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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Recap : Game 108 - Mets at Nationals - Hairston's 2 HR's NOT Enough

Final Score: Washington 3, New York 2

Rick Ankiel went to third on a pitch in the dirt and scored easily on Ian Desmond's chopper over the mound in the bottom of the ninth, lifting the Nationals to a 3-2 win over the Mets.

Washington won with a rally that came after New York tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the ninth on Scott Hairston's two-out solo homer off closer Drew Storen.

Hairston had two homers in the game for the Mets, while Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse had back-to-back RBI doubles in the game for the Nationals.

Washington won the final two games of the three-game set on the heels of a six-game losing streak.

Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann pitched six shutout innings, giving up seven hits and a walk while striking out six.

Ian Desmond, Zimmerman and Morse hit three straight doubles to start the bottom of the sixth, giving Washington a 2-0 lead and putting Zimmermann in line for his first win in three starts.

"It's just a shame we couldn't save that for Jordan Zimmermann. What a game he pitched," said Nationals manager Davey Johnson.

NL Wild Card Alert: Braves land CF Michael Bourn from Astros

Braves GM made a splash today by acquiring center fielder Michael Bourn and cash from the Astros for center fielder Jordan Schafer, southpaw Double-A starter Brett Oberholtzer, righty Double-A starter Paul Clemens, and righty Triple-A reliever Juan Abreu. The Astros announced the deal via press release.

None of the three pitchers are top 50 prospects, but they did rank ninth, 26th, and 27th respectively for the Braves on Baseball America's preseason rankings, and the team has a highly-regarded farm system. Oberholtzer, 22, ranked ninth and is seen as a potential third or fourth starter in the big leagues. Clemens and Abreu both have big upside and impressive fastballs.

Braves flirted with the idea of making a trade for Carlos Beltran , but they were not serious about trading top prospects for him.

The Astros on the other hand have one of the worst minor-league organizations in terms of depth and this could help replenish their system

Preview/Mets Lineup : Game 108 - Mets at Nationals - Niese trying to win rubber game!

New York Mets (55-52) at Washington Nationals (50-56), 1:35 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Jonathon Niese (10-8, 3.97) Washington - Jordan Zimmermann (6-9, 3.27)

One day after trading away Jason Marquis from their starting rotation, Jordan Zimmerman aims to pick up the pieces for the Nationals and snap a personal two-game skid in the final of a three-game series against the Mets.

With today's 4 p.m. (et) trading deadline, the Nationals are once again sellers on the market and proved that yesterday when Marquis was dealt to playoff-contender Arizona in exchanged for minor league infielder Zachary Walters.

Zimmerman has surrendered 12 runs over those contests, losses to the Marlins and Astros. The righty is 2-2 with a 4.35 ERA in six games against the Mets.

Countering for New York will be Jonathon Niese, who is 3-1 over his last five starts. The southpaw has yet to lose to the Nationals, going 2-0 with a 3.44 ERA in three games. In his most recent start, Tuesday at Cincinnati, Niese gave up five runs over five frames.

The Nationals snapped their six-game losing streak with a replacement starter last night. Now, they might lose him as well. Yunesky Maya got the start after Marquis was traded and threw 5 1/3 shutout innings for his first MLB win in a 3-0 final.

Maya (1-1) allowed just five hits, without any strikeouts or walks, but he strained his back running the bases and was taken out with two runners on in the sixth.

"I imagine he'll have to go on the [disabled list]," said Nationals manager Davey Johnson.

Recap : Game 107 - Mets at Nationals - Werth's HR in the first the difference

Final Score: Washington 3, New York 0

The Nationals snapped their six-game losing streak with a replacement starter.

Now, they might lose him as well.

Yunesky Maya got the start after fellow right-hander Jason Marquis was traded to Arizona earlier Saturday and threw 5 1/3 shutout innings for his first MLB win as Washington blanked the New York Mets, 3-0.

Maya (1-1) allowed just five hits, without any strikeouts or walks, but he strained his back running the bases and was taken out with two runners on in the sixth.

"I imagine he'll have to go on the [disabled list]," said Nationals manager Davey Johnson.

Jayson Werth hit a three-run homer in the first inning off Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (5-9) and the Nationals pitching kept the New York bats silent the rest of the way.

Ross Detwiler, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen finished the shutout for Maya. Storen, the subject of simmering trade rumors, worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth for his 26th save.

David Wright, Jason Bay and Josh Thole had two hits apiece for the Mets, who had their five-game winning streak snapped.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tonight's Mets Starting Lineup - Mets at Nationals - Game 107

Saturday Mets Starting Lineup at Washington - Game 107:
  1. Reyes-SS
  2. Turner-2B
  3. Murphy-1B
  4. Wright-3B
  5. Pagan-CF
  6. Bay-LF
  7. Duda-RF
  8. Thole-C
  9. Dickey-RHP

Video: Fans Fighting in the stands - Mets at Nationals Game Last Night

Look for the big guy laying out a women with his back-swing!

Preview : Game 107 - Mets at Nationals - Mets scored 34 Runs in their last 4 Games

New York Mets (55-51) at Washington Nationals (49-56), 7:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - R.A. Dickey (5-8, 3.74) Washington - Jason Marquis (8-5, 3.95)

Going forward, the offense for the New York Mets hasn't seemed to lose a beat minus Carlos Beltran.

On Thursday, the Mets dealt Beltran to the San Francisco Giants. Despite losing their star right fielder the Mets have been putting up runs in bunches.

Lucas Duda, who replaced Beltran in right field, has five RBI in his last three games. He drove in one last night, part of an 8-5 victory over the Nationals to start this three-game series. It marked the fifth straight victory for the Mets, one off a season-high set on April 21-27.

Although the Mets also traded away closer Francisco Rodriguez at the All-Star break, New York has flickering hopes of actually making the postseason. It enters today 6 1/2 games behind Atlanta for the wild card lead with Arizona, St. Louis and the Pirates all in between.

