The Morning Report – December 24 – LJ Mazzil, Brian Wilson, Jon Niese – Overall Mets Analysis


Daniel Murphy since May 20th, 2011: 530 G, 265 R, 623 H, 136 2B, 11 3B, 31 HR, 237 RBIs, 121 BB, 285 SO, 50 SB, .297/.335/.417, 111 wRC+

Vegas has Mets 12 to 1 odds to win NL Pennant Yankees at 12 to 1 to win AL Pennant Interesting Very Interesting both 25:1 to Win WS

One of our better comment makers, Steve From Norfolk’ has joined the site as a Mack’s Mets writer. I’m looking forward to his first shot over the bow sometimes time week

Folks, I can't even imagine what it must have been like for Mets infielder LZ Mazzilli to step into his parent house after testing... for the second time for a banned substance. Baseball defines this kind of use as a 'drug of abuse' which would categorize it either in the family of marijuana, cocaine, and ecstasy.He has been diagnosed in the past with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. This isn't that. This is just outright stupidity.

I had the pleasure of interviewing LZ twice in my life and have met both his parents on an opening day here in Savannah. LZ seemed so much more gentile than his intense father and you can only wonder how hard it was for him to earn his approval. Now this.

This really sucks. Look for players like William Fulmer or Branden Kaupe to be asked to step up or Milton Ramos be moved over from SS.

Folks, would like to leave all of you before you break for holiday mean with the thoughts of toughening up this team with a couple of wild children. Is there some particular reason Brian Wilson wouldn’t make a good addition here on a one year, heavy bonus laden deal so he can work his way back into the graces of Major League Baseball? No, the Wilpon’s would never pay him the $9.5 he was supposed to make in 2015 with the Giants, but offer him $1mil with incentive clauses that could top out at around the John Lester level. Folks, Wilson may be toxic but he’s still a great closer...

Anti-Tulo post[i]

Great Title – Jon Niese and the Dangers of Average[ii] -

In many different ways, Jon Niese is average. But when it comes to fantasy, average is not very attractive. Elite needs to be valued more highly. This sort of realization has repercussions for leagues of any sort and size.

By wins above replacement, Niese has pretty much been average for the last five years. He’s put up 9.2 wins, and a perfect ten would be perfectly average. In terms of what he’s done on the field — he’s missed a few games here or there — his 3.72 career FIP is right there with last year’s 3.81 league FIP.

It doesn’t stop there. Until last year, Niese had been averaging right around 90.5 mph on his fastball, and the average for a left-handed starter is 90.6. His 7.9% swinging strike rate is right there with the league’s 8.8% average. He’s struck out 18.6% of the batters he’s faced and walked 6.9% — the league’s starters averaged 19.4% and 7.1% last season. He had a 47.7% ground-ball rate last year while the league averaged 44.6% -

Mack – I don’t think an article like this is going to help Niese much, but let’s remember that ‘average rating means that half the pitchers out there have produced worse than he has. This sure sounds like a pretty productive 4th or 5th starter

And lastly… Fangraphs does an overall look at all the Mets prospects.[iii]  Dave Cameron has an overall outlook –

If you focus primarily on the young pitching, the Mets future is very bright. If you assume that a team in the country’s largest market can’t possibly continue to spend this little on their Major League payroll, then the future might be even brighter, as distance from the Madoff mess can only help. There are reasons for optimism in Queens. But young pitching is a shaky foundation around which to build, and the Wilpons aren’t acting like they own a team in New York just yet. The arrow is pointed upwards, but 2015 might be another year of climbing rather than enjoying the view from the top. And if the team keeps running payrolls under $100 million, then they better hope all these young arms stay healthy or things could get rough again in a hurry.-


Thomas Brennan said...

With Reynolds, Herrera and Muno, the departure for 50 games of Mazz, who would have been knocking on the AAA door at the start of the season, opens up more playing time for Muno and Jeff McNeil. Good for the latter 2. Joints and baseball don't mix.

Met fans don't want much for Christmas - other than Tulo wrapped under the tree.

Harvey must be saying: "12-1 odds. We can beat that."

Murphy's #s are solid...could do worse. Only a moderate run scorer and producer, though.

Niese velocity may be dropping but the Matz gun is high-powered and drawing closer to Queens by the day.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night game.

Not to get political, but "What do we have? Great cops. When do we have them? Now."

Have a great day.

Lew Rhodes said...

Mazz screwed himself - he will get passed now and lose his golden opportunity - there is too much middle infield depth, and I don't he makes it to the MLB with the Mets - plus, a two time offender of a drug of abuse makes him more high risk for this in the future - I can't say I feel sorry for the kid - he made his own bed, hope he can straighten himself out someday, but his future with the Mets is likely done.

Lew Rhodes said...

RE Niese - An "average" starter by stats is a #3 starter - by any math calculation, 3 is roughly the mid-point between 1 and 5.

A #3 starter in the #5 slot is pretty dang impressive.

And, if Niese is "average" than Gee is below average.

The one "average" stat I take issue with is the ground ball rate - Niese's ground ball rate is 7% above the league average (as in 3.1% is 7% higher than 44.6%)- that is a significant difference, and makes him better than average.

Frankly - Niese is the one pitcher who suffers the most from the Mets' infield defense - he generate a lot of ground balls, and his overall numbers would be better with an above average defense.

By 2017 Matz will be heads and shoulders better than Niese - no doubt - but I wouldn't be so fast to show Niese the door between now and then.

Lew Rhodes said...

BTW - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

Thomas Brennan said...

Merry Christmas to you too, Lew. I'll save my Happy New Year wishes for next week, though, to spread the cheer out a bit.

