February 2011

Analysis: Beltran to right field

Credit Carlos Beltran this: he made what appears to be the right decision for the Mets.

Beltran announced Monday that he will move to right field for the upcoming season, paving the way for Angel Pagan to start in center. According to metrics, it’s the smart move — in a little more than half a season in center field last year, Pagan ranked fourth in the Majors with an 11.8 Ultimate Zone Rating per 150 defensive games, according to the web site Fangraphs.com, which measures a player’s overall defensive contributions. And that’s no aberration — he holds a combined 12.4 UZR/150 at all three outfield positions for his career. Even in Beltran’s best defensive season, 2008, he posted a 12.2 UZR/150. Considering he is one surgery and three years removed from that season, it’s reasonable to think he might never reach that level again — while Pagan, in his age-29 season, could potentially improve. (Disclaimer: defensive stats at times can be murky, but do give a general idea of a player’s worth.)

For all Pagan’s offensive improvements last season, his bat also plays better in center. The Mets insisted that whatever they decided this season would be final, meaning if Beltran started in center field and suffered an injury, Pagan would remain in right. But Pagan’s bat and skill set are a better match for center, meaning that if Beltran does get injured, the Mets can safely plug in someone with more power and less range — a Nick Evans type, for example — in right.

—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

In case you missed it: 2/28

It’s easy for stories to get lost in the shuffle down here in Spring Training, with so much going on daily. Each Monday, I’m going to try to recap what happened on Mets.com and the greater world of baseball over the past week.

Monday, Feb. 21: The first new addition I profiled in camp was D.J. Carrasco, a versatile reliever from the D-backs by way of Northern California. Ostensibly trying out for the team as a starter, Carrasco will most likely fill the jack-of-all-trades role left vacant by the departed Hisanori Takahashi. He also has a sweet collection of vintage cars. Also Monday, new manager Terry Collins summoned some brimstone and fire in addressing the team prior to the first full-squad workout.

Tuesday, Feb. 22: Marty Noble filled in for me this day and interviewed Willie Harris and Scott Hairston about their history of beating the Mets with spectacular catches. Harris and Hairston are the two favorites to win backup outfield jobs this spring. Noble also provided union chief Michael Weiner’s take on the Francisco Rodriguez contract situation.

Wednesday, Feb. 23: Known for their diversity, the Mets draw many players from Latin America and Asia. But Germany? I wrote Wednesday about Kai Gronauer, a rare European prospect looking to hook on with the Mets. Also making news was Collins’ admission that had it been his choice, he would have kept Jenrry Mejia confined to the Minors last season.

Thursday, Feb. 24: Mets fans know Luis Castillo, they know Daniel Murphy and, to some extent, they even know Justin Turner. (They also know Jason Isringhausen, who is working on a new pitch in camp — but that’s beside the point.) But most do not yet know Brad Emaus, the fourth candidate in the second base competition and perhaps the favorite for the job.

Friday, Feb. 25: Some troubling off-the-field news surfaced Friday, when the Mets confirmed that Major League Baseball loaned them money to deal with a “short-term liquidity issue.” On the baseball front, things went smoother, with top prospect Matt Harvey discussing his offseason and Hairston homering twice in an intrasquad game.

Saturday, Feb. 26: Grapefruit League play began Saturday with a 5-5 tie against the Braves. Starting pitcher Jenrry Mejia, whose future remains conflicted, hit 94 miles per hour on the stadium radar gun. The Mets also announced that single-game tickets will go on sale March 14.

Sunday, Feb. 27: Oliver Perez’s bid to make the team began sourly, when the lefty allowed four runs in two innings against the Braves. Noble had the report from Orlando. Back home at Port St. Lucie, the Mets beat the University of Michigan, 7-1, in an exhibition at Digital Domain Park. With Sandy Koufax in attendance, Chris Capuano started and pitched two strong innings. Some sad news also broke Sunday, however, when Koufax’s former teammate with the Dodgers, Duke Snider, passed away at 84.

