An Undervalued Reliever?
I think everybody here realizes that the Mets primary objective at the Winter Meetings is, and should be to acquire bullpen help. Sure, they need to get themselves a starter or two that can help keep them afloat in 2011, but they do have some players in the minor leagues that could be given a chance come April.
In regards to starting pitching in this market, and with the Mets situation, I’d think players like Chris Young or Jeff Francis will be the type of starter the Mets target. Guys who aren’t being brought in to sell tickets, but if one of them turns out to be a positive acquisition, it can make a huge difference.
The major hole is the bullpen. Especially with Feliciano leaving town. Let me be clear, I don’t shed a tear for Feliciano or Takahashi at all. I enjoyed them both, but realistically their demands were not in the Mets best interest.
What people who haven’t read Moneyball misunderstand about the book is that in a large way, it’s about finding undervalued talent. It’s not as much about sabermetric stats, as much as it’s about taking a look at the entire player pool and finding players that other teams will overlook because they don’t possess the statistics that the general public deem important.
The Mets in all likelihood are not signing big names this off-season, so those who will complain about every move because it doesn’t involve Cliff Lee or Carl Crawford, need to get another hobby. I’ve accepted the fact that this year is about the future, but not a future that we have trouble picturing. The Mets are re-tooling, not rebuilding.
This off-season is about recognizing that the Mets have talent on the big league roster, and if Alderson & company can find players on the market who fit into the puzzle without spending a ton of money, then everybody wins.
One reliever that I feel will be undervalued in Orlando but would make a good fit for the middle of the Mets bullpen is right hander, Manny Delcarmen.
Delcarmen was very solid for the Red Sox up until the 2009 season when he seemed to lose his way a little bit. In 2008, Delcarmen pitched in 74.1 innings, struck out 72 and walked 28 while allowing 55 hits.
Then in 2009, he pitched in 59.2 innings, struck out 44, walked 34, and allowed 64 hits.
He was dealt to Colorado last year and in all honesty he got rocked pitching for the Rockies. (No pun intended)
He throws a balance of flyballs and ground balls, but for the most part; he’s a fly ball pitcher which means he won’t get hurt as much by Citi Field as he could in say Fenway or Coors.
I don’t think you’re going to find many players on the Mets radar this year that are sure things. When you look at Delcarmen you see a guy who has shown signs of being a very capable middle reliever who lost his way recently.
To me, bullpen arms like Delcarmen are projects for your Pitching coach. Year after year it seems pitchers find themselves under a change of scenary, and make a name for themselves in the bullpen.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Delcarmen is in a Mets uniform this spring, and I hope to see the old Delcarmen.
About the Author: Michael J. Branda
My time with MMO began in July of 2009 when I wrote a Fan Post defending Omar Minaya (before it was cool to do that.) I grew up a Mets fan with the mid 1980's teams. My favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, I like to think I meet in the middle. I believe thinking of new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the same way has not produced results. However, I think over-thinking certain situations can get you into trouble. I'm excited for the new regime, because I believe they have pieces in place to focus on several aspects of the Mets organization. I've waited this long for a World Series, waiting a few more years for another chance isn't going to kill me.
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