5/24/17

Casey Wentworth - Time For Changes Man

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Being bored, I have thought about what direction perhaps these NY Mets to take now even though it is still early in the 2017 season. I find this important to suggest now
because...this is not working here and it may be a larger hole in the ship than we had prior thought. Rephrased, it cannot hurt!

There appear to be a few obvious things holding this team back, some large and then some smaller in scope.

I think as a whole, this organization (as well as its many fans) were all thinking that this "could be our year" and that the many necessary pieces of the puzzle to attain this 

lofty dream were in fact in-place to make a run. Like every NY Mets season though, the injuries interrupted this dream, as we have again seen. It is this organization's re-occurring nightmare that hampers each and every single season. It has gone on too long here and must be reeled back in.

Think about it a moment. How many NY Mets players appearing in the recent WBC are now out with injuries, some of which are serious? You have a team in these NY Mets that has traditionally battled injury year to year. Then several key Met players extend their own season by playing in the WBC prior to the start of the 2017 MLB seasn and are at current watching the games from their respective home television, injured and unable to play. Does this make any sense to anyone? Does the WBC matter this much?

Here, is what I am leaning towards wanting to see happen here now. (It is only my opinion.)

There are players we have counted on in past seasons that maybe (now) we really should not. Players like Granderson (age), Duda (injury propensity), Reyes (age and at times apparent lack of focus unless back playing shortstop. Although he is a decent utility player still.) And then too possibly Jay Bruce here as well. He isn't sustaining his really good start. 

Then, there are players that maybe should not ever be counted on as consistent Met starting players. We all know who these are here.

So, I'd like to put "out there" into ether space so to speak this starting field and suggest too the utility role ideas that I currently have. Note here also, that there are Las Vegas players I am liking and watching for here as well. Namely, Alberto Baldonado (lefty reliever who is coming on somewhat), Kevin McGowan (righty reliever with some success in Vegas in 2017 already), Travis Taijeron (coming on now with the power bat and hitting for average .297 BA) and of course SS Amed Rosario (.360 BA) and 1B Dominic Smith who have not slowed down yet offensively. So here goes, damn the torpedoes and fire away because this team needs a new hairdo and bowtie.

1B Dominic Smith, 2B Neil Walker, SS Amed Rosario, 3B Asdrubal Cabrera, LF Yoenis Cespedes (once well), CF Brandon Nimmo (coming on strong again at Las Vegas and just needs a bit more time down at Vegas to be ready for a call-up. Brandon had a double and a homerun last Vegas game.), RF Michael Conforto (next NY Mets Captain material for certain), 

C Good Luck Here. You are on your own with this position. My own suggestion is to add in a catcher from outside who can actually hit and also hit homeruns, if there is one out there that is. What about a trade for

At starting pitching...

Wilk is not it. Would actually prefer now even trying AA Rumbleponies' P.J. Conlon  (age 23 and a lefty starter with stats similar to a young Tommy Glavine's. Yes,
everyone in the Mets front office will probably freak-out totally (LOL) if they ever heard this suggestion. But to them each one, I might say this, "What do you have to lose here with this idea really?" Stephen Matz (remember him?) is starting to pitch now down a Binghamton and doing alright thus fay too. May need a few more weeks though there, not certain. Matt Harvey looks like he may not ever really be that same great starter that we once saw here after he arrived to Citi Field.This has to be frustrating for him. But here's the fix, Matt has to take serious now his apparent need to re-invent himself as a big league starter, by adding in a really good one more out-pitch to his arsenal. The "great ones" can do this and I believe that so can Matt
Harvey, if he wants to. Here's my rotation thoughts with Noah and Lugo still out injured...

SP: Jake deGrom, Zachary Wheeler, Stephen Matz (when ready), Matt Harvey, PJ Conlon, Kevin McGowan. Yes, Kevin McGowan (age 25) who recently spot started very nicely at Vegas.

Looks a lot like Robert Gsellman, who I might send down a spell to Las Vegas in order to get everything righted. They look a lot alike, so probably no one will even know the switch.

