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Posts tagged with "Kirk Nieuwenhuis"

Jun 9
Mets Promote Kirk Nieuwenhuis, DFA Slumping Ankiel
Well, it was a nice run.
OK, not really. The Mets finally ended the Rick Ankielexperiment today,…View Post

Mets Promote Kirk Nieuwenhuis, DFA Slumping Ankiel

Well, it was a nice run.

OK, not really. The Mets finally ended the Rick Ankielexperiment today,…

View Post

Jul 5

Morning Links: 6.5.12

[caption id=”” align=”aligncenter” width=”450”] He’s back[/caption]

Series Preview: Mets Head Down to Houston (Along With Their Cowboy Boots)

Tonight, the Mets begin their three-game series in Houston against the Astros.

The Mets are coming into this series after taking two of three in Colorado. They were embarrassed in the first game when the Rockies scored 11 runs in the fifth inning alone and won by a score of 18-9. However, they bounced back, winning the next two games 7-5 and 6-5. Friday night’s bullpen blow-up is hopefully a one-time thing.

The Astros, 8-14, have only shown slight improvement from their dreadful season last year. However, one major bright spot has been Wandy Rodriguez. Wandy, 33, is 2-2 this season with a 1.72 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. The Mets will face him in game three.

Here are the pitching matchups…

Game 1- Tonight 8:05

R.A. Dickey- The 3-1 Dickey bounced back from an awful start aginst the Braves on April 18 with a stellar outing against the MArlins. He surrendered only three hits over seven innings, allowing one run and striking out seven.

Bud Norris- Norris hasn’t pitched very well in either of his last two starts. In the first start, in Washington, he allowed ten hits and four earned in six innings. It got worse in his last start, allowing seven runs in 5.2 against the Brewers.

Game 2- Tuesday 8:05

Jon Niese- Niese is still on a roll. In his last start, he allowed two runs over seven innings. He hasn’t failed to go at least six innings so far this season.

J.A. Happ- Happ is 1-1 on the season with a 4.70 ERA. In his last start against the Brewers, he allowed four earned on seven hits over five innings.

Game 3- Wednesday 2:05

Chris Schwinden- Schwinden was part of that awful 18-9 loss to the Rockies on Friday, getting the ball rolling in the fifth inning. He was only charged with six runs, but he couldn’t get an out in the fifth inning.

Wandy Rodriguez- As I mentioned earlier, Wandy is dominating. His worst start this season came on April 11, when he allowed three runs in five innings against the Braves. He is really pitching well.

More notes…

— The Mets flew down to Houston last night in cowboy outfits and there are pictures to prove it.

Andres Torres will lead off and play center field tonight, coming off the DL to play for the first time since Opening Day. Zach Lutz, who was 1 for 8 this season, was sent back down to the minors.

—According to Adam rubin, Terry Collins may still be thinking about keeping Kirk Nieuwenhuis in center field, even though Torres will return.

Ruben Tejada had a nice weekend in Colorado. He went 10-17, raising his batting average 105 points.

Ike Davis had the game-winning RBI-single in yesterday’s 6-5, eleven inning win. Ike has shown flashes of breaking out and finally starting to hit, but it hasn’t quite happened yet.

—Lastly, I just wanted to point out this hilarious article on the Astros from The Onion.

Series Preview: Mets Head Home to Face Giants in Four-Game Set

Tonight at 7:10, the Mets begin their four-game set against the Giants

The Mets return home after losing a best-of-three series to the Braves this week. The series started off on a high note-the only one of the series- with the Mets winning 6-1 on Monday. Dillon Gee dominated the Braves, allowing just one run on four hits. He finished up after seven innings. Ike Davis had a big three-run homer that broke a tie game, making the score 4-1 Mets. The Mets scored on a wild pitch in the seventh, making the game 5-1. Finally, Jason Bay finished up the game with a solo shot in the ninth.

The second and third games were far from pretty. In the second game, Johan Santana had the worst start of his career. He went just 1.1 innings, allowing six runs and throwing 55 pitches. The Braves made him work due to him falling behind early. Johan only threw first pitch strikes to four of 11 batters in his abbreviated outing. The Mets would go on to lose 9-3.

The weather in Atlanta had a big impact on the rubber match of the series. In the early innings, Jair Jurrjens struggled, and R.A. Dickey was stellar. In the warm, humid air in northern Georgia, Dickey’s knuckleball had more movement than I’d ever seen. Braves hitters didn’t have a chance. Then, the rain came and wow did it pour. Dickey was thrown off by the rain, his knuckleball losing its movement, causeing him to struggle. He gave up hit after hit, including three home runs. He ended the day with a loss after giving up eight runs in what would end in a 14-6 loss for the Mets.

