Tag: John Maine

Miami Marlins Sign Pitcher John Maine to a Minor League Deal

In 2007, John Maine was a 26-year-old 15-game winner for the New York Mets and looked like a mainstay in their rotation.

Going into 2013, the Miami Marlins are just hoping he can be a major league pitcher.

According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, Miami signed the 31-year-old veteran to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training for 2013.

After dealing away Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson to the Toronto Blue Jays, the Marlins’ rotation needs pitchers with some big league experience. Maine fits the bill, despite not pitching in the majors in 2011 or 2012.

Maine was originally drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the sixth round of the 2002 draft. He made his debut with the 2004 Orioles.

Baltimore sent him packing to the Mets in the Kris Benson deal. While Benson never panned out in Baltimore, Maine had initial success. He pitched for the 2006 National League champion Mets. His career highlight was out-pitching Chris Carpenter in Game 6 of the 2006 NLCS to force a Game 7.

2007 was his best over all season and his future in Queens looked secure.

Unfortunately for Maine, he developed rotator cuff problems that needed surgery. Then, his shoulder needed surgery.

He also had stints in the Colorado Rockies, Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees systems that did not yield a single major league appearance.

He pitched 79.2 innings to a 4.97 ERA in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the Yankees’ system—the most he has thrown in professional ball since 2009.

The Marlins are taking a low-risk gamble that he will resume pitching like he did in the late 2000s and give them a big league arm in this upcoming rebuilding season.

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New York Mets: Pitchers Who Have Come Closest to the Team’s First No-Hitter

The Mets reached a dubious milestone on Friday night against the Miami Marlins. A first-inning triple by Jose Reyes thwarted the possibility of a no-hitter for the 8,000th time in Mets history.

The no no-no’s streak is surprising not just for its 50-year span. The Mets have had any number of pitchers capable of blanking an opponent for nine innings.

In fact, seven pitchers have thrown no-hitters after leaving the Mets, according to NoNoHitters.com, a website that keeps a running update of the Mets’ futility. Another 10 came to the Mets with no-hitters under their belts.

Nolan Ryan, of course, posted seven no-hitters in his post-Mets career. Tom Seaver threw one for the Cincinnati Reds in 1978, the season following his departure from New York. Dwight Gooden and David Cone added further insult by pitching no-hitters for the Yankees.

Hideo Nomo and Mike Scott also chalked up no-hitters after leaving the Mets. The most recent Mets alum on the list is Philip Humber, who pitched the 21st perfect game in major league history for the Chicago White Sox last month.

The Mets have come close to breaking into the no-hit club. There have been 35 one-hitters in team history. In some of them, an early inning hit was followed by pitching perfection.

Many others were denied in the late innings. Here are six that were stopped in the eighth and ninth innings.

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MLB Rumors: Philadelphia Phillies Interested in John Maine?

It was announced yesterday that the Philadelphia Phillies have shown interest in signing right handed pitcher John Maine.  The team has allegedly had discussions with Maine’s agent Rex Gary. 

Maine is a decent pitcher in the back end of rotations.  Over his career Maine has posted a 41-36 record with a 4.35 ERA in 105 starts. 

Maine suffered a major setback when he was removed from just his ninth start last season and missed the remainder of the season after undergoing arthroscopic shoulder surgery.  Maine’s agent reported however that his recovery was going well and that there is no question that he will be ready for Spring Training.

The Phillies have made it clear that they are looking to move Joe Blanton after signing Cliff Lee this offseason.  Blanton is due $17 million over the next two seasons.  Maine on the other hand has made about $six million the past two seasons.  By signing Maine and moving Blanton the Phillies could potentially free up $10 million.

The Phillies have also had other prospects make a few starts the past few seasons but the team is not confident in these young guys contributing to the team just yet. 

Pitchers such as Kyle Kendrick, Vance Worley and Nelson Figueroa have struggled in their fill in roles in the starting rotation and the team is looking for a more experienced and proven player to fill that fifth rotation spot. 

If the Phillies were to sign Maine, it would most likely be a one-year deal with a club option for 2012.  Given his track record, Maine would most likely earn around $four million in 2011 which is a deal the Phillies would definitely be able to afford. 

