Ruben Gifted To Cardinals For Tax Purposes: As April 15th approaches, the Wilpons are scrambling to find deductions and other ways to lower their 2015 tax bill. This week, in an effort to improve their bottom line, Ruben Tejada was waived by the Mets and gifted to the Cardinals for tax purposes. He was cut by the Mets to save 2.5 million dollars. That’s what happened. There’s no debating that. No discussion. It’s amazing, but I’ve listened to so many Wilpon apologists this week. Truly unbelievable. People saying, “They signed Cespedes so you can’t complain” and “Tejada isn’t that good so this move makes sense”. Umm please just shut up. This move was financially motivated. It wasn’t a roster move based on talent. You know how I know? Because Eric Campbell makes this team. Ruben Tejada is a major leaguer and Eric “Soup” Campbell is not. It’s that simple. We are giving a bum a roster spot. We are voluntarily playing with a 24 man roster, and it’s that exact strategy that hurt our chances prior to the trade deadline last season.
And my god the Soup apologists came out of the woodwork this week too. I’ve never seen so many goddamn Soup apologists in my entire life. I’ve seen people say “Well Soup’s not that bad” and “You’ve got to look at his advanced stats” and “He sees a lot of pitches” and “He makes good contact”. And on and on and on. Yeah I agree. Soup sees so many pitches before he strikes out. I mean you really need to look at his quality ground out percentages and his fly out contact rates. You really gotta focus on all the Soupermetrics. Everyone please just can the Soup crap.
And as far as Tejada goes, whatever. I’m over it. It’s been 163 days since Utley’s takeout slide, and I ain’t over that. But it only took me 24 hours to get over Ruben’s release. I will say one last thing. I’ve seen people say “Ruben Tejada won the SS job from Wilmer Flores down the stretch in 2015″. That is a complete and utter fallacy. The reality is Flores sucks at SS, so Terry threw Ruben back out there last summer. Ruben Tejada is funny. First we hated him. Then we got used to him. Enough time passed, got so we depended on him. That’s Metstitutionalized.
Cabrera Magically “Healed”: And in a related story, Tejada was released and overnight Asdrubal’s knee injury magically “healed”. He was supposed to be inactive for two weeks and miss Opening Day while rehabbing. Ruben gets released, and Asdrubal Cabrera is riding a stationary bike the next day. Now he’s taking grounders and preparing to hit again. I’m sure the Mets aren’t rushing him back to appease the fan base or anything like that. Speaking of rushing back, Jose Reyes was seen running on the underwater treadmill rehabbing his hammy in Port St. Lucie. He should be ready for Opening Day 2011.
On Monday, the Mets lost 9-2 to the Tigers. Wilmer Flores and Kevin Plawecki put on a multi-hit show. The bench squad coming through. Plawecki better get the goddamn backup catcher job. Seth Lugo was sharp again. He’s been sharp all spring, and he’s going to be one of the first pitchers on deck in AAA. Hansel Robles gave up a ding dong.
On Tuesday, the Mets won 8-6 over the Marlins. Noah Syndergaard dominated and is so ready to go. Antonio Bastardo got shelled. Outfielder Travis Taijeron won’t stop mashing, but he’s definitely not a prospect. Just another spring legend.
On Thursday, the Mets won 6-5 over the Marlins. Beat em again. Jacob deGrom finally looked good in a spring start. His back was seemingly back. Steven Matz pitched in relief in this game and got rocked. He’s also looked rusty. Yoenis Cespedes got hit by a pitch on the hand during the game but is supposedly fine. His hip has also been balky, but he’s playing through it. Hopefully it’s just spring soreness and not early onset METS syndrome.
On Friday, the Mets lost 12-7 to the Nationals. Big Sexy was Real Ugly. But Bartolo Colon is a vet, and he spends the spring experimenting and working out his “kinks”. If I remember correctly, he had an awful spring in 2015, and then he went on to win 8 games in April and May. So spring really is meaningless. Jim Henderson pitched great again. His velocity has been in the low to mid 90s. I think he’s going to make the pen now that we cleared a 40 man roster spot with the release of Tejada. David Wright finally debuted. Juan Lagares hit a solo ding and Michael Conforto hit a Grand Dong.
