Monday, April 11, 2011

Release Bobby Parnell NOW!!! Move Izzy To the 8th Inning

    It would more than appear that the time for the experiments are over. It does not matter that it's only 10 games into the regular season. It does not matter what Terry Collins says about Bobby Parnell being his setup man. Let's face it - the fact of the matter is that Parnell is not the man to get the job done, and it's time to quickly turn the page, before this disintegrates into something very ugly. Now is the time to promote Jason Isringhausen, even with only one day on the job for the New York Mets.

    To say the least, Parnell has not distinguished himself at all as a Met, certainly not in a good way. In 2008, Parnell made 68 appearances, to the tune of a 5.30 earned run average. Last year, Parnell was at least able to hold his own, but now this season -- in only 4 appearances, Parnell's ERA has ballooned again, this time to 8.31, and climbing.

    Now is the time for Mets GM Sandy Alderson to show not just the fan base, but himself and Mets ownership that he is serious about turning this team and this franchise into a winner, at least someday, anyway. It can start with the immediate release of Parnell, instead of wasting time by "weighing options". Some people will point to Heath Bell, and the mistake that former GM Omar Minaya made by letting him loose to be a league leader in saves with the Padres. First, I never really looked at it as a bad move, as I was never a fan of Bell's. Second, Bobby Parnell is no Heath Bell, case closed.

    Now is the time to make a statement. Now is the time to make the necessary changes to set a tone for the rest of the 2011 season. Now is the time for action. Now is the time to take out a flyer on Jason Isringhausen, and now is the time to dump Bobby Parnell.

    Korbid Thompson can be found on the New York Mets Audio Minute at Lexy, as well as the Bleacher Report.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Will Chris Young Be a 15-Game Winner For the Mets This Season?

Note: This article can also be found on my page at the Bleacher Report.

    It is a debatable topic, but after Chris Young's first Mets start against the Philadelphia Phillies, some can and will make the case that just maybe, he can win 15 games. Is it possible?

    Just as it is with the team in general, Young was not expected to be a huge part of the Mets' starting rotation, coming into this season. After all, Young has been sidelined with injuries that have depleted the number of starts the last two season(32 starts with San Diego).

    However, with what you saw against the Phils, as Young was able to navigate his way through one of the toughest one through five hitter lineups in the game, just maybe with some consistency and some confidence, a gem could emerge.

    Just as it was with Mike Pelfrey before him, Young has yet to win 15 games in his career. Pelfrey did it last year, and while you can make the argument that the two are at different places in their careers, at the age of 31, perhaps now is the time for Chris Young.

    Now, the biggest key for Young will be in addition to his confidence, is continuing to rebuild his arm strength to where he can maybe get to 200 innings this season – something he has not done - which would be a big key to him achieving that 15-win total.

     I'm not worried about his pitch selection, nor the execution of his pitches. Endurance and health are the big keys here. We'll see where it goes. So far, so good, but some would day, so what?

Korbid Thompson can be found at the aforementioned Bleacher Report, and can also be heard on the New York Mets Audio Minute at Lexy.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Extra Thoughts For Opening Day 2011

    In addition to my post-game comments on the New York Mets Audio Minute at Lexy, I will not push the panic button, by any means, after the Mets 6-2 Opening Day loss at the hands of the Florida Marlins at Sun Life Stadium in Miami. Besdes, a lot of those buttons were pushed before the season ever began.

    I am not thrilled with the fact that the Mets were completely stymied by Josh Johnson for 6 no-hit innings. I wasn't thrilled with the one bad inning that cost Mike Pelfrey - which has burned him more than once. You can't be happy with the offensive output that came from this team.

    Having said all of that, it is only one game. For those brave souls who take the glass half-full approach, the season is far from over. However, you at least got to see some areas where the Mets will surely have to improve, if they are going to even think of contending in the National League East.

    One area that I do have concerns with, is the bullpen. You saw some mixed results there, which cannot continue. Pedro Beato was good, Taylor Buchholz was not. Outside of Francisco Rodriguez, there is no ever-solid presence in the pen. I'll be more convinced about Bobby Parnell, when he's able to consistenly get some outs.

