The undervalued Jeremy Hefner

It’s easy to look at Jeremy Hefner’s 5.09 ERA and 4-7 record and conclude that it was not a very good year and that the Mets might look to upgrade his spot for 2013.  But Hefner did a fine job in his role and not only should he be back next year, there are legitimate reasons to think he was undervalued by most fans and analysts out there.

One of the difficulties in evaluating pitchers is coming to an agreement on terms and definitions.  Coming into the 2012 season, most people would have considered Tim Lincecum an ace.  Yet Lincecum turned in a season with 15 losses and a 5.18 ERA.  So, the first thing we are going to do is throw out preconceived notions.  No one is an ace or SP1 on reputation alone.  Instead we are going to look at actual results and rank pitchers based on where they fell among their peers.

This study is limited to National League pitchers and will consider only what they did as starters.  There were 95 pitchers who threw at least 50 innings as a starter last year.  The Mets had seven pitchers meet this threshold.  Here are their numbers:

Name IP Rank Class
R.A. Dickey 232.2 1 SP1
Jonathon Niese 190.1 27 SP2
Johan Santana 117.0 64 SP4
Chris Young 115.0 66 SP5
Dillon Gee 109.2 69 SP5
Jeremy Hefner 69.1 87 SP6
Matt Harvey 59.1 90 SP6

Based purely on IP, the Mets did not have a SP3 in 2012.  But they did have two SP5s and two SP6s.  These rankings are based on the 16 teams in the league.  Pitchers 1-16 in a category would be an SP1, Pitchers 17-32 would be SP2, Pitchers 33-48 would be SP3, Pitchers 49-64 would be SP4, Pitchers 64-80 would be SP5 and Pitchers 80+ (since we only have 95 here) would be SP6.  In terms of innings, Santana would be a bottom-tier SP4, while Young and Gee would be upper-tier SP5s.

Innings pitched are very important but they are not the only way to rank starters.  We need to look at quality, too.  Unfortunately, quality is not as easy to measure, with perhaps the biggest issue being how to account for innings while we also look at quality.  Leaving aside innings for the moment, let’s look at how the Mets’ pitchers did compared to our 95 NL pitchers when we rank them by ERA:

Name ERA Rank Class
Dickey 2.67 5 SP1
Harvey 2.73 6 SP1
Niese 3.40 19 SP2
Gee 4.10 55 SP4
Young 4.15 58 SP4
Santana 4.85 76 SP5
Hefner 5.32 88 SP6

Based strictly on ERA, Harvey gets classified as an SP1 but in reality it’s impossible to consider a guy who threw just 59.1 IP as a number-one pitcher.

As for Hefner, we see him as an SP6 in both innings and ERA.  His rankings are solidly in the middle for both categories, suggesting that he is a league-average sixth starter.  You may have noticed his ERA was listed at 5.02 early in the piece and 5.32 above in the ERA chart.  That 5.32 is what he did as a starter.  All numbers listed in these charts apply only to what the player did in his role as a SP.

But ERA is only one measure of quality.  A better one is xFIP, which measures what a player’s ERA should have looked like assuming that performance on balls in play, timing and HR rate were league average.  Here’s the next chart:

Name xFIP Rank Class
Dickey 3.26 8 SP1
Harvey 3.49 15 SP1
Gee 3.54 19 SP2
Niese 3.64 25 SP2
Santana 4.02 49 SP4
Hefner 4.06 53 SP4
Young 5.36 95 SP6

From this quality standpoint, it’s easy to get excited about the Mets’ SP for 2013.  Two SP1s, Two SP2s and the very best SP4 would make for an outstanding rotation.  As for Hefner, we see him jump in this quality ranking from a middle of the pack SP6 to one of the best SP4 in the NL.  Hefner was hurt last year by an elevated BABIP (.319) and a depressed strand rate (63.9) – two things that we would expect to regress in his favor in 2013.  We should also note that Young finished dead last in this category.

