Mets Offense More Embarrassing Than A Flipped Bird

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This is Congressman Michael Grim. He represents me and my fellow Staten Islanders in Congress. When this incident went viral many were shocked, SHOCKED at the Congressman’s behavior.  I just laughed and said  as many of my fellow Staten Islanders did as well “good for you Congressman” What happen since that incident? Nothing. It went away, just the like the Matt Harvey Tweet/Pic would have if the Mets would have ignored it.

If I was back in my sports betting days, I’d be sitting here not posting about the Mets but counting the dead presidents I had won the night before betting on Adam Wainright and the Cardinals. Com’on you didn’t think the Mets were beating the Wainwright last night did you? Not with the pop gun offense the team employs plus the awful win/loss record at home.

It’s not just one guy who’s off to slow starts with the bat. Right now Lucas Gehrig Duda  is the best offensive player in the lineup even more productive than David (.060 ISO) Wright. The lineup is stacked with a bunch of unproductive outs. Last night’s line up had five of eight batters (if Ruben Tejada would have started it would have been 6 of 8) with a more than 20% K rate, with Curtis Granderson the King of the K’s at 30 % although last night was a breakthrough game for the Mets as they struck out just 4 times as a team but still the bats were limp.

It’s early sure but we are close to ending the first month of the 2014 season and a couple of the moves that were made in the off season to add to the offense are sure not working out.

As frustrating as it is watching Curtis Granderson attempt to hit, it’s nice to see Alderson tell Terry Collins to bat him in the 2 spot. You can forget about Granderson going to the bench, there is too much money and years invested in him to bench him, so the best thing to do is leave him at the top of lineup where he’s batted the bulk of his career and hope that he rights himself. Grin and bear it Mets fans.

I don’t care what Sandy Alderson promised Chris Young but when Juan Lagares comes back Young needs to sit down.  You all get a big laugh about Bobby Abreu being on the roster but I’d rather see Abreu in the lineup than Young. Yes it’s early but Young has waste of $7.2 mil written all over him.

Is there an organization in sports that overreacts like the Mets? The whole Matt Harvey middle finger blow up was handled poorly by Mets management, so a few people were upset over the pic/Tweet big deal.  Many more Mets fans got a kick out of it and in fact love that Harvey is such an against the grain Met.  The team is very vanilla and lacks a lot of toughness (see John Jay’s takeout of Travis d’Arnaud last night not even a bark out of the Mets dugout) and that’s why many, many Mets fans cry out for Wally Backman to manage this team. Sure some of us Mets fans are over the top but the team would benefit if some of the fans passion rubbed off on them.

Mets PR needs to learn how to ride out a storm. If the Mets said nothing about the Harvey fickle finger of fate, it would have blown over like a fart in the wind.

Maybe the Mets should wear their road unis at home to help break the curse of Citi Field.

 

 

  

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Bob-Bob-Bob Bob-by Abreu

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 Happy Patriots Day Boston! Stay Strong!

Some quick Mets observations on a busy Monday:

It’s no surprise that Bobby Abreu has been summoned from Las Vegas to give the Mets offense a veteran lefty bat off the bench.  Abreu proved he is above Triple A pitching and his on base prowess fits the Alderson Doctrine of hitting. It looks like the odd man out will be Kirk Nieuwenhuis being that he’s a lefty hitter and an outfielder but Joe Janish on his Mets Today site makes a case to send Josh Satin down to Vegas and keep Capt. Kirk a let Andrew Brown be the righty caddy for Lucas Gehrig Duda.

Sometimes (most times?) the Mets brain trust overlooks the obvious when it comes to making the obvious moves. Yesterday the light bulb went off and Alderson (I presume) had Terry Collins write Curtis Granderson’s name in the 2 hole and drop Daniel Murphy to clean up. Granderson is not a cleanup hitter. Forget those home run totals as a Yankee just look at this numbers as a lead off or 2 hitter and see that Grandy is most productive in those spots. By the way you want to boo the guy that’s your purgative but we all know he is better than what he’s shown this early in the season, was in the wrong spot in the lineup and now hopefully he stays in the 2 spot of the lineup and gets his grove on.

