FanPost

Looking at what we do have, Part 2: Pitchers



Here is the long awaited part two to my two part series of ridiculously long posts cataloguing what the Mets actually do have after this offseason.  This time I take a look at our pitching staff both starters and relievers, and what they bring to the table.  I feel while our batting order is one sneeze away from catastrophe, there is in my opinion a bit more hope for our pitching staff, where a lot of young or salvageable talent seems to lie in wait.    I hope you have all enjoyed this series, as it is my first real foray into Fanposts with useful information in them.

 

 

 

Johan Santana (L)

 

FIP

ERA

K/9

K/BB

IP

WAR

2007

3.82

3.33

9.66

4.52

219

4.6

2008

3.51

2.53

7.91

3.27

234

4.8

2009

3.79

3.13

7.88

3.17

166

2.8

 

Comments:

Johan is the undisputed ace of this rotation, and one of the top pitchers in the league. Pitching through pain Santana managed to match most of his rate stats from 2008 in 2009. Had he reached the 220 innings we expect of him, he would have been on pace for a 3.7 WAR while injured. I don't think there is any worry now that his elbow has been cleaned out he will return to his 2008 form, and this is good news for Mets fans. Santana uses primarily a combination of an above average fastball, an average slider, and an excellent changeup, with the changeup showing some decline last year, likely due to problems maintaining fastball velocity. I expect a bounce back to all star form for Johan in 2010.

 

 

Mike Pelfrey (R)

 

FIP

ERA

K/9

K/BB

IP

WAR

2007

5.06

5.57

5.57

1.15

72.2

0.3

2008

3.96

3.72

4.93

1.72

200.2

3

2009

4.39

5.03

5.22

1.62

184.1

1.8

 

Comments:

Big Pelf has intrigued me since he joined the Mets roster. I am a fan of sinkerball pitchers, and Pelf had a real bowling-ball sinker that I loved watching. Pelf uses a sinking fastball and a slider as the main weapons in his repertoire, with his fastball well above average in 2008 but slightly below in 2009. Between 08 and 09, Pelf suffered a major raise in ERA and a modest raise in FIP, although his K/9 increased and his K/BB remained reasonably constant.  Pelf seems to be fairly durable, pitching over 180 innings in both of his first two full seasons. A great deal of his misfortune can be traced to the instability of the middle infield last season. Pelfrey maintained a respectable GB% this season, around 50% which is pretty standard for him. Louis Castillo's range is greatly diminished at this point in his career, and the revolving door of shortstop substitutes didn't lend anything to his confidence in the defense his livelihood depends on. With the addition of Reyes back to the infield, I believe we will see closer to the Pelf of 2008 than 2009. This is not to say that Pelf was blameless. He had cases of what we lovingly refer to as "the Yips", bouts of mental lapses where he would commit numerous balks. Pelfrey also seems to love the taste of his hands, which isn't really relevant to baseball but odd nonetheless. Overall, Pelfrey would benefit greatly from an upgrade at 2nd as well, but having Jose back at SS should increase his value.

 

John Maine (R)

 

FIP

ERA

K/9

K/BB

IP

WAR

2007

4.18

3.91

8.48

2.4

191

2.7

2008

4.4

4.18

7.84

1.82

140

1.4

2009

4.57

4.43

6.09

1.45

81.1

0.6

 

When you look at the peripherals for Maine, you realize that he's pretty good when healthy. He strikes out a lot of batters, and we've seen him when healthy pitch deep into games. Maine uses a fairly standard combination of fastballs, sliders, and changeups, with the slider being his best pitch. The issue is his durability seems to decrease with each passing season. Maine is relatively young, but his injury profile is cause for concern. His K/9 has decreased consistently over each season while his BB/K has increased, neither one a good trend. At his best (2007) Maine is the kind of pitcher you hope to find on the scrapheap as we had, but those days could be behind him. It is hard to separate how much of this decline is due to the injuries and how much is regression, but overall the Mets may be best served by moving Maine to the pen, and saving his arm for spot starts only when absolutely necessary.

 

Oliver Perez (L)

 

FIP

ERA

K/9

K/BB

IP

WAR

2007

4.35

3.56

8.85

2.2

177

2.2

2008

4.68

4.22

8.37

1.71

194

1.3

2009

6.4

6.82

8.45

1.07

66

-0.8

 

Comments:

3/36, I'll just get that out of the way right here. His contract was a huge overpay for a pitcher who put up just 2.2 WAR in 2007. Ollie uses his slider a bit more often than most pitchers (>20% of his pitches). The slider is his best plus pitch, although his fastball in some years has been above average as well. His K/9 has remained pretty constant and at a respectable level over the past 3 years. Where he gets hurt is his ever increasing BB/K ratio. Control has always been Ollie's nemesis, although there are times where he can put together a few good starts in a row. The secret seems to be in his follow through. When Ollie falls off the mound towards first after the pitch, he has less control, whereas a more controlled delivery motion provides him with more accuracy. The Mets pitching staff seems to have caught onto this subtle difference (Sarcasm intended) so there is some hope they can get his BB/K ratio back down to a reasonable level.  His steep dropoff in value last season likely stemmed from an injury he played through for a while. It is not inconceivable that Ollie can return to 2007 form, although I think a 1.8 WAR is probably a more realistic goal, and would probably be gladly accepted by most of us.

 

Jonathan Niese (L)

 

FIP

ERA

K/9

K/BB

IP

WAR

2007

-

-

-

-

-

-

2008

5.13

7.07

7.07

1.38

14

0

2009

3.25

4.21

6.31

2

25.2

0.6

 

Comment:

I got so excited during the starts Niese made, that I didn't even realize until writing this up how few games he actually pitched for us this year. In 25.2 innings he looked very effective. His tryout was cut short when he tore his hamstring (clean off the bone no less, he doesn't do things half-way). Niese uses 4 pitches, a fastball, changeup, curveball, and cutter, with the cutter and curveball being slighlty above average and the fastball fairly pedestrian, with a get it over the plate changeup. The two questions that we need to keep in mind are 1) were those 25 innings indicative of what we could have expected of Niese over a larger sample size? And 2) after he recovers from what is a gruesome injury, will he have the same velocity and control he had before?. If the answer to both of these is yes, we have a pitcher with the potential to be a good piece to build around. I hope he comes back like nothing ever happened, because I get the feeling he's got a lot of potential.

 

Fernando Nieve (R)

 

FIP

ERA

K/9

K/BB

IP

WAR

2007

-

-

-

-

-

-

2008

3.88

8.44

7.07

6

14

0.1

2009

4.9

2.95

6.31

1.21

25.2

0.1

 

Comments:

Nieve was cast away by the Astros rather inexplicably. He seems to have what it takes to be successful in the majors, and in his limited tryout (also 25.2 innings like Niese) he also performed reasonably well. Nieve has a slightly above average fastball and a very good changeup, but he uses the changeup about as often as his curveball and slider, both of which are below average. His FIP is higher than Niese, mostly due to his higher walk rate, but their K/9 were identical. Nieve is another young pitcher that will likely start the season on the Mets roster assuming he performs well in spring training. If he can keep his walks down, he will be a serviceable 5th starter assuming he can continue to be successful when pitching over (hopefully if required) 150 innings.

 

Nelson Figueroa (R)

 

FIP

ERA

K/9

K/BB

IP

WAR

2007

-

-

-

-

-

-

2008

4.26

4.57

7.15

1.38

45.1

0.4

2009

4.31

4.09

7.55

2.46

70.1

0.6

 

Comments:

Figgy is one of those guys you feel obligated to cheer for. A journeyman pitcher probably getting towards the end of his career has given the Mets some great starts when given the opportunity. He makes a great long reliever/spot starter and has provided positive value by WAR both years with the Mets. Figgy has what appears to be an above average slider and a fastball that fluctuates between good and fairly bad any given year. He throws the slider and curveball pretty frequently (they make up 35% of his pitches) and the curveball fluctuates from year to year similarly to his fastball. His overall numbers are consistent across the board, which tells me even when one of his pitches isn't working he finds ways around it, and he has shown he's able to pitch plenty of innings for a reliever. He is a solid bullpen piece but should not be overused as a starter, regardless of how much fun his starts often are to watch.

