News and Views: Opportunity Knocks, But Not Every Met Answers the Door

Fifth starterMike:

So Jimmy, the winner of the fifth starter job is. . . .to be determined. Basically, the Mets paid Matsuzaka $100,000 to hang around a few more days in Port St. Lucie while they wait out Jon Niese. Because if Niese ends up not being able to pitch, they need two starters, not one, and if Meija is sent down he has to stay down a minimum of ten days. If Niese gets through okay I still suspect Jenrry is the guy going to Las Vegas. But more and more, you have to wonder about Jon.


You have to be worried about Niese. He’s not healthy. He went for two MRIs already. So this decision — to pay out $100,000 to Dice-K, according to the terms of the contract — makes perfect sense. This is not the time to say sayonara to Daisuke Matsuzaka. We could read tomorrow or next week that Niese is toast. On the positive side, Dice¬†was brilliant on Monday against the Cardinals. His career on the balance, he stepped up and took the ball.

For Jenrry, well, I’ve had this conversation with people many times, including my own son. When we are young, we tend to think there will be many opportunities over a lifetime. This one gets away, there will be another. Well, I used to think so, but not anymore. When you get that shot to make an impression, to stand out, it’s time to bring everything you’ve got. It’s time to be your best. Most of us get chances in life, but we don’t always get second chances. It’s time for Jenrry to blow some people away.


earl_campbell_1981_09_06Eric Campbell is having a great spring and barring injury will most likely get cut anyway. Not that there is anything wrong with that.


He’s opened my eyes. Mack has been a big advocate for a while, back when I thought he was a running back for the Houston Oilers. I still can’t say that I have any real sense of his defensive ability, but he plays multiple positions and I think he’s hungry. I wish him luck.


Maybe he will be ready when the bell rings but I am getting more and more suspicious about Vic Black. To get major league hitters out you need more than a big fastball, you need to have an idea where that fastball is headed.


When the Mets got Black and Herrera in the Byrd/Buck deal, the initial hype on Black surprised wild thingme. Suddenly the Mets got a future closer in a minor deal and he was ready to go? It seemed too good to be true. Turns out that he’s a project. We’re all victim of the radar gun, too easily excited by a 96 MPH heater. Obviously, there’s real potential here, he’s got that unteachable skill. I actually thought you called this correctly a while back. Let’s ease off the talk of 8th-inning guy and bring him along slowly in lower-leverage situations. He isn’t there yet. From back to front, I’m seeing Parnell, Valverde, Familia. These things have a way of changing quickly. Now it looks like he failed the audition. Again, we seem to have a theme going today. When that door opens a crack, you’ve got to kick your way into the room.


Familia has looked great. After missing almost all of last year with elbow surgery to remove bone spurs, it’s easy to forget how big a prospect Familia was a couple of years ago. How big? He jeurys-familiawas ranked in Baseball Prospectus Top 101 in 2012. Familia, Meija, and Wilmer Flores are all still very young and more reminders that Sandy Alderson was not starting from ground zero in October 2010.


Familia is the guy where you sit in the stands and you get excited. Boom. You instantly see how he gets guys out. There’s no mystery. I’ve always loved pitchers like that. Like Black, Jeurys has struggled with control at times. But what’s the phrase? Ah, effectively wild. I like him a lot. Big hopes. But his stiff-legged delivery has always been a red flag for me.

You know, we’ve both liked John Lannan for quite a few years. I actually think the organization has worked this perfectly. Signed him, gave him innings, shifted him to the pen. My hope is that he’s got the attitude and moxie to make this transition. I think he can get RHH out too, so he won’t strictly be used as a LOOGY. That said, Collins has to be smart not to overwork Lannan. Working back-to-back days, warming up daily, all of that, it’s a big change from how he’s thrown his entire career.


I think Lannan could be great in three or four-inning stints when one of our starters doesn’t have it. But that doesn’t seem like the plan. Instead it looks like we not only will forgo a long reliever this year, we will convert a guy who could do that to a role he is not suited for.


Oh, I’m a little more hopeful. It’s time for him to become a lefty in the pen, and the current wisdom suggests that teams need two of them, especially in the NL East. Let’s see how it evolves. Torres has been good in that role so far.

Hey, we haven’t discussed the Mets vs. Harvey pissing match. For the record, I’m with Team Matt. This organization can be so tone deaf.


Harvey wants to be the next Joe Namath and the Mets want everybody to be Kevin McReynolds.

Because that plan worked so well the first time.

JoeNamathGuaranteeMatt Harvey in robe









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  1. I’ve barely watched spring training, frankly barely followed it other than the posts you guys have up daily.

    All I’ve really glimpsed so far, Niese in limbo, Ike Davis and Lucas Duda essentially being Ike Davis and Lucas Duda. Still no shortstop. Granderson seems like he plays baseball. Harvey = bad for wanting to be around the team.

  2. Eric says:

    I have spent ST really pulling for Meijia to win the 5th spot, but have come to the conclusion that there will be so many different starting 5 combinations over the course of the year, that it is not that big of a deal. Pointing to the topic of this post, opportunity will be knocking often this season. It will be intriguing to see who opens the door.

    As for Dice getting $100k to stay a few days in Florida, and he doesn’t even have to sit through a timeshare presentation. Man, I wish I learned how to pitch when I was younger….

  3. Eraff says:

    Davis and Duda on the Roster again….

    Duda in LF as a Starter…Duda in LF on a Double switch—what will happen first?

  4. Reese Kaplan says:

    No wonder many places are giving the Mets a grade D for their work at improving at 1st base!

  5. Michael Geus says:

    Well, the powers to be did indeed send Vic Black out today. I can’t say I disagree. If he proves he can throw strikes in Vegas he can come back.

  6. Eraff says:

    One Man’s ZZZZZ is another’s No Call/No Show

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