The Morning Report – December 8 – Harvey-Montero Piggyback, Ian Desmond, Drew Butera, Craig Breslow


Our newest writer, Bobby McLaughlin, posts up his first post today at 12noon and, well, let’s just say it’s a different spin on how many of us look at our favorite team.

I can’t wait to see the comment responses.

Pedro Martinez on Matt Harvey[i]

“As good as anyone in the game. He’s got everything he needs. He’s got toughness, he’s got desire, he’s got fire, he knows how to pitch, he is a competitor and he is smart. He has the entire package. Harvey is the key to the Mets in every way. Without Harvey, no way. Remember, [Jacob] deGrom, it is only his second year — the hitters are going to be aware of the Rookie of the Year. Harvey is the biggest piece for that organization. I get excited when I watch him pitch.’’

Harvey has got high quality stuff, and his composure on the mound is throwback. If you are facing a guy like that, he’s commanding the mound and that’s the thing that impressed me the most about him. It’s unfortunate he got hurt, but they say he’s back and I’m looking forward to seeing him pitch this year.
The other great thing about him is that he’s not afraid to pitch inside. So many pitchers today don’t pitch inside. The only way to get the best big league hitters out is that you have got to be able to go inside — twice, you have to go back and finish him off in an at-bat. That is the biggest thing’’

Mack – Boy, it’s nice to see someone write about something other than shortstop.

I expect Harvey to start off slow, but I just can’t see the down side here. Yes, out of respect alone, he will be slotted SP1, but don’t be surprised he isn’t pulled in the 5-6 inning range for the first 5-7 outings.

What the Mets need to do is formulate a three relief pitcher plan on the days Harvey pitches, starting with someone that has the capability of punching out two innings of successful relief (is this where I insert my Rafael Montero pitch?).

And while we’re back on the subject, what’s wrong with extending that to a three inning stint and calling this a piggyback situation? We’re still trying to find a place to play this guy, especially if two of the other three backend starters (Colon, Niese, Gee) remain on the team come opening day.

I’m just trying to win ballgames here, but this way I get my cake and eat it too. I don’t have to worry about Harvey reaching the 200 innings limit early on and I get to insert one of the possible future rotation stars of this team (or, at least, showcase a future trade chip).

My plan would be simple:

            SP1: Harvey, Montero, Mejia

            SP2: Wheeler, Torres, Familia, (Alvarez)

            SP3: deGrom, Black, Mejia (Elgin)

            SP4: Niese, Black, Familia, (Alvarez)

            SP5: Colon, Torres, Mejia (Elgin)

My lefties would be pieces that could be moved from game to game, if needed. 

Steve from Norfolk said...

Mack, I had a weird idea this morning while waking up. Suppose the Mets ride with Wilmer this year and he's OK - not great, not terrible, but OK. Then, next winter, Fred blows the dust out of his wallet and goes all in on Ian Desmond. A reasonable possibility?

Mack – Let’s take a closer look at Desmond

A 3rd round draft pick out of high school by the old Montreal Expos

Has been the Washington Nationals shortstop since 2009.

Has a lifetime major league stat line of .270/.317/.431/748

Has hit 69 home runs in the past three seasons

Will play 2015 as a 29 year old.

Was paid $11mil in 2015

Yeah Steve, I love this idea… he generates exactly the kind of numbers a team would want at this position.

The only downside is whether or not the Mets would be willing to give up another draft pick here. He just may wind up in that class of players when the season ends.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have designated ex-Mets catcher Drew Butera for assignment. Butera was, at best, a defensive specialist throughout his short career. The Mets drafted him fifth in the 2005 draft and was eventually traded along with OF Dustin Martin for 2B Luis Castillo. – 

Andy Martino tweeted that Sandy Alderson entered the Winter Meetings with ‘something up his sleeve’. His source was a ‘Mets person’.

Mike Puma said there wasn’t much chance that the Mets would pursue RP David Robertson.

Multiple teams have expressed interest in signing free-agent lefty reliever Craig Breslow.[i] Breslow told me he has received solid interest from teams and noted “things are still developing.” Sources also tell me the Mets appear to be the most likely team to sign Breslow, saying “he wants to come to New York.” The Mets have reportedly made Breslow an offer already

Mack – Maybe the Mets have different stats than what the Red Sox had for this guy last year. 60 appearances, 54.1 innings pitched, a mere 37 strikeouts, a whopping 28 walks and an ERA/WHIP of 5.96/1.86.

His does come off a 61 appearance, 1.81/1.12 year in 2013 and, up to last season, hadn’t had a 4.00+ ERA since 2007. Also, up to the 2014 season, he had a 2.82-ERA over the past six seasons

In his defense, he started 2014 on the DL.

Fastball: 89-92, mid-80s cut-fastball, sinker, 70-75 overhand curveball, changeup, 78-slurve.


Thomas Brennan said...

Look forward to Bobby's post today.

Breslow did have a seemingly great year in 2013, with his 1.81 ERA, but he only K'd 33 in 60 innings that year so it is 2 straight years of plunged Ks. 7.8 per 9 in his career thru 2012, 5.5 per 9 since. Worrisome.

His FIP in 2013 was 3.60, far higher than his ERA, and his WHIP a very solid but not outstanding 1.12.

If they do this guy, it better be one year and not a lot of $$. I'd prefer a trade to get a better lefty.

