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

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Chats, Chats, and More Chats

JA (Chanhassen): Is Pedro Martinez' lack of velocity a concern? Could he be reserving his top arm speed for the big leaguers, or is 88-90 his new ceiling? His brother didn't bounce back well from rotator cuff surgery, and that must be weighing on his mind, but he's just not striking out A ball hitters. That can't bode well. Any insight as to his chance at being 80% of Pedro v 2001-2004 ever again?

Will Carroll: When you say "lack", you have to look at it relative to not only where he once was (low to mid 90s) but also to where he was last year (low to mid 80s.) Watching video of his third rehab start, Pedro was toying with hitters. I think if he wanted to strike them out, he could have, but he was doing what he was doing, just with batters. There's a part of me that thinks he'll have an extra gear when he sees the lights, but I don't have evidence of that either. 80%? That's a pretty high standard. I'll say I think he's likely to be their second best pitcher by October and much better than anything Omar Minaya could have acquired.

There are some that think Pedro is currently the Mets 4th best starter with The Duque in the fold and Keith Law said that Pedro really didn't have good movement on his pitches on Sunday. Essentially Pedro was a bit lucky against the Astros and he did work himself out of a few jams with a very bat team at the plate.

It will be an interesting thing to see how Pedro is handled, but if he is healthy, you would have to assume he will be starting in the playoffs and either Perez or Maine would be jettisoned to the bullpen.

"Maine is an enigma for me," one major-league scout said recently. "I know he's not throwing well, but I don't know why. You kind of worry when a pitcher like Maine starts getting smacked around because you wonder if guys are figuring him out."

Right now, Perez would get the call simply because of his ability to put up a shut down performance and the fact he has been more consistent than John Maine of late. Either way, the Mets are in a good spot and have some depth to play with.

lyricalkiller (the OC): Will, why can't everybody throw a great changeup? It doesn't take special strength, and it doesn't seem to need any precise, complicated wrist action. So how does a guy like Hoffman or Lowry get an exceptional change?

Will Carroll: It's the deception. Not everyone can do magic tricks. The downside of a change is that a bad one is called a souvenir.

This is something that I'm sure all of us have wondered at some point. Why can't everyone just grab the ball with the right grip and throw the perfect pitch? It is amazing how many factors there just are and minute changes in arm angles, pressure, etc. can have a profound effect on pitches. Some people just have stuff naturally and that is why Greg Maddux's fastball dances like a knuckleball and Mike Pelfrey has natural sink on this fastball.

just a dude (canada): if your average nondescript major or minor league pitcher were placed in the outfield would they have better than average throwing arms. For instance, could Josh Towers rival Jermaine Dye for throwing out base runners at home plate.

Will Carroll: You know, I have no idea. I'd bet they'd be at least average. Most pitchers were once the best player on their HS team and a fair number of them were also very good college hitters (Micah Owings comes to mind.) I'd guess Rick Ankiel, who has a plus arm, is as good a proxy for this theory as any.

Conversely, could you put Reyes on the mound and have him pump mid 90's fastballs? I would say yes, but his secondary stuff would undoubtedly blow.

Ben (NYC): Will, Can you comment on Hamate removal and its prognosis?

Will Carroll: Yeah, they literally just yank the fractured bone. It doesn't tend to heal correctly and the wrist has redundancy that allows it to not miss that bone. It's got a great prognosis. Ken Griffey's never missed his.

Good to read in regards to Gomez's injury. He should recover fine and have no lingering hand issues. Remember this so you cannot blame his hand on any flat start to the '08 season he might have.

biglou115 (Ar): Admittedly I haven't seen much, but is Pedro dropping his elbow to protect his shoulder? If so is that a big deal?

Will Carroll: No, the video I saw didn't look as if he was. It was admittedly not the best angle to get a great look. I also had a really hard time picking up whether he was changing his arm angle, but since that was a response to his injury, I dont think he is.

Mechanically Pedro looks great. I think it is just a matter of throwing pitches and logging more time on the mound. The more he pitches, the more feel he will have and he'll be tight for sure.

mkizner (Halfway to everywhere): Who would win in a fight: David Eckstein, or a Hurricane named David Eckstein?

