Mets sign Jose Lima

Whatever. The Mets signed Jose Lima to a minor league deal and invited him and his career OPS+ of 85 to Spring Training. Lima would make $600k if he makes the big club, but there's really no reasonable chance that he actually will. Right?

Lima has pitched at least 65 innings eleven times in his career. Four of those times he had an ERA better than the league average, and only twice was that ERA more than 3% better than average. His best season was 1999 with the Astros when he posted a 3.58 ERA (121 ERA+) to go along with an outstanding K/BB ratio, strikeout out 187 batters and walking only 44 in 246.1 innings. He actually finished fourth (!) in Cy Young voting that year, which comes as a big surprise to me.

Most recently Lima pitched 168.2 innings in 2005 with the AAAA Royals, notching a 6.99 ERA (62 ERA+!!) and a not-so-hot K/BB of 80/61.

Lima's biggest problem is his propensity for giving up the longball, allowing 1.53 homeruns every nine innings. That figure might be helped somewhat by Shea Stadium, but let's all pray it doesn't come to that. He has generally had very good control over the course of his career, walking only 383 in 1550.1 innings over twelve seasons. His HR/BB ratio, a junk stat I just sort of made up right now, is 0.69 for his career, meaning he gives up approximately two-thirds of a homerun for every walk he surrenders. I suspect this might be some kind of record.

Lima's three most similar pitchers according to Baseball Reference:

1. Jeff Suppan
2. Darren Oliver (in Mets camp in '06)
3. Bobby J. Jones (the righty)

Not exactly sweet company. I have more confidence in Brett Boone making the team than I do in Jose Lima, and that's saying an awful lot.

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