Please Pass On Mediocrity

So, Tim Brown says that the Mets have made an offer to Kyle Lohse. Why, I’m not quite sure. Worse, the offer is supposedly in the four-year range. Ugh.

According to Brown on Yahoo:

Lohse is considering offers from the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies, both of which could go to four years.

Are the Mets really that desperate, or silly, or are they just trying to drive up the price for Phillies? At his best, Lohse can be borderline dominating. The problem is, he’s at his best only once out of every eight starts. This is nothing new, it’s something he’s been doing his entire career. You want a comparison that strikes close to home? Victor Zambrano. So before someone pipes in saying that all Lohse needs is ten minutes with Rick Peterson …

Also, there’s been some interest in the blog circles surrounding Josh Towers, and I’m banging my head against the wall trying to find out why. Towers doesn’t throw particularly hard, doesn’t have great stuff, hasn’t had more than one decent full season, and is two years away from an ERA — 8.42 — that would make Jose Lima blush. Worse, he doesn’t even have the benefit of an injury as an excuse for his poor performance — he’s just plain bad.

I suppose the excitement comes from 2003, when he went 8-1 in 14 games, and from 2005, when he went 13-12 with a 3.71 ERA in the AL East for the Blue Jays. He was 28 years old that year, and I’m sorry to say, that may have been his peak. Looking more closely at that season, and it wasn’t quite as great as it looked (if 13-12 with a 3.71 ERA is in fact “great”). The Canadian blog “Batters Box” did a study on The Decline and Fall of Josh Towers a while back — check it out. Basically, they’re saying that Towers’ success in ’05 had much to do with luck as anything — and not the stathead kind of luck based on FIPs and BIPs and BABIP or whatever the hot acronym is these days but rather the luck of the draw. As in, the teams he faced. For example, several of his wins came against very weak teams, such as the Devil Rays, Royals, Nationals, Orioles, Astros, Brewers, Mariners, and Cubs. I wonder how well Mike Pelfrey or Phil Humber’s numbers would look at the end of the year if 10-15 of their starts came against sub-.500 teams?

Which is exactly my point. Before the Mets go signing someone who has had less MLB success than Brian Lawrence, why not just give the #5 spot to Pelfrey, Humber, or even Kevin Mulvey? While I do understand and fully support the idea of getting veteran arms for AAA depth, I think you at least have to find someone who has some skills, or has had some kind of success in the past. A Jon Lieber, a Bartolo Colon. Heck, I’d consider Jaret Wright or Wade Miller before Josh Towers — at least they both once tasted true success.

But enough of the fifth starter talk … aren’t the Mets supposed to be picking up an ace? Though, the chance of that seems to be diminishing every day. It appears to me that it’s going to be Johan Santana, or it’s going to be no one — at least, no other ace. I don’t see the Mets giving up a Santana-type package for Eric Bedard or Joe Blanton; they’re better off holding on to their youngsters and picking up the innings-eater we’ve been talking about all along.

Which leads me to my next point: the silence surrounding Carlos Silva is deafening. Not a peep from any corner of the globe. More significantly, not a breath from the Mets concerning Silva. Which makes you wonder if his signing is going to happen any day now. If not Silva, certainly Livan Hernandez, but haven’t we beaten this horse beyond death by now?

What do you think? Will the Mets take their Santana package and waste it on a #2 or #3 guy such as Bedard or Blanton?

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 December 17, 2007 at 8:00 pm
    “…haven’t we beaten this horse beyond death by now?”

    Exactly my sentiments. The names change from week to week but our philosphy stays the same. And from day one of the offseason, it’s been to either give up 4 or so prospects, excluding Reyes, Maine, Perez, and both Gomez/F-Mart, for an ace like Johan, Haren, Bedard, or Peavy, or stock up as many decent arms willing to take incentive laiden or minor league deals and go into camp with an open audition for the #5 spot (and #4 spot as well depending on what the future holds for Senor Duque). Also on the list is re-educating Willie on how to leave starters in longer when they are in control of a game, and how not to over exert the bullpen when their services aren’t needed. Omar could do Willie some favors by also picking up a few bullpen arms along the way, or choosing to groom Pelfrey and Humber into Aaron Heilman’s of the future. Whatever the case may be, Joe, you’re right in that we have been down this road so many times before. We know all the names, and we know that 90% of them will make us turn up our noses in disgust. But, since the Mets haven’t made a move all winter to improve their pitching (sorry, Brian Stokes and Steve Register don’t count), it also means that 100% of the rumors circulating the internet are all false, or at least haven’t panned out, up to this point.

    A glimmer of hope, though. Both Pedro Martinez’ signing and John Maine’s acquistion happened in January. So history has proven that Omar has still made big splashes in favor of our pitching late in the offseason. Here’s to crossing our fingers that Omar’s got another January run left in him.

  2. Micalpalyn December 18, 2007 at 2:45 pm
    Timely post:

    As the board clears of the usual and unusual suspects our fear is Chan Ho Park could show up again.

    You are right clearly the era of medicrity (traxx) ended when Omar sent the message by signing Petey away from theBsoxx. And this FA market was hardly filled with Petey types.

    I agree with Isu as you all know, in that Humber or Pelfrey SHOULD be molded into releivers (ala heilman) if possible. But also like you said, what is the chances that Mulvey really is a better Bobby J Jones? or Humber gets stronger and CAN go more thaqn 4 innings? if either pans out, we have a home grown cheap 5th starter.