Elster's World

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Bodies Bodies Everywhere

And no, I'm not talking about the season finale of lost where at least 13 people kicked the bucket.

Despite a less than perfect start to the 2007 baseball season, the Mets are actually going at a better early season win/lose clip than they were last year - along with a four game cushion over the Braves who are suddenly more shaky than an Aaron Heilman relief appearance.

To make matters better, the Mets have accomplished this despite:

- (i) losing their ace since last year, (ii) their number three starter for a month (who became their number 2 when their number one was lost for the season last year), (iii) with two starters in the rotation (Perez and Sosa) who went a combined 6-829 last season, (iv) injuries to their left and right fielders, (v) a knee injury to their starting second baseman and (vi) the continued loss of their lights-out set-up man from last season. All this, mind you, without a deep bench.

(Ok, I don't agree with that last statement - the facts obviously speak for themselves, at least to me - but certain people certainly seem to feel that way.) But either way, the Mets are managing to put some separation between them and their rivals and can feel good about the fact that they will start to get a lot of hurt guys healthy in time for the stretch run.

From what we have seen or heard:

- Pedro will not only be back in August (says Minaya), but he'll be vintage 1990's Pedro. Also, even though he hasn't thrown off a mound yet, he can still pitch better than Clemens right now (from Pedro). To be honest, I've been saying since day 1 that it's not realistic to expect anything from Pedro this season and if he does return, it's all icing on the cake. His words make me more optimistic, but I'm trying not to get too excited.

- Valentin is a week or two away. His return strengthens the lineup and the bench (Easley becomes another right handed option off the bench).

- Alou is still a few weeks away, and then it's only a matter of time until the next thing breaks down on his old body. Green - his status is unclear.

- According to ESPN baseball "experts", the Mets don't expect Duaner Sanchez to return this season. I agree.

- El Duque was very good in his first start and felt pretty good after. The emergence of Sosa, the continued improvement of Maine and the the explosion from Oliver Perez gives Willie Randolph the ability to rest Hernandez a little bit more than perhaps he would have been able to if Maine was 4-4, Perez was 3-6 and Sosa was pulling a Jose Lima.

Mets will be facing some interesting starters against the Giants starting tonight.


  • I like today's trade. Julio Franco to ESPN for a complete set of Lost DVDs seems like a good move by both Omar Minaya and Steve Phillips.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 3:09 PM  

  • "the facts obviously speak for themselves, at least to me"

    Just saw that nonsensical statement. If the facts speak for themselves, why are you unwilling/unable to cite any facts?

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 3:36 PM  

  • The whole ARTICLE is a fact - FACT: Despite losing one rotation guy for the first half of the season and another for almost a month, the mets didnt lose a step.

    FACT: Despite losing their second baseman to a knee injury, the mets didnt losea step.

    FACT: Despite losing their starting left fielder for a month, the mets have not lost a step.

    FACT: You were wrong when you said that the Mets had a poor bench when, in fact the FACTS prove out otherwise.

    FACT: I would trade Franco for the DVD set of season's 1 or 3, but not season 2.

    By Blogger Elster, at 3:51 PM  

  • "FACT: You were wrong when you said that the Mets had a poor bench when, in fact the FACTS prove out otherwise."

    That is not fact but rather your opinion and as is often the case, the actual facts which I have already cited indicate otherwise.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 3:57 PM  

  • In case you were too busy watching Desperate Housewives, here again is the current Mets bench:

    Gomez - .250 (no career hits off bench)
    Castro - .222
    Gotay - .219
    Newhan - .194
    Franco - .194

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 4:03 PM  

  • "The current Mets bench"? That's classic Joe. Absolutely classic. Why don't you twist the facts even more.

    Here's the ACTUAL Mets bench - forced into regular players due to injuries to the real starters:

    Chavez - .318, fantastic defense.
    Easley - 7 hr, .265 avg, .342 OBP.
    J. Sosa - 4-1 3.64 ERA


    Gotay is batting .242 not .219
    Gomez has no career hits off the bench because he TWENTY THREE CAREER AT BATS IN THE MAJORS
    and you failed to mention Castro's 3 hr and 10 rbi in limited duty.

