Oct 13

Arizona Fall League begins today ….

Fall League opens for Mets youth

Fall League opens for Mets youth

Much of the prizes in what is known as the Mets’ barren minor league cupboard will start playing in the Arizona Fall League today and runs through Nov. 13.

Those Mets participating include:

RHP Jenrry Mejia: Here’s the Mets’ best pitching prospect, the one teams first ask for when calling the Mets about trades. He can bring it, but the Mets want him to develop his curveball. Like with Mike Pelfrey, developing a secondary pitch is essential.

RHP Scott Moviel: Moviel is going as he missed most of the first half of the season with an injury. At 21, he’s still young enough to fit into the prospect category, but progress needs to be made. He gave up 61 hits and walked 24 in 64 1/3 innings, not a good ratio.

LHP Eric Niesen: Niesen finished his season at Class AA Binghamton by going 3-1 with a 2.40 ERA. Assuming Jon Niese will be either with the Mets or not ready, he should be Class AAA Buffalo’s projected No. 1.

RHP Josh Stinson: This guy can throw, with 35 strikeouts in 36 1/3 innings for St. Lucie and 49 punch outs in 42 1/3 innings for Savannah. He’s still years away.

2B Reese Havens: The hope is Havens will be ready to step in at second when Luis Castillo goes in two years.

1B Ike Davis: He’s the Mets’ best hitting prospect, perhaps even better than Fernando Martinez. He definitely is a greater power threat. The assumption is he’ll step in at Class AAA Buffalo and be ready to move in after next season. That’s why there shouldn’t be such a rush to sign a name player to replace Daniel Murphy.

SS Ruben Tejada: He’s the best interior infield prospect in the minor leagues, but not ready for prime time. He’ll land at Class AAA Buffalo. It would be a push to think he’d be ready if Jose Reyes isn’t healthy.

LF Lucas Duda: Duda has power, but a problem against left-handed pitching. He’s also 23, an age where he should be a lot higher on the ladder.

Oct 03

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #161; Looking at Maine, Misch tries to impress.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

When it comes to what John Maine did last night, I have to keep telling myself, “it was only one game.’’

Yes it was, but Maine’s starts have been getting progressively better in terms of pitch count and effectiveness. Last night, he gave up one run on five hits in seven innings. Most importantly, no walks. As in zero.

Maine squeezed in those seven innings with 106 pitches. Usually with Maine, if the throws that many pitches it is over five innings.

Maine attributed the success with his slider to a new grip, which again reinforces it was good for him to come back this month.

There will be games when his slider doesn’t have movement or bite, but hopefully he’s been able to come up with a way to get out of those funks. A pitcher only learns that by pitching.

MAINE: Ends season on a positive note.

MAINE: Ends season on a positive note.


“I was just trying to pitch to contact a little more,’’ Maine said. “Walks always hurt me, I’d always give up a lot of walks, and that’s how they end up scoring. This start I just had a better slider, and that always makes your fastball better.’’

Maine’s start doesn’t answer all the Mets’ pitching questions, but it does offer encouragement.

The Mets (68-92) hope for another dose of positive this afternoon from left-hander Pat Misch (2-4, 4.71 ERA) who is coming off a complete-game victory over the Marlins last Sunday.

Misch has pitched well at times in his month-long audition for the No. 5 slot in the rotation next year. So has Tim Redding, but he could be more suited for the long-man role.

Here’s today’s batting order vs. Yorman Bazardo (1-2, 8.23 ERA):

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Josh Thole, C
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Pat Misch, LP

David Wright isn’t hurt, so I don’t understand the need to give him a day off the day before the season finale. He had a good game last night, so why not keep it going?

I don’t like how manager Jerry Manuel has handled his line-up the last month. September was supposed to be about learning for next year.

Wright has had a miserable month for the most part, but is coming out of it. Too late, of course, but he’s hit well the past week.

I don’t like how Nick Evans has wasted away on the bench. He’s been rushed, but this month was a way to get him some consistent at-bats. Instead, Tatis and Pagan have gotten considerably more time. We don’t even know if Tatis will be with the Mets next year. It is so much more important to learn about Evans.

I’m also not crazy about the batting order. Can we please find a spot for Daniel Murphy and leave him there? Murphy has hit from second to seventh, but he’s never in one spot long enough to get comfortable. And, please spare me the injuries excuse. The juggling is unsettling for a young player.

The juggling also shows a lack of consistency from the manager. There are times to juggle, but not every day.

Oct 01

They Said It ….

Rodriguez stands up.

Rodriguez stands up.

Mets reliever Francisco Rodriguez has thrown a few of his teammates under the bus this season after a blown save opportunity, notably Daniel Murphy.

Yesterday afternoon, Rodriguez gave up five runs in the ninth inning, including a game-winning grand slam to Justin Maxwell. Rodriguez hasn’t had too many save opportunities this month, but refused to accept rust as the easy way out.

“No, if I suck I suck, I don’t make excuses,’’ Rodriguez said. “To all those fans out there watching that poor effort today, I apologize. I’m really embarrassed. I just have to suck it up and keep working hard and make sure that doesn’t happen again.’’

Oct 01

About Yesterday …. Rodriguez blows save.

The Mets have had several horrific defeats this season, with yesterday’s loss at Washington taking its place among them.

The Nationals sent seven batters to the plate in the ninth against Francisco Rodriguez, and with five of them scoring. Rodriguez walked in one run then gave up a game-winning grand slam to Justin Maxwell.

Yesterday drops into the category with the Luis Castillo pop-up game, Daniel Murphy’s dropped fly in Florida, blowing a five-run lead to Pittsburgh and Ryan Church’s failure to touch third. Those were more serious because the Mets were alive then. Now they are dead, but yesterday was a complete tank job.

The loss wasted another strong outing by Tim Redding, who continued this bid for fifth starter consideration next spring by giving up one run on four hits in six innings.

The Mets are 3–0 in Redding’s last three starts, He has a 2.84 ERA in that span and a 3.23 ERA in six starts this September.

Sep 26

Delgado leaves team ….

Carlos Delgado has scrapped hopes of returning this season and returned home to Puerto Rico. He obviously doesn’t want to be around this teammates for the concluding days of this lost season, and most likely said good-bye for the last time.

My feeling it the Mets won’t bring back the injury prone Delgado for one more season, believing Daniel Murphy has shown enough to be entrusted with first base for 2010.

It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Delgado signs with somebody and hits 30 homers next year. It also wouldn’t surprise me if he had a year like 2007 and the first half of 2008 when there were rumblings he should be traded or released.

Delgado is at the point of his career where you can’t realistically rely on him to remain healthy, and if he is, to produce the 30 homers and 100 RBI he generally has over the past decade.

Will Murphy be able to produce healthy Delgado-like numbers? Probably not right away, and maybe not ever, because Delgado was a special player. However, when the Mets can’t expect Delgado-like numbers from Delgado, it is time to cut ties and go younger.