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Monday, June 28, 2010

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Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse reports that there is a "mystery team" in on Cliff Lee, and it might be the Cardinals.

Is it wrong to hope that the Braves clobber Strasburg but lose in extra innings? Just so we can all stop hearing about Strasburg 24/7? I'm talking something ridiculous like 2/3 IP, 13 ER, 5 BB, 10 H for Strasburg but the Nats win in the 11th 15-14.

I could see the Cards getting Lee...and giving themselves the best rotation in the NL but a very good margin.

Wainwright
Lee
Carpenter
Garcia

is pretty good in a 5 or 7 game series.

I feel like the Cards had the best rotation in the NL last year as well (Carpenter, Wainwright, Pinero) but got swept in the NLDS. Time will tell I guess.

The Mets marquee trade chip, right-hander Jenrry Mejia , was diagnosed with a posterior cuff strain and is sidelined indefinitely.

So, you're saying the Mets won't get Lee? That's pretty much what that is saying, right? Mejia would have to have been the marquee piece in any trade coming from the Mets. If he's damaged goods at the deadline, do the M's still take a chance on him?

I still think the Twins land Lee.

I think the Mets would have to part with F-Mart, for starters, to get Lee.

NEPP: Not sure why the hate for Strasburg. He's been hyped a lot, but has absolutely lived up to it. I think it's pretty awesome, actually.

I may be biased because I live in the DC area, but I think it's pretty cool to watch what he's doing as a rookie, and if you haven't watched him yet, you really should. The stuff is just out of this world.

Can I vote "neither"? Both teams are played above their heads while the Phils were struggling. They will both fall to earth.

The Braves will not keep getting on base at their clip. Troy Glaus, by the end of the year, will once again resemble Troy Glaus.

The Mets could make a deadline deal and make a push, but they also could suffer a rash of injuries to their aging roster.

Yeah, its one thing to be bothered by undeserved hype, but Strasburg has clearly lived up to.

lived up to it, that is. Anyway, the kid is good.

"Troy Glaus, by the end of the year, will once again resemble Troy Glaus"

You mean the guy with the career 121 OPS+?

Glaus actually looks a lot like the player her was 2 years ago for STL.

Is F-Mart still a viable piece? Have the Mets given up on him they way most others have? Looking at his stats, he seems to be nothing special. NY prospects are overhyped and I think he is another one that falls into this category. Lastings Milledge anyone?

****NEPP: Not sure why the hate for Strasburg. He's been hyped a lot, but has absolutely lived up to it. I think it's pretty awesome, actually. ****

Meh. We'll see where he's at in a couple years. Its not hate so much as I'm sick of seeing Strasburg 24/7 on national sports news and having every single one of his starts as a nationally televised game.

He's very good...probably the best rookie pitcher since Gooden.

Lots of things to discus here:

1.) I don't understand the Strasburg hate NEPP. The kid is good and deserves every bit of attention he is getting. Plus he may single-handedly help turn around the Nationals fortunes down the road. Plus he is setting records in doing so. He is the real deal.

2.) I'd love for the Cardinals to land Lee- because it would almost assuredly mean he is a half-season rental and would only have the potential to sting this year. The Cardinals would have a tough time extending him because they owe Holliday a ton of money plus Pujols will be up for contract soon as well which will be a significant increase. Their payroll this year was 94 and they are already committed to 67 for next season.

3.) The key to the Mets season will be right after the All-Star break. They are not very good on the road this season and open with an 11 game west coast trip where they play 4 in SF, 3 in Arizona, and 4 against LA. Right after the break is usually where the Phillies start to really heat up. That could make a huge difference. Also, the Mets have a game road trip in the second to last week of the season and then come home to finish out against the Brewers and Nationals- the latter of which has ruined the Mets season a few times on that weekend.

4.) The key to the race is who stays healthy. The Braves have a bunch of older guys who are injury prone. The Mets have guys who have been injury prone and the Phillies apparently are going to have one of those seasons where someone is always injured. Whichever teams survives that war of attrition will win the division.

***1.) I don't understand the Strasburg hate NEPP.****

Nothing at all against the kid, just the hype. Maybe if he gets beat up in a start, the hype will stop and he can get on with his career and we can hear about other things.

Buster Olney just tweeted:

"Heard this:The Phillies' pre-trade deadline priority is a middle-of-the-rotation starter, probably someone higher in caliber than a Guthrie."

