2/28/10

R.I.P. - Bri Mathews

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The death of a star softball pitcher at Santa Ana Mater Dei has stunned the school and softball program less than 10 days before its season begins.


Nadia Brianne Matthews, better known in softball circles as Bri Matthews, died Thursday apparently after hanging herself, according to the Orange County Coroner's report released on Friday. She was 16.

Coach Doug Myers struggled for words to describe his and the team's feelings about Matthews' stunning death on Thursday, which came on the same day the program was ranked No. 6 in the MaxPreps preseason state ranking.

“We're all shocked. It's been a rough day, really rough, I've never been through anything like this,” Myers said. “Such a special kid, such a special girl, one in a million.

“Everything she did, she gave 110 percent. Some kids talk about it, but she actually did. She was a 4.0 student, an amazing kid who wanted to be so great.”

Matthews was a sophomore who had already made a verbal commitment to attend Arizona.

Paramedics, who received a report of a girl not breathing, were called to an Anaheim apartment Bri shared with her mother, Nadia Martinez, and younger sister, at 7:45 p.m. She was pronounced dead at UCI Medical Center in Orange 37 minutes later.

Students at Mater Dei met in the school's chapel Friday morning, and softball players went to teammate Alyssa Yglesias' house afterward as they tried to get through the loss.

“We talked and shared special memories about Bri,” Myers said. “She was always going to be first, whether it was running a mile or whether it was grades, she put every single ounce into anything she did. She never did anything less than 100 percent.”

During her freshman season, Matthews was 14-4 with a 0.98 earned-run average. She struck out 138 batters in 107.1 innings, and also had two saves. Mater Dei was 20-5-1 last season
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LHP James Paxton Leaves Kentucky

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James Paxton’s Kentucky career has come to an end.

More From Kendall RogersStock watch: N.C. State, Coastal make statements Feb 28, 2010 UCLA's strong showing leads Friday action Feb 27, 2010 The school announced in a Friday press release that the senior left-handed pitcher has left the program.

“The University of Kentucky is very disappointed in James Paxton’s decision to not meet with the NCAA about a potential amateurism issue,” the school said in the statement. “Due to the possibility of future penalties, including forfeiture of games, UK could not put the other 32 players of the team and the entire UK 22-sport intercollegiate athletics department at risk by having [Paxton] compete.”

It’s been a controversial few months because of Paxton’s legal battle with the university.

Kentucky wanted Paxton to meet with the NCAA but Paxton refused and was told he could not play until he did.

The interview reportedly involved the “no-agent” rule, which gained national exposure last year because of former Oklahoma State pitcher Andy Oliver.

Paxton went the legal route, but a state court ruled in favor of Kentucky and it was upheld on appeal last week.
Paxton has a few options.

He could play in the Independent League until the MLB draft. He also could take the time to craft his game and rest his arm. Either way, Paxton’s draft stock shouldn’t drop.

Paxton’s departure comes at a bad time for the Wildcats. However, this is a team that excelled on opening weekend without the lefty on the mound.
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Mid-Season Trade?, Mike Cameron, Koreans, Roy Oswalt... and Dr. Tony Galea

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Mid-Season Trade?

The Mets may be able to hold teams over a barrel this summer because they will have available dollars to take on contracts. The only other team who may have that flexibility is the Yankees. So, for all of us screaming about why the Mets did not just pay Joel Pineiro or Jason Marquis or sign Ben Sheets, remember that the 2010 season is long. It’s a marathon not a sprint. Something bigger and better may be on the horizon. Spring is hope. Let’s just hope this is truly the situation. If it is not the situation and the Mets are close and don’t make a sensible deal for decent help at the deadline or before, Met nation will revolt. Are you listening Mr. Wilpon, Omar, et al?


