Pedro Will Miss 4-6 Weeks

It’s just a strain, but even so, the Mets look as though they will be without Pedro for 4-6 weeks. Reportedly, he wasn’t limping today, but even so, you may as well get it 100%, particularly with Pedro.

I’ve been thinking about the injury, wondering if Pedro may have been holding back a little and that’s how he got hurt. He was touching low 90s in the spring, but last night I don’t think he topped 88. If he shortens up a bit, tries not to overthrow, he can mess up his stride and injure himself. No idea if that’s what happened, and you have to think Pedro knows himself better than anybody and wouldn’t do anything that would mess with his motion.

Nice work by Oliver Perez tonight, shutting down the Marlins as the Mets bats go wild…it’s currently 11-0. Church and Wright have homered, and Beltran had one called back on an appeal.  Nice to see them come out ripping after a disheartening loss, in more ways than one, last night.

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Don’t Get Crazy…Yet!

OK, so as I’m sure most of you know by now, Pedro Martinez left his first start tonight with what’s currently being called a hamstring strain. He’ll have an MRI Wednesday.

Of course, the newspapers will be all over him; moron Wally Matthews will call him out, talk radio will be burying him and his season, and in some circles likely the Mets season as well. After all, sports media is under no requirement to be rational.

He walked down the stairs, walked through the tunnel. I don’t imagine this is anything major. If it is, it will be a big problem. But rather than shooting first and asking questions later, let’s see if this is 2-3 starts missed, or 10 starts. There’s a big difference there.

We’re two games in, folks. Keep things in perspective.

Yes, I’m “The Roster Guy”

Got an e-mail from a reader yesterday asking me if I am the same GForce who created popular rosters for baseball video games. Yes, I am THAT GForce (or GForce22, depending where you found me).

For those wondering what the heck I’m talking about, I used to create the leading roster modifications for several baseball video games. I first brought my roster project, called TotalMinors, to High Heat Baseball, because the game came out with a AAA and AA minor league system, a first in the non-text video game category. But those guys would all have fake names, so what was the point. But as a baseball fanatic, stathead and passionate researcher, I developed my own ratings system to project minor leaguers (and reevaluate major leaguers), and what resulted was a full baseball universe that came to be known as TotalMinors.

I moved on to become the official roster developer for Out of the Park Baseball, a stat-based text simulator that basically lets you run an entire franchise, league or baseball universe. The game is simply outstanding, and I encourage any real baseball fan who wants to go beyond the button mashing of standard XBox/Playstation baseball games to give this one a look.

I went from there to bring TotalMinors to EA Sports’ MVP Baseball series, and was credited by many with making the game for them because of my project, as well as deciphering workarounds for several glitches in the ratings/performance mechanism of the game.

Now, married with 3 kids, I don’t have the time to handle rosters for Opening Day, at least not without being paid. So now I do Alltime roster projects such as my Franchise Stars project, which will be released for OOTP sometime in the next month. Its previous versions have been received very well, as fans love getting to play with MLB, AAA and AA rosters of their respective franchise’s alltime best players.

With the regular season upon us, I am going to try and get a blog schedule going here, with daily Mets game reports, but also different items each day, be it minor leagues, baseball history, sabermetrics, and even a baseball fiction story I’ve been working on. 

More on this to come this week when I figure out my schedule. Hopefully, you’ll stick around. I love the writing, and the interaction. It’s a beautiful game…so let’s share it.

GH

 

 

Santabulous

Santana.jpg

Opening Day couldn’t have gone much better for the Mets. Johan Santana was outstanding, giving up two runs over 7 innings, striking out 8. Wright, Beltran and Reyes each get two hits, Wright drives in 3 and Ryan Church and Angel Pagan each drive in a run. Not too shabby. Sure, it’s the Marlins, but the Mets need to beat up on the bad teams and play well against the good teams. And this, for many reasons, was a nice first step. 

2008 Predictions

OK, none of this start in Japan or, as the Nationals have on their field, “Opening Week” nonsense…Monday is Opening Day, so as far as I’m concerned these are on time. If you want, watch the season anyway, but this is what’s going to happen.

 

AL East

Yankees

Red Sox

Blue Jays

Devil Rays

Orioles

The Josh Beckett injury will come into play, and the fact is that the Yankees’ aren’t much changed from last year. Look for the Sox to take a step back, the Yanks to stay the course, and that will be enough for the Yanks to win the division. As for the excitement about the Devil Rays, they will improve, but we need to calm down a bit about this team. Baseball Prospectus projects they win 88 games…if the Rays win that many, I’ll eat a Devil Ray (the animal, not a player, though I’d eat Rick Peterson if it would bring Kazmir back to the Mets.)

 

AL Central

Cleveland

Detroit

Chicago

Minnesota

Royals

I know everyone’s raving about Detroit, but pitching wins, and Cleveland still has more of it than the Tigers do. This is a two-horse race by the All-Star break.

 

AL West

Angels

Mariners

A’s

Rangers

Forget the hype about the Mariners. They can’t score, and Bedard and Felix Hernandez only pitch 2 games every 5. The Angels pitching has been hit by the injury bug, but they still win this division by 5+ games. My friends over at BP actually say the A’s will be better than the Mariners, but I don’t buy it. Oakland takes a step back this year.

