Author Archives: mfgz
The Mets acquired Chin-lung Hu today from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for southpaw Michael Antonini.
Let’s take a quick look at each:
The good – lefty, 7.0 K/9 : 2.1 BB/9
The meh – doesn’t throw hard, is hittable (9.2 H/9), and isn’t great at preventing homeruns (.9 HR/9),
The good – BA’s #55 Prospect prior to 2008 season, makes a lot of contact with a good average, provides up the middle depth, and can steal some bags
The meh – doesn’t walk, little power, and turns 27 in Feb
I think I’m the only person on the planet who thinks Luis Castillo should start at 2B. Tejada belongs in AAA. Murphy needs to earn his burn. Hu provides some depth at 2B/SS, but his skill set doesn’t appear much different than what Castillo can provide, especially since Luis will walk more. Whoever plays 2B will probably bat 8th (Paulino 7th? yikes), so defense should take priority. Organizational depth is important with the tenuous 2B/SS crop they have behind Reyes.
Antonini is probably destined to be a LOOGY. He only has 44 IP at AAA, so I’m inclined to think he’ll need another full season there. He’ll turn 26 in August and one would think he will probably get a chance to start if he produces in AAA.
What do you guys think?
Tomorrow the Mets are expected to officially name Sandy Alderson their new GM. No matter who you were hoping to take the job (I personally wanted Josh Byrnes), it’s hard to argue the Mets choice. Alderson’s resume speaks for itself and his hard-nosed, knowledgeable personality is built perfectly for what he is sure to Continue reading
As we approach the end to another disappointing season, it looks as though the Mets are once again finding themselves back at square one. With rumors of Omar Minaya being fired as soon as Monday, a new manager leading the off-season priorities, and an ownership group that many in baseball see as one of the Continue reading
Bobby Parnell throws gas. You know this. He throws his high 90s four seam fastball a lot – something like 80% of the time. You probably know this. Parnell really only has one secondary pitch, an 87 mph slider, that he throws about 15% of the time. What you probably don’t Continue reading
So the Mets actually obtained some value for Jeff Francoeur, as they aquired Joaquin Arias, a 25 year-old middle infielder once traded for Alex Rodriguez, from Texas. Arias, who is out of minor league options, will provide depth for the Mets at 2b as they evaluate their options for 2011. Like Francoeur, Continue reading
Jenrry Mejia responded to his promotion to AAA by going 8 innings on Monday night, yielding 1 earned run (a homerun) on 5 hits and 1 walk. He struck out 9, and induced 10 groundouts and 2 flyouts. He appears to be the favorite to both start on Saturday against the Cubs and to be the ace of the Continue reading
It’s a battle for third place as the Marlins, at 62-61, come into Citi Field to take on the 61-61 Mets for a three game series. After coming off their first victorious road series against a National League opponent, the Mets hope the suddenly hot Wright-Reyes combination can keep it going for the final month and a half.
In the last seven games, David Wright is batting .333 with a 1.052 OPS. Think that’s good? In Jose Reyes’s last seven games, he is hitting .519 with a 1.219 OPS. I think it’s safe to say these two streaky players are in the middle of their good streaks.
But that’s not what I want to talk about. We all know Wright and Reyes are elite players at their position and so those numbers shouldn’t be all-that surprising, even with the offensive struggles throughout this second half. I want to discuss Jonathon Niese, who will start the final game of this series on Thursday night against Anibal Sanchez. Niese is not getting nearly enough attention for National League Rookie of the Year. Yes, I know Buster Posey is a hitting machine and I know Jason Heyward is a superstar in the making. But allow me to drop some stats.
First, let’s play the now cliched “guess the player game.” The following stats are from this season:
Pitcher A: 7.17 K/9, 2.80 BB/9, 3.91 FIP/3.93 xFIP
Pitcher B: 6.59 K/9, 2.55 BB/9, 3.49 FIP/4.34 xFIP
As you can see, “Pitcher A” has been averaging more strikeouts, around the same amount of walks, and has a lower xFIP. That pitcher is Jon Niese. Pitcher B? — Johan Santana.
Now let’s compare Niese to another left-handed CY Young Award winner — Cliff Lee. People always snicker at me when I tell them I think Niese reminds me of Lee. Granted, maybe I am overstating it a bit but the approach of both pitchers is the same: low 90s fastball, mix in a cutter, keep the ball in the ballpark, and depend on ground balls all while having a respectable strikeout rate.
This year, Jon Niese’s ground ball percentage sits at 49.1% while Cliff Lee’s is 40.3%, though Lee is striking out about a half batter more per 9 innings than Niese (7.78). Now, here’s where I’m going to get radical — while admittedly, it’s a very small sample size, Niese’s stats from last year and this year combined are also comparable to Lee’s career numbers. In 23 career starts, Niese sports a 7.04 K/9, 3.04 BB/9, 48.5% ground ball rate, 3.91 FIP, and 4.04 xFIP. For Lee’s career: 6.90 K/9, 2.25 BB/9, 38.0 ground ball rate, 3.80 FIP, and 4.19 xFIP. I’m obviously not going to say Niese is a bette pitcher than Cliff Lee based on those stats, but he is off to a really good start as a Major League pitcher.
