OF), Todd Self (OF), Sandy Martinez © and Jeff Keppinger (2B) were cut. I'm assuming Milledge will be assigned to AAA Norfolk - he tore up Spring Training, batting .333 with 49 AB in 19 games - with a .449 SLG and 7 RBI (he's projected to make a huge splash at the Major League level in 2007), not sure what the status of the others is.

In other news, this NY Times article thinks the Mets are on the right track (insert "Matt Foley, Motivational Speaker" emoticon here).

Edited by FortyFive, 28 March 2006 - 11:27 PM.

#26 FortyFive

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Posted 02 April 2006 - 04:47 PM

Official Mets website season preview is up. . .

With Billy Wagner closing, Jose Reyes running, David Wright emerging, Carlos Delgado swinging and Pedro Martinez seeming healthy, the Mets have more players with dominating talent than any team in the division.

The left-handed-right-handed balance in their batting order, improved overall speed and increased left-handed power ought to serve them well in a division that has no team with deep pitching. Problem is the Mets' pitching isn't too deep, either.

The exhibition season seemed to answer some questions -- Martinez can pitch with his new shoe, new reliever Duaner Sanchez fits well in the setup role, new catcher Paul Lo Duca is a good fit with the rotation, Xavier Nady seems right in right and Delgado still looks menacing in the batter's box.

The second-base assignment and the condition of Wagner's finger are questions without answers, for now.

And in more notes from the Mets website, Randolph unveils likely lineup (and 25-man roster).

And, of course, all the plans have the life expectancy of a sand castle before the tide. So replace the pens with pencils, write this stuff down, and understand that the words of the day are: "For now."

Batting order:
1. Jose Reyes, SS
2. Paul Lo Duca, C
3. Carlos Beltran, CF
4. Carlos Delgado, 1B
5. David Wright, 3B
6. Cliff Floyd, LF
7. Xavier Nady, RF
8. Anderson Hernandez, 2B

Game 1: Glavine
Game 2: Zambrano or Brian Bannister
Game 3: Martinez
Game 4: Steve Trachsel
Game 5: Glavine
Game 6: Bannister, unless he started the second game

Closer: Billy Wagner
Setup relievers: Aaron Heilman, Duaner Sanchez, Chad Bradford, Jorge Julio and Pedro Feliciano

Reserves: Chris Woodward, Julio Franco, Ramon Castro, Endy Chavez, Victor Diaz and Jose Valentin.

Randolph acknowledges Beltran may bat second, third or fourth; that Wright could bat as low as sixth, as he did Thursday when Delgado and Floyd batted fourth and fifth; and that Hernandez may bat second when Lo Duca doesn't play and Ramon Castro catches.

#27 FortyFive

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Posted 02 April 2006 - 10:34 PM

OK, part 1 of the Spring Training Wrapup - Position Players!
(New timetable for pitchers is next weekend, though I will try to have it done sooner than that.)

2006 Spring Training Record – 16-14-1

The Mets break camp with this 25-man roster:

Everyday Starters:
Catcher – Lo Duca#
1B – Delgado#
2B – Hernandez**
3B – Wright
SS – Reyes
LF – Floyd
CF – Beltran
RF – Nady#

Bench: (probably one of the deepest benches in baseball)
Ramon Castro (Catcher)
Victor Diaz (OF)
Endy Chavez (OF)#
Chris Woodward (Utility – IF/OF)
Jose Valentin (IF)#
Julio Franco (1B)#

Starting Rotation:
Pedro Martinez
Tom Glavine
Victor Zambrano
Steve Trachsel
Brian Bannister**

Billy Wagner (LHP – Closer)#
Aaron Heilman (RHP)
Duaner Sanchez (RHP)#
Jorge Julio (RHP)#
Chad Bradford (RHP)#
Darren Oliver (LHP)*

*While the report from the Mets site in the post above does indicate Feliciano has made the team, the depth chart on the official Mets site indicates Darren Oliver is in that last spot (though according to Mets Blog on Friday, from a WFAN report, Oliver, Jose Lima and Heath Bell were told they were not on the 25-man roster). Oliver is currently with his mother, who has been hospitalized, and has not been informed of the roster decision (Feliciano was not even on the 40-man roster as of yesterday) - so no idea whether or not he will accept/decline assignment (he'd be smart to accept, because if Zambrano, who is missing a start, is DL'd with this hamstring issue, I'd assume he'd get the call to make a spot start, if necessary) - see post #32 for clarification - last minute change to the roster - Oliver in, Feliciano out.

# - Offseason acquisition
** - Rookie

FWIW, in ESPN's Expert's Predictions for the 2006 season, 16/19 "experts" pick the Mets to make the playoffs (Eric Karabell-ESPN Fantasy, Gary Gillette-ESPN Insider, Mark Simon-ESPN Research were the dissenters) - 7 via the NL East Division Title, 9 via the Wildcard.

