Friday, February 29, 2008

Johan shelled in spring debut

The big story today for the Mets was the spring training debut of Johan Santana. Johan only went 2 innings for the Mets (which is custom for starting pitchers in spring training) and gave up three earned, all of which came on a Juan Gonzalez (yes, that Juan Gonzalez) home run in the top of the first. Juan Gone crushed a high Santana fastball and immediately put the Mets in a hole.

Not to be outdone, the Mets scratched out two runs of their own in the bottom half of the first. David Wright singled home Jose Reyes and an error by Aaron Miles scored Brady Clark. The Mets tied the game in the bottom of the third on an RBI single from Jose Reyes, which plated Angel Pagan.

But, that's the closest the Mets would come to leading as an Albert Pujols home run in the top of the fifth off of Duaner Sanchez put the Cardinals ahead for good. Sanchez did look pretty good though, and after he gave up the home run to Pujols he settled down and got out of the inning.

In the top of the ninth, Fernando Martinez made a great diving catch (look for it on Sportscenter) but Eddie Kunz still allowed a run on a sacrifice fly. In the bottom half of the inning, Ruben Gotay turned on an inside fastball and cranked it out, bringing the Mets within one. That was all of the comeback the Mets had in them though, and the final score was 5-4 Cardinals.

I'm not worried about Santana getting knocked around because he was quite obviously just trying to throw strikes and a few got away from him. His fastball velocity, which is normally between 93 and 95 MPH, was hovering at only about 90 or 91. Once Opening Day rolls around, I think he'll be in good shape.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Spring training begins!

The 2008 season is officially underway! The Mets have played three spring training games so far (tie with the University of Michigan, loss to the Tigers, loss to the Cardinals) and although their 0-2-1 record is nothing to be proud of, their regulars have looked promising so far. David Wright homered in the tie against Michigan, Jose Reyes is tearing up the basepaths, and young stud Fernando Martinez looks to be on track for success.

Some old updates...Duaner Sanchez reported to camp about 25 pounds lighter than what he was last year at this point and has reportedly impressed Willie Randolph with his work ethic and his desire to get back on the right track...Joe Smith is a "longshot" to make the team and will probably start the season in AAA. I like this move because Smith was pretty awful in the second half of last year and could probably use some time in the minors to shake off the rust...Juan Padilla (see: 2005 season) has come back from two major surgeries and is really looking forward to facing some live hitters. The catcher he was throwing to early in camp said he looked "awesome" so that's a good sign...John Maine got lit up by the Cardinals today, allowing 3 runs in 1.2 IP...Johan makes his first start as a Met tomorrow, facing the Cardinals again. This game is scheduled for a 1:10 start and is supposed to be on SNY and

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Santana's contract extended, trade becomes official

Johan Santana and the Mets agreed on a 6 year contract extension worth about $150 million. He will be making more money each year than the previous year, and there is an option for the 2014 season worth $25 million, with a $5.5 million buyout. It's an easily obtainable option, so chances are it will be exercised.

In order for the option to be picked up, Santana would have to do one of the following:

• Win one Cy Young Award and finish in top three of Cy Young Award voting one other year
Or finish in the top three in Cy Young Award voting three times in the six years
Or pitch 215 innings in 2013
Or average 210 innings in the last two or three guaranteed years

The payout of the contract is as follows:

2008: $19 million
2009: $20 million
2010: $21 million
2011: $22.5 million
2012: $24 million
2013: $25.5 million
2014: $25 million (option)

In other news, the Mets agreed with RHP Jorge Sosa to a 1 year deal worth $2 million. Sosa went 9-8 last year with a 4.47 ERA in 42 appearances -- 14 as a starter -- and 112 2/3 innings.

The Mets are rumored to be interested in free agent pitcher Kyle Lohse, and are supposedly close to a one year deal with him. Terms of the rumored deal weren't available, but it would probably be somewhere in the $3 million or $4 million range. Lohse went 9-12 with a 4.62 ERA last year for the Phillies and the Reds. He'd be a candidate for the fifth spot in the rotation or the long-man role in the bullpen.


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