Still here? Ok. Just two things because they make me crazy.
The Mets have used NINE different starting pitchers so far this season. In addition to Santana (13), Pelfrey (12), Maine (11), and Perez (5), the following guys have filled in for us: Livan Hernandez (13), Tim Redding (6), Jonathan Niese (2), Fernando Nieve (2), Nelson Figueroa (1).
To this point, I think we have been EXTREMELY FORTUNATE that those pitchers have been so good. All told, those 24 starts have not been horrific. But still, 24 of our 65 starts have come from players who had no business being near a major league rotation at the start of the season.
Niese is a good prospect, but he is only that - a prospect. Tim Redding has stunk it up to the tune of a 6.27 ERA. Nobody expected anything from Fernando Nieve and I don't think we should. Nelson Figueroa is a nice little player but probably shouldn't be a major league starter.
So, why so upset? PEDRO MARTINEZ IS STILL A FREE AGENT. I wanted him back. It made perfect sense. We could have gotten Pedro back for nothing but money, without losing draft picks, and slotted him at the back of the rotation. Then, when the inevitable injuries come, we're looking to Livan to slot in a guy #6 instead of... say... Fernando Nieve. And if Livan Hernandez can get guys out with an 83 MPH fastball, why can't Pedro do it at 88? Or 90? Why is Pedro Martinez the only pitcher in the universe where we are concerned only with his velocity, and not his ability to get batters out? Sure, he wasn't great last year --- but he was only throwing 91 in 2005 when he had a legitimate claim at NL Cy Young contention.
Ted Berg recently wrote an article about Pedro for SNY, so I'll let him do a little of the talking here:
"Unlike a power bat, Martinez would only cost money, and probably not a ton of it.... Even in Pedro's 20 starts last season, pitching through injury and everything else, he was better than Tim Redding has been in 2009.
Could the Mets find someone better than Pedro was for those 20 starts last season? Probably, but he'll probably cost more, too. And it's not like starting-pitching depth is a problem that's going away... [H]is people claim he's hitting 93-94 miles per hour on the gun, and the Rays and Cubs -- two teams with more viable starters than the Mets -- are reportedly interested.
Redding, unlike Pedro Martinez, has absolutely no chance of ever pitching like Pedro Martinez. He has that in common with Livan Hernandez, Fernando Nieve and the overwhelming majority of humanity. It's impossible to expect Martinez to stay healthy for any prolonged period of time, but the upside is too big to ignore and the cost -- a couple of million dollars for a team with a $150 million payroll -- is too small."
We should have signed Pedro this offseason, and we should sign him now. The Mets throw around money like its nothing at people like Alex Cora, and Tim Redding, and Scott Schoeneweis. We have glaring holes in the rotation, and we are in the thick of the race. This team is going to make a ton of money this season. Sign Pedro. Sign him. He wanted to be here, and he wants to win.
Brian Mangan, January 26, 2009:
"I'd also like the Mets to get Adam Dunn. I would love it. With Burrell signing at a pittance, and a ton of outfielders available, I think this is our chance. It looks like a no brainer to me, despite his lefthandedness. Sign Dunn and then move him to 1B next year when Delgado moves on. I really think this is a no brainer."
Metsblog, June 19, 2009
"According to Buster Olney, in a post to his blog for ESPN.com, the Mets can add roughly $5 million to their payroll.
…the answer is dunn… i tried to deny it, but, it’s starting to become pretty clear…
…he solves their biggest problem, which is power and instant offense… and the thing is, he’s guaranteed to do so… i mean, that’s what he does… he hits monster home runs… dunn solves the problem…
… sure he k’s, but the team as whole moves the line enough that they can live with it… plus, when he isn’t striking out or hitting a 500–foot home run, he’s walking…
...it’s hard to deny what he’d bring to the lineup in terms of pop and weight and added stability…
However, yesterday, also on ESPN.com, Jayson Stark said the Nationals are asking for an ‘astronomical price,’ for Dunn.
…frankly, i get zero sense the Nationals even plan to trade dunn, which is probably why the price is so high… i mean, he gives them some credibility, he’s entertaining because of his mammoth home runs, and he’ll earn $10 million next season…"
Yeah. Uh. We should have signed Adam Dunn in the offseason. Everyone was panicking about the recession. Sluggers like Dunn were signing at 70 cents on the dollar. Even if you didn't want to keep him, it was worth it to sign him just because it's worth it to buy an asset for less than its worth and sell it later when the value adjusts.
Look what we did. The Nats signed Dunn when everyone in the world was turning their nose up at him - his defense sucks, he strikes out too much, WAH WAH WAH. And where are we now? The man has a 947 OPS. The man's got 18 HR and 48 RBI. The man's got a .406 OBP. His ranks among the Mets if he were a Met?
OPS (1st). OBP (3rd - Wright/Beltran). HR (1st). RBI (1st). I know that Citifield suppresses homers, but the guy can rake. And now? The Nationals are asking for an ASTRONOMICAL PRICE FOR HIM. Now, we've got to trade for him AND PAY THE SALARY HE WAS GIVEN ON THE OPEN MARKET. It makes me want to rip my hair out. The Nationals want Parnell AND a prospect for Dunn. They won't get it -- but the fact they are asking for it shows its not that outlandish.
Who is in our lineup every day instead of Dunn? Church, Tatis, Murphy. All good players. Nice little players who I like. But let me tell you this -- if we didn't luck out and get Sheffield and have him hit to the tune of an 876 OPS we would be dead in the water right now.
The Mets should have signed him when they had the chance. Delgado getting injured wasn't exactly an unforeseeable occurrence, and he's going to be gone next year anyway. With Wright at a .439 OBP and Beltran at .424, if we added Dunn to our league leading team OBP, no pitcher would EVER get through the sixth inning with us. A lineup (when healthy) of Reyes, Castillo, Wright, Dunn, Beltran, Delgado, Sheffield, Catcher would be sickeningly good.