Posted on: July 12, 2010 3:56 am

Mets 1st half : Grades and comments

The All-Star Game is the unofficial half-way point of the year(it's actually 7 games into the 2nd half), so it's time to assess how the Mets are doing. I'll be breaking down the offense, then pitching and finally coaching. I'll post the grades then a brief summary. Please feel free to comment afterwards. Here we go...


C- Barajas  B-   Rod  has done a solid job behind the dish and has good numbers despite his recent slump.

1B- Davis   Ike has brought power, defense and energy to the position and team. IMHO, Minaya's best developed prospect.

2B- Castillo D   Luis is hitting .241 with 3 extra-basehits and can't make a play to his left. Overpaid,aging & expendable.

SS- Reyes  Needs to walk more, but when healthy, he makes this offense go. His defense has been solid as well.

3B- Wright  The Mets MVP and possible NL MVP as well. He has put up the numbers and played great defense. The Mets lone AS.

LF- Bay  So far his power numbers are down and his defense is spotty. He's not looked like a 66 million dollar player, but it's early.

CF- Pagan  A  The Mets biggest surprise. He's hit well, run well and played solid defense. He's earned a starting spot.

RF- Francoeur  C+  Too streaky, but his numbers aren't bad for a guy who they've dumped in the 7th and 8th hole. Plays great defense.

Bench: C-  Until Thole, they haven't had a pinch-hitter. Tatis(.185) is horrible, Carter is hitting under .250, Cora is mediocrity personified and Catalanotto hit .160 before being cut. Blanco has been a nice back-up and Feliciano filled in nicely as well. Carter has some pop, but now is the 5th OF and Ike plays every game. Chris may not be around too long, if Evans shows he can hit.


SP- Santana  B-  The ace has looked great in his last 3 starts, but has been too up-and-down so far. The 2nd half looks good though.

SP- Pelfrey  B   Mike has slumped his last 5 starts, but is 10-4. He carried the Mets early on. Hopefully, he gets back to throwing strikes.

SP- Niese  B-  After a poor start, he's been the Mets 2nd best pitcher. Good K-BB ratio. Currently, the #3 pitcher in the rotation.

SP- Dickey  B+  A God-send after Maine and Perez nearly destroyed the rotation. He's slipped lately, but has been stellar.

SP- Maine  D-   A flop and a head case. Odds are he's done as a Met and few if any will miss him. Wasted talent.

SP- Perez  F  The worst pitcher in MLB and the most overpaid. He threw 100 pitches in 5 innings @ Triple A. He's pathetic.

SP/RP- Takahashi  B+   IMHO he's been the best off-season acquisition and most valuable pitcher. Great in relief, decent as a starter.

RP- Nieve  D+   The manager has virtually buried him and this pen is far from deep. He's a AAA pitcher, nothing more.

RP- Igarashi    A total waste of 1.25 million. The Mets spent 2.5 million on 2 set-up guys and got an injured player and a stiff.

RP-Valdes  C-  At best a long reliever, but really a guy who belongs back in the Independent Leagues. Hello NJ!

RP- Mejia  C  A wasted 3 months being misused and not developed. His numbers were mediocre, but more importantly, he was wasted.

RP- Dessens  B-  A journeyman pitcher who is 39 and has never really has a good year. So far in limited use, he's done very well.

RP- Feliciano  B-  The energizer bunny is overused and of late has faltered. However, he's been a stalwart in a sea of mediocrity.

RP- Rodriguez  B   Far from perfect, he still has 21 saves in 25 opportunities. That's a 84% conversion rate. That's a B in my book.


MGR-Manuel  C  The guy lies, spouts nonsense, misuses the pen and bench. He also botches his order. However, they're 8 over.

PC- Warthen  C   Perez and Maine flopped, Santana has struggled, Pelfrey is fading and Niese started slowly. He gets credit for Dickey.

HC-Johnson  C-  Frenchy still lunges, Tejada hasn't improved and this team overall is far from a juggernaut. Honestly, why is he here?

1B- Shines  D-  I know he's at first, but he is horrible. Worst 3B coach ever. Why is he still in MLB?

3B- Hale  B+  I love his approach and he's aggressive. Today he shouldn't have sent Frenchy, but overall, a huge upgrade over Shines.

