I’m not going to lie. I mercilessly mocked the New York Mets for signing R.A. Dickey in the offseason. To be honest, I was frustrated. Other teams were out signing pitchers like John Lackey (Red Sox), or trading for others such as Cliff Lee (Mariners), and I was stuck having to deal with the Mets settling for a 35-year-old knuckleballer who had never seen any extended success in the Major Leagues.
Hell, he wasn’t even supposed to be on the Mets 25-man roster, which got me even more ticked off. Why are we trying to support our Binghamton/Buffalo starting rotations, when our major league rotation is in this type of shape?
Well, Dickey’s 2010 performance has shut me, and likely lots of other ignoramuses similar to myself, right up. He’s gone 8-5, with an outstanding 2.43 ERA. Hitters have rarely, if ever, looked comfortable against Dickey’s knuckleball, which he mixes in with a fastball. FanGraphs.com has Dickey throwing his knuckleball 83.7 percent of the time, with his fastball coming just 16.3 percent of the time he throws a pitch. Dickey’s got a good thing going with his knuckler, he knows it, and he’s taking advantage of it. Continue reading →
When the Mets put up 9 hits and 7 runs on Josh Johnson and the Marlins on opening day, I wasn’t really surprised. This is a team that can hit. Even the injury depleted 2009 team led the league with a .270 average. And the addition of Jason Bay makes this a much better offensive team.
Many of us were surprised that the Mets didn’t do anything to improve the pitching staff during the offseason. That includes me. I didn’t think the Mets would go crazy and sign John Lackey, but I did think they would bring in someone consistent like Jon Garland. When Randy Wolf got his ridiculous 3-year/$29.75 million deal, I knew the Mets wouldn’t be in the market for a pitcher with any kind of track record of success.
I had an email exchange with my friend, and frequent commenter, TD about this during the game on Monday. From TD:
I have no worries about them beating the ball to a pulp. That’s a nice offense, even with Reyes and Beltran out.
Shoot, I don’t think they’ll even miss Beltran. If you set up the lineup properly, Even Matthews JR can be an above average good hitter. He’ll see a lot of fastballs!
Many were clamoring for John Lackey when the free agent signings started. He ended up in Boston and the drop off to the next level of free agent is huge. I never thought that the Mets would end up with Lackey, nor do I think they need another starter with #1 type of stuff.
I’d like to know of the remaining free agents, which players do you think that the Mets should be after? Be wary of the injured former stars like Ben Sheets and Erik Bedard. That kind of signing could really blow up in the Mets face if they rely on a player with a terrible injury history. It probably wouldn’t blow up as badly as the Oliver Perez contract did though.
I haven’t been worried about the Mets lack of making a splashy free agent signing or trade until now. But if they can’t get something done within the next week or so, we do need to be concerned. I’ve talked to a lot of Mets fans that are starting to freak out that John Lackey is off the board and the Mets seem to be bargain hunting for free agent pitching and outfielders, not to mention the lack of depth in the organization.
In this continuation of my voice of the fan series you can read what frequent commenter Mark Jones, aka MetStatHead, has to say about the Mets offseason so far. If you’re interested in having your voice heard here at The Mets Report get in touch with me on my Contact page. Read on for Mark’s thoughts.
After the 2008 season ended, the Mets went looking for pitching. More specifically, they were looking for bullpen help coming off 29 blown saves. Mets GM Omar Minaya made no secret about the fact that he was looking at pitching, pitching, and more pitching. He came away with a solidly revamped bullpen led by Francisco Rodriguez, J.J. Putz, and Sean Green.
Unfortunately, we ended up with Daniel Murphy manning left field and no depth among the position players. Minaya let the rest of the team go for the sake of solidifying the bullpen and re-signing Oliver Perez. It showed when the Mets suffered an abnormally long injury list and there were no replacements waiting in the wings, minor leagues or otherwise.
Although there are some serious question marks on the pitching staff, this offseason needs to be all about generating some offense. The 2009 Mets finished 25th in the majors with 671 runs. Teams like Kansas City and Washington scored more runs than the Mets. They were dead last in the big’s with only 95 team home runs. Sure, the new stadium played a part in that. But there’s no excuse for the team with the highest payroll in the National League to finish in dead last in all of MLB.
There’s only one certainty when it comes to the Mets starting pitchers for 2010: Johan Santana. As long as he’s healthy, there’s no reason to think he won’t be one of the best pitchers in baseball. He’s had some minor injury problems but I don’t expect to see any decline in his performance. After Santana, the situation gets very murky, very quickly. This is about to get ugly, so Mets fans hold onto your hats.
Mike Pelfrey– In 31 starts Pelfrey finished the season at 10-12 with a 5.03 ERA. 2009 was a serious regression for him from his 2008 line of 32 starts 13-11 and 3.72 ERA. Pelfrey had some disgusting performances like June 4th in Pittsburgh giving up 8 runs in 3.2 innings and giving up 9 runs in 4.1 innings in Atlanta on July 17th. There were other ugly games but you get the idea. Often Pelfrey looked uncomfortable and frustrated, but who wouldn’t be while pitching poorly? He had a bad year but the Mets have too much invested in him for him not to be back in the rotation. He’ll be there. You can bank on it. But I doubt that he’ll be considered the #2 starter. He should be demoted in the rotation. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t have a bounce-back year in 2010.