Got to think Ruben Tejada is thisclose to being sent to Vegas with Wilmer Flores taking his spot at shortstop. I’d bet by next week this happens.

That bench clearer in Pittsburgh yesterday must have been a huge culture shock for Ike Davis.

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Farewell Ike Davis

 

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Finally the logjam at first base has been broken as Ike Davis and his hitch in his swing head to Pittsburgh. The initial reaction on #MetsTwitter was fantastic. The Twitts who killed Ike from last season on, were treating this deal as one of the Mets all time worst moves.  The bottom line here is it was a move that was necessary and Sandy Alderson got what the market will bear for a lefty hitting platoon first baseman.

I’m happy for Ike that he gets to start over. He was done here it was never going to happen again for him hear. His 32 HR 90 RBI season are packed away with my hair brush and jar of Dippity –Do, things I’ll never see again.

What gets lost in all the angst of Mets fans as we head into year four of the Sandy Alderson Era, we are seeing his blueprint come to reality.  Four years of building a farm system that is one of the best in baseball will now give him the opportunity to start moving in “his guys” it won’t be a one fell swoop but it’s going to happen piece by piece.  We are seeing it now as Ike is gone and Lucas Duda gets the job but for how long? The outfield other than Juan Lagares, is a Sandy Alderson production in Eric Young Jr, Chris Young and Curtis Granderson. Travis d’Arnaud behind the plate is a Sandy guy and soon there will be a new everyday shortstop that Alderson will either deal for or sign (that extra $3mil saved by dealing Ike could help purchase Stephen Drew or Joel Hanrahan. Remember Flushing Queens is one of the smallest markets in baseball) as a free agent. Oh and enjoy Daniel Murphy this season as he’s a gonner after 2014 as well.

Back to the Ike deal. I don’t know what you think Davis is worth. If it’s true that Alderson turned down a deal with the Orioles that would have sent Davis to Baltimore for LHP Zach Britton then that’s a demerit for Sandy. In getting RHP Zack Thornton , the Mets get a decent right handed arm out of the bullpen. Thornton is not a late inning guy but a pitcher who could be valuable in getting a tough right handed hitter out in the 6th or 7th inning. I can see Thornton being the ROOGY to Scott Rice’s LOOGY.

The player to be named later in this package from Pittsburgh is the intriguing part of the deal.  It seems certain that the player is one from last year’s entry draft and for that reason cannot be traded until sometime in June.  The name that has been rumored as the PTBNL is the Pirates second round pick LHP Blake Taylor. Taylor is just 18 years old and already played in GCL last season. He has good size at 6’3” 220 lbs and should fill out more and add more to the velocity of his fastball which sits in the low 90’s now. His top pitch is his curve but he needs work on his command and establishing a third pitch. That’s what the minor leagues are for.

It’s not like Ike is going to the Pirates to be the everyday first baseman, in fact he will most likely be in a platoon with  Gabby Sanchez but going from Citi Field to PNC should help Ike as well. It should help Ike that he’s going from a second division team to a first division team and a manager like Clint Hurdle.  I hope Ike finds Pittsburgh to his liking and that he revives his career there.

Now it’s Lucas Duda’s turn to show that he is a big league hitter. The training wheels are off and it’s just him and Josh Satin against lefties. No more outfield follies for Lucas just the peace of mind that when he comes to the ball park he knows he’s in the lineup. Even if you were against trading Ike and you’re not a Duda fan, who need to put your Mets fandom ahead of all that and root for Duda to hit 20-25 home runs and knock in runs because if he doesn’t we’re in for a long summer and to tell you the truth I’m sick and tired of ling summers with this team.  Sandy Alderson is as well.

 

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Mets Have A Big Game Today, What…Too Early ?

 

For all the moaning and groaning we Mets fans have done this early in the season, when you survey the these first two week of the season a 7-7 record is pretty good if not close to over achiever status for  the Mets. Yes of course there are still problems and holes on this club just like the rest of baseball but I guess as Mets fans we tend to wear blinders when it comes to the rest of MLB.

