Saturday, February 28, 2009
In other news, Johan Santana is experiencing some elbow stiffness. It's too early to panic about this, but it's definitely troublesome. Hopefully the Mets handle this better than they did Ryan Church's concussion problems last season.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Harold Reynolds - “Stats are ridiculous!”
Barry Larkin – “You might be hitting .215, but there’s a quality .215 that does not get translated into the stats” – what?
In the post, I suggest that maybe Reyes's running game has hurt his stamina and is partly to blame for his fading down the stretch each of the last two seasons. Combine his running with never taking days off and playing a grueling position, and it might be smart to limit his stolen bases a bit this season. Sounds like blasphemy, but with a little more energy maybe he could avoid the annual September swoon.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
1) I did an interview with Brian Joura at Mets Online about the 2009 Mets outlook. I answered questions about the Mets injury worries, whether the bullpen is as good as it seems, lineup formation and my prediction for the Mets W-L record. Brian also writes for Fangraphs and his work at both sites is highly recommended.
2) Sam at Amazin' Avenue grades the Mets offseason by looking at the projected WAR ("wins above replacement") of the players acquired and lost. It's a better approach for evaluating the offseason then the dozens of other subjective "report cards" by analysts like Jon Heyman. Heyman rated the Phillies offseason at #1, mainly because they locked up Cole Hamels and Ryan Howard to multi-year deals. That's all well and good, but their only major addition was Raul Ibanez, who they grossly overpaid.
3) Mets Fever noticed that Nick Evans is listed as 3rd on the Mets depth chart at 2nd base, per mets.com. It's an interesting possibility, because it seems Evans doesn't have a position. He isn't a good enough hitter to be valuable at 1B, and his OF defense is suspect.
4) Beyond the Boxscore announced the winner of their graph contest, and it's hilarious. It's a flowchart which takes you into the mind Dusty Baker. Fans of the late FireJoeMorgan know how terrible Baker's baseball analysis is and will especially appreciate it. But anyone who's heard Dusty announce a game and mention "clogging the basepaths" can have a laugh as well.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Daniel Murphy/Fernando Tatis
Monday, February 16, 2009
Catcher A: 429 PA's, .276/.319/.394, 87 OPS+, 7 HR, threw out 32% of runners stealing
Catcher B: 384 PA's, .257/.339/.367, 87 OPS+, 9 HR, threw out 33% of runners stealing
Catcher C: 157 PA's, .245/.312/.441, 96 OPS+, 7 HR, threw out 22% of runners stealing
Catcher A: .268/.303/.394, 10 HR
Catcher B: .247/.328/.360, 8 HR
Catcher C: .249/.318/.442, 13 HR
A few hints, which should give away who they are. Catcher A is a future Hall of Famer and current free agent, who has expressed an interest in playing for the Mets. Catchers B and C are currently on the Mets, and their contracts expire after 2009.
Catcher A is Ivan Rodriguez, Catcher B is Brian Schneider, and Catcher C is Ramon Castro. They're all pretty similar as the numbers suggest. What's the point? That there's no need to sign Rodriguez, unless it's for a very cheap and Castro and his $2.5 million contract can be traded. The chances of the Mets signing Rodriguez seems remote anyway, but this shows that he wouldn't be any kind of significant upgrade over the current situation.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
1) Ted Berg at SNY reminds Met fans that Carlos Beltran is still awesome. And he backs it up with objective statistics. Berg also tells us why the Phillies bullpen should regress is 2009.
2) Mike Newman at Mets Geek tells us where the top Mets prospects will be playing in 2009. To be honest, I don't have a vast knowledge of the Mets minor league system, so this is a pretty good read.
3) A quote from Bill James on the steroid situation in baseball (via the venerable Joe Posnanski):
In 36 words:
1) Baseball allowed a situation to develop in which it was in the self-interest of players to use steroids.
2) Now we are very angry with people because they did what the system rewarded them for doing.
