Thursday, September 30, 2010

Beltran Done for the Year

By: Clayton Collier

        Center fielder Carlos Beltran will miss the remaining four games of the season following aggravating his right knee on Tuesday's walk off win against the Brewers. Beltran missed yesterday's double header to have an MRI that revealed mild inflammation in his knee. This is the same knee Beltran had off season surgery on that sidelined him for the first half of the year. The MRI did not reveal any actual re injury to the knee which is a good sign. Shutting him down was strictly a precautionary move. Now Beltran will begin his extensive rehabbing in Puerto Rico in order to regain his 2006 form.

      In 220 at-bats this season, Beltran is batting .255 with 7 home runs and 27 RBIs. This is Beltran's second consecutive season that has been hampered by injuries. in 2009, Beltran was just limited to roughly 80 games in which he batted .325 with 10 homers and 48 RBIS.

      Beltran is in the final year of his massive 7-year, 119 million dollar contract and has been the subject of trade rumors. The Mets are reportedly looking to trade Beltran this off season in order to free up contract space. Beltran is owed 18 million dollars through the 2011 season. The Red Sox and Cardinals are reportedly interested, but the Mets would have to eat close to 15 of the 18 million in order for any kind of deal to become a reality.

     In another lost year for Beltran and the Mets, all that we can do is hope for improvement and some sense of consistensy from this club.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mets Walk-off. But Beltran Limps off

By: Clayton Collier

       Tonight marked the beginning of the final week of the Mets 2010 season. This final homestand has started off on a hot start. The Mets had solid pitching and timely hitting for a change tonight. They were actually able to come back from a deficit late in the game without going belly up. Now a key factor for the Mets next season is to see if they can carry this momentum from a walk-off win and string some wins together.

      Of course, with good news comes bad news. Beltran exited the game in the 6th inning with a strained knee, the same knee that sidlined him for the 1st half of the season. Beltran said after the game that the knee felt tight before he came to the ballpark but didnt think much of it. The severity of the injury is still unknown but chances are he will not play in the double header tomorrow. This injury couldn't have come at a worse time for Beltran. It appeared that Beltran was beginning to return to his old form. In September, Beltran is batting .318 with 5 home runs and 13 RBIs.

      On the lighter side, the Mets had a walk-off win tonight. It was all rookies in the 9th as Davis, Thole and Tejada strung together 3 hits to produce 2 runs to take the game in their final at-bat. Tejada went 3-4 with two doubles including the walk-off hit. Wright homered to improve to 98 RBIs on the season, two short of his 5th 100+ RBI season.

     Mike Pelfrey had another encouraging start as he went 7.1 innings allowing 3 earned runs taking a no descision. Pelfrey has one more start this season against the Nationals in the final series of the season. Pelfrey is 15-9 this year with a 3.75 ERA.

     Pedro Feliciano tonight broke his own previous franchise record of relief appearences in a single season. Tonight marked Feliciano's 89th apperance this year. Feliciano is 3-6 this season with a 2.79 ERA in 60.2 innings pitched.

     The Mets in these remaining 6 games hope to achieve the allusive .500 mark. They are currently sitting in 4th place in the NL East and 77-79 on the season.


Final Homestand Begins Tonight Following Last Nights Rainout

By: Clayton Collier

          The Mets four Game series with the Brewers begins tonight after being rained out yesterday. Wednesday R.A. Dickey and Jon Niese will split the doubleheader as will Dave Bush and Yovani Gallardo. This begins the final homestand of the season for the New York Mets in which they hope to pull back to .500 for the season. They are currently 76-79.

           As for tonight, Mike Pelfrey will start against southpaw Randy Wolf. Wolf has handled the Mets well in his career, he is 12-5 with a 3.29 ERA. Wolf is on a stretch of dominance his last three games. He is 2-1 with a microscopic 0.78 ERA. Look out for Reyes, Wright and Beltran tonight who have dominated Wolf in their career. All Three have at least 20 career at-bats against him and all are batting over .300. When the Mets faced Wolf earlier this season he allowed 2 runs and 10 base runners in only 5 innings pitched. Randy Wolf is 13-11 this season with a 4.24 ERA.

        As for Mike Pelfrey, he in his past three starts is 2-0 with a 2.11 ERA. In his career against MIlwaukee, Pelfrey is 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA. Pelfrey still hasn't allowed a home run to a left handed batter this season. None of the Brewers have had more than 5 career at-bats against Pelfrey. Pelfrey is hoping for a career high 16th win this season. The most wins he has ever had in a season in 13 back in 2008. Pelfrey is 15-9 the season with a 3.75 ERA.

       The Mets and Brewers faced earlier this year in a 3 game series at Miller Park in Milwaukee in which the Brewers took 2 out of the 3 games.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mets Managerial Mayhem

 By: Clayton Collier
            The only thing that we know for sure about the Mets future skipper is that it will not be Jerry Manuel. The list of possible candidates appears to be changing on a daily basis. Names such as Joe Torre and Bobby Valentine have been dropped in discussions the past few weeks. The five candidates appear to be Bobby Valentine, Wally Backman, Joe Torre, Bob Melvin and Terry Collins. Still, there does not appear to be a clear front runner for the job.
Of the five suitors, Bobby Valentine or Wally Backman are best fitted for the Mets current situation. Either of these two can light a fire under them to get them going. Either one of them will demand respect and whip this club into shape. The Mets desperately need a leadership role in their system and they could fill that position with great success.

            Backman managed the Single-A Brooklyn Cyclones this season to a New York-Penn best 51-24 season record and their first division title since 2007. It is very possible that he was sent to manage the minors in order to get to know the farm teams and groom him for a 2011 major league debut. His fiery personality could very well ignite this team that is in dyer need of a spark.

             Bobby Valentine could be another option for the job. He managed the Mets from 1996-2002 to the tune of a .534 winning percentage over that time. He is most famously remembered for a June 1999 game  for sneaking back into the dugout wearing a disguise after being ejected. Bobby's abrasive personality could put some fight in the Mets and keep it going through the stretch run. Bobby’s “My way or the Highway” attitude could be just what the club needs. Bobby was fired following the 2002 season because of his personal conflicts with GM at the time Steve Phillips.

           Joe Torre although given his extraordinary track record would not be a great fit for the Mets. He admitted last week that he can’t connect with younger players anymore. Although he is one of the best managers in history, the Mets are mostly a young team. With exceptions to Bay, Castillo, Beltran and R.A. Dickey, the Mets are for the most part 30 or younger. For a team that is relying on their farm system for their future, they need a manager that can see eye-to-eye with the younger players. Torre managed the Mets from 1977-1981 with a 286-420 record. Torre never managed a winning season with the Mets.
           Melvin and Collins have no purpose being the Mets skipper other than just for the sake of change. It would be no improvement to Manuel. Even though Bob Melvin has had a postseason appearance with the Diamondbacks in 2007 and multiple 90 win seasons, He is infamous for constantly changing the lineups as does Manuel, (see batting Reyes 3rd). Collins can put together winning seasons but doesn't connect with players well. in 1999 he resigned from the job as Angels manager because the players were asking the front office to fire him. Melvin and Collins are working for the Mets as a scout and minor league field coordinator respectively.
       While the choices are many and we don’t know what direction they will take, what we do know is that whoever gets the positions will take them in a new direction. We can only hope that that direction is to the top of the NL East come 2011.