Jeremy Heit's Blog
Saturday, April 03, 2004
 
I was at work tonight. I get in my car (actually, parents car) and flip on the radio. Duke is up by 7. I am shocked... floored. There are 5 minutes left. I actually believe this can happen (I didn't think they had a shot in hell at winning this game). So by the time at get home (and every red light seemed to last forever), we were at 3:30 left, TV timeout, Duke by 8. And then Coach K went to the slow down offense. I haven't ranted and raved about the slow down offense to anyone except my family, but let me tell you, I get pissed off. This thing BLOWS games, like it did tonight. You are up 8 and controlling the game... RUN YOUR OFFENSE! Trading baskets is fine, hell its great. Instead we get this slow down crap, Duke takes terrible shots and doesn't score a FG in the last 4 something (Duhon techinally hit one with like a second left to make it a 1 point game instead of a 4, but that was just to piss me off because he's Chris Duhon and I hate his guts). Meanwhile, Horvath is stuck in the game to play Okafor, who abuses him (why did K put Deng on him). This killed me. I watched the last 3:30 unfold and I was stunned. I had no belief Duke was going to win this game beforehand... none. And then I start to believe and it gets ripped away... damn.

In Mets news, Roger Cedeno: Part Duex is over. Yup, he got traded for Chris Widger and Wilson Delgado. The Mets also pay his contract. Widger and Delgado are both minor league filler, so don't worry about seeing their crappy asses on the field. This presumably opens a spot for Eric Valent, who well, can't play CF either. I am praying for good health for Mike Cameron because I shudder at the thought of Joe McEwing out in centerfield. I also hope Cedeno is successful in St. Louis. He doesn't seem like a bad guy and got a worse rap here than he should have. Good luck to him in St. Louis.

And finally, a sorta Public Service Announcement. Jeff Pearlman, former writer for SI and now Newsday columnist, has a new book, The Bad Guys Won, coming out. Its about the '86 Mets and there is a site to promote it. I read one of the parts that didn't make the book on Calvin Schiraldi and was very impressed. Its a book I should read, considering I didn't live through it and book that looks very interesting. It comes out at the end of April and looks well worth the money.

Pearlman's name also sounded familiar, so I read his bio. Well, he was the guy who did the John Rocker story for SI. He covered baseball there for 6 years, but sorta became disenchanted with the game and left for Newsday, where he no longer writes about baseball. He seemed like he had a very interesting story... Anyways, after an e-mail or two, he agreed to do a short little interview for this site. I normally wouldn't announce such a thing (I would keep it under wraps and impress all of you), but I've decided to tell you since I want reader participation. If you have any questions you would like to ask him, just e-mail or IM me or leave them in the comments. I'll probably send him the questions later this week (Thursday maybe), so there is a little time. If you have anything at all you want to ask, just tell me (I already have a set of a few questions I want to ask). Hopefully I'll get it up sometime in the next two weeks... and I want to thank Jeff ahead of time for agreeing to do this interview.

 
Here are two new Mets blogs... My buddy Matt's Gogs is the Greek God of Geeks and Tim's All-Star Mets Blog (I am going to do my sidebar this weekend).

They both chime in on the rotation situation, as almost everyone around the blogosphere does. And I think we all have the same opinion... Tyler Yates fine, Jae Seo decision bad. I think everyone wants to believe the Erickson trading speculation, but my question is when? For Milton Bradley... fine, it was worth it. For a couple of marginal prospects... is that really worth the drama and emotions? Or are the Mets going to let him get a start or two to raise his trade value? That could be a disaster, where they don't get anything for him and lose games. Unless they are flipping him for Milton Bradley or something decent before the season starts, I'm still confused.

As for Seo, I reallly want to hear a quote from pitching guru Rick Peterson. It was apparently his decision and I don't believe he did it because of 20 ST innings... Until I hear something from him, I've calmed down a little... which leaves me at extremely angry.

In other non rotation news, our dreams might be coming true. Roger might be traded to a team who is more desperate for a corner outfielder than we are... the Cardinals...

The Mets are asking for very little in exchange for Cedeno, instead preferring to just rid themselves of the outfielder who has been a tremendous disappointment since signing a four-year $18 million deal before the 2002 season. If the deal were made, the Mets would pay most of the $10 million still owed to Cedeno.

This is all good and well, but now our backup centerfielder is... drumroll please... JOE MCEWING!!! They better get the Milton Bradley trade done if they are doing this... and if they don't, what was the point of the Timo Perez trade? And who will be our 5th OF...

