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

Saturday, May 13, 2006

What to Expect? The Jeremi Gonzalez File

I was not at all interested or pulling for Lima Time! to get a start for the Mets this year, but I must admit, I have been somewhat interested in seeing Jeremi Gonzalez get a shot to throw in a big league game for some reason. Gonzalez last pitched in the bigs in 2005 for the Boston Red Sox. He throws predominantly fastballs and tosses them about 75% of the time. He throws two different fastballs as he throws a four seam rising fastball that tops out at 92 and a two seam sinking fastball that tops at 89.

His second pitch is his slider. His slider gets thrown in the mid 80's and gets used about 15% of the time while he keeps it out of the strike zone a lot of the time. He also has a curveball that he uses which is decent and a changeup which is his weakest pitch relative the other ones. I say relative to the other ones because they all may be weak for all we know compared to an average Major Leaguer. He will try and work each side of the plate and stay out of the middle. Not surprisingly with a guy who works the edges that does not own pinpoint accuracy, Gonzalez can get a bit wild. At this point he is nothing more than a middle reliever and a spot starter, but he might be able to give the Mets a solid start before he gets thrown to the wolves and starts the first game in the Yankees series unless Brian Bannister can make it back by then, which I am mixed on anyway.

He faces a weak Brewers team today that has had trouble offensively all year with the exception of last night which is somewhat encouraging. His last two years in the big leagues have resulted in ERAs north of 6.00 in decent sample sizes while posting solid numbers in AAA in each of those years. Last year, he had a 2.61 ERA with a 5-2 record in eleven starts for Pawtucket. This year, he has been Norfolk's best starter with a 3.03 ERA, a 7.57 K/9, a 1.12 WHIP, and has allowed only one homer in 35.2 innings. Being that he might get at least two starts, I am feeling a split from him. Check that. I'm praying for a split from him. I'm predicting/praying he will give the Mets a win tonight and I figure he will lose in his next start to the Yankees. If they Mets could get a .500 record from him, it would be an absolute success. That also gives the Mets two starts to figure out what they are doing with the last two spots in the rotation because they simply cannot leave Lima Time! and/or Gonzalez in the rotation for very long if they enjoy sitting in first place.

* * *

  • Heath Bell is trying to make me look bad.

    Heath Bell's four-day stay ended when the Mets returned him to Triple-A Norfolk after last night's game in anticipation of activating Gonzalez. With a 40-man roster spot needed, relievers Bartolome Fortunato and Matt Lindstrom would seem the most vulnerable. Bell allowed two runs and four hits in an inning against the Brewers in his second '06 appearance.

    He didn't look good in his two innings and he absolutely needed to.

  • On Livan:

    The Mets might aggressively pursue Livan Hernandez as the trading deadline nears, if the Nationals become more inclined to absorb some of the $7 million owed to the innings-eating righthander in 2007.

    I didn't know he was due money in 2007 too. I'm not sure I can condone that, but this team is desperate. If he takes up a spot in the rotation it certainly makes it tough for them to pursue Barry Zito or some other better option that it is clear they need.

  • On John Maine:

    John Maine (finger inflammation) is ready to grip a baseball for the first time since landing on the DL, according to Randolph.

    It is sad that the Mets have gotten to a point where Maine getting healthy is a big deal.

  • Let it go...

    He then was asked if he liked pitching at Yankee Stadium, a question that certainly was an attempt to measure Zito's interest in becoming a full-time resident of the Bronx. He was noncommittal.

    "I like pitching here, it's a great park," he said, before adding: "But I like pitching everywhere. It's the big leagues."

    What do you expect him to say? They 1.5 games out of first with Rich Harden on the DL. They are going for it.

  • Friday, May 12, 2006

    Cliffy, Platoon Candidate? - Part Trois

    What is the below?


    If you said a negative trend, you would be right. If you said Cliff Floyd's batting average against lefties in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006, you would be right as well.

    Cliff Floyd has a potent bat. Well, maybe I should be using past tense ‘had’, but I personally do not think he is done just yet. He has hit the ball hard a lot this year, but just in the wrong places. So far this year, Cliff Floyd is on pace for 158 games, 71 runs scored, 16 doubles, 16 homers, 76 RBIs, 60 strikeouts, and 60 walks with a sub .200 batting average. The number that jumps out at me the most is 158 games. That is a lot for a guy who has not hit a lick and he is due to play in every single baseball game this year but four.

    Given Cliff Floyd's age and health history, he is one guy that is just going to eventually drop off in production fast rather than a slow decline. Is this the year? Maybe, but it is getting to the point where you have to start thinking it might not be a bad month and he cannot be getting this many at-bats. Since the second half of last year, he has now played in 99 games and put up 14 doubles, 2 triples, 15 homeruns, 57 RBIs, a .234 batting average, and a .408 slg. When you expand the sample size, the results are not good. What other options are there? Not many. Victor Diaz, Chris Woodward, Endy Chavez, and Jose Valentin are out there.

    We'll just erase Valentin out of the equation for obvious reasons leaving three options. With the bad bat that Floyd has had this year, he at least contributed by saving quite a few runs. Diaz could not have done that and Woodward certainly could not have done that. The Mets showed a willingness to take on a weak offensive second baseman in the name of defense and Endy Chavez has hit lefties to the tune of .276/.312/.384 from 2003 to 2005. Chavez is the only real viable option with the big league club.

    Giving Endy more playing time does not necessitate a roster move like bringing Diaz up and although it is not optimal to have a lefty/lefty platoon, it calls for a look. I’m not suggesting he just sits against lefties since the Mets could conceivably not face a left starter the entire week, but he should start sitting a game or two a week until he catches on and especially against lefties. If he starts to heat up, great. If not, at least he is getting some seemingly much needed rest and giving the Mets a chance to get some production out of left field. Although earlier in the year me suggesting such a thing would have been unthinkable, the Mets have strong hitters in the eight and nine spots of the order and Chavez can slide right into the eight spot. Hopefully Floyd is not done and will eventually produce at which point he can resume getting the lion's share of playing time, but soon, his playing time is going to have to start getting affected. If it drags on later through the summer, Victor Diaz should get some serious consideration as a call-up and start sharing time with Cliff Floyd in left so the Mets could keep some consistent offensive output from every spot in the lineup.

    * * *

  • S.U.C.K. M.E. alert! S.U.C.K. M.E. alert!

    Courtesy of Hubie from the comments @ Metsgeek.com">.

    Is that good or bad for us?

    The Milwaukee Brewers recalled left-hander Dana Eveland from Triple-A Nashville on Wednesday after placing Ben Sheets on the 15-day disabled list because of tendonitis in his right shoulder.

    Eveland was 3-1 with a 0.75 ERA in six starts for Nashville. He’s scheduled to start Saturday night at home against the New York Mets.