Judging by the way their offense has played lately, with 34 runs in their last four games, it's not impossible to think the Mets could pull off an unlikely run to the postseason.

"When you drive in runs with two outs you're doing good things," said New York manager Terry Collins. "We're getting some clutch hitting when we need it and when that happens you win games."

If they are to extend their winning streak, the Mets will need another decent effort from knuckleball specialist R.A. Dickey. He limited the Reds to a pair of runs over 6 2/3 innings on Monday.

Video: Zach Wheeler's Bullpen session

Video brought to you by SNY..

Happy Recap : Game 106 - Mets at Nationals - Mets beat up Wang in his debut

Final Score: New York 8, Washington 5

The Mets hammered Chien-Ming Wang for four runs in the first inning Friday, ruining the pitcher's first major league start in more than two years on the way to an 8-5 victory over the Nationals to open a three-game series.

Daniel Murphy and Angel Pagan both delivered RBI singles during New York's first-inning rally as the first five batters of the game reached against Wang, the former 19-game winner who finally returned to the bigs after a recent climb through Washington's farm system.

Jose Reyes doubled and knocked in two runs and Ronny Paulino had three hits, including an RBI double for the Mets, who continued to streak after completing a four-game sweep of the Reds.

"When you drive in runs with two outs you're doing good things," said New York manager Terry Collins. "We're getting some clutch hitting when we need it and when that happens you win games."

Wang (0-1) settled down to pitch well in the second and third innings before giving up two more runs in the fourth, his last frame. He allowed eight hits and a walk while striking out two. Two of the six runs he gave up were unearned.

"I was pleased with his delivery tonight," said Washington manager Davey Johnson about Wang. "It looked like for a little while he was getting the ball too low, but he recovered and worked through the start."

Mets rookie Dillon Gee (10-3) earned the win after yielding three runs -- two earned -- on four hits in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out five, walked four and helped himself with an RBI single off Wang.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Tonight's Mets Starting Lineup - Mets at Nationals - Game 106

Mets Starting Lineup vs Nationals - Game 106 
  1. Reyes-SS
  2. Turner-2B
  3. Murphy-1B
  4. Wright-3B
  5. Pagan-CF
  6. Bay-LF
  7. Duda-RF
  8. Paulino-C
  9. Gee-RHP

Video: Carlos Beltran Giants Press Conference

Click Here for Carlos Beltran Press Conference

Get to know New Mets Pitching Prospect , Zach Wheeler

Zack Wheeler P
Status: Active
MLB Parent Club: NY Mets
Full Name: Zachary Harrison Wheeler
Born: 05/30/1990
Birthplace: Smyrna, GA
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 185
Bats: R
Throws: R
2011 Season

Thanks to Minor-League baseball for the stats and profile

Preview : Game 106 - Mets at Nationals - The Return of Ex-Yankees' Star , Chien-Ming Wang

New York Mets (54-51) at Washington Nationals (49-55), 7:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Dillon Gee (9-3, 3.75) Washington - Chien-Ming Wang (0-0, 0.00)

Chien-Ming Wang returns to a major league hill for the first time since 2009 this evening when the Washington Nationals open a three- game series against the New York Mets at Nationals Park.

After winning 19 games in 2006 and '07, Wang's once promising career was derailed by injuries. In fact he has won just nine times in 27 appearances since the start of the 2008 campaign.

He joined the Nationals before last season on a one-year deal, but did not pitch for them. Wang then re-signed with Washington this offseason.

Wang began a rehab assignment with Single-A Hagerstown on June 27 and pitched for Potomac on July 2, Double-A Harrisburg on July 7 and July 14 and Triple-A Syracuse on July 19.

He allowed five runs in five innings at Syracuse on July 24 in his final rehab game, striking out five batters and walking one.

Wang has never faced the Mets.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mets coveted Wheeler more than any other Giants Prospect

In a article in the Wall Street Journal, Paul DePodesta still remembers the first time he saw Zack Wheeler pitch. He remembers the field in northwest Georgia, where Wheeler was pitching for his high school team in 2009. He remembers the scouts, about 30 of them in the stands. And he remembers the highest reading on the radar gun: 99 miles per hour.

"He had an easy, power fastball and a devastating curveball that night," said DePodesta, the Mets' head of player development. "To be honest with you, it was almost unfair at that level."

The same potential DePodesta saw then, on a scouting trip for the San Diego Padres, the Mets' pro scouts saw as they watched Wheeler this season. It's why they coveted him more than any other San Francisco Giants prospect. And it is ultimately why Wheeler became a Met on Thursday after the Carlos Beltran trade became official.

The Mets and Giants discussed a deal that would have sent another prospect, outfielder Gary Brown, to the Mets for Beltran. But Wheeler was always the Mets' target. And when the Giants finally became willing to part with him, the trade accelerated.

"We were looking for big upside," Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said. "We could have gotten a package of three players from a number of clubs, but the overall potential of those players would not have equaled Zack's potential."

Johan Santana throws 3 scoreless innings for Single-A St.Lucie

Mets ace Johan Santana pitched three scoreless innings Thursday in his first rehab outing for Single-A St. Lucie.

He allowed two hits, no walks, recorded three strikeouts and hit one batter. Santana threw 33 pitches, 26 for strikes.

Reports are saying he threw his fastball at 88-90 mph. The left-hander is attempting to return this season after September shoulder surgery.

Happy Recap : Game 105 - Mets at Reds - Mets hold on for the win

Final Score: New York 10, Cincinnati 9

Once again, Carlos Beltran's bat was not missed in the middle of the New York lineup.

On the day Beltran officially left the Mets in a trade with the San Francisco Giants, Lucas Duda and Jason Bay each hit three-run doubles in a 10-9 victory over the Cincinnati Reds to complete a four-game sweep at Great American Ball Park.

