Should Brad Emaus Have Been Demoted?

Note: this is a post by Matt Himelfarb. Please direct your comments to him.

So Brad Emaus’s short lived tenure in Flushing has drawn to a close, after the Mets announced they have DFA’d the Rule Five draftee.

I agree with Joe and Ted Berg, among others, that its’ strange how Emaus was given such a short leash. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the move, of course- there just seems to be a glaring disconnect between the Mets initial display of faith in Emaus, only to cut him two weeks and 37 at-bats into the season.

The way I see it, however, is that this decision isn’t simply a “knee jerk” reaction (not calling out Ted, just responding to the general sentiment).

Sure, if Omar and Jerry were the ones pulling the plug quickly, I’d call it a brash overreaction, another egregious example of Omar’s complete inability to logically think through anything (mostly because I’m still bitter about the fact they thought it was a good idea to trade Ramon Castro for Lance Broadway so Omir Santos could take over starting catcher duties).

But let’s think this through. Sandy Alderson, Paul DePodesta, and J.P. Ricciardi were smart enough to use the powers of statistical analysis to completely revolutionize the game. So I’m willing to bet they probably have at least a decent understanding of the concept of sample size — at least enough to know that 37 at-bats doesn’t tell you anything meaningful about a player’s performance (If not, then Mets fans might as well drive themselves off a cliff, cuz’ there’s no light at this end of the tunnel).

The truth is, there never was, and still isn’t, much that separates Emaus, Murphy, or Turner. Sure, everyone had their personal preference. Some thought Daniel Murphy would eventually develop into a sound defensive second baseman, and his offensive track record compensated for his defensive shortcomings. Others believed in Emaus or Turner.

Perhaps, though, in the absence of any compelling reason to pick one or the other,¬† like any other self-interested human being they simply favored Emaus, because Murphy and Turner were leftovers from the old regime, and Emaus was Alderson and Co.’s baby.

And now, maybe they’ve reversed course — simply because ticket sales are pummeling and the fans want blood.

Who knows? Maybe Terry Collins’ short-lived infatuation with Luis Hernandez back in Spring Training meant he just never liked Emaus — and management finally caved in to his wishes. Point is, I highly doubt Alderson and Co. suddenly had a change of heart.

There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, I’m quite pleased with the move, whatever the means. Murphy seems to have at least some intriguing upside with the bat, and Justin Turner has a better minor league track record than Emaus, having performed¬† better in the pitcher-friendly International League in 2010, than Emaus in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.


Matt is a high school student in New Jersey and avid Mets fan. He occasionally updates his blog at:
  1. marathonmet April 20, 2011 at 11:28 am
    No offense, but just like Ted and Joe, you basically say: its strange that after such a small sample of at bats, the mets decide to send emaus away and bring in turner, BUT we all agree with it.

    Therefore the analysis should be: why was Emaus chosen in the first place and second, why was the plug pulled with such a small sample size.

    First one is easy, and the front office I believe said it (if not then I read it believing they had said it). Anyway, they chose to send castillo away (for many reasons) and to keep murphy, emaus and turner. Because of options, turner was kept in triple a.

    Second, yes 37 is a small sample size, but not if the guy hasn’t played at all. Sure, if he’s batting 250 or at least making contact, anything, but he barely has hit the ball to the middle of the outfield). 37 at bats or not, I think its pretty clear that emaus has to go back down, get more time in triple A and then try again. Also, Collins publicly said that emaus needed to play everyday, and with the current situation that was impossible. End of story and by all standards, good move.

  2. argonbunnies April 20, 2011 at 1:41 pm
    If we keep Emaus in the organization, I like the move. If the Jays take him back, I hate it.

    If we were going to risk losing someone, it should have been Hu. It’s arguable who’s the better player now, but Emaus has vastly more upside, which is paramount for this franchise at this point.

    • April 20, 2011 at 9:24 pm
      Great point, argonbunnies. Hu should have been the one DFA’ed, or Willie Harris, or whichever Hairston is stinking up Citi Field. And happy Easter, argonbunnies.
  3. mrtasan April 20, 2011 at 7:32 pm
    I doubt Jays are going to claim him given how deep their farm system is. But i agree with marathonmet. He stunk it up in his small sample size….and I mean really…

    He didn’t look fantastic defensively either so that must mean his bat should keep him in the game…which it hasn’t…i agree it was purely an administrative move.

    also, ted berg is a douchebag. no one wants to be like him.

  4. Mic April 20, 2011 at 10:39 pm
    Think the opportunity to keep brad is still alive.but really Murphy is getting stronger and Brads at bats were diminishing.