Morning Report – July 18th – LA Angels, More Promotions, Lamar Johnson, Eddie and the Cruisers


Coming Later Today –    

            10 00 am - Stephen Guilbert - 10 Stats About The 2014 New York Mets That Will Blow Your Mind

            12 00 pm – Craig Brown – I May Be Wrong, But…

              2 00 pm - Ernest DoveShould Mets Fans Expect the Unexpected (success) in the Second Half?

            4 00 pm - Grading On The Curve - OF - Darrell Cecilliani

            6 00 pm - 2015 Draft Profile  -  RHP  -  Carson Fulmer  -  Vanderbilt - UPDATED 7-10-14

Jeremy Hefner ‏@jeremy_hefner53  -
Threw 2 innings this morning. Feeling strong. Excited for 3 innings in a few days

John Mora is leading the GCL in BA, runs scored, and OPS, He's also 2nd in slugging without hitting a single home run.

Los Angeles Angeles General Manager Jerry Dipoto said he has no intention of doing that in any deal:

“We’re not looking to move pieces from our major league club,” Dipoto said.

Dipoto said he would like to add a pitcher to the back of the rotation and the back of the bullpen, likely a closer or another left-handed reliever. He declined to discuss Price or any other pitcher who might be available.

            Mack – There seems to be no chance that the David Price winds up here, but Bartolo Colon could fit perfectly in what Dipoto is looing for. Let’s review their system (Dipoto says he’s not screwing around with his starters) and see what could be available to the Mets:

            2B Grant Green – the 26-yr old ex-1st round pick (13th overall 2009) was a flop for Oakland and has become some sort of super-utility infielder here. Hitting .324 this season and playing exclusively third base. Has played SS, 3B, LF, and CF in the past.

            OF Collin Cowgill – err… never mind…

            2B Taylor Lindsay – currently the teams #2 prospect… the 22/yr old is hitting .247, 8-HR, 30-RBI at the AAA level

There is no pure shortstop prospect here and the system seems to be pretty much cleaned out of top level outfielders.

Cory Mazzoni was promoted from AA-Binghamton to AAA-Las Vegas.

Terry Collins has speculated that Mazzoni would make a wonderful candidate for a back-end reliever (I agree), but I expect him to stay a rotation pitcher for the remainder of the 2014 season.

In addition, Rafael Montero should be back in the Vegas rotation in around 2 weeks, Add Thor and you have 60% of their post-ASG rotation, but now what? Matt Bowman, Tyler Pill, Logan Verrett, Giancarlo Alvarado, Greg Peavey, and Darin Gorski                have all started for Vegas this year and are currently on the 25-man.
Well, they follow this with another strange move designed to keep the AAAA pitchers in the Vegas rotation. First, Binghamton’s Angel Cuan is put back on the DL for the 657th time with the same left shin contusion, followed by sending both Pill and Bowman back to Binghamton. What does Alvarado have on this team, pictures of Sandy and Wally together?

(In addition, they have eight current relievers (Zack Thornton, Chase Bradford, Joel Carreno, John Church, Miquel Socolovich, Gonzalez Germen, Erik Goeddel, Ryne Reid).         

There simply are too many ‘C’ level pitching prospects in this organization and the cleanout has to start at the AAA level.

What would I do? Well, I would limit all the IPs left this season and go to a 6-man rotation in Vegas, using Bowman, Pill, and Gorski.

I would frankly release Alvarado, Carreno, Goeddel, and Reid, leaving me a seven man pen.

You just can’t keep putting these guys on airplanes and flying them back and forth. Pitchers need consistency.

I’m really getting frustrated with the Mets having their AAA affiliate in Las Vegas. The one thing you want to do with these kids before you send them to Queens is have them come off a spot on period in which the results of their actions seemed flawless. You simply can’t accomplish this throwing a ball to AAA hitters with a bat in their hands in the desert. The bat is going to win this battle most of the time.
I just keep watching solid Mets pitchers get smacked around here… Greg Peavey, Jack Leathersich, Noah Syndergaard. Especially Thor. He’s not even doing well in away games.

