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

Friday, April 04, 2008

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.

* * *

  • The Duque update.

    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.

  • The Mets are eyeballing Claudio Vargas, which gets two thumbs up from me. Also, Nellie Fig might get a chance to stick around a bit longer.

    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.

  • KLaw loves DWright as much as we do.

    Kevin (STL): True or false: David Wright is the best all around player in the NL.

    Keith Law: True.

    Fuck yeah.

    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.

  • So far, all good stuff buzzing around.

    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.

  • Timmy rehashes some bad memories.

    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.

  • Gotham goes over the Mets teop ten prospects as BA sees it and I am not agreeing. Well, not totally disagreeing either.

    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.

  • The sky is no longer falling.

    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.

  • Hmmmm...

    "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.

  • Labels: ,

    Thursday, April 03, 2008

    Ollie Hopnoodle's Haven of Bliss

    In Oliver Perez I trust. He was absolutely amazing last night and everything was working. There were a few articles the other about about how Oliver Perez will most likely be gone if he is a stud this year, but I say why? If Pedro is gone, which at this point is looking more likely ever day he is not on the field, Perez is not going to cost all that much more than Pedro is getting these days.

    It is evident even more these days that keeping Perez should be a top priority for the Mets just because Pedro cannot be depended on. And while I would welcome him back in '09, his price tag needs to be ever shrinking. Sure the hammy is more freak accident than anything else, but it still happened. No matter what he does for the rest of the year, he cannot prove that he is healthy because he'll be four to six weeks down  already and there stands a good chance he will miss some more time. Basically, he will not be able to allay many fears this year no matter what which will inevitably hurt his value.

    It is not that it is all that big of an issue and having him in the rotation for those 150 to 180 innings is a big boon, but he is a luxury in '08 and '09 while Perez is a necessity. Now, I am a big Ollie believer and I understand he will not pitch like that all year and I understand the Marlins are a bad team,  however, even at the low end of what I am predicting for Ollie this year, he will be a very important pitcher.

    The game plan now for me is simple. If John Maine can continue to build of of his 2006 ERA+ of 121 and his 2007 ERA+ of 109 with another solid year through mid July, the Mets need to try and get him bought out with another year of free agency tacked on with a nice little team option. Then, go after Perez and make all efforts to retain him and hope some market buster does not jump in like the Giants did with Zito and do something ridiculous. If there is money left and Pedro wants to come back for a reasonable sum of money, welcome him back.

    * * *

  • Swelliciousness to the Nth degree.

    Wright had three hits, including a 433-foot, three-run home run. Carlos Beltran had three doubles and every starter reached base except for Perez.

    Wright went through the first month of the season without a home run last year, not connecting until his 92nd at-bat of the season. He had only five extra-base hits in April last year and already had four in this first three-game series.

    Wright for MVP is looking mighty good early on. He is in mid-season form from day #1. Oh, and Carlos looks pretty good as well. A little friendly competition never hurt anyone, right?

  • Sure losing a homer sucks, but replay? Please no. Maybe one per game, but that is it.

  • If you can learn to separate the fact that Church and Schneider are here because Milledge is gone, you will appreciate them a lot more. Chruch is a good player and seems like a good guy. Schneider has done some amazing things already defensively and he comes with a nice swing that kind of makes you wonder how he was close to the Mendoza line in 2007. If you ask me, these are exactly the type of role players you need to win a World Series and as good as I think Milledge will be, these guys are without a question more valuable this season.

  • Willie's dumb comment of the day:

    Figueroa, for now at least, will not replace Martinez in the rotation.

    "He's an extra arm," Willie Randolph said. "He's in the bullpen."

    Way to make him feel special.

  • If you are not reading THE RANT, you are probably a lot less annoyed than I am.

    "Mets' new motto: Santana and Maine and pray for rain."

    Ralph R. Carrieri



    Ralph is a lame douchebag. Not only is Ollie a stud, but Pelfrey is better than a lot of other 5th starters and The Duque will be back when they need a fifth. Carrieri's lame attempt at being funny was a miserable failure since the Mets actually do not have any problems right now in the rotation. Later? Maybe. Right now? Not so much.

  • Huh? Why should anyone be disappointed in Matt Lienart? In fact, I would be disappointed if he was not in photos of this ilk. The guy is young, rich, and a professional athlete. Marriage and fidelity are terrific, but years of nefarious activities should be a prerequisite for these guys. David Wright surely knows this and so does Matt and why that is wrong is beyond me.

  • I like to believe I am the voice of reason. However, I admit that I probably do not convey that voice all that well in space being I am a grammatical disaster and long winded. For that reason, I am glad Tim Marchman is out there. He is the voice of reason and does it in a much better way than me.

