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Mets Thoughts 6/1
| June 1, 2009
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* Since my last thoughts on the Mets, the team has gone 5-1 at home. Although they played the awful Marlins and the [insert word that is worse than terrible, horrible, and historically bad] Nationals,… *…the lineup was absolutely horrid, to say the least. Saturday’s lineup: 1. Angel Pagan – LF: His name is an oxymoron. Enough said. 2. Fernando Martinez – RF: This kid is probably younger than any of your kids. He is only 20. 3. Carlos Beltran – CF: Beltran is a star in this league and too good for this lineup. That is why the baseball gods gave him a stomach virus in the middle of the game forcing him to go home. 4. Fernando Tatis – 3b: Four years removed from being out of baseball for three years, he is now the cleanup hitter. 5. Daniel Murphy – 1b: More on Murphy later on… 6. Ramon Martinez – 2b: 36 year old journeyman infielder who has spent a solid chunk of the past two seasons in the minors. Did I mention he is 36 years old? 7. Brian Schneider – C: Coming off the DL, he replaces Luis Castillo in this lineup for my “least confidence in getting a hit” award. 8. Wilson Valdez – SS: The 31-year old shortstop went 1 for 4 on the night…raising his career average. Rahul Desai said it reminded him of the 2003 lineup when the Mets were 71-91. * Last week I thought the Mets should bring up the young Fernando Martinez from Buffalo. They read my post and granted my wish. Martinez looks extremely raw. He is only 20, so his body has not filled out yet. He looks overmatched at the plate, looking confused at sliders/curveballs and behind on fastballs. In the field he is swift and smooth, but very safe and passive. He needs work on his routes. He has the potential to be something special, but for now he is a work in progress. He looks more comfortable than Carlos Gomez did a few years ago, and he reminds me a lot of Alex Escobar in 2002. That being said, this kid has a sweet swing, and has a lot of potential, but it is going to take time and is by no means a sure thing. *One play of Fernando’s was discouraging. Against the Nationals he hit a popup that he did not run out. In all fairness, the Nats should have caught the ball, but they did not. If Fernando had run out of the box, he would have been safe at first on the play, but he did not, and he was out. Not hustling was inexcusable and I hope this is not a harbinger of things to come. Manual was right in keeping him in the game. This is an issue for the young Martinez that would be a greater learning experience if the players called him out on it. I unfortunately was not in the Mets clubhouse after the game, but this was a chance for Wright or Beltran and step up to be a leader on this team. I hope they were the ones who called Martinez out and told him how to play. If no player stepped up, this team is in trouble. * Ramon Castro is gone. It was between him and Omir Santos, and it would have been near impossible to cut Santos after his heroics the night the Mets needed to make a decision. If it were up to me, I would have kept both, and tried to shop Schneider. Schneider is one of the best defenders in the game, but he looks lost at the plate. I would rather have Castro and Santos, both guys who are both very good defenders and can hit the ball. * Daniel Murphy has a great approach to hitting, but it seems as if there is something wrong with his swing. His bat looks very slow causing him to hit weak grounders to the shortstop or first base. I don’t know if there is something wrong mechanically or maybe he has concentrated too much on improving his fielding, but he does not hit the ball with any sort of umph on it anymore. * Kids should watch Gary Sheffield and they could learn a great lesson about baseball. I am not talking about his quick bat speed. I am not talking about his hustle. I am not talking about him becoming a team player. I am talking about how he debates with the umpire on questionable pitches that border the strike zone. He has a method where if the ball is close to the corner and called a strike, he instantly looks back at the ump and just asks, “What? How? Come on!” He does not yell and does not appear to be rude (he has not been thrown out yet), but he is persistent. I mention it because I think it works. Compare his third and fourth at bats to his first and second and the strike zone shrinks. * Thursday night I forgot there was no Mets game, so I turned on SNY anyway. Instead I found an encore performance of a loss by the AAA Buffalo Bisons. The sad part was that I actually watched it… *More thoughts next week!
Share Your Thoughts from WVBR | June 2, 2009, 10:42pm
I like this Wilson Valdez a lot better than Martinez. He is not as good with the bat, but he is a swift fielder. With Cora back now, he will assume a lot of the shortstop role anyway untill Reyes is ready.

Shwax | June 2, 2009, 10:18pm
So what do the Mets do now that Ramon Martinez is gone (dislocated pinky)?

Jase from WVBR | June 1, 2009, 9:27pm
Well June will certainly be a telling month for the Mets staff as they only have two off days, and after a soft start with seven against the Pirates and Nats, will face stiff offensive challenges from the Yankees, Phils, Cards, Rays, and Brewers. As Livan Hernandez did tonight, the Mets starters 2-4 have almost always kept the team in the game, and that should continue through June. The fifth spot is a huge question mark, but is more than compensated for by Johan Santana and the much-improved bullpen.

Larry E. from Philadelphia | June 1, 2009, 1:27pm
Hakuna, I think the question going into June is - will Mets pitching continue to carry them as they play better teams? It's pretty clear that their bats and defense will improve as starters return to the lineup, but will their starting rotation be able to handle the opposition the way they did in May?
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