Archive for the ‘Bobby Parnell’ Category

What’s In A Closer?

August 19, 2011

Permit me to ponder the closer situation for 2012.

Let’s start with the fact that I feel the closer role is one of the most over rated roles in Major League Baseball.  There are only a handful of guys that legitimately have that “Oh great, no way we’re going to score on this guy.” reputation.  The rest of the closers out there are basically the most talented reliever their respective team has in the bullpen.

When you stop and think about it, shouldn’t you expect that most major league pitchers possess the ability to stop their opponents from scoring on them in the only inning they take the hill?  They get a bit of a head start really.  The closer has the benefit of being able to watch what has been working on each hitter throughout the entire game.

That being said, I understand today’s player prefers a set role on the team and someone has to take on the responsibility of ending the game.  Clearly, the Mets are still trying to figure out who this will be in 2012.

The most important skill this person needs to have has nothing to do with 100 mph fastballs or devastating sliders.  It has everything to do with being able to have a short memory, or as Terry Collins puts it, being fearless.

Do Bobby Parnell or Pedro Beato have this trait?

If I had to answer today, I would say no.  But they haven’t exactly had an opportunity to develop it either.  Maybe one of them will surprise us. In the event they do not, I don’t see Mr. Alderson investing a lot of money in a new option. I don’t have a huge problem with it either.  That money should be spent elsewhere.

If they do bring someone new into that roll, I hope they are looking for someone who has…..marbles.

Let it be known that Tom should receive credit for the marbles reference.

Quite The Intriguing Team

July 28, 2011

You have dealt with injuries to all of your star players and a number of supporting cast members.  You survive the endless talk about losing the most exciting player in the game.  You have been inundated with question after question about where one of your best players is going to be traded since the All-Star Break.  Said player is finally traded.

What do you do?

Sweep a team that was in the playoffs last year and is in contention again this year in their home ball park in a four game series.  Why the hell not.

Four days ago I had accepted that this team was officially in rebuilding mode for 2012. Now I find myself fascinated by the following questions:

  • Can this team really shock the baseball world and make a run at the post season?
  • Is Lucas Duda for real?
  • How long was Wright’s back hurting him and can we expect this type of production now that he is healthy?
  • Is Bobby Parnell coming of age?
  • Can Jason Isringhausen hold up as the team’s closer for the rest of the season?
  • How can this team win when Jose Reyes has one of his worst offensive series of the season (3 for 19)?
  • Why is it that we still have not learned the reason for Mike Pelfrey’s excessive finger/palm licking?
  • Why do managers, coaches, and training staff still have to wear uniform pants?
  • Is Ike Davis still alive?
  • Why is midwestropolitan.com this awesome?
  • When will Major League Baseball change its archaic blackout restrictions for television coverage?
  • Did the Wilpons finally learn to keep their traps shut after the Fred Fiasco at the beginning of the year?
  • Is today’s game the mark of Jason Bay finally breaking out of his bay? (This question was more for you, because I have already trained myself not to think about it any longer this season).

Regardless of how many of these questions we get answered, I am happy to say I am anticipating an entertaining remainder of the 2011 season.  I still doubt it will end with a post season appearance, but at least it will keep me from re-organizing my sock drawer or alphabetizing my spice rack.

Air Claws and Errors: July 24, 2011

July 24, 2011

Just like yesterday, here are some random things that I witnessed or experienced during the day as I throw up an Air Claw for the cool shit, and score an error for the not so cool shit.

Claw- David Wright comes through with more late inning RBIs in the form of a two run jack in the seventh inning.

Error- The Mets drop a series to the effing Fish.  A series they should have won and had plenty of opportunities to do so.  They now find themselves below .500…..again.

Claw- Manny Acosta pitches two scoreless innings and was in line for the win.

Error- Bobby Parnell’s slider.

Claw- for Mother Nature, raining out my son’s baseball tournament shortly after I discovered it was an hour and a half behind schedule  and we likely would have been playing until midnight.

Error- for me, because for some unknown reason I can never spell the word eighth correctly and always have to rely on the automatic spell check to spell it properly.  Ironically, I spelled it right in that sentence after at least two months of always failing to do so.

Claw- goes out to John for sharing his Claws and Errors today, some of which made the list.  Thanks for contributing!

Error-  goes out to the very same John for suggesting we give a Claw for Emilio Bonifacio and his 23 game hitting streak.  A 23 game hitting streak is impressive, but I just couldn’t raise my arm up to claw a Marlin. 

