11/24/14

The Morning Report – November 24 – WAR, LHRP

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NMWF*

Christopher Soto
Does this team has enough to make the playoffs? A very rough back of the napkin math calculation can be used to answer this question.

If we take the past 3 years, 162 game averages for every player (1 or 2 years for the newer guys) and extrapolate that across some baselines we could develop our own forecasted WAR projection. 600 Plate Appearances for starters, 200 PA's for bench players, 200 IP for rotation arms, and 65 IP for bullpen arms.

Using the above formula, the current Mets team (again....if they all performed to their 3 year averages and no one got hurt) is slated to win 93.2 Games.

            Mack – Your lips to God’s ears.

You all know I am old school and base my victories on whether or not a team scores at least one more run than the other team.

Chris mentioned ‘WAR’. Do you know how Fangraphs defines how this is calculated?

WAR = (Batting Runs + Base Running Runs +Fielding Runs + Positional Adjustment + League Adjustment +Replacement Runs) / (Runs Per Win)

It seems to me that defining this game by formulas like this instead of hitting a ball down the third base line with two runners on and two outs in the ninth, is about as far away from each other’s definition as writing code is to calling my mother-in-law on my flip phone.

I’m going to take Chris’s word on all this, but I will remain skeptical until I see this team play its first inning of the next playoff game in its existence.



Sandy Alderson said that he plans on addressing the need for a second left hand relief pitcher at the upcoming winter meetings. This leads one to assume that this player is currently on some team’s 40-man roster.

Here is the current LHRPs from the American League teams (I will break out the National League tomorrow):

Games IP K ERA WHIP
CWS
Scott Snodgrass 4 2.1 1 15.43 4.71
Eric Surkamp 35 24.1 20 4.81 1.44
Cleve
Scott Barnes AAA - 25 31.2 35 3.69 1.2
Kyle Crockett 43 30 28 1.8 1.13
Nick Hagadone 35 23.1 27 2.7 1.03
Nick Maronde LAA - 11 6.1 7 12.79 3
Marc Rzepczynski 73 46 46 2.74 1.33
Det
Blaine Hardy 38 39 31 2.54 1.38
Ian Krol 45 32.2 28 4.96 1.68
Kyle Ryan 6 10.1 4 2.61 1.16
KC
Francisley  Bueno 30 32.1 20 4.18 1.33
Tim Collins 22 21 15 3.86 1.38
Minny
Brian Duensing 62 54.1 33 3.31 1.33
Glen Perkins 63 61.2 66 3.65 1.18
Balt
Zach Britton 71 76.1 62 1.65 0.9
Brian Matusz 63 51.2 53 3.48 1.32
Pat McCoy DET - 14 14 11 3.86 2.43
T.J. McFarland 37 58.2 34 2.76 1.41
Boston
Drake Britton 7 6.2 4 0 0.6
Tommy Layne 30 19 14 0.95 1.44
NYY
David Huff 30 39 28 1.85 1.31
Justin Wilson PIT  -  70 60 61 4.2 1.32
Tampa
Jeff Beliveau 30 24 28 2.63 1.08
Jack McGee 73 71.1 90 1.89 0.9
C.J. Riefenhauser 7 5.1 2 8.44 1.69
Jays
Brett Cecil 66 53.1 76 2.7 1.37
Colt Hynes AAA - 49 61.2 53 3.65 1.65
Aaron Loup 71 68.2 56 3.15 1.17
Rob Rasmussen 10 11.1 13 3.18 1.32
Astros
Kevin Chapman 21 21.1 19 4.64 1.55
Darin Downs 45 34.2 27 5.45 1.36
Tonny Sipp 56 50.2 63 3.38 0.89
LAA
Wade LeBlanc 10 28.2 21 3.45 1.08
Cesar Ramos TB  -   43 82.2 66 3.7 1
Oak
Fernando Abad 69 57.1 51 1.57 0.85
Sean Doolittle 61 62.2 89 2.73 0.73
Eric O'Flaherty 21 20 15 2.25 0.95
Sea
Charlie Furbush 67 42.1 51 3.61 1.16
Lucas Luetge 12 9 7 5 1.22
Edgar Olmos AAA - 51 77.2 60 4.06 1.3
Texas
Alex Claudio 15 12.1 14 2.92 1.45
Michael Kirkman 12 5.2 3 1.59 1.06

It seems to me that a good target team here would be Oakland, though there are plenty others that have, frankly, too many LHRPs. in 2015.


