Free Matt Harvey

I don’t think we can question the poise and maturity of Matt Harvey after last night’s performance, in fact I came away quite impressed by his demeanor. Think about how he handled this start with the knowledge that his call up to the big leagues hangs in the balance with Mets exec J.P Riccardi at the ball park in Buffalo and Sandy Alderson, Terry Collins and Dan Warthen monitoring his performance via SNY. Make up wise Harvey, in my opinion is big league ready, ability wise could be debated.

If Dillon Gee were healthy we don’t have this discussion on whether Harvey is a big leaguer or not but with the prospect that Gee is done for the year, the Mets need a starter and when you look at the options, Matt Harvey stands out as the best of them.

Miguel Batista or Jeremy Hefner? No thank you. We’ve seen all we need to see of Batista who is still making a living off that last game of the year shutout over the Reds. If I had to pick between the two, I’d  go with Hefner but since Harvey is in the mix, I’d give Harvey the start on Saturday for sure.

Is Harvey ready for it? It seems it’s a question with many answers. Some folks are against bringing him up fearing a meltdown of some sorts, from what we’ve seen of Harvey from spring training to last night, I hardly think that will happen. Will an early promotion stunt his growth as a pitcher? That’s a great question that I can’t answer but what we know of Harvey is he has a passion to be a major leaguer and he loves to learn and will ask questions and work on his craft to achieve success.  My question is how will being on the big league roster with veteran pitchers like R.A. Dickey and Johan Santana, two guys who always make themselves available to young pitchers, hurt Matt Harvey? If anything I think he’s thrive in that environment.

I do worry about the enthusiasm level that Mets fans have for Harvey and Zack Wheeler as well.  Between the four game losing streak (7 loses in last 10 games as well) the awful bullpen and ineffective offense against left handed pitching; the fan base is headed toward meltdown mode. For the health and welfare of Mets fans everywhere, I hope the team can take two of three from the Nats.

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Ike Davis Gets A Vote of Confidence From Terry Collins

 

I’m trying to process the words of Terry Collins earlier today as he has declared Ike Davis will stay a big leaguer for the time being. Is this the best thing for the Mets? Is this the best thing for Ike?

Yesterday during our Mets bloggers conference call with Rusty Staub, Staub thought that Ike would benefit from a trip to Triple A and not look at it as a demotion but a way to get his game right (big time tip of the Mets cap to Mathew Artus of Amazin’ Avenue for putting together the transcript of the Staub conference call) :

Mike Branda (Mets Merized Online): My question is actually currently in regards to what we’ve seen with Ike Davis lately. Every hitter is obviously going to see a tough time at the plate. There’s going to be maybe a month where you’re just not going to see the ball right. You’re just not getting the hits, the swing, anything. What are things that a hitting coach or has done to just help you through a tough time at the plate?

 

Rusty Staub: Well, the most important thing you have to understand is yourself, okay? I don’t know what’s happening; I’m not privy to anything that’s being said down in that dugout. I don’t have an idea what the hitting instructor is talking to Ike Davis about. But, Ike Davis came up as a very good young prospect as a hitter and he had very good talent. And right now he’s so messed up in his head, it’s beyond comprehension.

 I’ve watched the Mets on TV quite a bit and I mean he’s had the bat in different positions. He’s pumping that thing up and down. I don’t think he’s giving himself much of a chance. I think he’s got to slow it down and be quieter and not have so much… especially if your hands start moving down when that ball is coming, you’re not getting there. He does that a lot.

He’s going to get out of this thing. Whether he’s got to go to the minors and get himself together… I had to do that once myself in my career. What Ike has to start doing is starting himself in knowing why he’s doing well what he’s doing well and have an idea. Every pitcher has a strength and a weakness. Some of them don’t have as many weaknesses as others, but you can’t go up there hoping. You have to go up there with an idea of what you want to do against that pitcher and you try to execute that. Right now, I think he’s so confused. I’m not too sure getting a little time to get his act together wouldn’t be the best thing in the world for the young man, as terrible as that sounds. Ike will be back. It’s just not easy to hit the type of long-term injury he had in the previous year and come back automatically swinging the bat great.

 

With the season ending injury last year and the bout of Valley Fever this year, you’d figure that Davis would take a little time to get his offensive game on track but no one thought he’d struggle like he has so far. Maybe it’s effecting his defense as he has not been as crisp at 1st base as we are used to seeing. Rusty mentions Ike’s hands as Keith Hernandez has as well on Mets telecasts, it seems Ike has developed this bad habit of dropping his hands and brings them back up then down again when he’s ready to turn on a ball; this seems like a habit he can’t break.

