Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Frustrating weekend leads to roster shakeup

Miami Marlins fans must love seeing games against the New York Mets come up on the schedule.

The Marlins, who have the worst record in Major League Baseball, have won their last five in a row against the Mets — including two this weekend. Eight of their 18 victories — 44 percent — have come at the Mets’ expense.

Saturday’s 20-inning affair was bizarre enough to take some of the sting away, but today’s loss wasn’t.

Ike Davis flails at a pitch on Saturday (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Ike Davis flails at a pitch on Saturday (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Sandy Alderson has finally been moved to action. Rick Ankiel paid the price on Saturday when he was designated for assignment, likely signalling the end of his major league baseball career. Ike Davis, Robert Carson and Mike Baxter earned tickets to Las Vegas on Sunday.

On one hand, I feel bad for them. Davis and Carson were friendly and personable on the brief occasions when I’ve met them. Baxter sacrificed his body to give us the highlight of last year’s season.

Even Ankiel, who probably never should have been here in the first place, evokes some sympathy – he’s basically been told that he’s not good enough to do his job any longer. But it’s been clear for a while that they don’t belong in the major leagues.

On the other hand, I’d like to ship out most of the rest of the roster along with them.

The Mets starting pitching has been fine and David Wright is our All-Star (even though he’s probably not going to be the starter unless the Kung-Fu Panda strains something reaching for the buffet table.) Daniel Murphy has mostly been solid, Juan Lagares has shown flashes of promise, and that’s about it…

The Mets are 24th in runs scored, 20th in home runs, 27th in on-base percentage, and 27th in slugging percentage. Their offensive struggles are a team issue, and whoever Alderson calls up from Las Vegas (believed to be Josh Satin, Collin Cowgill and Josh Edgin) is unlikely to have the talent to significantly improve the situation.

It’s been a frustrating weekend, and the roster shuffling has the feel of re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Even so, I’m not ready to give up on them. Tomorrow night, I’ll probably be annoyed that there’s no Mets game to turn on at 7 p.m. Maybe I’ll even get out to another game on this home stand. (There’s a concert after Friday’s game, so there will be a second chance at entertainment if the Mets can’t provide it.)

11 thoughts on “Frustrating weekend leads to roster shakeup

  1. Collin Cowgill? Yeah, that’ll improve things enormously. Meanwhile, does Alderson not understand that you have to, you know, go out and at least try to get better talent through trade or free agency if you want to build a better team? He seems to believe the extent of his job is to be #1 Most Frustrated Mets Fan. The New York press needs to start holding his feet to the fire a lot more. This is like neglecting to put gas and oil in your car, (too costly!) then getting mad at it when it won’t start up. What the hell did he think was going to happen? That they would somehow magically win 85 games with an inferior roster?


    1. Well, maybe Collin Cowgill’s promotion will help the Mets sell some of the player name t-shirts they’ve got in the gift shop. (I’m glad they didn’t have those during the first week of the season, or there might now be one hanging next to the Omir Santos one in my closet.)


  2. The roster shakeup will give other guys a chance to play; it won’t improve the team appreciably, if at all. Guys like Satin and Cowgill aren’t long-term major leaguers.

    The Mets aren’t one or two players out from contending, more like eight or ten. It’s going to be dark at Citi Field for quite a while before the Mets see the light (and it isn’t an oncoming train) and, if the Mets win 70 this year, that might be a considered a decent season. Unless they start spending like drunken sailors, the Mets are at least three years out from contending. Why three? I’m being kind, as there’s nothing over the horizon to indicate the Mets will win 90 games anytime soon.


    1. I agree – I do not see enough talent in the major leagues and upper minor leagues to expect significant short term improvement, and my crystal ball isn’t good enough to tell me how the guys in short season & Single-A will do when (if) they eventually reach the major leagues.


      1. Paul,

        Just taking a look at Brandon Nimmo, the Mets first round pick two years ago. Prefacing by saying that baseball drafting is far more of an inexact science than say football or basketball, Nimmo looks like he’s trying to get his act together after a rough season at Brooklyn last year.

        He’s hitting .316 at low-A, seems to be able to draw a walk (.409 on base) but strikes out too damn much (once every four PA, same as last year), and especially for a guy who seems to be a fairly one-dimensional hitter without the stolen bases. My guess is that, as he moves up (and he will, even though he may likely never pan out on the major league level), he’ll face pitchers with better stuff and will strike out even more.

