Posts Tagged ‘Oliver Perez’

The Mets Look To The Far East Again, Sign Hisanori Takahashi

February 12, 2010

The New York Mets dipped into the far east once earlier this offseason when they signed relief pitcher Ryota Igarashi, so they figured why not take another shot at it later in the offseason.

According to various sources, the Mets have signed Japanese left-handed pitcher Hisanori Takahashi to a one-year, minor league contract. The contract will be worth $1 million if Takahashi makes the team and he can earn an extra $2 million in incentives.

Takahashi, 34, pitched for 10 seasons with the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants. He posted a career record of 79-66 and last year he had a 2.94 ERA in 25 games. Takahashi could pitch in relief or could compete for the fifth starter spot in the Mets’ rotation.

I have no idea what Takahashi will bring to the table in 2010. He could be Hideki Okajima or he could be Hideki Irabu, I have no idea. But here is what I do know–the Mets need all the starting pitching help they can get.

Outside of Johan Santana, the Mets have a bunch of question marks. As I mentioned before, the Mets starting rotation in 2010 is a lot like the Boston Red Sox rotations of the late and early-2000’s.

Those rotations consisted of Pedro Martinez and a bunch of clowns. Unless one of the quartet of Oliver Perez, John Maine, Mike Pelfrey, or Takahashi step up, then the Mets are facing the same situation as the Red Sox did back in the day.

It’s really hard to win that way. That type of rotation really puts a lot of stress on the bullpen and by the end of the year, the bullpen is usually warn out.

Takahashi could compete with Jonathan Niese for the fifth starter spot.

Here is a look at Takahashi via YouTube:

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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Starting Rotation: National League East

January 21, 2010

Earlier in the week, I took a look at the starting rotations for each American League team. Now it’s time to switch gears and focus on the National League.

I will start in the National League East and go from there. The NL East is home to perhaps the two best pitchers in baseball in Roy Halladay and Johan Santana. Not only are there superstar pitchers in this division, there are also some great young arms like Josh Johnson and Tommy Hanson.

Here are the starting rotations for each National League East team as presently constructed.

Philadelphia Phillies

1. Roy Halladay, RHP

2. Cole Hamels, LHP

3. Joe Blanton, RHP

4. JA Happ, LHP

5. Jaime Moyer, LHP

Quick Take – The Phillies made the big move this offseason trading for Halladay. In doing such, they had to trade playoff hero Cliff Lee. While I have no doubt Halladay will be a Cy Young candidate in 2010, this rotation will only be as good as Hamels is. They really need him to bounce back this year.

Atlanta Braves

1. Derek Lowe, RHP

2. Jair Jurrjens, RHP

3. Tim Hudson, RHP

4. Tommy Hanson, RHP

5. Kenshin Kawakami, RHP

Quick Take – This rotation has so much depth, that the Braves were able to trade Javier Vazquez. I like this rotation because it’s a good mix of young (Jurrjens and Hanson) and old (Hudson and Lowe). If the Braves give him any run support, Jurrjens could be a Cy Young candidate in 2010.

New York Mets

1. Johan Santana, LHP

2. Mike Pelfrey, RHP

3. John Maine, RHP

4. Oliver Perez, LHP

5. John Niese, LHP

Quick Take – This rotation reminds me of those Boston Red Sox rotations back in the late-90’s. They had Pedro Martinez and a bunch of question marks. This is a big year for Pelfrey. Perez is reportedly got in the best shape of his life this offseason, so let’s see if that translates to his performance on the mound.

Florida Marlins

1. Josh Johnson, RHP

2. Ricky Nolasco, RHP

3. Anibal Sanchez, RHP

4. Sean West, LHP

5. Chris Volstad, RHP

Quick Take – This rotation is young, tall, and talented. Johnson leads this staff and is an early favorite to win the NL Cy Young award in 2010. At 6’8″, 240 lbs, West has a ton of potential. This staff also has top pitching prospect Andrew Miller waiting in the wings.

Washington Nationals

1. John Lannan, LHP

2. Jason Marquis, RHP

3. Scott Olsen, LHP

4. J.D. Martin, RHP

5. Craig Stammen, RHP

Quick Take – The addition of Marquis will help this staff, but overall, it’s still pretty weak. I really like Lannan. He is a good pitcher, who unfortunately plays on the worst team in baseball. Of course, all eyes will be on the development of Stephen Strasburg. There is a chance he could join this staff by the end of the year.

Tomorrow, I will take a look at the National League Central.

Where Have You Gone Pat The Bat?

