May 19

Today’s Mets lineup: May 19 vs. Washington.

They got the game in last night, but I wonder if it is worth the risk when I hear Jon Niese had trouble gripping the ball.

Teams have a huge investment in players, but it isn’t a stretch to figure out why they put them at risk by playing in such rotten conditions. If you must use blowtorches to dry the field, it isn’t worth playing that day.

The Mets clearly didn’t want to play a doubleheader today to tax their bullpen prior to the Yankees series, and didn’t want to play one later in the season.

There aren’t as many off days as there used to be because of interleague play and the unbalanced schedule. And, most teams don’t want doubleheaders not because of the impact on pitching, but because they don’t want to give up the gate.

Anyway, it is better today than it was yesterday, although the field is still soggy. Here’s the Mets’ lineup today behind Dillon Gee:

Jose Reyes, SS

Josh Thole, C

Carlos Beltran, RF

Jason Bay, LF

Daniel Murphy, 1B

Justin Turner, 3B

Jason Pridie, CF

Ruben Tejada, 2B

Dillon Gee, RP

COMMENTS: Terry Collins floated the idea to the media last night about hitting Jason Bay second, but he hasn’t talked to him, yet. That explains why there’s been no move. Theoretically, hitting Bay second should present him with more fastball opportunities.

 

May 17

Today’s Mets lineup: May 17 vs. Marlins.

Odds are the following lineup will be a moot point anyway because of the rain. The tarp is on the field and I would be surprised if it came up anytime soon.

The Mets made a couple of moves today, bringing up Ruben Tejada and Pedro Beato while optioning Ryota Igarashi and Chin-lung Hu.

Here’s tonight’s lineup:

Jose Reyes, SS

Josh Thole, C

Carlos Beltran, RF

Jason Bay, LF

Daniel Murphy, 1B

Justin Turner, 3B

Jason Pridie, CF

Ruben Tejada, 2B

Jon Niese, LP

COMMENTS and NOTES: With David Wright and Ike Davis injured, there’s not much Terry Collins can do with the lineup and his bench. A look at the order shows three players off the bench in the starting lineup. As far as the order is concerned, there’s no surprises. Thole, because of his patience and bat control, is the logical choice to bat second, and where else but eighth would Tejada hit? … The assumption is Wright will be placed on the disabled list and Nick Evans promoted from Triple-A Buffalo. Evans can play both first and third.

 

Mar 15

Mets’ second base job still in the air

With two weeks remaining before Opening Day, Luis Hernandez is gaining ground on the second base job.

However, it is premature to say he’s the guy. Rarely are up-in-the-air roster decisions made with this much time remaining in camp. There’s still Brad Emaus and Daniel Murphy, Luis Castillo and Justin Turner.

Turner, because of remaining options will be sent down. That’s logical. Castillo has turned off Terry Collins, but the manager might not have the final decision, especially with a $6 million commitment. Castillo has been playing well offensively, so there’s the outside chance they’ll hold onto him and hope to make an in-season deal. The Mets don’t want to swallow $6 million.

Murphy is having trouble turning the double-play and Emaus is having a slow spring. Still, as a Rule 5 player the Mets do see some potential. What they must decide on is if he fits beyond this season should he stick.

I still think the Murphy-Emaus platoon has a chance, but I’m beginning to wane a little on that stance. What I do know, is Hernandez, despite a solid spring, isn’t running away from things and there’s still time.

Outside of it not being Ruben Tejada, nothing is concrete at second base.

 

Dec 21

Don’t be in a rush to deal Flores

Sorry for the absence. I’ve been ill lately and had to shut it down for a few days. This is the longest I’ve gone without a post since I started doing this and I apologize.

But, we haven’t missed much as the Mets continue to hope the prices will drop on whatever pitching talent is left out there. By most accounts there’s not much more than $4 million remaining in the Mets’ budget, and that won’t be enough to land Brandon Webb, the best remaining arm.

The Mets are looking at Freddy Garcia (but so are the Yankees), Chris Young and Jeff Francis. Young appears to be the most likely. There are other free-agent pitchers, such as Jeremy Bonderman and Kevin Millwood, but they don’t register much on the thrill meter. Nobody outside of Webb raises your pulse.

The name I keep hearing in the trade market is Tampa Bay’s Matt Garza, which would be appealing, but the reported cost would be shortstop prospect Wilmer Flores.

Trading prospects are always risky, but unless the return is great (and Garza doesn’t rank that high), I’d be reluctant to deal Flores because of the uncertainty of what could happen with Jose Reyes. If Reyes gets off to a good start and the Mets are committed to signing him to an extension, then Flores would be expendable.

However, if the Mets opt to shop Reyes at the trade deadline, or he leaves after the season as a free agent, it would be good to have Flores in the fold. But, to deal Flores now and then lose Reyes would leave a hole I don’t think Ruben Tejada would be able to fill.

Flores is still several years away, but his value should only increase. While Garza is coming off a career year at 15-10, he’s still less than a .500 career pitcher.