Starting Pitcher Mike Antonini made a strong for the B-Mets 5th straight Spring Training victory but Mother Nature had other plans. The B-Mets were leading 3-1 with two outs in the top of the third inning in Port St. Lucie, Florida when the remainder of the game was called due to rain. No makeup date has been announced.
Antonini pitched the duration of the rain-shortened game going 2 2/3 innings allowing only one hit and one unearned run. He struck out two and walked none.
The B-Mets got on the board in the first inning when Shortstop Emmanuel Garcia lead off with a walk. He then preceded to steal second base and would move to third on a wild pitch. He would be brought home by a single from B-Mets catcher Josh Thole.
Left Fielder Frank Diaz added to the B-Mets offense in the 2nd inning with a sacrifice fly. Designated Hitter Josh Petersen added an RBI with a double later in the inning
The fireballer from San Diego State, Stephen Strasburg, is seeking $50 million dollars when he gets drafted this year. Then again maybe he is deserved. But all this hoopla is coming from Strasburg's "adviser"Scott Boras who constructed Alex Rodriguez's quarter of a billion dollar deal.
Strasburg throws triple-digit heat. He is already being compared to Dwight Gooden, Mark Prior, David Price, and Cole Hamels. He has incredible stuff and is definitely worthy of this massive rookie contract.
The Nationals have the first pick in the draft and whether or not they can afford his input is up to them. He could fall to Houston or even Pittsburgh.
Strasburg's flaming fastball has reached over 106 miles per hour
Mack: The MPH is growing... :)
FOR THE BIRDS: Do you know how to moonwalk, while wearing giant foam feet? Can you reach the Suite Level when you throw t-shirts into the crowd? Can you communicate using only your wings and an expressionless top-heavy headpiece? Are you able to perform your assigned tasks under the pressure of dozens of kids punching you below the belt? If so, the Cyclones may be looking for you!
Brooklyn’s one and only professional baseball team is searching for the prefect person to fill the sizeable shoes of the borough’s favorite mascots – Sandy the Seagull and Pee Wee
Tom Seaver will throw out the first pitch at CitiField.
Congratulations. You saw it, the last season Brian Schneider's OPS will eclipse .700. Next season, Schneider figures to be even worse with the bat. But, he hit 9 homers in limited playing time and extrapolated over 500 PA he should reach double digits! Not so fast: he hit the fewest percent of flyballs (21.1%) of his career in 2008, but got extremely lucky with a 15% of his FB leaving the yard. For comparison he hit just 4.6% HR/FB in 2007. Was he merely hitting deeper flyballs? Doubtful, but his hittracker graph reveals a tendency to hit balls to the rightfield foul pole, where Citi is especially shallow:
Looking over the new stadium, there is going to be at least a 10 point positive affect on BA. There is no foul territory in the OF at all. Even Dave Kingman would have picked up 10 points on his average and if you keep poking the ball down the line, your going to get more than a few extra shots at the pourches.
Throughout the off season, one hot topic for conversation has been Jose Reyes, and where he fits best in the Mets’ lineup. There has been talk of putting Reyes in the three hole on occasion, and moving Luis Castillo up to the leadoff spot, but I am here to put all of those rumors to rest. In terms of the first man that belongs in the lineup, Jose Reyes fills the role perfectly. Since Reyes’ first full year in the major leagues, his patience and abilities have improved nicely. One thing that has been nice to see is his rise in on base percentage. In 2005, his OBP was just .300, which wasn’t at all helped by the fact that he walked just 27 times in well over 600 at-bats. In 2008, however, Reyes walked 66 times, and his OBP rose to .358. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
How the 2009 Mets were formed:
Trade: Brian Schneider - Carlos Delgado - Luis Castillo - Ryan Church - Jeremy Reed - Johan Santana - Oliver Perez - John Maine - Sean Green - J.J. Putz
Draft: David Wright - Daniel Murphy - Mike Pelfrey - Bobby Parnell
International FA: - Jose Reyes
Free Agency: - Carlos Beltran - Alex Cora - Fernando Tatis - Marlon Anderson - Ramon Castro - Livan Hernandez - Pedro Feliciano - Francisco Rodriguez
Rule 5 Draft: - Darren O'Day
Purchased : - Brian Stokes
Most people are talking about the new Yankee Stadium. But what about the new stadium for the New York Mets ? From the pictures that I see, it looks like they did a great job in creating a modern but old-school park.
The Phillies handed out one of the biggest bonuses since the end of the 2008 international signing period, signing Dominican outfielder Domingo Santana for $330,000. Santana is a 6-foot-5 righthanded hitter with a plus arm in right field. He’s an average runner with a long, projectable frame and is still learning to adjust to breaking balls. Santana has been eligible to sign since August, when he turned 16. The signing marks Philadelphia’s largest international signing bonus expenditure within the last year.
Ken Takahashi LHP L L 6-2 187 4-16-69
The 39-year-old lefthander went 8-5 with a 3.50 ERA in 21 games (20 starts) for the Hiroshima Carp last season.
He signed a minor league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays for 2009, but was cut. The Mets signed him to a minor league contract the same day.
2006: 2-3, 4.70 in 54 relief appearances
2007: 5-4, 3.70 in 22 relief appearances
2008: 8-5, 3.50 in 21 games, 20 starts
So that brings me back to my original question: should the A's make a run at either Pedro Martinez or Odalis Perez? These two are the best remaining free agents out there and would provide some much needed experience to the starting rotation at a reasonable price. I'm going to assume that both guys are going to require a major league contract to sign...so with that in mind I would stay away from Martinez. Even though Pedro is a great leader and has tons of big time experience, I think he's too much of a risk for the Athletics. Even though Pedro pitched well against cruddy talent in the WBC, he is nothing more than a fifth starter at this point in his career. I really don't think Pedro would be an upgrade over the young guys, even with his experience.
Alvin Jackson, a smallish African American lefthander when there were so few, was pitching batting practice for the pitchers who still hit in the NL, kidding about their attempts at bat, laughing when their long ball hunt becomes a dribbler, still bouncy in the Florida sun at the age of 73. “I live down here now,” Jackson said, as he wiped some sweat from his brow after some 30 minutes of throwing soft strikes. “I just love it. The Mets let me come to spring training every year and that’s enough for me.” We talked about the differences when he and Sherman (Roadblock) Jones were the only two blacks in that first Mets camp and the segregation that still existed in Florida, throughout most of the American south and subtly up north were a routine part of life. Jackie Robinson had integrated baseball on the field in 1947 but not much changed off the field even 15 years later when Jackson came to the first Mets camp.
Lincoln Hamilton’s Top 5 Draft Pick Prediction:
1 Steven Strasburg RHP 56.9 K% 5.4 BB%, 100 mph FB, SL maybe be best pitch, injury concerns only red flag 20.6 SDSU
2 Dustin Ackley CF High average, and walk hitter with speed for CF, dominated last year (.477 wOBA*) 21.0 UNC
3 Tyler Matzek LHP Projectable California lefty with plus velocity, deep repitroire and clean mechanics 18.4 HS
4 Donavan Tate CF True 5-tool talent, two-sport star has strong commitment to UNC, upside rivals Stras 18.5 HS
5 Josh Phegley C Numbers tell the story, .522 wOBA*, .329 IsoP, 16.5% BB, 13.6% K, should stay at C 21.1 IU
The 2009 Spring Training "Released" Roster: - C- Josh Bard (signed with Nationals), 1b- Daryle Ward, 2b-Marcus Giles, 3b-Morgan Ensberg, ss-Esteban German (signed with Cubs), OF- Trot Nixon, OF- Dave Roberts, OF- Jay Gibbons, Bench- Guillermo Quiroz, Bench- Rob Bowen, Bench-David Newhan, SP- Shawn Hill (signed with Padres), SP- Odalis Perez, SP- Mike Maroth, SP-Adam Eaton (signed with Orioles), SP/RP- Ron Villone, RP- Aaron Fultz, RP- Jimmy Gobble (signed with Rangers), RP- Danny Graves, RP- Duaner Sanchez (signed with Padres), RP- Brendan Donnelly, RP- Yhency Brazoban, RP- Tyler Walker, RP- Keiichi Yabu (resigned with Giants), CL- Eric Gagne
The Buffalo Bisons, Triples-A affiliate of the New York Mets, will host their annual MLB Opening Night Party on Sunday, April 5 at Pettibones Grille Restaurant. Doors open at 7:00 p.m.
The Atlanta Braves take on the World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies in the first game of the 2009 MLB regular season at 8:00 p.m.
Cost of the event is just a $5 donation to Bisons charities and fans can enjoy all-you-can-eat chicken wings and Coca-Cola soda. Pettibones Grille will also have a cash bar available for fans.
The Bisons are asking fans to RSVP for the event by calling the team at (716) 846-2011.
I've lived long enough to see the Mets move to their new ballpark. As I get excited to head out to Citi Field (the brain almost typed “Shea” for not the first and last time) on Friday night, the word that keeps popping into my head is “karma.”
Here's to hoping the new building brings a new start for this franchise.
We're all Mets fans, we all bleed orange and blue (and some of us unfortunately, black.) We love the Mets, but if we're being honest about our beloved Metsies, this franchise has boiled down to two types of teams: Last place and second place.
