Jeremy Heit's Blog
Saturday, May 01, 2004
Padres 7-6 over Mets
This one was disappointing. The Mets took a 5-0 lead in the first inning and it looked pretty good. But then because of some bad pitching handling, stupid managerial moves, shaky defense, an offense that still can get an important run in and an umpire who... sucked. Let's elaborate...
-I won't bitch and moan about the umpire too much, but, man, was his strike zone inconsistent. The Mets couldn't get a call on the corner but the Padres pitchers seemed to get every important one. But there are some things you just can't control... but other things you can...
-Like, I don't know, your starting pitcher. After 4 innings, Tyler Yates had given up 4 runs. He was gassed. Everyone knew it, yet Art/Peterson sent him back out there. Fine, but the second he lets a runner on, get him out of there. Or two... ok, let him get the guy that's bunting out, but bring in a reliever, even if it is Dan Wheeler, who is the exact same pitcher as Tyler Yates, to get the next guy with runners on second and third with one out. Leaving Yates in to face Greene... maybe I should have some faith... wait, Art is playing the infield in! You can give up a run for an out at this point... It's 5-4 in the 5th inning. Why the hell is he that desperate to get Yates the win? Groundball, past Garcia, one that Garcia gets if he's playing back. Infield back, 5-5, runner on third, two outs. Infield in, runner on third, 1 out, 5-5. One out or two outs? I like two.
Sorry about that, sorta a trip through my mind as it happened. anyway, Wheeler comes in, proceeds to give up a couple of more...
- Anyone else unimpressed by Kazou Matsui's defense. There was a ball or two he could have dove at to knock down and didn't and then there was the play that went right through the wickets...
-On the other hand, I'm forming a "man crush" on Danny Garcia. Good D, decent bat. Keep him in there Art... please?
-Finally, anyone else think Akinori Otsuka's windup should be called a balk?
10:05 start again tonight, Peavy vs. Leiter... looks like a good pitcher's duel.
Friday, April 30, 2004
I have not heard this myself, but apparently other people have...
Ed Coleman announced that Reyes had an MRI and it shows the hamstring has not healed. He's been pulled off of rehab. He'll be re-evaluated again.
Can we let him see the hammy specialist? Please?
EDIT: According to the Mets TV telecast, Jose Reyes has been shut down for the time being. We'll see how this progresses, but for now, this is the last you'll hear from me on the subject unless other news comes out.
Plus, the Mets just scored 5 runs in the first inning... how could I not be happy?
We have a good news/bad news situation with the roster...
Good News: Grant Roberts have been DFAed. If Art wasn't gonna use him, he didn't have a point on the roster.
Bad News: He was sent down to call up Ricky Freaking Botttalico. Yes, good old Ricky. I really wish some team had given him a contract based on ST.
Let me explain further. The whole point of dumping Roberts was to trim the pitching staff to 11 pitchers. They didn't do that. They should have waited two days and dumped him for Wigginton, even if we want Gutierrez gone (he should be dumped too, but you get the point).
As for Bottalico, it gives Art another right handed "proven veteran" to use to steal innings from Orber Moreno. Ricky Bottalico, obviously, is on the wrong side of 30 and offers this team no help whatsoever for the future of the bullpen.
Duke made the right move is dumping Grant Roberts. He just did it for the wrong reasons.
I've calmed down from last night's and this morning's rants and have stopped focusing on the Reyes injury when thinking about the Mets for a few reasons...
1. As Vinny points out, I'll live longer (and not lose my hair as fast).
2. As Avkash points out, I ain't a freakin' doctor and my guess on Reyes is as good as yours. I still think the Mets should have sent him to a specialist all this time for precautionary reasons, but I can't act like I actually know what is going on.
3. Most importantly, the Mets are playing good ball. They beat a good Dodgers team 2 out of 3 and roll into San Diego with some confidence. If they play well there, next week features the struggling Giants and the new and improved but still average Brewers at Shea. If they keep the momentum going in San Diego, I feel a good homestand coming.
How about a clap of the hands for me showing some optimism?
I said I wouldn't talk about the Reyes injury because of the idiocy of it all, but I caught something this morning that just makes me not able to resist. From Will Carroll's UTK yesterday 4/29 (it is free!)...
