Saturday, November 23, 2013
Friday, February 15, 2013
“I think [Parnell] is the future,” Collins said. “We keep talking about 2014, [expletive], why not get a head start?”
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Reese Havens is the future at the position if all goes well but for now it appears to be a competition between four players: Daniel Murphy, Brad Emaus, Justin Turner and the incumbent Luis Castillo.
Last year the Mets the Mets saw Daniel Murphy as an infield option but injury took him out early in the season and he was not a factor in 2010. But Murphy is now healthy and expected to compete for the job of starting second baseman. To prepare for the 2011 season Murphy signed up for the Dominican Winter League. He batted .320/.395/.515 with four homers and five steals (only caught once) in 103 at-bats. A small sample to be sure, but an encouraging one.
Murphy is a natural third baseman but the Mets believe he can handle second base defensively, or at least that he'll be better in the infield than the outfield. From a scouting report in the Boston Globe:
"He’s a good enough athlete where he can pull it off,’’ said the scout, "but it will take time just to learn all the nuances of the position. I can see their thinking. He can hit. A sound player. This would be a nice conversion for them at a position they need help at."Murphy has the patience to draw walks. He is also a good contact hitter but swings at a few too many pitches out of the strike zone, which limits his batting average potential. He has decent power for a middle infielder and the speed and ability to steal 15-20 bases in full-time at-bats. Murphy is probably the favorite to win the position based on his talent and major league experience. He's likely to be on the major league roster even if he fails to win the starting job. Murphy seems idealy suited for an injury prone Mets team. He can play several positions and will not embarrass himself with the bat. Those skills are best utilized from the bench.
The Mets picked up Justin Turner on waivers from the Baltimore Orioles where he was a fan favorite but was apparently unappreciated by the team's management. In his brief Major league appearances Turner has failed to hit effectively. Turner can play all over the infield including short stop and the Mets called him up when Jose Reyes needed a mid-summer break. But despite his major league woes, turner had a very strong season in Triple-A for the Mets, batting .333/.390/.516 with 11 homers and five steals (caught three times) in 312 at-bats. He followed his strong Triple-A stint with a solid performance in the Dominican Winter League where he slashed .318/.382/.438 with a homer in 80 at-bats.
Turner has always shown the ability to hit for a strong batting average. This is based mostly on his strong contact skills, and some ability to draw walks. He has a little pop, nothing to write home about, and doesn't steal bases. His value is in hitting for average and defensive versatility. He is also a very strong hitter against left-handed pitchers. Although he is seemingly popular wherever he goes, Turner may be the unlikeliest candidate for the job based on a lack of power and speed but he has his supporters.
Luis Castillo was a decent player with the Florida Marlins who brought him up and with the Minnesota Twins during his short stint with them. He has never shown any power. His fanalytic value has always been tied to his batting average and stolen bases. His speed on the bases has gradually evaporated and the batting average comes and goes. For the Mets, Castillo has been bad and worse, two out of three seasons. He still draws a decent number of walks but his average has been so bad that his on-base percentages have been mediocre. The decline in speed has also killed his defense, which has been terrible for the Mets. Even if Castillo had a great Spring Training he would have a hard time winning the faith of the Mets management.
The Mets used their first Rule V draft pick on natural second baseman Brad Emaus, so he must stay on the major league roster for the entire season or be offered back to the Toronto Blue Jays. It is difficult to say how determined the Mets are to have Emaus on the 25-man roster. One the one hand, they did draft him and pay the Blue Jays cash to take him off their hands. On the other hand, the Mets (even in their current state) have the money to blow just to take a look at a player.
My hunch says that the Mets are serious about Emaus. Sandy Alderson, is serious about team building and making maximum use of all his resources. His assistant Paul Depodesta is a stats guy and has to love a player like Emaus for reasons that will soon become apparent to you. Another assistant J.P. Ricciardi ran the Blue Jays when Emaus was drafted and likely knows him better than most. I think Emaus will stick around. The question is in what role.
Here's what Emaus had to say about being picked to Baseball America:
“My agent (ACES’ Mike Zimmerman) told me this week that there was a 50-50 chance I’d be taken in the Rule 5, and right now I’m just very ecstatic, excited to be given another chance by the Mets,” Emaus said via phone from the Dominican. Asked to give Mets fans a scouting report, Emaus said, “I’m just a blue-collar guy, a solid guy who has to know the game, has to have some (baseball IQ) because I don’t have great tools. I’m not flashy but I bring my best every day and go out trying to find an edge.”Emaus spent the 2010 season playing at two levels for the Toronto Blue Jays. In Double-A, he slashed .272/.402/.434 with five homers and five steals in 170 at-bats. After being promoted to Triple-A, he hit .298/.395/.495 with ten homers and eight stolen bases. A nice season that he followed up in the Dominican Winter League (noticing a theme?) where he slashed .268/.345/.449 with one homer and two steals in 127 at-bats.
