Posts Tagged ‘Mets’

State of the Mets Rotation

May 22, 2009

JohanHappy Johan Santana Day! (a.k.a. The Great Santana) What, don’t you say that every time Mets Ace Johan Santana is scheduled to take the mound? Before he does, let’s take a look at the state of the Mets rotation.

This time through the rotation the Mets will be showcasing Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, Tim Redding, John Maine and Livan Hernandez.

Let’s see how they’ve done this year and what we might expect from this this week:

Johan Santana (5-2):

Santana won the NL Pitcher of the Month Award in April and is well on his way to another Cy Young caliber season. In his last start, Santana allowed six runs, four earned on 11 hits against the San Francisco Giants but still managed to get a Win thanks to some great hitting by the Mets.

As fangraphs.com points out here,

Santana is primed for a huge season. In 39.2 innings this season, Santana has punched out a jaw-dropping 54 batters (12.25 K/9), which is the highest rate of his career. His FIP sits at a microscopic 2.03, and he has compiled 1.7 WAR already.

In his last start against the Red Sox, Santana allowed one run on 7 hits in 5 innings.

Mike Pelfrey (4-1):

Mike PelfreyPelfrey had a case of the Yips last week. He allowed 2 runs on 6 hits against the San Francisco Giants but suffered his first loss of the season as the Mets were unable to score on Matt Cain and the Giants bullpen.

Pelfrey is sporting a 1.54 WHIP, .286 BABIP, and a 5.23 FIP. Most striking is his 0.65 K/BB ratio, the worst in his career. However, his GB/FB ratio stands at 1.80, the best of his career.

Tim ReddingTim Redding (0-0):

Redding allowed two runs on 2 hits while walking four and striking out four in six innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Nonetheless, the Mets made 5 errors and left 11 on base, and in the 11th, had probably one of the worse innings in baseball this year (Glad I went to bed after the 10th).

I won’t bore you with any stats, since one game is not enough to go off of.

John MaineJohn Maine (3-3):

Maine allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits while walking three and striking out three in 5 1/3 innngs against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Maine flirted with disaster the whole night but hung a slider to Casey Blake for a three run homerun.

Maine is sporting a 1.42 WHIP, .260 BABIP and a 4.83 FIP. His career best GB/FB ration is 0.80 (2006) but stands at 0.91 this year. Also, Maine’s LD ratio is at 22.5%, the highest of his career.

Livan HernandezLivan Hernandez (3-1):

Livan allowed one run on seven hits while walking one and striking out two in seven innings against the Los Angeles DodgersLivan was wonderful, but the offense failed him as they left nine on base and couldn’t capitalize when they needed to.

Livan is sporting a 1.47 WHIP, .316 BABIP and a 4.65 FIP.

In his last start against the Washington Nationals last year, Livan allowed six runs giving up 10 hits in six innings.

The Mets need the rotation to continue to give the team quality starts, especially with the bats slumping. If the Mets are able to take 2 of 3 from the Boston Red Sox, they’ll come back with a 23-20 record and would’ve gone 6-5 on the west to east trip. Let’s Go Mets!

P.S. I’d love some feedback, especially about what’s missing from this post. Thanks.
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Metsblog Comments Section Announcement

May 21, 2009

Update: Matt would like to make the metsblog comments exclusive to a small group he selects. Check out his survey.


Apparently, Matt Cerrone of Matthew Cerrone’s Metsblog.com will be making an announcement later regarding the status of the comments section writing earlier today, “For those who are curious, I will be making a post later today about the state of this site’s comment section, which has been intentionally closed since Tuesday night.”

My guess is he’ll say a small group of commenters became an annoyance so he closed it, he’ll then poll something, but finally just decide to do without the comments section.

I doubt the decision will significantly hurt the site, since it’s the “Grand Central Station for Mets Information”. However, eventually people will decide they no longer are interested in the Grand Central Station and instead like the Union Square of Mets Fans! What I mean by that is that eventually a newer and more fan friendly site will come along to take over as the #1 site for Mets stuff. That won’t happen for a while, since Metsblog.com has reached a critical mass and people will continue to visit the site, despite its flaws.

