The Morning Report – December 22 – LHRP, Gavin Cecchini, Tulo


The Mets continue to look for a second lefty to come out of their pen and reports are that job will come from someone inside the organization. There also are reports that this isn’t considered a ‘must do’ situation and the Mets may easily go to Queens with only one lefty (Josh Edgin) coming out of the pen.

The following would be the leading candidates for this search:.

LHP Dario Alvarez – we all remember the 25-year old Alvarez winding up in Queens for the end of the 2014 season. Alvarez was originally signed by the Phillies, but wound up in the Mets organization in Brooklyn in 2013. 2014 was just a crazy time for Alvarez. He started out in Savannah (20-G, 6-starts, 1.32, 0.93), moved to St. Lucie (4-appearances, 0.00, 0.63), went on to the B-Mets (5-appearances, 0.00). Finally, he was called to Queens to pitch 1.1 innings where he gave up two runs (13.50).My guess, because of his age and success in 2014, is he would be one of the favorites here.  3-1 

LHP Sean Gilmartin – The arrival of Gilmartin on the Mets roster makes him the immediate favorite to fill this opening. Yes, he has started in 79 0f the 80 games he has pitched in through rookie ball to AAA, but, as we all know, there are no rotation openings on Las Vegas What’s important here is how would he best serve the needs of the organization. 2-1

LHP Jack Leathersich – There are some obvious problems with Leathersich and how he has pitched these past few years. We all know he has a phenomenal K/9 ratio. The problem is that the right hand hitters sort of ate him up in AAA (7.36), while, at the AA level, he posted a 4.00-ERA against lefties (2.25 vs. righties). The more you look at his stats, the more you realize that this guy isn’t ready.  10-1

LHP Darin Gorski – not on the 40-man roster… The 6-4 26-year old is a long short to make the 25-man out of camp this year. He’s had difficulty putting together decent numbers in Las Vegas (2013 – 6.43, 2014 – 4.60), though you do have to wonder how much you need to factor in the lack of atmosphere there. At the same time, he went 1.82 for Binghamton in 2013 and 2.21 in 2014. Still, my guess is he will fall in line behind Gilmartin and Alvarez. 10-1

LHP Jon Niese – No, there is no chance he will pitch out of the pen in 2015 and the odds would be around 100-1; however, don’t count out 2016 as this being the only place left he can feature his work before free agency sets him free.

SS GAVIN CECCHINI CHECKS IN AT #10 - Also a 1st rounder, in 2012, Gavin Cecchini only dropped a slot, down from 9th in 2014, after playing 125 games between South Atlantic and Florida State Leagues. He hit .247/.328/.378 for the season. Here is a report on his 2013 season with the Brooklyn Cyclones.


That smartly "aggressive" nature, mixed with athleticism, quick hands at the plate, ability to adjust with each at bat, plus solid, fluid defense all make Cecchini a highly valuable player in the Mets plans. He hit well at both Class-A and Advanced, but with just one Double-A game under his belt, he'll need to show that he has the skills to play consistently at the next level

Tulowitzki[i] has begun light running and continues a rigorous program to increase flexibility in his hips.

"My bottom line is to try to get healthy to play games and play a lot of them," he said. "That's obviously something that I haven't been very good at, for whatever reason. So I am trying to find that recipe for success."

Tulo hit .340, with 21 home runs and 52 RBIs, in 90 games last season before he injured his left hip. He had surgery Aug. 16 to repair a torn labrum. Over the past three seasons, he has played in only 264 games. In eight full seasons, he has played in more than 130 games just three times.

Tulo is confident that if he sticks to his rehab, he can get rid of the qualifier that says he's the best shortstop in baseball — when healthy..–


Thomas Brennan said...

Morning, Mack

I'm going with the thoroughbred Leather Rocket at 10-1 in the LOOGY Preakness.

I'm guessing Leathersich actually is seeking, and working hard, to correct those flaws this off season. I'd be reasonably happy with any of the 4 choices, and feel that your assigned odds are pretty spot-on.

I think he is capable of coming close to replicating Met fans' favorite Ollie Perez's stats out of Seattle's pen the past 3 years: 11 Ks per 9 innings, 3.8 BB per 9, a 1.33 WHIP and 3.04 ERA.

