Mets Merized Online » Brian Schneider http://metsmerizedonline.com Sat, 30 Apr 2016 04:38:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.13 The 2009 Mets: Where Are They Now? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/the-2009-mets-where-are-they-now-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/the-2009-mets-where-are-they-now-2.html/#comments Mon, 09 Sep 2013 03:23:30 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=128581 Welcome to the second installment of Where Are They Now?, where we take a Mets roster and check in on what the players have done since last playing in Queens. Last week, we looked at the 2010 Mets, so this week we go back a year and look at the 2009 team, the first year the Mets played their home games at Citi Field. That season, Jerry Manuel led his squad to a 70-92 record, good for a fourth place NL East finish. Let’s look at the players.

Right off the bat, 21 players also played for the Mets in 2010, who I covered covered in my previous article. If you wish to learn about what happened to Luis Castillo, Alex Cora, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Jeff Francoeur, Fernando Tatis, Angel Pagan, Jose Reyes, Nick Evans, Josh Thole, Mike Pelfrey, John Maine, Oliver Perez, Francisco Rodriguez, Bobby Parnell, Pedro Feliciano, Sean Green, Fernando Nieve, Elmer Dessens, Jon Niese, and Tobi Stoner, check out The 2010 Mets: Where Are They Now?

Only one player (who hasn’t already been covered) that played for the Mets in 2009 is still playing for the Mets, Daniel Murphy who is now one of the top hitters in the Mets lineup. Murphy currently ranks second on the team in batting average and third highest with a 2.7 WAR. Not only does Murphy provide a presence in the top of the lineup, but he may give the Mets strong trade bait going forward.

Only two other players from the 2009 are still in the majors albeit with another franchise: J.J. Putz and Darren O’Day.

Putz, who amazingly only played in 29 games with the Mets, played with the Chicago White Sox in 2010, before heading to Arizona where he played for the Diamondbacks in 2011. He still plays for them now. Side-armer Darren O’Day was claimed off waivers by the Rangers in April of 2009 and played in Arlington until 2011. After that season, the Baltimore Orioles claimed him off waivers. He is currently in his second year with them.

Five players from that team are currently in the Minor Leagues with other organizations and include Omir Santos, Jeremy Reed, Fernando Martinez, Argenis Reyes, and Nelson Figueroa.

Omir Santos did the bulk of the catching for the 2009 Mets, and he now sits behind the plate for the Rockies’ Triple A affiliate in Colorado Springs. He also played for the Toledo Mud Hens in the Detroit Tigers system in 2011, before spending some time with the big league team for the Tigers in  2010. He’s also played with the Indians Triple-A team this season.

Jeremy Reed signed with the Blue Jays in January of 2010 and was called up on April 12th. On July 12th he was sent down, released, and signed with the White Sox. He played the rest of the season with their Triple A team, the Charlotte Knights. The Brewers signed him in 2011 and he made the opening day roster. He was sent down to make room for Jonathan Lucroy, which led to him being traded to the Twins, where he finished the year. He is now in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, but is not currently assigned to a team.

fernando martinez

Fernando Martinez was claimed off waivers by the Astros in January of 2012 and played in Houston until he was traded to the Yankees this past June, knowing there was a chance that he could be suspended for steroids. He was among those named in the Biogenesis scandal and is currently serving a 50-game suspension.

Argenis Reyes played in the Red Sox system in 2010 and was then traded to the Cleveland Indians where he played the rest of the season. He spent time with the New Jersey Jackals of the Independent Leagues in 2011 before returning to the Indians system. He is currently not playing with an Indians team although he unassigned.

Nelson Figueroa saw time in the Phillies and Astros systems in 2010, and played in the majors with the Astros in 2011. He also played in the Pirates system that year. 2012 saw him spend time with the Yankees and Red Sox minor league systems, and now plays for the Diamondbacks Triple-A affiliate.

One 2009 Met is officially a free agent and that is Casey Fossum who played all of three games for the Amazins that season. Fossum was released at the end of April in 2009 and soon after signed with the Yankees. He played the rest of the year with their Triple A affiliate and then moved onto the Chicago Cubs system. His 2010 season was spent with the Hanshin Tigers in Japan, where he went 2-5 with a 5.72 ERA. Fossum signed with the Mets again in January of 2011 and played nine games, before being released a year later. He eventually signed with the Orioles but was soon released and has not resurfaced ever since.

13 players have retired. They are Gary Sheffield, Ryan Church, Brian Schneider, Cory Sullivan, Carlos Delgado, Ramon Martinez, Emil Brown, Marlon Anderson, Brian Stokes, Ken Takahashi, Lance Broadway, Jon Switzer, and Billy Wagner.

Gary Sheffield couldn’t find a team to play with in 2010, so he retired in the spring of 2011. Ryan Church was traded to the Braves for Jeff Francoeur and finished the year in Atlanta. 2010 was spent in Pittsburgh until the Pirates traded him to the Diamondbacks along with future Met D.J. Carrasco. He was non-tendered after the year and retired.

Brian Schneider played with the Phillies from 2010 to 2012 and retired officially on January 29th this year. Cory Sullivan, who is most remembered for being the last player to hit two triples in one inning, played with the Houston Astros for half of 2010. He played with the Phillies for half of 2011, and retired after failing to make the Dodgers opening day roster in 2012.

After being injured for most of the 2009 season, the Mets released Carlos Delgado when the season was over. The Boston Red Sox signed the future Hall of Famer to a Minor League contract. He went 3-for-13, was released and retired on April 13th 2011. He was most recently the hitting coach for the 2013 Puerto Rican team in the World Baseball Classic. Current Mets pitching coach Ricky Bones was the pitching coach for that team (and if you ask me, Delgado and Bones look extremely like each other).

Not much to say about Ramon Martinez here. The infielder who played only 12 games with the 2009 Mets was released after the season and immediately retired. Emil Brown retired after being released on June 22, 2009.

Super utility man Marlon Anderson was released in April and signed with the Newark Bears of the Independent Leagues. He played the rest of the season there and retired when the season was done. He was last seen in professional baseball as the hitting coach for the Potomac Nationals in 2012.

Brian Stokes was traded to the Angels for Gary Matthews Jr. prior to the the 2010 season and made 16 appearances for the Halos that year. In 2011 he played in the Arizona D-Back’s system, and then moved onto the Camden RIversharks of the Independent League. Ken Takahashi became the third oldest player to make his Major League debut at the age of 40 on May 2nd 2009. He was released by the Mets in October of that year and went back to his homeland of Japan and played with the Hiroshima Carp in 2010. He retired after that year.

Lance “Best Name in Baseball” Broadway has not played in the Majors since his time with the Mets. He spent time with the Blue Jays organization in 2010 and played with their Triple A team, the Las Vegas 51′s. He has since retired and done what I believe no other Met has done in their lifetime. Lance played Agent O’Neil in the 2013 movie, Olympus Has Fallen. We should keep an eye out for other movies that feature Mr. Broadway.