The Mets banged out 11 hits, six for extra bases, in Wednesday's 8-2 win when the Beltran deal was first announced, and on Thursday were even more potent with 14 hits, although 11 were singles.

Bay finished 3-for-4 and Duda was 2-for-4, while David Wright and Angel Pagan each had three hits for New York, which built a 9-3 cushion after five innings and had to withstand a huge Cincinnati comeback.

The offense made a winner of Chris Capuano (9-10) for the first time since July 4. He had lost three straight starts and didn't pitch particularly well on Thursday, allowing six runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey (5-5) entered the contest with wins in his first two starts following the All-Star break. He had surrendered just three runs in 13 1/3 innings of those two outings, but on Thursday was roughed up for nine runs on 12 hits in four-plus innings.

Miguel Cairo belted a pinch-hit, three-run homer for the Reds, who had won three of four before the Mets reached town. Joey Votto doubled in a run and clubbed a solo homer, as 10 of Cincinnati's 13 hits went for extra bases.

"It's tough to get swept four games in your own park," said Reds manager Dusty Baker. "They were hitting the ball a ton over there. They didn't miss any balls. They were hitting line drives."

New York erased a 2-1 deficit with four in the fourth. Daniel Murphy led off with a walk, Wright singled and Pagan reached on a bunt base hit to load the bases. After Bay struck out, Duda doubled into the right field corner to clear the bases and scored on a single to center by Josh Thole for a 5-2 edge.

The Reds got one back in the bottom of the inning when Todd Frazier doubled with two outs and raced home on a base hit by Bailey, but the pitcher couldn't get an out in the fifth when he went back out the mound.

Justin Turner led off with a base hit and Murphy drew a walk before another single by Wright loaded the bases. Pagan then knocked in one with a base hit and Bay followed with a double to chase home all three runners for a 9-3 cushion, ending Bailey's disastrous day.

Audio: Sandy Alderson discusses Beltran Trade (Press Conference)

Willie Harris Wants to Defeat Beltran in Playoffs

After Carlos Beltran's departure to join his new team, the San Francisco Giants, Willie Harris tried to rally the troops before last nights game. He said to anyone in earshot while in the training room,
"Lets make the playoffs and let's beat Carlos Beltran in the playoffs."
When asked about his comments Harris told the NY Post,
"I mean, how cool would that be?" Harris said after the Mets beat the Reds 8-2 at Great American Ball Park. "We trade our best hitter and then we send him home in the playoffs."
The Mets are one win closer to Harris' request after defeating the Reds with the help of Mike Pelfrey who seemed to have toned down his criticism of the Mets front office from earlier this week.
"Obviously we're a better team with Carlos Beltran," he said. "But that doesn't mean that Lucas Duda or Willie Harris or Scott Hairston on the bench can't step up. [The trade] is unfortunate, but we're all professionals and we're going to continue to go out there and play and go out there and win."
Pelfrey pitched a complete game allowing only 2 earned runs and 7 hits.

NY Times: Mets/Einhorn deal almost finished, waiting for paper work to be completed

The Mets deal to sell a minority stake in the team for $200 million to David Einhorn is finished except for completing the deal’s paperwork, according to the NY Times.

The deal was slowed by Einhorn’s dealings with the banks that have lent the team more than $400 million. The banks are now satisfied with the transaction’s terms (NY Times Source).

The acquisition of a minority stake is usually approved by Commissioner Bud Selig, which would probably give the Mets access to the $200 million as early as next month.

The boatload of cash should be a relief to Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, the Mets’ owners, who face a $1 billion lawsuit that has been filed by Irving H. Picard, the trustee for the victims of Bernard L. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

Alderson makes it official, Beltran and Cash to Giants For Pitching Prospect Zach Wheeler

The Mets officially announced Thursday morning that they had traded right fielder Carlos Beltran, along with cash, to the San Francisco Giants for Zack Wheeler, a right-handed minor league pitcher.

In a conference call Thursday afternoon, General Manager Sandy Alderson provided insight into the deal, which in the short term will hinder the Mets’ chances for a playoff berth.

In the long term, however, the deal brightens the Mets’ future with a highly regarded prospect described by Alderson as a “high end talent” with “top end potential.”

Though he declined to reveal the specifics of his negotiations with other teams, Alderson said talks heated up Monday with a number of clubs. The Giants came to the Mets with an offer Tuesday that they were pleased to accept.

“We were looking for big upside,” Alderson said. “We could have gotten a package of three players, from a number of clubs, but the overall potential of those players would not have equaled Zack’s potential. In that way, we sacrificed a little bit of diversification for top-end potential.”

Though he declined to reveal the specifics of his negotiations with other teams, Alderson said talks heated up Monday with a number of clubs. The Giants came to the Mets with an offer Tuesday that they were pleased to accept.

“We were looking for big upside,” Alderson said. “We could have gotten a package of three players, from a number of clubs, but the overall potential of those players would not have equaled Zack’s potential. In that way, we sacrificed a little bit of diversification for top-end potential.”

Alderson also addressed to an extent the notion that Beltran, despite interest from teams like the Texas Rangers and the Boston Red Sox, would have refused to switch to the American League. Beltran had a no-trade clause in his contract.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tonight's Mets Starting Lineup - Mets at Reds - Game 104 - No Beltran in Lineup!

It's Duda Time in RF!
Mets Starting Lineup vs Cincinnati - Game 104:
  1. Reyes-SS
  2. Harris-2B
  3. Murphy-1B
  4. Wright-3B
  5. Pagan-CF
  6. Bay-LF
  7. Duda-RF
  8. Paulino-C
  9. Pelfrey-RHP
Game Notes:
No Carlos Beltran in the Lineup (Traded to Giants), Duda will play right
Willie Harris will get the start at 2B, bat 2nd
Daniel Muprhy will bat 3rd and play 1B

Rumors becoming reality, Beltran on the verge to Giants for Wheeler

All the rumors are becoming reality.....According to the NY Times, the Mets and the San Francisco Giants are on the verge of completing a trade that will send Carlos Beltran and cash to the Giants in exchange for a top prospect who is likely to be Zack Wheeler, a right-handed pitcher taken in the first round of the 2009 draft.