    Because Pedro Martinez is 36 years old and last pitched a full slate in 2005, his latest injury comes as no surprise. It was expected and inevitable. This being so, there's no reason why it should unnerve Mets fans at all. The news that Martinez will be out for 4–6 weeks with a left hamstring strain after just throwing 57 pitches may have been heartbreaking, but neither the injury nor an extended leave for the team's no. 2 starter should affect the team's chances at all.

    Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

    The main reason for this is that the Mets are not especially reliant on Martinez. Baseball Prospectus, for instance, projected before the start of the season that the team would win 93 games, with Martinez pitching 125 innings. Both numbers seemed, and still seem, reasonable. With a deep lineup, a strong defense, and excellent frontline pitching, the Mets are a very good team that won't be ruined by not getting innings they shouldn't have been counting on. A full, healthy season from Martinez would of course have made the team even better; but then, so would a .400 batting average from Jose Reyes. One was no more to be counted on than the other.

    I still expect Pedro to add more than 125 innings and his performance will be in line with my original thinking in terms of what he would add.

    Two ways of thinking about this should make the point clear. The first is that the Mets won 88 games and missed the playoffs by a game last year, when Martinez made only five starts, and are a better team now than they were a year ago. Johan Santana, rather than Tom Glavine, fronts the rotation; Jose Reyes and David Wright are a year older and a year closer to their absolute primes; John Maine and Oliver Perez have matured, and the team didn't have a regular second baseman then, and does now. A minimal contribution from Martinez didn't cripple them last year, and won't this year.

    I want your babies Tim Marchman....oh wait, did I just type that?

  • The Mets and Binghamton have extended through 2010. Good.

  • I actually like Robinson Tejada, who has a great arm. It cannot hurt to give a look and see if he can put some decent starts together.
  • Labels:

    Wednesday, April 02, 2008

    Pop! Goes the Hamstring

    How about this tidbit?

    Santana is followed tonight by New York's former No. 1, Pedro Martinez, who is coming off of an abbreviated season in which he threw just 28 innings after coming back from shoulder surgery. The Marlins will therefore be facing, in back-to-back starts, arguably the best left-handed changeup and best right-handed changeups around. Martinez has used his change to strike out 10.2 per nine for his career, the third-highest rate of all pitchers in history (minimum 1000 IP), while Santana has relied on his for 9.5 K/9, the fifth-best rate all time.

    That is my impressive my friends. Mighty impressive. Of course, things are not all that great right now as Pedro is all gimped up. While that is not good, let us not go too crazy about his injury and one rough start. Yes, it would have been really nice if he came out and smoked people, but he had a bad game and it just so happens it was his first start which was compounded by an injury.

    The inevitable legions of negative nellies will get in line to suggest the sky is falling, but it is not. Things will be copacetic folks and you need to keep your heads up. This team is good enough to survive without him, but methinks he will give us what we expected this year and I think he will be very effective. Even if he goes on the DL, he can come back healthy and still give us what we all expected. 150 to 180 innings of solid well above average pitching. While he is gone, things should work out.

    The Mets could revert to a four-man rotation for now, not needing a fifth starter until April 12 – two days before Orlando Hernandez is eligible to return from the disabled list. And if Hernandez isn't ready then the options become the likes of converted relievers, Nelson Figueroa or Brian Stokes, or starter Tony Armas Jr, a late arrival in camp due to visa issues.

    Losing Pedro is always a big problem, but this is not going to have a major impact this on team just yet.

    * * *

  • Mr. Billy Wags likes Heilman. I do too. He would be a welcome as the future closer of my favorite team.

  • Churchy may hate Jewish people, but he is no platoon player. Why must I keep repeating myself?

  • It looks like Rocco Baldelli will be a free agent after this season.

  • The Duque news...

    Orlando Hernandez, who will miss at least two starts while on the disabled list, expects to start high-A St. Lucie's Florida State League opener Thursday against Vero Beach. El Duque (bunion) has been working out with the Mets at Dolphin Stadium. He ran in the outfield the past two days, and threw in the bullpen Monday.
    "Every time it's better," Hernandez said.

  • Also from the above link...

    Randolph said he could foresee Aaron Heilman as the Mets' closer some day, but not in the rotation. "Not with us," the manager said. ". . . He's going to be a free agent some day. Who knows?" Heilman is under the Mets' control through 2010.

    Why so dismissive?

  • Perez vs. Miller should be fun pitching match-up to watch.
  • Labels:

    Tuesday, April 01, 2008

    Sweet Baby Jebus

    Haha... 135.00 ERA. Nice.