Position Players:

Catcher – Paul Lo Duca (Bats Right)
2005 (Florida): 132 games, 445 AB, .283/334/.380 (.714 OPS), 34 BB, 31 K, 6 HR, 57 RBI
2006 Spring Training: 15 games, 40 AB, .350/.391/.525 (.916 OPS), 10 RBI, 8 R, 3 BB, 4 K, SB
Lo Duca, a key offseason acquisition, represents an upgrade over the 2005 Mike Piazza (though there will be a slight loss of power from the position – Piazza hit .251/.326/452 (.778 OPS with 19 HR in 113 games with 398 AB). The Mets envision that will be made up for with increased durability (Piazza averaged approximately 103 games over the past 3 seasons, 70 per season as the starting catcher; while Lo Duca averaged about 140, 121 per season as the starting catcher) and more contact (Piazza struck out 67 times in 2005). He is a contact hitter, who will likely bat 2nd in the lineup.

Backup Catcher – Ramon Castro (Bats Right)
2005 (Mets backup): 99 games, 209 AB, .244/.321/.435 (.756 OPS), 25 BB, 58 K, 8 HR, 41 RBI
2006 Spring Training: 16 games, 36 AB, .278/.316/.389 (.705 OPS), 2 BB, K, HR
Castro had one of his best offensive seasons in 2005; before that, he was with the Marlins as a backup catcher. When he catches, it will probably shift around the batting order a bit, as he will likely hit 7th or 8th.

1B – Carlos Delgado (Bats Left)
2005 (Florida): 144 games, 521 AB, .301/.399/.582 (.981 OPS), 72 BB, 121 K, 33 HR, 115 RBI
2006 Spring Training: 12 games, 29 AB, .414/.553/.448 (1.001 OPS), 8 BB, 3 K, 0 HR, 1 RBI
Another key offseason acquisition (the 2005 Mets sure got a makeover this offseason!), this is a guy who could really drive the Mets offense, as he will likely spend most of his AB’s in the cleanup spot. As mentioned, his production drops dramatically vs. LHP. . .and said production vs. LHP has only gotten worse over the past 3 seasons:
2003 (Toronto 183 AB, .284/.395/.475 (.870 OPS), 7 HR; vs. RHP – 387 AB, .310/.439/.649 (1.088 OPS), 35 HR
2004 (Toronto) 177 AB, .271/.348/.503 (.851 OPS), 9 HR; vs. RHP – 281 AB, .267/.386/.555 (.941 OPS), 23 HR
2005 (Florida) 141 AB, .234/.308/.461 (.769 OPS), 7 HR; vs. RHP – 380 AB, .326/.431/.626 (1.057 OPS), 26 HR

2B – Anderson Hernandez (Bats Both)
2006 Spring Training: 23 games, 66 AB, .273/.304/.288 (.592 OPS), 3 RBI, 15 R, 2 SB, BB, 6 K
This guy is S-P-E-E-D-Y. . .in fact, though he will bat 8th when Lo Duca catches, speculation is that he will move to the 2-hole when Ramon Castro starts. Baseball America called him the best defensive infielder in the Mets system, which is the main reason he’s starting the season with the Mets (though Kaz Matsui’s knee injury helped on that front). Generally projected to make a splash in 2007, he’s had a decent spring, and from the Mets perspective, anything above and beyond good glovework is icing on the cake. He had issues hitting major league pitching in his 2005 callup (1-18 with a BB), but he came on in the minor leagues in 2005 (and in the Dominican Winter league this year.)

3B – David Wright (Bats Right)
2005: 160 games, 575 AB, .306/.388/.523 (.912 OPS), 72 BB, 113 K, 27 HR, 102 RBI, 17 SB
2006 Spring Training: 22 games, 62 AB, .242/.351/.452 (.803 OPS), 11 BB, 10 K, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 12 R
The Prodigy (don’t let the mediocre spring numbers fool you). . .seriously, this guy is nasty and is only going to get better (I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about this already) – but Stats Inc. agrees in their scouting assessment:

Wright has a fluid, textbook swing that has produced base hits by the bunches since he was drafted in the first round out of a Virginia high school in 2001. He hits the ball to all fields, does equally well against righthanders and lefties, and hits for both power and average. He shows rare patience at the plate for a 22 year old. Big league pitchers do not intimidate Wright, and he does an excellent job of working deep into counts. He has a knack for getting big hits, and his power should increase as his body matures.

As good as Wright is at the plate, he is just as solid in the field. He has great hands for third base and an above-average arm. He can field bunts cleanly, and he moves well to his right and left with his outstanding range. Though not blessed with blazing speed, Wright is a heady baserunner who takes the extra base when available. In sum, he is a complete player and a student of the game who gets the most out of his abilities.

