Archive for May, 2011

The Giants Lose Buster Posey, How Do They Replace His Production?

Posey is probably done for the season

Buster Posey’s home plate collision with the Marlins’ Scott Cousins on Wednesday knocked the 2010 NL rookie of the year out; probably for the season. The Giants offense has been mediocre, at best, and bordering on atrocious even with Posey. Only the Twins have scored fewer runs than the defending champions in all of baseball. The Giants needed to upgrade their offense before the injury; now that HAVE to upgrade it soon to remain a viable contender in the NL West.

Offense is down across the board in baseball and the Giants won’t be the only contender searching for an upgrade to their lineup. As the calendar turns to June, trade talk will be heating up and it’s probably prudent to be the team that strikes first. There aren’t going to be more than a few impact bats available this summer and the Giants have to ensure that they acquire at least one of them.

So who’s going to available and who should the Giants target?

Jose Reyes’ name continues to pop up as player that the Giants would want to trade for and they have a need to upgrade shortstop. Reyes is heading to free agency after the season and the Mets have been unwilling to extend his contract and will probably look to move him eventually. The problem for the Giants is that they need offense now. But even if the Mets don’t deal Reyes now, the Giants should still have interest, if, and when they deal him in July.

Carlos Beltran is also in his last season with the Mets. There’s probably no chance that he returns to Queens and he might be the best hitter available this summer. While Beltran can still play center field occasionally, he probably more suited to a corner now. But that’s fine since the Giants could use production anywhere in the outfield, especially in right field where Cody Ross has struggled so far this season. Beltran probably wouldn’t cost the Giants a top prospect, especially if they were to take on the remainder of Beltran’s $20 million salary for this season.

The Twins are probably going to be sellers this summer. The question then leads to which players are going to be made available? Jason Kubel and Mike Cuddyer are both free agents following this season and should be made available. The Twins biggest need is high end starting pitching and the Giants have that with Madison Bumgarner and potentially Zach Wheeler in the minors. Both might be available in the right package. The Twins would probably have to trade both of these players and pay most of their remaining 2011 salary for the Giants to part with either young pitcher.

But, what about Justin Morneau? Morneau isn’t a free agent but is owed two more years at $14 million per season plus the remainder of his $14M for 2011. While Brandon Belt is seen as the first baseman of the future for the Giants, he’s played both corner outfield positions and could probably play left field until Morneau’s contract expires after the 2013 season. The 2007 AL MVP has struggled to start the season since coming back from the concussion that ended his 2010 season. But if Morneau can start hitting well, the Giants could have an interest. The Twins would be interested in moving Morneau if they can get quality pitching in return and it would open up first base for Joe Mauer. It would also give them some financial flexibility going forward.

Derrek Lee is another first base option should the Giants pursue him. Lee is on a one-year deal with the Orioles for just over $7 million and has been a gold glove fielder in the past. Lee’s currently on the DL with an oblique strain, but could be a good option when he gets healthy.

Juan Rivera is in the final year of his contract with the Blue Jays and might be a cheap option if the Giants were to deem him an upgrade over their current outfielders.

Out of this group, Reyes is the best player, but the price will be steep to obtain him. They have to know that they can re-sign him if they are to give up the top prospects that the Mets would want. If the Giants wanted to really make a big move, they would try to get both Reyes and Beltran in the same deal, with Bumgarner/Wheeler headlining it and two other quality prospects. The Giants ability to take on salary would be a huge advantage when dealing with the Mets.

Unfortunately for the Giants and others, there won’t be that much offense that’s going to be available. That means the price for decent hitters could be at a premium. The key will be to strike quickly and aggressively upgrade sooner to avoid engaging in a bidding war.

If the Giants wait until July to pull the trigger on a big deal, more teams will be dealing with injuries and looking for last minute offensive upgrades. Most teams can’t take on salary, especially this early in the season. But the Giants have sold out every game so far this year and should have the extra money to invest in reinforcements.  The time to make a deal is the next ten days when other contenders are willing or haven’t decided who to target in a deal.


MLB Daily Balk 5/25 Plus Geren’s Troubles in Oakland

Umpires aren't the only people Geren likes to argue with

Is Athletics Manager Bob Geren in Trouble in Oakland?

