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

Friday, August 03, 2007

Swelltastic

Being that I had the last two days of posts partially written and never got around to finishing them, I will put them all in a one big swelltastic weekend post.

Two out of three in Milwaukee? Good stuff. This team showed some moxie by coming back after a demoralizing defeat and even Brian Lawrence came up to give a respectable five innings. Jorge Sosa in the bullpen gives me a funny feeling in my pants and I kind of like it. I do think the Mets should consider bringing up Humber and see if they can get slightly above league average production from him and let him get his feet wet and some valuable experience for next season while Sosa helps out in the bullpen.

Wright has a 900+ Ops and is seventh in the league in steals and is on pace to swipe 36 bags and is currently swiping them with a 92% success rate. Out of the NL, only Michael Bourn and Chris B. Young have a better success rate and only Curtis Granderson, Ian Kinsler, Jason Bartlett, Michael Bourn, Chris B. Young, and Ichiro Suzuki best him out of the entire bigs. I think he will get into the 30/30 club this year and he is just oozing sugary goodness of late.

With the Braves cutting Franco, I think we can all agree that his playing days are over. I cannot imagine some team being desperate enough to give him another shot. I still cannot for the life of me figure out what the Braves were thinking, but I guess he did win one game for them. In regards to the Braves overall, they are firmly 5 games behind the Mets and it is completely up to them as to whether or not they will let someone else take this thing.

If you look at Lastings' career so far and take a look at his 162 game average on ESPN, he has a .254/.314/.408 line with 25 doubles, 15 homers, 29 walks, 78 RBIs, and 103 strikeouts. While that may not look great, you have to factor in he was 21 for a large chunk of that with very little minor league action. If he can maintain that .050 ISOD and keep his ISOP around .175, I think he'll hit .300 to .320 every year and be a very impressive ball player and I think he can do that right away if given a steady job.

Also, that swing of his may be the most level of any Met player and he just consistently hits the ball hard. His level swing and bat speed should allow him to stay out of prolonged slumps and prevent him from getting homer-happy and allow him to churn out consistent production. In regards to fielding, if he can just translate the way he plays center to right or left field, he will make up for the lack of power, though I do not think he will be a slouch in that category. I just hope the Mets trust him enough to give him the job in 2008 and keep him in the lineup when Beltran returns. I do not think it will be very long before he hits his stride and produces at a high level.

* * *

  • Luis Castillo is already talking about returning to the Mets in 2008.

  • Jason Stark has a good rundown of the deals.

    Braves:

    "I love making deals with John Schuerholz," said one GM on Tuesday. "When you're making a deal with John, he gets right to the point: 'Would you do this -- yes or no? And no hard feelings if you say no.' He's a breath of fresh air in our business. I wish more guys were like him."

    What makes him good is that he is not out there trying to rip people off like legions of these GMs who would rather keep a guy they should trade unless they rip the other team off, which is probably the worst way to run a franchise. In the case of the Devil Rays, this has made them much worse than they needed to be over the years.

    "Are they the best team in the East now? That, I don't know. They never did get that starting pitcher they needed. But did they make the best deals of anybody to get better? They sure did that."

    The Braves are a better and much tougher team, but I would have to still give the edge to the Mets if their bullpen settles in and I think it will with a few internal moves. If Pedro can make it back with Sosa and Humber hitting the bullpen, Aaron coming back strong, and Smith getting some respite, they should settle in just fine. Also, you cannot forget that Perez and Maine have averaged 6.3 innings per start this year and have gone seven or more in just about half of their starts. Last year in the playoffs, the Mets were not getting the gift of innings and I expect that to change and not tax the bullpen as much.

    Rangers:

    But give him credit. Daniels did indeed deal them both -- plus Kenny Lofton -- and came away with nine prospects, just about all of whom project to play in the big leagues.

    The gauge of a good draft is whether or not you got two or three guys that can contribute on the big league level with some stars sprinkled in over the years. The Rangers basically got the equivalent of three or four drafts in one swoop without having any to pay any signing bonuses and freed up a ton of cash that was going to go to Teixeira and can now be allocated elsewhere.

