Feb 04

Positive or negative?

On one hand, perhaps baseball’s worst bullpen has been improved. The Mets blew 29 save opportunities last season, but the additions of Francisco Rodriguez and JJ Putz has to close the one-game gap on the Phillies assuming all else is equal.

That’s the strongest positive.

Another positive is the time Daniel Murphy  spent last season in the majors and the addition of Tim Redding improves the fifth spot in the rotation. The overall depth of the bullpen is better.

The rest isn’t so much glaring negatives as they are questions. Yes, if there’s no improvement from Luis Castillo, that becomes a glaring negative.

The following Q and A gives a thumbnail perspective of the other hand.

Q: How’s Johan Santana’s knee?
A: Nothing negative to report, but we’ll know when he he gets on the mound.

Q: How’s John Maine’s shoulder?
A: Reports are surgery went well and he should be ready for spring training. But, we really won’t know until he starts throwing.

Q: Is Mike Pelfrey ready to continue his progress?
A: Sometimes, after a large jump in innings, a pitcher hits a growth wall. We’ll have to see. You can’t just pencil him in for 200 innings and 18 wins. It’s not that simple.

Q: Who is the real Carlos Delgado?
A: Can anyone say for certain it will be the second half Delgado or the first half Delgado?

Q: How healthy is Ryan Church?
A: The Mets say he’s fine, but will be pick up where he left off before the concussion?

Q: How productive will the Murphy-Tatis platoon in left be?
A: The Mets will take what they got last year, but nobody is making any promises.

Add it up, if the Mets produce the same as they did last year, the bullpen improvement should pick up a game on the Phillies. Then again, we don’t know if the Phillies won’t be any better. However, there’s no guarantee the Mets will get the same production, or if it will be better or worse.

Given all this, with the start of spring training less than two weeks out, what’s your confidence level?

Feb 03

Did the Mets really get their man?

The numbers are three years and $36 million, a little less than double the $6.5 million Oliver Perez got last season with the Mets to win 10 games.

The big question, at least to me, is whether Perez will interpret this as a snub or will he use this as a motivator?

“I feel very confident that he has taken steps to becoming a real good pitcher,” manager Jerry Manuel said. “He’s still very young. If he is added to the mix, it only strengthens us in the starting pitching, which would be a big plus for us, a very big plus for us.”

Hopefully, Perez will do the latter and pitch with a burning desire the next three years. Remember, at 27, he’s young enough to do this again.

Do you believe Perez will be in the right frame of mind, or should the Mets have overpaid for Derek Lowe?

Feb 02

I am sorry ….

I apologize for not being around the last few days. I have been preoccupied with a personal matter and haven’t been online since filing the Pedro post. Again, I apologize and will start posting again on a regular basis.

Jan 29

Mets interested in Pedro

MARTINEZ: One more year?

MARTINEZ: One more year?

I remember talking with Pedro Martinez the last day of the season and him telling me he never felt ready between rehabbing injuries and taking time off to visit his ailing father.

“I don’t want to leave this way,” Martinez told me then. “I didn’t feel right this year. I know I can still pitch.”

Martinez had his moments last season, both good and bad, but a guy with his heart shouldn’t be easily dismissed. If his pride lets him be a fourth or fifth starter, then he’s worth it. Let’s face it, could he be any worse than Freddy Garcia or Tim Redding?

There’s a report out of the Dominican Republic that has Omar Minaya meeting with  Martinez about bringing the 37-year-old future Hall of Famer back for an encore to his four-year, $53 million contract.

Let’s face it, the Mets aren’t set with their rotation. With no assurances they’ll re-sign Oliver Perez, bringing back Martinez in a stop gap role makes sense. He’s not the young stud we’d all like, but there aren’t any guarantees Jon Niese is that guy, either.

Jan 28

Heilman traded to Cubs

Aaron Heilman’s stay in Seattle was shorter than some of his appearances on the mound this summer. Heilman was traded to the Cubs today for infielder Ronny Cedeno and pitcher Garrett Olson.

Immediate speculation is this deal would enable the Cubs to free up some of their young pitching to re-start trade talks with San Diego for Jake Peavy.