On Thursday, Chris Young rebounded from a poor performance in his previous start with a fine outing, as he hurled 7 IP, allowed 1 ER and earned a game score of 69, his highest mark in 11 starts this year.  Young has come back from a shoulder injury to be a stabilizing influence in the Mets’ starting rotation.  His 64 IP is equal to what he produced in 2010 and 2011 combined and he’s likely to finish with his highest IP total since 2007, when he threw 173 IP.

Young has a Quality Start in seven of his 11 games this year.  And these are not the bare minimum QS variety, either.  Young has pitched into the seventh inning five times and only one of his QS ended with 6 IP and 3 ER.  For a guy who did not sign until the very end of Spring Training, Young has been an unqualified success.

And he likely will be pitching elsewhere next season.

One of the hallmarks of the Omar Minaya regime was that if a veteran came on and gave a solid performance, that Minaya would reward him with a new contract and a hefty raise for the following season.  And more times than not, that move would blow up in his face.  Remember the second go-round with Moises Alou, Damion Easley and Jose Valentin for examples of this phenomenon.

Meanwhile, as much of a lifesaver as Young has been for the 2012 Mets, he still has a 4.22 ERA, which doesn’t sound bad until you consider the NL average this year is 3.98, giving Young an ERA+ of 90.  So, we have a below-average pitcher on the wrong side of 30 with a history of injury problems.  Plus the Mets are undoubtedly anticipating a starting five of Santana, Dickey, Harvey, Niese and Gee, with Hefner as the primary insurance policy and Wheeler looking for a mid-year promotion a la Harvey in 2012.

Young is still an MLB quality pitcher.  But he will likely command a salary greater than the bargain-basement deal he signed this year and he will undoubtedly want to go to a place where he has a guaranteed spot in the Opening Day rotation.  Hopefully he throws another half-dozen QS the remainder of the year and earns himself a hefty deal somewhere else in 2013.

BAY BATTING IN OTHERSJason Bay delivered a bases-loaded single in the first inning Thursday, plating two runners and getting the Mets off to a good start in a game they would go on to win, 9-1.  They were the 9th and 10th RBIs of the season for Bay, who has been limited to 38 games due to various injuries.  Bay has five homers on the season, meaning he’s driven himself in five times and he’s driven in someone else five times.

Bay has come to the plate with 88 runners on base and plated five of those for a 5.7 OBI% – which is, um, not good.  It is hard to understand a statistic without any context.  The best in baseball over a full season will have an OBI% around 20 while team leaders will generally be in the upper teens and most starters will be in double-digits.  In 2011, no great year itself, Bay had a 13.1 OBI%.

PARNELL BY INNINGS – The Mets expect to get Frank Francisco back for the San Diego series, meaning that Bobby Parnell can move back into a setup role.  Most view this as a positive thing, as they believe Parnell has trouble getting the final outs of the game.  But the numbers in 2012 do not bear out this point of view.

6th inning 2 1.2 2 10.80 10 4 4 2 0 0 0 5 .400 .400 .600 1.000 .800
7th inning 16 11.2 4 3.09 49 8 9 1 0 2 5 10 2.00 .205 .286 .364 .649 .219
8th inning 21 13.1 6 4.05 64 9 21 3 0 1 2 11 5.50 .344 .365 .443 .808 .408
9th inning 16 15.1 3 1.76 59 3 11 2 0 0 3 17 5.67 .204 .259 .241 .499 .297
Ext inning 2 2.0 0 0.00 10 1 1 0 0 0 1 2 2.00 .111 .200 .111 .311 .143
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/3/2012.

TEJADA KEEPS RIPPING LINE DRIVES – Wednesday, Ruben Tejada hit his first home run of the season.  But despite his lack of power, Tejada is quickly becoming a fan favorite.  He does not give away at-bats, he has a good eye at the plate and he has become a line drive machine.  His LD% is 31.6 percent, easily the best on the team.  Tejada does not have enough PA for the leaderboards but only two qualified players have a LD% above 30 percent.  If we drop the PA minimum to 150, only five players in MLB have a LD% over 30 and Tejada’s is the best.