    If A-Rod opts out, the Rangers gain $24 million next season alone between two players and will see millions more off the books with Gagne and Lofton gone. The Rangers are in a much better place right now than they were on Monday. Their first five picks which included Blake Beaven and Michael Main were solid and they should get a top ten pick next season. Jon Daniels finally read the book on how to start to rebuild a team. Now if they would only slide their fences back a bit...

    Mets:

    "I like that pick-up, but that doesn't mean he's the same guy he used to be," said an official of one team. "His hip is starting to wear out on him, and it shows. But one thing he'll do is, he'll give [Jose] Reyes a chance to run like hell because he has no problem taking the first two strikes. And he'll help them defensively, because he still plays great defense."

    Castillo was worth the gamble but I hope they are not married to what they want him to be if he does not play like that ideal player they had in mind.

  • Johan is pissed.

    "It's not just about hope," Santana told The Star Tribune. "In a realistic world, you have to really make it happen and go for it.

    "You always talk about future, future. ... But if you only worry about the future, then I guess a lot of us won't be part of it," Santana told the newspaper.


    Veteran baseball players are pretty much all in agreement with Santana. When the GM holds steady or even spins a player off that is perceived to be an integral part of the fabric of the club, they get mad. They do not want to hear about rookies, farm systems, or even acquiring prospects and they want to hear 'some guy I don't know traded for some veteran I know'. Standing still or being realistic about your chances and maybe acquiring a guy who can help you down the line is waiving the white flag. The Twins going for it would be a big mistake and unfortunately, he has to think about life after Santana should he leave. There is a good enough core there to be competitive for a while.

    If anything, maybe the finger can be pointed towards Carl Pohlad who pocketed 20+ million over the past two years. When you factor in player depreciation, he made more than that. Of course it is his right to make money and spending frivolously is never a good idea, but the Twins should probably be spending more money being that revenue sharing gives them a handsome sum of cash yearly. Terry Ryan is not to blame for not doing something and it is not as black and white as Santana says.

    Ryan was simply realistic about their chances did not want to make any mistakes. In the off-season, they need to get a bat, but their rotation and bullpen should be spectacular and they should absolutely be in the thick of things in 2008. Why risk the future for an ill-advised run in 2007? Ryan should be saving all his bullets for 2008 and saving $2 million that was going to go to Castillo with a suitable replacement in the system already was a good idea, though many people think they ripped off by the Mets. Sure he got next to nothing back, but Castillo and his 18 RBIs just did not have much value and it was purely a cash dump and to make room so a piece in 2008 could start getting his feet wet.

  • It turns out that Mark Teixeira turned down a big $140 million contract.

    The proposal would have kept Teixeira in Texas for eight more seasons at a total of approximately $140 million. The deal would have included a mutually agreed figure for Teixeira's last year of salary arbitration in 2008 and another seven years worth $18 million per season.

    First, I think Mark might want to win and the Rangers have some work to do. Second, would a team that far away from winning be making a good choice by plunking down that cash? The Rangers need to stop making crappy trades like when they gave Cordero and Mench away for half of a season of Lee and not trade guys like Chris Young for Adam Eaton. Besides, Hicks spends big. So when they are ready, they can go toe to toe with anyone for a free agent. Lastly, Boras would never let a player like that sign early.

    Gil thinks Teixeira is stupid.

    But Teixeira's agent, Scott Boras, told the Rangers that his client wasn't interested.

    Which proves, I suppose, that they don't teach math after all at Georgia Tech, where Teixeira attended. By 2007 salaries, the deal would have made Teixeira the fourth highest-paid player in baseball.

    Is Teixeira the fourth-best player in the major leagues? Not even close.


    Since when was it a prerequisite to be a top ten player to get paid a top ten salary?