And finally……

Claw- for nine-year old Jayden making that sweet catch.  Most nine-year old outfielders don’t even see that ball as they are too busy picking dandelions.

Error- for the guy operating the pitching machine.  Sweet baseball pants Coach!

Feel free to share your Claws and Errors by posting on our Facebook page wall, tweeting us @mdwestroplitan, or by leaving a comment below.

K-Rod Trade: Not A White Flag, A Smart Move

July 13, 2011

In trading K-Rod to Milwaukee, Sandy Alderson has made the best of a bad situation. K-Rod’s contract was heavy and his option was obviously an enormous cause for concern. K-Rod wasn’t going to be the catalyst to a playoff run, either.

If the Mets do make a run it will be because they play a couple weeks of flawless baseball starting immediately, get a little bit of help and consequently decide to hold on to Carlos Beltran. If and when the Mets elect to trade Beltran, that would be raising the white flag because his presence in the lineup is invaluable.

Alderson may elect to move Beltran regardless instead of letting him walk, but I still believe the next couple of weeks will play a big factor into that decision.

For the time being, I wouldn’t be opposed to Bobby Parnell closing out ballgames. Izzy looks exhausted.

__________________

Note: The amount of cash heading Milwaukee’s way hasn’t been confirmed as of the time I am typing this, so bother Jason if this post is outdated by the time I wake up. I can’t promise he’ll care.

Update from Jason:  Reports are saying the Mets will eat $5 million of K-Rod’s salary.  By my quick math, that is still $12.5 million better than holding on to him and letting his option vest.  A big thanks goes out to Tom for having seven of his family members out east call me at separate times to remind me to look into the cash details. 

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The Mets Don’t Suck. The Astros Do.

May 15, 2011

After watching this series I think it is fair to say we have learned one simple, irrefutable fact.  The Mets don’t suck.

I’m sure that many are clambering to disagree right now.  Before you send me e-mails filled with personal insults and threats of physical violence, let me make a  few points that are chock full of logic.

The Mets are two games below .500 which means they are two games below being an average team.  Two games below average does not equal sucking.

A team that sucks does not win three straight series (two of which on the road).  Nor does it go 7-3 in its last ten games finding itself 4.5 games back in the Wild Card standings.

The Astros, on the other hand, suck.  At least they did in this series.  They played absolutely horrible defense and at times seemed like they had much better things to do (see the Mets theft of home Little League style in the fifth inning today).

I know average isn’t exactly something to write home about, and I’m not saying I find it to be an acceptable stopping point.  It is however, not a horrible  spot to be in considering the financial and roster challenges the Mets organization currently faces.

When you stop and think about it, 19-21 is actually amazing in a way.  After all,

  • Johan Santana has not pitched a single inning this season.
  • David Wright and Jason Bay are hitting .226 and .216 respectively.
  • Angel Pagan has been non-existent (literally).
  • R.A. Dickey still has yet to find his knuckle ball.
  • Willie Harris and Scott Hairston, two players that were signed to create a solid bench,  have been absolutely dreadful
  • Chris Young is out for the season after only pitching 24 innings.
  • Along with Pagan, Pedro Beato, Ike Davis, and Bobby Parnell are all currently on the DL.

Frankly, I  believe we should be happy with where the Mets stand with regard to their record.  It says something about the moxie of this team to be able to win of late.

Don’t mistake this as settling.  As long as I feel the Mets are working towards becoming a franchise that will be perennial contenders, I am going to be content.  Eventually, continued improvement will result in the Mets obtaining that goal.

So for those fans that fill up comment sections about how bad the Mets suck every time they lose, grow up.  Realize that in the real world, building a succesful organization from top to bottom takes more than two weeks.

In the meantime, try to enjoy the 2011 Mets as much as possible.  They could have mailed it in a long time ago.  Hell, imagine what could happen if the Mets hang around and they get some guys back, or Wright and Bay start hitting.

What Do The Mets Do With An Unexpected Day Off?

April 12, 2011

Sometimes mother nature gives you an unexpected break.  I’m sure the Mets bullpen is pretty thankful right now, including Bobby Parnell.

I imagine there are those that believe it would be more beneficial if Bobby got right back on the horse as soon as possible.  My train of thought is he needs to get his mind off things right now. Relax the old noggin.

Maybe go catch a flick. I would recommend that he sees Hop.  If watching a movie about a bunny that can shit jelly beans can’t take your mind off of your troubles, nothing can.

