2-23-13 – Johan Santana, Intra-Squad Scrimmage, SFG-CWS Trade, International Prospects


Paul DePodesta‏ - @pdepo
Intrasquad games are no fun, because they're zero sum....but, Wilmer Flores did just hit a three-run homer

Citing an "overall conditioning issue," the Mets have pushed left-hander Johan Santana's throwing schedule back more than a week, potentially affecting his status for Opening Day. "It's obviously a possibility," general manager Sandy Alderson said of Santana relinquishing his April 1 assignment. "But right now we're still shooting for the opening of the season." Because Santana did not throw off a mound in either Venezuela or Florida over the winter, the Mets could not gauge his status until he arrived at camp last week. The left-hander climbed atop a mound on Sunday for the first time since August, throwing 20 pitches without apparent issue. He then threw another bullpen session on Wednesday.

KBurkhardtSNY: I'm not buying the Johan thing as no big deal. I think he was utterly disappointed in his pen the other day.

The thing I find strange here, and no one is talking about, is less than 48 hours ago, this guy found out he wasn’t going to be allowed to pitch for his home country in the World Baseball Classic. Now, all of a sudden, his arm isn’t ready and the Mets are spinning out a tale of “overall conditioning issue”. Where was the issue if he pitched in the WBC?

I added Kevin Burkhardt’s comments here because he wasn’t the only person to say that Santans’s first bullpen session was piss pour. Can’t baseball teams bring in their walking wounded a month early to start the process of building up arm strength? I fully understand that you don’t want these guys rehabbing on their own, but throwing off the mound for the first time only 4-5 weeks away from your first outing?

Needless to say, this may be the first sign that any chance Santana can bring the Mets a decent prospect in a mid-season trade is nil. It’s been a long time since he’s pitched an entire season healthy and it’s obvious he’s not going to do so now.

For starters, look for all the other four rotation pitchers to move up a notch and Colin McHugh might be the early favorite for emergency SP5 after his outing today (2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K).

Highlights from Intra-squad game:

First, let me remind you that you never take spring training statistics serious. Do the research and go find the spring batting averages for Matty Alou.

Now, worse than that is the fact that this isn’t even a spring training game. It’s a scrimmage between two sets of mostly minor leaguers that the coaches want to get a look at before the real spring training starts today.

You’re a reader of Mack’s Mets because you follow the kids on the wrong side of the field, but most Mets coaches know very little about them other than what they have heard from others. Did you watch the SNY broadcast from Duffy’s last night? Did you notice that, when asked what outfielder has impressed him so far, Bobby Ojeda could only identify a player as “Juan something…”

Most of the players in the scrimmage are trying to make the organization, no less the team. Some thoughts:

            RP LaTroy Hawkins (0.2 IP, 5 R, 5 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 1 K) didn’t help the cause. That’s a lot of hits in less than one inning, one of which was a three-run homer by Wilmer Flores.

            Wilmer Flores played second base… and had four RBIs, three on his home run and another on a well hit sacrificed fly. Everything he did confirmed the ability and maturity of his bat.

(you have to think at this point that Flores will become the permanent Las Vegas second baseman and Reese Havens will first be dropped from the 40-man and then turned loose if they can’t work out a deal for him. Very sad.)

            CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis had a perfect throw to third base, ending a rally that could have turned into a rout.

            2B Jordany Valdespin also homered.

            C Juan Centeno (you know how much I like this kid) turned some heads going 2-2.

            When asked who stood out in intrasquad game, Terry Collins said Gonzalez Germen [1.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K]  : "Tremendous changeup. Lights-out changeup."

                        (See… it’s never the stats in a spring training game.)
                                    P Collin McHugh’s nasty curve that struck out Travis d’Arnaeu.

I saw a trade come down the wire early today. The Giants traded 3B Conor Gillaspie to the Chicago White Sox for pitcher Jeff Soptic.

Trust me, this is not going to be the lead story on Hot Stove this morning. Gillaspie is a former first round pick that has played AAA the past two years and has nowhere to go with a Giants uniform on. Soptic is still pitching A-ball and is two or three years away, if ever. What he does throw is a fastball clocked as high as 101 and, hopefully, someday, it will hit the barn.

Why do I bring this up?

Well, like things I’ve written about here before, this is the kind of trade that the Mets will do someday for help in the outfield.

This is one team trading a secondary prospect to another team for a secondary prospect.
It seems to me that the Mets are done experimenting with the 2013 outfield. The end result will come out of this camp, but the 2014 version will be quite different.

As I’ve written about before, if you want a George Springer or a Jackie Bradley Jr., than you’re going to have to offer up someone like a Domingo Tapia or Rafael Montero.
Did I mention that Tapia throws a 97 mph… slider?

Gillaspie for Soptic is not Springer for Tapia, but the template is the same.

This will come to pass, Mets fans.  Maybe, even twice. 

It has been written by multiple writers that the Mets spent the most money this off-season on an international baseball players. That isn't true. They did spend $1.75mil on SS Ahmed (his first name spelled wrong by BA) Rosario, which was the 3rd largest.

1. Jairo Beras*OFRangers17Dominican Republic$4.5 million
2. Tzu-Wei Lin*SSRed Sox18Taiwan$2.05 million
3. Amed RosarioSSMets16Dominican Republic$1.75 million
4. Jose CastilloLHPRays16Venezuela$1.55 million
5. Juan Carlos PaniaguaRHPCubs22Dominican Republic$1.5 million


Justin M. said...

If they'd have given Santana the green light to pitch in the WBC, I wonder if he would have pitched no matter how crappy his shoulder felt.

Charles said...

I don't think Santana, in a contract year no less, would pull something so shady like a fake injury, just to get back at the front office over them vetoing his WBC participation. This guy has integrity and is pitching this year for a new contract.

Mack's Mets © 2012