Jeremy Heit's Blog
Saturday, July 12, 2003
Another link...

The Outside World Mets Blog- Another Mets blog to add, this one being focused on sabermetrics and how they affect the Mets. Go check it out, its interesting.

In the surprise of the night, the Mets lost 10-3. Heilman was not good at all and Randy Wolf was his usual domiant lefty self. Roger Cedeno actually hit a home run, but the losing keeps on going. (Yes, I didn't see last night's game either... I'll see some of today's, which means I might be able to write something relevant about it.)

In the big sorta related Mets news of the day, Urbina was traded to the Marlins. Well, first off, this elimantes the Benitez to Marlins rumors that have been going around. I don't know how much of an improvement Urbina is as a big game pitcher, but that's not important. What is is that the Mets basically have one rumored deal out there... the three way with the Giants and the Yankees. That would involve Benitez for Felix Rodriguez and a prospect or two and then the Mets taking Rodriguez and sending him to the Yankees. The Mets would have to pay Benitez's contract and I'm pretty sure the Yanks would pay Rodriguez's. Now, the Mets might be able to get something valuable from the Giants system, but the prospects the Yankees system are likely to stink. And yes, I've heard about Juan Rivera coming over. He stinks. He's Alex Escobar all over again... who stunk and still stinks. I mean, Jay Payton was better than him, and that's not a glowing statement coming from me.

Now Michael's Mets Ramblings brings in another player for a Benitez deal, who's been around since the beginning... Boston. Boston is interesting because they have BK Kim, who is a good closer and can pitch everyday... but might be more valuable starting if they can find another closer. Anyway, Boston has some interesting prospects, but Michael is very high on one in particluar... The Greek God of Walks, Kevin Youkilis (read Moneyball and you'll get it...). Now I like Youkilis a lot too because he just gets on base so much and well Billy Beane loved the guy in the book Moneyball. He attempted to get him after the new regime under Theo Epstein took over, but Theo was not dealing him in any way. A person in the Boston orginization had said if he had called six months earlier, Billy would have gotten him. The point? It would be great to get him and be able to move Wigginton to second eventually, but don't count on it. The new regime in Boston understands OBP.

Seo vs. Duckworth today. Knowing the Mets, Duckworth, who has great stuff, will have it all working today... or maybe they can win and Jae Seo can turn it around. Should be good to watch (since I can watch it.)

Friday, July 11, 2003
More linkage!!!

Betty's No Good Clothes Shop and Pancake House- It is a Mets blog with a great name. Review of games from the night before and is also on the Burnitz for All-Star bandwagon.

Always Amazin'- Good and bad from the games from the night before, plus lots of Mets links to interesting stories.

So go check them out... plus I moved Michael's Mets Ramblings to the "Mets blogs" section on the sidebar, where it should be... don't know where my brain was yesterday...

The Mets stunk again yesterday and Steve Trachsel was really bad. If you want some type of review on the game, check out Shea Daily or one of the other Mets sites should have one up later. (I didn't see the game... again...)

Yes, today, I will finally get around to Jae Seo. But like most of you, I'm still perplexed after taking a look at his stats... After a 6/17 start against the Marlins, Seo was 5-2 with a 2.66 ERA. After that, he's had 3 bad starts that have made him 5-5 with a 3.68 ERA... Let's take a look at the last three starts..

6/27 @NYY- 5.1 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
7/2 MON- 3.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER (5 R), 2 BB, 1 K
7/7 ATL- 6 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 2 HR, 6 K

Not good starts. So what's the problem? Well, the NYY game was the game back after the split nail he suffered in the Marlins game. The Expos game featured the wonderful Tony Clark ten feet over the catcher's head throw that opened the flood gates. The Atlanta game... well, he gave up 2 3 run homers. But what's the problem lately... Well, his WHIP for the season is 1.28... in those three games? 1.78... a .5 jump. Not good... So what's his problem...

1. If you look, most of the WHIP is comprised of hits and not a lot of HR's... so it could be luck with balls falling in.
2. Hitters might be figuring him out now that's he's been pitching for a while.
3. He could be dead-armed and a little tired from so much major league pitching and be leaving the ball over the plate a little to get hit harder... All-Star break should be good for him.
4. He could just be having a bad stretch... its happens to most pitchers... though the bad stretches for the Mets' pitchers this year seem like eternities...

