It’s preposterous, of course, because there’s no way
Still smarting from being spurned by Cody Ross the Mets received another blow when , Prince Fielder passed on the Mets’ flirtations and instead signed a 9-year deal with Detroit — the city where his father Cecil enjoyed 6 1/2 standout seasons after a stint in Japan.
The good news, however, is that now Ike Davis doesn’t have to worry about re-learning left field, a position he played frequently during his college career.
The Mets were seen as a frontrunner if Prince Fielder limited his marketplace to baseball teams in Flushing. Further, the Mets made clear that Prince would be welcomed with open arms if he were willing to sign on their terms (rumor had it that the Mets’ offer consisted of a one-year, non-guaranteed, $550K contract with the option to go straight to the front of the line at the Shake Shack between innings).
In all seriousness, this surprising signing by the Tigers changes things beyond Detroit. For one, the NL has now lost arguably its top three sluggers over the last year — Fielder, Albert Pujols, and Adrian Gonzalez — in turn collectively lowering the danger quotient of NL hitters. I would be curious to see a stathead figure out if there is any kind of impact on NL pitching performance as a result of these exits — has anyone done this kind of study? For example, will NL pitchers’ WHIPs and ERAs in general go down because they no longer have to deal with these other-worldly sluggers — and, can pitch around the dangerous hitters who remain?
In regard to the latter part of that sentence, here’s an interesting comparison: in 2011, Ryan Braun was intentionally walked TWICE, and has been given a free pass only 9 times in the five years he’s hit behind Prince Fielder. It’s presumed that Fielder will now hit behind Miguel Cabrera, who was intentionally walked 22 times in 2011 and 32 times in 2010. Go ahead — let your head spin considering what Cabrera might do in 2012, with hurlers having to pitch to him.
Random thought: it’s a bizarre winter when two of the top 5 sluggers in all of MLB are free agents, and the biggest of the big markets — New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco — are not in the bidding. OK, there was some noise from the Cubs but was there really any substance to that?
Perhaps the best thing about Prince Fielder going to Detroit is that he didn’t go to another team in the NL East. Though, it depends upon your perspective — as a pure baseball fan, I’ll miss not seeing him play against the Mets and performing like a man among boys.
What’s your thought? Did the Mets mess up their rebuilding plan by not going harder after Prince? Are you happy to see him out of the NL? Does this mean Mike Pelfrey‘s ERA will go down? (Fielder hit .455 with a 1.318 OPS vs. Big Pelf in his career.) Post your reaction in the comments.
This afternoon the Mets face Justin Verlander, who will have 8 fielders from the Detroit Tigers standing around him and a DH from that same team hitting for him. The Mets will send this lineup to face the King and His Court:
Jose Reyes – SS
Jason Pridie – RF
Carlos Beltran – DH
Daniel Murphy – 3B
Angel Pagan – CF
Jason Bay – LF
Lucas Duda – 1B
Josh Thole – C
Ruben Tejada – 2B
If you are wondering why Pridie is starting in RF and batting second, it is because Justin Verlander has NEVER retired Pridie (though, he’s never faced him, either). Additionally, Willie Harris has returned to NY to tend to his wife, who is 5 months pregnant and going into labor. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Willie, his wife, and the baby.
What do you think — is Lucas Duda going to go ape on Verlander? If so, the confidence boost could transform Duda into a legitimate monster going forward.
Mets 16 Tigers 9
Thanks goodness for the Mets’ special teams and dominance by the defensive line, or this game might’ve gotten away.
Here is the lineup Terry Collins will send to the plate against Tigers lefthanded pitcher Phil Coke:
Mets 14 Tigers 3
Finally, the Mets break the Flushing 500, and do it with a flourish.
According to Jason Beck on Twitter, the Detroit Tigers have signed Omir Santos.
The former Topps All-Rookie Team catcher took a minor-league contract and will be insurance behind Victor Martinez and Alex Avila.
A few weeks back, Sandy Alderson mentioned that the Mets needed some catchers. With Santos leaving for the Detroit system, the next backstops on the depth chart behind Josh Thole are Mike Nickeas and … hmmm … not sure … Kai Gronauer?
Tigers 6 Mets 5
The bright side: the Mets won the series.
Also on the bright side: the Mets kept fighting through the very end of the game, despite falling behind early.
These are NOT the 2008 nor 2009 Mets.
Hisanori Takahashi allowed 6 runs on 8 hits and 4 walks in 4 innings. He did strike out 4, though, so there was that. A few of the Tigers seemed to be looking for and sitting on the changeup — particularly Magglio Ordonez, who redirected one over the fence.
In a terrible dose of bad luck, the Mets demoted LOOGY / long reliever Raul Valdes prior to the game to make room for Josh Thole, who was needed as a backup with Rod Barajas suffering with a back problem. If Valdes were on the club, it’s possible he would have relieved Tak before the damage was done. At the same time, I’m not convinced that Valdes would’ve made a difference — for all we know, he would’ve tossed more gas on the fire. It’s not like Valdes reminds people of Sparky Lyle out of the ‘pen.
Jesus Feliciano went 3-for-5 with a double and two runs scored while filling in for Angel Pagan, who is suffering from spasms in his rib cage. However, Feliciano took it easy in running from second to third on single by David Wright in the fourth, and he might’ve made it all the way home had he busted it. It’s the little things, folks …
David Wright had two hits and an RBI, which was his 20th run against the American League this year — breaking the club mark for interleague RBI in a single season (previously 19 by Mike Piazza in 1999). Wright’s 57 RBI are the most in the National League, and he also leads the NL with 23 RBI in June.
Chris Carter had an RBI single in the 7th after entering the game as part of a double switch when Takahashi was removed. Carter is now 5-for-10 with three extra-base hits and 12 RBI with RISP this year. Not too shabby, eh?
Carter drove in Ruben Tejada, who had another single and in turn extended his hitting streak to 8 games.
Next Mets Game
The Mets host the Minnesota Twins for a three-game series this weekend in Flushing. Game one begins at 7:10 PM. Mike Pelfrey faces Kevin Slowey.