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Category Archives: Jason Bay

Mets Shut Out Phils

Mets 3B David Wright circles the bases after hitting a solo home run in the 1st inning off Phillies starter Vance Worley. (Photo by Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images)

The return of David Wright sparked the Mets offense in a big way.

Their star third baseman had a three-hit day, including a solo home run in the first inning in the Mets 5-0 shut out win backed by starter Jon Niese.

The left-handed Niese breezed through the Phillies order, pitching 6 2/3 shut out innings, allowing five hits and walk while striking out five.

The mets, carrying a 1-0 lead heading into the 4th, were able to tap into Phillies start Vance Worley for three more runs.

After Daniel Murphy scored on a double play ball hit by Jason Bay, Lucas Duda drove in Wright on a two-run homer off Worley. It was the second home run Worley gave up in the afternoon.

Worley lasted six innings, allowing four runs on eight hits, four walks and striking out five.

In five of the Phillies’ first eight games they were held to two runs or less. This is also the first time this season they were shut out.

The Phillies also drew their fourth walk in the last five games, an indication on their lack of plate discipline this season so far.

WP: Niese (2-0). LP: Worley (0-1).

Boxscore.

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Off Day: Mets take advantage of Phils bench

New York's Jose Reyes leads off the bottom of the 1st with a triple. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz and Domonic Brown enjoyed the day off while their back-ups took charge today.

Unfortunately, the only team taking charge was the New York Mets. Phillies starter Vance Worley couldn’t overcome an unfortunate 1st inning full of errors as the Mets went on to win, 9-5.

A misplay by Raul Ibanez and an error by Jimmy Rollins led to three unearned runs in a four-run 1st for the Mets. Jose Reyes led off with a triple that Ibanez didn’t read too well. He then scored on a force play the following hitter.

But after a pair of singles, Rollins poorly fielded a ball hit by Angel Pagan that scored Jason Bay to make it 2-0. The Mets added a couple more and Worley was quickly in a 4-0 hole.

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Series Preview: New York Mets

PHI: 3-0; NYM: 2-1
When: April 5-7
Where: Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia, PA)

Probable Pitchers
Tuesday: Cole Hamels (0-0, 0.00) vs. Chris Young (0-0, 0.00)

Wednesday: Joe Blanton (0-0, 0.00) vs. Mike Pelfrey (0-1, 10.38)
Thursday: Roy Halladay (0-0, 1.50) vs. Jon Niese (0-0, 2.57)

Broadcast Info
Tuesday, 7:05, MyPHL 17

Wednesday, 7:05, TCN
Thursday, 3:05, CSN
All Games on 1210 AM

The Mets may have a special player in catcher Josh Thole. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Player to Watch – C Josh Thole: There is something about Thole that I really like with New York. He’s only 24 and is filled with an incredible amount of potential – maybe not a Joe Mauer or Buster Posey-like potential but more on the line of Baltimore’s Matt Weiters.

Thole had a nice start to the season, batting .444 (4-for-9) with a double and RBI. Batting in the eight-hole for New York, the Mets are hoping for a Chooch-like spark out of the left-hander who hit .277 last season in 73 games.

Overview: The most heated rivalry in the division is still alive despite the Mets being such a terrible baseball team.

But the Mets are 2-1, the closest to above .500 they will probably see all season. They are also throwing two of their best pitchers out at the Phillies.

Jon Niese has the ability to keep New York in the game against Roy Halladay on Thursday. He’s the best pitcher the Mets have this season and has been strong against the Phillies so far in his career. In three starts, he’s 1-1 with a 2.14 ERA whiles striking out 20 in 21 innings. His WHIP is a very nice 1.14, but he averages 2.5 walks per nine innings, meaning he can have control problems if the Phils are patient.

The Phillies are very fortunate to not be seeing knuckle-baller R.A. Dickey this series. He’s one of the young, promising pitchers in the bigs who won’t be a staff ace but will be a very reliable #2/3 to keep opponents off-balanced during a series.

