Mets Articles

2009 Final Mets Report Card

citi patchThe Mets season has mercifully ended, and now the team can go home and (literally) lick their many, many, many wounds. An MLB record 227 Mets players landed on the disabled list, or did it just seem that way? This had to be one of the most disappointing years in recent Mets history. Even with all of the injuries, with a $145 million payroll, no one expected the team to lose 92 games. So it should be no surprise that the player grades are low (I don’t grade on a curve!). Incidentally, I limited grades to 25 players, so players such as Pat Misch, Cory Sullivan and Elmer Dessens did not receive grades. I’m sure they’ll get over it.


Johan Santana: A
13-9, 3.13 era, 146 k
Key Stat: 25 starts
Santana was having his usual solid year, in the thick of the race for the Cy Young award, when he went down with bone chips in his elbow in mid August. He is expected to be healthy for spring training, but the injury emphasizes the Mets’ need for an ace-like number two starter.


Jeff Francoeur: A
.311, 9 hr, 41 rbi
Key Stat: 11 walks
Francoeur has been a pleasant surprise since coming over to the Mets in mid-season for Ryan Church. He’s been a clutch hitter, and his cannon-like arm is better than advertised. He has no plate discipline, and he’s not what you’d call an on-base machine, but he’s a solid addition to the club.


Francisco Rodriguez: B+
3-6, 3.71 era, 73 k
Key Stat: 35 saves
A few bad outings, including that horrible display against Washington the last week of the season, pushed his ERA over 3.00, but other than that K-Rod was outstanding in his first year in Flushing. His 35 saves is a far cry from the record 62 he had last year with the Angels, but  that was hardly his fault.


Luis Castillo: B+
.302, 1 hr, 40 rbi
Key Stats: .387 obp
It’s been a rather remarkable year for Castillo. He started off as public enemy number one at Citi Field. He dropped that pop-up at Yankee Stadium that cost the Mets a game. Yet he ended up as the 9th leading hitter in the NL. If he would just stop laying down sacrifice bunts in the 1st inning, he would have gotten an A.


Pedro Feliciano: B+
6-4, 3.03 era, 59 k
Key Stat: 88 games
The Man With the Rubber Arm set a Mets record for appearances by a pitcher. And he always seemed to be warming up on days he didn’t get into the game. Lefties hit just .215 against him. But he really should stick to lefties — it always seemed like he was giving up big hits to righties.


Carlos Beltran: B+
.325, 10 hr, 48 rbi
Key Stat: 81 games
Everybody who saw Beltran in spring training said he was poised for a monster year. He got off to a fast start, but then missed half the season with a knee injury. When he was on the field, Beltran played as well as everyone expected to, hence the relatively high grade for someone who played in just 81 games.


Angel Pagan: B+
.306, 6 hr, 32 rbi
Key Stat: 11 triples
Pagan filled in admirably for Beltran in center, and provided the spark at the top of the line-up lost when Jose Reyes went down. He would have gotten an A if not for his boneheaded adventures on the basepaths. He’s still not a starter, though — he’s a solid fourth outfielder.


Omis Santos: B+
.260, 7 hr, 40 rbi
Key Stat: 96 Games
Santos came out of nowhere to start the bulk of the games for the Mets behind the plate. His game winning two run homer against Jonathan Papelbon at Fenway Park in May is one of the few highlights for the Mets this season. The only question is — do you trust him as the starter in 2010?


Alex Cora: B
.251, 1 hr, 18 rbi
Key Stat: 2
That’s for the number of thumbs Cora hurt this season. He played through the pain with the first injury, and finally shut it down after hurting the other thumb. His overall stats weren’t great, but he gets this grade for his grit and his leadership.


Gary Sheffield: B
.276, 10 hr, 43 rbi
Key Stat: 500
Sheffield’s 500th career homer, his first as a Met, came as a pinch hitter on April 17th, and it was another of the season’s few highlights. Sheffield was the team’s lone power threat before missing most of September with back problems. He was also a solid citizen until August, when his diva act reared its ugly head.


Brian Stokes: B-
2-4, 3.97 era, 45 k
Key Stat: 38 walks
Stokes was a reliable right hander out of the bullpen. His ERA is deceptive, thanks to a handful of very bad outings — including letting up 5 runs to the Red Sox that shot his ERA up from 0.52 to 2.89. His 38 walks tied him with K-Rod for the most among Mets relievers.


Daniel Muphy: B-
.266, 12 hr, 63 rbi
Key Stat: 13 errors
3 of those errors came in left field in just 27 games, tying him for 7th worst in the NL. His 10 errors at first base has him tied for fourth most. But his defense is much better overall at first than in the outfield. At the plate, Murphy didn’t live up to his 2008 promise, but he did lead the team in homers with 12. How sad is that?


Jeremy Reed: B-
.242, 0 hr, 9 rbi
Key Stat: 161 AB
The stats are nothing to write home about, but Reed always seemed to come through when called upon. He actually got into 126 games, but only accumulated 161 at bats. And following every outfield injury, for some reason there was always another player getting the start ahead of Reed.


Fernando Tatis: C+
.282, 8 hr, 48 rbi
Key Stat: .229
Tatis was supposed to be half of the starting tandem in left field with Murphy, but last season’s Comeback Player of the Year was lousy for most of the season. In May, June and July he hit a combined .229. A late season surge raised his stats, but overall his season was a disappointment.


David Wright: C
.307, 10 hr, 72 rbi
Key stat: 140 ks
What a strange year. You could sort of accept the lack of power when Wright was hitting .365, but not at .307. And how do you lose power and still strike out 140 times? Certainly Citi Field’s deep right center played a role, but that can’t be the only explanation. Just a strange, strange year.