Jon Switzer only got into four games as a New York Met, which led to a 8.10 ERA. He signed with the Astros and played in their Minor League system in 2010. He retired after 2010 and went back to school. He is now a business manager.

billy wagner

Billy Wagner, who is probably the greatest Mets closer of the last 10 years, was traded at the end of the year to the Red Sox for Chris Carter and minor leaguer Eddie Lora. Wagner played two games for Boston and then signed with the Atlanta Braves for the 2010 season. He was injured in the NLDS, but instead of going on the disabled list, he retired. Billy is currently the Head Coach for Miller High School in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Two players are currently in the Independent Leagues. Wilson Valdez played for the Phillies in 2010 and 2011 and was then traded to the Cincinnati Reds before the 2012 season. The Reds traded Valdez to the Giants in December of 2012 but he was released this past March. He signed with the Miami Marlins the next day and was released on May 19th. He is now with the Camden River Sharks. Longtime Mets backup catcher Ramon Castro was traded to the White Sox for Lance Broadway in 2009, but I don’t think it mattered to Ramon, because later in the season he was behind the plate when Mark Buehrle tossed a perfect game. He was released by Chicago after 2011, and did not play baseball in 2012. He signed a Minor League contract with the Dodgers this March but was released after failing to make the roster. He now plays for the Long Island Ducks.

anderson hernandez

Three players are playing in foreign countries, and they all play in Mexico. They are Anderson Hernandez, Angel Berroa, and Robinson Cancel. Hernandez, who was traded from the Tigers to the Mets back in 2004 for Vance Wilson, was claimed off waivers by the Indians in 2010 but was claimed by the Astros in July. 2011 was spent in Triple A with the Astros franchise. In 2012, Hernandez played with the Pirates Triple A team. This year he has been playing with the Piratas de Campeche, where he is hitting five points south of .300 with 11 home runs.

The 2003 American League Rookie of the Year (I still think Rocco Baldelli should have won) Angel Berroa, who before LaTroy Hawkins and David Aardsma was the last player to play for both the Mets and Yankees, played in the San Francisco Giants organization in 2010. In 2011 he played with the Arizona Diamondbacks Triple A team and the Bridgeport BlueFish of the Independent Leagues. 2012 saw Berroa play with the New Jersey Jackals. He now plays for Leones de Yucantan in Mexico. He is hitting .293 with 12 homers.

Robinson Cancel made his first big league appearance since 1999 in 2008 with the Mets. He spent 2010 with the Long Island Ducks, 2011 with the Astros Triple A team (and a few games in the Majors), 2012 with Monterrey in Mexico, and is still playing in Mexico with Minatilan.

One player is coaching. Andy Green went 1-4 with the Mets in 2009. He spent 2010 in Buffalo playing for the Bisons at the Mets Triple A level. He is now managing the Diamondbacks Double A team, the Mobile Bay Bears. He is managing former Met Nick Evans.

So there are your 2009 New York Mets. What were some of your best and worst memories of that season? Next week we’ll take a look at the 2008 team and the last year of Mets baseball at Shea Stadium.

addicted to mets button

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Prima Donnas and Clubhouse Chemistry: A Met Perspective http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/prima-donnas-and-clubhouse-chemistry-a-met-perspective.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/prima-donnas-and-clubhouse-chemistry-a-met-perspective.html/#comments Sat, 18 May 2013 13:00:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=119096 If Shakespeare were to write a play about the state of the Mets these days, it would probably be titled “Much Ado About Valdespin” as that’s about all anyone has to talk about outside of the largely dismal performance of the team between the lines. Inasmuch as the role young number 1 plays on the team is largely limited to that of utility player/pinch hitter, I wonder if the fuss being kicked up over his various perceived misbehaviors is not out of proportion to the relative importance he has to the team. Not that he is without talent-we all are tantalized by his speed, occasional power, and penchant for heroics, but the holes in his game are gaping enough to justify only judicious use of his presence in the lineup. Add in to this equation the somewhat larger-than-life aspects of his personality and you have a recipe for clubhouse controversy as testified to by the recent statement by seasoned veteran LaTroy Hawkins.

jeff kentSo, just how important is the ingredient of clubhouse chemistry to the relative success of a team? My feeling is that the degree of significance is in opposite proportion to the on-field success of the player involved. One former Met whose flinty personality rubbed people the wrong way everywhere he played was Jeff Kent, yet his undeniable offensive prowess (in more ways than one, I guess) led to a HOF-caliber career which included several seasons in the same lineup as Barry Bonds, no paragon of social niceties himself. In retrospect, the Mets trade of Kent for Carlos Baerga was a total clunker as Kent’s level of production exploded to All-Star level just as Baerga’s went into the tank. But at the time, Baerga was an All-Star who was younger than Kent and who carried none of the baggage associated with Kent, whose primary offense in a Met uniform was refusing to participate in a rookie ritual that involved wearing a ridiculous outfit for a team trip.

Team management saw the opportunity to swap a player they saw as having a somewhat negative effect on team harmony for a proven performer and they went for it. History has shown this to be one in a litany of bad trades that Met fans would just as soon forget, but you can’t argue with the logic at the time.  Add to this the fact that Indians management saw nothing wrong with spinning Kent off in the trade that landed him in San Francisco (where stardom followed) and you can’t really jump on poor Joe McIvaine’s case too hard. Once in Giant livery, Kent reeled off a string of tremendous seasons that culminated in arguably one of the greatest careers of any second baseman in MLB history. But he was still regarded as a major-league prick. I guess most teams would have put up with that aspect of his game as long as the rest of it was intact.

Another interesting chapter in the DSM of Metdom involved one Randall K. Myers and wunderkind batsman Gregg Jefferies. Jefferies, as you undoubtedly recall, was perhaps the most heralded Mets hitting prospect ever outside of Darryl Strawberry. Fans were regaled with tales of his incredible switch-hitting talents, honed through a variety of batting drills such as the semi-weird “swinging underwater in a pool” routine that the sports press of the time delighted in recounting. Upon his arrival, young Gregg looked to be the real thing, ripping off an impressive month at the end of the 1988 season and challenging the team to find a way to fit him into the same infield as Howard Johnson, the incumbent at Jefferies preferred position of third base.

gregg jefferiesAfter shifting the rookie across the diamond to second, the team received satisfactory offensive performance from him over the next two seasons, including a league leading 40 doubles in 1990. But prior to that campaign, the team had seen fit to trade Myers, a fireballing lefty reliever, to the Reds for his veteran counterpart and future Mets Hall-of-Famer John Franco. Not a terrible swap in retrospect, but at the time many wondered why the Mets would exchange a talent of Myers’ ilk for a player two years older who relied primarily on a deceptive change-up as an out pitch. The role of closer was one that most felt was better served by the blazer of young Randall K., and so inquiries as to the motivation of management with respect to the trade were made.

Revelations were forthcoming to the effect that the clubhouse friction between Myers and Jefferies was such that it was deemed best for all concerned to “keep ‘em separated,” to borrow a song lyric. Jefferies had been noted as being especially fussy about his bats and other equipment, and had garnered a reputation as a bit of a prima donna due to his helmet flinging episodes following strikeouts. Following reports that Myers had conspired with fellow bullpen denizen Roger McDowell to saw several of Jefferies bats in half and perhaps bring the youngster down a peg or two, it was made clear that the front office preferred to remove elements of controversy from the clubhouse. The element chosen was the self-styled cowabunga warrior Myers, a change that management hoped would help the more sensitive Jefferies flourish.  He did, ultimately, making the All-Star team and challenging for a batting title in 1993-for the St. Louis Cardinals. Prior to that, he had been part of the trade package put together to bring Bret Saberhagen to New York after his various peccadilloes had become less bearable in light of his merely competent level of production.

