Wildcards: The Bullpen
There are not many wildcards for the Mets this upcoming season, but here a few that could have a big impact on the Mets in '07 in terms of their bullpen.
Will he be healthy enough? If so, it frees up the Mets in case they want to trade Aaron Heilman in a package for an ace. Luckily for the Mets, he has been cleared to throw and they could find out soon how good (or bad) Duaner's arm is.
I hate him as well, but I expect him to be back with the Mets in '07. The Mets will non-tender him and offer him a minor league contract with a stipulation that he will get $2.5 million or so if he makes the big league roster out of Spring Training. As frustrating as he has been, I think most of us are interested to see how good he can be if he is healthy. He won more games than he lost on a horrible Devil Ray team and had a .237 BAA in '03 in the AL East, a .230 BAA in '04 in the AL East, and a .222 BAA in '04 with the Mets after he was traded. While he might not figure into the rotation picture, he might be a fit for the bullpen.
While he may have a big space where his heart and guts are supposed to be, the guy still has decent stuff. A sharp slider and a decent fastball will be all he would need out of the bullpen. Baseball America one tabbed him as a possible closer of the future for the Mets and he will have a year under his belt after sitting out of real baseball competition for a year after visa issues. It's shit or get off the pot time for him in '07 and hopefully he drops a big one.
Omar thinks he could win fifteen games if given the opportunity, but I do not buy that. That does not mean he will not be useful because I think he can be. He's a lefty, but not a lefty specialist, and could provide a nice boon to this club as a long man out of the pen and the seventh guy in the bullpen.
Though I think his 2005 was a bit fluky, he is a groundball pitcher and did look like another Rick Peterson reliever resurrection project (RRRRP). He could be another solid arm and I expect the Mets to be in the position of having ten or so guys worthy of pitching in the bigs out of the pen with spots for only seven guys. Padilla could quite possibly be one of those ten or so pitchers and adds a nice dynamic to the pen being a different pitcher than the other guys slated to be in the bullpen. It is nice to have guys who just bring it out of the bullpen, but it is also nice to have different flavors of pitchers to keep teams on their toes and give them a few different looks.
The starting rotation is becoming increasingly tighter to crack. With Glavine, Maine, Perez, and The Duque expected to start the year in the rotation, Omar expected to pick up another arm, and plenty of other pitchers in the fold like Dave Williams, Jason Vargas, Mike Pelfrey, etc, Brain Bannister's future on the Mets as a starter has basically evaporated. The AAA rotation is also crowded with Phil Humber, Mike Pelfrey, possibly Kevin Mulvey, Jason Vargas if he misses making the big leagues, Alay Soler if he misses making the big leagues, Willie Collazo, Miguel Perez, etc...Bannister's value just might be in the bullpen. As a starter, his stuff is underwhelming. As a reliever, he can cut down on his eighty pitch repertoire and concentrate on his three best pitches and be a reliever in the mold of Dan Wheeler.
I still think Phil Humber could be used in the same vain as Adam Wainwright and be extremely effective to say the least, but I do not think the Mets would go that route unless complete disaster struck. I also think Joe Smith might be a late season addition as a righty specialist down the stretch, but I'm concentrating on guys who could help the team right out of spring training. I'd throw Jon Adkins into the mix, but his peripherals are not very good and I have no idea what type of stuff he has outside of throwing fastballs, sliders, and change-ups. Overall, there are some viable in house options that could step up to help this team and add to a solid base of Billy Wagner, Duaner Sanchez, Aaron Heilman, Pedro Feliciano, and Guillermo Mota later in the season. I fully expect the Mets to have a bullpen with seven effective relievers like last year even without Aaron Heilman if he happened to get traded. While Bradford was a big loss, it certainly is not the end of the world. This bullpen will be tight.
Noble, a longtime beat writer for the New York Mets and member of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BWAA), emphatically said, “No. I will not vote for him for two reasons. One, I’m not sure yet about McGwire. I’d like to see more, I’d like to hear more.
“Two, if you look at his career and remove those three years (1997-1999) where he just went wild, those are the three years he supposedly used, otherwise he is a borderline Hall of Famer.”
During the three-year stretch from 1997-1999, McGwire played in 464 games, batting .283 (445-1570) and piling up 193 home runs and 417 RBI.
Morality has arrived in the voting consciousness. A player’s character is now parsed on the same scale as statistics. The consideration was always there, but it was never placed under a microscope, like it is now. The times demand it and voters will be asked to react to it.
Noble’s choice to omit McGwire from his 2007 ballot will be the prevailing choice, according to a recent poll conducted by the Associated Press. Roughly 150 of the 575 BWAA were asked the question, “Will you vote for Mark McGwire?” The results are as follows:
- • 74 will not vote for McGwire.
• 23 will vote for him.
• 16 are undecided.
• 5 refused to say.
• 2 will abstain from voting.
Daniels was fleeced - by Towers, who extracted Gonzalez, 28-year-old righty Chris Young (11-5, 3.46 this past season) and useful No. 4 outfielder Terrmel Sledge for righty Adam Eaton; and by the Milwaukee Brewers' Doug Melvin, who sent him Carlos Lee in July for outfielders Kevin Mench and Laynce Nix and closer Francisco Cordero. In both cases, the players Daniels got were in their walk years and did just that.
Daniels has some learning to do. His two big deals last year were horrendous.