    Monday, March 31, 2008

    Opending Day Bitches! / Pointless Exercise II

    It is upon us. The 2008 season is finally going to fire on all cylinders today and 2008 is the year of retribution for the Mets. The theme today seems to be forgetting 2007, which is just plain silly. Why would you want to forget? I have done stupid thing upon stupid thing in my life and I would never trade that in for the world.

    I mean, how else does anyone learn anything. Why not use that horrific collapse to fuel your desire to bury everyone else in the league? Why would you want to forget that and perhaps take things for granted again if you are cruising in late August? Why would you want to perpetuate complacency? I say quite the contrary. The Mets need to remind themselves of 2007 (and 2006 for that matter) every day of the season to give them something to play for.

    Individual Award Predictions:

    National League
    1) David Wright
    People know he got snubbed last year and that is going to give him a bit more attention this year. Of course the Mets absolutely kicking ass will not hurt either. However, he will be hurt by the fact that Beltran and Reyes are going to be amazing as well, but in the end, he will be the best player on the best team and will get the nod as he continues to step up his game.
    2) Ryan Braun
    Dude is good. The Brewers are good. The only thing that might hold him back is his transition to left. However, he played short in college so I think he will adjust fine because he is a tremendous athlete which was evident when you watched play third last season. He may have butchered things a bit, but he was able to make some sparkling plays on some tough balls.
    3) Mark Teixeira
    I am thinking big for Mark this season. The Braves might just miss the playoffs, but he will be tremendous this season in the field and at the plate.

    CY Young
    1) Johan Santana
    Dominating from start to finish, he will breeze past 20 wins and lay waste to everyone. Nice.
    2) Brandon Webb
    He's my fantasy team's ace and I am not sure if you got the memo, but he is really good. I like them the D-Backs as the best in the West and he will be their driving force yet again.
    3) Jake Peavy
    Hard to believe he was born in the 80's. He is entering his prime and I see no reason why he will not be just as devastating as last season. However, he was reeeeaaaallly good last year so I expect a slight pullback, but that will still leave him as one of the top five starters in the NL.

    1) Jay Bruce
    Late start and all, he will be the last guy standing. The Mets had it down to him and Pelfrey in the 2005 draft and the Mets look like they chose wrong. Bruce is a stud.
    2) Edison Vólquez
    Is he even a rookie? I think he might be and he was lights out this spring. Of course, I think a large part of his 2nd place finish will be the fact he is in the bigs from day #1, but he will be pretty impressive as well.
    3) Kosuke Fukudome
    While good, there are plenty of young guys who are just flat out better.

    American League
    1) Grady Sizemore
    This is finally the year he goes from star to mega-star.
    2) Alex Rodriguez
    Just another Hall of Fame like season for A-Rod...ho-hum. Thankfully, he will be sitting in October because this is the year the Yankees miss the playoffs.
    3) Miguel Cabrera
    I know he is the sexy pick this year, but is finishing third really that bad?

    Cy Young
    1) Justin Verlander
    I think this guy is going to be huge this year and he will be the ace for the AL Central winning Tigers. Huge offense behind a great arm means lots of wins and the voters love them wins.
    2) Erik Bedard
    If he is healthy enough for 32 starts, he is going to compile some scary numbers.
    3) Dustin McGowan
    Boom. Dustin McGowan just finished third in the Cy Young voting. What are you going to do about it? 

    1) Evan Longoria
    It is hard to ignore all the love he is getting. He will be up for good sooner rather than later and the kid should be ripping from day #1. With an impressive offense, he should be able to put up some rather impressive stats as well.
    2) Clay Buchholz
    On the universe's best team, the best rookie pitcher in the MLB should have a fine season.
    3) Phil Hughes
    What about Joba? It's about compiling and Phil should be able to do that better since he will be in the rotation from day #1. He'll be out a few weeks as usual, but assuming Joba is going to go from lights out set-up man to lights out starter mid-season is a stretch for me. If he stays in the bullpen all season, he gets this spot.

    * * *

  • 100k turned out to see this siliness. However, it is pretty interesting to see a game played in that type of field.

  • Pelfrey wins by default. Let us see if he can step up his game for once.

  • Outside of New York, people are talking some Mets baseball.

    Ohio likes the Mets. Third overall? I'll take that.

    Chicago likes the Mets......at least I think that is what they are saying.

    Canada like the Mets, but I still do not like Canada.

    Pittsburgh thinks Johan can win 25 and I agree.

  • Jack Morris seems to be bat shit crazy these days. Santana's change-up is gold. Pure gold. He has made a living off of it so far and I would advise him to keep doing exactly what he has been doing.

  • Klap likes El Trigres to win it all. Not a bad choice, but I think the World Series that was supposed to happen in 2006 actually happens in 2008 and the Mets will be the last team standing.

  • Wright is focussed.

    Labels: ,