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Blog Entry

Mets 1st half : Grades and comments

Posted on: July 12, 2010 3:56 am
 


The All-Star Game is the unofficial half-way point of the year(it's actually 7 games into the 2nd half), so it's time to assess how the Mets are doing. I'll be breaking down the offense, then pitching and finally coaching. I'll post the grades then a brief summary. Please feel free to comment afterwards. Here we go...

Offense

C- Barajas  B-   Rod  has done a solid job behind the dish and has good numbers despite his recent slump.

1B- Davis   Ike has brought power, defense and energy to the position and team. IMHO, Minaya's best developed prospect.

2B- Castillo D   Luis is hitting .241 with 3 extra-basehits and can't make a play to his left. Overpaid,aging & expendable.

SS- Reyes  Needs to walk more, but when healthy, he makes this offense go. His defense has been solid as well.

3B- Wright  The Mets MVP and possible NL MVP as well. He has put up the numbers and played great defense. The Mets lone AS.

LF- Bay  So far his power numbers are down and his defense is spotty. He's not looked like a 66 million dollar player, but it's early.

CF- Pagan  A  The Mets biggest surprise. He's hit well, run well and played solid defense. He's earned a starting spot.

RF- Francoeur  C+  Too streaky, but his numbers aren't bad for a guy who they've dumped in the 7th and 8th hole. Plays great defense.

Bench: C-  Until Thole, they haven't had a pinch-hitter. Tatis(.185) is horrible, Carter is hitting under .250, Cora is mediocrity personified and Catalanotto hit .160 before being cut. Blanco has been a nice back-up and Feliciano filled in nicely as well. Carter has some pop, but now is the 5th OF and Ike plays every game. Chris may not be around too long, if Evans shows he can hit.



Pitching

SP- Santana  B-  The ace has looked great in his last 3 starts, but has been too up-and-down so far. The 2nd half looks good though.


SP- Pelfrey  B   Mike has slumped his last 5 starts, but is 10-4. He carried the Mets early on. Hopefully, he gets back to throwing strikes.


SP- Niese  B-  After a poor start, he's been the Mets 2nd best pitcher. Good K-BB ratio. Currently, the #3 pitcher in the rotation.


SP- Dickey  B+  A God-send after Maine and Perez nearly destroyed the rotation. He's slipped lately, but has been stellar.


SP- Maine  D-   A flop and a head case. Odds are he's done as a Met and few if any will miss him. Wasted talent.


SP- Perez  F  The worst pitcher in MLB and the most overpaid. He threw 100 pitches in 5 innings @ Triple A. He's pathetic.


SP/RP- Takahashi  B+   IMHO he's been the best off-season acquisition and most valuable pitcher. Great in relief, decent as a starter.


RP- Nieve  D+   The manager has virtually buried him and this pen is far from deep. He's a AAA pitcher, nothing more.


RP- Igarashi    A total waste of 1.25 million. The Mets spent 2.5 million on 2 set-up guys and got an injured player and a stiff.
 

RP-Valdes  C-  At best a long reliever, but really a guy who belongs back in the Independent Leagues. Hello NJ!


RP- Mejia  C  A wasted 3 months being misused and not developed. His numbers were mediocre, but more importantly, he was wasted.


RP- Dessens  B-  A journeyman pitcher who is 39 and has never really has a good year. So far in limited use, he's done very well.


RP- Feliciano  B-  The energizer bunny is overused and of late has faltered. However, he's been a stalwart in a sea of mediocrity.


RP- Rodriguez  B   Far from perfect, he still has 21 saves in 25 opportunities. That's a 84% conversion rate. That's a B in my book.



Coaching

 
MGR-Manuel  C  The guy lies, spouts nonsense, misuses the pen and bench. He also botches his order. However, they're 8 over.


PC- Warthen  C   Perez and Maine flopped, Santana has struggled, Pelfrey is fading and Niese started slowly. He gets credit for Dickey.


HC-Johnson  C-  Frenchy still lunges, Tejada hasn't improved and this team overall is far from a juggernaut. Honestly, why is he here?

 
1B- Shines  D-  I know he's at first, but he is horrible. Worst 3B coach ever. Why is he still in MLB?


3B- Hale  B+  I love his approach and he's aggressive. Today he shouldn't have sent Frenchy, but overall, a huge upgrade over Shines.


