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2/2/2010-10:05am at 10:05 am (UTC -4)
Sorry for hijacking the first comment with this… Buster Olney’s Article for today.
Perez tops list of key No. 2 starters
Tuesday, February 2, 2010 | Feedback | Print Entry
The expectation within the Mets’ organization is that the team has finished its winter spending, and this would seem to be confirmed by their reluctance to entertain an offer from catcher Yorvit Torrealba to play for the Mets on a one-year deal. Torrealba has a one-year offer from the Padres, but would rather play for the Mets — but the Mets apparently have turned off the faucet.
Behind Santana and Perez is a list of guys such as Mike Pelfrey (pictured) — which just makes consistency from Perez that much more vital.
Unless that spigot opens and the money flows again, the pre-camp 2010 Mets are in place. And what that means is that rotation candidates for the Mets behind Johan Santana are, in no particular order, John Maine, Mike Pelfrey, Jonathon Niese, Fernando Nieve, Josh Fogg and Oliver Perez.
You look at the makeup of that group, and you consider the strength of the Phillies; the possible improvement of the Braves, with the return of Tim Hudson and the impending midseason ascension of Jason Heyward; the fact that the Marlins compete every year no matter what the makeup of their roster is; the additions made by the Nationals. And you reach this conclusion: Oliver Perez must have a good season in order for the Mets to have a chance to be successful this year.
Perez, of course, was arguably the worst dollar-for-production pitcher in the majors last year, posting a 6.82 ERA, walking 58 in 66 innings, in the first year of a three-year, $36 million deal. But he has zigged and zagged in his career before. After going 12-10 with a 2.99 ERA in 2004, with 239 strikeouts in 196 innings, he collapsed to a 6.55 ERA in 2006, and then rebounded to go 15-10 with a 3.56 ERA in 2007.
By all accounts, he is in much better condition this spring, at least giving himself a chance to rebound; he looks good. And given that the Mets lost out in the Joel Pineiro bidding — he wanted to sign with New York and thought, in early January, that this was where he was going to land — and the bidding for Ben Sheets, Perez’s success or failure could be a barometer for how the team fares in 2010. The Mets need a strong No. 2 performance behind Santana, and that seemingly must come from Perez, who is the one other starter that the Mets have who is capable of consistently missing bats.
(Some good news for the Mets: Jose Reyes looks great, as Kevin Kernan writes.)
Some other starting pitchers who must play strong supporting cast roles, given the makeup of their respective teams:
1. Hiroki Kuroda and Chad Billingsley. Clayton Kershaw is the Dodgers’ ace, in effect, and given the questions at the end of the rotation for Los Angeles, there is very little margin for error in this group of starters. If Billingsley were to suffer another injury — and scouts believe he is susceptible to this, because of the nature of his delivery, with his stiff front leg — or if Kuroda were to languish, the Dodgers could struggle to find any suitable production, given the team’s current financial situation.
2. Randy Wolf, Brewers. Milwaukee’s three-year commitment to Wolf raised some eyebrows within the industry, but GM Doug Melvin gave Wolf that deal knowing the importance of building some depth behind Yovanni Gallardo in the Milwaukee rotation. The Brewers finished dead last in starters’ ERA last season, and if that is going to get turned around, Wolf must have the same kind of season for Milwaukee that he had for the Dodgers last year.
3. Hudson, Braves. Atlanta took a calculated gamble by trading Javier Vazquez, who is coming off an excellent season, to clear some payroll room. The Braves’ thinking is that Hudson is ready to step into the rotation, and with Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson, gives Atlanta a strong 1-2-3. If Hudson and Derek Lowe struggle, Atlanta might not have enough lineup depth to cover the failings in the rotation. Hudson expects big things from himself in 2010, writes David O’Brien.
4. Rich Harden, Texas. The Rangers have some excellent young pitchers on the rise, from Derek Holland to Tommy Hunter to Neftali Feliz. But they need Harden and Scott Feldman to help provide a foundation of production to take pressure off those young guys — and Harden hasn’t thrown 150 innings since 2004. We’ll see how it turns out.
5. Jered Weaver, Angels. John Lackey is gone, and while the Angels have decent depth and have improved their bullpen, they probably cannot win in the AL West if Weaver were to have a mediocre season. Weaver pitched well in 2009, going 16-8 with a 3.75 ERA.
