Monthly Archives: September 2009

Mets 2010 Rotation

As of now there is going to have to be the assumption that both Manuel and Minaya will be back. With management backing them and no drastic change or embarrassment in that time it does not appear as if the Wilpon’s will be looking for change. While it is still possible there has been very little to indicate that will be the case. So assuming that they do in fact stay in place what should the Mets starting rotation look in the upcoming season?

This season the Mets came in with a rotation of Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, Oliver Perez, John Maine, and Livan Hernandez. Santana was performing well before injury; Pelfrey regressed; Perez was never able to get it together; Maine had another injury; Livan was let go before the season was over. After the injuries the rotation was Pelfrey, Pat Misch, Bobby Parnell, Tim Redding, and Nelson Figueroa. Of the four not in the original rotation only one of them should be counted on as a starter, I would prefer Figueroa but it does not have to be him. Parnell was already removed from the rotation so that leaves Tim Redding, Pat Misch and Nelson Figueroa. I believe that these three should be given a shot to compete with a healthy Jonathan Niese for the fifth spot of the rotation. It is not that two of these players could not hold down the fourth and fifth spot but is more I do not believe the Mets should go into spring training under the assumption they will.

So potentially the fifth spot is taken care of with good triple-A depth behind it. Looking back to the 2009 rotation pending medical issues, Santana will be back as the ace, Pelfrey will start and so will Perez unless he gets moved. John Maine is an interesting case, as he has shown signs of being a good pitcher but has been unable to stay off the DL and it is a problem to go into the season expecting much from him. He did come back this season and has pitched pretty well but even expecting him to take the fourth spot for a season is expecting a lot. Lucky for Maine he is cheap and so will be brought back I just worry the Mets will automatically give him a spot. Well the rotation is Santana, Pelfrey, Perez, Maine/Misch/Niese/Redding/Figueroa. Looking at that they definitely have enough players to throw out there but there are so many question marks. Perez and Maine can not be relied upon, and Pelfrey should be no higher than third in this rotation. So now that we’ve gone through all that preface I believe the Mets should look to either a trade or free agent pick-up to find a possible second starter. If you can have the 1-2 punch in the rotation it is already greatly improved. Pelfrey should play better and be more comfortable in the third spot and Perez while not ideal will only be the fourth starter and if he can his velocity up next season should be able to keep his era in the low 4.00s. In no way is this a great rotation but it is really the best the Mets can hope for going into next season.

Now that we have established that this rotation is missing a second starter there is the whole process of deciding who that is going to be. Well there are some options in free agency but unless the Mets are planning on overpaying they have very little. This takes us to a trade, so who is available:¬† as of right now some possibilities are Roy Oswalt, Carlos Zambrano, and of course Roy Halladay. Now there will be more names popping up in the offseason and I will admit I am no GM so I can not say exactly who is the best option, but of the names available I would say to go after Halladay. Now I understand this is a lot easier said than done, but the Mets need a real top of the rotation starter. Maybe not a Halladay but they can not afford to go after a guy with question marks like Zambrano or Oswalt. This is possibly Minaya’s last season so he is willing to make the big move and they really have to do something to make sure they have a dominant 1-2 punch and feel confident with their rotation, focusing the rest of their attention on filling offensive holes.

It is not beautifully mapped out but the point is there. The Mets best plan for next season is to find a top of the rotation starter. They can not keep pinning their hopes to this high ceiling low producing type of players, they have to have some stability outside of Santana for things to work. It might hurt the farm system but it is the best option for the Mets to turn things around and renew excitement. I truly believe that this move along with some tweaking on offense and the return of injured starters will make the Mets competitive again.

Week 3 Power Rankings

1. New York

Had the best running attack from last season and with a 200+ yard performance looks to return to that dominance. With outstanding play from Eli Manning and a shut-out by the defense this teams looks to be the most well rounded and dominant team in the league.

2. Ravens

Stellar run defense and the first potent offense in years for this team makes them a real force to reckon with. If Flacco can continue this production there looks to be few teams that will be able to keep up with the Ravens this season.

3. Colts

With so many parts missing you’d think it was times for the Colts to take a step back, but Peyton continues to fire on all cylinders. With just 14 minutes Peyton can lead his team to victory. If the running game ever picks up watch out. Keeping the Cardinals to ten points was huge.

4. Saints

Drew Brees looks like a sure fire MVP candidate. With Brees struggling this week the running game carried the offense and the defense held the Bills to just seven points. This team doesn’t just find ways to win but ways to dominate.

