Friday, May 12, 2006

Test

Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Mets play the Florida Marlins tonight at 7:30pm.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Cameron and Benson Injured, Written by Asher Smith

(note: this is a RTK story, not a RTKB post, for more information check out our main site www.roundingthirdknight.cjb.net)

What had been a relatively problem-free Spring Training got a cruel jolt on Friday, two days before the Mets break camp and head over to Washington and then Cincinnati.

The status of Kris Benson and Mike Cameron, two keys to the "New Mets," has been thrown into question after both experienced pain. Kris Benson is suffering from a muscle strain in his right pectoral muscle, and will miss his first start against the Reds. Kazuhisa Ishii will start in his place. The trade of Matt Ginter, who would have taken over Benson’s rotation spot if the injury was serious, would see to indicate that Kris Benson’s injury is not serious at all.

The diagnosis of Mike Cameron is not as clear. He is currently in New York for tests, and more information should be available later. If he has to go on the disabled list, Victor Diaz would probably be recalled from AAA Norfolk to play rightfield.

Mets finalize Roster

After an 11-9 loss to the Marlins, the Mets made their final cuts of the spring. Among these cuts were Matt Ginter, who had very impressive springs. After being cut, Ginter was traded to the Detroit Tigers for LHP Steve Colyer. Colyer, 26 is a hard throwing relief pitcher who has been quoted by manager Alan Trammel as "inconsistant". In 2004, Colyer appeared in 41 games and had a 6.47 ERA, and struggled with his control.

Although making the club, LHP Felix Heredia is expected to be released after refusing to go on the DL, according to the New York Daily News. Heredia, who gave up 2 runs in today's Florida finale for the Mets has struggled this spring. In 2004 Heredia had a 6.28 ERA with the Yankees, in 47 games and spent time in A ball. He was traded to the Mets for soft-tossing reliever Mike Stanton.

Also, the Mets released catcher Kelly Stinnett, who was recently sized to fill out the AAA roster, and possibly back up Mike Piazza if Ramon Castro were to struggle. Stinnett hurt his shoulder in camp, which led to the release. Stinnett spent 1994 and 1995 as the Mets backup catcher.


Among the position players cut were Ron Calloway, Luis Garcia, and pitcher Jose Santiago. Garcia and Calloway were battling for a bench spot, as Santiago was battling for a bullpen spot.

As of now, the Mets have 26 men on their roster, and the final cut will be made tomorrow or today.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Matthews Makes the Cut

The Mets announced via Omar Minaya on the FAN and a press release on their website that Mike Matthews and Chris Woodward will make the trip north with the rest of the team.

In addition, the Mets today released outfielder Kerry Robinson, optioned outfielder Victor Diaz and righthanded pitcher Aaron Heilman to Norfolk (AAA) of the International League, re-assigned outfielder Gerald Williams and catcher Joe
Hieptas to minor league camp.

New York also placed righthanded pitcher Steve Trachsel on the 60-Day Disabled List yesterday with a herniated disk.

The Mets now have 32 players in camp and 40 players on the 40-Man roster.
It's a bummer that Robinson is gone - he had a good Spring. Oh well, that's why non-roster invitees are a dime-a-dozen; you can't get too attached to them.

I'm a little irritated that Vic "Little Manny" Diaz didn't make the team, however, I feel certain we'll see him if Floyd goes down.

Trachsel will be out for a few months, so no suprises there.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Bell To Norfolk? Insane!

Newday reports in "tomorrow's" (well, today for you, tomorrow for me - it's not Thursday yet!) edition of their paper that relief pitcher Heath Bell could very well start the season in AAA Norfolk.

Bell is one of a handful of relief pitchers who are still fighting to make the Mets' Opening Day roster, turning these last few games into a baseball reality series, like The Apprentice With Willie (Randolph) instead of The Donald.