    Sheets, who began the season on the disabled list with a strained shoulder, is 1-3 with a 6.64 ERA in four starts. He missed a scheduled start on Sunday, and right-hander Ben Hendrickson was to take his turn Thursday. Sheets went on the disabled list retroactive to May 3.
    S.U.C.K. M.E. indeed. Who knew the Mets would probably rather face Ben Sheets?

  • Also from the comments courtesy of PDNH:

    Valentin is a switch hitter which provides us with versatility. He can make outs from both sides of the plate.

    It's funny because It's true.

  • The CY Young predictor from ESPN has three Mets in the top ten, but don't let your eyes wander north of the top ten in the NL. If you do, excessive hyperventilating and a possible desire to inflict pain upon yourself may occur. You have been warned.

  • More DIPS...I figured it would be fun to take a look at some of the Mets top pitching prospects and their DIPS era. Ok, well maybe it's not fun per se, but how about mildly interesting?

    Mike Pelfrey had a dirty DIPS ERA of 1.95 to a 2.56 actual. He's basically right on.

    Alay Soler has been really good this year. Reeeeeaaaalllly good. His 4.93 h/9 is just silly and he also posted a 10.64 k/9, a 5.13 k/bb ratio, and has not allowed a homerun this year. He has a sparkling 0.77 ERA between AA and high A. His DIPS ERA was 1.69, so he is pretty much on because getting a sub 1.00 DIPS ERA is pretty impossible.

    Jon Niese surprised me a bit. He has given up more than a hit an inning and walked 4.18 batters per nine innings. What he has going for him is that he has kept the ball in the park and not allowed one homerun this year while owning a 10.02 K/9 ratio. His DIPS ERA is 2.58 to his actual ERA of 3.34.

    Finally, Jose Sanchez. Sanchez has posted a 0.90 WHIP and a 2.75 k/bb ratio. His DIPS ERA is 3.42 and his actual ERA is 2.18. He has been a nice surprise this year and he has decent stuff and could emerge as a solid pitching prospect for the Mets this year.

  • From brian b...

    Creighton has an ambidextrous pitcher and he is not so surprisingly the only one in Division I baseball do it.

    "I have average stuff from both sides, and I really think it takes me to pitch with both arms even to be a little bit effective here," Venditte said. "It throws the hitters off and it gives me the advantage almost every at-bat. I need every inch I can take."

    I have the ability to not look like a girl when I throw with my non-natural hand and that is something to hang my hat on at the end of the day.

  • Notes from NorthJersey.com:

    One thing in Jose Lima's favor -- the opponent.

    He's taking on the Milwaukee Brewers, a team that he has a 10-0 lifetime mark against with a 1.92 ERA. The grain of salt to take that with -- Lima has not faced the Brewers since 2001.

    On hold

    Brian Bannister will bump either Lima or Jeremi Gonzalez from the rotation when he gets back from the strained hamstring that has sidelined him, but it will be at least one day longer than expected.

    Bannister was scheduled to throw a simulated game today, but it was pushed back to Saturday because physically he was not quite ready. The one positive is that he may not need to take the expected minor league rehab start before returning to the roster.

    First, on Lima Time!. I don't care about past numbers. Throw those out. Only Geoff Jenkins remains from that team so it might as well be a team from Japan.

    Second, on Bannister. If they expect to throw him up against the Yankees and skip a rehab start, that's nuts. However, I guess they have little choice since a bad Brian Bannister might be better than a good Lima Time! or Jeremi Gonzalez.

  • As mad as I am at Aaron Rowan, I have to give him credit. That catch was amazing. It was the best play that I've ever seen when you factor in the complete disregard for his body. I guess he did not get the memo that it was not the playoffs, but that was just nasty.

    "The Rowand play was the greatest play I've ever seen in my life," Mets starting pitcher Steve Trachsel said. "As far as sacrificing your body, I've never seen anything like that. It was unbelievable."

    What did that play do to me? Let's see. It took away a hit and three RBIs from Xavier Nady on my fantasy team and made benching Gavin Floyd one of the dumbest moves of the year. That ball falls in, I look like a genius. That ball gets caught, I miss out on offensive numbers and a complete game win on the pitching end. Now I know how managers feel.

  • If you woke up this morning and said, "I want to read a fluff piece on Mike Pelfrey", you are in luck.

  • Check out Mets Weekly tomorrow at 12:30 PM. This weeks program focuses on the Tides and the call up process from AAA to the majors. The show premiers on SNY at 12:30 on Saturday.

  • Thursday, May 11, 2006


    My spirit has been bruised, but not 'Lima Timed'. I will take your constructive criticism on the much maligned new site design that has been scratched and constructively throw it out the window. The site design has gone back to the drawing board with less white as the goal. Personally I found the white soothing like a babbling brook, but to each his own. Back to business....

    We often hear the terms lucky and unlucky when describing some baseball player's performances. Some people do not want to hear much of that and others believe to a certain extent there is luck involved. In terms of batting, it was Willie Keeler who said “I keep my eyes clear and I hit 'em where they ain't". Well, when you don't hit 'em where they ain't, that is termed unlucky. That has been something said about Cliff Floyd this season because he has been hitting the ball hard, but just at people.

    In terms of pitchers, we can look at another Met in Heath Bell. His 2004 performance got a lot of fans giddy when he put up a 3.33 ERA at the end of the year and struck out a batter per inning. In 2005, he put up a high 5.59 ERA, but kept the ball in the park, struck out almost a batter per inning, and exhibited good control. The term unlucky was tossed around with him a lot because he had a high BIPA and the thought process is that eventually the BIPA would regress towards the league average.

    Right or wrong, unlucky and lucky are used a lot in baseball. It is possible some people just suck, but when you factor in other things, it really looks like bad luck or good luck sometimes does exist. Now that I've wasted a lot of your time on stuff you already knew, on to the real point of the post.

    A pitcher's ERA, independent of the defense behind him. This formula, based on essays by Voros McCracken, assumes that all pitchers have consistent BIPA (See Above), and adjusts accordingly.

    I did not use the regular DIPS as I did not account for park factor, but I used the quick and dirty DIPS which does give a close result and gets the idea across. As for Heath Bell, his 2005 ERA was 5.59 and his 2005 dirty DIPS era was 3.13. Basically, he pitched a lot better than he his stats show according to Voros McCracken and since McCracken is a lot smarter than me, I tend to believe him. More on DIPS...


    * There are several possible outcomes for any pitched ball.
    o Strikeout
    o Walk/Hit Batsman
    o Ball put into play resulting in Home Run
    o Ball put into play resulting in an out
    o Ball put into play resulting in a single, double or triple

    * The pitcher has direct control over the first three, and there is a strong correlation between the players who lead these statistics from year to year. Nolan Ryan, Greg Maddux, Kerry Wood, Billy Wagner

    * The last two are affected by the defense and can be summarized by Batting Average on Balls in Play (BAbip).

