Johan Santana would ditch the Mets if he could

Leave a comment

Johan Santana dugout.jpgIan O’Connor is now a columnist for ESPN New York, but who knew that he also moonlights as Madam Ruby?

So two seasons and two starts later, after knee and elbow surgeries,
after his new team choked in Year 1, collapsed in Year 2 and finished
its sixth home game of Year 3 with a lost series to the unworthy
Nationals and a 2-4 record, I asked Santana if he regretted doing
business with the Mets.

Had his water been spiked with truth
serum, his answer would’ve sounded like this: “What do
you think?”

He goes on:

Yes, Santana has to be wondering what in the world he’s gotten himself
into. He’s only human. That voice in the back of his head is growing
louder, moving to the front, telling him he should’ve put his money on a
different horse
.

There are so many things wrong with this piece that I don’t even know where to begin, but I’m mostly struck by why he would use such a tired storyline after what was only Santana’s second start of the season. Why not save this kind of junk for the middle of the summer since O’Connor surely believes the Mets are destined for another fourth place finish, or worse?

Long story short, if O’Connor tells you that your missing bike is in the basement of The Alamo, promptly ask for your money back.

(Hat tip to MetsBlog for the link)

Justin Turner is a postseason monster

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Leave a comment

A not-insignificant amount of the Dodgers’ success in recent years has to do with the emergence of Justin Turner. In his first five seasons with the Orioles and Mets, he was a forgettable infielder who had versatility, but no power. The Mets non-tendered him after the 2013 season, a move they now really regret.

In four regular seasons since, as a Dodger, Turner has hit an aggregate .303/.378/.502. His 162-game averages over those four seasons: 23 home runs, 36 doubles, 83 RBI, 80 runs scored. And he’s also a pretty good third baseman, it turns out. The Dodgers have averaged 95 wins per season over the past four years.

Turner, 32, has gotten better and better with each passing year. This year, he drew more walks (59) than strikeouts (56), a club only five other players (min. 300 PA) belonged to, and he trailed only Joey Votto (1.61) in BB/K ratio (1.05). He zoomed past his previous career-high in OPS, finishing at .945. His .415 on-base percentage was fourth-best in baseball. His batting average was fifth-best and only nine points behind NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon.

It doesn’t seem possible, but Turner has been even better in the postseason. He exemplified that with his walk-off home run to win Game 2 of the NLCS against the Cubs. Overall, entering Wednesday night’s action, he was batting .363/.474/.613 in 97 postseason plate appearances. In Game 4, he went 2-for-2 with two walks, a single, and a solo home run. That increases his postseason slash line to .378/.495/.659, now across 101 plate appearances. That’s a 1.154 OPS. The career-high regular season OPS for future first-ballot Hall of Famer Albert Pujols was 1.114 in 2008, when he won his third career MVP Award. Statistically, in the postseason, Turner hits slightly better than Pujols did in the prime of his career. Of course, we should adjust for leagues and parks and all that, but to even be in that neighborhood is incredible.

In the age of stats, the concept of “clutch” has rightfully eroded. We don’t really allow players to ascend to godlike levels anymore like the way we did Derek Jeter, for instance. (Jeter’s career OPS in the playoffs, by the way, was a comparatively pitiful .838.) Turner isn’t clutch; he’s just a damn good hitter whose careful approach at the plate has allowed him to shine in the postseason and the Dodgers can’t imagine life without him.