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   1. Dan Posted: June 08, 2012 at 08:16 AM (#4151454)
Dickey's BB/9 and SO/BB are more impressive to me than his strikeout rate taken alone. Watching him pitch, he seems to be commanding the knuckleball in a way that I never remember Wakefield doing. His BB/9 is 2.1 and his SO/BB is 4.11!
   2. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: June 08, 2012 at 08:30 AM (#4151459)
More pitchers should definitely put in the effort to teach themselves the knuckleball, especially when they start getting older.
   3. Rants Mulliniks Posted: June 08, 2012 at 08:37 AM (#4151464)
More pitchers should definitely put in the effort to teach themselves the knuckleball


Damn straight, its a wonder Moyer hasn't tried that in his obvious desperation.

Dickey's success makes me happy, partially because we're probably related way back (my name is Dickie, and I heard once that the alternate spellings arose to identify the opposite political views of a branch of the family).
   4. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: June 08, 2012 at 10:13 AM (#4151513)
And 24 consecutive scoreless innings.
   5. Dan Posted: June 08, 2012 at 10:22 AM (#4151518)
Dickey's striking out over four times as many guys as he walks while throwing over 80% knuckleballs. That's just insane. The best SO/BB that Wakefield ever posted was 2.63 in 2002.
   6. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: June 08, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4151522)
I've been meaning to look this up (the k/9 record for a knuckleballer) ... what's the record when you control for league K rate?

2: Easier said then done, of course. How many knuckleballers, regardless of when they started using the pitch professionally, hadn't spent years messing with it in their spare time?

Hey Chris - long time, no see...
   7. Johnny Slick Posted: June 08, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4151524)
The problem with the knuckleball is that you have to train yourself to use it, individually, for a pretty long time. That's why most of the time you only see guys whose other pitches are just not cutting it or who can't throw them for other reasons turning to it. Bouton is a pretty good example of this, as he literally bounced out of the major leagues before turning to the knuckler full-time.

The other thing, of course, is that if you throw the knuckler and you get bombed, everyone thinks you look like a Little Leaguer out there, whereas if you throw a 91 mph fastball with no movement and get bombed people just say "hey look, Blake Beavan".

Anyway, I wish the M's had kept him... he might be my favorite non-Mariner right now (and I will always consider Jamie Moyer a Mariner no matter what uniform he's currently wearing).
   8. PreservedFish Posted: June 08, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4151526)
I wasn't alive in the golden age of knuckleballing, but my impression is that the usual thing to do is just toss it down the middle and hope it does something funny.

Dickey has really brought his pitch to a whole new level, to a point where it's almost silly to just say that he throws "a knuckleball." He varies his speed from 60 mph to 80 mph, and varies arm angles, and by god sometimes it looks like he can tell it what to do. He threw one high 80 mph knuckleball last night that cruised about a foot inside, towards the lefty batter's armpits (a bad swing and miss), and it looked a hell of a lot more like a Sergio Romo slider than it did any knuckleball.

And it's not just the great results: a NY Times post-game wrap up from two starts ago said that he has only recently had a series of minor revelations about the pitch. I'll take that as at least a bit of evidence that regression is not a foregone conclusion.

   9. PreservedFish Posted: June 08, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4151536)
One thing about Dickey is that he throws the knuckleball so hard (it's got less MPH difference vs his fastball than most changeups do, I think) that I don't think he has the ability to just throw a million pitches whenever he wants to. The Mets haven't used him as anything but a normal starter with normal endurance, and that might be exactly what he is.

   10. The District Attorney Posted: June 08, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4151546)
Neyer on whether this is the best four consecutive starts by a knuckleballer (answer: no, but close.)

Also perhaps trying out for Grantland and failing.
His strikeout-to-walk ratio is crazier than the Joker and Selina Kyle's love-child.
Yeesh.
   11. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: June 08, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4151599)
9: I was also wondering if we could break out Chris's list in those who threw "hard knucklers" versus those who didn't (I can't help here - though that might be in Neyer/James.)
   12. SandyRiver Posted: June 08, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4151677)
I've been meaning to look this up (the k/9 record for a knuckleballer) ... what's the record when you control for league K rate?

