Mets Merized Online » Mike Jacobs http://metsmerizedonline.com Sun, 01 Feb 2015 12:00:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.5 The Most Obscure Mets Opening Day Starters Since 1980 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/the-most-obscure-mets-opening-day-starters-since-1980.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/the-most-obscure-mets-opening-day-starters-since-1980.html/#comments Thu, 19 Dec 2013 20:21:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134777 buddy harrelson

This Bud’s For You…

Barring injury, 2014 will be the 10th consecutive Opening Day start for David Wright, tying Tom Seaver with 10 consecutive Opening Days (1968-1977 + 1 additional start in 1983) and one short of Bud Harrelson‘s 11 consecutive openers (1967-1977).

While we know the names and histories of the players who played in multiple Opening Days, there were plenty of One Start Wonders who only started one Opening Day as a New York Met.  Since 1980, there have been 55 players who have started one Opening Day.  Some were pretty obsure.  Some are surprising.  There were some players who started just one game at one position, but started other openers at a different position.

Since 1980 (34 seasons), what positions saw the most one-time wonders?

First Base – 5
Second Base – 7
Shortstop – 4
Third Base – 1
Left Field – 3
Center Field – 9
Right Field – 10
Catcher – 6
Pitcher – 10

But who are the most Obscure of the Obscure Mets Opening Day Starters since 1980?  Of the 46 non-pitchers, these 10 players have played the fewest games in a Mets uniform:

10 – Karim Garcia – Karim was the Opening Day Right Fielder in 2004, his only season with the Mets . In 62 games with the team, he hit .234 with 7 HR and 22 RBI.  He was traded to the Baltimore Orioles on July 19th, 2004 for relief pitcher Mike DeJean. Karim played parts of 10 seasons in the Majors with the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Tigers, Orioles, Indians, Yankees, and Mets.  He appered in 488 MLB games from 1994-2004 and hit .241 with 66 HR and 212 RBI.

9 – Mike Marshall – Mike was the OD First Baseman in 1990, his only season in New York.  In 53 games as a Met, he hit .239 with 6 HR and 27 RBI.  He was traded to the Boston Red Sox on July 27th, 1990 for Paul Williams, Ed Perozo, and Greg Hansell.  Mike played 11 MLB seasons (1981-1991) with the Dodgers, Mets, Red Sox, and Angels, appearing in 1035 games and hit .270 with 148 HR and 530 RBI.

7 (tie) – Mike Howard – Mike was the OD Right Fielder in 1983, the same year that Darryl Strawberry was called up.  Mike went 1 for 3 on Opening Day, collecting an RBI Single off Steve Carlton in the bottom of the 7th, driving in Dave Kingman.  His hit on Opening Day off the Hall of Famer was the final hit in the final at bat in the final game of his MLB career.  In 48 MLB games (1981-1983), all with the Mets, he hit .182 with 1 HR and 7 RBI.

7 (tie) – Tony Fernandez – Tony was the Opening Day Shortstop of the 1993 team.  The 5 time All-Star and 4 time Gold Glove winner played in only 48 games for the Mets before being traded to the eventual World Series Champion Blue Jays on July 11, 1993 for Darrin Jackson.  With the Mets, Tony hit .225 with 1 HR and 14 RBI.  In 17 MLB seasons (1983-1995, 1997-1999, 2001) with the Blue Jays, Padres, Mets, and Brewers, he hit .288 with 94 HR, 844 RBI, and 2276 base hits in 2158 career games.

6 – Gary Matthews – Gary was the Opening Day Center Fielder in 2010.  Gary appeared in 38 games with the Mets (36 in 2010), hitting .190 with 0 HR and 1 RBI.  2010 was his second stint with the team, after also appearing in 2 games in 2002.  After being released by the Mets, he signed with the Reds on June 24th, but never returned to the Majors.  Gary played 12 seasons in the bigs (1999-2010) with the Padres, Cubs, Pirates, Mets, Orioles, Rangers, and Angels, playing in 1281 MLB games, batting .257 with 108 HR and 484 RBI.

5 – Mike Jacobs – Mike was the OD First Baseman in 2010 prior to Ike Davis being called up, his second stint with the Mets.  Mike played in 37 career games with the Mets and in 2010 he appeared in just 7 games, hitting .208 with 1 HR and 2 RBI.  In 7 MLB seasons (2005-2010, 2012) with the Mets, Marlins, Royals, and Diamondbacks, he played in 569 games, batting .253 with 100 HR and 312 RBI.

4 – Ricky Gutierrez – Ricky was the 2004 OD Second Baseman who appeared in 24 games with the Mets.  In 2004, he hit .175 with 0 HR and 5 RBI before being released by the Mets on May 25th.  Ricky played 12 seasons in the bigs (1993-2004) with the Padres, Astros, Cubs, Indians, Mets, and Red Sox.  He played in 1119 games, hitting .266 with 38 HR and 357 RBI to go with 967 big league hits.

3 – Collin Cowgill – Collin was the 2013 Opening Day Center Fielder who played 23 games in his Mets career, all in 2013.  He hit .180 with 2 HR and 8 RBI as a Met.  After being designated for assignment on June 25th, he was traded to the Angels for Kyle Johnson.  In 3 MLB seasons (2011-2013) with the Diamondbacks, A’s, Mets, and Angels, Collin has played in 147 games, batting .236 with 6 HR and 34 RBI.

2 – Tim Spehr – Tim was the Mets OD Catcher in 1998, the same season Mike Piazza arrived and was the starter that followed Todd Hundley‘s 6 OD starts behind the plate from 1992-1997.  1998 was Tim’s only season with the team, appearing in 21 games and hitting .137 with 0 HR and 3 RBI.  Tim played 8 seasons in the majors (1991, 1993-1999) with the Royals, Expos, Braves, and Mets.  He played in 363 MLB games, batting .198 with 19 HR and 72 RBI.

And the most Obscure Mets Opening Day Starting Position Player since 1980 is…

1 – Brad Emaus – Brad was the Mets 2011 Opening Day Second Baseman who was acquired in the Rule 5 Draft from the Toronto Blue Jays prior to the season.  He won the starting job in Spring Training, but was designated for assignment on April 19th.  He was returned to the Blue Jays on April 21st and traded to the Rockies the following day.  In 2011, Brad appeared in 14 games with the Mets, batting .162 with 0 HR and 1 RBI.  His 14 games with the Mets were his only 14 in the Majors.

Presented By Diehards

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Trading with the Enemy http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/trading-with-the-enemy.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/trading-with-the-enemy.html/#comments Sun, 15 Dec 2013 04:10:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=135582 Trading with the enemy is pretty rare – and when I mean the enemy, I’m referring to trading within the division – and the Yankees.  You don’t want to be on the bad end of a trade and be burned for years to come when trading with your chief rivals.

So what trades have the Mets made with the Enemy over the last 15 years?  It’s only happened 19 times and remarkably, it hasn’t happened in four years…

February 6, 1998 – Robert Stratton, A.J. Burnett, and Jesus Sanchez were traded to the Marlins for Al Leiter and Ralph Millard.

March 20, 1998Brandon Villafuerte and a Player to be named later (Cesar Crespo) were traded to the Marlins for Robert Stratton.

May 22, 1998 – Geoff Goetz, Preston Wilson, and Ed Yarnall were traded to the Marlins for Mike Piazza.

November 20, 1998Jorge Fabregas was traded to the Marlins for Oscar Henriquez.

