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.