Saturday, March 31, 2007

Interview: Joe Smith

I found a funny article on Joe Smith with an interview from Billy Wagner. Link

Friday, March 30, 2007

Last Cuts

Reports are that Lastings Milledge and Ambiorix Burgos are the last two players to make the Mets Opening Day roster. Chan Ho Park and Jon Adkins have been sent to the Mets' AAA affiliate New Orleans Zephyrs. Yes, Chan Ho Park did accept he was sent down rather than leaving, which he could have.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Battle for Number 2

The start of the 2007 Major League season is only 3 days away. Over the course of Spring Training Willie Randolph has frequently batted David Wright in the 2 spot. Last season Paul Lo Duca filled that spot. Everyone has been wondering if Wright will bat in the 2 spot between Reyes and Beltran during the regular season. This spring has not been the most successful for the Mets. The Mets are 11-20 this spring and not playing great to be honest.

David Wright and Paul Lo Duca are completely different players. Wright can hit for contact and power while Lo Duca is more of a singles guy. David Wright is having a much better spring then Lo Duca. In 66 at bats Wright has a .288 batting average, 12 walks, 5 RBI’s, 8 runs, 1 home run, and a stolen base. Lo Duca has been a little under par, he has a .208 batting average, 3 walks, 5 RBI’s, 3 runs, no homeruns or steals in 48 at bats.

But who would be a better hitter for the 2 role. We have already seen what Paul Lo Duca can do thanks to last season. Lo Duca allowed Reyes to run by letting himself get deep into counts in order for Reyes to choose his pitch. He was a singles hitter which is good to be in that position. Wright hits for contact and power to all ends of the field. He was very successful last season in the 5 spot. That spot allowed Wright to have the chance to gain a lot of RBI’s. If Wright was in the 2 spot he would have to be a lot more patient so Reyes could run. I don’t think that is the best thing for a young hitter to have to do. If there is a good pitch early in the count you want that batter to hit it. With Wright there he might not be allowed to do that.

With all this being said, I believe Lo Duca should be in the 2 spot. He was very capable and successful last season so why change a good thing. If Willie Randolph put Lo Duca in the 7 spot and Wright in the 2 spot, Lo Duca would be less valuable in that spot then Wright in the 5. Thus, Wright should be in the 5 spot this season and Lo Duca should remain as the number 2 hitter.

Didn't Happen

Today the Mets optioned outfielder Ben Johnson and infielder Anderson Hernandez to New Orleans (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League and reassigned infielders Ruben Gotay and Mike Carp, catchers Sandy Alomar, Jr. and Mike DiFelice and righthanded pitcher Lino Urdaneta to minor league camp.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Ben Johnson Anyone?

The chance of Ben Johnson making the opening day 25 man roster is a long shot but still very plausible. He has shown a lot of good things this spring like his power and ability to drive the runner in. This spring Johnson has a .241 batting average but a .328 on base percentage. He has 10 Runs, 5 RBI’s, 2 stolen bases, and 2 homeruns in 54 at bats. Johnson has shown that he can hit, field, and possibly run. But will Ben Johnson make the squad?

The recent hand injury of Lastings Milledge might help his cause. Milledge got hit in the wrist during a game last week, it is not broken, but Milledge has not played in the last couple of games. Milledge and Johnson have very similar stats. They both have 54 at bats with Milledge having a much better average along with more total bases, stolen bases, and less strikeouts. Johnson has more walks and home runs. Both Milledge and Johnson have 5 RBI’s and runs. Johnson is not getting as much consideration as Milledge even though he is putting up very similar numbers.

Johnson is also more valuable coming off the bench. He has shown he is an okay pinch hitter. Willie Randolph would also be more inclined to use Johnson off the bench then Milledge.

I’m not here to say Johnson should be on the opening day roster and Milledge should not. I am just trying to make my case for Johnson. Ben Johnson’s chances are being helped due to the fact that a fifth starter will not be needed until Sunday, April 15. That could help him be a bench player unless Willie Randolph decides to bring another reliever. Personally, I feel that if Ben Johnson is given a shot he will succeed and continue to improve. If Johnson does not start in the Majors this year I guarantee he will be there by the end of the season. Good luck Ben Johnson, I hope you make it.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Milledge loves Rocky

And to think I could not love Lastings Milledge even more. Today I found out Milledge has an obsseision with Rocky. Personally, I love Rocky, with the third one being my favorite. Milledge said, "I've seen every one like 15 or 20 times. Every time it's on, I have to watch it. I don't know why. I'm addicted to them." Link

Power for Wagner

I found an intresing article about Billy Wagner at ESPN. It talks about how he did not always throw so hard. He was 5 foot 3 as a senior in high school throwing in the high 70's. Wagner also played D-III baseball which I did not know.

