Tag: nelson figueroa

Mets Release Livan Hernandez

According to MetsBlog, the Mets have released Livan Hernandez and activated Billy Wagner from the DL.

Though Livan has struggled mightily in his last three starts, I’m mildly surprised if only because I don’t know who is going to take his spot in the rotation. Nelson Figueroa? Tim Redding? After seeing two three-inning starts by Bobby Parnell, and getting lucky to get 5 innings out of Ollie Perez, you’d think the Mets would reserve those two for long duty.

Hopefully this clears the way for the Mets to promote Lance Broadway or Tobi Stoner to get a look-see. Today happens to be Broadway’s 26th birthday, and though he’s been awful in AAA, you’d have to think he has a better shot at making the 2010 roster than Tim Redding.

Looking forward to seeing Billy Wagner in action … if he can crank it up to 95 MPH, the Mets will have a nice trading piece — or setup man for next year.

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Mets Game 107: Win Over Cardinals

Mets 9 Cardinals 0

What a difference a day makes!

Fueled by the support of screaming, sugar-filled children, the Mets delivered an overwhelming win to the Camp Day crowd.

The Mets offense exploded for five runs in the first two frames against starter and loser Kyle Lohse, then tacked on another four in the sixth and eighth innings to make it a laugher.

Nelson Figueroa, who came on to pitch after Jonathan Niese injured his ankle in the second, earned the win and redeemed himself with a stellar 4 1/3 innings of shutout relief. Bobby Parnell earned a rare 3-inning save, striking out 3 and allowing only one hit.

Notes

Parnell is now tied with Frankie Rodriguez for the team lead in saves since the All-Star break.

Angel Pagan and David Wright combined to go 6-for-8 with 3 runs and 6 RBI. Pagan had a booming homerun to centerfield and ripped his 7th triple of the year. Despite a paltry 146 times to the plate, only one man in MLB has more triples than Pagan — Michael Bourn, who has 9 in 451 plate appearances. Who needs Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran when you have Angel Pagan?

Parnell and Figueroa were a combined 2-for-2 with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored.

Rick Ankiel had a difficult time in centerfield during that second-inning offensive outburst by the Mets. He made a diving attempt for a blast by Nelson Figueroa but the ball missed his glove and resulted in a triple — nearly a quadruple, in fact. (Jim Edmonds would’ve had that ball, BTW.) Minutes later he misplayed a low liner off the bat of Angel Pagan, with his glove fingers up instead of down, allowing Figgy to score and Pagan to reach first. And moments after that, Pagan challenged him by going first to third on a David Wright single. Ankiel, I think, had a great shot to nail Pagan, but he hesitated and then took a long windup before unleashing his throw, which was a little too late.

Next Mets Game

The Mets fly cross-country to face the Padres in San Diego for a four-game series. Livan Hernandez faces Clayton Richard in the opener, which begins at 10:05 PM EST on Thursday night.

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Mets Game 105: Loss to Diamondbacks

Diamondbacks 6 Mets 5

A split would’ve been so nice … but at least the hometown boys gave us a ballgame!

The game appeared over within minutes after it started, as recent callup Nelson Figueroa allowed 6 runs on 10 hits in his 1 2/3 innings. So much for taking some strain off the bullpen.

However, the bullpen kicked it up a notch and allowed just one hit and no runs after the third inning, and Dan Haren was having an off night. That combination of unusual circumstances gave the Citi Field crowd their money’s worth.

Haren struggled with his command, and actually walked a batter, and allowed five runs on eight hits and that walk in seven innings. But, Jon Rauch threw a scoreless eighth and Chad Qualls a perfect ninth to earn his 20th save.

Notes

Tough night for Nelson Figueroa — so bad that one wonders if the Mets will give him another shot. Shame, since Figgy has put up some great numbers at AAA this year. Either it was an off night or the D’backs somehow knew what was coming — maybe he was tipping his pitches? The Arizona batters looked way too comfortable.

Angel Pagan went 2-for-3 with a walk, a triple, a run, and an RBI. However, he held up at second base on a Luis Castillo RBI single in the fifth when he probably should have moved on to third. As a result, only one run scored when David Wright followed with a single and the inning ended moments later on a double play.

Pagan now has 6 triples, tied for fourth place in the NL. (D’backs Stephen Drew and Gerardo Parra are tied for second behind Michael Bourn with 7 each.)

Jeff Francoeur was the only Mets starting position player without a hit.

The Mets are now 8 games behind in the Wild Card standings and 10 behind the Phillies in the NL East.

Next Mets Game

The Mets play a quick two-game series against the Cardinals that begins on Tuesday night at 7:10 PM. Two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana faces Joel Pineiro, who pitches like Cy Young against the Mets.

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Fitting Time for Figgy

nelson-figueroa-metsWith the recent struggles of Tim Redding (and by recent, we mean since the first pitch he threw as a Met), the media and fan base has begun clamoring for young lefthander Jonathan Niese. After all, Niese has strung together 8 consecutive strong starts, a big turnaround from his rough beginning to the 2009 season. Certainly he’s earned another promotion, hasn’t he?

Well, yes. But there’s someone else who earned that promotion as well, and earned it far long ago. In fact, many are still wondering why he was demoted in the first place.

Of course, I’m speaking of Nelson Figueroa, the international journeyman who might have finally “figured it out”, but we’ll never know until the Mets (or some other MLB team) gives him a legitimate shot. Say what you want about his mediocre career numbers in MLB, but that’s past history. Pitchers don’t generally improve their physical skillset as they get older, but they can get smarter. Ask Jamie Moyer.

