Monday, September 29, 2008

Don't Lose Sight of the Problem

Yes, the Mets offense is less than clutch. Yes, the Mets have had their share of starting pitching issues. However, let's not lose sight of the real problem: the bullpen.

You can pick 1 of 29 games this year that the bullpen blew and say "If we just won that one game, things would have been different." And you know what? You'd be right.

The Mets inability to score runs this past week will take center stage on talk radio and TV, but the point is that the Mets bullpen blew 29 saves this year. That's right 29. All it would have taken is for two of those opportunities not to have been blown and you're talking about an entirely different season.

Schoeneweiss? Gone. Feliciano? Hasta la vista. Heilman? Adios. Sanchez? What time's your flight? Ayala? Nice to know ya.

I keep Parnell, Stokes and even Smith because they're young guys who have a chance to improve. Then I go out and rebuild that bullpen.

The real key is getting a closer this offseason. I pronounce Monday, September 29th the official Go Get K-Rod day. If the Mets don't get K-Rod, Omar Minaya's contract should be ripped up. Anyone who says the Mets should not pay K-Rod whatever he wants deserves to be taken out back and beaten. Why?

Look at what Santana did this weekend, forget that, what he did all season. He's a gamer and he's worth the money. K-Rod has 60+ saves this year. That's right. 60+ saves. You want to tell me that's not what the Mets need? You crazy.

So ignore the talk about the Mets needed to shake up the "core players." Turn a deaf ear to talk of trading Beltran or getting rid of Reyes. Those are the idiots talking. It's bullpen, bullpen, bullpen.

Bring me K-Rod.


bryan said...

could you imagine how good our record would have been if we had just a bad bull pen, and not a historically dreadful one?

29 blown saves -think of all those ones like yesterday - which technically is not a blown save.

you are right on the money with this post.

tm said...

K-Rod is ridiculously overrated. Yes, he had a lot of saves (which is a worthless stat), but he might not have been the best reliever on his own team, much less the best in the league.

Rather than spending the money it would take to get K-Rod, they're probably better off going after someone like Fuentes and spending money on the rotation. Right now next years rotation (Santana, Pelfrey, Maine, ?, ?) a looks a little shaky. Niese may fill one of those slots, but Maine's health is a question mark and Pelfrey's might be also after throwing over 200 innings for the first time in his career (50 more than last year).

metgirl4ever said...

What good is a great rotation when you have a bullpen that gives up back-to-back homeruns - by two different pitchers!! With our bullpen, we need the best closer possible. I actually missed Wagner yesterday. At least with him we would have had a 50-50 shot.

tm said...

What good is a good bullpen if the back end of your rotation is hemorrhaging runs? We can go in circles on this all day. Bottom line the rotation and bullpen both have to be good. The question is what's the best way to do that. Spending $10mil plus on one reliever is probably not the best way.

bryan said...

TM...the single greatest reason this team went down was the bullpen. There is nothing worse than a killer pen, and the Mets had one of the worst - in the histroy of the sport. I don't think F Rod is Rivera, but then again, who is. He's a better closer than Wagner, and if we had Wagner down the stretch, as brutal as he can be, we probably would have gotten into the post season. I don't think anyone would disagree with you that we could use help in the rotation, but the most obvious need is the pen. And not for nothing, F Rod did close 60games this year.

tm said...

Yes, the bullpen was god awful and is the primary reason why the Mets aren't in the playoffs this year. But going into NEXT season (which is what matters at this point), the rotation is just as big of a question mark.

There are a minimum of two spots to fill in the rotation. Who's going to pitch those 400 innings (or so)? Maybe Jon Niese is ready, but probably not. Pedro,El Duque, Knight, Figeroa or any of the other retreads? Don't make me laugh.

I agree that the bullpen needs to be completely revamped (take the whole lot of them out back and shoot them as far as I'm concerned), but tying up $10 mil plus on K-Rod is not the answer. Omar has money to spend, and K-Rod may be the best closer available, but there are a lot of holes on this pitching staff to fill. Having a good (not great) closer with crap middle relievers and 4&5 starters is not a recipe for success.