RP: Alberto Baldonado, Josh Edgin, Franisco Salas, Jerry Blevins, The Smoker, and when Addison Reed returns.

Utility Players:

INF TJ Riveria, INF Phillip Evans, OF Travis Taijeron (leads Vegas in homers and has a .297 BA at current there),

Trade thoughts: Bruce, Duda, Granderson, Lagares, Flores, d'Arnaud all for one catcher with power returned here (like Jonathon Lucroy for instance!)

Call ups: Smith, Rosario, Taijeron, McGowan, Baldonado

Send downs: Gsellman, Reynolds, Plawecki, Mr. Met

Promotions to AAA from Binhamton: Secrest, Taylor, Regnault

Promotions from AA to Mets: PJ Conlon (why not, you have absolutely nothing to lose.)
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Tom Brennan - MINORS SPOTLIGHT: TYLER BASHLOR

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Tom Brennan - MINORS SPOTLIGHT: TYLER BASHLOR


When it comes to future Mets relievers, putting up freaky-good numbers is an admirable qualification.   

After all, who wants mundane results like a 4.00 ERA with 7 K's per 9 when freaky numbers can be achieved.

Tyler Bashlor is doing freaky in St Lucie. Trust me.

At least, when I see a guy fan 27 in 15 innings, that's what I conclude.  Who does he think he is, Aroldis Chapman?

Bashlor has been especially freaky-good in his last 7 outings through Sunday, May 21:


6.2 scoreless IP, 15 Ks.


I'll go further on freaky-good:

Last 3 innings, 9 Ks.  

That's not just freaky-good, downright sick.


He's saved all 4 of his save chances in his 14 outings, and allowed runs in just 2 of those outings.

Tyler had a brief, rocky debut in 2013, then missed 2014 and 2015 with an arm injury.  Zach Wheeler said he felt Tyler's pain...or at least I imagine he would have, since they both are Charter Members of the Two Missed Years Club.

So Tyler's first real action therefore was in 2016.   

Mostly relieving in Columbia, he fanned 73 in 55.2 IP.  

So it is real, real clear that Bashlor is freaky-nasty.  I have a feeling he is going to head towards Queens mighty, mighty quickly.  Which should make us mighty, mighty happy.


After all, the Mets can use a 5'11", 195 righty fireballer like this 24 year old guy coming out of the pen.  

I read he touches 98, and maybe he'll put up triple digits for the Mets.  That would be freaky.  Freaky-good.

So if Bashlor continues to electrify, I hope the Mets move him up quickly.


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Reese Kaplan -- NL East Trade Targets (Part 3 of 6)

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Washington Nationals


There is a reason they’re in first place.  As a team they’re hitting over .280.  There’s not a real weak link anywhere except last year’s rookie sensation Trea Turner who is only at .248 thus far.  However, coupled with this offense is a standout starting rotation from 1-4 with auditions apparently still being held for the 5th starter.  The bullpen was expected to be a weakness going into the season.  34 year old Matt Albers is having the best stint of his career and young Koda Glover is looking pretty solid.  After that it’s a crap shoot as they indulge in a closer by committee approach.  I can’t see the Mets and Nationals making major league player type deals that would help one another nor do I see a good match between them.  



Philadelphia Phillies

This team bears watching because they are getting below normal production from some regulars, including Maikel Franco, Osdubel Herrera, Freddy Galvis and Michael Saunders.  Yet despite their minimal contributions the Phillies find themselves in third place ahead of both the Marlins and the Braves (and just 1.5 behind the Mets).   Zack Eflin has contributed 5 excellent starts and Jeremy Hellickson is doing his usual credible job.  After that it’s been pretty dismal.  Veteran sinkerballer Pat Neshek is having an excellent season but the rest of the bullpen is not too impressive.  Given his age of 36 he might be available in some kind of deal.  