Yes there have been 4 trips to the World Series, if you've read this far you don't need me to recap....but for the most part, what is Mets history?
It starts with the worst, and then some of the worst teams of all-time. If you think finishing fifth stinks, try finishing twelfth.
Then Seaver shows up and works some magic for five years.
Next, the franchise sells The Franchise and everyone else, and Shea was miserable. Back to last place (or second last depending on how horrible the Cubs were).
Some young pitching showed up and we thought we had a dynasty on our hands. Some bad luck, some drugs, some injuries, some bad karma and Davey's boys spent more time in second place than they did in tickertape parades. Does 1988 mean anything to you now? To me, it's another underperforming team.
Ike Davis 1B/OF L L 6-4 215 3-22-87 Arizona State University
Davis was drafted in the 1st round of the 2008 draft by the Mets.
His stats at ASU were: .394/.468/.778, 198 AB, 62 R, 78 H, 26 doubles, 1 triple, 16 HR, 73 RBI, 30 BB-31 K, 3 errors in 49 games, .993 FPCT
MLB.com’s scouting report on draft day:
Hitting Ability: Davis tends to be a slow starter, but showed a smooth swing from the left side.
Power: Davis has some untapped raw power that could be developed as a pro.
Running Speed: He's a tick below Major League average in terms of speed.
Base running: Not a base-clogger by any means, he's a decent baserunner.
Arm Strength: Also a pitcher who throws about 87 mph, his arm plays fine from the outfield or first base.
Fielding: He's a solid corner outfielder and can handle himself well around first.
Range: He's got good instincts in the outfield and would have no trouble covering enough ground to stay there.
Physical Description: Davis has a good, projectable and athletic body.
Medical Update: Healthy.
Strengths: Smooth swing from the left side; good athleticism; good bloodlines -- former big league pitcher Ron Davis is his dad.
Weaknesses: He doesn't always repeat his swing, leading to incomplete at-bats at times. Sometimes he appears to be a little low energy.
Summary: On radars since high school, when he was a 19th-round pick of the Rays in 2005, the son of ex-big leaguer Ron Davis has a sweet left-handed swing that should generate more power in the future. He's not speedy, but he is a solid base runner and would be fine as a corner outfielder or first baseman at the next level.
In June 2008, BA did a post-draft adjustment of their top 10 Mets prospects and Davis was ranked #2, with the comments: “hulking lefthanded slugger can handle the outfield and pitch, too.
Scoutingbook.com on Ike Davis:
18. Isaac Davis, 1B, NYM - Another slugger who went a little earlier than expected, and again it's to a team that could sorely use some power from the first base position. Ike is a legitimate threat to hit 40 homers in the big leagues, and his refined college approach to the strike zone means he should do it without Howardesque strikeout numbers. One of the draft's most polished picks, Davis could be ready as soon as 2009.
In mid-June 2008, Baseball America on Ike Davis:
The son of former big league reliever Ron Davis, Ike was not a scouts' favorite coming into his junior season. A decorated high school career that included a star turn with Team USA's youth national squad and an MVP award at the 2004 Aflac Classic, and his pitching family pedigree, had most scouts regarding him as a pitcher out of high school. He decided to go to Arizona State rather than sign as a Rays 19th-round pick, and he started on the mound and batted cleanup in his first game as a Sun Devil. He struggled with wood in the Alaska League in 2006 and in the Cape in 2007, when he cut his summer short to have right wrist surgery. He returned to the mound as a closer in 2008 and played first base to keep his arm fresh. He also worked to incorporate his lower half more and was having a banner season, leading the Sun Devils in the triple crown categories as well as saves, before missing time with a ribcage injury. Davis has excellent raw power, comparing to former ASU star Jeff Larish, but he's a much better defender with a better swing and better pitch recognition. Davis is above-average at first base and should be able to play an outfield corner as well due to his plus arm; his below-average speed could limit him to left.
In late July 2008, ProjectProspect.com updated their top 10 Mets prospect list and Davis was ranked 2nd.
Davis had a so-so 2008 season, though he did ralley near the end. He played the entire season for Brooklyn, going .256/.326/.326 in 215 at bats. Davis had 0 HRs and only 17 RBIs in 58 games.
From Toby Hyde: - #14 - 1B Ike Davis - Why Ranked Here: Davis, who had a rough professional debut, shows off plus big league raw power in batting practice. He has not taken that leverage to games yet, failing to homer in his first season as a Brooklyn Cyclone, but it’s in there. Davis has sound footwork at first and as a former pitcher in college, the arm for right. However, those other attributes are of secondary importance to a player who was drafted 18th overall for his offensive gifts. 2008: After hitting .385/.457/.742 in 52 games with Arizona State, Davis began his professional career with a 15 game hit streak over which time he hit .292/.288/.385 without drawing a single walk. By July, Davis’s average was lurking around .250 and he was a mess at the plate. The only pitches he was hitting hard were fastballs thigh-high, middle in. He was getting beat by heaters up or in and was lunging hard onto his front foot chasing breaking balls. As Brooklyn made a late dash to the playoffs, Davis appeared to relax. In his final 58 AB, he hit .310/.394/.379 with 8 BB and 12 SO. Projected 2009 Start: St. Lucie. Davis will take on the pitcher-friendly FSL.
MWOB on: - 2008 Top Pick: - Ike Davis 1B - The Mets were rewarded with this pick when the Braves felt nostalgia was in order and signed Tom Glavine as a free agent. Ike signed for $1.575 million and is the son of Ron Davis. Like his dad, he was a closer for Arizona State as well as a slugging first baseman. The Mets drafted him and have him playing first base. In 215 at bats for the Brooklyn Cyclones Ike forgot to be that slugging firstbaseman, failing once to send a ball over the wall. He did hit 15 doubles, but most teams are looking for better than a .326 slugging average from their first baseman. The Mets are hoping to see a little more pop in 2009. His could move to the outfield, but his speed restricts him to left field, and that is also a power position.
February 2009: Mike Rodgers on Ike Davis:
Ike Davis had (at the time of the draft) room to grow. Conversely from Raben, Davis' swing does lend itself to high contact, but not a ton of power, according to Alex Eisenberg of The Hardball Times. He feels that Davis' hands get too far out in front which fails to let the ball travel into his happy zone -- for the lack of a better term. However, the PG Crosschecker scouting report from earlier notes a very balanced, upper-cut swing which shows great power potential. Unfortunately he struggled in the Alaskan Summer League in 2006 and lost valuable time to prove what he could do with wood bats in the Cape Cod league due to his wrist surgery. However, he was sitting in the lower-90's when he took the mound for the Sun Devils as a left-handed closer, which means he does profile as a potential right fielder with his athletic frame and above-average to potentially 'plus' arm strength.
In March 2009, Rotoworld ranked the Mets Top 10 Prospect:
9. Ike Davis - 1B - DOB: 03/22/87 - ETA: 2011
.256/.326/.326, 0 HR, 17 RBI, 43/23 K/BB, 0 SB in 215 AB (SS-A Brooklyn)
Davis, the son of former major league pitcher Ron Davis, looked like the bust of the first round after failing to homer in 215 at-bats after the Mets made him the 18th overall pick last year. The team is hoping that it was a strained oblique that sapped his power. More than anything else, it was his 30-homer potential that made him an early pick. The 6-foot-5 Davis doesn't project as much of a hitter for average and he doesn't run very well. On the plus side, he likely will develop into an excellent defensive first baseman. Maybe he'll be the new Rico Brogna.
Project Prospect updated their top 200 prospect list in March 2009:
#199 Ike Davis 1B 18th pick of '08 had a debut to forget (.071 isoP, .293 wOBA, 18.3% K, 9.8% BB, 235 PA) 21.9 NYM SS
20. New York Mets, NPV: $98.56 million
Strengths: Continue to do a great job of finding international talent. Wilmer Flores rocketed up prospect lists. Brad Holt had an excellent debut.
Weaknesses: Lack depth in system. More immediate pitching help, except for Jon Niese, will come through relief pitchers.
Looking forward: The Mets typically adhere to slotting rules in the draft and lost their first round pick by signing Francisco Rodriguez. While Niese is the only major prospect who is at risk of losing his prospect status, the Mets will need some prospects to take some steps forward to avoid dropping down.
Prospect to watch: Reese Havens, SS/2B. While Havens was the Mets first draft pick in 2008, he has been jumped by Brad Holt by most prospect evaluators. He provides good secondary skills at the plate, and while he likely won't stay at shortstop, he could profile nicely as an offensive second baseman. I wouldn't be surprised to see Havens jump back over Holt in next year's prospect lists.
As we inch closer to Opening Day, the Mets stars are building toward what everyone hopes will be a championship season. Yesterday two of the biggest names put on a pitching display that is likely a foreshadowing of things to come this season. Johan Santana pitched a 7-inning gem, needing only 75 pitches to shut down the Nationals . He struck out 6, walked 1, and gave up 1 run. For those worried about his health, Santana answered everyone with a loud, "I'm fine!", though it was his arm that did most of the talking. "I felt pretty good and had everything working," Santana said. "I was able to throw strikes and get ahead in the count. You're going to put yourself in a good position to throw quick innings."
