When the Mets traded Brian Stokes to the Los Angeles Angels in the offseason they were hoping to get some decent production from Gary Matthews Jr., who they envisioned as a possible starting center fielder.
…Yeah, that hasn’t worked out so well.
Matthews Jr. is hitting .152 with no RBI, and 19 strikeouts in 46 at-bats.
He’s been extremely late on the fastball and his confidence is just about as shot as possible. Hell, my confidence in him is shot, as I’m one of the more patient Mets fans out there. It was tough to back Minaya on sending Frank Catalanotto to the minors rather than Matthews Jr. Sure, they both haven’t been able to buy a hit this year, but at least Catalanotto was putting the ball in play and giving himself a chance. Matthews Jr. hasn’t been able to do that.
The only way to help snap this funk that Matthews is in is to… well, play him. He’s not going to break out of it pinch-hitting every few games. It may not be pretty, but it might be the only way. If he gets a couple starts in and still can’t snap it.. well, it might be time for Matthews Jr. to head down the same road that Catalanotto did.
But striking out in almost 50% of your at-bats is not a good sign.
The Mets beat writers all had posts about Daniel Murphy recovering from his strained knee ligament in Florida, then going to Triple-A Buffalo when he comes off the disabled list. The plan is for Muphy to play first base immediately just to get some at-bats. Then they’re going to work with him on becoming a utility player.
The odd thing is that you don’t see many 25 year-old utility players out there. It’s usually older players that have been around for a while doing that job. I wouldn’t be happy about it if I was Murphy. That really cuts into his earning potential. Utility players are typically the lowest paid players on a team. His long-term earning potential in the Major Leagues is cut significantly by being pigeon-holed as a utility player. I’m sure he seems himself differently than the Mets organization does.
If Murphy comes back to the big’s after transforming himself into a utility player, who’s roster spot is he going to take? Frank Catalanotto and Fernando Tatis would be the obvious players to go. They’ve both been rotting on the Mets bench in April. Catalanotto has 20 at-bats this season and Tatis has 29. Continue reading
After last night’s game against the Rays (losing 4-2) the Mets made six more cuts. That takes the current roster down to 27 players. Cut from the team last night were pitchers Nelson Figueroa, Kiko Calero, Bobby Parnell, and Elmer Dessens. Also cut were infielder Russ Adams and outfielder/first baseman Chris Carter.
Both Figueroa and Carter were somewhat surprising. They both seemed to be on the very edge of making the team. Relief pitcher Raul Valdes is still on the roster but will probably be cut by tomorrow’s 3pm deadline to get down to 25 players.
Carter appears to have lost the battle for the last spot on the roster to Frank Catalanotto. Omir Santos is still on the roster but will probably be cut by tomorrow as well.
I’m sure there are some really unhappy players right now. Figueroa made no bones about his desire to make the team, speaking openly to the press about it. And I assume Carter is unhappy after having a really good spring.
The news about the Mets has become a trickle over the past week. There’s just not a lot happening 18 days from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training in Port St. Lucie. There are some minor signings to talk about that, hopefully, won’t have a big impact on the 2010 season. Here are the links for today:
- SI.com – Tom Verducci wrote an article comparing the 80’s and 90’s days of Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry to the steroid users. It’s hard to follow the premise that the off field activities that got Doc and Darryl into trouble are comparable to using performance enhancing drugs. But it’s worth a read.
- CBS Sports – The Brooklyn Cyclones are ending their stadium naming deal with KeySpan Energy. KeySpan was taken over and the company name doesn’t exist anymore. The original deal was supposed to run until 2020, so I wonder how much KeySpan had to pay the Cyclones to buy the rest of the deal out.
- NY Post – The Mets signed Long Island native Frank Catalanotto to a minor league deal. He’s not a bad offensive player but at 35 years-old it’s hard to imagine how much of an impact he’ll have in the big leagues anymore. I imagine he was signed to be a draw at Triple-A Buffalo more than he was to be in Queens.
- NY Post – Kevin Kernan did a good piece on Greg Jeffries. He was such an enigma with the Mets, coming up to a lot of fanfare in ‘87 only to prove that he was an average and immature player.
- Daily News – The active career leader in minor league home runs, Mike Hessman, signed a minor league deal with the Mets. Again, I think this is a move to try to improve the miserable Bisons team.
- Daily News – Bill Madden details the laundry list of moves that Omar Minaya should have made this offseason. The funny thing is, that it’s nothing that you haven’t seen written anywhere else over the past two months. Madden needs to work on some original material.