Sep 23

Capuano non-trade underscores Mets’ pitching concerns

That the Mets turned away Boston’s overture for Chris Capuano can only mean he’s in their plans for next year. Sandy Alderson’s string of reasons for why the deal didn’t go through may all ring true, but the Mets looking ahead is the primary explanation.

Capuano pitched well enough this year to warrant an extension, but the Mets’ interest in retaining him suggest the team’s long-standing concerns over its starting pitching.

CAPUANO: Mets want him back.

The 11-12 Capuano is a 57-64 lifetime pitcher with an ERA north of four runs a game. He is what he is, which is a No. 5 quality starter. Capuano, a risk that paid off, is a left hander, which makes him worth the gamble again, especially considering the Mets’ questions in that area.

Johan Santana is recovering from shoulder surgery and  had setbacks. The Mets can’t write him in with ink for next year, and who is to say if he returns he’ll even be close to his former self? As far as Santana is concerned, the Mets can’t bank on anything with him.

Jonathan Niese also pitched well at times this season, but finished on the disabled list with a pulled side muscle and therefore is a concern. This is twice now Niese finished a season on the disabled list with a pulled muscle.

There are no givens with the rest of the rotation, either, with the possible exception of R.A. Dickey, he of the unpredictable pitch. After a slow start, Dickey has closed well.

Mike Pelfrey remains an enigma. He regressed greatly this season to the point where questions are being asked if he’ll ever live up to expectations. Can anybody honestly say they have confidence in Pelfrey, when time after time he has spit the bit?

Then there’s Dillon Gee, who started hot, but hit a rocky stretch. There’s no guarantee he won’t regress like Pelfrey. Other teams have scouts, too, so he’s not surprising anybody anymore.

The Mets have pitching prospects below, but Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey are at least two years away and Jenrry Mejia is coming off Tommy John surgery.

Chris Schwinden will be invited to camp in the spring, but he doesn’t get one salivating.

You can scan the free agent lists all you like, but the Mets won’t spend for a long term deal for a CJ Wilson, Rich Harden or Mark Buehrle. There are the likes of Freddy Garcia and Jason Marquis and a handful of other retreads they’ll scan, but hardly anything you could build around.

The Mets are hardly dealing from a position of strength when it comes to their 2012 rotation, so wanting to bring back Capuano is the obvious thing to do. That is, of course, if they can sign him.

Sep 20

No answers from here on out.

With the Mets out of contention awhile ago, it was hoped September would be the month where some 2012 answers could be found. It has not turned out that way.

GEE: Rocky finish to a good year.

Only .500 remains, but the Mets must run the table for that to occur, and that would mean nine straight against Cardinals, Phillies and Reds. They couldn’t win nine straight against their own minor league system.

The one slot where it was hoped could be definitive was the closer role, but Bobby Parnell has spit the bit. He’ll get another chance in spring training, that is, unless the Mets sign a qualified, veteran closer, but that would require some spending. That’s not going to happen, either.

Ruben Tejada has played well, but not well enough to see if he will be able to assume Jose Reyes’ role. We might never know that answer.

The only comfort I see has been Lucas Duda in right. So far, he’s fielded the position cleanly, but we need a full year at the plate and in the field to see for sure. And, there are usually hills and valleys in the first year as a starter.

I like how R. A. Dickey is finishing, and Chris Capuano and Dillon Gee pitched well enough this year to warrant a chance in next year’s rotation. Gee, however, is struggling, with his ERA jumping nearly a run a game over his last ten starts.

There’s too many unanswered questions Sandy Alderson must spend the winter trying to answer. There are holes in the rotation that can’t be masked by a thin bullpen. There’s a lack of power from David Wright and Jason Bay. Angel Pagan has regressed. There’s nothing that suggests Johan Santana will make it back.

There’s also no indication the Mets will be a heavy player to retain Reyes.

 

 

 

Sep 08

Wet forecast for today’s doubleheader vs. Braves.

Rookie Chris Schwinden and Dillon Gee start for the Mets in their single-admission doubleheader today at Citi Field against Atlanta. In the words of every announcer I’ve ever heard when the crowd is expected to be sparse, “there are plenty of seats available, so stop in if you’re around.’’

But, who wants to go out today?

The doubleheader is for the pair of games washed away by Hurricane Irene, and the weather will also be wet and nasty today.

One of the bright spots of this season is that the Mets aren’t playing out the string. Eight games below .500 recently, they begin the day one under, beyond most expectations coming out of spring spring training.

