A Good Reliever Is Hard To Find

Maybe the Mets should bring back the bullpen carts from the 1970’s could be Mets relievers are exhausted from running in from the pen

 

Watching the implosion of the Mets bullpen has pissed me off as it has you but fact is, this bullpen has sucked all year.  If I can take the Mets to task for anything to do with this pungent pen, it waited too long to fix it, the trade deadline may be to make your move.

We’ve heard all the names from Huston Street, Jonathan Broxton, Grant Balfour and Frankie Rodriguez as relievers the Mets have or should target as Mets fans feel anyone other than relievers who wear a Mets uni will pull a Mighty Mouse and save the day.  Not one of those pitchers is guaranteed to be any better than who the Mets are currently employing as relief pitchers and none of them will come for free.   Take K-Rod for instance, he’s owed about $4mil for the rest of the season and before the All Star break he could have been had for a next to nothing just by picking up the rest of the money on his contract. Now, it will be a bit tougher since he has taken over the closer role from John Axford. You could probably get Axford for nothing but the idea here is to improve the bullpen and Axford is far from an improvement.

Huston Street would be a fine addition to the Mets pen and if Alderson could get him plus LHP Joe Thatcher in a deal, that would be a huge upgrade. Street is owed $3+ mil for rest of 2012 with a $9 mil option for 2013 but the club can invoke a $500K buy out. Thatcher is an arbitration eligible player who  signed for $700 K for the year, so the money commitment to both player would be less than $4mil, if the money is prohibitive to the Skill Sets then just shut the franchise down but I have to think they could scrape some of Bill Maher’s minority money along with the other silent partners who bought in to pay for this bullpen upgrade. So what would the coast be in players? I have no idea but I know the Mets baseball ops has a big commitment to rebuilding the minor league system  and they will not over pay in players to get a two month pitcher rental. 

The Rockies have a pair of relievers, RHP Matt Belisle and RHP Rafael Betancourt who I’d think you’d be able to obtain for a C level prospect or two. Belisle has stranded 79 % of the runners he has inherited which is one of the huge holes in the Mets bullpen, the ability of relievers to come in and get big outs with runners on base, and his walk rate of 1.5/9 IP is fabulous. The money a club would take on is about $1.8 mil for the rest of this season and in 2013 Belisle is owed $4.1 mil, so again the more money a club would agree to take on the less you would have to give up for Belisle or for Betancourt who has a stupid contract that pays the 36 year old right hander $4 mil for 2012 and $4.25 for 2013. The Rox would have to eat a lot of dead presidents to deal him.

RHP Shawn Camp of the Cubs would be a fine addition since he hardly makes any money (baseball wise that is) at $550K. Camp’s 80 % LOB number is what got my attention but I would bet he will be used as a tag team partner of either Matt Garza or Ryan Dempster when Theo Epstein decided to deal either or both starters.

Former Met right handed pitcher Darren O’Day could be on the Mets radar as he has a 87 % success rate when dealing with inherited runners but even though the Birds are double digits behind the Highlanders in the AL East race, they are just a half game off a Wild Card berth so I’d look at the O’s as buyers not sellers so O’Day may be off limits.

Trying to build up this Mets bullpen is not going to be easy. I have no idea how much money the Skill Sets have allotted to upgrade this team at the trade deadline. It would behoove the Mets owners to show the fan base they are back in the game by taking on additional salary, if they don’t they will be torn apart by the fan base and they will deserve every bit it of nastiness that will be hurled at them.

The Skill Sets can’t expect Mets fan to care until they see ownership cares, your move Freddy.

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Hey Sandy Alderson Go Get Your Friend Harvey

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So our All Star break was thrown into chaos yesterday and we can’t even blame this one on Tony LaRussa. When the news broke about Dillon Gee going to the hospital with a shoulder problem, I knew that it wasn’t a structural injury because we saw no sign of anything of that nature in his start on Sunday plus he would not have gone to the ER for that.  What popped into my head first was David Cone and his suffering of an aneurysm in his arm back in 1996. It seems Gee’s blood clot is not as severe as what Cone suffered but because they had to perform a cauterization to break up the clot and not just give him blood thinners gives me the idea that this is still very serious and could be a season ending event for Gee.

Forget the baseball part of this for a moment, how scary it must have been for Gee and his wife that not only did he have to head to the ER to get checked out but to have it happen at the All Star break with most of the Mets brassi n KC and teammates off on their own.  Hopefully Gee will be ok and between the procedure and medication this will be a onetime freak occurrence.

So what do the Mets do if Gee is out for longer than 1 or 2 starts? The first out cry from the fan base was to scream for Sandy Alderson to bring up Matt Harvey and while Harvey has shown some improvement with his command of pitches and has improved his strikeout rate, his walks per 9 innings is still close to 4 and the Mets would love to see him get more experience in Buffalo.