Starting the season, Randolph is going to be batting him 5th (to break up the Delgado-Floyd L-L combo) – as previously mentioned, Wright is a lefty masher (though his stats against righties aren’t bad by any stretch of the imagination) – .336/.415/.602 (1.017 OPS) vs. LHP, and .298/.380/.501 (.881 OPS) vs. RHP. Additionally, Wright has been working on improving defensively (he had 24 errors in 160 games in 2005, and 11 in 69 games in 2004). . .though the raw skills are definitely there (I’m sure you’ve seen that unbelievable over the shoulder barehanded grab from 2005).

SS – Jose Reyes (Bats Both)
2005: 161 games, 696 AB, .273/.300/.386 (.687 OPS), 27 BB, 78 K, 99 R, 7 HR, 58 RBI, 60 SB
2006 Spring Training: 10 games, 32 AB, .531/.583/.781 (1.364 OPS), 4 BB, 4 K, 4 2B, 2 3B, 5 RBI, 11 R, 2 SB
If this guy can increase his OBP, he will be unstoppable. Just a weapon at the top of the order with his speed, imagine how many more bases he’d steal if he just got on more often? He has been working with Ricky Hendersen this spring to improve his baserunning (he had an .800 SB% last year, after being caught stealing 15 times). Hopefully, he has put his injury woes behind him (he missed a substantial amount of games in 2004 with various hamstring and back issues, plus a stress fracture of the left fibula). . .he could also use some improvement defensively – PMR has him ranked last amongst shortstops, and he posted a ZR of .821 in 2005 (career ZR of .824 at SS).

LF – Cliff Floyd (Bats Left)
2005: 150 games, 550 AB, .273/.358/.505 (.863 OPS), 63 BB, 98 K, 85 R, 34 HR, 98 RBI, 12 SB
2006 Spring Training: 19 games, 53 AB, .302/.371/.509 (.880 OPS), 4 BB, 10 K, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 8 R
Cliff Floyd will likely bat 6th – you know you have one sick offense when Cliff Floyd is your #6 hitter (though the fact that his production, like Delgado’s, plummets vs. LHP probably has something to do with his spot in the order since hitting the two of them consecutively could be a rally-killer against lefty pitching – .224/.284/427 (.711 OPS) in 2005 vs. lefties). His fielding is solid – Baseball Musings PMR has him middle of the pack for LF in 2005 (.073 DER, .069 Predicted DER), and he posted a .895 ZR in 2005, with just 2 errors and 15 assists.

CF – Carlos Beltran (Bats Both)
2005: 151 games, 582 AB, .266/.330/.414 (.744 OPS), 56 BB, 96 K, 83 R, 16 HR, 78 RBI, 17 SB
2006 Spring Training: 10 games, 26 AB, .385/.529/.500 (1.029 OPS), 8 BB, 2 K, 5 RBI, 4 R
This is the $119 million question – Can Carlos Beltran regain the form that got him that contract in the first place? He had arguably his worst full season as a major league player in 2005 – after 2 consecutive .900+ OPS seasons, he came in at .744 last season (the worst in his career for a full season of play – he posted a .675 OPS in just 98 games in 2000 with KC)! Count me in the camp that thinks he’ll rebound – the Mets lineup this year is loaded, and I think there will be relatively less pressure on him, plus he’s got a year of playing in NY under his belt, so he knows more what to expect in terms of the media crush and criticism. Beltran is a decent fielder – again, middle of the pack in terms of PMR (.095 DER, .094 Predicted DER), .887 ZR.(below his career mark of .905 in CF).

RF – Xavier Nady (Bats Right)
2005 (San Diego): 124 games, 326 AB, .261/.321/.439 (.760 OPS), 22 BB, 67 K, 40 R, 13 HR, 43 RBI, 2 SB
2006 Spring Training: 23 games, 71 AB, .282/.346/.408 (.754 OPS), 6 BB, 12 K, 2 HR, 13 RBI, 14 R, 2 SB
He’ll be hitting 7th in the lineup, and behind a lot of power in Delgado-Wright-Floyd. Interestingly enough, as mentioned previously, Nady is awful vs. RHP - .223/.270/.431 in 2005. Much sharper against lefties (.323/.400/.452). He’ll probably get the bulk of the playing time in RF (since the Mets did trade Mike Cameron to acquire him), though I’d imagine Victor Diaz will get a sizeable chunk of AB, especially against RHP. Nady’s career high for AB is 371, in 2003 (in his career, he has 191 total games started, 107 of which have been in RF – career spanning from 2003-05). Career .887 ZR in RF, with 12 assists, and 6 errors.

RF Victor Diaz (Bats Right)
2005: 89 games, 280 AB, .257/.329/.468 (.797 OPS), 30 BB, 82 K, 12 HR, 3 3B, 38 RBI, 41 R, 6 SB
2006 Spring Training: 27 games, 77 AB, .260/.301/.390 (.691 OPS), 4 BB, 12 K, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 10 R, SB
Diaz could get playing time on account of his hitting RHP better than LHP (opposite of starter Nady) – in his 2 year career (where he has amassed a total of 331 AB), he has hit .262/.342/.369 (.711 OPS) with 1 HR vs. LHP (65 AB) and .263/.324/.504 with 14 HR vs. RHP (266 AB). He started 74 games in RF for the Mets in 2005 (3 in LF), and made 3 errors, while snagging 2 assists (+ another assist in LF) – in 652 innings. His ZR in 2005 was .828.

