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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

2007 ZiPS Projections - New York Mets


Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS
David Wright         3b 24 .298 .379 .523 156 581 99 173 41 3 28 120 73 115 17 6
Carlos Beltran#      cf 30 .258 .359 .502 145 546 108 141 34 3 31 101 85 96 17 3
Moises Alou         lf 40 .285 .358 .498 109 400 60 114 23 1 20 66 43 48 2 1
Carlos Delgado*      1b 35 .256 .360 .495 134 485 73 124 27 1 29 98 67 114 0 0
Cliff Floyd*        lf 34 .261 .350 .469 102 360 52 94 19 1 18 61 38 73 6 1
Jose Reyes#          ss 24 .296 .340 .462 157 676 119 200 32 16 16 82 47 75 58 17
Lastings Milledge     cf 22 .277 .356 .436 143 498 71 138 32 4 13 64 52 107 12 11
Brett Harper*        1b 25 .257 .312 .486 100 346 51 89 16 0 21 63 26 116 0 1
Shawn Green*        rf 34 .263 .337 .414 145 529 71 139 29 3 15 65 52 99 3 2
Michael Tucker*      rf 36 .248 .354 .378 100 294 40 73 16 2 6 37 46 59 4 1
Jacob Cruz*          lf 34 .254 .338 .399 74 138 17 35 11 0 3 21 16 36 0 0
Ben Johnson         rf 26 .249 .323 .425 131 421 65 105 25 2 15 60 44 107 6 2
Julio Franco         1b 48 .270 .340 .381 87 189 19 51 10 1 3 30 20 48 2 1
Kelly Stinnett       c   37 .264 .331 .387 60 106 11 28 4 0 3 10   9 45 0 0
Damion Easley         2b 37 .235 .321 .416 95 221 26 52 14 1 8 31 24 40 2 1
Paul Lo Duca         c   35 .283 .326 .381 117 449 57 127 27 1 5 52 25 37 3 1
Endy Chavez*        cf 29 .280 .320 .377 138 411 52 115 21 5 3 39 25 43 18 5
Chris Basak         ss 28 .242 .317 .393 105 326 43 79 19 3 8 36 32 77 10 4
Ricky Ledee*        lf 33 .241 .311 .377 85 162 18 39 10 0 4 24 15 37 1 0
Ramon Castro         c   31 .232 .313 .373 61 142 16 33 8 0 4 22 16 41 0 0
Jose Valentin#        2b 37 .224 .295 .401 113 344 47 77 18 2 13 47 34 86 4 2
Jose Offerman#        1b 38 .231 .326 .336 92 277 26 64 9 1 6 33 39 52 3 1
Rashad Eldridge#      lf 25 .244 .313 .349 107 344 44 84 20 2 4 34 34 93 4 4
Edgardo Alfonzo       3b 33 .248 .315 .344 93 323 32 80 17 1 4 41 29 28 0 1
Chase Lambin#        3b 27 .228 .304 .364 120 390 46 89 22 2 9 48 39 90 2 1
Jorge Padilla         rf 27 .247 .308 .344 109 372 40 92 16 1 6 36 29 70 5 4
Ruben Gotay#        2b 24 .239 .299 .361 141 510 57 122 29 3 9 59 40 98 8 5
Fernando Martinez     cf 18 .242 .284 .373 100 389 35 94 20 2 9 38 20 82 6 5
Sandy Martinez*      c   36 .222 .280 .367 78 248 21 55 9 0 9 34 19 61 1 1
Carlos Gomez         cf 21 .250 .292 .352 139 492 56 123 21 4 7 44 22 95 36 16
Mike DiFelice         c   38 .215 .293 .330 61 191 16 41 10 0 4 24 19 44 1 1
Chris Woodward       2b 31 .228 .293 .327 65 171 18 39 9 1 2 20 14 42 0 1
Anderson Hernandez#    ss 24 .248 .289 .305 137 525 60 130 15 3 3 36 30 95 15 9
Julio Ramirez         cf 29 .211 .254 .347 109 346 45 73 16 2 9 42 17 110 13 8
Joe Hietpas         c   28 .184 .240 .265 81 234 16 43 10 0 3 20 15 60 0 1

Player Spotlight (Beta) - Jose Reyes
Name           AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS
Optimistic (15%)  .314 .365 .517 162 695 140 218 37 19 22 104 54 64 72 15  
Mean         .296 .340 .462 157 676 119 200 32 16 16 82 47 75 58 17
Pessimistic (15%) .280 .321 .403 136 583 90 163 23 11 9 56 35 75 43 17  

Name               Age   ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K
Billy Wagner*        35   2.06   5   1 67   0   70.0   50   16   6   18   81
Pedro Martinez         35   3.16 15   6 29 29   188.0 155   66 19   48 177
Duaner Sanchez         27   3.33   5   2 65   0   73.0   66   27   6   28   49
Pedro Feliciano*      30   3.90   5   3 62   0   60.0   56   26   7   23   50
Tom Glavine*          41   3.92 14   9 31 31   195.0 198   85 19   64 107
Juan Padilla         30   4.03   5   3 56   1   87.0   92   39   9   28   57
Aaron Heilman         28   4.29   7   6 52 13   126.0 120   60 15   53   93
Mike Pelfrey         23   4.30   5   4 16 16   90.0   85   43   8   35   71
John Maine           26   4.30 11   9 29 28   159.0 150   76 20   69 117
Jason Standridge       28   4.33   5   4 45 10   108.0 107   52   9   47   66
Oliver Perez*        25   4.50 11 10 29 29   164.0 149   82 27   72 165
Jon Adkins           29   4.57   2   2 61   0   65.0   72   33   7   22   39
Ambiorix Burgos       23   4.62   4   5 69   0   74.0   67   38 13   38   81
Guillermo Mota         33   4.65   4   4 52   1   60.0   58   31   8   27   49
Orlando Hernandez       41   4.65   8   8 22 22   118.0 117   61 18   48 101
Phil Humber           25   4.74   4   5 15 14   76.0   80   40 13   26   52
Steve Trachsel         36   4.77 10 12 29 29   166.0 176   88 21   74   80
Bartolome Fortunato     32   4.79   2   3 37   0   47.0   45   25   7   22   47
Steve Schmoll         27   4.79   4   4 52   0   62.0   63   33   6   28   39
Victor Zambrano       31   4.85   6   8 22 20   117.0 115   63 12   74   92
Alay Soler           26   4.87   5   6 20 20   109.0 109   59 13   50   66
Mitch Wylie           30   4.88   2   3 22   4   48.0   52   26   7   17   33
Dave Williams*        28   4.88   7   9 25 23   131.0 136   71 19   51   75
Jason Vargas*        24   5.01   7   9 29 24   149.0 147   83 21   64 109
Blake McGinley         28   5.22   4   6 38   5   81.0   88   47 17   25   55
Jose Lima           34   5.36   8 12 32 28   168.0 192 100 30   50   79
Adam Bostick*        24   5.66   6 11 27 27   151.0 154   95 21   85 101
Jeriome Robertson*      30   6.49   4 10 24 16   104.0 127   75 25   39   55

Player Spotlight (Beta) -  Oliver Perez
              ERA   W   L   G GS INN   H   ER HR   BB   K
Optimistic (15%)  3.60 15   8 32 32 185 154   74 24   73 195
Mean           4.50 11 10 29 29 164 149   82 27   72 165
Pessimistic (15%)  5.84   6 11 24 24 131 132   85 29   68 132


Disclaimer:  ZiPS projections are computer-based projections of performance. 
Performances have not been allocated to predicted playing time in the majors -
many of the players listed above are unlikely to play in the majors at all in 2007. 
ZiPS is projecting equivalent production - a .240 ZiPS projection may end up
being .280 in AAA or .300 in AA, for example.  Whether or not a player will play
is one of many non-statistical factors one has to take into account when predicting
the future.

Players are noted with their most recent teams unless Dan has made a mistake. 

ZiPS is projecting based on the AL having a 4.51 ERA and the NL having a 4.37 ERA.

Dan Szymborski Posted: December 19, 2006 at 05:19 PM | 292 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Page 2 of 3 pages  < 1 2 3 > 
   101. Sam M. Posted: December 20, 2006 at 12:47 AM (#2265365)
I don't have time for an extended response right now, MHS -- on my way out the door to dinner -- but just one quick point: everyone on that list had won more, and preventd more runs relative to average, than Willis. That's a critical distinction. He's very good, but he's behind everyone on that list in quality in what he's done so far. Back for more later.
   102. Raskolnikov Posted: December 20, 2006 at 12:52 AM (#2265366)
MHS, are you cutting off by age? Because that's not a good criteria for pitchers. The best pitchers actually do not peak in their early 20's, but rather seem to be those that take a while to figure things out. I suspect that you picked that group because it includes FernandoV, Gooden, and Tanana.
   103. Margo Adams FC Posted: December 20, 2006 at 12:58 AM (#2265370)
I didn't realize Theoism also confers the gift of Cassandra. Dan should scrap his ZIPS and ask you to "see" what the projections will be next year.


So I guess you won't be doing any predictions ever, even on a site like this that's been known to collect a few now and then? Or am I to believe you all have powerful prediction engines in your basements. Talking baseball without elaborate proofs and credential fights? Not here!

Hee-hee. Note that I said Omar would do it; I didn't say it'd be a good idea. Except that over the last year and the next couple it clearly would/would have been...

Ahh, we come to the fallback reason - "I don't think it's a good idea, but what the heck, they're not my prospects" argument. Sorry, bibigon took that argument already


Actually, the point was more like: Omar should have done that, but at the same time, JCross, don't go thinking I'll trade you too many prospects for Dice-K in our fantasy league. Thanks for helping me clarify this.
   104. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 20, 2006 at 01:05 AM (#2265372)

I didn't realize Theoism also confers the gift of Cassandra. Dan should scrap his ZIPS and ask you to "see" what the projections will be next year. Instead of CHONE or ZIPS, we could call it MARGO.


That would actually save me a bunch of time.
   105. Raskolnikov Posted: December 20, 2006 at 01:06 AM (#2265373)
So I guess you won't be doing any predictions ever, even on a site like this that's been known to collect a few now and then? Or am I to believe you all have powerful prediction engines in your basements. Talking baseball without elaborate proofs and credential fights? Not here!

Well, you did say that Russlan's numbers were not believable, even though all he did was pile together ZIPS projections for those 6 starters and added some innings for a couple of them. Instead, you offered your numbers instead, which as I understand comes from you "seeing." So basically you were saying that your gift of prophecy was better than ZIPS. Or are you still saying that?

Actually, the point was more like: Omar should have done that,

So you're saying it in past tense, but that Omar shouldn't do this now?
   106. Margo Adams FC Posted: December 20, 2006 at 01:38 AM (#2265385)
So basically you were saying that your gift of prophecy was better than ZIPS.


Yes, I was taking issue with some of the projections, but especially the contention that those six pitchers could constitute a winning starting rotation in an of themselves during the coming season. Why? Is that not allowed, to disagree with a projection season? Did you catch me claiming infallibility at any point.

So you're saying it in past tense, but that Omar shouldn't do this now?


Please re-read post 103, and if you still don't understand, it's my fault and let's just drop it there. I hat these "No, that's not what you said!" peeing contests that go on long after everyone else on the site has lost interest.
   107. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 20, 2006 at 01:46 AM (#2265389)
Yes, I was taking issue with some of the projections, but especially the contention that those six pitchers could constitute a winning starting rotation in an of themselves during the coming season. Why? Is that not allowed, to disagree with a projection season? Did you catch me claiming infallibility at any point.

You're certainly allowed to disagree, but when you call it a "funhouse" and mock the idea that players might meet their projections, while predicting a combined line that is ridiculously pessimistic and provide nothing of real substance to back up your thoughts, don't expect to be treated particularly kindly by those responding to you.
   108. Raskolnikov Posted: December 20, 2006 at 01:54 AM (#2265393)

Please re-read post 103, and if you still don't understand, it's my fault and let's just drop it there. I hat these "No, that's not what you said!" peeing contests that go on long after everyone else on the site has lost interest.


I have. I try to understand what someone is saying before I make any argument, but I have to admit this feels like a moving target with your argument. It seems to me what you're saying is that once upon a time, Omar should have traded Milledge/Pelfrey for Willis but that now he shouldn't, because it would be similar to a sucker proposal that you and Cross have on the table. Is that right?

This is almost as good as the prescriptive/descriptive/rescriptive/redescriptive/furtive reasoning that Bibigon presents.
   109. J. Cross Posted: December 20, 2006 at 01:55 AM (#2265394)
Actually, the point was more like: Omar should have done that, but at the same time, JCross, don't go thinking I'll trade you too many prospects for Dice-K in our fantasy league. Thanks for helping me clarify this.

Hey, that wasn't my comment. I'm the one who think you should deal the prospects. A well thrown gyroball (and Dice-K may or may not throw one) can be unhittable, you know.
   110. Mister High Standards Posted: December 20, 2006 at 02:15 AM (#2265409)
but just one quick point: everyone on that list had won more, and preventd more runs relative to average, than Willis. That's a critical distinction. He's very good, but he's behind everyone on that list in quality in what he's done so far.


Enjoy dinner Sam. I'm sure it was better than my Mondo bowl. I think I phrased my original post poorly - the idea was to show how few players there were that have been better than Willis, at this young of an age.

Let me run the data a little different this time. Here are a list of player who won between 40-60 games by the end of their age 24 season and who prevented between 40-60 runs above above average.

Jim Abbott 47 41
Dan Petry 60 43
Steve Carlton 47 43
Kevin Millwood 40 43
Steve Barber 57 47
Britt Burns 48 47
Jim Palmer 59 52
Ismael Valdes 52 53
Scott Erickson 41 53
Ferguson Jenkins 48 59
Freddy Garcia 44 59
Dontrelle Willis 58 60

How this list isn't nearly as impressive obviously but we have 3 hall of famers, two active pitchers, medical marvel and these guys:

Erickson - definition of an young peak pitcher. No injuries really, but a guy who was consistently better when young than when old. With the exception of 97-98 when he was pretty good.

Valdes - A guy who was only consistently healthy after two years after his age 24 season. Though similar to Erickson in that he was never as good as he was when he was young. WHo knows how much was due to an early peak and how much was due to injuries?

Burns - Injury casualty. Looked like he was going to be a fantastic pitcher around 1981.

Steve Barber - Consistently very good through age 26, but then the injury bug.

Petry - Similar to Erikson, in that he peaked early except he never really was any good every again.

Garcia - This is probably more like what Sam is thinking about... big early career then above average but rarely as good as when he was young.

Millwood - Very similar to Garcia.

So to conclude... on this list of guys who through age 24 weren't as good as Dontrell. We have 12 guys.

3 hall of famers.
1 medical/heart marvel, who I won't compare anyone to EVER.
3 Injury flameouts
2 Early peak guys who were lousy
2 Active guys who been 7 runs better than average per year since.

So I guess that means Sam M. and the Mets crowd think Dontrell Willis is most likly going to have a Freddy Garcia/Kevin Millwood career. Since no one has mentioned him being especially likely to be hurt (Burns), or a guy who will just flame out (Petry).

Those guys (Millwood and Garcia) will end up with pretty good careers. If I could acquire them after their age 24 season, I would think long and hard about it, even if the cost is an A- and a B+ prospect.
   111. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 20, 2006 at 02:25 AM (#2265413)
It a bad thing to say on Primer, but there is a mental aspect to pitching that is not insignificant. For some pitchers, in fact, it is very significant, and Dontrelle Willis has the confidence, presence, and attitude of an outstanding pitcher. It's hard to say that Millwood has that, and Garcia definitely doesn't have it. Erickson didn't have it. Valdes didn't have it. It's easy to say in retrospect that the pitchers who failed lacked some intangible that the pitchers who succeeded had, but there it is. All I mean by this is that I consider Willis unlikely to stop pitching well without being injured. He's unlikely to stop conditioning himself, unlikely to lose confidence, and unlikely to become involved in stupid off-field activities. Those attributes make him a better bet than many pitchers his age with his statistics.
   112. Mister High Standards Posted: December 20, 2006 at 02:41 AM (#2265422)
Vaux - great post - I agree with you completly.
   113. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 20, 2006 at 02:52 AM (#2265428)
FWIW, Vaux, I agree with you to the extent that I don't expect Willis to fall apart. I'd guess most Mets fans agree with that, actually. The point of disagreement is in what Willis' actual abilities are. I think he's likely to make good use of the talents he has, but I just don't expect that to translate into a true ace. For me, that has as much to do with what I've seen from him when I've watched him pitch as it does with his stats, so it's a difficult thing to change my mind about.
   114. Margo Adams FC Posted: December 20, 2006 at 02:52 AM (#2265429)
Raskolnikov, Alan S.,
Is it really so hard to acknowledge that 1) the Mets' current Zito-less rotation, while talented, consists mostly of the young and the old and the generally unreliable with not many sure things? That 2) the six pitchers projected in #72 to throw the equivalent of a major-league rotation's worth of innings have for the most part seldom done that in their young (and not so young, in El Duque's case) careers? Or that 3) trading Pelfrey and Milledge for Willis would have significantly and unquestionably improved your team's chances of winning the world championship both in 2006 (when it came oh so close) and in 2007? I'm sorry about that mean, mean funhouse crack and the 4.80 era, which is maybe a quarter of a run too high, but maybe not. Now, which of the enumerated assertions above do you disagree with?
   115. bibigon Posted: December 20, 2006 at 02:54 AM (#2265432)
This is almost as good as the prescriptive/descriptive/rescriptive/redescriptive/furtive reasoning that Bibigon presents.


That it's misunderstood by many doesn't make it furtive. The reasoning itself is pretty plain.
   116. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 20, 2006 at 03:05 AM (#2265441)
You know what's funny? I think everyone in this thread is in agreement. The Mets have some intriguing options in the rotation but they do need another starter.