    * Voros McCracken found that BAbip is only weakly tied to the pitcher, and there is very little consistency in who leads this statistic from year to year. It is primarily the result of defense and luck.

    * You can compute a defense-independent ERA (dERA) based on the first three factors and this is a better predictor of next year's ERA than the current year's ERA is.

    Now, let's take a look at the Mets pitchers this year and see who has been lucky and unlucky according to DIPS.
                      DIPS ERA  Actual ERA
    Pedro Martinez 3.58 2.89
    Steve Trachsel 3.87 4.96
    Brian Bannister 4.99 2.89
    Victor Zambrano 6.11 6.75
    Tom Glavine 3.50 2.19
    Aaron Heilman 2.49 1.96
    Billy Wagner 4.65 2.39
    Duaner Sanchez 2.60 0.41
    Jorge Julio 3.84 4.28
    Pedro Feliciano 2.34 0.93
    Darren Oliver 2.23 3.86
    It was pretty much on mark for what I thought it would be with the exception of Steve Trachsel and Tom Glavine. I knew Wagner's ERA was low for his performance and he got a bit 'lucky', I knew that Bannister was a bit 'lucky' as well, but Trachsel was surprising. Glavine and Pedro seem a bit high, but homers are heavily weighted and Pedro has given up six and Glavine had given up four while Trachsel has given up two. Now this of course is a small sample size so that has to be taken into account. For example, at this point in the season, a lot of homers can skew such a small sample size and a inordinate amount of strikeouts in limited work could skew the numbers. Nonetheless, it is interesting to get a temperature check of who is doing what.

    * * *

  • I said on another site the other day blowouts are never good. I guess I lied. When it is your own team blowing out the other team, it is absolutely good. Especially in front of America's most uncouth fan base. Glavine is just dealing out a world of hurt to the opposition and has been hitting like Ted Williams as he raised his batting average to an impressive .500 mark.

  • Brian Bannister is close to returning and will throw in a simulated game tomorrow.

    Brian Bannister is going to throw in a simulated game tomorrow, according to manager Willie Randolph.

    The rookie right-hander, who's on the DL with a strained right hamstring, has not pitched since April 26. He is eligible to come off the DL tomorrow but will not. Bannister has been rehabbing in Port St. Lucie.

    If he throws in a simulated game tomorrow and everything goes well, figure him on missing two more big league starts with an eye on returning after the Yankee series.

  • Steve Popper poses the question, are Jose Lima and Jeremi Gonzalez just place-holders for Mike Pelfrey? No. Pelfrey simply is not ready. He needs at least May and June before it should even be considered and the entire year would not hurt. Can he do better than Lima Time! right now? Maybe, but that is certainly not saying much. In fact, EVERYONE has done better than Lima Time! as he the distinction of holding the record for worst single-season ERA in both the American and National Leagues. Impressive. Most impressive.

  • A-Rod talks back....

    Of course, the biggest knock against Rodriguez among fans is that he seemingly doesn't deliver in the clutch. He thinks the math is pretty simple.

    "I come through all the time," he said. "I don't think anyone can drive in 130 runs and not come through. I think that's impossible, mathematically."

    Yes, all the time. Especially in March though.

    Just for shits and giggles, let's look at out clutch he is.

    In 2006, he has a .270/.417/.514 line with runners in scoring position, a .235/.435/.412 line with runners on and two outs, and a .167/.333/.167 line in situations deemed close and late.

    From 2003 to 2005, he has a .273/.381/.482 line with runners in scoring position, a .270/.392/.495 line with runners on and two outs, and a .276/.392/.553 line in situations deemed close and late.

    So, in 2006 you are only reinforcing your Mr. March nickname. From 2003 to 2005, you have done well, but nothing spectacular.

    The verdict? Not clutch....except in months that start with an 'm' and end with an 'h'.

  • Some baseball players will be using pink bats in honor of Mother's day to raise awareness to fight against brest cancer.

    Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, Cliff Floyd, Pedro Martinez, Xavier Nady and David Wright should have the lumber.

    "If I get some hits that day, I might use it for a while," said Wright, who frequently gets ribbing from teammates for wearing a pink Polo shirt.

    In other Mother's Day related news...

    A man who was denied a red nylon tote bag during a Mother's Day promotion at an Angels baseball game has filed a sex and age discrimination lawsuit against the team.

    The class action claim filed by Michael Cohn, a Los Angeles psychologist, alleges that thousands of males and fans under age 18 are entitled to $4,000 in damages each because they were treated unequally at last May's promotion. Women over 18 received the gifts.

    Shoot yourselves.

  • According to the Daily News, Heath Bell figures he will be traded at some point.

    Bell, who still figures he may be traded before the July 31 deadline, said he wasn't disgruntled at Norfolk, but acknowledged: "I didn't think I was going to get the call at all."

    Probably for the best.

  • No tear is not serious.

    After being examined by doctors Tuesday in New York City, Owens said he was diagnosed with a very small tear in his ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. The injury is not believed to be serious, and Owens began playing catch before Wednesday's game. There is no timetable for his return.

    "It's just been frustrating," Owens said after Tuesday's game. "To be a competitive person and show up at the stadium every day and not be able to pitch, it's tough."

    Anytime something inside your body tears, consider it serious.

  • Tom Glavine is third on the active win list and Pedro Martinez checks in at number eight.
  • Wednesday, May 10, 2006

    Don't Hate Me Because I'm Beautiful

    A new look for The Metropolitans. Whooo-hoooo! I can hardly contain my excitement.

    Let me know if you like it and I’m switching to blogger’s commenting instead of Halo Scan. Let me know your preference on the commenting and please let me know if something looks off in your browser.

    UPDATE: It looks fine in firefox and completely jacked up in IE. Now I'm lost. Let me know how your's looks anyway.

    The Last Word

    This is the last I'll say about Heilman and what I think his role on this team should be.

    My stance has not change since Spring Training. I looked at this rotation before Zambrano went down and I thought this rotation was one #3 starter away from being perfect. Now that Zambrano went down, it is 100% necessary they get that #3. "But Mike, Zambrano sucked and that should not be a reason to panic because we just have to replace his spot in the rotation", says the concerned reader. Might I remind you, there was a mediocre reliever in Juan Padilla that went down to set the unstoppable chain of events in motion that gave Aaron Heilman his assignment in the bullpen.

    Now that Zambrano is down, a lot of people are saying that Bannister will be back soon and not to worry. Well I for one was worrying about Brian when he was the fifth starter and now he will be relied heavily upon at this point. More than he should be relied on. In his last three starts, Bannister has gone five innings in each while allowing two base runners per inning. It should be noted that his ERA was still 3.00, but he has a lot to prove still as he still might implode. As of now, he went from a question mark to a given to produce when he comes back for some.