VALDY’S SPLITS – Seemingly everyone wants Jordany Valdespin to get regular playing time the remainder of the season, hoping his early-season heroics will continue.  But the truth is that Valdespin has been fantastic as a pinch-hitter and something else as a starter.  Here are the numbers:

as Starter 20 82 79 11 21 4 1 1 12 1 13 .266 .284 .380 .664 2 1 .308
as Sub 36 41 38 10 10 1 0 6 11 2 10 .263 .317 .763 1.080 0 1 .182
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/3/2012.

HAIRSTON VERSUS LHP – The Mets listened to trade offers for Scott Hairston at the trade deadline but were demanding a top-five prospect back and no one bit.  It’s hard to find fault for teams refusing that price.  It’s a very nice thing to have Hairston to help balance the Mets’ lefty-heavy lineup.  Here are his numbers this year versus LHP:

.308/.343/.600 in 137 PA.  His .292 ISO versus lefties is the 10th-best in MLB among those with at least 100 PA.

BULLPEN CONTINUES TO GET IT DONE – Updating a story from earlier in the week, the Mets bullpen has been much improved since the team swapped Manny Acosta for Pedro Beato.  In the 10 games since Acosta rejoined the club, the relievers have a 2.89 ERA in 28 IP.  Walks have been a bit of a problem (17) but 27 strikeouts and 1 HR allowed have balanced those out.

11 comments on “Chris Young’s future, Jason Bay’s OBI%, Bobby Parnell’s 9th inning success

  • jerseymet

    Nice stats on Parnell. They do run counter to popular opinion.

  • Name

    While ERA is a fine tool to measure overall dominance, sometimes it just doesn’t do the pitcher justice(or gives too much). For many pitchers, if you “just” throw out 1-2 outings, their ERA will probably be half a run to a run lower. For Young, taking out his worst start brings his ERA to a respectable 3.60, and taking out his worst 2 brings it to a very solid 3.00
    You maybe wondering if taking out a couple starts is bad. I don’t think so. A 2-1 loss is just as much of a loss as 6-1. Granted, when you give up less, it gives your team a better chance to win, but in the end it’s about wins and losses. In the end, the quality start is probably a more accurate stat of how well a pitcher is doing because a 5IP, 4ER start is “just” as bad as a 5IP, 8ER start in that you only get credit with 1 non-quality start. It also shows how many games you are able to keep your team in the game, which is the main job of the starter.

    I really don’t think we need any more stats to show how bad Jason Bay is. It’s clearly evident to even the most casual baseball fan.

    It’s interesting for Parnell when you break it down by innings, but could that be misleading? How many of those 9th inning appereances were when the game was a blowout or safely secure? I think an analysis has to be done using innings and Leverage Index to fully show that Parnell, for some reason, can’t handle pressure situations.

    Who doesn’t love Tejada? In the past 2 seasons, he seemed overmatched, but not so anymore(This is why you give young players multiple chances). By far his best asset this year is his discipline at the plate. He is able to wear the pitchers out for the big boppers like Wright.

    There’s no doubting Valdespin is able to rise to the occasion as a late-game pinch hitter, but of course his goal is to be a MLB starter. With the Mets seemingly outof the race, it is the perfecct opportunity to see if he can become one, or if he is more suited for the bench.

    Hairston is great vs LHP. Over the last few weeks we have senn Terry play him more often vs RHP, and his numbers have dipped because of that. However, with Baxter back, i see no reason to play Hairston vs RHP as often anymore.

    I think the better bullpen since Manny arrived is probably due to conicidence, but i have not seen many games since he came back so i can’t really accuretly make a comment about this.

    • Chris F

      Name, that was well presented. I heartedly agree with your question about parnell. Id like to see more abut his LI for sure. I just get the butterflies when it the 9th and he has the ball (truth said, almost everyone out there does as well). To me the walk thing is the biggest issue. We cant seem to throw strikes and get ahead in the count. I think this takes a big toll on the defense as the situation is constantly tense, which can lead to mistakes in the field.

