Mack - From The Desk... an update

Hey everybody.

Did you miss me?

Some of you have reached out and asked where the hell I've gone (in general) and the 'From The Desk' feature (in particular). 

I wanted to give ya'll an update.

I have neck stenosis like David Wright. Mine is hampered by two factors... one, a severe reverse curvature of the neck, and two, I'm 71 years old.

Because of this, I've been ruled 'inoperable'.

I have been on pain killers and therapy maintenance but have reached the max allowed on both. The pain and numbness is taking over.

Add to this the fact that using a laptop (neck angle down) just increases the pain, I've decided to take the month of August off.

I don't have an IPhone so all I can do is respond to other writer's posts and answer emails.

I'm getting reevaluated by the pain management specialists at MUSC Charleston to see if they can change my 'cocktail' to help.

This is starting to read like an old country song...

I will be back in September with a recap of the prospects in the pipeline and where I think they will open up come April 2019.

Past that, feel free to reach me via comments on other writer's posts or email me at:







This is another season of a multitude of players spinning thru revolving doors at Citifield.

Jack Reinheimer is the 53rd  player on the Mets this season. By contrast, in all of 1969, just 35 gentlemen donned Mets uniforms.

Jack will be playing in the city that made Rheingold Beer famous. (And yes that is another Jack in the picture, the rotunda man himself, Jackie Robinson).

And also, I believe, playing where Jackie Gleason as Ralphie Boy frequently called his wife Alice a Weisenheimer, so Jack Reinheimer will fit right in.

Of course, I am writing this on Tuesday hoping he is still on the Mets on Friday; these days ya never know.

Jack is a former Seattle 5th rounder hitting .237 this season and .273 in his career.  

He has some giddy-up, too, with 120 steals and just 45 times caught.

He seems like Matt Reynolds with a little more speed and a solid glove.  

Of course, he had someone to look up to: Peter Alonso was awarded the Vegas 51s' July defensive player of the month.  

(I wanted to ask Mack about that award, but I was afraid he would get defensive, so I didn't).

At 6'1", Jack has 3 inches on demoted Luis Guillorme.

Luis was apparently sent packing to allow him to get more consistent playing time - and a consistently smaller paycheck.

My father's name was Jack, so Reinheimer is an instant Brennan favorite, for what it is worth (hint: not much).

He picked a nice time for a call up, since he is less than 3 weeks from expanded rosters, so maybe he'll stick long enough to demonstrate his value.  And he is the only Met to be hitting .500, after his 1 for 2 debut, with a run scored.

Ralphie boy says, "Good luck, ya Reinheimer." 

We wish you luck as well, Jack.

Mike Freire - Fleeting Thoughts


Good morning once again, Mets fans!

This will be the fifth installment of my Fleeting Thoughts series and I can probably stop counting the entries and focus more on the content.  Sort of like the Mets' "brain trust" this past year who would have been wise to tune out the external noise (fans, media) and really focus on the best way to spend their payroll, such as adding quality players who actually stay healthy!

Perhaps that was a bit of an unwarranted "cheap shot", but I will never understand the Jay Bruce, Jason Vargas and Anthony Swarzak signings, no matter how the rationale is presented.

But I digress......so let's get on with the rest of this article.

1.  For the official record, I have never tried "Crack" or "Crystal Meth" but my previous job certainly brought me into contact with folks that have.  It would be an understatement to say that their decision making was a bit compromised and their behavior was extremely erratic.  When I take an unbiased look at the Mets, it makes me wonder if following this team is like being on one of the listed drugs. 

The temptation is always there and you tell yourself that the last time is indeed the last time, while making promises to "do better" in the future.  Yet, when the next opportunity comes along, you find yourself hopelessly involved in the lifestyle again!  Think of someone like Frank Gallagher from the show Shameless for a good example of what I am talking about.  My "drug" of choice are the Mets and as disgusted as I am right now, I am already thinking of ways that 2019 will be better!  Maybe I need an intervention? 

2.  Speaking of the 2019 season, there is so much to be determined right now that it is really hard to speculate on what may or may not happen.  I think the coaching staff is safe for the time being, but there could be major turnover in the front office, the scouting staff and of course, with the roster. 

