Mets Merized Online » Fernando Martinez Tue, 22 Jul 2014 18:42:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The 2009 Mets: Where Are They Now? Mon, 09 Sep 2013 03:23:30 +0000 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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Statement From Bud Selig On Biogenesis Investigation And Punishment Mon, 05 Aug 2013 20:31:01 +0000 2011 World Series Game 7 - Texas Rangers v St Louis Cardinals

Here is the official statement by Bud Selig on this afternoon’s announcement from MLB regarding the conclusion of their Biogenesis investigation.

“Major League Baseball has worked diligently with the Players Association for more than a decade to make our Joint Drug Program the best in all of professional sports.  I am proud of the comprehensive nature of our efforts – not only with regard to random testing, groundbreaking blood testing for human Growth Hormone and one of the most significant longitudinal profiling programs in the world, but also our investigative capabilities, which proved vital to the Biogenesis case.  Upon learning that players were linked to the use of performance-enhancing drugs, we vigorously pursued evidence that linked those individuals to violations of our Program.  We conducted a thorough, aggressive investigation guided by facts so that we could justly enforce our rules.

“Despite the challenges this situation has created during a great season on the field, we pursued this matter because it was not only the right thing to do, but the only thing to do.  For weeks, I have noted the many players throughout the game who have strongly voiced their support on this issue, and I thank them for it.  I appreciate the unwavering support of our owners and club personnel, who share my ardent desire to address this situation appropriately.  I am also grateful to the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society and our club physicians, who were instrumental in the banning of amphetamines and whose expertise remains invaluable to me.  As an institution, we have made unprecedented strides together.

“It is important to point out that 16,000 total urine and blood tests were conducted on players worldwide under MLB Drug Programs in 2012.  With the important additions of the hGH testing and longitudinal profiling this season, we are more confident than ever in the effectiveness of the testing program.  Those players who have violated the Program have created scrutiny for the vast majority of our players, who play the game the right way.

“This case resoundingly illustrates that the strength of our Program is not limited only to testing.  We continue to attack this issue on every front – from science and research, to education and awareness, to fact-finding and investigative skills.  Major League Baseball is proud of the enormous progress we have made, and we look forward to working with the players to make the penalties for violations of the Drug Program even more stringent and a stronger deterrent.

“As a social institution with enormous social responsibilities, Baseball must do everything it can to maintain integrity, fairness and a level playing field.  We are committed to working together with players to reiterate that performance-enhancing drugs will not be tolerated in our game.”

Major League Baseball issued the following discipline today for violations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program in relation to the Biogenesis investigation. Players receiving 50-game suspensions without pay for their violations of the Program are:

  • Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Antonio Bastardo;
  • San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera;
  • New York Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli;
  • Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz;
  • Padres pitcher Fautino De Los Santos, who is currently on the roster of the Double-A San Antonio Missions of the Texas League;
  • Houston Astros pitcher Sergio Escalona, who is currently of the roster of the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks of the Texas League;
  • Yankees outfielder Fernando Martinez, who is currently on the roster of the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders of the International League;
  • Seattle Mariners catcher Jesus Montero, who is currently on the roster of the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League;
  • Free agent pitcher Jordan Norberto;
  • Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta;
  • New York Mets outfielder Cesar Puello, who is currently on the roster of the Double-A Binghamton Mets of the Eastern League; and · Mets infielder/outfielder Jordany Valdespin, who is currently on the roster of the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s of the Pacific Coast League.

Norberto’s suspension will be effective immediately once he signs with another Major League organization. All other suspensions are effective immediately. None of the players will appeal their discipline.

Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera, Oakland Athletics pitcher Bartolo Colon and Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal, all of whom already have served 50-game suspensions as a result of their violations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program stemming from their connections to Biogenesis, will not receive additional discipline.

Major League Baseball’s investigation found no violations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program by either Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez or Baltimore Orioles infielder Danny Valencia.

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Puello’s Biogenesis Fate To Be Decided Any Day Fri, 02 Aug 2013 17:53:53 +0000 Jon Heyman provided his opinion and interpretation on the latest happenings with Biogenesis, and Mets outfield prospect, Cesar Puello, is included. Obviously, this article is mostly focused on Alex Rodriguez because he’s likely going to get the biggest suspension, but here’s what Heyman said in his latest article:

The nine or so Biogenesis-linked players who may take deals in the next day or two: Mariners catcher Jesus Montero; Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta; Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz; Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli; Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera; minor leaguers Jordan NorbertoFernando Martinez, Fautino de los Santos and Cesar Puello.

One can only imagine what these deals would be. If I had to guess, it will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 games.

This would be an unfortunate turn of events for Puello, who is having a breakout season with Double-A Binghamton. His success with the B-Mets has been well-documented on, as he’s hitting .328/.405/.550 with 16 home runs, 73 RBIs, 21 doubles, 24 stolen bases, and 63 runs scored.

We can only hope for the best at this point, but the waiting game appears to be over. The fate of Puello’s immediate future is now on the horizon.

Thoughts from Joe D.

If there’s a 50 game suspension, serve it, go play some Winter Ball, and show up to Spring Training ready to battle for a corner outfield starting job. Chances are, Puello will start the season in Las Vegas anyway, but his stay there will be short and I’m thinking pretty damn sweet.

I’m thinking it will be less than 50 games because there’s no failed test results and if he were to appeal I can’t see how MLB would win. But lets see what happens…

The good news is that he’s been getting tested regularly for the last 15 months and has come up clean everytime. His hitting coach and manager both refuted the notion that his numbers were not legit when we asked. And sorry coach, but we had to ask…

To get complete coverage of the Mets Minor League system, check!

