Tag: bay

Link Roundup: Frustration and Impatience

December is here, and the Mets front office has been rather quiet.  Except for the extension of David Wright, and the release of Jason Bay, no major roster turnover has occurred.

Is Sandy Alderson just a pretender, as MMO suggests, or has the front office simply given up (Yes, I understand linking to one’s own blog is a tad incestuous)?  Or could it be that Alderson is still waiting out the market instead of making a rash decision that could lead to overpaying in money and/or players?  Either way, Mets fans are getting impatient.

As for Wright, he will be on the payroll through 2025, whether he is on the roster or not.  $15.5 million of his contract is deferred, and will be paid in installments during 2021 and 2025.  That will help free up salary in the near future, but the Mets better be in stronger financial shape nine years from now.

Andres Torres signed a one-year deal with the Giants, the team on which he had his only good major league season.  So now San Francisco has both Pagan and Torres, and the Mets will likely start the year without Ramon Ramirez, the key part of that trade from a year ago.  The trade can now fairly be characterized as a bust, but at the time I liked it, mainly for Ramirez.  But Ramon decided to have the worst year of his life in 2012, so it didn’t work out.

The only truly big move that is likely to occur is going to be either the extension or trade of R.A. Dickey.  Dickey appeared to be having a blue (blue blue blue) Christmas at the Mets holiday party this week.  He wants the contract talks to move faster.  The Mets appear to be waiting on the trade market now that Zack Greinke is off the board.  Everyone has thrown in their speculation, but it looks about 50/50 whether he will be signed or not.  They could get a good return on a trade for R.A., but Dickey gives the Mets some identity (not to mention his ace status on the mound), and is truly a feel-good story.  When was the last time a Met was on the cover of Sports Illustrated?

For now, it’s time for us Mets fans to wait out the front office.  Don’t expect any big moves this year.  More payroll will be coming off the books following the 2013 season.  Until then, your loyalty will be tested.

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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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Avoiding the LOOGY Man

Don't let the wookiee win.

The Mets have won 4 straight to start the season, so maybe now isn’t time to make changes.  But apart from all of their flaws on paper, this team should be able to hit.  However, their lineup has an obvious problem (besides Jason Bay).  It’s too left-handed.

Last night, manager Terry Collins put together a batting order that featured 5 left-handed batters, 3 in consecutive order – Lucas Duda, Josh Thole, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis.  Nieuwenhuis, of course, replaced switch-hitter Andres Torres in center field, who injured his calf on Opening Day, and does not appear close to returning, according to Mets radio man Howie Rose.  The addition of Kirk makes this team even more left-handed.

In response to the stack of southpaws, Nationals manager (and former Mets great) Davey Johnson brought in LHP Tom Gorzelanny in the 6th inning to replace right-handed starter Edwin Jackson.  Gorzelanny shut down the Mets for 2.2 innings, allowing only 2 hits.  When Collins pinch hit Scott Hairston for Nieuwenhuis late in the game, Johnson finally brought in his right hander, Henry Rodriguez (who would eventually get the loss).

Rest assured, teams will be tossing southpaws against the Mets all year.  So here’s a proposed lineup change that would help to break up the lefties, and make opponents less able to match up their LOOGY against them:

2B Daniel Murphy – He doesn’t walk much, but had a .362 OBP last year.  Not an ideal leadoff hitter, but the best they have in this version of the lineup.

SS Ruben Tejada – He handles the bat well and can run.

1B Ike Davis – He’s off to a slow start, but should rebound, unless this Valley Fever situation is worse than we thought.  Bonus: he’ll see much better pitches batting in front of Wright than he ever will batting in front of Bay.

3B David Wright – The ideal 3rd hitter needs to drop to cleanup in this scenario.

RF Lucas Duda – Good power, good patience.

LF Jason Bay – He has to bat somewhere.

C Josh Thole – Off to a good start with the bat – may be turning into the contact hitter the Mets hope.

CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis – Also an option to bat leadoff – strikes out too much, but did have a .400 + OBP in 221 ABs in AA last year.

In this scenario, the only back-to-back lefties are Thole and Nieuwenhuis.  Kirk can be replaced by Hairston in the late innings if they face a tough lefty reliever.

The lineup still includes 5 LHBs, but with this lineup, the Mets should be a little less vulnerable against left-handed pitching.

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Public Service Announcement: The Truth about Superstitions

Do you find yourself making decisions in your life based upon the next Mets game? Not just clearing your schedule to watch all nine innings, but changing things to conform to your ideas about your own role in the action? Do you attach an unnecessary importance to completely unrelated and simple options such as picking what chair to sit in or when to look away from the TV?

You have to face the fact that

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