In fairness '7', you've got to stop bailing out on the team when they're losing, and automatically giving them a loss when they're trailing. They're 22-16 in their last 38 GP. 30-27 since May 26. They've been a reasonably competitive ballclub for a while now...far from great, but it's hard to put up records like those unless you're avoiding prolonged stretches of futility, and for the most part, the Mets have managed to do that...not entirely, but enough, and it's not like they've made some killer trades you can point to as a turning point...basically Passive's made some "what the hell, why not?" deals, some of which haven't worked (Ankiel), some of which have (Byrd, Young). Point is most of Sandy's moves have been hold-the-fort, low-risk, low-reward-type, and he's actually gotten some nice returns on some of these guys...Passive's given the major-league team minimal support, saddled them with the salami bat that is Ike Davis, and yet, the team has now managed a nice record over their last 38 GP. Time to give them some credit and respect.
BTW, at quick glance, the Tejada/Quintanilla comparison reveals a Dave Brown-to-Danny Kanell similarity. Kanell wasn't light years better than Brown, but his Giants started winning when he initially took over, which made it look like he was bringing a little energy/something different to the team. And I'll admit, though Quintanilla isn't putting up eye-popping numbers, his performance FEELS like it's somehow a lot better than Tejada's, I think mostly because he's been getting on base a good bit more.
Tejada: 50 GP, 187 AB, 18 RS, 39 H, 10 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 10 RBI, 14 BB, 23 K, .209 BA, .267 OB%, .262 SLG, .529 OB+SLG
Quintanilla: 51 GP, 182 AB, 21 RS, 42 H, 6 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 25 BB, 38 K, .231 BA, .321 OB%, .319 SLG, .639 OB+SLG
Clearly neither player is lighting it up, but Quintanilla at least finds his way onto the basepaths somewhat, even when he's not really hitting...he's batting .222 for the month of July, but with a solid .357 OB%, and has a 17 BB-to-18 K ratio as well, which is very good. Tejada flat-out wasn't doing ANYTHING well at the plate.
Hef's numbers since the ASB:
11.2 IP, 20 H, 19 R, 16 ER, 4 HR, 6 BB, 10 K, 12.71 ERA, 0-2 record
If you're a believer in sabes, there's a formula called FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) that predicted that Hef was due for a regression. FIP is actually a mathematical formula:
FIP = ((13*HR)+(3*(BB+HBP))-(2*K))/IP + constant (The constant is derived from taking the league-average FIP and subtracting that from league-average ERA).
To explain further, this formula measures the events that are deemed to be most under control by the pitcher (strikeouts, walks, hit-by-pitches, and homeruns)...as we all know, some teams field the ball better or worse than others. Basically, if you're the kind of pitcher that surrenders a lot of home runs and walks/HBPs, then your FIP is likely going to suck, with HRs allowed being the major killer in this formula. Well, yeah, no sh!t.
I think what it comes down to, is that if you're the kind of guy that's prone to giving up HRs and fly balls, like Hef has been (19 in 119.2 IP), eventually, the solo shots you might be giving up when you're "hot", will eventually become two and three-run shots, which obviously are a lot more damaging. I think Hef's overall FIP (4.54, considered poor) was hurt a lot by his first four appearances of the season (three starts, one relief)...he gave up 7 HR in his first 14 IP. He then allowed just 8 HR in his next 94 IP, along with just 20 BB (and 83 K). I don't have the constant (for the FIP to be accurate, I would have to derive the constant from the period starting April 25 and ending on July 12) to calculate Jeremy's FIP for that period, but suffice it to say his FIP must have been very good for that time frame. The traditional numbers sure were:
15 starts, 94 IP, 79 H, 38 R, 29 ER, 20 BB, 83 K, 8 HR, 2.78 ERA.
Sabes guys claim that FIP is a better predictor of success/failure than is ERA (which is obviously affected by ballpark, team fielding prowess, etc), and I'm not disputing that...but just like ERA, it can sometimes be misleading too. In the case of Hefner, a lot of what cause his FIP to be shaky were those very bad first four appearances...they had to have dragged down his season FIP significantly, even with the good HR and BB numbers he put up over that 94 IP, 15-start stretch. Now, out of nowhere, he's having another valley like he did to start the season.
What does this mean?
If Hefner is able to become a major-league mainstay, I think he may turn out to be a Bronson Arroyo-type...a guy capable of good stretches, but some unbelievably bad bursts (hopefully short-term) that can skewer both his traditional and sabermetric numbers. Just like Arroyo, I think with the bad with Hef will be very, VERY bad.
If (huge if) Hef can put together 10-15 start strings of mostly good performances (say, with 8-12 of the starts being quality-type) going forward, it will make those WTF?!, three or four disaster games bearable for whatever team employs him (I don't think he's going to be Met beyond 2014, if that long). It does mean both his ERA and his FIP probably won't ever be impressive over a full season, but you may get some nice stretches of solid performances.