        Here are the Mets first draft choices:
        2010- Matt Harvey (Good one!)
        2009- Steven Matz (still in low-A and not a standout by any means)
        2008- Ike Davis (advanced quickly, but…)
        2008- Reese Havens (four picks behind Davis in the first round–and will never be much more than a AA player)
        2007- Eddie Kunz (Mets gave up on him, did nothing in the SD organization and was released)
        2007- Nathan Vineyard (petered out at low-A in 2008)
        2006- Kevin Mulvey (Mets first pick at #62) Mets gave up on him, as did Twins and Diamondbacks, though he did advance to AAA (spent five years there, none spectacular). The Mets got him back, he did nothing at AA in ’12 and retired.

        What’s going on now?

        Well, there’s nothing in the AAA waiting room, save for Wheeler.
        Cesar Puello is doing pretty well at AA and he’s only 22. Great speed, decent power but, like most Dominican kids, will swing at the resin bag if given the chance, though he appears to be getting a bit more patient. Two other guys who are doing well down there, Dykstra and Rodriguez are 26 & 28, respectively. So they have no future. They also have two 22 year-old pitchers (Montero, a starter, and Leathersich, a reliever) with the dreaded “P” word (potential) and a 23 year-old (Verrett) who is showing some promise).
        And, at high-A, there’s Travis Taijeron, who just got the call to AA. But he’s 24. The good news is that he went to Cal Poly, which means that he could likely have a decent career out of baseball.

        Translation: The Mets don’t seem to know how to draft and there’s precious little of value in their minor league system. It’s going to be a looooong time before we see any life at Citi Field.


      2. Nice analysis.

        I think we were very lucky to get Matt Harvey in 2010 — Omar Minaya’s drafts were disasters that extend far beyond surrendering picks when he signed free agents.

        Looking past the first round:

        2006 produced two useful players: Joe Smith (2nd round) and Daniel Murphy (13th round)
        2007 gave us Lucas Duda (7th round) and Dillon Gee (21st round)
        2008 gave us Kirk Nieuwenhuis (3rd round), Josh Satin (6th round) and Collin McHugh (18th round) along with Ike Davis.
        Nobody has made it from the 2009 class yet, and the Mets failed to sign three of their first five picks.

        Let’s hope the Sandy Alderson regime has done a better job with their drafts than they have with the major league roster.


  3. Will,

    Vaughn looks like he can do some things well (hit for power, run and draw a walk) but strikes out a bit much and hasn’t hit for average in the past three years, though he’s off to a fairly decent start at Binghamton. And he’s also 24. And this is his fifth year in the minors and he’s only at AA.

    When MIGHT he see the big club? At 26 (though the Mets could call him up for a September look)? Too old.


  4. Paul,

    As I said, baseball drafting is an inexact science and being drafted number one doesn’t have the correlation with future success that it does in football and basketball.

    Of the players you mentioned, only Murphy and Gee are useful to the Mets. Duda would be a better fit in a beer softball league and the three 2008 guys are question marks as at least one should have panned out by now.

    And what did the Mets get for Smith, who has been productive for the Indians for the past four years and change? Sean Green (the Mets gave up on him and released him), JJ Putz (had an injury-riddled year with the Mets, as I remember, and they gave up on him too, though he went on to have three productive years with the White Sox and Diamondbacks) and Jeremy Reed (a “never was” and hasn’t played ball since ’11). So, Smith’s draft pick was essentially a waste for the Mets.

    Did I say the Mets were three years out? Try six or seven, unless they change their ways (or ownership) and go on a buying binge.


    1. I gave Omar’s regime credit for drafting Smith because he did turn out to be a useful major league player, even though he didn’t contribute much (anything, really) to the Mets. That’s more than you can see for most of the Omar-era picks.

      I’d say the Mets are far enough away that they should really consider following in Jeff Loria’s footsteps and trading David Wright for prospects if anyone will bite this off-season.


      1. Give Minaya credit? Hell, even a blind squirrel finds an acorn. And I think it was Minaya who traded away that acorn named Smith.

        The only veteran the Mets can count on right now is Wright. He and Harvey are the only two reasons to head out to the ballpark. And Wright, knowing what he was involved with, still re-upped and stuck around. You keep a guy like that. Plus, there isn’t enough you can get for Wright that will provide help as the Mets are too many players out to contend.

        Loria has no intention of winning. He gave it a shot, it didn’t pan out and he sold anyone worthwhile not named Stanton. Come to think of it, the Wilpons probably don’t either. That’s the real problem; get rid of the Wilpons. Alderson is hamstrung and there’s nothing wrong with Collins because he’s probably the best guy for this club and even God, if he put on a Mets uniform, couldn’t get this current team to .500.


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