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Players That Intrigue Me for 2010

By Mike Silva ~ September 8th, 2009. Filed under: Mike Silva.

I was thinking of some players on the Mets that intrigue me for 2010. My criteria for these players are that they are inexpensive, yet could play a role with the big league ballclub.

Josh Thole/Omir Santos – Thole is the most obvious name that comes to mind. It’s great that he is 4-9 in his first two games, but we all remember Daniel Murphy’s two months in 2008. I am all for giving him a shot to earn the starting catcher’s job provided there is a decent veteran backup. Omir Santos seems to do a good job behind the plate both defensively and calling a game. His offense can be tolerated, but only in a beefed up Mets lineup. Both Thole and Santos could be a decent backstop combo. I would like to see the Mets bring in a AAA veteran (i.e. Mike Defelice in 2006) just in case something happens to either player. Who knows, after this season, Brian Schneider may be that AAA veteran.

Daniel Murphy/Ike Davis – I said yesterday that I am uncomfortable giving Murphy 1b full time. There are two prerequisites for giving Murphy another 500 AB’s. First, you need a legitimate power source in LF and the comfort in knowing that Ike Davis can be a fallback option. Davis is coming off a huge minor league season. Most believe he will need some time in AAA, but is a candidate for a midseason callup. He could be the cleanup hitter of the future, but the Mets need something more concrete in 2010. Preferably I would like Murph to be a super sub and sign a cheap replacement for one year (i.e. Nick Johnson) or trade for a player on the last year of his contract (i.e. Derrek Lee).

Angel Pagan – Love the bat, can’t stand the baseball instincts. Pagan has shown quite a bit of “Jose Reyes” in his offensive game. As a matter of fact, I think he has done a better job in the leadoff spot than Reyes did the first two months. His baseball instincts leave much to be desired. An OF of Pagan, Beltran, and Francouer is ok, but only if you have Carlos Delgado type at 1B. I would feel more comfortable giving Pagan a “2006 Endy Chavez” role. If Francoeur slumps you can easily plug Pagan in his place. Regardless, he needs to work on the fundamentals during spring training. Some of his mistakes are unprofessional, even for a young player.

Pat Misch – I don’t know what to make of him, but he has done a great job when he’s pitched. Do I think he is another Jaime Moyer or late bloomer like Rick Reed? No, not yet anyway, but you can do worse for a second lefty out of the pen. With Adam Bostick, Misch, and Roy Merritt the Mets have some interesting options for a second lefty out of the bullpen. This was the one huge mistake that Omar Minaya made during the offseason. You can’t compete, especially in a division with the Philadelphia Phillies, with only one left handed reliever.

Nelson Figueroa – I doubt Figueroa will be here in 2010. The Mets jerked him around this year and he has pitched well enough that a ballclub will guarantee him a better chance at a big league job. Depending on the bullpen construction I would consider him for a 6th starter/long relief spot ala Darren Oliver in 2006.

Fernando Nieve – Don’t know what to make of him in terms of starting vs. relief. He throws hard and competes. The walk rate is a huge problem coming out of the bullpen, but Nieve is still young enough where you can teach that live arm some control. Would have been nice to see a larger sample out of him, but his season ending injury prevented that.

Anderson Hernandez – Stop laughing. A-Hern has done a decent job as a backup. Of course anyone with an OPS+ of 85 will get exposed playing every day. That’s why he is a bench player. The Mets can’t waste millions on backups like Alex Cora. These are the kind of positions that good teams fill from within. Look at Boston picking Nick Green up off the scrap heap. Joe Demayo spoke with a scout that said Hernandez should abandon switch hitting and just hit right-handed. His splits as a RHB are pretty solid. The defense isn’t as good as I remember, but the overall package has developed since his early days with the Mets.

Nick Evans – Why is this kid not playing? Nothing was more depressing than when I interviewed Evans after a Trenton/Binghamton game in June. He seemed so frustrated about his situation with the Mets. It’s almost as if they are punishing him for slumping in April. The kid went to a sports psychologist and has hit in small samples. I think his ceiling is a bench player, but what’s so wrong with that? We know what Corey Sullivan can do, but don’t know how Nick Evans has developed. Stick him in LF the last couple of weeks and let’s see what he’s got.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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15 Responses to Players That Intrigue Me for 2010

  1. Dallas

    Hey Mike, I’m surprised you didnt mention Niese or Fmart. I found the Niese injury more disappointing than many of the others because he would have gotten the chance to cement his role in 2010 after dominating AAA for 3 months and it would have been a nice look to the future.

  2. R U Kidding

    Omar’s one huge mistake was not getting a second lefty for the bullpen? How about handing the LF job to Murphy and passing on Abreu? How about not trading Helilman for Marquis? How about not having a veteran 1B as insurance for a Delgado injury?

  3. Dave

    I’m totally with you on Nick Evans. He deserves better. Nieve is a forgotten commodity and I really think he could be a good #3 or #4 starter in the future with that fastball.

  4. Mike Silva

    I think the Mets would have been ok, if healthy. They were exposed in the pen earlier in the year and had to overwork Feliciano. A 2nd lefty is what I questioned all the way back in spring training. The other points are fair, but weren’t concerning to me. I thought they would have been able to compete.

