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Heilman's season derailed by a scratch single

Bret Sabermetric
Jun 11 2005 09:46 AM

Maybe even Heilman's career. Think about it--if Luis Castillo hadn't gotten that lousy infield hit against Heilman, and he'd become the FMPTPAN-H*, is there any way Heilman wouldn't have been put in to the rotation for good?

How smart does that deal for Ishii look today? Jason Phillips would be playing first and catcher (his OPS is eight points below Piazza's and way above Mienkiewicz's) and Heilman's path to the rotation would less blocked by the Mets' embarrassment at making rash deals.

*figure it out.

Johnny Dickshot
Jun 11 2005 10:27 AM

Hey Sal. I suspect that the Mets' objective here was to get enough acceptable starts out of Ishii either to last until Traschel became available again, and/or until he ammassed enough value as a stopgap starter to get something in a trade (presumably from a team in a similar situation: losing a starter to injury suddenly).

You have to remember, Heilman hadn't thrown any CG one-hitters by the time we traded for Ishii. It's a "problem" now to the extent that Heilman exceeded initial expectations, at least as far as his big-league resume went. I sorta believed Heilman was capable of more than he'd showed in 03-04 based on his AAA stats but I think the Mets were frightened of a potential 04 all over again.

At this point, it looks like he oughta be the guy they slot into Ishii's turn and deal with when Traschel returns.

Off the point, prolly, but Castro had a nice game last night and seems to be capable of the same kind of hard line-drive hitting that Phillips showed when his head was out of his ass last year.

Rotblatt
Jun 11 2005 11:40 AM

Hey, Bret! Welcome back!

Heilman's got a raw deal--no question. He'd been our second-best starting picher this season and now he's doing mop-up duty out of the pen while Ishii & Zambrano struggle to get through 5 innings. I'm hoping it's a sign that Willie makes moves at a glacial pace, and not that he thinks Heilman can't cut it. So far, Willie's made the right moves, I think--he's just a few weeks slow. With any luck, Heilman will be firmly embedded in the starting rotation by the All-Star break. What happens once Trachs gets back is anyone's guess, though. Hopefully we'll move either Glavine or Ishii--or both . . .

As far as the trade for Ishii goes, I think Johnny D. has a good point. At the time, we didn't know how legit Heilman's Spring was, and decided to take a chance on Ishii. I think it was a fine move, even though it was a pretty easy guess that Phillips would rebound at least somewhat from last year . . .

As for Castro, I didn't realize how good he was his last two years in AAA--or that he was a 1st round pick. He might just need to play every day to become a credible starting catcher. How nice would it be for Heilman & Castro to become an All-Star "second chance" battery of 2006?

But yeah, having Phillips now would be really, really nice . . . Not to keep beatng a dead horse, but we should really get Daubach up here post-haste.

ScarletKnight41
Jun 11 2005 11:44 AM

Good to see you BS <g>

admin
Jun 11 2005 11:47 AM

Is that really doc?

Doc, is that you?

Bret Sabermetric
Jun 11 2005 12:26 PM

Goddamned Widey. Three posts and he susses me out. He's the best.

Prolly my history of complaining about dummets' moves.

My point about Ishii/Heilman is their conservatism and their lack of knowledge and faith in their own untested players. My priority this spring would have been (and was) to stick Seilman and Heo in the rotation and tell them "This is it, ya fuck this up, we'll bury yuz in Norfolk or in Tampa Bay until a team of archeologists find ya" and see what happens. (I also liked Phillips, last year not withstanding, and wouldn't have dealt him for a Dodger puzzler any which way.) But NOOOOOO--they don't have a clue what Seolman can do, and this year is WAY too precious to risk blowing the pennant because otherwise they're so powerful a contender to risk the otherwise certain division championship on these untested arms. Grow some stones, ya friggen numbnuts! Give some kids a chance.