    Now we are looking forward to two rookies coming back off the DL to save this rotation. Just let that sink in. The Mets simply do not have the depth to carry two rookie pitchers in Maine and Bannister and a mediocre starter in Tracshel. That will not cut it and that is what we are looking at once this fiasco gets settled and they come off the DL. If Pedro and Glavine win forty games as a best case scenario, you have to figure the Mets will need fifty five more wins to make the playoffs safely. It should also be noted the Mets have never had two guys win twenty games and only have had two starters total forty win once when Tom Seaver won twenty-five and Jerry Koosman won seventeen. Since the Mets teams of the 80's which had six consecutive years of four starters with double digit wins, the Mets have only had two seasons with four starters in double digit wins and eight seasons with three. Since 1980, the Mets only had three starters top fifty wins three times.

    If this team is going to make the playoffs, they need at least forty combined from Pedro and Glavine, figure twenty one wins from the bullpen, and thirty four from the back end. With two rookies and Tracshel in the rotation, who thinks they can do that? Keep in mind, Pedro, Glavine, and Benson had thirty-eight between them last season and you are asking Tracshel and two rookies to come close to that feat. That is no small task even if eleven wins per starter seems easily attainable. Also, I have no idea how I can check these stats, but how often has a team with two rookies making 50+ starts between them made the World Series?

    Really, unless Soler proves effective, and he might, the Mets are making a conscious decision to run a really bad rotation out of there because they do not want to subtract from the BEST bullpen. Know this. If I order a Whopper with bacon and cheese and they forget to put bacon on, I still have a fucking swell burger. It may not taste quite as good, but it is still good. If you take one great reliever out of bullpen with three great relievers, you still have a very good bullpen. Besides, I can bet most people will agree that your third best starter is much more important than your third best reliever.

    All this will take time to sort out and maybe Maine/Bannister/Soler step it up and fill those back end spots nicely. We do not need ACE performances every time out, but if you add up the lost starts because of Lima and Gonzalez and then the starts it will take to figure out if Maine and Bannister are those guys, you have A LOT of games and A LOT innings thrown by the pen. No decision is easy or clear cut, but one does seem more logical. I’ll roll the dice with a rotation of Glavine, Pedro, Traxx, Heilman, and Bannister/Soler/Maine than any other in-house option with Bell and Julio trying to fill Heilman's shoes. Sure Heilman is better, but I think his innings in the bullpen can be more easily replaced than his possible production in the rotation.

    We know the Mets are standing firm right now with Heilman being a reliever
    , but at the very least, he can start for the next few weeks to see what they have. Ramiro Mendoza was very valuable as a reliever that made some starts for the Yankees great run and if they are reluctant to make a permanent move with Heilman, that is an option the Mets could pursue. I really do not think you are messing with his mind either since you can sit him down and tell him you need him more in the pen for the season, but right now, he is needed in the rotation to bridge the gap. The kid has accepted everything said to him and has been a team player. Who knows. Maybe you put him in the rotation for three or four starts and Heath Bell shows you something. At the very least, it is worth a temporary shot until the Mets pick up some mid-range starter via trade or another option presents itself.

    With the Mets only three game up right now, who thinks they have games to throw away? We are not sure if Maine, Lima Time!, Gonzalez, Soler, etc. can get Major League hitters out, but I do know of one guy who has been getting them out with regularity since 2005 and that is the bottom line.

    * * *

  • I know I'm a day late and a dollar short, but this was very disturbing.

    By the way, Peterson has long felt betrayed by the "10 minutes" comment being leaked. But I have it on good authority that he also felt it was purposely misrepresented to shift the blame to him after the ill-fated trade. The pitching coach was asked if he could correct a specific mechanical issue with Zambrano's delivery, and he answered on an internal conference call with that comment.

    Of course if you ask the pitching coach about a guy that throws hard and has tons of natural movement, he is going to want to get his hands on them. Did he approach them about the trade? No, but if you ask the guy, he's going to give you his opinion. To insinuate he was a guy that had much to do with trading Kazmir for Zambrano is silly. The thing that is clearly apparent with Omar on board is that his team's office seems more solidified. They seem more sure of what they are doing.

  • The Baseball Prospectus Hit List is out and the Mets are holding their own.

    On the right end of some dramatic victories, and now 9-2 in one-run games. Still, when injuries to the rotation--the latest a torn flexor tendon that will cost Victor Zambrano the season due to a communication breakdown--portend the arrival of the owner of both the American and National League records for highest ERA in a season of 30+ starts, you have to wonder whether the Mets are living on borrowed time now that the clock has struck Lima Time.

    First off, that is great that they are winning one run games. That says a lot about their bullpen for sure, but one run games will catch up to a team eventually. Secondly, it just cracks me up that everyone and their mother refers to Jose Lima as Lima Time. Seriously, can't they just put that on the man's jersey?

    While on the entire ranking topic, CBS Sportsline has their power ranking out.

    They are still sitting pretty at number two.

    Their early cushion is shrinking, thanks more to the red-hot Phillies, who host the Mets for three this week. The back of the rotation with Jose Lima and TBD is really scary now, too. Expect the Mets to slide a few spots, or more, next week.

  • David Wright is only three inches!!! I have proof.

    McFarlane Toys and the New York Mets are teaming up to bring fans the action-figure debut for one of Major League Baseball's brightest young stars. David Wright is entering his third season with the Mets, where he's quickly established himself as a brilliant fielder, a dangerous hitter, and one of the fans' favorite players.

    This 3-inch Sports Picks figure marks the first time McFarlane Toys has made a David Wright figure, and it's coming exclusively to the stores at Shea Stadium and online through their minor-league affiliate the Brooklyn Cyclones (at www.brooklyncyclones.com). The production run of these David Wright figures will be limited to 10,000 pieces.

  • You cannot argue with this logic.

    But the ultimate player to be named later has to be Cardinals shortstop Jose Gonzalez, who was traded to the Giants in 1984—and promptly changed his name to Jose Uribe because, as he put it, “There are too many Gonzalezes in baseball!”

    Sometimes someone says something that there is just no rebuttal for. That was one of them.

    I stole the link from Metstradamus and he'll just have to live with it.

  • Alay Soler cracks the top ten on the prospect hot sheet for the first time ever.

    5. Alay Soler, rhp, Mets (Double-A Binghamton)
    After fanning 32 in 28 Florida State League innings, the 26-year-old Cuban defector allowed one run while fanning nine in his Eastern League debut. The Mets rotation could use some help and might turn to this righthander, who has allowed just three runs in 35 professional innings.

  • While it's better than Danny Garcia night, Brian Bannister night? On September 6th, the Brooklyn Cyclones are having Brian Bannister night. Shouldn't they wait until he sticks in the rotation first? Or are they just going to start giving nights out for whichever Brooklyn Cyclone hits the bigs? Either way, Bannister night seems like a good excuse to make it out Brooklyn to catch a game. If you have never been, it's solid. You go watch a game, take a spin on Cyclone and go get the biggest beers you have ever seen at Nathan's and eat some greasy food after the game.

