The Morning Report – November 3 – St. Lucie Complex, B/U Catcher, Jurickson Profar, Matt Reynolds


Good morning.

Both major and minor league free agents can begin signing with new organizations on Tuesday, Nov. 4 at 12:01 a.m. Eastern.

Mack's Mets ‏@JohnMackinAde 
@yoshiro36756 - welcome to Mack's Mets

Andy Martino reported on Saturday that the Mets were going to shit-can their association with the fitness camp in Michigan and has started their own at the St. Lucie complex in Florida. Reports are that it’s already open and filling up with Mets prospects.

Some of the players that are already reported to be participating there are Dominic Smith, Lucas Duda, Amed Rosario, Juan Lagares, and Wilmer Flores. Others are supposedly on the way to the camp.

This is good shit and another example of the commitment the current team has to reaching their goals in 2015. In addition, it seems obvious that, if the team invites you to a camp like this, you are thought to have a rosy future with the organization (see Rosario).

On addition note… David Wright’s rehab ending on Saturday and wouldn’t be a hoot if he showed up early at the St. Lucie complex to work out with his teammates. Or, at least go bowling.

Thanks to Andy for the heads up.

Metsiac asked –

A few interesting possibilities came on the market yesterday. I wouldn't overpay for any of them, or even guarantee a ML deal, preferring to keep the roster spot open while signing one of these to a MnL deal with ST invite. My choices, in order of preference: Soto, Hundley, Nieves, Pierzynski. Who do you like? Which might take the MnL deal?

            Mack – Hey Bill. Once again, Happy Birthday.

Just one more time on record: I hated the loss of Juan Centeno, who I had hoped would replace Anthony Recker as backup catcher in 2015. Recker hits a couple of home runs but, frankly, I want a backup that doesn’t embarrass me defensively first, and doesn’t cost me an arm and a leg.

Pierzynski could be an interesting choice. You probably could get him under $2mil and he’s a great clubhouse guy, as long as you don’t have Michael Barrett on your team also.

Ironically, Soto, who was the Rookie of the Year in 2008, became the backup catcher to Pierzynski in 2013. This was followed by a DL stint in 2014 and a weed bust to top off the year. My guess, his value is less than $2mil for 2015.

I’d gladly take either one.

One more thing about the Mets catcher situation... the loss of Centeno throws the minor league plans in the wind. Most teams carry three catchers, one of which sits on the inactive/DL list acting as a bullpen catcher. 

Most pundits believe that the loss of Centeno will be Xorge Castillo's gain, but let's not forget the name of Cam Maron. The Mets have always been very high on Maron.

One of these two guys will find themselves splitting time with Kevin Plawecki come spring in Vegas.

The Arizona Fall League aa-star game was played on Saturday. Brandon Nimmo started at RF and went 2-2 (1.000), with a run scored . Matt Reynolds opened up at SS, going 0-2 (.000)

2B Lee Mazzilli and all the Mets pitchers didn’t make the team.
There’s a bunch of us commenting on the players in the winter leagues, especially Christopher Soto, but I couldn’t notice that starter turned relief pitcher Handel Robles continued to pitch at the 0.00-ERA level for Tigres del Licey

From Angelo  -

Hey Mack, Been checking out Ranger sites and Texas seems to be very down on Profar and high on Odor.  Is he worth a gamble? What would it take to get him? Is he a good enough defender at SS?  Maybe stash him in AAA and hope he gets his confidence back.

            Mack – Thanks for the question Angelo.

            Yes, I have heard that the fan-based blogs were down on Profar, but I didn’t think the team was. It’s my understanding that he missed the 2014 season due to two shoulder injuries. I’m not sure if it’s fair to downgrade his ceiling based on a first time injury before his major league career has even started.

Secondly, I believe Texas has him placed correctly as a second baseman, not as shortstop.

I’m sort of sick and tired of moving players around to play at un- natural positions.

My vote is to roll the dice and go with Wilmer Flores come opening day. We’ve written about him for 5+ years… let’s see what we have here from the start of the season.

Well, we’re finally getting some beat press on SS Matt Reynolds.
Mike Vorkunov wote on Sunday 
Vorkunov quotes Alderson’s comments on a local radio show this past week:

"He's been solid at shortstop. And we've left him there and expect that he'll be able to remain there. He's also an excellent athlete. He's got a strong arm, pretty good range defensively. Offensively, he had just a great season last year -- really a breakout season for him both at Binghamton and at Las Vegas. The numbers get a little inflated at Las Vegas, but his were right in line with what he had done in Binghamton.
"I think what he's done -- by his own word, he's indicated -- he's started to use all the field. He's not really trying to pull everything. And although he had some home runs, and I think he's got three home runs already in the Arizona Fall League, he tries to use the whole field. He's sort of a gap-to-gap guy. So we're very high on Reynolds and hope that he can at least at the outset of 2015 duplicate what he was able to do last year."

