NEWS & VIEWS: Jordany Makes History, Marcum Coming Up, McCourt’s Cool Billion, Viva Las Vegas, Juan Lagares, Move Over Ron Hunt, Manny Being Manny, and More!

Los Angeles Dodgers  v New York MetsJimmy:

You know, Mike, I live near Albany, NY. But did you realize we don’t even get the Mets on the radio up here? (They were dropped for the Red Sox a couple of years back due to fan indifference.) So I’m envious you can get to so many games. Just last Saturday you went to Citi Field and managed to see BOTH Hefner and Laffey in the same game! Last night, you were there for Matt Harvey! Tell me, if you can parse the difference: which game had more electricity?

Mike:

I was a little more locked in last night. But wow, the indifference factor you mention has hit a new low. April or no April the Dodgers have always been a draw. Last night, with Harvey on the mound, maybe 15,000 were in the seats. By the tenth inning I will be charitable and say 5,000. Thanks to Jordany Valdespin, loyalty was rewarded for a night. A walk-off grand slam, the Mets first since 1991.

A very entertaining game.

Jimmy:

Ah, okay. What else do you you want to talk about?

Mike:

Word is the calvalry is coming. Both Marcum and Francisco should be activated by the weekend. Who says goodbye?

Jimmy:

Josh Edgin for sure. He needs to find a breaking ball, badly. Then it comes down to Carson or Hefner, I guess. Shrug. Here’s the thing about lefties in the pen: Just because a guy is a southpaw, it doesn’t automatically make him a “lefty specialist” suited for getting out, say, Ryan Howard. Outside of Feliciano — who no longer has the good fastball to keep hitters honest — I don’t think we have that kind of lefty, with the sweeping breaking ball, etc. I’d like to see a pitching coach do that for somebody in our system, the way Peterson (I think) rebuilt Feliciano’s delivery to maximize his effectiveness against left-handed hitters.

Mike:

I read that when d’Arnaud came to New York for his MRI John Buck wanted to meet him at the airport. Buck clearly is interested in mentoring d’Arnaud. By the time d’Arnaud heals the Super 2 deadline may have passed. I see no reason to send d’Arnaud back to Las Vegas if that is the case.

 

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Jimmy:

Yes, yes, yes. He has nothing to prove down in AAA, and everything to learn up in New York, especially with Buck as his mentor. Two weeks in AAA to get his timing, then up.

Joe Torre, Ali Torre, Frank McCourt, Jamie McCourtAnd for all those folks who are eager to help save Fred Wilpon his money, consider this this: The Los Angeles Times reports that Frank McCourt just turned a $1.278 BILLION profit – that’s after taxes, pure profit — on his sale of the Dodgers. He bought the team in 2004, sold it in 2011, and basically acted like an idiot in between. So I’m not too worried about Fred’s pocketbook.

Mike:

You know I agree.

With the Dodgers in town, my mind drifted to Zack Greinke. What a crazy injury to get right after signing a big contract. When I looked up Greinke he is listed as 6’2″, it’s funny, I always thought of him as smaller. He made his way up the chain with pinpoint control, more a low 90′s guy, but the ability to put the ball anywhere he wanted. I bring this up because Montero pitched again and it is getting ridiculous how great his early season has been. If he can be anything like Greinke that would be pretty great.

Jimmy:

Montero’s numbers have been insane. Again, I am of the point of view that Las Vegas is an evil place to send pitchers, and very possibly counter-productive. It’s like sending pitchers to the Rockies and hoping they get cured in the mountain air. Um, they aren’t tubercular patients, and this isn’t Thomas Mann’s Magic Mountain. I see no reason whatsoever to send Montero to Vegas. None. When it’s time, jump him to NY. I hope the Mets fulfill this two-year AAA contract and get the hell out of Sin City.

The mountain air may have been seen as a cure to tubercular patients long ago, but it's no answer for pitching prospects.

The mountain air may have been seen as a cure for tubercular patients long ago, but it’s no place to send your most valued pitching prospects.

 

As for Wheeler, have you noticed how in subtle ways folks have turned on him because of his so-called poor start in Vegas, despite the fact he was coming off an injury? Even Terry Collins is in on the act. I’m actually reading people who are more excited about Collin McHugh! Wheeler is on a different planet and I reject the notion that pitching in PCL is going to help. He needs to get healthy, get some more innings, and come to New York. The sooner, the better.

