On The Mound
John Maine made the start, going 5 2-3 innings allowing two runs. He allowed one home run, a solo shot from Cody Ross. Maine let up six hits and one walk while striking out three.
He seems to be accepting the tweaks well. He threw 83 pitches, so if it was the regular season, I could see him going 7 innings if he's not struggling.
Pedro Feliciano finished out the sixth inning, striking out the sole batter he faced. Sean Green pitched a scoreless 7th inning, allowing one hit. J.J. Putz faced two batters, striking out both, before leaving the game with an injured fingernail.
One of the stranger injuries in sports. I'm sure he'll be just fine.
Darren O'Day finished out the inning, striking out one. Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth, striking out two.
Every pitcher who entered the game for the Mets struck out at least one batter. They struck out 10 overall.
At The Plate
The Mets knocked out 12 hits and scored nine runs.
Daniel Murphy, Jonathan Malo and David Wright each drove in two runs. Malo hit an inside the park home run.
A Jerry Manuel favorite. I hope he performs well at Triple-A Buffalo. Keep an eye on him.
Carlos Delgado went 3-3, driving in one run. Marlon Anderson and Maine each picked up an RBI as well. Jose Reyes went 2-4, scoring twice.
Not bad, not bad at all Mets bats.
The Mets will head back to Jupiter, Fla. to play the St. Louis Cardinals for a 1:05 p.m. game. The game is NOT on TV.
If you read this blog often, you probably remember my attempt to best the photoshopping done to put Francisco Rodriguez in a Mets hat for his player profile. (If not, click here.)
Well, while wandering Citi Field, I found a much better job at putting K-Rod in a Mets uniform...you know...without actually taking a picture of him in a Mets uniform.A commendable job by whoever did this...except for one thing...
Where's his number??
We've known he was going to wear #75 for a while. And of all things, that would probably be the easiest thing to put into the photo.
Still, it's pretty cool to see and interesting how quickly they've thrust him into the upper echelon of the team.
- Brian Schneider, #23
- Ramon Castro, #11
- Carlos Delgado, #21
- Luis Castillo, #1
- Alex Cora, #3
- David Wright, #5
- Jose Reyes, #7
- Daniel Murphy, #28
- Fernando Tatis, #17
- Carlos Beltran, #15
- Ryan Church, #19
- Jeremy Reed, #18
- Marlon Anderson, #9
- Nick Evans*, #6
- Johan Santana, #57
- Mike Pelfrey, #34
- Oliver Perez, #46
- John Maine, #33
- Livan Hernandez*, #61
- Francisco Rodriguez, #75
- J.J. Putz, #22
- Sean Green, #48
- Darren O'Day, #36
- Bobby Parnell, #39
- Brian Stokes, #43
- Pedro Feliciano, #25
While at Citi Field, I decided to do a little guerilla advertising and leave my business cards in some prime places around the park. The best place I found was the top of the urinal.
Hope it worked. Anyone find this blog from those cards?
And well done, Terence. A man with a camera in the bathroom is a very bold move.
Out in the center field concourse is a collection of food stands. This is where Shake Shack and Blue Smoke are located. Above those concession stands is a memory from Shea Stadium: The New York City skyline, complete with red, white and blue ribbon over the World Trade Center towers.In front of me in this photo is Shake Shack and Blue Smoke. Directly behind me is what looks like will be a bar. To the left, behind me, is the taco stand. To my right, the kiddie field, dunk tank and Carvel.
Here is an up-close shot of the Mets logo, which is currently serving as my computer background image...
This is one of my favorite parts about the park.
Stache will be missed the most. He still wants to play, but it won't be long until Valentin is coaching a team at some level.
The first thing you see when you pull up to the new stadium is, obviously, the outside. The light red brick and dark metal play nicely to invoke the feeling that this is not a new stadium, but one that is still beautiful after many years.
Here is the Citi Field sign that hangs between the left field entrance and the rotunda...And the one above the rotunda...
I entered the stadium through the left field entrance. If you do go in that way, this is what you are greeted with...Here is Johan Santana, up close...It's a very cool portrait, picking out different players from the Mets history. A nice upgrade from the hanging posters they had in Shea Stadium.
On The Mound
Perez made the start tonight for the Mets, his second since returning to the Mets after the World Baseball Classic. He turned out a much better performance than his first time around.
6 2-3 innings for Perez, who only allowed four hits and one walk. He struck out three. The sole run came from a Adam Jones solo home run that was hit very, very hard.
Extremely pleased by this start from Ollie. You can't ask for much more than this, especially from Perez who had been struggling lately.
J.J. Putz relieved Perez, pitching 1 1-3 innings. He allowed one hit. Bobby Parnell closed out the game, walking one and striking out one. He earned the save.
Both looked awesome. The bullpen will be much improved.
At The Plate
Mets tallied six hits, four for extra base hits.
Daniel Murphy went 2-4, hitting a solo home run, the first of the spring, for the Mets first run. He just missed out on a second home run with his double, as the ball was just two feet shy of clearing the fence.
Batting second, where he likely will hit most of the season, Murphy looked more than comfortable at the plate.