The Mets get the 6-foot-3 Wheeler, 21, is in his second season of minor league ball. He is 7-5 this season with a 3.99 earned run average for the Class A San Jose Giants.

In recent days, teammates of Beltran and staff members of the Mets had become increasingly convinced that San Francisco would be Beltran’s destination, at least in part because he seemed very open to playing there. And where Beltran wanted to play was important because he had a full no-trade clause in his contract and thus had the right to veto any deal he did not like.

Video: See ya later, Thanks for the memories ....Carlos Beltran

I found a video on you-tube that's short and sweet, thanking Carlos Beltran.

Hey, I wish him well and I will be still routing for you in the play-offs

Preview: Regular Season Game 104 - Mets at Reds

New York Mets (52-51) at Cincinnati Reds (50-53), 7:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Mike Pelfrey (5-9, 4.73) Cincinnati - Bronson Arroyo (7-8, 5.56)

Towering right-hander Mike Pelfrey can make it three straight wins for New York in Cincinnati tonight when the Mets visit the host Reds in game three of a four-game matchup at Great American Ball Park.

A 6-foot-7, 230-pounder out of Wichita State, Pelfrey won his fifth game of the season at Los Angeles on July 5, tossing six shutout innings with five hits allowed in a 6-0 defeat of the Dodgers.

He's gone 0-2 in three starts since, allowing a combined 19 hits and 10 runs in 17 innings against San Francisco (loss), Philadelphia (loss) and Florida (no-decision).

Pelfrey has faced the Reds seven times in his career and won three times in five decisions while allowing 24 earned runs in 37 innings.

The Mets took a 2-0 lead in the series Tuesday, when Jason Pridie hit a go- ahead two-run double in the sixth and the Mets took advantage of three Cincinnati errors to down the Reds, 8-6.

Rumor Mill: Carlos Beltran and Cash for Giants Pitching Prospect Zach Wheeler

According to Joel Sherman of the NY Post (Tweets),  So if nothing happens to scuttle in next 24 hours it is Beltran and cash for just Wheeler.

Zach Wheeler is listed as the number 2 prospect in the Giants Minor-League Organization

Here is some footage of Wheeler:

Rumors Mill: Carlos Beltran is close to being traded to the San Francisco Giants , but for who?

Olney tweets that Giants pitching prospect Zack Wheeler is expected to be the centerpiece in the trade.

Brown and Jonathan Sanchez are not in the deal, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

The Mets will likely receive two other players in addition to Brown, tweets Newsday's Ken Davidoff.  He says the trade could be announced later today or early tomorrow.

Carlos Beltran is going to the Giants, tweets Yahoo's Tim Brown, with logistics being worked out. Just minor details remain, tweets SI's Jon Heyman.

ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the two teams are at the one-yard line, while Brown reminds us that a 24-hour waiting period applies since Beltran has a full no-trade clause.  The Phillies are just barely hanging on for Beltran, according to multiple reports.

A key development may have been the Giants' willingness to include center field prospect Gary Brown, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chipper Jones does not think Carlos Beltran Helps the Braves

With the looming deadline comes speculation that the Braves might deal for a right-handed bat or a reliever.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,  Mets nemesis Chipper Jones said he sees the Braves acquiring bullpen help. But he is just fine with the everyday lineup as is.

"I don't have a problem standing pat," Jones said. "I think we have a really good ballclub.Obviously any team would love an injection of new blood, especially top-notch quality. To be honest, I don't see where we are going to go out and better the ballclub everyday lineup-wise. You say what you want about the Carlos Beltrans and the Hunter Pences and the Ryan Ludwicks, people like that, but everybody in our lineup contributes to our success each and every day."
Is he trying to say he does not want a Met on the team??  LOL

Taking a look at the Texas Rangers Top Prospects that could be in a deal for Beltran

There has been a lot of speculation that the Texas Rangers have increased their efforts to complete a trade for Carlos Beltran.

It has also been said that the Mets can match up better with the Rangers, so I took it upon myself to take a look at the Texas Rangers Top 7 Prospects with John Sickel's ratings.

Here they are:
  1. Jurickson Profar, SS, Grade B+: Borderline A-
  2. Martin Perez, LHP, Grade B+
  3. Robbie Erlin, LHP, Grade B+
  4. Tanner Scheppers, RHP, Grade B
  5. Mike Olt, 3B, Grade B
  6. Engel Beltre, OF, Grade B-
  7. Robbie Ross, LHP, Grade B-
The Rangers have a lot of depth in their organization and plenty of  left handed pitchers. The Rangers also have a top prospect that is a shortstop. Can you say Reyes insurance? 

Rumor Mill: Indians make good offer for Beltran?

According to MLB.com's Peter Gammons, the Indians offered to pick up all of Beltran's remaining contract and give the Mets a good prospect in return, but Cleveland was not a fit for the Scott Boras client.

Heyman reports (on Twitter) that the deal was never presented to Beltran, so the Mets must know the which teams he'll accept a trade to.

The Phillies won't give up Jonathan Singleton for Beltran, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com, who confirms that Cosart and Brown aren't available either (Twitter link). More Phillies prospects will soon be off the table as well, according to Heyman.

Brewers GM Doug Melvin declined to speak about Beltran in particular, but he told Adam McCalvy of MLB.com that he's always open to making the right deal, generally speaking.

Agent Scott Boras told ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick that Beltran's decision to accept or block a trade will revolve around his chances of winning a title.

