Mets Merized Online » Brad Emaus Mon, 20 Feb 2017 21:30:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mets Opening Day Starters Who Had The Briefest MLB Careers Wed, 22 Jan 2014 15:20:30 +0000 Collin Cowgill

Since 1980, The following ten position players had the briefest Major League careers and started for the Mets on Opening Day.

10 – Ryan Thompson – Thompson was the Opening Day Center Fielder in 1994 and appeared in 416 Major League games. He played in 9 Major League seasons (1992-1996, 1999-2002) with the Mets, Indians, Astros, Yankees, Marlins, and Brewers. He was a career .243 hitter with 52 HR and 176 RBI. He played 283 games with the Mets over 4 seasons (1992-1995) and in 1994, he hit .225 with 18 HR and 59 RBI in 98 games.

9 – Benny Agbayani – Benny was the 2001 OD Left Fielder and played in 383 MLB games (322 as a Met) over 5 seasons (1998-2002) with the Mets, Rockies, and Red Sox. He was a career .274 hitter with 39 HR and 156 RBI. In 2001, he played in 91 games, batting .277 with 6 HR and 27 RBI.

8 – Tim Spehr – Was the 1998 Opening Day Catcher and appeared in 363 games over 8 MLB seasons (1991, 1993-1999) with the Royals, Expos, Rangers, Braves, and Mets. Tim was a career .198 hitter with 19 HR and 72 RBI and appeared in 21 games with the Mets in 1998, his only season with the team, batting .137 with 0 HR and 3 RBI.

7 – Brian Giles – Brian was the Opening Day Second Baseman in 1983 and played in 287 major league games (199 with the Mets) over 6 Major League seasons (1981-1983, 1985-1986, 1990) with the Mets, Brewers, White Sox, and Mariners. Brian was a career .228 hitter with 10 HR and 50 RBI. In 1983, Brian played in 145 games batting .245 with 2 HR and 27 RBI.

6 – Ron Gardenhire – The future manager of the Minnesota Twins was the Mets Opening Day Shortstop in 1982. Ron played in 285 MLB games, all with the Mets from 1981-1985 and was a career .232 hitter with 4 HR and 49 RBI. In 1982, Ron played in 141 games, batting .240 with 3 HR and 33 RBI.

5 – Barry Lyons – Was the 1990 Opening Day Catcher. He appeared in 253 MLB games over 7 seasons (1986-1991, 1996) with the Mets, Dodgers, Angels, and White Sox. He was a career .239 hitter with 15 HR and 89 RBI. He played 212 games with the Mets and in 1990, he played in 24 games and hit .235 with 3 HR and 9 RBI.

4 – Eric Valent – Valent the Mets OD Right Fielder in 2005 and played in 205 Major League games over 5 seasons (2001-2005) with the Phillies, Reds, and Mets. He was a career .234 hitter with 13 HR and 37 RBI. In 2005, he played in 28 games, batting .186 with 0 HR and 1 RBI.

3 – Collin Cowgill – Was the 2013 Mets Opening Day Center Fielder and the only player on our list that is still active. As of the end of the 2013 MLB season, Collin has played in 147 MLB games over 3 seasons (2011-2013) with the Diamondbacks, A’s, Mets, and Angels. He is a career .236 hitter with 6 HR and 34 RBI. In 23 games with the Mets in 2013, he hit .180 with 2 HR and 8 RBI.

2 – Mike Howard – Was the 1983 Opening Day Right Fielder and played 48 MLB games over 3 seasons (1981-1983) all with the Mets. He was a career .182 hitter with 1 HR and 7 RBI. Opening Day was his only and last appearance in 1983, going 1 for 3 with 1 RBI, scoring his final MLB hit off future Hall of Famer Steve Carlton.

1 – Brad Emaus – One of Sandy’s very first acquisitions, Rule 5 Pick Brad Emaus was the Mets Opening Day Second Baseman in 2011 and his brief MLB career lasted 14 games, all with the Mets. He hit .162 with 0 HR and 1 RBI.

(Photo: Online Sports 500)

Presented By Diehards

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Wilfredo Tovar, Dustin Martin Lead End-Of Season Hot List! Tue, 04 Sep 2012 17:15:39 +0000

The regular season is over for all three upper minors teams. That means no more baseball for the Bisons and B-Mets, and a best-of-three divisional series for the St. Lucie team. Let’s take a look at who finished up the season strong, and who didn’t.

Who’s Hot!!!

  • Wilfredo Tovar 2B, Binghamton- Tovar had a strong first half with St. Lucie, but had a tough time adjusting in Double-A Binghamton. However, he was able to finish the season very strong. He hit .417 over his last ten games, driving in six runs and hitting four extra-base hits.
  • Dustin Martin OF, Binghamton- Martin is heating up once again with Binghamton. He is hitting .359 over his last ten games to go along with three home runs and six RBI. He has a total of seven extra-base hits over that span.
  • Wilmer Flores INF, Binghamton- Flores finished up the season very strong, hitting .359 over his last ten games and hitting .377 over the month of August. He hit five home runs last month, driving in 13 runs.

Honorable Mention: Logan Verrett SP, St. Lucie- Verrett has put together a dominant string of starts since being called up to St. Lucie from Savannah. In six starts in the FSL, he has a 2.09 ERA in 38.2 innings pitches. He has also struck out 26 batters and walked only four over that span.

Who’s Not!!!

  •  Brad Emaus 2B, Buffalo- Brad Emaus struggled in Buffalo this season, hitting just .212 in 73 games. However, he finished up the season with a really tough stretch. Over his final ten games, he hit just .156 with a .229 on-base percentage and .219 slugging.
  • Adam Loewen OF, Buffalo- Loewen is another guy who has struggled in less than half a season with the Bisons. Loewen is hitting .227 on the season with Buffalo, including a .148 average in his last ten games. He drove in just one run over that span and also struck out in nine of his 27 at-bats.
  • Daniel Muno SS, St. Lucie- Muno caught fire after returning from a PED suspension earlier this season, but has struggled recently. He ended the season with a ten-game in which he .167. The good news for Muno is he drew ten walks during that span, making his on-base percentage .395.

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Mets News: Brad Emaus and Fred Lewis Signed To Minor League Deals Thu, 26 Apr 2012 04:10:28 +0000 The New York Mets today announced the team signed infielder Brad Emaus and outfielder Fred Lewis to minor league contracts and assigned both to Buffalo (AAA) of the International League.

Emaus, 26, had signed to start 2012 with the Laredo Lemurs of the American Association before joining New York. He appeared in 14 games with the Mets in 2011, hitting .162 (6-37).

The 6-0, 205-pound native of Kalamazoo, MI, also appeared in 45 games with Colorado Springs (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League last season, hitting .313 (51-163) for Colorado’s Triple-A club. A career .280 (482-1722) hitter at the minor league level, Emaus spent time with Boston this spring before being released.

Lewis, 31, went to Spring Training this season with Cleveland and hit .200 (3-15) in nine games. He appeared in 81 games with Cincinnati last season, hitting .230 (42-183) with three home runs and 19 RBI.

The 6-2, 200-pound native of Hattiesburg, MS, is a career .267 (412-1542) hitter in 517 games at the major league level.

