Mets Merized Online » Rod Barajas Thu, 08 Dec 2016 17:03:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The 2010 Mets: Where Are They Now? Thu, 29 Aug 2013 23:58:53 +0000 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.


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The Best 15 Man Team In Baseball – The New York Mets Sun, 05 Sep 2010 14:42:48 +0000 The Mets so far have had one of the best seasons of any team in Major League Baseball…seriously.  I know you must think Spector’s finally lost it. Follow me on this one.

The Mets this season have fielded about 15 players who have actually contributed – a far cry from the normal 25 man roster. Let’s reminisce and go back to early Spring – Port St. Lucie – when hope was abundant – when we all thought Oliver Perez was rip roaring and ready to hit the ground at CitiField running, repaired “injured” knee and all.

The Mets were unable – or unwilling – to land a starting pitcher this past off season. The Mets were forced to enter the 2010 season with Johan Santana leading a staff of Mike Pelfrey, John Maine, Oliver Perez and Jon Niese or as I always liked to call it – One man and a little hazy.

How pathetic in retrospect is that rotation? Santana aside, Pelfrey and Niese were the only two usable arms in that cadre and as the year progressed we had the opportunity to see Hisanori Takahashi start as well as the emergence of knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Even with the surprisingly productive year of Dickey, the Mets at times this year, were just getting by with 3 reliable arms – sometimes even less.

The lineup envisioned by the powers that be included the bats of Rod Barajas, Luis Castillo, Jason Bay, Jeff Francouer and returning from injuries Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran.

At times this season, Jerry Manuel’s lineup card might as well been partially left blank since more times than not there were at least four slots in the Mets lineup virtually unproductive. No team can compete for a championship with a handicap like that.

Take Rod Barajas who started the season on a torrid pace blasting 11 homeruns in his first month in Queens alone. After that glorious month, a picture of Rod Barajas’ Louisville slugger found it’s way on the side of milk cartons in local area bodegas. He hit an appalling .225 with 12 home runs, 34 RBI and a .677 OPS until being claimed off waivers by Los Angeles.

Luis Castillo. What can we say about Louie that hasn’t been already? He’s regressed worse than Chevy Chase’s career with a decaying range at second base that at this rate I bet Betty White can out-field our second baseman – but he found the stones to demand a trade for lack of playing time. Good idea Louie Louie and we gotta go, hey hey hey hey.

The outfield for the Mets this year has been a mishmash of players getting and returning from injury. Francoeur, a former “Natural” standout player with a great personality that has unfortunately seen his best days pass him – was sent packing from Atlanta last year and recently was traded to Texas. Francoeur’s numbers as a Met – .225 BA, 10 HR, 41 RBI, and a .836 OPS. A good guy who gave 110% – too bad it was 110% of Jeff Francouer baseball. There was a reason Bobby Cox let him go. Still doubt his baseball acumen?

Jason Bay was brought in with the intention of powering the offense. A poor man’s Matt Holliday – if you want to call a $66 million dollar contract poor – Bay has never seemed quite comfortable in the confines of CitiField. An assessment of Bay’s production last year showed that the majority of his round trippers were dead pull shots at Fenway. Considering left field at Citi fares no worse than Fenway- in fact slightly better considering the lack of the Green Monster – it was safe to assume Bay would do quite well at CitiField.

Of course Jason decided to become more of a gap hitter at Citifield thus ending that assumption. Bay’s numbers this year, .259 BA, 6 HR, 47 RBI and a .749 OPS. To add injury to insult, Bay ingloriously ended (perhaps?) his 2010 season when he slammed his head into the outfield fence in L.A., catching a fly ball, earning a concussion. Somewhere Ryan Church is popping an Excederin in solidarity.

Here is a list of players whom the Mets could have simply gotten by without –

1. Luis Castillo

2. Rod Barajas

3. Fernando Tatis

4. Alex Cora

5. Mike Jacobs

6. Gary Matthews Jr.

7. Jeff Francoeur

8. Jason Bay

9. John Maine

And last but certainly not least in all our hearts….

10. Oliver Perez

So Mets fans, stand up and give your team some credit here.  With the group of players ownership has given them to work with this year it’s absolutely a shock that the Mets have the respectable (albeit losing) record they have – so far.  Here’s to finding the silver lining and to hoping that the Mets keep bucking the trend through the remainder of the season.  Hopefully they can salvage what little baseball is left for them.

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Barajas Claimed By Dodgers, Feliciano Called Up Sun, 22 Aug 2010 15:48:18 +0000 Breaking news Mets fans! Catcher Rod Barajas was just claimed off waivers by the LA Dodgers. Also, outfielder Jesus Feliciano will be called up to replace him.

@KBurkhardtSNY Barajas claimed by the Dodgers. Jesus Feliciano will replace him.

Barajas, 34, was hitting .255 with the Mets this season with 12 homeruns and 34 RBIs. He was hitting well during the first half of the season before falling into a slump and going on the DL.

Feliciano, 31, with the Mets is hitting .292 with two RBIs, a stolen base, four doubles and one triple.

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One Small Mistake For Misch, One Giant Loss For Mets-Kind. Astros Win 3-2 Fri, 20 Aug 2010 02:55:53 +0000 Houston, we have a problem! It’s the Mets offense. The Mets offense blows it for the Mets as they lose the series finally, 3-2 to the Astros. Pat Misch was pitching well until the seventh inning when he gave up a three-run homerun. The offense combined for two runs on three hits. Bullpen was good in a losing effort. Same story, different day.

Game Summary

Pat Misch started tonight against the Houston Astros in his second start of the season. He started off great and was just cruising for the first six innings. At one point retired sixteen batters in a row. In those six innings only one hit was allowed. But entering the seventh inning gave up back-to-back hits, followed by giving up a three run homerun to give up the lead. The soft tossing lefty was bound to get hit hard and just came at a bad time. Still pitched great. Expect to see him in another start. Misch went 6+ innings pitched, gave up three runs on four hits and that one homerun in the seventh inning. He walked none and struck out batter. Misch receives his second loss.

Manny Acosta came into relieve Misch in the seventh and got his three batters out, including one strikeout. Pedro Feliciano came into the eighth and faced a couple of right-handed batters. He got one batter out but gave up two hits before taking his exit. Ryota Igarashi was called in to pitch in the eighth inning. He hasn’t pitched with the Mets since July 4th. He struck out the two batters to face him.

Mets offense had one inning of work tonight. Two runs scored in the fourth. Nothing else. A total of three hits for the Mets. And only one of those hits came from a core player, Jose Reyes. The other two by Carter and Misch.

The Mets 2-6 hitters combine for 0-17. Rod Barajas also goes 0-3 with a K. Welcome back!

Not much to say about this offense. Swinging at 0-2, 0-3 pitches. Swinging at pitches out of the zone. Just trying to get away with any swing of the bat.

Angel Pagan stole his 30th base of the season.

Ollie sighting: Was warming up in the bullpen during the ninth inning. Wasn’t used, thankfully.

Turning Point

That three-run homerun by Carlos Lee in the seventh inning off Pat Misch to take the lead and win away from the Mets.

Game Ball

Game ball goes to a World Series champion by the name of, Ron Darling, who turns 50 today! Happy birthday!

Up Next

The Mets head to Pittsburgh to begin a three game series against the Pirates. Mike Pelfrey will start the first game for the Mets, as he looks for his twelfth win of the season. The Pirates will have Jeff Karstens (2-9) on the mound for them. Karstens hasn’t won since June 19th. Game time is 7:05 PM.

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Barajas Returns From DL And Could Be Traded, F-Mart Demoted Thu, 19 Aug 2010 18:35:36 +0000 The Mets are reportedly activating catcher Rod Barajas from the disabled list and expect to have him available for tonight’s game against the Astros.

