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Bullpen 2005 Thread Reloaded

Elster88
Aug 22 2005 05:24 PM

Today's question: Does Danny Graves Suck?

Of course everyone knows that the answer is yes, but let's try to go a little deeper than that.

Willie and Danny himself see good things, even from Saturday's 5-run (1 earned) effort (nymets.com):

]Moving in the right direction: Asked about Danny Graves' performance on Saturday night -- after the right-handed reliever allowed five runs (one earned) in two-thirds of an inning -- Randolph was complimentary, saying that he didn't believe Graves had looked as bad as his final line indicated.

And perhaps there's something to that. Graves also seemed mildly satisfied with the outing -- not that the runs scored were acceptable, but because he can see the baseball dancing on its way to the plate again.

"I think my sinker is back to where it was with the late action on it," said Graves. "Obviously, the velocity is not there, but I'm convinced it's not going to be there. So I'm just concentrating on trying to get my movement back."

The 32-year-old has been something of a reclamation project for the bullpen this season after being cut loose by the Cincinnati Reds earlier in the summer. The results have been mixed, and Graves points to his 2003 campaign, in which he threw 169 innings for Cincinnati -- mostly as a starter -- as a major reason why his pitch speed has dropped.

"I'm not one to make excuses, but now I'm learning to pitch with different velocities," he said. "I'm perfectly healthy, and we've done tests a number of times this year to make sure everything's fine. Maybe it's just wear and tear throughout the years."


Here's a Game Log:

Note: ERA is cumulative.

DATEGAMEWLERAGIPHRERHRBBKNP-SGO-AO
JUN 14@OAK000.001100000013-93-0
JUN 16@OAK0013.501143300122-141-1
JUN 22@PHI0010.1210.20000018-51-0
JUN 25@NYA007.711241110232-202-2
JUN 28PHI008.101222220036-244-2
JUN 29PHI007.041100001116-110-2
JUL 02FLO006.4810.21000019-81-0
JUL 05@WAS005.79110000017-51-1
JUL 09@PIT008.681023311015-90-0
JUL 16ATL008.71113110009-63-0
JUL 21SDN007.941120000021-122-1
JUL 27@COL007.431241102241-252-2
AUG 04MIL006.91110000006-41-2
AUG 10@SDN006.6010.21000008-42-0
AUG 18PIT006.19111000009-63-0
AUG 20WAS006.6110.125102025-121-0
AUG 21WAS005.891210000113-93-2
005.891718.12716124610


From this it would appear that he has as many decent starts as bad starts, which is about what you would expect from a back-of-the-pen guy. Of course, this info doesn't look at inherited runners to inherited runners scored, so it's lacking. Is the grass greener with a Heath Bell? If nothing else, I'd rather have Bell because we can train the young guys now on a team that I still don't think makes the playoffs.

DocTee
Aug 22 2005 05:45 PM

]And perhaps there's something to that. Graves also seemed mildly satisfied with the outing -- not that the runs scored were acceptable, but because he can see the baseball dancing on its way to the plate again.

"I think my sinker is back to where it was with the late action on it," said Graves. "Obviously, the velocity is not there, but I'm convinced it's not going to be there. So I'm just concentrating on trying to get my movement back."


This is what the minor leagues (and rehab assignments) are for. He should have been sent down and allowed to work on his shit there, not in the heat of a playoff push.

Rotblatt
Aug 22 2005 07:46 PM

]Is the grass greener with a Heath Bell?


uh, Bell's stint with the Mets was far, far, far, far better than Graves'. There's really no comparison.

Bell: 39.1 IP, 4.35 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 8.24 K/9, 3.27 K/BB, 0.69 HR/9

Graves: 5.89 ERA, 1.80 whip, 4.91 K/9, 1.67 k/bb, 1.96 hr/9

Against Bell with runners on: .286 AVG/.333 OBP/.312 SLG/.645 OPS
with runners in scoring position: .294/.345/.333/.679
with bases loaded: .167/.167/.167/.333
scoring position with 2 out: .190/.261/.238/.499

Graves with runners on: .347/.397/.545/.941
with runners in scoring position: .358/.418/.597/1.015
with bases loaded: .417/.462/.750/1.212
scoring position with 2 out: .323/.382/.581/.963

Bell should never been sent down. Not to go all Sal on y'all, but keeping Graves up and sending Bell to the minors is a pretty good case for the mets caring more about appearance than substance. Bell was one our better relievers, but he was thrown to the curb for no good reason while Graves, who's been just terrible this season, was left up because he has a few saves under his belt. And is expensive, I suppose.

To Bell's credit, he's taken the time to reintroduce a split-finger to his repetoire--he tried the change but had better results with the split.

