Now that Memorial Day has come and gone, it’s time to take a look at the standings and see how your team is faring. With a third of the season in the books, it’s not too early to get excited about a team’s hot start – or too worried about a team’s struggles. As of June 4, here are the NL East standings:
The NL East is shaping up to be a 3 team race between the Phillies, Marlins, and Braves. Meanwhile, the Mets and Nationals continue to struggle as most had predicted coming into the season.
What will happen between now and the trade deadline? Will the Phillies add a bat? Will the Marlins stay in the race? Will Dan Uggla get off of the interstate? Will the Mets trade Jose Reyes (or go bankrupt)? Will the Nationals ask Jayson Werth for their money back?
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by VinnyP44 at 11:16 AM on 05-26-2011
The date was December 30th, 2009. The NY Mets finally got the guy they wanted throughout the entire off-season. Jason Bay was a Met, and the world was a much better place down in Queens. Fast-foward a year and a half, and that man may go down as the biggest free agent bust in NY Met history. While Bay was hurt last year with a concussion and missed almost half a year, he was given a pass in part to playing in a new, HUGE stadium. His first year was similar to David Wright, who did bat over .300 (.302 in fact) and had 9 HRs and 72 RBIs. We all knew that Wright seemed to be pressing, so we gave him another year to succeed, and did he sure do that, getting back to a David Wright season. So we all thought this was going to be a bounce back year for Bay, who was despretly needed to produce if anyone thought that this Met team could have an above average year. The year could not have started off worse. An oblique injury side-lined Bay for almost the first month, upsetting many Mets fans. Today is May 26, and Jason Bay is batting around .220 with 2HRs, 8RBIs and just 3-10 with runners on third with less then 2 outs. For a man that never really hit that high for average, but always produced the HR ball, he jacked 36 in his previous year with the Red Sox. For a man that was brought here for one reason, and that reason is to solely hit HRs, he is failing miserably. Along with players like Mo Vaughn, George Foster and Frank Viola who were brought in and did not come remotely close to what they did previous years, Jason Bay (if this continues) may go down ahead of those three players. So with 2 years and about $34 Million left on his contract after this year, it is looking more and more like the Mets will decline that 5th year option, giving Bay a total of $80 Million for his below par career here in Flushing.
Filed Under (NL East Chatter, Uncategorized) by davidw at 11:45 AM on 05-17-2011
To briefly recap, Monday I wrote about the Jose Reyes trade chatter so far this season and rather or not the Mets should or would trade them. The question I raised was if they did shop him around to other teams who might they call and which teams could inquire about obtaining Reyes. I decided to look at the AL first and eliminated a few prospective teams. That left me with four potential suitors for the SS’s services. Since the Mets needs, particularly pitching, are somewhat immediate I predominately focused on AAA or AA talent when talking about minor leaguers.
Let’s check out the first team.
Postseason play is a pipe dream in ’11 for the O’s or is it? A quarter of the way into the season and the baby Birds are nipping at the heels of .500, only 3. 5 games back. It’s early but with the Yankees relying on the likes of Freddy Garcia and a retooled Bartolo Colon not to mention the Bosox maddening inconsistency, Baltimore could conceivably make a run. They’re an up and coming team that has a lot of talented young arms (something the Mets need) and J.J. Hardy as their SS. Nothing against Hardy but when you have a chance to acquire a premier talent in his prime like Reyes you don’t hesitate.
This team is still a year or two away. They also have their own highly touted SS prospect in 18 year old Manny Machado. So do you jettison Machado in a deal for Reyes? Probably not, and the Mets would most likely not be interested since losing Reyes would create a large void on the left side of the diamond that would need to be filled immediately.
Taking a look at the Birds AA/AAA affiliates, other than a couple of intriguing possibilities, there’s really not much to choose from on the farm. At AAA top prospect Ryan Adams currently hitting .297 for Norfolk appears to be for real and former first rounder Brandon Snyder is carrying a .462 SLG percentage and appears ready for MLB action soon. AA Bowie slugger Ronnie Welty has some pop and lefty reliever Pedro Viola throws gas but neither could be a centerpiece of a deal. Most importantly, aside from Viola, none of them address New York’s primary need-pitching.
For a deal to materialize Orioles GM Andy MacPhail would have to part with one of his young starters: Chris Tillman, Zach Britton, Jake Arrieta, Brad Bergesen or Brian Matusz. If they put a package of say Matusz or Arrieta along with Viola or Welty and Hardy (the Mets will need a SS, and he’s more than serviceable) then possibly an ancillary A or low A player it could make an interesting scenario. The wild card would be if the Orioles were willing to part with Matt Wieters. The Mets would definitely ask and the O’s would most like say no.
