On Friday the Mets announced that they added seven minor league players to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft. The players that they added were pitchers Robert Carson and Jeurys Familia, second baseman Reese Havens, and outfielders Wilmer Flores, Juan Lagares, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, and Cesar Puello.
Prior to this move the Mets removed Nick Evans and Jason Pridie from the 40-man roster. Both players elected for free agency and Pridie signed a minor league deal with the Oakland A’s.
As the Mets continue to trim their budget, we should see some of these prospects getting a look in spring training for spots on the 25-man roster. Havens especially deserves a shot at the second base job despite his injury history. He’s probably the best second baseman in the organization right now. Also expect Nieuwenhuis to get a look at the center or right field positions in the spring. He’s coming off season ending shoulder surgery but should be ready to go in February.
The Mets took the rubber game of the series against the Astros today in Houston behind a 5 RBI day from Justin Turner. It didn’t look good from the start as the Mets were no hit for the first four innings by Aneury Rodriguez. He looked fantastic through four but lost his you know what in the fifth inning when the Mets scored 4. Turner had a 2-run double and Jason Pridie scored on a double steal of home.
Turner hit a 3-run homer in the sixth inning to make it 7-2 at the time. The Mets only had 5 hits and 6 walks in the game.
Chris Capuano had another decent start going 5 innings and allowing only 2 runs. It took him 94 pitches to get through five, so it wasn’t exactly efficient. But it got the job done.
The Mets finish the road trip at 4-2 taking both series’ from Houston and Colorado. They’ll face the Marlins and Nationals at home this week.
When I think of offensive ineptitude, I think of the Mets bench. When I think of a career minor leaguer who can possibly serve a valuable purpose for the Mets down the road, I think of Jason Pridie. Since being called up, Pridie has turned heads by belting a few home runs in clutch spots, something that the every day players have rarely done so far this season. I think most fans can agree that the Mets are far from a playoff caliber ball club. There are gaping holes in the starting rotation and the lineup does not produce consistently enough to contend. With that said, I think that this year, seemingly more than ever, the Mets bench has left so much to be desired. Whether its Willie Harris grounding out softly with a runner in scoring position or Scott Hairston swinging out of his shoes leading off down 2 runs in the 9th, the bench players on this team have just not come through.
Bench players in baseball are some of the most under-appreciated athletes around. When called upon off the pine, they are basically thrown to the wolves and must perform with far less comfort than someone going up for their 4th at-bat of a game. In addition, they usually find themselves in crucial situations of games. It is a role in which failure requires a player to wait another night for redemption, but if a big hit is delivered, an invaluable source of energy is ignited and can carry over.
The Mets have had some very reliable pinch hitting specialists in the past. Rusty Staub was a feared pinch hitting dinosaur in the 70’s and early 80’s. In one of the most significant trades that the Mets made in the 80’s, they sent pitcher Mike Scott to the Astros for outfielder Danny Heep, who would prove to be a vital player off the bench for the team’s storied run of ’86. More recently, Matt Franco established himself as a feared bat off the bench in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. His claim to fame was in the subway series at Shea in 1999 when he laced a 2-run single with two outs in the 9th to win a game off Mariano Rivera. And of course, the all-time pinch hit leader himself, Lenny Harris, had two separate stints with the Mets and hit .302 as a bench player during the 2000 season.
Jason Pridie is a player I’d like to see succeed as a pinch hitter for the Mets in the future. Of course, I’d like to see, Hairston, Harris, and company succeed right now but in my mind they are just not good hitters and have not displayed an ideal approach in critical spots. Pridie hasn’t shown us that he can be that elusive, Matt Stairs’esque pinch hitter but I like him for his sneaky power, his eye at the plate, and the fact that he hasn’t really looked over-matched yet since he’s been called up. If a relief pitcher makes a mistake, especially over the inner half of the plate, I like Pridie’s chances of making the most of it and doing damage, all with lunch pail in hand. His potential might seem minor, but if the Mets can put together a winning formula in the near future I’d be happy to see Pridie be a part of it.
In this week’s Mets Weekly Report video with Kerel Cooper of On The Black, we talk about the current Dodgers series. The Mets have won the first two games and go for the sweep today. We talk about beating the teams from the west coast and the Dodgers lineup and finances.
We also get into the frustration of Chris Young pitching well but missing last night’s start at the last minute. He appears headed for the disabled list for the second time in the first six weeks of the season.
Kerel brings up the issue of what to do with Jason Pridie when Angel Pagan comes back from the disabled list. Do the Mets release Willie Harris and keep Pridie as a bench player?
Amidst heavy financial burdens, trade rumors, the aftermath of a messy divorce, and an impressive, yet flawed hit streak, there is actually baseball being played in Queens this weekend between the Mets and the Dodgers.
Much like the Mets, the Dodgers are an under-achieving team in flux at the moment. They have a new manager, are struggling to play .500 baseball, and are faced with the possibility of MLB seizing control of the organization at the end of May when owner Frank McCourt fails to submit the payroll. Although the Mets’ financial situation may not be as desperate as the Dodgers’ at the moment, these two franchises seem to be mirroring each other from the left to right coast.
Despite the off-field issues of each franchise, the attention of both teams fan bases, baseball wise, lie in two individual stories. For Met fans, the electrifying play of Jose Reyes is one of the few highlights of the young season thus far. However, his play has been overshadowed by his looming trade prospects. For Dodger fans, Andre Ethier’s 30 game hit streak has enamored despite the team’s lackluster play as of late. In the eyes of many fans outside of L.A., Ethier’s feat up to this point may not seem as arduous considering he took a day off on Thursday, something Joe DiMaggio never did during his 56 game hit streak. Continue reading “What Most Fans are Really Paying Attention to this Weekend”
The Mets got rocked in this game even worse than the score indicates. They were down 10-0 going into the ninth inning. Ike Davis and Jason Pridie hit homers in the ninth to make it somewhat respectable. Mike Pelfrey looked decent after overcoming a nasty flu but lost it in the fourth and fifth innings and ended up allowing 4 runs in 4.1 innings.
Dillon Gee had a bad debut out of the bullpen too. Ryan Howard ripped a grand slam off Gee for his second homer of the game. It was ugly all the way around for the Mets tonight.
When John Maine left Friday night’s game in the fourth inning, I thought it was something pretty bad to force him out of the game. It turns out that he was having spasms in his left (non-pitching) elbow that was causing pain. He told reporters that he’s expecting to make his next scheduled start on Wednesday at Citi Field against the Dodgers.
The problem is that Maine shouldn’t be making his next start. He should be headed for the disabled list. Even if it’s a faux injury like Oliver Perez had last season, he should take some time to get himself right at Triple-A Buffalo.
Something is clearly wrong with Maine this season. If you look at the radar gun readings, he just doesn’t have the same velocity that he had in years past. Maybe it’s the bone spur surgery that he had on his shoulder. Maybe he’s injured and doesn’t want to admit it. There’s no way to tell.