New assistant hitting coach Luis Natera was spotted wearing No. 60 prior to Monday’s harrowing debut. Natera has appeared on these pages before: Back in 2008, he was issued No. 64 (unofficially) when he served as a coaching version of a September callup from Class AA Binghamton.
Archive for Opening Day
One of the reasons I’ve been hesitant to update my outlook on 2014 here is that I was absolutely convinced that as soon as I would I’d have to re-do it all because there would be a trade consummated before opening day. Not just a trade, but a TRADE: You know, one of those transactions that as Met fans we remember where we were when it was announced (I was driving on the New Jersey Turnpike when they traded Dykstra. In Union Square meeting my wife for a drink when they traded Kazmir. Throwing a fit in the kitchen for Seaver and Kingman). Where was I when they announced the big Ike Davis/Ruben Tejada/Whomever for Whomever trade on 2014? I wasn’t anywhere. It didn’t happen.
“How could it not have?” is the question I’m taking with me into the 2014 regular season. Granted it’s better than last year when I was asking “Shaun Marcum? Seriously?” but I mean, geez. Talk about a seeming unmet opportunity. Talk about unanswered questions!
I’m going to presume a deal didn’t get done not because the Mets didn’t sincerely desire one but because Sandy Alderson balked at the asking price for guys the Mets could certainly use (Didi Gregorius and Nick Franklin for example) and that, as usual, Ike Davis screwed up all our plans by being unavailable. I decided at some point last season that if I were running the Mets I wouldn’t give Ike Davis another shot at being the difference between a good team and a bad team but here we are. I know, the alternatives aren’t great. I’m just surprised and I guess disappointed. Ike sure has gotten away with a lot.
In the big picture it’s somewhat disheartening to realize that which went wrong for the Mets last season were not just the kinds of things that had been counted on but also, were legacy Met prospects inherited from the Omar era (Davis, Tejada, Jon Niese, who worries me quite a bit). To that we may want to add Bobby Parnell, whose sketchy recovery from neck surgery (neck surgery?) already appears to be exposing a shaky bullpen.
Other than that though? I’m kind of excited. Accompanying my concern is an undercurrent of optimism resulting from a farm system that at least appears to have turned the corner with regard to analyst opinion. Prospects for the first time in a decade include a few guys who can hit, which is awfully good to know. I feel like the aggressive way the Mets went after Chris Young reveals they saw something worth exploiting in a Marlon Byrd-like way. Granderson is a nice player. There’s guys on the bench who can hit doubles and home runs (Andrew Brown, Anthony Recker, Lucas Duda, Josh Satin) and/or are useful when they aren’t starting (Eric Young). I’m not yet sold on Travis d’Arnaud yet but it’s not like he’s Rod Barajas or Brian Schneider.
The challenge I think for the organization as a whole is to consolidate those gains they’ve made in the lineup, keep the young prospects coming (the starting depth is a real improvement from last year already even without Matt Harvey) and try to act, and play, and market itself in accordance with a team that expects to win 90 games on merit, and not the club willing to cut any and all corners to get by until things improve and say they want to win 90 games because it sounds good, even if they happen to be both of those things at this very moment. And though the Big Trade I’ve been expecting hasn’t happened (yet) this team and my expectations remain subject to change.
And with that, we welcome the following players to the Mets All-Time Numerical Roster:
Chris Young 1
Curtis Granderson 3
John Lannan 32
Bartolo Colon 40
Jose Valverde 47
And wearing new numbers: Andrew Brown in 30 and Omar Quintanilla in 0.
The roster pages at Ultimate Mets Database will be updated as players accrue statistics. Let’s Go Mets!
As pointed out in the comments below, LaTroy Hawkins has broken camp with the Mets wearing not the No. 30 assigned to him during the spring but No. 32. No word on what Jenrry Mejia will wear when he comes off the disabled list because 32 has been his assignment since his ill-fated and premature arrival three long years ago.
Otherwise it looks like the new Mets hit the field Monday in the same jerseys issued to them this spring. Numerically, that’s Collin “Slammy” Cowgill in No. 4; Marlon Byrd in No. 6; Brandon Lyon in 34; Greg Burke in 46; Scott Atchison in 50 and Scott Rice in 56. I was rooting for Pedro Feliciano to return in his original jersey but there is still time for that it appears. I’d also have bet on Andrew Brown and Brandon Hicks to have made the squad, at least when camp began but to their credit have rewarded guys like Cowgill and Byrd for winning the jobs offered to them.
