Tag: blaine boyer

Boyer In, Acosta Out, Bay To DL?

Contrary to reports from last night, Manny Acosta will NOT make the Mets’ Opening Day roster — he has been designated for assignment — and Blaine Boyer WILL be the final piece to the bullpen puzzle.

Personally, I agree with Matt Himelfarb, in that there isn’t all that much difference between Acosta and Boyer. Though, Boyer is “new” and “different” so maybe that makes him better in our minds.

To me, Acosta was similar to Jorge Sosa: someone who could throw really hard and get swings and misses, be effective for a short term, but inevitably get pounded and give up the long ball because he throws one speed and tends to get too much of the plate at too high a location. Acosta could change leagues and look awesome for a month, but eventually go back to being the guy he is — but because he looked lights out for a little while, the team might kid itself into believing he can do it again, and thus be continually put into situations to fail.

In other news, Adam Rubin is reporting that Jason Bay is injured and could be headed for the DL. Before you say “hooray, Nick Evans makes the team!”, you must understand that because Evans is already on waivers, he can’t be added to the 25-man roster. Thus, Lucas Duda (who has options remaining) is likely to make the team instead.

Is it me or does this roster mismanagement remind you of a previous regime?

Also, as Matt Cerrone points out,

… this could mean that, on days when Carlos Beltran gets a day off, the outfield will be Duda, Angel Pagan and Willie Harris. What just happened?

Though, Andy McCullough reports (via Twitter) that there’s a possibility Evans clears waivers this afternoon, in which case he could be added back to the roster to take Bay’s place.

Is your head spinning yet?

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Manny Acosta Makes Final Bullpen Spot?

According to The New York Times, the Mets have asked Jason Isringhausen to stay back in Port St. Lucie to further build up his arm strength. Additionally, they have asked Blaine Boyer to consider a minor-league assignment, rather than exercising his option to become a free agent. Earlier in the day, Pat Misch was placed on waivers.

These moves mean that Manny Acosta makes the team, filling the final bullpen spot. This decision should please MetsToday’s occasional guest columnist Matt Himelfarb.

Per The Times, Isringhausen is open to staying in Florida — and why not? His training regimen started when he reported to Port St. Lucie, after tooling around in softball games, so he knows he’s probably not in shape to pitch against MLB hitters on a regular basis. Further, posed with the option of staying in sunny Florida for a few extra weeks to get in shape or hanging out in the bullpen during the cold, wet, winterlike conditions the New York area will experience in early April, and the decision is easy — stay warm!

As for Boyer, it will be interesting to see what he decides to do. The Mets were concerned that the flamethrowing, gopherballing Acosta would be claimed by another team if exposed to waivers. But, Boyer has proven this spring to be healthy and just as effective — plus, he has a history of success prior to his arm problems. If a team would claim Acosta, then one would assume there is a team out there that would pick up Boyer if he made himself available. Time will tell.

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Mets Sign Hairston, Byrdak, and Boyer

Tim Byrdak catches two fish

Mets' big catch Byrdak poses with his own big catch

Sandy Alderson and his Fantasy Front Office began the offseason like a lamb, but is going out like a lion. After months of ho-hum-drum transactions / inaction, the Mets are really turning up the heat on the hot stove, picking up high-impact AAA players like it’s nobody’s business. If you are considering purchasing season tickets, hurry over to Mets.com and reserve your package now, because this past week’s rash of acquisitions is sure to motivate fans throughout the tri-state area to buy up every last seat in Citi Field.

As if the signings of Chris Young, Willie Harris, and Taylor Tankersley weren’t enough to bowl you over, the Mets have followed up that trio with another triumphant triumvirate: Scott Hairston, Tim Byrdak, and Blaine Boyer.

Hairston is the younger, taller, less-skilled, non-enhanced brother of Jerry Hairston, Jr. He plays the outfield and second base with equal adequacy, and hits the ball infrequently. When he does make contact, he occasionally sends the ball over a fence — he blasted 10 homers in only 295 at-bats last year, while posting a .210 average and .295 OBP. He had a career year in 2009, with 17 homeruns, .265 AVG, .305 OBP in 116 games and 464 plate appearances. With too many offensive-minded outfielders already on the roster, the Padres had no room for the soon-to-be 31-year-old slugger, and the Mets are the beneficiary of their surplus. Yet another brilliant, under-the-radar move by those very smart and efficient people in the front office. This strategy of exploiting market inefficiencies is so exciting!

Byrdak is a similarly smart move — I know this because the Mets made it, and everyone keeps telling us how smart they are now. Byrdak is one of those little old ladies lefties who everyone undervalues just because he has underwhelming stuff, walks too many people, gives up too many hits, and allows too many homeruns. What people forget is that in his 9-year MLB career, he twice averaged more than one strikeout per inning, and he limits lefthanded hitters to minuscule batting averages (righties rake him, but as long as he doesn’t face any, everything will be fine).