July 31, 2009

When talking about the biggest free agent signing busts from this past offseason, we often reference Milton Bradley of the Chicago Cubs or Oliver Perez of the New York Mets. Well, I think it is time we start referencing another player as a free agent bust. That player is the Tampa Bay Rays’ Pat Burrell.

When the Rays signed Burrell to a two-year $16 million contract in the offseason, I thought it was a great move. Here was a guy who averaged 27 HR’s, 91 RBI, and a .367 OBP from 2000-2008, he was a clear upgrade at DH over the Cliff Floyd and Eric Hinske combination of last year, and I thought he along with Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria, would give the Rays one of the best three-four-five hitters in the game.

Burrell's wife is looking much better than Burrell these days

Burrell's wife is looking much better than Burrell these days

Because of injuries and just plain being terrible, Burrell has been a major disappointment for the Rays this year. He is hitting a Kevin Stocker-esque .219 with just seven HR’s and 37 RBI in 70 games for the Rays. Not exactly what the Rays were looking for.

I can understand the average dipping a little bit at the age of 32. Burrell was never a great contact hitter as his .257 average from 2000-2008 suggests. But where is the power? He is averaging a HR every 33.9 AB’s this year. Much worse than his 18.6 HR/AB average for the previous nine years.

The Rays are seven games out of first place in the AL East and are four and a half games behind the Red Sox in the Wild Card race. If the Rays plan on making one last run at a playoff berth in 2009, not only do they need their starting pitching to step up, but they also need Pat Burrell to start hitting like he is used to.

The Jonathan Sanchez Experiment Needs To End In San Francisco…

June 23, 2009

Thanks to the MLB package on cable and a pretty light schedule in the major leagues, I got to watch Jonathan Sanchez pitch for the San Francisco Giants against the Oakland A’s last night. After painfully watching Sanchez for 5.1 IP last night, I have come to this conclusion – The Jonathan Sanchez experiment needs to come to a sudden end in San Francisco.

Sanchez has been in the majors now for four years, and the reality is, he is not good. In four years, Sanchez has a lifetime record of 15-26 with a 5.26 ERA, an absurd 172 walks and opponents have a .359 OBP against him in 316.2 IP. All this while pitching in one of the most pitching friendly ballparks in baseball, AT&T Park. Just terrible.

Sanchez is just like Oliver Perez

Sanchez is just like Oliver Perez

He started off his career in the bullpen, and he stunk there. The Giants moved him into the starting rotation last year, and he has been equally as bad. He walks everyone, even the guys he doesn’t walk seem to have a 3-2 count, and watching him pitch is beyond frustrating. So what exactly do the Giants see in Sanchez?

Here is what the Giants see in Sanchez. They see a 26 year old, lefthanded pitcher, who throws a fastball in the 90’s, and has struck out 316 batters in 316.2 IP. Sanchez is a classic case of a team looking at the “what could be,” instead of the “what is.” Note to the San Francisco Giants – The New York Mets saw the same thing in Oliver Perez.

That is who Sanchez reminds me of, Oliver Perez. A guy who has all the tools, and who has struck out more than a batter per inning in his career (1,047 K’s in 1,021 IP). The worst part about these pitchers is that every pitching coach, every manager, and every team thinks they can fix them. And just like Perez, Sanchez can’t be fixed. He needs to be sent to the minors.

The Giants lost to the A’s last night 5-1, and Sanchez’s record fell to a disappointing 2-8. The Giants have a legit chance to make the playoffs this year. Right now, Jonathan Sanchez is not helping those chances.

The WBC And The Affects On Pitching Part 2..

May 18, 2009

Back in January, I wrote a post title “The World Baseball Classic And The Affects On Starting Pitching.” I wrote the post to show that most pitchers who pitched in the WBC in 2006 had a worse era that season than they did in 2005. Now that we are over 30 games into the season and the WBC is well behind us, I think is now a good time to see how some of the WBC pitchers are fairing this season.

Cueto is off to a good start

Cueto is off to a good start

Pitcher-Record-ERA

Jose Arredono – 1-0 5.51 era

Johnny Cueto – 4-1 1.93 era

Felix Hernandez – 4-2 3.53 era

Ubaldo Jimenez – 3-4 4.73 era

Rafael Perez – 0-1 15.19 era. Optioned to Triple A in May.

Daisuke Matsuzaka – 0-1 12.79 era. On the DL since April with Shoulder Fatigue.

