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

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Age Before Beauty

There are plenty of GMs who will go down with the ship and get fired before they trust youth over grizzled veterans. I do not think Omar is one of those guys, but him and Willie have certainly showed a propensity to lean that way and hedge their bets in Spring Training with the veterans. A lot of it is confidence (or lack there of) in the young guys and a lot of it is that the team does not want to lose the veteran while the young kid can be put in AAA while waiting for his chance should the aforementioned vet falter. As of this point in time, I'm extremely excited with Mike Pelfrey.

While it would be incorrect to say I soured on him last year, I certainly was not has enamored as I was before I saw him. His weak secondary stuff made me less excited since I thought he was too old and too high of a prospect to be having these issues. Everything I've read about him this off-season and his first action of the spring has renewed my desire to see him in the bigs sooner rather than later. A guy who consistently brings it 95 mph would be tremendous to see and it would be about time the Mets had a successful starting pitcher come up through the ranks.

Realistically, the Mets will not implicitly trust Pelfrey until he proves himself at the big league level. Chan Ho Park will not get tossed aside for Pelfrey because he would be gone and the Mets depth would be altered dramatically should Pelfrey falter. He would have to put up an epic performance this spring to change his fate, but you have to wonder what the right move should be. At this point, I think Mike Pelfrey has the chance to be the Justin Verlander of '07. It would not surprise me to see Pelfrey be the ace until Pedro returns if given the chance.

I do think Park could be effective, but his upside at this point in his career is dwarfed by Pelfrey's. With the Mets pitching being a bit suspect and the fact that this division could come down to a game or two, the Mets can ill afford to waste a start. The best pitcher should win out and if Pelfrey is clearly the best pitcher, they cannot toss him aside in favor of not wanting to lose Chan Ho. While it would not be an easy decision and would represent some risk, it could pay off big dividends in the long run. Hopefully the best man wins.

* * *

  • Mike Carp had a big day and Tom Glavine stays focused in getting himself ready for the season.

  • Ollie is taking steps forward...

    Oliver Perez pitched effectively against Cleveland, allowing one run on two hits in three innings. "I felt better keeping the ball down today," he said. "I felt pretty good." Perez struck out three and did not walk a batter.

    That is what it is about. Working on specifics. Forget the outs, throw strikes, work on keeping the ball down, and repeat your delivery. If you get hit, big deal. Spring Training numbers do not count.

  • Reyes is legit....

  • Phil Humber seems like the perfect student for Rick Peterson.

    "I know I'm constantly thinking about being better," he said when asked how his intelligence might transfer to the pitching mound. "Sometimes that can be considered a fault, if you overdo it, but I think the more you know about what you do can only helps you get better. Our coaches at Rice were always getting us to think about playing on a higher level."

  • It's Willie Time!

    "I'm not sure where I'm going to hit David this year," Randolph said cautiously. "I'll make my decision based on a number of things: who's pitching against us, whether we need more speed at the top of the lineup, whether we need that left-right look, which is actually overrated. And sometimes it's just on my feeling, my instinct."

    Enough of your gut. While I'm not against Wright hitting second at times with Alou batting fifth on those days, I draw one bright spot here. Willie actually seems like he will move people around in the lineup depending on the day. He really annoyed me when he would sit a starter and bat a bench player in their spot instead of moving everyone up a spot like it would have long term ill affect on them. Willie is certainly a curious one, but he still seems to struggle a bit too much on easy things for me. He has a ways to go, but he is showing some progress.
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    15 Comments:

    Anonymous benny blanco from da bronx said...

    Just thought I'd mention that your blog, yes Mike, this raw and beautiful blog is on the side bar of Adam Rubin's Daily News Mets blog.
    He's putting you out there kid, you've hit the big time. A newspaper is giving you love. Very nice.

    ANd I have to agree with you, I wasn't really excited when Pelfrey was drafted. And I wasn't impressed with him when I saw him pitch. Not that he did bad, I thought he did fine he just didn't wow me, I didn't see what the hype was, but the kid is a groundball machine with an improving change, very good.

    Willie should just do an incredibly retarded lineup one day just to throw everyone off. It's obvious he's just trying to get Wright one more AB before he takes him out.

    And to my boy scott from peeskill, The Leicester Tigers kicked the Harlequins ass baby! How does it feel like to root for a second rate organization?
    The Tigers took the season series.