(photo credit: Gordon Donovan)

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Mets Minors Report 4/23: Montgomery Suspended 50 Games For Violating Drug Policy, Lagares Joins Mets Tue, 23 Apr 2013 20:55:46 +0000 Last Night’s Quick Scores

Prospect Pipeline (Morsels From The Minor League Staff)

  • BREAKING: RHP Christian Montgomery of the Advanced-A St. Lucie Mets, was suspended 50 games for a second positive test of a banned substance. ”My job is not done and my goals aren’t reached yet, but I’m striving and dedicated to be where I wanna be,” he said to fans via Twitter.
  • NEW: RHP Tyler Pill makes his fourth start of the year with the B-Mets. He got his first win of 2013 in his last start, a 4-3 victory over New Hampshire. He threw 6.0 innings, gave up three runs on seven hits, and struck out six batters. On the season, he has struck out 14, and walked four. Opponents are hitting .338 overall against the righthander, and are hitting .438 (7-for-16) against him with runners in scoring position. Pill was ranked the #25 prospect in the Mets organization by Baseball America  prior to the 2013 season. He was drafted by the Mets in the fourth round of the 2011 draft out of Cal State Fullerton.
  • So resident psychic Joe D. gave Juan Lagares a well-deserved shout-out yesterday – and lo and behold, the story broke that he might be making his MLB debut with the Mets ASAP. As for my opinion on the matter, Joe and I are sharing a brain. I know that some people argue that Lagares may be experiencing a little statistical inflation, but I think Lagares has always had the potential to become a successful MLB player. More importantly, he has the tools to do it in CF, where the Mets are desperate for any kind of talent. You never know when a rookie can come up and light a fire under a team with some hard-nosed play, so I wish Lagares the best.
  • Wally Backman gave his Lagares a sweet send-off. ”He’s a kid who can play all three outfield positions and he’s got speed. He’s a good outfielder. He throws to the right bases. He has a knack for getting the barrel on the ball. He looks like he’s a real good hitter. I mean, if you just watch him, you say, ‘This kid is going to be able to hit.” It’s almost as if it was taken straight out of my Prospect Spotlight on Lagares. (Joe D.)
  • Speaking of sharing a brain, Mitch and I both have high hopes for T.J. Rivera – and he is definitely a feel good story. Rivera added two more hits and RBIs to his stat sheet for the 2013 season last night and is continuing to turn heads. Rivera can flat out hit and it may not be long before he is raking in a Binghamton uniform soon.
  • Jacob deGrom was a hard luck loser in his first AA start a couple days back, and he ran into some more bad luck on Monday night as the B-Mets had a ton of defensive issues behind him. His final line was tough, as he somehow lasted five innings, but allowed seven hits and four walks. He was on the hook for six runs, but only one of them was earned. The Jake deGrom that you should expect to see going forward is a lot more like the young man we saw in his first AA start – where he lasted eight innings and allowed only three hits and one earned run.
  • Jim Callis recently wrote about a piece about a 25-man prospect roster taking at most one player from each team. He chose Zack Wheeler from NY, but he mentioned that he could have easily gone with D’Arnaud. He also answered a direct question about Rainy Lara, where he stated “He’s also old for low Class A at 22, and unless he adds velocity or develops a quality second pitch, he’s looking at a ceiling as a middle reliever.” Lara, as Callis also mentioned, has gained some respect because of the effectiveness of his sinker, which sits at 89-92 MPH. Lara may not be the sexy prospect right now, but I would advise that you keep an eye on him until he gives you a reason not to. The right-hander is 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 16.2 innings pitched so far this season, with a 3:15 BB:K ratio.
  • Aderlin Rodriguez may have three home runs and three doubles in 68 at-bats, but he is struggling mightily to keep his batting average anywhere near respectable – it fell to .162 last night.
  • Shout-out to T.J. Chism, who picked up his second save of the season for St. Lucie and has a 1.59 ERA so far this season.
  • Adam Rubin tweeted on Monday that his next farm report would feature Steven Matz…a fun fact? The Mets, as an organization, have only five left handed starting pitchers listed in contrast to 22 right handed starting pitchers according to their organizational depth chart. Jon Niese and Aaron Laffey make up two of them. Angel Cuan, Darin Gorski, and Steven Matz are the other three. Matz’s 1.29 ERA through 14 innings is tops in the Mets Minors right now.
  • It’s no fun when Savannah has an off-day and you’re all ready to gush about Kevin Plawecki and Brandon Nimmo. For all the talk about Las Vegas inflating offensive numbers, the top three batting averages in the Mets Minors belong to three Savannah players: Nimmo’s .424, Boyd’s .388 and Plawecki’s .381 who all play at one of the toughest places to hit – Historic Grayson Stadium..
  • T.J. Rivera is a well-oiled, finely tuned hitting machine at the plate. After another two-hit game, he’s now swinging a .310/.383/.394 slash and at 24, you’ll soon be seeing him at a Bingo hall near you and I’d be shocked if he doesn’t make it to Sin City and even to that other Citi for a September cup of coffee. (Joe D.)
  • You know how I’m always harping on Zack Wheeler‘s command? If only he could put up strikeout to walk ratios like Jake deGrom 21:3, Rafael Montero 27:1, Steven Matz 18:4. Then you’ll know you really have a can’t miss prospect. Wheeler’s K/BB ratio is 21:12 if you want to know how that would translate in the Majors, take a look at Oliver Perez‘s career. I still maintain that Montero is more MLB-ready than Wheeler is (not so crazy now, huh?), but it won’t stop the frenzied fanbase from forcing Wheeler up based solely on his heightened legendary-status that’s being driven by SNY –  who happens to be owned by Fred. Once attends shrivels up some more, you’ll see Wheeler in Flushing – ready or not. Hopefully it won’t lead to his unravelling. (Joe D.)
  • The executive producer of SNY told me last week that 99% of Mets fans only care about Wheeler, Nimmo and D’Arnaud, and that nobody cares about Montero, Flores or Lagares. I was asking him why they only cover the same 4-5 prospects day after day and ignore 3-4 dozen other great names and rattled off the three I mentioned. Toby Hyde jumped into our conversation and said, “Bingo!” Whose Minor League coverage would you rather read after seeing a mindset like that? (Joe D.)

Stat Line of the Day

T.J. Rivera: 2-for-4, 2 RBI, 2 R, 1 BB

Tweet Of The Day

I thought we had the market cornered here at MetsMerized with pictures of hot farm hands… We may now have some competition. This tweet had some competition from @JohnStrubel, who noted that Jason Bay flew out to Fernando Martinez to end an inning – right before Oliver Perez entered the game…


  • Pedro Feliciano was placed on the temporary inactive list down in St. Lucie. Feliciano left the team to deal with a personal issue in Puerto Rico.
  • Darwin Frias was called up to St. Lucie from Brooklyn.
  • Shaun Marcum threw 52 pitches over 5.0 innings in an extended spring training game for St. Lucie yesterday. He is scheduled to be promoted to the Mets and start Saturday against the Phillies.
  • Mets announced they have signed RHP D.J. Mitchell, who was released by the Seattle Mariners. He’s only made one start for Tacoma (AAA) this year and allowed three runs in four innings. He was assigned to Mets extended spring training camp.

