Cutnpaste: – Todd Hundley, Daniel Murphy, Ike Davis, Gil Hodges, Erik Goeddel
February 1, 2011 2 Comments
How much did using steroids actually help Todd Hundley? As the Mitchell report points out, Hundley had never hit more than 16 home runs in a season before his 41 home run outburst in 1996, the same year he allegedly began using steroids. It’s like finding a plate of cookies on the floor next to your passed out dog (or roommate) – it’s pretty easy to guess what happened from the circumstantial evidence.
So far, as of Tuesday morning, consider Murphy the “early” favorite for the second base job, if only because he is the first Major Leaguer to arrive at Mets camp in Port St. Lucie since the gates at Digital Domain Park opened on January 24th. Until yesterday, new manager Terry Collins has been holding down the fort at Mets camp with six minor leaguers including Tobi Stoner, Scott Moviel and Brad Holt, that is until Murphy showed up in his workout attire and with his second base glove, and proclaimed himself ready to go.
So what’s not to like about Ike? Well, a few things. Don’t get me wrong, I too like Ike and he has the intangibles to be a very productive First Baseman, perhaps one day being an All-Star. However, Davis does have his flaws. Davis’ strikeout rate and propensity for prolonged slumps should definitely raise a few red flags. While stopping short of saying he will fall victim to the “sophomore jinx,” Davis could see an increase in strikeouts, which could lead to a pedestrian average
I accept him immediately for the fact he began his pro career as a catcher — moving to first base only because some guy named Campanella was a little better behind the dish. Oh, and then there is that part of his life where he guided the 1969 “Miracle Mets” to the World Championship. A favorite quote of mine was relayed by Bob Costas via Gil Hodges, Jr., in a PBS presentation of New York baseball, regarding the opening of the series. The gist of it is that Gil Jr. walked into his dad’s office, ran down a bunch of impressive statistics accumulated by Baltimore players, and asked how the heck the Mets had any chance at all to beat the Orioles, who many believed was among the greatest teams of all time. Gil’s response was, “I have a group of 25 men in that room who believe they can win this thing, and that’s all I need to know.”
Despite arm problems that led to Tommy John surgery as a senior in high school and a college career that had him pitch exclusively in relief, the 24th round steal by the Mets possesses a live arm that projects to the very highest levels. His fastball works in the low 90’s but touches 95 mph with good life. He pairs it with a very advanced breaking ball, a hard curve that he throws in the high-80’s with sharp break that projects as a major league plus pitch. His change-up lags behind but thanks to the advanced feel for his curve he’ll likely be able to focus mainly on the change as he gets started as a pro. If he never develops that third pitch he’ll move very fast as a late-inning reliever but if he does, he has the stuff to pitch at the top of a major league rotation, health willing.