July 23, 2001Todd Pratt was traded to the Phillies for Gary Bennett.

July 27, 2001Dennis Cook and Turk Wendell were traded to the Phillies for Adam Walker and Bruce Chen.

robin-ventura blackDecember 7, 2001Robin Ventura was traded to the Yankees for David Justice.

March 24, 2002Lou Collier was traded to the Expos for Jason Bay and Jimmy Serrano

April 5, 2002Bruce Chen, Luis Figueroa, Dickey Gonzalez, and a PTBNL (Saul Rivera) were traded to the Expos for Phil Seibel, Scott Strickland, and Matt Watson.

July 16, 2003Armando Benitez was traded to the Yankees for Ryan Biconda, Jason Anderson, and Anderson Garcia.

December 3, 2004Mike Stanton was traded to the Yankees for Felix Heredia.

November 24, 2005 – Grant Psomas, Mike Jacobs, and Yusmeiro Petit were traded to the Marlins for Carlos Delgado and cash.

gallery_loducaDecember 5, 2005 – Dante Brinkley and Gaby Hernandez were traded to the Marlins for Paul Lo Duca.

November 20, 2006Matt Lindstrom and Henry Owens were traded to the Marlins for Adam Bostick and Jason Vargas.

August 6, 2007 – Player to be named later to the Marlins for Chad Hermansen. (Baseball Reference does not reflect if the PTBNL was later sent).

November 30, 2007Lastings Milledge was traded to the Nationals for Ryan Church and Brian Schneider.

August 17, 2008 – PTBNL (Anderson Hernandez) was traded to the Nationals for Luis Ayala.

July 10, 2009Ryan Church was traded to the Braves for Jeff Francoeur.

August 6, 2009  - Greg Veloz was traded to the Nationals for Anderson Hernandez.

Presented By Diehards

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The Twelve Percent Solution? The 2005 Edition http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/the-twelve-percent-solution-the-2005-edition.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/the-twelve-percent-solution-the-2005-edition.html/#comments Sat, 30 Nov 2013 15:58:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134091 12 percentI previously posed the question if a player can develop plate discipline at the minor league level to lay off bad pitches, does that translate into major league success?  Let’s do a little rewind to see how a 12% walk rate translated over time, shall we?

Over the course of 502 plate appearances, a 12% walk rate (the minimum number of appearances needed to qualify for a MLB batting title) would yield 60 walks.  550 appearances – 66 walks.  600 plate appearances – 72 walks.  72 walks would place a batter into the top 25 of that particular category in the majors in 2013.

After hopping in my DeLorean, firing up the flux capacitor, and speeding up to 88 miles per hour, I found myself back in 2005.  The faithful knew that this would be Mike Piazza’s last season in Queens.  Pedro Martinez was throwing 200+ innings with an ERA under 3.00.  Kris Benson would be traded in the offseason and along with him we were rid of the wild Anna.  And there were 13 Mets prospects that walked at a 12% rate.

Why 2005?  Because this upcoming season will be the 10th since that magical year.  Surely that plate discipline produced many productive Major Leaguers, even if not outright superstars, right?

Survey says…. X

So who were these 12 percenters?

Jon Schemmel – 21.3% rate.  Jon was a rookie in 2005 who signed as an undrafted free agent and spent that season in Rookie ball with Gulf Coast League Mets.  He didn’t hit for power, but he hit for a high average that year to go along with his walks.  While the sample size was small and he only appeared in 34 games, he hit .347 with 0 HR, 20 RBI, 5 doubles, 2 triples and 35 base hits to go with a sparkling .504 OBP.  Jon played 4 seasons of professional ball in the Mets and Padres organization (2005-2008), reaching as high as AAA and played in 248 games, collecting 215 career hits, batting .272 with 3 HR and 83 RBI.  His career OBP was .381 with a career walk rate of 12.1%.

Jon Malo – 19.0% rate.  Jon was drafted twice by the Mets, first in the 40th round of the 2002 draft and again in the 48th round pick of the 2003 draft. He played for 7 years in the Mets (2005-2011) organization beginning in 2005 (yes, 2005), making it as high as AAA Buffalo.   In 2005, Jon played with the Brooklyn Cyclones (A-) and the St. Lucie Mets (A+) batting .222 with 2 HR and 17 RBI in 51 games with 32 hits.  With the Mets, he played in 639 games, hitting .233 with 26 HR and 195 RBI to go with 436 base hits.  In his 7 seasons in the organization, he had a career walk rate of 7.3%.  After 2011, Jon moved onto Indy ball where he played 2012-2013 with the Quebec Capitales of the Can-Am League.

Ivan Naccarata – 17% rate.  Ivan played two seasons in the Mets organization (2005-2006), reaching as high as the St. Lucie Mets.  He briefly played in the Dodgers organization in 2007 before continuing his playing days in Indy ball with the Quebec Capitales of the Can-Am League (2007, 2009-2012).  Ivan played 2005 with the Brooklyn Cyclones, appearing in 55 games and batting .234 with 5 HR and 20 RBI.  In 119 minor league games, Ivan hit .262 with 10 HR and 42 RBI.  In an additional 259 games in the Indy Leagues, he hit .316 with 16 HR and 158 RBI.

Greg Cain – 16.4% rate.  Greg was a 6th round pick of the Mets in 2005 and played two seasons in the organization, both with the Gulf Coast League Mets.  In 58 career games, Greg hit .194 with 1 HR and 23 RBI.  He had 35 professional hits to go with 36 professional walks and a 15.7% career walk rate.

Josh-Thole

Josh Thole – 15.4% rate.  Ah… finally someone who made it to the Major Leagues.  In 2005, Josh was in his rookie season with the Gulf Coast League Mets where he hit .269 with 1 HR and 12 RBI.  Josh made it to the Mets in 2009 and has played 5 seasons in the majors (2009-2012 with the Mets, 2013 with the Blue Jays).  In 353 career MLB games, Josh has hit .251 with 8 HR and 95 RBI with 260 hits.  Josh’s walk rate in the majors has bee 9.0%.

Junior Contreras – 14.7%.  Junior was an undrafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic who spent 2005 with the Gulf Coast League Mets and played in 46 games, hitting .291 with 8 HR and 31 RBI.  He spent 1 more year in professional ball and played 100 career games, batting .287 with 11 HR and 56 RBI to go with 100 professional hits.

Caleb Stewart – 14.0%.  Caleb was picked by the Mets in the 22nd round of the 2004 MLB draft and played 8 professional seasons from 2004-2011 (6 seasons in the Mets organization, reaching as high as AAA, and two additional seasons in the Can-Am League with the Sussex Skyhawks and the Newark Bears.  As a professional, he played in 644 games with a career batting average of .268 with 84 HR and 370 RBI.

Grant Psomas – 13.8% rate.  Grant was a 15th round pick of the Mets in 2004 and spent the 2005 season with the Hagerstown Suns (A) and the St. Lucie Mets (A+).  In 2005, he played in 133 games, batting .301 with 20 HR and 69 RBI with 141 hits, 77 walks and a .399 batting average.   As a third baseman in the Mets organization that was stuck behind David Wright, he was expendable and after the 2005 season, he was traded to the Florida Marlins along with Yusmeiro Petit and Mike Jacobs in the trade that brought Carlos Delgado to Queens.  He lasted in the Marlins system through 2008, reaching as high as AAA before playing one more season in the independent Frontier League with the Washington WildThings in 2009.  In 6 professional seasons, Grant played in 592 games batting .258 with 79 HR, 306 RBI, 532 base hits, 137 doubles and 12 triples.

Yunir Garcia – 13.4% rate.  Yunir was an undrafted free agent out of Venezuela that spent 5 seasons in the organization (2002-2006), reaching as high as AAA.   The catcher spent 2005 with St. Lucie (A+) and Binghamton (AA).  In 292 career games, he hit .200 with 20 HR and 91 RBI to go with 162 professional hits.

Jose Mateo – 13.1% rate.  Jose was an undrafted free agent from the Dominican Republic that played two seasons in the organization (2005-2006) and never rose above Rookie ball.  In 84 career games, he hit .262 with 8 HR and 36 RBI to go with 60 hits, 13 doubles, a career .372 OBP and a 13.4% career walk rate.

Matthew Spath – 12.9% rate.  Matthew was a 12th round pick of the Mets that played two professional seasons in the Mets and Astros organizations, never rising above the Rookie level.  In 71 career professional games, he hit .229 with 1 HR and 27 RBI and 50 professional hits.

Dante Brinkley – 12.6% rate.  Dante was a 23rd round selection of the Mets in 2003 and spent 6 seasons in the Mets and Marlins organizations, reaching as high as AAA.   After the 2005 season, Dante was traded to the Florida Marlins along with Gabriel Hernandez to complete the trade that brought Paul LoDuca to the Mets.  In 579 career games, Dante hit .272 with 54 HR and 253 RBI to go with 529 professional hits.

Sean Henry – 12.3% rate.  In 2005, Sean spent the season with the Kingsport Mets (Rookie) after being selected in the 20th round of the 2004 draft.  Sean played 8 professional seasons in the Mets, Reds and Braves organizations before playing one more season in the Independent American Association, playing his last game in 2012.  In 790 games over 9 seasons, he hit .283 with 62 HR and 378 RBI with 798 hits.

So there you have it.  Unequivocal proof that a 12% walk rate isn’t an indicator that a player will have Major League success.  The proof is in the pudding.  Just ask Matthew Spath.

Presented By Diehards

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This Day In Mets Infamy with Rusty: 5 Songs That Describes Mets Hot Stove So Far http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/this-day-in-mets-infamy-with-rusty-5-songs-that-describes-mets-hot-stove-so-far.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/this-day-in-mets-infamy-with-rusty-5-songs-that-describes-mets-hot-stove-so-far.html/#comments Sun, 24 Nov 2013 13:24:35 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133601 infamy

Ah it’s that time of year again…  A time for new beginnings, a time for change, and for most it is a time for optimism. Yes, it’s time for that kooky year end ritual otherwise known as the Hot Stove Season – or as many Mets fans in the past five years like to say - PURGATORY!!!

Once again, many Met fans have bought in to ownership’s promises of the team spending more money than it did last season and guess what, they have. With the signing of our new left fielder Chris Young they have surpassed their $5 million dollar spending spree from a year ago.

All I know is that at this juncture I don’t have the warm and fuzzy feelings I used to get around this time of the year – but I’ll hold the right to reserve my total venom until I see how this Mets roster shakes out by the start of Spring Training.

But anyway, here are my five songs that best describe the Mets Hot Stove so far:

5. State of Shock by the Jackson’s  - Because we now know when Jeff Wilpon saw how much money even the middle-tiered free agents were asking for, they all needed smelling salts to revive them!

4. Bringing On The Heartache by Def Leppard – Pass me the Rolaids.

3. Money Changes Everything by Cindi Lauper – Because when it comes to this teams finances it seems like Sandy Alderson always has to do more with less.

2: Slip Slidin’ Away by Simon and Garfunkel – Because if this team doesn’t even remotely try to improve itself the fan base will keep slipping away until Citi Field has less life in it than the city morgue.

1. Death On Two Legs by Queen - Because if the Mets ownership doesn’t show that it has the willingness or discretionary spending to try to field a competitive team this upcoming season, fans’ sentiments will mirror the lyrics to this song.

So do you agree with my choices ? Are there songs that you feel summarize the Mets Hot Stove better than the ones I listed? Feel free to post your lists in the comment section.

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

Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today includes:

One time Mets minority owner, G. Herbert Walker would have been 108 today (1905). Walker was not only the grandfather of president George W Bush, but he was also the Mets Executive Vice President from 1962 until his death in 1977.

Spot Starter/middle reliever from the ’66 season, Bob Friend is 83 (1930).

Starting pitcher from ’94-’95, Jason Jacome turns 43 (1970). In his 2 seasons with the Mets, Jacome started 13 games, going 4-7 with an E.R.A of 4.80.

Some other notables include:

Sadly on this date the Mets lost two members of their extended family. Hall of Fame (not as a Met) left-handed pitcher Warren Spahn in 2003, and third base coach from the ’77 season, Tom Burgess  in 2008.

The New York Mets traded reserve first baseman, Dave Gallagher to the Atlanta Braves for starting pitcher, Pete Smith on November 24, 1993.

The New York Mets traded  first baseman/catcher, Mike Jacobs, along with pitching prospects Yusmiero Petit and Grant Psomas to the Florida Marlins for power hitting first baseman, Carlos Delgado in 2005. This in my opinion was one of the best trades from the Omar Minaya era.

Mo Vaughn has been so distraught by the Mets hot stove so far that he lost his appetite….. That lasted all of a half hour!!!

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Featured Post: New York Mets and the “Cardinal Way” http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/featured-post-new-york-mets-and-the-cardinal-way.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/featured-post-new-york-mets-and-the-cardinal-way.html/#comments Wed, 23 Oct 2013 17:18:04 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131428 st. louis cardinals nlcs champsWith the St. Louis Cardinals eliminating the Dodgers and reaching the World Series again, New York Times sportswriter Tyler Kepner claims it’s easy to understand why some people think of the Cardinals as the Yankees of the National League. Only the Yankees have won more World Series championships than the Cards. This fall’s World Series stop marks the fourth time the Redbirds have made the big dance since 2000 and eleventh time they’ve made the post season.

Although many might believe that kind of success is the stuff of a sustained run, Kepner explains how the Cardinal magic is actual the result of two different runs. runs ignited by two contrasting management philosophies.

From 2000 to 2006, the Cards built their championship teams around acquiring star quality players through trades. A major part of the ‘Cardinal Way‘ at that time was to use young minor league prospects as trading chips to bring in more established stars.

Interestingly, the Mets utilized a similar ‘big star’ strategy during that era incorporating both trades and free agency as their primary tools of acquisition.. Carlos Delgado did arrive in New York in 2005 in a trade for Mike Jacobs, Yusmeiro Petit, and Grant Psomas. Paul Lo Duca came by trade during a Marlin purge. “El Duque” was added in 2006 in a trade for reliever Jorge Julio, and Shawn Green joined the Mets in a trade for pitching prospect Evan MacLane.

The Mets were active in the free agency hunt for baseball talent as well. Big name players like Cliff Floyd, Carlos Beltran, Mike Cameron, Pedro Martinez, Tom GlavineBilly Wagner, and Kazuo Matsui were all procured through free agency signings.

Baseball’s new labor agreement and the advanced ages of many of their baseball stars helped the Cardinals change their management philosophy. That shift evolved slowly over time beginning about 2003-2004. Anticipating the consequences of aging stars and the new labor agreement, rather than try to obtain high octane baseball talents from other teams, the Cardinals made a concerted effort to start developing that talent through their own minor league system. For example, rather than give up future draft choices in trades for established talent, the Cardinals stockpiled draft choices for development in their own system.

The majority of Cardinals advancing to the World Series this fall are home grown. For the most part, only Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday came by signing or trade. Kepner adds that the Cardinals have used seven home grown pitchers in post season play this month that weren’t on the roster two years ago. Neither were three starting infielders; Mike Adams at first base, Matt Carpenter at second and Pete Kozma at third.

Kepner leaned heavily on comments from Dodger catcher A.J. Ellis in his piece. “They’ve got a system and it works. They have an organizational philosophy that’s obviously successful, and these guys keep coming in waves and waves and waves,” Ellis told him.

Ellis says the Cardinals look for young players with a similar make up, often college position players, sprinkle in a few high school prospects and go after young power pitchers they can develop.

Michael Wacha, the young Cardinal pitcher who has electrified the baseball world this fall, was a compensation draft pick the Cards picked up when Albert Pujols signed with the Angels.

As I read this fascinating article, I couldn’t help but draw parallels between the “Cardinal Way” and what appears to be the “Met Way.” The steps the Mets have made over the past three years share many similarities with those already put into place in St. Louis.

wheeler harveyThe Mets, too, have adopted an organizational philosophy of developing baseball talent from within. Like the Cardinals, the Mets have concentrated first on stockpiling power pitching arms they can develop. And, taking another page from the Cardinal management book, the make up of the prospects they select is a priority consideration.

One big missing piece for the Mets front office so far is the ability to execute the maneuvers needed to bring in those two or three position players who are difference makers, guys like Beltran and Holliday for the Cards. Many underestimate the impact two or three key bats can have on a lineup.

I’ll never forget the unbelievable start the Mets had in 1972 and then how they plummeted like a rock after Rusty Staub broke his wrist diving to make a catch in right field. Prior to Staub’s injury the Mets lineup produced. After Rusty went down the lineup was a powder-puff and promising pennant winning hopes evaporated into thin air. One or two added accomplished major league hitter’s can make the entire lineup better, even a lineup like the one employed by our Mets.

St. Louis owner, William DeWitt Jr. told Kepner that it’s one thing to have a plan and an entirely different matter to execute it. That’s a brilliant observation and one the Met management should consider seriously.

The addition of two or more ‘difference making’ bats in the line-up over the off-season will accelerate the Met rebuilding plan, a plan much like that used by the Cardinals built around home grown talent. Off-season moves of that sort would also be symbolic, a signal to an increasingly despondent fan base that the baseball improvement they have been promised is more than a plan, it’s a multi-faceted strategy that will result in competitive baseball and serious contention for post season play, now rather than later..

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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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Featured Post: Placing A Value On Ike Davis http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/featured-post-placing-a-value-on-ike-davis.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/featured-post-placing-a-value-on-ike-davis.html/#comments Fri, 02 Aug 2013 18:26:30 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=126221 In the top of the eighth inning of last night’s game Ike Davis was scheduled to come up with David Wright on 3rd and 2 outs. Ike was 2 for 3 on the night with an infield hit and an rbi double. Most encouraging was his infield hit to the left side. Something I hadn’t seen from Ike all year. Ike Davis did not come up to bat in the 8th, instead Terry Collins inserted Josh Satin to face Dunn and Josh promptly hit a fly ball to left ending the inning.

From a practical baseball perspective it makes sense to bring in a righty against the lefty in that spot given Ike Davis’ offensive struggles and his numbers against lefties. From a intuitive position however, particularly one with an eye on development, it was not just wrong, but highly problematic in both its outcome and its premise.

Terry Collins has been criticized for a lot of things but one thing we keep hearing about is his tendency to go with veteran hands rather than letting some of our youth have playing time. He also seems to get locked into stringent patterns when he implements platoons. The team isn’t looking like it’s going to make a run at a pennant and it’s important to get a sense of who we can rely on moving forward, so his lack of flexibility is somewhat puzzling. Development is after all the name of the game right now.

For this reason you have to see what Ike can do in that spot, because if he gets another game-winning hit we might be looking at finally ushering a legitimately resurgent offensive threat back into our lineup. The decision to put Satin in on the other hand lets everyone know that what matters most is winning, which has its merits, but Satin is not our future first baseman, and if Ike can regain his previous form he’s going to win a lot more games for us in the long run than the one game we might lose tonight by letting him hit in a key spot against a tough lefty. In the end, we lost the game anyhow.

Ike came up 3 years ago after our Mike Jacobs experiment had run its course and was hailed as a solid hitter with terrific power who could take a walk and help his team out. A guy who could hit the ball to all fields and who played outstanding defense at first. His dad was Ron Davis, a fairly accomplished reliever in his own day who’d played for the Yankees and the Twins.

Ron Davis was described by Syd Hartman in his book “Syd,” as “a big goofy looking son of a gun who would sing ‘Jimmy Cracked Corn’ every time he made his way to the mound.” Ron blew a lot of games for the 84 and 85 Twins and is not particularly liked in these parts, but he was known for doing stuff like taking under-privileged kids fishing and later on he did quite a bit of coaching — he even coached Ike for a while. Ike went so far as to thank his dad for his ability to hit the ball to all fields, and Ron himself described Ike in an early interview with Burkhardt (in the stands) as a guy who could spread the ball around.

So what happened? When did Ike become this dead pull all or nothing hitter? The foot injury derailed what was shaping up as a breakout season and when he came back it seemed like he became enamored with the long ball. At some point, Ike abandoned what got him to the big leagues for the glory of an additional few home runs. But there’s more to it. Ike hit 32 home runs with 90 RBI in 2012 and was hitting .302 after 36 games in 2011 before he got injured. In 2010 Ike had 19 homers 71 RBI and 33 doubles. He was a pretty damned good hitter, and you don’t just go from being that good to being this bad when you’re 26 do you? Fangraphs put an interesting graphic together on just that question and concluded that yes, it is exceptionally rare for a player’s performance to drop as steeply as Ike’s has during his 4th season at the age of 26. He is in fact the most prominent outlier on the chart.

So as you can see above, Ike sits all by himself when it comes to his recent demise, looking at players ages 23 – 26 from 1970 to the present. Players don’t usually play this poorly after being as good as Ike was in his first few seasons, in fact, according to the chart they almost never do. This bodes well for a recovery, although it doesn’t guarantee one by any means. Ike should be better given the player he’s been. A lot of Ike’s problems could be confidence related, but Ike’s biggest problem in the batter’s box has clearly been his horrendous strike out rates and his lost ability to hit to the opposite field.

All season I’ve been frustrated to no end at Ike’s failure to even attempt to punch a ball to the opposite field. Then a couple of nights ago there was a failed bunt attempt to the left side against the shift which literally made me jump out of my seat and cheer even though he made out. But last night he actually managed to hit a ground ball to the left side for an infield hit … Is Ike finally working his way back to what made him such a good hitter earlier in his career?

Pitchers figured out that if you bust Ike up and in you could then entice him with that low and outside pitch, often in the dirt. Ike would swing every time. You’d think at some point he’d do one of two things, stop swinging at that outside pitch, or re-learn how to reach out and punch it to the opposite field. It is beginning to look like Ike is in the midst of employing some combination of both. His strike outs are down, he’s walking more, and he’s getting hits.

In his next at bat he laced an RBI double down the right field line. I was thrilled, the Mets are a different team with last years 2nd half version of Ike in the lineup, and you never know what might happen by adding a player like this to an already more competitive team down the stretch.

