Tag: angel berroa

2009 Analysis: Wilson Valdez

wilson-valdez-mets2When the backup (Ramon Martinez) to the backup (Alex Cora) went down, the Mets found themselves hunting the scrap yards for a fill-in at shortstop who had Major League skills. They found Wilson Valdez and, all things considered, could’ve done a lot worse. In fact, they DID do a lot worse — Angel Berroa was on the roster for about a week.

The 31-year-old Valdez displayed excellent defensive skills — including a rifle for an arm — but not much with the bat. He was fundamentally sound in the field and on the basepaths, and gave good effort. Though he played almost exclusively at shortstop for the Mets, he’s equally adept on either side of the second base bag, and can handle both third base and the outfield in a pinch. Whether he’ll ever

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Castillo Out, Reyes Out Longer

In case you missed it, Luis Castillo slipped going down the dugout steps and injured his ankle. The Mets are terming it a “mild strain”, and not surprisingly, are listing him as “day to day”.

No, this is not a joke. Castillo really did hurt himself in the dugout, off the field of play. Which begs the question: in this brand new stadium, why are the dugout steps and floor not covered with some kind of porous padding, such as you might find on a running track? I could be completely mistaken, but it looks like the dugouts and steps at Citi Field are bare concrete — which makes cleanup easy but is not the safest platform for metal spikes. Again, I could be wrong — I haven’t been inside the dugouts and am only trusting what I’ve seen on TV and views from the stands. For all I know there is a rubber covering on top of the concrete, or maybe they put down some kind of runner or mat.

But back to Castillo’s injury. With him out, but not on the DL, means Angel Berroa will be getting more playing time, and/or we’ll be seeing Fernando Tatis at 2B. Tatis’ hustle, professionalism, and occasional homerun power are wonderful additions to the lineup temporarily, but if he starts then your top RH bat off the bench is Berroa. Twelve of one and a dozen of the other.

Luckily, this situation is only “day to day” (ha!), which reminds us of another middle infielder whose injury status was once described similarly — Jose Reyes (silly me, I thought he’d be out for the season!). The latest on Reyes is that he’s had a setback, he feels “discomfort” in his leg, and has flown up from Port St. Lucie to be re-examined by the team’s doctors. If nothing else, Jose is racking up the frequent-flyer miles with all these trips back and forth between Florida and NYC.

After Reyes is seen by the Mets’ doctors, one has to wonder — is it time for a second opinion? Further, is it time to forget about this season, shut him down, and make sure he’ll be ready for 2010 and beyond? Surely, the similarly ill-advised returns of Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran will be enough to sell tickets in September — so let’s put the brakes on Reyes and make sure there will be reason to buy tickets next year.

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Mets Promote Angel Berroa

angel-berroaYou know it’s a slow news day when the headline is Angel Berroa.

The Mets — who signed Berroa on July 11th and assigned him to AAA Buffalo — have added the veteran infielder to the 25-man roster, replacing Argenis Reyes.

I liked the idea of Berroa as far back as late May, and still think it’s a low-risk move that isn’t going to hurt anything.

Berroa is a slick fielder with a cannon of an arm, no plate discipline, but has shown occasional pop in his past history (none of it recent, unfortunately). I doubt he can come in and replace Alex Cora at shortstop, but there’s an outside chance he can be more productive than Argenis Reyes off the bench as a pinch-hitter. Going along with Mets’ train of thought and scouting analysis, I imagine the next paint for the wall would be Wilson Betemit, assuming he can be pried away from the White Sox (maybe they’d take Angel Pagan? I mean if the Braves took Ryan Church for Jeff Francoeur …).

Back in 2003, Berroa was the AL Rookie of the Year Award, hitting .287 with 17 HR and 73 RBI as Kansas City’s starting shortstop. He hit .270 with 11 HRs as recently as 2005, but his career went downhill quickly ever since. I’m sure it’s only a coincidence that steroid testing began around that time. And I’m sure that Dominican birth certificate is legit, and he’s really 31 and not 34 or 35. In any case he’s ours now so woot-woot!

In other news Omar Minaya said Carlos Delgado won’t be ready to come back until August, there is no update on Carlos Beltran, and Jose Reyes “might” be back before the end of this month. For those wondering, the Mets do not play at home until July 27th against the no-draw Rockies. I’m sure the information about Reyes had nothing to do with potential ticket sales — so stop it, all you conspiracy theorists!

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