Minaya’s Amazin’ Mess

In a season of nostalgic flashbacks and rememberences during Shea Stadium’s last season, yesterday felt like a combination of 2006 NLCS Game 7 & September 2007 rolled into one.  The Mets bullpen blew their 20th save on the season as they gave up 6 runs in the last 3 frames to the lowly Pirates en route to a 7-5 Mets loss.  Perhaps the worst stat of all was that this was the 7th time this season that the bullpen blew a lead of 4 runs or more.

Its not like they are missing Billy Wagner, as he’s blown 7 of the 20 saves himself.  The entire bullpen is in shambles.  Aaron Heilman got the loss yesterday and is 2-7 with 3 blown saves and a 5.74 ERA.

One thing’s for sure, Omar Minaya has completely mismanaged the bullpen for two straight years.  On the heels of last season’s terrible bullpen, Minaya felt that all that needed to be done was add Matt Wise and hope that Duaner Sanchez would bounce back from his shoulder surgery.

Wise hasn’t been available all season due to shoulder problems and if he were playing, he wouldn’t have been the difference maker in this awful bullpen…even if he pitched 40 straight scoreless innings.

As for Sanchez, he had shown signs of returning to the levels of his 2006 performance but has become more and more unreliable as the season has progressed.

Meanwhile, Chad Bradford, a stalwart of the 6th & 7th innings in the 2006 bullpen wasn’t brought back by Minaya and has pitched to the tune of a 3.34 ERA in 2007 and a 2.45 ERA this season in the AL (where hitters supposedly rule).  Minaya didn’t want to offer a 2 year deal to Bradford but ended up having to settle for Scott Schoeneweis for the same amount of money over 3 years.

Darren Oliver, remember him?  He was in many ways the glue that held together the 2006 Mets bullpen, both in long relief and for an inning at a time.  He put up a 3.78 ERA last year and is at 3.28 this year, also in the AL.

Instead of keeping Bradford and Oliver after 2006, Minaya thought it was wise to keep Aaron Heilman around and to keep him in the bullpen.  Heilman’s trade value was high after 2006, despite the game winning HR he gave up in game 7.  A change of scenery (a starting role for another team) would have been the right move for Heilman and the Mets.

On October 21, 2006, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman wrote about Heilman’s value at the time:

The Mets should trade Heilman because they place less value on him than so many other teams. And, please, let’s not listen to what the Mets say about appreciating Heilman’s worth. Given the choice, they picked Brian Bannister to start over Heilman. And Willie Randolph managed as if he liked both Duaner Sanchez and Guillermo Mota better to set up Billy Wagner.

Meanwhile, many rival teams see Heilman as no worse than a No. 3 starter or a closer. As one AL GM said, “Equipment-wise, he is a starter.” An NL scout who thinks Heilman would be an excellent starter said Heilman began mixing a cutter and splitter to his changeup-fastball strength, thus giving him more of a starter’s repertoire. Another AL GM, who thinks Heilman has the stuff and makeup to be a closer, said, “Heilman’s stock is very high in this relief market. The supply (of available, quality relievers) is so bad, you should maximize value.”

There was a rumored deal on the table after 2006 that would have brought Manny Ramirez to the Mets for Heilman and Lastings Milledge.  Minaya passed because of Milledge’s alleged upside….he probably still loses sleep over not making that trade.

Minaya had so many reasons to get rid of Heilman after 2006 but he chose to keep him around and in a role that he clearly does not want to be in and probably doesn’t have the mental makeup to be successful in.

Minaya could have “sold high”, now he will get pretty much nothing for Heilman.

The Mets are 4th in the NL in runs scored this season and only 9 runs behind the #2 team, the Phillies.  So the offense clearly is not the problem…It is Omar Minaya’s bullpen that will be the Mets downfall for the second year in a row.

The sooner the Wilpons realize that their GM is a joke, the better it will be for Mets fans.  It is unfathomable that Minaya stood pat with this joke of a bullpen and that the Mets currently have 2 legitimate outfielders.

The Wilpons need to do the right thing, Minaya should be fired right after the season.


2 Responses

  1. OK I take umbrage with a few of these items. Now, I am far from being the Omar Minaya apologist I usually am these days, probably not for the many reasons you determine. But few things I wanted to bring up which I know you’ll d get a full season out of Alou? (Who?)disagree cause, well, basically I know you already do LOL. Just trying to generate some dialogue here.

    1.) Manny for Milledge in 2006, after the 2005 deadline busted three-way deal I doubt was EVER on the table. Now, I know the NY media beat the thing to death. But from what you say is Omar’s propensity to trade for proven vets he has an affinity with, don’t you think he would have jumped on that? Much like the heavy Milledge-for-Zito rumors in the 2006 deadline — while NY media were clamoring for the deal, the thing was, Billy Beane came right out and said, I never spoke with Omar Minaya. Beane is usually a straight shooter — yes, he plays his cards close, (i mean, who saw him trading Harden, Haren AND Blanton – you’d think he’d have kept at least one but I digress). My point is, believe about what half the media reports.

    2.) With the additions of Eddie Kunz, Daniel Murphy and Nick Evans, it suggests to me that the farm system isn’t nearly as depleted as screaming fans tend to think. I do acknowledge we traded a lot of value in the Johan trade, but the drafting was a lot better this year, esp after getting the comp pick for Glavine, who turned into Ike Davis who is projected to be a stud.

    3.) Aaron Heilman is an enigma. He can give you three great games, then crap the proverbial bed. Ask Joe over at Metstoday his feelings on Heilman — he is incredible undervalued not only as a reliever but as a STARTER. And he SHOULD be starting. Pitchers tend to have a different mental make up than other positional players — Heilman is, to put it mildly, a bit of a poochie when it comes to pitching in later innings. The pressure is on, and he often loses it. Plus he puts a lot of pressure on himself. I think he should be starting. yes, you read that right! The reason other teams find him valuable is not b/c of his pen work — its that they can find value with him as a starter. I know, it won’t happen this year. But he’s under control for how long, till 2010 I want to say? I think if he gets converted, he will be of incredible value. As a starter the pressure is in a way, off. Sounds weird I know, but I think I figured it out. Coop for GM LOL

    4.) Metsblog just reported that although the Mets bp has blown 20 saves, they have lost only 7 of them. Not good, not bad. But just throwing it out there. don’t get me wrong, 20 blown saves is NOT good, but the team didn’t roll over and play dead, like they did many times last year.

    5.) I CAN throw Minaya under the bus for not thinking through the OF sitch. Come on, who actually thought we’d get a full year out of Alou (who? LOL).

  2. Whoops my bad – the number of blown save losses I converted the numbers wrong. Or better yet, they WON only 7. That sucks. Still the team is only 2 games out of first. That’s gotta mean something. And yes, the BP does suck. Why can’t anyone get an out?

    And waitaminnit, I forgot something else – Castillo for four years. I hated that one.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: