Morning Report – September 11 – Wilmer Flores, Ski-Chat, Fences, Colorado Rockies


Mets starting pitchers have a 1.17 ERA in their last seven starts

Sandy Alderson's comments on Wilmer Flores playing shortstop - 

        "Frankly, in the time Flores has played shortstop, he's played pretty well... very well, given what some people expected. He deserves to get most of the playing time the rest of the way. Wilmer's done a very nice job at shortstop. He's made all the routine plays. He's got the arm. He turns the double play. He's probably not Andrelton Simmons, but not many are."\

      Mack - I'm so thankful that Flores got the month of September to show the world, including me, what he still had left at short. I frankly didn't think he's past the litmus test on that position because of his slow legs, but he's pulled it off. He really has.

He also has rebounded with his bat and has put together some timely hitting, including the walk-off sac-fly on Monday night. They all count folks to internal cross-checkers.

I'm still not sure where the Mets are going in 2015 with this position, but we're at least dealing with a little more internal strength. Flores is a huge addition over Ruben Tejada, who will slot into a wonderful utility 4th infielder that can be used in the late innings.

Flores will also give Alderson the chance to not sound so desperate when he's talking to other teams about a possible replacement here. This won't be a perfect world, but I see 2015 using Wilmer as .250, 17-HR, 65-RBI, 15-18-E.

Mets Minor League ‘Sterling’ Players of The Year –

                        Dilson Herrera – Organization Player of the Year    

                        Steven Matz – Pitcher of the Year

                        Matt Reynolds – Las Vegas

                        Kevin Plawecki – Binghamton

                        Brandon Nimmo – St. Lucie

                        Dario Alvarez/Akeel Morris – Savannah

                        Ali Sanchez/Walter Rasquin - DSL

pic by Mack 

Ski-Chat -

Comment From Guest - If the Mets decide to go “all-in” for Stanton, what would a realistic trade look like? Thanks.

Dan Szymborski: Suffice it say, it would be quite a lot. I’m guessing Syndergaard + Herrera + Nimmo or Smith or something.

Comment From Dr. Met - Are we seeing Juan Lagares’ peak right now? How much has ZiPS changed his projections since start of the year because he’s suddenly fantasy serviceable?

Dan Szymborski: Projections haven’t change *that* much. Lagares looked like he was going to be a better IRL than fantasy. I still think he’s fairly marginal in fantasy.
Comment From 20longyears - SSS doesn’t even begin to cover what we’ve seen so far, but based on the stuff, what do you think of John Holdzkom?

Dan Szymborski: Oh, now it appears.

I remember arriving for Press Day in 2007 at the Savannah Sand Gnats complex. I got to the lunch a little late so everyone was sitting down and I didn’t have the chance to notice the height of the players. I got up as soon as the meal was done, went to my car and drove to Grayson Stadium for the picture day portion of the event.

All of a sudden one of the guys walk out of the clubhouse looking close to eight feet tall. He had face paint on… sort of like the paint Bryce Harper had on in that famous picture of him. It was Holdzkom.

He hung out that year with another flake, ex-first rounder Nathan Vineyard, both of which became a distant memory by the end of 2010. Now, I read after five years, two of which were spent pitching in Indy ball, he’s pitched three scoreless innings for the Pirates this month.

You just never know (check the picture I took back then…)

Sandy Alderson told reporters on Monday that the Mets are considering moving in the right-center fences in the off-season. Trust me, if Alderson is talking about it, Alderson is going to do it.

Basically, this will be an internal solution to declining numbers being produced by third baseman David Wright and right fielder Curtis Granderson. It’s more that a coincidence that $36mil of their 2015 payroll is being spent on these two guys.
The figure above represents well over one-third of the entire salaries paid in their system. The Mets have to do everything they can to generate the most out of these guys.
We have all these wonderful electronic devices now that can tell us exactly where everybody hits everything. It’s no big secret that the right-center portion of CitiField is, one, where the majority of baseballs are hit by these two, and, two, most fall short of the fence that exists now.

The Mets need to do everything they can to get five more home runs each out of these guys. Ten home runs translates to (with this pitching staff) at least three or four victories for the Mets.

