Mets Merized Online » Luis Castillo http://metsmerizedonline.com Sat, 14 Jan 2017 17:30:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.17 All-Time “He Was Good Until He Went to the Mets” Team http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/all-time-he-was-good-until-he-went-to-the-mets-team.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/all-time-he-was-good-until-he-went-to-the-mets-team.html/#comments Fri, 15 Jul 2016 16:00:33 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=217606 jason bay

“He was good. Until he went to the Mets.”

If you’re a Mets fan, there’s a solid chance you say or hear that sentence at least ten times per year. The Mets have had several notable occurrences of “He Was Good Until He Went To The Mets” syndrome over their five decades of play, and countless players have fallen prey to it.

When the Mets turned 50, they released an “All-Time Team” to remember the greats who wore the orange and blue. But if you’re a die-hard Mets fan, you know that the greats are only half of the story. For every Keith Hernandez, there’s a Mo Vaughn. For every Mike Piazza, there’s a Jim Fregosi. For every… you get it.

So now we have an all-time “He Was Good Until He Went To The Mets Team.” This team was built with the players at each position who had the best careers prior to a lackluster stay with the Mets:

Catcher - Yogi Berra

After Berra was fired as Yankees manager in 1964, the Mets immediately scooped him up as a player/coach. Many people don’t even realize that Berra played for the Mets– albeit for four games in 1965. He went 2-for-9, and retired after striking out three times in a game for the second time ever on May 9. The American icon went on to coach and manage with the Mets for the next decade, including in a memorable run to the World Series in 1973.

First Baseman - Mo Vaughn

Vaughn looked like a potential Hall of Famer when he played for the Red Sox and Angels. From 1993-2000, an average season for Vaughn was .305/.394/.552 with 35 home runs and 111 RBI. But it was all downhill after the 2000 season. He missed all of 2001 with a torn bicep and was traded to the Mets for Kevin Appier prior to the 2002 season.
While Appier won 14 games and helped the Angels win the 2002 World Series,

Vaughn did little for the Mets. His first year with the team was far below his pre-injury averages– albeit not awful. He batted .259/.349/.456 with 26 home runs and 72 RBI. However, he played in just 27 games in 2003 and missed all of 2004 with a career-ending knee injury. The Mets paid him $46 million dollars over these three seasons to play in just 158 games.

Vaughn is perhaps best remembered by Mets fans for his weight issues; despite once weighing 225 pounds, Vaughn had skyrocketed to 275 pounds when he was with the Mets. This led to many an angry call into “Mike and the Mad Dog.”

Second Baseman - Roberto Alomar

Alomar has a plaque in Cooperstown today, but it’s safe to say this has little to do with his time on the Mets.
Much like Vaughn, Alomar was acquired from the Indians during the 2002 offseason to revitalize the team. The Mets would be acquiring a 32-year-old player who had made 12 consecutive All-Star teams and won 11 consecutive Gold Gloves.

Both of these streaks ended once he came to the Mets. Alomar batted just .266/.331/.376 in 2002, and after putting up similar numbers the following season, was traded to the White Sox in July of 2003. Alomar played just one more season before calling it a career.
The trades for Vaughn and Alomar helped end Steve Phillips’ time as GM of the Mets, who was fired in 2003.

(Dis)Honorable mention #1 - Carlos Baerga

Baerga was the first second baseman since Rogers Hornsby to record consecutive seasons of 200+ hits, 20 home runs and 100 RBI when he did so in 1992 and 1993. After he was traded to the Mets in 1996, he never reached any of these plateaus again.

(Dis)Honorable mention #2 - Luis Castillo

Castillo won three Gold Gloves with the Marlins, yet is best remembered as a Met for failing to catch a pop-up. Enough said.

Phillies vs Mets

Shortstop: Kaz Matsui

Matsui is a legend in Japan, where he batted .309/.362/.486 with 150 home runs and 306 steals from from 1995-2003. This 2003 scouting report on ESPN.com called him “More talented than Hideki Matsui,” and the “Best all-around player [in Japan] since Ichiro left.”

So when Matsui decided to take his talents to America, the Mets signed him to a three-year, $20 million contract prior to the 2004 season. The team was so confident in his abilities that it moved highly-touted shortstop prospect Jose Reyes to second base to make room for Matsui.

Unlike the other Matsui in New York at the time, Kaz failed to meet expectations. He batted just .256/.308/.363 in three injury-plagued seasons with the Mets. He was traded to the Rockies in June of 2006. He spent the next four seasons with the Rockies and Astros before heading back to Japan in 2011.

In case you’re wondering, Matsui still plays in Japan for the Rakuten Golden Eagles, where he batted .256/.324/.366 with ten home runs and 48 RBI in 126 games last season.

Third Base - Jim Fregosi

Before the days of David Wright, the Mets struggled to find an everyday third baseman throughout much of their early history. In fact, they had eight different starting third basemen from 1962-1971.

The Mets hoped to put an end to these woes when they acquired Jim Fregosi from the Angels in December of 1971. Fregosi was a six-time All-Star with a bWAR of 44.8 and an OPS+ of 119 from 1963-1970. But a down season in 1971 made him expendable for the Angels, who traded him to the Mets for some young pitcher named Nolan Ryan.

Unfortunately for the Mets, the man bought in to be the third baseman of the future had a short and forgettable stay in Flushing. He batted an abysmal .233/.319/.328 with five home runs and 43 RBI in 146 games in 1972 and 1973. The Mets’ search for a star third baseman would continue until Howard Johnson made his debut with the team in 1985. Meanwhile, Nolan Ryan went on to throw over 5,000 strikeouts and seven no-hitters en route to the Hall of Fame.

Outfield - Jason Bay

After a season in which Daniel Murphy led the Mets with just 12 home runs, the Mets were in desperate need of a power hitter. So they signed Bay to a four-year, $66 million contract. Bay came to the Mets with seven consecutive seasons of at least 20 home runs and 80 RBI, and was coming off a season in which he hit 36 home runs and 119 RBI with the Red Sox.

In three years with the Mets, Bay hit just 26 home runs and 124 RBI. He batted just .234/.318/.369, and had his contract terminated prior to the 2013 season.

Outfield – Vince Coleman 

Coleman stole 549 bases during the first six seasons of his career with the Cardinals. He is one of just four players in the modern era to steal over 100 bases in a season, which he did three times from 1985-1987.

It looked like the Mets were signing the next Lou Brock when they signed him in 1990. What they got was one of the biggest embarrassments in team history. Coleman, who played with the Mets from 1991-1993, never played more than 100 games in a season.

Aside from the disappointing on-field performance, his off-field behavior was even worse. He was gone for good after he was charged with felony a firecracker at a group of fans at Dodger Stadium, which injured three people– including a two-year-old girl. Prior to this dubious incident, he injured Dwight Gooden by swinging a golf club in the clubhouse and had been suspended for feuding with manager Jeff Torborg.

willie mays

OutfieldWillie Mays:

The “Say Hey Kid” was traded to the Mets in the middle of the 1972 season. Mays was 41 at the time, and was hardly the player he used to be. He hit just .238/.352/.294 in 135 games with the Mets from 1972-1973 to finish out his career.

Unlike many of the players on the “He Was Good Until He Went to the Mets” team, Mays is still looked at with reverence by the organization and fans, so much so that his No. 24 jersey has remained mostly out of circulation since he retired.

(Dis)Honorable Mention #1 - Bobby Bonilla

Many Mets fans would probably put Bonilla over Mays on this list, but from a purely numerical standpoint, Bonilla was actually not awful. He made two All-Star teams in four seasons while he recorded an OPS+ over 120 in each of his first four years with the team.

(Dis)Honorable Mention #2 - George Foster

Much like Bonilla, Foster didn’t live up to the hype of his five-year, $10 million contract, the second-largest in baseball history in 1982, but still put up decent numbers. Foster had at least 20 home runs in three of his five years with the Mets and had two years with a WAR over 1.5.

(Dis)Honorable Mention #3 - Duke Snider

Snider was a Hall of Famer and fan-favorite in New York as a Brooklyn Dodger before the team relocated to Los Angeles in 1958. He came back to New York in 1963 when he was sold to the Mets, where he batted .243/.345/.401 with 14 homers and 45 RBI in his only season with the team.

New York Yankees v New York Mets

Starting Pitcher - Pedro Martinez

Pedro signed a four-year, $53 million dollar contract with the Mets in December of 2004. This represented a new era in Mets history, and was a major factor in persuading Carlos Beltran to sign. However, he contributed little on the field after the first year of his deal.

Martinez’s first season with the Mets was electrifying, as he went 15-8 with a 2.82 ERA and a league-leading 0.949 WHIP and 4.43 strikeout-to-walk ratio. After this season,Pedro would never make more than 24 starts in a season again, and recorded a 4.74 ERA throughout his remaining time with the Mets. A healthy Pedro could have made all the difference in 2007 and 2008, when the Mets were eliminated on the last day of the season.

Starting Pitcher - Tom Glavine

Glavine was one of the best pitchers of his era with the Braves, and was pretty solid with the Mets as well. He went 61-56 with a 3.97 ERA during his five seasons in New York. But he will always be remembered for his performance on the final day of the 2007 season, when he allowed seven runs in one-third of an inning to the last-place Marlins. Not a good time to have the worst start of your career.

Starting Pitcher - Warren Spahn

As a Brave, Spahn averaged 20 wins from 1947-1963. But after going 6-13 with a 5.29 ERA in 1964, he was sold to the Mets.
Much like Berra, Spahn had an oft-forgotten abbreviated cameo with the Mets in 1965. He was purchased and given both a spot in the rotation and the title of pitching coach.

Spahn had won 356 games prior to joining the Mets, and still believed that he could get to 400 wins when he joined the team. This proved to be a fruitless endeavor, however, as the 44-year-old went just 4-12 with a 4.36 ERA before being released midseason.

