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