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

Monday, July 19, 2004

Some Dish Options

There are a couple ideas being thrown around to solve the catching problem.

I'm warming up to the idea of the Mets acquiring Kendall, but still not sold yet. If adding payroll is not out of the question, which Duquette has certainly been saying, then maybe Jason Kendall is not the worst thing they can do. My friend is convincing me that if the Pirates pick up $10,000,000, then the reduced money owed to him makes it a possibility for the Mets to move him at the end of this year or after 2005 to make room for Huber or whatever they have in plan. He is an on base machine, though he does not hit many extra base hits. But at this point, I'll take any hit from that position. The biggest negative means that Piazza's move to first is basically an everyday thing. He would most likely not be catching twice a week anymore. However, Kendall has played over 100 games at the corner outfield spots in the past three years which leads me to believe he can at least play first base and an outfield position if necessary. He is very intriguing in that respect. It is just that I cannot continue to watch Phillips play anymore. I've pretty much given him the benefit of the doubt until now and have not said many negatives things (if any) about him. In fact he is largely ignored by my blog, but the fact that he sucks cannot be ignored (especially after what he did on Saturday). The other positive is that if Kendall comes, the Mets win the Benson bidding battle for sure and perhaps at a lower price to the Mets in terms of what they are giving up.

Also, if Kendall comes, it locks Benson coming to the Mets, then this comes too.

Another idea is to maybe venture out of the box. This one is to get more production out of the catcher spot and Piazza. Whether you are trading Wiggie or not, bring up Wright. Put Wright at third and Wiggie at first (I really feel he cannot do much worse than Piazza and may actually be a slight upgrade). Wiggie will play about five games a week between Reyes sitting about once a week, Wright sitting once in while, and Piazza can still play first two or three times a week for day games after night games. It cannot be ignored the difference in Piazza's production when he plays first and catches. To me, it is worth a shot to play the numbers and see if there really is a correlation. At this point the sample size is over 130 at-bats at each position. You would have to think Piazza is fresher and able to put up more offensive numbers while he is playing first, but that just is not what is happening. He has twice the number of homers as a catcher in less at-bats and about .080 more points on the batting average. Whatever is going on now needs to be considered. I do realize that he played catcher predominantly in the beginning of the season and first base more recently. It could be he is wearing down, but that cannot be confirmed until he actually gets some consistent at bats at catcher to see if sitting behind the dish has any relation to his overall numbers. Look, we all know players can sometimes suffer from confidence issues. It is possible that a player playing out of position may be less relaxed at the plate since their mind may be on the other things, like not embarrassing themselves.

The last thing is the most obvious choice and after yesterday's game, the choice that will be made. Give Vance the shot full time. He plays better defense than Phillips and he gives you a pretty decent bat. I think he can turn in .265 and 15 homeruns in a full season which would be welcome production over Phillips at this point. Howe has already said this is what is going to happen and this is the best decision right now since it involves no roster juggling.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

  • I did not really go into the game too much yesterday, but two things that I want to go back over. The catch by Cameron was amazing. I was there and I thought it was a no doubt double into the gap with an RBI across the plate. When Cameron got there and made running shoe string catch going out for the ball my jaw dropped. The double play was the absolute icing on the cake and the turn around for the team. It was a horrible humid and gross day out and the game was painfully slow with both pitchers running high pitch counts and giving up only a few hits total. A spark was needed to get everyone going. Then when Mike followed that up by coming up the next inning and pounding a homerun, everyone knew the game was going to be won. Also, I liked Howe going to Wheeler after Franco tried really hard to lose the game. Wheeler throws strikes, and in that situation that is all you needed. You cannot walk people with the bases loaded. He got it done with one pitch, one out (what the hell was he swinging at the first pitch for?). I know Wheeler has not done great, or even remotely good against righties this year, but I advocate Howe's decision to start using him more in short relief roles in situations he normally would not go in. There is no sense to have in around to pitch three times a month.

  • Scott Erickson takes the mound tonight against Dontrelle Willis. This could be a train wreck waiting to happen, but I'm keep optimistic about tonight. Word was that in his last start he was hitting 91 consistently through the eighth inning. If he can repeat that, and keep his sinker down with the Mets stellar infield defense, it could be win for the Mets. Besides, the Marlins are one game under .500. If the Mets can take both of these games and push them to three under .500 and put some distance between them it will be a boost.