On the offensive side of the ball, New York has some young weapons such as catcher Thole and first baseman Ike Davis along with veteran short stop Jose Reyes and third baseman David Wright. Reyes, like the Phils Jimmy Rollins, is incredibly dangerous – as a fielder, hitter and base runner –  when healthy and in a zone. Left fielder Jason Bay still hasn’t lived up to his contract.

The Mets are not looking at a promising season as their bull pen is terrible, the offense is filled with holes with the exception of three, maybe four hitters and their starting pitching is really lacking without Johan Santana.

10 Things Wrong With the New York Mets

It’s all your fault, Andy Martino. The once Phillies beat writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer has turned into Benedict Arnold as a New York Post writer covering the Mets. One of his more recent columns hates on the Phightins for their, “swagger, arrogance, and condescension toward opponents.” What’s wrong with knowing your team has the confidence to know they can win despite the obstacles that have greeted them all season?

Well there honestly is nothing wrong with being the best team in the NL when healthy. But there is certainly something wrong with the Mets, who are, “too nice” according to Mr. Martino. So I have done you Mets fans a favor and will let you know the 10 things wrong with your team. No, “My Entire Team Sucks” joke will be made so you intelligent people can breathe a sigh of relief.

10. Andy Martino – Okay he doesn’t exactly have anything directly to do with the franchise but he is covering your team. This man wrote about the Phils and he turns around and says awful things about their confidence and even trashes our fans. But the Mets were so classy! Yea and K-Rod assaulting a family member is classy. Looks like someone is desperate to be read by the NY fans.

9. Utley’s corner – This has become my favorite clips that involves two teams I can not stand. What amazes me is that even a Mets announcer refers to the short porch in right field as Chase Utley’s corner. It’s amazing that a portion of your field is named after a rival player. I don’t see, “Reyes’ hole” or, “Beltran’s wall,” at the Bank (though it was hysterical to see that washed-up bum go face first into the fence chasing Jayson Werth’s home run).

8. Playing at “Shitty Field” – It most likely was the TV announcer catching himself from saying “Shea Stadium” instead of “Citi Field” but the fact he mixed the two together makes the clip ten times funnier. A shitty team must play in a shitty field.

7. Pat Burrell still owns you – Even with Billy Wagner not hanging sliders over the plate for Pat the Bat and him now donning a Giants uni, Burrell is still the Met killer. In 157 games, he has hit 42 homers and 105 RBIs. A Phillie at heart and still a true Met-killer.

6. Having the same colors as the New York Knicks – The epitome of the NBA and the epitome of the MLB both share the same colors! Orange and blue is not a winning color combination these days and neither is relying on old, washed-up players. At least Omar Minaya isn’t as bad as Isaiah Thomas was but he is pretty damn close. Hey, the Knicks got rid of their annoying midget Nate Robinson. Maybe they should do the same with the cocky, over rated closer on the hill in K-Rod.

5. Where’s Bobby Valentine? – The last time the Mets were relevant in baseball as the NL Pennant winners, Bobby V was at the reigns. But he isn’t wearing any fake mustaches these days so it’s easy to know where he is… as far away from this dismal team as possible. He’s now an ESPN analyst and kissing the Yankees’ ass like the rest of them. But on your knees behind A-Rod’s rear is always better than being a manager of the New York Mess. Will we be seeing Jerry Manuel along side him?

4. You’re just not going to be the “team to beat” – Jimmy Rollins made it his catchphrase (and inspired the site’s name) and the Mets’ Beltran and Reyes tried turning the tables with their rendition of, “I know you are but what am I?” Well I can tell you what you’re not and that is a the team to beat. You are just a team that is beat.

3. No one has heard of your best players – I’ll take a minute to compliment your team. Ike Davis, Jon Niese, and R.A. Dickey have been your best players (well I mean David Wright and Johan Santana have been great if you want to get technical but it would kill my post!). This team has a few really good players to build a foundation around. Dropping has-beens like Beltran, K-Rod, and maybe Reyes would help this team change the chemistry and look forward to being a serious team.

2. The failpen – It all started in 2007. It got better in 2008 when Billy Wagner and the rest of the pen blew saves at a worse pace than Brad Lidge. And 2009 wasn’t any better with the injures and fourth-place finish. And with their recent coughing-up of games to the Phils and their “star” closer being arrested, the team and their pen have hit a new low.