Another notorious bête noire of Met clubhouse history was former first-rounder Lastings Milledge whose escapades are still relatively fresh in the mind of the average Met fan. Now consigned to showing up opponents and teammates in Japan, the young Mr. Milledge arrived in 2006 with a reputation for trouble already established but with his talent still largely a promise of things to come. After two seasons in the Orange and Blue, he was sent packing to Washington for Ryan Church and Brian Schneider, worthy enough role players but lacking any star power of the type hinted at by some aspects of Milledge’s game.  When his potential for stardom failed to materialize after that, he drifted to Pittsburgh, then on to the south side of Chicago before opting for the Far East. Still only 28, he may have finally found himself as a player with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. One can only hope that he has overcome the habits that lead to the posting of the infamous “Know Your Place, Rook” sign in his locker by Met teammate Billy Wagner.

A more unusual aspect of the “player as clubhouse distraction” syndrome was noted during the 2004 and 2005 seasons when Anna Benson, the wife of the contrastingly low-key Met pitcher Kris Benson, arrived on the scene.  The combination of Mrs. Benson’s startlingly frank pronouncements on virtually everything with behavior such as appearing as a va-va-voom version of “Mrs. Claus” at the Met annual Christmas charity function combined to lead to a trade with Baltimore sending her husband out of town after a season and a half. That the male Benson’s apparent talent level was that of an eminently replaceable back-of-rotation starter probably contributed to his exit as well. Had he displayed more in the way of dominant pitching skills, the team’s tolerance for the more “colorful” aspects of his spouse’s persona might have been greater.

So, what of the Mets’ current bad boy? I expect that as long as whatever contributions he makes on the field outweigh the perceived negative effect of his extra-curricular antics, he will stick around. At this point, the team hasn’t done a lot to enhance his trade value anyway.  Considering the organization’s history though, I imagine that if circumstances conspire to raise his baseball value in the estimation of any general manager not named Alderson, he could be on his way somewhere in the relatively near future. Maybe someone will be enticed to take him for a “’Spin?”

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How It All Went Wrong For Lastings Milledge http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/how-it-all-went-wrong-for-lastings-milledge.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/how-it-all-went-wrong-for-lastings-milledge.html/#comments Sun, 07 Apr 2013 12:53:41 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=113354 lastings milledge 2I will remember it as if I saw it yesterday for the first time.

A sheet of notebook paper, with the words, “Know your place, Rook … signed, your teammates,” was taped over Lastings Milledge’s locker in the Mets’ clubhouse in old RFK Stadium. This, in the late summer in 2006.

The Mets were en route to the playoffs and a veteran laden team was rubbed the wrong way by Milledge’s brashness and arrogance. Then-manager Willie Randolph – who reprimanded Milledge several times that summer – ripped down the sign, but knew he hadn’t ripped away the problem.

The Mets labeled it a misunderstanding, and Randolph called Lastings Milledge “a good kid,’’ but this clearly was not a misunderstanding with a teammate. It was the accumulation of several incidents that rankled several teammates.

Milledge burst upon the Mets, hitting over .300, was dazzling on the bases and showed a strong arm. He was going to be the next “fill in the blank.’’ Willie Mays? Roberto Clemente?

However, things quickly cooled after his first career homer, when on his way to the outfield he high-fived fans down the right field line in Shea Stadium. Randolph sensed how the Giants seethed in their dugout, especially since he saw some of his own players do the same.

Randolph reprimanded Milledge on the unwritten laws in baseball, but it didn’t take. There were ground balls he didn’t run out and times he didn’t hustle in the outfield. He was flash with the jewelry swinging wildly on the field, but in the clubhouse he often sat buried in his locker wearing headphones or playing a video game.

milledge 3He came off as sullen and angry and clearly couldn’t be bothered by getting to know his teammates. Or, a baseball legend for that matter. During spring training then-GM Omar Minaya brought Milledge to the Nationals dugout to meet Frank Robinson, but Milledge was came off as being in-different.

Finally, he arrived in the clubhouse in Philadelphia an hour before a day game. Although it was early, the veterans made it in on time. David Wright had enough when Milledge strolled in with sunglasses and an iPod as if he owned the place and told him this wasn’t acceptable.

Wright wouldn’t belabor the issue Opening Day, only managing to say “seniority is big in this game,’’ which is the politically-correct translation for Milledge hadn’t earned his stripes.

Milledge popped into my consciousness today when I learned it was his 28th birthday, an age when he should be in the prime of his career. Instead, Milledge is one of hundreds of baseball prospects given the label of “can’t miss, but eventually did.’’

Seven years ago – the career lifetime of a select few – the Mets had three prized outfield prospects in Milledge, Carlos Gomez and Fernando Martinez. One by one they arrived, fizzled to the point of exasperation and were traded. Not one of them hustled like journeyman outfielder Collin Cowgill.

After turning down several proposals for Manny Ramirez, the Mets eventually traded Milledge to Washington as part of a trade that brought Ryan Church – he of the concussion fiasco – and catcher Brian Schneider. Milledge had his coffee to go with Washington, then Pittsburgh and finally the White Sox before heading to Japan. Milledge had his head-scratching moments in each place, but basically stopped hitting.

At 28, Milledge is still young. It’s about discipline in Japan and if Milledge comes back with a changed attitude perhaps he’ll get another chance. It’s a long way to Japan, and perhaps an even longer route back to the major leagues.

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Mets Sign A Rod; Too Bad It’s Barajas http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/02/mets-sign-a-rod-too-bad-its-barajas.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/02/mets-sign-a-rod-too-bad-its-barajas.html/#comments Tue, 23 Feb 2010 16:00:00 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=21296 Sorry about the title (and photo to the left), Mets fans.  The Mets did sign “a Rod” over the weekend, but it happened to be Rod Barajas, who should take over as the #1 catcher for the Mets this season.  After failing to sign other potential #1 catchers, most notably Bengie Molina, the Mets were able to sign Barajas to a one-year deal for a very reasonable dollar amount ($1 million, plus $1 million in incentives).  This will allow Josh Thole to play another season in the minor leagues in the hopes that he can be major league ready in 2011.

So what are the pros and cons of the Rod Barajas signing?  Let’s start with the pros.

Since the Texas Rangers signed him as a free agent prior to the 2004 season, Barajas has become a good source for extra-base hits, especially from the catchers’ position.  He was the #1 catcher for Texas from 2004-2006 and Toronto from 2008-2009 (he had an injury-plagued season for the Phillies in 2007 and only played 48 games for our hated rivals).  In the five seasons Barajas was an everyday player, he hit 77 HR (with a career high of 21 HR in 2005), 112 doubles (consistently hitting between 19 and 26 doubles in each of the five seasons) and collected 279 RBI (with a career high of 71 RBI in 2009).  An average season for Barajas over those five years meant 22 doubles, 15 HR and 56 RBI.  By comparison, the combination of Brian Schneider and Omir Santos hit 25 doubles, 10 HR and collected 64 RBI for the Mets in 2009.  The combined total for those two catchers were nearly identical to the numbers produced by Barajas in an average season.

