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Monday, July 5, 2010

State of the Mets July 5th & K-Rod Analysis

After 82 games this year, the Mets are 46-36, 2 games behind the division leading Atlanta Braves, and in sole possession of the Wild Card (Dodgers .5 games back, Cardinals 1 game back). As much has been made about the team's road struggles, there are only two teams that are above .500 on the road in the national league (Cincy and SD).

  • D Wright and J Reyes both made the all-star team. D Wright for the 5th straight year, Reyes makes his 3rd appearance
    • After a slow start, D Wright is on the short list of NL MVP candidates
  • B Parnell has now been used in 9 times in 13 games since his June 22nd promotion
    • I love J Manuel overusing his bullpen.
  • Much has been made of K-Rod's implosion, and people are asking for some reasons for his decline. The thing is, is that he was declining in his two years with the Angels, but everyone thought he was great because he saved 62 games (which is more a result of a team playing a lot of close games than an individual performance). 
    • In 2006, his average fastball was 94.8; when he left the Angels in 2008 it was 91.9, which is a massive decline. This year it's averaging 91 mph.
    • Since joining the Mets, he has scraped his slider which was his most effective pitch in his career, and replaced it by throwing his curve-ball more. 
      • His curve has been ineffective this year, after it was an above-average pitch the rest of his career
    • He has also increased the use of his change-up since 2008, (2% in 2006, to 20% in 2010), and his change-up is three miles an hour slower this year than last (82 vs 85 mph)
    • As far as stats go, he is still striking out a ton (11.1 K/9), but he's walking too many for a closer (3.43 W/9, which is lower than his career average 4 W/9).
      • He's been very unlucky, with an absurd .345 BAPIP, so that gives us Mets fans some hope. 
      • His ERA is 2.57, which is right in line with his career #s (2.53).
      • His swinging strike rate is still above average, 11.7% (league average is 8.3%)
    • In summary, he's not as bad as people are making it seem, but yes he is not the lights-out closer many Mets fans thought they were getting. But needless to say, the Mets don't have any other alternatives, so we have to live with what we have. Or maybe it's an injury that's causing this decline? I don't know for sure, but here is another great article/thought from Joe Janish at Mets Today.. Here's the money quote
    • I never like to see momentum going sideways, but with some pitchers it’s OK if it’s happening AFTER the release (such as with Bob Gibson or Rich Gossage). But K-Rod is falling over as he’s releasing the ball, making command an impossibility. My eyes see his left ankle “rolling over” as he lands with his stride, and unable to support his body — it’s just kind of collapsing, either from pain, weakness, or both.
 That picture was taken on Opening Day this year.


  1. K Rod will be fine. He is still a front line closer. How many teams would love to have K-Rod? And if not him, then who? Last time I checked the god of all closers isn't available (Rivera). Even Papelbon has struggled lately. Clearly K Rod needs to not give up 3 runs vs. the Nats. But for me, going down the stretch, I will give him the ball every time he should have it and take my chances. He does walk a lot of people and does let up a lot of base runners, but more times than not, he gets the job done. I have gotten use to it. He is going to make it interesting and I can live with that--as long as he is closing it up most times.

    Reds and Braves come to town--time to hold the fort at home and bang the Reds around and then let the Braves know that they may be in first, but not for long.

  2. Chicken...

    Love to hear your thoughts on this start of the year with Carlos Beltran in uniform for ZERO games. Will his return help or hurt?

    Will Omar and Jerry decide to carry only 10 pitchers when he comes back? BRING UP ANOTHER ARM ALREADY!!

  3. I think KROD is over rated but the Mets coaching staff has problems about keeping pitchers arms healthy. They have had a few year of doing this...Starting with BENITEZ, to WAGNER, now to KROD. All were great closers before coming to the METS and see to lose themselves when they show up in NY