Here's the story.
http://www.nydailynews.com/08-21-2005/sports/baseball/mets/story/339116p-289637c.html[/code]

Valadius
Aug 22 2005 08:39 PM

There's two schools of thought on this, and I happen to belong to both:

1. Heath Bell needed a third pitch, and was better served honing it in the minors.

2. Heath Bell is better than Danny Graves and should have stayed with the big club.

Look, we were never expected to contend this season. We're building a solid base for the future. And having Heath Bell become a better pitcher is only going to make us better in the long-term. Danny Graves should never have stayed here, but maybe, just maybe, this was a blessing in disguise.

Johnny Dickshot
Aug 22 2005 09:26 PM

]thrown to the curb for no good reason


Such drama. I dont think Graves and Bell are even comparable since Graves was there to mop up when the Mets are winning or losing by 6 runs and Bell wasn't. Now if you want to argue that Bell and the Mets' future would be better served burying him in Graves' role or going to the minors developing a changeup, go ahead.

seawolf17
Aug 22 2005 11:19 PM

I saw this comment while looking at Graves' profile this morning. Admittedly, it's an old comment, but I wonder if it's something he still hasn't corrected:

LATEST NEWS
Danny Graves allowed three earned runs and four hits in one inning of work in his second appearance for the Mets on Thursday at Oakland.
(Updated 06/16/2005).

FANTASY ANALYSIS
Upon signing with the Mets, Graves had been informed by his teammates that he was tipping his pitches. Apparently, the veteran has yet to rectify that situation.

smg58
Aug 23 2005 12:26 AM

Bell appears to have benefited from getting innings in Norfolk that he wasn't getting here, and that may indeed turn out to be a blessing in disguise over the long term. But I think that raises the issue of Randolph not giving enough work to the back of the pen. If there wasn't enough work to go around, teams wouldn't carry that many relievers, and overworking the main guys while showing no confidence in guys you'll need from time to time doesn't help the team in the long run.

And blocking young guys with "proven" veterans who've only proven that they aren't that good is a waste of time.

Rotblatt
Aug 23 2005 07:44 AM

Johnny Dickshot wrote:
]thrown to the curb for no good reason


Such drama. I dont think Graves and Bell are even comparable since Graves was there to mop up when the Mets are winning or losing by 6 runs and Bell wasn't. Now if you want to argue that Bell and the Mets' future would be better served burying him in Graves' role or going to the minors developing a changeup, go ahead.


First off, Graves wasn't brought here for mop-up duty. He was supposed to solidify our bullpen, which he clearly hasn't done. And yes, I would rather see Bell buried in Graves' role than see him sent down to Norfolk. He's a better pitcher and can help us more than Graves can.

As for the sending Bell down to the minors thing, if our season matters so little that we can afford to have Graves on our roster, why can't we afford to have Bell learn a new pitch on the job?

Johnny Dickshot
Aug 23 2005 08:02 AM

Don;t make it seem as if I'm defending Graves performance here, cuz I'm not. I just don't think framing what happened as choice between Bell and Graves addresses the objectives accurately, and it wasn't no matter often you say it "for no reason."

Bell went to the minors to develop a change which the Mets felt would serve his & their future better.They thought that if he stumbles while developing it there it's not going to hurt in Norfolk, and seeing as we're on our way to Colorado when it happened, let's bring up a groundball pitcher in Santiago to fill his role.

Rotblatt
Aug 23 2005 10:44 AM

]Bell went to the minors to develop a change which the Mets felt would serve his & their future better. They thought that if he stumbles while developing it there it's not going to hurt in Norfolk, and seeing as we're on our way to Colorado when it happened, let's bring up a groundball pitcher in Santiago to fill his role.


Fine. So we chose to bring up a pitcher who was less effective in AAA while sending down an effective one (Bell) in order to make Bell even more effective. Despite the fact that we're in a penant race. Anyway, now that the improved Bell is back in the bigs, why is our LEAST effective pitcher still on the roster? I mean, Koo has been more effective than Graves (3.91 ERA, 1.52 WHIP compared to 5.89 & 1.80) over a longer period of time (23 IP compared to 18.1). Hell, Santiago, Ishii and Ring have pitched better than than Graves. And given the success of Seo, Padilla & Bell in transitioning from AAA to the bigs, I'm willing to bet that Hamulack, Ring, Lavigne, Junge or Scobie would be better than him (or in Ring's case, continue to be better than him) as well.

