Mack – Morning Report – 2- 3 – Morning Reports, Lew Rhodes, Ann Mara, Steven Matz, Blocking


There continues to be a limited amount of information being released on the New York Mets so I apologize if my morning reports are shorter than usual.

In addition, apologies go out to Lew Rhodes for me reading a comment of his, having it all wrong, and then erasing the comment. I pride myself on not erasing comments which I violated here. Sorry, Lew.

It was very sad to see that Ann Mara, wife of former New York Giants owner Wellington Mara, passed this weekend.

There never was a more dysfunctional sports ownership team that the Giants in the 80s-90s. The Giants were 50% owned by Wellington and 50% owned by his nephew, Tim. No two co-owners ever hated each other more and it was joked that the only reason they hired George Young as the General Manager was to ask as message boy between their two opposite corner offices.

And yet, most of this remained filtered from the general public because that’s how the press worked in those days. There were certain players and coaches that were considered part of only one owner’s pool (example: Bill Parcells was a ‘Tim guy’)

I guess, we as Mets fans, could have it worse. I mean, Fred and Jeff could be fighting in the hallways and Saul could be filling the role once filled by Young.
Will the Wilpons ever sell this team?

Sure they will, but not because of any substantial cash offer. Only boredom or poor health to son Jeff would get the bean counters pulling out their abacus.

Steven Matz seems to have been added as one of the major topics of discussion as we wait for something to come out of the Mets offices. It seems there are two completely different schools of thought here. One, let the kid pitch 2015 in Las Vegas and keep the pace slower than the prospect weenies would like it to be… and two, target him to be promoted to Flushing around the AAA all-star break.

Here’s the problem with that… where to?

The Mets can’t even find a home for Dillon Gee right now, would still have one too many starters (Colon, Niese) needed when Noah Syndergaard is called up, and now you want to make room for Matz… over who?

Matz has only pitched three years in the Mets system, but let’s remember that all comes after two years on the surgical table and DL. Yes, he’s been healthy since returning, but I’d like to keep things conservative here, especially since it looks like he may be the last ‘AAA’ pitching prospect to come along for a few more years.

What the Mets need to do is concentrate their trading efforts on exiting three pitchings in a very specific order… Gee… Colon… Niese after 2015.

There was some chatter on the site this weekend about ‘blocking’.

There’s a big difference between blocking and promoting conservatively. I just don’t see anybody currently blocking being done by the Alderson administration.

I looked over the roster and nobody is in the way of the Mets top prospects (Syndergard, Matz, Whalen, Molina, Leathersich, Seward, Robles, Morris, Plawecki, Smith, Herrera, Rosario, Urena, Nimmo, Conforto, Becerra). They all look to open up 2015 at the level they were projected to play and there is room ahead of them at the next level for others to be moved aside and left they continue their ascent to (hopefully) stardom.

Only Rafael Montero may suffer from this malady, but we’re going to have to wait and see what his status is on opening day. If he’s sent to the Mets pen than he too hasn’t been blocked.


eraff said...

I read a recent comment (somwhere) about "Blocking Rosario".... that any consideration of a trade should be for a SS with no more than a 3-4 year horizon because "you don;t want to Block Rosario".


You can never have too many good players and prospects...they can be played, or traded---wait...they CAN be traded...Right????

Thomas Brennan said...

Morning Mack, from frigid NYC:

Isee so many pitchers getting seriously hurt, I'd like to see Matz by mid-season. Don't waste his bullets in the minors. On some teams, he'd likely be in opening day rotation, so 15 minor league AAA starts are enough for me.

Of course, I am not advocating a fire sale of other guys - sell (Gee, Niese, Colon) at the right time, get value, but don't be too picky.

And further of course, as the early season unfolds, it will chart that course more clearly.

Speaking of Lew Rhodes, I love reading his posts - very thoughtful and meaty.

In fact, I love Macks Mets for its generally congenial, courteous, yet spirited give and take. A great site, IMO.

I wonder sometimes what my fWAR is on my day job?

Is my math correct, 16 days to pitchers and catchers?

Great article on d'Arnaud today in NY Post...he is PUMPED, and fully expecting to be in the playoffs this year.

Thomas Brennan said...

I'd not worry about blocking Rosario, unless he pulls an "A Rod" and is ready to start at SS on opening day 2016 as a 20 year old.

I'd sure like to see Flores and Reynolds at SS, as I think either will succeed, even if they are not the next Cal Ripken. Hopefully we get surprised and delighted, and don't need to break out the Tums.

Anonymous said...

the question about Matz should be surrounding performance and not some preconceived notion about additional development. If he outperforms Thor and even Montero in Vegas, you keep him down why? They could likely trade any of the pitchers at anytime, it is a matter of maximizing return, but if you are trying to put the best performers on the field (and clear vitally important payroll) let the best man win. Those in the camp of moving on Matz are not trying to derail his development, but rather are confident that he will continue to excel in his promotions, which he has done so far.

If he is pitching the best in Vegas, the Mets will be able to find a taker for Niese, if there demands are not outrageous. The return may not be more important than having a better pitcher on the staff and the roughly $9M it would clear, so to get an upper minor prospect, payroll relief and a better pitcher would seem to follow conventional logic.
Anon Joe F

James Preller said...