As the author of #72, I never meant the post to be considered something I would expect to happen. I was just seeing what numbers said.

BTW, Margo, the crack about the 4.80 ERA isn't even that unreasonable. The crack about 6 pitchers combining for 500 IP is especially when one of those six pitchers is Tom Glavine, one of the most durable starters in baseball. When you say something like that, it makes everything else you say seem a lot less credible, even when it's eminently reasonable.

Jeez, we sure are getting ornery. How many days until pitchers and catchers report?
   117. Mister High Standards Posted: December 20, 2006 at 03:10 AM (#2265443)
eem a lot less credible, even when it's eminently reasonable.


Thats never stopped most people from commenting when talking about the Mets.
   118. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 20, 2006 at 03:11 AM (#2265444)
Margo,

On 1 and 2, I agree with you. There are many many questions surrounding the rotation. That said, your estimates were unreasonable, and that is what people objected to. 6 starters, no matter how injury prone they are, are going to provide a team with a lot more than 500 combined innings. And 6 starters pitching in Shea Stadium with the talent/past this group has are also going to do better than a 4.80 ERA as a whole, at least on average. No one is comparing this rotation to the '69 Mets. We just think it's a safe bet to be better than it was last year, with the potential to be a lot better if things break right. What you predicted as par was what I think almost anyone would view as a near worst case scenario, and that's where my complaints come from.

On 3, I don't agree with you, on at least half of it. In the NLCS, the starter who Willis would have replaced is Oliver Perez. He won one of his starts and allowed one run in 5 innings in the other. Of course things would have gone different if Willis were on the roster, but if you leave the rest the same and just switch him with Perez, the Mets still probably aren't getting past the Cardinals. As for 2007, of course Willis would help this team's chances. If 2006 were going to be the last year of major league baseball, I'd want Minaya to make that trade. But I'm ambivalent about the thought of trading the careers of Milledge and Pelfrey for a soon to be very expensive Willis.
   119. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 20, 2006 at 03:14 AM (#2265445)
If 2006 were going...

That is supposed to be 2007, of course.
   120. Margo Adams FC Posted: December 20, 2006 at 03:17 AM (#2265448)
I think I didn't make myself well enough understood: I didn't mean to say that the Mets couldn't get more than 500 innings out of these -- but that is the combined number of innings I expect the Mets to choose to get from those six next year. I don't think Pelfrey or Humber get a rotation spot to start the year, or that Perez and Maine and El Duque are there all season. Fifty-eight days until Dice-K rolls into Ft. Myers!
   121. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 20, 2006 at 03:24 AM (#2265449)
Margo, the problem with that is that if you don't expect Perez and Maine and El Duque to be there all season, who do you expect to be the ones taking their place if not Pelfrey and Humber? It's hard to envision a scenario outside of a complete disaster in which there are less than 3 or 4 of that group in the rotation at any one time, which will add up to a lot more than 500 innings.
   122. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: December 20, 2006 at 03:27 AM (#2265451)
Dice-K reminds me a lot of Kazuo.
   123. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: December 20, 2006 at 03:28 AM (#2265453)
Dontrelle Willis has the confidence, presence, and attitude of an outstanding pitcher. It's hard to say that Millwood has that, and Garcia definitely doesn't have it. Erickson didn't have it. Valdes didn't have it.

I'm halfway convinced. But I think if you wanted to "prove" this as best you could, you would need to compile a list of "good character" and "bad character" guys both past and present and let their numbers speak for themselves. Otherwise we are in danger of Lupicocity, which includes symptoms like armchair psychology and morally questioning the athletes we don't personally like.

I've never been tempted to describe Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens, or Randy Johnson "good character" guys. But they've all sustained success over a long period of time. Have they done this in spite of not having this trait? Or am I not seeing the right thing?
   124. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 20, 2006 at 03:36 AM (#2265456)
"Or am I not seeing the right thing?"

Oh, I definately think you're seeing the wrong thing. Those are guys I would describe as exactly having the right thing. They are all confident, with serious attitudes to the point where they are easy to dislike, and all three have tremendous mound presence, well, RJ doesn't really have it when his stuff isn't working, but when he does, he's definately a presence on the mound. It's not a good guy thing, it's a competitive and confidence thing, that Dontrelle has too, but not neccesarily in the mean, ####### way that those three have it.

And for example, a guy who lacks all those things would be Jeff Weaver.
   125. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: December 20, 2006 at 03:49 AM (#2265460)
I'll bite.

If mound presence is such a big deal, how come Beckett hasn't been able to put it together?
   126. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: December 20, 2006 at 03:54 AM (#2265464)
That said, your estimates were unreasonable, and that is what people objected to. 6 starters, no matter how injury prone they are, are going to provide a team with a lot more than 500 combined innings. And 6 starters pitching in Shea Stadium with the talent/past this group has are also going to do better than a 4.80 ERA as a whole, at least on average.

This hurts me more than it hurts you:

Cubs Top 6 starters at this point last year: Zambrano, Prior, Wood, Maddux, Rusch, Jerome Williams. Combined 2006 Cubs stats = 492.3 IP, 4.77 ERA.

Wrigley is a better offensive environment than Shea, but the talent/past of this group exceeds that of the current '07 Mets SP candidates. I'd prefer not to make any generalizations beyond that, both because I'd rather not speak of the horrors that befell the Cubs in 2006 and also because I don't expect the Mets or any other team to suffer the same fate this year. I'm just pointing out that such things are, in fact, possible.
   127. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 20, 2006 at 03:59 AM (#2265467)
"If mound presence is such a big deal, how come Beckett hasn't been able to put it together?"

I don't think his mound presence is all that great. He's full of himself, sure, but I don't think he intimidates hitters very much. He sure didn't have any presence this year. He got teed off on a number of times, sometimes it looked like he was just throwing batting practice while still having his A stuff, which is something I've never seen Clemens do, or even RJ. When he can't throw his curve for strikes, he's just not that impressive of a competitor.

I only really saw Beckett pitch last year, but that's what I saw, so that may not apply to the rest of his career.
   128. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 20, 2006 at 04:02 AM (#2265469)
Sure, Dandy, it's possible, but I think you'd agree that 2006 was about as big of a disaster as it could possibly be for the Cubs' rotation and that Prior and Wood were much greater injury risks than anyone in the Mets group, except for Hernandez. I don't think it was a likely outcome for the Cubs, just as I don't think it's reasonable to expect that of the Mets.
   129. Mister High Standards Posted: December 20, 2006 at 04:04 AM (#2265471)

If mound presence is such a big deal, how come Beckett hasn't been able to put it together?


Are you mad? I guess you're refering to his one bad year.

A 26 year old pitcher, with a career 3.85 era versus a league of 4.33 in 800 career regular season innings hasn't "put it together"? Of yeah... and 43 innings of 2.08 post season ERA...oh yeah and a world series MVP... but yeah your right he hasn't put it together.

Oh yeah and don't forget this:
http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/B10120FLO2003.htm
and this:
http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/B10150CHN2003.htm
and this of course this:
http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/B10250NYA2003.htm

Yeah, he has never put it together.

It's damn funny that after only 1 bad season everything else Josh Beckett has done in his career, which is DAMN impressive is forgotten.
   130. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 20, 2006 at 04:08 AM (#2265473)
I didn't watch much of Beckett last year but from what I saw of him, he didn't seem to be throwing more than a handful of curveballs. I remember reading Pudge Rodriguez saying somethign along the lines that the Tigers didn't need Beckett to tip his pitches, all he throws is fastballs. I wonder if he's avoiding throwing the curveball in order not to get blisters.
   131. bibigon Posted: December 20, 2006 at 04:11 AM (#2265474)
Ok, so if Beckett sucks the next two years, this will cause you to seriously reevaluate this paradigm however?

I think a significantly more important factor than Beckett's mound presence is his mediocre changeup, but that's just me.
   132. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: December 20, 2006 at 04:15 AM (#2265476)
It's damn funny that after only 1 bad season everything else Josh Beckett has done in his career, which is DAMN impressive is forgotten.

Quite honestly, Beckett's career hasn't been all that impressive. I mean, the guy has probably the best stuff in baseball yet his ERA+ is "only" 109. Yes, he was unbelievable in the post-season, but if we go only by his career statistics, I don't think anyone would say he's an "outstanding pitcher," which is what we are debating here.
   133. Mister High Standards Posted: December 20, 2006 at 04:15 AM (#2265477)
Ok, so if Beckett sucks the next two years, this will cause you to seriously reevaluate this paradigm however?


Not really. I'm not really sure if Beckett has mound presence or not. He seemed to pout around a lot after giving up dongs imho.

I was objecting to off talking about him not "putting it together". If Beckett falls off a cliff like Bill Pulsipher from now on, he certainly did have it put together, at some point. What changed? I don't know.
   134. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: December 20, 2006 at 04:18 AM (#2265479)
But okay. Lets keep playing. Did Gagne have mound presence when he was a starter, or did he get only when he went to the bullpen?
   135. Mister High Standards Posted: December 20, 2006 at 04:18 AM (#2265480)
I don't think anyone would say he's an "outstanding pitcher," which is what we are debating here


Actually no it isn't. I'm debating your irresponsible use of the term "putting it together".

