Feb 21

Feb. 21.10: Catching up on the weekend.

WILPON: Distancing himself from Omar?

WILPON: Distancing himself from Omar?

Fred Wilpon held court today, and his words gave the impression of separating himself from his baseball people – Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel.

It’s his money, but they make the decisions, Wilpon said.

“I understand from the fan’s point of view, because I am one myself, and I’m very, very sensitive to what their feelings are, and I understand some of it,’’ Wilpon said of the fans’ angst, but added, “I think that we have to be guided by our baseball people, and our baseball people evaluated, for example, some of our pitchers as good or better than what was on the market.

“Our baseball people evaluated other positions and we went by what they did. Jeff (Wilpon) followed them. Jeff and I don’t pick the baseball players. So that’s what they wanted to do.’’

In addition:

* If Jose Reyes does bat third, Manuel said it is possible Gary Matthews Jr., could lead off if he wins the center field job until Carlos Beltran returns. Again, if it isn’t broke don’t fix it, and Reyes is one of the game’s best leadoff hitters.

* Manuel also said prospect Jennry Mejia could compete for the eighth-inning set-up role, which indicates two things, 1) a concern about Kelvim Escobar, and 2) and doubts about Bobby Parnell.

* Jon Niese appears the leading candidate for the fifth starter spot. Kind of expected that all along. That Manuel would suggest that suggests good news on his hamstring.

* Rod Barajas was finally signed, which gives Josh Thole a chance to develop his game at Triple-A. Not good news for Omir Santos.

Jan 18

Jan. 18.10: Spring training questions.

Questions, questions ....

Questions, questions ....

With a month before the start of spring training, let’s take a look at the ten top issues surrounding the Mets when the arrive at Port St. Lucie:

1) Who are the fifth starter candidates?
A: Jon Niese is from the organization. It could also be Oliver Perez or John Maine if the Mets should add another arm. Joel Pineiro and Jon Garland are still out there, but they are also linked to other teams. There’s no guarantee the Mets will bring in somebody else.

2) Where is Johan Santana?
A: Santana is coming off surgery. The Mets are saying he’ll be ready, but they said the same thing about John Maine last spring.

3) What is Jose Reyes status?
A: Reyes says he feels good, but he hasn’t tested that hamstring in game-type conditions. And, how much speed has he lost?

4) Did David Wright find his home run stroke over the winter?
A: Maybe it was Citi Field, maybe not. But, Wright did not hit with power last season. That has to change if the Mets are to do anything.

5) Carlos Beltran is how many weeks away?
A: Originally, they said 12 weeks. He won’t be ready by spring training to do baseball activities, but maybe they’ll have a better timetable by then.

6) What’s the catching situation look like?
A: The Mets have plenty of reserve catchers, but not a No. 1. They hope it will be Bengie Molina. They really don’t want to rush Josh Thole to the majors.

7) Who is the real Mike Pelfrey?
A: Pelfrey appeared on the verge of breaking out in 2008, but regressed last season. It’s about time he gets to the next level.

8) Where does the coin land?
A: Will Coinflip Perez show consistency beyond being inconsistent? He’s also coming off surgery. The reports are he’s working hard, but he’s worked hard before with no results.

9) What are the bullpen roles?
A: They could change if they sign John Smoltz. I’d rather have him in a set-up role than Kelvim Escobar. That way I could also drop Bobby Parnell down to a lower pressure slot.

10) What kind of camp will Jerry Manuel run?
A: Lax or clamp down? There were injuries last season, but the team also played fundamentally poor baseball and that’s his responsibility.

Aug 06

Try to salvage something from the season ….

Not that getting Jose Reyes back would’ve made any difference for this year, but the news of his scar tissue definitely puts a seal on the season for me. Let’s face it, he’s not coming back.

In light of this, the Mets should be start to become proactive on looking ahead to next season. Who does or doesn’t play should be determined by the blueprint for 2010.

Shutting down Carlos Beltran should also be seriously considered. Let him fully recover and not risk further injury.

I would also see what players I might swing a waiver deal for. Carlos Delgado? Gary Sheffield? Sean Green? Luis Castillo? If you know you’re not going to keep them, you might as well start stocking up for the future.

Starting Bobby Parnell isn’t a bad idea, especially since you know Jon Niese might not be ready for spring training to compete for a spot in the rotation. I might even consider using Oliver Perez out of the bullpen to get an idea what he could do in that role. Let’s face it, he’s not doing it as a starter. If they can learn something now, it better helps in their planning.

I’d also start thinking about spring training with whatever prospects are on the minor league level. If there’s somebody down there the organization is considering letting compete for a spot in the spring call them up now for a look-see. Why wait until Sept.1? And, it’s not exactly like the minor league franchises are competing for anything down there.

What is there to lose? After all, the season is already all but lost.

Aug 04

Next year’s rotation?

Looking at what the Mets are throwing out there these days, it’s not hard to envision few changes with next year’s rotation. Can’t we write off a blockbuster trade because of the lack of minor league depth, and because we know they aren’t going to make another $100-million signing? John Lackey they aren’t going to get.

So, we’ll have Johan Santana as the ace, the struggling Mike Pelfrey still trying to piece it together, Oliver Perez because you know they can’t trade him, Jon Niese vying for a spot and John Maine if he’s healthy and they even tender him a contract.

Then we’ll probably see a different version of Tim Redding and Livan Hernandez, although, with few other options, I can see Hernandez Part II.

Jul 30

METS CHAT ROOM: Games #100-101; trying to sweep the Rox.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Johan Santana rebounded from a bad start with a sterling performance in today’s 7-0 whipping of Colorado in the first game of a day-night double-header.

Santana threw seven sharp innings and streaking New York won its fifth straight game, beating the Colorado Rockies 7-0 in the opener of a day-night doubleheader.

SANTANA: Sharp in opener.

SANTANA: Sharp in opener.


“Every time you win a game it’s good. But it’s even better when you have a chance to just keep adding to it,” Santana said. “That’s what I was trying to do today and at the same time I was having fun. It’s good to see that. It’s good to see that everybody feels comfortable.”

The victory was the Mets fifth straight.

Santana (12-8) struck out eight, walked one and gave up four hits. He finished July with a 3-2 record and 1.82 ERA in five starts. The Mets broke it open with a five-run second highlighted by Angel Berroa’s two-run double. It only the sixth time in 21 starts by Santana that they’ve supported him with at least five runs.

The Mets (49–51) will throw Jon Niese (1–0, 4.08 ERA) against lefty Jorge De La Rosa (8-7, 4.78 ERA).

Here’s the line-up for the second game:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Fernando Tatis, LF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Angel Berroa, SS
Omir Santos, C
Jon Niese, LP

NOTEBOOK: The day began with GM Omar Minaya announcing he had apologized to Daily News writer Adam Rubin for comments directed at him during Monday’s press conference. … The Mets recalled catcher Robinson Cancel from Triple-A Buffalo and designated RHP Elmer Dessens for assignment. … Catcher Brian Schneider has a sore knee. … Luis Castillo missed the first game as his wife gave birth to a baby girl.