As I asked Minaya, as GM of the New York Mets, doesn't he have to protect the best interests of his team above all else? I'm not saying that the Mets need to keep everyone in camp. But why not cap the number at a more reasonable figure. And if the Mets know that Perez needs constant maintenance, is it outrageous for someone to speak up and say, "Maybe we should hang onto Ollie to make sure he's ready for the season. After all, we just paid $36 million for the guy, and rolling the dice with our No. 3 starter might not be a good idea." Anyway, this is pretty much Minaya's bottom line on the subject: "I just don't believe in denying a player the opportunity to represent his country," Minaya said. "I could never stand in the way of that. That's something that's very special. We're all committed to it. Oliver Perez is the best pitcher in Mexico right now. How can you tell a player, the best pitcher in the country, that he can't participate?"
Livan Hernandez should be the fifth starter, but Jerry Manuel wouldn't annoit the veteran to the position when asked today despite there being no real opposition. Even former Astros starter Fernando Nieve has been working strictly as a reliever. This could be simply Jerry being Jerry but it has lead some to speculate that the Mets are either considering a trade or bringing in Pedro. With rosters being slimmed there are players available but no one has been linked to the Mets as of yet, the Rays are rumored to be looking to move a starter ( source MLBTR). I think Pedro is as long a shot now as he was at the end of the season but his name will cont. to surface until he's signed elsewhere or officially retires.....
Jonathan Malo has been in the Mets system since 2005; last season, he played for Binghamton. In 99 games he hit .261, his best average in four seasons of Minor League ball. He also had an OPS of .695, a fielding average at second base of .991, and can play third base. According to his scouting report on Scout.com, Malo has good quickness, a good enough arm to make all the throws, "is a very reliable person on the basepaths," and though he lacks power, he has a good eye at the plate. The bottom line: Malo's an intelligent utility player with an excellent attitude who deserves a chance to play for the Mets.
I am not trying to neglect the Mets but just have forgotten to write about them. The Mets defeated the Florida Marlins yesterday 5-4. After the game Jerry Manuel still wouldn't commit to anyone as the fifth starter even though we assume its Livan Hernandez, he said he likes the kid Gee. It appears Jose Reyes will be the leadoff hitter followed by Luis Castillo, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado. I think this is the right choice, if you hit Castillo 8th it would hurt him I believe. He has looked good this spring so maybe the Mets will actually get something out of him.
David Newhan, on being released by the Astros:
Kind of the only way that Coop's really communicated is through (the media)," Newhan said as he boxed his belonging at Osceola County Stadium. "It's just unfortunate. They've talked about needing a shortstop the whole time, but I wish I would have gotten a chance to at least screw that up. I never really got that opportunity. He told me I would, but the next day talking to (reporters) was like, 'You're like seventh on the list.' The way they communicated they made it clear I wasn't going to fit here and the guys they have in Triple-A, they have to play. I understand that."
Ramona Shelburne of the Los Angeles Daily News writes that Doug Mientkiewicz "seems to have played himself into contention for a spot on the Dodgers' Opening Day roster." Just a month ago, Mientkiewicz was pondering retirement. Now he's being viewed as an ideal left-handed pinch hitting option for a squad with legitimate playoff aspirations. "Doug's certainly got our attention," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said Friday. "I told him, `If somebody else sees you and you and you get an opportunity to play someplace else that's fine.' But he just won't let up. As Yogi (Berra) would say, he's trying to make himself necessary." Mientkiewicz is hitting .300/.371/.700 this spring with two home runs and 11 RBI in 30 at-bats. Plus, he has one of the wildest player portraits on all of MLB.com.
Bisons Defeated by Memphis, 5-3
Thursday, April 9 vs. Pawtucket (3:05 p.m.)
The Buffalo Bisons, Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets, fell to the Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals), 5-3, on Sunday afternoon from Port St. Lucie, FL
The Bisons are now 0-4-3 in their 10-game exhibition schedule (one game lost to rain).
Bisons outfielder Fernando Martinez finished the game 2-4 with one of his hits an RBI-double. Infielders Rob Mackowiak and Michel Abreu also had RBI-doubles for the Bisons.
2007 B-Mets MVP Mark Kiger, who rejoins the Mets organization after a year with the Seattle Mariners, capped his 2-4 day with a double in the 8th inning to drive home Right Fielder Frank Diaz. Diaz placed himself in scoring position with a two out double, his second hit of the game. Kiger, the Mets Third Baseman, had an RBI double in the 7th inning as well.
Left Fielder Caleb Stewart added to the Mets three run 7th inning with a solo home run. He finished the game 1-4. Shortstop Ruben Tejada, Second Baseman Emmanuel Garcia and Catcher Josh Thole all went 1-3 in the game. Thole's RBI double in the 4th inning put the Mets on the scoreboard
If Luis Castillo is able to fashion a comeback season maybe he can follow in the footsteps of two Mets heroes who also rebounded from awful years to lead the club to post-season glory. In 1968 Tommie Agee was beaned in his spring training debut by Bob Gibson and then struggled in his first season with the Mets, hitting just .217 with five homers and 17 rbi's, including an 0 for 34 stretch. Agee bounced back of course in 1969, hitting .271 with 26 home runs and driving in 76 runs atop the Mets order before his Fall Classic heroics.
Ray Knight's first full season in New York in 1985 was also a disaster. Knight hit just .218 with six homers and 36 rbi's and was nearly released the next spring before going on to hit .298, with 11 home runs and 76 runs batted in as a prelude to his MVP performance in the World Series.
Livan Hernandez seems to have locked up a spot in the Mets starting rotation. Non-roster invitee Ron Villone still has an outside shot of making the staff as well. Both have a chance to join a short list of one-time Mets pitchers who also started against the Mets in an opening day game. Hernandez started for the Washington Nationals against the Mets on opening day 2006 at Shea. Villone was on the mound for the Pittsburgh Pirates at Shea vs. the Mets in the 2002 opener. Here are the five other pitchers who started season openers against the Mets and also pitched for them:
I know I've said that I'm willing to give Luis Castillo a clean slate this season. He showed up to camp in great shape and has put together a great spring. But deep down, I'm still worried about how his knees will hold up and if he can still perform up to his contract and at the major league level. The Mets are particularly thin at the second base position through the minor leagues, but Jonathon Malo had been impressing Jerry Manuel -- until he was sent down to minor league camp. And as scant a chance as Green had, it was diminished by the late emergence of Jonathan Malo, a 25-year-old Canadian-born second baseman who has impressed Manuel to such a degree that the manager has told people in the organization that Malo is among his favorites among the possible reserves. But there seems to be no place for Malo on the roster.
4) How do you think Citi-Field will play? Pitcher’s park? Hitter’s park? Why? I have no idea, and neither does any one else. I asked Jeff Wilpon this very question, when I talked with him during spring training, and he said there have been no indications yet, and nobody will really know until the team starts playing in April - and even then it will likely change as the weather warms up, the wind patterns change and it gets more humid in the summer. I believe, however, they want it to be a pitcher’s park, consistent with the team’s history.
5) Luis Castillo is projected for 490 ABs and 0 HRs. That would be a sub-Herculean achievement. Think he can pull it off? My readers at MetsBlog.com like to call him Slappy McSingleton, but, like Clark Kent in a phone booth, turning in to Superman, he becomes Slappy McHomerton at least once or twice per season when batting from the right side of the plate – I expect the same in 2009. I am far more concerned with his OBP than his home run totals, though
David Wright currently ranks 5th in team history with 130 home runs. With 25, he'll pass Dave Kingman into 4th place on the Mets all-time list.
* Wright ranks 7th in Mets history in RBI with 489. If healthy, he'll pass Cleon Jones (521) and Edgardo Alfonzo (538) for sure. A 126 RBI season slips him past Ed Kranepool (614) into 4th place.
* Wright (819) should also move into the top 10 on the all-time Mets hit list. Jose Reyes (919) will as well. The current 10-spot holder is Keith Hernandez with 939, 20 more than Reyes and 120 more than Wright. Reyes should be Top 5 by the end of the season, as he's 110 hits behind current 5-spot holder Bud Harrelson (1,029). Wright's top target is 9th-place holder Jerry Grote (994) and 8th-place holder Howard Johnson (997).
New York Mets Top 5 - by Brett Sullivan - March 26, 2009 - #1: Fernando Martinez – The youngest player in Double-A in 2007 and 2008, Fernando Martinez is fresh off his best professional stint since Low-A ('06). Though his production still hasn’t matched up with his hype, the 6-foot-1 lefthanded outfielder is progressing in some areas of his game. His .145 isoP ('08) was up from .106 in Double-A in 2007, although still down from his breakout 2006 campaign (.194). He’s been consistent in his rates (7.0 BB%, 19.0 K% in '08) and hit more line drives last season (19%) than he has at any point in his career. Martinez made modest improvements in translating his raw speed to baseball speed last season. Still, if he sticks at center field in the bigs, he'll likely be one of the worst center fielders in baseball. Age is still the biggest factor on Martinez’ side. He’s young enough that he can evolve into a very good major leaguer, but he will need to considerably raise his performance on the field if he is going to reach his ceiling.