1. Omar Minaya – He is the #1 reason (seriously) why the Mets have gone from a great team in 2006 to a group of washed-up rejects. His ridiculous signings of bums like Beltran, Carlos Delgado, and Rodriguez prove that he has no clue on how to seek real talent. And the signing of Jason Bay just proves how again desperate he was to compete with the Phils. There was a reason the Red Sox didn’t see a reason to pursue him. Minaya should have as well.

Not Werth the Money

By John Russo

Yes you read the headline right: Jayson Werth is not worth the Jayson Bay-like money he could be receiving in the off season. That isn’t saying he won’t get it and I’m willing to bet he won’t be on a team that isn’t willing to give him that money.

Now before you think, “I’m not going to read this garbage. He’s unfairly going to rip on Jayson Werth! He’s the best player the Phillies have!” let me tell you what I think of Werth. He’s very talented but he doesn’t have the ability to handle being a super star. He isn’t clutch but isn’t showing signs of being able to handle the role that comes with being a top player. You can have all the talent in the world but when the pressure is on, he is not.

WHAT’S WRONG WITH HIM?:

Now this could just be an extended slump that he’s in. Or he is showing us fans and the Phillies brass that he just isn’t that he is all cracked up to be. He’s still putting up good numbers, just not the Bay numbers that landed the now Mets outfielder a huge contract. He’s still a damn good outfielder, just not the fielder the Phillies want him to be.

You know who he reminds me of a little? And I know it’s an insult but he’s starting to remind me of Bobby Abreu. Yes, the 30 homers, 30 stolen bases guy who was afraid of walls. Werth’s gritty fielding has vanished this year and his ability to go after the ball at the plate has as well.

The best example I can give you is the Braves game I attended on July 6. With the score tied at three and Ryan Howard standing on third with no outs in the seventh inning I believe, Werth barely lifted the bat off his shoulder as he struck out looking. The next two batters got out, a sample of the offense’s overall display of inadequacy.

If the personal experience isn’t enough for you, look at his numbers with runners in scoring position. He’s batting .169 with RISP in 77 AB’s while driving in 32 RBIs and hitting three homers. He’s batting .119 with RISP and two outs with 13 RBIs and .133 in a late and close game. His season numbers are also down. With an inflated .279 average, 13 homers, and 50 RBIs, Werth is off his pace for last year’s numbers when he clouted 36 homers and 99 RBIs. Through May 21 (41 games), he had nine homers and 35 RBIs. Since then (46 games): four homers, 15 RBIs. His season numbers are inflated from the hot start (stats courtesy of Baseball Reference).

Werth is in his contract year, a year where he should be swinging away and trying to raise his value for his next contract. Instead he stands at the plate, barely lifting the bat off his shoulder. He’s struck out 90 times, leading the Phillies. He also has been caught looking at the third strike 25 times, a sickening amount when 13 of them have come within the past few weeks. He’s a hole in the line up and being in the fifth spot, that decimates Ryan Howard.

WHAT TO DO WITH HIM?:

Werth is valuable to the Phillies, just not the way we all wish he was. This team will be in need of another good starting pitcher when the post season comes around. They are indeed in an offensive rut but signs have pointed towards this team working out of it. As players get healthy, the line up re-balances itself. But the Phillies only have two pitchers they can be confident in going out every five days and be confident that they can give the Phillies seven good innings.

This is where Werth comes in. The likelihood of trading him for a pitcher straight-up is slim. They will need a third team who they can ship Werth to, who will send prospects to the team with the pitcher, and that pitcher will come to Philly.

See, fellow staff writer Chris kept questioning me and I kept giving him straight answers. “But John, what about bull pen help or another bat on the bench?” Have no fear, Mr. Bengel but we have that covered. The addition of said pitcher, hopefully Roy Oswalt (imagine a Roy-Roy combo) or Dan Haren, will force Kyle Kendrick into the bull pen for an instant upgrade. And with J.A. Happ’s hopeful return, throw him in the pen as well as he won’t be in full-time starters shape as the season heads into the final month.