As far as 60 saves goes:
1) Saves are a completely worthless stat.
2) He was good but not the best reliever ON HIS OWN TEAM. Hell, it wasn't even his best season.
3) What are the chances of him duplicating this season?

tm said...

Oh yeah, they need a second baseman and a left fielder too. Hopefully Dan Murphy can fill one of those spots, but there's no one else in the system ready to fill the other. Plus they're going to have to pay a hefty chunk of Castillo's contract to get someone to take him off their hands. And they might need to replace Delgado if he declines his option (assuming it's a mutual option, I'm not sure about that).

But yeah, by all means, spend $13 mil on a reliever. That's a good idea.

bryan said... who do you porpose the Mets go out and bring into the rotation? You haven't even recommended anyone, yet you keep talking about how they need to sure it up. Give me some options. I actualyl like Derick Lowe, maybe AJBurnett. Remember, there's not a lot available and Sabathia will be out of range.

Delgado will be back.

dave said...

You're not just spending $13M on any reliever. You're spending it on the guy who holds the record for most saves in a season. For a guy who's consistently been one of the top 5 closers in baseball over the last 4 seasons. For a guy who isn't even 30 yet. For a guy who could have won you an extra 10+ games this year.

That's worth $13M. I hear what you're saying TM about the rotation, but look at Santana. It doesn't matter how fantastic a season Santana had because the bullpen continued to blow games for him

tm said...

You read my mind on Lowe; he'd would be an excellent choice. He's a little old, but is still good, relatively injury free and would probably be an excellent mentor to Pelfrey, since they're basically the same type of pitcher.

Burnett will probably stay in Toronto. Re-signing Ollie isn't out of the question, depending on how much he wants. Randy Wolf or Ryan Dempster would be OK. Garcia and Sheets are probably too much of an injury risk.

As far as a closer, Fuentes or Kerry Wood would be just as good a fit as K-Rod and cost substantially less.

The hard part is going to be finding guys for the 7th and 8th innings without giving out moronic contracts (i.e., the contract they gave Schoenweis).

If Delgado wants a multi-year deal, he's history. Again though, I'm not sure if it's a team option or a mutual option, so he might not have a choice.

tm said...

I don't care how many saves he had, over the last three years, his K rate has gone down and his walk rate has gone up. He's got a lot of innings on his arm. He's probably not the best guy to sign to a long term deal.

There are other pitches available (Wood, Fuentes) who will cost half of what it will take to sign K-Rod and will take fewer years and be just as good.

bryan said...

fuentes is a poor man's wagner. wood will resign with the cubbies. listen, i hear you on F- Rod, but at your own admission, he is the best close available and the MEts need on in the worst way.

tm said...

Yes he's the best available, but if he comes to the Mets on a long term big money deal, it's a mistake. Everyone thought the Wagner signing was great. He was an established closer, the best guy out there, they had to go get him. How'd that work out? Did anyone have any confidence in him in a big spot?

I realize K-Rod is much younger, but his peripheral stats have really gone gone south over the past few years (K/9, BB/9 and HR/9 have all gotten significantly worse over the last 4 years; look it up). Those numbers are not a good sign. Tying a lot of money up in that arm is not a good idea.

Although, if Omar does sign K-Rod, he probably won't have enough money to do something insane like sign Manny Ramirez to a 5 year deal. Which is good because that would make my head explode.

bryan said...

intersting take on Manny. I actually belive Omar dropped the ball big time by not getting him at the deadline. if mets had manny, they'd e in the playoffs right now. i know we wouldn't have discivered daniel murphy, but, we would have been in post season. there's a ton of baggage, i know, but man, i'd like to be playing the Cubbies tomorrow night.

tm said...

Manny for 1 or 2 years = good

Manny on long term deal = beyond stupid