Write a Reader Op-Ed…

Readers…and writers

Do you have something to say, which you feel deserves more attention than just appearing as a blurb in the comments section…

If so, write a Reader Op-Ed to appear as a full post at MetsBlog.com…

Simply send a sample paragraph with the basic idea of your column to me at mattcerrone@metsblog.com
If it’s something I believe fits into our blogosphere, I’ll ask you
to complete the column and than toss it up on the site…

note…try and keep your op-ed under 1,000 words, avoid tons of stats and be pithy

Thanks…and I look forward to reading your work…

Matthew Cerrone
MetsBlog.com

Let Matsui Be

MetsBlogger Brett, who posts to the comments section under the name ‘darkdinner,’ emailed me the following question, which I thought would be better suited for public discussion…

Brett writes…

Mets fans have been really hard on Kaz Matsui, basically since he got here…and granted, his defense at shortstop was not as good as advertised. But, it seems to me that the Mets have also asked Matsui to be a player he isn’t.  They asked him to bat leadoff and draw more walks and they’re asking him to play second base.  However, when in Japan, he was more of a run producer with good speed…

It seems to me that, with all the excuses the Mets make for him, the most disappointing thing about Kaz so far is that he is not Ichiro, or Luis Castillo – remember, when Duquette signed Matsui, the Mets were trying to follow the Marlins formula for winning.  I think that if the Mets move Kaz down in the order and let him play his game the way he knows how to play it, essentially letting Kaz Matsui be Kaz Matsui, instead of asking him to change his game to suit the Mets needs, there would be much less disappointment in Flushing, and he may actually become something of the productive player Mets fans wanted when he was signed…

I was wondering what you thought of this

You make an interesting point, Brett…

As my readers know, I’m not a huge stats guy.  But, a couple of numbers jumped out at me while looking at Matsui that seem relevant to this discussion…

When Matsui bats with nobody on base ahead of him and no outs, in other words, when he leads of an inning, acting as a ‘leadoff hitter,’ he’s batting .261 with a .320 OBP and roughly one home run every 57 chances.  However, put runners on base, and Matsui bats .299 with a .358 OBP with roughly one home run every 87 chances…

At any rate, I’m not sure batting Matsui deeper in the lineup would make that big of difference, because a player’s number in the batting order isn’t nearly as important as who is batting before and after him.  Of late, he’s had Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran surrounding him in the lineup, which is pretty solid.  If it were, say, Cliff Floyd and David Wright, instead, I’m not sure it would make that much of difference.  However, as you note, what seems to plague Matsui are the assignments, such as being forced to work the count, execute hit-n-runs, lay down bunts, and so on.  Hitting sixth, for instance, he’ll be asked to just swing away more often, so, if ‘over thinking’ is his problem, maybe this would help…

What do you the rest of you think…

Minors: AskBA on Bannister

Jim Callis was recently asked about B-Mets RHP Brian Bannister in Baseball America’s latest AskBA mailbag…

Bannister is 4–0 with a 0.42 ERA in four starts for Binghamton, having struck out 20 batters in 21 innings pitched while walking just one. 

one…

…yes, one

Among other comments, Callis notes, “Bannister’s stuff isn’t as dominant as those numbers, but he has a solid mix of average pitches and knows how to mix them up and throw them for strikes.”

i hear this comment about Bannister lacking in ‘dominant’ stuff quite often, and I never fully understand it…so, I asked Callis to expound, because it would seem to me, results are results, regardless of what the radar gun says

Callis told me, “I wasn’t knocking him, just pointing out that his stuff is not as dominant as his four-start stats would suggest.  A lot of people go crazy about statistics, and that’s only part of the picture.”

as most of you who read metsblog know, i’m far from a stats guru…in fact, the bill james corner of baseball makes my brain hurt…but, in this case, bannister has performed quite well, and his numbers are indicative of this, and yet he keeps getting talked down by scouts and experts

Yusmiero Petit, who also has far-from-great stuff, seems to get the benefit of the doubt, as Callis further commented, saying, “Petit’s track record of success is longer than Bannister’s, and he’s more dominant, so I think there’s a difference there. Petit is very deceptive, which explains a lot of how he does what he does.”

Ultimately, I just think Bannister is the vanilla to Petit’s Ben & Jerry’s Oatmeal Cookie Chunk – the best ice cream I’ve ever had, by the way.  Both are equally effective, Petit just dazzles with the strike outs and deception more…

I look forward to watching these guys, along with Philip Humber, progress…

Minors: Mets Minor League Action

The Tides defeated the Durham Bulls 7–2 courtesy of a home run barrage from Jeff Keppinger, Luis Garcia, Brian Daubach, Benji Gil, Rodney Nye, and two from Mike DiFelice…

The B-Mets eeked out a win over the Portland Sea Dogs on the back of, my man, Brian Bannister, who tossed six innings, allowing five hits and just one unearned run…

The St. Lucie Mets lost to the Jupiter Hammerheads by a score of 4–2.  Vincent Cordova took the loss for St. Lucie…

Ambiorix Concepcion’s ninth inning homer was too little too late, as the Hagerstown Suns fell 4-3 to Lake County…

For more on the night in Mets minor league action, check out FlushingsFuture.com’s Minor League Notebook

The Countdown to Cameron

Mike Cameron played all nine innings in right field for Class A St. Lucie last night, going 1-for-2 with a double, a walk and a hit by pitch…

