"The Mets haven’t made the most of Aaron Heilman. Once expected to be a rotation fixture, the pitcher has instead found a home in the bullpen. He could find a home closer to his midwest roots if the information I got from a Mets official pans out. I’m told that the Mets are discussing shipping Heilman to the Cardinals in return for free-agent-to-be Jason Marquis."
Well, that may take away the unpleasant aftertaste of this afternoon’s events. Trading an under-used player like Hector Luna hasn’t sat quite well, but trading an over-used and over-valued player like Marquis for Heilman, who is banished to the Met’s bullpen would do wonders for my emotions. Strauss did indicate that after Marquis’ latest stinkfest in Chicago management seemed fed up with his lack of concentration. (Why is it LaRussa has had the patience of Job with Marquis, and yet patience as thin as Nicole Richie for guys like Luna?)
Anyway, the Mets must really be desperate for starting pitching, or they think they can somehow teach Marquis how to focus. Heilman would be a good fit in my opinion. Whether as a reliever or as a starter. If as a reliever, then we’ll finally see Wainwright in the rotation. But I’d guess Heilman would be a starter unless Jocketty has something else in the hopper. Heilman was outstanding last season, he’s been okay this season. His strikeouts are down some from last season, but he still is fanning 7 per 9, and he gets lots of grounders.
Just getting Bipolar Betty off this team for something of value would make me very, very happy. Getting Heilman for Bipolar Betty would make me ecstatic.
On the flip side of happiness, it appears Shawn Green is becoming more and more of a distinct possibility. I don’t think Green would be awful, nor would he be much better then Enc for that matter. But what can you say? We’re just not competitors for guys like Lee or Abreu. The question the Cards need to ask themselves is Dunc for real? If the answer is anywhere close to "yeah, sorta" then they need to forget Shawn Green ever crossed their minds. But if today’s events are any indication then I fully expect to see Green donning the Birds on the Bat very soon.
Unfortunately, I’ll be at work tomorrow, won’t know much of anything until I can use a computer without getting fired…
Here we go again. This is horsebleep. When your Ace gives up 5 runs in 1 and a third, it’s time to find something else to do with your afternoon. To add insult to injury Pujols looks to have hurt himself in Chicago again, this time a hyperextended elbow, nothing serious. The superstitious side of me says it’s time to quit calling the Cubs cursed, because it’s just coming back on us. Sure,they probably are cursed if there are such thing as curses, but you won’t hear me say it anymore. At least not until we start beating them again on a regular basis.
To make me a little more despondent, Bernie Miklasz says he expects Hector Luna to be traded to the Indians for Ronnie Belliard this afternoon. Seems like a waste of a move, when you could just start Luna who appears to be about the same player, only younger and with speed. But I guess LaRussa sees him nothing more then a sub/platoon guy. Belliard is turning FA this winter, which will force Walt go back to search the bargain basement again for another second sacker this offseason.
On the bright side, at least Miles will go to the pine where he belongs. I guess we can keep him when we need a pinch hitter to face Brad Lidge. And we’ll at least get some decent production from 2nd, and as I noted earlier today the Miles is terrible at turning 2, while Ronnie D-O double jizzle excels.
Outside of that move, I’m not expecting much between now and 3pm tomorrow. Given the constraints we have, it’s looking like the waiver wire is where the Cardinals moves will be made, if at all. I have a pretty strange feeling we will end up with Shawn Green, just my gut feeling..I kinda hope I’m wrong.
Update: Rosenthal is saying the same thing, and adds that we’ll only deal for Belliard if he stays healthy for today’s game. Well, it’s 2 outs in the 9th inning and Ronnie’s gone one for three verses the M’s today. So it appears it’s going down if Rosenthal is right. (And he usually is.) He pulled a hammy recently but has recovered. And it looks like the struggling Guillermo Mota could be thrown in the deal. That makes me….even more despondent.
Update, again 3:31PM: Wouldn’t you think with Rodriguez hurting himself that maybe he uses Luna to pinch-run/play LF? And wouldn’t he be the preferable pinch hitter earlier in the game instead of Marquis? As for Rodriguez, who replaces him? Maybe this guy. .288/.349/.496 with 7 HR in 139 AB’s. Translated into MLE’s? .751 OPS. Dude certainly is old enough and would be preferred over Skip.
