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

Friday, January 19, 2007

NL Least No More

Nobody needs me to tell them that John Schuerholz is a good general manager, but John had a good week as he capped it off with a Craig Wilson one year deal at $2 million. Frankly it was surprising that not one team wanted a guy with some decent pop who is only 30 that would be pretty cheap. Wilson may not be a good fielder or an elite hitter, but his 162 game average for his career is 71 runs scored, 24 homers, seventy RBIs, and had a .265/.354/.480 line and he will supplement the Atlanta lineup sufficiently. He will provide some nice pop for the Braves while being an ideal platoon partner with Scott Thurman. While I do not think they'll match LaRoche's OPS, they will certainly approach his homer total and his RBI total and you have to think the Braves are better off with Gonzalez and Wilson in the fold rather than just LaRoche in the fold.

I am officially getting pumped for this season and I want a dogfight all season and I want to watch good divisional baseball. A large reason why I think the Mets offense, which was solid all season, completely failed in the playoffs was that they were just flat. They had the season wrapped up a month ahead of time and most of September was spent without the regular starting lineup playing at one time. In May they had a .253/.332/.433 line and scored 137 runs. In June they had a .273/.332/.487 line with 152 runs scored. In July they had a .275/.352/.463 line with 157 runs scored. In August they had a .272/.342/.452 line with 148 runs scored. In September they had their worst full month of the season and had a .244/.319/.391 with a measly 114 runs scored. In ten playoff games the Mets scored 46 runs but scored 21 of them in two games. In the other eight they averaged a touch over three runs.

Competition breeds...well it breeds competition. It is certainly hard to keep that competitive edge when you had your coronation to the playoffs a month before the season ended and it is certainly hard to stay hungry. That was Willie's biggest challenge last year and frankly it is an extremely hard task. While it is speculation at this point if the Mets flat offense had anything to do with their flat September, it certainly seems to be true that the team that is playing for something at the end enters the playoffs with the upper hand over the team that was fine tuning for a month. While the Cardinals almost played themselves out of the playoffs, they were still playing for something every day and while it may be a harder path to the playoffs this season for the Mets, it can certainly be argued that they will be better off as a result.

* * *

  • Buster still likes the Mets bullpen more than the Braves revamped bullpen.

    That will not be the case in 2007, now that general manager John Schuerholz has put together one of the best bullpens in his time with Atlanta; he landed Pittsburgh left-hander Mike Gonzalez yesterday, for first baseman Adam LaRoche.

    The Atlanta bullpen does not appear to be as strong as that of the Mets, but the Braves' staff is balanced, with Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano lined up in front of Bob Wickman, and a rotation of Smoltz, Chuck James, Tim Hudson, Kyle Davies and the recovering Mike Hampton. The Braves could reclaim the NL East if Hudson, Hampton, Smoltz, et al, stay healthy.

    Not that his opinion means anything to most of you, but I'm just pointing out what my favorite blogger said.

  • I just puked a bit in my mouth.

    Not only do the Mets have an affiliate in the Big Easy, but they get out just in time not to have a not so swell new logo and have an angry beaver who eats his own teams logo.

  • Jon Heyman writes about the Mets rotation wows.

  • Delgado will be ready for Spring Training and I for one feel bad for any guy that has to throw a ball in his general direction while he has a bat in his hand. Sure his 38 homers and 114 RBIs look nice, but his .265 average was his lowest since 1997 and he only dipped below .270 twice in the last seven seasons. That's not to say I expect a .330 average, but I certainly think Delgado is still good for another .300 year for sure and next year's offense will be downright scary with Alou in the fold and a full year of the MVP-type Jose Reyes which should certainly have positive results on everyone.

    Blogger Russlan said...

    Wilson's OPS+ the last three years: 94, 112, 122

    Shawn Green's OPS+ the last three years: 94, 113, 113

    11:55 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Against lefites Wilson had an OPS of .875 over the last three years while Thorman managed a .906 OPS against righties with 15 double and 12 homers in AAA last year and a respectable .462 in his first 91 at-bats in the bigs in '06.

    The move is a solid one and the two of them should definitely give some decent output to the Braves. Not only does it create favorable match-ups depending upon who is pitching, but it allows them to bring their younger guy along more slowly. Wilson is not going to be leaned on to start 120+ games and Thorman might just take over completely as the season wears on leaving Wilson as a guy who can actually hit the ball out of the park off the bench which most teams do not have.

    I think we all know Wilson is not Albert Pujols, but he improves next year's Brave team. I don't think it really paints the entire picture to look at his overall OPS when he cannot get his OBP against righties over .300 and he will not be expected to carry the postion full time.

