Jan. 29.10: Minaya thinking positive.

Mets GM Omar Minaya was in full defense mode last night on SNY, saying among other things, he still has full autonomy, but sometimes decisions are a collaborative effort and he doesn’t care as long as the right decision is made.

PELFREY: A major if.

PELFREY: A major if.

Sounds good, but I didn’t expect to hear anything other than that on that topic. Anything other than that is a sign of weakness.

Most curious was his stance on the pitching.

John Lackey was the only difference maker in the free agent market, and I don’t believe the Mets were even in that game. Everything else in the market, he said, wasn’t significantly better than what the Mets already have.

The Mets’ three question marks – John Maine, Mike Pelfrey and Oliver Perez – when healthy are as good as what was on the market. In theory, if you take the best years of those three, Minaya would be correct.

So, the Mets’ pitching plans really were to hope they improve and stay healthy. Rarely, when a team has as many pitching questions as the Mets, that the answers all come up roses.

A significant key, and one I believe might be the most important this season, is the development of Pelfrey, who regressed after a good season in 2008. Even so, Pelfrey still managed double-digit victories.

“If we can get Mike Pelfrey to be the Mike Pelfrey of 2008,” Minaya said. “There’s upside there.”

Minaya also spoke well of Kelvim Escobar and Ryota Igarashi when speaking of the bullpen.

“Minaya said. “We’re going to have question marks coming off of last year. I think it’s fair to say we’d like to reduce the ifs, but if you looked at the free-agent market, a lot of those free agents are ifs.”

Fair enough, but not hardly comforting.

What was interesting was an admission Carlos Beltran did the right thing and Minaya was informed about the surgery. He didn’t say why he didn’t admit to that initially. Might as well practice damage control on that as much as possible.

MURPHY: Improvement expected with glove and bat.

MURPHY: Improvement expected with glove and bat.

The question will invariably be raised again upon Beltran’s return.

After last season’s disaster, Minaya said he wanted to build the Mets around pitching, speed and defense. Minaya believes his outfield corners of Jason Bay and Jeff Francoeur are better defensively than Daniel Murphy and Ryan Church. He also believes Gary Matthews Jr. and Angel Pagan will perform adequately in place of Beltran.

He’s right there, but if the injury news coming out of Boston on Bay is true, that becomes a problem. For now, we have to look at Bay as a positive. And, he is an upgrade offensively, but again, his projected numbers simply replace that of a healthy Carlos Delgado.

Murphy, he said, will improve defensively as he learns the position. With more experience and knowledge of the pitchers, Murphy could also improve at the plate and hit for more power. However, he won’t provide what a healthy Delgado might give them. Then again, Murphy and Fernando Tatis together might not equal a healthy Delgado. But, that’s moot because Delgado isn’t here or healthy.

18 thoughts on “Jan. 29.10: Minaya thinking positive.

  1. I’m still skeptical of anything Omar says.

    I think they only put him out there because the Wilpons won’t talk at all.

  2. What’s the problem? The GM (you can substitute any ML GM’s name here)says in January that he’s looking to upgrade but is optimistic about what he’s already got.

    Any GM who says otherwise PUBLICLY wouldn’t have a job if I owned the team. Behind closed doors, well, that’s a different story.

    I’m optimistic, too. This is basically the same team that was picked by “the experts” to win the NLE last year, with the addition of Bay and Francoeur replacing Delgado and Church. And improved D behind the plate plus an upgraded pen.

  3. I would much rather have a poll about renaming this site. Reviewing Omar statements is really boring.

  4. Stop the presses!!! The Mets just signed pitcher Josh Fogg!!!!!!!! We’re saved!!! World Series here we come!!!!!!!!!
    Huh? Huh? WTF? Oh, sorry, just woke up from my overdosage of myopic pills. Josh Freaking Fogg? This guy is a bum! He’s on par with…dare I say it? Tim Redding! Damn, this is gonna be a looooooooooooooong season.

  5. How about this poll: How many guys will write that Josh Fogg was a low risk high reward sign?

  6. 6. I bet you say that about all the minor league deals… Are the minor league deals made by the other teams all mistakes or are they low risk high reward signs as well?

  7. I will go with Low Risk and Low Reward for a little bit of depth. Maybe we get a little lightning in the bottle during the season for a few days

  8. Harry—EVERY Minor-league deal is “low risk”. Are you saying they’re not? Can you illustrate by giving an example of ONE MnL “high-risk”, or even “moderate-risk” deal?

    Fogg probably won’t help, or even make it up to the NL this year. But if he can do for us what Pedro Feliciano, Darren Oliver, Elmer Dessens, Fernando Nieve, or others signed to ML deals have done, I’d call that “high-reward”.

    Wouldn’t you?

  9. Caught this last night and posted on the other thread.

    Minaya took some persistant questions on the ills of the Mets. I was surprised that it was not a very easy interview.

    I do not like the message that our pitchers are better than what was out there because for 5 million or so we could have improved the rotation even if it would be marginal.

    Pitching has been a problem for 4 years and this year is no different.

  10. (8) Harry: There is no such thing as a bad minor league deal unless that player blocks a big time prospect, which is rarely the case. Why are you so combative?

  11. 12. Combative? Just trying to understand this very overused term that has no meaning to me.

  12. 10. Well Bill, no I can’t and I bet you can’t find a place where I ever said a minor league deal was high risk or moderate risk. Actually, I just find amusement at the term low risk high reward every time one of these guy’s is signed. Now look, normally the Mets sign a guy like Fogg and we hear the same low risk high reward stuff. Now because of my line we have a debate about the real value of this move that every franchise makes over and over. It seems that these are really no risk moves.

  13. Harry (15)—so it’s not that you think the term is wrong; you just get tired of hearing it repeated. On that, I can agree with you.

    And I also agree that these are “no-risk” moves in just about all cases, though not all are “high reward”. There are players who simply don’t have a high upside, and it’s obvious from the start that they’re basically being brought in as “fillers” who will only be brought up in dire emergency.

    I’d put Fogg in that category, though I felt the same way about Dessens, who became a pleasant surprise.

    Ya never know!

  14. here are some pics of the mets as wallpaper.

    they have the guys name plastered on them which i am not high on, but you can edit them out.