Mike:

Truth is we should end up seeing both of these guys pretty soon. Anybody getting too excited about Collin McHugh — be careful what you wish for.

Jimmy:

Best scenario, he’s Dillon Gee II.

Mike:

As for Montero, your comments on Vegas should be kept in mind. Remember, when we promoted Wheeler to AAA last year the team was still based in Buffalo. These guys might not be too quick to move Montero to AAA, if at all.

Jimmy:

994460-2We also brought up Juan Lagares, who was tearing it up in the rarified air of Las Vegas. He’s a right-handed hitter, can run, and he’s been hot. I’ve never been much interested in him, no pop, but in the PCL he’s already hit 3 bombs (he hit 4 last season in nearly 600 PAs). But really, this was about saying goodbye to Kirkkkkk. Maybe Byrd sits more, he already looks exhausted. Juan likes to swing the bat, so it will be interesting to see how that plays in Citi Field. Sandy likes walks.

Mike:

Let’s face it if our organization thought Lagares was any good they never would have promoted him, for fear of starting his service-time clock. Ha. How backwards things have become. He fits better than Kirk as he is righty. Kirk was no more than an average defensive player, if Lagares proves he can go get it I like this move. Defensive replacements need to be excellent defenders. I know I’m stating the obvious, but….

Jimmy:

Have you been following the exploits of Shin-Shoo Choo? He’s been hit by more pitches than any other TEAM in baseball — 10 times in 19 games. Move over, Ron Hunt. He’s on a pace to have every bone in his body broken by August.

Mike:

I liked Choo a lot before this, thought he could be a possible answer to the big question: How do you replace Marlon Byrd? This puts me on a total Choo watch. Question though, do we know how many pitches he sees in an at bat before he gets hit? Because if it is less than four and he wants to be a Met, he better learn how to duck.

Jimmy:

Through the years, there’s a bunch of guys who were perennially rumored to be on their way to the Mets via a trade, players who never quite made it here. To me, Manny Ramirez tops that list. The thought of him slugging in New York under the scrutiny of the NY media, wow, what an entertaining circus that would have been. Watch this clip — it’s fabulous — as Manny takes a slow, slow trot around the bases in Taiwan. I love that guy. I wonder about his “pitches per plate appearance” totals. (Actually, no, I don’t.)

 

 

 

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20 comments

  1. Tom M says:

    While watching last night’s game I thought it was nice that the Dodgers were bought into bring your dog to the game promo. I thought it was even better they decided to put him in left field. Crawford is a reminder that you can pay a lot of money for no effort.

    Also thought it was interesting on the two plays he “dogged” it were against Bryd and Baxter. Not that I’m a big fan of either of them, but at least when they are in they give you everything they got.

    • Both those guys deserve credit. On Baxter, I think of him as an extremely limited player, but you can’t question the brain, the heart, the effort. He started the 9th by basically making an out, but ran hard, read the play perfectly, and got into scoring position. As for Byrd, just when I think he’ll give the team absolutely nothing, he goes out and hits a booming double, makes a terrific running grab (huge play), and lays down a tough sacrifice.

      He’s still an overall negative as a corner outfielder, but since spring training Byrd has clearly been a guy clawing and scratching and fighting to keep his major league career. If you play enough, you’re bound to do something eventually.

      I think he needs to sit more, which might help his overall usefulness. The idea that he’s a regular corner outfielder is crazy.

  2. Frank Francisco is to cavalry as Custer’s Last Stand is to military strategy.

    • That’s funny. He’s a hot-and-cold type pitcher, obviously, but I like him in a more flexible role. When Sandy first signed him, my first thought was that the plan (not to be confused with “THE PLAN”) was to trade him at the deadline.

      A flippable asset.

      It didn’t work out last season, maybe it might this year.

  3. Question: Did anyone see Buck’s pie-slam into Jordany last night? It didn’t look too celebratory to me. Thoughts?

  4. Michael Geus says:

    I did see it, and my friend and I just kind of looked at each other. I’m a known conspiracy theory guy though. Hopefully Buck is just bad at it, but it looked very aggressive.