Baby steps.

We finish our look at the NL West with a team we have had a microscope on all season, the Colorado Rockies.

According to Cot[i], the Rockies had a 2014 payroll of $93,581,071.

Outfield wise, their stars, Carlos Gonzalez (7-yr, $80mil through 2017… $16.429/2015… $17.429/2016… $20.429/2017) and Michael Cuddyer (.331) are on the disabled list… CF Drew Stubbs (.291) is being paid $4.imil in his ARB-2 year… LF Cory Dickerson (.310) and RF Charlie Blackmon (.287) are both pre-ARB.
There are three players leaving via free agency… LHP Franklin Morales, RHP Nick Masset, and Cuddyer.

Shortstop wise, their starter, Troy Tulowitzki (.340, 1.035-OPS) is considered the best in baseball. He also is shut down for the season and has had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip. His fill-ins are 2B Josh Rutledge (.258) and Charlie Culberson (.191), neither of which are considered replacement material. Lastly, there is no shortstop ‘prospect’ in the Rockiels pipeline for at least two years.

Mack Observation –

            Look, there is only reason Sandy Alderson would be calling Rockies GM Daniel O’Dowd… Tulo.

The Rockies want to move this contract and needs a replacement shortstop as well as young pitching to pull this off. The Mets seem to have the pieces that could get this done.

Daniel Murphy and Keven Plawecki would give the Rockies upgrades at both second base and catching. Wilmer Flores could slot into short and would love the (lack of) atmosphere out there. And Noah Syndergaard would seem to be the final piece needed to get this done.

To me, the only downside would be if Tulowitzki didn’t come back from the surgery, making the loss of four top prospects as a catastrophic move.

Is there any chance of this happening?  Well, not under the current Mets operating plan.


Thomas Brennan said...

Marcos Molina has to get some sort of award. He led the Penn League in Ks, WHIP, and ERA.

I wish they'd also have Sterling runners up mentioned. If they did, I'd have Akeel right behind Dilson, and not just noted for Savannah. The only thing Akeel could have done better is to hold the opposition scoreless in 2014. Four earned runs all year, just 3 hits per 9, and over 14 Ks per 9 are eye popping #s.

Wilmer will be an All Star some day a la Murphy. I just feel it.

A trade for Stanton would be hugely expensive in trade assets but should be explored. Move fences in and he might be a 45-55 homer per year guy for Mets.

I'd guess after last night, Montero is a more tradeable asset than many gave him credit for. Almost every young starter will have some stinkers when they reach the bigs. He has. But he's also had some excellent starts. That is his trade chip.

Tulo injury status makes trading 4 really high assets unpalatable to me.

John Zozo said...

I think you forgot Molina for Brooklyn as an award winner?
Yeah now that he had that hip surgery(Tulo), I wouldn't pay that steep a price for him. Add another prospect and go all in on Stanton.

John Zozo said...

These are other outfielders we should try and pry away from their teams
Wil Myers
Don't know if any can be had but their prices would be a lot cheaper then a Stanton, and would fit great in the middle if our lineup

Christopher Soto said...


All of the OF's you list, outside of Kemp, are not being traded by their respective clubs.

John Zozo said...

Just because they aren't on the block doesn't mean they couldn't be traded? If u offer enough, almost anyone not named trout can be traded

Thomas Brennan said...

I hope we have some Grandy-ose plans for big acquisitions this year. I choose the misspelled version of the word to make a point, no more albatross deals.

If we cannot get almost a sure thing, someone young and (as of now) completely healthy, I don't want him.

I'd rather wait until next year's trade deadline to snatch someone another team might be dumping.

Thomas Brennan said...

Since fences depths are a hot topic, let me reiterate a bold call to move them in. I'd shorten the corners 5 feet, bring in right field 8 feet (more to eliminate the outward dip altogether), bring in CF to 402, and bring LF in by 5 feet minimum. If we add 30-40 more HRs annually at home, I'm good with that. Symmetrical dimensions post-adjustment are fine.