Let’s look at one more quality metric, this one fWAR:

Name fWAR Rank Class
Dickey 4.7 6 SP1
Niese 2.4 38 SP3
Gee 1.5 T51 SP4
Hefner 1.3 T59 SP4
Harvey 1.1 T65 SP5
Santana 1.1 T65 SP5
Young 0.5 T82 SP6

WAR does the best job of trying to balance durability and quality.  We see Dickey and Niese – the two pitchers who by far threw the most innings – comfortably ahead of everyone else.  Yet Gee threw nearly twice as many innings as Hefner and they were nearly identical in fWAR.  This is another stat that suggests that Hefner was quite good as a SP in 2012, one worthy of being in a team’s starting rotation.

Hefner produced his stats last year while bouncing back and forth between Triple-A and the majors and as a starter and a reliever.  It’s hardly the ideal way to put up good stats.  Instead of comparing him to SP, let’s compare him to pitchers who pitched in his role.

Since 2000, there have been 107 seasons in the National League where a pitcher both started and relieved in at least 10 games.  Last year Hefner made 13 starts and had 13 relief appearances.  His 5.09 overall ERA is tied for 66th-best, a pedestrian mark.  But Hefner got that ERA with an interesting combination.  He was very good in the majority of his starts and awful in a handful.  He had 8 Quality Starts and three outings where he posted a Game Score of 22 or below.

If we sort our list of 107 seasons by QS percentage, we see Hefner’s .615 mark is the fifth-best percentage in our sample.  The four pitchers ahead of him in this ranking went a combined 31-19.  If we look at just 2012, Hefner’s QS% is tied for 28th among pitchers with 50 IP, making him an SP2.

When we rank Hefner by IP and ERA, he was a solid SP6 in the National League in 2012.  But there are reasons to think that he performed much better than that last year.  Hefner’s xFIP, fWAR and QS% all indicate a pitcher far superior to a sixth starter.

Of course, Hefner’s 2012 season could certainly be a fluke.  That’s true of any pitcher and there’s no reason to exempt Hefner.  Perhaps if he took a regular turn in the rotation, scouting reports would allow batters to tee of on him.  Yet judging solely on what he produced in the majors last year, Hefner is an excellent guy to have for SP depth and he would be an upgrade for more than a few teams as a member of their starting five.

47 comments for “The undervalued Jeremy Hefner

  1. Name
    October 16, 2012 at 11:31 am

    I’m not sure what the IP anaylsis is supposed to prove. If you have injuires or if you are called up midway onto the season, you can’t possibly score high on that list. So that list seems kind of irrelevant to me.

    Now, my main gripe about Hefner is not about his performance, but how the Mets should handle him next year. Being the long man/emergency starter is probably the hardest job in baseball in my opinion. Simply put, i don’t think he can do it. You either stick him in relief full time or keep him at AAA to provide SP depth. This season, most of his terrible starts have been when he first transitions from the bullpen back to SP. When they kept bumping and shifting his role last year, it clearly had an effect on his performance.

    Now here’s the negative side of his performance. Most of his great starts were versus very poor hitting teams. Two that come in mind were the Astros(8IP, 1 R), and the Pirates (something like 7IP,0R). If you take those two performances out, he was very bad in terms of ERA. Yes, i know it’s not fair to just throw stats away because you don’t choose your opponents, but sometimes you have to take some stats with a grain of salt, like September stats for non-contenders as well.

    So, basically, i want the Mets to define a role for Hefner and keep him in that role. We should see much better performance out of him if we do.

    • October 16, 2012 at 11:46 am

      The IP isn’t supposed to “prove” anything. There’s value to pitching a lot of innings and just because Harvey was fantastic in 50-something IP does not mean he can do it over 200 IP in 2013.

      You want two things from your pitcher — quality and quantity. IP is merely the way we measure quantity.

      • Name
        October 16, 2012 at 12:17 pm

        What i meant by irrelevent was trying to name SP1-5 based purely on IP.
        In the end, giving each starter a “number” is a rather pointless job. It is better just to categorize them (using our own judgement while using stats merely as a basis) as ace, above average, average, below average, doesn’t belong in MLB. And the goal of teams is to try to get all your 5 SP to be at least average.

        • October 16, 2012 at 12:20 pm

          I disagree with that completely.

