Video: Weekly Mets Report – Murphy, Tejada, Turner

NEW YORK - JULY 08:  Daniel Murphy #28 of the ...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

In the week’s Weekly Mets Report video with Kerel Cooper of On The Black we talk about last night’s game against the Pirates. The disappointing loss led to a discussion of Daniel Murphy and where, if anywhere, he fits in to the Mets defensively.

We also talk about the curious lineup that Terry Collins ran out there with Lucas Duda at first base and Justin Turner on the bench. The discussion is about where we see the Mets lineup going in the long-term.

We also talk about Ruben Tejada’s offense and how we could be seeing a lot more of him at shortstop in the second half of the season.

Mets Youth Movement Misplayed

Ruben Tejada
Image via Wikipedia

It’s not that I mind the Mets going young by bringing up Fernando Martinez and Ruben Tejada. I’m cautiously optimistic that both players have some kind of future in the Major Leagues, whether it’s with the Mets or another team. Since the 2010 season has tanked, there’s no reason for the Mets not to go young for a couple of months to see what they have. Maybe they can even showcase some young players to prepare for offseason trades.

It also makes a lot of sense to bench Luis Castillo for Tejada. The Mets already know exactly what they have in Castillo, and it isn’t good. The guy has always been a slap hitter with limited range in the field since he came to the Mets. Hitting .245 this season in 61 games doesn’t exactly make him irreplaceable.

Although Tejada is only hitting .196 and is pretty much an automatic out, he’s only 20 years old and has some serious skills in the field. If he can gain some experience this year, in a meaningless season, it could pay dividends in the future. Continue reading “Mets Youth Movement Misplayed”

Mets 1 – Phillies 0 August 7, 2010

New York Mets pitcher Johan Santana delivers a pitch to the Philadelphia Phillies during the second inning of their National League MLB baseball game in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, August 7, 2010. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

http://view.picapp.com//JavaScripts/OTIjs.jsThe Mets got a big game out of Johan Santana and they really needed it. Santana didn’t give up a hit until the sixth inning and ended up throwing 7.1 shutout innings. It was a nice comeback from two below-par starts. Cole Hamels was almost as good, only giving up 1 run in 7 innings. It was a classic pitchers duel.

The Mets offense was still sleeping with only 7 hits and 2 walks in the game. The Mets only run was on a solo shot by Jeff Francoeur in the seventh inning.

Ruben Tejada took over second base and made several outstanding plays in the field. Fernando Martinez also got into the game in right field late in the game.

The Mets and Phillies will play the rubber game of the series tomorrow afternoon.

Box score

Mets Release Alex Cora, Demote Jesus Feliciano

Alex Cora
Image via Wikipedia

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN, the Mets have released Alex Cora and demoted Jesus Feliciano to Triple-A Buffalo. In corresponding moves, Fernando Martinez and Ruben Tejada are being called up and will be with the team tonight in Philadelphia.

Cora is in his second season with the Mets but hitting only .207 this year in 62 games. The problem with Cora is that his $2 million option for 2011 would vest when he played 80 games in 2010 which he would certainly reach. Management decided to nip that in the bud and release him.

Cora is a popular figure in the Mets clubhouse and a leader on the team. It’ll be interesting to see how the players respond to this adversity. Clearly, the message is that nobody is immune from being shipped out if they don’t perform.

Martinez and Tejada wouldn’t be joining the Mets if they weren’t going to get significant playing time. They’re both young, rising stars in the Mets organization. There’s no point in planting them on the bench. So you would expect other moves to be made to clear out more playing time for them. Specifically, Luis Castillo and Jeff Francoeur will probably be the next Mets players to go.

Mets 2010 Trade Deadline Needs – Bat Off the Bench

Rusty Staub Bat at Mets Hall of Fame
Image by slgckgc via Flickr

Friday night, as I watched Jesus Feliciano hit a weak dribbler to second baseman Martin Prado with runners on second and third with two outs from my section 401 seat in the promenade, yet another need for the Mets became apparent to me. Some pop off the bench would be really nice for the second half of the season. I feel like a solid bat could prove to be just as important as a new bullpen arm at this point.

Feliciano was pinch hitting for Ruben Tejada in that spot. It was the bottom of the 6th, and Braves starter Tommy Hanson had just been pulled. A big 2-RBI hit there would have put the Mets ahead 4-2 and could have very well changed the complexion of the game at that juncture. In the following inning, a recently called-up, and clearly over-matched Nick Evans was tardy on a Johnny Venters fastball while pinch hitting in the pitcher’s spot to lead off.

Having established Major League hitters available on your bench is an invaluable quality late in games. When Matt Franco or Lenny Harris would get up in the on-deck circle, I was confident that if they saw a pitch to hit, they would put a charge into it. Franco, although absentminded at times (he forgot his glove in the Shea Stadium picnic area after taking a picture with me before a game when I was 12), was a master of the craft of pinch hitting from the left side. It was basically his sole purpose on the team and he excelled. I will always remember his walk-off line drive single against the Yankees in the Subway Series, among other clutch hits. Pinch hitters are under-appreciated assets of baseball clubs, yet upon delivery, they are game changers. Continue reading “Mets 2010 Trade Deadline Needs – Bat Off the Bench”

Mets Trading Prospects Not Depth For Cliff Lee

May 11, 2010: Cliff Lee for the Seattle Mariners pitches during a game against the hometown Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland. The Mariners beat the Orioles 5 - 1.

http://view.picapp.com//JavaScripts/OTIjs.jsTrade month is almost upon us, and the Mets definitely look to be buyers this season. With that said, any talk of trading Angel Pagan (selling high) needs to be thrown out immediately. I’m not saying the 29 year old will be a major cog in the next couple of years. Who knows? But it is simply a matter of depth.

Carlos Beltran’s knees are never again going to be a sure bet. Pagan is also not a player who has been kn0wn to avoid the disabled list. It doesn’t hurt having four more than capable outfielders sharing time. Just yesterday, Angel was pulling himself out of a game because of a strained muscle. Depth in the outfield, and in general, is essential and in our case could be a strength.

We all remember what happened in past seasons when we lost key players late. Losing Fernando Tatis in 2008 helped to make our offense as inept as any in baseball at that time. The year before, we lost an aging Alou and Valentin who were key offensive pieces. Depth will allow the hot bats to find the lineup and give a manager the ability to get more creative. Continue reading “Mets Trading Prospects Not Depth For Cliff Lee”

Mets 3 – Padres 0 June 10, 2010

Apr. 19, 2010 - Flushing Meadows, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - epa02124425 The Mets' Jonathon Niese pitches during the fourth inning of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the New York Mets at Citi Field in Flushing Meadows, New York, USA, on 19 April 2010.

http://view.picapp.com//JavaScripts/OTIjs.jsThe Mets got a complete game 1-hit shutout from Jon Niese to win the series. The only hit for the Padres was a double by Chris Denorfia in the third inning. Niese was that close to a perfect game. He was completely cruising through this one.

The Mets had some decent offense going too with 8 hits and 3 walks. Jose Reyes was 3 for 4 with 1 run and 1 SB (15th of the season). Ike Davis was 2 for 4 with an RBI. Jesus Feliciano made his debut and went 0 for 4.

This game also had another interesting play. The Padres pulled off an around the horn triple play on a Ruben Tejada ground ball to third.

The Mets win the home series and hit the road to Baltimore for the weekend.

Box score