Tag: D.J. Carrasco

New York Mets Hot Stove: Evaluating Relief Pitcher D.J. Carrasco

The New York Mets made it abundantly clear that they were not going to be major contenders in the high-profile free agent sweepstakes this week in Florida, so the fact that they signed D.J. Carrasco shouldn’t really surprise anybody.

Patience was the name of the game in Buena Vista for Sandy Alderson, and while not a spectacular move by any stretch of the imagination, the move to snag Carrasco looks to be pretty solid.

It is important to note the state of the bullpen as it stands right now. Beside Francisco Rodriguez, nobody has a defined role for 2011. Oliver Perez may or may not feature in long relief and there are big question marks looming over the likely effectiveness of Manny Acosta, Bobby Parnell, Ryota Igarashi and Pat Misch.

If you then factor in spot starters such as Jenrry Mejia and Dillon Gee the pen, especially in the middle innings, looks weak and confusing even though Spring Training is sill three months away.

The Mets needed to populate the relief corps with arms, and I think Carrasco is a pretty decent find for two years.

He is a cheap and serviceable right-handed pitcher, and while he’s not going to win any awards, there’s no reason to think he won’t fit in nicely towards the back end of the bullpen.

At 33, he has six seasons of big league experience under his belt, most recently with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Arizona Diamondbacks, after spending his earlier years in the American League.

He has matured and developed a lot since first breaking through into the Major Leagues seven years ago, and it’s more important to look at his recent form rather than the complete portfolio of his work, which included a not-so-successful year as a starter.

At this stage in his career, he’s much more likely to give you 55 games and 75 innings with an ERA around the 3.75 mark. He is more efficient than his career 4.31 mark suggests, and pitching at Citi Field will only help, especially if he is used more sparingly against left-handers.

He has average stuff made more effective by the late movement he generates on his cutter, and as a result, he gets a better number of ground ball outs while minimizing the risk of a home run.

He will walk more batters than fans will like, but that’s often the case with a guy who works primarily off two types of fastballs.

Carrasco has two big assets to his game. The first is in the change of speed between his fastball and cutter, coupled with the mid-70s curve he will occasionally toss in there.

The second, and arguably the most useful, is the fact that he throws from at least three different arm slots, including sidearm late in the count.

Carrasco isn’t a big-money guy or a sexy household name, but he’s a veteran guy who looks like a low-risk option at this point. Throw him in at the start of the seventh inning and let him do his thing.

If Alderson can compliment this selection with a solid southpaw or two, the Mets will be right on track with where they need the bullpen to be. First impressions tell me this is a great start.

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New York Mets: Sandy Alderson or the Fans: Who’s Side Are You On?

With the Winter Meetings in full swing, teams are scrambling to find pieces to add. The New York Mets held nothing back in telling fans that they wouldn’t be big players in free agency, but would be bringing back players.

So far, the Mets have added backup catcher Ronny Paulino (one year, $1.3 million) and reliever D.J. Carrasco (two years, $2.5 million). They have also been in talks with the Boston Red Sox concerning a trade involving outfielder Carlos Beltran.

To say the Mets have not been involved in free agency is unfair, whether you think their signings up to this point are poor. However, Alderson never said the Mets were going to be in the running to land the bigger free agents; guys like Carl Crawford, Cliff Lee, Rafael Soriano and Jayson Werth.

This afternoon, I put on the radio to listen to Mike Francesca on WFAN New York. His opening topic was the Mets and whether or not fans would be going to the games next season after watching what the Mets have done so far.

His contention was that if the Mets are unwilling to call 2011 a rebuilding season and insist they can contend in the division, they need to show fans that they’re willing to make the moves for that to happen.

A fair point.

The majority of callers said they wouldn’t be going to games, buying Mets memorabilia or basically giving them a single dime of their hard earned money because the Mets aren’t making the “right moves”.

So, I started to wonder, what exactly are fans expecting? By all reports, the Mets only have $5-10 million to spend this offseason, which is not going to land them any high-impact players.