  • From the ESPN Rumor Mill:

    May 9 - According to Newsday, the Mets may consider a trade for Livan Hernandez. Mets GM Omar Minaya acquired Hernandez while he was Expos GM, and the Nationals right-hander could be a more realistic target than Barry Zito or Dontrelle Willis.

    He's struggling this year, but I would still welcome him and think he is worth a shot. He could certainly be had without taking a big chip like Milledge and would be the #3 starter the Mets so direly need. It is amazing how much one decent starter would change my outlook on the rotation.

  • Delmon Young gets a fifty game suspension for hurling a bat an umpire.

    "I could not conclude definitely that he intended to hit the umpire with the bat," Mobley said. "He expressed to me that he intended to throw his bat and then his helmet back to home plate to demonstrate his disagreement with the umpire. Obviously, something went drastically wrong with that plan."

    Yes, it is safe to say something went drastically wrong with that highly intelligent plan. Although I would have liked to see him sit this season out because that bat was moving at a fucking swell velocity, fifty games is still nothing to sneeze at.

  • Jake, I hope you feel conflicted about your big night for Moose Knuckles with Brett Myers leading the charge.

  • If Bonds took a few lessons in public relations, he might not have the animosity towards him like he does.

    "As a cancer person as I am, who would want to talk to me, anyway?" Bonds said, referring to being contacted by other teams once 2006 ends. "I'm supposed to be the biggest cancer around."

    I have no problems with guy and love watching him myself, but he has to understand where this overall negative perception of him comes from.

  • If anyone listens to Opie and Anthony regularly, they would have heard an Earl Weaver clip when he just goes ape shit on Manager's Corner. However, managers back in the day used to do that all the time. It was not a rare Bill Parcells’ type blow-up either. They were Bill Parcells x 10 all the time. From the top worst teams of all time list, here is a Casey Stengel quote when he coached the #3 worst all time team which was the 1962 Mets.

    But, as his manager Casey Stengel would note, "Marv's glove fields better without Marv in it."

    Classic. It certainly would liven up the game to get some honesty back from managers. Not all the time of course, but all these goody two shoes, say the right thing crap gets to me sometimes.

    Some Earl Weaver gems...

    Every time I fail to smoke a cigarette between innings, the opposition will score.

    If you know how to cheat, start now.

    On my tombstone just write, 'The sorest loser that ever lived.'

    The key to winning baseball games is pitching, fundamentals, and three run homers.

    We're so bad right now that for us back-to-back home runs means one today and another one tomorrow.

    You got a hundred more young kids than you have a place for on your club. Every one of them has had a going away party. They kissed everybody and said, "See you in the majors in two years." You see these poor kids who shouldn't be there in the first place. You write on the report card "4-4-4 and out." That's the lowest rating in everything. Then you call 'em in and say, "It's the consensus among us that we're going to let you go back home." If you say it mean enough, maybe they do themselves a favor and don't waste years learning what you can see in a day. They don't have what it takes to make the majors, just like I never had it.

    "Team speed, for Christ's Sake, you get fuckin' goddamn little fleas on the fuckin' bases getting picked off trying to steal, getting thrown out, taking runs away from you. You get them big cocksuckers who can hit the fuckin' ball out of the fuckin' ballpark and you can't make any goddamn mistakes." - Earl Weaver explaining his preference for power in response to a question from a fan on a Baltimore-area radio show as to why the Orioles did not get more team speed.

    "We're like old underwear. We're creeping up on you."

    That stuff pales in comparison to the Manger's Corner clips...

    Clip 1
    Clip 2

    Use your own discretion at work.

  • Mike Pelfrey was solid for Binghamton last night giving up two earned runs and striking out ten in seven innings.

    What was most impressive, and a good indication of his maturity as a pitcher, was Pelfrey's command of the strike zone and poise late in the game, when he escaped a seventh-inning jam with minimal damage. Mixing an effortless fastball that touched 95 mph frequently - and topped out at 96 - with an effective changeup, Pelfrey threw 89 pitches and consistently was able to stay ahead in counts.

    "I'd give myself a B," he said. "I made a few mistakes, left a few pitches over the middle of the plate, and my breaking ball ... sometimes it was there, sometimes it wasn't. But I showed (the Mets) some stuff tonight. I located some good fastballs and breaking balls. You could see flashes of what I can do."

    He's good. However, I just think he needs more time. Even Justin Verlander had twenty minor league starts (with two not so good big league ones in 2005) before getting a permant role in the rotation and I think they are comperable in terms of stuff. In fact, Verlander is a notch above because his secondary pitch is much better in his curveball than Mike Pelfrey's off speed pitch. Pelfrey has seven starts. There are better options than him and if the Mets can stave off any call-up prior to September, I think that would be the best idea.

  • Jeremi Gonzalez will get the start against the Brewers this Friday.
  • Tuesday, May 09, 2006

    All Work And No Play Makes Michael Go Something..Something

    I have no time for a post today, but here are some highlights on the debate about the starting rotation. I'll throw some thoughts in tomorrow.
    I like debating this but truly feel Heilman is NOT our long term solution as a starter and neither is Lima / Maine / Soler BUT all three and even Oliver are somewhat reliable guys that can keep us afloat until we can get a hired gun. I have my preference (Lima / Maine) but if we go another route I’m not going to be calling for heads either. The only way I’m calling for a head is if we are still running Trax, Bannister, Lima/Maine/Gonzalez out there as our 3,4,5 after the trading deadline if someone would could slide into #3 for a pennant run like Zito/Schmidt/ElDuque was available for less than Milledge and we didn’t get it done.
    ~Tom Ace / Tom in the QC
    Heilman has to be in this rotation. There’s no value to having a shut-down top three in the pen right now. Pedro and Glavine can go 6++ IP, and Sanchez/Wagner can pick up the rest of the game themselves. Lima/Gonzalez (oh… my… lord…) are good for 5 IP. We’re going to need more than just the big three there, assuming we magically have a lead. The only added value a third reliever of Heilman’s caliber gives is when Trax pitches and goes 6 inning, which hasn’t been often.
    I still maintain the Mets should NOT weaken a very strong area to shore-up the rotation. THAT makes no sense to me. Find a starter from within the system or make a trade, plenty of do-able options out there and I highly doubt a decent 3-4 type would cost us Milledge (although if DTrain becomes available, I will pack Milledge’s bags for him).
    Whoever it is, it has to be someone the umpires are impressed by, otherwise they will never get the outside part of the plate.
    No to more starts by Lima, yes to more photos of Mrs. Lima in tight blouses:) (link from peeder..don't check it out if you don't like boobs..you have been warned)

    Seriously, Bannister will be off the DL soon, and that takes care of one slot. I’d rather use Heilman to start, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. Meanwhile, play it by ear–I would like to try Oliver against a team that’s vulnerable to LH pitching (you know, like the Mets).
    MFS71 - I agree but unfortunately there is no one in the organization right now unless you rush Pelfrey. I don’t think Gonzalez, Lima and Maine are the answers for a team trying to win a division for the first time since 1988. Also, making a trade is easier said than done. Most teams are not going to fork over a starter for nothing. Add to that, we are a bit desperate for a starter, other GM’s will try to extract a lot of value from us. Heilman is the best short term solution until Omar can pull something off.
    The long-term solution, as far as I am concerned, coincides perfectly with the short-term solution — move Heilman to the rotation, call up Heath Bell, and get Henry Owens on a plane/bus to Norfolk immediately and tell him to be ready for the call if Julio and/or Bell falters.

