he True Fans Bleed Blue and Orange: June 2006h

Monday, June 26, 2006

Pelfrey unsuccesful in AA start

Well, I guess the talk about Pelfrey possibly going to the Mets major league bullpen can be quieted down, at least for the next five days it can. Today Pelfrey pitched five innings, and he allowed four runs on five hits and two walks. Pelfrey also struck out four in the loss. The Mets top pitching prospect was outmatched by Kip Bouknight who threw seven shutout innings on only four hits. One bright spot in the game was Henry Owens, who in his one inning of work struck out the side in order.

Pelfrey to pen? No Thanks

This morning it was reported that the Mets have internal discussions about possibly promoting blue chip prospect, Mike Pelfrey, and using him in the bullpen. I ask why? Pelfrey is the Mets best pitching prospect, and he does posess a 97 MPH fastball, and he does have a 2.43 era in AA, but is he ready? Better yet, is somebody on the Mets not producing? From what I have heard Pelfrey has been depending too much on his dominating fastball, instead of using his other pitches like his slider and his changeup. However, a few starts ago I listened to Pelfrey's game on the radio and the announcers were saying that Pelfrey was using his slider more often and more effectivley, and Pelfrey struck out eight batters that night. I haven't heard much since then, but could it be a turning point in his short career? Nevertheless, if Pelfrey relys on his fastball he may or may not be succesful in the big leagues, but if his slider and changeup have improved and are ML ready then he could be a force in the Mets bullpen. The only problem then is, who goes down? Who leaves the bullpen? Do you demote Milledge for Pelfrey, and have an extra arm? If Milledge is gone then who goes down when Floyd returns? The truth is nobody is doing poorly, the entire bench has been terrific, none of the everyday starters are struggling, and the entire Mets rotation has held it's own all season. In my mind the only option for Pelfrey right now is to pray that Soler gets rocked for about a month, Heilman takes his spot and Pelfrey goes to the pen, or vice versa. However, Soler does not appear to be slowing down quite yet, and as a result I don't see Pelfrey with the Mets until September 2nd, the day after rosters expand. And by the way, Pelfrey starts tonight for Binghamton.

Minor League manager blows gasket

This has pretty much nothing to do with the Mets except for a weird link to Xavier Nady, but nevertheless this was too good to share. This minor league manager went crazy after a runner was called out at second base. The manager did everything from re-enact the slide, to pore water on home plate, and he even threw second base as if it was a discus. The only link to the Mets here is that the runner's name was Koby Clemens, who of course is the son of Roger Clemens, who through a bat Mike Piazza, who is now a Padre, on the same team, as Mike Cameron, who was traded from the Mets for Xavier Nady. See, I told you it relates to Xavier Nady.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Top prospect starts recovery from Thommy John

2004 first round draft pick, Phillip Humber, made his first start in nearly a year Friday night. The number three overall pick pitched for the GCL Mets, and despite getting roughed up the biggers news is that the 23 year old is pitching again. In his four innings of work Humber allowed three runs on seven hits, although he did strike out seven batters which is impressive considering Humber only got twelve outs. Humber needed 67 pitches to get through the four innings of work.

Humber has not been succesful consistently during his short career pitching to a 4.99 era in St. Lucie last season, and a 6.75 era in Binghamton. Humber's career era is above five but it is debatable whether or not Humber was hurt all of last year, meaning he has yet to pitch at 100%. Thommy John surgery has resulted in higher velocity and an overall better arm more than once, so hopefully Humber's case is no different and Humber's prospective status is regained. When drafted Humber was considered to be a future number two or number three starter and this road to recovery certain adds some much needed life to a depeleted Mets farm system.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Mets win, but player returns in A

Yusasku Iriki was suspended two months ago for using performance enhancing drugs, and tonight he returned to baseball. In single a the Japanese born pitcher started and went three innings, allowing two hits and no runs. Iriki walked one, and was not involved in the game's decision because he did not reach the minnimum of five innings needed to qualify for a win as a starting pitcher.

Although I hate the fact that the Mets have a cheater in their system I am happy that he is hopefully now clean, and I pray he did not offer the "stuff" to any other players.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Pelfrey dominant again, what else is new?

Mike Pelfrey, who? The Mets best pitching prospect is who he is, and he was once again dominant. Tonight for the Binghamton Mets Pelfrey won his third game of the season, going seven innings, and allowing only one run on four hits and three walks. Pelfrey also struck out six batters and lowered his era to 2.48.

