The Not So Great Debate
Joel Sherman did a piece yesterday in regards to John Maine stating his case to be the fourth starter behind Pedro, Glavine, and The Duque. It is something that most of us probably agree on and many of us are not exactly looking forward to Steve Trachsel making any October starts.
Trachsel, whose 371 career starts without appearing in the postseason (though he started for the Cubs against the Giants in a one-game playoff for the 1998 NL wild card, considered a regular-season game) are the most among active pitchers, is the only one of the 44 qualifiers to have walked more hitters than he has struck out and his 4.11 strikeouts per nine innings are the second worst. That might be tolerable if Trachsel were a groundball specialist. He is not, having allowed a homer on average every 62/3 innings.
The real crux of the problem is that Trachsel probably has no place starting in the playoffs with the Mets given options and will probably not be effective out the bullpen. He is known to take a while to warm up and like a Tom Glavine, does not really translate well into the bullpen. I do not subscribe to the theory that he should be the de facto fourth starter in the playoffs because he cannot make it as a reliever while John Maine would probably have no issues making the transition to the pen, but the best four guys should be giving the Mets the best chance to win.
Who have been the top four? A good way guage that is by game scores. I like game scores because they can break down each game and quantify each start. Every pitcher starts off with fifty points and can add points with a strikeout, every out recorded, and every inning pitched over the fourth inning while losing points for walks, runs, earned runs, and hits allowed. Between John Maine, Steve Trachsel, Tom Glavine, Pedro Martinez, and The Duque, the average game score to date is 51.12.
John Maine has topped that in 67% of his six starts, Steve Trachsel has topped that in 22% of his twenty-three starts, Tom Glavine has topped that in 42% of his twenty-four starts, Pedro Martinez has topped that in 72% of his eighteen starts, and The Duque has topped that in 50% of his twelve starts. Granted John Maine's sample size is smaller, but it still should be noted that he topped the current five starters average game score four times in six starts while Steve Trachsel has done it only five times in twenty-three starts.
Pitcher VORPThough Trachsel pitched well last night and is only one win off the NL lead, it still seems like a mistake to start him come playoff time. My main fear is that regardless of performance the rest of the season, the Mets will go with their veterans. Pedro and Glavine are givens and with The Duque's playoff experience mixed with his success as a Met this season, three spots are taken barring disaster. While that last spot may seem unimportant, it is. The Mets have one starter over 40, another starter with a 40-year old arm, and one starter who could be 60 and they will be using four starters. When you are playing in a short series, every game counts. Though Steve has no playoff experience, he is still a 'crafty' vet and we know the Mets and Willie's tendency to side with age. The Mets seem to be getting more confident when it comes to trusting their youth and I seriously hope that trend continues.
Darren Oliver 26.0
Mr. Billy Wags 17.4
John Maine 16.4
Hernandez 11.2 (includes his bad starts with AZ)
Heath Bell 4.2
Mike Pelfrey 0.1
Royce Ring 0.1
Howard Johnson's days with the Mets look numbered. Sources say the Triple-A hitting coach was denied permission to attend his son Glen's competition in a Wilmington, N.C., tournament for rising high school seniors that's heavily scouted by major-league teams. Johnson went for a few days anyway, and when he returned for Norfolk's game at Buffalo on Friday, he was told to go home.
I absolutely wanted HoJo and Gary Carter in the mix for some type of Major League coaching job with the Mets next season and hopefully this does not hamper that. Aside from that, HoJo should have been allowed a few days off. What damage could him not being around for a few days to coach a bunch of big league retreads have done anyway?
To pay the full amount without deferral, "is like charity" said one member of the Met hierarchy. "We love Darryl, we've tried to help him out, but we're not in the business of giving money away."
Strawberry shouldn't have had any money problems at this point in his life, but him and Doc still remain two of the most disappointing stories in the history of baseball.
If Reyes isn’t going to be a .370 OBP guy—and keep in mind, he might get there by batting .320 rather than walking 60 times—he’s still a valuable hitter, just miscast in the leadoff spot. A shortstop who hits .290/.345/.465 with 30 net steals—a realistic, even pessimistic expectation for Reyes over the next few years—pushes his team towards a championship and is well worth $12 million over three seasons. To return to a name I mentioned earlier, Reyes is a better player than Rafael Furcal was at 23, and Furcal went on to produce five wins a year from 24-26.
.290/.345/.465 and 30 steals pessimistic? Absolutely. I've said it before here, but Reyes in the two spot would be ideal with a .370-type OBP guy leading off. The kid can produce. The fact that Reyes and Wright will be here for so long makes grown men giddy.
Phil Hughes beat the B-Mets with five shut-out innings of baseball. Willie Collazo got roughed up for fourteen hits and six runs in six innings.
The St. Lucie Mets played two yesterday and Fernando Martinez went 2 for 3 with a run scored and a double in the Mets game one victory. In game two, things only got better. Martinez went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, a triple, his second high A ball homerun and two RBIs. He is now batting .350 in his short stint with St. Lucie.
His wife however, seems to be a soft porn star.
But the Mets star's estranged wife - whose family described her as a good Christian - posed for Playboy three times and even starred in a soft-core porn DVD titled "Latin Lovelies" for the magazine.
In the made-for-video flick, the sexy San Antonio native and another woman pick up a guitar-toting guy, then take him back to a cabin where they strip naked and dance for him.
I just cannot respect that. Soft porn? If you are going to do it, go all the way. I'm sure Paullie Ballgame's lawyer will try and use this to tear down her character. Paul may still say he loves her now, but it will probably get ugly.
I'm glad Mike is happy and doing well in San Diego and he looked very happy about the great welcome he received. Parting ways worked out best for both sides.