6. John Danks and Gavin Floyd, White Sox. They were difference-makers in 2008, when the White Sox made the playoffs, and if they have good seasons in 2010, Chicago could have an excellent rotation, with Danks and Floyd serving in support roles behind veterans Mark Buehrle and Jake Peavy. Floyd’s ERA in the second half of the year last season was almost a run lower, and Danks was consistent.
7. Cole Hamels, Philadelphia. He had a strange season, coming off his remarkable 2008 performance, and the Phillies need him to bounce back and become a consistent No. 2 behind Roy Halladay. I’m hearing that he has a nice competitive chip on his shoulder, as he prepares for the season; I’d guess that he is going to have a big season.
8. Kyle Lohse, Cardinals. With Joel Pineiro gone and the No. 5 spot in the rotation up for grabs, Lohse needs to be a stabilizer, after going 6-10 with a 4.74 ERA in 2009. His numbers after the All-Star break were 2-5, 5.27 ERA.
9. Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks. If he bounces back to become something close to what he was before his shoulder surgery, Arizona could have a strong and deep rotation, with Webb, Dan Haren and Edwin Jackson filling out the No. 1-2-3. If Webb struggles, the D-Backs probably won’t be good enough.
2/2/2010-10:17am at 10:17 am (UTC -4)
So Olney made a fuss yesterday about money, and now basically recants.
“Unless that spigot opens and the money flows again, the pre-camp 2010 Mets are in place.”
Unless they spend more money they’re done spending? Well..duh.
2/2/2010-10:20am at 10:20 am (UTC -4)
And even if the spigot does open, what is it going to buy?
2/2/2010-10:36am at 10:36 am (UTC -4)
Not only that but he still spews garbage in the fact that some how the money is closed because the Mets don’t want another backup catcher? LOL>
2/2/2010-10:23am at 10:23 am (UTC -4)
other than the silliness about the “faucet”, a reasonable piece on the Mets. ANd it also points out how weak the #2s are on a bunch of other teams (nincluding much of the competition for the NL WC). Randy Wolf?
I also love the Braves counting on Hudson (“the possible improvement of the Braves, with the return of Tim Hudson”). Yeah no risk there.
2/2/2010-10:31am at 10:31 am (UTC -4)
Yea it was a fair piece. May seem obvious to many of us, but not to a national crowd. It was also good to see the other teams staffs laid out. There has been so much focus on our SP weakness, seeing the other staffs show that many teams are in the same boat and the Mots can be competitive. It’s just tough when 2 of the better staffs in the league are in our division.
2/2/2010-10:48am at 10:48 am (UTC -4)
I’m not sure 2 of the better staffs are in our division. Hamels is as much a question mark as any of the Mets pitchers and the rest of the guys are average at best. Happ is too much a newbie to annoint anything.
The same for Hanson. One year does not mean much.
2/2/2010-11:00am at 11:00 am (UTC -4)
hamels was off last year, but he is still probably better than the Mets guys, and at least IMO less of a question mark.
Hanson, he is good (had him on my fantasy team). Hopefully for the Mets, he has a traditional sophmore slump this year.
heck, just like the Mets ?s, it is not unreasonable for the Braves to get a sophmore slump from Hanson, continued decline from an aging Lowe, and Hudson back on the DL. Leaving Jar Jar, Kamikazee, and who knows what.
hey, could happen, just like the Mets rotation could get hinky.
2/2/2010-11:13am at 11:13 am (UTC -4)
yeah. I mean, Hamels is less than a question mark because he just sucked, and wasn’t injured like Maine and Perez, but I dont’ think just because he’s whiny and has a ‘chip on his shoulder’ means he’s going to bounce back. Plus he’s managed to skip facing the Mets so many times that I no longer believe it’s just a coincidence.
I would rather have a Off Hamel than an On Ollie. He just grinds it out and doesn’t mentally give up when things aren’t going well.
2/2/2010-11:31am at 11:31 am (UTC -4)
Agree about Ollie.
But after watching Hamels in the Post Season I’m not too sure he’s any more mature or tough than Ollie.
I’ll give him a pass on the less than stellar performance the day his wife was in labor. Can’t fault his concentration problem that day.
But I believe it was the next game he pitched where he had that mini meltdown b/c of the errors behind him. He actually turned around with his hands on his hips glaring at his team mates. Come on, you don’t show up your team mates like that in public.
I’m less convinced he’ll have a bounce back year. I believe he’s got good talent but don’t believe that ‘chip’ on his shoulder translates to mental toughness. He didn’t handle it well when things didn’t go his way last year and I think the jury is still out if he will this year. He also needs to an third ‘out’ pitch as well.