          We need to have some kind of systematic approach or else you get people applying their own meanings. What you consider to be an “ace” may be completely different from what I consider one to be. And if you don’t try to apply standards, you may completely miss the boat on classifying what type of pitcher doesn’t belong in MLB.

          • Name
            October 16, 2012 at 12:53 pm

            I’m not saying we use our judgement completely. If i make a judgement that pitcher “A” is an “ace”, i should use some stats (that you listed above) to prove my point.
            Your method works fine for people who made around 20 starts and pitched at least 120+ innings. It’s the area around 50-120 innings that gets a bit iffy and human judgement is needed. Most of the people here had significant injuries at some point or weren’t in the majors or starting most of the time.

  2. Wexlerrules
    October 16, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Check out Hefner’s numbers vs. non-horrendous teams. He feasted on the Astros, Marlins (twice), Pirates (when they had quit at the end of the year) and was pounded by the Braves, Phillies and Nats.

    • October 16, 2012 at 11:43 am

      Hefner had two QS in three outings against the Nationals. He had two starts against the Phillies and once he got lit up (when he was making his first start in 12 days) and the other time he threw a QS. He did have one bad start against Atlanta, but so did everyone else on the Mets’ staff. Dickey had an 8.80 ERA in 3 starts against the Braves. Santana had a 12.79 ERA against the Braves in four starts.

      • Wexlerrules
        October 16, 2012 at 1:10 pm

        Jeremy Hefner last 10 appearances (when he somehow got people to believe he was “underrated”

        Marlins (27th in OPS, last place in the NL East) 7.1 innings 5 hits 2 runs 2 walks 7 k’s

        Pirates (25th in OPS, 9-22 in August/Sept ) 7 innings 3 hits 0 runs 1 walk 7 k’s

        Phillies (didn’t record an out) 0.0 innings 6 hits 7 runs 1 walk 0 k’s

        Brewers (relief) 1 inning 1 hit 1 run 0 walks 0 k’s

        Braves 2.2 innings 8 hits 5 runs 2 walks 1 k

        Marlins (27th in OPS, last place in the NL East) 6 innings 6 hits 2 runs 1 walk 4 k’s

        Houston (29th in OPS, worst record in baseball) 8 innings 5 hits 1 run 0 walks 7 k’s

        Washington 5 innings 8 hits 5 runs 0 walks 3 k’s

        Reds (relief) 2 innings 3 hits 1 run 0 walks 1 k

        So he dominated awful teams, pounded vs. good ones. Not sure how that’s even debatable.

        • October 16, 2012 at 1:17 pm

          I would suggest using runs rather than OPS in making your comparisons.

          Still, taking your numbers the way you presented them – In MLB half of the teams are below average. If you think there’s no value in dominating half the teams in the league from your sixth starter, I guess I don’t know what to tell you.

          As for his struggles versus elite teams, we’ve already been over this. Two of his three starts against the Nationals were good, one of two versus the Phillies (and the bad one was when he was getting jerked around) and a bad start against the Braves. He’s got a lot of company when it comes to Mets pitchers having bad starts against Atlanta.

          Some people look at Hefner and see a bum. I see a guy who I’m very happy having as the team’s sixth starter.

          • Wexlerrules
            October 16, 2012 at 1:31 pm

            Well bum or not there is no reason to dump cheap pitching. Depth is always a good thing. 2013 they should have Wheeler, Gorski, Mazzoni, McHugh as potential options at some point, Hefner as part of that mix is fine too but he’s at best a long man and closer to a AAAA guy in my eyes.

  3. Chris F
    October 16, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Im afraid I see Hefner as a 4A guy, doing emergency starts, probably not well, and never getting more time with this team. If he can be packaged, I move him out.

  4. Mack Ade
    October 16, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    A couple of things…

    1. Do the Mets have any current control over Hefner? He’s pitched six seasons in baseball, the last for the Mets. Isn’t he technically a free agent right now to sign anywhere?

    2. Right now, I can’t see him being thrilled to be sent back to AAA for 2013 after 23 appearances in the major leagues. He, Chris Schwinden, and Colin McHugh, are your emergency starters past the 5-man rotation (Santana – Dickey – Niese – Harvey – Gee), and you know that Wheeler will be knocking on the door come the all-start break. Injury free, that would swing Gee to the pen as the long man.

