and their outlook for 2010.
-Feel free to continue chatting in the sidebar-
I don’t know why, but these interest me. Here are the Mets uniforms for the upcoming season from the Mets Wikipedia page…
Now if they’d only bring back the Mercury Mets uniforms. Heck, I think they’d be a hot item. I’d buy one.
The back-and-forth on Kelvim Escobar’s shoulder soldiers on.
First, he was fine. Then, he couldn’t grip a baseball. After that, he could throw just fine with Johan Santana. Now, he’s taking it slow and might start the season on the DL. At least, according to Jerry Manuel.
Also, since he’s in camp but still not able to throw, he’s well behind in the race for the set-up man. The likely leading candidate is Ryota Igarashi.
“I told him not to worry about trying to go all over the place and impress people. With that type of stuff, the way that ball cuts at the end, that one pitch has been pretty good for the guy across town.”
Joe Beimel, one of the left-handed relievers left on the market, is considering an offer from the New York Mets, according to the Denver Post.
“We've been talking to them for a good part of the offseason. I am still just being patient, waiting for the right deal,” Beimel told the Denver Post.
…which surprised me. It’s not as if Beimel is waiting for a multi-million dollar deal or anything. Just a lefty reliever going somewhere on a one-year deal, or so. Surprised it’s taken so long for him to find a fit.
Also, in case you were really worried, Arturo Lopez cleared waivers and returned to camp as a non-roster invitee.
I’m not lucky enough to be in “chilly” Port St. Lucie. Instead, I’m stuck in snowy Connecticut. YouTube user AlyB248 was there, and posted some quick videos from spring training. See below…
Because we all might need a drink next season.
WHERE: McFadden's at Citi Field will be open year-round and will be located on 126th street, in the northeast corner of the ballpark directly under the 2K Sports FanFest.
HOURS: 11 a.m. – 4 a.m.
MEALS SERVED: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
AVERAGE PRICE: Lunch $7 / Dinner $10
PAYMENT ACCEPTED: Cash, American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa
HANDICAP ACCESS: Yes
ATTIRE: Casual but Neat
AMBIANCE: Cozy Irish Pub Atmosphere with vibrant nightlife
MUSIC TYPES: All
Though I highly doubt the Citi Field version will ever resemble anything looking like this.
According to their Web site, “McFadden's is eagerly awaiting opening day 2010 to impress patrons with an extensive and delicious menu of game-day favorites, ice cold beer, a fun and friendly staff, and an unpretentious party atmosphere. The 13,000 square-foot destination boasts over 80 HD plasma TVs, batting cages, outdoor patios, in-house TV and radio production, a 200 foot island bar and huge dining room.”
And a sampling of their food: “In addition to boasting a full bar, McFadden's Citi Field will offer extensive Irish American cuisine mixed with traditional game day favorites. Signature dishes include Almost Famous Boneless Buffalo Wings, Fish and Chips, and of course McFadden's Five Minute Cheese Steak Nachos, this savory crowd pleaser comes out in five minutes or it's free!”
Will you go to McFadden’s?
As I wrote on Sunday, Rod Barajas needed to be on the 40-man roster when he got into camp. The Mets, though, already had 40 players on that roster.
Lopez, who was never called up to the Mets, was picked off waivers in the middle of last season.
Livan Hernandez has signed a minor-league contract with the Washington Nationals and could compete for a spot in the rotation.
Hernandez could earn up to $1.25 million if he makes the team and notches all his performance bonus benchmarks.
Hmm…I wonder what El Duque is up to.
“I think if you told Jose today, 'Jose I am going to bat you eighth until you get right,' he wouldn't bat an eye. He is so excited to be back on the baseball field, I don't think it would be an issue with him at all.”
-Jerry Manuel on where he might bat Jose Reyes
Though most of the positions are set for Opening Day (even though spring training is just kicking off), a few remain up in the air to be battled for in Port St. Lucie.
As I have it penciled in now, the Mets will carry four outfielders, with Gary Matthews Jr. able to play all OF positions. Fernando Tatis can also work at the corners if needed.