Emaus has a fantastic eye and a ton of patience at the plate. He has solid power, which is mostly double at this point but there is still room for that to turn to homer power. Right now he probably would hit 10-15 homers in a full season of at-bats with an upside of 20. He has decent not great speed but is a skilled baserunner who will steal 10-15 bases per season. He should hit for a strong batting average based on his eye and very good contact skills. His upside looks a lot like Daniel Murphy's but he also throws in a solid glove at second base. He is sure-handed but with just average range according to scouting reports.
Murphy is clearly the favorite to win the job but Emaus is a dark horse with a ton of support in upper management. Murphy has the most major league experience and his versatility makes him a decent bench option. Emaus has a better glove at second base and gets on base at a tremendous rate, he would make a very good number two hitter behind Jose Reyes and in front of the powerful middle of the Mets lineup.
Luis Castillo is so reviled that it is almost impossible for him to make the team. It is probably more likely that he is cut than he becomes the starter. Justin Turner has some flash but lacks the backing to win the job short of an outstanding spring. There is a case to be made for platooning Turner with Murphy but that is kinda hard to predict.
More Mets News
Johan Santana visited Mets medical staff in New York this week and has been cleared to begin a rehab program "which will have him throwing before the start of Spring Training," according to a team spokesman. Santana, 31, had been sidelined since undergoing September surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder. His original rehab schedule called for him to begin playing catch in January, leading the spokesman to say, "It's about where we're supposed to be."Check It Out!
Though there is no concrete timetable for his return, the Mets do not expect him back until around mid-season.
Our friend Jason Collette has moved on to Baseball Prospectus (FanBall.com is leaving us soon) and the link leads to his first piece on a few underrated pitchers that fantasy owners should consider. Check it out!
Monday, January 10, 2011
Those numbers put Capuano in the solid but not great category. He's someone who in fantasy we hope to slot as our fourth or fifth starter and pray for an ERA around 4.25. He usually delivers. Miller Park, where Capuano has spent most of his career, is a good park for homerun hitters and especially for left-handed power hitters. Which explains some of Capuano's problems with the long ball. However, as a fly ball pitcher, Capuano is always going to see a fair number of balls leave the park.
Capuano's new home greatly reduces homers. A swing from a factor of 118/103 (LHB/RHB) in Miller park to 90/94 in Citi Field Park, quite a large reduction. Limiting Capuano's largest weakness as a pitcher to such a large degree greatly increases the odds of Capuano having a nice 2011 season. If he can return to his former durability and maintain his former effectiveness, Capuano is a great target in NL-only leagues, and a nice late-round pick in mixed leagues.
Park factors from StatCorner.com
Player Stats from FanGraphs.com
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Texas has officially traded Joaquin Arias for Jeff Francouer, receiving cash in the deal from the Mets (reportedly so that Texas pays Francouer what it would have paid Arias the rest of the way), and have designated outfielder Brandon Boggs for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Francouer.Interesting.
The Rangers have 10 days to trade Boggs, release him, or outright him to the minor leagues.
Joaquin Arias has some fantasy potential if he can find at-bats. He has the speed to steal 30 bases. He isn't likely to hit for much power but in a full season of at-bats he could hit 10 homers. He swings at too many pitches but he makes good contact on balls out of the strike zone. His defense at second base needs some work but he has the potential to be a good one. He turns 27-years old at the end of September, so he could still step it up a level or two.
If Jeff Francouer could just stop swinging at every pitch he sees he might be able to regain some of the potential he showed as a young Braves prospect. He has good power and speed, but his lack of discipline holds him back. The good news is the Rangers are one of the teams with the quality of coaching to get him turned in the right direction again. For now though, he should be avoided.
Friday, July 09, 2010
Before the 2009 season, Beltran was considered one of the best players in baseball and one of the more consistent fantasy options. In NL-only leagues Beltran is probably already on someone's roster. In the shallower mixed leagues he may still be available. Beltran contributed in every batting category. I still expect Beltran to hit for average. He is one of the most disciplined hitters in baseball. He rarely swings at balls out of the strikezone and has an extremely good contact rate. He has a career .302 BABIP and a .283 career batting average.