Despite Tulowitski's efforts, will his games played in 2015 be "too low" for the Mets at too high a price? That's my bet.

Brian Joura said...

Is that Cecchini ranking yours or someone else's?

I'm not a Cecchini fan. I've blasted the signing since the day it was made.

But I don't see how anyone who believes in him views what he did last year as anything but confirmation of his ability. What he did down the stretch in Hi-A was extremely valuable.

I don't see him as a top 10 player but I guess the thing that confuses me is how someone who thought he was top 10 prior to 2014 moves him down in their list after he actually produces following a mid-year promotion.

TDA graduates off the 2014 list, Dominic Smith moves lower, so three guys must have passed him. Conforto, Molina and ???

And that's assuming JDG wasn't ranked ahead of him last year, which is probably a safe bet here.

Anonymous said...

Morning MACK:
I am very curious what you think?
Im still thinking there is more talk, behind doors going on for Tulo? The guy who the Mets have hired as a fitness consultant,to work the players out what he thinks? Does he believe Tulo can be built up ,threw yoga pilates and stretching to be able to play 140 games?? I also think if they do trade for Tulo it would be wise to keep Flores! If Wright only plays 140 aswell as Murphy and Duda. That would leave 22 starts at each 1st-2nd-3rd and short for Flores to be a super utility! Plus a couple as a DH.
Anyhow I thik Sandy is doing his due diligence before trading for TULO?

Thomas Brennan said...

Anonymous, unless Herrera is in a hypothetical Tulo deal, my opinion is he will be ready to bump Murphy by mid-year to another club, but both Herrera and Murphy are iron men who can play almost every day without fading due to fatigue or injury.

My take is I have no idea how anyone can feel comfortable Tulo won't break down again, regardless of his workout regimen.

He would be a big roll of the dice.

Thomas Brennan said...

Also, Flores would not sub for Duda - that IMO would (at least for 2015) fall to lefty-loving Mayberry Jr.

I see Duda and Mayberry in a pretty strict lefty/righty platoon in 2015.

James Preller said...

Regrding Tulo, it's interesting to debate in baseball terms, but the Mets have not been run according to on-field issues in years and years. It's been more about finances than baseball.

Tulo costs money and the Mets can't afford that, so debating it on baseball terms is an exercise in futility. Maybe an old habit from the pre-Madoff days, or from watching how other teams operate.

Which is also why we see the list of borderline AAA/ML pitchers listed as the LHP options. Edgin has not yet thrown an effective full-season in the majors, yet he's the sure thing in the mix.

The Mets can spin Mayberry however they want, but the reality is that they signed him for $1.499,000 at Walmart.

I think the organization has made a lot of lazy assumptions about the pen, but ideally I think you keep adding to the talent level. A lot of frail arms back there.

Thomas Brennan said...

James. I agree with you on lefty pen. It is far from a sure thing.

If the Mets did get Tulo and he was healthy, he'd likely help to drastically increase attendance and pay for his contract and then some. Always that "if" though.

Lew Rhodes said...

Given the variation on relievers from year to year - especially back of the bullpen relievers - I think the plan to fill the 2nd lefty is a good one.

Here is the other thing - I believe each and every person on this list has options - which means the team can move them up and down and have the hot hand at the big club (other than Gilmartin that is)

Signing a ML player for the pen means he is in the pen, no matter how he does.

If we are nitpicking how the team will fill 6/7th arm for the pen, we must have a lot of faith in the rest of the team

Lew Rhodes said...

RE Cecchini - Fan graphs had him at #9 last year

They had TdA, JdG and Monterro in front of him who graduated

They also had Thor, Matz, Smith. Rosario, and Pawlecki in front of him

They actually had Flores behind him

They didn't have Herrara ranked, and they didn't have Nimmo in their top-10; Conforto wasn't on last year's list

So, there are 3 names who will replace the three who "graduated"

Not sure who the 4th will be, but will likely be Molina

Fangraphs usually are way different than other ranking - and considering they had JdG ranked higher than anyone else, I think they have some recent street cred

Reese Kaplan said...

