Archive for the ‘Chris Capuano’ Category

Pitching, Pitching, & More Pitching

October 4, 2011

Jose Reyes will dominate the discussion in terms of 2012 roster decisions for the New York Mets.  He’s one of the most exciting players in all of baseball, so it’s easy to understand.

The problem is, the shortstop position should not be the focus of the organization.  The starting rotation should be.  The Mets could re-sign Jose Reyes, successfully convert Ike Davis into a gold glove center fielder, sign Prince Fielder and they still wouldn’t make the playoffs with their current rotation.  I may be exaggerating a tad, but you get the point.

Besides, their offense isn’t the problem.  The Mets were sixth in the National League in runs scored (718).  That’s five runs better than the Phillies.

The 2011 Mets’ starting rotation sported a woeful 4.11 ERA.  There were nine teams better in the National League in this particular area, including all four playoff teams.  As it stands, the rotation has no legitimate ace, a number two or three guy in Johan (due to injury and age), a number three guy in Dickey, and a collection of #4 or #5 guys at best.

Mike Pelfrey (career 4.40 ERA) and Chris Capuano (career 4.39 ERA) need to go.  To put it simply, they are not part of the solution.

Jon Niese and Dillon Gee still have yet to prove they are worth holding on to, but I wouldn’t be upset if the Mets want to give them both another chance in 2012.  Part of me thinks Niese doesn’t have the stamina or strength to make it as a starter and the Mets need to consider moving him to the bullpen. Right now, his 4.20 ERA in 2010 and his 4.40 ERA this season place him alongside Big Pelf and Cap.

Back to Jose for a second. For those of you new to Midwestropolitan (shame on you for not joining us earlier), I am not saying I don’t want Jose to remain a Met.  As a fan, I hold on to hope they can figure out a way to re-sign him and fix the rotation at the same time.  The realist in me knows that is a tall order.

The bottom line is we should keep an eye on what the front office does with the rotation.  It will tell us a lot about whether or not they truly believe they can contend in 2012.  If there isn’t much turnover, it means they are willing to sacrifice 2012 to give Jenrry Mejia, Matt Harvey, and Zack Wheeler time to develop with hopes that any and all of them form a strong young core in 2013.

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Should Capuano Stay Or Go?

August 14, 2011

Based on Terry Collins’ recent comments about guys auditioning for future jobs, I’ve been trying to decide whether or not certain players should be a part of the 2012 season.  That’s really all we have left at this point.

I realize there is still a lot of baseball to be played and making any kind of final decision is futile, but it is fun to ponder as things stand today.

Today, I focused on Chris Capuano.  Largely due to the fact that the starting rotation is the area in which I feel needs the most work.  I’ll get into that more as the days progress.

Cap deserves some credit.  He was a gamble going into the season and he has been a consistent innings eater. For the most part, he’s kept the Mets in contention during his starts.

If you look at his numbers, I feel it is fair to expect him to give you six innings and anywhere between 3 to 6 earned runs a start.  In other words, average to above average.

Cap makes sense on a team as a fifth starter/relief pitcher.  That’s the only way I would bring him back.  He can handle either role nicely.

That’s also the problem. If you keep Cap, who goes?  You can’t throw three or four average to above average starting pitchers in one rotation.  With the exception of R.A. Dickey, all of the Mets starters have Capuano type numbers.  You have to aim higher if you want to improve the club in 2012.

Cap’s age doesn’t help him either.  Niese and Gee are still young and developing, so their ceiling is certainly higher.  Pelfrey may be treading on thin ice but he is also younger and has flashes of brilliance.

Quite the conundrum for Chris Capuano in 2012.

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Fourteen Runs?!?

June 26, 2011

With 8,000 other Mets blogs out there surely you’ve read a riveting recap of the Mets 14-5 win by now. So, as always, I’ll take no part in that.

Anyway, the 14 run outburst had me wondering just how good the Mets offense is. Naturally I consulted the Midwestropolitan Research staff, and let’s just say I was surprised to find that the Mets are the highest scoring team in the division.

Ok, Atlanta, Washington and Florida are all pretty bad offensively. But I figured at least Philadelphia would be ahead of New York (the Mets hold a 12-run advantage, 329-317).