    3. The pen has already changes. Parnell, Edgin, Mejia, Francisco, and Familia are a lock.

    I’d keep Hefner as my long man, send McHugh and Scwinden to Las Vegas, and pray every day no one goes down.

    P.S. Don’t get so thrilled about those last two outings… mentally, the opponents already had their bags packed and were ready to go home…

    • October 16, 2012 at 1:05 pm

      Chris Walendin’s great site lists the ways a player can become a free agent:

      “There are 4 different ways a player can qualify for minor league free agency. The first, and most straightforward is if he is released by the club. When a player is released, he becomes a free agent immediately. The second is if the player was signed to a minor league contract that does not extend beyond the current season. This is common when players are acquired as minor league free agents, particularly in the upper minors. The third, via Rule 55, is if a player has spent 7 whole or partial minor league seasons with the club that originally signed him. The fourth and final, via Article XX, Section D of the CBA, is if a player is outrighted and has 3 or more, but less than 5 years of Major League service and/or has been outrighted previously in his career. The player can elect to immediately become a free agent instead of accepting the outright assignment, or he can defer his free agency to the end of the season (provided he’s not back on the 40-man roster).

      http://tpgmets.blogspot.com/p/minor-fa.html

      Obviously Hefner does not have enough service time to be a major league free agent. My best guess is that the Mets control his rights.

      Mack, you know better than anyone the roster crunch for pitchers in the Mets’ system. I don’t see Hefner going to Triple-A.

      I would not consider either Mejia or Familia a lock for the major league pen.

      • Mack Ade
        October 16, 2012 at 2:01 pm

        all we are doing is guess here, but I have a work sheet for each of the minor league teams and what I currently have on them. I just stack up the players that either have played there, or seem to have earned the bump there. Lastly, there are guys like Hefner that may not stick with the Queens team:

        Starters: Hefner, Wheeler, Gorski, Germen, Cohoon, A-Rod, Peavey, Owen, McHugh, Schwinden

        Relief: Mejia, Familia, E Ramirez, Holt, Carpenter, Hansen, Fraser, Byrdak, Cabrera, James, Nitkowski,Edgar Ramirez

        Yes, many of these guys may be long gone (let me know if you’re heard about any of them), but, as you see, the Mets have a lot of decisions to make at the AAA level when it comes to pitching.

      • October 16, 2012 at 2:46 pm

        Yes, the Mets control Hefner. For players on a team’s 40-man roster, minor league free agency eligibility is irrelevant. The only way they can reach free agency on their own is by accruing 6 years of Major League service. Following the 2012 season, Hefner sits at 0 years, 123 days (give or take a day; I balance to Cot’s & b-r when they publish their numbers). So if he stays in the Majors from this point in his career on, he’ll be eligible for free agency for the first time following the 2018 season. If that seems like a long time, remember, Hefner only made his ML debut in April. On top of that, Hefner also has one option year remaining, having used his first option in 2011 & his second this year. So the Mets have some additional flexibility there.

        • Mack Ade
          October 16, 2012 at 3:01 pm

          Thanks Chris.

          Great work you do.

          • October 16, 2012 at 3:32 pm

            Thanks Mack. I appreciate & reciprocate that sentiment.

    • Zach Ripple
      October 17, 2012 at 1:37 am

      I would not take Gee out of the rotation when Wheeler is ready. No matter how good Santana may be going next year, I don’t care if the Mets are in first-place and Santana is the Cy Young favorite, TRADE HIM. Move him at June when his value is high, eat the salary to boost the returns, and insert Wheeler. The Mets have to look at Gee as a valuable #5 starter in the future who could be moved in a package deal when the time is right. Gee is a SP and his value to the Mets and other teams is highest there.

  5. Bill
    October 16, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    I think the categorization of SP1-SP6, and using that as a basis of quantifying whether a guy is major league calibre or not (I assume the idea there was the guys who ranked, on average as SPs1-5 would belong in a major league rotation an an SP6 would be good depth?) is misleading.