BC- Jauss  B   This guy is very cerebral and could easily replace the dullard. My guess is he's helped Jerry be less dim.

BPC- Niemann  C+  I like his fiery approach and he'll stand-up for the group. However, the pen is mediocre and that reflects on him.

Overall grade:   C+  I almost went B-, but the Mets ended the first half poorly losing 4 of 6 at home to 2 division leaders. They've also played poorly on the road failing to win a series against a NL team. They've played great at home. They've been too streaky and no area of the team has been first rate. They've overachieved in some areas and underachieved in others. They're in both races, but have slipped back in both of late. Their poor play on the road can doom them after the break if they're not careful.

Category: MLB
Tags: Mets
Posted on: July 8, 2010 5:30 pm
Edited on: August 1, 2010 11:15 am

The Mets must add a top starter.

To me anything else spells doom for 2010. Yeah, you can point to 2011. Then again this team pointed to 2007, then 2008, then 2009... How did that work out? I don't want 2010 thrown aside for the empty promise of next year.

I actually hear some Mets fans stating we can't give up our future.  Didn't the Phillies take that chance on Lee last year? All he did was pitched lights out and they rode him to the World Series. Then they decided they'd rather have Halliday and went after him. That's an organization with guts and brains IMHO. They went for it and wound up in the series and with an even better pitcher.

I keep hearing how the Mets can't mortgage the future. What mortgaging? If they trade Mejia, they're replacing potential with a known commodity who is quality. IMHO, they'd re-sign Lee(which I feel strongly they will) if they gave up 3-4 of their "top" prospects. If they trade Thole, they can't replace him? Flores? Tejada? Havens? Parnell? Martinez? The only "prospect" they can't afford to deal is Davis. He's their starting 1B man and the future. The Mets have Reyes @ SS and Wright @ 3B. Those positions are set. LF is set as well. 2B is up for grabs, but Havens and Tejada are just 2 guys they have ready. Even if no one is ready, they can get a guy for a year or 2 who is better than Cora or Castillo. Martinez is replaceable by Nieuwenhuis. That leaves RF and the Mets have Pagan and Duda as well. All of those guys won't go in a  Lee deal. Even Mejia is repaced by Cohoon to some degree.

It's not whether the Mets are willing to sacrifice prospects, it's whether the Mariners(or Astros or D-Backs) are buying into the hype of the Mets organization and fans. They may see these prospects as inferior to those in Minny, Texas, Cincy or LA. If that's the case, then it's out of their hands. However, if they're willing to take a package of prospects and Davis isn't included, then they have to make the deal.

Let's say the Mets don't have enough for Lee. Then they must go after Oswalt. I laugh when I see posters and fans dismissing this guy. Today he just 1-hit the Pirates and game-in-game out he pitches quality starts. He goes deep, starts 33 games a year and is a winner and true ace. He led the Astros to the WS in 2005. Roy would probably cost less, but if it's Flores, Martinez, Thole, Familia or some combo of that and a Tejada, do it. Mejia I would hold off, unless it was virtually straight up. Oswalt is also signed for 2011 at a relatively cheap price for an ace.

Finally, there is Danny Haren. Unlike the previous 2, he hasn't proven he can get a team to the WS and maybe more of a traditional #2. He'd cost less, but is still a quality front-of-the-rotation guy. He would allow Pelfrey to slide to #3, Niese #4 and Dickey @ #5. That's a pretty nice rotation and 4 of the 5 would be shoo-ins for 2011. That means if Dickey fades, you only need to replace him. #5 starters can be replaced fairly cheaply. Again, what do you give up? Certainly the same guys would be mentioned(Flores, Thole, Mejia etc).

To get quality, you have to give up what you and others perceive as quality. I've read quotes attributed to GM's that Omar too often offers garbage and wants quality back. That's not getting you anyone and only will make them ignore you more when it's crunch time. This time he can't say he has enough like he laughably said in the off-season. He passed on Piniero and Garland who both have 8 or more wins and are pitching well. He decided to go with dreck like Maine and Perez rather than dealing or cutting them. Now he has a chance to show he was right in being patient. If he pulls off getting one of these 3, then his "strategy" was correct. However,  if he settles for Carmona, Westbrook or Lilly, then he failed, IMHO. He gave up prospects for 2nd tier pitchers, when he could have gotten them for mere money and at FMV to boot. Omar would have failed twice in one season to replace what everyone knew had to be replaced. If he gets Lee, Oswalt or Haren he did his job. Anything less and IMHO he didn't.... again.

