Counting the days ….

This has arguably been the longest spring of my life. I can’t wait much longer for the season to begin. With a handful of days remaining before Opening Day in Cincinnati, the Mets remain a team with a handful of issues.

The first being pitching.

Mike Pelfrey, John Maine and Oliver Perez haven’t had the kind of seamless spring that inspires unbridled confidence. You can find something physical or mental about each that makes you wonder. Can you say there aren’t any concerns about any of them?

I like the make up of the bullpen, although a second lefty would be nice. I think they’ll keep O’Day.

I’m not worried about the catching. Brian Schneider is what he is. He’s never going to put up great numbers, but as long as he handles the staff that’s the main thing.

My belief is the most important position player as far as the offensive make-up is concerned is Carlos Delgado. He’s had a good spring so far, but we still don’t know who’ll we’ll get: Last year’s first-half or the second-half. If it’s the second half, there aren’t many worries about the offense.

Second base? Luis Castillo played well this spring. Answered a lot of questions. Here’s one more: How long can he keep it up, and where will he hit in the line-up. I’m still of the belief Castillo is at his best hitting second.

Left fielder Daniel Murphy remains impressive, but let’s remember his total body of work is small. Will he consistently hit left-handers. By the way, that’s the same question in right field with Ryan Church.

This is a good team, but these are all important and legit questions. Delgado and the pitching being the most pressing.

23 thoughts on “Counting the days ….

  1. Castillo looks like he lost quite a bit of weight and was running very good last night. If he’s going to be able to have his legs work, he’ll be alright at 2b for the Mets.

  2. Steve (1): He’s in terrific shape. But, being the negative soul I sometimes can be, I’m wondering if there’s going to be a shoe that drops.-JD

  3. i agree about castillo in the 2 hole and it would also give the lineup more depth with murphy lower in the order

  4. Hey, no worries, Gary Sheffield is now available to the highest bidder. (covering up.) ;D

  5. Hey, JD, everyone. It’s that time of year again. I’m being so cautious about projecting anything about this team, after the last three years. While I’m impressed by the bullpen overhaul, signing Tim Redding — a career-long disaster of a pitcher — was the dumbest move ever.
    I’m concerned about having only one lefty in the ‘pen and hope that the 7 and 8 spots in the lineup won’t be automatic outs. And I’m really hoping Daniel Murphy won’t be the second coming of Gregg Jefferies or Dave Magadan.
    And what about our new home field?
    It was tough enough to hit homers at Shea. Will Citi Field work against the homies the way Petco has against the Padres?
    While I was never worried about the faux Johan elbow drama, will Johnny Maine hold up all year? Will Mike Pelfrey duplicate last year? Will Oliver Perez wrest the no-decision championship away from Ron Darling?
    With Billy Wagner hanging at home with his alpacas, who’ll be the guy to throw his teammates under the bus?
    Oughta be an interesting year.

  6. 5- On a more positive not
    -we have the best CF baseball
    -we have the best left side of the infield in baseball
    we have a SP i wouldnt trade for anyone
    -we have a young player who produced in his time last yr and shows incredible patience for a young kid
    -we have a 1B who has the ability to put a team on his back for months at a time
    -we have ownership who is willing to spend 150 million dollars on the roster in a given yr
    – we have a young pitcher who appeared to turn the corner last yr and will continue to improve
    – perez and maine have shown the ability to win 15 games
    – Our out of shape, no hitting 2nd baseman last yr, showed up in shape and has hit the ball this spring
    – we now have the single season save leader as our closer
    -the bullpen, which killed us last yr, features not only krod but now a great 8th inning guy in Putz

    there has been a lot of negativity from fans following the last two yrs and most of it for good reason…but lets not forget how talented this team is and how lucky we are that to root for a team that has the ability to win the World Series this year.. Let’s Go Mets..ya gotta believe

  7. I am not worried about Delgado or BigPelf. Yes they could fall apart, but from what I have seen in the spring, I like.

    I worry about Church. Not sure what the year will bring but Tatis still looks good. Castillo has impressed so far and I like the lineup the manager puts out. He is rewarding a young player who is working hard and is not afraid to slight a veteran who should be able to handle a move down the order.

    It looks like Ollie will be the same pitcher he was the last 3 years. No more, no less. Maine is an issue. He does not look ready and it will probably be a few months before he rounds into shape assuming no other issues.