On the other hand, Ike seems genuinely touched that Terry Collins is showing faith in him to get back on track and I understand Collins making the statement he did today as he hopes it stops all the is Ike going to Buffalo talk for a while but with news that Jason Bay is ready to start playing DH in rehab games in extended spring training, if Ike is still on the Interstate when Bay is ready to rejoin the team, the Mets will have no choice but to send him to Buffalo.

So all Collins vote of confidence does is but Ike some time to get right on offense and maybe stop all the third degree from the media about his inevitable re-assignment.

It’s now up to Ike to back up his managers words.

 

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The New York Mets 50th Anniversary Conference Is In Full Swing At Hofstra University

For some reason I had a problem getting the site to load but seems like we are good to go now, so let me put up a late day stream of Mets consciousness:

The 50th Anniversary of the New York Mets conference on now in Day 2 at Hofstra University and from hanging out on Twitter it looks like it’s been a success and a lot of fun, a true tribute to Dana Brand. I will be out at Hofstra tomorrow and I will join a panel discussion with Taryn Cooper and John Coppinger with Greg Prince as our moderator.

As we all know the Mets played a solid 1-9 “homegrown” lineup yesterday for the first time since September 19th 1971, a 5-2 Mets win over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Three Rivers Stadium. The lineup for that game was:

Teddy Martinez 2B

Bud Harrelson SS

John “The Hamer” Milner LF

Ed Kranepool 1B

Mike Jorgensen CF

Ken Singleton RF

Duffy Dyer C

Jerry Koosman P

Interesting as well about that home grown lineup was having three homegrown New Yorkers in there as well, Kranepool of the Bronx, Jorgensen of Bayside Queens and Singleton of Mt. Vernon.

It’s real early in the season but a positive sign for this team is that they are 5-1 in 1 run games and 7-1 in games of 2 runs or less, only good teams mange that kind of record.

Here’s your line up for tonight as the Mets start Chris Schwinden in Big Pelfs rotation spot against LHP Drew Pomeranz

 Kirk Nieuwenhuis – CF

Ruben Tejada – SS

Daniel Murphy – 2B

David Wright – 3B

Scott Hairston – LF

Lucas Duda – RF

Zach Lutz – 1B

Mike Nickeas – C

Chris Schwinden – RHP

So Ike Davis sits against Pomeranz a neophyte big leaguer, very interesting move by Terry Collins

 

 

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AN OUT THE DOOR POST

A quick post for today as I’m heading out to Citi Field for another Mets bloggers event.

Former Mets cleanup hitter (still can’t believe this guy was the opening day cleanup hitter last season) Mike Jacobs has become the first professional baseball player to be suspended for HGH usage. Jacobs took the banned substance to help with rejuvenating his body from series of knee and back injuries he suffered as a member of the Colorado Sky Sox . I feel bad for Jacobs as here was a guy who played in the big leagues, drawing a big league paycheck but flopped to the point he headed back to the bushes.

Jacobs was worried that he’d become just another guy and be forgotten by MLB GM’s even with his 23 HR and 97 RBI so desperate times call for desperate actions it seems.

To his credit, Jacobs has taken full responsibility for his actions:

“A few weeks ago, in an attempt to overcome knee and back problems, I made the terrible decision to take H.G.H.,” Jacobs said in the statement, a rare confession of doping in a sport where many players who have tested positive denied ever knowingly using a drug. “I immediately stopped a couple of days later after being tested. Taking it was one of the worst decisions I could have ever made, one for which I take full responsibility.”

50 games is a serious sentence and most likely Jacobs’  done as a big leaguer. Sad

The Mets have suffered from a Humpty Dumpty defense this season (All the mangers horses and all the mangers coaches, couldn’t put the Mets defense back together again, or something like that) Manager Terry Collins to his credit has gotten the team to participate in taking infield before games, which no other teams do, but as Andy MuCullough lays out nicely in this piece in the Star-Ledger, it hasn’t help much as the Mets are statistically one of the defensive bottom feeders in baseball. Add the lousy bullpen and shaky starting pitching it’s quite shocking the club is near the breakeven point in wins and losses.

