Gee and Niese Are A Quietly Effective Tandem

jon niese

2014: 1.82 ERA – 1.01 WHIP – 1.3 WAR

Flashy. Fire-balling. Intimidating. Adjectives like these are not the kind of descriptors one generally associates with either Dillon Gee or Jon Niese, but since others along the lines of “intelligent,” “consistent,” and most significantly, “effective” can be accurately applied, perhaps the rest simply do not matter.

As the steadiest members of the Mets’ 2014 rotation, at least to date, the two represent a left/right tandem of workmanlike reliability that has been the primary factor in a start that has been reasonably solid for a team that flat out hasn’t hit a lick.

Representing 40% of the starting corps, the pair, who share a similar professional profile – that of a relatively young (late twenties) veteran with essentially major league average stuff – have formed a backbone for a coalescing staff that will ultimately be better known for featuring arms along the lines of the qualities referenced at the beginning of this piece. But while fans continue to daydream about a rotation that could eventually feature the trio of drool-worthy blazers that includes a healthy Matt Harvey, a more experienced and consistent Zack Wheeler, and an established Noah Syndergaard, the arms that will likely be most responsible for keeping the Mets a viable force in the NL East are the two that are plying their trade at the top of their game right now.

If one were given to flights of hyperbole, comparisons to the Braves vaunted lefty/righty tandem of control specialists, Messrs. Glavine and Maddux, could be evoked, and while it would be quite a leap to place the Met hurlers in the company of that HOF-bound duo, at least some stylistic similarities can be noted. Like the Atlanta pair, both Gee and Niese have honed the art of varying the speeds and locations of their pitches to remarkable effect, and have now reached a point of consistent quality from start to start such that they are in danger of being taken for granted for merely being excellent rather than spectacular. Their recent outings against two of the most formidable clubs to face on the road this season are indicative of their value as steadying forces. Gee’s six innings of shutout ball against the Rockies’ explosive lineup on May 4th allowed the Mets to salvage the final game of what proved to be a brutal series for much of the rest of the staff, and Niese’s brilliant effort against the Marlins the next night (seven scoreless) was marred only by the bullpen’s inability to hold the fort after he left the game.

dillon gee

2014: 2.51 ERA – 1.05 WHIP – 1.2 WAR

While team management has demonstrated their recognition of Niese’s longer term value by signing him to what will likely prove a team-friendly deal prior to the 2012 season (5 years at $25.27 million with team options for 2017 and 2018), Gee’s contract status remains year-to-year at this point. If his performance remains at or near its current level however, it is likely that as he enters his arbitration eligible years the Met brass will move to secure his services under a more clearly delineated arrangement. At the same time, with the likes of Jacob deGrom, Rafael Montero, and the near-mythic Syndergaard all looming on the Met pitching horizon, the sheer reality of numbers comes into to play and raises the ever-present possibility (and inevitability) of a deal being made to both relieve what looks to be a future logjam and to address the ongoing team issues of offense and the bullpen. While both Gee and Niese would be highly attractive trading chips for all the reasons previously described, it seems unlikely that the organization would look to deal its only left-handed starter, leaving Gee as the likely asset to be moved if a veteran were to be dealt.

From my standpoint, I would rather look to deal one of the younger, more potential-oriented arms as the Mets look to be moving into a period of what should be consistent contention. While Gee may not evoke the comparisons and projections that some of his harder throwing roster mates do, his low-key, consummately professional approach is likely to prove an important asset for years to come. For now, the potential of all those great young arms remains just that – potential. If the Mets ever get around to addressing their need at shortstop by way of a trade, it is likely that the attraction of one of those arms may prove necessary to getting a deal done (are you listening Arizona?).

For now, with the season really just underway, we should expect the usual personnel shuffling to occur as the kind of fine tuning that teams typically engage in after a month or so takes place. Perhaps we will see Jenrry Mejia move to short relief or possibly the closer’s role and Dice-K shift back to the rotation. Possibly Jeurys Familia will be given a greater role and the patience needed to establish himself as a more primary relief option. Maybe we will hear more of efforts to give a couple of the young guns some bullpen exposure at Las Vegas in anticipation of a mid-season move to fortify the big club’s relief corps. Regardless, the team should be able to at least continue to rely on their two models of consistency to act as the glue holding staff together.

Looking ahead to 2015, adding Matt Harvey back to the starting pitching mix by itself goes a long way to setting expectations on a higher level than we as fans have become accustomed to in the last few years. If we add to this the Niese/Gee factor, that of a core of, well, taken-for-granted quality pitching, then much of what remains to be considered in respect to the starting staff becomes playing with various combinations of the “great young arms” element. A luxury, to be sure, and one afforded to the Mets primarily by virtue of the presence of two of the least flashy components of their staff.