Atlanta Braves

They need a shortstop badly.  The incumbent is hitting .174.  All of the starting pitchers are over 4.00 ERA with Bartolo Colon over 7.00.  Jim Johnson doing a credible job as a closer.  2-3 others in setup roles doing alright but the last few relievers are awful.  You should inquire about relievers Jose Ramirez and Arodys Vizcaino.  If they are willing to cough up some payroll dollars, no one would be disappointed to see either R.A. Dickey or Bartolo Colon return to the Mets.  As a young club they probably are more interested in what the Mets have on the farm rather than their payroll dumps like Curtis Granderson, Neil Walker or Lucas Duda.  Despite his poor performance thus far you might be able to parlay Jose Reyes into something, too.  



Miami Marlins

They have one of the better young rosters in baseball, but all the hitting they can produce will be for naught until they address their pitching woes.  Right now Jose UreƱa is the only man pitching to a sub 5.00 ERA and that’s through a total of just two starts.  Dan Straily, Wei-Yin Chen and Edinson Volquez have been mediocre at best.  Tom Koehler has been awful.   Other than closer A.J. Ramos, the bullpen has struggled.  I’d target Kyle Barraclough as someone who has turned in three credible seasons in the reliever role.  However, the one player on the Marlins for whom I would give up quite a bit is catcher J.T. Realmuto.  Unlike Travis d’Arnaud, he’s actually improved each year he’s been playing.  Last year he finished with a .303 average and is duplicating that thus far this year.  He may not have d’Arnaud’s power but what he does do is get on base.  More importantly, he stays on the field.  A trade package including d’Arnaud plus other parts (lower level quality pitching prospects such as P.J. Conlon plus some wildcards like Tyler Pill or Tommy Milone) might get it done.  That would solve the Mets catching woes for several years and add a high batting average to a mostly low batting average lineup.  
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5/23/17

INJURY NEWS - OF - Jay Bruce

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Was pulled from game with tightness in his back...
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ROSTER MOVE - Binghamton

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Please note the following transaction involving the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.

May 23:
  • INF Asdrubal Cabrera assigned to Binghamton (AA) on Major League rehab
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Tom Brennan - METS MINORS STATS LEADERS

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Tom Brennan - METS MINORS STATS LEADERS

Baseball is a numbers game.  # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #

Score more than the other team, you win. 

Put up better stats, your future is typically rosier.  

While understanding the different degrees of difficulty players face in higher vs. lower leagues, I decided to ignore that here and present pure, raw data on the Mets' 4 active minor league teams' players:

LAS VEGAS 51s (AAA); BINGHAMTON (AA); ST LUCIE (A+); and COLUMBIA (A)

Now on to the players:
 
HITTERS:

HR LEADERS - low #s - this is a small ball minors operation:

Travis Taijeron (AAA) - 7

Pat Mazeika (A+) - 6

Desmond Jennings (AAA) - 6

Dominic Smith (AAA) - 5

Xorge Carillo (AAA) - 5

Cody Decker (AA) - 5 (just 60 at bats)

Michael Paez (A) - 5


DOUBLES - DOUBLES? We can hit those stinking doubles:

Johan Urena (A+) - 14

Amed Rosario (AAA) - 13

Travis Taijeron (AAA) - 13

Pat Mazeika (A+) - 13

Michael Paez (A) - 13

Dominic Smith (AAA) - 11

Gavin Cecchini (AAA) - 11

John Mora (A+) - 10


HITS - hitters who hit are a real hit with me.

Amed the Hit Machine Rosario (AAA) - 63, .360

Dominic Smith (AAA) - 57, .320

Jhoan Urena (A+) - 50, .325

Pat Mazeika (A+) - 47, .343

Luis Guillorme (AA) - 44, .297

Travis Taijeron (AAA) - 43, .303

John Mora (A+) - 42, .246

Wuilmer Becerra (A+) - 41, .265


RUNS

Dominic Smith (AAA) - 27

Amed Rosario (AAA) - 25

Johan Urena (A+) - 25

Gavin Cecchini (AAA) - 24

Travis Taijeron (AAA) - 24

Pat Mazeika (A+) - 24

Desmond Jennings (AAA) - 23

Gene Cone (A) - 22

Luis Carpio (A) - 22


RBI'S

Pat Mazeika (A+) - 32 (best per-game ratio; 38 G)

