Mets Beast

Mets news, crazy ideas, and gut feelings

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Bannister In, Heilman Out

The Mets are going with inexperience. Brian Bannister, the 25 year-old spring training surprise is the new 5th starter. The righty is the son of former major league lefty Floyd Bannister, has been inserted into the starting rotation for the sake of bullpen help. Aaron Heilman, the 27 year-old righty who had a spectacular year in the bullpen throughout the second-half of last year, is back in the set-up spot. He was the perennial favorite to start the season in the rotation in the fifth spot. The Mets brass has other opinions. Omar Minaya feels that Heilman is the best way to get the ball to Billy Wagner. Many feel this same thing. It isn't fair to Heilman though, who is disappointed in the situation. "It is what it is. I'm certainly disappointed. ... But I'll go to the bullpen and give it my best. ... There aren't many people who can say what they want and get it."

I strongly adore his confidence in going back to this role. Heilman shows love for the Mets too. He'd rather be in the bullpen with the Mets than starting for any other team. That shows he is still confident he can one day be in the rotation that seems to age every minute of the day. Heilman has no choice but to accept his new role, but if he flourises in it, there is no doubt in my mind that he will have locked up a place on the Mets roster and starting rotation for next year. Not many expect Glavine or Trachsel to be back next year, and if someone in the rotation fails or faulters (e.g. Victor Zambrano, possibly Bannister), Heilman should be the first to fill in. It'll be tough to go from setting-up to starting again. That is the doubt in my mind. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't throw Heilman in there, since he is probably the most valued pitcher in the bullpen besides Billy Wagner.

"I'm happy to be here," he said. "We're going to have a good team this year, and I want to be a part of that." That's the sound of a team player.

If in fact Bannister or Zambrano faulter, or anyone else in the rotation is injured, we'll probably see "Lima Time!" or Jeremi Gonzalez, or possibly Yusaku Iriki. Mike Pelfrey is a longshot in that situation, but he could see the lights of Shea in September.

John Rocker calls Tom Glavine a "jackass".
Interesting. This is a good read.

OF Lastings Milledge, OF Tike Redman, C Sandy Martinez and 1B Todd Self were reassigned to minor league camp. 2B Jeff Keppinger, LHP Royce Ring and LHP Juan Perez were optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.

I think Milledge will be at Shea at some point this year. There will be hype, and I'm gonna be hyped too. I'm gonna be just as hyped as when David Wright came up.

Tike Redman, who had the infamous 113 pitch at-bat against Braden Looper before the all-star break has not made the team. They seem to like the speedy, well-NL East traveled Endy Chavez. He was previously on the Expos/Nationals, and the Phillies.

Sandy Martinez is basically insurance if Paul LoDuca or Ramon Castro go down to injury.

Todd Self had no chance.

Jeff Keppinger was the other option at second base, but Willie Randolph prefers A-Hern's glove to Kepp's bat.

Royce Ring and Juan Perez failed to impress, and only Pedro Feliciano and Darren Oliver are the lefties vying for the spot. It's a tight competition between the 2 non-roster invitees.

Kaz was placed on the 15 day DL, retroactive to March, with a strained MCL. He is available to come back April 8.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

To Bunt or Not To Bunt?

Carlos Beltran has a 7 year contract worth $119 million. Do you get paid that amount of money to bunt? Well, ever since his overhyped, underachieving season of 2005, Beltran should no longer be considered a slugger, but he can slug one out if he had to. The power should be coming off the bats from Carlos Delgado, David Wright, and Cliff Floyd. I know the Mets are spending a ton of money on him, but if bunting helps get runs on the board and runs batted in for the sluggers, then let it be. If he's bunting, and popping them up, or not sacrificing, then there is a problem. Fans might not want Beltran bunting because of his previous success as a power hitter, but I think Beltran and everybody knows he is not going to be a power hitter in the Big Apple or Shea Stadium. There is a chance of getting more home runs when the new stadium is built, but he is going to be over 30 years old by then. A switch-hitter of his size is not really a power hitter. Too bad Carlos Delgado wasn't a bit younger... he could have fun in the new stadium, since it's going to be more friendly to hitters. But for the time being, Carlos Beltran is better suited to bat second, move runners along, and make contact. And in the second place of the lineup, fastballs come along a lot. Beltran is a good fastball hitter.

A lineup of Jose Reyes, Beltran, Carlos Delgado, David Wright, Cliff Floyd, Paul LoDuca, Xavier Nady, and Anderson Hernandez is a fantastic looking lineup. Once you get towards the bottom though, it is not a very scary lineup. But I think we have all the offense we need in the first half of the lineup.

SNY is changing its focus to signing with satellite companies.
"Now the focus will turn to the two major satellite distributors. An industry source said DirecTV almost certainly will sign on in time for the April 3 opener."

About time. I am a very impatient person, and this will finally make me a little bit more patient about the DirecTV-SNY situation. I'm just hoping they broadcast it in HD.

Tom turns 40 today.
"Willie Randolph obviously isn't concerned about Glavine's age, either, telling reporters shortly after the game, 'He's our Opening Day starter. We're in good hands, that's for sure.'"

Tom feels good, and that's all that counts. When you're 7 years younger than a player on your team when you turn 40, you know you're still young at heart.

The Mets take on the Astros today at 1:05 pm. The game can be seen on WB11 and MLB.TV, and can be heard on Gameday Audio. Brian Bannister, who has a shot to be the 5th starter, will start for the Mets in Kissimmee, FL, the spring home of the Astros. Andy Pettitte will start for Houston.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

I'm Back

Sorry for the long time for no posting. When the 2006 season starts on April 3rd, Tom Glavine will take on Livan Hernandez, but I'll be in school for most of the game. While I hate the fact that's how it has to be, I will be posting occasionally to regularly depending on my schoolwork. Once summer rolls around, I'll be posting probably everyday. Whoever still reads this site, I'm looking to get it back on it's feet. I am completely psyched for this season, if anybody isn't already. I will have more to come in the upcoming days. I'm just getting restarted now, but I promise I will be a loyal blogger and Mets fan. At least no more "Got'em's" from Fran Healy this year. Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Gary Darling are perfect for this job. Gary is probably one of the best play-by-play announcers, and Hernandez and Darling former Mets, and not to mention, World Series winners. Not only is our team looking like winners, but so is our broadcasting crew. I like it.

Pedro is a No-Go for the opener.
I guess we all seen this one coming. Tom Glavine isn't a bad pitcher, but if he puts up the numbers like he did last season, he will be one of the most vital parts for a successful 2006 season. While everything rests on the big toe of Pedro Martinez, a lot of other things have to work out for the mets in the right way.

SNY has reached an agreement with Cablevision.
I could care less about this, but many Mets fans have Cablevision. Since I have DirecTV, rumor is that DirecTV and DISH, along with others, will soon reach agreements with SNY. Personally, I can't wait.