While on the Mets, Spahn was reunited with Casey Stengel, who he had played under with the Boston Braves in 1942. Reminiscing on his time with the Mets, Spahn once said: “I’m probably the only guy who worked with Stengel before and after he was a genius.”

Relief Pitcher: Francisco Rodriguez

The 2008 Mets’ bullpen was so bad that had their games ended in the eighth inning, they would have won the NL East by 12 games rather than losing it by three games. So that offseason, they signed Francisco Rodriguez, who was fresh off setting a single-season record with 62 saves, to a three-year, $37 million contract.

Rodriguez failed as a member of the Mets. His ERA ballooned to 3.71 in 2009– more than a run higher than it had been in 2008. He suffered a season-ending thumb injury in August of 2010 by assaulting his girlfriend’s father following a loss. “K-Rod” was traded to the Brewers in a salary-dump trade in 2011, where he has since made two All-Star teams.

Relief Pitcher - J.J. Putz

Putz recorded a 5.22 ERA as the setup man in 2009 before suffering a season-ending elbow injury that June. Putz was a stellar closer for the Mariners prior to 2009, as he had a 3.07 ERA and 101 saves in his six-year tenure with the team. After his time with the Mets, he recorded two 30-plus save seasons with the Diamondbacks in 2011 and 2012.
Putz later said that the Mets never gave him a physical upon acquisition. As Mets fans found out last year, medicals are rather important.

Manager - Art Howe

Howe was bought in in 2003 to be the Mets’ manager following Bobby Valentine‘s firing. Howe was the hottest managerial name on the market, as he had just led the Athletics to three consecutive playoff appearances. If he could lead the $40 million payroll Oakland A’s to three straight playoff appearances. Imagine what he could do with more than double that budget?

Not much. Howe went 137-186 in his two years on the job. He was fired following the 2004 season, and never managed again after leaving the Mets.

MMO-footer

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When Is A Good OBP Not So Good http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/when-is-a-good-obp-not-so-good.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/when-is-a-good-obp-not-so-good.html/#comments Sun, 29 Dec 2013 23:11:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=137126 luis castillo

Egads… What’s that picture of Luis Castillo doing up there? I bet you didn’t think you’d see him again, right? While I was reading through some comments, I came across an interesting exchange I serendipitously started when I wrote that signing Stephen Drew could end up being as bad as the Luis Castillo signing.

Then our own Connor O’Brien really kicked things off when he wrote, “Castillo had about the emptiest on-base percentage possible. Absolutely no power.”

I never really heard anyone say that before about a player with a .380+ on-base, but here is how the rest of the exchange that ensued unfolded. I thought it was pretty interesting…

BadBadLeroyBrown – He was a table setter his job wasn’t POWER it was to get ON BASE. Period. Nothing empty about that.

Connor O’Brien – But you want to – leadoff hitter or not – get on base in high quantities and with quality, meaning more extra-base hits as well. Would the team not have been better off had Castillo been on second instead of first ten more times?

There is really a certain balance that needs to be struck between the two, and Castillo didn’t necessarily have that balance. Having guys on second instead of first makes your team more likely to score, meaning you have done your job more effectively than someone who just hit a single.

For this reason, while Castillo was a good leadoff hitter, he wasn’t as good as someone like Jose Reyes or Jacoby Ellsbury. You want players that get quality hits everywhere in the lineup, not just in the middle of the order.

Not Alex68 – Can you explain and show evidence of empty OBP? Is Empty OBP an actual stat (eOBP)? Pray tell.

Kabeetz – You’re either on base or you’re not. There is no such thing as a “full” or “empty” OBP.

Connor O’Brien – Sorry, I have to disagree with you on that.

If two players get on base 40% of the time (.400 OBP), one can be much more effective than another.

Take a look at these two players from this year in batting average and OBP.

Player 1: .298 BA .374 OBP
Player 2: .286 BA .370 OBP

If all On-Base Percentages were created equal, each of these two players would be of roughly the same skill level, right? Well, see who they are.

Player 1: Billy Butler – .298/.374/.412 15 HR .345 wOBA

Player 2: Chris Davis – .286/.370/.634 53 HR .421 wOBA

While Billy Butler is a nice player (and I believe even an All-Star), he was nowhere close to Chris Davis this season, despite getting on base at roughly the same rate. Davis did more on average each time he got on base, making Butler’s OBP “emptier” (just an expression) than that of Davis.

Sean-Connery-The-Untouchables-Norfolk-Jacket

“Here Endeth The Lesson”

Presented By Diehards

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Drew Is Not One Step Closer To Being A Met http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/drew-is-not-one-step-closer-to-being-a-met.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/drew-is-not-one-step-closer-to-being-a-met.html/#comments Fri, 27 Dec 2013 15:27:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=137095 MLB: Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers

Sometimes I still don’t get how some Met fans will ignore one hundred years of baseball history to hang onto a faint hope that something positive will fall the Mets way. That is if you want to call signing a declining skills, injury-prone player like Stephen Drew something positive. I don’t.

Bu lets examine this notion that the Yankees will go into poverty-mode even if they were to sign Masahiro Tanaka like a few Met bloggers expect. There’s now a push by some to have Met fans believe it will open the door for the Sandy Alderson to swoop in and sign the 31-year old shortstop unencumbered.

Presumably the Mets would top any one-year deal the Red Sox will offer, a premise that is pure speculation in and of itself. Most Red Sox people and fans I’ve spoken to, unanimously say the Sox are still interested and would offer Drew two years. That would put the Mets at a three-year offer, something I said back in September would never happen for a variety of reasons, chief among them being Drew can’t seem to stay on the field. In the last three years the free agent has only averaged 95 games while posting a .247 batting average. Wow, how exciting.

Let’s get back to the Yankees who have scrapped their thoughts of a $189 million payroll about a month after they first floated the possibility. The Bombers need to replace at least part of Robinson Cano‘s offense in the middle of the infield as well as desperately needing to add a top shelf starter. They view Tanaka and Drew as the best options available to them, and nothing seems to stand in their way of getting both if that’s what they want. The luxury tax be damned.

Before the Christmas break, Peter Gammons reported that Scott Boras and Drew were waiting for some clarity from the Yankees and the Mets. Of course, those with rose-colored glasses took that to mean that Gammons was referring to affordability as it most certainly is with the Mets.

But what everyone seemed to ignore, and what was obvious to many who were not just focused in the ruminations from Flushing, was that in the Yankees’ case the clarity was not money related at all. In their circumstances, it boiled down to whether Drew would play shortstop or third base as was reported by most Yankee beat reporters. The hangup was also that Drew would be more willing to agree to a deal with the Yankees if they assured him of what kind of playing time they can offer him. The Yankees are very much still in the game and not out as some are speculating.

During the Winter Meetings, one rival American League executive told us that Drew prefers to stay with Boston, but would love to play for the Yankees instead if he were to leave Beantown.

Getting back to the Mets, my thoughts on Drew are simple. I don’t want another Luis Castillo situation. Signing Drew would be just that. At the time, Castillo was just as bad a risk as Drew is now, and it didn’t cost the Mets a draft pick like Drew would – making this signing potentially worse.

But that’s besides the point of this post. The fact is that the Mets are not suddenly the frontrunners to land Drew, despite what you might be reading elsewhere today. And the Yankees chances of signing Drew most certainly did not go out the window when Tanaka was posted. And that’s good news.

mmo

 

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Happy Haunting, Mets Fans! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/happy-haunting-mets-fans-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/happy-haunting-mets-fans-2.html/#comments Thu, 31 Oct 2013 04:18:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131952

The New York Mets have provided their fans with plenty of frights and terrifying moments over their 52 year history. Some of those moments still raise the hairs on the backs of our necks whenever we think about them.

If we were to compile some of them and put them into some sort of order, which would you rank number one?

I would imagine the Midnight Massacre would still rank pretty high on the list even after three-plus decades. But there have been some recent events that still remain bone-chilling to say the least, like that Adam Wainwright curveball for example, or even that dropped popup from Luis Castillo

Well as we prepare to don our costumes for those Halloween parties, or go trick or treating, or just make some popcorn and settle in to watch some spooky horror flicks, here’s to all those terrifying Mets memories. :-)

We wish all of our readers a very Happy Halloween.

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Mets Made The Right Call Passing On Abreu http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/mets-made-the-right-call-passing-on-abreu.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/mets-made-the-right-call-passing-on-abreu.html/#comments Sat, 19 Oct 2013 23:41:57 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131381 JoseAbreuWBC

Several people I spoke with and greatly respect said they were disappointed the Mets didn’t make a run at Cuban free-agent first baseman Jose Abreu, who signed a six-year, $68-million contract with the Chicago White Sox.

Considering the success of Oakland’s Yoenis Cespedes and the Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig, all of a sudden tapping the Cuban market is the hot thing. But sometimes teams can get burned touching hot objects.

Abreu, 26, last played on an international stage during the World Baseball Classic this spring and batted .360 with three homers and nine RBI. Prior to that, he batted .453 with 33 home runs and 93 RBI in 63 games in the 2010-11 season, but sustained a shoulder injury. The previous season, he batted .399 with 30 home runs and 76 RBI.

No doubt, impressive numbers, but the obvious question is: How good was the competition? Justin VerlanderAdam Wainwright and Clayton Kershaw don’t pitch in Cuba.

The eye-popping number for Abreu isn’t his power against questionable competition, but the $68 million, which is very real money.

That is a lot of money on a question, albeit an important one for the 2014 Mets. They already have two first basemen in Ike Davis and Lucas Duda, but both have greatly under-produced and the Mets aren’t happy with either.

We know very little about Abreu as a player against quality competition, but there are many questions when deciding to go the international route. Mainly, do the Mets want to sink $68 million in a player they know precious little about?

