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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mets Turn Over Entire Roster in Single Day

OK, maybe they didn’t quite do that, but a lot of well-known names coming and going today.  Let’s tackle them one-by-one.

Beltran to the DL.  Obviously a big blow to the team, but it’s supposedly just a bruise and shouldn’t keep him out too long.  On the plus side, if the Mets were as bad a team as you’d think how they’re covered in media reports, losing Beltran wouldn’t be a big deal, but it is.  Ignoring for a second that perverse reasoning, F-Mart and J-Reed (doesn’t really work) will fill-in for him.  Martinez’s recent stint with the team was obviously less-than-exciting, but he did show more power than he has so far for Buffalo and he’s ostensibly just 20.  266/308/468 translation for Buffalo.

Wily Mo Pena, Bobby Kielty, and Javier Valentin released.  Kielty barely played, but both Valentin and Pena were among the better hitters on the team (the team’s hitting 239/299/343).  One way to depress a minor league fanbase is to randomly release veteran players, so there’s probably some additional reason for the releases that haven’t been made public or the Mets just hate Buffalo.  Maybe Pena killed David Carradine or something.

Connor Robertson and Wilson Valdez were both designated for assignment.  Robertson was meh in mopup duty for the Bisons and Wilson Valdez played as he typically does, naturally leading to him being sent off the 40-man roster.

Elmer Dessens to the Mets.  Dessens hasn’t contributed in the majors for a few years, but he really pitched quite well in Buffalo and the Mets will pull the trigger quickly if it doesn’t work out.  4.31 translation.  Given that all the white relievers but Stokes have stunk while all the minority relievers have been good, perhaps Dessens will work out.

Pat Misch to the Mets.  The Mets quietly picking up Misch is one of my favorite moves of the season so far.  For years, Misch pitched excellently in the minors as a reliever and indifferently as a starter.  In the majors, he has a 6.95 ERA as a starter and a 2.83 ERA as a reliever.  So naturally, the Giants decided to give Misch some starts every year and act surprised when it doesn’t work out.  Misch has a little too much Josh Towers in him to be a really good pitcher in the majors (disaster strikes when his control is off at all), but if left as a useful reliever that can go more than an inning, he can really help a team like the Mets that has a lot of uncertainty in the starting rotation.

Dan Szymborski Posted: June 23, 2009 at 04:05 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. 1k5v3L Posted: June 23, 2009 at 05:51 AM (#3229029)
Elmer Dessens to the Mets.
Elmer is just the glue the Mets need to hold that bullpen together.
   2. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: June 23, 2009 at 06:17 AM (#3229038)
I wonder if Pena asked for his release. The Mets are beset with injuries and the Mets called up Evans and Fernando instead of him. He probably figured that he'd never get a shot with the Mets this year.
   3. RobertMachemer Posted: June 23, 2009 at 06:30 AM (#3229044)
Did I miss something? Wily Mo Pena has a .276 AVG, .296 OBP, and .414 SLG in AAA. He's 27 and his fielding is erratic. This is not exactly an Israel Alcantara or Roberto Petagine situation, is it? There may not be a huge reason to release him, but there's also no huge reason to think he has any future with the Mets or any other major league team, unless I'm missing something (which I may be).
   4. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: June 23, 2009 at 06:40 AM (#3229050)
Pat Misch to the Mets. The Mets quietly picking up Misch is one of my favorite moves of the season so far. For years, Misch pitched excellently in the minors as a reliever and indifferently as a starter. In the majors, he has a 6.95 ERA as a starter and a 2.83 ERA as a reliever. So naturally, the Giants decided to give Misch some starts every year and act surprised when it doesn't work out. Misch has a little too much Josh Towers in him to be a really good pitcher in the majors (disaster strikes when his control is off at all), but if left as a useful reliever that can go more than an inning, he can really help a team like the Mets that has a lot of uncertainty in the starting rotation.