What WE are debating is if the Mets should have pushed harder to trade for Dontrell Willis and what his career will look like when it is all said and done.
   136. bibigon Posted: December 20, 2006 at 04:20 AM (#2265482)
What changed? I don't know.


I'd suggest it was the league, the park, and the defense, but that's just me. If BP's adjusted peripherals are to be believed, he mainly took a hit to his HR rate - the BB rate and the K rate issues were much more contextual. And even his adjusted HR rate only took a hit of 0.3 HR/9.
   137. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 20, 2006 at 04:23 AM (#2265485)
"What changed?"

He had to face the Yankees lineup 4 times this year and it was alot better then the semi AA lineup (Bernie's 109 OPS+ hit third in Game 6, Karim Garcia, Aaron Boone, Ruben Sierra and Enrique Wilson all played in that game too) he saw in 2003.
   138. Gaelan Posted: December 20, 2006 at 04:24 AM (#2265486)
It's damn funny that after only 1 bad season everything else Josh Beckett has done in his career, which is DAMN impressive is forgotten.


And then you can throw in the fact that he wasn't really that bad last year. The badness is all homeruns which can happen to a pitcher every once in a while. Opponents hit 245/317/450 against him last year which isn't that bad, in fact two of those numbers are really good. He only looks bad if you look at his ERA which tells you more about when he pitched badly than about how he pitched overall. Using diamondmind park factors (which are only one year but are broken down into components) I have Beckett as a timing neutral 16 runs better than average last season (245/317/450 vs. an average of 283/347/446 for an AL pitcher who pitches half his games at Fenway, over 205 innings). Beckett in his bad year was somewhere between Ted Lilly and Vicente Padilla.
   139. Mister High Standards Posted: December 20, 2006 at 04:26 AM (#2265487)
But okay. Lets keep playing. Did Gagne have mound presence when he was a starter, or did he get only when he went to the bullpen?


I curse Vaux for even bringing up the issue of mound presence. While I think it is a plus for Willis, it really doesn't matter. Willis results speak for themselves.
   140. Mister High Standards Posted: December 20, 2006 at 04:27 AM (#2265488)
And then you can throw in the fact that he wasn't really that bad last year.


Now that is just spin. He was not a good pitcher.
   141. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: December 20, 2006 at 04:30 AM (#2265489)
Actually no it isn't. I'm debating your irresponsible use of the term "putting it together".

Well considering Beckett's ERA was above 5 last year, can you really say he's put it together? Couldn't the argument be made that he belongs in the bullpen, which if I'm not mistaken has already been discussed around here already? IMHO, having a great partial season or even one full isn't equal to "putting it together." I mean, Oliver Perez's 2004 is better than anything Beckett has done in his career but I think you'd find few people who think he has "put it together."

What WE are debating is if the Mets should have pushed harder to trade for Dontrell Willis and what his career will look like when it is all said and done.

I'm not. I couldn't care less about the D-Train.
   142. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 20, 2006 at 04:32 AM (#2265492)
If mound presence is such a big deal, how come Beckett hasn't been able to put it together?
Arguably, the great pitchers have always had "mound presence" but I think it's kind of silly, becuase the great anythings have always had presence in what they do. I suppose the obvious cliche in this example would be someone like Robert E. Lee or Patton. The issue is that Lee and Patton probably couldn't have been more different in their 'battlefield presence' and yet both were equally effective in leading men. Willis in the time I've watched him seems less like a Clemens/Schilling/RJ (your basic scowling, angry pitcher) and more of the Rube Waddell model, albeit with obviously more intellgience/common sense.

This strikes me as semi-ex post facto analysis when we look back and say Erickson obviously didn't have the presence, Willis does and Jim Petry didn't. Doing it on the fly is even more iffy, I'm sure there were plenty of M's fans--and others--in the 2001 off-season talking about how Freddy Garcia had this presence. Now, it may be easy to look back on his career and say "Oh yeah, he didn't have it," that's a point I tend to agree with, but I'm not sure you can say it about Willis just yet
   143. Mister High Standards Posted: December 20, 2006 at 04:33 AM (#2265493)

I'm not. I couldn't care less about the D-Train.


Then stop trying to change the subject. And waylay an otherwise intresting discussion. Aren't there some threads you can go hijack?
   144. Mister High Standards Posted: December 20, 2006 at 04:39 AM (#2265497)
This strikes me as semi-ex post facto analysis when we look back and say Erickson obviously didn't have the presence, Willis does and Jim Petry didn't. Doing it on the fly is even more iffy, I'm sure there were plenty of M's fans--and others--in the 2001 off-season talking about how Freddy Garcia had this presence. Now, it may be easy to look back on his career and say "Oh yeah, he didn't have it," that's a point I tend to agree with, but I'm not sure you can say it about Willis just yet


It's Dan Petry... but it still a very strong point.
   145. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: December 20, 2006 at 04:41 AM (#2265501)
Then stop trying to change the subject. And waylay an otherwise intresting discussion.

We were having an interesting discussion about mound presence until you decided to be an #######. Maybe you are the one who should go somewhere else. If you don't like a comment I made, don't read it. It certainly will you make the stay more pleasant. I, for example, had the good fortune of ignoring everything you had written on this site prior to today. Alas... But don't worry. I won't make the same mistake again.
   146. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 20, 2006 at 04:52 AM (#2265506)
It's Dan Petry... but it still a very strong point.
Given I've never even heard of Dan Petry before, I will admit I just tossed his name in there to link to the earlier posts. My view is basically that I believe in the psychology of players--you'd be a fool not to--but I also believe that with a very small handful of exceptions (my personal list would prominently feature Mariano Rivera and David Ortiz ) we as fans on the outside can't possibly know what constitutes that psychology and what is unwitting projection onto players from fans
   147. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: December 20, 2006 at 04:54 AM (#2265507)
Speaking of firsts, I read the Marty Noble mailbag today for the first time. Usually I avoid it because I figure he has nothing noteworthy to say, but today's topic interested me. Anyhow, check this out. Marty lists some of the reasons why the Mets apparently decided not to pursue Giles:

But remember most of what Giles has accomplished has been done batting hitting high in order with Chipper and Andruw Jones behind him. Chances are Giles would bat sixth or seventh with the Mets. Would he adjust to that assignment as well as Valentin adjusted to batting eighth?

Right. How can anyone handle all that pressure? Thank God we have Shawn Green for that. I'd continue, but I can't go on. Marty is either on the Met payroll or he's the most clueless sportswriter ever.
   148. Raskolnikov Posted: December 20, 2006 at 05:03 AM (#2265509)
Don't worry, OFF. It's not you, it's MHS. This was the same fellow who called Sam a ***** for thinking that Glavine would be leaving the Mets and who, as far as I've read, has yet to apologize for such an uncalled for cheap shot. Now he's happy to flame you even though everyone was trying to have a discussion about psychology and pitching. Like Bonds, he makes friends everywhere he goes.
   149. Raskolnikov Posted: December 20, 2006 at 05:06 AM (#2265511)


That it's misunderstood by many doesn't make it furtive. The reasoning itself is pretty plain.


Just having fun with rhyme and you there, Bibigon. I understand your prescriptive/descriptive difference. You hate Mets prospects. I understand ;-).
   150. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 20, 2006 at 05:19 AM (#2265514)
Or that 3) trading Pelfrey and Milledge for Willis would have significantly and unquestionably improved your team's chances of winning the world championship both in 2006 (when it came oh so close) and in 2007?

I doubt Willis would've made much of a difference last year. He would've replaced Perez who was their best starter against the Cards.
   151. Raskolnikov Posted: December 20, 2006 at 05:21 AM (#2265518)
Is it really so hard to acknowledge that 1) the Mets' current Zito-less rotation, while talented, consists mostly of the young and the old and the generally unreliable with not many sure things? That 2) the six pitchers projected in #72 to throw the equivalent of a major-league rotation's worth of innings have for the most part seldom done that in their young (and not so young, in El Duque's case) careers? Or that 3) trading Pelfrey and Milledge for Willis would have significantly and unquestionably improved your team's chances of winning the world championship both in 2006 (when it came oh so close) and in 2007? I'm sorry about that mean, mean funhouse crack and the 4.80 era, which is maybe a quarter of a run too high, but maybe not. Now, which of the enumerated assertions above do you disagree with?

1. I'm worried about the rotation, too. But a rotation which has uncertainty and a rotation that sucks are two different things. The Mets have the first. The Nationals have the latter. I wasn't disagreeing with your raising the possibility that the Mets rotation may end up with a 4.80 ERA. What I find wrong is how you were in utter disbelief that ZIPS could predict a decent ERA for the rotation. If you re-read your initial comment, you'll see that you had dismissed such projections.