The difference? The Phillies lead the NL in ERA and the Mets are 12th, almost a full run higher. That’s why the Mets only (slim) shot is the Wild Card…unless another one of the fantastic four goes down to injury…

So who is to blame?

Well, the Mets team ERA of 3.99 would be pretty awesome any other year, but it is the year of the pitcher. Clearly Mike Pelfrey (4.78 ERA) is the one dragging down the starting staff. Capuano has picked it up, Gee has been great, Dickey gets no run support and Niese is solid.

Four names have really messed up any chance of the team having a lower ERA though – Carrasco, Misch, Boyer, and Acosta. All of them have 5 or more games pitched and an ERA ranging from 6 point something to 11 point something.

The Point?

There is none!

Capuano, Two Out RBIs, And Jose Reyes

June 23, 2011

Here’s to two out RBIs and Chris Capuano.  I just raised my beer in the air.  Oh, and Jose Reyes.  Sorry about that Jose.  I’m getting accustomed to you performing like this, so I almost overlooked your “mundane” 2 for 4 day with 2 RBI’s and 2 runs.

Capuano

Admittedly, I didn’t exactly sprint out my front door and run the streets of my neighborhood shouting to the rooftops about Chris Capuano’s signing. After all, he went to Duke.

However, I feel it is time to give him his due.  He has certainly earned some praise for his eighth quality start this season (fourth in a row if you are playing at home).  For you math geeks out there that is 53.333333% of his starts to date.

Good job Chris.  Keep up the good work.  Hopefully the pain in your abdomen was just indigestion or something.  It’s about time we catch a break on the injury front.

Two Out RBIs

Three of the four runs driven in by the Mets today were with two outs.  Two out RBIs are a plus for any team.  For the Mets there is an extra incentive to take advantage of every chance they can because they have such little power.  As much as it pains me to admit that Jason Bay singles through the third base/shortstop hole do not qualify as power.

Did anyone else feel kind of bad for A’s first baseman, Chris Carter?  No, not that Chris Carter.

The poor guy comes into the game in a double switch (something AL players aren’t exactly used to), and drops an easy pop up with two outs.  Jose Reyes then decides to drill a line drive up the middle for another RBI.  Like I said, baseball is a humbling game.

On to Texas.  This should be interesting…..

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Series Expectations For Non Athletics Supporters

June 21, 2011

Yesterday, Tom questioned my prognostication skills as he mercilessly made fun of the expectations I published about the Angels’ series.

“I’m questioning your prognostication skills. Don’t screw up the Oakland series or we’ll have to find a replacement.“- Tom

This coming from the same person who picked the A’s to win the AL West interestingly enough.

In my defense, they are my expectations, not predictions.  It is a fine line that even confuses me sometimes.  Basically, I am saying here’s what should happen realistically, but combining how squirrely the game of baseball is with how unreliable the Mets are, I wouldn’t put money on what I say.

Well, Tom wasn’t buying it.  After hours of crying uncontrollably and begging for my job, I started working on my expectations for the series against Oakland.

Here we go:

Even though everything is telling me this probably won’t happen, I still expect the Mets to take the series.

Why?

1.  At some point, the Mets should win a home series right?  Especially against sub .500 teams.

2.  I like the pitching match ups.  The Amazin’s have All World Dillon Gee going tonight followed by R.A. Dickey and Chris Capuano.  Surely that’s two of three.  Unless of course, R.A.’s last start is a sign of a string of games in which he scuffles and Chris Capuano comes back down to Earth.

3.  The Mets are coming off a day off after 13 straight games and the A’s had to travel across country so jet lag may be a factor.

Why Not?

1.  The A’s are on a roll right now as they are riding a five game winning streak.

2.  The Mets haven’t been that stellar at home in 2011 for some reason.

3.  There is a conspiracy that involves every MLB club and the sole purpose is to make me look silly when my expectations are not met.

I Think They Smoke A Lot Of Dope in Oakland

Check out this post by an A’s fan named Robert (last name withheld to protect the innocent…or until you read his post).  The Midwestropolitan Research Staff assures me this isn’t taken out of context, but Robby actually believes that Jose Canseco could still contribute something to the Oakland Athletics.