BTW, a group of ex-commenters, led by therealsince86 and dirtysanchez, have gotten together and are starting their own site, trs86.wordpress.com and will be joinging forces with mrose’s NLEastChatter.com. Go check em’ out and catch up w/ old friends.

Game 2: Mets beat Reds 9-7

April 9, 2009
Mets Beat Reds 9-7 in 2nd Game of 2009 Season

Mets Beat Reds 9-7 in 2nd Game of 2009 Season

In yesterday’s game, the Mets beat the Reds 9-7.

Mike Pelfrey (1-0) went 5 innings giving up 5 hits and 4 runs while walking 4 and striking out 2.

In relief, Bobby Parnell (H,1) walked 2 and struck out 1 in the 6th. Pedro Feliciano gave up 2 hits and 2 runs while walking 1 and striking out 1.  Sean Green (H,2) mopped up the 7th only giving up 1 hit. J.J. Putz (H,2) closed out the 8th giving up 1 hit and 1 run. Francisco Rodriguez (S,2) got another save on two walks and 1 strike out. 

The Mets went up 2-0 in the first off a Carlos Delgado bomb to right field scoring David Wright. In the 5th Carlos Delgado made it 3-4 by driving in Jose Reyes on a bases loaded grounder to first.  Carlos Beltran put the Mets up 5-4 by singling to center and driving in Daniel Murphy and David Wright. In the 7th, Carlos Delgado drove in David Wright by singling to left. In the same inning, Brian Schneider made it 9-4 Mets on a bases clearing double to right center scoring Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran and Ryan Church.

Mets Win on Opening Day

April 6, 2009

1 Down 99 Wins To Go!

Johan Santana (1-0) threw 5 2/3 innings, gave up 3 hits and 1 earned run, walked 4, and struck out 7 99 pitches.
Sean Green (H,1) threw 1 1/3 innings of scoreless pitching.
J.J. Putz (H, 1) closed the 8th while walking 1 and striking out 1.
Francisco Rodriguez closed the game by striking out 1.

Daniel Murphy homered to right in the 5th and drove in Luis Castillo on a bases loaded grounder to first.

State of the Mets Rotation (Part VI)

February 17, 2009

As I’ve said before, the Mets need pitching depth. Seems like Omar Minaya thinks so too. On Saturday, Christian Red of the New York Daily News, reported that the Mets had signed Livan Hernandez to a $1 million minor-league deal with $1 million in performance bonuses. When asked about Pedro Martinez, Minaya responded that they are set with the pitchers they have. However, “as long as Martinez has yet to sign with a team” David Lennon of Newsday won’t count the Mets out.

This news is very exciting. Last year, I and many others were hoping the Mets would sign Livan for the #5 spot. Turns out they could’ve used him with all the injuries to the rotation. This year, Livan will be competing with Freddy Garcia, Tim Redding and Jonathan Niese for the last spot on the rotation.

The downside to the minor-league deals given to Garcia and Livan is that Garcia has said he expects to be in the rotation or will pitch somewhere else. So we’ll have to wait for Opening Day to see whether the Mets will have strong pitching depth.

The best case scenario for the team would be to have Garcia make the rotation, with Redding in the bullpen and Livan in the Minors as the 6th man. Since Niese is still a rookie, it’s pretty much guaranteed that he’ll be starting in AAA.

As for Pedro, like David Lennon, until he signs somewhere else, I still see Pedro returning to the Mets. However, I think he’ll sit out the cold months (maybe in St. Lucie) and possibly get a call in June.

State of the Mets Rotation (Part V)

February 10, 2009

In my last segment of State of the Mets Rotation, I argued that the Mets should sign either Ben Sheets or Pedro Martinez. Two days later, Jon Heyman reported that Sheets would have elbow surgery. So it seems like Pedro’s path to the Mets just got a little clearer.