So, no there is no definite answer, but the main problems seem like the hits and the jump in WHIP.

A couple of people have also told me lately that I was wrong about Shea Hillenbrand, since he is still fairly hot. Well, I still think I'm right, and here's the other thing I didn't mention in that article you can read here (July 8th). This is his split AL to NL this year (which is about half the year)...

Bos- .303/.335/.443, OPS-.778, 185 AB
Ari- .361/.397/.736 OPS-1.134, 72 AB

That OPS of 778 isn't that good. The 1.134 is very good, though a small sample size. Though I wouldn't be suprised if at the end of the year he had a .850 OPS in Arizona. That goes against everything I've said, right? Well, his breakout year was 2002... look at his pre and post All-Star split...

Pre- .291/.331/.490 OPS-.821
Post- .288/.328/.424 OPS-.752

Hmm, a lot worse after half a year, especially in the SLG department. The reason? Pitchers realized he swung at everything and figured out how to get him out. It will take pitchers in the NL to realize he'll bite on a lot of stuff... so I expect a good second half from him... I also expect a good April from him, since pitchers are still feeling out there stuff and throwing it over the plate... But the OPS was up in BOS this year by a good .026 points... That's because of April and pitchers feeling out their stuff..

2002 April- .341/.390/.582 OPS-.972
2003 April- .337/.387/.495 OPS-.882

In 2002, he also has a .868 OPS month, but April was by far his best and inflated the stats up a little. His best month by far in BOS was the .882 OPS. Why? Pitchers are throwing the ball over a feeling out their stuff. (I've said it about ten times now) Hillenbrad, a free swinging, feasts off that. Hillenbrand is a fast starter and slows down considerably throughout the year. He's just hot again now because he switched leagues...

Also one other story I forgot to mention the other day... if you haven't heard (and I can't seem to find a link to it), Rick Ankiel is out for the season with another injury. He had just come off his best and two most promising starts as a minor league pitcher and seemed to maybe have found it and was ready to turn it around. Well, then he gets injured. You really have to feel sorry for the guy. I can't believe this happened in 2000 and its already 3 years ago that he imploded in the playoffs. It started with the Braves in the NLDS, but he won that game because Maddux was just as bad. So you figured he might be able to come back form it since it didn't blow his team the game... well, then came the Mets series... In his first batter faced, Timo Perez (How did this team go to the world series with Timo leading off? I know he replaced Derek "Operation Shutdown' Bell... but still...) saw a ball down the middle, an outside pitch, a ball over his head and another pitch that almost hit him before he clobbered a gapper for a double. And as you watched the rest of that inning and saw Rick Ankiel's pitching performance, you almost hoped that he would only give up 2 or 3 runs and the Mets would win 3-1 or 3-2. You didn't want to see a promising young pitcher like that look so bad and so lost on the mound. You were hoping maybe they would just tug him after that at-bat and not let him suffer out there. But instead the Mets just demolished his pitching and it looked like that could have been the end of Rick Ankiel's career... but signs were starting to look positive for a recovery and a return to the majors. Then, he got injured. I really hope he can stay injury free and find his way back to the majors and be successful, because it would be sad to see such a talented player ruined by two playoff outings.

Thursday, July 10, 2003
First off...

Michael's Mets Ramblings- New site (on the sidebar now) devoted to the Mets. Has a great running series on the Mets' young players. Looks very good, check it out...

Originally, I was going talk about Jae Seo today, but I'm putting it off for another day. Why you ask? Tom Glavine at Shea again... and well it wasn't too good. He pitched 5 1/3 innings, giving up 5 ER on 7 hits and 5 BB in the Mets 6-3 loss. Obviously the problem is the walks in this start, but haven't we gone over this before... Of course, after his last start at Great American Ballpark when he pitched extremely well. I had an article on it here and Shea Daily has commented on July 6th and in his article today. In Shea Daily's July 6th article, he goes deeper into my article by looking at the teams the starts were against and proving his bad home starts were against good teams. In today's he's proves that its not AS BAD as we think it is if you break it down start by start and that most of his bad starts came against world series contenders over the last few years. My article talked about the blame being given to the Ques-Tech system and in the end, after breaking down the numbers, thought it was probably mostly luck, as more hits were falling at home... So why is everyone revisiting it one start later? Well, look at Tom's quotes after the game...