This wonderful history in the making was averted however because Terry Collins chose to go with his righty bench player. The legend of Ike Davis reinventing himself and the miraculous run of the 2013 Mets is perhaps happening as we speak in some other dimension in some other Mets universe across some funky wormhole but it’s not happening here, not if Terry Collins has anything to say about it.

The problem with this is twofold. Not only do we fail to ascertain what a possibly resurgent Ike Davis is capable of, but in doing so we may be relegating Ike to a numerical profile at season’s end which could result in his being released. This would be a huge mistake.

Ike’s second half last year showed that Ike is capable of being in the top 5% for his position in OPS and power categories for a good long stretch. First basemen with that kind of ability don’t grow on trees, in fact, while arbitration might net him upwards of 6 million, players who can put up the Votto-esque numbers he accumulated in the second half of 2012 are 20 million dollar men. The Mets have far more to gain by being patient with Ike than they do by pinch hitting for him during the late innings of a meaningless game against a terrible team.

Then there’s the issue of Josh Satin’s defense, which isn’t anywhere near that of Ike Davis’. Last night we were stuck with Satin at first in the late innings. Not a good thing.

For a team with a purported emphasis on development and youth, Collins will all too often run against the grain. He resisted giving Lagares the CF job, benching him repeatedly after several multiple hit games until it became almost embarrassing that Lagares wasn’t playing every day. Finally he gave in to reason. With Ike there’s even more at stake.

Several years of 20 million dollar production at a cut rate?

If I’m Sandy Alderson I’m watching every at bat, every play that involves Ike Davis, and I’m on the phone after Collins pinch hits for him in the 8th … and, I’m not happy.

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MMO Exclusive: High Praise For Dodger Sensation Yasiel Puig http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/mmo-exclusive-tommy-lasorda-with-high-praise-for-dodger-sensation-yasiel-puig.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/mmo-exclusive-tommy-lasorda-with-high-praise-for-dodger-sensation-yasiel-puig.html/#comments Mon, 10 Jun 2013 12:35:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=121383 20130319_lbm_ar5_102-404a6ce9f3eadd8127d1a098ffc155b5

He is the seven-day sensation that is sweeping the nation. Yasiel Puig has been a major league ballplayer for barely a week and is already making national headlines with a historically hot start to his career.

On Friday night, Puig blasted his fourth home run in just his fifth career game, the second player to do that since 1900, the first being Mike Jacobs in 2005. The 22-year old Cuban native has hit the ground running, batting .464/.483/.964 in his first week in the majors, leading to a great deal of well-deserved attention. In particular, he has grabbed the attention of legendary Dodger and Hall-of-Famer Tommy Lasorda.

“He’s been great, I saw him in Spring Training and he looked really good in Spring Training,” said Lasorda. “We’re hoping he can give something to the club.”

With both Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp going down with their respective ailing hamstrings and Andre Ethier being anything but productive, the Dodgers have been in desperate need of production from their outfield. Enter Puig; who in seven games has already belted twice as many home runs as Kemp had all season.

“With our leftfielder and centerfielder out, we need some power and he can give us that power,” said Lasorda. “He can hit the ball far.”

That he can, and that he has. PuigMania is in full force in Dodgertown as their young spark plug has breathed life into a once slumping L.A. ballclub again.

When asked about a single player past or present that reminded him of Puig, Lasorda had an interesting response.

“I had [Raul] Mondesi play for me, and I think he’s the same type of player as Mondesi,” said Lasorda, after giving it some thought. “He’s big, he’s powerful, he can run, he can throw; he’s an outstanding outfielder. I’d say he’s another Mondesi.”

Mondesi averaged 26 homers and 82 RBIs while also stealing an average 22 stolen bases from 1994-2003; certainly high praise from Lasorda. The Dodgers would be happy to have themselves “another Mondesi” in their offensively-challenged lineup.

However, they have something with the potential to be even better; they’ve got Yasiel Puig.

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Is Ike Davis Really Mike Jacobs Reincarnated? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/is-ike-davis-really-mike-jacobs-reincarnated.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/is-ike-davis-really-mike-jacobs-reincarnated.html/#comments Wed, 22 May 2013 12:11:04 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=119545 ike-davisIt always is interesting how people automatically call a hitter that hits homers, strikes out a lot and has a low average “Dave Kingman.” Kong certainly had his issues, but regardless of what you think he still had a 16-year career in which he hit 442 homers. To say that Ike Davis is Kingman would be an insult since that would be an improvement over what he’s producing today. As a matter of fact, a caller to Evan Roberts and Joe Benigno on WFAN actually may have uncovered who Davis really is: a reincarnation of Mike Jacobs.

A year ago Davis was coming off the valley fever scare and ankle injury. His .156/.212/.290 slash line could be intellectualized. Similar numbers (.149/.229/.248) this year are reason for concern. There are many players that are slow starters, but are the Mets’ doomed to Davis not showing up the first ten weeks of the season? Has reality set in that he might be a 4-A hitter with flawed mechanics at the plate?

Davis and Jacobs are not exactly apples to apples comparison. Ike was a highly touted first round pick in 2008. His struggles in Brooklyn during his rookie year in pro ball were well documented. Jacobs was a 38th round pick that nobody talked about when he had a breakout 2005 season in Binghamton. He was supposed to be an injury replacement at the big league level, but If not for Pedro Martinez‘s lobbying after a Sunday afternoon home run, we never would have been treated to Jacobs’ September to remember. It’s also possible that Carlos Delgado would never have been acquired that offseason.

As a full-time first baseman from 2006-2008, Mike Jacobs averaged 23 homers, 75 RBI and a .258 batting average. In his two full seasons of work (2010, 2012) Davis has produced 25 homers and 75 RBI with a similar average. Both produce about the same level of strikeouts, although Davis has the penchant to walk a bit more- although probably not enough for the organization’s liking. Both struggle against left handers. Defensively, there is no comparison. Even when he’s struggled Davis has gold glove potential. Jacobs was only plugged-in at first after failing behind the plate. Still, a first baseman needs to hit at an elite level to be considered valuable. If Jacobs is the best that Davis has to offer, then it’s probably time to question if the Mets have a cornerstone at first base for years to come. Should they package Davis if and when he heats up again? Will a trip to the minors help? Is Lucas Duda the answer? Can they afford to pay for a first baseman on the free agent market?

Many scouts have expressed concern over Davis’ mechanics at the plate. It’s complicated, awkward looking and appears difficult to replicate. The more “noise” a player has in the box the harder it will be to hit a baseball, an already difficult task. Can this be fixed? That is hard to predict, but Davis wouldn’t be the first hot-shot hitting prospect to fizzle at the big league level. At the very least a trip to Triple-A Las Vegas should be on the table.

The Mets got lucky when both Jose Reyes and David Wright developed best case scenarios upon their call-up a decade ago. Prospects are an inexact science and, to date, none of the current group of homegrown players has shown to be consistent everyday big leaguers, much less stars.

WFAN callers rarely provide for intelligent or even interesting commentary. Comedy is more how I would describe my experience. Ironically, a caller to the midday show just might have uncovered a hard reality: Ike Davis is no better than a former flash in the pan prospect. I doubt even a productive final four months of 2013 will net a player any close to Delgado’s capabilities. Remember, lightening doesn’t strike twice.

