Showing posts with label Luis Castillo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Luis Castillo. Show all posts

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Castillo Release and Pursuit of Lefty Reliever


Do you remember?
In his Insider-only ESPN.com blog, Buster Olney writes that the Mets have internally discussed the possibility of simply releasing Luis Castillo. The team has repeatedly tried to free up some money by trading the second baseman, but has yet to find a taker.

Olney indicates that it's possible the Mets could drop both Castillo and Oliver Perez before Opening Day. Here are this morning's other New York-related notes:

The Mets were one of the teams pursuing Randy Choate before the southpaw signed with the Marlins, according to Newsday's Ken Davidoff. Davidoff says the Mets made Choate a one-year offer worth about $1.4MM, but the veteran lefty accepted more years and more guaranteed money from Florida.

If the Mets still intend to add a Pedro Feliciano replacement, Davidoff continues, it'll probably be someone on a minor-league deal, since the market is thinning.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Luis Castillo Hitting Ninth? It Could Work


Despite the gripes of Mets fans, Luis Castillo will at the very least be in spring training this season vying for the starting second base job that he once possessed.

He no longer has the range of his younger self and has also lost a step or two on the basepaths.

But the one thing about Castillo to keep in mind is that he is owed a ton of money in the final year of his contract. Omar Minaya signed Luis to a four-year deal after the 2007 season.

Part of the reason was to lock up a familiar face for Johan Santana. Santana and Castillo had been teammates, albeit briefly, in Minnesota.

What's done is done, and you can't change the past. In my last article about shaping the Mets 2011 bench, I constructed the bench with the assumption that Castillo would be the starting second baseman.

Now, obviously I nor do many know what will happen during spring training and beyond this season. But since there aren't exactly teams lining up for Castillo's services and he is owed a good chunk of cash, maybe the Mets would best be served letting Luis play out the final year of his contract in a starting role.

Personally, I think Castillo should have been sent packing awhile ago. After he hit .302 two seasons ago, there must have been some team willing to trade for him, assuming the Mets paid some of his contract.

I know I'm bound to be attacked for this proposal, but the following might be a situation in which the Mets can get the most out of Castillo.

If Castillo happens to show enough to win the second base job and if he proves he at least somewhat has his legs back, the Mets should consider hitting him ninth in the order. That's right, hit Castillo after the pitcher.

Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa has had some success with this in the past, more so though because his pitchers could actually hit a little.

The Mets would do it for a different reason. Though Castillo in his prime was best suited as a No. 2 hitter, Angel Pagan has solidified that spot in the order. In my mind, hitting Castillo eighth is useless.

Despite his flaws, the man can still bunt very well and is a decent base-runner. However, the idea of having him in the ninth spot wouldn't be to move runners over. That's the pitcher's job.

Castillo would serve as a second leadoff man. If the pitcher makes the last out of an inning, the Mets would have Castillo, Reyes and Pagan in that order. That combination of speed and bunting ability could set up the Mets with some great scoring chances. It would then be up to Wright, Beltran and Bay to drive them in, which is a completely different can of worms.

Naturally, having the pitcher hit eighth would mean that the pitcher's spot would come to the plate more often. It's definitely a risk and something that doesn't need to be employed every game, unless it's working of course.

And again, this is only a suggestion in trying to make the most out of the parts we have. If Murphy, Emaus or Turner wins the second base job, I would feel more comfortable batting him seventh or eighth and not ninth.

I wonder if Terry Collins has at least pondered this scenario with Castillo. Yes it's risky, but it can also be a way to give some value back to a former All-Star caliber player.

Happy New Year everyone! Let's hope for some Mets success in 2011.

Originally featured at Mets Merized Online.

