Jeremy Heit's Blog
Saturday, March 13, 2004
 
Two things from the blogosphere...

Norm on UZR- While I disagree with the final verdict, he writes a very good article. If you haven't already, please check out Norm. He writes some very quality stuff with a long article thrown in here and there which are usually great (probably longer than I've ever written. But then again, as you can tell, I need to write more concise or I ramble).

Michael's Top Ten Prospects Part 3- He rounds out with 8-10. Go check it out.

 
I love college basketball. March Madness is my second favorite sporting "event" to the World Series. Duke is my team and despte the fact I don't think they'll make the final four, I still get excited this time of year. I will try to keep baseball on the front on this blog, but if I talk about college b-ball, do not be surprised.

By the way, this is my favorite part of the sports year. Opening Day approaching (has me more excited than ever) and March Madness. It doesn't get any better (actually, when I used to be able to watch the NHL, that got me excited too. I still love hockey, I hate the NHL).

Oh yeah, and if you saw that game winning shot in the FLA-Bama game last night (which I caught live on ESPN), you'll know why I love this time of the season so much.

That's actually all for now. If I come across baseball news, I'll bring it to you. Otherwise, except some NCAA Hoops talk and a look at the Mets bench tomorrow.


Thursday, March 11, 2004
 
I can hear Vinny and Norm crying now...

Scott Erickson was impressive in his bid to win the fifth starter's spot, allowing the game's only run on a double-play grounder in three innings. His sinker was working as he allowed two ground-ball singles and induced several ground-ball outs

Once again, if he can do this, he can be a very effective pitcher for this team. If not, bring on Grant Roberts.

Sorry about lack of stuff today (and for tomorrow), but I'm a little busy. I'll be taking a look at the bench at some point this weekend.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004
 
I figured I'd ramble about the bench in regard to the player(s) who will be taking Wigginton's rest games, but I've decided not to. I'll save that for a later date, probably for when I review the bench.

If you are looking for some good reading, do check out the Primer thread on Klaspich's article

Also, at least Franco knows hockey...

Veteran reliever John Franco is not as worried about the Mets as he is about the NHL's New York Rangers. "What's going on with those guys?" he said about the dismantling of an $80 million team that will miss the playoffs a club-record seventh straight year. "That's awful." Franco, who attends a half dozen or so Rangers games each winter, hopes the club can reacquire defenseman Brian Leetch, traded this week to Toronto, to enable him to finish his career in New York.

He's damn right.

 
Ya heard? Defense is the word...

Klaspich's article on the Mets defense, where he uses TC, PO, RF and even UZR. Here's what Duke said about the D...

"we're equal to or better than anyone out there, and that includes, the Braves, the Marlins, the Twins ... all of them."

Let's ignore the fact, that while the Twins are above average at the corners and in the outfield, their up the middle defense is abysmal and focus on what Duke said... Really? Equal or better? Let's see..

Cameron, Matusi and Reyes will all be very good, some of the best at their positions. Piazza/Phillips might not be all that bad, probably slightly below average. Floyd? Even when healthy, he's below average. Wigginton? Respectable, hard-nosed and below average. And right field? Sorta like the offense... if you throw enough crap out there, some of it has to be average...

All in all, I see a slightly above average defense. Very good in three of the most important spots and probably slightly below average to below average in the other five. Which is certainly good, but not great.

And in wouldn't be a Klaspich article without a mention of Soriano...

The Mets also think they can absorb whatever wobbly defense Alfonso Soriano might bring, if and when a deal with Texas ever materializes. Despite official denials, there's still back-channel dialogue between the two franchises. The Rangers dispatched a scout to the Mets' camp in Port St. Lucie for the second straight weekend, and elements of the Mets' front office still think Soriano is worth acquiring.

Will he just give up on this and admit he got this one wrong...? It's over Klaspich, as much as you want to believe its there...

I'll be back later with a look at Wigginton, expanding on thoughts from yesterday...

Tuesday, March 09, 2004
 
Thinking about Ty Wigginton... here's last years stats and the 2004 PECOTA projection

2003: 573 AB, .318/.396, 72 runs
2004: 495 AB, .328/.404, 65 runs

Now, if we protract 2004 out to 573 ABs, we get 76 runs, meaning he improves 4 runs on last year offensively (using the OBP*SLG*AB formula). He's bound to improve a few runs defensively too... let's say 5 to be nice. That means he would be nine runs better than last year (or would at least be on pace to).

