Mar 26

WBC set back Perez

PEREZ: Where is this pitch going?

PEREZ: Where is this pitch going?

It’s all well and good that Johan Santana took the time to counsel Oliver Perez after yesterday’s torching. What’s not all well and good is the need for him to do so: Perez had another devilish outing, giving up six runs on six hits with six walks in 4 1/3 innings.

“I am concerned because I don’t see arm strength,’’ pitching coach Dan Warthen said, who, for one, thinks Perez fell behind because of the WBC, where his ERA was 9.45 in two starts.

“I was a little bit reticent when he left [for the Classic], and my worries have come to fruition,’’ Warthen told reporters.

Warthen said Perez put on some weight and doesn’t have the arm strength he needs this late in camp; manager Jerry Manuel said Perez lacks command and velocity.

The Mets were one of the biggest proponents of the WBC, but there’s a difference between pitchers and position players when it comes to getting ready for the season.

Considering how long Perez stayed on the market, and after signing a below-than-what-he-expected three-year, $36 million contract, one would have thought he would have done everything he could to stay in shape and prove his doubters wrong.

Mar 25

Good morning folks ….

Back from Ohio. My father is still ill, but somewhat better than last week. He’s 84 and has Parkinson’s.

I want to thank you for your well wishes, both here on the blog and personally. It means a lot to me.

While I was gone, Jerry Manuel decided he’d like Daniel Murphy to hit second, which is fair enough. I was thinking Castillo, but Castillo’s attitude is such now that a move in the batting order shouldn’t bother him. Given that, here’s how I see the batting order:

SS Jose Reyes
LF Daniel Murphy
CF Carlos Beltran
1B Carlos Delgado
3B David Wright
RF Ryan Church
C Brien Schneider
2B Luis Castillo
Pitcher’s slot.

Now, I wouldn’t be adverse to hitting Castillo ninth and the pitcher eighth to bunch the speed of Castillo and Reyes together. That could make Murphy a 90 RBI guy. It’s true, how many times does Reyes actually lead off an inning? Bunching the speed together could work.

That’s my two cents. What’s yours. You like this batting order as is, or would you tweak it? And, how so?

Mar 20

Loose threads ….

My father is quite ill and I must travel to Ohio today. I will be there for several days and may not be able to post regularly. So, I’m leaving the keys to the blog to you guys.

Please post whatever is on your minds and have fun.

I’ll talk with you soon. JD

Mar 19

Where to slot in Castillo?

Manager Jerry Manuel is thinking about going back to Jose Reyes in the leadoff slot to get him going. That spot worked for Luis Castillo, who owned up to the challenge and is hitting .321 with a .500 on-base percentage.

Castillo has been far from the nightmare at the plate he was last year.

I’ve always liked him second, but I can see the logic of Daniel Murphy in that slot. That also allows for a 3-4-5 of Beltran, Wright and Delgado.

Batting him eighth is a waste, but what about ninth and swap with the pitcher? The idea would be to bunch the speed of Castillo and Reyes together.

Initially, I thought Tony La Russa was reinventing the wheel when he did it, but there’s sense to it. If the pitcher is an automatic out (that’s the assumption), what difference does it make if it is eighth or ninth?

Mar 18

Clock clicking down on Met issues

With a little less than three weeks before Opening Day, some issues the Mets opened camp with are starting to take focus. Others remain blurred.

Johan Santana, it seems, is on track. My philosophy on injuries is to assume the worst until the player proves otherwise. After a strong 56-pitch outing in a minor league game yesterday, the reports on Santana and his slider are good.

The fifth starter was another issue, and candidates Freddy Garcia (14.40 ERA this spring) and Livan Hernandez (3.72) will work today against the Braves. Garcia, obviously needs a complete turnaround to stay in contention, but coming off injuries, he’s likely to open the season with an extended spring training.

Hernandez has been mostly good, but still hasn’t blown Jerry Manuel away as to where the job is his. And, until he does, there will always be those Pedro Martinez whispers that won’t go away.