Tag: nelson figueroa

Why Hisanori Takahashi Won’t Be Missed

(NOTE: this is a post written by Matt Himelfarb)

Sayonara, Hisanori …

According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, Takahashi was seeking a three year deal worth approximately $4-5 million per year, but according to David Waldstein of the New York Times, the Mets were only willing to give him one year and an option, for a total value of around $3 million.

It seems to me as though most fans shared a similar opinion on the matter. They scoffed at giving Takahashi a guaranteed multi-year contract, but were willing to re-sign him on a shorter deal for a tidy, albeit reduced sum of about $3 million.

I am inclined to agree with this sentiment. Frankly, I am unconvinced that even if Takahashi would have


Game 128: Win Over Astros

Mets 2 Astros 1

Mike Pelfrey threw ice on the red-hot Houston Astros, Ruben Tejada collected his first hit in 9 days, David Wright drove in his 85th run of the year, and Hisanori Takahashi saved the day as the Mets won the first game of the three-game series and reclaimed their goal of .500 ball.

Game Notes

After a difficult, 31-pitch first frame, Big Pelf settled down and set down the ‘stros through the next seven, allowing no runs on six hits and two walks. Rebounding after that tough first inning fueled his confidence, and he rolled the rest of the way.

However, the win was in jeoporady in the ninth when Bobby Parnell allowed two one-out singles — the second of which included an error by Angel Pagan that put runners on the corners. Rather than let the young fireballer learn to work out of a jam in this meaningless ballgame, Jerry Manuel summoned Takahashi from the bullpen, who allowed an RBI single before getting the final two outs. Yes, the preference is to see the Mets win games, and yes, it would’ve been a damn shame if Pelfrey didn’t earn a victory, but if Parnell isn’t going to be given a chance to find his way out of a mess in that situation, then when will he? Or will he ever? His development is being stunted because Manuel is still managing for his job — not good for the long-term health of the organization.

Speaking of long-term, Tejada not only hit a single to boost his average to .169, but he also drew a bases-loaded walk to drive in what turned out to be the winning run.

Two former Mets were in the game for the Astros: Anderson Hernandez (who is hitting 53 points higher than Tejada, but still dangerously close to the Mendoza Line), and Nelson Figueroa, who was the tough-luck loser in allowing only two runs on three hits in seven innings.

Yes, you got that right — the Mets had only three hits on the night, completely shut down by Nelson Figueroa. Not Ed Figueroa, but Nelson Figueroa. And neither of the runs were scored via a hit — the first run came on a sac fly by Wright.

Next Mets Game

Game two occurs at 7:10 PM on Saturday night. Johan Santana faces Brett Myers.


Mets Game 119: Loss to Astros

Astros 4 Mets 3

Ace starter Johan Santana pitched another complete game, but hurled less than 9 frames, allowed 4 runs, and was saddled with a loss.

Does anyone care?

Game Notes

All 4 runs Santana gave up were earned, as he allowed 9 hits, one walk, and struck out 7. Not a bad appearance by any means, but not nearly good enough to win when your offense comes from Flushing. Johan was bit by the longball, as he allowed two homers by Hunter Pence — a three-run job in the first frame, and a solo shot in the 8th. Had Pence sat out, the Mets might’ve won this one.

Meanwhile, David Wright looks to be out of his slump, as he blasted his 18th homer of the season.

Jose Reyes and Josh Thole each went 2-for-4, and Santana stroked one of the Mets’ 8 hits.

Former Met Nelson Figueroa went five frames and allowed only one earned run on 4 hits and 3 walks, striking out 4. The Houston bullpen took over from there and former Yankee prospect Mark Melancon was the recipient of the victory after blowing a 3-2 lead by allowing Wright’s tater in the top of the 8th. Sometimes there isn’t any justice in this system of wins and losses.

The Mets are now one game under .500. To put that into perspective, the Wild Card-leading Phillies are 16 games over .500. There are 43 games left in the season. You do the math.

Next Mets Game

Game three begins at 8:05 PM on Wednesday night. R.A. Dickey faces Brett Myers.


Final Cuts: Analysis

My apologies for not posting this earlier, but like most of the news out of Port St. Lucie this spring, it took me a long time to understand and extract the logic.

Let’s just run through specific personnel.

Nelson Figueroa (cut) – He’s not a Cy Young candidate. He’s barely an MLB-quality 5th starter. However, he had a spectacular spring, he had a great winter campaign, he had an outstanding


Does Figgy Deserve a Spot?

Spring training “competitions” are usually nonsense, no matter what message is spewed by the team’s management (this is in regard to all clubs, not just the Mets). Management has predetermined thoughts about the lineup and most of the spots on the 25-man roster, and so spring training is used to support their “prevaluations” made long before pitchers and catchers report.

For example, is first base really an open competition? Both Ike Davis and Chris Carter are hitting the snot out of the ball, but we all know that — barring injury — Dan Murphy is the Opening Day first baseman. Why? Because Murphy proved satisfactory to the upper levels of Mets management based on his 2009 performance — if he wasn’t, we would be watching Adam LaRoche in a Mets uniform right now. (Note I stated “satisfactory” according to Mets management, rather than my or the popular opinion.)

Similarly, Angel Pagan would have to seriously falter — and Gary Matthews, Jr. put on a Roy Hobbs demonstration — to lose his grip on centerfield. Yes, Pagan’s mental issues were frustrating, but after what he did in the batter’s box from July through September, you can’t not put him in centerfield come April.

But another individual who seemed to “earn” a spot on the roster based 2009 was Nelson Figueroa.


2009 Analysis: Darren O’Day

darren-oday-metsHey! Darren O’Day wasn’t on the team by Game 162 — in fact he was gone before the end of April. So what the heck is he doing as part of the 2009 analysis?

It’s a sore spot, that’s why — and O’Day’s brief tenure as a New York Met is a symbol of the organization’s shortsighted, knee-jerk “strategies” of building and maintaining the 25-man roster.

What this post should have been was a congratulatory note to Omar Minaya and his scouting staff for having the boldness and acuity to pluck Darren O’Day in the Rule 5 Draft. The acquisition could have been a soothing bright spot amidst a dark year of disappointment. But even when the Mets did something right, they found a way to undo it.

O’Day earned a bullpen spot on the strength of a sparkling


2009 Analysis: Nelson Figueroa

figgy-pitchOf all the late-season auditions, Nelson Figueroa was the most impressive. Ironically, his numbers don’t support what our eyes told us — that Figgy is capable of pitching well enough to give his team a chance to win.

After a spectacular AAA campaign in which he posted a 2.25 ERA through 17 starts, Nelson made 10 big-league starts that were less than spectacular — but good enough to warrant consideration for a 2010 MLB contract.

In those 10 starts, Figueroa had a disappointing 2-8 record with a so-so 4.19 ERA. But one must take a harder look at the numbers, and combine them with his competitiveness, to get a better gauge on his value.

Nelson Figueroa has the


Mets Game 162: Win Over Astros

Mets 4 Astros 0

Finally, it’s over.

The worst Mets season since Art Howe “lit up a room” has come to a close — and the team finished with a bang.

The Mets swept the ‘stros behind the spectacular pitching of Nelson Figueroa, who pitched the best game