Matt is a high school student in New Jersey and avid Mets fan. He occasionally updates his blog at:
Browsing All Posts By Matt Himelfarb

Matt Himelfarb Evaluates Mets Final Roster Spots

NOTE: this is a post by Matt Himelfarb; please direct your comments to him.

With Pedro Beato now a lock to make the big league club, Jason Isringhausen, Manny Acosta, and Blaine Boyer are left to fight it out for the final bullpen spot.

The cold, calculating,  pocket-protector-perfectionist in me says the Mets should let Izzy walk, despite his well documented Disney-worthy resurrection this spring. Why fans and beat writers alike are so overcome with nostalgia for an overrated former closer who last pitched for the Mets almost 15 years ago is beyond me. All I see is an injury risk offering little upside, and a man who hopes his Jimmy Morris impression will net him a 15-year pension (Izzy has a little over 14 years of service time) on top of the $56 million he’s already pocketed over his career. Sorry to rain on the parade of the emotionally-driven, ignorant members of boobus Americanus, but Acosta has at least some upside and a clean medical record going for him.

At the end of the day, though,


Mets Bullpen Outlook

NOTE: this is a post by Matt Himelfarb; please direct your comments to him.

As expected, just about every pitcher this side of Ambiorix Burgos is getting the chance to spend a cup of coffee in big league spring training, before their inevitable release or assignment to minor league camp.

$12 million in due salary has delayed Oliver Perez’s negotiations with the Newark Bears by about three weeks. Guys like Manuel Alvarez and John Lujan, meanwhile, were cursed with several remaining option years, precluding them from seriously competing for a spot in the opening day bullpen.

The most intriguing underdog is Jason Isringhausen, who is making a somewhat romantic comeback attempt after pitching all of 8 innings in the big leagues since 2008. Izzy’s chance of making the big club appear slim, however. At the end of the day, Izzy’s best asset is nostalgia, and sentimentalism alone is not going to bring him north. In fact, as if barely pitching the last two years did not taint his prospects enough, Izzy has not really pitched that great, period, since 2004.

Hence, barring any injuries, the Mets bullpen will most likely include: Francisco Rodriguez, Bobby Parnell, Taylor Buchholz, and. D.J. Carrasco. That leaves three spots open, at least one of which will go to a lefty, leaving the Mets essentially picking between the lesser of two evils:

1) Keeping both


Mike Pelfrey in Pinstripes

NOTE: this is an article by Matt Himelfarb, so direct your comments to him.

Andy Pettite’s recent retirement has left the Yankees scrambling to fill not one, but two black holes in the back their rotation. As of right now, Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon, and Mark Prior appear to be the leading candidates to claim those two spots.

Make no mistake, Garcia, Colon, and Prior would make for a fearsome trio in MVP Baseball 2003, but Yankees fans might as well pray Roger Clemens has one more comeback in him (hey, legal fees are expensive).

Enter Mike Pelfrey.


Saturday News and Notes

Alex Remington over at FanGraphs discusses the thought of the Mets going public- i.e. the team would be run by stockholders (presumably the fans, particularly if there is a cap placed on the number of purchasable shares).

Having the franchise run by the collective brain trust of WFAN callers would be priceless in terms of pure comedic value. It would also mean nothing short of Waterloo for the franchise. At some point, after we’ve traded David Wright and Wilmer Flores for Jeff Francoeur and David Eckstein, installed Wally Backman as player-manager, and held Carlos-Beltran-Effigy-Burning day as a promotion, well, you think Selig’s ticked off now; the Mets will probably be terminated for giving the rest of the National League East an unfair competitive advantage.

It’s hard to envision such a phenomenon, although in my imagination, the decision-making process would probably look something like this.

In other news, the Mets hired Brad Andress as their new strength and conditioning coordinator, replacing Rick Slate. Andress has had a similar role with the Rockies, Tigers, and the University of Michigan throughout his career. Now, I don’t want be one of those fans who celebrates every move Sandy Alderson makes (beware the confirmation bias). However, if the Mets well-documented injury issues the last few years are any indication, the team’s medical staff were basically broscientists under the Omar regime.

Last but not least, Adam Rubin has an interview with some dude- Evans Nicholas or something like that- who’s apparently competing for a spot on the big league roster. I’m guessing they saw something in him at Mets Fantasy Camp over the winter and decided to give him an invite to Spring Training.


Is Wilmer Flores the Rodney Dangerfield of Prospects?

