Archive for March, 2013

By Steven InmanimagesCADQ3WP8

The Mets and Marlins both have arguably two of the top three pitching prospects in baseball in Zack Wheeler and Jose Fernandez. However they both teams made completely different decisions on these two top prospects. As Met fans are well aware, New York sent Wheeler down to Triple AAA Las Vegas to work on his control a bit. More likely though, the Mets sent him down for service time. He won’t be down for long.

After taking a lot of heat for heavily cutting payroll this winter, the Marlins plan on making top prospect Jose Fernandez their 5th starter. Fernandez, 20, has not pitched above High-A Jupiter.

To me the Mets are clearly doing the right thing here in keeping Wheeler down. Wheeler still has things to work on and the Mets will get an extra year of service time if he spends 20 days or more in the minors. Spending 20 days in the minors is definitely worth the extra year of service time. This isn’t the Mets being cheap, based on the CBA it’s a smart business plan for most teams.imagesCAU5LIB3

I’m not really sure what the Marlins are doing in bringing Fernandez up. He hasn’t pitched in Double or Triple AAA yet. It reeks of being desperate because even if the Marlins felt he was absolutely ready (which he might be, he’s really good) it just makes sense for the team to keep their future ace in the minors for 20 days.

The Marlins lost Nathan Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez who they acquired in trades over the last year to the disabled list. They really didn’t have any other quality options and Fernandez might be the best pitcher in the Marlins rotation already. He will make his major league debut against the Mets next Sunday. This also shows that the Marlins aren’t necessarily cheap, just that they don’t know how to run their team as well as they should. Even though I think the Marlins are making a mistake here promoting Fernandez, I still think he will be very effective in the majors right away but there is no reason to give up that extra year of service time when you don’t have to.

The Mets are doing the right thing with Wheeler here and it should be fun to see these two rookies batting it out for the National League rookie of the year. Fernandez will have the leg up between the two though as he will start the season in the majors.

By Steven Inman

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2013 Mets Opening Day lineup…imagesCADQ3WP8

Collin Cowgill, cf
Daniel Murphy, 2b
David Wright, 3b
Ike Davis, 1b
Marlon Byrd, rf
Lucas Duda, lf
John Buck, c
Ruben Tejada, ss
Jonathon Niese, lhp

The three new guys are Buck, Byrd and Cowgill who probably have more upside than the players who were at those positions last year on Opening Day. Terry Collins announced that both Byrd and Cowgill, contrary to popular belief, will not platoon, instead both will be everyday players to start off the year. We are now just 24 hours away from first pitch of Mets- Padres at CitiField. You can catch it at 1:10 p.m. on SNY.

By Steven InmanimagesCAU5LIB3

In a phone interview with WFAN’s Mike Francesa Friday afternoon, Sandy Alderson admitted that they brought in Marlon Byrd to Spring Training as a favor to the player. “I wouldn’t say it was great scouting” Alderson said. Then Alderson told Francesa that bringing in Byrd was more of a favor to the player. As we near the end of the spring training Byrd had the best spring of any Met outfielder.

The Mets are going to need a quality season from Marlon Byrd season if they want their offense to be above average. The Mets plan on using Byrd in right field although he is playing centerfield in today’s exhibition game vs. the Cardinals. Byrd, 35, is expected to play mostly everyday according to Terry Collins. Can Marlon Byrd carry his quality spring training in the regular season?

By Steven InmanimagesCAU5LIB3

Prospects Reese Havens and Darin Gorski will lose their 40-man roster spots, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.

Havens and Gorski will be placed on waivers; if no other team claims them, they will be assigned to the minor leagues. I believe Havens will probably get through waivers but Gorski who can throw around 90 MPH, is very deceptive and has a decent chance of getting claimed. I bet the Mets are doing everything they can to trade one of these guys before putting them through waivers.

With these two players off the 40-man roster, there will be five open spots for players that need to be added to the 40-man before the season begins. That means there is the outside chance of the Mets claiming a player as spring training winds down.

By Steven InmanimagesCAU5LIB3

In a conference call on SNY Thursday evening, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he believes that LHP Johan Santana has a tear in the anterior capsule in his left shoulder. This would be the second time this has happened to Santana in as many 2 ½ years. “A second surgery is a strong possibility,” Alderson said. “Johan may be lost to the Mets for the season.” Very few pitchers have ever had this injury and none have come back to have the same success as before.

Pitchers such as Chien Ming-Wang and Chris Young have also had this surgery with middling success.  In fact Santana was probably the most successful of any pitcher who had this injury. No pitcher has ever had this injury before and Santana’s career could possibly be over. His Met career is definitely over.imagesCADQ3WP8

Santana will be remembered for his no-hitter last year on June 1st, 2012 vs. the Cardinals and his gritty 3-hit shutout vs. the Marlins with a torn meniscus in September of 2008. If the Mets had one the game the next day and made the playoffs, I bet we have more of a glowing memory of Santana. He gave his all to the Mets but unfortunately, the Mets paid a pitcher $137.5 million for the second half of his career and that was a mistake.

The Mets would have been better off making the Santana trade and not signing him to a contract extension, instead let him play as a Met in 2008 (his only fully healthy season in Queens) and then let him be someone else’s problem in free agency. Never pay players 100 million plus for the second half of their careers.

By Steven Inman imagesCAU5LIB3

The Mets and Padres announced their Opening Series rotations for the first series of the year.

Monday: LHP Jonathon Niese vs. RHP Edinson Volquez

Wednesday: RHP Matt Harvey vs. LHP Clayton Richard

Thursday: RHP Dillon Gee vs. LHP Eric Stults

Richard and Stults could be a problem for the Mets who badly struggled vs. lefties last season. Volquez pitches like an ace at times but at other times looks like he’s a number five starter with his control issues. Richard has turned into a reliable lefty for the Padres since coming over in a trade with the White Sox for Jake Peavy. Stults, 33, has been a journeyman starter for the Dodgers, White Sox and Rockies before enjoying a very strong stint with the Padres last season.

How do you think the Mets will handle the Padres in the first series of the year?

Mets trade Elvin Ramirez to the Angels

Posted: March 28, 2013 in News

By Steven InmanimagesCADQ3WP8

In the Mets difficult quest to free up some 40-man roster spots, the Mets traded reliever Elvin Ramirez to the Angels, Wednesday for cash considerations. The Angels were looking for bullpen depth and Ramirez is young and has an electric but wild arm.

Ramirez, 25, had a 5.48 earned run average in 20 games for the Mets last season. He was much more successful in Triple AAA Buffalo with a 2.36 ERA. Ramirez has a good arm and a great fastball. However, he has no idea where the ball is going most of the time. In the majors last season Ramirez averaged 8.44 walks per nine innings. He averaged over five walks per nine innings in the minors last year too.

For the Angels he is a “project type” reliever who they think can provide depth at Triple A. The Mets were going to send him through waivers anyway so at least they get a little cash back. The Mets 40 man roster now stands at 38. They still have to clear a few more spots.