I also have the Mets carrying three catchers. I’m assuming Henry Blanco is going to be Johan Santana’s personal catcher. I’m also assuming at 34, Rod Barajas may need some time off. That leaves Santos on the roster as well. (Assuming the team is smart and wants Josh Thole to get the full starting time in Triple-A.)
I have Fernando Nieve making the team as the long-relief man in the bullpen and Jon Niese as the team’s fifth starter.
The bench would be made up of GMJ, Alex Cora, Fernando Tatis, Henry Blanco and Omir Santos.
Where do you stand? Who do you think will make the 25-man roster?
Last week, I ran a poll asking how many wins the Mets would notch in 2010. The results came back with the majority of fans picking them to win between 81-90 wins.
With such a wide span of wins, I figured it only made sense to post this poll. Where do you see the Mets ending the 2010 season? Vote below and hit the comments to discuss.
Last spring training, we were all intrigued when Jerry Manuel discussed putting Jose Reyes in the third spot of his lineup. We all scoffed when we heard the same thing this season.
But, according to Jon Heyman, this plan will be in action for more than just spring training.
Heyman tweets that Reyes will be batting third in the Mets lineup, at least until Carlos Beltran returns.
This, I think, is stupid. We all know the saying “As Jose Reyes goes, so goes the Mets.” That saying didn’t come from nowhere. Reyes is the Mets sparkplug and dropping him to third seems silly.
There are other tweaks I’d like to see Manuel make with the lineup, but dropping Reyes out of the top spot is not one of them.
Here is what the opening day lineup will likely look like, if Manuel sticks to this plan…
It’s actually not too bad, but I still think Reyes is better suited for the leadoff spot.
What do you think? Leave your comments below.
Is Jerry Manuel serious? He’s probably seen Mejia throw only a handful of times and – boom – he’s in the running for the setup job?
I’m all for Jenrry Mejia doing well and progressing and helping the Mets, but I’m not so sure about this. Please, don’t rush this guy. There’s no need.
Sounds too crazy and too like Manuel – which means it could be 100 percent true.
Yesterday, the Mets signed Rod Barajas to a major-league deal. That means Barajas must be added to the 40-man roster.
The Mets already have 40 players on the roster, so someone will have to be designated for assignment.
Also yesterday, the Mets were looking to void their waiver claim on Jay Marshall due to a preexisting shoulder issue. If they are able to quickly get their claim pulled back on Marshall, the Mets might not have to DFA anyone else.
As Eric Simon of Amazin Avenue suggested on Twitter, Arturo Lopez is another candidate to be DFA’d, as he really has no chance to make the team and isn’t very good anyway. (In 35 minor league games last season: 30 1-3 IP, 3.86 ERA, 1.615 WHIP, 13 BB, 19 K.)
Either or, I’m assuming Marshall or Lopez will be DFA’d (likely today) to make room for the Mets newest catcher.
So, for now, he seems to be healthy.
Update – 11:59 a.m.: I sent out a tweet to all the beat writers down in Port St. Lucie to see if they can check in on Escobar. Still waiting for a response.
Update – 11:54 a.m.: Calcaterra called the Mets. Unsurprisingly, they have “no comment.”
Yesterday, we had heard that Escobar’s shoulder was “sore.” Now he can’t even pick up a baseball?
Something is fishy here.
Did the Mets work him out? Let him pitch for someone, anyone from the organization? Is there any way they could have gotten away with the “no physical” route, a la J.J. Putz?
All I can do is shake my head.
Because many people plan their ticket purchases around things other than the two teams playing, here are the Mets promotional dates at Citi Field this season…
The Mets have upgraded their offer to Rod Barajas to a major-league deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
The Mets and the Texas Rangers are bidding for the free-agent catcher, with the Rangers offer still standing at a minor-league deal.
The Mets, if they sign Barajas to a major-league deal, would have to designate a player for assignment off the 40-man roster.
Head over to MetsGrrl.com to take a long, extensive and wonderful look at a guide to Twitter for Mets fans or MLB fans in general.
These are guidelines I wish we all could adhere to. Yes, I might commit some of the sins that Caryn outlines, but hey, not everyone’s perfect.
Follow MetsGrrl on Twitter.
Oh, and me too.
