Mack - College Highlights


Brady Singer – Florida:                             6.0-IP, 2-H, 1-ER, 7-K, 2-BB, WIN (5-0)

Jackson Kowar – Florida:                      5.0-IP, 7-H, 5-ER, 5-K, 3-BB, LOSS (3-1)

Michael Byrne – Florida -          RP       Tues:              1.1-IP, 0-H, 0-R, 1-K, 0-BB

                                                               Fri:      2.0-IP, 1-H, 0-R, 1-K, 1-BB, 4-SV
Bryan Hoeing – Louisville:                        3.1-IP, 2-H, 0-R, 3-K, 1-BB, WIN (3-1)

Adam Wolf – Louisville –                                   6.0-IP, 6-H, 0-ER, 11-K, 3-BB

Austin Cox – Mercer -                        5.0-IP, 6-H, 4-ER, 6-K, 4-BB, WIN (4-0)

Sean Wymer – TCU:                              3.2-IP, 2-H, 2-ER, 4-K, 0-BB, 2.46

Austin Bergner – North Carolina:       8.0-IP, 3-H, 0-ER, 12-K, 2-BB, WIN (3-1)

Casey Mise – Auburn:     March 9th:    9.0-IP, CG, 0-H, 0-R, 13-K, NO HITTER

Luke Hemlich – Oregon State:          7.0-IP, 8-H, 2-ER, 4-K, 1-BB, WIN (4-0)

Jason Bilous – Coastal Carolina:         7.0-IP, 2-H, 1-ER, 9-K, 6-BB, WIN (3-0)

Sean Hjelle – Kentucky:                   3.1-IP, 4-H, 4-ER, 4-K, 5-BB, LOSS (4-1)

Colton Eastman – CSF:                       7.0-IP, 3-H, 0-R, 7-K, 2-BB, WIN (2-1)

Logan Gilbert – Stetson:                7.1-IP, 2-H, 1-ER, 11-K, 2-BB, WIN (4-0)   
Blaine Knight – Arkansas:                                 4.2-IP, 6-H, 2-ER, 4-K, 1-BB

Isiah Campbell – Arkansas -                8.0-IP, 3-H, 1-ER, 8-K, 4-BB, WIN (2-2)
Nolan Kingham – Texas:                 9.0-IP, CG, 10-H, 4-ER, 3-K, 0-BB, WIN (3-2)

Konnor Pilkington – Mississippi State:    6.0-IP, 7-H, 2-ER, 8-K, 1-BB, LOSS (1-2)    
Cole Sands – Florida State:                6.2-IP, 7-H, 8-ER 3-K, 3-BB, LOSS (4-1)
Ryan Rolison – Ole Miss:  -       6.2-IP, 6-H, 2-ER, 11-K, 3-BB, LOSS (3-2) 

Dallas Woolfolk – Ole Miss      (RP)                1.0-IP, 1-H, 0-R, 0-K, 0-BB, 0.00

Tim Cate – Connecticut:                 5.0-IP, 11-H, 6-ER, 4-K, 3-BB, LOSS (1-4)

Taril Skubal – Seattle:                                        2.0-IP, 3-H, 0-R, 5-K, 0-BB                      
Matt Mercer – Oregon –                         6.0-IP, 4-H, 2-ER, 8-K, 4-BB   
Jon Olson – UCLA –                                  Sun:                0.0-IP, 2-H, 0-R, 0-K, 0-BB
Olson was hit in the face with a line drive during the first inning of Sunday’s game. He was carted from the field bleeding and there has been no update on the injury to date.

