Morning Report: 2-18-15 | Ya Gotta Believe!, Parnell on the DL, Bullpen Strength, Retired #'s, Reynolds, Farm Ranking


Kevin Kernan | New York Post - "Closer Jenrry Mejia took a page from Mets closers past on Tuesday at their spring training complex.“We gotta believe,’’ Mejia said of the Mets’ postseason aspirations for 2015. “If we don’t believe in our own team, who is going to believe? We have to think about the playoffs and we’ll be there and everything."

(Chris Soto: Ok 2 points to make here. 1) People don't realize the potential Mejia has to become a clubhouse leader. His fiery personality is almost equal to Matt Harvey's. He brings inspiration to the rest of that bullpen and installs a bulldog attitude that is infectious to the rest of the guys in there. 2) I love, love, love, the confidence coming out of camp right now. If this team has a solid spring and then performances reasonably well against the Nationals during the 1st few weeks of the season we may be getting a bandwagon started. All this talk is starting to remind me of the arrogant but confident 1986 team.)

Adam Rubin | ESPN New York - "Bobby Parnell is due to open the season on the disabled list, in the final stages of his rehab from Tommy John surgery. Asked how long Parnell might miss, a source told ESPNNewYork.com that he did not believe the absence would be lengthy. "I would think two to three weeks," said the source about the absence from Opening Day, while cautioning that time frame is far from certain. 

(Chris Soto: Rubin basically is just confirming what we already knew. Tommy John Surgery takes somewhere between 12-18 months to heal and Parnell has his surgery 11 months ago. That said, all the talk from Terry Collins about the closer's job being his to lose is bullcrap. Mejia has excelled in the role and his personality is one that fits the mold of a closer well. Even once Parnell is healthy, he's gonna need about a month or so to get his legs under him. I'd much rather have him be a weapon in a lower stress inning like the 7th to bridge the game to Familia and then Mejia. That combo would generate far more "Put It In the Books" than last year's combo of Rice/Farnsworth/Valverde.)

Matt Ehalt NorthJersey.com - "It often had been the other way around in recent years, with the bullpen usually considered the weak area of the Mets and constantly needing a reconfiguration in the off-season. Instead, with pitchers and catchers due to report Thursday, the bullpen is one of the Mets’ strengths and a reason why confidence is high around the team...As general manager Sandy Alderson adjusted his roster this off-season, he barely touched the bullpen and brought in no reliever on a guaranteed deal... stark contrast to previous years, when Alderson usually had to retool the unit after the young arms flamed out and free agents flopped. Established veteran relievers such as Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch and Brandon Lyon had less than memorable – and some forgettable – stints after signing with the Mets.

(Chris Soto: I'm surprised the Mets bullpen hasn't been talked about more. We are talking about a unit that finished 2014 with the 8th best bullpen ERA in the MLB WITH a month and a half of awful re-tread performances from Farnsworth and Valverde. This year's group of Mejia/Familia/Parnell/Black/Edgin/Torres and [insert 2nd lefty] has enough talent to challenge the Kansas City Royals for the best bullpen in MLB title. Will they do it? Probably not.....but make no mistake this is a Top 5 caliber squad out there and is a distinct advantage the Mets have over other NL teams.)

Bill Price Daily News  -“...now that the floodgates have opened in the Bronx, with the Yankees announcing that three more numbers – including that of an admitted HGH user who played three seasons in Houston – will be retired this summer, I say the Mets have to rethink their approach. I mean if Jorge Posada can be put in the same class as Yogi Berra and Andy Pettitte can be mentioned in the same breath as Whitey Ford, well then hell, pretty much any Met who has won a ring can join Seaver on the Great Wall of Flushing."

(Chris Soto: Bill's right...Posada was good, but come on # retirement worthy? I don't think so. During his career Posada posted a 121 park adjusted OPS+ whereas the catcher in our neck of the woods, Mike Piazza, posted a 143 OPS+. That alone should be enough to tell you that Piazza is more retirement worthy than him. Pettitte's case is even worse! A 3.85 career ERA...that's not even Hall of Fame worthy. I like the approach the Mets are taking, waiting for Piazza to inevitably get into the HOF and then using the opportunity to celebrate his legacy and retire his number. As my Yankee friend said yesterday, "Seriously? Soon they are going to have to start double up on numbers....lol.)

