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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Mets - Activated Benson, Cameron

New York Mets - Activated P Kris Benson and OF Mike Cameron from the 15-day DL; optioned P Royce Ring and P Jae Seo to Norfolk.

Seo gave the Mets two very good and one kinda bleh start, but was unfortunately going to be one of the first players sent back down when some players got healthy.  I still think that Seo should have Ishii’s job even when Ishii gets off the DL, but I’m not a SuperGenius like their pitching coach, who fixed Zambrano up so nicely.

While some Mets fans may be disappointed with Benson’s 2005 performance so far, the Mets have gotten a better return on his zero innings than they have on the actual innings that Glavine and Zambrano have pitched this year.  Benson should be decent - I’m still amazed how much his contract figures improved as the winter progressed thanks to guys like Eric Milton and Jaret Wrong. 

Victor Diaz returns to the bench, but you have to figure that between Floyd and Cameron, there will be enough starter injuries to get him a good number of at-bats.

Dan Szymborski Posted: May 05, 2005 at 03:04 PM | 45 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: May 05, 2005 at 03:16 PM (#1313442)
While some Mets fans may be disappointed with Benson’s 2005 performance so far, the Mets have gotten a better return on his zero innings than they have on the actual innings that Glavine and Zambrano have pitched this year.

TFF...
   2. Sam M. Posted: May 05, 2005 at 03:28 PM (#1313472)
Seo might -- just might -- be back next week. It would make perfect sense for the Mets to send him down and keep the rest of the staff intact to cover innings, what with (a) Benson going in his first start of the year today, and (b) the rest of the non-Pedro starters giving the team a lot of relatively short starts. Since Seo just pitched last night, he'd be unavailable to give them innings until next week anyway, so it made sense to send him down.

Anyway, that could be what's going on here. We'll have to wait until next week to know for sure.
   3. Hubie Brooks (Not Really) Posted: May 05, 2005 at 03:40 PM (#1313507)
Glavine on rep has earned a longer leash. If he keeps up the awful pace, the pen has to be the option so his innings pitched option for 06 doesn't kick in.
   4. Sam M. Posted: May 05, 2005 at 03:41 PM (#1313511)
if Glavine continues with his subpar performance, do you think it would be workable to send him to the pen

Depends on what you mean. Is it workable to me? You bet your ass. Would it be something Randolph would have the gonads to do? I'd be shocked.

Of course, it also depends on what you mean by "continues with his subpar performance." If he keeps pitching to a 7.09 ERA, then they'll clearly have to do something. If he corrects that and gets it down around the 5.00 level -- where he's just bad, in other words -- he'll keep his spot, showing just enough decent results to hold on.
   5. Loren F. Posted: May 05, 2005 at 03:50 PM (#1313540)
If Benson turns out to be a league-average starter, does that make him the Mets' No. 2?
   6. mr_rogers292 Posted: May 05, 2005 at 04:10 PM (#1313583)
Replace a .424 OBP with, at best, a .350; and put Kris "I've Never Been Good But I Keep Makin' Money" Benson back in the lineup so he can get hurt. Sounds typical. Let's go Mets!
   7. Rob Base Posted: May 05, 2005 at 04:13 PM (#1313591)
Way to see the big picture, rogers.
   8. mr_rogers292 Posted: May 05, 2005 at 04:18 PM (#1313602)
Not trying to dish on Cameron. But Diaz has been productive; I'd like to see them ride his train a little longer.

Sending down Seo instead of Zambrano is defensible only from a front office/saving face perspective.
   9. Rob Base Posted: May 05, 2005 at 04:35 PM (#1313640)
Gotta play Cameron if you're going to trade him for a valuable piece. Diaz will be back. As for your second point, this is true.

Also, FREE JEFF KEPPINGER. What's come over this man? .385/.435/.538?? Are you kidding me?
   10. mr_rogers292 Posted: May 05, 2005 at 04:39 PM (#1313650)
Why do you have to play Cameron? I agree they'll want to move him or Floyd, but Cameron is a known commodity. You don't need a dog-and-pony show to demostrate his stellar 240/340/475 talents. Let's say that he struggles when he returns. Then he may arguably get you less value.

I, for one, would bench Floyd once his little hot streak comes to an end. His value will never be higher than it is right now. Some baseball version of Isiah Thomas must be out there ready to throw a prospect to Queens in exchange for Floyd's bat.
   11. Sam M. Posted: May 05, 2005 at 04:40 PM (#1313661)
Also, FREE JEFF KEPPINGER. What's come over this man? .385/.435/.538?? Are you kidding me?