According to the New York Post, Cameron is likely to play in one or two more games for St. Lucie before moving up to Norfolk.  The Post writes that he’ll need approximately a week’s worth of at-bats before re-joining the Mets…

The talk of what to do with the Mets roster spots upon his return from the disable list is beginning to heat up…

“I’ve always said I’ll do what’s best for the team and the organization,” Willie Randolph told reporters yesterday.  “There’s nothing Victor [Diaz] can do to change what we might do eventually.  He might still be with us.  He might not.  But right now, it’s about winning each day.”…

Adam Rubin of the Daily News writes that Eric Valent, who drew interest from the Orioles and Devil Rays this off-season, could be dealt to open up a roster spot.  Newsday points out that Norfolk 1B Brian Daubach, who had four seasons of at least 20 home runs for the Red Sox from 1999-2002, will begin working in the outfield, an indication Daubach could be a replacement for Valent.  At Norfolk, Daubach, 33, is batting .364 with seven home runs and 24 RBIs through 77 at-bats…

Rubin also suggests that the Mets could opt to use 11 pitchers instead of the 12 they broke camp with…

For what it’s worth, The Washington Post writes that one the Orioles top needs includes acquiring defensive help in the outfield…

Minors: Names from the Past

Some stats on a few former Mets minor leaguers…

Justin Huber: .369 AVG, 3 HR and 16 RBI…
 
Ian Bladergroen: .266 AVG, 1 HR and 7 RBI…
 
Matt Peterson: 1-1, 8.31 ERA, 5 K’s and 13 BB…

Other than Huber, the rest are not looking too good.  And, while Huber is a good hitter, he is playing in the Texas League, which is known for it’s Coors Field like offensive numbers…

…post courtesy of Chris, from Blogspot’s 1986Mets, MetsBlog’s guest minor league blogger

Worried About Glavine…

“Obviously, things aren’t going the way I want them to,” Tom Glavine said of his recent performances, following yesterday’s loss to the Braves. “But I don’t think they’re going as bad as everybody is going to want to paint it out to be.”…

Here’s how he is being painted today…

Lee Jenkins writes, “It is as if he is still paying a penance for leaving Atlanta in the winter of 2002,” in a terrific column in the New York Times

Don Burke, in his always appreciated witty way, leads in the Star-Ledger with, “The Atlanta Braves don’t merely have Tom Glavine’s number.  They know where he lives, the ages of each of his children, his preferred dental floss and his wife’s favorite scent of potpourri.”…

Mark Hale of the New York Post asks, “If the Yankees were Pedro Martinez’s daddies last year, what have the Braves become to Tom Glavine?”…

When asked if the Mets should be worried about Glavine, ESPN’s Peter Gammons answered, while appearing on Baseball Tonight, “A little worried…The question is: is he just going to be average, because they need more than average.”…

“The Braves have a nice approach to [Glavine,]” Willie Randolph told reporters following yesterday’s game. “They know what he does. But I don’t analyze it too much.  I don’t ever get concerned about a guy like this.”…

Interesting…but, I’m worried, and it seems most everyone else is, as well…

In his prime, Glavine’s ‘out-pitch’ was a sinker that clipped the outside corner.  Mets fans remember it well.  It was unhittable.  Since joining the Mets, Glavine has removed this pitch from his repertoire because it is no longer called a strike as a result of a newly enforced up-down strike zone.  His only recourse is to throw inside more often, in hopes of pushing a batter back to open up the outer part of the plate.  If he has his fastball working inside, he’ll be okay.  If he doesn’t, like yesterday, he’s in trouble. 

As a result, what was a pitcher who won 60 percent of his starts while in Atlanta, is now a pitcher who loses roughly 60 percent of his starts with the Mets…

In a rotation with two AAAA pitchers, a guy who wouldn’t know the strike zone if he fell on it and three starters on the disabled list, average performances are out of the question for Glavine.  But, that’s what he is, regardless of what surrounds him…

Make whatever adjustments are necessary, Tom, or it’s going to be a long, long year, be it against the Braves, or anyone else…

A-Rod the Businessman

MetsBlogger Robert Katz, aka Bobby K in our comments section, just sent me an email with the following message, which is hilarious…enjoy…

Robert writes…

I heard an ad on ESPN Radio earlier today.  AROD is selling memorabilia through his own personal company to “commemorate” his three homer run, 10 RBI game the other night. That’s right fans, as Michael Kay narrates, for only $399 AROD-AUTHENTICATED is now selling 113 limited edition baseballs signed by AROD with a special inscription of the boxscore line from that night’s game.  Autographed bats and gloves are also available at a special price

…Unreal…$250 million, and counting…

Minors: Thursday's Minor League Preview

The Norfolks on the Charlotte Knights at 7:15 PM with Jose Santiago (0-3, 6.23) on the hill for Tides…
 
The B-Mets play the Portland Seadogs tonight, first pitch is at 6:00 PM.  Brian Bannister (4-0, 0.42) starts for the Mets, as he’ll try to extend his domination over the Eastern League’s hitters…
 
The St. Lucie Mets play the Jupiter Hammerheads tonight at 7:00 PM.  Vincent Cordova (2-0, 3.86) makes the start for St. Lucie, with Mike Cameron in right field…..
 
Hagerstown takes on the Lake County Captains at 6:35 PM.  Top pitching prospect Gaby Hernandez (1-0, 1.96) takes the mound for the Mets…..
 
post courtesy of Chris, from Blogspot’s 1986Mets, MetsBlog’s guest minor league blogger