Saturday, April 10, 2004

Yates Impressive, Mets Win

Mets 3, Expos 2 (11)

W-Weathers (1-0)
L-Ayala (0-2)
S-Moreno (1)

HR-Floyd (1)
Sure the Mets won thanks to a double by Todd Zeile, but the night was really about Tyler Yates and Orber Moreno. Yates was strong going 6 innings and giving up no earned runs, while striking out 4. It was sweet seeing a young, power pitcher do good for the Mets. It is much better than seeing another soft tossing lefty up there. Hopefully Tyler Yates can build upon this start and become what the Mets think he can be.

As for Moreno, he was also impressive getting the save. Moreno has always intrigued me and should be the first man called upon should Looper falter (as he did last night).

Now onto Art Howe....quite frankly he just puzzles me. I guess taking Piazza and Floyd out of the lineup with the slimmest of leads and a shaky bullpen may seem like a good idea, but it almost came back to bite him big time. Stanton got in trouble, Looper gave up 2 runs, and now we're tied. I'll give Art a pass though, i'm sure he is batteling.

Another good game for Kaz Matsui, 2-3 with 3 BB's.

News and Notes

Mike Piazza will start at first base Sunday, which is the first day game after night game of the season. I am not a fan of this move and predict it will fail. I don't think the Mets can afford to have a lousy first baseman out there. I guess I should watch him play before I rush to judgement.

And doesn't this quote just liven up your day??

The return of Jose Reyes (hamstring) isn't close. "There's still no real significant progress," GM Jim Duquette said.

I have the feeling the Mets aren't expecting anything from Reyes now, just hoping for the best. What is there to do really?

Minor league Tidbits

David Wright hit his first AA homer as the B-Mets rolled 9-3.

Complete minor league stats can be found here.

Friday, April 09, 2004

Mets Lose Game....and Erickson

Braves 10 Mets 8


HR-Cameron (2) Wiggington (1)

This was an awful loss for the Mets. The game started with the News that Scott Erickson was scratched due to a strained hamstring. This opened the door for Dan Wheeler to make the start.

I don't know what to think about this game. The Mets played lousy defense, and got terrible pitching. What is even more unlikely is that Mike Cameron and Kaz Matsui made big errors in the game. Matsui ole'd a ball and booted another routine one. Cameron had a ball hit off his glove, Garcia kicked the ball and Floyd let a runner tag up because he fell asleep.

This game was the 2003 Mets all over again. I'd like to put it off as one game, but I also know that good teams do not play like this. The Mets were horrendous. I dont know who to blame, but Art Howe is on the top of the list. The Mets failed at fundamentals today....they always seem to be good at that.

Back to Erickson. Is anyone surprised he got hurt? What did the Mets expect with this guy? After the game he was placed on the 15 day DL and they will call up Jae Seo to take his place.

Right now I don't know what to believe with this team. They look very good offensively, but it is clear that they still need a lot of pitching help.

Kazmir Hurt

Top prospect Scott Kazmir left Thursdays game after feeling a pain in his midsection. Kazmir is listed as day to day.

Indians Claim Anderson

The Cleveland Indians claimed pitcher Jason Anderson off waivers from the New York Mets on Thursday and optioned the right-hander to Triple-A Buffalo.

I guess this means we got absolutely nothing for Benitez.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Mets Get Spanked

Braves 18-Mets 10

HR-Piazza-(2,3) Cameron (1) Garcia (1)

Today's game started off great for the Mets. Piazza hit a bomb in the first which was followed by Mike Camerons first HR as a Met. In fact, it looked like another easy Mets win when they took a 6-0 lead. That all changed when Steve Trachsel and Grant Roberts decided to give up 11 runs in the 4th inning to turn the game into a laugher.

Later in the game Piazza added another homer, and even played 2 innings at first base. Piazza got the job done out there, but I wold be nervous having him out there in a close game. It is great to see Piazza in such a groove at the plate though. He went 5-5 tonight and just looks so comfortable up there.

Trachsel and Roberts were dissapointing. You hate to blow a 6-0 lead, especially against the Braves and Mike Hampton. I wouldn't be to concerned about Trach, as he is known to throw in some clunkers from time to time. Roberts was not impressive at all, especially with his velocity.

I usually tend to overreact to Mets losses early in the season, but I will not be doing that this year. Tomorrow is a another day as Scott Erickson makes his Mets debut.....god help us all.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Reyes Progressing...Questionable for Home Opener

Jose Reyes' hamstring is getting better by the day, but the Mets will not rush him back. Manager Art Howe said he wasn't sure whether Reyes will play in the home opener.

Kaz Makes Mets history

With his first-pitch, first at-bat home run, Kazuo Matsui became the third Met to homer in his first major-league at-bat. The previous two were Benny Ayala in 1974 and Mike Fitzgerald in 1983. He became the first Met to have three RBI in his major-league debut since Preston Wilson in 1998.

