Mets ST Game 12: Johan Starts
A roundabout of comments
The hits and runs don’t bother me in the least. Neither does the Dan Uggla blast. If you recall, in Johan’s first spring training start last year, the now-defunct Juan Gonzalez demolished one of his pitches into the stratosphere. No worries then, no worries now.
Johan’s fastball was riding around 90-91 in his first inning and a half, topping out at 92. That’s about right, considering that he was shut down for a while and is way behind schedule. In his last inning, he slowed to 89. Again, not a concern — it merely means he needs to build up his endurance. He was around the plate with both his fastball and his changeup, and his change was anywhere from 78-82 MPH. Perfect.
All in all, a good day for Johan. It will be tough for him to build up to 85-100 pitches by April, but so what? He looks healthy and should be at full strength by early May.
Ouch. There was mild concern when Redding could manage only one out before allowing five hits and five runs against the University of Michigan. After allowing nine runs to the Nationals, I think it’s fair to say that he’s reached a new level — from “mildly concerning” to “concerning”.
“This has not been a good night for Redding” – Ralph Kiner.
His fastball started out at 86-87 MPH and sat there for most of his appearance. He had no command of the pitch, either, and was mostly wild high. When he found the plate, he caught most of it and set it up on a chest-high tee.
Like Santana, Redding was shut down for part of spring training, and is behind schedule. Unlike Santana, there wasn’t much positive to take away from this outing, other than a few sharp-breaking curveballs. Yes, he may have caught a few bad breaks that extended his first inning of work, but he also consistently fell behind hitters, and didn’t throw with any conviction or confidence. He was visibly laboring, and I’m betting that his shoulder is still barking, but he’s not going to say so. From what I understand, he’s a pretty tough character and could be pitching through pain to win a job in the rotation and to back up his early chest-pounding remarks that he was the favorite for the fifth spot.
I’m not ready to write off Redding, as he’s at least 2-3 weeks behind where he should be, and he’s likely ailing. My hope is that he doesn’t further damage his shoulder and can make a contribution of some sort in 2009.
BTW, Redding’s baseball card says he’s 6’1″ 180 lbs. but he looks closer to 225-230 to me — though it could just be the baggy uniform. Of course, weight isn’t an issue unless your performance is terrible (ask David Wells).
Tony Armas, Jr.
I felt Armas was a nice pickup last year, and would’ve been a serviceable, if unspectacular, spot starter to shuttle back and forth from AAA had he not been injured. He looked OK, hitting 88-89 with a heavy fastball that sat between knee- and belt-high, and mixing in an 83 MPH offspeed breaking ball.
Like Santana and Redding, he’s behind schedule, and like Redding, he’s looking a bit on the hefty side — though, it’s not as noticeable when you pitch a scoreless inning.
He looks like he’s hurting himself on every pitch. With Duaner Sanchez gone, he’s your 7th inning man.
Again, Nick turns on a pitch and moshes it over the leftfield fence. He also blasted a double over the rightfielder’s head earlier in the game. He looks to me like a guy in a zone, unconscious — similar to when Mike Jacobs first came up, or when Kevin Maas made his debut with the Yankees about a hundred years ago. Can he keep it up? If he can, the Mets have to find a spot for him on the 25-man roster.
Church is drilling the ball to all parts of the field. Though, I’m not sure that he’s as good a hitter as Daniel Murphy (heh heh).
Ron had some nice comments during the game, including one that really stood out regarding the evaluation of a pitcher based on watching the catcher. One thing I took issue with, though, was his assertion that Duaner Sanchez needed to earn his dough and “be a crossover guy, someone able to retire both righties and lefties”. But check the stats: righties hit .268 in 123 ABs against Dirty last year, while lefties hit .200 in 100 ABs. If that’s not a crossover guy, what is?
The rest of Darling’s analysis of Sanchez was spot on, particularly the point that a guy making his salary would need to earn that by being a lights-out 7th inning guy, which he wasn’t looking like this spring.
The kid is finally maturing. He looked extremely sharp and ready to start the “real” games. Nolasco may be a force in 2009. No kidding.
Speaking of ready for the regular season, Uggla hit some rockets. But will he have anyone else besides Hanley Ramirez hitting around him?
This guy might be a year or two away, but he looks to me like another Adam Dunn. Who knows, he might be the guy to help Uggla and Ramirez with some pop in the middle third of the lineup. Though, supposedly another youngster named Gaby Sanchez is ahead of him at this point.
Wow … Maybin can FLY. He reminds me of a slightly more polished Carlos Gomez circa 2007. I doubt he’ll be a star in his rookie year, but I can definitely understand why people are so excited about him. Great raw talent, and he seems to have a solid head on his shoulders.
Seeing guys like this make me sad. Lindsey hit .316 with 26 HR, 36 doubles, and 100 RBI (.964 OPS) last year in AAA. In 2007, he mashed 30 HR, 32 doubles, 120 RBI, and a .317 AVG (.975 OPS). But, he was a late bloomer — 2007 was his first year above AA, and he was 30 years old. He struggled, but hung around in A ball, from age 18 to 24, and didn’t start really hitting until age 25 — but a 25-year-old dominating A ball is written off as a non-prospect. He turned 32 in January, and isn’t likely to be seen on an MLB roster this year, nor next. Hopefully he’s picked up some things in his 13 years beating the bushes, and can eventually develop into a coach or manager. I’m rooting for him.