The Mets have to do everything they can do to solve this. Young pitching minds don’t react well to 5.00+ ERAs right before they are supposed to be promoted. This is the time you are supposed to have the most confidence and it simply won’t happen.

I don’t have any answer for Syndergaard’s problems right now. It’s too early to shut him down and bringing him to Queens as a back-end reliever for the rest of the season doesn’t seem right either.

I got this email five minutes after Syndergaard left the mound Friday night:

            Robert Smiley – to me -

Mack, I'm mightily disappointed in Noah Syndergaard this season. 7 more earned runs last night in 5 innings. Outside of a couple of starts he's been getting hammered this season. I know he's only 21 but Las Vegas/PCL hitters park is killing this kids confidence. I'm still holding out hope that he can be a top of the rotation starter because neither Harvey or Wheeler pitched that we'll at Las Vegas. When can the Mets get the hell out of Las Vegas? The Mets organization royally screwed themselves having to play AAA ball in Las Vegas.

Mack – On September 17, 2012, the Las Vegas 51s signed a Player Development Contract with the New York Mets for the 2013 and 2014 seasons, which means all bets are off next season. The problem is finding a town they could change their association to.

You just can’t just pick a town and tell baseball you want to play in a certain league. It doesn’t work that way.

I don’t see anyone available in a perfect world but those couple of games the Mets played earlier this year in Montreal could have some legs attached to it. I hate baseball being played in snow, but I’ll take the snow over the dry heat any day… plus you can schedule most of your April home games down in the NY State portion of your division.

Pray for somebody to come around here.

Mac asked –

            Hey Mack – who do you see for additional promotions throughout the organization before the minor leagues end and the Mets expand their rosters?

            Mack – Wow, you’re calling for the end of the season already J

            First all all, any movement in Queens would start with either a trade or an injury. SP Jon Niese will be back soon, moving Daisuke Matsusaka back to the bullpen. My guess is either Buddy Carlyle or Dana Eveland would return to Las Vegas.

Next up would be C Taylor Teagarden who I have no idea why the Mets are still paying him to stay around. He has no minor league options left so he would have to replace Anthony Recker.

Lastly would be P Jeremy Hefner, who is not on the 40-man. He could possibly join the Mets as a ‘long man’ and also force a move of either Carlyle or Eveland.
I really don’t see any other movements through the end of August.

Regarding Las Vegas, SP Noah Syndergaard will inch closer to his pitch limit, while Rafael Montero will return to the 51’s rotation around August 1st. RP Jack Leathersich will probably pitch August in Vegas.

Pitchers like the Sand Gnats’ John Gant and Robert Gsellman should have been promoted already, but they are blocked with nowhere to go.

Lastly, there’s an outside chance that 1B Dominic Smith will finish the season in St. Lucie.

There was an interesting article on the Mets by Paul West/TTF that included:

Another thing the Mets have fine-tuned is their approach. At one point this season, the Mets led the National League in walks and strikeouts. As such, they often seemed to have men on base–and often seemed to leave them on base in clutch situations. Pitchers who pounded the strike zone often put them in unfavorable counts and had them off balance, forced to chase pitcher’s pitches instead of dictating the flow of the at-bat. Selectivity is an important part of hitting, but their approach was more passive than selective. Now, the Mets are more likely to swing at the first fastball. Or even on 3-0, a count in which Granderson has had much success of late. This makes them unpredictable, and puts more pressure on pitchers to execute under duress. No longer promised strike one, pitchers have begun to nibble around the edges of the strike zone. This still puts the Mets in favorable counts and leads to walks, but it also leads to more hung sliders as pitchers face greater uncertainty. http://throughthefencebaseball.com/mets-new-look-offense-fuels-resurgence/43450#0BdaCWeIZOtF0ziQ.99

Mack – Please don’t tell me that this has nothing to do with the change in the Batting Coach. Hats off to Lamar Johnson in getting the Mets to approach the plate differently while, at the same time, fighting through all the managerial bullshit to get it done.