OF Endy Chavez (Bats Left)
2005 (Washington/Philly): 98 games, 116 AB, .216/.260/.302 (.562 OPS), 7 BB, 14 K, 0 HR, 3 3B, 11 RBI, 19 R, 2 SB
2006 Spring Training: 16 games, 28 AB, .250/.344/.286 (.630 OPS), 3 BB, 4 K, 4 RBI, 2 R, SB
Chavez can play any of the OF positions, and will likely be used as a defensive replacement, or if Beltran or Floyd get hurt or need a day off. He started 10 games in CF in 2005, and 3 in LF (while playing 34 games, 137 innings at CF; 20 games/59 innings in LF, and 5 games/10 innings in RF). Posted a total ZR of .939 in CF, and 1.000 in both LF and RF. He’s been around the league a bit – 5 years, and the Mets are his 4th team. He spent 29 games in 2001 with KC, 2002-04 with Montreal, 2005 with Washington (i.e. the new Montreal) and Philadelphia. Montreal in 2003 and 2004 was the only time where he was even remotely close to being an every day player (112 starts in CF in 2003, 122 starts in CF in 2004).

1B – Julio Franco (Bats Right)
2005 (Atlanta): 108 games, 233 AB, .275/.348/.451 (.799 OPS), 27 BB, 57 K, 9 HR, 3B (!), 42 RBI, 30 R
2006 Spring Training: 17 games, 29 AB, .414/.528/.517 (1.045 OPS), 6 BB, 4 K, 7 RBI, 5 R
Granted, everyone loves a good Julio Franco joke, but on a serious note, this guy is freakin’ 47 years old, and still playing in the major leagues (this will be his 22nd season). That is a tremendous accomplishment in itself. Interesting tidbit on Franco (thanks, Baseball Tonight!) – if he hits a HR this year, he will be the new “oldest player to hit a HR” in MLB history. His role will most likely be that of pinch hitter, and I’d imagine he will play 1st if Delgado needs a day off or gets injured.

Util – Chris Woodward (Bats Right)
2005: 81 games, 173 AB, .283/.337/.393 (.730 OPS), 13 BB, 46 K, 3 HR, 18 RBI, 16 R
2006 Spring Training: 20 games, 44 AB, .250/.346/.295 (.641 OPS), 4 BB, 8 K, 10 RBI, 5 R, SB
The most versatile player on the Mets roster, Woodward can play 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, RF, LF and CF (and did play at each of those positions in 2005, starting at least a game in each except CF). Before coming to the Mets in 2005, he spent 1999-04 with Toronto in a limited capacity – his high was 98 starts (at SS) in 2003. His role will likely be that of a pinch hitter/late inning defensive replacement/backup IF.

IF – Jose Valentin (Bats Left)
2005 (Dodgers): 56 games, 147 AB, .170/.326/.265 (.591 OPS), X BB, X K, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 17 R, 3 SB
2006 Spring Training: 17 games, 28 AB, .143/.273/.250 (.523 OPS), 5 BB, 2 K, 3 RBI, 7 R, SB
Didn’t get much playing time with the Dodgers in 2005, but spent the bulk of it at 3B (29 games) and LF (22 games), with 1 game at SS (where he was formerly an everyday player, with the White Sox in 2003 and 2004). Throughout his career, he’s bounced from 2B to SS, to 3B, to CF and LF (and 1 game in RF in 2000 for the ChiSox). With the Mets, his role will likely be similar to Woodward – utility guy, pinch hitter, late inning defensive replacement and starter when needed (he’ll probably be David Wright’s primary backup).

Edit (4/2) - update on Feliciano/Oliver situation.

Edited by FortyFive, 02 April 2006 - 11:45 PM.

#28 FortyFive

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Posted 02 April 2006 - 10:52 PM

Mets official website says Zambrano will miss his start on Wednesday (the Mets 2nd game of the season), so Bannister will step in and make his Major League debut.

And from the same piece, the answer to the Feliciano/Oliver quandary that has been plaguing me (causing multiple edits to the post above!):

The Mets made a quick roster move in time for Monday's season opener, purchasing the contract of left-hander Darren Oliver and re-assigning left-handed reliever Pedro Feliciano to Minor League camp.

Feliciano had been told he would be on the Major League roster, but concerns about Zambrano's injury prompted the switch.

Oliver -- who posted a 1.46 ERA in eight Grapefruit League appearances -- could provide the club with more innings as a reliever, if necessary, Randolph said.

"We feel [Zambrano's] going to be fine," Randolph said. "It's just a precaution."

