Feb 26

Good and bad signs ….

Luis Castillo drove in four runs with two hits yesterday, but Duaner Sanchez walked two hitters on nine pitches.

It’s only one game, so let’s not get carried away either way, but both are key issues for the Mets this season.

Sanchez might never regain his pre-accident form, but something close is imperative if he’s to become a key set-up again. Wildness is not a good way to do that.

A lot has already been written about Castillo. He’s Jerry Manuel’s pet project this spring. Manuel believes leadoff might jumpstart Castillo. It worked yesterday. But, I still have my doubts. I think he’s more ideally suited to hit second with Jose Reyes batting first.

Feb 24

Wright said WBC will help in fundamentals

WRIGHT: Likes WBC intensity.

WRIGHT: Likes WBC intensity.

David Wright is not the one to go to if you want to knock the WBC. He’ll be on the Major League Baseball Network tonight trumpeting its praises.

He’s not buying it will take away from preparing for the regular season.

“I think it will help with the development of getting ready for the regular season because you’re talking about playing in meaningful games, big at bats, trying to get runners over, get runners in,’’ Wright said.

“We were talking today with our manager Jerry Manuel and he likes the idea of a lot of us going to play in the classic because it puts us in those real life game situations where every at bat counts, being unselfish, trying to do things for the good of the team, and hopefully that will put us in a position where we are ready come first week of April.”

Not to mention the last week of September.

When I look at the Mets offensively, the deterioration of fundamentals is the main problem. With essentially the same line-up as Willie Randolph’s, pounding the fundamentals has to be Manuel’s biggest challenge.

Feb 18

Questions in outfield corners

CHURCH: Can he stay healthy?

CHURCH: Can he stay healthy?

All winter I trumpeted the need for pitching over adding a bat in the outfield as a priority. I still think pitching is more important. HOWEVER, since the Mets have basically the same rotation as last year, it has given me pause.

I’m not convinced the Mets will have a flawless season with their outfield corners.

I like Ryan Church, but we have to accept that he had two good months before the second concussion did in his season. We don’t know, had he stayed healthy, what kind of year he would have had. So, it stands to reason he’s a question.

Then there is the left field platoon of Daniel Murphy and Fernando Tatis. The Mets caught lightning in a bottle with them last year. Will they have duplicate seasons? I don’t know.

Feb 17

The team to beat?

Francisco Rodriguez said the Mets are the team to beat, which is the attitude they should take. Afterall, do you want your team to think it can’t win?

But, the truth is, the Phillies are the defending champions. They are the team to beat. The Mets can talk all they want. It makes interesting chat for a day or two. However, until they do it on the field, which they haven’t done, it’s all hot air.