Our roster is all kinds of fucked up and has been since the start of the season. Bell was dominant last year and this spring, yet we kept him off the roster so we could have Matthews, Aybar & DeJean. Seo was CLEARLY a better option than Ishii, which became obvious about 4 starts after he was sent to Norfolk, and yet we ran Ishii out there every couple of days for over TWO MONTHS. Trachsel is a good bet to be better than Zambrano, and yet we're starting Zambrano. Padilla looked like Pedro in AAA, yet we kept him there in favor of DeJean, Aybar & Graves, while trying desperately to trade Petit to Tampa Bay for Danys fucking Baez.

Sending Bell--our fourth most effective reliever at the time--down to Norfolk for a month when we're in a pennant race is just the latest example of our ineptitude in roster management, IMO.

Actually, our most recent example of our ineptitude was flying Hamulack to Arizona, then having to send him back to Norfolk because we decided at the last minute to keep Jacobs on the roster, but that's another story.

When you're trying to get to the playoffs--and you realistically have a shot at it--you should be putting your best players on the field. We're not doing that and we haven't all season long, and as our chances diminish, it pisses me off more and more.

Elster88
Aug 23 2005 11:07 AM

]Seo was CLEARLY a better option than Ishii, which became obvious about 4 starts after he was sent to Norfolk,


Let's not act like this was true out of spring training. Anybody who says they wanted Seo over Ishii out of the gate is lying, and I wish we had archives left from the old CPF. (Of course, maybe Ishii's 2004 numbers are crappy enough to make me look stupid, but I doubt it when considering Seo's '04 numbers.)

Out of spring training, Ishii was the logical choice. After Seo's good start, Ishii was still the logical choice, because Norfolk stats and a couple of good starts don't make up for Seo's overall history. IMO, The only thing the Mets did too wrong was holding on to Ishii too long after he went to the crapper.

Rotblatt
Aug 23 2005 11:49 AM

]Let's not act like this was true out of spring training. Anybody who says they wanted Seo over Ishii out of the gate is lying, and I wish we had archives left from the old CPF.


Um, right, that's why I said "four starts after he was sent back to Norfolk" instead of "Seo was clearly the better option right out of Spring Training." Seo pretty much sucked in Spring Training, IIRC, but given what he did for us when Ishii went down and how he pitched after getting sent back to Norfolk, I think we should have called him up much sooner.

Looking at Seo's 3 MLB starts, plus his next 4 AAA starts, we have:

MLB
4/23: 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
4/29: 5 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
5/4: 7 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
AAA
5/9: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K
5/14: 6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
5/19: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
5/24: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K

Which equals a 1.84 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 9 K/9 & 4.4 K/BB line over 44 innings.

Meanwhile, here's what Ishii did between the bigs & his rehab assignment and his first two starts after getting activated:

(MLB)
4/7: 6.2 IP, 2 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 7 K
4/13: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
4/18: 5 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 6 BB, 2 K
(AA)
5/13: 4 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
(MLB)
5/17: 6.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
5/23: 4 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

4.91 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 5.73 K/9, 1.17 K/9 in 33 IP

My argument is that at this point, we should have brought Seo up for good. At the time, I wanted Zambrano (4.74 ERA, 1.74 WHIP as of May 25) to be sent down instead, but the point is that Seo should have replaced at least ONE of our underacheiving staff. Now maybe we didn't trust that Seo had really turned a corner, but you'd think that at SOME point during the next 8 quality starts in a row that Seo posted, they'd have changed their mind, espeically since while Seo was doing that, Ishii was doing the following:

5.56 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 6.15 K/9, 1.72 K/BB in 45.1 IP

As for their 2004's, here's a comparison:

Ishii
172 IP, 4.71 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 5.18 K/9, 1.01 K/BB

Seo
117.2 IP, 4.90 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 4.13 K/9, 1.08 K/BB

So Ishii was a bit worse than average with terrible control and Seo was worse than average with bad control.

Again, I have no problem with trading for Ishii. What I have a problem with is giving valuable innings to pitchers who are clearly inferior to internal options.

Elster88
Aug 23 2005 01:00 PM

]Um, right, that's why I said "four starts after he was sent back to Norfolk"


My bad, I missed this in the first read through.

Elster88
Aug 23 2005 02:16 PM

]Again, I have no problem with trading for Ishii. What I have a problem with is giving valuable innings to pitchers who are clearly inferior to internal options.


Even playing devil's advocate, I would have to agree that Ishii showed his sucktitude. But as devil's advocate, I would argue that Seo's improved performance was not positively known to be a precursor for the future.

Elster88
Aug 23 2005 02:39 PM

Today's question: Does the Met bullpen suck?

