Apr 13

April 13.10: A troubled team heads on the road.

It wasn’t too long ago that it was March and the Mets were telling everybody who was asking that spring training records and statistics mean nothing.

Well, the games and numbers count now, and the Mets are 2-4, losing consecutive series to the Marlins and Nationals, teams they should at least be beating at home.

Pitching will decide this season and already the winter concerns resurfaced during the first week. Mike Pelfrey pitched better, but he’s had moments like that before and then regressed. For Pelfrey to be lit up in his next start, Thursday night in Colorado, wouldn’t be a surprise.

John Maine did not pitch well in his first start and neither did Oliver Perez. While Maine goes tonight against the Rockies, look for the Mets to skip Perez to keep Johan Santana on regular rest.

Jon Niese was strong in his start, but still lost – primarily because the offense is still in Port St. Lucie – and Santana has had both a good and bad outing.

The pitching has not been good with an average of just under five a game. Everybody has been wild and no starter has made it past the sixth inning, and everybody save Pelfrey has an ERA over 4.50.

Is there help on the horizon? Nope, and let’s not even think about trading for Cincinnati’s Aaron Harang, who is due $25 million over the next two years. Despite the talk on the call-in shows, Bronson Arroyo is not available.

Let’s face it, any pitcher of substance would, 1) be not be offered, and 2) if he were would cost a lot in prospects.

Help, quality help, isn’t coming. These guys have to pick it up for themselves.

If they don’t the bullpen will be quick to fall.

Without the bullpen, the Mets are 1-5 and there would be more wailing than wondering. Even so, a trend of recent seasons has returned, and that is an over reliance on the pen. At this rate, before you know it, the innings will have piled up and we’ll be talking about the holes in the bullpen.

Fernando Nieve has the hot arm and he’s been in four of six games already. With how Jerry Manuel has used the pen before, it won’t be long before Nieve is burned out.

Some of the pitching problems would be offset if the team was hitting, but it is third worst in the National League at .245, and .189 with runners in scoring position.

All of the losses can be traced to their inability to hit with runners in scoring position.

It’s too early to panic, but not too early to recognize a trend and how the Mets aren’t headed on a good path.

And, that path takes them into Colorado and St. Louis this week, two of the more difficult venues to play in the National League. Those aren’t places where a team gets well.

Feb 08

Feb. 8.10: Let’s not get carried away.

The Mets got some positive news when 21–year-old outfield prospect Fernando Martinez was named MVP of the Caribbean Series. They should, however, resist the temptation to say he’s ready because it was a 23-at-bat sampling in which he hit .348 with two home runs. The Mets have rushed prospects before and I don’t want to see them toy with Martinez’s confidence.

Assuming the best on Carlos Beltran, I’m sure center field will be safe with Angel Pagan and Gary Matthews Jr., in the interim, which should be a couple of months. Martinez wouldn’t get regular at-bats and would only be sent down once Beltran is ready.

I’m still thinking the prudent decision would be for him to get regular playing time in Triple-A and then make an evaluation around the All-Star break whether he should be promoted for the second half.

Jan 09

Jan. 9.10: Please ….

We had a pretty good post the other night on the Mets’ prospects. A lot of good exchanges. Then the smack started flying and it wasn’t pretty. I’m no prude, but when I get emails from people complaining about the tone of conversations going on then I have to say something.

I certainly don’t want to censure comments, but I can’t have that kind of talk on here. It’s offensive to others and I don’t want to lose them as readers, either. So, please keep it clean. If somebody says something that ticks you off, just take the high ground. If somebody is getting on your case, email me: jdelcos@yahoo.com.

And, it’s not just being crude. It’s the insults, too, and perhaps that’s even worse. This is supposed to be a debate and different opinions are encouraged. I really mean that. But, if somebody doesn’t agree with you, there’s no need to attack that person.

There are kids on this blog and I’m sending editors to this site for evaluation. I don’t want them to be exposed to that. I respect your input and I’ve talked with several of you via email when comments got cut before. I don’t want to cut, but fair warning it is crude and vulgar and insulting, I’ll have no other choice.

Please respect what I’m trying to do and keep it clean. When you guys are on your game I’m proud of this blog, but I can’t have what happened the other night.

Thank you.

JD

Jan 08

Jan. 8.10: Looking at the Mets’ prospects.

John Sickels, author of the 2010 Baseball Prospect Book, is high on Fernando Martinez and Jenrry Mejia, but lukewarm with John Niese.

Most scouts believe Mejia has the stuff to be a starter, but needs time in the minor leagues – maybe two more years – to refine his secondary pitches. The worst thing the Mets could do is to push the envelope with him, but that’s the fear, that they will rush him as they did Mike Pelfrey.

Sickels also believes Martinez is being regarded too harshly considering his age, but is concerned about his durability. The acquisition of Jason Bay makes it clear the Mets don’t believe Martinez is ready this year. Perhaps by the end of the year he may have put himself in position to help.

As far as Niese goes, if his hamstring is sound he could help the Mets this season, but Sickels doesn’t see much of a ceiling for him, calling him a “classic number three guy.’’

If you’re highest minor league level pitching prospect is a No. 3, that’s not encouraging.

Nov 11

Responses from the Chat Room ….

Sorry again for not being able to host a Mets Chat Room last night. There’s a lot going on right now personally I must attend to. My plans are to host a Mets Chat Room Wednesday night and a Jets Chat Room Thursday night.

Again, your patience is very much appreciated.

OK …. to respond to some of your questions from last night.

Mike (1): Thanks for the well wishes. Everything will turn out alright, I am sure. Everybody is healthy, so that’s the most important thing. I heard about the Dye rumor, but can’t see it. Why make a trade when there are options in the FA market. Bottom line: Why give up players and money when you can only give up money.

Ray Sadecki (2): Trading Holliday is another sign the Rockies want to work the cheap side of the street. OK, which closer will they keep: Fuentes or Street?

benny (4): The 2009 A’s will be intriguing. I wouldn’t have made the deal unless I could sign Holliday, but perhaps Billy Beane’s thinking is he can unload salary and players he won’t bring back for a player he will dump in July for prospects. If not, do you really think the A’s will go long term for him? Probably not. Mets could be in the Holliday market in July or next winter.

Gravedigger (6): Agreed on the voting.

Harry (8): Agree with you. Why trade when you can sign somebody off the FA list. Dye should cost more than Burrell, for example.-JD