The Morning Report – 1-31 – Roy Campanella, Phillies, David Wright, Yoan Moncada, Jay Horwitz


Remember… this is one of those special Saturday and Sunday morning posts that I’m just trying to find something and interesting under the subject of baseball related written material, all down while the Mets continue to sit on their hands.

There are 109 catchers since 1900 who have played 1,000 or more games at the position. The overall Defensive Winning Percentage of those 109 catchers, at catcher, is .681 points above the overall Defensive Winning Percentage of catchers, .659. This happens, of course, because good defensive catchers have longer careers at catcher than poor defensive catchers. 
The mean Winning Percentage for the 109 1,000-game catchers is .681, with a Standard Deviation of .070.  There are two catchers in history who are 2 standard deviations above the norm, and there are two catchers who are 2 standard deviations below the norm. Above the norm:  Roy Campanella and Yadier Molina. Below the norm: Frankie (Blimp) Hayes and Ernie Lombardi. - http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/just-a-bit-outside/baseball-joe/blog/bill-james-on-fielding-part-7-012915

Mack – ‘Campy’ was involved in his infamous automobile accident a month before I was going to turn 12 years old. He left the liquor store he owned in Harlem and begun the trip to his Glen Cove home, when he hit a patch of ice doing around 30 miles per hour. The car skidded, overturned, and broke his neck. I remember the day like it was yesterday, not only for the huge loss it created in the Dodger lineup, but also because the duties of catcher were turned over to probably the slowest person that ever played the game, Rube Walker. Walker turned over the catching duties in 1958 to Joe Pignatano (1962 Mets: .232, 56-AB), and a second year ex-sub named Johnny Roseboro.

NJ.com –

The Phillies, by their own admission, have no designs on competing for at least two or more seasons as the organization undergoes a massive top-to-bottom rebuild over the next several years.
With that in mind, it isn't all that shocking that Baseball Prospectus, as part of it's annual PECOTA Projections predicts that the Phillies will finish with the lowest win total in the Major Leagues in 2015. Nate Silver created the Sabermetrics system that predicts the Phillies will finish with a 69-93 record behind the Washington Nationals, New York Mets, Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves in the National League East Division standings.  -  http://www.nj.com/phillies/index.ssf/2015/01/will_the_phillies_have_the_worst_record_in_basebal.html

Mack – You can’t sit on your hands like the Phillies have done the past few seasons.

I wrote recently about the possibility of a Mets team that was entirely homegrown. This was a pipe dream and just designed to generate a reaction (like many of the things I write).
No team is going to click on producing eight excellent starters in the field plus a full rotation. It takes draft picks, international signings, free agents, and trades, and you have to make sure you turn your team over before hair grows on them and everything turns to shit.

This is a team that just traded away their best two hitters (Jimmy Rollins, Marlon Byrd) and has one of the lowest rated farm systems in the league. And I haven’t even said anything about the average age of what’s left on this team.

Don’t worry about this team.

Just root for them to beat the Nats everytime they play them.

Comment From Snarfle - Yeah, speaking of the Mets ownership, do you think Sandy isn’t spending more because he doesn’t want to overpay, or because the Wilpons are saying he can have 80…maybe 82 million.

Eno Sarris: I think it’s the owners.

Comment From Bubba - What are you expecting from David Wright this year?

Eno Sarris: .280/18

          Mack – Frankly, I would be thrilled if Wright hit .280, but the important thing here is the number of at-bats he has for the season. Make this 500 and I’m dancing in the halls.

          18 home runs seems a little light, but that’s fine. I truly believe that five starters will finish the season with at least this many home runs (Wright, Cuddyer, Duda, d’Arnauld, Granderson).

          As for the comments on the Wilpons, you can’t stop what people ask you and this is one of the subjects we have covered over and over so I’m just going to move on. It’s not like they are going to sell the team to a group headed by Mark Cuban, Jerry Seinfeld, and Keith Hernandez, right?

Bleacher Nation -

The latest update comes from Ben Badler, who set off many of the revelations of the past week when he reported that the reason Yoan Moncada isn’t cleared yet is because MLB is demanding he get a specific license from the Office of Foreign Assets (“OFAC”), rather than the general license that he already has (this is reportedly an MLB policy that may not be required by the U.S. Government). Read Badler’s piece for the particulars, but the gist is that Badler confirmed with a U.S. official that OFAC does still issue those specific licenses, but, since they aren’t required under current U.S./Cuba relations, it doesn’t sound very typical with respect to Cubans. Further, because specific licenses aren’t required for Cuban nationals as far as the U.S. Government is concerned, Badler speculates that they may not be high priority for OFAC (which is busy dealing with nationals from North Korea, Syria, etc.).

