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

Monday, June 02, 2008

It's Monday and We're Mediocre!

For now at least....

I say that thinking maybe, just maybe the Mets are poised to break out. Jose has his OPS+ up to 117 and is looking like an MVP again. Shame on everyone who started to say crazy things like the Mets should have dished him off for Santana and not Gomez (102 OPS+ in the OF...a 117 OPS+ at short is miles more valuable), Mulvey (4.07 ERA and .279 BAA in Rochester), Humber (5.53 ERA and .300 BAA in Rochester), and Guerra (4.23 ERA). I like all those guys and still believe in them long term, but Jose Reyes is worth more than all of them in a trade.

The Mets are now tied with Atlanta who has been in a bit of a free fall and are 3.5 games in back of the Phillies. One game of .500 means the Mets are pretty close to under .500 which is a bad thing for a $140 million team. After going 1-7 from May 14th through May 26th, the Mets have went 5-1 to get over the hump of respectability and need to apply the pressure with San Fran, San Diego, Texas, Seattle, and Colorado in their not so distant future.

Sure I am stating the obvious, but the obvious is not always that obvious. Take Aaron Heilman for example. He is murdering righties to the tune of a .209/.291/.239 while getting murdered by lefties to the tune of a .391/.473/.783 line. And yet he faces way too many lefties. Why is this? I have no idea but he has to be a ROOGY or demoted to figure things out. Those are the two options. I still think he has some skill, but it is not showing itself right now. Enter the problem....Feliciano is playing more like a LOOGY and now the Mets have two ROOGYs.

That is entirely too many guys who have trouble with batters from the opposite side of the plate. Schoeneweis has been great, but still showing a bit of a LOOGY split. This bullpen has the ability to be tremendous, but Feliciano and Heilman need to figure out how they got guys from the opposite side of the plate out in 2007 or else they will be in trouble. Simply too many specialists and bullpen that is not deep enough. If Dirty can actually stick this time, that will be a big boon and I think Vargas should help out in the pen as well, but right now, Heilman should be a ROOGY with Smith and Feliciano picking up more of a role as a non-specialist until something works itself out.

* * *

  • Keith Law talks draft and it seems as though the Mets might have to rethink their choice of picks.

    Brett Lawrie is heavily in Cincinnati's mix at No. 7, while Jason Castro has popped up at No. 8 to the White Sox or perhaps at No. 9 to Washington. If the Reds don't take a college pitcher, then both Houston (Aaron Crow?) and Texas (Shooter Hunt, Christian Friedrich) will likely go in that direction, unless a top player falls to Texas due to signability concerns.

    Castro was who the Mets were targeting with one of their two first rounds picks and Law mused that Lawrie might be a fit for the Mets who are looking for more positional depth.

  • With so many bad managers out there, you would think Wally Backman would get a shot.

    "All I need is an interview," Wally Backman said. "If they want the best person to take care of their players, I know I'm the right guy. I'll earn my spot."

    Backman wasn't talking about Willie Randolph's job. He was talking about any job in the New York Mets organization or any job in affiliated baseball. Because each major league team has about seven minor league teams, that's about 200 managerial jobs. Backman, a three-time manager of the year award winner, is not good enough for one of those?

    What is the harm in giving him a spot in the farm to see how he does?

  • Mark Prior = D - O - N - E

  • Jay Bruce? Pretty good. And really, this really shows you a thing or two about drafting. The Mets were down to Pelfrey and Bruce in the 2005 draft and they went with Pelfrey. Not that I could argue all that much at the time because Pelfrey looked special, but their age and perceived 'closeness' to the bigs probably factored in.

    Jay Bruce owns a cool 331 OPS+ (albeit in six games) at 21 years old and looks like a super star and Mike Pelfrey owns an 81 ERA+ at 24 (soon to be 25) and is still trying to find his way. Who do you think would help more this season? Draft the top talent on the board and operate in no other fashion. The rest will work itself out and they really need to take note of this for the upcoming draft.

    Kunz is in AA with a 3.91 ERA. I would have preferred a high school guy with huge upside than a close to the bigs reliever. Enough with the draft disasters of the past few years and loosen the purse strings and get some fucking talent.

