Believe me, I’d much rather be analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of someone who would have a much larger impact on the 2012 Mets. Unfortunately, the Mets have not given us very much to discuss this winter in terms of new personnel, so we have to play the cards we’re dealt. That said, let’s find out who this Ronny Cedeno guy is, OK?
Nick Evans has signed a minor-league contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates, presumably with an invitation to spring training.
Good move for Nick, who — ironically — may have an opportunity to platoon with lefthanded-hitting Garret Jones at first base.
I say “ironically” because it was less than two weeks ago that I compared Evans to Jones. Whether Evans gets a fair shot at regular MLB duty is dependent upon what direction the Pirates go to fill first base; there is buzz that they may bring back veteran Derrek Lee for another year. The 36-year-old Lee posted a .982 OPS in 28 games after being acquired from Baltimore at the trade deadline last year.
If the Bucs choose not to fill first base with Lee or another veteran free agent, Evans would probably battle with Matt Hague — who is, essentially, the Pittsburgh version of Nick Evans. Hague is a 26-year-old, righthanded-hitting first baseman / third baseman who has hit well in the minors, flashed some power, but just hasn’t had an extended opportunity to prove himself in the bigs. Sound familiar?
As you know I’ve been a big supporter of Nick Evans, and I’ll continue to quietly root for him. Good luck, Nick.
An irrefutably solid 10-0 ass-kicking. Seven games below .500. Twenty-mother-slappin’-two games out of first place. So…snakebitten?
Admittedly, it’s looking pretty terrible. Hope slithered away a few weeks back. And if I’m positive of one fact, it’s that we can all agree there’s been
Pirates 3 Mets 1
Generally speaking, you’ll take a split on the road. But, this seemed like a series the Mets could have taken, if not swept.
Here is the lineup the Mets will send to bat against Pirates lefthanded starting pitcher Paul Maholm:
Jose Reyes SS
Justin Turner 3B
Carlos Beltran RF
Angel Pagan CF
Jason Bay LF
Ronny Paulino C
Daniel Murphy 1B
Ruben Tejada 2B
Mike Pelfrey P
Jason Bay moves to the 5-hole after hitting a groundball single and a sac fly; is that a move to boost his confidence? I might prefer lefty killer Ronny Paulino a slot higher. Interesting to see Dan Murphy in the lineup against the lefty and hitting so low in the order. If you think he can hit lefties, then why put him so low? If you’re not sure, why not get Lucas Duda in there? Puzzling.
Mets 7 Pirates 0
If you didn’t see the game, you might guess it was another laugher for the Mets. But actually, we were on the edges of our seats until the floodgates opened in the top of the 8th inning.
Here is the lineup the Mets will have against Pirates righthander Kevin Correia:
Jose Reyes – SS
Justin Turner – 3B
Carlos Beltran – RF
Daniel Murphy – 1B
Angel Pagan – CF
Jason Bay – LF
Josh Thole – C
Ruben Tejada – 2B
Chris Capuano – P
With Justin Turner back in the lineup, Ruben Tejada moves back down to the #8 position. Jason Bay remains in the lineup.
Pirates 3 Mets 2
Somehow, the Mets managed to finish this game with less runs than the Pirates. I’m not sure how, because R.A. Dickey pitched well, James McDonald was borderline terrible, the Mets were hitting, and the Pirates weren’t.
In short: what the heck happened?