Draft Day Applesauce

I'm filling in for Joe today, so hopefully I can live up to his high applesauce standards.  Let's go:

Meet the Mets

The pitching matchups are set for this week's 3 game series against the Phillies at Citi Field:

Tuesday - Johan Santana vs. J.A. Happ

Wednesday - Mike Pelfrey vs. Cole Hamels

Thursday - Tim Redding vs. Jamie Moyer

Has Johan forgotten about Shane Victorino's bush league baserunning the last time these teams met?  We'll find out during Vic's first at-bat.

Jorge Says No! interviewed the energetic Wally Backman, who is currently managing the Joliet Jackhammers of the independent Northern League.  Backman led the 1986 Mets in grission points and is one of the names frequently mentioned as a possible future Mets manager. 

There hasn't been any indication that the Nationals are looking to trade Adam Dunn, but The Daily 'Stache says no thank you if he is available.  Dunn is outrageously bad in the field, but I'd still take his 17 homers and .402 wOBA on the Mets right now.

Joe at Mets Today suggests the Mets forget about power hitters and focus on acquiring speedy players.  I'm all for that, as long as these speedy players can also get on base at a high rate.  Some of the suggested players in the post (Emilio Bonifacio, Scott Podsednik, Yuniesky Betancourt) fall definitively in the "do not want" category.

Noted Livan Hernandez skeptic Rob Neyer says that if the big guy can maintain his improved strikeout rate, he may continue to be useful.

Ben Shpigel of the New York Times profiles Alex Cora, who will be crucial to the Mets' success with Jose Reyes sidelined.

Is David Wright not a fan of Citi Field?  A quote from Chipper Jones on "Ripken Baseball" on Sirius Radio:

"I juiced the ball just right of center field as hard as the good Lord can let me hit a ball, and it hit midways up the center-field wall for a double.  And every time there was a long fly out or a double that hit off the wall or something, David Wright would run by me and go, 'Nice park.'"

2009 MLB Amateur Draft

The draft is today at 6 PM Eastern Time, and the first round will be airing live on MLB Network.  It will run through Thursday.  The Mets don't pick until #72.  Here are various links to peruse to learn a little more about the draft:

Alex Nelson at Mets Geek reviews the Mets 2008 draft, comparing actual picks to his preferred picks.

Marc Hulet at Fangraphs looks at the Mets recent draft history and the outlook for the 2009 draft.  He lists outfield, second base, and lefthanded pitching as organizational needs.

Baseball America listed its top 100 players in the draft a couple weeks back.

Beyond the Boxscore profiles college hitters.

Federal Baseball has multiple Stephen Strasburg features, here and here.

David Pinto wants to abolish the draft altogether.

Around the NL East

The Braves beat the Pirates 7-6 in 15 innings.  Each team used 8 pitchers.  Nate McLouth hit his first Braves home run, against his former team.  New Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen went 4-7 with 2 triples.

Sean West led the Marlins over the Giants, throwing 8 shutout innings in a 4-0 victory.  Randy Johnson pitched on 3 days rest for some reason and wasn't sharp.

Hank Aaron sided with Braves management regarding the Tom Glavine situation.  Talking Chop points out that Aaron is a member of the Braves' board of directors.

Phillies Nation notes that Raul Ibanez, Chase Utley, and Jimmy Rollins lead All Star voting at their respective positions.  Rollins might be the worst everyday shortstop in the National League this season.  The other 2 are certainly deserving.

Around MLB

The Rangers exercised their option to keep manager Ron Washington through 2010.  They're in first place in the weak AL West, but are losing struggling Josh Hamilton for 4-6 weeks due to a torn abdominal muscle.

Viva El Birdos has declared the Cardinals lineup "Albert and the 7 Dwarfs".  Take a look at the Cards' Fangraphs page, it's pretty ugly.

The White Sox signed Freddy Garcia, who struggled this spring for the Mets.

Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press suggests the Tigers release Magglio Ordonez.  Maybe the Mets would be interested if that happened - Sheffield part 2?  Magglio was worth 8.9 WAR just 2 years ago, but is slugging only .354 this season.

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