12/16/13

Mack’s Morning Report – 12-16 – Baseball Coin, Josh Satin, Wilmer Flores, Juan Lagares

5 comments

Whether it's a 1793 copper cent or a 2014 National Parks quarter, every coin ever struck by the U.S. Mint has something in common: they all lay flat in your hand. But that will soon change -- and baseball is responsible.

In 2014, the Mint will make commemorative gold, silver and "clad" (nickel-plated copper) coins honoring the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. While they had previously commissioned a curved coin in honor of Roberto Clemente, this will be the first coin of this shape actually minted at the Mint itself. The coin's design, which was chosen from 178 citizen submissions, features a baseball glove on the obverse (the "heads" side) and a baseball on the reverse. When you look at the obverse, you'll see a concave dip - like a real glove. The reverse will bulge out in a simulation a spherical ball. http://wapc.mlb.com/cutfour/2013/12/13/64665840/us-mint-making-a-curved-baseball-coin

 

As regular readers of Mack’s Mets know, I’ve been the President of the Josh Satin fan club since I got to know him when he played in Savannah. It was there that some douche reporter dubbed him as being a poor second baseman which, I remember, really pissed him off.

Josh has been a professional bat throughout his minor league career, but it just seemed like he never was going to get a shot for the Bigs. We discussed him trying to learn to play the outfield and he did sign up for Venezuelan winter ball to do that, but they decided to keep him in the infield so Josh returned home.

I knew in my heart that, if he would only be given a shot, his bat could at least earn him a utility slot.

Well, now, according to MetsBlog, he’s decided to take up learning to play the outfield again, which will just give him one more bullet in his gun. Smart move, Josh. Smart move. I don’t know the end result, but it doesn’t hurt to try and add another pigeon to your bag of tricks.

The thing that frost my ass the most about the Satin story on MetsBlog is that it is written by some chippie that never played a lick of professional ball in her life. Is the requirement at MetsBlog just being young or do you first have to pay your respects to the self-proclaimed grand pupa of Mets blogs, Premier Cerrone?

What gives Maggie Wiggins the stones to condemn Satins’ attempt to improve his already pro career? When has she worked her way through the system and earned her stripes? That’s the one thing I like about Mitch Williams and Harold Reynolds. I might not agree with everything they say, but they can at least reach their conclusions with first hand knowledge of the game. What does Wiggins bring to the table? Quick wit and a biting tongue?

Look, I really think MetsBlog serves a good purpose and I respect what Matt and his writers do, but leave the ballplayers alone. Don’t tell me they are going to fail at something they haven’t done yet. Go back to journalism school and learn you’re supposed to be reporting on what already happened.
 

Jared Diamond wrote an interesting story in Sunday’s Wall Street Journal http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303293604579256571607281130 about how Sandy Alderson is trying to build a world class team without a world class budget. Diamond seems to accurately point out that there are two successful groups of teams… a) the spenders and b) the non-spenders. The kiss of death seems to be teams that are dominated by one salary:

Right now, the Mets don't fit in either group. They have a medium-size payroll focused on one player. If their payroll settles at $90 million next season, David Wright's $20 million would represent more than 22% of it. That would spell bad news, if history is any indication: Teams with a $100 million player taking up more than 20% of the overall payroll have a cumulative winning percentage of just .455. For example, $100 million outfielder Carlos Lee accounted for more than 20% of the Houston Astros' payroll from 2010 to 2012, during which time the team went 187-299 (.385). After three consecutive winning seasons, the Minnesota Twins have gone just 195-291 (.401) since Joe Mauer's $184 million deal kicked in. This year, he represented 28% of the team's payroll.

It’s a good article and worth a read.
 

Blog chatter is increasing about the chance of both Wilmer Flores and Juan Lagares starting the 2014 season off on the Las Vegas roster. Lagares really caught the eye of Mets fans last year because of his defensive skills, not what he does with a bat. I’ve told you many times that his promotion to Queens caught me off guard and I never thought he would get that far. Now, because the Mets have two more excellent defensive centerfields (who are being paid a ton more that Lagares), the primary needs of the third starting outfielder turn to offense and speed. Enter Eric Young Jr., potential leadoff hitter and last year’s league leading base stealer.

I like the EYJ approach for one reason. He’s the closest thing this team has to a Jose Reyes type players that can start the engine and come out of the box a blazing. I loved the way Reyes led the way and the team hasn’t been the same since he has left town.

Flores seems to have the same problem we’ve been talking about for years. He doesn’t have a position. The Mets need to return him to Vegas, decide if he’s a first baseman or a second baseman, and play him there every day for the season. Showcase the kid and let him hit 30+ home runs in that atmosphere while he proves to the baseball world he can hold his own with a glove on his hand. Me? I think he’s a potential +DH.

Did you ever think that the reason the Mets are asking so much for Daniel Murphy is the fact that they really don’t want to trade him? If Sandy is really building from within, why not a three year contract to Murph with a four year team option?

