The Mets lost to those Br@v#s by a score 4-9 yesterday. Jon Niese had one of the weaker starts of the spring by the numbers, giving up 4 runs on 4 hits in 4 innings. But this is all relative. Jon Niese does not concern me. What concerns me is the notion of Matt Den Dekker making the opening day roster.
Terry Collins told reporters that Den Dekker is in serious consideration to make the opening day roster (even though he is not on the 40-man). Regardless of it being only a stopgap if Torres and Hairston are not healed, Den Dekker is not even close to ready for the big time. His defense is, but his Average and On Base Percentage have declined from minor league stop to minor league stop, with an extremely drastic difference between A+ and AA, arguably the most important jump outside of to the majors. His OBP went from a solid .362 at St. Lucie to a mediocre .312 at Binghamton. His avg dropped from a modest .296 to a paltry .235, although his Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP) was .305 at Binghamton. That means a good amount of the time he didn't even make contact. His strikeout percentage has never been lower than 20%, and last year he struck out just under 3 times for every 10 at-bats. My eyes have told me he needs to shorten his swing if he ever stands a chance as even a serviceable major leaguer. I can understand if Terry Collins and Sandy Alderson want to give him a little taste of The Show so he strives that much harder to get back there, but I don't think that is a viable excuse. Start him in AA, make him prove he's ready to at least go to Buffalo, and then we'll go from there.
Now that I've vented about Den Dekker, let's move on to another player who might make the team. It sounds like Mike Baxter has a legitimate shot at the bench. This move I endorse. He didn't light it up in terms of average in his 40 plate appearances in September (.235) and his strikeout percentage was a rather high 26%. He does have the ability to get on base, however, with a modest .350 percentage in his time up in Flushing, an important stat in regards to a bench player. Mike Baxter might never be the most talented player on the field, but he will always play hard, something that cannot be measured via statistics. And, of course, it's always fun to root for the local guy.
The Mets take on the Cardinals today on PIX 11. Mike Pelfrey makes yet another start, and he needs to work on....just about everything. You know what Mike Pelfrey needs to do? He needs to get angry. Jeff Francoeur pretty much hit the nail on the head.
GET ANGRY, MIKE PELFREY!!!!!