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

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Last Word

This is the last I'll say about Heilman and what I think his role on this team should be.

My stance has not change since Spring Training. I looked at this rotation before Zambrano went down and I thought this rotation was one #3 starter away from being perfect. Now that Zambrano went down, it is 100% necessary they get that #3. "But Mike, Zambrano sucked and that should not be a reason to panic because we just have to replace his spot in the rotation", says the concerned reader. Might I remind you, there was a mediocre reliever in Juan Padilla that went down to set the unstoppable chain of events in motion that gave Aaron Heilman his assignment in the bullpen.

Now that Zambrano is down, a lot of people are saying that Bannister will be back soon and not to worry. Well I for one was worrying about Brian when he was the fifth starter and now he will be relied heavily upon at this point. More than he should be relied on. In his last three starts, Bannister has gone five innings in each while allowing two base runners per inning. It should be noted that his ERA was still 3.00, but he has a lot to prove still as he still might implode. As of now, he went from a question mark to a given to produce when he comes back for some.

Now we are looking forward to two rookies coming back off the DL to save this rotation. Just let that sink in. The Mets simply do not have the depth to carry two rookie pitchers in Maine and Bannister and a mediocre starter in Tracshel. That will not cut it and that is what we are looking at once this fiasco gets settled and they come off the DL. If Pedro and Glavine win forty games as a best case scenario, you have to figure the Mets will need fifty five more wins to make the playoffs safely. It should also be noted the Mets have never had two guys win twenty games and only have had two starters total forty win once when Tom Seaver won twenty-five and Jerry Koosman won seventeen. Since the Mets teams of the 80's which had six consecutive years of four starters with double digit wins, the Mets have only had two seasons with four starters in double digit wins and eight seasons with three. Since 1980, the Mets only had three starters top fifty wins three times.

If this team is going to make the playoffs, they need at least forty combined from Pedro and Glavine, figure twenty one wins from the bullpen, and thirty four from the back end. With two rookies and Tracshel in the rotation, who thinks they can do that? Keep in mind, Pedro, Glavine, and Benson had thirty-eight between them last season and you are asking Tracshel and two rookies to come close to that feat. That is no small task even if eleven wins per starter seems easily attainable. Also, I have no idea how I can check these stats, but how often has a team with two rookies making 50+ starts between them made the World Series?

Really, unless Soler proves effective, and he might, the Mets are making a conscious decision to run a really bad rotation out of there because they do not want to subtract from the BEST bullpen. Know this. If I order a Whopper with bacon and cheese and they forget to put bacon on, I still have a fucking swell burger. It may not taste quite as good, but it is still good. If you take one great reliever out of bullpen with three great relievers, you still have a very good bullpen. Besides, I can bet most people will agree that your third best starter is much more important than your third best reliever.

All this will take time to sort out and maybe Maine/Bannister/Soler step it up and fill those back end spots nicely. We do not need ACE performances every time out, but if you add up the lost starts because of Lima and Gonzalez and then the starts it will take to figure out if Maine and Bannister are those guys, you have A LOT of games and A LOT innings thrown by the pen. No decision is easy or clear cut, but one does seem more logical. I’ll roll the dice with a rotation of Glavine, Pedro, Traxx, Heilman, and Bannister/Soler/Maine than any other in-house option with Bell and Julio trying to fill Heilman's shoes. Sure Heilman is better, but I think his innings in the bullpen can be more easily replaced than his possible production in the rotation.

We know the Mets are standing firm right now with Heilman being a reliever
, but at the very least, he can start for the next few weeks to see what they have. Ramiro Mendoza was very valuable as a reliever that made some starts for the Yankees great run and if they are reluctant to make a permanent move with Heilman, that is an option the Mets could pursue. I really do not think you are messing with his mind either since you can sit him down and tell him you need him more in the pen for the season, but right now, he is needed in the rotation to bridge the gap. The kid has accepted everything said to him and has been a team player. Who knows. Maybe you put him in the rotation for three or four starts and Heath Bell shows you something. At the very least, it is worth a temporary shot until the Mets pick up some mid-range starter via trade or another option presents itself.

With the Mets only three game up right now, who thinks they have games to throw away? We are not sure if Maine, Lima Time!, Gonzalez, Soler, etc. can get Major League hitters out, but I do know of one guy who has been getting them out with regularity since 2005 and that is the bottom line.

* * *

  • I know I'm a day late and a dollar short, but this was very disturbing.

