Note To Ollie
I briefly went over Oliver Perez yesterday morning, but there was no game today and nothing new has entered my mind regarding the Mets. I do not really care that A-Rod is all grown up these days and realizes he has made mistakes by listening to Boras for some coin, but it actually has a lot to do with this situation that is going to happen between the Mets and Perez.
Could Perez succeed elsewhere? Yes. But for a guy that has gone through some pretty low lows after being arguably the best lefty in the league for a year at such a young age, Ollie should proceed with extreme caution. The Mets are a deep pocketed National League team that is going to have what seems to be a neutral park to go with a pretty impressive foundation of young and extremely talented players. Johan knew that this place sets him up to compile while winning, which players do claim is important, but I have my suspicions.
Will Ollie be in line with Johan's thinking? You hire Boras to chase every last penny and drag out negotiations and this is definitely one of those cases where you kind of get the feeling that things might not actually work out for the player if they leave. Oliver is a great position to really put up impressive numbers as Met while making plenty of money. He is entering his prime years and seems to be putting things back together and the Mets will put up a fair offer for sure. However, the question is, will a few million dollars be more important than being in the right place? Hopefully Perez sees the light.
Orlando Hernandez’s Florida State League start is over after five innings. El Duque allowed two runs on three hits while striking out six and walking one. He allowed a third-inning solo homer to Vero Beach Rays first baseman Matthew Fields. I’m told El Duque had impressive offspeed pitches, but his fastball looked offspeed, too.
His fastball is sitting in the low to mid 80's these days. But you know what? I'm thinking he could be completely mediocre with that the way he changes speed. Fantastic? No. However, as a #3 or #4, he is simply keeping a seat warm. Also, it is possible he can Livan Hernandez light, who also tops out at 85.
Believe me. I would not want to him starting game #1 of the inevitable World Series trip the Mets will make, but he will be utilitarian.
Just in the last year, Figueroa has been A) the winning pitcher in the Mexican League all-star game last summer, B) the MVP of the Taiwan Series last fall, C) the MVP of the Dominican Series this winter and D) the MVP of the Caribbean Series in January. We guarantee no pitcher in history has ever done all that in fewer than 12 months.
"He pitched his butt off in front of Omar at the Caribbean Series," says one scout. "And he pitched like that all winter long. I know people see the name and wonder. But you see a guy pitch like that, and you say to yourself, 'Why isn't this guy in the big leagues?'"
The only problem is, Willie sees him as another arm. Just another pile of poo to toss against the wall in some no doubt poorly chosen situation like say letting him sit for three weeks without pitching and then give him a start.
Kevin (STL): True or false: David Wright is the best all around player in the NL.
Keith Law: True.
Tyler (Conyers, GA): True or false: When healthy, Chipper Jones is still a better player than David Wright.
Keith Law: False.
Ha ha. Douche. Look, they are both amazing players, but can we stop the homerism? Not only is David Wright better now, he is probably better than Chipper ever was at the same age. Chipper hit the bigs for good at 23 and had a 108 OPS+. He followed that up with a 136 OPS+, 199 OPS+, and a 148 OPS+. Wright hit the bigs for good in 2004 at 21 and put up OPS+ of 118, 139, and 150.
Chipper is already a Hall of Famer and it is crazy to think his injuries have held him back, but he could have been even more highly regarded than he already is. That being said, Wright is looking like he could be even better than Chipper.
re: david wright: really? not hanley? i know he's got less history but he rakes
Keith Law: Can't play his position. Hanley is atrocious at short. And the first person to talk about Hanley's and Wright's error totals gets banned for life.
K-Law loves Sugar Pants, who is made of sugar and spice and everything nice*.
* Everything nice basically consists of concaine, hookers, whiskey, and beating up people weaker than you and yes, this is a Pozcar
Tyler (Conyers, GA): How in the world can you say David Wright is better than Chipper when Chipper is healthy? In 2007 Chipper beat Wright in AVG (.337 vs. .325) OBP (.425 vs. .416) SLG (.604 vs. .546) FPCT (.971 vs. .954) and ZR (.797 vs. .771). It is not even close who is the better player when both are healthy and on the field.
Keith Law: Um, no. Jones has been a bad defensive third baseman for years now, while Wright is among the best. And Shea Stadium kills power hitters. Try again.