Ian Snell – 1-5 4.93 era

Roy Oswalt – 1-2 4.50 era

Ted Lilly – 5-2 3.27 era

Jonathon Sanchez – 1-3 5.06 era

Jake Peavy – 2-5 4.30 era

Jeremy Guthrie – 3-3 5.21 era

Scot Shields – 1-3 7.90 era

JJ Putz – 1-2 3.86. Is currently pitching with a bone spur in his right elbow.

Joakim Soria – 1-0 2.08 era and 7/7 in saves. Currently on the 15 Day DL because of a sore shoulder. Royals GM, Dayton Moore wonders if the WBC led to Soria’s issue.  “I don’t think it helps,” Moore told the Kansas City Star. “We couldn’t control his work. If you can’t control a pitcher’s workload and you can’t script their preparation during spring training, it’s a problem.”

JP Howell – 0-2 2.81 era

Joel Hanrahan – 0-1 5.51 era and 3/6 in saves

Jonathon Broxton – 4-0 1.50 era and 9/11 in saves

Matt Lindstrom – 1-1 5.40 era and 7/9 in saves

Heath Bell – 1-0 0.00 era and 9/9 in saves

LaTroy Hawkins – 1-1 2.70 era and 5/7 in saves

Brad Ziegler – 0-0 3.86 era 4/5 in saves

Perez is having a terrible 2009

Perez is having a terrible 2009

John Grabow – 1-0 5.29 era

Oliver Perez – 1-2 9.97 era. Placed on the 15 Day DL because of a knee injury. In reality it was because he is terrible.

So that is 24 pitchers with a combined 37-41 record on a 5.08 era. Now can all these poor starts be solely attributed to the WBC? Absolutely not. That wouldn’t be fair saying that was the case. However, I do believe there is some connection between these poor starts and pitching in the WBC. Out of those 24 pitchers, it seems only Johnny Cueto, Heath Bell and Jonathon Broxton have pitched in the WBC and have pitched exceptionally well in 2009.

There is no evidence to suggest that the WBC is going away any time soon.  So when the next WBC comes around and if you see a pitcher on your favorite team on the roster, don’t expect a good year out of him.

*Please note all stats were calculated prior to Sunday’s games.

Fantasy Week In Review 4/20-4/26…

April 27, 2009

As the first month of the season closes, we should be getting a better feel for our fantasy teams and what our needs are. Do I need pitching? Do I need another bat? These are the questions we should start asking ourselves heading into May.

Here are the players who are hot, the players who are giving reasons for concern and some injury news for the week of 4/20-4/26.

Fantasy Studs

Ryan Braun – .565/3/8. Braun really hit the cover off the baseball this week and has officially started his push towards an MVP season.

Albert Pujols – .450/3/11. Single handily beat the Mets and Cubs in 1 week. Pujols was so dominate he even stole a couple of bases jsut for fun. You know that Dos Equis commercial where they feature the “Most Interesting Man In The World?” I think Pujols has an awkward moment on the baseball field just to see what it feels like.

Jay Bruce – .455/4/8. Bruce and Votto might make the best 1-2 punch in the NL in a couple of years.

Mike Lowell – .435/2/11. Some of the best moves are the ones you don’t make. Lowell has come back better than the Sox ever expected from hip surgery.

Carlos Beltran – .542/1/7. With Citi Field being bigger than Yellowstone, if Beltran keeps hitting linedrives he could lead the league in hitting.

Ross Ohlendorf – 2-0 with a 1.93 era and 7 K’s in 14 IP. Time to start giving some love to the Pirates. Ohlendorf pitched 7 quality innings against the Padres yesterday and has a 3.24 era for the season.

Rich Harden – 2-0 with a 3.00 era and 17 K’s in 12 IP. If only this guy could stay healthy he would be a Cy Young candidate every year. Right now he is just a 5 or 6 inning pitcher but if he keeps striking out more than a batter per inning he is worth starting on your fantasy team every time out.

Armando Galarraga – 1-0 with a 3.27 era and 11 K’s in 11 IP. Galarraga has really come into his own this year. With the improved Tigers D and O, Galarraga could win 15+ games this year.

Reasons for concern

David Wright – .240/2/8. 2 HR’s and 8 RBI isn’t bad for a week but Wright is striking out a ton. 2 things concern me about Wright.

Wright has me concerned

Wright has me concerned

  1. I am starting to wonder if the pressure is starting to get this guy. He looks so tight right now
  2. Wright’s power is to right field. With right field in Citi Field being a place where HR’s go to die (415 ft in some parts), I am concerned Wright’s power #’s will be down.

Mike Aviles – .111/1/1. Aviles came on the scene last year but it is starting to look like pitchers are starting to figure out Aviles who hasn’t seen a pitch he hasn’t liked all season.

