The Mack Attack - 3-23-9

Mets News

Mets released Rule 5 pick RHP Rocky Cherry after the Baltimore Orioles declined his return.

From Advanced Fantasy Baseball:

I was already excited about Dan Murphy but this news has me positively giddy. This will ensure that his RBI and Runs totals are approaching the century mark. I see his value approaching $20-25 which is awesome considering his 216.17 ADP in NL-only leagues. - 2009 UPSIDE: 500 at-bats/ .300/15/80/90/15

Buster Olney on Top 10 Players To Watch this season:

3. Daniel Murphy, Mets: Everybody who sees his at-bats walks away thinking they've just seen one of the most savvy young hitters in the sport. Jerry Manuel intends to use Murphy as his No. 2 hitter in the Mets' order this year, writes Adam Rubin.

Is Brian Schneider the answer at catcher? Will Jose Reyes grow up and become the player the Mets expect him to be? Will David Wright be better in the clutch then he was in 2008 (I know he had 124 RBI's which is very impressive, but man can I remember him stranding a ton of runners down the stretch last season). The Mets need better from their third baseman this year. These are valid questions. The answers to them will in large part determine if the 2009 NY Mets are in fact contenders or pretenders. Personally, I think many of these will be answered in the affirmative. The ones that have me most concerned are Luis Castillo, Livan Hernandez and John Maine (only due to health reasons). Again, I think the Mets will get the right answers to these questions. If not, Omar Minaya may have to make some more moves prior to the trading deadline, which could be tough to do in a favorable way. If I were a betting man, I would think the Mets will be just fine and in the mix in October, despite all the questions.


Prospects :

My World Of Baseball on: Fernando Martinez OF (Mets) - No one questions Fernando’s bat. It is his ability to stay healthy that is the big impediment for him to have success in the major leagues. He’s had three seasons in the minor leagues and he has yet to play over 90 games. This winter he was having a lot of success, but he had to put an end to it because of a strained right elbow. This limited him to DH duties this spring and did not give him an opportunity to compete for the left field job. His other injuries included a bone bruise to his hand and a knee sprain in 2006; a broken hammate bone to his hand in 2007; and problems with his hamstring in 2008. He is still only 20 years old so playing in AA or AAA is not an insult. The Mets have him playing centerfield, but he is better suited for left field. He doesn’t have nearly enough range to match Carlos Beltran and when playing winter ball there are always better outfielders than him that forces him to play left field. He just doesn’t have the speed to cover the ground necessary for centerfield, but his bat should allow him to survive the corners.

MWOB on: Jefry Marte 3B (Mets) - While Wilmer Flores may not be able to stay at short for the Mets, Jefry has the tools for third base. If Wilmer moves to third Jefry has the speed that he can play the outfield, though he may not develop the power to fit at a corner position and his speed is not adequate to cover center. His .325 average his indicative of what he should do, hit for high average with enough power to be a run producer at third base. What he has to be careful of is that he uses the whole field and doesn’t try to force power by pulling the ball, sacrificing his average but not hitting for enough power to make the balance worthwhile. Next year should be his first year in a full season league.

Mets Alumni:

Pedro Martinez doesn’t have to do anything this year. He is easily one of the greatest pitchers of all time, and based off his performances in 1999 and 2000, I would argue he’s the greatest pitcher to ever live. But the vast majority of baseball analysts think he’s done. There argument is that Pedro has lost his velocity. He has no control and can’t strike guys out. Personally, I think they are wrong, but there are a lot of factors here. Lets start with the whole velocity issue. In my opinion, it is absolutely ridiculous. Sure he isn’t throwing mid 90s anymore, but when was the last time he threw in the mid 90s? While I don’t have full data going back to his days in Boston, I would guess it was something like 2002 or 2003, maybe even earlier. This is the data I do have:


Throughout the majors, older players will start assessing their careers when they get the dreaded news Danny Graves, Clay Hensley, Neal Musser, John Gall and Matt Kata received Sunday morning from Astros general manager Ed Wade and manager Cecil Cooper. Graves, Hensley, Musser, Gall and Kata arrived in camp knowing they needed to stand out to win jobs. But Sunday morning they were assigned to minor league camp, prompting Graves, 35, a righthanded reliever, to contemplate retirement as the other four wait their turns. Fortunately for Hensley, Musser, Gall and Kata, the Astros' depleted farm system means they'll have realistic chances of reaching the majors. -- Houston Chronicle

Astros lefthander Wandy Rodriguez, who was scheduled to start today, will be pushed back to Tuesday because of a bruised left index finger, which became tender a day after he tried to use his hand to catch Jose Reyes' chopper in the first Thursday against the Mets. Mike Hampton will start today, meaning he'll be lined up to start the second game of the season. Considering Rodriguez hasn't thrown more than two innings in a start this spring, it might be difficult for him to build up his pitch count enough to go on short rest in his final Grapefruit League start after Tuesday or be ready to pitch the Astros' second game. -- Houston Chronicle


Advanced Fantasy Baseball on:

Lastings Milledge will turn 24-years old on opening day. Although it appears that he broke out in 2008, I believe there is quite a bit more fantasy baseball goodness coming in 2009. Milledge was moved around a injury (and talent lacking) lineup often last year. He also appears to have been a little unlucky with his BABIP judging by his line drive and ground ball rates and very good speed. Washington Nationals manager Manny Acta recently announced more good news for Milledge owners. Milledge will act as the Nationals leadoff hitter this season with the manager's blessing to steal bases. An improved on-base percentage and a stable place in the batting order should significantly increase his stolen base opportunities. The Nationals have an all-star cast of former center fielders and leadoff hitters (Marquis Grissom and Devon White among them) in camp working with Milledge on improving his defense and his base stealing techniques and early reports have been very positive. The Nationals' healthier (and more talented) 2009 lineup should also allow Milledge to score more runs and provide more RBI opportunities. Adam Dunn, a momentarily healthy Nick Johnson, Josh Willingham, a fulltime contribution from Elijah Dukes, and a healthy Ryan Zimmerman should transform a weak lineup into a potential powerhouse. - 2009 UPSIDE: 600 at-bats, .280/.340/.440 with 20 HR, 50 RBI, 90 Runs, 40 SB


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