Thoughts from Joe D – Both players are nothing more than minor league roster fodder for Buffalo. Remember that in the last 24 hours the Bisons have lost both Jordany Valdespin and Zach Lutz to the Mets and Adam Loewen is out with an injured foot.

Emaus looks more and more like a classic Quadruple-A player, while Lewis may emerge as a 5th outfielder type at best.

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Mets All Star Snubs? And Flubs? Wed, 01 Jun 2011 15:39:51 +0000

If you’re expecting to see Jose Reyes take the filed for the 2011 All Star Game in Arizona’s Chase Field, Mets fans better start stuffing the ballot box with all due haste.

According to Adam Rubin, the Mets have barely made a ripple in the first balloting results announced for
the All-Star Game.

The only positions where a Met appears in voting tallies are at shortstop where Jose Reyes ranks #3, third base where David Wright ranks #4, and outfield where Carlos Beltran ranks #8.

There’s no chance Beltran or Wright get voted in, and Jose Ryes is already more than a half million votes behind Troy Tulowitzki.

I’m pretty sure that Reyes has a good chance of getting picked by NL manager Bruce Bochy to fill out his bench, and I’m guessing K-Rod may get picked as well. But it looks like superstar good player/good kid David Wright will end his streak of consecutive All Star appearances at five.

In other Mets All Star stuff, how about the fact that the Mets representative on the ballot is Brad Emaus who now toils in Colorado Springs?

Ted Berg on his blog Ted Quarters sheds more light on the stupidity of it all.

Brad Emaus is on the N.L. All-Star ballot. For some reason the All-Star ballots are still filled with every team’s projected Opening Day starters every year even though a) we have the Internet now and b) you figure there has to be some efficient enough way for the league to print and distribute All-Star ballots without including Rule 5 picks that were in the Minor Leagues by mid-April. Am I missing something here? Is there some other reason Brad Emaus is on the All-Star ballot that I’m not aware of?

He concludes by asking the question that illustrates just how ridiculous this all is:

What would happen if by some small miracle Brad Emaus was elected to the All-Star team? Does Emaus get called up from Colorado Springs to play? What hat does he wear?

Come on Bud, inquiring minds want to know.

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From Left Field: Mets Have A Short Leash Early Wed, 20 Apr 2011 12:30:24 +0000 Though the season is a little more than two weeks old, the New York Mets have already shown that they are not afraid to pull the trigger if a player is underperforming.

The combination of Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins is attempting to light a fire under their players. Part of the way they’re going about this is by letting players know that if they don’t show up, they’ll be sent out.

The first instance occurred with Blaine Boyer.

Boyer pitched his way onto the Mets roster in spring training and looked to be a good find. His sinker was working great, which caused him to get a lot of ground balls. Such would be extremely valuable late in games if the Mets were in dire need of a double play.

Boyer pitched so well that the Mets asked fan-favorite Jason Isringhausen to go to extended spring training. Izzy did have injury concerns, which also aided in this decision.

However, things didn’t work out so well for Boyer. He appeared in five games and went 0-2 with a 10.80 ERA. He gave up eight earned in just 6.2 innings—not exactly what you look for out of a reliever.

Rather than ride out Boyer’s hot start in spring training, the Mets cut ties with Boyer in favor of Izzy. Boyer opted for free agency rather than accepting a minor league assignment.

In the most recent example, the Mets sent Brad Emaus back to the minors and called up the rightful owner of Emaus’ roster spot: Justin Turner.

After winning the second base competition basically by default, Emaus couldn’t handle major league pitching. He hit just .162 with one RBI in 37 at-bats, and his fielding wasn’t what it was hyped to be.

Maybe Emaus can turn himself into a Major League player, but it won’t be with the Mets.

Earlier last week, Terry Collins announced that he would give Emaus a set number of at-bats in which to evaluate him. Well, that number turned out to be just seven at-bats; Emaus was 0-for-7.

Daniel Murphy has hit well and surprisingly fielded well, turning in some highlight-reel plays. He and Turner will form the new second base tandem.

The moves of Boyer and Emaus show that the Mets will have a short leash this year. Since they don’t have the personnel or depth of the Philadelphia Phillies or Atlanta Braves, the Mets will need significant contributions for every member on their roster if they expect to compete.

One or two slip ups is all it takes for a fringe team—which the Mets are—to fall way out of contention.

You may be thinking that the Mets aren’t even good enough to be a fringe team. In my opinion, every team right now is a fringe team at least early on in the season.

The teams that got off to fast starts can fade, and the teams that started slow can get hot. That’s the great thing about baseball. That’s the reason they play all the games.

This homestand will prove if the Mets are serious. They play the Houston Astros and Arizona Diamondbacks—two teams that aren’t exactly knocking on the door of a World Series title anytime soon. If the Mets can’t take at least 4-of-6 from these teams, then it may be time to consider panicking.

Even so, we’re still in April, so panic really shouldn’t set in until the summer.

I do have to say, it’s a positive sign that Alderson and Collins won’t tolerate mediocrity. Though the team may not have the strength to make a run this year, the fruits of a winning organization are slowly but surely being planted.

Follow me on Twitter @JMMancari.

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Mets Cut Brad Emaus and Promote Justin Turner Tue, 19 Apr 2011 17:30:06 +0000

UPDATE: Sandy Alderson must have been tuned into MMO today… The Mets responded to my post this morning and designated Brad Emaus for assignment. Justin Turner has been called up to replace him.

Remember what I said, don’t shed any tears for him..

Original Post 11:30 AM

A recent article by Eric Seidman of FanGraphs had me wondering why there was such a large effort by the advanced metrics community to see Brad Emaus win the second base job in spring training. There has been much said about the enormous potential Brad Emaus has, simply because he tends to walk as much as he strikes out. His one and only season in AAA last year has left too many drooling – even though the stats were skewed by a ballpark that makes CBP look gargantuan in size.

Let me include an excerpt from the FanGraph piece:

Brad Emaus was supposed to be the man at second base for the New York Mets this year. At least that’s what any reasonable person could have anticipated after a Spring Training in which the team cut ties with Luis Castillo, sent Justin Turner to the minor leagues, and slapped the utility tag on Daniel Murphy. Emaus profiled well, as Joe Pawlikowski noted, comparing nicely to fellow former Rule 5 pick Dan Uggla. For every reason imaginable, it was easy to see why Emaus was the popular in-house candidate: a 25-year-old, cost-controlled player with potential seemed exactly what the Mets needed to get back on track.

But Emaus was removed as the everyday starter after only six games. And he’s started half of the last eight. It’s pretty easy to see why — he’s posted an anemic 162/.262/.162 in 42 PA — but is it the right decision, based on such a limited number of plate appearances?

Dan Uggla?

That’s a heck of a comarison to make based on one season full of bloated stats… It’s quite a stretch, but anyway let me move on.

Why does Brad Emaus have anymore potential then let’s say – Daniel Murphy?

They are a year apart, but for some reason Murphy gets no love from many of the Emaus supporters. Why?

