Apr 10

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #4; Maine vs. Marlins.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The Mets are in Miami tonight to face the Marlins, the team that eliminated them from playoff contention in the season’s final game in each of the last two years.

The 3-0 Marlins are for real and have loftier goals than being a spoiler this year. The 2-1 Mets will go with John Maine, who will make his first start since surgery to remove a bone spur from his throwing shoulder last August. Maine was 10-8 with a 4.18 ERA in 25 starts last season, and is 3-1 with a 2.75 ERA in six starts against the Marlins.

We can draw a couple of conclusions from the series in Cincinnati, beginning with the Mets’ starting pitching is an issue. To think the Marlins can’t handle Maine and Livan Hernandez tomorrow is absurd.

Apr 08

Are you concerned about Pelfrey?

Mike Pelfrey isn’t concerned about Mike Pelfrey, which is the most important thing. Early in their careers, when some pitchers reach a high in innings pitched, they hit a wall. Sometimes, it’s injury related. Other times performance driven.

Pelfrey doesn’t want to hear about injuries, especially the little, nagging kind. In that regard, I’ll take him at his word and expect him to pitch well tonight at Cincinnati.

Pelfrey is the Mets’ No. 2 starter, but by default. If John Maine and Oliver Perez were pitching to expectations, Pelfrey would be the No. 4 starter. Because Maine and Perez have issues, I don’t like the idea of throwing them back-to-back because of the potential toll on the bullpen.

I’ll have a Mets Chat Room tonight at 7:00 p.m., for Game #2, Mets at Reds. Hope you’ll join me.

Apr 06

Mets Chat Room: Opening Day

With apologies to some Christmas songs, maybe Opening Day is the best time of the year. There’s the feeling of hope and dreams. There’s something special and fresh about Opening Day.

My favorite Opening Day was when my father took my brother and I out of school to see Opening Day in Cleveland against Baltimore. School wasn’t crazy about the reason but he took us out anyway.

Nasty weather in Cincinnati, but the feeling is they’ll play.

Here’s the Mets’ batting order:

SS Jose Reyes
LF Daniel Murphy
3B David Wright
1B Carlos Delgado
CF Carlos Beltran
RF Ryan Church
C Brian Schneider
2B Luis Castillo
LH Johan Santana

Mar 31

Counting the days ….

This has arguably been the longest spring of my life. I can’t wait much longer for the season to begin. With a handful of days remaining before Opening Day in Cincinnati, the Mets remain a team with a handful of issues.

The first being pitching.

Mike Pelfrey, John Maine and Oliver Perez haven’t had the kind of seamless spring that inspires unbridled confidence. You can find something physical or mental about each that makes you wonder. Can you say there aren’t any concerns about any of them?

I like the make up of the bullpen, although a second lefty would be nice. I think they’ll keep O’Day.

I’m not worried about the catching. Brian Schneider is what he is. He’s never going to put up great numbers, but as long as he handles the staff that’s the main thing.

My belief is the most important position player as far as the offensive make-up is concerned is Carlos Delgado. He’s had a good spring so far, but we still don’t know who’ll we’ll get: Last year’s first-half or the second-half. If it’s the second half, there aren’t many worries about the offense.

Second base? Luis Castillo played well this spring. Answered a lot of questions. Here’s one more: How long can he keep it up, and where will he hit in the line-up. I’m still of the belief Castillo is at his best hitting second.

Left fielder Daniel Murphy remains impressive, but let’s remember his total body of work is small. Will he consistently hit left-handers. By the way, that’s the same question in right field with Ryan Church.

This is a good team, but these are all important and legit questions. Delgado and the pitching being the most pressing.

Mar 04

Santana figures to miss opener

When you do the math, if Johan Santana makes his first spring training start March 18, he’ll be in line to make his regular season debut April 11 at Miami.

That works out better, skipping frosty Cincinnati for Florida after five spring training appearances.

Nobody seems all that concerned. Newsday’s Dave Lennon suggested Jerry Manuel won’t watch Santana work in the bullpen today as to downplay the situation.

Interesting point, and one that makes some sense.

However, what it doesn’t do is make Santana’s elbow feel any better.

Said Manuel: “I haven’t even discussed Johan. I’m not real concerned with Johan at this point, as far as what he’s doing, as far as sides, those types of things. I’m just glad to see him every day.’’