Tag: tim hudson

Free Agent Targets: Starting Pitchers

The MLBPA compiled a full list of players who filed for free agency this offseason. Out of those, there are several possibilities that stood out to me as players I would consider signing if I were the GM of the Mets (assuming I had a moderate amount of money to spend). Mind you, I’m not saying the Mets should sign ALL of these players – that would be impossible. But this would be the pool of players from which I would choose.

We’ll break them down by position. In this post, I’ll take a look at…

Starting Pitchers

The Mets would like a veteran starting pitcher to anchor a young, Matt Harveyless rotation in 2014. Not really an ace, just someone to eat innings while Zack Wheeler, Rafael Montero, and Noah Syndergaard grow into the top-tier starters the team thinks they can be.

Tim Hudson, 38, RHP – Hudson should be fully recovered from his ankle injury (inflicted accidentally by Eric Young) by Opening Day. He had a 3.97 ERA and 1.19 WHIP before going down. He’s coming off a 4-year, $36 million deal, and should be affordable.

Paul Maholm, 31, LHP – Aside from Jon Niese, the Mets are thin on left-handed starting pitchers at the major league level, and the high minors. Maholm would give them a decent lefty arm for 150 innings or so. He wasn’t great against right-handed batters, but he held lefties to a .226/.262/.297 slash line. His last contract was 2 years, $11.25 million.

Scott Feldman, 30, LHP – Feldman is a more intriguing lefty. Once a prospect for the Texas Rangers, he started 2013 with the Cubs, and finished with the Orioles. According to MLBTR, the O’s are keen on keeping Feldman, and are looking at a 2-year, $17 million contract. If he falls through the cracks, however, he and his 2013 ERA of 3.86 and WHIP of 1.18 would be welcome in the Mets rotation.

Scott Kazmir, 29, LHP – Perhaps a return home for the prodigal son is in order? After several years of injury and ineffectiveness, Kazmir rebounded to post a 4.04 ERA, 1.32 ERA, and a 9.2 SO/9 ratio with the Cleveland Indians. Given his injury history, however, he’s still a question mark.

Aaron Harang, 35, RHP – Harang threw his final 23 innings of 2013 with the Mets, and had a 3.52 ERA and a 10.2 SO/9 ratio. However, he also walked an average of 4.7 batters per 9 innings. He looked sharp enough to be considered for a return. His last contract was 2-years, $12 million, but he may be available for less than that.

Daisuke Matsuzaka, 33, RHP – Matsuzaka spent his last 38.2 innings of 2013 with the Mets. Early on, he walked a lot of batters and took forever to deliver the ball to home plate, both hallmarks of Dice-K’s career, but in his last 4 starts, he went 26.1 innings, won 3 games, and had a 1.37 ERA. He held opposing hitters to a .461 OPS. He’s still a gamble, but he might be worth another look if they can sign him on the cheap.

Dan Haren, 33, RHP – Haren had a bad year in 2013. He had a 4.67 ERA and 4.09 FIP. However, he still struck out 8 batters per 9 innings, and had a 1.23 WHIP. His fastball velocity is down from the level it was in his halcyon days, but good pitchers figure out how to pitch without their best stuff. He’s coming off a 1-year, $13 million contract. If he asks for anywhere near that, the Mets should pass.

The Mets would be wise not to spend a large percentage of whatever offseason budget they have on starting pitchers. They have some organizational depth (as long as they don’t trade any of it), even if it’s somewhat inexperienced. They have more glaring holes to fill at other positions.

Coming up next: Free agent relief pitchers.

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Mets Game 149: Loss to Braves

Braves 4 Mets 2

So much for playing the role of spoiler.

Well, now that I think about it … they are acting as spoilers for the Phillies, in that they are giving the Braves a chance to gain ground on the NL East leaders.

Game Notes

The Mets wasted another strong effort by rookie Dillon Gee, who went 7 strong innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks, striking out 3 and expending 95 pitches (60 for strikes). He has been impressive in all three of his big league starts, but before we get too excited and pencil him into the 2011 rotation, remember that both Pat Misch and Nelson Figueroa were similarly effective last September, and neither were on the Opening Day roster. Though, next year Gee won’t have to compete with immortal figures such as Oliver Perez and John Maine, so he may have a fair shot.

Strange fact: Gee has allowed only 13 hits in his 3 MLB starts, but 6 were for extra bases (one homerun and five doubles).

In one-third of an inning of relief to start the ninth inning, Bobby Parnell was awful, allowing 2 hits, including a solo homer by the reincarnation of Nate McLouth. I’m guessing this was some kind of a test, to see how he would handle a high-leverage, late-inning situation, since the Mets were only down by one; many managers would use their closer in such a spot. If it was a test, he failed — miserably. On the bright side, there are 13 more opportunities for another quiz.

On offense, Angel Pagan and Jose Reyes both went 2-for-4 from the top of the lineup, with Reyes hitting his 11th homer of the year and Pagan stealing his 35th base. However, the rest of the order managed only 3 hits against Tim Hudson and the Braves bullpen — one of which was a solo homer by Luis Hernandez, who did so on a broken foot. Hernandez fouled a pitch off his foot prior to sending a shot over the wall, and limped around the bases in excruciating pain.

David Wright stole his 19th base but went 0-for-3. He’s hitting .283 at the moment and his OBP has dropped to a startlingly low (for him) .358 — he should be at .390+. I’m faulting his big-swing approach, which has also resulted in an unimpressive 23 homers through exactly 600 plate appearances. At age 27, he should be entering his prime years, not trending downward. But we can’t put any blame on his mentor Howard Johnson (even if we gave HoJo credit for D-Wright’s good years). It’s not HoJo’s fault that Wright hasn’t had consistent protection hitting behind him this year. Hmm … is that really a plausible explanation?

With this loss, the Mets guaranteed that the Braves would have winning record vs. the Mets for the 2010 season. This has been the case every year since 1998, except for 2006.

Next Mets Game

The final game of this series starts at 1:10 PM on Sunday afternoon. R.A. Dickey faces Derek Lowe.

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Mets Game 134: Win Over Braves

Mets 4 Braves 2

At least they didn’t get swept.

Game Notes

Johan Santana allowed just one run on three hits before leaving the game after only five innings with a pectoral strain. No word on when or whether he’ll be back.

David Wright had two hits and a walk in four trips to the plate, including his 22nd homer. Carlos Beltran ripped his second triple of the season, driving in one and scoring once.

Lucas Duda had another sparkling catch in left field, robbing Alex Gonzalez of a dinger. However, his first MLB hit continued to escape him, as he hit in the unusual spot of #2 in the order.

Next Mets Game

The Mets rush out of Atlanta and move on to Chicago to begin a weekend series with the Cubs. First pitch is at 2:20 PM in the afternoon. R.A. Dickey faces Randy Wells.

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