As the Mets face a decision over how long to retain three catchers.

Josh Thole has earned the majority of the starts lately with his solid play, but Barajas could cut into Thole’s playing time, with Henry Blanco basically serving as the seldom used third catcher.

Andy Martino of the Daily News opens up the possibility that the Mets could trade Barajas and eliminate the logjam.

A major league source said that the Mets had placed Barajas on waivers, which could lead to another team claiming him and/or a trade being facilitated. So we’ll keep our eye on that.

Incidentally, Martino also writes that Fernando Martinez will be sent down today to make room for Barajas, with Mike Hessman remaining with the team for now.

If you hadn’t noticed Jerry Manuel never seemed very pleased to see F-Mart get promoted during Bay’s absence, and played him very sparingly. Martinez batted .167 during his cup of coffee with the Mets in 2009, and this year he fared no better batting .176 in just 18 at-bats.

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Mets Fight To The 13th, But Fall 3-2 On Walk-Off Blast Sun, 25 Jul 2010 03:06:04 +0000

The Mets offense goes back to being silent as they lose game three of the series, 3-2 in the thirteenth inning on a James Loney walk-off homerun. The game became a battle of the bullpens as both pitchers only went five innings each but the game ends with James Loney, who hit his first career walk-off homer off of Oliver Perez in the 13th inning.

Game Summary

Mike Pelfrey continues to have rough starts as he only went five innings for the Mets. He didn’t give up too many runs though as only two runs came across to score on six hits off of him. He walked a pair and struck out a pair as well. Mike Pelfrey’s dead arm continues to plague him as he hasn’t gotten more than five innings pitched in his last five starts. Pelfrey walked away with a no decision.

Raul Valdes, Manny Acosta, Pedro Feliciano, Bobby Parnell and Elmer Dessens combining for 6 1/3 strong innings in relief. They combine for two hits, five strike outs, and two walks.

Oliver Perez was the losing pitcher in the 13th inning as he gave up the walk-off homerun to Dodger first baseman, James Loney. He only gave up one hit in an inning pitched, but the one hit was the costly homerun.

Rod Barajas, who exited in the sixth with a right oblique strain and is day-to-day, and Jose Reyes delivered all the Mets runs with a pair of RBI singles in the sixth inning.

Jason Bay continues to improve his hitting, getting two hits on the day. He also scored a run, walked once, but struck out twice as well.

Angel Pagan and David Wright both struck out twice as well, but Pagan also had two stolen bases on the day.

Carlos Beltran was the only Mets starter to walk away without getting a hit, going 0-5 with a walk.

Game Ball

Game ball goes to the five bullpen pitchers who didn’t allow a single run to score before Perez gave up the game ending homerun.

Up Next

RA Dickey goes out for the Mets as they play the final game of the four game series versus the Dodgers. Clayton Kershaw (9-5) will pitch for the Dodgers. Kershaw hasn’t given up more than five runs in his last five starts, he has killed lefty hitters this season (.175) and leads the Dodgers in strikeouts with 135 K’s. Game time is 4:10 PM.

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Reacting To The Thrashing: What’s Wrong With Pelf? Sat, 24 Jul 2010 16:24:10 +0000 By the end of May fans everywhere were ready to call Mike Pelfrey the ‘ace’ of this New York Mets staff and rightfully so.  He was 7-1 (11 starts) with a 2.54 ERA and over that span fans were witness to ‘An Ace in the Making’.

Matt Cerrone of, received slack from Mike Francesa (which he explains HERE) for stating that he was “proud of Pelfrey”. At Metszilla we agreed with Matt and dubbed Pelf  “The Pride of New York.”

Well here we are in mid July and it looks as if Pelf has resorted back to his old ways.  After the shortest start of his career (1 1/3 IP, 6 ER) all that was missing was the constant hand licking that inspired “I lick Myself” by WFAN’s Al Dukes (if you have never heard this song before I highly recommend you click on this link).

This isn’t the first time Pelfrey has shown glimpses of dominance only to return to mediocrity.  In 2008, Mike had a stretch of 17 starts (June-August) which he allowed 38 ER over 110 2/3 IP (3.09 ERA) while posting an 11-2 record.

In September of  ’08 he was 0-3 (5 starts) with a 4.06 ERA (14 ER, 31 IP).  Pelf is starting to show similar inconsistent results once again in 2010.  After starting the season 8-1 (13 starts) with a 2.23 ERA, he has since gone 2-4 (7 starts) with a 6.96 ERA.  His ERA has risen from a Cy Young like 2.23 to a pedestrian 4.01 over the last couple of months and his K/9 rate has consistently dropped each month.

As Jay Robotham mentioned in his Z-Cap (click HERE to read) it was very noticeable to see the Diamondback hitters lay off Pelfrey’s splitter with two strikes.  They repeatedly worked from behind in the count and eventually capitalized on very hittable fastballs:

1st Inning

  • Kelly Johnson: 0-2 count, KJ eventually doubles off the bottom of the right field wall and drives in Arizona’s first run
  • Justin Upton: 0-2 count, Upton eventually walks
  • Gerardo Parra: 1-2 count, Parra eventually singles to center to drive in a run

2nd Inning

  • Chris Young: 0-2 count, CY singles to leadoff the inning
  • Justin Upton: 1-2 count, Upton doubles to right to drive in Young

It’s almost to the point where opposing batters seem to have Pelfrey right where they want him when he works in a ‘pitchers count’.  So why can’t Pelfrey finish guys off?  Why are they now laying off his split finger?  Rod Barajas weighed in after last night’s debacle:

Any position that you play when your doing well the confidence is off the charts, you feel good about yourself you feel confident about every outing that your gonna go out there and do what you can do to be successful.  When you struggle doubt comes into the back of your mind now your not to sure of your ability and your chances to go out there and make good quality pitches. I’m not in Mike’s head but can definitely be a factor.”

Over his last 4 starts (0-3) Mike has been unable to escape the 4th inning, allowing 15 ER in 13 1/3 IP (10.15 ERA).  As manager Jerry Manuel stated last night, mentioning his name alongside other dominate young starters like Phil Hughes, Josh Johnson, and Ubaldo Jimenez, is no longer the case:

Mike Pelfrey is a power pitcher that at times we could say Johnson, Jimenez, Pelfrey and we can’t say that right now.  That’s what he’s got to get back to and he can do it.”

So what is wrong with Pelfrey? What has happened to the mature starter who was starting to fulfill the teams expectations they had upon drafting him in the first round of the 2005 MLB draft. Manuel and Pelfrey both seem to think its the lack of establishing his fastball that has plagued him as of late.


Well I think what Mike is going through a little tough period right now. As far as what he needs to do is to get back to establishing his fastball.  That’s not what we are seeing. We need to see a high percentage of fastballs thrown as compared to sliders, split fingers anything such as that. I think that’s what we will have to see out of him next outing.”


I’ve gotten away from establishing fastballs I feel like I’m trying to establish 3 or 4 pitches at once all early in the game. That’s not who I am. I have to get back to using the fastball establishing that and it will make the other pitches better.”

I wanted to believe this stretch of bad starts was due to a case of dead arm and that a couple of days off from the All-Star break would have him well rested and ready to return to dominance in the second half.  Obviously, the problem at hand is much deeper than that.  Ron Darling of SNY seems to think Pelfrey is dragging his back foot and not pushing off the mound, thereby getting no drive or movement.  Darling also believes he has lost confidence and is aiming the ball so it’s like pushing and not throwing. He’s been through this before and can draw on his past experience.  The maturation of the 26-year old shows, to an extent, in that he recognizes his mistakes and does not deny or hide from them.  One thing is for sure, is if this team has aspirations of making the playoffs they will need Pelf to right the ship and return to the dominate starter we saw through April and May.  I believe it will happen but it will take more than Pelfrey just owning up to his mistakes, he will need to go that extra step to correct them.