Saturday’s game was a rainout.
On Sunday, the Mets lost 9-4 to the Red Sox. Thor was sharp but apparently his hair was getting in his way, and he says he needs a haircut. Bastardo and Jerry Blevins were awful again.
Bullpen Struggling and Bench Short: It’s spring training so nothing really matters. That being said, Anthony Bastard, Jerry Blevins, and Hansel Robles have been god awful. The pen is a concern. As I said in my Mets season preview, it’s the biggest risk for derailing our season. That and our lack of depth in the infield are real problems. The Mets have raved about our infield depth. How they stockpiled infielders. We are so flush with infielders this year. So much so that we threw Ruben to the curb like a sack of trash on pickup day. If we are so deep, why are Soup and rookie Matt Reynolds making this team? If we are so deep, why is Wilmer Flores running around the infield like Robin Williams in that restaurant at the end of Mrs. Doubtfire? Pretending to be a SS and then changing in the bathroom and running over to 3B. Scurrying back and forth between the bases. Hellooooooo!!!!!
Wilmer Flores is our backup first basemen too. Well other than as a runner, he hasn’t stepped foot on the base in a major league game or a spring game. Ray Ramirez is not a doctor he just plays one on TV. Wilmer Flores is supposed to be a first basemen but he’s never played one on TV. Wilmer is supposedly going to see some game action there this week, and Keith Hernandez is expected to help him with the move. Flores just has to help Keith move first.
Wright Walks: Like Lazarus in the Bible, David Wright finally rose up and walked this week. My sources said he went 1 for 5 in a wiffle ball game near Tradition Field. Unfortunately, he struggled to hit the wind aided breaking ball. But in all seriousness, as I said above he played this week. He debuted on Friday and played Sunday too. Hopefully he’s ready for Opening Day. We pray.
Lagares/Cespedes Freaky Friday: On Friday against the Nationals, Terry played Gold Glove CF Juan Lagares in LF and Gold Glove LF Yoenis Cespedes in CF. Terry Collins is seemingly trying to create some sort of Freaky Friday gold glove body switch scenario. Terry did this again on Sunday. Terry said he may do this during the regular season to ensure Cespedes gets into a routine in CF. Stop it Terry. I get versatility is good but playing guys out of position for the sake of “routine” is so dumb. Start them where they belong and stop this crap.
Alderson Says Mets Have Money: After the Tejada release, the media folks asked Alderson if the move was about money. They asked him if the team would have the flexibility to add payroll during the season. As he counted out a bunch of singles on the press conference table in front of him Alderson said, “Nah bro actually I’m doing pretty good with money right now.”
HarveyDay Opening Day: The Mets tabbed Matt Harvey the 2016 Opening Day starter. I love this move. After his World Series performance and injury comeback in 2015, he totally deserves it. Plus deGrom has looked slightly behind the other studs this spring. He definitely has not been on the level of Matt Harvey or Thor as far as velocity is concerned. But I honestly think he’s just a smart pitcher. He’s been working on off-speed and breaking pitches. He’s conserving his energy on the fastball. Definitely not fully exerting himself. I’m confident he’ll be ready to bring it when the season starts. Maybe he’s a little fatigued from all the innings last year. Maybe he’s fine. But I do think getting him out of the spotlight the first few days of the regular season could be good either way.
Spring Is So Meaningless: This week, Marlins hitting coach Barry Bonds beat the Marlins actual players in a batting practice home run derby. And Bartolo Colon allegedly hit two batting practice home runs on different days both of which struck trees. Bartolo is officially El Leñador which is Spanish for the The Lumberjack. He’s just slashing and burning the Port St. Lucie forests with his fire dingers. Hopefully once he burns the whole place down, we can head north and finally play some real ball.