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.
David Wright, one of the “core,” if you will, won his second straight Silver Slugger Award today. Despite setting career highs in homers (33), RBI (124) and runs scored (115), there are some who say the Mets should break up their core of Wright, Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran.
Said Wright, a three-time All-Star: “It’s a very prestigious award and I am proud to win it. This honor will help motivate me to even an even better season in 2009.”
Wright is the first Met with four 100-RBI seasons. He is also the third third baseman in history (Eddie Mathews and Eric Chavez are the others) with four straight seasons of at least 25 homers prior to his 26th birthday.
Let’s go under the assumption the Mets won’t break up their core, meaning David Wright, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and now, Carlos Delgado, will be around to hopefully torment NL pitchers or frustrate you guys with RISP.
The Mets don’t have a deep farm system, but there is talent down below.
Of this group, F-Mart, Niese, Parnell, Kunz and Murphy, who is the Met you’d least like to deal?
Rays outfielder Rocco Baldelli, who is from Rhode Island, on beating the Red Sox in the ALCS: “This might sound funny to everyone, but I don’t want to go home and have to see every single person that I know rub it in my face every single day for the rest of my life. And that would happen [if we lost]. I’m 100 percent serious. To beat those guys and not have to listen to everyone where I live, it’s a nice feeling.”
Baldelli will be a free-agent after the World Series and would fit in nicely in the Mets’ outfield.
Pretty quiet day in Met Land. Jerry Manuel plans to finalize his coaching staff next week, so it could be that way until then.
We talked about Manny Ramirez this afternoon. But, if those topics aren’t on your mind, or you have something else you want to talk about, feel free. Pretty much anything goes. That’s why I call it “Loose threads.”