The Eddie Kranepool Society

Saturday, January 07, 2006

FACE IT METS FANS, WE�RE ROOTING FOR A WORLD SERIES CONTENDER I know a lot of you folks out there are still mourning the loss of Jae Seo and Tim Hamulack and if you are, please read this from Matt Cerrone�s Mets Blog: {The key to the bullpen's success will be RHP Aaron Heilman and newly acquired RHP Duaner Sanchez� Last week, Heilman's agent informed the media that his client hopes the Mets will trade him if they plan to use him in the bullpen. The problem is that the only person who seems to see Heilman as a starter is Heilman. Nearly all scouts and experts that I talked with all explained the same thing: Heilman's repertoire is too hittable during his second time through a lineup. He has shown success as a starter during this off-season's Winter Leagues. However, baseball evaluators put little stock in any player's Winter Ball results� } If we have learned anything over the last say 10 years about building a winning baseball team, it�s you need to have a deep and effective bullpen to win and that looks like what Omar is putting together here for �06. In terms of value to the team, Heilman�s is in the bullpen. Heilman and his agent can talk all they want about requesting a trade if he doesn�t start but he has no leverage at all and quite frankly Heilman is starting to come off as a bit of an ingrate. This young man is not exactly an overnight success here. His major league record coming into 2005 was 3-10 with a 6.36 ERA in 93 IP. If the Mets traded Heilman before spring training last year for a box of Bazooka, Mets fan would have said "Oh well" Now this lack of success was not totally on Heilman alone. He had one pitching coach in Bob Ojeda who told him not to change his mechanics but never really worked with him on the proper approach to pitching and then he went to Professor Rick, who tired to get him to go in a whole new direction with his arm slotting and approach so what you ended up with was a very confused pitcher. It wasn�t until Professor Rick had him go back to his motion from his days at Notre Dame (kind of three-quarter slinging of the ball you might say) did Heilman have any success at the major league level. What the Mets have to do is what good for the Mets and not what pleases Heilman and his agent. Heilman�s best contribution to the team is to pitch in the late innings of games to either hold the lead or to keep the Mets in a game. If he is as good as he was last year at that then there is a very good chance we will see baseball in late October at Shea. That�s what the objective should be playing baseball in late October. As far as depth in the pen, this looks like it could be a major plus for the Mets as Cerrone points out here: {The staff will be completed with RHP Chad Bradford, and any combination of RHP Heath Bell, RHP Bartolome Fortunato, RHP Juan Padilla, RHP Alay Soler, LHP Matt Perisho, RHP Mitch Wylie, RHP Jose Parra, RHP Pedro Feliciano, LHP Henry Owens and RHP Juan Perez, among others.} So it looks like you have Bradford, Heilman, Sanchez and Wagner as the four guys in place. So you need 2 more arms to complete the pen. Hopefully Bell will be one of them and that Willie Randolph knows how to utilize him properly (more on Willie in a minute) then you have the lefties in Feliciano, Perisho, Ring and NRI Darren Oliver. But the mind set for the Mets seems to be changing in a good direction: {The team doesn't seem overly concerned with the lack of left-handed relievers, though it hopes to bring a veteran in on a minor-league deal. The mind set, according to a team source, is to have a bullpen that gets guys out, plain and simple. They are not in the business of meeting quotas�} HALLELUJAH!!!!!! they�re finally getting it, go with the six best relievers you have it�s not that hard. There are a few wild cards in this bullpen race as well. Bartolome Fortunado is coming off a shoulder injury and should be in Norfolk to start the year. Alay Soler has pitched very well in Puerto Rico as has Rule V diamond in the rough Henry Owens as well. Add to them Philip Humber coming back from Tommy John surgery and with Justin Upton signing with the D-Backs, the Mets should have Mike Pelfry signed shortly as well. Speaking of Pelfry in a sneak preview of John Sickles 2006 Prospect Book, Pelfry is rated as the 15 th best pitching prospect in all of baseball. So as Mets fans we are conditioned to expect the worst but it looks like it�s time we changed our mind set and accept the fact that the NL Pennant is in reach in 2006. (TO POST A COMMENT PLEASE CLICK ON THE TIME OF THIS POSTING) < |