Posted in Baseball

Ex-Mets on the move

Mets reliever Carlos Torres signs autographs before the July 4, 2013 game between the Mets and Arizona Diamondbacks (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Mets reliever Carlos Torres signs autographs before the July 4, 2013 game between the Mets and Arizona Diamondbacks (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

With the start of spring training just days away, we’ve reached the point in the off-season where free agents get ready to take minor league contracts with invitations to major league camp.

On Wednesday, former Mets reliever Carlos Torres signed with the Atlanta Braves organization.

Today, former Mets reliever Eric O’Flaherty signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.

And former Mets first baseman Ike Davis has been approached by the New York Yankees, who find themselves in need of a regular first baseman in Triple-A as the result of Greg Bird‘s season-ending injury.

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A few more 2015 baseball cards

I picked up a few more packs of 2015 Topps baseball cards today – I didn’t want to let the coupon from my Target “value box” go to waste. Since I think everybody’s either well on their way to collecting whatever part of the set appeals to them (or doesn’t care about it at all), I’ll stick to the highlights.

Zack-Wheelr Bartolo-Colon

I found two more Mets for my team set (only eight more to go, and I think a few of those are in the mail to me.)

Zack-Wheeler-b Bartolo-Colon-b

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Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Will Ike Davis be on the move again this winter?

Ike Davis during a public appearance after his rookie season with the Mets. (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Ike Davis during a public appearance after his rookie season with the Mets. (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Former Mets first baseman Ike Davis is likely to be the subject of trade rumors again this winter, according to Daily News baseball columnist Andy Martino.

While Pittsburgh GM Neal Huntington publicly maintains that the team sees Pedro Alvarez as a third baseman, many believe the Pirates will move him to first base because of a throwing problem he developed this season. And that makes Davis expendable.

After being acquired from the Mets in April, Davis, 27, hit .235 with a .343 on-base percentage, 10 home runs and 46 RBI.

Davis earned $3.5 million this season and should expect some kind of raise through arbitration, so it’s possible that Pittsburgh will simply non-tender him. He could still be attractive to a team looking for a platoon player, and Martino mentions the Miami Marlins as one possible destination.

I’m not sure how I feel about seeing Davis play in the National League East again… while he didn’t do much against his former team this season (2-for-18, one run scored, two RBI), I’m afraid it might not continue to work out that way if he plays on a team that faces the Mets 18 or 19 times a season.

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Random thoughts inspired by 9 Mets baseball cards

Geof surprised me with a couple of envelopes filled with Mets baseball cards this week. Here are a few of my favorites and some that just caught my eye.

2002 Upper Deck Heroes of Baseball Tom Seaver insert card
2002 Upper Deck Heroes of Baseball Tom Seaver insert card

I had just gotten back into baseball card collecting in 2002, so I really don’t remember whether “Heroes of Baseball” was a full set released by Upper Deck that year or just the name of this insert series. This card, #HTS3, commemorates the April 22, 1970 game when he struck out the last 10 batters en route to a 19-strikeout performance.

Mets fans of a certain age undoubtedly remember that game. Younger fans might remember hearing about it during a Mets broadcast – particularly during the era that Seaver was a TV analyst for the Mets, it seemed to come up quite often.

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Posted in Baseball, New York Mets, Uncategorized

Wednesday morning roundup as the Mets move towards Opening Day

With spring training nearing an end, the New York Mets and other teams are making their final preparations for the regular season.

Dillon Gee (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Dillon Gee (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Dillon Gee will make his last Grapefruit League start tonight against the Houston Astros to get ready for his first career Opening Day assignment.

Ike Davis and Lucas Duda will both make the Opening Day roster, though it’s still up in the air which one will get to face Stephen Strasburg on March 31st. (I don’t think it matters that much. As long as Terry Collins sticks with a platoon of Davis or Duda and Josh Satin at first base – something he’s probably not going to do – the Mets should manage to get some production out of the spot. If he decides one is an everyday player, I expect to see a repeat of last year’s performance.)

Sandy Alderson suggested that Juan Lagares would get the nod over Eric Young Jr. for the third spot in the outfield. If that decision lasts longer than Collin Cowgill’s status as the everyday centerfielder did last year, the Mets are making the right call – defense is worth more than stolen bases.

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

Embed from Getty Images

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

Is Ike Davis ever going to get his act together?

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)

Is Ike Davis starting to remind anyone else of Jordany Valdespin? Sure, Ike hasn’t started posting photos of himself wearing another team’s cap on Instagram or cursing out his manager after being demoted to the minors.

But Davis keeps making it harder to be patient with him while the Mets try to figure out if he’s ever going to live up to the potential they saw in him.

Sunday night, the New York Post published an article revealing that Davis was bothered by an oblique injury for most of last season and did not tell the Mets’ trainers or coaching staff.

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