Mets Merized Online » Felix Hernandez Sun, 07 Feb 2016 19:15:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Bartolo Colon Is Tied For The Major League Lead In Wins Mon, 01 Jun 2015 10:00:50 +0000 bartolo colon

After a solid start against the Miami Marlins on Sunday in which Bartolo Colon pitched seven strong innings, allowing three runs on six hits (and hitting an RBI double!), the 42 year old righty improved his record to 8-3 on the season.

Those eight wins are tied with Felix Hernandez for the major league lead.

After the win, Colon stated, “I give all credit to the hitters and the team because they are playing well and the offense is scoring runs when I pitch. I’ve been able to have better command of my pitches, put the ball where I want to and be able to concentrate in-and-out and make the hitters uncomfortable.”

Since his two rough outings against the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals where he let up thirteen earned runs and four home runs in 9.1 innings, Bartolo has bounced back nicely, tossing back-to-back quality starts his last two times out.

Colon is making me eat crow for bad mouthing the two year, $20 million contract he signed before last season.

After going 15-13 for the Mets last year and pitching 202.1 innings, Colon is on his way to having another solid season for New York.

Terry Collins praised Colon after yesterday’s win: “In the clubhouse? Just pay attention. He doesn’t have to say a word. If you’re just a guy, a pitcher especially, pay attention. There’s a reason this guy has pitched for eighteen years.” Collins said.

“And if you could do nothing else, learn about how he goes about things mentally. You don’t have to copy him [...] just how he gets ready to pitch every night, I think it’s going to help your career.”

I think many people, including myself, thought Colon would probably be gone this year, but I’m sure glad that didn’t happen, as he has a presence on the mound, in the clubhouse….and at the plate. :)

By the way, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports had a small blurb this weekend that read:

Dillon Gee could still be had, but a continuing injury history limits his value. Rivals prefer Bartolo Colon. “He takes the ball every fifth day and throws strikes,” says an admiring rival executive.

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Are Mets Capable of a 40 WAR Season and Going to the Playoffs? Tue, 17 Feb 2015 15:53:51 +0000 mets win

Mark Simon of ESPN,  took to GM Sandy Alderson’s “10 win” comments from earlier this month and decided to measure that improvement in WAR.  After compiling a total of 29.6 WAR last year (ESPN WAR not FanGraphs), a 10 win improvement would put the Mets a shade under an overall total of 40.  According to Simon,”nine teams got at least that much WAR from their rosters in 2014. All nine won at least 88 games. The average win total among them was 91.8. Eight of those teams made the playoffs…”  Who does he see as the big contributors in Queens?

Obviously, Matt Harvey and David Wright are both at the top of this list.  Each player has been tasked with producing a 5.0 WAR season next year and if both these guys can stay healthy, I think that’s a realistic figure.  Wright’s last season with a 5.0+ WAR was 2013 when he posted 5.9 in only 112 games, some regression on that production played over 140 games could easily be valued at 5.0+.

Honestly, I stay the course for the majority of this article, but I had to point out that he produced a 2.5 WAR season in 2010 and that makes no sense- regardless of his defense.  He played 157 games, had an OBP of .354, slugged at a .503 clip, hit 29 home runs and knocked in 103 RBI’s, yet that was somehow less valuable than his 2014 season which was worth 2.8 WAR.  What?

For Harvey, I think he’ll bounce back with a big 2015 campaign.  How that ligament holds up over his career is debatable, but this year, I expect him to produce a 6.0-7.0 WAR season.  It’s a bold prediction, but it was confirmed that his velocity was right back where it was prior to the injury, that was all I needed to see to ensure great production in the short run.

Jacob deGrom was apparently snubbed by most projection systems who see him regressing significantly, but Simon noted that if he is able to replicate last year’s 9-6, 2.69 ERA pace over 32 games, he’ll be worth about 4.50 WAR.  Jacob got terrible run support, so I’m assuming his win % is in some way impacting that projection.  I’d think a 2.69 ERA over 32 starts would be worth more than 4.5 wins over a replacement player, but the stat is more of a gauge, so I’ll let it be.