"I know my name has been brought up in the QuesTec argument," he said. "I'm the poster child."

"You can ask the hitters. They don't know what the strike zone is. Nobody knows," he said. "It's not just me they're doing this to. They've done it to a lot of good pitchers."

So, Tom is back at the blaming Ques-Tech game. Well, I still don't believe his problem is Ques-Tech, but if you remember, I did have one thing I said in my article back on the 5th...

"Part of it could be mental. He could just not be feeling confident in certain pitches in certain situations. "

And there is your answer. He's not confident in his stuff on the corner. He feels that he's not going to get the calls, so he has to put the ball over the plate more. But that could also be coming from this...

1st Inning: 72 AB, 16 ER, 23 H, 3 2B, 3 HR, 10 BB/6 K, .319/.398/.486 (OPS- .884)

That's not good at all, and that does include the 3 ER he gave up yesterday. That's a 1.8 BB/K ratio which could fuel him to throw the ball more over the plate if he's walking people on calls he's not getting. He's allowed 33 baserunners on in 82 PA's, good for a .4 baserunner/PA in first inning. The AVG/OBP/SLG are not good at all. So his problems could come from shaky first innings that lead to a breakdown in confidence. The Ques-Tech thing? He's looking for something to blame that's not himself...

Steve Trachsel on the mound again to stop the bleeding (which he will... I got confidence in my boy...). Other than that, maybe I'll finally get around to Jae Seo in tomorrow's entry...

Wednesday, July 09, 2003
Braves 5-3 over Mets: I'll admit I didn't watch most of the game (then again I wasn't home from 7-9 PM EST and saw 5-2 Braves when I got home...), but while watching ESPNNEWS waiting for the LeBron news conference, I did flip on the game and saw the terrible hitting Roger Cedeno (July 8th article) ground right back to Juan Bong for the 1-2-3 DP. I thnew a sock at the TV and turned it off. They lost. The optimism is gone... I mean, really, what was I thinking?

In other great news for Mets fans (yes, sarcasm), Billy Traber, former Mets prospect traded in the original Alomar deal that brought him to the Mets, 1-hit the Yankees. I guess Mets fans can take solace in the fact that it was against the Yankees... but quote in that recap from Joe Torre that I just love...

"It was Greg Maddux-like," Yankees manager Joe Torre said of Traber needing just 2 hours, 11 minutes to shut out New York. "He didn't throw hard, but you don't have to when you throw strikes. When somebody throws soft, it frustrates you. But you certainly admire and respect it."

Hmm... The Greg Maddux-like is a a very nice compliment, but look at the last two sentences separately...

"When somebody throws soft, it frustrates you. But you certainly admire and respect it."

Nice... you have to admire and respect it. So does that mean Jamie Moyer is to be admired and respected for throwing soft, but he's not a good pitcher? Nice, Joe, nice... hope the kid gets a perfect game on you next time... and I'm sure you also got one-hit because Jeter and Soriano weren't in the lineup, because you don't have enough overpaid great hitters as it is...

And that was my weekly Yankee hating segment... There is no main topic complete with stats today beccause I feel like giving myself a day off from that (I've been at them for a week now, after spending the first week finding my niche...). Tomorrow, I'll probably try to figure out what's wrong with Jae Seo...

Today's Mets game (starting at noon... As Kenny Mayne would say, "In our quest here at ESPN for world domination, we have baseball on today at noon..." Yes, noon... ESPN officialy rules the world now that they can start a game at noon.) features All-Star Russ Ortiz vs. former All-Star and now struggling Tom Glavine (July 5th article... and personally what I think is my best one... a little better than the Alomar analysis because they designated Jimenez for assignment the next day and I talked about a platoon...). Because its on during the afternoon, I'll subject myself to the carnage...

Also, if you have any comments, questions for me to answer, articles you want to see me discuss, just E-mail me using the "E-mail me" on the sidebar... all feedback is appreciated...