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About Gerry Silverman 53 Articles
Having caught the Met bug as a youth during the Miracle run of 1969, I've remained a steadfast fan through the highs and (too many) lows. After many years in the Financial Services biz, I now devote much of my attention to my favorite pursuits: blues guitar, books, movies, and all things Metsian.
  • RyanF55

    Unfortunately we could have Cy Young, Tom Seaver, Sandy Coufax, Nolan Ryan and Bob Gibson in the rotation and we still won’t plate any runs to win. That remains the biggest issue.

  • derek murphy

    Mets dfa’d Q n are calling up Flores. It’s about time. I wish Campbell, Dykstra, black n Thornton were on plane w him

  • Kirk Cahill

    Nice piece, Gerry. Both of these guys have been really great. There was a time when I preferred to trade Gee rather than sign him to an extension, but I’m starting to go back on that.

  • Biggle Boy

    “From my standpoint, I would rather look to deal one of the younger, more potential-oriented arms” than deal Niese or Gee. Me too. Except Niese’s arm issues concern me. So, I’d be open to dealing him – if other teams are OK with it.

  • Kirk Cahill

    Good point on Niese. The injury concerns likely make it a situation where he’s valuable to us to keep him than to trade him simply because injury issues may drive the return down.

  • derek murphy

    This is just another reason puma should never be taken seriously. He is a hack. When he has nothing to report which is often he just makes up stories. Everyone should remember this when they get all crazy about what puma is saying. I knew he made that up cause nobody on the mets would talk to. Hopefully he don’t cover the mets for much longer he has no respect from players and is a story teller. That don’t make for solid reporting on our mets.

  • jdon48

    I would deal either one or both to get us some real hitting. We are going nowhere this year. I expect Harvey to recover and Thor to be here. Montero too. Whatever brings back the big hitter we need.

  • jdon48

    I could live with Harvey, Wheeler, Syndergaard, Montero and whoever next year. If Montero and Syndergaard get a decent number of major league starts this year.

  • derek murphy

    Well Flores is a step in the right direction. He can also help us determine if Murphy is expendable. Provided Flores proves he can handle major league pitching then the question becomes his position. Hopefully he proves everyone wrong and can handle SS. That’s not something I’m banking on but I think with a little time he can be Johnny Peralta 2.0. There games are so very similar and we were looking to give Peralta lots of money. This will at least answer a question that we need answered to move forward and that’s who is Flores. I’d like to say to Duda and find out what Dykstra has to offer. Dykstra has done everything asked of him its time we find out if he could hold the position warm for Dominic smith.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Even more impressive, over the last year, Gee has quietly pitched like one of the best in baseball.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Hahaha. I hope you could “live” with that rotation. I think we could all learn to deal with it.

  • RyanF55

    Both have been great…the question is do we trade either? Niese is only making 25.5 million over 5 years. If he continues to pitch so effectively, he’s extremely attractive to prospective teams with his production vs. his salary. He has two more years on his deal at 7 mil in 2015 and 9 mil at 2016. At the same time, he’s cheap and effective and that’s what the Mets love. Do you try and package either of these two in return for a bat? It’s always tough to part with guys when they pitch so well, but is this the absolute ceiling for both and do you sell high with what’s coming down the pipeline? It will be interesting to watch…

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    I don’t like the idea of having an all right-handed rotation so if I had to choose, I’d deal Gee first but I wouldn’t be happy about it.

  • derek murphy

    Right now I don’t see how the mets could trade Niese or gee. They are both pitching out of there minds and gaining value with every start. The earliest one could be traded is at deadline if we’re out of it. They should shoot for the moon and try to get polanco or meadows from the pirates.

  • El_Verdadero_Presidente

    Inserting a huge “bat” into this lineup right now would be like building a penthouse on a latrine. Need a bunch of competent sticks first.

    If we had 4 or 5 guys hitting like Lagares right now this team would be going places, and fast.

  • StrawberryPiazzaWright

    If Alderson remains the GM for the next few years, and both Gee and Niese remain as effective and relatively cheap, then chances are both will remain with the Mets for many years, and on that same line of thought, it will probably be Harvey who will be traded away because of how much money they will have to give up to keep him (and he will get a lot of money, given who his agent is).

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Not if that bat is under your control for a year or two and you can extend him.

  • derek murphy

    Next season I think there’s a chance our rotation is Harvey, Gee, Niese, wheeler & Syndergaard. That leaves DeGrom, Montero n mejia who can be dealt. We are going to have at the very least available for trade between 2 and 5 major league ready pitchers. Choose wisely SA While most people want to go with upside its hard to give up a proven commodity. To me the most upside is Harvey, wheeler, Syndergaard, DeGrom & Matz. DeGrom just started pitching a few years ago already had TJ surgery and is breezing through aaa. That’s amazing.

