Tuesday, May 03, 2011

N.Y. METS ~ The Amazin's Buffalo Round-Up Herds Little

From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR.MET

NEW YORK METS:  The Big Club Is Turning The Buffalo Bisons Into An Endangered Species.

But when it comes to current and former Brooklyn Cyclones, Back Off!

Sandy Alderson is on record saying he doesn't think the Mets have any high-quality skill at the AAA and AA levels.  He used the word "Mediocre" to describe the state of talent.  And if you remember, Buffalo was upset at Omar Minaya because they felt the Mets lacked enough quality prospects capable of drawing fans to Bison's games, and therefore wanted to escape their contract with the parent Club.

In an unfortunate development for both the Mets and Buffalo, pitcher Henrry Mejia is headed for surgery on his elbow.  In something more akin to an omen, Sandy Alderson's observations regarding the Buffalo Bisons just received some validation.  After Henrry, the Mets (un)officially no longer have a pitcher they can retrieve from Buffalo to step in and provide quality innings when needed.  And the Bisons will be without one of the few players who was capable of filling seats in Buffalo.  For either team, SP-Chris Schwinden is still an unknown neophyte.  He's off to a pretty good start.  But after him, the cupboard is now dry.  Pat Misch anybody?  Buffalo says we or Binghampton can keep him.

With regard to the Mets' high-level prospects, two independent assessments both arrived at the same conclusion.  So, there's something to that.  Buffalo ownership and Sandy were right.  The Buffalo Bisons are abysmally staffed.  Just look at their roster.

Mejia was supposed to join Dillon Gee on the big club at some point this season.   But the Mets hoped that would happen later rather than sooner in the summer.  Circumstances, namely Chris Young, caused the Mets to call-up Dillon Gee from Buffalo prematurely.  Now, for Henrry and the Bisons, it's see you next year.  I'm already on record as saying I do not agree with Dillon Gee pitching out of the Mets' bullpen.  For that I'd rather have him pitch in Buffalo.  And so would the Bisons!  But my point is, Dillon Gee pitched his way onto the big club based upon his merits as a starting pitcher.  So, let him start!  ...Or, send him down.

A few times, it actually rubbed me the wrong way when Sandy criticised the system.  But then, that would be because of the bias I have towards former Brooklyn Cyclones.  So it's better that he's calling the shots instead of me.  Because, I'll admit to you now, former Surf Avenue Sluggers are my kryptonite.

Like Dillon Gee, Dylan Owen is one of those former Brooklyn Cyclones now pitching for Buffalo.  I had and still have high hopes for this kid.  But he's been somewhat slow progressing through the farm.  His start  this season  is additionally leaving something to be desired.

Off the mound and on the field, Justin Turner has also been taken from Buffalo where he was batting an even .300 after 40 at-bats.  And while Lucas Duda has been first choice this season with regards to outfield call-ups, and also being a former Brooklyn Cyclone favorite of mine, another former Cyclone outfielder; Kirk Nieuwenhuis has quietly been enjoying a good start to his season.  After him, even I admit, there are really slim pickings.  Then again, I too have been complaining about that for years.  Lest we forget, after David Wright, Jose Reyes, and Scott Kazmir, the farm system broke down for really the first time, since 1965.

On more than one occasion I over estimated a player or two because I see many of these prospects come through Brooklyn first.  And the Cyclones are a totally different frame of mind for me.  So when it comes time for these players to make a leap to the big club, there's some pre-existing sentimentality on my part.  However, there is no mistaking the truth.  The Mets' minor league situation is dire.

J.P. Ricciardi and Paul DePodesta can only do so much in the up-coming amateur draft.  And the picks they make will be years away from answering any questions or fulfilling promise.  What I have learned over the last ten years attending Cyclones Baseball is that the N.Y.P.L. is not a clear indicator of the organization's over-all developmental health because after all, the Cyclones play A-Level Short Season which starts on the heals of the June draft.  That's one theory.

In my other theory, I lay blame on our past AA operations.  I believe they went fourteen years or so without any real playoff success to speak of.  There is much to criticize about the Wilpon's adherence to a Slotting System, because it's at the AA level when spending a little extra cash on prospects starts to pay off.  For too long, Double-A Binghampton continued to be a dead-end for many Mets' low-level prospects.  But over the last two and three years, changes have finally come to the B-Mets structure; Tony Bernazard aside.  However, there is nothing Ricciardi or DePodesta can do over the next three months that will restock the mid to high level minor league system with quality; much less quickly.

In the mean time, Buffalo is in shambles, and may very well continue insisting they be allowed out from their contract with the Mets if things don't turn around soon.  That's just an opinion.  But Buffalo also has a business to run and have expressed their sentiments on this matter before.

Specific to the Mets situation, the team has assets in Flushing they can trade at the deadline.  Stop the cycle of stop-gap measures.  The best decisions in life usually turn out to be the least popular, yet prove most prudent.  Tough decisions are what contending is all about.  Stop patching up the parent club and fix the entire system.

If we are to move forward, we have to let go first.


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