    Heilman is, at his absolute worst, significantly better than Maine/Lima/Gonzalez, at least as good as Bannister, and might (I stress might) be a legitimate #3 starter by season’s end. Trachsel can be the #3 in name, but he’s looked quite hittable since coming off the DL last year — take out his two gems against SF, and his numbers are terrible.
    I would send Lima down. Call up Bell or Owens. Let Oliver make the next start or 2. During that time test Bell/Owens. If they don’t “Fortunato”, then move Heilman into the rotation, and use Julio and Bell/Owens in the Heilman situations and see how that works.
    ~Brian S.
    The objective should be to reduce the number of innings in which opponents are allowed to bat against sub-par pitching, particularly with the offenses the Mets will face over the next 3 weeks. Thinking about it this way makes it easy, I think. Bring up Bell and move Heilman into the rotation. What other option minimizes the amount of innings which have to be pitched by below-grade pitchers? I would debate whether this will actually weaken the pen, since (a) Heath Bell is no slouch, and (b) if we leave Heilman in the pen and rely on slouches as our 4 and 5 pitchers, the pen is bound to be overtaxed and its effectiveness reduced in any case.
    ~Wally Dykstra
    Heilman to the rotation (permanently) and Bell in the pen makes the most sense. Hence Omar and Willie won’t consider it.
    ~Bill W.
    Aaron Heilman threw a slider in college, and used that pitch as a starter all through winter ball and spring training. He has a plus fastball, plus changeup, and actually a pretty nice looking slider as well. Heck, Baseball America ranked it “best pure slider” in all of college in his senior year.

    The guy throws three big league pitches for strikes — and I’m still unsure where this misconception that he’s a two pitch pitcher came from. When you get dropped to the bullpen you only throw your best pitches because you’re only throwing an inning of work. That’s why John Smoltz only threw primarily a fastball, slider and splitter in his turn as closer, despite having about eight or nine pitches in his arsenal.
    ~Andrew Hintz
    Any game we win with Lima Time on the mound is a small miracle.

    We’re in the position now that if Pedro and Glavine lose on back-to-back days, we’re looking at an automatic 1-4 run through the rotation. But hey, we’ll still be getting lockdown relief from Heilman and Sanchez in games where we’re behind 9-2.

    Heilman made seven starts last year, and it didn’t ruin his season. Heilman’s ability to both start and relieve is one of the things that makes him most valuable. If he succeeds in the rotation, great, leave him there. If he’s mediocre, move him back to the pen when some of our other arms get healthy. Heilman’s versatility is being completely wasted. We’re in a situation where we desperately need a #4 starter, and he’s staring us right in the face.
    Guys, any conclusions drawn from analyzing Heilman’s changing effectiveness as he worked deeper in games in 2005 are bogus. (samplesizesamplesizesamplesize) The absolute best guess you can form based on the data is 50% likely to be wrong, so don’t bother. No pattern exists yet, we’ll need to try him as a starter and find out.
    Seeing as the Mets’ logic exists through the question “What makes the team better?” (how they justified putting Bannister in the rotation and Heilman in the ‘pen), we need to ask ourselves the same question. What makes the team better? Leaving Heilman in the bullpen while inserting Lima, Gonzalez or Maine into the rotation? Or doubling Heilman’s innings while replacing him with perhaps Heath Bell or..dare I say.. Henry “K” Owens?

    We need to realize that the Mets don’t have any replacement starters that are “tearing it up” in the minors, but they DO have replacement relievers that are destroying opposing hitters, ready and waiting to step up.
    I am not too worried (yet). We have a potent offense. Beltran is hitting like it is 2004, Delgado is a beast, Wright is Wright, and Floyd seems to be picking up some steam. Reyes is on fire. Even Matsui is delivering some key hits. We will score a lot of runs, especially against sub-par pitching like the Phillies and Yankees bring to the table. If we can score 6 runs a game when starters 4-5 are on the mound, we will win most of those starts (especially if the bullpen stays the way it is).

    Many of you said that Pedro and Glavine will not win every start, but who ever we plug into spots 4 and 5 will not lose every start either. With the offense and defense we bring to the table, I would expect at least a .500 record out of the back end of our rotation for the next 6 weeks. Which is all anyone can ask.
    Can we not stop making excuses for Maine. He went out and pitched with a sore finger. He’s not the first pitcher to ever do this. He said he could throw all his pitches still except a curve, his 4th pitch. His velocity was fine. Bottom line, he pitched okay against a weak Nationals line-up. He showed me enough to be a decent spot starter, but as many have pointed out today, we will not win the division with Bannister and Maine as our 4 and 4 guys.

    We have enough relievers to pitch the 7th inning. We have 6/7 guys who could do this on any given night including calling up Bell or Owens. Our bullpen would still be very good without Heilman. Lets get Heilman in the rotation and stop giving away games like we did yesterday.
    I really don’t know why everyone is doubting Maine already. We saw the guy make one start which wasn’t even that bad and already he is a stretch for the rotation. Not to mention the guy was injured his entire start but this guy was also a former top prospect for the O’s. I said it before and ill say it again he is going to make people that regret the Benson deal regret it no longer in the future.
    ~Wagner Dominant
    The obvious response to the “Can Heilman Start?” debate is that we’ll never know until he actually starts. All the more reason to give him a couple of starts until Maine & Bannister come back. If he does well, we know that he’s capable of being in the rotation. If he tanks, then we know that he belongs in the bullpen. We know Heilman wants to be in the rotation, so what’s the downside of giving him a couple of starts to prove himself?
    ~Peter H
    Maybe Mets Management is much, much more concerned about Billy Wags and his finger than we all think.