To read more of my thoughts on the Mets, head to

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Thole Needs To Stay; Focus on 2011. Wed, 21 Jul 2010 13:57:39 +0000 I think I’m starting to come to the realization that not only will the Mets not pick up a big time pitcher before the deadline, but that this team really isn’t a playoff caliber team. I know what’s going to happen, half of the comments will be calling me out like I’m some fair-weather fan, and half will act as though this team is worse than they really are. 

Here’s the truth, the Mets are an average team in 2010. You have to tip your cap to Omar Minaya, (prediction: few bad comments for this.) Last year was one of the most forgettable years as a Mets fan in the 2000’s, but he stuck to his guns and he put together a team that would play competitive baseball. We (the collective Mets fan) didn’t buy in.

I laugh when I see those commercials (BENNNNN HUUUUR) no not that commercial…the one where the Mets are thanking the fans for their home field advantage.

That commercial campaign really should be, “Come see what you’ve been missin!” Because in all honesty, we’re getting our money’s worth when they play at Citi Field.

Do you realize the Mets are filling the stadium at a lower capacity than Milwaukee, and Colorado? The Mets are 11th in attendance percentage based on capacity, and 12th in total attendance.

That’s embarrassing, and you know what? Yeah 2009 was awful, but why should the Mets and their brass go out and get a big time pitcher? It’s not like we the fans are giving them a reason to go spend more money. Are we?

Is there some petition going around that says if the Mets acquire Roy Oswalt, the attendance will increase to at least crack the Top 10 in MLB? I didn’t think so.

With all that being said, I think the smartest thing Omar Minaya and the Wilpon’s can do is ensure that the future of this franchise is not thrown away for a long shot chance at the post-season. I’m not saying rebuild, and I’m not saying this team cannot pull off a nice streak and get back into it. 

I am saying they shouldn’t sell 2011 for the sake of 2010. If this were a 1 team race, then maybe. You can’t tell me Philadelphia isn’t poised for a summer run like they always do. You also can’t tell me the Braves are going to lose steam.

With that said, I think the Mets need to continue to carry 3 catchers for now, and then say thank you and goodbye to Rod Barajas or Henry Blanco prior to 2011. The talk of Josh Thole being a part of some deal that doesn’t bring a legitimate #2 starter into this rotation for more than 1 season has to be thrown away.

Thole has proven that he belongs in the major leagues, he clearly has more to learn about managing a game, but he’s not going to learn any more than he has in the minor leagues. For those of you who absolutely are smitten with Barajas, I’m not going to get into this discussion about his value anymore. 

He hit some big HR in April and early May, but he has driven in 2 runs since June 1st. He’s playing *exactly* how the back of his baseball card dictates he would’ve. He doesn’t get on base, and I don’t care how nice of a guy you are, or what fingers you put down between your legs so a pitcher can see, if you cannot get on base; you’re not a starter. With a minimum of 100 AB’s as a catcher, Barajas is last in on base % in the NL.

That means 19 other catchers are better at getting on base than he is. That’s awful. And please do not say it’s a slump. If it’s a slump, then his entire 2009 season must’ve been a slump, plus 2008. I think he did a great job early on with the pitchers, but now it’s time to teach while sitting on the bench.

Josh Thole is 23 years old, and plays a position that most teams covet due to the fact there are not many good starting catchers under the age of 30 in Major League Baseball. Name them…

Joe Mauer, Brian McCann, Russell Martin are the first 3 that come to mind. Then you’ve got Wieters, Doumit, Napoli and Yadier Molina based on his defense. Throw in Buster Posey, and that’s really it. Doumit is 29, so cross him off your list for 2011.

I’m not saying Josh Thole is Joe Mauer, but what I am saying is he plays a position that very few teams can say they are set at for years. He plays a position that teams are constantly in the free agent market for. If the Mets don’t have to go into 2011 looking for a catcher, then that allows them to focus their time and efforts on other problems.

So first things first, Josh Thole needs to become this teams everyday catcher and Rod Barajas and Henry Blanco need to teach him whatever it was they were able to do early on to guide this pitching staff.

If you take an honest look at the 2010 Mets, they need to let 2010 run it’s course and focus on next year. Consider 2010 a rebound year after the disaster that was 2009. Will it be awesome if they find a way to make the playoffs? Absolutely.

I used to be that guy who said, go for it. Make 2010 happen.

But, I just don’t feel like it’s smart to go all in right now when you have 2 division teams to leapfrog or 3 NL West teams plus an NL Central team to jump over. It may seem like the right idea to us fans who want to see a winner, but if you believe guys like Thole, Tejada, and Mejia are big leaguers; then this franchise needs to keep them in their system and not spend $ for the sake of spending $ and still finishing in 3rd place.

This has been one of the most likeable Mets teams in a pretty long time. I don’t think that has to change. I think if they wind up .500, I’ll still enjoy watching them play.

2011 Opening Day could have Thole-Davis-Tejada-Reyes-Wright in the infield. 5 guys, all brought up through the organization leaving the Mets with no worries regarding their infield for several years.

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Why Mets Should Be Buyers AND Sellers at the Deadline Wed, 21 Jul 2010 01:11:51 +0000 Even when the Mets sputtered into the All-Star break, the most skeptical of fans had to admit that this team still had a chance at either a division crown or a wild-card spot.

While the offense might have been inconsistent, the bullpen not always reliable, and the manager a strategic misfit, the Mets still boasted some brilliant starting pitching, the resurgence of Wright and Reyes, and the most spunk, heart and personality we had seen in years. If they weren’t quite as talented as the 2006 or 2007 teams, they were certainly better than the 2004 team that the front office misguidedly saw as a contender and forced that regrettable trade-deadline deal with Scott Kazmir.

With the current team still in the post-season discussion, the question the last few weeks has been what kind of starting pitcher or relief help does Omar shoot for before the deadline. Well, here’s the reality: If Jose Reyes continues to show he can break down at the drop of a bunt, Jason Bay provides no signs he will return to Red Sox form, K-Rod always a late-inning accident waiting to happen, and Mike Pelfrey reverting to his former psychological mess, no deadline deal will give this team a chance at meaningful October baseball.

But in spite of all those obvious problems, which may never abate, we still shouldn’t throw in the towel on this season, especially since the team can’t be eliminated from the race on July 31. If Omar can bring in a Ted Lilly or a Jake Westbrook and an Octavio Dotel (or reasonable facsimile) without trading top tier prospects, he should do it. However, he also should be pro-active and consider dealing guys on the current major league roster who might bring back some valuable pieces to build on for next season. It’s time for Omar Minaya to really get creative and make the Mets buyers AND sellers.


Here’s a list of six players Omar should consider moving who could bring back some building blocks without necessarily ending the team’s chances to win a wild-card this season.

1. Oliver Perez: I admit this is going to be a tough road to hoe. Who really wants a guy who gives head cases a bad name? Well, I would trade our problem child in Perez for the Cubs’ drama king Carlos Zambrano in a heartbeat. The Cubs want to unload the hot head and his hefty contract and they’d get salary relief even if they took back Perez’s contract. Zambrano still has upside if he gets a change of scenery and could help next year, if not this one.

2. Luis Castillo: I admit I’m not up on which contenders need a second baseman right now, but if there is one out there, I’d send them Luis for a prospect and eat some of his money in the process. Classic addition by subtraction.

3. Rod Barajas: His early season slugging helped the team get taken seriously in the race and he’s great in the clubhouse (although I think his backstopping prowess is overrated), but he’s completely collapsed offensively (he had plenty of holes to begin with) and at his age there is no future for him on this team. Did anyone ever think he was anything more than a stop-gap to begin with? The Mets have been floundering in the catching department since Piazza was done and the time has come to either develop Josh Thole or trade for a young catcher to build around. Thole and Blanco are more than adequate to get the job done for the rest of this year.

