Posted by Mack Ade at 11:35 AM
It's Sunday, the heat index is 106, and there's no way I'm going to the Sand Gnats day game, what with my blood sugar problems.
So, I thought I'd clear my mind a little of what's up there and where I think the Mets are going, and what I think they should do.
1. Considering all the injuries, it's nice to be in a division that sucks. Take any team in the majors, take players thought to be the meat of your team (Reyes, Delgado, Maine, Perez, Beltran, etc.) and be two games down in the loss column... well, you'd take any day of the week. The good news here is the Mets will get healthy, and, frankly, they need to worry a little more about the Marlins than the Phillies right now.
2. If the season ended last night, the Mets would not be in the playoffs, but neither would any other team from their division, other than the Phillies, who lead. Again, the good news is the fact that then Mets are only two backs back in the loss column for the wild card in the National League. Again, the bad news is the Marlins are only four back.
3. This patchwork quilt that hits the field every day just isn't going to hack it for the entire season. The Mets still don't have an SP2, and guys with broken fingers are playing in the place of players sitting in the dugout. Health will be the big issue all season long.
4. Forget what the Phillies, Braves, and Marlins do for the rest of the season. This is the time of the season I keep repeating the same statement... win the series and you win the division. Most of your games will be against teams you are trying to finish ahead of. Win the series... and you win the division.
5. One of the Mets reporters said today that the Mets should trade prospect SS Wilmer Flores for an every day established outfileder with pop. Good idea. Look, everyone that knows me knows how much I care about prospects, but I totally agree with the statement that Steve Phillips told Omar Minaya when he took over the GM job... prospects will get you fired.
I am really excited about the young pitching that's coming along (Holt, Niese, Mejia,Familia), but I've seen this a few years ago (Mulvey, Humber, Cleto, Guerra), and many other times since the Seaver era (Ingrishausen, Pulsipher, Wilson, Acevedo). You just don't know what you have until well into the second year they are pitching rotational ball in the majors.
Any time you can trade a 16-year old for an established every day outfielder who had a .550 slugging percentage, and is somewhere between the ages of 24-29, you do it. First of all, the 16-year old won't pay off, if ever, for at least three more years. These are three years you could have won three pennants.
Secondly, yes, Flores looks like a keeper, but during those three years you would have an every day killer outfielder, you still have some guy named Jose Reyes. And, there is Ruben Tejada playing good ball at the AA level, so there might not even be any room for Flores some day.
Sure, you can move Flores to the outfield or first base, but do you really think the Mets aren't going to fill those positions before 2013?
6. The current Mets system is not going to solve these problems in the next couple of years.
Top "A" prospects dominate at their level. At this point halfway through the minor league season, the only players dominating at the level they are playing today are 1B Ike Davis at AA (only 16 at bats), C Josh Thole at AA (.343), C Ralph Henriquez at A+ (only 18 at bats), and 2B Jordany Valdespin at A (.846 OPS). None of these players are close to ready for the majors, and, do you notice, not one of them is a pitcher. Mejia dominated at A+, but isn't at AA.
7. No one wants to trade nothing to the Mets since the Santana deal. That was almost as good as the Babe Ruth trade to the Yankees. None of the four players shipped to Minnesota have turned into a star, and right now, it looks like only one (Carlos Gomez) will be any kind of major leaguer.
8. Add to that, every team know the Mets don't have the level of top propsects other teams have who are also looking for an outfielder, a first baseman, a catcher, and an SP2. Deals will be made, but frankly, other teams will be able to offer more.
9. I've not commented on the Mets draft so far, mainly because I'm still in shock. Most of the players picked weren't even on my top 300 list. I mean, why draft someone who has proven they are already a great baseball player, when you can pick a high school kid from a small school (with inferior competition), and "work with him". Yeah, that works every day.
10. Sit back and enjoy the season. Maybe the Mets make the playoff. Maybe they don't. But, this is the third year of all of you rooting for the same kind of team. You know changes have to be made, and trust me, this is a business. And, in a business, you start the changes on the top floor of the building.