It’s my belief that the only deals the Mets will make in season or during the spring will be for pitching. I don’t think Omar will trade quality prospects for a bat. The Met farm system is “on the come”. Rejoice Met nation! Dollars are available for in season acquisitions. Rejoice Met Nation! Spring games start on Monday. Rejoice Met nation! Jenrry Mejia actually throws 97. It’s not hype. Rejoice Met nation! - link

Mike Cameron:

Mike Cameron will miss the next few days of camp with a groin injury. It's not clear when or how the injury happened but it doesn't sound too serious. The 36-year-old Cameron hit .250/.342/.452 with 24 home runs and 32 doubles in 628 plate appearances last season for the Brewers. He's expected to man center field for the Red Sox this year. - link








Koreans:

The truth of the matter is that Koreans are a physical people from a warring country with many great fighters, a nice little mean streak for any enemy, and a great bit of joy and love for their friends (few friends actually as they are fiercely independent). Their society dates back many thousands of years, they are the most literate people on the planet, regularly finish at the top of the world rankings in education, and have one of the most robust and thriving economies in the world. And....they actually do it the hard way, with some fierce in-fighting, a bit of a controlling government, and a man-a-mano style that breeds competition with each other - link

Roy Oswalt:

Oswalt is only 32 years old, but he's already talking about retirement, writes Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. When asked about his future, Oswalt entertained the possibility of only pitching for a couple more seasons:

"I still love the game. I still love the competition. ... But when I get finished with my contract, if I’m not pitching at the level I’m pitching at now, then I’m not going to come back and hurt the team."

Oswalt has been one of baseball's most dominant starting pitchers this century, posting a 3.23 ERA since breaking into the majors in 2001. Though his 4.12 ERA in 2009 was a career-worst, it's still hard to imagine him becoming ineffective enough that he'd want to retire when his current contract expires at age 34. - http://www.link/


Dr. Tony Galea:

Mets shortstop Jose Reyes was interviewed by an FBI agent late last week at the team's spring training facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla., about his association with a Canadian doctor who is under investigation for drug violations, including conspiring to smuggle human growth hormone into the United States from Canada, Reyes confirmed Sunday.
Reyes said he got a call "like two days ago" from an FBI agent who said they wanted to question him about treatment he received from Dr. Tony Galea, who was arrested in December following a September border stop near Buffalo of his assistant in which syringes, vials and various drugs were seized from a vehicle she was driving. - link
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Ryota Igarashi Worst Moves of the 2010 Pre-Season, Slider-Fastball, and Korean Ex-Mets...

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Ryota Igarashi:

Born 5/28/1979 (30 years old) - RHP, NYM - A stocky right-handed specialist who spent most of his career with NPB's Yakult Swallows before moving to America, Ryota Igarashi is the proud owner of a lifetime 3.26 ERA and 1.07 in Japan, almost all of it in relief. Though most frequently a setup man or middle reliever, he also closed 37 games for the Swallows in 2004. In 2010, he'll provide depth in the bullpen for the Mets, who signed him to a two year deal during the offseason. -
link

Worst Moves of the 2010 Off Season:

•Dodgers sign Jamey Carroll to a two-year, $3.85MM contract.


•Mets sign Alex Cora to a one-year, $2MM contract.

•Adam LaRoche declines a two-year, $17MM offer from the Giants.

•Astros sign Brandon Lyon to a three-year, $15MM contract.

•Giants re-sign Bengie Molina to a one-year, $4.5MM contract. - link

Slider-Fastball:

I have talked about before how I think that pitch sequencing analysis is one of the big places that pitchf/x data can be useful. I know that I linked them in my last post, but I want to again highlight just some of the great work done so far on the topic: Joe Sheehan looked at the frequencies of pitch types following each other for a handful of pitchers; Josh Kalk had a couple of articles one looking at the topic generally and another looking at the high fastball then curve combination; Max Marchi looked at the best one-two pitch combinations; and Jonathan Hale looked at the effect of fastball speed on subsequent changeups. - link

As I noted in my last post on the topic, about Mariano Rivera, for me the best way to start this study of pitch sequencing is to find simple, easy-to-analyze examples. Last time I choose Rivera since he has effectively three pitches, an inside cutter, an outside cutter and a fastball. This makes the analysis of pitch sequencing relatively straightforward. Today I am going to take a similar approach but broaden the scope of pitchers