            Remember the movie ‘Eddie and the Cruisers’?

            It was an 80s rock and roll pic about Eddie Wilson, the lost lead singer of a basically unknown second tier band out of New Jersey. A newspaper reporter is determined to find the lead singer who disappeared and was assumed dead.

            Well, at one point in the movie Wilson wanted to take his garage band into their ‘second album Sgt. Pepper stage’ with a new musical direction, which didn’t make the rest of the band very happy. One of the members, Wilson’s sidekick, said ‘we’re not famous… we’re just a band from New Jersey!’

            This is where the Mets are right now. The current team will have to work harder at its trade while team officials add key elements to make it a ‘world class’ band (team).


Lew Rhodes said...

I loved Eddie and the Cruisers! Great reference, Mack.

RE the Vegas pitching thing, I think you answered why theu are keeping AAAA pitchers around, to protect their young pitcher's minds and egos as best as possible - I mean look at Gorski, he dominates AA yet gets hammered at AAA, part of that is the mental part of pitching in Vegas - in my opinion

Christopher Soto said...


Here are the AAA Affliates that have yet to sign Player Development contracts for beyond 2014.

PCL League
Albuquerque Isotopes - Los Angeles - [New Mexico]
Colorado Springs Sky Sox - Colorado - [Colorado]
El Paso Chihuahuas - San Diego - [Texas]
Fresno Grizzlies - San Francisco - [California]
Las Vegas 51s - New York (NL) - [Nevada]
Nashville Sounds - Milwaukee - [Tennessee]
Oklahoma RedHawks - Houston - [Oklahoma]
Sacramento River Cats - Oakland - [California]
Tacoma Rainiers - Seattle - [Washington]

International League
Durham Bulls - Tampa Bay - [North Carolina]
Norfolk Tides - Baltimore - [Virginia]
Pawtucket Red Sox - Boston - [Massasschusetts]
Rochester Red Wings - Minnesota - [New York]

John Zozo said...

Since we might try for a playoff spot and with a long term outlook I would try and trade for these players on this order, if there is no trade available just move on to the next player.
1) Tulo
2) Kemp
3) Elvis Andrus
4) Alex Rios

I know they said Tulo is not being traded but that would be my first choice.
Then the next 3 should come relatively cheap (prospect wise), but the Wilpons have to man up and open up their purses and spend some damn money.
I would like a lineup of

Or swap out rios for kemp and bath rios second and Granderson 5th/6th...
That would make us a faster team and much much better defensively. Also still trade Colon and Murphy to help save some $$$ and gain some prospects.

Richard Jones said...

I'm a big Syndergaard fan. I am against the idea of using him in a trade for a bat. Even for somone like Tulo
However you can't blame all of this years difficulties on the PCL and Vegas. He just hasn't pitched well.
I agree with what was said about getting out of Vegas to help with young pitchers confidence.
There is another side to the coin though. A pitcher could look to someone like Harvey, who had poor numbers in the PCL and did great in the MLB. There are plenty of examples. The PCL league does supply some benefits. Pitcher learn that they can't blow there fastball by hitters. Pro hitters are going to hit 96-99 mph fastballs. Breaking pitches don't have the bite in the thin air that they do else where. So how do you get AAA hitters or even MLB hiters out in thin air climates? Look at the pitchers who did have success in Vegas. Montero last year and deGrom this year. How did they do it? It is simple. Learn to locate your pitches and change speeds. When pitchers realize this and do it it will benefit them in Vegas and in Queens. Syndergaard is a better pitcher than deGrom but right now deGrom is a smarter pitcher. Pitching in Vegas will force pitchers to be smarter which isn't always a bad thing.

