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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Mets - Optioned Diaz

New York Mets - Placed C Ramon Castro on the 15-day DL; recalled C Mike DiFelice; optioned OF Victor Diaz.

The Mets are saying it’s just so Diaz can play every day and Diaz supposedly is cool with it, but I still don’t like it.  There would still have been plenty of at-bats to go around considering the fragility of both corner outfielders and I just think it sends a bad message to the minor leagues.  “Lead the team in OBP and be 2nd in SLG but you still be demoted when crappy Kaz Ishii and the incumbent come back.”  The Mets should have kept Diaz on the team and made every effort to get him into games, either by rotating days off among outfielders or trading one of them (this has been coming for a month and a half, so the Mets can’t play the surprise card).

Well, if there’s one thing Mike DiFelice knows how to do, it’s lighting fire under people’s asses.  It’s certainly not playing baseball.

Dan Szymborski Posted: May 17, 2005 at 01:55 PM | 35 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. bibyil Posted: May 17, 2005 at 02:35 PM (#1342944)
The Mets are sometimes very stupid.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 17, 2005 at 02:36 PM (#1342947)
Sometimes?
   3. 1k5v3L Posted: May 17, 2005 at 02:43 PM (#1342956)
Don't you hate Omar Minaya's love for Japanese starters?
   4. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 17, 2005 at 02:45 PM (#1342960)
"Well, if there’s one thing Mike DiFelice knows how to do, it’s lighting fire under people’s asses."

Well, that and punching valets.

What's the word on Heilman's rotation spot?
   5. Zeba Zeba Eata Posted: May 17, 2005 at 02:50 PM (#1342969)
Look, this was the right move. Both Floyd and Cameron are (a) healthy and (b) hitting right now, and in such a state are clearly better options than having Diaz in the lineup. That means that the only ABs Diaz is going to get are pinch-hitting, so the problem here is that Cairo or Valent are going to get his 4 pinch-hit at bats a week, which isn't a crime. To the extent that he can go hit in Norfolk for a couple of weeks to keep sharp, so much the better. Once (a) or (b) goes away for either of the incumbents, Victor will be ready to step in, and you haven't lost anyone.

Anyway, this only really happened because they can't figure out what to do about the starters, and needed to punt for a couple of weeks, necessitating 12 pitchers. Once they get that straightened out, I expect they'll be back at 11.
   6. Mikαεl Posted: May 17, 2005 at 02:58 PM (#1342986)
That means that the only ABs Diaz is going to get are pinch-hitting, so the problem here is that Cairo or Valent are going to get his 4 pinch-hit at bats a week, which isn't a crime.

I disagree with the above reasoning.

Diaz should be able to get at least 8 PA per week by spotting Floyd and Cameron. Further, guys often get banged up without needing to miss 10+ games. If Floyd tweaks his calf or Beltran gets the flu, there's a couple of starts which now get handed off to Valent or Woodward or whoever.

The Sox just went through this with Kevin Youkilis, and in the process gave about a week of starts to Ramon Vazquez and his incredible sub-500 OPS. Youks has since been recalled. Baseball players need to take regular rest, and quite often need a few days off. If you have a guy who can take those starts with hardly any drop in production, you should keep him on the team.
   7. Zeba Zeba Eata Posted: May 17, 2005 at 03:10 PM (#1343012)
If Floyd tweaks his calf or Beltran gets the flu, there's a couple of starts which now get handed off to Valent or Woodward or whoever.

If that happens anytime after the next 10 days, I expect Diaz would be up to take those starts. Diaz wasn't starting against the Yankees or Braves anyway, and by the time that gets done his 10 days will be over, and maybe the rest of the roster will have been straightened out. In the meantime he gets to play for a few days to stay sharp. Plus, it's not like Valent or Woodward are Ice Williams or SuperJoe.
   8. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 17, 2005 at 03:14 PM (#1343021)
Over his last 10 games, Diaz is 6 for 29 with one HR, a 0/2 SB/CS, and 12 K. To me, that looks like a guy coming down to his performance baseline. It also looks like a guy who's still in need of some adjustments at AAA.

