Archive for April 1st, 2008


Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

Pedro Rocked, Feels “Pop” In Hammy

Mets Rumors & News

First, the bad news: Perdo Martinez was knocked for 3.1 innings in Florida tonight, surrendering two homers and four runs before exiting in the fourth with a hamstring injury.

Now, the worse news: According to SNY’s Kevin Burkhardt, Pedro felt a “pop” in the hamstring and is on his way back to New York for an MRI.

Not encouraging news. Not encouraging at all.

Wang Looks to Make Jays Uncomfortable

Yankees Rumors & News

Skies are clear and Opening Day is about a hour hour away for the Bronx Bombers. As you sit down with a cold one, here’s something to look for from today’s contest.

Rarely has a back-to-back 19 game winner faced so many questions going into his first start of the season, however, when we last saw Yankees ace Chien-Ming Wang he was playing the role of goat to the tune of a 19.06 ERA in the 2007 ALDS. Wang’s spring training numbers this year haven’t been much better as the right hander compiled an 8.06 ERA during Grapefruit League play.

Here’s what mlb.com’s Bryan Hoch had to say following Wang’s final spring tuneup against the Philadelphia Phillies:

Yankees manager Joe Girardi thought Philadelphia batters were digging in a bit too much as the inning went on, and gave Wang his read upon returning to the dugout.

“Joe told me they were too comfortable,” Wang said. “I didn’t pitch inside enough.”

It’s evident that Girardi intends to take on a more aggressive role with his pitching staff …

Gomez Makes Dynamic Debut For Minnesota

Mets Rumors & News

Gomez Is A Blur In His Twins Debut, Minneapolis Star Tribune. Steals And Wheels Spark Twins, Minneapolis Star Tribune. Speedy Newcomer Ignites Twins, Paul Pioneer Press.

Just a few of the headlines coming out of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area today. While Mets fans can rejoice today following their new ace’s dominant Monday afternoon, fans of the Twins are realizing that this Carlos Gomez character ain’t half bad either. Via Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune:

Until baseball players are allowed to wear parachutes on their backs, Gomez might have to find creative ways to apply the brakes. He never slowed down Monday in the Twins’ opener, finishing 2-for-3 with a walk, two steals, two runs, a double and a long running catch on which he covered more ground than Minnesota slush.

He also drew six pickoff attempts and one pitchout and came close to christening the FieldTurf with tears. “I was so excited to be here, to have this opportunity, that when I …

Yankees Rumors & News

Evidently it’s premature to put away your outrage, Yankee fans. Diehards of the Bombers were indignant this spring when non-roster invitee Morgan Ensberg was granted the No. 21 during spring training. No Yankee had donned the number since Paul O’Neill, and it had widely been assumed that the franchise would eventually retire it. However, crisis seemed to be averted when Ensberg changed uniform numbers upon making the team, switching to No. 11 and stating, “I’m not taking Paul O”Neill’s number.”

LaTroy Hawkins, however, has no such qualms, and the reliever snatched up No. 21 while it was still warm. Now before the kicking and screaming begins, bare in mind that Hawkins is wearing the number to honor the great Roberto Clemente, who died in a place crash on December 31, 1972 while on a relief effort to Nicaragua. According to Hawkins, he couldn’t wear his customary No. 32 because it was retired for Yankee great Elston Howard.

You could argue that Hawkins’ situation underscores the …

Giants will have three sixth-round picks

Giants Rumors & News

Per Ralph Vacchiano’s Blue Screen blog, the Giants have been granted an extra “compensatory” draft pick in the sixth round of this year’s draft.

That gives the Giants three sixth-round picks (28th, 32nd and 33rd in that round). One of those came from the Ryan Grant trade.

Let’s see if GM Jerry Reese can use these picks to work his late-round magic again this year.

I always maintain that it is the ability to find impact players in late rounds that can make a draft special, and Reese proved that last year.

You will recall that Kevin Boss was a fifth-round choice, and both Ahmad Bradshaw and Michael Johnson were taken in the seventh round.

We can only hope the sixth round is that kind to the Giants this time around.

Oh, and don’t ask me to explain the compensatory picks. I can’t. Go read Vacchiano or Mike Garafolo if you need to know more about how that works.