While I agree that Tulo would be a huge risk in terms of dollars and personnel, the fact remains that the fan base who, you know, buys the tickets and the jerseys and the overpriced beer, are increasingly disillusioned with lack-of-business as usual. The inertia seen for the past four years continues while all around teams like the Diamondbacks, Padres, Marlins, Braves, etc. don't seem afraid to change their rosters. Sometimes you have to shake things up and while this move is far from ideal, you've kind of painted yourself into a corner by doing nothing.

Lew Rhodes said...

Here is the thing with that argument Reese - it will only help tickets in April.

If we trade for Tulo and he gets hurt and the Mets head towards another mediocre season, it doesn't matter that he is on the roster

On the flip side, if we don't trade for him, and this team ends up being decent to good, attendance will rise - people won't care who is on the roster if the team is winning.

Best case would be trading for Tulo who plays 140 games and hits 40 HRs, but I doubt either would happen.

I think the Mets sit on this until further into the year - let's see how Tulo looks and see how the team as constructed plays before agreeing to pay in spades for Tulo.

Who knows, a rebound from Wright and Granderson with continued improvement from Duda, Lagares and Flores, and this offense may be better than we all think

bob gregory said...


Too much bad feeling has built up with many of the fans.
Couple this with the expense of going to the ballpark.

decent to good performance is not going to bring the fans back to the stadium and otherwise financially supporting this team in meaningful terms this year or next.

Just decent to good performance is going to only generate less than decent to good attendance for quite some time

Anonymous said...

I think the best chance to improve attendance is obviously performance, but from an ancillary perspective, having a young stud toe the rubber every day could bring the sort of Harvey day excitement. So far, Harvey has demonstrated that sort of draw, deGrom made a case last year and even Wheeler flashed that sort of potential, so if the plan works out and Thor/Matz graduate with similar levels of success, they will at least bring a novelty effect that will be attractive. Heaven forbid they all hit, it will be far more of a draw each game. No guarantees, but I think this is Sandy's short term plan to increase interest on a daily basis for attendance. All five flashing and a team in contention would almost certainly boost attendance. Bear in mind, they are working off a very low baseline

Reese Kaplan said...

Ah, but as Tom Glavine so eloquently put it while playing for the Braves, "Chicks dig the long ball". TRUE baseball fans appreciate a 1-0 game. They will come to the games regardless. The casual fans -- the ones who might otherwise go to the beach or Broadway or whatever -- they want to see runs scored.

bob gregory said...


Right on the mark. Improving financial base means improving fan-base.

The only way to improve fan-base is to target the people that are not currently interested.

Some risk taking is necessary....as long as it can be justified as a good baseball decision

Thomas Brennan said...

Could not agree more, Reeese, which is why I wanted the fences brought in further. 402 in dead center would likely have added 10-20 more taters without signing a "hippie" like Tulo.

I am also a fan of the Nets - they paid super-big, guys keep getting hurt, and my interest has really waned. The risk of signing an injury-prone guy. Lots of casual fans will say "those Mets are snakebit" and watch Amreican Idol instead.

Brian Joura said...

Thanks Lew

Montero is still eligible for these lists.

Also, I'm not sure it's FanGraphs. At least if it was FG, I was unable to find their top 10 list for the 2015 Mets.

S Finch said...

Totally understandable to balk on Tulo's injury history, but he is still too big of a game changer at a position of need to not pursue. A few things:

1)A healthy non-injury prone Tulo would be preferable, but that player would never be available. If fans would go "bat shit" over what Colorado wants now, imagine if he wasn't hurt. Simply put, we all would not be having this conversation if he wasn't injury prone.

2) Even frequently injured, Tulo is still top SS in the league. His numbers are crazy good. Last year in 91 games, his WAR was equal to Peralta, who played in 157. It's hard to wrap your head around the fact that Tulo did what Peralta did in 70 less games.

Let's move forward with the understanding he probably will get hurt, but that's ok. 80 games of Tulo+82 of Tejada still = best SS production in baseball.

S Finch said...

Forgot to mention that his contract (even when not playing full seasons) is a positive. 6 years ~119 million. Sandoval just got 5 ~100. Imagine if Tulo hit free agency?

I am really no advocate of signing free agents or making trades for the heckk of it. I don't want A. Cabrera, didn't want Lowrie, not interested in the cost for Castro. For Tulo, give them 1 of DeGrom/Wheeler/Thor, and pretty much whatever else they want in the system. Only caveat, if they don't take on some salary, Rockies take a Murphy, Niese, or Gee for some salary relief.

