Saturday, January 14, 2012

R.A. Dickey Reaches The Summit Of Mt. Kilimanjaro

R.A. Dickey and his crew reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Kevin Slowey, Dave Racaniello, and R.A. Dickey reached the highest point of Mt. Kilimanjaro. 

It wasn't easy, as chronicled in his blog for the New York Times, but he achieved his goal.
"The view was unforgettably magnificent, as incredible as anything I have ever seen. But as I took time to contemplate, I realized that the reason the view was so rich was the overall experience of the trek. We had walked approximately 40 miles and climbed 13,000 feet since the beginning of the journey, overcoming all kinds of adversities. All the while, we were building relationships with everyone from the porters to one another, sharing in our triumphs and helping one another in times of need."
Dickey began this journey to raise awareness for the Bombay Teen Challenge. The organization, "Rescues and cares for sex slaves in the brothels of Mumbai, cares for the children of sex slaves, juveniles roaming the streets, addicts and runaways."

Well done, R.A.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Johan Santana Preparing For His Return To Citi

Well, there was a Johan Santana sighting today.

Courtesy: Mets Twitter Account

Santana participated in some long toss in Port St. Lucie today. He later tweeted:

The Mets still can not say with certainty that Santana will be ready to go by opening day. He missed all of the 2011 season after having surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder.

Speaking with reporters this afternoon, Santana did not make any predictions for the upcoming season.
"Time will tell," Santana said. "As of right now, I'm going to follow everything the way they want me to do, and we'll see how it feels. I cannot tell you what's going to happen five, six weeks from now, because I'd be lying to you. I have to go one day at a time. That's the way we have done things from last year. That's how we're going to do it this year as well."
Whatever happens, it's nice to see him throwing again. It's been far too long, Johan.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mets Lose Fernando Martinez To The Astros

In the Omar Minaya era, where every player was seemingly available in trade discussions, Fernando Martinez was the only untouchable.

Manny Ramirez? Nope. Dan Haren, C.C. Sabathia? Double nope. How about Johan Santana? Well you get the picture.

In Minaya’s defense, Martinez was one of the top prospects in all of baseball.

After signing out of the Dominican Republic as a 16 year old for $1.4 million, Baseball America ranked him #22, #20, #30 from 2007 to 2009 respectively. In 2009, at the tender age of 20, he put together a .290/.337/.540 slash line at AAA.

Flat out incredible.

Not only was he competing against former Major Leaguers, he was also competing against the best minor league prospects in a league where the average age was 26.7. Think about it, most 20 year players are in High-A or AA. The other 20 year olds are still in college playing with metal bats, against competition 99% of whom will never even be drafted.

All over baseball, scouts were gushing about his talent and ability to hit. He was being held in the same regard as former top prospects Hanley Ramirez and Cameron Maybin, as well as a young Jose Reyes and Juan Gonzalez. One scout even compared him to Ted Williams! Obviously, comparing any prospect to Ted Williams is a stretch, but the point is, his upside was limitless.

Furthermore, take a look at the current Mets top prospects and their current ages: Matt Harvey (22), Zack Wheeler (21), Jeurys Familia (22), Juan Lagares (22), Reese Havens (25).

Even though none of these players have reached AAA yet, none of these players were being considered to be released. Moreover, they are all older than F-Mart was when he received 281 at bats in AAA and the MLB combined, at the age of 20 in 2009. It shows just how talented he was.

However, the main reason he was officially released today has nothing to do with his talent, but rather his injury riddled past.

Not once in his six minor league seasons has he ever played more than 90 games. To further complicate things, in the 2010 offseason, it was discovered that Martinez has arthritis in his knee.

Arthritis at 22!

I understand his stock is nowhere close to where it was in 2009. I also realize that arthritis is a condition that does not go away with training or rehab. However, when you consider he has a career Iso (isolated slugging percentage) of .200 in AAA, while the AAA-International League average is .140, I have to believe he still has some value.