Instead of getting lost in the weeds, it is easier to prioritize the different issues and focus on the most important one first, prior to working your way down the list, so to speak.  In my head, settling the Front Office should be the first off season move that takes place, since it will influence the rest of the decisions that will take place.  

3.  ASSUMING that the Mets truly want a strong General Manager with NEW ideas (yes, I know that is quite a leap), who would you pick if you were in charge?  I won't pretend to know who all of the candidates are, but I would focus on candidates who are a part of a forward thinking, SUCCESSFUL organization such as the Red Sox, the Cardinals, the Yankees or even the Cubs (who are in the same lineage as the Red Sox, I suppose).

Doing the same thing over and over again gives you the same results.  In the Mets case, that isn't a good thing, so it is time to try a different approach.  My early vote is for Ben Cherington who was Theo Epstein's successor in Boston (2011 through 2015) and is now the Vice President of baseball operations for the Toronto Blue Jays.  He may or may not want to leave Toronto, but he should be on the Mets' short list.

4.  This may not be a popular opinion, but I really wish David Wright would hang up his spikes already.  Yes, he is on the comeback trail and it is admirable that he hasn't quit, despite all of the setbacks he has had to endure.  But, do you really think he is capable of playing at the major league level at this point?  Or, could he even come close to what he used to be capable of?  I prefer to remember him in his prime as opposed to a shell of his former self, which is likely what we are about to see.  Early returns are not promising to put it bluntly.

Sadly, I wonder if the Wilpons are allowing this story to develop in order to "sell" the idea of David's last "appearance" as a Met before he rides off into the sunset?  Or, as Mack has previously stated, maybe this is the reason Jose Reyes is still around?  One last glimpse at what was supposed to be the left side of our infield for fifteen plus years.

5.  In an effort to close this out with a more positive vibe, it was nice to see the Mets beat the Yankees this past Monday night.  Jake looked solid and we actually scored some runs for him!  Heck, it makes you wonder how much better our offense would be if we played in a band box of a stadium like our crosstown rivals.  If nothing else, the relatively meaningless win split the season series with the Yankees, which is a "win" in an otherwise down year. 






Congrats to Ross Adolph for his well-deserved MVP in the NY Penn League All Star game.

Ross socked a 2 run triple and a solo homer in the contest.

A 6'1", 203 21 year old speedster and lefty bat, Adolph's triple was his NINTH this season in just 43 games including the All Star game.

In the 42 official games this year, he has had 5 doubles, 8 triples, 2 homers and 7 of 9 in steals, and is at a respectable .261/.324/.433.

So far so good for the 12th rounder from Ohio.  Looking forward to more.

Jack Flynn- September Callups

The July trade deadline has passed, and the August trade deadline is approaching. It’s possible that the Mets will be able to move Devin Mesoraco or Jose Bautista before August 31, but the return will not be for anyone to get excited about.

At this point, perhaps all that’s left to look forward to in 2018 is the September 1 roster expansion, and who the Mets will add to the big club.

It’s important to first note that the Mets cannot simply call up whoever they want from Las Vegas or Binghamton. Any player the Mets promote must already be on the 40-man roster, or added to the 40-man roster. The Mets will likely recall two or three pitchers – perhaps a starter and two relievers – but there are only five position players on the 40-man roster that aren’t already in Queens.

The calls for Peter Alonso continue to resonate, but he is not on the 40-man roster and so a recall is not as automatic as it may seem. Realistically, unless Mesoraco or Bautista is traded, the Mets only have room to create two new spaces – one by placing Philip Evans on the 60-day disabled list, and the other by releasing Jack Reinheimer.

I’ll preface this by saying that I trust a scout’s eye more than a Baseball Reference page, but from my limited vantage point Reinheimer certainly appears to be expendable. The Mets have plenty of light-hitting utility infielders in the organization who can pick it at second base, third base and shortstop well enough to be a backup in Queens in 2019.

Jose Reyes is still on the roster – and if the Mets have stuck with him this long, you can bet that he’ll be here until the end of the season. Luis Guillorme looks like he’ll be in Queens for the rest of 2018 as well (update: optioned to Las Vegas), now that Asdrubal Cabrera has been traded. Gavin Cecchini is already on the 40-man roster, but he isn’t an obvious upgrade over Guillorme.