This trade deadline will show once again what this GM is made of. Does he have the acumen to pull off an in-season blockbluster? Does he have not only the talent, but the stones? Is he just the ultimate spinner, enabler and mediocre GM many of us see him as, or is he more? His actions(or inaction) at the deadline will define him. It could also define who is running this club in 2011.

Staying pat means giving up. Taking a risk is harder and carries uncertainty. It also takes guts and could lead to real success. Competing and falling short, isn't success. IMHO, with this payroll and the last 3 failed years, nothing short of the post-season is. Nothing. No excuses, make a deal and a good one. If you can't, step aside for someone who will and can.

Category: MLB
Tags: Mets
Posted on: June 24, 2010 5:13 pm

The 2010 Mets are a likeable team.

Jerry Seinfeld made reference to this last night in his brilliant stint in the Mets TV booth. He said this is one of his favorite teams and is enjoying the season. I agree with him in both areas. I'd still like a starter and bullpen arm, but it's hard to argue with the current success and more importantly how they're playing as a team and the way they're playing the game on the field.

It's terrific to be tied for first. However, what is nicer, is how this team is playing. They've won 14 of 17. They're 11-3 vs the AL and 8-0 vs non-Yankees teams. That interleague record to me is very, very impressive. The Mets are also 26-10 @ home. That's a must for a playoff contender. Dominate at home and play .500 on the road. They're getting there on the road, but are already there at home. They seem so comfortable @ Citifield. After last year's 41-40 record and the previous season's poor home mark, it's nice and needed.

What I like about this team so far is that Reyes and Wright are back.  The Mets left-side on the infield is again among the best in the sport. Reyes is running and driving the ball and Wright is running, playing great defense and driving in runs. Those 2 are the pride and joy of the Mets farm system. Reyes the catalyst. Wright the run producer. It is as it should be.

The Mets are playing the game right. They're running the bases well and taking chances. They're starting to bunch together hits and more than just singles. They're playing solid defense. They're getting terrific starting pitching. The Mets are rallying. They're protecting leads. They're having long winning streaks. They're also keeping it low-key in their celebrations and statements. Class and enthusiam has replaced the false bravado of past clubs. They're having fun, without showing up other teams. They're enjoyable.

I also like seeing real athletic and home-grown talent as well on the right-side. Tejada is young, but what a joy he's been. Davis looks like he's been @ 1B for 5 years. He's simply terrific. Davis is also so darn clutch. They're a joy to watch.

Lastly, to see guys like Frenchy, Barajas, Dickey and Pagan playing hard and leading this team in their play and attitude has been awesome. It's impossible not to like and root for those 4. I liked Rod from Day 1 and Dickey has been simply a joy to watch and listen to. He embodies what life is about. He's overcome obstacles and failure through hard work and sheer will. Pagan like Dickey has overcome obstacles and is making the best of his opportunity. Frenchy is a flawed player, but gives 100% and is a breathe of fresh air.

That's why getting another starter is so important. You want these guys to be rewarded with a post-season and hopefully a chance at a championship. The way they've played and conducted themselves makes you want for him even more than yourself as a fan.

Category: MLB
Tags: METS
Posted on: May 31, 2010 9:04 pm
Edited on: May 31, 2010 9:12 pm

Oliver Perez must go.

Omar Minaya has made a lot of mistakes in the 6 years he's run this club, but signing this dud to a 3 year-36 million dollar deal was his worst. That's saying a lot from a guy who hired Randolph and Manuel and signed Castillo to a 4 year-25 million dollar deal. However, Perez's signing dwarfs them all in the annals of pure stupidity.

Oliver Perez since that been incredibly bad. He's 3-7 with a 6.62 ERA. Currently he's in the bullpen where he's been largely ignored and the manager won't use him unless there is no other option. Manuel just said Perez may be used in extra innings. Unreal. A pitcher making 12 million limited to only pitching in extra innings. It's laughable.