  • El_Verdadero_Presidente

    Absolutely. But my fear is engineering that extension. We wheel a new Ferrari now into our Willets Point chop shop and that baby’s looking for a better garage, first opp.

  • StrawberryPiazzaWright

    Trading Murphy would be a mistake, he is probably the best hitter the Mets have, and he has proven to be a decent defensive second baseman. I think Flores has a better chance of replacing Duda at first, than Murphy at second, that is how important Murphy’s bat is to this lineup.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    It’s not going to look like a chop shop if we’re able to start the season with one of the top rotations in baseball.

  • Charley’s Twin

    I think it’s time to trade both of them for prospects. Think of the savings!

  • seldomused

    We should give them a shnazzy celebrity couple nickname. Like Geese.

    Let’s hope it catches on.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Flores should probably learn the play first base first, no?

  • derek murphy

    All future team
    C.d’arnauld-plawecki
    1b.dominic smith
    2b.dilson Herrera-Cecchini
    SS.Rosario
    3b.wright-Flores
    Of.nimmo
    Of.lageres
    Of.puello
    Of grandy
    Of.dendecker
    Of.would love to trade with the pirates for polanco or meadows

    The pirates are a win now team and tight on cash a guy like gee would be a homerun for pit. We make great trade partners. Hopefully meadows is ptbnl. I’m sure he’s not but would be nice.

  • El_Verdadero_Presidente

    Agreed again. And that’s why, IMO, we wait till off-season to look for imports. Our chips will have that much more value – let us pray – and by then the place might actually look like a decent home for a trophy or two.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    That’s fine. I just hope they have the balls to pull the trigger if there is a deal to be made.

  • Sylow59

    Let’s hope it doesn’t.

  • MyasDaddy

    Yeah, you think Miguel Cabrera would be half the player he is if he didn’t have power in his arsenal?

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    You mean if he hit .350 every season but only ten home runs? Yeah, I do.

    If by “half the player he is” you mean making the money he does, then no, but that’s because people love home runs.

  • MyasDaddy

    There are spots in a lot of games when you just need a HR plain and simple. Not a soft serve single to LF. Murphy is Derek Jeter but hits LH.

  • Same old Mets

    I feel sorry for Met pitchers. They know most games they have to pitch a shutout to get a win, and sometimes that doesn’t guarantee it. My advice to them, as soon as you become a free agent leave town.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Hahaha. Wow. Derek Jeter is just a “decent hitter.”

    Okay then.

  • MyasDaddy

    If Cabrera hit .350 10HR’s he would be considered Tony Gwynn. Not that there is anything wrong with that. But, since he puts .340 45 HR’s 140 RBI’s he is all-world. He will go down as one of the greatest RH hitters ever. When he is finished.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    That’s super duper. But Tony Gywnn is a hall of famer. He’s more than a “decent hitter.”

  • I’m thinking that we will probably not be looking to get a big outfield bat as they just threw the big money at Grandy and CY and will not bench Grandy though CY may be benchable. Lagares seems to be a starter now and TC still has his EYJr crush. If they don’t seek out an established big hitting outfielder, the next logical position would be 1st base (assuming Wilmer wins the SS job). I wonder if they can get something decent back for Gee, Duda and a minor leaguer? Not sure who is available that would pay off immediately.

  • MyasDaddy

    If you were starting a team right now… with both guys in their prime, who would you take?

  • Frank Francisco

    He never said that was *all* that makes a good hitter, but it’s absolutely a part of it.

    I’d hardly label someone whose averaged a .734 OPS the last 2 years a great hitter. He is good at best.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Jesus dude. Stop. You know the answer is Miguel Cabrera. Although, if we’re talking about salary being a factor, then it’s Tony Gywnn.

    But you have a very warped view of what a “decent hitter” is. You think Derek Jeter, one of the greatest players of his generation and one of the top players at his position all time, is just a “decent hitter.”

  • derek murphy

    Our rotation has been outstanding that goes without saying. The mets have not spent much time trailing in games this season even against Washington. They have had trouble tacking on runs and closing out wins. That has nothing to do with our starting pitching.

    Starting pitching is our strength and we have more on the way. That being said the fastest cheapest ways to address our deficiencies is to deal from our position of strength. We also need to create space on the parent club for our arms of the future. We want the future to be now. The first pitcher I would trade is colon. Hopefully he is tradeable at the deadline not cause he’s bad I think he’s only had 2 starts that weren’t quality. With him its a big investment and I feel like we’re on borrowed time.