It’s hard to see how Reinheimer fits in this organization, given that his skill set is being replicated by Guillorme and Cecchini. I have to wonder if the Mets actually intend to recall him in September to see if he can leapfrog those guys on the utility infielder depth chart (update: promoted this week).

If indeed Reinheimer takes the roster spot currently inhabited by Evans, it would seem that Mesoraco or Bautista would have to be traded or released to clear space for Alonso. Of course, the Mets will likely want to carry three catchers in September, so the Mesoraco spot is more likely to be filled by Jose Lobaton or Johnny Monell to achieve that purpose.

Presumably Jay Bruce will be among the position player recalls; it makes zero sense to recall him before the roster expansion given that he has been out of action since mid-June and would benefit from a lengthy rehab stint. You can expect to see him back in a Mets uniform on September 1.

Dominic Smith will likely be recalled as well. Wilmer Flores has done a fine job at first base, but everyone knows that Flores is not the future at this position. Smith probably isn’t the future either, but the Mets haven’t finished completely destroying his trade value yet and can be counted on to use the month of September to find new ways to make Smith untradeable. Perhaps Smith can play once a week in left field exclusively against the best left-handed starters in the National League to achieve that end.

Bruce and Smith would join Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo and Austin Jackson in the outfield, which would then make Bautista expendable and open up a roster spot for Alonso. At this point, it may Alonso’s only path forward in 2018.

Reese Kaplan -- One Radical Idea (and a Few Others)


As much as it hurts me to think like a Wilpon or a Ricco, I believe I have come up with a good idea that warrants some serious consideration. 

First, let’s get the whole Pete Alonso thing off the table.  He’s not on the 40-man roster.  He doesn’t have to be put on the 40-man roster this winter, so keeping him off of it preserves a space to protect another player.  Holding him back for a few weeks in 2019 gets the Mets another year of financial control.  Consequently, don’t expect to see him for a September cup of coffee, let alone an August call-up. 

Next comes the fan favorite, Wilmer Flores.  There are a couple of issues at play here.  First, of course, is his Michael Jackson impression with a glove that he wears for no apparent reason.  We all felt that 1st base was the least defensively challenging position on the diamond yet Wilmer has demonstrated that if you build a better mousetrap he’s simply a more clever mouse, discovering new ways to botch plays. 

Now he’s your best right-handed hitter with Yoenis Cespedes on the shelf, so his bat has been fairly essential to the rare times they win ballgames.  He’s currently producing to the tune of .273/10/39 in fewer than 300 ABs.  That’s a pace of 20 HRs and 78 RBIs over the course of a full season…perhaps a bit light for a first baseman, but by Mets standards that’s downright formidable.  Oh yeah, he’s also struck out just 30 times while walking 26.  That means for a 20 HR hitter he’d strike out only 60 times over the course of a full season.  Any way you slice it, that’s solid offensive production.

Here therein lies the rub.  If he’s not suited to playing the field and already earns $3.4 million heading into another arbitration year, then perhaps the best bet for the team who is clearly out of any dream of contention is to bench him.  Hear me out.

He’s not doing the pitchers any favors with his defense. The more he racks up numbers, the more a potential arbiter will look to reward him for it.  If he’s not considered the long-term option at 1st base, 2nd base, SS or 3rd base, then he’s either trade bait or a bench player.  Isn’t that all correct?   Benching him suppresses his potential salary which makes him more attractive in trade as well.

The answer should be to promote not Pete Alonso but Dominic Smith.  Again, hear me out.  He’s not exactly performing at the same level as Alonso, but he is already on the 40-man roster.  Right now you have a need to see what he can do lest he become the next Gavin Cecchini of lost cause high draft picks.  If he flops, then you write him off as a bad pick.  If he succeeds, then he becomes desirable for other teams in quest of a cost-controllable asset.  Right now playing in AAA in the .260 range he doesn’t represent a future in Queens nor in any of the other 29 major league locations. 

Now the other part of this equation is getting Jay Bruce back as quickly as possible.  The thought here is pretty much the same.  He needs to demonstrate his power production in order to be either penciled into the plans for 2019 or to become a lefty slugger another team could use. 

Moving his contract will not be easy but if he has a productive September, it’s not impossible.  Find another team’s bad contract and do a classic change-of-scenery deal.  A relief pitcher like Mark Melancon is owed the exact same $28 million as Bruce for the next two years. 

