Morning Report – September 5th – Travis d’Arnaud, Rule 5, So What If Stood Pat?, Lucas Duda, Weinberg-Chat


Adam Rubin - Mets bring in LH HS coach to throw BP at home games when they face LH. MT @JerseyJoe1329: do teams have LH coaches pitch to lefty hitters?
Mack – Did someone in the Mets organization read what I said here on Mack’s Mets a few days ago about pitching BP to Lucas Duda? This sure sounds freaky accurate.

Since returning from Triple-A, Travis d'Arnaud has homered every 22.3 at-bats, the best mark among NL catchers over that span.

Mack – I’m going to stick with guy as my catcher. I do think he needs to spend a considerable amount of time in the off-season working on both hisarm and the rest of his defensive game. I am starting to wonder if all the concussions have had any effect on his eye-to-ball contact from the mound, especially during a swing.

The first position I played in sandlot was catcher and I knew I had a problem when I kept closing my eyes when the batter swung standing ahead of me.
The last thing the Mets need is another defensive liability regardless of how many home runs he hits (as I understand it, our alternative here, Kevin Plawecki, doesn’t get high points for his defensive game either).

Rule 5 Mets - Savannah Sand Gnats -

Octavio Acosta, Victor Cruzado, Miller Diaz, Jeff Glenn, John Mincone, Brett Mitchell, Akeel Morris, Alex Panteliodis, Jorge Rivero, Yeixon Ruiz, Nelfi Zapata

Where would this team look on opening day 2015 if no trades were made and every ‘legitimate’ player that had a decent chance of playing at the top level, came to came in hopes of winning a 25-man slot.

Who would be in that clubhouse?

Starters - Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jacob deGrom, Rafael Montero, Noah Syndergaard            , Jon Niese, Dillon Gee, Bartolo Colon, Logan Verrett, Matt Bowman, Corey Mazzoni     
Relievers - Bobby Parnell, Josh Edgin, Vic Black, Josh Edgin, Jeurys Familia, Gonzalez Germen, Carlos Torres, Jenrry Mejia

Fielders - Travis d'Arnaud, Kevin Plawecki, Lucas Duda, Daniel Murphy, Dilson Herrera, Wilmer Flores, Ruben Tejada, David Wright, Curtis Granderson, Juan Lagares, Matt den Dekker, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Eric Campbell  
Isn’t this pretty close to a really good team?

Look at that pitching staff. You telling me we can’t put up a killer rotation plus fill in a few holes in the pen with last year’s AAA starters?

And regarding the middle infielders, you mean we really can’t get two of the three ‘bats (Murphy, Flores, Herrera) to make the adjustments needed in their defensive game to keep two of these in the starting lineup every night?

And left field? Well, if Dilson Herrera can play second base at this level, where the hell is his leadoff buddy, Brandon Nimmo?

I’m telling ya…

Sully-Chat –

Comment From Guest - How much of Lucas Duda’s breakout is sustainable? Is this something he can take into next year?

Jeff Sullivan: Well, for the record, he’s gone from a 120 wRC+ to a 133 wRC+. So it’s not really that dramatic. But he does seem to have gotten more aggressive within the strike zone and he’s lifted his power while reducing his strikeouts, so I think he’s something like a 125-130 sort

Mack – There has been a reduction of positive press for Duda in the past month. Yes, he hit seven home runs in August, but he also hit only .214 after hiting .293 in July. His game continues to be incomplete, hitting only .156 against lefties.

Still, the Mets have bigger fish to fry here.

Weinberg-Chat –

Comment From Sean - I’m new(ish) to the sabremetrics society and just wanted to ask what the metrics say about Jose Reyes? Seems as though every time he steps into the plate or throws a runner out at first announcers rave about his tools but he just seems so much worse than perceived.

Neil Weinberg: Reyes is a terrific baserunner, decent defensively at SS, and a better than average hitter at his position. Earlier in his career, he was near MVP levels. Now he’s simply in the pretty good category. This happens with players as they age.