Zach Hess – LSU –                             6.0-IP, 3-H, 2-ER, 8-K, 5-BB, WIN (3-2)

Bryce Montes De Oca – Missouri -        6.0-IP, 3-ER, 5-K, 7-BB, LOSS (3-1)               
Davis Martin – Texas Tech –           7.0-IP. 4-H, 2-ER, 10-K, 0-BB, LOSS (3-1)   
Adam Hill – South Carolina –                 4.2-IP, 3-H, 3-ER, 6-K, 5-BB, LOSS
Andrew Perez – South Florida -   RP:              1.1-IP, 0-H, 0-R, 3-K, 0-BB- 3-SV

Shawn McClanahan – South Florida -       6.0-IP, 0-H, 0-R, 15-K, 3-BB, WIN (3-1)

Combined with RP Carson Ragsdale for a NO HITTER vs. Army on Friday     

Daniel Lynch – Virginia –                                    7.2-IP, 3-H, 0-R 11-K, 2-BB, WIN (2-2)

INJURY UPDATE - P - Jason Vargas


SP Jason Vargas - non-displaced fracture of the

hamate bone in his non-pitching hand - out 4-6



Mack’s Apples – Corey Oswalt, Stylish Baseball, Jacob deGrom, Progress Report, Minor League Extra Innings


Good morning.

John Sickels on –

   11) Corey Oswalt, RHP, Grade C+: Age 24, seventh round pick in 2012 from high school in San Diego, California; posted 2.28 ERA with 119/40 K/BB in 134 innings in Double-A, 118 hits; soft-tosser when drafted, which has probably hampered his reputation to this point; fastball is now in the “good enough” range at 90-95, which works due to his ability to locate; has a complete arsenal of secondaries with curve, slider, change; all pitches generally considered average, nothing terrific but he knows how to use them; likely a fourth starter but could max out along Collin McHugh lines; ETA late 2018

Baseball Is Stylish Now -

    Ten years ago, it might've sounded crazy, but today it's taken as a given: the NBA and NFL employ many of the most stylish men alive. Major League Baseball, on the other hand, has some catching up to do in the style department. Let's just say we don't study these guys' pre-game tunnel fits with the rapt attention we reserve for hoops. Which makes it all the more amusing that what we've taken to calling baseball player style is having a fashion moment right now. Think Oakley-style shades, and batting practice-ready cutoffs. Of course, pulling these pieces off isn't as easy as packing a dinger and growing a Goose Gossage mustache. There's a difference between breaking out of your comfort zone with a pair of, say, gold-frame sunglasses, and then there is rolling up to the bar looking in 1993's finest threads, Lenny Dykstra-style. But we'll let you decide for yourself; here's a look at some of the baseball jock trends currently permeating the style scene. If none of these speak to you, you're still in luck: there's always a good, old-fashioned baseball cap.

These 20 players will shape  NL East race -


         13. Jacob deGrom, New York Mets - After his blistering long-awaited arrival on the mound this spring, one suspects the "is deGrom gonna be OK?" stories we were dealing with the last month will be forgotten by, oh, Friday.

Progress report: New York Mets -

   STORYLINES TO WATCH - Noah Syndergaard’s lat injury limited him to seven starts in 2017 (2.97 ERA), but he appears healthy after throwing an easy 100 mph fastball early in Grapefruit League action. A healthy return for the 25-year-old immediately transforms the Mets back into a playoff-hopeful team as few rotations can match a one-two punch of Syndergaard and RHP Jacob deGrom.

Adrian Gonzalez landed on the DL for the first time in 2017, hit just three homers in 71 games and was left off the Dodgers’ postseason roster. He was released after a trade to Atlanta and signed with New York to allow 1B prospect Dom Smith further time to develop in the minors. How long that lasts depends on what the 35-year-old Gonzalez has left in the tank.

In the short-term, the Mets have moved on at third base from David Wright, whose health issues have limited him to 75 games since start of 2015. He has no intention of retiring, but Todd Frazier is the new third baseman after signing a two-year, $17 million deal in February.

Minor League Baseball Kicks Up Dust With Changes To Extra Innings, Pitch Clocks –
  As for the big rule change in extra innings: Beginning in the 10th, when the leadoff hitter takes his place in the batter's box, the teammate directly ahead of him in the batting order will set up across from him on second base — already halfway to home plate before a pitch has even been thrown.



Reese Kaplan -- Juan Gone?