    • Joe D at Metsmerized posted on it. Worth reading. The comments are also interesting, a divisive issue, race, and not an easy one to discuss. Both Gee and Turner tweeted about it’s aggressiveness. Interesting, too, that Jordany hits it on the day Collins declares him “a bench player” moving forward. Terry and his declarations: He’s an infielder, no, he’s an outfielder, no, he’s a utility guy, no, he’s a great kid, no, he doesn’t trust him in the field, and so on. Did you see that the Mets posted three outfielders for the All-Star Ballot: Duda, Baxter, and Kirkkkkk. Amazing.

  5. Michael Geus says:

    As I mentioned above I love a good conspiracy theory. And yes, it looked weird. But we really think all the players raced out of the dugout, found a way to act joyous doing so, while they waited to hurt Valdespin? And that Buck would pick that moment, with the videos that we now see, to go after Valdespin?

    I can’t get there.

    It sure seems like Collins (and his boss) are not fans of the guy but I just don’t think anyone was putting a “hit” on Jordany last night.

    • No, but it did not seem at all affectionate. It just struck a false note at a moment of celebration. Carlos Delgado is not in that dugout. I’ll be curious to see if there’s any follow up to this, though I expect for the wagons to circle and everyone to say the right things. It was interesting that both Gee and Turner tweeted on it, since I gather they saw (or sensed) something amiss. Shit happens, I guess, and men will be men.

      • Not to belabor this, because I don’t think it’s a big deal. But I found this quote from Buck: “He hit a good hard shot, he deserved a good hard pie,” the catcher said. “I promised him next time I’d go a little softer.”

  6. Michael Geus says:

    What would you do with Valdy? Play him at second over Murphy? In left over Duda? Or in Center every day. He can’t play right, he can’t throw at all. he can’t play short.

    Given the options I could see playing him in center for two months for kicks to see what he can do. The Lagares move (which the GM made) was strange to me as it seems designed to make sure that does not happen.

    I agree Collins does not seem to like Valdespin, but he also seems to have company above him. I don’t think Collins has a lot of power right now in the organization.

    That is not a defense of TC, it is the opposite, part of his job is managing up. That is an area where he seems to be failing, too many things are coming out of his mouth that sound like Alderson. Organizations need a balance, not yes men.

    • As I’ve said elsewhere, in the end I don’t think Jordany is a fit for this team, and much of that comes from the fact he’s a left-handed hitter. The glove is a problem, too. And maybe, possibly, there’s a cultural divide. I just feel bad for the kid, but you’re right, I don’t have a solution other than a trade.

  7. IB says:

    More feigned outrage from Joe D. “Deplorable” ??? Good lord.

  8. Ken H. says:

    What a game last night, but I agree that the Buck pie-smash on Valdespin was a little nuts. After watching the replay this morning, it was even more aggressive than I realized seeing it live last night. Not sure exactly what’s going on there. It’s safe to say that if Matt Harvey is the recipient of any future pies in the face, Buck will not be the purveyor.

    • ADDENDUM: Watching the game on TV from the exercise bike — I know you don’t know what that is, Mike, I’ll explain it to you later — Gary and Ron discussed the pie smash and showed a clip of it. Darling said, flatly, “I would never let a player to do that to me on the field. There would be a fight in the clubhouse.”

      For what it’s worth.

  9. eric says:

    Speed…Some Stick…Erratic….enough balls to actually play the game— and Marlon Byrd gets AB’s?

    He’s an asshole?….. he’s an asshole who has the possibility of being a player—- I have not understood the constant burial of the guy.

  10. Don P says:

    The pie in the face is very lame, regardless of agressiveness. Enough already! But if you’re going to do it, It would be nice have some PIE! It looked like pie plate to the nose.

    I’ve got to side with Mike on this one. We don’t want to play Valdespin because of his DEFENSE? on this team? Is he worse than our defensive replacement, Baxter? Why are we so afraid to find out what we have with some of these guys? Put him in center for 6 weeks, every day. Then assess the situation. I think this is guy is a player. He should at least be in a platoon.

  11. Michael Geus says:

    I would be fine with giving Valdespin six weeks in center but want to add that I suspect Jimmy would be even happier with that than me. Of the two of us he is more intrigued by Valdespin than I am.

    Mostly I see an opportunity to answer the question of what he is.

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