2013 NY Mets Mid-Season Report Card Pitchers Edition

 

A day later than promised, sorry about that, so here is the 2013 NY Mets pitching staff mid-season report card.

Matt Harvey Grade A+

Matt Harvey is sensational, dominating, fearless, overpowering, handsome, intimidating, charismatic, ours.

Dillon Gee Grade C

Was close to going with a B for Gee since he has pitched very well of late but his overall body of work so far had me go with the C. Gee is a solid starting pitcher who in good health will give you 6 to 7 good innings which is fantastic for a #4 starter.

Jeremy Hefner Grade B

Who’d a thunk it? Hefner has been the best pitcher on the Mets not named Matt Harvey. Last year I was ready to say bye-bye to Hefner but now I find myself rooting hard for him to continue his success.  Puts ball in play but home run rate is up. Gave a B because Hefner is developing a strong dose of TWTW.

Jon Niese Grade C

Hope he gets healthy and pitches well in the second half so Mets can trade him and his team friendly contract for an outfield bat.

Shaun Marcum Grade F

Sorry he got injured and needed surgery but I’m not sorry he’ll never pitch for the Mets again

Zack Wheeler Grade Incomplete

Let him learn he’ll be fine if you think otherwise you’re an idiot

Bobby Parnell Grade A

FINALLY!!!! Parnell has emerged as the reliever we all hoped he’d be. Confidence in himself and his ability has fueled Parnell to could have been an All Star status. Still throws hard but isn’t of throwing; he’s pitching this year with pin point command. Sure it’s tempting to trade him but as Sandy Alderson said he’d have to be bowled over to deal him. Make your move Dave Dombrowski

LaTroy Hawkins Grade C

Has pitched much better than I’ve given him credit. Terrific BB/K ratio of 3.78 but he is hittable. His LOB % of 74 % has made Hawkins a go to guy for Terry Collins late in games.

Scott Rice Grade C

Seems like Rice pitches everyday not quite but I’m sure he warms up every game. The career minor leaguer walks way too many batters but he is able to get tons of ground ball outs. A classic LOOGY.  Got to give the guy props for toiling in the bushes for so long to finally make it to The Show. A Collins favorite.   

Brandon Lyon Grade F

F as in Farewell

Josh Edgin Grade D

Still waiting for Edgin to emerge as an effective late inning reliever but he needs better command of his slider to compliment his 90+ fastball. The second half of the season is Edgin’s audition to remain a Met in the future.

Greg Burke Grade D

Burke pitches from the mound down under and isn’t very effective he’s a JAG (just another guy)

David Aardsma Grade C

Was on the fence here with the C or B grade as Aardsma has only gone 17 IP he has looked like a guy who can be a good set up man to Parnell

Scott Atchinson Grade D

Suffered an arm injury that set him back a month and now he’s back and if he can get back what he had with the Red Sox and stay healthy add him to Hawkins, Aardsma and Parnell, that’s a pretty good back of the pen with Rice to get a lefty out.

Carlos Torres Grade Incomplete

Torres has only pitched in 10 games but he’s been very effective. Torres is now going into the starting rotation to replace Marcum hopefully he can stretch his arm out enough to give the innings needed.

 

 

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MLB Fan Fest Was Fan-Tastic

 

I haven’t done a mid-season Mets report card in a few years since around this time the last six years I’ve been sitting in a camp site upstate for a week at Boy Scout Camp, it was nice to turn in my spatula and large paddle to stir 20 gallon containers of Kool Aid to a younger group of fathers, and enjoy the All Star Festivities, which as we all know will be played in our home Citi Field.

I went to the MLB All Star Fan Fest this past weekend at the Javits Center and I thought it was fantastic.  I went with my son, which of course made the day even better, and we soaked in all the Fan Fest had to offer. I spent more money than I had wanted as we both left with Matt Harvey jerseys and All Star T-shirts along with a couple of autographed baseballs of Gaylord Perry and Rollie Fingers. I amaze myself with how excited I get when I see guys I watched as a kid and just want to say hello and tell them how much I enjoyed watching them play. My son wants to run the other way when I’m in that mode but later he laughs about my enthusiasm. He was really falling over when we met Jack Morris and all I kept telling Morris how he should be in the Hall of Fame and how I always enjoyed watching him pitch and compete. I guess it was a bit over the top as my son said “Com’on fanboy let’s get some lunch”. Sure I go overboard but on the way home all I could think of was how an event like Fan Fest just reaffirms how much I love baseball. It’s a good feeling.

