“Jeff Francoeur is a run producer.”
Archive for the ‘2009 Season’ Category
The Mets have done absolutely nothing at the trade deadline, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. There were rumors about the team acquiring Scott Kazmir, or Adam LaRoche, or Matt Murton, but in the end, the Mets did not acquire anybody. While I would have liked to have seen them sell off some of their spare parts, ultimately they probably would not have gotten back much value for what they had available (Hoops, Sheffield, and Feliciano heading the list) so in the end, nothing was better than anything in this case.
I just don’t think this team can climb back in the race, even if they get 80% Carlos Beltran or 85% Jose Reyes in the upcoming weeks. They are too far out, behind too many teams. They can probably finish with a respectable win total with a few healthy months of Beltran, Reyes, Delgado, Sheffield, Putz, and Wagner, but we’re realistically looking at a ceiling of about 83-84 wins at most. There is just going to be too many games lost to starting players such as Daniel Murphy, Alex Cora, Jeremy Reed, Angel Pagan, Livan Hernandez, and Omir Santos. Making a token acquisition, even for a good player like a Victor Martinez or Roy Halladay, would not noticeably improve the Mets’ playoff chances for 2009, and would require a price in prospects that would be too great for such a small improvement.
The other benefit to not making a trade means that Omar Minaya did nothing to save his job. Whether it’s because the Wilpons would not sign off on anything or because he couldn’t put anything together, at least Omar didn’t make a panic trade to save his job. While there would have been a certain symmetry in Minaya acquiring Scott Kazmir from the Rays as a panic trade to save his job, it probably would not have been a good idea for the Mets. While it does confirm that the Mets season is over, maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Hope, in this case, would not have been a good thing.
If you have been reading this site during the various struggles of this 2009 Mets team, you’ve probably come to the very reasonable conclusion that I am not a fan of how Omar Minaya and his plan for this Mets team. Obviously, nobody could have predicted that so many Mets would get hurt all at the same time, particularly guys like Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran, who have been relatively injury-free for much of their careers. But the lack of any viable Plan B in case any of these guys got hurt (particularly John Maine, who missed most of the last two months of 2008 and Carlos Delgado, who has been plagued with hip problems dating back a year) is pretty damning. Heck, in the case of Daniel Murphy, their Plan A left a lot to be desired.
Did our GM really just accuse a beat writer of trying to get Tony Bernazard fired because he wanted to get a job in player development for the Mets? Did that really just happen? I don’t even know if I have an adequate response for this. My mind is blown. The Mets can’t even fire a guy who, by all accounts, was a terrible dude, without causing a stink. Go read some more on this here, here, here, and here. This is crazy.
(Sorry for cursing in the headline, it is the only adequate reaction that can be derived from this. Thanks to the great Mary Steenburgen for the quote, from the movie Step Brothers).
Before the season, I started writing a draft of something called “Are Mets fans setting expectations too high for Daniel Murphy?” I never finished it, mostly because I didn’t see the need to be overly negative before the season started; after all, spring training is a time for optimism, there’s plenty of time for negativity during the regular season. But the jist of my point was that Murphy was probably a little bit lucky in 2008, that he probably wasn’t as good as he played in August and September, and would probably see a little regression, and that Mets fans who saw him as the team’s next David Wright should probably lower their expectations.
After another demoralizing Mets loss last night, I was reading Google Reader for some Mets game recaps before calling it a night, when something caught my eye. A writer in the Boston market (well, Providence, but close enough) thinks that Theo Epstein has been overrated, thanks to a high payroll. After quickly checking to make sure the Red Sox were still in first (actually, they had just fallen into second, but lead the wild card by 3.5 games over the Rays and Rangers), I wondered what legnths journalists go to these days in order to create a story.
Yesterday I did the hitters, today I’m tackling the pitchers. Yes, this remains incredibly hacky. I’m going to be taking a closer look at players, meaning I’m not using ERA alone (or really, at all) to look at how well they’ve performed; I’m going to look at their rate numbers (K/9, BB/9, etc) as well as some advanced statistics like FIP (again, if you aren’t hip to FIP, go to Amazin Avenue, where Sam Page, I have to say this again, wrote the best thing written on any Mets blog in 2009) to figure out who has made the grade and who hasn’t.