    Then we need a power bat and you have to give to get. That’s why pit is ideal to me let’s get a stud OF that hasn’t cut his teeth yet like TB did with Myers. We have some solid young bats adding meadows or polanco would be a home run. Maybe we can make a trade involving gee or Niese.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    “Decent.” “Good.” “Great.”

    This is all semantics. As I said, TO ME, Murphy is more than a “decent hitter.” And @MyasDaddy:disqus seems to think Derek Jeter is just a “decent hitter,” so I’d say that puts Murphy in some pretty good company by his standards.

  • MyasDaddy

    He is decent. Not spectacular, not great… but decent. Murphy that is.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Hahahaha. I can’t. Derek Jeter is just a “decent hitter.”

    Hahahahahha.

  • CyYout

    They are everything we wanted Olly and Maine to be.

  • Not4

    You’re not seriously arguing that Murphy is no better than a “decent hitter”, are you? He’s not the next coming of Joe Morgan, of course, but he’s an above average hitter and one of the better hitting 2Bmen in the league.

    By “power” I assume you mean HRs, as Murphy is consistently among the league leaders in doubles each year. HRs are not the end-all, be-all for any hitter, especially a 2bman. Pedroia won the AL MVP the year he hit 17 HRs. Getting on base and driving in runs are far more important. And Murphy does a pretty nice job of both, particularly for a 2Bman and in the 2-hole at bat

  • Not4

    Truth is that you never know when a team will pay more. Think you’re right that typically it is closer to the deadline, when they have a better sense of whether their team is legit or not, but don’t lose sight that you are getting the pitcher for considerably more starts, the earlier in the season you acquire them

  • MyasDaddy

    Has Murphy ever hit 17 HR’s in a season? If Murph could give me 17 HR’s a year, I would sign up for it right now. Pedroia and Murph are not even in the same class. I would like to see Murph drive that ball more. But, a .734 OPS the last two years is just not good enough. I’m sorry!

  • MyasDaddy

    He is good on a terrible offensive team. He stands out because he actually hits right or around .300 every year. Excellent! How about driving the ball more!

  • Frank Francisco

    Thats a dumb argument. Gwynn was a great hitter because though he didn’t have power, he compensated by hitting .340 with a fantastic OBP and outstanding speed in his prime years. Murphy’s stats don’t even come close which is why Murphy isn’t more than a decent hitter.

    Gwynn (Age 23 – 29): .334/.391/.440 .831 OPS, 35 SB’s
    Murphy (age 23 – 29) .291/.333/.423 .757 OPS, 12 SB’s

    Not to mention Gwynn was an outstanding defender which helped him get to the HOF.

  • Not4

    Hey Sylow,

    Completely off topic and not sure if you are the same Sylow that used to take umbrage with “Murphy lovers”, but I’m hoping you are. While many on the various blogs just spew nonsense, your criticism of Murphy was based on solid facts and were good arguments (even though I disagreed with your conclusion). In fact, the only real argument was the eyeball test and faith that he would produce. And now that he has produced pretty consistently the past few years at a solid rate, I am curious as to your thoughts on Murphy. He still doesn’t walk enough and his defense will never be GG caliber, but the guy just seems to produce and help the team win.

    Thanks!

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    We’re seriously arguing over our respective definitions of what “decent” “great” and “good” are.

  • Metropolitan

    Thanks Omar!meanwhile Wheeler, Sandy’s crown jewel pretty much looks like a back of the rotation type guy who can’t even make it deep into a game over 100 pitches by the 6th and has erratic control .Should have traded Wheeler and made that tough decision before he came up to the bigs because his value has dropped..again Sandy being either stupid or stubborn or more likely a mix of both

  • Andrew Herbst

    Gee and Niese has been pitched great. It’s a shame they have not been able to get any run support along with the rest of the Met staff.

  • RyanF55

    I wanted the Mets to take a flyer on Corey Hart, but he’s Duda so far with a worse BA and OBP. Duda has 4 HR and 15 RBI, Hart has 5 HR and 13 RBI thus far. Duda is the better deal so far at least. The offensive issues this year are obviously at SS, in RF, in LF, 3B and C. Wright, TDA, Grandy and CY haven’t performed like they should be, and we can’t plate any runs because of that.

  • Sylow59

    1) It is me.
    2) His defense is poor and he is slightly above league average in total offense, not BA – but total offensive contribution. As such he’s about league average overall, even at 2B. At 1B hhis overall contribution would be below league average.
    3) It is fairly safe to say I was correct that he:
    a) does not field like Keith Hernandez at 1B
    b) does not hit like Wade Boggs, Will Clark, Ted Williams, …
    (a) and (b) were always my point as they were spewed about by the vast majority of posters at the time as the Gospel truth. But it’s just easier to say I hate him than actually consider my pointts – hence, I’m a Murphy Hater.

