The Eddie Kranepool Society

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

"ME AND THE DUKE IN A MIND MELD" Part of my rant yesterday was that the Mets need to look at the instruction the players are getting in regard to stretching and keep their muscles limber. It seem the Mets brain trust also thinks this way as well as this quote from the Journal News story hints: [The Mets are talking internally about what workout program they can put Reyes on to try to prevent these muscle injuries. ] Then we have Mike Piazza speaking up as a "team leader" saying that Reyes is so valuable to the team that he needs to know when to bust it and when to take it down a peg: "His health is paramount to this team," Piazza said. "He's got to kind of strike a balance and not do reckless things, especially in spring training. You play hard, but you play safe. "I've been part kidding, part serious with him. I said, 'Hey, smarten up. Your health is important. We need you.' It's more positive than negative. He's a special player. He's one of the most talented, if not the most talented player I've ever seen. He's got to really understand that we're looking for the long term." Correct me if I'm wrong but I have never heard Mike step up and make a statement like this. Usually he gives a stock answer but this a positive step. It just shows that Piazza is coming into the season with a different mind set. Hopefully he can stay healthy for the entire season. "AND DOWN THE STRETCH THEY COME....." The race for the 5th spot in the rotation looks like it could be a photo finish. Aaron Heilman pitched 4 innings in a rain shorten game yesterday and continued to impress. So far this spring Heilman has pitched 13 innings walking 3 and striking out 15. It's fair to say he has taken to the teachings of Professor Rick. Grant Roberts as well as has earned an A+ grade this spring from the Peterson School of Pitching with 9IP 4BB 12K. Scott Erickson has only pitched 3 innings this spring and yesterday�s rain out of a B squad game he was to pitch in has to hurt. When you look at the entire staff the BB/K ratio is quite impressive. Here�s a look at the bullpen with the spotlight on the Geezers of Pitching: Weathers 6IP 2BB 5K Franco 51/3IP 1BB 8K Stanton 4IP 0BB 2K Then we have Kranepool Society favorite Dan Wheeler checking in with 6IP 0BB 4K The closer Braden Looper has struggled a bit although through 5IP he has not given up a walk and K�d 3. But he has also given up 10 hits and 6 earned runs in those 5IP. Then you have the Dark Horse Division: Botalalico 42/3 IP 1BB 0K Moreno 7IP 0BB 6K Botalalico has stated this is the best he�s ever felt about his pitching since he�s been in the big leagues, but things will have to really break right for him to make the Mets pitching staff. Same with Ober Moreno, who was thought to be the closer of the future, but after a rough go as a late season call up last year, prompted the Mets to go after Braden Looper. So the interesting move to be made here is if Roberts wins the 5th spot, does Heilman stay on as a long man in the pen or does he go back to Norfolk as the ace of the Tides? And if that�s the case, does that give Botalalico a spot in the pen? This is a tough decison for The Duke, Artie and Professor Rick to make. We still have 2 weeks to see how this plays out. < |