As such, I don't really see the big deal here.
   9. Dan Szymborski Posted: May 17, 2005 at 03:25 PM (#1343046)
Over his last 10 games, Diaz is 6 for 29 with one HR, a 0/2 SB/CS, and 12 K.

That's still containing his 0-19 slump. Once he broke that run, he's gone 6-13 with a HR and 2 2B, so he's made adjustments.

Even if you consider Diaz still slumping, how is beating up AAA pitchers going to teach him to adjust against major leaguers?

And even then why should a guy who's been performing in the majors get less leeway than lesser players on their slumps? The "slumps" of Matsui and Mientkiewicz are now a year and a quarter long, not a week and a half like Diaz.

I reiterate what I said before - either the Mets need to bench Matsui or Mientkiewicz or trade Cameron right now.
   10. Hubie Brooks (Not Really) Posted: May 17, 2005 at 03:35 PM (#1343073)
Minkys glove alone has been worth it, his couple of big HRs are just icing on the cake.

Matsui should ride the bench.
   11. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 17, 2005 at 03:42 PM (#1343094)
"Even if you consider Diaz still slumping, how is beating up AAA pitchers going to teach him to adjust against major leaguers?"

When has be "beaten up" AAA pitchers? The guy had a .823 OPS last year, and while that's good for his age at that level, it's closer to "Gerald Williams" than it is to "dominant".

Diaz has good power, but he's got some issues with contact, and they've steadily gotten more serious with each level of advancement. What percentage of guys make a go of it in the bigs long-term while striking out in more than a third of their ABs?
   12. baudib Posted: May 17, 2005 at 03:45 PM (#1343107)
Keep Diaz in the majors, dumbasses.

The Phillies are going to do something even dumber when they send Ryan Howard down.
   13. Sam M. Posted: May 17, 2005 at 04:21 PM (#1343195)
either the Mets need to bench Matsui or Mientkiewicz or trade Cameron right now.

I couldn't disagree more.

(a) The Kazuo Matsui who posted a .727 OPS last year would, IMHO, be the Mets' best option at 2B right now. Far better than Miguel Cairo, and better than Jeff Keppinger, and certainly better than Victor Diaz. I think they should give him until at least the ASB to establish that he isn't capable of repeating that performance.

(b) They don't have a good option to replace Mientkiewicz at 1B. Victor Diaz may -- or may not -- be able to handle the position. If they think he might be, the correct course of action is to send him to Norfolk and put him at first, promoting him back to the majors if and when he proves he can competently handle the position at the major league level. Trying to have an entirely novice right side of the infield is a recipe for disaster.

(c) Trade Cameron? Tell me first what deal might actually improve the club. If they want to explore trading Cameron, I wouldn't have a problem with that, but to just say flat-out they should trade him "right now" doesn't cut it. We had a thread last week in which our collective efforts produced only trades that either the Mets shouldn't make, or that the other team probably wouldn't make.

What the Mets should do is

(a) release Ron Calloway instead of Bob Keppel -- they released Keppel to make room on the 40-man roster for Mike DeFelice;

(b) continue to play Matsui, giving him a little time and breathing room for his struggles at the plate, in allowance for the fact he is, after all, learning a brand-new position;

(c) explore trading either Cameron or Diaz for help either in the pen or at first base;

(d) send Victor Zambrano to Norfolk, and go with a rotation of Pedro/Benson/Glavine/
Heilman/Ishii, giving Ishii a couple of starts until they can either trade him or dump him, making room for Jae Seo.
   14. RaysFan Posted: May 17, 2005 at 04:21 PM (#1343197)
“Lead the team in OBP and be 2nd in SLG but you still be demoted when crappy Kaz Ishii and the incumbent come back.”

Are Lou Piniella and Chuck LaMar running the Mets also? Jonny Gomes, you have company.
   15. Smitty* Posted: May 17, 2005 at 04:28 PM (#1343216)
Posted by Brandon LyonHeart (levski) on May 17, 2005 at 09:43 AM (#1342956)
Don't you hate Omar Minaya's love for Japanese starters?


