NEWS & VIEWS: Captain Wright, Johan’s Progress, Watery Beer, Lucas Redux, Inigo Montoya, Travis d’Araud, and an e-Book We’d Like to See

Jimmy:

This is the time on our show when I pretend to leaf through the metsblogosphere for news tidbits and you give me your sage and clever reactions. Are you feeling sage today, Mike?

Mike:

Yes sir, I was invigorated last week by my walk around Citi Field. You need to walk fast around there when it’s deserted, and keep one eye on your car at all times too.

CitiField+copy

Jimmy:

Did you see how Terry Collins has been polling the players for their opinions on making David Wright the team captain? This has been going on longer than the Eisenhower Years. Can you imagine trying to buy living room furniture with this guy? Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. Just make a decision, Terry, nobody cares anyway.

Mike:

I like Collins as a manager but not everything he says or does. I can’t defend this, so I won’t.

Jimmy:

Hey, good news. I read that Johan Santana is now rolling a baseball down a hill. No, wait, that’s not right. Oh, he’s throwing from 120 feet!

Mike:

I want to see him throw from a mound again someday soon. But wishes don’t always come true.

Jimmy:

I saw there was a class action against Budweiser for allegedly watering down their beer.

Mike:

I guess they don’t want to be the new “Dry Beer”?

Jimmy:

Beer

I just wondered how anybody could tell. So, Jordany Valdespin got two hits against Strasburg on Thursday. Another one on Friday at DH. Too bad he couldn’t possibly beat out Duda or Kirkkk for an outfield spot. Those two are SO AWESOME!!!

Mike:

There were reports starting on Thursday from both Adam Rubin and on Metsmerized that he might start to get a chance out there. From what I have seen so far, the entire season is going to be a big long audition in the outfield. A full open casting call. At some point Jordany will get his look.

Jimmy:

minsider25s-1-webWell, I beat that drum on Thursday. My gut feeling is that Terry doesn’t particularly want Jordany to succeed. While we’re on the topic of the outfield, Collins used the wrist injury as his excuse for resting Duda. As you’ll recall, Lucas played a few games, then practiced hard for a couple of days, then played again, then sat, then played. He had a sweet game yesterday, and he needs to hit like that to justify the defense. So it wasn’t the wrist, right? The real issue is that the guy who has been handed the left field job needed a couple of days away from the glare of meaningless games in February. In flippin’ Florida. Do I have that right? When his name comes up, Gary and Keith keep talking about the pressure on this young man. It’s worrisome.

Mike:

Duda just seems to be that gentle-giant type. I suspect he would be a great guy to have as a friend. But in baseball you will fail a lot and you can’t let that get to you. He’s running out of time.

time+a

Jimmy:

A few days ago, Sandy Alderson did a long Q & A with a bunch of bloggers. He really has perfected the art of saying nothing. It was a big moment in blogdom. I’m surprised they didn’t call me. They call you?

Mike:

No, it was a tough night sitting by that phone. I felt like Ezra Meier-Zimbler.

Jimmy:

Wow, that is lonely. Maybe Ezra will write an e-book someday: “The Desolate Life of a Mets Sales Representative.” I’d buy it in paperback!

If you had a question for Sandy, what would you ask him?

Mike:

Why didn’t you call me?

Jimmy:

What are you, a teenage girl? Give me a real question.

Mike:

Sure, one more. Sandy, last July when you did not trade for a reliever you said the price in prospects for a buyer was too high. Then our bullpen and season imploded. Next we kept Hairston and your explanation was that the market for a seller was too low to be bothered trading him. So, was the market too high? Or too low? Or do you have a problem with things if they are moving at a rapid pace?

I know that looks like three questions but it is not, it is really multiple choice. I figure most people prefer that, and I want to show how reasonable I am. There’s always next time, you know.

Jimmy:

Hey, everybody’s excited about this Montoya fellow. I wonder if he’s in any way related to Inigo?

Mike:

That’s Montero, not Montoya. Rafael Montoya.

Jimmy:

Okay, granted, there’s a slight difference in spelling. But I still like the idea of this line running through his head every time a new batter steps into the box.

Mike:

I sure wouldn’t dig in.

Jimmy:

You know I’m riding shotgun on the Wheeler bandwagon, but I’ll say this, too: Travis d’Arnaud should come north, too. They can ease him in gently, he can benefit from his time working with Buck and the actual staff. AAA feels like a strange stall tactic. I know, I know, he hurt his knee and needs to squat in the Vegas dirt for a while. Sure, sure. We’re told he needs to rake against inferior pitching — and hone his blackjack game — for at least three months. Sorry, but I don’t get it.

harvey-arnaud-mets

Mike:

If it is being done for baseball reasons, fine, but this has mostly been reported as a financial decision. If so, that is strange to me. It is all about the short-term for the Wilpons financially. We traded a Cy Young winner for this guy and we are going to ship him out? That would save some money years from now, maybe. But right now you eliminate another possible marketable guy. We heard this from the day of the trade and I was surprised from day one. I’m going to figure Alderson really thinks he needs more minor league at bats. I can’t argue that, he’s the GM. But if this guy is hitting .400 with 15 home runs on May 1st, I want him up. Otherwise the whole thing is just dumb.