Defensively, Barajas has been consistently good at throwing out would-be base stealers.  Over his career, he has nailed 34% of those who have attempted to swipe a base against him.  That same percentage was registered by Barajas over each of the past two seasons.  Over those same two seasons, which coincide with Brian Schneider’s two years in New York, Schneider also threw out 34% of opposing base stealers.  Omir Santos nabbed 30% of the would-be base stealers against him in his one big league season.

Now what is there not to like about Barajas?  How about a career .238 batting average and a frighteningly low .284 career OBP?  The numbers were even worse last year (.226 batting average, .258 OBP).  He has never walked more than 26 times in a single season and has only collected 100 hits in a season once (104 hits in 2005).  He also tends to pick up his share of errors.  In the five seasons Barajas has been a #1 catcher, he has commited 38 errors (an average of nearly eight errors per season).  In those same five seasons, Brian Schneider commited half that total (19 errors).  Also, Omir Santos only committed three errors in his one season with the Mets.

Before I end this, I do need to point out that Barajas has fared well against the three teams that finished ahead of the Mets in the NL East last year (Phillies, Marlins, Braves).  In 187 career at-bats against those three teams, Barajas has hit .316, with 18 doubles, 13 HR and 35 RBI.  Considering he will be seeing those teams more than teams in the NL Central and NL West, those numbers cannot be ignored.

So now that you have the pros and cons, what do you think of the signing?  Is this an upgrade over whatever combination of catchers the Mets would have employed?  Do you think Barajas will end up helping the team more with his bat or with his defense?  Will Barajas be the #1 catcher for the entire 2010 season?  The floor is yours, Mets fans!  Talk amongst yourselves!

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Better Value: Schneider 2 Years For $3 Million or $9.8 Million? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/12/better-value-schneider-2-years-for-3-million-or-9-8-million.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/12/better-value-schneider-2-years-for-3-million-or-9-8-million.html/#comments Tue, 01 Dec 2009 19:02:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=16667 It’s all about the “value” Mets fans.

Regardless of your thoughts on the Phillies getting Brian Schneider, it’s a solid move for the Phillies who can give the Mets a lesson or two about getting the most value for a player.

The Phillies are reportedly paying Schneider $3 million dollars for two years or an average $1.5 million per season.

The Mets on the other hand, have paid Brian Schneider $8.9 million dollars in the last two years or an average of $4.9 million per season.

 You see, it’s all about getting VALUE.

The Nationals moved Brian Schneider just in the nick of time in what was primarily a salary dump for them… a salary dump that got them the Mets’ former first round pick.

The Marlins were even smarter by moving Carlos Delgado to the Mets in the second year of his contract when his salary jumped from $4 million dollars in 2005 to $13.5 million dollars in 2006 when the Mets got him. The Mets also paid him another $14.5 in 07, $16.5 in 08 and $16.5 in 09. Wow…

The Mets just paid $2 million dollars for a utility player in Alex Cora who they hope never has to start more than 10 games, while the Phillies paid $1.5 million dollars for a catcher who will probably start over 80 games.

It’s all about the value.

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Phillies Sign Brian Schneider http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/12/phillies-sign-brian-schneider.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/12/phillies-sign-brian-schneider.html/#comments Tue, 01 Dec 2009 18:16:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=16657

According to several reports, Brian Schneider has just signed a two-year deal worth $3 million dollars with the Philadelphia Phillies.

The former Mets catcher became a free agent and the Mets had no plans to offer him arbitration. Schneider, 33, hit .218 in 59 games last season, and .244 in 169 games overall as a Met.

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro said in a statement.

“We feel Brian is ideal for our ballclub. He has played in the NL East for this entire decade, so he knows the opposing hitters in this division well and he has proven he can handle the bat. He’s a guy that we would feel comfortable with playing for an extended period of time, if needed.”

I guess this is revenge for signing catcher Chris Coste who will always be a Phillie…

Schneider was a nice guy, but nice doesn’t win ball games, producing at the plate does, and Schneider wasn’t cutting it. Still, it’s a good move for the Phillies who unlike the Mets, aren’t desperate for offense. Plus it’s always a good thing to snag your rival’s catcher and pick his brain in the war room before each three game series.

Mets by the way, are still considering the virtues of catcher Henry Blanco despite the Chris Coste signing yesterday.

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You Want Grission? Here It Is On A Platter… http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/11/you-want-grission-here-it-is-on-a-platter.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/11/you-want-grission-here-it-is-on-a-platter.html/#comments Sat, 21 Nov 2009 15:10:55 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=16228 Yesterday, former Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca appeared on Sirius XM 175 MLB Home Plate. His comments were transcribed by Adam Rubin of the Daily News and are shown below.

After missing all of 2009 with injuries, Lo Duca says he is healthy and ready to return to the game and fill whatever role the signing team needs including that of backup catcher and righthanded bat off the bench.

Paul Lo Duca: “I’m completely healthy. I feel unbelievable. I’ve been hitting the last four or five days constantly and started my workouts. I feel great. My hand feels 100 percent for the first time in a while. My hamstring and my knee finally healed after the surgery I had there. … I want to come back and play. When I started working with you guys (as a part-time analyst) and started really watching the games it really gave me that edge. My heart’s into it and I want to go back in it full bore and [do] whatever needs to be done. I want to play on a team that wants to win and wants a player that wants to win. I’ll do whatever I need to do. If it’s come off the bench, if it’s spot starts, I’ll do whatever they need me to do.”

Lo Duca: “I’m a realist. I’m going to be 37 but my knees feel good. I’ve only had one knee surgery. There’s no issues there. I really feel like I can offer a good bat off the bench to somebody and do whatever needs to be done. … Whatever they want me to do. I’ve played other positions before. If they need me to catch and if something goes down then I can do that as well. Whatever the manager asks me to do I’m willing to do.”

Lo Duca: “Whatever happens I’m looking just to get an invite. If you don’t like me when I’m walking in the clubhouse, hey, you don’t like me, go ahead and send me home. That’s fine. But I’m going to show up in great shape and ready to go. We’ll see what happens. I’m gung-ho. I’m really energetic about coming back. I feel like I still have a lot to offer.”Lo Duca hit .318 with the Mets in 2006 and even made the All Star team that season which included catching David Wright in the homerun derby. Wright and the fiery catcher were best of friends when the Mets chose not to bring him back and replaced him with Brian Schneider.

Lo Duca hit .318 with the Mets in 2006 was even elected to the All Star team that season which included catching David Wright in the homerun derby. It was the only year he was ever elected by the fans as a starter. Wright and the fiery and outspoken Lo Duca were best of friends when the Mets chose not to bring him back and replaced him with Brian Schneider.

Many believed that the organization had become turned off by Lo Duca’s criticism of the team and the effort of his teammates in 2007. Lo Duca wore his heart on his sleeve and was never one to pull punches. As a catcher he defended his pitchers to the max, and he would let an umpire know if he thought they were squeezing his batterymate.

My favorite memory of Lo Duca will always be the double play in the 2006 NLCS against the Dodgers when both outs were made at the plate.