4) Dugout Central is a blog which features about a dozen or so writers posting 2-3 pieces a day about various baseball topics. I am not too impressed by the discourse and conclusions drawn by their writers, but writer Tyler Hissey has been churning out some really great stuff over there. Here are a couple solid posts:
- "Mets Overpay for Perez"
- "With Dunn and Abreu Signing, the Phillies' Ibanez Deal That Much Worse"
- "Bowden: Spending for Spending's Sake"
Here are some less-than-stellar pieces at Dugout Central by writers other than Tyler. Unfortunately for them these are the norm rather than the exception:
- "J.P. Ricciardi is MLB's Worst General Managers"
- "Nationals are Dunn-Wrong"
- "Vote: Worst MLB General Manager"
Thursday, February 12, 2009
David Wright is a strong fielder, but it appears he isn't too great at turning the double play. Jose Reyes had an overall down year in the field in 2008, but his double play runs make it look better. My perception was that Ryan Church had a solid throwing arm in 2008, and the numbers back it up. If he played a qualifying number of innings, he'd have had the 10th best arm in the National League. All that's missing from Fangraphs is a baserunning stat, although Baseball Prospectus has some pretty ones.
- Elijah Dukes
- Willie Harris
- Austin Kearns
- Lastings Milledge
- Wily Mo Pena
- Josh Willingham
Should the Mets look to trade for one of these players?
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
1) Rob at Amazin' Avenue wonders if Mets fans should be optimistic about Luis Castillo this season. His conclusion: yes. Castillo stunk in 2008, but he's been a valuable player throughout most of his career. I think it's feasible that he'll hit at a .275/.360/.350 clip. If he does, while playing serviceable defense, I'll be thrilled.
2) The Mets signed Jose Valentin to a minor league deal. Yes, the same Jose Valentin who hit 17 homers and was a nice surprise for the 2006 Mets. I have no problem with this signing, but it would be surprising to see him on the Opening Day roster. If Valentin logs a significant amount of plate appearances this season, the Mets might be in trouble.
3) I'm as sick of discussions about PED's as the next fan, but I really liked this from Tom Tango's blog (see response from Tango in the comments):
"The White American Male Adult (WAMA) thinks nothing of a rock star that is fueled by drugs. Indeed, even if the artist himself says that the drug improves his artistic qualities, this is seen as a good thing. You can take all the vices in the world, pump it into the body of a rock star, and if Sgt Pepper is the result, then the world will be at your feet."
A commenter countered by saying that this was a fallacy, i.e. rock stars are not competing against each other like pro athletes. Tango responded with this:
"The rock star / athlete is not a fallacy. Both are 'competing' against their peers. Rock stars are not subjected to daily competition, but they accumulate wealth in the same way as athletes: by performing better than their peers."
For whatever reason I was fascinated by this point. I've come full circle on this PED stuff. At first, I was like most fans - demonizing the players, hating Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, etc. However, I really don't hate any of the pre-2004 juicers (punishments for failing steroid tests were only instituted in 2004). Anyone who gets caught now, well that's a different story. I have no sympathy. That is why Bonds, Roger Clemens (although Clemens still sucks at life) and Alex Rodriguez are still Hall of Fame worthy in my book, while Rafael Palmeiro is not.
4) Here is video of a 22 year-old Ichiro pitching in the 1996 NPB All-Star Game (via Neyer). He was throwing 90+ mph back then and apparently he's still got it. He may even pitch in the upcoming WBC:
Also, I promise no more A-Rod stuff.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Rob Neyer - My favorite
Tom Tango - 2nd favorite
Beyond the Boxscore
Mets Tailgate - Genius
Phil Allard - Great job Phil pointing out what a piece of trash this Selena Roberts is. First Duke lax, now this.
Jay Mariotti - What a shock...
Jayson Stark - Stark's outrageous headline: "A-Rod has destroyed game's history"
Bill Madden - Again! And even sillier the 2nd time around.
Wallace Matthews - If you look up the definition of 'moron' in the dictionary...