  • Pedro is more of a character to me these days than a big part of this team's success. It is nice to have him around an all, but I am not expecting much. That is not to say he can not and will not add much, but I think people should temper their expectations on what type of impact he will have on this team. I think he adds to the clubhouse in a big way, but I find it hard to pin the happiness of the team on one guy.

    I used to think otherwise, but I have changed my mind. He might help out the bullpen by pushing Vargas out there, but that will remain to be seen as a big help until Vargas starts producing out there.

  • Pelfrey has been bad, but not bad enough to jettison him back to the minors. How bad would any one of us rip another organization for taking a big league retread like Vargas, who has done well, over a guy who might be a big part of the team's future?

    I think Pelfrey needs to stay. Vargas has an ERA+ of 90 vs. Pelfrey's ERA+ of 81. Vargas is 30 going on 31 and Pelfrey is 24 going on 25. Unless Pelfrey blows up, he needs to stay in the rotation and the Mets have to think about what they really want from him because right now the difference is minimal. If they are done with him and think he offers nothing, then move on. If they still think he can offer something, as I do, he 100% needs to stay.

  • Ryan Church is still playing some insanely good ball. He was concussed and just came back so I get batting him sixth, but he needs to start hitting in the top third of the order. Bat him 2nd or 3rd and adjust accordingly. I would not mind getting Church more RBI opportunities and more protection.

    Enter in the problem....Castillo now has an OPS+ of 98 and has become league average. But it is the worst league average you can be with his nine XBHs. Sure he steals a few bases, but with the exception of his recent power surge, does not offer much thump. Give me some thump through the top of order and I'll show you a team that can wear out the opposing starting pitchers quickly.

  • Tatis has been playing well and the Mets should ride him like a rented mule.

  • At least Aaron has a good support system... Just so crazy how one of the top relievers in the bigs can go to crap. I still believe he can turn it around, but now you have to wonder if it is more mental than anything else.

  • BP has some valuable insight into Johan.

    When Santana was supposedly heading to the Red Sox or Yankees, there were whispers that his problems with the long ball would be exacerbated there, due to their parks' respective leanings towards aiding offense. When he was eventually dealt to the Mets, these whispers were silenced, thanks to the offense-dampening Shea Stadium. However, what we have seen from Santana in 2008 belies the nature of the stadium, as his HR/9 has climbed from 1.4 to 1.5 per nine. Granted, he's gone from giving up 30 homers per 200 innings to 32 over the same time frame, but the thing that has Mets fans worried is that he was supposed improve, at least superficially, thanks to a league switch and move to a pitcher-friendly haven.

    This has not happened for a few reasons. First, Santana has lost additional velocity. He's dipped another half-a-mile per hour on his fastball, which had already dropped from 93.1 to 91.7 mph. He rarely used his cutter in the past, but it's been cut out of the equation entirely at this point. The past two seasons have shown Santana using his fastball more so than in the past, despite its status as an inferior pitch relative to what he was capable of before. It's a bit much to say Santana's lost it—he's still one of the top pitchers in the NL thanks to low walk totals and a still-excellent 7.9 K/9—but this is not the Santana the Mets thought they were trading for, the one they signed to pitch for them through 2013. Though it has not hurt them too much in 2008—the Mets have other problems to focus on outside of Santana's rising homer totals—it's something that's going to become bothersome and problematic in the future if their expensive ace can't figure out a way to pitch his way out of this recent trend.

    It is hard to say he has been a complete disappointment, but his drop in velocity and the fact he is not as dominating as expected is worrisome. Pedro was more dominating in his first year as a Met at four years older. While Johan has basically been in line with his 2007 performance, I think we all expected more.
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    Anonymous benny blanco from da bronx said...

    IF the WhiteSox take on Jason Castro and Lawrie is taken by the Reds that means some good players are dropping that could leave the potential of one the Beckhams, Smoak, Alonso, Shooter Hunt, Friedrich, Crow, somebody, one of those guys are going to drop and it'll be a perfect opportunity to get one of those guys. I'm starting to like Castro though.

    Mark Prior has to retire and work as an intern with Dr. James Andrews. Such a pitty. Dusty Baker's fault? Is it still fair to say that?