But that would still leave him below average to average offensively and below average defensively, leaving him as a below average 3B. So, if David Wright truly arrives in 2005, what becomes of Wigginton? Well, this is, once again, why the Joe McEwing move makes no sense. Ty Wigginton will be a much more productive bench utility INF during his arbritration years (he should be fairly cheap) than Joe McEwing will be next year. They should have, if they were so intent on signing a real 2B, left Scutaro in McEwing's position and let Wigginton take it over next year (or join forces with Scutaro). Now, Wigginton has a spot on this bench next year, replacing Todd Zeile. They could have had Scutaro and Wigginton as their backup infielders in 2005. Instead, its McEwing and Wigginton.

But could Wigginton get traded? Someone will surely be interested in a cheap hard nosed tough player like Wigginton (especially at 3B). And heck, Danny Garcia could probably do what Wigginton will do on the bench for the Mets and play CF! Joe McEwing will essentially teach him how to make a career of being able to play mulitple positions in the IF and OF even if you can't hit that well!

OK, in all seriousness, if the deal was there, I would move Wigginton if Wright is starting in 2005. I seriously think Garcia could do a good enough job on the bench in the second UTIL INF spot....

 
According to Peter Abraham...

Grant Roberts and Scott Erickson are the leading candidates for the final spot in the rotation. Roberts, a reliever in his previous four seasons with the Mets, has been surprised by his comfort pitching out of the full wind-up.

The plot thickens Vinny...

Actually, to be honest, I'd like to see Roberts get the spot for two reasons...

1. I like his potential and like him as a pitcher and think he could be very good.
2. He's out of options. He loses out on the 5th starter spot and our bullpen is set. We have Franco, Weathers, Stanton and Looper as guarantees. I fully believe Wheeler is making it no matter what. With Roberts out of options, he gets the sixth spot. Bullpen is then finished without another young guy getting a shot, which I would like to see.

And no Vinny, I'm not coming to your side. I was never against your side. I just backed Erickson as a justifable candidate...

 
Another article on changing positions- This one scopes out the whole major leagues, but has some stuff on Piazza and Reyes. But this comment on Craig Biggio is just plain wrong in my opinion...

Last season, at age 37, he not only moved to center field but emerged as one of the game's most solid at the position: One error in 336 total chances over 150 games.

Let's not focus on stats for a second. Did you guys see any of Craig Biggio last year? It wasn't pretty, from what I saw. And it wasn't very good when he figured out what he was doing.

Using stats, he was a -23 in UZR, third to last, with only Steve Finley and Bernie Williams being worse (is Finley that bad? I never thought he was great, but I thought he was at least average...). His Cedeno number was a -7, third to last. Will he improve? Probably, but I'd hardly say he's one of the more solid (which in this case, at least the way I read it, means better) CFs in the game.

Here's the Sports Newtork opinion on the top 10 Mets prospects. One question? Griffiths over Peterson? I love Griffiths more than anyone, but really?

 
Hey, at least Jim Duquette realizes its not all about radar guns. Here's what he said about rising bullpen star, Joselo Diaz-Soriano...

"He's more of a long shot for the 'pen," said general manager Jim Duquette. "We're excited by the way he's pitched so far, but realistically, he pitched last year in A-ball. He's made some nice adjustments since he's been here, though, and he's been impressive with his strength and his breaking ball. I'd hate to rule anything out, but he's a long shot."

Thank you Jim. He's got a nice gun, but was only in A-ball last year and walked a ton of people. He needs some work on his control before he ever touches a major league mound...

Monday, March 08, 2004
 
Weird Science: Mets' new infield formula coming together

CBSSportsline has a nice article on Reyes, Matsui and Piazza all working on playing their positions... Here is what Matt Galante has to say on each...

Galante on Piazza: "It's coming along good. The real difficulty is that Mike has to do catching drills, also. We don't have as much time as we do with the other guys. We've just got to get him game-ready."

Galante on Reyes: "That's going fantastic. It's gone so much quicker than I thought it would. He's a naturally gifted athlete. He picks things up real quick. Most of it is footwork and the intricacies of the game. You can practice, but until certain things happen in games, you can't correct them. That's why he needs games. And Mikey needs games."

Galante on Matsui: "He's got lightning feet. He's got the quickest feet and hands of anybody in the league. And he was throwing real well until he hurt his finger. They've really become a team. They're two kids who want to play well and want it to happen. That's why it's going to happen, because they want it to happen."