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What Determines A Prospect’s Promotion: Super Two Or Team Need and MLB Readiness? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/what-determines-a-prospects-promotion-super-two-or-team-need-and-mlb-readiness.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/what-determines-a-prospects-promotion-super-two-or-team-need-and-mlb-readiness.html/#comments Fri, 05 Apr 2013 22:00:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=113130 Travis d'Arnaud: Ready or Not?

Travis d’Arnaud: Ready or Not?

Andy Martino of the Daily News, answers the question as to why Aaron Laffey will get the start on Sunday instead of some guy named Wheeler-something?

The strategy is this, according to team insiders: Bide their time and plug it up until Zack Wheeler arrives in town.

“That can be read as a good sign for Wheeler’s readiness”, says Martino. “The phenom needs to iron out minor command issues in Triple-A, and ideally wait out the mid-June Super Two cutoff, so he is less expensive during his prime years.”

He doesn’t get the sense that the Mets are absolutely married to keeping Wheeler from becoming a Super Two if an obvious need arises and he is ready.

Jonathan Mayo on MiLB.com had a great article on Super Two elgibility and spoke to a few GM’s about whether Super Two get in the way of bringing up a prospect who is obviously MLB ready and fills an immediate need for their teams.

He points out that prospects Aaron Hicks was in center field, batting leadoff for the Minnesota Twins on Opening Day. Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. was in the starting lineup against the Yankees. Jose Fernandez was a late addition to the Marlins’ Opening Day roster and the Mariners’ Brandon Maurer broke camp as the club’s No. 4 starter.

But on the flip side of the coin Rays outfielder Wil Myers, Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud and pitching phenoms who many believe are ready; Wheeler and the Pirates’ Gerrit Cole, will all be waiting for the Triple-A season to get underway later tonight.

Were these roster decisions based on Major League readiness and that they don’t currently serve a need on the active roster? Doubtful.

Regarding d’Arnaud, Sandy Alderson recently said, “I know people talk about control and ‘Super Two’ and all of that. If John Buck gets hurt tomorrow, Travis d’Arnaud is the front-line catcher.”

Let’s hope Buck stays healthy for the entire season, but I doubt d’Arnaud would be on a jet to Flushing tonight if the veteran catcher had injured himself and was facing a DL stint. Nevermind what Sandy says, Super Two and retention play a significant part, especially with the Mets and it always will.

In a similar circumstance, Omar Minaya wasted no time when it became clear that Mike Jacobs was finished, and he quickly turned to Ike davis who responded with 19 home runs and 71 RBI in a shortened rookie season. The result of that decision led to Davis’ hefty raise in arbitration this Winter – one year earlier than it could have been.

“Everybody is going to speculate why he is being sent out — and they’re wrong,” Pirates GM Neal Huntington said when Cole was assigned to Minor League camp. “He’s being sent out because in our minds, he’s not ready to compete, to be successful at the Major League level, to be one of those top-of-the-rotation starters, which is our goal for him.”

In that case, Huntington admits that Cole is “not ready” and in the past they had no problems calling up previous top prospects who became Super Two eligible.

Mayo points out that the teams who had top prospects make the Opening Day roster (Bradley, Hicks, Maurer), made those decisions because they believed those players were the best men for the job.

“The guy has earned it,” Twins GM Terry Ryan said last week. “I find it almost humorous that guys are talking service time and starting the clock. The guy has earned it.”

Ryan can be my GM anytime, but this quote from Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik says it all for me:

“We’ve always gone into Spring Training, philosophically, if a guy deserves to be on the club, I don’t see how you can look a player in the eye and tell him he can’t be. We stay true to that.”

“We went in with our eyes wide open and it was hard to deny Maurer. He had such a great spring, it was the right thing to do. We never discussed anything else other than if he deserved to be on the club.”

Retention and Super Two played no role in their decisions. It was based on fielding a competitive team and rewarding the player for a job well done – basically doing the right thing for the organization, the player and ultimately the fans who pay high ticket prices believing they are seeing the best team the front office could put together.

There are two schools of thought on this, as more and more fans are becoming financially-minded which fits in perfectly with what the Wilpons want.

However, I’m always of the mind that you should field the best 25 players you have and play ball. That philosophy has served me well since I fell in love with the game as a kid.

Play your best players and play hard.

It may sound old-fashioned and a bit outdated to most of you, but I’m glad there are still a great deal of current GM’s who share that same sentiment.

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The Mets Lied To Us http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/09/the-mets-lied-to-us.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/09/the-mets-lied-to-us.html/#comments Tue, 28 Sep 2010 11:00:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=36566

Thankfully there are only 6 more games left of this horrible season.  That also means only 6 more games left of some jerryball.  Last year after the season ended the Mets did a bit of a media blitz that concluded with Jeff Wilpon, Omar Minaya and Dave Howard going on WFAN with Mike Francesa.  They made a bunch of promises and some excuses that for some reason had Mets fans hopeful for 2010.  I posted a blog here on this site the day after, which you can read here.  I didn’t like what I heard on Francesa’s show and I got blasted in the comments section. Unfortunately I was right to be skeptical as they lied to us.

Jeff Wilpon said the Mets were committed to building a championship caliber team and that spending would not be limited.  Well, after signing the bust that is Jason Bay the Mets didn’t spend much.  Gary Matthews Jr., Mike Jacobs and Frank Catalanotto were in the starting lineup on opening day.  For some reason Fernando Tatis and Alex Cora were still on this team.  I’m sorry but those guys don’t belong on a championship caliber team.

Omar and little Jeff said that there would be no more mishandling of injuries. Unfortunately that was a big old lie as well.  Look at how Jose Reyes’ oblique injury was handled.  Reyes was put into the lineup while suffering with oblique injury, and only allowed to bat from one side of the plate.  I don’t see how that is improving on handling injuries.  Jason Bay after hitting his head off the outfield wall in Dodger Stadium not only stayed in that game, he played the next one and then flew on a plane to New York and hasn’t played since.  Johan Santana’s injury was misdiagnosed as a pectoral problem.  Now I’m no doctor but I think the training staff might have missed human anatomy 101.  Plus Santana before being diagnosed correctly was allowed to throw and not even given an MRI.  They also promised to communicate better with the fans and media about the injuries.  Once Santana was diagnosed correctly, the Mets had a press conference where they tried to play down the severity of this shoulder injury by citing position players who came back from the same surgery.  They of course didn’t mention that pitchers who have had the same surgery as Johan has have yet to come back and throw a pitch in the majors.

I’m sure once this season is over the Mets will do another media blitz.  They will say things that sound good but in reality it will only be more cheap talk and hollow promises.

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Mets Trade Mike Jacobs For PTBNL http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/07/mets-trade-mike-jacobs-for-ptbnl.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/07/mets-trade-mike-jacobs-for-ptbnl.html/#comments Fri, 30 Jul 2010 18:39:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=32529 The Mets have traded Mike Jacobs to the Toronto Blue Jays for a player to be named later.

Jacobs, 29, began the season with Mets, but after slow start was demoted to AAA-Buffalo, opening the door for Ike Davis who has thrived.

Jacobs was hitting .260/.313/.478 for Buffalo with 23 doubles and 15 homers.

Nick Evans has been promoted from AA to to replace Jacobs in AAA.

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Mike Jacobs Clears Waivers http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/04/mike-jacobs-clears-waivers.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/04/mike-jacobs-clears-waivers.html/#comments Wed, 21 Apr 2010 18:37:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=25095 According to Adam Rubin via Twitter, Mike Jacobs has cleared waivers and could report to Buffalo.