But are you, the average Mets fan or season ticket holder, willing to attend games and support a team that says they’ll contend in 2011, but clearly doesn’t have the personnel?

Let’s look at each side of the argument.


If you’re pro-Alderson, you’re willing to go to these games and spend your money because they’re your team. They’ve been your team for many seasons, perhaps, and you’re not going to turn your back on them.

At the end of the 2010 season, in which the Mets fans watched their team finish four games under .500 and fourth in the division, the Mets clearly needed to deal with GM Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel.

Since Minaya took over as general manager following the 2004 season, the Mets were a combined 506-466, but collapsed and lost division leads in historic fashion in both the 2007 and 2008 seasons.

Jerry Manuel, who took over for Willy Randolph during the 2008 season, managed the Mets to a 204-212 record.

Both were fired at the end of last season. The Mets then hired Sandy Alderson as general manager and Terry Collins as manager.

Alderson is going to need time in order to get the Mets back to where the fans want them to be—on top of the division and playing serious October baseball.

At the end of next season, when the contracts of Carlos Beltran, Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez come off the books, the Mets are going to have a lot of money to spend.

Until then, we need to be patient and let Alderson make the signings and trades he needs in order to make the team as good as possible for 2011 and they’ll eventually return to their 2006 form.

The Mets aren’t going to be able to sign big name players, so they’ll have to do the best they can. But, this is our team and we’re going to be out in force to support them in 2011!

Pro-Mets Fans

After watching the Mets win the division in 2006 and come within one win of the World Series, they proceeded to take massive steps backwards. In 2007, they lost 12 of their last 17 games in September before eventually losing the division on the final day of the season to the Philadelphia Phillies and were once again eliminated on the last day in 2008.

Since then, the Mets have only gotten worse. 2009 was plagued by injury and 2010 saw them finish under .500 and fourth in the division.

Though they’ve added big players in the last few years (e.g. Carlos Beltran, Johan Santana, Francisco Rodriguez and Jason Bay), they’ve never really accomplished anything.

The tickets are too expensive to watch a sub-.500 team and, if the Mets aren’t going to put a winning product on the field, we’re not going to spend any money at the stadium.

The Philadelphia Phillies have a higher payroll than the Mets, yet charge their fans less for tickets and concessions.

No matter how much money they have to spend this offseason, they don’t look to be getting any better and if it could actually be worse in 2011 than 2010, there is no way anyone will take the time to go to Citi Field.


Which ever side you’re on, your argument is probably something like ones above. You’re either going to the games no matter how bad the Mets might be because you love your team or you’re not going to support them at the stadium because they’re not giving you anything to look forward to.

Personally, I fall under the dummies at the stadium. I plan on going to the games and wearing my Mets jersey in public because they’re my team and I’ve supported them through worse. At least we have a new general manager with a new direction and a new manager who might light a fire under some of these guys.

I understand they don’t have the payroll to make big moves, but I actually think D.J. Carrassco was the lone bright spot in the Arizona Diamondback bullpen last season and might actually be better in the pitcher-friendly confines of Citi Field.

If you’re not going to Citi Field out of spite or to protest the team, that’s fine. The lines for the bathroom are long enough already.


Have an opinion, want to defend your position on the team or any suggestions for moves the Mets should make? Leave them in the comments sections.



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Breaking News: New York Mets Sign Right-Handed Reliever D.J. Carrasco

The New York Mets and free-agent reliever D.J. Carrasco have agreed to a two-year deal worth $2.5 million according to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com and Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.

The deal is pending a physical, but it will more than likely transpire.

Carrasco was non-tendered by the Diamondbacks last week and was rumored to have six to eight teams looking to acquire his services, but it was the Mets who prevailed and signed the right-handed reliever.

With the loss of Pedro Feliciano and Hisanori Takahashi, the Mets bullpen is in serious shambles. Carrasco’s presence will certainly help bridge the gap from starter to Francisco Rodriguez, but more help will be needed.

