When he was brought in, Sandy Alderson was faced with a limited budget and many holes to fill.. Despite the limitations, Sandy and company still made a lot of transactions this past winter. Some of those moves have paid off, while so far others have not. Transaction Tracker aims to evaluate how these new additions have panned out for the Mets at this point in the season. One month in, let the judging begin!
Pedro Beato (Rule 5 pick): Beato has been one of the highlights of the young season. Plucked from the Baltimore Orioles’ farm system in the Rule 5 draft, Beato has pitched seventeen innings without allowing an earned run, allowing only nine hits and three walks in the process while fanning ten. He’s been able to handle both lefties and righties and has shown the ability to pitch multiple innings without missing a beat. It also doesn’t hurt that all four of hit pitches (fastball, cutter, curve and change) have been thrown very effectively and mixed in well. Beato should have no problem remaining on the roster the entire season and might be a long term piece of the Mets’ bullpen.
Blaine Boyer (one year, $0.725 mil): Boyer made five appearances in relief for the Mets, and four of them were bad. In six and two-thirds, he allowed eight earned runs on thirteen hits while only striking out one. He was promptly released-Sandy can admit when he made a mistake and move on.
Taylor Buccholz (one year, $0.6 mil): Alderson signed Buccholz hoping he could regain his 2008 form, and so far the gamble has pretty much paid off. In 15.2 innings, the righty has allowed only two earned runs on ten hits and five walks while striking out fifteen. His curveball, which brought him so much success in the past, has been excellent thus far-worth 3.69 runs above average per 100 curveballs thrown. The only disturbing stat is that he has allowed six of eight inherited runners to score, something he will need to improve upon.
Tim Byrdak (one year, $0.9 mil): The only lefty in the Mets bullpen has been mediocre thus far. In eight innings (13 appearances), he’s given up five earned runs on nine hits and three walks, although he’s also fanned ten. Lefties are five for twenty-two with ten punch-outs, which should be better (if he’s the only southpaw in the pen, he needs to be lights out against other lefties). On the plus side, he’s only allowed one out of ten inherited runners to score.
Chris Capuano (one year, $1.5 mil): Finally healthy, Capuano has been a mixed bag thus far. In 24.1 innings as a starter, Capuano has yielded 16 earned runs on 31 hits, although he’s only walked five while striking out 19. Out of his four starts, his only real successful one was against the Arizona Diamondbacks, where threw seven terrific innings, only allowing one run on six hits; the other three starts haven’t been that good, but they haven’t been terrible. He’s also made two appearances out of the bullpen, one in which he allowed a run on three hits in two-thirds, and one in which he retired the only batter to face him. The right move is probably to stick him in the pen for good (to give the team another lefty and because he has relief experience) and move Dillon Gee to the rotation, but for now Capuano will continue to start.
D.J. Carrasco (two years, 2.5 mil): The only free agent signing to get a multi-year deal this past winter, Carrasco has had a rough go of it-so rough that he was sent to the minors. In seven relief outings totaling to seven innings, Carrasco allowed four earned runs on nine hits and three walks while only striking out three. His spot start did not go much better, as D.J. only lasted three and two-third innings, surrendering three runs on three long balls. He’s currently in the starting rotation in Buffalo, but his long term value is in the bullpen
Brad Emaus (Rule 5 pick): The Mets’ other Rule 5 pick, Emaus, did not work out as well as Beato. Emaus was given every chance to win the second base job and was in the starting lineup on Opening Day. In 42 plate appearances, he managed just six hits and four walks while striking out nine times and producing zero extra base hits. Convinced he wasn’t going to live up to his high OBP in the minors, Alderson saw enough and Emaus was returned to the Toronto Blue Jays before being shipped to the Colorado Rockies.
Scott Hairston (one year, $1.1 mil): Hairston has struggled mightily so far, hitting just .182/.270/.303 in 37 PA with one homer and twelve strikeouts. He’s just two for eighteen against lefties and one for ten as a pinch hitter, two areas in which he must improve upon if he is to be of any use to the Mets. He’s also made a couple of gaffes in the outfield. Given Alderson’s lack of patience for continued failure, one has to wonder if Hairston will get the boot eventually, maybe when Angel Pagan returns given how well Jason Pridie has been playing.
Willie Harris (one year, $0.8 mil): Harris got a lot of playing time when Jason Bay was on the disabled list, and got off to a red hot start, getting six hits in nineteen plate appearances with a homer and four runs batted in on the opening road trip. Since then, however, he’s gone just 8-45 (a .178 clip) with four walks, dropping his batting line to .226/.304/.355. Furthermore, he’s struck out 19 times, been caught stealing on three out of seven attempts, and gone 0-9 as a pinch hitter, which is where he will receive a lot of at bats. He hasn’t been much help on defense either, saving minus three runs below average. His numbers should improve and Harris will be a useful utility player as the year progresses.
Chin-lung Hu (acquired via trade): Brought in to play defense, Hu has played seventeen and two-third innings at second base and one inning at shortstop, not committing an error thus far. His offense has been anemic, garnering just one hit in fifteen plate appearances with eight strikeouts and one RBI. He’ll probably be used as a late game defensive replacement or as a pinch runner, but has no business handling a bat unless he can start hitting for contact.
Jason Isringhausen (minor league contract): Izzy’s return to New York has gone well so far. In nine appearances (eight innings), he’s allowed three earned runs on four hits and four walks while striking out six in high leverage situations. His cutter and curveball have been effective worth 3.63 and 2.27 runs above average per 100 pitches, respectively. He should continue to be an effective bridge to Francisco Rodriguez.
Ronny Paulino (one year, $1.3 mil): The right handed catcher didn’t get his first start until yesterday, where he made an immediate impact, going five for seven with the go ahead RBI in the fourteenth inning. He will mainly be used in a platoon role, given his success against lefties in his career (.342/.393/.493 slash line). The jury is still out given his very limited playing time, but this signing should pan out.
Chris Young (one year, $1.1 mil): Signing the 6’10” righty has been the best move made by Sandy so far. In his four starts, a total of 24 innings, Young possesses a sparkling 1.88 ERA, 0.958 WHIP and 8.3 K/9, all while throwing a fastball averaging at just under 85 miles per hour. His slider, curve and changeup have all been effective weapons and he’s been able to handle the Phillies quite well. There are a few red flags, such as his unsustainable BABIP of .155 and his FIP of 4.27 (both suggesting that he might be a little lucky so far), but if he stays healthy and continues to pitch as such, it will be a huge boost to the Met rotation.