Mets Merized Online » Ramon Castro Wed, 18 Jan 2017 16:19:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Sprinting to the Finish: The Culture of Losing Fri, 20 Sep 2013 17:00:58 +0000 Six weeks ago, an unidentified Mets executive – and really, how many are there – told Mike Puma of the Post that the front office was pleased with the work of Terry Collins and his staff. Then he said this:

“I think they’re doing a good job of sprinting to the finish line.”

Sure, if the runner in question is Ramon Castro.

The Mets are sprinting nowhere, once again. They’re tumbling, scuffling, tripping to the finish line, another dreary soul-crushing fourth place finish, another dispiriting September, acres of empty seats in the cool Flushing air.

They call the top deck at Citi Field the “Promenade” but that suggests movement, as in quantities of people moving around, promenading to and fro, while top quality baseball unfolds on the greensward below. Static, empty green seats and old Nathan’s wrappers blowing like ghost town tumbleweeds does not a “promenade” make.

I’m not sure what to make of the insistence that Terry Collins has created some sort of miracle with the low-rent talent Sandy Alderson has given him. Isn’t that narrative either a vicious indictment of Alderson (who has seemed as checked out at times as any New York sports general manager this side of Glen Sather) or the very faintest of praise for Collins? I’m not a Collins hater. I admire a gritty baseball lifer as much as the next Wilford Brimley fan, but I simply have no understanding of this movement to keep him at the helm as the team slips further into irrelevance. It’s not that he’s been a disaster. In some ways I agree with Michael Baron of Metsblog, who repeated on Twitter once again the line that “we will just be having the same argument about the next manager. In the end, it really doesnt matter too much.”

You could almost hear Baron (who has great eye behind the lens, by the way) sigh in frustration.

Yet I think it does matter, at least a little bit. When Gil Hodges took over a losing franchise in 1968, he changed the culture. Old-timers will remember that it was like flipping a switch. The Mets didn’t win right away, but losing became unacceptable and the man in the dugout was clearly the man in charge of what happened at Shea Stadium. Davey Johnson‘s arrival – one Mets generation later – had a similar effect, and Johnson had managed many of the young players who formed the core of the juggernaut Mets of 1986.

One of those young wallbangers was Wally Backman, a knock-about second baseman who would do anything to win. Backman is finishing his second year managing the Mets AAA affiliate, making the post-season despite the revolving door on his bench, as the big club filled its empty slots and shuttled players between Vegas and Flushing like a partially inebriated blackjack player flicking his chips between hands. Backman is a hot head, a brawler, and the kind of character that gets the attention of young players. He’s had Flores. He’s had Lagares. He’s had Wheeler and the rest.

The party line seems to be another year of Collins. But why not Backman? Why not the brawler with the dirty uniform? Yeah the talent level doesn’t (yet) indicate a winner in Queens – but can’t the manager at least be obsessed with not losing? I think so. Time for Wally-Ball.

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Ramblings About Success And Some Reminiscing Sun, 01 Apr 2012 15:53:39 +0000 Every team has to have a number of components in order to brew a culture of winning and unity that is found in most legitimate contenders. The token ace, power bat, golden glove, and bullpen leader are a given, but just because you follow the directions of a paint by numbers doesn’t mean it will be a masterpiece. Realistically there are more cogs in the machine than we could imagine and it takes a perfect storm to mold a successful season. Calm down I am not attempting to rationalize that the Metropolitans are floating about while the puzzle pieces are falling together. However the club is capable of taking legitimate steps forward, or at least making an effort to rebuild a culture that has been M.I.A. for many moons.

The fact of the matter is, Jose Reyes was the superstar who possessed all the ideal points of a lovable glue guy (noun: middle of the pack talent who has the ability to electrify the crowd with a solid showing; player who goes above and beyond his expected effort output; gamer who develops a touch of extra personality in order to hold on to some semblance of excitement or because he likes having a dirty uniform). It was a beautiful thing to witness a legitimate franchise player hold onto his child-like love for the game, but Jose’s departure leaves a massive hole in the personality of this franchise. Personally, I don’t see a David Wright or an elderly Johan Santana hopping around the dugout and hyping everyone up.