My question is what do you do with him now? He really doesn’t qualify as a replacement to Ruben Tejada as the utility infielder in Queens because he hasn’t played second base in years. We’re not done with the progress of Wilmer Flores yet, are we?


Thomas Brennan said...

Morning Mack

Xorge Carillo is an interesting case, a guy who gets almost half his at bats in offseason leagues. In 2013 and 2014, he has been up 322 times in regular season and 234, and counting (since 2014 off season is far from over), in off season leagues.

So I decided to de-fragment his stats: in 2013 and 2014, in on and off season, he has played the equivalent of a full season. 586 at bats, .266, 31 doubles, 8 HRs, 76 RBIs, 40 walks, and 101 Ks. Mostly AA, and I assume off season leagues are AA-equivalent.

So that is pretty darned decent. Figure another 100 ABs in off season 2014, and perhaps he is close to dethroning Recker as back up.

Maron has fine #'s but Thole-like, .284/.387/.372, in his career so far, but only a dew ABs in AA, so I'd say he is headed to AA in 2015.

I read Sandy was very high on Plawecki and keeping him, so despite less at bats than you might like for a d'Arnaud/Plawecki tandem, maybe that is what we see in 2015, and maybe that is the take-away from the Centeno move.

Maybe they figure, let's see which of the 2 is best in the majors and trade the other (maybe mid-2015) when/if Carillo is truly ready to effectively back up.

But Pierzinski or Soto as Travis back up likely the best alternative for 2015.

Thomas Brennan said...

Macks Mets is definitely going international. My nephew Michael is in Australia, a big Mets fan, and asked me the following:

Did you see the recent
>article saying the Royals could be looking to move Alex Gordon? I think he'd fit well, besides being another lefty because his splits are almost dead on even. The only problem is cost, and with this front office and the other teams that would want in on him, it's hard to see them making that move.

Michael wondered if Montero and Murphy, mentioned as bait in the article, might also need to be spiced up with Matz also.

I mentioned that I really thought that was too much. What do Mack's readers think? What would it take to get Alex Gordon?

Christopher Soto said...

In regards to Recker, the guy is a very capable back-up he always seems to come through in the clutch with the big HR, and defensively, he's not too shabby. The Fielding Bible rates him as saving 4 runs defensively last year in his 412 innings catching.

Across a full (1300 Innings) season that's 13 runs saved which Fangraphs categorizes as "Great Defensive Ability."

He's still under a renewable contract so he'll only cost $550k which for me means he's my back-up again in 2015. Carillo or Maron could replace him in 2016 though when he becomes arbitration eligible.


To clarify, the Mets did not cut ties with the Michigan program as Martino is indicating. They were so pleased with the results that they went ahead and hired Matt Barwis (the owner of the program) as the new Strength and Conditioning Coach and relocated his entire facility to a newly built addition underneath Tradition Field.

Say what you want about the player payroll....but Alderson has put together one of the top notch front offices in baseball and Barwis just adds to it.


Lastly, in my opinion, the plan for SS is as follows....

Start 2015 with Flores as MLB SS, Reynolds as AAA SS and Herrera as AAA 2B.

As of right now I can see the Mets keeping Tejada as the bench SS. If Flores gets hurt short term, Tejada will be plugged in. If Flores' gets injured long-term, then Reynolds is called up to replace him as the starter.

Christopher Soto said...

Another thing on Recker....

Amongst all back-up catchers (guys with less than 80 games played)

Recker ranked 3rd in HR, 3rd in RBI, 4th in defensive value, and 5th in WAR despite his low .204 Avg and lackluster .620 OPS.

Quite frankly....it could be argued that the Mets have one of the best back-up catchers in baseball right now.

Thomas Brennan said...

Chris, it would be interesting if Recker worked with whomever worked with Dekker. If Recker could cut his Ks, even at the loss of a little power, it would be worth it. 135 Ks in 419 plate appearances as a major leaguer is 3:1 - get it to 4:1 and he is a sustainable major leaguer.

That said, your points are well taken. It just hurts to have a guy with such a low on base % with no DH. Mets' pitchers as hitters look much improved for 2015 with Harvey back and deGrom for full year, so it means a little less of a 7-8-9 wasteland when Recker plays, I guess. Recker, Tejada, and the pitcher in 2014 as 7-8-9 was a tough nut to swallow.

Reese Kaplan said...

I'm with Mr. Soto on his alignment except for backup middle infielder. I would substitute Wildredo Tovar who is already on the 40-man roster and cut Tejada loose rather than pay him $2 million to sit on the bench where he's an average fielder at best, can't run and can't hit.

Christopher Soto said...


Personally....I would do the same thing and it's already what I'm calling for in my off-season series posts.

But I have a feeling the team is going to hold onto him.

Tovar's 0 BB to 12 K's in Winter Ball is not gonna help him in the organization's eyes IMO. even though he's hitting close to .300.

Michael S. said...

- No way would I deal Matz for Gordon. Montero and Murphy, sure. But with Gordon a FA after this year I'm not dealing one of my top 2 pitching prospects.

