Sorry for the lack of updates over the past couple of weeks, but I’ve been extraordinarily busy. Here is today’s roundup of Mets information from the blogosphere:
- Now that the Mets are without Victor Zambrano for the rest of the year, the team will obviously be looking around for a replacement. Eric Simon at Mets Geek examines the various options the Mets have. ESPN’s Buster Olney took an in-depth look in his blog (subscription required) at the possibility of the Mets dealing for Barry Zito, an idea they have long flirted with. He writes:
Inevitably, the Mets will tinker with patch jobs before they have this internal discussion, following up on cursory trade talks they’ve had with Oakland in recent months: "Should we trade Lastings Milledge for Barry Zito as part of our all-out effort?"
But if Zito is made available, the Mets would be the front-runners because they have Milledge. And three talent evaluators said over the weekend that Oakland GM Billy Beane loves the outfielder above all other prospects. "He’d make the deal [something built around Zito for Milledge] right now," says one scout.
Olney concludes that:
Personally, I wouldn’t trade Milledge for the left-hander, because Milledge is an extraordinary talent. But you’d have a very hard time finding fault with the Mets if they were to be aggressive and make a deal for the best pitcher available who would give them a chance to succeed in late October.
- The New York Daily News’ Adam Rubin has a press release from SportsNet New York, which says that the Mets TV ratings are up dramatically from last year. Apparently SNY’s Mets broadcasts have an increase of 64% over last year’s showing from MSG/FSN NY. However, those results reflect the season-to-date, and I seem to remember that there was a MSG/ FSN NY blackout for Time Warner cable customers in the first two weeks of last season, which significantly hurt the Mets ratings. More telling might be the 50% increase in household viewership, which takes into account all of last year’s ratings.
I will be back and posting regularly (I hope) from now on. Also, I might consider making additions to the sight in the next couple of weeks. If you have any suggestions to improve the site, make sure to leave a comment – they are always read and appreciated.
Blogger’s Note: I saw all of last night’s win over San Francisco, but was only half awake for most of the game. I will also miss most of this afternoon’s game against the Giants. But I’ll be back full-time for the Atlanta series this weekend. I will post this morning’s roundup and maybe I’ll have time tonight for a recap of this afternoon’s game.
- The Mets won 4-1 last night, behind two late-inning home runs. Xavier Nady continued his hot start last night with his 6th dinger, a solo shot in the 7th inning to break a 1-1 tie. Cliff Floyd followed that up with a two-run bomb into McCovey Cove to put the Mets up 4-1. Steve Trachsel pitched very well through 6 innings, with a solo homer by Barry Bonds accounting for the only San Francisco run. Here is Marty Noble’s recap.
- We are still awaiting the Mets’ decision on Friday as to whether or not Carlos Beltran will be put on the DL. Jeremy Heit makes the case over at Mets Geek that Lastings Milledge deserves to be called up from AAA if Beltran lands on the disabled list. Speaking of talented Mets’ prospects, Mike Pelfrey got promoted to AA yesterday.
- Gary Gillette has a good post over at ESPN Insider (subscription required) about the challenges the Atlanta Braves face this year if they hope to win the division once again.
So, unless Atlanta makes some unexpected trades, the success or failure of these sophomores probably will determine whether the Braves can hold off the hard-charging Mets in 2006. When you field a lineup with career minor leaguer Matt Diaz batting third against lefty Chris Capuano, as Atlanta did Monday in Milwaukee, someone has to step up to the plate if the Braves want to continue their remarkable streak.
Mets play today at 3:30 in the rubber game of the San Francisco series.
I missed most of last night’s loss to the Giants, but here’s Marty Noble’s recap. Atlanta lost 3-2 to Milwaukee, so the Mets remain in first place by three games.
Buzz & Roundup
- David Lennon writes in Newsday that the Mets have "targeted Friday as the deadline to place Carlos Beltran on the 15-day disabled list and manager Willie Randolph suggested for the first time yesterday that Lastings Milledge could be his replacement if that happens." Milledge has been tearing it up in AAA Norfolk, hitting over .400 and winning Batter of the Week honors.
- Mets Geek has a minor league recap from yesterday, which notes that super-prospect Mike Pelfrey won his second game with the St. Lucie Mets. Pelfrey’s record is now 2-1 and he has a 1.64 ERA.
- Mets’ color commentator Keith Hernandez remains under fire for his insensitive remarks about a female trainer in the San Diego Padres dugout during Saturday night’s broadcast. Neil Best at Newsday takes issue both with Hernandez’s remarks, and his original, inadequate explanation of them.
Matt Cerrone at Mets Blog writes that Cliff Floyd’s rib cage strain is a day-to-day issue that may keep him out of tonight’s starting lineup. However, he quotes an optimistic Floyd as saying that the injury is "not as bad as I thought it was going to be…It was worse last year. I’m looking forward to trying to play [today]." As for Carlos Beltran, the Mets appear to be taking a cautious route with his hamstring problem. I wouldn’t expect him to be in the lineup tonight.
The Mets are apparently interested in bullpen help and are looking at Kansas City’s Jeremy Affeldt and Mike MacDougal, according to the Newark Star-Ledger and ESPN Insider.
Insider also reports that the Mets and Yankees remain interested in Oakland’s Barry Zito, who the A’s are reportedly interested in trading.
WFAN’s Mets beat reporter Ed Coleman is reporting that Victor Zambrano, who left the game today’s game with a tweaked hamstring, will in all likelihood miss his scheduled start on April 5th against the Washington Nationals. Replacing him, Coleman reports, will be rookie Brian Bannister, in the first start of his big league career.
While Coleman did not think Zambrano’s injury was “DL-able”, he wasn’t sure whether Zambrano would be able to pitch in Bannister’s scheduled slot on the 9th of April against the Marlins. However, Coleman was unable to think of another candidate to fill the role if Zambrano is unable to go.
Coleman also reported that pitcher Jose Lima has agreed to be sent down to AAA Norfolk, which was surprising given that Lima had said earlier that he would not except such a demotion. Also, WFAN is reporting that relief pitchers Heath Bell and Darren Oliver have been told that they will not make the Mets Opening Day roster.
After spending a good deal of the afternoon trying to track down baseball contacts of mine about the possibility of Aaron Heilman being traded, especially rumors that he would be swapped for Tampa’s Julio Lugo, I was unable to find a single person to support such a rumor. This confirms an earlier report by Matthew Cerrone, which said that Heilman was going to ‘grin and bear it’ in regards to being sent back to the bullpen.
Assuming that Heilman isn’t dealt, it appears that the final spot on the roster will come down to a battle between Heath Bell and Victor Diaz. This is assuming that Pedro Feliciano wins the spot the 6th bullpen spot, which looks likely at this point. Diaz would probably get the spot over Bell, especially given the poor performance of starting right fielder Xavier Nady in the second half of the spring. Tampa is supposedly interested in Bell, as well.
Courtesy of Mets Blog, the first time through the rotation will look like:
Tom Glavine, vs. Nationals on April 3
Victor Zambrano, vs. Nationals on April 5
Pedro Martinez, vs. Nationals on April 6
Steve Trachsel, vs. Marlins on April 7
Tom Glavine, vs. Marlins on April 8
Brian Bannister, vs. Marlins on April 9
There was a paragraph in today’s St. Petersburg Times which said the Tampa Bay Devil Rays not only had an interest in Mets’ reliever Heath Bell, who is rumored to being close to a demotion to AAA Norfolk, but also in Aaron Heilman. Heilman was told yesterday that he was being sent to the bullpen, even after his terrific spring had led many to believe he would win the fifth spot in the Mets’ starting rotation. Instead, however, that spot went to rookie Brian Bannister, with Mets officials stating that they thought Heilman would contribute more from the bullpen, where he was outstanding last year.
Now, so the rumor has it, Heilman may want a trade to a place where he could get a starting job. The article states that the Devil Rays would be willing to part ways with second baseman Julio Lugo, who could start at second base for New York. However, Mets Blog’s Matthew Cerrone is reporting that the latest buzz from Mets camp is that “[H]eilman will simply stifle it and do his job, knowing that baseball is a freakish game and a lot can change, and change fast . . .”
I’m going to do some digging, and see if I can find anything more on this potential Heilman trade.