    Jay Bruce is... WOW!
    I remember when the Mets were looking at him and/or McCutchen for the 05 draft and I was against it because... I didn't want another "toolsy" outfielder. TAKE THAT BENNY! IN YOUR FACE!

    Oh and Eddie Kunz sucks. Those draft videos mlb.com has helped in making that decision. Kunz showed me nothing in those clips. His fastball wasn't impressive.

    Castillo must bat 8th. I don't care what his OBP is. In the 1st inning instead of a stupid bunt to move Reyes over, I'd take a double by Church or a homerun.

    To be fair to Johan, for some reason he's never been a 1st half of season kind of guy. I'm excited for August and September editions of Johan.

    The Mets look and feel different, that's for sure.

    11:55 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Benny...point take. Some of the big guns could be dropping if the late/mid first rounders are moving up that much.

    Although, does it matter? Will the Mets draft one of those guys?

    Johan may not be a first half guy, but a lot of other things point to him being a bit diminished, though still extremely good.

    12:03 PM

    Anonymous ossy said...

    i just hope the mets pick the best player on the board, regardless of of $$ or any other bs

    i dont get how delgado isnt part of a platoon. he sucks balls.

    i love seeing the dodgers get beat by the mets.

    2:20 PM

    Anonymous tc said...

    Big guns definitely needed with all those first round / sandwich picks.

    10pm start time for games on the West Coast suck.

    Pelf needs to stay in rotation like Mike said; Vargas is the new Jorge Sosa a.k.a. Willie's love partner / long guy out of the pen.

    Re: Johan -- what Benny said. Second half animal for sure. He's been solid and has stopped losing streaks thus far, and the Mets are 9-3 in his starts. That's all that's important to me right now.

    2:27 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Ossy...you hate Delgado? That is news to me.

    If Vargas was performing at Nelly Figs circa April '08 levels, maybe...but he is marginally better and given the sample size I am willing to bet they even out even more as time goes on if both allowed to continue. Time to buck up!

    I am not saying Johan is not good. He has been excellent, but I think we were expecting B Webb good and maybe that is not fair, but that is what was expected of the fans a lot of other people who flat out thought he would kill everyone. He has had to labor hard at times.

    2:38 PM

    Anonymous seattle steve said...

    We were expecting lights out from Santana but there have been games he has pitched well enough to win but he did not get any support, Pelfrey is another story when you are about to write him a ticket for the miniors he comes through in a big way, I wouldn't say that the minors are bare but we need an excellent draft this week, I thought in signing Pedro and signing Delgado the cream of Latin america was gonna come this way. The schedule is very team friendly in the next few weeks if this team does not take advantage of it, shame on them.

    3:35 PM

    Blogger Jer said...

    What if I told you the Mets could get an extra .100 points of slugging out of the second base position at no cost, no decrease in OBP, and equivalent defense?

    For his career, Castillo's OBP is the same from both the left and right sides, but he's slugged .433 vs. .333. Ok, he probably will lose some against RHPs, but it's brutal watching him hit from the left side.

    5:11 PM

    Anonymous ossy said...

    everyone thinks that johan was gonna come kick ass like zohan. i am impressed with his #'s considering that he has struggled and not shown A+ stuff. i do worry about him being worth $20m in year 4-6.

    its not fair to compare him to webb right now. webb is just in a zone, and his #'s are gonna come down a bit. its expected that johan's #'s are gonna be better in the summer. in the end, their stats will be comparable.

    mike, i do hate delgado. i repeat it because i do not think the feeling is displayed enough by others.

    i need a west coast beat down this week. no reason why this trip shouldnt springboard us to 20 win month.

    5:15 PM

    Blogger Anthony said...

    As most of the guys on here have said, I like Santana's numbers so far. I figured it would take him some time to find his comfort zone. I'll take 9-3 team record from him. That's excellent. I think he will get more and more comfortable as the season moves on. He has been a stopper outside of the Braves game. Once he gets more acclimated with his new surroundings, the national league and the summer, he will continue to improve. And if he improves from where he's at now, he will be what everyone expected because there isn't room for much improvement with him.