    I heard Putz had elbow problems?

  8. Starters: Better be good because there ain’t much depth in the farm and anyone think Livan is for real!!!!??????
    Castillo: Agree he’s best in 2 hole.
    Schneider: If he ain’t in the 8 hole the lineup has problems.
    Murphy/Church… Big difference. Church is a 30 year old who has never produced for a whole year. Murphy is a kid with upside. You should be more worried about Church. How long doies a guy have excuses made for him? Give me Tatis at least in a platoon and hope F-Mart is going to blossom sooner rather than later.

  9. Jim (6) Great post. A Lot of things
    to like on this team. Maybe the thinking on Looie is that his bunting ability is wasted with a basestealer ahead of him. If Castillo gets on base the pitcher can bunt him over for Reyes to drive in. About the left side of the infield, Jeter looked terrible in the field in the WBC. Rollins was far superior but Davey had to stroke the diva.

  10. ray (11)- couldnt agree more about rollins and jeter in the wbc…jeters range to his left is almost non-existent..i wonder what position the captain will finish his yankees career at…OF is a possibility i think

  11. Although I am anxiously awaiting the start of the 2009 season, I have some serious thoughts about the state of baseball and pro sports in the America of today.

    Barely a day goes by in the Big City where we don’t see some professional athlete making a court appearance after some infraction or violation of the law that would put an average citizen in jail by nightfall. Baseball continues to coddle and protect their men from the laws of the USA, by declaring their clubhouses ‘Off Limits’ and allowing MLB players to continue to play even when their behaviour is beyond the pale and a very bad example to the kids who idolize them.

    Many of these athletes have contracts that pay them more than the operating budget of a small country. Yet those who use their wealth for the common good are few and far between (in NY Jeter and Wright come to mind, but who else is thinking about the next generation?)

    As a political scientist who is applauding our President’s first two months where he has accomplished more than decades of ‘policy’ from previous administrations where everyone seems to have turned a deaf ear to any problem, I think the whole country needs to look in the mirror and ask ourselves – aren’t we better than this??

    Greed is a nasty habit, and surely not the way to run a democracy or a professional sports team.

    Just my two cents –

  12. (10) Jim: I don’t know how you can expect everyone to be totally positive with this team. After what we’ve been through the last two years it is much easier to be negative. Look, the team does have it’s holes. Murphy can be the next Mike Vail, there is no depth as Harry said in the starting rotation, Church & Tatis are big questions, and Maine and Ollie until proven otherwise are still inconsistent. There are plenty of question marks. But unfortunately, the team does not get the benefit of the doubt from me. As a fan, they have to prove to me that they are capable of finishing what they start.

  13. (14) steve, don;t you know some people think that to be a fan means you have to shake your head up and down and not have a thought independent from what is spewed out from the organization. As you so correctly state this is a team that has failed in the clutch repeatedly, and yet some think there should be no hesitation to 100% positivity. They don’t understand that rooting for a team and thinking its perfect are 2 totally seperate things. Yet, many of these same fans turn instantly on a player at the first hint of a rumor of a lack of perfection. Like they are supposed to be perfect while the rest of the world is not.

  14. (13) I agree with you in many regards but I think there are more players in NY & in all sports doing good stuff beside Wright and Jeter. I know Delgado has given a lot in Toronto and in NY as well as in Puerto Rico. Even an unloved and unwanted ex Knick named Marbury has done good with his cheap sneaker program. I’m sure there are others but they are buried as stations like ESPN and rags like the NY Post love to spew out every negative story and keep it alive for months until the ratings drop and the next scandal arises. Yes, there are the Plaxico’s of the NY sporting world but I think they are far in the minority. I think the negative publicity surrounding guys like AROD make it seem that al ost all are bad, but I don’t believe it to be so. I mean regarldess of performance what criminal type stuff has been done by any member of the 09 Mets or Knicks or Rangers? I only hear about AROD and PLAX. And now of course we hear about the Piazza acne scandal of six years ago.

