Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mets Rookies and Cherington the Genius

I've had just about no time to do any writing this week, so there are some things that I need to say, starting off with the Mets and their rookie starting pitchers:

Matt Harvey pitched a gem on Wednesday against the Rockies, and while it wasn't like the dominance of his start against the Reds, he pitched very well. His fastball was working, and by working, I mean fast. His average velocity was at 95, and I remember him reaching all the way up to 98 MPH. He did what Matt Harvey does best, he threw a lot of fastballs. 76.5% of his pitches were heaters, and it was hard to hit them. He and Kelly Shoppach did a great job of pitch selection. He got ahead in the count very often, and from there he did a great job of not giving the batters anything to hit. Once he had them in a hole, he was able to throw his curveball and his slider into the dirt, and he got a lot of strikeouts from chased pitches. All of his four pitches were very good throughout his start.

I did not get to watch Collin McHugh's major league debut, but by all accounts it was great. He has a very effective curve and gets his strikeouts more by finesse than power. His fastball averaged 89.7 MPH, but he still got 9 strikeouts. If this is really how good he is, the Mets pitching staff for the next 10 years is shaping up pretty nicely; Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey, Collin McHugh, Jonathan Niese, Mike Pelfrey/Dillon Gee. Obviously Dickey and Santana will be there for the first few years, but not much longer after that.

Okay, I love Ben Cherington. He just made one of the smartest moves in baseball history. He recognizes that his team is going nowhere this season (except down) and he lit a stick of dynamite to his team without jeopardizing their future. He cleared a giant load of salary, allowing for a lot of flexibility in the offseason to improve this roster and in particular, the pitching staff. Trading Josh Beckett was a no-brainer because he was not working at all in Boston. He's the Jason Bay of the Red Sox at this point. Adrian Gonzalez is playing very well, but he's not even close to living up to his astronomical contract. Carl Crawford had an atrocious season in 2011, and was playing well when he returned from injury this year, until of course he had to get Tommy John surgery. He may not come back until 2014, or at least late in 2013. The pitching staff of this team is terrible, and once they use their extra money to improve that, they could be in contention next season. Remember that Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, and David Ortiz are all still on this roster.

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