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

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Working Hard For Their Money

We are fifty games into the season and the Mets are in front of the surging Braves by 4.5 games. The Mets have the second best home record behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the entire Major Leagues and only the Detroit Tigers and the Texas Rangers have a better road record in the Majors while the Mets are tied with the Cardinals for the best road record in the National League.

Their bullpen has played a large part in their early success and have been worked hard though they have been a bit more mortal these days. They have been worked hard mostly because of the back end of the rotation and the lack of production being received from the last three starters. There has been only one time this season in which two starters not named Martinez or Tom Glavine were involved in a win streak and managed to notch a victory. The only time this season that scenario happened is when the Mets won seven in a row early in the season and Trachsel, Bannister, and Zambrano each picked up a victory during that streak. Since then, any consecutive victories involved one starter from the back end, Glavine and/or Martinez, and/or the bullpen. They have been the rally killers. They have been the anti-Pedro.

Now it seems like the Mets are sufficiently deep in terms of the rotation and should be getting starters going deep more consistently in games taking some pressure and innings off of the bullpen. If there is no relief for the bullpen in the second half, there might be some big problems down the stretch and come playoff time.
Name             G  IP   BB   H   SO   ERA  P/IP
Duaner Sanchez 79 98 38 73 70 2.30 15.4
Aaron Heilman 73 92 38 76 86 3.03 16.2
Billy Wagner 73 76 35 57 105 3.00 18.2
Darren Oliver 44 73 16 60 70 3.04 14.6
Pedro Feliciano 57 48 13 35 48 2.35 16.3
Chad Bradford 70 54 13 57 51 4.15 14.7
The Mets basically have two guys in Aaron Heilman in Duaner Sanchez who are on track to be over worked and they are the two biggest pieces to this bullpen. Salomon Torres, who threw 94.2 innings, and Scott Shields, who threw 91.2 innings, were the only players who totaled 90+ innings out of the bullpen in 2005 and neither Torres nor Schields topped 80 games. No one in the Mets bullpen is on target to top 80 games, but they are throwing a lot of pitches.

There are legitimate concerns about the bullpen getting over worked and even though Duaner likes to get his work in just about daily, something has to give. A reliever throwing a 100 innings it probably just too much when you consider they will be needed for more innings in the playoffs and got some work in during the World Baseball Classic as well. Willie routinely goes with those two for two innings at a time and one has to wonder what type of toll this will take on them towards the end of the year.

The Mets are going to win a lot of games this year and that means a lot of work for their big three relievers and it is tough situation for Willie. You do not want to get too caught up looking ahead at risk of losing games early in the regular season by not using your best relievers, but to ignore possible consequences as a result of today's actions is not the best way to go either. Juggling a bullpen and proper use of it could be the hardest thing for a manager to do and probably the most important thing for this Met team and their present and future successes.

* * *

  • I have not really been very critical of Willie this year, but putting the hit and run on with a strikeout guy at the plate in Jose Valentin and a slow guy at first base in Xavier Nady seems silly. Almost as silly as the first sentence below.

    "I'm the type of manager that I don't like to know a lot of information about teams," Randolph said. "I don't believe in all that. You go with your strengths and deal with other teams when they come in. It's a quick series, in and out. We know their players; we study their players, we have scouting reports and we deal with that."

    Yeah. Who needs information? While I get what he is really trying to say here, it could have been worded a bit better. As for his decision to hit a run last night, it ended up being a moot point since the Mets won with an amazing ninth inning capped by a Sugar Pants' game winning RBI, but it was still a curious move to say the least.

    "I keep reiterating it over and over ... but this team always comes back with an answer," Wright said after his bat provided a walk-off RBI for the fourth time this season. "One thing I've learned is that you have to want to be up in those situations ... and I think I've become pretty relaxed when I'm up there with the game on the line."

    When the Mets were down be run after the three run homer by Chad Tracy, I thought to myself that the Mets only needed one run. One run is not a big deal for this team no matter what inning. Sure enough, it was not a big deal.

  • I'm digging all of the soccer-style chants.

  • The unthinkable has happened. Jose Valentin is going to be the starting second baseman for the foreseeable future.

    "I'm 36 but I think I can still play every day," Valentin said. "Sometimes you just have to be patient and wait for your moment."

  • Cliff Floyd is heating up.

    "'Bout time. It's (almost) June 1," Floyd said last night after going 2-for-3 with a mammoth home run to lead off the bottom of the sixth in the Mets' 8-7 win. "Hopefully I'll continue to swing the bat well and we win and everybody can be happy."

    Since May 12th, Cliff is batting .310/.420/.595 with four doubles, a triple, a homer, and three RBIs. I think it is safe to say Cliffy is back.