There have been a number of stories in the media about teams looking to acquire Mets centerfielder Juan Lagares.  That kind of deal probably has people at both ends of the spectrum, some figuring he hasn’t had the opportunity to show his new swing with limited appearances this Spring, while others think he’s failed on the extended looks between DL stints and failed to deliver.  From the front office perspective, he’s earning $6.5 million this year and $9 million next year with a $9.5 million option for 2020.  Getting out from under is a risk they likely deem worth taking to get out from under the financial obligation where he is now at best the 5th outfielder with Brandon Nimmo having leapfrogged him on the depth chart.

The problem for the Mets is that they are mighty thin in outfield prospects.  Internal options would include Phil Evans, Matt den Dekker and Zach Borenstein.  As a 5th outfielder any of them are probably passable options, but each comes with his own issues.

Phil Evans is kind of this year’s T.J. Rivera – a guy who can hit and is willing to play anywhere, but with little power, little speed and at best an adequate glove.  He did hit a combined .321 last year between AA and AAA as well as .303 in a limited September trial in Queens.  He’s not on the roster, but David Wright’s impending 60-day DL stint will open up a spot.

Matt den Dekker is a flashy fielder but he’s never delivered much with the bat.  Over parts of five seasons he has slashed just .234/7/29 with a dozen stolen bases.  He twice had lower minor league seasons with 17 HRs and over 20 SBs but as he ascended through the ranks he’s not been able to duplicate that level of production.

Zach Borenstein is one of those all or nothing type of hitters who draws mirror image comparisons to Travis Taijeron.  A left handed hitter, he’s good for about an average of 20 HRs and 90 RBIs per season with a .280 batting average.  On the surface that sounds pretty good, but at age 27 he’s yet to crack the majors.  He was one of the first cuts the Mets made to move him to the minor league camp which suggests they feel he’s merely filler for AAA.

There are options available on the FA market should the Mets feel they need to address a hypothetical Lagares vacancy on the roster.  There are some former star caliber players who at this stage may have to accept the fact they are bench players.  This group would include Jose Bautista, Melky Cabrera, Andre Ethier, Matt Holliday and Jayson Werth.

Then you have people who have been starters for much of their careers but not in the upper echelon. That list would include Seth Smith, Chris Coghlan and Franklin Guttierez.

Finally you have some wildcards – players who don’t have much of a track record like Arismendy Alcantara or (briefly a Met) Justin Ruggiano.

What do you all think about the prospect of trading away the flashy fielding but otherwise disappointing Juan Lagares?  I’d sign off on it assuming the return is a non-roster lower level minor leaguer.  That move would also open up a roster spot for someone not yet on the 40.  More importantly, it would provide salary relief now and next year as well.  Assuming Michael Conforto is back by mid May, Lagares’ ABs would be hard to find, though he does have right handedness in his favor with Jay Bruce, Nimmo and Conforto all swinging from the left side.

So has the Juan Lagares era come to an end?


Mack - IMO


Good morning.

I had planned to write about a lot more this week on this post, but I changed my mind.

The fact is I am not a happy puppy at what I am seeing this spring and I'm getting sick and tired of making excuses for the end result of some of the effort here.

It came to a boil when Matt Harvey couldn't even produce a quality outing against the Miami travel B team on Thursday. Add him to the inconsistencies of most of the other pitchers and the lack of hitting from most of our starters and I'm just not ready for this season to start.

Sure, there are a few bright spots, led by Brandon Nimmo, but how am I supposed to believe that come March 29th this is all going to turn around?

I know that I have repeatedly preached that nothing that happens in spring training matters, but. come on...

This is my last IMO column. It's not like my opinion will change anything here.

RP Joel Huertas told me this week that he’s good to go and ready to return from TJS. My guess is the Mets will take it slow with Joel and he could return to Brooklyn to put his starter career back in the right direction. 

