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.
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.
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.
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.