Reese Kaplan -- A Slow Spring Training News Recap

What have we learned thus far?

  • David Wright is not only no longer the face of major league baseball (the Giants' Buster Posey gets the nod for 2015), but he has also seemingly been supplanted on his own team by Matt Harvey.
  • Lucas Duda is working too hard to prove last year wasn’t a fluke and tweaked his intercostal muscle or oblique depending on whose coverage you want to believe.
  • The $8 million man Daniel Murphy is still clinging to the delusion that the Mets will extend his contract when a minimum wage top 100 prospect named Dilson Herrera is available in Las Vegas
  • Wilmer “Rodney” Flores has heard from the big boss that he’s still in quest of a shortstop while on jury duty and at awand from the little boss that it’s an open competition for shortstop.  What does the guy have to do to get a little respect?
  • Michael Cuddyer must play RF due to deafness in his left ear which could be a problem if Juan Lagares and he were converging on a fly ball and he was playing left field.  This change pushes Curtis Granderson and his rather weak arm to LF where he’s probably more well suited to play. Even Granderson’s diminished defensive skills are still better than what the DH-like Cuddyer brings to the table. 
  • Juan Lagares is the frontrunner to bat leadoff.  Unless it’s Curtis Granderson.  The flip-flopping by Terry Collins varies on a daily basis.
  • According to field general Collins Dillon Gee will work exclusively out of the bullpen, so naturally Terry Collins has tabbed him to start the first spring training game.
  • Rafael Montero will both start and relieve.  In between he may shag fly balls, take tickets at the turnstile and sell peanuts to the fans in attendance.  Under no circumstances will he make the major league roster since Dillon Gee is still around and Bobby Parnell is waiting in the wings. 
  • The competition for the last bullpen spot comes down to Sean Gilmartin who’s never relieved but is on the 40 man roster and is a Rule V selection, Jack Leathersich who gets out righties better than he does lefties but will be used as a LOOGY anyway just to set him up for failure, Dario Alvarez who is on the 40 man roster but who flopped in a very brief 1.1 inning trial in Queens last September and Scott Rice who as a non-roster invitee would have to walk on water to have any shot at all.
  • Terry Collins has opened his big yap already about the Opening Day starter and it’s not veteran Jon Niese, former Cy Young Award winner (and last year’s leading winner) Bartolo Colon, nor is it defending Rookie of the Year Jacob de Grom.  No, he’s publicly stated he’s leaning towards Zack Wheeler whose second half was indeed impressive, but who seems to have less a claim to this plum assignment than any of the aforementioned hurlers.  The fact that Harvey isn’t in contention has less to do with sparing him from the cold weather than it does trying to cash in on box office for the Mets’ own home opener a few days later. (Never mind that the home opener would be a sellout even if Collins himself pitched that day).
  • There’s an ongoing disconnect between what Sandy Alderson says and what Terry Collins says.  In most organizations you would think that if the first guy hired the second guy, then he'd be able to muzzle his employee or find someone who is on the same page, but in Metsville accountability doesn’t exist.  In fact, incompetence is instead rewarded with a contract options being picked up and contract extensions.
  • The only other battle of the spring is for bench players but that’s pretty much a foregone conclusion with Kirk Nieuwenhuis being out of options while Matt den Dekker is not.  The only flicker of hope for a new face here would be Cesar Puello replacing Eric Young, Jr. as the designated runner as the Mets stand to lose him if he’s not on the roster and can become a free agent whereas the versatile but unspectacular Eric Campbell does have options available to send him to Las Vegas. 
  • Bobby Parnell will likely stick around Florida to continue his rehab while the Mets see who pitches himself off the bullpen island.  Perhaps there's another early season trade up Sandy Alderson's sleeve much like the Ike Davis move from a year ago.
  • The Toronto Blue Jays suddenly find themselves in need of an outfielder with the freak injury to Michael Saunders putting him on the shelf for half a yearr...an aggressive GM would be dangling Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Matt den Dekker and Cesar Puello at them as stopgap solutions, perhaps bundled along with a starting pitcher..


Thomas Brennan said...

Good recap. Collins said the winner of Kirk/Matt will be based on performance...which probably means it will not be.

Tejada and Flores: based on performance too...also unlikely. Flores would have to giga-flop.

Duda is sticking to 6 packs of beer - trying to get abs to look like 6 packs can be hazardous to one's health.

Montero will be our opening day pitcher. Because Collins has not brought it up yet.

Murphy won't shave until he gets an extension - he will be on next year's Duck Dynasty.

Steve from Norfolk said...

Latest reports on Saunders have him out only 5-6 weeks. Don't know if they'd be interested in a trade, especially with Dalton Pompey waiting in Buffalo. You're right, though, an aggressive GM would see this as an opportunity to swap some of our surplus for something we could use. The Jays are well-stocked with promising pitchers at all of the single-A levels, something we need to start stocking up on if we want to keep our pitching pipeline stocked. They've also got some good OF's at AAA that are quite a bit younger than Cap'n Kirk. I actually think that, since the Mets obviously aren't going to give him a shot, they should dangle Puello and Gee or Colon - maybe we can get somebody better than with Kirk.

Mack Ade said...

Thanks for the recap, Kap

Mack's Mets © 2012