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RE: Jose Mesa - IMPORTANT to me

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Will Jose Mesa notch 30 saves this year?

Yes, he will get at least 30 saves.
44
76%
No, he will record under 30 saves.
14
24%
 
Total votes : 58

RE: Jose Mesa - IMPORTANT to me

Postby daullaz » Thu Apr 14, 2005 2:59 am

People, Jose Mesa is NOT losing his job.

I repeat, Jose Mesa, the closer it seems most people are trying to get rid of, will NOT lose the closer role.

In 2003, Mesa appeared in 61 games. He accumulated 24 saves while posting a 5-7 record. His K/BB ratio was 45/31. He had a WHIP of 1.76 and an ERA of 6.52. That's six-and-a-half runs per nine innings. If most of his appearances were one inning long, he was giving up a run over two-out-of-three times he came in the game.

And someone still wanted him to close games. Pittsburgh took him on in 2004. He brought the WHIP down to 1.41 (not good at all, but better than 1.76). He cut the ERA in half. His K/BB was a much-improved 37/20. Oh yeah, and he notched 43 saves.

Even with those remarkable numbers, I guarantee you that you drafted him later than unproven closers B.J. Ryan and Guillermo Mota. You took him later than one-year wonder Dan Kolb. This is the most underrated 40-save closer ever, underrated at a position that is generally OVERrated in drafts.

But, most importantly, he is a closer. He has a closer mentality. He is approaching 300 career saves. THREE HUNDRED! He is unphased by pressure. Pitching in Pittsburgh, it's impossible to feel any pressure. Jose Mesa is Bizarro LaTroy Hawkins. Hawkins cannot pitch in the ninth inning; Mesa NEEDS to pitch in the ninth.

I'm sure some of you disagree with me. Please, PLEASE post me a reply and argue why he shouldn't be on your team, when he'll cost you next to nothing as people are cementing his value at "wost-case scenario." I want to know what I'm missing.
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Postby Iconoclastic » Thu Apr 14, 2005 3:13 am

Hurting 2 categories and helping 1 is one reason.
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Re: RE: Jose Mesa - IMPORTANT to me

Postby quietstorm » Thu Apr 14, 2005 3:22 am

daullaz wrote:But, most importantly, he is a closer. He has a closer mentality. He is approaching 300 career saves. THREE HUNDRED! He is unphased by pressure. Pitching in Pittsburgh, it's impossible to feel any pressure. Jose Mesa is Bizarro LaTroy Hawkins. Hawkins cannot pitch in the ninth inning; Mesa NEEDS to pitch in the ninth.

So he's played for teams who play in close-but-not-too-close games, and he's not given up enough runs to lose the game in many of those? Let me make this point: If a pitcher comes in at the beginning of the ninth with a 3-run lead and gives up two runs, he gets the save. That's not a good outing.

According to the "closer mentality" viewpoint, a player could do that forty times in a year and be a good closer.

Saves have almost no meaning. Closer mentality is a sham (after all, Rivera hasn't done so well, lately, has he?). Mesa racks up saves solely on the basis of being put into the "closer" role. He's worthless, in real baseball.

Why not keep him on your fantasy team? He'll kill you in ERA if he pitches enogh innings. He won't kill you in WHIP, but it'll still hurt. His Ks won't be much of a help, and his K/BB rate is atrocious (and will hurt if you use that stat, as I do in one league).

All that for one good category? He's like a guy who gets 30-35 steals but hits .250 without any power.
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Postby daullaz » Thu Apr 14, 2005 3:25 am

Which two categories?? I'll give you WHIP, but his other numbers are respectable. They aren't any worse than the numbers of some other closers being drafted 10 rounds earlier.
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Postby asumikey222 » Thu Apr 14, 2005 3:43 am

Mrs. Mesa, I didn't know you posted on this forum! Yes, your husband is a fine, fine closer. He is Gagne East!

:-b
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Postby quietstorm » Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:01 am

daullaz wrote:Which two categories?? I'll give you WHIP, but his other numbers are respectable. They aren't any worse than the numbers of some other closers being drafted 10 rounds earlier.

Projected ERA/WHIP, K/BB for Mesa: 5.07/1.57, 38/26 (1.46:1)
Projected ERA/WHIP, K/BB for Mota: 3.59/1.29, 66/29 (2.28:1)

Here's a pitching staff in one of my leagues, from just after the draft (changes have been made, of course):

SP Martinez_Pedro
SP Hernandez_Livan
SP Davis_Doug
SP Suppan_Jeff
SP Rogers_Kenny
RP Benitez_Armando
RP Percival_Troy
RP Ryan_B.J.
P Aquino_Greg
P Marte_Damaso

We'll replace Ryan with Mesa, and then with Mota.