Korean Ex-Mets::

Jae Seo has kind of struggled here since coming back. His team, the Kia Tigers, won the championship last year, but his ERA was over 6 and he got a sizable pay cut. I was told all contracts in Korea are arbitration style, could you imagine that in the United States? Dae-Sung Koo is still pitching at age 41 and put up a 3.72 ERA in 55 innings for the Hanwha Eagles. Of course, everyone remembers his famous at bat and base running adventure against the Yankees in 2005. I have enclosed the video below.

Here is another thought I had: Just like the Yankees opened up an advantage in Japan when they signed Hideki Matsui, could the same happen with Chan Ho Park? I realize these are players at completely different levels when signed, but playing in New York can make just about anyone larger than life. If Park continues to pitch well out of the bullpen, and more importantly, wins a title with the Yankees you never know.
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Beimel Offer, The Enigma, Adding Muscle, Pink Eye v2.0... and Troy Warn

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Beimel Offer:

According to Joel Sherman of the NY Post via Twitter, free agent Joe Beimel is still looking for something similiar to the $2 million that he earned last year, but that the Mets won’t go there.
(Originlly), according to  of the Daily News, the Mets have made an offer to free-agent reliever Joe Beimel, and the 32 year old southpaw has confirmed the offer.

Left-handed reliever Joe Beimel confirmed he has received an offer from the Mets. “We’ve been talking to them for a good part of the offseason. I am still just being patient, waiting for the right deal,” Beimel told the Denver Post. - link

The Enigma:

The biggest enigma is (Oliver) Perez, who has dominant stuff when he’s on but has struggled to find the plate throughout his career. The 6-3 lefty averages 4.95 walks per nine innings—the worst rate for an active pitcher with at least 1,000 innings.

Perez agreed to a $36 million, three-year contract after he closed 2008 with a flourish under new pitching coach Dan Warthen, going 5-3 with a 3.77 ERA in his last 20 starts. But last season was a disaster from start to finish.

He left Mets camp during spring training to compete for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic, but didn’t get much work and was way behind when he returned. He struggled with his motion because of knee problems, finishing with a 3-4 record and a 6.82 ERA in 14 starts  -  link

Adding Muscle:

 Seeing how a player bounces back from that adversity,” Jeff Francouer said yesterday, “really tells you about a person. David has really worked hard. He looks in great shape.

“I noticed that when he took his shirt off the other day he looked more cut, he looked leaner. I put David up there with the top 10 players in the game. A guy like that, if he’s challenged, you’ve got to believe that he is going to come back the next year and put a good year together.”

Wright batted .307, but the power numbers dropped off the table. His slugging percentage went from .534 to .447. Home runs plummeted and so did RBIs, as he went from 124 to 72.- link


Pink Eye v2.0:

According to David Waldstein of the New York Times, Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez went to a local eye doctor who confirmed that his case of red eye is “very contagious.”

Waldstein assures us that K-Rod gets his work in long after the rest of the team enters the field, and leaves shortly after he concludes his work on the side.

Troy Warn:

R.I.P.
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A River in Egypt, a Mr. Mets Snowman, Wall Comes Down...Literally, The "Brittle" Mets... and Jason Bay

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A River In Egypt:

A River in Egypt


The Mets payroll is at approximately $130 million right now, or nearly $20 million less than last season.

Kelvim Escobar may start the season on the disabled list - which makes him the perfect eighth-inning replacement for JJ Putz in more ways than one.

Felipe Lopez just signed with the Cardinals for $2 million this season - the exact same amount as Alex Cora signed for with the Mets, except that Lopez's deal is only for one year. Felipe Lopez is a better baseball player than Alex Cora.- link


A Mr. Mets Snowman:

Greg Pleeter sent this along:  Big fan of the site. While making a snowman with my wife, brother-in-law, and nephew today, my wife came up with the idea of making a Mr. Met Snowman. I was impressed with her idea and we worked on it. Attached is a couple of pictures from the attempt of the Mr. Met Snowman. It would be great to see this on the site if you can. Thanks a lot and LETS GO METS!!