Comment From Bomok - How valuable is Juan Lagares? This year he has one of the best WAR per plate appearences of any player in baseball

Neil Weinberg: His defense is amazing and he’s BABIPing his way to an average offensive season. I don’t think he’s an 7 win player for real, but saving runs in the OF is big, even if we want to regress his defense a bit.


Thomas Brennan said...

Duda, like every player, has streaks and slumps. His slump is 70 points higher than Grandy's slump, he'll be fine. Stay aggressive early in counts, Lucas.

That line up standing pat could really be good, actually, especially if Dekker produces as I believe he will.

I read yesterday that Grandy will likely work after the season on his hitting style. What's wrong with starting now? Could it be worse? Grandy, work on it now and sit the month of September doing it, and let the kids play. You can pinch hit. What's that you say, a few of them could be the Lou Gehrig to your Wally Pipp? OK, now I see why you don't want to sit out games. Understood.

jd said...

Kevin Plawecki may be the perfect solution... "could be a valuable part-timer behind the plate and at first base, especially if he continues to crush lefthanders as he did in 2013 (.981 OPS). " - Baseball America

So, how about Plawecki backing up D'Arnaud and playing 1B when you have a lefty starter on the other team? Keep him in the lineup regularly, give Travis an occasional blow and keep Duda out of the lefty quandary.

Ernest Dove said...

Regarding d'Arnoud, I think I just read an article a day so ago that talked about him possibly trying too hard to phrame pitches perfectly with his mitt too much, which might be accounting for the extra pass balls he is being charged with. Sounds like an easy adjustment to me.....simply stop risking the extra strike call once in awhile, and stop that from happening.

John Zozo said...

The only one I would protect from that list would be Akeel, he could definitely get buried on the cubbies for a whole season. The others wouldn't get picked up.
I am still very intrigued by letting D'arnaud play left field, especially with his concussions. I believe if at a catcher he is projected to hit 15 HRs a year, with less wear and tear and more games played, I believe can hit 22-25 HRs a year. That is an a perfect leftielder for me.

Adam Smith said...

Sandy was apparently on the radio in Binghamton yesterday and, when asked about SS and LF, said that free agency isn't always the way to go, and that they have intriguing internal options. He particularly praised Flores and den Dekker.

I actually have no complaint here. As Mack states above, bringing all the kids into ST would make for an interesting and talented clubhouse. Watching Flores, in particular, get comfortable, I will double down on my year-long statement that this team would have been better this year with him at SS than Tejada.

My complaint is that, knowing there is a budget issue, and knowing that they needed a SS and LF, why the hell haven't the kids been given a real opportunity until now? Wouldn't 500 AB's out of Flores and some combo of young (not Young) LF's have been a useful gauge? Now, as the GM says we need to "see what we have" we get a whole 6 weeks to decide whether to go out and likely waste another big chunk of money on a "not quite elite, maybe he'll bounce back" free agent who will take more to sign here than anywhere else, cuz, who wants to play for these guys or hit in this park?

I say, gimme a starting IF next season of Wright, Flores, Herrera, and Duda (with a RH bat ready at 1B, and TJ Rivera and Matt Reynolds at AAA or backing up in Queens). Trade Murph in a package for an OF, or for prospects, and give RF to den Decker and see what he can do for half a season. He can't give you much worse than you got this year out of either corner OF slot this year, and with better defense and a lot cheaper.

I could have lived with this season if we had used it cycling through our upper level prospects to see what we really might have to back up our obviously up and coming pitching staff, rather than running out CY and EY and Granderson and Tejada day after day after day after day, while promising talent "can't be developed."

And for God's sake, get a real manager in here support and fire up the kids.

Mack Ade said...

JD -

Plawecki as a backup 1B and catcher would be just fine with me. He's more talented than that, and, IMO, could bring a better return in a trade, but the first step would be him playing some at first base this summer.

Let's see if that happens first.

Mack Ade said...

Ernest -

I didn't read that article but the over-emphasis on framing makes sense especially since all the ink he got regarding it early.

I don't remember him being as bad as he has looked lately so it also just might be a lack of concentration after a long first full season for him

Mack Ade said...

