Cutnpaste: – Willie Harris, Jenrry Mejia, Stephen Strasburg, Oliver Perez, Lineup

Willie Harris:

 
Willie Harris is still trying to make a team. It’s at the very core of his ethos, starting with the way he arrives in the clubhouse each morning, the way he watches the game on the bench each day, the way he plays when he’s summoned to enter a game. Harris, a 32-year-old Mets outfielder/second baseman, has been a regular on a major-league roster for five of the past nine seasons. But he has not been a regular in a starting lineup, leading to the mind-swirling reality of trying to make the roster in the spring.

 
http://www.nj.com/mets/index.ssf/2011/03/mets_utility_player_willie_har.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

 

Jenrry Mejia:
Jenry Meija RHP (Mets) 4.28 – The Mets rushed him, then didn’t know whether to put him in relief or the rotation. Met’s fans can only hope that didn’t mess with his confindence. He appears to be on a more conventional path to achieve some success with his mid-90s fastball before exposing it to major leaguers.
 

http://myworldofbaseball.com/wordpress/2011/03

 

Stephen Strasburg:
Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg continues to make progress following Tommy John surgery last September. He is now throwing 90 feet on flat ground and his arm strength is slowly coming back. The next time he throws on flat ground, Strasburg hopes to throw 15 feet further than before. There is no timetable as to when Strasburg will throw off the mound. Once he is healthy and ready to pitch in the Major Leagues, Strasburg wants to be the ace of Washington’s staff. Before he hurt his elbow in August, Strasburg was clearly Washington’s best starter. In 12 games, Strasburg was 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 68 innings. There is a possibility he could return to action sometime in September.
 

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110314&content_id=16943764¬ebook_id=16949042&vkey=notebook_was&c_id=was&partnerId=rss_was

 

Oliver Perez:
Wondering why the Mets have not already released Perez? Several prominent voices in the organization have been itching for weeks to cut the pitcher, sources say, and would likely have had their way had Perez not managed two scoreless innings in his first start on March 3. In a meeting last Wednesday, Warthen argued that Perez was worth looking at in the bullpen. He won the debate, and the tryout will last for as long as the pitcher throws strikes and collects outs.

 
http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/mets/2011/03/14/2011-03-14_plenty_in_mets_organization_are_ready_to_give_up_on_oliver_perez_but_dan_warthen.html?r=sports&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed:+nydnrss/sports+(Sports)&utm_content=Twitter

Lineup:
By name recognition only, this lineup on paper would appear to be very strong. Carlos Beltran, Jason Bay, Jose Reyes and David Wright. Wow. But then you dig in. Outside of David Wright, I don’t believe any of them can be counted on for a full season. When healthy, Reyes is an absolute spark plug at the top of the lineup. Jason Bay couldn’t stay healthy last year, and even when he has been in a Mets uniform he hasn’t been all that good. And what can they expect out of Beltran is anyone’s guess, although I do expect him to have a bounce back year. Ike Davis looked pretty good as a rookie at 1B, but Luis Castillo is well below average at 2nd base. The defense Angel Pagan brings cannot be overlooked, but he isn’t much of a hitter. I do think this lineup has some pieces that could score some runs, but the lack of depth will mean staying healthy is an absolute must.

Advertisements

Stock: Ryota Igarashi, Fernando Martinez, Ruben Tejada, Justin Turner, Jenrry Mejia, Matt Harvey, Carlos Beltran, Bay, Jason Isringhausen

 

Up – RP Ryota Igarashi – very impressive Monday… this was Igar’s back-to-back performance which ended with striking out the side. Last pitch was a 93 mph fastball. There’s a tremendous amount of competition for the pen jobs this spring. So far, so good.

 

Up – OF Fernando Martinez – Martinez has come out swinging in spring training this year, batting .600 through March 3rd. It will be interesting to see if he keeps this up heading to April 1st. There really isn’t any place in the Mets lineup for him right now (Bay, Pagan, Beltran), and I can’t see him sitting in the dugout either. He probably will still wind up starting the year in Buffalo and the Mets will keep their medical fingers crossed that they have finally found Beltran’s replacement in 2012.

I watched F-Mart take a 1-2 count pitch in the second inning of Monday’s game against Detroit.. it was a long slow curve that wound up in the dirt, but it was the kind of pitch a minor league usually swings at… and misses. This is just the kind of pitch that looks like a strike for almost the entire distance to the plate, but then it just dives into the dust. He didn’t swing and got the second ball. Sure, he wound up grounding out to second, but that was a major league moment for Fernando. Plate patience takes time and it looks like he is developing into a major league hitter.

