Last year when the Mets signed Chris Young, I thought it was a bad move for two reasons. First, I thought it was unlikely that he would stay healthy. Second, even if he was healthy, I didn’t think he would pitch all that well. Predictably, he didn’t stay healthy but when he was able to pitch, Young was much better than I anticipated.
So, how do the Mets stand with Young here in late November? Sandy Alderson inked Young to a one-year deal but is there any chance he’ll be back with the club in 2012? There has not been an update on Young that I know of since mid-August, when the Mets’ road trip took them to San Diego and Young popped into the clubhouse to say hello.
It’s doubtful that Young will be ready for Spring Training and undoubtedly foolish to count on him to pitch major innings in 2012. Still, it would be nice to know if he was still on the Mets’ radar. So, those of you in the mainstream media with access to Alderson and other movers and shakers in the front office – how about an update on Young during this dead period before the Winter Meetings?
Izzy he coming back or not? – Speaking of people who have fallen off the radar, what’s Jason Isringhausen up to these days? His season ended early with a pinched nerve/herniated disc but the last update on Isringhausen is that he wanted to return next season but not for a minimum wage contract. Overall, he was nothing special with the Mets last year – 4.05 ERA and a 4.6 BB/9 – but those numbers are a bit deceiving.
When Isringhausen was bad, he was awful and a handful of bad outings really dragged down his numbers. In 53 games last year, he allowed 23 runs, but 10 of those came in three outings. Take those three games out of the picture and Isringhausen posted a 2.42 ERA.
Many people are clamoring for the Mets to sign either Jonathan Broxton or Brad Lidge as a reclamation project but both of those pitchers are going to command more money than Isringhausen and it’s certainly up for debate if they are a better option at this point in their careers than Izzy.
Over the last two seasons, Broxton has a 4.32 ERA with a 1.547 WHIP while in the last three years, Lidge checks in with a 4.73 ERA and a 1.544 WHIP.
Isringhausen himself acknowledged the need to be in better shape if he was to come back in 2012. If he is physically able to pitch and has kept his promise to shed some of the excess weight, I would much rather see Isringhausen than either Broxton or Lidge at the back of the Mets’ bullpen next year.
Smiling Ike – The Mets recently held a press conference to announce some of the festivities planned for the team’s 50th anniversary celebration. Most of the news centered around the uniform changes and the return of Banner Day. Those are nice but by far the best news was to see a healthy and smiling Ike Davis. It’s still mind boggling that a collision on a pop-up caused Davis to miss most of the 2011 campaign. Hopefully one of the things Terry Collins does this year is to teach his players to yell at the top of their lungs “Yo la tengo!” so we can avoid this ever happening again.
How can we jump-start Josh? – Most people consider Josh Thole a disappointment in 2011. But the majority of the year he was exactly what we thought he was going to be. From May 25th to the end of the season, Thole posted a .298/.377/.395 line. Also, he had 25 BB and 25 Ks in 258 PA during this period. In the beginning of the year, Thole had a .205/.281/.241 line with 13 BB and 22 Ks in 128 PA.
In 2010, Thole started the year poorly, too. He had a .172 AVG during the month of April while playing at Triple-A. Anything can happen once. Two times could still be a coincidence. But three times and we have a trend. Hopefully, the Mets have a plan in place to get Thole off to a good start. But even if he struggles, history shows he has recovered from other slow starts.
The Wright call – So, the Mets are changing their outfield dimensions. While I don’t agree with the decision, I at least understand it. But one thing which will haunt all Mets fans is if David Wright goes back to being the player he was from 2005-2008. I’m not sure how likely it is that will happen (I’d put it at less than a 1-in-4 shot) but if the Mets find out beyond a shadow of a doubt that the dimensions of their new park hurt their franchise player during three of his prime years – that’ll be a tough pill to swallow. Of course, it will really help if he could get his K% back to 2005-2008 levels, too