Sep 09

What’s wrong with Wright?

Sorry for getting out of the blocks late today. There was a job lead I needed to follow-up on and several phone calls that needed to me made. I was under consideration to cover Alabama football, but that didn’t pan out. Would have been interesting.

I’m working on several projects, one of which is ghost writing a book on martial arts. Very interesting subject. Once it is done, I’ll post where you can get a copy.

Anyway, I wanted to thank you guys again for last night’s blog. It is what I envisioned when I kept the blog going. It should be like a group of friends getting together at my house or a sports bar (better make it the bar, because I don’t want to pick up) with plenty of lively, challenging conversation. It was clean and civil. Some good-natured pokes, but isn’t that the way it should be when you’re with friends?

Most beat writer blogs are simply glorified message boards and chat rooms. Not much serious give-and-take. Intelligent conversation. Good job.

Thanks again.

WRIGHT: We miss that home run stroke.

WRIGHT: We miss that home run stroke.


i did want to talk about David Wright this morning. An absolutely horrible game last night. It’s OK, everybody has them. Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays had horrible games, too. There was one error, but should have been two. A DP and a K with RISP. Wright gets a hit in one of those two spots and maybe the Mets win the game.

Wright is second behind Gary Sheffield (10) with eight homers. Daniel Murphy, Fernando Tatis, Carlos Beltran and Jeff Francoeur could all hit more homers than Wright this year. There are other ways to win besides home runs, but the Mets aren’t doing any of them. If they played consistent, fundamental baseball and kept the line moving, advanced runners, and hit when the situation declares it, their lack of power could be tolerated.

But, they don’t, and they make too many mistakes defensively, and walk far too many hitters, that dig them into holes. Power is the great eraser, but the Mets don’t have the power to erase the kind of mistakes they are making on a consistent basis.

Wright has done something with his stance and is just not driving the ball as he used to. I don’t care if he hits .320 as long as there is some run production, but there is not.

There is NOT ONE explanation for what has happened to Wright. The altercation of his stance is a contributing factor, and he obviously doesn’t feel as if he could adjust without getting into a funk. That happens. There is the added pressure of being the only one of the core playing for much of the season, and that has taken a toll. There is also the perception of Citi Field not being a hitter friendly park, but that has changed as the season wore on. Plenty of home runs are being hit, just not by the Mets.

WRIGHT: Needs hitting overhaul.

WRIGHT: Needs hitting overhaul.


Yes, lack of protection in the batting order plays a part, but then again, Albert Pujols and Barry Bonds, went seasons without serious back-up and look at their numbers. In all fairness, Pujols and Bonds are elite players above Wright’s level.

Wright has run either hot and cold all season. His average is good, but there needs to be more RBI next to it, even without the homers. Some of that could be attributed to those hitting in front of him, but remember, Luis Castillo has had a good season.

Most perplexing to me about Wright has been the strikeouts. He has 115 already and is on a pace for 138 (a little over 24 percent of his at-bats). Conversely, he’s on a pace for 79 walks. He’s also on pace for career lows in homers (10) and RBI (71), yet, his .406 on-base percentage would be the second highest of his career.

Wright’s power out age might have been more acceptable had Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado stayed healthy. Nonetheless, Wright has established himself as a power run-producer. We can write this season off as a bad one, but he’ll get no such slack next season.

Wright is the face of this franchise, like it or not, and his job description is to hit for more power. Whether we blame Wright for being stubborn or hitting coach Howard Johnson is immaterial. Wright needs to make an overhaul of his stance and mechanics this winter and return to being a run producer. That’s his job.

Sep 08

Beltran ready tonight.

Carlos Beltran will be activated from the disabled list for tonight’s game against Florida. Beltran’s availability does nothing for the Mets for the remaining of the season in the standings, but is for his own peace of mind.

BELTRAN: Spring training was a long time ago.

BELTRAN: Spring training was a long time ago.


As much as I advocated shutting him down, if that does him some good in his preparation for 2010, then it is a good thing. A player’s psyche can be delicate, even for a player as gifted and experienced as Beltran. If he believes getting out there will alleviate the wondering this winter, then go for it.

By the numbers: The Mets were 35–33 with Beltran and 27-42 since going on the disabled list in late June.

Said Beltran: “I’ve been working to come back, so that’s my ultimate goal. I feel like I can come back and play. I’m ready.”

Sep 06

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #137; Will we get the good Pelfrey today?