Boyer might be more interesting if his first name was Ken or Clete, instead of plain Blaine, but we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Interestingly, Boyer is basically the mirror image of Byrdak, in that he is murderous on righthanded batters, but gets killed by lefthanded batters. I’m wondering if the Mets can teach both of them to play first base, and then in the late innings, switch them back and forth between 1B and the mound depending on the batter’s handedness? If not, I suppose Terry Collins can politely request that the opposing manager not use pinch-hitters.

Strangely, neither Boyer nor Byrdak have had serious arm surgery within the past two years — which seems to be inconsistent with another market inefficiency being exploited by Alderson. However, if you look back far enough into their histories, you’ll learn that Byrdak did undergo Tommy John surgery in 2001, and Boyer had shoulder surgery in 2006 … so there you go.

All sarcasm aside, Boyer and Byrdak are perfectly fine, low-risk, mild-reward signings that could turn out quite well. Byrdak, in particular, has been something of a late bloomer, re-making himself into a crafty and efficient LOOGY in his mid-30s — kind of like the one-batter version of Jamie Moyer. He throws a four-seam fastball that rides in the 88-89 range and occasionally breaks 90; a running, sinking, two-seamer that’s a few MPH slower; a slider; and a forkball that he uses to change speeds. His varied repertoire has the potential to keep batters off balance, but because he doesn’t have great velocity on his heater nor great bite on his slider, his effectiveness is dependent on keeping the ball away from the plate and hoping batters extend their strike zone; therefore, he tends to walk too many batters.

As for Boyer, he was a top prospect in the Braves’ organization until the shoulder problems and eventual surgery briefly detoured his career. It took about 2-3 years for him to regain his velocity, which can get up into the 95-96 MPH range on occasion. He mixes in pretty good overhand curve and a hard slider, and was a workhorse for Bobby Cox in 2008, appearing in 76 games. However, he tends to get hit hard, as his fastball is pretty straight and control inconsistent — a combination that leads to frequent meatballs. He kind of reminds me of Brian Bruney.

Regarding Hairston, I don’t get it. Like Willie Harris, he can play both 2B and CF in a pinch, but probably best suited to left field, and isn’t going to offer much on offense. Harris hits from the left side and Hairston from the right, so I suppose they complement each other. But it would’ve been more efficient to get switch-hitting Delwyn Young to do the same thing, no? (Young was signed by the Phillies earlier this month.)

I know that neither Hairston nor Harris are going to be difference-makers, and their purpose is to provide depth, but my concern is they will be taking reps away from Nick Evans, who is out of options and will need to really wow Terry Collins in order to make the team.

In related news, the Mets DFA’d outfielder Jason Pridie and pitcher Tobi Stoner to make room for Hairston and Chris Young. Not a huge deal; I was actually surprised that Pridie and Stoner were on the 40-man roster in the first place.

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Braves Release Brian Barton

brian-bartonAccording to Baseball America, the Braves have released former phenom outfielder Brian Barton.

Barton was considered a great athlete but went undrafted after a strong career at U Miami, as clubs believed he’d make use of his aerospace engineering degree rather than pursue baseball. However, he signed a $100,000 bonus (plus another $100K for schooling) with the Indians, and has been a prodigal nomad ever since.

The Beaneheads like Barton’s plate discipline and ability to

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Miller: Peavy Going to Braves

Jake Peavy is going to the Atlanta Braves, if he waives his no-trade clause, Scott Miller of CBS Sportsline reports.

Miller claims that the Braves are ready to send Yunel Escobar, Gorkys Hernandez, one of either Jo-Jo Reyes or Charlie Morton, and one of either Scott Locke or Blaine Boyer.

I’m still not seeing the Braves parting with Escobar … unless Khalil Greene is also part of the deal or they’re looking to bring either Edgar Renteria or Rafael Furcal back to Atlanta. I do realize that Peavy is an ace, but their package seems a bit too heavy and against their philosophy of rebuilding from within. Then again, they have been unable to develop ace-level pitchers in recent years, and have an abundance of young position players, and oftentimes a team must deal from surplus. Escobar is a pretty special talent, though.

With or without Escobar, I’m not liking the idea that the Braves may have Jake Peavy next year — nor does it please me that they are supposedly looking to add a frontline free-agent starter such as A.J. Burnett or Ryan Dempster, as Miller also claims.

*** UPDATE ***

Ken Rosenthal is debunking this rumor, sort of.

If the Braves are getting Jake Peavy, it’s news to them.

The Braves are on the verge of a trade agreement with the Padres for Peavy, according to CBSSportsline.com, but the Padres have yet to communicate their acceptance of a Braves’ offer to Atlanta officials, major-league sources say.

Hmm …. he goes on to state this:
It is possible that the Padres have decided internally to proceed with the Braves, then finalize the details later Thursday. The teams spoke again on Wednesday, continuing discussions that have lasted for over a month.

So, Rosenthal is debunking the deal in one paragraph, then covering his butt just in case the deal is realized. Is he upset he didn’t get the scoop? Or was Miller too quick to the trigger?

We’ll know before Thanksgiving. Perhaps before the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau.

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