I'll add more as I come across them. Noticing a trend here? It's pretty much just the traditional mainstream media sportswriters who are outraged over this. The progressive, rational bloggers/analysts have it right. Not that this is anything out of the norm when it comes to baseball analysis.
1 - Johan Santana
2 - Mike Pelfrey
3 - John Maine
4 - Oliver Perez
5 - Tim Redding/Freddy Garcia
CL - Francisco Rodriguez
Tim Redding/Freddy Garcia
Starting Lineup (8)
Jose Reyes, SS
Carlos Beltran, CF
David Wright, 3B
Carlos Delgado, 1B
Fernando Tatis, LF
Ryan Church, RF
Brian Schneider, C
Luis Castillo, 2B
Daniel Murphy, OF/2B
Jeremy Reed/Cory Sullivan, OF
Ramon Castro, C
Marlon Anderson, OF/1B/worthless
Alex Cora, 2B/SS
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association screwed up. They turned a blind eye to steroids in return for revenue created by the 1998 home run race and increase in offense that drew fans to the stadiums. That stinks. Since then, MLB has created stiff penalties for players caught using (see J.C. Romero), and generally tried hard to remove PED's from the game. So please, let's move on. Let's not waste our time talking about spineless unnamed sources divulging information about a supposed-to-be anonymous steroid test from 2003. Especially when pitchers and catchers report in a few days.
Note: wOBA ("weighted on base average") is a great stat which weighs every possible outcome of a plate appearance to gauge offensive value. It also incorporates stolen bases and is weighted against league performance in a given season. In that regard it's similar to OPS+, although wOBA is not adjusted for park factors just yet. wOBA is on a similar scale to OBP: .310 sucks, .330 is about average, anything above .370 is really good. Read here for more.
I never realized how poor the Mets attendance was in their opening season. This next one is courtesty of samt at Amazin' Avenue. I love the use of a Venn Diagram.
Friday, February 6, 2009
That's right - Oliver Perez will make about $11 million more than Odalis. In 2008, Odalis was slightly more valuable than Ollie and projects to have just slightly less value next year. For once, the Nationals may have executed a steal of a signing. I'm not saying that I'd rather have Odalis over Ollie (I wouldn't), but it's amazing how a good agent and big city cache can artificially drive up a player's value in the free agent market.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
1) David Lennon at Newsday relays to us the real reason Oliver Perez re-signed with the Mets:
"Another three years means seeing Oliver Perez munch on his favorite frozen snack -- Nutty Buddies, King Cones, whatever you call them -- during his postgame interviews. That was perhaps the biggest indication that there was no way Perez was signing with the Yankees, not as long as Joe Girardi keeps a padlock on the ice cream freezer."
He can buy the Nutty Buddie company for $36 million.
2) Rich Lederer at Baseball Analysts offers up a conspiracy theory about Jon Heyman's connection to superagent Scott Boras. Lederer thinks Boras feeds Heyman information about his clients in return for manipulation of the free agent market. I have to say, the evidence Lederer presents is compelling. I'd like to think even Heyman wouldn't be that big of a tool though.
3) I "post-dicted" the 2008 Mets W-L record at Amazin' Avenue, using the WAR ("wins above replacement") spreadsheet from Beyond the Boxscore. Read the post for more details, but WAR says the Mets were an 87 win team in 2008. In reality, they won 89. Pretty close right? WAR is not 100% infallible, but I think it's the best all-encompassing stat we have easy access to.
4) David at NY Sports Dog was invited to an early screening of a new HBO comedy with a baseball connection called "Eastbound & Down." It's produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay's production company and stars the hilarious Danny McBride, from "Pineapple Express" and "Tropic Thunder", so it's definitely worth a look. HBO has been surpassed by FX and AMC in producing original programming recently, so I hope for the channel's sake that this show is a hit.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Average annual value of contracts signed this offseason: $23.75 million
Total WAR (wins above replacement) from 2007-2008: 11.6
Oliver Perez and Francisco Rodriguez
Average annual value of contracts signed this offseason: $24.33 million
Total WAR (wins above replacement) from 2007-2008: 7.5
The listed contracts exclude any options. Lowe and Fuentes cost slightly less but are more valuable. OK, I promise I'm done playing Monday Morning Quarterback with this Ollie signing.