Yesterday Hardball Talk reported that Kelvim Escobar couldn’t pick up a baseball. He wasn’t far off.
Escobar can pick up a baseball, but is choosing not to until he is cleared by doctors.
Escobar has arrived in camp and has told reporters that he isn’t allowed to pick up a baseball, which makes Johan Santana’s statement a little strange.
He does believe he’ll be ready for opening day.
Because a lot of people care and might want to know who they are looking at during trips to spring training games, Adam Rubin has posted a list of players numbers.
Also enjoy figuring out who has little to no chance on making the team based on the number assigned to him.
The Daily News has a one-minute video of Oliver Perez pitching in Port St. Lucie. See below for the vid…
A few things here:
It’s a mock-commercial styled after the “Real Men of Genius” ads that are oh-so-catchy.
This one is, well, a little rough.
And let the commenting and name calling begin…
Head over to NJ.com to check out Brian Costa’s roster outlook for who will land on the Mets 25-man roster.
It looks like a sound team, with chance to be good (not great). If everyone plays to their maximum potential, they could be very good, but it’s too much to ask for.
If Rod Barajas does sign, no chance that Josh Thole cracks the opening day roster this year.
And let the injuries begin!
Brian Costa of NJ.com is reporting that the Mets plan to “move slowly” with Kelvim Escobar due to his sore shoulder.
Escobar had surgery on his right shoulder and has pitched in only one major league since.
And so signals the beginning of joke cracking and rehashing last season’s injuries from everyone and their mother.
We are all very, very excited that Jose Reyes is back. How do I know this? Well, let’s just take a look at all the posts over the last 24 hours that mention the Mets shortstop in the headline…
Mets Merized Online
Now, these are just the times Reyes was mentioned in the headline. There were about 20-25 other articles where he was mentioned, just not in the headline.
Also, there are just from the blogs in my Google Reader. I can only imagine how many others are out there, just from the last 24 hours.
Update – 10:13 a.m.: Jon Heyman says the Mets have offered a minor-league deal.
Original post: Ken Rosenthal, citing anonymous sources, says the Mets are negotiating a one-year deal with free-agent catcher Rod Barajas.
Barajas, according to Rosenthal, would get the bulk of playing time over Henry Blanco, Omir Santos, Josh Thole and Chris Coste.
Last season with the Blue Jays, Barajas hit .226 / .258 / .403 and posted a .661 OPS. He hit 19 home runs and drove in 71.
Behind the plate, he threw out 34 percent of the runners who attempted to steal against him.
“At this time last year Mets pitcher Mike Pelfrey tried to convince me why he should not be on my 2009 list despite his 48-inning jump. He was a big guy, he said, who learned to be more efficient with his pitches. What happened?
His ERA shot up from 3.72 to 5.03.”
I really don’t know what to make of this situation.
On one hand, I think Daniel Murphy should have the clear advantage as he hits for a better average, gets on base at a better clip and flashes much better leather (though not ideal).
On the other hand, a much, much weaker hand, Mike Jacobs hits for power. That’s about it.
And it seems that these two are directly competing with each other and no one else. Chris Carter won’t be a factor and Fernando Tatis is the likely pair with Murphy or Jacobs to bat from the other side of the plate.
Murphy and Jacobs will duel it out in spring training for (at least) half the time at first. No joke.
Also, as Adam Rubin noted this morning, Jacobs will either make the team or be released/traded/cut. The only other spot for him would be as a backup/DH-type off the bench, and frankly, he’s not a very good pinch hitter.
This Jacobs signing really makes little to no sense to me. Murphy should be the heavy favorite barring an abysmal spring training. Rob Neyer doesn’t quite understand it, either.
But here we are, days away from pitchers and catchers reporting and I’m playing out situations of Jacobs being the first baseman in 2010.
Is there a chance Jacobs makes the team and is paired with Tatis at first base? Sure. Do I expect it to happen? No way.
In stark contrast to players arriving in Port St. Lucie for Spring Training, good friend of The ‘Ropolitans, Ben, sends in this photo…
Don’t worry. Baseball, and warm weather, will be here soon enough.
Many fans wanted Chavez back, but honestly, there was no room. The Mets have enough fourth (or fifth) outfielders right now. He will forever be etched into Mets lore, though.