If Gee misses a start or three the team can survive with Jeremy Heftner and a few strategic off days but if this is a situation where Gee needs further surgery, the Mets may not have a choice but to bring up Matt Harvey to take Gee’s spot.

I don’t worry about Harvey handling the pressure of joining the big league club as it fights for a post season spot. From what we saw and heard of Harvey in spring training, he seems to be a real confident guy and a young guy who asks a lot of questions and absorbs information like a sponge.

When you look at Harvey and compare him to Dillon Gee, I think Harvey can pitch as well as Gee, if not better right now, so if this is going to be a sustained absence by Gee, the Mets best and maybe only option is Matt Harvey.

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Gotta Clean Up The Slop

 

 

Let’s face it, when Terry Collins rolls out his majority right handed hitting lineup the opposition isn’t exactly quaking in their cleats. So add the righty lineup with sloppy base running and defense (besides bullpen help and a right handed power bat, Sandy Alderson really needs to put getting a defensive catcher high on his things to do over the all star break list, really enough of Mike Nickeas already!) and Clayton Kershaw you get an 8-2 Mets loss but this game was more the Mets losing it than the Dodgers winning it.

A 3-1 Mets lead disintegrated  again by poor defense (I’ve been a supporter of Lucas Duda and the job he’s done in RF but lately he’s been regressing out there and I’m getting a little worried)  which seems to happen every time I think the Mets are ready to run off a big win streak (My daughter and I were in a t-shirt store in Hyannis  yesterday when the clerk saw my Mets cap and t-shirt, he said “wow the Mets are doing really well this year what are they like 5 games out of 1st place”? and in my “no you asshole “voice I told him the Mets were 2.5 games out of 1st  at which point my daughter walk slowly out of the store full of embarrassment) but still the Mets have had three winning months in a row and have not been below .500 all season so with that and the fact they are a mere 3.5 games back of the Nationals for first place in the NL East it’s been a great first half of the season.

And you want to know why I think so highly of Sandy Alderson, the truth hurts doesn’t it Mets fans

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On Vacation Which Means More Baseball To Watch

 

Greetings from Cape Cod where I will be vacationing for the next week. Before heading to the Cape last we went to the Brooklyn Cyclones Aberdeen Ironbirds game a Cyclones 6-2 win that was capped off by Brando Nimmo’s Grand Slam to break up a 2-2 tie.

When I got to the hotel I got a couple of text from friends altering me that David Wright had made the All Star team but will not start as he lost the vote to Pablo Sandoval. I can understand the outrage but for me I’ll save my ranting and raving for the end of the season when Wright gets robbed of the NL MVP.

I’m happy for Wright as it’s a well deserved berth to the All Star team but the two Mets I’m ecstatic over making the team are R.A. Dickey and Terry Collins both men have re-invented themselves and now get their just reward.

Time to unpack and hit the pool before dinner, Cape Cod speaks fluent baseball, so I know where ever we go for dinner there will be a TV with Mets-Dodgers  plus I have to chart the week to see what Cape Cod League games I want to see and how many baseball scouts I can talk to. Busy week ahead. Let’s Go Mets!

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TO DEAL OR NOT TO DEAL, THAT IS THE QUESTION……

I guess it doesn’t matter who runs the Mets, injuries are still more complicated than high school trigonometry. Jose Reyes is set to hit the DL except Terry Collins is worried about not having Jose for the Phillies series after the All-Star break. I guess TC feels the Mets still have a shot at winning the division and as great as it would be to win that series, it’s more important to get Reyes healthy and to not play shorthanded. The Mets under Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya were raked over the coals for doing this and it seems this way of doing baseball business has spread to the new regime as well. Reyes hasn’t played in five days and hasn’t felt any improvement in his tight hammy. Now he and his agent have decided to get a second opinion, fine. The original diagnosis was a Grade 1 strain of the hamstring, which is supposedly the least severe but because no one on the Mets is a fast healer, this Grade 1 may be worse than first thought, hence the second opinion.

Meanwhile Nick Evans is sitting in an airport in Buffalo waiting to board a plane to LA to join the big club. What’s interesting with Evans becoming a Triple A star, this could be the break he needs. If he does take Reyes place on the Mets when Reyes comes back, the roster move made will be an interesting one. Evans has cleared waivers twice this season, if he can translate his hitting from Buffalo to the big club, it’s doubtful he’ll pass thorough waivers again.  Good for Nick bad for the Mets.

I was happy to see Sandy Alderson agree with my premise that the Mets are relevant again if not contenders. Still, Alderson is trying to balance relevancy and being in the hunt for a post season berth with the need to deal off some parts to build a better future for the Mets and keep the fan base interested enough to keep buying tickets and watching on TV. That’s a tough task.