Let’s not forget either that Jamie Moyer has already said he is looking to make a return in 2012 and the Phillies could pursue a one year deal with him after the season so any long term deal with Maine is out of the question. 

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RHP John Maine Targeted by Philadelphia Phillies

According to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com, former New York Met and current free agent pitcher John Maine’s agent Rex Gary has been contacted by NL East rival Philadelphia Phillies along with a few other teams.

Gary has said, “We have spoken to a lot of teams and there is a lot of interest.”

Maine was non-tendered by the Mets in early December before the hot stove began heating up. There has not been a lot of news on John Maine until now. Rubin did not name any other team that was interested.

Maine is only likely to get a minor league deal. He only pitched in nine games last season and went 1-3 with a 6.13 ERA. 

If Maine joins Philadelphia, he could join a rotation that includes Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels and maybe Joe Blanton.

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New York Mets Hot Stove Update: Beltran Trade, Maine Gone?

The New York Mets‘ quiet offseason is finally picking up. Other than all the movement in the front office, the Mets had not been heard from about any potential offseason moving and dealing. The past few days have been a different story and we have the latest rumblings from the Major League Baseball winter meetings.

– The Mets have spoken with the Boston Red Sox about possibly trading Carlos Beltran. New Mets GM Sandy Alderson is willing to pay some salary in order to send off Beltran. An interesting idea was brought out in one of the local newspapers that Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka has a similar contract.

– The Mets and pitcher D.J. Carrasco have agreed to a two-year contract worth $2.5 million. Carrasco pitched 78 1/3 innings for the Arizona Diamondbacks last season. He finished the year with a 3.68 ERA, 7.5 K/9 and 0.57 HR/9 ratio. He had a 47.5 percent ground ball rate, as well.

– Catcher Ronny Paulino agreed to sign a one-year, $1.3 million contract with the Mets. Paulino will provide catching depth. The deal also includes incentives and is pending a physical. In 316 plate appearances for Florida last season, Paulino batted .259. He still has eight games remaining on a suspension for PEDs last season.

– The Mets’ front office has talked with representatives for pitcher Freddy Garcia.

Chad Qualls has the interest of the Mets. The 32-year-old relief pitcher split time with the Diamondbacks and Rays last year. In 59 innings, Qualls had a 7.32 ERA and 7.5 K/9 ratio.

Sean Green, Chris Carter and John Maine were non-tendered and have become free agents, likely ending their time with the Mets.

Read more of the latest rumors surrounding the New York Mets, as this article continues on Double G Sports.

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2011 New York Mets Contracts: Coming Off the Books

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With the 2010 season seemly over for the Mets, it’s time to look to the 2011 season and who will be coming off the books.

Jeff Francoeur—2010 salary $5M: He seems to be a fan favorite, but that doesn’t make you a major league ball player. Francoeur has shown signs of improvement at the plate and has a great arm in right field, but I just don’t see him having a place on this team in 2011.

John Maine—2010 salary $3.3M: After five seasons with the Mets his tenure in New York is almost definitely over. He blew out his shoulder this season for the Mets and his career could possibly be over. Hopefully he makes a recovery and is able to catch on somewhere else though.

Pedro Feliciano—2010 salary $2.9M: He is a free agent at the end of the season and it’s still uncertain if the Mets will bring him back. Feliciano has been with the team for eight years and has been one of the best non-closer relief pitchers in Mets history. The price tag for him might be a bit much, but I have a feeling the Mets will bring him back.

*Read the rest…*

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John Maine or Hisanori Takahashi In New York Mets Rotation?

Since John Maine left the rotation for the DL, the Mets have led the league in wins, going 19-5. Why? The rotation leads the league during the same stretch of time with the lowest earned run average.

With John Maine coming back from the DL soon, everyone is wondering whether Jerry Manuel will leave Takahashi in the rotation and ask Maine to go into the bullpen, or the reverse.

Maine has given the team only one win in nine starts while Takahashi has given us three wins in six starts, including holding the Yankees to zero runs in two of these starts. More than that, he is now part of a rotation dominating the league.

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.  Or in other terms, play the hot hand. What bothers me is I know Manuel doesn’t play the hot hand. In fact, he often plays the cold one.