  • mets4lyfe

    2013 ML average slash line:

    .253/.318/.396 (also includes the PAs of pitchers)

    2013 Daniel Murphy:

    .286/.319/.415

    He’s really not much better than a ML average hitter.

  • El PanchVilla

    Need a bat…without scoring any runs these guys will lose more than they will win. Every loss is over-magnified regardless of pitching outcome. If only our GM signed Abreu to play 1b and Nelson Cruz we all wouldn’t be on these blogs complaining all day. Simple moves that made sense and would’ve provided instant offense. A lot of people on this blog and that other one said “Abreu didn’t have the experience, blah blah blah”….how about now? A huge mistake and the white sox are reaping the awards.

  • $14435385

    A back of the rotation guy who just threw 6 innings of 2 hit, shutout ball, who’s averaged a strikeout an inning and has a 3.68 era over his first 24 starts in the majors…right…

    C’mon, I’m no Sandy apologist, but let’s be realistic…the guy is in his second year, throws 96, and just dominated a division rival. His control isn’t there yet, but history is replete with guys who took time to find the plate. Hell, Randy Johnson had a WHIP of about 1.6 his first 5 years in the majors and couldn’t crack a 4.00 ERA. Darling walked the world his first few seasons.

    Guys who throw 96 with plus breaking pitches don’t grow on trees. Just breathe a little and let him figure it out.

  • $14435385

    C’mon, ThatGuy – we all know he’s 3,400 hits worth of lucky..

  • Not4

    Ha! I think you missed my point. And, BTW, Pedroia hit a grand total of 2 HRs last year in 724 PAs. The year before that he hit 9 and the year before that 15. Murphy hit 13 last year. More importantly, he drove in 78 and scored 92. while hitting .308 with 38 doubles and 4 triples to go with those 13 HRs. His Slugging Pct. was .415, which is pretty solid for any second baseman not named Cano or Utley. If you want to legitimately criticize Murphy, criticize his lack of walks, and abysmal OBP of .319 last year.

    Last year, he ranked as follows among all 2Bmen in the Majors: 5th in RBI, 1st in runs scored, 3rd in doubles, 5th in avg,, tied for 9th in HRs, 8th in Slg Pct (actually virtually tied with Pedroia for 7th), and even 10th in OBP, OPS and WAR (despite his defense bringing down his WAR).

  • Not4

    Actually, he’s good on any team. Just made another post showing he as among the top 10 2bmen in MLB in most every offensive category, including 8th in Slugging Pct, last year, bolstered by being ranked 3rd in doubles, 5th in avg,, tied for 9th in
    HRs, 8th in Slg Pct (actually virtually tied with Pedroia for 7th). And, oh BTW, he was 5th in
    RBI and 1st in runs scored – perhaps the two most important categories!

  • Metropolitan

    He also has an 4.35 ERA and a 1.47 whip and in that outing against the Marlins he was over 100 pitches in the 6th meanwhile the pitcher for the Marlins was around 75…Wheeler sucks and he will suck until he becomes the top of the rotation guy he was suppose to be.Right now he is a hard throwing back of the rotation guy

  • Not4

    Sorry, but this is a nonsensical argument. You’re comparing one of the greatest hitters of all time in Gwynn to Murphy to “prove” that Murphy is just “decent”?

    Ha!

    How about looking at real comps – like all other 2bmen in MLB. And when you do that, you’ll see that Murphy is more than “decent”. In fact, I’m probably underselling him by just calling him good. The fact is that offensively, he is killed by his biggest weakness – lack of ability to draw a walk consistently. That kills his OBP and impacts his OPS. But his actual “power” – judged by all extra base hits – is actually above average. And he led the league in runs last year as a 2bman, and was 5th in RBI

  • $14435385

    Wow. Just. Wow.

  • Not4

    Thanks for the response Sylow. As I tried to allude to above, I did not view you as a Murphy hater, but rather a hater of “blind Murphy lovers.” If it wasn’t clear before, I hope it is now. I was officially a “Murphy believer” rather than blind lover. He has pretty much performed as I expected/hoped he would, with one glaring exception. Thought he’d walk more and his failure to do so just kills his OBP and brings down his offensive value.

    Advanced metrics still show him to be below average defensively, though my eyesight tells me he is more than that. (Stats are usually better than my eyes, but I’ll still argue he is about league average or slightly below league average defensively). As you noted, his overall offense, for a 2bman, was average last year. And his WAR was till good for 10th best for a 2bman, so I’d argue that he is a an above average 2bman, particularly when you consider he led all 2bmen in Runs and was 5th in RBI, 3rd in SB, etc.

    But I digress. The real point of the initial post was not to dredge up old arguments, but rather to ask someone whose view I respect what your thoughts were now on Murphy – strengths and weaknesses, regardless of the hyperbole from others (in either direction).