Comment Of The Day

Buddy3 asked… “Do you see Matt Reynolds and TJ Rivera jumping over Tovar and Muno at some point this year or next at the double play combo? Seems like Reynolds is going to push Tejada, not Tovar.”

I love this question. First off, remember not to count Phillip Evans out – the Mets have invested a lot in him financially and he is pretty talented. Now, although Matthew Reynolds always profiled defensively as a third baseman, it was unlikely that his offensive capabilities would progress to match the expectations for that position – so the move to short should benefit him in the long run.

Reynolds may have a good glove, but Wilfredo Tovar has an elite glove…so although Reynolds will likely work out to be a better offensive contributor than Tovar, he is fighting an uphill battle. Rivera can flat-out hit and that statement will be said so many times this year that it will be drilled into most readers’ minds. I actually do believe T.J. Rivera will eventually overtake Daniel Muno when projecting the future, but Tovar’s defensive wizardry will likely keep him in the conversation over Reynolds for now.

Photo Of The Day

Don’t mind me, I’m just watching some Mets Minors baseball… ]]> 0
How It All Went Wrong For Lastings Milledge Sun, 07 Apr 2013 12:53:41 +0000 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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More On Losing F-Mart Fri, 13 Jan 2012 02:03:09 +0000 Toby Hyde of Mets Minor League Blog poses an interesting question:

I just find this whole little episode stunning. Giving up Fernando Martinez for nothing just seems odd. Surely Martinez was worth something, like a live arm or two, on the trade market. Moreover, there is still slack on the Mets 40-man roster.

This feels a little bit like the Omar Minaya days when the Mets often seemed out of line with the way teams valued assets (hello, 4 years and $25 million for Luis Castillo).  The Astros, and as the rumor goes, at least five teams were interested in Martinez, and the Mets got nothing. Who was the top prospect like Martinez where a team just gave up at this point when the player still had an option remaining? I’m drawing a blank.  Anyone?

Original Post 1/11

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, the Astros have claimed OF Fernando Martinez off waivers.

Houston, which has first choice in waiver claims because of their MLB-worst record in 2011, selected the 23-year-old outfielder.

The Mets needed to clear 40-man roster spots for the additions of Scott Hairston and Ronny Cedeno, and chose to put Martinez as well as left-hander Daniel Herrera on waivers.

Martinez batted .183 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 131 at-bats for the Mets between 2009-2011.

Like Lastings Milledge before him (the Mets #1 prospect before F-Mart), another one bites the dust.

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Mets To Shop F-Mart On Ebay Tue, 20 Dec 2011 15:45:18 +0000 Mike Puma of the New York Post is reporting that Fernando Martinez‘s knee isn’t improving, and that the Mets are now considering moving him.

Puma says the Mets are hoping an American League team shows interest in the former Mets #1 prospect, but if there’s no interest they could possibly release him.

Martinez is hitting just .077 (2-for-26) with one RBI in nine games In the Dominican Winter League, and in 131 at-bats in the majors batted .183 career.

And another #1 ranked Mets prospect bites the dust…

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Baseball America’s Mets Top 10 List Prior To 2011, Where Are They Now? Thu, 11 Aug 2011 13:00:15 +0000 Below is Baseball America’s top 10 list prior to the 2011 season.  Where are these players now, and what have they done so far this season?

SP – Jenrry Mejia: Coming in Mejia was the best prospect in the Mets farm system. He pitched out of the bullpen in 2010, which in my opinion was a huge mistake. It happened because Manuel and Minaya were desperate to keep their jobs, and with little no bullpen help he pitched his way onto the roster for opening day. He struggled, and was sent down and eventually  lost due to the questionable back and forth decision making from the Minaya regime.
Started 2011: #1 Starter in AAA Currently: lost for the season after Tommy John Surgery

SS – Wilmer Flores: Once again the young prospect has struggled with his overall play. He has sown some flashes of his potential, but has not put together a season that proves is anywhere near major league ready at this point.  He also not proven that he is deserving of being ranked at the top of the Mets farm system, hence all of the mid-season lists having him dropped to the bottom of the top 10 now.
Started 2011: Single-A  Currently: Single-A

OF – Cesar Puello: Speedster outfielder who has all the tools to progress through the ranks at a quick pace. Like Flores, he has not put up big numbers in the low minors and because of that he has not progressed through the system at the pace team officials had hoped.  He has shown some pop this season which has surprised some, but the rest of his game needs more seasoning.
Started 2011: Single-A  Currently: Single-A

SP – Matt Harvey: Hes pitched like a potential top of the rotation starter that some project him to be. He dominated the low minors and forced his promotion to Double-A. After initially struggling at the next level, he has returned to dominance his last few starts. Harvey is showing more and more why he is the crown jewel of the system right now.
Started 2011: Single-A  Currently: Double-A

OF – Kirk Nieuwenhuis: Kirk was enjoying a fine season in Buffalo before falling to injury. He may have lost a huge opportunity to play every day on the major league roster with the recent trade of Beltran, and injury to Murphy that has moved Duda to first base.
Started 2011: Triple-A  Currently: out for season, shoulder surgery

2B – Reese Havens: Another injury riddled season by the second baseman. He has a world of potential, but can not stay on the the field. With the injuries to Murphy, he may have had a shot to be playing in Flushing to finish this season had he not been behind the eight ball already.  He is heating up lately, and could prompt a promotion to Triple-A before the year is out.
Started 2011: Double-A  Currently: Double-A

1B – Lucas Duda: Duda showed his power in the Triple-A, and as soon as a opportunity arose he got the call and produced. Last season he struggled out of the gate after he made his MLB debut. However, this season he started hitting with power and driving the ball in the gaps from the get go. He has the opportunity to show what he can do over the last two months with the injury to Murphy and the trade of Carlos Beltran.
Started 2011: Triple-A  Currently: MLB

OF – Fernando Martinez: What can you say? This guy has not played a full season in his pro career, and because of that he has not been able to show his full potential. Minaya was able to keep him out of the Johan Santana trade because of his 5 tool potential. However, since that time has has been on the shelf as much as he has been on the field.
Started 2011: Triple-A  Currently: Triple-A

3B – Aderlin Rodriguez: Terrible defense and a low batting average or lots of home runs and power potential? Aderlin has been sort of an an enigma is his brief pro career. He has been the typical all or nothing player. He bats in the low .200′s, but has the greatest power potential in the system. If he can not sure up his defense and find a way to get on base more, that power potential is going to go to waste.
Started 2011: Low-A Currenlty: Low -A

SP – Brad Holt: Lost his starting job because he could not find the strike zone. He was great in his first few starts, but then came the wildness. He totally lost command of the strike zone and never found it again. He was relegated to the bullpen where he has been much better. It doesn’t look like this former first round pick will ever be more than a reliever at this point.
Started 2011: Double-A  Currently: Double-A

I think its safe to say that this list is drastically different then what we currently see as the top 10 right now.  Many players on this list have really under-performed, and a lot of them have been hit by injuries.  It is really crazy how much a list of this magnitude can change over a couple months.  It is going to be very interesting what this list is going to look like going into next season.

