Aug 09

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #111; Sliding away.



For those saying it was impossible to judge Bobby Parnell last are missing the point. He pitched long enough, and well enough – run wise, at least – to warrant another start and continue the research as to his ability to start next year. That’s what this is all about.

He didn’t flunk, and he’ll get the ball away. With the season sliding away, that’s the best the best can hope for at this juncture.

“I felt good at the end and still had stuff in the tank,” said Parnell, who threw 68 pitches and could get another 20 in his next start.

Parnell’s nerves were exposed in a 29-pitch first-inning in which he walked two and gave up a run.

The Mets (51-59) conclude their series with the Padres today with Johan Santana (12-8, 3.10 ERA) going against Tim Stauffer (1-3, 3.12 ERA).

Here’s the line-up:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Omir Santos, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Johan Santana, LP

NOTEBOOK: Lefthanded reliever Billy Wagner pitched a scoreless inning Saturday for Single-A St. Lucie and hasn’t given up a run in four innings over four minor-league rehab games. The Mets hope to get him back by Aug. 21, and work him a couple of times to show him off enough to work a waiver deal. Lefty relievers are valuable in a pennant race and a healthy Wagner might get them something. … Francisco Rodriguez is not on his game with an ERA just under eight since Luis Castillo dropped the pop up in the Yankee game.

Aug 08

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #110; Big night for Parnell.



The 51-58 Mets might be playing one of their most important games of the season tonight in San Diego when they start Bobby Parnell against the Padres.

The Mets, loaded with pitching questions, might not be the big players in the free agent market we all anticipate them to be. Therefore, if they are serious about considering Parnell for the rotation, it’s important they get some idea about him now.

As of now, the Mets have three givens in their rotation for next season: Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, and, like it or not, Oliver Perez. Let’s face it, Perez’s performance the other night bought him the goodwill needed to keep sending him out there. The Mets would like to count on John Maine, but the would have liked to have counted on him this season, too. Livan Hernandez has pitched will in half his starts. The other half, not so much.

PARNELL: Big opportunity.

PARNELL: Big opportunity.

Parnell will have a 70-pitch ceiling, which might not take him through the fifth inning. However, this is just like spring training. He’ll get ten more pitches or another inning the next time.

Parnell had been 2–3 with a 3.74 ERA in 45 2/3 innings, with 38 strikeouts. Parnell, a starter in the minors, has pitched well out of the bullpen, but his heart remains as a starter.

As a reliever, Parnell was able to get by on his 95 mph. fastball, but as a starter he’ll need to rely more on his slider, which is pretty good, and a splitter, which isn’t as refined.

Here’s the line-up behind Parnell:

Angel Pagan, CF
Alex Cora, SS
David Wright, 3B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Fernando Tatis, 2B
Brian Schneider, C
Bobby Parnell, RP

NOTEBOOK: John Maine will try to play catch on Monday. … Luis Castillo might be available tomorrow. … Gary Sheffield is still bothered by a sore hamstring.

Jun 16

No on dealing Parnell

The Washington Nationals’ Nick Johnson’s name keeps popping up as a possible plug to fill the first base hole, with the price being Bobby Parnell.

Don’t do it.

Parnell has too much of an upside and you can already see cracks forming in the bullpen bridge. Plus, Johnson has a long injury history, and from mostly freak plays, that he isn’t worth the risk. It’s a matter of time before he goes on the DL.

First base is a glaring hole, but not as much as the gap in their rotation.

Nov 12

Available free agent relievers ….

The following relievers will be available this winter in the free-agent market. Joe Beimel and Juan Cruz are intriguing, but are they worth throwing piles of money at? I’m not so sure.

Unquestionably, the Mets’ bullpen was horrible last season, but GM Omar Minaya’s analysis is wide ranging. Were the individuals simply bad and past their prime, or just had a bad season? To what degree were injuries a factor (Aaron Heilman)? How much did throwing out of their roles determine the results?

The Mets will add a body or two from this list, but I don’t see a major overhaul. If they don’t deal Heilman, and I’m starting to lean in the direction of them keeping him, the set-up relievers might not change that much.

I can see Heilman, Schoeneweis, Ayala, Feliciano and Smith coming back. I can also see Parnell or Kunz getting a shot. Then there’s the closer they’ll add, and the more I think of it, the more I can visualize it being Trevor Hoffman.

Here’s the list of available free-agent relievers:

Jeremy Affeldt CIN
Luis Ayala NYM
Joe Beimel LAD
Joe Borowski CLE
Juan Cruz ARZ

Brendan Donnelly BOS
Alan Embree * OAK
Scott Eyre CHC
Kyle Farnsworth DET
Casey Fossum DET

Brian Fuentes COL
Aaron Fultz CLE
Tom Gordon * PHI
LaTroy Hawkins HOU
Mark Hendrickson LAD

Trevor Hoffman SD
Bobby Howry CHC
Jason Isringhausen STL
Steve Kline SF
Brandon Lyon ARZ

Damaso Marte * NYY
Tom Martin COL
Julio Mateo PHI
Guillermo Mota MIL
Will Ohman CHC

Darren Oliver LAA
John Parrish SEA
Chris Reitsma SEA
Dennys Reyes MIN
Juan Rincon CLE

Francisco Rodriguez LAA
Brian Shouse MIL
Rafael Soriano ATL
Jorge Sosa NYM
Mike Stanton * CIN

Salomon Torres * MIL
Derrick Turnbow MIL
Oscar Villarreal ATL
David Weathers CIN
Dave Williams NYM

Matt Wise NYM
Kerry Wood CHC

Nov 11

What about Trevor Hoffman?

HOFFMAN: He could fill a void.

HOFFMAN: He could fill a void.

In a previous thread, Dave wondered about Trevor Hoffman. Well, what about him?

The San Diego Padres are rebuilding and withdrew a contract offer to Hoffman. The Mets, however, playing in New York, aren’t in a rebuilding mode despite being old in several areas.

They call it retooling.

So, should they “retool” with Hoffman if they aren’t able to land a marquee closer in the free-agent market? Hoffman is 41, and signing him does nothing about breaking away from Omar Minaya’s reputation for signing older players.

The Padres pulled off the table a one-year, $4 million deal, with a $4 million option for 2010. That’s not a lot of money. Hoffman converted 30 of 34 save opportunities, including 16 straight during one stretch.

Assuming Hoffman is willing to come to New York, and there’s been nothing written indicating he doesn’t want to, he would presumably fill the closer void until Bobby Parnell and Eddie Kunz are ready. That’s a plus.

Said agent Rick Thurman: “He’s a free agent. So many teams consider him to be a San Diego Padre. Not a lot of teams took him very seriously as a free agent. We’ll find out very shortly. A lot of teams need a closer. He’s the cream of the closers, and we’ll see what teams have interest in him.”

Last year’s numbers indicates he can still get the job done, but his age will be a concern, because you have to wonder when will the breakdown start?

Signing him does nothing about getting the Mets younger, but it does buy time for Parnell and Kunz, and gives them a mentor. It also addresses a need at a reasonable cost and enables them to spend most of their money on starting pitching.

While the first impression would be his age, remember the priority is winning and he’s a plus toward that goal. I know there’s not a groundswell for bringing in a 41-year-old closer, but if he makes them better it’s something they should consider.