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Monday's Game Notes

Mike SteffanosMonday, March 12, 2007
By Mike Steffanos

No television today vs. the Nationals, but just some general thoughts:

Chan Ho Park made his second start of the spring today. The line was 3-1/3IP, 4ER, 5H, 6K, 2BB. He did okay for the first 2 innings, allowing only Zimmerman's first inning double while getting 3 groundouts and striking out 3. Then he apparently tired. It was a disappointing performance, but I'll give him another couple of starts before I make any judgments. Of the 10 outs he did register, 4 were groundouts and the other 6 were strikeouts. I do think that Mike Pelfrey is clearly ahead of Park at this point and, for what it's worth, I see those two and Jason Vargas as the only real candidates for the fifth starter job.

After Alay Soler bailed out Park in the fourth, he ran into his own troubles in the fifth. Zimmerman beat him with a leadoff homer and 2 singles and a sac fly plated another run. That was it for Soler, which has to indicate how slim his chances are for a starting job. At least he didn't walk anyone today.

The other big story of the day for pitching was Jon Adkins. Of all the legitimate candidates for the bullpen, he's the one who is out of options. Looks like he'll be out of town before too much longer. Despite a track record of eliciting ground ball outs and keeping the ball in the park, Adkins has looked like he's pitching batting practice this spring. He allowed another home run in his inning of work today, and the 3 runs he allowed boosted his ERA to 11.57.

Jason Vargas pitches tomorrow against the Indians in Winter Haven.

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Comments (5)

Park's line, while disappointing is still only his 2nd appearance against real talent. We gave Perez some room for error, and should probably do the same for Park who still has a very good shot at landing a starting pitching job out of ST.

That being said, Pelfrey really does appear to be emerging as the best candidate for the 5th starter job, age aside. Much like with Milledge, at some point the Mets will have to just swallow the fact that the younger guys may just be better than their veteran competitors for starting jobs. I expect both Pelfrey and Milledge to eventually be regulars on the 2007 team.

Whoops, time to pay attention again as Vargas gets a start.

I am enjoying this competition immensely.

Funny, earlier today I was musing whether Duaner Sanchez did the Mets a big favor in falling out of favor (briefly one hopes).

Not because I don't wish he might be ready for Opening Day, not at all; rather, that a team that won so many more games than the second place team last year will almost always face some complacency. Willie's response to Duaner's tardiness was probably a dose that many on the team needed, even if it wasn't obvious elsewhere. The little drama gave Randolph a chance to re-assert his message in a meaningful way, something I think usually leads to good results.

This just in: Alay Soler has been released.

Bet he gets a hard look from another team, but I doubt he will have much of a career.

Hey, it got him out of Cuba.

I meant to add: this Mets management team is not afraid of making the decisions, eh? I like it.

Salman - I do give Park some slack. From all reports he was throwing the ball pretty well. I still see him behind Pelfrey, but that could change.
dd - I agree with you completely. Sanchez gave Willie a perfect opportunity to send a message to the whole team.

No shock on Soler. Maybe something changes, but he looks a little overmatched by ML hitters.

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