Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
July 7, 2006
BASEBALL: In and Out With the Old and New

The big news in Mets-land is the turmoil on the pitching staff, with Pedro to the DL, the injured Alay Soler to the minors, Heath Bell to the minors, and Jose Lima, Mike Pelfrey and John Maine joining the rotation at least for a turn.

*Bell, I've discussed before ad nauseum; he continues to frustrate, showing progress and then having a bad outing or two that uglies up his numbers. Despite his fine K/BB ratios, Bell remains hittable. Still, my general preference is for young pitchers who throw strikes and strike guys out over old retreads who do neither; I still think Bell would flourish over time if the Mets weren't jumping on him every time he fails.

*Had I known Lima was coming back, I would have added him to my "25 least favorite Mets" post.

*On a similar broken-record theme, isn't it past time to see if a move to the rotation would straighten out Aaron Heilman?

*Maine hasn't impressed; he, too, might benefit from some patience, but I don't know that the Mets are in a position to experiment with him at the major league level at this juncture.

*Pelfrey has certainly gotten on track after an adjustment period at AA (I like his overall minor league ratio of 103 K to 3 HR). Which suggests some caution - the jump to the majors is an adjustment, too - I'd guess he'd post an ERA around 4.00 if left in the rotation the rest of the year. I'm still worried he'll run out of gas as a starter in his first pro season, but if Soler doesn't get healthy and straightened out and Heilman stays in the pen, the Mets don't have many other plausible options for that slot. So Pelfrey may be here to stay.

*I'm not perturbed in the least by Pedro hitting the DL - it's an annual ritual, so the stretch over the All-Star Break is better than what happened last year, when he ran out of gas the last few weeks of September. This is where the double-digit lead in the NL East is so important; the Mets will end up spending some of that lead resting Pedro, but it will be well spent to have a fresh Pedro in the second half.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:29 AM | Baseball 2006 | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Pedro has a history of spending the middle of the season on the DL, far more than the beginning and end. I'm not sure how much of the lead the Mets will spend waiting for Pedro to get healthy. It's not that their pitching won't suffer--they will probably be conservative with Glavine as well to make sure he can rev it up in October--it's that the rest of the National League is so bad that a depleted Met team is still potent next to the rest of the league.

I agree that now is the time to give the kids a consistent shot. Not much to lose, and Lima is a sure thing to lose.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at July 7, 2006 9:50 AM

Is Lima going to the rotation? If so take the over in all his starts.

Posted by: LargeBill at July 7, 2006 11:21 AM

Agree with most of what Crank said. Bell's wild in the strike zone & his fastball is straighter than yesterday's Court of Appeals decision. That's why he gets his K's, doesn't walk too many, and gives up tons of hits.

Lima Time! Uggghhhh (and I included him in my least fave Mets in he comments to Crank's post. Ha!)

Anyway,as to Petey, as I said in my blog this morning:

"Pedro on the DL: I think it's a blessing in disguise. And not only because we get to see Mike Pelfrey in Queens! With a 12 1/2 game lead (say that a few times and tell me you ain't smiling), I'd have liked them to skip a few of Pedro's starts even without the mysterious hip injury. Last year he followed an April-July stretch composed of 150 IP, 2.82/0.85 with 11 HR . . . with an August & September of 2.96/1.16 and 8 HR in only 67 IP. The ERA makes it seem that he didn't slow down, but the WHIP and HRs tell a dramatically different tale.

And in 2004, he was better before the All Star Break in general, but his September of 4.95/1.40 is especially unpromising in retrospect. Assuming his hip heals, the break of three or four starts in gonna pay nice dividends come October.

Yeah, I know that "October" reference was overly bold, almost jinx-taunting, right? Too bad, I'm going with it."

More on the Mets, Keith Hernandez's odd affectations, the 46 year old All Star known as the left side of the Mets infield where that came from.

Posted by: Mike at July 7, 2006 12:12 PM

Really? I found Maine quite impressive. Did you see the game? He really attacked the strike zone hard, agressively pitching through what is actually a pretty good NL lineup and blanking them for 4 innings. He tired in the 5th and had trouble finding the plate, but it was ridiculously hot and he looked mentally and physically exhausted. I definitely think he earned at least another shot or two, if he can keep pounding the strike zone with (relatively) hard stuff, he should be valuable to the Mets, as it'll be a nice change of pace from Glavine/Trachsel/Duque. And unlike Soler, he wasn't afraid to throw strikes.

Posted by: hugo at July 7, 2006 1:16 PM

*Had I known Lima was coming back, I would have added him to my "25 least favorite Mets" post.

Hehe.

Glad he's with the Mets and not the Astros. 8^)

Posted by: Dwilkers at July 7, 2006 6:09 PM

Grrrrrrr.

Lima Time!

Posted by: Mike at July 8, 2006 11:53 AM

Alay Soler is the worst pitcher I've ever seen. Steve Blass would be better. He sucked against the Red Sox (Dennis Eckersley called him a joke), he was worse against the Yankees (I was close to throwing food at my wide-screen), and worse than that, you could tell he wasn't listening to a think El Duque was telling him. Pathetic.

Posted by: The Great White Shank at July 10, 2006 7:05 PM
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