Jan 05

Mets Have Catching Concerns

Of all the New York Mets’ questions entering spring training, perhaps the most intriguing is at catcher, where an inexperienced Travis d’Arnaud is the starter without a veteran mentor.

Last year, he had John Buck. However, when d’Arnaud was injured, the job became Buck’s with young Anthony Recker as back-up. By the time d’Arnaud was ready for Citi Field, Buck was heading for Pittsburgh.

The Mets could use Buck back this year as a caddy for d’Arnaud, but manager Terry Collins said he’s comfortable with Recker as the back-up. But, it’s January, not July and the Mets aren’t riding a six-game losing streak and heading to the West Coast.

Truth is the window is small for both d’Arnaud and Recker, and we don’t know what either could do with 550 at-bats over a full season. That’s a major concern, as is both their abilities to call a game and settle a pitching staff.

Mets pitchers last year had a comfort dealing with Buck they didn’t have time to develop with d’Arnaud. Mets pitchers did have some sense of comfort with Recker, who produced more at the plate than d’Arnaud.

Teams have carried weak-hitting catchers before, but usually they had enough offense elsewhere to compensate. This Mets’ team doesn’t have that luxury.

Of the two, for a young catcher, defense and handling a staff take precedence over offense, but as a young player it is only natural d’Arnaud will fret if he’s not hitting.

The problem is the Mets don’t know what they have in d’Arnaud, either at the plate or behind it. Ditto for Recker. Those are significant concerns.

Your comments are greatly appreciated and I will attempt to respond. Follow me on Twitter @jdelcos

Sep 10

Mets Release 2014 Schedule; No Shortage Of Quirks

What are the odds? Hours after I posted on why you still watch the New York Mets, the club released its 2014 schedule. The announcement also came shortly after Matt Harvey said he didn’t think he’d need surgery. But, there’s another opinion coming on that issue.

As usual, the schedule has plenty of quirks. There are four off-days in April; the home-and-home series with the Yankees is in early May; including interleague, they make four West Coast trips, which should be consolidated; and the season ends at home with an interleague series against Houston.

There is no reasoning as to how the schedule is made, but it has been that way since interleague play started and it isn’t about to change.

MARCH

31 Washington

APRIL

1 Off day

2-3 Washington

4-6 Cincinnati

7 Off day

8-10 At Atlanta

11-13 At LA Angels

14-16 At Arizona

17 Off day

18-19 Atlanta

21-14 St. Louis

25-27 Miami

28 Off day

29-30 At Philadelphia

MAY

1-4 At Colorado

5-7 At Miami

8 Off day

9-11 Philadelphia

12-13 At Yankees

14-15 Yankees

16-18 At Washington

19 Off day

20-22 LA Dodgers

23-25 Arizona

26-28 Pittsburgh

29-31 At Philadelphia

JUNE

1 At Philadelphia

2 Off Day

3-5 At Chicago

6-8 At San Francisco

9 Off day

10-12 Milwaukee

13-15 San Diego

16 -18 At St. Louis

19-22 At Miami

23 Off day

24-25 Oakland

26-29 At Pittsburgh

30 At Atlanta

JULY

1-2 At Atlanta

3 Off Day

4-6 Texas

7-10 Atlanta

11-13 Miami

14-17 All-Star Break (Minnesota)

18-20 At San Diego

21-23 At Seattle

24-27 At Milwaukee

28-30 Philadelphia

31 Off day (Trade deadline)

AUGUST

1-4 San Francisco

5-7 At Washington

8-11 At Philadelphia

12-14 Washington

15-18 Chicago

19-20 At Oakland

21 Off day

22-24 At LA Dodgers

25 Off day

26-28 Atlanta

29-31 Philadelphia

SEPTEMBER

1-3 At Miami

4 Off day

5-7 At Cincinnati

8-10 Colorado

11-14 Washington

15-17 Miami

18 Off day

19-21 At Atlanta

22 Off day

23-25 At Washington

26-28 Houston

Your comments are greatly appreciated and I will attempt to respond. Follow me on Twitter @jdelcos

Aug 01

What Is Sandy Alderson Watching?

Most of us didn’t expect the Mets to be active at the trade deadline, a thought emphasized by a stretch in which they lost 11 of 13 games. But, to hear GM Sandy Alderson say he opted not to trade Scott Hairston, or anybody else for that matter, by saying: “We haven’t given up on the season. We didn’t move players off the team for a reason. We think we have lots of good baseball in front of us, and Scott can be part of that.”

ALDERSON: Blowing smoke.

Of course, the Mets could have been more a part of things had they not waited for their collapse, which somewhat slowed in Arizona with the split, but in reality did it really? Since hitting the West Coast time zone, the Mets are 3-3, hardly a stretch to sound the trumpets.

When asked on a conference call why the Mets didn’t act sooner, Alderson said: “There really wasn’t availability. If you’re talking about an impact reliever at the end of the game, and you go back to right after the All-Star break, the market really had not fully formed. … Would a reliever of some renown, some ability, have made a difference? It’s possible.