Welcome back K-Rod, the trade the worked out well for both sides. Again, well played Mr. Alderson

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THE DUDE LOOKS CONFIDENT

We’ve reached the point in the season where it’s not so much about the wins and losses, although a .500 finish would be psychologically  satisfying I guess, it’s more about what do we have here, what’s worth keeping and what has to be discarded, kind of like cleaning out your basement after taking on water (I must report, no Mets artifacts were adversely effected in my basement taking on some water, although an American Girl doll took a bit of a hit so I guess a trip to the 5th Avenue flagship store is in my immediate future) that’s why I don’t understand what is taking Terry Collins so long to place Lucas Duda in RF and let Nick Evans (Evans reminds of an old nag that runs at Aqueduct during the winter in calming races and never has anyone put in a claim and week after week keeps running over the inner dirt track in freezing weather just hoping to find a home in Kentucky to graze in the grass for the rest of his eternal life) and Whitestone Mikey platoon at first base.

It seems the biggest obstacle with Duda was his acceptance of being a big leaguer, gain the confidence to believe in himself, that he is a Major Leaguer.  As he has become an everyday player the past month or so, Duda has realized that he is of big league timber and that confidence is showing at the plate and in the field.  One of the reasons Collins wanted to leave Duda at 1st base where he is most comfortable and get his bat going. Well, the bat and the head are going very good, so now would seem to be a good time to take the next leap and insert Duda as the everyday RF’er.

Other positive Mets news from last night besides the end of the 5 game losing streak and Izzy getting his 300 save was the signing of some of the remaining picks from the June draft . The three picks who signed that stand out are of course Brandon Nimmo, signed over slot which is a reason to celebrate in itself, infielder Phil Evans and RHP out of Baylor, Logan Verrett as the Mets front office worked right up to the deadline to get these players signed.  Good job by Paul DePodesta and his staff in putting together what most folks proficient in evaluating amateur talent claim, a very good Mets draft.

So you thought the Mets forgot about their 50th Anniversary, HA! No way, in fact the word is out that next year’s home uni will have a 1962 flavor to it and the blue top with orange piping and numbers will be back next season on a limited basis and as a regular alternative uniform top in 2013. I hope next year they  go with no name on the back of the home uniform top and no number on the front along with having the players wear white sanitary socks and blue stir ups. Please don’t half way this, even the cap should be of the darker blue of the era, and WEAR THESE UNIFORMS FOR EVERY HOME GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Put the snow whites in moth balls until 2013 and place the black hats with the blue brims in a bonfire!

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ANGEL PAGAN GOES EL KABONG

It was quite a night at Citi Field last night. The SNY crew set up shop in the Pepsi Porch and I don’t know who enjoyed it more, Gary, Keith and Ron or us fans watching on TV. Between Ron wearing a glove like a Little Leaguer hoping to catch a ball or Keith buying hot dogs for him and his mates, it was one of the more enjoyable Mets games I’ve watched in awhile.   

There was a little bit of everything last night. R.A. Dickey showing all those of little faith that he is a legit big league pitcher and one I hope is around here for some time. After falling behind 4-0, Dickey got himself back on track and as much as I love to watch a pitcher dominant a lineup, when you see a guy start out shaky but refuse to panic and think out what pitches are working and which one isn’t and then have the ability to make adjustments on the fly is just as great to watch. If Mike Pelfrey could just have a sliver of R.A. Dickey’s guile and pitching smarts we would be talking about locking him up to a multi year deal instead of hoping he gets non-tendered in the off season.

Angel (El Kabong) Pagan has not been very good this season in the field and at bat. Pagan is another player that I’m sure will be part of a big discussion in the Mets front office meetings as to whether he’s worth bringing back next season or not. Pagan, like the rest of this team is an easy guy to root for. He’s worked his way back from oblivion of the bushes to be a bonafide big leaguer. In Pagan’s defense he is not a leadoff hitter and is not comfortable in the 1 or 2 spot of the lineup. This season his best offensive production as come when he is slotted in the 5 or hole. So last night was the right spot for Pagan in the bottom of the 10th when he drilled his walk off home run. Good for Angel and good for the Mets. This is a day to reflect on the goodness of Pagan, we’ll have all winter to debate is fate as a Met going forward.

The stories today are all about Carlos Beltran and what is most likely his farewell game at home as a Met. If anything last night was his going away party. The crowd seemed to feel the same way. I was hoping that after Beltran launched his 2 run homer in the 5th to tie the game that the fans at Citi Field would prolong their enthusiasm to the point that Carlos would come out for a curtain call. When was the last time a Mets player came out for bow after a home run? With today being a day game and the temperature climbing toward 100 degrees I wonder how many folks will show up for the game today (besides the day camp kids for whom the 12 noon start was scheduled for) but it would be nice if the fans gave Beltran a standing O in his first at bat to the point where he steps out of the box and doffs his helmet. We’re going to miss him.