Also… the shutting down of Carlos Beltran for five days will only give the Mets more chance to evaluate F-Mart’s possible contribution in Queens this year.

 

Up – SS/2B Ruben Tejada – no one expects Tejada to make the 25-man, but you have to agree that he has impressed so far this spring… with the bat. Through March 3rd, he’s hitting .556. I still think this is the 2012 Mets shortstop, so let the kid keep working on his hitting in Buffalo

 

Down – IF Justin Turner – they say that batting average and earned run average don’t mean anything in spring training (Pat Misch proved this last year when he went 0.00 and was sent to Buffalo), but when you are a long shot at winning a 25-man slot, it wouldn’t kill ya to get a hit or two.

 

Up: SP Jenrry Mejia – Through March 3rd, Mejia has had two successful outings and is holding down a 0.00 ERA. Like Ruben Tejada, no one expects Mejia to make the Queens squad on April 1st, but it’s nice to see the kids putting pressure on the rest of the team.

 

Down: RP Jason Isringhausen – telling the media that you will retire unless you make the 25-man not only doesn’t help your chances, but could be the tie-breaker to release a 35-year old. I’m not a big fan of 35+ players filling in a roster, especially on a team building for the future. Give the slot to a 23-year old and thank Jason for stopping by.

 

Up: SP Matt Harvey – Harvey finally pitched for the Mets, on Saturday, against the Italian team that is being coached by Mike Piazza. Word from the camp was he sat in the 92-93 range and pitched a scoreless inning. Welcome to the team, Matt.

 

Up: RF Carlos Beltran – boy, he looked good on Sunday… I wasn’t the only person surprised that he slid home. So was he. This team stands no chance of making a playoff run without this guy and, whether you want him traded in June or not, he’s been a productive Met since the day he arrived.

 

Up: LF Jason Bay – I don’t know if you have noticed, but Bay is having quite the spring. Another of the Lost Mets of last year, things would sure be easier if this guy produced the kind of numbers he has done in the past.

 

Up: RP Jason Isringhausen – Monday was a real big day fir Izzy. He finally threw his famous changeup and it was as nasty as I remembered it. He’s scheduled to pitch back-to-back on Tuesday and it will interesting to see how that works out. Fast ball sat at 90… curve dived to the ground and struck out last batter faced… hmm…

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…

The Keepers: – #1 – SP – Jenrry Mejia

 

  1. 1.     SP Jenrry Mejia:

 

Mejia pitched for the 2007 DSL Mets, going 2-3, 2.47 in 14 games (7 starts). He also struck out 47 batters in 43.2 IP. Mejia’s arsenal includes a 91-95 MPH fastball that when low in the zone has tons of movement, sometimes tail and sometimes sink.  This sets up his 77-80 mph hook that drops off the table.

In 2008, Mejia pitched for both the GCL Mets, and Brooklyn, going a combined 5-2, 2.89, in 14 starts. He struck out 67 batters in 71.2 IP.

1-10-10 Forecast: – Everybody loves Jenrry Mejia. He was the talk of the winter leagues, both for his speed and the speed the ball went off opponent’s bats. He still has a long way to go and will start again at AA, but anyone who has spent any time observing him says he’s a can’t miss.  Me?  He’s a closet closer.

5-22-10: – SP Jenrry Mejia: It’s impossible to project Mejia’s future right now because he’s supposed to return to the minors and be stretched out back to a starter. The problem is he’s still sitting in the Queens pen. So far this season: 20 outings, 19.0-IP, 3.79 ERA, 14-K, 11-BB… okay, but not what a 19-year old is supposed to be doing. The good news… he’s an extremely talented young man that should be a Met for a very long time.

6-21-10: – Maybe it took two loses to the Yanks, or maybe somebody finally just hit Jerry in the head, but Jenrry Mejia has been returned to the AA-Binghamton market are put back into the starting rotation. I also understand he will start on Wednesday. All this makes my prediction of Mark Cohoon being promoted from Savannah here a distant long shot, but we’ll see. I still think there’s a good chance that Mike Antonini will move on to Buffalo this month. Right now, the B-Mets rotation (Mejia, Antonini, Eric Niesen, Josh Stinson, and Chris Schwinden) is a pretty good one. And, no AAAA waste here. All pitchers that actually have a chance of getting to the Bigs. Is the Mejia move something that will enhance his value in a trade. I think so, but we’ll see.

