Thursday, December 30, 2010

Oli as the Lefty Specialist? I Don't Think So!

By: Clayton Collier
   Mets pitcher, and I use that term lightly, Oliver Perez has been cited as a possible option to be the successor to former-Met southpaw Pedro Feliciano as the lefty specialist. Although the stat that has been observed to determine this possibility was his successful batting average against (BAA) when facing left handed batters, this only tells one part of the story. In order to take Oli into consideration for that role, one must look at his Achilles heel, walks.

   Oli has been infamous for walking one batter after another and inconsistency. These are two attributes that do not make for a reliever to be relied upon in a tight situation. Oli's BAA when facing left-handed batters in 2010 was a respectable .214. But if you look at the On Base Percentage (OBP) for left-handed batters in 2010, it was a monstrous .411 OBP. This is because despite his ability to fool left-handed batters, he still walks batters left and right. If it wasn't for all the walks, left handed batters would have only had roughly a .311 OBP. That stat isn't dominant, but it would give Oli a much better chance to contend for the vacant role.

   Also, Oli has some questionable numbers when it comes to the first batter he faces. In his career, the first batter he faces has a .298 batting average, a .383 OBP and a .519 slugging percentage against him. Even worse, in 2010, first batters batted .467, had a .529 OBP and an even 1.000 slugging percentage. This blows a major hole in the theory that Oli could be salvaged as a lefty specialist. A lefty Specialist is supposed to come in for 1 or 2 outs and face the tough lefties like Ryan Howard or Brian McCann. If these guys are teeing off on Oli at clutch, late moments in games, he cannot be successful in that position.

  The 29-year old lefty is in the final year of his exorbitant 3-year $36 million contract. Since signing that three year deal with the Mets Oli has fallen apart, posting a 6.81 ERA and an unsightly 3-9 record. In fact, Oli hasn't even recorded a win since August of 2009. Oli in the winter leagues has not enjoyed much success, posting a 3-3 record and a 5.18 ERA. The walk totals have not ceased either, he has walked 23 batters in 33 innings.

  Unless Oli can regain a morsel of his talent that landed him his big 3-year $36 million deal, It appears the Mets will be carrying another 24-man Roster into 2011.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mets Aquire SS Hu, A Look at 2nd Base for the 2011 Mets

By: Clayton Collier

   Alderson has dealt minor league southpaw Michael Antonini to the LA Dodgers in return for second baseman Chin-lung Hu. This move adds yet another middle infielder into the mix for the starting and backup middle infield roles. Obviously, Jose Reyes will be the starting shortstop, barring a trade, but the major question is who will fill the black hole that has become 2nd base for the Mets.

    This move really did not make much sense other than adding some competition for the back-up middle infield job. The move really wasn't a big deal for either team. Michael Antonini had a career 6.29 ERA in Triple-A Buffalo so it is unlikely he will have much, if any, of a role with the big club in 2011.

    Chin-lung Hu, unlike Antonini, has had major league experience. The 26-year old in 96 games over four seasons has had a career .191 batting average. It is not an ideal stat but it is an improvement from a pitcher who has failed to have success in Triple-A. Hu will likely compete with Luis Hernandez for a spot on the bench. Both are out of options so the one who does not get the job will most likely go through waivers. Other possibilities for the bench role will include the likes of Justin Turner and Brad Emaus.

   As for the starting job, it is pretty clear cut that it will be Daniel Murphy or Luis Castillo. But it seems quite apparent that Murphy has the advantage. Murphy is 25 years of age, Castillo is 35. Murphy can hit for power, Castillo in 15 seasons has 28 home runs total. Castillo is booed by fans and a cancer in the clubhouse. Murphy has been open to trying multiple defensive positions and has been a team player for the Mets.

   The Mets have $6 million invested in Castillo this season, and is in the final year of his 4-year $25 million contract. In 2010, Castillo batted .236 over 86 games and his defense now leaves something to be desired. Murphy spent most of 2010 on the disabled list after two leg injuries, one in a minor league rehab game. In the winter leagues this year Murphy was outstanding. In 28 games Murphy hit .320 with four home runs and 22 RBIs. Unless Castillo has an exceptional spring training, he will not be the starting 2nd baseman. If Castillo does not regain his starting role, the Mets will likely eat the $6 million and release him than waste a roster spot.

  The acquisition of Chin-lung Hu has added another man into a slew of candidates for only two mere roster spots on the 2011 club.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Maybe Next Year Mets Will Be Doing a Q&A

If anyone would like to submit a question on anything Mets related you can submit a question by:

-Sending an email to

-Posting a question on our Facebook page, Search "Maybe Next Year Mets"

-Comment on this post with your question

If we like your question we will answer it in an upcoming article!

Tobi Stoner: The Forgotten Arm

By: Clayton Collier

     RHP Tobi Stoner could be the key the Mets need to fill the gaping hole that is their bullpen. Stoner has had very little major league experience but in his few outings he has held his own. With uncertainty on multiple fronts of the Mets pitching staff, Stoner should be taken into consideration to help bridge the gap from the starter to K-Rod.

   Stoner was a 16th round draft pick by the Mets in 2006 and has spent most of his professional career as a starter. In Stoner's minor league career he is 33-42 with a 4.04 ERA. In 2009, Stoner was 7-7 with a 3.96 ERA with Double-A Binghampton and Triple-A Buffalo. In 2010, Stoner's first full year with Triple-A Buffalo, he struggled at best. He went 5-10 with a 5.97 ERA. Although the 25-year old Germany native has not exactly been dominant in the minors, the small sample we have seen from him in the majors should give him the chance to pitch for a spot with the big club.

   If Stoner has a particularly good spring training he should even be considered for the currently vacant 5th rotation spot. This is granted that the Mets do not acquire a Chris Young, Jeff Francis or a Tom Gorzelanny, which more than likely will happen. But, Stoner is an option to consider if the Mets have a need for starting pitching. Out of the 111 games Stoner has played in the minors, all but one of them he has played as a starter.

   If given the chance, Tobi Stoner could become a solid long reliever/6th starter the Mets are lacking since the departure of Hisanori Takahashi. Although his lack of experience, Stoner could very well produce some consistency that is heavily lacking on the New York Mets staff.