daullaz wrote: 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?