Sunday Paper (Year 2, Volume XXXV)
I want to take a look at the future of the Mets.
But in order to do that, we have to go three weeks into the past.
On that day, August 8th, the Mets started a lineup that featured 7 of 9 players that were homegrown.
It was the first time since 1990 the Mets had fielded such a lineup...and I have a feeling we won't be seeing it again anytime soon.
The 7 were: Jose Reyes (SS), Angel Pagan (RF), David Wright (3B), Ike Davis (1B), Fernando Martinez (LF), Josh Thole (C), and Ruben Tejada (2B). A few of those guys are here to stay - Wright and/or Reyes (I've said my piece on them
), Davis, Thole. The Mets are sticking with Tejada and letting him struggle, which to me is a good thing for his development, and shows me that the Mets are committed to him. Martinez and Pagan I'm just not sure about.
Pagan is having a career season. It's the kind of season that precedes a player getting traded, though I'm sure the Mets wouldn't trade Pagan unless they were getting a great deal. But the reason it's tempting to sell high with Pagan is that he has shown that he can be injury-prone in the past, so there's less of a chance he'll have another season like this in the future.
And then there's Martinez. The Mets brought him up with Tejada to play regularly. Unlike Tejada, Martinez was taken out of the lineup pretty quickly. Then he was sent back down...where he was subsequently injured (he's another player with the injury bug, like Pagan...and Reyes, who, incidentally, has re-aggravated his oblique injury). As much as the Mets are exposing Tejada and letting him struggle (with the bat) publicly, it seems like the Mets are trying to hide Martinez. Almost like he's not what they had hoped...and they're going to try to unload him on some unsuspecting partner in a trade. I'm not sure Martinez's future - if he has a major league future - is with the Mets.
The encouraging part of the Mets future is that Mike Pelfrey, another homegrown talent, seems to have figured himself out again, Jonathan Niese (homegrown) looks like he's here to stay, and who knows what Jenrry Mejia will have to offer in the Majors. At Binghamton, since returning from injury as he's being transitioned to a starting pitcher, Mejia has thrown 24 innings, given up just three runs, and struck out 21.
The lineup may never again feature 7, 8, or 9 players who grew up in their minor league system, but the Mets of 2011 and beyond will have an exciting core of homegrown players beyond David Wright and Jose Reyes...an unthinkable prospect just a year ago.
*The Stephen Strasburg situation is really upsetting...and scary. Here's a guy who's been handled carefully every step of the way, and he's still facing Tommy John surgery. The Nationals are super careful with their young pitcher, the Texas Rangers, led by Nolan Ryan, are skewing away from pitch counts...It makes you wonder if there's even a right approach with these pitchers...especially when they are young and still stretching out their arms. What a shame for baseball, too, with the excitement Strasburg had generated.
*Forgive me if I get the music information wrong here: The new song by Eminem, with Rihanna, is "Love The Way You Lie", and Jeff Francoeur now uses this as his at-bat song. But at Citi Field, they don't play the tough-sounding Eminem part, just the slow, ballady Rihanna part. So every time Francoeur comes up, it sounds like there's a love song blasting in. (After a brief iTunes preview, I think I know why they don't play the Eminem part, but Francoeur might want to change the song and make it sound a little more intimidating.)
*May I suggest "Not Afraid". Angel Pagan was using that when I was there for the R.A. Dickey 1-hitter. Great coming-to-bat song.
*I know I've mentioned this to people before, don't know if I've written it: I don't know how SNY gets away with their ad campaign. It features two Indian sports store owners, struggling with English, playing the fool somewhat - it just seems like they could have gone down a less offensive route. It's been a couple of seasons of this now...someone must have complained by now, no? If not, I'm complaining.
*I don't know what kind of idiot you think I am...but if you think I watched a preseason football game on tape delay that I knew ended in a 16-11 score....well, you're right. But I fast-forwarded through a lot of it. And if you think I'm going to write about it, you're wrong. Except for me saying that this Jets offense had better get it together. In the first quarter the offense played a lot better than I was expecting, considering what I had heard of the game, but overall, if Mark Sanchez can't do anything against the likes of Washington and Carolina in the preseason, it will not be pleasant in the regular season against the likes of Baltimore and New England. I have a feeling we're going to be seeing more of the first-string offense than we normally would in a fourth preseason game next week. Lastly, Ian Eagle was in the booth - he usually is for Jets pre-season games. Much better than last week's game.
*I'm enjoying following a bunch of people on Twitter - I'd love it if you hopped on and followed me - 200miles_citi