#29 FortyFive

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 10:38 PM

Brian Bannister was solid in his MLB debut - took a no-hitter into the 6th inning - unfortunately, the Mets bullpen of 2006 did their best impression of the 2005 Mets bullpen, and they lost. His final line - 6.0 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 1 HR (4.50 ERA, 1.00 WHIP)

I really think this guy is only going to get better. . .he left the game with a 4-3 lead. . .Wagner gave up the game-tying HR in the 9th (to Zimmerman), and Julio coughed up the game-winning (2-run) HR to Guillen in the 10th (Mets ended up losing 9-5).

In other news, Pedro (who starts tomorrow vs. Washington, 7pm on ESPN) wants to come back as a DH in his next life. . .the link contains a couple tidbits from a candid Pedro, including:

"I'll tell you what, pitching would be the last base I'd cover in my next life," Martinez said Wednesday while thinking out loud. "I'm not pitching. I'd be a DH. I'd be big like David [Ortiz, his former Red Sox teammate] -- big and strong. And I'd go yard and helicopter [my bat]. Being a pitcher is no fun."

#30 SoxFanPJ

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 01:36 PM

New Mets stadium details announced:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Pitcher Friendly: Pitcher Friendly: Distinctive asymmetrical outfield walls, along with generous dimensions (LF - 335'; LC - 379'; CF - 408'; RC - 391'; RF - 300') make for a traditional pitcher's park.


Looks to me to be paying some tribute to Ebbet's Field.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Edited by SoxFanPJ, 06 April 2006 - 01:40 PM.

#31 JohntheBaptist

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 08:53 PM

Anybody else see the aftermath of that Beltran HR tonight? After getting booed by the Met faithful in the THIRD GAME OF THE SEASON, Beltran hit a HR, and the fans were cheering for a curtain call, but he wouldn't give one. They kept the camera on him, and he was walking through the dugout, shaking his head no.

Then, Julio Franco came up to him, let him have it, and he halfheartedly jumped to the top step.

Pretty interesting. It was all caught on camera- apparently Beltran really does get effected by the booing, which is stupid of them, by the way, this early on.

#32 SawxSince67

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 08:12 AM

Then, Julio Franco came up to him, let him have it, and he halfheartedly jumped to the top step.

Yes, very interesting--it's a problem that Beltran is so disheartened by the booing, but the greater problem is the booing itself. He had an 0-8 start to 2006 and that's worthy of booing? What are their expectations from this guy?

Prior to that, Gary Cohen (Play by Play) gave Franco the credit for soothing Guillen after he freaked over the 2nd HBP by Pedro.

I understand that no one really wants to travel to Flushing/Willet's Point but I felt that Shea was pretty empty (25,000 paid) for the Pedro Martinez start.

Chadford looked fairly effective last night. Hernandez mentioned that's the best he looked thus far (including ST). He gave credit to Bradford's return to Rick Peterson's tutelage.

Hernandez regarding Lastings Milledge "That's an untouchable".

#33 FortyFive

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 08:37 PM

Nice piece in Newsday on Rickey Henderson's tutelage of Jose Reyes (who is off to a HOT start - .348/.375/.609 (.984 OPS) with 5 R, 5 RBI and 2 SB after 5 games). Obviously, he needs to improve upon the .300 OBP he posted last season (lowest amongst MLB leadoffmen). From the article:

The man acknowledged as the greatest leadoff hitter of all time worked closely with Reyes on his hitting and baserunning styles.

"Find out what pitch he likes to hit best. When that pitch comes in, hit it and lay off the others" is the way Henderson described his tack with Reyes. "If he wants to be a better leadoff hitter, he needs to be patient. Sometimes he's too much of a free-swinger."

Reyes hasn't turned into a Randolph-type leadoff batter, running deep counts and drawing a lot of walks, but there have been early signs of better plate discipline.

"I'm looking for my pitch now. Last year, I swung at a lot of bad pitches, especially with two strikes," Reyes said. "Rickey told me when you've got two strikes, you don't have to be afraid. Make sure the pitcher gets it down."

In other news, Pedro is set to start against Washington on Wednesday, which could prove interesting given the events of his last start. Lord only knows what The Completely Insane Jose Guillen is capable of, but he had this to say (from the article):

Asked if he was intimidated by Martinez, Guillen said: "You think he can intimidate me? I'm not afraid of no one when I cross those white lines. And let me tell you something: We'll see on Wednesday night how tough he is. I want him to come in there [pitch inside]. And we'll see if he's that tough like he thinks he is."

Guillen also told the Post: "We're two competitors. But I think this is going to need to stop, and I'm going to make sure I put a stop [to] that. You know what? If I get hit again, it's going to get real ugly if he's pitching."

Guillen said he and Martinez had been friends but that he considers the friendship over. On Friday, Martinez said: "If he feels the relationship is broken over that, I shouldn't feel too bad about it. It wasn't that strong then."

