Thursday, September 29, 2005

Final Exam: The Metstradamus Grades!

The Mets day of reckoning is here. And since I seriously doubt anything that happens in the last four games against Colorado is going to radically change my mind, it's time for the final grades:

Pedro Martinez: Had some minor health issues and started to run out of gas down the stretch, but was still the ace and the workhorse that Met fans were hoping for. Considering all of the pitfalls that Met fans were warned about, 2005 was definitely best case scenario.

Quarterly Grade: A
Midterm Grade: A+
Final Grade: A

Jae Seo: How would you like being demoted in your place of business because somebody who works above you doesn't like you? It happens a lot in business...but it seems so silly when it happens in the world of baseball. Seo handled it as well as anybody could handle it when faced with the same situation. And he became a better pitcher for it while keeping the Mets in the race. Not everyone could have done that.

Quarterly Grade: B+
Midterm Grade: No grade (Not even an incomplete? What is wrong with me?)
Final Grade: A

Cliff Floyd: Was on a tear until nagging injuries finally caught up to him a bit. It may have been unfair to expect him to be Superman...but like many of the Mets, he faded during the road trip from hell, but picked it up nicely afterwards. Staying healthy has been his biggest achievment...his play in the field has been a close second.

Quarterly Grade: A
Midterm Grade: A
Final Grade: A

David Wright: Has shown the most improvement from game 1 to game 162. His fielding has improved greatly, he's picked up his hitting since the all-star break, and has given Met fans a real hope for the future of the lineup. Still room for improvement in terms of guessing on pitches, but that comes with experience. David Wright is the Mets' beacon of light.

Quarterly Grade: B-
Midterm Grade: B+
Final Grade: A-

Chris Woodward: Don't blame Chris Woodward for nuttin' this season. Woodward has been spectacular in a limited role, with steady defense at many positions and a clutch stick...the most clutch stick on the team. Scary, ain't it?

Quarterly Grade: B
Midterm Grade: A-
Final Grade: A-

Roberto Hernandez: Faltered a bit at the end but it's to be expected out of a 40 year old. A huge surprise and a pleasant one for the Met.

Quarterly Grade: A
Midterm Grade: A
Final Grade: A-

Mike Cameron: A very telling stat that Mike Cameron, as of September 15th, has the highest batting average with runners in scoring position of anyone on the team. It's a testament to Cameron's improvement this season, but also speaks to a lineup-long problem for the Mets. Cammy has also played a near flawless right field. Hopefully, he will be able to return next season at full strength from his horrific injuries.

Quarterly Grade: A-
Midterm Grade: A-
Final Grade: B+

Jose Reyes: Speed kills, and Reyes has been killing more opponents as the season has gone on. Reyes has been creating runs all by himself by getting on base, stealing, and scoring on sacrifice flies...he's becoming a bonafide weapon. If he ever learns the strike zone, he'll be an all-star.

Quarterly Grade: C-
Midterm Grade: B-
Final Grade: B+

Marlon Anderson: Has been a nice surprise off the bench. When the Mets purge some of the older bench players, I hope that Anderson and Woodward stick around.

Quarterly Grade: A
Midterm Grade: B+
Final Grade: B+

Mike Jacobs: Was bound to cool off after becoming the only player ever in the history of baseball to hit 4 homers in his first four major league games. But after cooling off he found some consistancy and made some adjustments. Has played a near flawless first base as well. Does his future lie there? Probably, not definitely.

Final Grade: B+

Ramon Castro: Castro has been a big surprise with the bat...his three run HR against the Phillies to put them one-half games back in the wild card was probably the peak moment of the season. Has been great defensively with his arm. Had it not been for the Pittsburgh debacle and for the wild toss against Washington, he would get an A.

Quarterly Grade: C-
Midterm Grade: C
Final Grade: B

Kris Benson: Benson was pitching like an ace until he ran out of gas down the stretch. Like most Met starters, was the victim of some shoddy bullpen work. Would like to see him build up some arm strength so he can stay consistant. His lack of strikeouts hasn't really hurt him all that much.