 

NL West

Diamondbacks

Rockies

Dodgers

Padres

Giants

Forgotten in all the talk about Brandon Webb and Dan Haren is Randy Johnson. Expect the Unit to miss time with his balky back, but when he pitches he’ll be effective more often than not. So good young bats make the D’Backs the class here. I know the Dodgers have gotten a lot of love, but I don’t buy it. What I do buy is the Giants struggling to win 70 games…I say they miss.

 

NL Central

Brewers

Cubs

Cardinals

Reds

Astros

Pirates

I know everyone seems to be picking the Cubs, but I don’t quite get why. I don’t love their pitching as much as a lot of other people seem to, and I just think the Brewers are on the rise and that continues this year.

NL East

Mets

Braves

Phillies

Nationals

Marlins

Call it a homer pick if you want, but look at it this way: The Mets’ collapse last season obscured an 88 win season. A historic collapse is unlikely to occur again. How have the Mets gotten worse? Church over Shawn Green? A wash worst case, an improvement best. Schneider over LoDuca. Two years ago I wouldn’t have said this, but right now I’ll take Schneider’s staff control over LoDuca’s presence, which was his greatest gift and wore out. A full year of Luis Castillo at 2B is an improvement, and Pedro and Santana replace Glavine and Jorge Sosa/El Duque. That’s a big improvement, and the reason the Mets take the division. I think the Braves top the Phillies, too, as the Phils have too many pitching questions right now, and I’m no big fan of Pedro Feliz or Geoff Jenkins at this point in their careers. I will say, though, that the idea that anyone is counting on something from Mike Hampton is purely comical. What could stop the Mets? Health, obviously. But I’m betting on Delgado not being worse than last year even if he’s no better, and a big year from Pedro, who’s playing for a contract and to retain his “Acehood.” For someone like Pedro, this matters.

AL Playoffs

Tigers over Yankees

Indians over Angels

Indians over Tigers

NL Playoffs

Mets over Brewers

Diamondbacks over Braves

Mets over Diamondbacks

 

World Series

Mets over Indians

 

If there’s one thing wrong in these predictions, it’s that the D’Backs absolutely can knock off the Mets, in what should be a great pitched series. But I still think whoever wins that series wins it all. Injuries could just as easily put the Mets in third in their division…that’s how fragile things are for this team. I’m putting a lot of faith in Pedro, honestly. We’ll see if that is rewarded.

Now let’s play ball!

GH

Good guesses, bad calls

So now that the Mets have announced their final cuts, I get to pat myself on the back for getting 24 of the 25 men right (yes, I know 20 or so were givens, but 24 for 25 sounds much better). I was right on the Matt Wise and Brady Clark calls, though I expected Duaner Sanchez to make the team. Joe Smith will fill his slot, as Sanchez was placed on the 15-day DL, retroactive to March 27, as the Mets hope he can strengthen his arm a bit more.

 

But in the “what are they thinking” department, the Mets waived Ruben Gotay, who was then claimed by the Atlanta Braves. Positively stupid maneuver. Gotay has a good bat, and his defensive deficiencies are clear but in a bench player not the key to making a roster move like this. You need roster depth, and though out of options Gotay could have been placed on the DL with his ankle injury. To just give this kid away makes no sense, particularly when I hear the team liked Fernando Tatis…FERNANDO TATIS…better. That’s crack-addict dillusional right there.

 

The alleged explanation for Gotay leaving is that the Mets need a righthanded stick off the bench, and Gotay doesn’t provide that because, though a switch hitter, he’s terrible righty. But the mad dash for a right-handed bat off the bench was a known quantity with this team for a long time…to suddenly panic about it at the end of spring shows that Minaya dropped the ball leading to this point. This isn’t saying Gotay is an all-star by any means, but he’s useful, and you don’t surrender useful for nothing.

 

Back later with season predictions.

 

GH

 

 

 

The Maine Event

Yes, it’s just spring training, and I’ve said previously I don’t put much stock in that, but man John Maine has looked outstanding. I’m a big fan of Johnny’s just because he’s the quiet guy who just goes out there and does his job, but he’s looking set up for a great season. Snubbed from the All-Star game last year, Maine threw a gem on the next to last day of the season that Tom Glavine obliterated the following day, but he’s come back looking in great shape and in great command. Best example of Maine’s makeup…when asked about his personal goal for the season, he didn’t give wins, Ks, an individual leaderboard item. Nope…he wants to throw 200 innings. Excellent!

Oliver Perez was smacked around by the Indians the other day, giving up 4 homers. Those are days Perez has. When he’s off, he’s WAY off. He may be more "electric" than Maine, but Maine is the #3. Perez is #4.

As for #5, we may be looking for Craig Swan, because El Duque and Mike Pelfrey seem disinterested in taking the job. Fighting for the slot, Hernandez came out against Cardinals and, without topping 85 mph, he gave up 5 runs over 3 innings of work. Pelfrey of course came out and gave up 8 runs on 13 hits in 4 1/3 innings. That Nelson Figueroa is allegedly getting some consideration for the 5-slot at this point should tell you all you need to know.

Damion Easley got some time at shortstop the other day, yet another sign Randolph really doesn’t want Anderson Hernandez on this squad. If Easley can be a capable backup for Reyes, Hernandez is destined for AAA once more.

Aaron Heilman has reportedly finally come to embrace his role in the bullpen, even counseling fellow reliever Joe Smith as far as game preparation and the like.