And Saturday's rainout has shifted Zambrano's return - so as not to throw all the pitchers off schedule, Bannister will start Tuesday, Pedro on Wednesday and Zambrano Thursday (all in Washington), with Glavine Friday (normal rest) vs. Milwaukee (at Shea) and Trachsel Saturday (on 7 days rest)

#34 FortyFive

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 09:25 PM

Mets Week 1 Wrapup (4/3-4/9):

Record - 4-1 (all home games)
Opponents - Washington Nationals (3), Florida Marlins (2, the rained out game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on July 8)

Who's Hot:
David Wright (did I mention I love this guy?) - 5 games, 19 AB, .474/.478/.895 (1.373 OPS), 3B, 2 HR, 4 R, 9 RBI, SB, 2 BB (batted in each of his team's 3 runs in today's 3-2 win over the Marlins)
Xavier Nady - 5 games, 19 AB, .474/.500/.789 (1.289 OPS), 3 2B, HR, 4 R, 2 RBI, BB
Carlos Delgado - .350/.435/.700 (1.135 OPS), 2B, 2 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, 2 BB
Jose Reyes - 5 games, 23 AB, .348/.375/.609 (.984 OPS), 2B, 3B, HR, 5 R, 5 RBI, 2/3 SB (66.7%), BB
Tom Glavine - 2 starts, 1-0, 12.0 IP, 2.25 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 10 K, 5 BB
Steve Trachsel - 1 start, 1-0, 6.0 IP, 1.50 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 6 K, BB
Duaner Sanchez - 3 games, 5.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.60 WHIP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 HBP, 6 K, 2 BB

Who's Not:
Anderson Hernandez - 5 games, 19 AB, .158/.158/.158 (.316 OPS) - 3 hits, and 6 strikeouts (0 XBH, 0 R, 0 RBI, 0 SB, 0 BB)
Cliff Floyd - 4 games, 15 AB, .200/.333/.267 (.600 OPS), 3 H (2 1B, 2B), 1 RBI, 2 R, 3 BB, 3 K, SB
Jorge Julio - 2 games, 0-1, 1.2 IP, 21.60 ERA, 5.39 WHIP, 4 K, 2 BB

Week 2 Outlook: Mets have an off-day Monday, then travel to Washington for a 3-game series with the Nationals (2-4). They then get the currently red-hot Brewers (5-1) at home for a weekend series. As of today, the scheduled pitching matchups. . .Tuesday is Bannister vs. Ramon Ortiz (RHP); Wednesday is Pedro vs. Tony Armas (RHP); Thursday is Zambrano vs. Livan Hernandez (RHP); Friday (back at Shea) is Glavine vs. Capuano (LHP); Saturday is Trachsel vs. TBD; and Sunday is Bannister vs. TBD (Sheets (RHP) is eligible to come off the DL Saturday, so that could change the pitching matchups - if he is not activated, it will likely be Ohka (RHP) on Saturday and Dave Bush (RHP) on Sunday).

Edited by FortyFive, 09 April 2006 - 09:29 PM.

#35 JohntheBaptist

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 10:12 PM

From watching a real significant chunk of Met innings this year, the thought of David Wright MVPs in the far off distance are becoming more like David Wright MVPs starting soon. It's really hard to overstate how great he is in every facet of the game.

#36 BGrif21125

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 01:37 PM

Guillen also told the Post: "We're two competitors. But I think this is going to need to stop, and I'm going to make sure I put a stop [to] that. You know what? If I get hit again, it's going to get real ugly if he's pitching."

Add Guillen to the long, loooong list of guys who have wanted to inflict bodily harm on Pedro at some point over the last 15 years. Guillen is stuck in line right now behind Reggie Sanders, Ray Miller, and the entire former rosters of the Yankees, Rays and Indians.
The suspensions were announced today, and as expected, the Mets received none.

Edited by BGrif21125, 10 April 2006 - 01:40 PM.

#37 soxfan121

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 02:44 PM

The idea of a Pedro-Guillen death match makes me tingly in the pants area. Frankly, I love Pedro in a decidedly not-healthy-for-a-happily-married-man way, and his laundry can't change that. But I've also been a fan of Jose Guillen since his days in Cincy and loved him in ANA (especially when he got himself suspended for the 2004 ALDS). There are few truly CRAZY people in baseball these days; Jose Guillen is f'ing CRAZY.

I have no doubt that Pedro WILL throw at Guillen again (mostly because Guillen has hit him, hard 13/32, .406/.525/.594/1.119 career line) and Guillen WILL retailiate. Dominican blood feuds - they're FAN-TASTIC!

#38 Spacemans Bong

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 01:41 PM

The New York Mets will win the pennant. You heard it here first.

#39 Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 09:22 AM

Pedro Martinez became a U.S. citizen yesterday.

Last item in article.

#40 FortyFive

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 10:48 PM

The lesson, as always - don't mess with Petey. . .

