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Be(at)ing John Maine

Less than a month ago, the Nats were largely humiliated by a guy making his big league debut. Hopefully, the Nats will only be marginally humiliated by a fellow making his Mets debut, John Maine.

I followed Maine, a Fredericksburg native, a bit back when he was a farmhand for the Orioles. Two years ago, Maine was Baltimore's No. 6 prospect, as rated by Baseball America. This winter, prior to Maine's trade to the Mets (along with Jorge Julio, for Kris and Anna and Anna Benson), his ranking had dropped to No. 16.

What to expect from Maine? Mets Geek (hat tip: Amazin' Avenue) provides a scouting report. In part:

He has a low 90's fastball that has movement which he effectively changes speed on, a curveball, a changeup, and a slider. He is not afraid to work inside and in a few ways seems similar to Brian Bannister, but with a little more velocity. In the NL East Organizational Report on Baseball America, Maine described his curve as a "show-me" pitch.

. . . According to Will Lingo from Baseball America, he is not sure if Maine 'has enough stuff to get big league hitters out as a starter, but should at least be a useful bullpen arm'.

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Marlon Byrd has been red-hot of late, and reports that he has been inserted into the leadoff spot, in part an effort to give Alfonso Soriano more opportunities to drive in runs. Byrd, of course, is manning center field full-time while Ryan Church recovers from the flu virus that should be afflicting Bud Selig.

As I write this, Byrd has doubled and scored on Marlon Anderson's double. That'll play.