Geren was called out after Monday’s game by veteran reliever Brian Fuentes following an 8th inning blowup on the mound where Fuentes blew his 6th save opportunity of the season. They discussed their issues before Tuesday’s game and supposedly cleared the air. There is obviously more to the story than has been revealed and former A’s closer Huston Street chimed in from Denver. He called his former manager his “least favorite person I have ever encountered in sports.”

While the A’s brain trust probably takes former players inputs into their managing situation with a grain of salt, Street’s immediate involvement with this situation has to be considered. It’s been three years since Geren and Street got into it and there have been other problems with players.

Geren is obviously a no-nonsense, dictatorial type of manager that doesn’t compromise often. With the A’s improved level of talent and postseason aspirations, GM Billy Beane is going to have to keep a close eye on his manager/player relationships to make sure that he’s got the right guy for the job.  

Geren hasn’t has a winning season since taking over before the 2007 season. The 2006 team won the AL West under former manager Ken Macha and changed managers following their 4-0 loss in the ALCS to the Tigers.

Geren’s lack of winning experience, combined with potential problems with players, could lead the A’s to look for a more player friendly manager to take the A’s back to the postseason. Some managers are better suited for rebuilding teams like the A’s have had over the past few seasons and other managers are better when the talent has already been assembled and is looking to take the next step.

Perhaps the A’s might see their situation in this light and decide to move to a proven playoff manager later in the season. Maybe Beane will patch up things with Art Howe and bring him back?


AL News/Notes

Angels Scott Kazmir struggled in his minor league rehab start on Tuesday. He didn’t get through two innings and his return to Anaheim has to be in question.

The Twins Joe Mauer is going to DH in a rehab game on Wednesday. The Twins expect to have a better idea for a timetable for his return after he’s played a few games. Mike Cuddyer missed Tuesday’s game with a sore hip.

Dan Johnson cleared waivers and the Rays were able to send him to AAA.


NL News/Notes

The Phillies are planning to activate Jose Contreras either today or Thursday. Also, Shane Victorino is progressing and could be heading on a minor league rehab stint next week.

Barry Zito threw before the Giants game and should be heading to Arizona soon to begin his rehab for his sprained right foot. Whether his spot in the rotation will be there is up in the air. Ryan Vogelsong has pitched really well in Zito’s absence. It’s possible that Madison Bumgarner might get sent down for a little while to make room when Zito returns.

The Braves Tim Hudson is on target to only miss Wednesday’s start and should be able to return for next Monday.

The Cubs lost their third starting pitcher as Matt Garza went on the DL on Tuesday. They expect to get Randy Wells back this weekend. With Kevin Slowey reportedly available in Minnesota, perhaps GM Jim Hendry gives them a call as the Cubs at least need depth, if not more quality starting pitchers.

The Brewers might get CF Nyjer Morgan back for this weekend as Morgan plays in extended spring training games in Arizona.


Best of Yesterday May 24

Last Night’s Games  
Kansas City 3 Baltimore 5
Boston 4 Cleveland 2
Tampa Bay 6 Detroit 7
Toronto 4 New York 5
Chicago 8 Texas 6
Seattle 2 Minnesota 4
Oakland 6 Los Angeles 1
Arizona 4 Colorado 12 GM 1
Cincinnati 6 Philadelphia 3
Atlanta 2 Pittsburgh 0
New York 1 Chicago 11
Los Angeles 5 Houston 4
Washington 6 Milwaukee 7
Arizona 5 Colorado 2 GM 2
St. Louis 3 San Diego 2 F/11
Florida 5 San Francisco 1


Top Aces    
Player Team Stats
Nick Blackburn W (4-4) MIN 9 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 6 K
Jair Jurrjens W (6-1) ATL 7 2/3 IP, 0 R, 6 H, 4 K, BB
Ricky Nolasco W (4-0) FLA 8 1/3 IP, ER, 7 H, 5 K, 2 BB
Joe Saunders W (1-5) ARI 8 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 4 K, BB
Guillermo Moscoso W (1-0) OAK 6 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 3 K, 3 BB


Hitting Heroes    
Player Team Stats
Carlos Quentin CWS 3-5, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R
Carlos Gonzalez COL 2-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R
David DeJesus OAK 3-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R
Alex Avila DET 2-4, 2 HR. 3 RBI, 2 R
Kelly Johnson ARI 2-3, HR, 2 RBI, 3 R


Walkoff Winners    
Adam Jones BAL 2-run HR in 9th
Mark Teixeira NYY Single in 9th


The scene at the Rangers game courtesy of @evan_p_grant on Twitter

What Happened (!!)Yesterday?

The Rangers and White Sox played past 1:00 CDT due to the storms in the Dallas area. The fans were evacuated from their seats during the tornado threat. You have to wonder why they couldn’t suspend the game and restart it before Wednesday’s game.


Streaks of the Day

  • Giants Buster Posey extended his hit streak to 12 games
  • Brewers Ryan Braun ended his hit streak at 13 games


Top Wednesday Matchups

2:05 EDT White Sox (Floyd 5-3, 3.88) at Rangers (Wilson 4-3, 3.42)

6:35 EDT Cardinals (Carpenter 1-4, 4.88) at Padres (Latos 1-6, 4.60)

7:05 EDT Reds (Wood 3-3, 5.17) at Phillies (Halladay 6-3, 2.21) — ESPN2

10:05 EDT Athletics (Cahill 6-1, 1.79) at Angels (Santana 2-4, 4.18)


Yesterday’s Balks: 1

  • Doug Fister of the Mariners against the Twins

MLB Daily Balk 5/24 Plus Fred Wilpon and the Mets Mess

Even Mr. Met might not be off limits to Wilpon

Mets’ owner Fred Wilpon Sticks His Entire Foot in His Mouth

The Mets seem to struggle annually in their quest to avoid becoming a punch line to New York baseball fans and fans nationally. This season the Mets are off to a decent start without their ace pitcher Johan Santana and with some of their best players spending time on the disabled list. Then on Monday, the bombshell came from owner Fred Wilpon.

Wilpon evidently felt that blasting his three best everyday players (Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, and David Wright) would (A) make them play better, (B) intimidate the other players on the team into playing better, (C) drive up the potential trade value of the three scorned players, or (D) further decrease the credibility and financial solvency of his franchise. Wilpon might have been angling for A, B, and C; but he ended up with D.

Click here to read the rest of this column


AL News/Notes

Rays infielder Elliot Johnson was injured on Monday night in their game in Detroit. The prognosis is that he sprained the capsule around the knee.

Red Sox Dustin Pedroia jammed his left ankle late in the Sox loss on Monday night. He was scheduled for a day off on Tuesday and hopes to return for Wednesday’s game.


NL News/Notes

Padres’ manager Bud Black indicated that he would welcome bringing in the fences at notoriously pitcher friendly Petco Park next season.

Edinson Volquez‘ problems have now gotten him demoted to AAA. The Reds have some solid starting pitching depth to withstand his absence for a month or so while he figures things out in the minors. But the Reds really need an effective Volquez if they want to go farther in the playoffs this season.

The Padres have sent Will Venable to AAA and brought up prospect Blake Tekotte from AA. Tekotte was ranked as the Padres #14 prospect before the season.


Best of Yesterday May 23

Last Night’s Games  
Tampa Bay 3 Detroit 6
Toronto 7 New York 3
Boston 2 Cleveland 3
Chicago 0 Texas 4
Seattle 8 Minnesota 7 F/10
Oakland 1 Los Angeles 4
Cincinnati 3 Philadelphia 10
Los Angeles 3 Houston 4
Washington 3 Milwaukee 11
St. Louis 3 San Diego 1


Top Aces    
Player Team Stats
Alexi Ogando W (5-0) TEX 9 IP, 0 R, 5 H, 6 K, 3 BB
Kyle Lohse W (6-2) STL 8 IP, ER, 5 H, 5 K, BB
Yovani Gallardo W (6-2) MIL 7 IP, ER, 5 H, 9 K, BB
Jered Weaver LAA 7 IP, ER, 6 H, 5 K, 3 BB


Three bombs for Hart on Monday

Hitting Heroes    
Player Team Stats
Corey Hart MIL 3-4, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 3 R
Jim Thome MIN 2-3, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R
Asdrubal Cabrera CLE 3-4, HR, 2 RBI, R
Bill Hall HOU 4-4, 2 R
Josh Hamilton TEX 2-4, HR, RBI, 2 R


Walkoff Winner    
Hunter Pence HOU Singled home Michael Bourn in 9th


What Happened (!!)Yesterday?

Athletics sometimes closer Brian Fuentes went off on manager Bob Geren following Monday night’s game against the Angels. With six losses already, it sounds like Fuentes is trying to pass the buck for his shortcomings this season. So does this mean that Fuentes now on the trade block? Or will Geren now be on the hot seat?