Aside: Two men named “Jon” in one article. Weird, isn’t it?
After 785 votes, the results are in. The majority, over 56 percent of votes, have the Mets winning between 81-90 games this season.
If they do end up landing in that bracket of wins, at least at the higher end, they would have a shot at making the playoffs. (The Twins made the playoffs last year with 87 wins, so it’s possible.)
Later in the week I’ll have another poll on where you think the team will finish. I’m really interested to see the results of that one.
Darryl Strawberry will be on “The Celebrity Apprentice” this coming season. I’ve never been a fan of the show, but I might tune in just to see Strawberry “at work.”
But I’m wondering, will you watch this show purely for Strawberry?
Perusing the always-updated MLBTradeRumors.com, the latest headline reads, “Mets Won't Add Barajas; Delgado Possible.”
Which leads me to my point: The Mets, even after signing Mike Jacobs to a minor-league deal, might still bring back Carlos Delgado? Why? Well, because they don’t trust any of the guys they currently have.
The Mets are employing the “Sign a lot and see what sticks” method. Not necessarily going out and signing the big names (Orlando Hudson), but rather pulling from the scrap heap and overseas to, most literally, patch together a baseball team.
Kevin Kernan quotes Omar Minaya as saying, “There's going to be a lot of competition in camp. That's something we've been trying to do.”
Well congrats. It’s working. Too bad the competition level won’t be very high.
I’m glad the team is stockpiling. After all the injuries last season, it’s a wise move. As of now, it seems the Mets have six candidates for the 5th starter, a few pitchers vying for the bullpen, four first baseman and a whole cast of catchers.
I’m fine with bringing in more arms than needed. Pitchers always seem to get hurt and Buffalo needs all the help they can get. But first base and catcher need to be positions that are focused and fine tuned in spring training, not constantly rotated.
As we all know, pitchers and catchers develop a rapport. Some catchers make some pitchers better, others vice versa. With so many catchers in camp and likely seeing time in games, will the Mets pitchers suffer? Will the get the chance to develop the same rapport? We’ll have to wait and see.
And as for first base, everyone gets on Daniel Murphy for his lack of experience and talent. Is bringing in (at least) three other men to compete with him going to help or hurt? Will it push him to be better or disrupt his rhythm.
I think Murphy should get a bulk of time during spring training, but only if that’s who the team wants to go with at first, and it seems that’s the truth. If the team want to see him improve, he needs reps at first. That is what spring training is for.
Spring training in Port St. Lucie will be interesting to say the least. Seeing the team that Minaya assembled this off-season will be exciting, no matter how they play. But it will also be interesting to see who will make the team come opening day. The jobs are their for the taking, it seems. Who will step up to claim them?
Francisco Rodriguez participated in a slow-pitch softball game in Venezuela on Thursday.
Leading the other team was Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.
K-Rod “allowed” 11 runs over three innings. Chavez surrendered seven runs over two innings on the mound.
Chavez’s team won 14-12.
I’m just going to hand it off to the press release…
[Shawn] Riggans, 29, has caught 64 games in the Majors over the last three years with the Tampa Bay Rays. He hit seven home runs along with eight doubles and 28 RBIs during his career with the Rays.
Last season, the 6-2, 200-pounder was limited to just 26 games in the Minors and seven contests with the Rays due to right shoulder tendinitis.
He appeared in 44 games and made 38 starts for Tampa Bay in 2008.
And that’s about all you need to know. Enjoy Binghamton.
“It will not be surprising if this changes, but the Mets believe Carlos Beltran will head to spring training when position players report, even though the star center fielder will not be physically ready and is under no obligation to report that early.”
The Mets have signed SS Rylan Sandoval, 22, out of the Arizona Winter League.
The team had drafted Sandoval in the 30th round in 2007, but he elected to attend college instead.
From the press release…
Sandoval had been one of the leading hitters and a top defensive shortstop in the AWL which is 8 games into it's fourth winter season. He is the 11th AWL player to be signed by a major league organization in the last three years, two of those - Scott Richmond and Sergio Romo of the 2007 AWL are already in the big leagues.
