With the start of every new season, I’m always looking for new regular features to add to our site. This is actually a resurrected version of a past feature we called “Hits and Misses”. We just changed the name around and decided to commit to three items on each side for each post. Enjoy our premier edition of “3 Up and 3 Down”.
1. Brad Emaus – With Luis Castillo now out of the competition, Emaus is the odds-on favorite to win the second base job. He’s never appeared in the majors before so anything can happen including a 50/50 chance that we may have to have a 2B search all over again come May. Another thing that came to mind is that he will be the first position player in a long time to get his first game in the majors on Opening Day for the Mets. I don’t recall the last Mets minor leaguer to do that, although technically he’s a Blue Jays minor leaguer.
2. Chris Capuano – With Dillon Gee being optioned to the minor leagues yesterday, Capuano is clearly the fifth starter for the Mets this season, much to the dismay of Pat Misch. It was actually the plan all along for Camp Alderson, all Capuano needed to do is prove he was healthy and that he could find the plate.
3. Scott Hairston – Nobody is complaining anymore about the fact that Hairston got a major league deal this offseason after coming off a putrid season in 2010. He has not only been robust at the plate, but has made some fine plays in right field too. Hairston’s stock shot right up the moment that cortisone-filled syringe pierced Beltran’s left knee.
1. Carlos Beltran – Just because Beltran says he’ll be ready for Opening Day, it doesn’t mean he will be. Time for the Mets to look towards Plan B, and surprise, surprise, it does not include Lucas Duda. Alderson is putting all his money on 13 black (Harris and Hairston) and I’m starting to see a pattern develop. Looks to me that any Alderson signing has a distinct advantage over any Met player that can be linked to Omar Minaya. Every spot that needed to be filled will feature only Alderson-signed players; 2B, backup catcher, 4 and 5 starters, 4 and 5 outfielders, bench, bullpen, etc. They may have been spring training battles in name only.
2. Mike O’Connor – He had a tremendous campaign for the Buffalo Bisons last season and has yet to allow a run this spring. He seemed to be a virtual lock to make the bullpen, especially after Pedro Feliciano donned the Yankee pinstripes, but the front office is very high on 36-year old Tim Byrdak and there may only be room for only one left hander in the Mets bullpen. Too bad, that 2.67 ERA and 1.16 WHIP O’Connor posted last season looked so tempting, as did his 8.9 strikeout rate. Additionally, unlike Byrdak, O’Connor can get righties out too. Oliver Perez is getting a bigger chance to make the team than O’Connor is.
3. Dillon Gee – Sorry pal, but any real chance you had at making the team flew out the window the moment Young and Capuano threw a fastball and didn’t grab their elbow or shoulder. But don’t worry, it’s been years since either of them pitched in more than 20 games, so keep that arm fresh.
So if anybody would like to tackle this feature for us in 2011, contact me at email@example.com.