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


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