Mack – Morning Report – 2- 4 – Terry Collins, Sandy Alderson, Michael Cuddyer, Alex Castellanos, Domingo Tapia


Comment From DJ - I have seen projections have the Mets anywhere from 78-82 wins. What needs to happen for this team (assuming no additional changes) to get into the 85 win area?

Dan Szymborski - Better managed for one. I have little faith in Terry Collins optimizing usage of his roster.

                  Mack – Kaplan’s a big fan of Ski… this isn’t going to happen in 2015 so the Mets are going to have to come up with another Jacob deGrom or Juan Lagares up their sleeve to accomplish their 2015 goals.

Bad news for those of you looking for a trade of P Dillon Gee to Colorado. P Kyle Kendrick has signed a one year deal with the Rockies, thus ending the need for a veteran starter to join their young staff. Where Gee goes now is anybody's guess.

It was interesting to listen to Sandy Alderson being interviewed by Chris Russo about his days in Oakland. Eventually, things got around to the glut of starters that the Mets currently have and Alderson seemed to break them down into three categories… the ‘untouchables (Harvey, deGrom, Wheeler), the ‘new guys’ (Montero, Syndergaard, Matz) and the ‘moveables’ (Colon, Gee, Niese).

                  One thing did stand out to me… he said that there was some wiggle room in the pen and one of ‘these guys’ could find themselves there come spring.

                  I take this to be a direct reference to Rafael Montero, which would make me very happy for all the reasons I have written about in the past (emergency 6th starters, long man, establish trade bait).

Karl de Vries on Michael Cuddyer -

On that subject, keep in mind that Cuddyer has only surpassed the 20-homer mark twice in his career, the most recent occasion being 2009, and he’s moving to the NL East, where only Citizens Bank Park aided hitters in the long ball department. And speaking of the NL East, the Braves and Marlins figure to field competent starting rotations, and the Nationals, well, the less said about them and their soul-crushing starting five, the better.

Ideally, Cuddyer will be a guy to target after the first 50 outfielders are off the board, as the prospect of a return to the disabled list, or the very real possibility that his skill set will start diminishing as he enters his late 30s, is too great to ignore. He remains a solid bat who can help in several categories (and having first base eligibility won’t hurt) but there’s probably too much risk for him to be drafted as more than a No. 4 outfielder. - http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/the-mets-outfield-golden-glove-aging-bats-2/  -  

Mack - God, I'm starting to really worry about this signing. We need this to work out so badly. 

Mike asked –

           I know you’re posting your top prospect list, but is there anyone you see that could possibly break out and become a top prospect by the end of 2015?

                   Mack – Thanks for the question Mike.

           A guy I keep pimping is OF Alex Castellanos, who I think was a great pickup this off-season by the Mets.

           He was a constant prospect mention in both 2010 (A+: 13-HR, 57-RBI, .270) and 2011 (AA: 23-HR, 85-RBI). Originally a 2008 10th round draft pick by St. Louis, he was traded to the Dodgers in 2011 for infielder Rafael Furcal.

           Strangely, his two years in the PCL (2013: 19-HR, 61-RBI and 2014: 8-HR, 42-RBI) did not enhance his power numbers. Still, I believe he still has an outside chance of winning the 5th outfield position (also can play second base and third) and fulfill what many thought would be a successful career in baseball.

           As for a pitcher, I’m still very high on one of the only Mets pitchers that have been clocked at 100mph and over… Domingo Tapia. He consistently pitches in the high 90s, but he also consistently misses the zone. In addition, he never fully recovered from an accident that burned most of the palm of his pitching hand (2012 K/BB Savannah: 3.16, 2014 St. Lucie: 1.10).

           He has a decent changeup, a sub-curve, but Tapia’s game is all fastball, making him the perfect candidate someday for the closer role.

           He’s pitched the past two years for St. Lucie and has been a starter for his entire Mets career, but don’t be surprised if you see him converted to the Binghamton pen come spring.


Thomas Brennan said...

Great cartoon with Alderson and Collins. Too close to the truth.

Man, I still do not get how a team that won 79 and 1) gets a Harvey back, 2) has a full season of deGrom, 3) a seasoned Wheeler 4) stronger pitching from 4 thru 12 than at the start of last year 5) Cuddyer, Mayberry, and Dekker instead of least year's dreck, 6) a likely improved Wright and Grandy, and 7) a psyched and comfortable d'Arnaud is picked by some people to win the same # of games. My predicted range is 86-94, unless the injury bug hits.

I think Cuddyer has to be a real upgrade over Chris Young. Whether he was worth 2/$20MM is another story.

Brian Joura said...

Not that Dillon Gee is the second coming of Tom Seaver or anything but it's hard to get excited about the pairing of Kyle Kendrick and Coors Field - unless you're a LH hitter on the visiting team.

This particular signing has disaster written all over it.

Bob Sugar said...

Can Lucas Duda repeat or better his numbers of last year? I can't tell with him if last year was a one year wonder. Obviously hope for the best cause he could be a weapon.

Ernest Dove said...

I believe in Duda "smash" because he knows how to draw a walk. Maybe he never hits above .260, but his stat line often shows as: 1 for 4 with a walk (5 at bats for game would be good sign for mets that day) and a HOMER, who would complain?

Reese Kaplan said...

I slammed Alderson's ego and inertia once again when I read about Kendrick last night, but the more I thought about it, the more I understood the Rockies. Yes, Gee has posted better numbers across the board than Kendrick and costs slightly less but all Kendrick cost was money. Gee would have cost money plus a prospect in return. For roughly the same money the Rockies kept their prospects. Well done Colorado...boo to Alderson for overplaying his hand and entering the season with a 9-man rotation.

James Preller said...