5. Vikings

The Vikings are lucky to earn this spot as a last second miracle play is what won them a game against a team without its top offensive playmaker. Still the Vikings have a great defense, the best running back and for the first time since 2004, a quarterback that can win them games in crunch time. When Brett Favre learns this offense the sky’s the limit.

6. Jets

A rookie head coach, a rookie QB, no true number 2 receiver…so how are the Jets 3-0. With dominant defensive play steady quarterbacking and a fearless attitude the Jets have kept opponents off balance. Sanchez will just get better as the year goes on and the run game will pick up.

7. Eagles

Even without Mcnabb this team still managed to dominate an inferior Chiefs team. They have tons of dynamic players on offense to the point where they can afford to sit Westbrook even with Mcnabb out. On defense they still have a strong unit that has created turnovers and constant pressure. If they are this good with Kolb how good can they be with Mcnabb and a more implemented Vick?

8. Chargers

This week against the Steelers will go along way to see how good this team can be. They struggled to beat the Raiders, and didn’t put the Dolphins away till late; also they have problems running and scoring in the red zone. Putting all this aside they still have one of the best passing games in the league and their defense can get after quarterbacks. This team is 2-1 and gets better later in the year. They have too much talent not to make the playoffs

9. Bengals

Following a surprise win against the Packers the Bengals managed a come from behind victory against the Steelers. Coming into this season the Bengals looked like they had potential to be a break out team and so far they are showing why. Cedric Benson has showed why he deserved to be taken 4th overall by the Bears all those years ago and with a steady running game and a healthy Carson Palmer this offense is dangerous. All the attention they have put on defense the past couple years have paid off as they have the most underrated unit in the league.

10. 49ers

This team is for real. They have looked superb all season and had 3-0 stolen from them. Even without Frank Gore they kept up with one of the top teams, and with him they have a dominant running game. Shaun Hill is steady and Davis is turning into a real weapon….this defense is nasty and you’d expect nothing less with Singletary as the head coach.

11. Packers

They have good skill players but an offensive line in flux. The defense hasn’t been as good as thought but they are getting turnovers and in no way are costing the Packers games. They let the Rams stay close throughout. If this offense ever gets rolling they will be a scary team to play.

12. Cowboys

This team still has a good defense and an incredible running game…Felix Jones is amazing. With that running game scoring 13 offensive points against the Panthers is unacceptable. Romo won’t play this poor all season and the young corners should pan out sooner than later. If Anthony Spencer ever lives up to his potential the Cowboys pass rush will be unstoppable.

13. Bears

The Bears had a disappointing game against the Packers but without a long completion to Jennings would be 3-0 on the season. Cutler has done a great job of minimizing mistakes and will just get better as he gets more accustomed to the receivers. This defense looks a lot better with Lovie Smith taking over playcalling duties.

14. Steelers

This team might be 1-2 but they lost both games in the final minutes and against two good teams. Still like Parcells used to say: “you are what your record says you are.” The Steelers still have a good team but if they don’t turn it around soon there will be no excuses to keep them up this high.

15. Patriots

After getting embarrassed by the Jets, the Pats found a way to beat a team that many people were high on. Tom Brady seems to be getting more comfortable and once he gets it going and Welker back, this offense could be as productive as it was in 2007 and that is terrifying.

16. Falcons

This team was going to play a good team sooner or later. They were lucky to start their season with the Dolphins and Panthers, two teams still looking for their first win. Matt Ryan is definitely the real deal but teams are shutting down their running game and Ryan hasn’t been able to lead his team to success. The defense has been over performing for over a season now and their lack of pass rush and porous secondary will catch up to them. They were exposed against the Pats.

17. Cardinals

It is so frustrating because they have so much offensive talent, but with their only good game coming against a bad Jaguars team how good are these guys. This is another team that has all the pieces to dominate any team and remember they were only 9-7 last season before their inspired playoff run and a little over 2 minutes away from a championship. All this team has proven is they are still inconsistent.

18. Bills

With the arrival of Owens helping very minimally the Bills offense has yet to take off. The defense is playing better than expected but not well enough to carry the offense. Seven points against the Saints defense is a pitiful showing and if they don’t pick it up Dick Jauron could be gone.

19. Broncos

This team is 3-0 but is there by a miracle play against the Bengals and the sheer luck of playing the Browns and Raiders in successive weeks. Their defense is playing better than last season but they don’t have enough talent to compete with the better teams. Their schedule gets a lot harder from here on out with a game against the Cowboys coming up. There is a chance this early season success could take them on a run but for now it isn’t likely for this team to make the postseason.