    12:32 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    As for Green, if he was not such a butcher in field, he might be useful in a platoon as well. However, during last season he was equally ineffective against lefties and righties and lefties. But in '05 he had a .306/.374/.513 line against righties. Both could still be usefull if used correctly and if Green could be hidden at first...in fact, him and Wilson might put up a decent year platooning with each other...I don't think you are being quite fair in terms of looking at how Wilson is going to be realistically used.

    12:38 AM

    Blogger Russlan said...

    I agree that Wilson is a lefty masher but I'm not sure the Braves made themselves better by trading LaRoche. It's a risk expecting a guy who only posted a .277 OBP against righties in 91 ABs to be the lefthanded portion of your platoon. If Thorman isn't ready, is Wilson good enough to be an above average first baseman if forced to play everyday?

    Personally, I'm glad to see the Braves trading LaRoche. I could be wrong.

    1:30 AM

    Blogger Emad Mekhaeil said...

    The Braves have a great GM. Nuff said.

    Look, it's only a harder path this year. Things change quickly. I certainly won't be jumping off any bridges if the Mets fail to win the division in 2007.

    BTW, I just took at look at Reyes' and Wright's PECOTA comps. I can't decide whose list is more impressive.

    Reyes: Alomar, Molitor, Raines, Sandberg, Yount, Larkin.
    Wright: Robinson, Sheffield, A-Rod, Dick Allen, Ripken, Kaline.

    Milledge has Beltran, Sizemore, Sheffield, Wells and Andruw on his.

    3:01 AM

    Anonymous benny said...

    The MEt have bullpen depth while the Braves don't. AS good as Gonzalez is, he's bound to go on the DL. WIckman is fat and out of shape. And Soriano is coming back from a linedrive to the head, from Vladi.

    Speaking of minor league teams, you gotta update the Hagerstown Suns page. ITs now the Savannah Sand Gnats... yeah.

    Usually its not fair to say to a 34 year old player but I expect Delgado to be better in 2007

    4:02 AM

    Anonymous jake said...

    holy cow those pecota comps are mindbending.

    i'm getting fully pumped for the season. bring on all the motherfuckin wankers!

    agreed on fat wickman. we will pummel his ass.

    7:34 AM

    Blogger Emad Mekhaeil said...

    'holy cow those pecota comps are mindbending'

    Still, if we can get Blanton for Milledge, Omar should be all over that. Proven starter... c'mon!!!

    This site is better than coffee. After posting here, i'm ready to face 10-15 hours of mind-numbing, soul-crushing academia.

    7:57 AM

    Anonymous DG said...

    I'm really not down with a Milledge for Blanton trade. You're talking about a guy who BA says would still be considered the top prospect in the organization versus a guy who can bring you innings and not much else. Look at what teams hit against him last year - above .300, who needs that?

    I will not comment on the new Tides hat as Coop will accuse me of being tasteless, but we must nevertheless admit that it look suspicious. The Zephyrs hat looks cool, but I suspect the Mets will only be there for two years and then relocate to Buffalo.

    8:33 AM

    Anonymous DG put Mr. Met in his Gumbo! said...

    Rich! (from the NYTimes):

    Mr. Met froze on a balcony above the street. Usually, he does not leave New York and therefore does not require an introduction. But in New Orleans, a city known for its costume parties, he just looked like some guy who decided to dress up as a baseball.


    Mr. Met needed only one night of minor-league seasoning. The Zephyrs have their own mascot, a semiaquatic rodent with orange teeth named Boudreaux. This breed of rodent, a nutria, is rarely found in the United States outside Louisiana.

    “They’re actually edible,” Swoboda said. “People down here like to chop them up and put them in their gumbo.

    “Welcome to New Orleans.”

    8:50 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Russlan, While LaRoche is definitely a loss, first base should be the easiest position to replicate 30 homers and 90 RBIs. I guess it boils down to whether you think a shut down bullpen is more important than a step back at first base. Personally, the Braves were good enough offensively to be able to take a step back. Of course after Andruw leaves, they might be hungering for some pop, but they had five guys capable of 30+ homers and a horrible bullpen, but for ’07, I think the addition of Gonzalez and Wilson make them a better team and McCann’s pop makes it more palatable to take a step back at a corner infield spot offensively.

    Also, they dealt from a relative position of strength. With Thorman in the mix and Saltalamacchia possibly moving to first down the line or McCann, it is hard to see LaRoche as that big of a loss. Furthermore, LaRoche should look especially good this year because he is playing in a more favorable atmosphere which might skew things a bit, but LaRoche was eminently replaceable and replaceable by guys within. I still think they are better off today than they were at the beginning of the week, but I guess it boils down to what is important.