Fernando Tatis scored the winning run in the bottom of the 8th innings all on his own. He drove a pitch from Jim Johnson into the gap between center and left field. Motoring around the bases, he slid into third base as the ball skipped past thirdbaseman Scott Moore.
The ball skipped into the dugout, allowing Tatis to move up one base, to home and to score.
Well done, Fernando. Well done.
The Mets will play the Florida Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium tomorrow night. The game will not be on TV.
Not the lefty I wanted, but better than nothing.
Meanwhile, Will Ohman signed a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Mets couldn't offer a minor league deal? I don't get that.
The big, but totally un-shocking, news out of Port St. Lucie today: Livan Hernandez is the Mets No. 5 starter.
More importantly, the lineup will likely look like this for most days, even against left-handed starters...
- Jose Reyes
- Daniel Murphy
- David Wright
- Carlos Delgado
- Carlos Beltran
- Ryan Church
- Brian Schneider
- Luis Castillo
This goes back to a conversation Joe Janish and I had yesterday where we discussed the lineup possibilities. I had Wright batting either third or fifth, but Janish maintained you want your best hitter getting an AB in the first inning. Seems he will get his wish.
I like it. I posted a lineup before with Wright and Beltran switched. I think they're both great hitters and the team won't suffer if they were switched or not. It's probably better to get Wright an AB ASAP. So I can definetely live with this.
The home run apple, probably the most debated topic about moving to a new stadium. I found them both, and they are both much, much larger than I imagined.
The old...And the new...
Unfortunately, we didn't get to see it in action. There was a home run hit, but they did not raise the apple in celebration.
Jimmy Gobble, a player I campaigned for in the past, was just released by the Texas Rangers. When used correctly, Gobble can get out lefties. He held them to a .200 batting average last year.
Omar Minaya, please go get Gobble!
One of the most important aspects of attending a baseball game is the food.
First up, we have the normal menu, the ballpark staples, and their prices. As you can see, not all of the food was being offered or all of the signs were posted yet.
And here's a sign that makes little to no sense. Why is a premium beer less expensive than the normal beer? Am I missing something?Here's the menu for Blue Smoke, which sits out by the center field concourse area. Right next to the shake shack.
And thanks to Joe Janish, I was able to experience one of those pulled pork sandwiches. Of course, I snapped a photo or two before chowing down.Vegetarians might want to look away for this next shot...It was delicious, in case you were wondering. Highly recommended. I just wish they gave you a little more pork.
We've heard a bit of news lately about SNY and their lack of closed captioning. SNY legally has four years to put closed captioning on their channel, which Neil Best points out would only cost $100,000 for the season.
They are yet to put it on the television, but the Mets have added closed captioning to their new stadium.
These two photos are from when the lineups were being announced. This continued throughout the game, whenever an announcement was made over the PA system.
While wandering the beautiful structure, I made my way to the top of the left field stands. All the way up, at the back of the stadium, I found the worst seats in the house.
Here is the out of town scoreboard (which has it's own problem that will be noted later) that hangs down from the top of the stadium.
It looks nice from this side, but when you get to the seats, there's a bit of an issue. I'm about 5' 7" and when I stand, I could just barely see home plate from behind the scoreboard. Fletch is taller than me, and couldn't see home plate at all.
On top of that, you can't see the left field wall, or most of left field. Anything well hit to left will be quickly out of your sight lines.
For $27 for the Platinum games, you're really not getting your money's worth.
When I first arrived at Citi Field, we made out way down to the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. Poking my camera through the fence, I started snapping off a few pictures of the place, and trying to take it all in. It's a very cool place and I love atmosphere it gives off.
While my eyes were darting from side to side trying to absorb all that was going on. Something -- rather, someone -- caught my eye.
Here's another shot of Mr. Wilpon riding the escalator.Well, I found that interesting.
Joining me in the park will be Joe Janish, Kerel Cooper and a ton of other Mets fans who bought tickets to a college baseball game just to get a good look around the Mets new digs.
I'll likely be posting short little updates from my BlackBerry and Twitter-ing my thoughts and findings at the new park. A full description, photos and a video or two will likely be posted on Monday and possibly throughout the rest of the week.
Hopefully the weather cooperates and there is a game to attend.
Talk to you later from Citi Field!
Then boy, do I have the deal for you!
According to the AP, the tickets that Madoff's company purchased in Citi Field will soon go up for sale.
That's right! Only $40,095 per seat!!
"We have no intention of not monetizing them and letting them go unused," trustee Irving H. Picard said Saturday in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "When we have something to announce, we will do so."
Mets executive vice president David Howard said the seats were paid for and were in either the first or second row behind home plate, a section known as Delta Club Platinum. They list for $695 each for Opening Day on April 13 and June interleague games against the New York Yankees, all classified as platinum by the Mets.
They cost $595 for gold games, $495 for silver games, $395 for bronze games and $295 for value games. Overall, the season ticket comes to $40,095 per seat, an average of $495.
"They're paid for. They can do with them what they want to," Howard said.
But if you call within the next 10 minutes, we'll throw in a free Mr. Met bobblehead!!
The Mets are particularly thin at the second base position through the minor leagues, but Jonathon Malo had been impressing Jerry Manuel -- until he was sent down to minor league camp.