“I have 1 name that can help all 3 of these problems. You LOVE him and you HATE him.  His name is Jose. And you know exactly who i’m talking about. Go to youtube and search Jose’s videos of him destroying softballs over 500 feet. We could do much worst as a hitting coach AND he could be a late inning Pinch hitter.”- Delusional A’s Fan Robert

All I can say is WOW, and you gotta love this guy’s moxy.  It is out of the box thinking.  I’ll give him that.  That’s like asking Mex to come down from the SNY booth to be our left-handed bench threat (secretly I do believe he could still out hit Willie Harris or Jason Bay).

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OK Guys, A Win Would Be Nice

June 17, 2011

Well…..shit.  Opening up this home stand with a loss wasn’t exactly how I pictured things.  That being said, I’m not ready to officially start worrying yet.

Tonight brought us yet another game that the Mets were in position to win.  Chris Capuano provided a quality start.  And despite Jose Reyes going 0 for 4 on the night, he and Justin Turner worked consecutive walks to represent the tying and winning runs in the ninth.

Unfortunately, Angels closer, Jordan Walden, struck out Carlos Beltran, Daniel Murphy, and Angel Pagan to shut the door.

Speaking of Walden.  He is absolutely filthy.  A 100 mph fastball combined with a devastating slider makes for quite the challenge for hitters.  He seemed to be in big trouble against Reyes and Turner as his slider wasn’t working.  Then all of sudden it became unhittable and Beltran,Murphy, and Pagan had no chance.

Losing tonight sets the Mets up for a Don’t Disappoint Game tomorrow.  Time to get off the schneid guys.

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Just Need One More Tomorrow

June 12, 2011

My wishful thinking may actually come true. With a win tomorrow the Mets would finish a 14-game stretch against Pittsburgh, Milwaukee and Atlanta at 9-5, thus returning them to .500 overall.

But in an effort to not get too ahead of myself I’ll just highlight upon a couple of things from today’s win.

  • This is Chris Capuano’s second straight excellent start. He’s been inconsistent this year but hopefully he is turning a corner. If Capuano and Pelfrey can keep the team in games it would do wonders with Gee, Niese and Dickey pitching really well.
  • Jose Reyes continues to lead the world in hitting (.346) with another 3 for 5 day. The “Don’t Trade Jose” craze/cult is going to intensify with each home game I imagine.
  • Beltran has now driven in 39 runs on the year, putting him on pace to drive in just shy of 100. That makes Jason happy.
  • Speaking of Jason, he was spot on in mentioning that Angel Pagan’s resurgence and the Mets recent success is no coincidence. He had another two hits today.
  • Jason Bay had a hit and an RBI. Baby steps.

Mets Vs. Milwaukee Randomness

June 7, 2011

A very solid win for the Amazin’s to open up this road trip.  Color me impressed.

I figured I’d share some of my random thoughts as I was watching this game:

  • The Brewers over shifted to the left side of the infield for Jason Bay in the 4th.  I understand he only hits the ball in the 3B/SS hole, but he is barely hitting .200.  He finds plenty of gloves without a shift.  Head scratcher.
  • The Mets hit a ton of fly balls against a sinker ball pitcher in Shaun Marcum.  There were plenty of ground balls too.  Not a whole lotta hits.
  • I love Jose Reyes, and I want him to stay. The triple he hit was fabulous.  But you have to slide on plays at the plate homey. You’re not THAT fast.
  • We got to see LaTroy Hawkins pitch for the Brew Crew tonight.  LaTroy has Midwestropolitan roots as he played for the Fort Wayne Wizards (now the Fort Wayne Tin Caps) in their inaugural season.  And yes, I am speaking of my hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  • A nice win for Chris Capuano against his old team.  Another reason why I’m glad he won is that I’m not sure if I wanted to see Terry Collins’ reaction if the Mets blew another one of his starts.
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Mets Playoff Starting Rotation

June 6, 2011

Don’t get your undies all in a twist.  I haven’t gone off my rocker.  I realize it is early June and the Mets are far from playoff contention.  Just thought it would be fun to assess the starting rotation on this lovely off day.

