Monday, May 5, 2008

Just Practicing ...

(If I ever give up on the Mets, I'm going to become a Dodgers fan. Would I ever be able to maintain the blog if I did?)

Interesting to see Joe Torre's lineup card tonight, featuring Juan Pierre as his #2 hitter. The little guy is on a hot streak as of late and has actually raised his OPS+ over the 100 mark, a mark he's only topped once over an entire season in his nine-year career. Torre would be still be better served using Pierre as a fourth outfielder/pinch runner, while starting Andre Ethier in left field. (Matt Kemp seems to have locked down right field, a happy development for Dodgers fans.) But since Pierre is hot, it's not so bad seeing him that high in the lineup.

The problem is that Pierre's only real skill is speed - he's a good contact hitter who is highly unlikely to hit anything other than a single. Defensively, Pierre still covers ground and rarely makes mistakes, but has an arm like a wet noodle. Like Luis Castillo on the New York Mets, he's better served hitting out of the eighth spot in the lineup, where his speed and his usual .330 OBP could be more artfully deployed to get past the pitcher.

Pierre has been much maligned after signing a $5 year, $44 million deal with the Dodgers in 2007. It's a horrible deal for a player who is incredibly overrated, of course, but the money is already going to be spent. Torre shouldn't be blocking Ethier in the first place, but he has a responsibility to minimize Pierre's negative effect on the offense by batting him lower in the lineup - regardless of how much Frank McCourt is paying him.

6 comments:

tim said...

In reference to this game. Are you ready to explore the Perez/Heilman switch I suggested a week or so ago? Perez is as good as done in this rotation. Wagner called him out and he became worse for it. How many times do we have to watch Ollie ruin a perfectly good 0-2 count by throwing a meatball? And since when has Furcal become a power hitter?

Judge Roughneck said...

Nope. Perez is a starter, for better or worse. Heilman is a reliever, for the better. Wait until you read my Flushing University piece tomorrow - I imagine you'll have an opinion!

Christine said...

You'll never give up on the Mets. C'mon now...

tim said...

My opinion is that your an idiot, blinded by your love for Heilman as a middle reliever. He was a starter we made into a reliever, to think the bullpen would collapse with his departure is assanine. Especially with your highly touted Matt Wise coming back. You put Wise in his spot, Heilman gets his time to stretchhis arm out and back into a rotation setting and then he comes up and bumps Perez. Right now Perez isn't even a major league caliber pitcher let alone a starter. And I'll blame Randolph for a lot of things, Perez isn't one of them. If you can't grasp the concept of the 0-2 waste pitch, you shouldn't be in the majors and Perez has shown that he doesn't consistenly understand that concept. It is now May and one of two things has to happen, either they have to make a major roster shake up and get some guys thinking or they have to fire Randolph because obviously getting Alou back and getting Delgado's bat back (even if it has been only for a short time) hasn't sparked this team. Remember, Sunday's game was up for grabs before a terrible throw, they could easily be 1-4 on this trip and after the way they played in that last game versus the Pirates this next week could be a downright disastrous one. I wouldn't care so much if it didn't seem that they careso little right now.

And who's that in the peanut gallery--a yankee fan? Don't they have there own problems?

Judge Roughneck said...

Aaron Heilman has been the best middle reliever the Mets have had for the last three seasons. He had a bad two-week stretch and you're ready to turn him back into a starter. It's knee-jerk reactionism and no one is going for it.

Oliver Perez has had three bad starts and you're ready to turn him into a short reliever, a role he's never played in his career. I don't even know where to begin with how silly that is. Suffice it to say, there's no way he's going to go for it in his free agent walk year, since turning him into a reliever will probably cost him about $5 to $10 million a year over the next five years. This is also knee-jerk reactionism and again no one is going for it.

tim said...

I don't care about what he's going to go for in his free agent year. You either do what the teamneeds or you take a walk. We'd be doing him a favor. It's not three starts for Perez it is a symptom of greater problem. His whip in August and September spoiled what would have been a great year for him. The only reason he won so many down the strectch was because he pitching majoroly against a Braves team (along with the Marlins and Reds) that couldn't hit a lefty if he was throwing righty and because the lineup had his back. His run support was second to none.

And Heilman, last September, were you sleeping? His power numbers are going up year by year, that's no good for a reliever but tolerable for a starter. Get over your love of him as a middle reliever and make the smart move.

Are you so consumed with the fact that you didn't come up with something so out of the box genius that you can't see its merit. Its what we talk about all the time, its running the team instead of the team running you. The Mets are signing the paychecks, a players job describtion is what's on the lineup card that day, nothing more, nothing less. If I want you in the bullpen get your ass in the bullpen, if I want you in the rotation then that's where you're going to be. I'd rather root for a team that lost 100 games but had that philosophy. Thing is, I don't have to watch a team lose 100 games I could watch the Oakland A's and Boston Red Sox, because besides money, Billy Beane and Theo Epstein know the KIND of players he wants to fit the system. If Beane had Epstein's cash or Minaya, or Cashman's money the A's would be the class of the league. Right now the Red Sox are the class of the league.

At least Heilman has been a good soldier about this the last three years, Perez would have no cause or right to complain.