Zozo -

my guess is Morris will be the St. Lucie closer with Alex Palsha in Savannah, Shane Bay in Binghamton, and a possible return of Jeff Walters in Las Vegas.

Thomas, chime in please...

Mack Ade said...

Adam -

you're hoping into Reese's car... :)

don't look back... we can't change that

it looks like the Mets, be it because of injury or whatever, decided to finish the season with the kids playing and I think both Alderson and TC like what they see,

I know the Wilpons do. Its a cheap solution to the rising coat of salaries.

I have no idea who is going to be traded and I sometimes wonder if there is any team out there that will ever trade with Alderson again, but 'we' aren't that far off and, as long as we keep the pitching intact, keep drafting the right replacement players, and signing the better international players, we can come in fourth for the rest of my life...

bob gregory said...

"Isn't this pretty close lrwhiteaupaul@outlook.com really good team? "

This sounds dangerous to think given the past few years.
I caution being too optimistic regarding next year's starting pitching staff.

Harvey coming back from Tommy John surgery can not be thought of as returning as the same pitcher next year. His durability, resilience,& control will all most likelyshow signs of being affected. He will surely show glimpses of his dominant pitching greatness but it will not be reliable. And especially if Collins is managing, he may be pushed or allow himself to push too far to the point of more injury. Harvey can not be penciled in as a plus stopper, head of the rotation pitcher. Caution is required to assume more of an average Niese-type season.

Wheeler however is demonstrating everything hoped for. In addition it appears he is still improving and has not yet reached his ceiling. An improved plus season should be reasonable to assume.

Niese & Gee are what they are performance and health expectations have a good track record. They both should be reasonably thought of as contributing the same average type seasons while leaning towards a lower end due to accumulated injury history usually leading to a lower trend in performance.

Colon needs to be thought of as trending lower due to his age of course.

DeGrom is the interesting case. 1 year in all signs are positive. But caution how many times young pitchers seem to over perform and then regress the next year? DeGrom does seem better than this though. His performance this year though is extraordinary. Reasonably you can't assume better. More of the same or a bit of a drop is more likely.

Will this be a pitching staff that will prove more capable than this year's to overcome a poor offense?

Mack Ade said...

Bob -

You and I currently have this 'half-full, half-empty' thing going, which is fine.

I HAVE to believe in this pitching staff. I have been writing about it for 4-5 years.

I disagree about Harvey, but, if I'm wrong, he will settle in with his innings limitation in the SP3 range. You're going to get all or nothing out of him. He doesn't know how to hold back and he could easily ruin his career next season with his approach to his game, but I think he will return with more velo (it was down prior to his injury).

Wheeler and deGrom will become stellar SP2 and SP3 pitchers.

And, in my case, I'd like to keep Colon for one more year as my SP4... or, at least until the 2015 all-star break (do I still expect someone to trade for this guy).

I have no idea how the others will fall into place... Gee, Niese, Montero, Thor, Mazzoni, Verrett, Bowman...

Thomas Brennan said...

Mack, my thoughts on Akeel Morris is any guy who is asked to become a closer mid-season and ends up with an ERA under 1, 3 hits per 9 innings allowed, and 14K's per 9 could have competed at least 2 levels higher. He had to be left in lowly Savannah to be given time to acclimate to closing for the first time without too much immediate pressure. He's got the closer thing down now, for sure. Bring on the pressure.

So I'd slot him for 2015 Binghamton closer. My guess is he does half a dominant season there, half a season in Vegas and is a Sept 2015 call up.

bob gregory said...

I'm not sure we really disagree too much.
I'm just pointing out the need to be cautious and not over estimate what the pitching strength is next year.
I don't see it over coming the performance of another poor or lower ranking average to poor offense. At least not next year.
The team HAS to improve its offensive performance in any way possible. There are many different ideas of how to do this. Whichever path the front office chooses it can't afford to be wrong again.
I really can't stand another year of the Mets season realistically being over around the All-Star break.
I fear: no change at GM, no change at manager, little change in personnel, no change in ballpark
will result in the status quo

Mack's Mets © 2012