Crasnick's take on the leading suitors for Beltran confirms what we've read for the past 24 hours or so: the Rangers have ramped up their pursuit of Beltran and the Braves and Giants remain interested, while the Red Sox and Phillies appear to have slipped to the back of the pack.

Angel Pagan will be back Wednesday, test came back ok..

According to Adam Rubin of ESPNNY.com, Angel Pagan said blood tests performed Monday found no abnormality that would account for the dizziness and fatigue that forced him from Sunday's game and recently had troubled him. Pagan assigned the fault to dehydration.

Terry Collins expected Pagan would return to the lineup Wednesday. Jason Pridie is starting a second straight game in center field Tuesday.

"I'm ready to go out there and start working out with the team," Pagan said. "I'm not in the lineup tonight, just to be cautious, so I can just go out there and move around. But tomorrow I will be in the lineup. We were just waiting for the results to be here to make sure there was nothing wrong. Thank god nothing is wrong."

Johan Santana will make rehab start Thursday

Johan Santana’s long-awaited clearance to begin a minor-league rehab assignment came today, with the Mets’ decision to allow him a 45-pitch debut.

That start will come Thursday for Single-A St. Lucie against Daytona Beach.

The Mets are hopeful it will lead to a return by their ace lefty at some point this season. Santana threw a bullpen session on Sunday in Miami, convincing team brass he was ready for this next step.

Rumor Mill: More Beltran Trade Rumors on Tuesday

Here is a update to the Beltran Rumor Storyboard:

There's a strong belief the best offer may come from the Rangers, tweets SI's Jon Heyman, But the hangup is he still prefers the NL Teams - ATL, SF, and  Milwaukee - Who Heyman reiterates, there still in it...

The Mets' asking price has come down a bit from two weeks ago, an interested executive told Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter links).  Sherman says the Mets are talking two and three-prospect deals with the Rangers, Red Sox, Giants, Braves, Phillies, and Brewers.

The Mets have been turned down on requests for Mike Minor, Julio Teheran, or Arodys Vizcaino of the Braves, Zack Wheeler or Gary Brown of the Giants, and Domonic Brown or Jarred Cosart of the Phillies, reports ESPN's Jayson Stark.

Stark says the Mets are telling teams the Beltran deal isn't about money, and the team that offers the best players will get him.

Tonight's Mets Starting Lineup - Mets at Reds - Game 103

Mets Starting Lineup vs Reds - Game 103:
  1. Reyes-SS
  2. Turner-2B
  3. Beltran-RF
  4. Wright-3B
  5. Murphy-1B
  6. Bay-LF
  7. Paulino-C
  8. Pridie-CF
  9. Niese-LHP
Game Notes:
Pagan out again, Pridie batting 8th and obviously playing CF.
Paulino doing the catching batting 7th.
Beltran still in the starting lineup..

Preview: Regular Season Game 103 - Mets at Reds

New York Mets (51-51) at Cincinnati Reds (50-52), 7:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Jon Niese (9-8, 3.76) Cincinnati - Johnny Cueto (6-3, 1.98)

Dominican righty Johnny Cueto seeks his first career win against New York tonight when the Cincinnati Reds host the visiting Mets in the second contest of a four-game series at Great American Ball Park.

A winner of 38 decisions in 106 starts across three-plus big-league seasons, Cueto is winless in four tries against the Mets, going 0-2 with a bloated 8.14 earned run average in 21 innings of work. He's given up 30 hits and 19 runs in that stretch, while Mets batters have connected for a .333 batting average.

The 25-year-old has been lights-out against the rest of the league thus far in 2011, holding batters to a .198 average in 95 2/3 innings while winning six of nine decisions in 14 starts.

He earned his latest victory on July 20 at Pittsburgh, allowing four hits in six innings with four strikeouts while defeating the Pirates, 3-1.

In his last 10 starts, in which the Reds are 6-4, Cueto has allowed three runs or less and pitched at least six innings all 10 times.

Cincinnati is 9-5 in his 14 overall outings this season.

For the Mets, lefty Jon Niese can reach double-digit wins for the first time in his brief major-league career.

Rumor Mill: Texas Rangers making a big push for Carlos Beltran?

Most Beat Reporters are in agreement that the Rangers are making a big push for Senor Beltran and that the Phillies have cooled, but the standing of the Braves, Red Sox, and Giants is unclear.

Some of the Beltran Rumors as of  Tuesday: 

A high-ranking source tells ESPN's Buster Olney there is no clear frontrunner for Beltran as of right now (Twitter link).  Meanwhile, a source close to the talks tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports he expects things to intensify within the next 48 hours (Twitter link).

The Giants "look like a possible favorite" for Beltran at the moment, reports SI's Jon Heyman.  The Braves are very interested as well, while the Phillies "don't seem all that involved."

The Reds are not currently involved in trade talks for Beltran, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.

An executive from a team that has expressed interest in Beltran told Joel Sherman of the New York Post, "They are not getting a top-40-ranked prospect for Beltran even if they eat all the money [left on his contract]."  

Sherman's article goes on to explain why the Mets will probably have to settle for less-than-elite prospects.

He reiterates that the Rangers are aggressively pursuing Beltran and the Braves and Red Sox are the other two most interested clubs.     

Happy Recap : Game 102 - Mets at Reds - Murphy saves the day...

Final Score: New York 4, Cincinnati 2

Daniel Murphy's tie-breaking, two-run double highlighted a four-run seventh inning, as the New York Mets escaped with 4-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds in the opener of a four-game series.

Carlos Beltran and Jason Bay both knocked in a run in the decisive frame as the Mets halted a two-game skid.

R.A. Dickey (5-8) turned in a strong outing, allowing just two runs on eight hits while fanning seven over 6 2/3 innings.