If there's ever been a case of a guy with major league experience taking advantage of AAA pitching, that's the one. Same thing is going on with Brian Daubach. Ignore those men behind the curtain. They are definitely NOT great and powerful wizards.

Again, let's see where Jae Seo is this time next week. If he's still in Norfolk (especially if Zambrano has continued to stink it up for the Mets), I'll join you all in ripping them. For now, I'm holding my fire to see if it's a short-term, roster management move.
   12. Dan Szymborski Posted: May 05, 2005 at 04:47 PM (#1313681)
In my opinion, one of the problem with the Mets at the moment is that most of the possible improvements would make the front office lose face.

At some point they're going to have to swallow their pride and do something that makes a previous decision look bad. How can you justify benching either Diaz or the returning Cameron when the 1B coming off a 238/326/350 season has started 2005 at 222/317/378?

Matsui's hitting even less than last year and is actually a worse defensively at second than he was at short. At what point do you admit that your big Japanese Signing was a mistake? Diaz was a poor defensive 2B in the minors, but at least he'll hit a lot more than the current poor defensive 2B.
   13. Sam M. Posted: May 05, 2005 at 04:49 PM (#1313682)
I, for one, would bench Floyd once his little hot streak comes to an end.

Well, that's one option. Speaking of hot streaks ending, isn't it obvious that Victor Diaz's has done just that? Last night was a nice exception, but it seems pretty apparent that NL pitchers have him figured out: throw him heat and he will swing at it, and he isn't able to turn on it. He has been late on pitches constantly, and if a hitter can't handle major league fastballs in the strike zone, he can't be a major league hitter.

IMO, to bench Cliff Floyd -- the only left-handed power in our line-up other than Beltran -- and leave Diaz in the line-up would be bizarre. There is no reason to think Floyd can't hit major league pitching, as he always has -- IF he can stay healthy. If he can't, then there's a spot for Diaz. If he can, then he should be playing.
   14. mr_rogers292 Posted: May 05, 2005 at 04:53 PM (#1313692)
Agree with the idea of playing Diaz at 2nd.

As to Floyd, I agree -- for now, keep him in there. He's killing the ball. But no one can honestly believe that a fat, injury-prone 34 year old corner outfielder is the solution to the Mets woes. Even granting Diaz (a) the 2+ years of age he's probably toting and (b) the decline we all know is in the cards, isn't a young player with a live bat and some speed a better option? We all know they're going no where this year. How's about getting some talent on the field for next year and after?
   15. Sam M. Posted: May 05, 2005 at 04:55 PM (#1313698)
How can you justify benching either Diaz or the returning Cameron when the 1B coming off a 238/326/350 season has started 2005 at 222/317/378?

Well, that one's easy. The last thing the Mets need is yet another experiment at first base with a non-first baseman. Poor as he's hit, Mientkiewicz has been as good as advertised at first base, and has helped both Reyes and (especially) Wright by saving them errors and thus saving the team runs. If the Mets had an experienced first baseman who could hit, then by all means, bench Mientkiewicz. But not for the sake of moving Cameron/Diaz there.

Matsui's hitting even less than last year and is actually a worse defensively at second than he was at short. At what point do you admit that your big Japanese Signing was a mistake? Diaz was a poor defensive 2B in the minors, but at least he'll hit a lot more than the current poor defensive 2B.

That one's a bit tougher. But the fact is Diaz has put on some weight, bulking up, upon moving to the outfield. He couldn't play second base before; it would be even worse now. And I don't think Matsui is worse at second than he was at short, except in the sense he is adjusting. His lack-of-skill set clearly makes him a bigger long-term liability at shortstop. There have been several plays this year where his weak arm didn't prevent him from making a play to first, when he could NOT have made an equivalent play from short.
   16. Dan Szymborski Posted: May 05, 2005 at 05:12 PM (#1313748)
. Poor as he's hit, Mientkiewicz has been as good as advertised at first base, and has helped both Reyes and (especially) Wright by saving them errors and thus saving the team runs.

I still think this is overrated, for a few reasons.

- Neither Wright nor Reyes have shown any real difference in number of errors from last year.

- Piazza had an unusually poor transition to first base.

- It's been a long time for Floyd, but he was a 1B by trade and was decent. Plus, it's a less physically demanding position which may keep him healthier.