Streaks of the Day

  • Brewers Ryan Braun extended his hit streak to 13 games


Top Tuesday Matchups

7:05 EDT Reds (Cueto 2-1, 1.45) at Phillies (Worley 2-0, 1.13)

7:05 EDT Red Sox (Beckett 3-1, 1.73) at Indians (Carmona 3-4, 4.76)

7:05 EDT Rays (Davis 4-4, 3.47) at Tigers (Verlander 4-3, 2.96)

7:05 EDT Braves (Jurrjens 5-1, 1.80) at Pirates (Morton 5-1, 2.62)

10:15 EDT Marlins (Nolasco 3-0, 3.32) at Giants (Cain 3-2, 3.28)


Yesterday’s Balks: 2

  • Cole Hamels of the Phillies against the Reds
  • Bud Norris of the Astros against the Dodgers

Mets’ owner Fred Wilpon Sticks His Entire Foot in His Mouth

The owner of the Mets' Mess

The Mets seem to struggle annually in their quest to avoid becoming a punch line to New York baseball fans and fans nationally. This season the Mets are off to a decent start without their ace pitcher Johan Santana and with some of their best players spending time on the disabled list. Then on Monday, the bombshell came from owner Fred Wilpon.

Wilpon evidently felt that blasting his three best everyday players (Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, and David Wright) would (A) make them play better, (B) intimidate the other players on the team into playing better, (C) drive up the potential trade value of the three scorned players, or (D) further decrease the credibility and financial solvency of his franchise. Wilpon might have been angling for A, B, and C; but he ended up with D.

The biggest loser, besides the relatively speaking, suffering Mets’ fans, is new GM Sandy Alderson. Alderson took over in the winter and is tasked with taking a team with financial problems stemming from the Bernie Madoff financial mess, a bloated payroll, and an average farm system, at best, and turning them around in the biggest media market in the country. This isn’t an easy job when everything is going right.

Now Alderson is left to mend the relationship between the three stars and the organization. Beltran and Reyes are halfway gone as they’re both free agents following the season. Reyes’ free agency and possible demands for a contract similar to Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford were the focus of the Reyes comments made by the owner.

Wilpon saved his worst criticism for the one player that is signed past this season, David Wright. Wright still has another year and an option year on his contract after this one. He’s also considered to be the face of the franchise and took the high road when asked to respond to the ill-advised comments.

Which makes one wonder why the owner would say such inflammatory things about a classy player who is the face of the franchise, like Wright? If Wilpon were to be predisposed to diminished mental capacity as he grows older, could the high stress levels contribute to this kind of irrational behavior? Wilpon is 74 and under an incredible amount of stress due to the Madoff scandal. Wilpon might just be showing cracks that many other people would show if they were in the same position.

The repercussions of the comments are unknown, but with the Dodgers already under MLB control, could the Mets be far behind? It would be difficult to believe that Wilpon could survive another, even lesser situation going forward without the commissioner getting involved.

It’s been 25 years since the great Mets World Series champions of 1986. That was the year that Wilpon and former partner Nelson Doubleday became equal partners. Wilpon and his family bought Doubleday out of his 50% in 2002. Is there a correlation between the Mets last championship season, Wilpon’s purchase of the team and their fortunes over the past 25 years? Also, the Mets last World Series appearance was during Doubleday’s final years as part owner. Wilpon hasn’t been to the World Series as the primary owner. After his comments, is that a surprise?

MLB Daily Balk 5/23 Plus Seattle Mariners Overview


The "King" and the Mariners could be players sooner than most think

The Mariners Could Be a Major Player This Summer

The Mariners have won five straight and are only 2 games below .500 going into Monday’s game in Minnesota. The key to the M’s success has been their pitching, which ranks 6th in all of baseball with a 3.40 ERA. In addition to mainstay great Felix Hernandez, rookie Michael Pineda has dazzled in his first two months of big league ball and oft-injured Eric Bedard appears to be back to his form of past seasons after missing all of 2010 with constant pain in his pitching shoulder.

Their lineup has shown signs of life at times as well. While the M’s will probably struggle to field a lineup of quality hitters for years to come, they have seen very good progress from first baseman Justin Smoak, who has compiled a .861 OPS and Adam Kennedy has been a solid contributor. The rest of the offense, Ichiro notwithstanding, has been bad, but help could be on the way with top prospect Dustin Ackley. They also just got back CF Franklin Gutierrez who missed the first month and a half with an illness.