Quarterly Grade: INC
Midterm Grade: A-
Final Grade: B

Aaron Heilman: Gets credit for bouncing around...had a strong streak as a mop-up man, but struggled in spots where there was more on the line. Later in the season his pitches have found more movement and he's gotten more consistant. He should have a shot to crack the starting rotation in 2006.

Quarterly Grade: A
Midterm Grade: B
Final Grade: B

Juan Padilla: Has shown a bunch down the stretch, enough to give him a grade, especially with a 1.57 ERA. Deserves a slot in the 'pen next year.

Final Grade: B

Tom Glavine: I'm going to give Tom Glavine a boatload of credit. I wrote early in the season that he was done...and now his ERA is below 4. He's had good starts down the stretch, but his most impressive start was when he gave up 5 runs...but that was because he went 8 innings with less than impressive stuff against the Cubs to save an overworked bullpen. He also pitched a gem against the Braves in the infamous "Braden Looper double blown save game". He'll never be the Tom Glavine from his Brave days, but now, finally, he won't be mistaken for a Braves mercenary.

Quarterly Grade: D-
Midterm Grade: C-
Final Grade: B-

Carlos Beltran: Beltran is quickly running out of "Get out of Jail Free" cards. First it was the quad. Then it was the collision. Beltran, sooner or later (say about April of next season) is going to have to justify that contract. The numbers bear out that he has been historically a better two hole hitter than three hole hitter...if the Mets make certain moves, would they dare put a $119 million player in the second spot in the order?

Quarterly Grade: B+
Midterm Grade: B-
Final Grade: C+

Heath Bell: Bell didn't see a lot of time down the stretch, so I'm invoking the college rule about making your previous tests count in abscence of a final exam. Deserves a regular shot in the bullpen as much as any used up slug the Mets can bring in.

Quarterly Grade: C+
Midterm Grade: B
Final Grade: C+

Mike Piazza:Had one good stretch in August where he hit the ball hard. Otherwise, has been a sad shell of his former self. I hope that "Mike Piazza Day" does him justice.

Quarterly Grade: C-
Midterm Grade: C
Final Grade: C

Victor Zambrano: Zambrano has been the weak link in a strong starting staff, but even Zambrano has had his strong stretches. It will be a shame if he is forced in a rotation spot to justify the Kazmir trade, because he might have value as either a middle reliever, or in a trade to a team that has little starting pitching.

Quarterly Grade: D
Midterm Grade: B
Final Grade: C

Miguel Cairo: Sharply fell off offensively in the second half. Was miscast as a 2 hole hitter, but his .290ish average with the Yankees last season gave all of us a false sense of excitement and hope that he can do that job. Nothing more than a utility player at this point in his career, and the Mets have enough of those.

Quarterly Grade: B+
Midterm Grade: B-
Final Grade: C-

Doug Mientkiewicz: Glove was as advertised. Bat was not. A back injury cut him down just as he was finding his stroke, but an average in the .240's is unacceptable at that posititon.

Quarterly Grade: B-
Midterm Grade: D
Final Grade: D+

Braden Looper: Was hovering at B- for a while but down the stretch was absolutely useless. Was it injury? Was it the mere fact that he's been miscast as a closer? He's a stand up guy and I hope wherever he goes he finds success, and his retaliation against J.D. Closser in 2004 endears him to me forever. But that doesn't count towards his 2005 grade.

Quarterly Grade: B-
Midterm Grade: B-
Final Grade: D+

Gerald Williams: Points for being good in the clubhouse, which basically means he's at his best when he's not playing.

Final Grade: D+

Kaz Ishii: He did have a few decent starts...but overall was atrocious and here's hoping he languishes in Texas next season.

Quarterly Grade: INC
Midterm Grade: D+
Final Grade: D

Jose Offerman: Blew a game against the Marlins because he can't catch...and was thrown out at second on a line single to center. And all this along with rumblings of a bad attitude. Somebody ought to gently remind Offerman that he's 102 years old and is lucky enough to have a job where he still wears a uniform. Did get some big pinch hits and that's the only thing that saves him.

