baseball gods productions

Thoughts about baseball, from the perspective of sports psychology and the role of sports in society. It includes team and player analysis, predictions, and what I think needs to be changed in Major League Baseball. Brought to you from the heart of baseball, Brooklyn, by baseball gods productions.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

More Mets

For the Mets now, the obvious solution to their starting pitching problem would be to sign Oliver Perez for a few years and a lot of money. And to me, all that would accomplish is basically bringing back the exact same rotation from last year, except Tim Redding replaces Pedro Martinez.

And as we all saw, last year's pitching wasn't good enough to make the playoffs. It wasn't just the bullpen that hurt them. Other than Santana, the starters faded down the stretch, from injury (Maine), to fatigue (Pelfrey?), to loss of focus (Perez), and inexperience (Niese). If it weren't for Santana, the Mets would have been out of it long before the last weekend of the season, so I believe the Mets need to upgrade the rotation, not bring it back.

I would suggest something along the lines of signing several high-risk, high-reward guys, and let them fight it out. Guys like Mulder, Sheets, and Freddy Garcia would give the Mets a chance to upgrade, without costing a fortune. For Sheets, a short-term, incentive-laden contract would make sense. Mulder and Garcia might be willing to sign minor league deals, and work their way back in AAA if they are not ready to go in April, as long as they know they have a good chance to join the rotation when they are ready.

There seems to be a new phenomenon in baseball: the second half starter. Roger Clemens is probably the most notable example, but it seems that some older pitchers and those rehabbing from injuries are aiming towards being ready in June or July, when teams will surely be needing rotation support. It reminds me of the former hockey star, Glenn Anderson, who did the same thing late in his career.

To avoid resentment from teammates, it's better for these guys to sign contracts before the season starts, and spend the time rehabbing, rather than taking the Paul Byrd approach, and announcing that you are available to sign a deal mid-season.

For the Red Sox, having a guy like John Smoltz ready to join the rotation a month or two into the season, and possibly be fresher for the pennant race and post-season, makes a lot of sense. Curt Schilling might be willing to do something like that this year, as well, and despite his big mouth, he could help a team like the Mets get over the hump in September.

Caroms off the wall

Congratulations to Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice on getting into the Hall of Fame. I'd like to see Andre Dawson join them sooner rather than later.

© Judy Kamilhor 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Follow up to previous post

Trade Brian Schneider and a pitching prospect (Eddie Kunz?) to the Red Sox for Justin Masterson or trade Schneider even up for lefty reliever Javier Lopez.
Sign Brad Ausmus.

© Judy Kamilhor 2009

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Let's Go Mets, Let's Go, Already

Mets should:

trade Evans, Parnell, Delgado, Castillo to Angels for Chone Figgins and Scot Shields
sign Manny Ramirez for 1 year $30 million
sign Orlando Hudson to a back-loaded 4 year deal: 2009 $5 mil, 2010 $10 mil, 2011 $10 mil, 2012 $10 mil.
sign Lowe to 3 year deal: 2009 $16 mil, 2010 $14, 2011 $12, vesting 4th year option $12 mil
trade Brian Schneider for a decent lefty reliever
And get a younger, defensive specialist catcher to split time with Castro (I read Adam Rubin's article on the results of Mets' pitchers with Schneider and Castro catching last year.)


Reyes SS
Hudson 2B
Ramirez LF
Beltran CF
Wright 3B
Murphy 1B
Church RF
??/Castro C

bench: Figgins IF/OF
Tatis OF, 3B, 1B
Castro/?? C
Reed OF
Pagan OF


F. Rodriguez
Another lefty

The big trade proposal with the Angels makes sense because the only way to get rid of a contract like Castillo's is to entice the other team with something(s) they need. The Angels need a bat like Delgado in a big way, and the two prospects make up for the ages of Delgado and Castillo. Figgins and Shields are valuable, but the Angels can spare them, since it will vastly improve the offense for this year, and give them two young guys for the future. Plus, the Angels are one of the few teams that has some money to spend right now.

The Rubin piece on Schneider is mind-bending, and even if the effect is exaggerated, why take a chance on repeating those numbers? Schneider's whole value is his supposed positive effect on pitchers, so if there's even a chance that he is actually hurting them, for whatever reason, there's no point in keeping him.

Now that the Mets have signed Redding, it's time to go all-out for Lowe. I really don't care if they overspend a little on him. If he goes to the Braves and the Mets end up with Ollie or someone worse, it means that the pitching isn't much better than last year's disaster. That would put a lot of pressure on Putz to return to his dominant form, and on Maine and Pelfrey to improve from last year. And, God forbid, one of their top starters get hurt . . . .

I don't miss Steve Phillips as GM very often, but he was excellent at coming up with creative ways to get rid of bad contracts. That's the challenge for Omar Minaya right now, to get Orlando Hudson in at second, and upgrade from Delgado to Manny for a short-term investment. By 2010, Fernando Martinez will take over LF, and by then, Daniel Murphy should be getting closer to his prime, which I see as all-star level, consistent offensive production, along the lines of John Olerud or Keith Hernandez, unfortunately without the superb defense of those two guys.

Caroms Off the Wall

The Red Sox are doing this offseason in a brilliant way. They are taking low cost risks for potentially high reward players like Smoltz, Saito, Baldelli, and Penny. The Yankees have spent a lot more money, but at the end of the year, I still like Boston's chances to make the playoffs, now and for the forseeable future. The guy the Mets really need is Theo Epstein.

© Judy Kamilhor 2009