Oliver Perez – 0-1 with an 11.00 era, 8 BB and 15 H in 9 IP. I am not going to sugar coat it…Perez stinks. He is a .500 pitcher in his career. I am still trying to figure out A. Why it is was a given he would resign with the Mets? and B. Why the Mets gave him a 3 year $36MM contract when nobody else was bidding on him? Perez might even be sent down to the minors so bench him or release him.

Jake Peavy – 0-2 with a 9.00 and 13 H in 11 IP. I know Peavy is perhaps the biggest advocate of the WBC and that is good for the game. However, it is not good for fantasy owners who suffer through the season after Peavy pitches in this event. The numbers don’t lie. In 2006 Peavy was 11-14 with a 4.09 era and so far this year Peavy is 2-3 with a 5.74 era.

Injury Updates

Brian McCann – Was placed on the 15 Day DL with blurred vision in his left eye. This is a big loss to the Braves and a big loss if McCann was on your fantasy team. The Braves have nobody worthy of picking up at the catcher position.

Stephen Drew – Placed on the 15 Day DL with a strained hamstring. Any time a top SS goes down with an injury it hurts your fantasy team because there are so few good hitting SS. Drew should be back in a couple of weeks. But this isn’t the worst news for the DiamondBacks…..

Brandon Webb – Webb will be shut down for 6 weeks. Ouch!! Webb is one of the best 10 pitchers in baseball so losing him hurts. Keep him stashed away on your fantasy and hopefully he can contribute in the 2nd half.

Chien-Ming Wang – Placed on the 15 Day DL. I told you this would happen last week and that Phil Hughes will replace Wang in the rotation. Hughes might get 2-3 starts so he is worth the pickup, especially in keeper leagues.

Jose Guillen – Activated from the 15 Day DL over the weekend. This move will move Teahan back to 3rd on a full time basis until Gordon comes back.

Trevor Hoffman – Activated from the 15 Day DL. He will start closing ASAP. Charlie Villanueva will moved back to a setup role.

Joe Mauer – The target date for Mauer was supposed to be May 1 but Mauer may come back this week. Mauer is a stud and should be put in your lineup as soon as he comes back.

Looking Back At Some Predictions….

March 11, 2009

Here at The Ghost of Moonlight Graham I have a section called “The Crystal Baseball.” I use this section to make some predictions on players, teams and games. I wanted to revisit some of the predictions made earlier in the year because I feel it is important to be held accountable for the predictions I make.

Here are the results of some of the predictions I made…

“Where Will They End Up?” was a post that tried to predict where the remaining top free agents will land. Here are the results

1. Derek Lowe

Predicted – Braves

Signed With – Braves

2. Oliver Perez

Predicted – Mets

Signed With – Mets

3. Adam Dunn

Predicted – Nationals

Signed With – Nationals

4. Manny Ramirez

Predicted – Giants

Signed With – Dodgers

5. Orlando Hudson

Predicted – Nationals

Signed With – Dodgers

6. Bobby Abreu

Predicted – A’s

Signed With – Angels

7. Orlando Cabrera

Predicted – Angels

Signed With – A’s

Results – 3/7 = 42%

Not bad at 42% but not great. I should have nailed the Manny to the Dodgers signing. I definitely over thought that one.

Now that the first round of the World Baseball Classic is in the books, let’s take a look how I did in my“Predictions for the WBC” post….

Round 1 Winners Predicted

Japan, Korea, Cuba, Puerto Rico, USA, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Venezuela

Round 1 Winners In The WBC

Japan, Korea, Cuba, Puerto Rico, USA, Netherlands, Mexico, Venezuela

Results – 7/8 = 88%

The Dominican Republic really let me down. I had them winning the whole tournament. It’s kind of like when the team you had going to the Final Four gets knocked out by a #13 seed.

So in the predictions that I have made that have yielded actual results I am 10/15, which is 67%. The goal for the year is to be between 55-65%. It’s a high goal but I am feeling good about this baseball season.

Hill To The Orioles, Perez To The Mets….

February 3, 2009

There were a couple of moves today in baseball that are worth noting:

1. The Orioles took my advice and traded for Rich Hill. All the Orioles had to give up to acquire the 28 year old was the infamous “player to be named later.” As I mentioned in my previous post about Hill, this change of scenery will do him good. Maybe now he can refocus and return to his 2007 form.

This is a typical Cubs move and one of the negatives of having a short fused Lou Pinella as your manager. Instead of working with a promising lefty, the Cubs and Pinella don’t want anything to do with him, send him down to the minors and destroy his confidence. Now all the Cubs get for their 2007 NLDS Game 3 starter is a player to be named later.

