Overachiever Ryan Church Carrying Mets

I have to admit that when the New York Mets traded top prospect Lastings Milledge to the Washington Nationals for Ryan Church and Brian Schneider I was unhappy. I thought this was another one of Omar Minaya’s misguided trades like Heath Bell to the Padres for nothing, or Brian Bannister to the Royals for Ambiorix Burgos. Wow… Have I been wrong!

Ryan Church, and to a lesser degree Brian Schneider, has been much more than the nondescript outfielder that I was expecting. Schneider has been hitting pretty well but without any semblance of power, and he does seem to provide some sense of comfort to the pitching staff. However, the catcher’s influence on a pitching staff is vastly overrated in my opinion.

Church has been a revelation, both in the field and at the plate, for the Mets. He’s currently hitting 34 points above his highest season average in 2005. His OBP is 18 points higher than his career high in 2006. His OPS is 13 points higher than his career high in 2006 as well. Without a doubt, he’s been the most consistent offensive performer for the Mets this season. He’s hit well in every spot in the order that Willie Randolph has put him in. He’s seemingly unaffected by changes that Randolph makes to the lineup. Continue reading “Overachiever Ryan Church Carrying Mets”

Pirates Precursor: Jason Michaels Acquired From Indians

Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Xavier Nady during a Pirates/Minnesota Twins spring training game at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Florida.Image via Wikipedia

The Pittsburgh Pirates agreed to a deal with the Cleveland Indians yesterday to take the struggling outfielder off their hands for next to nothing. The Indians had put Michaels on waivers after he began this season hitting .207 with no home runs and nine RBI’s in 21 games.

I have to believe that this move is a precursor by the Pirates to give them the ability to move Jason Bay or Xavier Nady (or both). The Pirates are struggling and have been for many years. It doesn’t make sense to keep two solid outfielders that could offer significant trade value for prospects.

The Mets surely will keep an eye on the situation in Pittsburgh. We’ve all heard the talk about bringing Nady back to New York to play first and the outfield. That might gain some traction now that the Pirates have Michaels as an experienced outfielder to hold the line until their youngsters are ready to play. The problem is that Nady is playing so well this season that the Pirates can demand a pretty big return for him. The Mets dealt so many top prospects for Johan Santana that leaves them somewhat bereft of minor leaguers to deal.

Just Say No To Turnbow

New York Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson before a Mets/Devil Rays spring training game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.Image via Wikipedia

Derrick Turnbow was designated for assignment by the Milwaukee Brewers and some stories have surfaced in the media that the Mets management is considering picking him up. The Brewers transaction took place on May 2nd and they have 10 days to trade him, place him on release waivers, or send him outright to the minors. Turnbow has no options so he could refuse an assignment to the minors.

The bottom line with him is that this is the third consecutive season that he’s been really bad. The Mets really don’t need another project on their hands in the bullpen. Rick Peterson has his hands full as it is.

“The Jacket” needs to concentrate on Jorge Sosa, Aaron Heilman, and Oliver Perez. There isn’t room for another problem pitcher. We all know about the famous line about how he could fix Victor Zambrano in ten minutes. He couldn’t do that… and he can’t fix Turnbow in ten minutes either.

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Santana vs. Other Met Mid-Career Acquisitions

Baseball Crank has a great chart comparing Johan Santana against other mid-career pitching acquisitions the Mets have made. The comparison is through their first seven starts.

Santana looks pretty good but doesn’t compare to some like Al Leiter who was lights out in his seven starts in 1998. 

Thanks to The Hardball Times for the link.

Mets- Detroit Tigers Deal For Marcus Thames Still Possible

Yahoo Sports is reporting that the Mets are still looking at the Detroit Tigers Marcus Thames.

The New York Mets have scouted Detroit Tigers first baseman/outfielder Marcus Thames so much this spring that they could be accused of stalking according to the Boston Globe.

The Tigers still need bullpen help and the Mets have a glut of arms in the pen. Omar Minaya really needs to make something happen. With the news of Reed Johnson getting release by the Blue Jays today that may be the direction that Minaya goes.

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