Travis d’Arnaud was projected at 3.0 WAR.  I think this drastically undervalues the power he’ll add to the middle of the lineup and WAR does not calculate any value for pitch framing, so those who prefer their catchers be measured by traditional standards- WAR is your go to guy.  To be honest, I see d’Arnaud adding to the lineup what David Wright will likely give up in regression.  TDA is capable of posting over a 4.0+ WAR season and I think that’s what the Captain will produce as well, so the net/net still gets the team towards October baseball.

Wilmer Flores.  This one is tough because at shortstop, Flores isn’t maximizing his potential, but 2.0 is a low number and here’s my logic (coming from a guy who despises the idea of him at SS).  Jhonny Peralta was able to generate 5.8 WAR last year with serviceable defense (actually, great defense according to the metrics- similar eye to stat sheet translation that Flores has), a .263 batting average, 21 home runs and 75 RBI’s.  It’s a little early to don Flores as the next Peralta, but that’s essentially what everyone is expecting him to produce, so I think a 2.0 WAR is well below what he’ll actually generate.  To be conservative, but also fair, I’d give Flores a 3.0 WAR on the year.  Either way, I really respect his work ethic and I genuinely hope he proves everyone, including me, dead wrong.

Zack Wheeler was way undervalued in this analysis.  The grading was fair based on his prior stats, but his career has kept pace with names like Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez and Zack Greinke so 2.0 has to be the bottom of what the Mets are expecting.  I see Wheeler quietly emerging as a bona fide ace in 2015 and if he repeats the same level of growth he measured in 2014, I’d wager his WAR at the end of the regular season to be right around Harvey and deGrom’s.  I’ll put him at 4.5 WAR.  Bold, but he’s shown steady progressive growth and I’ll take that any day over a flash in the pan.

Juan Lagares has the ability to slap pitches low and away, but there’s little power reward in that approach and hopefully the Mets made that the top priority for him this offseason.  He showed a brief flash of  power after pitchers stopped going away on him and started going inside.  When he pulls the ball, there’s a lot of power potential in his bat.  If he can hit .280 with doubles power and 10-15 home runs, his defense will carry that WAR figure well above the 5.0 mark, Simon seemed to agree.

Lucas Duda showed a lot of promise last year and in many more ways than what we saw on the surface.  Offensively, I think his walk and home run totals will stay the same, but there’s good reason to believe his average and OBP will go up a tick.  2014 was a year of constant adjustment for him.  First, he had to prove he was a viable starter.  Then he had to prove he could hit cleanup.  Then he had to prove he could hit breaking pitches.  Then, he had to start hitting lefties.  What’s encouraging is he accomplished all those goals by the end of the season- even lefties.

After the All-Star break, Duda put up some interesting numbers against LHP, hitting .250/.333/.375 against southpaws at Citi Field and holding his own against lefties coming out of the pen (.267/.333/.367).  Understandably, he was much worse against starters (.111/.167/.111).  However, the one stat that didn’t correlate to anything were his numbers against lefties on the road (.162/.220/.189), not sure what that was all about.  I think he’ll still struggle against tough starting LHP’s, but he played good defense and showed a knack for picking out tough throws in the dirt so I think it’s important to keep him in the lineup daily.

Also, in my mind, how a player ends the year says a lot.  In the month of September against all left-handed pitchers, Duda went 7-25 with a .280/.345/.440 slashline.  Not exactly a whale of a sample size, but it shows that- along with the other improvements he’s had to make- he can adjust at the big league level and he can hit lefties.  The Mets don’t need him to produce at the same level he does against RHP, they just need him to keep the lineup moving so his teammates can pick up the slack, great teams do this.  I think he’s capable of being a decent singles hitter against southpaws with better defense than the stats will tell you and because of that, I see his WAR being closer to 4.0+.

Little attention was given to Daniel Murphy, although Simon admits to giving him a boost based off of his offensive prowess.  He pegged Murphy between 2.0-2.5 WAR which is anywhere from fair to slightly optimistic in my opinion.  Murphy is a valuable offensive asset, but his defense is a liability considering Zack Wheeler and Jon Niese generate a lot of groundballs and this organization’s success is literally founded on maximizing the results of the pitching staff.   I think the writing is on the wall for Daniel and trading him will open the door for the unforeseen x-factor (i.e. prospect being called up) who Simon believes will give the Mets a “boost”.

Other factors contributing to a 40 WAR season are the bullpen and the bench.  Personally, this bullpen looks great and the bench is poised to add the right amount of offense.  It’s no secret, the starters are going to have to stay healthy in order for the above scenarios to happen.

