4/1/15

Stephen Guilbert - Spring Training Stats: Walks, Matt Harvey and Rafael Montero

1 comments
Rank Pitcher Innings Walks
1
Dillon Gee
21.2
8
2
Chasen Bradford*
8.2
6
3
Dario Alvarez*
7.1
5
3
Sean Gilmartin*
8.2
5
3
Jack Leathersich*
4.2
5
3
Carlos Torres*
11.0
5
7
Jacob deGrom
22.0
4
7
Jenrry Mejia*
7.2
4
7
Akeel Morris*
3.0
4
7
Zach Thornton*
9.1
4
7
Bartolo Colon
11.2
3
7
Jeurys Familia*
8.2
3
7
Cory Mazzoni*
2.1
3
7
Hansel Robles*
3.0
3
7
Cody Satterwhite*
3.2
3
7
Noah Syndergaard*
7.1
3
7
Rafael Montero + Matt Harvey
33.2
3

Rafael Montero and Matt Harvey do a really good job not walking anyone. In case you have missed their starts this spring, both The Dark Knight and El Jefe do a masterful job limiting bases on balls. In fact, the two have been so good, they have combined for a measly 0.8 BB/9. The rates are so minuscule that it's easier to just consider their raw walk data: Matt Harvey has walked one batter all spring. Rafael Montero has walked two. 

If the two combined forces, they would rank tied for seventh with ten other individual pitchers on the squad for most walks this spring. To put it another way, "Harvero" have walked as many as or fewer than 16 other Met pitchers this spring, including seven projected to make the opening day roster. 

Or you could look at it this way: Dillon Gee walked the same number of batters in the first five innings of his start on Sunday as Montero and Harvey have in 33 and two-thirds innings all spring. 

Look at the above chart. Every pitcher with an asterisk next to their name is either currently a reliever or projects to be one at the next level. Thirteen pitchers on that list are relievers. Now, yes, some of our bullpen arms are a bit erratic but this speaks more to the pinpoint control of two young and exciting Met pitchers. 

Rafael Montero (El Jefe) had a beautiful changeup throughout his Monday start in which he allowed no runs over six innings including six strikeouts, no walks, no runs, and only two hits. Montero's control was in its finest form Monday afternoon. 

I do not believe spring training stats mean much. In fact, I do not think they mean anything. However, one thing you really want from all of your pitchers is good location, low pitch counts, lots of strikes, efficient outings and all of this with as much dominance and effectiveness as possible. No one in the stands Monday saw anything other than that from Rafael Montero. Montero should join Matt Harvey as 2/5ths of the Mets rotation going forwards. If the Mets decide not to use him, you can throw out what management has to say when it comes to position battles. If Montero does not win the job, it is because they made the decision a long time ago and had zero intention of ever putting El Jefe in the rotation. Because he pitched masterfully on Monday. Simply masterfully. 

In case my weekly post lauding Montero has gotten tired, let's take a turn here and start talking about Dillon Gee's future. During today's broadcast Ron Darling brought up an interesting point about the rotation race: Rafael Montero is probably an effective reliever. Dillon Gee probably isn't. If the team is going to maximize value, it might mean improving the bullpen a lot and taking a lesser, albeit solid, option in the rotation. While I understand the rationale and it's probably something Terry and Sandy are thinking as well, I'd much rather put the improvement in the rotation--where the pitcher will account for 200 innings of baseball--than the relief role that will see about a third of that total. 

However, if Rafael Montero wins the 5th starter spot, what becomes of Dillon Gee? I do not see why he should not be in the same situation he was two months ago: A reliable starter who will be a mid-rotation arm for someone else. Considering the Mets filled their only roster hole on Monday with two lefty relievers (while adding payroll), why would it be bad to get a couple prospects for Dillon Gee? 

My ideal trade for Dillon Gee is with a team like the Orioles, a team expected to contend for division title, who currently have a starter locked into their rotation with a career 4.59 FIP (Miguel Gonzalez). The Orioles also have something the Mets might really want...a draft pick they can actually trade. No, there has not been some drastic change to the CBA that you have not heard about. Competitive balance picks, which are draft picks allotted to the teams in smaller markets as an effort to balance out the talent in systems, can be traded. The bonus allotments for those picks can also be traded. 

If the Mets wanted to, they could move Gee to the Orioles for a couple mid-level prospects (the Orioles system is pretty bad but a combination of Jomar Reyes and Brian Gonzalez) along with the competitive balance B pick. I believe that would be a fine haul for Dillon Gee. The draft pick would be at the end of the second round and the Mets would shed some payroll by shipping Gee down I-95. 

Bottom line is this: I am not excited about a Mets rotation that has Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee and Jon Niese comprising 3/5th of what should be the biggest strength of the team. Half of the time (Colon, Gee, half of Niese's starts), I am not going to be all that confident about a win. With Montero instead of Gee and Syndergaard instead of Colon in a month, I feel a lot better about winning nearly every time out. Giving the team the best chance to win is what this is all about anyway, isn't it? 

If you think this has been a drawn out process and perhaps a bit aggravating, it has been. I think most fans want to see the young prospect with the high ceiling instead of the streaky veteran who gets hurt a lot. Unfortunately, we are going to have to go through the same thing in less than a month when Syndergaard is ready, we are after the arbitration clock date and we still have Bartolo Colon taking the hill every fifth day. 

While I love that I can be picky enough to say that I think two good starters in Dillon Gee and Bartolo Colon should be shipped off to another team, I am also getting tired of hearing the statement, "It's a good problem to have". It's still a problem. And, like any problem, it needs a solution. The timetable for finding that solution is not a long one and proper execution (finding the right deal, moving the veteran arms at the right time/promoting the youngsters at the right time) is pivotal to the success of this ball club in 2015 and many years after. 

--SG

1 comments:

Stephen Guilbert said...

Pretty much as soon as this is published, the team announces that Dillon Gee is the 5th starter.

I cannot say I'm pleased. This does nothing for Montero, the system, or the 2015 team in my book.

Mack's Mets © 2012