The theme of the FanGraphs article is that the author believes that the Mets are giving up too early on Brad Emaus based on too small a sample size. And while that may or may not be true, isn’t what manager Terry Collins sees with his own eyes more important than what the numbers say? Does a manger with over 20 years of experience in evaluating players really need 200 or 300 at-bats to determine how good or bad a player really is?

I could see if the case was being made that Emaus is the better second baseman because he’s stronger defensively than Murphy. But in many of these articles supporting Emaus, his defense is never even mentioned. It’s almost as if defense has nothing to do with it. There is absolutely no mention of defense in this article, only an urgency to stick with Brad Emaus because the author believes that the best is yet to come.

I decided to look at both Emaus and Murphy a little closer. I promise to be as objective as I can. Please note, that I too will ignore defense even though from what I’ve seen thus far, there is very little separation between the two defensively - a fact even Terry Collins alluded to.

To begin, lets first look at a comparison of their minor league career numbers.

Because the differences in at-bats were so stark, I opted to use the common statistical percentages to better evaluate the two, and I also threw in walks and strikeouts as a point of reference since it it seems to be one of the things that makes Emaus so beloved in the saber community.

As you can plainly see, Daniel Murphy holds his own against Emaus and their strikeout and walk rates are not that dissimilar.

But there’s one thing here that really makes Emaus’ overall numbers look better than they appear, and that was his one season playing in the rarefied air of Las Vegas in 2010 where he posted MVP type numbers.

While examining the two players, I discovered that they both played in the Eastern League while in Double-A. A perfect way to measure them on a level playing field I thought. Let’s look, shall we…

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Murphy absolutely demolishes Emaus across the board, and even all the extra walks that Emaus compiled couldn’t help him overtake Murphy in on-base percentage. Amazingly, Murphy has nearly 150 points more in OPS.

Another way of looking at that remarkable 2010 season Brad Emaus had, was by using a tool developed by a big numbers cruncher. It is called a Major League Equivalency Calculator. I inputted the numbers that Emaus posted in Las Vegas of the PCL. I then changed the output to reflect Citi Field in the National League East. Here are those results:

Wow… That’s quite a drop-off in production and a clear sign of just how skewed his 2010 season was.

Now I’m not trying to build a case for Murphy, even though the statistics do bear out that he has just as much if not more upside than Brad Emaus.

Plus… unlike Emaus, Murphy can play a variety of positions. But then there is the fact of actual major league production.

It’s unfair to compare them at a major league level thus far, but ignore what Emaus has or hasn’t done and consider that Murphy has had the equivalent of a little more than one solid rookie season worth of at-bats. Why should that be overlooked?

In the end, the most productive player should get the most playing time. I will leave that decision to what Terry Collins determines is the best course of action.

Now, I am a big believer in defense at second base… Especially with the rag-tag rotation we’ve assembled that needs all the help it can get. So maybe the best second baseman is niether of these two and probably toiling away in the minors somewhere.

That said, I will leave you all to draw your own conclusions on Brad Emaus. But from what I’ve discovered he is hardly worth the fuss.

If Emaus does end up back in Toronto, the team that originally gave up on him and knew him best, I wouldn’t shed any tears if I were you.

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I Sense A Big Shake-Up This Week, Some Heads Will Roll Sat, 16 Apr 2011 14:30:38 +0000 It’s taxing times for a beleaguered Mets team these days, but there’s no rest for the weary as they get set to play a doubleheader for the second time in three days.

The Mets even tried unsuccessfully to get MLB to intervene and overrule the Braves decision to play two games today, but their pleas fell on deaf ears. Atlanta is the home team and it’s their call. The Braves have their own problems and if they can squeeze an edge out of the Mets plight, why shouldn’t they? We’d have done the same thing in their shoes.

The Mets were hoping to get some relief for a bullpen that is already tapped out, but the bigger problem is how ineffective the bullpen has been when they had a stiff wind in their sails. As a whole they have been awful.

Chris Young’s start on Sunday is in limbo. Young is concerned that the strain may prove to be too much for his biceps tendinitis and is concerned about the consequences to the bullpen if he were to leave his start early.

Young should just focus on his own well being and about pitching well enough to beat the Braves… If he has to come out early, then so be it. The dearth in the bullpen is Alderson’s problem, not Young’s. It’s ironic that the pitcher with the arm woes is more concerned about pitching deep into the game than the other birds in the rotation who all have healthy wings.

Poor Terry Collins has a lot on his plate and it’s only mid-April, but give him some credit because he keeps on keepin’ on…

Collins is hoping that a bulldog will emerge from his collection of number four and five type starters, but that will be tough with this ragtag group who each have their own problems and limitations. The chance to add an innings-eater in the offseason already came and gone, and they knew what they were getting themselves into when their two big additions to the rotation haven’t logged a healthy season in years. It won’t be long until they re-think their decision to giving Jenrry Mejia a full season in Triple-A to hone his craft. The same desperation that caused Omar Minaya to lean heavily on Mejia last season, is beginning to set in now. Forget all that talk about developing Mejia the right way, and expect rumors to float that the organization sees him as major league ready, whether he really is or not. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

The Brad Emaus experiment has not gone as everyone expected. The team made it very clear early in spring training that they viewed second base as an offensive position, and how offensive it has been… It stinks to high heaven!

Brad Emaus may be with the Toronto Blue Jays again by the start of the next homestand unless things change drastically for him both at the plate and on the field. Right now he is giving the Mets no offense or defense. At least with Ruben Tejada they had sure hands, and with Justin Turner a sure bat, something is always better than nothing… Especially when you’re trying to turn around a 4-9 start to the season.

After this weekend is over, expect something dramatic to happen. If the Mets don’t win at least two out of three in this Braves series, some heads are gonna roll ala Blaine Boyer and Lucas Duda.

This team will have so many shake-ups in this first half they will start to resemble a rag doll.

Yesterday, I talked about sagging attendance. To that end, they will do whatever it takes, aside from adding payroll of course, to make something happen.

They will squeeze every drop of juice then can get from these already dried-up lemons to give their fans some lemonade.

It should be an interesting next few days coming up, so as Bob Murphy used to say, fasten your seat belts everybody.

Oh and speaking of the venerable Bob Murphy, can you believe the Mets radio broadcast booth that was once named for the late, great Murphy, is no more?

For shame… I know you Mets people are reading this…

Do the right thing and get Bob Murphy’s name, gold plaque and all, back on that wall!

At least give us that…

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Not So Amazins’ Get Swept By Rockies; All Alone In Last Place Fri, 15 Apr 2011 17:00:43 +0000 The Mets, backed by overall sloppy play on both the pitching side of the ball, and the defensive side and lost both games in today’s back-to-back double header.

Game 1 – Rockies Win 6-5

R.A. Dickey started today, and didn’t have a very good outing today, allowing five runs on eight hits, walking four and striking out four. Dickey still seemed to be bothered by his nail, throwing 64 of his 110 pitches for strikes. Dickey gave up a home-run to Carlos Gonzalez The Mets defense didn’t really help Dickey, taking poor routes to balls and only providing 2 runs to work with up until the eighth inning. Bobby Parnell came out, and in two-thirds of an inning what would turnout to be the winning run, allowing a home run to Troy Tulowitzki. Bobby Parnell has now allowed 2 home runs in 5 innings. He allowed one all of last year – in 35 innings. Parnell still has options, and if any minor league candidates prove apt and able, Parnell maybe be honing his craft for the Bisons.

Byrdak & Igarashi cleaned up the last two innings, with Byrdak allowing a hit in his inning striking out one, and Igarashi walking one and striking out one. The one day the bullpen doesn’t “fail” and the starter does poorly, which is a shame. Still, the Mets cannot expect to send their bullpen out for 3 innings a game and stand a chance.

The offense today consisted of an Angel Pagan sacrifice fly and a Scott Hairston RBI single up until the eighth inning. Jose Reyes reinvigorated the Mets offense with his first home run of the season. In the ninth, Scott Hairston hit a two-run homer, bringing the Mets to within one. But, as it seems the Mets do, David Wright hit a fly-ball to deep right for the third out, with the bases loaded to end the game.

Turning Point

The seventh inning home runs. Taking any air out of the Mets sails.

Game Ball

Jose Reyes, for continued strong play. 2 for 4 with a home run, run scored, stolen base and walk.

Game 2 – Rockies Win 9-4

Game 2 was similar to game one, in that the starter would struggle, and the Mets would face an insurmountable lead as well as a major bullpen day all around.

Chris Capuano came out, and although he was not lights-out, he was effective for the first five innings, only allowing runs on an RBI fielders choice and a single up the middle. Capuano was exploited in the sixth inning though, allowing a home run to Troy Tulowitzki, giving him one for each game today. After the home run, Capuano missed getting out of the inning when Brad Emaus bobbled a tailor-made double play ball and only got the force out at second. If that was the case, the Mets would’ve left the inning up 4-3. Instead, the game was tied, then took the lead, then Taylor Buchholz gave up a home-run to light-hitting Johnathan Herrera. Capuano’s final line was seven runs on eight hits with two walks and five strikeouts in five and two-third innings. Bad luck today.

The bullpen got worked, as mentioned. Taylor Buccholz went one-third, giving up a run on one hit, a home run and allowing 2 inherited runners to score. Ryota Igarashi came out for the second time today, and gave up one hit and struck out one in his inning of work. Jason Isringhausen came out, and went a full inning allowing no hits and striking out two. Although it is too early to proclaim set up men, especially when we have no set-up situations, Izzy seems to be winning some points with his performance and his poise and maybe ushering himself into that position. K-Rod finished with mop up duty, allowing one run on three hits, striking out two.

By pitching K-Rod to “end a game”, it is allowing his option to come closer to vesting. Sigh.

The Mets offense came out with a bang, scoring in the second on a Mike Nickeas two-RBI double and in the fourth on a Jose Reyes two-RBI single. After that, tumbleweed and some walks, but no significant rallies.

Beltran & Davis – 0-7 with four strikeouts and a walk.

Turning Point

Brad Emaus flubbing the double play. It happens, but this just seems like it had to happen with the Mets recent luck.

Game Ball

Jose Reyes, again. 1 for 5 with 2 RBI. David Wright was of note as well, going 1 for 2 with two walks and a stolen base.

On Deck

The Mets will look to recover from this skid, going to Atlanta tomorrow to begin a series against the Braves. The Braves will be sending out Derek Lowe, and the Mets are believed to be sending D.J. Carrasco to the mound, unless someone is called up from the minors last minute for a spot-start for Chris Young. Game time is 7:10 P.M.

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We May Have a Problem: New York Mets Early Concerns Wed, 13 Apr 2011 20:19:10 +0000 The Mets have played just 10 games this year, but it is not too early to start to be concerned about some of the team’s issues. I am giving the disclaimer in advance that we are dealing with small sample sizes at this point of the year.

It is early, but the team is currently sitting in last place in the NL East. While the Mets won’t spend the year in the cellar, there are some issues that will certainly keep them from competition for a playoff spot.

Mike Pelfrey’s struggles are obviously the first and most salient of the team’s issues. Pelf’s first three starts can be characterized as nothing other than ugly. He has failed to deliver a quality start yet this season.

Some of Pelfrey’s struggles have been tied to the fact that he has been unlucky this season. He has a .348 BABIP, which is well above his .308 career average. In addition, his groundball rate is just 43.5%, well below his career average of 49.3%.

Pelfrey will undoubtedly right the ship, but the question is what type of pitcher will he be. He is not an ace, and he is not a number two. With a career strikeout rate of 5.10 K/9 and a walk rate of 3.34 BB/9 to go along with a 4.42 ERA, it is hard to even see Pelfrey as a number three. Pelfrey’s has a career 93 ERA+. This is below league average.

It may be time to realize that even though he has turned in a few good seasons, Pelfrey is nothing more than a number four starter. Since this may in fact be the case, the Mets need someone they can count on to act as an ace until Johan Santana returns.

The Mets bullpen also appears to be another area of concern. Because of the struggles of the rotation, they Mets bullpen has bullpen has been taxed and has one of the worst ERAs in the NL.

Part of this can be attributed to some of the same issues that Pelfrey is facing. They bullpen has a very high BABIP in addition to a low groundball rate. In addition to these issues, they have also been allowing a lot of walks.

Another pressing issue for the Mets appears to be second base. The team thought the problem had been solved when they picked up Brad Emaus in the Rule V Draft. However, it appears that is not the case.

Emaus has gotten off to a slow start to the season. He has just four hits in 28 plae appearances. He has walked three times but he has also struck out six.

Some of his issues may stem from the fact that this is his first exposure to Major League pitching. Regardless of the reason, Emaus seems to be a bit lost at the plate. We are not seeing the power that we have heard about. In addition, Emaus has been nothing more than decent defensively.

The solution here may be a simple one. The Mets have Daniel Murphy who it appears will become a platoon partner of Emaus. Murphy has already proven that he can handle hitting in the Majors. His defense at second base has appeared to improve greatly. He just may the answer to Mets issues at second base.

The final thing that is a bit worrisome about the Mets is the Jason Bay’s replacement in left field. Lucas Duda struggled mightily in his limited action and was already sent back down to the minors. Willie Harris has been on a tear to start the season.

This may not seem like a concern. However, Harris is just a career .240 hitter. His current BABIP of .438 is in no way sustainable. The question right now should be how long will Harris be able to keep up his current level of success. It likely won’t be much longer.

Left field will once again become an issue for the Mets once Harris cools down. If Jason Bay is out for an extended period of time, then Harris is not the answer for that. The Mets do have talented young players in the minors, and it may be time to give Fernando Martinez yet another shot at trying to prove he can be a Major League outfielder.

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Ike’s Stock Is Soaring, While Emaus’ Is Tumbling Tue, 12 Apr 2011 15:00:57 +0000 As the calendar turned from March to April, I mentioned that in addition to the staying healthy, the Mets would need key performances at second base and first base to give the offense an added boost. Two players who were on my watch list were Ike Davis and Brad Emaus.

Davis because questions over his prolonged slumps last season made me wonder if a sophomore struggle would follow, and Emaus because he had never played in the major leagues, but whom the Mets entrusted as their everyday second baseman.

So far both players are on opposite sides of the spectrum as you can see by these Mets Profile Clips:

In last nights game against the Rockies, Davis drove in another run and scored a run. He now has an RBI in nine of the Mets first ten games, and his confidence is building.

Brad Emaus made a pinch hit appearance for the Mets last night, but struck out in his only at-bat. He continues to struggle mightily at the plate.

It’s becoming abundantly clear that Ike Davis has assumed a key role on this team as a leading run producer. He seems to thrive in a big spot and you can see his intensity and focus in every at-bat, but even moreso when the stakes are high.

As for Emaus, Collins may be losing confidence in him especially as Daniel Murphy continues to preform in his limited playing time. Emaus may have the rest of this month to try and show he belongs, otherwise the Mets may have to go to a Plan B or Plan C.

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Walkathon ’11, Bats Silent, Mets Lose 6-2 To Nats Sat, 09 Apr 2011 01:16:31 +0000 R.A. Dickey had ZERO control today, and that seemed to be a recurring theme for the Mets as they took a loss in their home opener to the Nationals, 6-2.

Game Notes

R.A. Dickey just couldn’t find it today. Dickey allowed three runs on six hits in five innings, walking five and striking out three. Dickey finished the game throwing 98 pitches, 53 for strikes but those numbers didn’t begin evening out until the 4th inning. He had thrown half his pitches for strikes up until that point. His knuckleball was not in control, as shown by him throwing a lot more fastballs then he usually does. He got lucky in multiple situations, stranding a fair amount of runners.

The bullpen continued the walkfest for the most part. D.J. Carrasco came out and went two innings, walking one and striking out one but allowing no hits. He has been a pleasant surprise for an inning-eating middle reliever. Tim Byrdak came out, and in one-third of an inning gave up two runs on one hit walking one and striking out one. The experiment using him as a crossover reliever doesn’t seem to be working too well. Bobby Parnell pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up one run on one hit, walking two and striking out one. Parnell was clearly overthrowing today. Blaine Boyer came out for the ninth, and gave up one hit.

The pitching today was awful, and got lucky on a few great defensive plays.

The bats today were pretty awful, stranding 14 runners. The Mets manage to get runners to third and second base with no outs, and could not convert. Ike Davis hit a sac-fly in the second, and Lucas Duda had a pinch-hit RBI double. Only Josh Thole (2 for 3, one run and one walk) had more then one hit.

Ike Davis – 0 for 3 with one RBI and two K’s. Both strikeouts were called third strikes, with one clearly being a ball on a 3-2 count.

David Wright – 1 for 4 with a rocket double and some good defense.

Scott Hairston/Willie Harris – 0 for 4 combined with two strikeouts, including a big strikeout by Hairston with a man on third.

The offense is struggling, and the only positives are watching Brad Emaus surprise with both his defense and his plate discipline and Josh Thole continuing to show strong plate discipline.

Turning Point

The unraveling relievers in the eighth inning, taking it from a one-run game to a four-run game.

Game Ball

Angel Pagan for a great catch that lead to a double-play in the ninth. Too little too late but great defense

On Deck

The Mets will hope to rebound from this three-game losing streak, sending out new Mets lefty Chris Capuano to face-off against Nationals lefty Tom Gorzelanny. Game time is 7:10 P.M.

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Forever Young, Mets Beat Phillies 7-1 Wed, 06 Apr 2011 02:40:28 +0000 Chris Young, in his Mets debut pitched a great first game, going five and one-third innings, giving up one run on five hits with four walks and seven strikeouts and the offense exploded in the third inning, chasing Cole Hamels in their 7-1 victory.

Game Notes

Chris Young looked pretty good in his first outing for the Mets. He allowed five hits, but didn’t start allowing hits and runs until after the 4th inning. Young had some control issues, but as they like to say was wildly effective. Despite the lack of speed difference in his pitches, Young kept hitters off balance. If this was just a sign of things to come, this could be a great season for Chris Young. He split even with ground balls and fly balls 5 to 5.

The bullpen came out and got in some solid work today. D.J. Carrasco came out and allowed one hit in one and two-third innings, striking out one. Tim Byrdak came out, and did exactly what he was expected to, striking out Ryan Howard and allowing zero hits in his inning of work. Bobby Parnell finished up the game allowing one hit, a ground ball just out of the reach of Chin-lung Hu. The pitching was spectacular today.

The offense today came alive for one inning, and thats all that was really needed. RBI hits by David Wright, Ike Davis, Brad Emaus and Chris Young in addition to Angel Pagan scoring on a wild pitch . All of this damage chased Phillies starter Cole Hamels out of the game, only allowing him to pitch two and two-third innings. The Mets tacked on a run for insurance on a Scott Hairston RBI single, scoring David Wright. The Mets stole three bases (Reyes, Pagan, Wright) and drew four walks (Pagan, Beltran, Hairston, Davis). Despite no massive offensive contributions, the Mets capitalized when they had runners in scoring position.

13 overall hits for the Mets, pretty good day.

David Wright, 4-5 with 2 RBI, 2 Runs, a stolen base and a strikeout.

Angel Pagan, 0-3, hitting .143 but has a 4:1 BB:K ratio and picked up his second SB of the season.

Brad Emaus, 1-4 with his first MLB RBI. Welcome to the big show Brad.

Mike Nickeas – 0 for 5 with two strikeouts. Where are you, Ronny Paulino?

Turning Point

The top of the third inning and the Mets hitting with RISP.

Game Ball

Split between David Wright and Chris Young. David Wright had a phenomenal offensive game, as did Chris Young. Mr. Young was 3 for 3 with an RBI and a run. He also pitched a pretty good game.

On Deck

The Mets will look to guarantee a winning series tomorrow, sending Mike Pelfrey to face-off against Joe Blanton of the Phillies. Game time is 7:10 pm

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The Foundations of Success – Part Two – The Hitters Tue, 05 Apr 2011 15:00:50 +0000 In a further look into the foundations of success, after a team has found a manager, which I wrote about yesterday, that knows the game, can pull the correct strings and can really make things happen with both his direction and his decisions, he then needs to rely in his players. Those players consist of the offensive players, who for the sake of this article we’ll call hitters, his pitching (both bullpen and rotation) and his offensive bench. In this part of the foundations of success, I will analyze the hitters. The hitters will encompass both aspects of the field, just for the sake of fairness.

The best pitchers in baseball still rely on their offense to score runs and play good defense, especially when up against pitchers who are of the same caliber. No matter how many strikeouts a pitcher gets, K’s don’t put runs on the board, and someone has to catch those strikeouts. As short-sighted as it is to call them hitters, in the simplification of baseball, they are the other side of the equation. A group of quality hitters who can also defend is an essential foundation towards playing consistently good baseball.

The Mets may not have the greatest group of hitters, but they are assembling a good group of hitters who operate well within the fundamentals. They play hard, within their means and with the team in mind. As people, they are great influences for children, caring and intelligent individuals. As much as that is an intangible, it can still be factored into the overall play. This, is what can separate a good team for years from a flash-in-the-pan.

The Mets, even in this early season have 12 walks to 19 strikeouts. Angel Pagan has 3 walks to 0 strikeouts. The hitters are drawing counts, trying to see more pitches and aiming to wear pitchers down. Although the batting average doesn’t reflect it, based on past performance, the team is comprised of starters who hit over .270. Brad Emaus, was a Rule 5 draft pick who remained on the MLB roster and was named the starting second baseman because he has the potential to be a good hitter who will work counts. Josh Thole, who may never be confused for a home run champion or Gold Glove catcher, but he has shown he will be patient, work counts and isn’t going to swing from the heels. Ike Davis, despite his growing pains and 138 strikeouts, also walked 72 times last year. That put Ike in first place on the team in walks, ahead of David Wright, who had roughly 60 more at-bats. As the wise-man said, patience is a virtue.

These Mets don’t only hit and draw some walks. Anyone from 1-7 is capable of hitting a home run, whether it be with their legs after sending a ball into right center or in the air after squaring up a fat pitch. The Mets have the chance this year to possibly have 3 players hit 30 home runs in a year, and a shot at having 4 hit 20 or more. These Mets can run the bases, taking the extra base, stealing bases to open up situations and playing the hit and run. All the aspects of baseball that are overlooked, these Mets seem invigorated to play.

When it comes to fielding, effort is the name of the game. Whether its an infielder throwing himself to the ground to try and stop a ground ball, even if he misses it, it is effort. Ike Davis has all of the makings of a long line of Gold Gloves, with his penchant for highlight plays and his steady defense at first base. The John Olerud comparisons seem to be looking not too off – Ike can pick it at first. David Wright and Jose Reyes make a strong left side of the infield, with Wright having won 2 Gold Gloves. Hopefully Wright can recover that same skill that won him those awards. The outfield is strong, with Jason Bay (at some point), Angel Pagan and Carlos Beltran patrolling the vastness known as Citi Field. The effort is even shown on defense by the fill ins, with Lucas Duda, all 6’4″, 230 of himself throwing himself to the grass in Florida on Sunday – and he isn’t even considered a good defender, and he made a play some right fielders fail to make 9 out of 10 times. The effort is there both on the bat side, and the glove side.

So now the ideologies of the manager have allowed the players to go out their and play with fire, and push their bodies to the limit, executing a plan as a team. If hard-nosed, grinding players aren’t a good foundation for success, then what else could be?

Check in tomorrow, when the third article in this series is spoken about.

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Sickels: Prospect of the Day, Brad Emaus Tue, 05 Apr 2011 09:16:29 +0000 John Sickels of Minor League Ball, profiles Mets second baseman Brad Emaus in his Prospect of the Day series and writes,

Taking over at second base for the New York Mets this year is Brad Emaus, a Rule 5 pick from the Toronto Blue Jays system.

Drafted in the 11th round in 2007 from Tulane University, Emaus doesn’t have exceptional tools or eye-catching athleticism, but is a “grinder,” a player whose performance may exceed his natural “talent” due to his polish.

He always showed excellent strike zone judgment in the Toronto system, drawing 212 walks against just 220 strikeouts in 1559 minor league at-bats. He also hit 15 homers and 32 doubles last year between Double-A and Triple-A, then won the Mets job with a .294/.400/.431 mark in spring training. His defense is considered average, but he hustles and has good instincts, and if he hits as expected, his glove is good enough for him to hold a job.

Don’t expect Emaus to set the league on fire, but he can hit .260 with a good OBP and the occasional home run.

Last week, Emaus spoke with David Heck of and told him, “I’ll be the first one to tell you I’m not a ‘toolsy’ guy at all,” Emaus said. “But I feel throughout the entire course of a year, I’ll put up good numbers for you and I’ll play sound defense — just good baseball out there. That’s all you can do. I don’t have a ton a speed or a ton of power. You’ve just got to play every day, grind it out.” 

Never really considered a top prospect, Emaus hit .290 with 15 homers, 75 RBIs and an .874 OPS last season between Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Las Vegas. He also scored 79 runs and stole 13 bases in 15 attempts.

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Opening Night Booms and Busts Sat, 02 Apr 2011 14:25:32 +0000 One down, 161 to go, and while most of us know better than to let panic set in as John Buck’s grand slam sailed out of the ballpark, we couldn’t help fight the feeling that it was all so familiar. Sigh.

Every game has positives you can take from it, yes even losses. Here are two that I felt were worth considering.

Carlos Beltran – First and foremost was the play of Carlos Beltran. Not only did he drive in the Mets’ first run of the new season when he lined a double off Josh Johnson in the seventh inning, but he also looked pretty good running around the bases. Defensively, Beltran looked like he’d been playing right field his entire career. He moved extremely well out there and made a nice play charging the ball and powering a perfect throw to the plate. Good news all around.

Brad Emaus – The winner of the lamest second base battle in franchise history, didn’t do anything of note at the plate, but he did show me enough in playing the position to make me wonder why everyone was so worried about his defense in the first place. He mad several nice plays including a diving stab to prevent a hit, and looked fluid while helping to complete a double play. If he can hit as well as he did in the minors, still a big if, he’ll be more than adequate until Reese Havens takes his rightful place at second base late this season or next spring.

Plenty of negative vibes, but these were the most noteworthy.

Mike Pelfrey – On the flip-side, there were a lot of awful performances for the Mets last night, spear-headed by our quasi-ace Mike Pelfrey. An ace he’s not and an ace he will never be. I don’t know what was worse, Omar Minaya proclaiming Pelfrey the number two pitcher in December of 2008, or Sandy Alderson proclaiming him the ace in December of 2010. The worst thing about Pelfrey may not be last night’s start, but how it will effect him emotionally. His ruts always came in bunches and always began with a particularly bad effort. When the dust settled, Pelfrey couldn’t even complete five innings. He was charged with five earned runs on four hits and four walks over 4 1/3 innings, while striking out two. Maybe it was just the Marlins and this was nothing to worry about. He has a 5.63 ERA in 13 career starts against them, but it’s not going to get any easier facing up against Roy Halladay next Thursday at Citizens Bank Park.

David Wright - If Wright’s goal this season was to cut down on the strikeouts and make more contact, he surely got off to a fishy start last night. After whiffing 161 times in 2010, a career worst, Wright has said that he is dedicated to putting the high whiff totals behind him this season. I’ll cut him some slack because of who he batted against, but he did look particularly bad on two strikeouts that capped off his 0-4 start to the season.

Pedro Beato – You look at the boxscore and you’ll wonder why I’m even picking on Beato after he tossed two scoreless innings. I’ll tell you why. Although Beato only allowed three hits, he was getting crushed. His blazing fastball was flat and they were teeing off on it. He was spared a disastrous outing only because of two huge grabs in the outfield including one that was barely contained by the stadium, and two diving stops in the infield including a laser by Hanley Ramirez that was turned for a double play. This was one story where the stats didn’t tell the story, but an observant eye on the game did. It could have been his first game jitters, remember Beato never pitched above Double-A before last night.

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Opening Day Just Days Away Tue, 29 Mar 2011 12:15:55 +0000

This weekend, I ventured down to Port St. Lucie to catch two late-March Spring Training games. It’s been a routine trip I make each year, typically toward the end of March, that way I can catch as close to the Opening Day lineup as possible.

The Mets beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 16-3, Thursday, March 24, behind home runs from Angel Pagan, Matt den Dekker, David Wright, Brad Emaus and Josh Thole.