No, I hate pants.
   16. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: May 17, 2005 at 05:21 PM (#1343337)
So I had picked up Victor Diaz for his hot-streak in a keeper league. Is he worth hanging on to? I know there are some plate dicsipline issues, not to mention playing-for-the-Mets issues, but it's hard for me to just drop a guy who's 23 years old and has a 294/389/537 line in 136 major league AB. Obviously that would have to be regressed ... here are his major league numbers so far prorated to 500 AB:
 AB   H  2B  3B  HR  BB  SO  AVG OBP SLG
500 147  37   4  26  70 158  294 389 537
So it might be tough to hang on to that batting average with that many strikeouts. So maybe he's really a 250/345/500 hitter. I don't know. What do people think?
   17. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: May 17, 2005 at 05:25 PM (#1343349)
FWIW, and I'm not sure how much it is, the PrOPS figures at The HBT say Diaz's line, based on batted ball types, should have been 249/380/452 (through games of 5/14). Even regressing the walks, if that's his real level of ability at age 23, that's not a bad place to be.
   18. Sam M. Posted: May 17, 2005 at 05:32 PM (#1343372)
I think Diaz IS worth holding on to. He has some issues with good heat -- has trouble catching up to it. But he does have good power, and if you look at his minor league numbers, through to his performance this season, it is clearly developing. Given his history of winning minor league batting titles, I think it is reasonable to expect he can keep his average at least respectable, enough that he will be a strong contributor. And there will be playing time for him. The Mets have an injury-prone left fielder; both corner outfielders have relatively little time remaining on their contracts; and the Mets have no other OF prospects close to ready in their system.
   19. Rob Base Posted: May 17, 2005 at 05:34 PM (#1343376)
He has some issues with good heat -- has trouble catching up to it. But he does have good power, and if you look at his minor league numbers, through to his performance this season, it is clearly developing. Given his history of winning minor league batting titles, I think it is reasonable to expect he can keep his average at least respectable, enough that he will be a strong contributor. And there will be playing time for him. The Mets have an injury-prone left fielder; both corner outfielders have relatively little time remaining on their contracts; and the Mets have no other OF prospects close to ready in their system.
(Page 1 of 1 pages )


= deadline trade for a ROOGY, no?
   20. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 17, 2005 at 05:47 PM (#1343405)
As with all fantasy-type questions, the answer depends on who you'd add instead.
   21. St.Philly Posted: May 17, 2005 at 06:08 PM (#1343454)
Well, Minaya certainly has blown his big chance to trade Diaz for Endy Chavez
   22. WillieMays Haze Posted: May 17, 2005 at 07:11 PM (#1343594)
Why not try and convert Diaz back to his original position at second base??

They seem to be getting some crappy production from their starter over there.
   23. Joshemy Posted: May 17, 2005 at 07:52 PM (#1343693)
They released Bob Keppel off the 40-man and not Ron Calloway?

GAH!
   24. 1k5v3L Posted: May 17, 2005 at 07:57 PM (#1343700)
What, Rick Peterson couldn't fix another 1st round pick?
   25. Шĥy Posted: May 17, 2005 at 08:11 PM (#1343733)
The Kazuo Matsui who posted a .727 OPS last year would, IMHO, be the Mets' best option at 2B right now. Far better than Miguel Cairo, and better than Jeff Keppinger, and certainly better than Victor Diaz.

There is a signficant gap between the defense of Cairo and Matsui. Matsui is one of the worst while Cairo is usually average to above average and last year was one of the best. Even if Matsui can be come back to that .727 OPS, which is very doubtful, it will likley not make up the difference in defense. And, I'm not convinced that Diaz would not be a better option at 2b. The difference in offense between the two is huge. If Matsui is a -10 defender, then what would Diaz have to be to be worse overall than Matsui? -30? Not all big guys are bad defensivley at infield positions. Right now, I think Diaz to second is the best option.
   26. Mike Emeigh Posted: May 17, 2005 at 08:36 PM (#1343789)
Right now, I think Diaz to second is the best option.

I don't know. He's a lot like Juan Samuel in many ways, and I'm of the opinion (as was Bill James) that Samuel didn't develop as well as he might have had he not been tasked with playing 2B. A bad defensive 2B risks getting nicked up (or worse) by sliding baserunners, especially if his footwork around the bag is lousy. Diaz's development as a hitter might very well be slowed or stalled if he's shifted back to a more demnading defensive position now.

