I can't help but agree with Mark Healey of Gotham Baseball, who says that Aaron Heilman should be cut a little slack. I count myself among a shrinking list of Heilman supporters, and would be disappointed if the Mets sold extremely low by shipping him out of town this offseason. Healey sums up Heilman's lost season in 2008:
The fact of the matter is, Aaron Heilman deserves the benefit of the doubt from the Mets, the fans and the media. He pitched through an injury this year that didn't only curtail his ability to stay on his regular workout regimen, but also likely altered his mechanics and effectiveness of his slider and change, the latter being his best pitch.
I'm not going to make excuses for Heilman: He stunk up the joint something fierce in 2008. Maybe he was hurt (I think we tend to underestimate the impact that injuries, even small ones, can have on a player's performance), but he was clearly dreadful. I take solace in the fact that his strikeout rate and fastball velocity were both very impressive, and I like to think that the 1.10 WHIP or so that he averaged from 2005-2007 is more indicative of his established level of performance than his putrid 2008. I'll grant that we should weight 2008 more heavily than those other seasons, but right now this past season seems like the outlier in an otherwise impressive career as a reliever.
There's a Carlos Beltran-to-the-Yankees rumor out there that I won't even link to for fear that its utter prepoculosity might engulf us all.
Arizona Fall League
- Daniel Murphy played second base for Peoria and went 0-for-4 with a walk and a run scored.
- Non-prospect Shawn Bowman had a huge game, going 2-for-3 with a two-run homer, a walk and four RBI.
- Eddie Kunz pitched a scoreless ninth, striking out two.
Hawaiian Winter Baseball
- Second baseman Greg Veloz went 0-for-2 for Honolulu with a walk.
- Shortstop Ruben Tejada went 1-for-1 with two walks and a run scored. Tejada was awful at St. Lucie this year, but at 19 years old he was a solid four years younger than the average hitter in the Florida State League.
- Roy Merritt struck out two and picked up a hold in a scoreless eighth inning.