6-27-10: – Suffering from a stiff right shoulder, Jenrry Mejia was forced to leave his start for Double-A Binghamton today after just an inning-plus. Mejia faced two batters in the second inning and seven for the game against Akron before departing. He allowed no runs, surrendering two hits and two walks while striking out two. He threw 43 pitches, 23 strikes. The Mets said Mejia was removed for “precautionary” reasons, though certainly this is an alarming development.

6-28-10: – Jenrry Mejia was examined in New York on Monday and diagnosed with a posterior cuff strain in his right shoulder. The Mets say he will return to throwing “as tolerated,” but we’re not exactly sure what that might mean. Mejia was lifted from a start at Double-A Binghamton on Sunday after complaining of discomfort in his throwing shoulder. He’s been working on building up his stamina down in the minors with the hope of returning to the big leagues as a starter around late July

8-2-10:  Mejia’s rehabbing stint made its way to St. Lucie last night and it was quite impressive:  4.0-IP, 1-H, 0-R, 7-K. Mejia’s conversion back to a starter seems to be right on target and I expect him back in the Binghamton rotation by mid-August and on to Queens in September.

 

8-8-10: – It would be impossible not to write about Mejia’s performance last night. First, the stats: 4.1-IP, 3-H, 0-R, 4-K, 2-BB, 10-GB.  He sat most of the night at 96 and hit 99 once. His seasonal minor league ERA, where he’s been a starter all the time, is now 1.17 (his WHIP is 1.69 due to 6-BB in 7.2-IP). I’m sure we’ll see him in Queens again this year, this time as a starter.

 

8-14: – Look… if last night’s outing by Jenrry Mejia is the worst he ever pitches, we’ll have ourselves a future HOFer. Mejia went: 5.2-IP, 8-H, 3-ER, 3-BB, 5-K, and his AA-ERA “soared” to 2.70. Reports from the stadium were that he didn’t have the pinpoint accuracy he had his last outing, but the velocity was still there. Mejia is sitting at 96 now, and hit 98 again last night. Remember… the Mets really only need one more SP (Santana, Niese. Pelfrey, Dickey). This sure looks like a strong candidate for 2011 (btw… Mejia threw this game against Michael Cisco, son of ex-Met Galen Cisco).

 

8-20-10: – We’re running out of superlatives involving Jenrry Mejia’s current return to an SP role in Binghamton. He easily had his best minor league outing on Wednesday night, going 7.0-IP, 1-H, 0-R, 8-K, 2-BB, with a 1.77 ERA. Even more important, Dylan Owen, who seemed lost this year as a starter, seems to be reinventing himself as a successful reliever, going 2.0 hitless innings and lowering his seasonal ERA to 3.57.Okay, Owen’ reliever ERA (4.55) is still higher that the six outings he started (2.70 ERA)… so why the relief role? I’m getting confused. Nack to the main issue… Mejia is game ready which is very good news for the Mets.

 

2-23-11: – Stock Up: –  SP Jenrry Mejia – I talked with one of the beat guys down in Port St. Lucie and he told me that there are a lot of pitchers that look good right now, but everyone is talking about Mejia. Other Met ballplayers were literally stopping what they were doing and walking over to watch Mejia throw on the back field mounds. My contact said he was easily sitting at 94-95.

Stock: – Terry Collins, Jordany Valdespin, Jenrry Mejia, Ruben Tejada, Scott Hairston, Castillo, Beato, Oliver Perez, Carlos Beltran

Up: – Mets Manager Terry Collins – word from the camp is that the players are really signing off on TC. This is a big change from the quiet calm of Willie Randolph, followed by the “let’s keep our distance” Jerry Manual. Collins has that fiery infectious Napoleonic personality that seems to be part of every man who stands waste high to the Chris Young’s of the world. Lots of positive energy so far, which also means guys like this can turn things loud an ugly real quick. I love it.
 

Up: – 2B/SS Jordany Valdespin – word from camp is that Valdespin turned heads during his infield workout along with other Mets vying for a Queens job. He simply was faster than the rest of the guys, both in getting to the ball and also getting back into position for the next ground. He has been known to get lazy on routine balls, but not so far this spring.
 

Up: – SP Jenrry Mejia – I talked with one of the beat guys down in Port St. Lucie and he told me that there are a lot of pitchers that look good right now, but everyone is talking about Mejia. Other Met ballplayers were literally stopping what they were doing and walking over to watch Mejia throw on the back field mounds. My contact said he was easily sitting at 94-95.
 

