Archive: November 21st, 2007

Happy Bird Day !

Mets Tom TurkeyIf I don’t post anything on Thanksgiving, do you promise to stay away from the computer and spend the day with your family feasting?

Unfortunately, I’m not sure I can hold up my end of the bargain …

Seriously though, since we are to give thanks on Thanksgiving, I’m going to do just that:

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for visiting MetsToday and providing your comments throughout the year. Without you (yes, YOU) this whole blog thing is pretty boring, so I thank you greatly for making my fandom more complete.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Please have a fun, safe, enjoyable holiday!

BTW, if you are over the age of 21 and need to buy a bottle of wine for the holiday, you can check out my wine blog for ideas and last-minute suggestions.


Hold Up with Hernandez

Many reporters, bloggers, pundits — including myself — keep saying that Omar’s top catching target is Ramon Hernandez, and that the Orioles are only too happy to be shopping him to anyone who will take him off their hands.

However, one of our loyal MetsToday readers has pointed out a significant issue: why would the Orioles do that when they have no one behind him?

Looking at their present 40-man roster, the O’s have one catcher — Ramon Hernandez. The others who played the position in 2007 were J.R. House, Paul Bako, and Alberto Castillo — all of whom are now free agents. House and Castillo played most of the season for AAA Norfolk, with a few games played by non-prospect Ryan Hubele. There was a catcher on their Baseball American “Top Ten Prospects” list — Brandon Snyder at #7 — but he projects as a corner infielder or outfielder and is only 20 years old (in fact, he played 118 games at 1B in A ball in 2007).

So if in fact the Orioles deal Ramon Hernandez, who will catch for them in 2008?

In other words, they’d be in the same situation the Mets were two days ago, except worse — since the Mets did re-sign their fine backup Ramon Castro. Baltimore doesn’t even have a legitimate second stringer at this point, so they’d need to acquire both a starter and a secondary option. As we’ve already seen, there aren’t many good catchers available on the trade market — Gerald Laird and Kelly Shoppach are the best among the “buzz” — and the free agent route looks dim as well. Assuming Jason Kendall signs with the Brewers, the pick of the litter is between Paul LoDuca, Michael Barrett, and Yorvit Torrealba. Barrett requires a compensatory #1 pick — something the perennially rebuilding Orioles likely are not looking to give up. Unless they do something very strange, or land a Laird / Shoppach type youngster, it would appear they have no option but to hold on to Hernandez for now.

Or am I missing something?


Winter League Update: Gomez Blistering

From the various newsboards reporting on Winter League baseball …

Dominican Winter League

Carlos Gomez, playing for Leones del Escogido, hit a blistering .440 (11-for-25) with a homer, two RBIs and three stolen bases this week.

In the same league, outfielder Miguel Negron went 7-for-18 (.389) with two RBIs this week for the Estrellas de Oriente.

However, LHP Ryan Cullen has surrendered five runs while recording just three outs over his last four appearances.

Venezuelan League

La Guaira reliever Willie Collazo suffered his first loss after surrendering seven runs on eight hits and a walk in 2 2/3 innings of a 16-3 loss to Caracas.

Former Mets Richard Hidalgo and Edgardo Alfonzo combined to hit .462 (18-for-39) with five homers, 15 RBIs and 11 runs scored for Navegantes del Magallanes last week. Hidalgo (.353) is fourth in the league in hitting. The leader, by the way, is Jody Gerut, who leads the league with a .393 batting average, 46 hits, 33 runs scored, a .489 on-base percentage, a .607 slugging percentage and is fifth with 20 RBIs. He may earn himself an ST invite somewhere if he keeps up that hot hitting.

As I find more info on the Mets players in the winter leagues, I’ll pass it on.


Victor Diaz DFA’d

Victor Diaz hitting for the MetsThe Texas Rangers have designated Victor Diaz for assignment.

Yeah, yeah, I know — he’s old baggage and there likely isn’t any room for him with the Mets. But for some reason he always had a special place in my heart; I think I really wanted him to be the next Kevin Mitchell. Diaz made me look ridiculously foolish when I suggested that he’d beat out Xavier Nady for the rightfield job back in March 2006. (That was a bad spring for me … I lambasted Willie for sticking with Jose Valentin, for giving a roster spot to Endy Chavez, for putting Aaron Heilman in the ‘pen, for letting Brian Bannister take a starting rotation spot … the list goes on and on …)

Interesting that the Rangers would give up so easily on Diaz, who is still only 25 years old and blasted 9 homeruns in just 104 big-league ABs last year. While in the PCL in ’07, he hit another 14 dingers and batted .321 in 271 at-bats. There’s little question the kid can flat-out hit, though he does do a lot of swinging and missing.

If it does turn out that Lastings Milledge or Carlos Gomez gets sent away in a deal for pitching, I wouldn’t mind seeing Diaz picked up on a minor league deal and offered an ST invite. But, it would seem that the Mets are more like “been there, done that, it’s all over” with him.