If you could draw up a player that doesn’t fit the Mets team and their new stadium, that player would be Bengie Molina. As part of my full disclosure, I’ll tell you that I can’t stand Yadier Molina. Sure, it goes back years now to 2006. But it’s hard for me to picture in my mind a Met player with “Molina” on the back of his jersey.
Bengie ended up signing a 1-year/$4.5 million deal to go back to the Giants and I couldn’t be happier. I wrote that I’d like to see the Mets go into the season with a Santos/Thole platoon behind the plate. The biggest reason was because the list of free agent catchers this year is so weak. That won’t happen because Henry Blanco will be on the roster. But I can live with that.
Molina has some nice offensive stats but a 35 year-old, overweight catcher is just what the Mets don’t need right now. That’s not the profile of the type of player that the Mets should be committing their financial resources to. The Mets would be much better served to put a little more money into a starting pitcher than they had planned, and work on upgrading at first base.
I was reading a post by Tejesh at Mets Prospect Hub on his final ranking of 2009 for the Mets top prospects. Sometimes I think that minor league prospect lists require some explanation about the logic used to determine value in a list. For example, the players that spent significant time on the Mets Major League team in 2009 were Fernando Martinez (#1), Jon Niese (#9), Josh Thole (#10), and Nick Evans (not on top list).
Readiness for big league play isn’t prioritized as a qualifying factor. Total future upside appears to be the priority. I love to read blogs about the Mets minor leaguers, and there are several good ones, because I just don’t have the opportunity to see the minor league players in action especially the low-level leagues. My focus is always on which players are Major League ready or will be in the near future.
I’m still hoping to see Niese get a shot at the rotation in 2010 after missing the rest of the season last August when he tore his hamstring in an ugly scene on the mound. The 23 year-old made five starts last season, having two good ones and two that were kind of ugly, and the final start on August 5 when he got hurt. He ended with a 4.21 ERA over 25.2 IP. Not bad.
Pitchers and catchers have to be at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie, FL on February 18. The rest of the position players are required to be there by February 23. And the first workouts are scheduled for February 25.
If you’re planning a trip to Port St. Lucie, the spring training schedule of games begins on Tuesday March 2 against Atlanta.
In my mind, the biggest question mark coming into spring training is “What kind of shape will Oliver Perez be in when he arrives?”. I’m sure there will be some new faces that haven’t signed with the Mets yet too, like Bengie Molina and possible another first baseman, maybe even Mike Lowell.
The Mets took two out of three in San Francisco from the Giants before leaving for San Diego today. John Maine looked good going six strong innings giving up two runs (one earned) on seven hits and one walk for his seventh win. He also had four strikeouts. Jose Reyes let one go under his glove for his tenth error to allow the unearned run.
Duaner Sanchez pitched the seventh and eighth innings allowing one run. He did have a scare in the eighth inning when Bengie Molina hit one to the wall with two men on.
Reyes was the offensive star of the game going 3 for 4 with his eighth home run and a stolen base, his 19th of the season.