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March 27, 2007
  
Down and Dirty

The news hit yesterday that Duaner Sanchez will likely miss most of this season due to a fracture of his coracoid, a small bone in his pitching shoulder. At the least, Sanchez won’t be back until July, which will handicap the Mets’ bullpen significantly by removing the man thought to be their primary setup option.

The news isn’t all bad. Sanchez is not as irreplaceable as it sounds. He only threw 55 innings last season due to a pinched nerve at the end of June and the ill-fated cab ride right before the trade deadline. So they didn’t get a full season out of him last year, and they were able to competently fill his shoes afterward with Guillermo Mota.

Second, while Sanchez posted a 2.60 ERA, he wasn’t the most consistent of pitchers. Here are his month-by-month statistics:

Month      IP    ERA    SO   BB   HR
April    16.0   0.00    13    6    0
May      18.1   3.93    11    6    2
June      9.1   4.82     8    8    1
July     11.2   2.31    12    4    0

Sanchez burst onto the scene in April, looking like an unstoppable middle relief machine and instantly capturing the hearts of Mets fans. Unfortunately, it really didn’t last into May. He pitched competently, but it really was a drastic drop-off that continued into June before he went down with the nerve injury. When he returned he was dominant once again. But in the end, he was highly effective for two months last year, just another pitcher for one-and-a-half, and gone for the other two-and-a-half months. Furthermore, he was incredible at Shea, poor on the road, posting 0.85 and 4.94 ERA, respectively.

Finally, for a primary setup pitcher, Sanchez just wasn’t all that effective against lefties. Generally, you’d like to throw a pitcher out there capable of getting guys out from both sides of the plate; Sanchez just wasn’t lights out against those on the sinister side. They hit .276/.362/.425, which isn’t terrible, but it’s far from his .167/.261/.447 mark against right-handed batters.

This isn’t to say Sanchez was a poor pitcher last season; he did a fine job, but when you look beyond his final line, you see a guy with a lot of variance in his actual performance, which means that it’s rather unlikely that he’d pitch as well as he did again. Part of this is just due to the volatile nature of relief pitching, which is all the more reason not to bank on a repeat performance from last year’s incredible bullpen. Still, losing a capable bullpen arm like Duaner hurts.

So how are they going to replace his innings? There are three things to do to lessen the loss:

1. Shift the roles in the bullpen.

Obviously, Aaron Heilman takes over as the primary setup option, much as he did last season following Sanchez’s yellow-checkered ride to shoulder dislocation. At the moment these are the guys likely to make the Mets’ bullpen at the start of the season:

Billy Wagner
Aaron Heilman
Pedro Feliciano
Scott Schoeneweis
Joe Smith
Chan Ho Park
Aaron Sele

Some guys have very clearly defined roles. Wagner’s set in stone. Sele is slotted for long relief. Feliciano and Schoeneweis—which I’m finally getting used to spelling, by the way—are LOOGY’s, and rookie Smith is taking over Chad Bradford’s vacated ROOGY role. Much as Bradford and Feliciano did last season, Smith and one or both of the two lefties could emerge as a reliable seventh inning tandem.

The wild card in all this is Park. Park shot himself in the foot this spring by failing to get his visa in order on time and compounding his error by not pitching well, but it’s not much of a stretch to imagine him pitching better than he recently has in a more limited role. It did work for Darren Oliver last season. His conversion to relief will be something to keep an eye on.

2. Keep returning pitchers in mind.

There are two or three guys who could be integral parts of the bullpen this season who aren’t going to make the team for a variety of reasons. Those men are Mota, Juan Padilla, and Ambiorix Burgos. Mota’s missing fifty games due to his steroid suspension while Padilla continues to recover from Tommy John surgery. I doubt Padilla—who’s success in 2005 resulted from luck and good defense—will contribute too much, but Mota could be a key contributor in the second half, as he was last season.

Burgos is eligible to start the season in the majors, but won’t due to a lackluster spring. If his command improves at New Orleans, he could get a promotion if someone on the big league roster fails.