  • No Pedro Beato for the New York Mets.

    he Mets were unable to come to terms with 19-year-old Pedro Beato, their 17th-round pick in last year's draft out of Xaverian who reportedly was seeking a seven-figure signing bonus after a strong season pitching for St. Petersburg J.C. The Mets had a deadline of 11:59 p.m. last night before he'd be eligible to re-enter this year's draft.

    Back to the drawing board.

    Blogger Condor Schmitt said...

    i dont know if you guys have seen the new yankee pitcher. The Yanks must spend crazy amounts of money on scouting.


    12:52 PM

    Blogger Condor Schmitt said...

    sorry that link isn't going to work. I hate this new comments section that doesnt auto link.


    12:54 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    That picture was scary. Very scary.

    Hate is a strong word Condor...

    1:00 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Without a good draft pick this year and without a strong draft class, why wouldn't the mets spend the extra money asked to tie up that Beato kid?

    1:01 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Well, we don't know the story. We knew he was asking for six figures so maybe he knew he had the Mets bent over and wanted to try and push it to 1.5 million or something. We know it's weak draft class and he is ranked 13th by BA. In a better year, he might be a late first rounder. Last year's 13th pick got $1.6 and last's year's draft was pretty decent, thought not great. The 22nd pick last year and a high school pitcher as well got $1.2 million.

    The Mets are looking at two international prospects that are position players and will cost 1,000,000 plus and maybe others. My guess is that the Mets had a ceiling with Beato, Beato wanted more and the Mets have too many other things on their plate to let Beato rip them off. Or at least rip them off in their estimation. You cannot blame Beato because he knew he had leverage, but there is no guarntee he gets the cash he by going into the draft again, but if he gets drafted 13th or higher, he probably will. If he drops to the end of the 2nd, he took a gamble, lost, and still gets the same amount of cash. The Mets were probably going to have to over pay to keep him out of the draft unless it was his dream to be a Met and I'm guessing it was not his dream to be a Mets because they Mets probably offered 1.2 mill.

    1:27 PM

    Blogger Count Choculitis said...

    First time, first time.

    I agree wholeheartedly on the bullpen situation. Every day I check out the box score, and I am amazed at how worked this bullpen is getting. We are fortunate Heath Bell has given 2+ innings of solid relief on 2 different occasions in the last week. These starters need to go 7 innings, and I am even willing to sacrifice a game to get my bullpen studs some rest. Otherwise they will tire like Mariano and Tom Gordon have tired the last 2 years. On a related note, Soler settled down and was pitching great last week. He had thrown 102 pitches. He is from Cuba. I am sure he throws 102 pitches in his sleep down there, and could throw 150 if need be. He should have stayed in the game another inning. Those innings will come in handy at the end of the year.

    1:48 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Welcome count...this is the first time you've read my crap-tastic page?

    I'd like to see Bell actually get some important spots down the line to help save Sanchez and Heilman. It might work out...it might not, but I agree with you that maybe sacrificing a game now and then by using Bell or something might be better down the line. It's not like they would be conceeding the game, Bell can pitch.

    As for Soler, there are no such things as pitch counts in Japan and Cuba. Those guys throw 150+ like it's going out of style.

    2:42 PM

    Anonymous Mikey H. said...

    Overworking the pen is definitely a concern, but I'm not too worried about Heilman considering he was starting at this time last year. Maybe if the rotation is solidified Omar can bring Pelfrey up for relief work a la Papelboner, assuming he keeps on improving at AA and AAA.

    Soccr-style chants? Like what? One of my favorites was when Beckham was playing for Man U.; the opposing team's fans would sing "Posh Spice takes it up the ass" to the tune of Camptown Races. Those Euros are nuts.

    Good to see Clffy back on track; I don't know why Willie kept him batting 6th while he was sucking and Nady and Chavez were swinging hot bats. Now hopefully it should pay off for him.

    Let's just hope this Beato kid isn't Clemens all over again.

    It's such a beautiful day out that to not see Lastings make his debut tonight would be a crime. Anyone else planning on going?

    3:26 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    The Olay, Olay, Olay chants....

    Maybe Posh does take it up the ass and maybe there were just stating fact?

    I thought Willie should have re worked the lineup too, but Nady was hitting worse with guys in scoring position, so maybe it was better he did not get mesed with.

    Beato? Doubtful. He's young and like four years away anyway, so what you do. He probably wanted too much most likely and if he did, you have to like them take a stand and not be extorted.

    I won't be going to the game. With Soler and Milledge there, what a ridiculous day to go see a game. I'd guess they'll have some nice walk up tickets today.

    4:14 PM

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