What do you ladies and gentleman think?  Are the Mets capable of producing a 40 WAR season and/or making the playoffs with this current roster?

I think so.

Lets! Go! Mets!


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Mets Still Have Hope Heading Into Seattle Mon, 21 Jul 2014 18:09:14 +0000 wright murphy

The Mets had a great chance to capitalize on a struggling San Diego squad coming out of the All-Star break, but fell short, losing 2 out of 3.  The Padres were tied for the third worst record in MLB coming into the series and only had a .375 win percentage at their home field, Petco Park.  Yet somehow, the Mets bats fell asleep, while the Padres managed to outscore their opponent 12-7 overall throughout the series.  Maybe there was a little bit of rust following the rest, but the Mets have little ground to squander in the NL East if they wish to remain relevant heading into August.

The upcoming series against Seattle is crucial, but the Mariners are a squad the Mets can take advantage of if they’re able to put runs on the board.  In the month of July, Seattle is batting .259 as a team with an OPS of .651 and they are limping into tonight’s opener.

The Mariners just closed out a tough series with the Angels in which they also lost 2 out of the 3 games, going 16 innings in a loss Friday night and 12 innings in a victory Saturday night.  Robinson Cano sat out during a 6-5 series finale loss o Sunday due to soreness in his hamstrings and left fielder Dustin Ackley and reliever Danny Farquhar are fighting through nagging injuries of their own.

Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon also appears to be taking his chances with the Mets, aiming to push Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, the 1-2 punch at the top of his rotation, to the series opener against the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday.  This will position rookie southpaw Roenis Elias (7-8 with a 4.54 ERA) against Jon Neise with the remaining two slots TBD.  MLB probables points to Erasmo Ramirez as getting the nod Tuesday night for Seattle, which would give the Mets two good chances to beat up on some sub-par starting pitching backed by an already struggling offense.  Ramirez last pitched for the big league club on June 24th against the Boston Red Sox, but he only went 4.1 innings giving up 5 hits and 2 earned runs.  Over the course of this season in the majors, he has started 11 games, going only 1-4 with a 4.58 ERA.  Most notably, he’s 0-2 at Seattle’s home park, Safeco Field.  My assumption is that if the Mets take the first two games against Elias and Ramirez, Iwakuma will not get the extra days rest, but at that point the Mets will have taken the series and that is the ultimate goal heading into Seattle anyhow.

This is an important time for Amazins, they don’t need to sweep every team they play, but they need to win almost every series.  The 8-2 home stand going into the All-Star break gave the organization a new charge of life, but the most recent one series against the Padres did nothing to build on the momentum and only built a steeper grade on the hill they have to climb.  Sure, San Diego got stellar pitching performances from Tyson Ross and Odrisamer Despaigne, but excuses are no longer valid when the season is on the line, a season that in a lot of ways, must count for this organizations future to remain intact.  Revenue and attendance are down compared to previous seasons and there’s no more loans to add to existing list of debt being paid down.  The sits need to get filled to bolster the cash-flow and the cash-flow is need to bolster the lineup, in the present and immediate future.  

The jury is still out on whether Sandy Alderson will go out and add another piece to the lineup to help in the second half, but in order to put the ball in the court of the Front Office, this current Mets roster must prove that they’re worthy of the club spending the money- if said money even exists at all.  Tonight’s game will speak volumes on whether or not this squad can rise to the occasion and look like the team of the future we’ve been waiting for.  The only way the organization turns around is if they find a way to win within.



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Breaking Down the Remaining July Schedule Fri, 18 Jul 2014 16:26:40 +0000 The All-Star Break is over and the hunt for the playoffs is just starting to get exciting. The Mets sit at 45-50, but their last ten games (8-2) going into the break has injected confidence into an often pessimistic fan base.

terry collinsIn these ten games, Mets pitching has recorded a 2.74 ERA, while in the Mets eight wins, the ERA has been 2.43. In addition to the terrific pitching efforts, the offense may just be the biggest part of the successful stretch. New York is averaging 5.5 runs and four extra-base hits per game over this period.

There is no reason this hot streak shouldn’t continue, especially given the upcoming opponents. Starting tonight, the Mets are facing off against the San Diego Padres, who are 41-54 and have lost seven of their last 10. These teams met once before this year and New York took two-out-of-three from San Diego. Now, New York is on the road, but this shouldn’t mean they can’t take advantage of a weak team.

