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.
In this week’s video I did with Kerel Cooper on On The Black we talk about the spring training position battles at second base and starting pitcher. Specifically, we talk about Justin Turner and Chris Young. We also talk about what could happen to Oliver Perez this year and Nick Evans if he doesn’t make the opening day roster.
I’m hoping that Evans gets a shot at Major League playing time this season, I’m just not sure how that could happen with the Mets barring an injury. Since he’s out of options, I don’t think he’ll make it through waivers unclaimed.
Kerel Cooper of the On The Black and I got together again to talk about the state of the Mets. This week we cover spring training games starting, MLB issuing a secret loan to the Mets, the bullpen, and the candidates for the bench in 2011.
A couple of issues we talked about that are worth discussion are that I love Jenrry Mejia in the bullpen and hate Nick Evans coming off the bench. Check out the video below to see why.
Game 1 was practically given away to the Brewers with Jon Niese giving up 6 runs in the 3rd inning. The Brewers, not to be outdone, allowed the Mets right back into the game by giving up 2 runs in the 3rd and 5 runs in the 4th to briefly give the Mets the lead 7-6. The Mets gave that lead right back by allowing 2 runs in the 8th and that was all the scoring for the game as the Brewers defeated the Mets by a score of 8-7.
New York used 8 pitchers in the first game because soon to be ex-Mets Manager, Jerry Manuel, could care less. He’s out of here in a few days. Niese started the game and went a full 2.2 innings followed by Ryota Igarashi, Raul Valdes, Sean Green, Elmer Dessens, Pedro Feliciano, Manny Acosta & finally, Hisanori Takahashi.
Game 2 featured a pitching matchup of Dickey vs Bush. No this is not a typo and Twitter users certainly caught the double entendre. R.A. Dickey, the new Mets ace, gave up 6 hits in 7 innings but only allowed 1 earned run. He still took the loss in the nightcap as the Mets offense was completely overpowered when the Brewers trotted out the way past his prime, all time saves leader, Trevor Hoffman, who pitched the 9th to earn his 601st save of his career. Note the Brewers regular closer, John Axford, was not available to close because he was used in Game 1.
Mercifully the season is over in 4 days.
Injury Update: Carlos Beltran is out for the rest of the season due to “Mild Inflammation” in his right knee (What’s New?) and Nick Evans injured his left, non-throwing, shoulder.
The Mets got another great start from R.A. Dickey. He continues to surprise me with every start. I really thought he was a fluke. Tonight he threw a complete game 5- hitter and almost had a shutout, only giving up 1 run in the ninth.
The Mets offense lit up Zack Duke big time for 9 hits in 3.1 innings. They scored all 9 runs in the first four innings of the game. Carlos Beltran and Nick Evans homered in the game. Angel Pagan was 3 for 5 with 3 RBI’s as well.
The Mets take the first two of the four game series against the lowly Pirates. It looks like the Mets finally found a team they can match up with.
The Mets have been shut out by the Giants in two straight games. The offense has been almost non-existent and for the last two seasons we’ve been talking about how the Mets don’t click when Jose Reyes doesn’t play. He’s been out of the lineup since he left the game on July 10 against the Braves and missed the All-Star game.
Jerry Manuel explains to reporters below what they’re seeing from Reyes’ oblique injury and what he needs to do to return to the lineup. The Mets even called up Justin Turner and optioned Nick Evans to Buffalo to add some middle infield support in Reyes’ absence.
It’s getting a little tiring to hear day after day that he could return “tomorrow”. And tomorrow doesn’t seem to happen. Take Manuel’s words with a grain of salt in the video below.
Nick Evans was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo today to make room on the roster for OF Gary Sheffield. The move doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone. In fact, it never made sense to me to keep Evans on the big league roster if he wasn’t going to get significant playing time. The guy just turned 23 years old in January. What good does it do for him to sit on the bench?
Evans needs to be playing every day at Buffalo. The best thing the Mets can do for him is to prepare him to be an everyday player. Hopefully, next season Carlos Delgado will be gone and Evans can take over at first base. Keeping him on the roster as a pinch-hitter and part-time player isn’t in his best interest or the Mets.
The bigger issue will be what the Mets do next Saturday to get Livan Hernandez on the roster. Most likely, they’ll release Marlon Anderson and keep Jeremy Reed as a defensive replacement outfielder. That makes the most sense to me. An option they have is to move one of the relief pitchers off the roster though. Bobby Parnell still has options so they could send him to Buffalo. But I think they like him and believe that he can make a contribution this season. My guess is that Marlon Anderson is waived.
The Mets got a good start from Pedro and three home runs off Scott Olsen for the win today. The Mets take the series from the fish and are guaranteed to stay in first place for another day.
Pedro went 6 innings giving up two runs, both in the first inning. He seems to give up so many runs in the first inning that I’m surprised we haven’t heard any talk about changing his warm up routine. It’s tough to start every game that Pedro pitches losing after the first inning.
The bullpen was okay today as we collectively held our breath from the seventh inning on. Brian Stokes did the closing today and gave up two hits in the inning. But he was bailed out by Jose Reyes snaring a sharp line drive to end the game.
Nick Evans got his first big league homer, going back to back with David Wright in the third inning. Wright was on the ball today going 3 for 5.
The Phillies are still playing in Chicago now so the lead is 1.5 games at the time of this post.