Congrats to Mr. and Mrs. Josh Thole on the birth of their son Cameron and how about Daddy Josh hitting RBI single in the 8th to tie the game at 5. I hope someone saved the ball to give to Thole as it would be a great conversation piece between him and his son when he gets older to relive the night after his birth daddy got a big clutch hit for the Mets.

Jason Pridie will start in LF for the Mets today for Jason Bay who is nursing a sore hammy. Bay claims his hip and leg have been bothering him for a few days and this doesn’t seem too serious. I know we’d all love to see Bay take a seat on the bench but we shouldn’t revel in an injury that puts him there. Mike Francesa had one of the few good points he makes every now and then about calling the Pirates about taking Jason Bay off the Mets hands for 50 cents on the dollar. Bay is owed $35 mil over the next three seasons so if the Mets offer Bay to the Pirates along with $17-$18 mil they would save $17-$18 mil. I doubt the Bucs would do this but Bay did have a great six years in Pittsburgh so maybe he Bucs need a love re-connection. Can’t hurt to ask.

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WALK LIKE A MAN/TALK LIKE A MAN………..

Every story you read about Fernando Martinez focuses on his potential. Since he signed with the Mets at the age of 16, we heard about the great potential that this young man has. He has the potential to hit for power, run like the wind, hit for average, tons and tons of potential. Well you know what potential means? It means you haven’t done a damn thing yet. You could do some great things or you may be another in a long  line of Mets prospects on the junk heap.

Ina story on MLB.com, Jesse Sanchez talks to F-Mart about his play so far the winter, where he is currently playing for the Dominican Republic rep Escogido where after  a slow start, Martinez has played well.  I thought that this quote though was a little too cocky for a guy who still has a lot to prove:

“I know I’m a big league player, and I can perform at a high level,” Martinez said. “It’s in my hands, so I have to keep working hard and maybe earn a spot. Maybe I make it to the big leagues with the Mets or maybe another team, but I know I can do it. I just have to keep working and waiting for my opportunity.”

I want to like this kid and I would love to see him finally live up to the hype and come back to the Mets and make a big contribution to the team’s future. But the bottom line is, this season is make or break for him, a young man of 20 years old just cannot keep breaking down the way he does. At first I thought that he was so young and the strain on his body of playing professional baseball and the natural progression of his physical growth were colliding and causing his injuries but I am starting to think it may be more a lack of dedication to the craft that has caused him not to be a hard worker or take the time to train and be physically fit.

Martinez claims he is a big leaguer and he knows he needs to work hard to get back to major leagues but as we’ve seen with the four years he has been in the organization, talk is cheap.

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METS FRONT OFFICE ARRIVES IN INDY

 

Good to see the Mets have Gil Meche on their radar, as the stories are flying fast and furious tha the Mets and Royals are looking to become trade partners at the winter Meetings.

 

I like Meche as a pitcher to fill the 3 or 4 spot in the rotation. He throws a heavy fastball and a nice curve that induces a lot of ground ball outs. His biggest draw back is his walk rate. His BB/9 rate last year was 4.5 with a career mark of 3.65, which if he stays at is tolerable. Meche also had some health issues with his back and shoulder fatigue.

 

The Royals are looking to dump Jose Guillen and his $12 mil salary. The interesting thing with Guillen is how does it affect Fernando Martinez ? F-Mart is again sitting out time from his Winter League team, due to blisters on his hands. His manager is no other than Moises Alou who of course advocates giving your hands a golden shower to toughen them up. I bet Tiger Woods has hands like tree bark, who knew Eldrick Woods was such a freak? But, I digess…. 

 

What does Mets management think of F-Mart? Do they still hold him in high esteem as a top prospect and the LF of the future or do they look at them as a talent that will never reach full potential? If he still in the Mets plans as a big leaguer the could go with Guillen and allow F-Mart to finally show he can play a full baseball season without getting hurt where he loses large chuck of playing time. With the names we’ve been hearing, Guillen and Pat Burrell it looks as if the Mets are still looking at F-Mart as the long term LF option. If it comes down to either Guillen or Burrell I’d rather keep Angel Pagan. 

 

Of course it all goes out the window if Matt Holiday becomes signable but I doubt that will happen.

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Tickets

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