Jeremy Heit's Blog
Saturday, November 29, 2003
 
Peter Gammons has an article on the Schilling trade. It's interesting, and he makes 8 points about the trade... I would like to dissect two of them.

"2. When Epstein took over the GM job, all everyone cared about was offense, which is part of the reason they haven't won since 1918. Epstein is clearly a pitching first guy, and now with Byung-Hyun Kim, Foulke or Tom Gordon as closer, Scott Williamson, Mike Timlin, Bronson Arroyo and Alan Embree to set up, this is potentially one of the best 1-11 Red Sox pitching staffs of all time."

We've figured out that its Pedro, Schilling, Lowe, and Wakefield, but Kim in the bullpen? I don't know about you, but I see Kim as the fifth starter. They might get Foulke, maybe even Gordon to set-up. Timlin, Williamson, and Arroyo are all guys I like. I think the bullpen is still strong without Kim and I think the rotation is even better. Pedro and Schilling are 1's. Lowe is a 2. Kim is 3, arguably a two based on potential. And Wakefield is an inning eater 3 or 4.

"5. By the way, Jorge de la Rosa -- the minor-leaguer the Red Sox sent to the Diamondbacks -- can pitch, and will become a member of the Brewers once Richie Sexson is traded to Arizona. Craig Counsell will also get shipped to the Brewhahas."

As I've mentioned before, I like Jorge de la Rosa a lot. I've also heard Junior Spivey, who is then shipped to Cleveland for possibly Travis Hafner. Let's say Junior is part of the deal and that happens. But the third person would then be Craig Counsell. Craig Counsell? I'm not quite sure I get this, as he's a patient hitter, but can't slug for anything, plus he'll be 34. He's also going to make 3.15 million next year, so the only reason I see him as part of the trade is that he'll be basically keeping second base warm for Weeks, who might be coming in 2005. According to MLB contracts, there is a team option in 2005 for 3.75 million, something I don't think the Brewers would take. He would probably not be playing third because of Wes Helms, who is not overly impressive, but does hit lefties well and is cheap.

I also find the Travis Hafner part interesting because of Prince Fielder. I see Fielder being ready in 2006, but some people see 2005. Fielder is a impressive hitter, who slugs well and is patient. But Hafner is no slouch. In his age 26 season, he hit .254/.327/.485 (.268 GPA) and if you take out the last 8 games, he had a .281 GPA. He was very impressive in the minors, and even though he struck out a lot (he is a big power hitting first baseman), he did do a good amount of walking. Though, in his first real major league season, which is this year, he struck out 28% of the time, which is not good at all (81 out of 291 AB). I think he'll be a good power hitter and will improve the plate disclipline, but Fielder looks like he could be a big time star. If Hafner ends up on Milwaukee (a big if), it will be interesting to see what happens when Fielder is ready and Hafner is still cheap (and only 28 or 29).

Back again tomorrow, and maybe this time I'll have Mets news.

Friday, November 28, 2003
 
I watched the first half of Duke vs. Pacific. It's all I could stand to watch. Terribly unimpressive, and Deng didn't look great (though finished with twenty).

In baseball news, the Schilling trade comes down to 5 PM today. To say I'm sick of this story would be understating it, but a new twist has appeared. Apparently, once this deal gets done and the Sexson trade to Arizona gets done, Junior Spivey, one of the players rumored to go to Milwaukee, would be moved to Cleveland. Why don't we just get every team involved with this set of trades...

Apparently, Mike Lowell and Luis Castillo are being re-signed by the Marlins. Go over to Wait 'Til Next Year for a good article on how the money will break down for the Marlins. Unfortunately, he seems to think Carl Pavano won't be available.

John Sickels has a new Down on the Farm featuring David Wright. All impressions look very good, and him starting the year at 3B in 2005 almost seems certain at this point.

Finally, go over to Rich's Weekend Baseball Beat sometime this weekend to check out his interview with Will Carroll. Very high quality.

Thursday, November 27, 2003
 
Sorry I didn't post yesterday. I didn't even see my computer.

I'm too worn out to write today (plus discussing the Castillo offer will piss me off, and I don't feel like being piseed off), but I felt like checking in. If your looking for some good writing, check out Avkash's article on Scott Hatterberg. Very informative. Also, Aaron came out with The GPA Quick Reference Guide. It's very helpful in putting numbers by position into context.

But most importantly, it is Thanksgiving, and I would like to say that I'm thankful for everyone who has come to read this blog over the past 5 months or so. So, everyone have a safe and happy Thanksgiving and I'll be back tomorrow with some new writing, and hopefully a stomach full of turkey.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003
 
Hee Seop Choi and a PTBNL was traded from the Cubs to the Marlins for Derrek Lee

I like Hee Seop. A lot. Here's a look at some of his stats...

He basically tore apart A and AA ball, with high SLG and good AVG. When he hit the PCL and Iowa at 22, he did this...

266 AB, .229/.317/.417 (.247 GPA)

The next year, at 23, he recovered...

478 AB, .287/.406/.513 (.311 GPA)

He recovered big time, putting up a very very good GPA, way up from his stinky one in 2001.

This year he split time between Iowa and the Cubs at age 24...

Iowa- 66 AB, .258/.351/.621 (.313 GPA)
Cubs- 202 AB, .218/.350/.421 (.263 GPA)

In the majors, he was somewhere between okay and bad. But you must remember, he was 24, and the NL average GPA was only .254.

I like Hee Seop a lot. I think he can become a very good hitter in the majors. Is he gonna be a 30 HR 1B? Probably not. But I can see 20 HR and 40-45 2B at a peak. I can see a guy who can go .275/.390/.500 (.301 GPA), which isn't bad at all.