It's a numbers game, but not just statistics, with other factors like minor-league options and contract language coming into play. Bell, for instance, can be demoted to Triple-A Norfolk, where he is only a phone call away from Shea Stadium, and the Mets like that type of roster flexibility.
Granted, Bell's got options, but that doesn't mean you start the season with the lesser pitcher. Go North with the best, Willie, and nothing less. If Bell outpitched the other guys, cut 'em, no questions asked! I realize that short term, this isn't the smartest way to deal with your money, but long term, if the Mets are winning, butts will be in the seats. If you don't bring the best pitcher with you, how can you feel as certain that they will play the best quality of baseball.

Yeah, yeah, I know, the Mets can call him up at any time (and this is mentioned in the Newsday article). But it doesn't matter - you don't risk any blown games by bringing the guy who didn't pitch as well - be it Manny Aybar, Roberto Hernandez, Bartolome Fortunado or Matt Ginter - no matter how much you're paying him or how many options he has left.

The article says that the three relievers already locked in are Mike DeJean, Braden Looper (no suprise on either there) and Felix Heredia. FELIX HEREDIA!? Did I read that correctly? I'm sorry, but I gotta say this... "HELLO!? YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME! YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME!" And you can't do that with Felix "I have an 8.41 ERA and have given up 6 runs over 4.1 innings" Heredia! C'mon, Mets, you gotta do better than that. Ugh. Yes, I know, the Mets are paying him a pretty penny this season, but that in and of itself was stupid. < /rant>

(Thank you Herm Edwards for the inspiring quote!)

Pedro: Release Me From My Cage!

The cage of Spring Training, that is. Martinez tells the Daily News that he's ready for Opening Day.

"After the third inning, I felt more normal than I did in the first two innings. I was trying to be cautious the first two innings. In the third inning, after that, I started letting go," Martinez said to the paper after pitching in a Minor League game yesterday. "I'm right where I want to be. I hope I wake up tomorrow on the right side of the bed."

Apparently, he wouldn't answer any questions about whether or not his back is stiff, which could be cause for concern, although Rick Peterson says not to worry about it.

"He felt tremendous," Peterson said. "As you watched that game, and you watched the effort level and intensity of every pitch, you don't have to ask somebody how they're feeling. If you watch somebody walk across the room and they're limping, you don't have to ask them how their leg feels. Conversely, the other way. It's obvious."

And, really quick, a humorous line from that article:

Gary Carter surveyed the empty stands and shouted to Pedro Martinez, "You can really draw the crowds, man."
Pedro thinks that pitching on Opening Day is boring.

"It gets boring. There's too much 'yada, yada' about the first game of the season," Martinez said. "After all, they're all important and they're all one game. I would love to win a game, but it's not a guaranteed win. I'm going to try to bust my tail off to get a win. I'll pray to God I'm healthy and keep my team in the fight."

He's got a point there - I guess it would get old after 8 straight Opening Day starts to have all the same questions every time. If they gave me a chance though, there wouldn't be any lines from me in the paper about how boring it is!

Victor Zambrano gave up 12 hits in a minor league game yesterday, according to the Post. One of the hits was a Brian Daubach homer, but Zambrano was pleased that he didn't walk anyone. ''Nobody got on base without swinging the bat, which is huge,'' pitching coach Rick Peterson said. Well, that's certainly one way of looking at it.

Pretty much, the only news today is about Pedro, Zambrano, the acquisitions of Kelly Stinnett, Benji Gil and Wilson Valdez, as well as articles about Big Cat's retirement. However, in this Daily News article recapping the Stinnett/Gil/Valdez acquisitions, it also mentions that the Mets picked up Fernando Lunar this week.

Finally, RotoWorld reports that the Braves waived left-handed reliever Gabe White. He wouldn't be a bad pick up, and it couldn't hurt.

Tom Singer, You're My Hero!

As pointed out by Matt over at MetsBlog, Tom Singer (from MLB.com) had a great line in his article promoting Mr. Met's tour of Manhattan via parade later today...

