Wednesday, April 30, 2008

AA Starters: Niese Good, Parnell Bad

In AA Binghamton, Jonathon Niese has been wonderful on the mound. After 5 starts, Niese has managed to go 2-1 but more importantly have an era of .71. The Mets 7th round draft pick pitched very well in his first career spring training start this past spring training. He had 3 starts and went 1-0 with a 3.12 era, 5 hits, 6 strikeouts, and 7 walks.

The 20 year old left handed pitcher finished up the regular season with an 11-7 record with a 4.29 era and 110 strikeouts. Niese went 5-3 with a 5.32 era before the all star break and had since gone 6-4 with a 3.52 era. Niese was 8th in the league in strikeouts. The thing to watch is opponent’s batting average against Niese; it is .285, not very good. In his only start for St. Lucie in the playoffs Niese pitched superb going 6 innings with 1 hit ball and 9 strikeouts. He Went 11-9 with a 3.93 ERA in 25 starts with Class A Hagerstown in 2006.

On the other hand, Bobby Parnell has not been so hot. He is 0-2 with an era of 7.15 after 5 starts. He has given up more walks (14) then he has strikeouts (13)... never a good sign.

The Mets 7th pick in the 2005 draft Robert Parnell was invited to spring training this year. Parnell started his career in Brooklyn with 2 wins and 3 losses but a 1.73 era, 67 strikeouts in 15 games, 14 starts. The 6 foot 3, righty pitcher went 5-10 with a 4.04 era with 54 strikeouts in 18 starts for A Hagerstown in 2006.

He also started 3 games for A St. Lucie; 0-1, 9.26 era.Parnell started the 2007 in St Lucie going 3-3 with a 3.25 era, 62 strikeouts in just 12 starts (55.1 innings) making him a FSL Mid-Season All-Star. After being called up to AA Binghamton, the 23 year old struggled with a 5-5 record and era of 4.19 in 17 starts.

The scariest stat for Parnell in AA was the difference between bases empty, runners on base, and runners in scoring position. Bases Empty he had an era of 1.09, runners on 7.99 era, runners in scoring position 12.04 era.

Relievers in the Minors

The New York Mets bullpen has not been very good after the first month of regular season play. With starting pitching being very spuratic, the mets relievers are being overworked. Just to name a few, but Heilman is on pace to pitch in around 90 games and he has an era of 6.28. Schoenweis, Smith, and Sosa are all on pace to pitch in the almost 80 games. With this being said the Mets will need to get fresh arms, and luckily they have plenty in their minor league system.

In AAA, one of my favorite relivers, Willie Collazo has pitched in 10 games and has an era of 1.71. Carlos Muniz has an era of 0 with 2 saves after 6 games.

In AA, Eddie Camacho has an era of 2.3 after 8 games (15.2) innings. German Marte has an era of 1.54 and 2 saves after 8 games. After a fast start, Eddie Kuntz is once again struggling and now has an era of 5.06 and 4 saves after 9 games.

In A+ the best reliver is Ryan Coultas after starting the season with a 3.52 era after 9 games pitched. Finally, in A-, the best reliever thus far has Jose Bierd with a 1.04 era in 9 games.

Mest Edge Bucs in 11

Last Night, the Mets pulled out an 11-inning, 5-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Jorge Sosa got the win in relief, and John Van Benschoten took the loss.

Nice to see David Wright get the game winning hit, he needed that, as he has been slumping lately...Johan Santana actually looked pretty good, with the exception to the pair of home runs that he gave up to Nate McLouth and former Mets farm-hand Jason Bay. Santana just threw a lot of pitches, because the Pirates were having good at-bat's all night, and were refusing to chase Johan's low change-ups and fastballs slightly off the Ryan Church dialed in or what? This is a guy who people were criticizing as early as spring training. So far, Church has been for real...

Wagner picked up his first blown save of the year, but it really wasn't his fault...Reyes already has made 5 errors this season, one of which was throwing error in the ninth inning last night, that ended up leading to the tying run crossing on a 2-out RBI single by Freddie Sanchez...

All in all, let's not dwell on what went wrong, let's just go out and win this afternoon...


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Carlos: No Curtain Call; No Problem

On Sunday, Carlos Delgado hit a home run late in the game, his second of the afternoon, and jogged around the bases; business as usual.

However, the Shea crowd wanted a curtain call from Carlos, feeling he deserved it. Carlos decided to stay in the dugout, and David Wright was seen crossing his arms, as if giving the "safe" sign as an umpire would, and mouthing "DO NOT GO OUT THERE".

After the game, Delgado said, "it was not me sending a message to the fans." He also later said, "There is not bad blood between the fans and the players."

interesting...very interesting...I can't decide which I find to be more intriguing: Delgado NOT coming out, or Wright TELLING him not to...interesting indeed, however, I was at the game on Sunday, and I was one of the many in attendance calling for the curtain call. I was NOT however, one of many that BOOED when Delgado did not emerge with a fist pump, and a wave.

