Archive for August, 2013

By Steven InmanimagesCAU5LIB3

We talked a few days ago about how Ike Davis was the most important Met player to watch in September. Well now it looks like he won’t get the opportunity as he strained his oblique in his second at bat Saturday night.

He immediately left the game and strained obliques are usually a 30-day injury. The season only has about 30 days left so there is a good chance we don’t see Ike Davis again in 2013.

If Ike Davis’ season is truly over, it will go down as a season that was even worse than last year. Ike was hitting just .205 with nine homers and 33 RBI’s prior to the injury.

The Mets struggled to score runs all season long and Ike Davis who batted cleanup most of the season was the biggest culprit.

The Mets were determined to evaluate Davis in September to decide what to do with him. Now they most likely won’t have that luxury.

Ike will get another raise in arbitration this winter despite his poor season. His 2014 salary should be in the $5-6 million range.

Do the Mets non-tender him or do they try one more year of arbitration?

The Mets have other options through free agency at first base with guys like Justin Morneau and Kendrys Morales being free agents. Neither is likely to break the bank.

Or perhaps they go for the big splash on Cuban Slugger Jose Abreu but I’m told that is highly unlikely.

I’m sure the Mets are hesitant that if they let Ike go he could be like that other Davis who has 50 homers for Baltimore after being traded from Texas.

The Mets must find a shortstop, two outfielders and perhaps a starting pitcher but I find what they do at first to be the most fascinating question going into the biggest offseason for Sandy Alderson as Mets general manager.

What should the Mets do with Ike Davis?

By Steven InmanimagesCANTDGDW

The Mets haven’t had a league average bullpen since the 2007 season but it looks like that could change soon. The Mets are developing some nice young arms and they aren’t all going to be starting pitchers.

Going into the 2013 season the Mets bullpen was entirely up in the air and after a lot of reshuffling, the Mets look a lot more comfortable with some of the arms they will have next year out of their pen.

It all starts with Bobby Parnell who had a strong season as the teams closer before undergoing a neck injury that will likely keep him out the rest of the year. He should be ready to go in Spring Training and has two more years under team control through arbitration.

Next the Mets have Vic Black and Gonzalez Germen. Both of these guys should get save opportunities in September with no Parnell around. This could prepare them for high leverage roles next season to build a bridge to Parnell. Germen has been solid so far for the Mets and is likely to be apart of the Mets 2014 bullpen.

Black,25, has yet to throw a pitch for the Mets after coming over in a trade from Pittsburgh the other day but will be added to the roster once they expand on Sunday, September 1st. Black was a very good get for Sandy Alderson.

Black has a good arm and is getting over the control issues that have plagued him in the past. He looks ready to contribute.

Carlos Torres has been one of the better minor league free agent signings in Baseball this season

Carlos Torres has been one of the better minor league free agent signings in Baseball this season

Next you have the two lefties Scott Rice and Josh Edgin both who are under team control next season at the league minimum. Rice has been a fantastic find as a 31 year old rookie and Edgin looked like he was just figuring it out before braking a rib in a season ending injury.

Last but certainly not least is Carlos Torres who has been fantastic as a spot starter and even better as a short reliever. Torres has a 2.77 ERA in 55 innings for the Mets in ’13. He has been great and seems to have the type of rubber arm that every good team seems to have. He too will be under Mets control next season.

The Mets now have six guys they could in theory pencil in to spots in the 2014 bullpen. At this time last year they had one and that was Parnell. It looks clear now that the Mets are finding some solid arms as Sandy Alderson continues to sculpt this team.

By Steven Inmanuntitled

Terry Collins acknowledged that SS Ruben Tejada will be recalled during September call ups and will get a bulk of the playing time. Tejada who really hasn’t hit all that much to deserve a call up, recently has been getting hot. He’s now hitting .385/.444/.590 in his last 10 games which moves his Triple A line to .295/.347/.379 in 57 games with Las Vegas.

Tejada is a big league player but at this point it has become clear that he is not one Terry Collins favorites and they will likely need to address the shortstop position this winter.

Tejada has hit just .209 in 209 plate appearances for the Mets in 2013.

The Mets drafted Gavin Cecchini in the first round in 2012 but he is playing in short season, Brooklyn and is at least three years away.

Tejada will get a long look in  the final month to see what he is. I think when all is said and done, Tejada becomes a nice utility man who can play both middle infield positions kind of like a Maicer Izturis, Ramon Santiago type. The question is does he become that type of player here in Queens.