Gee does not fit in Colorado, IMO. His home/away splits are strong, and he's a flyball pitcher. I think he's a guy who could have a strong season or two somewhere . . . but Colorado would not be the place. If I was CO GM, I would not settle on Gee (whom I actually like).

Similarly, Zack Wheeler is an extreme GB pitcher and he will the pitcher most hurt by the Mets defense. Put Wheeler in a better situation -- a team more suited to his talents -- and I think he breaks through in a big way.

And, of course, moving in the walls will not help either Gee or Colon, both prone to the long ball.

Thomas Brennan said...

Hey Bob Sugar, my vote is Duda improves over last year, because he was too passive the first 2 months of 2014, and he's got shorter fences.

First 2 months, .235/.414. last 4 months, when he stopped taking so many early strikes: .260/.509.

I think he does .260/.500 for the whole year in 2015, because he won't relapse into passivity.

Reese Kaplan said...

Everyone seems to forget that in his first extended look Duda batted .292 over 300 ABs in 2011. He has it within him to be selective but the more he swings for the fences, the more he will K.

Mack Ade said...

Brian -

Frankly, it's hard to get excited about ANYONE pitching at Coors Field, but he was a big Gee option that now seems to have gone away.

My guess is the 1-year deal was the attraction

Anonymous said...

I am bullish on Duda to repeat and even improve offensively. I think he has a great eye, a nice swing, knows how to hit and has plus-plus power, so a lot of elements for success.
I think that since Gee does not return anything of great value, the best plan on moving him is to take advantage of supply and demand, which is to say that supply is rapidly diminishing by the day and demand will likely rise early in the season due to injuries, so I don't have any problem hanging onto him for the time being. In the event that circumstances don't increase his value, he can always be moved for lesser pieces in May or June or even as part of a larger package. Expectations of return for Gee need to be tempered, he is not bringing back a major league player, other than a mid level reliever, unless desperation sets in on a team that sees more that one pitching injury and he might pull a higher ceiling/lower minor league player. I actually think Sandy is playing this wise right now; he can probably get the same level of return in May and perhaps could get more if things shape up. Look what happened to any number of rotations by June of last year due to injury and most of the available supply has already been moved
Anon Joe F

Mack Ade said...

Morning everyone -

Regarding Duda... I think he had a great 2014... for Duda.

I also, because of planned 2015 platooning, think he will has an equally good year for him.

But... his home run totals will be based on just how many at bats he gets in this new system.

With Cuddyer and Mayberry available, you just may never see Duda face a lefty again.

Lew Rhodes said...

Duda's rate stats (BA, OBP, etc.) will be much better because he should have very, very few AB's against LHP.

Between Cuddyer and Mayberry Duda SHOULD NEVER START vs a LHP.

Last year:

Duda vs. RHP - .273/.372/.543
Duda vs. LHP - .180/.264/.252

I think Duda puts up an OPS around .900 with 500 ABs vs. RHP.

Frankly if Duda starts vs. a LHP in April Terry Collins should be fired on the spot because:

Mayberry Career vs. LHP - .857 OPS

Cuddyer Career vs. LHP - .882

So, our combine 1b OPS should be around .900 this year.

Lew Rhodes said...

As far as Gee - let's not forget that pitchers get hurt every single spring.

Some team will lose a starter in March and Gee and Colon will start to look a lot more attractive.

I really can't believe that Houston hasn't kicked the tires on Gee - given Gee is from Texas and pitched in college there

Charles said...

I don't think Sandy's comments about the pen had anything to do with Montero at all. I think he meant that if he can't trade a starter, meaning Gee Colon or Neise, one would likely move to the bullpen because they'll be room to accommodate them.

If they don't trade a veteran starter, they aren't going to release one. They'd move one into the pen and simply not go with two lefties. I don't think Montero has the slightest chance of making the opening day roster. There isn't room with all their young starters and veteran starters who make the most money.

Thomas Brennan said...

I think having both Cuddyer and Mayberry as guys to go against lefties should mean a 100% platoon for Duda vs. lefties. C & M will need as many at bats as possible to not under-utilize them, so why use Duda to start vs. lefties?

They hit much better than Duda vs. lefties, so I am good with that. Frankly, if I were Duda, it's a win-win. Get adequate rest (should still start 125-130 games) to be fresh all the time, and not have lefty failures drag down his slug % and average.

Maybe in a strict platoon (only hit vs. lefties when there is a pitcher switch, for example), he hits .275 with a .530 slug. He'd still get 525-550 plate appearances, so what is wrong with that picture?

Lew Rhodes said...

I agree Tom - with the caveat that I would not mind Duda getting exposure to LHP during the year.

Ideally, he would get to hit against LH relievers in any game where the Mets had a couple of run lead.

Mayberry is on a 1 year deal and Cuddyer could likely get hurt - so in planning for the future, Duda needs some LHP exposure

Anonymous said...

My strong preference is to "manage" toward the best possible outcome.

By that I mean, in this case, that the Mets would be far better off if Duda can play full-time, or rest against only so-called "tough lefties," rather than become relegated to a platoon role.

I'd give him multiple shots at succeeding before I closed that door.

I want him to get ABs against LHP on a semi-regular basis -- watch with eyes & mind open -- and respond accordingly. There's at least some evidence in his past that he can achieve some measure of success. I'd try to allow that to happen, gotta think a little beyond the present game, IMO.

James Preller

Thomas Brennan said...

Duda's #'s against lefties are really weak. If I recall correctly, a Tejada-like .319 slug % career.

Mayberry and Cuddyer MUCH better vs. lefties.

I think Lew's suggestion is good. Pinch hitting vs lefties when he has to, and leave him in to face lefties when well ahead or behind in games. That way he gets some ABs.

Of course, if he suddenly shows he can do it, go with him - but I am very doubtful there.

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