With a win this afternoon, the Mets will have completed a 6-3 road trip a trip, which by the way that had them play a night game in Atlanta (I hope the organization never forgets this as it’s up to the home team  as a courtesy, schedule a day game when the visitor is going to play in a different time zone the next day. Stay classy Bravos) then fly to Anaheim, a flight that got them to Orange County at 6AM, to play the Angles that night.  Sure playing the woeful D’Backs helps out but you know if the Mets were 3-5 instead of 5-3 you’d be screaming and making a fool of yourself, so give credit when the do well.

It’s up to Dillon Gee to come through with a solid effort today and what better team for a struggling pitcher to face than the D’Backs. It will be interesting to watch how Gee pitches the third time through the lineup and how Terry Collins handles Gee at that point in the game.  With the bullpen bouncing back from a tough time in Anaheim, it would behoove Collins’ to get Jureys Familia and Papa Grande in the game today.

We’re all bummed about Juan Lagares going on the DL but let’s look at like this his hammy isn’t torn and the fortnight away shouldn’t hurt him too much. Also let’s stop with the doom and gloom that Lageres isn’t the everyday centerfielder, he is and will be when he gets back. For now let’s just hope that Chris Young can boost this offense  and play a solid centerfield and then when Lagares gets back hopefully the team is playing well enough that Sandy Alderson has a tough decision to make.

I hope I’m not making too big a deal over today’s game but a win to top off a road trip 6-3 and coming home with an 8-7 record would be very sweet.

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Shake ‘Em Up Terry

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Check out the latest Kult of Mets Personalities Podcast from this past Saturday as we welcomed Matt Cerrone of Mets Blog as our guest. It’s worth a listen just to hear me rant incoherently about bringing up Bobby Abreu and giving him a first baseman’s glove. Hey, I was on 5 hours sleep after a Mets loss what do you expect.

So the Mets went 3-3 this past week, taking 2 of 3 in Atlanta and dropping 2 of 3 in Anaheim and while the spotlight of Mets fans angst shines bright on the failings of the bullpen, the real culprits for the loses this weekend falls squarely on the offense or lack thereof.

No bullpen can be productive when it is called on game in and game out to either hold single run leads or deficits or pitch 4 or more innings due to ineffective starting pitching. Here we are just two weeks into the season and already Terry Collins is telling is the Scott Rice is fired.

It’s not just that the lineup hasn’t produced but it is also poorly constructed. When Chris Young gets back at the end of the week, he should go right to the leadoff spot with Eric Young going to the bench.   In fact here is the lineup I’d like to see for a few games:

Chris Young

Travis d’Arnaud

Wright

Granderson

Ike/Duda

Murph

Lagares

Tejada

Pitcher

I agree with Ron Darling (btw where the hell is Keith Hernandez?)that Murph is not a 2 hole hitter and he is not John Olerud. Murph is a guy who goes up to the plate looking for a hit. It’s what got him to the big leagues. Maybe if he was left alone (and another thing, do the Mets need 2 hitting coaches? I doubt it) he would be more comfortable and produce more offense.

I love how after two weeks some Mets fans think d’Arnaud is a bust. Maybe if he hit a little higher in the lineup it would help to get his bat going.

Poor David Wright.

First base is still a mess and it will stay a mess until the front office stops flopping like a flounder out of water and make a decision on who’s on first. The way it stands now, Ike with Josh Stain as his caddy is the way to go. Drop Duda to Las Vegas and bring up Bobby Abreu. When you do bring up Abreu, give him a first baseman glove a let him workout at first base in pre-game.    I understand he never played there and he’s 40 years old but when you have as anemic an offense as the Mets have you have to implement desperate measures.

Let’s end the speculation that Juan Lagares is not an everyday player. He’s the centerfielder today, tomorrow and the next day etc…..

Memo to Dilon Gee and Bartolo Colon, get your shit together fast because the competition is gaining on you.

It’s on to Phoenix for 3 against a D’Back team that could help wake the Mets sleeping bats. The Diamondback have been woeful early with a 4-11 record, worst in baseball and a 1-8 record at home. The horrendous start is fueled by dreadful starting pitching; hopefully the Mets flaccid bats can somehow become aroused.

We also get to see old friends J.J. Putz and the immortal Ollie Perez.