3. Keep an eye on the other teams’ pitchers.

The interesting thing about spring training is that teams have to make important roster decisions concerning pitchers who may be out of options. This means that teams will be looking to get some return on players who would be otherwise lost to them. Those that aren’t traded will wind up on the waiver wire, waiting to be picked up by a smart team.

Honestly, it’s too difficult to tell right now who that will certainly be, but Omar Minaya should be paying attention. If a more interesting option than Chan Ho Park comes along, Minaya should seize the chance to acquire a cheap pitcher, the type of deal which can often result in some of the better transactions a general manager can make.


1,191 Responses to “Down and Dirty”

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  1. Comment posted by BOB A BOOEY on March 27, 2007 at 10:42 pm (#270804)

    tony,,,,,,montana ??>?

  2. Comment posted by bcuster on March 27, 2007 at 10:42 pm (#270805)

    tony,,,,,,montana ??>?

    i hope he’s not that tony…

  3. Comment posted by Ramon on March 27, 2007 at 10:43 pm (#270806)

    Oh man, thats sad. Really sad. So, are people still hating on Milledge around here?

  4. Gravatar
  5. Comment posted by El Deppo on March 27, 2007 at 10:44 pm (#270807)

    Milledge is pretty well loved these days.

  6. Comment posted by bcuster on March 27, 2007 at 10:44 pm (#270808)

    are people still hating on Milledge around here?

    it’s turned 180 degrees; lots of anti-green sentiment around lately… thrilledge is like the 2nd string qb: everybody loves him…

  7. Comment posted by BOB A BOOEY on March 27, 2007 at 10:45 pm (#270809)

    millledge is ok with me and artie ,,,, he shoul hit no for a few weeks and br uo in may yu agree ???

  8. Gravatar
  9. Comment posted by El Deppo on March 27, 2007 at 10:46 pm (#270810)

    me and artie lmao that’s funny

    april may june are all fine with me for mr. blastings.

  10. Comment posted by Ramon on March 27, 2007 at 10:47 pm (#270811)

    Typical mets fans. Wait until the poor kid goes on a slump for a month. There will be people calling for his head in the media and fandom. Then we can expect complaints about his hair (even though its shaved) or his choice of jewelry or music or whatever else the haters can think of.

  11. Comment posted by Danny on March 27, 2007 at 10:48 pm (#270812)

    Thrilledge wil get his shot soon enough. The hit by pitch was probably a blessing in disguise. He can’t even get grumpy about going to Triple-A now.

  12. Comment posted by bcuster on March 27, 2007 at 10:48 pm (#270813)

    whatever else the haters can think of.

    i like his spiked body armor…

  13. Comment posted by BOB A BOOEY on March 27, 2007 at 10:48 pm (#270814)

    much love for him as long as he keeps his grown man on ,,,,,

  14. Gravatar
  15. Comment posted by Woodman on March 27, 2007 at 10:50 pm (#270815)

    I think Milledge should knock over aband or two to show how gansta he is. He is losing the rap croud.

  16. Gravatar
  17. Comment posted by Woodman on March 27, 2007 at 10:50 pm (#270816)

    * a bank or two

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  19. Comment posted by Dr. Ellis Dee on March 27, 2007 at 10:51 pm (#270817)

    How was your trip Ramon?

  20. Comment posted by Ramon on March 27, 2007 at 10:52 pm (#270818)

    Seriously. I missed many of you. U know when I got into an on-line discussion with Eric Simon about my “moderation” on this site I told him that I would miss the discussion about the Mets and not his stupid rules. I promised that I would not come back. But now that I am away doing my thesis research with little access to Mets baseball, its good to know that I got at least one last chance to speak with you all. Good bye.

  21. Gravatar
  22. Comment posted by El Deppo on March 27, 2007 at 10:52 pm (#270819)

    FREE RAMON

  23. Comment posted by Danny on March 27, 2007 at 10:53 pm (#270820)

    KEEP RAMON FREE!

