Open letter to Sandy Alderson

Dear Mr. Alderson,

Hi Sandy, you don’t know me but I’m your average John Q. Mets Fan.  I’ve actually appreciated the way you’ve run the team for the past couple seasons under particularly trying times for the organization.  I do have a few requests to you as we move towards the 2012 season, but I think they’re pretty reasonable.

Sign a Better Backup Plan: Right, so Santana looks healthy, Niese looks stronger, R.A. Dickey is every Met fans man crush and then… we grab for the ant-acids.  I’ll start with Dillon Gee, because frankly I have more faith in him than Mike Pelfrey.  The rose colored glasses are beginning to get a little spotty and we may need to take them off if Gee cannot harness some of the voodoo magic he managed in 2011.  I like Gee but the fact that his stuff just isn’t amazing makes me seriously worry about his continued success in the majors.

Though… not as worried as I am when Mike Pelfrey makes a start.  Really, I said it was a mistake when he was let go around arbitration and I’m looking really smart for that.  My thinking was that you could get two equally talented and reliable arms for the price of one Pelfrey.  Now… people still hoped for Pelfrey’s upside but at this point I’m not sure an upside exists.  More importantly, what if Santana ISN’T healthy, or Niese and Dickey get attacked by a rampaging rhino?

Who’s Waiting in the Wings:

  • Chris Schwinden: I prefer to call him Dillon Gee 1.1 because he’s so similar with slight upgrades to stuff.  To keep this within the computer metaphor you should imagine that Chris Schwinden hasn’t been Beta tested so while he boasts slightly improved bandwidth, he might be a bit glitchy.
  • Miguel Batista: I don’t actually believe that Collins or Alderson would want Batista up for any extended amount of time.  I just don’t think he can cut it for very long against big league hitting and I think they know that.  He’s really only a short term option.
  • Jeremy Hefner: This acquisition hasn’t exactly wowed me in his time this spring.  Perhaps he has more to show me but…. I just don’t see an MLB pitcher.
  • Matt Harvey: So… we Met fans talked it over and we decided we’d prefer not to waste the contract flexibility of keeping Harvey out of the majors on what seems like a wasted season.  The troubling thing is, that we’ll probably change our tunes if Gee and Pelfrey stink and we start getting injuries.
  • Jeurys Familia: At this point I’m beginning to think that Familia is best served by becoming a closer.  He gets all of 2012 to develop a 3rd pitch, but he doesn’t have one and isn’t really an option.
  • Jenrry Mejia: If he was healthier I think he might already be challenging Pelfrey for that #5 starter slot.  As it stands he needs to get healthy and stay healthy long enough for his critics to calm down about his questionable mechanics.

What Am I Asking For?:  I think that Chris Young is beginning to make a TON of sense.  Sure, he probably wouldn’t manage more than 10 starts in the majors but we’re looking for a guy who can give us some time here and there while we get our 2013 in order.  Maybe we could convince Pelfrey to go to AAA and work on things for a while until Chris Young arm comes tumbling towards the batter’s box ahead of the ball?  I don’t really have a perfect solution but I don’t think Chris Young could hurt.

Let The Kids Play:  This might fall under the realm of Terry Collins but humor me.  Let us imagine that Andres Torres is hurt or that Ruben Tejada is attacked by rabid wolverines… or… let us simply imagine that we’re all sick of watching Jason Bay strikeout or ground into inning ending double plays.  The Mets have prospects like Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Matt Den Dekker, Juan Lagares, Reese Havens, Jordany Valdespin, Zach Lutz, Josh Satin and Adam Loewen (Not really a prospect) who all have something to prove.  None of these players strikes us as a slam dunk prospect the way that Harvey or Wheeler do.  None of them need to be protected that way.  It is more than okay with me and many other Met fans to see if we have some tools in the tool box for 2013 early.  It is also more than okay to not make Ronny Cedeno or Scott Hairston starters… ever.

