2011 Analysis: Miguel Batista

Once the Mets reached September and the meaningless games part of their schedule, the pitching staff — and the rotation in particular — was worn out and losing members due to one malady or another. It might have been a good opportunity for the Mets to audition young arms who showed potential. Instead, the best they could pull from their minor league system was 40-year-old Miguel Batista.

Many factors played into this curious decision. First, there was the fact that the Mets had very few, if any, youngsters who a) showed promise; b) were close enough to MLB to consider adding to the 40-man roster; c) genuinely earned a promotion; and d) hadn’t already met their innings limit for the season. And so fans were treated to what might have been the final nine appearances of Batista’s 17-year MLB career.

As it turned out, the poet and novel writer provided workmanlike appearances — and gave the Mets a valid chance to win in all four of his starts. While it might have been nicer to see a 22-year-old flamethrower making his MLB debut in September, watching Batista retire MLB hitters purely on guile was entertaining.

Side note: Batista started the 2011 season with the Cardinals; if things had worked out differently he might still be competing right now.

2012 Projection

Though I haven’t seen anything about Batista retiring, it seemed that he was leaning that way. If he does decide to give it another year, I don’t see the Mets signing him — though, at the same time, I wouldn’t be opposed to a minor-league deal and an invite to spring training. As well as he pitched in September, there are things about that month you just can’t trust — otherwise, Pat Misch would have made 90 starts for the Mets over the past three years.

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 October 24, 2011 at 8:59 am
    Yup. Who would they pitch instead? Gee himself would have been in the minors if not for injuries. We saw one rookie arm, mediocre overall. The team didn’t have many September call-ups, but many of the people on the field already were AAA level types.

    Given that, I was okay with Batista, his colorful backstory adding to the whole thing. As to him coming back, sure, a minor league deal would be okay. Let’s have more “workmanlike” pitchers in the future.