  15. Harry- just because someone doesnt always agree with your points doesnt make them wrong…if you have ever actually read anything i have written here, i have questioned transactions, stated what holes i thought this team has, etc. never have i simply just nodded up and down. i dont know why you feel your opinion is so much better than anyone elses on this site but you certainly act like it. i agree there are holes and i have never claimed otherwise. i was stating the facts that we root for a team with a lot of things going for it…or instead of saying something like that without attacking other posters on this site i guess i could say something like you would…”see steve..some people just need something to criticize all the time and like to rip things down instead of ever being positive. some people have no idea how lucky they are to be a fan of this team..they have no clue.”

    enjoy being negative all the time there buddy. this team certainly has its holes and has let themselves (and us) down the last few years…but i see a lot of good on this team and if anyone (other than harry) has the ability to be a little positive i think it is easy to see that this team has a chance to makes us all very happy this year

  16. now while being upbeat and is still possible to discuss the holes on the team, etc…i stated all offseason another RH bat (preferably OF) was a necessity and we didnt grab tone of those…i guess jerry is hoping that tatis can be that guy if murphy and church (i know harry, its impossible that church could perform well) perform well enough to keep tatis as his super sub..i think another solid RH bat could have been huge and allowed murphy and tatis to be supersubs off the bench

  17. harry i await for you to tell me how im simply drinking the mets kool-aid and how i dont know this or that..when in fact i am a very realistic mets fans who can criticize when necessary but also look at the good too..thats what my post was about..there is some bad…and there is good…you focus on that sure its a joy

  18. Steve- i dont think anyone should be totally positive with this team…there are certainly ?s regarding this team. my point was there is a lot to be happy with and this team should be right in the race come septemeber…the bullpen was atrocious last yr and will be improved (although to be fair i would have liked one more new arm)…and from all accounts the mets believe murphy will be something special.
    maine and perez certainly have ?s to answer but i think ollie will be better than expected while maine will struggle at least early on..pelfrey i think will be solid throughout and i expect johan to johan..and livan to be livan (4.50-5.00 ERA, good innings eater)

  19. david lennon newsday- “The Mets have the highest payroll in the National League at $147 million, four of their top five hitters are perennial All-Stars, they have a two-time Cy Young winner at the front of the rotation and a closer with the single-season record for saves.”
    how dare he state the postives off this team…he must be just a head nodding idiot right harry?.. he goes on to state that this is all on paper and that there are ?s just like i have said throughout this offseason just as everyone has here on this site… i have found the people here to be insightful and for the most part open to what others say and its appreciated..i think we have all been pretty realistc and i think i have stated not only positive but things i hope are improved

  20. jim in baltimore. Yioyr answert to all your assaults and whining crap is your post # 6 and especially this part. “but lets not forget how talented this team is and how lucky we are that to root for a team that has the ability to win the World Series this year” It doesn’t get any more kool aide than that jimbo.
    PS: Your buddy paper mache head is back. you and him can have fun together.
    And one more thing oh he who think criticism is bad, evil etc. Everything you say can be reversed and written exactly the same way..
    Thnaks for stirring me up jimbo. Its been boring around here for a while.

    PS: Since you wanted an answer from me so bad, answer this from my Phillies fans showing why they think,know can prove the Phils management wants to win more than the Mwts. The Mets keep Marlon Anderson on the roster because they owe him a million bucks or two. Meanwhile the Phils cut Jenkins who they owe about 8 million to in 09 salary and 10 option payment, and also released EATON who they owe about 6-7 million to. Why the Phils release crap while we can’;t because thwe Wilpons can’t take this losss? Tell me Mr Perfecto.
    PPS re your 22.. Means a lot. Read all the genius writers pre season statements when Phillips broguth in Alomar and company. And if the payroll think turns you on you need to move to the Bronx. Payroll is now God right jim?

  21. hahah oh harry…your post proves all of my points about you thinking you are better than everyone else and how no one else can have an opinion opposing yours… i have no problem with you disagreeing with me or my optimism towards this season..but there is no reason to dismiss someone’s views or say they just nod their head to everything especially when thats not true. i have said plenty (and will continue to do so) when i felt the front office/players/owner etc have let down.

    I never said payroll is God but it is nice to have a team willing to spend money year in and year out and that only adds to my optimism about this team..unlike the Os down here whose owner has crushed this city’s baseball fans by running out garbage for yrs. the phils did the right thing in cutting jenkins and the mets would be wise to do the same with marlon…the mets not cutting him is strictly a move based around money and is a mistake..even keeping evans or kielty on the team makes much more sense..i would have preferred we had signed RH OF this offseason