Yes, I am doing the hackiest of hack ideas, the first half “grades” for each and every player. It will give me a chance to sort through the damage, and figure out exactly how we got to this point and if there is anything we can do about it (the answer: probably not, no). I will start with the hitters today and tackle the pitchers tomorrow. In order from A to F…
And of course, the dumbest guy on MetsBlog (and that’s saying something) loves the trade. This is an awful, awful trade for the Mets. A disaster on every level. Ryan Church has been outperforming Jeff Francouer on every possible level this year. His slash stats (.280/.332/.375/.707) destroy Frenchy’s (.250/.282/.352/.634), meaning the Mets have added another corner outfielder who isn’t OPSing north of .700. Church had been the only 2009 Met with a positive UZR ranking (a defensive stat that includes range, arm and other factors) at 1.8; Francouer checks in at 0.6. Francouer’s wOBA checks in at .282, his WAR at -0.6; Church’s wOBA was .310 and WAR was 0.4, making him a full win better than Francouer (for a more detailed explanation on the stats I’m mentioning that you may not understand, go here for an explanation, this is something all Mets fans should read). Church was the best defensive option in CF until Beltran returns, if he returns; now, the team will have to start Angel Pagan in CF and hope he stays healthy.
The only thing you can say for this trade is that the Mets got younger, but Francouer was a better player four years ago than he is now; he has been trending downwardly severely since 2006. He doesn’t draw walks, he doesn’t hit for power, he doesn’t add anything defensively…this is exactly the type of player the Mets should not be looking to add, especially at the expense of a player who is a real asset to this team. I can’t understand why the Mets would think picking Francouer up would be a good move. I am now firmly on the “Minaya needs to go” bandwagon after this one, this is an inexusably horrendous trade. This trade is, simply put, to quote Mr. Mike Francesa, an uttah disastah.
Okay, so this is pretty much a lost season for the Mets. I can accept this. Their stars are hurt, they have no timetable for a return, the replacements are sub-replacement player across the board, and the other players expected to make contributions for the Mets…they suck. Fine. Not happy about it, but…you know, it is what it is.
But one thing I can’t stand the thought of is Shane Victorino playing in an All Star game. First of all, he’s not that good. Literally every other player on the ballot is better than he is. Secondly, Shane Victorino is an asshole. There’s his obnoxious feud with Jose Reyes, his grandstanding and showboating during games (and he gives Reyes crap for this? Really?) and there’s the game where he ran straight into Reyes in order to draw an interference call. Basically, Shane Victorino to me is the worst of all Phillies.
And now? There’s this open campaign he’s running to get voted into the All Star game. Read about it here, here, and here. Or, better yet, don’t. Like I said, he’s an asshole, and people who like Shane Victorino are also assholes (i.e. they are Phillies fans). Right now, Victorino is in second place behind Kung Fu Panda, Pablo Sandoval. But the Phillies internet community is trying to drum up support to get him voted in, and with all of the other indignities Mets fans have suffered so far, and others perhaps to come (such as the Phillies acquiring Pedro Martinez or Roy Halladay), I simply cannot allow this to happen.
I should point out that I don’t even think Sandoval is the most deserving player on there. Matt Kemp (who is strangely batting 8th for the Dodgers despite being probably their best or second best hitter this season) and Mark Reynolds are probably more deserving representatives. I don’t care. Sandoval is in the lead, and I don’t have time to drum up support to push Victorino into third…we just need to keep him out of the game, and if that means throwing support behind a less deserving candidate than others, so be it. Sandoval still belongs over Victorino anyway. Plus, Sandoval is not an asshole.
So VOTE FOR PABLO! Go to MLB.com and voted repeatedly for Pablo Sandoval and…I don’t know, some AL guy. I’m voting for Brandon Inge, personally, because I like Inge a lot. But we can stop Victorino before it’s too late. I could handle this if it were Jayson Werth on the ballot, he’s had a really terrific year and belongs in the All Star game…but Shane Victorino sucks, and like I said, he’s an asshole. Let’s try to make this year’s All Star Game as asshole-free as possible.