Kevin Kiernan | NYPost.com - Don’t be surprised if the Mets take the field at some point in 2015 with Reynolds at short...Wilmer Flores is penciled in at short for the Mets with Ruben Tejada backing him up, but you can be sure Reynolds is in the middle of the Mets’ plans as he continues to improve at the position. “I feel really comfortable at short...I think I can definitely stay there and hopefully I can make a contribution to the team this year.I feel like with a little more seasoning and experience, I can definitely help this team." said Reynolds. There is a sense about Reynolds that he belongs, that he is a good fit for a major league team. Talk to anyone around the Mets about Reynolds and the first thing mentioned is the laser focus. He is locked in from the moment he walks onto the field.”

(Herb G.: What’s not to like about Reynolds? The only question mark is whether his breakout 2014 was a fluke. He averaged .234 over his 2 previous minor league seasons. The good news is that he was facing pitchers quite a bit older than himself in both Binghamton and Las Vegas. Most analysts think he is the real thing, and I am inclined to agree. I think, however, that most Met fans are hoping that Wilmer Flores flourishes and there will be no need for Reynolds in the majors this year. His problem, if that occurs, is that he would not be regarded as a late inning defensive replacement as long as Ruben Tejada is wearing a Mets uniform.)

Mark Anderson & Jeff Moore | Baseball Prospectus: 2015 Organizational Rankings: #5 New York Mets - “Not the best, but likely the most balanced farm system in all of baseball, the Mets have everything you could want from a group of minor-league players—a potential ace (Noah Syndergaard), a major-league ready, everyday player (Dilson Herrera), an up-the-middle regular (Kevin Plawecki), a next wave of prospects coming behind them (Brandon Nimmo and Steven Matz), potential bats with a few years to go (Dominic Smith and Michael Conforto), and young, unproven, high-ceiling talent (Amed Rosario and Jhoan Urena). Not all of these players are going to work out, but the Mets, as an organizational whole, have enough safety nets to continue to refill their major-league roster for the next few years.”

(Herb G.:  Up from #8 last year, the stature of the Mets’ farm system continues to improve under the Sandy Alderson regime. Of the six players in Baseball Prospectus’ list of the Top 101 Prospects, five were acquired by Alderson - 2 drafted, (#69-Nimmo, #80-Plawecki) 2 by trade, (#9-Syndergaard, #82-Herrera) and 1 international signing. (#78-Rosario) One, (#33-Matz) was drafted by Omar Minaya. Most encouraging is the organizational depth, with players like Michael Conforto, Dominic Smith, Marcos Molina, and Gabriel Ynoa knocking on the door of the Top 101, leading to the comment that the Mets have enough safety nets to continue to refill their major-league roster for the next few years. That statement may justify Alderson’s decision to not be ultra active in either the free agent or trade market this off-season.)


Tom Brennan said...

Matt Reynolds and Jennry Mejia - 2 fan favorites - of me!

Our farm has been utilizing the right fertilizer of late...bumper crop will have fans headed to Citi in bumper-to-bumper traffic soon enough.

TP said...

Excellent job with the comments, and great point about Mejia. I have always loved his enthusiasm. Sure, he gets a bit carried away here and there, but he is intense, he cares, and he is a real easy guy to root for.

I'll hold off a bit on ranking the pen among the best. I agree that their 2014 stats were diminished by an awful start (don't forget Lannan's struggles too) but Alderson failed to add a quality MLB lefty and we need to see what Parnell is upon his return. Lots of potential, but things can certainly go wrong too, especially if Edgin tails off.

Reese Kaplan said...

Here we have a poll of major league executives ranking the off-season moves made by various clubs. Scherzer's deal to the Nats was considered the worst given the length of the contract and the fragility of pitchers' arms. Fourth worst? Why, none other than Michael Cuddyer. It seems people question the loss of a draft pick, the age, the square peg into a round hole positioning him in the OF instead of 1B, the injury history and the Coors effect. It sounds like they've been reading us here.

Unknown said...

What I don't understand is that when you read the BP article on the Mets' system is how any Mets fan could really bash Alderson and the job he has done.

The system now is nearly 100% Alderson players (Matz being the only high-profile pre-Aldrson guy).

Add in that Alderson was working on small budgets with the ML team, and what he has accomplished the past few years is remarkable.

In 2008 the Mets system was ranked 28th by BP

In 2009 the system was ranked 18th by BP

In 2010 the system ranked 15th

In 2011 they were 24th.

Since then it went - 17th, 10th, 8th and now 5th.

For the first time since Wright and Reyes were prospects, the Mets actually have multiple potential all stars in their system.

I can't recall this much system depth since the early-80's (Strawberry, Gooden, Dykstra, Mitchell, McDowell, Darling, Fernandez)

Hopefully the current crop can rival that era.

