Tag: cliff lee

Quote of the Day: Mets Didn’t Have the Prospects For Lee

With sources confirming to the Daily News’ Mark Feinsand that Lee is about to become a Yankee in a package that includes top catching prospect Jesus Montero, what had long been clear became nearly official: The Mets–because Ike Davis and Jon Niese are no longer prospects but important contributors to the major league team–could not match other teams’ minor leaguers.

– Andy Martino, NY Daily News

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Replacements for Hisanori Takahashi

Note: this is a post written by MetsToday sabermetric guru Matt Himelfarb

In seven starts, here are Hisanori Takahashi’s numbers to date:

38.1 IP
15.85% K rate
7.32% BB rate
1.31 HR/9
8.62% HR/FB
5.16 FIP

Those numbers are unworthy of a spot in the rotation, even for a fifth starter. The long-ball has been Takahashi’s undoing, but that is what happens when you have a 38% GB rate. At the very least, I would prefer to see a back-end starter with mediocre peripherals eat some innings, but Takahashi is a five-six inning pitcher at this point.

I used to be wholeheartedly against dealing for the Kevin Millwoods and Fausto Carmonas of the world. Given Takahashi’s initial success, I thought it would be a linear move at the best.

It has now become imperative, however, that the Mets replace Takahashi.

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Should Mets Clean the Farm for a Pitcher?

As you know, MetsToday welcomes feedback, commentary, questions, and opinions from you, the visitor. Usually the discussion takes place in the comments section, but sometimes a question comes up that doesn’t apply to a specific post. As a result, I do on occasion receive excellent questions via email, and try to answer them here whenever possible — for the benefit of everyone.

So, from the MetsToday mailbag is this question … er, demand … from “Nicky A”:

Joe, I demand you address the trade deadline and whether or not the Mets should go all in for a starting pitcher or pick up another part to the rotation. Shouldn’t it be acceptable to clean out the farm, sans Ike Davis, Mejia, for Danny Haren?

First off, thank you for the demand, Nicky. Lord knows I don’t have enough demands placed on me over the course of a day. Second, consider the trade deadline addressed as well as a letter to Santa — because if a frontline starting pitcher like Danny Haren suits up in the orange and blue in 2010, it will feel like Christmas to Mets fans.

In all seriousness, you pose an intriguing thought that nearly every Mets fan has at least entertained at one point or another this season. If the Mets keep their current hot streak going, and stay near or at the top of the NL East come the All-Star Break, should they mortgage the future for a shot at something special in the present?

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Will the Mets Deal for a Starter?

NOTE: This is a guest post by longtime Mets beat writer John Delcos. Please direct your comments to John. Enjoy!

The Mets’ June cruise has not only made them relevant in the National League pennant races, but subsequently also at the July 31 trade deadline.

With management believing this is no fluke and the Mets will continue to play alert, aggressive baseball, there are serious discussions not whether they should trade, but whom to trade for – and just as important, whom they should not trade.

Their interest, despite this remarkable run by the rotation, must remain pitching. First rotation; second bullpen.

There is a sense of calm derived from how well Johan Santana and Mike Pelfrey have pitched, and a feeling of optimism with Jon Niese’s run since coming off the disabled list.

Slots four and five are a house of cards.

R.A. Dickey, despite being sterling since coming up from Triple A, is

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Mets Game 125: Loss to Phillies

Phillies 6 Mets 2

So much for playing the spoiler.

The Mets managed to lose three out of four against the NL East-leading Phillies, helping their arch-rivals extend their cushion over the second-place Atlanta Braves and set the stage for a September runaway.

Bobby Parnell plunked the first batter he faced, allowed a three-run homer a few minutes later, and eventually escaped a five-frame effort with five runs, four hits, three walks, and three strikeouts on his line. Parnell was blasted twice by Ryan Howard, who deposited souvenirs in both the left- and right-field stands.

Not that it would’ve mattered had Parnell pitched well. The Mets offense garnered only two unearned runs on six hits off starter and winner Cliff Lee, and came up empty against the Philadelphia bullpen.

Notes

The Mets are now 16.5 games out of first place. At this rate, they could be mathematically eliminated by early September.

Cliff Lee is now 5-0 as a Phillie, allowing only 3 earned runs in 40 IP. So far, that deadline deal is looking pretty good for GM Ruben Amaro.

Gary Sheffield was the only Met with two hits, though he was brutal in left field.

Both sides played the ball like it was a hot potato in the first few innings, with Chase Utley committing two errors in the first inning — one that allowed Angel Pagan to reach base and another that let him score.