Jacobs hit .208 with one homer and two RBIs in 24 at-bats before being designated for assignment Sunday.

Jacobs has indicated he would be willing to go to Triple-A Buffalo if playing time exists.

It’s not surprising that 29 other MLB teams passed on Jacobs.

What was surprising, although not really, was that the Mets signed Jacobs in the first place and then even after a horrendous spring, made the team over a clearly more talented Chris Carter.

All that matters though is that a wrong has been righted.

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Mike Jacobs Designated, Tobi Stoner Called Up, Ike Davis On Tap? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/04/mike-jacobs-designated-tobi-stoner-called-up-ike-davis-on-tap.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/04/mike-jacobs-designated-tobi-stoner-called-up-ike-davis-on-tap.html/#comments Sun, 18 Apr 2010 16:18:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=24778 According to Adam Rubin of ESPN NY, the Mets will try to freshen up a tired and weary bullpen by calling up pitcher Tobi Stoner, who is expected to be promoted from Triple-A Buffalo in time for tonight’s game against the Cardinals which will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.

Stoner (0-1, 4.32 ERA) had last pitched Tuesday for the Bisons, so he would be fully rested in case John Maine needs an early bailout.

The 25-year-old right-hander had allowed four earned runs, nine hits, three walks and had struck out five in 8 1/3 innings over two starts for Buffalo. 

He appeared in four games for the Mets in September, compiling a 4.00 ERA in nine innings. 

To make room for Tobi Stoner, the Mets have designated first baseman Mike Jacobs for assignment. So in a span of 11 games, Jacobs has gone from the Mets Opening Day cleanup hitter to baseball oblivion.

Jacobs had been a huge drag on the offense and never really seemed to fit in. He batted .208 in 28 at-bats with seven strikeouts. Defensively he showed terrible range and poor instincts.

Newsday’s David Lennon reported via Twitter, that Jacobs has an option left, and that he can be sent to Triple-A. Jacobs says he doesn’t want to go down to sit on the bench, however Lennon suggests, “if the Mets want Jacobs to stay, they should call up Davis”.

So to summarize, hopefully these moves signal a few things,

1. Jeff Francoeur will move up in the lineup.

2. Daniel Murphy is close to a return.

3. Ike Davis may be one step closer to the Major Leagues. Davis, 23, is off to a hot start in the minors, hitting .357/.514/.679 through his first nine games.

One thing is certain though, losing Jacobs is a perfect example of addition by subtraction.

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Streaking, Wreaking and Freaking Out http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/04/streaking-wreaking-and-freaking-out.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/04/streaking-wreaking-and-freaking-out.html/#comments Sat, 17 Apr 2010 14:49:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=24727 Streaking

Jeff Francoeur has now extended his hitting streak to 10 games and according to our old friend Adam Rubin, Frenchy is just four shy of matching Wright’s franchise record to start a season, which was set last year. Additionally, Francoeur ranks second in the National League in batting at .457. There’s a lot of bloggers, journalists, analysts and beat reporters with egg on their faces right now thanks to Francoeur’s huge second half last season and his MVP caliber start to this season.

Did you know that David Wright enjoys rainy days, sunsets and long walks on the beach? Apparently he enjoys short walks too and he now leads the National League in walks with 14. Woo hoo? I’m not complaining, in fact I should be thrilled because I’m told that walks are really, really, really good. Maybe I’d feel a whole lot better if he had more than six runs.

Wreaking

Rubin also informs us that Jason Bay is currently in the longest homer-less drought of his career. Bay has not homered in 21 straight games, and last went deep on September 21st, 2009 against Kansas City left-hander Lenny DiNardo. So far this season, Bay has just 2 RBIs. But fret not all you stat-heads, he has an outstanding .364 OBP which should give you all a warm and fuzzy feeling. Seriously though, what do you expect when you have Mike Jacobs or Fernando Tatis batting behind you? Jerry Manuel, I’m looking at you! 

Can we please end the Gary Matthews Jr. and Mike Jacobs experiments? I was all for giving these guys a shot, but it’s now abundantly clear that Gary Matthews is finished with his inglorious career, and that Mike Jacobs is what he is; an all or nothing hitter who can’t field his position. They are both batting .190 and they are clearly wreaking!

Freaking Out

The number three spot should be for run producers, and David Wright keeps looking more and more like a table-setter. Bat him second and lets see Jeff Francoeur get some at-bats with runners on base for a change, instead of burying him at the bottom of the batting order sandwiched in between Mike Jacobs and Gary Matthews. I’m gonna puke… Can you imagine how many more runs Wright would have if Francoeur were batting between him and Bay? A lot more than six! Can you imagine how many more wins we would have? A lot more than three! OMG I’m freaking out!!

Last night, someone reminded me that Felipe Lopez signed for less than what we paid Alex Cora… OMG, I’m really freaking out!

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Blue Jays Claim Mets Prospect Shawn Bowman Off Waivers http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/04/blue-jays-claim-mets-prospect-shawn-bowman-off-waivers.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/04/blue-jays-claim-mets-prospect-shawn-bowman-off-waivers.html/#comments Wed, 14 Apr 2010 20:05:56 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=24472 According to Adam Rubin of ESPN NewYork, third base prospect Shawn Bowman, who had been designated for assignment, has been claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays.

Bowman had a solid season after coming back from injuries last season, batting .294 with nine homers and 44 RBI in 347 at-bats with Double-A Binghamton.

Bowman, 25, was originally drafted by the Mets in the 12th round in 2002 out of British Columbia.

Rubin also notes that, RHP Clint Everts, who had also been removed from the 40-man roster when Raul Valdes was promoted, cleared waivers and will return to Binghamton.

Ironically, Bowman probably was a better overall hitter than Mike Jacobs, the player that replaced him on the 40 man roster.

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Ike Davis Will Be Here Sooner Rather Than Later http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/04/ike-davis-will-be-here-sooner-rather-than-later.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/04/ike-davis-will-be-here-sooner-rather-than-later.html/#comments Sat, 10 Apr 2010 14:55:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=24223 Last night I had the pleasure of watching the game while chilling out with my pals on Twitter. It was actually the second time I ever did that since registering our site with Twitter about a year ago. It’s actually a pretty cool experience and it’s almost like hanging out in your living room with a bunch of friends watching the game on your HDTV, except none of them were there physically, so no mess to cleanup up afterward.

When word came out that Mets first base prospect, Ike Davis had homered, I tweeted that Mike Jacobs could be a dead man walking. Davis, as Mets Merized readers who read our Minor League reports each night know, is off to a blazing start at Buffalo and is now batting .571 (4 for 7) with two doubles, two walks, and a home run. His slugging percentage of 1.286 leads the league to start the season.

When you compare that to the futility of what Mike Jacobs and Fernando Tatis have produced, you can’t help but wonder how long it will be until Ike Davis is called up to begin his decade long hold of first base for the Mets.

I had originally speculated back in February, that if Davis didn’t make the team out of Spring Training, that he would probably be called up sometime in July and take over as the everyday first baseman. It was a fair projection back then, but now I feel strongly that he could be called up as soon as mid-May unless the current un-dynamic duo start producing at a decent clip.

Even though our offense has shown signs of being consistently good despite the zero production from first base, we shouldn’t tolerate any un-productivity especially when a viable solution is already in the house.

Ike Davis, as I tweeted last night, was the best first baseman offensively and defensively in Mets camp this spring. He was sent packing because the decision was motivated by the money that is owed to both Tatis and Jacobs. At some point the Mets must make the decisions based on what’s best for the team as the Yankees do across town, and not let a couple of million dollars lock you into a position that weakens the team.