Sandoval, 22, was a two-year junior college All-American and was the California Junior College Player of the Year at Chabot College in his freshman year. Drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 38th round in 2006 and by the New York Mets in the 30th round in 2007 he elected to accept a scholarship to Long Beach State where he played the last two seasons before graduating this past June. Overlooked due to sharing playing time at Long Beach State he went undrafted his senior year and decided on the Arizona Winter League to showcase his skills and pursue a professional contract. In the AWL he was hitting .368 and leading his team in runs scored.
Update – 12:41 p.m.: David Lennon is reporting that the Mets and Hisanori Takahashi have agreed to a minor-league deal. He expects the deal to be announced later this week.
Update – 12:34 p.m.: David Waldstein, the Mets new beat writer for the New York Times, reports that it is likely a minor-league deal.
Original post: Hisanori Takahashi, that is.
I’m all for depth, so I can’t hate this. But the wording of Heyman’s tweet just makes it seem awkward.
That seems like a lot of dough for a team that is “out of money.”
I’ve always loved his swing.
Sorry to be late with this, but easing back into school was not too easy today.
Here’s the presser from the Mets, or at least, the “important” part of it…
The New York Mets today announced that Mookie Wilson has returned to the organization as the team's minor league outfield and base running coordinator. Wilson, a former Mets player, coach and minor league manager, was last with the club in 2005 as the manager of the Brooklyn Cyclones (A) of the New York-Penn League.
"It's good to be back," said Wilson, 53, who makes his home in Eastover, SC. "This is where I started and I'm anxious to do whatever I can for the young kids in our system."
The club also announced that Bob Melvin, a former major league catcher and manger, will join the organization as a professional scout, Guy Conti has been named a Senior Advisor in the Minor League Department, and Frank Fultz has been named the Rehabilitation Pitching Coordinator.
So, let’s say you played on the 1986 New York Mets. Are you just waiting by your phone for the Mets to call to hire you?
Also, the number of internal Jerry Manuel replacements grows.
According to Adam Rubin, the Mets will lowed the centerfield walls in Citi Field.
Currently, the wall stands 16 feet tall in front of the Home Run Apple.
Rubin writes that, “the height of Citi Field's center-field wall will be sliced in half, making the ballpark more homer-friendly.”
Does that only apply to the area in front of the apple? Because cutting the whole centerfield wall in half would make it about six feet tall in most areas.
What I assume is going to happen (don’t quote me on this), is that they will push the area in front of the apple back, so that there will still be a wall in front of the apple, but that the “home run area” will all be at the same level (the lower line).
Here’s a tweet from David Lennon: Mets are, in fact, lowering the cutout in front of the Apple at Citi Field, but may be more aesthetic move than home-run related.
I believe it will end up looking something like this…
Because hope and subsequent disappointment
can’t come soon enough.
Fernando Martinez, Nelson Figueroa and the Dominican Republic team won the Caribbean Series last night with a 7-4 victory over Venezuela.
Martinez was named the MVP of the series, going 8-23 (.348) with a double and two home runs.
Figueroa also tossed a gem in the series, a complete-game three hitter. He allowed only one earned run on a solo home run. He walked none and struck out 8.
Figueroa should, and will, get another chance in the Mets rotation sometime this year. If/When the injuries start to hit the team, Figueroa is likely second on the depth chart to be called up (if he doesn’t make the team out of spring training.)
And I was asked on Twitter if I think F-Mart will contribute this year. I think he will play a decent chunk of time with the big club, but as to contributing, I’m not so sure. He’ll be good, but give him time. Don’t forget, he’s only 21 years old.
If you’re wondering what happened to the posting on The ‘Ropolitans the last few days, and you haven’t been following my Twitter feed, here is the explanation.
On Monday, I woke up not feeling very well. Unfortunately, that happens a lot for me. But after things weren’t getting any better, my wonderful girlfriend called a doctor and dragged me to the car.
Thank goodness, because on the way my entire body froze up and I could not move. Just imagine falling asleep on your arm, multiply it by 100 and spread it all over your body. That’s how dehydrated I was. It happed three more times that day, too. Scary stuff.
