Browsing Archive October, 2009

Can Craig Hansen Get the Monkey Off His Back?

hansen-monkeyCraig Hansen was chosen with the 26th overall pick of the June 2005 draft by Boston Red Sox, and made his MLB debut less than three months later, smack in the middle of a heated pennant race. Hansen was not the best prospect in the draft, but was considered by many to be among the most polished — so it was not a surprise that he was in the Fenway Park bullpen so quickly. The 6’6″ St. John’s closer touched 98 MPH on the radar gun, had the best slider coming out of the draft, and was judged as having the appropriate temperament for short relief work. He zipped through 12 innings split between the Gulf Coast League and AA before laying an egg in Boston. Though he was a disappointment in his first four games as a big leaguer, most predicted future success as an MLB closer.


2009 Analysis: Anderson Hernandez

ahern-foldIt’s hard to believe that Anderson Hernandez was the Mets’ starting second baseman on Opening Day 2006. Harder to believe that his stock sunk so far that he was traded for Luis Ayala at the tail end of 2008. And yet even more difficult to believe the Mets were so desperate for a middle infielder that they traded a nondescript A-ball suspect to bring him back to Flushing.

Three years ago, A-Hern was a slick fielding, weak-hitting second baseman with enough arm and range to impress at shortstop in a pinch. In 2009, A-Hern was a


2009 Analysis: Carlos Delgado

delgado-fistImmediately after Johan Santana was acquired in February 2008, I made the bold statement that the “key” to the Mets’ season would be Carlos Delgado. Since the Mets started winning when Delgado began heating up, it seemed to me that the big man’s bat and health would be the key again in 2009.

Maybe it was just a coincidence, but the Mets’ fortunes seem to have paralleled the performance — and availability — of Carlos Delgado. His presence in the cleanup spot took the pressure off Carlos Beltran, gave protection to David Wright, and created a speed bump in the lineup where opposing pitchers had to slow down and proceed cautiously.


2009 Analysis: Alex Cora

alex_cora_metsThere were points in 2009 that Alex Cora was considered the glue of the team.

You might look at that in one of two different ways — either Cora is that great a ballplayer, or the ballclub sunk that low.

Cora was — for stretches — a very good ballplayer. Almost immediately after Jose Reyes was “day to day”, Cora went on a hot streak offensively, getting on base a blistering 44% of the time and hitting .333 just prior to injuring his thumb in mid-May and landing himself on the DL. When Cora returned, he was still


2009 Analysis: Luis Castillo

luis-castillo-popupExcept for that one matter of a dropped popup in the bottom of the ninth inning of a Yankees game, Luis Castillo played as well as anyone could have expected — and far beyond the expectations of most Mets fans.

Anyone who was reading MetsToday back in early April might remember my “Wild Mets Predictions“. Most of them were off, but one of them was:


2009 Analysis: Josh Thole

josh_thole-hitJosh Thole made the improbable jump from A-ball in 2008 to MLB in 2009 — making a pit-stop in AA Binghamton in between. After hitting .321 in his 17-game September debut, and delighting fans with his youth, energy, and choked-up line drives, there’s at least a little buzz pushing for Thole to assume the starting catching role in 2010.

But is Josh Thole ready for full-time, prime-time action behind the plate?