  • sarge69

    No trade of either, especially Gee who has shown that he knows how to pitch to good, aggressive hitting teams, until you have see more than just a small sample size of the up and coming prospects.

    You can’t trade a piece like Gee, who is awesome to watch as he changes speeds, and keeps hitters off stride, unless you absolutely have a quality, long term replacement.

    After the trio of Thor, Montero, DeGrom, etc where is the next level, not ready yet, but making strides to rise in the organization?
    I know about Matz, great arm but Mets have to proceed with caution and do what is best for now and the future.

    Go Niese and Gee, you guys rock!

  • MyasDaddy

    Therefore he is decent. HA!

  • Taskmaster4450

    At least you own up to wanting someone who isnt setting the world on fire unlike most on here who will bang the drum for a player until he sucks. There were a ton two years ago calling for the Mets to sign BJ Upton….where are they now?

    I was in the Josh Johnson camp but that wouldnt have turned out so well. Colon hasnt set the world on fire but at least he is still pitching unlike JJ.

  • RyanF55

    I can admit mistakes – I’ve sure made plenty when determining guys I’ve wanted them to bring in. It’s still May 8th. Granderson might finish with close to 30 HRs, Duda might hit 25+, TDA may end up hitting over .300. It’s amazing how a week’s time can change everything.

    In my honest opinion, we aren’t as good as the team played at the height of its success this year, and we are certainly not as pathetic as what we’ve seen the past week. We’re somewhere in the middle, and I believe we do have enough to compete for that 2nd wildcard spot, and ultimately the playoffs. If we get some of these young arms in the pen, that only helps. The bottom line is we need to start plating runs, and hopefully Flores helps that happen. Terry needs to use a sensible lineup though, so I won’t hold me breath…

  • StrawberryPiazzaWright

    Lol. Of course…

  • StrawberryPiazzaWright

    Well, here is the thing, and herein lies my point: Murphy is a proven major league baseball hitter (and a good one), and Flores has only a handful of at bats in the majors, in which he did not prove anything, even if he raked, it would have been a very small sample, right?. I like Flores, and would love as much as anyone to see him hit the ground running when he joins the Mets, but he needs to prove himself first, and then maintain some consistency. I really hope he becomes at least an average defensive major league shortstop, that would work wonders for the Mets, as long as his offensive prowess in the minors translates to the majors, and he can sustain it. Here is for Flores’ success…

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Yeah. Most “decent” hitters finish with over 3400 hits and a ticket to the HOF. Just “decent.” smh

  • Metropolitan

    I am sorry that you are Wow just wowed ,I don’t live in fairy tale land but in the reality what the player is doing right now,not what he might hopefully do tomorrow,for every Randy Johnson their is a dumpster full of busts who had all the backing of the scouts and organization hype. BTW all these pitchers this organization has coming out the ears,do you think they will all pan out and or reach their full potential??? I hope you don’t because you would just be plain naive,the Mets have other needs and need to start making some tough decisions and move a couple of them .

  • Sylow59

    I did not view you as a Murphy hater, but rather a hater of “blind Murphy lovers.”

    Thank you. The subtlety is lost on far too many. I’m just gunshy I guess.

    Be careful about the eye-test on defense. I live in St Louis and watched Beltran last year. His range was so bad he was actually one of the worst fielders in baseball last year. But he looked great on balls he could get to. He made some great catches on balls he dove for. But, that was because his range was so diminished. For the most part they were routine plays for an average fielder.

    Also, the highlight reel plays can be misleading. Years ago Kevin Mitchel had one of the Top Plays of the Year on a ball he happened to catch barehanded because he had misplayed it so bad.

    I’m an actuary. I deal with a lot of stochastic methods and probability assumptions. One thing that anybody working with stats will tell you is that you cannot blindly use the numbers. You need to get comfortable with them, you need to know how they were created to determine appropriateness, and data quality and data cohort group. If something doesn’t make sense you need to dig to determine if it is correct. If you are still uncommfortable you don’t use it – you keep digging.

    I like Sabermetrics. What most peaople don’t understand, on both sides, is that Sabermetrics measures a player’s production by determining what works and what doesn’t. WAR and the like are neutralized measures to determine how much a player produces. But there is also scouting and a number of other factors at play in baseball FOs. If the two do not match then each is investigated.
    The scout / observation part is very difficult to gather from TV or even in person. There are also facts that are not public, The stats side is a lot easer to use in a blog environment as they are what they are. The problem is that many that use them use them incorrectly. And also, there are a lot of stats that aren’t really linear.
    While in the general area: a misconception with Moneyball is it means cheap and that Sabergeeks only look at walks. Both are far from correct.

