Monday, March 9, 2009

I'm Jealous - Los Angeles Dodgers (Part II)

TW said ...
This (was) a ridiculous post. The ratio of Ramirez to Pierre to that of Hudson to Castillo is astronomically different. hudson hasn't played a full season in two years and his wrist is still in question. Castillo has looked good in st and can play comparable defense to Hudson. If the power numbers are what is bothering you, you're crazy.

Ramirez is going to hit over .310-.325. with 40+ homers and 130 RBIs Pierre will hit .260 with 3 HRs and 40 rbis. Point is you can compare a healthy Castillo to Hudson. You can't say the same in regards Ramirez.

Met fans are insane. Simply put, the reason the mets didn't make the playoffs last year is because the bullpen could not hold a lead. Forget every other factor. If the bullpen saved half of the games they blew last season they would have had 15 more wins. Hudson, castillo--joe Morgan wouldn't have changed that. Cased closed.

You're wrong and I'll tell you why.

First, it's not about a direct comparison of the four players (Manny to Pierre and Hudson to Castillo). It's a comparsion of the philosophies. Both teams had two positions on the diamond at which to consider upgrades - left field and second base. Both teams had an under-performing veteran at one position (Castillo in NY and Pierre in LA), and a platoon featuring a promising young player and a veteran at the other position (Murphy/Tatis in NY, Dewitt/Loretta in LA).

The Dodgers upgraded at both positions and strengthened their bench in the process. They may have the best everyday lineup in the National League right now. The Mets did nothing and congratulated themselves all winter for adding two relievers. They will simply have to hope for the best at the plate, leaving themselves with a series of question marks and easily exploitable holes in their lineup.

Personally, I like general managers who never stop trying to improve their teams, not general managers who hitch their fortunes to a series of "what-if" scenarios.

Second, it is an incredible over-simplification of the problem to say that the only thing this team needed to fix was the bullpen after last season. The notion that a team can make up 15 games in the standings on the strength of 130 innings pitched by two relievers defies all forms of logic. JJ Putz was injured and ineffective throughout 2008 - is he suddenly going to become a dominant set-up man because Omar Minaya told us he will be? K-Rod's strikeout rate has declined annually for the last five seasons and his 2008 WHIP was the highest of his career. Does your "additional 15 wins" scenario include seven more blown saves from K-Rod - the number he blew in 2008?

Every team in baseball blows saves - even the Phillies blew 15 of them last year. (You thought that because Brad Lidge was 41-for-41 it meant that Philadelphia's entire bullpen didn't blow their share of leads as well?) Met fans who actually think the only thing they needed to fix is the bullpen are deluding themselves - and will actually be shocked when this team limps home with 84 wins.

One last thought: JJ Putz and Francisco Rodriguez combined for 15 blown saves in 114.7 innings in 2008. The two men they are replacing - Billy Wagner and Aaron Heilman - had 12 blown saves in 113 innings. Good luck finding those 15 wins.


TW said...

They also aren't paying any of there starters much of anything, so there is a lot of money to spend on a guy like Ramirez.

The Mets blew games in the sixth and seventh innings too. As always you paint somebody wrong by using their own rhetoric only to find that your argument is transparent.

sam said...