Players sent back to the Minor League side of the camp on Tuesday night were s RHPs Kevin McGowan, Marcos Molina, Corey Oswalt, Gerson Bautista, and  Jamie Callahan, and OF Tim Tebow. No real big surprises here though you could have made a case that pitcher Drew Smith dodged a bullet here. 

The next set of cuts came Wednesday morning – RHPs Chris Flexen and RHP Tyler Bashlor. 1B Peter Alonso, OFs Zach Borenstein and Kevin Kaczmarski, C Patrick Mazeika and INF David Thompson.

This left, by my count, the following players in the ‘Big Boy’ clubhouse:

SPs (9) – deGrom, Gsellman, Harvey, Lugo, Matz, Montero, Syndergaard, Vargas, Wheeler

            RPs (7) – Blevens, Familia, Ramos, Rhame, Robles, Seward, Swarzak

            C (3) – deArnaud, Nido, Plawecki

IF (9) – Cabrera, Cecchini, Flores, Frazier, Gonzalez, Guillorme, Reyes, Rosario, Smith

            OF (5) – Bruce, Cespedes, Lagares, Nimmo, Conforto

            In addition, IF/OF Phillip Evans, pitchers Corey Taylor, Matt Purke, and P.J. Conlon, OF Ty Kelly, and catcher Jose Lobeton are still in there but not on the 40-man roster

            Total players in camp:  39





My article from a few days back included some interesting stuff on successful young players of yore who debuted as teenagers in the major leagues, including the likes of Jimmie Foxx, Mel Ott, Bob Feller, Joe Nuxhall and Sandy Koufax.
And let's not forget teenage Met sensations Eddie Kranepool and Doc Gooden.

Today, a number of teens are in the Mets system that appear to have real future major league potential.  I list 21 of them below.  Let me know if I missed anyone, will ya?
(By the way, my teen definition: still a teenager as of the time of this article).

Head of the Mets teenybopper class? Our teen idols?
Clearly, Andres Gimenez and Mark Vientos.

Andres Gimenez - ranked in the Mets' top 3 prospects by most rankers, he will play all of 2018 as a 19 year old.  Hitting and fielding very, very well for an 18 year old infielder already in full season baseball in 2017, he is the only Mets teenager with a real chance of making the Mets while in his teens.  Of course, because the Mets have a huge supply of infielders on the big league squad and in the high minors, it is extremely unlikely he will join the big club in 2018.  In 2019, though? If you ask me? Quite possible. Cream rise quickly.

Mark Vientos was highly drafted and will play the left side of the infield at age 18 this season after a fine first season in the Gulf Coast League.  May he become our Alex Rodriguez (sans steroids, bien sur).  A Major Leaguer at age 20?  Maybe.  He is good.
Greg Guerrero will be 19 all year, and hopefully as healthy as a horse after a shaky GCL debut in 2018. Let's hope Greg can show us he has real Guerrero "hit machine" DNA like his surreal cousin Vlad Jr is for the Blue Jays.
Some drafted teen pitchers include the following 5:

Matt Cleveland, turns 20 pretty soon, and the 12th round righty fired a decent 24 GCL innings in 2017.  My guess for 2018?  Brooklyn Cyclones starter.

Cameron Planck is about to turn 20, but the highly touted HS school arm, drafted in 2016, has (like this writer) not yet thrown a pro inning.  May he rack up innings in 2018.

Christian James was also nabbed in the 2016 draft and, unlike Planck, James finished his 2nd pro season, fanning 58 in 51 innings for Kingsport.  Get this 19 year old in full season ball in Columbia, please, he sure seems impressive.

Bryce Hutchinson was a big high school arm nabbed in Round 12 in 2017.  Got his toes wet in 2017 with a whopping 8 innings (Cameron Planck is jealous). Now, as a 19 year old for all of 2018, Hutch likely will be in rookie ball, hopefully racking up about 75 innings.

Nate Peden - the righty will pitch all year at the age of 19 - the 2017 13th round 6'4" righty put up kinda sorta 11 shaky innings in the GCL over 8 games, but with his toes now wet, hopefully 2018 will be a big season for Nate the Great.

