Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

9 responses to “Behind the Scenes Details of the Heilman Trade Revealed”

  1. savant

    First of all thanks for the Henry Williamson shout out.

    I kind of like the Heilman as a starter idea simply because he has three pitches that grade as well above average. He has always wanted to be a starter, the worst that can happen is he is unable to make it as a starter and is then bounced back to pen.

  2. Boozer

    Heilman as a starter is a disaster waiting to happen.
    He *has* three pitches, but only two of them are worth a dam. Fastball/Changeup. He was strictly that type of pitcher for 3 seasons and pitched well. Then last year he threw his slider A LOT more (at the expense of his changeup) and he suddenly got rocked. Coincidence? Could be.

  3. Windier E. Megatons

    It’s certainly easy to argue that after all the wheeling and dealing, the Cubs basically ended up back where they were, only minus Pie and Cedeno. After all, how much better than Marquis is Heilman going to be as a fifth starter? Yeah, maybe he realizes his promise there – the Mets didn’t give him much of a chance – but if he doesn’t, we’re basically talking about trading Pie and Cedeno for a decent long reliever. You could also argue that a decent long reliever was more of a need for the Cubs than what they were doing with Pie and Cedeno – mostly benching them – and that further since Pie and Cedeno were out of options, there was no spot on the big league club to hope they could finish their development. I personally don’t feel Pie ever got a true shot, though I understand why not; Cedeno, on the other hand, was one of the worst players of the 2006 season and while he clearly has his uses, his value to the Cubs seemed low.

    With all that said, this has been a pretty uninspiring offseason, though of course the ownership stuff didn’t help that.

  4. Ravi

    Hey guys – Met fan here…I’ve been watching Heilman since he came up a few years back. I think you have got something better than you realize. I say this, because most Met “fans” spew venom toward Aaron, as he gave up the eventual GW HR to Yadier Molina in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS.

    Anyway, the first thing to note regarding Heilman- throw out all his numbers before 2005. Why? As a college pitcher, Heilman used a low 3/4 arm slot to get great movement on his pitches. Upon joining the Mets organization, his delivery was tinkered with, and was more over the top. The result? Well the results were terrible, as his pre-2005 numbers indicate. However, during that fateful season, minor league coach Bob Apodaca actually correct Heilman’s delivery, reverting it to t he low 3/4. Aaron made a few starts to great success with his old delivery. In fact, in his last start in the majors, Aaron fired a 1-hit shutout vs. the Florida Marlins(a lineup featuring Juan Pierre, Luis Castillo, Miguel Cabrera, and Carlos Delgado to name a few), the one hit being an infield roller by Castillo. After that, Willie never gave him the ball. However, Aaron was used out of the pen in the second half, and had a stretch of 2/5 outstanding seasons in the pen.

    One of the criticisms against Heilman is that his is just a two-pitch pitcher. This is not true. Aaron has a 95+MPH fastball that bores in on the right handed hitters. He also features a great changeup to get out the lefties. He also throws a pretty nice slider. The slider however was scrapped for the most part when he moved to the pen.

    Last year, Aaron had some knee issues which he did not disclose mid-season. While he maintained career norms vs. righties, it was the lefties which hurt him the most. I believe that his injuries affected his ability to throw his change. Due to injury, he had poor command of both pitches…he was unable to drive off the mound properly. While a 95mph fastball with tons of movement is still difficult to hit, a changeup with poor location, not so much. Lefties in particular benefitted because they could afford to take changeups out of the zone, while sitting on the fastball. Aaron had difficulty with his FB vs. lefties, because due to its movement, he had to aim the pitch toward the knees of lefty batters to get it in the zone. This was made more difficult by his command issues mentioned above..

    Cubbie fans, I think that if healthy, you guys got a steal in Heilman. He isn’t quite a top (or middle) of the rotation pitcher, but once Pinella realizes that Kevin Gregg is a poor choice to set up Carlos Marmol, Heilman will provide much more value as a set-up man anyway.

  5. LB

    “Whoa – two big revelations right off the bat: the Mariners wanted Garret Olson all along. For years, in fact.”

    Well seeing as how Jack Zduriencik has been the GM of the Mariners for less than 6 months, this makes no sense. Maybe knowing just a little about the rest of MLB would help you have an idea of what you are talking about.

  6. KB

    LB, take it easy: the author, being a Cub fan, is well aware of Z#@$^^&*k being new to the Seattle job, because he’s been the head scout of one of our archrivals for years (Brewers).

    Ace, thank you for pointing out the idiocy of Hendry’s shotgun-spray, rudderless moves this off-season…it’s been painful to watch. Deeply, deeply painful. While Heilman is kind of a wild card, and may prove valuable after all, there is simply no way to defend giving away DeRosa and Kerry Wood, and getting ZERO in return.

  7. savant

    Ravi, thanks for the excellent post. It really seems that Heilman’s stuff is top shelf. To me, it seems that Hendry might be attempting to catch some Ryan Dempster lightning in a bottle.