Tuesday, July 08, 2003
A day after THE SWEEP (I've been waiting a while to be able to say that), the Mets get a shot of reality with a Braves 7-3 win at Shea. Seo didn't pitch so well again and I'm not exactly what's been wrong with him lately (Looks like a column on Wednesday or Thursday). Larry (That would be Chipper if you didn't know) Jones hit two HR's and sits second on the list for most homers against the Mets (Bonds is first, Big Cat is third). Larry Jones would be the player I hate most in all of baseball if it weren't for Roger Clemens. He is a Met killer. (The next Met killer is Pat Burrell if you didn't know... and Benitez's personal killer is Brian Jordan... so it will be interesting if he gets traded to the Giants... I know, outside shot, and now I'm rambling...) High point of the game was the 1-2-3 inning by Edwin Almonte (AAA guy in the Alomar trade... read more here... its the July 2nd entry). Anyway, he had a nice 93 MPH fastball, a straight 85 change, and this sinking offspeed pitch that was around 85. It was fairly nasty and looked like he could keep people off balance. (On the bandwagon for Almonte set-up man and Ring closer in 2005... you could trade Strickland to a contender who needs a closer or set up guy by then.)

The other game I want to mention is the 14-6 butt whooping Arizona gave the Rockies. In that game Shea Hillenbrand went 5-5 with 3 HR, a double, and a single. He got 7 RBI's. Now, because of BK Kim's blown save yesterday (which isn't his fault... if walker's playing DP depth they double the Yanks up... anyway, Walker still should have gotten it.) and the offensive explosion by Shea, people are saying they were wrong about the BK Kim trade. It's one freaking game people! ONE! Plus, he's not an All-Star caliber third baseman. He may be able to keep this going despite the fact he's a terrible hitter (in the Alfonso Soriano kind of way), but an All-Star caliber third baseman means he's at least the 6th best 3B in the league. Look at his career numbers.

Hillenbrand- .287/.319/.445... .765 OPS, 189/48 K/BB (just under 4 at 3.9), 3.44 #PIT/PA

The AVG is decent, but umm, he can't get on base, he hacks, and doesnt hit for as much power as people are lead to believe. Though he does have a 1.093 OPS in 63 AB's in Arizona... good, right? Well, one, he just went 5-5 and got 15 TB's. Two, its 63 AB's. In Boston, he has a .778 OPS, 11 points less than 2002. His OBP was up 5 points in 2003 in Boston, but his SLG was down 16. So, until he got the Arizona, he was basically playing to his career averages so far... What does those 2003 differences mean? Not much... He's not improving, its 63 AB's and its after a 3 HR game. That's what happens, everything inflates. It's a small, small sample size. So, how far is he from being an All-Star caliber 3B?... Let's take a look at the OPS's for third baseman this year... (of course, only qualified guys... and before yesterday's games)

1. Bill Mueller- .956
2. Mike Lowell- .949
3. Scott Rolen- .925
4. Hank Blalock- .921
5. Corey Koskie- .895
6. Troy Glaus- .846
7. Aaron Boone- .800
7. Eric Chavez- .800
9. Sean Burroughs- .794
9. Shea Hillenbrand- .794

After the explosion last night, Shea's OPS jumped a healthy 62 points last night! 62 points! So, we are going to compare OPS's on stats before yesterday's games, cause that is bound to come back down over time. But the power numbers I give will be updated to give an idea of how can change over one night and how deceiving the power numbers look from one day to the next... So they're are seven former All-Stars above him on that list that most people will say are All-Star caliber and are better than him. So that makes 7 players at third better than him. That leaves Burroughs and Mueller. Well, Burroughs and Hillenbrand are even. They're OPS's are the same (We could argue over what the split on OBP and SLG should be, but base it on OPS for now). Well, if you were to look at the basic power numbers most people look at, it tells a different story...