Next up is a three-game series in an American League ballpark against the Seattle Mariners, a tough test. The challenge for the Mets will be scoring runs and utilizing the designated hitter. New York has done well with that, going 6-6 in interleague play, including 3-2 while using the DH. It will be easier to do this since the Mets lucked out and will not face Felix Hernandez in this series. However, maybe easier is not the correct word. The M’s are 51-44 and have a team ERA of 3.16.

Following that is another challenging series, this one a four-game set against the first-place Brewers. Despite a 53-43 record, the Brew Crew went into the break losers of eight of their last 10. Prior to the Mets, they play two 51-win teams in the Nationals and Reds. It’s a tough road for Milwaukee coming out of the gates and the Mets may be lucky enough to catch them at a low point. The only other time these teams played, the Brewers took two-out-of-three in Citi Field from the Mets.

That is the end of a 10 game road trip. A 5-5 record is realistic for the road trip, but the Mets are shooting for more. A sweep is possible in San Diego and a split in four games would be a positive result against the Brewers.

To close out July, the Mets finally return home to battle the Phillies. Philadelphia has struggled this year and the Mets have taken advantage. In nine games, the Mets are 6-3, are averaging 5.1 runs per game and are allowing 3.2 runs per game.

In the remaining 13 July games, the Mets play seven games against teams above .500, 10 games on the road and three games against a division rival. In order to play baseball in October, the Mets are going to have to get to work.

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Mets Will Need To Overpay To Attract Quality Players, But Will They? Fri, 24 May 2013 22:05:32 +0000 alderson wilpon

In response to a question by Matt Cerrone, Buster Olney of ESPN said the Mets are going to have to start spending and even overpaying if they ever want to be in a position to compete.

I think we can look at what the Seattle Mariners are going through, because I think they’re the closest comparison to what the Mets are going through right now. They have a star pitcher who can go out there every five days and dominate any team [in Felix Hernandez], but a real lack of depth among the position players. And how do you convince great players to go there at a time when the team is struggling?

For example, take Shin-Soo Choo, who is a free agent this fall. I think the Mets will have to do what the Mariners had had to do, in recent years with position players, and overpay Choo. He’s a terrific player, but they’ll be competing against other teams that are in a better position to win than the Mets. And the way you overcome that, if you’re the Mets, is to spend a lot of money.

Is that the right thing to do? I don’t think you want to just spend a lot of money on a lot of different players and not know if it fits, just look at the Dodgers. But, at some point, you do have to have that foundation in place so that you can lure other players, veterans, to want to play for your team. And that’s going to be an important step for the Mets.

I’m not sure the Mets will take that important step. I know that they have been pointing to this offseason as the one where they suddenly, and magically, open their wallets and do what is necessary to get them back to the postseason.

I see a team that will 3-4 core players that will likely try to fill in the gaps much like they have been with players recovering from injuries or scrapheap signings.

I don’t believe that overpaying for any player, good or great, is in their DNA.

I’ve said that so many times.

Last offseason proved that. Next offseason wont be that different. I’m certain we’ll have plenty of rumors from “team sources” of the Mets being interested in Choo or Carlos Beltran or Jacoby Ellsbury. But in the end, they will come up a day late and a dollar short like they always do. Then it’s on to the next dog and pony show.

I’m sorry, but I’m just not buying it.

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Morning Grind: What’s On Tap, Mets vs Venezuela, Good To Be Back Wed, 06 Mar 2013 13:49:16 +0000 tradition field springGood morning from Port St. Lucie, where there’s a chill in the air and the sun is just coming up.

Had dinner last night with a friend on the Mets’ beat and like most people I speak with in the media he’s not enthusiastic about them having a good season.

Drove around a little last night and this place has changed over the past few years. Really built up. New hotels and restaurants, including a sushi place not far from where I am staying.

Walked into the lobby and three hotel staffers remembered me by name. Felt like Norm for Cheers. Was a good feeling.

Heading to camp in a few minutes. David Wright is at the WBC and Johan Santana is still here from when I traveled with the team on a regular basis.

Will make a run at Santana for obvious reasons, including a new one – the president of Venezuela died yesterday. Need to get a reaction from him. Ironically, the Mets are playing the Venezuelan team today.