  24. Comment posted by tlc on March 27, 2007 at 10:54 pm (#270821)

    I leave the house for 40 minutes and Ramon comes to the geek then says goodbye. Hope all is well

  25. Comment posted by bcuster on March 27, 2007 at 10:56 pm (#270822)

    one last chance to speak with you all. Good bye.

    you sound like a ghost or that astronaut that came back to earth in 2001, or was it 2010..

  26. Comment posted by BOB A BOOEY on March 27, 2007 at 10:56 pm (#270823)

    bueonos suerte ramon

  27. Gravatar
  28. Comment posted by Dr. Ellis Dee on March 27, 2007 at 10:56 pm (#270824)

    lol, custer

  29. Gravatar
  30. Comment posted by Dr. Ellis Dee on March 27, 2007 at 10:57 pm (#270825)

    I think it was an imposter.

  31. Comment posted by tlc on March 27, 2007 at 10:57 pm (#270826)

    Mason Glavine, the 7-year-old son of Tom Glavine, posed this question to his father recently: “Dad, if you retire next year, does mom have to get a job?”

  32. Gravatar
  33. Comment posted by El Deppo on March 27, 2007 at 10:59 pm (#270828)

    I think it was an imposter.

    who knows….I was with ya until the last few posts. if it was, he sure did his research

  34. Comment posted by BOB A BOOEY on March 27, 2007 at 10:59 pm (#270829)

    hmmmm buenos noches

  35. Comment posted by BOB A BOOEY on March 27, 2007 at 11:00 pm (#270830)

    mason wants mom work where ????

  36. Comment posted by tlc on March 27, 2007 at 11:02 pm (#270831)

    Lined up to pitch for the Mets in their Wednesday home game at 1:10 p.m. ET against the Braves are relievers Ambiorix Burgos, Pedro Feliciano, Aaron Heilman, Wagner, Park and Jon Adkins. Atlanta’s starter is right-hander Kyle Davies.

    On ESPN

  37. Comment posted by Ramon on March 27, 2007 at 11:03 pm (#270832)

    I think it was an imposter.

    Its the real deal, you better believe it. Peace. Blame the Trachselistas, Zitologists, and other haters in Mets Nation for my exile.

  38. Gravatar
  39. Comment posted by Woodman on March 27, 2007 at 11:03 pm (#270833)

    The only problem I had with Ramon was he always had to personally insut whoever was argueing with him, He couldnt just win and argument, he had to call the person a fool or some other name. People who do that piss me off, they cant feel good about themselves unless they put someone else down. Character flaw I guess.

  40. Gravatar
  41. Comment posted by Dr. Ellis Dee on March 27, 2007 at 11:05 pm (#270834)

    dep, that last post sounds too canned. Like they are trying too hard sound like Ramon, but the same type of speech he used isn’t there.

  42. Comment posted by BOB A BOOEY on March 27, 2007 at 11:05 pm (#270835)

    trachelista hmmm i am a burgomaniac !!!!

  43. Gravatar
  44. Comment posted by Woodman on March 27, 2007 at 11:06 pm (#270836)

    yeah Ramon blame everyone else why you got banned, its never your fault huh

  45. Comment posted by bcuster on March 27, 2007 at 11:06 pm (#270837)

    ramon was a big know-it-all, i’m glad he said his final good bye.. whoops… (j/k)

  46. Comment posted by Danny on March 27, 2007 at 11:06 pm (#270838)

    Trachselista was the best thing he ever came up with. Pure gold.

  47. Comment posted by Ramon on March 27, 2007 at 11:07 pm (#270839)

    What do I have to do to prove that it is I? It really is. Also who is the Woodman? He/she sounds familiar to me…

  48. Gravatar
  49. Comment posted by Woodman on March 27, 2007 at 11:08 pm (#270840)

    I will admit he was funny, but he went too far at times

  50. Gravatar
  51. Comment posted by El Deppo on March 27, 2007 at 11:09 pm (#270841)

    many of us have gone too far at times. i know i have :)

  52. Comment posted by BOB A BOOEY on March 27, 2007 at 11:09 pm (#270842)

    wow daily new live is funny

  53. Gravatar
  54. Comment posted by Woodman on March 27, 2007 at 11:09 pm (#270843)

    lead Trachselista

  55. Comment posted by Ramon on March 27, 2007 at 11:09 pm (#270844)

    Woodman reveal thyself. You once had another name!