Mack, I like your 12 man staff utilization pro forma.

Steve from Norfolk, like the thinking on Desmond. I still think Flores will surprise folks - he is 12 for 31 in winter ball so far, 4 walks, just 4 Ks - he will hit. That may alter people's thinking about him.

Ernest Dove said...

I wonder how much different this offseason can look if Mets are able to trade Colon (and most his salary).
What to do with that extra money?

Reese Kaplan said...

Could the "something up his sleeve" be an out-of-left-field bid on Korean SS Jung-Ho Kang? He only hit .364 with 39 HRs and 116 RBIs in 116 games last year at age 27.

Lew Rhodes said...

Mack -

Not a bad plan, too bad our manager is too myopic to do anything creative - in his mind batting the pitcher 8th is extremely radical.

RE Breslow - looking at his stats, he seems to have two goods years followed by a not-so good year - funny how that pattern has lasted 9 years for him - so maybe he is due for a decent year this year. Seriously though, last year looks a lot like an anomaly - which if he was hurt in the off season which impacted his preparation for the season, that could explain it.

Also - other than last year when he sucked against everyone - his has decent numbers vs. RHB - so he isn't a strict LOOGY

Thomas Brennan said...

Breslow will turn 35 during next season, another point of concern. Although a neophyte compared to Bartolo.

Reese, this Korean guy put up huge #s, but I wonder what Korean baseball compares to in US. A? AA?

If Mets did sign him, we'd hear Gangnam Style at ear-splitting levels every time he came up, which would be exciting.

Christopher Soto said...


Heyman reported that the Mets are indeed interested in Kang for the SS position.

Kang would most certainly be a very interesting candidate. Extrapolated across a full 162 games season his Japan stats translate to a 54 HRs in a season.

That said.....stadiums in the Korean leagues are generally 315 ft in the corners and 395ft in CF.

In addition, there are severe questions about whether or not he is a good enough fielder to stick at SS.

1 thing in his favor though is that most of the Korean leagues are artificial turf so MLB grass fields will play slower.

Dallas said...

Honestly I don't think Colon should be on this team (we want to see the young guys!) and I think the Mets should eat most of his salary if they can get back something in return. People don't want to give up near ML ready guys, so go for the A and low-A guys with higher upside. The more salary they eat, the better prospects they can get. There should no reason this team shouldnt be able to eat some or all of his salary. OK now everyone can tell me how poor the Wilpons are and that this will never happen :) If a guys best attribute is simply that he eats innings, we should take what we can get.

Bill Metsiac said...

Mack--- I like your concept for the rotation, with a few reservations. Number one, I'm not crazy about limiting non-Harvey SPs to 6 IP. Number two, I don't see any mention of Harvey. How long are you anticipating it will be before he returns?

Reese--- You were Flores' main booster last year. Now that you've converted me to a believer you seem anxious to replace him. Why the change?

Mack Ade said...

Bill - The only reason I built this rotation concept was to limit Harvey to 6 innings.

The others wouldn't be limited...

The relivers I list next to them would just be 'scheduled' for that game, if needed

Steve from Norfolk said...

Been hearing on MLB Network that the Nats are looking to trade their 2016 free agents, includibg Zimmermann and Desmond. I know 99% of this "info" during the Winter Meetings is bull, but do you think if there is any validity to this, the Mets might try to get Desmond this year?

Mack Ade said...

Steve -

Anything and anyone can be traded at this time of the year. Just rewind your TV and watch the show that proceeded the live winter coverage and featured the most memorable trades in baseball.

That being said, I just can't see the Nats trading anyone with the team trying to catch them

Christopher Soto said...

Despite Martino saying a Tulo deal is not gonna happen.....

Word is that the ROCKIES approached Sandy Alderson and his group today to gauge their interest in Tulo.

Funny how this "dance" changes month to month. Rockies have gone from denying any trade potential.....to saying "we don't want to trade, but we'll listen".....to now saying, "hey are you interested in Tulo?"

Sounds like Sandy's patience is paying off and the ball is in his court

Steve from Norfolk said...

Until I see Tulo playfor a while after his hip surgery, I wouldn't trade Tejada for him.

Reese Kaplan said...

@Bill Metsiac

I'm not off Flores' bandwagon, but I think the way you improve the club is to get the best players possible. If Kang is available and reasonably priced, then go for it and let the chips fall where they may. Did the Dodgers stop accumulating outfielders? Did the Cubs stop accumulating shortstops? Did the Red Sox stop accumulating outfielders? What this approach gives you is flexibility and trade chips.

Thomas Brennan said...

@ Steve
I'd suffer a few sleepless nights, but with great reluctance and a tear in my eye, trade Tejada for Tulo!

But seriously, if they think the Korean guy is worth it, go for it. Just gotta figure out what the offensive "exchange rate"is. Dont make a mistake on him. Make sure he can cut it.

Bill Metsiac said...

Reese--If this Korean is anywhere near what you project him to be, he will be part of a bidding war, unless all the teams that have scouted him decide to pass.

If he's not good enough to get at least a 4-year deal for at least $10 mil per, forget him! If he IS good enough, and we are the highest bidder, he's getting the starting job.

If you have faith in Flores, you'd want him to get at least a few months playing everyday to prove his worth. If you want him pushed to the bench, or moved to 2B, that says a lot.

Mack's Mets © 2012