The Mariners are going to have choices over the next few months. They have the financial resources to potentially take on salary if they feel like they can make the playoffs. Their payroll is just over $94 million and has been as high as $117 million in 2008. Unless they’ve really tightened their belts, they should have the financial flexibility to improve their team.

If the Rangers or Angels run away and hide with the division and the wild card appears to be unattainable, then the M’s do have a couple of pieces that contenders would be interested in acquiring. No Felix Hernandez WILL NOT be available, but Eric Bedard is only making $1 million this season and if he continues to pitch well, the Mariners should be able to acquire some quality prospects in return for the lefty.

Shortstop Jack Wilson, Adam Kennedy and DH Jack Cust are other veterans in his final year of his contract that the Mariners should make available. Kennedy could be moved as soon as Ackley is deemed ready to take over at second base.

The bottom line for the Mariners is that they aren’t as far away from contending as many might think. Even without Bedard next season, a 1-2 punch of Felix Hernandez and Michael Pineda will be tough to match and if they are able to acquire a potential power bat for the outfield, their lineup should improve modestly in 2012.


AL News/Notes

The Angels’ Scott Kazmir will be making a minor league rehab start on Tuesday in Salt Lake City. Also, Howie Kendrick wasn’t available Sunday after taking a cortisone shot in his right hamstring.

The White Sox expect Carlos Quentin to be back in the lineup on Monday after missing a few games.

Rookie Alex White was placed on the DL by the Indians after injuring his right middle finger. White’s expected to be out for 2-3 months.

The Athletics are calling on Josh Outman to start Monday’s game. The A’s are without 3 of their top 6 starting pitchers after placing Tyson Ross and Brandon McCarthy on the DL. Closer Andrew Bailey had a solid rehab outing and is getting closer to returning to the A’s.


NL News/Notes

The Cubs have placed Marlon Byrd on the DL after he was beaned on Saturday night. The Cubs called up pitcher Justin Berg to take Byrd’s roster spot.

The Nationals’ Adam LaRoche will get his left shoulder evaluated with his failure to improve on his horrible start to the season.

The Braves have placed Jason Heyward on the DL with the continued soreness in his right shoulder. Also, the Braves will use lefty Mike Minor in place of Tim Hudson for Wednesday’s start against the Pirates.

The Dodgers lost their game and might lose catcher Rod Barajas and RF Andre Ethier due to injuries suffered during the game.


Best of Yesterday May 22

Last Night’s Games  
Colorado 1 Milwaukee 3
Cincinnati 4 Cleveland 12
New York (N) 3 New York (A) 9
Houston 3 Toronto 2
Washington 1 Baltimore 2
Los Angeles (N) 3 Chicago (A) 8
St. Louis 9 Kansas City 8 F/10
Atlanta 1 Los Angeles (A) 4
Tampa Bay 4 Florida 0
Texas 2 Philadelphia 0
Detroit 2 Pittsburgh 0
Seattle 6 San Diego 1
Minnesota 2 Arizona 3
Oakland 4 San Francisco 5 F/11
Chicago (N) 1 Boston 5


Top Aces    
Player Team Stats
James Shields W (5-2) TBR 9 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 13 K, BB
Rick Porcello W (4-2) DET 8 IP, 0 R, H, 3 K, 2 BB
Matt Harrison W (4-4) TEX 8 1/3 IP, 0 R, 5 H, 3 K, 3 BB
Felix Hernandez W (5-4) SEA 8 IP, ER, 6 H, 13 K
Tim Wakefield W (1-1) BOS 6 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 3 K


Hitting Heroes    
Player Team Stats
Asdrubal Cabrera CLE 5-5, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 R
Alexei Ramirez CWS 4-5, HR, 5 RBI, 2 R
Yadier Molina STL 4-5, 3 RBI, 2 R
Hunter Pence HOU 2-5, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R
Jerry Sands LAD 4-4, R



What Happened (!!)Yesterday?

The Royals pitchers walked 13 (!!!!) Cardinals in their 10 inning loss, including walking in two runs in the 10th inning that provided the eventual margin of victory. The umpires were deemed questionable enough that starting catcher Matt Treanor and manager Ned Yost were both ejected for arguing balls and strikes in the 7th inning. There’s no word on the clubhouse damage after the 10th inning walks and final strike call on Royals’ shortstop Alcides Escobar that was borderline at best.