BC- Jauss  B   This guy is very cerebral and could easily replace the dullard. My guess is he's helped Jerry be less dim.


BPC- Niemann  C+  I like his fiery approach and he'll stand-up for the group. However, the pen is mediocre and that reflects on him.



Overall grade:   C+  I almost went B-, but the Mets ended the first half poorly losing 4 of 6 at home to 2 division leaders. They've also played poorly on the road failing to win a series against a NL team. They've played great at home. They've been too streaky and no area of the team has been first rate. They've overachieved in some areas and underachieved in others. They're in both races, but have slipped back in both of late. Their poor play on the road can doom them after the break if they're not careful.

Category: MLB
Tags: Mets
 
Comments

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: July 21, 2010 9:36 pm
 

Mets 1st half : Grades and comments

quarreling over something as arbitrary as a letter grade seems dumb to me, but here goes nothing. 

"and his first 1/2 dozen starts were terrible"

Are you looking at the same guy I am?  In starts 3 thru 5 for Niese, he allowed one earn run in each start.  How is this terrible?  In his fifth start he threw 7 innings of 4-hit ball and got the win.  Even his first start this season, which was a loss, he threw 6 innings and allowed 3 runs (not great, but certainly not terrible).  So in his first 6 starts, only 2 starts could he truly be considered "terrible". 

I think a B or a B+ would have been a better grade for Niese.  I don't think you actually looked at Niese's early season stats before you made the above statement.  You couldn't possibly have



Dude, do you know what a quality start is? 5 innings isn't quality. In 7 out of his first 9 starts he failed to reach the 6th.

Over his first 6 games, he only once went 7 innings and one other time went 6. That means in 4 of his first 6 starts he failed to get a quality start. If you stretch that to his next 3 starts, he also failed to get a quality start and twice never made it out of the 5th. So that means in his first 9 starts, he had only 2 quality starts.

In his first 9 starts he walked 18, while striking out 33. He was 1-2 with a 4.79 ERA. I'm suppose to ignore that and give him an B+? Sorry, but to me that would be simply homeristic and just plain wrong.

I like Niese and he's rebounded nicely. However, ignoring his first 9 starts before his return from the DL is just plain wrong. I actually looked at his real stats, not the ones you must have imagined.



Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: July 21, 2010 9:19 pm
 

Mets 1st half : Grades and comments

My point is merely that Escobar was a risky guy to trade and the trade could backfire on the Braves.  Plain and simple. 


When Gonzalez entered the club house for the first time,  the players and manager gave him a standing ovation. That says everything you need to know about him and what they thought of Escobar. The players in the clubhouse knew what they got and lost and were thrilled. I wouldn't say they thought it was risky.



Since: Oct 22, 2006
Posted on: July 19, 2010 3:13 pm
 

Mets 1st half : Grades and comments

Unless you're in the clubhouse everyday, you can't know the impact these guys have on the team.  It further proves my point that I think some of these grades your handing out are stemming from pre-conceived notions.I think you will find it very difficult to find someone on here that has been in the Mets clubhouse everyday but thats only my own pre-conceived notion.

I also think you make many good points.  Your absolutely right regarding Jeff Francoeur... he is putting up Francoeur numbers and playing a solid RF.  If fans want to get down on this guy it's like buying a Kia and expecting to get the same performance as a Porsche.  I like the guy but if Angel Pagan stays hot you have to play him.  You just signed Jason Bay and are paying him so you have to play him everyday even though logic tells you otherwise.  If my memory serves me correctly I think Francoeur and Pagan are FA at the end of the season... do they Mets re-sign one or both or none? 

I would have to disagree with you on Jerry Manuel and agree that a C or C+ is deserved.  If your working in a group but getting an individual grade then he didn't score higher than a C+ at best.  The guy has made several bone headed moves not to mention the number of arms in the pen he has destroyed.  I think he is below average when it comes to managing during the course of 9 innings but would say he is above average in the clubhouse.  (For the record I have never been in the Mets clubhouse personally)



Since: Oct 22, 2006
Posted on: July 19, 2010 2:52 pm
 

Mets 1st half : Grades and comments

I'm not going to breakdown the individual grades that you've given, except that I don't know how you can give Manuel a C when his team has outperformed nearly everyones expectationsI think if you look at the decisions Jerry Manuel has made over the first half of the season you can give him a C.  The team outperfroming nearly everyones expectations stems from the additions of Ike Davis along with the subtractions of John Maine and Oliver Perez.  Guys like Ike, Angel Pagan and R.A. Dickey have really given the Mets the means to compete this season. 