Cincinnati loaded the bases with two down in the bottom of the ninth, but Jason Isringhausen struck out Brandon Phillips to earn his third save of the season.

Mike Leake (8-6) surrendered two runs over 6 1/3 innings to suffer the loss.

"That's what I'm supposed to do. I'm supposed to go out there and not give up runs," said Leake. "Our offense will come around. We've been slumping, but we'll be fine."

Phillips and Drew Stubbs, who delivered a walkoff home run in Sunday's 4-3 victory over the Braves, each had an RBI for the Reds.

Stubbs went down looking with men on second and third to end the fifth, but the Reds broke through an inning later, as Phillips ripped a double to right to score Miguel Cairo, who led off with a single.

Similarly, the Mets stranded two in the sixth before getting on the board in the seventh. They placed runners on the corners following back-to-back, one- out singles from Jose Reyes and Justin Turner, effectively chasing Leake.

Bill Bray entered and allowed an equalizing sac fly to Beltran before handing the ball to Logan Ondrusek. David Wright greeted Ondrusek with a single before Murphy and Bay hit consecutive doubles to make it a 4-1 game.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mets mulling over Santana rehab start on Wednesday

The Mets are still mulling whether or not to allow Johan Santana to begin a Minor League rehab assignment this week.

The team expects to make a decision on Tuesday regarding Santana, who threw a 45-pitch bullpen session Sunday afternoon and could begin a rehab assignment on Wednesday.

"They probably talked down there," Mets manager Terry Collins said of Santana and his rehabilitation staff in Florida. "They haven't called me yet."

Once Santana does begin a rehab assignment, be it Wednesday or next week, he will have 30 days to work into game shape before the Mets must activate him. At worst, then, Santana is looking at an early-September return.

Undergoing surgery last September to repair a torn capsule in his left shoulder, Santana still has two guaranteed seasons remaining on the six-year, $137.5 million contract he signed in 2008. The Mets also hold a $25 million team option for the 2014 season, with a $5.5 million buyout.

When healthy, Santana has been quite successful for the Mets, posting a 40-25 record and a 2.85 ERA in 88 starts over the past three seasons.

Pagan ungergoes test for fatigue and dizziness

Mets outfielder Angel Pagan underwent testing on Monday to determine the cause of his recent in-game fatigue.

The team is awaiting results on the blood work of Pagan, who left Sunday's game in the fifth inning due to dizziness. Jason Pridie started in center field Monday evening in Pagan's place.

"For about a week now, in the middle of the game, he just starts to lose energy," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "We'll just give him a little checkup."

Pagan, who said Sunday that he does not consider the issue serious, is batting .232 with four home runs and 18 stolen bases in 71 games.

He has drawn mild rumors as a possible trade target for contenders prior to Sunday's non-waiver deadline.

Rumor Mill: Updated Beltran Rumors

The Rangers and Giants appear to be ahead of the Phillies and Braves in pursuit of Beltran, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter). As Crasnick points out, everything can change quickly.

There isn't much confidence within the industry that the Mets will obtain a top prospect for Beltran, according to Newsday's Ken Davidoff.

Beltran said yesterday that he has had "zero" contact with GM Sandy Alderson regarding possible trades, according to Newsday's David Lennon (on Twitter).

The Phillies have cooled on the idea of trading for Beltran, according to ESPN.com's Jayson Stark.

Beltran told Mike Puma of the New York Post, "I have not told (the Mets) I won't play for an American 
League team. I don't know where that is coming from" (Twitter link).  Beltran said he's fine with the American League as long as he doesn't have to DH.

There's no sign of the Mets dropping their price on Beltran, tweets ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.

Mets and Beltran are waiting for inevitable trade to happen

Carlos Beltran, who remains the most accomplished hitter on the trading block is waiting -   just like the rest of us to be traded .

According to NJ.com, scouts from Atlanta, Philadelphia and Boston all went to Ohio to watch him tonight.

Before the game, Beltran again insisted that he has not heard anything from the front office. He has a full no-trade clause. If something were in the works, he would know.

But that still leaves his manager, Collins, waiting for what happens next. If Beltran is traded — and logic almost assures that general manager Sandy Alderson will do so later this week — Collins is preparing himself to address his team if they should falter. They cannot take this as a sign that the front office does not care about their plight, he explained today. There is no time for head-hanging.

“We’ve got guys that are playing for their jobs,” Collins said before last night’s game against the Reds here at Great American Ball Park. “The minute the give up and quit, they won’t be here next year. So I want the guys to play 162, and to play it hard.”

In the clubhouse, Collins expects third baseman David Wright and closer Jason Isringhausen to fill some of the leadership void created by Beltran’s departure.

On the field, Lucas Duda figures to be one of the candidates to take Beltran’s spot in right field. Though a natural first baseman, Duda played some outfield in the minors and has recently begun taking fly balls in right.

Preview/ Lineup: Game 102 - Mets at Reds

New York Mets (50-51) at Cincinnati Reds (50-51), 7:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - R.A. Dickey (4-8, 3.80) Cincinnati - Mike Leake (8-5, 4.11)

A pair of potential .500 teams - each 50-51 through 101 games - get their first chances to return to even tonight when the New York Mets visit the Cincinnati Reds to open a four-game series at Great American Ball Park.

The Reds climbed within a game of .500 on Sunday at home, as Drew Stubbs led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a homer off Scott Linebrink to beat the Atlanta Braves, 4-3, in the rubber match of a three-game series.

Meanwhile, the Mets fell from .500 on Sunday in Miami, as Logan Morrison clubbed a game-tying home run and John Buck delivered a two-out, RBI double in the eighth inning to give the Florida Marlins a 5-4 win in the rubber match of a three-game series at Sun Life Stadium.

Cincinnati's middling record has kept it in the thick of the race in the National League's Central, where the Reds are three games behind a three-way tie for first place involving St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Milwaukee.