Streaks of the Day

  • Brewers Ryan Braun extended his hit streak to 12 games


Top Monday Matchups

7:05 EDT Reds (Arroyo 3-4, 4.11) at Phillies (Hamels 5-2, 2.92)

7:05 EDT Red Sox (Buchholz 4-3, 3.42) at Indians (Masterson 5-2, 2.52)

7:05 EDT Rays (Hellickson 5-2, 3.18) at Tigers (Coke 1-5, 3.88)


Yesterday’s Balks: 0

MLB Daily Balk 5/21 Plus Why the Mets Shouldn’t Rebuild

If you walk outside, look up to make sure this ball doesn't hit you

Why the Mets Shouldn’t Be Rebuilding, But Renovating

If you look in the book of fans’ favorite words, you find the word “rebuilding” at or near the top of the list. Most fans feel that their favorite team either needs to be winning a championship or dumping their stars for unknown, highly hyped talent for tomorrow. Celtics and Lakers fans and other NBA observers are saying this in that sport and Mets fans in New York have been discussing this for their team.

It’s understandable why Mets fans would be frustrated and want change. With Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes becoming free agents after the season and Francisco Rodriguez needing to finish at least 55 games to have his 2012 option vested the Mets appear to have movable pieces that can return potential building blocks for the future.

Click here for the rest of the column


AL News/Notes

The Rays designated 1B Dan Johnson for assignment and called up OF Justin Ruggiano. They also activated LHP JP Howell. Howell could end up as their closer if Kyle Farnsworth struggles. Justin Upton left Friday’s game with tightness in his glut.

The Indians Travis Hafner‘s injury problems have reoccurred as he was placed on the DL on Friday. Hafner has a strained right oblique. The Tribe brought up Ezequiel Carrera to replace Hafner on the roster.

The Athletics have placed starting pitchers Tyson Ross and Brandon McCarthy on the DL. They didn’t call up a starter so that move is forthcoming.


NL News/Notes

The Phillies have called up top prospect Dominic Brown and he’ll play right field against righties. This will definitely help the Fightins’ struggling lineup.

The Pirates sat Pedro Alvarez on Friday due to his lingering right quad injury.

Mark DeRosa of the Giants tore his tendon in his wrist and his career could be in jeopardy. He doesn’t plan on giving up, however. Torn tendons are tough to comeback from; let’s hope he’s able to.

The Braves gave Jason Heyward a day off on Friday. Heyward is coming off of a shoulder injury and manager Fredi Gonzalez felt like he needed a day off.


Best of Yesterday May 20

Last Night’s Games  
Colorado 6 Milwaukee 7
Washington 17 Baltimore 5
Cincinnati 4 Cleveland 5
New York (N) 2 New York (A) 1
Houston 5 Toronto 2
Chicago (N) 5 Boston 4
Los Angeles (N) 6 Chicago (A) 4 F/10
St. Louis 0 Kansas City 3
Atlanta 0 Los Angeles (A) 9
Texas 2 Philadelphia 3
Detroit 1 Pittsburgh 10
Tampa Bay 3 Florida 5
Minnesota 7 Arizona 8
Seattle 4 San Diego 1
Oakland 1 San Francisco 2 F/10


Top Aces    
Player Team Stats
Ervin Santana W (2-4) LAA 9 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 7 K
Erik Bedard W (2-4) SEA 8 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 9 K, 2 BB
Jeff Francis W (1-5) KCR 7 2/3 IP, 0 R, 6 H, 6 K, 2 BB
Roy Halladay W (6-3) PHI 8 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 7 K, BB
Jo-Jo Reyes TOR 7 IP, 0 R, 5 H, 7 K, BB


Hitting Heroes    
Player Team Stats
Wilson Ramos WAS 3-4, HR, 2 RBI, 5 R
Jayson Werth WAS 3-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R
Danny Espinosa WAS 3-4, HR, 5 RBI, 3 R
Kevin Youkilis BOS 3-5, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R
Neil Walker PIT 2-5, HR, 5 RBI, R


Walkoff Winners    
Prince Fielder MIL Home Run that hasn’t landed



What Happened (!!)Yesterday?

The Rangers were able to pull off the double steal of second and home against the Phillies. Elvis Andrus scored during the first inning executed double steal attempt.

The Orioles pitching blew up for the second consecutive night as they have now surrendered 30 runs in their last two games, to the Yankees and Nationals(?!). Yes, that was 17 runs the Nats put on their Beltway rivals on Friday. The Nationals were coming off of two consecutive shutouts in Citi Field by the Mets.


Streaks of the Day

  • Tigers Austin Jackson extended his hit streak to 12 games


Top Saturday Matchups

4:05 EDT Reds (Bailey 3-0, 1.89) at Indians (Tomlin 5-1, 2.56)

7:05 EDT Tigers (Scherzer 6-0, 2.81) at Pirates (Correia 5-4, 3.97)

7:10 EDT Rangers (Lewis 4-4, 3.81) at Phillies (Lee 2-4, 3.84)

7:10 EDT Athletics (Anderson 2-3, 3.30) at Giants (Lincecum 3-4, 2.36)

10:05 EDT Braves (Hanson 5-3, 2.35) at Angels (Pineiro 2-0, 1.98)


Yesterday’s Balks: 0

Why the Mets Shouldn’t Be Rebuilding, But Renovating

The Mets shouldn't trade Reyes, but renovate around Reyes

If you look in the book of fans’ favorite words, you find the word “rebuilding” at or near the top of the list. Most fans feel that their favorite team either needs to be winning a championship or dumping their stars for unknown, highly hyped talent for tomorrow. Celtics and Lakers fans and other NBA observers are saying this in the NBA and Mets fans in New York have been talking about this for their team.

It’s understandable why Mets fans would be frustrated and want change. With Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes becoming free agents after the season and Francisco Rodriguez needing to finish at least 55 games to have his 2012 option vested, the Mets have movable pieces that could return potential building blocks for the future.

But hold on a minute. Jose Reyes should be their building block for the future. He’s the type of player that you build around at this point in his career. He’s only 27 (28 in a few weeks) and appears to be back to his dominating ways at the top of the order. There is no reason the Mets shouldn’t be looking to re-sign the star shortstop as he should have at least another 3-4 prime years remaining and a few more solid seasons after that.

Yes, the Mets have financial problems that will require them to cut payroll a little bit next season. But they can do that by shifting Beltran’s $20 million to Reyes and cutting the $11 million that Reyes makes this season and also trading Rodriguez or keeping him from achieving his option. That would cut another $8.5M off of the payroll from this season. They also have Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo and a few other former players coming off of their payroll at around $20 million. The Mets can realistically re-sign Reyes at between $16-18 million and still cut the payroll by over $30 million.

The popular potential destination for Reyes is San Francisco. But what do the Giants realistically have that would make the Mets better in 2012 instead of keeping Reyes? Unknown and unproven prospects are fool’s gold in sports and unless the Giants are willing to part with first baseman Brandon Belt and/or left handed starter Madison Bumgarner in a deal, the Mets can’t possibly get better in the short term, and would have to hit a home run with the prospects that they receive in the deal to even make it worth it.

As for the guy the Mets should shop, Carlos Beltran should be immediately on the trade block after they determine that the playoffs are out of the question in 2011. Beltran has recovered from his injuries and could be the most valuable bat available on the trade market during the trade season this summer. Also, there are going to be teams who are going to need bullpen arms and might be willing to risk Rodriquez’ option becoming vested in order shore up their pens for the stretch run. Both of these players should net prospects close to the majors.

The Mets can turn around their fortunes a lot easier by avoiding the top level free agents (except their own) and filling in the holes in their lineup and rotation with modestly paid players making between $4 and $8 million. The days of reaching for older players who are way past their prime (re: Jason Bay) have to be over for the Mets to return to the top of the NL East. They should be much improved in the personnel department under the leadership of new GM Sandy Alderson.

In the end, gutting a franchise of elite players in their prime to support a rebuilding effort isn’t the most efficient method to retooling a roster. The Mets have work to do, but unlike smaller market teams, like Cleveland, they don’t need and shouldn’t need to rip apart the core of their team to return to the playoffs. They just need to retool by cutting ties with the older players on the downside of their careers and retaining their top performers who are still in their prime, like Jose Reyes.

If Johan Santana can return to being a good pitcher again and the Mets can get some production from their prospects who are close, like Fernando Martinez and Reese Havens, then they might be in position to be a surprise team in 2012, if not sooner.