Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

With three weeks left, uncertainty remains at 1B & SS for Mets

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Opening Day is about three weeks away, and the New York Mets have not really found clarity on many of the major issues they faced going into spring training.

Ike Davis flails at a pitch on Saturday (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Ike Davis flails at a pitch during a game last season. (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Terry Collins wanted to get Ike Davis 90 to 100 at-bats this spring, but that’s not going to happen. On Monday, Davis was limping around the clubhouse in a walking boot intended to protect his sore right calf. He played in two games before getting injured, hitting a home run and striking out three times in six at-bats.

Unbelievably, Davis had not gotten an MRI yet even though he’s been out of action for nearly a week already. According to Newsday’s Anthony Rieber, Davis hopes to play again by the beginning of next week. Collins hopes to get Davis into minor league games as the DH this weekend, according to ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin.

The primary challenger to Davis for the first base job is Lucas Duda, and he’s been out of action for most of the past week with a hamstring injury. He managed a double and a home run in seven at-bats before landing on the injury report.

Neither candidate has been able to stay on the field long enough to win the job.

Ruben Tejada (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Ruben Tejada (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

At shortstop, Ruben Tejada looks like a man who’s confidence has been shaken by all his unnamed critics in the Mets’ organization. He certainly hasn’t impressed, and I will be shocked if he isn’t booed loudly during Opening Day introductions at Citi Field.

To data, stopgap veteran Omar Quintanilla has gotten the most playing time at shortstop this spring: 30 innings in five games. Tejada’s played there in 26 innings over four games, and career minor leaguer Anthony Seratelli has 21 innings in five games. Despite all of the early camp discussion of giving Wilmer Flores a chance to play there, he’s only gotten six innings over two games.

That’s not really showing much of a commitment to anyone.

The Seattle Mariners continue to send scouts to Mets games, so there has almost certainly been at least some discussion about a trade involving Mariners infielder Nick Franklin… but the cost in prospects is likely to be high. Will Sandy Alderson be willing to pay it? Should he? My Magic 8-Ball says “Ask again later.”

Daisuke Matsuzaka makes his Mets debut on Aug. 23, 2013 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Daisuke Matsuzaka (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

One area where clarity does seem to be developing is the starting rotation. Daisuke Matsuzaka seems to be the favorite for the fifth spot, though it’s still too early to say with any certainty and I disagree with the choice. His main competition, veteran John Lannan and youngster Jenrry Mejia, seem to be getting consideration for the Mets’ bullpen.

After lefties Josh Edgin, Steven Matz, Adam Kolarek and Jack Leathersich were among the first round of cuts Monday, Collins talked about getting Lannan some work out of the bullpen soon. (Someone should let the Mets’ skipper know that Lannan is not a prototypical lefty specialist – for his career, both lefty and righty batters have an identical .755 OPS against him.)

And though Mejia wants to start, it looks more like the Mets are considering him for the bullpen. Consider that Dillon Gee pitched four innings in a “B” game on Monday morning, while Mejia worked two innings in relief of him.

There’s still time for everything to shake out, and Opening Day lineups matter more to fans than they probably should anyway. Just ask Collin Cowgill.

You can follow Paul’s Random Baseball Stuff on Facebook or Google+, see my photos on Flickr and Instagram, and follow @Paul_Hadsall on Twitter, where I talk about about a variety of things in addition to baseball.

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Matsuzka & the Mets

Daisuke Matsuzka makes his Mets debut on Aug. 23, 2013 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Daisuke Matsuzaka makes his Mets debut on Aug. 23, 2013 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

The New York Mets may or may not re-sign pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, but it appears that a Japanese news organization jumped the gun when it reported that Matsuzaka was close to signing a minor league deal with the Mets.

Matsuzka would be a sensible option for the Mets if he’d agree to a minor league deal. After his first three dreadful starts, he got noticeably better and finished the season with four strong performances in September. The Mets do need a low-cost option who could fill the last spot in the starting rotation – I’m not convinced about Jenrry Mejia‘s ability or his health after a bone spur brought his 2013 season to an early end.

Continue reading “Matsuzka & the Mets”

Posted in Autographs, Uncategorized

New Mets: Daisuke Matsuzaka, Matt den Dekker & Vic Black

Several players have made their Mets’ debut over the last few weeks, though they went largely unheralded.

Daisuke Matsuzka makes his Mets debut on Aug. 23, 2013 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Daisuke Matsuzka makes his Mets debut on Aug. 23, 2013 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Daisuke Matsuzaka has gotten the most attention of the Mets’ recent additions, but for the wrong reasons.

  • Aug. 23:  5 innings, 6 hits (2 home runs), 1 walk, 5 runs, 86 pitches (0-1, 9.00)
  • Aug. 28: 4.1 innings, 6 hits, 4 walks, 4 runs, 110 pitches (0-2, 8.68)
  • Sept. 2: 3 innings, 7 hits (1 home run), 2 walks, 6 runs, 72 pitches (0-3, 10.95)

Matsuzaka will get another start on Sunday, but I’ve excused myself from watching any games he pitches unless I have the misfortune to actually be at the ballpark.

I’m not looking forward to acquiring his autograph for my collection – I can’t imagine he’ll want to sign at the ballpark and he doesn’t sign through the mail very often, if at all. On the bright side, he has signed a fair number of certified autographs for the card companies over the years… too bad there are enough collectors seeking them to keep them fairly expensive.

Continue reading “New Mets: Daisuke Matsuzaka, Matt den Dekker & Vic Black”