    Really hoping this week wasn't an aberration. This team can pound on SF and SD this week. If they take 5 out of 7, I consider them on a bona fide turnaround roll. Hopefully Pedro brings to the table what he did at the end of last season. Just solid, reliable starting pitching. If that happens, could make huge difference. C'mon baby....

    5:47 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    jer...Easley should be in ther vs. lefties, but we already went through this last year on how to optimize the position, but Willie loves Castillo. I give up and only have dreams of him batting eighth.

    Webb is in the zone and leading my fantasy team of studs to a championship. One that has alluded me over the past two seasons....But i will not be denied any more!

    20 win month? Fucktastic.

    The issue is as ossy said years 4, 5, and 6 and his diminished velocity.

    8:40 PM

    Anonymous ossy said...

    our toughest teams this month are the yankees and arizona, i fully expect to take two of three from both (maybe even a sweep if pelfrey isnt pitching) in the series.

    carlos gomez is impressing me. should he keep this up for the rest of the year, i will say that the twins made of very nice in this trade.

    9:15 PM

    Anonymous tc said...

    I was going to stay up late to watch this game and suffer through work tomorrow, but that's not happening thanks to the splendid 6 earned runs in 1/3 of an inning for Oliver Perez.

    Yanks will have Jorge and A-Rod both back when the Mets play them, so I won't go as far as predicting a sweep. But I think they're capable of taking 3-4 (day-night DH one day) if the pitching matches up favorably.

    D-Backs with Haren/Webb are no joke. Hope we can miss out on at least one of them.

    All I need to say about baseball right now is Jay Bruce and Josh Hamilton. Homers again from both tonight.

    Bruce LOWERED his average to .571 with a 2-4 game today, and has 3 HR in his last 3.

    Hamilton is just unreal. On the season: .332, 16 HR, 65 RBI!!, .626 SLG, 1.000 OPS. What he's doing is the equivalent to a high school student doing heroin for four years and then walking into his SATs and getting a 1600. He is the Natural.

    Oh well, time to go watch the Red Wings win the cup and then go to bed. Thanks, Ollie!

    10:58 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Gomez is for real. I think a lot of us believed one of Gomez or Guerra would make it a good deal if not both of them while Humber and Muvley would contribute in some fashion.

    Hamilton and Bruce...Hamilton is the best Rule 5 pick in the history of the universe. Good times!!!

    Pretty silly....I actually have faith the Mets can make up the difference if they can hold him. Chipping away baby....

    11:11 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    5.70 ERA for Ollie...Fucking terrible!

    11:11 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Something is obviously wrong with Ollie or the other teams have figured something out.

    The Mets better figure out what quickly.

    12:16 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    What the hell is up with mlb showing commercials when I have paid for the subscription. That's bullshit.

    12:20 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Let's leave Muniz in the game.

    12:28 AM

    Anonymous ossy said...

    i always hate west coast trips bc sometimes i fall asleep watching the game and dont know the final.

    thanks to perez for letting me go to sleep after the first w/o any doubt

    4:06 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I love west coast trips but that's because I am living in Korea and my work starts in the afternoon here. So, I can sleep and still see all the game.

    But I feel for you ossy...that's me for all those east coast afternoon games! Trying to wake up early after going to bed late and hang in there.

    Luckily, they were playing lousy, so my incentive to do that fell off and sleep became the priority.

    9:00 AM

    Anonymous Will said...

    Of course, a start like Ollie moves my mind on to lunch quickly...

    9:01 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Oliver Perez = D - O - N - E

    10:49 AM

    Blogger Anthony said...

    I thank Ollie for fing up last night. I turned off the tv after the 2nd inning and hooked up with my girl. Much better time than watching the 10-2 onslaught. I definitely made the right decision.

    Trade Ollie before the deadline. Do it right after he has a couple decent starts which I think he can still have. I think he's an idiot. His quote was after the game was "this isn't the first and it won't be the last". Fuck that. Dump his ass. He's the exact part of the problem. His attitude sucks. Hopefully we get some young decent players in return.

    12:26 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hmm... you've piqued my interest, Tony.

    Any pictures?

    1:49 PM

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