Results tagged ‘ Jordany Valdespin ’

Marlins 7, Mets 5: Three Up, Three Down

That one got away from them quickly. Here are three reasons why, and three reasons why not:

Three Up:
1. RHP Jeremy Hefner: Once again, the Mets received a strong outing from their starting pitcher, leaning on Hefner for six innings of one-run ball. This loss was hardly Hef’s fault.

2. 2B Daniel Murphy: His three-run homer in the seventh proved that yes, as a matter of fact, the Mets did still have an offensive pulse. Murphy later grounded out with the tying runs on base, but we can’t hold that against him because he put the Mets in that position in the first place. Murphy saved another run with a nice defensive play in the ninth.

3. OF Jordany Valdespin: He was picked off first base once, nearly doubled off the bag twice, and took a horrific route to Giancarlo Stanton’s two-base hit in the ninth. But Valdespin did rap out two hits, steal a bag, reach base four times and draw an eight-pitch walk to set up Murphy’s homer. This is the least we can do for Valdespin, who was also plunked by the baseball twice (ouch).

Three Down:
1. SS Ruben Tejada: Tejada’s fielding error in the seventh inning opened the floodgates for the Marlins, who scored five runs in the inning. It was Tejada’s third error in four games. Somewhere, John Dewan shed a tear.

2. RHP Greg Burke: Of course, Tejada’s error would have been a footnote had Burke recovered to limit the damage. He didn’t, walking the next batter and allowing four runs (one earned) in 0.1 innings.

1B Ike Davis: Here we go again? Davis grounded into a double play (again), struck out (again) and finished 0-for-4 (again). He was robbed of a hit in the fifth inning, but stats are stats: he’s now 1-for-16 on the season.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+1
OF Collin Cowgill
, LHP Jon Niese, RHP Matt Harvey, RHP Dillon Gee, C John Buck, INF Justin Turner, RHP Jeremy Hefner, 2B Daniel Murphy
-1
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis, RHP LaTroy Hawkins, RHP Jeurys Familia, 3B David Wright, SS Ruben Tejada, 1B Ike Davis
-2
RHP Greg Burke

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Mets 11, Padres 2: Three Up, Three Down

Going to try a new segment here for the 2013 season: Three up, Three down. We’ll take a look each day at three players who shined, and three who did not.

So without further ado, here are Three Up, Three down for the Mets’ Opening Day win over the Padres:

Three Up:
1. OF Collin Cowgill: Given plenty of rope as the center field starter, Cowgill doubled and scored in the fourth inning and hit his first career grand slam in the seventh. He said the day would have been better if he had not also struck out twice; we at Mets Cetera will not be nearly so critical.

2. LHP Jon Niese: 6 2/3 innings, two earned runs, four strikeouts, two walks. It was a solid-if-not-spectacular outing for Niese, who made it shine by going 2-for-2 with a walk, a run scored and an RBI at the plate.

3. SS Ruben Tejada: Tejada finished 2-for-4, doubling home a run in the second inning in what manager Terry Collins called the  most important at-bat of the game. That was even more critical considering it was Tejada, who hit .096 this spring.

Three Down:
1. 1B Ike Davis: Here we go again? Davis finished 0-for-5 with four strikeouts, the only person in the starting lineup (pitcher included) not to reach base at least twice.

2. PH Jordany Valdespin: The Mets put Valdespin in a dream situation, allowing him to bat with the bases loaded and one out in the seventh inning of a five-run game. He responded by beating the first pitch he saw into the ground for a rally-killing fielder’s choice.

3. OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis: To be fair, Nieuwenhuis does not really deserve to be on this list. But he struck out looking in his only at-bat, and no other Met did much of anything wrong in the blowout. So apologies to Kirk, but life’s not fair.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+1 OF Collin Cowgill
+1 LHP Jon Niese
+1 SS Ruben Tejada
-1 1B Ike Davis
-1 OF Jordany Valdespin
-1 OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

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Who is the best platoon partner for Collin Cowgill in center?

At the start of Spring Training, a center field platoon of Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Collin Cowgill seemed inevitable. But Nieuwenhuis’ left knee injury has the Mets looking at other options in center.

There is Jordany Valdespin, a natural second baseman whose strong spring statistics come with defensive inexperience and questions of maturity.

Then there is defensive-minded prospect Matt den Dekker, a human highlight reel who still looks raw at the plate.

Assuming Nieuwenhuis is healthy and Cowgill starts regularly against left-handed pitchers, which of the above center fielders is the best option to platoon with him?

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Projecting the Opening Day roster, 3/12

With the first round of cuts and almost exactly half the Grapefruit League schedule in the books, some changes this week to the projected roster. Most notably, I’ve penciled in the white-hot Jordany Valdespin for the bench, displacing Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

Unlike some people, I still believe Brandon Hicks is at least on par with Omar Quintanilla for a backup infield spot. But that battle is close. I’ve also tentatively placed Pedro Feliciano back on the roster, displacing Robert Carson, who has yet to pitch a clean inning this spring.

C : John Buck
1B: Ike Davis
2B: Daniel Murphy
SS: Ruben Tejada
3B: David Wright
OF: Lucas Duda
OF: Collin Cowgill
OF: Marlon Byrd
Bench: Mike Baxter
Bench: Jordany Valdespin
Bench: Justin Turner
Bench: Brandon Hicks
Bench: Anthony Recker

SP: Jon Niese
SP: Shaun Marcum
SP: Matt Harvey
SP: Dillon Gee
SP: Jeremy Hefner
RHP: Bobby Parnell (CL)
RHP: Brandon Lyon
RHP: Scott Atchison
RHP: LaTroy Hawkins
RHP: Greg Burke
LHP: Josh Edgin
LHP: Pedro Feliciano

DL: Frank Francisco, Johan Santana

In the running: C Landon Powell, 1B Josh Satin, INF Zach Lutz, INF Brian Bixler, OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF Andrew Brown, OF Matt den Dekker, RHP Jenrry Mejia, RHP Jeurys Familia, RHP Carlos Torres, LHP Aaron Laffey, LHP Robert Carson.

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Scenes from the Mets’ first full-squad workout

The Mets held their first full-squad workout today in Port St. Lucie, Fla. The day in pictures:

Daniel Murphy, Jordany Valdespin and Ike Davis participate in fielding drills while manager Terry Collins looks on.

Daniel Murphy, Jordany Valdespin and Ike Davis participate in fielding drills while Terry Collins looks on.

Mets infielders line up for fielding drills.

Mets infielders line up for fielding drills.

Travis d’Arnaud warms up his arm:

 

Sandy Alderson, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz watch the day's proceedings.

Sandy Alderson, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz watch the day’s proceedings.

Josh Edgin throws a bullpen session:

 

Dillon Gee and Matt Harvey throwing in tandem.

Dillon Gee and Matt Harvey throwing in tandem.

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An infielder again, Valdespin looks to make club

Jordany Valdespin spent most of his time at Dominican Winter Ball plying his trade in the outfield, where the Mets asked him to train around this time last year. But unconvinced of his future out there, they are again looking at him as an infielder.

Either way, Valdespin will have an uphill climb to make the Opening Day roster, despite his success in spurts in 2012.

IMG_2070

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Mets hit Papelbon again (and again and again)

The Mets’ furious rally against Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth inning Thursday was just the latest in a string of successes versus Papelbon dating back to 2009, when he was closing out games for the Red Sox. Remember these?

The date: May 23, 2009
The hero: Omir Santos
The situation: Coming off a disastrous trip to Los Angeles and battling injuries to key players including Carlos Delgado, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, Ryan Church and Francisco Rodriguez, the Mets found themselves trailing the Red Sox by a run in the ninth. But with a man on base, Santos hit a line drive off Papelbon that clanged off Fenway Park’s Green Monster for an apparent double. Umpires reviewed the play and minutes later, called it a homer. J.J. Putz mowed down the Sox in the bottom of the ninth to close out the victory.
The quote: “A lot of things were going through my mind. I knew I hit it well. If it was going to be the big hit of the game? I couldn’t even express how I was feeling at second base, waiting for the call.” –Santos

The date: May 7, 2012
The hero: Jordany Valdespin
The situation: Valdespin began his Mets career 0-for-6, looking overly aggressive and lost at the plate. But with two men on base in a tie game in the ninth, Valdespin walloped a Papelbon fastball into right-center field for a game-winning homer. After Frank Francisco closed out the Phillies in the ninth, Valdespin’s teammates soaked him with beer in a postgame celebration.
The quote: “He is an extremely talented young player. He’s just so athletic. I know that he’ll handle himself great. If he plays the way he’s been playing since he’s been here, and the way he’s handled himself, he’s got a chance to be here for a while.” –Mets manager Terry Collins

The date: July 5, 2012
The hero: David Wright
The situation: It may not actually be fair to call Wright the hero in this one. Ike Davis set up the winning rally by doubling off Papelbon to lead off the ninth, with the Mets trailing by a run. Then, with two outs, Valdespin, Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy all submitted tremendous at-bats, fouling off pitches and taking others for balls. After Papelbon plunked Valdespin and walked Tejada, Murphy hit a game-tying single off Papelbon’s glove. Wright then ended things with a bloop single to right.
The quote: “I had the worst at-bat out of everybody in that inning. More lucky than anything, but I was glad to get the opportunity because the guys in front of me had some incredible at-bats.” –Wright

In case you were wondering, Papelbon has now faced the Mets eight times in his career. The numbers: 0-3, 1 save, 2 blown saves, 7.0 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 4 BB, 8 K, 9.00 ERA.

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Who is Jordany Valdespin?

Aside from that guy who hit a three-run game-winning homer last night off Jonathan Papelbon, who is this guy?

In truth, Jordany Valdespin was not really on the prospect radar until he hit 17 homers and stole 37 bases over two levels of the Minors last year. Following that performance, MLB.com ranked him ninth amongst Mets prospects, citing Valdespin’s power-speed potential but admitting that “he might profile best as an offensive-oriented utility man.” The Mets thought enough of Valdespin to keep him in camp until the final days of Spring Training, trying him out in center field while the team dealt with injuries.

The one knock against Valdespin is his apparent lack of maturity, which has manifested itself both on the field and in the clubhouse during his Minor League days. Just last week, during his first call-up to the Majors, Valdespin stole third base with two outs as the potential tying run, a sure way to earn a manager’s distrust. But Terry Collins also sees the benefit of Valdespin.

After last night, so do the rest of the Mets.

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.

Report from Port St. Lucie, 3/24

Though Terry Collins admitted Saturday that Opening Day does not look good for Andres Torres, the center field situation actually grew somewhat clearer thanks to comments from Sandy Alderson. Basically, it comes down to this:

  • If Torres and backup Scott Hairston are both healthy in time for Opening Day, the Mets will fill their final bench spot with either Mike Baxter or Adam Loewen.
  • If one of Torres or Hairston is healthy, the Mets will still proceed with Baxter or Loewen on their bench, plus likely either Jordany Valdespin or Vinny Rottino.
  • If neither Torres or Hairston is healthy, the Mets will take a natural center fielder north: Kirk Nieuwenhuis if healthy, otherwise Matt den Dekker.

One other note from Saturday’s game: Mike Pelfrey tweaked his mechanics and came away pleased with the results in a 6-6 tie. Do with that information what you will.

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.

Which center fielder do you most want on the Opening Day roster?


Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.

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