Intresting Trade

The Florida Marlins today announced that they have acquired right-handed reliever Jorge Julio and cash from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for right-handed pitcher Yusmeiro Petit.

I find this trade very funny. Jorge Julio was a Mets reliver last year and was quite frankly awful. Yusmerio Petit was a former Mets Prospect but was traded during to the Marlins November of 2005.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Stop Complaining Chan Ho Park

Recently, Pitcher Chan Ho Park has been moved to the Bullpen. Over spring training Park was buying for a role as a starter. Yesterday, Park pitched 3 innings with 0 runs and was removed from the game. After the game, the Mets told Park that they wanted him in the bullpen. Park did not take kindly to hearing that. While talking to Steve Popper, Park said,”…they ask me to be a reliever, honestly, I'm unhappy. I'm not happy.” When talking to John Delcos Park said, “When asked if he would seek his release if this was a permanent move, Park said he would have to think about it.” This brings me to my main point; Stop complaining Chan Ho Park!

Park cannot honestly complain. So far this spring Park has pitched 12.1 innings while giving up 9 earned runs, 14 hits, and has a strikeout to walk ratio of about 2/1 which is quite poor. Park was signed late in the off-season for a potential job as the 5th starter. Apparently, he believes he earned the job coming into camp and did not realize the amount of people starting for the job.

The whole thing is very simple. Pelfrey pitched better than park. Pelfrey has had a superb spring with 19 innings pitched, 6 earned runs, and a 2.84 ERA while Park has a 6.57 ERA.

I am just annoyed that Park is complaining. He should be happy to be on the roster with the way he pitched. He should be thanking Burgos and Sosa for pitching even worse than him. Plus, by being on the Roster he is making more money along with the fact he would probably refuse to play in the minors. The only reason Chan Ho Park is being given the shot he is getting is due to his past experience. Last year, Park pitched out of the Bullpen for Korea in the World Baseball Classic and did a good job. Chan Ho Park, stop complaining and just prove to the Mets that you should be a starter. You're a good pitcher, so how hard can it be?

It's Official

Reports are that Willie Randolph told Mike Pelfrey that he was added to the rotation in a meeting after today's game. It's about time! My only question is what about the first two weeks where a 5th starter is not needed?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Reason Pelfrey is #5

After lasts nights 5 inning 1 run performance Mike Pelfrey is solidifying himself as the Mets fifth starter. Wille Randolph says he has not made his mind about any starters in the rotation. It’s a given that Glavine and Hernandez are in the 1 and 2 slots. John Maine’s continued success provides obvious reason that he is most likely the 3rd starter while Oliver Perez is more than likely to be number 4.

Coming into spring training everyone knew a battle was going to take place for the final spot in the rotation. It could have been any one from Humber, Sele, Park, Vargas, Soler, Sosa, and Pelfrey. It all depended on who would pitch well. As of now the only true contenders in my opinion are Park and Pelfrey. Park is more experienced as a 33 veteran pitching in Korea and in the Major Leagues. Chan Ho has not pitched very well this spring training which is really hurting his chances. Pelfrey has pitched in 14 innings and only giving up 2 Earned Runs. He shows a lot of poise; last night he gave up a lead off double and only gave up one run. In that process he continued to burn hitters in and get outs. In my opinion, Mike Pelfrey will get the job as the 5th starter because of his great spring training. Mike Pelfrey will be a mainstay in the Mets future and I think his success will begin this season.

Article on Milledge and Pelfrey

Over at SNY there is an article on Milledge and Pelfrey titled, "Milledge should start in right; Pelfrey should be in the rotation," Enough said...
I'm glad to see I'm not the only person who wants Milledge to start in Right field.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Soler Moves On

According to Adam Rubin Alay Soler is expected to sign with the Pirates, but is most likely going to be in the Minors.

More Cuts

Pitchers Philip Humber, Jason Vargas, Marcos Carvajal, Outfielder Carlos Gomez, Catcher Jose A. Reyes and DH Ruben Sierra were all assigned or optioned to minor-league camp.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

March Madness!

March Madness is upon us! There is a decent amount of Mets who went to schools that are playing in the NCAA Tournement. There is Aaron Heilman (Notre Dame), Scott Schoeneweis (Duke), Mike DiFelice (Tennessee), Jason Vargas (Long Beach State), Joe Smith (Wright State), Tom Nieto (Oral Roberts) and Assistant GM John Ricco (Villanova).

By the way, the interview with Joseph Decaro of Mets Merized Online is now posted at his site.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Mets Release Soler

Alay Soler's difficult journey to Flushing has reached a dead end.

The Mets released the Cuban defector last night, the Daily News has learned. Soler, pitching in relief of Chan Ho Park yesterday, allowed two runs on three hits, including a Ryan Zimmerman homer, in 1-2/3 innings against the Nationals to lift his spring ERA to 8.22.