Bobby Parnell: C
4-8, 5.30 era, 74 k
Key Stat: 7.93 era
Parnell’s grade is an average of a B for his work as a reliver, D for his starting work. Out of the pen, Parnell was 3-3 with a 3.46 era. But as a starter, he was 1-5 with that 7.93 era. Parnell’s two pitch repertoire works as a reliever, but if he wants to start, the hard-thrower needs to develop another pitch.


John Maine: C-
7-6, 4.43 era, 55 k
Key Stat: 15 starts
Maine missed three and a half months with what the Mets called “right shoulder weakness.” He came back late in the season, and was not particularly impressive in four starts. His place in the 2010 rotation is not secure by any means.


Mike Pelfrey: C-
10-12, 5.03 era, 107 k
Key Stat: 4th
As in the 4th highest ERA of all pitchers in National League with a minimum of 162 innings pitched. Pelfrey took a huge step backwards from his positive showing in 2008. He also let up 18 home runs. That is not a good sign from a sinkerball pitcher. Gets credit for making all of his starts, unlike the rest of the rotation.


Brian Schneider: D
.218, 3 hr, 24 rbi
Key Stat: 59 games
Schneider was supposed to be the starting catcher for the Mets. Instead, he got injured and lost his job to Santos. He didn’t do much to win it back, hitting just .218. On the positive side, he served as a mentor to Josh Thole as the youngster was taking away his playing time, showing he is a decent, stand-up guy.


Tim Redding: D
3-6, 5.10 era, 76 k
Key Stat: .337
Redding started the season on the disabled list. He should have stayed there. He was equally bad in whatever role he was placed — a 4.97 era in 17 starts, a 5.63 era out of the pen. That .337 is what opponents batted off of him as a reliever. He either gains points or loses points for the goatee — I can’t decide.


Sean Green: D-
1-4, 4.52 era, 54 k
Key Stat: 79 games
Green had some good stretches, but overall it always seemed like he was in the middle of every opponents’ rally, giving up big hits that cost the Mets game after game. As far as the 79 games, it was simply shocking that Jerry Manuel kept going back to him.


Oliver Perez: F-
3-4, 6.82 era, 62 k
Key Stat: 12,000,000
Can you even give someone an F-? How can you be worse than absolute failure? Well, Perez was. For $12 million, the Mets got 14 starts out of Perez. He threw 66 innings, and walked 58 batters. If that’s not worse than failure, I don’t know what is. And, we have two more years of him.

reyesJose Reyes: Incomplete
.279, 2 hr, 15 rbi
Key stat: 36 games
Reyes missed the last four and a half months of the season, so who even remembers how he played? The Mets need him back at full strength next season if they hope to return to contention. But for a player who relies on his legs, if those calf and hamstring problems linger, it could be disasterous.


Carlos Delgado: Incomplete
.298, 4 hr, 23 rbi
Key Stat: 26 games
The last time we saw Delgado on the field was May 10th. His absence left a huge hole in the Mets lineup, and was made worse by the fact that no one stepped up to fill the power outage. Degado has probably played his last game as a Met, but there is some talk that he might come back on a one-year deal.

putzJ.J. Putz: Incomplete
1-4, 5.22 era, 19 k
Key Stat: 19 walks
Putz was actually performing reasonably well as the 8th inning bridge to K-Rod until he started feeling discomfort in his elbow. He pitched through the pain, and those final 3 games pushed his ERA up by two full runs. Just like the rest of the staff, he walked way too many batters, most of those coming before the injury.


Jerry Manuel: C
70-92, .432
Key Stat: 92
Manuel can hardly be blamed for the rash of the injuries that beset his team. The lack of adequate back-ups was not his fault, either. But he is responsible for the puzzling moves — his mid-season inconsistent use of Daniel Murphy, his incomprehensible apparent hatred of ex-Met Ryan Church and other season-long odd strategies.


Omar Minaya: D
70-92, .432
Key Stat: 145,000,000
Minaya can hardly be blamed for the rash of injuries that beset his team. But the lack of adequate back-ups was indeed his fault. The team was poorly constructed — counting on Santana and 4 question marks, an outfield of Beltran, Church, Tatis/Murphy. There was no margin for error, and there turned out to be lots of errors.

Mug Shots Courtesy Ultimate Mets Database,

4 thoughts on “2009 Final Mets Report Card

  • Dave Bloch

    Murphy gets a B-??? You’ve got to be kidding. He was an embarrassment. Of those 13 errors, I think half cost the Mets games (yes, 6 1/2 errors). Each error was worse and more comical than the one before. When he wasn’t tripping over his own feet in left field, he was tripping over first base. I think OF Timmy Lupus of the Bad News Bears said it best when he said “Hey Daniel Murphy. You suck.”

    Oh, and go Yankees!

  • bpdelia

    hey, I’m a yankee fan but not one of these insane Met hating yankee fans (though I admit to gleefully following this years Mets team as a sort of comic tragedy). Well done analysis. I’ll be bookmarking your blog. Good job. Oliver Perez. . . F-. . . hysterical.

  • Very good analysis for 2 exceptions. Manuel D and Minaya F (only because of his recent comments about Murphy during the Wilpon press conference, what a jerk)
    For me Redding loses a whole grade letter because of the goatee, I think that’s why he struggled, how can you pitch with that thing hanging off your chin.
    Didn’t see an overall team grade. Good job though overall.

  • mets got snake bitten with injuries all season long , but pitchers did not help and defense niether, the lac of power and timely hitting sunk the mets, MINAYA needs to go in freeagentcy and get 2 young arms like a lackey, marquis a firstbasemen like n johnson ,rf holliday or bay, carcher like LaRue, bring back tatis, cora and h blalock for the bench second basemen like polanco that should help the mets in 2010..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Why ask?