His line from tonight's much anticipated rematch with the Nationals:

7.0 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, 3 K

Mets pitching was solid for the 2nd night in a row, surrending just 5 hits and 1 walk total (Heilman in the 8th, Wagner in the 9th).

The Completely Insane Jose Guillen got one of the hits (1-4 on the game), grounded into a double play, and left 3 men on base.

4/12/06 Mets @ Nationals Wrapup

And speaking of second night in a row, rookie Brian Bannister got his first major league win last night. Bannister had a dominant spring, and has been solid in his first two career major league starts.

Bannister's line from 4/11 @ Washington: 7.0 IP, 3 H, ER, K

#41 Dueling Aces

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 11:20 PM

The lesson, as always - don't mess with Petey. . .

Yep. It was beautiful to watch.

His line from tonight's much anticipated rematch with the Nationals:

7.0 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, 3 K

FortyFive, I know you're the leader of this thread, and no offense intended, but I just wanted to clarify his line, i.e. 7.0IP, 3H, 1ER, 1BB, 3K. The one run he gave up was a solo homer to Vidro. The 6th inning was weird but classic Pedro. He gave up a bloop single to Schneider, then walked former teammate Marlon Anderson. Then he had a mental lapse and misfielded a bunt that should have been an out at 1B. Bases loaded, no outs. The crowd was going wild. They wanted Pedro on a platter. But Pedro dialed it up, struck out Vidro. Now, facing Guillen, he knew he needed to induce a double play, and he did, with excellent help from Reyes and Anderson Hernandez. Overall, an impressive outing considering he's still in sort of extended Spring Training mode and working on his pitches and his command; he was in very hostile territory; and he never pitched Guillen inside. I thought he was smart to trust in his defenders and pitch more to contact than going for the Ks, since it doesn't look like he's got good command of his full arsenal. It also allowed him to keep his pitch count down. But when he had to, he got that all-important strikeout at the most critical moment. By his next start, I expect he'll show more dominance. As a hitter, he drew a walk, but I'm just as glad he didn't end up having to run the bases.

Edited by Dueling Aces, 12 April 2006 - 11:30 PM.

#42 BGrif21125

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 11:23 PM

Pedro goes for win #200 Monday night vs. ATL at Shea.

#43 LateRally

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 12:46 AM

To anyone who saw the game, did the Nats pitchers try to do anything to Pedro when he batted? There wasn't anything in the game story, and I did notice he was able to draw a walk in 3 PAs, but I was wondering if the Nats tried any kind of show of force. You figure that's the one way teams can retaliate against the beanballs that they couldn't do in the AL.

#44 A Bartlett Giamatti

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 08:05 AM

To anyone who saw the game, did the Nats pitchers try to do anything to Pedro when he batted?  There wasn't anything in the game story, and I did notice he was able to draw a walk in 3 PAs, but I was wondering if the Nats tried any kind of show of force.  You figure that's the one way teams can retaliate against the beanballs that they couldn't do in the AL.


Nah. I was at the game, nothing interesting happened.

Other than, ya know, Pedro two hitting them and all that.

#45 templeUsox

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 10:21 PM

Duaner Sanchez just threw 45 pitches in relief. The Mets better watch out about overworking him.

#46 FortyFive

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 08:04 PM

Mets Week 2 Wrapup (4/10-4/16):
(All stats cumulative for Week 2 only, unless otherwise noted)

Record - 5-1 (3 games @ Washington, 3 games at home vs. Milwaukee)
Opponents – Outscored Washington 23-6 in a 3 game sweep of the Nats at RFK, took 2/3 from Milwaukee at Shea. Their 9-2 record after 11 games is the best start in team history.

Who's Hot:
Carlos Beltran – 5 games, 16 AB, .375/.688/.813 (1.500 OPS), 2 HR, 4 RBI, 5 BB, 6 R – scorching hot this week, the Mets hope his momentum won’t be broken up by the pesky hamstring soreness that kept him out of today’s game vs. the Brewers (see Injuries, below).
David Wright (will he be a fixture here? I’m still bitter he went 8th in my Fantasy Draft, I was holding out hope I’d be able to pick him at 11) – 6 games, 23 AB, .391/.391/.739 (1.130 OPS). . .1 HR (plus a 3B and 3 2B’s), 4 RBI, and 5 R.
Carlos Delgado – 6 games, 25 AB, .360/.400/.640 (1.040 OPS), 2 HR, 8 RBI, 6 R.
Tom Glavine – 1 start, 1-0, 6.0 IP, R, 0 ER (0.00 ERA), 6 H, BB, 11 K. A couple more starts like his start on Friday and we can officially change his name to “The Rejuvenated Tom Glavine”.
Pedro Martinez – 1 start, 1-0, 7.0 IP, 3 H, ER (1.29 ERA), BB, 3 K, 0.57 WHIP.
Brian Bannister – Even though he was shaky today (5 BB and 6 H in 5.0 IP), he still gets a shout-out because he picked up 2 wins this week, giving up just 2 earned runs in 12.0 IP in his 2 starts (including a 7.0 IP, 3 hit, 0 BB gem vs. Washington for his first Major League win). Cumulative WHIP for the week – 1.17, and cumulative ERA of 1.50.
Billy Wagner – 3 games, 2/2 save opportunities, 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 3 BB, 2 K.
Duaner Sanchez – 2 games, 3.0 IP, H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K. Though he threw 45 pitches on 4/14 vs. the Brewers (giving up a hit and walking 2) – he managed to give up zero runs, keeping his 0.00 ERA intact (he has not given up a run in 8 total IP this year, allowing just 2 hits and 4 walks in those innings, while striking out 8).