For "full time" knuckleballers, I think Wilhelm might do the best here (unless Cicotte was FT, which I doubt.)
   13. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: June 08, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4151892)
I pulled this from BBRef, so it ought to be easily done from BBRef. I'm tied up, so it'll be a day or two before. That ratio is pretty significant. The next BABIP question is how many outs is he getting 1-3 and IF popups.
   14. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: June 08, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4151893)
Nice to be back, Der K.
   15. Elvis Posted: June 08, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4151917)
It's interesting that Bouton's career high in K/9 came as a knuckleball pitcher. In his 21-win season, he had a 5.3 K/9. That year ('63) the AL K/9 was 5.8

In '69 when Bouton had the 7.3 K/9 he spent time in both leagues. The AL had a 5.6 K/9 while the NL had a 6.0 rate.

Also, I understand you used a 100 IP cutoff but that gives us guys like Bouton, who were multi-inning relievers and 2001 Wakefield, who was used as a swingman. There wasn't much difference in K rate for Wakefield that year but I'd prefer the comparison to be guys who started the majority of the year, like Dickey will in 2012.
   16. joker24 Posted: June 09, 2012 at 07:20 PM (#4152651)
You'd think some regular pitchers could get good enough at a knuckleball to mix in a couple times a game.
   17. Dan Posted: June 10, 2012 at 07:36 AM (#4152842)
You'd think some regular pitchers could get good enough at a knuckleball to mix in a couple times a game.


It's really hard to throw an effective knuckleball from a conventional delivery.
   18. AJMcCringleberry Posted: June 10, 2012 at 07:44 AM (#4152843)
Didn't Smoltz throw a knuckleball on occasion?
   19. Dan Posted: June 10, 2012 at 07:57 AM (#4152845)
I think he tried to throw one when his elbow was barking too badly to throw his slider.
   20. Sunday silence Posted: June 13, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4155547)
Bouton is a pretty good example of this, as he literally bounced out of the major leagues


No he didnt literally "bounce out" of the majors any more than:

"Herschel walker literally ran himself into the headlines." Or:

"Camden Yards was literally exploding with Home Runs last night."

[end pedantic rant]
   21. thetailor Posted: June 13, 2012 at 11:59 PM (#4156313)
So much for regression. RA DICKEY FTW!
   22. shoewizard Posted: June 14, 2012 at 04:17 AM (#4156422)
Is Wilhelm's season high "K+" about equal to Dickey's ? I bet it's close.
   23. baudib Posted: June 14, 2012 at 04:31 AM (#4156423)
I seem to remember that Phil and Joe Niekro and Tom Candiotti threw other pitches on occasion, like when they needed a strike.

I also think Joe threw a harder knuckler than Phil.

Joe also got caught with an emery board in his glove or some incident like that.

   24. Srul Itza Posted: June 18, 2012 at 09:01 PM (#4160589)
June 18 -- RA Dickey through 8IP: 99 pitches, 1 hit, 0 runs, 2BB, 11K
   25. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: June 18, 2012 at 09:04 PM (#4160592)
This is getting ridiculous.
   26. Darren Posted: June 18, 2012 at 09:18 PM (#4160603)
This is getting awesome.
   27. Srul Itza Posted: June 18, 2012 at 09:19 PM (#4160606)
Complete game 1-hit shut out, 2 walks, 13 Ks.
   28. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: June 18, 2012 at 09:20 PM (#4160609)
13 K shutout, #######! And my fantasy team rejoices.
   29. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: June 18, 2012 at 09:26 PM (#4160620)
DICKSANITY!...hmm, doesn't work as well. never mind. back to the drawing board
   30. Banta Posted: June 18, 2012 at 09:28 PM (#4160621)
Pretty sure all of this is impossible.
   31. Kiko Sakata Posted: June 18, 2012 at 09:40 PM (#4160630)
(from June 8th) Neyer on whether this is the best four consecutive starts by a knuckleballer (answer: no, but close.)


Do you think back-to-back one-hitters AFTER this might change the answer now?
   32. Srul Itza Posted: June 18, 2012 at 09:49 PM (#4160646)
Do you think back-to-back one-hitters AFTER this might change the answer now?

Last 4 games -- 34.333 IP, 0 ER, 42K, 4 BB. The only "blemish is 13 hits, because he allowed 7 hits in his first shut out.
   33. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: June 18, 2012 at 09:56 PM (#4160648)
Dickey has more strikeouts than baserunners allowed so far this season. That's amazing. David Wright and Nickeas must feel like crap considering the only run he has allowed in his last four starts was on an error and two passed balls.
   34. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: June 20, 2012 at 08:33 PM (#4162378)
I didn't want to say anything, but RA and I got together on April 22, and well, since then...
   35. PreservedFish Posted: June 30, 2012 at 01:26 AM (#4169967)
8 innings, 3 hits, 1 BB, 10 Ks. League leading 12 Wins. RA Dickey must start the all-star game, right?
   36. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: June 30, 2012 at 10:40 AM (#4170019)
He's certainly the best choice. Incredible to be second in Ks behind just Strasburg in the NL.
   37. formerly dp Posted: June 30, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4170027)
8 innings, 3 hits, 1 BB, 10 Ks. League leading 12 Wins. RA Dickey must start the all-star game, right?

We'll need another 5 or 6 seasons before we can say if he's for real or not.

I was happy to see him lifted after 8 last night, no reason to ride him harder than they have to, especially while they're still pretending to be in the race.

OT: I knew Flores got promoted to AA, but didn't realize they're trying him at 2B. This could be huge, and also looks like a sign that they'll try to keep Wright around.
   38. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: June 30, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4170069)
The revelations that Flores can hit and that Nimmo cannot are two of the biggest minor league developments of this season.
   39. The District Attorney Posted: June 30, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4170154)
Another revelation:
the name of the bat I have been using is Herugrim, the sword of the great Theoden from LOTR.
   40. RobertMachemer Posted: June 30, 2012 at 11:28 PM (#4170312)
Was Theoden that great? A lesser son of greater sires to my mind, and that's before getting into contemporary historians' views of the House of Eorl...

(Honestly, I had no memory that Theoden's sword was named in the books, and I'd like to think that I remember the books fairly well).
   41. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: July 01, 2012 at 02:03 AM (#4170415)
He aaks for it by name aftwr gandolf breaks the spell..
   42. formerly dp Posted: July 01, 2012 at 10:12 AM (#4170442)
The revelations that Flores can hit and that Nimmo cannot are two of the biggest minor league developments of this season.

Wait, what? Nimmo's played 12 games for Brooklyn, hardly enough to draw conclusions from. Am I missing something? I doubt he finishes the season with a .200/.407/.325 line.

Flores is up to .369/.409/.526 through 10 games at AA. FWIW, on the SNY broadcast they identified Flores and Den Dekker as the two most significant developments from the Met minor leagues in the first half. Den Dekker's struggled since getting to Buffalo, but his 2012 line still looks good overall-- .309/.362/.543, some steals but not at a great percentage. If he hits in the second half, it's a very strong possibility Bay's on the bench in 2013 with Kirk, Den Dekker, and Duda as the Mets OF (all lefties, so two of Bay/Hairston/Torres could still be useful).
   43. PreservedFish Posted: July 01, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4170465)
Yeah, I don't get either of those revelations. Nimmo's sample is ludicrously small, but even within it you've got a guy with a boffo 13/10 K/BB ratio and a corresponding .400 OBP despite a terrible BABIP. On Flores, his performance has been good, but he hasn't exactly rescued his standing after three years of free fall.

Den Dekker is supposed to be a superlative centerfielder. He's old but he's moved quickly and his career minor league numbers are .288/.352/.487. At this point he kind of looks like Nieuwenhuis, but an even better defender. I like having guys like this in the system. Same with Valdespin, Satin. None of them ever rank high on the prospect lists, but in years past the Mets have had very few of these sorts of players available to plug holes. Duda and Thole were guys like this. And when you amass a whole bunch of them, odds are that you find a good starter or two or three.

Zack Wheeler, meanwhile, is still pitching some outrageous baseball...
   44. formerly dp Posted: July 01, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4170467)
On Flores, his performance has been good, but he hasn't exactly rescued his standing after three years of free fall.

