On the Table: What to do with Heilman?

Let’s go under the assumption Aaron Heiman’s bad knee was the real reason for his miserable year and he could be a viable pitcher again. Before we torch the guy, remember he was very effective in 2006 (save that one pitch) and for the most part in 2007.

Here are the options:

-Never mind, just trade him for what you can get.
-If the Mets are unable to land a significant starter, finally give him a chance in that role.
-If the Mets are unable to obtain a significant closer, give him a chance in that role.
-Keep him in the bullpen as a set-up reliever.

22 thoughts on “On the Table: What to do with Heilman?

  1. Trade him. You haven’t watched closely JD. Since Molina’s HR in 2006, Heilman has choked time and again. His ERA might not have been bad in 2007, but he started to give up BIG homeruns in BIG spots on too consistent a basis. He might succeed in another town, but he needs to be out of Queens, period. For the love of god, Schoeneweis too (respectable ERA, garbage when it counts).

  2. Any chance of bringing Jermaine Dye in? I know the Sox are looking to get younger and quicker, maybe he can be had? Righty bat w/ pop in the outfield would be ideal, more so than Ibanez (who is older and supposedly an attrocious fielder).

  3. You’re short two pitchers in the starting rotation, he wants to start and if you trade him as a starter you will not get true value for him, so in spring training, let him start, if he does OK, then you can get more for him either right before the season or at the trade deadline or just keep him at that point. I don’t think you lose anything and you certainly will get less if you trade him now, go for it Omar, let him start in the spring.

  4. Hate to post and dash but off to work….IMO in this order these guys must go no matter what…
    Heilman
    Castillo
    Andserson
    Schoweneis

    Of them all Heilman needs a change of scenery i believe he will be a successful pitcher but not here too much has gone on = no confidence + no support ( fans /staff)

  5. Sometimes, a guy has to go no matter his talent or potential. Heilman is one of those guys.

  6. My preference is to trade him. I think he’s lost faith in his own ability, and I *know* Mets fans have lost their faith in him. Keeping him is really setting him up to fail. He needs a change of scenery.

    If you can’t find any takers and you can’t land any other starting pitching, give him a shot — just don’t expect anything.

  7. Simple question John.
    Trade him! Tada!
    And there will be value for him. Someone will value him as a starter.

  8. Typical Mets.

    If the guy had a knee injury which hindered his effectiveness, what was he doing out there?

    The Mets policy (or whatever they call it) regarding injured players, DL, etc… what a joke.

  9. He was injured?

    I never heard him complain.

    I would be inclined to give him a shot at the 5th spot. However, given his history here the fans will get on him something awful.

    If he was injured, and he has healed pen or starter, I would keep him. You aint gettin nothing for him now.

  10. if he can be packaged with someone and draw something useful then I say trade him. But not another Mota deal where we get a bag of balls.

    He has value around the league.

    He has TWO years of arbitration eligibility left so he works relatively cheap/

    I think wherever he goes he will succeed on the level of Rick Aguilera in Minny and that is what gives me pause.

    I do believe he was injured last year but fear the fan base will skewer him if he lets up a hit next year

    tough call.

  11. It’s never this black/white, but IMO, he has to go. He has become the reliever that not only gives it up in big spots (since the Molina HR), but he throws about 2 refineries worth of oil on the fire.

    I actually think he’ll probably be a serviceable and even good pitcher in the coming years, but, along with Schoeneweis, is the poster boy for the bullpen’s failures.

    Now, no team should make moves based on the fans, but if the Mets are not going to dismantle the core of the team, which would be dumb, they need to completely overhaul other aspects.

    The same cast cannot come back for a third time after the past two seasons’ failures. Once could have been looked at as just one of those fluke things that happens in baseball. Two straight years means they need changes.

    Other than filling some gaps, the bullpen and bench need to be completely revamped.

  12. The guy’s career as a starter is remembered for one outstanding start. ONE. How about the other 24? He’s in the bullpen because he couldn’t beat out Bannister in ’06 for the 5th spot. I repeat; He couldn’t beat Bannister.
    BiggieSmalls(11): You don’t want a bag of balls for him? What you looking for? Maybe a guy like Pedroia for Heilman? It ain’t happening bro. He’s a lousy middle reliever. You trade him for anything because in the Winter of 08-09 Aaron Heilman has no trade value.