After freeing themselves under Sandy Alderson of the contracts of Oliver PerezLuis CastilloFrancisco RodriguezJohan Santana and Jason Bay (there’s still some deferred money there), the last thing the Mets want to do is sink money in another long-term deal, especially with the possible results so precarious.

Maybe Abreu will pan out for the White Sox. If so, good for them. But, the last thing the Mets need is another long-term headache.

The Mets were wise to sit this one out.

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This Day In Mets Infamy With Rusty: The “All Time Mets Scrub Team” Edition http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/this-day-in-mets-infamy-with-rusty-the-all-time-mets-scrub-team-edition.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/this-day-in-mets-infamy-with-rusty-the-all-time-mets-scrub-team-edition.html/#comments Sun, 15 Sep 2013 14:27:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=129309 sad mets bench

With the loss in game one of yesterday’s doubleheader with the Miami Marlins, the Mets clinched their 5th straight losing season. This shouldn’t come as a shock since it has happened many times in the past - from the newly minted team of the ’60′s to the “Franchiseless” Mets of the late ’70′s and early ’80′s. Hell even the teams from the Mid ’90s as well as the ’02-’04 seasons were exercises in futility. So I figured I would try to compile the All Scrub Mets Team that encompasses players from all these eras – except from the ’60′s because lets face it 99% of the men that played for those Mets teams were either past their prime – or never had a prime to go past.

So without further ado…

My All Time Mets Scrub Team 

Manager: Jeff Torborg – He was a winning manager during his tenure with the Chicago White Sox, but  I don’t know if it was the expensive payroll of stars ( one of the most expensive payrolls at the time ) or that he melted under the bright lights of New York, but he barely lasted one and a half seasons as the skipper of a sinking ship.

Catcher: Alex Trevino – He was a both offensively and defensively challenged behind and at the plate.

First Base: Mike Jorgenson – Before returning to the Mets in the early ’80′s Mike had been a serviceable reserve outfielder/ first baseman.

Second Base: Luis Castillo – If you find yourself asking why he is on this list you are obviously not a Mets fan.

Shortstop: Frank Taveras – He was your prototypical no hit/all glove infielder. He had speed ( leading the Mets with triples in ’80 ) but he really never got on base enough to flash it.

Third Base: Jim Fregosi – We traded Nolan Ryan for him. He sucked. ‘Nuff Said !

Outfield: Jason Bay – See Luis Castillo.

Outfield: Juan Samuel  - For some reasons not known to man nor beast, then Mets General Manager, Frank Cashen traded Lenny Dykstra and Roger McDowell to the Phillies for second baseman, Samuel. The Mets tried to convert him to an everyday centerfielder. Guess what – they failed.

Outfield: Vince Coleman – File him under “Never sign a player that is a Mets killer” because they will continue to kill the Mets – from the inside!

Starting Rotation:

The luckless Anthony Young

The Charismatic Jose Lima – too bad he concentrated more on his ” Lima Time” slogan than actually pitching effectively.

The Past his prime Mike Torrez.

The pitcher that obviously didn’t want to be here, Mickey Lolich.

And rounding out the starting rotation – Oliver Perez (See Luis Castillo)

Bullpen:

The ineffective Doug Sisk.

The lead blower, Rich Rodriguez – I still maintain that the only reason why he wasn’t released by the Mets is because he was a friend of then G.M, Steve Phillips from their minor league days.

Ineffective reliever from the early ’80′s. Mark “Bombs Away” Bomback.

Another man who couldn’t hold a lead – even if it was glued to his hand – Ryota Igarashi.

Two words that should send a shiver down your spine Guillermo Mota.

And lest we forget, Luis Ayala.

The closer spot is a tough one since the Mets had many men who were not able to put out the fire and save the game, so by default I went with Braden Looper. Yes Looper was playing through injuries in his last season with the Mets, but he still blew the lead in important games when he was healthy – he didn’t have the killer instinct.

Bench:

The light hitting David Newhan.

The light hitting Dan Norman.

The couldn’t get a hit to save his life Ron Hodges.

And the weak hitting Gary Rajsich

So there is my list… Do you agree/disagree? Who would you add or omit ? Please give your lists in the comments section below.

And with that said….. HERE COMES THE INFAMY !!!!!!

Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today include:

Charley Smith would have been 76 (1937) today

One of the most ineffective middle relievers ever to wear a Mets uniform, John Pacella is 57  (1956). In Pacella’s 3 seasons with the Mets he compiled a 3-6 record with a ERA of 4.83 in 104.1 innings.

Middle reliever from the ’02 season, Satoru Komiyama is 48 (1965).

Middle reliever from the ’91 season, Doug Simons turns 47 (1966).

Utility infielder from ’96-’97, Jason Hardtke is 42 (1971).

Some other notables include:

The  New York Mets traded  minor league pitching prospects, Shane Young and Jeff Richardson to the California Angels for  reliever, John Candelaria on September 15, 1987. The Brooklyn born “Candy Man” was once one of the most dominant closers in the game. But by the time he was obtained by the Mets he was well past his prime.

The movie character that Mo Vaughn wishes he could be  is Pizza the Hut from “Spaceballs” !!!!

pizza

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Tejada To Start At Short Tonight, Will Play Bulk Of Remaining Games http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/tejada-to-start-at-short-tonight-will-play-bulk-of-remaining-games.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/tejada-to-start-at-short-tonight-will-play-bulk-of-remaining-games.html/#comments Wed, 11 Sep 2013 06:56:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=128913 tejada

Ruben Tejada will start at shortstop on Wednesday night against the Nationals, according to Terry Collins, and will get the bulk of the starts at short the rest of the season.

“Everybody’s allowed to have a bad year. Everybody,” manager Terry Collins said. “He might look at this, 2013, as Ruben Tejada’s worst year. He may bounce back next year and resume where he was two years ago, and that, to me, was an up-and-coming player that brings a lot to the table.”

Which version of Tejada the Mets have for the final stretch of the season remains to be seen. New York recalled the shortstop from Triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday, and Collins said Tejada is going to be in the lineup on Wednesday.

It’s been a tumultuous season so far for Tejada, but he’s hoping to keep that in the past.

“The past is the past,” Tejada said. “I’m here to keep going forward, and keep doing my job and keep working hard.”

During a radio interview with WFAN last week, general manager Sandy Alderson said asking Tejada to do extra work is “like pulling teeth.”

“Every GM, they try to push each player to work hard, do his job and try to get better every day,” Tejada said. “That’s what I think and that’s what I know. I’m here to keep working hard and try to keep playing better.”

I hope he tears the cover off the ball…

Original Post

As was reported on Sunday by Adam Rubin, Ruben Tejada is expected to rejoin the Mets today at Citi Field as they take on the Washington Nationals.

By delaying Tejada’s return for a week, the Mets are able to retain him for another year before he can hit free agency.

I don’t know what delaying his free agency really means for a player who seems to be in both the manager’s and front office’s dog house for the last two years.

Andy Martino spoke to two team officials this weekend. One of them said he was profoundly unimpressed by his work ethic and called him “a very disappointing kid”. The other official added that they “haven’t given up on him at all”.

Last week, Sandy Alderson said that one of the problems with Tejada is “it’s like pulling teeth” with regard to putting in the extra work to improve his performance on the field. “We need to see a commitment to improvement. He’s going to have to earn it.”

My take on this is that the team will do what it can this offseason to fill the shortstop position via trade or free agency. As I wrote yesterday, Stephen Drew and Yunel Escobar seem to be likely targets.

At 23, it seems a bit odd for an organization to give up like that on a player who posted a .284 batting average and .360 on-base when he was asked to step in at second base to replace Luis Castillo. Tejada showed a great deal of passion, baseball intellect and even had a penchant for big hits at the age of 20.

A season later, in 2012, he was asked to move over to shortstop and replace the iconic Jose Reyes. He held his own and batted .289, but clearly he was better suited for second base defensively where he rated as a plus defender the previous season.

Then enter 2013, where the problems began in spring training as soon as he arrived. He showed up to camp having put on a few extra pounds and the team expressed their disappointment to the media. Tejada went on to have an awful season in 2013.

Before he landed on the disabled list, he was moments away from being demoted after hitting just .209 with a .267 OBP over 50 games. So it was no surprise he was assigned to Las Vegas immediately after being activated from the disabled list.

The team believes he lacks any real commitment to improve as a player and that if he wants role on this he’s going to have to earn it. I like that approach, but I wish the Mets would apply it even handedly. There are some players on this team, many 3-4 years older than Tejada, who were given mile long leashes before the team acted.

Tejada went to Las Vegas and actually drove in the game-winning run that allowed the 51s to clinch a playoff berth. It was part of a five-hit day for Tejada who was selected as our Mets Minor League Player of the Week after batting .424 (14 for 33) with seven runs scored, a double, a triple, two home runs, five RBIs and four walks among his four multi-hit games that week.

Tejada finished the season batting .288 with a .716 OPS and in 269 plate appearances he struck out just 30 times, showing the strike zone judgement that impressed many during his first two seasons with the Mets.

My hope is that this doesn’t end up being another Carlos Gomez situation and that Tejada is traded and emerges as a solid and productive player with another team.

This new Mets organization is always being touted for their player development even though that doesn’t seem to be apparent at the major league level just yet. Here’s your test… Take this kid and actually develop him. We already know he has the offensive tools, and even has your plate approach down to a science, so what’s the problem? Invest the time and try to break through and get this kid motivated.

I keep saying that these issues of laziness and work ethic are more a matter of not enough people on staff to communicate and develop these Latino players emotionally as well as physically. Doesn’t it bother the Mets that Tejada does his offseason workouts with Robinson Cano and Jose Reyes? Instead of David Wright and Daniel Murphy? Doesn’t that tell you something?