He's 20 (21 in August) having success in High-A and AA. What else what you like to see him do? Supposedly, this year he' being a lot more selective and waiting for pitches to drive, whereas last year he was swinging more freely, trying to make contact with everything. His walk totals from 2009 on were 22, 32, and 27; this year he's up to 22 already, while his strikeouts have stabilized. Like Marte, he has been young for his leagues and promoted pretty aggressively. It's tough to see him staying at 2B, but as long as Davis and Wright are still in the team's long-term plans, there's no where else for him to go except the OF corners.
   45. gay guy in cut-offs smoking the objective pipe Posted: July 01, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4170469)
He aaks for it by name aftwr gandolf breaks the spell..

Not quite. He asks for his sword, but it's actually Hama who gives its name after it's been unearthed in Wormtongue's quarters.
   46. PreservedFish Posted: July 01, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4170472)
He's 20 (21 in August) having success in High-A and AA. What else what you like to see him do?


Oh, I agree, it's a good thing. I'm not complaining.
   47. PreservedFish Posted: July 01, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4170483)
I guess I'd just characterize it as a good sign more than a "revelation."
   48. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 01, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4170491)
Zack Wheeler, meanwhile, is still pitching some outrageous baseball


Matt Harvey has been nearly as good at Triple-A.
   49. formerly dp Posted: July 01, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4170495)
I guess I'd just characterize it as a good sign more than a "revelation."

Yeah, that's probably overselling it. But if he has a good second half at AA and can handle 2B (the latter is far less likely than the former), that's one more realistic possibility for a long-term solution at 2B. By the end of 2013, the Mets could have an entirely homegrown lineup, with 3/5 of the rotation coming from the farm system as well. Of course, they're most of the way there already, with Torres/Hairston the only imports starting regularly.
   50. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: July 01, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4170501)
At what point should the Mets think about bolstering their team for a playoff run? The Mets are currently in a playoff spot.
   51. bobm Posted: July 01, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4170516)
[33] Dickey has more strikeouts than baserunners allowed so far this season. That's amazing. David Wright and Nickeas must feel like crap considering the only run he has allowed in his last four starts was on an error and two passed balls.


For single seasons, From 1901 to 2012, (requiring SO>baserunners_allow and Qualified for league ERA title), sorted by most recent date

                                                                                    
Rk              Player Year  SO  BR Age  Tm Lg  G GS  W  L W-L%    IP ERA+  OBP OPS+
1         Gio Gonzalez 2012 108 103  26 WSN NL 15 15 10  3 .769  90.2  142 .270   56
2          R.A. Dickey 2012 116 109  37 NYM NL 16 16 12  1 .923 113.0  176 .244   58
3    Stephen Strasburg 2012 122 107  23 WSN NL 16 16  9  3 .750  93.0  141 .281   69

4     Justin Verlander 2011 250 241  28 DET AL 34 34 24  5 .828 251.0  172 .242   51
5      Clayton Kershaw 2011 248 242  23 LAD NL 33 33 21  5 .808 233.1  163 .256   58

6         Tim Lincecum 2009 261 247  25 SFG NL 32 32 15  7 .682 225.1  171 .271   51
7       Javier Vazquez 2009 238 234  32 ATL NL 32 32 15 10 .600 219.1  143 .266   65

8          Erik Bedard 2007 221 206  28 BAL AL 28 28 13  5 .722 182.0  146 .278   61

9        Johan Santana 2006 245 244  27 MIN AL 34 34 19  6 .760 233.2  162 .258   59

10       Johan Santana 2005 238 234  26 MIN AL 33 33 16  7 .696 231.2  155 .250   55

11          Ben Sheets 2004 264 246  25 MIL NL 34 34 12 14 .462 237.0  162 .255   66
12       Randy Johnson 2004 290 243  40 ARI NL 35 35 16 14 .533 245.2  176 .241   44
13       Johan Santana 2004 265 223  25 MIN AL 34 34 20  6 .769 228.0  182 .249   45
14       Jason Schmidt 2004 251 249  31 SFG NL 32 32 18  7 .720 225.0  136 .272   57