Every time some rookie gets a break with the Mets, it seems, it's because of some colossal unanticipated problem that forces them to throw the kid into the breach. (Wright, Reyes, Diaz all came up to fill in for some injured player or other and guess what? How cow, it turns out this kid we've kept languishing in the minors and would have kept down there for months and months until this sudden injury, actually can play MLB! What do you know?") I don't know much, but I do know it's a terrible damning indictment of the Mets that they weren't able to see--"Hey, this kid looks terrific, I'll bet he can play on the big club--Let's deal (old veteran) off while he's still playing well, get some kids from any other system, and improve ourselves at the same time by playing (untested kid.)" But that's not how this team operates, and that's one of the many reasons this team is doing poorly.

KC
Jun 11 2005 02:01 PM


You were so busted

Johnny Dickshot
Jun 11 2005 02:10 PM

I actually knew after 1 post but only because we'd talked about the Reyes v Matsui 2B thing a few weeks ago at Shea.

Frayed Knot
Jun 11 2005 04:35 PM

]it turns out this kid we've kept languishing in the minors and would have kept down there for months and months until this sudden injury, actually can play MLB!


I'm still curious about the color of the sky in the world where keeping Reyes & Wright down on the farm - 19 & 21 y/olds at the time - for a collective total of a few months combined at anything above A-ball - constitutes "languishing" ... but I suppose that's another argument.


On the Heilman/Ishii deal, it's nice to look at in retrospect or in the future, but we also have the hindsight of Heilman turning in a few performances which far exceeded anything he put up when he WAS given the chance in '03/'04: 19 GS, 6.36 ERA, 1.71 WHiP
It's also not a good idea to go into a season w/only 5 starters. The Phillips/Ishii deal was a reaction to the Trax injury - which was followed almost immediately by the Benson one (and then briefly Ishii). Heilman got his starts in spite of the trade w/LA.

Now I don't have a problem - discussed in another thread - of swapping Heilman & Ishii, either now or if trends continue, but I see that situation as a luxury worth having, not as a problem to overcome. If depth in the pen is a weakness - as it is just about everywhere - this is a good thing, not a waste.
JP's skills were nothing special and not so tough to replace.





P.S. I knew it was you also (or at least strongly suspected).

Bret Sabermetric
Jun 11 2005 06:51 PM

Well, this is an argument that, as constructed, I can only lose: although Reyes and Wright and Diaz were able to hit MLB pitching from Day One, your side maintains that that proves they were called up at exactly the right moment, just when that miraculous state of affairs began. If they had been called up a week or a month or a season earlier, well, they probably would have proved to be totally inept and possibly scarred for life. The perfect Mets, in your world, made a perfect choice yet again.

Now in my world this demonstrates that Reyes and Wright and Diaz were also capable of hitting a day earlier, in all likelihood, and maybe a week or a month or a season earlier. Ceretainly none of these callups were exactly planned. Reyes was called up because Sanchez got hurt, Wright when some other Met mediocrity (I forget who just now) likewise got hurt, and Diaz never would have made the team at all this spring except that Cameron got hurt. I can't prove that the Mets wouldn't have brilliantly found a way to promote these young players the same week, somehow, anyway, because they brilliantly, perfectly anticipated their readiness, but I will let my prjudices guide me in my beliefs that these three guys would still be in the minors (and would still be described, like Kazmir, as "potentially being capable, we think, of maybe someday playing at or near major league level if every thing goes exactly right but we don't want to commit to saying so. Maybe late 2006. No, let's say 2007 to be safe. Oh, hell, let's just say Never, okay. Is Never too soon?")

Rotblatt
Jun 11 2005 07:52 PM

If anything, I think Reyes was rushed to the Show and they were too aggressive with him.

He had half a season in AA in 2002 with an OPS of .756. That was enough to earn a promotion to AAA the following year, where his OPS was .689. He got called up later that season when, as you say, Sanchez got hurt. I don't see how, based on his AAA performance, you could say he had earned a shot at the bigs any sooner than he got up there.

