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

Saturday, May 13, 2006

What to Expect? The Jeremi Gonzalez File

I was not at all interested or pulling for Lima Time! to get a start for the Mets this year, but I must admit, I have been somewhat interested in seeing Jeremi Gonzalez get a shot to throw in a big league game for some reason. Gonzalez last pitched in the bigs in 2005 for the Boston Red Sox. He throws predominantly fastballs and tosses them about 75% of the time. He throws two different fastballs as he throws a four seam rising fastball that tops out at 92 and a two seam sinking fastball that tops at 89.

His second pitch is his slider. His slider gets thrown in the mid 80's and gets used about 15% of the time while he keeps it out of the strike zone a lot of the time. He also has a curveball that he uses which is decent and a changeup which is his weakest pitch relative the other ones. I say relative to the other ones because they all may be weak for all we know compared to an average Major Leaguer. He will try and work each side of the plate and stay out of the middle. Not surprisingly with a guy who works the edges that does not own pinpoint accuracy, Gonzalez can get a bit wild. At this point he is nothing more than a middle reliever and a spot starter, but he might be able to give the Mets a solid start before he gets thrown to the wolves and starts the first game in the Yankees series unless Brian Bannister can make it back by then, which I am mixed on anyway.

He faces a weak Brewers team today that has had trouble offensively all year with the exception of last night which is somewhat encouraging. His last two years in the big leagues have resulted in ERAs north of 6.00 in decent sample sizes while posting solid numbers in AAA in each of those years. Last year, he had a 2.61 ERA with a 5-2 record in eleven starts for Pawtucket. This year, he has been Norfolk's best starter with a 3.03 ERA, a 7.57 K/9, a 1.12 WHIP, and has allowed only one homer in 35.2 innings. Being that he might get at least two starts, I am feeling a split from him. Check that. I'm praying for a split from him. I'm predicting/praying he will give the Mets a win tonight and I figure he will lose in his next start to the Yankees. If they Mets could get a .500 record from him, it would be an absolute success. That also gives the Mets two starts to figure out what they are doing with the last two spots in the rotation because they simply cannot leave Lima Time! and/or Gonzalez in the rotation for very long if they enjoy sitting in first place.

* * *

  • Heath Bell is trying to make me look bad.

    Heath Bell's four-day stay ended when the Mets returned him to Triple-A Norfolk after last night's game in anticipation of activating Gonzalez. With a 40-man roster spot needed, relievers Bartolome Fortunato and Matt Lindstrom would seem the most vulnerable. Bell allowed two runs and four hits in an inning against the Brewers in his second '06 appearance.

    He didn't look good in his two innings and he absolutely needed to.

  • On Livan:

    The Mets might aggressively pursue Livan Hernandez as the trading deadline nears, if the Nationals become more inclined to absorb some of the $7 million owed to the innings-eating righthander in 2007.

    I didn't know he was due money in 2007 too. I'm not sure I can condone that, but this team is desperate. If he takes up a spot in the rotation it certainly makes it tough for them to pursue Barry Zito or some other better option that it is clear they need.

  • On John Maine:

    John Maine (finger inflammation) is ready to grip a baseball for the first time since landing on the DL, according to Randolph.

    It is sad that the Mets have gotten to a point where Maine getting healthy is a big deal.

  • Let it go...

    He then was asked if he liked pitching at Yankee Stadium, a question that certainly was an attempt to measure Zito's interest in becoming a full-time resident of the Bronx. He was noncommittal.

    "I like pitching here, it's a great park," he said, before adding: "But I like pitching everywhere. It's the big leagues."


    What do you expect him to say? They 1.5 games out of first with Rich Harden on the DL. They are going for it.

  • 22 Comments:

    Anonymous benny blanco from da Queens said...

    I have always liked this idea from writers and fans that, "Barry Zito is going (insert destination).
    It NEVER occured to people that, ya know, the Oakland A's might be good!

    10:55 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Yeah, 1.5 games out of first. Why do so many in the NY media assume that every team should just trade the Yankees...and not somewhat the Mets their players despite how they are playing?

    11:19 AM

     
    Anonymous DG said...

    Equally optimistic on Gonzalez. I think it was pretty clear from last night that Lima is really through (Darren Oliver's meatball didn't look too palatable either!). I mean, you knew that there was no way he'd go five innings and let up one run. It's over, Jose. Now you can cut an album or something. Watch him become a pitching coach!...

    HBell did not help himself nor the Mets for that matter. I appreciate your affection for the guy, but I lost the same sometime last season - actually I remember exactly when, an eleven pitch atbat with Derek Lee if I'm correct that culminated in a home run. He has good velocity, zero movement. It's pretty clear that the major league book on him is wait for a hard heater and key in. There's no surprise to it, regrettably. The Mets, who clearly lost faith in him sometime last year, made a big mistake to bring him up; I hate to say it but they've compromised his value somewhat.

    Soler had a good start yesterday, but was a quality start a disappointment after the prior starts? Too harsh, perhaps, but such is the land of pining expectations otherwise known as pleasesaveusfromLima!

    12:40 PM

     
    Anonymous Brian B said...

    People can talk about how omar should have had a plan for another starter before trading benson, and we should have done this and that and call up so and so... but this... this right here, it makes my heart hurt.

    "It's likely Scott Kazmir will pitch Tuesday against Chicago, moving up a day in the rotation.
    With two off days before his next start, Kazmir will likely take Doug Waechter's turn. In his past three starts, Kazmir is 3-0 with a 1.37 ERA and 23 strikeouts. May. 13 - 11:06 am et"

    Kazmir is like an abusive girlfriend for me. I want so badly to get away from it, but for some reason i just keep going back for more.

