Elster's World

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Reactions to a Number of Things

- Though not quite Teixeira, Omar Minaya's trade of 2 mid level (at best) prospects for Luis Castillo (who has had many a good day against the Mets while playing for the Marlins) was a very nice move indeed. Not only does it upgrade the second base position defensively (Gotay has far to go to become even an adequate defender), the bench is that much stronger with the switch hitting Gotay available late in games. In fact, assuming the Mets get healthy (yes, a big if but still a man can dream), you are potentially looking at a late September bench which includes some combination of Ramon Castro, Lastings Milledge, Rubin Gotay, Damion Easley, Marlon Anderson, Endy Chavez and Carlos Gomez. Heck that's not only a fantastic bench, its almost a horrible, but serviceable, starting lineup.

- Minaya is probably burning cell minutes working on a lights out eighth inning guy (probably takes too much to pry Cordero or Gagne) and a right handed power bat to replace Alou (always a bad sneeze away from the 15 day DL). However, the trade market is extremely thin and Minaya won't be giving up Gomez, Martinez, Milledge or Humber (though maybe Pelfrey) in a deal for borderline help. I can see another move made for bench depth, but unless Minaya works some magic, this is basically your team.

- The Teixeira deal has dramatically changed the landscape in the NL East. The Braves gave away what appears to be a king's ransom in prospects for the slick fielding slugger, but none of those guys were going to help the team this year. With no clear favorites, the Braves are in effect saying "why not us?". And you know what, they are right. This is definitely a good year to take a shot. As the Cardinals showed last season, if you make it to the series, anything can happen. The Mets currently hold a four and a half game lead on the Braves and a three game lead on the suddenly scorching Phillies. Unfortunately, the Mets have to play the Braves (I believe) nine more times and they still have not been able to beat them consistently.

- Though the Mets currently have the best record in the East (funny that this is true but the so called "experts" are dropping them behind the Dodgers, Padres and now Braves as contenders), it's never too early to think about securing the wild card berth in case the wheels start coming off. This upcoming road trip (three against the Brewers, three against the Cubs - both teams serious contenders right now), followed by a huge three game series against the Braves at home, may do a lot to shape how the rest of the season will go.

- Though Pedro Martinez is finally scheduled to begin his rehabilitation in Port St. Lucie, and by all accounts things are going really well, I will continue to take the "we aren't counting on Pedro for anything this season and if he happens to come back, well that's just great" stance. Because they guy is 35 years old and coming off of MAJOR ROTATOR CUFF SURGERY. As much as we'd like to believe him when he says he's never felt better and he's never been stronger, can we really expect him to get up on the hill and start ripping off 92 mph fastballs again? Isn't it more believable to think his arm will fall off? Al I'm saying is, if he comes back and is effective, great. if not, well.....let's not get too unrealistic.

Quick hit observations:

- Lastings Milledge is a different player this time up. The swagger is still there, but its been toned down a little, he's driving the ball and he doesn't look lost in the outfield anymore. Last season's struggles appear to have affected him in a positive way.

- Could Carlos Delgado finally be breaking out of his slump?

- Was I wrong -does el Duque still have enough in the tank to help for the stretch run and the playoffs?

- Finally, good luck tonight to Tom Glavine, going for career win number 300.

- Oh I must re-post this with an additional thought about Randolph's Saturday night bungle. In the second game of a double header, willie mis-managed his bench in the 6th or 7th, forcing him, a run down in the ninth, to use Tom Glavine as a pinch hitter with one out and no one on in the inning. It was so head scratching, Gary and Keith must have brought it up six times in the last 2 innings alone. I'm not saying it would have made a difference, but they Mets ended up splitting a 4 game series with Washington; a series they really needed to take 3 of 4 . Just needed to be said.


  • and they lost it for glavine :( what a great pitching performance tonight!

    By Anonymous no 300 this time, at 2:59 AM  

  • Willie is an idiot.

    Do you think Omar might be able to trade a few more prospects for either Chad Bradford or Heath Bell? (You don't still think Joe Smith and Scott Scoheneweis are excellent replacements for Bradford and Bell, do you?)

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 8:51 AM  

  • n300tt - welcome - You are right. Glavine did everything he needed to get the win. The offense failed him tonight and, eventually the bullpen.

    Joe - schoenweis has been nothing short of a colossal mistake. I think it's "safe" to say the Mets would be better off with Bradford than Schoenweiss. Actually it would be an overwhelming understatement. That being said, Bradford is 0-4 with 13 holds and a 2.83 era for a terrible team. Smith performed pretty well for a first year rookie with little mionor league experience 2-1 with a 3.03 era for a team with alot of one run wins. Still, the Mets bullpen is worse this year than last year except Feliciano is better than he was last year and so is Wagner. And the mets failed to bolster that pen while the Braves added Dotel as well as Tex.

    By Blogger Elster, at 9:18 AM  

  • And you would agree, wouldn't you, that Willie failed to use Bell in 2005 or 2006 and that Omar egregiously underestimated his talent when he traded him for a cup of lukewarm coffee?

    Gotta go do my cross-examination of the next two witnesses.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 9:28 AM  

  • Whenever Bell pitched it always seemed like he had good stuff but he couldn;t get anyone out. In retrospect it was abad deal but i can;t kill them for it.

    By Blogger Elster, at 12:24 PM  

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