Hobie said...

Great Morning Report, Chris. It sounds odd to have a feature of commentary on commentary, but you show how useful that can be.

Observations: If Mejia's demonstrated enthusiasm (which I like for its own sake) is actually an attribute of leadership skills (they aren't always), we may really have something. Mack knows I tagged him as a shut-down closer very early.

Second. We all roll our eyes at TC's use of the BP, but I confess I don't know what's ideal. Is there an optimum "innings per week?" On day 3, you have a guy who's thrown an inning 2 days in a row and a guy who threw 2 innings on day 1--if the choice is to be made on "usage," who do you pick?

Maybe today could be BP discussion day...

Unknown said...

The problem with ranking the Cuddyer signing is that no one can measure the impact that having Cuddyer in the clubhouse will have on Wright.

We focus so much on numbers that we often forget that ball players are people and I think having his old buddy around will help Wright quite a bit - I like that signing strictly for that reason.

Also, I bet Cuddyer plays less than 100 games in RF - he will get 30 starts or so at 1b against lefties and will sit once a week or so in favor of MDD (hopefully)

Lastly, let's also not under estimate the impact playing with Wright will have on Cuddyer - that relationship will cut both ways.

My only concern is that the Mets' manager is too inept to use Cuddyer - and the entire line-up for that matter - the correct way.

Reese Kaplan said...

@Lew -- in that regard, continue onto the article I penned today about Mr. Collins' history as a manager.

Herb G said...

Hobie - re: the bull pen, I don't understand why they don't have every starter throw 1 inning of relief rather than a bull pen session between starts. It would serve the same purpose as the BP session, and take some of the load off the regular relievers. If the inning gets extended to the point where the starter is throwing more pitches than they want to, they can always remove the starter and bring in someone else. And if it is an easy inning, and he doesn't get in enough work, he can complete his outing in the pen.

Unknown said...

Herb - I think the issue is the lack of control over a real live inning vs. a bullpen session.

In a side session a pitcher throws what he wants how he wants for as long as he wants.

A game situation doesn't give you that control.

I think this is one of the ideas that sounds great but doesn't work as well in practice.

Herb G said...

Lew Rhodes @ MakesSense.com

Herb G said...

Lew - I am in complete agreement with you, as I have stated previously about the Cuddyer signing. I think he will prove the pundits wrong and earn every penny of his keep, both at the plate and more importantly, in the clubhouse. The loss of the pick will prove insignificant.

bgreg98180 said...

Herb & Lew

I really hope your predictions for Cuddyer's health & contributions this year prove to be accurate.
It would mean very good things for the Mets.

You both have to admit though it is a risky prediction. A gamble.for.a.team that has been stung by injury woes throughout its recent history.

Reese Kaplan said...

Two significant news items today.

1. Terry Collins lost his 95 year old father, Loren "Bud" Collins and will return to Michigan to be with his family.

2. Dodgers' closer Kenley Jansen to be out 8-12 weeks after foot surgery. It probably means a new home for either Rafael Soriano or K-Rod who are both still out there as FAs.

Robb said...

On the retired numbers:

Retired numbers to me are supposed to be about guys who are all time greats of your team not necessarily just Hall of Famers. that being said the Mets are woefully under represented on the walls.

Posada isnt an all time great player, but he was the starting catcher with the Yankees a team he played his whole career with for well over a decade, which to me is worthy of being retired. if he were a Met w 5 championships and 15 years we'd be clamoring for him even wo being a HoF player.

The Mets should schedule Piazza's number retirement for the first game in 2015 after the HoF vote is announced either he gets in or we tell them he belongs.

They should also retire, keiths 17. And have a long conversation about Gooden/strawberry too

Unknown said...

Bob - That comment is almost positive!

I think if Cuddyer's games are limited, he should be okay - and with a decent backup outfielder, there is no reason for him to play 150 games.

If he stays healthy I think the Mets definitely make the play-offs.

They can make it if he misses significant time, but if he is able to play 130+ games between 1b and RF, I think we push 90 wins - easily

Charles said...

Piazza's number should be retired and I believe it will be once he enters the hall. Just cause the Yanks are retiring a bunch doesn't mean the Mets need to.

I actually like how hard it is to get your number retired a Met. I think it's a bigger achievement. Right now, Ruth, Mantle, and DiMaggio are scratching their heads about Posada saying, "huh?"

I honestly think Jeter and Mariano are the only two of that dynasty that should get it. I mean come on, it's getting ridiculous.

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