Beltran has been one of the better base-stealers in the game. His success rate has always been one of the best in baseball. Although he has not stolen 40 bases (nor more than 25) in several years, he has been a consistent threat to steal 20 or so bases a season. This was true even last season before the injury when he had 11 stolen bases (1 cs) in 308 at-bats. I expect we will see Beltran attempt fewer stolen bases. Even if the knee is healthy I think the Mets will do everything in their power to keep him healthy which unfortunately includes taking away the green light.
Mets manager Jerry Manuel has suggested installing Beltran directly into the third spot in the lineup. He told ESPN.com that it depended on Beltran's energy level and also a bit on David Wright's production.
"I've thought about it a couple of different ways," the manager said. "If he appears fresh, I was thinking of having him probably third. If not, I'll probably bat him around fifth or sixth."
And asked about keeping NL RBI Leader, David Wright in the third spot.
"As long as he keeps doing that, we could bat Carlos right after him [at cleanup] and give David that switch hitter with experience behind him to make sure he stays hot," Manuel said. "Not that [incumbent No. 4 hitter] Ike Davis doesn't hit, but [Beltran] is an All-Star player -- a switch hitter, power both sides."Before he succumbed to the knee injury, Beltran was enjoying a fairly good season marred only by a disturbing lack of power. In retrospect, it is not difficult to surmise that the knee was bothering him all along and playing with the injury was sapping his power. However, the 33-year old Beltran has also experienced a three-year decline in HR/FB (21.1, 17.1, 15.7, 10.8) one of the leading indicators of a player's power. It is very possible that with the knee finally fixed, there is a rebound in Beltran's power numbers. That seems likely to me. Beltran's batted ball ratios have remained steady. My guess is he bats at a 20-30 homer pace which should make most owners happy.
Fantasy owners should scoop up Carlos Beltran if he is still available. If he is truly healthy he should hit for both average and power in the middle of a productive lineup. The Mets will protect him at first but within a few weeks I expect the kid gloves to be off.
For the balance of the season look for a line like this:
300 at-bats .290/.375/530 with 12-15 homers, 60 runs, 50 RBI, 3-5 stolen bases
What Beltran's Return Means for Angel Pagan and Jeff Francoeur
Manager Jerry Manuel has stated that Beltran will play two games and receive at least one day and perhaps two days off before starting again. This should ensure that both Angel Pagan and Jeff Francoeur receive plenty of at-bats. There has been a lot of debate on who will start when Beltran plays and who should start between Pagan and Francoeur.
When Beltran and Bay are both in the lineup, the most likely scenario is that Pagan plays against right-handers and Francoeur will start against left-handers. Obviously when Beltran is out of the lineup, they should both start. Francouer will probably pinch-hit and play late inning defense quite a bit when he is on the bench.
Chime In - Join the Conversation By Adding to the Comments Section
Are you targeting Beltran? Is my projection for the balance of the season too optimistic? Will he make the Mets better or disturb the chemistry of a team playing fairly well? Let us know what you think in the comments section!
Sunday, January 03, 2010
I hope you have all borne witness to my powers. A few days ago I wrote about the New York Mets and Jason Bay and the very next day they had completed a deal. For my next trick...
Matt Holliday needs to accept that he will not receive a better offer than the 100 million dollar one he received from the St Louis Cardinals. If he waits much longer he risks pulling a Jody Reed (or more recently a Juan Gonzalez) and end up with a much lesser deal from a much lesser team. But this is not the topic of discussion today.
The Jason Bay deal is a fair one in my mind. It comes with considerable risk in its later years for the Mets but they understand that. They are one of the few teams that can afford give out contracts with extra years and extra millions tacked on to get the deal done. With just the tiniest bit of good luck avoiding injuries (unseen in Queens in quite some time) the Mets should bounce back quite strongly in 2010.
Bay has had just one bad season in his last seven and even that was due to playing through injuries. He walks at a 12.9 percent career rate. He strikes out quite a bit but nothing unexpected from a player with his power, which is considerable. He has a career .240 ISO, which was .269 in 2009 for the Red Sox. He has good plate discipline measured by a career 19.4 swing percentage at pitches out of the strike zone (MLB average is around 25 percent). What does this all mean for your fantasy team (and to a lesser degree for the Mets)? Bay should hit for a decent average with lots of homeruns. With a decent lineup around him he should score runs and collect RBI in bunches.