Bryan Shaw who thrived under Mickey Callaway is having a nightmarish season in Colorado.  Maybe the Rockies would like to be out from under the $17.5 plus $2 million option over the next two years.  In that one you might have to sweeten the deal a bit to even out the money.  Maybe throwing in a cost-controlled young player would get them to bite.  Hint – Dom Smith, Gavin Cecchini…

Please, can we stop with the Joses?  Bautista and Reyes are both wastes of roster space whose time is long past due.  Please play Jeff McNeil and Todd Frazier day in and day out for different reasons.  In McNeil’s case, let’s see if he is indeed the late blooming answer to 2nd base.  In Frazier’s case, let’s see if he can at least display his power which might entice another team to take on his final year salary. 

Austin Jackson has been a nice story.  So was Nori Aoki.  The said sayonara to the latter at season's end.  They should do the same with this year's version.  He doesn't need to play either.

Finally, and this one is not new, PLEASE let Corey Oswalt stay in the rotation even if Steven Matz returns. Last night's solid start notwithstanding, Jason Vargas is the very definition of a sunk cost.  Perhaps recast as a relief pitcher could help him regain whatever it was he once had (though the numbers suggest it was never very much).  You need to find out what Oswalt can do.  You know what Vargas is.  (Choose your own expletive). 

There is a minor problem with this approach.  Between Smith, McNeil, Bruce, Conforto and Nimmo you're tilting very heavily towards the left side.  Still, at this point in the season I am less concerned about winning than I am about planning for the future.  In addition, how will you know if these lefties can hit left handed pitching unless they get to face it regularly?  



Mike Freire - MLB Seasonal Update (67%)


OK, so the title may look a bit odd, but Major League Baseball recently passed the 67% mark for the season as it continues to move towards the month of September. As with most years, there are interesting story lines and very intriguing “potential” playoff match ups that are starting to come into focus.  Despite the fact that the best part of the baseball calendar has to compete with College and Professional Football, this year is shaping up to be something special in my opinion.

***Unless you are a Mets’ fan, but I would like to think that in a down year we can still appreciate “good baseball” while we start to plan for 2019.  At worst it will serve as a distraction from the daily mess that we normally focus on.  Since I can get a bit “wordy” at times, I will focus on both league’s playoff pictures instead of everyone’s individual record, etc.  
With that said, here we go;

American League (current standings and projected records)

1.     Boston           80-34  (.704)      114-48
2.     Houston         73-42  (.635)      103-59
3.     Cleveland      62-50  (.554)       90-72

W1.  New York      70-42  (.625)       101-61
W2.  Oakland        67-47  (.588)        95-67

***    Seattle           65-49  (.570)       92-70 

All three of the division leaders have at least a 5.5 game lead, so we may not get much drama during the Divisional races, but the Wild Card race has three teams separated by six games for two spots which should be more interesting.

On first blush, you HAVE to be impressed with the Red Sox to date!  Even though saying that makes me want to throw up, a winning percentage of .702 is ridiculous. They are on pace to win 114 games in the regular season and their recent four game sweep of their arch rival Yankees has to make them the current favorites for the title, if we are handicapping the race today.
***If you recall, the juggernaut 1986 Mets only won 108 games during the regular season, for comparison's sake.

You also have two additional AL teams that could win over 100 games in the regular season, with the defending champion Astros still looking quite formidable and the aforementioned Yankees on pace to host the Wild Card match up.  Beyond that, Oakland has seemingly come out of nowhere and they are playing very well.  Heck, even Seattle is on pace to win over 90 games and they would be out of the playoffs if things ended today.  Cleveland is fortunate they are playing in a very poor division, since they would otherwise be out of the running at this point (but all you have to do is get into the tournament).

New York would host Oakland in the Wild Card, with the winner going to Boston for the Divisional Series.  Houston would host Cleveland in the other Divisional Series and the winners would meet in the ALCS.  Houston and Boston could potentially meet in the ALCS in what could be an epic battle.