Reasons to bring the fences in that much? There are several, as follows: Wright, Grandy, d'Arnaud, Duda, Conforto, Nimmo, Herrera, Lagares - for starters. Those are my main reasons.

2nd reason: happier fans.

I hope the Mets management reads these posts and decides that more than another timid adjustment, but a real one, will be beneficial. I think those sort of adjustments would make the park only slightly easier than average to hit homers in. I'm fine with easier.

Reese Kaplan said...

There's a Cuban power hitting corner outfielder the Mets will pass on...

Anonymous said...

Molina won for Brooklyn and John Mora for the GCL.

Christopher Soto said...

I'm in the camp that says the fences are fine the way they are right now.

What we need to be focusing on is getting better hitters period.

I don't care how many HR's you hit, a team that ranks 29th out of 30th in batting average is not gonna make the playoffs.

You guys realize that the Mets have hit more Home Runs then the playoff contending LA Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, AND the Kansas City Royals

Thomas Brennan said...

29th out of 30 in hitting is a Grandy/Young phenomenon primarily.

But here are the facts on hitting, where logic would say you're home, there should be better production than on the road:

In 2013, Mets were 12th in the majors in road scoring (315), hitting .254 with 71 HRs. At home, 30th with 268 runs, .219, 59 HR.

In 2014, Mets so far are 9th on the road in runs, hitting .250 with 62 HRs. At home, 29th in runs, hitting .223, 51 HRs.

Those disparities are simply drastic, and if you want fans to come to your games, it is counter-productive. Part of it could be negative fan reaction hurting players, but 30 points less in average at home over 2 years, and about 20% LESS runs scored at home is a problem. Part of that is the Mets not playing 9th innings at home in games they win and lead so they need not hit in the bottom of the 9th, but it just is a real problem. Moving fences in and maybe you eliminate that entire disparity. Good for business.

Anonymous said...

I cant see the Mets pulling off Stanton and paying him the monster contract. Can we please put the Tulo trade to rest? If healthy, he could be a huge contributor, but if he continues as he has in terms of games played (or even worse) it could completely derail the work done to date. Giving up all of those pieces wipes out trade inventory and his salary erodes any possibility of adding any other pieces. The guy has had chronic lower body injuries since 2009 and has openly stated that he does not expect to ever play another full season and that was before the latest injury, which has the potential to stall his whole career. A monster like Stanton or Tulo would certainly be a huge improvement, but it is not necessary to win moving forward

Brian Joura said...

As always, lots of thought-provoking stuff here, Mack.

I love the line, "Trust me, if Alderson is talking about it, Alderson is going to do it." I'm going to file that away and look for instances that prove/disprove it.

I don't think there's any way Flores plays a full season at SS and has his HR and errors be essentially even. He needs to spend another year in Triple-A and this time have the coaches there - the ones who know what they're doing -- overhaul his swing.

I'd gladly pay that price for a pre-hip-injury Tulowitzki. Can't see trading Sydergaard for him now, though.

The fences should not be moved in again.

Hobie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hobie said...


For the “drastic” difference in H/A HR numbers, we still have a better record at home.

Maybe it’s the cooking, but making our park more friendly to that facet of the game our competitors are better at than us, while reducing the affability to our strengths needs serious analysis.

OK, fence off the RCF “notch” and see how many balls land there from our bats vs. the opposition, but I agree with Chris S. We need better situational hitting period more than 7 more HR’s.

bob gregory said...

Wasn't the mlb ad campaign during the 90's.....
"Women love the long ball"?

let's face it.... the Mets attendance has fallen off a cliff.

There is only so much that can be done to make the players on this team play better.

They are not going to simply go out and trade/free agent their way into better hitters until attendance increases.

So........ whether the fences coming in makes "baseball sense" or not.....
"everyone loves the long ball" is one way to attract more fans.

IBfromWhitePlains said...

I agree with the comment that what the Mets need is better hitters, or, at least, hitters who play to Citi's dimensions.
Gap hitters. Need some hits, not necessarily HR's.

But, as I understand it, they are not talking about bringing on the "fences", they're talking about bringing right center only for Curtis and Wright. At least, I haven't read anything otherwise.
Maybe someone can cite a quote from mgmt.?

bob gregory said...


yes, I believe everybody agrees that the Mets need better hitters.

but the problem is..... The front office is not going to go out and get them.