I tend to be optimistic in the spring in general (the blowout win on opening day is only helping) but would say I think this Mets team could have a pretty good offense this season just counting on improvements from Davis and Duda and the incremental upgrades from Bay to Byrd and Thole to Buck+ but the starting pitching is way too thin to imagine holding up over the course of a long year (with or without Santana, of whom I hadn’t expected much of). The bullpen will be adequate. The defense OK. Overall, underestimated. Let’s Go Mets!
The Mets begin their 50th anniversary season Thursday amid modest expectations befitting a squad with thin starting pitching, shaky defense and Jason Bay in the middle of the lineup, but if everything goes right, they might also be fun to watch too. I’m optimistic of a good start at any rate. It’s the Mets’ 50th season and MBTN’s 13th.
As I’m sure you all know by now, the banged up foursome of Andres Torres, David Wright, Scott Hairston and Tim Byrdak all healed in time to answer the bell and comprise a squad of 25 we probably could have predicted back in December. It’s further encouraging to see Ike Davis and Johan Santana are among them.
And so today we welcome the returnees back, and the new ones the best of luck. Officially joining the All-Time Numerical Roster for the first time are players Andres Torres 56, Ronny Cedeno 13, Frank Francisco 48, Ramon Ramirez 52 and Jon Rauch 60; and coaches Bob Geren 7, Ricky Bones 25, Tom Goodwin 26 and batting practice pitcher Eric Langill 78. Returning in new numbers are Mike Nickeas, now wearing 4; Tim Teufel, now coaching and wearing No. 18 and bullpen catcher Dave Racianello, in 79. I’ll be updating the rosters shortly please let me know if you come across any errors.
Let’s Go Mets! Anything can happen!
I think the Mets are in for a better season than the Wilpons, though I wish them both the best.
The change in the front office and the manager’s chair I think are all strongly for the good: Though he’ll surely wear out his welcome at some point, Terry Collins appears to have given the group the jolt of energy it needed after a sonambulent tenure under Jerry Manuel, and Collins remarks at least suggest we won’t be in for another season of 8th-inning fetishes, unexplained doghousing and first-inning bunts. In the meantime, Sandy Alderson and his crew appear to have made some pretty good personnel decisions against a limited budget: The bullpen (churn!) looks very promising, and I like the new bench players, particularly Scott Hairston. They may have stretched out the Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez storylines longer than I had a stomach for but I think the decisions on them were correct. I don’t think we can predict what Chris Young or Chris Capuano will do, but both are looking like good selections for a team on a budget.
I worry, as always, about the offense. I’d almost forgiven Jason Bay for being such a kitten last season when his sudden injury this week reminded me he still owes us. I’m surprised to see Carlos Beltran make it to opening day and worry that continued health struggles will suck the energy out of the team again. On the other hand, I quite like Angel Pagan, David Wright, Josh Thole and Ike Davis, who I think can do some real damage in 162 games. And if Jose Reyes shows he’s the kind of player worth agonizong over a long-term contract for, then we’ll probably be having a good year. Brad Emaus could be could be a rookie of the year. He might not either, but it’s not like he’s taking an MVP from Castillo. All upside there.
The Wilpons I think , are facing some real trouble. Not necessarily as a result of the clawback lawsuit, but that they, like a lot of troubled companies today, borrowed heavily upon assumptions that the economy would continue to sizzle at its mid-90s pace (and also, that certain investments would continue delivering 12% returns). The Mets are certainly exhibiting behaviors of businesses headed toward a crisis: They’re deep in debt, revenues are falling, and they are haunted by high legacy costs. They’ve exhausted their credit with an untraditional lender (MLB) which appears to have insisted the club appoint a turnaround management firm. That’s how it happens.
I don’t think a bankruptcy would necessarily be a bad thing for the Mets. It would likely cost the Wilpons control of the team but provide the opportunity for the next owner (there’s evidently no shortage of interest) to restructure the balance sheet to better compete in an economy without magic returns and $500 seats. We never asked for that.
In number news: Rule 5 reliever Pedro Beato has requested he be outfitted in No. 27. He’s been wearing No. 70 this spring. Here’s the cool thing: Adam Rubin of ESPN reports Beato requested it because he wants to honor Juan Marichal.
Ready or not, here they are. It’s been a weird offseason (Omar general managed like someone whose job wasn’t on the line) and an odd spring (thyroid issues, knee surgeries, controversially aggressive promotions, and not nearly enough solid performances, especially from the pitchers) but at 1 p.m. today, they go to war.