Put Maine in the bullpen. If Takahashi tires, or ceases to perform as expected, then switch them. Otherwise, it’s like putting a flat tire on a car that’s been winning all its races.

And as for Ollie Perez.  I think his being Designated For Assignment (let go) should be seriously considered.  There really shouldn’t be any worry that he will become productive on another club.  He won’t.

Takahashi will give more to this team providing starting pitching like tonight than he will in the bullpen. We have a rotation that gives the team a chance to win every night. Let Maine contribute to the team from the bullpen for now.

What do you think?

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The Great Chicago Fire Sale Could Benefit the New York Mets

The city of Chicago has seen its share of hard times. In 1871 they had a massive fire that lasted for days. It destroyed everything in it’s wake. The city rebuilt though and once again became a prominent destination in the United States, both economically and competitively.

They have had sports teams struggle in mediocrity and succeed to the heights of their profession. Among their teams are the Bears, who have such a storied history in the NFL that it speaks for itself and the Bulls, who have won many NBA championships and were the sports dynasty of the 90’s.

Just a week ago, the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, the most prized trophy in the NHL.

Both the White Sox and the Cubs have tasted success as well, although the White Sox remain the only one of the two teams to win a World Series in the past century.

These days, despite all that success, the city is preparing for another fire of sorts: a fire sale. Both of the baseball teams are mired in over-sized contracts for players and have been underachieving.

Both the Cubs and the White Sox have openly discussed the possibility of trades for several players on each of the teams.

This rebuilding stage has led to other players wanting to be traded. The uproar has, and will, create a domino effect over the next month as the trade deadline looms closer.

As these teams unload their highest paid and most attractive talent, the frenzy can benefit a contending team.

Provided that there are teams that have a savvy general manager, I believe several other MLB competitors can grow stronger from the Chicago fire sale.

If a team is close to first or second place in their division, in other words if they’re in contention, expect them to become possible buyers for the talent that Chicago has to offer.

One such team is the New York Mets. They have a few weaknesses that, despite being a few games over the .500 mark, are still noticeable. They do need another starting pitcher to go along with their two aces, Johan Santana and Mike Pelfrey.

The rumor swarm is buzzing all around the internet that the Mets are in serious contract talks with the Seattle Mariners for Cliff Lee.

However, the Mariners will be asking for a lot if they’re going to send Lee to Queens. In particular, they would want the man who just last week joined a small list of Mets pitchers to throw a one hitter, Jon Niese. To many fans, that will be too much to ask. Allow me to propose another alternative.

One player that does not want to stay around for the rebuilding in Chicago is Jake Peavy

Lee will be a free agent at the end of the season, and the Mets are not guaranteed the chance to resign him if they pull the trigger on that trade. So they would give up Niese and others for Lee for a half of a season.

Peavy may command just as much for the White Sox, but he is still under contract for several years. If the Mets have to include Niese in any package for a top tier pitcher, than it should be a pitcher under a contract like a Jake Peavy or a Roy Oswalt . Both have recently been rumored to being open to trades to contenders like the Mets.

Personally, I think the Mets should only pull the trigger if they can keep Niese and include someone else in a trade package.

There will be many mid-level starters open to trade as the deadline nears. Starters that would cost the Mets far less and still be productive for the team now and in the next few seasons.

These major trades are the hardest to pull off. The Mets would be more prudent if they were to think of small splashes instead of major tidal waves.

With this in mind, the Cubs have expressed interest in trading several players also. Players like Ryan Theriot and Kosuke Fukodome would cost far less for the Mets to acquire.

The Mets don’t have a need in the outfield, so Fukodome would not be worth any interest, but Theriot proposes an intriguing proposition. He is currently a .289 hitter with 14 stolen bases. He has been on winning teams, so he knows what that winning experience entails and what it takes to get there.

The Mets do need another starter, but they also need another utility infielder with a solid bat. They have tried Frank Catalanotto, Mike Jacobs, and Gary Mathews Jr. among others to fill that void on the bench.

Struggling defense or cold bats have led to all of them being demoted or released. The Mets still search for a bat to contribute in that part time role.

Theriot could be just that bat, and the Mets could get him with only giving up one player. Perhaps that player would be Nick Evans. I wrote on Evans being wasted in the minors. If the Mets don’t want to promote him to the majors or even to AAA to face better pitching, then perhaps they should consider using him as trade bait.