  56. Gravatar
  57. Comment posted by Woodman on March 27, 2007 at 11:09 pm (#270845)

    Dep you dotn insult people to prove your point.

  58. Comment posted by Ramon on March 27, 2007 at 11:10 pm (#270846)

    A-ha! If it isn’t my ex-arch nemesis el Commandante himself! Well old foe, I see that you have changed your name.

  59. Comment posted by tlc on March 27, 2007 at 11:10 pm (#270847)

    I insult people all the time.

  60. Gravatar
  61. Comment posted by Wdwrkr35 on March 27, 2007 at 11:10 pm (#270848)

    what a stretch huh

  62. Gravatar
  63. Comment posted by Wdwrkr35 on March 27, 2007 at 11:11 pm (#270849)

    I dont think you should be banned either. Just dony get so personal towards people when you dotn agree with them. Were all Mets fans , its cool.

  64. Comment posted by BOB A BOOEY on March 27, 2007 at 11:12 pm (#270850)

    why cant we all get along ,,,,

  65. Gravatar
  66. Comment posted by El Deppo on March 27, 2007 at 11:13 pm (#270851)

    you speak the truth wood.

  67. Comment posted by Ramon on March 27, 2007 at 11:13 pm (#270852)

    Oh please, there was enough insulting on this blog to around. I cannot really believe that people will take offense with whatever I have said on this blog when so many (personal) things were written at me and I have brushed them off. C’mon people! I wanted to leave before and don’t want people to feel that i am hamming it up here but was afraid that noone would believe it is me.

  68. Gravatar
  69. Comment posted by Stevie (wonder) T. on March 27, 2007 at 11:13 pm (#270853)

    I heard somebody here has a problem with me

  70. Gravatar
  71. Comment posted by Wdwrkr35 on March 27, 2007 at 11:16 pm (#270854)

    Perez looked rough today, wheres mdog when I haver the upper hand?

  72. Comment posted by Ramon on March 27, 2007 at 11:16 pm (#270855)

    I insult people all the time.

    many insults were bandied about on this site, which is precisely why I found it so hypocritical that my posts were “moderated”. Sometimes I think that I was too blunt and far too exaggerated in my insults, but I tell you all that I NEVER came on this site to insult people. I just came to talk Mets baseball!

  73. Comment posted by Danny Graves on March 27, 2007 at 11:17 pm (#270856)

    Fact: You guys always hurt Danny’s feelings with the things you’ve said

    Opinion: I still love you all

    Fact: Danny is a free agent

    Opinion: With Sanchez going down, I could help bridge the gap from the starter to old Billy goat

    Fact: No you won’t. Have fun pitching in double A

    Opinion: That Hurts

  74. Gravatar
  75. Comment posted by Wdwrkr35 on March 27, 2007 at 11:17 pm (#270857)

    Most of the people who insult dont last to long, they usually get ignored now a days

  76. Comment posted by TLC on March 27, 2007 at 11:20 pm (#270858)

    Goodnight all

  77. Comment posted by lucienlc on March 27, 2007 at 11:20 pm (#270859)

    I was just thinking that, Wood. There really isn’t a lot of insulting going on any more, except in fun — and a lot more apologizing, if someone inadvertently hurts someone’s feelings.

    Except for Tony — but then Tony really asks for it.