(– Read more of Ed Valentine’s Giants’ coverage at Big Blue View.)

Angel, Church Answer Met Prayers

Mets Rumors & News

Going into spring training this season, the Mets roster was already considered old and frail in some corners, and perhaps not quite as deep as it had been recently, largely due to the decline of Carlos Delgado, the team’s cleanup hitter in 2006.

When Moises Alou was felled by a hernia, those criticisms came to roost, as the Mets found themselves without a righty to protect Delgado in the lineup and a bottom of the order that suddenly seemed stacked with left-handers. The situation was acerbated by the team decision to make Ryan Church their everyday right fielder amid questions concerning the former-platoon player’s ability to hit left-handed pitching.

And while there was talk that the team had explored a trade for Detroit’s Marcus Thames to replace Alou’s righty stick, GM Omar Minaya insisted that the organization felt comfortable with switch-hitter Angel Pagan in left field, though Pagan has historically been a far inferior hitter from the right side of the plate. Critics argued that Pagan’s bat …

Met Pen Has Successful Debut

Mets Rumors & News

While much of today’s print coverage of the Mets focuses on the debut of Johan Santana and on a team turning the page on The Collapse, there is a great note in the Post today by Bart Hubbuch concerning manager Willie Randolph’s bullpen maneuvers in the 8th inning.

With the tying run on deck in a 6-2 game, Randolph had Jorge Sosa face the Marlins’ hot-hitting Josh Willingham in a situation that seemed ideal for set-up man Aaron Heilman.

Even Heilman appeared to be caught off guard, but the gamble paid off when Sosa caught Willingham swinging on a 3-2 pitch in the dirt to remove the last bit of drama in the Mets’ eventual 7-2 Opening Day win.

Randolph said Heilman would have pitched the eighth in a closer game, but Sosa appreciated the show of confidence.

“It was great,” Sosa said. “It gave me an idea of what they think about me.”

Matt Wise allowed a couple of singles in his 1/3 of an inning, however the offseason acquisition was bailed out by Scott Schoeneweis and …

What the mocks are saying

Giants Rumors & News

Let’s look around at the Giants’ top pick in many of the current mock drafts out there.

I am going to stick to sites that I use frequently, and that I think have some credibility. Let’s see if we come away with some type of consensus.

NFL.com, Kirwan — Jerod Mayo, LB, Tennessee
NFL.com, Carucci — Mayo
ESPN, McShay — Mayo
ESPN, Kiper — Kenny Phillips, S, Miami
CBS Sportsline, Prisco — Phillips
CBS Sportsline, Judge — Trevor Laws, DT, Notre Dame
NFL Draft Countdown — Phillips
NFL Draft Scout, Rang — Phillips
NFL Draft Scout, Reuter — Phillips
Rivals.com — Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Tennessee St.
KFFL.com — Quentin Groves, LB, Auburn
New Era Scouting — Dan Connor, LB, Penn State

Notice a trend here? That’s five votes for Phillips, three for Mayo and every vote going to a defensive player.

I would have to think, indeed, the best defensive player on the board will be the one the Giants ultimately select.

(– Read more of Ed Valentine’s Giants’ coverage at Big Blue View.)

Johan Makes Fish Look Foolish In Dominant Opener

Mets Rumors & News

The Mets commenced the Santana era yesterday afternoon with a 7-2 win over the Florida Marlins on opening day at Dolphin Stadium. Fittingly, it was this very Marlins team that punted the Amazin’s out of the postseason picture in the final game of the 2007 season, closing the book on the largest collapse in the history of MLB’s regular season.

It was impossible to ignore how much has changed for both clubs since last September, when Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis were still members of the Fish, and Johan Santana was pitching for the Minnesota Twins. Five months later, Florida’s dynamic duo is gone, and the Marlins’ $17 million payroll falls $2 million shy of the $19 million the Mets will pay Santana to be their ace this season.

The whole afternoon seemed a storybook start for the Mets in 2008, from Santana’s sparkling pitching line (7 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 8 K) to David Wright’s bases-clearing double in a six-run fourth inning that put the Mets …

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