NY Mets Will Be Buyers This Trade Deadline

 

Trying to get back into blogger mode after a week on Cape Cod and the cold reality that 5AM wakeup call awaits me tomorrow morning so  without much rhyme or reason here are some Mets thoughts:

The next three days with the All Star break should feature a whirlwind of Mets trade rumors in fact some are starting already. This team for all the hustle and flow it’s shown this season needs some big time renovation if they are going to go hard after a post season berth.

The biggest need is in the bullpen which posted its best ERA of the season at 3.77 but still sports the worst team ERA in MLB at 4.99.  It seems Terry Collins is relying on the arms of Tim Byrdak, Bobby Parnell and Miguel Batista in the late innings of games while Jon Rauch and Ramon Ramirez have the tag of “one or two batters only” attached to their names. Pedro Beato is back up and one would hope he would replace Batista in the late inning order, moving Batista back to the long man role he’s better at. Of course all will change once Frankie Frisco comes back from oblique rehab but where will he fit? Has Bobby Parnell turned a corner in his career where he’s figured out how to get his curve over for strikes and have the confidence to throw it in a tough situation? Seems the Mets brass is not 100 % sold on Parnell and Frisco as they have let the word out they would like to obtain a closer or a pitcher who has had closer experience, that doesn’t mean Parnell and Frisco are a concern but as we’ve seen so far this half of the season a strong back end of the pen is the difference between 4.5 games back of the Nats instead of 4.5 games ahead of the Nats and first place in the NL East.

Lots of talk of the Mets getting involved in dealing for a catcher, which Sandy Alderson has made known is a priority to upgrade in the Mets system, hence the drafting of Kevin Plawecki with a supplemental pick in this year’s draft, and while myself and many Mets fans would be happy if the Mets were to upgrade the position at the trade deadline, I’m not sure if it will happen or should it. As much as Mike Nickeas makes Mets fans groan, when it comes to the pitching staff and Terry Collins and Dan Warthen, Nickeas is a valuable piece to this team. Nickeas is kind of a player/coach on this Mets team and I know there is a segment of Mets fans and bloggers who feel team chemistry is overrated, it’s hard to watch this team day in and day out and not see that the camaraderie in the clubhouse has played a major role in the success of the team in the first half.  You may not believe it but the front office, coaching staff and the players do. I would be a bit surprised if the Mets dealt for a catcher in season, best bet is the team will go hard to upgrade the backstop spot in the winter.

Much has been made about Reggie Jackson dissing the late Gary Carter saying the Kid was not Hall of Fame worthy, if you know anything about Reggie Jackson you know he loves to say things just to get his name mentioned in the papers or TV/sports talk radio. We all know the stories of Reggie’s turbulent Highlander years as a self-promoting blowhard, who always felt he was above everything and anything. I have a Reggie story that was told to me by someone who worked for the Highlanders and is now deceased and it shows the true Reggie

When Jackson retired he was hired by George Steinbrenner to work in the front office with Gene Michael. On his first day as a front office employee, Reggie went into Steinbrenner’s office which doubled as his suite at Highlander Stadium and asked to be served a turkey sandwich and an iced tea.  Jackson was told by the gentleman who ran the suite that since he was now a front office employee of the Highlanders, he could not come into the office/suite whenever he felt like it and he could not eat there either, Reggie was told he had to eat in the cafeteria with the rest of the office staff. Jackson exploded when he heard this and said “Do you know who the fuck I am? Get me that fucking sandwich and drink”. To avoid further confrontation the attendant went and got Jackson his lunch. As Reggie sat and enjoyed his turkey sandwich, Boss George entered the suite. “Who’s that down there”? “Reggie, Boss” was the workers reply. “What the fuck is he doing here”? Asked Steinbrenner. “Eating his lunch” the worker said. “Eating his lunch” doesn’t he know he has to eat in the staff cafeteria”? said Big Stein. “I told him that Boss but he told me he’s Reggie Jackson and basically told me to go fuck myself” relayed the worker.

With that Boss George erupted and starting screaming at Jackson and grabbed the plate the sandwich was on and flung it at the wall, Steinbrenner then asked Jackson if he knew “Who the fuck he was”? Steinbrenner then told Jackson if he pulls a stunt like that again, he’ll fire him but before he made him leave Steinbrenner had two more things for Reggie to do, one, apologize to the suite attendant who Steinbrenner informed him was more valuable to the organization than Jackson and two, get a broom and clean up this mess. Jackson performed both tasks.

