Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
June 26, 2006
BASEBALL: Pelfrey the Long Man

Matthew Cerrone at MetsBlog notes that the Mets are apparently thinking about using Mike Pelfrey initially as a long reliever. Of course, as I've explained before, I approve of this idea, although if you follow the link to the Daily News item he cites, it doesn't say that they're thinking of doing that this year.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:28 PM | Baseball 2006 | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

INteresting. One response mentioned that the Mets should get Bannister back in, and nurture Soler and Hernandez, and get Heilman, Sanchez and Wagner back on track. A few thoughts on this:

Bannister really wasn't all that good when he was pitching. Not bad, just not good. He is young, not much more experience than Pelfrey, so why not put Bannister in that role as well, or first. The Mets must figure Pelfrey is just plain better.

Soler is young enough, and has good stuff, and seems to suck it up when he has to--hard to tell in just a few sposts of course. Heilman and Sanchez are good pitchers, and will do fine.

Wagner, well, I keep thinking Wagner stinks. Then I watch Lidge give up a grand slam, and think he stinks, then I think Nen did it. As I said before, Exckersley did it like this for one year, and was untouchable until Kirk Gibson refused to believe. And Mariano gets beaten too, but so rarely it makes the news. And Gossage got beat by Brett (hardly a disgrace in that, I think Brett is among the greatest hitters I ever saw, and one of my all time favorite players as well). So back to what the expectation of the modern closer is: to come in and shut down the opposition 123. No walks, no room for any error. And Mariano does that waht 85-90% of the time.

I think our expectation of someone like Wagner is, since he is the big closer with the 98 mph fastball, he can simply shut people down. And that seems to be the image of the closer, the Goose Gossage type coming in and ending the game. Except these guys tend to walk lots of guys. Bob Feller today would probably have been signed as a closer, and he walked lots of hitters also. You want to know the best closers ever? Greg Maddux, Tom Seaver and Christy Mathewson. They never walked anybody. So if you are that good, you won't be a closer. Now they take hard throwing pitchers and see if they can close. It's hard, it's rare, and I think the Armando Benitezes of the world dominate. We should really rethink the closer. More like Franco in his prime, throw strikes, let the fielders do their jobs. He wasn't perfect either. That's why they invented Cooperstown, and Mariano will be there, Wagner won't. Exit Sandman.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at June 27, 2006 10:06 AM

Nicely put, Daryl.

Posted by: Mike at June 27, 2006 12:52 PM

What people hoped with Wagner is that he would convert a higher percentage of his save opportunities than he has - as he did in the past.

Mathewson would have been a devastating closer, freed to throw the fadeaway regularly. But I still much prefer the hard-throwing closer who gives up fewer hits. Like BJ Ryan. Looper threw strikes, recall.

Posted by: The Crank at June 27, 2006 1:14 PM
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