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i think it's time

Jun 11 2005 09:12 AM

to consider bumping Ishii to the pen; he's been murder on lefties this year, and has a substantial platoon split in the past too. I know he doesn't exactly see himself as a Loogy, but right now that might be the best use we could make of him.

Jun 11 2005 09:31 AM

D-Dad expressed the same thought last night. Ishii is effective his first time through the lineup or so, and then seems to run out of steam. Let Heilman start and Ishii come out of the pen.

Johnny Dickshot
Jun 11 2005 09:37 AM

Ishii murders lefties unless he's throwing them 83-mph fastballs they can easily deposit over the fence with the wind blowing in.

I don't think he concentrates all the time. He's not reliable enough to a starter, so maybe the pen is what he needs.

Jun 11 2005 10:20 AM

Plus, he's come undone in the second half of seasons. He doesn't have the stamina to be a good starter, but he did look really good for 5 innings yesterday. I think the pen might be a very good place for him, provided he can throw strikes.

Jun 11 2005 10:25 AM
true ...

of the 5 hits he's given up to lefties this year two of them have been dingers. (and the espn stats may not include last night)

I just think there's only so many more times we can let a starter implode on us and not start falling out of a race. We've ridden our luck with Pedro hard, but Glavine & Zambrano have started to come round and Benson's been good since he's been back.

However, Ishii just hasn't been good two starts in a row, and even his *good starts* have only been decent starts, he's only once gone 7 innings, and he's never threatened to do anything dramatic like k 7/8 guys.

Jun 11 2005 11:20 AM

Count me in. For me, it's not even so much that Ishii's been bad, it's that Heilman has been so good--the second best starter on our team. If we were using Heilman in high-leverage situations, maybe I could understand it, but we're not.

Hopefully Willie will see the light soon.

Rockin' Doc
Jun 11 2005 02:15 PM

Ishii should become one. The Mets can no longer afford to trot Ishii out every fifth start.

Jun 11 2005 07:39 PM

ishii can't be a reliever, too many walks...oh wait he cant be a good starter for that reason either...GET RID OF THIS CLOWN ALREADY...please...i promise i'll stop complaining about kaz matsui if Ishii is gone by the end of the week.

Jun 13 2005 11:15 AM

Joel Sherman likes the idea of Ishii in the pen, and he offers up some other quite sane points..

]June 13, 2005 -- BETWEEN the chants of "Pedro, Pedro" and the obligatory boos of Kaz Matsui, the Mets played a losing game at Shea yesterday, and rightfully lost. They failed to capitalize on a Pedro Martinez start, the good vibes from Cliff Floyd's walk-off moment Saturday night or their longest homestand this season.
Mike Piazza was ejected after one inning, setting the tone for a day when the Mets were too preoccupied with Eric Cooper's strike zone, and bitched and botched their way to a 4-3 loss to the Angels.

Thus by losing the last two series to the Astros and Angels, the Mets finished their homestand 6-6, which is more half bad than half good.

The NL East is too congested to squander opportunity. If the Mets won just yesterday they would have leapfrogged from last to third place. Instead, they fell five games back, meaning they dropped two games further behind during this two-week stay at Shea. Now they embark on their longest road trip of the year.

"We've been walking the tightrope for a few weeks now," said Doug Mientkiewicz about the Mets' two-steps-forward, two-steps-back penchant. As a result they are a mixed-message 32-31. They vacillate between contention and pretension, often in the same game, like yesterday. A Martinez RBI single in the fourth moved the Mets ahead 3-0 for a Pedro-adoring crowd of 43,582.

But the Mets had just two singles thereafter, their offense again going into a sustained hibernation. Meanwhile, the peskiness of the Angel at-bats wore out Martinez and the battle of the bullpens was won by the visitors. Thus, the Mets now head west to play in hopes of not going further south in the standings.

"I think our best baseball is still to come," Willie Randolph said.

It speaks to the first-year manager's optimism. But the rose-colored glasses need to be removed. The large calendar on Willie Randolph's desk is still turned to February, but the Mets must turn the page. Experiment time is over. The NL East and NL wild card are likely to be cavalry charges packed with flawed teams. Victories left on the table now will be haunting come October.

With that in mind, the Mets took a low-risk, low-pay gamble on Danny Graves, figuring he couldn't be worse than Manny Aybar and might be the difference in a few games. Here are four more tweaks the Mets can make to perhaps squeeze out precious wins:


Randolph coached on a Yankee team that won 101 regular-season games last year with the ever-useful Miguel Cairo at second. Marlon Anderson has done enough with his pinch-hitting at-bats to require more starts. Together Cairo and Anderson provide much better righty-lefty platoon production than the switch-hitting Matsui alone. The booing at home for Matsui is merciless, mean-spirited and mostly mindless. But it is not going away, creating another obstruction these Mets do not need.


He leads the International League in hitting (.363) and socked his 11th homer yesterday. Will that success translate up here? Who knows? But it is worth taking a shot. Mientkiewicz has by far the worst OPS (.655) of any regular major league first baseman. The Mets can go to 11 pitchers and keep Mientkiewicz around to play defense.


When the Mets go to 11 pitchers, they can put Kaz Ishii in the pen and demote Royce Ring. Even with two homers allowed Friday, Ishii is holding lefties to a .128 average. Like Daubach, Heilman's bubble might burst. But he has pitched well and it seems a waste that he has worked the equivalent of a complete game in the month since he was sent to the bullpen. The Mets should see if Heilman is the real thing, with the comfort that Steve Trachsel is about a month away from helping if he is not.