Do you remember Darren Reed? Perhaps not. Reed was a prospect that played for both New York teams during his career. He was involved in a rare trade between the two clubs as well. On December 11th, 1987 he was part of the deal that sent Rafael Santana to the Yankees. During his time with the Mets he was known to have huge spring training’s (I believe he hit 10 homers in the spring once), but was never able to come north with the team. In 1991, after being assured he would be on the Mets opening day roster, he was traded to the Montreal Expos; a week to ten days later, he had his forearm broken by a Met pitcher and missed that entire season. The Mets brought him back in 1993, but a day or two before the end of spring training, he injured his hamstring, an injury that was understated and possibly misdiagnosed. He missed that season, as well. In short, Reed never was able to catch a break despite his potential.
It's Lima Time once again. Jose Lima, the irrepressible pitcher and entertainer forever in search of his next major league appearance, has signed with the Long Beach Armada of the independent Golden League. Lima got a lot of mileage from his five-hit shutout of the Cardinals in the 2004 playoffs, the Dodgers' lone postseason victory between 1988 and 2008. Lima went 13-5 for the Dodgers in 2004, then 5-16 for the Royals in 2005. He has not won a major league game since then and has not pitched in the majors since 2006, but Times columnist T.J. Simers caught up with Lima last summer, when he was pitching for an independent team in Camden, N.J.
The train kept rolling in San Diego last weekend, even though Stephen Strasburg registered his first non-decision of the season. While the Aztecs came out of their weekend series to BYU on the heels of a 4-2 loss, their ace was hardly at fault, scattering two hits and two walks over seven scoreless innings. Strasburg struck out 15 of the 25 batters he faced, bringing his season total to 74 strikeouts in 131 attempts (56.5 percent). His other outs have been generated by 14 ground-ball outs and 13 fly-ball outs. The two hits allowed are his best showing in that category this season. In total, the eight-figure arm has given up 21 hits so far: 16 singles, four doubles, and one home run (to San Diego redshirt junior Nick McCoy). Here's a non-diagrammed hit chart of what he's allowed:
Third Baseman Shawn Bowman led the B-Mets offense with a 7th inning grand slam, one of his two hits in the game. Shortstop Jonathan Malo went 3-6 himself with a double and two singles. He finished the day with three RBIs and two runs scored. Left Fielder Josh Petersen also had a strong day going 2-4 with two singles and an RBI. Second Baseman Emmanuel Garcia had a three hit game with two doubles and two RBIs. Ruben Tejada also added to the offense going 3-5 with a double and two singles
Eric Brown started the game for the B-Mets going a strong four innings allowing six hits and two earned runs. He struck out three
Over 2 seasons at Clemson, Clyne had a 3-1 record with a 3.06 ERA in 35 relief appearances. He’s allowed only one home run in his entire college career. 56 Ks/16 BBs (3.5 K/BB ratio).
His head coach at Clemson, Jack Leggett said: "Stephen (Clyne) is a senior righthanded pitcher who's been around for a while. He has a strong arm and a good slider. He just needs to develop that consistency so we know what we can count on from him. He has improved a great deal from last year, and I think he can make a significant contribution to the success of this team if he continues to work hard."
From a pre-draft scouting report: Clyne began experiencing arm trouble when he was still in high school, and in an effort to avoid surgery, elected to redshirt his freshman season in 2003. His arm never got back to normal, and he had Tommy John surgery, costing him all of 2004. It wasn't until last fall that he began to show the stuff that made him a coveted recruit. As a fifth-year senior, Clyne would create bidding interest among multiple teams if Clemson's season ended after the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, but the Tigers were a lock to go to regional play, so Clyne will hope to make his money in the draft. He's shown the stuff to warrant a third- to fifth-round selection, with two hard pitches and the profile of a setup man or middle reliever in the big leagues. Clyne's fastball sits between 91-94 mph with plus sink at times, and his slider can be filthy, registering anywhere from 80-84 mph on radar guns. He has limited feel for his changeup, and Clyne has a tendency to pitch tentatively, and doesn't always seem to have conviction in his stuff. He's around the zone, with solid-average command.
Clyne was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2007 draft by the Mets. He was signed and placed on the 2007 Brooklyn Cyclones squad. Clyne had an outstanding freshman pro season, going 1-1, 2.05, 1.52, 8 saves, in 20 appearances with Brooklyn.
In late January 2007, Baseball America ranked Clyne as the 13th overall Mets prospect, adding:
"Mets see Clyne as a setup man..."
In February 2008, Baseball Prospectus awarded him a 2-star prospect rating and ranked Clyne the 11th overall Mets prospect.
Also in February 2008, Rotoworld ranked Clyne as the #11 Mets prospect.
Clyne pitched for Brooklyn and St. Lucie in 2008, combining for 3-5, 4.77 in 44 appearances.
In September 2008, Patrick Hickey wrote on:
Stephen Clyne- The guy has a great assortment of pitches, a great makeup and had very solid numbers in Brooklyn. However, numbers can be somewhat deceiving, as he lost most of his closing duties to Yury Santana by the end of the season. Work on his mechanics can solve some of his control problems [13 walks in 22.1 innings] and with all the natural talent the guy has, I still expect him to project as a major league reliever in the next few years. - Final Grade- B
In October 2008, Toby Hyde wrote:
Clyne was the third college reliever the Mets picked in 2007, behind Eddie Kunz and Brant Rustich. Like Carr, Clyne was promoted directly from Brooklyn to St. Lucie, and like Carr, struggled early. Clyne gave up 25 runs in his first 20 innings in St. Lucie. However, he turned a corner in June yielding just five runs in his next 18 innings before being sent down to Brooklyn to help out the Cyclones. Clyne is a potentially very good middle reliever. His fastball was 91-93 and scouts saw his slider as a potentially plus pitch. I wrote about Clyne making a mechanical adjustment here. Likely ’09 Start: A+, although with a strong spring, AA is not out of the question
Bisons and Zephyrs Play to 4-4 Tie
Opening Day is only 13 Days Away
Thursday, April 9 vs. Pawtucket (3:05 p.m.)
The Buffalo Bisons, Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets, played to a 4-4 tie this afternoon against the New Orleans Zephyrs (Marlins) at Port St. Lucie, FL.
The Bisons are now 0-3-3 in their 10-game exhibition schedule (one game lost to rain).
Infielder Michel Abreu finished the game 2-4 with a two-run home run, while catcher Salvador Paniagua also homered for the Herd.
LHP Jonathon Niese got the start for Buffalo and allowed four runs in 4.1 innings of work.
There are just 13 days until the Bisons open up the 2009 season on Thursday, April 9 against the Pawtucket Red Sox (3:05 p.m.). Tickets are now on-sale at bisons.com or by calling THE-HERD at (843-4373).
1. For those of you that are new to me, I specialize in the Mets' minor league players, so you will see the results of all those games posted here every day.
2. As most of you know, I attend all the home games for the Sand Gnats, so they'll be plenty of info on here about the kids playing there this year..
3. I'm still looking for writers that attend games in Buffalo, Binghamton, PSL, Brooklyn, Kingsport, and the carribean teams... of cource, I will recap each game, but it would be great to add some folks who can fill us in what really happened each night...
4. The "Mack Attack" is a daily summation of what's floating around on the net each day about the Mets...
5. Feel free to let me know what info you want...
6. I will also include one of the bios from the prospects with the info I have accumulated over the years on that player.... don't forget, I an email you the entire 60,000+ word book on the current system for 9 bucks to JMAde2@aol.com and I'll email it to you within 24 hours...
-Even though they got worse, they’re still the class of the NL East.
-Same team, same result. Still looking good and primed to make another run. Hamels injury and fifth starter something to watch.
-Until proven otherwise, they’re still the team to beat in the division.
-A majority of last season’s World Series’ championship team is back, which should translate to a successful season
-Disappointing season after disappointing season, Minaya should be run out of New York soon.
-The new, improved bullpen should prevent a third straight September slide.
-Much of last year’s team is back, but now the bullpen has a few big arms, which should keep them close in the divisional race
-This is the year they don’t collapse…I think
-Revamped pitching staff brings the Braves close to where they were in the 90s.
-They’ll be competitive, but they’re young talent is still developing.
-The lineup isn’t too impressive and the pitching staff has too many injury risks to keep them competitive for 162 games.
-Revamped staff could be best in NL East. But, can Francoeur come back and will Chipper stay healthy? Both are big ifs.
-Marlins won’t sell the house for a World Series this year, but with a new stadium coming, they will probably use their method to win one soon.
-In love with young pitching staff led by horse Ricky Nolasco. And when you have Hanley in the order, good things will come.
-No team is more consistently competitive with fewer resources than Florida.
-Hanley Ramirez continues his assault on National League pitching. Be afraid.
-Quote of the offseason: “When you go to a club at 4 in the morning, and you’re just waiting, waiting, a 600-pounder looks like J-Lo. And to me this is Jennifer Lopez right here. It’s 4 in the morning. Too much to drink. So, Nationals: Jennifer Lopez to me.” –Julian Tavarez on why he signed with Washington
-NL East doormat will continue to get stomped on. Dunn signing helps with power, but Milledge, Dukes need big seasons, or else.
-Moving from Montreal hasn’t saved this debacle of a franchise.
-It’s hard not to love the lineup, but where is the pitching?
