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

Friday, August 19, 2005

Regression to the Mean

Victor Zambrano has nastiness that comes natural to him that a lot of pitchers would give their first born for. However, Victor Zambrano has not been able to consistently harness his stuff and make the jump to be an elite pitcher. Regression to the mean refers to the phenomenon that extreme results tend to sway back toward normal and that just appears to be what is going on here. Victor Zambrano's career ERA was 4.37 and he pitched in an offensively charged AL East. This year he hit an all time low ERA as a starter after at least one month of pitching and was down to 3.51. The guy was starting to turn in impressive performance after impressive performance and was constant enough to make me think he turned the corner and stopped being the frustrating talented pitcher he was in the past and started being a possible top of the rotation pitcher.
               ERA  WHIP  K/9  BB/9   H/9
Games 1-8 5.08 1.78 7.11 6.29 9.74
Games 9-16 2.26 1.10 4.37 3.07 6.79
Games 17 - 23 5.75 1.45 5.09 3.10 9.96
After getting knocked around to the tune of a .324 BAA, he followed that up with a .200 BAA, .211 BAA, and a .252 BAA before putting up a .310 BAA so far in August. Regression to the mean is a bitch and while I was drinking the Victor Zambrano Kool-Aid a few weeks, a lot of you kept tempering your excitement saying that you simply wanted to see more. A 4.24 ERA in the National League when you pitched about fourteen of your twenty three games in pitchers parks is particularly unimpressive. Zambrano has still been a good and effective pitcher for the Mets, but a good bottom of the rotation guy with top of the rotation stuff. What can we expect out of Victor Zambrano in the future? Zambrano just turned thirty and is basically pitching to his career numbers. He will run some hot steaks off into some bad ones basically continuing to be a rather inconsistent pitcher. If he did not turn a corner and make significant steps just yet, I'm not sure he will make the jump from just another name to an elite pitcher like Chris Carpenter has done with the Cardinals. Prior to bringing him over the Mets called him a premier power pitcher but rarely tops 91 these days raising some questions in regards to the health of his elbow, but he does appear to be fine and healthy. However, there are positives to be taken away from this season like an improved BB/9 ratio, but I'm not sure that alone will help him turn the corner like the Mets have hoped for.

* * *

  • Minor update:
    • Norfolk lost to Toledo 2-1. Steve Trachsel again proves he is ready to return by going seven innings of five hit ball and gave up two earned runs on two homeruns, one walk, and struck out five. Jae Seo really does not have much room for error at this point and needs to continue to pitch strong as I would imagine he is on a short leash. Offensively, the Tides could only muster three hits. Anderson Hernandez went 1 for 3 with a walk and got caught stealing for the fifth time since moving up to AAA, Chris Basak went 1 for 2 with a run scored and a double, and Brian Daubach drove in Norfolk's only run and went 1 for 3 with a walk and an RBI.
    • Gaby Hernandez continues to struggle in St. Lucie as they lost to Palm Beach 8-2. While he did not have a horrible game, it was not particularly good. He went five innings and gave up four hits, three earned runs, two walks, and struck out four. Andy Wilson went 1 for 4 with a double, Kevin Rios went 4 for 4 with a run scored, Aaron Hathaway went 1 for 4 with a run scored, Darren Watts went 2 for 4 with a triple and an RBI, and Blake Whealy went 1 for 4 with an RBI.
    • Hagerstown beat Hickory 5-4. Joshua Wyrick went 1 for 3 with a run scored, his first homer, two walks, and two RBIs, Carlos Gomez went 1 for 5, James Burt went 2 for 3 with two runs scored and a walk, and Jesus Flores went 1 for 5 with three strikeouts. Matt Durkin started the game and went four innings and gave up three hits, only walk, no earned runs, and struck out five. Marcelo Perez blew the save and later picked up the win in two innings of work and gave up one run on four hits.
    • Brooklyn beat Williamsport 4-3 in extra innings. Gregory Gonzalez went 5 for 6 with three stolen bases and two runs scored, Caleb Stewart went 1 for 2 with a double, an RBI, and four walks, Nick Evans went 1 for 5 with a walk, and Drew Butera went 1 for 2 with a double and a walk. Travis Hope won the game to up his record to 4-1 in three innings of relief and did not give up any hits or walks and struck out three.
    • Kingsport beat Johnson City 10-6. Sean Henry went 1 for 3 with two runs scored and two stolen bases, his fifth homerun, a walk, and three RBIs, David Wabick went 3 for 4 with a run scored, a walk, and one RBI, and Sean McGraw went 2 for 3 with a walk and an RBI. David Koons picked up the win in relief despite giving up two earned runs in two innings pitched.
  • Mike Piazza's wrist is still hurting him but he does feel bit better. There is no timetable for return. One question though, why bring up Mike Jacobs if he is not going to get at least one start? The article says that he is only an emergency catcher, but why even bother bringing him up then? See if the kid's bat can spark anything. You could have used DiFelice to hang out on the bench and moved Jacobs up to AAA to take some hacks.

  • Amazingly a young guy has really impressed Willie.

    "Right now, I feel like he's going to get the ball again," Randolph said. "But we'll wait and see. ... He's pitched well enough to continue to stay in our rotation."

    It is great that Seo can go out there more relaxed knowing he is not pitching for his job. However, despite that, Seo still does not feel relaxed and knows Willie will not hesitate to replace him.

    "I guess my success can be attributed to taking each start as possibly my last," Seo said through an interpreter. "I can't imagine a better motivation to keep it going."

  • David Lennon takes a look at how the Mets are running wild.

    "We're building something here, and for winning baseball, the stolen base is part of that," Minaya said. "Not only do teams have to pitch you differently, you take people out of their comfort zone. If you have the right mix of players that understand how to do it, it's a great weapon to have. It just gives you more scoring opportunities, especially in this kind of ballpark."