Also Ike Davis to see what he knows about being added to the WBC now that Mark Teixeira is injured. Yankees can’t be too happy about that. I never have, and never will, be a fan of the Classic. It means so much more to players from other countries, especially Latin America than it does to players from the US. But, Felix Hernandez isn’t pitching (could it be that new contract?) and the Japanese players in the majors aren’t all participating.

Wright is on board, but many big name players are not. Have to wonder why.

No, there are no plans to ask Sandy Alderson whether he plans to jump out of any airplanes. Insert your reaction here.

Lot of Mets fans in the lobby. One lady I remember is a regular. She holds court every morning at breakfast. Had cards promoting the blog made up to pass around. Have to think differently now.

Have a great day folks and I’ll be posting regularly here now while covering the Mets beat.

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Analyzing The 2012 Mets Pitching Staff Using The Factor12 Rating Mon, 22 Oct 2012 12:00:05 +0000  

For the most part, Mets fans were pleasantly surprised with the production of the Mets pitching staff in 2012. The bullpen kept us on the edge of  our seats the majority of the season, but the starters were one of the bright spots for the Mets. None shone brighter than the ace of the staff, RA Dickey. Some injuries prevented the Mets starting rotation from reaching its full potential, but when all the starters are healthy, it is easily the strongest aspect of the New York Mets. But what will we find out about the Mets Pitchers if we break them down statistically? Statistically speaking, the Mets pitchers may not be as strong as we thought.

The best statistical measure I have come across when evaluating pitchers is the Factor12 (F12) rating. The majority of readers out there are asking, what’s the Factor12 rating? Well, it’s probably best if I let one of the co-creators of the F12 rating explain it to you in his own words:

The Factor12 Rating uses the league average performance to calculate the value of MLB pitchers in a given season. The theoretical average pitcher will have a F12 Rating of 24.000. Elite pitchers will post a 30.000+ seasonal rating. F12 is calculated by comparing each pitcher to the league average in ten ratio statistics, and two counting statistics. – Sven Jenkins

I know. Some of the readers are still scratching their heads. Many are still questioning why this rating is so great. Still not convinced? I will include the entire description of the F12 rating below, so you can get a better feel for why this rating is the best way to analyze a pitcher’s success. You can also find this information on their website:

The Factor12 Rating (F12) is an analytic measurement utilizing league average performance to compare the value of all MLB pitchers.

F12 consists of the following twelve statistics incorporating every aspect of pitching.

Innings Pitched (IP); Strikeouts Minus Walks (SO-BB); Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP); Earned Run Average (ERA); Walks plus Hits per Innings Pitched (WHIP); Home Runs per 9 innings (HR/9); Walks per 9 innings (BB/9); Strikeouts per 9 innings (SO/9); Opponents Batting Average (OBA); Opponents On-Base Average (OOBA); Opponents Slugging Average (OSLG); Modified Base-Out Percentage (MBOP) has been adjusted to include wild pitches and balks.

F12 produces a numeric total value using the percentage difference equation for the ten pre-defined ratio categories. Each pitcher is ranked according to league average performance using 2.000 as the baseline. Categories have a maximum value of 4.000 and a minimum of 0.001.

Percentage difference equals the absolute value of the change in value, divided by the average of the 2 numbers, all multiplied by 100. To illustrate, the average MLB pitcher compiled a 3.94 ERA in 2011. Clayton Kershaw finished his Cy Young campaign with a 2.28 ERA: =((3.94-2.28)/((2.28+3.94)/2))*100. The Factor12 Method adds: /100+2 to utilize an easy number less than, greater than, or equal to 2.000. As a result, Kershaw received a 2.536 F12 value for ERA last season.

The Innings Pitched (IP) and Strikeout Minus Walks (SO-BB) categories utilize a percentage change formula, which does not contain a fixed range. Percentage change represents the relative change between the old value and the new one. For example, the average MLB pitcher totaled 65.75 innings pitched in 2011. Clayton Kershaw compiled 233.33 innings pitched: =((233.33-65.75)/65.75)*100. The Factor12 Method adds: /100+2 and Kershaw earned a 4.549 value for IP last season.

A pitcher’s F12 is the sum of the percentage difference/change value of the twelve statistical categories. The league average performance is 24.000 and the  minimum is 0.001. Pitchers recording zero innings pitched will receive a 0.000 F12 Rating. Elite pitchers will accumulate a 30.000+ seasonal rating.