    Also just in case nobody read it, I have pushed the draft a week. It is NOW going to be on Sunday March 18th at 7:45pm. Be there or have a shitty draft by letting the computer draft Kerry Wood for you in the 10th round.

    7:56 AM

     
    Anonymous jake said...

    why did klap write that castro may start 3 times a week? fist i've heard of that.

    8:45 AM

     
    Anonymous DG said...

    Just to nuance with Benny, I was very excited when Pelf dropped to the Mets, but last year, his once pitch, while quite a pitch, make one wonder how he'd pitch effectively in the majors. He's coming on, and I agree that he might out-Verlander Verlander.

    I was happy that MLBTV had Ollie's game on the other night. He looked to be throwing well though with less mph than one might expect. Then again, his breaking stuff seemed to come in at the same speed. He may not be throwing at full speed this early in ST, but the best part was how he recovered from the two quick hits in the top of the second against an Indian lineup that actually included starters. A good sign. Plus Maine looked good too.

    Couple of (bl)observations: while I'm convinced he could play Whimpy in the Spanish version of Popeye, Alay Soler looks much more serious about pitching in the majors. He has slimmed down and is working out. Further, Joe Smith looks like a keeper. And lastly, Jose Reyes could get a job detonating packages in airports; I've never seen a ball consistently explode off of any player's bat. Hot damn!

    Ho Park is no loss if he gets beaten out by someone else. A pretty slim investment. He's clearly the insiders choice to start, and I'm fine with it, but I also wouldn't discount Vargas from pushing his way into the equation.

    11:28 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Just thought I'd mention that your blog, yes Mike, this raw and beautiful blog is on the side bar of Adam Rubin's Daily News Mets blog.
    He's putting you out there kid, you've hit the big time. A newspaper is giving you love. Very nice.


    Great! Just when I start posting two times a month after posting everyday for years, something good finally happens! There has to be some irony in there somewhere.

    RE: Wright & more at-bats…possibly, but it’s Willie we are talking about here. I would still like to see him stray away from his “Wrights bats fifth even if Delgado, Reyes, and Beltran sitting” deal.

    Kerry Wood in the 10th round! Sweet! I just have to say, I’m incredibly unprepared for this draft. I have not read much about baseball whatsoever. Should be interesting….

    Jake…Klap was just saying…I doubt Castro will play that much, but I think LoDuca will play less solely for the fact that he’s older.

    DG…Maine pitching well is huge. He needs to be a mainstay for this rotation. He needs to give innings and go deeper into games and just being solid all around.

    Reyes just makes me happy. This guy is going to be better than any of us though and we all thought he’d be pretty good. Now it’s time for Lastings start proving the same.

    I haven’t seen Vargas….I’m going to start DVRing the games and watching some guys now that they got some games under their belts.

    1:23 PM

     
    Blogger BookieD said...

    [Wiping the cobwebs off my commenting keyboard]--Congrats, Mike on the DN link! You're just one step away from being a regular link on Buster Olney's ESPN Insider Blog.

    I love all the good vibes about Pelfrey. You guys are great at getting us excited for young pitching, and I would obviously love to see all the 25-and-under guys (as well as Soler, whatever age he is) succeed. One thing's for certain, no matter how locked up El Duque is at #2, ain't no way we're getting 200 innings out of him, so we will need all that pitching depth.

    Re: Willie, yes, he can be confounding. But I have to say he is definitely growing on me. My biggest complaint about him as a rookie manager was his tendency to be "by the book" on so many decisions and to give short shrift to young talent in order to ingratiate himself with the vets. As you already wrote, there is still some favoritism towards less talented vets, but I sense Willie growing away from the by-the-book mentality and starting to manage like he believes in himself. Obviously, he's a ways away from Big-Time Manager status, but he appears to be making strides. On the other hand, maybe I'm just blinded by the ubiquitous good vibes that Spring Training always brings.

    3:59 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    I have so much optimism about this year it’s getting a bit silly. I never thought of myself as too much of a homer, but it is certainly starting to look like my objectivity has been thrown out the window.

    I don’t think they expect 200 innings from El Duque, but they have depth to make up those 50 to 60 he doesn’t start. He’s meant to log 140-150 innings and be there for the playoffs. We know he’ll have a vacation…that being said, how many teams log 200 innings between two guys? If Glavine and Maine can do it, the Mets are ahead of the game.

    Willie goes by his guy more than the book in my estimation. He needs to just use his brain more. Period.