As for Wright, he had good but not great numbers for his age (20) in A in 2003, with a .828 OPS, after posting okay numbers for his age in lower A the year before (.768 OPS).

2004 was the year he really broke out, and after rapid-fire promotions from AA (1.086 OPS) to AAA (.967), he got up to the bigs for half a season. As I recall, he was dominant in winter play as well, and I know he did pretty well in Spring Training (.862 OPS), so you could certainly make a case that he should have started off the season with us, but to be fair, it's hard to know how legitimate a hitter he was based on only decent A numbers and a nice Winter & Spring. I don't think seeing if he could adjust to AA & AAA hitting was a bad idea . . .

Victor Diaz kind of stalled out a bit in 2002 after a promotion to AA, where he hit only .211 with a .594 OPS. The followng season, he improved, but didn't come close to his gaudy RK & A numbers until he got traded to us. In a half season for us in 2003 at Binghamton, he hit .354, with a .902 OPS. The following year, we promoted him to Norfolk, where he adjusted pretty well (.292 AVG, .823 OPS) and he received a September call-up, where he did quite well. You could certainly argue that he should've earned a spot on the roster this year, despite a .744 OPS in the Spring, but he clearly wasn't going to displace Cameron or Floyd--and rightly so, IMO--and I don't have a problem with trying to give him regular playing time in the minors.

As for Kazmir, we treated him with kid gloves, no question about it. Then traded him in the most retarded move I've ever been witness to.

So in short, I don't think you can say we let our top hitting prospects languish in the minors. Pitching's a different story.

Frayed Knot
Jun 11 2005 09:28 PM

"The perfect Mets, in your world, made a perfect choice yet again"



Yeah, that's what I said. Don't know how you summarized it so perfectly!

Nymr83
Jun 11 2005 10:26 PM

welcome back!!!

Rockin' Doc
Jun 12 2005 08:46 PM

Nice to have you back, Saladoc. I thought the tone of your post in the Matsui vs. Reyes thread sounded very familiar, but I just couldn't be sure it was you.

Anyway, it's great to have you back. I hope you decide to hang around.

Willets Point
Jun 13 2005 06:38 AM

As soon as I saw the name Bret Sabermetric, I was hoping it was you.

Elster88
Jun 13 2005 07:17 AM

]Nice to have you back, Saladoc
I second that. But what is your full name now? Saladetric? Saladometric? Saladoctric?

Bret Sabermetric
Jun 13 2005 08:53 AM

Oh, just call me "BS." That's what people will be thinking, anyway.

I've never gotten this club's overarching philosophy. They shell out money to acquire mediocre vet after mediocre vet, and then complain that they've already spent all the money in the available universe, so now that the mediocre vets are proving mediocre, you expect them to then bench them and play some punk kid?

THEY'VE ALREADY SPENT THE FRIGGEN MONEY! If it's your judgment that Matsui is a disaster (and whose judgment says otherwise?) how in the world does it do you any good to keep playing him? To justify the stupid signing? If they really need to spend money folloishly (and for the most part they do seem to need to), then they need to accept that the price of their foolish spending is that maybe they'll have to reassess and pay someone zillions of dollars to play behind some kid making less but playing much better. They don't get this concept at all. Is it pride? Stubbornness? Years of inbreeding?

Think Giambi. All you hear is 80 million, that's why the Yankees have to play him. And if they cut him will that save Steinbrenner a nickel? No, but if they cut him and have to pay his 80 million anyway and then he has a career rebound, the Yankkees will look even stupider, so they keep him on the roster, even though no one with two normal testicles to rub together believes there's a prayer that Giambi has twenty more HRs in him. Are we trying to compete with the Yankkees in foolish, team-wrecking destructive policies, or something? You fucked up--deal with it, and try not to do it any more. Pay the five dollars, and MOVE THE FUCK ON.


