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May 2, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Adam Rubin

Adam Rubin
  (12:00 PM)

Thanks for joining me. I'm actually in Fort Myers today, on an off-day between Mets series against the Marlins and Braves. I'm headed to the St. Lucie Mets' Florida State League game vs. Fort Myers later, weather-permitting. Let's get started ...

Jack (CT)

Why doesn't Valdespin start every day? The Mets have no shot this year with our lineup and bullpen, what is the point of playing veteran cast aways and 4A players such as Baxter, Cowgill, and Byrd when they will not be here next year. We could see if Valdespin could be an OF piece, who cares how he carries himself, Reyes was worse

Adam Rubin
  (12:02 PM)

I asked this of Terry Collins yesterday. The philosophy seems to be that if he excels in a pinch-hitting role, but that doesn't extend to when he starts and his swing gets long, then maybe he should just stay at what he's good at. The Mets for a few years now, though, have had the problem of playing vets on teams going nowhere at the expense of young players. My view is, sink or swing, just play Juan Lagares and Jordany Valdespin now and see what you've got when it (relatively) doesn't matter.

Don (Manhattan)

If Wheeler came up today, who would go down - allowing for the possibility of Hefner or Gee to the bullpen.

Adam Rubin
  (12:03 PM)

Hypothetical because Wheeler is not coming up. I suppose at this point you'd have to debate Hefner vs. Gee to the bullpen. But Wheeler's promotion is coming later in the season, perhaps coinciding with an injury. Things have a way of working themselves out.

Mack (Manhattan)

Impressions of Juan Lagares so far? He stickin around?

Adam Rubin
  (12:03 PM)

Wish he were playing more so I could see with my own eyes. His rep is that he probably will hit for a decent average but not have tremendous power. He can play all three outfield positions. He had a relatively strong throw from center in Miami, albeit a little off-line. I don't care what anyone in the organization says, though. There's no way he's Matt den Dekker defensively.

Raymond (New York)

Any updates on D'Arnaud's foot?

Adam Rubin
  (12:04 PM)

Haven't asked. He was going to be out two months. I'm sure he's just still wearing a boot and trying to stay off of it.

James (SoHo)

Is Jordan Zimmermann a legit Cy Young contender? Or is this just small sample size making him look like a beast?

Adam Rubin
  (12:04 PM)

Scouts have been singing his praises for a while, before the current hype/success. He's legit.

Auggie (NYC)

Who is the more real Parnell: Monday blown-save Parnell or Wednesday so-angry-it-only-takes-7-pitches-for-a-1-2-3-inning Parnell?

Adam Rubin
  (12:05 PM)

The latter. Yes, he gave up a little double (if memory serves). But both of Parnell's blown saves came with defensive miscues -- Ruben Tejada's airmail throw that should have been the final out of the eighth in Denver and then Collin Cowgill breaking backward on the ball that dropped in front of him Monday.

JB (New York)

Was Duda's error yesterday a fluke, or is Terry being WAY too optimistic about his improvement in the field?

Adam Rubin
  (12:06 PM)

Terry is going to spin things positively. He's not good. Never will be good. Duda did say it was a bad bounce yesterday that resulted in it getting by him and two runs scoring.

Jimmy (Manhattan)

Obviously he's regressing to his career numbers, but what do you think the chances are that Buck STILL makes the All-Star team with the home-field-advantage push?

Adam Rubin
  (12:08 PM)

I imagine you have three NL catchers on the squad. And given it's in NY it should help him. If you look at catchers, Colorado's Wilin Rosario is hitting .329 with seven homers. Nick Hundley in San Diego is hitting .329 with three homers. And, of course, Yadier Molina has the name recognition as well as a .320 average. Russell Martin is hitting .260 with six homers in Pittsburgh. Buster Posey could sneak in on fan balloting, too. So there will be competition. Not a slam dunk.

Jamie (NYC)

Do you think Wheeler's (much better) last start is a genuine reason for optimism, or just start-to-start randomness?

Adam Rubin
  (12:09 PM)

I think we're making way too much of Zack Wheeler's struggles. Everything now is instant analysis of linescores on one start. Let him have a body of work. He's in the minors to grow. He's an ace. He will be an ace.

John (Rochester)

Would the Mets think of using Gee or Marcum to tighten up the bullpen while bringing up Wheeler if he continues to have starts like his last?

Adam Rubin
  (12:10 PM)

Well, when Zack Wheeler comes up -- if everyone is healthy -- someone gets bounced. Your candidates depending on success at the time would be Dillon Gee and Jeremy Hefner. I would think, Marlins start aside, they would be predisposed to making Hefner the long man.

Dan (Manhattan)

Hey Adam, with the poor attendance and a potential to lose more money this season, is it feasible that the Wilpons shed even more money and have in the neighborhood of a $60 million payroll next year?