It is this simple, who deserves more at-bats overall and more chances with runners on base, Wright or Piazza?

At this point, Wright is a tougher, more dangerous at-bat.

Jun 13 2005 11:23 AM

Has he been cribbing from me?

Jun 13 2005 11:25 AM

It wouldn't surprise me, bringing up the Dauber has been on this forum for a week or more by some of youse guys..

Jun 13 2005 11:38 AM

I suggested bringing up Daubach about a month ago and got blasted. Now he's a solution? Hypocrites.

Edgy DC
Jun 13 2005 11:45 AM

I'm with virtually all of these points, except "bench Matsui."

Randolph's doing this right. Find more oppontunities for a guy doing well and taking them from a guy doing poorly. The idea of benching is vindictive and binary. Evolution, not revolution, as Miles Davis would say.

Johnny Dickshot
Jun 13 2005 02:11 PM

Going with Cairo simply to remove the boo-birds is dumb.

One thing to sort of admire about these Mets is the idea that even if they don't have enough overall they're pretty earnest in their attempt to aim high anyway (It's also a drawback but I'm only talking one side of this coin for these purposes).

So they haven't been afraid to take on the troubles and rewards of high talent guys who don't quite have it all together so far (Reyes-hitting approach, Wright-fielding, Floyd-health, Cameron-lack of experience in RF, Zambrano & Ishii-control), Benson-inconsistency, etc etc).

To unilaterally swap out Matsui for Cairo seems to me to fly against this pattern, in that it settles for less upside.

I agree with Sherman that the time is coming to make some of these decisions that might value less ability over higher ceiling but when we do, please please please make them for sounbd baseball reasons and not because the lowest common denominator says we should,

Jun 13 2005 02:50 PM

Well said.

Speaking of higher ceiling, I have always been a big Overbay fan and recently read that he may be on the block because of Prince Fielder.

Currently he is in a slump which may help a team's effort to pursue him. I really believe he is only going to get better and think that Omar should make a strong offer. We have a surplus of starters right now and some guys performing well in AAA. If Omar is indeed gearing up for a few years of success, I think a young talent like Overbay is worth considering.

Willets Point
Jun 13 2005 02:54 PM

Does anyone else here at the mention of the name "Prince Fielder" get a vision of a ballplayer in a purple uniform with a ruffled collar.

Edgy DC
Jun 13 2005 03:02 PM
Edited 1 time(s), most recently on Jun 13 2005 03:09 PM

Welcome to the new place, heep.

Somebody (Gammons?) put the word out that Milwaukee isn't dealing because they don't think Prince will be ready for a bit.

Willets Point
Jun 13 2005 03:05 PM

Prince really ought to play for the Twins.

Jun 13 2005 03:06 PM

I like Overbay too, and he's having a pretty nice season--over .400 OBP and pretty good pop.

I wonder what it would take to get him . . .

Jun 13 2005 03:07 PM

Speaking of which, WP, you think if the Twins get their new stadium, they'll call it Paisely Palace?

Edgy DC
Jun 13 2005 03:10 PM

Paisley Park.

Frayed Knot
Jun 13 2005 03:53 PM

"Prince really ought to play for the Twins"

Or the Royals ... where he could be teamed with Jeff King, Mel Queen, Jack Hamilton, Earl Averill, Duke Snider, Bris Lord, John Tudor, and Marv Throneberry.

Willets Point
Jun 13 2005 03:59 PM

Don't forget Jeff McKnight.

Edgy DC
Jun 13 2005 04:04 PM

Benching Matsui because of the boobirds would be dumb. It would be compounded by the dumbness of starting Cairo because "Randolph coached on a Yankee team that won 101 regular-season games last year with the ever-useful Miguel Cairo at second."

Jun 13 2005 04:06 PM

I am really looking forward to the next 2 months to see which direction Omar goes.

Judging by his interviews (recall one with Mike and Dog) he is a fan of Victor Diaz and seems inclined to build around the core of Diaz, Beltran, Wright and Reyes. If this is true, I believe Cameron or Floyd will see a departure. I haven't the slightest idea if the Mets will re-sign Floyd.

As much as a I would like to see it happen, the Mets are not going to win this year. I think the most we can anticipate is a September NL East dog fight.

Having said that, with a solid nucleus of everday young players, and a plethora of young arms in the system (Petit, Humber, Bannister, Pelfrey) why not trade Cameron/Floyd for a young C or 1b while their stock is high?

Anyone think Brad Lidge or BJ Ryan is available!?!?

Yancy Street Gang
Jun 13 2005 04:09 PM

Floyd's signed through 2006, isn't he?

Talk of resigning him can be deferred for a while.

Jun 13 2005 04:53 PM

I'm down with the idea of trading Cliff or Cameron, heep, but I'd rather focus on the young C & 1B idea instead of relief pitchers (no matter how talented they are, although in Ryan's case, he's struggled this year).

Anyway, you're right--the next few months will be really interesting. If we trade any of the following, I'll give serious thought to joining Sal--er, BS--on the Dark Side: Reyes, Wright, Petit & Milledge. Giving up more than two of the following would do the same thing: Diaz, Heilman, Seo, Humber & Bannister. And that's assuming that we got someone good and young back for them.

Johnny Dickshot
Jun 13 2005 05:06 PM

And if they dare trade Bobby Parnell, I am so out of here.