Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco Giants’

By Steven Inman

Sandy

Photo from NY Times

The Mets 2017 season, that started with so much promise, has been completely derailed by injuries to key players. The pitching staff that finished 2016 with the 3rd best ERA in MLB, has been the WORST in the majors with a 5.01 ERA. The pitchers that the front office believed could lead them back to the World Series have all dealt with injuries (Or in Matt Harvey’s case off the field troubles and regression) this season except for Jacob deGrom, who has been decent, but far from the elite arm he’s been the last few seasons. It must make fans wonder if Sandy Alderson and his team creating the blueprint around young pitchers was the right choice.

When Sandy Alderson came to New York, he had the plan of tearing everything down and following the San Francisco Giants mindset, which was to construct a team around one offensive star (Buster Posey for SF, Yoenis Cespedes for NYM) and pretty much all other offensive players were interchangeable, while building around superior pitching. The trio of Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner were as formidable as any rotation in baseball for not one or two, but three championships. That model created a borderline dynasty, but it was short lived. Cain never had an ERA under four after his age 27 season, and Tim Lincecum now 32, is out of baseball. The Giants success while impressive, has a stroke of luck attached to it. Looking back on it, all of those postseason innings Cain and Lincecum threw turned out to just be too much mileage on their arms. The club has had a dismal start to 2017.

The Mets like all other franchises, want to make long runs in the postseason every season. The way their pitching has not been able to stay on the field the last few regular seasons, it’s fair to wonder if they’ll have the ability to do that. Even workhorses like Cain and Lincecum were not able to handle that kind of workload going on deep playoff runs after awhile.

Sandy Alderson did an excellent job of following the Giants model. He waited out long and expensive contracts left behind by the previous Met regime and made some shrewd trades to acquire future starters such as Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler. Offensively, Sandy has made it clear in his tenure with the Mets that home runs and walks are the most important traits he wants his position players to have, while defensive range and ability haven’t been considered as important. Hopefully for the Mets sake when the team calls up Amed Rosario in a few weeks, they can improve a very poor defense. The Atlanta Braves are also on record saying during their current rebuild that they’re trying to emulate the starting pitching plan the Mets have committed to.

With that said, there aren’t too many teams that build around pitching in today’s game. Obviously, you need quality pitching to win, nobody is disputing that, but with pitchers being as brittle as they ever have been, does it make sense when rebuilding to build a core around arms? Or does it make more sense when rebuilding with prospects to go after young hitters over pitching like the current Chicago Cubs.

The Cubs went with the opposite strategy of the Mets and Giants, selecting position players at the front ends of drafts such as Kris Bryant & Kyle Schwarber and trading big league pitching for Addison Russell and Anthony Rizzo. The Houston Astros also have a nice young core of position players such as George Springer, Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve. The ‘Stros have enjoyed the majors best record to start 2017.

The story of this Mets era, built around the arms of Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler is far from over but at this point it’s a legitimate question if this group can stay healthy enough to win the franchise’s first World Series since 1986. The 5 starters mentioned, who the Mets were hoping would anchor their pitching staff for the next decade, have never pitched a single turn in the same rotation.

When all is said and done will the Mets regret building around pitching over hitting?

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By Steven Inmanimages

The thought from fans on the Mets entire offseason has been, how do we get more power in the lineup? The Mets finished 22nd in baseball in homeruns last season. However you don’t need a ton of power to be a championship contender. Sure power will help but take a look at the San Francisco Giants who won the World Series in two of the last three seasons. The Giants were dead last in homeruns in 2012, yet great pitching and a good defense helped them win the World Series again.

The Mets are hoping to do the same thing. Develop a pitching staff that can carry a team and find solid hitters who can catch the ball all around the diamond. They still have a ways to go, they need to continue developing more images2pitchers as well as finding an outfield.  Also the Giants bullpen is a tremendous strength that allows them to win a lot of one run games. The Mets bullpen is a huge liability and that won’t change until they start developing more quality arms.

You don’t need to spend a ton of money to develop a good bullpen. The Rays seemingly lose every reliever they have almost every offseason, and somehow rebuild it to be even better than the previous year. The Mets haven’t been able to do that successfully. The Mets are on the right track but still have some rebuilding to go.

By Steven Inmanimages

Former Mets outfielder Andres Torres has resigned with San Francisco Giants on a one year deal worth two million. Torres, 34, really struggled for the Mets in 2012 after being traded to New York from the Giants in a package with Ramon Ramirez for Angel Pagan. The trade turned out to be a huge bust because Pagan has value and the team could have gotten a useful piece for him and now Torres is back in San Fran with Pagan.

Torres hit just .230, played an usually poor centerfield and really struggled with injuries, missing 32 games. Torres was not the stopgap centerfielder the Mets were hoping he would be.

Torres will play a lot of left field for the Giants in a platoon type role with OF Gregor Blanco. Ramirez is now a free agent so the Mets have nothing but salary relief to show for trading Pagan.

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By Steven Inman

First off, congrats to the San Francisco Giants who swept the Detroit Tigers tonight to win their second title in three years. So the big question is how did they do it? With a similar plan that the Mets are attempting to construct, with strong starting pitching and young position players under long term team control.

The Giants won with strong performances from their pitching staff including homegrown stars like Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner. The Mets hope to have that in Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler. Harvey looked like a legit ace last season and scouts all year have been saying that they expect Wheeler to be even better.

The Giants won with their homegrown position players like Buster Posey and World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval. The Mets have David Wright but are still waiting for other players to step up and be that second guy. Most importantly the Giants hit on their trades. They acquired Marco Scutaro, Hunter Pence and Angel Pagan this season and all made huge impacts in the regular season and in the playoffs. This is the next step for the Mets. They must begin making trades for position players who can make an impact in New York.

The Giants were last in the National League in homeruns this season and yet outslugged the powerful Tigers into a four game sweep. It’s all about getting hot at the right time once you get into the playoffs. The Cardinals weren’t the best team last year, they got in as the wild card on the last day of the season and never looked back. The same thing happened for the 2006 Cardinals when they beat the heavily favored Mets.

The only thing the Giants really have that the Mets don’t is a quality bullpen. Guys like Sergio Romo, Santiago Casilla and Brian Wilson were all homegrown guys. The best bullpens are homegrown guys because teams don’t have to go outside the organization to pay overpriced closers and can use that money to sign power bats which is another Met need. The Mets have a lot of holes but a few bats and a revamped bullpen with some progress from the young starting pitchers and they could be just as good as the San Francisco Giants.

Were the Giants the best team in baseball this season? Probably not, but they have great pitching, won their division and anything can happen from there. The Giants were down 0-2 to Cincy and 1-3 to St. Louis. That doesn’t matter because now the Giants are World Champions and the baseball world looks forward to 2013.