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The 2010 Mets: Where Are They Now? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/the-2010-mets-where-are-they-now.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/the-2010-mets-where-are-they-now.html/#comments Thu, 29 Aug 2013 23:58:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=128129 jose-reyes-mets-2012

If you are a Mets fan, you know that David Wright is still with team, or that Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran are in Toronto and St. Louis, respectively. But what happened to guys like Nick Evans or Rod Barajas? We have the answers.

11 Players who made it into a game in 2010 with the Mets, are still employed by the team. That would be the aforementioned David Wright, Ike Davis, Ruben Tejada (Although he is currently with Triple-A Las Vegas, he is still on the Mets payroll), Lucas Duda, Justin Turner, Jon Niese, Pedro Feliciano (Although he made another stop in the Bronx, he is with the Mets once again), Bobby Parnell, Dillon Gee, Johan Santana, and Jenrry Mejia.

10 players are employed by another Major League team. That would be Jose Reyes, Angel Pagan, Beltran, Josh Thole, Henry Blanco, Joaquin Arias, Mike Pelfrey, R.A. Dickey, Francisco Rodriguez, and Oliver Perez.

MLB: SEP 22 Mets v Marlins

As you may know, Jose Reyes was traded from the Miami Marlins to the Toronto Blue Jays this past offseason in a blockbuster deal involving Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, and now former Met, John Buck. Reyes now puts on his uniform in the same locker room as R.A. Dickey and Josh Thole, who were traded together this past offseason from the Mets for Travis d’Arnaud, Buck, and Noah Syndergaard (don’t forget Wuilmer Beccera!). Angel Pagan was traded to the San Francisco Giants prior to the 2012 season for outfielder Andres Torres and pitcher Ramon Ramirez who have both since played again for the team they were traded from.

Carlos Beltran was traded at the deadline in 2011 to the Giants for Zack Wheeler, but has since made his home in St. Louis playing for the Cardinals, where he has enjoyed a couple of very nice seasons, including an All Star appearance this summer. Henry Blanco, who served as the Mets backup catcher in 2010, beat out Josh Thole for the same position on this year’s Toronto Blue Jays team, but was released and then signed by the Seattle Mariners who made the corresponding move by releasing 2012 Met alumni, Kelly Shoppach. Blanco played in Arizona for the Diamondbacks in 2011 and 2012.

Joaquin Arias, of whom the Mets received for Jeff Francoeur late in the 2010 season, played for the Kansas City Royals in 2011, and was then given a championship ring after serving as Pablo Sandoval‘s ninth inning defensive replacement in 2012 for the San Francisco Giants. He has been a key hitter off the bench for the Giants in 2013. Mike Pelfrey, after failing to play a month in the 2012 season, was signed by the Minnesota Twins, where his 5-10 record and 5.06 ERA is good enough to keep him in the starting rotation.

Francisco Rodriguez was traded to the Brewers in 2011 for Daniel Herrera (yes the 5-6 guy) and a minor leaguer, but was traded to the Baltimore Orioles at the deadline this year, downgrading from a closer to a setup man. Finally, Oliver Perez signed a two-year deal with the Seattle Mariners in 2012 and is proving to be an effective arm out of their bullpen. You would think that Perez’s ERA of 9.72 with Henry Blanco behind the plate would be the highest among catchers who have caught the Mexican native, but no. That award goes to Josh Thole, who provides Ollie with a sparkling 16.20 ERA.

Eight players are in the minor leagues with another organization. They are Mike Nickeas, Mike Hessman, Luis Hernandez, Mike Jacobs, Nick Evans, Hisanori Takahashi, Fernando Nieve, and Pat Misch.

Mike Nickeas, who was in the same deal that sent R.A. Dickey north of the border, is currently with the Blue Jays Triple-A team, the Buffalo Bisons, a team Nickeas has played for many times when they were the Mets affiliate. Nickeas has failed to make the Majors this season, playing 55 games in Buffalo. Mike Hessman, who is seven home runs shy of 400 for his minor league career and one shy of 15 for his Major League career, is currently a member of the Louisville Bats, the Triple-A team of the Cincinnati Reds, where he is teammates with base stealing extraordinaire, Billy Hamilton. Hessman played in Japan in 2011 for the Orix Buffaloes, and was with the Astros Triple A team in 2012.

Luis Hernandez, who played all of 17 games for the Mets, is with the Indians Triple-A team, after playing in the Texas Rangers organization in 2012. Nick Evans is the only 2010 Met alumni playing in Double-A. Evans, who is a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks affiliated Mobile Baybears, was a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization in 2012. Mike Jacobs was the placeholder at first base until Ike Davis came up in 2010 but he is now with the Diamondbacks Triple-A team. Jacobs also stopped in Colorado Springs, Toronto, and Mexico. Hisanori Takahashi, who has 12 games started and 21 games finished as a Met, has played in the Majors with the Angels, Pirates, and Cubs. He is now a member of the Colorado Rockies Triple-A team. Fernando Nieve hasn’t played in the Majors since 2010, but he has played with the Astros, Dodgers, Indians, and currently the Athletics, all in Triple-A. Finally, Pat MIsch has seen time with the Phillies and Tigers Triple-A teams.

Five players are not currently with a Major League organization. The names are Jeff Francoeur, Rod Barajas, Jason Bay, John Maine, and Sean Green.

Francoeur was traded to the Rangers for Joaquin Arias in August of 2010. He spent the rest of the year there. Frenchy played in Kansas City during 2011 and 2012, but was released midway through the 2013 season. The Giants picked him up, where he played 22 games. Francouer was designated for assignment of August 20th, and released two days later. Barajas played with the Pirates in 2011 and 2012, before being signed by the Diamondbacks. He ultimately lost the bid to be Miguel Montero‘s backup, as the DBacks went with Wil Nieves instead.

Jason Bay, who was released after the 2012 season much to the delight of Mets fans, was signed by the Mariners for the 2013 season. He hit a home run in his first spring training at bat, but after a disapointing season, was released of August 6th to make room for Mike Morse. John Maine spent 2011 in the Colorado Rockies minor league system, and pitched for the Scranton/Wilkes-Bare Yankees for all of 2012. He played for the Miami Marlins in April of this year, but was released on April 22. The sidearmer, Sean Green pitched with the Brewers in 2011, before playing with the Texas Rangers’ Triple A team in 2012. He also pitched with the Somerset Patriots in 2012 of the Independent Leagues but has not found a team since.

Six players have officially retired. They are Luis Castillo, Alex Cora, Fernando Tatis, Gary Matthews Jr., Frank Catalanotto, and Tobi Stoner.

Luis Castillo was released by the Mets at the same time they released Oliver Perez. Castillo signed a minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, but after a disappointing spring training, he was released, at which time he retired. Alex Cora was released by the Mets in August of 2010, and he played the rest of the year with the Rangers. He played with the Washington Nationals in 2011, and was signed by the Cardinals in the spring of 2012, which didn’t work out. He is now a baseball analyst for ESPN (his brother Joey does the same work for MLB Network). Fernando Tatis was injured of July 4th of 2010. He was placed on the DL the next day and was transferred to the 60-day DL 10 days later. That turned out to be his last major league game as he retired after the season.

The “Son of the Sarge”, Gary Matthews Jr., was released by the Mets on June 15th, 2010. He signed with the Reds on June 24th and played the rest of the year with their Triple-A team, before retiring. Frank Catalanotto was designated for assignment of May 10th, when the Mets brought up Chris Carter. After failing to sign with another team, he retired in March of 2011. Finally, the German-born Tobi Stoner was released by the Mets in March of 2012. During that season, he played in the Independent Leagues with the Bridgeport Blue Fish and the Somerset Patriots. He retired before the 2013 season.

manny acosta

Four players are currently playing in foreign countries. Chris Carter, Manny Acosta, and Ryota Igarashi are playing in Japan, and Jesus Feliciano is playing in Mexico.

Carter (no not the former A’s prospect) played in the Tampa Bay Rays and Atlanta Braves Minor League system in 2011 before moving to Japan to play with the Seibu Lions in 2012 and 2013. Carter is 3-26 (.115) with three RBI in nine games this year. He is teammates with Kazuhisa Ishii. Manny Acosta pitched for the Mets through 2012 but signed with the Yomuri Giants in 2013 after being released. In 14 games he has an ERA of 5.54. His teammates include former major leaguers Scott Mathieson and John Bowker.

Ryota Igarashi played with the Mets until 2011. He then played in the minor leagues with the Yankees and the Blue Jays in 2012 though he pitched in the majors with both teams. He is now pitching with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks where he sports a 2.15 ERA in 36 games. He is teammates with with Vicente Padilla and former Mets minor leaguer Wily Mo Pena. Jesus Feliciano, who has signed with the Mets four different times in his career, played in all of his 54 career games with the Mets in 2010. He played with the Buffalo Bisons in 2011, the Durham Bulls in 2012, and he is now playing in Mexico with the Rojos del Aguila de Veracruz. He has only played in three games with one hit.

One player is currently a coach. Elmer Dessens is the assistant pitching coach for the AZL Reds in the Arizona League (The Arizona equivalent to Florida’s Gulf Coast League). And here’s a fun piece of information. The manager of that AZL Reds team is former Met, Eli Marrero who the Mets received in 2006 when they traded Kazuo Matsui to the Rockies.

Well, now you know what happened to the 2010 Mets. Next week we’ll look at the players from Citi Field’s inaugural year, 2009.

LGM

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It’s Too Soon To Write Valdespin Off http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/its-too-soon-to-write-valdespin-off.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/its-too-soon-to-write-valdespin-off.html/#comments Mon, 29 Jul 2013 12:00:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=126004 jordany-valdespinEvery so often there’s a player that everybody loves to hate. In the past it was players like Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo, and even Mike Pelfrey to some extent towards the end of his Mets tenure. This year it’s Jordany Valdespin. Whether it’s because of his attitude rubbing people the wrong way or his statistics, he is probably the most disliked player on the team. While there are definitely valid criticisms of Valdespin, I believe he deserves another opportunity to succeed.

