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

Monday, September 13, 2004

Another Japanese Import?

It was not too long ago that I had made some insane comments on a post.

ESPN Power Rankings say this about the Expos.

Don't be surprised if the 'Spos catch the Mets and escape the NL East basement by the end of the season.

What he hell are they talking about? The Mets are 9.5 up on the Expos and 2.5 out of second place after playing really shitty. ESPN has such disdain for the Mets it actually clouds their common sense. They print nonsensical stuff about the Mets to just take jabs at them.

As of now I'm just try to decide if I want to eat those words plain or with some hot sauce. It's looking like that may just happen. The Mets are probably worse than the Expos somehow. The fact is that the Mets should have no business being anywhere in the Expos neighborhood. This is a sad state of baseball affairs for those loyal to the blue and orange. Instead of rooting for my team to win, I am resigned to hoping they lose like I was doing last year so the Mets can get the highest draft pick that they can muster so they can have more ammunition for insane trades.

* * *

  • The Mets should have add a new off-season target to their list. Daisuke Matsuzaka should be a player that the Mets take a long hard look at. He turns 24 today, on 9/13 and has already been pitching in for the Seibu Lions since 1999. He broke into the Japanese League at 18 years old and has not looked back. He owns a mid 90's fastball and he has a career record of 67 - 36 and has a career ERA of 3.29. Daisuke was 16 - 7 with a 2.83 ERA in 2003 and he started 19 games. He struck out 215 people in 194 innings while walking only 63. In 2004 he is 9-6 with a 2.96 ERA. His strikeouts are down this year and his walks are up, but he still only managed to surrender only five home runs. He was also dominant in the Olympics this year. Against the eventual Silver Medal winning Australian team he went 7.2 innings giving up five hits, one earned run, three base on balls, and struck out 13. Against the eventual Gold Medal winning Cuban team Daisuke went 8.1 innings giving up seven hits, allowing two earned runs, walking one, and striking out seven. On the negative side he seems to miss some games each season due to arm troubles and at one point he threw 250 pitches in 17 innings against a team in the quarter finals of the 1998 summer high school championships. Also as Baseball Prospectus pointed out, Daisuke threw 149 pitches in one of his last outings and already has 10 complete games this year so his arm may be a bit of concern in terms of mileage. However, the fact is that he has only topped 200 innings and once in his career and still has age on his side. Getting him to the majors where he would be on a shorter leash would probably extend his career. The Japanese season is about 20 games shorter, so that saves the arm a bit also.

    The thing that jumps out at me is that he has put up better numbers than Kaz Ishii during his Japanese career and Kaz is a quality Major League pitcher. The other thing that you have to love is that he will only be 24 years old when the 2005 season begins. Japanese pitchers seem to fare pretty well with little to no adjust time so I really do not think this is a huge gamble. Overall, top tier Japanese players proved they can hold their own over in the States. I'd like to see if Kaz can persuade his friend and ex-teammate to give the Mets a look and somehow ignore the fact that they are a laughing stock. He should be relatively major league ready and if he can be a relative bargain, I think it warrants looking at. Right now I'm for the idea of not re-signing Benson despite the media and fan backlash and offer him arbitration hoping he won't accept it. Get a sandwich pick and a compensation pick, pick up one big name starter from the free agents at this seasons end and let Leiter walk while signing a Japanese buddy for Kaz. The Mets somehow get more youthful in the entire process. I like Leiter, but at this point, the Mets need young arms that can eat innings and he scares me for 2005. This Houdini act can only last so long and is already wearing off.

    Contingency plan if Benson does accept arbitration? I have one. See if you can trade Trachsel and take Benson for one season. He can bridge any gap there is to Humber, Soler, Petit, Durkin, Keppel, or whomever will be ready in 2006.

    For me, ideally you dump Trachsel and Leiter decides he's retiring because I just cannot see Wilpon not taking Leiter back if he wants to return. Then you have Glavine, Benson, Zambrano, Clement/Pavano/Odalis Perez, and Matsuzaka. Then you have one guy who is pushing 40 and none of the others are over 30 years old with one who is 24. Petit should be more than ready to take Glavine's spot when the time comes and you worry about Humber and Soler when they are ready. That seems like a good idea to me, but then again all my ideas sound good to me.

  • Jose Reyes said he intends to play winter ball in the Dominican. Is this really a good idea?

  • Jon Heyman is an idiot. His wet dream is to have Alfonso Soriano in a Met uniform. He muses that a Victor Zambrano for Alfonso Soriano swap is not out of the question due to the salary differences and Texas' desire to get a quality pitcher. Just get off the gas on Soriano. He is hitting .277 with 25 homers and eighty five RBIs. Outside of Arlington he is hitting .238 with 13 homers and 38 RBIs. The power and RBI numbers are decent away, but the average is horrendous. So basically at Shea he'll be a Mike Cameron that cannot field. Also, what is the with the 16 stolen bases. I'd rather have Victor Diaz in right in 2005 than Alfonso Soriano. The eight to ten million Soriano would get in arbitration is better spent elsewhere. Much, much better spent elsewhere.

  • Todd only needs five more hits to 2000 after his three hit performance on Sunday.

  • NY Daily News says Howe is as good as gone on October 3rd. They also muse that Pinella is being eyed as the replacement. I only hope the Mets are not dumb enough to trade whatever top tier prospects they have left for him.

  • Vance Wilson is going to get surgery on his hand and Glavine is also part of the walking wounded. His next start may get pushed back. For anyone that asked "how much worse can it get?", it could get much, much worse.

  • According to the NYTimes, Manager Art Howe said the team would try to obtain a catcher from another organization in time for today's doubleheader.

  • Kazmir's next start is against Pedro and the red hot Red Sox.

    "I'm pumped," Kazmir said. "I'm not going to go in there scared, I'll tell you that."

  • Capital City is the only NY Met minor league affiliate still playing this season after Binghamton was knocked out of the playoffs.

  • The Yankees have 57 come from behind victories this season. That is as astounding 63% of their games won. In the playoffs, I'm pretty sure they will be able to that against better pitching and better teams.


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