Billy Wagner pitched the eighth, striking out two and walking one.

There were no triple plays executed in the contest.

Next Mets Game

The Mets fly to Florida for a three-game series with the Marlins that begins on Tuesday night at 7:10 PM. Nelson Figueroa most likely will take Johan Santana’s spot while Sean West pitches for the Fish.

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A Whirlwind of Deals

While the Mets remained status quo over the past 48 hours, a number of trades were made among postseason-contending teams. Let’s break them down.

Phillies obtain Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco for prospects Jason Knapp, Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald and Lou Marson

Wow. The Phillies get a Cy Young winner and a very capable (and relatively young) fourth outfielder in return for three minor leaguers. Granted, those prospects are top-notch, but they are still prospects — not proven MLBers. Further, the Phils did not give up any of Kyle Drabek, JA Happ, Dominic Brown, nor Michael Taylor, their four most coveted youngsters.

Lee steps right in to give the Phillies the best one-two lefty starting combo in MLB. Francisco is a talented offensive force who runs the bases well and has gap / doubles power that could evolve into homerun power at Citizens Bank Park. He is, however, a notorious streak hitter who runs scalding hot and ice cold — not unlike current Phillie Pedro Feliz. This trade more or less locks up the NL East for the Phillies.

Mariners trade Jeff Clement, Ronny Cedeno, Aaron Pribanic, Brett Lorin and Nathan Adcock to the Pirates for Ian Snell and Jack Wilson.

Finally, the Bucs find a taker for Jack Wilson, a hard-nosed, good-fielding, light-hitting, overpaid shortstop. Snell was an eternal enigma who requested a demotion to AAA to get his head straight. Both will do well in Seattle, and the Pirates will be happy with the players they received. Cedeno steps right in to Wilson’s position at shortstop, and Clement is essentially a lefthanded-hitting version of Ryan Doumit — an offensive-minded catcher with some holes behind the plate, and who may eventually find a home at 1B.

White Sox trade Brian Anderson to Red Sox for Mark Kotsay

The Red Sox had DFA’d Kotsay to make room on the roster for Adam LaRoche, so the fact they received anything for him in return is gravy. They get Anderson, who is essentially a hyped-up version of Jeremy Reed, and can stock him in AAA. The White Sox get a veteran bat who will be used immediately in return for a player who was unlikely to ever meet previous expectations. Good move for both clubs.

Giants acquire Ryan Garko from Indians for minor leaguer Scott Barnes.

This was the deal the Mets needed to make — obtain a slugging, under-30, inexpensive first baseman / outfielder who can fill in at 1B and the outfield corners and be a candidate for regular duty in 2010. Unfortunately, the Mets don’t have ANY minor league pitching prospects at the AA level who are coveted by other teams, so such a deal can’t happen — at least, not without the Mets overpaying (as usual). After being drafted out of St. John’s last year, Barnes rocketed through the Giants’ system, and despite being in the minors, could be ahead of where Jon Niese is right now. But since the Giants have tons of young pitching at the MLB level and throughout their system, he was expendable. This is what is defined as “depth”.

Giants acquire Freddy Sanchez for minor league pitcher Tim Alderson

In a matter of 24 hours, the Giants replaced one-half of their infield, adding much-needed offense to their feeble-hitting lineup. In Sanchez they get a solid singles hitter who will step right in to play second base, which has been something of a black hole for San Francisco this year. They did, however, give up a solid pitching prospect in Alderson — a 20-year-old who was ranked the #4 prospect in the Giants’ organization, and the 26th-best prospect in all of baseball. But again, the Giants are loaded with young arms, so it’s not a big deal for them. Maybe they overpaid, but, you have to give up something to get something — especially at the trade deadline. The Bucs, who are going nowhere, did well with this deal.

Final Thoughts

The Phillies deal, obviously, is the one that on the surface most affects the Mets. But the Giants also made moves that should significantly improve their club, and since they’re unlikely to oust the Dodgers in the NL West, they are a major obstacle in terms of the Wild Card.

The Mets likely won’t make a deal — partially because they don’t have the parts to spare, and mainly because they look at players returning from the DL as their “acquisitions”. The problem with that thinking is, you don’t know when those players will return, nor if they’ll return at 100% right away. For example, Jose Reyes might be back by mid-August — but will he be able to run at full speed? Similarly, when / if Carlos Delgado returns, how long will it take him to get his timing back? And will his hip allow him to swing with the same force he had before? Will either Billy Wagner and J.J. Putz be able to crack 90 MPH when they come off the DL? Lots of hopes and wishes — which has been the Mets’ strategy for three years running.

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