This is not the only parade the Mets plan to hold in 2005. But six months' work remains before they can retrace Mr. Met's route under a blizzard of confetti.
Like I said... he's my hero. Let's see it happen, team!

More links to come in a few...

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

When Will Stinnett Report?

The question that has been asked by a lot of Mets fans: When is Stinnett reporting to the Mets? Well, an answer is here. According to ESPN's boxscore, Stinnett went 0-2 with a strikeout. Good thing we're not relying on him too much, eh? (Kidding! I know, I know, it's just Spring. I'm just giving the guy a hard time...)

Andres Galaragga Retires

The Big Cat announced his retirement early in the day... here's an incredibly awesome story from one of MetsBlog.com's readers:
When I was growing up in the 80's, my grandfather, a huge baseball (and Mets) fan, used to go down to Florida every winter. When he was in Florida, he and my grandmother would drive from spring training camp to spring training camp
and would meet lots of players and send me back tons of pictures. Nothing made
my grandfather happier than this.

In the final year that he was healthy, the spring of 1988, he sent me pictures of himself with Andres Galarraga and said that of all the players he had met through all of the years, Galarraga was by far the nicest one. My grandfather died of cancer in the fall of 1989. My pictures of him with Andres Galarraga from the spring of 1988 are among the last pictures where my grandfather truly looks like himself, the way I remember him, healthy and happy. (There's more, check it out here.)

Omar Minaya states what the rest of the baseball world thinks: Big Cat is a class act.

"Today shows you what kind of a class individual Andres is," Mets general manager Omar Minaya said to ESPN.com. "He's always handled things with class and dignity throughout his entire career, and this afternoon is another example of his high character. He is such a wonderful example to the players of today and I am going to miss him terribly. However, I hope one day he will rejoin our organization again."

Andres will definately be missed by fans throughout all of baseball. He was one of the few players that I would cheer for no matter what team he was on - I can't say that for many players. The story of his comeback from cancer is incredible, the fact that he's such a nice guy despite all his fame and money is also incredible. It's sad that he won't get the opportunity to hit his 400th home run - he had 399 over his career - it shows some serious class that he dropped out before the season started rather than make the front office have the decision of cutting him or keeping him so that he could get that one last home run. Hopefully, as Omar says, the Big Cat will rejoin the Mets as a coach some day. Best of luck, Andres!

Monday, March 28, 2005

Batting Eighth For Your 2005 New York Mets... DAVID WRIGHT?!

Newsday's David Lennon writes that Willie Randolph has pretty much decided to bat Wright in the 8th slot to start the season. Wright batted 8th in yesterday's game, and Randolph pretty much said that the lineup he used for that game is his Opening Day lineup.
Randolph suggested that Wright could bat anywhere from second to eighth in the lineup, but the manager was noncommittal when asked about his lineup yesterday. "You've got to put somebody at eighth," Randolph said. "I'm going to put the best lineup out there for that day. Nothing is etched in stone." (Newsday)
This is a bad move. Wright has had a decent Spring and played extremely well last season (.293 with 14 home runs in 69 games). If you bat him 8th, Wright does not get the advantage of protection from a Cliff Floyd or Mike Cameron behind him, and he won't be able to fulfill his full potential. I disagree with this move vehemently. But, Randolph has proven himself more than competent thus far, so maybe there's something that we can't see.
Jose Santiago, a middle-relief candidate, combined with Manny Aybar and Bartolome Fortunato to one-hit the Nationals through six innings. Mike Matthews stumbled in allowing two hits and two runs in 1 1/3 innings and Heath Bell finished up with three strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings. The bullpen decisions won't be made until later this week, but one pitcher no longer in the running is Scott Strickland, who was reassigned yesterday along with Scott Stewart and Orber Moreno. Strickland hasn't recovered completely from Tommy John surgery in 2003. He might decide to stay in Triple-A for the Mets instead of opting for free agency.