The Mets originally signed Soler, 27, to a $2.8 million contract in August 2004 after he fled Cuba. But Soler had visa difficulties. He also had major trouble with an agent, who was eventually suspended by the Players Association for withholding documents while trying to get an exorbitant cut of the deal.

Soler couldn't even enter the U.S. for the '05 season.

He pitched 45 innings for the Mets last year. His highlights came in June, when he picked up his first major-league win by limiting the Dodgers to one run in seven innings. He then tossed a two-hit shutout five days later in Arizona. He went 2-3 with a 6.00 ERA.

Soler would have been due $826,000 at the major-league level and $620,000 at Triple-A.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Mets loose 9-6

Today the Mets lost to the Nationals by a score of 9-6. The Mets rallied from behind only to have Jon Adkins, who received the loss, give up 3 runs in the bottom of the 8th and loose the game 9-6. Carlos Gomez had a hit as a pinch hitter and Lastings Milledge went 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs which brought his spring training batting average to .345.

Catcher turned Pitcher

A year ago, Henry Owens was hot. Though he was 25, he was considered something of a young arm, even a pitching prospect. He produced a nice spring, enough of one that he Mets summoned him to the big leagues in July. The one-time catcher made enough of an impression that when the Mets made their annual trade with the Marlins, Owens was part of it, and now he has chance to be Florida's closer.
All that is a preamble to this: Joe Hietpas now is a one-time catcher, too. And he, too, is trying his hand -- his right hand, of course -- as a pitcher.

As a catcher, Hietpas was indentifed as a "catch-and-throw" guy, which is a delicate way to say he didn't hit much. A .208 average in 1,300 Minor League at-bats strongly suggests as much. Hietpas, 28 in May, topped out at .256 in 117 at-bats with Class A Brooklyn in 2002.

That was one year after the Mets selected him in he 16th round of the 2001 First-Year Player Draft.

But the organization clearly has high regard for him. And who knows? In a couple of months, he may be a good-hitting pitcher.
Click Here for the Link

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Biggest Bust

Remember Victor "Miny Manny" Diaz ? I was thining about him lately and wondering where he is today. Diaz was traded in late august for catcher Mike Nickeas. Nickeas is a non-roster invitee to Mets Spring Training and was cut in the first wave. Diaz is now on the Rangers 40 man roster but a long shot to make the Rangers 25 man roster for the season. All I can think of is disappointment and what a bust.

Friday, March 09, 2007


Recently, Joseph Decaro of Mets Merized Online asked me to answer these questions....

1. When all is said and done, which pitcher will have had the better career, Mike Pelfrey or Philip Humber? Why?

Mike Pelfrey will have a better career simply because Phillip Humber is so injury prone. In Humber’s short career he has already needed Tommy John Surgery. I expect Pelfrey in the years to come to be a number 2 starter and believe he will continue to improve.

2. What can we expect from Mike Carp and when the time comes, will Carlos Delgado be re-signed by the Mets, or will Mike Carp take over for him at first base in 2009?

It is hard to say at this time if the Mets will resign Carlos Delgado. You can expect some good hitting from Mike Carp. He has power to all fields which is rarely seen at someone of his age. At this point, Carp is lacking defensively. His throws and glove are not always there. If Mike Carp continues to increase offensively and progresses defensively he might be looking at the future Mets First Base starting position.

3. We hear so much about Carlos Gomez and Fernando Martinez lately and how they will both be in the outfield of the future for the New York Mets. Considering that Carlos Beltran still has 5 years left on his contract, and that Lastings Milledge is also supposed to be the future of the team, what do you think the outfield look like in 2010 and why?

The Mets 2010 outfield is really up in the air. Carlos Beltran is almost a definite to still be the Mets starting Center Fielder due to the years left on his contract. Lastings Milledge will probably be the starting right fielder if he continues to improve and he will also have more experience than Gomez or Martinez. I hate to say it but it really looks like the Mets will end up trading either Carlos Gomez or Fernando Martinez for a solid young pitcher. My guess is it will be Gomez. Gomez is more likely to be traded because he is closer to the majors and is looked at as a Jose Reyes type player with a better build and perhaps more power. If Fernando Martinez lives up to his potential, he will be the Mets Starting Left fielder.

4. How would you rank the top five prospects in the Mets Minor Leagues?

1. Fernando Martinez
2. Carlos Gomez
3. Mike Pelfrey
4. Joe Smith
5. Ben Johnson
6. Mike Carp

5. It seems like the Mets somehow got the curse of the Bambino at second base (Baerga, Alomar, Matsui). I don't believe that Anderson Hernandez is the answer at second base, do the Mets have any second base prospects on the horizon in their minor league system?