2. Possibly. Russlan and Sam tend to be in favor of Pelfrey and Humber getting substantial major league innings this year. I'm in favor of coddling them for the year. If asked to, I'm sure that Pelfrey at least can give 100 IP of average ERA. It's not a stretch to get 600 innings if things break right, which was how Russlan was extrapolating those initial ZIPS projections

3. Sure, but any trade with Milledge and Pelfrey would have enhanced the Mets' chances last year and this year. That's not the only point in deciding trades, something which I'm sure you understand. You know that the Mets could have gotten Zito last year without giving up Pelfrey. Omar decided not to, which I agreed with. Milledge/Pelfrey for Willis would have been even worse.
   152. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 20, 2006 at 05:25 AM (#2265519)
Minaya throwing some stuff at the wall....

The Mets signed Jorge Vazquez to a minor league deal. He's 25 years old so he's not exactly a prospect but he did put up some fine numbers in the Eastern League last year.

65 IP, 87/28 k/bb, 45 hits, 2 HRs.

Good minor league track record but he's only pitched 14 innings in AAA and 12 innings in the big leagues.

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/V/Jorge-Vasquez.shtml
   153. Mister High Standards Posted: December 20, 2006 at 05:25 AM (#2265520)
This was the same fellow who called Sam a ***** for thinking that Glavine


Actually I said he was whining like one, not that he was one. Why should I apologize for calling it like it was? If I said something factually incorrect then I'd be happy to. With that said I should have used a different expression simply due to the remarkable ability for morons to misconstrue... Rask certainly can be used as exhibit A. Also please point me to the flame? The only one I've made in this thread is directed at you, and in this post.

Oh and btw: he had no intrest in having a discussion on psychology and pitching he was only intrested in having a GOTCHA, it's pretty easy to see the difference.
   154. Mister High Standards Posted: December 20, 2006 at 05:26 AM (#2265521)
re to # 153: should be interest / interested
   155. HowardMegdal Posted: December 20, 2006 at 05:32 AM (#2265523)
"I'd suggest it was the league, the park, and the defense, but that's just me. If BP's adjusted peripherals are to be believed, he mainly took a hit to his HR rate - the BB rate and the K rate issues were much more contextual. And even his adjusted HR rate only took a hit of 0.3 HR/9."

Classic anti-Metite ranting.
   156. Raskolnikov Posted: December 20, 2006 at 05:34 AM (#2265524)

Actually I said he was whining like one, not that he was one.


Oh, I see.
   157. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 20, 2006 at 05:35 AM (#2265525)
I doubt Willis would've made much of a difference last year. He would've replaced Perez who was their best starter against the Cards.
Or Traschel, who was their worst.
   158. HowardMegdal Posted: December 20, 2006 at 05:35 AM (#2265526)
"Minaya throwing some stuff at the wall...."

What's the deal here? Why hasn't he gotten a chance? Wooden leg?

While my favorite part of the Minaya era is that the Mets now chase and sign top targets, a close second, and possibly not second, is his fliers on guys I'm eager to see join the organization. Such as 2007 Cy Young Award winner Oliver Perez.
   159. Raskolnikov Posted: December 20, 2006 at 05:38 AM (#2265528)
Minaya throwing some stuff at the wall....

The Mets signed Jorge Vazquez to a minor league deal. He's 25 years old so he's not exactly a prospect but he did put up some fine numbers in the Eastern League last year.

65 IP, 87/28 k/bb, 45 hits, 2 HRs.

Good minor league track record but he's only pitched 14 innings in AAA and 12 innings in the big leagues.

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/V/Jorge-Vasquez.shtml


This should make Cross happy. Minaya finally acquired JVasquez.
   160. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 20, 2006 at 05:39 AM (#2265529)
The Mets signed Jorge Vazquez to a minor league deal.

I like it. A reliever who has K'd 10 per 9 isn't a bad guy to have around.

Or Traschel, who was their worst.

While they weren't high on Trax, I still think he was ahead of Perez on the depth chart.
   161. Raskolnikov Posted: December 20, 2006 at 05:43 AM (#2265532)
Okay, I've looked up the stats on the Cube. I'm astounded. Did he serve as Pinochet's henchman? Why hasn't this kid gotten more than a couple of sips of the majors. He has a career 3:1 ratio.

Heath Bell who? I have a new cause - "Free Jorge Vasquez!"
   162. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 20, 2006 at 05:44 AM (#2265533)
"We were having an interesting discussion about mound presence"

Now, I'm curious. Would you guys say El Duque has mound presence?
   163. HowardMegdal Posted: December 20, 2006 at 05:47 AM (#2265534)
"Would you guys say El Duque has mound presence?"

Sadly, not during this year's playoffs.
   164. Raskolnikov Posted: December 20, 2006 at 05:57 AM (#2265539)
Also, I was browsing through Bill James' Handbook at the bookstore today. I wanted to compare his offensive projections with ZIPS. Going by memory here, the main differences were:

Wright - James more optimistic - OPS ~950 vs. ZIPS OPS ~900
Delgado - James more optimistic - OPS ~930 vs ZIPS OPS ~860
I don't remember Beltran's
Alou - ZIPS more opt. - OPS ~855 vs. James ~ 850
Green - James opt - ~810 (!) vs ZIPS 750
Reyes - ZIPS more opt - ~800 vs James ~780
Loduca - James more opt - OPS 730 vs ZIPS 700.

Let's hope the Mets get the more optimistic of each projection.
   165. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 20, 2006 at 06:25 AM (#2265551)
"I was browsing through Bill James' Handbook at the bookstore today."

James' Handbook projections are usually higher across the board then the other projection systems right?
   166. bibigon Posted: December 20, 2006 at 06:26 AM (#2265553)
James is more optimistic for a lot of guys - over on SoSH we went over the Sox' projections, and he has the Sox projected to have a 3.68 ERA next year when you add up all his projections.
   167. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 20, 2006 at 06:27 AM (#2265554)
I guess he actually works for the Yankees.
   168. Sam M. Posted: December 20, 2006 at 07:02 AM (#2265569)
What WE are debating is if the Mets should have pushed harder to trade for Dontrell Willis and what his career will look like when it is all said and done.

Well then, let's focus on those two things.

1) No, they shouldn't have. Not if the price was Milledge and Pelfrey. Too much of Willis' quality is wrapped up in one year (2005), when there is too much counter evidence that 2003, 2004, and 2006 are truer expressions of his ability level. MHS said this (# 91):

Sam is of course going to say, just one year... and of course that is a load of pooppy #### because he doesn't say that about Reyes, and guess what that year counts.

Which is valid to some extent, but not as much as he thinks it is. The validity is that we shouldn't assume that Reyes's much-improved play in 2006 truly reflects a new ability level until he proves it over a longer period of time. The lack of validity is that Reyes hasn't done nearly as much to confirm that it is NOT his ability level, either, as Willis has done to establish (at least in my mind) that 2005 was NOT his. IOW, the jury is more "out" on Reyes than it is on Willis. Obviously, it's more out on Willis than it is on the vast majority of major leaguers (Derek Jeter, for example), and he may very well prove me wrong. But I see more evidence that Willis is a "true talent" 115 ERA+ pitcher (with peripherals consistent with that performance level) than he is a true talent 140 ERA+ pitcher (with supporting peripherals). Much more.

And a true talent 115 ERA+ pitcher -- even a durable, consistent one -- is NOT worth two prospects as good as Milledge and Pelfrey. Now, the question is: do you think I'm wrong about my estimation of Willis, or in my valuation that a pitcher of that value is not worth Pelfrey and Milledge?

It is absolutely true that in the next five years, there is quite a good chance that Willis will establish a higher level, consistently producing 130 ERA+ seasons and even ringing the 150+ bell once or twice. That chance, however, is NOT good enough for me to (a) give up two top 30 prospects, AND (b) pay the huge salary Dontrelle Willis is going to command because of how highly rated he is. I would rather take the chance that Milledge or Pelfrey will hit HIS ceiling, or that both of them will (jackpot!), or trade them in separate deals and get better value for them that way. To me, the move that is least likely to bear the best return is to consolidate their value into one, single player who may never get much better than the very good player he is right now.

As for looking backwards, I am in full agreement that Willis would not have substantially improved the Mets' odds of wining the NLCS (# 118). If he would have, I am actually half-convinced it would have been as a hitter in Game 7. I seriously doubt he would have pitched any better than Ollie Perez, but he might have gotten a hit we could have used . . . .

2) As for what his career will look like: there are few players (non-Mets division) whom I root for more. I love what Willis brings to the game. Enthusiasm, unique style. The game desperately needs more African-American stars. I hope he DOES have more years like he did in 2005. I'll hope it even more if the Mets acquire him, but I hope it either way. I simply don't think it is particularly likely, because I see a consistency to his performance at a significantly lower level -- HR rates, K/W ratios, K/IP ratios -- that suggests to me he is actually a very good, but NOT an elite starter. So I'm not going to lie and pretend that I think 2005 is a true reflection of what he's likely to do in any but the rarest years of his career. Maybe never again. If he does, and proves me wrong, I'll be happy to admit it. Well, unless it costs the Mets a pennant, in which case I'll still admit it; I just won't be very happy about it. Given what I think he is, and can do, there is no way I'd trade two terrific prospects for him.

