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Saturday, March 19, 2005

Ishii Madness 

I woke up this morning to hear about the Jason Phillips for Kaz Ishii rumors. I figured what the hell, let me brain vomit my two cents into the ole' blog but before doing so I stumbled around the Mets blogosphere to see that just about everything that could be said about this proposal has been. Damn these bloggers are fast. Having my thunder stolen, perhaps I'll just try to summarize where everyone seems to stand.

Always Amazin: "All in all, I'm kinda bummed about this deal. I don't think it will tremendously hurt the Mets, at least initially, but it really doesn't seem like it will help either."

Chuck n' Duck: "Ishii just seems like, to me, the right move right now."

East Coast Agony: "Ishii doesn't really have to be 'successful' or 'able to get batters out' to be a good fifth starter. Ideally what the Mets are looking for is an innings eater, and if nothing else he fits that bill."

The Eddie Kranepool Society: "the Mets are on the verge of sending Jason Phillips to the Dodger for LHP Kaz Ishii. If this happens it's a fucking catastrophe!"

Flushing Local: "But these are the New Mets and Next Year is Now, right? It could be a wild, wild year in Flushing. Extremely wild. Historically wild. "

Gogs is the Greek God of Geeks: Matt simply posts some numbers for our craniums to marinate in, which I think is his way of saying that Matt Ginter is better than Ishii.

The Metropolitans: "With him and Victor on back to back days, a seven man bullpen becomes utterly necessary and Ginter should be in it. The move, while not a bad one, only gives depth, but not an upgrade over the current options besides being more of a known quantity. However, the trigger needs to get pulled."

Metsblog: "While Ishii has not proven to be more effective that Ginter, he can get to the sixth inning, which, given the Mets bullpen issues, is most important."

No Joy in Metsville: "It's a no brainer, really"

Simply Amazin: "I'm not opposed to a trade that helps the Mets replace Trachsel's output, but I just don't think that Ishii would provide a significant upgrade from where the Mets are now."

By my unofficial tally, it seems that the Mets bloggers who have weighed in on the issue appear to be tied, with 5 either indifferent or for the trade, and five being against the trade. Well, shit, maybe I can do something useful around here, I'll provide the 11th and deciding vote! Yippee!!! Yeah, I know, it doesn't take a lot to get me excited (which is what my wife the Smokin' Hot Corner tells me). Well, here goes.

The Mets just traded a marginal back up catcher for a Major League starting pitcher. Let me repeat that, a Major League starting pitcher. Yes, this is the same Jason Phillips who slugged .326 last year. No, that's not a typo and no, that's not his on base percentage. I know, I know, Gogs had a nice 2003 season where he hit .298, showed he can take a walk in ending up with a .373 OBP and managed to get his slugging percentage into the 4s, posting a .442 SLG. But the fact is, these are most likely career numbers for Phillips and his true value is probably somewhere between his solid 2003 season and his piss poor 2004 season, which is basically his career .262/.337/.389 line. And please, don't tell me he was "unlucky" last year and please don't point to his spring training numbers to try and argue Phillips is more than what he is. He's a nice back up catcher, provides a good quote now and then, wears cool goggles, but he's completely replaceable.

Enter Kaz Ishii, who is the second coming of Sandy Koufax. Ishii will eat 230 innings this year, while striking out 250 batters and will post an ERA in the ones. Ha ha ha just making sure you're still paying attention. Ishii isn't very good. But average and even below average starting pitchers are valuable these days. Check out some of the insane contracts handed out this offseason. Decent starting pitchers are a hell of a lot more valuable than back up catchers with career .389 slugging percentages. As for Matt Ginter, if the Mets goal is to replace Trachsell's innings, and you are choosing between a pitcher who has 176 career innings pitched or a pitcher who nearly matched that last season alone, then, well, to steal a quote from one of my fellow Mets bloggers, "it's a no brainer."

My eleventh and deciding vote goes to the "for the trade" camp. We win!!! We win!!!! We win!!! Like I said, it doesn't take much to get me going.
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