Feb 14

Where should Reyes hit?

Manager Jerry Manuel suggested to reporters he might bat Luis Castillo first and drop Jose Reyes to third.

I’m not crazy about the idea. My first inclination is Reyes will get power happy and put more balls in the air than he does already.

I wouldn’t have a problem with Castillo first if his legs are sound, but I’d hit Reyes second instead of third. If Reyes improves his on-base percentage, the No. 3 hitter will see a lot more fastballs.

As good as Reyes is leading off, hitting second might make him a better hitter if he becomes more disciplined. I still want Reyes to walk more and strike out less, bunt more and put the ball on the ground. If he’s protecting a good leadoff hitter, it just might go to improve Reyes’ game even more.

Feb 13

Where does Castillo fit in the order?

CASTILLO: All eyes on second baseman.

CASTILLO: All eyes on second baseman.

The most scrutinized Met figures to be second baseman Luis Castillo, the player GM Omar Minaya would have unloaded in an instant, but nobody was willing to come up with a bag of balls.

Harsh, yes … but Castillo has $18 million remaining on his contract, and is coming off a horrible, yet, injury plagued season. No Met has more pressure to come up with a fast start.

To put the odds in his favor, Jerry Manuel has to put Castillo in the spot in the order to best utilize his offensive skills, and that’s second. When Castillo is on his game, he can slap the ball around, bunt and work the count …. all which help Jose Reyes when he’s on base.

And, if Castillo is getting on base, he can be a distraction to the opposing pitcher, and as a base stealer, draw more fastballs. All this, of course, is theory based on Castillo’s performance before coming to the Mets.

All eyes are on Castillo this spring, and they won’t miss anything.

Dec 13

Building the Mets’ 25-man roster ….

K-ROD: Fills Mets' biggest void.

K-ROD: Fills Mets' biggest void.

METS 25-MAN ROSTER

The Mets have several holes to fill before spring training, beginning with a starter. I still see them re-signing Oliver Perez.

There will be competition for two bullpen spots. This could change depending on if they open the season with four or five starters. There’s also a need for a reserve infielder. Marlon Anderson is the closest to somebody who can play both infield and outfield, but in the infield it’s first and second. They are talking about Alex Cora as a back-up shortstop.

Another outfield bat would be nice, but it’s not imperative.

Assuming Jon Niese is the fifth starter, I’m seeing four spots to be filled: fourth starter, two relievers, back-up infielder.

STARTERS
1. Johan Santana
2. Mike Pelfrey
3. John Maine
4. TBD:  Oliver Perez, Jason Marquis, other
5. Jon Niese

BULLPEN
6. Francisco Rodriguez
7. J.J. Putz
8. Pedro Feliciano
9. Duaner Sanchez
10. Sean Green
11. TBD
12. TBD

In system options: Connor Robertson, Darren O’Day, Rocky Cherry, Carlos Muniz, Brian Stokes, Bobby Parnell, Ed Kunz,

CATCHERS
13. Brian Schneider
14. Ramon Castro

INFIELD
15. Carlos Delgado
16. Luis Castillo
17. Jose Reyes
18. David Wright
19. TBD: Alex Cora

OUTFIELD
20. Carlos Beltran
21. Ryan Church
22. Daniel Murphy
23. Fernando Tatis
24. Jeremy Reed
25. Marlon Anderson

Nov 24

Furcal said Mets made offer

Infielder Rafael Furcal told the Spanish newspaper El Caribe the Oakland Athletics offered him a $48-million, four-year contract, and that the Mets also made a proposal.

Furcal did not specify the Mets’ offer and the team has not confirmed.

Said Furcal: “The offer from the Athletics and the New York Mets looks tempting. … There are several factors that we have to evaluate.’’

I don’t know the reliability of El Caribe, but those numbers see way too high, especially with the Mets’ needs. I certainly can’t see paying Furcal that kind of money with Luis Castillo still around.

Nov 22

Loose Threads

A lot of things floating on in my mind these days.

-Congratulations to Mike Mussina for retiring on his terms. Part of me wishes he’d stay for 300 wins. But another part – a greater part – admires him for doing it his way. It doesn’t happen often. Will he get my Hall of Fame vote? Yes.

-I see where Hank Steinbrenner gave an ultimatum for the Yankees to sign CC Sabathia. I’d like to see Fred Wilpon do the same with a closer.

-The Mets seem torn between Francisco Rodriguez and Brian Fuentes. That should tell you of the concerns for K-Rod. And, concerns at this time are valid. I’d stay away, go with Fuentes and use the rest of the money that would have gone to K-Rod go for depth in the pen.

-Luis Castillo is staying to play second base. That seems apparent now. Their thinking is to hope for a comeback. It beats paying somebody to take him away.

-There doesn’t seem like a groundswell of support to keep either Oliver Perez or Pedro Martinez.