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Coach Peterson's Philosophy

Rotblatt
Jun 14 2005 10:04 AM

I figured I'd start a spinoff thread from the Opening Day 2009 poll, since the discussion about pitching methodology was pretty intereting, but not really germane.

Some articles about Peterson's methodology in general:
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/20030217keri.shtml
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/nl/mets/2004-03-30-peterson-pitching-coach_x.htm

Regarding Kazmir in particular:
http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/story/218485p-187908c.html
http://www.dailyrecord.com/sports/pro/sports3-080304mets.htm

Relevant quotes:
]What was Peterson's logic in endorsing a deal many Mets fans found upsetting, considering the club sold a build-from-within philosophy over the winter? The team's CEO of pitching said the 20-year-old Kazmir's minor-league innings count of 210 left him far away from reaching the majors - much less contributing - and that the Mets were ready to win sooner. He pointed to the paths of fellow high school draftees Tom Glavine and Al Leiter.

"When his name came up in regards to this trade, now you start looking at high school pitching profiles in the big leagues," Peterson said. "So we did our due diligence - 'Let's name some guys. Let's look at our team.' We've got two of them. Tom Glavine was a high school guy. He logged 530-some-odd innings and then started his career 9-21 with about a 5.00 ERA.

"Okay, so let's look at Scott Kazmir. First of all, he hasn't even hit the halfway mark in innings pitched. And when he comes to the big leagues, what is our expectation? Is he going to be better than Tom Glavine when he comes to the big leagues? That's a tall order to ask. And Tommy was 9-21.

"So you start to say, 'Can you get somebody over the next three years who you think possibly can help our team win right now because our players on the field - one of the youngest infields in baseball - are maturing and getting ready to win soon?' How long do you want to wait for Kazmir? That's the question - not how good Kazmir is or what his value is. We know what his value is. But, realistically, Al Leiter had 690 minor-league innings."


]Peterson is supremely confident in his ability to evaluate the mechanics, performance and body type of a pitcher and predict his long-term success. Kazmir did not fit his profile. Where others saw an ace, he saw a fourth or fifth starter.


Sounds to me Kazmir had two things working against him as far as Peterson was concerned: his lack of innings pitched and his body type/mechanics. Clearly, it's too early to evaluate his evaluation about Kazmir. Benson & Zambrano, it seems to me, are a mixed bag so far . . .

Regarding pickups & drafts:
]Peterson pushed the Mets to trade for Matt Ginter and Mike DeJean, two nondescript right-handers who have performed well. He also helped the scouting staff prepare for the amateur draft and personally evaluated the top pitchers available.

The Mets took Rice right-hander Philip Humber third overall at Petersonís urging. His fingerprints are everywhere.

Edgy DC
Jun 14 2005 10:28 AM
Edited 1 time(s), most recently on Jun 14 2005 10:46 AM

I'd like to know the source of that contention that Peterson saw a fourth of fifth starter.

MFS62
Jun 14 2005 10:44 AM

And I doubt the comparison with Glavine is valid. did he ever hit the mid-90's on the gun when he was in high school?
Later

Rotblatt
Jun 14 2005 11:10 AM

It does seem really strange that a sabre-oriented guy would base his evaluation of a pitcher on only 2 lefties--both of whom have dissimilar stuff.

My personal opinion was that Peterson wasn't as in love with the moves as he was made out to be but was in damage control mode.

Why else would a sabre guy bring up Zambrano's win totals at Tampa Bay?

As far as college pitchers, my understanding is that they're less likely to have arm problems because they've already moved past the danger years (18-21). Or they've already had Tommy John surgery, meaning it's out of the way. That doesn't mean they're going to be better than high school pitchers by any means, only that they're somewhat more reliable, and theoretically closer to the show.

Edgy DC
Jun 14 2005 11:17 AM

Peterson has cited reams of data, and has only resorted to the "Let's name some guys. Look at our team" in order to walk hostile reporters through a decision by using the small amount of context they can relate to. In other instances, he's claimed to have studied hundreds of pitchers and found only one or two exceptions to the rule.

I agree that Peterson seems like he's been left to explain and defend an organizational decision that he was not the mover and shaker on. I'll call him Colin.