2-16-13 – Mets Pen, Jose Reyes, Marlon Byrd, Lucas Duda, Reese Havens


Jordany Valdespin, Wilfredo Tovar and Jenrry Mejia are the only players missing from camp.

A tie goes to the veterans. That is how manager Terry Collins views the competition for open jobs in the Mets’ bullpen, as he begins evaluating which arms might belong on the Opening Day roster. LaTroy Hawkins, Pedro Feliciano, Scott Atchison and Aaron Laffey are among the veteran relievers battling for jobs, with Jeurys Familia, Darin Gorski and Robert Carson among the notable younger pitchers in the hunt.

This makes sense to me. The veterans have been there before and they should be called upon first to prove they can still deliver the kind of stats they have in the past.

I assume that Frank Francisco will start the season on the DL.

“Locks” to me in the bullpen are Bobby Parnell, Brandon Lyon, and Josh Edgin (I’m missing somebody…)

Past that, it’s any combination of the names listed above plus Chuck James, Greg Burke, Jeremy Hefner, and Scott Rice.
IMO, the only youngster that stands a chance to come out of this camp with an MLB job is LHP Robert Carson, mainly due to how he pitched the back end of last season. Jeurys Familia still has to prove he can pound the zone, Darin Gorski needs to make the conversion to a reliever in the minors, and the opportunities for Elvin Ramirez may have come and gone.

Teams don’t sign all these veterans if they have confidence in their youngsters.

Regarding Las Vegas, look for new AAA pen additions Brad Holt (yeah, he’s still around), St. John’s Craig Hansen, Ryan Fraser, and Armando Rodriguez.

Kevin Kernan on old d’Arnaud coaches:

Roly de Armas was his first manager. Mike Compton was the Phillies’ minor league catching coordinator. D’Arnaud has earned a special place in both men’s baseball hearts. “I’ve started professionally in 1965 and I worked with and seen a lot of great catchers, and the great ones just have a different gear. Travis is one of those guys,’’ Compton told The Post yesterday at the Carpenter Complex, where Phillies’ minor league players train. “It’s like Usain Bolt; he can just run faster than other people. It’s just there.

“I was with Johnny Bench when he was a young fella,’’ said Compton, the Phillies field coordinator, “and Travis, when he’s off on another field and you look over; physically, he walks and looks a lot like Johnny. His shoulders hang like John’s; he’s got big hands like John, and the mannerisms. He’s got a lot of tools and he is such a gifted hitter.’’

Jesus, they compared him to Usain Bolt and Johnny Bench in the same story. Now, that’s pressure.

Jose Reyes said that two days before he was traded from the Marlins to the Blue Jays, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria assured him he was not going to be traded by the flush-it-down the drain Marlins. “Two days before the trade, I was having dinner with him in New York,’’ Reyes explained.  At that mid-November dinner, the Marlins owner went so far as to tell Reyes to buy a house in Miami. “He was talking still about getting a nice house in Miami,’’ the former Mets shortstop said. “That was kind of crazy, how do you want me to spend my money in Miami when I have my house in New York and you are going to trade me in two days? “Then I went on vacation with my wife and I found out I was trade. I thought people were joking but when I called my agent he said yes I was traded … I was shocked.

          Are we talking scumbag or what?

Couldn’t you at least cancel the dinner? This trade will never be equaled in sheer arrogance by an owner. And the sad part about it is there is nothing anyone can do about it.

Let’s remember this team was dismembered two other times after getting to the World Series. It’s absolutely impossible to believe anything that comes out of this guy’s blow hole.

I really feel sorry for Reyes and I still miss him. He will always be a New York Met to me and we’ll never know what went wrong between himself, Sandy Alderson, and Fred Wilpon. This was an easily workable contract for a guy that could still be at short while Ruben Tejada moves over to second.

Kevin Burkhardt‏ - @KBurkhardtSNY

Terry Collins saying the Marlon Byrd, who arrived today, can win the RF job without platooning. I also think Cowgill and Baxter will get more and more consideration to lead off by TC, so platoons in RF and CF seem logical

I seem to remember Terry Collins doing this same “so-and-so can be a starter for this team” crap last year. I know it’s nice to say good things about your players, but everybody can’t start and haven’t you already said about eight other guys can start in the outfield?

TC reminds me of Vice President Joe Biden. There’s always just a little too much coming out of his mouth during the pressers.
I’m not sure if many of you know this, but one of the originators (and maybe the originator) of the platoon system was Casey Stengel.

(boy… the one thing missing on this site is a writer telling old stories about old Mets…)

Mike Puma‏ - @NYPost_Mets

Alderson says he will make a decision Monday regarding Santana and WBC. Santana says the Mets prefer he doesn't participate.

I just can’t see any scenario that would say this was a good idea. 
He’s coming off an injury, he’s your ace for a run for the playoffs, or he’s trade bait at the halfway point of the season. Pick one and there’s no reason to risk another foot injury.
I remember that game. I saw him land funny and I said to myself “take him out now”. You let this guy go ‘home’ and he gets hurt playing funny baseball for the WBC and you throw away any chance you have at either a pennant or another Zack Wheeler deal down the drain.

"Being sent down is probably one of the lowest points that you can have. I think that you learn from that and you grow from that, hopefully, and learn what you did [wrong] and what you can do to stay. And hopefully, I did that. That first couple of days you're angry, saying, 'Why am I here?' There's a clear-cut reason why you're here. You didn't play good enough to be in the big leagues. I realized that and got it through my head. I realized I wasn't playing well enough to stay there and tried to work to get back. And I did, and I think hopefully this year I'll stay there.”

Didn’t we just write last night about Duda having a lack of confidence? This paragraph ended a lot better than it started and the first step in achieving anything is believing in yourself. The scary part about the Mets outfield is Duda is the least of the problems which exposes just how severe this is. I can’t remember a New York team going into a season with this questionable level of talent in the outfield. I’m sure some of you can and I welcome you to chime in here.

Reese Havens

          "I'm going to have back problems. It's just, I've learned how to try to stay on top of my back with doing core workouts and stretching and stuff. That's just what I've got to do. I'm always optimistic coming in. Last year, I wasn't able to work out like I did this year and I had some doubts about where my back was at coming in. And I still know I'm going to have to stay on top of it. But just the quality offseason training that I had makes me a little more confident this year than in other years."

          I didn’t realize that Havens was in camp already.

Sadly, I have seen this before. His name was Shawn Bowman and he was the original third base prospect before David Wright. Bowman also had a bad back; in fact, he ‘broke’ it twice and, regardless of how well he continued to hit in the minors, he never could stay 100% healthy.

Bad backs are something that don’t go away. Mine was operated on 15 years ago which means I have two stories to tell. One, I had pain for the 15 years prior to the operation and, two, I have no flexibility for the 15 years after the operation.

I wish Havens all the success in the world, but, it’s just a matter of time before we write again about his back problems.


The Closer said...

More likely, Tejada would have been included for a trade for say an outfielder, or atleast Murphy would have been since one of them would have been expendable.

Herb G said...

Mack, I think your take on the bullpen is spot on. Parnell, Edgin and Lyon are locks. (You didn't forget anyone.) Of the four vets, I think if Feliciano and Atchison are anywhere near their former selves, they are in. Hawkins and Laffey will be battling Hefner and Burke for the final 2 spots. My personal opinion is that Burke will win one of the places, Laffey falls out of the running, and it is a last minute decision for Alderson/Collins between Hawkins and Hefner. Flip a coin, but I'm rooting for Hef.

Mack's Mets © 2012