 

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Keane on Sports Podcast 4-9-14

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On this episode of Keane on Sports, I’m joined by Jon Hart who has written the book Man versus Ball : One Ordinary Guy and his Extraordinary Sports Adventures and by NEWSDAY columnist Neil Best as we talk about the state of of sports talk radio in NYC

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Shake ‘Em Up Sandy

 

Sorry all trades are final, yes everyone on that list is available. You can mix and match, an outfielder and a pitcher for a back end reliever  or Ike, a Billy Wagner bobblehead and an 8X10 of Jeff Wilpon and 50 Cent  for shortstop, make me an offer nothing will be refused” 

 

This past Sunday was one of those rare and wonderful days when I had nothing to do. It was a sit back relax and watch baseball day. I started out watching our beloved Amazin’s miss out on a sweep of The Cincinnati Red Legs losing 2-1. From there it was off to the west coast through the magic of MLB Extra Innings to Oakland to watch the A’s and the Mariners.

I love watching games from the Oakland Coliseum. It’s the closest you can get to remember the ambiance of Shea Stadium of the 1980’s. A’s fans put on a non-stop display of what it’s like to “root, root, root for the home team” complete with bells, whistles, drums, flags and banners. Just about everything you are not allowed to bring into Citi Field. The noise from the stands doesn’t break stride, in fact as I was enjoying my day of baseball, my wife was working on the NY Times crossword when she looked up and said “that’s not the Mets game is it” No dear it’s the Oakland A’s, I said to which she replied “I thought so, it was too noisy to be a Mets game”

Now my wife is not a baseball fan but she remembers what it was like at Shea in the ‘80’s when we were just like A’s fans. Mets fans hooted and hollered and jumped up and down so much it made the Upper Deck sway.  We took our queue from our team of renegades just like the A’s fans do today and we fed off each other.

That feeling is lost at Citi Field. There have been a lot of columns written in the past couple of days about how this Mets team has been poorly constructed. Kevin Kernan of the NY Post wrote about the FUBAR approach Sandy Alderson has taken in handling the 1st base assignment. Michael Geus of 2 Guys Talking Mets Baseball wrote about the disconnect between the fan base and this team and how Alderson needs to step up and make a move and not let this season go down the drain. John Mackade of Mack’s Mets writes about the lack of direction and commitment to winning as well. Now I’m writing about it and many are Tweeting and posting comments on this site and many others are calling sports talk radio to vent that it’s time for Sandy Alderson to stop sitting on his hands and take charge and make some moves to improve this team. Not just with physically more talented players but with players who have better make up than most on this current roster.

The fans at Citi Field have taken on the personality of this club. This Mets team, just like the last four editions lacks a winning mentality.  I have taken Terry Collins to task many times here as being more of a camp counselor  than baseball manager but I’m starting to think I’ve given Collins more grief than he deserves and I’ve been too lenient with how Alderson has done his job.

We are in year four of the Alderson Era and while he has made big improvements in the farm system and pulled off two terrific trades, he’s failed when it comes to finding the type of players teams with limited money acquire that not only produce but have that certain something that translates into winning.

Alderson has done nothing to clean up the mess that is the Mets infield, where the only positive is David Wright at 3B. The rest of the infielders are comical on defense just as they have been last season and the season before. It seems he has gotten the outfield right although free agent signee Chris Young is on the shelf with a sore quad which leaves us with Eric Young Jr. Composing a bullpen has been more difficult for Alderson to solve than Calculus.

It’s time for Alderson to make some bold moves, if Lucas Duda is your man then deal Ike Davis. If you can deal Daniel Murphy for a reliever then do it. If you feel Wilmer Flores can hit at the big league level then bring him up. It’s time to step off the egg shells and get pro-active. The fan base in is a deep malaise. There are more fans milling around the Shea Bridge eating Shake Shack burgers and slugging down fancy boy beers and talking about how shitty the winter weather was and how they’ve been trying to sell unwanted tickets  they have which is as fruitless as  selling encyclopedias door to door.

This organization needs a solid kick in the ass and it’s up to the GM to put some steel toed boots on and start kicking.