Wall Comes Down... Literally:
 
Opening day is a month away, and the Mets are already falling apart.

A giant piece of the marquee Citi Field sign came crashing down on Jan. 25 -- more evidence for beleaguered Met fans that the sky really is falling. The cover of the sign's C flew off and plummeted nearly 200 feet to the empty seats below, sources said. The sign towers over center field and is the centerpiece of the year-old stadium.  Photos provided to The Post show the 15-foot-long, 35-pound acrylic sheeting landed in a field-level section to the right of the sign.  "Once it hit the ground, it shattered into a bunch of pieces," a team insider told The Post.  link

The "Brittle" Mets:

The Mets' next option for the eighth inning is probably a lefty-righty duo of Pedro Feliciano and Ryota Igarashi, whose next North American major league inning will be his first. Then they move to Sean Green's new submarine style or Bobby Parnell's untapped talent and, well, you see how all the optimism that has so bathed this camp can so quickly take a belly shot.

The Mets are good at optimism, masters of the art, really. They have become intimate with how to heave-ho the collapse or humiliation of a previous season and sell the hope of a new year. They are a business and I get it; there are tickets to sell and the general psyche of an organization to heal. - link

-ver unfair article by Mr. Sherman on the "brittel" Kelvin Escobar. He was signed brittle and came to camp brittle...  200 players and one brittle... give me a journalism break....

Jason Bay:

Jason Bay wants to be the kind of hitter his former team, the Red Sox, would throw at.


It was Jason Varitek who famously told Alex Rodriguez "we don't throw at .260 hitters." Bay hit .267 for the Red Sox last season, just one number he would like to see improve for the Mets.

"I'm a better average guy than .260," Bay said yesterday. "I feel like I'm a .275 or .280 guy."

The Mets will absolutely take Bay's 36 homers and 119 RBIs from 2009, even if it means watching him strike out 162 times again. Bay said he doesn't care about the strikeouts as long as he's getting on base and scoring runs  -  link

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2/27/10

Escobar, Jacobs, Ike, Bauman on Mets... and Setbacks

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Escobar:

As reported by WFAN and now confirmed on Mets.com, manager Jerry Manuel said he doesn’t think Kelvim Escobar’s ailing shoulder will allow him to be the team’s eighth-inning man by Opening Day. Escobar, who has been limited to just one Major League appearance in the past two years because of right shoulder woes, said he’s been playing catch every other day, but he added that there’s still no timetable for when he’ll return to the mound - link


Jacobs:

Mike Jacobs is coming off a rough season, he had to settle for a Minor League contract he didn't sign until late in the offseason, and the odds of landing an Opening Day roster spot for the 2010 campaign seem stacked against him.

But Jacobs is in a Mets uniform again, and he's happy.

"Oh, I'm really happy," Jacobs said. "When I left here, I hoped to one day be able to come back. The opportunity was obviously there, so I had to jump on it.

"I feel like I'm at home again, to be honest with you. I feel like I'm where I should be, so it's exciting to be back here."

Ike:

Kevin Kernan talks about Ike Davis today. The Mets continue to hype up Davis the first week of camp. Daniel Murphy is in the same exact situation that Ty Wigginton was back in 2004. Everyone knew David Wright was going to be the third base sooner, rather than later. Despite hitting .285 with 12 HR and 42 RBI the Mets traded Wiggy to Pittsburgh and made room for their top prospect. Murphy, in my opinion, profiles like Wigginton where he has a nice stick, but really no position. His value could be getting 300 AB playing around the field. This has been talked about before on this site. Maybe the Mets first base situation is not as desolate as we all think. - link

Bauman on Mets:

It is not impossible to project the 2010 New York Mets as a genuine contender in the National League East. It is just that, with the regular season five weeks away, the Mets already lead the league in "ifs."

