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

Sunday, February 11, 2007

There's still a lot of 'Mambo' left

"There's still a lot of 'Mambo' left," Lima told ESPNdeportes.com, referring to the nickname he's known by in the Spanish-speaking world. "My arm feels better than ever, and I've shown that time and again this winter season."

You have to be amused by Jose Lima in the same way that Hugo Chavez is amusing. Their quotes are priceless, but when you realize they are dead serious, it is extremely disconcerting. I do not know where Lima will land, but I think we all know it will not be with the Mets. Omar failed to land Daisuke and Barry, but with everyone's patience I truly believe things will work out in the end as I've stated time and time again.

With Chan Ho Park in the fold, the Mets added another potentially capable arm for the back end of the rotation. At $600,000 for one year, Park could be solid pick up. The dichotomy between the Mets 1st half of the season and their 2nd half of the season is going to be tremendous. While the 1st half will be marked wither a multitude of starting pitchers, the 2nd half arms will shape into stable and dependable starting rotation.

The Mets offense is good enough to carry this team through the regular season and leave them in a good position to distance themselves from the pack in the second half. I know that Park has not been particularly good since 2001, but he did do a decent job for the Padres last year and could be a solid arm while giving the Mets youth more time develop. While the Mets rotation may not be filled with the pantheons of the starting pitching world, they certainly have the arms to surprise people.

Franco (NYC): You are nuts about Giada! She pronounces italian words correctly, not like italian americans who drop the last vowel off of anything (she does have a big head though)... Anyway, Can Oliver perez get anywhere near his numbers he had when he was nasty in Pittsburgh?

SportsNation Keith Law: Agreed on the final-vowel thing - a relative of my wife's who shall not be named refers to locatelli as "lugaTELL" - but I swear I heard Giada call spaghetti "spa-GHEE-tee." I smacked my television after that. And I wouldn't give up on Perez - there's more in that arm than you saw in '06.


While the rotation in the 1st half will draw a lot of criticism from the baseball world and the New York media (especially the New York media) as the Mets sort things out, the second half will go a long way to shutting up the pundits. With Oliver Perez, John Maine, Orlando Hernandez, Chan Ho Park, Jason Vargas, Phil Humber, and Mike Pelfrey in the mix to share the last three spots behind Tom Glavine and Pedro Martinez, I fully anticipate a overabundance of arms when Pedro returns which is a stark contrast to what other teams will be dealing with all over the league.

Omar has shown the ability to be resilient and hedge this Met team with moves like Chan Ho Park. At $600,000 he can be cut loose rather easily. You never like to throw money away, but that bit of insurance to keep Park around in the event that he is needed could end up looking like another brilliant move by Omar. Maybe I'm placing too much faith in Rick Peterson and too much into thinking that playing on a team as good as the Mets will have a profound effect on these seemingly marginal pitchers the Mets will be throwing out there, but I do not think so. I think this Met rotation is going to surprise everyone out there.

* * *

  • John Altavilla thinks that the Mets answer to suspect starting pitching will be the same approach last year to that problem. Their bullpen.

  • Moises was ready to call it quits until the Mets came calling.

    "You just look at the Mets' roster, it was a no-brainer," Alou says of signing the one-year, $8.5 million deal (with an option) he inked with the Mets last November. "At this stage in my career, I'm not looking for any extra money, you know? I just wanted to be on a winning team - on a team that looks like it can win it all. I think the Mets are that team."

    I'm sure that $8,000,000 helped his decision. He only made more than that twice before and $8,000,000 would be worth more 10% of his entire career earnings. I'm glad that he is saying the right things, but it is always about money these days.

  • If you have not done so, catch up on TJ Quin's blogging from Ghana.

  • The Mets do not have any first rounds, but they do have four in the top 100.

    42. Mets (Roberto Hernandez, A, to Cle)
    47. Mets (Chad Bradford, A, to Bal)
    77. Mets (Hernandez to Cle)
    99. Mets (Bradford to Bal)

    If Arizona signs their first rounder from '06 in Max Scherzer, the Mets would then have the 41st pick, 46th pick, 76th pick, and 99th pick.
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    16 Comments:

    Anonymous DG said...

    I still want to know who has been DFA'd with the signing of Ho Park. I suppose that Adkins, Gotay & Schmoll are the likely picks, but I wouldn't want to see the latter two get axed as they can be sent to the minors without going through waivers while Adkins is out of options and will likely be lost when he doesn't make the team out of ST.

    I just cannot see Lima getting another chance anywhere. I mean, it is hard enough for Steve Trachsell to get a chance after his game 3 appearance against the Cards. I wonder what's going on in the mind of Steve these days.