  • Rehabbing first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz was pulled from the starting lineup at Class A Port St. Lucie for the second consecutive night because of the flu. He was scheduled to come off the disabled list today, but that won't happen.

  • Well it appears that I am wrong on Glavine's option.

    "It's nice to know that I'll have a contract for next year," said Glavine, who is 14 1/3 innings away from reaching 560 over the first three years of his contract, which would trigger the fourth year. "You always want to have as much security as you can. So, reaching that point where it kicks in and is taken care of next year, yeah, it's nice, but I think I'm still more intent on trying to keep pitching well, win games and help us."

    I'm personally not that upset about it. He disturbingly has a had and opponents batting average over .300 every month this year and owns a .345 BAA on the road, but his 3.44 ERA and his 2.86 ERA over the last two months is impressive enough for me to be ok with it. I think he is been pitching much better and with his stuff he is going to give up hits, but he keeps the ball in the park. He has only given up eleven homers and strangely enough nine of them have been at home. He only has one walk this month and is getting his control back in line and worse things could have happened for this team.

  • Jim Duquette may get some consideration for the Diamondbacks job. If he gets that job, he will have stepped in shit because that team has a loaded system and will be flat out nasty in a few years if they develop or sign some pitching.

  • Paul Konerko is due for a big pay day and Guillen has nothing but good things to say about him as a leader.

    “Offensively, we know he’s going to carry this team when we need him," Guillen said. “This kid goes there and the way he plays the game, he shows people how to lead. A lot of people lead the team when they are 4-for-4 or with 40 home runs. You have to lead the team when you struggle, and Paulie does that."

    Sounds like someone the Mets could use.

  • Roger Clemens, Johnny Damon, and Roger Cedeno were rumored to have tested positive for steroids on the internet somewhere but Damon denies it and we all know how reliable so internet reports can be.

    "No way," Damon said. "If I tested something positive for anything, then someone threw something in the (sample). I think it's because of the way I'm built. I've had people thinking that since I was in high school."
  • Thursday, August 18, 2005


    Guess what the number 2.5 pertains too.

    A) Willie Randolph's IQ
    B) How many 39 year old retreads the Mets sign per week
    C) How many games off the Wild Card lead the Mets are
    D) How many times a day Jeff Wilpon thanks god for being a lucky sperm
    E) How many Crispy Kreme Doughnuts you can eat before you puke
    F) How many times a day a Met fan contemplates ending it all
    G) How many times a day a Cub fan contemplates ending it all
    H) How many times a day I've contemplated taking a bat to Kaz Ishii's knee
    I) How many minutes of thought I put in into making this post

    It was a late night so this is all I have. It's sorry, yes I know. The Astros have come down to earth and Roy Oswalt has looked very hittable of late and their offense has decided to take some time off and the entire NL East has closed the gap and the Astros now share the Wild Card lead. The Mets are now in charge of their own destiny and have an opportunity to play the Marlins, Nationals, and Phillies and give themselves a chance to actually win this thing. I know there are many people that are skeptical and Darryl Hamilton still will not consider the Mets true contenders though he inexplicably says the Cubs are sleepers to steal the Wild Card. The Mets get no respect from anyone, including their own fans, and they have a chance to prove everyone wrong and they can do it without depending on anyone else. The Astros are flawed and ultimately think the Wild Card will come out of the NL East and the Mets are undoubtedly in it. As flawed as the Mets are, every team in front of them vying for the Wild Card is just as flawed.

    * * *

  • The White Sox may be eyeing up Eddie Guardado.

    Despite all the talk about the Sox trying to get a deal done with Cincinnati for outfielder Ken Griffey Jr., it could just be the ultimate smoke screen for something else in the works.

    Seattle closer Eddie Guardado reportedly has cleared waivers, and according to a source in the Mariners organization, is being mentioned in a potential trade with the Sox.

  • Alex Gordon is playing hardball.

    Royals first-round pick Alex Gordon said Wednesday that he has registered for classes at the University of Nebraska and doesn’t expect to play minor-league baseball this season.

    If Gordon, the No. 2 overall pick in June’s draft, attends class starting Monday, the Royals lose his rights, and he goes back into the 2006 draft pool. He is eligible to play one more season for the Cornhuskers.

    “I don’t think I will,” Gordon, a third baseman, said by phone from Lincoln, Neb. “But I’m enrolled in classes.”

    He said a Major League contract is very important and the Royals are not prepared to offer one.

  • With Beltran and Miguel Cairo stealing bases, the Mets upped their National League-leading total to 116. They have a big lead on Houston (99) and Philadelphia (79), the second and third best stealers.

  • Mets fans have been guilty of booing a bit to much, but last night's standing ovation for Carlos Beltran was classy.

    "It was great," said Beltran, talking about the crowd reaction. "I really appreciated it."

    Beltran went 1 for 2 with two walks and a stolen base. His hit was a bunt single and you get the feeling that his game is more small ball than he has really played this year. Hopefully he relaxes and just plays his game for the rest of the year and do what he does best.

  • Par for the course.

    "I got the foul tip off the hand below where the glove was," he said. "It hurt pretty bad when I did it and I got back in the dugout and kept trying to push some of the swelling out. I felt it and said to our trainer Mike Herbst, 'I think I broke something.' You feel that sort of twinge of pain. I came out in the seventh and we took some pictures here."

    Mike Jacobs was flown in from Maine to be the backup catcher while Piazza is recovering and I hope the Mets get him one start to see how he looks.

  • I found a manager who may be worse than Willie.

    McClendon may not have done his proper homework before the game. If he had, he would have noticed that Wright entered the game 5-for-6 with 11 RBI when he came up after an intentional walk.

    Rule 33a: Do not intentionally walk a batter to get to a team's best hitter unless you are trying to get fired.

