Misch Mediocre, Ollie Makes LOOGY Appearance

A few notes regarding the most recent televised spring training game between the Mets and Cardinals, in which Oliver Perez made an appearance in his new role of Lefthanded One Out GuY.

Pat Misch looked like Pat Misch – hittable, underwhelming, and overall so-so. His crafty-ness got him through the Cards lineup the first time around, but the second time the batters saw him, they seemed to “figure him out”. His lackluster appearance shouldn’t do anything to change our opinion of him. Misch will have good days and bad days, and hopefully just a few more of the former to outnumber the latter. He throws strikes, relies on the defense, and occasionally gets rocked. Not much is likely to change; he is what he is, and that’s a long reliever in MLB who can spot-start on occasion.

Ollie Perez made an appearance as a LOOGY: 74 MPH sidearm breaking ball, 87 MPH sinker, 86 MPH sidearm flat fastball, 88 MPH 3/4 fastball, 76 MPH sidearm breaking ball, 86 MPH sidearm fastball, 74 MPH low 3/4 breaking ball. The final pitch resulted in a popup to retire the legendary Dan Descalso.

Josh Thole
keeps hitting. He’s in a zone, and let’s hope he stays there come April.

Jerry Hairston blasted a homer and had two other hits. Like Misch, he is what he is. Perhaps he can be this year’s Rod Barajas — hit around .220 but provide some dramatic late-inning homers.

Willie Harris blasted a pinch-hit, ground-rule double right after Nick Evans struck out. It’s looking more and more like Harris will take that 25th spot instead of Evans.

I’ve been waiting to see something interesting from Blaine Boyer, who I thought was a good sign and would be a sleeper to make the bullpen. He threw two strong innings in this game that should help his case toward earning a relief role.

On the heels of Terry Collins’ announcement that Luis Hernandez was in the mix at second base, Hernandez went 2-for-4 with a triple. A great story, but see Misch and Hairston: Hernandez is what he is, and that is a solid defensive middle infielder with a .633 career OPS in 9 minor league seasons. At best he could be a MLB utilityman, and unfortunately it seems that Chin-lung Hu will fill that role for the Mets come Opening Day. Who knows, though, anything can happen. I’m rooting for Luis.

Jason Bay continues to concern me, as his stride and swing look different every pitch. This new slightly closed stance is killing him, because he already steps toward the plate and now he’s leaning over the plate and off-balance as the pitch comes in. As a result he’s jamming himself even on outside pitches. Also, the adjustment of where he holds his bat during his stance — more at a 45-degree angle rather than straight up — is only adding more moving parts to his swing. Ideally, holding the bat at that angle would produce a more direct and level stroke. Instead, he is now moving the bat back toward the 90-degree angle that he’s used in the past prior to getting to the launch position. These extra movements and the leaning over the plate are the reason we’re seeing him strike out so often this spring.

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. Joe March 13, 2011 at 5:17 pm
    PM was only “mediocre” if we treat him as what he is not; for what he is, he did okay. Even as a long man, he wasn’t that great. last season though. Overall, he is comes off as a mediocre player.

    If JH is this year’s RB, he will be great for a couple months, and then die out. Since by then it will almost time for the 1/2 half, and someone like Duda can come back, that works for me for around $1M. This of course is different if you think Nick Evans has all this potential or something and want him in that slot.

    Interesting on Chin-lung Hu … not sure I see anything where he is the one they will pick there yet. If they get rid of Castillo and could trust Murphy as a bench player, Luis Castillo might be seen as a wildcard. But, seems they are being pretty conservative.

    I really want to see Ollie Perez go away. The guy was tossed out there at the end of the season, the very last inning of the game, and couldn’t even finish it. PM had to come in as I recall to mop up for the loss. 12M for a loogy? Just go away.

    • Joe Janish March 14, 2011 at 12:34 am
      Good point on Misch, and I agree.

      I don’t think Evans necessarily has “all this potential”. But he’s young enough and has shown enough in the minors to suggest he MIGHT be at least as good as Hairston offensively, and MIGHT be somewhat better. For a team going nowhere, what’s the point of paying anything above MLB minimum for a 35-year-old to fill a slot that can be handled by someone who could turn into something somewhat valuable? Hairston has little value in a trade, while Evans might develop some value and/or could become a decent contributor in the next 2-3 years.

      All indications are that Hu will make the team because he’s out of options and the upper mgmt. likes his glove. I could be incorrect but that seems to be what’s been insinuated.

      If Perez can somehow be a LOOGY, he might have some value at the trade deadline. Long shot, I know, but what do the Mets have to lose? Though I agree, he should go away … and should’ve been gone a long time ago.

      • Joe A. March 14, 2011 at 1:46 pm
        The Mets have Scott Hairston, not Jerry. And Scott is 30, not 35.
  2. Walnutz15 March 14, 2011 at 9:19 am
    Maybe we can hold our breathe in the hopes that Ollie can bring back a future Eddie Lora by the trade deadline.

    The damage he’d have caused, playing with a short-handed roster for the 2nd straight season (directly tied into his “presence”) will surely be worth it.

  3. Frank March 14, 2011 at 11:38 am
    Wilpon’s are too cheap to cut Ollie or they would’ve done it last year. Maybe he can shine in the LOOGY role just long enough to trade him for something more than a bag of baseballs. I think for that same reason Castillo makes the team and if they can’t trade him by the deadline he’ll probably be released. The Wilpon’s know they have to pay these 2 guys anyway. They know the team is going nowhere this year so they’re going to make them play for their pay. If Minaya & Manuel weren’t fighting for their own jobs last year you would’ve seen more Ollie & Castillo.
    • Joe March 14, 2011 at 9:20 pm
      What do people around here think Perez is worth? What exactly are you going to get for him? He was a toss in when he got here. His value is about the same now.

      Castillo actually has a bit of value. He surely isn’t worth 6M, but I can see him as a back-up or something. I can see getting a spare part in return. His decent play this Spring helps in that regard. I never disliked the guy as much as being annoyed they spent so much for such a long contract. He actually showed some signs of value and other times clearly he was hurt, so had an excuse.

      Perez was just a bad idea. The expense and his actions after getting it only poisoned things more.

  4. Frank March 14, 2011 at 11:40 am
    BTW Joe, love your blog. very insightful & your knowledge of Met history is priceless. Keep up the great work.
    • Joe Janish March 14, 2011 at 12:52 pm
      Thank you, Frank. And thank you for contributing to the conversation. It’s more about sharing thoughts and kvetching to each other than reading my hot air.