National League (current standings and projected records)

1.     Chicago          66-47  (.584)       95-67
2.    Philadelphia    64-49  (.566)       92-70
3.    Los Angeles    63-51  (.554)        90-72

W1.  Milwaukee     65-51  (.560)        91-71
W2.  Atlanta           61-49  (.555)       90-72

***There are six additional teams that are playing .500 baseball or better, that are right on Atlanta’s bumper. 

Unlike the American League, all three of the division leaders have very small leads (2.5 games maximum), so we will likely have an interesting divisional chase in the National League.  Additionally, the Wild Card race should be even crazier since all of the following teams are within seven games of the current leaders; Arizona, Colorado, St Louis, Washington, Pittsburgh and San Francisco (or in other words, NINE teams battling for two spots).

Also unlike the American League, there is quite a bit of parity in the National League and that leads to “ordinary” records.  As you can see above, Chicago has the best record in the league so far and they would be the second Wild Card team in the American League.  Or, put another way, the Yankees who are a Wild Card team in the American League (not to mention they are a country mile behind the Red Sox in the AL East), would have the best record in the National League by 4.5 games at this juncture.

Milwaukee would host Atlanta in the Wild Card, with the winner going to Chicago for the Divisional Series.  Philadelphia would host Los Angeles in the other Divisional Series and the winners would meet in the NLCS.  Picking the NLCS is much more difficult, but if we rely on the home teams for now, you could have the Phillies and Cubs going at it for a chance to get the crap kicked out of themselves in the World Series against either Boston or Houston. 

Should be very interesting, to say the least.

On a side note, since you might be curious, here’s how the Mets currently stand;

New York Mets     46-65   (.414)      67-95

***They are currently sporting the seventh worst record in all of baseball, but with a bit more effort they could “climb” as high as third or fourth worst by season’s end.  While that record sucks, at this point they should be focused on the best possible draft pick in 2019 as a part of the “rebuild” (if the Front Office allows me to say that word).

Oh and in closing, IF the Mets had simply played .500 baseball after their original 11-1 start to the year, they would currently have a record of 61-50 which would put them on pace for an 89-73 record by the end of the season.   That record would also put them in contention for both the NL East title and/or a Wild Card berth (i.e. “meaningful” games late in the year).

In short, 2018 will be remembered as a wasted opportunity for the Mets, but hopefully next year will be different (fingers crossed).  Do yourself a favor and enjoy some of the other story lines for the rest of this year.   

2019 will be here soon enough.


Tom Brennan - DAVE AND JOSE


Tom Brennan - DAVE AND JOSE

Ten-to-twelve years ago, Jose Reyes and David Wright were perhaps the most coveted left side of the infield of any team in baseball (except, perhaps, for Jeter and A Rod from a nearby club.  

Arguably the best left side IF tandem the Mets ever had.

2018 is a different story.  Jose again has proven that he needs 5 months of spring training (Feb-June) to get rolling.  

This year, he was hitting a sub-anemic .139 through June 9. 

In case you are calendar-challenged, that is roughly 73 days (40%) into this 180+ day long season.   

Since then, once-fast-twitch Jose is 23 for 99 (.232), an acceptable pace for a whole season from a utility player, but the first 73 days count.  

Jose thru August 12 is hitting .193 with 12 RBIs in 171 ABs. 

Grade? F.

Last season? 

Hitting as low as .199 as late as June 29 ,roughly the season's halfway point.  

After hitting a Mets-season-damaging .095 through April 22. 

He did get hot during essentially meaningless late season games to finish at .246.  

Probably he deserves a C+ season overall for 2017, but since timing is everything, and when the season was early, potential-filled, and in the balance, he (and Curtis Granderson) did not hit  a lick, as the team sunk early:

I give Jose a C- for 2017.

Many of us wondered frequently and aloud this year as to why Jose Reyes is still with the team, given his comatose early season starts in 2018.


Almost definitely management envisioning a David Wright and Jose Reyes nostalgia and honor tour in September.

So let's move on to Wright.  David played his first minor league rehab game on August 12, with an eye on a September return.  The odds of David playing beyond 2018 seem extremely long, having only played 75 of a possible 600+ games since the beginning of 2015.  

David also turns 36 in December, around the same time as Reyes, an age where baseball becomes challenging for really healthy guys, and almost insurmountably tough for a guy like David who has faced his severe health challenges.

It will be indeed nostalgic and touching to see both of these players, once considered by me to be potential Hall of Famers if everything went right in their careers. 

Sadly, it has not gone that way for either player.  