Initially, I was unhappy with his decision, especially since I was one of the fans who wanted one. However, after looking at the situation, taking into account his season up until now, I agree with him. Why would you a) go and wave to fans that have been booing you at every oppertunity, b) go and wave when all you did was hit two homeruns, which he has done many times before in his career? If it is mid-season, and Delgado has been hitting a little better, than MAYBE a curtain call happens, but I just think that in this situation, Carlos made the right decision

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sorry Carp Fans

In today's game, Carlos Delgado hits 2 home runs bringing his average up to .205 and increasing his home run count to 3 along with improving to 12 rbis. There has been lots of talk about decreasing Delgados playing time or even getting rid of him. One of the most viable options talked about is first baseman Mike Carp in AA.

Carp is leading the Binghamton Mets in a plethora of categories ranging from average to total bases. His stats include the following: a .376 average with 6 home runs, 20 rbis, 16 runs, 7 doubles, 14 strikeouts, 6 walks, and a slugging percentage of .645 in 93 at bats. As good of numbers as this is, Carp has struggled unbelievably after injuring his wrist last season.

A power hitter, Carp, batted He hit .243 and had 0 home runs in last season in the Arizona Fall League and still managed to be the AFL Prospect Team. Last season, Carp batted .251 with 11 home runs, 48 rbis, and 55 runs in 97 games for AA.

Carp was highly regarded early last season and was invited to spring training, but since his injury has had a lot of trouble up to his recent success this year.

People might want the Mets to call up Carp because of his great numbers right now but it is a very poor idea. Carp does not usually hit very well for average and his biggest problem is his strikeouts. Through 2007, Carp struck out 329 times in 381 games. The kid needs to show that he will continue to hit in AA and then AAA before being called up. He simply is not ready to make the leap and it is a stretch to say he will be ready next year either. Carp really needs to play a large part of the season in AA and some in AAA and must play a full season in AAA if he will have lasting success at the Major League Level

Post Game Wrap for April 27 Win Over Atlanta

The Mets beat the Braves today at Shea Stadium, taking the rubber game of this three-game series, 6-3.

For a boxscore, click here.

good outing by Nelson Figueroa...he pitched into the 6th, and got into a little bit of trouble, and left with a 4-2 lead, and runners on the corners and one out, but Joe Smith came in, and after surrendering a lead off single, got the final two outs, and extinguished the fire in the Atlanta bats.

The Mets got on the board in the first by a wild pitch, which scored Jose Reyes from third base...I was at the game today, and I predicted John Smoltz would be out by the 5th inning...he was pulled after the 4th inning in favor of Buddy Carlaisle, so I was correct.

Raul Casanova went yahtzee in the second inning, after Delgado had walked...Smoltz just seemed to not have it today, much to the delight of the Shea faithful...

Welcome back, Mr. Delgado. Carlos, where has that been all season? Two homeruns today, and a walk. He looked NOTHING like that .185 he came into the game hitting.

Thank god Aaron Heilman got a day just looks like every single time Willie brings him in, he gives up runs. He is looking like (dare I even say it) this year's GUILLERMO MOTA!

Luis Castillo is back in business, going 3-4 today...he looks dialed in at the plate, which is really big for this team, because once Reyes gets hot, Castillo will be right there behind him to move him up, drive him in, set the table for the 3,4,5 hitters, etc, all of that "#2 hitter" stuff Slappy is so great at.

By the way, Scott Schoeneweis owed Ryan Chruch a steak dinner for running down a ball that would have not only scored a run, but put the tying run on second, possibly third, with two outs in the seventh...what was funny was how on the scoreboard, they showed a replay of the catch, and then the reaction Schoeneweis had, which was just blowing air out of his mouth, with a baffled look on his face...priceless...

All in all, it was great to take a series from Atlanta, and by the way, the Mets are 4-2 against the Phillies this season, so even though the team has started 13-11, we are getting it done against the division rivals


Monday, April 21, 2008

Choke Artist

In tonight's game against the Cubs, Aaron Heilman once again proved he has 0 composure. If there is an error, a lucky base hit, or a bad call, Heilman seems to blow up afterwards. In tonight's game, Jose Reyes started the 8th inning with an error. Once Reyes committed the error I was certain Heilman would be giving up runs. The bases eventually became loaded with 0 outs. Heliman was able to get 2 outs and 2 strikeouts on the hitter before giving up a 2 run single. When there was 2 strikes I was thinking to myself, "Hey, Heilman might actually do it this time." But then I remembered that its Heliman and he always lets you down and before for I know it he gives up 5 runs.