Get rid of a 28 year old LH pitcher but sign 31 year old brittle DH Milton Bradley to a 3 year $30MM contract to play RF.

Now I know why the Cubs haven’t won a World Series in 100 years.

2. As I predicted in my “Where Will They Land” post, the New York Mets re-signed LH pitcher Oliver Perez to a 3 year $36MM contract. That’s $12MM a year for a pitcher with a lifetime record of 55-60. I really should have been a mediocre starting pitcher in the major leagues.

Many Mets fans would rather take a chance on 1 year of Ben Sheets than going through the pain of watching Oliver Perez for 3 years walk 5 and K 6 in 5 innings every game. But the Mets were almost forced to re-sign Perez. Let’s say they did sign Sheets for 1 year and he somehow stays healthy. He would 100% test the free agent market so he can finally get his payday. Now with an opening in their rotation the Mets would be forced in the winter of 2010 to either go into the free agent market or trade for a pitcher. Couple of problems with that:

A. Take a look at the 2010 free agent class. Outside of John Lackey, it’s not very impressive. Perez might actually be a better option than 99% of that class.

B. The Mets farm system is very thin. It would be very difficult for them to pull off a trade for a quality pitcher with a farm system as thin as theirs.

Based off that scenario, the Mets, really had no choice to re-sign Perez. Just remind me not to attend a game when he pitches. I am not sure if I have 5 hours to kill

Where Will They Land?….

January 10, 2009

With just over a month remaining until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, there are a lot of big names remaining on the free agent market.

Here are my predictions as to where some of the bigger names remaining will land:

Derek Lowe – Braves. The Braves missed out on A.J. Burnett, failed to trade for Jake Peavy and lost John Smoltz to the Red Sox. They are determined to be competitive this year and I believe they will overpay to land Lowe.

Ben Sheets – Brewers. Nobody will ever question Ben Sheets ability. When healthy he has #1 starter stuff. Unfortunately for Sheets, he hasn’t stayed healthy for a full season since 2004. Teams aren’t going to commit to a pitcher who has only started 22.17,24 & 31 games the last 4 years. Therefore, he returns to the Brewers on a 1 year deal

Oliver Perez – Mets. Perez is the ultimate pitching enigma. In the last 3 years Perez is a combined 9-2 with a 2.45 era against the Yankees and Braves but is 2-5 with a 7.47 era against the Nationals and Giants.  I am convinced he will be nothing more than a #3 starter and a .500 pitcher as his lifetime record of 55-60 indicates. After the Mets lose out on Lowe, they will re-sign Perez.

Orlando Hudson & Adam Dunn – Nationals. The Nationals should be thankful Mark Teixeira signed with the Yankees. I think everyone agreed signing Teixeira would have been Arod on the Rangers, part 2. The Nationals have money to spend and in this market they will land 2 solid players for below market value.

Bobby Abreu – A’s.   With the Rays (Burrell) and Cubs (Bradley) filling their corner OF needs, the market for Abreu is shrinking by the day. Though getting up there in age (Abreu will be 35 in March), Abreu remains one of the most consistent players in baseball. With a lifetime OBP of .405 he is a typical Billy Beane player. I think he joins fellow former Yankee, Jason Giambi on the A’s.

Orlando Cabrera – Angels. I have always liked Orlando Cabrera. I think it has something to do with him being a key part of the Red Sox 2004 World Series team. Cabrera is a winner. He has been to the post season 4 times in the last 5 years and as I mentioned earlier, Cabrera was a rock for the Red Sox in their 2004 post season run. The Angels need offense and Cabrera would be an upgrade over Erik Aybar and Maicer Izturis at least until Brandon Wood is ready.

Pedro Martinez – DiamondBacks. Pedro Martinez should retire and start preparing his HOF speach but he won’t. The Mets signing of Tim Redding yesterday I believe eliminates Martinez from the Mets plans. So where does a broken down 37 year old pitcher who has only starter 48 games the last 3 years go? The retirement community of America…Arizona.

Manny Ramirez – Giants. Last but not least let’s talk about Manny. I think at this point there are 3 teams Manny can go to. The Dodgers, Giants and Yankees. I am of the theory that the longer Manny and his agent Scott Boras drag this out the more of a player the Yankees become. However, at the end of the day Manny is about money and there is only one team on this list that likely will gave Manny the years and money that he is looking for. The same team that gave Barry Zito a 7 year $126MM contract…the San Francisco Giants.