Apr 13

Mets-Rockies lineup for April 13

We’re still on for tonight with the Mets and Rockies. Jon Niese gets the ball for the Mets, who have lost five of their last six games.

Here’s the line-up:

Jose Reyes, SS

Daniel Murphy, 2B

David Wright, 3B

Carlos Beltran, RF

Ike Davis, 1B

Angel Pagan, CF

Willie Harris, LF

Josh Thole, C

Jon Niese, LP

COMMENT: Not surprising to see Murphy back at second, even though Terry Collins said it isn’t a platoon with Brad Emaus. Murphy adds some offense and made a good play defensively. … No surprises otherwise in the order.

NOTES: Chris Young has biceps tendinitis, so his start will be pushed back to Sunday in Atlanta. … The Mets will need a spot starter to replace Young Friday. It could be D.J. Carrasco. Since Dillon Gee pitched Tuesday for Buffalo, that eliminates him. … Blaine Boyer cleared waivers and will become a free agent.


Apr 07

Pelfrey, Niese ripped in consecutive starts.

While it’s not too early to analyze, it is premature to draw any definitive conclusions about Mike Pelfrey after two horrid starts. Both times he failed to get out of the fifth, and last night he gave up seven runs in two innings.

Every year he strings together several stinkers. It just happens that he’s had two to start the season after a poor spring training. What beat Pelfrey last night was beat him last season, which was losing focus and getting away from his fastball.

Still, I believe he’s made progress and will snap out of it and get into the kind of groove that last season made him one of the premier starters in the first half. A strong start yesterday would have given the Mets two series victories  to start the series.

Instead, with Roy Halladay terrific and Jon Niese assaulted by the Phillies, the Mets are currently being waxed 10-0 and six outs away from a 2-2 start.

It’s still a better start than most anticipated, and somewhat disappointing considering what might have been.


Mar 16

Mets’ roster has remaining issues

HARRIS: Will play is Beltran opens on DL

With spring training down to a couple of weeks after today’s loss to Minnesota, the Mets are still trying to final situations in right field, second baseball, the bullpen and in the rotation.


All of these will be filled with those players already in camp.


Carlos Beltran has been cleared to resume baseball activities, but probably won’t play until next week, which would leave a week of games until Opening Day. However, with the Mets wanting to ease him back, it’s realistic to figure he might not be ready.

Currently, he’s limited to batting practice and doesn’t know when he’ll test his knees by playing the field or running the bases.

Should Beltran open the season on the disabled list, Willie Harris would probably get the start, but manager Terry Collins could go to a platoon system with Scott Hairston.

That would make Lucas Duda the odd-man out because the Mets want him to get consistent at-bats. The way he could stick would be if Beltran were to open on the disabled list. Beltran says he’ll be ready, but the time frame suggests otherwise.


Nobody wants Luis Castillo, but he’s playing the best offensively and is not ahead of the others defensively. Castillo can turn the double play better than the others but has limited range. It’s not totally out of the question Castillo would stick if the Mets find it distasteful to eat his $6 million contract.

Luis Hernandez has emerged, perhaps as the front-runner as has been reported, primarily because nobody has stepped to the forefront. Hernandez can play the position and isn’t a liability with the bat, but it’s not as if he’s blowing away the field.

Ideally, they would have liked for Daniel Murphy to grasp the position defensively, but that hasn’t happened, especially when it comes to the double play. Murphy should still make the team as a left-handed bat off the bench.

The Mets like the potential of Brad Emaus, but he’s not hitting and hasn’t made up for it with his glove. An Emaus-Murphy platoon isn’t out of the question should the Mets not want to return the Rule 5 Emaus to Toronto.

The only sure thing at second base is the return of Justin Turner to the minor leagues because he has remaining options.

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Jan 18

Mets add Young

The Mets have their man in Chris Young and with him their five-man rotation is apparently set.  That would be Mike Pelfrey, Jon Niese, RA Dickey, Young and either Chris Capuano or Dillon Gee.

Remember, just keep repeating to yourself it’s not about this year, it is about treading water until 2012.

The deal is for $1 million plus incentives. Coming off shoulder problems, the deal is also a gamble.

With spring training just inside 30 days away, I’m usually looking forward to the upcoming season and this year is no different. I just don’t have the same level of optimism I usually do. The Mets have given me no reason.

The Mets were a sub-.500 team that lost its ace and might not see him this season. It could also lose potentially its best bat in Carlos Beltran by midseason in a trade.

Remember, it isn’t about this year.

Dec 04

Making a go with little

Sandy Alderson said it again, that the Mets have little payroll flexibility and aren’t expected to make a splash in the free-agent market.

Again, even if the Mets cut Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo, they are still on the hook for $18 million between them. It’s not as if the money could be spent elsewhere.

The Mets need to find two starters, bullpen depth, a second baseman (if it is not Castillo), a back-up catcher and bench depth. Try doing that with about $10 million to spend.

There’s not much in the minor league system to help immediately. And, Ruben Tejada and Jenrry Mejia are best served in the minor leagues for this year, Alderson said. There aren’t the prospects available to make a trade similar to the one Boston did for Adrian Gonzalez. And, if there was, the Mets are committed to not spending.

Again, we can re-examine trading Jose Reyes and David Wright, but you’d be dealing your two best players. And, with Reyes, his value because of injury and lack of production the past two years, and that he’ll be a free agent after 2011, make him difficult to deal.

And, while a solid player, Wright isn’t one that would bring a boatload of talent in return. Plus, he’d leave a gaping hole at third base.

Alderson said this would be a process and he’s not lying. This is becoming more apparent as the winter meetings approach. They might be able to add a band-aid or two, but other than that, hope for 2011 is for Reyes, Jason Bay and Carlos Beltran to get healthy and continued development from players such as Mike Pelfrey, Jon Niese and Ike Davis.

As of now, hope is the plan.