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

Sunday, July 08, 2007

All-Star Snub?

As of Friday afternoon, the top pitchers VORP in the NL were Jake Peavy with 42.7, Brad Penny with 41.7, Chris Young with 35.7, John Maine with 34.7, Ian Snell with 33.9, Tom Gorzelanny with 33.2, Roy Oswalt with 30.8, Derek Lowe with 30.0, John Smoltz with 28.8, Jeff Francis with 28.5, and Ben Sheets with 27.7 with Hamels a bit behind with a 23.5. The pitchers chosen for the team were Francisco Cordero, Brien Fuentes, Cole Hamels, Trevor Hoffman, Roy Oswalt, Jake Peavy, Brady Penny, Takashi Saito, Ben Sheets, John Smoltz, Jose Valverde, Billy Wagner, and Chris Young.

Aside from Peavy and Penny, the variance between the rest coupled with their respective reputations makes it a difficult thing to truly lock down in terms of who is more deserving. Chris Young was voted in by the fans fair and square. He has a ridiculous home ERA of 0.82 and a BAA of .168, but his road ERA of 3.33 is still impressive with his .227 BAA. If he did not get voted in by the fans, he certainly would have deserved a spot anyway and should have been included initially. Then you have Sheets and Smoltz who were picked and one has be alright with those guys based on their current performance this year and their careers. While Maine has All-Star numbers, his case is hard to argue against Sheets and Smoltz as not every guy gets in based on 1/2 a year performance. If two or three guys are close, the seasoned star gets in 100% of the time unless someone is the sole possible representative. Then you have Oswalt, who is replacing Smoltz, and you have Hamels. If you look at their home parks (both strangely have performed better at home) and factor in their dominance factor, it is not an open and shut case that Maine should have been in over them. Everyone has a legitimate case between the three, but no one could really argue about Maine getting left out.

The only argument would be in Brian Fuentes. How you can put a guy who lost his closer job and has an ERA north of 4.00 is beyond me. Matt Holliday was already going to make the team, so it was not just an obligatory vote to get a Rockie in there, but if you are strictly playing to win, it certainly behooves a manager to have as many closers as possible. But Brian Fuentes? I could possibly see the benefit if the AL was loaded with lefties, but that is far from the case. Then you look back at June 21st. You will see twenty saves and a 1.89 ERA for Fuentes. The pitchers and reserves were announced on July 1st and they were probably picked a few days earlier. Fuentes' ERA ballooned from 1.89 to 4.17 in five consecutive appearances. Throw in the fact that starters and relievers are different beasts. You can throw in six closers and not have to worry about their availability. Regardless, I have a hard time thinking LaRussa just pulled these names out on the 29th of June.

They had a good idea who they were taking and at the time they had formulated that opinion, it looked like six closers were having outstanding seasons and LaRussa had three lefties in the pen. Again, if you are trying to win, giving yourself six closers and three of whom could be potential LOOGY options, you might be putting your best foot forward. With six starters already, who gives the NL a better chance at winning, Maine or Fuentes? I do not think it could be argued that a seventh starter starter who might take ten more pitches to warm up over a sixth reliever who will not need as much time is more of a value add. If the Mets go to the World Series, would you rather have a Maine All-Star berth or homefield advantage? Again, the most deserving should go, but Fuentes precipitous decline is not typical and guys like LaRussa are not knee jerk. If he was, he certainly would not be where he is and Fuentes was not undeserving a short time ago.

Did Maine, Snell, and Gorzelanny get snubbed? Yes and it is not a perfect system. Did Beltran get a gift? Yes and that makes it hard to argue about Maine if you are a Mets fan. I would have loved to see Maine there, but I'm not in a tizzy that he is not as there it is not as cut and dry as it seems and Maine's exclusion is not egregious.

* * *

  • Speaking of All-Stars, Miguel Cabrera is having a great year, but after a dismal April, Wright has played right with him. Anyone complaining about his status on the team is just not looking at the numbers close enough.

  • The bullpen came up big for the Mets last night and that is certainly refreshing to see.