 

Francisco Rodriguez (R)

 

FIP

ERA

K/9

K/BB

IP

WAR

2007

2.7

2.81

12.03

2.62

67

2.2

2008

3.22

2.24

10.14

2.26

68

1.8

2009

4.01

3.71

9.66

1.92

68

0.3

 

Comments:

BB-rod is one of the more questionable contracts the Mets have handed out recently. Spending over 10 million per year on a closer seems like an odd expenditure. Furthermore, looking at his numbers it is clear that he is declining each year. Even before coming to the Mets there was talk that his fastball had been losing velocity, and he had a reputation for "living on the edge". The Mets took a gamble that he would bounce back, which so far has not been the case. Over his career Frankie has had an average fastball, an above average slider, and a well above average curveball and changeup. Interestingly this past season he totally abandoned his slider, which made up over 30% of his pitch selection in every previous season. He also began using his changeup much more frequently as his slider declined. This may simply be a function of how they classify a pitch as a slider or changeup (perhaps he's lost velocity and/or break on his slider), but this suggests there has been a definite change in the effectiveness of his go-to pitch. His K/9 has been dropping steadily while his BB/K has been increasing. This has led to a FIP which has increased to the point where there are other relievers on the staff who, by the numbers, would be safer closer choices and for much less money. The Mets signed him for his intensity, and theres no arguing he gets into what he does, but his skillset seems to be fading from All star levels to generic closer levels. This certainly does not bode well for a team which gives this player such a lucrative contract.

 

Kelvim Escobar (R)

 

FIP

ERA

K/9

K/BB

IP

WAR

2007

3.39

3.4

7.36

2.42

195.2

5.2

2008

-

-

-

-

-

-

2009

4.1

3.6

9

1.25

5

0.1

 

Comments:

This is one of my favorite signings of this offseason. Looking at Escobar in 2007, he clearly had the stuff to pitch lights out. After his surgeries, it is unlikely he returns to a starting rotation, but if he can throw with the control and break he used to have on his pitches he could be an extremely valuable diamond in the rough bullpen addition. Escobar is a kitchen-sink type pitcher with an above average slider, cutter, curve, changeup, and splitter, and a below average fastball. It is hard to know if he will maintain this many pitches now that he has returned from rehabbing, but if he does that gives him a lot of weapons to work with out o the pen. I know very little about the extent of his elbow and shoulder injuries, but if he has enough durability left in him to pitch 40-50 innings per year, he could provide a valuable asset to a bullpen that is often heavily taxed.

 

Sean Green (R)

 

FIP

ERA

K/9

K/BB

IP

WAR

2007

3.7

3.84

7.01

1.56

68

1

2008

3.65

4.67

7.06

1.72

79

1

2009

4.42

4.52

6.98

1.5

69.2

-0.1

Comments:

The last remnant of the infamous Putz deal, Green pitches with an above average slider and a decent changeup, with a fastball below average. He has a pretty standard distribution of these pitches, although he rarely ever throws a changeup. 2009 by all accounts seemed to be a bad season for him, with his FIP raising almost a full point from 2008. His K/9 and K/BB ratios remained constant over the past 3 years, with his HR/9 doubling from last year, but still at a very reasonable .65 HR/9. Overall I was surprised at how consistent Green has actually been. Despite being somewhat maligned last year, he actually put up decent numbers for a middle reliever. I expect his value to rebound to closer to 0.5 WAR next year.

 

Pedro Feliciano (L)

 

FIP

ERA

K/9

K/BB

IP

WAR

2007

3.63

3.09

8.58

1.97

64

0.8

2008

4.59

4.05

8.44

1.92

53.1

-0.2

2009

3.55

3.03

8.95

3.28

59.1

0.6

 

Comments:

Feliciano throws a good slider, and plenty of them. He has decreased usage of his curveball in favor of a changeup over the past few years, and has decent results with both pitches (this could again be partially due to how pitches are classified). Pedro has been an incredibly reliable pitcher who has success pitching to batters from both sides of the plate. He is one of our most heavily used bullpen pieces over the past few years, and he has weathered the storm pretty well.