The Mets are also getting healthier. With Cliff Floyd back as soon as this weekend, the focus moves to Jose Reyes. Reyes is working in extended spring training and stole a couple bags in Monday's game, surely an excellent sign. He's still working to build strength and setbacks are not only possible, but likely given his current condition, so be careful.
Will Carroll seemed to know/sense it... the Mets couldn't? If you want more thoughts/coverage on the Reyes situation check out my entry yesterday (and read Sam's commment... its right on point).
Oh yeah, the Mets played baseball yesterday. They won too, 6-1! Jae Seo pitched well, keeping his spot in the rotation for now. Mike Stanton pitched effectively out of the bullpen again and Danny Garcia got the start at 2B, got an RBI single to make the game 4-1 and made a nice defensive play early that McEwing or Gutierrez wouldn't have. Today, its on to San Diego to face the Padres and my man Brian Giles.
Aaron takes a look at the progress of the second half of his prospects, which includes Justin Huber...
Despite holding his own in extended time at Double-A last season (he hit .264/.350/.425 in 193 at-bats), Justin Huber began this year back at Single-A. He hit just .250 in 13 games there, but was promoted to Double-A recently. Overall, he has hit .250 with two homers and three doubles in 60 at-bats this year.
.250/.333/.417 with 8 RBIs and 10 runs in 13 A games; .250/.500/.333 with 0 RBIs and 6 runs in 4 AA games
This is making the future catching situation a little less clear. We'll see what happens with Mike Jacobs and how Huber progresses...
That's all for today. If you are looking for a place to chat about today's game, head over to 3AM's site, where he has set up a post to chat about the game.
Thursday, April 29, 2004
Apparently, Jose Reyes has taken himself out of his rehab game tonight with a minor setback. More when I hear it...
EDIT #1: 3 AM's correct 5 step process to dealing with Jose Reyes' injury...
1) Shut Reyes down for the year.
2) Send him to the best damn hamstring specialist in the world.
3) Don't tell the press anything except for #2.
4) Do not put pressure on Reyes to come back quickly, wait until the hamstring specialist okays it.
Unforunately, the Mets will probably rush him back again and he'll play 50 games this year while being constantly injured...
EDIT #2 aka "You have to be f*cking kidding me": Here is the official article on Reyes on Mets.com. Here is my favorite part...
Reyes, who went 0-for-2, was playing for St. Lucie in a Florida State League game against Vero Beach when he removed himself after a fourth-inning groundout to shortstop. He felt some pain in his leg and decided to shut it down, ending any chance he had of rejoining the team this weekend in San Diego. In fact, the setback could also jeopardize any potential return during next week's homestand.
General manager Jim Duquette called the setback minor but also admitted that the strain Reyes originally suffered was more of a Grade 2 strain -- a more serious injury -- than the Grade 1 strain it was initially described as. Reyes, who played well in his first rehab game Wednesday night, has been out for 46 days.
"He didn't aggravate but he wasn't feeling 100 percent," Duquette said. "When he was running down the line he felt it."
I won't even comment... just let the above speak for itself.
EDIT #3 aka "Good sarcastic humor": A little humor for you all from tonight's game chatter...
Sam M. (#64): You think NOW they might send him to a specialist, finally?? Nah.
Matt (#65 in response to #64): They're on a tight budget.
The sad part? It's probably true...
EDIT #4 aka "They really are blithering idiots": From the NY Times...
Duquette said the Mets still did not plan to send Reyes to a hamstring specialist, although that could become a possibility in the future.
I'm done with this story for now. Tomorrow I'll be discussing the game and that's it... a rant you have all heard before on the Mets management and their idiocy is both a waste of my time to write and a waste of your time to read.
The Mets lost 3-2 last night in a game I really thought they were going to win, both before and during it. But, unfortunately, they did not capitalize on their chances, got robbed or just didn't get the breaks...
-6th inning, no outs. Mike Cameron hits it deep to center (Mets down 3-1) and gets robbed by Milton Bradley who makes the catch over the wall.
-Later that inning, Jason Phillips gets up with the bases loaded and hits a sac fly to make the game 3-2 (its a run, but a hit would have done real damage). Karim Garcia, the next batter, strikes out to end the inning.
-In the 7th inning, Ricky Gutierrez walks, gets pinch run for by Jeff Duncan, who immediately steals second. The Mets get three chances to drive in the trying run from 2nd, but Valent, Matsui and Cameron all fail.
-8th inning, 2 outs, Shane Spencer on second, Jason Phillips at the plate. The Dodgers bring in Eric Gagne, which at that point, is a guy Phillips most did not want to see. He's in a slump and the Dodgers bring in arguably the best reliever in the game. Jason Phillips actually hits a Eric Gagne offering... actually right back up the middle. But this is when you know things are going badly... it hits Gagne's leg and rolls towards the first base line. Gagne picks it up (after hobbling over) and flips it to first to end the inning.
-In the 9th, the Mets actually start a two out rally, with Wilson on second and Matsui on first. Of course, Cameron comes up to the plate and pops out to the catcher to end the game.
Steve Trachsel pitched fairly well, giving up only 3 runs in 6 innings, but gave up a couple of homers, a thing he has a tendency to do. The bullpen was very effective with Franco striking out the side and Stanton giving up no hits in a scoreless inning.
With the latest on the injury front, Pete Abraham reporting...
Reyes, who is returning from a strained right hamstring, was 1 for 5 with a double and a run scored. He played all nine innings in a victory against the Vero Beach Dodgers.
Reyes is expected to play again tonight. Barring a setback, he could join the Mets in San Diego tomorrow or Saturday. The same could be true of Cliff Floyd, who is taking regular batting practice in Port St. Lucie.
"We're going day-by-day with this," GM Jim Duquette said. "They're both making progress but we can't really plan anything yet."
Progress? Earlier than Tuesday.... whatever, as long as they are actually healthy.
3AM of Baseball Reloaded points me to this Baseball America article on David Wright.
After entering the year with a .272 career minor league average, Wright exploded out of the gates with the B-Mets, reaching base via a hit or a walk in each of the team's first 18 games. Wright doubled in five of his first six games, had a five-game multiple-hits streak that ended Tuesday and was batting .358-3-12 overall. He had 11 doubles already (second-best in the minors, behind Class A Clinton's Ian Kinsler) as well as 10 walks and five HBPs, giving him a .476 on-base percentage.
Speaking of prospects, Aaron Gleeman checks in on how the top half of his top 50 prospects are doing. Here is what he says on the two Mets, Kazmir and Wright...
While Hamels' season hasn't started yet, Scott Kazmir has been pitching, just not particularly well. He has a 6.14 ERA in his first four starts at Single-A. Kazmir, as usual, is still racking up big strikeout numbers (14 in 14.2 innings), but he has also walked seven batters while serving up two home runs. Opponents are hitting .328 off Kazmir, after he held them to a .202 batting average last year.
0-0 with a 6.14 ERA and 14/7 K/BB ratio in 14.2 A innings
David Wright is giving Justin Morneau a run for his money for the best start by a top prospect this year. Wright is hitting .358 at Double-A, with three homers and 11 doubles in 67 at-bats. Wright is drawing tons of walks, he's been hit by a pitch five times already, and has nine stolen bases at a 75% clip. Here's an interesting stat: Wright, who has 14 strikeouts, is hitting .453 when he makes contact.
.358/.476/.657 with 12 RBIs and 12 runs in 18 AA games
.453 when making contact! .453!
So, don't think about the loss last night today, think about David Wright and just how bright the future is.
Wednesday, April 28, 2004
They finally beat a real major league team!
Yes, the Expos don't count as a real major league team... Anyways, The Mets won 9-5. Yes, you read that correctly... NINE!. That's what Hideo Nomo's hanging splitters, walk binges and home run binges will do for you. The Mets got on base a total of 18 times (13 hits and 5 walks) for a .409 OBP for the game. They only got 5 hits and 2 walks against Nomo in 6 innings, but made them count, with 3 HRs off him. Meanwhile, Glavine gave up 10 hits and 1 walk in 6 innings, but only gave up one extra base hit to Dave Roberts, who tripled, leading Glavine to give up 3 runs and get the win. The defense was very solid and the one play that stood out to me was the grounder to Matsui up the middle... he picked it up and did the short arm throw like Jose Reyes and threw a rocket. I wish he show off his arm a little more often.
The game was 4-3 Mets when both starters came out. Earlier in the game (at 11:04 PM) I had said this in the Game Chatter...
Why do I fear this game will end up as a battle of the bullpens...? I'm pretty sure the odds are that we would lose that...
Well, the Mets bullpen did give up 2 runs in 3 innings, but the Dodgers pen gave up 5 runs in 3 innings. The pen, much to my surprise, was fairly effective and more importantly, much more effective than the Dodgers.
Speaking of the Dodgers pen, this game might have been one of the longest things I have ever watched (it was actually only 3 hours and 36 minutes) because of Jim Tracy's obsession with micromanaging his bullpen. He used every pitcher in his bullpen other than Eric Gagne. He used three pitchers, who each got one out, in the 9th inning. Trust me, if you didn't watch it, it was torture.
A couple more quick hits...
-Mike Piazza tied Carlton Fisk for the most HRs by a catcher. He only needs one more to pass him and lets hope he gets it soon so this whole stupid record thing can go away. But since he did break the record, Rich Lederer asks if he is the greatest ctacher of all-time or just the greatest hitting catcher of all-time.
-The Mets, by my calculations, saw 4.45 P/PA last night, a number that is very welcomed. Todd Zeile, who has a P/PA of 4.80 so far this year, saw 5.8 P/PA last night. If he keeps this up, I wouldn't mind seeing him split time with Ty Wigginton at third base once he comes back. At least if he was to get out, he works the pitcher instead of swinging at the first pitch.
-Was there a full moon or something last night? Cesar Izturis got on base 3 times last night and Ricky Gutierrez got 2 hits and an RBI last night! I don't know if that will ever occur in the same night ever again...
And this time... its good...
After weeks of frustration, the clock is ticking on Reyes' return, which seems likely for Tuesday against the Giants at Shea Stadium. The Mets were pleased by Reyes' performance in an extended-spring training game Monday, especially by his three stolen bases, and would love to have him ready for this weekend in San Diego. But with so many setbacks, and a cross-country flight to consider, the safe bet is to have him back in the lineup for the start of the six-game homestand.
...In more positive news on the injury front, Cliff Floyd (quadriceps) could rejoin the Mets as early as this weekend against the Padres, and no amount of batting practice can duplicate what the combination of Reyes and Floyd would mean for this anemic lineup.
So, we might finally get our full healthy lineup for Tuesday night at home against the Giants. Goody, just in time to see Barry Bonds. In all seriousness, I can't wait for this lineup to get back together. Then we might see a few more nights like last night...
Finally, yesterday I asked two questions and asked for a response from the readers. Today, I'll give my answers...
1. Will Reyes move back to SS after Matsui leaves?
This partly depends on when Matsui leaves... let's split this in two separate catergories...
If Matsui is here longer than 3 years... there is no way Reyes moves back to SS. It will be too long away form the position. 0% percent chance it happens.
If Matsui leaves after his 3 year contract... Reyes might. I think he should, because its easier to find a decent glove/decent bat at second, Reyes will be gold glove quality at the most important defensive position in the infield and it might save his legs. But he might not, mainly because I don't know if management wants to keep shifting him around and messing with him. At some point, they have to put him at a position and say... "you are our franchise player, this is where you are playing". Hopefully, that will be 3 years from now after Matsui leaves and Reyes is back at shortstop, but I don't think we can be sure.
2. Should the Mets trade Ty Wigginton (whether it be during the season or in the offseason) or keep him as a bench player?
Bench player. I think Ty Wigginton, with a little pop in his bat and decent AVG bat will make a good utility player (basically Joe McEwing with a better bat). He is also servicable in case of injury at 2B and 3B, even if he 3B D is suspect (okay, bad, but he makes almost every play he gets to). Basically, he can be a good short time fill in (in case of injury) and decent pinch hitting bat for cheap for the next 4 years. The Mets should take advantage and keep him (plus, I'm not sure you can get that much of value for him even when his trade value is at its highest).
Steve Trachsel vs. Odalis Perez tonight. Hopefully the offense shows up again...
Tuesday, April 27, 2004
Let's have some comments people!
Two questions that have been bothering me... put your answers in the comments with a little explanation, especially for number #2. I'll give my answers tomorrow...
1. Will Reyes move back to SS after Matsui leaves?
2. Should the Mets trade Ty Wigginton (whether it be during the season or in the offseason) or keep him as a bench player?
Dodgers vs. Mets pitching matchups
Tuesday: Glavine (2-1, 1.00) vs. Nomo (3-1, 6.55)
Wednesday: Trachsel (2-2, 4.50) vs. Perez (1-1, 3.86)
Thursday: Seo (0-3, 6.60) vs. Weaver (1-2, 6.75)
As you can see, tonight its Glavine, who can hopefully keep up his hot start and get enough run support for the Mets snide to end.
The Mets have a good coach?
Peterson success is in the details
Among the myriad of rumors about when the coaching staff will be gone, we know one guy who will still be here... Rick Peterson. This is great article about how prepared he is and how much he helps the pitchers.
This article has this to say about Floyd and Reyes and their timetables to come back...
Cliff Floyd (strained right quadriceps) is still expected to rejoin the team at some point during the series that opens in Los Angeles tomorrow, though the Mets have stopped making projections on Jose Reyes (right hamstring strain) to avoid having delays from inexact estimates later described as setbacks.
Yay, Cliff. Maybe we'll be able to score 2 runs in a game now... As for Reyes, I think I'll just skip it instead of ranting angrily.
I don't think Bill Bavasi would like this...
The Hardball Times has introduced their teams and stats pages. These things seem like they will be valuable resources, especially the stats pages, which lists things like K/9, BB/9 and HR/9 for pitchers along with a more advanced metric like RSAA. The batters have BA/OBP/SLG, but also P/PA, ISO power, RC and GPA. I'll be using these stats pages a lot this year, mostly because they'll save me time from having to figure out all the rates myself...
As for the team pages, take a look at this graph... I think we can all figure out when the Pittsburgh series started.
And finally, if you are home waiting for the late start of the Mets game because they are on the west coast, you could always flip on the Yankees game on YES since our man, Marco Scutaro, is in town for the next three days. I'll be watching, not only to see him, but because if figures to be a good series and I have always rooted for the A's anyway.
Monday, April 26, 2004
From the "I love this player" department, here are a few stats on Mark Bellhorn (a department that also includes Brian Giles, Marco Scutaro, John Olerud and Carlos Beltran. Those are probably my 5 favorite players in baseball. And none of them play for the Mets)...
Among the 25 qualified 2Bs in MLB, Mark Bellhorn is last in AVG with .185.
Among the 25 qualified 2Bs in MLB, Mark Bellhorn is sixth in OBP with .400.
Among all qualified hitters in MLB, Mark Bellhorn is third in walks behind Bonds and Dunn.
To think, he was gotten from the Rockies for a little bit of cash and a PTBNL.
A day off doesn't mean bad news, but it doesn't mean a loss either, which had become unbearable the last few days... The bad news? Bob Klaspich reporting...
But Leiter is pitching with a sore left shoulder, evidenced by his diminished fastball against the Expos last week.
Although he was effective for seven innings, allowing just five hits and one run, Leiter never came close to 90 mph on the radar gun. He spent most of the game at 86 or 87-mph.
Leiter knows something's wrong, but has refused to undergo an MRI. In explaining why he's chosen to pitch through the pain, the left-hander said, "At this point in my career, what's the point of finding out I need surgery, since I'm not going to do that, anyway?"
That is wonderful. Injured pitcher who won't even find out how bad it is. When does he start missing starts? I say 2 weeks...
Also, just as a note, this article was basically about trading away assets at the trade deadline because the Mets will be out of it. Not a bad article, expect Klaspich has to get in his Soriano agenda...
The problem here is Fred Wilpon, who actually thought the Mets could compete in 2004, but didn't want to spend the money to acquire Alfonso Soriano from Texas. Wilpon must be sorry now, as the Mets, with Cliff Floyd and Reyes on the DL, have fallen to 13th in the NL in runs and batting average, and next-to-last in slugging percentage.
Can he just shut up about it? It wasn't gonna make them a winner anyways (he's also obsessed with the Joe McEwing lowest slugging percentage since 2002 with 400+ ABs stat too).
Anyways, that's all for today. The Mets have a day off and after talking about Trachsel last night, I figure today is a good day to sit back and hope the next set of games is a little better than the last 10.
Sunday, April 25, 2004
John Thomson is pitching for the Braves tonight. I know, that's completely random. Well, not quite. Whenever I see John Thomson, I end up thinking about Steve Trachsel. And the contract extension. And it still boggles my mind. Just take a look at this (all career)...