First off, there seems to be this notion floating around that Valdespin is somehow a “non prospect”. I don’t know why this belief is suddenly so popular because Valdespin’s minor league statistics and natural physical ability prove otherwise. Physically, Valdespin has a great combination of power and speed. He’s strong, he has a quick bat, and he also possesses excellent speed. In his most recent full minor league season, Valdespin was able to turn his potential into results. In AA and AAA as a 23-year-old, Valdespin hit .294/.333/.468 with 17 home runs, 60 RBI and 37 SBs in 134 games during the 2011 season.

Everyone reading this knows about Valdespin’s struggles in the majors this season, but there are reasons why you shouldn’t write him off because of them. While nothing excuses a sub .200 average, everyone has to remember that he’s still young and he never really got a fair shot to succeed in the majors. His playing time has been sporadic, and many of his ABs occurred when he was coming off the bench cold.

Let’s take a look at the amount of starts Valdespin has in his young career. In 2012, Valdespin started 34 games. By my count, the most games he started in a row was only three. In 2013, Valdespin started 25 games. He only had one stretch in June where he started regularly, but it was only for nine starts.

So, is a poor 59 starts enough to dismiss young player? I don’t think so. If we wrote off all young players who performed poorly in such a small amount of time, many of the games top players would also have been written off. And not only has he not started many games, but his playing time has never been consistent. The reason why this is significant is because it’s tough to get in a rhythm when you are sitting on the bench for long periods of time especially for a young and still developing player like Valdespin.

I’m not trying to say that Valdespin is some kind of can’t-miss prospect, or that it’s a guarantee that he will succeed. However, his ability makes him worthy of getting another opportunity. Valdespin deserves a second chance, and I hope the Mets are willing to give to him.

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June 18, 2013 Was A Turning Point For The New York Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/june-18-2013-was-a-turning-point-for-the-new-york-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/june-18-2013-was-a-turning-point-for-the-new-york-mets.html/#comments Tue, 25 Jun 2013 14:56:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=123048 wheeler harvey

They say that every great run of success usually had its roots in a turning point. Looking at Mets history you can say we’ve had quite a few turning points – both good and bad.

Gil Hodges and Tom Seaver were certainly turning points for the Mets – when they went from lovable losers to a team to be reckoned with and one that shocked the world in 1969.

I always felt that the day we acquired Keith Hernandez was the turning point for what would be another Amazin’ run of success culminating in a remarkable 108 win season and our second World Championship.

On June 12, 2009, when second baseman Luis Castillo dropped that popup against the Yankees, it all began to go bad for the Mets. That was one of our “not-so-good” turning points, and one that has led to four straight losing seasons and possibly five.

Anyway, the more I think about it, the more I am beginning to feel that we’ve recently experienced another significant turning point…

Mark the date June 18, 2013 in your Mets journals…

That was the day that Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler helped the Mets sweep the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on what we now refer to as Super Tuesday.

That was the night that the Mets future was on full display. We saw an overpowering Matt Harvey strike out a career high 13 batters in the first game, and then Zack Wheeler made his MLB debut by tossing six shutout innings with seven strikeouts in the nightcap.

That was also the day that something dramatically changed in the Mets clubhouse. There was a wonderful metamorphosis taking place…

Suddenly, the entire team started to elevate their overall level of play. Their defense was crisper… They were scoring runs again… They were playing loose and having fun… Most of all, they were winning.

Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but maybe not… Maybe something clicked internally that day as if someone had finally and mercifully flipped that switch.

This team has been fun to watch again. They are far from perfect and there’s still plenty of work to do, but I sense a definite shift in the force. I’m seeing hope and optimism back on the upswing…

That tiny glimpse of the future we all saw on that fateful Tuesday, has become a game-changer for this franchise.

I could be dead wrong on this, but I don’t think so. There’s something happening with the Mets right now… And for a change, this feels good.

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The 2013 Mets Are Suffering From A Lack Of Accountability http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/the-2013-mets-are-suffering-from-a-lack-of-accountability.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/the-2013-mets-are-suffering-from-a-lack-of-accountability.html/#comments Thu, 23 May 2013 14:18:33 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=119669 terry_collins--300x300Matt Harvey has it. So does David Wright. Ike Davis tried to show it Wednesday, but only had warning track power.

It is accountability, which is the backbone to admit screwing up.

We certainly didn’t see any the past few days from the Knicks, so let’s turn to the Mets. After losing Thursday to the Reds, Harvey was front-and-center about his performance and threw high-heat at himself.

“It was a tough day – whether it was the changeup I couldn’t necessarily throw for a strike when I wanted to – and everything just crept over the middle,’’ Harvey told reporters at Citi Field. “It was one of those days. I didn’t execute. I didn’t do a good job. I’ve got to be a lot better than that. Nine hits is unacceptable for me. Obviously I wasn’t happy giving up any runs. We needed a big win, and I wasn’t able to do that.’’

What a reporter wants is for a player to be stand-up, to answer questions when the heat is on. Davis tried, although sometimes it seemed as if the listener would get frequent miles for following along with the answer.

I’ve never been enamored with Davis’ approach to hitting and explanations of his approach and thought process. This time, I didn’t care for his defensive explanation, although I appreciated the effort.

With runners on the corners in the ninth inning, Brandon Phillips dribbled a ball down the first base line. Davis, who misplayed a similar ball in the seventh that allowed a run to score, seemed confused on how to play the ball.

“I couldn’t get the guy at home,’’ Davis said. “[Shin-Soo] Choo runs really fast. And it was really slow to my backhand side. I was trying to get off the bag to get in the hole because it was a right-handed hitter.

“They usually don’t hit it down the line like that. The second bounce … I thought it bounced foul. In my head, I can’t turn two. I can’t catch it, touch the bag and then throw it to second and get the guy out, because then it’s a tag play and the guy [Choo] scores anyway.

“So, in my head, when I thought I saw it bounce foul, I pulled my glove back, because then we’d be 0-2 on Phillips [if it were foul] and the run wouldn’t score. That was my thought process on that. I still can’t tell if it was foul or fair on replays. But I definitely did think it bounced foul right before I got it. He made the call fair.’’

With no interpreters in the Mets’ clubhouse, let me attempt to boil it down: Davis said he couldn’t get the runner at home or get the 3-6-3 double-play, so he thought his best play was for the ball to go foul.

Only, Davis couldn’t tell if it was fair or foul. Given that, Davis’ mistake was letting the ball go and hoping for the right call. As a hitter, Davis wouldn’t stay at the plate and wait for the call, but run the ball out. So, why didn’t he do the same on defense? Why would he let the ball go on such a close play and hope for the best?

Maybe he wasn’t asked, but even so, he should have known what to do and admit the mistake of giving up on the play. What we got was a roundabout analysis that sounds like an excuse. Just catch the damn ball. If it is fair and a run scores, so be. Letting it go by opened the door for three to come in.

And, let’s cue the violins when he said, “everything that could go wrong for me now is going wrong.’’

Terry Collins is in a rough place, between telling the truth and not throwing his players under the bus. But, when his team is already ten games under .500, I’d like to see him go to the whip a little more. Didn’t he also promise a culture change and emphasis on fundamentals?

Where’s the fundamentals when all but two players in the normal starting lineup are on pace to strike out over 100 times? Where’s the emphasis on getting a good pitch to hit?

Two walks is a stretch in saying Davis is showing come-out-of-it signs. And, I don’t buy Collins saying Davis is not taking his offense to the field. His fielding has been miserable lately, so how could his offense not be a connection?

Collins didn’t get on Jon Niese for letting the first inning get away from him Tuesday. Nobody on and nobody out and he walks three and let three runs in. That’s inexcusable on any level.

Collins wasn’t forceful on getting on Jordany Valdespin last week when he should have been in full rip mode. And, I would have liked for him to get on Shaun Marcum more for not coming to camp in good condition. He did the previous spring with Ruben Tejada.

However, in fairness to Collins, it is hard to come down on a player if he doesn’t get the backing of the front office. Sandy Alderson, who over the weekend said the minor leagues wasn’t imminent for Davis, echoed that Tuesday, saying: “ … at this point we’re going to live with Ike for a little longer.’’

When Alderson came on the job, he promised a change in culture and stressed accountability. Immediately, we knew he was talking about Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo and both would be gone the following spring. Alderson also knew Jason Bay‘s lack of production after three years shouldn’t net him a fourth. Bay was a good guy, yes, but wasn’t hitting.

So, why be hesitant with Davis, especially if he’s considered a building block?

Alderson speaks like a lawyer with the way he dances around questions. All, I want to hear is: “I didn’t do a good job of putting together the bullpen,’’ and “I didn’t do a good job putting together the outfield,’’ and, “I should have handled things differently with Johan Santana this spring,’’ and, “If I stocked the farm system better, maybe I’d have more options to replace Davis.’’

And. ownership should show more accountability, if for nothing else, letting the Ponzi scandal distract the Mets and influence their off-season moves the past two years. Not to mention, signing off on contracts given to Perez and Bay.

And, don’t deny it hasn’t.

Be accountable. We deserve that much.

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Puello’s Clutch 2-Run Double Fuels Binghamton In 4-3 Win http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/puellos-clutch-2-run-double-fuels-binghamton-in-4-3-win.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/puellos-clutch-2-run-double-fuels-binghamton-in-4-3-win.html/#comments Tue, 30 Apr 2013 10:00:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=116809 429Bing

Binghamton 4, Erie 3

Cesar Puello‘s two-run double down the first base line capped a four-run eighth inning in the Binghamton Mets 4-3 come-from-behind win over the Erie SeaWolves on Monday night at NYSEG Stadium. The B-Mets used three hits and two Erie errors in the decisive inning in the series-opening win.