The forecast is a bit different for New York in the NL East, when a one- below-.500 record leaves the Mets 14 1/2 games behind the front-running Philadelphia Phillies and 8 1/2 in back of the early wild card leaders in Atlanta.

If Possible, Should Mets Re-Sign Beltran This Offseason?

With all the hype this week surrounding Carlos Beltran and the trade deadline, I felt it necessary to throw in my two cents.

Most likely, before the week is through, Beltran will be playing for another team. I’m normally optimistic about matters concerning the Mets, but I’m definitely realistic when it comes to this impending trade.

Carlos Beltran will no longer be a Met when this week is through.

Besides missing time due to injury and the unfortunate Game 7 strikeout, Beltran had a fine Mets career. He’s enjoying one of his more productive years this season as well.

So while Beltran will likely make another NL team very happy during the stretch run, he still will be a free agent after this season.

I’ve heard that some analysts believe the Mets would be wise to try to re-sign Beltran this offseason to a short-term deal.

I am very curious to hear what the fans think about this. I will present both sides of the argument to give everyone a clearer picture of what we are dealing with.

Beltran, when healthy, is an extremely productive all-around player. He hits for power, a decent average and has shown he can drive in runs in clutch situations. He also has shown surprisingly good range in the outfield, and there’s no doubt in my mind that he can shift back to center if he had to (or another team wanted him to be their everyday centerfielder).

Next year’s free agent outfield class will include Jonny Gomes, Raul Ibanez, Ryan Ludwick, Juan Pierre, Josh Willingham, Rick Ankiel, David DeJesus, Lance Berkman, Michael Cuddyer, J.D. Drew, Jeff Francoeur, Kosuke Fukudome, Xavier Nady, Cody Ross and of course Beltran.

Of this group, Beltran is by far the most complete player and will likely be the most sought after, except for maybe Berkman who’s having a phenomenal offensive season.

Since he will be heavily pursued, there will be a hefty price tag associated with him. He’s also a Scott Boras client meaning his agent will drive up the price. He’ll likely command a two-three year deal in the neighborhood of $10 million per season, if not more.

Do the Mets have the money to make this deal, especially with the possibility of re-signing Jose Reyes on the table? Reyes will easily get a deal of six-seven years, $130+ million, which may cripple the Mets payroll.

Music Video: Mets Shortstop - Jose Reyes "No Hay Amigo"

Hat Tip - You Tube

Look Out Hot 97!!

Rumor Mill: Monday Carlos Beltran Rumors

Here are some of the Carlos Beltran Rumors for Monday:

Beltran has privately told the Mets that he will not accept a trade to an American League team because he doesn't want to alternate between DH'ing and playing center field, and because he's not familiar with the league, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Beltran has a list of seven NL team to whom he would accept a trade.

Beltran says that he would be okay with a trade to any of the five teams that have been rumored as destinations, tweets Mike Puma of the New York Post.

The Giants and Phillies continue to be the favorites with the Braves still in the mix, tweets Yahoo's Tim Brown.

The Giants, Red Sox, and Pirates could take on the most money in a Beltran deal,  one executive to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter link).

2nd Round Pick Michael Fulmer signs officially with Mets

Fulmer with his Dad at Citi Field
The Mets have signed supplemental first round round pick Michael Fulmer for $937.5K, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America.

The sides first agreed to terms on June 24, which Fulmer announced on Twitter.

Fulmer, a right-handed pitcher out of Deer Creek High School in Oklahoma, was ranked the No. 45 overall prospect by Baseball America and was selected by the Mets at No. 44 overall. Callis reports the deal is the largest for a player outside of the first round of this year's draft.

The $937.5K is $160.8K more than the commissioner's office's recommended slot amount of $776.7K for the 44th overall pick.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Johan Santana threw a 45-pitch bullpen session, ready to pitch rehab start

New York Mets left-hander Johan Santana threw a 45-pitch bullpen session at Sun Life Stadium before Sunday's game against the Florida Marlins and declared he is ready to pitch in a minor league rehab game if he awakes on Monday feeling similarly good.

"I think we actually started spring training a week ago, a week and a half ago, when we moved the bullpens closer together," said Mets rehab coordinator Randy Niemann, who monitored Santana's bullpen session along with the major league staff. "We started batting practice. That's what you would do in spring training. He's gotten to the point where, if he recovers, and he's feeling good, we can start getting into games, like you would in spring training."

"I felt good overall," Santana said about Sunday's session, which came two days after he threw a three-inning simulated game in Port St. Lucie, Fla. "I think all the work that we have been doing is paying off. The way I'm feeling right now, I'm getting closer."

Recap : Game 101 - Mets at Marlins - Mets drop another one-run game

NY Mets1000012004122
W:R.Choate(1-1) L:B.Parnell(3-2) S:L.Nunez (28)
HR: NYM- D.Wright (7) FLA- L.Morrison (15), M.Stanton (22)

Final Score: Florida 5, New York 4

Logan Morrison clubbed a game-tying home run to begin the eighth and pinch-hitter John Buck delivered a two-out, RBI double later in the inning, as the Florida Marlins rallied to beat the New York Mets, 5-4, in the rubber match of a three-game series at Sun Life Stadium.

Bobby Parnell (3-2) came on to protect New York's one-run lead, but Morrison crushed the right-hander's sixth pitch over the center field wall.

Mike Stanton then singled and moved up to second base on a sacrifice bunt. After pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs flied out, Buck lined a double to center.

Leo Nunez earned his 28th save of the season with a flawless ninth.

Box Score: Click Here

A look at Giants Prospect (OF) Francisco Peguero

According to a report by Yahoo's Jeff Passan , the Mets seem interested in Outfielder Francisco Peguero. So I decided to look up some scouting reports and video.

