Hot or Not: Grapefruit Edition!

An article by posted on February 28, 2009

Spring training is here! Even if the games don’t count for anything, it’s still good to see live baseball once again. Welcome to my first pre-season installment of Hot/Not. So far this spring, we’ve had the good, the bad, and the Freddy Garcia.

The Good
*Jose Reyes looked really good coming out of the three hole this week. At first, I was opposed to this move because his stolen base count might go down, but I’d rather see him drive in more runs than swipe more bags.
*At first I was a little annoyed with Luis Castillo for not showing up to camp earlier. But to hear reports of him showing up to camp having lost weight and being able to run with Reyes were encouraging. Then in the first spring game, he got 4 RBI and I now I have hope that this year will be better for Luis. I’m not on the bandwagon yet, though.
*At this early stage in spring, it looks like Livan Hernandez is the front-runner for the 5th rotation spot. Of course, with troubling reports about Johan Santana, whoever loses this battle may get a second audition after all.

The Bad
I will not rip anybody yet. I will not rip anybody yet. I will not rip anybody yet, unless your name is Freddy Garcia, then I shall rip you (see below).

It’s troubling to hear the reports about Santana’s elbow. It’s troubling anytime the ace of your pitching staff is hurt. I slept better at night knowing that the first game of the regular season was in the bag. I hope, as every Mets fan does, that it is nothing serious and Johan will be lights out come Opening Day. If he is not, I really hope the Mets are looking for more than just a 5th starter. And I hope that Mike Pelfrey gets the nod.

The Freddy Garcia
Ah, now the time has come to talk about Freddy “Start me or release me” Garcia. I know he hasn’t pitched in the bigs since ’07 and I know it’s still early. But he walked into camp expecting the Mets to make them their fifth starter when he knew like 4 other guys were competing for the job. On the outside looking in, I think we all knew Garcia had the most to prove. He took about three giant steps back if he wants that 5th starter role. Jon Niese makes his case today; I would love for the Mets to build on a rotation of young guys.

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