After getting handcuffed for seven innings by Erie starter Warwick Saupold, the B-Mets broke through against the Erie bullpen. Facing reliever Michael Morrison and trailing 3-0, Alonzo Harris started the comeback by reaching on Corey Jones‘ fielding error at third. Darrell Ceciliani followed with a single and Josh Rodriguez walked to load the bases.

With Allan Dykstra at the plate, catcher James McCann fired to third in attempt to nab Harris, but his throw skipped into left field, allowing Harris to score. Dykstra followed by hammering an RBI double to left, cutting Erie’s lead to one. Puello capped the comeback by bouncing a two-run, go-ahead double down the first baseline, plating Rodriguez and Dykstra.

The SeaWolves had jumped out to an early lead by tagging B-Mets starter Erik Goeddel for three runs in the first four innings. Daniel Field homered in the first, James McCann collected an RBI single in the third and Luis Castillo added a run-scoring double in the fourth.

Erie’s run in the fourth proved to be their last. Goeddel battled to complete five innings and handed the reins to Josh Edgin in the sixth. The lefty allowed two hits, but no runs thanks to Cory Vaughn‘s strong throw to the plate, retiring Castillo to end the inning. Edgin returned for the seventh and posted a perfect frame.

Chase Huchingson (1-0) retired all three batters he faced in the eighth and became the winner after Binghamton’s four-run eighth inning. Jeff Walters racked up his league-leading seventh save with a shutout ninth. Morrison (1-1) suffered the loss.

Saupold settled for the no-decision after tossing seven shutout innings. The righty surrendered just four hits and allowed only one runner to reach third base. Goeddel was taken off the hook thanks to Binghamton’s comeback after giving up three runs on eight hits.

The B-Mets (13-11) continue their four-game set against the SeaWolves (12-10) Tuesday night at 6:35 PM. LHP Mark Cohoon (2-0, 7.11) fills in for Binghamton against LHP Matt Crouse (2-1, 3.68).

(Take note that Vaughn left with a potential injury – and Tyler Pill will miss tomorrow’s start, which you can read about here…)

Key Stats

Allan Dykstra: 2-for-3, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB

Cesar Puello: 1-for-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI

Francisco Pena: 2-for-4, 1 2B

Erik Goeddel: 5.0 IP, 8 H,1 HR, 3 BB, 3 ER, 6 K

Josh Edgin: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 0 ER, 3 K

Chase Huchingson: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K

Jeffrey Walters: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K

(Team Report)

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Johan Santana’s Rite of Spring http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/johan-santanas-rite-of-spring.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/johan-santanas-rite-of-spring.html/#comments Sun, 03 Mar 2013 18:41:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=109703 SPSANTANA 5 MUNSONIn January of 2008, a few months after one of the more epic collapses in baseball history cruelly deprived Met fans of a chance at redemption for the call third strike that kept us from the 2006 Fall Classic, The Mets acquired arguably the best pitcher in the game for 4 unproven prospects. In Minnesota, a land of 10,000 lakes and 10,000 heartaches (if you’re a Twins fan) this was the latest gut wrenching expulsion of a cherished mainstay in a stretch that saw the Twins lose Luis Castillo, Torii Hunter, and 2 time Cy Young winner Johan Santana.

The Santana trade was Billy Smith’s first foray into the “blockbuster” business as the fledgling GM in training under the watchful eye of Terry Ryan, the longtime Twins General Manager. It was rumored that Ryan wasn’t thrilled with the specifics of the trade with the Mets and that Smith approached him during the final days leading up to the trade in an effort to obtain something akin to a blessing. Ryan didn’t give it, refusing to put what would have amounted to a seal of approval on the trade. His rationale was that he didn’t want to undermine Smith’s “final word” authority, Ryan wanted it to be understood that it was Smith’s team now.

In the months leading up to the trade another story had been quietly brewing in this quiet corner of the baseball universe. Santana was not happy. He’d voiced his disapproval of General Manager Terry Ryan’s tendency to periodically dismantle and rearm as the circuitous exercise in perpetual mediocrity the fans believed it to be. In August of 2007, Santana unleashed his sentiments to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

“I’m not surprised. That’s exactly how they are. That’s why we’re never going to go beyond where we’ve gone.”

“It’s not just about hope,” Santana said. “In a realistic world, you have to really make it happen and go for it. You always talk about future, future. … But if you only worry about the future, then I guess a lot of us won’t be part of it.”

“Why waste time when you’re talking about something that’s always going to be like that? It’s never going to be beyond this point. It doesn’t make any sense for me to be here, you know?”

johan santana twinsSantana was upset because the Twins had traded Luis Castillo to the big market big spending N.Y. Mets for Dustin Martin and Drew Butera, a defensive catching prospect with no real value and a low level outfield prospect with a decent eye and little else. It was a salary dump of some two million dollars. It was said Ron Gardenhire, the Twins manager wasn’t Happy with Castillo dating back to October of 2006 during the division series when, inexplicably, Luis failed to put down a bunt during a critical point in 8th inning of Game One.

Half way through the following season he was shipped off to N.Y. even though he was on pace to amass 200 hits and the team was only 6 games back. It was a strange trade for several reasons, beyond the fact that the Twins weren’t really out of it, the return for Castillo, who was having a good year, was minimal. The trade also happened so quickly there was speculation that Gardy wanted him out fast.

There was talk that the Twins clubhouse, which had in earlier years been a model of cohesion, was fractured. There was again tension between some of the younger players and the veterans dating back to an ugly confrontation at the conclusion of the 2005 season when Torii Hunter took a swing at young slugger Justin Morneau.

Following the Castillo trade when it was clear the Veterans would be sold off for parts, they weren’t happy about it and they let it be known. Castillo went on to the Mets where strangely the clubhouse began to fracture as well. There was talk that certain players were skirting the press and one incident where an unidentified player pretended his English was poorer than it actually was to avoid the Media. Meanwhile, Reyes was struggling with his hamstrings, and the team in general seemed to play poorly whenever Castillo was in the lineup, in fact it had become a strange and glaring reality how badly they played when Luis manned second.

It seemed like Reyes wasn’t himself. I don’t know whether Castillo saw Reyes as just another “Juan Pierre” speedster batting ahead of him or as the phenomenal talent he actually was, but I found it odd that 2009 was a lost year for Reyes while Castillo enjoyed his best year as a Met. Ironically it was said Castillo and Reyes clicked more off the field (as Reyes began to keep later hours) than they did on the field. I’d always been astounded by the arrogance of Castillo’s talk when he first came to the Mets about taking Reyes “under his wing,” as Reyes was already a far greater player by then than Castillo ever was, but I took it in stride and gave Luis the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he just didn’t understand how good Reyes was.

Eventually Castillo’s 4 year 25 million dollar deal would become one of the worst contracts handed out to a Free Agent by the Mets, as Luis found it harder and harder to stay on the field, or get on base, or even slap the ball onto the outfield grass, while Luis’ delusions of being on equal footing with Jose (or even his mentor) became absurd and comical in hindsight.

Santana, meanwhile, in 2007, had what you might call an off-year for a guy who’d won two Cy Young awards in the three preceding years and who arguably should have won a third. His era rose to 3.33 after averaging 2.75 over that 3 year span. I mention this because for some, Santana’s discontent with management was carried onto the field, not in an overt in your face manner, but in a “why should I give it my absolute best?” Kind of way. In his first season with the Mets Santana’s ERA dropped back down to 2.53, adding some credibility to this perception.

I admired Santana when he was on the Twins and was thrilled beyond belief when the Mets landed him, but while I liked Santana, the player, I always had reservations about Santana, the person. I remember the fuss he raised when he was working out of the bullpen in 2001 and parts of 2002, the way he bashed the Twins front office in 2007, the weird “be a man” comments, and of course the “consensual” incident on the golf course in 2010, but ultimately it was Johan’s disappointing performance on the field, the injuries, and the unfulfilled promise that deflated all my positive feelings. Sure, he’ll forever get a pass for delivering our first no-hitter, but as someone who has seen more than most fans’ share of Santana, in person, back in the hideous Metrodome, as well as on SNY, it was hard to get past the fact that Johan on the Mets was nothing like the Santana I remember on the Twins.

The Twins offered him 6 years and 100 million and eventually he went with Minaya’s offer of 7 years at 137 million. People decried the trade as a gift to the Mets, as absurdly one sided, but Deolis Guerra the youngest prospect with the highest ceiling in the Santana trade is still in the Twins organization and has quietly turned a corner while Carlos Gomez had a breakout season last year, albeit on another team. Even more valuable for the Twins, however, is the money they aren’t paying Santana in 2013, not to mention the money they didn’t pay him in 2012 and 2011. Smith is no longer GM of the Twins, Ryan took his old spot atop the organization back from his apprentice who never quite got past the failure of Santana’s return.

Sandy Alderson’s peculiar preemptive torpedoing of our de facto Ace and opening day starter yesterday was odd. Was he anticipating discontent from his oft-injured ace? Is there any truth to the whispers about Santana staying to himself and failing to connect with non-Latin players? You don’t really get the sense that Johan has taken Harvey or Wheeler “under his wing.” Has Santana become the new Castillo? The proud veteran struggling to come to grips with his own decline?

“I think there was an expectation that when he came in, he’d be ready to pitch,” Alderson said. “But I think that was his expectations too, regardless of the winter that he had. I don’t think there was disagreement; I don’t think there was a disappointment on our part or an acceptance on his part that that’s the way it would be. But it was clear over the first few days he wasn’t ready. So we’re going to get him ready.”

Santana’s response was somewhere between disdain and quiet indignation, “I’ve been doing this for years,” Santana said. “I know what it takes. And that’s what I’m doing right now — getting ready for the season, not for spring training. I’m very focused. I know exactly what I have to do, so that’s what I’m doing.” The following morning he decided to finally step out onto a mound, commenting, ”What is spring training for? Training.”