So, then, does that mean more delays for Moncada? Not necessarily, since, as Jeff Passan reported, it sounds like MLB will be meeting with U.S. officials soon to straighten out exactly what is required of them. If that meeting confirms that no specific license is required, then, boom, Moncada is going to be free to sign, and it’s going to be very difficult for the Cubs to have a legit shot at him.  http://www.bleachernation.com/2015/01/29/the-latest-on-yoan-moncada-and-the-government-clearance-mystery/

I think we will try and feature more on the beat reporters on Saunday while we follow both mine and Tom Brennan prospects down to the wire.

Lastly. My family has given me permission to attend all Savannah Sand Gnats home games to the duration of the game. This will give 
me the chance to interview the starts of the games and their coaches.

In addition. I am going to reapproch Jay Howitz (spelling please) and beg for spring training tickets back. My first request will go out tomorrow for pitchers and catchers,

This inactivity is killing me.  No, I really mean it. I think it is killing me and I have to put the spikes back on.

I’ll send my first email to Jay tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Oh… BTW… when do pitchers and catchers report???


Lew Rhodes said...

Way to go Mack - activity is the key to life

Lew Rhodes said...

Way to go Mack - activity is the key to life

Ernest Dove said...

I don't see why David Wright can't have a legit All Star season in 2015. Too many people want to bury him and leave him for dead at age 32, with one injury filled season now behind him.
There's been $100 to $150+ mil being thrown at hitters every year lately who are over 30. Some decline, some stay consistent.
Maybe wright hits .300 with 20 and 100. His career ain't over by a long shot.

Charles said...

David's been hurt by being hurt way too much. He's been hurt by playing hurt way too much. But at the same time, at least he always tries to take the field.

He played a month with a bone broken in his back. Very few players would've waited a month to get it checked out. Right now, his career numbers are hurt from playing hurt and being on bad teams for the past 6 years.

Hopefully, this starts to change this year. Hopefully he starts to play just a hair easier on the field so that he can stay on the field. If he's healthy, he'll produce.

Herb G said...


It's Jay Horwitz

Mets Dreams said...

Good luck with Jay, just tell him his tweets are less obnoxious than Sandy's attempts at humor.

On to the Mets. After digesting Keith Law's assessment of the Mets farm system, it's very encouraging to picture Rosario, Herrara and Conforto all being potential above average players at least. With that in mind, I would look to do something small this spring. I would make a play for Mercer from the Pirates to strengthen the D plus 10 -15 HR, look to trade Gee and Murph for prospects. Move Flores to 2B. Sign someone like Biemel. And see how the 1st half plays out. I'm with Anon that the Mets should target Heyward in the offseason as their big ticket. Continue to look for ways to create a dominant BP and see what we have offensively in Duda, d'Arnaud, Lagares, and Flores. Try to follow the Cardinals model of strategic signings but not giving away the farm.

Ernest Dove said...

Should be interesting to see what level Conforto ends up at by end of season........
And hey, what about any thoughts on Mets trying to have Rosario amd Urena stay on same team at every level and promotion st that SS and 3B positions to make beautiful defensive music together? If they both meet expectations it would have to be seen as a plus to have that kind familiarity with each other on the field.

bob gregory said...


If Wright can achieve the numbers you mention, I foresee very happy Met fans.

Thomas Brennan said...

Pitchers, catchers...and Mack. Let's play 3.

Hobie said...


My dad swore Ernie Lombardi was even slower than Rube Walker, who was the slowest ball player I ever saw.

I got into a friendly argument once at Wrigley over who was slower, Walker or Harry Chiti. The Cub guy was adamant about his man being the gluiest foot in captivity.

Mack Ade said...

Ernest -

I'm not sure of the importance of Urena and Rosario playing at the same level each year. It would help, but, as an old third baseman, I really only had enough time to concentrate on what I had to do rather than worry about others.

I always told my second basemen and shortstops... if there is a runner on first and a grounder gets hit to me, the ball is coming to second base as quick as I can get it there. It's up to you two to figure out who's going to be there to catch it.

Charles said...

Ernest, I'm extremely hopeful they put him in St. Lucie to start the year. If so, I'd be shocked if he doesn't end up in Bingo.

If he's a beast, maybe they let him go to Vegas if they make the playoffs. Then I'd expect him to go to the AFL and get ready for Vegas at the start of 2016.

No two ways about it, he'll be starting in left once Cuddyer's contract runs out. With him, Nimmo, and Lagaras, Grandy should be a 4th outfielder in 2017.

Thomas Brennan said...

I think Plawecki strides forward. With a big 2015.

Steve from Norfolk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve from Norfolk said...

MLBTR reports MLB sent out a memo to teams today instructing them not to sign Cuban players, MLB also said they expected to receive clarification from OFAC "early next week". Seems their main concern is that the league won't get itself in trouble if Cuban players falsify their identifies. If MLB is told it won't be held liable, players resident in other countries might become eligible to sign right away

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