    By the way, Peterson has long felt betrayed by the "10 minutes" comment being leaked. But I have it on good authority that he also felt it was purposely misrepresented to shift the blame to him after the ill-fated trade. The pitching coach was asked if he could correct a specific mechanical issue with Zambrano's delivery, and he answered on an internal conference call with that comment.

    Of course if you ask the pitching coach about a guy that throws hard and has tons of natural movement, he is going to want to get his hands on them. Did he approach them about the trade? No, but if you ask the guy, he's going to give you his opinion. To insinuate he was a guy that had much to do with trading Kazmir for Zambrano is silly. The thing that is clearly apparent with Omar on board is that his team's office seems more solidified. They seem more sure of what they are doing.

  • The Baseball Prospectus Hit List is out and the Mets are holding their own.

    On the right end of some dramatic victories, and now 9-2 in one-run games. Still, when injuries to the rotation--the latest a torn flexor tendon that will cost Victor Zambrano the season due to a communication breakdown--portend the arrival of the owner of both the American and National League records for highest ERA in a season of 30+ starts, you have to wonder whether the Mets are living on borrowed time now that the clock has struck Lima Time.

    First off, that is great that they are winning one run games. That says a lot about their bullpen for sure, but one run games will catch up to a team eventually. Secondly, it just cracks me up that everyone and their mother refers to Jose Lima as Lima Time. Seriously, can't they just put that on the man's jersey?

    While on the entire ranking topic, CBS Sportsline has their power ranking out.

    They are still sitting pretty at number two.

    Their early cushion is shrinking, thanks more to the red-hot Phillies, who host the Mets for three this week. The back of the rotation with Jose Lima and TBD is really scary now, too. Expect the Mets to slide a few spots, or more, next week.

  • David Wright is only three inches!!! I have proof.

    McFarlane Toys and the New York Mets are teaming up to bring fans the action-figure debut for one of Major League Baseball's brightest young stars. David Wright is entering his third season with the Mets, where he's quickly established himself as a brilliant fielder, a dangerous hitter, and one of the fans' favorite players.

    This 3-inch Sports Picks figure marks the first time McFarlane Toys has made a David Wright figure, and it's coming exclusively to the stores at Shea Stadium and online through their minor-league affiliate the Brooklyn Cyclones (at www.brooklyncyclones.com). The production run of these David Wright figures will be limited to 10,000 pieces.

  • You cannot argue with this logic.

    But the ultimate player to be named later has to be Cardinals shortstop Jose Gonzalez, who was traded to the Giants in 1984—and promptly changed his name to Jose Uribe because, as he put it, “There are too many Gonzalezes in baseball!”

    Sometimes someone says something that there is just no rebuttal for. That was one of them.

    I stole the link from Metstradamus and he'll just have to live with it.

  • Alay Soler cracks the top ten on the prospect hot sheet for the first time ever.

    5. Alay Soler, rhp, Mets (Double-A Binghamton)
    After fanning 32 in 28 Florida State League innings, the 26-year-old Cuban defector allowed one run while fanning nine in his Eastern League debut. The Mets rotation could use some help and might turn to this righthander, who has allowed just three runs in 35 professional innings.

  • While it's better than Danny Garcia night, Brian Bannister night? On September 6th, the Brooklyn Cyclones are having Brian Bannister night. Shouldn't they wait until he sticks in the rotation first? Or are they just going to start giving nights out for whichever Brooklyn Cyclone hits the bigs? Either way, Bannister night seems like a good excuse to make it out Brooklyn to catch a game. If you have never been, it's solid. You go watch a game, take a spin on Cyclone and go get the biggest beers you have ever seen at Nathan's and eat some greasy food after the game.

  • From the ESPN Rumor Mill:

    May 9 - According to Newsday, the Mets may consider a trade for Livan Hernandez. Mets GM Omar Minaya acquired Hernandez while he was Expos GM, and the Nationals right-hander could be a more realistic target than Barry Zito or Dontrelle Willis.

    He's struggling this year, but I would still welcome him and think he is worth a shot. He could certainly be had without taking a big chip like Milledge and would be the #3 starter the Mets so direly need. It is amazing how much one decent starter would change my outlook on the rotation.

  • Delmon Young gets a fifty game suspension for hurling a bat an umpire.

    "I could not conclude definitely that he intended to hit the umpire with the bat," Mobley said. "He expressed to me that he intended to throw his bat and then his helmet back to home plate to demonstrate his disagreement with the umpire. Obviously, something went drastically wrong with that plan."