    I'm not sure how many years Lloyd has left on his contract, but I think he is trying to get the Pirates to give him a paid vacation.

  • Doug Mientkiewicz (bruised lower back) was scheduled to begin his rehab assignment last night for the Gulf Coast League Mets, but was scratched because of the flu. He is eligible to come off the disabled list tomorrow.

  • Sweep? I'm feeling it and Zambrano needs to deliver. The Pirates offense looks horrifying and that lineup is dreadful.

  • Glavine moved into 30th place with his 271st career win and I predict he will hit 300. The guy has looked pretty good this year and finally decided to help himself out by using his curveball more often. When you get older, you need to adjust and Roger Clemens added Mr. Splitty and Pedro relies more on his nasty off speed pitch. Glavine has a few more years after that and has a real shot at this.

  • Aaron Heilman deserves to be applauded for coming in the eighth inning with runners on second and third with no one out and allowing no one to score en route to a six out save. He is now 2-0 in relief with a 3.35 ERA, a 10.71 K/9, and a 1.21 WHIP. With the rotation full for the foreseeable future, he has probably pitched himself into a relief role. I still think he has the makings of a closer with that nasty off-speed pitch.

  • Minor update:
    • Norfolk lost to Toledo 8-0. Shingo Takatsu took the loss in his first appearance as a Met and gave up a one run on a homer in two innings of work. Heath Bell continues to get his work in multiple inninng performances and went three innings of two hit, two walk ball and gave up one earned run. Blake McGinley gave up five runs in 1.2 innings and gave up seven hits, three of which were homeruns, and struck out one. Anderson Hernandez was batting leadoff and went 1 for 4. In fact, Brian Daubach, Prentice Redman, and Ron Callloway all went 1 for 4 and Eric Valent went 1 for 3 with a walk. Joe Heiptas went 2 for 3 on night to raise his average to .276 in twelve games at AAA.
    • The B-Mets beat Portland 4-0 and Yusmeiro Petit bested top prospect Anibal Sanchez. Sanchez gave up three earned runs in 6.1 innings and gave up eight hits and five walks to drop his record to 3-3 and his ERA was raised to 2.31. Yusmeiro Petit was pissed that Jonathan Mayo left him off his top 50 prospect list and was just nasty. He went eight innings and struck out twelve while giving up no walks, no runs, and allowed a measly three hits to up his record to 9-3 and lower his ERA to 2.91. Just chew on that line for a second. Mike Jacobs' hitting streak was extended to twenty-two games by going 1 for 3 with two walks and an RBI, Lastings Milledge went 1 for 5, and Wayne Lydon went 2 for 3 with two runs scored and a two walks.
    • It was not a good day to be a pitcher as St. Lucie beat Palm Beach 14-10. Andy Wilson had a monster night and hit his 26th homer of the year and went 3 for 4 with two runs scored, six RBIs, and a walk. Dante Brinkely went 2 for 3 with three runs scored, one RBI, and one walk, Grant Psomas went 1 for 3 with a run scored, an RBI, and two walks, Aaron Hathaway went 1 for 4 with an RBI, and Wilson Batista went 2 for 4 with three runs scored and a walk. Miguel Pinango took the loss and went five innings giving up eight hits, four earned runs, one homer, one walk, and struck out four.
    • Hagerstown beat Hickory 3-2. Carlos Gomez went 3 for 6 with a run scored and was gunned down on the bases for the 21st time this year. Ambiorix Concepcion went 3 for 5, Corey Coles went 2 for 4 with a walk, and Matthew Fisher went 3 for 5 and hit his first homerun on the year. Kevin Mannix started the game and threw five innings of shut-out ball only to leave with a no decision. Edgar Alfonzo picked up the win in relief and is 1-1 on the year.
    • Brooklyn beat New Jersey 9-1. Joseph Holden went 3 for 5 with two runs scored, a double, and two RBIs, Nick Evans went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, his third homer, and two RBIs, Drew Butera went 1 for 3 with a run scored, a walk, and his first stolen base, Jesus Gamero went 4 for 5 with a run scored and an RBI, and Gregory Gonzalez went 3 for 4 with one run scored and two doubles. Jeffrey Landing continues to pitch impressively for the Cyclones and went 6.1 innings giving up five hits, two walks, one earned run, and struck out four. He is now 4-5 with a 2.61 ERA.
    • Continuing with the B-Mets trend of losing both ends of double header, Kingsport dropped two to Johnson City. In game one, the K-Mets lost 5-3. Sean McGraw went 2 for 3 with run scored and Jusef Frias took the loss and went three innings and gave up five hits, four earned runs, two walks, and struck out two. In game two, Kingsport lost 8-7. David Wabick went 2 for 3 with a run scored, an RBI, and a walk, Paris Austin went 2 for 3 with a run scored, two RBIs, and a walk, Anthony Manuel went 2 for 3 with a run scored, two RBIs, and a walk, and Tony Piazza went 2 for 4 with an RBI. Alexis Beras took the loss in relief and went one inning and gave up two earned runs.
    • The GCL Mets beat the GCL Nationals 9-3. Daniel Cummins continues to swing a hot bat and went 3 for 5 with two runs scored and an RBI. Jonathon Niese picked up the victory and went five innings giving up seven hits, three earned runs, two walks, and walked five.
  • My wooden bat baseball season is over and my team finished 7-12. I hit .320/.358/.380 for a weak .738 OPS but got off to slow start. In the first six games, I hit a horrible .125/.125/.188. After the rust was shook off and I adjusted to playing at a time no human being should be awake on Sundays, I hit .412/.459/.471, scored eight runs and stole six bases in the next ten games. My ISoP was still horrible, but I'll take what I can get.
  • Wednesday, August 17, 2005

    Sound Decisions

    On the pre-game show on WFAN yesterday, Willie Randolph said that Beltran will be coming back and forgoing surgery. However, by him coming back and passing the surgery up, it does not preclude him getting surgery after returning if it is deemed necessary. He will wear a protective mask and there will be some risk of further damage, but I guess it is not a large one.