And as scant a chance as Green had, it was diminished by the late emergence of Jonathan Malo, a 25-year-old Canadian-born second baseman who has impressed Manuel to such a degree that the manager has told people in the organization that Malo is among his favorites among the possible reserves. But there seems to be no place for Malo on the roster.Very interesting. Manuel doesn't really keep up with a lot of the minor leaguers, so it's especially telling if he said something to this degree.
Keep on eye on Malo to see if he can play. I wouldn't mind seeing if the Mets can find a suitor for Castillo midway through the season.
He is too awesome.
Francisco Rodriguez followed Santana, something Mets fans are hoping to see often during the season, pitching a scoreless inning. He did allow two hits, but struck out two in the inning.
I love it. Santana to K-Rod. Beautiful.
Pedro Feliciano pitched the 9th inning, striking out one in a no-hit effort.
With the release of Ron Villone, it looks like Feliciano is the only left hander going into the season. Very interesting.
Murphy has been absolutely raking this spring. He is such an exciting player sometimes.
Los Carloses each knocked a double, with Carlos Delgado scoring twice in the game on two hits. David Wright made his return to the lineup, singling once.
Delgado was hot during the World Baseball Classic, hopefully it lasts through the whole regular season.
The Mets have released Ron Villone, according to Adam Rubin.
This begs the question: Are the Mets really going into the season with only one lefty in Pedro Feliciano?
Other moves in camp today: Six Mets were sent to minor league camp, among which were Nelson Figueroa and Carlos Muniz.
I was completely under the impression that Figueroa was going to be the long man in the bullpen, at least until Tim Redding was ready to pitch again. I guess I was wrong.
Jose Valentin was also sent to the minor league camp.
So long 'Stache. It's almost time to hang up that uniform and put on your coaching cap.
Topics covered: Will Ohman, Oliver Perez and a grab bag of Mets topics to end it.
From Bob Raissman:
When SportsNet New York executive producer Curt Gowdy Jr. tore the cover off Carlin, he liked what he saw inside. Liked what Carlin, often self-deprecating, had to say, too. First he hired him to co-host "Loud Mouths" with bug-eyed Adam Schein.It's not up to me to judge them -- I'll leave that to Raissman and Neil Best -- but to put an extremely abrasive Carlin with no baseball experience and a novice like Ojeda in front of millions of fans on the team's own network just doesn't make sense to me.
Gowdy is now really rolling the dice. Carlin, with no experience in a baseball studio, will be under the nightly microscope anchoring SNY's Mets pre and postgame shows. Bob Ojeda, who proudly admits to being a total TV novice, will sit next to him. The openings were man-made after SNY jettisoned the team of Lee Mazzilli and Matt Yallof.
I've never been a fan of Carlin's, so that's where some of this stems from. He just irks me. I'm willing to see what Ojeda has to offer, though. Lee Mazzilli was great last year, as was Harold Reynolds and Darryl Strawberry.
All the best to these two hosts, because I know I'll be seeing a lot of them in 2009. And maybe, just maybe, Gowdy will tear the cover off me one day and like what he sees.
Last night, I asked my Twitter followers: If you could have dinner with any Met, past or present, who would it be and why? Here are the answers...
- letsgoduke said: keith. He's the funniest.
- metschick said: D-Wright because I'm bad
- kierankelly said: Lenny Dykstra, because he was better as a Phillie. :-) haha (ed. note: He's a Phillies fan!)
- mets_geekette said: Pelf. He's a goof-ball.
- ProctorsArm said: Carlos Delgado so I could teach him a thing or two about patriotism. (ed. note: He's a Yankees fan!)
- cselland said: Keith Hernandez - no one else even close. Just a brilliant guy - and he was there for the fun parts
- JD1877 said: Todd Hundley. Always wanted to hear his side of the Bobby V incident, his dad was on the 69 cubs, & he was one of my faves.
- Retire31 said: Jose Lima or Dae-Sung Koo. Why? Just having a conversation with either of them is going to be hilarious, let alone dinner.
- charlieryczek said: Gary Carter because he just seems like such a nice personable guy who could talk about anything at anytime
- MetsGal said: Keith Hernandez. Because he's Keith Hernandez.
What about you?
in the next Twitter Poll!
Maine's final line: 5 IP, 6 hits, 3 runs (1 earned), 3 BB, 5 K.
Pretty good. I wish the walks were down and the play in the field was a bit better, but it's only spring. If Maine felt good out there, I'm more than happy with his performance.
J.J. Putz and Bobby Parnell each logged a hitless inning. Putz picked up a strikeout while Parnell issued a walk.
I don't think Parnell will make the bullpen, but he's still with the team so he must be impressing someone.
Nelson Figueroa pitched one inning, allowing one run on two hits. Carlos Muniz pitched the 9th inning, also allowing one run. He let up a hit, walked one and struck out two.
Figueroa was the forgotten candidate for the fifth starter, but it looks like it's Livan Hernandez's for the taking. I still don't like Muniz.
He seems to be in midseason form.