John Zozo said...

Try and get Rochester or even Norfolk back.

Christopher Soto said...

Based on the list above we can safely assume that the following teams will re-up with their affliates due to the proximity to their parent clubs.

Colorado, Fresno, Sacramento, Tacoma, and Pawtucket.

It would make a ton of sense for San Diego to sign with the Vegas squad and for the Houston Astros to sign with El Paso since they are only in Oklahoma because the Rangers (specifically Nolan Ryan) booted them out of Round Rock.

Albuquerque has a strong relationship with the Dodgers, Durham with Tampa Bay, and Nashville with Milwaukee so no changes are expected there.

This leaves you with 3 teams (Mets, Orioles, and Twins,) vying for 4 locations (Oklahoma, Rochester, and Norfolk)

Christopher Soto said...

*Edit 3 locations....

The Norfolk squad is owned by a Maryland organization so their ties to the Baltimore team are quite heavy......in addition last time the Mets were in Norfolk, they booted them out because of countless losing seasons and lack of top class minor leaguers being assigned there. In addition Ken Young is the President of the Tides, Bowie BaySox, AND Frederick Keys....All of which are Baltimore affliates.

Norfolk seems like a sure bet to re-sign with Baltimore.

That brings us to the fight for Rochester......The Red Wings had previously not been happy with the Minnesota Twins due to 90+ losing seasons in 2010 and 2011. However the team was able to scratch out a .500 record in 2012, and win a wild card spot in 2013.

In terms of proximity, Minnesota is a 2 hour flight from Rochester......however Oklahoma IS ALSO a 2 hr flight from Minnesota so signing a contract there would not be detrimental to the MLB club. Both facilities are relatively new (Rochester Stadium built in '96, Oklahoma in '98) so there's really no wrong way for Minnesota to go.

If the Mets are going to make a AAA move......It has to be Rochester, stay with Vegas, or end up with Oklahoma.

Lew Rhodes said...

Harvey didn't pitch in the PCL - he was in Buffalo, and his numbers were worse than his MLB numbers

In the minors pitchers work on things and it can impact their numbers

Mack Ade said...

nice comment action for a Saturday

I'll take any town this side of the Mississippi

Christopher Soto said...


Its friday lol

Mack Ade said...

see, that's what happens when you're retired and watch MLB and CNN all day... they all seem alike

Ernest Dove said...

Any chance Matz can be in 2015 bullpen rather then in the desert starting?
Its still a form of development. ...........and I'm tired of watching the best young pitching talent we've had in YEARS all take turns getting rocked for 4.00+ ERA s the past two seasons. ......
If they sign deal ANYWHERE else, then by all means have Matz in aaa ball, just not the damn PCL.

Reese Kaplan said...

I'll go back even further, Mack. Lucas Duda is turning into Ensign Pulver and Terry Collins is Captain Morton. David Wright is Mister Roberts whose career got killed waiting for the action that never happened.

Thomas Brennan said...

Thor is super-young for AAA, and the majors ain't a walk in the park, so some adversity is OK. They can let him grapple with it or send him back to AA and let him kill there. DeGrom and to a lesser extent Montero did well in LV by and large.

Noah will be ready for full year 2015...so will Leathersich.

Ernest Dove said...

What is the future of leathersich? Aren't lefties hitting him a lot better then righties? Can't be a Loogy if lefties can hit you. ....two Ks and a homer still equals a run in an inning.

Mack Ade said...

Ernest -

Something must be wrong with 'Leather' that you and I can't determine from a distance

Mack Ade said...

Ernest -

The Mets have to get out of the PCL... period

Christopher Soto said...


Nothing is wrong with Leather.....he has always carried reverse platoon splits. His repertoire and hiding motion works better against righties than lefties. This statistical aberration as well as his 15.0+ K/9 rate is what gives the Leather such high potential to be a lights out high leverage reliever.