Beyond the fact he's limited, he's also hampering the pen. They're in effect one man short(as Gary Cohen astutely pointed out yesterday). With the Mets fragmented(and overachieving) rotation, all the bullpen help possible is needed. They can't afford to carry an albatross like Perez.

There is also dissention among some players which has seeped out to the media. 2 players openly scoffed at Perez being used. They mocked Manuel's plan and Perez's abilities. It's obvious no one has faith in this guy and why should they? He's a joke.

Since he signed that ludicrous deal, he came in overweight, got whalloped, got hurt, returned, then got hurt again.He ended the year 3-4 with a 6.82 ERA. This off-seasion he supposedly rededicated himself to the sport. Well, he has been nothing short of horrid going 0-3 with a 6.25 ERA and 32 walks with only 29 K's. He stunk as a starter and is even worse as a reliever with a 10+ ERA.

In the year plus since his re-signing here are some numbers: 3-7w/6.62ERA-102 IP-75ER-91K's-90BB's. It's hard to imagine anyone can do worse. Look at those numbers!

So the Mets asked him to go to Triple A to straighten himself out and he refused. He was adamant that he'd stay on the MLB as was his right. This shows how selfish and disloyal he is. There is no way the Mets should keep him on this roster and should immediately waive him and eat his contract. Keeping him one game longer shows how incredibly indecisive they are and how unprepared they were for this year. I mean honestly, the few who thought this guy would turn-it-around had to be in his or Omar's immediate family.

Oliver Perez should not be a Met when they return to Citifield on Friday to play the Marlins.  The Mets need to admit their mistake, own up to it and act accordingly. Then next up they need to deal with John Maine who though not as bad as Perez(how could be be?) is also on the outs and should be moved as well.

The temerity of this front office to believe Perez and Maine would win 30 games is all you have to know about their baseball acumen. Then to compound that by saying there weren't better pitchers available is insulting to Mets fans or anyone who knows the sport.

Oliver Perez must go. NOW!

Category: MLB
Tags: Mets
Posted on: May 15, 2010 12:08 pm
Edited on: May 15, 2010 2:34 pm

The Mets are on treadmill. Action is needed soon.

They are .500 after 36 games. They're 4-10 on the road. Their rotation is 9-9. Oliver Perez is a joke. Maine and Niese are inconsistent. Their bullpen pitches 4 innings a game. Their offense is unproductive. They lose one run games. They never win rubber games. Their coaching staff may be the worst in MLB(except for Hale and Jauss). Their GM is delusional. Their owners care more about a West Coast team, political correctness and possibly acquiring a floundering hockey franchise, then their team. Their farm system though improved, is still middle-of-the-pack at best. Their 66 million dollar LF'er has 1 HR. Their supposed star shortstop has 0 HRS, can't bunt and has one infield hit all year. Their star 3B man has decent power stats, but strikes out more than nerds at a college mixer. Their 2B man has no range or pop and is always hobbling. Their RF is pressing and regressing back to old habits.

So how do they turn it around? Do they make a deal for a real top line starter like Oswalt? Do they decide to give Gee a shot? Do they finally pull the plug on a manager who obviously has little clue about hitting(a life-time .199 hitter himself) or pitching? Do they simply replace the pitching and hitting coaches? All would be moves that are worth doing. My guess is they do none of them and wait, wait, wait.

This organization loves to make excuses. It's the wind, or injuries, or too many west coast trips. They look to blame external factors instead of looking within. That's where the problems lie. They have apathetic owners. They have an overmatched and inadequate GM who is basically the owner's son's gofer. Their manager is like a character from the old Dave Chappelle Show. Their pitching and hitting coach have no answers and look befuddled. The team looks resigned to being what they are and that's a mediocre team.

You know they'll start to talk up Beltran's return. He'll make this team a playoff contender, they'll say. If the Mets can just be around .500, they'll make a run and be a playoff team. Once again, hope over action. They'll say Takahashi is the solution. However, as good as he's been, he's never started an MLB game. This is a far better league than the one he played in previously. They'll also miss his great work in the pen. Management and ownership will say be patient to its fanbase. A trade for a starter is not a luxury, it's a necessity. This is because the GM again mistakenly ignored that this off-season.