DSL 1 Mets teenage bats that showed promise were:
SS Sebastian Espino: not turning 18 until Memorial Day, Espino in 64 DSL games had 16 doubles, 9 triples, 2 HRs, and hit .267 with 60 Ks. I like the extra base hit output, but not the Ks, but he's young.  He was also  3 for 17 in a late season promo to the Gulf Coast League.

C Wilfred Astudillo: turns 18 in a few weeks...only 20 Ks in 52 games: .291/.351/.368.  And he gunned down a very sweet 34 of 86 (40%) of base stealers in 2017.  Could be a goodie.

3B Jose Peroza...21 doubles in 57 games, and .300/.349/.437, but 55 Ks.  Like Espino, he went 3 for 17 in a few GCL games too...and he turns 18 on the same day in June as lean, muscular old timer Dominic Smith turns 23.

DSL 2 Mets bats who particularly impressed were:

3B Yoel Romero: .364/.439/.464, 32 Ks in 67 games. Close to Andres Gimenez #'s of 2016, so he is worth watching.  17 of 24 steals, too.. Remarkably, just 2 errors.  Already turning 20 in April, though...aging Tim Tebow would tell him not to waste time.

2B Luis Santana also was really strong at .325/.430/.481, and just 22 Ks in 65 games.  On the exclusive Brennan Watch List for 2018.  Swiped 16 of 20.  Just 4 errors, too.  Turning 19 in late July. Listed at 5'8", but swears he is taller than Freddy Patek

SS Sherveyn Newton excelled at .311/.433/.444, with 9 triples. He fanned 57 times in 64 games but walked 50, so it nicely appears that he was intent on learning the strike zone.  Newton made 15 errors, but for a really young SS, that error-to-games ratio was solid.  Born in the Netherlands, I hear he prefers Dutch Boy paint and wooden shoes.  Turning just 19 in 2 months, Newton is listed at a towering 6'4".

CF Jhoander Saez was spiffy, too, at .320/.397/.378...he did fan 66 times in 68 games, but stole a spiffy 20 of 24. And just two errors...turning an ancient 20 in late March.

1B Dave Lozano in 50 games, he  hit .313/.412/.381, stole 14 of 19, and fanned just 22 times. Turns 20 in mid-May, so there is still time to send him a birthday card.

Many of the top DSL's top Mets pitchers were already 20 or older last season, so I ignore them here - too old. Teens only here, people.  3 DSL teen arms of note include:

Willy Taveras, 19 turning 20 as we speak, the 5’11, 160 righty allowed just 6 walks in 70 IP in 2017, in which he went 8-3, 2.31 with an 0.91 WHIP.  Surely headed stateside in 2018. 
Oscar Rojas – found by super scout Felix Unger, Oscar, Oscar, Oscar is another low walks freak, with just 2 in 36 innings, to go along with 38 Ks, as he went 1-2, 1.99 ERA in 7 starts plus one save his other game in relief.  He turns 19 in May, and after this brief but very successful first pro year, I’d like to see him pitch in the GCL in 2018.

Jefferson Escorcha, an 18 year old lefty for all of 2018, the Scorcher was used exclusively in relief in 2017.  He went 21 games, 3-2, 1.86, 28 Ks, 7 walks in 29 innings.  A 1.38 WHIP was not bad…he may have done enough to get him a promo to the GCL in 2018, too.

Finally, in the super-young, super-talented category:

We need to mention Ronnie Mauricio, who is considered a top Mets prospect as he gets ready to play his first season at age 16, and slugger Adrian Hernandez, a year older, both of whom signed $1 million + contracts.  Maybe by the end of 2018, those two are in everyone's Mets' top 20 prospects.

All told, I think this is quite a crop of youths of the young kind - I hope you agree.


Mack’s Apples – Tomas Nido, Jose Reyes, Billy Phillips, Matt Harvey, Facebook


Good morning.