    All you’re actually doing is making tiers. And why any team would want one guy from each tier makes no sense to me. Why would you want any SP4, SP5 or SP6 on your staff? Those are the below average pitchers – just because you have a 5 man rotation, and they will be ranked by pundits 1-5 based on their effectiveness, doesn’t mean you want a guy as your “5th starter” who is in the “5th tier” (out of 6) in pitchers in the league. Thats not good.

    The problem is that this analysis starts with the assumption that everyone of the 95 pitchers ranked belongs on an ideal staff, which is never true.

    if you like the metrics you use, and thats a different argument, all you’re showing is that Hefner is solidly below average in all of them, which likely means that he’s fine as a body but based on his work this year, it’d be IDEAL to upgrade on him, even if thats a bit greedy. I don’t mind him as a depth option at all, but I think the argument sounds like this “For a role where its tough to get a proven contributor in, and will likely have little overall impact on the success or failure of the team, its fine to use a cheap mid-20′s guy, who maintains a bit of potential upside if he can pitch to his peripherals next year, even if its likely he’s not very good” rather than something more affirmative.

    • October 16, 2012 at 1:59 pm

      Ah, yes – Lake Wobegone where all of the pitchers are above average…

      As a goal that’s great. In reality it doesn’t happen very often. I don’t know if the goal is to have one from each grouping as it is so much to avoid having too many in the bottom tiers. Generally, you won’t be in trouble if your fifth starter is in the fifth tier. You’re in trouble when pitchers 3-4-5 are all in the fifth tier.

      THERE IS NO IDEAL STAFF!!!

      The Mets wanted Mike Pelfrey to start 30 times this year – didn’t happen. In fact 3/5 of their rotation missed significant time. How many teams in baseball used the five pitchers they wanted between 27-33 times each? Without doing the research, I’m quite willing to bet that it’s none.

      And that’s why depth is so important. I feel pretty good about the Mets’ SP going into 2013 because of the five guys who should be there on Opening Day. I feel even better because Hefner is around and has proven quite effective when given a regular turn in the rotation.

      • Mack Ade
        October 16, 2012 at 2:03 pm

        Brian, if everyone is so worried about starting depth in 2013, why not keep Mejia as a starter and have him head go SP2 behind Wheeler in Vegas?

        • October 16, 2012 at 2:04 pm

          Certainly that’s how I would do it at the start of 2013 and why I said I didn’t consider him a lock for the MLB bullpen.

          • Mack Ade
            October 16, 2012 at 2:17 pm

            Another thing…

            the Mets have somewhere in the $2-4mil range for additions…

            If he’s ready…

            why not consider bringing back Mike Pelfrey in the $1.5-2 range with a bunch of encentives that would be payable in the fiscal 2014 books.

            This team will only get to the the playoffs through pitching and somebody ALWAYS goes down, but…

            2013 rotation: Santana, Dickey, Harvey, Niese, Pelfrey

            Long man – Gee

            Long Man 2 – Hefner

            LH 8th – Elgin

            RH 8th – Francisco

            Closer – Parnell

            In The Wings – Wheeler, Mejia, Familia

            • October 16, 2012 at 2:18 pm

              I’m sure the Mets will look to sign Pelfrey to a contract, much like they did with Chris Young this past offseason. It’s good for the player as he gets to continue his rehab with the doctors who started it.

              Having said that, there’s no guarantee that Pelfrey would be ready at the start of the season. Plus, I’m not sure I want to sink all of our available budget into a reclamation project.

              • Mack Ade
                October 16, 2012 at 2:28 pm

                I really hope the Mets don’t give up on him (boy, I’m gonna get some shit here for this statement).

                2008: 3.72
                2010: 3.66
                2012: 2.29 (3 starts)

                Yeah, the 2009 and 2011 weren’t that good, but a lifetime 4.36 ranks him as a top SP5 candidate.

                Mike Pelfrey is a major league starter. Not the best, but a guy you’d like under contract in a critical year.

                He also adds to the depth that would allow for a trade someday of one of your starters for a quality outfielder, or catcher.

