Archive for the ‘ A Baseball Chick’s Scouting Report ’ Category

A Baseball Chick’s Scouting Report: Bullpen

Welcome back to another happy installment of this baseball chick’s scouting report! In honor of John Franco, we take a look at the projected 2012 Mets bullpen. Some of these guys might make the bullpen, and some might not. But they’re projected to be there, so we might as well take a look at what we’ve got.

Manny Acosta: In my opinion, after the Mets traded Fransisco Rodriguez, Manny Acosta was the most reliable reliever we had. We saw him more in the 8th/9th inning, but this season, I’m looking to see Acosta more in the 7th/8th inning with the addition of Frank Francisco and Jon Rauch. Acosta has pitched more innings for every year he’s been a Met; I just hope Terry doesn’t pull a Jerry Manuel and burn him out.

Pedro Beato: Beato was a Rule 5 pick who had to stay on the big league roster last season, but he earned his spot. Last season, Beato didn’t give up an earned run until the first Subway Series. Rumors swirled this offseason that Beato might crack the rotation. With all of our farm fresh talent, I see Beato staying in the bullpen, maybe as a long reliever, maybe as a set up guy. That’s TC’s decision to make this spring.

Tim Byrdak: With Jason Isringhausen probably not coming back, Tim Byrdak becomes the veteran reliever in the bullpen. Last season, Byrdak compiled a 2-1 record and a 3.82 ERA in 37.2 innings pitched. Byrdak might once again be a situational reliever, pitching to one or two hitters and then coming out. But apparantly, he’s the funniest guy on the team so he can stay.

D.J. Carrasco: In the 2010 offseason, D.J. Carrasco was the only player to recieve a multi-year contract from Sandy Alderson. He responds with the worst season of his career (1-3, 6.02 ERA in 49.1 IP). Going into the 2012 season, I figure Carrasco will have to fight for a spot in the bullpen, but at the same time, I don’t see the Mets wasting the rest of Carrasco’s contract by benching him or sending him down to the minors. Carrasco doesn’t have the most to prove, but he’s got 2.5 million reasons to get his act together.

Frank Francisco: In one of our few moves this offseason, the Mets signed Frank Francisco to a 2-year contract. Francisco fills the closer’s hole that K-Rod and his swinging fists left. Last season for Toronto, Francisco compiled a 1-4 record with a 3.55 ERA and 17 games saved. Considering he was playing for another hard luck team in the Blue Jays, I’m intrigued. I still think Terry might platoon between Francisco and Jon Rauch in the 9th, but will the team’s luck in the 9th inning change?

Daniel Herrera: Herrera cleared waivers and remained with the Mets as a non-roster invitee to spring training. He only played 2 games for the Brewers in 2011 before he became the player to be named later that we got for K-Rod. In 16 games as a Met last season, Herrera pitched 8 innings and allowed 1 run. I see Herrera staring off in AAA, but he could come up to the Mets if someone gets hurt, or, quite frankly, sucks.

Bobby Parnell: If Bobby Parnell never closes a game for the Mets again, I will be a happy camper. Just because he has a 100 MPH fastball, it doesn’t mean he’s a closer. He appeared in 60 games last season. He had 12 save opportunities and blew half of them. Parnell, at best, is a situational reliever. When the team is ahead. By a lot.

Ramon Ramirez: The Mets acquired Ramon Ramirez as part of the deal for Angel Pagan. To Mets fans, he’s better known as the guy who punched Shane Victorino to start the Phillies/Giants fight. But he’s also a pretty decent reliever, compiling a 3-3 record with a 2.62 ERA in 66 games, 4 of those games counting as saves. And maybe he’ll provide some desperately needed fire in the clubhouse.

Jon Rauch: Jon Rauch is best remembered by Mets fans as a reliever for the Expos/Nationals. But truth is, Rauch is playing for his sixth different team. He’s had some good years statistically and some bad years, his best year being with the Nationals in 2008. Last season for Toronto, Rauch had a 5-4 record with a 4.85 ERA in 52 innings pitched. So it seems like Rauch and Frncisco will be platoon mates again. Hooray for reunions!

Josh Stinson: Besides from Daniel Herrera, Josh Stinson is the other guy I see starting the season in the minors, only because he has options. Last season for the Mets, Stinson had a 6.92 ERA in 13 innings pitched. The upside with Stinson is that he’s only 23-years-old and he can greatly improve on those numbers. Plus, I always like to pull for a guy who is a homegrown product. Maybe he’ll get another Spetember call up. Maybe he won’t. That’s baseball.

And there you have it folks! Our 2012 bullpen doesn’t look that bad on paper. It’s improved enough to not be the giant gaping flaw that we have. Next week, I take a look at our projected bench players and mourn the loss of Nick Evans. I need a new milk carton boy and it might come from this group.

A Baseball Chick’s Scouting Report: Starting Pitching

Happy Friday and welcome to another installment of A Baseball Chick’s Scouting Report! This week, I take a look at our starting pitching. The rotation hasn’t changed much, except for the fact that Johan Santana might actually throw the ball for the Mets this year. I will be critiquing the 2012 projected rotation of R.A. Dickey, Dillon Gee, Jonathan Niese, Mike Pelfrey, and Santana. However, if one of these guys does this injured, I fully expect to see Matt Harvey crack the rotation because that’s just what the Mets do.

R.A. Dickey: Of the five guys in our starting rotation, Dickey is really the only one I don’t have to worry about. The knuckleballer was the only consistent part of our rotation last season, even though the team couldn’t get him a win to save their lives. When it mattered and when it didn’t matter, you could count on Dickey to keep them in the game. And now that’s back from climbing Mount Kilimanjaro (without incident), he can focus on the 2012 season. I have nothing bad to say about R.A. Dickey; I hope we sign him for two more years.

Dillon Gee: Of the five guys in our starting rotation, I almost don’t have to worry about Dillon Gee. The thought of a sophomore slump creeps into the back of my head. At the same time, I think Gee will be more acclimated to pitching a full season, so that September slump Gee had last season won’t happen again. Is Dillon Gee or ace of the future? No. Is Dillon Gee a solid #3 or 4 starter? Yes. I expect Gee to improve where it matters and hopefully, we get to keep pre-All Star break Dillon Gee and get rid of that other guy. And yes, sports journalists everywhere willl be able to make their own Dillon Gee inspired headlines (and I plan to also).

Jonathan Niese: This is where I start my worrying. Yes, Jonathan Niese was born to be a Met. His numbers worsened from 2010 to 2011 (even though he pitched less innings in 2011). I don’t know, given his injury history, if Jonathan Niese can imrove on last season’s numbers: 11-11 with a 4.70 ERA in 157.1 innings. When Niese first cracked the rotation in 2008, he was under Jerry Manuel, who kept pitchers in until they threw 100 pitches and then went to the bullpen. Terry Collins keeps pitchers in until they get tired and for Niese, it always seems to be at the 100 pitch count, whether he’s thrown four innings or seven innings. I really like Jonathan Niese and I want to see him improve, but I wish the front office would have given Chris Capuano the damn two years.

Mike Pelfrey: I really wish the front office would have given Chris Capuano the damn two years. Mike Pelfrey got a raise for sucking at his job. I wish I could get a raise for licking things with my unusally long tongue. During his tenure with the Mets, Pelfrey accrued a 50-54 record with a career ERA of 4.40. Last season was the first season where Pelfrey didn’t win at least 10 games, after he went 7-13. Of the guys in the rotation, Mike Pelfrey has the most to prove. It seems like that we, as fans, expected a lot more of Mike Pelfrey because he was our de facto ace last season. And the Mets told him that. And that was the team’s fatal mistake with Mike Pelfrey. And now we, as a fanbase, have resorted to making jokes about this man’s tongue. I have some, but I’m waiting for the season to start. If Mike Pelfrey is not in the Mr. Met costume on his off days, then I don’t feel we’re getting our money’s worth as of right now.

