Tag: brewers

Does Rickie Weeks Deal Impact Jose Reyes?

Earlier this week, it was announced that the Milwaukee Brewers signed second baseman Rickie Weeks to a 4-year, $38M contract extension (that could go 5 years/$50M if he stays healthy). Essentially, the Brewers have locked up Weeks through what many consider the “prime years” of a player’s career — ages 28-31.

I look at this deal and wonder if the Mets would do something similar with Jose Reyes?

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Reyes Pulls a Pujols

According to Adam Rubin on ESPN-NY, Jose Reyes is not interested in negotiating a contract extension after Opening Day. Said Reyes:

“I don’t want to talk about any contract during the season because I want to be focused on doing my thing and help this team to win a lot of ballgames”

And, perhaps in response to new GM Sandy Alderson’s edict that the Mets would wait to “see how he plays” when asked if the team would extend Reyes …

My family is here. They’re comfortable. I’ve got my daughter here going to school. I don’t want to be somewhere else. But, at the same time, I understand this is a business and everybody never knows what’s going to happen. I just want to perform on the field and see what happens after.

It’s too easy — and not fair — to parallel these quotes by Reyes with the recent demands / deadline set forth by Albert Pujols. Though it’s being spun similarly, there is no indication that Reyes is insisting on an extension right now. Would he like one? Of course — he’s clearly happy to be a Met and in New York. I don’t think these quotes are in any way intended to spark the front office to begin negotiating. Rather, Reyes is simply stating what any ballplayer SHOULD state: that he wants to focus on his job and performance on the field once the games begin.

And truly, what would it matter if Reyes’ intention was to establish an ultimatum? The writing is on the wall — Jose Reyes most likely will be in another uniform in 2012 (possibly at some point in 2011). If Reyes has another injury-filled year, or if he has only a so-so year, the Mets probably will let him walk. If he has a spectacular season, Alderson probably won’t offer the long-term deal he’s likely to attract on the open market. The only way I can see him returning to Flushing in 2012 is if he has a horrid season, or misses 100+ games, in which case he’ll need to sign a one-year, incentive-laden contract to rebuild his value.

What I find interesting is that many fans have this notion that the Mets will get a great package of young MLBers and top prospects if Reyes starts out strong and is traded near the deadline. But why would a team give up a big package for a three-month rental? And if such team was in the playoff hunt, they’d be very unlikely to give up anyone on the 25-man roster, and might not be willing to part with near-ready talent, either. I suppose there are a number of things that can happen between now and July, but I’m just not seeing the Mets getting a spectacular return for Reyes in a deadline deal. Maybe if a contending team loses their starting shortstop to injury, and they feel Reyes can both fill in and put them over the top — then maybe they’d give up the farm. Who knows, maybe someone like the Reds would pull the trigger on a deal, or the Brewers; both of those teams seem destined to make a good run yet might be one player short of a championship season.

The way things look, my plan is to savor every at-bat Jose Reyes takes as a Met in 2011, since his days appear numbered. On the flip side, we may be engaging in interesting conversation about him five months from now.

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Brewers Get Greinke

According to multiple reports, the Brewers have obtained ace Zack Greinke from the Royals in a six-player trade that also will send shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt to Milwaukee.

In return, the Brewers send to Kansas City young shortstop Alcides Escobar, outfielder Lorenzo Cain, and minor league pitchers Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress.

It looks like a good short-term deal for the Brew Crew, who are pushing hard for a playoff run in what could be

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Mets Game 159: Loss to Brewers

Brewers 9 Mets 2

I believe the term is “playing out the string”.

Game Notes

Tough game for Dillon Gee, but hey, we couldn’t expect him to continue to pitch as far above expectations as he had done in his previous starts. Gee allowed 4 runs — 2 earned — on 7 hits and 3 walks in 6 innings. He did give the Mets decent length, and only allowed the two earned runs, but it wasn’t a great performance. His command was off and he gave up several hits — though, to be fair, a few didn’t leave the infield.