Marc Normandin: Much like stats can't measure the true worth of a gritty player like David Eckstein, could barometric pressure really tell the whole story about a hurricane of the same name?


Charlie (East St Louis): Let's say that you're the owner of a team. How do you go about measuring the performance of your manager? I know that there's soft stuff that you can use to evaluate, but which quantitative metrics would you look at?

SportsNation Rob Neyer: (1:20 PM ET ) Much of what the manager does can't be measured statistically. But I certainly would look at stolen-base success rate, hit-and-run and pitchout success rates, and platoon percentages. In context, of course.

A question near and dear to my heart. I think some site should start tracking this stuff and make some crude quantitative analysis on managers to give everyone some idea as to the performance of managers.

* * *

  • Tom Glavine wants to come back for a 22nd baseball season and I would have to assume he is talking about returning to the Mets.

    "I'm having as much fun as I've had in a long time, and that's a big factor for me," Glavine, 41, told the Post. "It's a fun team to come to the ballpark with every day. All the factors are there [to come back]."

    Of course $10,000,000 or whatever he would get from one of many teams that would vie for his services could certainly sway him to play elsewhere. But you really have to wonder how he fits on this team. With Perez, Maine, Pedro, and The Duque already set in '08 and Pelfrey and Humber ready to go with Mulvey available later in '08, Glavine would seem like a non necessity.

    Of course pitching depth is extremely important and The Duque is just about guaranteed to spend some time on the disabled list, but I would think the Mets should pass on Glavine. The only issue here is that he is in tight with the ownership and has tossed 22 quality starts this season which is good for 73% of his starts. The Mets are the type of club that would value the known commodity and stability of the vet over youth and inexperience.

    Not that Glavine would be the worst thing, but it might be time to move on and get more youth injected into this pitching staff.

  • Ankiel speaks out. Whether you believe him or not is another issue, but he needed to say something and he did.

    On the heels of the Ankiel thing, this Glaus piece comes out. However, should it surprise us? I'm sure there were plenty of people who had steroids shipped out to them because it was a widespread problem. It still might be, but we are not 100% sure. We are 100% sure steroids were rampant a few years ago. If we are going to list the guys who had roids shipped to their house, we might as well just list the ones who did not as I'm sure that would be easier.

  • You cannot make this stuff up.

    Imagine being 31 years old and having to make the agonizing decision to discontinue the life-support keeping your comatose spouse alive. Now imagine that spouse waking up and asking for Mexican food.

  • I do not think there is any question that Pedro is a first ballot Hall of Famer no matter what happens. To suggest anything else is absurd.

    In related news, Pedro is donating the jersey he was wearing in the game which he recorded his 3,000th strikeout.

  • Tim Marchman muses that Alex Rodriguez might be on Boston next season or a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Imagine him being a member of the Red Sox? With the bad blood that had existed between him and the Sox, it would be an interesting story. Also, it would be spectacular to hear the boos he receives when he makes his first trip back to Yankee Stadium.

  • The Klap asked some big questions.

  • A photo op? Perhaps. But awesome nonetheless.

  • This really is a sad commentary on the history of the Mets.

    When David Wright hit his 28th home run of the season on Monday night, he established a career high. It was also the 95th home run of his career. And that total puts his name among the foremost home run hitters in Mets history. Wright is now tied for 10th place with Bobby Bonilla. If he hits five more this season, he'll rank eighth, having passed Bonilla and George Foster.

    Shouldn't they have more than eight guys with 100 dingers? It is really remarkable to think that they do not. Beltran and Wright are numbers 12 and 15 on the list and should continue shooting up the list which is nice, but it really just outlines the fact the Mets have not really had any homegrown talent stay on the club and produce and have not had all too much luck in the free agent arena.

    They Yankees have had somewhere in the neighborhood of fifteen since the Mets franchise has been been in existence whereas they have eight.

  • Carlos Delgado is going to be out longer than expected, but is anyone surprised? Again, I am not worrying about this too much as he will be back for the playoffs.

  • You get the feeling the Mets want nothing to do with LoDuca in '08.

    Anonymous benny blanco from da bronx said...

    The Mets are just going to dominate on thier way to the World Series. October can't come soon enough, I can't wait. I want to fast forward to next month already.
    I'm very excited about the possibility of spending a shit load of money on over-priced playoff tickets.