    I'll take those four picks. Not bad Omar! Further does anyone know if the Mets still have draft and follow rights to Jeremy "I Beat My Dad" Barfield? I know that the Draft and Follow rule is gone with the new players agreement, but I wasn't sure if that applies to last year's draft.

    Good to see that Mikael Oliverski is still alive and kicking.

    5:04 AM

     
    Anonymous Chief TomaDG said...

    Further, Bob Klapisch thinks the Braves are going to potentially challenge the Mets? I see that the Phillies have a decent shot but the Braves? Frankly, they will be so much worse offensively that an improved pen will work if no one gives up any runs. Braves are at best a third place club though if they dump Andrew at the deadline - as they may well choose to do - they will be hard pressed to finish that high.

    5:09 AM

     
    Anonymous benny said...

    LIMA TIME is a riot and lots of fun to have around until you realise he has to pitch for you, and maybe more than once. I know I was excited when LIMA TIME was signed for spring training, then he accepted the minor league assignment and then... he was on a major league mound.

    And alot of people are pointing to the rotation as a big negative for the Mets and how they've gotten worse. Fuck that, it's gotten better! Look at those names, Oliver Perez, John Maine, Jason Vargas, Aaron Sele, Chan "Where da HO's at" Park, Jorge Sosa, Mike Pelfrey, and Phillip Humber. Now, try to convince me those names are WORSE than Zambrano, Traschel, Bannister, Lima Time, and Geremi Gonzalez. The numbers have increased and the quality has as well, as well as the potential of the pitchers. With last year, you knew exactly what kind of production you were gonna get from those shitty pitchers.

    And the Braves don't scare me bcause they lost some offense and thier supposed big improvement in the bullpen is anchored by 3 big injury risks.

    6:06 AM

     
    Anonymous Danny said...

    I think this offseason showed that Omar has balls. He easily could have overpaid for mediocrity like Jeff Suppan or Gil Meche, and people would not criticize his offseason nearly as much. Because there would be more "comfort" by the people assessing his offseason because Omar had acquired a proven starter.

    Like the Philles, when they picked up Eaton and Garcia, people act like their rotation is now this great collection of arms. Those 2 guys have track records of either being slightly above average (Garcia) or slightly below average AND injury prone (Eaton). Either way, they are more proven. Whoopty freakin' do.

    The Braves also have "proven" arms in their rotation like Mike Hampton and Tim Hudson, one of whom is probably on a steep decline and his historical numbers are useless (Hudson), the other who is coming off a major arm injury (Hampton). But they are proven, dammit!

    Omar takes so much heat because the guys in our rotation behind Glavine and El Duque are not proven. Maybe they are not proven, but Omar has enough young, quality arms to fill out the rest of the rotation. And if there are injuries, Omar has fantastic insurance. Pitchers are flaky and get hurt all the friggin' time. Check out who the Braves would have to go to when one of their guys goes down, because it will happen. And sure, the Phillies have Jon Lieber, but they might trade him for bullpen help (because their bullpen is atrocious), and then they are left with Scott Mathieson behind him. And he is awful. I think that grand slam Reyes hit off of him last year on Sunday night is still going.

    **End rant, Exhale**

    8:52 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    What is going on in the mind of Steve is what goes on in the minds of all wash up players. They are thinking how can a 15 game winner not be signed. He was one of a few to win that many games and doesn’t have a home despite his superior pitching prowess. If I’ve learned anything from watching baseball it is that these players have no idea to evaluate their true talent and place in the game.

    They can still sign Barfield 100%. With the current depth of outfielders and Carp at first, it’s hard to see them giving him anything outside of slot. He shouldn’t cost much, but if he’s looking for extra cash for having lineage, then the Mets will for sure pass. However, it certainly behooves everyone to get this done soon so he can get placed on some short season roster and maybe even get some time as a Sand Gnat before a short season team starts.

    As for the Braves, I think they’ll be good. I’m more worried about the Phillies, but the Braves were slightly better than the Mets offensively and I think they’ll be able to reasonably replicate (although not duplicate) LaRoche’s production. Even if they get eighteen homers vs. his 30, they are pretty close and not appreciably worse. Where they Braves need to worry is when Andruw leaves and Chipper regresses further. Their bullpen is tight and their rotation has potential, but is reliant on a few arms to really carry this team. ’07 should be a solid year for the Braves….’08 will be a different story. That being said, the Mets are still much better, but not quite as far as everyone thinks.

    Also Benny, a few of those arms have tremendous upside. Park isn’t one of them, but 10 wins and a 4.50 ERA is all he would need to give in any elongated stint in the rotation. If he did end up pitching the entire year, there is a pretty good chance he would be decent. And there is certainly more depth. No one as bad as Lima or Gonzalez will ever see the mound and no one as bad as Bannister, Zambrano, or Trachsel even. I’m very optimistic and I cannot wait to see some of these young arms go at it.

