Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
June 27, 2007
BASEBALL: Scho Must Go

If there were any remaining doubts, last night's 11th-inning debacle, with Scott Schoenweis surrendering a game-winning home run to a rookie with zero career home runs, should make clear that it is time for the Mets to cut bait on Schoenweis. Extra inning games have a way of clarifying the fact that there's nowhere to hide bad pitchers on a major league roster.

Look, I know they spent good money on him, but Omar has shown a willingness in the past to cut his losses. And I know he is lefthanded, but with Wagner and Feliciano the Mets aren't exactly starved for lefty relievers. And I know that it would be easier to cut him if they could slot in Burgos, Sanchez or Padilla, none of whom will be available again for some time.

The fact is, not only is Schoenweis not pitching to anything like his usual standards, but those standards aren't any good anyway; he entered this season with a 5.01 career ERA and career rates of 9.56 H/9, 0.98 HR/9, 3.56 BB/9, and 5.12 K/9, none of them great numbers. You could replace him with a number of options: Jon Adkins had a 3.98 ERA last season and a 3.68 ERA at New Orleans; Adkins hardly inspires confidence but he has to be an improvement on Schoenweis. There's also Jason Vargas, who is as lefthanded as Schoenweis, although I'm not a Vargas fan either, and Steve Schmoll. Any one of these guys could come in with a decent chance of getting a few more outs than Schoenweis, plus they're all younger than he is.

(This would be the part where it is worth considering whether Heath Bell, Royce Ring or Henry Owens would come in handy, though Owens is still hurt. With the odd exception of Jorge Sosa, nearly none of the Mets' offseason moves this year worked out well, even ones like the Bannister-Burgos deal that looked really savvy at the time).

Posted by Baseball Crank at 12:10 PM | Baseball 2007 | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

You are right about not being able to hide bad pitchers. I have had close up experience on that with the Royals the last several years. Luckily it has been much better this year. As I have said before, we really appreciate you letting us have Bannister for Gas-Can Burgos.

Posted by: maddirishman at June 27, 2007 12:22 PM

True on that.

Last night's game showed (again) that it is also time to cut bait on Julio Franco. I thought the game was lost when Franco couldn't drive in Valentin from 3rd in the 9th. He was a nice stroy last year, but does anybody have any confidence in him in a big spot this year?

Posted by: Al at June 27, 2007 12:52 PM

True on that.

Last night's game also showed (again) that it's time to cut bait on Julio Franco. He was a nice story last year, but does anyone have any confidence in him this year? I don't. The game was lost when Franco couldn't do anything with Valentin on 3rd in the 9th. Heck, even a walk would have been fine, with Jose coming up next. But he looked awful at the plate.

Posted by: Al at June 27, 2007 12:54 PM

Agreed on Franco - I thought he had a good shot to work out a walk there, but I had zero faith that he could get a hit off Izzy. You may have noticed him so far behind Izzy's fastball that all he could do was foul it off the other way.

Posted by: The Crank at June 27, 2007 12:57 PM

Also agreed on Franco. I was wondering why Easley wasn't hitting there.

Posted by: mikeski at June 27, 2007 4:24 PM

Damned insomnia...anyway, one of things I'll never understand is the attitude that just because we're paying this guy a lot of money, we simply MUST play him. You hear this from the press a lot; Jim is making X millions of dollars a year for the next three years, so they have to play him.

Well, if you're a baseball team in New York, in a sport with no salary cap and limited revenue sharing, exactly how does this figure, at least if your primary focus is on winning the World Series? Baseball teams in general seem to be unfamiliar with the concept of the sunk cost. They're going to have to pay Jim whether they give him 100 innings per year or 0, so if the guy can't get the job done, what's the point in continuing to play him?

Same thing with the Yanks right now, regarding Farnsworth. Torre seems unmovable in his use of Farnsworth in the 8th inning, despite the fact that Farnsworth has proved time and again he simply can't get the job done. They're on the hook with him salary-wise for the rest of this year and next whether they play him or not. Why continue to play him when he's proven nothing more clearly than that he's the current incarnation of Witasick and Wohlers? He should be the commandant of the Yankees' White Flag Brigade, just as Schoenweiss should be for the Mets.

Posted by: Thom at June 29, 2007 5:14 AM
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