20. Jaguars

Wow, this team looked dead the past two weeks, failing to score a touchdown against the colts and allowing Warner to complete more than 90% of his passes, but they came to life against the Texans. While it isn’t enough to make this team a real threat, it is enough to make us question how good the Texans will be this year.

21. Texans

This team does nothing against the Jets, scores 34 points against the Titans, then lost by a touchdown giving up 31 points to the Jags. Is this team ever going to step up and play to the level of their talent? Matt Schaub isn’t even injured yet.

22. Titans

Wow who would have guessed this team would go 0-3. In their defense they have been in every one of these games and are probably the best 0-3 team ever in this league. But at the end of the day this team is 0-3. They need to fix the pass defense and get a new punt returner. The offense is good enough to win them games if their defense could even remotely resemble the unit they had last year.

23. Dolphins

This team is not a playoff team but they are better than 0-3. They had a tough schedule out of the gates and while they have played well, they just aren’t a top team. Their passing game needs a new dimension and they have to work on that defense. Rivers and Manning were able to get tons of deep passes on them and this is not a team that can compete in a shoot-out.

24. Seahawks

This team has fallen far since their SuperBowl appearance. Now that the division is catching up they don’t have a back way into the postseason. They can’t continue to allow their running game to be average, they are going to have to draft a rb this year, if they don’t need a qb to replace Hasselbeck. The defense needs to get better against the run and overall more consistent.

25. Panthers

12-4 and then this. There was hopes that the playoff game last season was just a fluke but Delhomme has not been able to turn it around. Without a competent passing game the running game has not been as dangerous. In addition the switch in defense has left them vulnerable against the run, and with no presence next to Peppers the pass rush has been less than stellar.

26. Lions

They have looked better this season but when you are celebrating a win like you made the playoffs there can not be a lot of good to say. Stafford has improved in everyone of his games and you can see the team gaining confidence. The defense has played much better and they are getting production from their running game. They might be a year away from seriously contending.

27. Raiders

Wow I think I have seen better performances from back-up quarterbacks. How is Russel this bad? If they had a competent quarterback they would be a real contender. They have a dominant running game and a defense playing inspired. They stop the run, get after the passer, and make turnovers. Too bad their quarterback is completing a little over 30% of his passes. They are not going to be a threat with that kind of play.

28. Bucs

Well they looked to be a surprise team but after being shut out this week it looks like they’ve called it quits. Despite what people think this team does have talent. Remember this team was 9-3 before dropping 4 straight games and they added Ward and Winslow this offseason. With a good QB they could be a dangerous offense and their defense does have playmakers but they seem to be really missing Kiffin. It might be too early but they already seem to need a new head coach, and they have to hope for their future Freeman works out.

29. Redskins

Wasn’t this team supposed to be better this season? The addition of Haynesworth has been barely noticeable and that offense has regressed each game. Campbell is definitely showcasing why they went after Cutler and Sanchez. Where is Clinton Portis? The Redskins have almost no running game this season. After the loss to the Lions Zorn should start worrying about his job.

30. Chiefs

They competed with the Ravens for three quarters but since then there has not been much to talk about. They lost to a Raiders team that can’t pass the ball, and were blown out by an ailing Eagles team. Was Matt Cassel really worth all that money? They need playmakers on offense, and hope they adjust to the 3-4 defense soon.

31. Browns

Well the Brady Quinn era might be over. They have scored one touchdown and that was in garbage duty at the end of a blowout to the Vikings. This team just looks awful, maybe there was a reason the Jets fired Eric Mangini. Who knows maybe they can hire Dick Jauron or Jim Zorn next offseason.

32. Rams

I hate to put this team here as they put up a fight every week but the talent is just not there. They are not getting a pass rush on defense and have failed to move the ball on offense. Marc Bulger has had every opportunity to right the ship, it is time to look elsewhere for a quarterback. This team will get better just not this season, but there is hope.

Yanks Sweep Red Sox Clinch AL East

Behind solid pitching the Yankees swept the Red Sox and gave them their first division win since 2006. After adding AJ Burnett, C.C. Sabathia and Mark Teixeira in the offseason on paper the Yankees looked like champions; however, that is a story Yankee fans are used to now, big offseasons with championship aspirations. This season however the big acquisitions paid off and the Yankees have another 100 win season.

The most impressive thing about this sweep is they did it with good pitching as that is the area of most concern for the Yankees. Chamberlain, Sabathia, and Pettitte all pitched great games with Sabathia shutting the Red Sox out the day before. After starting the season series against the Red Sox 0-8 the Yankees tied the series dominating the Red Sox of late a big thing as there is a large chance that is the team the Yanks will play if they make it into the ALCS.