—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Saber-Met-rics and you

The folks over at Amazin’ Avenue recently sent me a review copy of their new book, Amazin’ Avenue Annual 2011, which hits stores this week. It’s a comprehensive mix of essays, reflections on the 2010 season, in-depth statistical looks at several players and projections for the 2011 season. For the sabermetrically inclined, it’s certainly worth a look.

—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Mets single-game tickets on sale March 14

From the Mets:

FLUSHING, N.Y., February 26, 2011 – The New York Mets today announced that single game tickets for the 2011 season at Citi Field will go on sale Monday, March 14 at 10:00 a.m. exclusively online at Mets.com, LosMets.com, and by phone at (718) 507-TIXX.  Ticket prices start at $12.

The following day, Tuesday, March 15 at 10:00 a.m., tickets will be at Citi Field’s Advance Ticket Window on the third base side of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, the Mets Clubhouse Shops in Manhattan (42nd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, across from Bryant Park), at the Roosevelt Field Mall (Garden City, Long Island), at the Tangers Outlets at the Arches (Deer Park, Long Island), and MCU Park in Coney Island, Brooklyn.

Mets Season Tickets, 40 & 15 Game Plans, Flex Packs – five-, 11- and 17-game packs starting at $99 per seat – and Group tickets are also currently on sale at Mets.com and by phone at (718) 507-TIXX.

The Mets will offer fans more than 60 promotion, theme, and heritage dates and special events, giving away more than 300,000 items. The 2011 promotion schedule will begin with a Mr. Met Bobblehead giveaway on Opening Day, Friday, April 8.

Highlights of the 2011 season schedule include:

METS MERCHANDISE
Mr. Met Bobblehead presented by Citi – To celebrate Opening Day, Friday April 8 at 4:10 p.m. against the Washington Nationals, the first 25,000 fans will receive a Mr. Met Bobblehead.

Tote Bag presented by Harrah’s – During the Memorial Day weekend Mets-Phillies matchup at 7:10 p.m. on Saturday, May 28, Harrah’s will offer a tote bag to the first 25,000 fans.

Sports Bag presented by Delta Air Lines – The first 25,000 fans attending the 7:10 p.m. game against the Braves on Saturday, August 6 will receive a Mets themed sports bag courtesy of Delta Air Lines.

METS COLLECTIBLES
Collector’s Cup presented by Premio – Premio will give an orange and blue collector’s cup to the first 25,000 fans attending the 7:10 p.m. Mets-Dodgers matchup on Friday, May 6.

Ike Davis Bobblehead presented by Gold’s Horseradish – The first 25,000 fans can take home an Ike Davis bobblehead courtesy of Gold’s Horseradish when they arrive at the 7:10 p.m. game against the Cardinals on Tuesday, July 19.

HERITAGE
Fiesta Latina presented by Budweiser – The Mets and Budweiser will celebrate Latin heritage in pregame activities at the 7:10 p.m. game against the Braves on Friday, August 5. The first 25,000 fans ages 21 and over will also receive a Jose Reyes banner.

Green T-shirt Night presented by Geico – On Saturday, August 27, the first 25,000 fans attending the 4:10 p.m. game against the Braves will receive a green t-shirt courtesy of Geico as part of Irish Heritage festivities.

HEALTH AWARENESS & EDUCATION
The Mets will host groups and provide information on health and wellness issues on the following dates: the sixth annual PIX11 Weather Education Day featuring Meteorologists Mr. G and Linda Church (Thursday, May 19);   Environmental Education Day (Thursday, May 5) and Fitness & Nutrition Education Day (Thursday, June 2).  Tickets include the on-field educational program at 11:00 a.m. and the Mets game at 1:10 p.m.

Non-refundable service charges are applicable on Mets.com, by phone, and at the Mets Clubhouse Shops.  Fans will have the same access to available ticket inventory online at Mets.com and LosMets.com, as on the (718) 507-TIXX phone line.

The 2011 Mets schedule – including information on promotional dates, heritage and theme days/nights, and other special events – is available at Mets.com.