4. John Maine: I don’t know what we can get for him at this point, especially since he won’t be able to establish that he’s overcome his problems by the deadline. But given his mound demeanor, lack of command and poor secondary pitches, I’d get him out of here for a bag of balls.

5. Pedro Feliciano: Yes, I agree he has been abused by Jerry, but this guy couldn’t get a good right handed hitter out if his life depended on it and is probably one of the most overrated relief pitchers in the game. Yet he would still have tons of value to a division contender in a pennant race as a situational lefty. Honestly, would Takahashi or Pat Misch in the lefty relief role really be much of a downgrade, if any? Move Pedro now, get a mid-level prospect or two and give the job to one of those guys.

At this point, we pause because you’re probably thinking that number six on the list is going to be Jeff Francoeur. Well, we can’t really trade Frenchy. One, even if a team felt he had some value as a stopgap to replace an injured player, I don’t think that we can get much for him. Two, we would need him to play right field the rest of this year because the sixth player we should move is:

6. CARLOS BELTRAN: You heard me right. This is the scenario I’d been hoping for since Beltran’s operation; that he would come back before the trade deadline and get enough at bats to show teams he still had something in the tank. You want a pitcher to slot in behind Johan or a big time catching prospect or a future closer, then this is the guy who has to go. I’ve always respected Beltran’s talent but his passion has always been lacking and he hasn’t exactly provided inspiration since his return. He could be one hard slide into second base away from a career-ending injury. But do you think the Yankees would take him to play centerfield? In a heartbeat. How about Jesus Montero and that second base prospect Adams? How about moving Beltran to one of those contenders in the NL West, especially the Padres and Giants who desperately need a bat and have pitching chips to trade?

The Mets were as many as 9-11 games over .500 when Beltran was out. Let’s not screw around with Angel Pagan, keep him in centerfield, muddle along with Frenchy in right until the end of the year, and bring in a significant young player or pitcher for Beltran. Not to mention getting out from under the last year of that contract so we might be able to actually sign a GOOD free agent next year.

Omar, it’s time to think out of the box or you’ll be thinking on the unemployment line in October.

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MetsMerized Player Of The Week! (Week 14) Tue, 20 Jul 2010 19:43:20 +0000 Man, it has been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to do one of these. I apologize to anyone who takes the time out to read these; I’ve had a lack of internet for the majority of the past two weeks. The only thing that saved me was that I still had access to television.

As for the Mets, we haven’t gotten the results I’ve been wanting and we haven’t looked so hot lately. But with Reyes back, Beltran back, and Wright looking solid, things could change and be looking up for the Mets in a hurry.

My choice for MetsMerized Player Of The Week is…Ike Davis!

The Mets did not have a good weekend down by the bay where they lost 3/4 and almost lost the 4th had a competent umpire been behind the plate. I could blame K-rod too, but he probably got enough bashing from the fan base when he blew another save. The one constant over the 4 game series was Ike Davis.

The hard hitting rookie has been a major asset to this team from the second he was called up. He’s on pace for 20+ HRs and I must admit he has impressed me with his glove as well as his bat. Over time, I think he is going to develop into a very respectable first baseman and probably make an AS appearance or two.

On the week, Ike batted .313 (5-16 ; 2 2B, 2 HR) with a .313/.313/.813 slash line overall. Scoring twice, Davis had 5 hits and drove in 5 runs, both tops on the team for the week. Add in 13 TB to that impressive 4 games and subtract the sad fact that he didn’t have a walk, and you’ll still get some good numbers for Davis. So congrats to Ike!

Who’s Hot And Who’s Not

Johan Santana : 1 GS, QS, ND : 8.0 IP, ER, 8 H, BB, 5 K.

R.A. Dickey : 1 GS, QS, L : 7.0 IP, ER, 5 H, BB, 3 K.

Angel Pagan : .071/.133/.143 ( 1-14 ; 2B), RBI, SB.

Rod Barajas : .000/.000/.000 (0-7, 1-17 last 17 ABs), K

Past Award Winners:

One Hit Wonders: Jeff Francoeur, Mike Pelfrey, Jose Reyes, Angel Pagan, Johan Santana, David Wright.

So Nice He Did It Twice : Ike Davis.

Third Time’s The Charm: Jose Reyes.

Of Note 7/12-7/19

The All-Star game! Nice showing by David Wright, 2-2. Nice to see the NL pick up a win there.

We cannot blow this road trip.

Diamondbacks and then the Dodgers? Let’s do this!


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Mike Pelfrey Thrashed In 13-2 Loss To D-Backs Tue, 20 Jul 2010 05:47:13 +0000 Mets get crushed by the Diamondbacks in the first game of the series, 13-2. Mike Pelfrey had another poor start and the bullpen wasn’t much better as the D-Backs garnered 18 hits off of the Mets. The Mets get their best lineup tonight with the return of Castillo, but can only manage six hits and two runs.

Game Summary

Mike Pelfrey had his fourth consecutive poor start tonight. Most likely his worst start of the season for him. It took him over 50 pitches just to get out of the first inning, and took him awhile just to get the first out of the inning. He was only able to pitch 1.1 innings, giving up six excruciating runs on seven hits. He walked two batters and struck out only one batter. The shortest start in his career. The reason he is struggling could be the combination of his dead arm, the stiff neck and back, and it being his first start since the All-Star Break (9 games since his last start). Also, he had no control of his sinker. Being as it’s one of his best pitches, it really cost him.

Raul Valdes continues to pitch well in long relief for the Mets. He pitched 2.2 shutout innings in relief, walking one and striking out two batters. Fernando Nieve an an absolutely terrible inning of relief. He pitched two innings and gave up five runs on five hits and one long homerun from Mark Reynolds.

Elmer Dessens pitched a shutout seventh inning, walking one batter. Pedro Feliciano pitched one inning and gave up two runs on four hits. He walked one and struck out one. Makes you want Mejia back right?

For the first time since May 20, 2009 the Mets had all eight of their starting players in the same lineup. Yet they still couldn’t score more than two runs, and gather up more than six hits.

In Luis Castillo’s return to the Mets, he had two hits and scored a run. Wright and Reyes both also had a two-hit night. Beltran and Pagan combined for the other two hits.

Jose Reyes in his first game back and hitting lefty, must have forgotten how to play defense in his rehab as he had two errors on the night. Threw away a possible double play opportunity along with messing up a possible caught stealing opportunity for Barajas.

Rod Barajas went 0-4 with a strike out. Apparently Manuel doesn’t read my recaps as he continues to play Barajas over Thole. At this point “Hot Rod” has become an automatic out.

Mark Reynolds continues to be a thorn in the Mets side. He went 3-5 with a single, triple and a huge homerun. He had four RBIs on the night and scored two runs as well. This guy really does give me a scare when he’s at the plate.

Turning Point

The first inning gave the Diamondbacks a four run lead that was enough to beat the Mets.

Game Ball

To the diehard Mets fans who stayed awake to watch the Mets get killed by a lesser team in the Diamondbacks.

Up Next

Mets will play game two of the Arizona series with R.A. Dickey going up against rookie Diamondback pitcher, Barry Enright (1-3). Enright has yet to get through the fifth inning in any of his three career starts. Game time is 9:40 PM.

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I’m Not Ready To Show Barajas or Blanco The Door Yet Thu, 08 Jul 2010 14:30:01 +0000 When the Mets signed catchers Henry Blanco and Rod Barajas in the offseason, I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. They both had solid defensive reputations, and Barajas had some pop in his bat. Plus the price was right — together they are only costing the Mets $1.25 million dollars this season. You could make a case that they are probably the biggest values and best bargains on the team right now.