 

 

 

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The NY Mets Plan? There Is No Plan

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Yesterday was one of the great Mets wins in a long, long time. Bravo Ike Davis for bringing the fan base to its feet with cheers instead of tears but the fact that Ike gets the start at 1B today make this nice little 2 game win streak irrelevant .

While Mets  fans should be rooting for a three game sweep over a first division club in the Cincinnati Reds, we are left to scratch are heads as to why this team continues to make the moves it does. Terry Collins proclaimed Lucas Duda as THE starting first baseman. To most clear thinking fans the interpretation  was that Duda would start the bulk of games at first with Josh Satin as his righty hitting under study, but a look at the lineup for today its Ike Davis at 1B against the right handed Alfredo Simon ,so much for Duda getting a chance to play every day.

If Collins reasoning to play Ike over Duda was on account of that game winning Grand Slam, it would hold more merit with me but his response as to why Ike gets the start today is a head shaker:

Despite naming Lucas Duda his starter, Terry Collins said that he was planning to start Davis on Sunday anyway.

“When I talked to him the other day, I said, ‘Listen, you’re going to play Sunday. So even though it may not be an everyday thing, you’re going to get playing time,” Collins said

Uhhhhhh???? After TWO games as the ever day first baseman, Duda takes a seat and Ike gets to play. Are you kidding me? Where is the plan? Where is the commitment to Duda to give him time to get in a groove? Is there a plan? Out sure it there is it’s called the seat of your pants plan.

If I’m a player in that clubhouse I have to have some strong reservations when the manager tells me what my role is on this team, because what your told today could change tomorrow. This is the main problem Mets relievers have with the manager, they would like to know what their defined role is in the pen and Collins couldn’t care less about how they feel he wants them to be ready at all times when that bullpen phone rings. How‘s that been working out for you so far Terry?

As you can hear in the above  link to the Mets Kult of Personalities Podcast from yesterday,  I talked about Sandy Alderson over playing his hand in trying to deal Davis in the off season and spring and that I feel it’s time to move him not to Las Vegas but to another organization .

As much as I enjoyed the Grand Slam Walk Off yesterday, I still say it’s time to cut bait with Ike.

 

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Observations from Opening Day at Citi Field

 

Observations from opening day at Citi Field in no particular order:

Woke up yesterday to rain, snow flurries and freezing temps, not the kind of weather you want to see as you head out the door for opening day. I sat in Section 508 where the wind was whipping and even though the sun was shining by game time, the sun never hit Row 9 Seat 22. As it never fails, as soon as I get nice and comfortable here come three shitheads who have seats at the other end of the row and instead of going down the stairs and around to the side they should be on, they felt it was better to inconvenience   the rest of us in Row 9 and walk thru the row to their seats. All that was missing was the three schmucks wearing Yankees paraphernalia.

Happy to report not a Yankee cap or jacket was seen at Citi Field yesterday just a sea of blue and orange like it should be.

Buy the way, Citi Field was packed yesterday so reports from the Mets haters out there that it wasn’t a sellout is pure bullshit.

Pre-game ceremony was great as Howie Rose did his usual fine job as master of ceremonies and the tribute to Ralph Kiner was handled with class. There is a tribute to Kiner on the left field wall that hopefully will stay there beyond this season. I wish the Gary Carter memorial patch stayed on the outfield wall from last year but I guess Wheat Thins check cleared for the spot.

Congratulations to the Murphy’s on the birth of their son Noah. Slante`

I like watching Eric Young Jr. strut to the plate for each at bat that said even with his sac fly RBI in the 2nd inning, his four K’s were brutal.

At what point does Juan Lagares become an everyday player? What else does he have to do to prove he’s earned his job?

Chris Young had a sore quad muscle that kept him out of the game, his understudy Andrew Brown filled in better than you could expect, clubbing a three run homer off Strasburg in the first inning. Sad part is he’s here until Jon Niese gets healthy then it’s off to Vegas.  Baseball at times is very unfair.

So Ike Davis had the runs right before game time and then was double switched out with Lucas Duda  late in the game. A month from now Ike will be an ex-Met

I’m not going to comment about Curtis Granderson, too early for that.

I never want to hear a fan complain about concession prices ever again, every stand had long lines yesterday, especially the overpriced beer stands.