John Sickels on –

10) Tomas Nido, C, Grade C+: Age 23, born in Puerto Rico but went to high school in Florida, drafted in eighth round in 2012; hit .232/.287/.354 with eight homers, 30 walks, 63 strikeouts in 367 at-bats in Double-A, then went 3-for-10 in the majors; excellent defender who approaches 50% of runners caught with very low passed ball and error rates; has some pop and controls zone well, had some issues adapting to Double-A pitching but has hit better in the past and the Mets will be patient considering his defense; ETA 2018; QUESTION MARK: will he hit enough to play regularly? minor league baseball

Mack – This is a continuation of sharing with you John’s thoughts on what he says are the current Mets top 20 prospects. He’s got Nido at #10, I have hi in my top 20 also, but not this high. 2018 is a critical year for Nido to bounce back with his bat. A good 400+ at-bats in the rarified air of Las Vegas should do wonders for his stat line.

When Bad Teams  Sign Good Free Agents – 
Jose Reyes | 2012 Marlins
Terms: 6 years, $106 million.
Losses Year Prior: 90. | Three-Year Average: 82.
AAV: $17.7MM ($14.6MM above average).
The Marlins feigned an attempt at fielding a winning team when they moved into taxpayer-funded Marlins Park in 2012. In addition to signing Reyes for the third-largest payout of that offseason, they also invited free agents Mark Buehrle (four years, $58 million) and Heath Bell to the party. The Marlins certainly didn't let their guests overstay their welcome. They traded all three after the 2012 season, and Miami fans are still waiting for the first winning Marlins team at the new ballpark. That timetable got pushed back indefinitely with the trades of Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Dee Gordon after the 2017 season.

Mack – Hated losing him… loved getting him back… like it again to have him in the clubhouse. He and David Wright are the two last pegs in my clubhouse days and I will miss both when they fade away.

Phillips Returns Strong From Cancer -

On Feb. 18, after inducing a Tennessee hitter into an inning-ending double play, it took Maryland freshman lefthander Billy Phillips quite a while to get from the mound to the dugout – and it’s not because he’s slow. Phillips kept running into teammates wanting to hug him. Every player got a turn and some doubled up. After all, this was Phillips’ first inning on the mound since 2015, when he was diagnosed with leukemia.

Mack – Nice move Mets, especially since Billy is a lifelong Yankees fan and this was done during a Subway Series minor league game.

Matt Harvey Searches for New Route to Success –

         Matt Harvey is just one question mark in a rotation full of them. Noah Syndergaard is coming back from a season in which a strained latissimus dorsi and unwillingness to climb into an MRI tube limited him to 30.1 innings. DeGrom, the rock of the rotation, has been slowed by lower-back stiffness and is behind schedule as far as Opening Day goes. Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler are even further in the weeds than Harvey, not just coming off dreadful, injury-shortened seasons but getting knocked around in the Grapefruit League. Given that litany, it’s asking a lot for the Mets (who are currently projected to finish 81-81) to contend. Still, the team will be far more watchable if Harvey can return to being a productive pitcher, if not a star. Hope springs eternal.

The New York Mets will host the first ever  Facebook streamed MLB game on April 4th. –
     Game broadcasts will be produced by MLB Network and will feature a number of digital tools to enhance the viewing experience. Fans will be able to watch games on their mobile and desktop devices that have been designed for more immersive viewing, sharing and interacting consistent with the social media platform.


Mike Friere - Statistics Part One - So, What is WHIP?


A few years ago, in a different Mack's Mets lifetime for this writer, I produced a series of articles on the dizzying array of statistical categories that exist in MLB.  Keep in mind, these weren't your normal batting average, home runs or earned run average type statistics, which are important but viewed as a bit "old school", if you will.  Instead, I chose to focus on "newer" statistics that may be less popular or understood, but are capable of telling a slightly different version of a specific player's story (Sabermetrics).

There is a contingent of folks who believe in the study of statistics and they will use them as the sole determinant of a player's value.  Many different articles have been written, not to mention several books and a movie or two, on this statistical shift in scouting and evaluation.

