Results tagged ‘ Red Sox ’

Dispatches from Port St. Lucie, 3/25

What we learned: Jenrry Mejia could make the Mets on a technicality, with the team concerned about Jon Niese’s health … both Ike Davis and Lucas Duda will be on the Opening Day roster.

What we wrote:

Around the league:

They said it:

“Performances matter. I think last year was a small sample. This year is an almost equal sample, so I think we have to take everything into account. We’re not ignoring Spring Training performance.” –General manager Sandy Alderson on Vic Black

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Dispatches from Port St. Lucie, 3/11

What we learned: Jon Niese is struggling with his velocity two and a half weeks before Opening Day, but the Mets are not worried. At least not yet. … Wilmer Flores has some work to do if he wants to play shortstop on a regular basis.

What we wrote:

Around the league:

“I definitely can play.” –Flores on his shortstop ability

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

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.

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo

Where will you go, Jose Reyes?

Welcome to speculation season. Various reports Wednesday pegged San Francisco as a possible trade destination for Mets shortstop Jose Reyes — which it is. But the reigning World Series champions are hardly alone in their desire. To nab Reyes at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, a team must be both in contention and in need of a shortstop — a rare combination that eliminates two-thirds of the league at first glance.

Below is the remaining one-third, in no particular order:

Team: Giants
Current SS: Miguel Tejada

The Giants have a clear need with an anemic offense, no true leadoff hitter, and an aging and unproductive starting shortstop in Tejada. Hardly a Moneyball disciple, general manager Brian Sabean is also unlikely to fret over Reyes’ history of low on-base percentages. But if a bidding war is in the offing, the Giants may fall short — their farm system remains thin beyond top first base prospect Brandon Belt.

Team: Brewers
Current SS: Yuniesky Betancourt

The Brewers could use someone to set the table for sluggers Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder. But they also have greater needs — pitching, anyone? — and if they fall out of the race in the NL Central, the small-market Brewers are liable to turn into sellers themselves.  Like the Giants, they also have a weak farm system, widely considered to be the league’s worst.

Team: Cardinals
Current SS: Ryan Theriot

Acquiring Reyes would allow the Cardinals to shift Theriot down in the lineup and over to second base, improving their team in more ways than one. But they already have four dynamic offensive players in Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, Lance Berkman and Colby Rasmus; like the Brewers, the Cards may be more interested in shoring up their rotation.

Team: Reds
Current SS: Paul Janish

Put Reyes in Cincinnati, and the Reds suddenly become clear favorites to repeat as NL Central champions. But given their rotation struggles, they may also mirror their division rivals, the Cardinals, in prioritizing a pitcher.

Team: Dodgers
Current SS: Jamey Carroll

It’s unclear how Major League Baseball’s takeover of the Dodgers’ day-to-day operations will affect their ability to take on salary at the deadline. If the Dodgers can indeed spend, they’d be an ideal trade partner for the Mets: a big-market team with playoff aspirations, a glaring lack of middle infield punch and a strong-enough farm system.

Team: Tigers
Current SS: Jhonny Peralta

As in St. Louis, acquiring Reyes would allow the Tigers to shift their current shortstop to second base. But if former top prospect Scott Sizemore pans out in Detroit, the Tigers may be more inclined to allocate their resources elsewhere. A big outfield bat may be a more pressing concern.

Team: Angels
Current SS: Erick Aybar

As long as the Angels remain unwilling to expose young center fielder Peter Bourjos to the leadoff spot, they could use a player such as Reyes. Their need is not glaring. But Reyes could be enough to vault them past the Rangers in a crowded AL West, and the Angels possess a deep enough cache of prospects to outbid almost anyone.

Team: A’s
Current SS: Cliff Pennington

A longshot, considering the team’s perennial small payroll and general manager Billy Beane’s affinity for on-base percentage. But Reyes would still represent a major upgrade over Pennington by any measurement, and the A’s do have the ability to take on some payroll. If they’re in serious contention come July, it’s not impossible.

Team: Twins
Current SS: Alexi Casilla

It’s clear the Twins are in need of an offensive jolt, and it’s clear that Reyes would be a major upgrade over Casilla. But after adding significant payroll in recent years by signing several key players to long-term contracts, they would the Twins would be unlikely to pursue Reyes in free agency. That makes a trade for the shortstop unlikely, as well.

Team: Red Sox
Current SS: Jed Lowrie

If Lowrie continues to produce at his current clip, this may be a moot point. But the Red Sox are never shy about trading for top talent, and despite the Adrian Gonzalez trade, they still have several intriguing arms in their system. Toss their deep pockets into the equation and they could be a match.

Team: Yankees
Current SS: Derek Jeter

It doesn’t make sense. But it’s the Yankees. Don’t ever count them out, ever.

—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

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