The Mets are a mess

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Unless something really ridiculous happens today I’m going to do my best to honor Bob’s voluntary cease fire on the Mets for as long as a I can. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t outsource the mocking.  Here’s Bob Klapisch:

None of this is good news for the Mets’ fans, who are wondering
what, exactly, Minaya has done to improve the team this winter. The
signing of Jason Bay has been virtually negated by the GM’s inertia . . . Unless Smoltz changes his mind, the Mets likely will begin the
season with journeyman Fernando Nieve as their No. 5 starter. He lines
up behind Perez, John Maine and Mike Pelfrey, all of whom will come to
camp with health issues and emotional baggage.

The gap between the Mets and Phillies has never been wider than it
is today. So unless Santana can pitch three times a week, Jerry Manuel
will have to rely on tightly crossed fingers to keep his job beyond
June 1.

Why are things so dire? According to Rosenthal it’s all about the process, or lack thereof, employed by the front office:

The Mets, multiple industry sources say, do not function like most
clubs. Their unique style would be fine if they were building
championship teams. Instead, they’re coming off a 70-win season and losing out on free agent after free agent–except for one, left fielder Jason Bay, who seemingly lacked a better option.

Ownership, rather than giving Minaya a set budget, weighs the
finances of each acquisition separately, forcing the team to run down
its priority list one move at a time. The paint-by-numbers approach,
which inhibits multitasking and creativity, would work against any GM.

In other words, despite Omar Minaya’s manifest shortcomings, he’s not the one most responsible for this mess. It’s ownership. And if the Wilpons can’t be taken down by a financial collapse and the biggest Ponzi scheme in history, nothin’ is going to take them down.

Hmmm. I guess this post didn’t honor the spirit of the cease fire.  I’ll try harder to be nicer to them tomorrow.

Hunter Pence is mashing for the Rangers

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Hunter Pence was thought to be on his way to retirement after a lackluster 2018 season with the Giants. As he entered his mid-30’s, Pence spent a considerable amount of time on the injured list, playing in 389 out of 648 possible regular season games with the Giants from 2015-18.

Pence, however, kept his career going, inking a minor league deal with the Rangers in February. He performed very well in spring training, earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Pence hasn’t stopped hitting.

Entering Monday night’s game against the Mariners, Pence was batting .299/.358/.619 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 109 plate appearances, mostly as a DH. Statcast agrees that Pence has been mashing the ball. He has an average exit velocity of 93.3 MPH this season, which would obliterate his marks in each of the previous four seasons since Statcast became a thing. His career average exit velocity is 89.8 MPH. He has “barreled” the ball 10.4 percent of the time, well above his 6.2 percent average.

What Pence did to a baseball in the seventh inning of Monday’s game, then, shouldn’t come as a surprise.

That’s No. 9 on the year for Pence. Statcast measured it at 449 feet and 108.3 MPH off the bat. Not only is Pence not retired, he may be a lucrative trade chip for the Rangers leading up to the trade deadline at the end of July.