Tag: white sox

Did the Mets Overreact to Wheeler’s Second Start?

Does it make sense to change a pitcher’s mechanics after two major league starts?

That’s what pitching coach Dan Warthen did. It was in response to Zack Wheeler’s second start in which he was apparently tipping his pitches. Mets TV analyst Ron Darling noticed that Wheeler was slowing down his motion when he threw his curveball. He made it a point to say he didn’t slow down his motion on his slider, just the curve. So was that worth an immediate mechanical adjustment?


Will White Sox Want K-Rod?

Yesterday was the non-tendering deadline, and as a result one of the biggest names to hit the free-agent market was White Sox closer Bobby Jenks.

This leaves the ChiSox without a legitimate 9th-inning man, since J.J. Putz is also a free agent.

The White Sox also have signed Adam Dunn to a 4-year deal, and re-signed catcher A.J. Pierzynski. It is also rumored that they will find a way to bring Paul Konerko back. Looking at these moves, and their heavily veteran roster, this team is built to win now — and GM Kenny Williams seems intent on improving upon last year’s 88-74 record by providing Ozzie Guillen with all the talent he needs.

It seems like an ideal situation for Francisco Rodriguez.


Mets Claim Jack Egbert

jack-egbert1In a surprise move to bolster their pitching staff, the Mets have claimed Jack Egbert off waivers from the Chicago White Sox and added him to their 40-man roster.

I say “surprise” because it’s rare to see a roster move this late in the season.

To make room for Egbert, the Mets moved Fernando Martinez to the 60-day disabled list, as he had his visa stolen and cannot return to the US continues to recover from surgery on his right knee.

Normally, a 26-year-old pitcher with a 5.05 ERA in AAA wouldn’t excite me, but Egbert is a Rutgers grad, Rutherford, NJ resident, and was born in Staten Island. And you know what? I generally like rooting for the local guys. Who knows, I might run into Egbert at the Colonial Diner one morning, and that would be kool (and the gang).

Egbert dominated A and AA ball but has had trouble with AAA. His stuff is ordinary — a sinking fastball that sits around 88-90 MPH and a plus change-up are his main pitches, and he also throws a decent curveball for strikes. His main attributes are durability, control, and ground balls. At best he’s a #5 starter in MLB, but his poor 2009 showing sent his stock in a downward spiral. In short, he’s another Lance Broadway.

I’m fond of this pickup — partially because he’s a local kid and mainly because the Mets are finally adding AAA-level pitchers with a possible future to their AAA squad. Egbert may never make it to MLB with the Mets but at least he has some youth. For years we’ve seen too many has-beens and never-wases stocked in Buffalo and New Orleans — guys who were on the wrong side of 30 and just hanging around (i.e., Adam Pettyjohn, Kyle Snyder, Jose Santiago, Nate Field, Brandon Knight, Brian Lawrence, etc.). This year, Buffalo had nothing more than filler material packing their roster, and it bit the Major League club in the butt when all the injuries occurred. Egbert may have been a disappointment this year but he’s still young enough to make a rebound. In contrast, the Jose Santiagos and Brandon Knights of the world have established themselves as career minor leaguers after, well, spending their career in the minors.

I’d rather not know what I have in hopes that it might be better than I think, than know what I have and be sure it’s not up to MLB snuff.


Octavio Dotel Would Like to Pitch for the Mets

dotel-metsMLBTradeRumors picked up this tidbit from the Chicago Sun-Times:

Octavio Dotel said he approached the club about his immediate future and a contract extension last month and was told he wasn’t in the plans. The reliever at least appreciated the Sox being upfront with him. As he turns his attention to free agency, New York is atop his wish list. The Mets are his first choice and the Yankees second.

Well, it would be a few years too late, but, heck, he’d slot right in as the top middle reliever on the Mets right now.

Though Dotel projects as a Type A free agent, that’s not a huge issue for the Mets. Since the team will finish as one of the worst 15 teams in MLB, they won’t surrender a #1 draft pick if they sign a Type A — though they will lose their #2 pick.

In 61 games this year, the 35-year-old reliever has a 3.36 ERA and 1.46 WHIP with 74 Ks in 61 IP.


Next Year’s Left Fielder

jermaine-dyeAccording to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times (thanks to a link via MLBTradeRumors), Jermaine Dye does not have a future with the White Sox.

Dye and the ChiSox have a mutual $12M option for 2010, and there is no way the Sox pick that up — not with the 35-year-old having the worst half-season of his career — he’s hitting .168 since the All-Star Break.

There were rumors of a White Sox – Mets trade last winter, with Dye the coveted piece from Omar Minaya’s perspective. Even with his bad second half, this smells a lot like a typical Minaya roll of the band-aid dice. Can you say “Moises Alou” ?

Before you go complaining that “the Mets need to get younger and more athletic”, remember that they have absolutely NO outfielders in their minor league system who are ready to step in and play left field on an everyday basis for a championship team. We saw that Fernando Martinez is at least two years away from being a contributor, much less a star. We’ve seen that Dan Murphy can’t play the position well enough as an everyday player. We are seeing that Angel Pagan has a tremendous physical package but a disconnect between his body and his head. We have been told that Chris Carter is just as bad as Murphy in the outfield. We are not seeing Nick Evans for reasons unknown — but if he’s not playing now, he certainly isn’t being seriously considered as an everyday player in 2010.

So left field will most likely be filled by someone currently outside the organization. It will have to be someone who can be signed cheaply and on a short-term contract, as the Mets will want to keep the position available for when F-Mart is ready. Forget about Matt Holliday / Jason Bay — it ain’t happening. Enter Jermaine Dye, whose stock has fallen drastically in the last two months and therefore could be signed to a favorable, one-year, incentive-laden deal.

“I’ve never struggled like this before, never had a whole half that has been nothing. Over the course of a career, I think that’s pretty good. The five years I’ve been here I’ve had five pretty good years, and it just so happened that I struggled here at the end, we were fighting to get into the playoffs, and it’s just the way it is.”

The struggling Dye was out of the starting lineup on Tuesday, unable to change the .168 second half he’s had with just five homers and 19 RBI. A second half he has no explanation for.

“I have no clue,” Dye said. “I put in the work and sometimes it doesn’t work out. There’s nothing wrong with the mechanics. When you struggle, the pitches you should hit you foul off. The pitches you take normally when you feel good they’re balls, they’re strikes now. When you struggle everything goes wrong. This second half it just didn’t happen.”

Signing Dye goes against the plan of rebuilding the club with youth. But the truth is, the Mets don’t have a plan. They like to talk about plans and then change them on the fly as the circumstances around them change. Omar Minaya and the Wilpons will likely spout about youth, athleticism, etc., but we’ve heard it all before, on several occasions, for the past 15 years. In the end it’s about “the brand”, and signing Dye gives the Mets a known entity who can step right in to the season-ticket sales campaign lineup and provide hope. Another patch to keep the dream alive.

We have plenty of time to discuss whether or not signing Dye would be a good move for the Mets. But you know Minaya is already thinking about it.