Middle Relief Option

The Boston Red Sox DFA’s Joel Pineiro yesterday, to make room on the roster for Jon Lester.

The guy’s got electric stuff, but has been riddled by injuries and inconsistency since 2003. The Red Sox signed him as a closer candidate when they thought Jon Papelbon would be a starter. It didn’t work out so well for Pineiro in the bullpen, as he posted a 5.03 ERA. He’s only 28, appears to be healthy, and may be ripe for a move to the National League.

A project for Rick Peterson?

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. isuzudude July 24, 2007 at 10:53 am
    can you say danny graves? i’d pass on pineiro. i don’t know who the Mets would can in the bullpen to bring him aboard.
  2. joe July 24, 2007 at 11:03 am
    I think the Bosox would be happy to take The Show off our hands. Johnny Damon thinks he’s a real tough lefty, and the Red Sox might need him in September.
  3. isuzudude July 24, 2007 at 11:29 am
    there’s a rumor the Mets are interested in obtaining Loretta from the Astros to play 2B. What are the thoughts on him and who would the Mets part with to get him?
  4. joe July 24, 2007 at 11:57 am
    I’d love to have Loretta — the guy is a professional hitter who doesn’t strike out, and does a lot of the little things that don’t show in the boxscore. I’d be fine with Loretta taking ABs away from Gotay, and if you’ve been reading this blog long enough you know how I feel about Ruben.

    How to get him is another question entirely. What do the Astros need? Young outfielders? Would they take Ben Johnson? Caleb Stewart?

  5. isuzudude July 24, 2007 at 12:42 pm
    with scott, burke, lane, and pence, plus lee locked up long-term, I’m not sure if they’re in the market for an OF. How far away is Biggio from retirement? How fed up are they with Ensberg? Maybe a guy who can play 2B/3B? And I’m sure everyone is looking for pitching. How about one of our triple-A pitchers (McNab, Bostick, Collazo) and St Lucie’s 3B Dan Murphy for Loretta?

    May be getting ahead of ourselves, but let’s say the Mets get Loretta to play everyday 2B. What’s the lineup look like, including Alou and Green?

  6. joe July 24, 2007 at 1:09 pm
    Pence is hurt right now, Lane is a disappointment, and Burke is a converted second baseman, so maybe Burke returns to the infield if they can get an OF. Yeah, maybe give them Bostick, who knows.

    If we did get Loretta, things don’t change much — you put him into the #2 spot and leave him there. LoDuca / Castro goes down to 7 or 8.

    Willie’s lineup:


    My lineup:


    Of course, you won’t see mine. God forbid you have three straight righties in a lineup, or Beltran not striking out in the first inning.

  7. isuzudude July 24, 2007 at 1:49 pm
    Hey Joe, let’s save ourselves the trouble of typing everything and just exchange phone numbers..lol.

    Anyway, although I certainly respect your opinion, I wouldn’t support your lineup. You’re essentially wasting Beltran’s speed and 40-HR power in the 6th hole in the lineup. Plus, you don’t like him striking out so much in the first inning, but you have Wright in the 3-hole instead and he has almost 20 more K’s than Beltran on the season in only 4 more at-bats. I would say your projected “Willie” lineup is dead on, although if Lo Duca’s average continues slipping south you might see him flip-flop with Loretta in the 2 and 8 spot. That also gives you a nice lineup of left-righty-lefty-righty, making it a difficult trek for opposing bullpens to maneuver through late in ballgames. Milledge, Chavez, Gotay, Easley, and Castro would be the bench, again representing a nice mix of lefties, righties, pinch-runners, and defensive replacements.

  8. Micalpalyn July 24, 2007 at 2:04 pm
    Back to the top:

    YES: I’d take him definately. I think he has huge upside. Obviously he has no financial liability and he would sit behind Sele and mop. But better is to go to AAA (player approval needed) to work on becoming a starter again (ala Brian Lawrence and Ollie did time at AAA last yr. He has the stuff, but like Ollie fell off the rails plus there was talk of arm injury when he was in Seattle last yr.

  9. joe July 24, 2007 at 2:05 pm
    Beltran can’t use his speed because he doesn’t get on base enough — and when he’s on base he’s terrified to run.

    Also Beltran doesn’t have 40-HR power this year, his recent three homers in three games notwithstanding. In fact, I’d be surprised if he finished the year with 30. If he’s on a hot streak, fine, get him in the three hole, but when he’s not hot, he doesn’t produce enough to stay up that high.

    Do you think Delgado has “40-HR power”? He’s done it three times in the past.

    I have Wright in the 3-hole because he is the Mets’ best hitter, next to Reyes, and you want your best hitter guaranteed an at-bat in the first frame, don’t you? Never mind the strikeouts, he’s hitting 30+ points higher than Beltran, and is about 40 points higher with OBP. And by the way, he’s also stolen 8 more bases.