2/2/2010-10:37am at 10:37 am (UTC -4)
I would say that the Braves are NOT counting on Hudson to return to a #2 at all. To me he is their #4. Jar Jar has proven to be the #2 and Hanson certainly looks the part of a solid #3.
2/2/2010-10:43am at 10:43 am (UTC -4)
I misread that at first. He was talking about the Mets needing someone (ollie) to step in at the 2 hole, but the other teams it was just random guys lin the rotation (like Hudson and Lohse) that were important to the team (or question marks)
2/2/2010-10:52am at 10:52 am (UTC -4)
Yea Hudson is as much of a ? as Ollie and Maine.
2/2/2010-10:16am at 10:16 am (UTC -4)
I still love how he makes the leap from “Mets not interested in another mediocre BU catcher” to “the faucet is turned off and the Mets must be broke”.
2/2/2010-10:38am at 10:38 am (UTC -4)
2/2/2010-10:22am at 10:22 am (UTC -4)
Oh, and better start producing those “I like Ike” T-shirts and pins. If things pan out as we hope, that could be a money maker.
Speaking of Money.. I haven’t done the exact math, but all the raises aside, is it me or have the Mets reduced their payroll in 2010 (IF there are no more major trades/signings)?
Don’t have time to look into it, but if my back of the envelope calculation is right, Mets reduced their payroll going into 2010 season. Can someone verify that?
2/2/2010-10:25am at 10:25 am (UTC -4)
it certainly seems like that, but maybe TRS has kept track of the various raises.
But clearing wagner, schneider and Delgado and adding Bey is certainly a net gain.
Pelf also dropped a couple million.
2/2/2010-10:30am at 10:30 am (UTC -4)
Pelf went from $5M to $500k. And Bay’s only getting paid $8.6M in 2010.
I really think the Mets game plan going into this offseason was to reduce payroll as a result of Madoff incident.
Bay is getting a big time signing bonus though.
Even with that, it won’t offset the reduction in payroll from Delgado, Wagner, Schneider, etc.
2/2/2010-10:46am at 10:46 am (UTC -4)
also have to account for Santana, Reyes and Wright getting raises (built in their contracts). Not sure about Beltran. And at least Frenchy and Feliciano got arbitration raises.
2/2/2010-10:58am at 10:58 am (UTC -4)
If you take Pelf’s salary in ’09 + Schneider’s salary, that would be about $10M which would easily cover the raises
2/2/2010-10:56am at 10:56 am (UTC -4)
There have been many reports that suggest the Mets actually made money from the Madoff era. It does look like payroll has gone down and I am sure there are more reasons than we can come up with. Cost of new stadium, lost ticket/advertising/tv rating revenue due to last seasons down year, planning for ticket price reduction this year.
2/2/2010-10:29am at 10:29 am (UTC -4)
I can’t verify it but I know I just recently saw somewhere that we’re sitting right now about 20 MIL less than we were last season.
2/2/2010-10:32am at 10:32 am (UTC -4)
And we can’t go after Yorvy because the faucet is dried up?
Something doesn’t make sense here. Either the Mets didn’t have the money to spend to begin with OR there’s no valuable guys to spend money on. IMO it’s the former…
I agree with the statement that something doesn’t make sense. But I disagree with your opinion. I don’t believe they didn’t have the money to spend to begin with. I believe they just chose not to spend it for the sake of spending it. I.E., if they couldn’t get who they wanted with the deal they wanted, they weren’t going to pull the trigger.
If I’m not mistaken Wilpon said going into the off season that Omar would have the budget he needed to improve this team. Doesn’t remotely sound like we went in to the off season with the intent of lowering payroll.
2/2/2010-10:39am at 10:39 am (UTC -4)
Agreed, why would they court Molina, Pineiro, etc if they did not have money for Torby?
By my previous calculations it’s around $13MM less. (give or take a couple mil)
2/2/2010-10:40am at 10:40 am (UTC -4)
That sounds about right. I have not done any calculations yet but also remember that the Mets slightly increased their payroll last year to off-set Wagner being out the season. The 139 that they opened with included 10M in dead weight. To basically right now they have not replaced Wagner’s money.
2/2/2010-10:44am at 10:44 am (UTC -4)
so just enough to pick up a salary dump like Harang (now or mid-season).
2/2/2010-11:05am at 11:05 am (UTC -4)
Cot’s contract 2010 Payroll Obligations Spreadsheet.
2/2/2010-11:11am at 11:11 am (UTC -4)
And last year was 138mil?