With that said, I can almost feel some folks "roll their eyes" as the use of statistics can be viewed as a "negative", usually by baseball "purists" who only need to watch a player to figure out if he/she can play the game, or not.  Some of you may be familiar with the saying "there are lies, damn lies and then there are statistics".  Or, perhaps the saying "you can use statistics to justify anything that you want....it just come down to how you choose to use them".

OK, so I will admit that I fall slightly on the "statistical" side of the issue, but there is value in combining what your eyes tell you and what the statistics tell you, as well.  Both pursuits have had their share of success and/or failures and I am sure this will continue into the future as teams look for a competitive edge.

I plan on revisiting the aforementioned series of articles on the importance of statistics, but I also include why I like or dislike a particular statistic and how it relates to our favorite ball club.  When I look at a team, I like to focus on either "run generation" statistics which usually focus on the batter or "run suppression" statistics which focuses primarily on the pitcher and to a lesser extent, the defense in the field.  If you excel in both areas, it will express itself in a positive "run differential" and that has long term impacts on wins and losses. 

So, let's start with a relative easy one and focus on WHIP, or "Walks plus Hits per Inning Pitched".  This statistic was created by Daniel Okrent in 1979 and it was previously called "innings pitched ratio".  As an aside, this calculation does not include "hit batsman" because Daniel did not have access to that particular statistic in his local newspaper at the time with the way the displayed box scores (I know, what's a newspaper, right?)  So, WHIP would be a key statistic on the "run suppression" side of the ledger and it is largely determined by the pitcher or pitchers in question.

Figuring out the statistic is pretty straight forward, in that you add up the number of hits and walks that a pitcher is responsible for and divide that number by the total number of innings pitched.  It can be used for any sample size, but like most statistics it's reliability gets better with more data.  The result is expressed as a positive ratio or in general terms, "the average number of base runners a pitcher puts on base per inning". 

From Wikipedia, "a WHIP near 1.00 or lower over the course of a season will often rank among the league leaders in Major League Baseball".  It stands to reason that fewer base runners will translate into fewer runs scored and less "damage" if and when a pitcher does make a mistake (a solo home run is easier to overcome then a three run bomb, after all).

So, who had the lowest WHIP's in baseball last year?

Here is a sampling of a few pitchers, both starters (175 IP, or more) and relievers (75 IP, or more);

Corey Kluber (0.87)
Max Scherzer (0.90)
Clayton Kershaw (0.95)

Craig Kimbrel (0.68)
Kenley Jansen (0.75)
Andrew Miller (0.83)

That is quite a group of pitchers and it is no accident that they also sport an excellent WHIP ratio.

How about a few Mets' pitchers?

Noah Syndergaard (1.05) in a very small sample of 30 innings pitched
Addison Reed (1.12) as our best reliever
Jacob deGrom (1.19) as our best starter

Again, not a huge surprise since they had largely successful seasons last year, or over their careers in Noah's case.

How about a few "not so good" WHIP raitos on our 2017 pitching staff?

Stephen Matz (1.53)
Zack Wheeler (1.59)
Matt Harvey (1.69)
Rafael Montero (1.75)

Not to pick on that group directly, but are you surprised that they struggled as a collective in 2017, especially when you see their respective WHIP ratios for that time period?  I am hopeful that most of this was due to injury, fatigue and diminished confidence, with 2018 being a "bounce back year" for them.

***On a side note, nothing drives me crazier as a fan then watching a pitcher labor through a four inning start, while throwing over one hundred pitches and allowing a small village of base runners in the process.   "Just throw strikes" echoes off of the walls of my living room.

In closing, viewing a particular pitcher's WHIP will usually give you a glimpse into how effective they have been and the chances of success in the future.  There are a couple of Indians on the "good list" above, who toiled under the watchful eye of Mickey Callaway last year, so hopefully he recognizes the importance of limiting base runners and how it relates to team success.

Mack's Mets © 2012