Morning Grind: Reyes’ Replacements, Gee/Mejia, Clubhouse Guy, New Mgr

An article by posted on September 3, 2010

Good Morning, Mets Faithful.

I’ll attempt to take you into your weekend with a few thoughts.

Gee, Mejia or Both?

Well, I got my wish. Dillon Gee’s primed for a Sept. call-up. Yet another effort to see our AAA guys get a shot to get a chance, Omar’s “going young” mandate not withstanding. The 24-year-old is 13-7, 4.69 ERA in 27 starts for the Bisons, striking out 157 batters in 161 opps. Since Mejia is slated to start, where does that leave Gee? I like Mejia in the 5 spot but might be now or never for Gee. Is this the beginning of a six man rotation or is Gee going in long relief or spot starts (especially on Niese’s starts – he’s likely to be limited at least, shutdown at best)? Your guess is as good as mines. What’s yours?

Clubhouse Guy

Since Frenchy’s trade, we’ve heard about the effects on the clubhouse. I want a positive, motivated clubhouse just like the next guy. I wanted to avoid several guys coming in for that reason. (See C. Zambrano)  Everyone loved Frenchy for that, myself included but the trade off at the plate wasn’t worth it esp. against righties. What’ll really help are guys with plate discipline, bat .300 and drive in 100 RBI’s if possible, and show a killer instinct every game regardless of opponent. Winning makes for a happy clubhouse. The team is not winning. The players that want to theoretically go to Texas with Frenchy are probably just sending a message to the suits. Guys, trust me, the Pied Piper you like enough to follow may not be in Texas long enough to unpack.

Other Options at SS?

Not a popular topic because some talk about Reyes in terms of ‘untouchability’. But with the current state of the franchise, financially and on the field, no one should have that Teflon effect. The Mets are known to overvalue their farm system but these might be two to remember. Wally Backman, manager of the Cyclones and a constant name in the running for Mets’ manager, has brought his team to first place as they’ve won 2/3 of their games. Their starter, Rylan Sandoval was having an MVP season before a wrist injury but his replacement, a 19 year old backup SS named Wilfredo Tovar has caught the eyes of quite a few in a short time.

“Tovar makes plays at shortstop that a human being shouldn’t be able to make,” Wally Backman told the Brooklyn Paper. “He’s the best shortstop in this league, no question. “Sandoval was the total package. He could hit for power, run the bases, and made all the routine plays. But you got to see Tovar, he’s superior defensively — he’s spectacular, he really is.”

Tovar’s bat could use some work. It is almost an exact replica of Tejada’s. If Reyes doesn’t get the deal he is looking for or doesn’t return to form, there are a couple of guys here for the Mets to be proud of. Keep an eye on these two. Backman’s approach with these kids has really rubbed off on them in a positive way. Good news for a change.

And The New Head Coach Is….

Valentine? Backman? Torre? Mr. Whatchamacallit? Who’s the ideal manager? IMO, he has ties to the community, played for the team and grew up rooting for them. He played and managed hard. Intelligent, inspirational, a winner. Every full season with the Mets were winning seasons. Bottom line, great fit. That’s Bobby V. The only reason he even lost the managerial post was because him and Steve Phillips didn’t play nice and who among you thinks Phillips is the brightest and the best? Exactly. If Valentine gets say in the talent that comes through there, you may be witness a turning of the tide. What do you think? Make a case for Backman if you like him better.

Met Nation, I hope this gives you a little something to think about. Have a fantastic weekend.

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