    Yes, it is safe to say something went drastically wrong with that highly intelligent plan. Although I would have liked to see him sit this season out because that bat was moving at a fucking swell velocity, fifty games is still nothing to sneeze at.

  • Jake, I hope you feel conflicted about your big night for Moose Knuckles with Brett Myers leading the charge.

  • If Bonds took a few lessons in public relations, he might not have the animosity towards him like he does.

    "As a cancer person as I am, who would want to talk to me, anyway?" Bonds said, referring to being contacted by other teams once 2006 ends. "I'm supposed to be the biggest cancer around."

    I have no problems with guy and love watching him myself, but he has to understand where this overall negative perception of him comes from.

  • If anyone listens to Opie and Anthony regularly, they would have heard an Earl Weaver clip when he just goes ape shit on Manager's Corner. However, managers back in the day used to do that all the time. It was not a rare Bill Parcells’ type blow-up either. They were Bill Parcells x 10 all the time. From the top worst teams of all time list, here is a Casey Stengel quote when he coached the #3 worst all time team which was the 1962 Mets.

    But, as his manager Casey Stengel would note, "Marv's glove fields better without Marv in it."

    Classic. It certainly would liven up the game to get some honesty back from managers. Not all the time of course, but all these goody two shoes, say the right thing crap gets to me sometimes.

    Some Earl Weaver gems...

    Every time I fail to smoke a cigarette between innings, the opposition will score.

    If you know how to cheat, start now.

    On my tombstone just write, 'The sorest loser that ever lived.'

    The key to winning baseball games is pitching, fundamentals, and three run homers.

    We're so bad right now that for us back-to-back home runs means one today and another one tomorrow.

    You got a hundred more young kids than you have a place for on your club. Every one of them has had a going away party. They kissed everybody and said, "See you in the majors in two years." You see these poor kids who shouldn't be there in the first place. You write on the report card "4-4-4 and out." That's the lowest rating in everything. Then you call 'em in and say, "It's the consensus among us that we're going to let you go back home." If you say it mean enough, maybe they do themselves a favor and don't waste years learning what you can see in a day. They don't have what it takes to make the majors, just like I never had it.

    "Team speed, for Christ's Sake, you get fuckin' goddamn little fleas on the fuckin' bases getting picked off trying to steal, getting thrown out, taking runs away from you. You get them big cocksuckers who can hit the fuckin' ball out of the fuckin' ballpark and you can't make any goddamn mistakes." - Earl Weaver explaining his preference for power in response to a question from a fan on a Baltimore-area radio show as to why the Orioles did not get more team speed.

    "We're like old underwear. We're creeping up on you."

    That stuff pales in comparison to the Manger's Corner clips...

    Clip 1
    Clip 2

    Use your own discretion at work.

  • Mike Pelfrey was solid for Binghamton last night giving up two earned runs and striking out ten in seven innings.

    What was most impressive, and a good indication of his maturity as a pitcher, was Pelfrey's command of the strike zone and poise late in the game, when he escaped a seventh-inning jam with minimal damage. Mixing an effortless fastball that touched 95 mph frequently - and topped out at 96 - with an effective changeup, Pelfrey threw 89 pitches and consistently was able to stay ahead in counts.

    "I'd give myself a B," he said. "I made a few mistakes, left a few pitches over the middle of the plate, and my breaking ball ... sometimes it was there, sometimes it wasn't. But I showed (the Mets) some stuff tonight. I located some good fastballs and breaking balls. You could see flashes of what I can do."

    He's good. However, I just think he needs more time. Even Justin Verlander had twenty minor league starts (with two not so good big league ones in 2005) before getting a permant role in the rotation and I think they are comperable in terms of stuff. In fact, Verlander is a notch above because his secondary pitch is much better in his curveball than Mike Pelfrey's off speed pitch. Pelfrey has seven starts. There are better options than him and if the Mets can stave off any call-up prior to September, I think that would be the best idea.

  • Jeremi Gonzalez will get the start against the Brewers this Friday.

    Blogger J. Mark English said...

    Gotta be happy now as we're up by eight :-)

    10:04 PM

    Anonymous Jason said...

    Everything you said about Heilman getting in the rotation is dead-on, IMHO. The thought of Lima on that hill wearing Mex's number makes me throw up in my mouth.

    Now Mrs. Lima, we like her...

    10:45 PM

    Blogger Metstradamus said...

    I feel so violated.

    2:33 AM

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