With any diagnostic ability, this team would have a rotation of

Martinez (quality FA signing, though I wouldn't have done it0
Glavine (not so quality FA signing, though I was favor of it)
Benson (or a Benson-clone signed as a FA after last season was over, letting us keep Wiggy and Peterson))
Heilman
Seo
Trax (DL)

with a bullpen of
Ring
Graves
Dejean
Bell
Hernandez
Kazmir
Looper

We'd have Piazza at catcher with Phillips backing him up

We'd have an infield of

Valent/Phillips at 1B
Keppinger/Garcia/Wiggenton/Scutaro at second/UT INF
Reyes at SS
Wright at 3B

An outfield of Beltran, Diaz (playing Kevin Mitchell's INF/OF utility role), Cameron, Floyd

We could then have taken the money we're saving on such overpaid mediocre veterans like Mientkewicz, Cairo, Matsui, and make some real quality FA signings (like Delgado, maybe? or save the money for when the kid lineup has a crucial hole) , trade other overpaid mediocre vets on the roster above with something remaining in the tank to attract a contender (Piazza, Glavine, Cameron, Floyd, Trax) to get some young talent from other organization and field a young quality team. Of course this would require us to be able to recognize young talent at times other than when injury forces us to put them in the lineup or the rotation.

Is anyone besides me OUTRAGED that Seo was pitching for his job, pitched very well, and was shitcanned to the minors just the same? What did they tell him? "Well, Jae, we gave you a chance but you just pitched too damned well, so now you'll have to atone for that and learn to pitch as poorly as Ishii or maybe Zambrano before we can let you pitch in the big leagues again--try walking more people, that's what works for them"?


Long story short, I want them to make deals with more long-range vision, and stop this fucking lunacy of trading at the deadline every year for a fantasy that isn't going to happen and weakens the team in the long run. I know it's going to happen again this season, and it's only a matter of seeing which young talent is going to go for some veteran who can't cut it.

Benjamin Grimm
Jun 13 2005 09:20 AM

Giambi is a very extreme example. It's rare that a player making as many millions as he is has such little hope of future productivity.

But you're right; there does come a time when you have to eat the money and clear the roster (or lineup) spot. You can't rush to judgement. And some teams (or people) are going to be more patient than others.

But Matsui has had almost a year and a half, and he's probably shown us what he can do. He's not a terrible ballplayer, but he's also not the kind of player who you see as a starter on a winning team.

I'm not going to gnash my teeth if they give him more time to find himself, although I'm less and less confident that he ever will. But I wouldn't mind at all if the Mets promoted Keppinger and started giving him some more time at second base. We might as well see what he can do.

Rotblatt
Jun 13 2005 09:21 AM

]Is anyone besides me OUTRAGED that Seo was pitching for his job, pitched very well, and was shitcanned to the minors just the same? What did they tell him? "Well, Jae, we gave you a chance but you just pitched too damned well, so now you'll have to atone for that and learn to pitch as poorly as Ishii or maybe Zambrano before we can let you pitch in the big leagues again--try walking more people, that's what works for them"?


Yeah, I'm pretty unhappy about that. More unhappy about Heilman, but at least he's being used.

]Long story short, I want them to make deals with more long-range vision, and stop this fucking lunacy of trading at the deadline every year for a fantasy that isn't going to happen and weakens the team in the long run. I know it's going to happen again this season, and it's only a matter of seeing which young talent is going to go for some veteran who can't cut it.


Yeah, I totally agree with that too. Except I'm hoping against hope that we only trade from our surplus of major-league ready pitchers, and leave our prospects completely alone.

It probably won't happen, though, and our most desirable commodities are Heilman & Seo, which would leave us with the same rotation we have now.

sigh.

Swan Swan H
Jun 13 2005 03:13 PM

Great! Sal's back to tell us all how stupid we are.

Bret Sabermetric
Jun 13 2005 04:59 PM

Oh, just call me "BS." That's what people will be thinking, anyway.