April 25, 2005
Mikey’s Wittle Arm
by: Eric Simon on Apr 25, 2005 2:38 PM | Filed under: Blog

Mike Piazza has thrown out an incomprehensible 1 out of 18 baserunners attempting to steal this season.


18 Responses to “Mikey’s Wittle Arm”

  1. Comment posted by will on April 25, 2005 at 2:57 pm (#1590)

    Can’t talk; swearing.

  2. Comment posted by Ed on April 25, 2005 at 3:02 pm (#1591)

    Personally, I’m surprised it hasn’t been worse. Other than the guy he through out (he must have tripped or something), none of the plays are close and few if any of the throws reach second base. Getting a bit tired of the “Mike is a professional, he’ll come around” type comments from Mgmt. Mike’s skills are in major decline both behind the plate and just as importantly at the plate. Yes he had a big hit his first at-bat yesterday, but did he leave enough runners on Saturday and again yesterday. Not sure how much longer we can have him hit in the middle of the order. He’s hitting .200 with 10 runs batted in, with opportunities for twice that many with a few timely hits.

  3. Comment posted by Elliot on April 25, 2005 at 3:17 pm (#1593)

    Really? How embarassing it must be for that one person.

    Speaking of embarassments, what about when Beltran was IBBed so that they could get to Piazza on Saturday? How often do you IBB someone to get to the nominal clean-up hitter?

  4. Comment posted by sweetlew on April 25, 2005 at 3:20 pm (#1594)

    I’m not going to defend mike’s arm, but Victor was God-awful at holding runners yesterday – I am in DC and Ron Darling (yes that Ron Darling) the Nationals announcer timed Zambone-head’s time to the plate – it was a pathetic 1.6 seconds – the runners had a four step jump – even Pudge couldn’t throw those guys out! (So those 4 shouldn’t count)

    Besides, throwing runners out is not nearly as important as calling a good game – if you look at his career, Piazza has been the catcher of many pitching staffs that have been at the top of the league in ERA. So, would you rather have a catcher who helps his pitchers get guys out or one who can throw guys out? I’d take the former.

    If Mike is still hitting .220 on May 5th – I’ll join the hunt for his hide — must be the new wife — like Mickey says — “women weaken legs”

  5. Comment posted by IanB on April 25, 2005 at 3:41 pm (#1599)

    You are correct. In fact, I think Piazza and Bernie Williams should start a club or something – Slow, Aging Millionaire Mets & Yankees (SAMMY). Since the Mets still own Bonilla money, he can be their club secretary.

    Seriously, I would happily overlook such a fact had he knocked in at least half the men he left on base this weekend.

  6. Comment posted by Martin on April 25, 2005 at 3:45 pm (#1600)

    Yeah, I agree with sweetlew. Pitchers like Piazza behind the plate, a fact that never gets mentioned. I am really concerned about his bat though – it’s increasingly looking like this is his last season.

    Maybe we can trade Reyes, Beltran, and Petit for Huber?

  7. Comment posted by John on April 25, 2005 at 4:14 pm (#1603)

    KC is using Huber at first base in the Texas League (AA).

    From today’s “The Baseball America Prospect Report”:
    KC J.Huber, 1B 4 2 2 4 0 0 .351 – 2 HR (2)

  8. Comment posted by Blackfish on April 25, 2005 at 5:26 pm (#1604)

    Huber’s days as a catcher are over. We always knew his catching skills were bad anyway, and the move was probably inevitable.

    A couple of notes about Mike’s arm though. Yes, he’s terrible, even when you consider that he’s not horrible at other aspects of defense that don’t get praised. It doesn’t help that certain pitchers are fairly ineffective at holding runners (Zambrano, for example). Still, there is no excuse, especially when you consider that even slower runners are running on Piazza (like Vinny Castilla).

    Piazza does not belong behind the plate at this stage in his career, but in the NL there’s no place to put him. I think he’ll eventually start hitting again, and so it’s still important to keep him in the lineup. That being said, the Mets are stuck with him as their catcher, and the Mets should count themselves lucky that this is the last year he’s under contract. His value to the Mets is dwindling.

  9. Comment posted by Ed on April 25, 2005 at 5:33 pm (#1605)

    1. This is kinda hard. But the writing is on the wall. Thanks Kaley for backing me up.

    a. Randolph needs to realise that Piazza is NOT an everyday catcher anymore. PERIOD. If Phillips was still here, Piazza would probably have a hard time getting ABs. reference #6, Piazza used to be a good game caller taget, but that is no longer the case. Pitchers are hesitant to expand the strike zone with Piazza and he is evidently slow behind the plate. At the plate, his legs and bat speed have lost alot. Piazza also needs to hit 6th.

    b. In essence Castro needs to get work whenever Pedro or Zambrano (3rd/4th) start. AND add to the flames we may need a 3rd catcher. Ultimately that could be Hietpas or Flores. Both would have to be added to the 40 man roster. Its not that mike is done but he is not 30 either. AND HE WAS NEVER SUPPOSED TO LAST this long either. A platoon will help his health and production.