 

Ryota Igarashi (R)

Comments:

Igarashi has pitched most of his career in Japan, and given my laziness towards hunting for stats, I'm just going to provide an overview of his skills since he hasn't faced MLB players for much of his career anyway. Igarashi had Tommy John surgery and missed an entire year rehabbing. He was a fireballer before the surgery and all reports indicate he has retained most of his high 90's velocity. He throws primarly fastball/cutter, but has a decent slider as well. He strikes out a lot of batters, but also walks a lot. He will be an interesting piece of the pen to watch this season as he's a wild card.

 

Pat Misch (L)

 

FIP

ERA

K/9

K/BB

IP

WAR

2007

3.96

4.24

5.8

2.17

40.1

0.6

2008

5.44

5.68

6.54

2.53

52.2

-0.1

2009

5.39

4.48

3.32

1.05

62.1

-0.3

 

Comments:

Misch has a below average fastball, and an average slider and curveball. His changeup is rated slightly above average, but as his only plus pitch, that makes it a bit less dangerous. He throws about 20% sliders, and 50+% fastballs, so over 70% of what he throws are below average pitches. His walk totals have been increasing and his K's have been decreasing over the past 3 years, and his value has suffered accordingly. Misch had a few decent spot starts last year, but he needs to focus on improving that slider if he is going to use it as often as he does. Misch has the added value of being the only other lefty in the pen aside from Feliciano, which I actually find surprising. This could increase Misch's value although he actually pitches better against right handed batters, which takes away some of his value as a lefty.

 

Eddie Kunz (AAA) (R)

 

FIP

ERA

K/9

K/BB

IP

WAR

2007

-

-

-

-

-

-

2008

-

-

-

-

-

-

2009

5.54

5.02

5.61

1.23

61

-

 

Comment:

One of the Ruff-est players around, Kunz doesn't yet have much major league experience. In his limited major league time Kunz threwfastballs, and ... thats it. He threw over 90% fastballs in his very limited time in the majors, and his fastball is below average, making him somewhat one dimensional. He needs to develop a second pitch which he trusts to really be valuable to the Mets roster. He sprinkles in an occasional slider, and it appears he throws at least an average value slider, so perhaps a bit more work on this pitch could flesh him out a bit and make him less predictable. This entry suffers from extreme small sample size so I could be mistaken given my limited options for analysis.

 

Tobi Stoner (R)

 

FIP

ERA

K/9

K/BB

IP

WAR

2007

-

-

-

-

-

-

2008

-

-

-

-

-

-

2009

5.87

4

5

1.67

9

-0.1

 

His limited appearances in the big leagues mirrored his numbers in AAA ball pretty well with the exception that his HR/9 went up to 2. This is likely due to the small sample size (only 9 innings). Tobi threw a pretty good mix of sliders, curveballs, and changeups, with his slider and curve being slightly above average and his changeup below. His fastball is pretty much standard issue. He also throws a rare splitter which seems to actually be a pretty strong pitch for him. He may want to work this one into his pitch selection a bit more.

 

Bobby Parnell (R)

 

FIP

ERA

K/9

K/BB

IP

WAR

2007

-

-

-

-

-

-

2008

3.13

5.4

4.65

1.14

5

0

2009

4.3

5.3

5.88

1.4

88.1

0.5

 

Comments: Bobby "Captain Fastball" Parnell throws almost exclusively fastballs and sliders. His fastball falls well below average and his slider slightly above. When used in the bullpen Parnell was reasonably effective, but the Bobby Parnell experiment in the rotation was fairly disastrous, with most of his starts not lasting much past the 5th. Without another secondary pitch or a greatly improved fastball, Parnell will should be relegated to middle relief where he is most effective.

 

R.A. Dickey (R)

 

FIP

ERA

K/9

K/BB

IP

WAR

2007

-

-

-

-

-

-

2008

5.25

5.31

4.65

1.14

112.1

0

2009

4.99

4.62

5.88

1.4

64.1

-0.1

 

Comments:

Ah, finally we get our very own knuckleballer. Unfortunately Dickey throws a below average knuckler, with a below average fastball. His numbers really don't leave much to get excited about, however I love watching knuckleballers pitch so I'm going to cut him some slack, especially this coming season where entertainment will likely be more valuable than talent. What will be the most interesting part about Dickey is seeing who will catch him when he throws. From watching Tim Wakefield starts in Sox games, I realize a catcher needs to be very aware of how to catch a knuckleball in order to not generate skyrocketing passed ball and wild pitch totals.