Exis frickin' Snead because he's fast and can play CF (or I think he can)? .299 OBPs in AAA rock!
Jeff Duncan? He ain't ready.
Raul Gonzalez? Maybe, though I don't think he solves the CF problem and I just don't think he's that good...

Hell, maybe Bubba Trammell is a possibility at this point. If they do trade Cedeno, it will be interesting to see if the bench gets better or worse. Remember, minor leaguer makes it worse, outside the organization makes it better. That says a lot about our minor league outfielders...

Friday, April 02, 2004
 
Just one more thing before I shut up (four posts in a 2 hour span... eek)... Here are the PECOTA VORP projections on our new starting rotation

Glavine- 9.1
Leiter- 14.7
Trachsel- 13.6
Yates- 1 (in 51.1 IP, which doesn't project terribly well)
Erickson- Not listed in BP2004, though I don't think it would be good

As for Seo...

Seo- 15.2

Yes, that's right my friends, he has the best projected VORP. And since its not a big difference, let's say he's projected to be one of the three best Mets starting pitchers.

This decision seems to be getting worse the more I look into it...

 
Here's the Mets.com article on the rotation decision. Here are the good spots...

Jae Weong Seo was inconsolable.

Thanks Jim!

While the rotation is set, there remains a lingering question about the bullpen. Should Jose Reyes start the season on the disabled list, either Ricky Bottalico or Orber Moreno would likely fill his spot on the roster. Should Reyes start the season with the club, it's likely that Moreno will be in Norfolk as well with Bottalico possibly looking for employment elsewhere.

That decision will come down on Saturday. Rosters have to be set by midnight, but Reyes is expected to play in a minor league game earlier in the day, testing his hamstring and giving management a truer indication of where he is in the healing process.


When did Wheeler get his bullpen spot? I didn't hear about this... that's certainly interesting...

From Jim Duquette's yap...

"And this is just a minor setback in Jae Seo's career. He can still be a big part of the club and help the team long term. He will admit that he didn't pitch to his capability. Sometimes it happens with young players."

He didn't pitch to his capability... in 20 innings! Or whatever it was! AHH!!!!

And Seo's comments...

As for Seo, he left the clubhouse after declining to speak with the media. He was visibly upset and issued a statement through his interpreter Daniel Kim.

"Jae understood everything," Kim said. "He's a little disappointed but he understands everything he has to do when he gets to Triple-A. We'll see what happens from there. There is no question in his mind what kind of pitcher he is.

"Going into camp he thought he was going to be the No. 4 starter and that was an idea shared by many of us. The last couple of days he's heard about different scenarios. At the same time, when it actually happened, he was a little surprised."


An idea shared by many? How about the GM?... from February 20th...

"It's Jae's job at this point," Duquette said. "We expect him to be a solid fourth starter."

I praised Jim then. I understand things change, but not like this...

Also, just to explain, I'm not completely against Tyler Yates. He throws hard and has plenty of potential, I just don't think he'll be cut for starting. I still like Roberts because it makes the most practical sense. And Erickson taking Seo's spot... hell, Erickson getting a spot in the rotation... I won't start on him...

 
I'm considering ranting on Jae Seo, but I figure calming down would be good first... I quickly looked through my archives and realized a nice way to comment on such a thing would be to post my thoughts on him from each month of the young players' review I ran during the season (July, August, September and October)... And away we go...

July 4th
Jae Seo has been a pleasant surprise this year and may be the Mets' best starter this year (I think its Trachsel...). His stats are extremely good. He's a control pitcher that doesn't have overpowering stuff. He hardly walks anyone, and has a 2.5 K/BB ratio. He does not give up the long ball consistently and keeps the BAA down on a team that isn't the best in the world defensively. Jae Seo looks like he can be a successful pitcher for years to come because he does not walk people or give up homers.

August 3rd
Jae Seo has had a pretty tough month. His BAA is up a little, but not enough to explain the jump of 1 in ERA. He has walked more people, but also struck out more, so that can pretty much cancel out. The problem has really been the HR. His HR has jumped .37 HR/9, meaning he's given up 7 HR's since July 4th (he had 5 before, 7 since). Home runs will get any pitcher in trouble and it has certainly hurt him...

September 7th
Jae Seo has had some ups and downs, but overall, its been a solid year. He doesn't strike out as many people as most pitchers, but he does a good job not walking people. He also doesn't give up a ton of homeruns and hasn't given up that many hits. Of course, the SLG allowed is .431 because he has given up 53 doubles. Another guy that projects to be around a #3 starter. He has great control, but isn't particulary overpowering.

