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

Thursday, April 27, 2006


DEF EFF = Defensive Efficiency

Defesive efficiency is the rate at which balls put into play are converted into outs by a team's defense.

BP showed the Mets some sabermetric love yesterday with their stat of the day. (thanks to Jake for pointing that out)
Team                    DEF_EFF
Chicago Cubs 0.760
New York Mets 0.735
Milwaukee Brewers 0.734
St. Louis Cardinals 0.732
San Diego Padres 0.716
This was an excerpt from a letter sent to fans from Jim Duquette back in November of 2003.

First, we are already hard at work to continue the process we started in the middle of last season, > recasting our team by focusing on pitching and defense, with a healthy mix of athletic, young players and effective veteran stars.

Pitching: incomplete
Defense: metts expectations
A Healthy Mix of Athletic, Young Players: far exceeds expectations
Effective Veteran Stars: exceeds expectations

Of course Jim Duquette had a vision for this team and really did not have much of chance to implement it because it did not seem like he had a long enough leash to get it done, but he did plants some seeds. Omar Minaya picked up where Duquette left off and defense has not been a strong point of the Mets who lacked strong defense ever since 2000. Good stuff and the Mets pitching should be able to feel the tremendous improvement in their defense and even Carlos Delgado has been a pleasant surprise. He will never win a Gold Glove, but he can hold is own and dig a few balls when he needs too.

Speed, athleticism, and veteran stars are a big part of this team and this team is very close to being as well rounded as any team out there.

* * *

  • It is sad when three of your starting pitchers are better hitters than one of your bench players who is not on the roster for speed or defense, but hitting.

  • I didn't watch the game or listen to game with regularity yesterday, but it seemed like it was another frustrating game for Bannister. I did hear some of the Giants commentators remark that the umps were not calling the curveball for a strike much and it was a tight zone, but they also mentioned earlier that Bannister was not throwing his much. Whether or not it was a case of getting squeezed, he had more control issues, though he only walked two. He ran a lot of full counts and gave up more hits than he usually does. My fear was that if he was around the plate more, he would get hit more because he does not have over powering stuff. My opinion of him is always changing since I have not seen him much, but I still think he might be on borrowed time. The Giants did not seem to be having very much trouble with him and their lineup was not exactly strong yesterday.

    In the first inning, he allowed one run and left two stranded.
    In the second inning, he allowed another run and left one stranded.
    In the third inning, he allowed another run and left one stranded.
    The fourth inning was his only 1-2-3 inning.
    In the fifth inning, he walked two and left two stranded.

    All in all, 86 pitches were thrown and 53 were strikes and 33 were balls. That was an improvement, but Bannister has been fortunate enough to play weak offensive lineups. He needs to pick it up and soon.

    Bannister may not miss much time at all if any. Willie reschuffled the rotation so that Bannister will go on Tuesday at the earliest. If he cannot start, Darren Oliver, John Maine, Jeremi Gonzalez, or Lima Time!™.

    "They think it's a really tight cramp," Bannister said. "They don't know if it's a strain or a cramp. It's grabbing on me now. It's not torn, not anything severe."

  • Be careful what you ask for, right? I wanted the big time match up with Barry vs. Billy with the game on the line and well....it did not end up like I wanted. Barry went boom (yes, that was me ripping off that hack John Sterling but using the past tense because no matter how many times I read 'Barry goes boom' over, it just didn't fit). It's all good since the Mets won, but steroids aside, just enjoy watching Barry play baseball. When he is up at the plate, you almost feel like the pitcher has no chance. That being said, I agree with the idea of going after him.

    "They pitched to Barry with a guy throwing 98, 97 mph," Giants manager Felipe Alou said. "...If that guy doesn't pitch to him, who will?"

    With where we are in the season, intentionally walking in non-intentional spots is a no-no for me. Wagner is one of the best and he brought it at reportedly 99 mph so if you are not going after Barry with him, who are you going to go after him with? Also, Barry owns a career .231/.286/.538 line against Wags. Right call, bad outcome. Mets win, everyone is happy.

  • Delmon Young threw a bat into the chest of a plate umpire. Nice.

    Young argued with the umpire after taking a third strike on a 1-and-2 pitch. The umpire ejected Young, who then threw his bat and hit the umpire in the chest.

    Replacement umpires have been working all minor league games this season because the regular umpires are on strike.

    Bad call or not, you simply cannot do that. He may have a slight edge in talent over Lastings, but Milledge has a big edge in perspective and professionalism.

  • Larry Beinfest strikes back.

    "What gnaws at me in this instance is the phone call was never made," Beinfest said. "I've talked to Omar three times since New Year's. Once because of a rainout in spring training, the second to check on the availability of a minor league player and after the rainout at Shea Stadium."

    The New York media making up stories? Noooooooo. Not that I think spin control would not come into play to make Dontrelle feel better because it could be damage control at this point.

  • Piazza went deep for this 400th homerun of the year.

    “Hopefully it would come in a win, but what are you going to do?” Piazza said. “Personally it is a nice milestone, but it would have been a little sweeter if we were playing a little better baseball.”