The second list MHS put up (# 110) is interesting. The problem with it, as I see it, is how much of Willis' career runs above average is concentrated in that one year, 2005. Of the three truly great pitchers on the list -- Carlton, Palmer, and Jenkins -- only one is comparable to Willis in that respect, and that's Carlton. And, I confess, he's eerily so: a TON of his value by the time he was 24 was, like Willis, from one season (1969) above and beyond his others. That season is to the rest of Carlton's other years as the rest of Willis's seasons are to 2005. So sure, maybe Willis is set to be the next Lefty. Palmer and Jenkins, OTOH, don't share that pattern.

You can't just look at what Willis MIGHT become, and say, "Sign me up for that." You have to also remember that you are giving up talent that might become Carlos Beltran (Milledge) and Brandon Webb (Pelfrey). And they have 12 pre-arb and arb years between them to leverage. I'm not willing to give that up for the chance that Dontrelle Willis might follow Steve Carlton's career path.
   169. RyanMcC Posted: December 20, 2006 at 07:03 AM (#2265570)
I doubt Willis would've made much of a difference last year. He would've replaced Perez who was their best starter against the Cards.

While this statment is more or less true, I think a lot of Mets fans overrate Oliver Perez's playoff performance. He wasn't exactly Bob Gibson in '68 (4.63 ERA, 14 baserunners in 11 2/3 innings). Add in his 6.38 ERA in seven starts with the Mets (6.55 total), and I don't see how anyone is confident with him locking down a rotation spot.

(Russlan) The projected rotation of Glavine, Pelfrey, Maine, Perez, El Duque, and Humber puts up an ERA of 4.34 over 892 IP.

(Margo) ...I see par here at maybe 500 IP and a 4.80 era.

With all due respect to ZIPS projection system, I think 500 IP is more realistic than 892. Zito (or Suppan/unknown trade acquisition) will force Humber and Pelfrey to the minors -- I doubt they combine for 100 innings MLB innings between them. And while Glavine and Maine are a good bet to combine for 350 innings, the Mets will be lucky to get even 150 out of El Duque. Perez is the wild card. So 700 seems like a good over/under.

I'd take the under.
   170. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: December 20, 2006 at 07:08 AM (#2265572)
I definitely think El Duque has mound presence. He doesn't have the stuff to intimidate anyone anymore, but he certainly still has the "I can get you out" attitude that comes with it. The funny thing about Orlando is that I feel that sometimes he gets bored out there. When he has something to prove, he usually pitches a lot better. When he's on, he's hella fun to watch.

Any scouting reports on Vazquez? Is he getting it done with guile or with stuff? If I had to guess, I'd say its the former. I'm generally not to worried about the bullpen. Omar, Willie and Peterson know what they are doing out there.

BTW, Delgado was cleared to start his theraphy. According to him, he'll be able to start swinging the bat again in January.
   171. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 20, 2006 at 07:09 AM (#2265573)
"You have to also remember that you are giving up talent that might become Carlos Beltran (Milledge) and Brandon Webb (Pelfrey)."

AH HA! You do think Milledge can hit 40 HRs. I disagree. I am less familiar with Pelfrey, you really think he can be Brandon Webb? Webb's better then Willis.
   172. Sam M. Posted: December 20, 2006 at 07:11 AM (#2265575)
Zito (or Suppan/unknown trade acquisition) will force Humber and Pelfrey to the minors -- I doubt they combine for 100 innings MLB innings between them.

I agree with the first part of that -- they are likely to start in the minors. But the second part? I strongly suspect Pelfrey will be first up from AAA when (not if) they need a replacement for El Duque (or someone else, but let's be real: it's likely to be El Duque), and I think the chances are very good that when all is said and done, he'll get considerably more than 100 innings. And when you factor in September innings for he and Humber combined? I'll take the over.
   173. Sam M. Posted: December 20, 2006 at 07:14 AM (#2265576)
AH HA! You do think Milledge can hit 40 HRs. I disagree. I am less familiar with Pelfrey, you really think he can be Brandon Webb? Webb's better then Willis.

Sigh. Those were meant to be very, very broad illustrations of talent levels and ceilings, not specific performance predictions. Nor, just to add, were they statements of likelihood of reaching those ceilings. But thanks for playing, Cowboy. ;-)
   174. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: December 20, 2006 at 07:18 AM (#2265577)
You do think Milledge can hit 40 HRs. I disagree.

Why not? I'm not saying that it will happen, or that its likely, but I think Milledge could be capable of hitting 40 HRs. The guy is only 21 right now, and he has lighting in his bat. If he bulks up, you never know what he might be able to do.

BTW, here are some winter notes:

- Endy might start playing for Magallanes soon.
- Ditto for Oliver Perez with the Tomateros. According to someone close to him, the Mets have told him to get ready because his spot in the rotation isn't guaranteed for next year.
- Someone who won't be pitching this winter is Padilla. He just barely started throwing again, but he says that he should be ready to go by spring training.
   175. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 20, 2006 at 07:27 AM (#2265579)
"Those were meant to be very, very broad illustrations of talent levels and ceilings, not specific performance predictions. Nor, just to add, were they statements of likelihood of reaching those ceilings."

I'm know you're not saying those potentials are likely. I don't think they're possible. I mean, I guess somehow, the is the possibility that Milledge puts together a great defense-41 HR season. I do not think it is possible for Pelfrey to be Brandon Webb, but I am not as familiar with him as Milledge so I'm asking if you really think there's even a snowball's chance in hell of him reaching that.

I also think that when discussing trading prospects, talking about their 1 in a million upside when comparing them to Willis isn't really a good way to assess their trade value. Besides, anyone could just as easily say that Willis might become Tom Glavine.
   176. Sam M. Posted: December 20, 2006 at 07:36 AM (#2265582)
I do not think it is possible for Pelfrey to be Brandon Webb, but I am not as familiar with him as Milledge so I'm asking if you really think there's even a snowball's chance in hell of him reaching that.

Absolutely. In fact, Pelfrey is a pretty similar type of pitcher. Webb wins with one absolutely nasty pitch -- a dominant sinker. Pelfrey -- no coincidence -- throws a very heavy sinking fastball, 95+ MPH. He's no Webb, yet, but Webb is exactly Mike Pelfrey's ceiling. One in a million? His chances of being one of the top 10 starters in baseball someday are a hell of a lot better than that. They aren't one in 10, and they aren't even Dontrelle Willis's.

But that's not the question. The question is do you want to trade Mike Pelfrey's chances, PLUS Lastings Milledge's chances, PLUS the much lesser cost of those two for the next several years, in order to pay a huge price tag for Willis? I don't.

One other point: even if neither Pelfrey or Milledge reach Webb/Beltran ceilings, they are each quite good bets to reach solid contributor status. To give up that chance, as well as the lesser but not trivial chance at least one of them turns into a star, when the Mets have the resources to acquire the pitcher they need without giving up Pelfrey and Milledge, would be utterly foolhardy.
   177. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 20, 2006 at 08:00 AM (#2265585)
Happy Birthday, D-Wright.

Pitching is just so expensive right now that I'd hesitate before giving up quality starting pitching prospects. When Gil Meche can demand a salary of more than 10 million a year, despite never having had a very good season in his career, guys like Humber and Pelfrey, who I think are likely to be ready to be solid starters by 2008, are like gold.
   178. ian Posted: December 20, 2006 at 11:38 AM (#2265603)
Has Pelfrey learned a second pitch yet, or is it still fastball after fastball?

I can't see him doing anything soon in MLB with his (lack of) secondary stuff.
   179. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: December 20, 2006 at 02:37 PM (#2265615)
1) the Mets' current Zito-less rotation, while talented, consists mostly of the young and the old and the generally unreliable with not many sure things?

Which MLB rotation *does* have sure things? The Sox? The Yankees? I guess the Royals have sure things - they will surely suck.

That 2) the six pitchers projected in #72 to throw the equivalent of a major-league rotation's worth of innings have for the most part seldom done that in their young (and not so young, in El Duque's case) careers?

And? They did it in 2006 with the same type of "That'll never happen" scoffing: Glavine (198), Trachsel (165), Pedro (133), El Duque (117), Maine (90) threw 700 innings without a sixth pitcher. Remember, El Duque actually threw 162 IP last season, just not all with the Mets.

So it's really goofy to suggest: Glavine (200), El Duque (165), Maine (165), Perez (135) (112 IP in '06), Pelfrey (100), Humber (85)?

That's 850 innings. *Somebody* has to start the #4 IP, and I have listed IPs for guys of what they pitched in 2006. That allows Pelfrey half a season, and Humber some up and downs. And *that* is to get to 850. 500 IP? That's just silliness.

Or that 3) trading Pelfrey and Milledge for Willis would have significantly and unquestionably improved your team's chances of winning the world championship both in 2006 (when it came oh so close) and in 2007?