From the doctor, where they called 911, I was sent to Yale New Haven hospital. I was admitted later that night and ended up spending a few days there.
Diagnosis: A really gross stomach virus which triggered an unknown, underlying condition. So as I’m somewhat on the mend, I’m set for a whole round of testing to figure out what is really wrong with me.
In the meantime, I’ve had zero energy to do much of anything besides sleep, hence the lack of blog posts.
Anyway, I’ll be getting back into the swing of things next week as we start to dip into single digit days between us and pitchers and catchers reporting.
Thank you for understanding and thank you to all the well wishes already sent my way. It means so much to me.
Yeah, I’m still pretty sick. But this might hold you over until I’m better.
From the Mets…
The New York Mets today announced that they signed infielder/outfielder Jolbert Cabrera, infielder Luis Hernandez and lefthanded pitchers Bobby Livingston and Travis Blackley to minor league contracts and invited all four to major league Spring Training camp in Port St. Lucie, Fla. later this month. Additionally, the team extended major league Spring Training invites to righthanded pitchers Jenrry Mejia and Carlos Muniz, lefthanded pitcher Eric Niesen, catcher Francisco Peña, infielders Ike Davis and Ruben Tejada and outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis.
Cabrera, 37, spent last season in Baltimore's system, appearing in 78 games for Norfolk (AAA) of the International League. A .257 career hitter, Cabrera spent time with Cleveland, Los Angeles (NL), Seattle and Cincinnati over parts of eight major league seasons. He played with Fukuoka of the Japanese League for two seasons (2005, 2006).
Hernandez, 25, split last season between Kansas City and Omaha (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League, hitting .205 (15-73) in 37 games with the Royals. Hernandez's other major league action came with Baltimore in 2007 and 2008.
Livingston, 27, pitched in three different organizations' minor league system last season-Baltimore, Cleveland and Pittsburgh-and combined to go 10-2 with a 4.02 ERA (80 earned runs/179.0 innings) in 31 games, 29 starts. Livingston is 3-3 lifetime with a 6.31 ERA after pitching with Seattle and Cincinnati.
Blackley, 27, pitched last season with Reno (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League, finishing the year 4-7 with a 4.85 ERA for the Aces. For his career, the lefthander is 1-3 with a 9.35 ERA in eight games combined for Seattle and San Francisco.
Mejia, 20, combined to go 4-5 in 19 starts for St. Lucie (A) of the Florida State League and Binghamton (AA) of the Eastern League last season. He has struck out 205 in 210.0 career minor league innings.
Muniz, 28, pitched with the Mets in 2007 and 2008, going 1-1 in 20 games out of the bullpen. The righthander spent 2009 with Buffalo (AAA) of the International League.
Niesen, 24, made 27 starts between St. Lucie and Binghamton last season, going a combined 7-11 with a 4.09 ERA.
Peña, 20, caught 100 games for St. Lucie in his third season in the Mets' farm system. He is the son of former Kansas City Royals manager and current Yankees bench coach Tony Peña.
Davis, 22, won the 2009 Sterling Player of the Year Award, given annually to the top player in the Mets' minor league system. The first baseman hit .298 (128-429) with 20 home runs and 71 RBI in 114 games between St. Lucie and Binghamton last season.
Tejada, 20, hit .289 for Binghamton while Nieuwenhuis, 22, won St. Lucie's Sterling Award, emblematic of the team MVP. Nieuwehnhuis ranked 10th in all of the minor leagues with 99 runs scored last season. He added 16 home runs and 71 RBI with St. Lucie.
“When the trade went down last year, I never really had a physical with the Mets. I had the bone spur (in the right elbow). It was discovered the previous year in Seattle, and it never got checked out by any other doctors until I got to spring training, and the spring training physical is kind of a formality. It was bugging me all through April, and in May I got an injection. It just got to the point where I couldn’t pitch. I couldn’t throw strikes, my velocity was way down.”
Click here to read more from the story, because it’s almost too
good bad to be true.
This is beyond stupid.
Everyone and their mother was harping on the right elbow of Putz the moment he came to the Mets. It was an issue, but not one to get hung up on. Apparently, the Mets didn’t deem it an issue at all.
Extremely disturbing news.