Feb 12

Feb. 12.10: Trying to be positive.

I know, I know, some of you will think that’s impossible, or that you’ve stumbled on to a different blog. But, today, on the heels of Bill James’ prediction of the Mets’ rotation, I’ll be trying to come up with some reasons to think positive about Mike Pelfrey, John Maine, and yes, even Oliver Perez.

PELFREY: A 2010 key.

PELFREY: A 2010 key.


The inspiration comes after reading where James predicted the following seasons for Pelfrey (9-12, 4.45 ERA), Perez (8-11, 4.73) and Maine (9-9, 3.86 ERA). If James is close on the three, I don’t have to tell you what kind of season the Mets will have.

PELFREY: Pelfrey, despite taking a step back, went 10-12 with a 5.03 ERA in 31 starts. Pelfrey is only 26, young enough to believe there’s room for growth. Pelfrey made strides in 2008 and showed several glimpses of that form last year. With 31 starts, he’s proven to be durable. There’s reason to be hopeful about him. It would be premature to bail on him now.

PEREZ: Perez was hurt last season and went 3-4 with a 6.82 ERA in 14 starts. Perez has always run hot-and-cold, but his inconsistency last season was created in large part to the World Baseball Classic in spring training. There’s none of that this year. Perez worked out this winter at the Athletes Performance Institute in Arizona, and all the reports have been positive. Perez did win 15 games in 2007, so it’s not like we haven’t seen an upside from him.

MAINE: Like Perez, Maine won 15 games in 2007, his last full healthy season. Coming off surgery, Maine was 7-6 with a 4.43 ERA in 15 starts. The health reports have been good so far on Maine, and if he duplicates last season, projected over a full season he’d win 14 or 15 games. Who wouldn’t take that now?

Yes, I know James’ predictions are possible, but for now try to envision all the issues coming up positive for the Mets. If it all breaks right, you never know.

Jan 27

Jan. 27.10: What would change?

Maybe this will be the summer in which the Mets fire Omar Minaya. It also might be the summer in which they get it all together.

Care to guess which one has a greater chance of happening?

MINAYA: Just how much power does he have?

MINAYA: Just how much power does he have?


At the end of last summer’s disaster, Mets COO Jeff Wilpon and Minaya said there would be trades and free-agent signings. Nothing has happened between then and now to indicate there will be a real change – and, spare me Jason Bay.

It’s known throughout the industry that the Mets just don’t do it the way the model clubs do – and that includes the Yankees and Phillies. There is no definable budget, or at least one that can be easily recognized. And, there was no real setting of priorities.

How else can you explain the setting the goal as pitching at the end of the season, and yet having your key offseason move be a hitter who really had nowhere else to go?

It was reported Joel Pineiro and Jason Marquis set the Mets as their priorities, but the Mets did not respond. No, neither is John Lackey, but either would have made the Mets’ rotation better and deeper than it is today.

The Met were more content to look at last season as an injury-plagued fluke, and ignored such factors as not improving their pitching depth in the 2008 offseason or building their long-criticized farm system as to provide replacements when a starter went down.

OK, the Mets have Bay, but with no other real bidders they coughed up a fifth-year option. … They got into a spitting match with Carlos Beltran, their best player, over surgery, which should have been avoided with surgery in November. … There were no decisive changes in their coaching staff. … And, their pitching remains the same.

Randy Wolf, Pineiro and Ben Sheets all went elsewhere for salaries that didn’t break anybody’s bank. The Mets by the way, had an ERA of just under five a game.

Minaya has made his share of mistakes, beginning with the Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez contracts, but truth be told, ownership signs off on those type of deals. They weren’t done without Wilpon’s blessing.

So, a miserable start – and with that pitching, who doubts that could happen? – could mean the sacking of Minaya. But, that won’t change anything because they are the same old Mets.

Nov 19

NL Cy Young today ….

LINCECUM: My Cy Young Award pick.

LINCECUM: My Cy Young Award pick.

Chris Carpenter, Tim Lincecum and Adam Wainwright. What’s not to like about any of them. Their presence gives their team almost a 70 percent chance of winning on any night.

But, if I could only take one, I’d go with the Giants’ Lincecum. He’d get my Cy Young Award vote today and could walk away with his second straight award.

Carpenter (17-4) led the league in ERA (2.24) and WHIP (1.01). His St. Louis teammate, Wainwright (19-8, 2.63) wins and innings pitched (233) and was fourth in ERA, strikeouts and win percentage.

Lincecum (15-7), however, was consistently dominant, leading the league in strikeouts (261), batting average against (.206) and was second in ERA (2.48) and WHIP (1.05). He only won four less games than Wainwright and two than Carpenter, I wonder how it would have been different if Lincecum had the run support of his Cardinal competition. Lincecum was given 5.83 runs to work with – a wash when compared to Carpenter’s 5.84. Wainwright, however, was given 7.07 runs a game.

While W-L record is a factor, I think Lincecum was superior in more areas than the other two.

Nov 16

Rookie of the Year candidates ….

The National League and American Rookie of the Year Awards will be named shortly. It hasn’t been a busy day in Mets history as they’ve only had four winners: Tom Seaver (1967), Jon Matlack (1972), Darryl Strawberry (1983) and Doc Gooden (1984).

COGHLAN: NL Rookie favorite.

COGHLAN: NL Rookie favorite.


The award is just a reminder of how dry the Mets farm system has been. Barring injury, the only farm products the Mets know will be in their 2010 starting lineup is David Wright and Jose Reyes (the latter is coming off surgery).

Further rubbing it in, is that two of the three finalists, and the likely winner, will come within the NL East, that being Florida outfielder Chris Coghlan and Atlanta pitcher Tommy Hanson.

Coghlan, the favorite, led major league rookies in batting, on-base percentage, hits and doubles. He was sixth in the NL in hitting at .321. If Coghlan wins, he will be the Marlins third Rookie of the Year in the last six years, joining Dontrelle Willis (2003) and Hanley Ramirez (2006).
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Aug 09

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #111; Sliding away.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

For those saying it was impossible to judge Bobby Parnell last are missing the point. He pitched long enough, and well enough – run wise, at least – to warrant another start and continue the research as to his ability to start next year. That’s what this is all about.

He didn’t flunk, and he’ll get the ball away. With the season sliding away, that’s the best the best can hope for at this juncture.

“I felt good at the end and still had stuff in the tank,” said Parnell, who threw 68 pitches and could get another 20 in his next start.

Parnell’s nerves were exposed in a 29-pitch first-inning in which he walked two and gave up a run.

The Mets (51-59) conclude their series with the Padres today with Johan Santana (12-8, 3.10 ERA) going against Tim Stauffer (1-3, 3.12 ERA).

Here’s the line-up:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Omir Santos, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Johan Santana, LP

NOTEBOOK: Lefthanded reliever Billy Wagner pitched a scoreless inning Saturday for Single-A St. Lucie and hasn’t given up a run in four innings over four minor-league rehab games. The Mets hope to get him back by Aug. 21, and work him a couple of times to show him off enough to work a waiver deal. Lefty relievers are valuable in a pennant race and a healthy Wagner might get them something. … Francisco Rodriguez is not on his game with an ERA just under eight since Luis Castillo dropped the pop up in the Yankee game.