Very happy for Darren Meehan of The 7 Line as his merchandise was on sale at Citi Field yesterday and seeing Darren proud and happy was as good as anything to come out of opening day.

I could rant for another 1,000 words on the bullpen but what’s the sense? What I didn’t understand (is it too early for this?) was the role of the relievers that Terry Collins used yesterday? I agree that Dillon Gee was on fumes in the seventh inning but why go to Carlos Torres that late in the game? Why not go to Jeurys Familia to get that third out? Torres is not a guy I’d bring in during an inning and Familia was quite impressive this spring, this way you have Papa Grande for the 8th and Bobby Parnell in the 9th. I guess the way Parnell pitched it’s a moot point and I have to think Alderson has to be concerned with Parnell and maybe the club rushed him back too soon and a stint in extended spring training may have been the way to go for Parnell to build up velocity and gain back his command.

Bobby Abreu? Really? Why?

As bad as the loss was yesterday, I keep thinking about all the gloomy days and night I spent with my snow shovel clearing snow that was pushing back at me via the Polar Vortex. How winter just wouldn’t leave even in the morning yesterday but then by 1:05PM the sun was out and I was sitting at the ball park watching baseball. The results sucked but the day was great. So happy to see you baseball, you were sorely missed.

 

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Will Mets Sink or Swim? Depends on Late Inning Relief

 

It’s finally here. After 50 some odd inches of snow and the invasion of the Polar Vortex into our bones and vocabulary (ever since Hurricane Irene the meteorology community have gone pure ape shit over storms. Every time there is heavy rain or snow it’s the end of the world as these “look at me” wann a be television stars love scaring the shit out of us. I can’t wait until the potential deadly heat wave hits NYC in August) we have arrived at Opening Day of the 2014 MLB season.

Opening Day used to be a solemn baseball holiday. The Cincinnati Reds were afford the right to be the first team to play in honor of the Red Legs being the oldest franchise in baseball. That ended when MLB pimped the rights to Opening Day to ESPN who in turn used Sunday night as opening night. Then MLB 14 years ago today had the Mets and Cubs open in Tokyo (raise your hand if you were up at 5AM watching that opening day game. Remember Benny Agbayani’s Grand Slam in the 11th inning? How about the Cubs starter that day, Kyle Farnsworth?) now this season we had the Dodgers and Diamondbacks go to Australia to open the season, then come back to the states for more exhibition games and then have the Dodgers and Padres re-open the season again tonight on ESPN. WHEW!!! It was so much easier years ago.

But for us Mets fans tomorrow is our opening day, our first day to see our heroes in action with real ammo in 2014. Not much has changed from last year’s team; the club still has holes at first base, shortstop and in the owner’s pockets.  Sandy Alderson has proclaimed this year’s edition a 90 win baseball team, a nice mind set and one I like but let’s be pragmatic here anything north of 81 wins would be cause for jubilation.

The 25 man roster was declared after the second loss in a row to the Toronto Blue Jays up in Montreal and there was just one surprise, Jenry Mejia beating out Daisuke Matsuzaka for the 5th starters spot in the rotation. The surprise being that it was the right move. Sure Dice-K had a terrific spring but he doesn’t have the talent and trade value that Jenry Mejia has. Not only has Mejia pitched lights out this spring to earned the job but he is one beautiful trade chip who could bring the solid ML shortstop or consistent power hitting first baseman this team desperately needs.

I’d be a whole lot more confident in the bullpen if I had seen Bobby Parnell regain his velocity and the command he mastered last season before the bulging disk in his neck cut short his season. I like what I see from Jureys Famila and Carlos Torres is right now the most underrated player on this Mets roster. Gonzalez German throws hard, throws strikes but at times loses command of the strike zone which in turn becomes base on balls. If he cuts down the walks then he will be an asset late in games.  Papa Grande is a crap shoot. Scott Rice and Scott Lanan round out the portside of the pen.

If I have any criticism of how Sandy Alderson has put together his rosters the past years, it’s not having even a league average bullpen. The bullpen will be the difference between a winning season and a losing one for the Mets.  The last 2-3 years the bullpen has rip the heart out of this team as nothing deflates a ball club like relievers blowing late game leads.

 

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