Monday, September 14, 2009

End of Season Recap of Mets-Related Projections/Predictions/Complaints

The Mets were mathematically eliminated tonight. So, here are some
Mets issues which I have gone out on a limb to make
predictions/projections/claims about. Time to review.

#1 Pitching Staff

"The REAL problem is pitching, pitching, pitching ... we've got one legit starter, a rookie who exceeded his innings max by 50 last year, and a guy who has never thrown 200 innings coming off a season where he needed to shut it down. We need to resign Perez just to tread water... If the Mets go into the season with Niese as the #5 starter, we're missing the playoffs, and I'll make a bet on that." December 20, 2008

Okay, so we missed the playoffs for a lot of reasons. But the failure
of the Mets pitching staff this year, ultimately, was super
predictable. It was Santana + hope. Pelfrey, as I predicted, took a
step back this year. Maine was injured most of the year. Perez took an enormous step back with injuries. Even if we hadn't lost Beltran, Delgado, and Reyes, I am certain we'd be on the outside looking in on the playoffs,

#2 Pedro

"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.

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." June 20, 2009

I wish I had written more on this topic and earlier. As we now know,
signing Pedro wouldnt have helped us win the East. But in the
offseason, we should have. Last year he was ineffective, but in such
a small sample of starts, it is impossible to say how good he could
have been. The one thing which was true for certain was that his
velocity was okay. Here's Pedro's average fastball velocity for
selected years:

2003 - 90.5
2005 - 88.0
2007 - 86.2
2008 - 87.7

In 2003, he was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball. In
2005, as a Met, his 88 mph fastball was enough for him to lead the
league in WHIP and be in Cy Young contention. In 2007 he struggled
and was hurt. But as the cold hard facts show, in 2008 his velocity
was back to his post-peak-but-still-effective speed. This year? His
average fastball has been 88.7 Pedro finally had surgery and his
shoulder was right. Of course, velocity will dip over time... but
he's cunning, and he's got amazing secondary pitches, and he knows how
to save his bullets for when he needs them.

The Mets gave up on a guy who wanted to come back and repay the Mets
for his unfortunate injury. He's a fighter, and a upstanding human
being, and he's honorable, and he's good. They were foolish. And
tonight, he shut them out for eight innings. Good for you, Pedro.

#3 Adam Dunn

"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." January 26, 2009

"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)." June 20, 2009

Yep. His OPS has only gone up since then. Dunn is hitting
281/409/565 right now for an OPS of 974. He's having his finest
season ever. He's making only $8 million dollars this season.
Foolish, foolish Mets. Smart Brian.

#4 Omir Santos

"His career minor league batting line is .258/.304/.348. The guy can't hit. At all. He CAN NOT HIT. The guy has 4 home runs TOTAL since 2007. He hits one this week and the morons start to think he's a better option than Castro. In his time with the Mets, Ramon Castro has posted a 770 OPS. That is a damned good number.

Barring injury or something like that, there is no universe in which Santos is "potentially better" than Castro." May 1, 2009

"Fact is, Omir Santos is a career minor leaguer with a line of .258/.304/.348. Ramon Castro has been putting up better numbers than
that in the major leagues for years." May 24, 2009

Omir Santos is now batting 259/295/384. If it looks like a duck, and
sounds like a duck, it is a duck. And Omir Santos has always sucked.
And he always will suck. He's 28 years old. It's over. Ramon Castro
barely plays for the White Sox, and is hitting .194 right now thanks
to some horrible luck, and he's STILL hitting better than Santos with
an OPS over 700.

#5: Daniel Murphy

"Even though he hit .313 last year, it's hard to project him hitting
better than .280, even being optimistic, but I think he'll be a useful
player at worst. I think that he'll be better than any hitter our system has produced since Wright... excepting Milledge. I'd be very surprised if Murphy turned out to be a better hitter than Lastings."November 26, 2008

"Now I don't know whether Murphy is ready or not -- I am not ready to
anoint him the next big thing right away -- but I could be convinced that he's worth a shot. To temper the enthusiasm a little, he posted an 870 OPS in the majors... but also an 870 OPS in AA." October 20,

Pretty bad year. Wasn't ready for the show. Doesn't hit enough to
play first. May someday hit for a decent average with a little power.
Will never be the star so many predicted. CORRECT.

#6 Duaner Sanchez

"Duaner Sanchez was never good... and he'll probably stink this year
too." February 17, 2009

11 innings, 9.00 ERA... injured or something. CORRECT

#7 Oliver Perez

"I think Oliver Perez is a very, very safe bet to - at the very least
- maintain the performance he has had so far as Met. I think most
people agree with that assessment -- Oliver can post an ERA around 4.3
or 4.5, just like the last two years and the computer projections say
... My initial instinct after hearing about the deal was that I
thought the Mets overpaid slightly. That impression hasn't changed.
But I do NOT think its a disaster, I do not think it was stupid.

I think the Mets needed a starter in the worst way, and I would rather
have Oliver Perez than Randy Wolf or someone off the scrap heap. He
probably won't earn the full amount of his contract but he is unlikely
to flame out entirely and there is a slight chance, let's say 10%,
that he can grow into himself and become an ace."

Well, this was wrong. He got hurt. That's basically the whole story.
Lost season for Ollie.

Conclusion? Right way more than wrong.

#8 - Josh Thole

"I just want to put it out there right now. Josh Thole could be a stud.

He could be up with the Mets THIS SEASON. He's hitting .352/.447/.451 with AA Binghamton as a 22 year old. He's had more walks than strikeouts the last three seasons.

I know this is a long shot, but based on what I've seen come up and through the Mets system the last couple years, I think I am starting to get a feel for players who perform well at certain levels. AA Binghamton is a hard place to hit. He's young. He seems to have fantastic plate discipline. He's improved up through every level.

The last guy I saw who was able to move up and dominate the low levels with that kind of plate discipline was David Wright. Of course, Wright hit for a lot more power and was younger, but Wright is a once-every-ten-years talent. Keep your eye on Thole." May 7, 2009

Ummmmmmmm YES. Here's a little snip from Metsblog: Josh Thole, who hit second yesterday, was 2 for 4 with two RBI, and is batting .423 in 26 at bats since being promoted to the Mets.

Yeah. He's good. He'll never hit 30 homers but he's a good looking little hitter and might be able to put together a .300 season or two in the near future. And nobody knew about him except me.

On, Thole was not in the top 20. He was an honorable mention. He was not in's top 15. He was also not on baseballamerica's top 10. Win.