    Perhaps they see a possibility of DL’n him with Sanchez closing and Heilman being the primary setup guy.
    Omar did a great job signing Pedro Beltran 2 yrs ago, and this yr signing Delgado and LoDuca. I even admit the Seo deal turned out terrific (At the time I was against it). Omar has done a really bad job with the starting rotation. If he wanted to trade Benson to dump salary, no problem, but he should have replaced him with an experienced alternative. With Trachsel a question mark at best coming off last yr and how terrible Zambrano has been since he got here the Mets needed a 3rd experienced, durable, winning starter to go along with Pedro and Glavine(which in my opinion he had with Heilman). So since he went with Bannister an unproven rookie it was a roll of the dice at best. Everyone knows you win with pitching, haven’t the Yankees proved the last 4 yrs no matter how much hitting you have if you don’t have the pitching you don’t win. Omar decided at that time Heilman was a relief pitcher and as we see now he is not willing to change his mind when the Mets need it. How many games do the Mets have to lose with, AA and AAA, sub major league pitchers before he gives Heilman the shot? The games don’t look like they matter now but how many teams miss the playoffs by a game or two at the end of the yr.
    There was a great comment by jzack that was just too long to quote. It was post #29.

    I think it’s time to put Heilman in the rotation. When did your second setup man, clearly Sanchez is the number one setup guy, become more important than your third starter?
    ~Ron Swoboda
    * * *

  • Thank DG for the Gomez quote..I used it on the minor league recap on Metsgeek.com.
  • Monday, May 08, 2006

    Momma Said There'd Be Days Like This

    Paul LoDuca stood up for this team and got thrown out. Apparently LoDuca boiled over after the ump missed four calls on balls and strikes after making the following statement :

    Hernandez, according to Lo Duca, told Lima, "I'm going to give you a couple inches off the plate, but I'm not going to give you 4 or 5 inches because you're not John Smoltz." That, Lo Duca said, "I got a little problem with." That, Lima said, "makes me look like I'm a rookie up there."

    After that line of crap, he then missed a call on a play at home. LoDuca did his 'touchdown dance' as he called it and spiked the baseball while following that up with some expletives directed towards the ump. With Smoltz on the mound, LoDuca knew that every call would count and he thought there were plenty missed that the Mets simply could not afford. Not a smart play spiking the baseball while the play was still on, but you have to like the guy getting riled up after the ump proved he should not even have a job. Angel Hernandez has been around for a while, and his line of thinking is certainly disconcerting.

    As far as the big story of the day, Lima Time!™ had a rough outing and got called for a balk despite the fact he does not believe he balked in thirteen years, including yesterday. He really did not look good, but chalked it up to adrenaline and his first time pitching for a New York team. He vowed he would be ready for his next start and he will get at least two more starts and possibly three. As it stand now, Lima Time!™ will face the Brewers in Milwaukee, the Phillies at Shea Stadium, and possibly the Marlins in Florida and looks like the Mets main backup plan unless someone steps it up.

    As for the other starting spot and the in house options the Mets have, Jeremi Gonzalez is the logical choice and he has put up a 2.08 ERA, 8.60 K/9, 2.67 BB/9, and a 8.60 K/9 since his first start of the season. His first start would be against the Brewers should he get the call. Gonzalez has had injury issues over the years and pitched well in the Winter Leagues, the World Baseball Classic, Spring Training, and his stint with Norfolk so maybe he will be able to step up and contribute to this team while they need it the most.

    There is also another choice that is readily available in Darren Oliver. He has done a great job so far with his role in the bullpen and really came up big with his work in Saturday's game, but I have concerns about starting him. The fear I have is that if Willie over exposes him, he will start to get roughed up. Out of the bullpen, he has been solid. However, if he faces guys for three or four times in one game, I think he might have a hard time keeping it up. Oliver's best fit may be the role he is currently occupying with other people being better suited for starting and the Mets do not plan to mess with Heilman or Oliver in an effort to not disrupt the bullpen anyway.

    Lastly, if the Mets choose to go with some more drastic measures and continue to leave Heilman's name out of the discussion, there is another option. Alay Soler had an impressive first start in Binghamton by throwing 6.2 innings while giving up seven hits, one earned run, and no walks while striking out nine. He is not a young player by prospect standards and with his experience against tough competition, he might be able to handle the big jump and certainly has more upside than Lima Time!™ or Jeremi Gonzalez. In fact, Soler has more upside than Maine and Bannister too in my eyes. If Omar wants to be aggressive, this might be the move and he would certainly be rested for the next time a fifth starter would be needed and facing the Brewers should not be the tallest of orders. He is not a kid as he has pitched for his country and has gotten the chance to log some innings after a large layoff and loosened his arm. The Mets would probably want to give him a few more starts at AA and possibly AAA before they seriously consider him, but he could certainly emerge as a viable option if they ever throw his name in the conversations.

    This all goes beyond finding two starters for the next two or three starts. Bannister is still not a 100% given and Maine surely comes with question marks. After Pedro and Glavine, it goes downhill fast and this rotation's sparkling numbers will simply not continue and this offense is not the Yankee offense. They will not out-bash teams to back up bad pitching and hopefully Mike Pelfrey is not called up before he is ready as knee jerk reaction. Outside of the team, Omar is no doubt going to be a busy man on the phone working the trade angle to see if anyone will emerge as a possible trading partner. However, knowing the Mets situation, I wonder if a team will try and rip the Mets off. Omar is certainly in a tough spot when it comes to trying to make a deal and might have to look for a trading partner looking to get rid of someone as desperately as the Mets are trying to find someone.

    * * *

  • While other stadiums around the country have a bevy of food choices ranging from pulled pork to sushi, Shea Stadium has been under the tyrannical rule of Aramark since I could remember. Not much going on if you are looking for something outside of a hot dog. The sausage, peppers, and onions sandwich is bizarrely devoid of much flavor, the burgers are lackluster and the places that actually put cheese on them are sporadic, and nothing else really is that interesting...or so I thought. I have the Sunday plan and tickets in the loge section on the third base side. I've been too lazy to mosey on down to the concession stand on the field level in right field so far this year, but with the Mets getting beat up badly, I figured now was a good a time as any to make the trip. My reward for making the trek was a BB Sandwich Bar steak sandwich.

    Gary Thompson, formerly the owner and chef of Sonia Rose, has created an impressive, singular sandwich. The foundation of this carefully constructed specialty is a Kaiser roll; thin slices of beef come next, topped with caramelized onions, a spicy, ketchup-based sauce and white American cheese. The result is well balanced and incredibly flavorful.

    If you went to NYU or spent any time in the area, you may be familiar with their place on West 3rd. If not, you will have to take my word for it that they are tasty sons of a bitch. The ones at Shea are not quite as good as the ones directly from the restaurant, but they are easily the best food item at Shea to shove in your mouth to provide some sustenance.

  • Watching Bobby Cox get thrown out and kick some dirt between second base and first base in an act of futility was hysterical. He missed the point of kicking dirt entirely. The main idea is to kick the dirt onto home plate or anything that would cause the ump to bend over and clean it off. While I like the fact that his heart was in the right place, he needs to execute it a little better next time.

  • And so it begins..

  • This recap certainly is not one you want to read to many times.

    Lima, who was called up from Norfolk before the game, gave up five runs and seven hits in five innings. He also hit a batter, threw a wild pitch and balked.