                                                                                    *(no more Wilmer Flores)
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11/23/14

2015 Draft Profile - OF - Daz Cameron - Eagle's Landing (GA) HS - UPDATED 11-13-14

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11-13-14 - Minor League Madhouse  -    1. Arizona Diamondbacks: Daz Cameron, OF, Eagle’s Landing High School, Georgia - Ten years ago, the Diamondbacks were in the exact same situation they are now. With the first pick that year, they took Justin Upton, who spent six productive years with the team, with two All-Star appearances and a Silver Slugger. Could it be possible the D-Backs do the same thing ten years later? Daz, who is the son of former MLB outfielder Mike Cameron, is an exceptional athlete. His stroke is smooth and professional, allowing him to hit to all fields. He clocked in a 6.61 60 yard dash, giving him the speed to justify himself as a top of the order threat, as well as be able to contribute defensively. While Daz doesn’t have the body for the big leagues yet, with some bulking up, he could become a very powerful athlete. There are concerns that an average junior season could drop his stock, but he does have one more year of high school to go. He’s been compared to Derek Hill, who many thought was one of the better outfielders in last year’s prep class. If Cameron develops at the speed that Upton developed, he could be in the Majors by 2017, allowing him and Paul Goldschmidt to establish one of the premier 3-4 combos in the NL West. http://minorleaguemadhouse.com/2014/10/18/early-2015-mlb-mock-draft-part-1/

9-30-14 - 9-30-14 – Through The Fence - 2. Houston Astros* — Daz Cameron, OF, Eagle’s Landing HS (GA) - Daz did a great job of silencing his critics, for the moment, with his play as a member of 18U Team USA Baseball. He showed why he is going to be a star at the next level as he is an electric player with every tool in the shed. Over 12 games, he hit .405/.519/.667 with three home runs, 19 RBI, seven stolen bases and 10 walks to six strikeouts. Defensively, he is a stud and will remain in center field with his strong arm, 6.61/60 speed and instincts. Offensively, he has an advanced approach and can stroke it to all fields. He showed improved power over the summer, and you can tell he was brought up around the game as his baseball IQ is off the charts. As a junior, the 6’-1”, 185 pound right-hander hit .390/.523/.695 over 28 games with seven doubles, six home runs, 11 stolen bases and 18 walks to just 12 strikeouts. Committed to Florida State. http://throughthefencebaseball.com/2015-mlb-draft-mock-1-0/44039#46FUm3YdfAufQr1H.99

9-11-14 – Fangraphs Top 50 Players in Draft - 8. Daz Cameron, CF, Eagle’s Landing HS (GA), Florida State commit: The son of Mike Cameron was getting Justin Upton-type hype as a prep sophomore but hasn’t taken the expected steps forward since then, though some scouts are anticipating a jump this spring; he’s still really good, but now compares less to Upton and more to the 23rd pick in last year’s draft, Tigers CF Derek Hill, as an overall prospect. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2015-mlb-draft-top-51/


8-12-14  -  TTF Baseball -

Daz Cameron, OF, Eagle’s Landing HS (GA)


Like Rodgers, Cameron has all the tools and makes the game look incredibly easy with his athleticism and instincts. You can tell he grew up around it as his dad is Mike Cameron, and he carries himself like a seasoned pro. He will stick at center field and his arm continues to get stronger as he has been clocked at 91 mph from the outfield with accuracy. He has plus speed (6.61/60) and his bat speed is electric. The 6’-1”, 185 pound right-hander will gain more power as he matures and he has superstar written all over him. Over 28 games as a junior, he hit .390/.523/.695 with seven doubles, six home runs, 11 stolen bases and 18 walks to just 12 strikeouts. Committed to Florida State. http://throughthefencebaseball.com/2015-mlb-draft-armour-aa-game-preview-part-1/43804#O6zgsDyBeLLBfCWU.99

Player ReportJuly 21,2014
Name: Dazmon CameronYear: Class of 2015
Date of Birth: 01/15/1997Position 1: OF
Twitter: @Daz_cameronPosition 2:
Hometown: McDonough, GAPosition 3: 
High School: Eagle’s Landing Christian AcademyBats: Right
Travel Team: East Cobb AstrosThrows: Right
Scout Team:Grad Year:  2015
Height:  6’1″Committed to: Florida State University
Weight:  186 lbsSchools of Interest:


Player  Summation:
  • Outstanding athlete with five tool potential.
  • Lean athletic frame with room to pack on strength.
  • Starts with hands near head, draws them back in sync with stride.
  • Generates outstanding bat speed.
  • Short path to the ball, keeps bat in the zone.
  • Long one hand finish.
  • All field approach, wears out the gaps.  Power to the pull side, projects to all fields.
  • 6.61 in line sixty speed plays in game on the bases and in the field.
  • Excellent blood lines.