 

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Bunch of Bull-Pen

Raise your hand if you remember when relievers were escorted to the pitchers mound by the bullpen cart?

 

Loses are never good, and loses that cost you winning a series, which would have been the third straight series the Mets  had taken from the Phuck Phaces ,are awful but when you have a lead and the bullpen blows a win, that is downright  intolerable.

If I weren’t a Mets fan, I’d be doubled over laughing at the fan bases response to games the Mets bullpen blow. Nothing sets this fan base off like a good old fashion late inning bullpen melt down and last night was no different.  The only issue I have with the overreaction by some of the fan base is the back end of the pen that imploded last night hasn’t been that bad of late.  I will say as a whole the bullpen has a problem with inherited runners scoring and with the exception of Bobby Parnell and Frank Francisco, there isn’t a reliever who can come in and get the big strikeout when it’s needed.

I would have like to see Terry Collins leave Dillon Gee in finish the 7th inning. Gee has pitched so well his last three starts and the double he gave up it seems should have been played better by Andres Torres. Collins is going to have to have faith in his starters going deeper into games, especially with R.A. Dickey, who I feel he yanks too early in starts where he’s breezing along.

The Ramon Ramirez 3 run jack to J-Roll was the back breaker but then Chris Schwinden  to finish out the inning but all he did was add to the carnage. What the hell is it with Schwinden ? Talk about the poster boy for the AAAA player?

 

Update: I just wrote a whole addendum to this post and deleted by accident so I’ll abbreviate it. RHP Elvin Ramirez will be on the roster tomorrow to help out the bullpen and Jenry Mejia and Chris Young are not far behind to replace the trio of Schwinden, Heftner (maybe?) and Egbert.

Josh Thole will be activated tomorrow as well which meand the Mets have to chose between Mike Nickeas and Rob Johnson as Tholes understudy. I’ll say they keep Johnson.

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NY Mets Had A Good Weekend, But It Could Have Been A Great Weekend

The good news is the Mets are 6-3 and took 2 of 3 from the Phuck Phaces in Filthadelphia. Should they have swept?  It not only would have been very sweet but I would have had a much better vibe about this team than I do this morning if they did. Do not get me wrong, I am very happy with this start and any time you can go to Filthadelphia and win a series is a solid positive but again the Mets allowed a team to get 4 or 5 outs in an inning will be the difference between the club staying in playoff contention or dropping to the second division.  The Mets are just not good enough to make a lot of mistakes.

Mike Pelfrey had another solid start yesterday, sure that WHIP of 1.80 is not good at all and he does leave pitches up in the zones that get smashed but yesterday after the first inning that looked like the beginning of a disastrous start, Pelf made adjustments and relied a lot on his sinker, a 90+MPH sinker I might add, and got ground ball out after ground ball out. Nice job out of Pelf.

I know Mike Nickeas is here for his defense but I don’t see how he is this solid defensive receiver.  Throwing out Juan Pierre at third was more on Pierre being an idiot making the third out at third base, than Nickeas being Jerry Grote. I’ll give Nickeas a bit of a hat tip as he seems to call a decent game but his backhanding of balls in the dirt and inability to keep balls in front of him has me turned off a bit.

Teams that have 2-1 leads going into the 7th inning have to get those last 9 outs and the ones that do are the teams that are pennant contenders. So far the bullpen has done a great job (Bobby Parnell, Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco) but yesterday when the frontline relievers weren’t used and the second tier arms came in the game, the results were a disaster. It wasn’t all Ramon Ramirez, Miguel Batista and Manny Acosta’ fault as Ruben Tejada made a bad throwing error and Scott Hairston played left field like he had marbles instead of spike on his shoes but again this team has a super model thin margin of error.

Congrats to Mets Fan Rich for sending in the correct answer to yesterday’s trivia question (R.A. Dickey gave up 6 HR’s in a game tying a modern MLB record) and winning the VIP tickets to the Tribeca Film Festival showing of Knuckleball! On Saturday April 21 at 8PM. This event is open to the public for FREE. So come on down and get a chance to meet R.A. Dickey, Charlie Hough, Tim Wakefield and Jim Bouton.

 

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ANDRES TORRES OVER COCO CRISP, NY METS GOT THE BETTER DEAL

 

 

When the Mets off season got under way one of the position I wanted to see an upgraded was center field. I had seen enough of Angel Pagan and it seems Sandy Alderson felt the same way. I was intrigued by Coco Crisp thinking he would be a nice cheap alternative to man the less spacious tundra of the center of the Citi Field outfield.  Alderson felt the better man for the job was Andres Torres, a great glove less than potent bat outfielder who came with RHP Ramon Ramirez to the Mets from the Giants for Angel Pagan.