Well, at least Galante seems optimistic about it... I'm not... especially for Piazza and for my concern that Reyes will get injured.

 
Season previews galore (By the way, I have to work on something. Also, if you have any ideas for what I can do, tell me. I feel rambling on players you already know all my thoughts on will be a little repetitive and boring)...

Batter's Box preview of the Mets- They also get an assist from Avkash, with his breakdown of the farm system.

Joe starts his season preview with a look at the bats. Well worth checking out.

Chris Dial does a preview on Primer- Another one that is well worth the look.

In other news...

Glavine lying low this year- An article by Peter Abraham on how Glavine is happy all the attention isn't on him. Leiter puts it best about Glavine last year...

"That 2-2 sinker you leave up that gets roped into right-center or left-center gets caught instead of dropping in for a double. Tommy had trouble with that."

If Mike Cameron can do what he should do, Glavine should be a little happier this year (and a little better).

Speaking of Peter Abraham, his story on NY baseball bloggers got into USA Today. The names of the blogs are not listed on the site and I'm not sure if its in the hard copy. I would assume the blogs are listed if its in the hard copy, but that might not be true. Either way, congrats to Peter.

Finally, I guess I agree with Eric Simon on "Piss-gate". I don't care all that much, but he is right. Professional athletes, especially one who got into trouble for a stupid incident in a bullpen, should not do this stuff. And he also stole my trade proposal. A couple of marginal prospects for Craig Wilson. Craig Wilson is widly underappreciated in Pittsburgh, where Raul Mondesi just signed. Decent power, pretty good plate disclipline. He kills lefties and can hold his own against righties. In a full year, he should put up a .350/.450... at least. And that would certainly be fine for this year...

Sunday, March 07, 2004
 
Out of Nowhere: Dan Wheeler- I really bring up this article for no reason, other than that if he doesn't make the pen, I will not be happy (and if its for Bottalico or Baldwin, I go nuts).

Oh yeah, flip to the bottom and you'll see there is an out of nowhere on a player for every team. The list, well, um, sucks for the most part and Wheeler would be one of the few that I would actually consider Out of Nowhere... The list does include favorites of this blog Adam Melhuse (endorsed for starting catcher of the Oakland A's) and Homer Bush (endorsed for the starting 2B role on the Yankees), but also includes washed up veterans such as Rick Reed, Damion Easley, Jimmy Anderson and Alan Benes. Most of the guys on the list are veterans who are either washed up or have never been good but keep getting jobs... There are guys like Allan Simpson (COL) who I have never heard of, but most of them are bad selections for an "Out of Nowhere" list.

 
Let's see what we got today...

Erickson bounces back- Two scoreless innings in a "B' game versus the Marlins...

The veteran right-hander retired all six batters he faced on Saturday, and induced four ground balls. It was a marked contrast to the rough outing he had on Tuesday, when he lasted only one-third of an inning.

Now, if he induces groundballs, he can be effective. If not... you get that piece 'o crap outing he had a couple of days ago. Oh yeah, here's the new SE scoreboard...

Vinny: 1
Norm: 1
Me: -5,000

I'm still not back to even... the really bad outing still has an effect....

In the next segment of "Will Joel Sherman please shut up", he comes out with GETTING SORI NOW IS THE RIGHT MOVE...

And yet there are Met people who, with all the obstacles, think there is a 25-percent chance of landing Soriano. Of trying to upgrade the offense now to get in the race, and addressing the rotation when a premium starter becomes available in July.

Is this ever going away...?

In part two of "Piss-gate", Spencer and Garcia apparently got into some brawling. OK, punches, not brawling... I could really care less about a bar fight, but its becoming a big deal. It raises a question though...

Are we going to see more Roger Cedeno in the outfield now?

Think about it. Garcia is probably here no matter what because of his major league contract, but Spencer is on a minor league contract. Our (insert sarcasm) wonderful platoon (turn off sarcasm) might be dead. And the only person happy is Roger Cedeno...

Get you limited edition Steve Trachsel bobblehead doll!- So he's getting a bobblehead doll. And you know what, he stole the joke too...

"The head should bob very, very s-l-o-w-l-y," Trachsel said, nodding his head up and down methodically to demonstrate.

It should also have the power to create rain (The Human Rain Delay... create rain... get it?... its not funny, is it?)...

And finally, Michael checks in with Part 2 of the Mets top 10 prospects. Go check it out...


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