2/2/2010-11:16am at 11:16 am (UTC -4)
Except that number doesn’t include around 10 players who will make a $4-6 million total this season.
2/2/2010-11:39am at 11:39 am (UTC -4)
Correct, but that would still put the Mets payroll 126 which is about $12-13M reduction from 2009.
Hey Ben Sheets!! Where are you~?
2/2/2010-11:56am at 11:56 am (UTC -4)
Scrubs and Pagan.
2/2/2010-11:19am at 11:19 am (UTC -4)
So it appears the re-tooling of our team is about over!?
I would really like to know what Met fan thought that by only
really replacing Delgado’s bat with Bay’s would be about it
AND enough to make this team a serious contender again??
Looks like the sum of our off-season was re-signing Cora and
Tatis, signing Blanco and Escobar,who hasn’t Pitched in two
years and hasn’t relieved in eight AND of course trading for
Gary Matthews Juicer.
Do Omar and The Wilpons really think this is an improvement??
2/2/2010-11:27am at 11:27 am (UTC -4)
If Jose, Wright, Johan, Ollie, and Maine all start off the season healthy, do you think the team will be improved?
The team WAS very close to first last year before injuries overwhelmed it.
And I still say, the outright lies spewed by the comical Olney notwithstanding, that the team chose to save money for midseason pickups rather than overspend on crap like Marquis and Pineiro and even Molina. Good for them.
2/2/2010-11:34am at 11:34 am (UTC -4)
Agreed. They are getting way too much heat for what they didn’t do and not enough credit for what they did and didn’t do.
yup. Oh, they also added the Japanese RP (Toyota? But I heard when he starts running, you can’t get him to stop!)
People really have been overlooking the ridiculous amount of talent coming back. From the team that ended the season, they are adding a rehabbed Maine, Ollie (love him or hate him!), Johan, Reyes, and in (hopefully) May, Beltran.
and considering what they “traded” for them (valdez, Misch, Redding, etc.), I think they should be considered as the team “most upgraded” this off season.
It at least puts them back to where they were before the injuries really crushed them, which is at or around 1st place in the division, and leading the wildcard race.
2/2/2010-11:44am at 11:44 am (UTC -4)
Agreed, co-pilot of the Stealth Fighter of Positiviality.
Have you seen the YouTube footage of Igarashi? He throws in the 90s, has excellent movement, and his control has improved since surgery.
He could be the best Asian Met player since….since….well, he could be a good Asian Met player.
2/2/2010-11:54am at 11:54 am (UTC -4)
Yeah, he looked great!…………
Striking out…LARRY BIGBIE!
I seem to recall Kaz Matsui being hailed as the best Shortstop in
Japan and a sure thing here in
….Got here and turned into Ron Gardenhire!
2/2/2010-12:07pm at 12:07 pm (UTC -4)
Well, he was a hell of a lot better than Ron Gardenhire….not that that is saying much though!
2/2/2010-11:46am at 11:46 am (UTC -4)
REALLY?!…So Johan coming off surgery
will be the Johan of the second half of ’08? & Ollie and Maine will turn the
clock back to ’07 and Win 30gms between
them? And Bay will replace the 38hrs/115rbi
Delgado gave us at his best?
And Reyes will be the same dynamic player
he was,provided of course he stays healthy?
And KRod will be the KRod of the 1st half and not the 2nd half when he looked alot
like a Pitcher who was just used too much
the past few yrs? AND, if all these things
happen AND Jerry shows he’s not worse than
Willie, we do what? play real well for 4 or
5 months, then fade in August and/or September?…Like in ’07&’08!
So you all felt back in September or October all we needed was to replace
Delgado with Bay and we’ll be a Second Place team again??…REALLY?!…Is that
what you all believed?…Because I don’t
remember reading much of THAT.
O.K. fongy – here goes my thoughts on your ??s:
– Yes to Johan.
– Yes to Maine.
– Yes to Bay.
– Yes, yes and yes to Reyes.
– Yes to Krod, despite what most Met fans seem to believe right now.
– No and no to Jerry. The boys will have to rise to the challenge despite Jerry being at the helm.
- No to the mindset of thinking back in Oct all we needed was to replace Delgado with Bay. The one glaring need other than a good bat to me was a good #2 or at least a strong #3. We didn’t get it. I wanted Lackey. Don’t think Lackey had any interest in coming to NY, for whatever the reason.
So now the SP we have, with the BP, will need to step up first half of the season and keep us in contention. Here’s hoping we can add a good veteran pitcher come mid season.