  78. Comment posted by BOB A BOOEY on March 27, 2007 at 11:20 pm (#270860)

    ohh danny i misss you man ,,,,

  79. Gravatar
  80. Comment posted by Stevie (wonder) T. on March 27, 2007 at 11:20 pm (#270861)

    mdogg been lookn for you

  81. Gravatar
  82. Comment posted by Wdwrkr35 on March 27, 2007 at 11:20 pm (#270862)

    damn henry owens is dealing this spring

    8g 1w 0l 0sv 1r 0.82era 11.0ip 10k 2bb .256

  83. Gravatar
  84. Comment posted by Wdwrkr35 on March 27, 2007 at 11:21 pm (#270863)

    later TLC

  85. Comment posted by lucienlc on March 27, 2007 at 11:23 pm (#270864)

    damn henry owens is dealing this spring

    8g 1w 0l 0sv 1r 0.82era 11.0ip 10k 2bb .256

    Don’t let it throw you, Wood. He always starts out very strong, then wears down as time progresses. I was once a charter member of the Henry Owens fan club, but really did not like what I saw the last two years. I really will be surprised if he ever turns out to amount to anything — or at least not before he is 30 or so. He came to pitching very late, and doesn’t have the arm strength built up, I don’t think.

    Plus his motion is ominously violent, which begs the question of whether he can remain healthy — and his fastball often straight and without movement.

  86. Gravatar
  87. Comment posted by Ellis Dee on March 27, 2007 at 11:23 pm (#270865)

    On second thought, I think it is Ramon.

  88. Gravatar
  89. Comment posted by Wdwrkr35 on March 27, 2007 at 11:24 pm (#270866)

    Joe Smith dealing

  90. Comment posted by lucienlc on March 27, 2007 at 11:26 pm (#270867)

    I think it is Ramon too. I remember Ramon only too well. We tangled a time or three over Trachsel.

  91. Comment posted by BOB A BOOEY on March 27, 2007 at 11:26 pm (#270868)

    heyy gootta watc`h letterman then crash ,, see ya ,,,,

  92. Comment posted by BOB A BOOEY on March 27, 2007 at 11:26 pm (#270869)

    heyy gootta watc`h letterman then crash ,, see ya ,,,,

  93. Comment posted by BOB A BOOEY on March 27, 2007 at 11:26 pm (#270870)

    heyy gootta watc`h letterman then crash ,, see ya ,,,,

  94. Comment posted by Ramon on March 27, 2007 at 11:26 pm (#270871)

    Most of the people who insult dont last to long, they usually get ignored now a days

    Insults were incidental to my posts, but never my motivation. Well, I have proven that I am the one and only Grand Inquisitor. Perhaps I shall return one day. One day when MetsGeek is safe from the censors and thought police. One day when the meek and scared do not hide behind the authorities to protect them against inquisition. But like Mohatmas Ghandi, Dr. Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandella…I shall perservere in my confinement, exiled for my beliefs in speaking truth to power against the assanine expectations of those in Mets Nation whose beleifs in failed revolutions (Trachselistas) or false gods (Borito) posion the very baseball culture we live in.

  95. Gravatar
  96. Comment posted by Wdwrkr35 on March 27, 2007 at 11:27 pm (#270872)

    wow a triple post , a new record

  97. Gravatar
  98. Comment posted by El Deppo on March 27, 2007 at 11:27 pm (#270873)

    wow. a triple. that’s how you go out! lol

  99. Gravatar
  100. Comment posted by Wdwrkr35 on March 27, 2007 at 11:28 pm (#270874)

    assanine expectations of those in Mets Nation

    there we go with the insults

  101. Gravatar
  102. Comment posted by Wdwrkr35 on March 27, 2007 at 11:29 pm (#270875)

    It couldnt be wroong expectations or misguided expectations, it had to be assinine. Im not suprised you are banned.

  103. Comment posted by Ramon on March 27, 2007 at 11:30 pm (#270876)

    there we go with the insults

    hey I had to prove that its me. Is everyone convinced now?

  104. Gravatar
  105. Comment posted by Wdwrkr35 on March 27, 2007 at 11:32 pm (#270877)

    Like I said Character flaw.