How long until Pelfrey is up at Norfolk, and eventually up with the major league Mets, not the ones in Binghamton. However, Trachsel did pitch very well tonight, allowing only two runs in six plus innings. Trachsel has won three games in a row, and Alay Soler has also been dominant in his last two starts. In fact, Soler has allowed only two runs over his last 15 innings pitched. So where does Pelfrey fit with the big club this year? Could he come up in the bullpen down the stretch and do what John Papelbon did for the Red Sox last year? Or could he not make it to the bigs at all this year? Hopefully it's the former, and hopefully we get a sneak peak at Pelfrey this year.

Note: for some reason this article was archived on the 20th, and was not posted, which is why this was posted so late.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Floyd placed on 15 day DL for less then 15 days

Today outfielder Cliff Floyd was placed on the 15 day DL, however Floyd will be back sooner rather than later. The placement was retroactive to eleven days ago when Floyd first injured his ankle, therefore the 33 year old leftfielder will be eligible to be activated this thursday. Xaver Nady is expected to take Floyd's spot on the roster, moving Milledge to left consistently for the next week, and Nady to right, and Chavez back to the bench after doing a fantastic job. Once Floyd returns Milledge is expected to be demoted, but after going 3-4 last night he may be in the midst of a possible hot streak, and if he starts to rake you may see something like this happen.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Opinion: What to do with Milledge

Over the last few days much has been made about whether Lastings Milledge is sent down once Xavier Nady returns from the disabled list. In a few rehab games at Norfolk the Mets opening day rightfielder is hitting over .400 with a couple of extra base hits. Nady was hitting .267 with nine home run before he went on the disabled list after an emergency appendectomy. When he came to the Mets Nady was known to destory left handed pitching, and struggle against righties. In fact, Nady has a career .316 average against lefties, nearly 70 points higher than his career average against righties. However, this season's tail has been different. Nady has a higher batting average against rigties at .269, while when versing a left handed pitcher Nady hits merely .258. Nady has also struggled with runners on this year, hitting only .80 with runners in scoring position. Despite Nady's struggles at times he has done a very job in the seventh hole of the Mets powerful lineup. In addition, he is only 27 and despite no longer being considered a rookie I still do because he has never had a full time guarenteed starting job, and when he gets back he once again may not have a guarenteed starting job.

Lastings Milledge is the man who has caused the problem in the Mets suddenly crowded outfield. Despite a batting average of only .241 Milledge has looked very impressive in his couple of weeks in the majors. He has two home runs, including a game tying home run off of Armando Benitez, and he has 11 rbi's which is half of the amount of Xavier Nady in significantly less at bats. Not only has he played well offensivley he has two outfield assist, although he does have one error. With all of those accomplishments being as impressive as they sound Milledge has also caused some unwanted controversy from the media. Milledge's high five incident has cooled down some, but nonetheless it did happen no matter how innocent it was. Milledge has also made a few mistakes running the bases, and he missed the team bus a few days ago and came an extra hour late. In addition, Milledge has struck out 14 times in only 54 at bats, which means he strikes out once every four at bats. However, he is almost as exciting as Jose Reyes and he is an absolute joy for fans to watch.

Cliff Floyd is the other injured outfielder who has caused some stir about whether he should be traded, benched, or whether he should remain on the field where he belongs. Floyd has a dreadful average of .238 but that low average is because of a terrible April, a month in which he hit .195. Floyd has significantly picked up his offense recently, hitting .270 over the last two months with double the amount of home runs (four) then he had in April (two). Floyd recently went down with an ankle injury, but he will return in the next few days. Floyd is 33 and has been injury prone throughout his entire career, so the occasional day off will help him out a good amount.

My solution is quite simple actually. Most people would agree that Milledge needs to play at least five days a week if he were to stay in the majors. Therefore, I believe that a rotation of something like this could work (this is just on a average week):
Sunday- OF of Floyd-Beltran-Nady
Monday- OF of Milledge-Beltran-Nady
Tuesday- OF of Floyd-Beltran-Milledge
Wednesday- OF of Milledge-Beltran-Nady
Thursday- OF of Floyd-Beltran-Nady
Friday- OF of Floyd-Beltran-Milledge
Saturday- OF of Milledge-Beltran-Nady
Floyd plays four games.
Nady plays five games
Milledge plays five games.
There are a few flaws in this plan, however. For example, this would leave no room for Chavez to get a spot start, and if Willie ever wants to get Woodward or Valentin some time in the outfield those opportunities won't present themselves because when somebody has a day off the other player gets the opportunity. In addition, Chavez has done better than Milledge in his time, and this idea could work just as well if it was Chavez instead of Milledge. In conclusion, this idea probably won't be used as Milledge is probably going to be sent down to AAA, but it was worth a try I guess.
By the way, what do you guys think of the new banner and colors of the site?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Minor League Recap: June 12th