Adam Rubin
  (12:11 PM)

Well, if they don't spend, by default the number is going to go below that. I know some Jason Bay money is deferred. But consider Johan Santana is owed $31 million this year (with 2014 buyout) and comes off. Jason Bay $21 million ($16M deferred) is off. Frank Francisco at $6.5 million is off. John Buck at $6 million is off, unless he's re-signed. Some contracts get higher (Niese) and other players get arbitration increases, but unless the Mets seriously spend, there's no way they'll be at $95M again next season.

Ben (Westbury, NY)

What can the Mets do about Ike Davis? Is a trade or demotion imminent?

Adam Rubin
  (12:12 PM)

They resisted demoting Ike last year, so I can't see them doing it now. And as much as I like Josh Satin or Zach Lutz, there's no way those guys are duplicating what Ike has the potential to do. You ride it out with players and hope they improve.

Harry (Babylon, NY)

Hi Adam - even though I think Terry Collins has done a very good job with minimal talent, with the same concept to playing young talent, wouldn't it better for the long term to see what the manager in waiting (whether it is Teufel or Backman or ?) can do?

Adam Rubin
  (12:12 PM)

Why? Good teams have stability.

Jeff (Bronx)

I like Duda, but are people making too much of his OPS and OPS+? He has 8 rbi, tied with Cowgil and Tejada and 5 have come when he has driven himself in.

Adam Rubin
  (12:13 PM)

Duly noted.

Bill (Syracuse, NY)

What is the thinking within the coaching staff and front office right now re: Cowgill? Didn't seem to take long to go from "everyday CF" to "guy we stick out there once in a while."

Adam Rubin
  (12:13 PM)

Looks like he's not playing much, which I think is a statement about what they think.

Roy (Mexico)

I know this isnt your forte, but Josh JOhnson and Dickey are free agents. Do I pick either of them up? Who do I drop? I have Gio, Harvey, Hamels, Bumgarner, Gallardo, Buchholz and Grenkie holging down my DL spot.

Adam Rubin
  (12:14 PM)

Haven't watched the Jays, but Dickey has been complaining about neck problems. From a distance, he seems injured and could end up on a DL or having his production suffer.

Jason (IA)

How much of Gee's overall horrendous performance do you attribute to coming back from surgery and how much to him just not being that good. I knew he wasn't great, but his 2013 starts, with the exception of maybe one, have been awful.

Adam Rubin
  (12:15 PM)

I'll give him some pass on rust. Scouts pre-shoulder surgery described him as one of the best fifth starter's in the game, which is actually a compliment. You need those types of pitchers too.

Tim (Charlotte)

I'd say the past week validates your 68 win prediction.

Adam Rubin
  (12:15 PM)

I predicted 66.

Jason (IA)

So they're going to feature Franco, Fonzi, and DW during this year's ASG? Why wouldn't somebody iconic like Seaver be in that role - like the Royals did last year w/ Brett?

Adam Rubin
  (12:15 PM)

No idea.

Dexter (PDX)

If the team makes a change at manager would they be most likely to stay inside the org and go with Backman or Teufel?

Adam Rubin
  (12:16 PM)

Don't think they're making a change, but bench coach Bob Geren managed in Oakland and has ties to all those front-office guys.

Mike (East Orange)

Do you think that Sandy's inability to build an effective bullpen is caused by his poor assessment of bullpen talent or the restrictions of the payroll?

Adam Rubin
  (12:17 PM)

I don't think the bullpen decisions this year were payroll-induced for the most part. They said: Last year we stunk with expensive pieces (Francisco, Rauch). Given relievers' performances are erratic, let's just sign a lot of guys to minor league deals. I do think, though, that their evaluation skills in identifying cheaper free-agent talent have been lacking. And that was supposed to be their forte given their "Moneyball" backgrounds. I always go back to their first spring training as a front office. They watched a whole spring training and decided put Chin-lung Hu, Brad Emaus and Blaine Boyer on the Opening Day roster.

Jason (IA)

Probably time to make 'Spin an everyday player, no? I know they like him off the bench, but it makes absolutely no sense, when the roster is so completely bereft of talent, to not give him as many opportunities as possible. Correct?

Adam Rubin
  (12:18 PM)

Addressed this. Here are some comments from Terry Collins yesterday on that subject: http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/mets/post/_/id/65874/is-jordany-valdespin-too-valuable-to-start

Ben (Westbury)

How can Collins get Justin Turner everyday at bats? There needs to be an injection of offense because the current lineup stinks!

Adam Rubin
  (12:19 PM)

Justin has been doing some work in the outfield. I wouldn't be surprised to see him start a game out there against a lefty. Maybe Friday at Turner Field. Mets face Mike Minor. (That's not inside info. Just intuition.)