(Team projections prior to changes:
1265 IP, 3.99 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 136 SV, 2.18 K/BB)

Team projections with Mesa:
1250 IP, 4.09 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 137 SV, 2.11 K/BB

Team projectiosn with Mota:
1270 IP, 4.01 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 144 SV, 2.16 K/BB


Let's try a few other closers along those lines:

Team projections with LaTroy Hawkins:
1255 IP, 4.01 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 131 SV, 2.20 K/BB

Team projections with Chad Cordero:
1265 IP, 4.05 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 136 SV, 2.14 K/BB


Oddly enough, the category you gave me, and the one I expected the biggest effect upon, is the one barely changed, regardless of the pitcher.

Mesa, compared to B.J. Ryan, is projected to be worth a total of five less roto points, in this 12-team league. Just looking at the numbers, I'm thinking Mota is worth 5-6 more. Hawkins is worth the same as Mota (lower WHIP gives one more point, while saves lose a point).

Mesa's value is all tied up in his saves, which I wouldn't rely on, except for the fact that it's the Pirates, and they're unlikely to win by large enough margins to keep him out of games (and they haven't exactly shown any aptitude for playing the game right).
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Re: RE: Jose Mesa - IMPORTANT to me

Postby daullaz » Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:26 am

quietstorm wrote:
daullaz wrote:But, most importantly, he is a closer. He has a closer mentality. He is approaching 300 career saves. THREE HUNDRED! He is unphased by pressure. Pitching in Pittsburgh, it's impossible to feel any pressure. Jose Mesa is Bizarro LaTroy Hawkins. Hawkins cannot pitch in the ninth inning; Mesa NEEDS to pitch in the ninth.

So he's played for teams who play in close-but-not-too-close games, and he's not given up enough runs to lose the game in many of those? Let me make this point: If a pitcher comes in at the beginning of the ninth with a 3-run lead and gives up two runs, he gets the save. That's not a good outing.

According to the "closer mentality" viewpoint, a player could do that forty times in a year and be a good closer.

Saves have almost no meaning. Closer mentality is a sham (after all, Rivera hasn't done so well, lately, has he?). Mesa racks up saves solely on the basis of being put into the "closer" role. He's worthless, in real baseball.

Why not keep him on your fantasy team? He'll kill you in ERA if he pitches enogh innings. He won't kill you in WHIP, but it'll still hurt. His Ks won't be much of a help, and his K/BB rate is atrocious (and will hurt if you use that stat, as I do in one league).

All that for one good category? He's like a guy who gets 30-35 steals but hits .250 without any power.


Rivera has a bad week and all of a sudden he's not a premier closer? Just like Rivera, Mesa had loads of experience in the closer role, which is undervalued in baseball.

Kolb's K/BB is atrocious and he's getting drafted way higher.

Mesa's career numbers aren't any worse than Guardado. They aren't that much worse than Jason Isringhausen. Danny Graves put up 40 saves last year, after people had left him for dead and jumped on the Ryan Wagner bandwagon. Yet now Graves is getting some respect and Mesa is at the bottom of the closer scrap heap?

It is true that Mesa will adversely affect your ERA and WHIP. But while other people are drafting a closer such as Joe Nathan or Fransisco Cordero in the early rounds, I think its smarter to grab solid starting pitchers, guys like Mark Buerhle, Greg Maddux, Odalis Perez. These guys will pitch 2-3 times more innings than the closers will.

I computed some numbers for my case. Here they are....

When calculating, I used Jose Mesa's stats from 2003, not 2004, which was way better. This is the worst-case scenario numbers, when he had a 6.52 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP. Remember that. All other numbers are for last season.

Jose Mesa is being drafted 143 overall by the ESPN Draft Averages, which I used for all these players. C.C. Sabathia, who had a 4.12 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP in 2004, is being drafted 145th overall.

Jake Peavy is being drafted 53rd overall. He had an outstanding season, one which he will not duplicate, but he is projected to again be a top SP. Armando Benitez, 51st overall in the average draft, had an amazing 2004, allowing 10 runs all year! If you took Benitez early and Sabathia late, they gave you a 3.35 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP between them. If you took Peavy's great 2004 and paired it with Mesa's horrible 2003, you had a 3.37 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. The same ERA with a higher WHIP.