    Joe - this is your most egregious twisting of facts ever. congrats

    By Blogger Elster, at 10:38 AM  

  • 1. Jorge Sosa is not a bench player. He's a starter. He did not replace anyone injured. He replaced Mike Pelfrey.

    2. Easley and Chavez are starting now and not on the bench. When the Mets outfielders are healthy, Chavez is a good bench player. When Jose Valentin comes off the DL, he should join the bench. Easley for now deserves to start over Valentin.

    3. My comments was written before last night's Mets game. Since then, Gotay had a hit raising his average to a scary .242. Franco and Newhan, meanwhile, are now hitting .188 and .189 respectively. Gomez is now at .217. Newcomer Ben Johnson is sizzling at .000.

    Gomez's 23 MLB at bats is why he is not now a good bench player.

    I happen to like Castro but he's not getting hits. Besides Willie refuses to use him as a pinch hitter.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 11:03 AM  

  • Perhaps the issue is a different definition of the word "bench player" - you are adhering to this silly "well, who is on the bench right now"? definition while I'm saying the Mets had stocked up on good players to come up and fill in for the original 9 starters.

    So Sosa, who was brought in for depth to replace a starter, is doing just that. Chavez and easley we forced to step up to be temporary regulars because starters like Alous Green and Valentin got hurt.

    That is my definition of Bench.

    And again, saying Ben johnson is batting .000 after one game is silly. similarly, Newhan and Gotay are like 4th and fifth stringers pressed into duty only because of the number of injuries. Whn the team is healthy, Newhan, Gotay and Johnson will be back in New orleans

    By Blogger Elster, at 11:23 AM  

  • Of course the question is who is on the bench right now. However, even with Chavez and Easley, the bench still sucks. Franco and Newhan are particularly useless - th former may be a good coach and I would not opposed to cutting him now and then adding him to the roster in September if he wants to play till 50.

    Sosa did not replace a starter. He lost the battle in spring training, accepted a demotion to AAA, pitched well there, and got a chance when Pelfrey and Chan Ho Park faltered.

    Newhan will be in New Orleans? Huh? He signed a major league contract and has not and cannot be sent down.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 11:27 AM  

  • Fine newhan will be glued to the bench where he will never get any playing time except perhaps as a defensive replacement for Green when Chavez has replaced Alou.

    And to me, a bench = depth. Which the Mets have

    By Blogger Elster, at 12:04 PM  

  • Great, so two guys on the bench who are completely useless equals a "deep bench." That's how we got into a situation in Game 7 where an injured Cliff Floyd was the only viable option.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 12:34 PM  

  • Chavez, Easley, Castro, is a good core for a bench. Throw in a season's worth of carlos Gomez and you are in busines. Most teams don't have 6 or 7 great options off the bench either. You are overlooking that the Mets are off to a tremendous start despite a lot of key injuries. Peoplemare stepping up. If you don't see that then i don't know what to tell you.

    By Blogger Elster, at 12:47 PM  

  • Castro is not allowed to hit. Even in the 9th inning of Game 7 he was glued to the bench in case La Duca got hurt! All we have is Chavez and Easley and that requires Alou, Green and Valentin to be healthy, a dubious assumption.

    I am not overlooking anything. I am hoping that we don't see a shameful repeat of last season's NLCS when there was no bench.

    At least Anderson Hernandez is back where he belongs in AAA.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 1:11 PM  

  • Anderson Hernandez cannot hit Major league pitching so AAA is perfect for him.

    I would be shocked if Minaya doesn't make a couple of moves at the deadline. We shall see. IN the meantime, I am finding the 2007 season very enjoyable. Last night's game was a perfect example. There's nothing quite like an Armado Benitz meltdown. When he melts down, he MELTS down.

    By Blogger Elster, at 2:28 PM  

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