A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Note to Duqette, the Defense is not Stronger

Defense, defense, defense.

I guess when they scouted Kaz they forgot to check out if can actually catch the ball. He is last in the majors for fielding % for shortstops with .954, second to last in the majors in zone rating for shortstops .788, and leads the majors in errors for shortstops with 10.

Ty Wigginton has a .727 zone rating and a .928 fielding %.

Overall the Mets are ranked 27th in fielding %, 24th in zone rating, and only two teams have committed more errors.

That is almost identical to the 2003 numbers. I am not going to sit here and say the Cameron has not helped, but even he has about fifteen people ahead of him in fielding % and seven more ahead of him in zone rating. There is no doubt centerfield is upgraded over last year, but shortstop is worse, piazza is a downgrade over Phillips, and rest remains about equal. That adds up to a worse defense in total in my book.

Games like last night are going to happen. Two errors are going to happen to lead to a big inning once in while. It is a long season. However, it does not make it easier to take. An area that was supposed to be our strength this year has become our weakness. In my book, Piazza should not have played first on Wednesday. He had Monday off, played first on Tuesday, and has today off as well, so he should have been catching yesterday. I firmly believe he is less of a liability at catcher. Also, with the Mets traveling to Florida, who is a running team, he does not figure to catch at all until next week anyway. I think he should still catch when he can and it will not affect his hitting, health, and stamina, which was last night. You may be thinking I am a Monday morning quarterback, but click here and read.

Bottom line is this, last night was tough one to swallow. 3-0 lead in the 7th inning, in a game that would have brought us to within one game of the Phillies and two games over .500, you have to not beat yourself. If they hit five homers, fine, they beat us. We beat ourselves and that is something that is not acceptable in this circumstance.

Insult to injury, Reyes’ back is still hurting as he maybe adjusting to his new running style (so they say). It is frustrating as a fan when you see a desperate need for him, and he just cannot seem to get better. He will most definitely be back, but it looks like later rather than sooner as his outlook for the Florida series when from long shot to not happening. This team may have more holes than just starting pitcher and right fielder. It will be tough to beat good teams in the playoffs when the infield defense will consist of Piazza, Matsui and Wigginton who are some of the worst stat wise in the league and the bullpen is wildly inconsistent. Piazza gets a free pass somewhat since he is learning on the job. Luckily Glavine is on the hill tomorrow. Four of his six wins came after a Met loss and has really came up big so far this season. Simply for morale reasons, the Mets need to stay above .500. That loss last night was the difference between having a slight buffer and having your back against the wall. I know everyone thinks it is early, but one reason why the Mets have been winning is because they believe they can. If they lose that, it will start to look like 2003 really quick.

P.S. Cameron needs to go on the DL, if he cannot swing the bat, he should not be in the lineup.