Any thoughts on this?

You can follow me on Twitter @BgAppleMetsTalk 

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Mets Farm Report: August 9th, 2011 – Lots of Rain Wed, 10 Aug 2011 12:00:49 +0000 Buffalo Bisons 2 – Syracuse Chiefs 3

Mark Cohoon start had much better results than last start although the peripherals weren’t much better. He allowed 11 baserunners in just five innings that had him in consistent trouble, he just found ways out of it with minor damage today. In the 1st inning there were two on and he got out of it, in the 2nd he allowed a solo homer and single to start things but the Chiefs’ pitcher bunted into a double play to limit things, and in the 3rd he allowed a run on back-to-back doubles and had two on with one out but didn’t let anymore runs, and then it finally looked like he settled down and was perfect in the 4th until he loaded the bases in the 5th only to get out of it with no runs. Things could have been much worse and Cohoon is just fortunate the weren’t. With two outs and the bases loaded in the 11th inning, Mike O’Connor allowed the walkoff single.

Things looked promising early on for the offense. They put up a run in each of the first two innings and managed five hits over that time. Fernando Martinez had a two-out single in the 1st that scored Josh Satin, who improved his hit streak 14 games, and Jesus Feliciano had a two out single to score Raul Chavez after Cohoon helped himself by sacrificing him to second. In the 10th inning Feliciano led off with a triple and they couldn’t get him home. Satin struckout, Zach Lutz was hit by a pitch, and Val Pascucci and F-Mart both flied out.

Top prospect performances (Boxscore):

  • Josh Satin (1-for-5, R, K)
  • Zach Lutz (1-for-4, K, HBP)
  • Fernando Martinez (2-for-5, RBI, 2 K)
  • Mark Cohoon (5 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 4 SO, HBP, HR, 6:2 GO:AO)

Stars of the Game: 1. Jesus Feliciano (19pts) 2. Fernando Martinez (41pts) 3. Zach Lutz (35pts)

Binghamton Mets 6 – Trenton Thunder 5

A terrific outing from Collin McHugh who is having a pretty damn good season for the B-Mets. His command was spot on and resulted in almost a trouble free start. He was perfect in the first two innings, allowed a pair of runners in the next two, and finally allowed a run to score in his 5th and final inning of work when a leadoff walk and wild pitch came around to bite him. Tobi Stoner got abused in releif. Hopefully he is released in the off season.

The 1st inning had a big two out rally from the B-Mets. Reese Havens doubled to extend the inning only to see the Thunder pitcher load the bases on walks and have Michael Fisher clear the bases with a double. In the 2nd inning Kai Gronauer got thrown out at home on a single by Jordany Valdespin. Raul Reyes had a two-run homer in the 6th and Michael Fisher had his second two-out RBI of the game in the 7th that scored the winning run.

Top prospect performances (Boxscore):

  • Jordany Valdespin (2-for-5, 2 K)
  • Juan Lagares (1-for-4, BB, K, 2 SB)
  • Reese Havens (2-for-5, 2 2B,2 R)
  • Allan Dykstra (0-for-4, BB, 4 K)
  • Michael Fisher (3-for-4, 2 2B, R, 4 RBI)
  • Matt Den Dekker (1-for-4, 2B, K)

Stars of the Game: 1. Michael Fisher (15pts) 2. Reese Havens (21pts) 3. Collin McHugh (4pts)

St. Lucie Mets – Jupiter Hammerheads (PPD)

Savannah Sand Gnats (OFF)

Brooklyn Cyclones – Batavia Muckdogs (PPD)

Kingsport Mets 2 – Pulaski Mariners 1

The rare pitchers duel for the K-Mets. Jacob Lugo and Chasen Bradford were excellent although neither of them is much a prospect at the moment. Dustin Lawley singled home the winning run in the 3rd inning.

Top prospect performances (Boxscore):

  • Camden Maron (1-for-2, R, BB, SB)
  • Julio Concepcion (1-for-4, RBI, 2 K)
  • Greg Pron (1-for-4, 2 K)
  • Jeff Glenn (0-for-3, K)
  • Yucarybert De La Cruz (1-for-3, 3B, R, 2 K)

Stars of the Game: 1. Dustin Lawley (16pts) 2. Camden Maron (20pts) 3. Jacob Lugo (3pts)

GCL Mets (PPD)

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Mets Farm Report: August 8th, 2011 – Michael Fulmer Debuts Tue, 09 Aug 2011 17:46:26 +0000 Buffalo Bisons 2 – Syracuse Chiefs 8

Not the best of starts or worst of starts for Chris Schwinden. In the 4th a Josh Satin error put him in a bind with two on and no outs. It seemed like he would be fine when Mike Nickeas threw behind the runner at second, got him in a pickle and the Herd secured the rundown by tagging him out. He went on to strikeout the batter, but then allowed a two run homer for the two unearned runs against him. The bullpen just blew it up from there. Satin extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a 1st inning double that drove in Luis Figueroa. In the 2nd inning the Bisons loaded the bases with no outs, however, it was Schwinden who came up to hit and grounded into a double play. Fernando Martinez did score on the play.