    Yeah, the lefty-righty-lefty crap is all the rage with over-thinking managers these days — which is why we may never see Wright and Alou hitting back-to-back. There’s some sense to the strategy, but not if it means displacing your best hitters from their ideal spot in the lineup. For example, would it make sense for the Phillies to move Ryan Howard down to fifth so he wasn’t directly after Utley? Would anyone have split up Ruth-Gehrig?

  10. isuzudude July 24, 2007 at 3:11 pm
    I’m sure the Phillies might have split up Utley and Howard in their lineup, but their best right hand hitter is Burrell so it serves them no purpose. Plus Utley hits lefties just as well as righties so there’s no need to split them up. I also think it’s wrong to compare Utley/Howard to Alou/Wright. The Phillies sluggers are in a completely different world, which is why it’s ok not to split them up but in the Mets lineup it’s necesary. I describe Beltran as having 40-home run power because he’s coming off a season where he hit 41, and he’s certainly more than capable of going on a HR tear even if he’s not projected to arrive at that same total this season. You also can’t characterize someone as ‘speedy’ simply by looking over their stolen base totals. Because Wright has more SB’s on the season doesn’t make him a faster runner. And moving Wright up from 4th to third in the lineup gets him how many more at-bats? Are you that desperate to get him that one at-bat in the first inning? And now you want a slow footed singles hitter in Alou batting clean-up, while the only two guys capable of hitting 40 HRs in the lineup in Delgado and Beltran are batting 5th and 6th…not to mention your two most prone strikeout batters back to back in the lineup. You can’t move Beltran from 3rd to 6th in the lineup based on his hot streaks. You need a balanced lineup with consistency. If Beltran finished within the top-5 of the MVP vote last year batting 3rd all season, certainly he deserves to stay there now.
  11. joe July 24, 2007 at 3:52 pm
    I am VASTLY desperate to get a .300 hitter an at-bat in the first inning over a .250 hitter (and a .380 OBP over a .340 OBP). Yes, to me those 50 points mean that much, as well as the 40-point differential in OBP.

    The argument to keep Beltran so high based on speed doesn’t hold water. When he’s struggling between .240-.260, how does his foot speed help if he’s not on the bases?

    As for power, DWright is hitting a homer once every 20 ABs to Beltran’s 19. Not a significant difference, especially when OBP and AVG are factored in.

    Alou, by the way is neither a singles hitter nor one who strikes out often, so yes I do want him at #4, and will take his average speed there as a consequence. Did the Mets ever consider leadfoot Delgado’s baserunning when he started game after game in the cleanup spot?

    When you say “your two most prone strikeout batters back to back in the lineup.” — to whom are you referring?

    RE: “You can’t move Beltran from 3rd to 6th in the lineup based on his hot streaks. You need a balanced lineup with consistency”

    Why? Why continue to put the same lineup out there day after day? Merely to be consistent? Toward what purpose? The spots in the order that might have tools-specific hitters — and even then there is argument — are 1,2, and 8. #1 should be getting on base, #2 should be someone who can handle the bat, hit and run, take pitches, and otherwise move #1 along, and #8 should be a disciplined, contact hitter who won’t be vulnerable to getting pitched around with the pitcher up next. Everyone in between are the free swingers, and they should be ordered according to their current performance. If I’m the manager, I bury Beltran lower in the order until he starts hitting again. Is he going to have a different approach batting sixth as opposed to third? I should hope not. Unless all nine hitters bat in the first inning, the order and the roles change pretty quickly — by the second inning. Which is why the idea of a consistent lineup — after your third hitter — doesn’t have much support.

    And I have to respectfully disagree re: Beltran being the third hitter because he was an MVP candidate hitting third last year. That was last year, and this is this year. The spot in the lineup has nothing to do with what he “deserves” or doesn’t deserve — it’s what’s best for the team. And a .250/.260 hitter batting third is not best for any first-place, championship-bound team.

  12. sincekindergarten July 24, 2007 at 4:41 pm
    Not sure if I’d want to take a chance on a roster spot for Pineiro. Yeah, he’s a lefty, which would mean he’d see time against Utley and Howard, but would he hold up from one game to the next?

    Also, it looks as if Chip Ambres will be up until at least the weekend. Apparently, Moises Alou messed up his shoulder when he was with the Cyclones.