Still, we should be happy with what we’ve seen of Gee. Here’s the thing, though: what makes him and his September performance any different from what we saw of Nelson Figueroa and Pat Misch of September 2009? Granted, he’s younger than both of those journeymen, but not so young to expect him to improve dramatically. So please, do not get all excited about Gee being some great pitching prospect who will head the rotation next year. He is what he is: a soft-tossing righthander who pitches to contact (which I like) and relies heavily on control. In other words, at best, a decent fourth starter but more likely a fifth starter. He may be as good as Bobby Jones some day, which, to me, is something the Mets need. I’d rather see Dillon Gee at an MLB minimum salary at the end of the rotation in 2011 than Kevin Millwood or some other overpriced, 7-figure veteran.

The game was actually somewhat close until the sloppy, disgusting, embarrassing ninth inning. It came two innings after Gary Cohen lauded the Mets for their excellent team defense in this otherwise disappointing season. Nice.

Next Mets Game

The Mets begin the last series of the season by playing the Nationals in Flushing on Friday night at 7:10 PM. The lefthanded, 2009 version of Dillon Gee (Pat Misch) faces Jordan Zimmerman.

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Mets Game 158: Loss to Brewers

Brewers 3 Mets 1

It can be very tough to win the second game of a doubleheader after losing the first game in the late innings. And the Mets aren’t very tough.

The Brewers rolled with the momentum built from their come-from-behind victory earlier in the evening by beating the Mets a second time. Not much else to say, other than, thank goodness we have only four more games to suffer through.

Game Notes

As usual, R.A. Dickey gave the Mets a chance to win. He allowed one earned run on 6 hits in 7 full innings of work — only to leave the game with a no-decision. Once again, no walks from the knuckleballer; no small feat for throwing a pitch that is controlled by the wind rather than the man.

Carlos Gomez went 3-for-4. Oh wait, he’s not on the Mets any more. I still like watching him run around.

Jose Reyes and Angel Pagan had two hits apiece at the top of the lineup, and Pagan stole his 37th base. So they set the table well. Only problem was, the only other Met with a hit was — you guessed it — R.A. Dickey. Maybe Dickey should get a start in left field in one of these final games.

In typical bullpen (mis)management, Pedro Feliciano appeared in both games of the doubleheader, and allowed 3 runs on one hit and 2 walks on the day, pitching a total of one-third of an inning. However, he did extend his own franchise record by entering his 90th and 91st ballgames. Only submariner Kent Tekulve, kinesiologist Mike Marshall, and Salomon Torres have appeared in more MLB games in one season than Feliciano.

Next Mets Game

The final game of this much-anticipated four-game set takes place at 7:10 PM on Thursday night. Dillon Gee goes against Chris Narveson.

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Mets Game 157: Loss to Brewers

Brewers 8 Mets 7

For a while, it appeared that the Mets would pull out another exciting, come-from-behind win. But it was not to be.

The Brewers jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the third against starter Jonathon Niese, and the Mets clawed back with two in the bottom of the frame and then charged ahead with a five-run fourth. The score remained 7-6 in favor of the home team until the 8th, when the Mets bullpen broke down and gave the Brew Crew two runs — one of which was scored by former Met Carlos Gomez.

Game Notes

I think the Mets should shut down Jon Niese. Oh wait, the season will be over by Sunday, so what’s the difference?

He was underneath nearly all of his pitches; meaning, his hand / fingers were on the side of the ball at release and his elbow was dropping below the level of his shoulder. With overhand and three-quarter delivery pitchers, this is generally caused by fatigue — both physical and mental. The arm slows down slightly and can’t keep up with the body’s forward movement, so the arm compensates by trying to take a shortcut to the intended release point. The result is a drop in arm angle and what looks like “pushing” the ball. Why does the the arm angle drop? Because a good overhand delivery occurs on a higher plane, and thus goes against gravity. It takes more effort to keep the hand up and fight gravity over the distance of the desired arm arc, so when the body/arm gets tired it takes the path of least resistance — which is to allow gravity to force the hand and arm downward earlier. A pitcher might be able to stay at the proper height by concentrating on keeping the fingers on top of the ball at release. But physical fatigue often creates mental fatigue, and so the fingers will tend to slide down as a natural reaction to the arm angle dropping — thus, getting “under” the ball. This entire process is exacerbated by pitchers who practice a delivery that relies too much on “side to side” motion — i.e., over-rotation of the hips and shoulders.