  13. “in the Winter of 08-09 Aaron Heilman has no trade value”

    That is simply not true. Other teams are valuing him as a change of scenery guy who throws 96 with a wicked changed up and reinvented slider.

    he WAS hurt all last year and everyone knows it.

    No one suggested MVP caliber players in return. If you read my post package him with some other players for something and it’s a good deal.

    Selling someone LOW with “No trade value” is never a good thing. (See Bell, Heath)

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  15. Chiti, your memory is clouded. Bannister didn’t “beat” Heilman during 2006 ST — they had almost identical numbers that spring, and Heilman was put back in the ‘pen because he had the experience there and Bannister didn’t.

    As for the other 24 starts, you are not being fair. 18 of those starts came with Heilman using the overhand motion that was force-fed by the Mets organization. He was pretty damn effective after going back to his natural 3/4 style.

  16. Hey Jon-

    I think Omar should give Heilman another shot…and here is why…Excuse the long post:

    Heilman also has had a very good track record as a reliever, being untouchable out of the pen in ‘05, and being excellent in ‘06 and ‘07 (3.62era/3.04 respectively). I could throw in several more stats to prove his dominance as well, but I won’t, in the interest of being concise. Aaron obviously had an awful 2008…A deeper look into his statline showed that the two biggest issues he suffered from was a lack of control (BB’s in 2008 were virtually equal to his BB total from ‘06 and ‘07 combined). In addition, lefites OPSed .983 against him, compared to .658 and .753 in ‘06-’08, while continuing to enjoy success against righties.

    Now, there are really two ways to look at this..
    A) The league has figured him out
    B) His knee injury was a bigger factor than anyone thought.

    Looking at metrics like swing and miss % would help me a lot, but I’m not sure where to find this data. It would help me to come up with a more conclusive answer, but I’d think that if the league indeed figured him out, the righties would hit him much better as well. As a result, I believe the fundamental problem with Aaron Heilman was his changeup, the primary weapon vs. the lefties. out. All season long, he wasn’t very consistent with it, and when thats the case, hitters can sit on the fastball. While the 4-seamer is tough on rightes as it breaks inside, against lefties it breaks over the plate, causing Heilman to aim it at the batter, in order to throw it inside. When he isn’t getting the call on the change, Aaron cannot afford to be picky, leading to higher walk rates.

    Since in order to command the fastball (which has an identical delivery to the changeup), one needs to drive off the mound toward the batter, it is easy to see where a knee injury can cause problems. While the fastball is relatively unaffected due the great movement it shows, the change is not as fortunate. And since it is a key weapon against lefties, a less then effective changeup, in my opinion, is a key reason for his struggle in 2008.

    Unfortunately, many people point only to his failure, as opposed to his entire body of work, which while understandable, is extremely short sighted.
    Now, of course this is all conjecture, but I strongly believe that a healthy Aaron will be a boon to the pen next year. I do believe he must earn the 8th inning job next year, but to part with him, especially while his stock is so low, is just ridiculous.

  17. Heilman as a starter is a joke….he can’t get through 1 inning let alone 6.

    Heilman is screaming for a change of scenery. This guy has got to be the first to go this off-season. Not for a bag of balls, but he must go!

  18. I’d trade him, but hopefully not “for whatever they can get.” I think Omar could sell him as a solid reliever who happened upon one bad season in 2008 and get a couple of younger guys in return. They wouldn’t be top flight prospects, but restocking the minors a little could be very beneficial.

    Heilman could be replaced by any number of free agent relievers, and both Mets fans and Heilman would probably be happy to get a new start.

  19. Personally I think the Mets have mistreated Heilman by not giving him the chance to a least start, which is what he wants to do. I say you respect him and thank him for all that he has given you over the years, and trade him to a team that wants a starting pitcher, where he can finally be happy and get what he deserves.

  20. maybe I am crazy or maybe because i sat at shea when heilman threw his one hit cg, but if we trade him now he isnt worth a bucket of balls…so why not bring him into spring training as a starter hew does porly as astarter we put him back as a reliever and were back to square one, but if lets atleast so what this guy can do…he has pitched well in a small sample size