The Giants, on the other hand, are coming in to Queens off a series win against the Phillies. The highlight of the series was Wednesday’s pitching duel between Cliff Lee and Matt Cain. Both held each other’s team scoreless for nine innings. Cain left the game after nine, but Lee stayed in- yes, a manager sent a pitcher out for a tenth inning of work. Lee pitched a scoreless tenth, and the Phillies scored in the eleventh to win the game. Cain and Lee both pitched gems, but neither got a win.

Here are the pitching matchups for the series:

Game 1- Tonight 7:10

Jon Niese- Since signing his five-year extension, Jon Niese has been stellar. He is 2-0 on the season with a 2.13 ERA in 12.2 innings pitched. Niese threw seven innings, allowing one run on six hits in his only start against the Giants in his career.

Barry Zito- Zito, considered a failure since signing with the Giants, has surprised everyone this season. He pitched a shutout in his first start of the season,and followed up with another impressive outing his last start. Zito pitched seven innings against the Pirates on April 14, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits while striking out four. Zito is 3-2 with a 3.31 ERA in six career starts against the Mets.

Game 2- Saturday 1:10

Mike Pelfrey- Pelfrey, to everyone’s surprise, has also pitched well this season. After allowing three runs on ten hits in his first start, Pelfrey allowed just one in six innings against the Phillies in his last outing.

Ryan Vogelsong- Vogelsong burst onto the scene last year for the Giants, earning an All-Star selection. He finished the season eleventh in the Cy Young Award voting, ending the year with a 13-7 record to go along with a 2.71 ERA. In his only start this season, he allowed two runs in 6.1 innings.

Game 3- Sunday 1:10

Dillon Gee-Gee, so far, has continued the success he had last season, pitching two decent games so far this season. The last one, on Monday against the Braves, he lasted seven innings and allowed just one run.

Tim Lincecum- “The Freak” has struggled more than he ever has so far this season for the Giants. In each of his three starts, he has allowed at least five runs. So far, he is 0-2 on the season with a 10.54 ERA on the season.

Game 4- Monday 7:10

Johan Santana- Coming off the worst outing of his career, Johan will look to brush back injury concerns against the Giants in the final game of the series.Johan was atrocious in Atlanta, which raised worries about his health. However, all signs still point to him starting the game.

Madison Bumgarner- Bumgarner, a young arm with Cy Young potential, recently signed an extension with the Giants, which could end up being seven years. The deal is very similar to the one Niese signed. Bumgarner allowed two runs in six innings in his last start against the Phillies.

Here are some more random notes:

— I’m excited to see Kirk Nieuwenhuis get some more at-bats from the leadoff spot. So far, he has impressed, showing he can do a little bit of everything. He needs to play well in the coming weeks to keep his job when Andres Torres returns.

— I’m really hoping Johan bounces back, just to get his last start, a big distraction, out of everyone’s minds. He needs to get ahead early, throwing first pitch strikes. If he doesn’t he falls into a groove and becomes predictable.

—There has been so much talk about Tim Lincecum’s struggles this year. I’m really want to see what all the buzz is about.

Ruben Tejada is awesome.

2012 Season Preview: Center Field

Center field may be up for grabs.. Recently acquired outfielder Andres Toress will likely start off the season playing the position every day, but after that, it will likely go to a younger player.

When the Mets traded for Andres Torres in December, they knew they were bringing in a weak bat. Personally, I think the bigger piece in the trade was Ramon Ramirez. Last season in San Francisco, Torres had a .221/.312/.330 slash line. He was highly touted for his speed, but again, he only stole 19 bases in 112 games, so it’s not like he was a major force on the basepaths. At 34, it seems his best years just might be behind him.

There are two real emerging candidates for player who will steal the job from Torres, assuming he plays the way many think he will. Those two players are Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Matt Den Dekker.

Nieuwenhuis, 24, had a great season between Buffalo and Binghamton in 2010, hitting 18 home runs and driving in 77. Last year, his season was cut short by injury, but he seemed to be on his way to a quality season, hitting .298 in just over 50 games. Nieuwenhuis is highly regarded as a top Mets prospect, coming in at eighth on my list, and fourth on many others. He is considered a five-tool player who can do just about anything. He is likely to make his big league debut halfway through the season, no matter how well Torres is playing.

Den Dekker, 24, is a little bit further away from the major league roster than Nieuwenhuis.

Last year, Den Dekker seemed to tear up minor league pitching, hitting 17 home runs in 539 at-bats between Single-A Port St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton. However, his strikeouts were a major concern. Den Dekker struck out 156 times. This has been a concern for him since he was attending the University of Florida. The improvement he makes on this attribute may make or break his career.
Backups: I don’t really see anyone taking over the center field role other than these two guys. I think they are good options, but we will have to wait and see.
Overall Grade: D+
If it weren’t for the prospects in the backup role, this would be a “D.” Torres needs to bounce back at the plate in order for the Mets to do anything this year. A .330 slugging percentage isn’t going to cut it.