Per Bernie Miklasz:
Starting pitchers: Kip Wells, Jon Lieber, Cory Lidle. Buy: Cory Lidle 7 k/9, 2.8 BB/9. Sell:Kip Wells. More walks then strikeouts, and he’s supposed to be a power pitcher.
Relievers: Mike Gonzalez, Rheal Cormier, Aaron Fultz. Buy: Mike Gonzalez. His control has been off the past two seasons but he’s relatively young and has closer stuff. Could be Izzy’s eventual replacement. But if the asking price is too high from Lamar, uh, Littlefield I mean, then Fultz would do nicely. 11:1 K/BB ratio verses lefties. Sell: Rheal Cormier. Old and has a many walks as strikeouts. How his ERA is so low is beyond me.
Outfielders: Shawn Green, Jeff Conine, Craig Wilson (and Strauss mentioned Luis Gonzalez). Green could happen after the deadline as he’s likely to pass through waivers. Both Green and Wilson have sub-.820 OPS and neither at this point seem that appealing. Conine would be a decent platoon partner for Dunc, nothing more. Buy: Give me Gonzo. .286/.375/.474. He’s been treated bad on the home front and I think could be this year’s Larry Walker. Sell: Green. He’s still got some years on his contract, and some big dough for a below average player. He still hits for a decent average, and gets on base but his power is gone and I wouldn’t want him for more then maybe a rental.
2nd Base: Ronnie Belliard, Mark Loretta. He and Loretta have similiar hitting numbers and about anything would represent an upgrade from the feckless Miles and his .661 OPS. But what bugs me about Miles more is his inability to turn the double play. I don’t have any data, but I’ve noticed the Cardinals aren’t getting the DP like they should be and according to the terrific book, The Fielding Bible, Miles is AWFUL at turning 2. His 3 year GDP ranking was dead last out of 25 regulars at .401. Belliard was 7th at .531 and Loretta was 13th at .508. But I gotta feel for Hector Luna. The Cards toyed with the idea of making him the starter this winter, but then signed Deivi Cruz, Junior Spivey and Miles. Then they’ve started Miles no matter how well Luna has hit. Now they are kicking tires on Belliard and Loretta. Poor, poor Hector. What does he have to do? Buy: Either, or just start Hector please! Sell: Aaron Miles for a bag of chips and a Slurpee.
If we played 162 games verses the Cubs a year, how many would we win? If you answered 95-100+, congratulations! You are not on a ledge. If you said 60, please seek professonial guidance.
How do the Cubs do it? I don’t know, baseball doesn’t always make sense. I didn’t see the game today, work and all but it sounded like a real hum-dinger. Evil Marquis, aka Bipolar Betty took another noogie and I’m sure most have seen this insane stat by now. In Marquis’s 12 wins-2.97 ERA. In losses, 12.57. Of course those are inflated by two incredibly merciless beatdowns from the ChiSox and the Bravos, but there is no middle ground with Marquis. Life, and a box of chocolates is like Jason Marquis. You never know what you’re going to get. You may get the gooey caramel blend or you may get a razor blade or a rat **** inside.
With Marquis heading to free agency, I’d like to somehow see us part ways with somehow, someway. The oft-cited scooper Bernie Miklasz said today the Cards focus is now pitching, namely a starter and a lefty reliever. With Dontrelle Willis looking more and more like a pipe dream, I think the Cards could go bargain shopping and pick up Rheal Cormier, Cory Lidle and Dave Dellucci from the Phils. As MLBTraderumors.com mentioned, Dellucci is being showcased right now, as Burrell has sat 4 out of the last 5 games for the Phils. Dellucci currently has a .976 OPS in 128 AB’s. I admit, my love fest for Chris Duncan has cooled after taking an honest look at his MLE’s, watching him "play defense" and seeing him fall over the place every time he takes a swing. Dellucci is playing great ball right now and I admit I keep wavering back and forth on whether or not he’s an upgrade or now. Right now I say buy.
As far as Lidle goes, K/9 is 7.04, BB/9 2.8, GB% 49.4% yet he has a 4.74 ERA. There’s something unlucky there, whether it be Phillies defense, park or what, but I’ll take him over Marquis right now. He just came off a game verses the DBacks where he fanned 8 in 8 innings and didn’t walk a soul.
On the flip side of luck Rheal Cormier is stranding 92% of his runners and has a 1.59 ERA, while Tyler Johnson is stranding 72% of the batters he’s faced and his ERA is 5.06 ERA. Tyler is getting way more strike outs, but Cormier is walking far less batters and has been effective against righties and lefties. With a 3.6 K/9 rate I don’t know how he’s doing it, I’m guessing luck but I for the stretch I’ll take the guy who’s not putting runners on and getting out of jams right now.