Top prospect performances (Boxscore):

  • Josh Satin (1-for-4, 2B, RBI, K, E)
  • Zach Lutz (0-for-4, K)
  • Fernando Martinez (1-for-4, 2B, R, K)
  • Chris Schwinden (L, 4 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO, HBP, HR, 4:1 GO:AO)

Stars of the Game: 1. Jason Botts (16pts) 2. Josh Satin (15pts) 3. Fernando Martinez (39pts)

Binghamton Mets (OFF)

St. Lucie Mets 0 – Charlotte Stone Crabs 3

An off day for Armando Rodriguez to make two bad, very short starts in a row. He hasn’t even pitched five inning COMBINED between the last two games and given up a total of ten runs. Tonight it was a RBI groundout in the 1st inning, solo homer in the 3rd, and sac fly in the 3rd as well that got to him. Michael Powers and Estarlin Morel couldn’t have been better in relief. The offense was dreadful. In the 5th inning when Francisco Pena and Cory Vaughn singled was the only time of the game that the Mets had a RISP with less than two outs. Cesar Puello singled to leadoff the 6th, but was caught stealing for the ninth time.

Top prospect performances (Boxscore):

  • Cesar Puello (1-for-3, BB, CS)
  • Wilmer Flores (0-for-4)
  • Jefry Marte (0-for-4)
  • Cory Vaughn (1-for-3, BB, K)
  • Armando Rodriguez (L, 3 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 4 SO, HR, 2:4 GO:AO)

Stars of the Game: 1. Cory Vaughn (22pts) 2. Michael Powers (3pts) 3. Cesar Puello (41pts)

Savannah Sand Gnats 1 – Charleston River Dogs 5

Ryan Fraser pitched into trouble, but with great results. In the 3rd inning there was bases loaded with one out and Fraser picked up the double play to end the inning. In the 4th he was in a second and third one-out scenario and picked up a foul pop out and ground out. All three of his strikeouts came in the 2nd inning when he struckout the side. Michael Hebert pitched a perfect 6th, however, imploded in the 7th to lose the lead and give up five runs. After letting three straight men reach to bring home a run, Hebert got two straight outs, but then allowed a two-RBI single, hit by pitch, and two-RBI triple. The five runs were all they River Dogs would need. The offense mustered a two-out run in the 5th on a single from Alonzo Harris. Four hits is pathetic. I’ll take this time out to say I was wrong about losing faith in Albert Cordero. I should have remained as high on him as I was pre-season. I just love how he was able to turn around his season lately. His average for the season is pretty empty, but that is coming from a good defensive catcher and he has been displaying some pop lately.

Top prospect performances (Boxscore):

  • Albert Cordero (1-for-3, BB)
  • Aderlin Rodriguez (1-for-4, R)
  • Ryan Fraser (5 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 3 SO, HBP, 6:3 GO:AO)

Stars of the Game: 1. Ryan Fraser (15pts) 2. Alonzo Harris (19pts) 3. Albert Cordero (31pts)

Brooklyn Cyclones 7 – Staten Island Yankees 5

Randy Fontanez wasn’t too impressive tonight. On the bright side he has yet to walk a batter in his last 16.2 innings. What Charley Thurber is doing right now is turning some heads, but it would be nice if he could take one long. Then again, Ike Davis didn’t have a homerun for the Cyclones either.

Top prospect performances (Boxscore):

  • Danny Muno (1-for-5, RBI, 2 K)
  • Javier Rodriguez (2-for-5, 2B, R, SB)
  • Richard Lucas (0-for-3, BB, 2 K)
  • Cole Frenzel (0-for-3, BB, K)
  • Travis Taijeron (2-for-3, R, RBI, BB, K)

Stars of the Game: 1. Charley Thurber (16pts) 2. Travis Taijeron (22pts) 3. Javier Rodriguez (32pts)

Kingsport Mets 10 – Burlignton Royals 5

Top prospect performances (Boxscore):

  • Julio Concepcion (3-for-5, 2 2B, 3 R, RBI, SB)
  • Tillman Pugh (1-for-4, R, BB)
  • Rafael Montero (3 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 BB, SO, 1:3 GO:AO)

Stars of the Game: 1. Julio Concepcion (14pts) 2. Tant Sheppard (4pts) 3. Juan Carlos Gamboa (1pt)

GCL Mets 1 – GCL Cardinals 6

Today marked the professional debut of 1st round supp. pick Michael Fulmer. Things were rough for Fulmer who didn’t last a full inning. He never allowed a hit, but walked three of the first four men to face him to load the bases. He threw a wild pitch to allow a run to score just before striking out the batter. Fulmer made a throwing error on a ball back to him that allowed an unearned run to score to end his debut. John Gant’s debut was even worse. The 2011 21st round pick walked the leadoff man in is hitting, but picked up a double play to get two quick outs. However, a walk, hit by pitch, and three-run homer killed his day.

Top prospect performances (Boxscore):

  • Gilbert Gomez (1-for-3, BB)
  • Joe Tushak (1-for-4, 2K)
  • Michael Fumer (L, .2 IP, 2 R, ER, 3 BB, SO, WP, 2:0 GO:AO)
  • John Gant (IP, H, 3 R, 2 BB, HR, 2:0 GO:AO)

Stars of the Game: 1. Gilbert Gomez (10pts) 2. Luis Cessa (2pts) 3. Justin Shafer (1pt)

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The Invisible Top Prospect Wilmer Flores Fri, 27 May 2011 19:47:11 +0000 Amidst this crazy season, it’s easy to forget about a guy who most of upper management is hoping will be apart of the team’s future within the next few years. Flores, 19, is the prototypical Mets prospect in that he’s young and raw with unlimited amounts of potential. They signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Venezuela back in 2007, hoping he’d quickly find his way up to Flushing. It’s going into his fourth season and although he hasn’t jumped through the system like many had hoped, he still looks to have a bright future in the Majors.

The biggest weaknesses in his game stem mostly from his age. Flores lacks good patience at the plate, but has been slowly learning how to turn pitchers counts in his favor as he gets older. He still doesn’t walk enough for a guy who expects to be batting high in the order, but he also doesn’t strike out at a high rate. Even more so, his size leaves a lot to desire on the defensive side of the field at the premium position he plays. It’s been pretty much agreed upon by a lot of scouts that the Mets top prospect will have to move out of shortstop into the less-athletic demanding positions of 3rd and corner outfield where his size could be more of a benefit to him. Lastly, he doesn’t have a ton of speed having only 10 steals in his 4 year Minor League career.

