Tag: jimmy gobble

Mets Sign Ken Takahashi

Finally, the Mets have found a LOOGY to help Pedro Feliciano shoulder the load — they’ve signed the recently released Ken Takahashi.

OK, in reality, there’s little if any chance of Takahashi going north. Most likely, he joins what may be an all-lefty bullpen in Buffalo, hanging in the bullpen with the likes of Casey Fossum, Adam Bostick, Jon Switzer, and Heriberto Ruelas.

On the one hand, if he does eventually get promoted to the big club, he could have a stint of success, based on the fact that no one has seen him before. In a LOOGY role, that stint could be spread out for a couple months. On the other hand, Takahashi is my age, meaning he’s too damn old to be an MLB rookie (though I’d love to put him on my Sunday league roster).

For a full analysis on Takahashi, including a video, see NPBTracker.

In related LOOGY news, the Dodgers signed Will Ohman on a minor league contract (for about a million less than the Mets guaranteed Tim Redding) and the Rangers released Jimmy Gobble.

Despite Ohman’s success against lefties over the past few seasons, the Mets were never interested.

Though Gobble has now been released twice this spring, neither of his previous employers face Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Raul Ibanez 19 times a year. I still believe this turkey is worth bringing aboard … certainly he’ll be more useful than Fernando Nieve or Elmer Dessens.

Speaking of … Dessens and Nieve are still in camp, while Nelson Figueroa is not? Where’s the logic in that? Figgy was one of the most impressive pitchers during the WBC, facing some of the best hitters in the world in a tournament that was taken very seriously by everyone other than the USA.

Put another way: Figgy fared better than Jake Peavy and Roy Oswalt in March, yet was given a ticket to triple-A so that room could be made for Elmer Friggin Dessens. Go figure.


Mid-Spring Pickups

Cuts came quickly this March, many of them due to the current economic condition — in many cases, teams are only responsible for one-sixth of a player’s salary if he’s released by March 18th (Duaner Sanchez was cut for specifically this reason, even though the move was made a week ago).

As a result, there are at least a few interesting names wandering around out there. Let’s take a look at a few in particular.

Shawn Hill

Hill spent his entire career in the Montreal Expos / Washington Nationals organization, but the club lost patience with his perennially injured arm. When healthy, the Canadian-born righthander has great stuff – – relying mostly on a hard low-90s sinker — and can be dominating. However, he hasn’t been healthy long enough to finish a big league season. Every year, he looks great, and before long, his elbow gives out. Most recently, he suffered forearm tightness, but Dr. James Andrews saw no structural damage. Hill is only 27, certainly young enough to still make something of his career. He could be an interesting, low-cost pickup, though I see him finding his way to a smaller market team like the Cardinals. Who knows, Hill could either go the way of Paul Wilson, and finally find health, or he could be another Jeff D’Amico.

Jimmy Gobble

The Royals lefthander posted an 8.81 ERA in 39 games last season, after a very strong 2007. Again, this may have been more a financial move than anything else — how can you justify paying in excess of seven figures for a guy with an ERA near nine? However, like Hill, Gobble is only 27, but more importantly to the Mets, he held lefthanded hitters to a .200 average last season. American League lefthanded hitters. Worth a look, no?

Dave Roberts
Looking at the Mets’ current roster, they seem to need a few more singles-hitting, good fielding, lefthanded-hitting outfielders. (Not.)

Yhency Brazoban

Another oft-injured pitcher, Brazoban was the guy that convinced the Dodgers to jettison Duaner Sanchez a few years ago. A big guy with a big fastball, it’s not only multiple surgeries that have curtailed his career but also an appetite for Big Macs — he’s increased his weight from 170 to over 250 in the past five years. Soon to turn 29, his career could be over, but someone may take a chance on him — a 95 MPH fastball tends to help with that.

Josh Bard
Yet another financial move — the Red Sox could not justify paying close to two million dollars to a backup catcher who can’t catch a knuckleball. Since the Mets don’t have a knuckleballer on the staff, Bard could be someone to consider if they are interested in carrying three catchers on the 25-man roster — especially now that Brian Schneider’s health is in question. Bard is a solid defensive backstop who hits from both sides of the plate and has a little bit of pop. As a semi-regular for San Diego in 2006, he hit .285 with 5 homers and 50 RBI and a .364 OBP in 389 ABs, and hit .338 in 90 games the season before (again, those stats were in San Diego, not Fenway). And, of course, if he were around it would be fun to use corny Shakespeare references.