Carrasco posted a 3.68 ERA, 7.5 K/9 innings and a 47.5 percent ground ball rate split between the Pirates and D-Backs, all stats looking to translate well into spacious Citi Field. 

From what has been made public, he is an interesting pitcher to watch that reminds fans of former Met, Orlando ‘El Duque’ Hernandez. He switches up his delivery for different pitches and is creative at finding ways to change his motion and life on his pitches.

Carrasco is also said to have a rubber arm and he has no problem pitching many innings or deep into games—something the Mets will look to use.

Overall, with the pick up of Carrasco and Ronny Paulino as Josh Thole’s back up during the Winter Meetings in Orlando, Mets GM Sandy Alderson seems to be making a “splash”in his own old school way. 

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Pittsburgh Pirates Acquire Chris Snyder; What’s Ryan Doumit’s Future?

The Pirates had another busy trade deadline, but unlike years past, this year there were no salary dumps or accumulation of prospects. The Pirates made three trades today and all appear to be good baseball moves.

The Pirates acquired catcher Chris Snyder and minor league shortstop Pedro Ciriaco from the Arizona Diamondbacks, in exchange for Ryan Church, Bobby Crosby and D.J. Carrasco.

They also sent closer Octavio Dotel to the Los Angeles Dodgers for right-hander James McDonald and minor league outfielder Andrew Lambo.

In addition, Pittsburgh sent Javier Lopez to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for right hander Joe Martinez and outfielder John Bowker.

Give the Pirates some credit for being able to sign some veteran relievers in the off-season that they were able to turn into young arms.

The biggest move of the day though was acquiring Snyder. It also now leaves a big question on what to do with Ryan Doumit. Snyder has the reputation of being one of the game’s better defensive catchers, something the Pirates desperately need.

He should be able to help the pitching staff out as well, as Snyder is know for being able to handle a staff, something Doumit wasn’t capable of doing.

The Pirates did well with this move. While Snyder doesn’t do much as an average hitter, his offensive numbers are comparable to Doumit’s, who doesn’t offer much of anything.

Snyder is hitting .231 on the year, while Doumit is only hitting .258. Snyder’s hit ten homers and driven in 32 runs, while Doumit has hit eight homers and driven in 32. The improvement though is defensively.

Snyder is known for being a glove man and has a good arm behind the dish, while Doumit is the worst catcher in the game today. Doumit won’t be behind the plate very often (Thank God) anymore and the Pirates young pitchers will benefit from it.

What do you do now with Doumit, though? It’s a shame that his fragile self got hurt again right before the deadline or there is a good chance he would have got dealt.

The immediate plan is to make him the everyday right fielder and that is just an awful idea.

In six seasons as a pro, Doumit has done absolutely nothing to warrant regular playing time, yet the Pirates keep finding ways to get his “bat” into the lineup. What bat?

Doumit has had one decent year offensively as a pro, in 2008 when he hit .318. That same season, he also set career highs in homers (15) and RBI (69). Still very below average numbers, though.

Yet, the Pirates continue to run him out there and bat him in the middle of the order often when his track record clearly shows he’s not a talented offensive player.

He’s hit over .260 only one other time (.274 in 2007), reached double digits in homers only one other time (10 in 2009) and other than his 69-RBI season of 2008 has never driven in more than 40 runs in a season.

Not to mention he is a huge liability no matter where you put him on the field defensively.

It’s a shame the Pirates are thinking about putting him in right field. You have to feel bad for Lastings Milledge.

First he has to platoon with Ryan Church, who was hitting .180 on the season and now he will lose at-bats to Doumit. Once he started playing everyday again, all Milledge has done is hit.

When guys are on base, Milledge drrives in runs, hitting over .380 with runners in scoring position, something Doumit would know nothing about.

It’s a disgrace to keep giving Doumit at bats. Now that the Pirates have better talent, they should run their best eight guys out there on a nightly basis.

There is nothing wrong with having Doumit as a bench player, getting a spot start every now and then, but he shouldn’t be getting regular playing time.

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