Lo Duca had an injury plagued season in 2008 with the Nationals, which may explain his .248 average. If he is as healthy he says, I wouldn’t put another .280 type season past him. In 1,108 at-bats with runners in scoring position, Lo Duca has a .309 batting average, .330 with the bases loaded. He’s the kind of hitter who would probably have great success as a pinch hitter.

Unfortunately, there’s little to no chance that the Mets would even consider bringing Lo Duca back in a limited role, at least not while Omar Minaya is still calling the shots.

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From Schneider to Snyder http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/11/from-schneider-to-snyder.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/11/from-schneider-to-snyder.html/#comments Mon, 09 Nov 2009 18:23:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=15668 It’s a no doubter that Brian Schneider will not be returning to the Mets in 2010. (And rightfully so) He spent some time on the disabled list, along with his fellow Mets, and when he did get a chance to play he was sub-par. He got passed over for the starting job by two rookie catchers. That’s sad.

One of the positions the Mets need to fix up is catching. It’s well known that Josh Thole will be starting the season in the minors for further developing. Schneider obviously will be gone, and Santos is mostly a backup and really shouldn’t play everyday it if the Mets plan to beat the Phillies for the NL East title.

Some catchers including Bengie Molina have been mentioned for the Mets to go after, but I would like to throw another name into the mix. Chris Snyder.

There has been plenty of speculation that Snyder would be dealt this offseason with the emergence of  backup catcher Miguel Montero last season. Snyder, who signed a three-year, $14.25 million extension last winter, was hampered for most of the 2009 season with back problems that eventually required surgery and limited him to just 61 games. He hit .200 with six homers and 22 RBIs.

MLB.com reported that, a potential deal between the D-backs and Blue Jays that would have sent Chris Snyder to Toronto and Lyle Overbay to Arizona has been put on hold.

Could this be an opportunity for the Mets?

Snyder is certainly not known for being a great hitter, but he can hold his own at the plate, and who knows, maybe the Mets could swing something to get Dan Haren or Mark Reynolds in a deal as well.

Leave us your thoughts and opinions.

One more thing – Does anyone else find it weird that the Mets have had four catchers this season (at one point carrying three) and now the Mets have one?

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A Catcher The Mets Should Sign And One They Should Avoid Like The Plague http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/10/1-catcher-the-mets-should-sign-and-one-they-should-avoid-like-the-plague.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/10/1-catcher-the-mets-should-sign-and-one-they-should-avoid-like-the-plague.html/#comments Tue, 20 Oct 2009 13:00:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=14702 The Mets have a lot of holes to fill in 2010.  They need an actual number 2 pitcher in the rotation; they need a set-up guy in the bullpen, a left fielder and a catcher.  Last week I addressed the left field situation and a lot of you readers had a few opinions to say the least on my choices on who should play left field for us in 2010 but I still stand by my belief that Holliday would be the best solution for the Mets.

With Brian Schneider becoming a free agent next year we now need a catcher for the 2010 season.  There are 26 catchers that are facing the prospect of free agency, 7 of which have team options and/or buyouts for their contracts.  There are some good catchers that will be available next year but the Mets find themselves in a somewhat of a dilemma when it comes to acquiring a catcher this off-season, that dilemma is named Josh Thole.

Thole is 22 years old, he had his cup of coffee this year in the majors and he impressed me with his offense at the plate finishing with a .321 batting average in 53 plate appearances.  He had a bit of 1-19 slump but he still showed promise in his major league debut.  Even though he was slumping Thole didn’t look foolish at the plate like outfielder Fernando Martinez.  Thole’s defense left a bit to be desired as he allowed 3 passed balls in only 17 games.  On the plus side he did throw out 2 base runners out of 6 attempted steals on him.  He also caught two really good games at the end of the season.  Having said this Thole does not belong on the team yet.  He needs to start 2010 in AAA Buffalo and work on his defense.  He needs to also learn about the intangibles of being catcher, such as slowing down the pace of a game or going out to talk to a pitcher who is struggling.  That is not a knock on Thole; those instincts will come in time.  It’s important to remember that he was not originally a catcher; the Mets converted him to catcher in the minors.  I believe that in 2011 Thole will be on this team as our starting catcher and there lies the dilemma: signing a veteran catcher to a 1 year deal and not completely overpay for said catcher for the one year he’ll be on the team.

There is one catcher that I would want and that catcher is Bengie Molina, who I think a lot of Met fans including myself would not mind seeing behind the dish for us in 2010.  Molina in his eleven year career is a .276 hitter but more importantly he is one of the best catchers in baseball.  Some could argue that out of his family he might be the best at calling a game and working with a pitching staff.  If you take Santana out of the equation the Mets pitching staff is full of head cases with Mike Pelfrey, John Maine and Oliver Perez.  Plus Jon Niese could be in the rotation, Niese is a young pitcher and Bengie works really well with the younger pitchers.  He knows how to slow down a game if the pitcher is moving too fast and he’s also good at defense.  He’s a gamer; he only knows one way of playing: playing hard!  If there is one drawback it’s that he’s a Type A Free Agent, meaning that the Mets would lose a top draft pick as well as a supplemental draft pick.  Ultimately if I’m the General Manager and I’m looking for an experienced catcher who plays good defense and works well with a young pitching staff, Molina is my guy.

The one catcher that I don’t even want to hear about this off season is Jason Varitek.  I have nothing against him on a personal level, he seems like a good baseball guy, a good teammate but his career is coming to an end.  His offensive numbers keep going down year by year and he is 38 years old.  I also believe that he will not come cheap.  A team will over pay him for his name and his past success with the Boston Red Sox.  I believe that it may be time for Varitek to call it a career and I hope Omar or whoever is making these decisions now a days stays far away from Varitek.

Are there any other catchers I’m overlooking readers?   Would Pudge Rodriguez who is a veteran catcher, a little older than Molina who will be a type B Free Agent be better?

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David Wright Not Doing The Wright Stuff http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/09/david-wright-should-not-be-given-a-free-pass.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/09/david-wright-should-not-be-given-a-free-pass.html/#comments Sun, 27 Sep 2009 22:32:37 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=13670 Over the past five seasons, David Wright has emerged as the face of the New York Mets franchise and assumed the role of unofficial “captain”.

For the most part he has filled this role rather nicely and has always brought a positive vibe to the team.

Over his five year tenure with the Mets, Wright has been through the highs and lows. What has always impressed me was regardless of how the team was performing overall, he always brought his “A game”. This held true up until the previous two weeks or so.

Since then, David has become a different player. For starters, he no longer looks energized to play baseball, which is very uncharacteristic of him. His performance on the field is also indicative of this. Since returning from the disabled list on September 1st he has only hit .220, which has caused his average to drop nearly 20 points (.324 to .306) and is in danger finishing with a sub-.300 average for the first time in his career..

I am sympathetic with his struggles because this has been a particularly disappointing season considering all of the fluke injuries. On top of that Wright went through a traumatic experience in mid-August when he was concussed by a fastball to the head.

What is unacceptable is the the lack of hustle that he has shown recently. In the past two games Wright’s play on the field has been inexcusable. Looking solely at the box score it could be assumed that I am referring to the seven punch outs in ten at-bats, however I am not.