****Is F-Mart still a viable piece? Have the Mets given up on him they way most others have****

I dont think he's the top rated guy he was throught up a couple years ago (part of that NY prospect hype) but he's still only 21 in AAA. Granted his stats last year in AAA at Age 20 were alot more impressive than what he's done this year (I think his OPS is in the high .600s...at least it was a week or so ago when I looked at it).

I would say he's a legit prospect but not an elite one by any stretch of the imagination. He's not someone you build a package around like Dom Brown.

TTI nails it with the Braves and Mets. Health and translating success at home to success on the road are both key.

By most accounts Lee wants to test FA. Seems that would make any deal a rental.

****"Heard this:The Phillies' pre-trade deadline priority is a middle-of-the-rotation starter, probably someone higher in caliber than a Guthrie."****

Tells you all you need to know about the FO's opinion of Happ's injury, doesn't it?

Someone mentioned it yesterday - I wonder if the Phillies are kicking the tires on Garrett Atkins. He hasn't hit at all the last 2 years and didn't play 3B at all this year, so I don't know how much interest the Phillies have, but I'd rather see Atkins playing third or even Greg Dobbs than Valdez/Castro for an extended period of time if Polanco needs to go to the DL.

(from last thread)

Chris in VT: The Phils moved Santana to short season Williamsport, and in his first 10 games (small sample) he's hit .323/.462/.548. Still a long way to go to get his strikeouts to an acceptable level (86 in 196 ABs this year across both levels) but then again, he's not old enough to buy cigarettes yet. I'm really interested to see how he develops.

J.R. King: How do you figure that the Mets and Braves are playing above their heads when both teams have sustain themselves in duration and in the mist of contending teams? BTW, Mets are branding a significant amount of young players so your argument of aging roster is to inaccurate to suffice...

anyoen ever go to this Phillies Picnic thing for season ticket holders? Wondering if its worth while if its pouring out - which is the likely forecast.

Lee Strasburg Lee Strasburg Lee Strasburg

NEPP: I agree with your F-Mart assessment to a certain extent -- he is not an elite prospect. But, he hasn't had one standout year in the minors. His best year was '08 where he hit .287/.340/.432/.772 at AA. Everything has been very pedestrian if you ask me.

The saddest part of all is that I will likely flip over to watch him pitch between commericials and what not. Steve Nebraska is a hell of a young pitcher. What is it now? 41 K in 25 IP or something else suitably off the charts?

Nepp - I get your hatin on Strasburg, not so much him, but the hype. I am a big hater of hype too. ESPN hyping Yanks/Sox bla bla bla bla .... Unless its Phillies hype. Then I love it. !!!!

And I am not sure the Phillies should think about Garrett Atkins. the words "hasnt hit in 2 years" is plennnty enough argument for me.

and whats with all the hype around Bobby Valentine? Someone help me here. Is he that good? If so, why did he spend so much time in Japan ?

His MLB career W/L % is .490.

Kris: I think what JR is saying is that the Mets will not play at an .667 clip for the remainder of the year, nor will the Braves play at a .684 clip (as they have been doing since May 17th).

Do you disagree?

well happ got moved to AAA and starts tomorrow. so it can't be that bad. in fact, if kendrick pitches bad tonight and happ pitches good tomorrow, it is likely that happ will take his spot in the rotation for the next start

Strasburg: I'm with NEPP. I'm in the DC area and am glad the Nats have some attention, but I don't need to see every Strasburg start nationally televised. He appears to be the real deal, but come on.

Part of the hype on F-Mart was the fact that he was always very young for the level he was at, so pedestrian numbers were actually a good thing considering his age.

DH - Good to hear on Santana...he clearly didn't belong in A ball. If he can keep up the BB% the Ks aren't a huge problem. And 76 of those 86 came at Lakewood, where he was just plain overmatched as a 17 year old.

NYM: 28-12 Home / 15-20 Away
ATL: 26-8 Home / 18-24 Away

Pretty drastic home/away splits. ATL has played 3 less series at home than NYM, so I would be inclined to give the Braves a little bit of an edge on that fact alone.

PHI: 20-15 Home / 20-18 Away

I'm not concerned or worried about either the Mets or the Braves. If the Phillies take care of business and avoid more injuries, they will win the division for the fourth year in a row.

They have plenty of games with the Mets and the Braves that will determine the division. And neither teams scare me.