Jose Valentin and Carlos Beltran each picked up a double among their two hits on the day. Omir Santos drove in two runs. Brian Schneider, Carlos Delgado and Mike Nickeas each picked up one RBI.
You might ask: Why? Here's their explanation...
It's a new stadium, a new beginning and it's already annoying. If you're interested enough to read my dopey blog then I'm sure you had been to Shea in April for a night game. It's miserable. Even if it's 81 degrees at noon, it will be in the 40s at 8:30.Funny stuff. I'm avoiding Opening
The Mets are selling "Opening Day" packages. Sunset for Monday April 13, 2009 is scheduled for 7:32pm. Unless the Mets have a deal with God worked out, or they plan to get the game in in under 22 minutes, I think they lie.
Well here's a quote from Jerry Manuel which pretty much lays it out for Evans' future:
"We'd probably like to see [Evans] defend a little better in the outfield," Manuel said after the Mets' 10-6 exhibition loss to the Tigers. "We have to try to create as much versatility for him as possible, [but] he'll probably come with us at this point."That may be true and congrats to Evans for working his butt off to make the team. But, Evans would likely be the first player sent down once the Mets add on Livan Hernandez as the fifth starter.
The team likely won't need Hernandez until a few games into the season the way the schedule is laid out, so he probably won't be on the Opening Day roster. Evans will be, and will stay with the team for the first handful of games. After that, it will be Hernandez's spot on the roster and Evans will likely head down to Triple-A Buffalo.
Last night I asked: If the Mets had to retire one number this year, which one and why? Here are the answers...
- @fscker said: keith hernandez or gary carter. I'm going to lean towards carter becuase he's in the HOF.
- @JD1877 said: Piazza. The 90's were sooo bad but he carried them to the WS. Perhaps the greatest position player in team history.
- @sdn16182 said: #31 mike piazza because he made them respectable again and carried them for years and to a world series
- @letsgoduke said: 17 for good old keith. or 31 for obvious reasons.
- @jrobelen said: Mets should retire Gary Carter's 8 before any other, considering so many NY fans believed he earned his HOF cap here.
- @Mike_Peters said: ...31 duh
- @metgirl4ever said: i'm biased but pick # 31-fell in luv w/baseball & b/came Mets fan n late 90s & he was/is my fav-despite going blonde
- @BkCyclones said: 17, of course, for Keith Hernandez, the best defensive player ever for the Mets, a great clutch hitter, and THE captain!
Yeesh. Hopefully it's just Perez adjusting his mechanics under Dan Warthen.
Ron Villone, making a play for the bullpen, also struggled. Four earned runs in only one inning, as he gave up four hits and walked one.
Elmer Dessens and Bobby Parnell each threw a scoreless inning, with Brian Stokes tallying two innings of hitless baseball. Carlos Muniz tallied one-third of an inning in relief of Perez, allowing one hit.
Beltran, Tatis and Malo each had one RBI, with Schnieder driving in two runs.
Just not enough, but it's only spring training. The Mets put together a nice string of hits in the fifth inning, picking up five runs in that frame.
While Dan Warthen won't exactly be rebuilding John Maine (retooling might be a better word), there was an emergency bullpen session and some changes have been made to Maine's delivery.
Warthen lengthened Maine's stride, among a few other things.
Joe Janish, of MetsToday.com and more recently web editor of BaseballDigest.com, has been a catcher for 30 years -- if there is someone to ask about pitching problems, he's your guy.
The three things Janish pointed out that Warthen changed are: Allowing the arm to “catch up” to the body, and time the release closer to the hip rotation / explosion, increase the amount of force applied to the ball, and shorten the distance between the release point and home plate.
By lengthening the stride, you also release the ball further away from the rubber, and decrease the distance the ball needs to go. Again, this is simple physics — by decreasing the distance, the batter has less time to react to the pitch — even if the velocity stays the same.Interesting. Hope it works.
Last night, I asked: How many Mets hats do you own? Here are the responses...
- @metgirl4ever said: 1 hat...but i have Mets jewelry, shirts, jersey, shot glasses, key fobs, & coffee mugs...does that compensate??
- @ByronBrewer said: 5
- @metschick said: 6: 3 blue, 1 pink (from Mother's Day), 1 black, and 1 orange visor.
- @dpcurrier said: Currently I think I have 5: 2 blue, 1 white/blue, 1 orange, 1 green
- @kerelcoop said: 3. All Blue, All Black, Black with the Blue Bill. And for extra measure a Brooklyn Cyclones hat :) All fitted.
- @jrobelen said: I have counted eight Met hats but they are scattered throughout the house. And probably some in luggage, equipment bags, etc.
- @Retire31 said: Overall, I think 6. 2 fitteds (one autographed, you know which one) and 4 adjustable ones.
- @samtpage said: 5, I think. Two have subway series patches. Only one still fits.
- @willrmc said: Too many. 5 I think. But only 2 in regular rotation.
- @Mike_Peters said: 5 Mets hats in my dorm: blue fitted, adj. blue, adj. black, Citifield/Dominos, blue/white. Total owned is over 20
- @Almodovar said: No more than 5...i believe
in the next Twitter Poll!