    "Our doctors feel Carlos is not at any risk," Minaya said. "I talked to him today and I told him we as an organization would support him whatever he wants to do. He is very convinced. He wants to be with his teammates.

    "Surgery would have kept him out a week, maybe 10 days, maybe two weeks," Minaya said. "Without surgery, he might be able to play tomorrow."

    Basically, there is still a bit of uncertainty. Of course, Beltran could come back and stick with the team for the rest of the year and I'm sure that has a strong possibility of happening, but for the jewel of your franchise, and a very expensive one at that, why even try? The guy would only be out for a minimal amount of time with surgery, why not just get it over with so there is no risk. There is buzz he can return as soon as today, but his concussion could still be lingering.

    "I guess if it bothers me later on, I might get it done. But right now, I just feel I should be with the team."

    Vlad Guerrero he is not. At least not this year, but it is not like the Mets are missing a Manny Ramirez type run producer. If the guy was such an integral part of the offense, then I could see how it is dire enough. However, the biggest problem as I can tell from him not being around is his missing his glove. They can close the gap between Ice and himself a bit with someone else roaming center, but the Mets seem reluctant to do that. Maybe I'm just nitpicking, but if there is a chance that his return to the lineup may be short lived, I'm not seeing the point right now. The Mets did something similar with him earlier in the year when they did not DL him and it turned out to not make sense in retrospect and I hope this situation does not turn out the same way. The manner in which the Mets have handled injuries over the years has been horrendous and that is due impart to lack of depth in their upper levels of their system of impact players.

    "You have to think twice about certain things, you have to think about your well-being later on," oft-injured left fielder Cliff Floyd said. "He's a reckless kind of guy. A lot goes into it. You just hope he's making the right decision."

    * * *

  • Doug Mientkiewicz said he did not want to rehab in St. Lucie and if that was the case he would see everyone next year. Well it seems the Mets took a stand because he is going to rehab in St. Lucie. Why are these Major League ball players too good for rehab stints to take some cuts in some game situations? I'm not sure what has ballooned faster, egos or salaries.

    "He knew he needed to get at-bats. There's no way he was going to be activated without getting some at-bats," Mets GM Omar Minaya said.

  • Jae Seo made a big statement with his second gem in as many starts since being recalled from the AAA Norfolk and Steve Trachsel's return to Queens has been delayed for now.

    "It's just a matter of, right now, our rotation's pretty set," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "Jae Seo's been throwing the ball well and we're not going to go to a six-man rotation. The math is easy."

    Nothing is easy for you Willie.

    "What am I going to tell them? To put me in Pedro [Martinez's] spot?" Trachsel said. "We're in a good situation with six starters. I'm ready to go. That in itself is a big thing."

    Steve is a professional, that's for sure. Anyone need a veteran that could help in a stretch run? I'm sure he passed through waivers since he has been injured.

    "What am I going to do?" said Trachsel. "Tell them I'll take Pedro's spot?"

  • Kevin Czerwinski has a piece on Mike Jacobs on Mets.com.

    One National League scout who has seen a great deal of Jacobs in the last three seasons says he has doubts about whether he could be an everyday player in the big leagues, going on to add that that he'd be a good backup behind the plate and at first as well as a solid bat off the bench.

    "He can hit lefty pitching," the scout said. "If he can do that being left-handed he can fill a role coming off the bench for a club."

  • He dices, he slices, and he chops.

  • Minor update:
    • Norfolk beat Columbus 9-0. Angel Pagan went 3 for 5 with a run scored and stole two bases notching his 25th and 26th on the year, Anderson Hernandez went 1 for 5 with two runs scored, a triple, an RBI, and his 21st stolen base in 47 games in AAA after stealing 11 in 66 games at Binghamton, Eric Valent went 1 for 3 with a run scored, an RBI, and two walks, Brian Daubach hit his 15th homer on the year and knocked in three runs, and Prentice Redman drove in two runs. Neal Musser bested Hideo Nomo who did not make it out of the fifth and walked five batters. Musser went six innings allowing four hits, two walks, no runs, and struck out seven. Tim Hamulack pitched a scoreless inning and now has thrown 31.1 innings in AAA and has given up twenty hits and eight walks.
    • Binghamton dropped both ends of double header to Portland for the second day in a row. In game one, Binghamton lost 6-5. Lastings Milledge went 0 for 3 with a run scored and a walk, Wayne Lydon went 2 for 3 with a run scored, and Jonathan Slack went 3 for 3 with a double and two runs scored. Mike Jacobs extended his hitting steak to 20 games by going 1 for 3 with a run scored, an RBI, and a walk. Jerrod Riggan took the loss by surrendering three unearned runs in .2 innings of work and walked three batters and allowed two hits. In game two, the B-Mets lost 9-3. Lastings Milledge went 1 for 3 with an RBI, Mike Jacobs extended his hitting streak to 21 games by going 2 for 3 with a double, and Bobby Malek went 2 for 4 with a run scored. Ivan Maldonado Oquendo took the loss and is 1-1 with a 4.26 ERA.
    • Hagerstown beat Hickory 1-0. Russ Triplett went 1 for 3 with a triple and the games only RBI. Michael Devaney picked up the win by going six innings allowing only two hits and a walk while striking out two. He is now 7-4 with a 4.08 ERA. Marcelo Perez got the save and pitched one inning of relief.
    • Brooklyn beat New Jersey 3-2 in extra innings. Caleb Stewart went 1 for 4 and hit is eighth homer of the year and Matthew Anderson went 1 for 4 and hit his first homer of the year. Robert Paulk went two innings in relief and struck out three to pick up his second win and drop his ERA to 0.71.
    • The GCL Mets lost to the GCL Marlins 6-3. Jose Castro went 3 for 4 with a walk and Yasmil Bucce went 2 for 2 with a double. Robert Manuel took his first loss on the year and got roughed up in 6.1 innings of work giving up nine hits, six runs, four earned runs, and struck out five. He is now 7-1 with a 2.31 ERA.
  • The Prospect Hot Sheet has returned.

