Mike's Mets

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Twelve days until pitchers and catchers report

The Mets news on this Super Bowl weekend features new Mets reliever Duaner Sanchez, a positive review of the Carlos Delgado trade, and the signing of another Cuban defector.

Mets.com: Duaner Sanchez
Bryan Hoch reports on new Mets setup man Duaner Sanchez. After closing games in LA at the end of last season, Sanchez has no problem returning to a setup role:

That's fine with me. I'm here to do what the manager tells me to do. It doesn't matter if I pitch in the first inning, the fourth, fifth or seventh. I'm here and I'll be in the bullpen when they need me.

Sanchez has enjoyed a pair of solid major league seasons with LA, and Hoch cites Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson that Sanchez is right on the threshold of elevating his game further:

I think Sanchez is ready to take off. I think [when] you look at the experience and career paths of guys and all the factors involved, there's a maturity level.

Very few pitchers break into the big leagues and mature when they're real young. It takes a few years to understand how to gain control and manage games.

NY Sports Day: More Sanchez
Joe McDonald also speaks with Duaner Sanchez, and quotes the new Mets setup man that closing games at the end of last season (he went 8-8 in save opportunities) was valuable experience:

It definitely made me a better reliever. Because I learned how to deal with pressure and that is one place you get it by closing games.

ESPN Insider: The Delgado trade
Jerry Crasnick has a column about significant off-season trades, and he picked the Carlos Delgado acquisition as the most significant. After giving Omar credit for landing one of the few significant 1B bats out there, Crasnick points out the upside:

Delgado, a career .952 OPS guy, radically changes the dynamic in Flushing. He hit 33 homers and ranked third in the NL in slugging percentage last season, despite logging roughly half his at-bats with Juan Encarnacion, Paul Lo Duca and an ineffectual Mike Lowell batting behind him. True, Shea Stadium isn't much fun for hitters. But Delgado's 2005 home-road splits (.283-16-55 at Dolphins Stadium and .318-17-60 on the road) show he's impervious to ballpark dimensions.

The Mets still need Jose Reyes to start thinking more like a leadoff hitter, but the combination of Lo Duca, a healthy Carlos Beltran, Delgado, David Wright and Cliff Floyd in the 2-6 spots gives the Mets reason to hope they'll surpass their total of 722 runs scored.

Crasnick feels the Cubs may have given up more in talent in getting Juan Pierre than the Mets did for Delgado. Much depends on what pitching prospect Yusmeiro Petit turns out to be.

New York Post: Another Cuban Defector joins the Mets
Mark Hale reports that the Mets have signed 6'3", 230 pound Cuban first basesman Michel Abreu to a minor league deal. The 31-year-old Abreu was Cuba's home run leader for four straight years before defecting in February 2004. He was under contract with the Red Sox briefly last September, but the contract was voided. Abreu most likely will provide the Mets with insurance in AAA-Norfolk, but could compete for a bench job.

While Jim Duquette was the Mets' GM, he signed another Cuban defector, pitcher Alay Soler. Soler's entry into the U.S. was delayed for a year with visa problems. That was straightened out over the winter, and Soler is expected to compete for a job in spring training.

ESPN Insider: Scouting
Rob Neyer has an interesting article on the art of scouting talent, and how it might evolve in the future.

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  • 1. We all know the Mets are 1 SP short. Bensons arm/shoulder make him a part. And his 8.5M salary was restrictive. At whatever cost I am glad benson and his .400/record in QS (exaggeration).

    Matt Clement would be a good fit right now, Jose Contreras would be dynamic. The CWS I think have gone backwards if they swap vaz for contreras/Mccarthy. Another candidate is Jason Schmidt.

    2. There have only been whispers but D. sanchez could convert precedence is Juan sosa (Atl) who saved the braves season last yr.

    3. Fearless prediction. Soler could start in the #5 slot. Then Heilman comes in if someone is injured. But traxx, could be traded during Spr fever. if Heilman IS ready. Last yr traxx was very traxx-like, one GREAT start, one atrocious start. One mediocre start.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:52 PM  

  • I've always liked Clement -- but he has some Victor Zambrano in him and that doesn't play well. I would have been okay with him as a free agent but not giving up one of our few prospects at this point.

    Contreras scares me because he's listed at 34 and probably older. Do we need another old starter?

    I think we need D. Sanchez for the 'pen, as you can't trust J. Julio. I agree with you that he could start, as he has several effective pitches -- more than a setup man usually has.

    I think you might be right about Soler -- they seem really high on him.

    Would rather see Heilman start than Trax -- if they can find someone to get lefties out in the 'pen.

    By Blogger Mike, at 2:09 PM  

  • I agree on clement VZ. I also think VZ at 31 has a great deal of upside. I hope he is really a yr removed from those elbow issues.

    I doubt pelfrey/humber are any closer than 2-3 yrs away. (ala Dave Wright/A heilman), It really takes 2+ yrs to get to the Ml.Interesting that petit ended the yr with more props than Bannister, who has pedigree and had reached the higher level.

    I am content to start the yr With pedro/Glavine/VZ/Heilman and traxx/Maine/Soler. Then Lopez/Perisho/Sanchez/Wagner/Bradford-Schmoll) In the pen. Is Steve Colyer an option? Could Traxx, kaz and ? net Mike Maroth? Detroit needs pieces.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:13 PM  

  • I like Zambrano, and agree on the upside. Wish people would let go of Kazmir and lighten up on VZ. Unless they make a trade they will need him.

    If Pelfrey doesn't get hurt like Humber did this season and performs in the minors, I think he can be pitching in NY in Sept. 2007 and be the 4 or 5 starter in 2008.

    Petit, for all of the doubters he had, missed a lot of bats. Bannister didn't. Guys that don't miss bats always have more to prove at every level. (BTW, I like Bannister from what little I know.)

    If Heilman looks good as a starter and Soler does, too, I still wouldn't mind seeing Trax dealt for something -- even propsect(s). I agree with your first comment -- 1 good start, one awful. Got nothing against him, but would love more upside in the rotation slot. Trax is what he is at this point -- nowhere to go but down.

    I've heard so little about Colyer I'm not sure he is still Mets property.

    You think Mike Maroth is much upgrade to Trax? To me he is just younger, LHP version of Trax. Guess they could use the leftie. Still would rather get back decent prospect, but that's just me.

    By Blogger Mike, at 3:38 PM  

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