Now that I am finished sharing some sage advice, I can get to the real reason why I started this post.  Have you ever wondered what people in baseball do with an unexpected off day?

Here are some thoughts:

THE PLAYERS

This one is easy.  Read any posts on Midwestropolitan they may have missed due to lame batting practice or dealing with the media.

THE COACHES

Another obvious answer here.  Terry Collins can now use “playing the game the right way” at home instead of at the ballpark for a change.

I can see it now.  He’s playing an intense game of Scrabble with Mrs. Collins and busts out a triple word score and screams, “Now that’s playing the game the right way!!  Boo-ya!!” .  Was using “Boo-Ya” too much?  Reader feedback is always welcome.

THE FRONT OFFICE

They spend the entire night flipping a coin on whether or not to extend Jose Reyes’ contract while recording the results so they can be analyzed using Sabermetrics.  Heads we sign him, tails we don’t.

MR. MET

Score

Spend a couple of hours working on his T-shirt gun accuracy.  This practice usually involves attempting to shoot t-shirts through open car windows as they fly by on the Queensboro Bridge.

The night typically ends with him cruising for chicks in the bullpen car.

TOM

Trying desperately to figure out why Mr. Met is avoiding all of his texts and phone calls while repeatedly muttering to himself, “I mean, seriously, how’s a guy supposed to get his foot in the door in the mascot biz?  Damn.”

I’ll Let Gary, Keith, and Ron Do The Talking

April 11, 2011

Chalk up another loss that you can attribute to the Mets bullpen.  The bright side is the boys at SNY were able to bring a smile to my face in the middle of yet another Bobby Parnell meltdown.

Gary Cohen used the word beleaguered to describe the bullpen which opened the door for Keith and Ron.

There is Ronny’s straight forward,

The entire bullpen has struggled.

Keith started off with a cliche.

Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Then came the Pièce de résistance.  Mex at his finest.

Can’t put your thumb in the dike and stop the bleeding.

This is exactly why I shelled out an extra twenty bucks for the MLB.TV premium package.  There is no way the lame ass Colorado Rockies broadcast team can match this exchange.

For those of you that have never had to listen to out of market announcers, appreciate what you have.

Am I frustrated right now?  Absolutely.  Is it still early? Absolutely.  The only thing I can take from this game is that it was probably Bobby’s last game as the set up man for a while.

The Rain Can’t Slow Down The Mets Offense

June 23, 2010

Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

When it rains it pours.

At least that’s what the Tigers had to be thinking about the Mets’ offense last night.

The Amazin’s racked up fourteen runs on sixteen hits in a route.  Combined with a Braves loss, the Mets find themselves a game and a half out of first place.

Third Inning Of Fun

The Mets onslaught was highlighted by an eight run third inning, the longest third inning in recent history thanks to a fifty-eight minute rain delay.

Tigers’ pitcher Jay Sborz came in for Justin Verlander after the delay for his Major League debut.  It had to seem like a nightmare for him.  He never made it out of the inning, giving up five runs on five hits.

For the Mets, Bay and Davis doubled (Ike would later come up with a single as well), while Reyes, Pagan, and Wright singled in the inning.

Angel Stellar Again

Angel Pagan continued his torrid pace in this game.  He went four for six, drove in four, and scored three runs.

What’s impressive to me is that he is playing like this while the talk is heating up about him losing playing time when Carlos Beltran returns.

Not only has his play been outstanding, but he has handled this situation like a true professional.

What’s in my mind is to help the team as much as I can and to protect Carlos’ spot; that’s a big responsibility.

After last night’s game, Pagan is hitting .304.

David Wright went three for three, drove in two, and reached base in all five of his at bats.

Jose Reyes and Ike Davis each went three for six.

Jon Niese Probably Wasn’t A Fan Of The Rain Delay

The only Mets player that had room to gripe about the rain delay was Jonathon Niese.  He didn’t allow a hit in the first three innings.

Jerry Manuel opted to let him continue to pitch after the delay and tried desperately to allow him to get the win.  Unfortunately, Niese couldn’t get the final out in the fifth so he could not be the pitcher of record.

The ball got soggy. I just couldn’t make the adjustments.

I’m not sure if Jerry will take heat for this decision or not, but I liked it.  He could afford to give Niese a long leash after the Mets eight run explosion.

Fernando Nieve wound up with the win as he pitched effectively, picking up the final out of the fifth for Niese and then throwing an additional two innings.  He didn’t give up a run.

Bobby Parnell had a successful 2010 debut, throwing up a zero in the eighth. He threw consistently in the mid nineties which was a good sign.