Today's answer: Not in August

AUGUST 2005WLERAGGSCGSHOSVSVOIPHRERHRHBPBBK
A Heilman000.827000121191102313
J Padilla003.3860000010.213540234
B Looper124.669000349.211551035
R Hernandez117.568000028.112772048
D Graves001.8050000055510021
J Santiago006.0020000036220112
D Koo003.865000002.12110011
233.78420004850582621351734

seawolf17
Aug 23 2005 02:43 PM

A combined ERA of 6.00 from your top two guys (Looper & Bert) and four total blown saves? Heilman notwithstanding, they're at 4.62 for the month... I'd say that's actually pretty ugly.

Elster88
Aug 23 2005 02:45 PM

seawolf17 wrote:
A combined ERA of 6.00 from your top two guys (Looper & Bert) and four total blown saves? Heilman notwithstanding, they're at 4.62 for the month... I'd say that's actually pretty ugly.


You make good points, but you can't just pull out Heilman. The top two inning-earners, making up 42% of the month's output, pitched well.

Oh well. It's just a recommended answer.

sharpie
Aug 23 2005 02:47 PM

And 58 hits in 50 innings doesn't look good either.

Elster88
Sep 04 2005 01:34 PM

bump
_____________________________
This post was under the designation 165) Jose Reyes

Rotblatt
Sep 04 2005 03:55 PM

Heilman's been completely misused lately, just as he has all season. High-leverage situations in red. Low-leverage in blue. Neutral in black.

Heilman's last 10 outings:

9/2 Entered with Mets down 3-1 in the fifth with no outs and runners on first & third. Pitched 2 innings.

8/30 Entered top of 6th with Mets down 4-2. Pitched two innings.

=red]8/25 Entered bottom of 7th with Mets winning 2-0. Faced two batters, recording no outs.

8/24 Entered bottom 8th with Mets leading 17-4. Pitched 2 innings.

8/21 Entered top of 8th with Mets down 7-3. Pitched 2 innings.

=red]8/20 Entered in 7th with Mets leading 8-4, runners on 1st & 3rd. Pitched 1.1 innings.

=red]8/17 Entered in 8th with runners on 2nd and 3rd, no outs, Mets leading 5-1. Pitched 2 innings.

=red]8/12 Entered in 7th with no outs, runners at first & second, Mets leading 6-3. Pitched 1 inning.

8/7 Entered in top of ninth, Mets leading 6-1. Pitched 1 inning.

8/4 Entered top of 6th, Mets tied 6-6. Pitched 1 inning.

5 low-leverage situations, 4 high-leverage, 1 neutral. In one of the high-leverage (8/25), Willie cleverly decided to use Heilman despite Heilman having pitched 2 innings in a meaningless blowout the night before.

WIthout taking the time to look, I'd bet that out of Looper & Hernandez's last ten outings, they're mostly high leverage, with maybe one or two neutral. Padilla, I'm betting, has also seen mostly high-leverage & neutral situations.

Heilman's been our best reliever; we've misused him all season, and we still haven't learned our lesson.

Edgy DC
Sep 04 2005 09:46 PM

I wanted Seo out of spring training.

[code:1:ecffce1bf9]But I think that raises the issue of Randolph not giving enough work to the back of the pen. If there wasn't enough work to go around, teams wouldn't carry that many relievers, and overworking the main guys while showing no confidence in guys you'll need from time to time doesn't help the team in the long run. [/code:1:ecffce1bf9]

I have criticism for Randolph, but "not giving enough work to the back of the pen" isn't it.

metirish
Sep 04 2005 11:33 PM

Graves will rejoin the Mets Monday in Atlanta Willie said.

Rotblatt
Sep 05 2005 12:01 AM

Are you serious, Irish? Goddamn it, that's the most retarded thing I've ever heard.

Not only was he one of our worst pitchers all year, he absolutely sucked in AAA.

18.00 ERA, 3.67 WHIP, 6.0 K/9 , 0.57 K/9, 3.00 HR/9 in 6 IP.

He can't even get AAA hitters out. Why on earth would we waste a roster spot on him?

We don't deserve to make the playoffs.

metirish
Sep 05 2005 12:08 AM

Yeah it's true, check out the September call up thread, IIRC Graves was told when he was sent down that he would be called back up.

Edgy DC
Sep 05 2005 09:48 AM

It's September. There are roster spots to burn. No team uses it's full allotment of them.

MFS62
Sep 05 2005 10:04 AM

Are you sure, oh keeper of the 40?
Did Graves have to pass through waivers in order to be sent down? Or was he just optioned (as a member of the 40 man roster)?
If he was optioned, no problem, he gets recalled.
If he went through waivers, then the Mets will have to find room on the 40 for him to enable his return.


What is Graves' status?

Later