Friday, December 24, 2010

My 2011 Mets Christmas List


1. Core Players Stay Healthy With the nagging injury of Jose Reyes's oblique, hamstring and over active thyroid issues, Mets fans didn’t get to see much of our shortstop on a regular game basis. Beltran’s late season arrival sporting a knee brace killed our team’s chemistry along with disrupting our lineup. Which left Wright and rookie Ike Davis to produce in their absences. If they could ALL just stay healthy… 2. Santana Back in the Rotation Earlier Than Expected Without a doubt we need our ace to take the ball every five games. Santana’s a workhorse and can eat up innings giving a rest to the bullpen. With his warrior-like attitude on the mound, the Mets become a baseball tribe ready to defend their turf (or grass) at any cost. 3. A Tougher 2nd Baseman Our current 2nd baseman, Castillo is a hindrance to this team. The only thing he's good for is slap hits to the opposite field. His rally killing weak ground balls are predictable and irritating to watch. He has no power or base stealing capabilities anymore because of bad knees and fragile feet. 4. Sweep Subways Series…. We can do it! There is something about the subway series that brings out the best in the Mets. After beating the Yankees we feel like we can beat any team on any day. This confidence leads to winning streaks. Not to mention New York bragging rights, a sweep of the subway series makes a great gift. 5. Ike Davis All Star The Wright/Reyes All Star dual needs a third wheel and after a great 2010 rookie season I hope to see Ike as a reserve on the National League team in 2011. 6. Pelfrey Wins Cy Young He has immense potential and when he is on and focused, Pelfrey pitches to perfection. This achievement can happen and is possible more than ever this year. The high expectations placed on Pelfrey in Santana’s absence, will cause Big Pelf to elevate his game and his success in 2010 has given him the confidence to do so. 7. Niese Pitches No Hitter Niese pitched a one hitter in June. A no hitter for Niese early in the season would (be great for my fantasy baseball team) put doubts of Mets pitching on a hiatus for a few weeks. 8. 17 Game Winning Streak in September Such a streak would have the Mets barreling over the Cubs, Cardinals, Phillies, and Braves in the last month of the season. Which brings me to my final Mets Christmas Wish …and the most important 9. A Playoff Series Win at Citifield Signed- Orange and Blue

Monday, December 13, 2010

Alderson notes and definitive answers


Here are some Sandy Alderson notes/answers from his interview with Mike Francesa:

Mets GM Sandy Alderson confirmed that the team will not spend more than $135-140 Million on 2011 payroll. That's a ton of money for most teams, but the Mets have committed most of that to the players already on their roster, so they don't have much to spend. Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork has the details:

Not surprisingly, Alderson said there's "no market" for Luis Castillo or Oliver Perez, even if the Mets wanted to trade them. The two players will be in Mets camp this Spring Training.

Alderson confirmed that he's looking to sign a "bounceback" starter to a low base salary. Chris Young was Alderson's "hypothetical" example of such a pitcher, but the tall right-hander is more than just an example. As Rubin notes, the Mets are still interested in Young.

It appears that Johan Santana will return around the All-Star break. The lefty underwent surgery to repear an anterior capsule tear in his left shoulder in October.

The Reds and Mets have not discussed a potential Jose Reyes trade, GM Walt Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer (Twitter link).

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Murphy looking better at 2B , May battle Castillo for Position?


According to Adam Rubin of  ESPNNY.com, Terry Collins openly suggested Tuesday that Daniel Murphy and Luis Castillo could be in a spring-training competition at second base. If that becomes the case , Murphy has a chance to emerge as the Mets' second baseman in 2011.

Murphy is getting consistent exposure to second base this winter with Aguilas. He is hitting a gaudy .320 with four homers and 22 RBIs in 103 at-bats -- although, clearly, improving his fielding competency at second base is the priority.

A scout who watched Murphy recently in the Dominican Republic came away impressed with the strides he has made at the position.

"He was very serviceable," the scout said. "He made all the plays but one. He had a routine groundball go through his legs. But it was no big deal. He turned a couple of double plays. He moved to his left and his right. He moved better to the first base side, which would be to his left. And his throwing was good. It was accurate. His arm action is a little long from second. If he could tighten that up, it might serve him a little better. It's almost like an outfield thrower's arm. A catcher brings it up short and tight to his ear; you want to have a little shorter arm action. But he's working hard."

I hope the Mets do not leave Castillo on this team. I hope if there is a competition at 2B, it better be Tejada and Murphy. Even if they have to platoon, I would be elated.. Castillo clearly is dead wood and I am sure the Mets brass knows he is not a fan favorite...

Murphy can't be as bad as Dan Uggla.....and if Murph hits and hits with power like he has done in the past the Mets would make him a everyday second basemen..