    As Mets fans have probably observed, the Marlins, Phillies, and Braves will not be going away at any point this season. If the Mets want it, they are going to have to fight for it.

    To tell you the truth, it is only one game. If Mets fans want to hear the truth, can they make it through 162?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Play Ball!!! The 2011 Season Is Here

    As the 2011 season begins for the New York Mets, we all know that it's about pitching and defense – well, at least that's what the experts say, anyway. If you are Mets GM Sandy Alderson and manager Terry Collins, you had better hope that your pitching comes together in a hurry. Otherwise, it could be a long season.

    In terms of the starting rotation, I do believe that Mike Pelfrey could carry this staff as the temporary ace in the absence of Johan Santana, at least for a little while. I even believe that Pelfrey can pull of 15 wins. It's the guys behind him that I'm most worried about.

    I am not a big fan of Jonathon Niese. Yes, I know he is a young lefty with potential. Scott Kazmir had potential, too. At least you know that you can count on R.A. Dickey to give you effort, every time he takes the ball. Will it be enough to keep the Mets in contention?

    Then, there's Chris Capuano and Chris Young. These truly are two unknowns. If everything rolls right with these two, the Mets could be a surprising group. If not, well, you know the rest.

    As for the bullpen, I don't think that we as Met fans want to pin our hopes on Bobby Parnell, with Blaine Boyer as the lefty specialist. Nothing against Boyer, but he is one of a group of unknowns roaming around the bullpen. With Jason Isringhausen not ready to start the season, you have to keep your fingers crossed, once you get to the 7th inning.

    Now, I will put out some positives with the starting lineup. I do believe that the top five in the batting order will put up their average numbers. Jose Reyes, Angel Pagan, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, and Ike Davis will all be fine. At the bottom of the order, I have enough confidence in catcher Josh Thole to produce from an offensive standpoint. His defense will be in question. Jason Bay? Still to be announced, now that he is on the disabled list.

    As for the bench, with Mike Nickeas starting the season as the #2 catcher, it looks more and more like the Ronnie Paulino signing is a disaster. He still has the tail end of a 50-game suspension to serve, and he needs to be healthy, which I do believe that he will be.

    Willie Harris and Scott Hairston will be serviceable players, and hopefully, Nick Evans will be among them. If not, Lucas Duda should have a better start than he did last season. As for Daniel Murphy, obviously, the big issue there will be finding him a place to play in the field. Otherwise, he could be looking for a new team altogether, most likely in the American League.

    As with most teams, there are issues abound. We will see how quickly the Mets can solve theirs. After all, their season - and the course of their franchise – will depend on it.

Korbid Thompson can be found on the Bleacher Report, and the New York Mets Audio Minute at Lexy.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Five Things Terry Collins Needs To Know Before Spring Training Ends

    As it seems every year with the New York Mets, there are plenty of questions to be answered, For now, we will go with these five, as I believe they are the main questions that need to be taken care of before Opening Day against the Florida Marlins on April 1st. Some are obvious, and some, not so much.

1) Carlos Beltran – A decision has to be made before the season starts as to whether or not Beltran can play right field, both from a defensive and an injury perspective. Let's face it, Beltran is going to be banged up this season. I think that has become clear. What isn't clear is exactly how will he adjust to Angel Pagan being the outfield general? Remember, Beltran has one spring training game under his belt. To put him out there at even more of a disadvantage than what he will already be at could cost the Mets dearly.

2) Second base – Your remaining candidates are Daniel Murphy, Brad Emaus, and Luis Hernandez. By the way, I do not consider Chin-lung Hu a serious candidate, although nothing would shock me. You don't want a repeat of the first base situation last year, where Mike Jacobs was given the job, only to have fans clamor for Ike Davis the entire time. Furthermore, the Mets need to get off to a fast start, and a mistake with this decision could hamper them defensively.

