link – (8-27) Hebert has been one of the staples in the Kingsport rotation, pleased to have moved out of the Gulf Coast League after an unusual series of events kept the seventh-round pick from 2008 there for parts of two seasons. "From March until now, I'm a different pitcher," he said. "I'm more of a pitcher and not just a thrower. Everything is looking a lot better." The right-hander from Saugus, Calif., presents a positive outlook, despite his professional career having taken stutter steps since he signed as a 17-year-old. Prior to the 2009 short-season, he toiled in extended spring training. When he and some friends went to Game 4 of the NBA Finals between his favorite team, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Orlando Magic, he was deemed to have missed curfew. With that, he was suspended 45 days by the Mets organization.
link - R.A. Dickey has never managed to go an entire season without at least some time spent in the Minor Leagues. Perhaps 2011 will break that streak because the Mets certainly have to be a little regretful of the 60.2 innings they had Dickey spend in Buffalo to begin 2010. Dickey wasn’t much different in Triple-A this season then he has been in the past aside from a reduced BABIP and a higher ground ball rate. Then again, Dickey has always been better than the Triple-A level and this season was no different with Dickey accumulating in the range of about 1.5 WAR if we extended the formula to the Minor Leagues. Called up to the big leagues and inserted into the Mets rotation as of May 19. It wasn’t an auspicious beginning with four walks and two strikeouts in six innings, but things only got better from there. In the 120.1 innings since that first start, Dickey has recorded 83 strikeouts and just 27 walks and one hit batter.
link - It is difficult to rank the Mets farm system. I think Reese Havens and Zach Lutz are far superior to Ratliff and Nieuwenhuis when they’re on the field, but neither of them has proven they can stay healthy. Duda is the best pure hitter of the bunch and has stayed healthy, but he is also probably a below average corner outfielder. You could make a real radical statement and say Darrell Ceciliani or Aderlin Rodriguez is the best of the bunch, but they carry with them a lot of downside. Then you have to factor in pitchers like Jeurys Familia and Matt Harvey, and suddenly you have nine guys with no obvious advantage over each other. And that is the problem with rankings. They add the illusion of distinction when, sometimes, as in this case, none is warranted. At the same time, that is what makes it fun, challenging, and let’s face, gives it real world pertinence. Out of the nine, one might blossom into a superstar, one or two of them might pull a Brad Holt next year, and you wonder why they were ever considered prospects in the first place, and the rest will end up in between. As a general manager, most of them are your trade chips, and you have to remember prospects get you fired, lest you end up looking like Steve Phillips.
link ~ 2010 salary $5M: He seems to be a fan favorite, but that doesn't make you a major league ball player. Francoeur has shown signs of improvement at the plate and has a great arm in right field, but I just don't see him having a place on this team in 2011.
Braves On Mets:
link - To say the least, the Mets have been an interesting team to follow in the news lately with all the drama surrounding K-Rod and whether or not Minaya/Manuel will be back next year. The Braves have a lot more to play for right now, but the rivalry loses something (at least from a Braves fan's perspective) when Chipper isn't playing. Looking at the match-ups in the series, I think the Braves will end up winning it 3-1. In the first three games we will see each team put out their three youngest pitchers, who should be playing in this rivalry for a long time to come. The final game should be a great pitchers duel between Tim Hudson and Johan Santana which I think the Braves will win late in the game.