    BTW, I just took at look at Reyes' and Wright's PECOTA comps. I can't decide whose list is more impressive.

    Reyes: Alomar, Molitor, Raines, Sandberg, Yount, Larkin.
    Wright: Robinson, Sheffield, A-Rod, Dick Allen, Ripken, Kaline.

    Milledge has Beltran, Sizemore, Sheffield, Wells and Andruw on his.

    I soiled my undies. I like the new and optimistic emad.

    Benny…noted on the Suns vs. Nats thing. I think they have depth too…the guys they were relying too heavily on last year are now the fourth, fifth, and sixth options. As for Wickman, he might be fat, but he’s still effective and I like that they have their two best relievers setting up so they can have the higher leverage innings and get it done when it matters most and not when they get handed a two run lead with three outs in the ninth.

    RE: Delgado improving…34 is not the 34 of ten years ago and people are effective until their late 30’s when they are elite. Also, he had wrist and elbow issues which should be fixed which should help a lot too.

    Still, if we can get Blanton for Milledge, Omar should be all over that. Proven starter... c'mon!!!

    Oh, I hope that was a joke..in fact, I’m going to go ahead and assume that was a joke for sure.

    Jake, I hope they stick it out in New Orleans so I can make it down there to see Fernando one of these days and I don’t expect him to be in AAA until 2009. I’m not sure they are really going to rush him so much with the way things are set up with Milledge at AAA and Gomez at AA.

    DG…that was a tasty tidbit. They may eat aquatic rodents in Louisiana, but they get guinea pigs in Peru.

    9:19 AM

    Anonymous DG said...

    I remember the guinea pig photo. Choice!

    Fernando will be at AAA by sometime in 2008. At least that's my guess. Mets do like Binghamton a lot.

    9:29 AM

    Anonymous Danny said...

    Wickman is not only fat, he is old and fat. An important distinction. I look for him to blow a solid 6 or 7 games in the first half of the season before Cox feels obligated to demote the veteran. The Mets bullpen is definitely better, and will be unless the Braves get HUGE advances from McBride and Devine.

    "Proven starter". Very funny Emad. I think I miss the pessimistic Emad though.

    I do think the Braves are probably slightly improved after these 2 moves, but I still don't think they are close to our beloved Metropolitans. I think the Mets are still 5-10 games better. Sure, the Braves have Smoltz. But it's question mark after question mark right after that. From the media, you would think the only team that had question marks in their rotation are the Mets, but this is just not so. Hudson is likely on a steep decline. Hampton is coming back from a major arm injury. Chuck James will likely be a league average starter, maybe slightly better. Hiram Davies sucks really, really badly. Oh, and I love Brian McCann, but I would be surprised if he repeated last year's stats. And Renteria will decline too. And second base is a black hole. I oculd go on...

    9:47 AM

    Anonymous bmc said...

    "Never trade opportunity for security."
    -Branch Rickey

    Omar is the man. Mr. Hymen? His assesment is three shades of wrong.

    11:42 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    How can you forget the guinnea pig?

    I don’t think they will rush Fernando from here on out unless A) they are forced to and they trade away depth and an injury happens B) he just destroys a league for a few months striaght. No need to rush him at this point.

    Wickman is not only fat, he is old and fat. An important distinction.

    Point taken…he’s still effective though. I’ll agree the Mets bullpen is better and I’m not saying the Braves bullpen is, but they are certainly one of the top five in the NL now.

    5-10 games better is something I’ll side with, but it’s hard not to see them in the race late August/early September and in striking distance.

    I also agree that the Braves rotation has just as many question marks as the Mets rotation. Difference is the Mets have more depth and more poo to throw at the wall to see what sticks.

    11:46 AM

    Anonymous benny said...

    I know Wickman is still effective but my point about him being fat and out of shape was that he's bound to go on the DL during the season. Same goes for Mike Gonzalez, he's bound to go on the DL.

    2:30 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi Mr. Met:

    I was checking out game videos from last season to see what kind of "Poo" we've got for 07. You know, numbers alone don't tell you everything.