                You start this season off with Santana, Dickey, Harvey, Niese, and Gee… and you have Pelfrey and Wheeler ready to join this staff at the all-star break… your phones will start ringing

                • October 16, 2012 at 5:15 pm

                  I still like Pelfrey, I think he gets way more than his fair share of flak from the fanbase & I think he’ll be a good risk/reward pickup for some team at the price where he’ll probably be. I just don’t think it makes a ton of sense for the Mets, given the other holes & limited funds. Plus, once he’s nontendered, he’s free to shop himself around. But if the market is really soft on him (Boras factor makes that unlikely IMO) and/or he has a strong desire to finish his rehab in St. Lucie, then I’d be psyched if they could get him on a deal that didn’t adversely affect the rest of their offseason plans. I just think it’s unlikely to work out. Plus, who knows if he’ll even be back & ready to pitch next season. 12 months (pretty much the minimum to recover, as I understand it) gets you to May already.

                • Metsense
                  October 16, 2012 at 5:31 pm

                  Pelfry on a minor league deal with incentives (like Young’s) could be good insurance as he probably won’t be ready to pitch until June/July, as Chris mentions. If another team offers more, oh well, see you Mike. Mack also is 100% correct that Pelfry is a major league starter and his 200 innings pitched a year is what many teams will want. It is the Mets fault that they annointed him an “ace” when his ceiling was a #3 starter and more like a #4.

      • Name
        October 16, 2012 at 7:24 pm

        Brian, the reds was that lucky team this year

  6. October 16, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Is this the same guy who never got an out in his loss?

    • October 16, 2012 at 2:16 pm

      Wow – a netzero addy! Does Dennis Miller still do their commercials?

      Yes, Hefner had the outing where he did not record an out. That start is included in his numbers and no doubt skews perceptions of many people.

      • October 16, 2012 at 10:25 pm

        Haha I deserve the hit on Netzero but honestly I’m not going to post my primary email. My issue with Hefner is that he never gave me the confidence except against the failing Pirates and the mail it in Marlins that he could win. I think as a long man he may be good but I’m not sure. Since Darren Oliver left we’ve let we’ve only had success with Hisanori Takahashi. I’m not sure Hefner is capable of such success.

    • Mack Ade
      October 16, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      Yes.. it is.

      That was one outing and it was followed by two quality starts.

      We’re not discussing here making him the ace of the staff.

  7. Willis
    October 16, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Mack – Gee is too good to be a reliever. In the event the Mets feel that they need to bring Wheeler up to Queens and Santana isn’t hurt then the Mets will either trade Gee or another starter (If Santana is healthy and pitching reasonably well then he’s the obvious trade fodder – if they can find a taker).

    Anyway, based on the Mets’ dire need for offensive help, I can’t imagine that all of these pitchers will be members of the Mets’ organization come spring. Something has to give.

    Regarding this post, I thought it was obvious that Hefner is ideal for the swing starter role. The alternatives are either too valuable (Mejia, Familia) or worse than Hefner (McHugh, Schwinden, et al).

    • norme
      October 16, 2012 at 6:22 pm

      Willis, I agree that Hefner is better than McHugh, Schwinden—at least from the relatively small body of work that we saw.

  8. 7rain
    October 16, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    I would keep Hefner, he had mostly good outings and I would try like hell to resign Pelfrey within reasonable boundaries. We root for a team that has numerous needs and very little to spare. It would not surprise me at all if Pelfrey pitched well and got us a B prospect at the end of July and at what cost? 2M? That would be a very worthwhile investment, not a guaranteed one but a credible effort. Hefner would probably give us 6-7 quality starts out of 10 if need be and might even be a reasonable 2 inning guy if he could concentrate on just one job.

    • norme
      October 16, 2012 at 6:23 pm

      Agree!

      By the way, is there a difference between “7rain” and “7train?”

      • 7rain
        October 17, 2012 at 12:40 pm

        Give me an E on that Norm.

    • Name
      October 16, 2012 at 10:50 pm

      Pelfrey at 2 million? Scott Boras would never allow that.

      Glad someone agrees with my “stick to 1 role with Hefner” idea.