    Any day you hit a batter, throw a wild pitch, and balk, it is safe to assume you were not at the top of your game.

  • I thought Glavine did not have any options left, but I was wrong.

    "We're going to pick up his option," one Mets decision-maker said Friday.

    One of the smartest moves the Mets made was their quiet, heretofore-ignored agreement with Glavine to restructure his contract in March 2005. That's when they changed his deferred payment schedule and, without notice or fanfare, added an $11-million 2007 option, a distinct bargain for the resurrected Cooperstown-bound pitcher with 279 career victories.

    Had the option not been added, Glavine, 40, would have had his own option to return to the Braves, something we know he's considered before, thanks to Braves GM John Schuerholz's revealing book, "Built to Win."

    Awesome stuff. He surely did not have one when the contract was originally signed, but they added it on the down low. Tom Glavine has looked like the best pitcher in the big leagues so far this season and looks like he is getting stronger. While a lot of us have been critical of Rick Peterson over the years, he deserves a lot of credit for his work with Glavine. He helped a Hall of Famer change his approach and I think it is safe to say it is working.

  • Also from the above link...

    One reason Kaz Matsui will keep playing is he's performing better. The other is he's being showcased for trade possibilities. If the Mets can trade Matsui (Devil Rays? Red Sox?), Anderson Hernandez will be back.

    I'd prefer to keep him being you probably will not get much for him, but the powers that be do not seem to enamored with him no matter what he does.

  • Hmmmm...

    Alfonso Soriano's bosses note his improved attitude but would like to see him take 100 fly balls a day in leftfield, something he won't do. Most baseball people envision him as a leftfielder in the future, but he isn't too sure about that. Soriano, formerly a second baseman, said he still isn't confident in left. "It's not easy," he said. "I hope to get comfortable, but it's not easy. I've only played there a month. It's going to take a little more time."

    ...maybe you should try...you know...taking 100 fly balls a day to help make yourself a bit more comfortable.

  • Pedro sticks up for Victor...

    Martinez said Zambrano has been hurt all year and opted to pitch yesterday "because of the damn pressure you guys put on him."

    "Before you guys really hurt a guy, you need to do a little research," Martinez said. "We're human beings, and we're trying to do a job.

    "I feel terribly sad for him."

    First of all, I think it really is horrible that he pitched through an injury and it came to this and his season ending. However, I'm not sure anyone was pressuring him to pitch. Quite the opposite. Most people felt they saw all they needed to see.

    "I'll be honest with you: I haven't been pitching a very healthy game from the first time I got traded," Zambrano said before the Mets went out and got crushed by Atlanta 13-3 at Shea Stadium.

    "It was hard for me to not have the opportunity to be 100 percent healthy, to prove what I can do. ... I know they put out a big effort, and it was a big trade the Mets did for me. So I thought I could go through all this pain. It only got worse."

    Hopefully he can come back successfully for the 2007 season and pitch in an environment more suitable for him and more conducive for him to succeed. To put this entire debacle to an end, the Mets should wave goodbye and wish him luck, but I fear they still might try and resurrect some usefulness of the trade and bring him back in 2007.

    "I can win 15-20 games," he said. "I never was feeling good to prove what I can do. ... Maybe they can understand a little bit more and have a better relationship."

    He was reported to throw much harder than he did before the Mets acquired him and this could have been why, but he really was not that good prior to the trade when he was healthy. He picked up some wins on a bad team and had a low BAA in 2003 and 2004, but his WHIP was horrible and that has always been his problem. Too many walks, too many base runners, and too much of a fractured relationship with New York.

  • The overstatement of the day goes too....


    "We have some guys from (Class AAA) that we can consider and then wait for some of the guys to come off the DL," Minaya said. "I felt that one of the strengths we had was the numbers in starting pitching that we had, and I still feel that."

  • Steven Henson wonders if the Mets would be interested in Odalis Perez and the $19 million he is owed for 2006 and 2007.

  • Ken Davidoff says that Dontrelle Willis is the answer to the Mets problems.

  • Despite all the hoopla surrounding the Mets starting rotation, it has not affected their performance. Here are the top five rotations by SNLVAR.
    Team                    VORP   SNLVAR
    Houston Astros 40.5 0.155
    New York Mets 66.3 0.147
    San Diego Padres 43.6 0.135
    Los Angeles Dodgers 32.5 0.131
    St. Louis Cardinals 54.9 0.131

    SNLVAR is like SNLVA, but comparing to replacement level, rather than average. Replacement level is now being computed the same way in SNVA and in VORP (using the formulas from Keith Woolner's BP 2002 article).

    Three of the top five teams are pitching in hitters parks and the top team pitches in a bandbox, which is certainly impressive.
  • Sunday, May 07, 2006

    Learn From Your Mistakes

    Every time someone brings up Scott Kazmir, another person inevitably will tell them to stop crying about it and move on. They will say there is nothing you can do about it and it is not relevant anymore. I beg to differ. It is completely relevant. It is the reason a guy who got booted from the rotation in 2005 who missed a lot of time this spring not pitching for his home country inexplicably did not have to pitch his way into the rotation.

    That trade still affects today's decisions for this team and is still making it's mark. I sure hope Omar and Co. look at the fact that Kazmir is 9th in the league in innings pitched, 3rd in the league in strikeouts, and tenth in the league in ERA while owning a 4-2 record while just turning 22 in January. I hope they think about that all the time so they can be reminded to make the same mistakes twice.

    Just as Victor started looking like he was settling into a groove, his elbow exploded for the second time since the Mets acquired him. That ill advised trade is fresh on my mind as the Mets are now in another pickle because of that trade. Instead of having a healthy 22 year old left handed flamethrower with a nasty slider in the rotation, the Mets will try and pick up the pieces of a battered stable of arms and band-aid it with Lima Time!™ and Jeremi Gonzalez until Bannister and Maine are back or until they think Alay Soler is ready.

    The ghost of this trade is still haunting this team and now they are in some deep trouble because of it yet again. Most of us were leery of this rotation and for good reason. The depth and quality simply was not there at the backend and with the streaking Phillies, the Mets need to have something go their way and decent outings from their replacements. If this team misses the mark, we will know why. Perhaps the team will take another look at Aaron Heilman to the rotation while Jorge Julio is hot because no matter how strong the bullpen is, they need to be handed a lead and simply giving two games away a week is not a good way to about playing baseball.

    Ok, I'm done venting and rehashing bad memories.

    * * *

  • Kazuo!!!!!!

    Seriously. Stop booing him.

  • Laaaarrrrryyyy...Laaaaarrrrrrry....

    Some kid, who sounded very young, could clearly be heard during yesterday's broadcast heckling Larry with the now famous chant. Classic, you have to love the little kids getting into it with Chipper.

  • The Mets need the gift of innings from Lima Time!™ after the last two games. Win or lose, the Mets need at least six from him and since they took the series already, they just need innings.