Steve from Norfolk, glad to see you are joining the writing team here. Look forward to your "stuff", sir.

Reese Kaplan said...

It will be interesting to me to see how the Mets treat him after his drug suspension.

When it was Valdespin, they pushed him out the door. When it was Puello, they minimized his role. In those two cases the players were on PEDs ostensibly trying to help their careers to progress. Recreational drugs should be treated more harshly because there's no "business" reason someone would exercise that kind of poor judgment. However, he has Mets heritage and race on his side.

Lew Rhodes said...

Reese -

I think the "Mets Heritgage" will cut against him - as in "you should know better."

Frankly, this was his year to have a shot - and that would only be if Murphy and Herrera were out of the picture.

By mid-season, Reynolds will be in the picture, and unlike Mazz, Reynolds can play SS.

You also have Muno and McNeil - I believe that they both can play SS also, right?

LJ had a short window to get to the show and show something, and he "smoked" it away.

S Finch said...

Seems like this is an area that deserves more discussion. Seems kind of silly to me that the MLB has such a harsh penalty for something that is becoming increasingly accepted and decriminalized. Shouldn't the team decide whether a players off the field conduct is affecting his play?

This isn't cheating, and by all indications, smoking a few doobies wasn't affecting his baseball play in any meaningful way. Marijuana helps a lot of conditions, adhd being one of them. Seems that MLB, like some of our politicians are still stuck in the times.

Mack Ade said...

the Mets do not treat their ex-offenders well well in the past

and all the team needs is one second baseman and shortstop for the decade.

my guess is his days as a Mets are over

Merry Christmas to all of you

Thomas Brennan said...

I agree, Finch. 20 games would send the message for that, IMO.

I think the Mazzilli name will get him past this, as well as his robust "mea culpas". But Lew is right, 50 games can really set you back in a crowded field, and the Mets middle infield picture is extremely crowded.

Muno lost 50 games. Had he not, he might well have been the one to make his major league debut last year and not Herrera. Muno, after his 50 games, had a miserable first half of 2013 in AA. Maybe he gets into AA in 2012 without a suspension, has a stronger 2013 and 2014, and gets promoted. Losing 50 games can really screw you up.

I still think Puello's raw talent will overcome, and he'll be a big leaguer for a long time. But those 50 games really hurt him too. Maybe he would have made his major league debut in 2014 if he did not miss that much time in 2013 during a breakout season.

S. Finch said...

I think it's easy to forget that these guys are in there early 20's, many just our of high school. Although they have insane talent, they are still going to make mistakes and do what people in their 20's do.

In all honesty, why test for recreational drugs at all? If a team feels a player's off the field conduct is in question, handle it on a one-on-one basis and hand down a team fine or penalty-the same way i would assume they handle someone drinking too much.

Charles said...

Mazz Jr certainly shit the bit. I couldn't imagine knowing there was a chance that id get tested for drugs and still gamble my career to smoke a joint or blow a line.

Remember, this is his second offense so obviously tgeres as issue here. It's not stupidity, it's addiction. He may not have realized it and maybe still doesn't, but he should not just seek help(as he said he has, he should get help.

its unfortunate. I think he had or has a better ceiling then Murphy. He's a natural middle infielder and has a good bat. The only thing that stood in his way was Herrera.....until now.

50 games is huge to a prospect on the cusp of the major leagues. The stigma that'll surround him now even bigger. Much better players have fallen due to this crap so he isn't special. I hope for his sake he learned a lesson. Most kids think they know it all and just need to get smacked around a few times to really get that they knew nothing at all. I've been there. Whatever.

Merry Christmas.

S. Finch said...

Seems presumptive to label this an "addiction." If this is was indeed marijuana, it could stay in your system weeks. Furthermore, mj is not addictive.

Charles you say-if you knew there was a chance you got tested you wouldn't do it. This is sort of my point- Do we have too high of expectations for these young men who just happen to be really good at hitting a baseball?

First, let's be honest, most athletes aren't the smartest people in the world-school and other scholastic activities take a backset to athletic abilities in our society.

Second, it's not like we are talking about heart surgeons, or CIA agents. Many drink alcohol and fans/teams don't care as long as it's not affecting performance. Why do we/teams/MLB care if its another drug?

Lew Rhodes said...

Lots of people in lots of professions are subject to drug tests and lose their jobs when they test positive.

This was his second offense - clearly the first is a freebie as that never made the press.

At 23 years old you are still a "kid" but old enough to understand the consequences.

Anonymous said...

Other news out there in the baseball world!
The Blue Jays are looking to trade for a closer. Reyes back to the Mets with Toronto paying 2 million a year on the 3 years left,sounds good to me? Mejia and Flores for Reyes and 6 million.
Would you guys do it???

Thomas Brennan said...

I would do that Reyes deal...would the Jays?

Anonymous said...

Hey Thomas:
Word is the Jays would like to trade for a closer,instead of going FA. Looking at there team they could have Goins play Short and move Flores to 2nd.
Mind you I would be intriqued to see if somehow Sandy could get Daniel Norris from them aswell?

Thomas Brennan said...

That guy Norris had some impressive 2014. He's no throw in. Can't imagine Jays don't have him in their near term plans.

Anonymous said...

No Thomas he's no throw in!
But Sandy could expand the deal, to get him added?
Say something like
for Reyes and Norris

Thomas Brennan said...

I'd be game for that Jays deal, Anonymous. Throw in Mazzilli too.

Steve from Norfolk said...

Thanks for the welcome, Thomas. The writers here set a high standard. I hope to live up to it.

Mack's Mets © 2012