Reyes verses Maddux, another big name pitcher to match up against Anthony tomorrow. The thing to watch? Reyes velocity and how he sets up his change up. A poster at Gateway Redbirds that goes by the moniker Longhorn Baseball has charted every pitch thrown by Reyes, and has seen his velocity decline. I could be reading it wrong, but it seems like because the zip on his fastball isn’t there he’s not able to set up the change as good. Perhaps batters are sitting on it more like they did in Colorado. Or maybe it’s the "pitch to contact, 2 seamer, DD and TLR are ruining the kid" conspiracy theory. But there was a story in May about Reyes’ velocity dropping. And I’ve heard some are saying his arm angle looks different, and that could be part of it. Feel free to drop your theories in the comments. I don’t know for sure,he certainly doesn’t look right to me, but here’s hoping it’s just growing pains and Reyes sticks it to the Cubbies tomorrow.
(EDIT:What’s with MLBlogs system? I can’t say T-u-r-d?)
What is it about the Cubs that brings the worst out of this team? Pujols had his worst at bat of the season with the bases loaded by swinging at some ugly balls and grounding into a double play. Tyler Johnson should not have been brought into the game as Weaver had really settled in nicely and had the hot hand. I realize he had thrown 101 pitches, but that should’ve been his inning. And Scott Rolen made one of the goofiest plays I’ve ever seen him make. Hancock induced the perfect ground ball and he just booted it.
Juan Encarnacion looked asleep at the wheel as Nevin went home from second on a week single off the bat of Neifi (!) Perez. Chris Duncan didn’t make the wisest choice jumping in front of that single off Juan Pierre. (Speaking of Pierre, that little chest thud, I’m the pimp thing…yeah, that has got to go.)
On the contrary, the Cubs flashed the leather every time they needed it, and too many times the balls seemed to find the holes just at the right time.
And I don’t know what it is about Weaver that it takes him so long to settle in. He didn’t pitch a great game, but he started to look pretty strong as the game went on with that filthy slider of his. I don’t know if he needs better prepare himself mentally, or take more time warming up, or what exactly. I’d also like to see him stop mad dogging the umpires every time a call doesn’t go his way. That stuff doesn’t help.
Ugh. I’m sick of losing to these jokers. Embarrassing.
Elsewhere, Carlos Lee rejected a 4/Y, $48M offer from the Brewers to extend him. I guess the Brew Crew can’t say they didn’t try now. Joe Strauss at the Post says the Cardinals are targeting him. He’d certainly fit the profile of an impact bat with VORPs of 27.5, 38.5, 24.7, and 27.5 this season. I would think it could turn into a bidding war with the Tigers, Angels and Dodgers having an interest and probably more chips to deal with. And I’m totally crazy about the Cardinals giving a division rival on the rise anything significant that could beat us later. Jocketty thinks about building for the future in mid-season trades, and I’m not sure Lee is a guy we want to build around at a crazy price. Pretty low OBP and lots of people wondering about Lee and his big-bonedeness and when he’ll fall off a cliff.
But for a stretch run at the right price, giddy up El Caballo!
I’ve scorned the thought of the Jeff Conine rumors being true, but looking at his splits it may not be a horrible idea. He’d be a great platoon partner for Dunc.
.281/.379/.494. this season, 89 AB’s.
Don’t care for sample sizes? Me neither. Here’s some larger numbers…
.375/.515(!)/.427 in 309 AB’s the last 3 seasons.
.306/.378/.496 in 1544 AB’s.
And you gotta believe he’d cost next to nothing. I’d prefer to have him starting verses southpaws then So with that high OBP and decent slugging %. If the big deal ain’t there, this wouldn’t be a terrible one.
Fernando Tatis is back in the majors baby! Tatis was called up from Triple A Ottawa to the O’s. He was hitting .298/.372/.420 in the minors this season.
I was sitting on the fence teetering towards saying no on the Willis trade last night but after sleeping on it, weighing it out, reading an excellent article at Viva I’d say go for it.
Real quick weigh in on the Wickman to the Braves trade. Everyone is calling this a terrific deal, I don’t see it. Wickman’s K’s are plummeting, as is his G/B rate. I call this Dan Kolb 2. A sequel much better then the original, but still disappointing.