Johan Santana: Johan Santana is a walking question mark. He is throwing from 90 feet as of January 5, but the team hasn’t given a time table for his return. It seems like Santana is on the 15-month DL instead of the 15-day DL. Once Santana comes back, we don’t know if he’s going to be the same pitcher or even close to the same pitcher. I think that most Met fans would be happy with the Johan Santana that keeps the team in the game, whether he was the same pitcher or not. Santana is notoriously a second-half pitcher anyway, so it might take him half the season to get back into the groove of things. I’m not setting any expectations for Santana because that wouldn’t be fair. If he pitches the season, great. If not, it gives someone else in the minors a chance to pitch. But Terry hopes to get 25 starts from Santana this season. I hope so too.

As of this moment, Terry Collins has not picked his Opening Day starter. If I got to pick, it would be R.A. Dickey. If Santana was able to start, again, that would be awesome. Next week, this baseball chick takes a look at our bullpen, and we have a bunch of new guys and a bunch of old guys. So this should be fun.

 

A Baseball Chick’s Scouting Report: Outfield

Welcome back to this baseball chick’s scouting report. Using the projected 2012 Opening Day lineup, I’m scouting the Mets in a way that only I can. This week, I’m taking a look at our projected outfield: Jason Bay, Lucas Duda, and Andres Torres. So, let’s get the ball rolling!

Jason Bay: Let us all face it. Jason Bay hasn’t been everything he’s cracked up to be. In fact, entering this season, Jason Bay is my de facto sad sack but only because he ended last season as the sad sack. What got him there? His .245 batting average and .329 on-base percentage. Which if you break it down, he’s hitting first base in one-third of his plate appearances, so it can’t be that bad. But how many times is Jason Bay getting to second base? Scoring?Bringing in the walls should not only benefit Jason Bay offensively, but also defensively. I feel his defense took a hit after the 2010 concussion, but he’s still our best defensive piece in the outfield. I think a lot of people want 2009 Jason Bay back, but this baseball chick doesn’t think that way. As long as 2012 is better than 2011, that’s about as much as we’re going to get out of Bay. Plus, we’ve still got him for 2013. I’m sure he’ll be the hot topic of trade discussions then.

Lucas Duda: Say it three times fast: Lucas Duda, Lucas Duda, Lucas Duda. It’s a fun name it say. It’s even more fun to listen to various sports announcers say DOO-DAH instead of DOO-DUH (I’m looking at you, Marlins broadcasters). Duda spent most of his time last season subbing for Ike Davis at first base, but this season, Duda is projected to be our starting right fielder. Lucas Duda had an impressive rookie season, batting a .292 in 301 at-bats with a .370 on-base percentage. I’m looking forward to seeing him get better in 2012 and hopefully become one of the next Mets superstars whose shirts we can’t buy in the Mets clubhouse store. I think a lot of people are expecting Lucas Duda to have a big year and I’m one of them. As long as the guy hits well and gets on base, he’s good in my book. Also, it should be of note that Lucas Duda wins the Best Hair award. Sorry, Justin Turner.

Andres Torres: We acquired Andres Torres as part of the trade for Angel Pagan, and with that, we probably got the player closest to being Angel Pagan without being Angel Pagan himself. A former 4th round draft pick by the Detroit Tigers, Torres played 112 games for the Giants in 2011, batting a .221 in 348 at-bats and an OPS of .643. Torres had career highs in 2010, but has been susceptible to the injury bug. If he gets everything together and stays healthy, then 2012 should be a good year for Torres and the entire Mets outfield. Even though Pagan’s numbers might be a little better, Torres has a better reputation. He was known in San Fransisco for being fan-friendly, which is always a plus in Jessica’s Book. But I’m giving Torres the benefit of the doubt because he’s the new guy and I actually had to do a Google search to find news stories about him.

So, in conclusion, the talent in our outfield is there. I think our weakest link will be Jason Bay, but even Jason Bay should be able to get his act together. Lucas Duda gets cool points for having the best name on the team as well as the best hair. Join me next week when I take a look at our projected starting rotation (oh, the horror!): R.A. Dickey, Dillon Gee, Jonathan Niese, Mike Pelfrey, and Johan Santana.