    I certainly don't think guys are figuring Maine out. It's obvious Maine is tired. Me personally, I would put Maine in the bullpen. I see him being more succesful from out of there with his "rising" fastball with him only having to pitch one or two innings. We have all seen Maine pitch good for the first 3 innings and then losing it.

    Will Carroll: Yeah, they literally just yank the fractured bone. It doesn't tend to heal correctly and the wrist has redundancy that allows it to not miss that bone. It's got a great prognosis. Ken Griffey's never missed his.

    I miss my Hamate bone :-(

    Jeeze, watching Pedro pitch is like... art. It's just beautiful! I <3 Pedro!

    The only reason I don't want to see Glavine back is because he's mentioned a couple of time that if he wins the World Series he'd like to retire on a high note. So if he's not back that means the Mets have won the World Series.

    Mike, sometimes I wake up from naps asking for Mexican food, I know what that poor girl has gone through.

    A-Rod on the Red Sox? AWKWARD!

    Why do people continue to talk about the Mets, Sweet Caroline, and the Red Sox? GET OVER IT! Besides the Mets are not the only team that use it, thanks to MLB.TV the Orioles are two teams I know for a fact play the same exact song. Big fuckin' deal?

    Damn New Orleans lost. Adam Bostick pitched a nice game though.

    11:22 PM

    Anonymous Two-By-Four said...

    If Ollie has a tired arm he didn’t show it the other night. His fastball was between 93-95 mph and he had excellent bite on his breaking ball. If he continues to reproduce this type of effort he will start in the playoffs.

    Ron Darling was discussing a change in El Dugue’s mechanics that indicate that he may still be having trouble with the sore tendon in his right foot.

    My friend’s wife became comatose from an infection that spread throughout her body from a parasite she picked up while in South East Asia. Even though they treated her and killed both the parasite and the infection she remained on life support. Her son, a doctor on the hospital staff, told my friend to pull the plug. He refused and visited her every day for 6 months. After 6 months she suddenly regained consciousness.

    The rest of my post is strictly my humble opinion and most likely is totally worthless. But why should I allow that to stop me from posting it.

    Willie Collazo did not pitch well in relief but in all fairness to him he has not pitched in 6 days and that can be the kiss of death for a control pitcher. IMO If he is not used in a manner that allows him to perform at his best then, like Heath Bell, he will probably wind up somewhere else. The problem is with the game on the line do you trust him enough to bring him in or do you wait for mop up roles?

    BTW Sele is a control pitcher and infrequent use does not seem to fit him well. IMO he should not be on the playoff roster.

    Once again IMO tonight’s work just continues to place a major question mark over Pelfrey for the post season roster.

    Humber’s fastball was once again pedestrian. He showed his power curve but as I said before I have seen better. (LOL)Although I wish I had his curveball when I pitched. (LOL) The best power curve I ever saw belonged to Sandy Koufax. Back then they used to describe his curve as “falling off a table” because of the sharp break.

    Magic number at 13!!!!!

    1:25 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    not feeling this new playoff format. baseball is an everyday sport. wtf is up with this bs. they gonna turn this into the nba where all you need is two superstars.

    8:31 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I already ponied up for my tickets. Hopefully I do not get stuck in the middle of a 15 seat rows again.

    I think Glavine might come back regardless. Even if the Mets win it all. I'm just saying that it is very, very hard for these guys to walk away from eight digit salaries. I mean, that is a huge factor in these guys' decisions.

    Also, he has turned it around somewhat so it is rare when a guy walks away with the ability to still compete.

    The Yankees play the worst song ever with Cotton Eyed Joe. THE WORST.

    The Duque is someone to watch. In a five game series, you simply cannot throw games away. If he is not able to start and play like he can, then the Mets have the depth. Seriously, they cannot just let him march out there because he is Duque.

    Weird shit on the comma thing. It just baffles the mind.

    IMO If he is not used in a manner that allows him to perform at his best then, like Heath Bell, he will probably wind up somewhere else.

    Which is the point. If you are going to expand the rosters and not give these guys word on a consistent basis, then do not have them here. You are setting them up for failure and just creating a bad perception in Willie's mind after them having an uphill battle already.