6-11-14 – Kevin Askeland/MaxPreps – Top 10 High School Players To Watch for 2015 Draft – Dazmon Cameron, Eagle's Landing Christian Academy (McDonough, Ga.), OF - Led his team to the state championship game for the second year in a row. Batted .390 with seven doubles and six home runs on the season. http://www.maxpreps.com/news/RE_IkTleBU-vFF_g8YCOQg/top-10-high-school-players-to-watch-for-2015-mlb-draft.htm


7-9-14  -  B/R - 1. Tampa Bay Rays Select Ga. HS OF Dazmon Cameron - Nick Gordon was the son of a former MLB player who captivated scouts with his tools in the 2014 draft. Next year it will be Dazmon Cameron, son of Mike Cameron, who will wear that crown.  The Eagles Landing High School star stands out for his natural all-around ability on the field. He's well-built already at 6'1" and 186 pounds with room to fill out and shows a very nice right-handed swing with more contact ability than his father and similar power. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2085268-mlb-mock-draft-2015-brs-official-early-predictions-for-next-years-top-10/page/2

7-3--14  -   
So. Daz Cameron over 31 G: .436 w/ 12 2B, 6 HR, 27 RBI, 18 SB, 18 BB/5 K, .549 OBP/.753 SLG.

6-20-14 -




6-10-14 - Daz Cameron, OF, Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy, Georgia
The son of former MLB outfielder Mike Cameron, Daz is one of the impact bats in the 2015 class.  His tools stand out on the field and are all at least above average.  Entering the summer, he is viewed by many as the top player in the class.  Cameron’s has already been selected to the Under Armour All-America Game.  http://bigleaguefutures.net/1/2014/06/10/2015-players-take-the-stage-high-school-edition/

6-4-14 - Mack - Everybody has been waiting for this kid to come around.

Eagle's Landing (GA) HS OF Daz Cameron is the son of ex-Met Mike Cameron and has the same kind of skills his pop had when he was a prospect... excellent speed, a cannon for an arm, and outstanding instincts. He has explosive hand speed with projectable power

Defensively, he's projected to stick in centerfield. It's very hard right now to find much wrong with his emerging game.



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ESPN - MLB Pitching 'Miss Rate'

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2014 Winter Leagues: 11/22/2014 Results

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Venezuelan Winter League
- Aguilas del Zulia 1 - 8 Navegantes del Magallanes
- Bravos de Margarita 3 - 6 Caribes de Anzoategui
- Leones del Caracas 4 - 6 Tiburones de La Guaira
- Cardenales de Lara 13 - 3 Tigres de Aragua
  • LF Jairo Perez: 2 for 4, R, 2B, 2 RBI(12), BB

Mexican Pacific League
- Naranjeros de Hermosillo 1 - 4 Mayos de Navojoa
- Yaquis de Obregon 2 - 1 Caneros de los Mochis
- Tomateros de Culiacan 2 - 5 Venados de Mazatlan
- Charros de Jalisco 4 - 10 Aguilas de Mexicali
  • C Xorge Carrillo: 1 for 4, 2 R, 2B, BB

 Dominican Winter League
- Gigantes del Cibao 1 - 3 Leones del Escogido
- Aguilas Cibaenas 3 - 2 Estrellas de Oriente
- Tigres del Licey 3 - 4 Toros del Este
  • RF Cesar Puello: Defensive Replacement

Roberto Clemente Puerto Rican League

(2 games scheduled- both rained out)
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2014 Winter Leagues: 11/21/2014 Results

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Venezuelan Winter League
- Aguilas del Zulia 3 - 2 Cardenales de Lara
- Tiburones de La Guaira 4 - 6 Navegantes del Magallanes
- Tigres de Aragua 2 - 4 Caribes de Anzoategui
- Bravos de Margarita 2 - 3 Leones del Caracas
  • SS Wilfredo Tovar: 0 for 3, 2 K

Mexican Pacific League
- Charros de Jalisco 2 - 6 Aguilas de Mexicali
- Yaquis de Obregon 3 - 7 Caneros de los Mochis
- Tomateros de Culiacan 10 - 4 Venados de Mazatlan

Side Note: As per ESPN's Adam Rubin OF Cory Vaughn has been released by the Charros de Jalisco.