Just an aside, but I personally have zero expectations for Reynolds -- largely because my understanding is that his defense isn't true SS quality. That makes him a utility guy, a role best filled by vets.

I might be wrong -- never saw him play -- but I'm not feeling it at all for Reynolds. Given that the big question at SS is the glove, I want our backup to be able to field the position. Since SA hasn't lifted a finger to address that in 50 months of work, that leaves us with Tejada.

Thomas Brennan said...

James, I hope Matt Reynolds proves everyone wrong and we can put Ruben in the rear view mirror.

Even if Matt turns out to just be a strong utility player. He had such a surge in 2014, it will be real interesting to see if he can repeat excellence in 2015, or regress.

Sometimes, a change of personnel to put losing behind a team is important. Ruben has been an under-achiever.

Thomas Brennan said...

Matz as a lefty has given up 8 homers in 300 innings. That really sticks with me. I am expecting a top-line rotation guy soon.

Reese Kaplan said...

The point is well taken with the 9 man or 10 man pitching rotation that's been assembled.

Where I disagree is on the return in trades of Colon, Niese and Gee. I am all for A-ball players who free up both spots and salaries. I don't see any of them bringing back immediate impact guys and that's fine with me.

Anonymous said...

Toronto has always been in love with Niese.
Not sure why Sandy hasn't tried to package Murphy or Flores with Niese to them?
Id love get Norris

Lew Rhodes said...

Mack no sweat - didn't even notice that you erased a comment! And if I did notice, I have been here long enough to know that it would have been a mistake.

Lew Rhodes said...

So about Matz - I love him, he will be a stud - but I would much rather have Jon Niese on the mound in Oct 2015 than Matz - for multiple reasons - most notably IP caps and fatigue on Matz and the fact that Niese has been around the block a little - don't underestimate experience.

In 2016 - give me Matz.

However, given the history we have seen - someone besides Colon will go down this season - if it is a long term injury, Matz will be the fill in.

Heck - it could even end up being Thor that gets hurt.

Having too many top shelf arms is not a problem.

I would prefer Matz to spend the entire year learning to pitch in AAA with a Sept cup of coffee and sitting the bench for the post season run.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Lew.

Matz threw 106 IP in 2013, and 140 in 2014.

He has yet to pitch AAA.

Guy needs to build up arm strength -- log innings -- and perform in Vegas, working on his command of secondary pitches. Come July, according to team needs, Mets can revisit his timetable. But chances are low that he'll be effective in September. This is not an arm we wish to blow out in 2015.

James Preller

Lew Rhodes said...

James - I think he will be on a 165 or so innings cap - so I don't see him pitching far into the fall anyway

Herb G said...

I'm with Thomas Brennan on Matz. If he is ready in July, and Colon is healthy (which there is no reason to think he will not be) trade him for whatever he will bring back, get as much of his salary as you can off the books, and bring up Matz. Same is true for Thor. Can you envision a rotation of Harvey, deGrom, Wheeler, Syndergaard, and Matz pitching into September? Yeah, I hear those rumblings in the background about not having seasoned pitchers in the event we are playoff bound, but I would cross that bridge when I came to it. The primary issue here is innings limits, and hopefully that can be solved by using Montero and Torres as long men, and limiting Thor and Matz to 5 innings in each of their starts.

There will always be teams in need of pitching at the deadline, so dealing Colon and/or Niese should not be a problem, if Sandy is really committed to go with the youth brigade.

Herb G said...

re: Blocking - that should be our biggest problem. Would it be so bad if some of our better prospects could not break into the starting lineup because our existing regulars are just too good? The bull pen guys, like Morris and Leather, should never be blocked if they look beter than The Magnificent Seven incumbants at the time. But, let's face it . . .

Plawecki may, indeed, be blocked by d'Arnaud. I wouldn't want to see him in as a backup or even a platoon role if he could and should be a regular on a contending club.

If Flores flourishes, Rosario might be blocked. Would you forego a .300/90/20 SS (which Flores could develop into, for a Rosario because of his defense?

And the same goes for Smith. If Duda continues to gain confidence, and can produce 30 - 40 HRs, he could well block Smith.

So there you go, with several prime trade chips, and maybe no major holes to fill. OMG, what a problem. LOL.

Mack Ade said...

Herb -

Hey Herb.

My definition of blocking was based on 2015, and, though I agree that eventually Plawecki most probably will wind up being 'blocked' by T'd, right now he has a lot more work to do at the AAA level before we deal or write about that issue.

Hope things are well with you.


Christopher Soto said...

Wow.....I just saw a picture of Dilson Herrera and Juan Lagares post Barwis camp.....

Holy hell both of them must've gained 20 lbs of muscle each.


Thomas Brennan said...

Chris, the article in the NY Post on d'Arnaud had him saying that Barwis training is tremendous and strengthening baseball muscles that will make him stronger and more durable.

Barwis may pay huge dividends. Herrera is a little guy with real pop. What if he's not little
Anymore? Scary thought. Scary good.

Thomas Brennan said...

Hey James

Matz, including playoffs in 2014, had 153 innings, so theoretically, his innings cap is 13 innings higher . a little more wiggle room.

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