Clubhouse Confidential: Seo Good

In this week's Clubhouse Confidential, Inside Pitch's Bryan Hoch takes a look at Jae Seo, Steve Trachsel, Mike Jacobs and more... (Premium Content)

What's made Jae Seo such an effective pitcher lately, rescuing him from the scrap heap of the Mets' depth chart?

Since being recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on Aug. 6, Seo has allowed a grand total of one earned run in 23 1/3 innings, running his streak to 3-0 after outdueling John Patterson and the Washington Nationals on Friday night.

The key has been Seo's improved pitch selection. This is the same pitcher who once frustrated pitching coach Rick Peterson by maintaining he should do just fine relying on only a change-up and fastball, prompting Peterson to all but give up on him.

Now, with a three-month banishment to Triple-A Norfolk in the rearview mirror, Seo brings a cutter and curveball to the table, supplementing his splitter, which he used Friday as a strikeout pitch. Catcher Ramon Castro estimated that two of the five curves Seo threw on Friday also rang up strikeouts.

"His performance was perfect. He looked like a veteran," Castro said. "He threw everything for strikes."

Seo's command has also appeared sharper, and there appears to be a little lift in his step as well. Several Mets commented about Seo's on-field demeanor, as best evidenced by the scream and fist pump he unloaded after Jose Vidro skied to center, ending the eighth inning Friday.

"He's got a little swagger to him, which is good," David Wright said.

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A side note to Seo's continued good performances is that the Mets no longer have room at the inn for Steve Trachsel, who's now rumored to be on the trading block. Randolph discussed the issue with the right-hander on Friday, but didn't share the contents with reporters.

If the Mets are able to deal Trachsel in a waivers deal, that settles their dilemma on how to fit six starting pitchers into five slots; if not, word is that the Mets might consider placing Victor Zambrano on the disabled list.

One National League person commented this week that it appears Zambrano has been pitching hurt; in seven starts since the All-Star Break, Zambrano is 2-3 with a 5.85 ERA.

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Pedro Martinez's solution to the Trachsel issue? The Mets ace joked that Saturday will be his last start for three weeks, beginning a vacation in which he'll head to the Dominican Republic, or perhaps a tropical beach hanging out with Terrell Owens.

"One of us goes with T.O. to the Bahamas, the other five stay in the rotation," Martinez said.

Simple enough…

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There was a little bit of excitement for some reporters Wednesday when the Mets recalled catcher Mike Jacobs from Double-A Binghamton, but it's quickly been tempered by the realization that manager Willie Randolph isn't inclined to use the 24-year-old power hitter.

Saying that he'd prefer to have a veteran catch-and-throw guy on the major league roster, Randolph expressed reservations on Friday about going too much longer with Jacobs on the roster, which is unfortunate.

The Mets – who play a day game Sunday after Saturday's night game, and will probably give Ramon Castro a rest – have already had a look at Mike DiFelice, the veteran backstop at Triple-A Norfolk, with underwhelming results. Jacobs' defense won't win Gold Gloves, but we'd certainly like to see him at least make his big league debut before heading back to Binghamton.

"The kid is pretty much an emergency," Randolph said. "I'm not saying he can't play a night game [or] day game. He might have to if we decide to wait on Mike [Piazza], but you don't want to push him too much either and force your hand."

Regardless, Jacobs is on the Mets' 40-man roster, meaning he'll almost certainly get a call back to Shea in September. When he does return to Double-A, Jacobs will pick up his 22-game hitting streak, which just so happens to coincide with the dubious honor of collecting 100 RBI at Double-A (he has an Eastern League-leading 93).

"That's all right," Jacobs said. "If I have to go back to Binghamton, then I go back to Binghamton. I'm just happy to be here."

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Yusmeiro Petit, the husky 20-year-old who has been lauded as the organization's top pitching prospect, will join Triple-A Norfolk as they head to the playoffs, soaking up what the Mets hope will be valuable postseason experience.

Rescued from the last-place B-Mets, who are playing out the string in a season that went dry after numerous call-ups, Petit will start Monday at Norfolk against Buffalo. He was 9-3 with a 2.91 ERA at Double-A, striking out 130 and walking 18 in 117 2/3 innings.

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Through Friday's 1-0 win, the Mets have stolen at least one base in their last nine games, which ties the Seattle Mariners for the longest mark in the majors this season (the Mariners did it in mid-May).

Additionally, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, it is the longest streak by the Mets since they had a steal in 10 consecutive games in 1981.

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Inside Pitch managing editor Bryan Hoch appears every Friday with Clubhouse Confidential, an inside look at the New York Mets organization. E-mail Bryan at

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