One of the great displays at Fan Fest is the Fan Auction that is being conducted by Hunt Auctions. It’s a silent auction and the items up for bid range from autographed baseballs signed by Babe Ruth to a copy of the NY Post the morning after the NY Mets won the 1986 World Series that is autographed by the team. There was one section of the auction that was both intriguing and a bit sad.

It seems the estate of Warren Spahn has put up every piece of memorabilia from his outstanding career up for auction. Uniforms, caps, gloves, trophies including his 1957 Cy Young Award, all up for the highest bidder to own.   I’m not going to judge the Spahn family for putting all these items up for sale as I don’t know the family or money situation but it’s still sad to see all of Spahn’s trophies and what he achieved in a great baseball life, up for sale.

BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO! To the New York Mets for inducting Mike Piazza into the Mets Hall of Fame. Well deserved!

Enjoyed listening to Kevin Burkhardt on the play by play for yesterday’s game. The beauty of having Burkhardt on the broadcast team is he can move from a reporter’s role to play by play and mesh perfectly with Keith Hernandez or Ron Darling since the whole crew along with Gary Cohen has great chemistry.  

Next post will have the Mets report card!

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Catcher In Awry

Who remembers this game when The Cobra took on The Dude and was not only out at the plate but suffered a broken cheekbone too! DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDDDDDDDEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I know the Mets need a catcher, Mets Fan Rich knows the Mets need a catcher, Sandy Alderson knows the Mets need a catcher and Terry Collins in the privacy of his mind knows the Mets need a catcher, so what are the Mets going to do about it?

Alderson when asked about the catching position not just at the big league level but throughout the organization gave me an exasperated response “that it is clearly the position that need the most upgrading” So when does he start upgrading?

In my way of baseball thinking catcher is a defensive position and offense I get from my backstop is a plus, so what happens when I have two catchers in Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas who not only can’t hit, they’re terrible defensibly as well? Who try to get a catcher who can at least execute the position defensively and hope he can hit a little bit to sustain a spot in the lineup. Can Rob Johnson do that? I’d like to find out.

Johnson was brought up with Matt Harvey as Harvey has given Johnson a ton of credit for his rise from Triple A to the big leagues. Johnson caught Harvey’s major league debut which we all know was the best pitching debut in the club history, so you’d think Johnson would be behind the plate in Harvey’s next start right? Wrong. Terry Collins had Thole behind the plate so Thole could get uses to catching Harvey. Why? As we saw last night and throughout this season, Josh Thole is not the answer to the Mets problems at catcher.

I don’t know what Alderson is waiting for to bring in a top defensive catcher. The reasoning behind not trading for Ramon Hernandez was a smoke screen of we don’t want to disrupt the relationship between our catchers and pitchers in mid-season. After watching Thole butcher the play at the plate that allowed Carlos Quentin to score I wonder how many of the Mets pitchers would sign on to that statement.

We all know that finding an everyday catcher who fits the bill for the Mets needs-defensively strong with a decent bat-is near impossible to obtain but this off season it Alderson has to secure a catcher……….and a centerfielder……..and a left fielder…………and a right fielder…………and bullpen help…….and move Jason Bay’s contract……………..I think I’m gonna be sick………….

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NY Mets Problems Run A Bit Deeper Than Obtaining A Reliever

Sorry for the hockey interuption. This young manin the picture is Rick Nash he is a good solid hockey player. When Nash woke up this morning he was a Columbus Blue Jacket and now he is a New York Ranger. Many NY Ranger fans are doing the happy dance when this was announced. Nash coming to the Rangers had a price, three very good Rangers are now Blue Jackets. Thank you to Brandon Dubinsky for 8 teriffic years as a Ranger same to Artem Anisimov and Tim Erixon  all the best   

All I asked for was a summer of competitive baseball, why is that so difficult? The Mets are in the midst of another second half free fall as they have won just one game in their last ten. The last three seasons after the break have been disasters for the Metropolitans:

2011 31-40

2010 31-43

2009 28-47

During this recent run of losing baseball, I’ve thought about a question I posed to R.A. Dickey back in the winter of 2010, about the time Terry Collins was named manager, I asked Dickey what happened in the second half of the season that led to slide he said after a long pause, “lack of preparation” I asked by whom, the coaches or players and Dickey replied “both”. Last year’s collapse and now this latest second half losing streak does not in my view, fall under the lack of preparation or commitment , it seems like it’s more like a lack of major league readiness and an overachieving first half.

We have gone over the faults of the bullpen ad nauseum  and yes those sixteen blown saves and twenty loses are the biggest kick in the nuts this season but there are still many holes on this team that need addressing and no mid-season deal can cure them.

