Odd Man Out?
The Mets problem is that they have run out of time before they properly looked at all in house options. For the time being, they are running with a six man rotation for at least one go around as the trade deadline closes in. With seven days left, Omar needs to figure out what he has in house and what he can realistically add from other teams in the league.
The White Sox are no longer interested in trading for a reliever as they acquired Mike MacDougal from the Royals and outside of a Barry Zito rumor, not much is going on in terms of impact players. The Mets have inquired about Cory Lidle, Rodrigo Lopez, and Jon Leiber, but I think we can all agree that a pitcher of their ilk is not the answer.
Pitcher 7+ 7 6+ 6 5 or more less than 5The Mets have six starters and there seems to be a large gap between the first two and the last four. El Duque was an intriguing guy that Omar picked up, but he has been inconsistent. He is second on the team with three outings less than five innings (one was rain shortened, but he was not having a sharp game anyway) in only ten starts. One Met starter has not made it through at least two innings in every start that did not get injured and that pitcher is Orlando Hernandez and he has done it twice. In a span of six games, he did not make it out of the second inning twice but completed seven innnigs in the other four.
John Maine 1 0 0 1 1 1
Mike Pelfrey 0 0 0 1 1 1
Steve Trachsel 0 2 1 9 4 4
Tom Glavine 2 5 3 6 4 1
Pedro Martinez 1 8 1 3 2 1
El Duque 1 4 0 1 1 3
His 4.80 ERA, 8.94 H/9, 7.79 K/9, 1.33 WHIP, and 2.98 BB/9 are really not bad for what he is expected to bring at the back end of the rotation and he obviously has the ability to put up an impressive start quite frequently. In his other eight starts in which he made it out of the second inning, he has a 3.18 ERA, 7.59 H/9, 7.59 K/9, 1.14 WHIP, and a 2.65 BB/9. Throw in the fact he has a 2.55 career playoff ERA in 106 innings with a 9-3 record, his veteran presence is off the charts in the Mets eyes and the Mets will be keeping him in the mix. The problem is, he is older. Eventually his playoff magic will allude him. He was spectacular in relief for the White Sox in the ALDS last year, but walked four in one inning in the World Series. I do I like El Duque because of what he can bring.
That brings us to Steve Trachsel who leads the team in starts less than five innings and has failed to go at least five in 20% of his starts. Trachsel has started twenty games this year and has not pitched an outing in which he blanked his opponents. He has given up at least one run each time out, at least three runs on eleven occasions, and at least four runs on eight occasions. His line of a 5.14 ERA, 10.36 H/9, 4.24 K/9, 1.63 WHIP, and 4.32 BB/9 is just horrendous. The Mets simply are not in a position to toy around with him for the year at the expense of not finding out what they actually have.
If a trade does not alleviate the log jam of mediocrity for the Mets, Maine or Pelfrey will likely be moved into the bullpen or down to AAA. I do think the Mets are wrongly married to the idea of Trachsel in the rotation as Steve really has not pitched well all year. His ERA was under 4.00 for exactly three starts. It has been under 4.50 for only five starts of twenty. John Maine and Mike Pelfrey at least represent upside. Getting them in the mix for the remainder in the year could produce a product far more helpful than Steve Trachsel. In fact, if you are worried about big league post-season experience, Trachsel has as much as Maine and Pelfrey. You never like to turn your back on a player who has been solid and loyal to you team in the past, but it is hard to please everyone and put the best team on the field. If Maine and Pelfrey keep showing the Mets something in their next start or two and Trachsel continues to look horrible, Omar has to make the tough decision.
General manger Ken Williams fortified the White Sox's bullpen Monday by acquiring flame-throwing Mike MacDougal from the Royals for two pitching prospects but said he was unwilling to deal any of his major-leaguers for a high-prized talent such as Nationals outfielder Alfonso Soriano.
That includes pitcher Brandon McCarthy, whose name has surfaced in trade reports.
Lumson appears to be decent prospect, but none are either to lose sleep over if sent packing as they were.
"We're at a certain level, a certain mode of operation that I'd make no apologies for," Williams said. "We are who we are, and who we're about is trying to win a championship."
Somehow I think if the Mets went after him, at 23 year old with decent numbers at AA and a decent pitching prospect from A-ball would not have gotten it done. I guess that is just the roadblocks that Omar will always face when trying to make deals.
