Blog Entry

A Mets Outlook. Q&A Style

Posted on: July 30, 2008 3:45 am
Edited on: July 30, 2008 3:54 am

Since the beginning of the season, the New York Mets have taken fans on a roller coaster ride, hovering around .500 most of the first half, firing the beleaguered Willie Randolph in a strange fashion and making a turnaround that some are calling the biggest surprise of the 2008 season.

Let’s start with the resurgence of much-maligned first baseman Carlos Delgado.  Who has a .372 average with nine homers and 24 RBI this month. Those are his highest totals in each of those categories in a month ever as a Met. Plus he has an active 10-game hitting streak. What’s your take on the comeback, and his importance for the Mets now, and in the future?

Last month, I would have personally piggy-backed this guy to Puerto Rico if it meant not seeing him in a Mets uniform ever again. Today, I want to pick him up and HUG the graying bastard. It is no coincidence that the Mets are hot during Delgado’s hitting spree. Plus add the red hot Tatis, who has been a flat out super hero, but you’d have to be a backalley crack addict to think he’ll sustain this level of play.

He was the easy target and I thought he was headed to his next career in Just for Men commercials. I still think it’s sad that a former pitcher, Rick Ankiel, has better power numbers (22 homers, .547 SLG) than anyone in the Mets lineup, but without Delgado’s recent production the Mets would be still be floating in the .500 sea of mediocrity.

Do I think he’ll keep it up all summer?  No. But his newfound ability to take pitches the other way is making a lot of teams reconsider the shift.

Okay, let’s discuss the upcoming trade deadline.  With so many prospects being shipped off to Minnesota for Johan Santana, what are the Mets’ chances of making an impact move come the deadline?

I have some great moves for the Mets to make, but the only catch is that other teams have to agree to them. But that’s usually how it works! Honestly, I’m not sold on Matt Holliday, but would love to have him. The fact that we were talking about how great it would have been to get Xavier Nady is just mind boggling to me given the fact that we had him two seasons ago and nobody really cared. I actually wouldn’t mind a deal for Ken Griffey, Jr. if it didn’t involve top prospects. He’s struggling and aging, but I think a pennant race could revitalize his swing.

No question, the Mets need to take care of their needs in the corner outfield positions. If Church remains a non-factor, then they have to get someone – Ibanez, Bay. I would not trade F-Mart for either, so Omar will have to be creative.  One outfielder I’d like them to target is Randy Winn. He’s a solid fielder, hits .300 with RISP and would be a perfect #2 hitter – which could be just as valuable as a power bat. Not sure what he would cost – could be a salary dump for the Giants so maybe two mid-level prospects?   Maybe a disgruntle Jose Guillen (3yrs $36m) for bum Luis Castillo (4yrs $25m) deal can be pulled off.

On the other hand we’ve donated enough talent for player rentals in the past.  Everyone keeps saying that they can’t win with Tatis and Easley, but no one gave those guys the memo. 

Last week, the Mets’ bullpen got a scare with Billy Wagner’s arm, and subsequently gave up six runs in a disasterous ninth against the PhilliesWho picks up the slack in the bullpen, if Wagner is out?

Aaron Heilman might be our next best option. He’s been throwing some serious gas lately and when you mix that with his changeup that’s a nasty combination to adjust to in the ninth inning.

Duaner Sanchez, he’s one notch below a reliable stopper. Problem here is that you weaken the middle relief.

There is some word that the Mets are interested in Huston Street, whom I would like to have, but we all know he will come with a hefty price tag. Having said that, he would be perfect to take the closer role from Wagner after he vomits from the pressure in September.

An offseason where the Mets committed a large sum of cash to often injured second baseman, Luis Castillo, the replacements have come in and seemingly tripled the production out of that position.  Who gets the job when Castillo returns?

Luis Castillo is still on the Mets? I have zero faith in Luis Castillo. Does anyone really care if this guy returns or not? Nope. Man, am I glad we have him locked up for another 3 seasons. Sooooo worth it. Damion Easley has been doing a fine job, and he’s a consummate professional. I’d platoon A. Reyes and Easley unless someone can name one thing special Luis Castillo brings to this team. I know you can’t.

All Mets trade talk begins and ends with F-Mart.  Is Fernando Martinez the real deal, or is he worth dealing now for more proven talent?

I’d only trade F-Mart in a deal for Holliday. I’d be tempted to do this straight up for Bay, but not sure. Bay is a good player and would immediately upgrade this lineup. With him, the Mets would be (dare I say), NL East favorites.  And I think he has another year on his contract so he’s not just a rental. Bottom line the Mets should not only keep F-Mart, but promote him the instant we get a concrete verdict on Church’s health.  He’s a legit hitter, and even if he’s not the stud everyone predicts, he’s going to be productive.

Who on the Mets is the team MVP thus far?

This is tough. You look at the team and you want to say David Wright. His numbers are great, but I just don’t get the feeling that he’s the MVP yet. I’m going with Jose Reyes. He’s gone from batting in the .240’s to an average over .300. His OBP and OPS are higher than they’ve ever been in his career, and there’s no denying when he gets on base, the Mets win games. All that and the guy is the first in MLB history to have 10 homers, 10 triples, 20 doubles and 30 stolen bases before the All Star break.

Any time someone does something that no one has ever done in the history of the game – as Reyes had at the All Star break – he has to be team MVP. His fielding has been a concern for sure, but let’s face it, Reyes is an offensive animal. Love him or hate him or fight him, this guy is the catalyst. Bottom line: If he doesn’t produce, the Mets can’t win.