Several things are will be worth watching this weekend, beginning with Jose Reyes’ pursuit of the Mets’ first batting title. Bobby Parnell is competing for the closer role, but will share opportunities with Manny Acosta and Jason Isringhausen. And, Nick Evans is seeking to make an impression for a bench spot next year.

 

Aug 30

Greetings …. hope you’re all safe.

Hello all. I hope you and your families are safe after the weekend. Coming to you from an Apple Store, where I can briefly log on to the Internet to post this. Joe D. from Metsmerized will be posting on my blog. I’m in Connecticut and still don’t have power, phone or Internet.

I have to go to my car to power up my phone. Other than that, it is like being on Gilligan’s Island. Only there’s no Ginger or Mary Ann.

It was good to hear the Mets swept a doubleheader. They’ve won four straight, which isn’t hard to imagine considering their starter’s ERA in that span is 1.25. When this team pitches, it wins, which is par for everybody else, too.

However, their pitching remains spotty. Nobody knows from start to start what Mike Pelfrey will do. RA Dickey seems to have righted himself, but Jon Niese hit a slide. Maybe he’s shaken it, but we need to see it three, four times in a row.

I think Chris Capuano has been terrific in spots and is worthy of being brought back, especially since he’s a lefty. Dillon Gee is coming off a good start after a spotty month. Growing pains for him, but overall, I like what he’s done. He deserves a spot in the 2012 rotation.

I’m starting to look ahead to 2012, and I see questions in the rotation, the bullpen, at second, at shortstop assuming Jose Reyes leaves, right field and possibly center and left. I’m betting Angel Pagan and Jason Bay both stay, although unloading Bay’s contract would be an huge coup on Sandy Alderson’s part. Of course, not holding my breath.

In the interim, I would like to see .500 because it is a sign of progress. With three games left this week against Florida, Washington over the weekend and Florida again next week, it is possible. Being .500 can give an energy boost to a team that has struggled the last four seasons such as the Mets.

It is a sign of progress and development. Sure beats the past couple of years.

Have to run because the Apple people are looking at me kind of strange. Until I can log on again, all my best to you. There will be some kind of activity on my blog, so please check in. Best, JD

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 30

Mets Sweep The Fish 2-1, 5-1

New York Mets Catcher Mike Nickeas (13) Congratulates

GAME ONE: Mets 2, Marlins 1

Game Summary

Nice start by Dickey with seven shutout innings. Duda and Evans combine for five hits, and the Mets score two just enough to win 2-1 in the first game of the double-header.

Game Notes

RA Dickey pitched another gem today. With a weekend full of rain and no Mets baseball, it was nice to get a win off the bat, and good to see it didn’t affect the pitchers at all. Seven shutout innings for RA with seven hits, one walk, six Ks. He’s now 6-11 with a 3.57 ERA, but he’s better than what his numbers show right now. Definitely a nice pitcher to have in the rotation. Also, being able to throw 100+ pitches each outing without tiring is nice too.

Izzy pitched a hitless inning in relief, striking the side out in order. Parnell still yet to have a comfortable outing as the closer pitched an inning of work with one hit, a homerun, to give up the only Marlins run. Parnell got one K and his second save of the season.

Not much offense being a 2-1 win and all, but Evans and Duda combine for five hits and two runs. Turner and Thole were the RBIs.

Bay is 2-for his last-40. Yikes.

Game Ball

RA Dickey with a nice scoreless outing.

GAME TWO: Mets 5, Marlins 1

Game Summary

Dillon Gee continues on the nice starting pitching for the Mets, with one run in six innings. Bullpen holds up, and the offense delivered. Mets sweep the double header and get on a four game win streak with a 5-1 win.

Game Notes

Dillon Gee continues on the nice starting pitching for the Mets. After Dickey’s nice start in the first game, Gee put out a nice outing himself. Six innings, six hits, one run, two walks, and two strikeouts. 101 pitches thrown. Twelve wins for the rookie. Nice.

Beato and Acosta combine for two innings in relief. One walk, one K for Beato, three Ks for Acosta.

Parnell pitched the ninth inning with one hit, and one K.

Game two Mets offense did a little better, with five runs on eleven hits.

Jose Reyes returned from the DL in the second game and went 1-4 with a run scored. Welcome back, Reyes!

Wright went 2-4, with a double and two RBIs.

Nick Evans had two more hits in the second game, four in the day, with a run scored.

Game Ball

Dillon Gee with a nice start and gets his 12th win.

Up Next

Mike Pelfrey and Javier Vazquez face-off again on Tuesday night at 7:10 PM as they continue their 5-game series.

Special Note: John is still without power due to the hurricane and is not expected to have his electricity restored until the end of this week. I will try to post game coverage for him until he returns.