This is still an improvement over leading the league in injuries. But for the Mets to be in the immediate neighborhood of the Phillies in the standings, a remarkable run of good fortune will have to occur.

There is indisputable talent here and players who have performed at extraordinary levels in the past. But this is a team returning from a 70-92 season. For the Mets to, for instance, reverse that record, an entire laundry list of players who were injured or underachieved, or both, in 2009 will all have to be healthy, whole and effective. - link

Setbacks:

The projected back end of the Mets' bullpen continued to ail on Saturday.

Francisco Rodriguez said he's feeling no better from pink eye and will now have to go visit a local doctor on Monday. More significantly, manager Jerry Manuel said he doesn't think Kelvim Escobar's beleaguered shoulder will allow him to be the team's eighth-inning man by Opening Day.

Escobar, who has been limited to just one Major League appearance in the past two years because of right shoulder woes, said he's been playing catch every other day, but he added that there's still no timetable for when he'll return to the mound, and he talked about how the Mets "want to take it easy with me." - link
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Mon-Fri Probable Pitchers, ST Schedule, "Rotation Watch", Beimel $2mil... and Baseball's Record Revenue

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M-F Probable Pitchers:

Monday, intra-squad game - Jack Egbert - Clint Everts - Travis Blackley - Jon Niese - Tobi Stoner -
R.A. Dickey - Jenrry Mejia

Tuesday, vs. Atlanta (SNY) - Nelson Figueroa - Hisanori Takahashi - Bobby Parnell - Elmer Dessens

Wednesday, at Atlanta - Pat Misch - Pedro Feliciano -

Thursday, vs. St. Louis (SNY) - R.A. Dickey - Tobi Stoner -






ST Schedule:

March - Tuesday, March 2 vs Braves 1:10 PM SNY
Wednesday, March 3 @ Braves 1:05 PM
Thursday, March 4 vs Cardinals 1:10 PM SNY
Friday, March 5 @ Cardinals 1:05 PM
vs Marlins 1:10 PM SNY
Saturday, March 6 @ Nationals 1:05 PM  - WFAN 660
Sunday, March 7 vs Nationals 1:10 PM WPIX
Monday, March 8 @ Marlins 1:05 PM
Tuesday, March 9 vs Astros 1:10 PM SNY
Wednesday, March 10 @ Braves 1:05 PM
Thursday, March 11 vs Red Sox 1:10 PM SNY
Friday, March 12 @ Twins 1:05 PM
Saturday, March 13 vs Tigers 1:10 PM - WPIX WFAN 660
Sunday, March 14 @ Marlins 1:05 PM  - WFAN 660
Monday, March 15 vs Cardinals 1:10 PM SNY
Wednesday, March 17 @ Red Sox 1:05 PM
Thursday, March 18 @ Marlins 7:05 PM
Friday, March 19 vs Twins 1:10 PM SNY
Saturday, March 20 @ Cardinals 1:05 PM - WFAN 660
Sunday, March 21 vs Univ. of Michigan 11:10 AM
@ Astros 1:05 PM - WFAN 660
Monday, March 22 @ Nationals 1:05 PM
Tuesday, March 23 vs Braves 1:10 PM SNY, ESPN
Wednesday, March 24 vs Astros 1:10 PM SNY
Thursday, March 25 @ Cardinals 1:05 PM ESPN
Friday, March 26 @ Marlins 1:05 PM
Saturday, March 27 vs Nationals 1:10 PM - WPIX WFAN 660
Sunday, March 28 vs Cardinals 1:10 PM - WPIX WFAN 660
Monday, March 29 @ Nationals 1:05 PM
vs Marlins 1:10 PM
Tuesday, March 30 vs Cardinals 1:10 PM
Wednesday, March 31 vs Marlins 1:10 PM SNY

April

Thursday, April 1 vs Nationals 12:10 PM - SNY WFAN 660
Friday, April 2 @ Rays 6:10 PM
Saturday, April 3 @ Orioles 1:05 PM - WFAN 660

"Rotation Watch":

For the 5th season, Mack's Mets will be keeping tabs on the formulation of the 2010 rotation... I will add later today a fixed box on the left side of page one... will update it each night with total IP, ER, ERA, Ks, etc for all pitchers that have a remote shot at the rotation.