“But, about the same time that it would have been nice to get a reliever, our starting pitching went south and we weren’t scoring quite as many runs as we had. So there was a period of time until very recently that we had a number of problems that could have been addressed. The bullpen was just one of those.”

The demise of the starting pitching and offense is true, but to say there was nothing available isn’t accurate, at lease not on the surface. Not all deals were made at the deadline. The Dodgers and Yankees made acquisitions a week ago. The fact is, and Alderson knows this, that there are few untouchables.

It is understandable the Mets didn’t want to purge their farm system, but not all deals would have meant trading Matt Harvey and/or Zach Wheeler. And, if Alderson really believes the Mets are still in it, then why didn’t they act in the last few days? Jonathan Broxton (to Cincinnati), Wandy Rodriguez (to Pittsburgh) and Francisco Liriano (to the White Sox) were done recently.

The fact is the Mets didn’t want to part with their farm system – and, it better turn out great after this – and/or don’t really believe they are in it. All acceptable explanations. But, please don’t tell us you’re not giving up on the season and then not do anything. There’s no way, barring a long-shot miracle the Mets can win anything this year with their present roster.

If Alderson really believed there is a chance he should have done something. By not doing so, he let down all those fans who were on the Mets’ bandwagon in the first half, and all those who bought tickets for games in the second half.


 

 

 

 

Jul 17

Mets Choose Batista Over Harvey

Citing Matt Harvey’s need for development – and echoing some of the sentiment posted here today – GM Sandy Alderson said Miguel Batista will start Saturday against Los Angeles.

However, Alderson left open the possibility of Harvey starting on the Mets’ next West Coast  trip. Alderson also said Zach Wheeler would not pitch on the major league level this year, but would soon be promoted to Triple-A Buffalo.

Good decision by the Mets. Harvey showed something last night, both ways. He showed poise and a good fastball, but he also displayed a wild streak.

Remember, this season is about laying the foundation for the future. Anything the Mets give us this season as far as competing is a bonus.

 

Jul 04

Mets begin key series tonight in LA

The Mets trying to get by with Jose Reyes down with a strained hamstring, which means everybody must pick up the slack, including Jason Bay, who is hitting .254 with 10 homers and 70 RBI in two seasons with the Mets.

With David Wright and Ike Davis on the disabled list, and Reyes a possibility to join them shortly, the Mets will need all they can get out of Bay.

General manager Sandy Alderson said the Mets would deal with caution regarding Reyes.

“We have to take it one day at a time,’’ Alderson said. “We’re not making any predictions at the moment. We’ll just see how he responds and the symptoms he demonstrates over the next few days. I’m sure he’ll want to play. I’m sure he’ll want to play in the All-Star Game. That’s something we have to look at.’’

Too often in the past the Mets acquiesced to Reyes’ demands to play, but the stakes are higher this time. The direction the Mets will take at the trade deadline is largely dependent on how well the team is playing and Reyes’ health over the next few weeks.

Beginning tonight in Los Angeles, the Mets open a West Coast trip against the Dodgers and Giants, then close out the month against Philadelphia, St. Louis, Florida and Cincinnati.

It is not a stretch to say the remainder of this month will be spent on the edge, that whether this team packs it in as has long been speculated or makes a run at salvaging a season, we’ll know it all in the next few weeks.

We’ll know whether the Mets will still feature Carlos Beltran, Francisco Rodriguez and perhaps Reyes, or another group of non-descript players.

Here’s tonight’s lineup in Los Angeles:

The Mets are trying to get by with Jose Reyes down with a strained hamstring, which means everybody must pick up the slack, including Jason Bay, who is hitting .254 with 10 homers and 70 RBI in two seasons with the Mets.

With David Wright and Ike Davis on the disabled list, and Reyes a possibility to join them shortly, the Mets will need all they can get out of Bay.

General manager Sandy Alderson said the Mets would deal with caution regarding Reyes.

“We have to take it one day at a time,’’ Alderson said. “We’re not making any predictions at the moment. We’ll just see how he responds and the symptoms he demonstrates over the next few days. I’m sure he’ll want to play. I’m sure he’ll want to play in the All-Star Game. That’s something we have to look at.’’

Too often in the past the Mets acquiesced to Reyes’ demands to play, but the stakes are higher this time. The direction the Mets will take at the trade deadline is largely dependent on how well the team is playing and Reyes’ health over the next few weeks.

Beginning tonight in Los Angeles, the Mets open a West Coast trip against the Dodgers and Giants, then close out the month against Philadelphia, St. Louis, Florida and Cincinnati.

It is not a stretch to say the remainder of this month will be spent on the edge, that whether this team packs it in as has long been speculated or makes a run at salvaging a season, we’ll know it all in the next few weeks.

We’ll know whether the Mets will still feature Carlos Beltran, Francisco Rodriguez and perhaps Reyes, or another group of non-descript players.

Here’s tonight’s order at Los Angeles:

Angel Pagan, CF

Justin Turner, 2B

Carlos Beltran, RF

Daniel Murphy, 1B

Jason Bay, LF

Lucas Duda, 1B

Ronnie Paulino, C

Ruben Tejada, SS

Chris Capuano, LP