Here's how it went down, according to Steve Popper:
"Why should you tell me that I'm not ready to get back," K-Rod countered. "I think I put a lot of work into it. I prepared myself really good before every game. So I don't think it's going to take me 10 days or two months to get my energy back. It's going to be right back the next day.
"I don't know what you're honestly trying to tell me or what the point is you're trying to get at. A four-out save is like a three-out save. To me, it's the same. I know people have made a big deal about four-out saves. I want to have the same opportunity here, too. I don't know why it's such a big deal."
Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bullpen this morning.
He showed up to spring training 17 pounds lighter in an attempt to show his dedication to the team and help improve his play. In 34 at bats so far this spring, Anderson has hit .265 with three RBIs and one run scored.
Anderson, in regards to time in the field, will likely only serve as a backup first baseman. At the plate, he'll be the Mets go-to guy for pinch hitting duties. That is, if he makes the team.
With Nick Evans and Fernando Tatis, flashing the glove at first base, along with Jeremy Reed, it seems Anderson has more competition than he anticipated. Is it worth it to the Mets to keep on a second string backup purely for pinch hitting duties?
|Year||As Starter (H/PA)|| As Sub/PH||Total|
|2008|| .221 (17/82)|| .197 (12/69)|| .210 (29/151)|
|2007|| .304 (14/53)|| .286 (14/53)|| .295 (28/106)|
|2006|| .317 (64/224)|| .247 (19/88)||.287 (83/312)|
|2005|| .251 (42/180)|| .294 (20/80)||.264 (62/260)|
As his playing time diminishes, due to either ability or injuries, Anderson's batting average drops.
I asked the Twitter-audience a simple question: Is Marlon Anderson obsolete? Here's what I got...
- @letsgoduke: let me put it this way: yes. nick evans instead!
- @fscker: i hate to say, yes
- @samtpage: Marlon Anderson sucks, if that's what you mean.
With players able to fill his role on the field, the Mets may be able to sacrifice his "pinch hitting abilities" in favor of someone else.
Freddy Garcia has be assigned to minor league camp, and contrary to previous reports Garcia will stick with the team.
Assistant GM John Ricco had this to say, as quoted by Peter Botte:
"He still has a ways to go," Ricco said, "but I'm glad he's going to stay with us and try to work things out."Garcia must know he's looked rough this spring. I'm sure we'll see him on the Mets sometime this summer.
- Is Marlon Anderson obselete? With enough younger guys on the bench, is there any reason to carry him on the team?
- Is John Maine actually healthy?
- Who is going to make the bullpen?
- Is Daniel Murphy really all that? Have I been sipping the kool aid?
- Who will be the first major injury? Who will fill in for that injury?
- Why is the bullpen called the bullpen?
- How will Citi Field play?
- Is the Mets rotation set up correctly (Santana, Pelfrey, Perez, Maine, Hernandez(?))?
- Where do I stand between new age stats and the tried and true ones?
- Will Nick Evans get a shot with the Mets this year?
- Who will be the first young arm to impact the team in '09?
- Is Jerry Manuel the coach this team needs, or is he still basking in the afterglow of Willie Randolph's firing?
- Will Luis Castillo get run out of town? Is Alex Cora a competent backup?
- Will Carlos Delgado play like he's gunning for another contract?
3. Daniel Murphy, Mets: Everybody who sees his at-bats walks away thinking they've just seen one of the most savvy young hitters in the sport.Pretty high praise for Murphy.
The more I read about the young guy, the more I'm excited to see him on the team for a full year. He's like the second coming of David Wright, just with less pop. And who would deny another David Wright?
Some days he's confident about the pitches he was throwing, other days he complains that his pitches were missing and he doesn't know what's wrong. It must be disheartening for a pitcher to go out there and hit all your spots one day and miss them all the next.
Mets officials are also starting to take note.
According to Steve Popper, Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel met for 10 minutes after Maine's five run drubbing on Saturday.
Popper quoted Manuel as saying: "I though the ball was coming out of his hand better than at any time this spring," he said. "His command just needs to be a little better."
Maine, on the other hand, had this to say: "I"m trying to keep things in perspective," he said. "I'm working on things right now. Even though the numbers weren't there, it seems two or three pitches could've made a difference. Ball are dropping in."
You can count me in the growing group of fans that are worried about John Maine. He's the No. 4 starter, but he just can't seem to find his groove after the surgery. Maine has a very bright future in front of him if he can stay healthy and re-find his pitches.
Update - 10:21 p.m.: Here's an update from camp, via David Lennon:
Maine threw roughly 50 pitches in the bullpen under Warthen's supervision and both were pleased with the session. He added about another eight inches to his stride, changed the grip on his slider and overall simplified his delivery. Warthen believes that Maine had been "babying" his arm and shoulder since the surgery. Now, with the longer stride, he should have more velocity on his pitches and better command.
"That's still a golden arm," Warthen said.
Adam Rubin is reporting that the young Daniel Murphy will be the patient hitter the Mets tab to hit behind Reyes.
In 131 at bats last season, Murphy posted a .313 batting average and a .397 on base percentage, highest among first year players.
This bumps last year's No. 2 hitter, Luis Castillo, down to 8th in the order. This weakens the bottom of the order, but obviously strengthens the top of it.