I am referring to the sluggish and downright careless play that has become blatantly obvious during the final road trip of the 2009 season.

First, during last night’s game Wright choose not to run on a ball that was dropped by Florida catcher Ronny Paulino.

Luckily, Brian Schneider‘s head was in the game and he was able to score what would become an important run in the team’s 6-5 victory before Wright was tagged out. At first the issue didn’t concern me as players, like any human being make bone-headed moves at times.

Unfortunately during tonight’s game, Wright’s lack of motivation became apparent and in this instance cost the Mets a run when he choose not to run at full speed while rounding third base, which enabled the Marlins to tag Jeff Francoeur out at second base before the run could score.

This is disturbing because through all the heartbreak, David Wright was one guy you could always count on to give it his all, and now even that is up in the air. The team’s fans deserve better than this.

While I can understand Jerry Manuel giving Wright a reprieve yesterday and not pulling him from the game; pulling him from today’s game should have been a no-brainer. Instead, Wright remained in the game for all nine innings.

Decisions like these promote the sense that giving up and not playing hard is acceptable.What kind of message does this send to players like Nick Evans, who was regulated to watching the game from the bench while a player with questionable effort is allowed to play?

Now I am not yet ready to give up Wright because he has done a lot of good for this franchise over the past half decade, but a conversation certainly needs to take place between the manager and player and it must be reiterated that this kind of attitude will not be tolerated.

At the very least Wright should be given the day off tomorrow to collect his thoughts and then go from there. Under no circumstances should Wright be given so-called “superstar treatment” and be allowed to let this situation go away.

What do you, the Mets fans, think? Am I being too hard on Mr. Wright?

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Keep Be-Lee-ving http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/09/keep-be-lee-ving.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/09/keep-be-lee-ving.html/#comments Sat, 05 Sep 2009 19:42:12 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=12655
539w.jpg Derrek Lee picture by MetsFollower
One of the holes the Mets need to fill for the 2010 season is first base, Daniel Murphy was named the everyday first baseman after Carlos Delgado got injured. Murphy has done fairly well as a replacement with good defense and an average bat.

First base is usually a position for power hitters and Murphy will not likely reach a dozen homeruns. Also Delgado’s contract will be ending this season and has a 12 million dollar club option for next season. But with his (what shouldn’t have been) season ending hip surgery the Mets really shouldn’t pick up that option and look to another powerful first baseman.

Who could that be? Derrek Lee!

The Chicago first baseman is having a great ’09 season with the Cubs hitting .294 with 27 homeruns and 90 RBIs. He’s in line for a 30-100 season.
(before Saturday’s game.)
(Update: Lee hit 2 homeruns in Saturday’s game.) 

I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “Sure Lee is a great hitter and has a nice glove, but why would Cubs trade him and who for?”

Well I asked that myself and I took a look around the Cubs roster and the Cubs seem to need one thing the most. A reliable closer. Oh hey look, the Mets have a former closer in J.J. Putz. Putz is currently on the disabled list and will be there for the rest of the season. Putz has not had the best season with the Mets, he blames it on not having the intensity he had when he was a closer with Seattle.

Some of the Mets back-up pitchers have been doing a great job with the team lately and have really fought for a spot on the team next season. With Pat Misch pitching well along with Nelson FigueroaTim Redding and Bobby Parnell they could be in the ‘pen next season. The Mets are also looking for a number two starter this offseason along with an outfielder and a catcher.

So here is my projected trade with Cubs for Derrek Lee who’s contract will be ending after next season. Lee has a $13MM contract and has a no-trade clause.

Mets offering

JJ Putz RHP
John Maine RHP*
Brian Schneider C
Daniel Murphy 1B*

Mets acquire

Derrek Lee 1B

* Mets would have to re-sign players before trading them.

This trade would actually free up over 13 million dollars plus whatever Mets use to sign Maine (if they do).

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Why Tholmir May Not Be The Answer For 2010 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/09/why-tholmir-may-not-be-the-answer-for-2010.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/09/why-tholmir-may-not-be-the-answer-for-2010.html/#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2009 13:47:41 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=12418 Ask just about any Mets fan nowadays about who will be behind the plate in 2010, most will have no idea. And, I can’t really blame them, the Mets have not made getting a quality catcher a priority in the past few seasons, unless you call Brian Schneider and his .189/.272/.318 line quality.

If you ask anyone connected to the Mets they’ll most likely say Josh Thole and Omir Santos, a tandem I dubbed Tholmir.

This makes sense, both players are young and their combined salaries most likely wouldn’t even crack one million dollars, which is perfect for the suddenly cost-cutting Wilpons.

Lately, the only positive hype surrounding the New York Mets, besides injuries and surgeries has been the talk of calling up catcher, Josh Thole. And for good reason, since the beginning of last season Thole has done nothing but hit at the minor league level.

The Mets selected the 23 year old catcher in the eighth round of the 2005 draft, which was the same draft where they picked Mike Pelfrey.

Last season, in Class-A+ ball, Thole hit for .300, which is impressive since in his prior season he only hit .267. This year, his progression continued and he hit .328 at the Class-AA level, which features generally better, more major league-esque pitching.

He is also said to have a great demeanor when it comes to the game and is extremely hard working and passionate about what he does.

However, when I read articles by some of the game’s best beat writers I get the sense that he is being overvalued. There are some who suggest that Thole could be the best catcher the Mets have had since Mike Piazza departed the team back in 2005. And the truth is, he very well could be the next big thing.

Personally, however I am skeptical a bit skeptical about how Thole will perform at the big league level. Consider this, Thole grew up in rural Illinois and learned to play baseball in a barn. Now he will be expected to perform in front of thousands and thousands of New York fans, who are not always the  most forgiving when it comes to a player’s shortcomings.

Also, Thole is not a power hitter by any means. This is evident by the fact that he only hit one home run in 384 at-bats this season. According to Eric Simon over at Amazin’ Avenue, who profiled Thole yesterday. The article also points out that Thole does not hit very many line drives, which begs the question is his high average sustainable?

Even more surprising is that using a computer generated statistics, Simon shows that Thole projects as only a .254 hitter in the big leagues. That’s less than what Omir Santos is currently hitting.

In all fairness, projections are not always all that accurate and it’s entirely possible that Thole could blow those away.

If anything it concerns me that Thole will hit .300 in the final month of the regular season, and that will be enough for Mets management to warrant starting him next year.

The last Met player that was thrust into a starting role following success in such a small sample size was Daniel Murphy, and he’s had his share of troubles at the plate and on the field this season.

The other half of the Mets projected 2010 catching tandem is Omir Santos. One of the few feel good stories this year, Santos came from out of nowhere to become a pretty decent backstop in the big leagues.

His hit for a .263 batting average and clubbed six home runs, which isn’t anything to sneeze at. He’s even had some clutch hits, including one dramatic go-ahead home run off of Jonathan Papelbon earlier this season.

To me though, Omir is more suited to be a backup at the big league level as he has gone through a pretty brutal slump from mid-June that lasted into early July.

My suggestion for the Mets would be let Thole spend a month in the bigs and see how he handles it. Then in the off-season, try to acquire a veteran catcher that is capable of starting like Ramon Hernandez. This would enable Santos to slide into a backup role, which is better suited for him. This would also allow Thole more time in the minor leagues to collect more playing time and allow Mets officials to see whether or not he is the real deal.

