Mack’s Morning Report – 1-28-14 – 2014, Bud Selig, Miguel Socolovich, Jeurys Familia, Kevin Gregg


Later today –

            11am – Herb G – The Mets Are Not Finished – Jeff Wilpon

2pm - Matt Gad – The Battle For the New Utility Man

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Jared Diamond ‏@jareddiamond -  For the record: Steamer projects 24 HR from Granderson in 2014. Oliver projects 19. Marlon Byrd hit 21 for the Mets before September… That said, I do believe that the Mets are better than 2013. But I wouldn't rest your hopes on finishing above .500. They won 74 last year.

Jim Callis - Wilmer Flores, INF, Mets. Yes, he can hit, but he lacks a defensive home and still has to prove he has the pop to be a regular at first base or left field, his most likely destinations.

Jim Callis - Dominic Smith, 1B, Mets. My gut keeps telling me that he, and not the Astros’ Jonathan Singleton, is the game’s best first-base prospect (though Singleton obviously has a much longer track record of success).

Matt asked –

Hey Mack, I read your prediction over the weekend. Is that the best you could come up with?

Mack - Matt, I’m not in control of the players the Mets put out on the field and, as I said in that post, I can’t stand here and predict someone is going to hit somewhere between 50-100 points higher than they did last year.

Yes, I think Ike Davis, Chrs Young Jr., Ruben Tejada, and Travis d’Arnaud will have a better year in 2014, but ‘on paper’ they stunk up the joint last year.

Remember, ‘on paper’ is what has been done, not what you wish was done.

Right now, this is, at best, a third place team.

Bud Selig

Yet worries are beginning to mount, because Selig's retirement is converging with several other forces that could mean trouble over the horizon:

• Mounting tension between large-market and small-market clubs over mammoth local TV deals, new draft rules and issues such as the Japanese posting system.

• The tragic death of Michael Weiner and what that portends for the future of the players' union.

• The timing of the next labor talks, and concerns over how differently they might proceed without Selig than they might if he remains in the job to remind everyone of the irreparable damage that previous work stoppages have inflicted. http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/10349245/bud-selig-final-year-mlb-commissioner

            Mack – Most  baseball executives believe that Selig will go down in history as the best Commissioner in the history of baseball.
What I’m going to find interesting is the next labor talks and any changes that come out of it. I really hate the loss of draft picks for certain aging free agents, the restrictions placed on slotting, and the limitations placed on international signing bonuses.

Frankly, these are the only way small market teams, like ours (sic) can compete with the big boys in Seattle and Arizona (sic sic).

Miguel Socolovich

RHP, Age 27 - With recent success pitching in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), and making progress in multiple Triple-A seasons, Socolovich hopes to finally break through this spring. His fastball ranges from 90–95 MPH and, like Reid, he looks to be very hard on right-handed hitters. With a slider and changeup at his disposal, Socolovich has interesting potential and could surprise some people in camp. 

Mack – Don’t know anything about Socolovich so I’m pretty excited to see what the Mets might have found here. What bothers me is he’s 25 and this is his sixth pro organization in his career. Things like this scream of character issues.

Jeurys Familia

I'd like to see Familia work more on developing his changeup. I think it's a pitch that could ultimately be a difference maker in his arsenal. But Familia can't throw it if he isn't confident in the results. That seems to be the case.

There is a great deal of mechanical inconsistency in Familia's delivery. He has to smooth out the motion, using less effort with repeated, clean finishes in his arm action to find rhythm.

Cleaning his delivery, finding the fringes and corners of the strike zone with consistency, finishing his pitches and adding a pitch to his arsenal seems like a laundry list of flaws to correct.

For now, while Familia has been a starting pitcher for most of his career, I think he fits best in the back end of the bullpen. I believe Familia will ultimately command a dominant role on the Mets' pitching staff. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/nym/familia-shows-potential-to-dominate-with-power-arm?ymd=20140127&content_id=67159242&vkey=news_nym

Mack – I’ve always seen Familia as a back end reliever. In fact, my ‘dream’ back end pen is Familia, Jennry Mejia, Rafael Montero, and Marcos Camarena. This would be , IMO, some serious sizzle.

Kevin Gregg

Gregg could be an ideal candidate for the Mets. He has experience as a closer, but he’s not the kind of elite closer that’s going to steal the job away from Bobby Parnell assuming he's healthy. The Mets could certainly rely on him to be a late-inning reliever until some of their younger pitchers grow into that role. http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2014/01/27/6-pitchers-new-york-mets-could-add-to-bullpen-before-2014-season/?MtEZrMXR7bL7syVQ.99

Mack – A good article on six possible retreads that the Mets could add to their pen.