The offense is still clicking coming up with big hits when they need it and Hughes and Rivera team up to form possibly the best 8-9 inning relievers. When the Yankees are leading late in the game they almost always win. With the way they are playing the Yankees should be able to compete with anyone. While they have clinched everything the Yankees should continue to start everyone. While they will probably be playing lightly to avoid injury the Yankees should keep everything going to stay on a roll going into the postseason. They have beat the Angels in Anaheim and swept the Red Sox, they have to find a way to keep this momentum going and lead it to a World Series win. The Yankees have won 100 games and just look great, it is time to get some postseason tickets and get ready for some great baseball.

With Rookie QB Jets Advance to 3-0

Despite what the score says this was a defensive game all the way. Both teams had trouble converting on third down and ultimately the Jets won from scoring more points off of their turnovers. The running game never got going leaving a lot up to the rookie. Mark Sanchez struggled through this game but did not turn the ball over and did enough right to lead the Jets to victory. With the defense keeping the Titans offense uncomfortable all day a few special teams blunders by the Titans were enough to decide the game as the Jets win 24-17.

The Jets offense got off to a fast start passing the ball well getting into the end zone twice. After that though the Titans started to clamp down and kept the Jets running game in check. With more responsibility Sanchez looked like a rookie but managed to avoid turnovers. That was huge for the Jets as while they would have liked to score more points their defense is the unit that is going to win games for them and if Sanchez turns the ball over it makes it much harder for the defense to do that. In addition he made enough plays to get the Jets on the board and score the Jets 24 points. The running game didn’t perform well but that has more to do with playing a tough defense focusing on the run than the running game being pitiful. Thomas Jones isn’t going to lead the AFC this year but he will be solid.

On defense the Jets did a great job of getting pressure on Collins and keeping the running game from beating them. Chris Johnson and Lendale White found room to run but it wasn’t enough to beat the Jets. They got turnovers when they needed and really did a great job against an offense that scored 31 points the week before. Ultimately this game was won because the Titans punt returner muffed the ball twice giving the Jets the ball basically in the Red Zone, but without Sanchez getting the ball into the end zone the Jets would not have won. The Jets are 3-0 with a rookie QB, the first team to do that since the 1970 merger.

Giants Trample Over Bucs Advance to 3-0

The Giants beat the Bucs by a score of 24-0. They seemingly have fixed their most glaring problems of a week ago by rushing for 226 yards and holding  the Bucs to just 28 yards rushing. Eli threw for two scores and no picks as the Giants managed to avoid turnovers for the second straight week. While they did not record a sack they pressured Leftwich all day keeping the Bucs 0-9 on third down conversions.

On offense the Giants were able to run the ball but they just did not seem to consistently get positive yards. The line just does not seem to open up many holes as most of Bradshaw’s yards came from broken tackles and cutbacks, and Jacobs never really got it going. If the Giants were playing a better team I am not certain they would have had a lot of success running. Still the game was encouraging because no matter who you are playing 226 yards is impressive especially when their starters rested almost the entire 4th quarter. Eli was efficient this game converting third downs and avoiding sacks and turnovers. Steve Smith has earned his spot as the team’s number one receiver as he stepped up all day making fantastic catches. It was encouraging to see the Giants get touchdowns in the red zone but discouraging to see Tynes miss an easy field goal. He can not continue to do this as he missed a fairly easy field goal last week as well.

On defense the Giants were superb again not sure if the Bucs have quit already as they didn’t seem to put up a fight, but regardless the Giants just dominated. The Bucs did not convert a single third down making it very hard to get any rhythm going. The Giants shut the running game down early and were able to get pressure on Leftwich with just four men. With no time to pass against superb coverage Leftwich had to settle for dump offs that quickly went nowhere. The coverage was an encouraging thing as Kenny Phillips was recently put on the IR having three starters in the secondary injured. This kind of production can not be expected every week so it will be interesting to see how the Giants play the next couple weeks.

Overall the Giants did exactly what they had to do, they played a weak team and came out with an easy win correcting some of their mistakes from last week. If they continue to build on this they can become a dominate team. As of now the only glaring problem I see is the offensive line’s ability to open up holes. Like I said last week with the play of Eli and the receivers defenses should be stacking the box less and if the Giants can get their running game going they will be an absolutely dominant offense, as being on the field for 43 minutes of a game you hope to score more than 24 points. But enough nitpicking, the Giants are 3-0 with a game against the Chiefs coming next week.