    11. Jeremy Hermida, of, Marlins (Double-A Carolina)
    Hermida continues to be a walk machine. He now has 108 free passes in 112 games to go along with 17 home runs, 22 stolen bases and a near-1.000 OPS.

    Some people use Playboy magazines when using their body like an amusement park and Billy Beane probably looks at that line of 108 walks in 112 games.

    13. Lastings Milledge, of, Mets (Double-A Binghamton)
    Continuing to transform from a tools king to a complete baseball player, Milledge has improved his plate discipline at Double-A, leading (not surprisingly) to more hits and better power (.547 slugging in August).

    16. Yusmeiro Petit, rhp, Mets (Double-A Binghamton)
    A physical doppelganger of Bartolo Colon, Petit has recovered from a slow start in the Eastern League by going 3-0, 1.57 in three August starts while allowing just 11 hits in 23 innings. Petit's 118-18 strikeout-walk ratio is among the best in the minors.


  • Alex Gordon is seeking Stephen Drew money from the Kansas City Royals.

    The club is believed to have offered a $3.8 million signing bonus, which is $400,000 more than catcher Jeff Clement, the No. 3 overall pick, received from Seattle.

    Gordon appears to want a deal similar to what shortstop Steven Drew received in May from Arizona after negotiations dragged on for nearly a year — $5.5 million in guaranteed money, including a $4 million bonus spread over four years and an immediate spot on the 40-man organizational roster.

    Every year the top pitcher and top hitter are going to point to previous season's picks and their bonuses and request that money regardless if their skill is comparable. I'm not saying Gordon is not as good as Drew in this case, but the draft is in dire need of MLB Baseball to step in as it is spiraling out of control. There are five or six guys looking for $4,000,0000 or more this year which is just absurd.

  • Cameron Maybin is seeking $4,000,000 and the Tigers are offering $2,750,000.

  • Lloyd McClendon sucks.

    "He's a good kid. That stuff is over. I'm done with that."

    My excitement just fizzled out. I was ready for some mudslinging.

  • The Mets inched to 3.5 games out of the Wild Card lead and Bob Klapisch tries to make sense of it all.

    Is there really a September hot streak waiting to be hatched at Shea, the one GM Omar Minaya and Willie Randolph speak so optimistically about? Or are the Mets destined to finish out the summer at exactly their current speed - winning slightly more than half their games, showing occasional flashes of excellence, but otherwise dooming themselves with that sluggish offense?

  • Home sweet home.

  • The always honest Cliff Floyd speaks out about Beltran wearing a protective mask.

    "I would think not, because the littlest thing on my hat throws me off," Floyd said. "A lot goes in to that. Richard Hamilton doesn't have to have no damn glasses on when he's playing on Sundays. What, are you not going to play him on Sundays? Saturdays? I just think it would be hard."

    However, he does also commend him for attempting to come back so soon.

    "It says a lot, man. In this game, a lot of things happen over the course of the season," Floyd said. "You have to listen to your body and he's listening to his body. His body is letting him know he's capable of playing.

    "Instead of taking the easy way out and saying, 'I'll come back in spring training,' he's saying, 'I can help this team,' and it just goes to show you what type of person he is."

  • Aaron Hathaway is hot and Bill Whitehead has it covered.

    No St. Lucie player is swinging a hotter bat right now than Aaron Hathaway, and the Mets catcher knows why: He's free of injuries.

    "Injuries. That pretty much sums it up," said the 22-year-old Hathaway.
  • Tuesday, August 16, 2005

    Team Support

    The Mets have a few pitchers that have been victimized by run support this year and some have been brutally abused. Runs scored stats for pitchers is always interesting to me because it ends up being just bizarre how a team just continually hits well when one pitcher is on the mound as opposed to when they give nothing for other pitchers. When Kaz Ishii pitches, it seems that the team basically gives up and does not even try. No Met starting pitcher is below four runs a game of support besides Kaz and despite the fact the Mets are 7-9 in games he started, he is only 3-9. When Ishii loses, he losses fabulously and he just gets killed. In the nine losses by the Mets when he starts, the Mets have been outscored by an amazing 63-26 margin. In the seven games the Mets won when he started, they have outscored opponents 39-11. Kaz should have had more wins, but he was too wildly inconsistent to be in the rotation and even when he won, he was dangerously close to imploding.

                      RS  W  L   W% aW aL  aW% AvgGS  ERA
    Kris Benson 6.42 13 6 .684 8 4 .667 54 3.54
    Jae Seo 5.67 4 1 .800 4 1 .800 67.4 1.35
    Pedro Martinez 5.08 13 11 .542 12 5 .706 64 2.96
    Victor Zambrano 4.84 8 14 .364 6 9 .400 49.5 4.16
    Aaron Heilman 4.82 4 3 .571 2 3 .400 51.3 4.60
    Tom Glavine 4.53 10 14 .417 8 10 .444 45.2 4.41
    Kaz Ishii 3.43 7 9 .438 3 9 .250 45.7 5.04
    In the thirteen games Pedro has pitched and the Mets won, the Mets have outscored opponents 74-27 and in eleven games the Mets lost that Pedro has started, they have been outscored 53-34. Nine of those eleven games the Mets lost when Pedro started were lost by two runs or less. Only one loss was by more than three runs and Pedro should be in the thick of the CY Young race, but instead is an afterthought behind Chris Carpenter and Roger Clemens. Pedro is 18th overall out of 53 pitchers in terms of run support for pitchers qualified for the ERA title and 101st overall and the Mets simply need to give him more. He has done what an ace is supposed to do every time he takes the mound and give his team a chance to win game in and game out. Though the Mets are ranked fifth in the league in runs, they are feast or famine. They simply need to be more consistent scoring runs and need to be better at backing up their ace. When he goes out, it is a must win game this time of the year and wasting starts like his near no-no is unconscionable.