What I find more odd than Santana coming in with a weak shoulder, is Alderson’s cold hard criticism leading me to speculate that Santana is history. If he can get a handful of decent starts under his belt he’s gone, you can bank on it.

I was hurt when we traded Dickey, crushed when we lost Reyes (a loss I may never recover from as a fan), strangely though, and I’m not entirely certain why, I will not mourn the loss of Santana. He’s no Tom Seaver, in fact, he’s not even Pedro. Players age, performance declines, the years pass and we all get older. Some of us handle it better than others, and my thinking has always been that playing in the major leagues and getting paid 25 million a year would certainly be enough motivation for me. I understand wanting to win, but after a while the noble pursuit of glory becomes the awkward product of an unsustainable ego in an aging body. Still, Baseball returns every spring filling us with hope and promise, a strange and beautiful game.

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After Trimming Some Fat Off The Payroll, What’s Left For Alderson To Play With? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/08/alderson-dump-of-krod-guarantees-huge-payroll-flexibilty.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/08/alderson-dump-of-krod-guarantees-huge-payroll-flexibilty.html/#comments Wed, 03 Aug 2011 18:10:37 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=54482 When the first pitch was thrown on opening day of the 2011 season, the Mets payroll sat at $142 Million.  Due to that number Alderson was not able to do much this past off season.  That is all going to change with all of the contracts expiring at the end of this season. With the recent trade of Francisico Rodriguez, Sandy Alderson has assured himself the ability to make a substantial offer to Reyes among other things.

Did we all forget that the contracts of Perez and Castillo are still on the books?  Just because they are no longer here, does not mean that there money just disappeared.  We paid those two players $18 million this season to just go away.  Other notable contracts that will expire are Reyes, Beltran and the now traded Frankie Rodriguez. We all know that the payroll with probably drop this off season, but we are just not sure how much. The recent developments of Irving Picard’s lawsuit being scaled back from $1 billion to somewhere around $300 million or so, and the influx of about $200 million from Einhorn, leads me to believe it may not be as much as we once thought.

There is no question that Sandy will have some serious money to play with this off season, even if the payroll has to drop into the $120 million dollar range. Here is a little closer look at exactly how much money is coming off at the seasons end.

1. Carlos Beltran: $20 Million

2. Francisco Rodriguez: $12 Million

3. Oliver Perez: $12 Million

4. Jose Reyes: $11 Million

5. Luis Castillo: $6 Million

Mets Current Budget: 142 Million. Mets budget when these major contracts expire: $80 Million

There are also some other contracts such as Chris Young, Chris Capuano and Scott Hairston that may drop that number closer to the $75 Million dollar range. The point is, the trade of Krod assures the Mets that they will have major money to play with next season.  I also understand that this projection does not factor in potential raises in arbitration to guys like Parnell, Pagan and Pelfrey.

Even if you were to sign Reyes to a contract worth $15-18 Million a year, the total team salary would still be under $100 million before you begin to do anything else. With the way the team is playing, they are starting to bring fans to the stadium, which brings in more revenue. The recent developments of Irving Picard’s lawsuit being scaled back from $1 billion to somewhere around $300 million or so. The influx of the $200 Million for Einhorn also gave some stability to the franchise.  All of these factors will contribute to next years payroll, leads me to believe it may not drop as much as we once thought.

All I know is, once the season ends, and before any players are signed or re-signed, Sandy will have a lot of options open to him. With roughly $60 million coming off the payroll, I can’t wait to see what he does this off season!  Any thoughts?

For more of my insights come visit us at BigAppleMetsTalk, or follow me on Twitter @BgAppleMetsTalk

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Phillies Release Castillo http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/03/phillies-release-castillo.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/03/phillies-release-castillo.html/#comments Thu, 31 Mar 2011 02:46:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=47382 Former Mets second baseman, boy, does that feel great to say, Luis Castillo has been released for the second time this winter, this time being cut by the Phillies. Castillo, who was statistically one of the worst starting position players in the MLB last year, is now once again on the open market.

Castillo was reportedly going to fill in while Chase Utley recovered from his knee ailment, but it appears another Mets cast off will get the job instead. Wilson Valdez will likely cover most of the playing time along with several other fillers. Utley will likely return sometime mid-season, my guess is we will see Johan Santana and Utley return around the same time.

The 35-year old Dominican native batted to a mediocre .604 OPS, ranking just 291st among 305 players with at least 250 plate appearances in the majors in 2010. Despite his below average campaign, Castillo will likely find a job somewhere when the time comes that a team is in need for middle infield depth.

Wherever he may end up, I am just glad that the mess that is Luis Castillo is no longer our problem.

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Five Reasons To Look Forward To The 2011 Mets Season http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/03/five-reasons-to-look-forward-to-the-2011-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/03/five-reasons-to-look-forward-to-the-2011-mets.html/#comments Thu, 24 Mar 2011 01:19:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=46832 Amidst all this spring training uncertainty, the Castillo/Perez drama and numerous articles predicting the Mets to be a mediocre team, I felt it was time to look forward to a few things, and these are five reasons to look forward to the 2011 Mets.

1.) The Growth Of Players

2011 will mark the next major seasons for Ike Davis, Angel Pagan, Josh Thole, R.A. Dickey, Jonathon Niese, Mike Pelfrey and Bobby Parnell. What can another season worth of growth do for these players. Can Angel Pagan become a 15/35 or 20/40 CF with Gold Glove defense AND stay healthy? Can Jonathon Niese be strong for a whole season? Can Mike Pelfrey just stay consistent and win 15 games while keeping his cool? Can R.A. Dickey repeat his season or even come close to it? Can Bobby Parnell learn to throw and trust his breaking ball, making his role as a closer waiting in the wings a reality? The possibility for 7 homegrown players to be starting on opening day is a very welcomed site.

2.) The End Of Mediocrity

So long to players who did not deserve at-bats but received them based on contractual obligations (Alex Cora, Luis Castillo) or pitchers who ate innings poorly for large contracts (Oliver Perez, John Maine). The new regime and managers seem to much rather performance then pay, and that mindset and set of ideas can be extremely beneficial for fielding the strongest team possible.

3.) Competent Minor League Progression

The days of aggressive placement for top prospects seems to be over, and prospects will be allowed to grow level-to-level based on there performance, not trying to issue a new challenge. The issue with advancing great prospects ahead of their own progression is if they cannot succeed, they may alter what got them to that point in hopes of fixing a problem, while just opening another weakness. Most experts say the average batter should put in 2000 ABs at the minor league level to get acclimated. Advancing the prospects based on their skill set seems to be smarter.

4.) The Second Base Dilemma

Why is this a plus, you ask? The Mets have been fielding Luis Castillo who over the course of his 3 1/2 years averaged a 84 OPS+ and below average defense. The Mets sending out Brad Emaus, Daniel Murphy or pretty much anyone short of Luis Castillo and probably receive the same defensive contribution and a significantly better offensive product. What Luis Castillo gave in OBP, he sacrificed everywhere else. This is the best problem the Mets have had in years, because they can only go upward offensively, and not having someone who is either walking or going to ground out is a major plus.

5.) A Full Year from the Core

The Mets have not fielded a lineup this well rounded overall in quite a few years. The outfield hasn’t been this strong or productive since the Cliff Floyd/Moises Alou/Beltran days. The outfield of Beltran/Bay/Pagan could be one of the best, if not the best outfield group in the entire National League. Josh Thole is the polar opposite of last years catching core known as pop-up, strikeout & sons. The infield is going to be fielding 3 great players all under 30, determined to prove that they aren’t complacent on what they’ve done or by just winning some games.

Their are of course downsides, such as the possibility of Johan Santana not pitching a game, K-Rod’s option vesting, Jose Reyes being traded/not resigning with the Mets, Carlos Beltran not getting on the field or a variety of other issues. But April 1st is approaching, and the best way to begin the season is with optimism

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Hasta La Vista, Baby! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/03/hasta-la-vista-baby.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/03/hasta-la-vista-baby.html/#comments Mon, 21 Mar 2011 19:04:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=46645 As if going into a new season without Jeff Francoeur clogging up the lineup wasn’t improvement enough, Mets fans all over the world are absolutely rejoicing today as we bid farewell to Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo too.

This is what addition by subtraction is all about!

Usually we’d wish former players the best of luck, but in this case we’ll just say, “Adiós amigos!”

I’m really looking forward to a great season in 2011. Jose Reyes is running without pain, Carlos Beltran insists he’ll be ready for Opening Day, Chris Young and Chris Capuano are healthy and having solid outings, and how great has Frankie Rodriguez looked this spring! 

I haven’t felt this excited about a new Mets season in a couple of years.

Lets Go Mets!

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The Line Must Be Drawn Here! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/03/the-line-must-be-drawn-here.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/03/the-line-must-be-drawn-here.html/#comments Mon, 21 Mar 2011 13:00:28 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=46591 THIS IS ABOUT SAVING THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY! Well maybe not but this has to be right up there with landing a man on the moon before the damn Commies or finally putting a Wal-Mart in Staten Island or bringing the iPhone over to a carrier that doesn’t drop calls like Charlie Sheen drops Goddesses. Winning. Yeah, umm no.

When the Sandy Alderson pulled the trigger and finally put to rest the piñata that Luis Castillo had become, through that awful contagious ailment called aging, all of us in Metdom can now finally breathe a partial sigh of relief. It struck me that so many of us would be partially sad for the guy.

The guy gets to live on a 6 million dollar paycheck if no other team see’s the innate value in a 35 year old second baseman with little to no range, bad wheels, and an even weaker slap hitter with a self-delusional mentality that he SHOULD be starting in the Majors. Now that’s winning my friends.

