Tag: jason vargas
Remember when the Mets traded Endy Chavez, Aaron Heilman, Joe Smith, Jason Vargas, Ezequiel Carrera, and Maikel Cleto in return for Sean Green and two other Seattle Mariners? Seems like a lifetime ago, doesn’t it?
Green was supposed to be Pedro Feliciano’s foil – a right-handed situational reliever with the ability to occasionally step in as a setup man. Fans who rejoiced at the arrival of Green and the departure of Heilman soon learned that you must be careful what you wish for. Sure, Green never had the opportunity to allow a postseason homerun; but at the same time, the Mets’ dependence on talents such as Green to fill key bullpen roles was at least part of the reason they’ve been watching the playoffs from home since 2006. For those who forgot, Green was penciled in as the backup to the backup setup man in early 2010 — the man who would step in if Kelvim Escobar and Ryota Igarashi didn’t work out.
Green’s time as a Met has been marked by inconsistency and injury. In an effort to salvage his career, he converted from sidearmer to submariner – a move that might’ve panned out had he given it enough time. But now that he’s back to being a sidewinder with sporadic control who turns 32 shortly after Opening Day, I’m not sure where he fits in to the Mets’ plans. He’s under the team’s control, but after earning $975K in 2010, does it make sense to renew or go the arbitration route? My guess is they’ll cut him loose and try to re-sign him on a minor-league deal.
Those who visited MetsToday last year may remember this topic.
I felt it appropriate to re-visit where Jason Vargas is today … and you’ll understand why shortly.
Although Seattle is a million miles away and on the Left Coast, it is still in the Major Leagues. The Mariners — which was a media favorite in the preseason — are having a disappointing season to say the least. The team is so bad that future HOFer Junior Griffey couldn’t even stay awake through an entire ballgame. Their record is 28-41, dead last in the AL West. By all accounts, it is a lost season.
So if a pitcher on that club has a winning record, he must be pretty OK, eh?
Enter Jason Vargas, who owns a 5-2 record, 2.88 ERA, and
Remember Yusmeiro Petit? About 4-5 years ago, he was ranked as highly as #2 among the Mets prospects by Baseball America, who were impressed by his ability to throw 4 pitches over the plate. As a 21-year-old, Petit whipped through AA, posting a 9-3 record and 2.92 ERA for the Binghamton Mets — striking out 130 batters in 118 innings, walking only 18, and holding opposing hitters to a .209 AVG. He was a sure-fire back-end starter at worst, and some believed he’d eventually develop into a #2 or #3.
Back in August — long after the Mets exited the Wild Card race — the one thing we had to look forward to were the September call-ups. Sure, the games played would be meaningless, but we’d get a chance to see the best the Mets’ minors had to offer, a month-long audition. It would be kind of like spring training, only colder, and the games would count.
One of the pitchers we were eager to see in September was Adam Bostick.
Bostick, after all, was the last shred of evidence that the Mets once owned minor league pitchers who touched triple digits. To refresh your memory, Bostick came to the organization along with lefty starter Jason Vargas in a trade that sent Matt Lindstrom and Henry Owens to the Florida Marlins. At the time, it was a move to give the Mets roster flexibility and more youth, since Lindstrom and Owens were ready to be on an MLB roster but the Mets didn’t believe they were ready to contribute at a championship level. Also at the time, the Mets had several hard-throwing righties over the age of 25 in their organization, and felt it would be a good idea to deal from strength to get two young lefthanders — in essence, it bought the team some time.
That time has since come and gone, and Bostick remains a minor leaguer. Once a starter, he’s been converted to the bullpen, and put up fairly decent numbers. Splitting the season between AA Binghamton and AAA Buffalo, Bostick struck out 63 in 56 innings and posted a 3.05 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. Not eye-popping numbers, but interesting enough for a team that could use another LOOGY in the ‘pen and has no other pitching prospects close to big league-ready. Really now, would you rather see what Bostick can do, or would you prefer to continue seeing the aging Elmer Dessens and Ken Takahashi take the hill?
Why wasn’t Bostick promoted? Many conspiracy theories abound. As far as we know, he’s not injured. He’s not on the 40-man roster so there is speculation that the Mets didn’t want to add him to it — because then they’d have to keep him there or possibly lose him. But that doesn’t hold water, because as an 8-year veteran of the minors, he’s a free agent after this season no matter what. Though the 40-man is currently full, room could have been made — in addition to the two old men mentioned previously, the Mets are also carrying Robinson Cancel, Arturo Lopez, and Andy Green on the roster for reasons unknown to mere mortals (not to mention the fact that Johan Santana and Oliver Perez are on the 15-day DL, rather than the 60-day). We can only guess that Bostick ticked someone off — perhaps this is a situation similar to Wily Mo Pena’s earlier in the year.
We do know he’ll be playing winter ball in Venezuela, but don’t know much else.
Anywho, as you may also remember, Fossum was DFA’d to make room for Ken Takahashi. We assumed he’d simply report back to Buffalo and return to orange and blue when needed.
Instead, Fossum elected free agency, and is now in pinstripes. The Yankee kind. The Yanks signed him and sent him to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take the injured Ian Kennedy’s place on the roster.
Last night, Fossum started against the Norfolk Tides and, on a limited pitch count, tossed 3 2/3 “sharp” innings, helping the AAA Yankees to a 5-1 win.
Also, as mentioned earlier this morning, Jason Vargas picked up the win for the Mariners in a 15-inning affair last night. Vargas threw 2 1/3, striking out 4. And in other news, Darren O’Day — who is developing his own “Six Degrees of Separation” — threw another perfect inning in relief for the Rangers last night, striking out two. He’s now appeared in 6 games, pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings, and struck out 4. Who says the American League has better hitters?
One of the forgotten pieces of the J.J. Putz deal — Jason Vargas — has gotten off to a strong start in the hitter-friendly PCL.
It’s easy to forget Vargas was part of the deal … most people forgot he was still in the Mets’ organization, after suffering several injuries that knocked him out of action over the past few years. And he was one of, what, 19 players sent to Seattle? OK, maybe it wasn’t 19, but it sure felt like it.
Vargas just threw six scoreless innings , striking out 8, for the Tacoma Rainiers in a 14-0 rout over the Salt Lake Bees. (BTW, another player from that trade, Mike Carp, went 4-for-5 with 4 RBI in the same game).
Said catcher Jeff Clement:
“He has four solid pitches that he can throw for strikes and he mixes it up very well”
Though he didn’t perform well as a New York Met, it could be partially due to being less than 100% in his two starts in the orange and blue. Now, it appears he’s finally healthy (great timing) and beginning to live up to the expectations set as a rookie for the Marlins in 2005. In four games started this year, the 26-year-old Vargas has pitched 21 2/3 innings, struck out 22, walked 8, allowed 15 hits, and has a 2.49 ERA.
Sure would be nice to have a lefty starter with those kind of numbers waiting in AAA about now, wouldn’t it? Oh well, at least the eighth inning is locked down — you have to give up something to get something.