Anderson Hernandez is really it. If he improves his bat I would be fine with him at second base. Remember that amazing catch he had last year. The only other option was Jeff Kepinger who they traded away last year.

6. Does Alay Soler have a future or a role with the New York Mets and if so what will it be?

Alay Soler could get his chance if he pitches well in Spring Training. He has shown excellence pitching having a 2 hit shutout against the Diamondbacks. He has a lot of experience from his pitching days in Cuba which could help him get an opportunity. I look at him as the John Maine of last year, not really being looked at but coming up big.

7. I loved Lastings Milledge from the time he first came up and hit that homerun and high-fived the fans. I also think he got a raw deal from the media. Do you think Lastings Milledge will make an impact this season on the Mets?

I think Lastings Milledge will have a major impact this season and will gain the starting right field role. Green has not shown up to hit, and if this continues look at Milledge to step up. He recently shaved hit head and said, “I’ve got to get my grown man on.” Now that shows maturity.
8. Why did the Mets Triple A team leave Norfolk after all those years and move all the way to New Orleans?

The Mets moved Triple A teams simply because their contract expired and was not resigned. Believe me; I am just as disappointed as everyone else to leave the Tides behind.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

First Round of Cuts

Mark Hale at the New York Post reports on the Mets first round of cuts: The first round of cuts saw 14 players get sent down. The biggest ones were prospects Fernando Martinez, Francisco Pena and Kevin Mulvey. The other 11 were Michel Abreu, Chip Ambres, Adam Bostick, Drew Butera, Eddie Camacho, Willie Collazo, Joe Hietpas, Victor Mendez, Clint Nageotte, Mike Nickeas and Jorge Vasquez.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Mets Sign Wil Cordero

The Mets have signed free-agent 1B Wil Cordero to a minor-league contract. Cordero last played with the Nationals in 2005 and batted .118 with 2 RBIs in 51 at-bats.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Why Shawn Green should be Replaced

Shawn Green is 34 years old and on the downside of his career. Since 2004 Green is averaging less RBIs, Batting Average, Home Runs, Runs, and Walks. Green has also done poorly as a Met in his short stay; .257 avg. and 15 RBIs in 34 games. This Spring Training Green has started extremely slow with 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, and 0 hits in 13 at bats. I know it’s only the beginning of spring training but let’s be realistic, how much can the Mets really expect out of Shawn Green this Season. His bat is worse, he's slow, and not very adept in the field. That is why I am predicting this is the year for Lastings Milledge.

Lastings Milledge hype has cooled down but I’m still high on it. Although Milledge did not perform as expected last year there should be no concern. He was 21 years old and a rookie in the Big Leagues. This year he realizes that he needs to step up.

People have said that Milledge drops his shoulder and swings under the ball. That is somewhat true. He does have a habit of upper cutting. But an upper cutting Lastings Milledge is more valuable than an aging Shawn Green. Lastings Milledge would most likely put up better numbers or at least similar numbers to Green. On top of his hitting Milledge is much more defensively sound with a superior arm and speed. In the process Milledge could also mature and possibly become the player he is destined to be. If that doesn’t work out the Mets could always just trade him .

Milledge the Artist

Lastings Milledge not only is a rising star in baseball, but also has his own record label. For more, Read This.

Mets Beat Astros 7-2

In todays win against the Astros Mike Carp had a giant performance. He was was 2–for-4 with two doubles and five RBI. I recently talked about Mike Carp on Febuary 8th where I gave a bio of him. He has some serious power to all fields which is rarely seen for someone at his age. Shawn Green was hitless in 3 at bats today and is 0 for 13 on the season. Another highlight was Carlos Gomez hitting a solo home run in the 9th.

Mike Carp Bio

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Your Killing Me Humber!

Not the best outing for Mets Prospect Phillip Humber today against the Orioles. In 1 inning he gave 3 hits and 5 runs! Dissapointing to say the least. At least John Maine pitched well going 2 innings, giving up 1 hit and 0 runs. Lastings Milledge was 2 for 4 and Ben Johnson recieved 1 hit in 4 at bats. Anderson Hernandez and Mike Carp were both hitless in their 3 at bats. The Mets lost by a score of 3 to 6.

Friday, March 02, 2007

So far Ben Johnson and David Newhan

We are three games into spring training. At this point not much has been seen. Though, Ben Johnson along with David Newhan are starting off very well. Mets Prospect Ben Johnson, who is 25 years old, has a chance to be on the bench with a strong bat. He is 3 for 5 in 2 games with 2 runs. Personally, I really like this guy. He has a solid bat with a lot of offensive potential. David Newhan is 2 for 7 but he has managed to be very productive. He has two sacrifices in which he recieved RBIs for both. In todays game he had the two-out, three-run triple and a bases-loaded, two-run single to tie it up in the ninth. Overall Newhan has 6 RBIs in 3 games played and 7 at bats.