Not a chance. I have a 50% chance Willis will be the same as Pelfrey, and only a 25% chance he'll be significantly better. *And* I'd lose Milledge, who has to be here when Shawn Green is shot by a sniper for his poor performance. Not only is in not "unquestionably" incorrect to think that "significantly" improves our chances, I'd say it does almost *nothing* for them. And certainly not for the price.
   180. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 20, 2006 at 03:00 PM (#2265625)
Not a chance. I have a 50% chance Willis will be the same as Pelfrey, and only a 25% chance he'll be significantly better. *And* I'd lose Milledge, who has to be here when Shawn Green is shot by a sniper for his poor performance. Not only is in not "unquestionably" incorrect to think that "significantly" improves our chances, I'd say it does almost *nothing* for them. And certainly not for the price.

Take off the blue&orange; hued glasses. Pelfrey's got problems. He has a very limited secondary repetoire, and that's manifesting itself in his stats at the highest levels. He's more hittable than the A+ prospects, and in an admittedly limited sample-size above AA last year, he walked a whole bunch of guys. I saw Pelfrey pitch twice last season, and IMO, he was nibbling as a direct result of his lack of an "out" pitch. When the only MLB caliber pitch you can command is the ol' number 1, unless you're Brandon Webb or Chien-Ming Wang and can pump it down the middle without fear of solid contact, you're going to walk alot of folks. Pelfrey doesn't have that kind of fastball (who does?), but of course his fastball is very very good.

At the very least, Pelfrey is not "ready" to start, though I think he'd be fine in the bullpen. No pitcher who is not "ready" to start in the big leagues has a 50% chance of matching one of the better starters in baseball. I don't even think there's a 50% chance that Pelfrey will match Steve Trachsel's career, let alone Dontrelle's. Maybe in a year.

Given how close the Mets were to winning it all last season, and (presumably) will be this season, I'd make the Willis trade. While I agree with Sam & others that the Mets are giving too much salary-adjusted value for the expensive Willis, I think that the trade would have added more "expected championships", because the value of each extra "oomph" during the Mets competitive window is so great. You can't assume the Mets will be this good in 3 seasons; alot can happen between now and then.
   181. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 20, 2006 at 03:02 PM (#2265627)
Glavine 200 3.90
El Duque 165 4.40
Maine 165 4.30
Perez 135 5.00
Pelfrey 100 4.25
Humber 85 5.00

These numbers seem reasonable, and add up to a 4.40 (or about average in Shea - maybe a 97 or 98 ERA+, didn't do the math exactly). Doesn't include the 100 or so inning you'll need to get from Dave Williams (likely to be below average) or someone else to round out the rotation for the year. Maybe Pedro comes back strong, but I wouldn't expect any more than 100 league average innings (or so) at best for next year.

I'm dubious about El Duque pitching 165 innings though. Didn't pitch in '03, threw 200 innings combined in '04 and '05, and he's going to be 41. Not saying it doesn't happen, but I wouldn't have him penciled in for more than 120, and even in those there's a good chance he's below average. It's been said here before, but the Mets have exactly two starting pitchers they can count on to be healthy and average or better next year: Glavine and Maine. That's not a tenable position for a contender.

This is, at best, as currently constructed a middle of the pack rotation with a pretty good chance to be significantly worse than that. It's entirely possible that they get essentially no value from Perez and at least one of the youngsters.

So, to recap: excellent lineup, good bullpen, and a lack of reliable starting pitching. It's such a no brainer for the Mets to sign Zito. Without him, the Mets are just another good, flawed team in the NL - probably still the favorites in the East, but still just another contender. Zito would make them the clear NL favorite again.
   182. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: December 20, 2006 at 03:06 PM (#2265633)
I don't even think there's a 50% chance that Pelfrey will match Steve Trachsel's career, let alone Dontrelle's. Maybe in a year.

Um, I mean just for 2007, not his career. Dontrelle is a good bet to post 200 IP of 108 ERA+. I think Pelfrey can throw 100 IP of 108 ERA+.
   183. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: December 20, 2006 at 03:09 PM (#2265635)
Joe C.,
please explain how that rotation is different from the 2006 rotation, when the Mets were clearly dominant in the NL. El Duque *DID* throw 165 innings in 2006. He's back from injury. Oliver Perez is being asked to post a 135 IP with a 4.5 ERA. Pelfrey and Humber have to replace Steve Trachsel, and it's damned near the same staff as 2006, with different names.

I don't get it.
   184. J. Cross Posted: December 20, 2006 at 03:13 PM (#2265637)
the value of each extra "oomph" during the Mets competitive window is so great.

In order to rationalize a Pelfrey and Milledge for Willis deal one needs to evoke falacies such as "the competitive window." The competitive window exists only as a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe that your only chance is to win now and trade away the future, your only chance to win will indeed be now. Of course, if the Mets behave rationally, they should be at or near the top of the division every year.
   185. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 20, 2006 at 03:14 PM (#2265638)
Um, I mean just for 2007, not his career. Dontrelle is a good bet to post 200 IP of 108 ERA+. I think Pelfrey can throw 100 IP of 108 ERA+.

So, the guy who will be 25, with a career major league ERA+ of 120, will only put up a 108 next year, while a propspect who currently lacks reliable secondary pitches and looked overmatched at AAA last year will do the same? Maybe, but I'd bet against it every single time.
   186. Mike Green Posted: December 20, 2006 at 03:19 PM (#2265645)
Willis was basically an average pitcher in 2006, as he had been in 2004. His ERA+ overstates his performance because he was lucky with bullpen support- the bullpen allowed only 3 of 26 inherited runners from him to score.

He is healthy, and he may have a very good long career. As an investment,though, he is a poor choice.
   187. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 20, 2006 at 03:28 PM (#2265648)
Joe C.,
please explain how that rotation is different from the 2006 rotation, when the Mets were clearly dominant in the NL. El Duque *DID* throw 165 innings in 2006. He's back from injury. Oliver Perez is being asked to post a 135 IP with a 4.5 ERA. Pelfrey and Humber have to replace Steve Trachsel, and it's damned near the same staff as 2006, with different names.


We're just going to disagree about El Duque. The last time he got to 165 innings (or so) before last year was 2000, and he's going to be 41. I'm not saying he *won't* throw all those innings; I'm just saying I wouldn't bet on it.

Oliver Perez 05-06: 215.7 IP, 231 H, 43 HR, 199/138 K/BB, 6.19 ERA. Why are we projecting him to 4.50, again?

Maine is likely to see some non-trivial regression. There's no way he can keep up that BABIP rate.

Also, the bullpen was incredible last year - maybe they keep it up, but some regression is more likely than not.

Finally, the Mets weren't a 97 win team last year by any measure but actual wins. Their Pythag was 91-71; BPro's adjusted standings had them at 89-73. This was not a dominant team last year, despite what the standings said. Best in the NL, to be certain, but not dominant.

To reiterate (and repeat many others), Zito to the Mets is key.
   188. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 20, 2006 at 03:39 PM (#2265665)
In order to rationalize a Pelfrey and Milledge for Willis deal one needs to evoke falacies such as "the competitive window." The competitive window exists only as a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe that your only chance is to win now and trade away the future, your only chance to win will indeed be now. Of course, if the Mets behave rationally, they should be at or near the top of the division every year.

The competitve window isn't a fallacy; it reflects the idea that a great team requires multiple great players, and such players only peak at a great level for a few years simultaneously. Sure, you can get lucky and go all 2003 Marlins on everyone (or 2005 White Sox for that matter), but there isn't a bottomless supply of top-tier talent just waiting to be brought up and hurl the Mets to championship glory. The Mets are going to have a 2-3 year window where Beltran is still great, and Reyes and Wright will be verygood-to-great and signed to below market deals (kudos to the Mets for that, of course). This interval is their best shot to be a 95 win team every year, going into the playoffs as the best NL team every year, and, with even average luck, take home a flag or two. There's no guarantee that the next batch of prospects will pan out, or the next great FA will choose the Mets.
   189. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: December 20, 2006 at 04:10 PM (#2265687)
We're just going to disagree about El Duque. The last time he got to 165 innings (or so) before last year was 2000, and he's going to be 41. I'm not saying he *won't* throw all those innings; I'm just saying I wouldn't bet on it.

Would you like to bet on it? 150 IP. That's within 90% of last year. Sponsorship of some B-R page - maybe El Duque (or something).

Oliver Perez 05-06: 215.7 IP, 231 H, 43 HR, 199/138 K/BB, 6.19 ERA. Why are we projecting him to 4.50, again?

Well, I didn't project *anything* for Perez. The *most* optimistic thing I wrote is that Perez needs to improve by about half a run over what you predicted. I'm saying that's not a big stretch of an event over 135 IP. It's *8* fewer earned runs. Yes, that's some crazy talk.

Maine is likely to see some non-trivial regression. There's no way he can keep up that BABIP rate.

Again, that isn't relevant to our discussion. His increase in ERA won't terribly effect whether or not he'll throw 165 IP with the ERA *YOU* set for him at 4.30 - I'm not claiming he'll have an ERA of 3.00. If he does, tehn that's an improvement (because the IPs will go up)

Also, the bullpen was incredible last year - maybe they keep it up, but some regression is more likely than not.

