Red Sox DFA Pedro Beato

To make room for newly signed Ryan Dempster, the Red Sox have designated Pedro Beato for assignment. Should the Mets scoop him up?

I know the Mets’ 40-man roster was so full of incredibly talented players that there was no flexibility to participate in the Rule 5 Draft. However, I notice that the 40-man roster posted on Mets.com currently has only 38 players, and one of those players is Collin McHugh. Assuming that the Mets don’t want to fill one of those precious open spots, would you consider adding Beato and removing McHugh?

I sincerely doubt that if the Mets DFA McHugh, anyone is going to run and scoop him up. Maybe the Astros? Even if the Mets were to lose McHugh, my feeling is that Beato has more potential to help the Mets in 2013 and beyond.

McHugh is 25 years old, turning 26 in June. Beato just turned 26 in October. McHugh has never been more than an average innings eater in the middle of a minor league team’s rotation. Beato was looking like a decent middle reliever in 2011 before overuse led to a sore elbow; he was similarly fatigued late in the season. And now that the Mets clubhouse is rid of Josh Thole‘s sensitive feelings, maybe he can return. After a very short experiment as a starting pitcher in Buffalo, Beato returned to the bullpen and pitched OK — not great — at AAA before four terrible innings with the big club and eventually, getting shipped to Boston for a month and a half of Kelly Shoppach. Beato still throws a heavy sinker as well as two other plus pitches; perhaps if he’s used more judiciously, he can be a reliable 6th- or 7th-inning option. With a little luck, he might one day develop into a formidable 7th-inning guy who can be a spot setup man.

In contrast, Collin McHugh pretty much is what he is — a strike-thrower with an ordinary fastball, average secondary stuff, and not enough velocity nor movement to succeed in MLB. In short, he’s a poor-man’s Jeremy Hefner.

Caveat: I’m basing my opinion of McHugh on what my eyes saw of him in his 8-game, 21-inning audition with the Mets late last season. Not the numbers, but what I saw, which was a straight, 87-89 MPH fastball, a tight, but slow, 12-6 curve, and a rinky-dink slider that was more of a change-up than a swing-and-miss pitch. However, his minor league numbers are sparkling — particularly his career 9 K/9 rate and last year’s 1.14 WHIP (between AAA and AA). Various scouting reports also say his fastball was 92-93. So, maybe McHugh was out of gas when we saw him, and/or pitching with an injury. If indeed McHugh is much better than what he showed in September 2012, then I understand why the Mets might not want to drop him from the 40-man roster.

In which case, there are still two open slots with which a pitcher like Beato could fill. Yes, I realize the Mets need that “flexibility” for upcoming moves and acquisitions — at which point, they can change their mind about Beato (or someone else). That’s the beauty of the 40-man roster — it’s not set in stone.

Thoughts?

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. Izzy December 19, 2012 at 10:52 pm
    Bring back Pedro. You can never have enough guys who throw in the mid 90′s but don’t have a clue how to pitch. Plus, as you say he can be dumped the next day.
    • Joe Janish December 20, 2012 at 12:24 am
      You don’t think Beato has a clue how to pitch? Maybe. I thought he threw pretty well in 2011, all things considered. Remember, Thole was usually his catcher, and Collins was using him far too often. Beato had never been a reliever before 2010, and appeared in 43 games at AA that year. With the Mets in 2011, he was halfway to that game total by mid-June — and used for 1-3 innings each time. I think his drop in performance after June was a combination of overuse (which resulted in pitching with pain/injury as well as over-exposure) and having zero direction from behind the plate. I won’t argue on whether or not Beato is an intelligent pitcher — but remember, I’m a catcher so I’m convinced most if not all pitchers are either stupid, think they’re smarter than they are, or are too smart for their own good, and need a smart catcher to guide them.
      • Izzy December 20, 2012 at 6:52 am
        I stand corrected. How did it slip my mind that Collins tried to set the record for burning out a rookie pitcher quickly.
  2. friend December 20, 2012 at 2:24 am
    Umm, when you have to catch a guy like McHugh, how exactly do you go about telling him how sucky he is?
    • Joe Janish December 20, 2012 at 8:06 pm
      First off, you need to assess whether it’s necessary to tell a pitcher “how sucky he is.” If a pitcher thinks he’s better than he is, or thinks his stuff is better than it is, he needs to be told straight to his face, along with some ideas on how to get around the issue. For example, if a pitcher throws a crappy slider, he needs to be told to shelve it.
  3. DaveSchneck December 20, 2012 at 11:29 am
    Joe,
    I see no harm in bringing back Beato, so long as the roster situation is worked out. I agree that Beato can be more valuable in 2013, but I am not ready to give up on McHugh for nothing. I also agree with the notion that McHugh was gassed for his big league stint. Start him in AAA Vegas and see if he can further refine his stuff. He could be another Dillon Gee, which has value either with the team or in a trade. They may be able to bring Beato to camp without initially putting him on the roster.
  4. Joe December 20, 2012 at 1:14 pm
    Beato would be a decent pick-up though Collin McHugh has funny tweets and writes good blogs. I realize that is not really a baseball reason to keep him. The Mets did get rid of Beato for a reason but anyways sure, think about it.
    • Joe Janish December 20, 2012 at 8:13 pm
      Well, RA Dickey will be tweeting for the Blue Jays so maybe McHugh’s social media skills have more value than you think.

      The part that bothers me is the “Mets did get rid of Beato a reason.” Was it a physical issue? Was it an attitude issue? Maybe there’s still something lingering about the Thole apology?

      Thole was so incredibly over-valued, over-protected, and over-lauded by Collins that one has to wonder about that. My personal theory that has no factual support is that TC saw Thole as another version of himself – extremely hard working, great attitude, eager to please the coach/manager, but not blessed with MLB skills, while Beato has a god-given 95+ MPH fastball and maybe doesn’t have the attitude and/or work ethic of Thole (again, this is a guess). Collins clearly blew that situation way out of proportion publicly, which makes me wonder if it was a straw breaking the camel’s back.

  5. Steven December 20, 2012 at 1:21 pm
    Boy, Joe, you really seem to be glad that Thole is gone. We all knew his hitting sucked but do you also think he had no ability to call a game ? I would also like to know your thoughts on John Buck as our backstop for at least the first two months of the season
    • Joe Janish December 20, 2012 at 8:20 pm
      I am absolutely thrilled that Josh Thole is no longer the Mets starting catcher. He seemed like a nice enough guy, but that was part of his problem — you can’t always be a nice guy and be a frontline catcher.

      I’m pretty certain Thole couldn’t call a game because the pitch calling came from the dugout. I can understand the game being called from the bench in a catcher’s rookie season — I did the same coaching first-year catchers at the college level. But eventually you have to trust the catcher to call the game himself, because he has the best perspective of the pitches coming in, the pitcher’s confidence level, the batters’ nuances, the umpire’s tendencies, and a number of other little things that go into deciding what pitch to call.

      But there’s more to catching than just pitch calling — much of it has to do with gaining a pitcher’s confidence; feeding a pitcher’s ego; keeping him calm and focused, yet aggressive; getting the entire defense to work together; working with the umpire; getting into the batters’ heads; and establishing leadership of the defense. It takes a special, “type-A” personality, thick skin, people skills, and understanding of human behaviors — none of which can be measured with any advanced statistics.