Quintanilla played 11 games for the Texas Rangers last season, where he was 1 for 22. He spent the majority of 2011 with the Rangers’ Triple A affiliate in Rolling Rock, where he hit .298 with five home runs and a .369 on-base percentage.
He has played parts of six seasons, mostly with the Colorado Rockies. Quintanilla is a career .213 hitter in the Major Leagues, having played 104 of his 213 games at second base and 96 at shortstop.
Quintanilla is a former first round draft pick by the Oakland Athletics, going 33rd overall in the 2003 draft.
The Mets have acknowledged that Quintanilla missed the first part of the 2011 season while completing a 50 game suspension after violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program in 2010.
The Mets have 8 players who are free agents this season: Jose Reyes, Chris Capuano, Scott Hairston, Chris Young, Miguel Batista, Jason Isringhausen, Dale Thayer, and Ryota Igarashi.
The Mets also have five players who are eligible for arbitration this winter: Mike Pelfrey, Angel Pagan, Manny Acosta, Ronny Paulino, and Taylor Buchholz.
Seeing the list off free agents this offseason, it’s clear to me what our greatest need is: pitching. Sandy Alderson said himself that our next closer is not in the organization. So I guess the Bobby Parnell experiment is over.
Pitching can only do so much. I’m sure the Mets will talk seriously with Jose Reyes about re-signing. A player can say he wants to stay with the Mets forever, but a team could offer him more time, more money and he can immediately jump ship. The Jose Reyes situation could go either way and I wouldn’t be surprised.
But we need pitching, more specifically bullpen help. This past season, I cringed every time we had to go to the bullpen, cringed every time we sent Parnell in to pitch the 9th. Just because he has a 100 MPH fastball, it doesn’t make him a closer. We need a closer. We need a reliable guy to pitch the 8th inning. We need a more reliable bullpen. R.A. Dickey had a great season; his record doesn’t reflect that because of a combination of lack of offense and a crappy bullpen.
I’m cutting the offense some slack because we basically had a team of rookies, and Jason Bay. Plus Ike Davis will be back so that instantly boosts your offense. Also, as long as Daniel Murphy bats third, we’ll be okay. We just need an outfielder with some pop. More pop than Jason Bay.
I’m curious to see what the Mets do this offseason to try and get the players they need, while at the same time cutting down the payroll. Should be interesting to watch.
But I couldn’t help walking into the Jackie Robinson rotunda and thinking that this shouldn’t be about the Brooklyn Dodgers. Sure, if the Dodgers hadn’t moved to California, we’d be bleeding Dodger Blue, but we’re the New York Mets. What about “Ya gotta believe?” What about the Tom Seaver rotunda?
This morning, Matthew Cerrone reported that the Mets have finally discussed making the outfield walls blue. It makes sense; I personally think the orange foul poles clash with the mossy green outfield walls.
Making the outfield walls blue could be the latest effort to Metsify Citi Field after many fans have complained that it was too reminiscent of Ebbets Field. Me? I was just happy that the Mets Hall of Fame museum wasn’t hidden anymore.
Efforts have been made to pay tribute to Mets history over the past two seasons; the installation of the entrance shadows, the ’69 and ’86 teams being commemorated, and my favorite feature: the Topps baseball cards with that day’s starting lineup.
Since the Mets can’t rebuild Citi Field to look like a giant blue cupcake, the least they can is make the outfield walls blue like Shea…because I miss the giant blue cupcake.
If the Mets, by some miracle, re-sign Jose Reyes, then all you really need is another outfielder with some pop. And to bring in the fences at Citi Field.
However, we have to look at the possibility that the Mets don’t get Reyes back. Reyes led the NL in batting average and multi-hit games last season. If you lose Reyes, you’re losing a lot of hits.
I really sincerely believe that the Mets need to find a place for Daniel Murphy on this team. Before Murphy got hurt in August, he was also among the league leaders in hitting. Plus, if you’re like me, you said the same thing when he got hurt: “Well, the season’s over now.”
If you’re like me, the next thing you would have said is, “Well, they still David Wright.”
Wright is coming off the worst season of his career, and he still managed to lead the team in home runs and RBIs. And he missed two months of the season. Before 2009, Wright was never an injury risk, playing in 160 games each year. Then Matt Cain hit a fastball to his head and ended up on my hit list. I blame the 2006 Home Run Derby and the 2009 concussion for D-Dubs not being D-Dubs.
We also have another weapon in our arsenal that we may be overlooking: Ike Davis. Before he collided with David Wright in the strangest collision ever, Davis was among the team leaders in every offensive category. He was seeing the ball wall, he was producing runs, he was doing everything Terry Collins could ever ask for. I really felt 2011 was going to be the year Ike became a superstar. Now, I just blame David.