Yesterday while making my daily trek to MetsBlog, I saw a post referring to a post by Ted Berg on Josh Thole. He writes:

No one is accusing Thole of being the next Mike Piazza, but he can hit a bit. After a brutal start to the season in Triple-A, he posted a .410 OBP in May and June before his call-up. Though he lacks home-run power, it’s not unreasonable to suggest Thole is a better hitter than Barajas right now. He’s certainly more likely to get on-base. And he hits left-handed, which could add to the righty-heavy lineup a bit of that balance that Jerry Manuel loves so dearly.

The only things that should prevent Thole from playing more often are difficult ones to measure: Leadership, game-calling, defense behind the plate.

I don’t doubt that they’re important; Mets pitchers have been praising Barajas and Blanco all season for their approaches to opposing hitters. I just wonder how much they’re worth compared to an extra 50 points of OBP. In other words, does Barajas’ superior ability to handle pitchers overwhelm Thole’s superior ability to get on base?

He makes some good points in it, but when it comes to catching, I do believe that leadership, game-calling and defense are very important. I’m not convinced that Josh Thole is more deserving of playing time than Rod Barajas right now

Matt Cerrone, seemed to take a different tact looking at Blanco instead of Barajas as the potential odd man out.

…i wonder if the Mets will soon consider keeping Josh Thole over Henry Blanco… i know they love Blanco, and, right now, i guess he’s the team’s back-up third and first baseman, which is crazy in and of itself…

Again, good points, but I’m not entirely sure I agree.

We talk about team chemistry a lot on this site, and now that it seems we have some, I don’t understand why the sudden urge to change or upend it. I’m proud of what the Mets have accomplished thus far and many of those who doubted this team or had no faith have since changed their tunes. I wonder where the Mets would be  right now if not for the efforts of Henry Blanco and Rod Barajas?

I think it’s remarkable how from the very onset of Spring Training, Blanco and Barajas fit right in with this team. It didn’t take them long to join a Mets inner circle that included David Wright, Jose Reyes and Jeff Francoeur among others.

Reading the quotes after each game or listening to some of the post game comments from our starters, our pitchers have done nothing but rave about both of them, and do I have to point to the team’s 3.83 ERA this season as compared to 4.45 last season, to plainly see what an impact they have made in the staff’s performance?

Last night I believe I heard Gary Cohen say that the Mets now lead the Major Leagues with twelve shutouts… Twelve Shutouts!

Barajas and Santana were an incredible tandem Tuesday night, working together in perfect harmony as they confounded the Reds incredibly formidable lineup which is currently ranked number one in the league?

Berg refers to Thole’s Catchers ERA as being 3.00 this season and aptly cautions the small sample size of just three games, so let me add that is was 4.10 last season in 17 games.

Thole’s caught stealing percentage over his two limited seasons is 25%. Small sample size? I’ll add in this lesser know fact… In 48 games for AAA-Buffalo this season, baserunners stole a whopping 41 bases on Thole and he only caught six runners for a scary 18% CS rate. Can you imagin how he’ll be exploited once word starts spreading around the league? Thole was hardly lighting it up for the Bisons when he was called up batting .267 with 17 RBIs. He had more passed balls, six, than all the other catchers put together.

Sure, Thole has a higher on-base percentage than Rod Barajas, but does OBP have to be the end all in every single comparison between players?

I’m not knocking Thole, and I’m not knocking OBP either, I’m just saying lets look at the whole picture before making a judgment call on player valuation and not just focus solely on on-base percentage.

Do we really want to rely on young Josh Thole and his limited receiving skills to carry this staff through the heat of battle in what is shaping up to be a fierce divisional pennant race?

Look, I like Thole, but most of the scouts see Thole as nothing more than a platoon or backup catcher type… sorry to break all my fellow Mets fans hearts. Thole’s power is Rey Ordonez-esque at best, and just because he’ll have 10-15 more singles or walks over the course of a full season than Barajas or Blanco, it doesn’t make up for his deficiency in the one major area that all catchers should be judged by; his ability to perform defensively as a catcher.

I’ve seen enough of Blanco and Barajas to know that they are now fully meshed into the fabric of this team, and now is not the time to start tearing through that fabric with a machete.

We knew Blanco and Barajas were never going to break the .400 OBP barrier… or .350… or .300… Catchers who hit like that go for $12 million a season, not $500K.

Our catchers are a gift… They have exceeded all expectations… Their impact on Santana, Niese, Dickey and Pelfrey cannot be understated.

Last season when Dan Warthen and Jerry Manuel blamed the catchers that included Josh Thole, Omir Santos and Brian Schneider for the demise of the rotation, I thought they were nuts. You know what? They were right.

Thole was never part of the equation for the 2010 Mets, neither was Omir, that’s why the Mets signed a half dozen catchers to ensure that they would not have to be relied upon this season.

That was good plan, and it turns out that Blanco and Barajas were more than enough.

I know that the internet and blogging has made GM’s of us all. One night on Twitter or Facebook will provide plenty of evidence to support that claim, but lets be astute enough to realize that our ramblings are the stuff of legend and fiction, and not based in the reality of a real GM’s thinking and philosophy.

When the Mets activate Carlos Beltran from the disabled list on July 15, there should be no debate about who gets cut… Minaya will make the right decision on that day, and it won’t be based on emotion, bloggers opinions, or OBP alone. Oh, and afterward, please spare me the tears on poor Josh Thole.

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Mets Winning Streak Snapped, Fall 5-3 To Yankees Sat, 19 Jun 2010 20:36:34 +0000

Jose Reyes smacked two homers, but it wasn't enough to beat the Yankees on Saturday.

The Mets eight game winning streaked was snapped this afternoon as the Yankees beat up on Mike Pelfrey and handed the Mets a 5-3 loss in game two of the Subway series.

Game Summary

Mike Pelfrey did not continue his streak of great starts as he struggled early and often against the Yankees. He gave up five runs on seven hits and two homeruns in just the first four innings. Not the Pelfrey we are used to this season. However, he did turn it around after that and didn’t give up a hit for the next three innings. Pelfrey ends the day with seven innings pitched, five earned runs on seven hits, and two home runs in the Yankees bandbox of a stadium. Pelfrey also walked three and struck out two batters. I’m liking that Mets pitchers now can at least get into the sixth and seventh inning and keep their team in the game even when losing. Pelfrey receives his second lose of the season.

Ryota Igarashi has seemed to get back into his groove before he went onto the DL in this game. Iggy had an inning pitched, giving up one hit, one walk, and with the help and guidance of Rod Barajas, able to get the clutch strikeout to end the inning. Also, Igarashi’s last two pitches to get the strikeout were 96 and 95 MPH. Glad to see he’s got the high speed when he needs it.

The Mets together only got six hits against three Yankee pitchers and were only able to score three runs in the game. The biggest contributors were the tag team of Jose Reyes and Angel Pagan. Pagan went 2-3 including his thirteenth double of the season.

Jose Reyes had his biggest game, I think, of the season. He continues his hot streak going 2-4 with two big homeruns, three runs-batted in, and three runs scored. I guess the “Mets win when Reyes scores” quote was not in use today as they Mets lost 5-3.

David Wright’s hot streak cooled off going 0-4 with three, count ‘em, three strikeouts. Davis, Carter, Francoeur, and Blanco all had 0-fers in the game as well.

Turning Point

Curtis Granderson’s two-run homer off of Mike Pelfrey in the fourth inning put the Yankees over the Mets and the Mets were never able to come back.

Game Ball

Jose Reyes had a great offensive night, with help from the smallish Yankee Stadium.

