Archive: August 10th, 2010

Pat Misch May Start on Saturday

Adam Rubin of ESPN-NY is reporting that Pat Misch was pulled after 55 pitches on Tuesday night and is likely to be promoted to the Mets to make a start on Saturday vs. the Phillies.

This possibility was furthered after Hisanori Takahashi threw a perfect 8th inning vs. the Rockies, prompting Jerry Manuel to announce that Takahashi would not make his Saturday start and instead remain in the bullpen.

On the one hand, it seems strange to move Takahashi out of the rotation after he struck out 10 and allowed only one run in 6 innings vs. the Braves in his last start (July 31). On the other hand, I don’t have confidence in Tak as a starting pitcher over the long haul — I truly believe a large part of his success has been due to hitters not being familiar with him. So, it wouldn’t surprise me to see teams who were befuddled by him in the past, have his number the next time he faces them (i.e., NL East clubs). I don’t know that a setup role is ideal for his repertoire and skill set but the Mets don’t have anyone better to audition in the role.

As for Misch, one has to wonder why it took so long for him to return to the Mets. He pitched more than admirably through seven starts at the tail end of last year, and has been stellar in AAA this season. For a team so desperate for pitching, Misch should’ve been given another shot sooner than this. Maybe the Mets think he’s Nelson Figueroa.

I’m not going to predict a shutout by “Glavine Lite” vs. the Phillies on Saturday, but sending Misch to the mound is not the worst idea in the world. It’s either him or Oliver Perez at this point, right?


Mets Game 112: Win Over Rockies

Mets 1 Rockies 0

Has Mike Pelfrey returned?

Pelfrey was brilliant through 7 innings, shutting out the Rockies in a 122-pitch effort en route to his first win since June 25th and his 11th of the season.

With this win, the Mets have reached their perpetual goal of .500. They are 56-56.

Game Notes

Pelfrey allowed 4 hits and 1 walk, striking out 4. His command was better than we’ve seen lately, but the mechanical flaw is still there. But minor mechanical flaws can be overcome when one is brimming with confidence and is throwing first-pitch strikes (Pelf threw 19 first-pitch strikes to the 26 batters he faced). Also in his favor: a generous strike zone and opposing hitters who have been struggling of late. No matter, we’ll take it. If Pelfrey can keep getting ahead of hitters, keep runners off base, and keep his confidence, he should be able to overcome the glitch in his delivery.

Much has been made about Dan Warthen working with Pelfrey on keeping a consistent arm speed. I have no idea what that has to do with command, and am not confident that “fixing” his arm speed was the key to Pelf’s success in this game. I do wonder, though, if he was tipping his pitches by hunching over / not hunching over; in previous outings, I think he may have been staying more straight up on the curveball.

The only run scored in the game came when Jose Reyes lifted a sac fly to right field to score Jeff Francoeur, who had pinch-run for Chris Carter, who had walked to lead off the seventh. Francoeur replaced Carter immediately and moved to third on a booming double off the right field wall by Josh Thole.

This was a pitchers’ duel to say the least. While Pelfrey allowed only 4 hits, Ubaldo Jimenez did the same in as many innings. Though, Jimenez also walked 4 and struck out 8.

Next Mets Game

Game 2 vs. the Rockies begins at 7:10 PM on Wednesday night in Flushing. Jonathon Niese faces Jeff Francis.


Jeff Francoeur Requests Trade

Two days after Fernando Martinez was promoted to — presumably — take playing time away from Jeff Francoeur, Francoeur’s representatives have let the Mets know he is open to a trade.

From Andy McCullough’s article in the Star-Ledger:

“We want to play every day,” Francoeur’s agent Molly Fletcher said yesterday. “We prefer to play in New York. But if we’re not going to play every day in New York, we absolutely welcome the opportunity to play every day somewhere else.”

As much as I like Francoeur, he’s in no position to request a trade. In fact, I’m not even sure he’s in a position to request room service. His current, horrendous slump has put him in this predicament. Two game-winning homeruns are not enough to negate 15 hits in his last 88 at-bats.

I doubt anyone is banging down the Mets’ door begging for Francoeur, and his request for a trade makes it that much more difficult for the team to get anything of value in return. If he and his agents were smart they would keep quiet and wait to be non-tendered in the offseason — at which point Francoeur will have the opportunity to market his wares to 29 other teams.


Good and Bad of F-Mart and Tejada Promotions

On Saturday, the Mets made a pair of roster moves, releasing Alex Cora and relegating Jeff Francoeur to platoon duty. Any intelligent fan walking away feeling disappointed from this awesome, albeit overdue and painfully obvious occurrence, must be some sort of baseball masochist, right? Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Well the Mets somehow managed to cut ties with the mind-boggling uselessness that is Alex Cora, reduce Francoeur’s playing time, while simultaneously reminding you they lack basic motor skills, mindlessly promoting Fernando Martinez and Ruben Tejada from AAA.

At least that is how some people see it. I am not quite sure where I side on the issue of aggressively promoting prospects, which was a hallmark of the Tony Bernazard era. (see Wilmer Flores, Jefry Marte, Martinez, Tejada, Franciso Pena, Juan Lagares, etc.) In this case, we are talking about going from AAA to the big leagues, but the essence of the issue remains the same: Will promoting (insert player’s name) service or impede his development?