Thursday, August 11, 2005

Benson Revisited

Kris Benson baffled the Padres for eight plus innings and David Wright drove in six runs as the Mets took game two in a blowout.

Benson, you will recall, was the centerpiece of the other "Black Friday" deadline trade last season. Jim Duquette acquired him and 2B Jeff Keppinger from the Pirates for Ty Wigginton, prospects Matt Peterson (SP) and Jose Bautista (3B).

After last night's performance, Benson's ERA stands at 3.54, which ranks 18th in the league. He's lost a few starts to injury, but it's becoming harder to construe his 3-year/22.5MM extension as a sign of the fiscal apocalypse. He's earned his money this year. It's taken a career year for him to do so, but a career year is exactly what he's delivered so far.

Wigginton was never much of an asset, and was sent down in June. As for the two prospects, they are both currently at Double-A Altoona, where Eastern League hitters have been bludgeoning Peterson to the tune of a 6.16 ERA over 111 innings. It's not bad luck, either. He's surrendered 18 home runs and 64(!) walks against only 61 strikeouts.

His record somehow stands at 10-7, which tells you all you need to know about wins and losses. While there's clearly not much to miss in Peterson, it appears that what must be his fantastic run support has owed no small debt to the production of Bautista.

Never having played in the Mets organization, (he was shipped off shortly after arriving from KC), Bautista's age-24 season has been quite impressive. In almost 400 AB, he's hit .281/.367/.494 for the Curve, with 20 homers and 22 doubles. He strikes out a lot, 94 times already, but he draws his share of walks (45) too.

As Matt points out over at MetsBlog, we'll never know whether the trade, as opposed to simply signing him as a FA, was really necessary; and Bautista looks like a decent bet to have a major league career. On the other hand, the Mets need a 24 year-old third base prospect like a fish needs a Blackberry, and Kris Benson has hardly disappointed.

For all the good it does him, Jim Duquette looks a little bit smarter this week.

8 comments:

stumped1 said...

nice to see some upbeat talk about those trades. i still think both worked out well. people whine about not gettin more for kazmir, but it would have taken a lot more than him to net a hudson or mulder,(who has been worse than zambrano). it may have taken the prospects from both trades to do that if not more since they were all aa prospects at best. then maybe benson signs, maybe not. it is just as likely that they would wind up with milton or wright types. and the mets would have had to pay hudson to stick around, if he wanted to, and that may have kept this team from gettin pedro. this team is better off with pedro, benson and zambrano rather than question marks. those trades took care of the problem early so they didnt have to scramble to maybe get those guys. think about it, if they had gotten hudson would they really have gone after pedro and would benson really have signed in ny instead of the hometown braves?

Doyle said...

I don't recall mentioning anything about the Zambrano trade, Stumpy. Two different deals.

Had I wanted to go into the other, I would have written something like this:

Zambrano's been good, better than I expected, to be sure. Good enough to make the deal a winner? 'Fraid not. Kazmir's been almost exactly as good (by VORP), and isn't even close to his 30th birthday.

The whiners are right about that one.

Lester said...

Headbangers ball (Doyle [if that's even your real name], please format that into that nifty headline font you use)

Our Lady of Blessed Collisions, have mercy.

Joe Theisman, rendered the world's most reluctant contortionist when Harry Carson and L.T. high-lowed him into a Snyder's product.

Jason Kendall, who would have sustained less ligament damage had he done a half-gainer from the top beam of the Sagamore Bridge.

Willis McGahee, who briefly saw 40 years of sitting on a ratty couch and passing Rohan Marley's bong back and forth flash before his eyes.

John Hokanson, incurring a wiffle ball injury so horrific that the old-timers still refer to a botched bat-snapping as "pulling a Hokanson."

And you can kiss the Metros' seemingly inexorable pennant drive goodbye (while simultaneously forecasting a severe drop-off in Stumpy postings, and, by extension, a similar plunge in the number of Stumpy smackdowns from our less-than-hospitable host). When the erstwhile "Growing Pains" star does return, he'll suffer from blurred vision and an unshakeable feeling that he's about to be Terry Tated every time he goes for a ball in the gap.

Meanwhile, as the World Champions continue to treat the A.L. East race as if it were Derek Lowe astride a TV sports bunny (with libertine abandon and disregard, and perhaps a sprinkle of detached affection), the postseason chugs toward us and the notion creeps, shyly, that the only thing better than 86ing 86 years of frustration is compounding one year of unadulterated glee with another.

stumped1 said...

doyle, nevertheless, you said somethin positive about black friday. doesnt happen very often. but whine about kazmir if you want. or you can look at what this team accomplished in both those trades. it got this team 2 quality guys, not 1 hudson or mulder(who was blown away again), and left enough money to get a pedro who has been better than hudson. maybe zambrano wont become an ace but the same can be said of kazmir who has lost some on his fastball and is wilder than zambrano. if kazmir ever becomes an ace(and not in tampa, because if thats the case then zambrano was an ace too) and not just another pitcher then i will take another look. but it still stands that this team is better with the 3 pitchers i stated before than they would have been with hudson or mulder and a milton type. so you can go ahead and whine like a prospect lover and i wont hold it against you. but from my point of view prospects dont win many games, proven players do, and the mets were able to nab 3 by doing those trades as they did. zambrano for kazmir alone is questionable, ill give you that. but when you look at how those trades worked together, which they were meant to do, it really improved this team. as far as the age factor goes, who cares how old they are? players mature at different times and many pitchers hit their prime in their 30's. and other players burn out, get hurt or never reach their potential. for all anyone knows kazmir may have already peaked. or he just might be the next kerry wood. dont whine about spilled milk until the milk is actually spilled.

Anonymous said...

here it comes...

Doyle said...

Oh, come on. I've been completely reasonable in my responses to Stumpy. This is his fight, not mine. He even grants that, taken out of the context of Duquette's master plan, the deal was "questionable."

That's fine by me. If he wants to continue the discussion he can start up idontmisskazmir.blogspot.com.

stumped1 said...

doyle, mellow out man. you brought up black friday not me. i just expanded on the topic. if you cant handle that, or come up with somethin to refute that, then maybe you should move to icanthandleanyonedisagreeingwithme.blogspot.com

Doyle said...

You expanded on the topic by making it sound as if I was now on board with the Zambrano trade, which I'm not. You conflated the two deals and I just wanted to set the record straight.

I can handle your disagreeing with me, tho.