IMO, I think Jerry has made more poor decisions then good.  I like Jerry and I think the team does but with that said a manager with more knowledge of the game and a proven record would allow you to see the rank of C that was given to him.  Sometimes the boat gets mroe credit than the mechanicals inside of it.


I might be standing alone on this one but I think the Mets can really use bullpen help over a starter.  If they were able to grab two solid arms in the pen and allow Maine/Perez one more go at the 5th spot in the rotation when Dickey turns the ball over after 7 strong you will not have to worry as much.... when Santana can only go 7 you will not have to worry as much.. when Mike Pelfrey is bounced after 5 you can rely more on the bullpen to carry you the rest of the way... Niese will also take the ball into the 7th.  I'm not saying the Mets lose a lot of leads as much as they fight back but fall short because the pen allowed the opposition to score a few more runs.  Either way the Mets will need to address obtaining a Starter and some quality arms in the pen next season. 
If Jerry Manuel is managing the team next year they may need to stock pile relivers because he sure knows how to wear arms out.



Since: May 7, 2009
Posted on: July 19, 2010 1:39 pm
 

Mets 1st half : Grades and comments

quarreling over something as arbitrary as a letter grade seems dumb to me, but here goes nothing. 

"and his first 1/2 dozen starts were terrible"

Are you looking at the same guy I am?  In starts 3 thru 5 for Niese, he allowed one earn run in each start.  How is this terrible?  In his fifth start he threw 7 innings of 4-hit ball and got the win.  Even his first start this season, which was a loss, he threw 6 innings and allowed 3 runs (not great, but certainly not terrible).  So in his first 6 starts, only 2 starts could he truly be considered "terrible". 

I think a B or a B+ would have been a better grade for Niese.  I don't think you actually looked at Niese's early season stats before you made the above statement.  You couldn't possibly have. 



Since: May 7, 2009
Posted on: July 19, 2010 12:50 pm
 

Mets 1st half : Grades and comments

that seems kind of obvious starblazer.  Of course the Braves felt they could do better when they made this trade.  Why make the trade if they don't feel they are improving their team?  I'm sure both teams felt this way.  You can fall all over yourself touting this as proof of the Braves superiority as an organization, but the fact of the matter is that this trade was a complete no-brainer for them.  The Braves traded away a talented guy who was barely even trying anymore - he had to go.  (And on cue Escobar goes 3-4 with a grand slam and 5 RBIs on Sunday, so, again, he isn't chopped liver).   The relationship between Escobar and the Braves had become toxic and there was no room for him

The Braves already believed they could win this year, and so did their fans.  In case you haven't noticed, you have to crane your neck upward to see them in the standings.  We all know this isn't a fluke at this point.  In the long-term this deal was risky for the Braves and their management knew it - you don't run across talent like Escobar every day, and the chances that he turns things around and the trade backfires are better than average.   Why do you think this move took so long?  The Braves wanted actual major-league ready talent at the SS position and not every team was willing to take that risk, which is why this saga kept lingering into July and casting a pall on an otherwise wonderful story in Atlanta.  They didn't just dump him - they got someone solid in return. 

If your overall point is that the Braves GM consistantly makes better moves than the Mets, and the Braves seem more committed to winning, then I'd say any quick glance at the standings the last 17 years would tell us that.  The Braves have always been better managed and had a better personnel guy, and this continues into this latest decade.   Nothing new to see here.  Omar sure as hell is no John Schuerholz, and Frank Wren (a Schuerholz deciple) is a chip off the old block.  You aren't exactly going out on a limb by saying Omar has done a poor job in the past, or by saying the Braves are a better organization.  The sky is blue.  And I breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.

My point is merely that Escobar was a risky guy to trade and the trade could backfire on the Braves.  Plain and simple. 



Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: July 15, 2010 6:14 pm
 

Mets 1st half : Grades and comments

quick response to METS2007 re: Alex Gonzalez trade.  Keep in mind the Braves didn't trade chopped liver for him.  Escobar has been infuriating and has clearly worn out his welcome in Atlanta, but his upside is FAR GREATER than Gonzalez, who is what he is: a nice player having a career year.  Gonzalez played in a hitters ballpark and had a lot of bangers around him to protect him in the lineup (and the Jays are amongst the league leaders in HRs this season).  We will almost certainly see Gonzalez's numbers decline in Turner Field.

Jo Jo Reyes was also an up-and-coming prospect for the Braves.  You almost NEVER see the Braves trade a pitcher who is worth a crap, and generally they know what they are doing when they trade a pitcher away.  But Reyes and Escobar could develop into the players that the Braves thought they were, and this trade could easily backfire on Atlanta.  Escobar has million dollar talent and a 10-cent brain, but this was a far riskier trade than it is being made out to be. 






I disagree. This trade shows the Braves have given up on Escobar and feel they can do better. They brought in a veteran who is having a career year offensively and who helped the Redsox make the playoffs last year. He's also a solid defensive player,and fundamentally sound. When he's healthy, he's a solid shortstop and always has been.

The fact they dumped Reyes shows that they don't think too much of him. Their pitching is top-notch and they always seem to have a better pitcher ready to take the place of one they dumped. That's the hallmark of a great organization.

You also failed to mention they received 2 prospects in the deal themselves.

The Braves are showing their fans and the fellow players they believe they can win this year. Bobby Cox is retiring and they'd love to send him out on a high note. I applaud their efforts and only wish our GM would actually take a risk or 2 to win. His failure to improve this team cost them in both 2008 and 2009 when they fell short due to a lack of pitching depth which the GM failed misrerably to bolster.

Btw, I don't blame the 'Jays for making the deal however. They're a 4th place team and know they're never going to be more than that this year and probably in the near future. They can take a chance on a head case. He's not going to do so badly the O's will catch them. Gonzalez wasn't going to help them pass Boston or Tampa either.




Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: July 15, 2010 6:03 pm
 

Mets 1st half : Grades and comments

I'm not sure I understand the B- for Niese.  You keep saying he "started slow", but the guy had a hamstring injury that slowed him down.  As soon as he came back from that injury in early June, he's been pretty much lights out (with the exception of the game where they brought him back out after a long rain delay).  He had three straight starts in April where he allowed one run or less, and he only got one win out of it, so there was a bit of bad luck involved in his slow start. 

I'm sorry a pitcher who is 6-3 doesn't get an A. You have to look at the whole and his first 1/2 dozen starts were terrible. Since the injury, he's been excellent. I also left room for improvement. To me only Wright and Pagan deserved A's. I don't think either can do much better than they did.

I think the development of Niese as a reliable lefty starter has been one of the most overlooked stories of the first half.  Anyone can go out and trade for a pitcher or buy a free agent, but the Mets have groomed this kid from their farm system, and he looks to be a keeper.  His continued success is absolutely vital if the Mets hope to contend this season.   A 24-year-old lefty with a nasty hook and a bulldog disposition?  Sign me up! And that has to do with his grade, how?

I like Niese and have pumped him up since late 2008. I even wrote about him previous to that based on his work in the minors. IMHO, he's a solid backend starter and would be a nice #4 for the Mets next year and hopefully this year if they actually add a #2 which they need.



Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: July 15, 2010 5:58 pm
 

Mets 1st half : Grades and comments

and a quick aside - I don't think any Mets fan considers Castillo to be the starting 2B.  Tejada has done an admirable job filling in and I think I speak for most Mets fans when I say that I hope and prey Tejada is the starting 2B in the second half of the season.  The kid has been solid and will only improve

Nothing would make me happier, but once Castillo is back, he'll start. I decided not to give him a grade since he didn't stat the majority of games there and for all practical purposes is the back-up.

A quick aside, Castillo is horrible and I've been his biggest critic.



Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: July 15, 2010 5:56 pm
 

Mets 1st half : Grades and comments

No way does Manuel get a "C". For him, "D" at best. Just terrible. Sure the team's 8 over .500 but with that roster they should be. He's made some terrible decisions all season long. I cannot wait until the Mets wise up and move on. Time to bring in Wally Beckman.

 





Hey, I can't stand him, but he has to get some credit. My "C" was overly generous.


Btw, it's Wally Backman who has his Brooklyn Cyclones in first place.


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