Yes, this is a rebuilding year for the Mets. Yes, they will probably embarrass themselves. However there are a number of young guys like Ike Davis, Daniel Murphy, Ruben Tejada, and Lucas Duda who will likely be around after the Mets’ makeover. I wouldn’t be upset if Justin Turner or even a Bobby Parnell made it through the scourge. Granted it is important to focus on improving their game, but heading into this season I want to see them mesh and get a little goofy. Notice I didn’t even mention Wheeler, Harvey, or Familia? I only hear great things and I am excited to see how they perform when they get the call up, but that conversation is for another day. The point I am trying to get across is that I truly believe the birth of this new culture must be the first step in the rebuilding campaign. Try and personify the current organization, management and players, as soon to be parents baby-proofing the house, setting up the crib, hanging up some colorful wallpaper, and buying stuffed animals in bulk. The baby can’t appreciate it at the moment but when the time finally comes to give birth (moves have been made, poor contracts are expired, etc) the child will walk into the perfect setting. I don’t want to see these three pitching prospects finally make it to the big show only to see a depressed and hopeless squad with no real excitement.

In a perfect world the current roster can somehow breed a sense of unity and smoothness regardless of their record. David Wright looks like a swell guy when he whips out that smile but I would kill to watch Duda and Tejada grabbing at each other as they try to will a warning tracker out of the park. More importantly who will be the official creator of handshakes?!?! Call me immature or crazy but I crave genuine camaraderie and I truly believe these young “glue guys” need to get a bit more glue in their system.

Who knows? The only thing for certain is that we simply don’t know which rung of the NL East totem pole will be inhabited by the Metsies. The debate continues whether or not the stars will align or if the Mets will lay claim to last place from day one, but it will certainly be interesting to see how those on the roster will react to the state of affairs. In the meantime, let’s look at a couple guys we grew to love/hate in no particular order, and check in on where they are now.

Oliver Perez – I don’t really know how to start explaining my love affair with Ollie. On paper he was an absolute bum who rarely even sniffed his own potential while with the Mets. On the other hand, I know that the crowd developed an uncanny sense of impending greatness the few times he really brought his “stuff” to the mound. Ollie haters can go ahead and claim that it was just the reaction of absolute shock that the stiff finally pulled it together. Perhaps I am biased since I proudly rocked a sombrero as a member of Ollie’s Tamales whenever I could attend  one of his starts, but deep down we all know that high leg kick just seemed to charge the stadium up. Plus, those studly sideburns certainly didn’t hurt the cause. Sadly enough, even I can only reminisce about the good Ollie so much before questioning my own sanity. Terrible contract, even worse performance, but what happened after we all turned our backs on Mr. Perez? After the Mets released Perez in March of 2011 he was assigned to a minor league deal by the Washington Nationals. Unfortunately it took another relegation to Double A before Ollie was able to put of respectable numbers. Alas, the Nats were still not impressed and eventually released my main man. The saga of Ollie still has a heartbeat as he just recently received an invitation to spring training in the big show with the Mariners, although he didn’t make the opening day roster.

John Maine – Johny Maine was basically a one and a half pitch wonder who managed to kill it while healthy in his first couple season with the Mets from 2006-2007. Unfortunately we were forced to witness a gradual and constant decline in numbers and physical deterioration. Dan Warthen was quoted as saying that Maine had a habit of lying about his health, and became a free agent after missing most of the 2010 season following shoulder surgery. Next stop was Colorado, but a change of scenery did not improve the situation as he only pitched 45 innings and posted a 7.43 ERA in Triple-A. Retirement suddenly became an option, but Maine’s career is currently back on life support after signing a minor league contract a month ago. Realistically you have to be pessimistic about his career and it doesn’t like we will see John Maine command the mound ever again.

Endy Chavez – The man, the myth, the legend. Endy will forever hold a special place in my heart after “the catch” in 2006 and another temporary season saving grab in the last regular season game in 2008. He was a fan favorite during his three years with the Mets and a real quality defensive replacement. Good times were had, but Endy was eventually traded to Seattle where he tore the ACL in his right knee while colliding with Yuniesky Betancourt. After free-agency, the next stop was Texas where he hit a very solid .301 in 256 at bats last season. The 34 year old lefty still has some juice in the tank, and is expected to platoon in left field for the Baltimore Orioles this upcoming season.

Jeff Francoeur – You either love or you hate Frenchy. The Braves gave up on the former first round pick after an unacceptably long slump, and the Mets got their hands on the streaky outfielder with a cannon for an arm in exchange for Ryan Church. He had a decent single season for the Met but also famously hit into a game-ending unassisted triple play. Francoeur was benched the next season to make room for Carlos Beltran and traded to the Rangers for an irrelevant Joaquín Árias. In the end, he signed a one-year deal with the Royals, joined the 20 20 club for the first time in 2011, and then signed a hefty two-year $13.5 million dollar extension. Personally, I enjoyed watching Frenchy play in 2009 and that trademark grin makes it obvious he absolutely loves the game.