Burroughs: .299/4/31
Hillenband: .315/8/52

Clearly, Hillenbrand is the better player? Correct? Well, Burroughs has a higher OBP, walks, and has a lower SLG than Hillenbrand. But that's not the point here... based on those numbers, most people would take Hillenbrand without even thinking. I would. But those numbers are deceiving... its a lot closer than those numbers would lead you to believe. Am I saying Burroughs is better than Hillenbrand? Maybe... (In my opinion, the better OBP matters a lot, he plays better defense, and will hit with power eventually...). If you said Hillenbrand was better I would have no problem with that, but its closer than most people think because the basic power triple crown stats don't tell the whole story. (And even if you take out last night's stats, you would still think Hillenbrand is better without having to think about it based on those power numbers)

So for argument sake, this year he's better than Sean Burroughs. That's put him 8th in the league among third baseman. But we are forgetting someone. The guy at the top of the list with a .956 OPS, 162 points hihger than Shea Hillenbrand. Oh yeah, his replacement, Bill Mueller... Let's take a look at their power triple crown stats... (Power numbers updated with yesterday's games)

Mueller: .330/8/37
Hillenbrand: .315/8/52

15 points in batting average vs. 15 extra RBI's. Once again the power numbers are misleading (You would still take the .15 points in batting average anyway), but they suggest that these two are players who are very very close, when in fact, even with updated OPS's, Shea is still 103 points off Mueller. Clearly, Mueller is having the better season and is close to being All-Star caliber, but you wouldn't know it by these stats or you would tell me if Mueller is having a close to all-star caliber season, Hillenbrand if having one too.

So, what's the point... they're are actually three...

1. Shea Hillenbrand is the 9th best 3B in the league this year and is hardly All-Star caliber...
2. Triple Crown power numbers are extremely misleading. They do not tell the whole story of how a player is doing offensively...
3. One night can change an OPS drastically... so Shea Hillenbrand is not the 6th best 3B in the league because of one night... (that's where he would place OPS-wise)

I know, the mixed stats are a little confusing, but helps to prove the third point a lot...

Monday, July 07, 2003
The sweep! It happened! Yesterday, The Mets won 7-5 over the Reds to get their first season sweep of the series. They trailed 5-2 after 7 and came back to win it. The Mets next 13 games (of course with the All-Star game in the middle of them) are against Atlanta and Philly. If they can go, say, 10-3, why can't they climb back in it? The Marlins did it... But if that were to happen, hopefully Jim Duquette would still be a seller, realizing that it would be great if they got to the playoffs this year, but they need to trade players, get prospects, and rebuild (or more like reload... at least the way the Wilpon's want it). Tonight has two of the better rookie pitchers in the NL facing off... Jae Seo vs. Horacio Ramirez. Should be a good game, and hopefully the Mets keep the hot streak going.

Today I'm gonna focus on Roger Cedeno. Yes, lovable, terrible outfielder, Roger Cedeno. We all knew he couldn't field. But we all believed he could be a good leadoff guy who got on base, stole bases, and could create runs on the base paths, but was he even that? Here are Roger Cedeno's career stats.

Roger Cedeno: .276/.346/.372, 1.85 K/BB, 201/259 on steal chances (77.6%), .05 2B and 3B/AB, 3.74 #PIT/PA

Looks like a fairly decent average right. Not a bad OBP. Well, for one, leadoff guys should never K more than they walk and should not even be close to 2:1. 77.6% is not a good SB%. 80% at a minimun is good and most of the time you want your guys to be in the 85%-90% range. The AVG is still fairly decent, right? Not really, considering he got a double or triple every 20 AB's. That's once every 6 games or so. Roger Cedeno always seemed like he was a good slap hitter to the gap for doubles. And isn't that what you want your leadoff hitter to do, slap hit to the gaps or walk? (Unless, he's Soriano... but that's different.) Well, 3.74 #PIT/PA. How are you supposed to walk when you don't even see 4 pitches an at bat. So, how did Roger become known as a good lead off hitter and get a semi-decent .276 AVG. 1999-2001... AVG's of .313/.282/.293. In 99, 78% of his hits were singles. In 2000, it was 82%. In 2001, it was 80%. What am I getting at? Well, look at last year... 79% of his hits are singles, but he had 17 less singles than 2001, dropping his AVG .33 points to .260. If he had had those 17 singles, his AVG would have been .294 (.293.5 really). So his good AVG's and leadoff years were all a production of him getting lucky by having his singles fall in because he never really had good gap power. And year by year, you could get lucky and get singles to fall in and some year you can't get any (Pat Burrell this year). So, you need to have gap power and show you can hit the ball well, which well, Roger can't do. But was he still a good base stealer for his career? (I'm talking like its past tense..) Here are the top 10 SB leaders and their percentages.