There are a lot worse decisions Sandy could make in this off-season

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#5 – Zack Wheeler, right-handed pitcher, New York Mets = Height/Weight: 6’4″, 185 = Born: May 30, 1990 (age 23) - 2013 MLB Stats: 7-5, 3.42 ERA, 20 GS, 100 IP, 46 BB (4.1 BB/9), 84 K (7.6 K/9), 1.360 WHIP = Heading into 2013…Stolen from the Giants for two months of Carlos Beltran, Wheeler had as electric a fastball and curve as almost any other pitcher in minor league baseball. Add in a decent changeup and slider and improved command, and you had a legitimate future ace who would be in Queens by June.  Now that the 2013 season is over… Wheeler did in fact join the Metropolitans’ rotation in mid-June, and despite a few control problems here and there, settled down to have a decent rookie season. His 3.42 ERA ranked seventh among all rookie pitchers with at least 100 innings and his 84 strikeouts ranked fourteenth. Looking ahead…. Wheeler has cemented his spot in the Mets rotation for the forseeable future. Fans looking for Wheeler to replicate Matt Harvey‘s dominating 2013 campaign, however, should temper their expectations as Zach’s command and repertoire are nearly a whole tier below Harvey’s and he should go through the same struggles that weather most pitchers. http://gradingonthecurve.com/2013/12/14/top-prospect-recap-1-5-wheeler-myers-breakout/
 

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Agreed 110% on Maggie.

As a former bench player myself in high school baseball my coach told me as a sophomore, "Kid, this is Class AA baseball. Your small and you don't much power. Our CF is here for at least another 2 years and the rotation is full. The only way your gonna play is if you learn multiple positions."

So what did I do? I scrapped up every dollar I could and bought a 1B mitt, a C mitt, and an IF mitt to pair with my existing OF mitt and worked all fall and winter to learn every position I could. Eventually I finally filled out, packed on some weight and the power followed.

Not only did it benefit me in HS but it helped in college ball too. To this day my versatility is appreciated. In my 3 years of post grad baseball in the Cooperstown Roy Hobbs League I've bounced around from CF to 2B, to SS, to RF, then to C, and last year to 1B.

If you are a fringe player you need to do everything possible to increase your value. Look at Daniel Murphy.

He was blocked at 3B so he learned 1B. He was pretty good at it but then Ike Davis came around and pushed him out with his power. So what does he do? He learns LF. It didnt so well so did he quit? No, he picked himself up and learned 2B.

He wasn't very good his 1st year so he continued to work hard and next thing you know he was serviceable to the point where his bat made him a + 2B.

Herb G said...

I'm not going to condemn Maggie Wiggin because she didn't work her way up the system. (I'm not even sure I know whether you mean the blogging system or playing actual ball) Hell, I haven't worked my way up through the system either, but I have been an ardent fan of the game for more years than I like to admit, and I think I am an astute observer, capable of forming reasonable opinions. Maggie was clearly off base in what she wrote about Satin, but she has a right to her opinion. That's what journalism is all about. I've read some of her other commentary, and she usually makes sense. In this case, Maggie would have been wiser to wait until some results are in before reaching any conclusion on Satin's efforts.

That said, I think Satin is wise to attempt to broaden his versatility. If he can make himself into a serviceable outfielder, he is that much more valuable to the Mets and to his career.

Re Flores and Lagares: If Murphy is no longer with the team in spring training, I have been hoping to see Flores and Tejada fight it out for the starting 2B job. I'd love to see Wilmer win it, and go on to a great rookie season, getting better and better in the field as the season wears on. Based on how he played 3B in David's absence last year, I have faith that Wilmer is capable of doing just that, assuming his reflexes are good and his range is adequate.

I'm torn on Lagares. I have been thinking that Lagares and den Dekker would make a fine pair of bench players and late inning defensive replacements, although our outfielders should hardly need late inning defensive replacement. Perhaps he would be better served getting regular ABs in Las Vegas, where he can further develop his bat and temper his aggressiveness to some degree. I guess I have to leave that decision up to Alderson.

Mack Ade said...

Herb:

Is that really what journalism is all about?

Saying someone shouldn't attempt to improve his position before a single off-season inning is played?

Or is this just another debatable point about something I have written?

I'm feeling a complete shift in the MetsBlog approach in covering this team... cut and paste features, opinions though comments, almost anti-Sandy.

Of course, that's just how I'm feeling it...

Herb G said...

Mack -

Maybe journalism is not the correct word in this instance. What I really mean is freedom of expression. I'm saying I don't think Maggie Wiggen should be lambasted for expressing her opinion, no matter how much we disagree with her. You know, we here at Macks Mets express our opinions in our postings all the time. I don't think our job is solely to report on what has already happened. I really don't know what Maggie's credentials are, but since Matt Cerone has accepted her as a contributor, she has at least some credibility to me. And it wasn't as if she was the writer of the Satin article, she was commenting on it.

It's interesting that you mention the shift in MetsBlog's approach. I too have observed more of a negative bias in their commentary. Of much greater annoyance to me is the distinct anti-Mets bias that I observe in Metsmerized and their main writer, Joe DeCaro, who calls himself a lifelong Mets fan. I began calling their blog Metsdespized.com. More recently, however, since the Granderson and Colon signings, they seem to have moderated the anti-Mets tone. Joe d was quite supportive of Satin's plan to get time in the outfield.

Mack Ade said...

Well Herb...

I take it if you say she is being 'lambasted' that you mean I am doing that.

Yes, we do express our opinions here at Mack's Mets both pro and con, but me calling her out on her declaring that Satin should forget trying to play the outfield is, well, my freedom of expression, right?

Herb, you and I agree on very little. The difference between us is I don't write comments disagreeing about what your opinions are.

You don't write too many posts (I wish you wrote more) but I always go out of my way not to criticize my fellow writers. Call it professional courtesy.

Joe DeCaro and I were close Mets-fans until he tore into me on my own site. IMO, he is obsessed with what other Mets blogs do, instructs his writers to copy everything other sites do, and cares very little about accuracy.

He makes his revenue based on 'hits' and he gets his 'hits' with outlandish headlines. I have blocked his site long ago and never read what's on it.

The guys over at Mets Police have put together the first event in which Mets blogs will work together... QB14... it's about time.

Anyway, back to writing...

Mack's Mets © 2012