I also like Lucas Duda, who was Davis’s replacement for a good part of the season. Not only does he have the best hair on the team, Duda has the potential to be a strong number five hitter. Last season, Duda posted a .292 batting average with 10 home runs, 50 RBI, along with a .370 on-base percentage and a .420 SLG. And that was only in 100 games; imagine if Duda was your every day right fielder and he was playing in 60 more games. Plus it’s a fun name to say.
Again, I really think that the Mets can do okay with what we have. We did okay with what we had last season; we’re not the Phillies, but nobody expects us to be the Phillies. Every newspaper picked us to finish dead last and we came in fourth. Yay us! I don’t think 2012 will be a playoff year, but I think it will be a “get the team above .500 year.”
I’d be happy with .500 and no longer being the laughing stock of baseball. Thanks, 2011 Boston Red Sox, for helping me with one goal!
For the past two seasons, Dan Warthen has done well making something out nothing. Pitching has become both our greatest asset and out biggest need. 2011 without Johan Santana was tough; watching Mike Pelfrey pich was tougher.
For 2012, the Mets are expecting Santana to be healthy and ready. Realistically, we can’t expect Santana to be what he was; I would take 80-85% (which is 100% if you’re Carlos Beltran). But Santana at 80% is better than our de facto ace, Mike Pelfrey.
With Santana locked in as our Opening Day starter (barring further injury), we still need rotation spots 2-5.
I would put R.A. Dickey in the two hole. The knuckleballer’s 8-13 record might not be the most accurate stat given his performance in 2011. This season, Dickey pitched 208 2/3 innings and posted a 3.28 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and 134 K’s. He also ended the season with 14 consectutive quality starts. This is someone I want in my rotation. Dickey is also fun to follow on Twitter. His handle is @RADickey43.
Dillon Gee gets the benefit of the doubt for being a rookie. The first season is always the toughest for pitchers because they get fatigued by September. Despite this, Gee still posted a 13-6 record with a 4.43 ERA, a 1.38 WHIP, and struck out 114 batters. Gee fits in the middle of the rotation because like Santana and Dickey, Gee still pitches to keep the team in the game. Santana-Dickey-Gee might be the best 1-2-3 punch we have, unless we sign a #2 starter. A improbable possibility would be C.J. Wilson.
We also have Chris Capuano and Jon Niese to consider. When they’re good, they’re good. When they’re bad, it’s not pretty. Capuano has the run support but not the ERA. Niese has the ERA but not the run support. If the Mets wanted to keep their rotation younger, they would go with Niese, but for the past two seasons, I think Niese has shown himself to be an injury risk. Sure, Capuano had two Tommy John surgeries, but he stayed healthy all season, right? If we don’t sign a free agent, I’d take them both. If we do sign a free agent, then I’d go with Niese, solely based on my bias towards younger players.
Mike Pelfrey is my odd man out. I truly believe that Dan Warthen has done everything he can to help Pelfrey improve his game. But Pelfrey hasn’t done jack squat except for lick his hand, lick the ball, lick the Gatorade cooler in the dugout, etc. We should cut our losses and tell Pelfrey bye-bye.
Like I said, even if a team has pitching, except if you’re the Phillies, you’ll always need pitching. I’m really okay with the rotation we do have. Now the offense has to give Johan, R.A., Dillon, Chris, and Jon some run support. Especially Johan, he’s always been hard for luck with this team.
Former Oakland Athletics manager Geren is practically guaranteed the position. However, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York says the team still plans to interview Dave Jauss, who served as Jerry Manuel’s bench coach in 2010.
Geren served as A’s manager from 2007 until he got fired midway through this past season. His record was 334-376.
Cleaning up house can only do so much. The Mets need to hire diversely, people with different backgrounds and different experiences in the game. Hopefully, the Mets hire a first base coach with outfield experience, since new third base coach Tim Teufel has infield experience.
But coaching can only do so much; they don’t have to bat or pitch or field the ball (anymore). The players have to come to the field amped up and ready to win. They should almost do a firesale and bring up AAA Buffalo…wait…that happened already.
The Mets have announced today that third base coach Chip Hale, bench coach Ken Oberkfell, first base coach Mookie Wilson and bullpen coach Jon Debus will not be returning to the major league club in 2012.
Hitting coach Dave Hudgens and pitching coach Dan Warthen will stay with the team.
According to Joe Stiglich of the Bay Area News Group, Hale has signed a 2-year deal to be the bench coach for the Oakland A’s.
Wilson and Debus will be offered other roles within the organization.
Look for Tim Teufel coaching third base next year and Ricky Bones coaching the bullpen staff.
Mets GM Sandy Alderson is expected to conduct a press conference at 4 p.m. EST to discuss the coaching changes.
Update at 5 PM: Sandy said they wanted a pitching presence in the bullpen, while Debus’s background is as a catcher. Wally Backman is not a contender to become a major league coach, even though he is a very strong contender to replace Teufel as Bisons manager.