    The final three have to do with the pitching, which brings us to #3, and that's Jason Isringhausen. Is he healthy? Is he still good enough to get big league hitters out in a prominent role? As we saw with Jerry Manuel, playing musical chairs with the bullpen during the season really doesn't work, so Terry Collins has to make a firm decision here.

4) Can the Mets survive with one lefty in the bullpen. With the release of Oliver Perez, it appears that Tim Byrdak is the frontrunner for the lefty specialist role, which was vacated by Pedro Feliciano heading to the Yankees. Will he be enough, especially against the Phillies, and their left-heavy lineup?

5) Do the Mets carry 12 or 13 pitchers? Terry Collins says that he is looking at that closely, and that a lot of that will depend on the length that the starting pitching can take the Mets. You don't want to burn a roster spot for a position player, unless you're sure that you need that 13th arm.

    Surely, there are other questions that will be addressed before and during the 2011 season. However, with the Mets desparately needing to get off to a hot start, the time is now to answer at least a few of them, and answer them correctly.

Korbid Thompson can be found at the Bleacher Report and the New York Mets Audio Minute on Lexy.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mike Pelfrey: Does One Bad Inning Make A Season?

As you're watching the spring training game between the Mets and Atlanta Braves on Monday, you see the Opening Day starter for the New York Mets in one of his grooves. Mike Pelfrey was pitching very well – until...

Well, the fourth inning came. That's when Pelfrey got peppered by Atlanta for 7 runs. Hard hit ball, after hard hit ball. It always seems to be that one bad inning with Mike that does him in. If he's going to be considered a true ace, and considered among the elite pitchers of the National League, consistency will be a huge factor, where the Big Pelf is concerned.

You're beginning to think that the time is now or never for Mike Pelfrey. In five Major League seasons, Pelfrey has a record of 45-43. That does not instill a lot of confidence as the #1 starter, if you are a Mets fan. On the bright side, Pelfrey won 15 games for the first time last season, which shows a tremendous sign of progress. Last year, Mike set career highs in strikeouts, wins, and innings pitched. Let's hope that trend continues upward.

David Wright – who has been one of Pelfrey's biggest supporters, will be counted on heavily to keep the big guy focused, when things start to melt down. We will also see if pitching coach Dan Warthen can keep his improvement in a positive direction.

It may be a long shot to say that the Mets will go as far as Pelfrey does. After all, this team needs a lot of things to come together, in order to make any type of run at a National League playoff spot. However, with Johan Santana on the shelf, all eyes will be on #34. It's time for Mike Pelfrey to come of age. Let the Bar Mitzvah begin.

Korbid Thompson can also be found at the Bleacher Report, and the New York Mets Audio Minute on Lexy.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Josh Thole: Is #30 the Real Deal?

First of all, I will start by saying that I like Josh Thole quite a bit. I think that he should be the starting catcher for the New York Mets in 2011, hands down.

With that being said, Thole is only 24 years old. He's not a seasoned veteran, i.e. Ronnie Paulino. Josh ended up taking over for Rod Barajas, once he was traded last season. In other words, there are still some questionmarks, concerning one of the future stars of this franchise.

You figure that being 24 will be an advantage, in that Thole will be able to handle the physical responsibilities of being the everyday catcher for 140-150 games. We know by now that he can hit the baseball, batting .277, with 17 RBI in 2010. He has the tools and the makeup to be successful.

However, Thole's youth and inexperience could work against him, which is not likely, but still possible. Teams now have a book on him, and pitchers will make adjustments. Can he bump his power numbers up from the three home runs that he hit one year ago? Can he consistently throw out baserunners from behind the plate?

With Thole having a red hot spring, hitting .419, with 2 homers and 6 RBI in 31 at-bats, there's no reason why the Mets shouldn't be optimistic.

There are definitely some questions to be answered with Joshua Michael Thole. I do think that most of them will be addressed positively, in his first full big league season. I don't know yet if he will be the Mets catcher for the next 10 years. I wouldn't go that far. After all, Todd Hundley, who was tabbed as the next great Mets catcher back in his time, did make it through 9 seasons in the blue and orange. Will #30 have such luck? Time will tell.