New York Mets Top 5
by Brett Sullivan
March 26, 2009
Fernando Martinez – The youngest player in Double-A in 2007 and 2008, Fernando Martinez is fresh off his best professional stint since Low-A ('06). Though his production still hasn’t matched up with his hype, the 6-foot-1 lefthanded outfielder is progressing in some areas of his game. His .145 isoP ('08) was up from .106 in Double-A in 2007, although still down from his breakout 2006 campaign (.194). He’s been consistent in his rates (7.0 BB%, 19.0 K% in '08) and hit more line drives last season (19%) than he has at any point in his career. Martinez made modest improvements in translating his raw speed to baseball speed last season. Still, if he sticks at center field in the bigs, he'll likely be one of the worst center fielders in baseball. Age is still the biggest factor on Martinez’ side. He’s young enough that he can evolve into a very good major leaguer, but he will need to considerably raise his performance on the field if he is going to reach his ceiling.
Its pretty clear that 2006 cemented that reputation as a "roller coaster pitcher" especially with the mechanical breakdown and the resulting demotion to the minors. However, before that he wasn't bad. As we're all used to hearing, Oliver Perez was incredible in '04 and his consistency reflected that. And in his time with the Mets, O-dog really hasn't been as up and down as the average fan thinks. Interestingly enough he was actually more consistent in '08 than '07 though as we all know he was definitely worse last year. So as I was saying he's definitely above the average but by no means is he the posterboy for streaky pitching as he's portrayed. Not only is he not the worst offender in the league, he may not even crack the top 5 in the division. Hell, he's been more consistent than Mr. Perfect himself, Cole Hamels. All in all, hes not a rock by any means but doesn't deserve nearly as much of the scorn as is heaped on him by the baseball media and fans alike.
Last year, Nick Evans just didn’t look ready for prime time. He came up and had a quick start but then fizzled out. But it looks like he came to camp ready to take someone’s job. Evans came up and had a 3 double game against the Rockies and went into a nose dive until late in the season when he started to get some small hits and bring his average back up. The problem with him and playing time last year was Daniel Murphy. Murphy came up last summer also and he hit from day 1. Being a minor league observer I always thought Murphy had the most hitting potential of the Binghamton trio (Evans, Murphy, Carp) and thought Evans may have the most overall potential. But Evans is not as good as I used to think at 1B. The Mets have a logjam right now so Nick Evans SHOULD go to Buffalo but he may force his way onto the roster. The hits he’s getting this spring aren’t just little line drive singles, he’s hitting the ball with serious authority unlike last year at the major league level. It may only be spring but he is really turning heads.
Ron Villone of Bergenfield endured a rough outing, giving up four runs on four hits and a walk in one inning. He got the first two outs, but then let five straight batters reach base. After three scoreless outings, he has given up six runs in his last two innings. He is in the mix for a final bullpen spot with Darren O’Day, who is a Rule 5 pick and Brian Stokes, who is out of options. It’s a decision that the Mets want to make before heading to New York.
Oliver Perez. I can’t even find the words. I didn’t think the Mets should have outbid themselves for him when other pitchers went for $4-6M. HE’S NOT EVEN A .500 PITCHER. So Mr. Perez gets a fat contract, goes to the WBC and guess what happened. HE DIDN’T DO HIS WORKOUTS. So now we have a Perez who’s arm is not ready and he’s up in weight. He’s the new Dontrelle Willis at this point. Dontrelle started to fall apart when his weight went up though with him it was more likely that he was gaining his man muscle since he was young when he was blowing them away but he did come into his money around that time. I know I was not the only one who knew something like this would happen and I was one of the biggest Perez supporters, I thought the Mets should have got him even before the Pirates sent him to the minors because they screwed up his motion and he became a bad pitcher with bad habits and I thought the Mets could help him out.
While the Detroit game was rough for manager Jerry Manuel to watch, he was able to enjoy the minor league game earlier in the morning in which Frankie Rodriguez, J.J. Putz and Sean Green pitched and were lights out. The worst part might have been discouraging the minor-leaguers who discovered whom they had to face. K-Rod needed just 10 pitches to put the side down in order, striking out two, and Putz followed with a 12-pitch inning without a flaw. Green allowed a baserunner, but still dazzled the hitters with a sidearm delivery that had them missing by a wide margin. "I felt fine out there," Rodriguez said. "It was kind of weird to start a game, but you make the adjustment. I was working on my pitches and had pretty good command
Johnny Blanchard, Binghamton Mets Baseball Shrine member and former Binghamton Triplet, died yesterday of a heart attack at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, Minn., at the age of 76. Blanchard signed with the Yankees in '51 and was sent to Binghamton. Blanchard served in the United States Military Service during the Korean Conflict in 1953 and 1954 but when he was released from duty he returned to the diamond for spring training in 1955. After leading the Eastern League with 34 homers in 1955 playing for the Binghamton Triplets, he received a late season call-up to the Yankees. Johnny Blanchard wasn't the best Yankee ever, but he was one of the most clutch. A career .239 hitter during the regular season, he batted .345 in World Series play and hit two home runs in the Yankees' five-game win over Cincinnati in the 1961 Fall Classic. A key reserve who played in five consecutive World Series with the Yankees (1960-64), Blanchard was a catcher and outfielder. He once hit home runs in four consecutive at-bats, accomplishing the feat over three games from July 21-26,1961. But it was in the World Series that he shined. He hit .455 in the 1960 World Series, when the Yankees lost to Pittsburgh in seven games, and batted .400 in 1961, when he won the first of his two championship rings in pinstripes; his second was in 1962. Johnny Blanchard was inducted into the Binghamton Baseball Shrine in 2004.
In this, the final installment of "At Home With," we speak with Brooklyn Cyclones media relations director Dave Campanaro. Since their inception in 2001, the Cyclones have ranked among the top drawing teams in all of Minor League Baseball.
MiLB.com: How would characterize your team's fan base? Has it grown or changed in recent years?
DC: Brooklynites are extremely passionate about baseball -- and about anything that is distinctly the borough's own -- so we're fortunate in that we meet both criteria. When the Cyclones were born in 2001, the fan base was starved for professional baseball. It had been 44 years since the Dodgers left for LA and Brooklyn's heart still hadn't healed (and probably never will). That first year was all about baseball returning to Brooklyn, but it was also about introducing the Minor League atmosphere to a Major League market. Most New Yorkers had very little, if any, experience with Minor League teams -- the promotions, the wackiness, the between-inning contests, the zany antics. In those first couple of years, I think we introduced a whole new world of baseball to the New York market, and we've been building on that ever since. As time has gone on, our fan base has become much more familiar with and knowledgeable about, the brand of entertainment (and baseball) we offer. They have come to love the Cyclones for who we are and what we do, rather than seeing us as a potential replacement for the Dodgers (which are super-sized shoes that no one can fill). We still have our share of baseball purists and historians, but every year we see more and more families, kids and casual fans who enjoy not only the game itself, but all the entertainment that surrounds it. The fact that we can appeal to both is what makes the Cyclones experience so special, and what makes our fan base so diverse.
RHP Jason Isringhausen came to camp with the Rays for a chance, and he's pleased with opening day less than two weeks away to still have one. Isringhausen, 36, worked another inning Wednesday, allowing a run on two hits and a stolen base, giving him a 4.50 ERA through four outings. He is making a slight adjustment to his delivery and throwing more changeups, and most importantly he said his arm -- having undergone September elbow surgery -- feels good. "I'm just trying to stick around," he said. "I look around and the place is dwindling, and I'm still here. Right now, no word is good word." The Rays face a tough decision with the former All-Star closer, who said he is unlikely to accept any kind of assignment, even short term, to the minor leagues. "No. I don't believe so. But that's right now," he said. "I'd have to sit down and talk with everybody." Though there isn't a specific clause in his contract, he said there is an understanding that the Rays won't "wait until the very last minute" to decide so he'd have time to catch on with another team.
The B-Mets bats were plentiful during Thursday's Spring Training game in Jupiter, Florida against the St. Louis Cardinals Double-A affiliate, the Springfield Cardinals. The Mets erupted for nine runs on eleven hits to beat the home team Cardinals 9-5.
The Mets offense was led by left fielder David Wabick. The lefty batter went 3-5 with a two-run double in the 4th and another RBI double in the 9th, finishing with three RBIs. Catcher Josh Thole and Third Baseman Shawn Bowman both helped the offense with two hits a piece. Thole's two RBI single in the 7th gave the Mets the lead for good and Bowman added run-scoring singles in the 2nd and the 9th. Center Fielder Joe Holden capped the offense for the Mets with a 9th inning two run triple.
Mike Antonini pitched a strong start for the B-Mets going four innings of two-hit baseball and only allowing one earned run. He walked one and struck out three to secure the win. Joe Hietpas, Jose DeLaTorre and Edgar Alfonso eached pitched strong in relief as well. Hietpas pitched two innings allowing three hits and two unearned runs. He also struck out two. DeLaTorre also pitched two innings allowing one run and striking out two while giving up two hits. Alfonzo closed out the game with one inning of relief. He allowed one run on one hit and a walk.
SNY Schedule to Start May 28: Bisons vs. Lehigh Valley (1:05 p.m.)
The Buffalo Bisons, Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets, today announced that SNY – the television home of the New York Mets, Jets and Big East Conference – will broadcast five Buffalo Bisons games LIVE during the 2009 season.