I have the utmost amount of faith in Sandy Alderson and his staff, but I cannot say I was surprised when Jayson Stark reported that at least five teams put a claim on him.

This type of talent, regardless of the injury history, does not grow on trees. After rooting for him to be successful for so long, I guess I just wished for more in return than let’s say, Scott Hairston.

For all of your Mets updates, be sure to follow Zach @MetsVibe and check out his website,!

F-Mart Claimed By Houston

Courtesy: Keith Allison (Flickr)
As Adam Rubin reported earlier today, Fernando Martinez has been claimed by the Houston Astros.

Martinez told Enrique Rojas of
"I will always be grateful to the Mets, but now I'm an Astro. I hope the change of scenery will help me revive my career. I'm anxious to begin this new stage. ... If I'm healthy and I'm given the opportunity, I'm going to hit. Now I'm healthy and only waiting for my work visa in order to go train in Miami and then spring training. ... I'm a young man. Sometimes they say as if I'm a man of 35 years, but I'm only 23 and am ready to begin again."
Once the Mets top prospect, Martinez has struggled just to stay on the field, battling injury after injury. When he wasn't on the disabled list, the outfielder hit .183 in 131 at-bats with the Mets, with two home runs and 12 RBIs.

He's just another example of how there are no guarantees in baseball.

Could he go on to have a decent career? Sure. Will he be as fantastic as people believed he would be during his time with the Mets? No.

Either way, we wish him the best...and good luck running up and down that hill in center field.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Martinez and Herrera Placed On Waivers

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York is reporting that Fernando Martinez and Daniel Herrera have been placed on waivers in order to make room on the 40-man roster for Scott Hairston and Ronny Cedeno.

According to Rubin, Herrera can opt for free agency.

Fernando Martinez is a prime example of how a being labeled a top prospect means nothing. It's just a label. The once highly touted outfielder has never played more than 90 games in a season and now, at 23, he now suffers from arthritis.

Who's Blaming The Wilpons For The Mets Troubles?

Apparently, New York Magazine has a section called, "The Workplace Confidential," where anonymous writers share their thoughts about the goings on of their organization.

Their recent entry? "The Met Who Blames Everything on the Wilpons." Hmm...way to stir up trouble here, NY Magazine.

In the article, the anonymous "Met" says:
Ownership is trying to turn the Mets, a big-market franchise, into a small-market franchise. That’s not just sad, it’s disgusting. You know what I think when I read about the Mets nowadays? We’ve become the Oakland A’s. We’re the Pittsburgh Pirates.
This anonymous Met uses "we" freely throughout the article. Who knows if it is a Mets player, Mets employee, or Mr. Met.

I honestly don't believe a player wrote this though. They can't be that dumb, can they?

I've read that some think this could have been written by a former player who still associates themselves with the team. Keith Hernandez perhaps? He seems like the type who would not care and write something like this.

To tell you the truth, this whole thing reads like an angry letter from a disgruntled fan. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that this is some kind of hoax. Hey, it's been done before, just google the title of this blog.

Mets Need To Make Room On The Roster For Hairston & Cedeno

After reaching a deal with Scott Hairston and Ronny Cedeno this past week, the Mets will need to make some cuts.

According to Adam Rubin, two players will need to be cut in order to make room on the 40-man roster. His list of possible candidates include:

RHP Armando RodriguezRHP D.J. CarrascoRHP Jeremy HefnerOF Fernando MartinezLHP Daniel HerreraRHP Chris SchwindenIF Josh SatinIF Justin Turner

In my opinion, the two who should get the boot are Fernando Martinez and D.J. Carrasco.

At this point, I consider Martinez to be a lost cause. During the summer when Martinez landed on the disabled list again, the NY Post pointed out that, "The outfielder, once considered one of the top prospects in baseball, has never played more than 90 games in any of his five professional seasons due to various injuries." Time to say goodbye.

Carrasco didn't impress me at all last season. He finished the 2011 season with a 6.02 ERA, and opponents were hitting .337 off him. Get rid of him and his ugly stirrups.