Pitchers completing less than the average yearly innings (i.e. 65.75 in 2011) will have their F12 Rating weighed by the percentage of innings completed in relation to the league average (i.e. Sergio Romo 48 IP/65.75). This adjustment enables starting pitchers and relievers to be compared together based on different workloads for the season.

Factor12 rates yearly performance, with the potential for future projections. Weekly updates were available during the 2012 season to quantify every pitcher in Major League Baseball using F12.

Sounds simple enough right? I think a good way of explaining the F12 rating is by saying that it gives us a better idea of which pitchers actually control the strike zone the best. That’s why I prefer to use the F12 when analyzing pitchers statistically. We can sometimes get caught up in strikeouts, and ERA, but those aren’t always the best ways to analyze how well a pitcher is actually picthing. The F12 rating gives a better overall picture of how a pitcher is performing.

Now that you understand a little more about the rating, and how it works, we can look at how some of the Mets pitchers performed in 2012 by using this rating system. I asked the guys at if they could create a spreadsheet of all the pitchers that pitched in a game for the Mets this year. I asked them to provide us with their F12 rating, as well as how it ranked up against every other pitcher in the MLB. Aside from Dickey, you may be surprised about how the other Mets pitchers stacked up against the rest of the league.

I don’t think anyone is surprised that Dickey is at the top of the list for the Mets. Dickey is ranked fourth in the MLB using the F12 rating – only Justin Verlander (31.422), Clayton Kershaw (31.219), and Felix Hernandez (30.914) were ranked higher. Even F12 agrees that Dickey has a great chance at being the 2012 National League Cy Young winner. Something that was surprising to me when looking at the spreadsheet, was that only two Mets pitchers ranked in the top 100. I figured to see more than two pitchers in the top 100. I was also surprised to see that Bobby Parnell, every Met fan’s nightmare, was actually the third best Mets pitcher according to the F12. That kind of leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but I will let it slide.

I can’t be the only person who thought the Mets pitching was pretty good this year (not taking the bullpen into consideration). But according to the F12 rating, they actually weren’t too good at all. The theoretical average F12 rating for pitchers in 24. That being said, the Mets had three average pitchers in 2012 (Parnell, Gee, Santana), one slightly better than average pitcher (Niese), and one elite pitcher (Dickey). The rest of the pitchers were considered below average. It makes you realize how bad the rest of the team must have been in 2012 to make the pitching staff look so good to the fans. However, after a little elbow grease by the guys at, and some analysis, we see that the Mets pitching staff is not as strong as it seems.

Regardless of F12, we had some memorable moments from the pitching staff in 2012. Dickey became the first twenty game winner in a Mets uniform since 1990, and is up for the Cy Young award (hopefully some voters check out his F12 rating). Johan Santana maybe injury prone, and average according to his F12 rating, but he pitched the first no-hitter in New York Mets history. When it’s all said and done, the Factor12 can’t measure those things…and those are the things the Mets fans will remember about the 2012 baseball season.

I would like to give a special thanks to Sven Jenkins for taking the time to help out with this article. If any readers want to learn more about the Factor12 rating, or get pitching scouting reports, check out As always, please share any thoughts in the comment section below – was anything surprising to you when looking at the F12 ratings? Do you buy into the F12 rating? Let’s hear it…

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Pitchers In The News, Random Thoughts Thu, 21 Jan 2010 22:59:47 +0000 First off, great job by the Seattle Mariners who have signed their young phenom Felix Hernandez to a 5 year extension. Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik officially locked Hernandez up to a five-year $78 million dollar deal that buys out his two remaining years of arbitration plus three years of free agency. King Felix joins Cliff Lee at the top of the rotation to form one of the most lethal 1-2 punches in baseball.

The Pirates officially signed reliever Octavio Dotel to a one year deal to be their closer this season. The deal comes with a club option for 2011. The financials have yet to be released, but it’s being speculated that it could be for about $3 million dollars. Dotel had a solid, but unspectacular, season in 2009 for the White Sox and finished with a 3.32 ERA in 62.3 innings.