Unless the Orioles centered a deal around one of their young stud major league arms or Wieters the possibility of Reyes in black and orange is nil.
Kansas City Royals
The surprising Royals are looking more like contenders than pretenders at this point. It’s only May however and when Bruce Chen is your ace, well you need a lot of things to fall in your favor. A raft of youngsters await the call to arms in Omaha but throwing a pack of untested hurlers into the heat of a pennant race is not usually a recipe for success.
But let’s say the Royals find themselves still in the hunt around the All Star break. A move for an established arm and an electrifying shortstop atop a line-up featuring Alex Gordon, Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler and possibly Mike Moustakas would be tempting for any GM. Tempting enough to part with one of their Grade AAA Prime pitching prospects? If it is, this could be one helluva a trade. Yes, the Royals have young, slick fielding Alcides Escobar at SS but that is exactly why this is a deal that if the pieces fall into place could get done. A caveat would be that Mike Pelfrey continues his recent streak of solid starts or maybe Chris Capuano stays healthy and pitching well.
Let’s say the Mets offer Reyes and KC has interest, the Mets obviously would want one of those stud pitchers in the pen down on the Royals farm. The Royals however need a 2 or 3 to shore up their current rotation, someone to provide some veteran savy for their next generation staff. So the Mets package Mike Pelfrey (or Chris Capuano) with Reyes. Now the Mets are solving two of KC’s immediate problems and by sending Escobar in return the Royals are providing the Mets with a replacement shortstop who was recently a highly sought after prospect. At 24 he is also still young enough to develop into something more.
At this point the Mets would look into that deep well of AA and AAA Kansas City pitching talent, drop some lines and go fishing.
(L) Mike Montgomery 2.84 ERA at Omaha (L)-Danny Duffy 41K’s in 32 IP at Omaha (L)-John Lamb 3.49 ERA at AA and (L)-Jake Odorizzi 3-0 1.97 ERA at high A. (R)-Jeremy Jeffress is pitching well in relief for KC and although (R)-Chris Dwyer is struggling this year at AA, he rung up 113 batters in 102 IP last season.
Lesser known Royal prospects like AAA righty Kevin Pucetas 3-0 1.57 and hard throwing Wil Smith (NWArk) are more examples of the depth within the KC minor league pitching vault. Farmhands RF David Lough, ex-Brewer Lorenzo Cain, C/OF Wil Myers and SS Christian Colon are position players who also fit well with the Mets current needs.
There are so many options here that trade possibilities are endless. Reyes and Pelfrey for Lamb, Pucetas, Lough and Escobar. Reyes and Pelfrey for Myers, Escobar and Dwyer or Odorizzi, Reyes for Myers and Escobar, Reyes for Escobar and Duffy, etc…
Royals GM Dayton Moore would want to lock up Jose long-term before finalizing any deal. The question is would Reyes take his act from the bright lights of the Apple to the “show me” state. Kansas City does have a few things going for it though: great bar-b-que, Blues plus he’d have a lot of fun in the coming years on top of that developing line up. As dynamic as a KC/NYM trade could be, I believe the Royals would have to be in serious contention heading into August for anything to develop. The Mets would also, in effect, have given up on their season. If that scenario develops a trade to the Royals I believe would hinge upon Reyes signing a pre-trade deal with KC.
Would Reyes sign on the dotted line and say yes to the Royals?
In my opinion Reyes is the kind of ballplayer who prefer’s a bigger stage to perform on. That’s not a criticism of him or the city of Kansas City. It’s just that some players live for the bright lights and adulation found in places like New York, Los Angeles or Chicago for example. Jose likes the limelight and he’d be to far away from it here. Reyes in Royal blue? No way, Jose.
(next we’ll look at the two other possible American League destinations for Reyes)
Filed Under (NL East Chatter, Uncategorized) by davidw at 7:46 PM on 05-16-2011
The big buzz right now is Jose Reyes trade talk. Everyone is coming up with ideas, painting doom and gloom scenarios for the Wilpon-owned Mets and generally running off the rails with ludicrous suggestions. The Mets GM Sandy Alderson is considered a very smart baseball man and usually highly intelligent baseball executives don’t make dumb decisions.
Would trading Jose Reyes be a bad move? And if not, what team would you trade him to? Who do you ask for? Who would you be offered in return? Should they even be entertaining the idea of trading Reyes at all? These are fundamental questions the Mets braintrust are probably asking themselves.