    First Moneyball. Moneyball refers to finding undervalued players. It does not mean low salaries. Consider Stock trading. If you can buy a stock for $50 on one exchange and sell it instantaneously on another exchange for $60, well you have free money. This is called arbitrage. It happens, but since markets discover these opportunities very quickly the security’s price becomes the same on both markets. This is somewhat similar to the idea of Moneyball. Moneyball seeks out the $50 stock in the $60 market and buys it at $50. It basically exploits market inefficiencies.
    Now onto walks. The early mispriced talent was walks. There are several studies that show OPS has a very high correlation with runs scored whereas SB and Ks are near 0, meaning they do not increase or decrease runs scored in aggregate. So, if this is information only your team knows you can trade a SB guy that’s not good and get a high BB / high K guy and improve your team. Since you are the only one that knows this there is a maqrket inefficiency and you can get that player for pennies on the dollar, hence “Moneyball”.
    Now, every team is aware of BB / OBP / OPS / etc. so you keep digging to find more stratified measures of production. But, you cannot now ignore BB / OBP / … because nobody else will and you will put your team at a disadvantage.

  • mad met

    Gotta trade john n before his arm falls off

  • DejaVu

    Ah, the luxury of double standards

  • Not4

    Thanks Sylow. I appreciate your insight into sabermetrics – much of which I knew, some of which was new. And you are right, the average fan just does not understand that Moneyball is all about exploiting market inefficiencies. They are the same ones that generally argue for teams to buy high and sell low, without appreciating the folly in their way.

    I know that the eyeball test cannot be the primary determinant, but still find it useful as an additional evaluation tool. I hear you and agree with you that many limited range defenders can make
    an ordinary play look extraordinary – sometimes for style points, but
    often out of necessity because of their lack of range. I was not aware that Beltran had regressed so much in the field.

    That said, while I only have a rudimentary understanding of many of the advanced metrics, it strikes me that there are some inherent imperfections in some measures that just cannot be appropriately accounted for – let’s call them nuances. Defensively, for instance, I assume that while these metrics can factor in range, they cannot factor in how hard a ball is hit and where a player may have been shaded etc. Which is why, while I acknowledge that Murphy is statistically a below average defender, I give him a slight tick up to almost average based upon what I see. Probably, its more just that I like him as a player, but heck, its only baseball.

    Take stolen bases as another example. I think the average fan completely overrates the value of the SB, but I am not prepared to ignore the value that the threat of speed has on an opposing team. Whether it be a pitcher rushing his pitches, middle infielders cheating a little more for the double play with the 1st basemen stuck to the bag, creating a nice hole for the next hitter. There are intangibles that are hard to quantify. EY is probably a good example. He is simply not good enough to be a legit starting outfielder in my mind. His OBP and lack of ability to hit with any pop seem to make it an easy call. Yet, somehow, he has scored a ton of runs, including a seemingly disproportionate amount after he has stolen a base. (To be clear, not arguing he should be starting, but his success in scoring runs at a higher percentage than anticipated on an offensively challenged team is an interesting quirk. SSS definitely and maybe that would normalize if he got more playing time, but god willing he will remain a bench player).

    Anyway, thanks for the discourse and keep it coming!

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Lots of people saying they’d rather sink with the young kids. Well, let’s see now.

  • Joey D.

    Hi Gerry,

    I am not going to get this into an Omar versus Sandy debate as I would like to point out how Omar did not leave the Mets without a future so the rap against him pertaining to the farm system is unfair. It’s merely a question of how each general manager stands out on his own and the chapter on Omar is not yet closing just as the chapter on Sandy still has to be written.

    There might not even be a conflict in as much as the grey areas of 2011-2012 with what Omar left Sandy to work with and then what Sandy decided to do with them because the decision of what to do was already determined by the actions of Bud Selig.

    But getting back to the closing chapter on Omar, I am so glad you used the term “quietly effective” to describe the Gee/Niese tandem because one of the criticisms is they bankrupted the future by surrendering first round picks. Yes, they lost out on headline making players, but that did not mean they bankrupted the future.

    Besides Gee and Niese we have Harvey – who is a headline making player. That’s a top of a rotation any team would like to have. Until hurt, Parnell had developed into a “quietly effective” closer as well. Germen and Torres are showing signs of they can do their effective roles quietly as well. One could get petty with whom was responsible for Montero for we know the legal hangups that were hindering not the decision but the ability to sign him. Then there is still Mejia and Familia.

    Nobody has a crystal ball predicting what will happen with raw talent so of course Omar had a plan in place that was limited to his sense of the potential of these players – there was no “vision” that all this would simply fall into place and this has to be understood as being so with all general managers including Sandy. Looking back in hindsight and saying this or that should have been done or looking ahead and already assuming stardom is not representative of the circumstances general managers work under.