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The enigma known as Mike Pelfrey will face the Chicago Cubs this afternoon in an attempt to avoid his third straight loss. At 9-10 with a 5.03 ERA – dare I say it? – Pelfrey has been no better than Oliver Perez in what was supposed to be a breakout year for him as the No. 2 starter.

Showing poise absent earlier in his career, and a better command of his secondary pitches, Pelfrey won 13 games last season. He might equal that this year, but it would be with a struggle because there’s been little consistency in his game despite his fastball.

PELFREY: Coin Flip II

PELFREY: Coin Flip II


“I would say when you see his stuff you still get excited, but there has to come a time of maturation or development where there has to be some consistently,” manager Jerry Manuel said. “We’re just not getting that from him. He is a product of being inconsistent. The inconsistently is a concern, the stuff is not. We feel very confident that what he has is good enough to compete, but we need to see it on a more consistent basis, and we’re not seeing that.”

Pelfrey is 5-3 with a 3.80 ERA in 14 home starts this season to give the Mets a sense of confidence this afternoon, but he’s been miserable since the All-Star break at 2-6 with a 6.10 ERA in nine starts. That includes giving up seven runs in four innings last Tuesday at Colorado.

The Mets have lost 10 of their last 14 games, and finishing .500 is not even a realistic possibility, even with the news they might get Carlos Beltran and John Maine back this season. Beltran could be ready for the Marlins series Tuesday at Citi Field and Maine, who pitched well in a rehab start yesterday at Port St. Lucie, could pitch Sunday in Philadelphia.

MAINE: Pitching for his future.

MAINE: Pitching for his future.


Maine needs to show something to be counted into the Mets’ plans for next season. If he busts out then exists the chance they might not tender him a contract for next year.

NOTEBOOK: Manuel said he doesn’t expect Gary Sheffield (back spasms) to return this season. … Cory Sullivan has homered in both games of this series. … Luis Castillo has four hits in the series.

Here’s the line-up for today’s game:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Brian Schneider, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Mike Pelfrey, RP

Sep 04

Beltran doing well; wants to play.

Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran reported no setbacks in his second minor league rehab game Thursday night at Brooklyn.

Beltran fielded three balls and went 0-for-2 with a walk.

BELTRAN: Wants to play this season.

BELTRAN: Wants to play this season.


Beltran, on the disabled list with a bruised right knee, hopes to return this season, even though his presence will do nothing to help the Mets in the standings.

“I feel good,’’ Beltran said. “I didn’t feel anything. It was just good to be out there.

“It’s been a long time that I wasn’t able to play in the outfield. So today was a very good day for me. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, see how I wake up tomorrow. I probably will feel a little bit sore – not my knee, my body.’’

Beltran anticipates playing the remaining three games in Brooklyn’s season, then it is possible he’ll rejoin the Mets.

Beltran is pleased because he’s not favoring the knee.

“I don’t have urgency,’’ Beltran said. “I just want to be back. I’m just doing everything I have to do to rehab myself and be with the team. I just love to play baseball. If I’m good to play, then I’ll be there.’’

The only reason for Beltran to play again this season is if he feels it for his own peace of mind. It’s a long time between now and spring training.

Sep 02

METS NOTEBOOK/LINE-UP: Beltran update.

* Center fielder Carlos Beltran will begin a minor league rehab assignment tonight at Brooklyn. His bone bruise is healing and the team said he could return next week at home against the Marlins or for the weekend series at Philadelphia.

BELTRAN: At Brooklyn tonight.

BELTRAN: At Brooklyn tonight.


A lot of people have written Beltran off for this season, but we’ll see. Things have changed before.

* One person we’ll definitely not see this year is John Maine, who threw in a simulated game yesterday at Port St. Lucie. He’s scheduled to pitch in a minor league rehab game Saturday.

Personally, I’m not counting on anything from Maine anymore. I believe the Mets should go into the off-season thinking he’s not in their plans. If he comes back that’s a bonus, but they should by-pass the opportunity to get somebody else in the hope Maine will return.

* David Wright took a lot of ribbing for his oversized helmet, but said he’ll keep wearing it. Wright returned from the DL Monday. Wright is not in the line-up tonight as manager Jerry Manuel said he wants to rest him to see how he responded to playing again. No qualms with that decision.

Here’s tonight’s line-up vs. Rockies:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Brian Schneider, C
Wilson Valdez, SS
Tim Redding, RP