Wow Tyler. That is quite a compelling argument. Actually, not much annoys me more than people who try and argue who is better between two Hall of Famers. I mean, aren't they both pretty damn good? However in this case, you would be hard pressed to find many people who are not biased siding with him.
gmulligan1 (Kew Gdns, NY): Is there any hope at all that Omar Minaya might do some research and take the amateur draft seriously this year?
Kevin Goldstein: They have a ton of picks this year, and they're willing to spend money -- that's the early word on the streets.
Bannister was just one among many players shipped abroad from New York for no discernible reason in around that time. Relievers Heath Bell, Matt Lindstrom, Royce Ring, and Henry Owens were all cast off that November in deals that brought in four fringe minor leaguers who have since pitched a combined 11.3 innings and taken 27 at-bats in New York, and show little promise of doing much more any time in the future. Casting backward a few months, second baseman Jeff Keppinger was sent off in July, in exchange for recently released second baseman Ruben Gotay; going forward, the streak was capped in December, when catcher Jesus Flores, then 21, was left exposed to the Rule 5 draft, and snatched up by Washington. In retrospect, even given Bannister's strong 2006 and Bell's emergence as a top setup man (last year he pitched 93.7 innings with a 2.02 ERA and 102 strikeouts), the last two of these losses were the most consequential.
The thing is, I was not horrified by everything. For one, I did not think Bannister was all that good and still remain skeptical despite his gem against the Tigers. Keppinger for Gotay was not horrible, though they just released Gotay. As for Flores, he was an A-ball catcher. I agree with everyone else who says, "well look at the 40 man and tell me you could not find room!" You probably could have, but we all know that every spot on the 40 man roster is very valuable. Not many people have A-ball catchers on there I would presume.
The moves that went wrong were all, in their way, defensible, but in the aggregate they betray a worrying carelessness and a lack of that knack for picking which young players with long odds of real success will actually succeed that separate good from excellent general managers. The costs are paid in wins, money paid to uninspiring veterans, and perhaps worst of all in cohesiveness. The Mets are, far more than they need be, a collection of bland players in their baseball middle age, who came up elsewhere and will retire elsewhere having made no real impression and done nothing unique. This isn't the worst of all possible situations; but things didn't need to be this way.
However, what does jump out is the fact that, as Tim said, there was really no discernible reason for the moves. Basically, most of these guys were just people who were already deemed useless and never really got a shot. No matter what popped up, they found person, after person, after person to stand in when these guys could have. So at that point, Omar decided to traded them for people he might like instead. Did they all look horrible at the time? Eh. Kind of looked like spare parts getting spit out, but nothing egregious*. In hindsight, these deals are horrible and worst off, were kind of done peripherally. They were not made to fill any needs, but more or less because Omar likes to make little moves a lot. Sometimes they work out and sometimes they do not. These did not.
*With the exception of Heath Bell who I backed, and back, and backed, and backed. Actually, 90% of us did and everyone saw his usefulness but the Mets.
1.Fernando Martinez – OF
2.Eddie Kunz – RP
3.Brant Rustich – SP/RP (above, left / photo courtesy UCLA)
4.Jonathon Niese – SP
5.Nathan Vineyard – SP
6.Robert Parnell – SP
7.Joe Smith – RP
8.Scott Moviel – SP
9.Danny Murphy – 3B
10.Wilmer Flores – 3B/SS
After this spring, Niese shoots up the charts to #2 without even thinking twice for me. Kunz is after Vineyard, and just about ried with Rustich.
Mets officials believe Pedro Martinez's injury really is a mild strain that will sideline him only until mid-May, so they're not inclined to seek any outside pitching help now. Assuming Orlando Hernandez progresses well during a minor-league rehab assignment that began last night with high-A St. Lucie, the Mets should need just one start from Nelson Figueroa next weekend against the Brewers before El Duque slots into the rotation. In five innings last night, El Duque allowed two runs on three hits, struck out six and walked one while also hitting a batter and throwing a wild pitch.
"I love his demeanor, the way he attacks hitters, his intensity," B-Mets manager Mako Oliveras said. "Last year, at the end, I was really proud of Parnell. Hopefully he gets to pitch in the big leagues."
Parnell spent three weeks in big league spring training before being sent to minor league camp. At major league camp, he got to learn by watching the Mets major leaguers pitch and work out.
"I got to see how they hold their change-ups," Parnell said. "I'm trying to develop that this year, so I got to see when they were comfortable throwing it, what count they use it in to set up hitters."
A nice change would make me rethink his ceiling. Right now, he is a reliever, but with a change, he has the arm to be a starter.