    Sele should not be on the playoff roster in anyway.

    Let's just hope the Mets stay consistent. They have been so on again and off again, you have to worry that they get cold at the wrong time. They have not sustained it for this long in a while.

    That new playoff schedule really sucks. Really sucks...it totally does not punish you for depth which is absurd.

    8:53 AM

    Anonymous DG hates Joba C because he's a Yankee!!!! said...

    The new MLB schedule is predicated on the idea that a baseball season should both start and end in the snow. Just like when we were kids, and we all rushed outside with our mitts the first decent day in February only to suffer through another two months before Little League started!

    Must say that I thought Pedro was a little exorbitant in his choice of pitches, but that on the whole he still managed to look masterful the other day. He's going to be fine. But I have the impression that the El Duque thing is going to play out in a less positive manner; I can just feel it.

    Maine being figured out? Nah, he's tired. In fact, I envision Maine becoming a serious horse in the next few years, 20 game winner and all. Bet you he adds a pitch before next season.

    And Ollie looked like first half Ollie the other night, which is a great sign.

    Question of the day is who will lead the Mets in wins after the next twenty games?

    Personal gloat. My pre-season predictions were so good so far that I've made only one mistake: I had the D-backs for the wild card (with the Braves as my alt choice) and the comPadres as the division winner. So, since the wild card likely faces us, which one do you want to win the division?

    I've got a way to get my double Dylans Cyclones question answered by Callis today. Let's see if it works.

    10:46 AM

    Anonymous justin williams said...

    If not LoDuca then who catches next year? There really are no good option in free agency and can Castro and his arthritic back be counted on if they bring him back?

    12:02 PM

    Blogger Itsmetsforme said...

    i don't know why Omar would be so cold on Ct Red Ass, if he is. Loduca hasn't had a great season, but with the lack of options, I'm sold on him in some role next year. He has that thing i barely believe in, "leadership." I dont think he has declined that precipitously. And Castro has broken down after years of supporting a large cranium. And the rest of the in-house guys, well let's just say our AAA roster is set.

    Toothless Tom? Well I don't know. As much as I can't wait til he is just a memory, the market seems thin, and his smoke and mirrors meatballs *are* getting some Ws. Ugh, I hate to say it but I void the option, and negotiate to toss 4-7 mil his way and risk a terrible season from him. But I won't mourn if he is not a Met next year.

    The guy I feel for is one S. Green. I like him as a person, just not as a player. In the NY times today, he is quoted as saying he always starts the season thinking he will recover his past glories. He has got to be alone on that one. So even if the Metsies offered him a part time gig, he'd decline. It struck me as sad. Almost Robin-Ventura-kick-boxing in-the-off-season sad.

    12:31 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I agree that Maine has not been figured out. He has made some strides in this breaking ball and his high fastball is very effective and can still be effective as he has the ability to make people go for it and power it past them or get them to simply pop it up because they cannot catch up/get to it.

    Mets win leader will be Oliver Perez…

    If the Brewers make it, I think I’m 100% right…unless I picked LA as well, which I am obviously wrong on.

    I think Benji if a free agent. Not great, but might be better than a disgruntled LoDuca.

    For the record, I fully backed the LoDuca/Castro platoon. But the caveat is that LoDuca has to agree to less playing time, which he might complain about. He should be able to get a full time starting role somewhere.

    Tommy won’t go for $4 to $7 million. He can get a lot more elsewhere.

    Green is living in a fantasy land and a $3 million dollar bench/platoon role is pretty good fucking cash and a swell job.

    12:58 PM

    Anonymous Joba Chamberpot said...

    Hey I didn't pick LA (though I did pick LA of Anaheim); I picked San Diego. But still are we swellicious prognosticators or what?

    1:05 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I think it was rather easy this year. Although it isn't over yet and things could still happen, it was not exactly hard.

    I think the surprise team out of the playoffs is the Tigers. Other than that, there are not many surprises.