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Do the math, it's time for Beltran to get traded


In the the wake of the free agency starting today, Mets fans know that the purse strings will not be open so widely as in other years. The Mets will have nearly $120 million committed in payroll next season.

Sandy Alderson must make decisions on how to restructure this franchise and payroll. He has to fill the need for a second basemen, right fielder (if Beltran stays), starting pitcher(s) (with Johan surgery), and relievers since guys like Takahashi will not be back..

He has Carlos Beltran under contract for this year before he becomes a free agent next season. The Mets can either keep the oft-injured center fielder who will be making $19 + million this season or try to trade him and his salary elsewhere.

The Good:

Carlos Beltran is one of the best center fielder in the game today when healthy (I said when healthy). The Mets have a outfielder named Angel Pagan who looks like he can play everyday. Pagan is a different kind of player then Beltran because he does not hit for much power, which the Mets need. The Mets can let Beltran play for a contract ( even if it's not with them) and let him prove he is worthy. If you are not a regular follower of baseball, most players who are in their walk year have big years (for contracts). But again it's up to Team Sandy to evaluate that and make sure he can stay on the field.

Beltran's 2010 Season Stats
SPLITSGABRH2B3BHRRBIBBSOSBCSAVGOBPSLGOPS
Season642202156113727303931.255.341.427.768
Career1626624711061761351672801062760112528939.282.359.494.853

Pagan's 2010 Season Stats
SPLITSGABRH2B3BHRRBIBBSOSBCSAVGOBPSLGOPS
Season1515798016831711694497379.290.340.425.765
Career41813311953797623261531052316319.285.335.435.770


The Bad:

Was it just me or did the Mets fall apart when Carlos Beltran came back last season?

Beltran visits Mets before return to lineup
Evidence: The Mets were 26-38 with Beltran's presence in the lineup.

It seemed to me the team's moral changed and so did their play. The Mets did not seem to be in tune with Carlos in the lineup. Beltran did get hot at the end of the season but it was a little too late. He was also sidelined with tendinitis in his knee at the end of the season and had to be shut down.

Maybe the Mets were better off not rushing him back to the field. I know it's easy to say from a fan perspective, but from a ownership perspective it is hard to let a guy sit who is making big bucks.   

In Conclusion:

On Nov 3rd  at the opening of a baseball academy,   Carlos Beltran told Fernando Ribas Reyes of El Nuevo Dia that the Mets have invited the center fielder to meet with new GM Sandy Alderson.

Beltran was non-committal about his approach, saying, "It doesn't matter what I think. The organization is going to do what they think is best for them. The way I can control it is to have a good year. If I do, I know there will be teams interested in me. For my part, I'd like to play in New York a few years more."

This sounds like a guy that does not care about the organization or what Sandy has to say.

I sought of get the idea that the Team Alderson  plans are to eliminate salary and chop out any players that do not want to be apart of  it under the new regime.

The same can stand true for players such as Luis Castillo, Oliver Perez, and Frankie Rodriguez, all of whom have had some negative impact on the team's performance last year and years past.

If you take all those contracts together of the mentioned above, it's roughly $50 Million. I am sure the Mets can find something to do with those funds to make this franchise a winning one.

The hard part is to find a trade partners to take on such salaries, but I am sure Alderson will get creative if he 
has to.

Rumors have it that the Mets might have trading partners with the Red Sox for Matsuzaka, but the Red Sox have stated they have no interest in Beltran.

Should be a interesting off season....

Let's Go Mets

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sandy will be the next GM of the New York Mets


According to several reports and Steve Popper of the NJ Bergen Record,  Sandy "Dandy" Alderson will be the next General Manager of the New York Mets.

Popper includes in his report that no contract has been signed because he still has to be released from his contract with Major League Baseball, but is believed that they have agreed in principal..

Alderson, who will turn 63 next month, ran the Oakland A’s from 1983-to-1997 and served as C.E.O. of the San Diego Padres from 2005 to 2009 before stepping down in an ownership change.

Another interesting note from Popper's report is that Alderson is the only man out of the group of candidates that has told ownership to back off and let him do his job. Alderson has a great relationship with Fred Wilpon so this marriage might just work.

The Mets have a lot of work to do and the Mets ownership wants him to get busy as fast as possible. My first 3 objectives would be to get rid of  Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo, and find a taker for Carlos Beltran.
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