    1 Giambi, Jason - $ 23,428,571
    2 Rodriguez, Alex - $ 22,708,525
    3 Jeter, Derek - $ 21,600,000
    4 Ramirez, Manny - $ 17,016,381
    5 Helton, Todd - $ 16,600,000
    6 Colon, Bartolo - $ 16,000,000
    7 Pettitte, Andy - $ 16,000,000
    8 Schmidt, Jason - $ 15,703,946
    9 Bonds, Barry - $ 15,533,970
    10 Sexson, Richie - $ 15,500,000
    11 Abreu, Bobby - $ 15,000,000
    12 Thome, Jim - $ 14,833,333
    13 Berkman, Lance - $ 14,500,000
    14 Delgado, Carlos - $ 14,500,000
    15 Guerrero, Vladimir - $ 14,500,000
    16 Hampton, Mike - $ 14,500,000
    17 Martinez, Pedro J. - $ 14,002,234
    18 Drew, J.D. - $ 14,000,000
    19 Jones, Andruw - $ 14,000,000
    20 Tejada, Miguel - $ 13,811,415

    Do I really have to go into how many of the top twenty salaries are not top forty players much less top twenty players? Four players at most would be cracking the top twenty. Regardless I'd take Teixiera for $18,000,000 than any of those guys listed above at the their current salary with the exception of A-Rod. Things just aren't that simple when it comes to salaries and skill level and I think that is obvious. It is more about being a free agent at the right time with the right teams needing to fill certain spots.

  • This was truly a bizarre trade, but much like the one that Orioles made for Kris Benson. Sometimes teams believe they need a veteran around to give them some stability even if their starts are not spectacular. Maybe there is credence to that and maybe not. Personally, it seems like a bad allocation of money to me and just outlines why the Pirates are a team going no where. As an article stated the other day, the Pirates are the same team that passed up Wieters because they did not want to plunk down the extra cash. Better use of funds...$13 million for Morris or $7 million for Wieters?

  • Heyman apparently says that Heilman was involved in the Cordero deal. Heilman and Humber? That may be one of the most ridiculous thing I have ever read. At the end of the day when the dust settles, Dayn Perry still believes the Mets will win the NL East and I have to agree with him.

  • Don't worry about your shrinking portfolios as I have some dependable information that says the Dow is headed for 17,000.

  • Jim Callis had an interesting article today about Jeff Samardzija that is hauntingly similar to Mike Pelfrey's situation.

    Samardzija has the velocity and life on his fastball to blow hitters away. He touched 99 mph at Notre Dame, comfortably works in the low to mid-90s and gets tremendous sink.

    "Not very many pitchers have natural sink that's hard and late with that velocity," says Rich Bombard, his pitching coach at high Class A Daytona. "You can't teach that. That's what separates him. There are other guys in this league who can throw 93-95 mph, but not with that movement."


    Hmmm...not piling up strikeouts? Great natural sink on their mid 90's fastball? More hits than whiffs in every start? Developing slider and change-up?

  • If you have a few minutes, this stuff is gold.

  • Pedro is hitting 87 mph on the gun. I'm not sure what speed he needs to be at to be effective, but I would imagine he could be effective at 87 mph and do a pretty good Greg Maddux impression.

    "There's room for growth," Minaya said, referring to Martinez's velocity. "But we all know Pedro can pitch. The most important thing I saw was movement, location, late movement, that's Pedro."

  • Michael Salfino has a great article about who is the best in New York. There are not many surprises either. He did mention that Mota should perhaps throw more change-ups, and that may be true, but he needs to still set them up better as Darling said. The guy has a fastball that can be overpowering at times and a great change. Simply stated, he should be much better than he has been and should be dominating reliever, but he remains and enigma. I remember him pitching against the Mets while he was on the Marlins and wondering how anyone every scores a run against him.

    On a related note, why not claim Farnsworth and the money owed to him? I see that as a risk worth taking should the Yankees make and ill advised decision with Professor Rick's propensity to turn bullpen arms around. He still has a fast (albeit straight) fastball and a nice slider.

  • Willie logic...