    * * *

  • This has nothing to do with baseball, but my brother has two Neil Diamond tickets for MSG on the 20th. If anyone likes Neil and is interested in them, please send me an email me. I will not pass judgement on you either.

  • Minor update:
    • Norfolk beat Columbus 8-1. Brian Bannister picked up his fourth AAA win and went 5.2 innings of shutout ball and surrendered seven hits, no earned runs, and struck out six. He has a 2.97 ERA since being promoted. Angel Pagan went 1 for 4 with two walks and his twenty-fourth stolen base, Anderson Hernandez went 2 for 5 with a run scored, Chase Lambin went 2 for 5 with two runs scored and his sixth homer, Prentice Redman went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, a double, a walk, two RBIs, and his seventh stolen base, Brian Daubach went 3 for 5 with a run scored, and Rodney Nye went 2 for 3 with a run scored, two walks, and two RBIs. Tim Redding took the loss for the Clippers and went 5.2 innings, struck out ten, gave up eight hits and four walks, and gave up four earned runs.
    • Binghamton played Portland in a double header. The B-Mets lost game one 8-5. Lastings Milledge went 1 for 4 with a run scored and a double and Wayne Lydon went 2 for 3 with a run scored and an RBI. Luz Portobanco started for the B-Mets and went three innings and gave up four earned runs on six hits and one walk and Anderson Garcia's season seems to be unraveling after another bad outing and he took the loss after giving up three earned runs, five hits, and one walk in two innings of relief and now owns a 5.40 ERA. Über prospect Hanley Ramirez went 2 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI for the Sea Dogs. In game two, Portland won 3-1. Lastings Milledge has seemingly found his power stroke and went 1 for 2 with his third homerun and a walk. Rafael Lopez and Jeremy Hill combined for eight innings of five hit, three walk ball and gave up only one earned run and struck out six.
    • Palm Beach beat St. Lucie 4-3. Andy Wilson pounded his twenty-fifth homerun of the year on a 1-4 night and drove in two RBIs.
    • Hagerstown beat Hickory 4-3. Carlos Gomez went 2 for 4 and got caught stealing for the twentieth time this season. Jason Weintraub took the win in relief and went three innings of shut out ball to get his first win of the year.
    • Despite doubling Williamsport's hit total, Brooklyn lost 2-1. Joseph Holden went 1 for 3 with two walks and stole his fifteenth base on the year, Caleb Stewart is trying to break out of a slump and went 3 for 5 with two doubles, and Nick Evans drove in the lone Cyclone run and went 1 for 4 with an RBI and a walk. Drew Butera was known as a light stick, good glove catcher, but made his tenth error of the year last night. Bobby Parnell had yet another good outing and went six innings giving up three hits, no earned runs, two walks, and struck out three and took the no-decision and lowered his ERA to 1.58. Travis Hope took the loss in relief and dropped his record to 3-1.
    • The GCL Mets took out the GCL Marlins 9-0. Junior Contreras went 1 for 5 with his seventh homer of the year and drove in three runs, Emmanuel Garcia went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and a walk, Leivi Ventura went 2 for 4 with a double and two RBIs, and Yasmil Bucce went 2 for 4 with a run scored and a double. Robert McIntyre picked up the win to bring his record to 4-1 and went five innings giving up one hit, two walks, and struck out three.
  • Kenny Rogers may be looking for $9 million per season after this year at the ripe old age of 41.

    Boras knows the Rangers will be dealing from a position of weakness and is going to drive a hard bargain, looking for something in the range of $9 million per season for Rogers.

    Even at 41, Rogers could be at the top of a mediocre class of free-agent pitchers this winter that also includes A.J. Burnett, Kevin Millwood, Jarrod Washburn, Jeff Weaver, Shawn Estes, Matt Morris, Jamie Moyer, Woody Williams and Brett Tomko.

  • Luke Hochevar may begin fall classes at Tennessee on August 24th if he fails to reach a deal with the Dodgers and they will lose rights to sign him. The Dodgers are offering $2 million and Boras is looking for $4 million. Being the sides are way off and the buzz before the draft was people did not think Hochevar was ace material, a deal seems pretty unlikely. Hochevar has a wide arsenal of pitches and is very polished and has command over all of them, but his upside seems to be limited when compared to Mike Pelfrey and Craig Hansen.

  • Mark Bellhorn may not get recalled from AAA Pawtucket from his rehab assignment.

  • From Baseball America:

    The Angels promoted catcher Jeff Mathis to the big leagues over the weekend. Mathis, a first-rounder in 2001, rebounded from an awful 2004 season offensively at Double-A Arkansas to bat .282-15-57 in 35 5 at-bats at Triple-A Salt Lake this season.

  • Beltran will decide today if he needs surgery or not.

    "I have a little fracture and that fracture is moving inside like six millimeters, so they want to see if it moved more or it came back to place," Beltran said. "So if it came back to place they don't have to do the surgery. I really feel in my heart that I don't want to go through surgery."

  • Bob Raissman is not a member of the Fran Healy fan club.

    Then, viewers heard how Dennis Martinez once pitched a no-hitter - actually, a perfect game - against the Dodgers. There was more chatter about how the Mets' defense must be feeling. And how Ramon Martinez (1995) pitched the last no-hitter at Dodgers Stadium with Mike Piazza behind the plate.

