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.

Apr 23

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #15; Can somebody please go seven?

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Sooner or later, it won’t be early anymore. Baseball seasons tend to get old quickly, like your old college roommate after at the reunion.

Damn, he was young and spry and had hair. He’s gotten so old.

Pitching tends to age even the best teams having pennant aspirations. The Mets are now Johan Santana and pocket change, with any of the four capable of going either way. That’s right, the rest of the rotation has morphed into Oliver Perez. Good one night; bad the next.

We have a pop group: Johan and the Four Coin Flips.

HERNANDEZ: Mets need him to go long.

HERNANDEZ: Mets need him to go long.


Can you honestly say you know Livan Hernandez will pitch lights out this afternoon? Nope. You count on five and hope he doesn’t implode the third time through the lineup.

John Maine? Well, he started out on the rocks last night and settled down late. By that time, the Mets’ listless offense had called it a night. Coming off shoulder surgery, Maine isn’t right and there’s no timetable that says he’ll be a 15-game winner again.

Mike Pelfrey? He’s been sandpaper smooth so far, and now he’ll try it again this weekend. He has facing the Washington Nationals going for him.

Yes, the Mets addressed their bullpen, but did precious little to shore up their starters, who barely got five these days save Santana.

The keys to the collapses the last two years have been the bullpen, specifically, over work of the pen. The Mets are already averaging 3.2 innings per game, which would be 514.2 innings on the season.

We’ll see how that 2.06 bullpen ERA stands up with that workload.

Somewhere down the road – three months at the trade deadline – the Mets might be confronted with some hard choices if they are to pick up a viable arm. That might mean losing Jon Niese or Daniel Murphy or F-Mart. It might mean losing two. It could mean all three if somebody like Jake Peavy or Roy Halladay are on the other end.

I was on a radio talk show last night in St. Louis and was asked if the Mets were good enough to win the World Series. Even with their dismal production with runners in scoring position they are if their pitching improves.

If it doesn’t, well, then it’s another long winter.

Mar 26

WBC set back Perez

PEREZ: Where is this pitch going?

PEREZ: Where is this pitch going?

It’s all well and good that Johan Santana took the time to counsel Oliver Perez after yesterday’s torching. What’s not all well and good is the need for him to do so: Perez had another devilish outing, giving up six runs on six hits with six walks in 4 1/3 innings.

“I am concerned because I don’t see arm strength,’’ pitching coach Dan Warthen said, who, for one, thinks Perez fell behind because of the WBC, where his ERA was 9.45 in two starts.

“I was a little bit reticent when he left [for the Classic], and my worries have come to fruition,’’ Warthen told reporters.

Warthen said Perez put on some weight and doesn’t have the arm strength he needs this late in camp; manager Jerry Manuel said Perez lacks command and velocity.

The Mets were one of the biggest proponents of the WBC, but there’s a difference between pitchers and position players when it comes to getting ready for the season.

Considering how long Perez stayed on the market, and after signing a below-than-what-he-expected three-year, $36 million contract, one would have thought he would have done everything he could to stay in shape and prove his doubters wrong.

Mar 03

Garcia hammered again ….

It’s clear after his first two starts Freddy Garcia doesn’t have it. There’s nothing on his fastball. Four more runs today and has an ERA of 20.25.

They say stats don’t matter in spring training, but they do when you’re trying to hang on to your career. Eight runs on five hits and four walks in 2 2/3 innings shows no glimmer of hope.