    Bat Newhan 2nd and bat Gotay 8th. Minor? Absolutely, but still lacking any rational explanation. Outside of a guy feeling, I could not see any reason for it. It is simple. Your better hitters should maximize their times at the plate and there really is no debate for that one. I get the lineup being loaded with lefties since Zambrano just mows down lefties, but not this. It is a wonder why some people question me for questioning Willie's thought process.

    Just an aside, I know managers see this type of situation as a good opportunity to rest some guys. In Alou's case, you have a guy that is really tough on righties and Alou's body is nearing a meltdown so this is a good opportunity to sit him. However, I think people get too caught up in this and sacrifice a better bat for lesser hitting lefty. Now, I'm not talking about Willie's inclusion of Newhan into the lineup because the guy has not seen much playing time. I think it was a good day to try and get him at-bats, but I'm just talking in generalities here.

  • The Mets are rolling....rolling...rolling. They have only lost one series out of the firt six after the break and are off to a nice start with their ace on the mound tommorrow trying to make it six out of their first seven series. It should also be noted that they have the largest lead out of any first place team not named Boston. I think it is safe to say the Mets are headed in the right direction.
  • Labels:

    18 Comments:

    Anonymous benny said...

    I think its fair to say that the real Mets are back. wo days ago the second place team in the NL was 3 games back. Now they're 5, which is a big difference. Even though its only 2 games, 5 games in front is a big difference.

    I don't even have to look at stats, Lastings Milledge is just looking real good at the plate and his swing is very pretty. It really is a Gary Sheffield-like swing.

    Tex is going to make alot of money. A switch hitting, gold glove, silver slugging firs baseman? But more than 8/140? I dunno about that, well maybe not too much more than that.

    11:46 AM

     
    Anonymous Two-By-Four said...

    I didn’t get a chance to see too much baseball today. However, I did see A-Rod hit 500 and Bonds hit 755. Unfortunately I also saw Maine’s meltdown afterwards I had to leave. I understand the Mets bp was excellent today but except for Moises the bats weren’t there. There were also two extremely close calls in that meltdown inning that replay showed were incorrect. The one at third didn’t hurt because the runner came off the bag and Wright tagged him but the other one did. But that still is no excuse for Maine losing his command out there. In the past there has been no carry over effect to Maine’s next start so I don’t expect there will be one this time. BTW Karl Davies made his first AL start and was rudely greeted. Ken Singleton said of Davies welcome to the American League. I only saw the first inning and I understand wonder boy Hughes was roughed up but I’m sure the Yankees announcers soft pedaled that.

    In general the missed calls by the umps these days are alarming. When slow motion instant replay first came into widespread use it generally showed that the umps very rarely missed a call. Even as the technology improved that still remained the case. But these days I’m almost surprised when the ump gets an extremely close one correct. BTW this drop in the quality of officiating is apparent in all the major sports.

    After reading that article on the stock market I’ve decided to sell all my stock. If the market continues to drop I may have to go back to work.

    If Pedro’s arm holds up we should see a marked improvement in velocity next year. He can still be effective this year at 87 mph.

    Even though all the numbers said it bordered on the impossible here we are on August 5th with Yankees only 1.5 games out of WC. Who could predict the Indians and Tigers would both sink faster than the anchor on the Queen Mary. BTW I look at the scores and I wonder if they’re playing baseball or football in the Bronx.

    2:31 AM

     
    Anonymous jake said...

    we've come along way since the day you criticized some of us for using the word swell and we had to set you straight. i like it. however, i would have written "swellastic" -- rolls off the tounge a little better.

    anyway, i'm still furious about the call at first with two outs before maine imploded. he's on my other fantasy squad and that really fucked my day up.

    down here in virginia we have too many braves fans with their panties all wet. i just laugh at them and tell them the mets are still so much better there's no discusssion.

    yesterday the cubs announcers or someone was saying how the mets were better last year. i strongly disagree. the mets are better this year and next year they will be better again. come playoffs i expect experience to prevent another bat slump. please lord let this be true.

    funny that link to sex vocab bc i'm reading the new book of allen ginsburg's early journals and he had a similar list.

    people keep inviting me to tides games and i keep puking in my mouth.

