Tag: kevin millwood

Might Millwood Make Sense for Mets?

Kicking the tires on Kevin Millwood seems to be an annual activity for the New York Mets. Though, in previous seasons, he was considered as a pitcher who might be a “final piece” to help the Mets gain a postseason appearance.

This time, the situation is different for the Mets, and Millwood has changed as well since the days he was seen as a puzzle completer. Yet the two remain a match.


Mets Make Offer To Shylock

According to various sources, Rodrigo Lopez will make a decision this weekend to accept a minor-league contract and invitation to spring training from one of several teams making such an offer — including the Mets, Braves, and Rockies.

The Portugal native and purported Marrano was formerly a physician to Queen Elizabeth, before being hanged, drawn, and quartered in June 1594 when he was found guilty of conspiring to poison Her Majesty. William Shakespeare’s “Shylock” character in Merchant of Venice is said to be based on Lopez’s life.

Why the Mets would want to sign a guy who has been dead for over four centuries is beyond me. Maybe he can lend the Wilpons some money?

Unless their offer was made to the other Rodrigo Lopez — the one who has lost 15 or more games in a season as many times as he’s won 15 or more. In that case, I understand, sort of.

Rodrigo Lopez the MLB pitcher spent most of his career with the Orioles, but his last three seasons in the NL with the Rockies, Phillies, and Diamondbacks. He missed all of 2008 after Tommy John surgery, and came back to make 33 starts for Arizona last year, posting a 7-16 record with 5.00 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, and 116 Ks in 200 innings. The last figure is the most valuable: Lopez will take the ball and eat up innings, which is what the Mets need. Consider him a poor man’s Livan Hernandez, as he throws pus, gives up tons of hits, but somehow gets enough outs to keep a job.

If Lopez signs with the Mets, I’m sure much will be made about his fly ball ratio, and in turn how pitching in Citi Field will benefit his performance (he allowed a league-leading 37 HRs last year). Perhaps; but if so, it will merely change him from a pretty mediocre MLB pitcher to a fairly mediocre MLB pitcher.

Personally, for an innings-eating, fly-ball veteran pitcher on the wrong side of 35, I’d prefer Kevin Millwood. Millwood doesn’t give up quite as many homers — despite pitching in the AL East — and tends to strike out more batters. Beyond that, the two pitchers’ stat lines are eerily similar over the past few years. My guess is that Millwood would require more money and/or a guaranteed MLB contract, as opposed to a minor-league deal with ST invite.


Replacements for Hisanori Takahashi

Note: this is a post written by MetsToday sabermetric guru Matt Himelfarb

In seven starts, here are Hisanori Takahashi’s numbers to date:

38.1 IP
15.85% K rate
7.32% BB rate
1.31 HR/9
8.62% HR/FB
5.16 FIP

Those numbers are unworthy of a spot in the rotation, even for a fifth starter. The long-ball has been Takahashi’s undoing, but that is what happens when you have a 38% GB rate. At the very least, I would prefer to see a back-end starter with mediocre peripherals eat some innings, but Takahashi is a five-six inning pitcher at this point.

I used to be wholeheartedly against dealing for the Kevin Millwoods and Fausto Carmonas of the world. Given Takahashi’s initial success, I thought it would be a linear move at the best.

It has now become imperative, however, that the Mets replace Takahashi.


Mets Game 63: Win Over Orioles

Mets 11 Orioles 4

This is the way to beat the worst team in baseball — handily, in a “laugher”.

The Mets finally pasted the Orioles, as the offensive went ballistic on Baltimore pitching, en route to a three-game sweep on the road.

Game Notes

Mike Pelfrey struggled for the first time since May 1 at Philadelphia, but this time I don’t think it was because the hitters knew what was coming. His command on all pitches was off, he couldn’t get good rotation on the curve, and he wasn’t driving hard off the rubber. Why? My eyes saw him hunching over slightly in his leg lift, just before the left leg began its descent. As a result his upper body was leaning toward 3B ever so slightly, throwing off his balance just enough to affect his release point and control. Additionally, it’s hard to “get on top” of the curveball when the body is leaning to one side — so it wasn’t surprising that Pelf’s deuces were moving more sideways like sliders. Pelfrey has had this minor mechanical issue on occasion in the past, but it was more prominent in the first three innings of this game than it’s been in a long time.

As it was, Pelfrey hung in there long enough to grab the win, allowing 3 runs on 9 hits and 3 walks in 6 innings, striking out 1 in a 101-pitch effort. Those numbers could’ve been uglier, but Baltimore couldn’t capitalize on several opportunities in the early innings.

David Wright blasted two homers and a double and drove in 4 runs. He looked quite comfortable at the plate.

Jason Bay was supposed to get the day off, but played instead and went 4-for-4 with 4 runs scored. Among his hits was a double and a homer over the wall in dead center.

Chris Carter also homered, a three-run shot that put the Mets up 5-zip in the first frame. I see no reason whatsoever to remove him from the lineup while playing in AL parks — I don’t care if Sandy Koufax is pitching.

Alex Cora quietly drove in two runs with a 3-for-4 day and made several sparkling plays at second base. If he could do this over a full season he might be worth $2M with an option that automatically kicks in after 80 games.

Jesus Feliciano collected his first MLB hit, a single to center in the first inning. He rapped another single in the seventh.

Next Mets Game

The Mets get Monday off to travel to Cleveland, then take on the Indians on Tuesday night at 7:05 PM. Johan Santana faces Justin Masterson.