  9. Metsense
    October 16, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Brian that was great research. Thanks! Heffner has a 3.66 FIP which ranks him 29th in the NL which is better than Gee and Niese. Heffner is a value as you pointed out and will serve well as a long relief/spot starter. He put up 8/13 QS or 61.5% which makes him a serviceable sixth starter. There were only 85 starting pitchers that pitched more than 80 innings in the NL. 158 pitchers made at least one start. Only 54% pitched 80 innings (about 1 out of every 2). 80 innings is around 13 starts (at the NL avg. of 6 innings per start) That is to me an indication how thin the pitching is in baseball. It also indicates to me what a value Heffner is.

    • Willis
      October 16, 2012 at 5:51 pm

      I forgot to mention that – great post. Thank you.

  10. Mack Ade
    October 17, 2012 at 6:58 am

    Let’s take a look at the 40-man:

    The current 40-man roster has 37 active ballplayers and 3 on the DL (Dillon Gee, Tim Byrdak, and Mike Pelfrey).

    Byrdak and Pelfrey will not be ready by opening day, so there will be no change there. Gee will be and he will eventually be added as the 38th player.

    You all know I follow the minor leagues with the best of them, so I’m going to venture out and guess who the Mets pull back here and protect on the 40.

    Zack Wheeler is a no-brainer. I think both Darin Gorski and Armondo Rodriguez will be protected for different reasons. It’s hard to give up on a 24-year old 6-4 lefty that has gone 29-23, 3.68, 1.23 in his four years in the system, so I’m protecting Gorski. Regarding A-Rod, he has become a very effective reliever (2012 – Binghamton – 34-games, 3.22, 1.09, 77-K, 72.2-IP) (2012 Buffalo – 1-G 2.08) in the past two years and is a viable consideration to the 2014 pen. 89-92 mph, with a 86-88mph cutter.

    I have to protect 3B Aderlin Rodriguez. He simply is one of the three top power bats in the system right now (Wilmer Flores and Cory Vaughn). He will play 2013 as a 21-year old and he already has hit 41 home runs over the past two seasons in Savannah and St. Lucie. Yes, he plays the infield as an adventure, but you can’t give up on someone with this power ability at this age.

    My last pick would be Marcos Camarena. Outstanding control pitcher who has had much success in the lower levels (3-seasons – GCL-Sav – 53-G, 2.93, 1.09).

    That’s 5 guys, which would raise the 40-man to 43.

    Candidates to consider dropping would be Colin McHugh (he’s get through), Ramon Ramirez, Jon Rauch, Chris Young, Ronnnie Cedeno, Zach Lutz, Scott Hairston (when he signs elsewhere), and Andres Torres.

    There’s plenty of room to work this out.

    (BTW – C Ronnie Paulino opted for FA last night…)

    • Name
      October 17, 2012 at 11:24 am

      I think Ramon Ramirez and Andres Torres are almost guarnateed locks to be not resigned. So that would be 41. I would say out of Rauch/Young/Hairston, the Mets only sign at the most 2 out of the 3, and i think they will only keep 1, so that puts them at 39/40.

      • Mack Ade
        October 17, 2012 at 11:33 am

        Yeah, there’s lots of room to keep some of the best prospects in tow. You save these guys and one or two of them will work out past Wheeler.

        • Name
          October 17, 2012 at 1:30 pm

          Hows Reese Havens? Is it still worth keeping him?

  11. Mack Ade
    October 17, 2012 at 11:34 am

    BTW –

    I have a complete worksheet on all the minor league players and where they would currently slot into.

    Email me at: macksmets@gmail.com and I’ll send it to any of you.

    Mack

  12. July 3, 2013 at 1:50 am

    “Based strictly on ERA, Harvey gets classified as an SP1 but in reality it’s impossible to consider a guy who threw just 59.1 IP as a number-one pitcher.”

    Oops

    • July 3, 2013 at 7:07 am

      So, you go back to comment on an article written 8.5 months ago, one entitled, “The undervalued Jeremy Hefner,” on the night where Hefner throws 7 IP and allows just 1 ER to lower his ERA to 3.54 — and you don’t comment on Hefner?!?!?!?

      During the broadcast last night, Gary Cohen said how no one saw this coming from Hefner. Well, I’ve been beating the drum for awhile now, Gary.

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