The Mets outfield is a mess. There is not one solid “every day I can count on you” player that plays in this outfield. Scott Hairston is very good vs. lefties and as a pinch hitter but Hairston is what he is, a bench player and when bench players start to get regular work, you get to see why they are bench players. I really like Kirk Nieuwenhuis and I want him to be a Met for a long time. He plays terrific defense and he has that “baseball makeup” that scouts love. He also has a lot of holes in his swing and is quite perplexed by the breaking ball to the point where he is putting up Kingman-esque strike out rates. Lucas Duda plays right field like the displaced first baseman that his is. It’s hard to get on him for the awful reads he gets on fly balls as he was put there for his bat, and that bat has gone limp. In Duda’s last 18 games he has 1 HR and 2 RBI. That is not the production you need from your corner outfielder. What more can you say about Jason Bay? At the end of this season Bay his agent and Sandy Alderson need to sit down and figure out an exit strategy for Bay. It would be best for both parties to part ways. Andres Torres does nothing useful and I’m guessing he is just here until Mike Baxter gets healthy and is re-activated. Torres should not be taking playing time from anyone.  Is Jordany Valdespin an outfielder? An infielder?  A bench player? Late for dinner? See a pattern here?

The catching situation is a mess as well (file this under lather, rinse, repeat) not just for the big league team but throughout the organization as well (we’re counting on you Kevin Plawecki )

David Wright has been an MVP quality player and after a disastrous start to the, Ike Davis has found a pulse but you still have to question if Ike is the guy to man first base in the seasons ahead. Ruben Tejada looks set at shortstop for the next ten years and Daniel Murphy at second base……………………..there’s a big question. #ImWith28 has busted out of his slump and is producing now but he could bring back value if Alderson touted him as a 3rd baseman as 3rd basemen will be demand this winter.

Lots of work is to be done to get this Mets team up and running as a true contender. A reliever at the deadline is not the answer.  

 

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OLLIE IN MID-SEASON FORM

You always tell kids in Little League (as Ron Darling stated) when a ball goes under a fence, raise both your arms straight up in the air. Willy Taveras  must have missed that lesson when he was seven but his folly is Omir Santos gain with an inside-the-park-grannie.

Ollie Perez threw strikes today and the Nationals and most of them were tattooed by Nationals batters. The Mets will spin OP performance like a Maytag washer. Don’t worry he still feels great and looks very fit in his snow white’s.

On the other hand, Hisanori Takahashi was incredible punching out 6 in 3 innings of work. That’s NON-ROSTER LHP Hisanori Takahashi. LHP Pat Misch also was stellar in his 3 innings at work. Sometimes the solution to your problems are right under your nose.

Frenchy loves to show off that cannon he has throwing out Kevin Mench and Pete Orr at the plate. Each play was no contest.

Big Pelf took a shot off the leg yesterday but and X-Ray didn’t show any damage. Surgery is scheduled for Tuesday.

Everybody Loves Ike

Has Charlie Samuels lost his mind? How the hell does Chris “The Phuckin’ Phillie” Coste get uni number 3 ?

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BASEBALL’S CLOSE OUT SALE

Baseball’s garage sale begins tonight A/K/A the non-tendered players go on the free agent market and there are some players on the list that would help the Mets immeasurably like:

RHP Kevin Corriea

The Padres are trying to have the lowest payroll since the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings started paying players so a very good #4 pitcher like Corriea will be sitting out there to the highest bidder. Right now Corriea would be better than anyone other than Johan Santana in the Mets rotation.

Garret Atkins/Ryan Garko

Either player would be an excellent compliment to Daniel Murphy as a right handed hitting tag team partner at first base.

RHP Chien-Ming Wang

Yes he is coming off injury and yes he is a Highlander but Wang is perfect for the Mets if sound as a ground ball pitcher, Wang won’t be ready to pitch until May but Omar has signed bigger question marks than Wang so he’s worth an incentive laden contract. I’ll be surprised if the Highlanders let him go though.

Alex Cora is in mid season form. I guess the Mets will extend his contract now.

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THE METS ARE MARCHING HOME AGAIN HURRAH, HURRAH!

 

 

As great as it was to watch are darling boy, D-Wright get an opposite field base hit to beat Puerto Rico, it all went to shit with the news that he fouled a ball off his big toe in game that meant NOTHING!!!!!! To make it worse, Wright is the lone 3rd baseman left on Team America so he stayed in the game –clearly in pain- and has made it known that no matter what the Mets say, he will play this weekend in the semi-finals, even with only nine toes. Add that to OP and his mid season pitch count and that the returning Puerto Ricans and Dominicans are exhausted from this bullshit tournament, we of the Flushing Faithful are holding our breath that the Mets won’t have to add injury to the list of enemies to start the season.

