Posts Tagged ‘Jeremy Heffner’

Shrewd Move Not Needed

September 2, 2012

Joel Sherman from the New York Post is advocating that the Mets trade David Wright, R.A. Dickey, and even Jon Niese for 8-10 prospects to fix overall depth issues in the organization.

Although Joel’s thought process isn’t completely bananas, I don’t think it’s the road to take.  While I agree there are some glaring holes in the outfield that don’t appear to have a real solution inside the organization, they have demonstrated some potential depth in the most important area of all, starting pitching.

Side Note:  Can someone explain to me why Corey Vaughn is still in single A?  I get he hasn’t hit for average, but he is 25, has shown a good deal of power, and Wally Backman seems to have a liking for him.

Matt Harvey has proven he will be a critical member of the Mets starting five next year.  It is reasonable to believe we could see Zach Wheeler mid-season next year after a solid first season in the Mets organization. I believe Collin McHugh has the right mental game and can locate his curveball extremely well to be an intriguing option as well.

Combine these guys with R.A. Dickey, who needs to be extended, and Jon Niese, who received a fair but very reasonable extension this year, and you have a pretty solid assortment of options for the starting rotation.

I purposefully left out Johan Santana from that group because I refuse to hold any hope that he will return to his dominant self or even a top of the rotation starter at this point in his career.

Do you remember a guy named Dillon Gee?  He may not be a front of the rotation guy, but he can be a very nice five-spot or long man.  Jeremy Heffner has also emerged as a pitcher that also can fill that role.

Throw in Jenrry Mejia and Jeurys Familia as options to keep in mind or potential bullpen help.

While I’m at it, I’ll throw in a dark horse.  There is a guy by the name of Mark Cohoon that pitched extremely well in Binghamton this season, 146.2 innings pitched with a 3.46 ERA.  Keep an eye on him.  I’m not necessarily making any bold predictions because he did get promoted to Buffalo and was shelled in his first two starts.  The idea here is there may be a guy out there like a Collin McHugh that becomes an option that no one was even thinking about.

My last point, and this may very well be the most important, many people tend to forget the Wilpons got off a whole helluva lot easier from the Madoff Mess than we all originally thought.  While long gone are the days of having one of the highest payrolls in baseball, I can see them loosening the purse strings a bit more to allow the Mets to make long-term investments on guys in the future.  Guys like David Wright and R.A. Dickey.

At this point in time it is reasonable to expect a 85 win team next year, and to compete in 2014 for a playoff spot.

Harvey’s Mental Game

July 26, 2012

Over the last few weeks there has been much debate about whether or not Matt Harvey is ready for the big leagues.  Tonight we get to find out.

I have to admit I’m concerned.  In my mind I had Harvey and Wheeler starting off the 2013 season in the rotation, having all of 2012 in the minors to fine tune their game.  I’m not going to flat-out say it is the wrong decision to hand Harvey the ball tonight.  Let’s face it, something’s got to change and maybe he’ll give this squad a boost.

In many ways, baseball is a numbers game.  My problem is I am way too lazy to analyze stats to come up with an opinion about a player’s readiness.  Particularly in the pitching area.

Instead, I focus on their confidence because on many occasions it is very easy to decipher.  All you have to do is look at a guy’s face or pay attention to his body language.

Read the following names of Mets’ pitchers and picture the look on their face when they were on the mound only.  Forget everything you know about them.  Forget about how many games they have won, their career ERA, how fast they throw, how tall they are, or how nasty their breaking pitches are.  Focus on only how they carry themselves.

Mike Pelfrey, Aaron Heilman, Frank Francisco, Manny Acosta, Armando Benitez, Jeremy Heffner, Chris Schwinden, Bobby Parnell

This group doesn’t exactly ooze machismo does it?

Now try the same exercise with the following list.

Tom Seaver, Billy Wagner, Dwight Gooden (first few years before the coke completely took over), R.A. Dickey, Johan Santana, David Cone, John Franco

You feel a little more confident in their ability to get a guy out don’t you?  Or better yet, their ability to pitch out of a jam.

Can a pitcher’s outward confidence change?  Sure.  But I argue it’s rare.

Tonight, pay attention to how Harvey reacts when someone drills one of his pitches, or when he doesn’t get a call.  It’s all about the mental game.  Right now, I’m not sure even his own catcher knows. Check out this quote from Rob Johnson

“I think mentally he’s strong enough to be there. It’s just going to be a matter of if he can compose his emotions.”

Maybe I’m being nit picky here but isn’t composing your emotions part of being mentally strong?  In my book it’s the most important thing.

The cool thing about all of this is we’ll start to figure it out with Matt Harvey tonight.


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