May 17, 2010
There are many Met fans who have expressed surprise by the team’s recent shortcomings. My only response to this is…Why? The Met roster has obvious shortcomings that have been well documented. Was anyone really measuring that home winning streak, as impressive as it might have been, as a true barometer of this team’s talent? Come on now.
Now that reality has truly set in, let’s ponder what the brain trust has in store for the remaining three quarters of the season. It will then become important to determine whether these decisions will be the proper ones, or yet additional mistakes that will inherently damage this team’s future.
Starting Staff – There are those who believe that the Mets should add an arm to help their “suddenly” depleted staff. I say shame on anyone for asking the team to act now. Just three weeks ago the media was as much in love with our rotation as Omar Minaya is, and that is the equivalent of proposing for marriage.
The truth of the matter is that the staff is as unproductive as it comes, and that is because production is measured by both the talent and health of a group of players. Like so many other areas of this team, the players that constitute the rotation are lacking in either or both. Based on this theory, Mike Pelfrey is the number two as this article is being written, and no one else behind him belongs on a major league staff. Then again, we all knew this BEFORE the season started, but nothing was done to correct this situation. Oh that’s right, Omar was not aware of this fact, my mistake.
Now that my redundant rant is through, what should the Mets do at this point? If the Mets go out and bring in another pitcher for example, then shouldn’t they have offered John Lackey a deal in the winter? That ship has sailed on us. No sense in crying over spilled milk. Sorry, I can’t think of any other uselss lines here.
In all seriousness, I am of the opinion that the Mets should do things internally. Evan Roberts stated today on WFAN that Jenrry Mejia should be sent down to the minors immediately to build up his arm to become what he was always meant to be…a starting pitcher. In fact, this is an idea shared by many other bloggers, and I could not agree more. He is about all they have, what with the other top options being none other than R.A. Dickey and Pat Misch. Unfortunately, there is not much else in the cupboard as far as imminent starting pitching prospects. Ultimately, Mejia being a member of the bullpen is yet another example of the Mets filling a hole by creating yet another one. They can fix it, but must act now.
Offense – Angel Pagan was recently moved to the three-hole because no one else was capable of filling that role, including Jose Reyes. Look, I like Pagan, but he is as much a three hitter as I am a major league player. Truth be told, the Mets do not have a true three or four hitter on their roster, what with David Wright transforming into an undisciplined pull hitter over the past year.
The point is, you can mix and match this makeshift lineup all you want. However, the results will inevitably be inconsistent regardless of what combination you throw out there. The one exception may be bringing Fernando Martinez up to play him in right field should Jeff Franceour continue to struggle. Unfortunately, Fernando has also struggled in the minors thus far. It looks as if the Mets will be forced to make do with what they have for now and the unforeseeable future.
Manager- The firing line is preparing their guns for Jerry Manuel’s head, and the order might be given any day now. Is he really to blame for this mess? Well, he is certainly not blameless here (Omar). He is ultimately responsible for the way his players prepare themselves on and off the field, and they certainly do not look as focused as they did two weeks ago.
On the other hand, what manager would get more out of Ollie P. and John Maine? Sometimes a manager is only as good as his players, and I am afraid Jerry is no exception here. Blameless? No way. The sole person to blame? Certainly not. Either way, Jerry should receive his walking papers soon enough. Once he does, who in the name of all that is holy is qualified to run this ship for the balance of the season? More importantly, who is going to get more out of this mediocre roster than Jerry has to date? Your guess is as good as mine.
February 15, 2010
First of all, let me state that I am happy to be back from the infirmary for the past several days. That cold kicked my ass more than the Marlins and Nationals did to the Mets down the stretch of 2007 and 2008. It isn’t as if I have missed that much.
Oh, with the exception of this. Wow! I could elaborate further, but I think you know where I would take this. I think my efforts would be better served if I were to continue my tour around the horn and touch on left field instead.
Jason Bay – I know that you are looking for me to list a bunch of negative statistics and opinions here, frequent reader. I do have a tendency to at least balance my review of anything related to the Mets with some negative spin. I think finding much in the way of negative text would be a tough task here. I state this while making one valid point. Jason Bay is a very good player. However, he is not a superstar. I doubt that this will actually raise much of a controversy here, but let me break it down for you.
First off, it is great to bring back a former Met farm-hand. I am not sure why the Mets ever got rid of him, but that is ancient history. From the minute he arrived as an everyday player for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2004, he has produced at a high level, with the possible exception of his one down year in 2007. One down year can be accepted, however, when sandwiched between groups of highly productive ones. This is a guy who has hit at least 30 home runs and driven in over 100 runs in four of his six full big league seasons. That is very respectable to say the least. He is also a lifetime .280 hitter and carries a lifetime slugging percentage of a tick under .520. He does strikeout a ton, reaching the dubious plateau of 162 last season. You will take that with career highs of 36 HR and 119 RBI as the entree. He also sports a solid lifetime on-base percentage of .376, so he is not afraid to take a walk either.
He will have his work cut out for him at Citifield, however. This is the case with anyone not named Ryan Howard and Albert Pujols. You have all read about his tendency to pull the ball, which is advantageous in hitting in this ballpark due to the quick drop-off in distance down the line in left field. This should definitely help Bay hit more home runs during his home plate appearances. Even taking this into account, this is the polar opposite to hitting in his old ballpark, Fenway Park.
His lack of protection could also be a factor, as it projects today that either Daniel Murphy or Jeff Francouer will bat behind him for the unforeseeable future.
As far as his defense is concerned, let’s not overstate things, alright? He is very simply…average. Average speed, average range, average vision while reading the ball off of the bat, average first step and average arm. No worse and no better. Regardless of what you may have read to date, this is what he is as a defender. Enough said.
Jason will play 150 plus games in left field barring injury in 2010. That is all anyone can ask from any player. If he doesn’t catch the Met injury bug, he will provide what most Mets could not last season. Durability. Hooray!