On the flip side though, the biggest strength of Flores game is his bat. A career .281/.322/.395 hitter, Wilmer has started to show his true offensive potential the last couple of years. Last season he clubbed 36 Doubles with 11 Home runs and 84 RBI’s in 554 AB’s. He has quietly posted 4 Home Runs, 10 doubles and 34 RBI’s this season to go along with a .267 Avg for the St. Lucie Mets. His offensive strong points include strong hands, being able to consistently put the ball in play, and hitting the ball hard into the gaps. The scary part is his pop has yet to fully develop. With age and more guidance, Flores could hit upwards of 25-30 Homers on a Major League club just years in the near future. His doubles have also shot up at each level which is a good sign of developing power.

With all the off the field headlines and other prospects performing up to their levels, Flores has gone largely unnoticed this season. He enjoyed just one season in the spotlight as the team’s top overall prospect in between the tenure’s of Fernando Martinez and Jenrry Mejia, and yet most fans don’t know much about the kid. Even this year with Mejia having gone down with his ligament tear, Flores has been overshadowed by fellow Mets farmhands Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia, who are having breakout seasons.  Scouts are salivating at this kids potential. Kevin Goldstein has Flores at #98 on his Top 101, Keith Law of ESPN put him at #48 to start the year on his list of top 100 prospects (Insider article), and John Sickels gave him a B+ grade (the highest grade of any Mets farmhand) on his Top 20 Mets prospects list for the 2011 season.

The question remains about when Flores could become a regular contributor to a franchise that badly needs a bright spot. He doesn’t have a set position and since he is still so young (something we’ve heard before i.e Fernando Martinez), he has plenty of time to establish himself as a future Major Leaguer and not another bust. He hasn’t had ridiculously high expectations thrust upon him like other top prospects early into their careers and he is progressing at a steady rate. He’s not a guy who we’ll see this season, or a guy who will necessarily dominate the Majors quickly, but he’s a kid who works at his own pace and that has gotten him to top prospect status rather quickly. As long as there are distractions in the franchise, and sadly there probably will be, Wilmer Flores looks like a guy who can come up and surprise a lot of fans. Let’s just hope there will be some other big pieces to couple with this youngster in the near future so the Mets, and their fans, have something to look forward to.

To see some footage of Wilmer Flores hitting (Including an At-Bat against the Braves top Pitching prospect Julio Teheran) click here.

To See more of my Insights on some of the Mets Top Prospects, Click here

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F.Mart, Wright, Bay Spark Comeback, Mets Win 6-4 Sat, 14 May 2011 04:34:18 +0000 After a shaky outing from Dillon Gee, the Mets offense sparked a late rally to take the first game of the series, 6-4 against the Astros.

Game Notes

DIllon Gee was struggling today to consistently throw strikes, and continually got himself into and then out of jams. Gee allowed four runs in five innings on five hits with four walks and six strikeouts. Gee was walking a tight rope the whole game, and most of his walks came back to bite him. It was bound to happen at some point, where Gee would have to struggle through an outing.

Ryota Igarashi came out to relieve Dillon Gee, and allowed an RBI single and then an error by Daniel Murphy allowed a run to score, making the game 4-0. Pat Misch came out to finish up the sixth, and got an unconventional double play after a poor base running decision by Bill Hall allowed a double play. Ryota Igarashi’s final line, one-third of an inning, one hit. Pat Misch went one and two-third innings, generating plenty of weak contact. Taylor Buchholz went two-thirds of an inning, striking out one and giving up one hit. K-Rod came out for the four-out save, putting some runners on base as usual, giving up two hits and striking out one.

The bullpen has continued to be amazing, and on a day when Gee wasn’t on his A game, the pen came out and had an amazing day.

The offense today was held in check by Bud Norris, until the seventh inning moonshot of a home run by Jason Bay put the Mets on the board. After a Justin Turner single in the eighth, everyone’s favorite prospect Fernando Martinez annihilated a pitch to right field for his first home run of the year. Then, after a Jose Reyes walk and a Josh Thole flyout, David Wright tattooed a ball into the left field bleachers to put the Mets on top, 5-4. A Jason Pridie double that scored Justin Turner in the ninth was done for good measure. After the Mets were stifled for seven innings, it was great to see them not give up and strike against Bud Norris.

Justin Turner – 2 for 4 with 2 runs and a strikeout.

Josh Thole – 0 for 3 with a walk.

Turning Point

Jason Bay’s awakening home run/ the eighth inning.

Game Ball

David Wright & Fernando Martinez split the game ball, both coming through in the clutch

On Deck

The Mets will look to keep their winning streak going, sending R.A. Dickey to the mound up against Astros lefty J.A. Hap. Game time is 4:05 P.M.

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Mets Place Ike Davis On DL, Call Up F-Mart Thu, 12 May 2011 18:30:46 +0000

The Mets placed first baseman Ike Davis on the disabled list Wednesday with a sprained left ankle and a bone bruise. To replace him on the roster, the team recalled outfielder Fernando Martinez from Class AAA Buffalo.

Davis was injured on Tuesday night when he collided with third baseman David Wright while trying to field a pop-up by the Rockies’ Troy Tulowitzki near the pitcher’s mound. He completed the inning but then left the game. He said on Tuesday that he had hoped to play the next day, but the team sent him to New York to be evaluated.

The often-injured Martinez was hitting .292 with three home runs and seven runs batted in in 19 games with Buffalo this season. He has a .174 batting average in two short stays with the Mets over the past two seasons.

ESPN first reported that Mets sources said Fernando Martinez was expected to travel to Denver on Thursday.

There has been no official word whether Ike Davis is being placed on the DL, and sometimes minor leaguers are summoned as a precaution but not activated. Martinez was at Wednesday’s Triple-A Buffalo game but was held out. He homered in each of his previous two games with the Bisons.

Adam Rubin speculated that the arrival of Martinez, an outfielder, presumably would free Willie Harris to play second base with Justin Turner, and leave Daniel Murphy available to play first base..

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One Time Top Prospect Fernando Martinez Is Back On The DL Fri, 15 Apr 2011 14:00:20 +0000 Fernando Martinez, who was once the Mets number one prospect for several years until 2010, was placed on the disabled list today with a strained hamstring.

F-Mart is no stranger to the DL and he has spent the better part of his six year professional career on the shelf instead of on the filed. This will be the 10th trip to the disabled list for the 22 year old who also suffers from an arthritic knee.

There may still be time for F-Mart to get his career going, but he has already been passed up by several other Mets prospects. Unless he can get one full season under his belt, F-Mart may never get the chance to be an everyday player with the Mets.

