Fantasy Notes: Tata, Tatis
Before I get to some notes, Daisuke Matsuzaka’s peformance yesterday is worthy of mention. I hadn’t witnessed a scene like that in Toronto since the World Series — huge lineups of fans at the gates 90 minutes before the opening pitch; scores of photographers, each with their lens pointed at Dice K; tons and tons of Asian fans (including plenty of serious hotties); in all, an announced attendance of over 42,000, quite impressive for a Tuesday night in April. It was quite a spectacle and, beyond one wild inning, Matsuzaka completely blew me away with his arsenal.
- Even though he was last useful seven years ago, Fernando Tatis is still kicking around, currently playing in the Mets system. Considering he’s batting a woeful .225 with a .279 OBP through 40 at-bats in Triple-A, I wouldn’t be putting him on my radar anytime soon. Tatis did mash a long two-run jack to centrefield on Tuesday, but at the age of 32, this former Ranger/Cardinal/Expo/Oriole doesn’t look he’s going to get a chance to reach 100 major league homers, a mark he’s just eight back of currently. It’s time to say tata to Tatis.
- In an organization that boasts stud outfield prospects Fernando Martinez (No. 25 on our Top 30 Prospects list) and Lastings Milledge, it’s easy to overlook Mets’ farmhand Carlos Gomez. But here’s a kid already at Triple-A that won’t turn 22 until December, and to say he’s holding his own is an understatement. Gomez has hit safely in all 14 games, batting over .390 with a .436 OBP, and he’s continued his speed demon ways with six thefts. In his previous two seasons, Gomez has swiped 105 bases. The Mets have an embarrassment of riches here as Gomez clearly has supreme top of the order skills, but New York already has the brighest young leadoff hitter in the game in Jose Reyes. If Gomez’s brilliant start doesn’t prompt the Mets to deal Milledge for pitching help, I’m not sure if they ever will.
- Speaking of Mets pitching, Jason Vargas is ready whenever they need him. After tossing one-hit, one-run baseball for six innings Tuesday, he is now 2-0, 1.50 with just 15 hits and three walks allowed in 18 IP. Vargas has fanned 13, recorded a 1.00 WHIP and failed to surrender a long ball. This 24-year-old lefty will definitely factor in the mix at Shea at some point this year.
- The Mets have even gotten lucky with Lino Urdaneta, a 27-year-old righty who’s always had a nice arm, but has battled health issues. He’s closing for Triple-A New Orleans and looks lights out, going a perfect 5-for-5 in save chances for the PCL lead. Urdaneta saved 32 games in High-A in 2002, but he’s never been a closer at a level this high before. His work so far this season has given him a chance to see his first major league action since 2004, when he appeared in his one and only big league game with the Tigers.
- Chris Narveson’s bubble burst Wednesday night, as he was shelled for seven hits and six earned runs in six innings for Triple-A Memphis. In his previous start, he gave up just one hit in seven innings and had surrended just five hits in 12 IP heading into action. The Cards’ second rounder in 2000, this 25-year-old lefty has been dogged by poor command ever since he arrived in Triple-A in 2005. He’s generally been hard to hit (0.86 H/9 IP in his minor league career), but the walks have been Narveson’s undoing. This year, for instance, he’s fanned 19 in 18 IP with just 12 hits allowed. Pretty sweet, eh? Then you throw in the nine walks and see why he couldn’t crack the Cards’ rotation this spring. I actually really like Narveson’s chances of carving out a career for himself if he could just issue one walk less per nine innings. Keep an eye on his control and see if he can get it down to the 2.5 to 2.75 BB/9 range — a number I believe will make him a sleeper candidate, especially once Randy Keisler gets shelled in Chris Carpenter’s absence.