Sep 24

Time For Mejia To Put Up

I’ve been hard on the Mets for their handling of Jenrry Mejia, and rightfully so for shuffling him between a bullpen and starter’s role. I thought Jerry Manuel did him a disservice in rushing him up here two years ago to work in relief when the Mets had no bullpen depth to speak of.

All indications are his arm is fine, but it is time for some accountability for his performance, which has been spotty. In the minors he posted better numbers starting than out of the pen, but he was lit up in his start with the Mets.

Mejia opens the Mets’ final homestand tonight against the fading Pirates, and after that might get one more start before the team calls it quits for the year.

What kind of impression will Mejia leave on Sandy Alderson, Terry Collins and Dan Warthen?

As of now, when the 2013 rotation is projected, it does not include Mejia. The bullpen, well, that could be a different story. However, if the Mets project him in that role they should stick with that decision and see how it plays out. None of this failing in the bullpen in spring training and then being moved to the rotation in the minor leagues.

If it is the bullpen, it is time for Mejia to train their exclusively to get himself accustomed to the role and the demands of getting up numerous times to warm up, to entering the game with runners on base, to developing another out pitch to go along with his fastball.

The knock on Mejia working in the rotation is he hasn’t mastered his secondary pitches and doesn’t know how to set up hitters and challenge them. He also has a problem with a fastball that has plenty of velocity but not enough dip or lateral movement. Movement and not speed is the key to an overpowering fastball.

I don’t know what kind of damage was done to Mejia’s arm, and also psyche, during the juggling under Manuel. Maybe the arm injury would have occurred regardless as there’s little way of pinpointing the exact time it happened, especially if it is of a residual nature.

However, while the psyche is another issue, Mejia has to take some responsibility, also.

There’s a learning process to becoming a major league pitcher, and part of it is learning how to deal with adversity, handle pressure and act with poise. That is often the variable that ends careers. It is something Mike Pelfrey hasn’t mastered, and so too, Mejia.

Mejia can throw the hell out of the ball at times, but he hasn’t yet learned how to pitch.

 

Aug 15

Thanking Joe DeCaro

Greetings folks. I’d like to thank Joe DeCaro of Metsmerizedonline.com for posting for me when I was hospitalized. It was greatly appreciated.

Thursday afternoon I went to my doctor’s office because of shooting pains in my stomach and groin area. It turns out I had an infection and everything that happened in the May surgery had to be removed.

Well, Sunday become Monday night, and yesterday I was so doped up on pain killers I slept most of the day. This is the first time I’ve been up and had a chance to reach out to you guys.

Your thoughts and Joe’s help are greatly appreciated.

I read Joe’s post about Scott Hairston and become annoyed with the Mets. Even when they were losing 11 of 12 games, the Mets did nothing. Sandy Alderson said there was still a lot of baseball to be played.

It they’re going to deal Hairston, it should have been done in July when they had a chance to get something — maybe. Now, what will they get?

Personally, with the Mets’ outfield as thin as it is, and the team needing to bolster its bench for 2013, they would be looking for guys like Hairston. Why not keep him and make one less move this winter?

That it, of course, it the Mets are going to make any moves for the future. No, Kelly Shoppach doesn’t cut it.

Again thanks. I am looking forward to recovering as fast as possible and talking with you guys again.

 

Aug 08

Alderson: “Bay’s Not Going Anywhere”

Sandy Alderson must say he won’t eat Jason Bay’s contract, even with the announcement the perpetual slumping outfielder is now a platoon player.

Sure, right now, nobody believes Bay won’t ever be the player the Mets envisioned when they signed him to a $66 million package over four years. 

Currently, Bay has little value as a player in the market, but saying the Mets will eat the contract reduces it to nothing. By saying that, teams will hold back and wait for the eventual DFA. Yes, the Mets could always DFA Bay, then pull him back if they can’t work a deal. If nothing else, it’s another way to test interest. Consider it a given Bay has cleared waivers.

There’s a timing to these things, and now it is not the time.

You’d better believe Alderson is working the phones trying to pull off a waiver deal with a contender. Maybe if the Mets eat part of Bay’s deal for next season he can do something. We all thought he’d never deal Carlos Beltran – who didn’t expect a revival? – or Francisco Rodriguez, but he did.

Stranger things have happened. There could be interest in Bay.

If not now, there’s always the offseason to work a trade. But, with the free-agent market, the Mets won’t find takers. There are plenty of quick fixes during the winter so bet the Mets will still have Bay after Christmas.

The Mets’ only hope is for Bay to find it next spring. If he does, that could ignite trade talks. But for now, Alderson’s proclamation of Bay staying will hold.

At least, until there’s a team with a desperate need that makes poor decisions. Yes, the way the Mets were when they signed Bay in the first place.

Jul 20

Mets In Huge Buyers Market

Of the 30 major league teams, only six after at least 10 games behind in the wild-card standings. The Mets are only 3.5 games behind, a position which should have them as prime buyers.

The problem of shopping in the bullpen aisle, say the Mets, is the cost. That translates into not expecting too much. Huston Street and Jonathan Broxton, while manageable in salary, extract a big prospect price the Mets aren’t willing to pay.

In weighing the present and future, the scales a tipping toward the latter, said assistant GM John Ricco: “We’re watching every day the same thing people are. But you also can’t fool yourself into thinking that there’s one guy that is going to be the be-all and end-all solution to all of our problems. You can fall into that trap and make some big mistakes.”

The problem for Sandy Alderson is his team isn’t one of the six 10 games out, which is what the expectations of them were – probably even from Mets management. Alderson never thought he’d be a buyer.

Although their contracts are Jeremy Lin Ridiculous, Alderson was thinking maybe somebody would be desperate enough to take the Johan Santana and Jason Bay off his hands.

Despite their skid, the Mets are in it now. There’s no guarantee in the future Alderson is trying to protect that they’ll be close again anytime soon. That defines the pressure he is under.

Jul 16

Mets Need This Day Off

Players do all kinds of things on a day off in a city. Some work out, others shop. Some take in movies or simply sleep in another strange hotel room.

Whatever the Mets’ players do, hopefully they won’t dwell on what was the disaster in Atlanta. Every aspect of their game went south, from the starters to the bullpen, to the defense to the clutch hitting.

If it wasn’t the worst series of the season, it was close.

At one time the Mets were eight games over .500 and enjoying lofty thoughts of contention. This morning, they are three over, losers of four straight and seven of their last ten. They have six games against first-place Washington within the next two weeks. Yes, it is conceivable the Mets could lose all six and still make the playoffs.

Anything is possible, I suppose.

Despite numerous injuries and deficiencies, the Mets have played over their heads this season. However, things are starting to catch up to them. The last month hasn’t been kind to Johan Santana and R.A. Dickey. David Wright’s average is diving while his strikeouts are steadily increasing.

In many aspects, the Mets are playing to the expectations many have had of them.

General manager Sandy Alderson said ownership has the resources to add at the trade deadline, but he was talking salary. He’s not inclined to dip into the farm system to deal for that salary.

Help could be on the way in the persons of Matt Harvey and Jason Bay. Harvey will pitch tonight at Triple-A Buffalo; Bay could be activated from the disabled list tomorrow. Neither are considered locks that will spark this struggling team.

The Mets overachieved by playing alert, aggressive baseball and with strong starting pitching. Whatever they accomplish this season – one many had written off – it must be by playing that way again, and with the talent they have on hand.

The Mets must be their own calvary.

On second thought, whatever the Mets’ players do today, thinking long and hard of how they played this weekend and before the break might be the best thing they could do.