Browsing Archive October, 2009

2009 Analysis: Brian Schneider

brian-schneider-profileThere was a time that Brian Schneider was an agile receiver with a great glove, strong arm, and the added bonus of some pop in his bat. In fact I can remember when Omar Minaya was GM of the Expos, and he supposedly spent every winter turning down offers for his young and promising backstop.

Those days are long gone, unfortunately. Today, Schneider is only about average behind the plate in all areas and well below average offensively. He has ten years of experience in the National League, and appears to be a bright fellow, so we can assume he has a “book” on most opposing hitters. Still, we didn’t hear many glowing comments about his abilities from the members of his pitching staff — which is mildly concerning. He may have the reputation as a guy “good at handling pitchers” but other than a few notes about him doing a nice job with Mike Pelfrey, there hasn’t been any concrete proof of that.

Part of the problem could be that

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2009 Analysis: Omir Santos

omir-santos-commonsIt’s safe to say that Omir Santos exceeded expectations in 2009.

Santos was signed as a minor league free agent in mid-January, an under-the-radar move lost among announcements such as Casey Fossum, Bobby Kielty, and Valerio de Los Santos — not unlike a similar transaction that brought Ramon Castro to New York in the winter of 2004. At the time, even those who noticed the signing figured Santos was simply an extra guy to catch all those pitchers invited to spring training. Santos was competing with Rene Rivera, Robinson Cancel, Salomon Manriquez, Josh Thole, and others for a third-string backup job that didn’t exist.

But Brian Schneider struggled with back ailments all spring, something about Santos caught the eye of Jerry Manuel, and the rest is history.

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Will Holliday or Bay Affect Francoeur?

francoeur-nohatThe Matt Holliday / Jason Bay buzz is heating up, with the latest news that the Red Sox will not attempt to re-sign Bay but may go after Adrian Gonzalez instead. Further, word from San Francisco is that the Giants don’t have the ducats to pursue either of the free-agent outfielders — which if true narrows the market. Add in the fact that Jon Heyman tweeted that the Mets will pursue a “big-ticket LF” and it would seem that Omar Minaya and co. will be part of the bidding for one or both of Jason Bay and Matt Holliday.

But how will such pursuit affect Jeff Francoeur?

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Why and How the Mets Should Trade for Roy Halladay

roy-halladay-2(NOTE: this article is by MetsToday contributing writer and resident stathead Matt Himelfarb — be kind, and keep an open mind)

Rumors of the Dodgers recent financial troubles due to the McCourts’ nasty split should be welcome news to the Mets. The only other potential Roy Halladay suitors that could fairly compensate baseball’s best pitcher appear to be the Jay’s inter-division rivals, the Yankees and the Red Sox. Both Boston and New York do not have unlimited payrolls, and figure to set their sights, both financially and in regard to prospects, on other priorities. The Jays might make a token attempt at competing next year, hoping to make reasonable run in 2011. Whatever the case, they probably do not want Roy Halladay pitching against them for at least the next half-decade.

Needless to say, the market for Halladay has been softening even more since July 31st. Unless Halladay decides to take a hometown discount, Halladay will be traded this off-season, as new General Manager Alex Anthopoulos recognizes that there is no advantage to keeping Halladay for 2010, or risk waiting until the trade deadline.

This is undoubtedly good news for Omar and co.

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2009 Analysis: Darren O’Day

darren-oday-metsHey! Darren O’Day wasn’t on the team by Game 162 — in fact he was gone before the end of April. So what the heck is he doing as part of the 2009 analysis?

It’s a sore spot, that’s why — and O’Day’s brief tenure as a New York Met is a symbol of the organization’s shortsighted, knee-jerk “strategies” of building and maintaining the 25-man roster.

What this post should have been was a congratulatory note to Omar Minaya and his scouting staff for having the boldness and acuity to pluck Darren O’Day in the Rule 5 Draft. The acquisition could have been a soothing bright spot amidst a dark year of disappointment. But even when the Mets did something right, they found a way to undo it.

O’Day earned a bullpen spot on the strength of a sparkling

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Beltran to Boston?

The buzz from the Boston Herald is that the Red Sox might consider calling the Mets about Carlos Beltran this winter, in the event that Jason Bay is not re-signed.

(Hat tip to Ed at MetsFever)

Note I stated “buzz” — not “rumor”, nor “report”. It’s pure speculation by the Herald’s columnist Michael Silverman. Still, I am curious as to what you the Mets fan thinks of such an idea.

Would you consider trading Carlos Beltran to the Red Sox? If so, what would you need to get in return? If not, why not?

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2009 Analysis: Tobi Stoner

tobi-stoner-handstandThe photo to the left sort of sums up the season for Tobi Stoner, one that seemed destined for a storybook ending, but somehow fell short. You might say it was … upended.

Stoner began his journey to the big leagues in Lanstuhl, Germany — though, it quickly transferred to a small town in western Maryland, and proceeded through the relatively unknown Garrett College and a tiny liberal arts college called Davis & Elkins — where he was randomly discovered by a scout whose intention was to watch an opposing hitter.

“The scout had actually come to see the other team’s best hitter, but I struck him out.”

It was a case of right place, right time for the small-town, German-born boy, as Stoner pitched the game of his life and was drafted in the 16th round that June. As Stoner himself admits

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2009 Analysis: Johan Santana

johan-a-manThrough the first two months of the 2009 season, Johan Santana was — hands-down — the best pitcher on the planet. In fact, his first ten starts were the stuff of legend, and one of the most auspicious beginnings to a season for any pitcher in modern MLB history (all the more impressive considering he was accomplishing it in a hitter’s era).

At the end of May and through ten (oops) eleven starts his ERA was a miserly 1.77, but his record was “only” 7-4 — mostly because of the lethargic Mets offense but also partially due to Santana’s inability to hang around long enough to be on the winning side. Through most of the season (including and beyond those first two months), he would be spectacular through 6 or 7 innings, but his soaring pitch counts put the ballgame in the hands of an inconsistent bullpen. As I noted in mid-June, he seemed to be moving away from his previously successful strategy (while a Twin) of

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