Midterm Grade: INC
Final Grade: D

Kaz Matsui: Was injured for a good part of the season, but a huge disappointment overall. Hit well for about a week in September. Needs to go.

Quarterly Grade: C-
Midterm Grade: D-
Final Grade: D-

Dae Sung Koo: Let's see, grooves a 3-0 fastball to Carlos Delgado...blows his shoulder on a slide...refuses to warm up when asked late in the season...Congratulations Dae Sisk, you are my first official failure!

Quarterly Grade: Didn't bother.
Midterm Grade: D
Final Grade: F

Manny Aybar/Danny Graves: To me, they're the same guy. Aybar was useless in a mop-up role, and Graves replaced him with no expectations. Any upgrade over Aybar would have been considered a bonus. There was none.

Quarterly Grade: Aybar got a C-
Midterm Grade: Both got incompletes
Final Grade: One big fat F

Mike "Hitaway" DeJean: Because I can!

Quarterly Grade: C
Midterm Grade: F
Final Grade: F

Victor Diaz: Have liked what I have seen so far, espeically filling in for Mike Cameron early in the season. But Diaz tailed off at the end and I don't feel I've seen him enough.

Quarterly Grade: A-
Final Grade: INC

Shingo Takatsu: Blame Willie Randolph all you want, Takatsu, a veteran, needed to get Cabrera out and didn't. He deserves some of the blame for that.

Final Grade: I'm going to be nice and give him an INC

Brian Daubach: Why exactly did he disappear?

Midterm Grade: INC
Final Grade: INC

Anderson Hernandez: Why exactly is he not playing in garbage time?

Final Grade: INC

Royce Ring: Has anyone seen him?

Midterm Grade: B-
Final Grade: INC

Willie Randolph: Randolph had some first season jitters to be sure. I liked that he moved David Wright up in the order. I didn't like how long he took to do it. I liked that when a player had a "moment of truth" game like DeJean, Felix Heredia and Aybar did, and went south in it, got rid of them almost immediately. I didn't like that others who have shown nothing like Graves, Ishii and Cairo continue to get looks at the expense of others such as Ring, Diaz and perhaps Yusmeiro Petit. I liked when he made moves based on hunch. I didn't like when he relied too much on the numbers, especially small sample numbers.

Some of Willie's moves have been out of necessity...not enough firepower in the lineup, and injuries forcing guys like Marlon Anderson to hit fifth. I think when he learns to be his own man and when he stops trying to use Yankee philosophies for players who are not Yankees, he'll be OK. Don't say you're a champion of young people and then force us to watch Danny Graves and Kaz Ishii...although that isn't entirely his fault. The honeymoon is officially over.

Quarterly Grade: A-
Midterm Grade: C+
Final Grade: C+

Omar Minaya: I'm tempted to give Omar an incomplete because he didn't get anything done during the season. But that inactivity deserves a grade too. I give him points for being imaginative going after Manny Ramirez...those circumstances made it hard for anyone to get that deal done. But in going after the big fish, let some little ones get away like Kyle Farnsworth who would have helped the Mets bullpen mightily.

Final Grade: If you just go on in-season, he gets a C. If you include the last off-season, he gets a B+.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

hey, metsra. matt from metsblog, here. can you email me at mattcerrone@metsblog.com as soon as you get this. i have a question to ask you. thanks...

Metstradamus said...

Matt,

I've sent it along...

Matthew said...

i didn't get it. may have gone into my bulk folder, damn yahoo mail. can you email me again. thanks, man.

erik love said...

Even your peers call you Met$tra, i was the 1st to call you that!

Can i get some damn credit!

Diaz deserves a C-. 84ks in less then 300 abs is unacceptable.

Awfulman gets an F+ for his hair and just plain sucking....

Metstradamus said...

Matt I have sent another one on it's way...