What A Pair Of Grapefruits On You!

An article by posted on March 9, 2010

The Grapefruit League afforded the 6-3 Mets fans the opportunity to see some of our rotation’s hopefuls at work and get a glimpse of what we will be expecting to see in less than a month. There were a lot of things to be happy about if you’re a Met fan… and quite a few things that were the topic of some discussions.

Johan Santana made his Grapefruit League debut today against the Houston Astros. Johan gave up 4 runs in 1 and 2/3 innings. He threw his slider effectively, which showed that his elbow is much better as that pitch is very difficult to throw if the elbow is not right.

santana

The final line was six hits, one walk, and a homer to Kaz Matsui, for our ace.

After a trying year of health issues, it’s good to know that Santana can throw his signature pitches effectively and is in good health. Not great numbers, I hear the skeptics saying in the background, but nothing to be concerned about. Besides, it’s Spring Training and the games don’t mean that much.

This was huge step forward for our ace.  Johan just needed to show he was healthy and he did that. These kind of results aren’t important right now. Chillax, Mets fans.

Oliver Perez made his debut against the Nationals and under the mandate of pitching coach Dan Warthen, he just needed to throw strikes. If nothing else, Ollie accomplished that throwing 33 of 49 pitches for strikes. His line was 3 IP, 5 R, 7 H, and 1 BB. He felt good and looked comfortable (for Ollie) on the mound. So why the opposing reactions from fans on Perez as compared to Johan’s performance today? That’s one to ponder, I suppose.

One point of note is RBIs. A lot more of them this Spring than anyone expected as compared to last spring.

David Wright (with his 2nd home run this Spring) and the hot hand of Ike Davis have been very hot and productive. That’s good news if it can translate over to the regular season.

The Mets left far too many runners on base last season, and I believe the approximate number was about 9 players LOB per game last year. You do the math… My head hurts!

That could have easily and without much argument, equated to, at least, two dozen wins going the other way. Maybe more. I think we have a stud on our hands with Ike. We just need to take our time and let him develop.

Seeing D-Wright pounding the ball instead of obsessing about pulling the ball to right field makes this a very interesting development for our on-field product.

Even Johnny Maine, although also being dealt with cautiously due to recent arm issues, pitched very well with a win this week. He threw 39 pitches (21 for strikes) in 1.2 innings and allowed just one run, two hits and on walk.

We will definitely see more from all three including Big Pelf as we get through March. I’m very encouraged about the overall health of the arms. That was a crucial sticking point for us last year and it appears to be a non-issue so far this year.

Additional notes

Chris Carter, chomping at the bit for a roster spot, hit two home runs in the same inning against the Marlins on Monday, which is a very rare feat and distinction even for a spring exhibition. Jenrry Mejia, who has been lobbying to start for the Mets as opposed to the expected bullpen assignment, had a great outing on Monday, and now has allowed two hits and no walks and struck out five in 5 1/3 innings pitched. I believe Mejia is being stretched out. Time will tell, though. And how about Hisanori Takahashi who showed why he should be considered a lock for the team with three shutout innings and only one baserunner allowed on Sunday afternoon.

Lots of positives. You just need to open your eyes and look for them. Keep an eye on Bobby Livingston, Fernando Martinez, Ryota Igarashi, Russ Adams, and Shawn Bowman. They’re all playing pretty well too. I hope you’re all as encouraged as I am, as we have plenty of good reasons to be optimistic for a change. Different air, different demeanor, and I am hopeful for a different result on the field. LGM

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