September 30th
I wonder why the September stats read differently... Anyways, Jae Seo had a rough July, came back strong in August and finished well in September. Even though he was 1-3, he had a 1.71 ERA in 31.2 September innings. His control has been very good and his strikeouts have gone up a little as the season has progressed. He's also gotten his hits per IP close to 1 per IP. His rate stats against have also gone down.

He has a very interesting split in his pitching...
vs. Lefties: .223/.285/.363
vs. Righties: .291/.320/.483

He pitches considerably better gainst lefties, which I think can be a very good sign. As he learns to pitch better, he will be able to get more right handers out. If he can continue to pitch well against left-handers (who supposedly have an advantage against righties), he could be a very good pitcher.

Overall, I think he's done well for himself and has shown he could be a middle of the rotation starter. Not overpowering, but has great control...


Anyone see a recurring theme there? I do... and its this line...

Overall, I think he's done well for himself and has shown he could be a middle of the rotation starter. Not overpowering, but has great control...

I really think of him as Miguel Batista... Solid pitcher, good control... expect he's flyball instead of groundball... And I would love to have Miggy Batista pitching for us... almost more than I would love to have Jae Seo pitching in the rotation...

 
So I get on the computer and what's the first thing I read... Erickson and Yates are the fourth and fifth starters... Here, read it again...

Erickson and Yates are the fourth and fifth starters

That is what WFAN is reporting. Roberts is going to the pen, Seo to Norfolk... This is senseless on so many levels... let's start the list...

1. How in the hell did Jae Seo lose his spot... I went over it quick the other day, but Avkash does it much better here. He can get major leaguers out... he was the best Mets pitcher last year... I just can't comprehend this...
2. The Mets now have ONE spot for Wheeler, Moreno and Bottalico instead of two. This is why Roberts should have been given a shot in the rotation. I really hope its Moreno, who deserves it, but Wheeler wouldn't kill me. Bottalico will.
3. Scott Erickson!!! Apparently, they are entertaining trade offers and if they kept him hoping he throws a couple of good starts and can get traded, they are nuts. It's just not worth it unless he's part of the Milton Bradley trade.
4. Tyler Yates... this is a personal opinion... he's bullpen material. I'm not convinced he can cut in for long start after long start.

And number one is the biggest point. This is just unbelievable... it was spring training! I'm completely mystified at this point. I'm also sure they are many other points, but I don't have a clear head on it right now (plus I'm also taking part in the Mets Bloggers draft)....

Thursday, April 01, 2004
 
Milton Bradley is a hot topic...

As for the Mets, I'll pass. I've heard the name Carl Everett and agree. I'm not sold he's quite as good as last year shows (I know he's 25...) and he has a fiery (read: bad) attitude and injury problems. And as much as Carl Everett can rake it sometimes, I just don't think he's worth it. And neither is Bradley, especially if it means giving up some of our bettter prospects...

ADD ON: I took a little look at my BP2004 and see they are also very high on Milton Bradley. They have him at .266/.350/.418 next year (EQ .276/.365/.453) for a 21.2 VORP. Of course, that's at CF. In the corner, that goes down... how much? I don't know... maybe 5 runs. A player worth 1 win and a half over replacement player is fairly nice (and better than what we have), but I'm still big on Maggs (or Beltran) who I'm sure can rip it at the plate, don't have nagging injuries and aren't liable to go nuts on us. This move would not be terrible, but I'd rather keep the position the open and just don't feel like giving up good prospects for a guy who is eventually due to make a lot more money and a guy I'm just not sure about how good he is...

 
I just haven't had time to think about baseball much lately (too much schoolwork) which has been shown in the length of my posts... I really wanna throw something together before Opening Day, but I might not... Anyways...

Has anyone ever tried an 8 man rotation?- So now it seems like Yates gets the 4 job and the 5th job is still up for grabs with the usual suspects plus Jae Seo... can they just make a decision!

Ricky Gutierrez and Joe McEwing... now that's a dream infield- At this point, who knows, but this stuff is scaring me a lot...

Wednesday, March 31, 2004
 
Yeah, KC's pitchers are injured... what's new?... How about this?

Bubba Trammell's comeback bid with LA ended when the veteran outfielder was released.

First, I'm fairly shocked. I thought he would make the roster considering what the Dodgers had, but the Werth/Grabowski trades hurt him a lot. Anyway, I don't bring this up for any real good reason, other than I hope he catches a job somewhere because I happen to like him a lot, mostly stemming form his short stay with the Mets. I always wondered why he didn't pinch hit more back then... but that was 4 years ago, when I wasn't quite so advanced in my thinking and I'm too lazy to look back and see if I'm right.

I think he would be interesting for the Mets... he doesn't put up a great average, but he walks and his for some decent power. Without a PECOTA projection, I'd say he'd be better than anything the bench is offering up right now (except maybe Gutierrez), especially the outfielders. Just as a reminder...

Cedeno- 368 AB, 0.6 VORP
Spencer- 262 AB, 3.2
Zeile- 183 AB, -0.8
Gutierrez- 225 AB, 9
McEwing- 186 AB, 3.1
Wilson- N/A

Gutierrez makes that look a little better, but not in the outfield. Bubba wouldn't be great, but he'd be a nice bat. Unfortunately, Cedeno isn't going anywhere and Spencer is Garcia's right handed hitting platoon mate (unfortunately, Bubba has shown more of a tendency to hit lefites than righties). Heck, I'd sign up Trammell and start him, thinking he could go .250/.335/.440 in 400 ABs. I know, that's not great, but it might be better than we get from the Pizza Boys...

This isn't happening, but I'd like it too. Even if he didn't start, he'd help the bench a lot.

 
Roundtable Part 2: The Attack of The Bloggers. Also help from loyal readers of the Mets blogosphere Sam M and Mike Marino (who you can find in the comments). Norm did a great job putting it together and the depth and intellegence of the answers are great (like Jermaine Dye... I hadn't considered that). We definitely have one of the best team blogosphere's going.

And here's a nice article on how Jeff Duncan realizes he needs to work on his hitting...

And finally, if the Mets do send Jae Seo, it better not be for Scott Erickson. That would make me sick.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004
 
Maybe I think too highly of Jae Seo, but this really can't be serious, can it? The man had a 3.82 ERA last year which should only improve with a better defense behind him (especially Cameron, since Seo was a very slight flyball pitcher last year). He will also get help from that D because at maximum he'll probably strike out 6 per 9 innings, meaning there will be a lot of balls in play. But despite that fairly low K number, he has great control and has a chance, in my mind, to get a 3 K:BB going.

I know (assuming Roberts has that 5th spot) that Erickson and Yates (do not say the name James Baldwin) have pitched well this ST, but, Seo pitched well for a whole year last year...

Maybe I'm wrong... and if your interested in a different opinion, check out kaley's post.

 
No Jayson Werth...

Dodgers acquired OF Jayson Werth from the Blue Jays for RHP Jason Frasor.

How fast until Juan Encarnacion is traded or cut?

In good news, the Yanks lost! YAY!

Monday, March 29, 2004
 
Good news for the cult hero?

Maybe. The article says Menechino has the job when he's healthy, which I believe. The article doesn't actually mention Scutaro (it does mention German)... still, if Menechino is out for a little bit, Scutaro might get a chance to impress... then again, he has to do a lot better than the last couple of times he's had his shot (To be fair, he did have a .333 OBP in those 75 ABs last year, Unfortunately, he had a .213 AVG and didn't hit the ball very hard with a lackluster .347 SLG).

Sunday, March 28, 2004
 
Gutierrez to the Mets for a PTBNL. The Indians will also pay part of Gutierrez's insane 4 million dollar contract. Thank god.

Gutierrez takes some walks and used to have some pop, but has been in clear decline. He has a projected VORP of 9 this year in 225 ABs, which is about half a run better than Perez (.317/.342 for Ricky if you are wondering). He comes up as a +3 at SS on UZR 2000-2003, but BP says he has defensive shortcomings. Let's call him average...

Overall, its not a terrible move. I was still for Danny Garcia, but if they were going to pick up a backup middle infielder, this is the best name I've heard...

Norm's "get a bunch of smart people to do the work for him" roundtable (I'm only kidding!). He actually does a great job putting this together and today is the expert's portion, with a few blogger's comments put in. The funniest line goes to Mike from East Coast Agony when asked if Floyd will get 500 ABs this season...

I doubt it. Cornelius is a very skilled player, but the Mets need to rest him and accept that he will miss some time. Thankfully, we’ve planned accordingly and assembled a great bench. Sh*t.

Go check it out. It's very good.

And finally, now that Timo's roster spot is taken by Gutierrez, consider that Raul/Karim/Shane really can't play center and that Jeff Duncan needs minor league ABs. You know what thought that leaves us with...

Roger Cedeno might be our backup CF.

I just made myself sick...


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