    It turns out that Standridge's stuff really impressed me. I know his numbers are shitty, that is how we got him for almost nothing. However, like most of Omar's cheap acquisitions, Standridge has a good upside. He has a very decent fastball ranging from 92-95 mph with a down and in movement towards right-handed hitters. I saw him striking out lefties with that pitch the same way Tim Hudson does: it starts inside then moves back to the strike zone. He also has a sharp breakball that reminds me of Carpenter's. When he is on, he keeps his pitches down and generates many Ks and GOs. It's when his pitches are up, he gets into trouble(typical Rick Peterson type of pitcher). His biggest problems are his control and health. His numbers last season: 18.2 IP, 17 H, 18 SO (not bad) but with 14 walks. If he can stay healthy, I am sure Peterson can turn his career around.
    Speaking of Carpenter, Standridge has many similarities with the former CY winner:
    1. Physical similarity: Standridge is 6-4 230 lbs. Carpenter is 6-6 230 lbs.
    2. They are both former No.1 draft picks. Standridge was picked by the D-Rays, Carpenter by the Blue Jays.
    3. They both failed in AL east and troubled by shoulder injuries, although Carpenter threw way more innings than Standridge did. Carpenter missed most of the 02 and the entire 03 season. Standridge only pitched 120 innings in the last 6 years.
    4. Their stuff as I've already mentioned above.

    Carpenter turned his career around with the Cards when he was 29, and Standridge is still 28. Maybe it's just my wish that by some miracle Standridge can stay healthy next year and gain the stamina to become an effective starter or just a good setup man even. I know the odds are small that we get our version of Carpenter in Standridge, but one can always dream, right? Plus what the heck can we lose with this deal?

    Also, don't worry about Schoeneweis cause he is solid. He's got an excellent sinker and it seems that he has pretty good control over it too. Now we can generate double plays from both sides of the plate. LOL, I can't wait.

    If you are interested in Standridge's stuff, you can buy the MLB off season package(cheap) and check out his outings in 06:

    7/21 Brewers VS Reds(a great outing)
    7/13 Rockies VS Reds(a bad one)

    3:39 PM

    Anonymous Danny said...

    Wickman walks a fine line between being "effective" and "awful". He is a smoke and mirrors guy. I think the league catches on to him pretty quick next year. I would be horrified if he was the Mets closer.

    Then again, I am pretty sure Pedro Feliciano actually sucks and is ready to implode at any point, and he keeps proving me wrong. (And I hope he continues to do so for the next 5 years or so.)

    I also think old and fat doesn't age well. And then David Wells continues to laugh (and burp) at me.

    What does this all mean? Don't listen to me!

    Good stuff on Standridge metsdynasty. I personally have never seen him throw.

    4:20 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...


    I for sure do not want Wickman as my closer. I’m just saying he’s not that bad. The Mets bullpen is clearly better. As for listening to you, you have plenty of good stuff to say….buck up.

    Really solid stuff metsdynasty. Awesome stuff.

    5:33 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    thanks, guys.

    I also checked out a few Liriano's games. Man, that dude is mad. 90 mph sharp slider!! No wonder that elbow blew up. I feel sorry for the dude.

    Blanton is not as bad as you think Mr. Met. The "Year-After effect" got the best of him last season. He will probably be much better in 07. However, I wouldn't want to trade Milledge for him at this point. We have enough starters already.

    can't wait for 07. I too hope for a dog fight this time. Last year was nice, but I want to feel the nervousness in September this season.

    7:04 PM

    Anonymous Danny said...

    metdynasty, Liriano was throwing 34% sliders. The Twins should have never let him do that. Put that into perspective. Once every three pitches was a slider. And the slider is only the most stressful pitch you can throw. It's made more curious by the fact that Liriano throws 96-98 and has a plus plus changeup in his arsenal as well. So there was no reason to rely so much on the slider. And this is a guy who had a history of arm problems in the minors. I would be livid if I was a Twins fan. Where was the pitching coach? Asleep at the wheel, apparently.

    Yeah, it's not really that Blanton for Milledge on its own is a terrible, terrible trade. Blanton just isn't enough of an upgrade over the current options the Mets have to trade away a top 20 overall prospect (which is what Milledge still is). And our corner OFs are both 87 years old and possibly coming off the books after 2007 (although I hope Alou stays healthy and plays well and sticks around).

    Thanks for the buck up Michael! I am such a "stuff" guy when it comes to pitching. Give me power pitching or give me death. I think Omar and I are similar in this respect. He loves the power arms too.

    7:15 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi danny, agree with you on Liriano. I don't understand why he didn't throw more change-ups. In one game I saw, almost half of his pitches were sliders. He's got 2 types of sliders too. They move in opposite directions. Well, that's that.

    I have a feeling that we gonna get Santana in 08. If Omar keeps stealing young talents from other organizations, we gonna have enough good players to do business with the Twins. Also with our Latino connection, Santana will probably prefer playing for the Mets.