Ramon Castro – If I were a betting man I would say Ramon came out of the womb with the jowls of a bulldog. He was a lovable guy throughout his four and a half years with the Mets, and had a fairly reliable bat for a backup catcher behind the likes of Mike Piazza, Paul Lo Duca, and Brian Schneider. Fans were always hoping Castro would be given the reigns whenever the starting job opened up but he was never really given a shot. After the Mets he ended up with the White Sox. His claim to fame is catching Mark Buehrle’s perfect game in July of 2009. It was the first time he caught for Buehrle, who claimed that he didn’t shake off Castro a single time during the game. The guy is 35 and technically the third string catcher but Castro fans will probably get a couple more sightings as he should be healthy heading into spring training.

Lastings Milledge – The kid made his major league debut for the Mets at 21 years and 55 days old in, the same exact age of the great Darryl Strawberry, in 2006. He didn’t do anything too impressive until hitting his first career knocker against San Fran closer Armando Benitez in the bottom of the tenth inning to tie the game up at six a piece. Usually you love seeing a youngin’ get excited about making a huge hit, but the media and his teammates were pretty darn pissed when he gave fans a high five as he returned to the field to play some defense. The next year Milledge found himself shuffling in between the majors and AAA, was chastised for appearing in a rap video with some wrist-slap worthy language, and was subsequently traded to the Nationals for Ryan Church and Brian Schneider. To make a long story short, Lastings spent the next three seasons constantly recovering from injuries while putting up mediocre numbers for the Nationals and Pirates. Unfortunately it looked like the saga of this once promising Metsie was winding down after Pittsburgh chose not to offer him a new contract. The bad news continued as he barely even sniffed the big show after being signed to a minor league contract by the White Sox in 2011. You have to give the guy credit though as he recently signed a one year contract with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. Clearly the hype wasn’t warranted but I simply can’t root against my ex-Mets. Go Swallows baby!

Whew. It’s always nice to reminisce, but this sad group of gentlemen didn’t fair very well after leaving Queens, considering Frenchy is really the only guy who is doing more than simply chugging along. Hope you guys enjoyed it and if there is a demand I’d be more than happy to put together another recap of ex-Mets and where the road has taken them…Carlos Gomez, Alex Cora, Pedro Feliciano, Xavier Nady pop into mind. I’m new to the twitter game so hit me up @HisDudenessOfNY with any requests or if you just want to tell me how much I suck/rock.

Always a pleasure MMO nation. Until next time..

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Mets Are In A Catchy Situation Sun, 21 Jun 2009 19:25:02 +0000 If you were paying attention during the fourth inning of today’s Mets broadcast, you would have learned that the Mets catchers lead the National League with 45 runs batted in.

Wow, really?

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’ll let you decide…


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

Make that 48 RBI’s for Mets catchers!

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The Morning Grind – Weigh In On Castro, F-Mart, Manuel, Sweet Caroline Sat, 30 May 2009 12:52:29 +0000 Here’s the place for Mets fans to sound off on anything and everything! An open thread for ranting and raving about the Mets, completely raw and uncensored!.

Today’s Hot Point Issues

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

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

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

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

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

Could Jerry Manuel have handled this better?

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

Much ado about nothing?

Fire away…

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Mets Trade Ramon Castro To White Sox Sat, 30 May 2009 03:35:52 +0000 It’s official, Ramon Castro is now a former Met.

With the emergence of the latest Mets sensation Omir Santos, and the return of Brian Schneider, the Mets had to make a move and so they traded Ramon Castro to the Chicago White Sox for right handed pitcher Lance Broadway.

The Mets also kicked in some cash to sweeten the pot, with one source reporting that it was $1.4 million dollars, the amount that was left on his $2.5 million dollar contract.

Broadway, 25, will report immediately to Triple-A Buffalo after going 0-1 with a 5.65 ERA in eight games with the White Sox this year. Broadway also made three starts for Chicago’s Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte, recording a 0-2 record and 5.63 ERA.

Brian Schneider is due to be activated on Saturday and apparently the Mets had no intentions of carrying three catchers on the roster.

Omar Minaya, spoke with reporters after the game,

“On a night like tonight when Omir Santos plays the way he has, it makes the decision easy for us to be able to keep him.”