There are several players the Mets have to choose from at the minor league level. Despite the opinion of some, the Mets are deeper than most think in the farm system. Nick Evans makes more sense, though, because he has some experience at the major league level.

The Mets have a short list of untouchables. That list includes Johan Santana, David Wright, Jose Reyes, Mike Pelfrey, Carlos Beltran, Jason Bay, Francisco Rodriguez, Ike Davis, and Reuben Tejada.

Just about everyone else is up in the air. There are some players that no team would take off their hands. That list includes Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo, and John Maine.

The Mets have to be smart when they decide to make a move. They must consider financial restraints, roster depth, minor league depth, and impact on the current team. These are all factors. They can’t over spend and be stuck with an enormous contract.

They can’t trade too many prospects and leave the cupboard bare. They can’t tinker with the current team’s chemistry and cost them the confidence and unity that they have developed in recent games. However, they need to improve on a few aspects.

If the Mets can use the desperation of teams like the White Sox and Cubs to their advantage, they may be able to improve and not over spend or give up too much.

They must act with wisdom and patience if they are to make the right move for this current team. Otherwise, by the wrong deal or inactivity, they could be burned by the Chicago fire sale.

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The State of the Mets Rotation

Currently, the Mets sport a rotation of Johan Santana , Mike Pelfrey, Jonathon Niese, RA Dickey, and Hisanori Takahashi. Dickey and Takahashi did not start the season in the rotation, but after John Maine and Oliver Perez hit the DL, Dickey and Takahashi took over.

As of right now Dickey and Takahashi are pitching very effectively, and are a big reason the Mets find themselves seven games over .500. With the likely return of Maine, the Mets should avoid tinkering with the success of the rotation and put Maine in the bullpen.

To start the season the Mets held out hope that John Maine and Oliver Perez would finally be able to put it together, and prove to be reliable pitchers in the rotation; however, neither impressed during their time with the team.

Oliver Perez, probably the player the Mets had the most staked on after awarding him a 3 year, 36 million dollar contract a season ago, played so poorly that the Mets tried hiding him in the bullpen. Unfortunately, he was just as ineffective there, and, after he refused a minor league assignment, the Mets banished him to the DL.

Maine’s story is a little more promising. He did not pitch very effectively to start, but after returning to being primarily a fastball pitcher Maine was able to pitch well enough to keep the Mets in games. The problem was he still had trouble pitching late into games and sustained an injury that forced him out of a game after throwing just five pitches.  This came just before he landed on the DL.

Maine has recently thrown in a rehab game and is working his way back to the majors. The question is: Should the Mets put him back in the rotation? Right now, the Mets are clicking, and a big part of that is the current starting rotation.

In addition the bullpen has been more effective as pitchers are pitching six, seven, or more innings. In fact Pelfrey and Niese started back to back games where they pitched for nine innings. While Dickey and Takahashi will never be top-line starters, they are getting the job done right now and that should not be tinkered with.  Especially in favor of a player that struggles to pitch five innings.

John Maine’s best career move looks like a transition to the bullpen. He has a lively fastball, but not a ton else, and like I keep mentioning, he has trouble going deep in to games. In the bullpen only one or two strong pitches are needed to be effective. It would be great to convert Maine into a set-up guy, or if we’re lucky, an eventual cheaper option to K-Rod at closer when Frankie’s contract is up after next season.

While Dickey and Takahashi’s effectiveness might wane as the season continues, John Maine is not a good replacement. He has had numerous times to prove his worth, and outside of 2007 has failed to do so.

by Evan Slavit at the Sports Fan Blog Network

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New York Mets Fans Need To Root Against Maine and Beltran

This season has been full of surprises for the New York Mets . They have shown dominance at home and futile efforts on the road. They have had several injuries to key players, but these injuries have also been considered a blessing to some.

They have taken advantage of injured players and their vacated roster spots. Most notably, John Maine, Oliver Perez and Carlos Beltran. They have done this by inserting hungry players to take their place—players like Angel Pagan, R. A. Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi .

Take Dickey and Takahashi , for example. They have combined for a 7-2 record in nine combined starts and their ERAs are 3.20 and 3.80 respectively, compared to Oliver Perez and John Maine, who are a combined 1-6. Both are also sporting an ERA over 6.00.

Granted, Dickey and Takahashi have amassed this combined record in half of the combined starts, but are still impressive nonetheless. It is an estimated eight starts for the Dickey/Takahashi duo and 16 for the Perez/Maine combination.

Still, this has been a breath of fresh air for not only the ball club, but for their fan-base as well. Another case in point would be Angel Pagan. In his time with the Mets , he has shown flashes of greatness, only to have that fire extinguished by injuries.

Now he seems as healthy as ever and also as productive as ever. In his time so far this season, he has made the most of his opportunity. Going into today’s double header, he has a .294 batting average with four home runs, four triples, 25 RBI’s and 11 stolen bases in 56 games. In other words, he is not just taking advantage of his chances, but also of the ballpark in which he is playing.

While Carlos Beltran has been ridiculed and criticized for his poor decision to have surgery nearly a month and a half before spring training, Pagan has flourished. With all this good, warm sunshine on the roster, news of rain must come. Not the rain that forced a double header today, but rather an interesting tidbit of news on the rehab front for the club.

According to Mike Puma of the New York Post , Maine and Beltran are making progress. Maine is preparing to make a few starts in the minors with the AA Binghamton club.

He begins his stint with the AA team on June 13. Also, Beltran has been starting split squad games down in Port St. Lucie under the careful watch of Mets’ brass and trainers.

This is all good news for them, but not necessarily for the team. If the Mets are to continue their rise in the standings and preserve team unity, they need to keep these hungry players around as long as they can. Keep in mind, the players that are being discussed in rehab assignments are part of the old regime.

Beltran has been under the continual microscope over the past few seasons due to his repeated comments about division rivals and rivalries. His stats when healthy have been wonderful, but he is not the best clubhouse presence. Some may even call him stale air as opposed to the fresh air of the youth that has been pumped into the locker room as of late.

Maine has been scrutinized for his heart and passion, after comments in spring training and poor outings so far this season. He is considering a move to the bullpen upon his return, which shows he is thinking of the team’s needs. Still, how effective will he be if he continues to show a lack of intensity, especially in that role?

Oliver Perez has been a constant distraction in the locker room and in the media. His open refusal to be demoted to the minors to work out his problems and unproductive outings have left him ostracized by both the media and the fans. Perhaps even the players may have alienated him for his selfishness as well.

This was followed by a controversial decision by the Mets to place him on the disabled list. That move has been investigated by the MLB and has since been approved, though the transaction had odd timing. A supposed injury to a disgruntled, struggling and cancerous-to-the-clubhouse type of player is a curious move indeed.

All of these players may be nice people, as written and reported countless times by the Mets and their media affiliates, but they are not helping the team with their controversy or selfishness.

The replacements, however, are helping the team in several ways. If these players are in fact riding a hot streak in their careers and the Mets are catching lightning in a bottle, then they must be given every opportunity to succeed.

By succeeding individually, the team will succeed collectively. That is the common goal—teamwork, dedication, and energy. These present players are exhibiting those qualities. The old regime has proven one thing: They can’t stay healthy long enough to be successful enough to make a run to the World Series.

The nucleus of this team is not getting younger, and their time and prime are dwindling down, game by wasted game, season by wasted season. The Mets roster has been turned over more times than a hamburger in a frying pan these past few seasons.

While the same few players that the franchise has been built around are stuck in mediocrity, the team as a whole has either come up short or come up lame.

If they are to contend, they need passion, heart and confidence . I have previously written about this in an article entitled “Five Things the Mets Need to Seriously Contend.”

In it I wrote the following:

“The swagger I speak of is that of confidence, not so much arrogance, but a realization that you’re good and can match up with anyone. They had that once, and they need to reacquire it, or else they will be doomed to mediocrity.”

These players bring that energy and confidence to every start and every at bat. If the Mets and their fans want all of the players to bring that energy and that air of confidence, then the Mets need to hang on to players that invigorate others.

These players not only do so, but they make the team stronger, deeper, and more exciting. That is something that has been missing for a few years now.


For more of my work, check out my blog- http://nyfaninsjersey.blogspot.com

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