- Diaz' problem at 2nd was a lack of range - it seems to me he has the tools to be a good defensive 1B. He also has some experience at the position from when he was with the Dodgers.
   17. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: May 05, 2005 at 05:26 PM (#1313805)
Floyd is not going back to 1b.

The Mets need to start thinking about benching Eyechart. Brian Daubach is making a good case to come up to at least platoon with him.
   18. mr_rogers292 Posted: May 05, 2005 at 05:39 PM (#1313877)
Brian Daubach

Another veteran with a proven lack of ability. This the Mets do not need.

Menky's problem so far has been hitting righties. So I'm not sure that a standard platoon helps anyhow.

A lineup I'd love to see, for the time being:

Diaz 2B
Beltran CF
Floyd LF
Wright 3B
Cameron RF
Reyes SS
Menckiewicz 1B
Piazza C
Pitcher

Plus, on occasion, spell Menky with Floyd at first, moving Diaz to LF and putting Matsui or Cairo at 2B. I's also like to see them give Anderson a start or two in LF. He's not a good player but he's hot right now, so give him a start or two.
   19. Joel Barrett Posted: May 05, 2005 at 05:58 PM (#1313963)
Floyd was never really a first baseman by trade. He was an outfielder stuck at first (because that's what the team needed), and he suffered a horrific injury there - partially as a result of poor fundamentals, IIRC.

At one time, Floyd was pretty emphatic about never playing 1st again. I think that he's softened that stance in recent years (saying the usual "he'd do whatever was best for the team" platitudes), but I doubt he'll be all that happy about playing there. He'd also probably be gunshy about getting hurt, so his defense (particularly on errant throws) would probably be disappointing.
   20. danielj Posted: May 05, 2005 at 06:00 PM (#1313972)
<i>In my opinion, one of the problem with the Mets at the moment is that most of the possible improvements would make the front office lose face.<i>

That's easy...blame Duquette! It worked last year. Don't forget tha Glavine and Matsui deals were negotiated by Wilpon, so the bigger issue may be whether or not he'd admit to himself that he made a mistake. As for Zambrano, I'll think everyone will acknowledge that he'll simply have to go for PR reasons, unless, by some miracle, he becomes a significantly better than average pitcher. He, after all, represents a failure of the "Old Mets." Can't have him around as an ugly reminder of those ancient times.

Benching Floyd would be a huge mistake, even if you think Diaz is the real deal. If he continues to hit and the Mets are not in the race come July, he will have good trade value. The Diaz Era can always wait until August. Similarly, Cameron needs to play to show he's healthy.
   21. Walt Davis Posted: May 05, 2005 at 11:15 PM (#1315319)
he'd be unavailable to give them innings until next week anyway, so it made sense to send him down.

Unless they changed the rule (or I've had it wrong for 30 years or so), a player sent down has to stay there for 10 days unless the team puts someone on the DL. Given this is the Mets, that means there's only about a 85% chance Seo can be called up next week.
   22. Шĥy Posted: May 05, 2005 at 11:39 PM (#1315372)
Why do you have to play Cameron? I agree they'll want to move him or Floyd, but Cameron is a known commodity.

Maybe because Cameron is a very good player. Diaz's first month is out of line with past performace. I mean do you really think going forward he will continue to play at .400 ob%+ level? Even if you think he is a bitter hitter than Cameron, which is dubious at this point, there is a HUGE differnce defensivley. Cameron figures to be at play at least at a +20 runs level defensively while I doubt Diaz is even average defensively.

As far the Diaz to second suggestion, I think it is one that should be considered. Can he really be worse than Matsui defensivley? Doubtful. And I am fairly confident that he will have a higher OPS than .620. Something really has to be done with Matsui if he doesn't pick it up soon. Before today, he was below replacement level offensively and his defense has been atrocious. He's just not good at any aspect of the game.
   23. WillieMays Haze Posted: May 06, 2005 at 01:13 AM (#1315595)
That lineup with Piazza batting 8th is bush league.
   24. PerroX Posted: May 06, 2005 at 01:18 AM (#1315608)
If the Mets do end up trading Cameron, they'd better get something very good in return.