So here’s how I would set up the rotation if the playoffs started today and the Mets were in it.  A guy can dream can’t he?

1.  Dillon Gee

You’re probably sick of me singing Gee’s praises lately but I don’t care.  I have been on the Gee band wagon from the beginning and I’m going to keep riding it until I get thrown off.  Or he puts together a string of incredibly horrific starts.

The reason I have him at the top is that he appears to have the best mental game of all of the Mets starters right now.  Nothing seems to phase the guy.

He has yet to throw a game in which the Mets haven’t had a chance to win (knock on wood).

I enjoy the fact that he has the ability to have great command of all four of his pitches.  This makes him better suited to make a number of different adjustments in the event one or two of his pitches aren’t working.  It also prevents the opposing offense from keying in on a single pitch during an at bat.

2. R.A. Dickey

A few weeks ago, R.A. would have found himself lower on the depth chart.  However, it appears as if he has found his knuckle ball just in the nick of time.  Strangely enough this seems to have coincided with the fact that the weather has finally moved away from antarctic conditions.

Also, how bad ass is it that he is doing this all on one foot?

3.  Jon Niese

Young Mr. Niese is a very close third in my book.  I really wouldn’t have a problem with him in the two hole, but I had to make  a decision so I went with Dickey.

One might also argue to bump him to the two spot to split up the righties but I am not one that buys into that philosophy.  Go with the guy you believe in more regardless of which wing he uses.  That’s my motto.

Niese really has been the most consistent starter this entire season (taking into account that Gee did start this year in Buffalo).

4.  Chris Capuano

This was the hardest decision for me in terms of setting up this rotation.  By placing Cap in the four hole, this means I am bumping fellow Midwestropolitan, Mike Pelfrey, out of the playoff rotation.

However, Cap has earned it by throwing seven quality performances in his ten starts.  And yes, I am counting his last start in that mix even though his line shows that he gave up five earned runs.

Odd Man Out:  Mike Pelfrey

As I have stated in the past, I’m a straight shooter.  There is no Midwest Bias when it comes to this author.

Big Pelf finds himself in the bullpen for the playoff rotation because I just can’t count on him to be consistent.  When he’s off, he’s really off.  Teams seem to crush him when he doesn’t have his best stuff and that just can’t be tolerated in the playoffs.

He really should be 3-6 right now, but the offense has been able to erase two seven run deficits this year to get him off the hook.

The good thing is Big Pelf has some time to climb the ladder if he can put together a nice string of quality starts together.

Not Ideal Timing For The Bullpen To Go MIA

May 28, 2011

I’m not sure which is more frustrating, watching the Mets blow two late leads in a row, or listening to it.  For my viewing pleasure, I was graciously provided the Reds vs. Braves by FOX tonight.  Barf.

Don’t worry, this isn’t another MLB Blackout Restrictions suck rant.  Just read this again, and you’ll capture how I felt not being allowed to watch tonight’s game.

Frankly, there is never a good time for your bullpen to start blowing leads.  This particular stretch really, really, is an inopportune time.

The last two nights have been excruciatingly frustrating.  There is nothing I want more than this current group of players to stick it to everyone and go on a tear.  Clearly, that isn’t happening.

Instead, we’ve been treated with two gutsy starts from Chris Capuano and Mike Pelfrey, average offense, and a complete disappearance by the bullpen.  All compounded by the fact that it’s the Phillies sticking it to the Mets late in each contest.

I consider myself a realistic optimist.  But it is becoming extremely difficult to find things to be optimistic about as the Mets continue to drop games (three in a row if you are counting at home).

There aren’t any answers as far as a fix is concerned.  Maybe a slim hope that the Mets can make a run when some of their injured stars, or nice guys depending on who you ask, return.  Hopefully, the Mets aren’t too far below the .500 mark for it to matter.

I’ll tell you one thing. I’m glad it’s a holiday weekend and I am fortunate enough to be spending it with family, enjoying some unbelievably good food, and a cold brew or two.

It has provided the perfect distraction from focussing on the Mets current woes. Too bad the players and coaches aren’t afforded such a luxury.  It might do them some good.


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