The key for the Mets is better health and productive seasons for the following players who were certainly disappointments in 2009:
David Wright, Third Baseman
The Mets franchise player was shook by the dimensions of Citi Field Park, which according to the small sample size of one season, actually plays neutral for homeruns. He fiddled with his swing and changed his game dramatically. The result was not a horrible season just not one we were not expecting. He was one of the few players to stay healthy the entire season (well, almost - he missed two weeks with a concussion) and should be productive again in 2010. The question is if this was a one year change or have we seen the last of the David Wright that belonged at the top of the first round in any fantasy draft.
Wright's batted ball rates were in the normal range - he hits a ton of line drives 25.7 percent in 2009, and 35.9 percent flyballs. The flyball rate dropped a couple percentage points but the real difference was in his HR/FB percentage which dropped from a career rate of 13.9 percent to a low of 6.9 percent in 2009. His plate discipline stats were right around career levels. I'm afraid that we will have to wait for David Wright to show us that things are returning to normal before Fantasy Owners can draft him with their former confidence. I'd take him in the second round if he lasted that long but surely someone in every league will jump the gun.
Jose Reyes, Shortstop
With a few years separating him from the rash of injuries that he suffered to begin his career, we had stopped thinking of Jose Reyes as injury prone. I am not suggested we re-attach the tag. However, Reyes is obviously still sensitive about the designation. He repeatedly tried to test the injury in an attempt to return as soon as possible and that set him back further each time. It also did not help that the Mets medical staff seemed unable to figure out exactly what was wrong with Reyes or how to treat it.
This lead Reyes' agent, Peter Greenberg to attempt his own solutions. He pressured the Mets to allow him to take Reyes to Toronto to receive platelet-rich plasma therapy — a procedure that does not violate baseball’s performance-enhancing drug policies — from Dr. Anthony Galea. If that name is familiar it is because he has also provided his service to other high-profile athletes such as Tiger Woods. Galea was recently arrested for attempted to smuggle drugs (including Human Growth Hormone) into the United States where he is not licensed to work. Fortunately, the Mets were smart enough to have a team official with Reyes during all the testing and treatment done with Galea so there is no reason to suspect Reyes of wrong doing. Unfortunately, the treatment did not work.
Reyes was finally forced to have surgery on his hamstring, which the Mets believe will solve the problem completely. In mid-December Reyes claimed to be healthy, and was doing some light running leading up to full workouts in January. The Mets expect him to be at full health to start Spring Training. Fantasy would be wise to avoid drafting Reyes in the early rounds before seeing evidence that he is in fact healthy and ready to resume stealing bases at a high rate of success.
Carlos Beltran, Center Fielder
Carlos Beltran was assigned to the disabled list because of a bone bruise behind the right knee cap on June 22nd. He wouldn't play again until September 8th. Beltran seems like another victim of the Mets' medical staff's inability to properly diagnose injuries but there is no evidence (aside from a very long recivery period) that they did anything wrong. Like Reyes, the player and his agent began to seek second opinions from outside sources. Beltran visited Dr. Richard Steadman in Colorado. Steadman is the doctor who invented microfacture surgery but he agreed with the Mets that Beltran was suffering from a bone bruise. Steadman suggested a longer rest and recovery period.
If Beltran is healthy he is one of the better players in baseball and worthy of a first round pick. Fantasy Owners would be wise to avoid picking Beltran too early but at least he was able to play when the 2009 season ended. But as with the other names on this list Spring Training will tell the story. The Mets medical staff will return in 2010 largely intact. But they did release a statement in October regarding a new direction when it comes to treating and diagnosing injuries.
From the New York Post:
The medical staff will remain in place for 2010 but “we are changing our medical protocols to better treat and prevent injuries,” Wilpon said, declining to get into specifics. The son of owner Fred Wilpon also said he plans to take a more active role in how the club releases information about ailing players.Carlos Delgado, First Baseman (presently a Free Agent)
Injuries to Reyes, Beltran and Delgado became a season-long soap opera as they appeared to be close to playing again, only to remain sidelined. Beltran was the only one of the three who returned to the lineup.
Wilpon said part of the communication problems occurred when players were hurt on the road.
“We relied on visiting team doctors to diagnose,” he said. “When Jose had a hamstring tendon that was partially torn to begin with, the doctor in, I forget where it was, L.A., said it was his calf. Now the radiating pain was through his calf. It wasn’t really what happened.”
Delgado is nearing the end of his career, of that there can be little doubt. But he was productive in limited time in 2009 and has just begun a stint as DH for Gigantes de Carolina in the Puerto Rican Winter League. The Mets are one of the few teams interested in adding a 39-year old first baseman, mostly because they do not have many options. Daniel Murphy was productive but with the Mets trying to put butts in the seats and get back to the playoffs, he'd fit better as depth for now.