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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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Is It Time For Fernando Martinez To Make A Splash? Wed, 30 Mar 2011 02:00:37 +0000 As a Mets fan, the name Fernando Martinez has always perked my ears when I would hear or read his name.

It seems like F-Mart has been around for a long time, though he’s just 22 years old. (His birthday is only two months after mine, and he turns 23 on Oct. 10 this year.)

But there has been so much speculation, question and doubt among Mets fans, specifically for the past three seasons. To F-Mart’s credit, he’s been somewhat on a roller coaster since 2008, being called up. Being sent back down. Called up. Sent down.

Now, I have to wonder if it could finally be Martinez’s time to live up to the potential most of us Mets fans know he has.

The stats don’t lie, though they are difficult to interpret because he’s been so injury-prone the past few seasons.

This spring, he went 8-for-22 with a homer and four RBIs. In his MLB career, he’s appeared in 36 games, with one homer and 10 RBIs, while batting .174. It’s not mind-blowing, but his minor league stats do jump out.

According to, his prospect ranking has dropped considerably since 2007. (He was No. 22 in 2007 and was No. 77 prior to last season.)

In two seasons with Triple-A Buffalo, Martinez has played in 116 games, hitting 20 home runs and racked up 61 RBIs.

Sure, the Mets have some enticing outfield prospects — namely Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and even Matt den Dekker. But if the 22-year-old Martinez can find a way to stay healthy, he could be the real deal in a few years — or sooner.

In a March 1 story in the New York Post when Martinez was informed he’d be sent down to minor league camp, he still seemed optimistic.

“I’ve been here a long time, but now I feel comfortable and I know what I’m doing,” Martinez was quoted as saying the day he was sent down. Still, he said he’s finally healthy, adding: “… things are coming together for me.”

My thoughts …

Growing up playing a ton of sports, I know there definitely are such things as “growing pains.” Most youngsters who play a lot of sports get them and know it’s true. Especially with baseball. Yes, most sports are played year-round just like baseball, but baseball is played nearly every day.

I am sure F-Mart has had some silly, nagging, growing-pain injuries throughout his career. But I think that if the kid can stay healthy, he can be a factor for the Mets in the future.

It’s also worth remembering who the Mets have in the outfield right now. It’s as good as anyone’s guess as to how long or often Carlos Beltran will be able to play. Lucas Duda has had a good spring, but F-Mart is probably still in the mind of Terry Collins.

David Wright made his debut July 21, 2004, when he was 21 years old. He’s now 28 and the face of the franchise. Am I saying F-Mart will be the next face of the New York Mets? Not necessarily. But I am saying he’s still young, and he can still have a very bright future if he can stay healthy and get on the right program. I also think a lot of future success for Martinez is contingent upon him believing in himself despite the life of one day playing in Triple-A and the next day getting a phone call to be in the big-league lineup. But that’s the life of a baseball player.

And remember, though you might want to criticize F-Mart for not staying healthy and possibly being a bust, keep this in mind: He’d probably be finishing college if he wasn’t playing baseball. Instead, he has the weight of New York City and Mets Nation on his back to stay healthy and produce … at 22 years old.

Follow Andrew O’Brien on Twitter @aobrien7.

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From Left Field: Duda Vs. F-Mart? Thu, 10 Mar 2011 18:14:52 +0000 Surprise, surprise. Carlos Beltran is hurt once again.

After he resumes baseball activities sometime in the next few days, who knows how long it will take our new right fielder to get in baseball shape?

While part of me was hoping Beltran would finally return to the field healthy and productive, the other part of me knew it was probably too good to be true.

If Beltran is out for an extended period of time, the Mets are going to need a permanent solution to fill the void in right field and in their lineup. Already, there appear to be several candidates the Mets could consider.

I will present a few options and weigh the pros and cons of each decision.

I’ve heard that a possible platoon between Scott Hairston and Willie Harris could occur.

Hairston has some pop from the right side and has played adequate defense his entire career. He obviously won’t be the offensive force that a healthy Beltran could be, but he would do a nice job filling in.

Harris is a superb defender, as Met fans have witnessed countless times especially late in games. He also has hit well this spring and still has good speed.

These two players certainly have experience, but they could also be valuable members of the bench. Their value to the team would be in more of a limited role, since that’s what they’ve done for most of their careers.

I might as well throw Nick Evans’ name into the conversation. Evans has been mostly playing the corner infield spots during spring training but now might see some time in the outfield.

Evans is raking so far this spring and is making a bid to make the team, even if just as a bat off the bench.

However, his defense in the outfield is suspect, and it would be an adventure for him at Citi Field. Still, if Hairston and Harris see the bulk of the time, Evans may be needed on the bench.

If Beltran were to be out more than a month or two, it might be a wise decision for the Mets to promote one of their outfield prospects. Kirk Nieuwenheis and Cory Vaughn may need some more seasoning in the minors, so that leaves Lucas Duda and Fernando Martinez as the most major league ready prospects.

Duda has been hitting well this spring and with extended time could put up big numbers: maybe not healthy Beltran numbers but still productive in the middle of the order.

He actually looked decent at times in left field late last season, but once again right field at Citi Field is challenging. With lots of work, Duda could become an adequate right fielder, but the question is whether the Mets have that kind of time?

Now onto F-Mart. He’s also been swinging the bat very well this spring. He’s young, he can run, he’s got some pop, he has a good arm. What’s not to like?

The problem is that F-Mart has had a chance to prove what he can do in extended play in the majors, and he flopped.

However, that doesn’t mean that he would flop again. The Mets are content with having him play a full season in the minors before handing over the reins (or even exploring a trade option).

With Beltran out though, I wonder if the Mets decide that F-Mart is ready.

In the best case scenario, Beltran’s knee tendinitis doesn’t prove to be a major problem, and he returns healthy in a week or two.

If that’s not the case, my pick for the Mets’ right fielder would be Lucas Duda, but also with Scott Hairston getting regular at-bats as well. Maybe it wouldn’t be quite a platoon, but Duda could play four games a week and Hairston would play the other two.

We’ll see what happens over the next few weeks, but if one of these prospects starts impressing, the name “Carlos Beltran” could be quickly forgotten in New York.

Follow me on Twitter @JMMancari.

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R.A. Dickey’s Got a New Knuckleball Fri, 25 Feb 2011 15:05:25 +0000’s Matthew Cerrone posted pictures of R.A. Dickey’s throwing session.  