I think the writing is already on the wall, and that Ike Davis better start keeping his suitcase packed at all times for a trip to Flushing that could come at a moments notice.

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2010 Gets Off To A Great Start! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/04/2010-gets-off-to-a-great-start.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/04/2010-gets-off-to-a-great-start.html/#comments Tue, 06 Apr 2010 11:00:24 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=23955 I know this is a positive post and it’s only been one game but that was a big and important win for the Mets and the fans.  After the disaster of last year the Mets needed this first win behind their ace and they got that win!  Jason Bay had a good 1st day, going 2-4 with a triple and scored a run, Barajas went 2-4 hitting a double, driving in a run and scored a run, Francoeur had a hit, drove in 2 runs and he even drew walk.  Santana had a good 6 innings of work, Wright got his 1st homer of the season and the bullpen looked good.

I saw the Mets do a lot of good things yesterday afternoon:

  • The Mets were patient enough at the plate and they played good defense out in the field.
  • Jason Bay didn’t take for granted that his triple was only a double as he hustled his butt out of the batters box and got that triple.
  • Marlins made 3 errors in the game’ but unlike past seasons the Mets took advantage of those mistakes and drove up the score to give the bullpen a bigger cushion.
  • The Mets were also aggressive on the base paths, not allowing the pitchers to be comfortable on the mound which caused 2 Marlin errors.
  • I liked the attempted squeeze play as Cora is a great bunter and Pagan has great speed.
  • Nieve and K-Rod looked confident against the Marlins offense.  I also think K-Rod should keep those goggles for the rest of his Mets career.
  • Barajas behind the plate I thought called a good game.  He saw what Santana was doing well and what wasn’t working for Santana, the Mets pitching staff did not have that last year with Omir Santos behind the plate.

If I had to complain it would be:

  • Cora did go 0-4 with an RBI, Mike Jacobs went 0-4 with 2 strikeouts and Luis Castillo also went 0-4 in the game.

I don’t know what to think about Mike Jacobs batting cleanup.  I understand the logic because Jacobs will see better pitches with Bay behind him but Jacobs needs to be more patient and not swing at balls out of the strike zone.  Also pitchers are going to give Wright better pitches to hit with Jacobs behind him because Jacobs is a power threat.  I don’t expect Jacobs, Cora and Castillo to go 4-4 everyday but the team is going to need them to hit, that is 1/3 of your lineup and you need them to step up and help with the offense.

If I have to nitpick a little it’s the fact that Jerry Manuel didn’t use Jenrry Mejia today out of the bullpen in the 7th or 8th inning.  Now I know the plan is not to immediately use Mejia as the 8th inning guy but I just think with a big lead it was the perfect time to use Mejia.  Mejia would have had his first major league appearance and it would have left a little room for error to work out the nerves that I’m sure he has.

Overall it was a good Opening Day but it’s a long season that has started out good, hopefully there will be more positives than negatives this year.

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Latest Mets News From Jerry Manuel http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/04/latest-mets-news-from-jerry-manuel.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/04/latest-mets-news-from-jerry-manuel.html/#comments Fri, 02 Apr 2010 04:34:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=23784 Jerry Manuel was a guest of Mike Francesa on WFAN today, and was chock full of information, essentially detailing some last minute items of note as the Mets get set for Opening Day.

To begin, the last roster spot is down to the same two guys I mentioned on Wednesday, infielders Chris Carter and Frank Catalanotto. While Carter would provide the Mets with more offensive pop, Catalanotto could give Jerry Manuel the versatility he craves. A final decision could come this evening.

Mike Jacobs will in fact bat cleanup and receive the bulk of the playing time at first base. Manuel prefers Jacobs as the cleanup hitter because he can use him to separate his right handed batters David Wright, who will bat third, and Jason Bay, who will bat fifth. Tatis will be used occasionally as a defensive replacement for Jacobs, and against left handed pitchers, but don’t expect a strict platoon. Mike Jacobs will be your everyday first baseman.

Manuel sounded very much like a decision has been made, and that Jenrry Mejia will be on the Opening Day roster and working out of the bullpen, although not in a setup role initially. He considers Mejia to have the best arm of any reliever in camp, and although he envisions him as the set-up man this year, it won’t happen right away. He plans to use other options including Pedro Feliciano. If Mejia does make the team, it could mean Kiko Calero or Ryota Igarashi could begin the season in Buffalo and be on call if needed.

As we already surmised, Angel Pagan and Gary Matthews Jr. will split the center field job until Carlos Beltran returns. Both could see time in the leadoff spot.

The Mets will announce the official 25 man roster at the conclusion of tomorrows game against the Orioles.

Go to WFAN to hear the entire interview.

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Mike Jacobs To Start At First Base, Murphy Out Six Weeks http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/04/mike-jacobs-to-start-at-first-base-murphy-out-six-weeks.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/04/mike-jacobs-to-start-at-first-base-murphy-out-six-weeks.html/#comments Thu, 01 Apr 2010 11:15:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=23626 Update 4/1 7:15 am

General Manager Omar Minaya told reporters that Mike Jacobs, who is in camp on a minor-league deal, is the front-runner for the position to start the season.

“I wish that did not happen, but we have to always be prepared,” Minaya said. “That’s why we come to spring training having signed free agents to minor-league deals as insurance.”

That would mean Chris Carter or Frank Catalanotto will battle it our for the final roster spot.

Update 4:15 pm

Daniel Murphy has been diagnosed with a Grade One sprain of the MCL in his right knee and according to Brian Costa the injury could sideline him up to six weeks. He will be placed on the disabled list immediately, and Omar Minaya will talk to reporters very soon.

This will most likely open the door for Chris Carter and mean more playing time for Fernando Tatis and Mike Jacobs. Or… Ike Davis could be recalled, but probably not.

Original Post 2:55 pm

According to Steve Popper of The Record, Daniel Murphy was examined by Mets doctors at Digital Domain Park and is now undergoing an MRI to try to find out the extent of the injury to his sprained right knee.

Murphy, injured the knee yesterday when he was caught in a rundown between third and home against the Cardinals. He left the game limping and in pain.

The Mets originally were calling it a bruised right knee, but later reported that it was a sprained knee. By days end, Murphy’s entire leg was immobilized and placed in a brace that covered him from his ankle ankle to his hip.

Before todays game against the Marlins, David Lennon of Newsday reported that he observed Daniel Murphy leaving the clubhouse limping badly and in street clothes.

Kevin Burkhardt then tweeted that it doesn’t look good as far as Murphy being ready for Opening Day.

David Waldstien of the NY Times added,

If Murphy has to be placed on the disabled list, the Mets would have two real options, including bringing back Ike Davis from Class AAA Buffalo to start the season. Davis, 23, had a terrific spring but the Mets sent him down because they want him to play every day. Minaya would not rule out recalling Davis. “We don’t know yet,” he said.

Ike Davis who was at the neighboring minor league field was asked to comment and said,

“I hope he’s not hurt badly,” Davis said. But he added, “I think I’m ready if they need me to be ready.”

Another possibility is just to have Mike Jacobs start at first base. Jacobs got the start today and so far has a double in the game.

Stay tuned for more updates as they come in…

In other Mets news, Fernando Martinez and Omir Santos were both cut and sent to minor league camp, and reliever Pat Misch cleared waivers and will report to minor league camp as well.

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