I first noticed this about Heilman last May and it has proven to be correct countless times. I don't know if it is just me that notices this but how can you miss it. I just can not stand Heliman anymore.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Why Hate Milledge?

Earlier this week, the Mets played the Washington Nationals. Lastings Milledge returned to Shea for the first time after being traded and was boo'd pretty loudly. I was really surprised to see the hatred for Milledge by Mets fans. I was at the game and tried to find people that liked Milledge but was surprised to see such few Mets fans did. I really do not understand it. He was abandoned by the Mets and in return got treated poorly by the fans. I always thought Mets fans liked Milledge because he actually had swagger instead of another Yankee like attitude. I just would like to know why Mets fans boo'd and now hate Milledge. His rap label is not that bad.


Adam Rubin at the Daily News profiles Nick Evans, Mike Carp, and my favorite of the three Dan Murphy.

On Evans: “He’s a very good athlete, very good potential as a player,” Mets VP Tony Bernazard said about Evans, a fifth-round pick by the Mets in 2004 out of high school in Phoenix. “The ball jumps off his bat. He has a lot of power potential. He can hit the ball in the gaps. He’s very smart, a leader-type player. A quiet leader.”

On Carp: Mike Carp – the league’s reigning Player of the Week, who had an off-year in 2007 that resulted in being snubbed for an invite to big-league spring training – ranked fifth in all of minor-league baseball with a .448 average through Friday.

On all three: During the opening month in the Eastern League, teams use the DH, which has allowed the Mets to mostly use Carp in that role, while Evans largely plays first and Murphy mostly third. Bernazard said the plan is to expose each of those players to multiple positions – with Murphy and Evans alternating between first and third and Carp mostly playing first and the outfield.

It is great to see that Carp finally has his power back after an extremely long drought. Carp is the youngest of the three and before injuring his foot last year, he was the top first base prospect. Evans has the most power 286 with 15 homers and 54 RBI in 378 at-bats in the pitching-rich Florida State League last season. Dan Murphy is my favorite prospects out of the three. I don't know why but I really like him. He is the oldest and probably has the least upside of all three (but all three can play). I like him because he was able to come out of college and successfully play in high A ball his first season. The only problem is his defense. He has already made 5 errors at third base and will most likely need to switch positions.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Muniz can Pitch

Twice I have said that Carlos Muniz is underrated. After having a lot of recent success in the minors over the last year or so, Muniz is really starting to show potential in the Mets bullpen. Today he pitched another 2 innings allowing 1 hit, 0 runs, and a strikeout. In 4 innings this season, Muniz has yet to allow a run.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Possible Option:

After 2 starts Adam Bostick is 1-0 with an era of 2.25, 12 strikeouts in12 innings. After having a very decent year last year in AAA New Orleans going 6-7 with a 5.66 era, 91 strikeouts, and 45 walks in 21 games (20 starts, 97 innings), Bostick had a strong fall and winter. He pitched in the Arizona Fall League going 2-0, with a 2.74 era, 23 strikeouts in 6 games.

The Mets acquired left-hander Adam Bostick along with lefty Jason Vargas in November of 2006 in exchange for right-handed relievers Henry Owens and Matt Lindstrom. So far, the trade has favored the Marlins but if there are problems in the rotation and newly signed Claudio Vargas does not pitch well then Bostick is one of the best candidates in the farm system to take a spot on the Mets rotation.

Angel Pagan is the Man

After last nights walk off win by the Mets I am officially declaring Angel Pagan, The Man. I doubted Pagan at the start of the season thinking he had a good spring training, but it will not convert to regular season success. So far, I have been wrong. He is leading the team in many offense categories such as rbis and has really proven that he can play. After being drafted in the 4th round of the 1999 draft by the Mets only to never make it to the Mets until this year is a great story and now that Angel has been extremely clutch I think I can say that Angel pagan is the man.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Minor League Starts

The Minor League season is underway. The New Orleans Zephyrs are 2-0 with starts from Adam Bostick (Win, 5 innings, 6 hits, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts) and Tony Armas Jr. (no decision, 5 innings, 9 hits, 3 runs, 2 strikeouts). In relief pitching, Willie Collazo has pitched 3.2 innings while allowing 1 runs and Carlos Muniz has 2 saves in 2 attempts while not allowing a run. Offensively, Anderson Hernandez is batting .333 with 2 rbis, 1 run, and 2 doubles. Caleb Stewart is batting is .125 with a double, run, and rbi.

AA Binghamton is 2-1. Both Jonathon Niese (5 innings, 1 hit, 5 strikeouts) and Jose Sanchez (5 innings, 3 hits) picked up wins while Bobby Parnell (3.2 innings, 2 runs, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts) snagged a loss. Both Joe Hietpas, Eddie Kuntz, German Marte, have pitched 1 scoreless inning in relief. Offensively, Mike Carp is batting .375 with a home run, and 3 rbis. 21 year old shortstop is batting .375 with a stolen base. Dan Murphy is batting .333 while F-Mart is batting .200. Finally, second baseman prospect Emanuel Garcia is batting just .125 with a stolen base and 2 runs.