Delgado missed most of the season due to a need for right hip surgery. Complications of the surgery delayed his winter league debut but he was able to perform as the designated hitter on Sunday (he went 1-for-4). Hip surgery has become all the rage, but older players like Delgado and Mike Lowell do not bounce back as quickly as Chase Utley and Alex Rodriguez. Fantasy Owners (and the Mets) are likely to see Delgado playing far less than full time and likely at a lesser level than they are used to seeing from the veteran slugger. I suggest fantasy owners avoid rostering Delgado unless they can bench him at minimal expense.
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
From New York Newsday:
Jose Reyes had to be pulled from today's extended spring game in the third inning and he is headed back to NYC to be seen by Dr. Struan Coleman tomorrow.According to reports on WFAN, Reyes pulled himself out of the game due to recurring pain. The initial MRI exam revealed no structural damage but the New York Mets are pushing Reyes to be ready ASAP. They would have preferred to avoid putting him on the disabled list at all, but someone apparently talked some sense into the front office. If they find structural damage this time we may be without Reyes for a long time.
Reyes experienced discomfort in his right knee, which has been bothered by tendinitis, and the Mets want to make sure there is no structural damage.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
2009 UPSIDE: 500 at-bats/ .300/15/80/90/15
From the New York Daily News:
Daniel Murphy recently took some ribbing from teammates after adding his few-year-old Honda Civic to a sign-up sheet for transport to New York. After all, the car stood out on a list that included new Mercedes, BMWs and Cadillac Escalades.
Murphy, frankly, is more concerned with his hitting. And it's his bat that will land him in the No. 2 spot in the Mets' lineup on Opening Day and beyond.
Despite only 131 big-league at-bats on his resume, Murphy's approach at the plate has impressed Jerry Manuel so much that the skipper plans to place Murphy directly after Jose Reyes in his lineup. The plan would also entail placing Luis Castillo in the No. 8 hole.
Monday, February 23, 2009
New York Mets manager Jerry Manuel recently announced that rather than platoon INF/OF Fernando Tatis with Daniel Murphy in left field, he would be using Tatis in a platoon with right fielder Ryan Church.
"I don't want him to get into a strictly platoon situation," Manuel said of Murphy, who produced four hits in 10 at-bats off lefties last year. "I think he's a little better player than that. Also, with Church being left-handed, I kind of see Murphy being a better hitter right now."
Murphy is a natural third baseman in an organization with a young superstar at the position. The Mets had Murphy working out at second base in the Arizona Fall League. He shows the potential to be a solid contributor at the position. That the Mets did not manage to trade incumbent second baseman Luis Castillo to clear the position is the reason Murphy will spend 2009 in left field.
Murphy is an excellent contact hitter who had strong line drive rates. He does not draw a ton of walks but he draws enough to maintain a decent on-base percentage. He should regularly bat around .300 and may challenge for batting titles if his skills continue to develop. His homerun power is middling at best. At this point in his development 15 or so homers is about the most you can expect. Murphy has decent speed and is a fair base stealer. In full-time at-bats ten stolen bases is very possible with 15-20 not outside the realm of possibilities.
At three minor league levels, Murphy batted .305/.363/.481 with four homeruns in 131 at-bats against lefties and .320/.385/.502 with nine homeruns in 241 at-bats against right-handers. This seems to indicate that Manuel knows what he is talking about concerning Murphy's ability.
Murphy looks like a solid addition in NL-only leagues and a useful player in shallower mixed leagues. I would not hesitate to add him to my rosters
More on Dan Murphy:
Minor League Splits
The Baseball Cube
Diamond Draft - The Official Draft Software of Advanced Fantasy Baseball
Follow me on Twitter: @BigJonWilliams
Friday, January 16, 2009
Brian Joura of New York Mets Online invited me to participate in a round table discussion of the New York Mets off-season thus far and where they should go from here. I thought I was an interesting choice considering my years as a New York Yankees blogger. Check out this excerpt.
Mets Online Roundtable: The Off-Season
...There are some that would suggest the Mets sign an outfielder but they can afford to wait. The Mets should find out if Dan Murphy could be an everyday starter for them. The Mets have also refused to part with outfield prospect Fernando Martinez who would be part of the Mets 2010 outfield if all goes well. Signing Manny Ramirez or Adam Dunn would not only be expensive but it would block the Mets’ younger players. If Ramirez and Dunn become bargains that the Mets can’t resist they should go for Dunn rather than Ramirez. Dunn at the very least can be moved to first base in 2010 when Carlos Delgado becomes a free agent...
Follow me on Twitter: @BigJonWilliams