I guess if Castillo were more introspective and humble about his decline the anger that attaches to him like Velcro to pet hair wouldn’t be so vitriolic. Then again the infamous dropped pop up against the Yanks probably negates any good will we will ever have for him. It’s best for him to wade quietly into history along with the Bobby Bonilla’s and Vince Coleman’s of Met history.

THE LINE MUST BE DRAWN HERE….NO FURTHER!!

You got that right Captain baldy with the English accent that has the French sounding name. I have a feeling all the off-season hand wringing about Castillo and Perez and all on field Met issues are being dealt with dare I say – FAIRLY – by Alderson. But without a doubt, the line in the sand is being drawn.

Sure he could have listened to the many voices out there calling for the heads of those infamous Mets but he waited and apparently wanted to see for himself. Basically he gave them the rope and they obliged.

Of all the player moves Alderson has made so far, these moves could very well define him in the eyes of the fan base. He’s not deaf to our calls but he shouldn’t flick his finger into the wind and go where the breeze from all the hot air takes him.

We have about 2 weeks left to go in Spring Training and theoretically we don’t have a clear cut second baseman. I’m fine with that. Have them battle it out and compete for the job, as they have so far. Believe me, we aren’t going to collapse because we don’t have a Dan Uggla manning second. Relax.

As for Ollie Perez, what can we say that hasn’t been already? After imploding as a starter this Spring, Collins moved him to the pen, as a situational lefty. A 12 million dollar situational lefty? Who the hell do we think we are, the Yankees?

As of right now, the official word hasn’t been given by Alderson to release Perez. But if I were you I’d keep an eye on TMZ today, Ollie Perez would be the perfect replacement for Charlie Sheen, both overpaid underperforming, with serious control issues.

Maybe Perez could tryout for Major League III, he has years of practice pretending to be a Major Leaguer.

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Phillies Agree To Terms With Luis Castillo http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/03/phillies-agree-to-terms-with-luis-castillo.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/03/phillies-agree-to-terms-with-luis-castillo.html/#comments Mon, 21 Mar 2011 04:39:22 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=46613 According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, The Phillies have agreed to sign Luis Castillo to a minor league contract. That’s right, Castillo will be playing for the enemy after being under team control since 2007. Castillo would likely fill the currently vacant spot while the ailing Chase Utley recuperates from his knee injury that will sideline him for an unknown amount of time.

This news comes just two days after the Mets released the veteran infielder, to the delight of most of the fan base. Early speculation predicted the Marlins and Phillies as possible landing spots given their unsure second base situations. It was earlier reported today by Adam Rubin that Castillo and the Phillies were close to a deal.

Castillo will earn $6 million this year, now likely around only $5.6 of it payed by the Mets. The Phillies will likely pay Castillo near the league minimum of a little more than $400,000.

 As we all know, Castillo had another disappointing season in 2010 batting .235/.337/.267 with the Mets. If he has the same amount of production, or lack there of, in 2011, Castillo would likely result in becoming “subtraction by addition” if you will, for Philadelphia this season.

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Decision On Fate Of Ollie Perez Could Come Monday http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/03/decision-on-fate-of-ollie-perez-could-come-monday.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/03/decision-on-fate-of-ollie-perez-could-come-monday.html/#comments Sun, 20 Mar 2011 17:23:51 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=46556 Updated 3/20 1:00 PM

Oliver Perez left the Mets complex this morning and was not told what was next for him, according to Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal. Costa also says that we should expect a decision by Monday.

Pitching coach Dan Warthen said this morning that no decision has been reached yet on Perez, but there will be a meeting of the minds with Terry Colllins and Sandy Alderson on Monday.  – JD

Original Post 3/19 10:00 PM

Yesterday many Mets fans received the 4 words we’ve been praying for. METS CUT LUIS CASTILLO. How can life get better? Oh wait that’s right Oliver Perez still exists. So Sandy, your supposed to be this Anti-Omar, wizard of a GM. Why is Oliver Perez still on the team? Well if Sandy had any last thoughts on the matter, they have likely faded away after today’s performance.

Oliver Perez’s line vs. Nationals today – .2 IP..3 hits..2 ER..1 BB..and a big fat 8.38 ERA for the spring.

I’m sure someone is erasing Oliver Perez’s name from his Digital Domain parking spot as we speak. Likely by tomorrow the news will come down from upper management to go ahead and do the inevitable – Cut Ollie Perez. Sadly this is the best moment Mets fans like I have had to enjoy in awhile. But the facts were plain and simple. Oliver Perez is not worth a roster spot.

My guess was the Mets were only keeping him around for the chance he could be Terry Collin’s desired Long Reliever/2nd Lefty. Similar to Hisanori Takahashi last season except his name is Oliver Perez. The experiment is clearly not working.

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25 Million Later…Luis Castillo In Retrospect. http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/03/25-million-later-luis-castillo-in-retrospect.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/03/25-million-later-luis-castillo-in-retrospect.html/#comments Fri, 18 Mar 2011 22:30:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=46505 Luis Castillo was officially released today and is no longer on the active roster of the New York Mets. I wish I could’ve heard these words a few years ago, but after reading numerous posts and insights into the situation varying from “good riddance” to “why?” I decided to give a full scope look into the entire tenure of Luis Castillo with the Mets, both defensively and offensively, trying to be as neutral as possible.

Luis Castillo was good for the Mets in 2007, as in good fit, not good player. His better days were way behind him, and the Mets needed an everyday second baseman to solidify that team. Instead of trying out a younger player or signing a free agent, the Mets spent 25 million re-signing a 31-year old slap-hitting second baseman who’s value was entirely in his legs, that which towards the latter part of his career gave out on him. Watching him hobble on his uneven legs to first base was something that really made me shrink.

As bad as the Oliver Perez deal was, the difference is Minaya paid for potential and the fact that Perez threw with the wrong hand for Perez. In Castillo he threw 6 million annually at an OBP machine with fading defense who in the last 2 years just seemed to get on base by not swinging at pitches. I recall seeing Castillo look at strike-3 without swinging at all in an at-bat a few times, and his OBP shows it. Last year he posted his lowest OBP numbers since 1998, when he was a part-time player.

Now, the strictly statistic point of view:

Offensively…

Luis Castillo was traded to the Mets from the Twins in 2007 for 2 minor league prospects, Drew Butera and Dustin Martin. Castillo’s primary purpose was to fill the gap that was left by Jose Valentin when he broke a bone in his leg fouling a pitch off it. Castillo’s line for Twins was 54 runs, 0 home runs, 18 RBI, 9 stolen bases in 13 attempts and 29 walks to 28 strikeouts. Upon coming to the Mets, Castillo’s line over 199 ABs was 37 runs, 1 home run, 20 RBI, 10 steals in 12 attempts and 24 walks to 17 strikeouts. Despite these numbers, he managed 25 XBH throughout the season, with 5 of them being triples. Based on this stat-line, the Mets gave out a 4 year/25 million dollar contract to Castillo in hopes of solidifying their infield around young up-and-coming stars David Wright and Jose Reyes.

In 2008, Castillo’s numbers took a nose dive as he was injured. In 298 ABs , his line was 46 runs, 3 home runs, 28 RBI, 17 steals in 19 attempts and 50 walks to 35 strikeouts and a .245 average. Castillo seemingly failed in his first year of the contract, and at that moment the deal looked like a disaster. The two things Castillo was good at – hitting for average and stealing bases, were hindered by his injury and sent his value through the floor. Talks already began swirling about how Castillo needed to be purged and that Minaya had thrown good money at a lackluster player.

Castillo was hell-bent on changing that opinion in 2009, scoring 77 runs, hitting 1 home run, notching 40 RBI, stealing 20 bases in 26 attempts and walking 69 times to 58 strikeouts for a .302 average.Castillo hadn’t neared that walk total since 2005, but his strikeouts were always on a ratio with his walks. It seemed Castillo was swinging more, and thus putting more balls in play, drilling them into the ground. The fanbase hoped 2009 was the real Castillo and 2008 was just bad luck.

In 2010, Luis Castillo played through numerous injuries, but the numbers were not pretty at years end. In 247 ABs, Castillo hit .235 with 28 runs scored, 0 home runs, 18 RBI, 8 steals in 11 attempts and 39 walks to 25 strikeouts. Castillo was benched late in the season and a multitude of farmhands/free agents filled the gaps, showing how far from the Mets grace that Castillo had fallen. A rookie who had limited experience above Double A at shortstop – his natural position, received more playing time then Castillo in September.

Defensively…

Castillo’s UZR, by the years. 1.3, -4.6, -11.3, 2.8. TotalZone says he was 0.7, -11.5, -0.4, 3.0. Both measures seem to agree that in 2008 and 2009 Luis Castillo’s defense had deteriorated to a below average defender. His range in the field, based on FanGraphs clearly has Castillo as an average defender in 2007, well below average in 2008, below average in 2009 and in a limited sample size average or above average in 2010.

What the eye saw was a player who was unable to consistently stay healthy, finding difficulty playing his style of game without his legs and losing whatever value was attributed to his glove once his range deteriorated to something pathetic and his arm made rookie Ike Davis stretch for days.

Closing Thoughts:

Castillo wasn’t exactly a bad player, but he was an average player who was out to get as much money as he could doing what he was good at in his walk year. Regretfully, the Mets paid that sum and were rewarded with one good season, two bad seasons and a season that will more then likely be on the Mets payroll while Castillo plays for another team (Phillies, anyone?). What makes this much worse to the fan is that the proverbial bleeding was only stopped, about 18 million dollars too late.

Luis Castillo, you aren’t a bad baseball player, your age just caught up to you and took the two things that made you worth 6 million plus a year – your speed and your defense. As a fan of the Mets, I’m glad your gone because watching a shell of who you used to be for more money then Angel Pagan hurts me. As a fan of honesty, however – you should’ve been cut at the beginning of spring training instead of being dragged through the mud.

Farewell Luis Castillo.

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