A Baseball Chick’s Scouting Report: Infield

Well, with the start of spring training a mere 7 weeks away, that time of year has come to over analyze every player we have on the team. And every scouting report is the same: David Wright had his worst season ever last year, Mike Pelfrey isn’t pyschologically ready to pitch, why did we even sign Jason Bay? Those who follow me on Twitter already know I base my scouting report on two main (shallow) points: who has the best hair and who signed my ball at spring training. And with that, I would like to welcome you to a Baseball Chick’s Scouting Report.

Using the projected Opening Day lineup, this week, I’m focusing my scouting efforts on the projected Opening Day infield of Ike Davis, Daniel Murphy, Ruben Tejada, Josh Thole and David Wright. And with that, let’s get the ball rolling!

Ike Davis: Ike Davis was supposed to have a big year in 2011. Then, he collided with David Wright and what was orginially a day-to-day injury ended up becoming a season ender for Ike. But, in his 36 games played last season, Ike was hitting a .302 with a .383 on-base percentage and an OPS of .925. And, most impressively, Ike’s seven home runs remained among the team leaders for a good portion of the 2011 season. Least impressively, Ike Davis said he would sign my ball and he never did. That wasn’t cool, Ike. But I don’t wish you any harm since it seems like karma already got back to you.

Daniel Murphy: Murph’s had a rough go at it these past two years. First, he gets hurt learning how to play second base so we can dump Luis Castillo. Then, he actually gets a regular spot on the team thanks to key injuries, becomes an offensive asset and gets hurt yet again. At the time of his injury, as we all know, Murph was hitting a .320 and had a .362 OBP and an OPS of .809. He also had six home runs and 49 RBI, but the really important thing here is that Daniel Murphy is like seriously one of the nicest players on the team. Not only did he sign my ball, but he broke his bat during batting practice and gave it to a little boy. I’m all for giving kids the joy of baseball and that kid will never forget Daniel Murphy. Now, if only we can buy Daniel Murphy t-shirts in the Mets Clubhouse Store.

Ruben Tejada: As much as everybody wanted Jose Reyes back (he blew me off so I said au revior to Jose with zero incident), it looks like Ruben Tejada is going to be your 2012 shortstop. Tejada saw regular playing time in 2011 thanks to a combination of Jose Reyes getting hurt and the lack of a second baseman, and he saw equal action at both positions. Offensively, Tejada started coming into his stride at the end of the season. I don’t know whether it was because the games didn’t matter anymore or if he finally adjusted to the major league pitching. Anyway, the player with an eery resemblance to Taylor Swift will have to prove himself to a crap load of people in 2012.

Josh Thole: Josh Thole went from being the back-up catcher to the starting catcher in 2011, and while his offensive numbers may not exactly to be worth writing home about, defensively, Thole is solid. In 102 games behind the plate, Thole threw out 21% of the runners who were trying to steal a base, and had a fielding percentage of .997. Two years ago, it seemed like he was only behind the plate every fifth day, but Josh Thole has been relegated to starting catcher thanks to the depature of Ronny Paulino. But hey, it could be worse; we could have…Ronny Paulino. And Thole is another one of those genuinely nice baseball players who makes sure everyone gets an autograph at spring training. He doesn’t leave anyone hanging.

David Wright: Now, we get into sensitive territory. Yes, my future husband had a crappy season in 2011. Yes, he ended another player’s 2011 season in May. And yes, karma came back around to David Wright. 2011 gave David Wright his worst career numbers around the board, to the point where I gave myself a dime every time he struck out, and for the record, I made $9.70 off David Wright last season. The Wilpon family has finally seen the light and said that David Wright is not the offensive asset he used to be and they’re moving in the walls at Citi Field. But somehow, I don’t blame Citi Field as much as I blame the hitter. Maybe he changed his batting stance, but whatever he did, it’s not working. But, it’s impossible for me to have any ill will against David Wright because he signed my baseball (twice) and he’s just so pretty. Like, OMG, we can’t trade him! What will we be left with?

In conclusion, three of the five players in my projected infield has signed Jessica’s baseball and Josh Thole and David Wright get double points for being prettier than the rest. Next time, I focus my attention on the projected Opening Day outfield: Jason Bay, Lucas Duda, and Andres Torres. Peace out!

 

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