    1:45 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I sit here and sift through these comments. How great is it that we all sit here and casually talk about the playoffs with the Mets? talking about our tickets and who will be on the roster, etc. Back to back years. Division champs back to back years. Very not used to this feeling. In 99/00 it was not like this. We were still the Braves bitch both those years. Even when we went to the World Series in 00 we still were the wildcard and it was unbelievable that we got there. This just kicks serious ass that we are the dominant team in the NL and that the Braves are officially our bitches now. Good stuff.

    I like LoDuca and think he would be good to get back. He adds a lot of fire, leadership and most importantly is still a solid player for at least one more year. If we could get him for a 2 year deal where he starts next year and possibly platoons in 09, I think that's all right.

    Glavine, I could take or leave. Either way, I don't think it's a bad thing.

    Perez will get the nod over Maine. He's more of a big game pitcher with lights out stuff. They'll want to take their chances with him.

    "almost Robin Ventura kick boxing in the off season sad"...Classic.


    2:58 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    I'm just glad the Mets have "decided" to win now that I have my very own money to spend.
    If they were as dominant in the late 90's as they are now, I don't think mami and papi benny blanco would be donating $200 for playoff tickets.
    My, My, how a difference 7 years make.

    btw, the Mets will whoop any opponent in the NLDS. Whether its any one of the clowns in the NL Comedy Central, the DBacks, or the big bad Padres with thier "deadly" pitching but shitty ass offense.

    3:06 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Anthony....great point. This is two years in a row for us...very strange territory.

    According to BP, they have a 99.4% chance of making the playoffs.

    I think the fat lady is singing.

    Benny....I hope you are right. The Mets were the best team in the NL last year and shit the bed. Not totally, but they should smoke Jeff Suppan when the chips are down. They had him on the ropes and never came through.

    4:24 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    If the mets run into another Jeff Suppan i will come down there and smoke Jeff Suppan myself. I want this dynasty to start THIS october, and not just cause i want the national sports media to spend time on Carlos Gomez sniffing the bat ritual. And yes, 'lil Carlos is on my imaginary postseason roster.

    ps. Re: "Tommy won’t go for $4 to $7 million. He can get a lot more elsewhere."

    My assumption now (and every year!) is that he doesn't want to pitch elsewhere and atlanta has no use for him anyway. We got him right where we want him!


    6:37 PM

    Anonymous JohnF said...

    Glavine is guaranteed up to $13M (based on 200 IP) from the Mets if he wants to come back, not 4-7M. It is his option, not the Mets.


    Tom Glavine p
    1 year/$10.5M (2007), plus 2008 player option

    * re-signed as a free agent 11/06
    * 07:$7.5M, 08:$9M player option ($3M buyout)
    * 2008 player option:
    o guaranteed with 160 IP in 2007
    o additional $1M (up to $13M) for each additional 10 IP in 2007
    o may be declined by Glavine if it becomes guaranteed

    10:01 PM

    Anonymous Two-By-Four said...

    Maine, like Ollie 2 nights before, was dealing. The tired arm syndrome seemed to be past him and except for a semi-meltdown in the 4th he was fine. Back in days of yore when Jerry Grote was the Mets catcher he would fire the ball back to the pitcher whenever the pitcher’s attention would start to wander. Grote had a great throwing arm and it was no fun catching the ball when Grote wanted the pitcher to focus.

    Willie keeps on trying to find the Mota of late last season but seems closer to having the one that pitched for Cleveland. Sometimes your search has to take a different direction. The Yankees have become almost invincible because they promoted and have pitched some of their kids. How long can Willie trot Mota out there before he realizes it’s not working? The playoffs are fast approaching.

    The magic number is now 11!!!!!

    11:47 PM

    Anonymous DG said...

    Maine will grow out of the mental lapses like the one he committed last night and then the sky's the limit. A good pitcher, who'll keep getting tougher.

    Didn't say anything about Glavine yesterday because my viewpoint has not changed a bit. I'm hoping he'll retire.

    El Duque reported pain in his foot. Get ready for daily reports. Ken Davidoff had a good article on the Duke yesterday (or was it Monday?) I think we'll see a first round rotation of Petey, Glavo, Ollie & Maine, personally.

    I know that Mota's the Shea whipping horse at the moment, but I still think he's looked better of late. Feliciano coming in and walking a batter was the real killer last night. Mota almost got out of it, but yes, he's just missing a bit of something from last year.

    5:17 AM

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