Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 10, 2006
BASEBALL: The Mets' Rotation

Always Amazin' and MetsGeek both had good roundups Monday of the possibilities for filling the holes in the Mets' rotation left by the injury to Victor Zambrano as well as the short-term injuries to Brian Bannister and John Maine. I had meant to do a longer roundup myself, but life has been intervening lately. Quick thoughts:

*Clearly, Lima Time is not even a short-term answer; Sunday's debacle wasn't entirely Lima's fault, but he's just not a credible major league starter anymore.

*Personally, I favor putting Heilman permanently into the rotation and calling up Heath Bell to shore up the bullpen. So far this season, Bell has a 1.35 ERA and 5 saves at Norfolk, with a 20/3 K/BB ratio and no homers allowed in 13.1 innings. UPDATE: Busy as I am, I missed that the Mets have indeed called up Bell.

*Odalis Perez makes me nervous; I've been a fan in the past, but in 2005-06 he's been beaten up pretty bad.

*Mike Pelfrey seems like he'll be ready quickly, although he's probably not going to be highly effective at the major league level just yet; his numbers between A and AA are very encouraging but not yet quite dominating when you account for the level of competition - 2.56 ERA, 38.2 IP, 40 Hits, 1 HR, 7 BB, 47 K. That says "future star" but it doesn't say "ready to take the NL by storm"; the real question is, does it say "ready to at least equal Victor Zambrano"? I'd guess yes, so if the scouts are agreed, the Mets shouldn't hesitate to bring him to the majors. But I'd be much more hesitant to use him as a starter, as opposed to breaking him in as a reliever - less out of concern for his productivity and more because most guys, in their first year of professional ball, don't have much more than maybe 120 good innings in them. Not only don't you want him hurt, you don't want him running out of gas when you need him most. A bullpen built around Wagner-Sanchez-Bell-Pelfrey-Bradford sounds good to me.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:27 AM | Baseball 2006 | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)

I thought you might like this if you haven't seen it Crank.

Of course to some extent everything is about money but in Wagner's case money wasn't really the thing that got him traded by Houston - it was his mouth that got him traded. You gotta love this though:

"We needed to quit worrying about little piddly things and play the game, and play hard, and quit worrying about our hair or what's going on after the game," he said.

Woohoo! Vintage Wagner. Worrying about our hair. That'll get 'em going.

Posted by: Dwilkers at May 10, 2006 10:05 AM


Agree 100% regarding getting Heilman in the rotation where he belongs:


And, hell, while I continue the shameless plugging of my own blog, might as well link to what I said about Freakin' Wagner this morning. My god, the end to last night's game pisses me off:

Posted by: Mike at May 10, 2006 10:13 AM

Latest from the Clemens watch:

Unsourced rumor (in response to the retired rumor a couple days ago?) in the paper this morning is that Clemens' family has given him the go ahead to play for the Astros. He remains undecided. He will not, however, return to New York to play for the Mets, only to play for the Yankees.

Don't hate me Mets fans - I'm just the messenger.

I rate this rumor pretty high on the reliability scale. I say that because although it is unsourced for 90% at the very bottom there are on the record comments on the same family related subject matter.

The source? The Hendricks brothers, Clemens' agents.

Posted by: Dwilkers at May 10, 2006 12:05 PM

I guess you didn't even want to dignify Milledge-for-Zito with a response?

Posted by: Al at May 10, 2006 2:19 PM

Zito is in the last year of his contract. Since June 28, 2003, 43 pitchers have thrown 500 or more innings. Among them, Zito is 26th in ERA (4.06). He's 29th in Wins and 33d in Winning % (34-33), and 39th in fewest BB/9. He's worth a flyer, certainly, but a few months of him is not worth Milledge.

Posted by: The Crank at May 10, 2006 2:41 PM

Crank, that Lima line brought back a lot of memories (and nightmares) from last year in KC. That was the standard with an occasional flash of the good-old-days.

Posted by: maddirishman at May 10, 2006 2:48 PM

Nice game by Kazmir yesterday. I hope someone taped it for Wilpon!

Posted by: Greg Schreiber at May 11, 2006 11:35 AM

I don't believe Randolph (or whoever made the decision) started Lima again. There's a Phillies' fan (mole?) in the Mets' organization! BTW, Lima isn't nearly good enough for the yellow (I can't quite call it blonde) hair. Eccentricities in sports are only tolerable if you can play.

BTW, Crank-in your Zito review, what's so magical about June 28, 2003? If I ran the Mets, I'd do the deal in a hearbeat. It's now or never for this team.

Posted by: John Salmon at May 13, 2006 2:46 AM

Lima was awful last night. That inning was horrifying. But, John, if the Zito deal you're talking about means trading Milledge, I have to disagree.

Posted by: Mike at May 13, 2006 9:52 AM

If the Mets could make a package for Zito that did not involve Pelfrey or Milledge, I'd do that, although I don't expect that is possible. The other two guys, I would not give up to rent a pitcher for five months. If I could get Dontrelle Willis, maybe.

Posted by: Jerry at May 13, 2006 12:47 PM

John - no magic, just Zito started 2003 well after his Cy season, then things turned sour after that. Point being, for nearly four years now he's been mediocre. I think a new park and league and reunion with Rick Peterson could help him, but he's no longer bankable as a top-tier starter. Don't trade for the name, trade for the pitcher.

Posted by: The Crank at May 13, 2006 11:44 PM
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