Apr 02

Niese going for Mets vs. Fish

Jon Niese going tonight for the boys against Florida. Niese surprised us early last season then struggled in the second half. Hot and cold. Sounds like a lot of Mets’ pitchers. Bottom line is we still don’t know what to expect from him.

I’m glad the Mets eschewed dealing Niese last year at the trade deadline because despite an erratic start to his career, I see a big upside with him. Lefties are golden.

Angel Pagan is hitting second tonight, which I don’t understand. Willie Harris is on the bench tonight despite getting two hits last night.

If you want to engage in a chat room tonight, click on to the Mets Chat icon to your left. I am hopeful the problems from last night have been resolved.

Apr 01

Pelfrey rocked in opener

The Mets’ 50th season opened tonight in Florida in much the way many thought it would, with the Mets losing to the Marlins, 6-2.

PELFREY: Didn't have it tonight.

Not really a surprise considering Mike Pelfrey’s track record against Florida (now 1-7) and Josh Johnson’s while facing the Mets (now 8-1).

The night was about dominance, as Johnson took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. Wouldn’t it have been just like the Mets to be no-hit in the first game of a new era?

Pelfrey unraveled in the fourth when he gave up a grand slam to John Buck in his first jam of the season. The Mets gave up 12 slams last season, most in the majors.

The Mets looked listless as they mustered just four hits, with half of them coming from Willie Harris. Four hits just won’t get it done.

The rotation this summer, with Johan Santana out, will be all about Pelfrey. He’s their ace, their top gun, and not making it out of the fifth is something they can’t afford.

 

Mar 29

Bay ailing … so what else is new?

Carlos Beltran is scheduled to play this afternoon, which could be a dicey gamble because if something happens they won’t be able to back date him the last ten days in spring training. What good is one game, say five innings in a Grapefruit League game going to do?

BAY: Not smiling now.

Not much. A tweak and he could be on the disabled list for at least two weeks into the season.

Right, I know what you’re thinking …. where he could join Jason Bay.

Bay was scratched from today’s game with pain in his rib cage. These things take time, so Bay going on the DL (it would be retroactive to March 24), isn’t out of the question. Considering these are the Mets it’s probably a certainty.

Nice timing on optioning Nick Evans, wouldn’t you say? It Bay goes on the DL Lucas Duda would open the season on the 25-man roster. So, on days when Beltran is off, we’ll have an outfield of Duda, Willie Harris and Scott Hairston. Kind of inspiring, wouldn’t you say?

Meanwhile, the Mets are trying to convince Jason Isringhausen to stay in Port St. Lucie for an extended spring training, which would allow them to keep Blaine Boyer. Isringhausen is 38 and has pitched well this spring. He might decide he doesn’t want to stay in Florida, and if so, somebody will claim him

In addition, Boyer has an out clause in his contract any might opt to hook on elsewhere. If they can pull this off and be able to keep both Isringhausen and Boyer it would be sweet, because you know they are going to need them eventually.

Mar 11

F-Mart among first roster cuts.

F-MART: Has the window closed?

The Mets made a round of roster cuts this morning, with outfielder Fernando Martinez and infielder Ruben Tejada among them. Also sent to the minor league camp were Josh Stinson, Tobi Stoner, Manny Alvarez, Armando Rodriguez, Zach Lutz, Jordanny Valdespin, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Kai Gronauer.

The Mets have been consistent with Tejada all along, saying they want him in Triple-A for the at-bats and to play shortstop. No real surprises.

The demotion of Martinez, once the franchise’s brightest position player prospect, makes me wonder if it will ever happen for him. That Lucas Duda is being given a chance to make the team and not Martinez tells you his stock has fallen.

Remember when the Mets had outfield prospects Martinez, Lastings Milledge and Carlos Gomez? Speed to burn. Milledge flamed out, Gomez was traded and the Mets hung onto Martinez because he had the highest ceiling.

No more.

When given the chance he hasn’t produced, but the biggest knock on Martinez has been his inability to stay healthy. Believe me, that goes on the scouting report as much has his ability to hit a curveball.

Yes, I understand the argument Martinez needs the minor league at-bats more than sitting on a major league bench, but that the Mets would sign reserves Scott Hairston and Willie Harris – whose upside has already been reached – rather than give Martinez a chance to earn a roster spot speaks of what they think of him. And, with Carlos Beltran down, that is even more magnified.

The Mets would not part with Martinez in any trade discussions in the past, but I can see that changing now. I can see them listening intently.

That is, if anybody else is still interested.

 

Mar 10

Let’s see Duda in right

Assuming Carlos Beltran isn’t available to the Mets by Opening Day, replacing him shouldn’t equal the dilemma CBS will have in replacing Charlie Sheen on “Two and a Half Men.”

DUDA: Let's see what he has.

Both of Beltran’s knees are aching and he’s down for the week. Maybe he’ll come back next week; maybe he won’t.

So, who will the Mets use to replace the aching outfielder with a huge $18.5 million contract?

Veteran bench players Scott Hairston and Willie Harris can be plugged in and won’t embarrass the ball club. But, will they carry it? History says no, because afterall, they are role players. Their job is to temporarily fill a hole.

I want to see what Lucas Duda can bring to the table. Duda was a September call-up who started slow but closed hot. While Hairston and Harris could be somewhere else next season, or who knows, maybe even dealt in July to a contender, Duda could have a future with this team.

Duda is strong – he had four homers last year – so there’s power potential. He didn’t sparkle defensively and can only get better. Duda is off to a good start this spring and homered yesterday. We know what Hairston and Harris can do; Duda is an unknown.

However, for a team not expected to do anything this year, what’s the harm in giving him an audition?