Here's how a lineup might look with Murphy in left field:
- Jose Reyes -- S
- Daniel Murphy -- L
- Carlos Beltran -- S
- Carlos Delgado -- L
- David Wright -- R
- Ryan Church -- L
- Brian Schneider -- L
- Luis Castillo -- S
Martin, a left handed reliever likely bound for Buffalo, fell down a flight of stairs at his rented home in Florida, breaking his wrist 10 days ago.
For lack of a better phrase, this is a "tough break" for Martin.
So...who's going to be taking over for Julie? Neil Best rumors that it will be Alexi Panos. Panos looks so much like Alexandria, she might just be her sister. I guess someone at SNY has a "type."
If you are in need of a chuckle, go listen to Steve Somers chat with likely fifth starter Livan Hernandez.
Listen for the insertion of random syllables and grumbles on Livan's part. It made me laugh.
A good, quick showing for Perez, who will be dialed back after throwing 85 pitches in his last World Baseball Classic appearance.
Bobby Parnell followed Perez, going 2 2-3 innings and scattering five hits. Parnell struck out two. Darren O'Day was next in line and allowed one walk and one strikeout in 1 1-3 innings.
Parnell is still around while Jon Niese heads to the minor league because Parnell still has a chance to stick in the bullpen. It's an outside shot, but a shot just the same.
Brian Stokes and Elmer Dessens each allowed one hit in their inning of work.
I can't wait to see him get a full season under his belt.
Ike Davis also picked up two hits, including a double, in his first spring training action. He drove in one run.
Nice to see from the young guy.
Alex Cora picked up the Mets other RBI.
Covering: Livan Hernandez, Nick Evans and someone that might fit into the bullpen for the Mets.
That's the message the Mets are sending today, as young gun Jon Niese has been sent to minor league camp.
Hernandez all but tied up the spot on the team on Wednesday with five smooth innings, allowing only one run. Niese was Hernandez's closest compeition, especially since Freddy Garcia is a shell of his former self.
Interesting move. I figured this would play out a little longer than it did.
Perez is making his first Grapefruit League appearance today again the Orioles after returning from the World Baseball Classic. Perez struggled through the WBC, going 0-1 with a 9.45 ERA in 6.2 innings. Perez also expressed that he was feeling "fatigued" after the performance.
Jerry Manuel said he would "dial-back" Perez during spring training action. Expect only a few innings out of Perez today.
Evans will start in right field today as the Mets try and find a position for the young righty. He leads the team in spring training at bats, likely due to the WBC. Evans is a young guy that should be getting regular playing time, so a bench position may not be what the Mets want for him. Wrestiling away a starting job may be his only chance at making the Opening Day roster, but I don't see that happening.
The Mets picked Davis 18th overall in the 2008 draft, and he will be starting at first base today.
Adam Rubin posted the write up he completed on Davis on draft day:
Too bad this game isn't on TV.
Davis, unlike his father a lefty thrower and hitter, pitched his freshman year, then played right field his sophomore year and first base as a junior. He is hitting .394 with 16 homers and 73 RBI in 49 games for ASU, entering a matchup with Fresno State this weekend for a berth in the College World Series.
"I've played first longer, so I'm probably a lot better at that," he said.
Pelfrey just looked spectacular out there. If he can stay healthy this year, I'm very excited to see what he can do while on the bump.
New addition Fernando Nieve, who the Mets picked up off waivers recently, pitched a scoreless inning against his former team, allowing two hits. Carlos Muniz pitched the 8th inning, striking out one. Sean Green finished out the game for the Mets, retiring the side in order.
The more I see of Evans, the more I'm impressed. Still, he just doesn't have a spot on the major league roster.
Jose Reyes also had a huge day leading off, driving in four runs with two doubles.
Batting first in the order, just like he will come the regular season.
Fernando Tatis also picked up two RBIs on the day. Ramon Castro and Andy Green also picked up one each.
Live blog complete.
Schneider sat out the game on Wednesday, and had his knee checked out by team doctors. He was diagnosed with a strain of the right posterior capsule.
This happened last year, so I'm not too worried, but with Ramon Castro almost always struggling with health issues, the team may want to take a good look at Robinson Cancel as a player who will be up and down a lot this year.
And then there is this quote from Jerry Manuel, via Adam Rubin:
"I'll tell you what, he was pretty good today," Jerry Manuel said about Hernandez. "He has a good presence about him on the mound, in the dugout. It's like he brings a different energy for us. I would have to say he's put himself in a real good position."I'd say that's pretty telling if you ask me.
He may give up a lot of hits and he may look like he's throwing softball pitches at times, but if Hernandez can get out there for 200+ innings in 2009, he would save the bullpen a lot of work. Even if his ERA is nearing 5.00, I think the offense, on some days, can counter that.
Maybe, just for an added measure, the team can stitch "Traschel" into the back of his jersey, and Hernandez will magically win 15 games.
And as for Garcia, I wouldn't be surprised if by the time the World Baseball Classic is over, he's out looking for work again.
Don't tell me Jimmy Rollins or Shane Victorino didn't try to get in a few shots to David Wright's ribs during that celebration.
