Michael Cala to me re: open letter to Fred Wilpon -
Begging will do no good. These people are only interested in money, gotten legally or illegally. Nothing you say will ever change that!
Mack – I think that there will always be an element of Mets fans that feel that the Wilpons went out of their way to be in this position. Now, don’t get me wrong… I’m no big fans of them either and I would do anything in my ever reducing power to get this team sold to a progressive management team, but the Wilpons first lost their money before losing anyone else’s bankroll.
Will Mets fans like Michael, Reese Kaplan, or Bob Gregory ever let this family off the hook, even if the Mets someday sweep the series? I think not.
Comment From MetsFaithful5 - David Wright proves last year was a fluke; Granderson improves a little over last year; Lagares grows more as an offensive player; deGrom only regresses a little; Harvey is 75 % himself; Wheeler improves his command; Cuddyer players. Who is better? The Marlins or Mets?
Dan Szymborski: I think the Mets are a little better anyway. The Marlins improvements are way overrated.
Mack – Dan doesn’t have the time to explain everything in length in this kind of format, but, until things improve medically for the Marlins, it will always be about the starting pitching when it comes to these two teams. I agree with him. Miami made have made a bunch of moves this off-season, but they still have a long way to go.
It was interesting to read Wally Backman’s comments about Travis d’Arnaud on MetsBlog[i] this week:
Travis d’Arnaud was instructed by the Triple-A coaching staff to simply move his back foot closer to the plate, and after that he continued to make adjustments and be aggressive at the big-league level.
(My apologies for quoting another site and then commenting on that subject, but there just isn’t enough Mets information out there right now and it’s tough to come up original subjects for a team that is sitting on their hands all the time)
I’m not one for predicting ballplayers and what they are going to do the next season. I remind people about both Juan Lagares and Jacob deGrom, two players none of us had the beat on.
That being said, I think d’Arnaud is going to have a wonderful 2015 and begin a long and successful major league career. I also believe he has the potential to hit 25 home runs a season, if he stays healthy and the Mets don’t platoon him someday with someone like Kevin Plawecki. Plawecki would be best served as part of a package deal for a superstar shortstop or outfield (got anyone in mind?).
Anyway… back to my prediction. The Met that leads the team in batting average in April: d’Arnaud.
I had asked the Brooklyn Cowbell Guy, Mack’s Mets trusty Cyclone reporter, to let me know who he felt were the top five players last year on the Brooklyn Cyclones roster. I was surprised to see the name Michael Bernal on the list, someone all of us speak very little of. B.C.G. said:
Michael Bernal was a solid player for the Brooklyn Cyclones in 2014. Another member of the NYPL South All Stars, he connected for 56 hits in 71 games, 8 of them being doubles, 4 being triples and he tied Jhoan Urena with 5 home runs. He also scored 29 runs while driving in 36. He led the team with 12 stolen bases. However, Bernal did lead the Cyclones with 95 strikeouts, which resulted in a batting average of .240
Bernal is an international free agent that played last year at 22-years old. Based on age alone, I have him projected in the St. Lucie outfield along with Michael Conforto, Patrick Biondi, Champ Stuart, and Victor Cruzado.
Comment From Tucker -
There is a lot of talk about the top position player prospects in the game now with Betts, Bryant, Baez, Russell, etc…seemingly more hype than the current crop of pitching prospects. Why do you think this is? Best pos. prospects play for popular teams? Pitching prospects are being recognized as less sure things? Or simply, the pos. prospect group has a higher ceiling and is deeper?
Jeff Sullivan: Just seems like kind of a down period for upper-level pitching prospects. Who was the best a year ago? Archie Bradley? He had a miserable season. Taijuan Walker? He had his own struggles. Dylan Bundy was recovering from surgery. There’s Noah Syndergaard, who gets a lot of hype, but he’s no sure thing. He’s definitely not on the old Strasburg level. But remember, it wasn’t too long ago there was Jose Fernandez, and Zach Wheeler, and Shelby Miller, and Gerrit Cole. These things are cyclical
Mack – I didn’t include this blip from Jeff because it mentioned two Mets pitchers.
I just want to remind everybody that no starting pitcher prospect is etched in stone, and, if you pass on a great opportunity to snag yourself an established star for a fistful of kiddies that have never played an inning in ‘the Bigs’, your decision could go either way.
It’s also why you keep at least your top six starters in your organization. Shit happens. Injuries occur. And the worst case scenario is one of these guys become your long reliever (cough – Montero – cough).
Lastly, we have no explanation for the Jacob deGrom’s or Collin McHugh’s of this game. Some just come out of nowhere while others develop late (my guess is Matt Bowman could fall in this category).
Comment From John -
considering that pitchers coming back from TJS aren’t themselves for at least 1 season (Harvey), that deGrom in the bigs pitched way above his peripherals for his entire minor league career, that Wheeler can’t pitch out of the 5th inning, that Cuddyer averages less games per year than Tulo, that Granderson is awful, that they have no infield defense, and that Wright might also be done, and that the org has shown no ability to add payroll if necessary (assuming by some miracle they are competitive around the all star break) why is it that so many people think the Mets have a legitimate shot at the WC? just because every team does?
Jeff Sullivan: Many people don’t think that literally everything about the Mets will go wrong, as you seemingly do. There’s a lot of talent there. Maybe not enough, but remember, the Mets aren’t necessarily competing against the Dodgers or the Nationals. They’re competing for one of two wild-card slots and they’ll get a schedule where they get to play the Braves and Phillies almost 40 times.
Mack – Don’t look for a silver lining in this portion of this post.
Go back and read what this guy John said… then read it again.
This is how far the Mets are legitimately still away from a World Series contender.