 

Jack Egbert (R)

 

FIP

ERA

K/9

K/BB

IP

WAR

2007

-

-

-

-

-

-

2008

-

-

-

-

-

-

2009

10.22

27

0

0

2.2

-0.1

 

Comments:

Egbert throws an average curve which he uses frequently and below average fastball. I know very little about him, and he appears to have only extremely limited ML exposure. The numbers presented above are only for 2.2 innings and likely reflect one bad outing. Egbert put up decent numbers in low A ball but he never seems to have developed past that point, and likely has a ceiling as an average middle reliever. At 27 years old, it is unlikely to see him turn into the starting pitcher he was once projected to become.

 

Elmer Dessens (R)

 

FIP

ERA

K/9

K/BB

IP

WAR

2007

5.3

7.15

5.82

1.83

34

0.1

2008

8.38

22.5

4.5

0.5

4

-0.2

2009

5.31

3.31

3.86

1.4

32.2

-0.3

 

Comments:

Dessens uses a fastball/slider/changeup combination, with the slider being the only pitch above average for his career. Dessens is 39 years of age, which makes you wonder what the Mets think he has left in the tank. He provided some mop-up work last year for the Mets, but it is my opinion his spot on the 25 man or 40 man roster could be better used on somebody with more upside, perhaps instead giving his spot to a Rule 5 pick, which we largely neglected this year.

 

Josh Fogg (R)

 

FIP

ERA

K/9

K/BB

IP

WAR

2007

5.21

4.94

5.11

1.59

165

1.4

2008

6.07

7.58

5.17

1.67

78.1

-0.5

2009

5.29

3.74

5.32

1.35

45.2

-0.1

 

Comment:

Owner of one of the best nicknames in baseball, the Dragonslayer is a depth option for the Mets to keep around, given all the questions at the back end of the rotation. While he has a reputation for beating top tier pitchers, the numbers paint a pretty bleak picture for his upside. His innings pitched have decreased every year for the past 3, and his FIP suggests he just doesn't have very good stuff. His curveball is the only pitch that could even be considered league average over his career, and he tends to favor his cutter which is actually one of his worst pitches according to Fangraphs. While I see the logic in signing Fogg to a minor league contract as insurance for a few spot starts in case of emergency, I hope we don't have to use him ever.

 

Clint Everts

Everts moved from A to AAA over the course of the 2009 season.  He posted K/9 values over 9 at every level, although his walk rate increased as he progressed through the levels (10 in 11 innings in AAA, 26 in 60 innings overall).   Despite his elevating walk rates he managed a very respectable 1.65 ERA.  Scouts say his velocity has returned after TJ surgery, he has a decent curveball, and an excellent changeup.  Everts will likely fill a role as a middle reliever, likely picking up 6th or 7th inning appearances.  He has the potential to be a strong bullpen piece, but he needs to get his control issues sorted out.  Spring training and his effectiveness against ML batters should give us a much better idea of how ready he is.

 

Jay Marshall

Jay Marshall throws a fastball and changeup, both poorly as well as a below average slider. In the majors he has a K/BB of <1, which is atrocious, even for a small ~50 inning sample size.  His FIP in big league starts hovers around 5.  In AAA however, he posted an ERA of 3.2 and FIP of 3.48 in 50 innings with a K/BB ratio of 2.00.  It seems Marshall is likely destined to fill out a roster spot in Buffalo, unless he can shrink the gap between his AAA and his ML numbers (preferably by getting better with ML hitters and not worse with AAA).  I doubt Marshall spends time with the Mets this year, although if the injury bug hits as hard as last year, who knows what happens.  I see him largely as a last resort.

This FanPost was contributed by a member of the community and was not subject to any vetting or approval process. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions, reasoning skills, or attention to grammar and usage rules held by the editors of this site.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Amazin' Avenue

You must be a member of Amazin' Avenue to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Amazin' Avenue. You should read them.

Join Amazin' Avenue

You must be a member of Amazin' Avenue to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Amazin' Avenue. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker