Sep 13

Next year’s staff ….

The Mets began the season with questions concerning all five starters in their rotation. Despite a productive season with Johan Santana’s shoulder injury they will end it the same way. There are reasons to be optimistic, such as the emergence of Jon Niese, R. A. Dickey and progress made by Mike Pelfrey.

SANTANA: Can't depend on his return.

Those are also the same reasons to be cautious.

1) JOHAN SANTANA: There are all kinds of projections on Santana’s recovery, all of the them pointless until he has the surgery. However, three surgeries in three years since signing with the Mets is a red flag. His velocity was already in decline before the injury, and by all accounts this is not an easy injury to come back from. The Mets must assume Santana’s best days are behind him and have to shop for a front end starter. It would be nice to expect a full recovery, but the Mets have long since lived on Fantasy Island when it comes to injuries.

2) MIKE PELFREY: There was significant glimpses for reason to be optimistic, but also enough to be concerned. Pelfrey is barely a .500 career pitcher, and there were times this summer when he was horrible. His last start was something to build on, but haven’t we said that a lot about Pelfrey. Pelfrey has been good roughly half the time this season. He needs to up that to 75 to 80 percent. Right now he’s a No. 2 to an ace, maybe a No. 3, but I’d be wary entering the season with him as the No. 1.

3) R.A. DICKEY: His performance warrants going into spring training with a spot in the rotation. However, look how long it took for him to have a breakthrough season. How can we adequately predict for the man with the unpredictable pitch? The Mets can’t look at this year and say he will repeat. And, if he does duplicate this year, that’s only 10 wins so far, good for a No. 4 or No. 5. He’s been good, but he’s not an anchor.

4) JON NIESE: He developed this year, but it is only one season. Who is to say he won’t have a setback or growing pains like Pelfrey? I’m glad the Mets held on to him and there’s a bright promise ahead, but there were enough glitches to indicate he’s got much more to learn.

5) DILLON GEE: He was stellar in his debut, but there wasn’t Triple-A domination to project he’ll immediately step in to produce. He’ll get another look-see tonight, but we really don’t know enough about him.

6) HISANORI TAKAHASHI: We don’t even know if he’ll be around next year. The Mets like him in the bullpen but he wants to start. He’s also a free agent. The Mets are probably right about his role in that he was vulnerable the second time through the batting order.

7) PAT MISCH: Has had some good moments, but also a few times when he’s been roughed up. Right now, he’s no better than to compete for a No. 5 spot. Don’t forget, there’s a reason why he’s spent so much time in the organization.

8) OLIVER PEREZ: He’s on the team; he’s got to be mentioned. The Mets want him gone but won’t eat his contract. Until there’s a resolution to the stalemate, there’s the possibility of playing with a man short again next year. With Santana gone and the Mets monitoring the innings count for Niese, he should get a start or two, if for no other reason than informational purposes. He’ll pitch in Mexico during the winter, but will he find it there? Doubtful.

9) JOHN MAINE: Almost forgot about him. The Mets may not even tender him, but if they do what can they reasonably expect? He’s still damaged goods and it is anybody’s guess what he’ll be, or even if he’ll pitch again.

Sep 11

New Chat Room; Which way for Pelfrey?

Mike Pelfrey will be making his third start in an effort set a career mark in victories. Pelfrey (13-9, 3.96) had appeared to get back on track from July slump, but has lost his last two starts with an ERA of 10.38.

Game #142 vs. Phillies

“I just see a guy that kind of loses confidence and I see a guy that doesn’t have the presence on the mound,’’ manager Jerry Manuel said.

Manuel called Pelfrey an enigma after he followed a 9-1 by going 4-8.

Pelfrey has shown glimpses of dominance several times during his career, but then regressed to where he loses composure and concentration on the mound.

It’s odd, but despite his erratic performance, Pelfrey can still finish north of 15 victories which is a bench mark number for a starter.

Please check out the New Chat Room blog. To access, click on the logo to the left of this post.

Have a great day everybody.

Best, JD

Sep 07

Pelfrey remains enigma

Good morning.

I hope you all had an enjoyable Labor Day weekend. I was away, but still followed the Mets scores even though I wasn’t able to watch the games.

PELFREY: Is a concern.

The last two days typified the season in that it was a blowout win followed by a blowout loss. Two opposite ends of the spectrum. Good and bad. It has been that way all season. Consistency, but in a mediocre way.

It was disappointing to see Mike Pelfrey’s performance. He’s been great for an extended period, then lousy for a time, seemed to turn it around and now has lost it again.

Of all the issues in the final weeks of the season, the question of Pelfrey is the most pressing to me. I was optimistic of a strong finish to enter the offseason on a positive note, but now I’m wondering what it’s going to take for Pelfrey to put it together for a full season. Even Jerry Manuel called him “an enigma,’’ after the game. That’s a word that has been tossed around for several years about Pelfrey.

At one time Pelfrey was 9-1 and cruising. Now he’s 13-9, sputtering and there’s nothing you can hand your hat on with him. Pelfrey, his skills and potential notwithstanding, is a career 41-40 after yesterday’s loss.

This year was supposed to be a breakout season for him. Instead, it has defined him as an average pitcher with a lot of work to do.

Sep 01

NEW CHAT ROOM; Pelfrey hot again.

Game #133 at Braves

Once again, welcome to the expanded Mets Chat Room. I’ve linked up with to bring you to the ground floor regarding chat rooms and blogs.

In addition to being hooked up to another successful Mets blog, we will eventually be linked to other blogs from around baseball.

To access, please click onto the Mets Chat Room icon to the left of this post. It will bring you to another page. At the bottom on the right is where you can click on to register. If you can use your same screen names that would be great. If not, do the best you can.

This is a work in progress. I am greatly optimistic about the future of this type of chat room.

Tonight, the sinking-like-a-stone Mets will send Mike Pelfrey to the mound. Pelfrey has rebounded from a seven-start winless skid, going 3-1 with a 1.20 ERA since.

Pelfrey said he’s back to pitching as he did when he opened the season at 9-1.

“I got so far away from being myself and doing what I did early in the year and being successful. I’ve gotten back to that,’’ Pelfrey said. “The next time there’s some adversity or struggles, it shouldn’t be from getting away from doing what makes me me.’’

Pelfrey’s continued improvement will be one of the things to look for in September.

See you online.-JD

Sep 01

Tonight’s lineup at Braves

Interesting lineup tonight in Atlanta with both Jose Reyes and Angel Pagan not playing because of injuries.

Tonight will be Lucas Duda’s debut as the Mets are going younger. Duda’s reputation is that he can punish the ball, and power is something this team desperately needs.

Also, Josh Thole, who has good bat control will bat second. I don’t envision this being a permanent spot in the batting order for him, but the more information the better, especially in games when Pagan might hit third.

Here’s tonight’s lineup:

Luis Castillo, 2B

Josh Thole, C

David Wright, 3B

Chris Carter, RF

Carlos Beltran, CF

Ike Davis, 1B

Lucas Duda, LF

Ruben Tejada, SS

Mike Pelfrey, RP