So Here it is:

Scouting Report For Francisco Peguero

Born 6/1/1988 -(23 years old) OF, San Francisco Giants

A speedy outfielder in the Giants' system, Dominican Francisco Peguero is a solid defender with developing on-base skills. After he put on a clinic at low-A Augusta in 2009 (.340/.359/.437) he did the same at high-A San Jose last year, slashing .329/.358/.488 while stealing 40 bases.

A line drive hitter whose build doesn't suggest future power (he's shaped more or less like Eugenio Velez, though he hits exclusively from the right side),

Peguero will have to keep reaching base at a high clip in order to contribute. He's got some distance to close, too: despite the nice batting average, his walk rate is too low, and he is getting caught stealing a frightfully high percentage of the time.

Here is some footage of  Peguero hitting a walk-off Grand Slam:

Rumor Mill: Carlos Beltran will likely be moved this week, Fire Sale afterwards?

According to Andy Martino of the Daily News,  the Mets' strong preference is to move Carlos Beltran to another team several days before next Sunday's trade deadline, but the garage sale likely will stop there.

According to a source with the direct knowledge of the team's thinking, it is "unlikely" that players other than Beltran will be traded, and there is "no activity on any other player at the moment."

Because of Beltran's continued health and production, the Mets believe that they can wrangle a top prospect from Philadelphia, Atlanta, Boston, San Francisco or another suitor.

Rumor Mill: Carlos Beltran Sunday Trade Rumors

Here is the Carlos Beltran Sunday Rumor Rundown from MLBTraderumors.com:

Team officials for two of the clubs in talks with the Mets expect discussions to continue until next weekend, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York (on Twitter).

The Giants, Braves, Phillies, Red Sox, and Rangers have each had a scout on hand to watch Beltran this weekend, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.

Yahoo's Jeff Passan says (via Twitter) the Rangers are "coming hard" for Beltran, though San Francisco is still the frontrunner. Passan singles out Giants prospect Francisco Peguero as one name that may have been discussed.

The Red Sox see Beltran as a "total longshot," and are more concerned with adding pitching, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (via Twitter).

In his Insider-only blog, Olney says the Mets are looking for a top pitching prospect from the Braves - perhaps Mike Minor, Julio Teheran, Arodys Vizcaino, or Randall Delgado. One talent evalutor says he can't see GM Frank Wren parting with any of those four arms for Beltran.

Andy Martino of the New York Daily News looks at Minor and a few other prospects the Mets may be targeting in Beltran discussions.

    Preview/ Lineup: Game 101 - Mets at Marlins

    New York Mets (50-50) at Florida Marlins (48-53), 1:10 p.m.

    Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Dillon Gee (9-3, 3.67) Florida - Anibal Sanchez (6-3, 3.52)

    With a lengthy nine-game road trip on the horizon, the Florida Marlins try to close out their three-game set against the New York Mets at home on a positive note this afternoon at Sun Life Stadium.

    Florida, which has trips to National League East foes (Washington, Atlanta and New York) lined up for the next couple of weeks, managed to snap a four-game slide on Saturday thanks to Gaby Sanchez who hit a pair of two-run home runs in an 8-5 victory.

    Omar Infante finished up 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored while Logan Morrison blasted a solo home run for a Marlins team that is last in the NL East standings and already a total of 16 games out of contention.

    Florida third baseman Emilio Bonifacio extended his hitting streak to 22 games thanks to a 2-for-4 night that saw him cross the plate two times.

    "After losing four in a row it was nice to see the guys come out swinging the bats," said Marlins manager Jack McKeon. "Maybe we're back on track offensively, I hope so."

    Florida starter Clay Hensley made it through five innings as he gave up two runs on four hits with four walks. Burke Badenhop was awarded the win despite giving up a run and three hits over just 1 2/3 innings.

    Rumor Mill: San Fran's OF Gary Brown is the centerpiece to Mets deal for Beltran?

    Mike Silva of  NY Baseball Digest  says there are reports swirling that Carlos Beltran is headed to San Francisco.

    According  to Silva, the main piece in the deal could be San Jose outfielder Gary Brown.

    Brown is the first round pick of the Giants from 2010. He was the Big West Conference Player of the Year for Cal State Fullerton that year as well.

    2010 Draft Scouting Report:

    Gary Brown - OF
    Cal State Fullerton, Jr.

    Birthdate: 8/27/1988
    Height: 6'0"
    Weight: 185 lbs.
    Bats: Right
    Throws: Right
    Scout's report filed: 3/2/10
    Game(s): San Diego

    Scouting Report

    JP Morgan Chase is holding up the Einhorn/Mets deal..

    According to the NY Post,  the Mets' pending deal to sell a minority stake in the team to David Einhorn is dragging on well beyond its expected closing date because lender JPMorgan Chase is not letting the team structure the deal as a loan, making it harder to complete, The NY Post has learned.

    "The Wilpons are having a tough time with the banks," a source close to the talks said.

    Fred Wilpon's Sterling Equities, which owns the Mets, last week extended its exclusive negotiations with Einhorn after failing to reach a deal by the June 30 deadline.

    Einhorn's $200 million purchase of a 33 percent stake in the money-losing Mets franchise is structured as a loan -- with the hedge-fund investor getting paid back in three years and having his stake reduced to about 16 percent.

    JPMorgan Chase, which is owed about $500 million by the team, won't approve such a deal unless its loans get serviced -- repaid or restructured -- prior to Einhorn.

    In addition to objecting to the Einhorn deal, in the last few months the bank wrote a "tough" letter to Sterling telling it that the Mets had breached their loan in 13 different ways, said the source, who has seen the letter.

    The bank did not put the team in default, but the letter puts it on notice so the bank could more easily pursue that course in the future, the source said.

    The 43-year-old Einhorn, if he is not repaid in three years, has the option of acquiring a controlling stake in the Mets at a predetermined price.

    Read more: Go to NY Post
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