Have they not learned from the last 3 years about inaction? Have they not seen the declining attendance? They can blow it off as cold weather or the kids still being in school, but that's only a small part of it. Mets fans are taking a show me attitude. They do not trust in ownership and management. That trust was ruptured  in 2007, further eroded in 2008 and nearly destroyed in 2009. Then the Mets did little in the off-season and most of all failed to address their top need and that was starting pitching. The bench was also not addressed. In fact, they paid 3 million to 2 guys who really extremely marginal MLB players(and IMHO Tatis isn't one).

It is still early. However, sooner rather than later, this ownership and management have to make some big decisions. Some involved players, other's coaches. The GM should also be held firmly to the flame. They need to make moves. They can start with one, but if they want to contend, they'll have to make multiple moves and IMHO the coaching staff has to be shaken up, if not mostly removed(including the manager).

The Mets have lost the right to ask for patience. The word wait has truly become a 4-letter word and a crutch. Action is needed. The first one is Perez being permanently removed from the rotation. The line-up needs to be re-done with Reyes back at-the-top and Davis in the 3-hole. After that a possible RF platoon could be in line. Then if that fails, the coaches are next. No waiting in 2010. That was so 2009.

Category: MLB
Tags: Mets
Posted on: April 14, 2010 7:55 pm
Edited on: April 14, 2010 7:58 pm

What the Wilpon's will and should do

Over-under on Minaya and Manuel getting fired on or before June 1?

If they go 1-5 on this trip, expect the crowds to be the lowest in Citifield history. They've already had the 2 lowest in the first 6 games. My guess is that and SNY's dwindling ratings, might prompt a change fairly soon. It might be sooner than many believe. All the Wilpon's care about is who comes to the park and watches on TV. Winning is not their main concern. The fans aren't either. They've proven that all too clearly.

Here's what the Wilpon's will do, then what they should do....

What they will do...

The Mets will fire Minaya, when they fire Manuel. Make no mistake, they're joined at the hip. The Mets will then promote Wayne Krivsky(solid baseball guy) from asst.GM to the interim spot. Bob Melvin(mediocre) will be promoted from his scouting position to interim manager. The Wilpon's will put on a phony front and say these men are fit for the team and could turn it around like the Rockies did after making a change. They'll say they're being proactive(I hate that word!) and have high expectations. Pure unadulterated bullcrap.

Here's what they should do...

Fire Minaya and Manuel immediately. I mean on this road trip. Fire them Sunday afternoon and have a press conference before a nationally televised game vs the Cardinals. In this presser, they promote Krivsky and hire Wally Backman. They move Terry Collins to batting coach and Ricky Bones to pitching coach. They send Razor Shines packing and bring in Bob Melvin as bench coach. They keep Chip Hale and move Jauss to 1B.

Then they state they're cleaning house. Krivsky gets on the horn and deals Beltran(if he's actually doing "baseball activities" by then) before he returns in June for prospects, including one MLB ready starter and in the process save 35 million. They promote Martinez to play CF and tell him it's his job. If he does well, he's the guy in 2011. If not, he's gone too in the off-season.

The Mets deal( or just have him sit on the bench) Murphy and promote Ike Davis currently hitting .350 @ AAA. They cut Tatis. They also waive Castillo and promote Tejada to play everyday. Cora stays as his back-up.

The Mets also trade Perez eating 2/3's of his salary. They give Maine until late May to get it together or demote him. Nieve or Takahashi temporarily take Perez's spot. Hopefully, one of the prospects from dealing Beltran will be able to step in long-term.

Mejia is immediately demoted to AA to pitch every 5th day. The Mets move him to Triple A, if he does well. The goal is a year of starting in the "high" minors and a September look.

Barajas catches, but if he slumps or gets hurt, Thole comes up and plays virtually everyday. The Methusala back-up(Blanco) is demoted or waived.

 The team plays 2010 to get better. Backman is a feisty guy and motivator. He's proven at every level, he can win and get maximum effort from his players. He's MLB's answer to Rex Ryan, minus about 100 pounds. They get the kids real playing time with a real manager and GM. They make Mets fans proud and give them real hope, not the utter despair this administration has heaped on this team.