Next Game

Mets finish up their Subway series against the Yanks with another matchup of lefty aces with Johan Santana going up against CC Sabathia. Important rubber match for the Mets. Game time is 1:15. Let’s Go Mets! Beat Those Yankees!

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Even I’m Starting To Believe Wed, 09 Jun 2010 18:45:37 +0000 Most of you who read my words on here each week know that I have a healthy dose of skepticism and cynicism when it comes to these Mets.  But while I’m not about to start sending “Ya gotta believe!” messages like one of my buddies does even when the Mets lose a bunch of games in a row, it’s hard not to believe there is something magical going on here.

First of all, while we all clamored for a #2 or even #3 pitcher behind Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey has stepped up unexpectedly into that role, and then some.  You can almost call he and Santana co-aces at this point.  And who would have thought RA Dickey would be picked up off the scrap heap and delivered quality innings the way he has?  Those three guys have the Mets right in the thick of an early pennant race–2.5 games back of the Braves and a half game back of the mighty Phillies.  Of course, the Marlins and Nationals are right there too, making this a potentially explosive second half in the NL East.

Also, guys like Ike Davis and Chris Carter have provided pop and spark, collectively, and Rod Barajas leads the team in homers.  Oh, and David Wright has regained the power stroke he lost last year.  All this and Carlos Beltran hasn’t even seen the field.  Heck, we may not need him!  Finally, K-Rod even seems to have re-discovered his fastball or become more confident in it.  Sure, he’s blown a few, but what closer hasn’t?

So yes, on June 9, I do believe.  I believe this team has a significant shot at winning the division and making noise in the playoffs.  Wins like last night continue to breed confidence in the players, management and in us fans.  Let’s go Mets!

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Igarashi Disappoints, Mets Lose 2-0 In 9th Sat, 29 May 2010 10:53:11 +0000

Johan Santana was on his game today, but Ryota Igarashi couldn’t continue the Mets winning streak nor their scoreless inning streak in a 2-0 loss to the Brewers

Game Notes

Johan Santana was dominant against the Brewers, becoming the first Mets pitcher to pitch a full 8 innings in the season up to this point. Johan allowed 0 runs on 3 hits, with 2 walks and 5 strikeouts. Johan was drawing flyball after flyball, pitching “citi-ball” and had the Brewers hitters fooled for most of the night, getting out of trouble when he needed to. Johan was popping the mitt today too, with the SNY radar guns clocking him as high as 92 – but i believe those guns were slow. Yovani Gallardo of the Brewers was equally dealing, and he was blowing fastballs by people that were only clocking at 94 MPH – he can throw in the upper 90′s fairly easily. This is another encouraging sign for the Mets pitching staff, but Johan took a no decision.

The bullpen only made it out for 3 batters, and Pedro Feliciano made sure Prince Fielder did not receive a chance to be a hero, getting him to ground out to David Wright essentially playing shortstop in a shift. Ryota Igarashi came in the face the right-handed part of the lineup and promptly gave up a hit to Ryan Braun. Corey Hart would then end Ryota’s night and the Mets win streak with a game-ending 2 run home run to left field. Why Jerry brought in Igarashi instead of K-Rod I don’t know, but thats just how the game played out.

The bats were stifled for the vast part of the day by Yovani Gallardo, who was matching Johan Santana inning-for-inning. The Mets didn’t draw their first walk until the 9th inning. There isn’t much to write about the bats. Rod Barajas went 2-3 with 2 singles, and Johan Santana went 2-3 with a double in the 8th that almost started a rally but Jose Reyes was called out on strike 3.

Ike Davis, David Wright and Angel Pagan went 0-10 with 5 strikeouts and a walk

Ike Davis struck out twice, and his at-bat in the 9th he looked every bit the rookie, swinging way-ahead of 2 curveballs in the dirt from Gallardo.

The Mets were called out looking on about 5 of the 7 strikeouts, with Angel Pagan nearly getting kicked out for arguing a called strike three in the 8th.

Turning Point

When Johan Santana was pulled. He was only at 105 pitches, his at-bat was already cleared and he was set to face lefty Prince Fielder. Johan was locked in ALL game and why he would be pulled is beyond me.

Game Ball

Johan Santana, in shades of 2008, taking a no decision for a lights-out performance when the Mets offense just couldn’t get anything going

Up Next

The Mets will send bullpen workhorse Fernando Nieve to the mound for his first start of 2010. He will be opposing Brewers lefty Manny Parra. The Mets have faired very well against lefty pitchers so lets hope for a continuation. Game time is 7:10 PM

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Rod Barajas Get Out The Vote Campaign! Thu, 27 May 2010 12:35:32 +0000 Rod Barajas has been a savior for the Mets this season. In addition to saving the Mets with his offensive contributions, and saving the rotation with his top-notch game calling, you could also make the case that he is also responsible for saving Jerry Manuel’s job too.

Last night when Barajas grabbed his wrist in pain after blocking a pitch in the dirt by Jenrry Mejia, a collective gasp could be heard throughout Citi Field. Luckily, Barajas is fine and x-rays after the game came back negative. Whew…

On Monday, MLB released the early results for the 2010 National League All Star voting.

Not surprisingly, is the news that five Phillies currently lead their respective positions and they include 2B Chase Utley, SS Jimmy Rollins, 3B Placido Polanco, OF Jayson Werth and OF Shane Victorino.

Also not surprising is the fact that the Mets have no players leading in any of the eight starting positions, although a strong case could be made that at least one of them is very deserving of a starting job on this year’s NL squad.

No I’m not talking about David Wright or Jason Bay, the one Met who in my opinion truly deserves a starting berth is catcher Rod Barajas.

Currently, Barajas has a lot of ground to make up if he wants to catch Yadier Molina who leads the voting so far, followed by Carlos Ruiz, Pudge Rodriguez, Brian McCann, and Russell Martin. Can you believe he is only ranked sixth?!?!

It’s time to mobilize Mets fans…

I have a big problem with the voting so far…

A rejuvenated Pudge Rodriguez and a consistently solid Yadier Molina are having great seasons, and both Russell Martin and Brian McCann have had superb seasons in the past, but are not producing anywhere near an All Star level this season. Carlos Ruiz simply doesn’t merit consideration and will probably fall off when the next round of voting is revealed.

With your help, we can help get Barajas voted in. Take a look at these accomplishments:

  • Rod Barajas currently ranks #1 in the NL with 10 home runs. Of the five catchers in front of him in the early voting, only Brian McCann comes close with just 5 homers, half as many as Rod.
  • Barajas ranks #2 in runs scored with 20 while batting mostly eighth in the batting order. Russell Martin leads all catchers with 25 runs scored batting mostly second in a potent Dodgers lineup . Yadier Molina has just eight runs scored this season.
  • Barajas ranks #1 among all catchers in total bases with 74 and #1 in slugging percentage with a robust .554 mark.  The next best mark among those catchers who lead in the voting comes from Pudge Rodriguez whose .439 slugging percentage is more than 100 points lower than Barajas.
  • Barajas ranks #1 in RBIs with 27, one more than Yadier Molina who bats in the middle of a potent Cardinals lineup. Additionally, Yadier has played in five more games than Barajas.
  • Barajas ranks #2 in doubles with eight two-baggers, only one behind Pudge who leads with nine of them.
  • Now here’s a stat I dug up I thought you might like. Barajas has grounded into just two double-plays this season. Pudge leads all catchers with ten GIDP’s, followed by Yadier Molina who has seven, four more than his lead-footed brother Bengie who has three.

As you can see, Rod Barajas stacks up better than any of the catchers that currently are out-pacing him in the All Star voting.

Regardless if you are the type of fan who votes for all the Mets players straight down the line, or one like me who votes for those who are most deserving, but gives any Mets player the benefit of the doubt on close calls, I think we can all agree that Rod Barajas certainly merits the starting nod for this year’s National League All Star team..