Category: MLB

Since: Dec 28, 2006
Posted on: July 30, 2008 11:54 am

A Mets Outlook. Q&A Style

Great blog. I was saying all winter that we would be picking up the option on Carlos Delgado and this month he is showing us why. He is still a very productive bat and there is nothing on the free agent market this winter other than Mark Tiexera (whom has been traded to Anaheim and they would look VERY foolish if they didnt sign him after trading Casey Kotchman). We all know that he wont keep hitting at a close to .390 clip but we could do alot worse than him. All we need him to do is stay away from the funk that was killing him at the beginning of the season.

As far as some of the names that you mentioned as possible targets before the deadline, I would love to have Matt Holliday as well but don't think that's a realistic possibility. Same with Jason Bay. I couldn't figure out the enamor with Xavier Nady myself. We all know what he brings but for what Pittsburgh was asking, he went off my radar quick. When we start looking at realistic possibilities I am with you in that Randy Winn would be very nice in the 2 hole. I wonder as well what he would cost. I agree with you as well that Ken Griffey Jr. could be invigorated by a move to a pennant race but they are probably gonna ask for pieces that we aren't willing to give up. As far as Jose Guillen....nice thought but do you think anyone is gonna touch Luis Castillo? Not gonna happen. Easily the biggest duh move of Omar Minaya's career.

The scare with Billy Wagner did have me worried but with the going rate for relief pitching I just don't know if we are going to be able to attain anything that would be any better than what we already have. Would like to see George Sherrill come over from Baltimore in a perfect world but again, the price is steep. Not nearly as steep as it would be for Huston Street though. I would like him as well but knowing Billy Beane, he probably isn't even worth discussing. We're just gonna have to go with what we've got. Duaner Sanchez is better than he showed last week and I would feel confident handing him the ball if we had to.

Now, when Castillo returns? Sit him on the bench, lol Won't happen though. Manuel is gonna be pushed to have him on the field due to Omar's screw up. Hopefully he can come back and do something. Otherwise, just sit him the heck down. Don't make us go too long dealing with the frustration that has been Castillo all year.

My feelings on Fernando Martinez are this. I think he is a very good prospect but I am not sold on him. He's being pushed through the system too fast and his numbers haven't been all that (not to mention he keeps hurting his hamstring). If we can get the right offer (Bay, Holliday....not Manny) than you can be sure I would say heck yes to that. If he doesn;t get put in a deal then I want him to stay in the minors all year. He just isn't ready yet.

My team MVP has to go to be a group award. Johan Santana, John Maine, Oliver Perez, and Mike Pelfrey are Co-MVP's. Even when things weren't going so well for us, they kept us in games. Now that they are starting to get some offense behind them, the wins are catching up to their pitching. Pelfrey and Perez have been on fire the last 6 weeks. Johan finally got a CG under his belt. Biggest scare we have had is the recent news with John Maine and his shoulder. Thankfully it's just a strain. With any kind of luck it stays just that. These 4 guys have allowed me to avoid thinking about how disappointing Pedro Martinez has been (thank God his contract is done). Its these guys that will get us into the post season. Reyes and Wright have been great and all but without these 4 we would be soo deep in the cellar that we wouldnt have just witnessed Willie randolphs firing. We would be in complete sell mode and Omar would be gone. 

Since: Jun 23, 2008
Posted on: July 30, 2008 10:25 am

A Mets Outlook. Q&A Style

Another complete game shutout for Tartans!  Your views and opinions are always on the money.  At least in my humble opinion they are.  I agree with you 100%.  I would love to bring Jason Bay over from the Pittsburgh Pirates but I think that probably won't happen.  They're more likely to ship off Jack Wilson & keep at least one headliner for the sake of ticket sales over at PNC Park.  Ken Griffey Jr. would no doubt look like he was dipping in to the fountain of youth upon his arrival and the way the ball has been soaring out of Shea this yer he'll probably see some great pitches if he's inserted in the right spot.  I'm thinking 2nd in front of David Wright or 6th behind Carlos Beltran.  Many of us worry about another lefty in the line up but even with Luis Castillo and Ryan Church in the lineup, 3 out of 5 are not true lefties but switch hitters.  Jose Guillen also be cool especially if they can dump Castillo's contract on the revenue sharing rich Kansas City Royals.  It would even work out if KC insisted we take on Mark Grudzielanek and his expiring contract.  I'm glad you didn't bring up Adam Dunn or Manny Ramirez since I really don't feel either one of them would work out here.  Dunn mostly because his game is so one dimentional and Manny mainly because of all the distractions here in NY.  On my wish list, and this is totally out of right field (excuse the pun), is Michael Cuddyer.  The Minnesota Twins may not ask for much because of his injury plagued season and he really would be a nice fit for this team.

As far pitching goes, bring over Houston Street if you can.  Needless to say it would be fun to see if New Yorkers opt for the pronunciation of the name as in the city in Texas or the street in Manhattan.  Besides that, you very well know there is no such thing as having too much pitching.  Omar can also inquire as to whether KC is willing to throw in an arm in with Guillen if we add Francisco Martinez to the pot.  Guillen, Grudzielanek & Zach Greinke for Castillo, F. Martinez and a mid-level prospect or cash?  Sounds good to me.  Don't get me wrong, I don't doubt F-Mart will be an above average contributor once he makes it to tha show, but Greinke (25) and Guillen (32) still have plenty to offer now and a few years after Citi Filed opens it's doors.  Let's not forget Lastings Milledge generated just as much buzz when he was coming up and he isn't exactly raking it right now.


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