First of all, I don't get the MLB Network at school, because it's only on digital cable. The school has promised us HBO and other assorted digital channels in the past, but so far we've received zilch. So I'm stuck watching MLB Gameday and relying on instant messages from Ryan Punzalan of Retire31.com.
Then, while I'm "watching" the 9th inning, my girlfriend gets back to school from a media conference, and I've only seen her for three hours in the past 12 days. Obviously, I better get a move on or I'll be in big trouble, so I unplug my laptop and trek up to her car.
The internet cuts out as Kevin Youklis comes to the plate. Now I'm in my girlfriends car as we drive the 300 feet to the parking lot closer to her dorm (she needed someone to help unpack the massive amounts of clothes she brought bacak). Still no internet.
We park, and here I am, sitting in her car, laptop propped open on my lap, verbally begging the internet to connect so I can find out what happened/is happening.
"You are now wirelessly connected to BobcatNet"
Yes! Refresh MLB Gameday...Sign into AIM...
Me (11:02:11 PM): score?And that's how I watched the WBC.
Ryan (11:02:20 PM): 5-4
Ryan (11:02:24 PM): bases loaded
Ryan (11:02:30 PM): 2-1
Ryan (11:02:51 PM): YES
Ryan (11:02:54 PM): USA WINS
Me (11:02:57 PM): ????
Ryan (11:03:03 PM): DAVID WRIGHT WALK OFF SINGLE
Me (11:03:11 PM): LOVE HIM
Ryan (11:03:15 PM): DAVID WRIGHT IS EPIC
Check out Jerry Manuel sporting the cap...And here is Robinson Cancel, who the AP cited as an infielder. Now that would be something...(Just checked B-R's site -- Cancel has played 23 games at first base in the minor leagues, 40 in the outfield, and eight at third base.)
According to Adam Rubin, the O's have rejected paying the $25,000 for the return of Cherry. Thus, he went back into the hands of the Mets, who promptly released him.
Rubin notes that the Mets are considering signing Cherry, but for a much lower figure than the $167,000 he was due to make.
Do it, Mets. I want to keep typing "Rocky Cherry."
The New Yorker:
Citi Field is pleasanter in every way than the harsh stadium it replaces. The park has a casual feel, with warm red brick inside, lots of amenities, great sight lines, and a layout that’s easy to navigate. There are forty-two thousand seats, fifteen thousand fewer than Shea had, all a calm dark green and arranged in somewhat irregular tiers, bringing you much closer to the field than before. The complex has an energetic composition of brick façades, and dark-gray steel elements, which are said to have been designed with the great steel arch of Hell Gate Bridge in mind, and give the place a feel that is as much industrial as retro.There is nothing in that paragraph I don't like. I've loved the use of brick to line the outside of the building from the start. It's a polar opposite from the bland concrete and harsh blue paneling of Shea Stadium. It invokes thoughts of the hearth of your home and a style of building that has long been forgotten.
The combination of brick and dark metals is spectacular. The way the lighting structures and upper deck of seats stem outward from the red brick hearkens thoughts of Gotham, the city that surrounds it. It's a beautiful play of colors from the dark red and brown to the deep grays.
The article goes on to explain why the Mets don't show any signs of Shea Stadium in their new park, and instead opted for the feel of Ebbets Field. Later in the article, they begin to talk about the surroundings of the two parks, obviously giving a major thumbs up to Yankee Stadium. For Citi Field though, they seem depressed by the endless parking lots and tire repair shops that surround the stadium. Not the Mets fault, and hopefully that will be rectified soon (and correctly).
The articles closing paragraph includes this sentiment, "Citi Field suggests a team that wants to be liked, even to the point of claiming some history that isn’t its own."
They're talking about incorporating Ebbets Field and naming the rotunda after Jackie Robinson, among other things. But without the Giants and Dodgers leaving New York, there likely would be no Mets to begin with. I'm OK with bringing in historic things from around the city and it's baseball history, not so much the Robinson Rotunda.
The more I read, the more I'm excited to finally go and enjoy the new ballpark.
Reiber writes in the article "Daniel Murphy's little black book":
Murphy's notebook contains a record of his at-bats - just like the one his teammate Carlos Delgado has kept for years. Murphy got the idea from Delgado. Well, not directly from him, but from watching a tape of Delgado, a year and a half before they became teammates.This kid gets it. Whatever he can do to improve his swing, his performance on the field, he goes at it 110 percent.
"Two years ago, I was in minor-league camp," Murphy said Sunday in the dugout at Tradition Field. "They showed us film of Delgado hitting a home run off somebody, I think in San Diego, and he went straight to the notebook and was writing down how the AB went. I was like, 'That's a pretty good idea.' So I started doing it."
I really hope he plays well in left field this season, and somehow becomes a cornerstone on the team, wherever he plays.
Cherry was a Rule V draft pick in December. Cherry was placed on waivers on Friday, and if he clears, must be offered back to the Orioles for $25,000. If the team, the Orioles in this case, refuse the pay the money, Cherry could stick with the Mets. That would allow him to be sent to the minor leagues within the franchise.
