The Most Rockies Player Of All Time

So, I happened to be in a Rockies-Braves game chat with Jon Bois at Baseball Nation, and so I decided to post my opinion on who is the Most Rockies Player of all time. Here’s what I wrote – I didn’t want to lose it.

The Most Rockies Player of All Time should do one important thing very well, do another important thing very poorly, and have terrible fashion sense. They should be a hitter, and not be either exceptional or even exceptionally well-known. I nominate Dante Bichette, a guy who couldn’t field his way out of a dryer bag, who racked up 1.8 fWAR while ALMOST WINNING THE TRIPLE CROWN in ’95. He fielded the same way Billy Joel drives cars. But he hit the same way Rollie Fingers grew mustaches. Excellence side-by-side with futility, a Rockies trademark. (He also wore a Bichette Happens t-shirt on a baseball card, and I think that covers the hideous fashion sens item.) He is truly the Most Rockies of all time.

Not too bad. I think I’ve made my point.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Fake Trade

Carlos Beltran

Carlos Beltran: Why Kick Him Out Of New York?

The New York Mets have just gone a resounding 1-2 versus their cross-town rivals, the vaunted New York Yankees. As far as seasons go, this is looking more and more like a lost year for the Metropolitans. Players are either injured, leaving town, or both, and nothing seems to be clicking enough to compete with the old Phillies or the young Braves. Change is in the air, and the team will definitely change composition going into 2011. This, all Mets fans know.

Despite an owner who doesn’t know when to shut up (hey! I thought that was supposed to be the Yankees!), the Mets have a couple of useful team pieces that can be converted into future assets. These pieces, in no particular order are: Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, Angel Pagan, Mike Pelfrey (maybe), Johan Santana (maybe), Francisco Rodriguez (maybe), and Taylor Buchholz.

One might also lump David Wright into that category, but one would be an idiot.

While I continue to advocate re-signing Reyes to a long-term deal, even at a 7/$110 type amount, the Mets are hemorrhaging cash and probably won’t pay out to re-sign him. Terrible news, but small-market teams have to deal with this all the time. Best of luck on your next franchise, Jose. Glad we’ve got Jason Bay instead. (sarcasm)

At any rate, I’d like to propose a potential deal that may work out for both sides. It’s not necessarily a GREAT deal…but it is a good one, at least for the Mets. I’d like to think that it’s one that would benefit both teams, but Yankee fans (a notoriously lunatic lot) might disagree. We shall see. Here’s my deal:

The New York Mets trade Carlos Beltran, Johan Santana, Taylor Buchholz, and $7 million dollars per year over Santana’s contract to the New York Yankees for Jorge Posada, Joba Chamberlain, and Dellin Betances.

Why this would be agreeable for the Yankees:

  • Carlos Beltran is an immediate upgrade at either DH (over Posada) or RF (over Swisher). He can spell outfield players as well. He’s only on the hook for a single year at this salary.
  • Beltran’s salary is nearly cancelled out by cutting loose Posada, leaving a small difference in 2011 payroll between these two players.
  • Taylor Buchholz adds another valuable, effective bullpen arm to the team for the next year and a half. This is especially important given question marks in the Yankee rotation.
  • The Yankees must add another starter, and even with an injury, Santana may be more effective than any other pitcher on the market. In addition, if the Mets pay part of his salary, he’s not a prohibitively expensive option. Adding another left-hander instead of a right-hander to the Yankee Stadium rotation isn’t a bad idea either.
Why this would be agreeable for the Mets:
  • Salary, salary, salary. While Santana would be the Mets’ best pitcher when he returns from injury, his cost is no longer worthwhile for a team unlikely to contend in the next two years. Paying a third or so of his remaining cash would be a steal.
  • Betances is a legitimate, excellent pitching prospect. While pitching prospects are no certain thing, If he panned out somewhere even close to his potential, he’d be a nice piece for years.
  • Posada may not be an effective player any more, but the short-term downgrade from Thole to Posada for 2011 would not be heartbreaking. Posada is a sunk cost for 2011 anyways – if he still can’t hit above .170, the Mets can cut him without incurring the wrath of Jeter, unlike the Yankees.
  • Joba Chamberlain has been jerked around since joining the Yankees. A change of scenery might do him good. A lottery ticket, make no mistake about it.

