Sunday, February 24, 2013

Pedro shut down

Left handed reliever Pedro Feliciano has been shut down for at least three weeks after a small hole was found in his heart.  After leaving the Mets for a more lucrative contract with the cross town Yankees, Pedro missed his entire contract due to shoulder injuries.  He has not pitched in the majors since 2010 but says he feels healthy,  the Mets have shut him down as a precaution until they can get a definitive diagnosis...

"With respect to his comment, that he has a hole in his heart, I don't think that's clear at this point," Alderson said. "What we need to do is wait over the next couple of weeks until there's a final diagnosis." source

Friday, February 15, 2013

A closer look at Marlon Byrd

It seems like all day, all we've heard is Byrd could end up the starting right fielder, so it seems only fitting to take a closer look at his career.  In discussing Byrd most reference his All Star year in Chicago but I was curious to find out whether he was a one hit wonder.

Byrd had been a top prospect in the Phillies organization when he broke into the majors in 2002, appearing in 10 games.  The next season he appeared in 135 games in which he hit .302 and came in 4th for the Rockie of the year award.  It looks like he had a sophomore slump hitting only .228 in 106 games.

For the second year in a row he struggled, which resulted in Philly trading him to Washington for Endy Chavez. In 2005 the Nats eventually sent him down after hitting .264 in 74 games, the next season he hit .223 in 78 games for Washington.

In 2007 he would sign with the Texas Rangers as a free agent and then spend the next three years there as an arbitration eligible player.  He thrived in Texas playing in 377 games and hitting .295 from 2007-2009.

After the 2009 season the Cubs would sign him to a three year 15M deal and for the first two years the contract would work out as he hit .284 in 271 games.  In April of 2012 Byrd was traded to the Red Sox for pitcher Michael Bowden, in 34 games for Boston he would hit .270.  In a roster crunch he was designated for assignment but then tested positive for PED, even though he did not play again in Boston he severed his 50 games on the restricted list.

His defense has never been questioned, he's always played a decent center field but can he produce offensively.  I'll take .270 from a center fielder and Byrd has achieved that or better in 7 of 11 seasons and 2 other seasons he hit over .265,  to be fair he has hit in the .220s in two other seasons...

But Collins challenged those assumptions. “We’ve come into camp saying, ‘Well, we’re looking to platoon here, we’re looking to platoon there,’ ” Collins said. “If Marlon Byrd is the same offensive player that he’s capable of being, we don’t need to platoon. We’ve got that guy.” source NY Times

Cowgill is a spark plug...

On December 18th the Mets traded Jefry Marte for 26y/o right handed hitting outfielder Collin Cowgill.  It's said that he can play a decent center field and he hit .269 in 104 at bats last season.  Throughout his short career Cowgill has been praised for his intangibles, specifically to be a spark plug of the offense...

Here's what was said after he was drafted by the D-Backs...

OF Collin Cowgill, fifth round (168): The senior at the University of Kentucky missed his junior year after having surgery on his hammate bone. He was a catalyst for the Wildcats and has a good approach at the plate. source

Last season in spring training with Oakland here's part of an interview with Cowgill

Q: Bob Melvin has said that even if you haven’t been in the game you come back to the dugout with your jersey all dirty and everything I’ve read there’s been praise for your work ethic. What does that mean to you and how do you go out and play the game that might be different from others?

A: It’s been like that my whole life. I’ve never been the biggest guy, the strongest guy, the most talented guy. I try to put myself in the position where at the end of the day I have no regrets. There is no reason why I shouldn’t perform because I put my work in, and do the best I can to prepare for the game. And whether or not I get hits or what not, I play hard and do what I can to help the team win. That’s always been my philosophy, whatever I can do on the field, whether it is running hard on a pop up or ground out, there’s always a chance somebody will make a mistake out there. I just want to put myself in a position to help the team win; I prepare that way, and hope to be successful. source Todd Van Poppel rockie card retirement plan 

Now this spring he's being compared to Lenny Dykstra

“Rico would have me hit leadoff sometimes in Double-A because he said I reminded him of Lenny Dykstra,” Cowgill said yesterday. “He was like, ‘Man, I was thinking about Lenny today and I want you to lead off.’ I tell you, that’s big shoes to fill right there.” source Newsday

Monday, February 11, 2013

My issue isn't Bourn it's the approach to the OF

Michael Bourn has signed with the Indians, it's of no consolation that the Mets were very close to signing him.  I do get how important draft picks are to a team rebuilding, especially as high as the 11th pick but I'm left wondering why our entire off-season came down to this.  In fact my issue with the front office is less to do with missing on Bourn over the 11th pick but more about the over all approach to the outfield this off-season.

You can't enter the off-season bashing your own outfield and then return that outfield in tact.  If there is even a remote chance that this could have happened the message should have been "we like our young players and want to see how they develop", all the while seeing what you can find, not saying "What Outfield".

I know Sandy was joking but having such a cavalier way of discussing the outfield leads me to believe that they had every intention of addressing the outfield, therefore; you can only come to one conclusion that they misplayed the off-season.  There were serviceable outfielders who would have been upgrades over the current roster who signed for reasonable deals; Ryan Ludwick, Matt Diaz, Jonny Gomes, and Scott Hairston  to name a few.

Even some of the players where it was borderline if they were up grades would have at least created competition for spots, such as Rick Ankiel, Ben Francisco and Austin Kearns.

I do like the Cowgill, Byrd and Brown signings, my point is if your going to go with that level of player then you should have brought in as many as you could find, throw it against the wall and see what sticks.

Right now the Mets have a small group of unproven and potentially mediocre outfielders who have very little risk of not making the team.  If the outfield competition is Duda, Baxter, Kirk, Cowgill, Brown and Byrd that means only one gets cut.  Unless he's awful, Byrd gets veteran status while Brown gets sent down basically.

Of course the Mets are trying to create some false competition by trying their bench infielders in the outfield but how is Lutz, Turner or Valdespin an upgrade over an actual outfielder.

Again how did the entire off-season approach to the outfield come down to one player on Feb. 11th who had a top draft pick attached to him in the first place, it leads me to believe the approach was flawed.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Campana would be a nice pick-up

When the Cubs made the Scott Hairston signing official they needed to make room on the 40 man roster.  OF Tony Campana was the casualty of the roster crunch and has been DFA.  Campana is now in limbo, the Cubs have 10 days to place him on waivers or to release him.  There has been some speculation that the Cubs waited this late in the off-season hoping teams didn't have room to claim him and maybe they could slip  him through waivers.  But for the next ten days the Cubs have the opportunity to make a deal with a team, after that the waiver process begins.

As far as the Mets needs Campana isn't a perfect fit since he's a lefty and as a lead-off hitter he isn't walking enough but he'd still be a nice addition.  The Cubs use him mostly as a number two or seven hitter, in the two hole he hit .282.  He's only 26 y/o and his base path speed is incredible, in his first two seasons he's stolen 54 bases in a 154 games.  He can play a solid center field and would only cost somewhere around 500k while still having options left....

By making this move late, the Cubs increased the odds that teams may let him pass through. Most teams have their 40 man rosters set at this point. However, Campana offers a unique skill with is top of the scale speed. Coupled with his ability to play CF, he could be useful for a team that can afford to carry him as their 5th outfielder. I have to think he'll get some interest and there is a good chance he gets claimed, even as teams head into the spring with full roster. source Chicago Now