Sunday, September 9, 2007

Age and youth both win a league apart

Two pitchers in the New York Mets organization, one nearing the end of his playing career, the other nearing completion of his first full season, led their teams to victory yesterday with similar performances.

At Shea, Tom Glavine showed that at age 41 he's still "master of the mound." Even if he were 20 years younger he couldn't have pitched much better than he did in an afternoon game against the Astros. He had a perfect game for five innings and ended his day pitching seven innings of three-hit, one-run ball. Of his 86 pitches, 54 (63%) were strikes. It was his 22nd quality start in 30 starts (73%).

Aaron Heilman and Billy Wagner clinched the victory for Glavine, each pitching an inning of relief.

In Nashville, in the first round of the PCL playoffs, New Orleans starter Kevin Mulvey, age 22, pitched seven innings of shutout ball. He gave up four singles. And though he threw 88 pitches (57 were strikes), he didn't walk a batter.

Carlos Muniz, who was Mulvey's teammate at Double-A Binghamton for most of this season, pitched the final two innings. He did even batter, retiring all six batters he faced on three fly outs, a groundout, and a strikeout. Neither pitcher has yet to give up a run in Triple-A.

The Zephyrs victory clinched a spot for them in the second round of the PCL playoffs.

Though Glavine's name will likely be on the Mets roster for another year, at most, Mulvey's name should be on it for many years to come.


  1. Interesting. When many people talk about Mets' pitching prospects, Pelfrey and Humber are the names mentioned most. But certainly Mulvey is becoming an addition to the list.

    Not sure, though, if he would fit into the team's plans for 2008. While he's shown he can get guys out at the minor league level (3.32 ERA at double-A, 13 consecutive scoreless innings now at triple-A), his strikeout rates have gone way done from seasons passed. To my recollection, didn't he undergo a procedure on his arm last year? Perhaps it's had an effect on his velocity. So would it be best for the Mets to deal Mulvey while his stock is highest this offseason? Consider that Glavine, Pedro, El Duque, Perez, Maine, Pelfrey, and Humber are already penciled in as potential 2008 starters.

  2. Dave,

    What do you consider a good strikeout rate for a pitcher?

    Last season Mulvey only pitched four games, so I don't think that revealed much about what he can do.

    This season he struck out 110 batters in 152 innings, about 0.73 an inning.

    In 1993, the season Tom Glavine won 22 games, lost 6, and placed third in the Cy Young voting, his K/9 ratio was only .50 an inning.



  3. Glavine is more the exception than the rule of a pitcher who doesn't get many strikeouts but maintains a high level of success. Plus, if you look back at Glavine's minor league numbers, I'm sure his K rates were closer to .8+ per inning. And considering major league hitters are better than their minor league counteraparts, it's only academic that pitchers' strikeout rates will decrease once they make it to the big show. SO considering Mulvey is at .73 pitching mainly for double-A this season, it'll be closer to .53 if he gets to the majors. I don't consider that to be a top-teir prospect.

    Can you not agree that his stock is highest now and it might be in the Mets best interests to deal him this offseason?

  4. I don't know if Mulvey's worth is at his highest now. I do know that if I were the Mets GM I wouldn't trade him away so quickly.

    Glavine might be back, but he also might retire. El Duque is likely older than Glavine and is not a building block for the Mets future.

    What I, if I were GM, would do is to have Perez, Maine, Pelfrey, Humber, Bostick, Vargas, and Mulvey all compete in spring training for however many openings there are in the 2008 rotation. Then, I'll be in a better position to decide what to do with the ones that don't make it, though I'd rather have them in Triple-A available for call-up as alternatives to pitchers past their primes such as Lawrence and Williams.

  5. Dave,

    Whom would you want to trade Mulvey for?


  6. That's a difficult question to answer because I'm not sure what players are going to be availble thru trade this offseason. But if you look at the Mets roster, they are going to have holes to fill at 2B, C, and potentially right LF, as Castillo, Lo Duca, Castro are all free agents, and Alou has a 2008 option. Green, Anderson, Valentin, and Conine are all FA's as well, and with Glavine potentially retiring that makes another vacancy at SP. Now, it's possible the Mets could go the "re-building" route and plug the gaps with minor leaguers, but that's not going to happen. And there's only so much they can do through free agency. So I would say a trade including Mulvey, Collazo, Muniz, Carp, etc to land a power hitting OF or an adequate replacement for Lo Duca would be a good move. You're not giving up any "can't miss" prospects, and hopefully you can get someone who is an established ML vet who can help the Mets immediately instead of in 2010.

    I also don't know how you can have Maine and Perez "compete" for a spot in the '08 rotation. Have they not already proven themselves as legitamite starters this season?
    If anything, the only worry is whether Glavine comes back, b/c Maine, Perez, El Duque, and Pedro should already be penciled in as starters for next season's club. I agree Pelfrey, Humber, and company should compete for the last spot if it exists, but I'm also for bringing in another arm via trade or FA.