    Healy, speaking as if he just discovered the world is round, said it would be ironic "if" Martinez did pitch a no-hitter because Pedro and Piazza - former Dodgers - comprised the Mets battery.

    Bob thinks Ted Robinson and Fran Healy called a horrendous game. Check the article out.

  • Eli Gelman has an article on Drew Butera.

  • From the NY Post:

    Tonight will mark Kris Benson's second career start against his former team. Last Sept. 19, he allowed six runs in six innings against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. Benson (8-4, 3.54 ERA) will face LHP Mark Redman (5-12, 4.75). Matchups for the rest of the series are: tomorrow, Tom Glavine (8-10, 4.41) vs. RHP Josh Fogg (6-7, 4.94); Thursday, Victor Zambrano (6-9, 4.16) vs. LHP Zach Duke (5-0, 2.13).


    Reyes has not committed an error in 31 games, playing defense flawlessly since his last error on July 8.

  • Murry Chass has a good look at Carlos Delgado and what he might have meant to the Mets.

    Delgado is hitting .293 with 22 home runs and 78 runs batted in. He has a .556 slugging percentage and a .394 on-base percentage.

    Want to know what the Mets' first basemen have done offensively? Actually, you might not. It's so bad that squeamish adults should skip ahead a few paragraphs.

    The Mets' first basemen - that includes everyone who has played first and what they have done with their bats when they have played there - have been the puniest hitters in the National League. Their batting average, according to Elias Sports Bureau, is .216, which is 31 points lower than the next-worst team.

    Their home run total of 11 and R.B.I. total of 39 are also the league's lowest. They have a weak .348 slugging percentage and a .290 on-base percentage.

    Wow. Getting .219/.290/.348 out of first base is not good, but I'm pretty sure you did not need me to tell you that.
  • Monday, August 15, 2005


    Three things that are unacceptable are getting ten hits and only one damn run, not giving your ace more run support, and not getting a runner at third base home with one out in the ninth when you could have tied the game. Martinez pitched his heart out yet again and took another senseless loss. Five outs away from a no hitter, he gave up a two run homer and finished with a line of eight innings, one hit allowed, one walk, and struck out five and took home the loss. The Mets were fortunate enough to have the Astros lose to keep their hopes of a wildcard alive, but the team is just running on fumes. Their lineup is incredibly weak offensively and has Gerald Williams playing centerfield.

    Usually, having Gerald Williams starting in centerfield is the equivalent of waving the white flag, but the Mets do not quite see it that way. They are just using him there until they figure out what they are doing with Beltran. I ask, what is the point? DFA Williams and bring up Angel Pagan. He is already on the forty man roster, so no moves need to be made in tandem to make it happen and Gerald will no doubt go unclaimed and can play in AAA since the Mets enjoy having him in their organization so much. Angel Pagan would be an upgrade in every way and the Mets need to start acting like they want to win this Wild Card race. Keeping Seo in the rotation is a good step towards that and taking Williams out of the starting lineup is another one.

    * * *

  • Ken Griffey Jr. to the White Sox rumors will not go away, but a trade is unlikely to materialize. In my opinion, the White Sox have a real shot at winning the World Series and they need to go for it. Acquiring Ken Griffey Jr. will certainly help an offense that needs some punch.

  • Paul Konerko is not enamored with the East Coast, but money does talk.

    'It's good for a couple days," he said yesterday. ''I don't know if I'd want to come here all the time. It's fun to come to Fenway, it's fun to come to Yankee Stadium, places where I used to go [as a kid]. [But] the East Coast is hectic."

    "All options are open," said Konerko. ''The good thing about this team [Chicago] this year is we're doing so well that personally, you don't think about your whole situation. If I was on a bad team right now, I might be sitting back, already preparing for what's going to happen. This clubhouse doesn't allow that, because we're a winning team, going to the playoffs."

    "I don't know what's going to happen with all that. I don't rule out any places I could play. I haven't even thought about it, other than I love Chicago and I'd love to stay here."

  • Jon Heyman has the waiver news covered.

    Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Piazza and Tom Glavine are among high-salaried veterans who have gone unclaimed, cleared waivers and remain eligible to be traded, baseball officials have told Newsday.

    Hey, maybe Piazza to the White Sox to be a DH would work. Mikey would get a chance to win a ring, which might make it more palatable for Piazza to accept a trade there.

    Also clearing . . .

    Newsday has learned that Mets who have cleared waivers, in addition to Piazza and Glavine, are Pedro Martinez, Carlos Beltran, Kris Benson, Doug Mientkiewicz, Victor Zambrano, Danny Graves, Miguel Cairo and Ramon Castro.

    Mets who have been blocked on waivers and are thus ineligible to be dealt are Mike Cameron, Aaron Heilman, Jose Reyes, David Wright, Roberto Hernandez, Chris Woodward and Marlon Anderson.

    I understand that GMs try and get the best deals they can get, but what ever happened to being realistic? Is there no GM out there that is fair to deal with and is willing to actually trade equal value for equal value? I understand desperation drives up the price, but sometimes it is just taken too far.

    Of all the unrealistic trade requests (three top prospects for Jeremy Affeldt, two top prospects for Kent Mercker, two established top starters and a top reliever for Billy Wagner), the worst might have been Seattle requesting top White Sox prospect Brandon McCarthy for journeyman reliever Ron Villone. Get a grip.

  • Peter Abraham has a nice article on Mike Piazza.

    "I look at what Edgar Martinez did at the end of his career," Piazza said. "I can see myself in a role like that."

    He also pointed out that Mike Piazza has never been a free agent.

  • Not new news, but Sweet Lou wants out. The article names the Yankees if they miss the playoffs and the Marlins if they fire Jack McKeon as two possible destinations should he moved.