But I didn’t answer the bench bat. When the roster expands to 40 men, one of those extra 15 guys will be Domonic Brown (at least he should be). It won’t cost the Phillies a few prospects to land Ty Wigginton or Miguel Tejada of the Orioles because the solution will come from the organization. This kid could make his 2011 tryout and ever 2010 post season tryout as he may be that clutch bat off the bench.  By then, he’ll be in right field next season in a lefty-heavy line up where the line up could work.

Here’s a possible line up:
Victorino
Polanco
Utley
Howard
Rollins
Ibanez
Ruiz
Brown
pitcher

See that wasn’t that crazy at all in my opinion. Though Shane Victorino hasn’t been a great lead-off option, neither has Jimmy Rollins and the Phillies won a World Series with him in that spot. You could even flip-flop J-Roll and Vic and still have a very balanced line up.

It's been a frustrating year for Werth, who is seen celebrating with thirdbase coach Sam Perlozo after hitting a home run.

DEFENDING WERTH:

He’s a unique talent. With his body size, long arms, smooth home-run swing, and ability to run, throw, and field are what makes him such a special player, a player that could potentially be better than Jason Bay. But potential is a fancy word for, “haven’t done jack.”

But Werth has done jack. His numbers last year were exceptional (couldn’t get that pesky 100th RBI though). He really gave fans a sampling of what he can do when not in a contract year, not playing to get paid. In fact, Werth is a clutch player in the World Series, batting .351 in 11 games with three homers, six RBIs, and an OPS of 1.176. His OPS this year is a .872, around pace with his past two years.

Werth isn’t necessarily a one-of-a-kind player but he’s a right-handed power hitter that teams tend to covet. His value to the Phillies, again, may not be his playing for the team but his price in a trade.

CONCLUSION:

Werth is expendable and can bring this team a pitcher that could put them over the top. Unless the Phillies truly will be able to sign him in the offseason for no more than $10 million (will not happen), they should be able to get some proven help for him and not the compensatory draft picks that will come when he signs with another team.

The Phillies can still win using the pitching-heavy formula. We saw what happened to them in the World Series when the bats went cold and the pitching didn’t hold up. A rotation with Roy Halladay, Oswalt/Haren, and Cole Hamels would certainly be a great trio to ride the playoffs with.

Ruiz Last Starter to Sign

The Phillies locked up their catcher for the next three years as Carlos Ruiz and Phils agree to a three-year, $9 million deal pending a physical. The 31-year old became the third player to avoid arbitration after Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton were both signed to three-year deals. Chooch hit .255 with nine home runs and 43 RBI’s in 2009 in 107 games. He had an amazing post season where he batted .341 with two homers and nine RBI’s in 15 playoff games.

UPDATE: Todd Zolecki confirmed that Ruiz’s deal is worth $8.85 million for three years with an option for a fourth year at $5 million.

The next question the Phillies need to answer is what to do with Jayson Werth. Going into the 2010 with a $140 million payroll could force the Phillies to either look to make some trades to free up money, give Werth a lucrative contract and operate on a much higher payroll or perhaps go with Domonic Brown in right.

“We cannot operate with nothing but $15- to $20-million players,” Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said at Friday’s news conference announcing the Victorino signing at Citizens Bank Park. “And if there’s any indication how much the [Matt] Holliday and [Jason] Bay signings have on direct impact on where Werth may be at the end of this year, we’re going to have to sift through it and figure out what’s best for the organization, not just for the next couple years, but also long term.”

Free Agency Tracker

MLB.com has it’s Hot Stove Free Agency tracker fired back up. There have been no major signings yet this off season but players like Manny Ramirez, Bobby Abreu, and Ken Griffey Jr. have resigned with their former teams. The big names this year include Matt Holliday, Jason Bay, John Lackey, Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon, Andy Pettitte, and Chone Figgins.

MLB Trade Rumors Top 50 breaks down where they think some of the top players will go. They have the Phillies projected at picking up reliever Jose Valverde and utility player Mark DeRosa. I hope they are wrong in some signings as they have the Mets getting Holliday and Randy Wolf.