  106. Comment posted by Danny on March 27, 2007 at 11:32 pm (#270878)

    I shall perservere in my confinement, exiled for my beliefs in speaking truth to power against the assanine expectations of those in Mets Nation whose beleifs in failed revolutions (Trachselistas) or false gods (Borito) posion the very baseball culture we live in.

    I didn’t think this was insulting. I thought it was hilarious.

  107. Comment posted by Danny on March 27, 2007 at 11:33 pm (#270879)

    And I was a Borito!

  108. Comment posted by Ramon on March 27, 2007 at 11:34 pm (#270880)

    It couldnt be wroong expectations or misguided expectations, it had to be assinine. Im not suprised you are banned.

    Wow, so sad that you are insulted my use of the word assanine in a post where I compared myself to MLK, Ghandi, and Mandela. I guess you didn[’t get that I was being overdramatic for effect. But anyways, thanks to people like you I am banned, as you were one the posters who cried to Andrew if I do recall. Be happy and prosper Woodman, perhaps we shall tangle again.

  109. Comment posted by lucienlc on March 27, 2007 at 11:34 pm (#270881)

    That’s how you know it is Ramon. He was oftimes both hilarious and insulting at the same time.

    Unfortunately, too many times he was simply annoying.

  110. Comment posted by Ramon on March 27, 2007 at 11:35 pm (#270882)

    Thanks danny at least someone got the overexaggeration. It may have not been funny to some, but I was trying to be funny and not trying to be personal.

  111. Comment posted by Danny on March 27, 2007 at 11:38 pm (#270883)

    Ramon, you’re still on my good side even if you are completely wrong about Beltran’s stealing prowess. :)

  112. Gravatar
  113. Comment posted by Wdwrkr35 on March 27, 2007 at 11:39 pm (#270884)

    In medium where it is often hard to infer how things are meant, as in sarcasm or bad humor, I think its better to be clear when you are joking.

  114. Gravatar
  115. Comment posted by Wdwrkr35 on March 27, 2007 at 11:41 pm (#270885)

    Evaluating Willie

  116. Comment posted by PHL on March 27, 2007 at 11:41 pm (#270886)

    Will I regret asking what a Borito is?

  117. Comment posted by bcuster on March 27, 2007 at 11:41 pm (#270887)

    auf wiedersehen, ghost astronaut…

  118. Comment posted by bcuster on March 27, 2007 at 11:42 pm (#270888)

    what a Borito is

    zito

  119. Comment posted by Danny on March 27, 2007 at 11:43 pm (#270889)

    Will I regret asking what a Borito is?

    Boras and Zito team…

  120. Gravatar
  121. Comment posted by Ellis Dee on March 27, 2007 at 11:44 pm (#270890)

    Well Ramon, it seems you’ve insulted enough people here that they look for insults in everything you say. That’s one way to build a rep.

  122. Comment posted by PHL on March 27, 2007 at 11:45 pm (#270892)

    Boras and Zito team

    Hey, I was around for that! Guess it didn’t register. I remember the Trachselista comments, though.

  123. Comment posted by PHL on March 27, 2007 at 11:50 pm (#270893)

    Evaluating Willie

    Good stuff, Salfino continues to impress. Lots of interesting and surprising stats. I think I don’t understand Willie ball at all. It looks like Yankees baseball.

  124. Gravatar
  125. Comment posted by Wdwrkr35 on March 27, 2007 at 11:51 pm (#270894)

    I thought for sure we led the NL is manufactured runs, I was wrong by a lot.

  126. Gravatar
  127. Comment posted by Wdwrkr35 on March 27, 2007 at 11:52 pm (#270895)

    later folks im beat, catch everyone tomorrow

  128. Comment posted by metsfansince62 on March 28, 2007 at 12:12 am (#270900)

    I took a break from doing my taxes and I see where Ramon is taking his final Metsgeek curtain calls. Ramon if you want a Mets blog subject to your rules then start one. On the internet the rules are set by who owns the balls and bats and not by who has the balls.

    Now that Liza with a Z has been mentioned I will never be able to think of our great future right fielder, LM, without thinking of her. I liked her mom better.

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