Trading a 27 year old 3x All-Star off to a career year start who plays a position with few high level players doesn’t make a lot of sense. Especially considering that the team in question plays in baseball’s #1 market. I mean come on this isn’t a Tampa Bay or Kansas City-it’s New York freakin’ City. If the Mets say they can’t afford Reyes they’re liars, especially considering $60 million + is coming off the books for 2012. I think the impending Madoff lawsuit is overplayed too. Even if the Wilpon‘s are sued for $1 billion dollars they’d most likely file a counter claim. The mess would probably be dragged out in the court for years at that point and have no bearing on the team’s financial ability to sign Reyes.
But we all know trade speculation can be fun and despite logic there’s no guarantee Reyes won’t be traded. Recent season-ending injuries to Jenry Meija and Chris Young leave the Metropolitans razor thin in the pitching department. They’re best pitching prospects are 2-3 years away. So Alderson could look to stock up on quality arms. I’d have to believe New York would need to be blown away by a deal to push the button. But anything is possible.
I’m going to take a look at the teams in each league who I believe would be most likely to make a move for Reyes. The teams I chose are lacking at SS, have the horses to swap and are in a situation where Reyes could potentially make a significant difference in a team’s playoff aspirations. The American League is up first. By my count there are four teams in the junior circuit who would fit the criteria above. A few teams came close to making the cut but for various reasons I don’t consider them a serious bidder for Reyes services during the 2011 season. We’ll look at these ballclubs briefly.
First up is Minnesota. Despite their obvious SS need I leave the Twins out because they’re short on pitchers themselves and can ill afford to trade away any of that AA or AAA talent. Besides first they need to get Liriano straightened out to have any shot at playing in October.
With Reid Brignac far beneath the Mendoza line the Rays definitely have a need at shortstop. But they’re not the rent-a- player type of team and their own budget limitations hinder any real chance of locking Reyes up long-term. Tampa Bay definitely have the talent to trade but just not enough dinero for olé Jose.
I almost included the Rangers because they’re aggressive, finally had a whiff of postseason success and have high-caliber AA and AAA talent (pitching and otherwise) to center a deal around. But Andrus is locked into SS, is just 22 and has immense upside. If he were to get hurt or the Rangers struggle with injuries as well as mediocre play I believe they’d be more than willing to rent Reyes for a couple of months in the quest for the crown. But for now I don’t consider them players in any Reyes trade talks.
That leaves what I see as four American League teams who I believe could pull a trigger on a Reyes deal. I will look at each of these teams. Talk about possible trading chips and trade scenarios. Wrapping it up with what I think the actual chances of a trade between the Mets and that team for Jose Reyes.
(we’ll start by looking at those teams in the next blog. Then after we finish the AL we’ll check in on possible NL teams vying for Reyes’ services.)
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by VinnyP44 at 3:29 PM on 05-16-2011
Mets 3rd baseman David Wright has been told that he has a lower back stress fracture. Though the extent of the injury is not yet known, it is reported that Wright will be out for a couple of weeks at a minimum, and possibly a couple of months if the injury lingers. Wright and the Mets will seek a second opinion.
The New York Mets (18-20) won the opening game of the three game series against the Houston Astros (14-24) by a score of 6-4 Friday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
Dillon Gee got the start for the Mets and went 5 + innings giving up 4ER. The command of his pitches was not there for Gee last night as he walked four and hit one. The Mets bullpen worked a scoreless four innings, including Frankie Rodriguez 4 out save, his 12th of the year.
Jason Bay got the Mets on the board with a solo shot in the 7th inning. Then in the 8th Fernando Martinez pinch hit for the pitcher, and smoked a two run bomb over the right field fence. Later in the inning David Wright came up with one aboard and hit a two run shot of his own. In the span of 8 batters the Mets came back from down 4 to leading 5-4. The Mets picked up one run in the 9th when Jason Pridie doubled in Justin Turner.
The Mets play Saturday at 4:05 as R.A. Dickey faces off against lefty J.A. Happ.
Filed Under (Daily Recap) by Pete Barrett at 9:38 PM on 05-12-2011
The Atlanta Braves (21-18) beat the Washington Nationals (18-19) by a score of 6-5 in ten innings on Thursday night at Turner field to avoid the series sweep.
Derek Lowe 6.0IP, 5H, 5ER, 3 BB, 6SO, 2HR,
Jordan Zimmermann 6.1IP, 5H, 3ER, 2BB, 11SO, 1HR
W: Craig Kimbrel (1-1; 2.55)
L: Doug Slaten (0-1; 2.00)
Washington broke first with a two run homer off the bat of Danny Espinosa (4). Braves 3B Chipper Jones got the Braves on the board in the bottom of the third with a blast of his own, his fourth of the year.