    Omar does have cojones and that is why we love him. He never lost sight on the Mets long term goal and tries to orchestrate his moves around that. He will not get desperate and let someone rip him off but will choose to look for bargains and interim solutions, which I think he has found. He just needs to buy time until Pedro is healthy and until his young guns are ready and we can all agree that he has done an admirable job doing that.

    10:51 AM

     
    Anonymous jake said...

    amen, amen, amen.

    between omar and obama, things are looking good.

    11:50 AM

     
    Anonymous benny said...

    Danny EXACTLY the point I been making in every single Mets blog I go to when the topic comes up.
    The Phillies rotation is full of 3 mediocre starters in Lieber, Moyer, and Eaton. One big question mark, is Cole Hammels. Can he do it again? Can the fucker stay healthy?
    Then there's Brett Myers and Freddy Garcia, I would think both of them are real solid. But big deal? Didn't we whoop Carpenter's ass like 3 times in one week in October?
    Freddy Garcia is beatable and Brett Myers looks like Bert from Sesame Street. And to be honost, looking at his numbers he hasn't been that sucessful against the Mets in his career. I wasn't sure aces had ERA's close to 4. With a 5 ERA against the Mets. Fuck the Phillies.
    Even Damien Easley is 9-4 against him. SOLID!

    Just because its easier to gauge and project the shittyness of thier starters doens't mean the pitching is better. I'd take the potential and DEPTH (don't forget about the depth) of the rotation of the Mets over the whackness of the Phillies.

    12:32 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    While Myers and Garcia are solid, they are hardly guys that will shut you down. In fact, I see only one guy with shut-down potential in Hammels. There is something to be said for consistency, but without a strong bullpen their consistency will not matter. The Mets rotation was consistent last year, but didn’t give you huge innings and relied on the bullpen much like the Phillies will have to. It’s a well known fact that it is hard to pitch in that park and they will cause some them to pitch less innings. The bullpen will really be the difference here.

    As for the Mets, their park is more conducive to pitching and will undoubtedly enjoy much more support from their bullpen. I see this one as an easy in regards to the Mets being the better team, but will they reach 97 wins next season? Not likely and that’s the real point. It will be a closer race, but they will prevail.

    Easley 9-4 against him? He’s batting over 2.000! That’s sick…just sick! He’s getting more than two hits per at-bat!

    1:03 PM

     
    Anonymous benny said...

    Your an asshole.
    4-9. The AB's are first on the the stat line so I typed the AB's first.

    1:09 PM

     
    Anonymous metsfansince62 said...

    Mr. Met you tend to be optimistic and I hope your optimistic view of the pending season becomes fact because there would be nothing finer than seeing a parade for the Mets after the World Series. But others don’t quite share your optimishm. I heard Ron Darling on the Mike and the Mad Dog show say he expects little from Pedro this year and he wonders how all the pitchers vying for spots in the rotation will get enough work in ST. What he says about Pedro stems from a combination of Pedro’s age and the severity of the surgery. He also believes the Braves and Phillies have improved and the Mets actually could be a better team this year than last year and still have a worse record. But Darling is echoing what many beat writers and columnists have written about the Mets. Then of course there is the fact that the Mets exceeded their projection last year and baseball has a way of averaging thing out over the years.

    Moyers came to the Phillies late last year so the league hasn’t had a chance to adjust to him yet and Garcia is new to the NL. Given that the NL is much easier to pitch in than the AL (lack of DH and just better offensive talent throughout the AL) both of them could be very effective this year. So don’t underestimate the Phillies starting rotation.

    Personally after having gone through the mid to late eighties when the Mets were picked to win it all every year and only seeing 2 Eastern Division Titles and 1 ring out of it you would have to be foolish to expect the Mets to waltz to another Eastern Division Title. Each of the clubs has their strengths and weaknesses and I expect it to be a dog fight with possible injuries and unforeseen events determining the winner. If nothing else it should be an entertaining season.

    Lima Time is funny but delusional.

    1:17 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Benny…I kid…I kid…I read you loud and clear and you know that will translate to Easley at the plate whenever he pitches. Willie is that kind of guy.

    I can understand why people do not share my optimism. First of all, there is so much uncertainly and too many guys with no track records or extremely erratic track records. Glavine is the only guy that could be counted on. The others are either 60 years old, injury prone, greenhorns, headcases, rush jobs, returning from injury, etc.

    The thing is, it is impossible to even project what this Met rotation will do because of the lack of track record by so many guys who we figuring in the equation. Is John Maine a dependable starter? Can Mike Pelfrey make the jump from elite prospect to performing big league pitcher? Does Phil Humber’s arm strength preclude him from being a big factor this year? Can Jason Vargas and Oliver Perez find the plate consistently with Rick Peterson’s tutelage? Can The Duque continue to defy logic and reason at the ripe age of 120? Can Chan Ho Park resemble a big league pitcher this year and continue his charge towards respectability? Who is the real Jorge Sosa?