So, I like this trade for the Marlins. They get a much cheaper 1B, who could be good a few years down the road. Plus, it clears up room to re-sign players.

For the Cubs, its not bad either. They can afford him, and he just came off his age 28 season, which was very good...

539 AB, .271/.379/.508 (.298 GPA), 31 HR, 31 2B, 88 BB, 131 K

From 2000-2002, he did this...

2000 (25)- .281/.368/.507 (.292 GPA)
2001 (26)- .282/.346/.474 (.274 GPA)
2002 (27)- .270/.378/.494 (.294 GPA)

A little drop off in 2001, but fairly consistent. His power numbers might go up the next few years, as he seems to hit a decent amount of flyballs (1.03 G/F ratio for the career. From what I've seen, most guys are in the mid ones) and the ball carries better in Wrigley and it is not as big as Pro Player. He's a good player, but soon to hit 30, while Hee Seop will only be 25. I think Hee Seop has a chance to be a little better, but this trade will work out fine for both teams.

Also, if your looking for a good article to read today, go read Ben Jacobs' article that uses movie quotes to describe the major league season. My personal favorite has to be #4.

And by the way, go click the GPA link and read it. I agree with Aaron that OPS is a nice number, but didn't say much. It didn't tell you how the OBP and SLG was split and really was too large of a number. I can never get a real grasp on the difference between .800 to .825, especially when both quantities are equal. While the difference between .275 and .280 might not be noticable either, the idea of a number that is like an average makes it easier to understand.

Monday, November 24, 2003
 
Posting has been tough tonight between my computer and blogger...

New blog on the sidebar is Steel City Baseball, a blog about, well, mostly, Pittsburgh baseball.

One of my prouder moments as a blogger came today when I found msyelf on Aaron Gleeman's "Hall of Fame" blogs list. I am at the very bottom, but getting there is getting there. A friend of this blog, Avkash, got himself in the middle of the list. So, that makes two Mets blogs in the "Hall of Fame" catergory, which is very good.

The only bit of news today that's important is the Schilling trade to the Red Sox. Here are some quick thougths on that....

Red Sox- Schilling-Pedro one-two punch, plus Lowe, Wakefield, and a fifth starter is very dangerous.

Arizona- Frees up room for Richie Sexson. They get Jorge de LaRosa, who had a 106/36 K:BB ratio at AA with 6 HR given up in 99 IP. At AAA, in 24 IP, he struggled with control (17/12 K:BB ratio), but gave up no homers. I like him a lot, plus he's a lefty. A person a lot of people seem to like, Casey Fossum, should also be going there. Thrown in are Brandon Lyon, a nice reliever, and Michael Goss, a guy who hit nothing at A ball this year. Overall, they get a couple of guys who could be middle or back of the rotation starters and some room to get Sexson.

Speaking of Sexson, that would basically eliminate Lyle Overbay. He might get moved to Milwaukee in the trade, which wouldn't be bad. His power numbers would get helped there and by looking at his numbers, I see some who can max out at a John Olerud type hitter, but is more likely to be Doug Minetkiewicz with a little worse eye (which still means its good), but more power. Nothing to be ashmaed of at all.

And, by the way, for that fifth spot in the Boston rotation, I see Bronson Arroyo there, a guy I really really like.

That's all for today, as there isn't much going on in Mets land, or really any baseball land.

Sunday, November 23, 2003
 
Mo Vaughn plans to come to spring training

Most Mets fans don't want this. We really don't. We want him to retire, we want the insurance money, and for things to just end and to open up first base for Piazza (though I don't actually want it for Piazza, but that's besides the point). But, the thing is, I don't hate Mo Vaughn. I don't hate him for wanting to give it another shot. Why? Because most of what has happened is not his fault.

He didn't give himself the terrible contract Bill Bavasi did. That was the Angels fault, and something that they should have saw coming.

It's not his fault the Mets traded him for Kevin Appier (His contracts also make me shudder) in part of their big old name signing/trades of 2002.

It is his fault he was always bordering on 3 bills, was never in shape, which is particular bad when your in your 30's and have crappy knees.

Its not his fault the Mets thought he could actually still play 1B after the injury. I mean, that was one of the stupidest ideas I've seen in a long time (since, I don't know, Todd Hundley in LF).

And the thing I really can't hate Mo for is that he's an accountable guy. Well, mostly. The whole weight thing seems to piss him off a little, but he takes account for not performing, for not living up to expectations. But, unfortunately, expectations were too high for him. Sure, he was a great hitter in Boston, but that was in another life. In a hitter's park, in his 20's. But, this was Shea Stadium, a place where flyballs go to die. His contract was way too big, which helped push expectations. Plus, he was part of that 2002 disaster. That team was supposed to be great. Why? Because they got a bunch of stars way past their prime all ready to fall off the face of the Earth. And Mo was one of them.

Mo really wants to help out the Mets. He thinks by getting back, by getting healthy, and doing what he did in Boston, he can. But, as most players are, he can't seem to realize that he isn't the same player anymore. He isn't close. Right now, he is just an overweight, bad defensive first baseman, who strikes out too much, doesn't walk as much as he used too, and has lost bat speed.

The best thing Mo can do for the Mets is to retire. To let the Mets collect the insurance money on his contract and use it on young players, players that could be useful when the Big Three (Wright, Huber, Kazmir) arrive. Maybe Duke can offer him a job with the team. He seems to be a charismatic guy and should have something to teach players, even if it is the values of staying in shape. Because, unfortunately, all he is doing for the team now is blocking them from moving to the future.


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