Available Players to Consider

Do the ailing and injured New York Mets need to bring in outside reinforcements? If so, a few have become available. One by one:

Vicente Padilla

The righthanded pitcher was waived by the Rangers after a miserable 3-inning, 7-ER start against the Yankees. He’s 3-3 with a 5.97 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP through 9 games and 53 innings.

He must be really bad, if the Rangers are willing to eat his $12M contract to get him off the roster; few teams will be willing to take on the $8M he’s owed between now and the end of the season.

But, he has shown signs of effectiveness — for example the three starts prior to the Yankees massacre, in which he pitched 23 innings and gave up only 12 hits and 4 earned runs. Think about that — in his last four starts, he’s pitched eight innings twice and seven innings once.

Though he hasn’t allowed a ton of homeruns — 4 total, and none in his last 5 starts — he does give up a large number of fly balls, something unusual for a sinker-slider pitcher such as himself. In his 8-inning win over the Angels two weeks ago, he allowed 21 airballs. Strangely enough, he’s had one game in which he induced 14 ground balls (also an 8-inning victory).

A move to the NL and a spacious ballpark could be a good thing for Padilla. But, he’s an eternal enigma, often beating himself and crumbling in the face of adversity (see: Oliver Perez). Additionally, he’s been fighting a shoulder issue for the past month. Is he worth the headache? Tim Redding’s next start may provide the answer, though I might prefer seeing Nelson Figueroa on the roster.

Wilson Betemit

Oh how quickly and how far mighty talents can fall. It wasn’t so long ago that Betemit was a phenom in the Atlanta organization, a sure-handed, switch-hitting shortstop with corner-infield power. A few years and four organizations later, he finds himself DFA’d by the White Sox, dragging with him a .200 average in 50 at-bats.

Is he worth picking up? If this were two weeks ago, when Jose Reyes first went on the DL? Probably. One week ago, when the Mets were scrambling to find someone better than Ramon Martinez to play SS? Definitely. Now, with Alex Cora back, Wilson Valdez playing well, and Martinez on the DL? Absolutely.

Here’s why: Betemit is a natural shortstop who can play all four infield positions and both outfield corners. He hits from both sides of the plate, and shown a bit of power in the past. He’s 27 years old. Need I go on?

The negative is that he swings and misses — a lot. Last year he struck out 56 times and took only 6 walks in 204 plate appearances. So you can compare him to Billy Hall — a super utilityman with a little pop and a lot of whiffs. I still like him better than some of the other 25th-man options that we’ve seen thus far.

Tom Glavine

We discussed this yesterday. On paper, he might be worth a try, and the Wilpons love him. I don’t think the fans can stomach his return, however.

Jorge Julio

15 walks and a 7.79 ERA through 17 innings was too much for Milwaukee to handle. Rick Peterson’s tight leash made him almost valuable as a one-inning guy, but I don’t think he’d flourish in the Dan Warthen era. He still throws in the upper 90s, so someone will take a chance. No thanks.

Pat Misch

Who is Pat Misch, you ask? He’s a crafty lefthanded reliever most recently employed by the San Francisco Giants. He’s not particularly good — a career 5.20 ERA through 97 MLB IP (and double that this year) — but he’s slightly more effective vs. LH hitters than righties. As long as Ken Takahashi continues to struggle against lefthanded hitters, the Mets need to at least take a glance at any and every southpaw on the market. Maybe he’s worth giving a look-see in AAA.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. mic June 4, 2009 at 11:02 am
    – I would take Padilla if he could pass the physical:

    – I like Betemit to displace Valdez who i then stash at AAA.

    – The enigma is at this moment is Danny Murphy. He is doing well enuff defensively to get his at bats. But I would really like to see him suceed as the everyday 1st baseman.

    -Sheff CANNOT be asked to carry this team either. Hopefully Church can come back but I think we need to be looking at the OF market ….for more than Emil Brown….hopefully a stop gap until Jason Bay comes back to the Mets.

  2. John Fitzgerald June 4, 2009 at 3:29 pm
    Mike Caruso
  3. joejanish June 4, 2009 at 7:55 pm
    Is Mike Caruso still alive? That guy was unbelievable, then fell off the face of the earth.

    Hey, Joe Janish is available too. But I’m not holding my breath waiting for the phone to ring.

  4. isuzudude June 6, 2009 at 10:46 am
    Per your request, the Mets have claimed Misch off waivers from SF. He reminds me of a left-handed Brian Lawrence, but I guess the depth in AAA can’t hurt.