Laynce Nix started off the fourth with a double to left field. Adam Laroche singled to right to score Nix. Danny Espinosa was drilled in the back. Pudge Rodriguez hit a double play grounder to 3B Chipper Jones who threw it to Dan Uggla, who got the force at second, but then proceeded to airmail the ball over the head of Braves 1B Freddie Freeman. Laroche scored his second run of the game on Uggla’s error. Pudge also hit a solo shot in the 6th.
Martin Prado batted in the bottom of the 7th with the bases loaded and just one out, down 5-1. He battled to a 3-2 count on 10 pitches. He then smashed a high and in fastball over the left centerfield wall for a grand slam tying the score at 5.
In the bottom of the ninth Alex Gonzalez hit a ball high a top the leftfield wall. He believed it was the game winning homerun, and was into his homerun trot until he was about halfway to first when he realized the ball was staying in the park. He tried to turn it on, but Michael Morse, played the carom well and threw Gonzalez out at second.
Prado led off the tenth inning and walked. Nate McClouth then bunted him to second. Washington’s Manager Jim Riggleman then walked Chipper Jones intentionally. With men on first and second, Brian McCann drove a single down the right field line to drive in Martin Prado for a 6-5 ten inning win.
The Nationals will head home for a three game weekend series against NL East foes the Florida Marlins. The Braves continue their home stand as they welcome in the NL East defending champs the Philadelphia Phillies for a three game set.
Filed Under (Daily Recap) by Pete Barrett at 7:25 PM on 05-12-2011
The New York Mets (17-20) beat the Colorado Rockies (19-16) by a score of 9-5 .
W: Jon Niese (2-4) 6.1IP, 7H, 5ER, 2BB, 2SO, 2 HR
L: Ubaldo Jimenez (0-3) 3.2IP, 3H, 5ER, 6BB, 3SO, 1HR
After dropping the series opener in Colorado, the Mets took the rubber game today to win their second consecutive series.
Carlos Beltran becomes the 8th Met all-time to homer three times in a game. He hit two run homers in the 1st, 7th and 9th. Willie Harris scored on all three times. Today marked the first time in Beltran’s career to hit three homers in a game, he joins Jose Reyes as the only other active Met to accomplish such a feat while playing for the Mets.
On the day Ike Davis was placed on the 15 day DL, Carlos Beltran, with three homers and six RBI’s, surpassed him in both homer runs and RBI’s to take the team lead with 8HRs and 24 RBI’s.
David Wright got the day off, but Jose Reyes went 1 for 5 including a two out RBI single.
Although it was not a save situation Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez came in and pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning.
The Mets now head to Houston for a three game set against the Astros. If the Mets sweep the series they will reach the .500 mark.
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by VinnyP44 at 11:40 AM on 05-12-2011
While it is only May, today may have taken a turn for the worst. Mets stud 1st baseman Ike Davis was put on the 15 day DL with a bone bruise and ankle sprain. Ok, it is only the 12th of May, but for a team that is struggling to score with runners in scoring position, this is not only a huge blow for the hitters but for the bench and pitching staff as well. Davis leads the team with not only 7 HRs, but has 25 RBIs. With the recent struggles of David Wright and Jason Bay, you are now asking both of these players to not only turn it around, but to turn it around right now. Granted, Wright is your #3 hitter and should be able to turn it around quickly, who here has any belief that Jason Bay will? This is a man who was brought in to do one thing, and one thing only…hit HRs! While he was injured last year, and missed the first couple of weeks this year, Bay has only 7 Hrs the last two seasons. Davis was just put into the 5 hole to give Bay a chance to find his stride in the 6 spot. Now with this injury, your rushing Bay back into the 5 hole. With Beltran hitting very well this year, he is going to be sandwhiched between Wright and Bay in the Clean-up position, as he was for the main part of the season. Also, what does this do for Daniel Murphy? While he was batting around .250, and playing a pretty decent 2nd base, he is now going to be asked to play 1st base. What does this do to his growth? Rather than play 2nd base everyday, he is most certainly going to play 1st for the next few weeks, with Turner getting the bulk at 2nd. For a team that scored runs at a premium as it was, you are now putting you rotation and bullpen in a tough spot. This means more innings and less runs, and for the Mets, I am not sure if that is possible. Already 4 games below .500 and 2 games behined the Nats for 4th place, this is a string of bad things to come in my opinion. Well I guess there is one good thing that comes from this……F-Mart and his .174 career average are being recalled from Buffalo.
Mets first baseman Ike Davis has been placed on the 15 day DL. The Mets called up RF Fernando Martinez to take his spot on the roster. Despite missing 15 games this year for AAA Buffalo, Martinez hit .292 with 3 HR’s (two of them in the last two games) before being called up.