  13. isuzudude July 24, 2007 at 5:06 pm
    Let me use this example to help you understand why moving Beltran down to 6th would be bad. The hitter who has gone through the most struggles at the plate this season is Delgado, bar-none. Despite Beltran’s struggles this year, he’s still 12 points higher than Delgado for the season. But Willie didn’t move Delgado down to 7th in the lineup when he was hitting in the .220s over the first three months of the season because that’s not where he belongs in the lineup and that’s not how you fix someone’s swing. Sticking with him in the 5-hole, Delgado’s now found his stroke, hitting .350 in July. Let’s elaborate further…

    In your world, you remove Beltran, or anyone for that matter, from their regular lineup spot to the bottom half to get them out of a slump. Ok, then let’s say Beltran heats up batting 6th, batting .350 over a 2 week span. Move him back up to 3rd, and now he starts to struggle again. Ok, so move him back down to 6th. All the while, Wright, Alou, Delgado, etc are moving up and down throughout the lineup with him, never giving one player an anchor in the lineup with a chance to get comfortable. If you read articles or listen to interviews a lot of players will say they want the manager to put them in one spot in the lineup and leave him there. Don’t move me up and down and all around in correspondence to my streaks. The bottom line is if you switched players in the lineup everytime they got hot or cold, you’d end the season with 162 different lineups. That CERTAINLY won’t help your offense.

    It seems to me you’re concentrating too much on ordering the lineup with the guys with the highest averages first down to the lowest averages last. That theory works, but not exclusively. Alou has a better average than Delgado and Beltran, but does that make him a better clean-up hitter? Shouldn’t that be for someone known for his pop and be able to get the guys home who theoretically get on base in the first inning? If Shawn Green were still batting .300, would he be a candidate to bat third? The answer is no, because we know he’s no third place batter, despite a high average. The same applies to the contrary, whereas if your average is mediocre it doesn’t automatically not make you a middle of the lineup type of hitter. And Beltran is still hitting .263! Since when did that become the new mendoza line? He also leads the team with 19 HR…and he’s the guy you want to demote in the lineup???

    And at this stage of his career Alou is mostly a singles hitter. In 110 at-bats this season, 10 extra base hits…only 2 of which are home runs. Over the course of 500 at-bats, he’s amass a whopping grand total of 10 HRs. You want that to be your cleanup hitter? On top of that, you’d have you biggest power guys 5th and 6th in the lineup, whereas traditionally they should be somewhere 3 through 5.

    The thing we can agree on, which is probably fueling this argument, is that the Mets have 2 legitamate #3 hitters in Wright and Beltran, and throughout the season you can make valid reasons why one should be in that spot over the other. I’d be in agreement with you to remove Beltran from the 3-hole if he were hitting .230 for the season, but at .263 he deserves no such demotion. The team is scoring runs again and winning, so why tamper with what’s obviously not broken?

  14. sincekindergarten July 24, 2007 at 6:48 pm
    Oh–MetsBlog is reporting that SNY said, on the pre-game show, that Eddie Kunz–the highest pick that the Mets had in the supplimental first round–signed a contract with the Mets. He’s going to PSL, then he might go to Brookllyn, or just play with the PSL Mets at high A. I believe that he was described as someone who can help the big team this year.
  15. Micalpalyn July 24, 2007 at 9:08 pm
    Eddie kunz was closer for the 2X Nat champs OSU. Obviously many of us watched him and he does have some nasty stuff. Question is how he transitions into the bigs and where the Mets think they are. In a pennant race I doubt he appears. The BoSox brought in Craig Hansen 2 yrs ago, the Braves brought Joey Devine from draft to ML in the same year, both have been DFA-AWOL ever since. So I would not rush him. Then again I think Joe Smith could also have done with an Xtra yr but Sanchez/Padilla injuries + mota issues necessitated the rush.

    So is Milledge going anywhere…or we going to forget jason Bay & X. Then again both those guys make the Mets pay everytime for trading them away.

  16. Micalpalyn July 24, 2007 at 9:09 pm
    On joel he could be tucked away until August 31st……somehow. Or juswt pitch mop up until next yr. let Sele feature more.
  17. joe July 24, 2007 at 10:10 pm
    Hey just returned from the game, so missed all this fun.

    Isuzu, I understand your argument. Let’s end it here: my feeling is you have to put your best pure hitter — generally that’s a guy who bats at least .300 (on most teams). Other than one season, Beltran’s NEVER been a .300 guy — he’s generally too streaky. Wright, in my estimation, is an ideal #3 hitter. Whatever you want to do with the lineup after D-Wright, be my guest. Put Beltran cleanup … truce?

    Erik – Pineiro’s a righty. He’d only be worthwhile if we think he can be what Mota was last year.

    Re: Eddie Kunz: nice he’s wrapped up. I’m in agreement with Micalpalyn – he’s for the future. His first home game should be in Citi Field.

  18. Remaining Pitching Options : Mets Today January 12, 2010 at 10:38 am
    […] Pineiro’s stuff, going back to his days in Seattle. He would’ve been a great pickup two or three years ago, when Pineiro could be had for dirt cheap and the Mets had one of the few […]