    What we do know is that the future of the Mets was not being ignored and that the farm system under Omar formed the nucleus of a fine pitching staff. He also gave us a gold glove center fielder in Lagares, an outfielder who was being converted to a second baseman under his watch in Murphy, one who looked like a fixture at first in Davis and at the time a decent hitting young catcher who did appear to lack defensive skills in Thole. Then there is Flores whom everybody wants called up as well.

    But what about subtle versus fanfare?

    Gee and Neise were brought up quietly because they did not have to be brought up with all the fanfare that the Mets needed to do with Wheeler, d’Arnaud, Thor, etc. That was because at that time the Mets were making enough fanfare on their own that they did not need to tout their minor league system like they have had to the past few seasons because they not only had nothing else going for them but that they also had to divert attention away from the Madoff situation – the only reason why the team had nothing going for them to begin with.

    The team was already going to be dismantled no matter how well it might find itself playing – that secret could no longer be hidden once word about that $25 million loan to avoid bankruptcy was leaked as spring training began and we learned how seriously the Wilpons were hurt by the Madoff scandal despite Sandy’s false assurances about not coming here to be like Oakland and being able to still work with a high budgeted payroll.

    So the big fanfare about “rebuilding” began not just to justify the trade of Beltran for Wheeler but to convince fans that the wildcard race they had been insisting the Mets had been in was never so to begin with and that money was not at the heart of the issue. And it continues to this day.

    That fanfare about the future drummed up to the level of intensity we’ve seen the past few years was not necessary under Omar and so what could be mistaken as bankrupting the future could simply be seen as a major publicity spin to divert attention from the fact that this organization could not retain and obtain players to be competitive during the present and had it done so there would have been a slow transition of young players replacing the older ones while hopefully still vying for the opportunity to play October baseball. After all, that is the way most other major league clubs do things – try to compete and build up the farm system at the same time.

  • $14435385

    I guess that would make Molitor a decent hitter, too. Or Tris Speaker. Or Pete Rose (face plant).

  • Sylow59

    The nuance arguement works well to dispute statistically insignificant sample sizes. However, after the point where the sample size is large enough (this is different for each statistic) nuances tend to disappear. So for every weakly hit grounder Murphy gets his cohorts get an amount that is not statistaclly different. That is the glory of baseball. The number of data points (each pitch is a Bernoulli trial remember) reduces the variance more so than in any other sport.

    There are outliers, but that is true in anything. These are anecdotal exidence. Using anecdotal evidence tends to prove the original point by proving its rarity.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Yeah, those guys are pretty good. That Rose guy had a few singles.

  • $14435385

    Fairy tale land is saying a 23-year-old pitcher who throws 96-97 with movement and plus secondary pitches “sucks” because he doesn’t come into the league and dominate from day 1.

    Of course I don’t think every pitcher in their system is going to pan out – this isn’t my first trip around the baseball block. I’m not even saying Wheeler will. What I’m saying is that it’s absurd to hold a guy to such impossibly high standards.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    I feel like the time for this comment is not after he throws six shutout innings. Wait till he has a bad start to pounce.

  • DejaVu

    Exactly. I don’t comprehend how Flores is “a future all-star” yet Wheeler, Syndergaard, Montero and Matz are “just potential”

  • DejaVu

    …And yet hitting .286 as opposed to .253 often elongates a ML career. Go figure.

  • DejaVu

    OPS is not the end-all be-all of statistics.

  • DejaVu

    Tony Gwynn was quite a player without a lot of power…

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    The unstoppable, irresistible desire to complain and bash Sandy at every opportunity.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Eh, he was just “decent.”

  • jdon48

    Fact is, hong pitchers do not often step in and backup wins. That would be why I want Montero and Thor here this year.

  • Honestly, I love Gee and Niese. We can dream of prospects all we want. However, proven commodities will always be more valuable.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    I don’t know what you said.

  • NeedNewOwners

    Neise and Gee are coming into the heart of their careers and deserve to be with a better organization. Trade them both at the deadline for some non pitcher prospects. Murph is a class act who deserves out, too. Get the best you can for him and free this guy to a team that will appreciate him. Would love to trade Wright but he deserves to rot here and keep kissing Wilpon azz. Granderson and that ridiculous contract and loopy swing of his will be a noose around our necks just like Bay. Trade d’Arnaud for whatever he will bring and play Recker for now. Frankly, I’d rather see the 51s play, just with Lagares, Flores, Wheeler. No one else from the Mets roster, maybe Torres and Mejia in the pen. Another lost season and I am not getting any younger. These filthy pig owners have stolen my team from me and I despise them for that.

  • 94SupraTT

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