15      Curt Schilling 2003 194 182  36 ARI NL 24 24  8  9 .471 168.0  159 .270   61

16      Curt Schilling 2002 316 259  35 ARI NL 36 35 23  7 .767 259.1  140 .251   57
17      Pedro Martinez 2002 239 210  30 BOS AL 30 30 20  4 .833 199.1  202 .254   47
18       Randy Johnson 2002 334 291  38 ARI NL 35 35 24  5 .828 260.0  195 .273   59

19      Curt Schilling 2001 293 283  34 ARI NL 35 35 22  6 .786 256.2  157 .273   71
20       Randy Johnson 2001 372 277  37 ARI NL 35 34 21  6 .778 249.2  188 .274   50

21      Pedro Martinez 2000 284 185  28 BOS AL 29 29 18  6 .750 217.0  291 .213   18
22       Randy Johnson 2000 347 296  36 ARI NL 35 35 19  7 .731 248.2  181 .288   63

23      Pedro Martinez 1999 313 218  27 BOS AL 31 29 23  4 .852 213.1  243 .248   35
24       Randy Johnson 1999 364 299  35 ARI NL 35 35 17  9 .654 271.2  184 .266   55

25          Kerry Wood 1998 233 218  21 CHC NL 26 26 13  6 .684 166.2  129 .306   68
26       Randy Johnson 1998 329 318  34 TOT ML 34 34 19 11 .633 244.1  135 .300   71

27       Randy Johnson 1997 291 242  33 SEA AL 30 29 20  4 .833 213.0  197 .277   56
28      Pedro Martinez 1997 305 248  25 MON NL 31 31 17  8 .680 241.1  219 .250   42
29      Curt Schilling 1997 319 277  30 PHI NL 35 35 17 11 .607 254.1  143 .271   71

30         John Smoltz 1996 276 270  29 ATL NL 35 35 24  8 .750 253.2  149 .260   56

31          Hideo Nomo 1995 236 219  26 LAD NL 28 28 13  6 .684 191.1  149 .270   56
32       Randy Johnson 1995 294 238  31 SEA AL 30 30 18  2 .900 214.1  193 .266   48

33       Randy Johnson 1993 308 307  29 SEA AL 35 34 19  8 .704 255.1  135 .290   64

34          Nolan Ryan 1991 203 181  44 TEX AL 27 27 12  6 .667 173.0  140 .263   53

35          Nolan Ryan 1990 232 226  43 TEX AL 30 30 13  9 .591 204.0  114 .267   65

36          Nolan Ryan 1989 301 281  42 TEX AL 32 32 16 10 .615 239.1  124 .275   56

37          Nolan Ryan 1987 270 251  40 HOU NL 34 34  8 16 .333 211.2  142 .284   60

38          Mike Scott 1986 306 264  31 HOU NL 37 37 18 10 .643 275.1  161 .242   53

39       Dwight Gooden 1984 276 243  19 NYM NL 31 31 17  9 .654 218.0  137 .269   59

40          Tom Seaver 1971 289 280  26 NYM NL 36 35 20 10 .667 286.1  194 .252   61

41          Luis Tiant 1968 264 236  27 CLE AL 34 32 21  9 .700 258.1  186 .233   56

42        Sandy Koufax 1965 382 310  29 LAD NL 43 41 26  8 .765 335.2  160 .227   52

43        Sandy Koufax 1964 223 219  28 LAD NL 29 28 19  5 .792 223.0  186 .240   55

44        Sandy Koufax 1963 306 290  27 LAD NL 40 40 25  5 .833 311.0  159 .230   54

45        Sandy Koufax 1962 216 204  26 LAD NL 28 26 14  7 .667 184.1  143 .261   57


Source: B-R PI
   52. PreservedFish Posted: July 01, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4170528)
At what point should the Mets think about bolstering their team for a playoff run? The Mets are currently in a playoff spot.


Yeah, I was wondering about this. I don't have an answer.

