Apr 11

Mets’ Collins Sticks To His Word About Daniel Murphy

When David Wright was injured during spring training, manager Terry Collins said if he opened the season on the disabled list that Daniel Murphy would stay at second base.

MURPHY: Makes sparkling play Monday

Now, with Wright seemingly headed to the DL (the move should be made Friday), Collins seems to be sticking by those words as Murphy is still at second for this afternoon’s game against Washington.

Murphy is a natural third baseman, but his position is second base as long as Wright is here and moving him won’t help him learn the position. Murphy botched a double-play grounder last night, but the night before made a nice play behind the bag.

Murphy is not a strong defensive player, but learning the position will take some time. He’s not going to master it quickly, and he certainly won’t do so by moving around.

Collins made a point of saying Murphy and Lucas Duda would remain at their positions despite being stronger elsewhere, and let’s hope he sticks by his word.

Here’s today’s line-up:

Ruben Tejada, ss

Daniel Murphy, 2b

Lucas Duda, rf

Ike Davis, 1b

Jason Bay, lf

Josh Thole, c

Kirk Nieuwenhuis, cf

Ronny Cedeno, 3b

Johan Santana, lhp

 

 

 

Apr 10

Mets Farm System Producing

A common thread among all contenders is a strong home-grown core. Teams augment themselves with trades and free-agent signings, but the foundation comes from within.

With the exception of left fielder Jason Bay, last night’s line-up was a production of the farm system. Josh Thole, Ike Davis, Daniel Murphy, Ruben Tejada, David Wright, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Lucas Duda and Mike Pelfrey all came from below.

Ideally, a team wants to add one player a year from its minor league system, much the way the Yankees did during their run during the 1990s and early 2000s. When you re-visit how the championship teams of 1969 and 1986 were built, the foundation came from the minor leagues.

A team building from within gains the added benefit of economic stability and cost certainty. In today’s economic structure, and considering the Mets’ financial stresses, building this way should enable them to be aggressive in the free-agent market in the next few seasons.

The Mets are under $100 million for 2012 for their payroll, and hope to have more relief when the contracts for Bay and Johan Santana expire over the next two years. Ideally, they’d like to trade both, but that’s highly unlikely consider their injury history and performance. Freed from a long-term obligation to Jose Reyes, the Mets’ next major contractual decision is whether to extend David Wright.

Things definitely appear brighter today then they did at the start of spring training when the organization had the Ponzi scandal looming over their head. Despite being on the hook for a potential $162 million – far better than the $1 billion it could have been – the Mets have reason to believe the worst is behind them.

Because the agreement stipulates the Mets don’t have to pay any of their settlement for three years, if they continue to play well they should benefit from an increased attendance.

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 10

Mets Batting Order Against Washington

There are minor changes in the Mets line-up tonight against Washington, beginning with Ike Davis sitting out with an 0-for-15 slump and replaced at first by Justin Turner.

Mike Nickeas will get the start at catcher with Josh Thole having the night off against left-hander Ross Detwiler.

Here’s the order:

Ruben Tejada, ss

Daniel Murphy, 2b

David Wright, 3b

Jason Bay, lf

Lucas Duda, rf

Justin Turner, 1b

Scott Hairston, cf

Mike Nickeas, c

Dillon Gee, rp

LINE-UP COMMENTS: Wondering how long Terry Collins will stay with Jason Bay in the clean-up spot. He’s not hitting and hasn’t done so for two years. And, there’s no sign of him breaking out of it.

ON DECK: Mets’ home grown talent.

 

 

 

Apr 09

Evaluating Mets’ Sweep Of Braves; Niese Puts Cap On Weekend

NIESE: Flirts with no-hitter.

The Mets and Yankees were at opposite ends of the broom over the weekend, but it didn’t take much to guess where most of the newspaper attention went. Right – in Florida where the Rays were disposing of the Yankees.

Being a Mets fan, you’re used to that, but today you want it this way. Let the Mets fly in under the radar; let the Yankees deal with the pressure and panic.

The weekend was all about pitching, with Jon Niese flirting with the franchise’s first no-hitter. The string remains intact for 7,971 games. Who cares how long the streak goes as long as they keep playing well.

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Apr 08

Mets Lineup Today Against Braves

No, I never would have thought I’d write this sentence: The Mets will go for the sweep today against Atlanta. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Two games in is too early to draw any conclusions, but the first impression is good. The Mets’ pitching has been superb, both from the rotation and the bullpen, and today they’ll throw out Jon Niese against the Braves.

The Mets haven’t unleashed the bats, yet, but hit three solo homers yesterday. Lucas Duda went deep twice and David Wright hit a bomb to right-center. The new dimensions might have helped Duda, but they were ripped nonetheless.

Frank Francisco has two saves in two tries, and Terry Collins has gone to the bench twice already in the late innings for Daniel Murphy. I don’t mind that as long as he’s not giving away any at-bats by Murphy. But, using the bench keeps everybody involved and improves the defense.

It’s hard not to like what you’ve seen so far, but it is early. Most importantly, the Mets are taking advantage of an undermanned and underperforming Braves’ team. Atlanta won’t be like this all year, so you hit when you can. It’s a good start, so ride it as long as you can.

Here’s today’s lineup:

Ruben Tejada, ss
Daniel Murphy, 2b
David Wright, 3b
Ike Davis, 1b
Jason Bay, lf
Lucas Duda, rf
Scott Hairston, cf
Mike Nickeas, c
Jonathon Niese, lp