    10:09 AM

     
    Anonymous jake said...

    also, i now officially concede your point that last year willie seemed to have a passably normal brain because the lineup was always obvious.

    but i still think he's a good coach, etc.

    10:10 AM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Jake, my brother lives in Atlanta. Try dealing with that as a Met fan. He consistently is avoiding fights on a daily basis and he's 44 years old with gray hair. Good stuff.

    I'm in Chicago this weekend and am going to Wrigley to see Glavine go for it tonight. Hitting Lollapalooza up all day then game tongight. All in all, should be a very swellicious day...as long as we take the series tonight.

    Anthony

    11:40 AM

     
    Anonymous ossy said...

    joe morgan was in prime form last night.

    at one point he said castillo almost misjudged a wrigley pop up cus he was in the AL his whole career

    8:50 AM

     
    Anonymous jake said...

    lastings looked awesome last night and recently.

    11:01 AM

     
    Anonymous jake said...

    bahhahahahahahahah!!!!!

    i just logged into fantasy for the first time in ages and saw how bad your team sucks mike! that is some funny shit.

    11:15 AM

     
    Blogger Sidd Finch said...

    Mike that was swellicious financial advice. I'm breathing easier now, those meditators must have taken last week off!

    OMMMMMMM!

    1:54 PM

     
    Blogger Rick M said...

    I don't remember seeing this on here, forgive me if it's a repeat.

    There's an online petition to save the Big Apple when the Mets move to the new stadium in 2009 (the Mets are planning to junk it). Sign the petition, maybe it'll persuade the club to do something to preserve a Mets institution.

    3:24 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Jake, I will think about your request to use 'swellastic'. However, that seems like a mix of swell and elastic.

    And I do not want to hear about your fantasty baseball complaints. I fieled the worst team in the history of baseball.

    rick...consider me for the junking group. That thing is hideous.

    SCRAP THE APP!

    4:12 PM

     
    Anonymous Two-By-Four said...

    The Apple should go the way of Miss Rheingold and Homer the dog and while their at it take away Mr. Met.

    6:45 PM

     
    Anonymous Two-By-Four said...

    According to Metsblog:

    "OF Ben Johnson, who plays for the Mets Triple-A New Orleans affiliate suffered a broken ankle while attempting to slide into second base during last Thursday's Zephyrs game."

    I’m not aware of the severity of the ankle break so I hope for Johnson’s sake he fully recovers and it doesn’t have a long term affect on his career. With the injuries it has been a terrible season for Johnson and it impeded him from showing what he was capable of. He showed very little in his short appearance with the Mets during the deluge of outfield injuries when he could have made a mark for himself. But he has some talent and perhaps in the future he could develop into a decent major league ball player following in the footsteps of someone like Nagy. With the injury it lowers Johnson’s value and what the Mets could have received in a trade for him.

    9:27 PM

     
    Blogger Sidd Finch said...

    Take away Mr. Met? NEVER!

    Jake, I prefer Swellicious and Craptastic, myself.

    8:51 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Really...It is interesting that the apple issue has come up since I as at the game the other day remarking about it's hideousness. I mean, they never even updated it. They could have redone it so it was smooth and so the top hat actually looked like a hat with some new materials, but they have let the thing go. The Mets are building a first class stadium and people want an ugly apple there? Put it in some Mets museum or something in the stadium. Something indoors and covered.

    Ben Johnson out for the season? That trade just keeps getting worse and I didn't think that was possible.

    Sidd....just give it time. Swelltastic will be taking the world by storm.

    9:05 AM

     
    Anonymous ossy said...

    mr met is the shit. the apple is a piece of shit.

    what the fuck did heath bell do to deserve this? i hope we dont do milledge like this

    10:56 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    I second that.

    Mr. Met is hands down the best mascot and the apple is one of the worst homages to a home team homer. It's hiddeous. To put that thing in the outfield would be akin to a big fat pimple on Jessica Biel's nose.

    12:43 PM

     
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