Feb 23

Mets Lineup Against Washington; Notebook

Here’s today’s lineup and some thoughts about it for the Mets’ exhibition opener against Washington:

Kirk Nieuwenhuis, cf

Ruben Tejada, ss

David Wright, 3b

Ike Davis, 1b

Marlon Byrd, rf

Lucas Duda, lf

John Buck, c

Justin Turner, 2b

Jordany Valdespin, dh

Shaun Marcum, rhp

LINEUP THOUGHTS: Zack Wheeler, Cory Mazzoni, Jeurys Familia and Darin Gorski will also pitch for the Mets. I like that Wheeler pitching in relief. Yes, it’s only an exhibition game, but there are still nerves involved. No sense adding extra pressure. … Marcum should get two innings or roughly 30 pitches to start. He’s the projected fifth starter. … The first four in the batting order are as I suggested several days ago. Notice how Terry Collins separated Ike Davis and Lucas Duda with Marlon Byrd. It’s important to separate the two strikeout machines. … The spring training objectives is for starting pitchers to make six starts and compile 30 innings. Hitters need around 50 to 60 at-bats.

METS NOTEBOOK: First baseman Rhyne Hughes was signed to a minor league contract and will report to the minor league camp. Hughes hit 13 with 56 RBI in 266 at-bats for the Double-A Bowie. … Jenrry Mejia is in camp, delayed over a week with a visa issue.

Jun 08

Capuano good pick-up, but how long will he stay?

Yesterday, I wrote how the Mets were playing well considering a mountain of adversity and last night they received a strong pitching performance from Chris Capuano to win at Milwaukee, 2-1.

CAPUANO: A trade piece? (AP)

The Mets are two games below .500 and 4.5 games behind the Brewers in the wild card race. Too soon to be thinking of such things, but not too soon to recognize things aren’t totally in the toilet as had been projected.

Last night was the first game of 10-game road trip, and who knows where they will be when they return from Milwaukee-Pittsburgh-Atlanta? A lot of things can happen in two weeks. If the Mets continue to receive the strong starting pitching they’ve gotten the past ten days, including last night from Capuano, they could put an interesting, and unexpected, spin on this season.

Capuano was a bargain basement purchase that so far as pitched well considering a lack of offensive support. He gave up a run in six innings last night to go 4-6. He has pitched better than his record.

Unfortunately, every bit of success Capuano enjoys brings about the harsh reminder the Mets figure to be sellers at the deadline, and a lefthander who can provide innings is a commodity. What the Mets might get from Capuano is uncertain, but when you’re in a rebuilding mode you tend to collect prospects.

I’d like to see the Mets attempt to compete this year and go for the wild-card, but that means adding instead of subtracting. However, all indications point toward further rebuilding, which includes the possibility of a purge.

Not that the Mets will build around a guy like Capuano, but he can be a valuable part to the right team. And, it would be nice if the Mets were that team.

NOTEBOOK: Gary Carter underwent his first radiation treatment yesterday. … Carlos Beltran played despite a bruised right shin. He went 0-for-4 and didn’t look comfortable running.

 

May 25

Mets try to pick up pieces tonight at Wrigley.

Dillon Gee will be the latest to attempt to halt the Mets’ slide, which is at three games.

After getting waxed 11-1 last night by the Cubs in response to owner Fred Wilpon’s comments about payroll and calling out three of his key players, the Mets are in need of an emotional overhaul.

“We’re going to move on,’’ Mets manager Terry Collins said, reading the cliché handbook. “Just chalk it up as a game we didn’t play very good. We didn’t pitch as well as we can.’’

The Mets are again on the offensive skids with 14 runs scored in their last seven games.

NOTEBOOK: David Wright had a second opinion on the stress fracture in his lower back, and the original diagnosis was confirmed. … Angel Pagan is expected to be activated from the disabled list Friday. … The news isn’t good on Ike Davis, whose foot is still sore, so he’ll remain on the disabled list.

 

Nov 06

New York Mets notebook

A lot of things happening with the Mets right now, beginning with the managerial interviews:

1) BACKMAN INTERVIEWS TODAY: Sandy Alderson will interview Wally Backman in California today and it is not a courtesy interview as the general manager doesn’t have time to waste. I’ve been hearing the Wilpons have some apprehensions concerning Backman, but nothing specific other than his lack of major league experience has come to light.

I’m still wary about Backman because of the experience factor, believing there are others that bring more immediately to the table.

2) COLLINS THE FRONTRUNNER: I don’t see how anybody can come to the conclusion Terry Collins is the frontrunner without all the interviews being conducted. The Mets do like Collins in his current role working with the minor leagues and could prefer him to stay in that role. Don’t forget, if Collins is reassigned then the Mets will need somebody else for the minor league job.

3) TAKAHASHI GONE: The Mets did not bring back reliever Hisanori Takahashi. The difference in gap  isn’t $1 million as people have suggested, but closer to $10 million if what has been reported is close. At 36, three years is a long time to give to a reliever with only one year in the major leagues.

4) CHARLIE SAMUELS: What was he thinking? The gifts Samuels received from the players is irrelevant. It’s the position he had and the betrayal factor. How much he bet on baseball, or if he bet on the Mets, is uncertain. The argument if he bet on baseball it would be OK if he wagered on the Mets doesn’t make it because of the message it sends if he didn’t bet on the Mets. Why?

I’ve always liked Charlie, but investigations like this don’t happen if there isn’t some degree of truth to the claims.

Too bad.

Apr 27

April 27.10: Wright continues to struggle.

David Wright said this is a slump, that nothing is wrong with him and he’ll snap out of it.

“We’re 10-9,’’ Wright told reporters. “We’re winning right now. There’s no reason to panic. … I’m seeing the ball pretty well. I’m taking some good swings. But, you could do everything right and not get the results you wanted. I feel comfortable at the plate. I’ll see some results.’’

Then again, Wright said the same thing last year about his power drought. However, a difference between last year and this is he hit .300 last year and currently is batting .222.

Wright also struck out a lot, which he’s doing again this spring. He takes a stretch of striking out in 12 straight games into today’s doubleheader against the Dodgers. He has 24 strikeouts in 19 games.

Wright said he feels comfortable, but just isn’t getting the results he wants.

“There’s no to hit the panic button this early,’’ Wright said. “This isn’t the first time I’ve struggled in my career.’’

For now, Jerry Manuel has no plans to sit Wright and will let him work himself out of it. Then again, that could change in the second game of the doubleheader against knuckleballer Charlie Haeger.

NOTEBOOK: Manuel plans to keep Jose Reyes in the third spot in the order. … Gary Matthews was in the line-up last night and is expected to play in one of the games today. … The anticipated rotation for Philadelphia is Jon Niese, Mike Pelfrey and Johan Santana.