We will (assuming Wright can get ready enough to be activated in September) get our chance to applaud and think of what might have been.

Then hopefully both will retire.

Then let's turn the page to 2019.   

This team has a lot of work to do.

TIM TEBOW: happy 31st birthday. 

Hope the healing process accelerates.



Reese Kaplan -- Let's End it With the Reunions!


Reunions are sometimes a lot of fun.  You rediscover people you haven’t seen in many years.  You reminisce about the good times you shared together.  Sometimes you strike up new relationships quite different than what you had back then. 

The flip side, of course, is participating in a reunion expecting everything to be as it was but finding out that time has not necessarily been kind.  You mentally start making notes of who gained the most weight, lost the most hair or whose career path didn’t evolve as expected. 

Personally, when I made a last-minute decision to attend my high school reunion it coincided with a medically induced weight loss and it let me be a part of the “in” crowd for the first time.  While flattering to my ego, I soon realized that as much as it was perhaps some maturity on the parts of my old schoolmates, it called to mind the old Groucho Marx joke about never wanting to belong to a club that would have someone like me for a member. 

This nostalgic flashback both good and bad came to mind with the parallel to the New York Mets and how often they’ve gone back to the people with whom they’ve once before parted ways only to sign them back when they are older and their skill sets have changed.  I’d gotten into a conversation recently with more than one Mets fan who advocates just such a reunion with Daniel Murphy who is set to become a free agent.  While you can argue day and night about the foolishness of having let him walk away for relatively little money compared to what he provided the Nationals, this season he’s only been up 159 times.  He hit .306 with 5 HRs and 15 RBIs over that stretch – down a little from a 2nd career typical Murphy output – but .306 with 20 HRs and 60 RBIs is still productive.

The problem, of course, is that he’s going to be going into his age 34 season, the injuries are likely to become more frequent and is defense skills which were never very good are not likely to improve.  Furthermore, given his output in Washington he’s in a price stratosphere north of what the Mets are willing to entertain. 

Last year, however, they were fine with doing just that when it came to a reunion with Jay Bruce.  He had earned $13 million with the Mets after picking up his option for 2017 and his current deal with the Mets in his age 31 season has been a total flop due to a myriad of injuries to his hip, his foot and his back.  Like Murphy, he was never known for his defensive prowess and there’s been talk of shifting him to 1B where it so happens the Mets biggest power threat who has driven in over 140 RBIs over the past full season’s worth of ABs. 

Of course, the reunion tour is a page right out of the Mets’ playbook.  Let’s see, just off the top of my head there have been second times around with Rusty Staub, Tom Seaver, Bobby Bonilla,  Jason Isringhausen and the aforementioned Bruce.  I'm not even getting into re-signing their departing free agents.  Have they ever worked out? 

Yet every time a player who was formerly in orange and blue becomes available the chatter starts up about the desire to have a second player marriage.  Remember talk of Carlos Gomez, Lucas Duda and others in the recent off season?  The lack of original thought and the fear of trying something new is especially frustrating to people actually interested in winning. 

Of course, the discussion many people are having right now is about the team getting younger and more athletic.  Somehow adding aging players whose best days are behind them hasn’t worked over the past several years of the current administration, so we HOPE that a new regime will actually take over and the approach will change. 






Last year's top 2017 picks had a HOT Saturday.

David Peterson shouted, "Here is why I was a 1st rounder" with a brilliant 6 inning, 9 K, 1 hit, no walk near-perfecto.  Nice.

2nd rounder Mark Vientos was on twice with 2 more ribbies, giving him 39 RBIs in 43 games and a .305/.384/.527 season split.

3rd rounder Quinn Brodey had 6 RBIs last night, getting on base 4 times.  Although he has not hit great since being drafted, in 622 career at bats, he has 97 RBIs and 50 extra base hits, so he may be ready to make a move higher. 20 of 25 in career steals, too.

Besides them, 2016 4th rounder Michael Paez is at a solid .274/.344/.421 for St Lucie after a strong night last night, and this year's first rounder Jarred Kelenic is hitting well once again, with 5 for 10 over his last 2 games.

And 17 year old 2nd rounder Simeon-Woods Richardson has not allowed an earned run in 8.1 IP and fanned 11 in his happy debut season so far.

All good stuff, folks.

Mack's Mets © 2012