8/17/10

Mack On: - Tejada, Second Base, Nelson Pereira, and My Trip to Savannah

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There’s an awful lot of opinions out there right now about whether or not Ruben Tejada should be playing everyday in Queens. I know the Mets are still in the race-mode, but realistically, I consider the rest of the season fall training for 2011. I’d play the kid every day and not worry about what anyone thinks. What I fear is a repeat of the Anderson Hernandez folly. You might remember how many time he hit .300+ in the minors, was called up to Queens, averaged the Mendoza line, and banished back to Buffalo hell. You have no idea how this mucks with a young player’s head. What’s worse is when you have to read every day that your manager isn’t sure if you have enough to stay in the lineup. I can’t tell you how many players go in the batting average tank when they are returned to the minors after a too early stint in the Bigs. Remember Victor Diaz? How about Nick Evans? I’ve got a million of them. I’ll tell you one thing… Tejada can handle the pressure. He’s been playing at least one level about where he should be since he’s been a Met. This is not a shy boy and he has the self-confidence to pull himself out of this funk, if the Mets would just let him play. Hang in there, Ruben.



Speaking about second base, how is the system stacking up? Well, now that the Mets have stopped converting everyone under the age of twenty-four to a second baseman, the dust has cleared and there is frankly a fair amount of talent here. I rank the top five right now as Tejada, Reese Havens, Justin Turner, Jordany Valedspin, and Alonzo Harris. Pop wise, Havens is hands down the best hitter, but he can’t seem to stay healthy. Ceiling wise, Valdespin has the highest, but he’s quickly developed a reputation in being hard to handle. Frankly, the safest bet for next year just might be Turner, who does just about everything very good.



Another of Omar Minaya’s reclamation projects got his first start Sunday night in the 14-inning marathon the Cyclones won. Pittsburgh Pirates reject, Nelson Pereira, tossed 5.0-IP of scoreless ball, striking out six, and lowering his seasonal ERA to 3.86. I do some writing for one of the Pirates minor league blog and the boys over there told me that they had no idea why the Pirates gave up on a 21-year old with such a high ceiling. Pereira has been a starter most of his career, so this might be a return to the rotation for the El Salvadorian native.

Lastly, I planned on spending most of last night out at the stadium, but had my visit cut short. I got back home, turned on the computer and found out about the K-Rod broken bone, DL, possibly contract violation, whatever, bullshit that was the latest in what seems like years of… ya know… it is years of disappointment. I planned on following the last minute signing of, what I hope are, three more prospects I can follow, but I put on HBO and watched once more the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert from Madison Square Garden. It ended right up to the opening whistle of the Giants-Jets game on ESPN. Frankly, it was nice to get a big dose of New York City without all the disappointment coming out of Queens these days. I had one of my sanest nights in months.

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