Next, I compared the results with Ben Sheets (29th overall) and Mariano Rivera (28th overall). Rivera 2004 + Sabathia 2004 = 3.47 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. Sheets 2004 + Mesa 2003 = 3.45 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. A much lower WHIP with essentially the same ERA by taking a guy that had a 1.76 WHIP and pairing him with a stud starting pitcher.

Lastly, I looked at a mid-level starter. Carl Pavano is being drafted 71st overall. Jason Isringhausen is going at spot #68. Sabathia 2004 + Isringhausen 2004 = 3.76 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. Pavano 2004 + Mesa 2003 = 3.72 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.

In each of these scenarios, I am assuming Jose Mesa does completely god-awful and the rest of the pitchers duplicate their last year numbers. Undoubtedly, someone will step up and say "What about Sabathia? He probably pitched badly in 2004, like Mesa did in 2003." In 2004, C.C. had a 4.12 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP in 188 innings. His career numbers: 4.12 ERA, 1.33 WHIP in 776 innings.

Are you starting to see that Jose Mesa is being completely undervalued? Or did I do all this work for nothing?
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Postby daullaz » Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:44 am

quietstorm wrote:
daullaz wrote:Which two categories?? I'll give you WHIP, but his other numbers are respectable. They aren't any worse than the numbers of some other closers being drafted 10 rounds earlier.

Projected ERA/WHIP, K/BB for Mesa: 5.07/1.57, 38/26 (1.46:1)
Projected ERA/WHIP, K/BB for Mota: 3.59/1.29, 66/29 (2.28:1)

Here's a pitching staff in one of my leagues, from just after the draft (changes have been made, of course):

SP Martinez_Pedro
SP Hernandez_Livan
SP Davis_Doug
SP Suppan_Jeff
SP Rogers_Kenny
RP Benitez_Armando
RP Percival_Troy
RP Ryan_B.J.
P Aquino_Greg
P Marte_Damaso

We'll replace Ryan with Mesa, and then with Mota.

(Team projections prior to changes:
1265 IP, 3.99 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 136 SV, 2.18 K/BB)

Team projections with Mesa:
1250 IP, 4.09 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 137 SV, 2.11 K/BB

Team projectiosn with Mota:
1270 IP, 4.01 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 144 SV, 2.16 K/BB


Let's try a few other closers along those lines:

Team projections with LaTroy Hawkins:
1255 IP, 4.01 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 131 SV, 2.20 K/BB

Team projections with Chad Cordero:
1265 IP, 4.05 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 136 SV, 2.14 K/BB


Oddly enough, the category you gave me, and the one I expected the biggest effect upon, is the one barely changed, regardless of the pitcher.

Mesa, compared to B.J. Ryan, is projected to be worth a total of five less roto points, in this 12-team league. Just looking at the numbers, I'm thinking Mota is worth 5-6 more. Hawkins is worth the same as Mota (lower WHIP gives one more point, while saves lose a point).

Mesa's value is all tied up in his saves, which I wouldn't rely on, except for the fact that it's the Pirates, and they're unlikely to win by large enough margins to keep him out of games (and they haven't exactly shown any aptitude for playing the game right).


Those projections are very similar all the way around the board. Yet Ryan and Mota go way before Mesa, Cordero goes before Mesa (but not by as much), and Hawkins probably averages about the same draft spot as Mesa. But Hawkins is trying to lose the job with his current pitching, and I can almost guarantee Dusty turns back to JoBo when he comes off the DL. So you can throw his project saves out.

While those closers are being drafted, other starting pitchers are coming off the board that, when paired with Mesa, will give you an overall better team. Your example assumes all the pitchers are getting drafted at the same slot. I'm by no means saying go out and trade Mota for Mesa straight up. But I can get Mesa and a pretty good starter for Mota and a WW starter, and I bet you could too.
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Postby asumikey222 » Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:48 am

You should come up with a name for this interesting strategy. I'll propose "Advanced Mesanomics." I don't buy it, but if you're gonna spend so much time defending it, you may as well give it a catchy title.
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Postby CubsFan7724 » Thu Apr 14, 2005 7:01 am

Nathan and Cordero go in the 5th-6th round. You said take Buerhle, Maddux, or Odalis Perez there. Thats WAY too early for those guys, Perez will probably be there in the 10th, and Buehrle and Maddux in the low teens rounds.
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