Trading is always a risk-reward business. Sacrificing Lastings Milledge, a 21-year-old mercurial talent, for a potential rental acquisition, Barry Zito, is a risk not worth taking if the reward is a possible wild-card berth or a chance at a division title.
It is, however, worth taking when the reward is winning the World Series.
Winning the World Series can obviously not be guaranteed and that is the problem. Nothing can guarantee a World Series. Not even a $200 million payroll, but Omar is in a tough spot. He has a great chance to win it all this year and truly appears one good starting pitcher away, but he also has a team that is poised to be in it to win it for a long time after this season. If the trade that Brooks proposed went down for Zito, it is entirely possible the Mets lose Zito after this season ends and loses Milledge. Not only can they lose both, the team that signs him most likely be a team drafting in the 2nd half of the 1st round. That means Omar could get Zito, not win the World Series, lose him in the off-season, Milledge would be in Oakland, and the Mets would only have a sandwich pick and a late second round pick to show for it. Worst case scenario? Yes. Possible? Entirely. The Mets would most likely be forced to keep Zito and overpay for his services, but you never know what can happen when the Yankees are involved in the chase for Zito as many suspect.
"We are not going to comment," ESPN VP Josh Krulewitz said.
He misses more than a month with a sprained knee, and comes back to go 9-for-17 in his first four games to raise his season line to .345/.402/.514 in 148 at-bats. You can almost hear the Mets fans singing, "I remember long ago another starry night like this, in the firelight Fernando." Well, maybe not. But it would be funny if you could.
Victor Diaz makes his first appearance of the year in the weekly Baseball America piece, but not in the way he wanted I'm sure. Diaz landed on the Not-So-Hot portion of the article.
Victor Diaz, of, Mets (Triple-A Norfolk)
Technically no longer a prospect because he has too many big league at-bats, but we just wanted to point out the fact that he is 8-for-58 in July. But hey, at least he has no home runs.
1. OF Bobby Abreu to the Yankees
Yes, it would certainly help them and just make their ability to get on base otherworldly.
2. SS Julio Lugo to the Rockies
Barmes helped me win my fantasy baseball league last year with some crazy months, but this year? Not so much. Lugo is a beast this season and the Rockies have some decent talent to deal from in their farm system including an enigmatic starter in Juan Morillo who has reportedly been clocked at 102 mph.
3. OF Jacque Jones to the A's
Beane is always in the tough position of winning today but being mindful of the future. He never wants to do a typical rebuilding and is always in the hunt and wants to keep it that way.
4. OF Alfonso Soriano to the Angels
The Angels need a Soriano like Balls Deep needs a legitimate closer and a complete game.
5. SP Paul Byrd to the Mets
Interesting, but Byrd is not putting this team over the hump.
"It doesn't matter if I rest," Lo Duca said. "It's not going to do me any good. That's not an issue. I'll get it taken care of at the end of the year."
It sounds like he is alluding to surgery to correct the problem, but I'm sure playing less will help alleviate the pain, no?
Brian Bannister, who hurt his right hamstring on April 26, threw a side session yesterday in Florida. The rookie righty is expected to start a rehab assignment tomorrow with Class A St. Lucie.
Carlos Beltran drove in his 80th run, setting a franchise record for center fielders. Lee Mazzilli and Brian McRae had 79 RBI.
Binghamton beat New Hampshire 7-5 and Carlos Gomez remains on fire. Gomez now has his average up to .274 after a 3 for 5 game with two runs scored, a double, a triple, and three RBIs. I wonder if his July surge has raised his value? Michel Abreu continues to just rake and went 3 for 5 with two runs scored, a double, and an RBI.
St. Lucie beat Sarasota 3-2 behind a seven inning performance by Phil Humber. Humber gave up two hits, one earned run on one homer, two walks, and struck out four as he lowered his ERA to 2.73 and raised his record to 3-1 with St. Lucie. Mike Carp was 1 for 3 with his ninth homerun of the year.
Hagerstown beat Kannapolis 13-1 behind another great outing by Delois Guerra. Deolis went six innings and gave up five hits, one run, and no walks while striking out two to lower his ERA to 2.69 and up his record to 4-6.
John Holdzkom finally pitched a shut out inning and picked up his second save of the year in the GCL Mets win over the GCL Marlins.