By Mike Steffanos
Our illustrious commenter "Micalpalyn" correctly pointed out to me that it was time to get off my rear end and post the final regular season grades for the Mets. We'll start with the pitchers, including all 13 guys who took a start for this team:
After a terrific first couple of months, Glavine struggled mightily for a while. Then came the scare over the blood clots, and the happy resolution. Now he's back to pitching at a level closer to his early season dominance. With 13 starters passing through the revolving door in 2006, Glavine provided vital stability and led the team with 32 starts and 198 innings, despite missing two weeks.
Insert your old joke here, but you can't deny that he's been the best pitcher over the last 6 weeks of the season. He's been everything this team could ask for, especially with the loss of Pedro Martinez. Over his last six starts he's pitching to a 1.69 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP, and averaging more than a strikeout per inning. I only hope I'm in as good shape as he is when I turn 100.
His numbers were the worst in his career, and it ended badly. He gets credit, along with Glavine, for carrying this team early when they needed a lift. Say what you want about how much -- or how little -- they get from him for the final 2 years of that big contract. I just hope he pitches again.
He carried the team for a while, and has been a very dependable starter despite enduring a few bumps. Consistency with his off-speed pitches are the difference between him being a promising starter and the solid middle-of-the-rotation guy I think he will become. Chalk this one up as another Rick Peterson success story, he really made progress with this kid.
Tied for the team lead in wins with Glavine, he also was second on the team with 30 starts and 164 innings. The 4.97 ERA and 1.60 WHIP are nothing to brag about, but that clincher against the Marlins was as good as it gets for Steve. Give us a game or two like that in the playoffs and no one will remember the bad starts.
His stuff is the very definition of ordinary, but he's a lefty with a deceptive motion who aggressively attacks the strike zone. I think he can help in a starting or relieving role in 2007. This is one of those gems that Omar should take a bow for.
His numbers weren't very good, but if you watched any of his games, you saw promise. You can't teach "stuff", and he's got that. He seems more mature than he did with the Pirates, and is a prime candidate for a Peterson makeover. I can’t help myself, I get a little giddy over this kid. I really do believe he will be a key guy in 2007.
Maybe he really was hurt, but he sure looked gun-shy towards the end. Terrific breaking pitches when he controlled them, but only a so-so fastball. He looks more like a reliever to me than a starter.
We saw more than enough of a pitcher that has little left beyond style and heart.
Some have written this kid off, despite his promising spring and a knack for working out of trouble before he went down with the groin. To me, it's just plain unfair to judge him on what he's done this season, he just missed too much of it.
We saw enough to intrigue, but not enough to really judge. That fastball is electric, and like Maine it will all hinge on consistent off-speed pitches.
A second Tommy John surgery in a career usually spells the end. I still wish I could have seen Rick Peterson work with a healthy Zambrano, since we have learned that he was never healthy in New York.
He gave them all he had for those 3 starts, but he didn't have much.
A remarkable turnaround for the little redneck. If you can get yourself to look past the fact that he gives up some baserunners, you can allow yourself to be impressed by 40 saves, including 18 in a row and 26 of 27. He makes me nervous, no lies about that, but he gets it done, and that's the bottom line. Name me a Mets closer who was better, and I mean ever.
Yes, he struggled for a significant stretch, and was booed by the fans. Then, when Sanchez went down he gave the team everything they could possibly ask for. One of the real heroes of the second half of the season after being written off as trade bait by many. With the addition of Mota and the return of Sanchez next year, maybe he'll finally get that chance to be a starter. He's one heck of a reliever.
He was terrific all year with inherited runners, and did surprisingly well against left-handers. We all know that Willie loves that funk, and Bradford brings some very effective funk. One thing I love about him -- in 62 innings of work he walked only 13 guys. Give another pat on the back to Rick Peterson for Bradford's comeback, and a lot of credit to the classy veteran sidewinder himself. On a team whose bullpen wasn't as deep as the Mets was, I could see Bradford filling an eighth inning role, he was that good.
Do you remember that he didn't even make the team out of spring training? He winds up with an ERA just over 2 in 60+ appearances, and was a key contributor to the deepest bullpen in baseball. He was effective against lefties, but surprisingly effective against righties, too.
Omar and his staff were brilliant on this one. Now that Mota has resurrected his career, he combines with Heilman to give the Mets shut-down relief at the end of games.
He struggled a bit during the last couple of months, but still put together an outstanding season. Another lefty who was effective against right-handers, also, and he managed to keep the Mets in some important games where the starter made an early exit. His on real Achilles heel was the long ball.
Pitched with the aggressiveness and mentality of a closer, which he may very well be someday. Losing him was a huge blow that was alleviated by Mota's renaissance. He should be back next spring, and the one thing I'd love to see him do is cut down on the walks a little.
Required by the team as eighth inning insurance, Bert was quickly overshadowed by a resurgent Heilman and the resurrected Mota. He's been solid, if unspectacular, since his return.
Starting to look like a nice left-handed bullpen arm. The question is whether he does it for the Mets or serves as trade bait.
A favorite of stat heads, Bell has a fastball that's a little too straight and a slider that he doesn't get over quite often enough. The Mets just don't seem to love him, and I'd be surprised if he was here next season.
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