I know that there are plenty of logical reasons why this deal would never happen: Posada’s no-trade clause, the Yankees not wanting to drop Betances, the Yankees not wanting to add that much salary over the next four years, etc. But I have to think that if the Yankees are really serious about catching the Rays and the Sox this year, and that feat IS doable, they’ll have to do something. It may be a pipe dream, but to me it seems that this deal would be a boon for both sides: Yankees in the short term, Mets in the long term.

1 Comment

Filed under Carlos Beltran, Johan Santana, Taylor Buchholz

What Now, Metropolitans?

Chris Young

Chris Young: Making The Same Face I Did When I Heard The News

“There’s no such thing as too much pitching.”

I wish I could attribute that quote to a particular source, but its been used to death over the last few years. It has the air of truth, for sure, as pitcher injuries seem to pile up like leaves in autumn, or Jose Reyes triples.

Today, we found that Chris Young’s shoulder is injured. Again. It’s a tear of the capsule, much the same as the injury he had in 2010, and much the same as the injury that Johan Santana is recovering from. This news, plus the confirmation by Dr. James Andrews that Jenrry Mejia will need season-ending Tommy John surgery, leaves the Mets without both their top rotation starter this season, as well as their top pitching prospect. Granted, I didn’t expect Young to keep pitching like Greg Maddux, but it still hurts the team a great deal to lose the tall right-hander.

While the hole in the rotation is fixable (Dillon Gee makes a fine stopgap measure), the loss of Mejia eliminates the next best option if someone else gets injured – not to mention a fresh injection of hope that the franchise could’ve used after they drop out of contention entirely in July/August.

Bad news, Sandy Alderson…your cupboard is bare.

You can set the blame on Omar Minaya if you’d like – but in truth, this isn’t something easily chalked up to Minaya’s perceived (true or not – I still need more time to decide) incompetence. Chris Young was a calculated risk going into 2011. Anyone with half a brain knew that he was a walking, talking, Princeton-graduating timebomb waiting to go off, and blow his talented right arm to smithereens. Chris Young has trouble staying healthy. And the Mets basically said, “That’s ok. We’ll take what we can get.”

As for Jenrry Mejia, there’s no accounting for this at all – other than the fact that pitching prospects, and young pitchers of all stripe, get injured all the damn time.

What hurts the Mets the most is that there’s no real organizational depth to mine. The optimist/sadist in me wants the Mets to jump Matt Harvey directly to the majors. Slot him into Young’s spot in the order. Hell, how bad could it be?

…it could be really, really bad, my sane half says.

No, the Mets starting rotation now consists of Mike Pelfrey (average at best), R.A. Dickey (average, but awesome), Jon Niese (maybe slightly above average), Dillon Gee (who really knows?), and Chris Capuano (average, maybe?). And if one of those guys gets injured, there isn’t a single capable, viable major league starter to step in in the minor leagues. Right now, the best bet is Pat Misch, who no one would mistake for anything above a league-replacement starter. And while I’d love to be able to count on Johan Santana coming back and pitching great in June or July, he’s no sure thing.

With two of their seven best starters out for the season (presumably), the Mets need to go out and get another major-league-capable starter, if only for insurance purposes. I’d settle for Dirk Hayhurst* at this point.

Can you imagine a clubhouse with Hayhurst and Dickey in it? Truly an awesome idea.

But more realistically, the Mets will putter along for another month or two, until they’ve determined that there’s no chance at competing for the wild card…or until Chris Capuano or Jon Niese suffer some sort of injury and the team is forced to act.

There are pieces on this Mets team that can bring back some kind of return. Pieces that won’t be around next year, or aren’t worth keeping around indefinitely. Do I think the Mets should blow up the core and start again fresh? Absolutely not. Do I think that there needs to be dramatic, decisive action taken to fix a struggling franchise. Absolutely.

In my next post I’ll lay out what direction I think the team should take – and don’t worry, I’m not one of the guys that thinks the team should trade Jose Reyes for half the Giants and a pile of magic beans. I’m a realist. But there’s no use at all waiting around to see if the team can contend this year. The Met front office has a responsibility to improve the team in the long term, and they should do it right now. They’re a 15-19 team with a negative run differential, and there’s no powerful reason to think they’ll get better. What else should they do?

Leave a comment

Filed under Chris Young, Jenrry Mejia

Six Tips For Picksix

There’s a new fantasy game over at FanGraphs‘s ottoneu fantasy baseball site, and I’m having a lot of fun with it. It’s called picksix, and it’s a high-variance game based on linear weights – where a new game starts every day. It is a lot of fun, very unpredictable, and takes very little time to play, so I highly recommend it.