The Mets have a very good rotation with Johan Santana, Oliver Perez, John Maine, and Mike Pelfrey. Then there’s Tim Redding, Freddy Garcia, and Jonathan Niese all vying for the last spot on the rotation. I still think we need one more starter to add for pitching depth, and that person is Pedro Martinez.

As we’ve all come to learn over the past couple of years, you need pitching depth in case of injury. Do you remember last year when Pelfrey our #6 pitcher became our #4 pitcher? That’s why I propose the Mets bring back the Godfather of the Modern Mets for one more year on an incentives laden contract, to deepen the rotation.

I know there’s a whole bunch of reasons why that sounds crazy, but he can’t be worse than either Redding, Garcia or Niese. With Sheets scheduled for surgery, Wolf, Garland, and Looper signed, Pedro is the best option on this free agent tracker (and no, we’re not trading for a starter). Plus, he’s practically begging the Mets to bring him back.

So let’s think about it for a second. I’m not talking about Pedro as a #2 starter getting paid $12 million. Instead, I’m suggesting we bring Pedro back as a #5 starter getting paid $5 million guaranteed. That’s a high ceiling low risk move.

The added benefit is that Redding can slot in to the long man position, Garcia can get some starts in AAA (remember Garcia just pitched 3 games for the Tigers last season), and Niese can pitch a full season in AAA getting ready to take over the spot in 2010.

Look, I know Pedro hasn’t looked the same since 2005, but even he’s admitted that he has something to prove. Pedro has cojones, and that’s what this team needs more of. So let him come back for one year and prove that he’s still the man.

2009 Mets, We’ve Got Cojones!

State of the Mets Rotation (Part IV)

February 3, 2009

On Friday,  Joel Sherman reported that the Mets avoided arbitration with John Maine. Maine will earn $2.6 million for 2009 and can earn $25,000 by pitching 200 innings. Maine earned $450K in 2008. That’s great for Maine and the Mets. I wonder if Maine’s late season injury had an impact on the Mets not signing him to a long term contract similar to what the Mets did with Mike Pelfrey, Jose Reyes and David Wright.

On Monday, Joel Sherman reported that the Mets “have reached agreement with Oliver Perez on a three-year, $36 million contract”. Perez earned $6 million in 2008. This signing is good for both parties. The Mets get the pitcher they wanted for three years and Perez now becomes one of the top paid pitchers in the league and will be eligible for free agency when he’s 30.

The Mets have a very solid rotation now but still may be able to improve it by signing Ben Sheets or Pedro Martinez. Both are risks, Sheets because of his injury history and Pedro because of age. It has been reported that Sheets is still looking for a multi-year deal with guaranteed money while Pedro has said he prefers to return to the Mets. The biggest difference between the two is that when healthy, Sheets is a true ace while Pedro would be competing for the last spot in the rotation.

I’d like to see the Mets sign Sheets to a 1 year $6 million contract with incentives reaching up to $12 million (similar to Andy Pettitte’s deal with the Yankees). Or, I’d like the Mets to sign Pedro Martinez to a 1 year $5 million contract with incentives reaching up to $10 million (similar to John Smoltz’s deal with the Red Sox). Signing one of these two will push Tim Redding to the long man/6th starter role, with Freddy Garcia and Jonathan Niese as the 7th and 8th pitchers.

State of the Mets Rotation (Part III)

January 26, 2009

On Thursday, Adam Rubin reported that the Mets agreed to a Minor League deal with Freddy Garcia. According to Jon Heyman, Garcia felt that the Mets gave him a better opportunity to start.

On Friday, ESPN Radio reported that the Mets were willing to offer Oliver Perez a four year contract and had a growing interest in Ben Sheets. That same day, Jon Heyman reported that the Mets improved their offer to Perez, but it wasn’t certain what the offer was.

The Mets current rotation would be  Johan Santana, John Maine, Mike Pelfrey, Tim Redding, and either Freddy Garcia or Jonathan Niese. If the team is able to sign Oliver Perez or Ben Sheets, then Redding would compete with Garcia and Niese for the 5th spot. Were the team to sign two more free agent starters, then Redding could pitch from the bullpen as the long man.