NOTE: this is a post by Matt Himelfarb

Project Prospect released their top 100 prospect list yesterday. The list included six Mets, ranked as followed:

42: Reese Havens

48: Matt Harvey

53: Fernando Martinez

83: Jenrry Mejia

94: Brad Emaus

100: Wilmer Flores

Yup, you read that right. Brad Emaus is more valuable than Wilmer Flores. Also, according to Project Prospect, MySpace is way cooler than Facebook, Godfather Three puts one and two to shame, and Dane Cook isn’t a total douche (okay, I  made that part up).

When I first saw the rankings yesterday afternoon, it appeared to me as a subtle cry for attention. And by subtle cry of attention, I mean that annoying freshman girl who acts dumber than she actually is. The one who is so beautiful and whom you would love to hook up with, until the moment she starts talking.

Upon reflection, however,


When Should the Mets Trade Jose Reyes?

NOTE: this post was written by Matt Himelfarb

Sandy Alderson caused quite the media frenzy last week, following his statement that “stolen bases are a footnote,” when it comes to winning games. In the wake of the Wilpons’ financial debacle, most people construed this quote to mean that Jose Reyes’ days in Flushing  are numbered.

I’m torn on basically every single question surrounding Jose Reyes: Whether or not to retain him, how much do you pay him, when to trade him, etc. For one, there are a lot of questions to consider- how good a player is he, is he healthy, the demand for him should he hit the open market, is dishing out a Carl Crawford-esque contract a good decision, etc.- and either signing him to an extension or trading him right now requires making a whole lot of assumptions regarding those kind of questions. Plus, as a Mets fan, it pains to me to imagine Reyes donning anything other than the orange and blue.

Let’s discuss Reyes’ value first.


Himelfarb Hears a Hu

I have no idea who Hu is, nor if Horton heard about it. But this is the biggest acquisition Sandy Alderson and his fantasy front office have pulled off since the deft signing of D.J. Carrasco, so it must be important. That said, we are lucky to have Matt Himelfarb give us the down-low on the newest addition to the Mets’ 40-man roster. — Joe

Amid widespread protests from fans decrying the organization’s inaction, the Mets acquired infielder Chin-lung Hu from the Dodgers for southpaw Mike Antonini.

Hu, 27, hit .317/.332/.438 in 223 plate-appearances last year in the hitter friendly Pacific Coast League last season. That translates to a .285/.310/.397 at Buffalo and a .247/.263/.329 line with the Mets. In 191 career big league PA’s, he has hit .191/.241/.283 . By all accounts, he is a very good defensive shortstop who can also play second, but his bat has precluded him from developing into an everyday player at the big league level.

Despite Hu’s defensive prowess, unless he puts on a legendary display during Spring Training, I don’t expect him to be seriously in the mix for the second base job. He is certainly behind Daniel Murphy, Brad Emaus, and Justin Turner on the depth chart, and there is only so much playing time to go around in March. Heck, it is hard to say he is much of an improvement over Ruben Tejada at this point.

Hu is, however, a potential backup option given his ability to shortstop. If Reyes’s health is an issue again, I would rather see Hu at short than call up Tejada, whose development is best suited at AAA.

Antonini, 25, went 8-12 with a 4.69 era.  in 168.1 innings between Binghamton and Buffalo last season, striking out 131 and walking 23. He has posted some decent numbers and shown impressive control, but his stuff fringy. He could develop into a decent loogy, although he has actually performed better against right-handed hitters than lefties.

Overall, this trade will probably not amount to much more than a wash, but I see some upside for the Mets. At the very least, Hu will come $1.5 million bucks cheaper than Alex Cora.


A Mets Package That Might’ve Gotten Greinke

NOTE: This article was written by Matt Himelfarb

Like most Mets fans, I was a bit dismayed when I first heard that the Brewers acquired Zack Greinke. For one, I have always had a soft spot for Greinke, who is nothing short of an inspiration to me. See, by all accounts, Greinke’ social skills are like a cross between McLovin and Brian from The Breakfast Club. Yet, the dude is a Cy Young caliber pitcher, and his social phobia did not stop him from hitting on Emily Kuchar junior year. I have been blogging since I was 12, which as you can imagine has done wonders for my social skills. Hence, Greinke is a boss man in my book.

What really irked me, however, was that it appeared the Brewers acquired Greinke for a pittance. I was vaguely familiar with all the players the Royals received: outfielder Lorenzo Cain, shortstop Alcides Escobar, pitcher Jake Odorizzi, and pitcher Jeremy Jeffress. An intriguing crop of young players, yes, but it hardly struck me as a Greinke-worthy package.

Upon closer examination, however, an equivalent deal for the Mets would have looked something like