MLB Draft –

What if we shifted the draft into an auction? Teams would be limited to certain overall bonus allotment, let's call it $50 million, but it would likely be lower at first. The draft would then proceed in two stages; the auction and the draft. Players would be nominated and then each team would submit anonymous bids up to the total remaining amount of their bonus allotment. So when Carlos Rodon is nominated in June, every team could presumably bid $50 million, or any other number they choose. If two or more teams tie for the top bid, the team with the worse record during the previous year would win the auction. If one team alone had the highest bid, they would pay something like the second highest bid plus 10%. If only one team bid on a player, they would pay the player 90% of the bid. http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2014/1/27/5347496/replacing-mlb-draft-auction

            Mack – This is almost creepy. 


Anonymous said...

From the research I have done...there are No character issues with Socolovich....just a very long minor league career.

Signed in 2004.

Brought stateside in 2006.

Traded to White Sox with Willy Mota for David Aardsma in 2008.

Earned minor league free agency after 2011 season.

Signed 1 yr minor league contract with Baltimore in 2012, MLB appearance July 14th, 6 poor appearances before being DFA'd.

Claimed by the Cubs a few days later. Contract expired at the end of the season.

Signed with Hiroshima Toyo Carp for 2013 season.

Sounds like a AAAA player just trying to make a living.

TP said...

"And the Mets place a bid of $27.42 on Bryce Harper. Going once, going twice..."

Tommyb said...

"What have you done for me lately?" I wonder with Familia if the elbow chips were there all of last year (and perhaps previously) and affected his control. What he did "lately" (in his last 4 1/3 innings of post chip surgery winter ball in December) was 2 hits, one walk, no runs, and....11 K's. I see that as a possible indicator of health and potentially great improvement, even though 4 1/3 innings is a very small sample. Maybe he is a lethal pen weapon this year.

I might have been the only one, but when Byrd had a great, power-laden winter ball season last year before he signed with the Mets, I was hoping he'd have a big bounceback year when almost no one else thought it...and he did better than I'd have hoped he might. Maybe seeing that little "Kimbrel" stretch for Jeurys this winter is a little sign of big things to come in 2014 for him.

Anonymous said...

No matter how small the sample size....11 K's in 4 innings is pretty impressive....

Mack Ade said...

Familia has always had the speed. In his case, it's the control.

At best, he's a one inning pitcher, but, he could still be a very effective one if he can pound two pitches

Anonymous said...

Hey Mack can you tell me why fans and writers are okay with Murphy moving to 1B where he would not have the power numbers of a 1B but refuse to see Flores playing 1B?

Murphy hit 13 hrs last year but Flores hit more if you take what he did in the minors. Flores is also bigger and stronger and projects to hit for more power than Murphy. Why the double standard?

With the DUD boys (Davis and Duda) possibly stinking up the place this year, why not Flores at 1B while leaving Murphy at 2B?

Anonymous said...


Because, Murphy has proven that A) He can hit at the major league level and B) Is actually quite a good defender at first base and is a lefty.

Flores has shown he can probably hit well at the MLB level but he has practically 0 experience at 1B and as Mack alluded to in earlier posts, The MLB level is not the appropriate place to be experimenting with guys learning new positions.

As evidenced by Murphy's awful first year at 2B, Duda's terrible years in LF/RF, etc.

Reese Kaplan said...

Not in size, but in execution (and control problems) are Familia and Leathersich mirror images of one another?

Mack Ade said...

Anonymous -

I don't see Mets fans being concerned at all about Murphy playing any games at 1B.

It would be a backup role at best, far less than a platoon... just a fill in.

Mets fans, and brass, both have a problem giving the position over to someone (Flores) that basically has never played it

Let Flores play 2014 in AAA. He's young enough to survive it and return in 2015 as a 1Bman.

Mack Ade said...

Reese -

In a way

Neither one of them have the 'sickness' or tailing effect at the end of their two top pitches. They tend to go in the direction they are heading, thus, a batter can pick up a bad pitch early.

I always remind people of pitchers like Mejia. 2/3rd of his pitches wind up out of the strike zone, but half of them are swung at because they were originally going down the pipe.

The Closer said...

I like the idea of signing one of those 6 guys on the bullpen guys still available list. Guy like Valverde & Marmol are risky just given their control issues, but a lower risk guy with experience like Farnsworth, Gregg or Boggs to be the 7th/8th arm to get out a tough righty and compete with Familia/Black for the role would be a good idea, as well as mentor the younger arms getting ready to make there debuts, (Mazzoni, Leather, Walters) this season. I like that we have some young arms that are going to compete, but I think we do need another veteran in the Izzy, Hawkins type role, which has been successful in the past. As much as I like Rodney, I don't want to give Parnell any concerns about who the closer is and just let him go into the season knowing its his role. Some people will disagree and signing Rodney will make Parnell pitch better as he knows his role is in jeopardy if he doesn't perform, but as we've seen in the past with a guy like Rafael Soriano, JJ Putz, closers don't like to pitch in the 8th inning and signing a guy like that for big money could be a complete waste, IMO.

Mack Ade said...

Hey Closer -

I think Sandy will wear down an agent and we'll have one of the veteran releivers that is still unsigned, in camp, come opening day, ST

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