Youth, Trades, 90 games left

With 72 games down and 90 to go lets recap what we know based on those 72 games:

  1. David Wright is worth the huge contract, he is the team’s past, present and future
  2. We need some young hitting to step up and begin to contribute
  3. The young pitchers the Mets have coming are going to be the backbone of this organization
  4. The R.A. Dickey trade was a smart one
  5. Matt Harvey is better than anyone expected

Lets begin with the youth:  If you are following the Mets, the 51’s and the Bison’s you can see pitching is coming and coming strong.  Harvey was the first wave of what can be a special group of starting pitchers.  Montero is now in AAA and has shown he may be ready for the show sometime in 2014 just as Harvey and Wheeler have come up.  Behind Montero is Syndergaard.  Syndergaard just made his first start in AA and could be ready by 2015.  If all stays status quo the Mets could be looking at a rotation of Harvey, Wheeler, Montero, Neise and Syndergaard by opening day 2015.

Trades: Who should stay and who should go?  The best thing for the Mets right now would be for the LA Dodgers to get hot and back into the NL West Race.  The Dodgers need a second baseman and a starter.  How would a package of Daniel Murphy/Hafner or Gee look?  The Mets need some hitting and from the sound of it do not see DM as a long term part of the team.  Wilmer Flores is hitting over .300 with 59RBi’s in AAA right now playing exclusively 2nd base.  If the Mets can put a package together for Ethier and say Dee Gordon they could add to their youth core.  Gordon can become the speed threat they need and Ethier is risk worth taking provided the Dodgers kick in some $$.  The other two tradable assets the Mets have is Buck and Byrd.  Neither will bring back top prospects as Beltran did, but maybe add a few young arms that could turn into bullpen pieces down the line.  At this point it is time for Alderson to shine and make some moves to rebuild this team to be ready in 2015.

Finally with 90 games to go I would like to see the following:

  1. Ike Davis show some signs of life when called back up to the big leagues (Hearing Thursday)
  2. Wilmer Flores given a good 50 games to see if he can hit and field on the big league level
  3. Cesar Puello get called up and play everyday in OF before a possible suspension
  4. Make viable trades that just doesn’t dump players but brings in players that will help the rest of 2013 and improve the team for 2014
  5. Travis make a full recovery and get about 50 games behind the plate and be set to go in 2014 as the everyday catcher
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That didn’t work…

Just when you think the Mets have hit rock bottom after what they called “big changes” after Sunday’s sweep to the Marlins, Tuesday’s game happened. The Mets went into the game with really only two offensive players having decent years. Of course I am talking about Murphy and Wright. Both seem to be the cornerstone of the offense and leaders of a rebuilding team.

So what do the Mets do, they move Murphy to 1b so they can get a look at Valedespin at 2b. Lets see how that turned out? Well Murphy who has worked hard at his defense and become a pretty decent 2b was put in a tough situation and made an error that caused the flood gates to open. I am not really sure the logic of seeing Valedespin playing heavily at 2b. Murphy is a 155-160 games a year player. Valedespin is a fringe major leaguer who is not the future at 2b. Why not give him six straight starts in RF and leave Murphy alone. Oh and the kicker in all this is your have a 1b playing left field in Duda… So to recap your everyday and future 2b was playing 1b, your 4th or 5th outfielder was playing 2b and a 1b was playing left field. Yes this all makes sense NYM….. Hopefully tonight David Wright can play CF so we can get a look at Lagares at 3b….

I understand this is going to be a tough year and pretty much a lost year in the history of the Mets. But it doesn’t have to turn into a side show of bad moves and poor management. The future was supposed to start in 2014, but if the last two weeks have shown the Mets do not have the talent or management to make that happen.

Pick a Line-up and Stick With It

The off day has come and gone and some new life has been brought into the locker room.  With that being said it is time to see if the kids can really play or not and what we actually have going into 2014.  My constant call for Puello and Flores to be here instead of Cowgill and Satin have gone on deaf ears, but oh well.  Lets work with what we have for a few weeks and go from there.  He is what I think the line-up should look like.  Collins needs to throw out this whole lefty/righty stuff and let the kids play consistently.  What is the worse that happens, we lose…

Line-up going forward:

  1. Valedespin – 2b
  2. Murphy – 1b
  3. Wright – 3b
  4. Duda – LF
  5. Buck – Catcher
  6. Nieuwenhuis – RF
  7. Lagares – CF
  8. Quintanilla – SS
  9. Pitcher

Yes this leaves only 3 RH batters in the line-up but we need to see these kids play… Again we are losing now with Collins lefty/righty line-up so why not let the kids see what they can do…

Finally Some Moves – Are they right ones?