  • Mike Pelfrey was a bit roughed up again on Friday and he is just not consistent enough. He struck out Lance Berkman on a great change-up which showed everyone what he could do, but he could not replicate the pitch often and his slider was horrendous. The jury is still out on him, but as Keith pointed out, he's never had a full season on the minors and he either needs to be in the bullpen or he needs to be in the minors working on two pitches rather than getting people out.
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    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Re: Fuentes

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Reigning Cy Young winner Brandon Webb of the Arizona Diamondbacks will replace injured Colorado reliever Brian Fuentes on the NL roster for the All-Star game.

    Webb was 8-6 with a 3.27 ERA and tied for the third in the league with 104 strikeouts going into Saturday night's start at Cincinnati.

    The All-Star game will be Tuesday night in San Francisco.

    Webb played in his first All-Star game last season, pitching an impressive inning in relief. He struck out Derek Jeter, retired David Ortiz on a popup and got Alex Rodriguez on a grounder.

    The right-hander was among five pitchers who were candidates for the final NL All-Star spot in Internet voting. San Diego's Chris Young won that balloting.

    Fuentes, who has a strained back muscle, won his spot in player voting. Webb was the top vote-getter among NL pitchers on the player ballot who were not chosen.

    The left-handed Fuentes is 0-4 with a 4.06 ERA and 20 saves. His injury is expected to sideline him until after the All-Star break.

    Fuentes recently lost his job as the Rockies closer after blowing four straight save chances. He said he still plans to make the trip to San Francisco to take part in the festivities.

    Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

    1:49 PM

    Blogger michael o. said...

    Well that sucks...I didn't get a chance to read about that...well...I guess this post is pointless, but the gist is somewhat salvageable. I don't think Maine being left off is some huge oversight. It would have been nice, but a an ex-Cy Young Award winner is going to get the nod if they are comparable.

    This also goes back to the basic thought process of the selection of the team as well and why Maine could have been left off. It just seemed that there were a lot of perturbed people about him getting left off.

    Off to a wedding....

    2:06 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    what a catch.

    3:47 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    good point on maine. i thought about it and calmed down when i thought about it, im glad he didnt go. he gets to stay home and rest. with allstar appearances, his $$ goes up next contract time.

    i told my gf that id propose to her if we won 50 games by the all star break. no ball and chains yet!

    7:18 PM

    Blogger ossy said...

    why the hell would u give up chris young and adrian gonzalez for termel sledge and adam eaton.

    8:24 PM

    Blogger michael o. said...

    That catch was great, but Keith called it like the best in the last century. I wouldn't go that far, but a great catch with the game on the line on the stupid hill.

    Ossy! You were two wins away from being engaged. I'm sure you are the only fan excited to see them under 50 games. It should be noted that this team was on pace for over 100 wins and now they seem like they will struggle to see 90.

    Ossy...that is the reason the Rangers will suck for a loooong time. Hard decisions my man...they should have traded Blaylock when he had value or move Teixiera in a HUGE deal. Instead, they made rough moves. Cannot feel back for those teams.

    10:45 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    actually i fell asleep so i missed keith's call. but i've always wanted to see a highlite catch on the stupid hill. it would be fun to play that center field i think. they say beltran always used to practice that catch. pretty solid.

    11:28 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    the moment they let blaylock go, he'll go somewhere and produce again. texeira will never resign. they shouldve traded soriano for a youngster and not someone with major leaugue time.

    who trades a young pitcher for a half ass pitcher with an expiring contract?

    oh wait we did did that too!

    12:07 PM

    Blogger michael o. said...

    Yes Ossy...we've done that, but they keep making mistakes. Not much has changed over there and they are too afraid to pull the trigger. Frankly, even if they don't break the bank on trading Mark T., shouldn't they make a deal? The fanbase will be upset. Great. They'll be more upset at five more years of sucking. Sometimes you cannot let the fans run the team and cut bait. Trade whatever is not nailed down and won't help you five years from now.

    FYI...I wished we traded Pelfrey when he still had value. Is he even a top 100 prospect anymore?

    I must admit, I don't mind the hill. Rarely is someone even getting to a ball there and not one person has sustained an a major injury because of it. Although, if someone does, I bet that hill disappears fast.

    12:26 PM


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