I’d like to recommend Justin Merry’s article on picksix strategy over at RotoGraphs. He does a nice job of touching on some of the smart strategies – there’s not much he wrote that I’d disagree with. He also hedges a little by letting the reader know that, given where he’s at on the leaderboards, you should keep that in mind.

I, however, don’t have that problem. Because, as of today, I’m the all-time leader in picksix points.

(I love writing that. It means less than nothing, given how much of the game is luck and just showing up…not even to mention the teeny-tiny sample size that’s in play.)

Now, I’ve played every day, and I had a tremendous opening day (over 100 points, thanks Ben Zobrist!), but I’ve managed four top-10 finishes in 8 days, which is pretty great luck, if not great skill. However, I have tackled each day’s work with the same general strategy – albeit with a few minor adjustments as I’ve gone along.

Given that Justin’s very low on the leaderboard, I’m pretty high, and I agree with a lot of his strategies…I think you can tell that while there’s skill involved, it’s hardly an exact science to win at picksix. But, it takes very little time to play, and is fun. So, here are a few tips:

(1) Beware of Troy Tulowitzki!

There are two types of players I tend to ignore in picksix: extremely expensive position players are one of them. I avoid these players because it just isn’t worth it when working on a tight budget. I’m adding Tulo to the list because three days ago, he gave me a -4.0 day…which is about as bad a day as you can get in picksix for a position player. Tulo’s cost at the time was $53.75, nearly half the day’s budget. For that kind of money, I’d better be getting some cost certainty – but that’s the thing about picksix…certainty is not an option. You can pick a favorable matchup, a good park, all the right conditions, and a guy will still go 0-4, or worse, will get the day off. Instead of spending $50 on one guy, and needing to buy two $3 guys as well – I’d rather buy three $18 guys. The difference between the $18 and the $50 guys isn’t really that big.

(2) Beware of Tim Lincecum!

Lincecum is indicative of the same sort of thing – except it is even more pronounced when selecting a starting pitcher. Starters accrue 25% of the points they earn in linear weights – meaning that the difference between an unbelievably good game and an average one is diminished by a factor of 4. A magnificent 60 point gem turns into 15 points in your pocket, where a middling 30 point game gets the player 7.5 points – not a huge dropoff overall. When choosing starters – pick guys that don’t give up home runs and are likely to go deep into games, and you’ll be safe. K artists are ideal of course, but any guy who goes six and doesn’t give up a homer will win you the day…don’t pay a $30 premium because you’re a fan of Lincecum or Cliff Lee.

(3) Established closers are the way to go!

This may fly in the face of newly-formed picksix conventional wisdom, but I wholeheartedly believe that an established closer is a far better buy than a setup guy with similar peripherals. Why? Predictability.

You may not believe in bullpen roles, but they exist, and from what little I know about baseball, I see that managers want to run their closer out every 3 days or so. Oftentimes, it’s to put them in a save opportunity, but other times it is just so that they can “get their work in”. That’s fine. But I don’t think that managers are quite as careful with the other 5-7 guys in the bullpen. They’re not always treated the same way as the closer.

I almost always choose my RP as a closer who hasn’t pitched in at least a day (usually two or three), and has a firm hold on the closing spot. Guys like Craig Kimbrel, Heath Bell, Mariano Rivera, Brian Wilson – these are all guys that usually cost me about $8-14 bucks, but make me look like a genius when they come through with ten points. And if you’re getting better than half a point for every dollar you spend – you’re winning.

(Also, in most cases, managers make closers guys with high K rates. Chances are – if you’re the best strikeout option in the bullpen, you’re the closer. Gotta get those extra two points where you can.)

(4) Diversify your portfolio – but don’t go overboard!

I see other players in picksix find a matchup they like – for example the Yankees are playing a home game against the Tigers, and Phil Coke is starting. So a player starts Teixiera, Robby Cano, Russ Martin, Nick Swisher, and Mariano Rivera. Obviously, this is an overstatement – but I never pick more than two guys on the same team on a given day. There could be a rainout (a picksix killer), rough light in the batter’s box, a great day by a below-average pitcher…anything could happen. There’s so much variation in the day-to-day game of baseball, that putting all my eggs in one basket feels wrong. Best just to spread your team around, and hope for the best – but in the case of an extremely favorable matchup (say the one above), I wouldn’t be opposed to playing both Teixiera and Cano…if I had the budget for it.

(5) Beware of catchers!

