Kelvim Escobar Already Injured

I tried … I tried so gosh darn hard to be positive, to remain upbeat, being that today was the day that “pitchers and catchers report” to Port St. Lucie.

Yet, hours before the doors to Tradition Field were opened, it was reported that free-agent Kelvim Escobar was joining Carlos Beltran among the walking wounded.

Escobar — who was shut down after throwing 5 innings in June last year — “cannot grip a baseball“.

Hmm … that’s generally a prerequisite to throwing a baseball. Unless he can maybe flick it somehow? Is it within the rules to kick it, perhaps off a tee?

As mentioned in the comment string by “hotspur” on AmazinAvenue:

if he couldn’t grip a baseball today, how could he hold a pen to sign the contract last month?

A mystery indeed … only The Shadow knows …

On a positive note, David Wright whispered that he expects the Mets to go deep in the playoffs in 2010, and win a World Series. No response yet from Jimmy Rollins’ corner.

Personally, I’m setting my expectations for the Mets a little much lower, with the hopes that they’ll happily surprise me. In fact, I’m simply hoping they can uniform 25 healthy players on Opening Day — everything else from there is gravy.

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.
  1. murph February 18, 2010 at 7:41 pm
    Did they even give this guy a physical?

    You would think that a guy that only threw 5 big league innings (and only 20 minor league innings) over the past TWO years would have to prove he can throw before signing a contract.

    Or did he take the same physical that JJ Putz took.

  2. gary s. February 18, 2010 at 8:54 pm
    Dr. Vinnie Boom Botz (rodney dangerfields doctor) did the exam for him and putz.Also gave beltran a clean bill of health.As for d.w.’s prediction, it looks like the pitch to the head might still be messing him up a little.PITCHERS AND CATCHERS TOMORROW..LETS GO METS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  3. isuzudude February 19, 2010 at 9:55 am
    Well, to be fair, the report that revealed Escobar can’t grip a baseball was from Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports, whom I’ve never heard of, and has since been tabbed as false by Johan Santana, per Adam Rubin’s twitter feed. Why Johan is speaking on behalf of the Mets’ medical staff is beyond me, but knowing how the medical staff has misdiagnosed so many injuries in the past, it doesn’t surprise me Rubin didn’t waste his time trying to get an answer from them. However, it has been confirmed that Escobar is at least suffering from shoulder soreness, which is bad news but shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody.

    The bottom line is that the Mets were well aware of Escobar’s pronounced injury history and fragility when they signed him, and are already looking incredibly inept for penciling him in as their #1 setup option, while bringing in next to nothing as far as depth is concerned. Sorry, but two Japanese pitchers and a one-dimensional Bobby Parnell don’t cut the mustard for me. With as many injury problems (putting it lightly) as the Mets have had over the last 2 years, you’d think they wouldn’t have put so much stock in a guy like Escobar who’s been one of the most fragile pitchers in all of baseball over the past handful of seasons.

    At this point, what other derogatory label can you give the Mets that hasn’t already been said? The Wilpon-Omar-Jerry administration have no clue what it takes to run a successful baseball team, and until all 3 are removed the Mets are going to continue to flounder, making bad decisions and fielding subpar teams while using every excuse in the book to save their own hides. Hopefully an overhaul is coming sooner rather than later.

  4. gary s. February 19, 2010 at 11:01 am
    dude, the wilnots have already completed their major overhaul for 2010.maybe u missed it.they lowered the centerfield fence by 8 feet.little jeffie must have been tossing and turning in his sleep for nites on end before he could make that momentous decision.
  5. Mike February 19, 2010 at 11:38 am
    I think the most concerning outcome from Escobar and the lack bullpen depth is that it seems the plan all along has been for Jenry Mejia to be brought up and used in the 8th inning role. Look I’m all for young Mets coming up and contributing, but the Mets are notorious for pushing young players too hard and they end up at higher levels unprepared and underdeveloped. Mejia has an ML fastball, but he lacks command and a true ML breaking ball. His change up is good enough right now. But do we want another Bobby Parnell? A guy who can throw hard with not much else? Especially when the guy could one day be a stud starting pitcher with 3 dominant pitches? I think this is a big mistake and all signs are pointing to this is the plan.
  6. joejanish February 19, 2010 at 1:52 pm
    dude – To be fair to the Mets’ medical staff, I firmly believe that they were accurate in most if not all the diagnoses they made. The issue was not with the doctors, but with the people paying the doctors, who ultimately made the boneheaded decisions. But I agree with the rest of your comment.

    Mike – interesting thought re: Mejia — has that been stated publicly or are you making a guess? I hope that is not the case, because you make a great point with the rushing and Parnell.

  7. Mike February 19, 2010 at 2:07 pm
    Joe, no this hasn’t been stated publicly but the writing is on the wall. If you remember back in the AFL Jerry Manual, Dan Warthen, and Omar Minaya (and probably Jeff Wilpon) all took a trip out to see Mejia pitch. The publicly stated reason was to gauge whether or not he could contribute to the Mets bullpen this coming season. Given the lack of action concerning the bullpen’s issues I am concluding that the plan all along was to take a chance on Escobar for “cheap” and when/if that did not work out bring up Mejia to be their Joba. Parnell failed in that role last year, but in fairness Parnell is no Mejia. They got lucky with Parnell early, but the risk/reward was all reward on him. Mejia can one day be a stud as a starter, and if not then a stud in the bullpen. But rushing him to the ML when he struggled in the Fall and in AA last year in limited chances makes me worried for good reason. Above all else I want this current regime not adversely impact the seemingly promising talent that is taking shape in the minors. Omar stayed away this winter, which gets a thumbs up from me, but can he resist Mejia and his enticing stuff? I hope so. I’m worried about it.
  8. Mike February 21, 2010 at 6:06 pm
    Joe I hate to link to Metsblog on here, but this little tidbit I thought was worth it.

    So Jerry is publicly saying that he thinks Mejia is a good candidate for the 8th inning. Add that to the list of evidence that this was a plan all along. Another blog (I forget which) had comments that Mejia looked completely lost in the basic pitcher covering first drill, fielding bunts, and the act of bunting himself. That emphasis on defense and good fundamentals applies to most, except the golden armed hot shot prospect that could possibly save Jerry and Omar’s jobs. That’s how it is in Met-land

  9. joejanish February 21, 2010 at 10:21 pm
    Well done, Mike !

    That’s a scary enough possibility to create a post … coming soon …

    BTW I’m happy to link to MetsBlog — Matt Cerrone has always been very good to me and MetsToday and the very least I can do is provide link love (even if the traffic from here would hardly make a dent on MetsBlog’s numbers … but it’s the thought that counts!).