Tag: tom glavine

Now You’re Talking Turkey: Mets Transactions During Thanksgiving Week

In my household, the week before Thanksgiving has traditionally been one of preparation. Since we host the annual family gathering, there is food to be bought, a turkey to stuff, rugs to vacuum, bathrooms to be cleaned, toys to put away and extra chairs to be brought up from the cellar.

For the Mets, this week has also signaled the start of their preparation for the next season. With an eye on ticket sales, several Mets GMs have swung deals during this shortened work week. For most of us fans, the news of these transactions is a welcome change from a long stretch of no news at all. In more recent years, a genuine move means temporary relief from the incessant and preposterous speculation in all corners of the media about rumored trades and/or signings.

In retrospect, perhaps we should have had more patience! Here are a passel of Thanksgiving week deals made by the Mets, a few which may lead to some indigestion.

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2010 Analysis: Pat Misch

It was deja vu all over again for the Poor Man’s Tom Glavine.

At the tail end of 2009, with the Mets’ pitching staff ravaged by injuries, Misch came up from AAA to admirably fill in a spot at the back end of the rotation – including tossing a complete-game shutout in Game 156.

His strong work down the stretch wasn’t enough to earn him a rotation spot in 2010, however – not with future All-Stars such as John Maine and Oliver Perez on the roster – and so it was back to Buffalo for the soft-tossing lefty.

Fast-forward to September 2010, and once again Pat Misch was promoted to make spot starts in a rotation that was beset by injuries. While Misch didn’t pitch quite as well as he did 12 months previous – nor as regularly – he did pitch about as well as one could expect from a back-end starter.

Misch started 6 games in 2010, going 0-4 with a 4.28 ERA and 1.28 WHIP, striking out 21 and walking only 4 in 33 innings. His best outing came against the Nationals in Game 160, when he allowed 3 hits and one run in 8 innings, striking out 10 in a no-decision. He’s not the most exciting or dominating pitcher, and he doesn’t miss a lot of bats, but he does throw a ton of strikes – his strategy is the currently unfashionable “pitch to contact” (which worked well for a few starters up in Minnesota).

As he did in 2009, manager Jerry Manuel felt compelled to use Pat Misch occasionally as a “matchup” guy out of the bullpen in lefty-lefty situations – despite the fact that Misch has been significantly worse against left-handed batters.

2011 Projection

As with last year’s evaluation, it’s hard to believe that Misch’s September performance was enough to earn a guaranteed MLB contract in 2011 – but, again, I think it behooves the Mets to try to re-sign him to a AAA deal. I don’t believe he’ll turn into the next Glavine or Jamie Moyer, but you have to like his strike-throwing ability – which holds more value in a cavernous pitcher’s park such as Citi Field. While he won’t ever win a Cy Young, it’s plausible that he could fill a back-end spot over an extended period and not embarrass himself. The Mets need all the pitching depth they can find, and Misch’s presence in Buffalo won’t stunt the development of any rising prospects.

Click here to read the 2009 Analysis of Pat Misch

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Available Players to Consider

Do the ailing and injured New York Mets need to bring in outside reinforcements? If so, a few have become available. One by one:

Vicente Padilla

The righthanded pitcher was waived by the Rangers after a miserable 3-inning, 7-ER start against the Yankees. He’s 3-3 with a 5.97 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP through 9 games and 53 innings.

He must be really bad, if the Rangers are willing to eat his $12M contract to get him off the roster; few teams will be willing to take on the $8M he’s owed between now and the end of the season.

But, he has shown signs of effectiveness — for example the three starts prior to the Yankees massacre, in which he pitched 23 innings and gave up only 12 hits and 4 earned runs. Think about that — in his last four starts, he’s pitched eight innings twice and seven innings once.

Though he hasn’t allowed a ton of homeruns — 4 total, and none in his last 5 starts — he does give up a large number of fly balls, something unusual for a sinker-slider pitcher such as himself. In his 8-inning win over the Angels two weeks ago, he allowed 21 airballs. Strangely enough, he’s had one game in which he induced 14 ground balls (also an 8-inning victory).

A move to the NL and a spacious ballpark could be a good thing for Padilla. But, he’s an eternal enigma, often beating himself and crumbling in the face of adversity (see: Oliver Perez). Additionally, he’s been fighting a shoulder issue for the past month. Is he worth the headache? Tim Redding’s next start may provide the answer, though I might prefer seeing Nelson Figueroa on the roster.

Wilson Betemit

Oh how quickly and how far mighty talents can fall. It wasn’t so long ago that Betemit was a phenom in the Atlanta organization, a sure-handed, switch-hitting shortstop with corner-infield power. A few years and four organizations later, he finds himself DFA’d by the White Sox, dragging with him a .200 average in 50 at-bats.

Is he worth picking up? If this were two weeks ago, when Jose Reyes first went on the DL? Probably. One week ago, when the Mets were scrambling to find someone better than Ramon Martinez to play SS? Definitely. Now, with Alex Cora back, Wilson Valdez playing well, and Martinez on the DL? Absolutely.

Here’s why: Betemit is a natural shortstop who can play all four infield positions and both outfield corners. He hits from both sides of the plate, and shown a bit of power in the past. He’s 27 years old. Need I go on?

The negative is that he swings and misses — a lot. Last year he struck out 56 times and took only 6 walks in 204 plate appearances. So you can compare him to Billy Hall — a super utilityman with a little pop and a lot of whiffs. I still like him better than some of the other 25th-man options that we’ve seen thus far.

Tom Glavine

We discussed this yesterday. On paper, he might be worth a try, and the Wilpons love him. I don’t think the fans can stomach his return, however.

Jorge Julio

15 walks and a 7.79 ERA through 17 innings was too much for Milwaukee to handle. Rick Peterson’s tight leash made him almost valuable as a one-inning guy, but I don’t think he’d flourish in the Dan Warthen era. He still throws in the upper 90s, so someone will take a chance. No thanks.

Pat Misch

Who is Pat Misch, you ask? He’s a crafty lefthanded reliever most recently employed by the San Francisco Giants. He’s not particularly good — a career 5.20 ERA through 97 MLB IP (and double that this year) — but he’s slightly more effective vs. LH hitters than righties. As long as Ken Takahashi continues to struggle against lefthanded hitters, the Mets need to at least take a glance at any and every southpaw on the market. Maybe he’s worth giving a look-see in AAA.

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Tom Glavine Released

Tom Glavine has been released by the Atlanta Braves, just as he was on the brink of returning from shoulder and elbow surgeries.

Glavine had just enjoyed a 6-inning, 64-pitch outing in a final tuneup for Rome, an A-level minor league club. He did not allow any runs and 44 of those tosses were for strikes.
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It is assumed that the Braves are not in a position to add Glavine to the 25-man roster, and in fact are in the market for hitting, and decided to dump Glavine for budgetary reasons. Glavine was to earn a $1M bonus if the Braves added him to the active roster, another $1.25 after 30 days of being with the Braves and then $1.25 million more after 90 days.

Without having to pay Glavine the bonus money, the Braves can use those dollars instead in an effort to add a veteran bat.

Are the Mets in the market for a starter, or are they going to continue to send Tim Redding to the mound in hopes he’ll come around? If they ARE in the market, is Glavine a consideration? Would he be cheaper than Pedro Martinez? Healthier than Ben Sheets? Better than Tim Redding?

If so, did the final game of 2008 erase the fans’ memory of the last game of 2007?

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