More than any other position, catchers get “days off” that can’t be predicted 100% of the time. And in picksix, if you pick a player that sits instead of plays, you can probably wave bye-bye to winning that day. For me – if I’m going to invest any amount of money in a catcher, I try and check to see if the game is either the back end of a night-day doubleheader…or if the catcher has had a day off in the last two or three days. If there’s any strong indicator that the regular catcher won’t be playing – then I find someone else to spend my money on. It’s that simple. It’s no use having Buster Posey in your picksix lineup if he isn’t in the Giants lineup.

(6) Ballpark matters!

More than anything else – I like to use ballpark to help determine how to choose my lineup. This is a big one, given how much home runs affect a picksix game. Home runs are +13 points for hitters and -13 points for pitchers, so they rule picksix with an iron fist. As for me, I like to use THT’s Ultimate Home Run Factors in gauging how likely a park is to give up home runs, and I use that knowledge to my advantage when picking my roster.

One recent example is a choice to start Jason Vargas of the Mariners against the Texas Rangers yesterday. If this game were being played on neutral ground, or in Arlington, there is no way at all I would’ve made this choice. But, it wasn’t. It was being played at Safeco Field. Vargas is a left-handed pitcher, and Safeco is the perfect ballpark for him, it does a good job suppressing home runs when you’re a left-handed pitcher. When you add in the fact that, as a whole, pitchers tend to perform better when pitching at home – you get a matchup that becomes very favorable. I was able to choose Vargas, spend my money on other players, and was rewarded with a 9.6 point performance – perfectly acceptable for a $2 investment. I’m using Jon Niese today (at home, in Citi Field, against the Dodgers) hoping to do the same thing.

So that’s it. Six tips that have helped me – and they may or may not help you. Remember, so much of picksix is luck, and random variation. Play around and find a strategy that works for you.

Oh, I also like to find streak hitters, though this isn’t very scientific and I recommend it to no one. Guys like Lance Berkman and Grady Sizemore right now are terrific values – and they free up plenty of cash to spend on big hitters in other parts of the lineup.

If you’re at all interested in which team I’m playing on a given day, follow me on the picksix leaderboards (bgrosnick) or check out my Twitter (@bgrosnick), as I usually post my team before the start of every day. And if you’ve got any comments or criticisms of my strategy, don’t be afraid to share them…I’d really like to hear about it.

1 Comment

Filed under Fantasy Baseball

Timing Is Everything, Francisco

Really, Francisco Liriano?

Early results show that I may have possibly been wrong about Francisco Liriano being worth dropping last week. But at the same time, I’m not entirely sure that I was. Here are the facts:

  • Liriano walked six guys during the no-hitter. That’s a lot.
  • Liriano struck out two guys. That’s not a lot.
  • Liriano threw the no-no against the White Sox, who are a bit terrible lately.
  • Liriano threw 123 pitches, when he’s already acting like he was injured.

In truth, I have much of the same confidence I did before that Liriano hasn’t “figured it out” and that he just got extraordinarily lucky against the Sox last night. I fully expect a piece on FanGraphs to go up within 24 hours to verify the science behind that assumption. Francisco faced 33 batters, and 25 of them put the bat on the ball. Talk about a nutty BABIP sample size.

And I just know that talking heads are going to say that this validates the Twins’ “pitch to contact” strategy. We’ll see how well that goes the next time around.

Still, I guess I should’ve waited a week before cutting bait on Liriano. But let’s be serious – even if he was on my roster, was there any way I was starting him last night? Probably not.

Congratulations, Francisco Liriano. By all accounts you’re a great guy, and well deserving of your success on May 3, 2011. But next time, let me know before I drop you in my fantasy league, ok? Would a text or something kill you?

*Footnote: Congratulations to the rest of the Minnesota Twins who played in the field during that game. I know many of the balls weren’t hit very hard, but when you talk about a no-no, it’s almost always decidedly a team effort. So, hats off to the defense.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fantasy Baseball, Francisco Liriano

The 9th Cut Is The Deepest

So the Mets just ripped off an improbable six-game winning streak, but couldn’t hit Livan Hernandez enough to extend it last night. In truth, I was more distracted by (1) the NFL draft and (2) my new team in ottoneu’s high-variance picksix game.

Picksix was fun on the first day – as the goal is to choose six players, and see how many points they can score via FanGraphs’s linear weights system. You’ve got 120 bucks to choose your six, so strategy and matchups play a big role. Game gets rained out? You lose. Buster Posey sits instead of plays? You lose. So as much as anything, this game is about silly variances and luck. Which, of course, makes it more fun.