The Mets still have Darren O'Day on the roster, and some Mets officials are very high on the side-armer. He has a pretty good shot at making the Opening Day roster.
Goodbye, Cherry. I'll miss typing your name.
From his latest post, entitled "Back at ya":
That would be quite a team he'd assemble. A quick look at a possible starting lineup for that Noble team, while somehow retaining all the other starters...
Unless you're hacking into my mail, you have no idea what kind of messages I receive. Since camp began, nine of every 10 comments/questions I have received have involved Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez, Adam Dunn, Orlando Hudson and Ivan Rodriguez. The Mets should have signed all of them and also traded for Jake Peavy.
- Jose Reyes
- Orlando Hudson
- Manny Ramirez
- Carlos Delgado
- Adam Dunn
- David Wright
- Carlos Beltran
- Ivan Rodriguez
- Johan Santana
- Jake Peavy
- John Maine
- Mike Pelfrey
- Pedro Martinez
Is he serious? Is the wear and tear of the job getting to him? Is he just fed up?
We may never know...
(Ed. note: Yes, I realize Marty Noble doesn't actually want to sign all of these players. The way it was stated caught my eye, and I ran with it.)
For that money, maybe the Mets should have taken a look at him.
I think the Mets are pretty set with the team they have though. As long as Brian Schneider can raise his batting average a few points and Ramon Castro can stay healthy, I'm pleased with the guys behind the dish.
Here is the rest of the Q&A.
Q: OK, you keep talking about 'your way,' but what does that mean?
LM: You know, there's always a thing where, Oh, rookies have to be here 2-1/2 or three hours before stretch. No. I'm not gonna be here three hours before stretch. If you're here and you get your work in, it shouldn't matter how early you're at the field. You know what you need to do. That's fine. You don't have to be at the park three, four hours before the park if you don't want. You don't see nobody clocking in three or four hours before they have to show up to work. So, I mean, some people feel like they have to get here to read the newspaper or do crossword puzzles or get their mind ready. I feel like I come to the park, I have 45 minutes of stuff I have to do to get prepared for practice and get ready for the game. Five minutes might be watching videos. Fifteen minutes might be going in the cage. And then getting whatever other work I need.
The Eddie Kranepool Society puts it perfectly with the headline "THE MORE LASTING MILLEDGE SPEAKS, THE MORE THE METS LOOK SMART FOR DUMPING HIM."
Does anyone still think this was a bad trade?
I wrote a brief article this morning about Nick Evans and where he does, or doesn't fit, into the Mets plans.
Steve Popper writes:
Don’t rule out Pedro Martinez just yet. While some Mets’ officials continue to claim that the marriage has ended, one person familiar with the discussions said Sunday that the Mets are among the teams that have begun to request financial requirements with the 37-year-old right-hander.I'd be more comfortable with Pedro over Livan Hernandez, Freddy Garcia or Jon Niese. If healthy, he'd be a fine fifth starter. The team would not be asking him to be the ace of the staff again, only the back end starter.
Heck, he can throw 10 miles an hour faster than Garcia.
Here are some highlights:
The article also notes that since Shines was with the Phillies last year, he will be recieving a World Series ring. When asked if he would wear it around his new team, he responded with "no chance."
Why Razor? Is there a story behind the name?
"There's no story behind it. It's my middle name. It's my father's middle name, and my son's middle name. I think it goes a little farther back than my father, to his father. I don't know the story behind it."
How many championship rings do you have?
"I don't like to discuss that, but I'll tell you the number is 12. Most of them are from playing. I came up in the Expos organization with Randy Johnson, Marquis Grissom, Larry Walker, all those guys. We won five [minor-league] championships in six years in that system."
You worked in the Phillies' organization last year. Now you're with the Mets. Who is the team to beat in the N.L. East this year?
"Let me see how to answer this. I'll answer it this way: The team to beat will be the team that's on top when it's all said and done. And we expect to be that team."
Shines seems like the eternal optimist, something I think a team needs around. He'll always be there to tell you there are brighter days ahead and all that good stuff. I'm comfortable with that as long as their is a realist somewhere on the team to give the players a reality check when needed.
I asked: Who will hit the first home run in Citi Field? Here are the results...
- David Wright -- 32% (40 votes)
- Carlos Beltran -- 20% (25 votes)
- Jose Reyes -- 19% (24 votes)
- Other -- 14% (18 votes)
- Carlos Delgado -- 13% (16 votes)
Next poll: Who will be the fifth starter?
Another serious blow to Redding's chances of making the team. In this weeks The State of the Mets, I mentioned that Redding would make the team, no matter what, but likely as a long reliever. As it stands now, Redding would be lucky to make the roster when spring training breaks.
That doesn't mean he won't be on the team eventually, but he's probably heading for extended spring training.
Steve Popper brings up a good point: Remember Matt Wise? This sounds almost exactly like what happened with Wise, who signed a one-year, $1.2 million with the team before the 2008 season. He was shut down when he started getting a sore arm and ended up pitching in only eight games for the Mets before being lost to injury.
Hopefully Redding, and his $2.5 million contract, will be able to bounce back from this injury and pitch effectively in 2009. Otherwise, that's $2.5 million the Mets have to pay him.