Some issues for Collins

The thing that stood out most in listening to Terry Collins this morning is his emphasis in “playing the game the correctly.’’

Collins promised an accent on fundamentals with a team that too often disregarded them in the past. This is a team that gives away too many at-bats, both at the plate and on the mound, and loses focus.

That is the culture Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins vowed to change.

One thing apparent in Alderson’s comprehensive search and handpicking of Collins as manager is the continuity between the front office and field staff. There will be no more players taking their issues over the manager to the general manager.

That was the chemistry in Anaheim when the players revolted against Collins, and with the Mets when Tony Bernazard sabotaged Willie Randolph, and the last two years when Jerry Manuel managed without the respect of his players.

Collins said the right things, but there’s more I’d like to hear from him:

THE CORE: Collins wants the game played correctly, but hasn’t elaborated on what he doesn’t like about David Wright and Jose Reyes.

Wright put up decent numbers last season, but they were somewhat deceiving because of his strikeouts. Wright still gives up too many at-bats to kill rallies. The right way also means increasing Reyes’ on-base percentage. Injuries have limited Reyes from running and if he’s healthy will Collins turn him loose?

CARLOS BELTRAN: Collins mentioned how badly Beltran wants to win. The team will keep Beltran because of his contract.  Collins hasn’t said yet whether he wants Beltran to move to right field to make room for Angel Pagan in center.

THE BULLPEN: The Mets will offer arbitration to Pedro Feliciano. If he accepts the Mets will have a proven lefty specialist. With the assumption Francisco Rodriguez is back as closer, the next order of business in the pen will be designating a set-up man. Presumably, that will be Bobby Parnell. The Mets must now fill four spots in the bullpen. How many could be filled from the minor league system Collins oversaw last summer?

THE ROTATION: With Johan Santana on the shelf indefinitely, the Mets have three starters heading into the winter meetings: Mike Pelfrey, RA Dickey and Jon Niese.

With the Mets not expected to be free-spending in the free-agent market, their options are from within, trades and middle-tier arms in free agency.

Collins must operate on the assumption there won’t be any significant additions so his thoughts on Dillon Gee are important. As it is now, no matter how healthy the Mets are with Jason Bay and Beltran, it means little without a strong rotation.

Alderson wants to unload Oliver Perez, but that’s a monumental task. Assuming the worst, that Perez is still here in the spring, how does Collins envision using him?

SECOND BASE: There are three candidates: Luis Castillo, Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy. If Murphy can handle the position defensively, he offers the best bat.

Collins knows Tejada from the minor leagues and probably has an idea of his ceiling.

JENRRY MEJIA: As of now, the Mets regard Mejia as a potential starter.  With Collins’ background in player development he likely has his ideas of how he was used last year and what his timetable might be.

9 thoughts on “Some issues for Collins

  1. I like collins’s enthusiasm. i dont know what the minors will bring to the pen. there are one or two arms i think. not a lot there.

  2. i read someplace where we were almost dead last in 2b offense last year.

    if we keep the same players that is one hole we are not filling.

  3. I want to see fines put in place for watching balls dribble by and for not running the bases hard.

  4. I think Terry needs a little time to view DW and Jose and Beltran before he can state what his plans are for them.

    My thoughts, for what they are worth:
    DW’s issue is his stance, he stands so damn far from the plate that he can’t hit anything on the outside corner, hence, his ability to “go the other way” is severly limited.

    Jose simply needs to be healthy. He was rushed back and jerked around the lineup when he did come back. Odds are he wasn’t totally rehabed. Hopefully the rest now, and enhanced workouts (possibly with a running coach) can help.

    Beltran, well, he needs to show in ST that he can play CF. PERHAPS the rest this offseason helps his knee. PERHAPS it doesn’t, in which case, he needs to play RF.

    Bullpen is going to be a hazard. Perpetual Pedro is a LOOGY. He needs to realize this, as does Terry. He cannot pitch to righties. Parnell cannot be overworked. They need to hope they can get an arm that perhaps had a down year last year on the cheap, and hope he can rebound.

    The rotation scares me. Pelfrey, Dickey and Niese are nice, but there is not a true Ace or a #2 in that bunch. And frankly, we cannot count on RA or Niese to have a similar year this yr as last (though Niese could surprise, the innings count scares me, and RA does not have a track record). Again, reclamation projects will be the route, unless Gee is able to make the leap.

    Second Base – please, for the love of pete, cut Castillo. He flat out stinks. Can’t field, can’t hit. I’d go with Murphy and hope he can handle it. And pray Reese Havens can finally stay healthy.
    Mejia should stay in AAA for the whole season. And they need to be careful with him. He is the prospect closest to the majors with significant upside. No reason to rush him. Wait it out.

    I just hope the media and fanbase give the man a chance. Nothing is going to change overnight.

  5. I hope that this administration is rational and keeps mejia in the minors this year. AAA/AA whatever.

    It would be nice to see Luis go. I won’t hold my breath.

    I expect some minor league arm to come up this year. They probably will only get one major league arm. The rotation this year will be weak as in years past. At least they have an excuse: new administration, Johan hurt, clean out bad salaries, etc.

  6. apparantly we have a guy named turner who we got from baltimore.

    he hit 300 in AAA. one more reason we can let go of luis