My team on the first day was a little Red Sox-heavy: I chose Josh Thole (C), Adrian Gonzalez (CI), Ben Zobrist (MI), Grady Sizemore (OF), Jon Lester (SP), and Brian Wilson (RP). Basically, I hit the jackpot on nearly every choice. While I would’ve done better if I’d swapped out Carlos Santana, Lance Berkman, and CC Sabathia, my team was good enough to put in a dominant showing, and before the last game of the night finished up, I had a cool 100+ points, and was sitting pretty in first place. There was one other player lurking (called Chok), and he still had Lance Berkman and Miguel Montero with one AB each to go.

Basically, all I needed to win, was for Lance Berkman NOT to hit his second home run of the game in the 9th inning.

Of course, he did, and I had to settle for 2nd place. Oh well.

At any rate, it was nice to have some immediate success in picksix, and I intend to keep playing it for a while, and we’ll see if it gets boring. But now I hate Lance Berkman for two reasons…the other being that he is/was blocking Mark Hamilton (a friend of a friend…of a friend) from getting more playing time in St. Louis.

Anyways, that’s partially what the title of this post is about – how Berkman wrecked my picksix in the ninth. But there’s another “ninth” topic I have to address: and that’s in my 4×4 ottoneu league.

Last week, I made three bad decisions, all related to my starting pitching:

  1. I sat Zach Britton against the Red Sox, worried that they’d hit him. I was wrong.
  2. I sat Bud Norris against the Cardinals, worried that they’d hit him. I was wrong.
  3. I played Francisco Liriano, assuming that he’d eventually fix what was bothering him. I was WAY wrong.

I plan on rectifying some of these mistakes over the rest of the year. For example, maybe over-considering matchups is dangerous with young starters like Britton and Norris, each of whom has seemed to make strides in the short start to this season. Norris’s control is improved, and Britton is proving he can get hitters out at the ML level. Unless either hits a serious cold streak (or pitches in Yankee Stadium), I’ll probably let them ride for the rest of the season.

Liriano, on the other hand, is the fourth-highest paid player on my roster, behind Pujols, Halladay, and Starlin Castro. Both he and Castro were overpays, yet one has paid off, and one hasn’t. I’ve already tinkered with my young ottoneu team quite a bit, having jettisoned relievers, cut overpays that certainly won’t help as the season goes on (Jack Cust, Tsuyoshi Nishioka), and find myself with a large deficit to make up, despite being in 6th place in my league.

In addition, my league doesn’t appear to be very trade-friendly, which hampers any ability to foist Liriano off on another team. I thought about it critically, and unless Liriano pitches like a Cy contender in the back half of the season, there’s no way I could keep a player like him in the offseason at a cost of $30. It just isn’t feasible with other contracts piling up.

So, instead of trying to wait him out, I went ahead and cut Francisco Liriano, incurring a $14 penalty for the rest of the season and opening up a roster spot. It’s definitely the biggest move of the season for me, but it does two things.

#1 – I now have a great deal more financial flexibility. I need a place-holder 2B for my team, and was working with a budget of about $4 before the cut. They guy I wanted to fill that slot was Michael Cuddyer, who has availability across the diamond, and will still be a valuable piece once Chase Utley comes back – but I couldn’t mortgage all my cap space to go get him or someone comparable. Now I can – and I have the roster space to snag him. Also, since many of the other teams in the league have virtually no cap space, if a trade opportunity presents itself, I can take back contracts or sweeten a deal with a loan. That’s big.

#2 – I can look towards 2012 with more confidence. My team is very prospect-heavy. If you count Dom Brown as a prospect (I do, still), nearly every non-starting position on my team is filled with a prospect: I’ve got seven hitters and six pitchers. Basically, I have a team with a ton of keeper value, and in ottoneu, ML players appreciate by $2 in the offseason, and MiLB players appreciate by $1. With the cut of Liriano, I’ll be saving $28 over the offseason, which gives me both room to deal with appreciation, as well as to target a free agent or two who will be loosened from the re-draft process. My real goal is to hopefully see a player like Jason Heyward, Ryan Braun, or Colby Rasmus get free, and then be able to use my financial pull to sign them away from a competitor to improve my outfield.

I can certainly see how some might say that dumping Liriano for virtually nothing is a bad move – especially when his value may be at its lowest. I hear that, and I do worry that I made the wrong decision. But in the end, I went with my gut (and my wallet), and right now I feel like this decision gave me a slightly better chance to win now. Especially considering that over the offseason I was unlikely to keep him at that price anyway. Despite this, I hope he recovers and pitches up to his usual standard of excellence this year – when he’s on, he’s a fun pitcher to watch.