Amed Rosario (AAA) - 31

Dominic Smith (AAA) - 27

Michael Paez (A) - 25

Travis Taijeron (AAA) - 24

Dash Winningham (A) - 24


HITTERS' STRIKEOUTS


Wuilmer ("Whiffin' Willie") Becerra (A+) - 52 in 155 AB's

Vinny Siena (A+) - 47 in 108 AB's

Travis Taijeron (AAA) - 40 in 142 AB's

Jeff Diehl (A+) - 39 in 93 AB's

Tim Tebow (A)  - 37 in 122 AB's

Champ Stuart (AA) - 36 in 94 AB's


STEALS

Champ Stuart (AA) - 16 of 18 (but hitting .213)

Pat Biondi  (AA) - 11 of 12 (but hitting .214)

Anthony Dimino (A+) 8 of 10 (hit .406 in 21 pre-injury games)

Amed Rosario (AAA) 8 of 11

JC Rodriguez (A+) 8 of 11

Luis Carpio (A) 7 of 7



STARTERS

Easier to list the top 9 starter's stats collectively, as I did below.  There is a large starter drop off after these 8:

Jordan Humphreys (A) : 6-1, 1.81, 0.69 WHIP, 55 K, 45 IP

Merandy Gonzalez (A) : 5-1, 1.59, 0.77 WHIP, 39 K, 45 IP

PJ Conlon (AA): 4-2, 3.47, 1.14 WHIP, 45 K, 47 IP

Andrew Church (A+) : 4-3, 3.81 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 29 K, 52 IP

Tyler Pill (AAA): 3-1, 1.96 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 23K, 46 IP

Mickey Jannis (AA): 3-1, 3.86 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 19 k, 40 IP

Corey Oswalt (AA): 3-3, 2.18 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 35K, 41 IP

Gabe Llanes (A): 2-2, 2.40 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 23 K, 45 IP

Nabil Crismatt (A+): 2-4, 3.68 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 42 K, 44 IP

Blake Taylor (A) is 0-5, but has not pitched badly.


RELIEVERS

Al Baldonado (AA/AAA): 0-1, 22 IP, 5 ER, 6SV, 29 K

Kevin McGowan (AAA): 3-2, 26 IP, 10 ER, 27K

Tim Peterson (AA/AAA): 1-1,16 IP, 2 ER, 17 K

Kyle Regnault (AA/AAA): 3-0, 16 IP, 2 ER, 19 K

Kelly Secrest (AA): 0-0, 9 IP, 2 ER, 16 K

Tyler Bashlor (A+): 1-0, 5 ER, 4 SV, 27 K

Austin McGeorge (A/A+): 0-0, 4 ER, 29 K

Max Kuhns (A): 20 IP, 3 ER, 27 K

Matt Blackham (A):  19 IP, 4 ER, 27 K

All impressive.

Several relievers just below these, but I am out of steam!


EXCEPT....HAPPY 90TH BIRTHDAY, MOM!









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5/22/17

ROSTER MOVES - Binghamton

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Please note the following transactions involving the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.

May 22:
  • RHP Mickey Jannis placed on Disabled List, retroactive to May 18
  • RHP Blake Beavan transferred from Las Vegas (AAA) to Binghamton (AA)
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Nabil Crismatt named FSL Pitcher of the Week

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The Florida State League announced on Monday that St. Lucie Mets pitcher Nabil Crismatt was selected as the League’s Pitcher of the Week.

On Friday, Crismatt threw seven shutout innings and earned the win in the Mets 4-0 victory over the Dunedin Blue Jays at First Data Field. Crismatt matched his career-high with 11 strikeouts. He did not walk a batter and allowed just three singles. He threw 104 pitches.

Crimatt struck out the side in the sixth, then fanned the final two batters he faced in the seventh to complete his gem.

Crismatt, 22, is from Barranquilla, Colombia. He is in his first season with St. Lucie. He signed with the Mets as a non-drafted free agent in 2011.

Crismatt pitched for team Colombia in the World Baseball Classic in March. He started an elimination game against the Dominican Republic at Marlins Park and pitched three innings. He received a no-decision.