Next year's team will be pretty much the same as it is this year.

so... what can be done?
Attendance needs to be improved.

People will attend more when they are being entertained.

Winning is one way to make people feel entertained.

Offense is another way to make people feel entertained.

More people feel entertained by offense than defense.

Poor attendance and a shrinking fan base are preventing a faster turn around.

It is also putting at risk the team not retaining all of the wonderful home-grown talent that is beginning to prosper.

Anonymous said...

when you look at some of the positional talent near the majors, I think the existing configurations would not hamper. Nimmo, Conforto and Herrara are profiled more for gap and average power, so the expansive gaps may suit our near future players (not to mention TD and Lagares) and a benefit of a GG CF like Lagares

bob gregory said...

What you say may be entirely true.
But how much will their gap hitting and Lagares' beautiful defense increase attendance?
and how long will it take to increase?

Every year that passes from here on out means an increase in salary for Murphy/Wheeler/deGrom/Lagares/Harvey/d'Arnaud/Duda/Mejia/Parnell/Familia.

Payroll will not increase in order to absorb these increases until attendance increases.

The Mets need to be proactive and do everything they can to increase attendance and the fan base. So these players are not traded away in order to save money.

Moving in the fences does not need to make "baseball sense".
It does not even have to lead to a net gain in Met homeruns vs Visitor homeruns.
It does have to lead to more excitement, more entertainment, and an increase in paid attendance/profit.

Christopher Soto said...


This team could lead the MLB in HRs and still suck...look at Colorado, Houston, and the Cubs.

The only thing that's going to increase fan attendance is WINS!

and you can't win if you don't score.....and you can't score if you can't get on base.

Steve from Norfolk said...

Even Matt Cerrone, SNY's official net presence, said yesterday on his house organ " just round it off already, revert to the old dimensions of Shea Stadium and let’s move on." My thoughts exactly. Thomas, can you get on board with this? Not that what we say matters to the fan-ignorant Wilpons, but it's nice to know you're not alone.

Steve from Norfolk said...


They don't need to fence off anything to tell how many balls are falling in a particular spot and from who - computers and video do that for them.

I don't think Alderson would even have brought the subject up if doing it wasn't to our benefit.

bob gregory said...

that simply is not true

Look at the Tampa Rays

Win win win... but poor attendance.

I am not saying that bringing in the fences solves all of the problems.
given the fact that the front office WILL NOT bring in the type of hitters that are needed next year (neither by trade or free agency)
Something has to be done.

Bring in the fences. Hitters feel more confident.
Confidence increases a hitters performance.
increased offensive performance leads to more excitement.
More excitement leads to more attendance.
Look at Colorado. Their offense has buoyed their attendance over even their struggling years.

Ownership has made a mess of this team. Ownership's poor decisions even lead to them being uncerimoniously dropped by their "flagship radio station".
The Wilpons still have the Mets team and players boycott their former flagship station as a result.

Something has to be done to broaden and increase the fan base.
Yes winning will help but winning will only lead to gradual improvement.
Baseball is a business. It is a business based on entertainment. The fan base will only grow and spend money if they feel they are receiving appropriate entertainment.

The Wilpons have put this organization into a position it can not just make "baseball decisions"

They are desperate for the team to turn a profit.
They are unwilling to invest more in the hopes profit will increase.

What other options are there to even attempt to realistically solve the problem of increasing profit quickly without investing in new players?

Christopher Soto said...

The Rays are a poor example to use....

That franchise has no business being in Tampa Bay......Babe Ruth could be resurrected from the grave and they still wouldn't draw over 20,000 fans

Thomas Brennan said...

Lots of discourse on the fences. If Mack let's me, I'm gonna throw out an article on it in a few days. Suffice it to say that Bob Gregory and I are sticking to our guns on this one.

Steve from Norfolk said...

I'm already planning the ad campaign if the team aligns the fences to Shea dimensions. How about "Shea Stadium is back!" or "The new, exciting Mets - in the old ballpark!"

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