Sunday, May 07, 2006

Jose Lima: Plan 9 From Outer Space

Watching the Braves score over a dozen runs at Shea is always a bummer. It's somehow made worse by the fact that they were aided and abetted by a total washout with a platinum afro; one whom a championship-caliber team really shouldn't have to run out to the mound.

I suspect that Lima's colorful personality is part of the reason why he's been allowed to give up 64 HR the last two years. At this point in his career, he's Eric Milton-light.

Bartolome Fortunato then made a compelling argument for Heath Bell's callup, surrendering 8 runs in 1.1 IP.

Jeff Francoeur paced the Atlanta offense, as he continues to hit the Mets very hard. He came within a double of the cycle.

Runs 6 through 13 didn't make too much of a difference, of course, as John Smoltz was in top form. This was probably to be expected. They must have been a little "hungrier" than the Mets to save some face, and this is sort of what happens when you match Atlanta's ace with "Lima Time" (a phrase which I don't get and isn't funny and lends brand recognition to a guy who hasn't deserved it for years).

It's just one game, but it's a good time to point out why people like myself hated the Seo and Benson trades. All 162 games counts equally, and that as important as it is to have a Pedro Martinez making 30-plus starts, it's also important not to have a Jose Lima making more than five or six. "Replacement level" is just another term for really terrible pitching. I know Benson was terrible today too, but that doesn't make the decision any better.

A lot of fans rush to Omar's defense by pointing out how flukish it is that Zambrano, Bannister, Iriki and Maine are all hurt. That's true, but why are any of those guys slated to start ahead of Aaron Heilman in the first place? They're not even the best of what's around after the trades for Sanchez and Julio.

On the bright side, Carlos Beltran has now homered in three straight games, bringing his total for the season to eight (where he's tied with a whooole bunch of people). It's starting to look more and more like people,were a little quick to dismiss his chances at superstardom.

Oh, and the Mets are 21-10.


stumped1 said...

i guess you are right. they should have held onto benson and seo. this team would be so much better with 2 pitchers with 4.8+ eras and holes in the bullpen.
lets face it, nobody expects to lose 3 pitchers in a week. it was a fluke thing. while those injured pitchers are far from aces, they arent any worse than benson or seo either.

Doyle said...

Have any of the injured pitchers other than Zambrano thrown a full season of average or above-average baseball? Maybe Bannister has a chance if he heals up, but it's no gimme. Plus, in addition to his lack of control, Zambrano has had elbow issues in the past.

It's easier to piece together a bullpen than a rotation, and our rotation was thinner than the bullpen even before this rash of injuries.

stumped1 said...

point is, mediocre depth in the starting rotation in worthless. bannister, maine, zamby, benson and seo are interchangable, imo. benson and seo have only a chance at putting a quality season together, same as bannister. the difference this year is the bullpen. it doesnt matter which of those guys starts, because it will be hit and miss with all of them. and on the days they hit, the bullpen can finish it, unlike last year. its not so easy to piece together a quality pen either. there are no guys like sanchez, heilman and even the julio of late just available on the waiver wire. the mets dealt from a position of strength, and that strength was mediocre back end guys. do you really believe they would be better with last years staff, and a pen made up of equally questionable pen arms? it seems to me that is what you are suggesting.
on a side note, i now admit that the kazmir trade looks bad. how bad? depends on how good kazmir actually becomes. it is far from an anderson-bagwell type trade to date. but its the nature of the business, its not always black and white dealing with all the variables that come along.

Doyle said...

Fine. If you're especially bearish on Benson or Seo, I can't persuade you that they're better than replacement level. I think we can both agree that as long as Heilman stays in the pen we're going to have to find not one but two replacement level guys to fill in. That's an unfortunate situation.

If you're asking me would I trade Julio for Benson right now, I'd say yes. Sanchez-Seo? Tough call right now :-)

Thanks for conceding some ground on Kazmir-Zambrano.

stumped1 said...

i wont ask you if youd trade julio for benson now, because id do that. but if the question was to trade a healthy maine and julio for benson, id say not a chance. the bullpen loses there and there is no upgrade with benson over a healthy maine, imo. and there aint a chance in hell id give up sanchez for seo. benson and seo are both better than lima and gonzalez, but who could have fortold losing 3 starters in a week? ill take 2 weeks of scrubs and a great pen over a season of mediocrity and a suspect pen any time.

Anonymous said...

Stump, you just got worked over like Anna Benson at a Doug Mientkiewicz convention.