Who's Not:
Anderson Hernandez - 6 games, 19 AB, .158/.158/.158 (.316 OPS) (this is not a typo, same exact line as last week) - 3 hits, just 1 strikeout; and again - 0 XBH, 0 RBI, 0 SB, 0 BB) – and 1 run scored (when his team scored 38 runs in 6 games).
Cliff Floyd – 5 games (sat vs. LHP Capuano on Friday), 18 AB, .167/.222/.389 (.611 OPS), HR, 4 RBI, R, 6 K, BB. Floyd’s bat still apparently asleep in Week 2, though it speaks to the caliber of the Mets offense that they scored 38 runs with this kind of performance from Floyd (who went 0-for in 3 games, 1 for 4, and 2 for 5).
Jorge Julio - 3 games, 0-0, 3.0 IP, 12.00 ERA (which is an improvement), 1.75 WHIP (ditto on the improvement), 4 ER, 2 HR allowed, 3 K, 0 BB.

Carlos Beltran missed today’s game vs. Milwaukee with a tight right hamstring. Per the link, he was hurt in Saturday’s loss to the Brewers in a near collision with Prince Fielder at 1st base. Right now, he is day-to-day.

Week 2 Outlook: Mets (9-2) are home vs. Atlanta (6-7) for 3 games starting Monday, then they travel to San Diego for a 4 game series vs. the Padres (4-7) at Petco (the start of a 7-game West Coast swing). As of today, the scheduled pitching matchups. . .Monday is Pedro (2-0, 3.46 ERA) vs. Jorge Sosa (RHP, 0-2, 11.37 ERA – in 2 starts, Sosa has pitched a cumulative total of 6.1 innings); Tuesday is Zambrano (1-0, 5.40 ERA) vs. Kyle Davies (RHP, 0-1, 8.38 ERA); Wednesday is Glavine (2-0, 1.50 ERA) vs. Tim Hudson (RHP, 0-1, 9.20 ERA); Thursday is Trachsel (1-1, 4.09 ERA) vs. Peavy (RHP, 1-2, 5.50 ERA); Friday is Bannister (2-0, 2.50 ERA) vs. Woody Williams (RHP, 1-0, 4.50 ERA); Saturday is Pedro vs. Chris Young (RHP, 1-0, 3.18 ERA); and Sunday is Zambrano vs. Clay Hensley (RHP, 0-1, 9.00 ERA).

Edited by FortyFive, 16 April 2006 - 08:08 PM.

#47 The Napkin

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 06:18 PM

Pedro on the mound tonight against ATL on espn if any of y'all didn't know.

#48 BGrif21125

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 08:51 PM

Win #200 for Pedro. 200-84 for his career. Whitey Ford and Lefty Grove are the only pitchers to get to 200 with fewer losses.
Typical early season cold weather start for Pedro, stayed mostly in the mid to high 80's, mixed in a lot of off speed stuff. Big ovation as he came off the mound in the 7th.
It's amazing what happens to your win% when you have a good closer and get run support. If this were last year he'd probably be 0-1 with 2 no-decisions right now.

Edited by BGrif21125, 17 April 2006 - 08:55 PM.

#49 Rudy Pemberton

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 09:26 PM

They had some amazing stat today, no idea if it's true....Said Petey had like 10 starts last year where he gave up 3 runs or less...and didn't win! Wow. 200-84. Holy fucking shit.

The atmosphere at Shea, at least from watching on TV, was electric. The fans are really believing this year and while I was really skeptical about what Minaya was doing (this team is built to win now or never, I think) it's working, at least for the first 12 games.

I think they'll need another starter as I 'm not sure Bannister can keep flirting with disaster and winning....but this division is horrible and the Mets could easily run away with it. Good for Pedro.

Oh, and in case you hadn't noticed...David Wright may just be the 2nd best player in the NL all of a sudden. They should lock him up long term soon.

#50 Spacemans Bong

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 11:01 PM

D-Wright's going nowhere, Rudy. I'm pretty sure the Mets bought out his arb years. He grew up a Mets fan, between that and money they'd have to fuck up to lose him.

Congrats to Pedro, the greatest pitcher I've ever seen. May 300 be on his horizon.