Beimel:

Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that free agent left-hander Joe Beimel is still looking for a contract in the $2 million range.
The Mets, on the other hand, aren't willing to go that far. Beimel signed a $2 million contract with the Nationals last March, posting a 3.58 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in 55 1/3 innings. Since he's not even that effective against left-handers to begin with, it's hard to think he'll find a team willing to give him $2 million again - link
 
Baseball's Record Revenue:
 
They say that funeral homes are the only industries that are truly recession proof.

Baseball, however, is making a good case of why Bud Selig has more in common with your local undertaker (other than, you know, just looking like him).

According to numbers provided to our pal Maury Brown at Biz of Baseball, Major League Baseball brought in a record $6.6 billion in gross revenue during the 2009 season. That amount was a 1.5 percent increase over the previous high of $6.5 billion in '08 and was produced despite a 6.58 percent decrease in total attendance from the previous year. Maury is also reporting that $433 million in revenue sharing money will be sent from the big-market behemoths to the teams crying poor in smaller markets -
link


 
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Daniel Murphy, Daryl, Blanco & Barajas, Finishing Ahead of the Braves... and 24-Hr Talk-A-Thon

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Daniel Murphy:


Murphy is looking better each day at first base. There is no doubt that he has become comfortable playing there and while I don't think a gold glove is awaiting him at the end of this season, I do think that he will be just fine defensively. - link


Daryl:

Signed every single autograph and took every picture that was requested. It's good to see him back in a Mets uniform. He has come a long way in recent years and it's fun to see the fans giving him so much attention. - link










Blanco & Barajas:

Henry Blanco and Rod Barajas are the enormous, which explains why they were hitting so many balls over the fence today. They certainly will provide some pop at the bottom of the order. - link





Finishing Ahead of the Braves:

You could arguably claim the Braves starting three of Tim Hudson (34 years old), Derek Lowe (36 years old), and Jair Jurrjens are better than the Mets starting three. But lets see, you have both Hudson and Lowe in their mid to late thirties. As someone who is well past his mid to late thirties, I can tell you 36, is not 26. Heck, its not even 28. It takes longer to recover. The body starts showing wear. It will be interesting to see how the long hot summer effects both Lowe and Hudson. Our old friend Billy Wagner is down with Braves this year too. Wagner is 38. The Braves have some old arms - link


24-Hour Talk A Thon:

It's today...


http://www.thefantasysportschannel.com/talkathon
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Wright & PB&J, Ike Davis, Bay & Curling, Frank Catalanotto... and Jose

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Wright & PB&J:


Last month the Mets held a media event in the clubhouse at Citi Field, and David Wright made the trip to speak about the coming season. When it was over, he pulled out a zippered, soft-sided blue lunch box that he had brought with him from his Manhattan apartment, unzipped it and retrieved a peanut butter, honey and jelly sandwich that he had made a few hours earlier. By his own estimate, Wright eats these sandwiches 75 to 80 percent of the 365 days on the calendar, and he makes almost all of them himself. - link





Ike Davis:

According to Buster Olney on the Brandon Tierney show yesterday, Ike Davis may have a legitimate shot of starting at first base this year for the Mets. This is interesting news to say the least. Apparently, the Mets hold Davis in such high regard, that if he hits well this spring, it will make it “very difficult” for the decision makers in the organization to send him down.