Why? Who do you see as having a ridiculous season? There's nothing substantial there at all. Even Wagner's Blown Saves were extravagant - meaning almost instant losses, rather than winning half of a closer's BS.

Finally, the Mets weren't a 97 win team last year by any measure but actual wins.

Do we count anything else?

Their Pythag was 91-71; BPro's adjusted standings had them at 89-73. This was not a dominant team last year, despite what the standings said.

Would you like to guess what I think of BPro's adjusted standings? Have they been demonstrated to mean anything?

Best in the NL, to be certain, but not dominant.

So let's review your previous comment:
It's such a no brainer for the Mets to sign Zito. Without him, the Mets are just another good, flawed team in the NL - probably still the favorites in the East, but still just another contender. Zito would make them the clear NL favorite again.

So, even with the same team - you say the '06 squad was "best in the NL to be certain", but above you say "without Zito...blah, blah, blah."

I'll still have to disagree - there's no significant dropoff without Zito from 2006 in the pitching staff. And thus, the expectations without Zito should approximate 2006, even if slightly lower. And for 2006, *you* describe them as "best in the NL to be certain".
   190. bibigon Posted: December 20, 2006 at 04:55 PM (#2265727)

Why? Who do you see as having a ridiculous season? There's nothing substantial there at all. Even Wagner's Blown Saves were extravagant - meaning almost instant losses, rather than winning half of a closer's BS.


The Mets had a 3.25 ERA from their relievers last year - you're going to project that to stay steady?
   191. Josh Posted: December 20, 2006 at 04:59 PM (#2265730)
there's no significant dropoff without Zito from 2006 in the pitching staff.

Well, there is that Pedro guy.

In all events, assuming no Zito, who would *not* pick the Mets to win the division?

Assuming no Zito and a less than dominant Pedro in September, though, who would pick the Mets to win the WS?
   192. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: December 20, 2006 at 05:04 PM (#2265733)
The Mets had a 3.25 ERA from their relievers last year - you're going to project that to stay steady?

Largely, yes. But I haven't put a lot of specific thought into the pen. I was responding to whether or not the rotation without Zito was some big disaster area - and the answer is - no moreso than last year.

Run the players down - who has a big dropoff? Wagner? Heilman? Sanchez? Oliver? It's really a pretty good bullpen, and I think they will be in the 3.25 area, yes.
   193. HowardMegdal Posted: December 20, 2006 at 05:06 PM (#2265736)
"Well, there is that Pedro guy."

Notice, of course, that none of these projections involve any Pedro at all, while he is projected to return midseason. Can you count on him? No. But that's an awfully nice midseason pickup.
   194. Dan Broderick Posted: December 20, 2006 at 05:11 PM (#2265739)
Assuming no Zito and a less than dominant Pedro in September, though, who would pick the Mets to win the WS?

Who picked the Cards to win the WS this year? The key is to get to the playoffs and then roll the dice. I think the team right now is good enough to win the division again but I'd be a lot more confident with Zito.
   195. Josh Posted: December 20, 2006 at 05:15 PM (#2265746)
Well, I certainly don't believe that the key to winning the WS is to get there and roll the dice. But there have been enough threads on this and articles from BPro and (iirc) HardballTimes to not have to rehash it here.

Notice, of course, that none of these projections involve any Pedro at all, while he is projected to return midseason. Can you count on him? No. But that's an awfully nice midseason pickup.

Yeah, but the quote I was discussing didn't. Doesn't matter - I think my point is understood, though perhaps not agreed with.
   196. bibigon Posted: December 20, 2006 at 05:16 PM (#2265747)

Run the players down - who has a big dropoff? Wagner? Heilman? Sanchez? Oliver? It's really a pretty good bullpen, and I think they will be in the 3.25 area, yes.


Ok. I'm guessing they won't get a 1.5 ERA from Mota and Ring, a 2.09 from Feliciano, a 2.60 from Sanchez, or a 2.90 from Bradford.

I'm not saying it's not a good pen, I'm saying that a 3.25 ERA is probably unsustainable.
   197. bibigon Posted: December 20, 2006 at 05:19 PM (#2265750)

Notice, of course, that none of these projections involve any Pedro at all, while he is projected to return midseason. Can you count on him? No. But that's an awfully nice midseason pickup.


Not that Pedro was particularly good in 2006, but the origin of the "that Pedro guy" quote was talking about what the 2007 rotation relative to the 2006 rotation, not on its own merits.
   198. Raskolnikov Posted: December 20, 2006 at 05:24 PM (#2265755)
Pelfrey's got problems.

No more than, say, a Phillip Hughes.

He has a very limited secondary repetoire, and that's manifesting itself in his stats at the highest levels. He's more hittable than the A+ prospects, and in an admittedly limited sample-size above AA last year, he walked a whole bunch of guys.


His control could use improvement. Pelfrey still dominated A and AA.

I saw Pelfrey pitch twice last season, and IMO, he was nibbling as a direct result of his lack of an "out" pitch.


I have no idea what you're watching then. Pelfrey's best pitch is his fastball, and nearly everyone agrees that it's very good.

When the only MLB caliber pitch you can command is the ol' number 1, unless you're Brandon Webb or Chien-Ming Wang and can pump it down the middle without fear of solid contact, you're going to walk alot of folks. Pelfrey doesn't have that kind of fastball (who does?), but of course his fastball is very very good.

Neither Webb nor Wang throws fastballs down the middle. They'd get creamed if they did. Webb is a fantastic pitcher who gets guys out with a array of pitches, his sinker being the most dominant. Wang has done well for himself the last couple of years by inducing a heavy dose of grounders. Pelfrey does not have the extreme ground-ball tendencies of those two (maybe it's only not yet), but he throws harder than Webb or Wang.

But this is a silly example - no one expects Pelfrey to be as good as Webb or Wang in the near future.

At the very least, Pelfrey is not "ready" to start, though I think he'd be fine in the bullpen. No pitcher who is not "ready" to start in the big leagues has a 50% chance of matching one of the better starters in baseball.


Let's see. You say he is not "ready" to start, therefore he is not ready to start. This must from be the Hawk Harrelson school of baseball analysis. Next you can tell me how Joe Crede is the best 3Bman in the last 50 years because Joe Crede is the best 3Bman in the last 50 years. Hard to argue with that.

I think Pelfrey would be a capable starter this year. But I do agree that he has a lot to work on, the highest priority being to work on his secondary pitches. That's why many of us Mets Primates agree that Pelfrey should start the year in AAA.

I don't even think there's a 50% chance that Pelfrey will match Steve Trachsel's career, let alone Dontrelle's. Maybe in a year.

I agree with that estimate. But *no young pitcher* has better than a 50% chance of matching Steve Trachsel's career. Taking a page out of your book, I don't even think there's a 50% chance that Phil Hughes will match Steve Trachsel's career. Maybe in a year.

Young pitchers get hurt too easily.

Given how close the Mets were to winning it all last season, and (presumably) will be this season, I'd make the Willis trade. While I agree with Sam & others that the Mets are giving too much salary-adjusted value for the expensive Willis, I think that the trade would have added more "expected championships", because the value of each extra "oomph" during the Mets competitive window is so great. You can't assume the Mets will be this good in 3 seasons; alot can happen between now and then.


Then trade Phillip Hughes and Jose Tabata for Dontrelle Willis because the value of each extra "oomph" during the Yankees competitive window is so great. You can't assume the Yankees will be this good in 3 seasons; a lot can happen between now and then.

Bibigon, this is all your fault. They keep coming with the fallacies every two weeks, and I blame you.
   199. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: December 20, 2006 at 05:28 PM (#2265759)
I think the ZIPS program vastly underrates 48-year old 1b.
   200. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 20, 2006 at 05:38 PM (#2265769)
So, even with the same team - you say the '06 squad was "best in the NL to be certain", but above you say "without Zito...blah, blah, blah."

I'll still have to disagree - there's no significant dropoff without Zito from 2006 in the pitching staff. And thus, the expectations without Zito should approximate 2006, even if slightly lower. And for 2006, *you* describe them as "best in the NL to be certain".


Let's take your assumption that the Mets will have the same quality starting staff in 2007 as 2006 (without Zito). I think it's perfectly reasonable to say the Mets bullpen will allow 20 more runs than last year - this still keeps them in the top 1/3 of NL bullpens. So, we've got an 89-91 win team that's losing 2 wins in the bullpen - would you go in to next season thinking that an high 80s win team was head and shoulders above the NL? Do you really think the Mets will outperform their RS/RA by so much again? That the bullpen will maintain a 3.25 ERA?

Ultimately, my point is this: the Mets are *among* the NL's best teams without Zito entering 2007. Very good lineup, good bullpen, questions in the rotation. They *are* the NL's best team entering 2007 with Zito. He addresses their biggest weakness.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

El Duque's pages expires 10/27/07. I
I'll take you up on it. Just so we're clear, 150.0 IP is a push. I'll take the under.
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