To deal off Frankie Rodriguez (if Alderson can pull this off he is the GM I thought he’d be) Izzy and Tim Brydak that wouldn’t be a detriment to the team at all, as you have cheaper and just as efficient if not better replacements in Bobby Parnell, Pedro Beato and Mike O’Connor. The other trade chip will be easier to deal but could take the heart and soul out of this team.

No matter if you’re a Beltran fan or foe, you cannot deny Carlos is having the most fun he ever had as a Met. Not only is he more than productive but when you see him giving “The Claw” to his teammates and then have them give him a hard time when he forgets to give the signal to the bench, a happy Beltran is a productive Beltran, it’s hard not feel good for him. It kills the anti-Beltran faction of the fan base because they can’t find any negatives about Carlos this season. Willie Harris has proclaimed him the leader of the team. His teammates see him pull on his knee brace and play every day and never complain about the pain that you know he has in that knee. With no Wright or Ike in the lineup, he has taken it on himself to stay out there every day.

With all that, Alderson should trade Beltran for the good of the future of the club and for the good of Beltran. The rest of baseball is watching Beltran closely and there will be no shortage of suitors for Alderson to make a deal with. It will hurt in the short run but dealing Carlos Beltran may be the best for the long term for the Mets.

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I CAN’T WAIT TO HEAR OMAR BUMBLE AND STUMBLE OVER THIS ONE

 

 

I think we are all beyond the point of being shocked when another player is stamped defective but in the case of Johan Santana the question is who in the organization knew his elbow was hurting and when did they know it?

 

Jerry Manuel claims that since the All Star break Santana had an issue with the elbow, if this is true, this makes the organization more inept than we ever imagined. As much as we fans give the team doctors and training staff holy hell for the injuries maybe our wrath is misguide and this is just another case of the front office being clueless once again ?

 

Did Santana go to Dan Werthen or Manuel and tell either one that his elbow was not right? Let’s say he did. Now wouldn’t they then go to Omar and tell him we have a problem and in turn wouldn’t Minaya send Santana straight to the doctor for an examination? At that point wouldn’t an MRI be ordered to see what was causing the discomfort in the elbow? This problem didn‘t happen yesterday or last week it seems the Mets have allowed Santana to pitch with a bum wing. Again who is in charge here?

 

We can all joke and laugh about who’s next to get hurt and sit and lament about us poor little Mets fans suffering through a lousy season but in all seriousness this organization is a total embarrassment from the owner to the GM to the coaches manager and players.

 

My biggest fear is not who will be injured next but it’s that the Mets are becoming the Pittsburgh Pirates.

 

Adding to my confused state is one Billy Wagner. What the fuck does this guy want? He has been praised here and every where on his hard work and perseverance at coming back from surgery to get back to the big leagues. The Mets tired to help him and themselves by placing him on waivers and letting him go to a contending team. Now he’s making all kinds of demands and looking to pitch close to his Virginia home. Well, where does he want to go? DC? Baltimore? Atlanta? Miami? Not one of those teams will pay him the kind of money he wants in the off season. It seems this will work in the Mets favor. As long as the offer him arbitration they either get a very good set up man or two more draft picks. Since Wagner is more worried about getting 400 saves than pitching in a post season it seems he will turn down arbitration sign with the Marlins and the Mets get two draft picks. Advantage Mets.

 

I don’t know what’s sadder that Santana is not starting tonight or that the best the Mets can come up with to take his spot is Nelly Figs?

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JOIN US TONIGHT FOR PRO BASBEALL CENTRAL

 

The All Star break is over and we head for the second half of the season tonight on Pro Baseball Central we will discuss the Mets disappointing first half and what direction this team needs to take which  is one of the great complex question of our time, plus we will monitor the Mets-Braves game live. We will also talk about the NY Highlanders with our guest Rebecca Glass the author of the Highlander blog This Purist Bleeds Pinstripes. Join us live at 9PM EDST on Blog Talk Radio live or listen to the podcast at your leisure at our site or right here at TEKS.

 

After The Used Car Salesman ranted and raved about Manny Ramirez going to the bushes to get in shape before ending his 50 game sentence the Phillies after signing Petey to a $1.5 mil deal was placed on the 15 day DL with a “strained (wink-wink, nod-nod) shoulder. This was done because Petey wouldn’t sign a minor league deal so the Phills skirted the issue with the bogus DL placement. Am I a bitter jilted Mets fan? YES. Yes I am. I’m not rational when it comes with Petey going to the Cheesesteakers I’m the jilted lover who will now try to make his life miserable.

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Here I am as the third base coach for during our All Star tornament. Some schmuck came up with a rule that we had to were kahkis and and awful golf shirt to coach this team. By the way it was about 98 degrees that day

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