I wish I felt a little better about just what this group is going to bring us, but I sort of admire that it was assembled with a minimum of stunts, a good deal from within, and that expectations are back where they probably ought to be for a team with questionable starting pitching, an unproven bullpen and a few too many outmakers in the lineup. But let’s be optimistic on opening day. There a chance we shove it up all their asses. There’s a good crop of prospects on the horizon; and let’s face it, there’s little holding them back. They finally seemed to do something about CitiField’s relentless blandness. Bring it on.
We welcome Ryota Igarashi, Hisanori Takahashi, Jenrry Mejia, Ruben Tejada, Jason Bay, Henry Blanco, Rod Barajas and Frank Catalanotto to the All-Time Roster (likely players 875 to 881). Thanks to the fans who wrote in to inform me that Tejada will wear No. 11 and Mejia No. 32.Chip Hale and Dave Jauss join the coaching ranks for the first time, while Alex Cora, Mike Jacobs and Gary Matthews Jr. return to the Mets in new numbers.
Let’s Go Mets!
PS — Thanks to MBTN reader Glenn below who indicated that this year’s bat boys would wear No. 00.
Did I just type the opening-day lineup for the 2010 New York Mets?
Another long offseason comes to an end, weather permitting, today. I’m trying to keep positive despite knowing I could make a perfectly valid argument that all five starting pitchers — four currently on ther roster — could be in for a long year.
Welcoming the following seven men to the All-Time Mets Roster, and thanks again to readers for the updates:
3 Alex Cora
18 Jeremy Reed
22 JJ Putz
36 Darren O’Day
50 Sean Green*
75 Frankie Rodriguez
We also welcome new coaches Luis Alicea, wearing No. 51 and Razor Shines, wearing No. 52.Randy Niemann is back as a coach, wearing a new issue, 55.
*–A commenter below provides the update from press notes!
The Mets submitted their opening day roster Sunday and where some people (like me) expected to see Tatis, Stokes and Hernandez they instead saw Clark, Smith and Pelfrey.
That’s OK with me, particularly after fans digested a triple order of unpleasant news Friday in the snatching of effective-but-subuseful Ruben Gotay, another seeming cutworthy effort from infuriating suspect Mike Pelfrey and a news item detailing Fernando Tatis’ being issued team luggage while Brady Clark twisted in the wind. Clark by the way not only got luggage but a new shirt to pack in it: He’ll be wearing No. 44 when the season begins Monday in Miami. Although Clark had worn 15 in his first go-round with the Mets years back, he’d been wearing 93 this spring: The highest in camp among those with a prayer of making it.
Smith, whose ineffective spring and option situation made him an interesting choice over the similarly ineffective but less controllable fireballer Brian Stokes, is a surprise roster qualifier for the second straight year. Stokes was designated for assignment: No word where he alights next.
Those moves complete an all-time Met roster that today grows by six fiirst-time arrivals (Angel Pagan 16, Ryan Church 19, Brian Schneider 23, Raul Casanova 30, Matt Wise 38 and Johan Santana 57), as well as the debut of Clark (44) and Marlon Anderson (9) in new numbers.Howard Johnson returns to No. 20 for the coaching staff, along with new arrivals Dave Racaniello, Juan Lopez and Sandy Alomar Jr.
Glad you’re back too!
On opening night:
- 47 Tom Glavine
- 26 Orlando Hernandez
- 33 John Maine
- 46 Oliver Perez
- 13 Billy Wagner
- 48 Aaron Heilman
- 60 Scott Schoeneweis
- 40 Ambiorix Burgos
- 25 Pedro Feliciano
- 35* Aaron Sele
- 70* Joe Smith
- 16 Paul LoDuca
- 11 Ramon Castro
- 21 Carlos Delgado
- 22 Jose Valentin
- 7 Jose Reyes
- 5 David Wright
- 23 Julio Franco
- 3 Damian Easley
- 17 David Newhan
- 18 Moises Alou
- 15 Carlos Beltran
- 20 Shawn Green
- 44 Lastings Milledge
- 10 Endy Chavez
- 12 Willie Randolph
- 2 Sandy Alomar
- 51 Rick Peterson
- 52 Howard Johnson
- 53 Jerry Manuel
- 54 Rick Down
- 55 Tom Nieto
- 56 Guy Conti
If things hold, Moises Alou would be the 800th Met and join Schoeneweis, Burgos, Sele, Smith, Easley, and Newhan for the first time on the All-Time Numeric Roster. Howard Johnson joins the ranks of Met coaches for the first time. Jose Valentin will appear for the first time wearing No. 22, while coach Manuel is in a new number, 53.
Sele as of Friday had not given 35 to Smith, who was out there again in No. 70.