It's time for real change...<!-- google_ad_section_end -->
Category: MLB
Tags: mets
Posted on: April 1, 2010 11:51 pm
Edited on: April 1, 2010 11:52 pm

How the Mets 2010 season may play out...

I've been thinking about this upcoming season and the closer it gets to Monday, the worse I feel about this team. I'm sticking to my 82-80 prediction, but it wouldn't shock me if this team was under .500.

However, I believe we may see glimpses of hope with the elevation of the prospects during the year. I truly believe Martinez, Davis and Tejada will all be here before September and maybe before July 1. I can see 1B very soon being opened up to Ike Davis. I also believe Castillo will regress and the Mets may decide to just cut their losses and go with the kid Tejada and Cora as his back-up. I have little faith in Beltran to be playing when the Mets expect him to, then staying healthy. The Mets may decide enough is enough and just look to deal him as well, if they fall out of both races. Martinez would be his replacement.

The big problem is there are no replacements available in the rotation which is the most pressing need. Holt probably won't be close to being ready and Mejia may be this team's set-up guy in 2010. Parnell isn't the answer there either.  

I fully expect Manuel to be gone before the All-Star break and Warthen as well. Minaya may survive, but that's 50-50 IMHO. I can see a new management team in place with Wayne Krivsky as interim GM and Bob Melvin as manager and Ricky Bones as pitching coach.

I can see the last 2 months being a trial run for them and players like Beltran, Perez, Maine, Murphy, Castillo and Pagan being jettisoned. Getting rid of Maine and/or Perez would mean seeing guys like Nieve, Takahashi and Figueroa pitching( I just threw up in my mouth a little), unless they brought back ready-made prospects in those deals. Beltran may bring one back, the others nothing even close.

This team is already in a state of flux a week before the season is set to open. Their CF'er is on the DL and out until at least May. Their SS had a thyroid scare and is still out until at least game 6 on April 11. Their closer is in Venezuela "taking care of business." Their 1B man is out 2-6 weeks. Their starting line-up for Opening Day and at least a week could be...


Their rotation is...


Their pen looks like a mess right now. You figure 4 days prior to Opening Day the manager and GM would have a clue.

This team desperately needs a good start, but with that rotation and line-up, it seems hard-pressed they could much better than break-even. After their 6 game home-stand against Florida and Washington, they're off to Colorado and St.Louis. That could be a disasterous trip leaving them 4 to 6 under .500 coming home to play the Cubbies. The calls for Manuel's head would grow and the GM would be right behind on the chopping block, especially if the rotation was getting tattoed by Marlin, National, Rockie and Cardinal hitters. I didn't even get into the defense which could have one of worst defensive infields in MLB to start the year and an OF with Francoeur as the lone solid defensive player(especially if Pagan starts in CF).

A slow start could lead to changes in the front-office and dugout and a shift of focus from competing for a playoff berth, to paring payroll, evaluating prospects and planning for 2011, 2-3 months sooner than expected.

In a time where hope springs eternal, this 2010 team seems to fly in defiance to that.

Category: MLB
Tags: Mets
Posted on: February 28, 2010 5:50 pm

The 2010 Mets: Team Question Mark

The Mets should add a giant question mark to Mr.Met's costume. That signifies the 2010 edition of the Mets. This team has more question marks than The Riddler's outfit.

Many of us believed some of those question marks would have been erased by a more productive off-season, especially in relation to the rotation. Instead, we may have even more there. That shows the front-office's incompetence and hubris.

Below is my breakdown of all areas of the team and coming into the spring what we should expect. Read on...

The offense should be improved with the return of Reyes, having Francoeur the whole year and the addition of Bay. I also like the late additions of Barajas and Jacobs. Barajas is a decent catcher and an upgrade over what we have had lately. Jacobs should provide some insurance @ 1B and he does have some pop. Having that come off the bench is a plus.There are still some big question marks there though. Will Wright's power return? Will Beltran return as planned or will there be setbacks? Overall, I feel confident the offense will be productive. In fact, I believe the offense is their strength.