According to Cerrone, R.A. Dickey now has a new and improved knuckleball.

We all seen last season that R.A. Dickey’s knuckleball was really nasty. Now, it looks like its only going to get even more nasty as it takes on the movement of a circle change which just dies at the plate. 

Cerrone says that R.A. Dickey used his new slow knuckler in several games last season, but had limited success.

Fernando Martinez almost fell over after swinging at the R.A Dickey knuckleball yesterday.

It looks like R.A. Dickey will be exciting to watch once again this year Mets fans! 

That new, and improved knuckleball will definitely be interesting to see!

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Jenrry Mejia Tops BP’s Top 11 Mets Prospects Thu, 23 Dec 2010 19:46:26 +0000 Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus selected his Mets Top 11 Prospects and leading the pack is Jenrry Mejia.

Here is what he had to say about his top three selections.

1. Jenrry Mejia, RHP

Year in Review: A power right-hander, Mejia surprised many by making the big-league bullpen out of spring training, but returned to the minors to be developed as a starter in the second half following a bout of shoulder soreness.

The Good: Mejia has pure power stuff. He generates both strikeouts and plenty of ground balls with a heavy 94-97 mph fastball that features natural sinking action. He’ll flash a plus power curveball, but his changeup is his best secondary offering, with plenty of deception and late fade. His wide shoulders and thick lower half give scouts fewer concerns then they have for most shorter-than-average pitchers.

The Bad: There are some concerns about Mejia’s ability to handle a full-season workload, as he’s missed considerable time each of the last two years and has yet to cross the triple-digit hump as far as innings. He can fall in love with his fastball and needs to work more on pitch sequencing as opposed to just blowing every hitter away. His velocity comes with some effort, and he can overthrow and lose his command.

Perfect World Projection: Mejia has the stuff to pitch toward the front of a rotation, and that’s where the Mets will try to develop him from here on out.

Path to the Big Leagues: The most important thing for Mejia is innings, and he’ll get those as the ace of the Triple-A Buffalo rotation, with the Mets hoping he can return for a September call up in preparation for a 2012 rotation spot.

ETA: Late 2011.

2. Matt Harvey, RHP

Year in Review: Seen as a potential elite pick three years ago, Harvey saved his draft status with a strong junior year of college.

The Good: Harvey has a nearly perfect pitcher’s frame and the stuff to go with it. His low-to-mid-90s fastball is a dominant offering, and he was clocked as high as 98 mph last spring. He gets good spin on a power breaking ball that gives him a second plus offering when he’s on. He’s unflappable on the mound and earns praise for his aggressive pitching style.

The Bad: Harvey struggled with his mechanics in college, and his multi-part delivery leads to inconsistent release points, which leads to corresponding control issues. His changeup is a below-average pitch that will need coaching and consistent work. He has no history of arm issues, but shouldered a heavy workload last spring.

Perfect World Projection: Harvey has star potential, but with his inconsistent track record, it comes with a healthy dose of risk.

Path to the Big Leagues: Harvey is advanced enough to begin his pro career at High-A St. Lucie, and he’s talented enough to be at Double-A by season’s end.

ETA: 2013.

3. Wilmer Flores, SS

Year in Review: The best pure hitter in the system proved himself at both A-levels as a teenager.

The Good: Flores can hit, period. With plenty of bat speed, strong wrists, and outstanding hand-eye coordination, he consistently puts the fat part of the bat on the ball and uses all fields. He projects for average-to-plus power down the road, and showed some signs in 2010 of learning how to recognize pitches he can drive. He has very good defensive fundamentals and an above-average arm.

The Bad: It’s impossible to find any talent evaluator who believes Flores can remain up the middle. He’s already a below-average runner, and his lower half continues to thicken. He has the tools to play third base, but will need to fill out his power projection to be an above-average player there. His hitting ability gets the better of him at times, as he can become an inpatient hacker at times.

Perfect World Projection: He’s going to hit, but where he ends up defensively will ultimately define his value.

Path to the Big Leagues: Still just 19, there’s no need to rush Flores. He’ll return to High-A in 2011, but could move up once the weather warms if he’s still hitting.

ETA: 2013.

4. Cesar Puello, OF

5. Kirk Nieuwenhuis

6. Reese Havens, 2B

7. Fernando Martinez, OF

8. Aderlin Rodriguez, 3B

9. Cory Vaughn, OF

10. Lucas Duda, 1B/OF

11. Darrell Ceciliani, OF

In his summary, Goldstein writes,

Neither great, nor awful, the Mets’ organization is a middle-of-the-road one that provides more long-term bets than immediate assistance to the big-league squad.

To read a full analysis on each player, plus who rounds out the Mets Top 20 go read the rest of Kevin Goldstein’s article at Baseball Prospectus.

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Ron Darling Calls Out Fernando Martinez Sat, 28 Aug 2010 03:02:02 +0000 One of the things that I love best about Gary, Keith and Ron, is that they can make their coverage of the Mets so entertaining and educating too, all while remaining objective at the same time. Their passion for the Mets is unquestioned and they do feel our pain. It’s their objectivity that puts them among the best broadcast teams in baseball.

Last night during the Mets broadcast, the subject of Mets prospect Fernando Martinez being placed on the disabled list came up.

Gary Cohen utters, “Seriously? Not again, this is becoming a recurring theme.”

Ron Darling took it one step further and actually seemed very annoyed by the news. 

“I don’t know whether the young man simply has a low tolerance for pain, or if this is just a case of extremely bad luck. But these injuries aren’t doing his career any good.”

Obviously, Darling only said what most Mets fans are already thinking and what I have mentioned repeatedly on this site.

Just three weeks ago I wrote in a post entitled “Fernando Martinez: The Prospect Who Became Suspect“…

I’m not convinced that Martinez will ever be an impact hitter. Too many years have gone by with little to show for it.

Take a look at F-Mart’s games played in the last five years: 2006 – 76 games, 2007 – 63 games, 2008 – 90 games, 2009 - 74 games, 2010 – 71 games. In five years he’s only been able to play a little more than two seasons worth of games. Even Moises Alou fared better than that.

So now Fernando Martinez has been placed on the minor league disabled list again. This time it’s a case of mild knee soreness. It’s always something.

Ironically, he was placed on the DL on the same night as Fernando Martinez Bobblehead Night at Coca Cola Field. Reportedly, more than half of the bobbleheads were either broken or not working. Hmm…

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