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

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Time Has Finally Come

The Yankees learned yesterday that a top free agent, the right-handed starter Daisuke Matsuzaka, will be available this winter.

As expected, Matsuzaka’s Japanese team, the Seibu Lions, agreed to post him for major league teams, who will submit sealed bids for the right to negotiate with him.

Wow, I hope the Mets find out about this too, Omar and Fred might be interested in Daisuke. Matsuzaka broke into the Japanese League at 18 years old and has been dominant since day one. He owns a mid 90's fastball and owns a career record of 108 - 60 and has a career ERA of 3.07. Daisuke was 16 - 7 with a 2.83 ERA in 2003 and he started 19 games. He struck out 215 people in 194 innings while walking only 63. In 2004 he is 9-6 with a 2.96 ERA. His strikeouts were down that year and his walks were up, but he rebounded a big way in 2005 when he set a career low in ERA. That is until he laid waste to the league this season and set a career low in ERA with 2.08, career high in K/BB with 6.06, a career low in BB/9 with 1.59, and a career low in WHIP with 0.92. His 6.71 h/9 and his .199 BAA were just sparkling.

The intriguing thing about Daisuke is how dominant he has been on the international stage. In 2004, he was dominant in the Olympics. Against the eventual Silver Medal winning Australians he went 7.2 innings giving up five hits, one earned run, three base on balls, and struck out thirteen. Against the eventual Gold Medal winning Cuban team Daisuke went 8.1 innings giving up seven hits, allowing two earned runs, walking one, and striking out seven. His performance was well documented this season in the World Baseball Classic as he won the MVP award while helping the Japanese team win the entire tournament. For Japan, Matsuzaka went 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA, a .85 WHIP, and ten strikeouts in thirteen innings. He was only one of six players to win multiple games and the only player to win three games. In case you have not figured it out yet, he's good.

On the negative side of things, he has missed a lot of games due to arm troubles. At one point he threw 250 pitches in 17 innings against a team in the quarter finals of the 1998 summer high school championships. Baseball Prospectus had pointed out that Daisuke threw 149 pitches in 2004 and him throwing 140+ pitches is not exactly a rare occurrence. He has topped ten complete games in each of his last three seasons and in 2006, he topped 130 pitches eight times including two 140+ pitch games. That was before he added a 137 pitch performance in the playoffs on October 7th in which he struck out thirteen in a complete game shut-out. His arm may be a bit of concern in terms of mileage, but the fact is that he has only topped 200 innings twice in his career and still has age on his side. Getting him to the majors where he would be on a shorter leash will probably extend his career and you can be sure he will get used a bit differently in the states.

So, who will get him? You can be sure that he will have plenty of suitors despite the fact that Scott Boras is his agent. The Mets will give a look, the Yankees will be all over him like stink on a Cardinals fan, the Dodgers are always interested in Japanese players, and there will be more. Per season, he will undoubtedly cost less than Zito, but it will cost a pretty penny to get that privilege to sign him. The battle for his services will be with the heavy weights only and throwing his name into the ring just ups the Mets chances for getting that ace they sorely need in the off-season. Him coming to the states is good for the Mets whether they sign him or not.

* * *

  • If you missed this rundown of game #1 between the Mets and the Dodgers by Bill Simmons, check it out. There are too many great lines to start quoting them, but you should give it a read.

  • Good times for all.

    Seriously, I cannot tell you how big a smile this brought to my face. It never...ever...every gets old.

  • Brian b found a really cheap place to buy the 1986 World Series DVDs...if you are interested, this price looks as good as it is going to get for a new set from a quasi-reputable source.

  • In a strange turn of events, Kevin Mulvey will be sent to the Arizona Fall League despite just 15.1 innings of professional work. However, he was very impressive in his limited work and should be able to handle it. With a good AFL, Mulvey could really pump up his prospect status as the Mets new top ten is starting to look really, really impressive lately. After the top ten? Not so good.

  • Zito got jacked, but don't believe he still is not worth the boatloads of money (as much as any human being can actually be worth that much) that will get thrown at him in the off-season. Everyone gets knocked around, but that knee-buckling curveball would be extremely welcome in Queens.

  • The Mets need someone to step up and be the ace this post season. Tom Glavine has gone through a lot as a Met, but if he steps up and leads the Mets to a World Series victory, I just might be able to sell my Glavine jersey.

  • To pitch to him or not to pitch to him, that is the question.

    "Hopefully we don't," Mets slugger Carlos Delgado said. "He can lead the series in walks, that's not a problem."

    "So much of it depends on the game," said Game 1 starter Tom Glavine, who has given up nine hits, but no home runs in 20 at-bats to Pujols. "Albert is a great hitter and the guy we're obviously going to identify in their lineup as trying not to allow him to beat us. But what's the saying? The best-laid plans go awry sometimes."