After reading that Crisp re-signed with the A’s for 2yrs/$14 mil, a year and cash figure that quite frankly stunned me, I went over to Fan Graphs to look at a comparison of both players. 

There isn’t that much of a difference offensively between the two players that would make one about $5 mil better than the other. Crisp will make $7mil a year while Torres made $2.2 mil last year and is under team control for two more seasons.  So even with a raise to say, $3mil for Torres, having him over Crisp in the Mets outfield is major plus for the Mets.

Crisp, 32 years old, has a lifetime .264/.314/.379 with an ISO of .115 in 583 plate appearances.  Torres, 34 years old has a lifetime .221/.312/.330 with an ISO of .109 in 398 plate appearances. We are not talking offensive juggernauts here. Crisp is more the base stealer than Torres swiping 49 bags in his big league career to 19 for Torres. Both players walks rates are close Crisp take a base on balls 7.0% of his plate appearances to Torres’ 10.6 % rate. Torres K’s too much at 23.9 % while Crisp is more disciplined at 11.1 %. 

Back in 2010, Torres had a fine season putting up a line of .268/.343/.479 with 16 HR 43 2B and 63 RBI for the World Champion San Francisco Giants. The last real good offensive season that Crisp has had was back in 2005. So the odds are much better of Torres giving the Mets a bounce back season than Crisp putting up big numbers.

Crsip’ defense has been in decline the last couple of years whereas Torres has continued to play a stellar centerfielder.

So for a difference of say $5mil, who made the better deal, Billy Beane by signing Crisp or Sandy Alderson dealing for Torres? It looks like advantage Alderson to me especially is Ramirez is a decent reliever then this deal could be a huge positive for the Mets.

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PAGAN? HE GONE AND THE REBUILT BULLPEN

Well, if nothing else, Rauch and Francisco won’t tolerate much bullshit!

 

Well, the Mets won’t be coming home from Dallas empty handed. Maybe they are not the most sexy moves Mets fans wanted but they are practical, kind of like getting an iron or power tool for Christmas.  Let’s take a gander at the transaction shall we:

Angel Pagan to the Giants for Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez

Note to all Mets personnel, don’t piss off Terry Collins or you too will be shown the door.  It seems many of Pagan’s ex-teammates won’t be shedding any tears that he’s gone and neither will I. Talk about addition by subtraction. Pagan fell out of favor with the club because a piss poor attitude and putting oneself above the team that don’t fly here no more, especially when you’re fringe major leaguer.

The return from the Giants is quite intriguing. Torres is an upgrade defensively but he not much to look at in the batter’s box. Can Dave Hudgens can do the voodoo they he do-do and bring Torres back offensively to where he was in 2010 (.268/.343/.479 16 HR 43 2b 6.8 WAR) ?

The best part of the deal is getting Ramirez   added to this new look bullpen. Ramirez walks a few batters more than I like but he is effective against right handed hitters. I’m surprised Brian Sabean would include Ramirez in this deal because on the surface Pagan and Torres cancel each other at as both were non-tender candidates and if you’d look to deal Ramirez I’m sure the Giants could have gotten a better offer.

Mets sign Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco

One year deal for $3.5 mil for Rauch and a 2 year $12 mil for Francisco. Are either of these guys top flight pitchers? No ,but for the price they’ll should be more than serviceable . When you look at the Mets bullpen right now, it is far better than it was on the last day of the 2011 season. Rauch should be fine as the 8th inning set up man and Francisco  will take the role as closer but both could interchange the roles if need be. Francisco is a strike out pitcher who throws his fastball and split both effectively and comes with a manageable contract.

So right now the Mets bullpen looks as so:

Francisco  RHP

Rauch  RHP

Ramirez RHP

Parnell RHP

Acosta RHP

Brydak LHP

 

I don’t think Bobby Parnell is a lock for a bullpen spot but to not have to close or set up in the 8th inning could help as he could be the ROOGY to Brydak’s LOOGY. I’m sure Alderson would love to add another lefty to this group. What to do with DJ Carrasco? He has another year left on his deal but it’s just for a million and change so he could see himself included as a thrown in a deal (with Daniel Murphy?) . It seems Pedro Beato is ticketed for Buffalo and there isn’t anyone else from last season arson squad I’d want to keep.

You have to take these deals as a positive, not a jump up and down positive but the team is better than it was on the last day of the season positive.

 

 

 

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