First of all, who do they need? A blockbuster starting pitcher would be nice, but other than that the only obvious place to tighten up is the bullpen. I'd like to have another good righty on the bench, someone to spell Davis and/or Duda, but that probably wouldn't be a major acquisition. I'd also like a real backup catcher, but again, not major.

The other important question is, are they for real? As noted by Cohen the other night, the run differential is now into the positive numbers and in fact the pythagorean record is only a game off the real pace. They're not benefiting from too many flukey performances - the big ones are from their stars, and they've had just as many flukey-bad players. Wright and Dickey could fall off their paces while Davis, Murphy, Thole and the bullpen start producing as they should. You don't need too much optimism to conclude that they are legit playoff competitors. And, gosh, with Dickey and Santana, that's a great start for a playoff team.

The Mets do have depth, if not a ton of quality, in a few places (middle infield, outfield, starting pitching), to make a move or two.
   53. formerly dp Posted: July 01, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4170532)
At what point should the Mets think about bolstering their team for a playoff run? The Mets are currently in a playoff spot.

I was just wondering the same thing-- where would they upgrade? The rotation seems pretty well set-- though he's far from dominant, I can't see them bumping Gee. They've got Bay coming back in LF, for whatever that's worth. Everyone else seems pretty well fixed in their roles. A week ago I would have said 2B, but Murphy's hitting again. The bullpen seems like the most obvious spot. Toronto was said to be shopping Oliver, but now they're back in the mix again. With all of the teams hovering around contention, the only strategy might be to wait until mid-to-late July to see how things look.

Part of me thinks that the flags fly forever attitude is what got us in this mess to begin with, so they should just play the hand they've got, hope Mejia can get it together, then count on Wheeler and Harvey to nail down late innings in September. All depends on the cost of an upgrade.

Edit: Coke to Preserved...
   54. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: July 01, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4170543)
Part of me thinks that the flags fly forever attitude is what got us in this mess to begin with,

Really? I always felt that Minaya's biggest flaw was that he didn't make the big deadline deal often enough. He made his deals in the off-season but a lot of those moves didn't cost the Mets a ton in prospects (Delgado, Santana). The Mets might have won the 2006 World Series if he had pulled the trigger on a Milledge-Zito deal that we would have all hated at the time.

Minaya signed some people to some bad contracts but that's the nature of the beast in free agency. Epstein has had his problems with that as well. That happens.

Seriously, who is the best player that Minaya traded away? Heath Bell, who was a 28 year old reliever with an 87 ERA+ at the time of the trade?

A week ago I would have said 2B, but Murphy's hitting again. The bullpen seems like the most obvious spot. Toronto was said to be shopping Oliver, but now they're back in the mix again. With all of the teams hovering around contention, the only strategy might be to wait until mid-to-late July to see how things look.

Duda is a good hitter but if you believe the defensive metrics he is below replacement and Murphy is a tad better than replacement. Do you waste a chance for the playoffs, with Dickey and Santana pitching like they are, to find out more information about whether or not Murphy can be an average second baseman? Duda is a first baseman/DH who is doing his best at a position that he really can't handle.

There's an argument about being aggressive and there's an argument for waiting things out. I'm not sure what the right answer is.
   55. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 01, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4170549)
Gee and Niese both have xFIPs below 3.50. Another starter would be really nice, and tightening up the bullpen would be really nice. But other than that, not really sure what they can do.
   56. formerly dp Posted: July 01, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4170560)
Duda is a good hitter but if you believe the defensive metrics he is below replacement and Murphy is a tad better than replacement. Do you waste a chance for the playoffs, with Dickey and Santana pitching like they are, to find out more information about whether or not Murphy can be an average second baseman? Duda is a first baseman/DH who is doing his best at a position that he really can't handle.

That's placing a lot of stock in defensive metrics. The player coming in to replace Duda/Murphy would have to be a clearly better one, and that's not going to come cheap, if it even exists.

The best bat on the market, if Toronto decides to punt (which they probably should, given the injuries to the starters), is Encarnacion, and I don't think anyone's confident about his ability to play the OF. Who's on the market at 2B?
   57. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: July 01, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4170564)
Gee and Niese both have xFIPs below 3.50. Another starter would be really nice, and tightening up the bullpen would be really nice. But other than that, not really sure what they can do.