It’s time to start stuffing the ballot box… You can vote for Rod Barajas up to 25 times by casting your vote here for the 2010 All-Star Team.

Let’s get Rod Barajas to rep the Mets in Houston this July!

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Takahashi Phillin’ It, Mets Win Fourth Straight 5-0 Thu, 27 May 2010 03:01:54 +0000

Hisanori Takahashi had his second straight scoreless outing, and the Mets took the 2nd game of the series from the Phillies guaranteeing them a winning series at the least

Game Notes

Hisanori Takahashi went out in place of Jonathon Niese and put up another ridiculously effective outing, going 6 innings giving up 5 hits and striking out 6. Tak was dominating the Phillies all game, only allowing 1 extra base hit throughout the entire game. This was the second straight scoreless outing for Takahashi, giving him 12 scoreless innings in a row as a starter. In that same two game stretch, Takahashi has given up 10 hits, walked 1 and struck out 11 in 12 innings. He may be cementing his role in the Mets rotation, so a farewell to Ollie Perez as a starter may be imminent.

The bullpen went out and did there job. Jenrry Mejia, Ryota Igarashi and Fernando Nieve combined for 3 innings of 2 hit ball with 2 strikeouts. Mejia worked the 7th giving up a hit. Mejia was also routinely throwing in the 96-97 range which is always exciting to see. Ryota Igarashi made his 2nd appearance since coming off the DL, and seemed to knock off some of the rust he showed in the Yankees game, giving up a hit and striking out one but seeming to be much more in control. Fernando Nieve came in for mop-up duty and had his most effective outing in some time, giving up no hits and striking out 1.

The Mets hitters were not as prolific as yesterday, but with Takahashi throwing up zeroes – one run would’ve sufficed. Jose Reyes went 2-4 with 2 RBI and a run.One of the hits was his first home run of the season, which was great to see Jose really get behind a ball and put a charge into it. Rod Barajas accounted for the other 3 RBI on the day, with a sacrifice fly in the 2nd scoring Ike Davis and a 2 RBI double in the 6th scoring David Wright and Angel Pagan. Speaking of Angel, he went 2-4 with a run and 2 SB’s. Castillo also had a good day on the bases, going 0-2 but with 2 SB’s. The Mets have been torching the Phillies on the bases in the last 2 games, taking 7 bases without being caught

Jason Bay, Ike Davis and David Wright went 2-11 as a whole with a strikeout by each and a walk by Ike Davis. Ike’s plate discipline is proving valuable on a team with some free swingers.

Jeff Francoeur drew an IBB, giving him 13 walks on the season against his 29 strikeouts. When some of these balls he hits begin falling for singles, expect the walks to rise.

Turning Point

The Jose Reyes HR, like Jose himself invigorated the Mets and seemed to put a certain aura around the team and how they played.

Game Ball

Jose Reyes, you’ll get the ball today. Day by day, you look more and more like the Reyes of 2008 and less like the Reyes of 2009.

Up Next

The Mets will look to sweep the Phillies, sending out Mike Pelfrey to face off against Cole Hamels. Game time is 7:10 PM

Mets pitchers walked NONE today.

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Trade Winds: Rod Barajas, Andy Sonnanstine, Roy Oswalt Sat, 22 May 2010 20:16:22 +0000 As my colleague Mike Lloyd informed us last night, Houston Astros ace Roy Oswalt has demanded a trade and will waive his no-trade clause to get something expedited. From the sound of it, this might be something that gets done very soon and will not linger on until the July trade deadline.

I just wanted to weigh in and voice my own support for such a move by the Mets and I do hope that they make a strong offer to secure him for this season and next. Oswalt is owed about $30 million for the next two seasons which is only about 20% more than they owe Oliver Perez.

Of course acquiring a talent like Oswalt is easier said than done and would require a hefty return in exchange. Any offer from the Mets may have to include our top pitching prospect, Jenrry Mejia.

But hey, if that’s what it takes to get the best available starter on the block and a true ace, then so be it.

According to Buster Olney in a post to ESPN Insider, the Mets may be interested in acquiring Andy Sonnanstine to fill one of the voids in the starting rotation.

With all due respect, I think Buster should stick to reporting and stay out of the speculation business because in all honesty he sucks at it.

Sorry folks, but Andy Sonnanstine doesn’t come close to fixing any of the Mets problems in the rotation. It’s probably better for him to stay put as the Rays’ mop up man.

We already have several mop up men of our own to choose from, no need to import any new ones.

Here’s some new from the Lone Star state… 

It seems that the Texas Rangers have become very enamored with the only non-pitcher that is actually exceeding expectations for the Mets this season. Yes, Of course we are talking about catcher Rod Barajas, who recently slugged his tenth homer of the season.

However, there’s something about Texas Rangers rumors that has become the norm in the last two years. Whenever one of those rumors involve the Mets, nothing ever comes from them. I’m still waiting for Omir Santos trade they were on the verge of making, or the big Kevin Millwood to the Mets trade they were very close on.

Anyhow it doesn’t really matter because where Rod Barajas is concerned, here’s my advice for the Rangers, looksies only, no touchies and absolutely no takesies.

Finally, no new news on the Luis Castillo front who was reportedly the topic of conversation between the Mets and the Rockies.

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Mets Waste A Solid Effort From Santana, Drop Opener To Marlins 2-1 Fri, 14 May 2010 02:28:03 +0000

The Mets wasted a brilliant start from Johan Santana and lost to the Marlins 2-1 on a wild pitch by Fernando Nieve in the bottom of the ninth that scored Cody Ross with the winning run. It was a classic pitchers duel that featured two of the division’s top pitchers in Josh Johnson and Santana.

Game Notes

Johan Santana rebounded nicely from his disastrous start last week against the Phillies when he gave up a career worst ten earned runs. This time out he held the Marlins to no earned runs in seven innings pitched. He allowed six hits, walked one and struck out five. He did not figure into the decision.  It’s just another one of those games that Johan deserved to win, but instead got nothing to show for it. Sorry Johan, you deserved a better fate.

Quite simply, the Mets didn’t get it done offensively. They had just four hits in the game, with the only run scoring when Rod Barajas lined a clutch single to drive home Jason Bay who has singled a few batters earlier. That was it.

The Mets had a chance to win the game in the top of the ninth, but once again the middle of the order failed to come up with a clutch hit to drive home Luis Castillo who started the inning with a single and then advanced to second on a throwing error. Castillo would end up stuck at second base as the Mets 3-4-5 hitters failed to advance him; Reyes flied out to leftfield, Bay followed with a weak grounder to third base, and then David Wright struck out swinging to end the inning. BIG TIME FAIL!

Fernando Nieve relieved Johan making his major-league leading 22nd appearance, however he would immediately get himself into trouble in the bottom of the ninth, allowing the decisive run to score on a wild pitch allowing Cody Ross to come home from third. Game over the Mets go down 2-1, another one-run loss. <Insert expletive>

Jerry Manuel said he was going to adjust the lineup and to expect some changes tomorrow. I hope that signals the end of Jose Reyes in the third spot. At some point a manager has to realize when something isn’t working, and he’s been riding out this Jose Reyes situation for far too long. Incidentally, for the second night in a row, Jose Reyes failed to execute a critical bunt despite working on laying down a bunt during batting practice.

On another note, it looks like Francoeur hating is back en vogue. My questions is why is everyone piling on the guy who makes $5 million, yet nobody has hushed a word about our $66 million dollar man Jason Bay. Francoeur has 4 HR and 19 RBI batting mostly seventh in the order, while Bay has just 1 HR and 15 RBI while batting cleanup. Bay also has 38 strikeouts compared to just 22 for Francoeur.

Also, here’s an article in the NY Tiimes that says after 22 home games, attendance at Citi Field is down 6,852 fans a game, the largest decline in Major League Baseball. That translates to an average of 31,892 fans at games this season compared with 38,744 last season.

Game Ball

The game ball goes to Johan Santana for his tremendous effort. He pitched a great game and deserved the win, but the Mets bats just never came alive for Johan.

Up Next

The Mets match up against the Marlins Friday night at 7:10pm for Game 2 of a four game series. Oliver Perez (0-2) will face Anibal Sanchez (1-2) in what looks to be a pretty even matchup.

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Animal Unleashed, Mets Win 8-6 Wed, 12 May 2010 11:51:37 +0000

In a game that was looking like the Nationals would take it, the Mets worked around a bad outing from Jon Niese to stage an 8th inning comeback and win 8-6

Game Notes

Jonathon Niese went out today, and was in trouble from the get-go. He would only finish the day going 4 1/3 innings, giving up 6 hits, 5 walks and 3 strikeouts – one of his hits going to Adam Dunn. Niese recovered after the 3-run homer by Dunn in the 1st, but things fell apart in the 5th, allowing 3 more runs on singles. Niese had no control of his arsenal today, relying on contact and some luck to get through the 4 1/3 innings. Is this a regression for Jon? Lets hope not.

The bullpen returned to form, saving the day with 4 2/3 innings of 3 hit ball. Manny Acosta closed the wound in the 5th, giving up a hit but striking out 1 and walking 1 in 2/3 of an inning. Hisanori Takahashi came out for his usual overtime shift, pitching 2 innings giving up 1 hit. Raul Valdes came out for the 8th, and gave up a hit and a walk while striking out 1 in his inning of work. K-Rod came out to save the game with a perfect, 6-pitch 9th.

The bats began the game quiet, with Jeff Francoeur accounting for an RBI single in the 2nd scoring Jason Bay and a sacrifice fly in the 6th scoring David Wright. The flood gates flew open in the bottom of the 8th, when Ian Desmond made a poor throw on an Ike Davis groundout that resulted in an error and scored Jason Bay. Rod Barajas then hit a double that was about a foot short of a home run, scoring David Wright and Ike Davis. Alex Cora may have made one of the most intelligent plays we have seen the Mets pull off this year. With Nats 3B Ryan Zimmerman playing back, Cora dropped down a bunt-single to advance Rod Barajas to 3rd. Angel Pagan would then knock Barajas in on a single to right field. The Animal, Chris Carter made his first appearance and gave an adrenaline shot to a team that needed it, stroking a double down the right field line, scoring Alex Cora. The Mets would end the barrage when Jason Bay was nearly hit by a pitch that walked in Angel Pagan

Jason Bay and David Wright, the 4 and 5 hitters went 6-8 with 4 runs, an SB by Jason Bay and a walk each. This is the kind of production that the Mets will need daily.

David Wright hit two great opposite way doubles, but he still looks like fastballs are beating him in some cases.

Ike Davis, beginning to already etch his place in the Mets Hall of Fame, made his 3rd, yes…3rd over-the-railing catch, this time as the final out of the game. The kid plays with a fire and reckless abandon that a fan has to love and fear simultaneously

In less depressing news, Gary Matthews Jr. had his 2nd hit since April 18th.

Game Ball

Rod Barajas takes the game ball today. His clutch double invigorated the Mets and seemed to light a fire under every player on the team. He was pulling for that corner ALL DAY and finally succeeded in the 8th. Cheers

Up Next

The Mets look to play with the same fire tomorrow, sending Mike Pelfrey to the mound to face Doug Stammen of the Nationals. Game time is 1:10 PM

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A Stunning Look Into The Mets’ Offensive Woes Wed, 12 May 2010 03:47:06 +0000 There are many question marks surrounding the Mets’ offense this season. Why isn’t Jose Reyes hitting? Why is David Wright striking out so much? Why can’t Jason Bay get a clutch hit? Where did Jeff Francoeur’s bat disappear to? Why isn’t Luis Castillo on crutches yet?

It’s enough to make a Mets fan go crazy when the team puts men on base only to strand them by striking out, popping up or grounding into a double play. Many fine pitching performances have been wasted because the offense decided to hit the snooze button on those days.

Sure, it’s easy to point the finger at certain players. For example, David K. Wright has struck out 42 times in 32 games, putting him on a pace to strike out over 200 times. He recently struck out in nine consecutive at-bats, which is a mark usually held by graduates of the Al Leiter Hitting Academy, not a former Silver Slugger.

Jason Bay has not shown the 36-homer power he exhibited in Boston last year, although he is a notoriously streaky hitter. Jeff Francoeur lost his hitting shoes around the second week of the baseball season and Jose Reyes has been underwhelming in the #3 hole.

If you were to tell me that Rod Barajas and Ike Davis would be the hitting “stars” on the Mets after 32 games, I’d ask you to share your Kool-Aid with me. But that’s exactly what they’ve been this year, as Barajas is already only three homers short of the 12 HR hit by team leader Daniel Murphy in 2009 and Ike Davis has been an OBP-machine, reaching base almost 43% of the time since being called up to the major leagues.

Unfortunately, Barajas and Davis are only two of eight regular hitters in the lineup. A team that is only getting production from 25% of the order surely cannot expect to win more often than it loses, so the Mets must consider themselves fortunate to be above .500 and only three games behind the division-leading Phillies.

What must the Mets improve upon at the plate to strike fear in the hearts of opposing pitchers? For one thing, they must make better contact, especially when they have a runner standing 90 feet away from the promised land.

With runners on second and third this year, the Mets are hitting an anemic .167 (3-for-18). In these situations, the batter is not apt to hit into a double play and is a single away from adding two RBI to his totals. However, the Mets have been more likely to strike out in these situations than get the timely hit (five strikeouts and three hits with runners on second and third).

What about when the Mets bat with the bases loaded? This is even more jaw-dropping than the second and third scenario. The Mets are hitting .185 in these situations (5-for-27) with six strikeouts. You may have heard of the old baseball adage, “a walk is as good as a hit”. Well, with the bases loaded, that is most definitely the case, as a walk would drive in a run. However, the Mets on-base percentage with the bases loaded is only .250, as they have only drawn three bases-loaded walks this year. Even more stunning is their slugging percentage with the bases loaded (.259), as the Mets have picked up only one extra-base hit with the sacks full all season.

Here’s one final stunning note on the Mets’ offensive woes. It doesn’t take a quantum physicist to know that once a batter has three balls on him, it becomes easier to hit. A pitcher doesn’t want to walk the batter, so the pitches after ball three are usually more predictable. Translation: There’s a better chance you see a fastball after ball three than on any other count. So how do the Mets fare after the opposing pitcher has thrown three balls? How about a .211 batting average?

That’s right, Mets fans. In 152 at-bats this year where the opposing pitcher has thrown three balls to the batter, the Mets have only picked up 32 hits. Even knowing that the odds of seeing a fastball have greatly increased after taking ball three, they still have trouble hitting it where they ain’t. And yes, in case you were wondering, the Mets are more likely to strike out after taking ball three than they are to pick up a hit (38 strikeouts, 32 hits).

The Mets have struck out 237 times in 2010, which puts them in the middle of the pack among National League teams (8th out of 16 teams). However, it’s not the number of strikeouts that’s most alarming; it’s when they’re striking out. In addition to the untimely whiffs, the Mets are not producing in situations where most batters salivate, namely situations with multiple runners in scoring position. Until they turn things around in those departments, can we really expect the Mets to be more than a .500 team?

Don’t blame the inconsistent play on one player. It’s been a team effort. And it’s going to take the entire team to turn this ship around if they’re going to remain in the hunt.

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