Tag: valerio de los santos

Mets ST Game 9

A few notes …

J.J. Putz

Putz, of course, did not play for the Mets but rather for Team USA in the WBC. Putz was called on to close out a 6-5 ballgame against Canada, and notched his first save in a nail-biter of a ninth inning. The good news for Mets fans is that Putz was humming his fastball at 94 MPH. So, the worries about velocity which we pointed out previously can be put to rest.

Dillon Gee

Gee looked much more comfortable and relaxed in comparison to his ST debut a few days ago. He exuded confidence, and though he definitely was not picking around the plate in the same way he was against the Cardinals, he also wasn’t throwing as many strikes as expected, going full count to several hitters in his two-inning stint.

Daniel Murphy

Murphy has been an on-base machine, is driving the ball to the outfield gaps, is heady on the bases, and is improving in the field. Ron Darling compared him to Dave Magadan, which to me is a very astute comparison. However I’m not sure I agree with Darling’s assumption that Murphy will hit with more power, since I’m not seeing the bat speed necessary for 40 doubles and 20+ HRs. I still like my own comparison of Murphy to Mike Hargrove — and if Murphy can equal Hargrove’s career, he’ll have a very nice MLB career.

Bobby Kielty

Kielty blistered the ball in his first two at-bats, and hustled all over the place. He has a long, tough road toward a spot on the 25-man roster, but he won’t fail due to lack of effort.

Nick Evans

I love Nick Evans, I really do. He reminds me of a guy I’d expect to see on the ’69 Mets, with his short-cropped haircut and “regular joe” looks. He’s been hitting to the opposite field like its his job, which is good and bad. It’s good because any hitter who hits the other way is a good hitter. It’s bad because Nick’s ticket to the big leagues is hitting for power, meaning homeruns, and generally speaking, that requires pulling the ball. If Evans had above-average MLB speed, and played a position other than first base, I might not be so concerned. But right now he projects as a guy who will hit around .275 with about 15 HR and 25-30 doubles. Those would be strong numbers for a first baseman in 1969, but not quite enough for an everyday job 40 years later.

Wilmer Flores

For 17 years old, he looks impressive. He’s a tall, lanky kid with a remarkably short stroke. In his first frew at-bats, he was too aggressive to make any kind of judgment, but he torched a double down the line in the 7th inning — which surprised me, because his open stance and excessive distance from home plate made me guess that he didn’t like inside pitches. The general consensus of the Mets’ staff is that he compares to fellow Venezuelan Miquel Cabrera, which is an astounding statement. Who knows? Seventeen is young, so there’s a lot of projection. If it’s any help, Cabrera received MVP votes after half a year in the bigs as a 20-year-old — so we may find out quickly whether those comparisons hold water.

The Sidewinders

Darren O’Day was brought in to face Ryan Zimmerman in a pseudo-regular season situation, and he walked Zimmerman on four pitches. However, he seemed to pitch better as he continued along in his two-inning outing, which suggests that maybe he wasn’t properly warmed up when he came into the game. In any case, I’m not yet sold on O’Day, who seems to have issues spotting the ball around the strike zone. I think his head moves around too much during his motion; if he could keep his head still, he’d probably throw more strikes.

Sean Green still doesn’t strike me as being an upgrade over Joe Smith, and I’m not even sure he’s Smith’s equal. His sinker starts at a high spot in the strike zone — about belly-button-high — and doesn’t drop much. And, I’ve yet to see a “punch-out” pitch from him, which means he’ll have to exclusively rely on ground balls for outs.

The LOOGYs

Roydrick Merritt reminds me of a lefthanded Cecilio Guante. His sidearm delivery may fool lefty hitters some day — IF he can generate just a few more MPH on that fastball, which currently sits around 88. However, it’s very tough for a sidewinder to increase velocity, because they are fighting gravity.

Casey Fossum may be the ultimate enigma. He throws nasty breaking curveballs at three different speeds — 63, 73, and 83 MPH — and he can get his fastball as high as 91. Yet, he’s incredibly hittable. His fastball is fairly straight and flat, and he rides it a little too high in the zone. He tries to make up for that by cutting it, but the result is usually a ball far out of the zone. If this guy can ever figure out what to do with his stuff, he should be successful. But it doesn’t look like that’s happening this spring.

Valerio de los Santos
does not look particularly special. His lefthandedness is the only thing keeping him in camp.

Rene Rivera

Is it me, or is every backup catcher in camp hefty ? Not that there’s anything wrong with being hefty, it just seems like there’s a specific type in mind. Personally, and from experience, I’ve always preferred catchers who were lean, nimble, and athletic, with quick feet. But what do I know?

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Mets Sign Four Scrubs

The New York Mets have signed Bobby Kielty, Tony Armas Jr., Matt DeSalvo, and Valerio de los Santos to minor league contracts, and invited them to spring training.

Ho hum.

Nowhere in those four names do I see “Ramirez”, “Perez”, nor “Sheets”.

In other news, the Orioles have decided to move on from Kevin Millar, who happens to be a righthanded hitter with some power and the ability to play LF better than Fernando Tatis. Unfortunately, Millar’s status as a scab in 1995 still irks the prince of darkness, Tony Bernazard.

I like seeing Armas come back, even though he once again showed himself a Glass Joe in ’08. I’ve always liked Armas’ competitiveness. If he can only stay healthy, he just might be good enough to be a long reliever / spot starter.

Kielty is a switch-hitting outfielder with a tiny bit of pop and one heckuva shock of red hair. I think he might be Irish, which is nice. It’s also nice that he can swing from the right side of the plate — something few outfielders in the Mets organization can do.

De Los Santos has almost twenty letters in his name, and throws with his left hand. He doesn’t throw particularly well, but balls do emanate from the south side of the stadium. He is 35 years old and LH hitters pound him to the tune of .262. His “best” years came at ages 29 and 30, when he was with the Brewers. He posted a career low 3.12 ERA and 1.18 WHIP as a 29-year-old in 2002. He’s been pretty much awful ever since, and before. He’ll be good filler material in AAA.

Still waiting to see the Mets bring back the ageless wonder Ricardo Rincon, a LOOGY who actually had success in his career, and didn’t look half-bad last September.

DeSalvo is a former Yankee who pitched two innings for the Braves last year. In those two frames, he gave up 11 hits, 2 walks, and 7 runs. However, he did strike out 2, so there’s that. Many articles have been written on him in regard to the fact he can read; apparently, most MLBers are illiterate. Hopefully he can help the Buffalo Bisons complete the NY Times crossword puzzles.

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