Tag: brian schneider

Off-Topic: Mets Rejects

So I’m looking at the rosters of the teams whose seasons are continuing — i.e., playing in the postseason — and I notice there are a number of players who were dumped by the Mets since Opening Day 2009.

Here is the list of recent Mets rejects going to the playoffs:

Brian Schneider (Phillies)
Wilson Valdez (Phillies)
Jeff Francoeur (Rangers)
Darren O’Day (Rangers)
Billy Wagner (Braves)

Other former Mets in the postseason include Darren Oliver, Nelson Cruz, Dan Wheeler, A.J. Burnett, Royce Ring, Drew Butera, and Guillermo Mota. I’m not sure if you can count Yorvit Torrealba. Did I miss anyone?

Also of note, Bengie Molina and Orlando Hudson — two free agents highly coveted by the Mets last winter — are both in the playoffs.

Not sure what this means, if anything. It’s probably useless information. But we will see familiar faces for the next few weeks, and it will be annoying if Brian Schneider hits a game-winning homer in the NLDS, for example.

Which former Met would you be most annoyed — or most happy — to see do something great in the 2010 postseason? Comment below.


Mets Sign Rod Barajas

Yes, the Mets have signed another catcher. And this one is the best of the bunch.

Unfortunately, that’s not saying much.

Rod Barajas is an average to slightly above-average defender and a terrible offensive player with one tool: the ability to hit the ball over fences. Don’t get too excited, though, as it’s not as though Barajas is Babe Ruth. By “the ability to the ball over fences”, I mean he has more power than Luis Castillo. Over the course of 450-500 at-bats, playing half of his games in Citi Field, he might hit 10-15 HR.

However, he’ll also hit .230 (.240 at best) and post an OBP around .250 – .280. He won’t score many runs. His RBI total will be dependent on his homer total and his RBI opportunities. Essentially, he is a poor man’s Bengie Molina — and most of the statheads were very much against a Molina signing. Though, Bengie is not a good comparison, since Barajas has been more of a backup catcher most of his career. Considering that, Barajas is most similar to Ramon Castro. Before you say “a more durable version of Ramon Castro”, I will point out that Barajas has endured chronic hamstring, groin, and back issues — symbols of someone who has a problem with flexibility and is perpetually overweight. So again, Barajas is essentially Ramon Castro — minus the jokes and personality.

We’ll get back to his defense, since that’s what the Mets’ spin doctors want us to focus on. You’ll hear nonsense such as “Barajas is an excellent defensive catcher”. He’s not. He’s “excellent” compared to Josh Thole. Compared to all other MLB backstops, he’s about average. His caught-stealing percentage has been consistently around 34% his entire career, which is much better than Mike Piazza, and a few ticks better than the average. However, did you know that the Mets catchers in 2009 had a caught-stealing percentage of 34%? Interesting, eh?

I would say that, defensively, again, Ramon Castro is a fair comp. Is Barajas better than Brian Schneider? Tough to say, as they’re pretty close. If it came right down to it I’d take Schneider, who I think is a better overall receiver and a bit better when it comes to throwing out runners. Offensively, Schneider doesn’t have the pop, but he’ll get on base at least 50-60% more often. Barajas’ power is his singular tool, and even that is deceptive. Of his 19 HR in 2009, nearly one-third (6 to be exact) came in Fenway Park, Citizen’s Bank Park, and The Ballpark at Arlington — so take that info as you will. Additionally, he’s an incredibly streaky hitter, as evidenced by his .300 average in April last year, and .150 average in September. Also speaking to the streakiness, 7 of those 19 dingers came in August — 6 of those in a 10-game stretch. That hot April included 7 of his 19 doubles. Most scouts agree that in addition to being streaky, Barajas’ main problem offensively is that his performance drops considerably the more he’s exposed. Again, he’s sounding a lot like Castro, isn’t he?

The sad thing about this? Upon his arrival on Tuesday, Rod Barajas will be the best catcher in camp, and the best on the Mets’ 40-man roster.

But don’t let that fact depress you, since the catching position is unimportant and a non-factor on most teams. Though, you could also point out that “most teams” don’t make the postseason.


Phillies Sign Brian Schneider; Coste Prefers Philly Too

brian-schneider-sideAccording to The Morning Call, Brian Schneider has signed a one-year two-year, $3M contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Schneider grew up in Pennsylvania, graduating from Northampton High School, about an hour north of Philadelphia — and as you may have guessed, grew up a Phillies fan.

According to Brian’s Uncle Mike (the Northampton HS Athletic Director):

“It’s neat because we all grew up Philllies fans and we were fans wherever he went, but for him to come back home, everybody is overjoyed. His dad (Mike’s brother Pete Schneider) called and said he on his way over to the stadium now.”

In related news, the Mets signed former Phillie Chris Coste to a contract that guarantees him a spot on the 40-man roster. Coste had this to say to CSNPhilly.com (hat tip to MetsBlog):

“It was the Mets,” Coste told CSN. “It’s the last team I ever saw myself playing for. I knew I was going to accept it, but had to think about it for a few days. It wasn’t my choice to leave Philly,” Coste said. “I never wanted to leave Philadelphia, I will always consider myself a Phillie.”

It is so pleasing to hear that Brian Schneider is happy to be joining the Phillies, and that the Mets’ newest catcher would prefer to be with the Phillies.

Coupled with the recent signings of Alex Cora and Elmer Dessens, could the offseason have begun with any more optimism and excitement? Doubtful.


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


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.


Trade To Be Announced?

According to Bart Hubbach’s Twitter feed, the Mets have sent down Elmer Dessens and promoted catcher Robinson Cancel.

Furthermore, Omar Minaya has a press conference scheduled for 11 AM.

Does this mean Brian Schneider has been dealt for a LOOGY?

Stay tuned.

** UPDATE **

As suggested by commenter “Ellie” (Hendricks?), the Mets promoted Cancel to fortify the bench, as Schneider’s legs are ailing.

Though, the definition of “fortify” could be called into question, as Cancel is hitting .218 with a .266 OBP and .259 SLG at AAA Buffalo. It was Cancel or Rene Rivera, and Cancel is already on the 40-man roster.


Mets Fire Sale

firesaleIt was only a week ago that Omar Minaya claimed the Mets to be “buyers” rather than “sellers” but that was as much hogwash then as it is now. The Mets have 11 more losses than the NL East-leading Phillies and are 7 1/2 games out of the Wild Card with 65 games to play. Mathmetically, yes, they have a chance to reach the postseason. Realistically, though, it’s not likely.

With four days before the trading deadline, it’s time to see where the Mets can cut their losses and bring in some talent for 2010. Unfortunately, the list of trade bait is pretty short.

Pedro Feliciano

“Pedro Lite” is one of the most sought-after lefthanded relievers right now, in a mix with Joe Beimel, George Sherrill, and John Grabow. But how much will a pennant-starved team give up for a LOOGY? Would it be more than an A-ball suspect or AA filler material? The Mets may be better off holding on to Feliciano, who is showing no signs of slowing down.

Sean Green

Teams need pitching, and are willing to part with talent in return for quality arms. The question is, do other teams consider Green a quality arm? His stock has fallen due to a terrible first half and the fact that his performace drops considerably with overuse. The White Sox recently gave up a slugging first base prospect to pry Tony Pena from the Diamondbacks, and Pena was in the midst of a similarly down season. But, Pena is 27 and has a better track record. Can the Mets obtain a decent player for the 30-year-old Green? It’s worth trying.

Luis Castillo

After a horrible 2008, Castillo is in line for Comeback Player of the Year, and currently sizzling at the plate. There are a few pennant-contending clubs who might be in the market for a second baseman, most notably the White Sox, Twins, and Cubs. The Rockies and Giants might also have room for Castillo’s .400 OBP. However, there is the issue of Castillo’s unbearable contract, which still has two years and $12M remaining after this season. The Mets would certainly have to eat all or most of that money to get anything of value in return — much like the Red Sox’ dumping of Julio Lugo for Chris Duncan.

If the Mets are willing to continue paying Castillo, they might be able to get a prospect or two. For example, the Giants have a switch-hitting second baseman in AA named Brock Bond who is an on-base machine like Castillo, but is already 24 and has no power and only average speed — though, Mets fans would get excited over his currently .350 batting average (he’s projected to be a Jeff Keppinger / Brendan Ryan utility type of guy). The White Sox have some intriguing pitchers at AA and a big young catcher named Tyler Flowers, who was caught with PEDs in 2007 but has done well without them — whether they’d give him up for Castillo, though, is another story. Most likely, the Mets can get a mix of A and AA borderline prospects — similar to what they gave up to get him back in 2007.

Livan Hernandez

In two weeks, Livan went from nearly getting booted from the rotation to emerging as their second-best starter. Everyone always needs pitching, but would anyone give up anything of value for Hernandez — particularly since he projects as a #5 on any contending club?

Angel Pagan

I know, I know — he’s one of the few exciting and dependable players the Mets have in the lineup right now. But he’s also most likely playing the best baseball he’ll ever play in his life — so it may be a good time to “sell high” (i.e., like when the Mets traded Tsuyoshi Shinjo and Desi Relaford). With Carlos Beltran presumably coming back for 2010 and 2011, Pagan’s value to the Mets is diminished. The Tigers and White Sox could be trolling for an outfielder with Pagan’s skillset, and if he can bring back something of value, it’s worth exploring. On the other hand, if you believe Beltran’s knee woes are only beginning, then it makes sense to hold on tight to Pagan, and pencil him into centerfield for next season — because there are no centerfield prospects in the Mets’ minor league system ready to step in.

Brian Schneider

I’m not seeing it. Schneider is a fairly solid defensive catcher with occasional pop, but what is a contending team going to give up for two-month rental who can’t beat out Omir Santos for a starting job? The Mets would get MAYBE an A-ball suspect, and then we’d have Robinson Cancel back in Flushing.

Gary Sheffield

He can’t go anywhere as long as he’s on the DL. If he passes through waivers in August, maybe the Mets can get a AAA guy who was once a prospect but now a suspect.


I keep looking at the Mets’ roster and seeing nothing of value to other teams — a frightening parallel to their minor league system. Veterans not mentioned, such as Fernando Tatis, Tim Redding, Alex Cora, Cory Sullivan, Brian Stokes, and Jeremy Reed are all key contributors on this fourth-place team, but to a contending club they are basically worthless — other organizations have similar talent stocked at AAA, so why trade for it?

More disconcerting, even if the Mets are able to pull off a few trades, will they get anything worthwhile in return?

Consider this: the last time the Mets held a fire sale was July 2003, when they unloaded Jeromy Burnitz, Roberto Alomar, Rey Sanchez, Graeme Lloyd, and Armando Benitez — you can argue that those players were as or more more valuable then, than what the Mets have to offer now. The total return on those trades? Jeremy Hill, Jason Anderson, Kenny Kelly, Royce Ring, Victor Diaz, Kole Strayhorn, Joselo Diaz, Edwin Almonte, Andrew Salvo, Anderson Garcia and Ryan Bicondoa. Victor Diaz and Ring made minor contributions, and the rest never made it to Flushing.