*ATL with 2 less home series

R.Bill: I agree unequivocally, but sooner or later, the Rose colored glasses theory needs to end and one needs to acknowledge that 3 of the best teams in the NL are coincidentally, competing in the same division. I'm not convinced there's one team that will run away in this division and the chances that the wild card winner will be either the Phils, Braves and Mets, slightly increases with every game. This will be a dog fight my friends...

Phillies lock up the division with a week to go. Ship it.

Put me in the group that thinks the Phillies will end the season on top of the division, but I think some people here aren't giving the Mets their due credit.

Davis, Niese, Pagan, and Pelfry have provided a lot of value for the Mets this season - something we didn't really account for earlier in the year. Reyes and Wright are showing they have forgotten about 2009, and late production by Beltran and Bay will be icing on the cake. I'd bet that the Mets trade for a decent arm at the deadline too - 90 wins is not out of the question for that team.

I'm also with NEPP re: Strasburg. The hype is too much for one kid. Let him pitch for a few seasons then we will know if he's the real deal.

"Can I vote "neither"? Both teams are played above their heads while the Phils were struggling. They will both fall to earth. "

I'm with JR on this one.

i've only seen strasberg pitch a few times, i am all for having his starts televised, the little bit i saw was filthy.

Two comments:

1. I think it is really telling that Valdez has been getting starts instead of Castro. Once Ruiz is ready to come off the DL look for a Fidel DFA.

2. I agree with JW's twitter post about Polanco - let him rest up on the DL.

Strasburg is good for baseball, and it is even better he doesn't play for the Yankees.

Bay Slugga: If the Mets can shore up the back of the rotation, I happen to think they're a legit threat as well.

People dismiss the Mets mostly because of their finishes in 2007 and 2008, and their injury-plagued nightmare season last year. But they've got talent, and guys like Davis and Niese have stepped it up, and have the credentials not to be flukes. Beltran is a huge wildcard, but if he is able to provide anything, I think they're going to be more of a handful than people think.

Also consider that Santana, for his career, is a significantly better pitcher in the second half-- a career 2.73 ERA after the ASB, compared to 3.44 before.

Kris: I agree. It will be the dogfight that most predicted. I'm glad the division is competitive again. Having 3 very good teams sure beats the last 15 where there was one (Braves) or since '05 two (Mets OR Phils). It'll be fun. There's a lot of talent in this division.

Postseason odds update:

Phils at 34%.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say one of three won't win 85 games. Book it.

EFF: "Never tell me the odds!"

**"The Mets could make a deadline deal and make a push, but they also could suffer a rash of injuries to their aging roster."**

I'm not certain that the Mets have an "aging roster." If you just compare the starting 8 - and using Ruiz for the Phils, the Phils average age is almost 32, whereas the Mets is just over 27.

Have to confess I want to watch Strasberg pitch, and I think it's good for the game.

But I do understand the hype thing as well. I'm very curious to see how the stats hold up after the Show batters have a few looks at him. Not meant in a nasty way at all, he seems like a pretty good guy trying to deal with all this in a decent manner.

It's always interesting when a phenom first comes up. I remember Ryan Howard being walked all the time when he first came up and thinking that it reminded me of Barry Bonds a bit. But after a while, those major league pitchers have an unerring eye for whatever weak spots there are. And so do those major league hitters.

note on Atlanta: They have a 9 game stretch against the Mets, Phillies, and Nationals on the road from September 17th thru the 26th. They will need to improve on the road or that will be their downfall right there.

The question of who poses the biggest threat...?

Right now, I would have to say the Braves. Why, because I don't think the Mets starting pitching, particularly Pelfrey, can stay this good all season.

The Mets do have and unknown coming in the way of Beltran, but I imagine he'll be an upgrade from ehat they currently have in CF, the question is "How much of and upgrade"?

BUT, if the Phillies avoid major injuries and play to their potential, they'll win the division - they have the most talent - and the term "threat" will be pretty much innocuous.

That's all: no majir bumps and bruises and just playing to career averages will = another division title.

As I've said before on this board, it won't be as "easy" as last year.

Then again, the Phillies - healthy - are better this year than last.

NEPP: Anger...fear...aggression. The dark side of the Force are they.

J.R. King

the Mets are actually relatively young this season. don't know where you got that info from but I do agree that the Mets are not playoff bound.

with Santana struggling their other 4 SP cant keep it up all season but if they get Lee i'd be worried...

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