    Kaley: I am not down on the SP. I am not a glavine fan but Pedro and Benson are a nice start. If glavine, Zambrano go better than .500 I would be happy. If Z, stops beating himself and Seo raises his game to the guy that was almost a lock 2yrs ago (for 1/2 season) then we have a good staff. Plus Bannister, Keppel and Petit could be nice options later.

    c. Kepp is at .350, hitting 2nd. Just as I am unrepentant in my calling for a Cameron trade, I will now begin a Matsui watch. Not because he is not good but Keppinger is a (truer) 2nd baseman and a trade of Matsui might net prospects who can be later moved for another premium pitcher, heck maybe I-rod becomes available.

  10. Comment posted by bmc on April 25, 2005 at 8:42 pm (#1609)

    Runners steal on the pitcher, not the catcher.

  11. Comment posted by erik from tha bronx on April 25, 2005 at 9:19 pm (#1611)

    To me its just like matsuis dumb ass bunts and jose not walkin it has to improve and fast.

  12. Comment posted by Blackfish on April 25, 2005 at 9:56 pm (#1613)

    I don’t know if we can afford to waste a roster spot on a no-hit, third catcher (almost certainly Hietpas) who will probably play in 10 games all year. I just don’t think it’s worth it. I’d much rather have a more flexible bench. If it’s an emergency situation, Minky can catch a couple innings, and another catcher can be called up the next day.

  13. Comment posted by John on April 26, 2005 at 12:03 am (#1625)

    suprise, suprise…who cares anyway. Yes its really freakin annoying but tell me a big game or any game that the Metsies lost because of Mike’s throwing. Even that game a couple of years ago against the Marlins where they stole 8, 9 (gazillion) bases, i believe we still won that game and we won tonight’s game. bmc is right, runners steal on pitchers not on catchers as evidenced by Furcal’s third steal. the throw was strong and on the money but Furcal had a great jump. So lets just relax about the throwing.

    Besides when he does accidently throw a runner out, i feel really good for some reason, kinda sad but true.

    Oh and does it annoy anyone else that ppl define a catcher’s defensive ability by his throwing ability? Its absolutely b.s. I mean, is Victor Diaz a good OF’er because he has a good arm? Hell no, and the argument can be made that throwing ability is the least important aspect of a catcher’s defensive abilities. Anyways thank you, please come again.

    Gwaaaaaaaaat him – Fran Healy after a k

  14. Comment posted by Dan in L.A. on April 26, 2005 at 1:22 am (#1633)

    I said Mikey was finished before the year started; I see no reason to change my mind.

    Yes, the arm isn’t the most important thing for a catcher. It may even be the least important. But this is ridiculous.

    His bat’s dying, too. Two straight hits w/RiSP brings him all the way up to 4/21 on the year. In his prime, that would have been a homer tonight (David Wright’s ball got through the wind, and went to a deeper part of CF), but now he barely reaches the track.

    It’s time to start thinking about playing Castro regularly. He can throw, he might hit just as well, and even Silly Willie wouldn’t hit *him* cleanup.

    Well, I hope not, anyway…

  15. Comment posted by Serge on April 26, 2005 at 11:45 am (#1665)

    Some season records we’re going to see set, at this rate:

    – SB allowed by a team in a season (Mets)
    – LOB in a season (Piazza – obliterating the LOB/AB record whatever that might be)
    – IBB received to #3 hitter in the lineup
    – PMHOTT2B in a season (Pitcher’s Mound Hit On Throw To Second Base)

    Seriously, Piazza has done a lot of us, the pitchers do share blame for the SBs, but:

    – Piazza’s gotta move down in the order
    – Someone get him some VS catalogs so he can hit second base

  16. Comment posted by Randy on April 26, 2005 at 1:08 pm (#1684)

    Actually, the whole batting order needs some adjustment. Reyes is more of a 7 or 8 than a 1, Matsui is also more of an 7 or 8. Personally, I would go:
    1. Reyes ( Not a lead-off hitter, but at this point, still the best option)
    2. Diaz (. 485 OBP)
    3. Beltran
    4. Floyd (.603 SLG)
    5. Wright
    6. Piazza
    7. Mientkiewicz
    8. Matsui.

    And yes, Piazza’s arm is a liability, but as other people have said, a lot of those bases have been stolen on the pitcher.

  17. Comment posted by Randy on April 26, 2005 at 2:20 pm (#1706)

    Also, once pitchers figure out that Reyes will usually get himself out if you stay out of the strike zone, he’s going to run into some serious problems if he doesn’t adjust.

  18. Comment posted by Jim on April 27, 2005 at 7:04 pm (#1820)

    let me inject a contrarian view here. while piazza’s offensive and defensive stats have been sub par for a while, is it a smart idea to sit him after his first 3 hit game in 75 games especially against the braves? while piazza hasn’t handled pedro’s pitches well, can the mets offensively afford to have castro catch everytime pedro pitches? didnt castro get an out in an important chance to rally in the 6th against the braves in game 2 of this series?
    also if piazza is going to be dropped in the order, should mientkiewicsz be as well? he is batting .247 after batting .238 last year. also while piazza doesnt have great offensive #’s as of yet, i do remember a couple instances with very clutch hits in recent games.