In other news, Manny Ramirez ate a slice of New York style pizza yesterday, but Jon Heyman doesn't think it's a sign he wants to play for the New York Mets. However, I will be sure to monitor this very important, ground-breaking story as it develops. All Manny, all the time right? When will it end...
Monday, February 2, 2009
Sunday, February 1, 2009
10. David Cone, 1988
231.1 IP, 2.22 ERA, 146 ERA+, 2.58 FIP
I really wanted to include Bret Saberhagen's awesome 1994 strike-shortened season (he posted a ridiculous 11.00 K/BB), but Cone's season wins out. Cone was a strikeout machine early in his career, and is still the Mets all-time leader in K/9.
9. Al Leiter, 1998
193 IP, 2.47 ERA, 170 ERA+, 3.15 FIP
Leiter's first season with the Mets was his best. He might be higher on the list if he pitched more innings.
8. Johan Santana, 2008
234.1 IP, 2.53 ERA, 166 ERA+, 3.51 FIP
As I've covered elsewhere, Santana was a bit lucky in 2008. However, he led the league in IP and ERA and pitched one of the best games in Mets history on Sept. 27, 2008.
7. Jon Matlack, 1974
265.1 IP, 2.41 ERA, 149 ERA+, 2.42 FIP
Matlack is one of the most underappreciated Met pitchers ever. The big lefty easily could have had multiple seasons on this list. He won the Rookie of the Year Award in 1972 and was a big part of the Mets run to the 1973 World Series.
6. Tom Seaver, 1969
273.1 IP, 2.21 ERA, 165 ERA+, 3.11 FIP
Entries 4 through 6 are pretty interchangeable here, but I put Seaver behind Gooden and Jerry Koosman because of his FIP. That 1969 Mets pitching staff was ridiculously good.
5. Dwight Gooden, 1984
218 IP, 2.60 ERA, 137 ERA+, 1.69 FIP
Darryl Strawberry and Gooden won back-to-back Rookie of the Year Awards in 1983 and 1984. Gooden should have won the Cy Young Award in 1984 as well, but he would more than make up for it in 1985. His ERA would have been better in 1984, if not for a somewhat unlucky .313 BABIP.
4. Jerry Koosman, 1969
241 IP, 2.28 ERA, 160 ERA+, 2.67 FIP
In Mets history, Koosman is 2nd in IP, 2nd in complete games, and 2nd in shutouts. One guess who is 1st in those categories.
3. Tom Seaver, 1973
290 IP, 2.08 ERA, 175 ERA+, 2.57 FIP
Bill James once said there is an argument that Seaver should be regarded as the best pitcher of all-time. That may be a stretch, but he was incredible. He still holds the distinction of receiving the highest % of Hall of Fame votes, being named on 98.84% of ballots.
2. Tom Seaver, 1971
286.1 IP, 1.76 ERA, 193 ERA+, 1.93 FIP
See entry #3.
1. Dwight Gooden, 1985
276.2 IP, 1.53 ERA, 228 ERA+, 2.13 FIP
I think few could argue that this isn't the best single season in the history of Mets starting pitchers. Doc's numbers in 1984 and 1985 are just mind-blowing, and I wish the Mets could have limited his IP in those early years. That was a different era though. Hopefully Doc can keep himself on the straight and narrow, and make some Citi Field/SNY appearances as Strawberry has.
Honorable Mention: Bret Saberhagen - 1994; Pedro Martinez - 2005; Seaver - 1968, 1970, 1975, 1976; Koosman - 1968, 1976; Matlack - 1972; Craig Swan - 1978; Frank Viola - 1990; Sid Fernandez - 1992; Rick Reed - 1997; Mike Hampton - 2000