For the second time in a week and a half Jerry Manuel has made some comments that are sure to draw the ire of temperamental and irrational fans and press alike over the next few days. Wait, it's actually too late for that, well at least one paper paints him as a semi-intelligent man using pop culture references and depreciating humor to get a message to his players. Whether Manuel's quirky technique will work or not with the players is up for debate, but the fact is his personality doesn't seem to fit the New York market too well, at least not yet.
Onto the thing that should actually matter when discussing a manager: his team's performance. In the six games since taking over Manuel's Mets have went 3-3, including a loss to the Seattle Mariners last night, but there's something worth pointing out in Manuel's personnel choices. In the five games prior to last night here's how Manuel had been managing his players.
|Schneider 8||Delgado 5||Castillo 2||Tatis 7||Reyes 1||Anderson 6||Beltran 4||Chavez 9||Wright 3|
|Castro 9||Anderson 2||Easley 7||Wright 3||Reyes 1||Nixon 6||Beltran 4||Chavez 8||Delgado 5|
|Schneider 8||Delgado 5||Easley 7||Wright 3||Reyes 1||Nixon 6||Beltran 4||Chavez 2|
|Schneider 8||Delgado 5||Castillo 2||Wright 3||Reyes 1||Nixon 6||Beltran 4||Chavez 7|
|Castro 8||Delgado 5||Easley 7||Wright 3||Reyes 1||Anderson 2||Beltran 4||Nixon 6|
The number next to the name represents his slot in the batting order. What's interesting about this is when we place the on-base percentages of the players in their respective slots. Consider that in Baseball Prospectus' Between the Numbers James Click found a team can gain roughly 10 runs by simply batting players in descending order of their on-base percentages.
|Reyes .354||Reyes .354||Reyes .354||Reyes .354||Reyes .354|
|Castillo .365||Anderson .214||Chavez .289||Castillo .365||Anderson .214|
|Wright .370||Wright .370||Wright .370||Wright .370||Wright .370|
|Beltran .376||Beltran .376||Beltran .376||Beltran .376||Beltran .376|
|Delgado .311||Delgado .311||Delgado .311||Delgado .311||Delgado .311|
|Anderson .214||Nixon .346||Nixon .346||Nixon .346||Nixon .346|
|Tatis .268||Easley .302||Easley .302||Chavez .289||Easley .302|
|Schneider .330||Chavez .289||Schneider .330||Schneider .330||Castro .365|
|Chavez .289||Castro .365|
Manuel has the makings of a good lineup, specifically three-fourths, but for whatever reason he absolutely insists on putting someone "speedy" or "scrappy" in the second slot. Castillo is fine, but the only positives that Marlon Anderson or Endy Chavez bring to your lineup are when they're being benched for anyone, well almost anyone, except when the other is the replacement. Of the 32 players to make a plate appearance for the Mets this season Anderson and Chavez rank at the bottom in VORP; Anderson with a -6.3 value over replacement player and Chavez not too far behind at -4.5. Schneider and Tatis are also near the bottom and in the red, but at least Schneider is restricted to batting 8th, where the lesser players should bat.
Now I do understand that three outfielders the Mets were depending on to fill out the roster are on the disabled list -- Ryan Church, Angel Pagan, and the potentially finished Moises Alou -- but for the love of all that is holy can Val Pascucci get a look over Endy Chavez? He's a decent pinch runner you say, well how about Marlon Anderson? He plays all over? Wait, what's Easley's job then? Why do you need Tatis if Wright and Nixon are playing everyday with Marlon and Endy sharing time?
The problem with the Mets is roster management. Simply there is no need for Anderson, Easley, and Tatis. Ideally the Mets will realize their redundancies when Pagan or Church return and rid themselves of Chavez and Anderson, but I'm not holding my breath on that one.