Filed under Fantasy Baseball

Mike Pelfrey: The New Long Reliever?

Mike Pelfrey

Mike Pelfrey: Can He Be Successful As A Reliever?

(Note: This piece is cross-posted as a FanPost over at Amazin’ Avenue.)

With 22 games in the bank, the Mets have a problem that I never would’ve expected going into the season: they have too many starters.

Granted, the starting rotation hasn’t been extraordinarily effective, but that’s besides the point. The Mets now have six guys to fit into five spaces, and management needs to make a decision. Naturally, my opinion means little – but I do have a suggestion that may differ from the establishment expectation. First, let’s look at the current rotation candidates, as well as their 2011 FIP and xFIP (denoted as a triple-slash line, in that order, and provided by FanGraphs).

  • Mike Pelfrey – 7.23/4.70/5.57
  • Jonathan Niese – 5.10/3.92/4.06
  • R.A. Dickey – 4.10/4.30/4.47
  • Chris Young – 1.46/2.56/4.36
  • Chris Capuano – 5.95/4.52/3.96
  • Dillon Gee – 2.31/3.39/3.68

Which of these pitchers should be “demoted” to the bullpen, however?

Now, as always, the small sample size rule applies. We can’t assume that these would maintain over the whole season – and Young and Gee especially need to be taken with a grain of salt, given that they’ve only made two starts. But in the cases of Big Pelf, Niese, R.A., and CC-Queens the phrase “we are who we thought they were” applies. The peripheral numbers aren’t that different than what we might’ve expected – Pelf isn’t doing well, Niese and Dickey are doing okay, and Cap is up and down.

Obviously, since Young is just now coming off the DL, and been so effective, he’s got to be in the rotation. The same should be true of Dillon Gee, who has had success in nearly all of his ML appearances up to this point. Not only is R.A. Dickey (strangely enough) probably the most consistent of the bunch, but he’s also the only starter with a long-term contract. And I know there have been rumblings about Jon Niese moving to the bullpen, but his peripheral numbers INSIST that he stay in the rotation. He’s going to be a cost-controlled starter with consistency for the next five years.

So that leaves two options for the bullpen: Chris Capuano and Mike Pelfrey. Cap has pitched out of the bullpen before. Recently. As in earlier this year. He’s had some success there, and since he’s only on a one-year contract, the team doesn’t have to worry about his feelings being hurt.

With all this in mind, I think the Mets could be better served by making their Opening Day starter, Mike Pelfrey, a reliever.

The major worry here is probably how Big Pelf would respond to such a Big Demotion. He’s been a workhorse in the rotation, good for nearly 200 innings for the last few years. But one of Big Pelf’s big issues has been his lack of secondary pitches. He lives and dies by his sinker, but his fastball and splitter are so-so and his off-speed stuff (slider/curve/changeup) has been varied, and ultimately not very effective. Perhaps a move to the bullpen could give Pelf a shot in the arm. A couple of mph on the heater and a focus on just the sinker/splitter could be just what the doctor ordered. If Pelf could become a solid reliever, he’d be worth almost as much in trade as if he were a middling starter. And it’s hard to believe that Pelf will have continued value if he continues to pitch as poorly as he has over the end of 2010 and beginning of 2011.

There are plenty of rational reasons not to move Pelf to the bullpen. If Pelfrey stays a starter and pitches well, his trade value increases quite a bit. Pelf doesn’t have an “out-pitch”, something that managers love to see in their relievers, so that may make the transition messy. Most of all, it would obviously be a massive vote of no-confidence on the most consistent presence in the Met rotation over the last three years. And there were a number of reasons I mentioned earlier why Capuano would fit in the bullpen as well.

But make no mistake, moving Mike Pelfrey to a role in the bullpen, even perhaps a leveraged role, could pay dividends later. If he succeeds in the role, he could find new life as a swingman or leveraged reliever. If not, teams could rationalize away the Mets “misuse” of a starter as a reason why Pelf would succeed in their system. But with the talent currently in the rotation, it may be best for the Mets to move their big right-hander to the pen for what could be his last run with the Amazin’s before he becomes too expensive or too ineffective.

1 Comment

Filed under Chris Capuano, Chris Young, Dillon Gee, Jonathon Niese, Mike Pelfrey, R.A. Dickey