Thole blasted a shot to right field and over the fence at Digital Domain Park — and yes, it probably would have been gone at Citi Field, too.

Then, on Saturday, March 26, I saw the Mets beat the Atlanta Braves, 8-2, behind a solid start from Mike Pelfrey (5 2/3 innings, two earned runs, seven hits and finishing with a 5.63 ERA this spring). Also, Brad Emaus doubled and scored a run.

Throughout the spring, I’ve heard Emaus’ playing style compared to Dan Uggla. Essentially, that means he’s more offensive-minded and an average defensive player. Basically, from what I saw this weekend, I don’t see why the 25-year-old Emaus won’t get the nod to start the season at second base. Sure, anything can happen over the course of the season, but I think the best bet for the team is to have Emaus at second and let Daniel Murphy play that “super utility” role.

And I know it’s only Spring Training, but it was pretty cool to see the Mets win two games while I was down there watching. That all plays in to the mentality I have as the season is about to begin: There’s no pressure for the Mets. Most — if not all — of the pressure is on the Phillies. If the Mets can play, and, as David Wright says, have “swagger,” perhaps they can surprise some people.

Only time will tell, though, right?

In the meantime, who do you think the starting second baseman should be?

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Hold Your Horses, Emaus Doesn’t Have The Job Yet Thu, 24 Mar 2011 16:21:48 +0000

While everyone is already sizing Brad Emaus up for his new No. 4 Mets jersey, I agree with Mike Puma from the NY Post who doesn’t believe Emaus is such a sure thing yet. He hits the nail squarely on the head when he wrote,

There won’t be a winner in the Mets’ second-base derby, only a least-disappointing player.

Brad Emaus yesterday appeared to be anointed the new second baseman, but last night a source involved in this week’s organizational meetings told The Post the position still is up for grabs.

According to the source, Emaus will play second base for the next three or four days — he may receive a day off somewhere during that stretch — then be re-evaluated by team brass. If he is not deemed capable, the Mets could change course.

People say that spring training stats don’t matter, and to a certain extent I agree. They don’t matter for Jason Bay and David Wright who can bat .125 in Spring Training and are still assured of their spots on the roster.

But they do matter for minor leaguers who are trying to win a job in the major leagues, and so far Brad Emaus and his .216 average simply isn’t cutting it. I expected to see a little more than just one RBI and zero homeruns.

I don’t really care that he has a few more walks than the next guy, show me what you’re going to do with that lumber you like to keep resting on your shoulders, because it’s already abundantly clear we didn’t select you for your flashy skills with the leather.

Being bandied about and propped up by Mets special adviser J.P. Ricciardi, can only get you so far. We get how unique your relationship is, but sooner or later you’re going to have to show us something.

We’ve heard that your one good season in the minors last year may have been aided by a park that is more notorious than Citizens Bank Park for turning 325 foot outs into walk-off home runs, but I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.

Ricciardi told Newsday that Emaus is capable of hitting around .275 with 15 home runs in the big leagues. But considering he’s averaged just 9 home runs in four minor league seasons and only reached 15 home runs once, last year, homering only once on the road to achieve such grandeur, that’s quite a stretch. Hey J.P., it’s time for you to take out your tape measure and check out Citi Field.

If Emaus can his 15 home runs like Ricciardi says, using the same math I figure Daniel Murphy can hit 30 and Jason Bay 61. Just saying. By the way, that’s not to say I’d allow Daniel Murphy anywhere near a second baseman’s glove – heaven forbid.

It is discouraging that the one and only position battle we had at Mets camp this year, was a more a case of the least suckiest player gets the job, rather than the best man wins.

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Thoughts On Luis Castillo’s Release And Reactions Fri, 18 Mar 2011 18:26:02 +0000 The New York Mets made it official and announced that they have released 35-year-old second baseman Luis Castillo this morning. Castillo had one year left on his contract that will pay him $6 million dollars, but that doesn’t seem to matter considering all things.

Here are some comments made by Sandy Alderson while speaking to reporters:

“After a long evaluation during spring training, after consulting with Terry and the coaching staff, I made a recommendation to ownership in the best interest of the organization and Louie that he be released, and ownership approved.”

“I think there were a variety” of reasons for the release. Obviously, we wanted to see how he looked physically from an offensive standpoint, defensively. You know, I think Luis made a strong effort, but we just felt given our other options and where we are headed as an organization this was in our mutual interest.”

“I don’t think there’s any question that there’s some linkage between his situation and a perception of the Mets that has existed to this point. That’s something that was taken into account. At some point, you have to make an organizational decision that goes beyond just an ability to play or not play.”

Basically, he heard the noise and made the move based on that and not because of his performance which is obviously better than the rest of the field battling for the second base job. In a way, I’m glad he listened to what the fanbase was saying, but lets not make a habit of that.

A few of the players weighed in on Castillo’s release before the game,

“He’s a very god friend of mine.  He’s close to me.  When you see somebody go, it’s going to hurt.  He was playing good.  It’s not like he was playing terrible.  I didn’t even have the chance to say goodbye. I’m surprised a little bit, because he was playing good baseball.”  ~ Jose Reyes

“This is the way baseball is. This is what the team wanted and there is nothing else we can do about it. I spent a lot of time watching everybody, and Castillo was actually playing excellent. He was doing great at the plate and looked better in the field. This is what the team wanted. That’s baseball, I wish Castillo good luck.” ~ Carlos Beltran

Where does this leave the Mets now?

Defensively they are worse off without Castillo and Ruben Tejada who was sent packing a week ago. Offensively, only Dan Murphy has proven that he can hit at this level. You can’t say that about Justin Turner, Brad Emaus and Luis Hernandez.

With that said, Turner will most likely go back to the minors because he has options left. Murphy will stick in a utility role. Hernandez is out of options and could stick, but very unlikely. Emaus will get the job simply because the front office have put a lot of stock into him based on his minor league numbers.

Alderson refused to name a favorite during the game, but after his visit to the broadcast booth, Keith Hernandez said that it was apparent Emaus has been the chosen one from the day the Mets picked him up.

Putting the reasons for Castillo’s release aside for the moment, how much confidence do you have in the second base situation as it stands right now?

Are you as confident in Brad Emaus as the organization seems to be?

I happen to feel that we need to start looking at other teams as they cut their rosters down and see if a better option might still be available out there.

I’m glad Castillo is gone - It was the right move - I wanted him gone.

But I’m very leery of what we have now in Emaus, Turner, Murphy and Hernandez. I’m just not feeling it.

Oh, and by the way, I wish Ruben Tejada wasn’t brushed away as quickly as he was. As young as he is, all the others couldn’t match him defensively and he was hitting the ball with more authority at the plate.

Lets hear what you have to say.

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Luis Hernandez To Be Named Starter At Second Base? Is Desperation Setting In? Tue, 15 Mar 2011 12:43:16 +0000 According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, a source has told him that manager Terry Collins is getting set to name Luis Hernandez the starting second baseman.

Disenchanted with what he has seen from Luis Castillo, Daniel Murphy, Brad Emaus and Justin Turner this spring, manager Terry Collins is preparing to name Luis Hernandez the starter at second base, a source with direct knowledge of Collins’ plans told The Post yesterday. The move will be contingent upon Collins convincing the front office to find roster space for Hernandez.

