Jan 02

An honest look at the Mets ….

Even if you look at your glass being half full, it is still half empty. In that regard let’s take a look at the Mets’ questions, position by position:

Starting rotation: Have three quality starters, with one, John Maine coming off surgery. Still need to fill four and five. The fifth could be Jon Niese, who is unproven. That’s two questions out of five slots. They have marked, in order, Derek Lowe, Oliver Perez and Randy Wolf. It would be nice if they could land two, but I’m not betting on it. There’s been little mention of re-signing Pedro Martinez, but that could be a viable option as the fifth starter.

Bullpen: A tremendous job by GM Omar Minaya to land Francisco Rodriguez and J.J. Putz. The back end of the pen is solid. Duaner Sanchez’s health (shoulder) remains a concern, but with Putz, there should be less pressure. Pedro Feliciano is the lone situational lefty. The bullpen is greatly improved. Brian Stokes could be the long man.

Catcher: Sure, you’d like Brian Schneider to hit more, but this is not a weakness.

First base: Carlos Delgado returns, and if he hits as he did from June on, things will be fine. But, there’s always the chance he could hit as he did in 2007 and the beginning of last season. He was brought back in large part because of economics. The Mets are banking on him to continue as he did last year. Because his contract, injury history and running hot and cold the past two seasons, made him impossible to deal, his value to the Mets is in the hope of him staying hot.

Second base: The Mets would love, but won’t be able to, take a buyer for the remaining $18 million over the next three years on Luis Castillo’s contract. His value to the Mets, like Delgado’s, is in the hope of a bouncing back. Orlando Hudson’s name is on some’s wish list, but if Castillo stays, he plays.

Left field: Currently, we’re looking at a Daniel Murphy-Fernando Tatis platoon. Both overachieved last season. Things will be fine if they duplicate last season’s success, but Tatis came out of nowhere and Murphy wasn’t listed as one of the club’s top prospects. Yes, Manny Ramirez is out there, but I prefer Adam Dunn if the Mets are going to open their wallets for a slugger. Ramirez is a headache waiting to happen, although he might be on his best behavior if given a one-year deal. I like Dunn because he can buy time for Fernando Martinez and in 2010 can replace Delgado at first base.

Right field: Ryan Church wasn’t the same player after sustaining a concussion in May. If he plays like he did early last season, the Mets won’t have a problem in right.

Jan 01

The Happiest of New Years ….

Greetings folks …. I hope you woke up this morning after an enjoyable night to a year full of promise. There are two ways to look at things, the glass half full or the glass half empty. Or, if you prefer a baseball analogy: The bullpen is going to hold this lead or the bullpen will blow it.

I’m betting on the pen this year.

Anyway, I wish nothing but the best to you and yours for the new year.

I’m thinking the movies might be the way to go today. I saw Nixon-Frost last week. Excellent. Thinking of Gran Torino with Clint today. Or Bond. It’s been out a month and I haven’t seen it yet.

College football? Hmmm. Not really. Maybe the Rose Bowl.  The title game (such that it is) and Ohio State-Texas are the games that interest me.

Dec 31

Lowe not enough

Even should the Mets sign Derek Lowe, he won’t be enough for their pitching staff. Lowe would put the Mets’ rotation four deep, with a question for No. 5. I like Jon Niese’s potential, but I’m not ready to say with confidence 30 times, “here’s the ball, give me six strong.”

Are you?

With Lowe, I’d still make a run at Randy Wolf. Oliver Perez? Yeah, it would be nice to get him, but I’m thinking the Mets won’t spend that much.

Dec 31

Mets make offer to Lowe ….

The Mets have a three-year, $36-million offer on the table to Derek Lowe, which is considerably less than the five year, $90-million he was seeking.

Lowe has averaged 15 wins and over 200 innings the last seven seasons, which statistically would make him the Mets’ No. 2 pitcher.

His production blows away that of Oliver Perez, who has being 27, left-handed and a blazing fastball in his arsenal.

While Lowe’s career is marked by durability and inconsistency, Perez’s is the opposite.

Agent Scott Boras is throwing out the mystery teams again, saying there are more teams interested now than a week ago.

He doesn’t have to go to the trouble, because in addition to the Mets, there is Boston and Philadelphia.

The Mets rank their pitching priorities as Lowe, Perez and Randy Wolf.