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A Delgado & Reyes Return Is Better Than A Blockbuster Trade http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/07/a-delgado-reyes-return-is-better-than-a-blockbuster-trade.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/07/a-delgado-reyes-return-is-better-than-a-blockbuster-trade.html/#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2009 00:53:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=8462     

The Mets got some good news today on the eve of the All Star break regarding shortstop Jose Reyes and first baseman Carlos Delgado.

According to several reports, both Delgado and Reyes worked out before Sunday’s game against the Reds and by all accounts everyone was all smiles.

They both participated in agility drills on the field, but then Delgado got his first batting practice swings since undergoing right hip surgery in May. He is expected to take the field on Tuesday for some more batting practice against live pitching and is heading to St. Lucie on Monday..

“I was able to go over there and crank it up a little more,” Delgado said. “It felt good, so we’re very happy about that.”

Nobody has set a timetable for his return, but this is great news and a sign that Delgado may be closer than the August return that was first expected. Delgado’s return could make a huge impact in the second half as the Mets try to get on track and begin to chase down the first place Phillies.

As for Reyes, he will also head to St. Lucie for more rehab and workouts as he gets set for the possibility of playing in some rehab games and begin to get ready for a possible return in late July.

The Mets have been careful not to rush either of them this time, As I mentioned above, no timetables have been set for their returns yet, but there was no hiding the fact the the players, coaches and observers were all very elated with today’s workouts.

Maybe I’m getting a little bit ahead of myself, but I can’t wait to see this lineup card hanging on the clubhouse wall again:

  1. Jose Reyes – SS
  2. David Wright – 3B (Yes, Wright should be batting second!)
  3. Carlos Beltran – CF
  4. Carlos Delgado – 1B
  5. Jeff Francoeur – RF
  6. Gary Sheffield – LF
  7. Brian Schneider / Omir Santos – C
  8. Luis Castillo – 2B

Even though I still wish we had a lefthanded platoon partner for Sheffield in leftfield, I have no problems pitting this lineup against any other lineup in the National League.

If we can stay in the pack for two more weeks and get Beltran, Reyes and Delgado back, we could hang on to our prospects and hold off on a trade for another big bat.

Who’s ready for a big second half? I know I am…

]]> http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/07/a-delgado-reyes-return-is-better-than-a-blockbuster-trade.html/feed/ 0 Mets Are In A Catchy Situation http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/06/mets-are-in-a-catchy-situation.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/06/mets-are-in-a-catchy-situation.html/#comments Sun, 21 Jun 2009 19:25:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=7148 If you were paying attention during the fourth inning of today’s Mets broadcast, you would have learned that the Mets catchers lead the National League with 45 runs batted in.

Wow, really?

Omir Santos leads the pack with 22, followed by Ramon Castro who knocked in 13 runners before being traded, and Brian Schneider is holding up the rear with 10 ribbies.

Santos is seventh in the league, but when you take a closer look it gets a little interesting. Omir amassed his 22 RBI’s in just 117 at-bats.

Bengie Molina who leads catchers with 40, needed 239 at-bats to achieve the honor. Ivan Rodriguez follows with 29 in 194 at-bats, then comes Ramon Hernandez who has 28 in 215 at-bats.

Another thing that is both interesting and somewhat depressing as well, is that the Mets catching position has accumulated more RBI’s than any other position on the team.

More RBI’s than left field, third base, first base, center field, right field, etc.

A testament to our great catching tandem? Or an indictment on our offense?

I’ll let you decide…

OMG!!!

Just as I published this post, Brian Schneider hit a 3-run bomb!!!

Make that 48 RBI’s for Mets catchers!

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Fernando Nieve Pitches Mets To A 5-3 Win Over The Rays http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/06/fernando-nieve-pitches-mets-to-a-5-3-win-over-the-rays.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/06/fernando-nieve-pitches-mets-to-a-5-3-win-over-the-rays.html/#comments Sat, 20 Jun 2009 03:05:51 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=7084 Game Summary

The Mets took the series opener against the Tampa Bay Rays and beat them 5-3 thanks to another solid performance from Fernando Nieve and a three run homer from catcher Brian Schneider.

Game Recap

Some of the other starters in the rotation can learn a thing or two from newcomer Fernando Nieve who continues to impress. Nieve did an excellent job of throwing strikes and keeping the Ray’s hitters off balance. He allowed just one run on three hits in six innings of work. He walked three and struck out four.

Bobby Parnell came in to pitch the seventh inning and struggled again. He allowed the Rays to pull within one run by allowing two runs to score on a couple of hits and a walk. Pedro Feliciano came in and pitched to one batter and got out of the inning without further damage.

Sean Green came in to setup in the eighth and allowed two baserunners, but came away unscathed after striking out the side.

K-Rod was back on the saddle again and closed it out with a 1-2-3 inning to pick up his 18th save of the season.

Brian Schneider hit his first home run of the season, a three run blast to rightfield and put the Mets up 3-0 in the second inning. The Mets would never look back. An inning later, David Wright slapped a run-scoring double that scored Alex Cora, who had led off the inning with a single.

Later in the eight inning, with the Mets lead down to just one run, Ryan Church added a much needed insurance run and he did it against a lefthander.

Game Thoughts and Notes

Daniel Murphy went 3-4 and seems to have turned a corner and is locked in at the plate. His batting average is slowly creeping back up and stands at .256 now.

Ryan Church is kicking it into gear and had a couple of key hits in the game in addition to a walk and two stolen bases. Memo to Manuel: Please don’t bench Church!

David Wright struck out another three times in the game, but did manage a run scoring double.

Philadelphia lost to the Orioles tonight so the Mets are now just two games out of first place.

Game Ball

Fernando Nieve - Another fine job for Fernando who is now 2-0 in two starts!

On Deck

Johan Santana tries to make it two in a row tomorrow. LGM

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Does Jerry Manuel Understand What Statistics Mean? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/06/does-jerry-manuel-understand-what-statistics-mean.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/06/does-jerry-manuel-understand-what-statistics-mean.html/#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2009 23:00:55 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=7058 In a little while the Mets will be hosting baseball tonight at Citi Field, going up against the American League Champions Tampa Bay Rays.  The Rays will be starting Andy Sonnanstine.  Sonnanstine is currently 5-6 with an ERA of 6.65 in 13 games started.  Left handed batters are hitting .249 against him while right handed batters are hitting .290 against him.  The Mets lineup for tonight is as follows:

Alex Cora – SS
Daniel Murphy – 1B
Carlos Beltran – CF
David Wright – 3B
Gary Sheffield – LF
Ryan Church – RF
Brian Schneider – C
Luis Castillo – 2B
Nieve – SP

Alex Cora and Daniel Murphy are batting in the 1 and 2 spot against a guy who lefties have a hard time against does not make a lot of sense to me.  Cora has done a fine job at the top of the lineup and should be there tonight but why not put Luis Castillo who is a switch hitter behind Cora in the lineup?  Also why not put Omir Santos who bats right and regardless is a better hitter than Schneider anyway in the game tonight? Murphy earned a shot after the series in Baltimore, but maybe Tatis should have started tonight.