The five-game schedule will begin on Thursday, May 28 with the Bisons’ 1:05 p.m. game against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Phillies) at Coca-Cola Field. The schedule also includes a Bisons road game, July 6 against the Rochester Red Wings at Frontier Field.
“We were already looking forward to seeing our Bisons players in the Major Leagues with SNY’s coverage of the Mets. We’re extremely pleased to now be a part of SNY’s comprehensive sports coverage that reaches millions of New York sports fans,” said Mike Buczkowski, Vice President/General Manager of the Buffalo Bisons.
The Bisons on SNY
Date Time Opponent Affiliate
May 28 1:05 p.m. Lehigh Valley Phillies
July 6 7:05 p.m. @Rochester Twins
July 19 1:05 p.m. Toledo Tigers
Aug. 13 1:05 p.m. Rochester Twins
Aug. 31 7:05 p.m. Rochester Twins
The Buffalo Bisons, Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets, fell to the Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals), 3-2, on Thursday afternoon from Jupiter, FL
The Bisons are now 0-3-2 in their 10-game exhibition schedule (one game lost to rain).
Bisons outfielder Jason Cooper went 1-4 with an RBI-double at the plate while fellow outfielder Jesus Feliciano drove home the other Bisons run with his 1-3 performance. Outfielder Fernando Martinez was 1-3 with a walk and a run scored.
On the mound, LHP Jon Switzer and RHP Eddie Kunz each threw two scoreless innings.
In this, the final installment of "At Home With," we speak with Brooklyn Cyclones media relations director Dave Campanaro. Since their inception in 2001, the Cyclones have ranked among the top drawing teams in all of Minor League Baseball.
MiLB.com: How would characterize your team's fan base? Has it grown or changed in recent years?
DC: Brooklynites are extremely passionate about baseball -- and about anything that is distinctly the borough's own -- so we're fortunate in that we meet both criteria. When the Cyclones were born in 2001, the fan base was starved for professional baseball. It had been 44 years since the Dodgers left for LA and Brooklyn's heart still hadn't healed (and probably never will). That first year was all about baseball returning to Brooklyn, but it was also about introducing the Minor League atmosphere to a Major League market. Most New Yorkers had very little, if any, experience with Minor League teams -- the promotions, the wackiness, the between-inning contests, the zany antics. In those first couple of years, I think we introduced a whole new world of baseball to the New York market, and we've been building on that ever since.
As time has gone on, our fan base has become much more familiar with and knowledgeable about, the brand of entertainment (and baseball) we offer. They have come to love the Cyclones for who we are and what we do, rather than seeing us as a potential replacement for the Dodgers (which are super-sized shoes that no one can fill). We still have our share of baseball purists and historians, but every year we see more and more families, kids and casual fans who enjoy not only the game itself, but all the entertainment that surrounds it.
The fact that we can appeal to both is what makes the Cyclones experience so special, and what makes our fan base so diverse.
LINK for more: http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090325&content_id=531135&vkey=news_milb&fext=.jsp
Nicholas Carr P R R 6' 1" 195 04-19-1987
Carr was drafted #41 in the 2005 MLB draft by the Mets. He came straight out of Twin Falls High School, where he posted a 17-4 record over his junior and senior year. Carr decided not to sign, and instead attended the College of Southern Idaho, where he went 5-3, 2.18 ERA, last year.
The Mets signed him as a draft-and-follow on May 24, 2006. Terms of his deal were not disclosed. Currently Carr is all speed, with a fastball that tops out at 95. OnDeck updated their ratings for the Appalachian League at the end of the 2006 season and ranked Carr the 10th best starter in the league (181.34 rating) and the 14th top league prospect overall (1st on the team). His stats were… well… ok: 12 Games, 11 starts, 3-3, 4.88, 1.50. He did have 44Ks in 48 IP but gave up 23 BB as well.
From BA on 8-24-07:
The Brooklyn Cyclones feature more veteran minor leaguers than true prospects, but righthander Nick Carr is one to keep an eye on. The 20-year-old had 56 strikeouts in 42 innings, issuing 16 walks en route to a 3.25 ERA.
The Mets drafted Carr in the 41st round of the 2005 draft, and signed him as a draft-and-follow after he played at the Junior College of Southern Idaho. Carr threw in the low 90s a year ago, but this season he his fastball has been clocked in the mid- to high-90s, thanks in part to improved conditioning. He threw 48 innings in the Rookie-level Appalachian League last year, posting a 4.88 ERA with 44 strikeouts and 23 walks.
In 2007, Carr played for the Cyclones, going 5-2, 3.80, 1.24 in 14 starts.
In September 2007, baseball America ranked Carr as the 16th yop prospect in the NY-Penn league.
In November 2007, he was named the 13th top Mets prospect by Scouts.com.
In late January 2007, Baseball America listed Carr as the #14 Mets prospect in their system, adding: ‘looks like he is close to having 2 + pitches, fastball and slider.’
In late January 2007, Baseball America named Carr as the 19th overall Mets prospect (notice his ranking going down…)
Carr started and ended the season with St. Lucie, but spent the middle with Savannah. His combined record for the year was: 3-12, 5.22.
In October 2008, Toby Hyde write:
The Mets skipped Carr over the SAL straight from Brooklyn in 2007 to the Florida State League in 2008, and the results were simply ugly early. Through June 5, he was 0-7 with a 7.19 ERA, when the Mets sent him down to Savannah to get right. Life was a little better in the SAL, but he was forced back to the FSL in early July when the system was short on arms due to a number of injuries. However, Carr finished 2008 by making his last two starts his best of the year. In his last 12 innings, Carr didn’t allow a run, gave up seven hits, walked three and struck out 13. Carr still has a big-time special arm. He throws 90-95 and was sitting at 92-93. However, in July in the FSL, he had only a slight idea where the ball was going when it left his hand. He threw his below average slider (~80 mph) and change (~84/85 mph) sparingly. I’d suggest that Carr’s future is in the bullpen, but I’d like to see him repeat the FSL as a starter in 2009, and experience some success, and pick up more repetitions, before moving to AA. Likely 09 Start: A+
RHP Rocky Cherry signed a minor-league deal with the Red Sox.
The Mets released Valerio De Los Santos
The sure things in the Met bullpen are Francisco Rodriguez, J.J. Putz, Sean Green and Pedro Feliciano; and - more and more - Bobby Parnell is making himself a lock. Brian Stokes is out of options and the Mets like him enough that he will make the team. That leaves one spot for Darren O'Day, Fernando Nieve, Carlos Muniz and Ron Villone. I keep hearing that this is still a real competition that could go down to the last day or two. If there is a leader, it is possibly O'Day because the Mets do like him and he is a Rule 5 pick who would have to be offered back to the Angels if he did not make the 25-man roster.
Bobby Parnell is a guy that came into camp with not a big chance to make the team. He is young, inexperienced, and he lacks the seasoning needed to be in a major league bullpen…or so we thought. As of today, Parnell stands an excellent chance of making the Mets’ opening day roster, and he may have the fun burden of handling the seventh inning and handing the baseball off to J.J. Putz and then K-Rod. But, does he have the ability to do it successfully? I think so. Do you remember a couple of years back when the Mets carried a kid out of camp who went by the name Joe Smith? He had no chance to make the team. Nobody had ever heard of him, and he made sure they did by the end of camp. Smith impressed the big club so much that they carried him to start the season, and he eventually would garner enough value to help the Mets land a proven closer named J.J. Putz.
Frankie Rodriguez doesn't have a problem with four-out saves. Only answering questions about them. Apparently, it's a sensitive subject for K-Rod, who earned back-to-back four-out saves for Team Venezuela after he was not used at all in those situations during last season for the Angels. With Jerry Manuel looking to give his WBC players an extended breather upon their return to the Mets, Rodriguez was asked yesterday if he might need to recharge after his starring role for Team Venezuela. "Why should you tell me that I'm not ready to get back?" Rodriguez said. "I prepared myself really good before every game, so I don't think it's going to take me 10 days or two months to get my energy back. It's going to be right back the next day. "I don't know what you're honestly trying to tell me or what the point is you're trying to get at. A four-out save is like a three-out save. To me, it's the same. I know people have made a big deal about four-out saves. I want to have the same opportunity here, too. I don't know why it's such a big deal."
Here's the skinny. Ignoring or failing to secure other options the Mets just resigned a guy who: their own pitching coach had reservations about, came to camp out of shape and overweight after an off-season where as a free agent, he drew almost zero interest, and...apparently needs a babysitter. A real pro's pro. Inning one of today's spring game against the Tigers was pure Oliver Alchemy, the way Oliver Perez' inability to focus seems to combine with Mets fielding blunders to create some of the most unwatchable baseball possible. Today: Reyes looses ball in sun, Perez proceeds to attempt to walk the ballpark. I turn off TV set. My revulsion at watching Perez pitch is getting to Traschellistic proportions. How many times do you feel like you've seen that one before? Resigning this jokster was a big blunder on the Mets part, an incredible failure of imagination and planning and it will cost them. Mark my words
Among the New Yorkers who expressed interest in big-league baseball, more than half - 56% - pledged alliance to the Bronx Bombers and only a third said they root for the Mets, a Quinnipiac poll found. In a theoretical Subway Series, the Yanks are fan favorites, 55% to 42%, holding an edge in every borough but Queens, where the Amazin’s play.