  • Minor Update:
    • Indianapolis beat Norfolk 6-5. Kaz Ishii pitched well in his first AAA start and went six innings, giving up seven hits, one earned run, two walks, one homer, and struck out nine. Tim Lavigne gave up five runs in one inning of relief work on five hits and two walks. Blake McGinley continues to put up solid numbers with an 84 mph fastball and went one inning, giving up one hit, and striking out one to bring his ERA down to 3.16. Angel Pagan went 2 for 5 with a run scored and an RBI, Eric Valent went 1 for 3 with two walks and a run scored, and Brian Daubach went 2 for 4 with a walk and an RBI. Ty Wigginton was in the lineup for Indianapolis and went 0 for 4 with a run scored and a walk. He is currently batting .267/.367/.458 with eleven homers, forty-four RBIs, forty walks, and fifteen doubles.
    • New Hampshire beat Binghamton 9-2. Lastings Milledge went 2 for 4 with a run scored to bring his average up to .326. As much as we all would like to see more power from Lastings, he has a .432 SLG %, which is an improvement from his .418 SLG % in St. Lucie and one that could be expected moving up to an offensive league, and is doing just fine in my opinion. Mike Jacobs went 1 for 4 and drove in both RBIs and has ninety on the year. Jacobs is well on his way to earning his second Sterling Award and has hit .319/.372/.595 with twenty five homers, thirty-two walks, thirty-six doubles, and twenty-five homers so far this season. When all is said and done he will have had set career highs in homer, RBIs, doubles, and walks. Evan MacLane has been getting knocked around of late and went 4.1 innings, giving up eleven hits, eight earned runs, one walk, and struck out three. MacLane's ERA has ballooned to 6.07. Jerrod Riggan continues his comeback from surgery and pitched one inning and gave up no earned runs.
    • Port St. Lucie beat Brevard County 5-0 in a rain shortened game. Dante Brinkley went 2 for 3 with a run scored, Grant Psomas went 2 for 2 with a walk, an RBI, a run scored, and a double, Jamar Hill went 1 for 3 with his fourteenth homer of the year and drove in three runs, and Andy Wilson went 0-1 with run scored and two walks. Psomas, Brinkley, and Wilson are three guys that I am high on that really do not get much play. They have done nothing but hit this year and have 67, 55, and 59 walks respectively in and organization that is in dire need of plate discipline in their organization. Tim Worthington, who has pitched well for the Mets in Hagerstown and St. Lucie this year, went five innings giving up three hits, no earned runs, no walks, and struck out five to bring his record up to 5-3 and lower his ERA to 1.93.
    • Brooklyn lost to Williamsport 8-2. Nick Evans went 1 for 3 with a walk batting out of the three spot in the order and Jesus Gamero was the only other Cyclone to get a hit. He went 1 for 3 with an RBI, a double, a walk, and an RBI. Kevin Tomasiewicz had a forgettable game and did not make it through two innings and gave up ten hits, five earned runs, no walk, and struck out five.
    • Kingsport beat Princeton 7-5. Gregory Gonzalez went 2 for 3 with a run scored, a double, two walks, and two RBIs, Sean Henry went 2 for 5 with a run scored and a walk, and David Wabick went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Daniel Arizmendi got the win and is now 3-2 after going five innings giving up four hits, one earned run, three walks, and struck out two.
  • Kris Benson is tabbed to face his old teammates and his relationship with ex manager Lloyd McClendon has not been so rosy.

    "(Benson) had great stuff for us," McClendon told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in a story published yesterday. "But he didn't have the heart of a lion. They'll find that out in New York."

    "They're misinterpreting what I said," Benson said. "It was more talking about the positives with the Mets than anything negative about the Pirates. But that's typical. There's nothing else to talk about there."

    The Mets don't play Pittsburgh until July 8. Benson doesn't plan to speak to McClendon until then — if then.

    "Maybe he'll finally be fired before that," Benson said.

    Hopefully they will pass pleasantries back and forth during this series.

  • Cammy had surgery, but he is not allowed to talk or smile.

    "I just want him to know I haven't forgotten about him," Floyd said. "When he can talk, he will. But for now, I think all he's allowed to say is 'emm, umm and ugh-ugh.'"

    Beltran was back with the team, but it is still up in the air when he will return.

    Beltran still requires surgery to repair a bone near his left eye and, therefore, still could be placed on the disabled list. But he felt well enough Sunday to slip into his uniform and dugout, play decoy and accompany his team on its post game charter flight east.

    Back in New York, Beltran will learn whether surgery is necessary to repair a minor displacement on a bone -- about six millimeters. He probably will undergo the procedure immediately if it is deemed necessary. Surgery or not, Beltran and the Mets probably will know significantly more about his return to active duty by Monday night. And then, plans can be made.

    If Beltran is placed on the DL, the Mets will promote an outfielder -- likely Angel Pagan, the 24-year-old already on the 40-man roster who made a positive impression in Spring Training, or Eric Valent, the left-handed-hitting veteran who played in 130 games for the Major League team last season and 28 more this year before being removed from the roster on May 28. The Mets had discussed promoting Lastings Milledge, the club's primary prospect among position players, according to assistant general manager Jim Duquette. But Duquette said that move was unlikely.

    Lastings? Good to hear they at least threw it out there.

  • In other good news, Veteran Wil Cordero was released by the Mets on Sunday.

  • Seo has stated his case and Trachsel is a man without a role right now.

    The Mets still haven't decided how Steve Trachsel will fit into the pitching staff. Senior vice president of baseball operations Jim Duquette said Trachsel would be in uniform on Tuesday but probably wouldn't be activated until later in the week. The options, Duquette said, are using a six-man rotation, putting Trachsel in the bullpen or trading one of the starters.