I don’t understand, with the stats that I mentioned that Jerry would put out this lineup.  Manuel’s decisions continue to befuddle me.  I think that the way he’s managing the team right now he’s managing them right out of contention.

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The Morning Grind – Weigh In On Castro, F-Mart, Manuel, Sweet Caroline http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/05/the-morning-grind-weigh-in-on-castro-f-mart-manuel-sweet-caroline.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/05/the-morning-grind-weigh-in-on-castro-f-mart-manuel-sweet-caroline.html/#comments Sat, 30 May 2009 12:52:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=5871 Here’s the place for Mets fans to sound off on anything and everything! An open thread for ranting and raving about the Mets, completely raw and uncensored!.

Today’s Hot Point Issues

1. Last night the Mets made a bold move by trading catcher Ramon Castro plus all of his remaining salary to the White Sox for one time pitching prospect, Lance Broadway.

On the surface, the trade looks terrible, but is it?

In my opinion, the real benefit to the trade was now what we gave up or got back, but what it allowed the Mets to do, that is; keep Omir Santos on the 25 man roster.

2. Sports talk radio and the Mets blogosphere is still buzzing about F-Mart’s boneheaded play when he failed to run out a fair popup in front of home plate.

But now the discourse centers around how Jerry Manuel handled the situation, and what many perceived as a very weak response with dangerous repercussions. 

Could Jerry Manuel have handled this better?

3. Last night at Citi Field, the much detested “Sweet Caroline” was replaced by our beloved Mets standard “Meet the Mets”. It was a long time coming and nobody knows if the switch is permanent, but what are your thoughts?

Much ado about nothing?

Fire away…

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Here Comes Schneider… There Goes Santos??? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/05/here-comes-schneider-there-goes-santos.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/05/here-comes-schneider-there-goes-santos.html/#comments Fri, 29 May 2009 20:38:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=5834 According Adam Rubin of the Daily News, Brian Schneider will be activated from the disabled list on Saturday.

So what does that mean for Omir Santos who has suddenly become a fan favorite and has proven to be a valuable asset for the Mets since originally being called up to replace Schneider in the first place?

Does he get sent back down to Triple-A Buffalo or do the Mets elect to keep three catchers which is something they did quite often during the 2008 season?

Those are definitely some tough questions to ask, and we put that question to our readers yesterday in a poll.

Here are those results so far:

The overwhelming majority of those we polled would rather trade or release Brian Schneider rather than bring him back to the team. There’s no chance the Mets would release him, but trading him could be an option if he can prove he’s healthy and that would mean giving him playing time.

Only 15% of those polled believed that Omir Santos should be sent down, with an even smaller percentage opting to keep all three catchers.

It’s no secret that Jerry Manuel loves the versatility that Santos brings to the team, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Ramon Castro is batting .253 with 3 homers and 13 RBI in 79 at-bats.

Omir Santos is batting .268 with 2 homers and 15 RBI in 71 at-bats.

Brian Schneider was batting .121 with 0 homers and 2 RBI in 21 at-bats before getting hurt.

One thing Santos has in his favor has been his surprising defense, arm, and baserunning skills. It could be the thing that spares him a demotion to Triple-A.

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Brian Schneider Not Even Close To Returning http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/05/brian-schneider-not-even-close-to-returning.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/05/brian-schneider-not-even-close-to-returning.html/#comments Sun, 10 May 2009 19:33:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=4610 Gary Cohen just gave an update on Brian Schneider during the WB11 Mets broadcast.

He said, “Brian Schneider isn’t even close to a return and in fact he hasn’t even done any running”.

Schneider, was placed on the disabled list with a strained back on April 17, and was eligible to return on May 2nd. However, he is now experiencing problems with his calf muscle. It’s not know when he is expected to be ready for game action.

Meanwhile, Ramon Castro left Saturday’s 10-1 win over the Pirates after six innings with tightness in his right quadriceps muscle. Castro described the trouble as cramps. He says he could play if they really need him. Here we go again…

No worries though, because Omir Santos continues to excel during his extended playing time. He has shown a remarkable ability to come through in the clutch and has really impressed defensively as well.

Santos came into today’s game with a .289 batting average.

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Injury Update: Brian Schneider Setback http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/05/injury-update-brian-schneider-setback.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/05/injury-update-brian-schneider-setback.html/#comments Fri, 01 May 2009 07:14:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=4087 The NY Post is reporting that Brian Schneider is still being hampered by a sore right calf and may not be activated from the DL as expected on Sunday.

Omir Santos and Ramon Castro are getting a reprieve this weekend when it comes to worrying about their roster spots after regular catcher Brian SchneiderBrian Schneider (pictured) developed a sore right calf this week.Schneider was eligible to come off the 15-day DL on Sunday in Philadelphia, but the team is saying his return is now pushed back indefinitely due to the calf issue. Schneider had gone on the DL April 17 with a strained muscle in his back.

The catcher situation is under the microscope after Jerry Manuel opted to pinch-hit Santos for Castro in the ninth inning of Wednesday’s 4-3 loss to the Marlins, even though Santos was coming in cold from the bullpen and Castro already had two hits and an RBI on the day.

While Santos popped out weakly to end the game, he remains a favorite of Manuel for both his bat and defense. Manuel also is obviously not a big fan of Castro’s, but the Mets would have to swallow the rest of Castro’s $2.5 million contract to get rid of him.

In other words, Castro is probably staying once Schneider returns. That would mean a trip back to the minors for Santos because Manuel said this week the Mets are highly unlikely to keep three catchers.

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Mets DL Brian Schneider, Promote Omir Santos http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/04/mets-dl-brian-schneider-promote-omir-santos.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/04/mets-dl-brian-schneider-promote-omir-santos.html/#comments Fri, 17 Apr 2009 23:36:56 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=3314 Mets.com reports that prior to Friday night’s game catcher, Brian Schneider was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Thursday, with a muscle strain in his back.

The Mets purchased the contract of catcher Omir Santos, who is expected to be arrive in time for Friday’s game and to be available if needed.

Ramon Castro is behind the plate for the Mets on Friday, starting for back-to-back games in place of Schneider.

“We are somewhat concerned,” Mets manager Jerry Manuel said of Schneider, who is batting just .143 (3-for-21).

Schneider said he has been experiencing tightness in his lower back since last week’s series in Miami. After struggling to play with the ongoing discomfort, Schneider opted to try to rest his back before it got “out of control.”

But Friday afternoon — before the club announced Schneider was going on the DL — Manuel didn’t sound quite as encouraged.

“If this thing doesn’t clear up, then we will have to make a decision based on him being available or not,” Manuel said. “Or trying to get somebody else in here to help us out.”

One person who has responded well is Castro, who hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning on Thursday night.

“I feel good at the plate,” Castro said. “I’ll do whatever it takes for the team — we’re here to win.”

Santos spent the majority of the 2008 season with Triple-A Norfolk of the International League, making his Major League debut on Sept. 5. In 11 games in the Majors, he is 1-for-11.

This will be quite a test for Ramon Castro. I’m not worried about his offense because he’s better than Schneider, or his defense which isn’t bad. I’m more concerned with Castro’s durability which has never been very good.

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