Preview: Mets at Phillies April 5, 2011

New York Mets (2-1) at Philadelphia Phillies (3-0)  7:05pm

Chris Young (0-0, NA) vs. Cole Hamels (0-0, NA)

TV: SNY, WB17   Radio: WFAN

What to watch: The Mets travel south to start a three game series with the Phillies tonight. Coming into the season, many of us didn’t think the Mets could match up at all with the Phillies. But the Mets road series win in Miami gives us hope that 2o11 might not be another lost season for the Mets. Maybe they can compete this year.

Tonight will be our first look at Young in regular season game competition. It’ll be interesting to see how he stacks up against the Phillies lineup in a small park.

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Video: Mets Weekly Report – Marlins, Beltran, and Phillies

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - FEBRUARY 24:  RY 24:  Mik...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

In this week’s video, Kerel Cooper of On The Black and I talk about the Marlins series that the Mets just took in Miami. We talk about Carlos Beltran (and his knees), Mike Pelfrey’s poor start on Friday night, Willie Harris’ hot bat, and the upcoming series in Philly starting tomorrow.

The Mets will face Hamels, Blanton, and Halladay in Philly this week. That will be a good early season test of how the Mets offense stacks up against some solid pitching. Tomorrow will also be our first look at Chris Young in a regular season game. He goes right into the fire in Philly.

Check out the video below and comment with your thoughts.

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Mets Start 2011 with More Questions than Answers

Carlos Beltran
Image by Keith Allison via Flickr

As the Mets and Marlins get ready to begin the 2011 season tonight, I can’t help but think that the Mets team is going to look very different when this season ends. The financially struggling Wilpons didn’t bring in Sandy Alderson, J.P. Ricciardi, and Paul DePodesta to stand pat like they did all winter. There are going to be moves this season and probably some big ones.

The Infield

Ike Davis looks like he’s on his way to becoming a solid, if not spectacular everyday player. David Wright is the face of the franchise and locked up in a contract until 2012 with an option for 2013. After that, things are much more in question. Is Josh Thole an everyday catcher? Will Jose Reyes sign an extension, get traded, or just play out his contract with the Mets? Are Brad Emaus or Daniel Murphy going to solidify second base?

The Outfield

Angel Pagan looks like a solid center fielder on the rise in his career. Scott Hairston and Willie Harris look like capable fourth and fifth outfielders. The other two-thirds of the outfield are question marks. Does Carlos Beltran have anything left that could justify all (or even a small portion) of his $18.5 million salary for this season? Will Beltran waive his no-trade clause at some point during the season? Will Jason Bay do anything productive for the Mets or is he another big free agent bust? Continue reading “Mets Start 2011 with More Questions than Answers”

Video: Mets Spring Training, Young, Perez, Evans

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - FEBRUARY 24:  RY 24:  RY ...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

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.

Weekly Mets Report with On The Black
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Mets 2011 Top Prospects

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - FEBRUARY 24:  Jenrry Meji...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

I was reading through some posts about the Mets top prospects and thinking about who might make an impact at the Major League level in 2011. Baseball America compiled a solid list of the top ten in the organization back in mid-December:

  1. Jenrry Mejia, rhp
  2. Wilmer Flores, ss
  3. Cesar Puello, of
  4. Matt Harvey, rhp
  5. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, of
  6. Reese Havens, 2b
  7. Lucas Duda, of/1b
  8. Fernando Martinez, of
  9. Aderlin Rodriguez, 3b
  10. Brad Holt, rhp

For Mets fans, these are mostly familiar names. We’ve already seen plenty of Mejia, Duda, and F-Mart with the Mets. Bryan Smith of FanGraphs lists Flores and Harvey as the two “must follow” prospects in the Mets system. Smith doesn’t go as deep as the Baseball America post but he does go into more detail about Flores and the lofty comparisons that have been made to Miguel Cabrera.

As far as impact in the majors this year, I think we’ll see Mejia at some point during the season again. The Mets rotation looks very questionable with Chris Young and Chris Capuano working as reclamation projects. I don’t think anyone would be surprised if one or both went down with an injury for the season. F-Mart could get another shot with the Mets too if he can stay healthy and Carlos Beltran is injured or traded during the season.

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Mets Pitching Report – Starters All On 1 Yr Contracts, Perez Has Competition

Chris Young San Diego Padres pitcher
Image via Wikipedia

With just 3 weeks till Spring Training this was a very busy week for the Mets who continue to put together a solid pitching staff while getting their financial house in order.  With all their starters on 1 year deals (not including Johan Santana who is on the DL) the Mets have made it clear this staff is temporary and all options on are the table for 2012.

Here are some of the highlights of the week:

Starters:

R.A. Dickey and the Mets enter arbitration. Dickey asks for $4.7 million. Mets counter with $3.35 million. Dickey still expressing interest in a 2 year deal but it’s looking more like he’ll get 1 just like everyone else. Great competitor and work ethic just like…

Chris Young who “finally” signs with the Mets. Young was out of baseball for all of 2010 due to Tommy John surgery but an ESPN quote from Adrian Gonzalez (who played with Young on the Padres in ’06 – ’09) states how the RHer is one of the most competitive people he knows. With a base salary of $1.1 million and incentives, Young could max out at $4.5 million. I like the fact Young is a competitor with a great work ethic. Two things the Mets have lacked the last few years.

Mike Pelfrey settled with the Mets this week on a 1 year deal to avoid arbitration. The deal will pay Pelfrey $3.925 million during the upcoming season. He can earn $50,000 extra in performance bonuses. Terry Collins has also named Pelfrey the opening day starter.

With Pelfrey, Dickey, Jon Niese (who is also on a 1yr contract) & Young as your 1 – 4 starters, this is turning into a solid starting staff. I’m looking forward to the competition for the fifth spot. Continue reading “Mets Pitching Report – Starters All On 1 Yr Contracts, Perez Has Competition”

Mets Pitching Report – January 2011

Johan Santana pitching for the New York Mets o...
Image via Wikipedia

With just 6 weeks until Spring Training the Mets biggest worry will, by far, be their pitching staff. With the hope that the Mets can bring on one of the two free agents they are targeting, the pitching staff lines up as follows:

Mike Pelfrey, RA Dickey and Jon Niese, followed by either Chris Young** or Jeff Francis**, then Dillon Gee or Chris Capuano. (**this is assuming the Mets can obtain Young or Francis who are free agents).

In 2010, the Mets had question marks in their entire pitching rotation. The only person that could be counted on was Johan Santana. This year you can add Santana to the list of question marks for this pitching staff making the “ENTIRE” pitching staff a question mark.

Pelfrey, Dickey and Niese combined for 30 wins last year. Somehow this pitching staff will have to find another 45 wins to have a respectable season. Continue reading “Mets Pitching Report – January 2011”