This was a solid move for the Mets, and I’m glad to see that they didn’t let money stand in the way of doing what was best for the team. Any move that would have led to the demotion of Omir Santos would have drawn the ire of many Mets fans including me.

Now the trick will be making Santos the starting catcher, and Brian Schneider his backup and defensive replacement.

Lets Go Mets!

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Brian Schneider Not Even Close To Returning Sun, 10 May 2009 19:33:07 +0000 Gary Cohen just gave an update on Brian Schneider during the WB11 Mets broadcast.

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

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

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

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

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

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Lately, The Mets Are Mad As Hell Wed, 06 May 2009 13:15:40 +0000 Maybe Omar Minaya knew exactly what he was doing when he told Fox Sports that Wright, Reyes, Beltran and Delgado don’t have an edge…

Maybe it was sheer genius when Jerry Manuel pinch hit for Ramon Castro last week much to the dismay of many…

When Alex Cora stepped in for Luis Castillo while he was out and looked like Rogers Hornsby maybe something clicked…

When Manuel threatened John Maine and Mike Pelfrey with the possibility of losing their spots in the rotation if they didn’t start pitching better, maybe it was more than just an idle threat…

In the last ten or so days the Mets look a lot different.

Carlos Beltran is playing with a vengeance since being called out for failing to slide a week ago. He’s angrier and meaner.

Ramon Castro is a completely different player lately. Quality at-bats, stepped up defense, hustling on the basepaths, it’s quite a transformation. All of it manifesting itself since being benched in favor of Omir Santos.

Seeing Luis Castillo slam his glove to the ground after last nights error may have ticked off Keith Hernandez, but I actually liked what I saw. That’s what this team lacked.

When David Wright slammed his helmet into the dugout after being called out on strikes, I was like “Yeah! Let’s see that raw emotion!”

I don’t know if this going to last, but I love what I’m seeing lately and I hope it sticks around for the rest of the season.

When the Phillies take on the Mets tomorrow, I hope to see more anger and intensity.

Maybe even a good old fashioned bench clearing brawl with Carlos Beltran getting all crazy eyed like Paul Lo Duca.

Gimme some of that and I’ll guarantee the Mets will be in first place with a nice cushion by July 1st.

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Injury Update: Brian Schneider Setback Fri, 01 May 2009 07:14:44 +0000 The NY Post is reporting that Brian Schneider is still being hampered by a sore right calf and may not be activated from the DL as expected on Sunday.

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

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

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

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

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Game Recap: Marlins 4 – Mets 3 Wed, 29 Apr 2009 22:25:27 +0000 Game Summary

The Mets (9-12) lost to the Florida Marlins (13-8)  4-3 who won the series and and got back to their winning ways. The Mets squandered another solid start, this time by Johan Santana who didn’t figure into the decision. The bullpen had another classic meltdown, this time by J.J. Putz who along with Sean Green have blown back to back saves.

Mets Pitching

Johan Santana deserved a win today, but instead he got another no-decision as the Mets bats and the revamped bullpen let him down. The Marlins got to Santana early when they scored two runs in the first inning, which included another homerun by Jorge Cantu that barely went over the leftfield wall. Santana went into shutdown mode after that and held the Marlins scoreless through the seventh inning. Overall, Santana allowed just the 2 runs on 5 hits and he struck out 7 batters. Tough, tough loss. 

What should have been a hard fought win for Johan Santana ended in utter disappointment thanks to another bad job by the bullpen. Today’s goat was J.J. Putz who immediately got himself into trouble by walking the first two batters he faced. Then, after a sacrifice bunt moved the runners over, Cody Ross singled through the middle scoring both runners. Terrible job by Putz… simply awful…

Frankie Rodriguez pitched the ninth without incident and I must say I am surprised at how many non save situations he has pitched in already, Billy Wagner would have never tolerated such a thing.

Mets Hitting

Fernando Tatis was the hitting star of the day going 3-4 with 2 RBI’s and and homerun that had put the Mets in front for the first time in the game. He is making the most of his opportunities and much like last year, he continues to hit in the clutch. Tatis also stole his second base of the season.

Ramon Castro also had a couple of hits, but was pulled for a pinch hitter in the ninth. You can read my thoughts on that in the segment below. The Mets did have 16 baserunners so getting on base was not an issue.

However, you’re not going to have too many hitting highlights when you leave 14 runners stranded on base the way the Mets did today. It was just another pathetic effort by the offense which continues to struggle despite all the daily lineup changes.