Surprisingly, A St. Lucie has started out the year 0-2. Both the Dylan’s (Owen and Gee) have started for the Mets. After an amazing year for Brooklyn, Owen went 5 innings giving up 5 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks and 3 strikeouts while taking the loss. Gee went 5 innings allowing 3 hits and a run while getting the no decision. Brandon Nall blew his only save opportunity. Hector Pellot is batting .154 with a double. Ruben Tejada has just 1 hit in 13 at bats and 4 strikeouts.

Finally, the A Sand Gnats are 2-0. Michael Antonini pitched 6 perfect innings in his start while Scott Moviel pitched 5 innings with 5 hits and a run; both received wins. Francisco Pena is batting .333 with 2 doubles and 2 rbis. Pena is the only player on the gnats to hit above .300 thus far in the season.

It is very early into the season but there have been some good performances. The AAA starters have pitched well and if Nelson Figueroa continues to pitch poorly (I say this because he has given up 2 runs in 2 innings) for the Mets, Bostick or Armas Jr will be called up. I think the smarter decision would be Bostick… It is good to see Niese continuing to pitch well even though Parnell did not. The relievers have also been solid and it is not out of the question to see Kuntz pitch this year and I would say Hietpas is a long shot chance if the bullpen really struggles and he pitches really well. Wow, Carp actually hit a home run; hopefully his power will start to come back after his power outage. I would continue to keep an eye on both Dylan’s because of there dominance last year in Brooklyn; will it continue? Ruben Tejada could develop into a serious prospect if he starts to hit. Finally, it is very important that Pena has gotten off to a decent start so hopefully he will rebuild his confidence and not struggle as much as last year.


Over at, Jon Star profiles Fernando Martinez. "Fernando is like everyone says. He's a special kid that has great talent, especially at the plate. He's got a good eye, he knows exactly the pitches he wants to hit, and he's got good power to the gaps, but we worked with him on staying level and stay consistent. We want the kids to be good hitters first, the power's there. Just concentrate more on being a gap-to-gap guy, line drives instead of trying to lift the ball. If you become a good hitter, then you become a power hitter."

Also, there is an article on Brandon Nall. Armed with one of the best sliders in the farm system, the right-hander with the atypical delivery continues to climb the ladder as a reliable late-game arm. The 25-year-old right-hander, who was plucked out of a free agent pool following the 2005 draft, returned to Binghamton and was assigned the role of stop-gap from the starters to closer Carlos Muniz."

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

I guess I was right

Just one week ago I wrote about how Nelson Figueroa should be the Mets fifth starter. Now, Pedro is hurt and Nelson recently flew to Miami and will now be the Mets fifth starter.

Nelson has not pitched in the Major leagues since going 0-3 with a 5.72 era with the pirates in 2004. Since then he has played in an independent league (0-1, 2.79 era), 1 year in AAA (4-5, 4.38), and last season in Mexico (8-6, 3.87). He finished up spring training going 2-2 with a 4.32 era in 8 games (2 starts), with 8 walks, 8 strikeouts, 16 hits in 16.2 innings pitched.

Why Wise?

Last night, Manager Willie Randolph mismanaged the bullpen for the first, but definitely not last time this year. On opening day, Randolph thought it would be a good idea to use 4 relievers to get out just a couple of batters. In last nights game, Pedro hurt his hamstring and had to be replaced by Jorge Sosa. Sosa, who pitched in the opener, saved the Mets by going 2.2 scoreless innings. After trailing, the Mets tied up the game starting the battle of the bullpens. Schoeneweis and Smith combine for just 3 outs. Heilman faced trouble with a runner in scoring position and 1 out but got out of the inning while giving the Mets 2 shutout innings.

So the first extra inning game of the year took place. In the bottom of the tenth, Randolph selects Matt Wise to pitch even though Wagner and Feliciano were available. Wise got 2 good strikeouts and then fell behind the last hitter 2-0. He came in with a high changeup and even Gary Cohen said he got away with that pitch. Next pitch, high changeup, home run, walk off, game over, Marlins win.

The right decision would have been to bring Feliciano in. Why would you not bring in one of your best relievers at the start of extra innings? Feliciano was also not used in the Mets opener while Wise was. I also thought Wagner should have pitched. Sure, you could say it wasn’t a save situation but let the Mets get to a chance where a save situation is possible before bringing in your worst pitcher of the ones available. Frankly though, who is really surprised? Willie mismanaged the bullpen last year, and has already shown that he cares about testing people then winning.