Vicente Padilla has re-signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers after agreeing to a one-year, $5 million dollar deal today. He can earn another $1 million in innings incentives. Padilla, 32, posted a 4.46 ERA in 147 innings pitched last season between the Rangers and Dodgers who picked him up after he was released. It’s significant to note that this probably precludes them from going after Jon Garland who is now rumored to be targeted by the Mets according to Buster Olney of ESPN.

The Phillies made a bold move today and signed starter Joe Blanton to a three-year, $24 million dollar extension, according to a team press release. The deal buys out Blanton’s last arbitration year and two free agent seasons. According to Ed Price of  AOL FanHouse, he will get $7MM in 2010 and $8.5MM in the the final two years. Blanton, 29, posted a 4.05 ERA in 195.3 innings last season.

Random Thoughts

I think the Phillies were smart in locking up Blanton who still has a lot of upside. Combined with Halladay, Hamels and Happ, their rotation will be quite stable for the next three years. I’m very glad to see that the Mariners were able to keep Felix Hernandez Seattle for the next 5 years, following the trend set by the Marlins who locked up Josh Johnson. Hopefully, the Twins can come to an agreement with catcher Joe Mauer on an extension before the start of spring training. I think it’s good for baseball that these young stars stay with the teams that developed them for as long as they can before they get scooped up by the larger market teams. Yankee fans will have to put those King Felix dreams to rest for now.

As for the Mets, nothing new to report, but I do feel bad for them and hope that they can somehow find a way to get back into the fan’s good graces. I read in Newsday that a team official felt that no matter what they do they get beat up unjustly by the fans and the NY media. It’s true.

Every signing is picked apart to death and is almost always presented in a negative light. I know I don’t help matters with my occasional rants, but I do try to keep it balanced. In all honesty, there’s nothing here that won’t be erased with excitement and enthusiasm that comes with the start of spring training. I feel like that’s the point where we all stop complaining and embrace the team we go up north with. I’m looking forward to that. LGM

]]> 0 Apparently Every MLB Player Is On The Trading Block Sun, 22 Nov 2009 16:58:18 +0000 I was actually going to name this post “Add Miguel Cabrera To The Trading Block”, but then I thought, why not add everybody else too?

That’s right, everybody is on the trading block, and that includes young and affordable stars like Felix Hernandez, and Evan Longoria, as well as the cream of the crop players like Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera.

According to all of my sources, and I have just as many as everyone else, everybody is on the trading block unless we hear otherwise from their agents or GM’s.

Until we hear an absolute and specific denial in the form of a press release from the team, sports journalists and bloggers everywhere will use their Constitutionally protected rights to proclaim that everyone is on the trading block.

They will use their rights to report this groundbreaking information one player at a time. Yesterday it was Josh Johnson, today it’s Miguel Cabrera, tomorrow it will be Prince Fielder. Oh wait a second… we already did Prince Fielder… Umm, make that Hanley Ramirez.

We will be able to use our real sources (named or unnamed), our fictional sources (definitely unnamed), and even my next door neighbor Sam’s dog, who barks and speaks to me at night about a variety of baseball topics.

Okay, enough with the bad sarcasm, I think you all catch my drift…

Seriously though, the hot stove rumor mill is really starting to get way out of hand. All of a sudden everybody has sources, and attributing rumors to these sources has become more important than the rumors themselves. It’s all about the sources now. It’s become the fashionable thing to do in sports blogging.

And then of course there is the battle to proclaim superiority, in those extremely rare instances when a deal actually gets done. Nobody analyzes the deal anymore, instead it’s a rush to say I reported this two weeks ago, or two months ago, or two years ago, click this link to read it. Most of them almost sound so paranoid that you have to wonder if they should be profiled by the FBI. I now refer to this phenomenon as the “Superiority Complex”.

When the rumors are debunked, as most of them usually are, a new series of blog posts follows that are filled with excuses as to why they were not “technically” debunked in the true sense of the word. Huh? What was that you said?

These new blog posts are then coordinated with a barrage of updates on their Twitter accounts, in an all out attempt to save their dwindling reputation.  

If that fails, then the search is on for any tantalizing bit of information they can get that would seem like a prelude to an imminent deal.

This info is then posted (in warp speed) with the hope that when the imminent deal is eventually announced (usually hours later), readers will forget the false rumor that nearly demolished their reputation, and remember the new rumor that was never their rumor to claim in the first place, but who cares?

All is fair in love and war… and on the internet.

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