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

Monday, August 23, 2004

It's Official

....It's official that Kaz is moving to second base and it is also official the Mets front office is stupid. Any shadow of a doubt that I held out is gone, they are boneheads

Jim Duquette says Kaz has been talked to about moving to second base and he accepted the move.

I'll just ignore this. Besides, he was far away from making an impact on the ML roster and his arm could not shoulder the load. It was one game yes, and one game does not make a season. But he topped 100 pitches and kept his velocity up although he had some control issues. But I'd rather have a 20 year old lefty fireballer with control problems than a 29 year old righty with control problems. Now if you excuse me, I'm going to drown myself in the toilet. It was ironic that he made his debut tonight when we had a certain someone make their 2004 debut for the Mets with drastically different results.

Floyd should miss a couple of games after getting hit in the elbow by Jake Peavy. I know he has the injury prone tag, but bad things do seem to happen to him. With the bad luck he has, he fits right in with the Mets.

I'm too pissed to discuss much Mets, so I won't.

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  • This is from Jason Stark's Wild Pitches column:

    On Adam Dunn's August 10th home run:
    Fortunately, Dunn's mighty homer off Lima didn't break any windows or cause any concussions. According to an HOK architect who helped design the park, it landed on a street named Mehring Way, a ridiculous 535 feet from home plate.

    Then it hopped along for another 200 feet or so and came to rest on a piece of driftwood on the banks of the Ohio River. Which, according to local geographers, meant it was hit in Ohio and came to rest in KENTUCKY.

    That is crazy. It is not too often that a baseball will traverse two states before finally laying to rest.

  • Jonah Keri from Baseball Prospectus believes he has a better way to build a baseball team. One large component is using the four man rotation. I just do not think that is possible these days over a complete season. The interesting part of this idea is that it will only add around 55 innings a year if the starter is averaging six innings a start. Can starters throw 25+% more innings over the course of the year in four man rotation? I'd say some can, but the number of pitchers who could is small. In modern baseball, the chances of this happening are nil. The last time a player had 40 or more starts was Charlie Hough in 1987. There are not many workhorses in the league these days in the rotation to have many teams assemble a four guys that can make this happen. Some teams could find the talent, but maybe 1 or 2 would be able to. However, even if you could find four starters that could do it, the other parts have to be assembled in the pen as well. The idea of a four man rotation is also predicated on finding a bevy of reliable relievers on your team that can routinely go multiple innings if needed. It is tough enough to find three quality guys to pitch one inning out of the pen much less three that can go two innings reliably. Keri does reference the fact that more scouting will need to be employed and teams would have to explore the depths of their farm systems in search of starters languishing in lifetime minor league rolls that may be of some use.

    He does mention of stripping all labels such as closer or set up man which I hold heartedly agree with. Too many times you have your 2nd, 3rd, or 4th best reliever pitching in the highest leverage situation only to hand the game over to you highest paid and highest skilled reliever IF he makes it through it. Most of the closer's opportunities are not in tight situations as many of the set-up men. Also in the bullpen he advocates dumping lefty-lefty/righty/right match ups which I simply deplore as much as he does. Art Howe would role over his grave if he read that one (I know he's not dead, but I can pretend right?).

    It is a pretty good read although I feel he kind of dumbs it down a bit. The idea that it is just that easy to assemble the type of team with players than can perform in the roles he defined is not going to happen. At least not for every single major league team. You would be hard pressed to get one or two teams to assemble the type of quality players to fill Keri's ideal roster. The game of baseball has been around a while and for better or for worse has progressed to where it is now and will most likely stay the way it is. There is far greater emphasis on pitch counts and innings pitched and with the rash of pitcher's going under the knife and not being able to shoulder the load. The idea of squeezing more out of them would prove to be rather tricky and something that would completely buck the trend. I am for managers and GMs bucking trends especially when there is room to improve. I do think he brings up some good ideas in terms of a four man rotation. I think teams can simply skip the fifth starter spot more than they do. If you have pitcher that can give you 40 starts like Schilling, I think you should use him that way. Those extra five or six games he starts is certainly better than passing them on to some fifth starter whose ERA is over 5. Also if a team is making a playoff push and they have four quality and relatively capble arms, it does not seem harmful to do a four man rotation for a certain stretch or half the year even in some cases.

    The White Sox who have had just horrible success with their fifth starter and have some relatively youthful arms in their rotation would be a prime candidate for the four man rotation experiment at least for a portion of the season. Their top four starters would certainly have more success pitching on short rest than whomever is playing the role of their fifth starter on that given day. However, instead of trying that direction, they have been searching for fifth for the past two seasons. They had one temporarily in Schoeneweis, but he got injured. A four man rotation may have been their best shot of the playoffs and keeping up with the Twins.

  • Buyer beware? Adrian Beltre is certainly having a career year at age 25. His career batting average coming into this year was .262. He has never hit more than 23 homeruns prior to this season and has not driven in more then 85 runs. His highest batting average was .290 at age 21. Beltre was signed as an undrafted free agent from the Dominican Republic and began playing Rookie Level ball at the age of 16. Not only did he play rookie level ball at 16, but he hit .307. He has a career minor league batting average of .307 and made the jump from AA to the majors at 19 and has stuck in the Dodgers lineup. After his 2000 campaign when he was just 21 and hit .290, knocked 20 homeruns, and drove in 85 RBIs, he only reinforced what the Dodgers thought of him. That was that he was going to be a superstar. Coming into this year, he did not post a BA higher than .265 since the 1999 and 2000 seasons at 20 and 21 years old. Beltre was seemingly going backwards and becoming an enigma of sorts.

    Then came 2004. In 118 games, he has shattered his previous high of 23 homers by 15 and has 38 and counting. He already has topped his career high in RBIs and is only two runs away from topping that one also. His AVG, OBP, SLG, and OPS have all obviously increased over his career averages with the production he is laying out. However, the real issue is how much is he worth? Beltre always had the ability and still had age on his side being that he is only 25. As disappointing as he was, he was still young so the Dodgers held out hope. The year he is having is of superstar proportions. Is he worth a mega contract with something of equivalent value that Miguel Tejada had received, or are people going to be skeptical that Beltre will regress as he has done before? Beltre's contract this time around is going to be his best shot at breaking the bank. His next contract should take him at least until he is 30. He is primed to begin a stretch run of 6 or 7 amazing years if he can keep it up and will most likely try and maximize his opportunity. Is he worth eight million per year or 12 million per year? Or should he still be considered a risk?


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