Steve from Norfolk said...


One other thing about Norfolk.
The city management did not like it when Jeff or Omar would not take their calls - the city was upset that the Mets had quit playing an exhibition with the Tides for the last few years of their association.. They left a lot of bad feeling behind when they were booted.

Stephen Guilbert said...

Soto, that's some great research, man. Thanks for the info. I'll be rooting for Rochester as well but I have a feeling we'll be SOL yet again.

TP said...

@ Mack,
Great column, which inspired good remarks, be it Friday or Saturday.

@ Soto,
Great comments and very informative. The Mets have to make a big push for Rochester.

Craig Brown said...

Steve--I think I read an article about this somewhere..Basically the problem centered around no one in Norfolk wanting to work with, or deal with Jeff Wilpon..

I think the best thing for the Mets might be to find someone with an interest in bringing baseball back to Montreal..

Christopher Soto said...


The only way that could be done is to purchase one of the current AAA teams and move them there....

Currently I am unaware of any team that is for sale outside of the Las Vegas 51's. If any team is going to purchase them and move them to Montreal it would be the Blue Jays

Craig Brown said...


Maybe, but Toronto is only an hour and a half drive from their current affiliate in Bufallo...Montreal is over 5 hours away...

Just because they are both Canadian cities doesn't really connect Montreal with Toronto--They don't even speak the same language....

I used to make it to Olympic Stadium 8-10 times a year, and I can tell you there was no shortage of Mets fans in the seats...

Bringing baseball back to Montreal is a feelgood story for baseball--Wilpon should ask his buddy Selig for help on this and make it happen.

Steve from Norfolk said...

Craig, I was here at the time the Mets were handed their hat and, man, was I pissed! Right after the 2006 season, with all that hope for the Mets, and POW!...no more Mets. Angel Pagan was here in 2006, tearing up the league with speed and defense. His power hadn't come yet, but Man, was he fun to watch! that was right before we traded him to the Cubs. If we had just been patient with him, like we have been with Kirk and DenD

There were a lot of undercurrents, like Chris said. Ken Young owned the Orioles AA and A+ teams, so of course he wanted the O's AAA franchise, too. Ken's primary business is stadium and arena concessions, so owning a few teams is a natural for him.

Herb G said...

Great column, Mack. Huge number of comments. I am obviously extremely interested in where the Mets AAA affiliate is located, since I hate staying up to catch the end of games in Vegas for the Minor League Report. The vast majority of AAA franchises that are still not finalized beyond 2014 are natural relationships that will certainly be renewed.

Purchasing a AAA franchise and moving it east doesn't seem practical. They are not going to move a PCL franchise to the IL, creating a situation with an odd number of teams in each league. The one option that makes absolute sense for the Mets is the Rochedter, NY connection with Minny. Wouldnt't it be fantastic to have a AA affiliate in Binghamton and a AAA affiliate less that 100 miles away in Rochester, enabling fans to follow players up the line.

Minnesota would be a much more logical partner for Las Vegas than the Mets are. Are the Wilpons smart enough to mount a major offensive and make a strong pitch to the current owners of the Red Wings to switch their player development agreement to the Mets? I wouldn't bet on it.

Mack Ade said...

a reader of ours had a great suggestion

Newark, NJ - where the Newark Bears played up to last year in the Can-Am league - great stadium

Herb G said...

Mack - Two huge problems with Newark.
(1) You need an International League franchise to move there. I don't think any are available as of now.
(2) Perhaps an even greater obstacle, the Yankees would never approve it. Newark is in the shared market area of the Mets and Yanks, and as such requires the approval of the Yanks. Three years ago the Mets refused to approve a request by the Yanks to play Scranton/Wilkes Barre's home games in Newark while their stadium was being renovated. Do not expect the Yanks to roll over and play nice for the Mets.

Herb G said...

btw, here is a link to the article about the Mets blocking the Yanks' request:


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