baseball gods productions

Thoughts about baseball, from the perspective of sports psychology and the role of sports in society. It includes team and player analysis, predictions, and what I think needs to be changed in Major League Baseball. Brought to you from the heart of baseball, Brooklyn, by baseball gods productions.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

All-Star Break Edition

Two more games before the All-Star break and the Mets are three games over .500, guaranteeing that they will be over .500 at the break. I've never been this excited by a .500 team. They play the game the right way, at least better than in several years. They are even developing a killer instinct, which has been the missing link since the 1980s.

Yesterday's win was especially good to see, because in losing the game before, it looked like the news about Jose Reyes missing more time than initially expected may have had a negative effect on the team's confidence. Right now, attitude is the key ingredient, because it's not pure talent that is driving this team. Terry Collins has already shown me more than his two predecessors about motivating and getting the most out of his players. I admit that I did not expect him to be this good for this team.

I don't envy Sandy Alderson right now, because the decisions he has to make are challenging ones. What I would do in his position is:

  • Keep Jose Reyes and keep letting him know how important he is to the team.
  • Trade Francisco Rodriguez to anyone that makes an offer, to get rid of that horrible vesting option. I don't think Rodriguez is worth investing more money in, even if he would be willing to get an extension and void the vesting option.
  • Keep Carlos Beltran and offer him a one-year extension to reward him for his excellent season. His agent is Scott Boras, which means he will probably not accept, but it can't hurt to try.
  • Trade Mike Pelfrey for the best offer, either pieces to help now, or legitimate prospects. Pelfrey needs a less stressful environment to reach his full potential. He is one bad throw away from full-on Steve Blass disease. 
  • Call up Chris Schwinden to start until Johan Santana is ready to step in. I fully expect that to be this year, probably in August.
  • If they trade Rodriguez and don't trade Pelfrey or another starter, I would even ask Santana if he is willing to be the closer for the rest of the year. 

To the last point, Santana would be available sooner since he won't have to stretch out his arm. I can't see him being able to pitch more than 5 innings per game at least for the first few starts. He would be more valuable in the bullpen and he would probably be an awesome closer because of his ultra-competitive nature. It's also the least disruptive move for the rest of the pitching staff, keeping everyone in their current role.

For the next few weeks, three key guys are Lucas Duda, Nick Evans, and Dillon Gee. These guys need to step up and prove they are legitimate major leaguers. Gee has had a disturbing string of starts, and he needs to prove that he has gotten back to the way he was pitching earlier. I think he will, because I'm impressed with his fearless mindset and ability to make adjustments.

Duda and Evans will probably be sharing first base until Reyes, Davis, or Wright come back, and they need to hit well enough to keep the offense flowing. They don't need to replace Reyes's production, but they both have enough power to contribute some extra base hits and RBIs along the way.

I expect that the Mets will have a better second half than the first, and will end up with 85-89 wins and will fall a bit short of the NL Wild Card. All in all, that would be quite encouraging, and bodes well for 2012. Good luck, Sandy Alderson, it's your turn to give this team an even brighter future.

© Judy Kamilhor 2011


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