Browsing Archive November, 2010

F-Mart Injured After One Game

According to ESPN-NY, Fernando Martinez experienced knee discomfort in his first game with Escogido of the Dominican League and could possibly be shut down for the remainder of the winter.

Martinez had gone 1-for-3 with 2 RBI, but reportedly had issues with the same knee that ended his 2010 season after 71 games. It is assumed that the Mets will make the decision as to whether he will continue playing or rest until the spring.

However, there is good news coming out of Escogido. Second baseman Justin Turner also made his winter league debut and came out of it healthy. He had one hit in four at-bats.

Speaking of second base and the winter leagues, Daniel Murphy has been “very serviceable” at the position, according to a scout quoted by Adam Rubin (also on ESPN-NY). Per the scout:

“He was very serviceable. He made all the plays but one. He had a routine groundball go through his legs. But it was no big deal. He turned a couple of double plays. He moved to his left and his right. He moved better to the first base side, which would be to his left. And his throwing was good. It was accurate. His arm action is a little long from second. If he could tighten that up, it might serve him a little better. It’s almost like an outfield thrower’s arm. A catcher brings it up short and tight to his ear; you want to have a little shorter arm action. But he’s working hard.”

However, Rubin has also just reported that Murphy will need “five consecutive days resting” due to “tired legs” after playing in all 28 of his team’s games. That has me mildly concerned. Let’s hope he truly is fatigued and not suffering some kind of a relapse with his injured knee. I for one would like to see a Turner – Murphy battle at second base in the spring.

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2010 Analysis: Lucas Duda

On the same day the Mets traded Jeff Francoeur, the Mets also announced the promotion of Lucas Duda, who jumped from AA to AAA and hit a combined .304 with a .398 OBP, .967 OPS, and 23 homers in 115 games. Big things were expected by big youngster from the Mets fanbase, who were yearning for homegrown talent at the tail end of yet another disappointing season.

At first, Duda struggled against MLB pitching – possibly due to nerves and/or becoming acquainted with big-league life – but was given the opportunity to settle in and he eventually adjusted, hitting .314 with a .345 OBP, .993 OPS, and 4 homers in his final 16 games / 55 plate appearances.

In the field, Duda looked a little awkward, but hustled like crazy, had no fear of walls, and got to the ball more times than not. His baserunning was similarly lumbering, but let’s face it – he won’t be in MLB for his footwork.

Overall, Duda gave the fans some hope that the Mets farm system was capable of producing big league talent. His tall, large-shouldered frame and clumsy athleticism reminded me a bit of Corey Hart or Hunter Pence, minus the foot speed. His bat – particularly in the last two weeks of the season – made me think momentarily of Adam Dunn. If Duda can fall anywhere within that range of ballplayers, the Mets and their fans will be happy indeed.

2011 Projection

Some fans may be surprised to know that Lucas Duda will be 25 years old when spring training opens; many probably thought he was younger. At that age, the clock starts running quickly on players – it’s time to fulfill promise as a big leaguer. At 25, a player still has time to improve skills, but needs to already be showing at least one MLB skill. For Duda, that is his bat – how far he goes depends completely on his ability to hit the ball consistently and for long distances. His last 16 games of 2010 could be indicative of slugger ready to blossom; it could also be a tease (remember, Daniel Murphy looked like the next Pete Rose in his first 100 MLB at-bats). At this moment, the outfield appears to be too crowded to afford Duda the chance to prove himself, but anything can happen this winter. My guess is that if the Mets move Carlos Beltran and/or Angel Pagan to another club, Duda will be given every opportunity to win a job next spring.

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Thanksgivings Past

In addition to giving thanks, I thought it would be fun to look at some of the news from Thanksgivings past. Enjoy …

2009:

The Mets made good on their promise to overhaul the organization from top to bottom. Huh, that sounds vaguely familiar.

Jeff Wilpon asserted that the team would be “aggressive” in the free-agent market, though both I and Wallace Matthews agreed a better plan would be to look toward 2011.

Omar Minaya was seriously considering acquiring Jose Guillen.

Jason Marquis was lobbying to be signed by the Mets through Jeff Francoeur, and loyal MetsToday reader Ceetar suspected Marquis was hiding an injury.