    Power arms give me a hard-on too.
    Too bad we are stuck with Glavine. No disrespect to the man, but I want to see some strike outs for God's sake.

    7:35 PM

    Anonymous Coop said...

    Hey guys, made it finally - first things first - Dg, you don't have to be watered down or politically correct for me. If you knew me in real life, you'd know I'm the most politically incorrect gal out there. Now about that logo...he looks like a beaver! I think beavers are so cute. Too bad they eat them down there. I do like that gator though...BTW, What's even more cute is the logo for the AA Portland Sea Dogs. I used to go to their games when they would play Trenton all the time, b/c I thought the logos were cute. And yes, I am this dorky in real life. So I am fine with the new logo. But please, feel free to share what you thought if you want!!

    As for Emad - you *were* being tongue-in-cheek with that, weren't you? Cause even though Blanton is a "proven starter," the potential trade is so Phillips era, not Omar at all. In fact, I have a feeling if Billy Beane called up with that offer, Omar would have told him to suck his brass cajones. Oh and his dick too.

    I feel like I am echoing Benny here, but I am not afraid of anyone in the NL East. Bring em on.

    Oh - have any of you been to Metsblog? He has a post about break-out star of 2007. He predicts Lastings, and you know - I have to kind of agree there. You all know that I am high on Oh-Pea. But Stings I think will have the fear of the Lord beat into him by his strict family this year. He will be sitting there with a halo. He's also gotta know he has to hit the ground running.

    10:00 PM

    Blogger Emad Mekhaeil said...

    'As for Emad - you *were* being tongue-in-cheek with that, weren't you? Cause even though Blanton is a "proven starter," the potential trade is so Phillips era, not Omar at all.'

    I am very low on Milledge. I don't think he'll be a superstar or even an above-average corner.

    That having been said, i'd be extremely pissed if he were traded for Blanton. At this point, i'd rather watch him fail with the Mets. We resisted trading him several times and NOW we're going to trade him when his value is lowest? I don't think so.

    11:37 PM

    Blogger Itsmetsforme said...

    I don't know how many of you folks are out-of-towners like me, but this morning there was some disheartening news in the NYTimes (you can check out my blog for details).

    Basically, it looks like MLB is yanking their extra innings package from cable and Dish network, signing an exclusive 7 year deal with Direct tv. If you don't have broadband, no baseball for you.

    I had not heard of this "deal" before, so obviously am wallowing in a grief cocoon right now. I don't know what to do.

    MLB phone: 1-866-800-1275

    2:04 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    Fuck, this sucks alot of ass. I mean I do get the Mets and don't have to worry about that but I was ready to get the MLB Package and see as many games as I can just because thats the life I live.

    The first 2 months of the season I'm gonna have to watch the games online. I'm in England until mid May.
    Just gotta stay up till midnight. Which is not a problem for me.

    2:56 PM

    Anonymous Danny said...

    I am an out-of-towner as well, but I am lucky because I was already getting the Extra Innings package through DirecTV. These exclusivity agreements are good for revenue, but not good for the game. It sucks for those who are blacked out. My only suggestion is to get the package through mlb.com. It's the only other way. The Internet feed can be somewhat spotty, but it's very good overall.

    6:19 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hello, great site, I found a lot of useful information here, thanks a lot for Your work!
    With the best regards!

    12:42 AM

    Anonymous metsfansince62 said...

    Most Yankees’ fans I know think Olney is anti-Yankees and most Mets fans I know think he is anti-Mets. I’m sure he elicits this type of response from passionate fans of other teams as well. It’s tough for the Sunshiner fans when somebody exposes a weakness of a given team or the strength of an opponent.

    This article goes on to say that if things break right for the Braves they could win the division. So what? The same can be said for the Phillies and Mets. The important thing is that last year you couldn’t say that about the Braves and this year you can. They have improved while the Mets are pretty much treading water. However, the Mets were a 97 win team last year so even if they appear to be treading water they are doing so from a position of strength. But the Braves and the Phillies seemed to have closed the gap between themselves and the Mets. It should be an exciting season.

    1:33 AM

    Anonymous I would be anonymous if I wasn't DG commenting on the anonymous message you'll delete said...

    Mike, that has to be one of the greatest anonymous notes ever. I wouldn't click on one of those links if you paid me but just the progression of it all! By the time you reach Charlotte job, you've got to know that you're being tugged towards the stratosphere, then kohlerplumbing.1time sex? Hmmn, I wonder if that's safe for the kids?

    6:16 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Of course it's safe for kids.

    Personally, I love reading spam...or at least the subject of spam.

    12:10 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Great job done, keep it up!with the best regards!

    3:56 PM


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