  5. edog

    I completely disagree with Daniel Murphy.
    He seems like a nice guy and is a hard worker and hustler but I find it crazy that so many fans want to give him a pass because he was learning a new position in the big leagues.
    He wasn’t forced to play out of position for the good of the team. He had to learn 1B because he couldn’t play anywhere else.
    To me, unfortunately, he is just an organizational guy to fill the AAA roster. He can’t hit well enough to play a corner and can’t field well enough to be a utility guy.
    I have zero faith in Omar already but if he is considering Murphy as the 2010 1B, it would seal it.
    I agree with Rob Neyer: You can reincarnate Ted Williams to play LF and it still would be no excuse for leaving Murphy at 1B.
    It will be a good test for Omar to find a reasonable stopgap for next year until Ike Davis is ready which I hope won’t be til 2011.

  6. Mike Silva

    Let me address the Niese situation.

    I am considering Niese pretty much a part of the 2010 rotation mix. The guys mentioned above are “bubble” candidates. Some brought up Bobby Parnell. He doesn’t intrigue me as a starter, I already know he can relieve and believe that is where he belongs. Cubs game notwithstanding.

  7. Dan

    One of the best posts I’ve seen in a long time. Here’s my take and it’s very similar to yours.

    1) I think the Mets have to go with Thole/Santos next year. There aren’t any other options worth mentioning. The AAA+er as insurance (DiFelice, Cancel, etc) is correct, in my eyes. That’s our #8 or #7 hitter, too.

    2) I think you nailed it with Pagan. I’m okay with Pagan in CF and Beltran in LF if we *have* to save money, but we have to get someone who can minimally put up a .270/.340/.460 at 1B. However, I think that…

    3) We may need to roll the dice and see if Chris Carter is that masher. No, not long-term, but for a year, maybe two. He’ll be seasonal age 27 next year, which is close to if not as hit peak. He could put up a good-enough line from the 6 hole, and allow us to put money into our rotation. I’d prefer Derrek Lee or Prince Fielder, of course, but I don’t see either happening. Let’s say we can get Carl Crawford, though: I’d be OK with Carter/Crawford. Carter/Pagan, not so much.

    4) Our biggest need is SP #2. Spend money there. Move John Maine to the 8th inning bullpen role, under the pretense of repetitive arm fatigue. Go with Niese as the #5 and, yes, OP as the #4.

  8. Nate W.

    I’m liking the internal pitching options you mention to fill out the pitching staff next year. They may be nothing special, but having guys like Maine, Nieve, and Misch competing with Niese for the 5th starter spot, and for the last few spots in the pen will be a lot better than the Casey Fossum’s and Freddy Garcia’s of this past spring.

    I agree with Dan, that a #2 starter is most important. If you are looking at one of the guys I named above as the 5th starter its a nice staff, but if you are looking at two of them following Santana, Pelfrey, and Perez then its not very pretty and frankly build on too much hope.

    I’m thinking we won’t see a big bat addition and will be banking an improved offense on health. I just don’t see them blowing out the budget for Holliday however much they need more power.

  9. Metsguyinmichigan

    Are we writing off Fernando Martinez for 2010? Like Niese, F-Mart’s injury was a crying shame because we never got a real chance to see what he can do.

  10. Mike Silva

    Here is what I will say about F-Mart

    Wake me up when he

    1) Stays healthy

    2) Puts together any semblance of a productive season either at MILB or MLB. Right now Ike Davis, IMO, is the Mets most polished positional prospect- not F-Mart

  11. steven gerrard

    I agree with you Mike about Nick Evans. It’s annoying because you have Sullivan (who is hitting), but Francoeur (who has slumped a bit) playing, and you know what they do, but Evans gets an at bat a game.

  12. Gigi

    I have to say, I think our biggest problem is starting pitching–looking at Pelf, Perez, & Maine’s numbers from this year are quite frankly totally disappointing considering how much we were expecting from those guys. Of course, we need one real power bat to make up for the loss of Delgado. A real question is not only whether or not everyone will adequately recover from injury, but if D.Wright will recover from his season long power outage and if Beltran will put up power numbers ala 2006 (as opposed to 2005 or even 2008…). There are so many genuine unknowns about the 2010 team!

  13. sukhi

    We can get by with Carter/Murphy/or one year stop gap type veteran combination at first base. Pagan and Francure should be the right field platoon. Legit power bat in the left. And a upgrade at second base. I always wonder why these fringe offensive players don’t change to offensively less demanding positions such as second base. Nick Evan seems like a very good athlete and should be able to learn to play second base thus increasing his value tremendously. Even Murphy has shown a very good range and good hands at first, why not learn to play second base where he will get a guaranteed roster spot. He doesn’t have the speed to play the outfield but definitely has the quickness to play the second. How about moving David Wright to play second ( he has the speed, quickness and good hands) and get someone else to play third, a position much easier to fill. Anyways we seem to have many third basemen in our system. David Wright at second with that offense could be a hall of fame type player. Can he not play better or equal to Robinson Cano?…

  14. Mel

    lets be real. if any of these guys is playing full time next yr the team is cooked

  15. Jim

    I think the Mets should go after Orlando Hudson. Very good 2nd baseman & good offense. I’m beginning to wonder that ever since Rick Peterson left, notice how many pitchers are getting hurt. What the Mets also need to do is build their lineup according to their ballpark. Not many homeruns are gonna be hit there. Do what the Cardinals did in the 80′s. Very big outfield, get speed on that team & most singles will turn into doubles. The reason our bullpen is struggling, is by the time the starters get to the 5th inning, they are close to 100 pitches. Quit walking all these guys. Challenge them. Walking batters puts your fielders to sleep.

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