Tag: Ryota Igarashi

Mets’ Report Card: Midterm Estimates, Pitchers

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The second half of the season is going to start tomorrow, so it’s only fair to let the players know how they are doing right now.

Up where I go to college at SUNY Cortland we get mid-semester estimates. The professors let you know if you are on track to either pass the class or fail it. But they don’t give us a letter grade, which I would like to see; I should talk to the dean about that, but I digress.

I’ll give these players a letter grade, and I should let them know I’m a pretty easy grader.




Manny Acosta

Pitched in 12 innings in the first half and gave up four runs on eight hits and eight walks. Wasn’t expecting much from him, but he should think about coming to some office hours to improve his control. Grade: C


Elmer Dessens

He certainly gave this bullpen a big boast. Didn’t make the Opening Day roster, but stepped up when his team called on him from the minors. 18.1 innings pitched, three earned runs, well done. Grade: B+ 


R.A. Dickey

It’s scary to think where this team could be without him. Finished the first half with a 6-2 record and a 2.77 ERA. He won six starts in a row, and has given up three runs or fewer in eight of his 10 starts. Grade: A+


Pedro Feliciano

To be honest I was expecting a bit more out of him. He came out of Spring Training and wanted to be this team’s set-up man, but he hasn’t been able to lock down that position. His numbers are pretty good, but there is room for improvement. Grade: B


Ryota Igarashi

I was really high on this guy. In Spring Training, he looked like he could be the set-up man for this team, but he was just so inconsistent. An eight ERA? Really? You get a frowny face on your report card. Grade: D


John Maine

Ah, where do I start. He looked great for three starts in a row, but before that and after those starts, he was awful. Maybe you should try taking this class with a different professor. Grade: D


Jenrry Mejia

I think it was a bit early to take a course of this level, but he didn’t do to bad. He showed that he has potential to be a very fine major leaguer. He should think about taking the prerequisites first though. Grade: B


Jon Niese

Got to love the job this kid has been doing. Since coming back from his injury, he’s been great, at 5-1 with a 3.12 ERA. A very solid No. 3 guy, keep up the good work. Grade: B+


Fernando Nieve

5.26 ERA? When did this happen? You used to be such a good student—all this partying is catching up to you. And by partying I mean coming in to pitch every single game. Take it easy on him Jerry. Grade: C


Bobby Parnell

He’s come back to the team and has looked very good. He gave the team some much needed bullpen support at the end of the first half. He threw 11 innings of work, gave up two runs on 12 hits, three walks, and 14 strike outs. I think we’ll see some big things from him the second half. Grade: B+ 


Mike Pelfrey

Great work there Mike, we all knew you could do it. All-Star caliber performance in the first half of the season, but he’s dealing with some dead arm issues in his last few starts. Not to worry, Mike said he goes through this every year and he’ll be back in tip top shape soon enough—we hope. Grade: A


Oliver Perez



Francisco Rodriguez

Blew four saves and got two loses, but he did post a 2.45 ERA with 21 saves. He worked a lot of innings in the first half, but hopefully he’ll be fine for the second. This team really needs him to be. Grade: B


Johan Santana

Despite everyone saying his arm isn’t what it used to be, he had a 2.98 ERA for the first half, which is very respectable. Take away that awful start against the Phillies and he has a 2.33 ERA. Santana is a second half pitcher though, so I’m expecting big things, especially since the way he finished up the first half. Grade: B+ 


Hisanori Takahashi

Had some very nice starts, and he’s pitched better than his numbers. However, he is better fitted for the bullpen, where he will be for the second half of the season. Grade: B+


Raul Valdes

Came out of no where and really impressed me. He had a two really bad outings against the Padres which blew up his ERA. Not sure what the team will get from him in the second half though. Grade: B 


The one weakness on this team is the pitching. The Mets need to go out and get a starting pitcher and a set-up guy for the bullpen if they want to be serious contenders for the World Series. Until then, they are just a borderline playoff team.

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Jerry Manuel’s Moves Continue to Baffle Media and Fans Alike

The Mets are a month into the season and several moves that Jerry Manuel have made have been questioned at great length by fans and media alike, this is not good news. 

They were in first place, thanks to their 9-1  homestand, but just finished a 2-4 road trip in Philadelphia and Cincinnati, in two of the most hitter-friendly parks in the National League.

While the Mets are in second place and still very much in the mix in the NL East, you do have to wonder if some of Manuel’s decisions are costing the team wins.

First and foremost, Fernando Nieve has been used to excess, mostly due to the absence of Ryota Igarashi, who is on the DL with a strained hamstring.  Nieve has appeared in 17 games total and in nine of the last 10 games.

Jason Bay is still hitting cleanup even though he struggled mightily on the road trip, while a bad road trip is just that, if Manuel continues to place him in that role for the next week with the same results, it hurts the whole team.

Another questionable move was putting Jose Reyes in the third spot of the lineup, enough has been written about that, so I will not elaborate on that further, but to say fans strongly want him hitting leadoff again is an understatement.

During the third and decisive game against the Phillies last Sunday night, it was obvious that Johan Santana was not on his game in the least early in the game, but the bullpen was not prepared and Santana faced more batters than he should have under the circumstances.

Mike Francesca of WFAN radio asked Jerry, “after Victorino’s grand slam, why did you not take Santana out then…?”, to which he replied “the guy in the bullpen was indisposed or not ready”, which does raise some eyebrows about what he meant by that response.

However, the point is that more than one pitcher in the bullpen should have been warming up, it should not  have been left to one “guy”, especially if there were doubts that he would be ready when needed to enter the game.

During yesterday afternoon’s game in Cincinnati, Manuel double-switched David Wright out of the game in the bottom of the 10th inning after Wright struck out swinging to end the top of the inning. 

Manuel’s reason for the move was that Fernando Tatis, who had pinch hit in the 10th inning was needed as a potential back up catcher in the event that the game went more than 10 innings.  Henry Blanco started the game but was pinch hit for later in the game and there was some concern about Rod Barajas and how long he could continue to catch.

Anyone who knows what kind of player David Wright is will firmly believe that if an emergency catcher was needed, he would have had the catcher’s gear on without being asked his willingness to be in that situation after playing third base for the full game.

By no means am I advocating that Wright put on the “tools of ignorance” and take unnecessary injury risks, just that double switching him because of fear about a catcher needing to be replaced does not make much sense to me or a lot of other Mets fans.

Wright did have two hits on the afternoon, a single and a solo home run that brought the Mets within a run of the Reds, who were winning 4-2 at the time. 

While I do understand the concern about a backup catcher needing to be on the field, Tatis is a proven utility player who could have taken over any number of positions. 

The general rule of double switches is that the last batter is the one that gets switched out, while generally it is not questioned, being that Wright did have a successful afternoon, just a bad at bat in the 10th, he was waved off the field.

Pedo Feliciano gave up the game winning home run to Orlando Cabrera to end the game with the first batter he faced, so the point of the double switch was moot, but still questionable in the eyes of fans and media.

Fans and media do think that they can probably manage the team better than the manager, but moves like this do make you wonder if Manuel is costing his team wins with roster decisions, he is on a short leash to begin with in 2010, the clock is ticking……

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