Thanks in Advance,

Your Supporter, David

4 comments for “Open letter to Sandy Alderson

  1. chris
    March 25, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    one huge problem .. chris young won’t be ready till like june

    • David Groveman
      March 25, 2012 at 8:44 pm

      True, but the idea is that we could use another arm in the reserves for the mid-season when I figure Santana, Pelfrey and Gee could all be concerns.

  2. Reese
    March 25, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Cedeño was a mistake. For the number of ABs he’d better be getting you could have used minimum wage guys like Quintanilla or Wimberly.

    Torres is a good fourth outfielder. Hairston is OK off the bench but his flailing against right handed pitching really becomes apparent in a hurry when he starts. He’s not going to embarrass you in a Loewen-like way in the outfield, so in a pinch he can play defense.

    The real problem with the outfield isn’t health, it’s Bay. How can you keep trotting out the $16 million man only to have him drag you down time and again? Right now you get more offense from a diminished David Wright, or Ike Davis or Lucas Duda. Hell, Mike Baxter is outhitting Bay by a mile, too. Maybe they can at least consider platooning him so that the onerous 500 ABs per season clauses for 2012 and 2013 will not allow the 2014 option to vest. He’s tanked faster and worse than Carlos Baerga and Robbie Alomar did when we bought off on their “stellar” resumes.

    In the infield all we can hope is that Murphy doesn’t get hurt and the Wright recovers. I have no issues with Davis or Tejada, and the more I see May, Johnson and Nickeas play, the more I want Thole to start.

    On Pelfrey, all I’m hoping for is a 4.50 or less ERA come All Star Break when he might be packaged off to another team and Familia or Harvey could come to Queens. Of course, I’m not holding my breath expecting that level of performance to happen either.

    The pen is better than it’s shown this Spring. I’m not worried there.

    The bench, however, is a total mess complicated by injuries.

    While I’m sure they don’t want Valdespin’s service time clock to begin ticking, I’d rather see him play CF while learning at the big league level than I would den Dekker and his .235 AVG in AA. Valdespin would be interesting to watch. den Dekker would be a placeholder and you would have the same issue with service time. Being the Mets, I’m sure they will instead pluck some known mediocrity deemed unworthy of even a bench role on a better team to be their starting centerfielder until Torres is ready.

    • David Groveman
      March 26, 2012 at 9:23 am

      Alright Reese, you made a lot of GREAT points so I’ll try and chime in and respond to some of them.

      Cedeno was a mistake, but not a major one. The fact that we were worried about Tejada’s ability to be an everyday player was warranted. If we knew he was going to look this sharp at short we’d have been fine with Quintanilla (Who has also been a brighter spot.)

      In terms of the outfield I think we agree, that Bay is the biggest problem. The silver lining is that If Baxter or Loewen are on the team I don’t think it will take long for Bay to lose starts vs. righties. Making Bay a platoon should happen before long. Also, I could see Kirk Nieuwenhuis being up pretty quickly to play CF if Torres isn’t of starter quality.

      Over to the infield and I think that injury is a worry but I’m pretty happy with Wright, Tejada, Murphy and Davis. Even Thole isn’t a detriment to the team… though if I had my druthers Rottino would be his backup.

      The place our minds diverge is on the bench. The Mets have most positions covered, it was simply CF that was going to be the worry. Check this:

      Scott Hairston: LF, CF, RF (IF… in a pinch)
      Ronny Cedeno: SS, 2B
      Justin Turner: 3B, SS, 2B, 1B
      Josh Satin: 3B, 2B, 1B
      Adam Loewen: LF, RF (CF… in a pinch)
      Mike Baxter: LF, CF, RF
      Vinny Rottino: LF, RF, 3B, 2B, 1B, C
      Lucas May: Anywhere but center
      Jordany Valdespin: 2B, SS

      That doesn’t seem like a bad bench to me. We don’t have that Eric Hinske guy who can start for a stretch of games and hold his own as a starter (Maybe Turner) but… It’s really not bad with our options.

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