"I did my part," he said. "I guess, in a sense, I'm not lighting up 93 or 94 on the radar gun, but it's hard for me to swallow." (Newsday)

That's what I'm yappin' about! Well, not totally. It's sad to see that Strick and Moreno couldn't make the cut, and it may seem as if Strickland's career is pretty much over, but more than likely the Mets just don't want him pitching in cold weather. I'd really love to see him make it back and be a stellar force like he was before.

But, what I was yappin' about was the performance of Santiago, Aybar, Fortunato and Bell. That's encouraging. As a friend said to me yesterday, "Maybe the bullpen isn't as bad as we thought."

The Mets also optioned Jae Seo and Jeff Keppinger to AAA. (And yes, all that information was from one single article.) I'm not really suprised about either of those two getting sent to Norfolk, so I guess I can't analyze it much.

Kaz Ishii pitched well yesterday in a minor league game (Glavine and Kaz were bumped to a minor league game to allow the Battle of the 'Bubble Boys' to take place).
A day after getting rained out, Ishii breezed through two innings against the organization's Triple-A players, limiting the Tides to one hit and walking none while striking out four in a two-inning outing. The southpaw threw 17 of 25 pitches for strikes.

"This trade and me being able to be coached by Rick is a very big turning point in my career," Ishii said through interpreter Nozomu Matsumoto. "My philosophy a little bit has changed. Right now I'm not really too concerned about velocity." (Daily News)
Ishii hit 87 once, but was pitching 83-85MPH most of the day.

If Peterson can get his control down, get his confidence up, and then tell him to start throwing all out again, we might have a decent 5th starter on our hands. Granted, not even close to the quality of pitching that Scott Kazmir would've brought us (I'm getting all angry at Duquette again as I type this... I better stop). I mean can you imagine - Pedro, Glavine, Benson, Kazmir, Ishii (well, Trachsel if he hadn't injured himself). If you replace Zambrano with Kazmir and Ishii with Trachsel, your New York Mets have one of the best rotations I've ever seen. Ok, I'm stopping. I'm seething now.

I want to know which minor leaguer tried killing their manager yesterday...
Triple-A manager Ken Oberkfell was taken by ambulance to the hospital after being hit with a thrown baseball on the back of the neck on a back field. He was released an hour later, sore but all right. (Daily News - bottom of the article)
Actually, since he's ok, it's almost funny. Yeah, it got a smile out of me at least.

The Chicago Tribune reported today that the Oakland A's are VERY happy with their rookie closer (Huston Street), and may be making Dotel available for trade.

Dotel a Met again? I'd do it. I said from the day it went down that I disagreed with the trade, and I said it even more when 12 months later the Mets had nothing to show for it. Maybe, just maybe, Hampton did get us to the World Series. But we didn't win it. I still wouldn't do the trade.

The Star-Ledger says that Pedro is indeed going to pitch either tomorrow or Wednesday for a final time of the Spring, and then pitch again on Opening Day.

"I'll be there," he said of his next start, the date of which won't be determined until the Mets see how Martinez feels today. "There was some stiffness, but it was not as bad as the other day. I think I'll be fine (today) because I feel fine right now."

Mike Piazza looked like his old self yesterday - with a MONSTER home run blasted against the Nationals. He lost some weight, but yet, he looks stronger than he did last year - more fit than he has in a couple of years. I think he's going to have a good year. Not the .320/35/100 numbers he put up in his prime, but .290/20/85 is very possible. Piazza, however, does not even want to guess his production.
"I just want to stay healthy the whole season," Piazza said. "I feel if we're playing well as a lineup and scoring runs, I can slide in and do my part." (NY Times)
I still think he'll hit .290 with 20 homers and 85 RBIs. He'll also catch 120 games. I think he has confidence in himself, but he doesn't want to set his expectations too high, and that's understandable. But he doesn't have to carry the team this year, and he can just go out and do his thing. He'll do well.