Chris Young has been really good but would anyone bet on him staying healthy the rest of the season?
   58. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: July 01, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4170565)
I meant "revelations" in the sense that these things have been revealed - not that Wilmer's performance has been "revelational" in the biblical sense.

And obviously I'm being hasty with Nimmo. He hit a salami last night.
   59. formerly dp Posted: July 01, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4170581)
And obviously I'm being hasty with Nimmo. He hit a salami last night.

Yeah, the NYP league is just getting started. I'd give him a full season before drawing any conclusions.
   60. PreservedFish Posted: July 01, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4170658)
Duda is a good hitter but if you believe the defensive metrics he is below replacement and Murphy is a tad better than replacement.


After watching Scott Van Slyke the last few nights, I've recalibrated my setting for "terrible rightfielder." Duda is a poor outfielder, no doubt, but I do think he's improved over the season. In the first few weeks he was making ugly, awkward plays in every game. Doesn't happen quite as often now. "Below replacement" level doesn't seem right to me. His career OPS+ is 120, He's good enough to keep out there. Although, as I said above, I think the Mets should be able to spell at least one of Duda or Davis against lefty starters. Surely there's an available lefty masher out there that can play both positions.
   61. PreservedFish Posted: July 01, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4170671)
Part of me thinks that the flags fly forever attitude is what got us in this mess to begin with,


"Win now" was a hallmark of the Phillips regime which is now, mercifully, a decade behind us.
   62. PreservedFish Posted: July 01, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4170679)
so they should just play the hand they've got, hope Mejia can get it together, then count on Wheeler and Harvey to nail down late innings in September.


I think this is a nice point that I hadn't considered. Harvey and Wheeler might be really good in the bullpen coming down the stretch. Wheeler can probably hit 97 coming out of the pen, and the limited role would minimize the immaturity of his offspeed pitches. Familia is struggling this year, and has long been seen as a potential reliever. These guys could provide a better boost than the next Rauch or Ramirez might in a trade.

As far as adding another starter, unless he's a clear upgrade over Niese, I don't think it would be worth it.
   63. The District Attorney Posted: July 01, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4170694)
That's placing a lot of stock in defensive metrics.
Okay, should I instead place stock in their terrible defensive reputations? These guys just are not good fielders (at those positions, anyway.)

That said, I certainly don't think either one should be replaced, since they are both good young players. (And, of course, because Ike plays the position where we'd have to move Duda, and Ike/Wright play the positions where we could move Murphy.) It is funny that, given that this team is not exactly a juggernaut, there are few obvious holes. It would scare me to give up anything significant for a RP. You can sometimes get them very cheap, so that'd be fine. But I guess I would first be targeting a SP. An OF would be nice as well, insofar as we then would not have to be relying on Bay to give us anything at all.

I wouldn't mind a Met move. With a very young lineup already on the field, we can afford to spare some prospects, and it'd be exciting. Heck, if we get back someone who could be part of the long-term plan (Greinke?), I wouldn't even mind a big move where we give up top prospects.
   64. PreservedFish Posted: July 01, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4170700)
An OF would be nice as well, insofar as we then would not have to be relying on Bay to give us anything at all.


Do we have to be anyway? I realize that it won't work out this way, but if you were managing, would you ever start Bay over Scott Hairston?
   65. The District Attorney Posted: July 01, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4170703)
Of course not. :) But I don't want to push Hairston into starting against righties, either.

I'm assuming that none of Hairston, Torres or Bay is really a guy you want to be starting, either from a future or win-now perspective. Circumstances could change in the next month. BTW, not that I was against it at the time, but this Torres/Pagan challenge trade sure is not working out. We could have really used Pagan so far.
   66. PreservedFish Posted: July 01, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4170712)
Funny, my take on the trade was that although Pagan was better than Torres, Ramon Ramirez might end up being the most significant player. Oooops.
   67. JLAC is engulfed in a harmless burst of flame Posted: July 08, 2012 at 09:25 PM (#4176466)
Everyone overswings now. They're good at telling balls from strikes, most of the hitters, but lousy at getting bat to ball when they need to.

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