The one real positive point going in for Davis is his defensive capabilities at first, which already “far exceed” those of Daniel Murphy. The downside is that Davis does strike out quite a bit, and this could lead to stretches of non-production during slumps. - link

-trade bait…

Bay and Curling:

Jason Bay wants to set the record straight on his curling experience: Yes, his high school in British Columbia has a curling team and no baseball team. No, he doesn’t have any varsity letters in the sport. Bay’s high school curling experience was limited to filling in on his father’s Tuesday night recreational team in his youth. Bay said his comments this week about curling have led to a ton of inquiries from people involved in the sport, and he’s glad to help put curling in the spotlight. - link

 
 
 
 
 
 
Frank Catalanotto:


The early read has Frank Catalanotto battling Mike Jacobs for what might be the final spot on the Mets’ bench among position players. GM Omar Minaya is a big fan of Catalanotto, and in previous years tried to trade for the veteran utilityman. Jacobs has more power, but the Mets already have Daniel Murphy and Fernando Tatis at first base. Catalanotto, a Smithtown native, has experience in the outfield, first base and second base - link









Jose:

Reyes also looks equally comfortable, but there is something different about Jose. As rough as it was for the fans last season, I think that the injury to Jose is something that helped him grow because he now carries himself like a veteran around the camp. He is running pain free and more than anything, looks genuinely thrilled to be back on the diamond. I know that every hits the ball well against a machine or in batting practice as opposed to a live arm, but Reyes has been absolutely tattooing the baseball. Watching him in BP today, there wasn't a single ball that wasn't hit on the nose of the bat and driven well. - link
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Reyes Running, Scouting Book's Top Mets Prospects, Octavio Dotel, Nick Evans & Chipotle Burritos... and Lastings Milledge

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Reyes Running:


Perhaps the best sight for the Mets was back in the clubhouse when Jose Reyes came in, covered in sweat, but still smiling, after a hard workout. There is nothing more essential to Reyes’ game and perhaps to the Mets’ fortunes than the ability of Reyes to run the bases. And when he ran the bases Thursday it marked the first time he’d done that simple thing at full speed since May. “I feel really good to be able to run on the field,” Reyes said. “There’s no doubt I’m there. There was nothing on my mind when I was running. I just want to run.” He simulated running out a pair of infield singles, a single to right field, a double, scoring from second on a base hit and an assortment of other situations. And he came through the session feeling healthy — and anxious to do it again Saturday. “I’m going to run again on Saturday, maybe a little faster,” he said Thursday. “I ran fast today, but maybe a little more - link




Scouting Book’s Top Mets Prospects:

1. Fernando Martinez OF (#34 overall)

2. Jenrry Mejia RHP (#48 overall)

3. Ike Davis 1B (#94 overall)

4. Wilmer Flores SS (#112 overall)

5. Bradley Holt RHP (#143 overall)

6. Hisanori Takahashi LHP (#156 overall)

7. Josh Thole C (#165 overall)

8. Reese Havens SS (#174 overall)

9. Ryota Igarashi RHP (#201 overall)

10. Jon Niese LHP (#204 overall)  - link

-good list... I'm not adding the Japanese pitchers to "The Keepers" until I see if they make Queens.

Octavio Dotel:

"It was a good day for the Pirates' bullpen, even though nobody picked up a ball. Workouts at Pirate City were cut short so players could make it to the annual charity golf tournament. Pitchers did not throw. Two key relievers, closer Octavio Dotel and right-hander Joel Hanrahan, bounced around in good moods after getting positive reports from doctors. Dotel, who has been shut down the past week, smiled and gave a thumbs-up when asked if his strained left oblique is feeling better. "I'm going to start throwing next week, I hope," Dotel said. Hanrahan will begin a throwing program Wednesday and hopes to take the mound for the first time 10 days later. His sore elbow came up clean when ..." - link





Nick Evans and Chipotle Burritos:

Mets 1B Nick Evans insists he can’t wait until he’s in his 30s, when his metabolism slows. Evans said he struggles to keep weight on, and that he relied during the offseason on a Chipotle burrito or two a day for extra calories. He concluded middle age is a cheaper way to put on weight than Mexican food -
link





Lastings Milledge:

The Nationals shipped Lastings Milledge to the Pirates in June, then they shipped the rest of his baseball belongings to Pirate City this month. Once he discovered the boxes’ contents, he had them carted to his car to stow somewhere later. It was symbolic: no more need for his Nationals jacket, his major league past. It takes roughly five turns and 7 1/2 miles for Milledge to drive from his parents’ Palmetto home across the Manatee River to Pirate City; it has taken him a second trade in two years’ time — by age 24 — to find himself at this career crossroads. “He prepared well. He’s prepared hard,” McCutchen said of the buddy with whom he occasionally visited in suburban Tampa, where Milledge resides. “He’s worked out hard this offseason. I’ve been alongside with him. Hope for him to come up and show [everyone] what he’s made of.” “Yeah,” added Milledge, who turns 25 on opening day, “I wanted to be in better shape and more prepared than I’ve ever been. Because this is probably the biggest year I’m going to have - link
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Edgardo Alfonzo, Tiger Phillips, Felipe Lopez vs. Alex Cora, Joe Beimel... and David Wright

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Edgardo Alfonzo:

The agent representing former Mets second baseman Edgardo Alfonzo is trying to convince general manager Omar Minaya to sign his client. Peter Greenberg said on Friday his 37-year-old client is willing to report to the Minor League camp and receive no invitation to the big league camp. "He'd just like to show he can still play," Greenberg said. "And he'd like the chance to retire as a Met if it doesn't work out." Alfonzo, who ranks with Darryl Strawberry, David Wright, Jose Reyes, Hubie Brooks, Kevin Mitchell, Mookie Wilson, Todd Hundley and Jeromy Burnitz as the best position players the Mets have developed, left the club as a free agent after the 2002 season and played five more seasons. He also played for the Long Island Ducks before playing in Japan. he has undergone surgery to clean out his knee - link

-he does this every spring... sad

Tiger Phillips:

A contrite Steve Phillips, one we rarely saw during his days as a GM and broadcaster, appeared with WFAN’s Mike Francesa today. Phillips spent a couple of hours talking about his sex addiction that has left him on the outside of the baseball world. To Phillips credit he answered tough questions, took calls and showed accountability for his actions. Phillips is a polarizing topic for Mets fans who blame him for the team’s demise after the 2000 World Series. In hindsight, he took over a team that was far from a contender and led them to more playoff appearances and pennants than Omar Minaya. If ownership was willing to spend a few more dollars they could easily have made the playoffs in 97′ and 98′ as well. Phillips never had the blank checkbook that Omar Minaya has enjoyed, at times, during his regime.- Mets - Steve Phillips

-one of the 12 steps... go away for two years Steve... you can move in with Governor Sanford

Felipe Lopez vs. Alex Cora:

Can't spin this one. Felipe Lopez signed for less than Alex Cora. Maybe he just really likes St. Louis, but it is hard to imagine the Cardinals have more playing time at secondbase and money to offer than the Mets. On the brightside, there's a decent chance Castillo has the better season, but I always prefer the defensively superior player up the middle. - link



Joe Beimel:

According to the Daily News, the Mets have made an offer to free-agent reliever Joe Beimel, and the 32 year old southpaw has confirmed the offer. Left-handed reliever Beimel confirmed he has received an offer from the Mets. “We’ve been talking to them for a good part of the offseason. I am still just being patient, waiting for the right deal,” Beimel told the Denver Post. The Daily News reported this week that the Mets would bring in Beimel or fellow left-hander Ron Mahay if the reliever was willing to accept a Rod Barajas-type contract (less than $1 million). - link

David Wright:

A few quick things about Wright that are immediately noticeable: 1) He's jacked. His new diet and workout regimen this off-season clearly did something because he looks much more fit. 2) Home runs will be the least of his problems this season as the 400+ foot bombs he was hitting over the left field wall seemed to come with such ease and 3) He has tweaked his swing by shortening it, which is why he has been driving the ball the way he has so far this spring. - link
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Mack's Mets © 2012