 Dominican Winter League
- Tigres del Licey 1 - 2 Estrellas de Oriente
- Toros del Este 1 - 5 Gigantes del Cibao
- Aguilas Cibaenas 3 - 2 Leones del Escogido
  • RHP Rafael Montero: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 1 HR allowed

Roberto Clemente Puerto Rican League
- Criollos de Caguas 3 - 2 Senadores de San Juan
  • C Johnny Monell: 2 for 3, 2 R, RBI(6), 2 BB
- Indios de Mayaguez 0 - 0 Gigantes de Carolina (suspended- rain)
  • 2B T.J. Rivera: 0 for 3, K
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The Morning Report – November 23 –Dana Eveland, Justin Upton, Hanley Ramirez, Starlin Castro

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Mike Puma ‏@NYPost_Mets  -  Was told the Mets expect to address lefty relief at the winter meetings. Could be trade or FA. No shot at signing Andrew Miller.

Good. The team needs another lefty and more than Dana Eveland can bring to the table. Frankly, ‘elbow inflammation’ shouldn’t be enough to tarnish a great 2014 season where the 30-year old went 1-1, 2.63, 1.10, 27.1-IP, 27-K in 30 appearances.

There must be more to this injury than we know. It’s hard for me to believe that Sandy Alderson is going to find a 2.63, 1.10 lefty out there during the winter meetings.


Kevin emailed -

Mack, Your post on an expansion draft got me thinking. If there was to be an expansion draft in 2015, who would the Mets protect.  I think this would make a great discussion post during a slow beginning to the offseason.

Mack – Yeah, I had hoped that yesterday’s post would have generated this kind of discussion but it didn’t.

I guess the first question would be how would the commissioner set up the parameters of the draft. How many players do you get to protect before ‘round one’… how many do you get to pull off your submitted list once your first pick was taken.

I think the question should be asked in reverse, meaning, who would be the players they wouldn’t protect.

My guess is Bartolo Colon and Dillion Gee would head up this list and, for salary reasons, you could see Daniel Murphy and/or Jonathan Niese.
Past this, the process gets complicated. Eight or nine affiliates mean eight or nine cities and stadiums, no less players to play there.

Maybe the 27-man roster is a better idea.



It was interesting to see (so far) that other teams are signing more of the players released by the Mets (example: Alan Dykstra, Josh Satin) than visa versa. My guess is that the Mets direction is to promote their players from within and fill these predominately AAA slots with last year’s AA players.
This is, in my opinion, a very good sign. No filler here.



Justin Upton to Seattle speculation[i]

           As for the Braves, John Hart gets what he wants and what the team would realistically need since the blow up of this team has begun, a very young starting pitcher under team control. Taijuan Walker is not going to help the Braves contend in 2015, 2016, or even beyond that with their current situation of little-to-no offense, but there is potential value in his team control, which extends until 2021. A nice-sized market can rebound from this dismantling quicker than others, and while the next few years could be rough, Walker could be a valued arm for the team in 2018 through the remainder of the team’s control, as they could once again become contenders. On the other hand, Walker could very much become a bust and leave the franchise in an even worse situation, but that is always the risk in obtaining a prospect.

It is a gamble for both sides to make such a trade, but one worth taking. The Mariners get what they want in a likely playoff team and the Braves get what they want in young, controllable starting pitching. Do not sit in fear and be paralyzed by analysis all the time, or at least at this time.
          


So, where do you play Hanley Ramirez?[ii]

So you're choosing between first and left. Ramirez's overall rating is closer to the average first-base rating. On the other hand, his two relative strengths are speed and arm. First basemen have little use for speed. They do throw sometimes, but not far, so accuracy's more important. While Ramirez doesn't have an average left fielder's first step or instincts, plays take longer to develop, so he might be able to compensate for some of that with his speed. And though people question his throwing accuracy, he'd have more time to set in the outfield than he has in the infield. This might even be enough to make him a capable right fielder, but for the time being, left seems acceptable.



Cubs Den[iii] -  

Buster Olney ranks his Top 10 shortstops in the majors and has Starlin Castro at #10 (Insider required). In his write up, Olney states "I have to admit that as I started this, I thought Castro would be ranked somewhere in the range of best six to eight shortstops. But rival evaluators want to see more maturation in his defense, more consistency; he scored only slightly higher than Hanley Ramirez last year in DRS (Defensive Runs Saved)." That's cherry picking the stats a bit as Castro was significantly better in UZR/150, but in these rankings defense was definitely prioritized more than it was in the previous positional rankings. Plus I question any list that thinks Jhonny Peralta is the second best shortstop in the game.