2008:

Aaron Heilman was still begging the Mets for a chance to start

Luis Castillo asked the Mets for a “second chance”

The Mets gave up on Derek Lowe, and made empty promises to Pedro Martinez

2007:

The Mets signed Yorvit Torrealba to a three-year deal, then didn’t. What happened? I offered 10 reasons the deal fell through.

Luis Castillo was signed to a four-year deal

Tom Glavine finally went with the wind, leaving Flushing to return to Tara

Omar Minaya was hot for Freddy Garcia

A stodgy and possibly drunk old-time beat writer compared bloggers to “pamphleteers”, and suggested that Hitler would eliminate all of them.

The Mets traded Lastings Milledge to the Nationals for Ryan Church and Brian Schneider. (By the way, Joaquin Arias is now on the Royals after being DFA’d by the Mets.)

2006:

The month was all about a Japanese pitcher named Daisuke Matsuzaka — but I saw through Scott Boras‘ smoke screen — and wasn’t as impressed as others.

I compared the Aaron Heilman situation to that of Jonathan Papelbon

The Mets lost Chad Bradford and Darren Oliver to free agency, traded Matt Lindstrom and Henry Owens to the Marlins, and dumped Heath Bell and Royce Ring on the Padres for Ben Johnson and Jon Adkins in a deal Minaya said “…may not be a sexy trade”. Indeed. Apparently, they thought their 2007 starting pitchers would resemble the 1980 Oakland A’s.

Tom Glavine was a turkey, and screwing the Mets.

Can someone please pass the cranberry sauce?

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Would Mets Sign Derek Jeter?


After Derek Jeter reportedly turned down a 3-year, $45M contract offer, the Yankees have told their Captain to shop around. Further, the Bronx Bombers have elected to NOT offer Jeter arbitration, so if another team signs the shortstop, they will not surrender a draft pick.

Assuming that Jeter actually DOES “play the field”, would the Mets consider tendering a contract offer?

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2010 Analysis: Chris Carter

The Animal impressed manager Jerry Manuel early on in spring training, and became an immediate fan favorite for his energy, intensity, all-out play, and likable personality. His story and swing were so well received that it was something of a disappointment when he didn’t go north with the big club in April. But the demotion was temporary, and further fueled his legend.

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Comments On Terry Collins Press Conference

The official coronation of Terry Collins occurred today, but I’m at work so didn’t see it live. I’m sure I’ll hear some kind of reaction to it on sportstalk radio for my evening ride home, but in the meantime if you saw the press conference please post your comments by clicking that quote-cloud thing at the right of this post’s title. Thanks.

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2010 Analysis: Carlos Beltran

It’s hard to evaluate Beltran’s 2010 season, since he only appeared in 64 ballgames, and the first 30 or so could have been considered “spring training games”.

Beltran was not ready to play minor league baseball when he returned to MLB just after the All-Star Exhibition, but Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel were desperate to retain their jobs (a running theme through these evaluations) and the Wilpons were desperate to sell tickets, so they activated Beltran anyway and hoped for a miracle. As it was, the Mets season went into an unrecoverable tailspin at almost the same time Beltran returned, making it seem as though the centerfielder was somehow responsible for the downturn. In truth, Beltran probably had nothing to do with the Mets misfortunes, but he symbolized the reason for them: desperation, unpreparedness, lack of depth, and a plan based on hopes and wishes.

2011 Projection

Beltran enters his walk year – the last of a 7-year, $119M contract (boy, time flies!). He will be paid $18.5M to hobble around the outfield on a bum knee but hopefully regain some of the offensive force that he flashed in the last 2-3 weeks of the 2010 season. His lack of mobility and speed significantly impacted his defensive skills in centerfield, so the hope is that he’ll be open and willing to move to a corner. One would guess that less running around in the outfield would help him be more fresh in the batter’s box and on the basepaths. Considering the excellent job Angel Pagan did in center for half of 2010, neither the Mets nor Beltran would be hurt by such a move. Beltran will be playing for a new multi-year, multi-million-dollar contract, so motivation will not be an issue, and he’d be smart to swallow his pride, move to RF, and focus on offense — teams pay more for hitting than they do for fielding.

My guess is that if the Mets don’t trade him over the winter, Beltran will come back strong in 2011, and likely be dealt to a contender at the trade deadline. If history is any indication, it could be the best thing that happens to him – and hopefully, the Mets.

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