So in the offseason, when everyone is clamoring for the Mets to sign Cliff Lee even though he’s going to cost a fortune and there are rumors that the Mets don’t have that much money, I won’t be all that upset when they don’t sign him since they already have a mini-Cliff Lee in their rotation already.
The Mets placed Francisco Rodriguez on the DL on Monday afternoon with a torn ligament in his thumb which was the result of him punching his fiance’s father. I won’t delve into K-Rod’s anger issues or use hindsight to criticize Omar Minaya for signing him – turn on 660AM if you want that. Instead, I’ll take a look at K-Rod’s season to date and contract status.
Francisco Rodriguez acquired 25 saves and was worth 1.5 WAR before his season ended in dramatic fashion. Among relievers, 1.5 WAR to date was a top 10 mark, higher than Mariano Rivera, Jonathon Broxton, Joakim Soria, among others. He pitched 57.1 innings with a 10.52 k/9 which was his highest mark since 2007. He also sported a 3.30 bb/9 which was the lowest mark of his career (obviously not counting his 5 inning 2002 season). To summarize, K-Rod was having his best season since 2007.
According to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, Rodriguez is signed through the 2011 season and has a 17.5 mil option(3.5 mil buyout) for 2012 that becomes guaranteed with 55 games finished in 2011, 100 games finished in 2010-2011, and if doctors declare Rodriguez healthy after 2011. He appeared in 53 games in 2010, finishing 45 games. It is feasible he could finish 55 games next year, which would put him at 100 and as long as he is healthy, the option would vest.
I am one that generally avoids writing about clubhouse chemistry and morality in baseball as I try to be objective as possible. We all know they are a PR mess and never want to make roster decisions that prove they made a mistake signing. With that said, they need to do whatever they can to prevent that option from vesting. In the meantime, with a month and a half left in a hopeless season, this is the perfect opportunity to see Bobby Parnell in high leverage situations and maybe, just maybe, audition for a future closer role on this or another team.
While the Phillies have had no problem beating teams lately, they roll into Citi Field to face the Mets who have had a hard time beating anybody lately…except their in-laws. No? Too played out by now? Alright, moving on…
The good news: The Mets took two of three from Colorado this week and, barring a meltdown from the bullpen, would have had a sweep. The bad news: they still have yet to win consecutive games since June 22-23. Hell, they’ve even dropped to fourth place in the NL East! But like I said after the Atlanta series, the season is pretty much over anyway so there’s no need to keep bringing up how this is not a playoff team.
Instead, I’m going to enjoy watching the last month and a half of baseball without having to have anxiety attacks throughout the game and losing sleep after another bonehead move by Jerry Manuel. If they win, great. If they don’t, oh well. I’m not concerned with record anymore, I’m interested in watching the young kids play and develop so they can be ready for 2011.
Think about it: As of now, the Mets starting infield next year will be all homegrown players. And not just homegrown players, talented homegrown players. That’s exciting! Jonathon Niese has shown nothing but promise all year, and if Tuesday night was any indication, Mike Pelfrey seems to have cemented himself as a solid pitcher. A #2 starter -*ahem*Cliff Lee*ahem* here and a #5 starter there (with Dickey in the bullpen ready to step in for depth purposes) and you got a pretty good team. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s look at this weekend’s pitching matchups:
Friday: Cole Hamels vs. RA Dickey
Saturday: Roy Halladay vs. Pat Misch
Sunday: Kyle Kendrick vs. Mike Pelfrey
You can’t say enough about Dickey this year. He has been solid all around — 3.63 FIP, 3.90 xFIP, a 2.56 BB/9 (that’s awesome for a knuckleballer), and a 56.7 ground ball percentage. Without him, the Mets would have never made it to late July being in the race. But if you want to talk about greatness, you have to look at Saturday’s starter for Philadelphia.
Roy Halladay is already considered by many to be the game’s best pitcher. So it’s really scary that, from a numbers standpoint, this is the best year of his career. His 2.34 ERA, 2.71 FIP, 2.86 xFIP, and 1.07 BB/9 are all career lows and his 8.17 K/9 is a career high. Oh yeah, he also threw a perfect game this year. Yikes!
As for his counterpart, Pat Misch, it’s been way overdue for him to be called up. Misch was very good in his 4 starts last year for the Mets, posting a 2.65 FIP and 7.46 K/9 and was doing a fine job in Buffalo this year. His numbers: 11-4, 3.23 ERA, 3.53 FIP, 5.91 K/9, .259 BAA…yet for some reason the Mets never called him up until now, even while they were insiting all thhroughout July they needed to get Takahashi back in the bullpen. I have been clamoring for Misch to get a shot for about a month, so hopefully he doesn’t disappoint me.
Finally, I leave you with this point I realized after the Colorado series. Remember how in Spring Training everyone was saying how the season depended on Pelfrey, Oliver Perez and John Maine? Well, Pelfrey has performed (for the most part) admirably and though Maine and Perez were complete failures, doesn’t the surprising success of Dickey and Niese off-set that? Essentially, everyone agreed the Mets success would depend on their pitching, and their pitching has been excellent. Their 17 shutouts lead all of baseball. On top of that, Angel Pagan has exceeded expectations, Ike Davis is more Major League ready than we thought and Jose Reyes has been healthy the majority of the season. Yet, the Mets are still only a .500 team. So shouldn’t that tell you something about the coaching staff?