-- MWE
   27. NTNgod Posted: May 17, 2005 at 08:46 PM (#1343812)
Right now, I think Diaz to second is the best option.

Considering the horrible reports on his D, perhaps for hilarity in Game Chatters it might be:

Diaz, you fat f$#&@!g piece of &#%&!
My grandmother could have gotten that ball!
CARLOS BAERGA would have gotten that ball!
WHAT HAVE WE DONE TO DESERVE THIS!??!!
I want him gone!!@@#!*!!!@!! $#&% !!!!
   28. Шĥy Posted: May 17, 2005 at 09:05 PM (#1343869)
Diaz Matsui you fat mullet having f$#&@!g piece of &#%&!
My grandmother could have gotten that ball!
CARLOS BAERGA would have gotten that ball!
WHAT HAVE WE DONE TO DESERVE THIS!??!!
I want him gone!!@@#!*!!!@!! $#&% !!!!


Because this is so much better.
   29. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: May 17, 2005 at 09:13 PM (#1343897)
"He's a lot like Juan Samuel in many ways..."
I agree with the analogy and the conclusion. (Though Samuel was a lot faster.)
   30. Sam M. Posted: May 17, 2005 at 09:18 PM (#1343913)
Diaz was a bad second baseman, with poor range, who has now put on more bulk. The notion that he could be a second baseman is just crazy talk.

Matsui might get better. Probably won't, but given that he's had a total of a 1/4 season to get up to speed, I'm willing to be patient. We know, without any significant doubt, what the ceiling is on Miguel Cairo, and it's NOT a championship-caliber second baseman. Time enough to settle for his meager talents in the second half of the season.
   31. Walt Davis Posted: May 17, 2005 at 10:11 PM (#1344032)
the ceiling is on Miguel Cairo, and it's NOT a championship-caliber second baseman.

True, he's just a game 7 of the ALCS-caliber second baseman. :-)

Anyway, the Mets need to decide if they're going for it this year or not. Given last year's trading deadline debacle, they seem to have a penchant for thinking it's time to go for it. That's not good.

But either way, there's not much for them to do now. Big trades at this time of year are pretty rare these days. Floyd, Cameron and Matsui are likely there until July and Diaz is likely in AAA until Cameron/Floyd get hurt. Then the deadline trade of Diaz for Eric Milton will cause Sam's head to explode.

(I know, I know, Omar wasn't there last year. But if I can't have fun at the Mets' expense, there's just no reason to live.)
   32. Sam M. Posted: May 17, 2005 at 10:20 PM (#1344046)
Then the deadline trade of Diaz for Eric Milton will cause Sam's head to explode.

Well, Walt, given that they have:

Pedro Martinez
Tom Glavine
Kris Benson
Aaron Heilman
Kaz Ishii
Victor Zambrano
Jae Seo

I don't think they're going to be in the market for a starter. But Diaz for Octavio Dotel or LaTroy Hawkins? Could happen, and THAT would make my head explode.
   33. Шĥy Posted: May 17, 2005 at 10:32 PM (#1344064)
I don't think they're going to be in the market for a starter. But Diaz for Octavio Dotel or LaTroy Hawkins?

I don't think Diaz is going anywhere. He seems t be an Omar favorite.
   34. Bob Koo Posted: May 17, 2005 at 10:53 PM (#1344089)
Trade Cameron? Tell me first what deal might actually improve the club. If they want to explore trading Cameron, I wouldn't have a problem with that, but to just say flat-out they should trade him "right now" doesn't cut it.

My sentiments exactly. Who's available for Cameron right now? Urbina? Felix Rodriguez? Dotel? Pass on all three.

I have a problem with Diaz being sent down because it's a move clearly based on player options, or the lack thereof (Valent). So basically, they're demoting someone who can help the team right now from the bench and as a spot starter in order to keep a replacement-level player on the big league club.
   35. Rob Base Posted: May 18, 2005 at 12:48 AM (#1344389)
I have a problem with Diaz being sent down because it's a move clearly based on player options, or the lack thereof (Valent).

So you see right through that "get him at bats" pack of lies.

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