Random Thoughts

As much as I have grown to like Omir Santos and dislike Ramon Castro, I thought pulling Castro in favor of Santos in the ninth inning with two outs was a terrible call by Jerry Manuel. Castro was having a good game, while Santos had to haul ass from the bullpen to face a pitcher who throwing 99 MPH fastballs. It was just a bad case of over-managing by Manuel.

I also thought that the decision not to let Jose Reyes steal second in the eight inning was another bad call by Manuel. Having Reyes at second would have changed the entire complexion of the Alex Cora at-bat and his liner up the middle may have broken through for a base hit.

David Wright has officially become a liability right now. He should have been rested today so that he could have had two days off to get it together before the Phillies series. Another two strikeouts, a double play, and his fourth error of the season was kind of tough to take.

The Mets wasted another fabulous start by Johan Santana who could very well be 5-0 right now.

Game Ball

A game ball each to Fernando Tatis and Johan Santana.

Up Next

A very shaken up Mets team now head to Philadelphia to play the defending World Champion Phillies for a critical three game series. Mike Pelfrey, Oliver Perez and John Maine will all start in the big weekend series. LGM

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Twitter Poll: Omir Santos Or Ramon Castro? Tue, 28 Apr 2009 01:01:30 +0000 I polled my Twitter followers tonight and asked the following question…

Should Omir Santos replace Ramon Castro as the primary backup when Brian Schneider is activated from the DL on Friday?

mattstedjan@metsmerized Yes!… and give him the chance at first string.


rainiedazze@MetsMerized say no to Darth Vader!

TIBlockhead@MetsMerized Yes! Go Santos woo hoooo we need someone to spark this team up!

maggie162@MetsMerized I’d give Castro 1-2 more starts before then, just to see if he’ll bust out. If he doesn’t, keep Omir.

SheckyXero@MetsMerized Heck yah, Castro has been probably one of the most suckish backup catchers I’ve ever seen, at least through my eyes.

Section518@MetsMerized Don’t you have to say yes? He’s outplayed Castro to date and is half the price.

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Mets Notes: Tatis At 1B, Santos Catching Again, Murphy Out Mon, 27 Apr 2009 21:07:58 +0000 Fernando Tatis will be at first base tonight when the Mets take the field against the Florida Marlins.

Carlos Delgado who was originally scheduled for a day off on Wednesday, will sit this one out due to a sore hip. For Tatis, it will be his first start of the season at first base.

Delgado won’t be the only regular player  riding the bench for the game, as left fielder Daniel Murphy will be keeping him company. Jerry Manuel will go with Gary Sheffield instead as he seeks to add some more right handed pop to the lineup.

Finally, Omir Santos may have unseated Ramon Castro as the backup catcher to Brian Schneider. Santos will be making his third start in a row going back to the game when Ramon Castro one handed a foul popup and dropped the ball.

This isn’t official, but it certainly looks like it. Santos is batting .294, almost 100 points higher than Castro who is struggling with a .197 batting average.

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Mets DL Brian Schneider, Promote Omir Santos Fri, 17 Apr 2009 23:36:56 +0000 reports that prior to Friday night’s game catcher, Brian Schneider was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Thursday, with a muscle strain in his back.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Brian Schneider Banged Up, Castro Starts Fri, 17 Apr 2009 00:31:04 +0000 Catcher, Brian Schneider is being given the night off from the series finale with the Padres this evening due to what the Mets are listing as back stiffness and a leg strain.

 Ramon Castro is getting the start in Schneider’s place.

It must have been an easy decision for the Mets to sit him as Schneider is only batting .143 so far this season. Fernando Tatis will be the Mets backup catcher while Schneider is out. Mets don’t believe Schneider will require a stint on the disabled list.

Last year the Mets found themselves in a situation where they had to carry a third catcher for the better part of a season because of an assortment of nagging injuries to Castro and Schneider.

Let’s hope that will not be necessary this season.

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Mets 25 Man Roster – Mets Baseball On WFAN Tue, 31 Mar 2009 22:34:39 +0000
Starting Lineup

1B – Carlos Delgado (L)
2B – Luis Castillo (S)
SS – Jose Reyes (S)
3B – David Wright (R)
CA – Brian Schneider (L)
LF – Daniel Murphy (L)
CF – Carlos Beltran (S)
RF – Ryan Church (L)

Bench Players

Fernando Tatis (R)
Alex Cora (L)
Ramon Castro (R)
Marlon Anderson (L)
Jeremy Reed (L)
Nick Evans (R) (will be sent down on April 11)

Starting Rotation

1. Johan Santana (L)
2. Mike Pelfrey (R)
3. Oliver Perez (L)
4. John Maine (R)
5. Livan Hernandez (R) (will be called up April 11)


CL – Francisco Rodriguez (R)
SU – J.J. Putz (R)
MR – Sean Green (R)
MR – Pedro Feliciano (L)
MR – Bobby Parnell (R)
MR – Darren O’Day (R)
LR – Brian Stokes (R)

By the way… Catch tonight’s game against the fish on WFAN. 