AAA: In Durham the tides took on the second place Durham Bulls, a team with a lot of young talented prospects such as BJ Upton and Elijah Dukes. Jason Scobie did note fare well against the talented team, pitching only 1.2 innings and allowing seven runs on seven hits and two walks. However, Mitch Wylie, the Mets 2005 Rule V draft pick, pitched five scoreless innings of relief for the Tides. Steve Schmoll pitched the end of the eighth and the ninth innings, allowing one run on three hits. Schmoll, the other reliever acquired in the Jae Seo deal, has a 3.18 era this season and has yet to be considered a real contender for a call up. Jeff Keppinger oddly played leftfield for the Tides and he even had an outfield assist, in addition to going 1-2 with two walks from the plate. Anderson Hernandez went 1-4 in the leadoff spot, and has seemingly gone back to his former reputation of all glove and not much offense. Hernandez is hitting .274 in AAA and .263 combined with A. Victor Diaz, on the other hand, has begun to heat up in two places. The first is on the ball field, re-discovering his power stroke the last few games, and after getting two hits yesterday he raised his average to .256. Secondly, Diaz has been rumored to be on his way out to the Cardinals. Although, an eventual trade to the Cards seems unlikely.
AA: The B-Mets had the night off.
High A: The St. Lucie Mets played two seven inning games as part of a double-header yesterday, and the Mets lost both games. In game one Palm beach scored at least once in each of the first four innings, and ended the day with a 11-5 victory. Mayque Quintero and Chuck Smith each pitched three innings, allowed seven and four runs respectivley. Jesus Flores went 1-2 with two rbi, and raised his average to .271. Ambiorix Concepcion, Mike Carp, and Enrique Cruz all went 1-4 in the loss. In the game two loss the Mets were four hit by Blake Hawksworth and Mike Sillman over seven innings. Concepcion, Coles, Carp, and Petersen all had one hit in support of Salvador Aguilar's four innings of work.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Fernando Martinez returns after month on DL

Mets free agent rookie signee Fernando Martinez returned on Saturday to the Hagerstown Sun's lineup. In one of his first games back the 17 year old star prospect went 2-4 with a run scored, raising his average to an impressive .321. Martinez, who has been called a top 10 prospect if he had been in this year's first year player draft, has been raising some eyebrows across the minor leagues because of his age. Martinez was surrounded by tons of hype entering the season after signing the largest bonus ever out of the Domincian Republic. Eclipsing Miguel Cabrera's signing bonus a few years before. Fernando also stole his fifth base of the season tonight. Martinez left the game early in the sixth and reports are that he will be out for some time with a leg injury.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Kazuo Matsui era is officially over

Well the day when Kazuo Matsui is not on the Mets 40 man roster has finally come, and no Matsui is not going on the 60 day DL. Eli Marrero is the newest Met and Kazuo Matsui is the new Rockie, or should I say the new Sky Sock. Matsui was shipped off to the Rockies last night with some cash and he was then sent down to AAA Colorado Springs. In 130 at bats this year with the Mets Matsui hit only .200 with an even worse .150 average with runners in scoring position. The 30 year old 2003 Jim Duquette offseason investment has always and will always be a Met bust, with the obvious exception for the first game of every season.

Eli Marrero, a 33 year old catcher/outfielder, is now on the Mets and is a significant upgrade over Matsui, a feat that is easily accomplished. In Marrero's 60 at bats thus far in the season he is hitting only .217, despite four home runs. Marrero is now third on the Mets in home runs per at bat with 15. Beltran and Delgado are first and second, respectivley. Marrero who is a former third round draft pick has never been a consistent everyday starter, and he has a career average of .244. However, over the past two seasons he has a dreadful .199 average in 84 games played. Marrero joins a crowded outfield already with Beltran, Floyd, Nady, the newly emerged Lastings Milledge, and of course we do have Victor Diaz in the minors if another injury occurs. However, Marrero is also the third string catcher and yet another veteran presence on the bench. Marrero has played for some good managers in his career such as Bobby Cox and Tony La Rusa so he should provide some good information for the youngsters. Is he better than Matsui? Only time will tell, but with the human boo machine at second base gone the Mets fans are certainly pleased. That's for sure.

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