I think that Giants' problem with Misch was that they want their LOOGYs to have an overpowering fastball and that's just not Misch (mid 80s). So they sign Affeldt (low 90s) and will continue to give an inferior pitcher like Hinshaw all the opportunities that he needs over the next few years even if they're undeserved.

In my opinion, the biggest problem with Misch is that he doesn't have anything approaching an effective changeup. He has an mediocre fastball (mid 80s with a little bit of movement, but nothing special) and a decent MLB-quality curveball (solid, but nothing special). But his changeup has absolutely no deception on it and MLB hitters will kill a flat 80mph pitch all day long. Soft-tossing lefties cannot survive for long in the majors without a reliably good changeup.


As for the ~2.85 ERA as a reliever... my recollection is that in 2007 and 2008 he was used almost exclusively in a mopup role when he wasn't starting. So it's possible that he wasn't pitching against really good hitters as a reliever (he only recorded 2 holds and 0 saves in his 27 relief appearances).

Also, the 6.95 ERA as a starter is a bit misleading. First, he only had 11 starts (55.2 IP, in which he gave up 43 ER). But the worst of the damage came in just two of his starts:
- 09/26/07: 4.1 IP, 8 ER (159th game of season)
- 05/25/08: 4.1 IP, 7 ER (1st game of doubleheader)

Bochy left him in a little longer in both starts because the context required that Misch give innings no matter how poor in quality (near end of season, needed IP in the first-half of a double-header). Take those two games out of the equation and he just gives up 28 ER in 47 IP over the remaining 9 starts. Still a mediocre 5.36 ERA, but more in-line with what you would expect (actually, that's almost exactly his 2009 ZIPS RoS). His main problem as a starter was that he struggled to get through even the 5th inning.

Finally, for whatever reason, I heard that Righetti and Misch weren't on good terms. One would think that Misch is exactly the type of pitcher that Righetti would be able to maximize. So Misch might do better under a different pitching coach. But even with the best coach in the world, the overall talent package is probably still just a AAAA swingman.
   5. Raskolnikov Posted: June 23, 2009 at 09:01 AM (#3229061)
It's a good sign that the Mets organization is going to give these ABs/opportunities to Evans and Fernando. The Phillips and Duquette eras would definitely have brought up the veteran retreads like Pena and Kielty.

Too bad the Mets dealt away Carp in the winter. They could really use him now.
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 23, 2009 at 01:24 PM (#3229131)
How is Buffalo going to field a team now?
   7. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 23, 2009 at 01:28 PM (#3229137)
Did I miss something? Wily Mo Pena has a .276 AVG, .296 OBP, and .414 SLG in AAA.

Frank Wren would take that call.
   8. Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!) Posted: June 23, 2009 at 03:01 PM (#3229249)
Did I miss something? Wily Mo Pena has a .276 AVG, .296 OBP, and .414 SLG in AAA.

Frank Wren would take that call.

I was about to post that Wily Mo would be an upgrade in the 2009 Braves outfield. Of course, that says much more about the Braves' outfield than Wily Mo Pena...
   9. TedBerg Posted: June 23, 2009 at 06:08 PM (#3229534)
Did I miss something? Wily Mo Pena has a .276 AVG, .296 OBP, and .414 SLG in AAA. He's 27 and his fielding is erratic.

I wouldn't say you missed anything, except that the Mets clearly need power and Wily Mo has demonstrated that at the big-league level. He's certainly not showing anything meriting a call-up this year, but it seems random to just cut a guy who's 27 and has hit Major League home runs when your active leaders in ISO are 40-year-old Gary Sheffield, Brian Schneider and Omir Santos.

I, too, wonder if he requested his release or had something in his contract. Otherwise it's strange.
   10. jingoist Posted: June 24, 2009 at 10:56 PM (#3231605)
Even the Nationals gave up on Wily Mo!
he cant hit anything thrown his way that isn't a flat fastball; any pitch that breaks or curves and Wily Mo is lost.

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