  • Some silly Zito rumors.

  • Jim Callis had wrote this little tidbit about the Yankees to introduce the latest AskBA piece for Baseball America. This is what I've been saying, but he articulates is much better.

    Randy Johnson seems destined for the Yankees, and shouldn't the question be why? How can a club spend $184.2 million on players and still be in need of midseason reinforcements? Shouldn't $184.2 million buy you a team that could weather injuries and ineffectiveness? You could spend $10 million on each of the nine players in your lineup, each of the five members of your rotation, plus your closer, and that would still give you $34.2 million for the other 10 players on your roster, whom you'd be paying at the rate of an $85.5 million 25-man payroll.

    I just think the Yankees front office gets more credit than they deserve. While they have run it better than the Mets for the past decade, they get too much praise. They deserved all the praise in the world for the team they assembled in 1996 which basically lasted through 2001, but after 2001 it has been a different story.

  • Carl Everett got traded to the White Sox from the Expos. He was traded from the Rangers to the White Sox last season for a playoff run and hit happened again. How many times has that happened? Maybe they should have just resigned him at the end of last year instead of having to give up prospects to get him back. This is also good for the Mets since they still have 13 games against the Expos this season. We should be able to give them a solid pounding.

    Phil Arvia seems to think that the Carl Everett signing has bigger implications than this year's pennant race.

    Both have player options for next season — Thomas at $8 million, Everett at $4 million (plus a $500,000 buyout or $5 million team option for 2006). Because of injuries, neither will amass the kinds of numbers this season that will suggest a better deal awaits on the open market.

    So that's $12 million committed to two players. Add in all the other guaranteed contracts for next season, the Sox are at $49.55 million for 12 guys.

    The Sox's payroll this season is roughly $65 million. Even if you bump that to $70 million for next season, it might be kind of tough to fit the $14 million Ordonez wants plus contracts for another dozen guys for the $20 million or so Williams will have to spend.

    Phil, we'll get Magglio's blue and orange jersey all set and give him a nice corner locker with a view of some lovely Queens auto-body shops.

  • According to ESPN, Dave Little field will be looking for a similar package that he got from Brian Giles in terms of talent. You cannot fault him for trying, but that is highly unlikely unless a bidding war happens. Giles was still on contract and Padres were looking to get him for their inaugural season in their new park. He keeps echoing his needs for a 3b or an outfielder with a little ML experience or high level minors with a lot of upside. Well shit, Duquette has been trying to cram Wiggie down your throat and I believe he fits the criteria for a 3b with a little ML experience.

  • How many people actually knew the Mets had Pedro Martinez on their team back in '96?

  • How many teams have never won a hundred games in a season? The Angels, the Rockies, the Marlins, the Brewers, the Padres, the Devil Rays, the Expos, the Rangers, and the Blue Jays all have not done it. We'll give the Rockies, Marlins, and the Devil Rays a pass, but the others have no excuses.

    The Yankees have the all time lead with having won 100 games or more seventeen times.

    Our very own Mets have won 100 games three times.

  • G. Sheff is at it again.

  • Looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger was watching to many Hans and Franz reruns from SNL. He called some California Democrats 'girlie men' in response to not voting on one of his bills. Way to take the high road Arnie.

    This wasn't the first time he referred to Democrats as 'girlie men' either. In 1992 he said:

    “We don’t talk about those Democrats. I watched that debate and they all looked like a bunch of girlie men.”

    I think it is safe to assume he believes most Democrats have less testosterone than he does. While that may be true, he may want to choose his words more carefully to describe his opposition.

  • Anyone know the roster move that paved the way for Erickson? Was Karim moved or released? Did Moreno get sent down? I could not find the info on this one.

    UPDATE: I found out that Karim was DFA according to Always Amazin'. RIP Karim, I thought you played hard for the Mets and gave it your all. Good luck.

    UPDATE #2: Karim was traded to the Baltimore Orioles for Mike DeJean. Exciting stuff! DeJean's ERA is 6.13 so far in 39.2 innings.


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