When the pitcher is under the ball, all pitches are flat, the ball will tend to be higher in the strike zone, and command disappears. In other words, pitches look like what Jon Niese was unleashing in his 2 2/3 innings against the Brewers.

Beyond the fact that his ERA is hurt, Niese could also be endangering himself physically. Most injuries — in any sport, or any activity — occur when the body is fatigued, because another body part will try to compensate for the tired body part. Additionally, getting under the ball puts considerable strain on the elbow as well as the lower part of the shoulder — a section that usually won’t be used too much during a more overhand delivery and thus is likely weak. I’m not going to say that sending Niese out there for the past 2-3 weeks will result in injuring his arm — you have to push the body in order to strengthen it — but it is something that a team should be monitoring and be cautious about, particularly at the end of a meaningless season.

While we’re on the subject of overhand throwing, what is up with Chris Carter’s throws from the outfield? His first throw was just bad, but his second awful throw looked like it was the result of someone who was nervous about throwing and worried about hitting its target — such as what Chuck Knoblauch, Steve Sax, and Mackey Sasser went through. Carter needs to get over that quick before it becomes a mental issue.

Kind of sad that few people saw the Mets’ roaring comeback of 7 runs within two innings — according to various witnesses, there were only “a few hundred” people in the stands. Ouch.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Brewers are playing the nightcap of a doubleheader, with R.A. Dickey going against Dave Bush.

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Mets Game 156: Win Over Brewers

Mets 5 Brewers 4

Sorry for the late post … there will be no recap. My computer crashed during the top of the 8th and since I was watching the game on MLB.com, I missed the most interesting part of the game. But from what I understand, it was quite a comeback.

Feel free to comment below. Meantime, my laptop is in the shop and so posts / recaps will be lighter than usual until I get it back. Good thing most of you aren’t paying attention to the season anyway.

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Mets Game 51: Win Over Brewers

Mets 10 Brewers 4

The game was a little closer than the final score would indicate.

The Brewers and Mets swapped leads early in the contest, until the Mets pulled ahead 4-2 in the sixth, then extended it to 6-2 in the seventh against Jeff Suppan, then trounced Zach Braddock for another four runs in the top of the ninth to put the game away.

Game Notes

R.A. Dickey is starting to make a case to remain in the rotation indefinitely. He tossed 7 full innings, allowing 4 runs on 9 hits and no walks, striking out 3. Not the most brilliant outing ever, but the Mets could use a starter who can provide that kind of length on a consistent basis.

If I told you that a Mets starter would pitch 7 innings and not walk a batter, would you guess it to be a knuckleballer?

Jeff Francoeur had a chat with Jerry Manuel after Saturday night’s game and went 4-for-4 with 2 RBI and 3 runs scored. Cause and effect or coincidence? If the former, then is Jerry to blame for Francoeur’s extended slump? Considering that Frenchy was hitting .400 in the four games previous to his meeting with Manuel, I’m betting on the latter. But I won’t be surprised to hear/see a ton of hype about how Manuel got Francoeur back on track.

Henry Blanco also had a big day, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, two runs, and an RBI. He also threw out Carlos Gomez attempting to steal.

Angel Pagan collected another two hits, including his fourth homer of the season.

Jonathan Lucroy struggled behind the plate for the Brewers, halting the game with incessant mound conferences and unable to get into a rhythm with starter Randy Wolf nor most of the Milwaukee relievers. To be that much of a distraction can negatively affect an entire pitching staff — remember Omir Santos? Don’t be surprised to see the Brew Crew pick up a veteran backstop such as Paul Lo Duca, or deal for someone like Chris Iannetta.

Next Mets Game

The Mets head further west, playing the Padres in San Diego on Monday night. Hisanori Takahashi goes to the mound against Kevin Correia. Game time is 10:05 PM EST. Ugh.

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