4. Have the Mets addressed their bullpen problem?
Ummm, ya' think? With last year's bullpen meltdown undoubtedly still fresh in the minds of management, the Mets pulled out the stops in going after top-shelf relievers this offseason. Francisco Rodriguez, one of the elite closers in the game and the owner of the single-season save record, was signed to a three-year deal worth $37 million. A few hours later the Mets acquired another top-notch reliever, J.J. Putz of the Mariners, who came over in a head-spinning three-team trade that involved approximately 37 players. When the dust settled, the Mets also had acquired side-arming reliever Sean Green, while bidding adios to relievers Aaron Heilman and Joe Smith. The end result looks pretty darn good, not that last year's bullpen looked bad on paper. As I wrote in The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2009, the Mets bullpen projected to be better than the Phillies relief corps, but it simply didn't work out that way. That can always happen, of course—players don't always meet their projections. This is especially true for relief pitchers, whose projections are necessarily based on relatively few innings pitched. But the Mets must feel pretty happy with their new relievers. There are still a couple tweaks left to make: Duaner Sanchez was recently released after the Mets concluded he would never get back the stuff he had prior to his 2006 auto accident. So there is an opening or two in the 'pen and much of the current discussion revolves around the possibility of adding a left-handed arm, since there is currently only one (belonging to Pedro Feliciano) in the bullpen.
WBC Leaders: Kevin Youkilis was tied for the tournament lead in runs with 9 despite only a .182 average. He did have an OBP of .357. Yoennis Cespedes had three triples in six games…Gift Ngoepe (South Africa) was second in slugging with a 1.200, but he only got five at bats…Brett Roneberg (Australia) was tops in slugging (1.286) and OPS (2.036) but he only got seven at bats…Greg hallman struck out 9 times in 11 at bats, but the strikeout leaders were Adam Dunn and Michihiro Ogasawara with 10…Iwakuma’s 20 innings pitched was the most by a pitcher in the WBC…Darvish led the WBC in K’s with 20. Iwakuma was second with 15…Oliver Perez gave up 5 homeruns in a little over six innings of work for a 9.45 ERA…Francisco Rodriguez was the save leader with three, so if they wanted to name a closer to the tournament team he would be the logical selection
LHP Royce Ring was placed on waivers by St. Louis
P Danny Graves was released by the Astros
Beyond that, Mike Piazza recently announced that he's writing his autobiography. When the news of that broke, I opined that there aren't many superstars blander than Piazza, and that guys like him don't really make for riveting reading. One has to wonder now whether the pitch to his publisher involved a promise to be the first megastar -- non-Canseco division -- to come completely clean on PEDs in print.
MVN’s Top 150 Fantasy Players:
3. David Wright, 3B-NYM
4. Jose Reyes, SS-NYM
17. Johan Santana, SP-NYM
18. Carlos Beltran, OF-NYM
59. Francisco Rodriguez, RP-NYM
108. Carlos Delgado, 1B-NYM
Johnny Blanchard, a Yankee from 1955-65, passed away today. He was 76. Blanchard played in five World Series, helping the Yankees win two of them. He was an outfielder and catcher.
The West Michigan Whitecaps, a minor-league baseball team, will be offering up major league cholesterol, carbohydrates and calories in an enormous hamburger being added to the menu this year at the Fifth Third Ballpark. The 1.8-kilogram, US$20 burger features five beef patties, five slices of cheese, nearly a cup of chili and liberal doses of salsa and corn chips, all on an 20-centimetre sesame-seed bun.... The Grand Rapids Press reports that anyone who eats the entire 4,800-calorie behemoth in one sitting will receive a special T-shirt. Saner fans can divide it up with a pizza cutter and share.
Perhaps that will be the case, but it's clear that many major league clubs and American players simply aren't interested. The US roster was so thinned by a lack of talent and injuries that Indians third baseman Mark DeRosa was forced to start at first base in the semifinal loss. Many clubs, though not admitting so publicly, discourage their star players from participating because they fear potential injuries to their major investments. "The clubs hear this all the time, but I'm going to say this to you as directly as I can: This is a time in life where I know how important your individual club is, this is a time to put the best interests of the game ahead of your own provincial self-interest," Selig said. "Everything we have ever tried to do, whether it was the wild cards or whatever, there was always some criticism. I accept it, and I understand that, but the clubs themselves years ago took a vote on this. They agreed that we had to do something internationally, that we needed to go to China, and we decided that this was the vehicle we were going to use to do that. Now we've got to cooperate with that vehicle."
Carson had a disappointing senior season at Hattiesburg, finishing 3-5 with only 36 Ks. The bright spot was his 2.65 ERA. As a junior, he went 5-2 with 2 saves and a 2.15 ERA with 60 Ks.
The Mets drafted Carson in the 14th round of the 2007 draft. He signed and was placed on The GCL Mets roster, where he went 1-0, 5.00 in 4 games, 1 start.
Scouts say he has a “big time arm” and throws a “heavy” fastball. Carson features 4 pitches, a fastball, changeup, cutter and curveball. His fastball sits 90-92, and has topped out at 94. His changeup sits around 75-80, while his curveball is low to mid 70s.
In 2008, Carson started out with the GCL Mets and pitched impressively: 1-0, 1.57, 0.74. He was promoted to Kingsport, where he went 2-3, 1.76 in 6 starts.
In September 2008, Toby Hyde wrote:
LHP Robert Carson – 1-0, 1.57 ERA, 5 GS, 23 IP, 11 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 6 BB, 25 K - A pair of dominant outing in July, 12 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 16 K, proved that big lefty was ready for challenges beyond the GCL and earned him a promotion to Kingsport. Carson missed much of 2007 after being struck on the head by a ball, but had a healthy and productive ’08. Carson is the only player in this GCL review who I didn’t see play live, since he threw the day before I arrived in Florida. His fastball sat was 90-93, and his secondary offerings were a slider and a changeup. He told me in July that he was very pleased with the development of the slider this year. As a lefty with good size and velocity, I really like Carson’s ceiling – which could be an MLB rotation sometime around 2012 or so. Projected 2009 Start: Savannah
Toby Hyde on his #18 – P Robert Carson (#7 on Mack’s Mets Prospect List):
Carson shares many of the attributes of pitchers ranked below him on this list: really good size and a good fastball with average or better MLB velocity, sitting in the low 90s, from the left side. Carson differentiates himself in part from those below him was the development of his slider, a pitch that became an effective weapon for him in 2008. The trouble that hitters had driving the ball against Carson is reflected in the fact that he allowed just one homer in over 50 innings of work in 2008. Moreover, he’s already filled out to some degree, and that’s not a bad thing. 2008: Carson missed almost all of 2007 after getting hit on the head by a baseball, but the high school draftee made up for lost time with a strong ’08. He announced that he was done with the GCL in early July when he allowed a combined, two hits, no walks, no runs and fanned 16 over back-to-back six inning performances. Promoted to the Appalachian League, Carson’s walk rate moved up, and his strikeout rate dropped, but he induced nearly three times as many ground balls as fly balls. Projected 2009 Start: Savannah if all goes well in spring training.
Mack: Tobi and I are on opposite poles on this kid, but that’s probably caused from the criteria used to rank these kids. I don’t care how many years they’ve been in the organization, or if their turn comes next. All my rankings are based on my opinions on who has the most tools, highest ceiling, and projects out (if they continue to produce as they have in the past) as a future major league star player. This is why kids like Bobby Parnell and Nick Evans are lower on my list that most bloggers that project prospects. Yes, Parnell and Evans will make it to the Bigs, but I don’t see their starting potential as high as some of the younger kids, like this one.
60,000+ words on 140+ pages. I can email it diectly to you... just send nine bucks to paypal, account: JMAde2@aol.com... I'll email it to you the same day.
Eddy Camacho P L L 6' 1" 180 23 09-17-1982 Cal State Northridge
In 2003, Camacho played for the La Crosse Loggers of the Northwoods League before going to Cal State Northridge. The strange thing is the fact that the two years he pitched in college were really nothing special: 1-9, 5.99, 1.91 in 2003 and 2-4, 5.66. 1.90 in 2004.
However, the Mets still signed Camacho in 2004 as an undrafted free agent, let him appear in 3 games for the GCL Mets, and then shipped him off to Brooklyn where he allowed only 19 hits in 44 innings pitched (3-1, 0.69, 0.77) and earned the nickname “everyday Eddy”. Go figure. 2005 brought more success, this time at St. Luice (2-4 2.74 10 saves). 2006 was a “breakout” year for Camacho at Binghamton. He appeared in 53 games, posted a 3.63 ERA (an absolutely great number for AA ball) and struck out 61 in 79.1 innings pitched. His 3 season minor league totals are 8-9 in 119 games, 2.61, 1.14 and 148 Ks in 172.2 IP.
In 2007, Camacho did pitch for New Orleans (2-1, 4.44, 1.41 in 32 relief appearances), pitched a little for St. Lucie (1-1. 2.77, 0.92 in 9 stints), but wound up ending the season for Binghamton (0-0, 0.00 in 5 appearances).
In September 2007, Camacho was assigned to play in the Arizona Winter League (which is always a sign that the organization wants to invest more time and money in you).
In 2008, Camacho pitched for both Binghamton and New Orleans, combining for: 5-3, 3.05 in 51 appearances.