Do you think he's as underrated by GM's as he is by the sportswriters?
   25. AJMcCringleberry Posted: May 06, 2005 at 02:28 AM (#1315733)
I like the Diaz to second base idea. Matsui might the worst second baseman I've seen. There are balls that look like they should be easy plays and he's just waving at them as they go by because HE WON'T EVEN ####### DIVE FOR THE ####### BALL!
   26. Old Matt Posted: May 06, 2005 at 02:40 AM (#1315749)
I like the Diaz to second base idea.

There's a reason why he isn't a 2B anymore.
   27. Harrelson Posted: May 06, 2005 at 02:52 AM (#1315767)
I think the Mets are wishing that Kaz Matsui would get hot so they could trade him for something... anything! But I doubt Diaz is the answer at 2nd. Personally I think Cairo is a good fit there and would be a settling influence on Reyes in the field. Also, I like Mienke at first and believe his bat will come around. One month is a very small sample size. Victor Diaz reminds me a bit of Hidalgo when he came to the Mets last year and got hot. Though he does appear to be a more patient hitter. And the fact that they did not send Diaz down means he will share time in the OF. One thing that is apparent in observing Randolph in the early going is that he seems to like to keep his players rested. About the pitching, I still think its too early to give up on Zambrano and even Glavine (or Ishii), but at least the Mets have gotten some good performances out of Seo and Heilman. That gives the Mets options. Its early yet, but I think this team is still coming together, and it doesn't look half bad. Sorry for the novel guys but its my first post!
   28. AJMcCringleberry Posted: May 06, 2005 at 02:52 AM (#1315768)
He can't possibly be worse than Matsui.
   29. Old Matt Posted: May 06, 2005 at 02:58 AM (#1315780)
He can't possibly be worse than Matsui.

Wanna bet?
   30. Darren Posted: May 06, 2005 at 03:07 AM (#1315791)
Mets - Activated Benson, Cameron

Terrific, they are now ready to make a lame 1980s sitcom.
   31. Rob Base Posted: May 06, 2005 at 03:21 AM (#1315814)
Welcome, Harrelson. Good first post. You'll be bitter-er in no time!
   32. Шĥy Posted: May 06, 2005 at 03:21 AM (#1315815)
I still think its too early to give up on Zambrano

People have been saying this for five years.
   33. Sam M. Posted: May 06, 2005 at 03:28 AM (#1315827)
I still think its too early to give up on Zambrano

Sending him down to AAA doesn't mean giving up on him, any more than it meant giving up on Trachsel or Heilman when they were sent down. Remember, Peterson has implemented an organization-wide pitching program; Zambrano should be able to work on his problems just as easily at Norfolk as he can in New York. IMHO, there is just no justification for sending anyone else down when Ishii is ready.

Matsui v. Diaz is a no-brainer. Diaz had years of minor league experience which showed beyond a shadow of a doubt he can't play the position. Matsui is just now learning the position. As I see it, he has actually been better there than he was at short, and he's been better lately than he was the first two weeks. It's a work in progress, and I would hope we could take a lesson from Heilman that sometimes it pays to be patient with a player's learning curve. The last two years, Heilman was far, far worse than Kazuo Matsui has been this year, and he's come around. Seems to me a month is not enough time to form any final judgments about Matsui as a second baseman.
   34. Old Matt Posted: May 06, 2005 at 03:30 AM (#1315832)
Welcome aboard Harrelson. Join us in the Game Chatter tomorrow night when Zambrano pitches and I'm sure you'll have a grand ol' time.
   35. AJMcCringleberry Posted: May 06, 2005 at 03:36 AM (#1315845)
Seems to me a month is not enough time to form any final judgments about Matsui as a second baseman.

I'm a pessimist and haven't seen Diaz play second, so now you know my reasoning for wanting to move Matsui off of there in favor of Diaz. Though I also wouldn't mind Cairo starting instead.
   36. WillieMays Haze Posted: May 06, 2005 at 04:14 AM (#1315940)
HE WON'T EVEN #### DIVE FOR THE #### BALL!


I never thought about that, but now that you say it I realized I have not only never seen him dive for a ball ONCE, I have also never seen him slide headfirst into a base EVER. Maybe they're teaching those guys in Japan that it's bad to get the front of your jersey dirty.
   37. WillieMays Haze Posted: May 06, 2005 at 04:21 AM (#1315963)
For the record, I'm still supporting the guy. Basically because I want the Mets to win and rooting against a player on their team or booing him at the games (especially a player batting 2nd in the order) is dumb. The Mets signed him, they're stuck with him. We have to live with it and hope he does well and improves and support the guy.

