Posted in Uncategorized

Never believe the spin

Zack Wheeler (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Zack Wheeler (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

I think we all recognized the need for concern when Zack Wheeler was scratched from his scheduled spring training start last weekend and sent for an MRI on his elbow, no matter how much the Mets tried to downplay its significance.

And today, we got the news we were dreading:

For the short term, I guess this moves Dillon Gee back into the rotation. Some fans would rather see Noah Syndergaard or Steven Matz get the opportunity, but there’s no way Sandy Alderson is going to put either of them on the Opening Day roster and lose a year of control when he could bring them along at the end of April and delay their free agency by a year.

There will be more opportunities. Bartolo Colon turns 42 in May – what are the odds he stays in the rotation all year? Gee and Jonathon Niese don’t have the best track records for staying off the DL, either. And nobody really knows what to expect from Matt Harvey in his first year back from Tommy John surgery.

I’m more interested in how Alderson the loss of Wheeler and Josh Edgin impact the bullpen. Going into the spring, six of the seven spots seemed to be set with Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia, Vic Black, Edgin, Carlos Torres and Gee. With Edgin gone for the year and Gee likely back in the rotation, there are suddenly three openings for a group of relievers who haven’t done a lot to impress this spring.

I’m not worried about the Mets’ rotation, even with the loss of Wheeler. But the relief corps is another story. Bobby Parnell will be back eventually, and maybe someone else steps up to join the four reliable relievers out there. Let’s hope for the best.

Posted in Autographs, Uncategorized

Spring training autographs: Josh Edgin & Anthony Recker

I would have enjoyed spending part of this spring in Port St. Lucie, Fla., but for various reasons that just isn’t possible.

I got a couple of autographs from players in Mets camp anyway on Tuesday. I wrote to almost a dozen players a couple of weeks ago, ones who were new to the organization or who just got their first Mets baseball cards at the end of last season. Today, the first signed cards came back.

signed Josh Edgin 2012 Bowman baseball card from my collection
signed Josh Edgin 2012 Bowman baseball card from my collection

Prior to 2012, Josh Edgin had never pitched above the Single-A level. Last year, he jumped from Double-A all the way to the major leagues and enjoyed some mixed results with the Mets. He’s considered a favorite to win a spot in the big league bullpen this year.

Signed Anthony Recker 2008 Bowman card from my collection
Signed Anthony Recker 2008 Bowman card from my collection

Anthony Recker arrived in the Mets organization via a waiver claim from the Chicago Cubs last October. Recker played in a handful of games for both Chicago and Oakland last year, but he spent most of the season in Triple-A. He’s got a good chance to win the backup catcher job for the Mets this year.

Thanks for making my day a little brighter guys.

Posted in Uncategorized

Expected losses

I’ve reached the point where it no longer bothers me when the Mets lose. I expect it.

I tuned in tonight to watch Matt Harvey‘s final start of 2012, because he’s one of the few players on the team that I actually still want to see. But before I even got the TV turned on, Harvey had already given up a leadoff home run to Jimmy Rollins. I figured he’d lose 1-0.

But the Mets surprised me. Ruben Tejada singled and actually stole a base in the third inning. Daniel Murphy got a hit to drive him in, and Harvey was off the hook. David Wright added a solo homer in the sixth, and it seemed like Harvey might get his fourth win of the season.

Bobby Parnell followed Harvey’s seven superb innings with a scoreless eighth. With Frank Francisco unavailable to pitch the ninth, Terry Collins turned to Josh Edgin and it seemed like he’d get his first major league save when he struck out the first two batters he faced.

But then it was time for our first half flashback, when the bullpen was the primary cause of frustrating losses instead of a complete absence of offense.

Chase Utley walked. Ryan Howard made a baseball disappear into the right field stands.

Game over, but not before Bob Davidson and Jordany Valdespin had an opportunity to embarrass themselves on a third strike call in the bottom of the ninth.

At least the fans who went to the game shouldn’t have had a problem getting out of the ballpark after it was all over.

Don’t look now – the Marlins are only one game behind the Mets. The race to the bottom might be one that the Mets can win.

Posted in Uncategorized

Mets lose again as bats stay silent

The 2012 Mets are running out of plots.

R.A. Dickey (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

R.A. Dickey tried again to win his 16th game of the season Monday night. The deck was stacked in his favor: the Colorado Rockies aren’t very good to begin with and injuries forced them to field a lineup you might expect to find at a split-squad spring training game.

Dickey pitched well, allowing just one run on three hits and two walks over seven innings. And he got a no-decision as the Mets lost 3-1.

The Mets hitters did virtually nothing after scoring a first-inning run off of feared Colorado Rockies starter Alex White.

Reliever Josh Edgin allowed the Rockies to take a 2-1 lead, in large part due to his own poor fielding. Jonathan Herrera bunted for a leadoff hit, and Edgin made an ill-advised glove-hand shovel pass attempt that Ike Davis couldn’t handle that let Herrera go to second. Chris Nelson sacrificed him to third, but it looked like Edgin would have had a play on the lead runner if he had reacted more quickly. And the go-ahead run scored when Kelly Shoppach committed a passed ball. (I’m beginning to see why my friend Bart, a diehard Red Sox fan, was so happy to see Shoppach move out of town.)

Jon Rauch gave up an insurance run, and the Mets hitters wasted their own chances against the Colorado bullpen.

With the bases loaded and two out in the eighth, Jordany Valdespin had a chance to tie the game on an infield hit. Matt Belisle just beat him to the the first base bag… because Valdespin opted to slide. If he had run through the bag, maybe he would have been safe. (And if Terry Collins weren’t so obsessed with lefty-righty matchups, maybe he would have stuck with Scott Hairston, the better hitter.)

The Mets again got the tying run on base in the ninth inning with two out, but Mike Baxter couldn’t deliver.

Johan Santana (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

And none of that even qualifies as the most frustrating part of the evening.

No, that distinction goes to Sandy Alderson, Collins and Johan Santana. Before the game, they announced that Santana would make his next scheduled start on Thursday and would likely remain in the rotation until at least September 1st to give him a chance to “finish the season on a high note.”

After the game, Collins told the media that Santana would have an MRI because his back stiffened up after his bullpen session.

Didn’t we go through enough of this kind of stuff in 2009? Is it that big of a deal to admit it if Santana is injured?

There are 40 more games left in the season, but the 2012 Mets have just about worn out their welcome.