Under the Radar: Joe Nelson

Joe Nelson pitching for the Kansas City RoyalsThe Kansas City Royals sent righthanded pitcher Joe Nelson to the minors, he refused his assignment, and is now a free-agent.

Ho hum.

Nelson was a career minor leaguer who consistently posted good (not great) numbers in AAA. He finally broke through to the Majors with the Royals by appearing in 43 games and saving 9. However, he always had shoulder issues, and suffered season-ending surgery in March 2007. He might not be ready when March comes around again, so Kansas City dropped him from the 40-man roster.

Might the Mets consider adding the damaged, crusty journeyman, offering him a AAA contract? He’s already 32 years old, and the best he’s ever been was a 4.43 ERA with 44 strikeouts and 24 walks in 44 innings in that 2006 season. You can’t blame the guy for wanting to leave the KC organization, and he’d likely be thrilled to take a minor-league deal with the Mets.

More paint to throw at the wall … the Mets will want to stock that AAA club with pitching.

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 November 20, 2007 at 3:21 pm
    How about Jimmy Rollins winning the NL MVP today? Not a fan. I was cool with all the other picks so far this year for ROY, Cy Young, and AL MVP, but I think Holliday was the better NL choice. No doubt, Rollins had an MVP caliber season, and finished with unbelievable numbers. But it’s not all about the stats. It’s about VALUE to your team. That word is built into the phrase: Most VALUABLE player. And I translate that into what player has the most value to his particular team? In layman’s terms, what singular player had the most impact on his team’s success? If you take Rollins away from the Phillies, they still have 100+ RBI guys Howard and Utley, 30 HR hitter Burrell, and 100+ run scorer Rowand. Likewise, the Phils have 4 10+ win pitchers. Compare those “complimentary players” to what Holliday had to work with in Colorado. He led the team (as well as the league) in RBI, was the only 30+ HR hitter on his team, and had only 1 other player on his team score 100+ runs. The Rockies also only had 2 pitchers with 10+ wins. Holliday also was the league leader in BA at .340, hits with 216, and total bases with 386. And how valuable is a guy who scores the game winning run in a one-game playoff (as Holliday did vs San Diego)?

    Ultimately what I’m trying to say is that if you take Rollins off the Phillies, the team is still potent offensively and sports at least 2 other MVP candidates, and perhaps still goes to the playoffs. Take away Holliday from Colorado and they’re nothing.

  2. joe November 20, 2007 at 3:31 pm
    Finally we agree !

    IMHO, Matt Holliday should have won the MVP unanimously. To me, there was absolutely no question, and big-mouth Rollins wouldn’t even be the runnerup. I’d place Brandon Webb ahead of him, and in fact I believe both Ryan Howard and Chase Utley were much more valuable to the Phils than Rollins. The Phillies could have won with Cesar Izturis at shortstop.

    OK, maybe not Cesar Izturis …

  3. isuzudude November 20, 2007 at 3:39 pm
    Alfredo Griffin.
  4. skibolton November 20, 2007 at 5:25 pm
    100% agree with that…rollins had an excellent season, but fielder and holliday were both more deserving of the award
  5. isuzudude November 20, 2007 at 6:35 pm
    MOTA TRADED FOR ESTRADA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMAR THE MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!