This is the first FSL Pitcher or Player of the Week award for the Mets this season.
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Tom Brennan - MINORS SPOTLIGHT - TOMAS NIDO

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Tom Brennan - MINORS SPOTLIGHT - TOMAS NIDO

Catcher has not been a spot Mets fans feel settled on, with no need to look down towards the minors for future help.  

Rene Rivera has exceeded all expectations so far, but is aging...Travis d'Arnaud is attempting to join the Guinness book for most injuries - catcher, and Kevin Plawecki never seems to break through as a hitter.


So...how about...Tomas Nido?

Tomas Nido made a splash in 2016 catching with St Lucie, winning the FSL battling title with a .320 average and a .459 slugging percentage, while gunning down a delightful 50 of 119 runners.


How would he do in AA?

In April he stunk, frankly.  Maybe it was the miserable northern weather, but he hit just .196 in April. When would he start looking like a batting champ again?


May.

In May, through may 20, he was hitting .327, and .368 over his most recent 10 games.  

He only has thrown out 4 of 21 in 2017, so there has been slippage there vs. 2016, but it is still early in the season.

This former 8th rounder, who just turned 23 in April, appears to be a real possibility for a major league career with the Mets, perhaps as a catching tandem with Pat Mazeika, a lefty hitting catcher who is tearing up AAA.  Nido hit .361 against lefties last year, while Pat is hitting .362 against righties this year.  Why not?  Defensive whiz Ali Sanchez will also be in the future catching mix going forward.

I can't wait to catch them at Citifield.
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Mack’s Morning Report – 5-22 – Harol Gonzalez, Neil Walker

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Good morning.


 Jeffrey Paternostro wrote a piece on the Columbia Fireflies for BP that included this on Harol Gonzalez

So the stuff has improved across the board. Gonzalez’s prior calling cards are still here too: advanced pitchability and the confidence to throw any of his pitchers in any count or game situation. There’s potentially four average or better offerings here now and plus makeup/mound smarts to help the arsenal play up.. Still, it’s a difficult profile: he’s a short, lean righty who has to make it as a starter to have a real major league role, as there isn’t an obvious bullpen fit for this profile. In the past I have pegged him as one of my acquire 3s, but that feels light now.

Mack – I’m a big fan of Harol. He got right behind the 8-ball on his first outing when he gave up five earned runs in 3.2 innings pitched (12.27-ERA). He’s been fighting back since then and came up with his best outing this week (7-IP, 1-ER, 8-K). 

He didn't pitch half bad yesterday either: 4-IP, 1-ER.

My hopes is he continues to improve and finishes his Columbia experience with an ERA below 4.00. Time will tell.


MLB Trade Rumors  had this on the Mets yesterday morning –

The Mets have not resumed contract extension talks with second baseman Neil Walker, and it’s doubtful they will before the offseason, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal (video link). New York would rather enter the winter with flexibility at various positions than commit to Walker, with whom it discussed a three-year deal in the $40MM range before tabling talks in February. Walker, 31, is on a $17.2MM salary after accepting a qualifying offer last fall, and has returned from a season-ending back injury in 2016 to post a decent .255/.327/.423 line in 168 plate appearances this year.


Mack – I think this is a smart move at this point of a season that could go in either position. Walker runs hot and cold with a bat in his hands and is always one play away from a future stint on the disabled list. Add to this the fact that Gavin Cecchini is major league ready in Las Vegas (yes, he’s only hitting around .250 but he is playing excellent defense at second). Cecchini is 23-years old and is ready to join Dominic Smith, Amed Rosario, Wilmer Flores, and T.J. Murphy in the ‘next’ Mets infield.



A follow-up on Cuban OF prospect Luis Robert, Baseball America came out Friday with the list of team favorites to sign him… St. Louis and the Chicago White Sox.

And now, as I understand it, he is finalizing a deal with Chicago.

                         https://youtu.be/Ew54lxdJw9U


There are 133 service days left to avoid Super 2


Carlos Collazo‏  @CarlosACollazo  -   2018 LHP and Wake Forest commit Brennen Oxford managed his fourth-straight no-hitter Thursday night.


Eudor Garcia has reported to Mets extended spring training.


On the Mets medical  mess
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