    Piazza is batting .228/.262/.439 with three doubles, three homers, and six RBIs. Stick a fork in him....Sad to see Mike struggle like this and he could turn this around, but his previous seasons suggest otherwise. He should be DH'ing in the American League, but there were no takers.

  • The Nationals picked up Zach Day off of waivers from the Rockies.

    We've talked to Dr. [Tim] Kremchek, who said both his shoulder and elbow are sound. It's just that he has muscle spasms in the back," Nationals general manager Jim Bowden said. "We've had some history with him. He's only 26 years old, so it certainly makes sense for us to take a chance on him and see if we can't get him back to the effective pitcher he was in the past."

    I feel for any pitcher sent to the Rockies. Andrew Miller, the consensus best pitcher in this upcoming draft, might be heading to the Rockies when they pick this upcoming draft. If I were him, I would hold out. It's not worth wasting six years of your career in that place.

  • See? The Yankee fans can boo too.

    Alex Rodriguez - 0-for-4 with two strikeouts - heard several rounds of boos and he wasn't the only one. Wasted chances doomed the Bombers, who left 16 runners on base, went 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position and couldn't take advantage of the 14 walks issued by the Rays.

    Fourteen walks? That's serious. Good to see A-Rod get booed though.

  • The Brewers dish out some help for the Mets and swept the Braves. The Braves are sitting five games out of first and the Mets have the largest lead out of any big league team and sit 4.5 games above Philadelphia. No other team leads by more than 1.5 games at this point so the Mets are doing well to say the least despite their recent struggles.

  • The Twins have moved closer to a new park.

    The Minnesota House gave the Twins stadium hopes a big lift Wednesday, voting 76-55 in favor of an open-air ballpark that would be paid for mostly by taxpayers.

    The focus now shifts to the state Senate, where the proposed increase in the county's sales tax could run into some early trouble. The Senate Taxes Committee, headed by a lawmaker opposed to the plan, will begin its deliberations on Thursday.

    The downtown Minneapolis stadium project would cost $522 million — three-fourths from a higher Hennepin County sales tax — and would allow the Twins to leave the Metrodome, their home since 1982 and the place where they've clinched two World Series crowns.

  • You keep your best pitchers on the schedule they feel comfortable with. Glavine needs regular rest, Tracshel needs regular rest, and Pedro certainly doesn't mind more than regular rest, but should be keep on it so he can be on the mound as many times as possible. Moving Zambrano back is a no brainer. It keeps this team better.

  • Smoltz vs. Pedro. Nice.

  • Chat Wrap with Jim Callis:

    Mike(Pequannock, NJ): With Pelfrey getting promoted to AA as quickly as he did, does this mean that the Mets might be thinking of moving him into the rotation later this year if he continues to succeed?
    Jim Callis: (2:06 PM ET) Pelfrey was the top pitcher available in the 2005 draft, and those guys have a tendency to rush through the minors. The simple reason he got promoted was that high Class A wasn't much of a challenge. I could see him in Shea Stadium by the end of the year, especially because I see the rotation as the Mets' Achilles heel.

    Sounds good to me. No pressure Mike, the entire fan base will be looking to you to save the back end of the rotation.

    Mike A. (Chico, CA): If health was a non-issue: Pelfrey or Hughes?
    Jim Callis: (2:13 PM ET) Hughes, because he has a better breaking ball. But right now, factoring everything in, I'd give Pelfrey a slight edge.

    They are both good. Besides, I already said Pelfrey was better the other day and thought I ended the dispute.

    John (London): Jim - Can you give me 3-5 top prospects not named Delmon Young or BJ Upton who might have the opportunity and ability to come up in 2006 and produce for their major league clubs. An example of what I'm looking for is Jeff Francoeur of 2005.
    Jim Callis: (2:24 PM ET) Howie Kendrick just came up, so he's out. Alex Gordon would be the Royals' best hitter right now. Lastings Milledge (Mets), Stephen Drew (Diamondbacks), Brandon Wood (Angels, but may not get the opportunity), Carlos Quentin (Diamondbacks), Andy Marte (Indians).

    Lastings is serious.

    Kyle (Chico, CA): Could you envision a Pelfrey for Zito trade? Milledge for Zito?
    Jim Callis: (2:38 PM ET) I can't see the Mets giving up a potential star with no service time for someone they can sign as a free agent if they're patient.

    Yes, good point Jim, but if the Mets feel they are one pitcher away this year...look out.

    Andy (St. Louis): Milledge or Quentin?
    Jim Callis: (2:51 PM ET) Lastings Milledge.

    Quentin is serious. This is a good compliment.

    Trevor (Orange County, CA): Jessica - Alba, Simpson or Beil?
    Jim Callis: (2:54 PM ET) You can add more options, but you're not going to get me to pick against Jessica Alba.

    Evangeline Lilly...she wasn't an option? Too bad, the answer is always Lilly.

    Mike (NJ): In August: Pelfrey or Zambrano?
    Jim Callis: (2:58 PM ET) Pelfrey. I'd take him right now, too.

    I think we all would....

    Jenny (Durham): More exciting future: LA teams or NY teams?
    Jim Callis: (3:03 PM ET) LA teams.

    As much as the Mets have a bright future, the prospects in those two organizations is silly.

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