Thomson actually strikes out less guys, but walks less too. They are very similar pitchers when you look at this, but one thing against Thomson would stand out...
H per inning pitched
And if you look at it the last three years, its a little more dynamic. But Thomson has pitched in Colorado and Texas. Looking at his away stats last year (when his home park was Arlington), he basically gave up a hit for inning when out of Texas.
But, as you know, Thomson was given a 2 year contract by the Braves for 6.5 million, so why bring him up? Well, that's my point. League to slightly above league average guys can be found on the market for less than 5 million dollars (other guys this year, off the top of my head, include Kenny Rogers, Jason Johnson and Miguel Batista if you want to go for a little more). I think Trachsel is going to be a 100 to 110 ERA+ pitcher over the next three years. I'm convinced guys, like Thomson, who give up a few HRs and have semi-nice K:BB rates could do the same thing Trachsel does with a pitcher's ballpark and supposedly better defense (with this team). And those guys can be found on the free agent market (or in the minor leagues... I think Heilman can do what Trachsel does next year).
But my bigger issue with this extension, other than the fact that he'll be overpaid and is replaceable, is that the Mets are guaranteeing him extra years when they could control the contract. He had a 5 million dollar option for next year, assuming he pitched 180 innings this year. But that assumption means he has to stay healthy. The Mets have guaranteed him 5 million dollars next year whether or not he stays healthy this year. And then he really only has to stay healthy for 22-25 starts for the 2006 option to trigger. Why give a guy a guaranteed 5 million dollars that he would get anyway, if healthy, before you are sure if he will stay healthy? And then give him a fairly easy innings pitched clause to trigger the year after that when you will surely have or can find better options for cheaper... makes no sense.
The Mets lose again 4-1. They got 2 hits! 2! I was considering looking at their AVG/OBP and runs per game the last 10 games (you know, the 2-8 stretch), but I didn't want to piss myself off (or possibly get sick from how bad they would be).
As for today's lineup, it featured Jeff Duncan second... here's Art with the explanation...
"You prefer to have the young players get the at-bats," Howe said. "Duncan needs to get a game under his belt. We get some speed up there with Kaz (Matsui) and him, so we'll see if they can get on base and make some things happen for us. We haven't made anything happen these two days."
Duncan's fast... except that doesn't help when you can't get on base. The best two hitter for this team, despite his horrific start, is Jason Phillips. He hasn't hit yet, batting .137, but he does walk. He has 9 of them (.150 BB/PA), making his OBP .267. He also doesn't strike out that much (5 K's). Once the contact base hits start coming around, he would be a respectable two hitter with his OBP and doubles power. Of course, Art Howe will never do that... because he's slow.
Pete Abraham has the Mets season down...
There are three distinct components to the Mets so far this season. There are 13 hitters who have been remarkably bad, 12 pitchers who have been surprisingly effective and one manager whose low-key style doesn't seem to be working.
The rest of the article is a mix of statistics that make you want to barf, Art Howe quotes and sarcastic comments off them.
It looks lke my man Danny Garcia will get a shot...
Joe McEwing struck out three times yesterday and three times Friday. Howe said he promised a new face in the lineup for today, and the likely candidate would be recent call-up Danny Garcia, who went 0-for-1 as a pinch hitter yesterday...
And he by far is the best option... if he's up here, use him, especially over McEwing and Gutierrez.
Today's game is Leiter vs. Clement, a game I think the Mets can pull out. We can only hope... I'm going to play baseball with my friends today though, so let's see if I get more hits than the Mets...
Vinny and Scott finally made the move to movable type. You can find them here now, at the aptly named YMTR.com.
Two new Mets blogs are Dave's Mostly Mets Blog and 3AM's (who you might know from the game chatters at Primer) Baseball Reloaded. 3AM keeps minor league stats for Mets players on his site and while everyone else obsesses over Kazmir (St. Lucie... but you knew that) or Petit (Capital City), my favorite guy, Miguel Pinango, is doing well early in St. Lucie...
16.2 IP, 7.02 K/9, 0.00 BB/9, 1.08 HR/9, .90 WHIP (15 hits), 2.16 RA
No walks... nice K rate. I like.