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11/22/14

2015 Draft Profile - RHP - Mike Matuella - Duke University - UPDATED 11-13-14

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11-13-14 - Minor League Madhouse  -    3. Colorado Rockies: Michael Matuella, P, Duke - So it’s finally happened, the other Duke sports are catching up to lacrosse and basketball. All joking aside, the Blue Devils have done an excellent job in developing pitchers for two of the past four drafts. Marcus Stroman has exceeded expectations and become a viable starter in the Blue Jays rotation, while Matuella has become one of the bigger surprises in terms of smaller college pitchers. Matuella is much bigger than Stroman was, with a 6’6″ frame, and he has a good variety of pitches, even if he uses his fastball almost exclusively. This isn’t a problem, as Matuella’s fastball does have plenty of life in it, allowing him to get batters out. The one issue that Matuella has is his health, as he was forced to miss summer ball with a back issue, although he has since then resumed throwing. The Rockies would greatly benefit from a homegrown rotation that features the likes of Jon Gray, who is considered one of the fastest pitchers in the minor leagues, and Kyle Freeland, who has proven he could handle big competition in summer back in 2013. Having Matuella in that rotation will provide the Rockies with plenty of rotational stability and. should Troy Tulowitzki still be here by next June, convince him to stay, allowing the Rockies to determine their eventual successor. http://minorleaguemadhouse.com/2014/10/18/early-2015-mlb-mock-draft-part-1/

9-30-14  -  9-30-14 – Through The Fence - 1. Arizona Diamondbacks — Michael Matuella, RHP, Duke - Michael Matuella has all the ingredients to be the first-overall pick. On paper, Matuella has everything you want in an ace. At 6’-6” and 230 pounds, he has the size. With a fastball that sits 93-97, he has the power arm. He adds two potential plus secondary pitches in a 79-82 mph, 12-6 curveball with great depth and an 83-86 mph slider with tight spin. His change-up sits 87-89 and is a decent offering already. He has great command of his pitches and finished his sophomore season with a 2.78 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 69 K/15 BB over 58.1 innings. Opponents hit just .190 against him, he allowed just one home run and only hit two batters. Two areas of concern are his recent arm soreness and the fact that he doesn’t have the track record of other pitchers on this list. Still, the D-backs love their pitching and Matuella has the goods. http://throughthefencebaseball.com/2015-mlb-draft-mock-1-0/44039#46FUm3YdfAufQr1H.99

9-17-14  -   
Teams are taking a wait and see approach, considering that they have not laid eyes on him yet.


9-17-14 - Baseball America - This summer, the scouting industry did not lay eyes on Duke righthander Michael Matuella, potentially one of the top college pitchers in the 2015 draft class, but Matuella is expected to throw this fall.
Matuella missed a few starts during his sophomore season because of a lat strain and was held to a strict pitch count upon his return.  He was scheduled to pitch for Cotuit in the Cape Cod League this summer, when his lat discomfort continued.
Matuella was diagnosed this summer with spondylolysis, a common and manageable condition. Between 3 to 7 percent of the American population has spondylolysis, according to the Cleveland Clinic, which defines it as “a specific defect in the connection between vertebrae.”  http://www.baseballamerica.com/college/michael-matuella-update/ 


9-11-14 – Fangraphs Top 50 Players in Draft - 3. Michael Matuella, RHP, Duke - Fastball: 65/70, Curveball: 50/60, Changeup: 45/50+, Command: 40/50+  -  Matuella didn’t pitch this summer, so only Carolinas area scouts have really seen him; I happened to run into his first start after recovering from arm soreness when I was in town for other games.  The temperature was in the 40′s that day and while I had heard Matuella had broken out that spring, expectations were low. He sat 93-97 mph for four innings with a 60 curveball and solid-average changeup and command.  Matuella is surprisingly loose for 6’6′/225 and reminds me a lot of Pirates top prospect Tyler Glasnow, who I’ve seen a few times this year.  The concern is that Matuella has only thrown 58 innings since his velo spike and there was multiple week arm soreness in the middle of it.  When scouts get first looks at him this fall and early in the spring, they’re going to like what they see and if he can stay healthy until draft day with the stuff I saw, he’s a legit 1/1 threat. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2015-mlb-draft-top-51/