You may remember that just three days ago in this post, I wrote about Collins’ demeanor and body language when he was asked about the second base situation by reporters.

Collins tapped his foot and paused six seconds when asked if even giving Hernandez remote consideration signaled displeasure with the original second-base combatants.

The manager eventually replied: “I don’t know if I’ve added him. I think we forgot that he could play there because he has been unable to play there early in camp. … I’m still looking at the primary four guys, but I just know we’ve got another guy who can play there.”

As a matter of fact I wondered who he was referring to at the time… Some of the readers thought it might be Reese Havens, but who would of believed it would be 26-year old Luis Hernandez?

Puma said Collins came to this decision mostly because the primary contenders for second base did nothing to distinguish themselves at the plate or in the field or both.

Last night, Adam Rubin wrote that “there are rumblings around baseball that Terry Collins is firmly in the not-Luis Castillo camp for second base”. He also quoted a rival executive who told him that Castillo won’t see Opening Day in Miami. “I think he will be out before spring training ends,” the person said.

Hernandez only entered the second base picture after Collins brought his name up after the three error game by the Mets on Saturday. Two of those errors were by Daniel Murphy, the other by Chin-leng Hu.

What is odd about the whole situation is that for weeks Collins has stated that he saw second base as an offensive position, which many believed was a vote for Daniel Murphy. Hernandez is far from an offensive type and has always profiled as a utility infielder. In parts of four seasons he is a career .245 hitter and previously played for the Orioles and Royals. He is having a solid spring batting .417, but only has 12 at bats.

Truth be told, Castillo is having the best spring out of all the candidates, so clearly this is a signal that Collins wants nothing to do with him.

Rule 5 pick Brad Emaus was supposed to be the favorite, but he has underwhelmed at the plate and looked shoddy in the field.

Ruben Tejada, their best defensive second baseman, has already been dispatched to the minors.

This seems so uncoordinated to me and I don’t like the smell of it. I would even go as far as saying that it looks a little like desperation on the part of Terry Collins.

Furthermore, we haven’t heard a peep from Alderson on this yet, who might very well insist that Collins plays his guy, Brad Emaus.

It’s most likely that we haven’t heard the last on this. But at least we’re not talking about Oliver Perez this morning.

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Burkhardt: If Opening Day Was Tomorrow, Castillo Would Be Starter Mon, 28 Feb 2011 21:30:46 +0000

Would this send you in a tizzy if it really happened?

I don’t know how close this is to actually being a reality, but it would shock me if it happened.

The word on Brad Emaus when we drafted him was that he was a poor defensive second baseman, and nobody has said one glowing remark about the Daniel Murphy experiment at second.

My choice has been Murphy all along, but I never imagined a scenario with Luis Castillo winning the job. No way – the though has never crossed my mind.

Even Ruben Tejada, who drove in a couple of runs today, would be better than bringing back Castillo in my opinion.

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The Battle for Second Base Fri, 18 Feb 2011 20:55:36 +0000 The Contenders:

Luis Castillo- .235/.337/.267, 0 HR, 17 RBI, 6.7 UZR/150, 0. 6 WAR, $6 million, 35 years old

Daniel Murphy- .266/.313/.427, 12 HR, 63 RBI, 1.0 WAR, $400K, 26 years old

Brad Emaus- .290/.397/.476, 15 HR, 75 RBI (between AA and AAA), $400K, 25 years old

The Underdog:

Justin Turner- .316/.374/.487, 12 HR, 43 RBI (at AAA), $400K, 26 years old

The Long Shots:

Ruben Tejada- .213/.305/.282, 1 HR, 15 RBI, 1.2 UZR/150, -0.4 WAR, $400K, 21 years old

Chin-lung Hu- .317/.339/.436, 4 HR, 37 RBI (at AAA), $400K, 27 years old

Normally, a team will have two or three players competing for a position in Spring Training. The Mets, who have had a hole at second base for the past few years, will have as many as six different players competing for the second base job. Each player has his strengths and weaknesses and will have a chance to win the job.

Luis Castillo has been the Mets starting second baseman since the middle of the 2007 season. Castillo has had knee problems and is no longer an elite defender. As a result of his injury issues, 2009 is the only year in which he played over 100 games with the Mets. Castillo did hit .302 that season, but has struggled offensively during the rest of his tenure. One reason that Castillo has stuck around is because of his contract although new GM Sandy Alderson has said that he is not afraid to cut players with money remaining on their deals.

Daniel Murphy exploded onto the scene as a 23 year old in 2008 hitting .313 in 131 at-bats. This was enough to win Murphy the first base job for 2009. Murphy was hurt entering 2010 and had to begin the season in the minors. His minor league season was cut short after he tore his MCL while playing second base. Murphy has a lot of potentially offensively and he is still young.

Brad Emaus is an unknown. The Mets claimed him in the Rule V Draft this offseason. Emaus played most of last season in Las Vegas with the Blue Jays’ Triple-A affiliate. It has been known that their home park does inflate offensive numbers. Emaus did not have an error in his 33 games played as a second baseman. His defensive abilities have been called in to question however.

Justin Turner impressed the management of the Mets organization with his ability to get on base and his power. Turner is a career .309 hitter in his minor league career. He has the ability to play multiple positions for the Mets which does help his chances of making the team.

Ruben Tejada was the third youngest player in the National League last season. He showed that even at age 20, he could hold his own defensively. Tejada is the best defensive player out of the group of candidates. However, the problem is that Tejada’s bat is not major league ready. Tejada struggled and looked overmatched at the plate. There has also been talk that Tejada may replace Reyes at short should he leave via free agency after the season.

Chin-lung Hu was acquired from the Dodgers this offseason for minor league pitcher Michael Antonini. Hu has had four stints in the majors with the Dodgers, and in his longest stint, he failed to prove himself, hitting just .181 in 116 at bats in 2008. It is not as if Hu has not shown the ability to produce offensively. He has a career .299 average in the minors. Hu has struggled a bit defensively at times. This is evident from his 109 errors in 712 games at second base in the minors.

If Daniel Murphy is able to show that he is healthy, he should be able to make the Mets major league roster out of Spring Training. In regards to whether or not he starts at second, it will depend on if he can show that he can handle the position defensively. That may only leave one more roster spot for a player listed above.

The competition will likely come down to Castillo, Emaus, and Turner. The one advantage Castillo has over the others is his large contract. Emaus is a Rule V Draft pick and if he is not on the major league roster, he would need to either be returned to the Blue Jays or the Mets would need to work out a trade for him. Turner is the only one in the group that has experience at shortstop. This is an advantage because he would be able to spell Jose Reyes.

For now, it appears that the advantage might go to Justin Turner because he can fill in at both middle infield positions. There is a decent chance that unless he has a strong Spring Training, Luis Castillo will be cut. Emaus’ chance at winning a roster spot might have more to do with Oliver Perez than anything else. If the Mets decide not to cut Perez they will carry 13 pitchers. If Sandy Alderson does decide that it is time to part ways with Oliver Perez, then an extra bench spot will be available. Emaus would likely be fighting with Nick Evans for that last spot.

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