Mets with Adam Rubin
Welcome to ESPNNewYork.com! On Friday, New York Mets writer Adam Rubin will stop by to take your baseball questions.
Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
Send your questions now and join Rubin Friday at noon ET!
Adam RubinThanks for joining me, live from Denver. Let's get started ...
James (Pearl River NY)is the plan for torres to go back to the leadoff spot or is kirk staying there?
Adam RubinI'll have to ask Terry this weekend, but my presumption is that Andres Torres will bat leadoff with Kirk second, although maybe it makes sense the other way to split the lefties, assuming Murphy is going to bat third. I'll also have to confirm the plan is Torres in CF and Nieuwenhuis in LF rather than vice versa. It would make some sense to get Kirk exposure to LF. Assuming Matt den Dekker advances, and as good as Kirk has looked in center field, den Dekker probably covers more ground.
Jason (NYC)Adam, Thanks for the chats, as usual. Do you think momentum is building in the front office towards an extension for David Wright?
Adam RubinI've gone from a few years ago thinking David was a lock to stay, toward leaning toward him leaving, toward leaning 75-25 toward him staying. The Mets are going to need to pony up $100 million plus, though. But if David stays healthy -- and produces, albeit not sustaining this level -- I expect him to get rewarded by the Mets. Remember, though, David needs to want to sign the contract too. I got the sense a year ago that he might want to choose somewhere else. Just my perception/intuition. Now, with things stabilizing a little, that flight probability is lessening in my mind.
Jason (NJ)Thole is seconding the NL in OBP. When will terry move tejada to 8th and hit Thole second?
Adam RubinBecause Torres is coming back Monday in Houston, and with Kirk's success, I guess Tejada is going to move back down after the weekend regardless.
Bryan (Montclair, NJ)How are Nimmo and Harvey progressing thus far?
Adam RubinBrandon Nimmo, the top pick last year, is in extended spring training, so there's really nothing to report -- at least stat-wise, or anything. Matt Harvey is coming off a dominating scoreless performance against the Phillies' Triple-A team. And the reports are his curveball has been very strong the past two outings. Still, I would note his Triple-A ERA is above 4.85. A lot of times it's not about the stuff with prospects -- it's about the ability to consistently repeat it, outing to outing, pitch to pitch, and hit spots. That's where we are now, I believe.
Danny A. (Brooklyn)Hey Adam,The Mets clearly aren't rushing Harvey here (nor should they). However, if he turns in a few months of fairly dominant work for Buffalo, could you see him here around the ASB?
Adam RubinTerry is fond of saying that the players make the decisions with their performances. There's merit to that, within reason. So, yes.
Zach (Hoboken)Who is the long-term replacement for Pelfrey this season?
Adam RubinI think you'll see a handful of people in that spot. Chris Schwinden holding the spot for Chris Young in mid-May, and -- as we just alluded to -- perhaps giving way to Matt Harvey later in the year.
Scot (Washington, DC )I'm guessing the front office isn't exactly crushed over Bay's DL stint, since it puts 500 plate appearances this season a little more out of reach. Am I right?
Adam RubinLook, Kirk has been a nice revelation, but I refuse to believe any front office wants a player to be injured. And given the scary lack of depth, I think the people celebrating the absences of Pelfrey and Bay are going to find out life without them may not actually be as good. People get very high and very low based on short spurts. How was everyone feeling after the Giants series? ("Oh, the 4-0 start was a mirage.") It's a long season.
Chase (Portland, Or)Will Pelfrey be released? Non-tendered? Tendered? What's the most probable outcome?
Adam RubinVery likely non-tendered. If you tendered him in December, he would have to make close to the $5.6785 million he's making this year. That's not going to happen, especially since the recovery time for Tommy John surgery is generally 12 months, so you'd likely be committing to a DL stint to start 2013. The likelihood is a non-tender and Pelfrey becomes a free agent. He'll sign a one-year deal somewhere with a lower base salary -- say $1.5 million or $2 million -- and then have serious incentives that get it up to, say, $7 million with a full year of solid production. Will that be with the Mets? Never say never, but Pelfrey once non-tendered is a free agent. And a change of scenery may be best for him.
Chase (Portland, Or)Is Colin Mchugh a viable starter option if Schwinden/Hefner/Batista falter?
Adam RubinLonger shot, but not completely out of the realm of possibility. I know one team that came very, very close to taking Collin McHugh in the Rule 5 draft for relief work. Wally Backman told me he had the best control on the Binghamton staff last year. I did a list of 13 prospects you may see at the major league level this year. He was the longest shot on the board, but I think he can be a major leaguer. I still foresee that it's more likely in the bullpen, though.
Lou (Brooklyn)("Oh, the 4-0 start was a mirage.") It's a long season." That kinda stuff is perpetrated by the media. Fans who buy into that don't know baseball
Adam RubinI kind of fall into the 4-0 start being a mirage. Surely, you don't think the Mets are going to go injury-free for the next five months beyond what's occurred. Surely, the Phillies will get players back. Enjoy this. I'm not throwing a wet blanket on it. But say Heath Bell closes yesterday's game. Then they're a game over .500 in spite of a solid first month. They're a team that likely will win in the 70s, and I still believe that. That doesn't mean you can't relish watching young players who hustle rather than geezers.
Ira (Long Island)Bay's injury obviously helps the Mets combat his plate appearance options for at least this year. Do you think the Mets can easily justify making him a platoon player for the rest of this year and next without the MLB Players Union getting on their back?
Adam RubinGrievances are nearly impossible to win if there is a performance-based reasoning for not playing every day. If Bay is hitting .350 in 2013 and they stop playing him on Aug. 15 at 498 plate appearances, then there's a grievance.To backtrack, Bay needs 500 plate appearances this year and next, or 600 PAs next year alone, to vest for 2014. The fractured rib makes it harder, but not impossible, to get to 500 this year, depending on the length of his absence.
Steve (Queens)Would you eat your own hair if it meant covering a Mets no-hitter?
Danny A. (Brooklyn)Hey Adam,Any update on Jenrry Mejia? Last I heard was that he was removed from a session for "overthrowing." Has he thrown since then? And is there a timetable for his return to games?
Adam RubinThat's what I wrote. He's due to be on an every-five-days throwing schedule. If I remember correctly, that session he was pulled from was last Friday. So he may very well have thrown 2 innings or so two days ago. I'll have to inquire.
Matt (Astoria)Can you tell me what actually went on with Heath Bell when he was a Met? Whenever he pitches in Flushing it's like he's having flashbacks or something. Is there a story we don't know?
Adam RubinHeath Bell was a very, very successful closer in Triple-A with the Mets. But every time he was called up -- and he was up and down so much they used to jokingly refer to it as the "Heath Bell shuttle" -- he would sit for days, then be used in two- or three -inning spurts. He wasn't successful, but a contributing factor was just how differently he was being used from in the minors. He also clashed with Rick Peterson, whether it was being allowed to rollerblade to camp in spring training to lose weight or pitching mechanics. Peterson wanted a certain sync between the left knee rising during the delivery as the arms went up too. Heath didn't operate that way. Here's Heath's 2004 usage with the Mets, by the way: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/gl.cgi?id=bellhe01&t=p
Steve S. (Ithaca, NY)Why not leave Kirk in CF? Has he ever played LF?
Adam RubinAndres Torres has played 72 games in left field (with 30 starts) as a major leaguer. Kirk has only dabbled in right field, not left, in the minors it looks like here: http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=nieuwe001kir I'm only going off what TC said a couple of days ago about the likely alignment. We'll have to follow up.
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