Archive: March 22nd, 2008

Postgame: The Boxscore Lies

Oliver Perez of the New York MetsThe boxscore lies, so don’t worry too much about the 5 runs and 4 homers that Oliver Perez gave up in 5 innings of work. The key was that Ollie’s mechanics were extremely consistent — perhaps more consistent than I’ve ever seen him (I watched the game on MLB.com). The homeruns were given up on meatballs over the center of the plate, chest-high, except for one by Ben Francisco which was an impressive golf shot.

If there was anything to be concerned about, it was Ollie’s velocity, which seemed a little less than normal on his fastball. The TV radar gun said he was topping out around 87-88; normally I’d guess it was a bit slow, but it had Cliff Lee hitting 90-91, which I believe is accurate. On the other hand, Perez was mixing speeds very well, throwing his offspeed breaking pitches anywhere from 71 MPH to 84.

Again, the key was Ollie’s consistent mechanics. My guess is that he was concentrating more on repeating his delivery and finishing with a balanced follow-through, and less on location. When counts reached 3 balls, he was going for the middle of the plate, which resulted in getting hit hard (and over the fence). Concentrating on mechanics, rather than cutting loose without thought, also would explain the slight drop in velocity. No concerns from my point of view — sometimes you have to take two steps back to take one step forward, and now is a good time to be working on issues that will make Ollie a better pitcher come April.

Meantime, if Cliff Lee was auditioning for the Mets, he did a wonderful job of impressing Omar Minaya. His straight overhand delivery propelled a good changeup and running cutter that kept the Mets off-balance, though he didn’t throw too many of his big overhand curves. Based on how he looked on Saturday, he’d be a fabulous fifth starter for the Mets — whether the Indians are interested in trading him, however, is another story.

Notes

Ruben Gotay had one at-bat, from the right side, and struck out. Damion Easley played shortstop for some of the game, slid over to third for a few innings, and went 2-for-3. Fernando Tatis played 3B for part of the game, then was moved into left field. He may have a legitimate shot of making the 25-man roster, as his bat speed looks decent and he can play just about anywhere on the field. Brian Schneider caught half the game and made a great throw to nail Jamey Carroll attempting to steal.

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What’s the Deal with Indians?

A few days ago we wondered what Omar Minaya and Cleveland Indians GM Mark Shapiro might have been talking about in their face-to-face meeting.

Would Shapiro trade Cliff Lee? Jason Michaels? Jeremy Sowers?

At least one Indians blogger suggests that Andy Marte was probably not part of the discussions. According to Ryan Richards of Lets Go Tribe:

“I doubt Marte would be the main topic of conversation, especially given who the Mets have at third. Andy hasn’t looked good at all on defense, but I feel that he’s making the team regardless. There’s no point in trading him now.

It would make more sense that they’d be discussing either David Dellucci or Jason Michaels. Ben Francisco has made a good impression, so Dellucci might be on the trade block. Cliff Lee? I’d be in favor of it, but I doubt Shapiro does it unless the offer is compelling.”

Incidentally, Lee is pitching this afternoon against the Mets. No TV coverage, but it’s on WFAN. I’ll be listening on XM 179, as the Cleveland announcers should have a better scoop on what’s going on with the Indians.

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Opening Day Starters

We’re not going to concern ourselves with the Mets’ Opening Day starter, who we presume will be Johan Santana. Rather, let’s take a look at the two teams in the Baltimore / DC area.

There is a very good chance that the Orioles’ Opening Day starter will be Steve Trachsel. Ouch. According to the Baltimore Sun:

“Trembley will wait until tomorrow to name his Opening Day starter. He needed to consult today with pitching coach Rick Kranitz and bullpen coach Adam Dunn, who stayed back to watch Steve Trachsel throw a simulated game.

The decision comes down to Trachsel and Jeremy Guthrie … ”

BTW, Trachsel, who signed a minor league contract last month, has surrendered 10 earned runs and 19 hits in 13 innings. Did I mention the “ouch” ?

But it gets better, because just a few miles away, the Nats may be opening with Odalis Perez.

Makes one feel good to be a Mets fan right about now.

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Cancel Robinson

Robinson CancelAccording to NJ.com, another Mets catcher is down for the count.

This time it’s Robinson Cancel, who has a small tear in his knee that will require surgery.

Not that Cancel was going to make the team, but, he actually had an outside shot if both Ramon Castro and Brian Schneider begin the season on the DL — which is a slight possibility.

Too bad for Robbie, who was having a decent spring training. Good for Gustavo Molina, who is 4-for-12 this spring, and Raul Casanova, who is hitting .308 this spring.

Hat tip to The ‘Ropolitans, who sourced me with the info on Cancel’s knee.

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