1. Juan Pierre: 80%
2. Alfonso Soriano: 86%
3. Dave Roberts: 83%
4. Carlos Beltran: 96%
4. Ichiro: 79%
4. Alex Sanchez: 61%
7. Edgar Renteria: 87%
8. Eric Young: 83%
8. Carl Crwaford: 83%
10. Scott Podsednik: 78%
Roger Cedeno: 78% (I rounded everything, so I'll round his...)

Most of the guys (7) on this list are at 80% or above. The one way off the mark is Alex Sanchez, at 61%. But he reminds me of Roger Cedeno. Great speed, but not a damn baseball instinct at basestealing. So, I really don't think he's an elite basestealer (The guy steals the second he gets on base every time...) So that leaves Podsednik and Ichiro. Podsednik is young, learning the pitchers, and stealing bases for the time at major league level (This is his first year...). Come back to me on him in a couple of years. That leaves Ichiro... It sorta surprised me to see him with a percentage this low... His percentage is Japan for his career was 86%. But in America, his percentage is 76%... with his percentages being 80/67/79... so what does that mean. He probably has good speed, but maybe after his first year, America figured him out. I'm not sure, it sorta surprised me. But on this list, the closest player you can compare Cedeno to is Ichiro, who seems like an average base stealer, which is exactly what I believe Roger Cedeno.

So, in reality, Roger Cedeno is not really a good leadoff man. Most Mets fans have figured that out by now, but maybe somebody should have realized something instead of him getting the money he has over his career... Plus he can't play a lick of defense.

Sunday, July 06, 2003
Another late night post means more links to report on the sidebar...

Check out D-Rays Blog. If you haven't guessed yet, its a blog about the Devil Rays. Funny how that works, isn't it? It's a good blog, so check it out.

Wanted to point out also that Johan Santana finaly got his starting spot as Joe Mays got removed from the rotation. There will be much rejoicing (yay!) all around, especially at Aaron's Baseball Blog... one would think.

Don't expect me to talk about the All-Star selections. I won't do it. There's no point. There's too many people there who shouldn't be ::coughARMANDOcough::. I mean, Lance Carter?, Mike Williams?, and Shiggy Hasegawa? No Willis? or Mussina? to name a few. So really, I feel no point in breaking in down at all (Yet I spent two minutes more typing about it then I wanted too.) So instead of talking about that tomorrow, I'm going to talk about THE SWEEP and Roger Cedeno. Yes, Roger Cedeno over talking about the All-Stars...

BTW, it should have been Burnitz for the Mets...

I'm attempting to type this fast, so I can go watch the rest of the Mets game, so the grammar could get ugly...

Steve Trachsel gets his 8th win in the Mets 6-2 win over the Reds. Trachsel was impressive again (even though I didn't actually see the game) and Burnitz got a couple of doubles. Heilman vs. Wilson today in the Future star minor league pitcher vs. the former phenom. Mets also go for first season sweep of the year. Should be fun.

And Roger Clemens also got destroyed yesterday (YAY!) in the Boston 10-2 beat down of the Yankees. Just thought I'd mention that. (Yes, I do not like Roger Clemens)

After reading my article on Tom Glavine and his struggles in relation to Ques-Tech, Shea Daily goes a bit deeper into Tom's stats by comparing home and away starts against teams over and under .500. Very intersting, should check it out. (Also, a thanks to him for the links on his site and the nice review he gave my site.)

