Before yesterday’s game, the Mets announced they were cutting Gary Sanchez and activating Tomas Nido from the IL. The entire Sanchez experiment, from beginning to end, made no sense to me. There really wasn’t room for him in the organization and then they really didn’t give him a chance. He had 7 PA in the majors before being cut. You can say that was seven more than he should have received. Instead, let’s play the “what if” game. Sanchez went 1-6 with a SF. What if he had gone 4-6 with 2 HR, instead?
What would the Mets have done?
If the extent of Sanchez’ shot was going to be seven trips to the plate, what was the point in even engaging in this circus side show? Why not give the playing time to Michael Perez, instead? He was already here and had a 4-hit game, too. Yesterday, we discussed in this space judging the decisions of non-players in the organization. Whoever came up with the Sanchez idea, along with the ones who greenlighted the process, need to be given demerits. And my opinion is that these are not small demerits, either.
And in the bigger picture, if the organization can make decisions on roster worthiness in 7 PA for Sanchez, why can’t they make similar-type decisions with Tommy Pham in 94 PA or Daniel Vogelbach in 121 PA or Mark Canha in 165 PA or Starling Marte in 178 PA?
During last night’s game, Gary Cohen was mentioning the under-performing four guys currently on the team, along with the production of Ronny Mauricio in Triple-A. Cohen made it out to be such a tremendously difficult situation that the club was in. He made it sound like those four players had sacred cow status because they had been in the majors previously.
Pham has been on the Mets for 51 games. What on earth makes 51 games so unbelievably important that we can’t move on from someone not playing well? And before you dig in your pocket for the small sample card, in the three seasons before joining the Mets, Pham had a 92 OPS+ and now he sits with an 82 mark. We’re supposed to be overwhelmed with the prospect that he might produce enough with a rebound to get back to an already sub-par mark?
Methinks part of the issue is that we have a perception problem with OPS and OPS+. On one hand, we know what’s a good mark and what isn’t. But at the same time, we don’t have the same level of preciseness with an awful OPS+ like we do with AVG. What’s the Mendoza Line for OPS+, the kind where we can openly ridicule a player?
When Mario Mendoza posted a .198 AVG in 401 PA in 1979, we knew instinctively how awful that was. There were 219 players in 1979 to amass at least 350 PA and Mendoza’s .198 AVG was the worst of the lot. In 2022, there were 246 players to amass at least 350 PA. Here are certain percentiles for OPS+:
10th percentile (25th-worst) – 79
25th percentile (62nd worst) – 90
50th percentile (123rd worst) – 105
While OPS+ is calculated so that 100 is an average MLB player, it’s going to be higher for those who’ve amassed 350 PA. Hopefully, you’re not giving that much playing time to guys who are terrible. You know, because you cut their playing time significantly (or permanently) once they stink for 125 or so PA.
Perhaps we can declare that a mark of 80 is to OPS+ as .200 is to AVG. And if so, we have the poster child for this new level of awfulness – The Galvis Line. Freddy Galvis put up a 79 OPS+ in 2015, a 78 in 2016 and an 81 in 2017, having enough PA to qualify for the batting title in each of those three seasons.
So, Marte (70 OPS+) is under the Galvis Line, while Canha (84) and Pham (82) are flirting heavily with it. The Galvis Line – our new level for awfulness, production not to be tolerated. Learn it, use it and mock people for it. Just like you do with the Mendoza Line.
Finally, Metsense made a good point in a comment earlier today. Essentially, he said if the veterans are too holy to consider removing from the roster, why not send down Mark Vientos to get Mauricio in the majors? It’s easier to create playing time for Mauricio right now than it is for Vientos.