The defense is an area I'm somewhat concerned about. The left-side of the infield is fine and now with Barajas, catching should be fine as well. The right-side lacks range and IMHO will be deficient all year. The Mets back-ups Cora and Jacobs are far from great fielders either. Tatis is a butcher @ 2B and a poor 1B. The outfield should be fine with Francoeur a solid RF with a gun. He'll make some bad throws, but he can catch and throw. Beltran is a very good CF, but after 2 knee operations, you figure his mobility will be effected. Going towards LF is important. Bay is an average OF with a decent arm, but he won't range far over. If Beltran can't cut down that gap, there will be doubles galore. Until Beltran returns, Pagan is pedestrian in the OF and his instints are poor. Matthews if healthy is a legitimate CF and should hold down the fort. Both players can play the corner positions, so there is flexibility. Tatis is a butcher in the OF if he's pressed into service. So question marks are 1B, 2B and LF(and CF with Pagan).

The  starting pitching is where this team really falls short. The rotation is full of question marks after Santana. I think Pelfrey will bounce back and a lot of that is based on him losing weight and being young. I think he's re-committed himself this off-season. I like that. I do not have a scintilla of confidence in Maine, Perez or Nieve though. Maine is injury prone and simply has never shown he can put hitters away and stop the bleeding. He throws too many pitches and rarely gets past 6. I do not believe he's anything more than a decent backend pitcher. Perez is an enigma. He has a million dollar arm and a $.02 head. He's clueless how to pitch. When you're 23, that's not unusual. However, come 8/15, he'll be 29. IMHO, he's the most overpaid pitcher in the sport. Finally, we have Fernando Nieve as the #5. This was a guy who was cut by the pitching poor Astros. He started off 3-0, then reverted back to what he is, which is a journeyman. He's a AAA pitcher or possible a long man. A #5 starter (even on a weak staff), he's not. Niese could win that spot, but last year he was Jeckyl and Hyde. Then his season ended with a brutal injury. Supposedly he's still not even 75%. The best situation for him is to start the year @ Buffalo. If any pitcher goes down, only Niese is a legitimate replacement. Holt and Mejia are raw and need to pitch the entire year in the minors. Figueroa is a journeyman. Misch and Fogg the same. Dickey is even worse.  The odds of this GM swinging an in season deal is remote. There is no depth here. If someone gets hurt or just goes in the tank(Perez), there is no one to step in.  Maine, Perez and Nieve are huge question marks. That's 60% of the rotation. That's not very comforting.

As for the pen, I think they could be fine, if they're not worn out by July 1. I do not expect anything from an injured Escobar or either of the Japanese imports. I do believe Felciano will be his steady self and that Parnell(if given the chance and not thrust back into the rotation) will step up and be effective. K-Rod I believe will be his top 5 self. I expect 40 saves and hope for closer to 50. If that happens, then this team should at least be on the fringes of contention. Green could be a key in middle relief, especially if his "new"  motion brings him consistency. I expect a lot of guys in middle relief to be shuttles in. Fogg, Misch, Igarashi etc. Hopefuly one of 2 will be at least decent. Question marks are Escobar and both Japanese pitchers. I have the feeling Escobar will start the year on the DL.

Finally, there is the coaching and upper management. Manuel hardly inspires confidence and is on the hot seat. Razor Shines may be the worst coach in MLB. Johnson hardly has distinguished himself. The pitching coach seems more comfortable in the minors. This is hardly a top notch staff. They also do not seem to be a good teaching staff. We saw that first hand last year. Manuel is a big question mark.

We all know the GM's woes. He's starting his ludicrous 3-year extension(more like albatross), but he's barely hanging on. His encounters with the press have been limited due to last year's debacles. There is doubt to the powers he has left. The assistant GM Ricco is the money guy, but has been getting more of the ear of Jeff. Wayne Krivsky was brought in to restock the minors and could be in line to take the helm at least in the interim with Ricco as his right-hand guy. It's a tenuous situation and the sharing of power is not a winning approach. Power needs to be centralized. Until it does, expect indecision and inaction. Huge question marks here.

All teams have question marks. However, this team seems to have way more than a big market team should. Especially a team that has spent about 700 million under it's GM to win just one division and playoff series.So there you have it. The 2010, team question mark. Do they have the answers? We'll see. Hope does spring eternal. We can say that, not ownership or the front-office.

Category: MLB
Tags: Mets
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