These are the free agent starters the Mets have been linked to: Jon Garland, Pedro Martinez, Oliver Perez, Ben Sheets and Randy Wolf.

Here’s how I’d rank them:

  1. Ben Sheets – 30, Type A (GS-31, IP-198.3, W-13, WHIP-1.15, ERA-3.09, SO-158 )
  2. Oliver Perez – 27, Type A (GS-34, IP-194, W-10, WHIP-1.40, ERA-4.11, SO-180)
  3. Jon Garland – 29, Type B (GS-32, IP-196.2, W-14, WHIP-1.51, ERA-4.90, SO-90)
  4. Randy Wolf  – 32, Type B (GS-33, IP-190.1, W-12, WHIP-1.38, ERA-4.30, SO-162)
  5. Pedro Martinez – 37 (GS-20, IP-109, W-5, WHIP-1.57, ERA-5.61, SO-87)
I’m hoping the Mets can sign Oliver Perez for four years-$40 million and then sign Ben Sheets for two years-$20 million. If signing both isn’t possible, I’d prefer a combination of Sheets and Wolf, over Perez and Garland.


State of the Mets Rotation (Part II)

January 22, 2009

Yesterday, Ken Rosenthal wrote, “The Mets and Yankees have emerged as the leading contenders for free-agent right-hander Freddy Garcia.” He also cited a major league exececutive here who predicts “the price (for Ben Sheets) will be in the $6 million to $8 million range for one year, with incentives that could push the total value past $14 million. A lucrative club option also might be part of the package.”

Meanwhile, on Monday, Jon Heyman wrote “The Mets currently have no offer on the table and believe Oliver Perez is still seeking about $60 million (for five years). Perez remains by far the Mets’ first choice for their final rotation spot and are surveying other viable starters, including Ben Sheets, as well as Randy Wolf and Jon Garland.”

As I wrote last week, it seems to me that if the Mets wanted to, they could afford both Perez and Sheets while remaining under $160 million. Click here for the updated 40 man roster with salary projection and here I’ve added Perez and Sheets.
Given that all teams (except the Yankees) seem to be saving for a rainy day, I’d guess the Mets will only sign one of Perez and Sheets. I’m okay with that, as long as they also sign one of Jon Garland and Randy Wolf  who have been reported to be requiring a $6 – $8 million deal. Ideally, the Mets would also sign one of Freddy Garcia or Pedro Martinez for $5 million on incentives based contracts (to give the team pitching depth similar to the Red Sox’s Brad Penny and John Smoltz deals).
That would give the Mets the following rotation depth:
  1. Johan Santana
  2. Oliver Perez or Ben Sheets
  3. Mike Pelfrey
  4. John Maine
  5. Jon Garland or Randy Wolf
  6. Freddy Garcia or Pedro Martinez
  7. Tim Redding
  8. Jonathan Niese

Mets Can Afford Oliver Perez and Ben Sheets!

January 15, 2009

I think we can all agree that signing Oliver Perez is a must for the Mets and that it will cost between 10 and 12 million per year. The real question now is, “Do the Mets need to make any other additions to the rotation after signing Perez?” I’ll go ahead and say Yes and that addition must be Ben Sheets.

Some might argue that a rotation of Santana, Maine, Perez, Pelfrey, and Redding or Niese would suffice. Others will say that the Mets should sign the dependable Jon Garland to anchor the rotation.

The biggest argument I’ve heard over signing both Perez and Sheets is that the Mets can not afford it. Using salary figures from Cot’s Baseball Contracts, the current 40 man salary stands at approximately $137.3375 million . If Perez signs for $12 million and Sheets for $15 million, the salary would increase to approximately $165 million. However, these figures include projected arbitration salaries for Church, Feliciano, Maine, Reed and Sanchez that seem to be very high. So more likely, the roster salary would be close to $160 million.

Therefore, if signing both Perez and Sheets would most improve the rotation and the Mets are willing to increase the 2009 salary to $160 million, then the Mets can and should sign both Perez and Sheets.

Here’s a link to the current roster with salaries and here’s a link to my projected roster with salaries.