    The questions are there. However, I like the upside with these arms and I love the fact a few of them are power arms. Peterson excels with power arms and these guys are seemingly willing to learn. I’ve not heard of anyone with brain issues like Zambrano who seemingly didn’t have the capacity or the health to learn.

    The Mets are not fear inducing, but they have a lot of arms and potentially quality arms. Also, let us not forget that Omar has the money and the prospects to make a deal during the season, which helps a bit in easing my concerns. Furthermore, the Mets went through last year with a rotation that could easily be worse. I just think this is all being a bit overblown as Shea has a way of making decent pitchers. This team is well rounded enough to overcome their shortcomings in certain areas. Could the Dodgers do it with the Met rotation? Nope. But the Mets are not the Dodgers. I’m still feeling positive about this team. If Glavine and Duque give you what you expect from them and Pedro does come back, you only need two of all those guys to step up and think that is more than reasonable considering Pelfrey, Humber, Maine, and Perez are in that mix. Even if Pedro doesn’t come back, they will not be any worse off than last year. A lot has to go wrong if the Mets are going to totally spit the bit. I just think they will be ok. No stats to back that up….just…um….my gut.

    1:36 PM

     
    Anonymous DG said...

    I understand why '62 is reticent, but truth be told, the Mets may well win less games this season and be a better team. There are millions ways of course that the Mets could underwhelm this season - injuries especially to the young blood could cost dearly. That said, I agree that, even without a true #1 pitcher (Pedro), the team actually has a more talented pitching staff in '07. Difference obviously is that we are talking about talent that has not yet been backed up by experience. So, yes, the team could fail, but the ingredients are there for a great ride.

    3:23 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    the Cardinals are much worse off and no other team outside their division with the exception of the Dodgers (and the Mets are no question better) even comes close. As for the two teams in their division, they are not without plenty of concerns themselves and I’m not sure why everyone glazes over their deficiencies and to point out the Mets. Basically, every team has issues…Dodgers need pop…Phillies need a bullpen…the Cardinals need a warm bodies for the rotation…the Braves need to get consistency out of their rotation and need to replicate what was a surprisingly good offensive year…the Cubs need to prove they can pitch and get on base with regularity…etc.

    The Mets are in better shape than everyone else in my opinion. They have enough arms to work this thing out whereas the other teams could have much more difficulty in overcoming theirs. The Phillies bullpen depth (or lack thereof) is going to kill them. KILL THEM. Ask the Braves of ’06..the Yankees pre ’07 what they think of a deep bullpen. That will be harder to overcome than a mediocre rotation.

    5:09 PM

     
    Blogger Coop said...

    Danny - exactly! No one is saying that Pee Wee Ca$hman had a bad off-season, and I think the Skanks had a lot more work to do than the Mets did. Omar was just fine. Of course, I am disappointed that we didn't get Zito or Dice-K but I'm fine with laying low. I'm just pissed my season tickets went up. And my Diamond Club passes. For mediocre food and shitty bartenders.

    As for Jose Lima, the only thing that guy was good for was getting piss drunk stumbling up the stairs to get more, to numb the pain. I'd purposely go to his games just so I could get hammered. Although that one game I went to, I was still pretty lucid (the one where D-Train hit a slam off him, and the crowd was about to riot) -- I did manage to remember that the game was very winnable when Willie took him out.

    Mike, I think you answered your own question about why everyone questions the Mets and not anyone else. They are easy targets because they had the best record in the league and didn't make the world series (of course no one seems to mention the team with the best record in the AL didn't make it past the first round, but I digress). It's because they are the Mets. I think Steve over at Kranepool Society put it best -- if mike mussina played on the Mets, he'd be a washed up piece of shit. Because he's a Highlander, he's seen as a reliable middle of the rotation guy. We can't win. The only thing we can hope for is that we prove all the naysayers wrong. AGAIN.

    6:42 PM

     
    Blogger Coop said...

    Hey Dg - I don't know if you read but in a stroke of irony, Trashball might be a Baltimore Oriole soon to take the place of---you guessed it, Kris Benson

    7:01 PM

     
    Anonymous Scott said...

    Benson is done for the season.

    I see the Phillies have again moved the LF wall back another 15 feet. Gee, does that mean they have no confidence in their pitching??

    I don't see what has made the Braves better? Yes the bullpen is better on paper but how is a pitcher from Pittsburgh going to fare when he is faced 9 times by the Mets lineup and is under pressure to stop a collapse? Oh yes, they will face injury problems and our depth is second to none in rotation terms.

    7:13 PM

     

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