 

You know you’re a red neck when…………………..

 

Anyone have Mackey Sasser’ phone number?

 

The Mets do not want to see Billy Wagner ever again. Forget about him coming back in September to fortified the bullpen it’s not happening. Remember how Wagner bitched and moaned about coming into non-save situations and not starting innings and not coming in for 4 outs saves so where exactly does he fit in here? He’s not going to close or set up a save hell, he isn’t even going to be the bridge to the set up man (that looks to be Bobby Parnell) so he doesn’t fit here anymore. It’s not personal, it’s business.

 

Au revior Chief, unfortunately your time has come as Livan Hernandez has won the 5th starter spot in the Mets rotation. The back ups for the starting rotation are Tim Redding, Jon Niese, and Nelson Figueroa and if it goes any deeper than that it won’t matter anymore as we will all be looking for the start of NFL training camp if it comes to that.

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NO SINK IN THIS SHIP

{ I wrote this post at about 9AM this morning but forgot to hit the publish button. Yes, I’m an idiot) 

 

 

 

The Collapse2007 is dead and buried, thanks to a couple of grave diggers named Santana and Delgado. Johan Santana did what an ace does, prevents long losing streaks and then we have Carlos Delgado who has transformed himself in mid season, the likes I don’t think has been seen in baseball ever. I don’t have the time or patience to research it but if anyone can tell me different let me know what player has gone from shit to sugar in mid-season like Delgado? I mean those were M-V-P chants I heard last night from Shea right? I wasn’t sure as my head felt like it was injected with Novocain listing to Joe Morgan’s analyisis of the game.

 

So the Mets are in the same spot as they were before Friday’s game two games up on the Phellatios instead of being even. If you’re the Phellatios, even with two of three weekend you’ve got to be somewhat verklempt after last nights game because you are banking on the Mets folding up like a home mortgage lender and you find out that will not happen again for two reasons, the Mets strong starting pitching and new leadership in the managers office. Now that the Mets held serve they must, MUST beat the ever loving shit out the Nats and Braves this week, as if any lesson was learned from last year it’s take no opponent for granted as these two teams hate the Mets and will be at their best to try and beat them.

 

Pardon me for not panicking about Billy Wags being done for the season. Of more concern is  the up and down starts by Petey as the bullpen looks to be in descent shape but the starting rotation can not have another member go down. The pressure is on Santana, OP and Big Pelf to keep up their stellar starts but if Petey is not going to give the Mets effective starts then J-Man will have to act and from what we’ve seen so far if you perform you play is the Warlord Jerry’s Golden Rule.

 

Now if Wags is gone for the year then I don’t want to here a word about him or out of him until spring. Now I know I’m prick for saying that but I’m of the mindset if you’re injured and can’t play then get out of the way. Cold hearted yes but it’s the only way to go. Losers make excuses for poor play due to injury (see Highlander, New York, Girardi, Joe, Clueless) Wags is out. No problem.  Luis Ayala is doing fine and I also think Al Reyes will see some significant innings as will Ricardo Rincon. The Mets have the arms what is needed is the execution.

 

Do you get the idea that Warlord Jerry looks at Aaron Heilman like the Jets looked at Baby John in West Side Story? What is J-Man quote? “Gangsta’s take the field, ladies take the bus”? Looks like J-Man gave Heilman an unlimited Metro Card.

 

Same with Gimp Castillo, by playing Damien Easley in both games it shows J-Man was true to his word that he doesn’t care about contracts he is playing his best guys.

 

According to ESPN MLB Schedule the match ups the next four games, the Mets will see four LH starters (Jon Lanan-Odalis Perez for the Nats Denver School Superintendent Mike Hampton and Jo-Jo Reyes of the Braves) so my question How does J-Man get Danny Boy Murphy at bats? Out of the next four Murphy has to get at least one start and if a righty comes in, then Murphy should be put in for either Tatis or Evans which ever gets the start.

 

  

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Tickets

The Mets are looking great this year and The Eddie Kranepool Society keeps you up to date on the good bad and the ugly. If you are looking for Mets Tickets, you must visit Coast To Coast Tickets for all your ticket needs. CTC carries MLB Tickets as well as some of the best priced Concert Tickets on the web and don't forget they also carry Yankees Tickets.

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