Mets Honor Shea and McGraw

I was wondering what those patches were for on the Mets uniform last night. Well the patches are to commemorate Shea Stadium's 40th anniversary and it reads"Ya Gotta Believe", in honor of Tug McGraw.


"It certainly ranks up there with some of the wins I've had with a little more meaning," Glavine said. "I don't want to overplay it, but when you beat your former team, there's certainly some gratification with that."

"We're trying to turn the page from last year," Glavine said. "For me, it's not only to have a better year, but to have a better year against my former team."
A Great Start for the Mets

Mets 7, Braves 2

HR-Matsui(1) Piazza(1)

My Take on the Game:
Opening day finally came, and it started with a bang.On the first pitch of the season, Kaz Matsui homered to straight away center off Russ Ortiz. After Matsui's terrible spring, this was the last thing I was expecting. Matsui was by far the star of the night going 3 for 3 with 2 BB's and 3 RBI. If this was a sign of what is to come for Matsui, then the Mets found themselves a gem.

Tom Glavine also did the impossible....he beat the Braves. Glavine went 6 innings giving up 2 earned runs and striking out 2. This was a big start for glavine, as he couldnt afford another clunker like last year. I wasnt all that impressed with his stuff, but he got the job done and in the end that is all that matters.

Mike Cameron...is a god. It is going to be so fun watching him patrol center this year. He makes everything seem easy, and he almost robbed Giles of a homer too.

Another thing I picked up on...baserunning. I am such a fundamentals freak it's not even funny. This is something the Mets lacked the past 2 years. I just noticed excellent baserunning by Cameron and Garcia on line drives. They froze and were able to get back. Last year that would be a sure fire double play. Also, they did not commit a single error. Another good sign.

So for one night only, the mets looked like a good team. I just cant wait till Reyes comes back.
Trachsel Gets Contract Extension

Well I didn't see this one coming. The Daily News reports that the Mets and Steve Trachsel are close to an agreement that will keep the righty pitching at Shea through 2006.

The Mets and Trachsel have agreed to a complicated contract extension that ensures he will pitch for the Mets in 2005 and '06 if he reaches 150 innings the previous season, a level Trachsel has surpassed every season for nine years. Other terms could trigger the extension even if he fails to reach the innings count.

I am a very big Trachsel defender, but this move makes me scratch my head a bit. This virtually assures that in 2005 and possibly 2006, 3/5ths of the Mets rotation will be Glavine, Leiter and Trachsel. This assuming that Leiter is resigned, which with the way the Mets front office is, I see no reason why he won't be.

Does anyone else have a problem with that rotation for the future? This means that only 2 spots will be made availible and there are plenty of guys who deserve a shot at them. Guys like Yates, Seo, Heilman, Kazmir, Peterson and Keppel should all crack the majors by or during 2006. This move almost makes me believe that they don't think much of Heilman.

I like Trachsel, and I like him much more than Glavine, but if the Mets really wanted to stay true to their "plan" of getting younger, this move could have waited. There are a ton of questions to now be answered for the future. The Mets to me are an organization that is not exactly sure what their plan is yet, they just like saying they have one.

I gotta get to class now, so I may add more later.

Monday, April 05, 2004

What is a Meaningful Game???

The Ny Times asks the players w and management about that mysterious phrase "meaningful games."

"Meaningful games?" Mike Cameron said. "What does that mean?"

"Meaningful games?" José Reyes said. "I don't understand."

"Meaningful games?" Cliff Floyd said. "Well, I guess you've got to start somewhere."

"I don't think there's any more of a definition," Duquette said. "You can take it whatever way you want."

"You'll know it's meaningful when it's there," Wilpon said. "You'll be able to feel it and taste it. We'll be in a position to attain something."

"To play meaningful games, we have to be there in July," said Al Leiter, a starting pitcher.

"I think meaningful games are in August," Floyd said.

"To me, September," Duquette said.

"If you're 30 out in July and August, it's not meaningful anymore," Cameron said. "You've got to be in the race in July and August. I'd say you have to be within 10 games in July and the beginning of August."

"Ten's an awful lot," said outfielder Shane Spencer

"Seven games, five games in September, I don't really know," Duquette said.

"You can't start saying we'll win the World Series," Floyd said. "If we're .500 or better in August, it's meaningful for us."

Leiter said, "If the fans are still interested, that will be the first indication that the Mets are still involved. Picture sellout crowds at Shea Stadium in July chanting, "Mean-ing-ful games, mean-ing-ful games."

I just found this comical. You get a different answer from everybody.