Well after another embarrassing series vs. the Miami Marlins the Mets front office finally made some moves, but were they the right ones? After struggling and looking like my 5 year old at bat, the Mets sent down Ike Davis and his .161 average to get his head on straight.  The next two moves were really non news worthy.  Mike Baxter and Robert Carson.  If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there does it make a sound?  That is how I feel about the later two moves.  Baxter is a 25th man on a roster at best, and Carson was here because “Lefties pitch to Lefties”…. Um if your lefty stinks doesn’t make more sense to have a righty pitch to a lefty to have some chance of getting an out?  The “omg” of sending three guys down needs to calm down a bit since really only one move was noteworthy and needed.  Edgin replaces Carson which is not really an upgrade.  Edgin’s had a 5.91 era in just over 10 innings.  Edgin struggled here early in the year and then again in the minors.  Once again is a bad lefty really better then a good righty?  Next Baxter is replaced by Cowgill.  I won’t get into this to deep, but lets just call this a wash.  Josh Satin should get a shot to hold down 1B, but I expect to see to much of Justin Turner….

What moves could of been made?  I have been singing the praises of Wilmer Flores and how he needs to come up, play 80 games and see what you have.  Murphy could move over to 1B while Ike is in AAA and let Wilmer play…

If the Mets truly are planning on winning in the future they need to stop playing the retreads and start playing the youth everyday.  What is the worst that can happen, we start losing??

Wheeler is coming which is good.  Is he ready, that is a debate only time will tell.  But I like the fact they are giving him a chance.  Time to go youth oriented and let the kids show what they have. 

Whose Hot (Last 7 days):

  • David Wright: .300, 1 HR 4 RBI 20ABS
  • Juan Lagares: .353, 0 HR 1 RBI 17ABS
  • David Murphy: .250, 1 HR 3 RBI 20ABS

Whose Not (Last 7 days):

  • Lucas Duda: .118, 0 HR 0 RBI 17ABS
  • Ike Davis: .077, 0 HR 0 RBI 13ABS
  • John Buck: .167, 0 HR 0 RBI 12ABS

Tough Night For Mets, or Was It?

Well for 8 innings the Mets looked like they would end their ugly 3 game losing streak, but then it happened.  When Lyon came in for the 8th did we really think the 2-1 lead would hold up?  Well it did, Lyon did his job.  It always seems like not everything can click for the Mets at once.  They got another strong outing by Jeremy Hefner only to see it lost in the bottom of the 9th.  We can’t fully put the blame on Bobby Parnell as he has been the one real constant the Mets have had in the pitching staff this year aside from Harvey.  Yes he blew the save and did it before recording an out, but the Met gave this game away before Bobby ever entered the game.  Lets look at the numbers:

Murphy, Wright, Duda, Buck and Davis combined to go 0-19 in the game.  They left 5 runners on base and struck out 3x.  The other three in the line-up went 4-9 and that was Q, Ankiel and Valedespin.  This with very good pitching for 8 innings your big 5 have to at least do better than 0-19…Hefner lowered his ERA to 4.36 and not has 7 quality starts in a row.  He deserved better…

Notes: All signs point to 20 + players being named in the latest PED scandal.  In some reports it is alleged that Cesar Puello could be one suspended.  Cesar seems to be the Mets most complete OF prospect who is close to being ready to make an impact on the big league level.  Lets stay tuned to the news to see what happens, but it looks dim that we may see Cesar in a Mets uniform in 2013…

2014 Free Agent Targets

The Mets go into the offseason with only about 25 million in salary committeed for 2014 (This does not include arbitration eligible players).  With that they should finally be players in the FA market again.  Below is a quick list of free agents and who the Mets should go after:

1.  Robinson  Cano – Not going to happen

2.  Shin-Soo  Choo – Sign him long term and put him in right field.  Great OBP guy

3.  Jacoby  Ellsbury – Would be a great addition to CF for year’s to come.  Has speed and can add the dynamic that has been missing once Jose left town

4.  Brian  McCann – Catcher is not a need

5.  Hunter  Pence – Jason Bay 2.0

6.  Matt  Garza – Would be a nice addition to the staff, but hitting and relief pitching is the bigger target

7.  Hiroki  Kuroda – Does not fit into a young team building to win in 2015

8.  A.J. Burnett – See Hiroki Kuroda and his year’s with Yankees…

9.  Carlos  Beltran – Been there, done that.  Thanks for Zack Wheeler

10.  Mike  Napoli – No real position for a NL Team

If the Mets can somehow pull off both Choo and Elisbury they could have a projected line-up like this:

  1. Elisbury CF
  2. Murphy 2B
  3. Wright 3B
  4. Duda LF
  5. Choo RF
  6. Davis 1B
  7. d’Arnaud C
  8. Tejada/Flores SS
  9. Pitcher

With a rotation like this:

  1. Harvey
  2. Neise
  3. Wheeler
  4. Montero
  5. Gee

Put those two things together and the 2014 Mets do not look so bad, assuming they can also add some real players to their bullpen.

Future Is Now!