Mack Ade said...

Brian -

that is NOT my ranking

bob gregory said...

S. Finch

New "moneyball" focus has moved away from on base %. Everybody is using that so the prices for it has elevated.

The new "moneyball" opportunity is players like Tulo & Kemp that were signed to long term contracts that the team is trying to unload to save money or restock their farm system.

Since Salaries keep rising, their salaries are more of a "bargain" and if the player's team is willing to throw in considerable $$, the "moneyball efficiency" is all the greater.

(of course, not worth it if medical teams do not endorse the risk)

Mack Ade said...

Anon on Tulo -

I think this issue is dead until the 2015 all start break

Richard Jones said...

If the Rockies are trying to dump Tulo's salary then let them dump it on the Mets. I think taking on his salary is worth the risk. Where I differ is on what is worth giving up player wise. No to Harvey,Wheeler, Syndergaard, or deGrom.
I would offer Matz, Gee, Montero, and Nimmo. Offer to pay 100% of his contract and tell the Rockies that's the offer take or leave it.

Mack Ade said...

Richard -

The Rockies would have to save face with their fan base on a salary dump here... by the way... his salary next year is about the same as the balloon payment the Mets last paid to the bank.

The Mets would have to lose one of their top four pitchers for this guy.

I want to stay on plan now... give Flores 2015 at short and let Syndergaard work his way into the rotation.

As you will see with what Write about tomorrow, the Mets lead baseball in home grown players on the 40-man.

Let's see this plan through.

bob gregory said...

I keep batting around in my head whether the Mets are better with:
1) Tulo and Harvey, Wheeler or DeGrom (who ever is not traded), Colon, Niese, Gee, Montero

2) keeping all of the pitchers

Harvey, Wheeler/DeGrom, Colon, Niese, Gee, & Montero would still be a very good line-up.

Even better if Wheeler & DeGrom would not have to be traded

Mack Ade said...

This whole Tulo debate will blow up in the Mets face if Noah Syndergaard turns out to be a dud.

It's happened before to high end prospects that have never thrown a pitch in the majors.

EVERY deal the Mets and Colorado talked about had Thor in the discussion.

Lew Rhodes said...

Agreed - the only way this deal gets done is with Thor, Flores, and other prospects.

If they wait until mid-season, then I could see Matz passing Thor - stud hard-throwing lefties are always in higher demand.

Of course Mack - imagine if they pull off the trade, Tulo gets hurt (again) and Thor wins ROY -- how ugly would THAT be?

Richard Jones said...

I agree that it would likely take one of the big 4 to get the deal done for Tulo.
That's why I'm hoping it doesn't get done.
Either way it could blow up in the Mets face. If they trade Syndergaard he could be a multiple Cy Young winner and Tulo could be hurt most of his remaining time.
It could also work out where Tulo wins a couple of MVPs and Syndergaard turns out to be a dud.
The trade has more risk because the Mets will have that extra money to sign other free agents or to secure home growns.

bob gregory said...

Something has to be given up in a trade.
Quality for quality

Tulowitzki, Even at 80% is still the best ss in the majors.

Pitching keeps a game winnable.
Tulowitzki is only available because there is some risk.

If the Mets wait until Tulowitzki proves he is healthy by playing half of the year, then the trade price would be astronomical

S Finch said...

I'm shocked, Bob and I agree!

I think it's now or never for Tulo. Super high risk, but the rewards are just as high. Mets would be hoping to buy low (by Tulo standards) now, as opposed to paying the premium if he proves healthy. If he's healthy, expect to lose the entire farm system.

Richard Jones said...

80% of Tulo for 150 games is worth it but we would likely be getting 80% of Tulo fo 90 games. I don't think that is worth Sydergaard.

Reese Kaplan said...

If it was ONLY Syndergaard (and Mets picking up 100% of salary), then I'd do that deal. However, giving up 4-5 of your top prospects and paying a hefty proportion of the salary is too big a risk on both the resources leaving and the contract coming back to bite you.

I'm with Mack -- give the SS position to Flores and tell Professor Collins NOT to change a thing until after the All-Star break -- except to move him up in the order if he's performing.

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