Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What Have You Learned? Brian Schneider

What Have You Learned is our very special off-season series that will outline what you've learned, what I've learned, and hopefully what the 2009 Mets have learned about themselves, others, and 2010. Today, we look at Brian Schnieder, and most likely jinx his very existence.

I pretty much knew it was a lost cause when I led off my "Behind the Blow" series by writing about Scott Schoeneweis. There was a part of me hoping that Schoeneweis would make a return trip to Shea in '09 as I wrote that on October 1st of '08. By December 12th, Schoeneweis was gone, for some guy named Connor Robertson.

Now, as I write to you about Brian Schneider, I'm also hoping against hope that Schneider comes back even though you, your family, your friends, Omar Minaya, Omar Minaya's friends, and for some reason Avril Lavigne (?) are hoping for Schneider to be gone. I don't blame you. But considering the options out there, Brian Schneider doesn't look so bad.

Now there's going to have to be an offensive upgrade at a few other positions to make this palpable. You could have upgraded this position in one fell swoop by trading for Victor Martinez. But that ship has sailed and is currently docked in the Charles river. So who's left? Rod Barajas? He had 19 HR's last year but also batted .220. Bengie Molina? At the age where catchers start that inevitable descent off the cliff? Yorvit Torrealba?

Oh, silly me.

Then you look at the internal options. Josh Thole is a catcher who needs some work on catching the ball. Three passed balls and one error in 16 games tells me he needs to expand the zone ... his comfort zone. He's going to be a fine hitter, but only if he gets a little more time in the minors to refine his stroke and be completely ready to go when he gets back to the show, rather than become 2010's version of Daniel Murphy.

And Omir Santos? He's going to live off that Papelbon home run for a long time ... it's probably gotten him further than he deserves, and he'll live off that for at least a few more months going into next season. But look at his numbers. They tell me that the offensive upgrade from Schneider to Santos isn't worth what you lose in defense and in calling a game. If the upgrade was from Schneider to Victor Martinez? No brainer.

It would have taken management having a set to make a trade for Martinez while being far out. But that didn't happen. The options that exist now don't excite me enough to stick with what we have ... which is an inexperienced Thole and a journeyman in Omir Santos. As with Murphy, it would take some major upgrades at other positions to make keeping Schneider palatable. This team needs major upgrades at other positions anyway, so why not consider Schneider's return as a way to help the pitching staff a little bit ... or at the very least give Mike Pelfrey a personal catcher that can actually make a difference (not like giving Paul Bako any credit for being Greg Maddux's caddy)?

Well ... here's why not: Because you can't bring back Brian Schneider and Daniel Murphy. And if the choice is a semi-decent prospect and a journeyman catcher, you bring back the guy with the higher ceiling, and that's Murphy. If you bring in a left fielder, a first baseman, and maybe even a second baseman like Dan Uggla, then there's a chance for Schneider to come back. And maybe you have to use Murphy as a trade chip to make that happen. That said, you can also make a good case to bring Murphy back (which I will attempt in the near future), just as you can make a case for Schneider to come back (which is more a concern about the lack of catching options out there). But you can't bring both back ... there's no good case for that.

Now that I've written a piece that's somewhat pro-Schneider, expect to hear tomorrow that Schneider's been released so that he can sign with Telemarket Rimini.

12 comments:

number15 said...

what, no post about minaya's fling with a 22-year-old todd hundley? don't quote me on that but that's the rumor

Ari Berkowitz said...

What about trading for former prospect Max Ramirez who's blocked in Texas

Doug Sisk said...

How about Jason Varitek? I know he had a bad year, hes old and close to done. But you could sign him for cheap, and he could bring leadership to this team. Maybe he could have a renasance year.

Demitri said...

What are your thoughts on his ability to call a game?

There were some pretty damning stats in 2008 of runs allowed and slugging % when Schneider caught vs Castro.

http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/mets/2009/01/whats-the-catch.html

Metstradamus said...

Ari: I don't know much about Max Ramirez I don't mind trading for young talent if the Mets had the young talent to give back. And if we're all wrong about the farm system, then it's time for management to prove it. But I doubt the Mets would do that with Thole in the fold.

Sisk: I like the idea of Varitek, but I think Varitek himself might be a touch too old, and would be starting from scratch with a new club and a new pitching staff, which is dangerous. His value is with Boston ... it drops dramatically when he leaves.

Dmitri: In '08, Schneider was overrated. He had a bad year defensively and yes, he didn't get the most out of his pitchers. In '09 he was better, and I just am not crazy about the options out there. Bengie Molina? Eh. He'll age five years coming here. That just seems to be the way it works.

Schneck said...

Offtopic alert:
Did you see the article about the Wilpon's alleged profit in the Madoff scheme...
http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/mets/2009/10/21/2009-10-21_us_bankruptcy_court_documents_show_.html

If they need to pay it back, do you think Oliver Perez would be accepted as payment?

Metstradamus said...

The number of people who lost money in that scandal is believed to be in the thousands.

If you split Oliver Perez that many ways, they'd each get about 2.3 walks.

Nigel said...

I know you have a post for Steve Phillips in the works. You can not pass this up. Metal....

Tina said...

Isn't it time for you to write a piece that's pro-Jerry?

Metstradamus said...

Yeah, it's the piece that's called "Pitching Changes: Jerry vs. a Vacuum Cleaner"

Ari Berkowitz said...

The point is that the Mets don't have to give up so much to get Ramirez because he's blocked in Texas and hasn't performed well in AAA. I believe that Feliciano would be enough to get Max Ramirez from the Rangers

Demitri said...

I just wonder if they need to start thinking like the Marlins a little. Maybe you write off next season and platoon Thole and Santos.

Sure - Thole's probably not ready, and Santos is no offensive powerhouse. But I'd prefer getting younger overall. The shape the team is in, I just don't see them being one or two (or three) players away.

If you're going to spend bucks, I'd want a starting pitcher and someone (anyone) who can put up some power numbers.

Can we get fluff Castro back?