    During the season? Go after him. In the post-season? All bets are off. The Mets have a secret weapon they can use on Pujols in big spots though.

  • The Oliver Perez vs. Dave Williams debate is over and Oliver will get the ball in game number four.

  • Manny Acta and Jerry Manuel are expected to be token minority candidates for open managerial jobs, but if they are snatched up, hopefully Howard Johnson gets a look to be a coach for the Mets.

    Coaches Manny Acta and Jerry Manuel are expected to draw interest from the Giants and Nationals regarding their managerial vacancies, while Acta also figures to be a candidate with the Rangers. Those teams have sent back-channel signals of their interest to the Mets, but haven't formally asked for interviews, according to team insiders.

  • The Daily News says Orlando Hernandez could be available to pitch in the World Series should the Mets get there. Ordinarily, I'd say that is a bad idea. However, The Duque is the type of guy who can take four years off without throwing a pitch and comeback and throw a shutout in his first game back.

  • Things are looking up for Cliff.

    "He had a nice little workout, swung the bat well in BP, and we're going to just wait until [today] to decide when he comes in," Willie Randolph said, adding, "I'm optimistic it will work out fine. We have time to wait, see how he feels when he gets up [this] morning."

    Cliffy is not quite as optimistic as Willie, but he can sometimes get a bit frustrated with his never ending barage of injuries.

  • Fluff piece on Rick Peterson? Check.

  • La la la la la...I'm not listing...la la la la la...I can't hear you...

  • Looper is out...Wainwright is in. Of course none of that matters, Looper is good reliever and not an incapable closer. He was injured in his final season with the Mets, but overall, the Cards pen is weak.

    Anonymous Scott said...

    Let it rain. I dont care if Shea looks like New Orleans, we are still going to spank those over cocky muthafukas!

    The pitching staff is being way underplayed by this Cards idiot and they are going to look like crapola!

    12:34 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    They are cocky for a team that was a game or two from the 2nd biggest collapse in the history of baseball (Yankees in '05 is the biggest).

    The Mets staff won't win many awards, but they can get the job done. Besides, they only need to go four innings anyway.

    1:20 PM

    Blogger Kenny said...

    So how is the weather up there today? Any danger of this thing getting postponed?

    1:41 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...


    No rain, but it looks ominous. Not fucking swell. I really want this game to go down tonight!

    1:58 PM

    Blogger Itsmetsforme said...

    "like stink on a Cardinals fan"--
    great line, but too subtle for a Cards fan in case any are reading, so I point it out for them.

    well, i guess I'll take your word for it on Matsuzaka,since I never saw him. but now you add the injury part, and Bora$$ is his repre$entation, and well im still unenthused.Wasn't Kaz pretty dominant in international play? Why I remember some Ichiro comparisons there too.

    Its a bad sign that Loopy is not closing--maybe larussa knows what he's doing. Loopy's got some cosmic repaying to do, so he'll have to do it from whatever inning he appears in.

    Damn $33 for the best tv ever recorded? I wish i dint already own two of them.

    Please don't rain.Please.

    2:27 PM

    Blogger Kenny said...

    Yeah I guess this will determine if God is a Met or Cardinal fan, seeing as how those douchefucks are praying for rain.

    I was actually thinking after Game 2 of the NLDS that you could once again be proud to wear the Glavine jersey.

    2:32 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Ha, don't expect many Cards fans to come around here. It was subtle for Met fans too because 99% of the people probably don't read this end to end.

    I've only seen him in WBC highlights, but he's been on the radar for years....you know, like Kaz Matsui.

    Really though, I understand the worries about guys from the orient playing in the MLB, but his stuff his for real. His stuff is as good as anyone's here. He'll be tight and he's only 26. He still has his prime in front of him.

    Kaz is still good. I maintain that he can be good here, just not playing in NYC. He won't be the first and won't be the last.

    Its a bad sign that Loopy is not closing--maybe larussa knows what he's doing.

    Good stuff....Looper isn't bad. He was good in the playoffs against the Yankees, his first year with the Met, and this year. He's not anyone to be afraid in, but he'll get the job done. I'll agree on the cosmic repaying from '05 though. He owes us big time.

    Kenny, I kid...I kid...my Glavine jersey has been out a few times during the season, but sell high my man. Sell high. I want to get a Humber one, but I just need to know what # he's going to wear.

    2:40 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Dead wrong on Daisuke. Dead wrong on Zito.

    7:33 PM

    Blogger Itsmetsforme said...

    dang rain.

    i tried to buy a gift of the 86 dvd today and they bait and switched it--the price is now $54.69 and they are sold out. That's not really a great price. If i wasnt so lazy i'd complain.

    8:31 PM


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