174 RBI and Other News

Generally, I’m stuck in my New York Mets vacuum, and completely ignorant of everything else going on in MLB. This is probably why I finish last every year in my fantasy baseball league.

So today I’m looking around at the world outside Flushing, and see that Texas Ranger outfielder Josh Hamilton has 44 RBI. Holy S! Some quick math tells me that he’s on pace to drive in 174 runs on the year.

In other news, former Met Scott Kazmir has been signed to a 3-year contract extension with the first-place Tampa Bay Rays — so don’t expect him to be jumping to a new team anytime soon. A very nice piece of that contract is Kazmir’s commitment of $350K to the Rays Baseball Foundation, which provides grants to youth and education programs throughout the Tampa Bay region.

Speaking of Tampa Bay, it’s interesting to see that they, and the other Florida team — the Marlins — both are on top of their respective divisions. Is this because these teams are true contenders, or just a function of the fact that it’s only mid-May? The Rays, actually, have some good starting pitching for a change, while I’m not sure how the Marlins are atop the NL East. I keep looking at the Fish roster and scratching my head, wondering how in the world they’re 23-16. Once Dan Uggla and Josh Willingham fall back to Earth, and Scott Olsen punches out a random peanut salesman, things should return to normal.

Meantime, in the NL, Jim Edmonds has signed with the Chicago Cubs. Hmm … it looks like Edmonds is done, but his approach to the game and fire fit perfectly with Lou Piniella’s style. Apparently, Reed Johnson’s .254 average is not enough for the Cubs’ offense. Anyone still upset that the Mets didn’t pick up Johnson?

Lost in the Edmonds situation is the fact that both Julian Tavarez and Jacque Jones were recently released. A few weeks ago, I’d expect the Mets to be interested in both, but at this point neither are a good fit. I doubt Jones would be more valuable than recently promoted Fernando Tatis, and there’s a logjam on the pitching staff so no room for Tavarez. I’m betting that Tavarez will hook up with someone in the NL, and do well for a while, considering that the league hasn’t seen him in three years.

Other player moves of note: Derrick Turnbow cleared waivers and has been outrighted to AAA, and the same thing happened with Jaso Botts. The Blue Jays acquired both Kevin Mench and Brad Wilkerson to boost their outfield. Former Mets Armando Benitez (Jays), Jason Tyner (Indians) and Shawn Estes (Padres) are back in MLB. Outfielder Jason Michaels is now a Pirate, LHP Sean Henn was lucked from the Yankees by the Padres, and hot dog salesman Ray King was signed by the Whites Sox. Finally, shortstop Paul Janish has been called up to the bigs by the Cincinnati Reds. Janish is a former Rice teammate of Philip Humber and is no relation (as far as I know) to yours truly. If he were a catcher, and/or could hit, I might have to investigate the situation further … but it appears he’s just another random Janish.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.