Up: – SS/2B Ruben Tejada – you always have to appreciate a ballplayer that takes the off-season serious, and Ruben has. No one has ever questioned his defensive skills, but his first shot at playing in Queens caused comparisons to Anderson Hernandez. So, Tejada went home and concentrated on bulking up and perfecting his swing. Word is he will never win the home run crown; however, everyone is impressed with his new dedication to improve his offensive statistics.


Up: OF Scott Hairston – Hairston is one of many that is trying to win a utility slot on the 25-man, which means you have to do two things well… not make errors and hot it over the wall. Well, you can’t have a better start that last Friday’s intra-squad game where Hairston hit two home runs. I’d say he’s leading after one.


Up: 2B Luis Castillo – Mets fans down in Port St. Lucie were taken to second base school by Luis Castillo on Saturday. He was the first to get a hit and later turned a double play that would never have happened if Daniel Murphy was playing there. It’s going to be interesting to see what the Mets do about this.


Up: RP Pedro Beato – It wasn’t that Beato did anything special in his first Met outing on Saturday, but the word around camp is everyone is thrilled with what he has brought to the team. It looks like the original Mets draft pick is going to make it to Queens after all. Good for him!


Down: P Oliver Perez – I can’t believe I’m still writing about this guy as a current Met. This is so embarrassing. The funny part is his ST ERA (18.00) is exactly what I said it would be on the day he is finally cut. Come on, Sandy… get it done.


Up: RF Carlos Beltran – with Beltran’s decision, the Mets just acquired one of the top right fielders in baseball. This is a good move for everybody. Centerfield can be left to a healthy Angel Pagan and Carlos can concentrate on healing and hitting. Good move

I May Be Wrong, But… Jenrry Mejia, Wally Backman,Terry Collins, Alex Silver, Adam Rubin, Daniel Murphy, John Maine

 

photo by Michael G. Baron

1. I see that the Mets were shut out in the MLB Top 50 prospect list that aired on TV opposite the State of the Union Address by President Obama (by the way, how come no one pays this guy the respect to put the word “President” in front of his last name?). I had predicted Mets fans only needed to turn on during the last 15 minutes figuring Jenrry Mejia would sneak in near the end. This makes one remember one important thing when we are discussing Mets prospects… other teams get to sign players also.

2. Having Daryl Strawberry predict that Wally Backman will be the next Mets manager is like having Lenny Dykstra pick the next stock you’re going to buy. How would you like to be Terry Collins and you wake up and find out one of your roving coaches is already predicting your demise? Nice timing, Straw. Maybe you should stick to the restaurant business and the big Yankee reunion you’re having at the end of this month.

3. I was thrilled to hear Terry Collins say there would be  less players in camp this year. The first thing this tells me is that most, if not all, of the players that are currently projected not to make one of the four full-year minor league teams, won’t report until near the end of ST. This gives the players fighting for jobs more innings to pitch and more grounders to catch. Secondly, it screams of a major league clubhouse of only 40-man members and newbies that have recently been signed. I like that idea to. Don’t put thoughts unachievable in the heads of young prospects. Let them mature at the levels they are supposed to play in.

4. My prayers go out to Texas freshman third baseman Alex Silver, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He’s scheduled to only miss the first couple of months of the 2011 season. For the full story:  http://texas.247sports.com/Article/Silver-ready-to-fight-disease-12807

5. Adam Rubin had a nice interview with Daniel Murphy on Wednesday in Jacksonville, Florida. I loved the line about, when Murphy arrived in camp one day, someone asked him “what position he played?”. He answered with “hitter number three”. I have big money on Murph going into this spring training and I don’t understand why the Mets keep signing more guys to compete with someone who has already proved he should be in the starting lineup. Who cares that he never has played second base. No one hits the ball over there, anyway.

 6. I visited one of my favorite sites this morning, http://baseballdraftreport.com/, and I learned that the author was off work today due to “thundersnow”. Now, I’ve been around for a while, and I’ve watched a lot of weather channels, but this was a new one on me. Thundershow?  Was this the name of a new rock band?  I went to Wikipedia and found out there are four different forms of thundersnow. Great. Now there’s four things I didn’t know squat about.

7. John Maine is working out for teams as a relief pitcher. Wasn’t this what a bunch of us said he should have been doing last year? I’m told that all pitchers lie to their pitching coach about their aches and pains, but I’m also told that Maine took the book when it came to telling no one about nothing. Anybody that covered the start of spring training last year could observe that John’s velo was gone, yet Omar and Co. still turned a blind eye and slotted him into the rotation. However, let’s remember he basically was a throw-in in the Jorge Julio for Kris Benson trade on 1-22-06.