B/R - 2. Philadelphia Phillies Select Duke RHP Michael Matuella - Duke right-hander Michael Matuella looks like a safe bet to land in the top three next year. He's a 6'6", 225-pound flamethrower with a low-to-mid-90s fastball that touches 97 and has some sink, a 12-to-6 hammer curveball and a solid-average slider. Matuella also features a changeup but doesn't throw it often because the two other off-speed pitches are good enough to get college hitters out. His fastball command is solid right now and could end up plus down the line, showing the ability to spot it inside and outside. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2085268-mlb-mock-draft-2015-brs-official-early-predictions-for-next-years-top-10/page/2


6-30-14 – Through The Fence – Early College Prospects - 1. Michael Matuella, RHP, Duke            - Matuella burst onto the scene earlier this year, thanks in part to Frankie Piliere at Perfect Game, who tweeted out that Matuella was a potential 1.1 for next year. The 6’-6”, 225 pound right-hander proceeded to make Piliere look like a genius as he showed everything you want in a first-overall pick. Obviously, he has the ideal size you want in an ace. He also showed the stuff, headlined by fastball that can touch 97 mph and sits 93-96. He adds two potential plus off-speed pitches in a 79-82 mph, 12-6 curveball with great depth and an 83-86 mph slider with tight spin. His change-up sits 87-89 and is a decent offering already. He has great command of his pitches and finished the season with a 2.78 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 69 K/15 BB over 58.1 innings. Opponents hit just .190 against him, he allowed just one home run and only hit two batters — pretty good for a power arm like his. All eyes will be on him next year and the upside is silly. http://throughthefencebaseball.com/2015-mlb-draft-early-30-college-prospects/43327

6-5-14 - Next June's first pick in the draft could easily be 6-6, 225 pound Duke RHP Mike Matuella.

His arsenal includes: 12-6 78-82 curve... 92-96, 97 fastball, an 87-89 change-up, and an 82-85 slider.

2014 season:  11-starts, (missed the first month due to a lat sprain) 1-3, 2.78, 58.1-IP, 69-K - has been on a limited pitch count for most of the year.

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Reese Kaplan - Patience Is Sometimes a Virtue

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Sometime during a stroll through Melbourne, Australia I saw a headline pop up about the Mets signing Michael Cuddyer.  Cuddyer?  I opined that once Colorado surprisingly made him a qualifying offer the Mets would be out of the running.  After all, they were not ones to blatantly sacrifice first round draft picks as they tried to ascend once again to relevancy.  That story had to be wrong!

I had to wait a few more days to get more news as the ship was charging 79 cents per minute (that’s over $47 per hour) for Internet access.  While I wanted to know more, I didn’t want to know that badly.  However, once we docked in Port Lincoln I took my trusty tablet over to the public library which was surprisingly open on a Sunday and got back among the digital living. 

Not only had they signed Cuddyer, but gave him two years for about $21 million.  A lot of thoughts immediately flooded my head regarding this decision.  First of all, the $15.3 QO from Colorado was parlayed into an addition $6 million for that second year.  Did Cuddyer sell himself short?

The second thought was it seemed like a fair price – about $10.5 million per year to get a guy who would serve as a bridge to the only couple of offensive outfielder prospects in the system – Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo.  That’s only slightly more than you’re paying Daniel Murphy for his services this year and slightly less than you’re paying Bartolo Colon. 

The third thought was how he solved the right handed power problem and right handed backup to Lucas Duda at first base when a tough lefty was on the mound.  Then there was the much ballyhooed friendship with David Wright which could be a factor in trying to get the Captain into the right mindset to produce like he once did with his pal there in the lineup with him.  All of these things seemed positive.

Unfortunately, cynicism and pessimism are part of my DNA.  The more I thought about it, the more I wondered about whether or not this decision was a good one. 

Flash back to 2013.  The Mets had given a chance to a seemingly washed up Marlon Byrd who was pretty much out of baseball after declining performance and a PED suspension derailed his career.  He had signed a minor league deal in spring training, made the club and against all odds became the primary offensive force in the lineup.  At age 35 he was flipped to the Pirates for Vic Black and Dilson Herrera where his offensive comeback didn’t miss a beat, though he didn’t catapult the Bucs to the post season success they had envisioned.

When the season ended you had a player who would turn 36 during the 2014 season and he was available on the free agent market.  He’d already proven he was capable of handling the pressures of New York and responded with a 2013 season hitting .285/21/71 for the Mets and .295/24/88 overall.  He was healthy all year long, having played in 147 games.  All it would take to sign him was money – no sacrifice of a draft pick.  He eventually went to the Phillies as part of a 2-year deal for a grand total of $16 million with a vesting option of another $8 million if he got 550 ABs in 2015 or 1100 ABs combined in 2014/2015.  If not, then it was a team option.