Raise your hand if on Friday morning you were figuring out that a sweep of the Marlins would bring the Mets to 5 games under .500 and somewhat back into the mix in the NL East (at least near the Phillies and Nationals).  You can’t see me but my hand is raised.  Now raise your hand if today, Monday morning you are looking for answers and saying “Is the season over, lets bring up the youth?”. Again my hand is raised.  Ok so lets look at the Mets current positions and see what we can do to inject youth into this club and see what exactly we have for the future.  If Mets are serious about building a winner they need to let the kids play and go from there at the end of the season when the payroll is loser than a Kardashian.

1B: Ike has had a hot spell lately but lets look at the numbers.  Over his last 7 games Ike has a line of .238/1/5.  Ok not great, but for Ike’s standards a vast improvement.  No need to inject youth here, just keep Ike in rest of year then after season go from there.

2B: Daniel Murphy is the present and right now the future of the Mets at 2B.  The problem here is they actually have a legitimate prospect in the minors in Wilmer Flores.  Wilmer could be the future at 2B and has a line of .288/4/38 at Las Vegas.  Yes LV is a VERY hitters friendly park/league but he is still driving in runs and hitting the ball solid.  He still needs to bring up the OBP but he can work on that.  Murphy is an ideal 2nd in the line-up guy, and a doubles machine.  My take, leave Murphy alone and see SS…

SS: Right now the Mets do not have anyone close on being ready to take over short for the Mets.  Tejada has put together an awful year both with the bat and glove.  Q has come up and hit .500/1/1 in 14 at bats, but lets face it, he is not the future.  Now is Ruben? He is a light hitting shortstop and this is an age of shortstops putting up bigger numbers.  Rey Ordonez didn’t last so why do they think Ruben can?  Here is an idea, bring up Flores, stick him at short and see how he does.  If he makes a few errors, so be it.  The main thing is see how he hits.  If he plays a sub-par shortstop but shows he can hit at the major league level, you have a viable option at 2B for 2014 and maybe some trade bait in Murphy.

3B: David Wright, enough said….

C: Buck has been serviceable but he is still John Buck.  We are all waiting on Travis to be healthy and ready to go.  Travis hit in Spring and when healthy should be behind the plate for the Mets.  There are many teams out there that would love a .220 hitting catcher with pop.  See Yankees… Get a b-level prospect back in return and watch Travis hit his way into Met fans hearts.

OF: This is a mess… It is time to throw Ankiel back on the waiver wire where he came from.  Over his last 20 at bats he is hitting a cool .100 and striking out like, well like Rick Ankiel.  It is time the Mets play the young kids and see what happens.  Let Duda continue to play everyday and at the end of the year make the decision on him.  He has not been great, but not awful either.  If you had two other strong outfielders Duda would be fine as a power hitting left fielder.  He does have 10 HRs…. Mets have two kids at AA that they can plug in and play vs. lefties, righties, etc… Cesar Puello is hitting .302/8/33 right now and Cory Vaughn .288/6/31.  The Mets are 22-32 and it is time to sit the washed up and play the kids…

P: Zack Wheeler is on the way and hopefully Montero is not far behind.  If the Mets rotation looked like this on 9/30/13 we all have hope for the future – Harvey/Neise/Wheeler/Montero/Gee or Hefner.  Marcum needs to pitch well the next month or so and be trade bait for a contending team looking for that 5th starter to get them over the hump.  Hefner can move into long role as the bullpen is junk outside of Parnell.  Gee has the rest of the year to build back his arm strength to prove he can go into 2014 as the 4th or 5th starter…

Overall the future is not dull for the Mets and not bright either… It is flickering a bit.  It is time to take the 22-32 Mets and bring up the kids to see what we do actually have in the system.

 

Streak Ends with Marlins??

We all went into Friday brimming with confidence, chests out counting the 6th victory in a row for our resurgent Mets… Then came the 13-41 Marlins… The Mets 5 game winning streak ended in a bag 5-1 loss.  Marcum continued to pitch well for most of the night running into that one inning again that did him in.  The Mets office, which was not spectacular during the 5 game streak continued to struggle against a young Jacob Turner.  Today I am sure Terry Collins will switch up the line-up a bit and move Ike up after he had a grand total of 1 hit last night.  Lets see how Ike reacts…  

Realistically going into this series the hope was to take 2 of 3 from the Marlins.  This is still a possibility but going to be a tough task with Colin McCough going today.  Colin had one strong start in his career last year but has been a “Met” ever since.

The main story line and focus of today will be the Las Vegas 51’s where Zack Wheeler will be on the bump tonight.  If all goes according to plan Mr. Wheeler will be joining the Mets in a few weeks and be here to stay.  He was not brought up for today’s game the Mets did not want to send him back down after to stop his service time clock.  If he comes up on the expected June 17th date, his clock will be fine and he will be here to stay.