    • Brian Joura

      Sorry, you just can’t “throw out” starts or stats you don’t like. What if we throw out Young’s last start? Then his ERA becomes 4.58 and he looks even worse.

      About 1/3 of Parnell’s 9th inning appearances came in games where the outcome was decided.

      In six seasons in the minors, Valdespin has a .758 OPS, including a .738 OPS in Triple-A. The idea that he is going to be significantly more than that in the majors seems … optimistic.

      • Name

        I know perfectly well that you can’t throw away starts. I just trying to point out some of the flaws with it.
        For example. If someone threw 17 scoreless innings, and then had a start which he went 1 IP, 8 ER’s, he would have a 4.00 ERA, which doesn’t do him justice.

        I know that there are also a lot of flaws with the Quality start as well. But usually, if the pitcher throws a QS, that is usually enough to at least keep his team in the game, which is the main job as a starter.

  • steevy

    Parnell has converted half of his Save opportunities,which means of course that he has blown half.That ain’t good.

    • Brian Joura

      When looking at Blown Saves you have to take into account what inning they happened in. Generally, you can only get a Save in the ninth inning or later but you can get a Blown Save in the sixth inning. I don’t know for a fact, but I believe you can get one earlier than that, too. Let’s say the SP went 3 IP and gave up 3 ER and was yanked. The first RP had 1 IP and the team rallied to score 4 runs to make it 4-3. I think if the next RP gave up a run in the fifth inning – this would qualify as a Blown Save.

      Regardless, Parnell’s Blown Saves have come in the 7th, 10th, 8th and 8th innings.

  • AJ

    I thought the front office did well by making no moves in the recent run up to the trade deadline, particularly with regards to Scott Hairston. They were open to trading him but they wanted relatively high value in return. When no team was willing to pay so high a price for his services, the Mets stood pat. They avoided the temptation to make a move for the sake of making a move, which doesn’t sound like much but is an encouraging departure from the behavior of previous administrations in years past. As a result, they’ve still got one of their better right handed bats for the rest of the season (unless another team decides they really want him and are willing to pay the required price) and salary flexibility moving forward.

  • NormE

    “And likely he will be pitching elsewhere next season.”

    Brian, you’re probably correct. You could say the same about Hairston: And likely he will be playing elsewhere next season.
    I don’t blame Sandy Alderson for asking a lot for Hairston, but the downside is that in the offseason his agent will try to extract
    more than the Wilpons will be willing/able to pay. Thus, the Mets will lose him and get nothing in return. Should Sandy have
    lowered his asking price?

    • Brian Joura

      No, I don’t think so. When you start getting lower in a team’s top prospect list, likely you are looking at someone who is going to be a fourth outfielder or a bullpen part. Those guys have value – man we could have used a bullpen part thru most of July – but Hairston has value, too. He fills a role of great need on the 2012 club and is likely to be more valuable for us in the remaining two months than whatever 4th OF we could get going forward.

      Plus, I think whatever slight chance we have to retain Hairston for 2013 would be dependent on us keeping him.

  • Metsense

    If Valdespin can manage a .738 – .758 OPS then he would be a little bit better than average (.738 OPS avg)CF in the NL and better than average (.717 OPS avg) at second base. That would at least be an improvement over our current CF but not enough to unseat Murphy and his .766 OPS which is about 5th best in the NL. Valdespin may not be the long term solution in CF but may be enough so that the position can be reliably filled and not considered a weak spot.
    Hairston is our best outfielder but he is only a platoon player. There is no immediate help in the minors at the corner outfield positions. The lack of depth justifies extending Hairston. Transition teams don’t usually extend bench players but Hairston is better than what they got.
    Parnell is having a solid season as a relief pitcher and even with his nice ninth inning numbers, his blown save rate is too high to be considered a reliable closer.

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