How did he do?  He finished 2014 with a .264/25/85 slash line.  The batting average was down a little but the steady performance across 154 games suggested health was never an issue. 

Now back to Mr. Cuddyer.  The Mets gave up a 1st round draft pick and paid nearly as much for 2 years of service from him as they would have for 3 years from Byrd had the option vested.  More importantly, Cuddyer is coming off a 49 game season following a 130 game campaign, and a 101 game debut for the Rockies in 2012.  Although he’s the same age, his ability to stay on the field is definitely a valid question.  Unlike Byrd who seemingly is becoming better and more durable as he ages, Cuddyer has been terrific but only when he’s occasionally been available to play. 

I’m not thinking Cuddyer was necessarily a bad signing.  I would call it sub-optimal.  Furthermore, making this deal so early in the process before clearing payroll will make it doubly difficult later to obtain an equitable return for Bartolo Colon, Daniel Murphy, Jon NIese or Dillon Gee now that the entire baseball world knows the Mets have shot their financial wad prematurely.  

As the team is current constructed there will be some adventurous days up the middle with Wilmer Flores and Daniel Murphy trying to turn the double play, but if they get the rebound seasons from David Wright and Curtis Granderson along with the continued maturation of Travis d’Arnaud, Lucas Duda, Wilmer Flores and Juan Lagares as well as the returns of Matt Harvey and Bobby Parnell makes me think the team is good enough to contend.  After all, the KC Royals made it all the way to the World Series last year on a team whose best hitter – Alex Gordon – posted just a .266/19/74 season.  
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Baseball America on the Mets 40-man Additions

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Noah Syndergaard, RHP: A big, physical righty, Syndergaard easily spins mid-90s heat and controls it as well. He also offers a big curveball that can vary in its shape and size, from a mid-70s slurve to a power offering in the low-80s. He threw his mid-80s change more often this year, and scouts project it to be average in the future. He lacks deception, but has all the makings of a monster.
Cory Mazzoni, RHP: With knee and lat injuries in the past, the Mets this year saw what they saw in 2011 when they made him a second-round pick. His fastball, which he can locate to both sides, sits between 92-95 mph and is complemented by a solid mid-80s slider and an average splitter. If he can repeat, he’ll fulfill his potential as a backend starter.
Gabriel Ynoa, RHP: Binghamton’s Opening Day starter offers impeccable control first and foremost. He uses that to corral an arsenal that includes a 92-94 mph that can touch 96 and features riding life. He maintains his arm speed on a plus changeup and backs it up with a fringy slider.
Akeel Morris, RHP: Morris annihilated the competition in the South Atlantic League this year, holding the opposition to a .103 average and fanning more than 14 hitters per nine innings. So, how’d he do it? A deceptive delivery and a lively 92-94 mph fastball are a good start, but the true weapon in is the low-80s changeup that he uses to get his Ks.
Hansel Robles, RHP: A second-time addition to the 40-man roster, Robles is a reliever now, which allows his sinking fastball to bump to the mid-90s. He backs the pitch with a slider and changeup, both in the mid-80s and both average offerings at best.
Jack Leathersich, LHP: A stocky lefthander, Leathersich brings a max-effort delivery which includes a vault over a stiff front leg and uses it to fire a fastball that sits low-90s and touches the mid-range. He uses a high-70s slider to get his punchouts.
http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/breaking-40-man-additions/
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The Morning Report – November 22 – Expansion, Pat Roessler, Eno-Chat, Wilmer Flores

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I know all you of you know that one of the sites I go to five times a day is Cot[i]. I even leave it open in lower case form so I just flip it open when I need to check out a certain team.

We’re spending a lot of time trying to speculate where some the excess Mets pitching will wind up someday. Well, let me tell you… those other 29 teams draft or sign just as many pitchers as the Mets do and, if you click down the teams and do the math, everybody seems to have too much pitching.
And then there is the desire to fill their squad with team controlled players rather than established players with bloated contracts. This morning, on MLB-TV in was San Diego and Cincinnati that plans on selling off some of ‘their pitching’.

It makes one wonder if this wouldn’t be a good time for baseball to consider expansion to 32 teams. You come up with some workable formula for each team to lose two of their 40-man squad and you basically have enough for two teams to start off with both a major league team but also a AAA affiliate.
You could expand this kind of draft to the AA/A level and you now have your four full season teams. Lastly, the draft and an international signing period would fill in the low-A, one rookie, and one DSL team.
Just thinking out loud…



The Mets have hired former Yankees farm director Pat Roessler as the assistant hitting coach. He also will do some other unannounced duties. Roessler was fired by the Yankees at the end of the 2014 season after serving as the director of player development from 2005 to 2014. That’s a lot of experience and you simply can’t have enough ex-farm directors in your system. Roessler also joins his buddy, Kevin Long, who is the Mets new senior hitting coach. You have to assume that all this old Yankee blood makes Curtis Granderson much happier playing in Queens rather than the Bronx.