Now, don’t get the wrong idea — I’m not advocating the idea that Nelson Figueroa can step in and be a dominant, frontline starter. His ceiling, at this point, is average #5 man. A guy who won’t get blown out within the first three innings of a game, who will eat up some innings, who will keep his cool in the face of adversity, who will play the entire game (i.e., field his position, hold runners, lay down bunts, etc.), who will give you chance to win every five days. It doesn’t sound like much, but the Mets have had a hard time finding someone other than Johan Santana who can deliver on those simple expectations. Figgy has pitched in “big” ballgames and succeeded in every part of the globe, and he continues to build his impressive resume and reputation as a “professional” in Buffalo, NY.

From loyal MetsToday reader “HDarvick” :

On Saturday night, Nelson Figueroa won his sixth straight winning decision for the last place Buffalo Bisons (the worst team in Triple A), a complete game shutout, 2-0. The righty gave up just seven hits, walked none, struck out five, lowering his team-leading ERA to 2.32, 2nd best ERA in the International League! Figueroa has allowed more than two runs in just two of his 15 starts, and only three runs once. He has averaged an unbelievable 7.1 innings per start! His WHIP is 1.04, also 2nd best in the International League. … Figueroa has averaged 113 pitches per game since June 2nd, the beginning of his 6-0 streak.

How Figeuroa has not earned a promotion yet, while the likes of Patrick Misch, Tim Redding, Elmer Dessens, et al, have been given the ball repeatedly over the past month, is certainly a head-scratcher. Maybe the Mets are still ticked off at Figgy for initially refusing his minor-league assignment back in late May — we know Jeff Wilpon’s right hand man Tony Bernazard has a penchant for holding grudges. But in Figgy’s defense, the demotion made little sense at the time, and makes less sense now. (Though, that was around the same time Darren O’Day was inexplicably let go … perhaps fumes from the new paint in the Citi Field offices were affecting brain function.)

There is the argument that Figueroa, at age 35, doesn’t have much of a future ahead of him — so why should the Mets bother with giving him a chance? Shouldn’t the Mets promote the 22-year-old Niese, who presumably has a bright future ahead of him?

I’m not so sure. Niese right now is in the midst of a strong streak of excellent outings. Is there one person who believes that promoting Niese is going to have an impact on the Mets’ postseason hopes? If not, then why be so quick to bring him up? Wouldn’t it be better for the youngster to continue to hone his craft, and build his confidence, at the AAA level? Have him come up in September to make a few starts, with the hopes of his lining up a rotation spot in 2010. My concern is what a few bad starts in MLB might do to Niese’s confidence right now. If Niese was a miraculous talent and was blowing away people, I might think differently. But his AAA numbers aren’t even as impressive as Figueroa’s, so why should we believe that they’ll translate to something better than Figgy’s projection of back-end starter / long reliever? (That’s not to say Niese will always be at that projection — what I’m saying is that we shouldn’t expect much more than that right now.)

At the same time, there’s no reason you can’t promote BOTH Niese and Figueroa. Fernando Nieve’s spot is already open, and I’d be quick to exchange Redding, Dessens, or Misch for either of Buffalo’s top moundsmen.

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John Maine to the DL

maine-comfortAn hour after The New York Times reported that moving John Maine’s start back one day was “not serious“, it was reported on SNY that Maine was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

I’m thinking the Mets might want to reverse things — how about telling us which players are NOT on the DL? It’ll save time.

Maine heads to the DL with “fatigue in the shoulder”, but “it’s nothing serious” according to Maine. Hmm … keep telling us it’s “nothing serious”, and we’ll eventually come to realize it’s anything but.

His entry on the DL is retroactive to June 7th, the day after his last start. Maine’s replacement has not yet been announced, but I’d imagine Nelson Figueroa is due for a callup. Figgy last pitched for Buffalo on June 8th, so he’s right on schedule to start on Saturday. In that last appearance, Figueroa allowed one run on four hits in seven innings, striking out seven.

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Figgy Up Niese Down Delgado Unknown

Some quick news bites for the New York Mets …

Jonathan Niese has been optioned back down to AAA Buffalo after a tough 4-inning start against the Braves.

Nelson Figueroa replaces Niese on the 25-man roster, and, presumably, in the starting rotation.

Carlos Delgado is traveling cross-country with a bad hip. Delgado and the team will decide once they get to California whether or not he’ll be put on the disabled list. The thinking behind this? Just curious.

No word on whether the Mets can legally perform a labotomy on Jose Reyes to treat his recent baserunning idiocy, difficulty with routine grounders, and lack of hustle. Shock therapy may be an alternative.

According to Binghamton manager Mako Oliveras, the Mets brass called him and told him not to start Michael Antonini yesterday. That usually means one of four things: he’s going to be promoted, demoted, traded, or disciplined for comments posted on his Facebook page. My guess is he’ll be promoted to Buffalo to make Nelson Figueroa’s next start.

Javier Valentin has been added to the Buffalo Bisons roster. His brother Jose is no longer in the organization (and neither is Livan Hernandez’s brother Orlando, nor Sandy Alomar’s brother Roberto).

Speaking of former Mets, anyone heard hide or hair of Marlon Anderson?

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Mets Sign Lamb, Re-sign Figueroa

Mike Lamb

Mike Lamb

Adam Rubin at The Daily News is reporting that the Mets have signed Mike Lamb to a minor league contract.

Lamb, 33, spent spring training with the Brewers. He hit a combined .235 with one homer and 32 RBI in 272 at-bats with Minnesota and Milwaukee last season. He’s played 446 career major-league games at third base and 255 at first base.

On a somewhat related note, the Mets have also re-signed Nelson Figueroa.

Presumably, both will be sent to AAA Buffalo.

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