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Are Ramon Castro’s Days With The Mets Numbered? Tue, 03 Mar 2009 11:44:45 +0000 According to David Lennon of Newsday, the Mets might not be entirely finished with their off season shopping.

The Mets were unsuccessful in their attempts to shop Ramon Castro this offseason, but they still remain very interested in Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, according to a person familiar with the team’s thinking. Rodriguez, a free agent, is a favorite of general manager Omar Minaya, and the Mets continue to view their depth behind the plate as one of the team’s biggest concerns.

Not only is Castro expensive at $2.25 million, but the Mets worry about his durability at that price and believe Rodriguez would be a better complement to lefty-hitting Brian Schneider.

I thought we were done seeing stories and trade rumors like this one for the time being…

Apparently the Mets are still at odds with the decision to start the season with Ramon Castro as the backup to Brian Schneider.

They are not convinced Castro can remain off the disabled list for an entire season and have concerns with his attitude. Last season, Jerry Manuel confronted Castro after he had missed some time with what was called general soreness. Manuel told him everybody on this team has some kind of soreness and that he was penciling him into the lineup. Castro played.

Ramon Castro homered in his last spring game and reports say he has lost as much as 15 pounds, but that the Mets remain unimpressed.

As for Pudge Rodriguez, I’m not sure about what he has left in the tank, but I guess if the Mets were to sign him for the same money Castro makes he would have to be considered an upgrade even at his age… both defensively and offensively.

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It’s Official: Castillo Back For A Second Helping Tue, 20 Nov 2007 09:27:24 +0000 Omar Minaya himself announced that Luis Castillo was signed, sealed and delivered yesterday evening. There was no pulling out of negotiations this time, as had been the case with Yorvit Torrealba. Castillo, 32, joins Damion Easley, Ramon Castro, Moises Alou and Ramon Castro as the only Mets that have been retained since the season ended.

The scrappy second baseman signed a 4-year deal worth $25 million buckaroos. And while about half of the Mets fans I’ve polled seem to think it was a bad signing in terms of years, I BEG TO DIFFER!

As you may know, or not know, the Mets were seriously considering David Eckstein, who Minaya admitted a special fondness for last night. Eckstein wanted $32 million for the same four years.

"I’ve always been a very big Eckstein fan, but in the end we just felt that we were able to get a deal done with Castillo," Minaya said. "But Eckstein was one of the guys we definitely considered."

In my opinion Luis Castillo is a much better option than Eckstein. One, because he is cheaper, and two because Castillo has proven himself in a city where most collapse like a house of cards under the intense media spotlight.

The $25 million dollars Castillo will get is a bargain and at the very least fair market value. Eckstein wanted $8 million a year, if you divide Castillo’s salary by three years, you arrive at practically the same amount. So basically we are paying Castillo the same amount it would have cost for three years of Eckstein. (hopefully you grasped my point)

With regard to his bad legs, let me say it’s all overblown. What ailed Castillo was a bum knee that has now been taken care of and by all reports he will be 100% healthy by January. Even with that bad right knee, Castillo still managed to steal 10 bases in the 50 games he played with the Mets, while batting .297. He performed at a much higher level when he joined the Mets and completely stabilized the lineup when he took over at the number two spot in the line-up. Defensively, he played the position better than it had been in over a decade.

The main reason that Eckstein was even being considered, was not because the Mets thought he better offensively, or defensively for that matter. His signing was mostly based on his fiery personality. The Mets thought it would replace the "attitude" that the team lost with Lo Duca’s departure. In fact, Eckstein has only played second base ten times in his entire career, and who’s to say it wouldn’t have turned into a defensive nightmare for the Mets, like so many other position changes have for the Mets in the last 10 years?

The bottom line is that Luis Castillo was the best option for the New York Mets. We didn’t have to give up any players to get him, and for $25 million he was a lot less than anybody else the Mets were targeting. His fourth year? It’s a gimme… It’s like he’s playing for free…

At a time and season where second helpings are very popular, a second helping of Castillo was just what the Mets needed this Thanksgiving weekend.

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