Dodgers - Mets Series Preview Pt. 1, Plus More Bad News for Dodgers

Lasorda’s Lair has teamed up with Rising Apple, the Mets site on the FanSided network, to bring you a 6-pack of questions heading into this weekend’s series between the Dodgers (15-17) and Mets (13-18). Also ESPN.com’s Buster Olney provides more disturbing news for Dodger fans in his daily video blog, you do not want to miss what Buster has to say.

Here are the questions I asked Ben Berkon at Rising Apple about the Mets.
1. Jose Reyes was recently mentioned in trade talks. Was that just because the Giants were in town or is he not part of the Mets long-term plans?

In an ideal world, he would be a big part of the Mets long-term plans. However, with the Wilpon/financial situation, the franchise might not have the money it would take to re-sign Jose Reyes. As a result, there’s a good chance Reyes will be elsewhere come the trade deadline.

2. Who has been the biggest surprise for the Mets thus far this season?

Definitely Pedro Beato. The Mets plucked the right-handed reliever from the Baltimore Orioles in the Rule 5 draft this past off-season, and it’s looked like quite the savvy move. Beato has posted a 0.00 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, and 3.33 K/BB in 17 innings. That’s right, no earned-runs. Unfortunately, he was recently placed on the disabled list with elbow tendinitis, so his near future is a little up in the air. Oh well.

3. What do the Mets have to do to get back in the race, what is this team missing?

They need to play more consistently. There hitting core is extremely solid. When healthy (and productive), and lineup of Jose Reyes, Angel Pagan, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Jason Bay, Ike Davis, Josh Thole, and Dan Murphy is hard to beat. Their bullpen was also shaping up, with Francisco Rodriguez closing, Jason Isringhausen setting up, and Taylor Buchholz and Pedro Beato chipping in too. The loss of Johan Santana REALLY hurts this team. They are in dire need of a legitimate ace pitcher, and none of Mike Pelfrey, R.A. Dickey, Jon Niese, Chris Young, or Chris Capuano come close to filling that role.

4. How distracting are the front office issues for the team on the field? As I Dodger fan I am well aware how a poor ownership situation can trickle down to the product on the field, is this happening to the 2011 Mets?

Luckily for the Mets, the Wilpons hired Sandy Alderson as their GM. If there’s one guy who can right and sinking ship, it’s Sandy Alderson.

5. Obviously losing Jenrry Mejia to Tommy John surgery is a big blow to the farm system, he seemed to be pitching really well as a starter, is there someone close who could be called up if there is an injury to the starting rotation?

Dillon Gee. Gee is actually on the active roster, but he’s been placed in the bullpen. He’s a starter by nature, and filled in quite nicely in 2010 (2.18 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 1.13 K/BB ratio in five starts), and in two starts this season while Chris Young was on the disabled list (2.31 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 3.00). If Chris Capuano or Mike Pelfrey continue to pitch poorly, you can count on Gee stealing one of their spots in the rotation.

6.Along those line what prospects are you most excited about for the Mets in both the short and long-term?

I’m most excited about Wilmer Flores. Flores was ranked as the 59th best prospect by Baseball America, and he really looks to be the real deal. He’s a shortstop by trade, but management doesn’t think he’ll last there. Flores posted a .289/.333/.424 line with 11 HR, 84 RBI, 62 R, and 4 SB between several Single-A levels in 2010, so the now 19 year-old is considered to be the Mets brightest prospect. His projected Major League debut is sometime in 2013.
Also today Buster Olney of ESPN dedicated much of his video blog to the financial mess the Dodgers are in. He also quotes other MLB executives who cannot fathom that the Dodgers are in this bad of shape this early in the season. It may mean that the Dodgers financial situation is worse than we can possibly imagine. Check out his comments below:

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Tags: Frank McCourt Los Angeles Dodgers Major League Baseball New York Mets

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