I know one meaningful game though....it starts tomorrow at 7:30. Man am I pumped.
An awful Spring is finally over for the Mets

For the third straight year, the Mets played sloppy baseball all throughout spring training. The Mets committed 45 errors this spring, which grew criticsm from ownership. Today, COO Jeff Wilpon guaranteed the team would be better and manager Art Howe gave his take: "It's behind us. Now we can get serious about things. Not that we weren't serious before, but it all counts now."

The Mets need to pick up their defensive play if they want to have any hopes of competing this year. Hopefully once Reyes and Matsui get a few games under their belt things will improve drastically.

Strickland News

Scott Strickland was moved to the 60 Day DL in order to create a spot on the 40 man roster. Jason Anderson and Chris Widger were also removed in order to make room fro Scott Erickson, Shane Spencer and Eric Valent

Strickland had hoped to be back in May.

Leiter pushes Back Start 2 Days

Al Leiter and Scott Erickson will switch spots in the rotation due to Leiter's swelling. Erickson will pitch Thursday in Atlanta and Leiter will pitch Saturday in Puerto Rico.

Mets were Unwilling to Deal for Bradley

According to the NY Post, the mets would not have dealt for Milton Bradley because of character issues.

Mets COO Jeff Wilpon told The Post yesterday that ownership was unwilling to approve a trade for Bradley, the talented but troubled outfielder. Cleveland ended up shipping Bradley to Los Angeles.

"We did some due diligence," Wilpon said in a phone interview. "We were not comfortable with the player's makeup."


Sunday, April 04, 2004

Seo sounds off

Mets pitcher Jae Weong Seo finally broke his silence about his demotion to AAA.

"This is a very confusing time for me," Seo said through an interpreter. "I think what I was told was very inconsistent. If I don't pitch well in two or three games in Norfolk, will they send me down to Binghamton?"

"I'm being very honest," Seo said. "Things like this do happen in the workplace. is the manager and I just have to be professional about it. If they look at my spring numbers and say I didn't earn a spot on this team, there's nothing I can say about it."

Sensing Seo's disappointment, Al Leiter took him aside Friday and tried to explain the importance of not letting any bitterness get the best of him. "As a teammate and friend, it's hard to see and hard to accept," Leiter said. "I just want him to not let it snowball into two months of pouting and not working hard in Triple-A. If that happens, in a month it could be justified."

Seems like Seo is not happy at all with the demotion. If I were a betting man I would bet that he will be back in the rotation by May.
Leiter Expects to Pitch Thursday

A day after being struck in the head with a line drive, Al Leiter said he expects to pitch Thursday in Atlanta, but did not rule out pushing his start back a day if the swelling does not go down.

Indians Deal Bradley to Dodgers

The Mets quest for an upgrade in right field ended today when the Indians dealt Milton Bradley to the dodgers for Franklin Gutierrez and a player to be named later. Gutierrez is a very good prospect. He was the Dodgers' minor league player of the year last year,and heplayed most of the year for Single-A Vero Beach of the Florida State League.

He hit .282 with 20 home runs and 68 RBIs in 110 games. After Gutierrez, 21, was promoted to Double-A Jacksonville, he batted .321 (21-57), with four home runs and 12 RBIs in 18 games.

I wanted Bradley on the Mets, but not at this price. The only players who the Mets have who are better than Gutierrez are Kazmir and Wright, both of whom should be untouchable. It's reasons like this why having a great minor leauge system pays off.

Yates Rocked Today

Newly appointed 4th starter Tyler Yates was shelled today giving up 7 ER in 4 IP to the Expos. I doubt this changes anything, but this is certainly not what the Mets needed now.
Mets need another outfielder

With yesterday's trade of Roger Cedeno, the Mets now have a gaping hole in their 4th outfielder spot. Instead of having Timo Perez there, they now have the hideous combo of Joe McEwing and Eric Valent. I had never really heard much about Valent, so I looked up his stats....and quite frankly, they are awful.

In 93 ab's over 3 season with the Phillies and Reds, Valent put up an incredible .161,.220,.183. Now I figured that that was a limited sample, so I took a look at his minor league numbers.

Last year Valent played for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons, the AAA International League Affiliate of the Phillies. Valent played in 134 games and got 450 ab's. This is where he put up an unbeleivable .218, .308, .367.

Looking at some projections for this year, his Pecota is .244/.327/.405 while his ZIPS projection comes in at .237/.319/.383. Right now the only other option would be Raul Gonzalez, who projects at 255, .336, .377. Obviously neither blows you away, but Gonzalez is 30, and Valent 27, so I would give Valent the nod just barely over Gonzalez.

It is painfully obvious the Mets need another outfielder. If they have cooled on Bradley, which it sounds like they have, then I agree with fellow blogger Jeremy Heit, that Bubba Trammell would be an interesting fit. I know we've already been down this road, but the man can hit for power, which is something our bench sorely lacks.

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