I May Be Wrong, But… Oliver Perez, Buffalo, Bobby Valentine, Carlos Beltran, Zach Lutz, Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Jenrry Mejia

1. Oliver Perez will be cut on Wednesday morning.

 

 
2. This is the time of the year I normally project out the minor league rosters. I’m going to pass on that right now because the Mets are still signing players and it’s pretty hard to tell who’s going to be around. All the minor leaguers will be in the house by this weekend and things will start to make more sense.

 

 
In addition, there are a handful of players that are currently playing with the parent team. I don’t expect any major surprise promotions here and the Mets utility squad will most probably consist of recent free agent signees.
That being said…

 
AAA- Buffalo
 

 

This should be a really good team.

 
Rotation wise, it looks like Jenrry Mejia, Josh Stinson, Boof Bonzer, Robert Carson, and Dylan Owen.

 
The pen is currently undetermined, but look for Roy Merritt Jose De La Torre, and Manny Alvarez to head up things, while Ricky Brooks might close.

 
An infield of Lucas Duda, Reese Havens, Ruben Tejada, and Zach Lutz is pretty hot. You might also see Nick Evans back here and Jordany Valdespin will sub.
 

 

Two outfield slots are taken by Fernando Martinez and Kirk Nieuwenhuis and, if Evans returns to 1B, and Duda goes back to the outfield… this is quite the lineup.

 
Catcher is still up for grabs. Mike Nickeas will start the season in Queens and my guess is Raul Chavez will be the opening day starter here.
On the bubble: A bunch of guys, some of which could still wind up in Binghamton. Eric Niesen, Jack Egbert, Elvin Ramirez, Eddie Kunz, Russ Adams, Josh Satin, Eric Campbell, Brahiam Maldonado, D J Wabick, Val Pasccuchi, and Jesus Feliciano… and this doesn’t even cover the new guys the Mets have signed in the past couple of months.

 
Far too many players.

 
Overall, this will easily be the best Buffalo team since they became a Mets affiliate.

 
Manager Tim Tuefel should enjoy his first year in Buffalo. He’s have four (Mejia, Tejada, Havens, Martinez) legitimate candidates to be starters on next years Mets’ 25-man squad… and… there might be a couple more future Mets role players (Nieuwenhuis, Duda) as well.
Scouts will be particularly watching Havens and Carson to see if they develop into the projected player they were when they were drafted.

 

3. It would be very bizarre having Bobby Valentine as one of the minority owners of the Mets. I can’t see this happening, even though the Wilpons need to do something soon if they intend to stay around.
 

 

What you have here would be similar to you if, let’s say, three years ago your investments were equally tied into stock futures and equity in the house you live in on the ocean out on the south shore. Then, the market goes south, you lose that shirt, and all you have left is the money invested in your white elephant that is worth less every day in this economy.
 

 

You really don’t want to sell the house, but you simply don’t have the cash funds left to keep it.
 

 

This is basically the Wilpon’s current problem. They have a wonderful business, but it isn’t what it is worth three years ago, and, according to current ticket sales, will be worth less by the end of the 2011 season.

 
The only light at the end of the tunnel for them is the clearing of contracts at the end of this season, which means, if ticket sales don’t return, you won’t see this kind of money invested into player salaries in the future.
 

 

Damned if you do damned if you don’t. You can’t win without quality players. You can’t have quality players without paying big bucks. And you can’t pay big bucks if you don’t sell a lot of tickets.

 

4. I believe that Carlos Beltran was smart to move over to right field on his own, but I think the Mets are pushing him too quick. Let the guy DH for most of ST and rehab him in April down in the minors. The important thing is for him to 100% heal and then hit the cover off the ball before the trade deadline. Beltran will not be a Met next year under any scenario and the best thing with the current money problem is to get two minimum salaried prospects for his services.

 

5. I think it would be best for the powers to be in baseball to sit down with the Wilpon family and convince them to sell the team. I may be on the outside looking in, but looking for another loan to cover operating expenses before your peak revenue season is about to kick in, means you already know you’re not going to take in more than you have to pay out. Moreover, it seems that the only financial relief this team has to look forward to is when the 2011 contracts run out. You don’t really think that current ownership is going to return the team’s payroll to six figures, do you? They’re cash broke.

 

6. Oliver Perez’s successful two innings on Thursday don’t mean squat. Sure, he left with no runs given up, but his fastball still hasn’t hit 88, no less 95. And this is a guy that just finished pitching in Mexico. You can’t say the velo will be coming when it just isn’t there anymore. I’m sure the powers to be were not happy with his… err… good outing.

 

7. It sure seems that players like Zach Lutz, Lucas Duda, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis are getting an awful lot of innings in ST. And, Lutz even made it to first base on Thursday. Wonder why? Well, this is the time of the year that you showcase the best of what you have that you don’t want. All three of these guys are not slotted to replace David Wright, Angel Pagan, and Carlos Beltran, and whether you believe it or not, Fernando Martinez remains the top outfield slotted minor leaguer, followed now by Cesar Puello. If things go right, F-Mart will replace Beltran in RF in 2012.

 

8. It was interesting to watch Jenrry Mejia’s two innings on Thursday. You might not have noticed but he didn’t throw a pitch over 88mph. Believe me, that wasn’t a coincidence. The Mets obvious wanted Mejia to work on his secondary stuff, which he did very successfully. So far, he’s done everything successfully. Hmm…

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