 

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15 comments

  1. Mack Ade says:

    morning guys…

    a fair warning… (excuse my Yoda writing, it’s what I do)…

    if you want to someday be included in the Mets blog conference call, do NOT say things negative about the Mets or the process of how the bloggers are picked for the call…

    Re: Valdespin… frankly, very few people in the Mets building want this guy to succeed and the only reason he’s still around is 1) no other team wants this head case and 2) he currently represents more talent than any other combo of three OFers they have in the dugout.

    Re: dD – let the kid go play in Vegas and hit 10 HRs for a month. The extra arbitration year will be big-time someday. dD looks like one of the great ones and the team needs to do everything they can to keep him around for as long as they can.

    Lastly, there is no truth to the rumor that Pedro Feliciano has offerred to loan his heart monitor to TC who has to watch what’s going on every day from the corner of the dugout.

    We’ll do it again today at 1:10pm

    Mack

    • Hey, Mack. Re: Jordany, that’s our read on it too. With d’Arnaud, my understanding of the Super 2 rules is that to save that arb-eligible year, he can’t come up until roughly July 1.

      People keep talking patience, but I just want the best players to make the team.

      • Mack Ade says:

        I was beat guy in Savannah when Spin was here… suspended twice (also then suspended in Lucy and B-Mets)… NEVER mention his name to Tuff… and the stories I could tell you about this guy… he makes Milledge look like the Pope…. wait… that’s not a good reference…

    • Michael Geus says:

      That is a very fair warning. My bad jokes have been getting me in trouble since grade school but at this point bad habits are hard to break!

  2. Alan K. says:

    Besides the financial reasons, the Mets may also be starting d’Arnaud at AAA because they’re hoping Buck gets off to a good start and makes himself a marketable trade commodity. As for Duda, it should be noted that he’s 27 years old, so it really should be make or break time.

    • John Buck is an established commodity who hit .199 last season. Burn that number into your skull: .199. He’s a good receiver and he can knock the ball over the wall. I like him, I do. But I doubt that his market value will shift much based on his April and May. Travis d’Arnaud could help this team right now, and help his development, by easing into a full-time role with the New York Mets. But, for whatever reasons, it’s been a foregone conclusion from day one that he’ll start in AAA this year. But note: if Wheeler and d’Arnaud are in Vegas, I’d be as tempted to fly out there for a weekend of baseball than to drive down to Citi Field while the organization sucks the joy out of another season. And if they were in NY . . . I’d be there.

  3. Mack Ade says:

    good point on Buck… no rush on dD

  4. Super 2 according to FanGraphs, please note the last sentence:

    >> Normally, players must have accrued at least three years of MLB service time before they can be eligible for salary arbitration — or in other words, until they can negotiate their salary and not have it automatically set by their club. But certain players with less than three years of service time can also become eligible for arbitration, if they meet the following criteria:

    ● If they have less than three years of service time, but more than two.

    ● If they rank within the top 22% of all 2-year players in terms of service time.

    So if a player finishes a season and is just shy of three years of service time (say, 2 years and 171 days) then MLB will award them Super Two status and they’ll be eligible for arbitration. Since these players are still under team control for another three seasons, that means Super Two players get four year of salary arbitration instead of the typical three.

    The Super Two cutoff used to stand at 17%, but got changed to 22% in the new CBA negotiations. This means that if a team wants to keep a player in the minors until after the Super Two cutoff, they will have to keep that player in the minors for even longer than before. Considering that the cutoff used to fall sometime in June — it varied from year to year, as the 17% cutoff isn’t tied to a specific date — it will likely end up being in July going forward. < <

  5. DD says:

    I, for one, think it makes pefect sense to plant Lucas Duda in left field for an extended time, to see what the team has in him. One of you mentioned his not-assertive personality; that’s just the kind of guy who needs some outside reassurance. And all the timing stuff he was doing at the plate was affecting his ability to wait on a pitch; it was written up at Hardball Times, so I imagine it was generally recognized by the Mets. Anyway, he has acknowledged the problem, is trying to address it, and if the results are good and Duda becomes the power hitter he could be, I want it to happen with him a Met.

    Continuing the thought: I think the only way a team can treat an individual like Valdespin is to insist he address his weaknesses (his improved pitch selection in Winter ball may or may not mean anything), and in general earn any promotion he gets. Try and make him grow up in other words. Having a jerk on your team is hard enough; no good reason to create an entitled jerk.

    I wish there was a straight line path to the next championship, too, but I doubt such a thing exists. I see no fault in the Mets’ handling of these two players.

    • Michael Geus says:

      I agree with you on both. I’m suspicious with Duda but this is the perfect time to give him another shot.

    • Alan K. says:

      A need for outside reassurance is not a quality you want to see in someone you’re counting on as a middle of the order hitter. I have no issue with giving Duda a shot because there’s really not much in the way of alternatives. But if he can’t capitalize on his opportunity this time, the Mets need to move on and look elsewhere.

  6. Tom M says:

    d’Arnaud and Wheeler should be going north. I’m so tired of hearing about the year of arbitration crap. That’s the stuff they worry about in KC. It just gets back to Fred is a liar, and is still hurting from Bernie.

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