    1:29 PM

     
    Anonymous Mike from Brooklyn said...

    It is ironic that the Yankees are the ideal exapmle in how to survive Zambrano/Bannister absence - getting Chacon and bringing up Small basically saved their season last year (though look at how the Highlanders fared in the postseason). Of course we are all in "win now" mode, but with Cliffy in decline (sad but true) and Pelfry a stud for the future, making patches to get through this season w/out a big trade is (to me) the best course of action. Heilman seems to be the swing guy, but I am still torn on his effectiveness as a starter (and have yet to catch up on the posts on this). The Mets got as much as they might have expected from the big three in Philly and still lost 2 of three, so something's got to give (or move) and I think it's Heilman.

    Hope to be a bit more active here (not just as a frontrunner!) as this is a wonderful source for Mets info and other tibits...

    1:38 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I kiked this post.

    I agree on Gonzalez. For some reason I think his stuff could be decent enough for a 5th starter. Lima as quoted on Mikes Mets (ala Traxx) cannot throw enuff for strikes.

    Again. In contrast to Lima time and as pre-empted by Seo last yr, its time to elevate Aaron.

    2:23 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    DG, it is straight, but I don't think his slider looks half bad. Whatever, he didn't have a big window and he knew that. Not good for him because they are just not high on him and needed to come up.

    Brian b, that shit gets to me too. Really, everytime I think about how great it would be to have him right now being a true #3 at least, if not higher. How big would that be for the Mets right now?

    something's got to give (or move) and I think it's Heilman.

    There really is no other choice. Before you go and deal away a top prospect, make sure you exhuast all your options and figure out what you have while there is time.

    Thanks for the compliment too...

    its time to elevate Aaron.

    I think we all in agreement here seing what the rest has to offer. The only other choice is Soler and his an unknown. At least Heilman is more known.

    2:42 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi Michael,
    I share your concern about Bannister. I think what ultimatly makes the difference with control pitchers is how smart they are (and of course mental toughness). Glavine and Maddux are the best examples. They couldn't overpower you, they just outsmarted everybody. Glavine called it outexcuting. We know Bannister is smart, and is supposed to have very good control. Is he tough enough? Probably. Time will tell but the fact that he's smart is very important.

    3:09 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I think it might be time to move heilman into a starting pitching role as well. I was kind of resistant to this idea at first because of the question of his not really having 3 big league pitches that all go for strikes. However how can we keep this back end rotation of slop? Traschel has not looked sharp either. I know he's stevie trash and he'll probably put up his typical era and wins for the season but what if he doesnt? So we mess with the bullpen a little, i know its our strength but what good is a strong bullpen if our 3 backend starts overwork them?

    I'm still conflicted about this, but whats the worst that happens? heilman isn't a good starter and we move him back to the pen? Feliciano has looked respectable, heath bell.... did not impress, jorge julio has a ridiuclous K/IP ratio. There is hope in the pen, but there is no hope for lima time, and I'm not impressed with J gonz either.

    3:50 PM

     
    Anonymous Kyle said...

    Mike, you do realize that since you've pussed out and appeased the whiny bitches by going back to the old site design, the Mets are 0-2. They were 1-0 with the new design. Going back was just bad mojo.

    4:25 PM

     
    Blogger Condor Schmitt said...

    On Livan. When the dude is pitching well he takes a lot of pressure off of the bullpen which is something to consider when we realize that Pedro and Tom are getting long in the tooth. Get Livan as long as the price in assets we give back is low.

    Zito will take Traxx rotation position and hopefully Livan will fill Zambrano's hole. I just hope Omar isn't pressured into re-upping for one more year with Zambrano!!!

    Bell threw you under the bus big time brutha! All that faith, all that failure!

    6:37 PM

     
    Anonymous Brian B said...

    Joy, Valentin is starting in left field today...

    Lets hope for the best, buy the way has anybody looked at Jeremi Gonzalez face? That is one ugly bastard.

    6:54 PM

     
    Anonymous DG said...

    Gonzalez is ugly, but we got a good result from him, especially as a fly ball pitcher in a hitter's park. He should fair better at Shea.

    Though not a fan of him, Valentin looked okay in the WBC and finally did something last night.

    5:45 AM

     
    Anonymous John said...

    Guys,

    I know this willnot be a popular rant, but reading between the lines, I think this is what may happem:

    I think Heilman gets traded for a starter. He wants to start and Omar and Willie don't want to start him. In reading Omar's comments since VZ went down, it's pretty obvious he wants another top of the rotation guy; and in the next nreath, he says he refuses to give up Pelfry or Milledge. So, how does he expect to get a top of the line guy without giving up one or both of those guys (I hope he is true to his word here - NOBODY outside of Pujols is worth either right now)? I think a package of Heilman, Diaz and maybe another prospect or a Keppinger type may get us a Willis or possibly a Zito.

    Minus Pelfry and/or Milledge, I see nobody else that has that kind of value outside of Heilman. It makes a lot of sense to me to move him for a quality starter, and here's why. If we move him into the rotation as many here have suggested, we replace him in the pen with who, Julio. Trading him does basically the same thing. Now the question becomes; would we rather have Heilman or Xillis/Zito starting game 3 in the post season? I think the answer is pretty obvious.

    Can we get a guy like Piniero or somebody like that for less than Heilman? That is another road to explore. I would rather go with what we got until the deadline and save everything we have for Zito or Milledge.

    Okay, I'm done.

    9:52 AM

     
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