Thursday, June 18, 2009

Not so fast on Aubrey Huff

It's been almost a week since the Mets had a heartbreaking loss, so you had to figure they were due.

It figures that on the night when Francisco Rodriguez blew a save for real and not just in the stats, Luis Castillo would make two great plays in the field.

But you can't save them all, not when Aubrey Huff is putting on a show for the Mets, going 6 for 12 with 4 RBI, 2 runs, a homer, and a double. Whether or not he ends up a Met, he has already had an impact on their playoff chances, with two game-winning hits on consecutive nights.

Huff now has nine homers and 45 RBI. Both numbers top anyone on the Mets.

So the Mets should do whatever they can to get Huff, right?

Maybe not.

Huff's numbers are much better at Camden Yards than on the road. Seven of his nine homers have come at home, where he has a slugging percentage of .500 and an OPS of .855. On the road, he slugs .371 with a mediocre OPS of .667.

The lefthanded Huff has even worse lefty-righty splits, batting .297 against righties but only .209 against lefties (all percentages going into tonight's game).

Huff has not played the outfield since 2006. This year he has only appeared at first base and DH. So if he came to the Mets, he would probably play first, unless the Mets wanted to have a second DH type out there along with Gary Sheffield.

But Huff playing first would probably put an end to Daniel Murphy's contributions to the Mets for this year at least, since it does not seem likely that the Mets would return him to the outfield.

Murphy ended up with a pretty good series himself, going 4 for 12 with 3 RBI, 2 runs and a double. Murphy doubled in the run that put the Mets ahead, 3-2, before Francisco Rodriguez went on to blow the lead and the game.

Murphy and Ryan Church have not had a chance to stay in the lineup when they are going well. When Gary Sheffield came in, Jerry Manuel kept jerking Murphy and Church in and out of the lineup, which could not have been a good thing for their confidence.

If the Mets could get Aubrey Huff without giving up anything, that would be one thing. But it would be a shame to further deplete the farm system and possibly jerk Murphy around again and Church as well, only to find Huff does not hit so well outside of Camden Yards.


Squawker Lisa saw the musical "Damn Yankees" last year. In the show, a member of the lowly Washington team sells his soul to the Devil so he can lead Washington to victory over the Yankees. This year, Lisa, you got to see the revival in the Bronx!


isuzudude said...

Good article!

Huff is a good hitter and not much else. I wasn't aware his home/away splits were so pronounced, so good research. That analysis provides evidence that if Huff were brought in by the Mets to be the power hitter they've been lacking since Delgado's injury, he probably would become just as power-zapped as Wright and Beltran have playing in the spacious confines of CitiField.

I also commend you for pointing out that Huff hasn't played the OF in quite some time, so it's irresponisble for fans to say to just stick him in LF when Delgado comes back because he may be just as bad as Murphy out there. And by the way, Huff didn't exactly impress me with his glovework at 1B either during this past 3-game series.

The only part in which we may differ in opinion is how much it might take to pry Huff away from Baltimore. You say the Mets wouldn't have to give up anything to acquire Huff, but I'm not so sure. Being a free agent at season's end, all Baltimore has to do is offer him arbitration to get a 1st round draft pick in return for Huff signing with a new team this winter. So I think the Mets would have to give up a player of equal value to that potential 1st round draft pick (i.e. John Niese, Bobby Parnell, Ike Davis) to obtain Huff...which is a lot to surrender for a guy who's proven not to be able to hit outside of Camden Yards, and who will be on the open market in 3 1/2 months time.

Dave said...

he said "If you could get Huff for nothing" recognizing that they could not get him for nothing.

Anonymous said...

AND free agent compensation is not that simple. Nobody else is going to jump allover Huff in the offseason, and Baltimore would only get a first rounder if he is offered and declined arbitration, which probably won't happen, not unless the O's want to give him a steep raise to be a mediocre slugger. Plus, players are rated according to their positon, it remains to be seen if Huff is a type A first baseman for sure.

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