Trying to get the most out of R.A. Dickey, both on the field and at the gate, the Mets moved him from Sunday’s start to Saturday. The switch allows him to start the home finale next Thursday instead of in Atlanta the next night.
It might not be much with the way the Mets are drawing, but he could be going for his 20th win in the finale which would be a good send off.
Chris Young flips with Dickey and will start Sunday against the Marlins.
Dickey, 18-6 with a 2.67 ERA, will get three chances to win 20 games. About his Cy Young chances? The Nationals’ Gio Gonzalez might be ranked ahead of him, but working in his favor is being 12 games over .500 for a team approaching 20 under overall.
As somebody who has voted for the major awards, pitchers on losing teams get more consideration for the Cy Young than MVP candidates on losers.
The Mets said several times they anticipate signing Dickey to a contract extension.
More Mets Matters:
* Jordany Valdespin was tossed last night for arguing a strike three call. Although Valdespin has been electric as a home-run bat off the bench, he does have somewhat of a short fuse and has loafed several times. That’s something young players can’t afford to do.
I’m figuring Valdespin will come to spring training, but can’t see him winning a starting job.
* Jeremy Hefner (2-6, 4.99) hopes to avert the sweep by the Phillies tonight, going against rookie Tyler Cloyd (1-1, 4.95). Hefner will compete for a job in spring training, but will likely open the season at Triple-A Las Vegas.
* Tonight’s game will be broadcast on 1130 AM as WFAN will carry the Giants’ game in Carolina. With the Giants on local TV and the Yankees in a pennant race, I’m curious as to tonight’s crowd at Citi Field.
* Some awful numbers: The Mets are 4-25 at home and have scored three or fewer runs in 15 straight games. In contrast, the 1962 Mets, losers of 120 games, won 10 games after the break in a similar point in the season. Yes, they are amazing.
* Frank Francisco has elbow tendinitis. Francisco does nothing for me and if the last few games in a lost season are for learning, I’d like to see somebody else get the chance to close a few games. What would it hurt?
* David Wright is five hits away from tying Ed Kranepool for the franchise lead in hits with 1,418. Although I still believe Wright will be re-signed, I’d hate for him to fall short and then go elsewhere. It would be a shame.
Not surprisingly, Ike Davis and the Mets responded to the published report the team was considering shopping him.
Davis said his myriad of batting stances is indicative of being able to accept coaching and refuted the notion he’s a late-night party guy. Also, Terry Collins said there’s nobody “in that clubhouse,’’ who can’t get traded.
Of course, the Mets would never admit to actively shopping Davis, even if it were true, as to diminish his trade value.
Davis might have countless stances but what is in question has been his approach, which was first one of patience but has regressed. Davis says he’s fine physically, which makes this a problem of concentration.
Davis is on a 142-strikeout pace, which is considerable given his production. That he’s closing in on 30 homers shows all-or-nothing results.
I like Davis, but he’s really one of the few marketable players they have and if dealing him makes him better, than so be it.
In other Mets’ items:
* Matt Harvey will make his final start of the season tonight against the Phillies. It is clear Harvey is an asset they want to protect. If protecting is something they want to do next season, then here’s hoping they have a better plan than the one the Nationals had with Stephen Strasburg.
You shouldn’t just shut down a pitcher, but taper him gradually. Perhaps slot him so he’ll miss one start a month.
With Harvey out, the Mets will start prospects Jeremy Hefner (tomorrow), and possibly Jeurys Familia and Collin McHugh. Incidentally, R.A. Dickey will make his final home start this weekend, and get starts in Atlanta and Miami the final week.
* The Mets are one more loss from a fourth straight losing season and the magic number for their postseason elimination is down to four. That’s in case you were still wondering.
* The Mets are a dismal 4-22 at Citi Field since the All-Star break and have scored three or fewer runs in their last 14 home games.
* The shortest deal a team can sign with a minor league affiliate is two years, which is what the Mets did with Las Vegas of the Pacific Coast League. Ideally, the Mets want a team in the Eastern Time zone, which is what they had in Buffalo and before that, Norfolk. However, those ties were cut – according to those cities – because the Mets didn’t do much to promote their affiliates. One can expect more of the same in Las Vegas as they search for another affiliate.
Chris Young took the loss today, but worked into the seventh inning, and in doing so passed 100 innings for the season and received a $150,000 bonus.
More importantly, he’s probably showed enough to warrant a contract for 2013, if not from the Mets, then somebody else.
“It means I’m healthy,’’ said Young. “I think I’ve pitched pretty well, better than my record probably indicates. But, there’s a lot of room for improvement.’’
There is, because although Young had his moments when he worked deep into games like today, there were others when he was rocked. Still, he started 18 games, his most since 2008.
Veteran arms are important, so we shouldn’t write off Young returning even though he’s not included in next year’s rotation. Although the Mets have ideas as to how their rotation will look, there are significant questions that make Young’s presence desirable.
Both Johan Santana and Dillon Gee are coming off injuries so there will be caution with them. You have to like Matt Harvey’s future, but it is premature to label him an ace right now.
Something will happen next year, you know it, so having depth is essential. If not Young, then the Mets will shop in the bargain aisle for veteran pitching depth. The advantage of bringing back Young is the Mets’ familiarity with him.
More Mets Matters:
* Terry Collins said Jeremy Hefner would likely get the start Wednesday against the Phillies. A couple of weeks ago this series meant nothing but the Phillies, like the Brewers, have become wild card contenders.
* David Wright now has 1,411 hits, seven shy of Ed Kranepool, the franchise’s career hit leader. Yes, statistics is what it has come down to for the Mets this season. I’d also like to see Wright finish with at least 90 RBI. He has 81. Another milestone would be Ike Davis hitting 30 homers, joining Eddie Murray, Carlos Delgado and David Kingman as Mets first basemen with 30 homer seasons.
* After Jenrry Mejia was shelled Saturday, pitching coach Dan Warthen said he views him as a reliever, claiming he didn’t believe he would be able to throw 200 innings year after year. I wonder how Warthen can make that assessment when the organization keeps bouncing Mejia around from being a starter to the bullpen.
* The opportunities are getting winding down for R.A. Dickey’s bid to win 20 games. He’s scheduled to start tomorrow night against the Phillies and maybe two more after that. He’s stuck on 18 victories.