Feb 22

Feb. 22.10: Koufax eyeing Perez.

Sandy Koufax is back in camp, taking a special look at Oliver Perez today. There’s something about Koufax. He’s worked with other Mets, and other players, before, and it has translated well. Perhaps it is his demeanor and touch.

Not all great athletes can teach, but Koufax has been able to impart something to others. Well, others have tried with Perez, from Pedro Martinez to Johan Santana, but nothing has stuck. Maybe this time will be different. At least, let’s hope so.

Word is Perez is healthy and in shape after working out at a sports institute in Arizona in the offseason. He’s won 15 games before, so the potential and history is there, but he’s also shown an aptitude for wildness and disaster. Perez is a wild card for the Mets. He does well and the team can be competitive; he does poorly and he can take the Mets down with him.

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.

Feb 03

Feb. 3.10: Reyes talkin’ it up.

Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, who appeared in only 36 games last season, has been running sprints at a Long Island training facility and said he’s ready for spring training. And, SNY was there to record the moment for posterity.

“I’ll be ready in 2010,” Reyes said. “I can do everything I did before on the field … I can’t wait to hit a triple.”

Reyes, however, still needs to test his right calf and torn torn right hamstring tendon with baseball drills on both sides of the ball.

“Last year I came back too quickly,” Reyes said. “Everything is in the past. I don’t want to think about it. Now there is no pain. That’s the key. There is nothing to worry about. Everything’s perfect.”

Jan 14

Jan. 14.10: Beltran undergoes surgery …. out 12 weeks.

BELTRAN: Out 12 weeks.

BELTRAN: Out 12 weeks.

Twelve weeks is roughly the beginning of the start of the season. It will also be the time when Carlos Beltran starts working out. Mid-April at best when he starts to play. The Mets announced late last night Beltran’s knee has gotten worse, he underwent surgery and it will be at least 12 weeks before he assumes baseball duties. Beltran had the surgery in Colorado by his own physician.

The Mets statement read: “Carlos Beltran had worsening of osteoarthritis of the right knee during the offseason. He had not been experiencing pain following the conclusion of the season and into his early offseason conditioning. The symptoms returned to the point where pre-spring training conditioning became too painful. He elected to undergo arthroscopic clean out of the arthritic area of his knee by Beltran‚ÄĚs personal physician Dr. Richard Steadman today in Colorado. He is anticipated to return to baseball activities in 12 weeks.”

The statement did not answer the following questions:

1) If Beltran’s knee was so bad why wasn’t surgery performed earlier?

2) Did Beltran apprise the Mets of his condition? If so, when?

3) If so, why was there a delay in surgery?

4) If Beltran did not inform the Mets of his condition, then why not?

5) Why does this stuff only seem to happen with the Mets?

Beltran suffered a bone bruise last June and was limited to only 81 games.

Believe me, fingers are going to be pointed in the coming days. This is inexcusable. If Beltran’s condition was a deterioration, then it was progressive and something should have been done earlier because somebody should have known. As an injured player, the Mets should at all times be aware of his progress.

This nonsense about “should be ready for spring training,” is nuts to me. They’ve got to examine him on a regular basis, and if Beltran was progressive, he shouldn’t been more diligent in informing his employer about his condition.

Neither Beltran nor the Mets look too sharp in this. So much for all the changes.

NOTE: Please vote in the new poll on who should take the hit for this.

Jan 12

Jan. 12.10: Pineiro market falling.

At one time, Joel Pineiro was seeking three years at $10 million a season. One published report had the Mets in it for $15 million over two years – with an inevitable option – which is far more palatable. Considering Pineiro’s history – don’t forget, he’s only a handful of games over .500 for his career – this is a more realistic starting point.

Meanwhile, Ben Sheets, a reclamation project, is thinking about a one year deal for $12 million, with the Cubs interested. Sheets might turn out all right, but he might not, also, and he’s too big a risk for the Mets.