Do members of a major league baseball team, who have climbed this impossible ladder to baseball success, actually turn to pitching coaches to help their swing?

Well, I’ll tell you what. You go out to a game three hours early and be the first let in the gate when it opens… or you go to every spring training game in April… and you find me someone in the cage with one of these guys asking them to help them play baseball.

Throw BP at 60 mph, yes…  but…



Comment From Greg - the Mets have all the pitching, will they go use it to acquire a bat? Cespedes would be a start somewhere.

Eno Sarris: If anyone wants Niese, Colon, Gee or any combo of the three, they can probably have them for offense. Does anyone want them?

Comment From john - I see everyone wants the mets to trade for a SS, and yet the only SS they can realistically afford (prospects wise) are not upgrades over Wilmer Flores. Ramirez projects to be 0.3 wins better, but gets paid 10 mil vs the league minimum, and flores will still only be 23 on opening day. Gregorius is a downgrade, wins wise, and so is Owings and Miller. Why give up a cost-controlled pitcher for a non-upgrade? It makes no sense. At this point, if they can’t get Tulo, they should just go with what they have

Eno Sarris: I don’t believe the projections for Flores. I don’t believe he’s a shortstop defensively.

Comment From Guest - Castro to the Mets makes stupid amounts of sense, no?

Comment From Cichago Cubs - Do you agree that it’s quite stupid to trade Castro? Prospects are not 100% and neither are pitchers. Castro is in the bag already.

Eno Sarris: I mean the Mets need a shortstop in my estimation. But the second is also true. They don’t yet have another shortstop that has shown he’s worthy in the major leagues!

Mack – Frankly, I post these ‘chats’ as a subject so I can yak about them and post them for your comments.

The frustrating part is we still can’t get past the subject of a shortstop and I guess we won’t until someone else is brought into the organization.
I go over and over the numbers, stats, etc. and I just don’t see a perfect solution from any of the excess guppies out there on other teams. The ones who can hit, can’t field… the fielders have no pop… and the best all-around one (Owings) is coming off injuries.

Now don’t get me wrong… you can have one of Dillon Gee, Bartolo Colon, or Jonathan Niese for any of them, but nobody seems to want these guys.

Past that, the Mets have six prospect starters and it probably would be best to hold on to the least projectable (Rafael Montero) in case anyone heads to the DL.

For now, and possibly the entire 2015 season, Flores is the Mets shortstop regardless of how many errors he makes or how ungraceful he completes the double play.

Comment From john - but the question is, does Montero or Syndergaard or wheeler or degrom or matz, would you give up any of those mets pitchers for didi gregorius or alexi ramirez? because niese or gee are not getting the job done

Eno Sarris: Yes this is the question. I get Nervous around DeGrom, 
Syndergaard, would say no there. I know some people I trust that love Matz. Montero is good, but I *might* trade him. I like his fastball, and command, but the secondary stuff…

Mack – And this is why I continue to lobby for Montero to join the Mets pen as the long or middle man…

Comment From Dr. Met - Everytime I see a picture of Jeff Wilpon lurking behind Sandy in a press conference, I feel so depressed for my fandom. Just me?

Eno Sarris: I hate the Wilpons, I’ll admit it out loud. Meddling owners who made their money to buy the team in a ponzi scheme.

Comment From Avid Mets Fan - d’Arnaud or Plawecki for the future?

Eno Sarris: TdA for me. Great framer, bat’s coming.

Comment From Avid Mets Fan - Who’s the ace in our rotation? Harvey/deGrom/Wheeler/Syndergaard?

Eno Sarris: Still Harvey.




The Detroit Tigers designated for assignment ex-Met outfielder Ezequeil Carrera. The ex-Mets prospect played his last full season in the Mets organization in 2008 for St. Lucie (430-AB, .263-AB.

He was traded in a three team that lost the Mets Carrera, Endy Chavez, Aaron Heilman, Mike Carp, and Jason Vargas.

Carrera bounced around for Seattle Cleveland, Philadelphia and Detroit. His best year was this past season, for AAA-Toledo: 374-AB, .307, 6-HR, 41-RBI, and 43-stolen bases.


Carrera is 27 years old



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