2/2/2010-12:11pm at 12:11 pm (UTC -4)
Have I told you lately how glad I am that you are here??
2/2/2010-12:24pm at 12:24 pm (UTC -4)
LOL – I’m heading up the Mets off season cheerleading squad.
Let’s Go – Let’s Go Mets!
2/2/2010-11:59am at 11:59 am (UTC -4)
Johan was coming off surgery then too. LOL.
Nope Fongy we will suck and be 4th place. The same team that was in 1st last year in late May and within 1 game in July will suck. There, no more to debate.
2/2/2010-11:43am at 11:43 am (UTC -4)
But what guarantees do you have that these guys will remain healthy? You can easily assume that Ollie and Maine will have no more than 320IP in 2010. Plus, you have Beltran missing 1-2 months. And I doubt Reyes will play the full 162 games (I’m assuming more like 150 games IF he stays healthy).
Plus, who knows what will happen with this medical staff?
Sure, this team will be better than 72 wins, but I don’t know if the Mets are any better than 3 other teams in NL East.
2/2/2010-11:49am at 11:49 am (UTC -4)
Well, no team has any guarantees that anyone stays healthy….
I see where your thought is on health though. And you’ve got a point, there are no guarantees. Beltran aside, I do believe they’ve done just about all they can in the off season to get their guys healthy. Whether it was Cora/Frenchie getting their finger ligaments operated on in Oct., shutting Johan down early and getting his tune up surgery done, FINALLY getting Reyes the surgery he needed early enough to be ready for ST and Ollie ‘volunteering’ for sports boot camp to make sure he at least starts the season in far better shape than he did last year.
As far as keeping them healthy? All on the Mets medical staff and trainers now. And god help us with that one….
I have zero guarantees.
It is February, I love baseball and the Mets, and why on Earth would I be pessimistic right at this moment, especially when every report thus far has said Reyes, Johan, and Ollie look great?
They must REALLY look great, or, considering the inane anti-Met festival the national press has been enjoying for months now, if Ollie was 3 ounces overweight or if Johan grimaced once, we would be reading stories about how they were headed to the Mayo Clinic.
2/2/2010-12:27pm at 12:27 pm (UTC -4)
I am just as excited that it’s February and we are only couple weeks away from the ST! I can’t wait! And I can’t wait for the weather to warm up too!
But having said that, the Mets looked good and promising in last year too. We had very high hopes on Pelf (and some of us labeled him as the #2-3 quality pitcher, myself included). We also had high hopes on Murphy that he will hit .300 15-20HRs and 35-40 Doubles. I don’t know I’m being too pessimistic here (probably), but I don’t think Pelf is a #2-3 quality pitcher and Murphy will hit .300.
My point is that our hopes were great going into last season and was crushed by June. So perhaps I should lower my expectation going into the season.
AND don’t forget the Phillies had Cole Hamels as their ace going into ’09 season. Now they have Halladay AND Hamels. That alone should put them favorites for NL East. Mets on the other hand, haven’t improved much with respect to where the Phillies are.
2/2/2010-11:51am at 11:51 am (UTC -4)
Agreed! And although I’ve posted over and over…No one seems to be able to answer a simple Question…Lets say Johan comes back fully, gives us 32GS and 210IPs
AND Pelf returns to ’08 w/32GS and 210IPs,
EVEN IF Ollie and Maine return close to
2007 form (and thats a long time ago)…
We get what?..350/360IPs out of them b/c of
their high pitch count(again,even when going well)…PLUS a HUGE question about
whos The #5…IS THIS BULLPEN GOOD ENOUGH
to give us 500 QUALITY innings????
2/2/2010-12:00pm at 12:00 pm (UTC -4)
Fongy, if we get those numbers from Johan and Pelfrey then Maine and Ollie return to 2007 form we will win the damn NL East forget being competitive.
2/2/2010-12:04pm at 12:04 pm (UTC -4)
Didn’t happen in ’07 or ’08.
In case you forgot.
Yup, sure did. Of course this bullpen is much better than the 2007 one. As long as we are comparing, Delgado was terrible in 2007 as well.
2/2/2010-11:52am at 11:52 am (UTC -4)
There are no guarantees for ANY team. No one could have predicted what happened to the Mets last year and no one knows what will happen to any team this year.
2/2/2010-12:28pm at 12:28 pm (UTC -4)
That’s true. But going into this season with all the injuries last year, I don’t know if I can be as confident as I was last year. I am more skeptical that this team will stay healthy than I was before ’09 season.
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