Whenever you're at a game at Shea and Matsui comes up and everyone starts booing at him, and there's a guy who stands up and starts clapping and trying to get some positive energy going (to no avail, of course) that's probably me.
   38. AJMcCringleberry Posted: May 06, 2005 at 04:32 AM (#1315979)
I want the Mets to win and rooting against a player on their team or booing him at the games (especially a player batting 2nd in the order) is dumb.

I'm not rooting against him, I'm just giving my opinion on his suckiness. I don't root against any Mets...well, except for Zambrano but only if the other pitcher sucks worse.
   39. Dr. Vaux Posted: May 06, 2005 at 05:09 AM (#1316024)
I think Zambrano will come up with an "injury" when Ishii's ready. That way, the organization saves face, because players get injured without the front office having anything to do with it.

By the way, Ishii's ERA outside Coors Field last year was 4.20. Granted, half his starts were in Dodger Stadium, but he was still almost average.
   40. David Wrightwing obstructionist Posted: May 06, 2005 at 02:05 PM (#1316295)
Wow, this is just crazy talk, you would think we have the Yanks record right now and not a game above .500. One thing that brings great relief to me this year is there is simply too much talent on the field for this team to completely break down this year.

The Mets front office can be pretty inept but Victor Diaz to 2nd? Come on now, Matsui will heat up and at least we know Randolph is not afraid to yank him and replace him with Cairo whenever he feels the need. Can we give Mini-Manny some credit here? We complained that he wasn't patient, suddenly he is an onbase machine, we complain about his defense, just watching the last couple games the guy has shown some marked improvement in the OF. I also remember Mr Wright struggling with high fastballs early on last year and some this year, their kids, they will make adjustments and for that matter both of them have been making them since they got called up.

The worst idea is trading Cliff Floyd? What kindof crackhead statement is that. He is our lefty power bat, he is now our cleanup hitter, and has the man not proven that if he is healthy he can put up some serious numbers? Big if, we all know but come on. NOw if by July we are dead in the water of course he is a prime candidate to move. Daubach over eyechart's D is also insane, the man has already saved us a ton of runs and a couple of wins too.

Pitching staff is a bit messy but I think they are sorting it out and besides Zambrano I think they have done a decent job of making the right choices. Glavine, unfortunately we all know is done and they won't do anything about that.
   41. billyshears Posted: May 06, 2005 at 03:37 PM (#1316506)
I think May/June are actually going to be big months for the Mets for a lot of the reasons discussed here.

You can't let Tom Glavine continue to pitch with a 7 ERA just because he is Tom Glavine. It loses games, it kills the bullpen and it could cost us a lot of money. Haven't we already paid enough just to have the privilege of Tom Glavine pitching for the Mets. If he has an ERA over 6.00 on July 1, he should be released. This, of course, will never happen because Fred Wilpon once took him to dinner and they talked about family.

You can't keep running a mediocre 2b with a .620 OPS on the field. Matsui is a bad player. Based on his statistics in Japan, this is not an entirely unpredictable outcome. He should be benched for Cairo. Diaz is no longer a viable second baseman. Of course, this will never happen because Matsui is Fred Wilpon's very own PR stunt.

Mientkiewicz has been as good as advertised defensively. He seems to have already become a leader in the clubhouse, for whatever that's worth. There are no alternatives to him that don't involve somebody else switching positions. He is going to be the every day 1b this season, whatever he hits.

Diaz becomes a true fourth outfielder, playing whenever Floyd, Beltran or Cameron need a rest. I can see spotting him at 1b for Mientkiewicz on occassion.

And I can't even think rationally about why Zambrano is even here without my head exploding. How many games do you ask a team to lose for a mistake? I think Heilman will be a regular in the rotation by July though.
   42. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 06, 2005 at 03:54 PM (#1316542)
"If there's ever been a case of a guy with major league experience taking advantage of AAA pitching, [Keppinger]'s the one."

What? At this time last year, Keppinger had never played above AA. 116 AB as a 24-year-old rookie, and all of a sudden he's a AAAA lifer?
   43. FlipYrWhig Posted: May 06, 2005 at 05:01 PM (#1316678)
Anyone have any information about the return of Bartolome Fortunato? I've checked the usual source, to no avail. (Who's this Noah Vail, now, and can he hit?)
   44. FlipYrWhig Posted: May 06, 2005 at 05:02 PM (#1316679)
Oops, "sources," not "source."

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