Now, to the main topic of the day... Scott Strickland! Yes, Scott Strickland... why Scott Strickland you ask? Well, lately rumors have been flying about the Benitez being traded to a contender. Then the other day, the Mets picked up Royce Ring, the closer of the future. Well, that made me realize something... I guess Strickland, now on the DL after having Tommy John surgery, isn't the closer of the future anymore. If you remember, when the Mets traded for him, he was dubbed the closer of the future after Benitez left. Well, that doesn't seem to be happening anymore, but I have a better question, would he have made a very good closer? In his only year over here, he seemed to have a tendency to walk people and give up the long bomb. Well, isn't that what Benitez does? Isn't that why Benitez is nothing better than a middle of the pack closer. Sure Benitez has great stuff and can overpower you, but he's not a good closer. He gets into trouble by walking people and giving up home runs. So, to answer this question, I compared Strickland's career stats to three good closers (I'm using a scale of poor, fair, good, very good, and excellent for closer rankings... so good is the middle of the pack) who have good stuff but seem to have a tendency to blow a lot of games... Benitez, Jose Mesa, and Billy Koch...

Strickland: 7.5 H/9, .88 HR/9, 4.2 BB/9, 9.19 K/9, .224 BAA
Benitez: 6 H/9, 1.06 HR/9, 4.8 BB/9, 11.9 K/9, .187 BAA
Mesa: 9.39 H/9, .80 HR/9, 3.71 BB/9, 6.18 K/9, .270 BAA
Koch: 8.23 H/9, .86 HR/9, 3.8 BB/9, 7.73 K, .244 BAA

Basically, Strickland is a lto closer to Mesa's and Koch's stats then Benitez. Benitez strikes out a ton of people, but gives up way too many HR's and walks. The BAA is so low only because of the K's, meaning in reality he faces two batters per inning cause one goes down on strikes (sorta strange logic, but work with it). I personally believe Strickland would be better because he doesn't provide the long ball and walk as easy ways to get runs as easily as Benitez. The difference between Strickland and Mesa and Koch is the K's... He may walk a tiny .4 more per 9 IP but they give up 1 to 2 hits more per 9 IP. Why is that? The K's... Strickland strikes out 1 person every inning he's out there, meaning his BAA would be lower cause the less balls go in play. Strickland seems to have the right mix to be better than these guys, but then again, these guys are only good closers. So what about better closers? Let's take a look at the elite... Gagne, Smoltz, and Rivera. (Obviously stats fromt he last two years only for Gagne and Smoltz.)

Gagne: 5.6 H/9, .5 HR/9, 1.87 BB, 13.5 K/9
Smoltz: 6.5 H/9, .29 HR/9, 2.3 BB/9, 9.8 K/9
Rivera: 7 H/9, .52 HR/9, 2.52 BB/9, 8.1 K/9
Strickland: 7.5 H/9, .88 HR/9, 4.2 BB/9, 9.19 K/9, .224 BAA

He's nowhere close to these guys. They don't give up homers, they don't walk people, don't give up many hits. The only thing he has in commmon is he strikes out people. So let's take a look at 4 Very Good closers, Hoffman, Nen, Wagner, and Percival.

Hofman: 6.75 H/9, .83 HR/9, 2.75 BB/9, 10.2 K/9, .205 BAA
Nen: 7.6 H/9, .64 HR/9, 3.27 BB/9, 9.98 K/9, .227 BAA
Wagner: 6.07 H/9, .87 HR/9, 3.5 BB/9, 12.6 K/9, .190 BAA
Percival: 5.77 H/9, .90 HR/9, 3.8 BB/9, 10.9 K/9, .180 BAA
Strickland: 7.5 H/9, .88 HR/9, 4.2 BB/9, 9.19 K/9, .224 BAA

His stats are a lot closer to this group, but he still falls short in walks and in hits (except for Nen, but then he gives up more HR then Nen). So basically, the conclusion that could be made is that Scott Strickland would probably be at the high end of good closers, in that Keith Foulke area, which isn't a bad comparison at all.

So what does it all mean? For one, he'll make a nice set-up man for Royce Ring if he returns healthy. Or two, someone who overvalues a closer and is willing to give up a lot to get him to be their closer could want to trade for him... so basically, a really good set-up man or trade bait... not bad for the Mets too have. (Yeah, I know this article was a little strange, but it was just something I wondered about.)

BREAKING NEWS: White Sox trade D'Angelo Jimenez to the Reds for Dunn. Yes, Dunn! But not that Dunn... its Scott Dunn, minor leaguer... come on, Jim Bowden isn't that stupid. But oh well, no Jimenez for the Mets...

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