Dexter (PDX)

How about Tebow for the bullpen? Maybe Warthen can help him with his delivery...

Adam Rubin
  (12:20 PM)

What bullpen?

Bryan (Montclair, NJ)

Are there any other offensive players from the minors that might make an appearance at Citi before rosters expand?

Adam Rubin
  (12:20 PM)

Not really. Andrew Brown is not young, but has put up big numbers at Las Vegas. I suppose he's a possibility if they grow tired of Marlon Byrd and/or Collin Cowgill and shake things up.

Dexter (PDX)

You think Dave Kingman will be in this year's HR Derby?

Adam Rubin
  (12:21 PM)

No, but I do believe David Wright will be, whether he likes it or not. (Unless John Buck saves him by making the All-Star team.)

Jose (Stgo)

HelloDo you think SAlderson will make any moves during the season? When would you think is the best time to make moves? By moves I mean trades, or straight out signings of free agents that make this team playoff contenders.Thanks

Adam Rubin
  (12:23 PM)

Mets won't be buyers (unless it's a trade for a guy under control in 2014 and beyond). They'll be sellers. Who might they sell? Sandy Alderson says he's holding onto John Buck. And now with the Travis d'Arnaud broken foot, I'm sure that's true. So it's more pawning off bullpen pieces than anything (or Shaun Marcum) if someone were to find one valuable. I suppose something radical like a Daniel Murphy trade could happen, but I'm not predicting that.

Jay (NYC)

Obviously a good sign that Wright was able to play yesterday and hit a HR, but was his neck issue a one-time thing or is this something he's going to be battling all year?

Adam Rubin
  (12:23 PM)

Can't tell. He's 30 now. And he has a lot of wrappings on after games. Fact of life as you enter the second half of your career.

Joe (NY)

With the lack of offseason upgrading of the outfield, is 2013 a conscious effort by the front office to "punt" the season in order to have their draft pick protected next offseason when they will (presumably) re enter the free agent market?

Adam Rubin
  (12:24 PM)

I actually think the Mets have been silly -- going half way, pretending to be competitive. They end up with mid-70s win teams for a few years and middle first round picks rather than going the Nats' route and tanking and getting Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper.

Kevin (Florida)

I know it's been reported that Collins isn't really on the hot seat right now, as it wouldn't change the Mets 2013 prospects with him or someone else in the dugout. But what do you see as his prospects beyond this year? That doesn't seem to be looking good right now.

Adam Rubin
  (12:25 PM)

They'll need to sell something to fans in 2014. So switching managers -- fairly or unfairly -- will be on the table, I'm sure.

Jon (Bozeman, MT)

As a non-Mets fan, can you tell me what's the plan? It doesn't look like the Mets are trying to build the farm system and aren't spending tons in FA to rebuild.

Adam Rubin
  (12:26 PM)

Their plan is to develop young pitching and when it's ready go out into the marketplace to buy some hitting if needed. Their avenues to go over slot and exploit the international market fizzled with the new CBA. So now they just have to draft and develop better than anybody. So the pressure is on Paul DePodesta. We'll see if he's up to it.

Harry (Babylon, NY)

The blog had an interesting Wheeler for Upton post today. Does the front office feels there is more value in a potential ace versus an All-Star caliber OF that would keep them from making a deal?

Adam Rubin
  (12:27 PM)

I don't know their philosophy, but if Zack Wheeler were a slam dunk, then I think you always want the front-of-the-rotation starter. Those are hard to come by in free agency, unless you're giving out ill-advised seven-year deals or whatever.

Lou (Atlanta)

Any chance Cory Vaughan develops into a big league outfielder for us?

Adam Rubin
  (12:28 PM)

There's always a chance. He does have an arm injury now. Not sure severity.

Billy (Boston)

Regarding the TC discussion, ownership really can't be that dumb (don't answer that) to point at a declining record as a reason to fire TC. First season wins 77 games, Sandy trades best OF & lets SS walk. Next season wins 74 and then trades Cy Young winner. All the while not augmenting the ML roster with much of anything. There isn't a major league starter in the OF, the bullpen once again is atrocious,

Adam Rubin
  (12:28 PM)

You're on the record.

Jamie (NY)

What's the deal with Marcum? Please explain. You optimistic?

Adam Rubin
  (12:29 PM)

Not optimistic. I don't think he generates enough velocity to make his changeup effective. Scouts were unimpressed last year with the Brewers no matter what his numbers were.

Matt (Brooklyn)

Any chance of the Mets bringing back Beltran this offseason? One of the greatest and most underrated Mets of all time, would love to see him return.

Adam Rubin
  (12:29 PM)

Highly, highly doubt it. Don't think he would come anyway.

Adam Rubin
  (12:30 PM)

Anyway, thanks for joining me for the past half-hour. We'll do it again next week.