Browsing Archive May, 2012

Down on the Farm: Wheeler, den Dekker, Flores impress

Here are four questions/statements that you might be asking yourself two months into the minor league season.

Is there a true ace in the Mets system?

One of the biggest weaknesses within the Mets organization is the lack of a bonafide #1 starting pitcher. Many fans believe that Matt Harvey is going to be that ace. But the rest of the league looks at him differently. Most see Harvey as a 2/3 starter. But that doesn’t mean there’s not a true ace down in Binghamton. There’s the case of Zack Wheeler, the lone piece acquired for Carlos Beltran at the deadline last season.

Wheeler has dealt with control issues throughout his career and he’s dealing with them again. However, the walks tend to get lost behind the blazing fastball, and strikeout totals he pumps out in each start. After a rocky debut, Wheeler has really shined in Binghamton. He’s K’d 29% of the batters faced, keeping hitters in the Eastern League at a .189 AVG. He has a WHIP of 1.17 and his BABIP is .279, a huge improvement from last season (BABIP .361).

The negative part of Wheeler’s game is his inability to control all pitches. He walks 4.54 per game, a 3-walk increase from last season. Keep this in mind when you try to explain that he deserves a promotion to Queens. It’s one thing to have the shiny numbers, but real success is when you can locate and control all pitches. He’s starting to come into his own and Mets fans should be excited. Wheeler has dominated Double-A hitters and looks destined for a call-up. Get ready for Wheeler in 2013.

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Mets Game 51: Loss to Phillies

Phillies 10 Mets 6

This game was much closer and low-scoring than the final score would suggest. Mets fans might lament that this was one that got away. In contrast, Phillies fans might believe that their old “fightin’ Phils” are merely back to their comebacking ways. It’s all about perspective, right?

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Blog Roundup: Catching Up

Due to long holiday weekends, productive work days, and life in general occupying my time, I haven’t had a chance to post a blog roundup (or as it is also affectionately known: “link dump”) in a while.  So, I have some catching up to do.  Here are some recent and not-so-recent-but-cool links for you this morning.

To the Blogs!

  • Faith and Fear’s Greg Prince wrote a terrific article in the NY Times about the return of Banner Day.
  • Daily Stache wondered last week if Jeremy Hefner is the real deal.  He pitched well last night, but the jury’s still out.
  • Kerel Cooper speculates whether Ike Davis will finish the season with a batting average over or under .230.
  • Mets Police has a recap of Banner Day: The Return, including a cool first-person video of the Banner Day parade.
  • Amazin’ Avenue writes about the difficult journey of the “Greatest Bison,” Frank Grant, who endured the racism of the times during his trek through pro ball in the late 1800s. (NSFW language)
  • Real Dirty breaks down the few who may represent the boys from Flushing in this year’s All-Star Game.
  • Metsblog has a video of Sandy Alderson talking about the state of the team.
  • Metszilla examines the state of Mets hitting

The state of Mets Today remains strong.  Stay tuned for more updates, analyses, post game recaps…and oh yeah, lots of links.

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Which Outfielder Will Be the Odd Man Out?

Within the next 2-3 weeks, the Mets should be getting 3 key injured players back.  SS Ruben Tejada, C Josh Thole, and OF Jason Bay are all beginning to play rehab games this week.  So which players on the current major league roster will they replace?

In the case of Thole, the answer is simple – Either Mike “Grand Slam” Nickeas or Rob “Snap Throw to First” Johnson (whoever is sucking the most when the time comes) will be replaced.

Has Kirk done enough to stay on the big club?

When Tejada comes back, he would have replaced Vinny Rottino.  However, the injury to Justin Turner muddies the picture a bit.

Omar Quintanilla is likely to replace Turner on the roster.  If Tejada then replaces Quintanilla, the Mets will only have one player to backup second base, shortstop, and third base – Ronny Cedeno.  That’s assuming Cedeno’s minor quad strain doesn’t turn into a major pain in the posterior.  If the Mets decide they need 2 backup infielders, then Quintanilla would stay, and Rottino would be sent down after all.

For the sake of this post, let’s assume the latter will be the scenario.

With that in mind, the decision of whom to drop when Bay returns becomes complicated.  It’s doubtful the Mets will carry 6 outfielders, so someone is going to have to go.  Here are the candidates for replacement:

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