I wrote about a month ago that it was time to bring Tejada back up. You can check out that article here.

The questions about Tejada have always been about his bat. Tejada has one homer all year and that came in Thursday’s Las Vegas game. That being said he really struggled defensively in April and cost the Mets at least a game or two. Tejada will be one of many players competing for a 2014 job in September.

 

By Steven Inmanuntitled

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports is reporting that reliever Vic Black is a “strong possibility” of being the player to named in the Marlon Byrd trade. This report has since been confirmed. Black, 25, has had a strong season in Triple A going 5-3 with a 2.51 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 46 innings. Hitters are batting just .169 against him this season.

Besides having a cool name, Black has pitched in 3 games for the Pirates this year who have a very deep bullpen. Black has a terrific arm and would be a strong get to an already strong trade for the Mets. Black was the Pirates first round pick in 2009 and has thrived after moving to the bullpen.

His fastball can be a plus pitch, into the mid-90s with sinking movement, and he combines it with a hard slider that could be a Major League average pitch. Black’s control, however, hasn’t been nearly as solid until 2013.  If Black can find the strike zone with more consistency, he has the stuff to pitch out of the back end of the bullpen perhaps as a closer or an 8th inning guy.

Black being on the Pirates 40-man roster, is expected to clear waivers tomorrow, though if he is claimed, the Pirates will pull him off waivers and send Black to the Mets at the end of the season. If he goes unclaimed he can be one of the Mets September Call ups.

MiLB.com ranked him as the sixth-best pitching prospect in Pittsburgh’s farm system entering 2013.

Neil Huntington the Pirates GM went on a Pittsburgh radio station acknowledging the player to be named was a “ouch” prospect.

Another good get for Sandy Alderson.

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By Steven Inman
The Mets have called up prospect Matt den Dekker from Las Vegas. He will wear #6. He hit .296 with 34 R, 8 2B, 6 HR, 38 RBI in 53 games for the 51s.

Den Dekker will take Marlon Byrd’s spot on the roster after he was traded to Pittsburgh.

This is a big opportunity for Den Dekker. He is an elite centerfielder with power and speed but can he make enough contact at the big league level.

We will have to wait and see but Den Dekker has played well at every level of the minor leagues during his second stint at the level. After struggling hitting .220 at Triple A last year Den Dekker fared much better and merited the call up. He is not in the lineup tonight vs. the Phillies.

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By Steven Inman

RF Marlon Byrd and C John Buck with cash have been traded to Pittsburgh for 19 year old 2b Dilson Herrera and a player to be named later.
Byrd had a fantastic season in New York hitting a career high 21 homers and playing a steady right field.
John Buck who will backup Russell Martin in Pittsburgh got off to a terrific start hitting 10 homers in April but hit just 6 since and lost his starting job to Travis d’Arnaud.
Herrera was putting up solid numbers in High A playing mostly second and a little third. He is NOT a shortstop.
Herrera was ranked as the #11 prospect in the Pittsburgh system according to MLB.com. He would definitely rank in the top 10 for the Mets. He will likely head to Single A Savannah.
Losing Byrd hurts but in a season that is already over it made sense to deal Marlon Byrd when he’s a free agent in a month. The Mets already have interest in bringing Byrd back to Queens in 2014.
It’s a bittersweet trade. On one hand the Mets have traded their most consistent player but on the other hand they are getting a very good prospect back for one month of Byrd.
What do you think of the Mets trade? 20130827-152334.jpg

By Steven Inmanuntitled

Sandy Alderson has signed SP Daiskue Matsuzaka to a MAJOR league deal. Matsuzaka will join the Mets rotation in place of Jenrry Mejia who was lost for the year.

BrokeMets has reported that the Mets were interested in Dice K over the winter so it made sense that the Mets signed him now after losing Mejia and Jeremy Hefner to season ending injuries.

Matsuzaka, 32, has pitched all season for Triple A Columbus (Indians) and went 5-8 with a 3.92 ERA in 103 innings this season. He was released from the Indians on Tuesday when he believed he had another opportunity elsewhere which turned out to be with the Mets.

While Matsuzaka isn’t the pitcher he once was, this allows the Mets to put Carlos Torres back in the bullpen where he has been much more effective. That being said get used to 4 hour ball games when Dice K starts, and that’s just if the team doesn’t keep playing extra inning games.

The Mets have Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom  all close to the big leagues but none are on the 40 man roster and they are all on innings limits. Matsuzaka can be a free agent at the end of the season.