*****

—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Projecting the Opening Day roster: 2/24

Well here’s an unexpected development: not only has Jason Isringhausen signed a Minor League contract and begun working out with the team, but he has so impressed the Mets that some around the team are even discussing him as a late-innings option. With that in mind, below is an updated Opening Day projection, including Isringhausen in the mix:

C – Josh Thole
1B – Ike Davis
2B – Brad Emaus
SS – Jose Reyes
3B – David Wright
OF – Jason Bay
OF – Carlos Beltran
OF – Angel Pagan
Bench – Chin-lung Hu
Bench – Daniel Murphy
Bench – Scott Hairston
Bench – Willie Harris*
Bench – Mike Nickeas

SP – Mike Pelfrey
SP – R.A. Dickey
SP – Jon Niese
SP – Chris Young
SP – Chris Capuano
RP – Francisco Rodriguez
RP – Bobby Parnell
RP – D.J. Carrasco
RP – Tim Byrdak*
RP – Taylor Buchholz
RP – Jason Isringhausen
RP – Manny Acosta

In the running: IF/OF Nick Evans, 2B Luis Castillo, IF Justin Turner, RHP Dillon Gee, LHP Taylor Tankersley*, LHP Mike O’Connor*, LHP Oliver Perez, LHP Pat Misch, RHP Pedro Beato, RHP Ryota Igarashi*, RHP Boof Bonser*, RHP Blaine Boyer*.

*Denote non-roster invitee.

Comments: Nickeas makes the Opening Day roster due to the eight games remaining on Ronny Paulino’s PED suspension.

Former Knick Gallinari reaches out to Omar Minaya

Interesting item out of Newsday today, in the aftermath of the Carmelo Anthony trade to the Knicks. One of the players traded, Danilo Gallinari, has a close relationship with former Mets general manager Omar Minaya thanks in large part to Minaya’s fluency in Italian, a product of his years working in professional baseball in Italy. After being dealt to the Nuggets, Gallinari called Minaya for guidance.

“For us he’s like family,” Minaya told the newspaper. “He basically had nobody here, and I built a relationship with him and his mother and father. We had a friendship. Basically, I let his mother know there’s someone here for him.”

—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Projecting the Opening Day roster: 2/17

Spring Training has arrived, which means the projections in this space should change more frequently based upon how each player is faring. Already, there has been one relatively significant development, with manager Terry Collins saying he considers Tim Byrdak a “slam dunk” for the bullpen, and noting that he would like to carry a long man in the bullpen. Taking that into account, here’s the updated projection:

byrdak.jpgC – Josh Thole
1B – Ike Davis
2B – Brad Emaus
SS – Jose Reyes
3B – David Wright
OF – Jason Bay
OF – Carlos Beltran
OF – Angel Pagan
Bench – Chin-lung Hu
Bench – Daniel Murphy
Bench – Scott Hairston
Bench – Willie Harris*
Bench – Mike Nickeas

SP – Mike Pelfrey
SP – R.A. Dickey
SP – Jon Niese
SP – Chris Young
SP – Chris Capuano
RP – Francisco Rodriguez
RP – Bobby Parnell
RP – D.J. Carrasco
RP – Tim Byrdak*
RP – Taylor Buchholz
RP – Manny Acosta
RP – Pat Misch

In the running: IF/OF Nick Evans, 2B Luis Castillo, IF Justin Turner, IF Luis Hernandez, OF Lucas Duda, RHP Dillon Gee, LHP Taylor Tankersley*, LHP Mike O’Connor*, LHP Tim Byrdak*, LHP Oliver Perez, LHP Casey Fossum*, RHP Pedro Beato, RHP Ryota Igarashi*, RHP Boof Bonser*, RHP Blaine Boyer*, RHP Manuel Alvarez, RHP Armando Rodriguez.

*Denote non-roster invitee.

Comments: Nickeas makes the Opening Day roster due to the eight games remaining on Ronny Paulino’s PED suspension.

Complete list of non-roster invitees

Nearly every pitcher and catcher has reported to camp; the remaining few stragglers (Here’s to you, Johan Santana) should arrive Tuesday. But what interests us most here at Mets Cetera are the folks on the fringe — the players who may or may not make the team.

That said, below is a complete list of the non-roster invitees expected in camp. Generally speaking, these players have the steepest routes to roster spots, because in order to keep them, the Mets will need to cut someone else off the 40-man roster.

Boof Bonser, RHP
Blaine Boyer, RH
Tim Byrdak, LHP
Ryota Igarashi, RHP
Mike O’Connor, LHP
Tobi Stoner, RHP
Taylor Tankersley, LHP
Raul Chavez, C
Kai Gronauer, C
Dusty Ryan, C
Russ Adams, INF
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF
Willie Harris, OF
Jason Pridie, OF

Of the above players, Tankersley, Byrdak and Harris appear to have the strongest chances of making the team.

—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Projecting the Opening Day roster: 2/10

Nothing new with the projections this week, though there is one new feature: “In the running,” for those players who still have a chance to make the roster. That pool is large now, and should shrink dramatically once we get into March.

pagancage.jpgC – Josh Thole
1B – Ike Davis
2B – Brad Emaus
SS – Jose Reyes
3B – David Wright
OF – Jason Bay
OF – Carlos Beltran
OF – Angel Pagan
Bench – Chin-lung Hu
Bench – Daniel Murphy
Bench – Scott Hairston
Bench – Willie Harris*
Bench – Mike Nickeas

SP – Mike Pelfrey
SP – R.A. Dickey
SP – Jon Niese
SP – Chris Young
SP – Chris Capuano
RP – Francisco Rodriguez
RP – Bobby Parnell
RP – D.J. Carrasco
RP – Taylor Tankersley*
RP – Taylor Buchholz
RP – Manny Acosta
RP – Pedro Beato

In the running: IF/OF Nick Evans, 2B Luis Castillo, IF Justin Turner, IF Luis Hernandez, OF Lucas Duda, RHP Dillon Gee, LHP Pat Misch, LHP Mike O’Connor*, LHP Tim Byrdak*, LHP Oliver Perez, LHP Casey Fossum*, RHP Ryota Igarashi*, RHP Boof Bonser*, RHP Blaine Boyer*, RHP Manuel Alvarez, RHP Armando Rodriguez.

*Denote non-roster invitee.

Comments: Nickeas makes the Opening Day roster due to the eight games remaining on Ronny Paulino’s PED suspension.

—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Mets Flex Packs on sale now

From the Mets…

FLUSHING, N.Y., February 8, 2011 – The New York Mets today announced the introduction of new Mets Flex Packs starting at $99 per seat.  The five-, 11- and 17-game packs all come with a ticket to a bonus game.  Each pack also includes a ticket to Opening Day or one of the Subway Series games, and the Mets will waive order fees for fans who purchase Flex Packs before February 26.  Mets Flex Packs are on sale online at Mets.com and by phone at (718) 507-TIXX.

Mets Flex Packs provide fans access to games of their choice before single-game tickets go on sale.  Flex Pack holders will also receive access to potential postseason games at Citi Field.

Fans can build their Flex Packs in three ways:

∑         Five-Game Packs consist of one game of your choice within the “Marquee” pricing designation, two “Classic” games, and two “Value” games.  Fans will also receive a bonus “Value” game of their choice.  Packs start at $99 per seat.

∑         11-Game Packs consist of one game of your choice within the “Marquee” pricing designation, four “Premium” games, three “Classic” games, and three “Value” games.  Fans will also receive a bonus “Premium” game of their choice.  Packs start at $243 per seat.

∑        17-Game Packs consist of one game of your choice within the “Marquee” pricing designation, six “Premium” games, five “Classic” games, and five “Value” games.  Fans will also receive a bonus “Marquee” game of their choice.  Packs start at $360 per seat.

Fans can select their seats from the following categories: Caesars Club Gold, Metropolitan Box, Field Box Bronze, Caesars Club Silver, Field Box, Baseline Box Silver, Baseline Box, Left Field Landing, Pepsi Porch, Promenade Reserve Infield and Promenade Reserve.

Season Tickets, 40- and 15-Game Plans are also on sale at Mets.com and by phone at (718) 507-TIXX.

***

—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 73 other followers