- It's great to hear that Sandy and I share the same opinion on Reynolds. I don't think this spells the end of Flores at all. I think that Murphy is not long for NY and between Reynolds, Flores, Mazzilli, and Herrera, the middle infield will be solved from within. We have 4 very interesting candidates. Also, I wouldn't worry about shifting anyone from SS to 2B. It's a relatively easy transition and SS is usually the best or one of the best athletes on the team.

Steve from Norfolk said...

Mack, About Matt Reynolds - he did play 21 games at 2B between Binghampton and LV last year.

Thomas Brennan said...

IMO, they can ix-nay Tejada and rely on the Flores, Reynolds, Herrera trio. Even if Murphy goes, those 3 would likely do OK and only get better as time progresses. But that is the risk of moving Murphy now vs. mid-2015: if that trio falters early in covering both 2nd AND SS, any chance of 2015 playoffs could falter with them.

Mack Ade said...

Steve -

I don't know - my computer won't connect to Baseball Cube anymore and I can't dig up the stats

Hobie said...

I too think Reuben will be non-tendered. Tovar is the likely in-house utility with Reynolds/Herrera getting as many reps together as possible. Matt would be the FT SS in the event of a Flores injury or epic fail.

But my UT INF dark-horse is TJ Rivera. He's as versatile, if not more so, as Tovar and has offensively out-classed him at every level.

Christopher Soto said...


"if Recker worked with whomever worked with Dekker. If Recker could cut his Ks, even at the loss of a little power"

That's the thing though...Den Dekker didn't lose just a little power....he lost ALL OF IT.

Personally, I don't like what den Dekker has done to his swing. Yes he has cut down on his K rate significantly, but he did so at the expense of his ceiling to be a 20 HR/20 SB guy with superb defense in CF.

He basically has killed any chance he had at becoming an everyday CF and is now no better than a 4th OF/late inning defensive replacement.

Anonymous said...

Fair observation, but often players who make this sort of adjustment do require some time before recovering some of their power. A more selective eye will eventually bring better pitches to hit and I don't think he cut it down so much that it has sapped all of his power. The key is plate discipline for MDD and some power should return. 20 hrs like before? not likely, but not out of the realm to expect 10-15 and that would be a worthwhile trade off for a better average that makes his defense playable everyday.
Anon Joe

Mack Ade said...

S.F.N. -


according the MiLB.com he did play 21 games at 2B in 2014

Buddy3 said...

I would non-tender Tejada if we can't trade him and go with Danny Muno as the backup. Muno gets alot of walks, has power and knocks in alot of runs. Average is a little low, but he wont play everyday anyway. If a long term replacement is needed they would bring up Reynolds anyway. Lets save the $2 million on Reuben and use it on a better left fielder.

Buddy3 said...

MDD has transformed himself from a potential Jim Edmunds with power and great defense to a punch and judy 4th outfielder. I guess when you are 27 you have to adjust to stay in the show, but I would take the potential 20/20 with a .250 average and alot of ks and walks over what he has become.

Thomas Brennan said...

I agree with what Anon is saying on Matt Den Dekker - he actually did not lose his power, although he did not show much with Mets when he returned. In 2nd half of season, including Vegas, with the new swing, he had 39 extra base hits in about 280 at bats.

I think he HAD to show he was not stuck in a "low .200's, occasional HR, high strikeout" rut - and he really did so. He hit one bomb in his first game or two that some guy made a circus catch at fence - which is an easy homer this coming year.

Like Anon said, I think he'll add some power back, especially with shorter right center field fences to raise the reward vs risk ratio of adding in power.

I think it was Francoeur's first Citifield game, where he lined 400+ to right center twice and got caught twice (it was all risk and no reward 5 years ago in Death Valley). Lefty batters will take more chances in 2015 - much more of a chance to be rewarded on well-struck fly balls.

If he were allowed 500 at bats with Mets in 2015, I'd bet on 40 doubles, 10 triples, and 7-10 homers. Throw in 20 steals, .370 on base %, defense, not shabby.

Unfortunately for him, he did not get 20 more games to show more of the "extreme makeover Dekker"

Thomas Brennan said...


Bad year for Muno to be ready. I believe he could do utility for a major league team in 2015, and in many Met years, he'd have gotten the opportunity. Now, he'll have to have an incredible spring to have any chance of making the team out of spring training - too many competitors.

Anonymous said...

I think Muno may have a decent shot to take the MI utility role. The Mets would like to see Reynolds develop with the stick and in the field, so I am guessing they don't want him rotting on the ML bench and I am not sure that they are comfortable with Tovar's bat. Muno has a few things going for him, despite the back to back down years: Switch hitter, little bit of pop, little bit of speed, can play 2B, SS, and 3B in a pinch and has always had a great eye at the plate, so his peripherals flash, even if the actual results may trail. But what do I know, they buried him in the Desert this past year in favor of fossils who may never play a ML game
Anon Joe F

Mack's Mets © 2012