Tag: corey hart

Free Agent Targets: First Base

The MLBPA compiled a full list of players who filed for free agency this offseason. Out of those, there are several possibilities that stood out to me as players I would consider signing if I were the GM of the Mets (assuming I had a moderate amount of money to spend). Mind you, I’m not saying the Mets should sign ALL of these players – that would be impossible. But this would be the pool of players from which I would choose.

We’ll break them down by position. In the last post, I looked at shortstops. In this post, I’ll take a look at…

First Basemen

The Mets enter the offseason with the thought that they can start next year with an in-house option (or options) at first base. While they don’t have a great first baseman under their control right now, if they improve at other positions, they can live with a guy like Lucas Duda or a Duda/Josh Satin or Wilmer Flores platoon. Before you laugh, they’ll at least give you a .350 or so OBP, and Duda is good for 15-20 homers if he stays healthy. They could even take a chance on a comeback season from Ike Davis, but rumor has it they’re trying to trade him.

If they fail to upgrade in the outfield or shortstop, they may look to upgrade at first base. If they do, here are few possibilities.

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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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Mets Game 49: Loss to Brewers

Brewers 2 Mets 0

The bad news: the 1969 Mets record of 42 consecutive scoreless innings remains intact.

Sorry, no good news.

Johan Santana and Yovani Gallardo locked horns in a good old fashioned pitchers’ duel — a real barn-burner of a contest, matching goose eggs for 8 innings. The Mets had a couple of mild threats that were extinguished, and in the end it was the Brewers who finally crossed home plate — but not before Mets pitchers extended their scoreless innings streak to 35 2/3.

Game Notes

Johan Santana allowed only 3 hits and 2 walks in 8 shutout innings, expending 105 pitches. If I were manager, I might’ve allowed Santana to go out there for the ninth. But I’m just a blogger, second-guessing from the comfort of my couch.

Yovani Gallardo gave up 8 hits and a walk, but went the distance, earning the first shutout of his career and completing only his second game ever. He struck out 7 and tossed 121 pitches in all. Several Mets batters were miffed by called strikes by home plate umpire Jeff Nelson, but from the perspective of our TV viewing angle, it appeared that Nelson was fairly consistent with the zone for both sides. Yes, many pitches were close, but I don’t trust the off-center cameras to give us the best viewpoint. Santana was getting several close calls as well.

Interestingly, Santana and Rod Barajas were the only Mets to collect more than one hit in the game. Santana blasted a double off the rightfield wall literally moments after SNY announcer Gary Cohen suggested that Johan could swing for a homerun.

Ryota Igarashi was the scapegoat and losing pitcher, as he allowed an infield single to Ryan Braun and a walkoff 2-run homer to Corey Hart with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.

Next Mets Game

The Mets face the Brewers again on Saturday night at 7:10 PM in Milwaukee. Fernando Nieve attempts to keep his arm anatomically connected while Manny Parra takes the mound for the Brew Crew.

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Rumor: John Maine for Corey Hart

richard_kielThe big rumor out of Indianapolis early this morning was a trade of John Maine to the Brewers for Corey Hart.

As of 9:30 am, however, the deal was either dead or on the back burner, as Milwaukee is focusing on bullpen help.

But what the heck, let’s discuss it — at least until a more salacious rumor comes out of Indy.

Personally, I prefer

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