Pedro Beato Prefers To Remain In The Bullpen—Yeah? So?

Fantasy/Roto, Games, Management, Media, MiLB, Players, Prospects

Here’s a loose but accurate translation of the back-and-forth between Mets reliever Pedro Beato and the club as to his future role.

In case you missed it, manager Terry Collins wants Beato to stretch himself out in winter ball in anticipation of possibly being in the starting rotation next season. Beato prefers to remain in the bullpen and said so—diplomatically—with the following from the linked piece:

“I’m more comfortable where I am right now,” Beato said. “Starting wasn’t a highlight of my career. At all. I actually improved a lot more during the times that I’ve been in the bullpen these last two years. That’s where I see myself at, and that’s where I want to be at.”

What this means is that if Beato were a veteran pitcher or was armed with a long-term contract the likes of which the organization might have to listen and consider his desires, he’d say, “I don’t wanna start; I’m not gonna start; and if the team doesn’t like it, they can get me outta here.”

But he’s not a veteran pitcher; nor does he have a long-term contract. As a Rule 5 pick who’s lucky to be in the majors now, he has to deftly express his feelings without making the club angry.

Beato has starter stuff. That doesn’t mean he’ll be good as a starter, but the team should see if he can start; the best place to do that is in the winter and 2012 spring training.

The team response to Beato should be: “While we understand Pedro’s feelings, we need to do what’s best for the organization and deploy our players to the best of their abilities even if that is diametrically opposed to their preferred roles. We want to see if he can start for us.”

Translation? “You’re starting in winter ball, rookie. So shut up.”

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Ivan Nova’s Wang Underappreciation Complex

All Star Game, Draft, Fantasy/Roto, Free Agents, Games, Management, Media, MLB Trade Deadline, Players, Prospects, Trade Rumors

When Alex Rodriguez comes back, if the Yankees send Ivan Nova back to the minors in lieu of releasing Jorge Posada or to give themselves a couple of weeks to soften the blow of dumping Posada, it’s asinine. Pull the Band-Aid off.

Regarding Nova, I wouldn’t go as far as saying such inanities as “Nova’s the number 2 starter”; with the current configuration, I’d trust Bartolo Colon in a game 2 playoff start before a rookie, but Nova’s been above-and-beyond what could reasonably have been expected and is the unlucky one in that he still has minor league options remaining; if you examine his performance, he’s one the last starters that should be removed from the rotation, options or no options.

Much like Chien-Ming Wang, I wonder if there are ancillary factors in the lack of belief in Nova; that they’re not buying his success as a more than function of pitching for a very good team. In fairness to this concept, his production is around league average across the board.

But it’s not as simple as throwing his glove out there while wearing pinstripes and accumulating wins. If it was, there wouldn’t have been the disastrous tenures of Carl Pavano and Javier Vazquez, among others.

When Nova first got to the big leagues last season, he was a stopgap more than a prospect. In his first big league start, he showed that he wasn’t going to be intimidated by anything when he threw a pitch near the head of Blue Jays’ slugger Jose Bautista and stood his ground as Bautista barked at him.

Right there it should’ve been known that he was something different.

Wang wasn’t much of a prospect either. The Yankees treated him as if he was the type of pitcher they could find somewhere. They never went into any meaningful negotiations for a free agency/arbitration precluding contract extension despite his success; he was never truly appreciated for what he was.

Could it have been pure cold-blooded analytics? Concerns about his shoulder and mechanics? Or was it that he wasn’t a “chosen one” in whom they had deep investment—both financially and perceptively—that they wanted to succeed more than the others?

A higher draft pick and vaunted prospect or an expensive free agent simply looks better when he does well as opposed to someone allowed to be selected in the Rule 5 draft (Nova was taken by the Padres in 2008 and returned) or is always on the big league/Triple-A bubble out of convenience.

Wang’s fall doesn’t justify that treatment because his initial injury woes began with his ankle and morphed into the torn shoulder capsule from which he’s still trying to recover.

There are times to look at aspects other than numbers, scouting expectations and “should/shouldn’t bes” and accept what’s there; what’s happening before the eyes.

Nova should stay in the big leagues and in the Yankees rotation because he’s earned it. Everything else is secondary.

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