On Deck

R.A. Dickey takes the hill with his 5-0 record as he faces Jeremy Bonderman tonight.

Off Day Observations: Jennry Mejia, Johan Santana, and More

June 21, 2010

Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

I find that on off days I like to reevaluate where the Mets stand in the baseball world.

Even thought they haven’t played inspiring baseball in their last two games, the Mets have put themselves in a nice position this month.

They are 2.5 games behind the Braves in the East and are leading the Wild Card chase.

Wild Card Teams W L PCT GB E# L10 STRK
NY Mets 39 30 .565 - - 8-2 L2
LA Dodgers 38 30 .559 0.5 94 4-6 L3
San Francisco 38 30 .559 0.5 94 6-4 W1
Cincinnati 37 33 .529 2.5 91 3-7 L3
Philadelphia 35 32 .522 3.0 92 4-6 L2
Colorado 36 33 .522 3.0 91 6-4 L1

Honestly, how many of you truly thought they would be in this position on June 21st at the end of May?

I know the end of the Yankees series was disappointing, particularly offensively.  That being said, I don’t believe the Mets recent winning streak was an aberration.   I still feel confident about this team.

Expectations For The Upcoming Home Stand

There is cause for relief in the fact that the Mets will be returning to Citi Field where they own a 24-10 record.

The next six games will be no cake walk, however.  Detroit and Minnesota are a combined 78-59.  They are fighting each other for first place in the AL Central and have established themselves as perennial playoff contenders.

It is time my friends.  We need to raise our expectations a bit.

Based on the fact that the Amazin’s play outstanding at home and they are a confident bunch, I expect the Mets to go 4-2 on this home stand.

Jennry Mejia Down, Bobby Parnell Up

Last week,  I wrote about Mejia and how he was being developed on the major league roster.

Apparently, those lessons have been learned and the Mets have decided its time to lengthen him out and have him develop his secondary pitches in the minors.

Bobby Parnell will take his place even though he hasn’t exactly burned it up in Buffalo.  He comes to the Mets with a 4.24 ERA in 40.1 innings.

The Mejia situation is another example of why the Mets appear to be without a plan when it comes to certain situations.

Is this a case of Jerry Manuel holding on to him as long as he could until Omar Minaya finally said enough?

It’s not like Mejia’s role has changed over the last few weeks.  Why now?  A complete head scratcher in my book.

Here’s what everyone involved had to say on the matter:

Jennry Mejia
I’m going down, but I don’t have to put my head down, because I’m going to continue to work hard.  I don’t think they’re sending me down because I didn’t do my job.
Omar Minaya
He has a focus, he knows what he wants to do and he knows where he wants to get.  He sees himself as a starter down the line.
Jerry Manuel
We felt that the development and the progression had leveled off here.  It was a tremendous experience for him and he did everything we asked, but we felt to get him to the next level he needs to pitch on a regular basis and work on a regular basis.

What’s Going On With Johan?

I have to admit, I am  baffled on what to think about Johan Santana.

I am officially on the fence folks.

Normally, when I am in this spot my heart and my head are at odds with one another.

My heart wants to believe in Johan so it agrees with Jerry Manuel’s assessment,

He’s historically been a second-half pitcher. I think he’s starting to gear up for that.  That’s been his history, but I’ll take what he’s been giving us. I still see a guy that competes.

My head is telling me that Johan is starting to show signs of decline.

Normally, I try not to read other blogs while I am in the middle of writing a post.  I don’t want them to influence what I see.  My normal operating procedure has me reading other work when I am finished posting.

As far as the Johan situation is concerned, I deviated from the norm.  In this case, my heart was fighting with my head.  It was telling me to look for ways to explain Johan’s decline.

Instead,  I found an excellent post that actually summed up my head’s perspective.  Sorry heart.

Tom Greenhalgh from The (Happy?) Recap wrote yesterday how he no longer expects greatness when Johan takes the mound.  He just hopes for a win.

Santana’s fastball has lost velocity. Therefore when he throws his change up, the differential in speed is smaller. The result? Unless he has pinpoint control, swings and misses are far and few between. Couple that with the fact that he hasn’t been compensating for his lack of “stuff” with great control, and you get statistics like this:
In his last four starts, Johan Santana has struck out a grand total of ten batters.

If my head’s perspective is correct, than what is the cause?

Is it simply the fact that Santana is getting older?  Could it be that he is still not completely recovered from his surgery?

Will it be heart or will it be head?  Only the second half of the season will tell.


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