Johnny Blanchard, a Yankee from 1955-65, passed away today. He was 76. Blanchard played in five World Series, helping the Yankees win two of them. He was an outfielder and catcher.
John Edwin Blanchard (born February 26, 1933, Minneapolis, Minnesota - March 25, 2009) was a professional baseball player who played in the Major Leagues primarily as an outfielder and catcher from 1955 and 1959-1965. A defensive liability for the New York Yankees for most of his career, Blanchard will always be remembered for his heroic play in the 1961 World Series. He hit 2 home runs in that series against the Cincinnati Reds and batted .400 for the entire series. In his career, Blanchard appeared in the World Series 5 times for the Yankees and holds the Major League record with ten World Series pinch-hit at-bats. Johnny Blanchard died peacefully in his sleep at home on March 25, 2009.
Division Preview - 1. New York Mets - This kills me picking this organization to win the NL East. I grew up in St. Louis and absolutely detested Strawberry, HoJo, Dykstra, Mookie, Doc (I snort after every game with Darryl)Gooden, Sid (I'm a fat elephant)Fernandez - God I hate them and the list goes on and on. How much did I love Wainwright (a rookie) buckling Beltran's knees in game 6 of the 2006 NLCS...well - let's just say I am still excited about Adam doing that to Cardinal killer Beltran. But 09 is the dawn of a new era. The Mets only made 2 significant moves in the off season...but oh man were they huge. They had single season save holder Francisco Rodriguez and stud closer, who now becomes one of the best setup men in baseball, JJ Putz. That is all this team needed to add with a lineup that includes Jose Reyes, Beltran, Wright and Carlos Delgado. This team has Santana as the ace of the staff and Maine, Pelfrey & Perez as serviceable 2-4's. This team has to win their division or it will be a huge disappointment from the top down. 2009 record 96-66
David Wright said reports last week of his toe were ‘somewhat overblown,’ noting that it was only a ‘little bruised.’ … “It’s fine,” he said. “I knew it was nothing serious at the time… If I would have thought something was seriously wrong, I wouldn’t have been out there.”
Xavier Nady… John Maine… Oliver Perez… Jeremy Reed… What do all the above players have in common? I’ll get to that in a minute. Jeremy Reed was drafted in the 2nd round by the Chicago White Sox, with the 59th overall pick in 2002. A year later, he was the Minor League Player of the Year. He began the year at Single A, and after producing a line of .333/.437/.477, yielding an OPS of .914 over 222 at bats, he was promoted to Double-A, where he found his power stroke, and hit .409/.472/.591, with an OPS of 1.063. He was promoted to AAA the following year, which included a mid-season trade to Seattle, and played a bit better in the hitter friendly PCL. He earned top prospect status, and a call-up after hitting .305/.367/.455, with an .822 OPS for Tacoma. Reed began his MLB career on fire, batting .397/.470/.466 for Seattle, with an OPS+ of 149 (100 is average), at the ripe age of 24. 2005 wasn’t as kind to him, as he batted .254/.322/.352, with an OPS + of 84. While not on par with his debut the previous season, his production in 2005 was not terrible for a rookie, especially one who led all center fielders in range factor.
SP Freddy Garcia has been reassigned to the minor league camp and will report to Buffalo once the season starts
Mack: it looks like Bobby Parnell has successfully been converted to a reliever, thus, he will not be in the Bisons’ rotation. Look for the rotation to be: Garcia, Jonathan Niese, Adam Bostick, Fernando Nieve, and either Nelson Figueroa (if he doesn’t get named to the Mets’ pen) or Eric Brown.
The Buffalo Bisons, Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets, played to a 4-4 tie against the New Orleans Zephyrs (Marlins) on Tuesday afternoon from Jupiter, FL. The Bisons are now 0-2-2 in their 10-game exhibition schedule (one game lost to rain). Bisons outfielder Jesus Feliciano went 2-3 with a pair of doubles and two runs scored. Outfielder Fernando Martinez’s RBI-single in the ninth inning helped the Bisons pull even with the Zephyrs. On the mound, RHP Kyle Snyder threw three scoreless innings while Valerio de los Santos and Connor Robertson each chipped in an inning of scoreless relief.
B-Mets broadcaster Robert Ford is leaving the team to take a position with the Kansas City Royals hosting their pre and post game shows on KCSP AM. I will miss listening to the talented Ford, whose impressive preparation shone through on air. On the other hand, I couldn’t be happier for Ford in his new position. Ford will be replaced in the B-Mets booth by Matt McCabe who worked as an Ford’s broadcast intern for the B-Mets in 2007. McCabe broadcast for the Eugene Emeralds following his graduation from Rice in 2008.
Section of book on Mike Piazza:
As the hundreds of major league ballplayers who turned to performance-enhancing drugs throughout the 1990s did their absolute best to keep the media at arm's length, Piazza took the opposite approach. According to several sources, when the subject of performance enhancing was broached with reporters he especially trusted, Piazza fessed up. "Sure, I use," he told one. "But in limited doses, and not all that often." (Piazza has denied using performance-enhancing drugs, but there has always been speculation.) Whether or not it was Piazza's intent, the tactic was brilliant: By letting the media know, of the record, Piazza made the information that much harder to report. Writers saw his bulging muscles, his acne-covered back. They certainly heard the under-the-breath comments from other major league players, some who considered Piazza's success to be 100 percent chemically delivered. "He's a guy who did it, and everybody knows it," says Reggie Jefferson, the longtime major league first baseman. "It's amazing how all these names, like Roger Clemens, are brought up, yet Mike Piazza goes untouched."
"There was nothing more obvious than Mike on steroids," says another major league veteran who played against Piazza for years. "Everyone talked about it, everyone knew it. Guys on my team, guys on the Mets. A lot of us came up playing against Mike, so we knew what he looked like back in the day. Frankly, he sucked on the field. Just sucked. After his body changed, he was entirely different. 'Power from nowhere,' we called it."
When asked, on a scale of 1 to 10, to grade the odds that Piazza had used performance enhancers, the player doesn't pause.
"A 12," he says. "Maybe a 13."
Allen Barra says a case can be made that 83-year-old Yogi Berra was the greatest catcher in baseball history. And no ex-ballplayer is more famous today, not even Willie Mays. But a few years ago, fresh off a book about Bear Bryant, Barra noticed that there hadn't been a definitive bio of Yogi. He set out to fix that, and the result is the new "Yogi Berra: Eternal Yankee." Yogi's best known to younger generations as a lovable lunkhead, the idiot savant who talks to a duck on an insurance commercial, who said, "It ain't over till it's over" and "You can observe a lot by watching." Then there are the malapropisms that make a weird kind of sense when you think about them: When you come to a fork in the road, take it. Half this game is 90 percent mental. I didn't really say everything I said.
Despite Lou Piniella’s pronouncement that Micah Hoffpauir has made the team, the Chicago Cubs continue to consider backup infielder options for the bench. Corey Koskie is out, Luis Rivas is ostensibly out, and Esteban German has failed to impress (well, he’s been ok - just saying that he hasn’t dominated). So it may take a move outside the organization. Enter Jeff Keppinger. The Reds, to the surprise of several scouts, are considering trading infielder Jeff Keppinger, a right-handed hitter. FOX Sports. Surely the Cubs will be looking, given that they have pieces like Angel Guzman that they essentially must deal. Keppinger has only been an above average hitter in one partial season, and was worse than mediocre at the plate in extended playing time last year. But as my friends at Sons of Ivy pointed out, he’s excellent in the field, and can play a wider array of positions than even German.
Scouting Book’s fantasy ranking by position:
Closer: #1 - Francisco Rodriguez Health and dramatic nature a bit of a concern, but still good for fifty saves.
Starters: - #2 - Johan Santana Too many questions about health and declining numbers to stay #1.
# 45 John Maine
1B: - # 16 - Carlos Delgado
C: - # 30 – Brian Schneider
2B - #26 – Luis Castillo
SS - # 3 - Jose Reyes - Can't possibly live up to last year's numbers, but still a solid stud.
3B: - # 1 - David Wright - Speed at 3B is rare. Speed with power is worth a double fortune
OF: - # 2 - Carlos Beltran Still has a couple more monster years in him.
George Kell, the Hall of Fame third baseman who edged Ted Williams for the 1949 American League batting title and became a Detroit Tigers broadcaster for nearly 40 years, died Tuesday. He was 86. Jackson's Funeral Home in Newport confirmed the death but did not give a cause. The Hall of Fame said he died in his sleep at his home in Swifton. Kell was severely injured in a car crash in 2004 but was able to walk with a cane about six months later. Kell outlasted Williams for the 1949 batting crown, hitting .34291 while the Boston Red Sox great finished at .34276. Kell played 15 seasons in the AL, hitting more than .300 nine times and compiling a career average of .306. He was a 10-time All-Star.
I want to let all of THT's readers know that one of our most prolific writers and favorite people, John Brattain, just passed away. Many of us got to know John through the Baseball Think Factory, where his good humor was always on display. John joined the THT writing team more than four years ago, and he further honed his extraordinary wit, humanity and sense of fun every week on our site (and elsewhere). For a while, he even contributed twice a week. He was one of the people who made THT a truly rewarding experience for all of us.