    4:42 PM

     
    Anonymous Pavan in Seattle said...

    Mike, good to see you back. I definitely hope you'll be going back to your regular posts once the season starts. I'm skeptical of Pelfrey, with everyone calling him a Verlander. I think he'll do well, just not Verlander-esque. That's a lot to place on his shoulders.

    Damnit on the new draft date. I could make all the other dates, but St Pattys day weekend? I'm going to be in boston unable to operate a computer then. Crap, I missed last years too. I guess I'll have to prerank.

    6:23 PM

     
    Blogger Coop said...

    My man Oh Pea!!!!!

    That's all

    9:26 PM

     
    Anonymous Danny said...

    After having watched yesterday's game, I actually think Park is going to help the Mets this year. This is wholly based on the assumption that Park's fastball velocity (yesterday it was 86-88) is still going to increase some. But he flashed some really nice offspeed stuff.

    He throws a 4-seamer, a riding 2-seamer, splitter, curve and changeup. Once he started spotting his fastball in the 2nd and 3rd innings, he got through the Red Sox almost A+ lineup pretty quickly. He was better than I expected, I have to say.

    8:46 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Pavan,

    Posting will be get better, but it will never be like the old stuff. I don’t have the time anymore, which sucks.

    RE: Pelfrey, I don’t think it’s too much to place on his shoulders. Guys that are as highly touted as him come with expectations and you cannot shield him from that stuff. Playing in NYC, you have to be able to deal with those types of expectations and pressures.

    RE: Draft…we’ll see if Benny can work something out, but if not, I suggest finding a starbucks or something with a WiFi hotspot. Auto drafting is not good for anyone.

    Benny, if this Sunday works best for everyone, we should be able to do it. I should be able to make it. Not sure if you want to email everyone to see who gets back to you. If we get responses from everyone and everyone is OK with it, I think we can move it on short notice. But if everyone doesn’t get back, we’ll have to stick with next weekend.

    Danny,

    The papers had Park at 91 while throwing side sessions and to minor league batters. 86-88 would be disconcerting, but if he can get up to 91 with regularity, I would expect him to be pretty effective. He was not that bad at all last year. Could it be possible that the Mets have six guys that want in the rotation by the end of Spring Training rather than not enough starters?

    11:34 AM

     
    Anonymous benny said...

    Well it would be an evening draft, so if your positive you could make it for the 7:45pm start time then great!

    I'll email everyone and see...

    1:12 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    7:45 should work out fine. I would rather try and get everyone in on the live draft.

    1:56 PM

     
    Anonymous DG said...

    Most of the Mets pitchers seem to be throwing softer than I'd expect. Perez in the high 80's, Ho-Park where he was, Vargas in the mid-to-low 80's. Perhaps we should expect a spike as camp continues?

    Pelfrey was a strikeout pitcher in college but won't be in the majors until he can throw a decent slider. All those ground balls are encouraging though!

    Mets would benefit from someone like Anderson Hernandez to backup at second base. I realize he cannot hit and is thus a defensive/pinch running alternative more than anything; however, he would add the sort of late inning kick that Endy does. Valentin's defense may be more of a liability this year.

    Could Milledge oust Green?

    7:05 PM

     
    Anonymous benny said...

    DG, I'm no scout and my eyes may have been decieving me BUT... form what I saw and remember of Jose Valentin he was super solid. He was ALOT better than I thought he would be.
    He wasn't scared of the takeout slide, he had a decent arm, good accuracy. He was pretty smooth on the field and had pretty nice range for a guy with as thick a moustache as he had.
    I like Valentin's defense. And even though I'm not going to search and look for it now, alot of people have posted links to as many defensive metric possible SHOWING that Valentin was one of the top defensive 2nd baseman in the league. Sorry I'm not going to search and look for it, but I'm sure the usual suspects of Baseball Prospectus or Hardball Times have something on it.

    8:19 PM

     
    Anonymous sidd finch said...

    Congrats Mike! I'll bet it was the Random Tidbits post that put you over the top!

    I'd love it if Pelfrey and Maine became starters, and Chan Ho had to go. To me, there's something exciting about taking a chance on someone who has the raw tools and the desire to improve; both of those guys fit the bill, that's for sure.

    Comcast, you're fired. It sure is nice to finally be able to see my boys play baseball on DirecTv. The only bad thing is that I'm going to have to rename my wireless network 'Bill Slowsky', now that I have DSL.

    12:33 PM

     

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