Mack’s Friday Morning Recap – March 6 – Lucas Duda, Starter Depth, Terry Collins, Stephen Matz, 200-IP
Posted by Mack Ade at 8:00 AM
Pre-season Game #3 – 1:10pm vs. Detroit Tigers at Tradition Field.
I wanted to address the issue of the future of this blog for a second here. There’s been speculation whether the blog will be closing. Also, the scheduling of some of the recent posts have been choppy (my fault) because I stepped away from those duties and didn’t properly set up a system with the other writers on how to handle the situation. They were sort of left to their own to work it out.
Since then, I have returned as the Morning Report writer on Friday. In addition, I might write a one subject post like I did last Sunday. And lastly, I returned as the Administrator of arranging and posting all the original posts that are placed on the blog.
I’m sorry for the choppy seas.
The Lucas Duda injury makes us all take a deep breath and pray that the spring injury bug isn’t about to start. We all know how thin this team is in field position talent and, frankly, the second string looks more like the third.
All this makes me wonder why a deal couldn’t have been made in dealing one (or more) of the excess talented starters that are on this team. Did Sandy Alderson really hold back and say no to any deal that asked for either Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Stephen Matz? And, if that is true, are we to believe that there wasn’t even a bag of balls out there for the services of Dillon Gee, Bartolo Colon, Rafael Montero, Jonathan Niese, and Cory Mazzoni?
My guess… and that’s all this is but a guess… is that Alderson rolled these dice on his own and is betting that his future rotation will turn out to be so superior (the first five names listed in the above paragraph) that his final 2015 plans for the others are:
Gee – Spot starter, long relief, and SP6 if injury develops.
Colon – 2015 rotation pitcher, length of which will depend on his success, and whether the team is competing for a playoff spot in September, and whether it still looks like he can help the team. If not, I expect him to be DFA’d or released outright sometime after the all-star break.
Montero – tough call right now… could wind up in pen, or sent back to AAA to await a future assignment. There’s only so much room in the pen which could also be his 2015 home.
Niese – Should finish the season in the rotation as the one lefty. His future past that as a Met will be based on the progress of Matz. If Matz is ready for 2016, Niese will be marketed with one year left to go on his contract.
Mazzoni – Totally screwed.
I haven’t been online as much as I have in the past, but did I miss something? Why, all of a sudden, is everyone talking about this being manager Terry Collins last year? Can you imagine how happy Kaplan would be on that day?
Seriously, none of us know how successful the 2015 version of this team will be, but it adds more young and exciting players every year. I’ve talked about this before… I believe someone under the age of 50 would better suit today’s breed of players. People my age have a lot of knowledge and experience about this game, but that doesn’t mean were going to relate to some 23-year old with a hand held.
It’s going to be tough to fire a manager of a team that makes the playoffs, but the Mets are going to have do more than play one wild card game to insure Collins coming back in 2016. This has never been his team. Every one of his coaches were handpicked by Sandy Alderson, who has his new contract safely locked away in his safe deposit box.
Others (his friends) also talk about the possibility of him quitting at the end of this season. Trust me, talking about it and executing it are two different things. I’ve walked away from this blog twice, knowing it was the right thing for me to do, but, in both cases I came back because I love to write and missed it.
In the case of Collins, I don’t see any chance of him being fired during this season. What he does in 2016 will begin to be determined, by someone, the day after the Mets season ends.
It’s interesting to look and read how the Mets beat press has now shifted some of its emphasis to promote Steven Matz as the next great Mets superstar pitcher. One of the Fangraphs guys was asked this past week if he thought that the 2016 Mets rotation would be Matz, Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard, and Jacob deGrom. He answered with a resounding no, saying that one of them will be a bust in the long run.
Sadly, I agree.
I’ve seen so many times in the past that you just don’t wind up with everything you wish for. Who’s the bust here? Well, you’ve already read last week on my thoughts about Harvey. In the long run, I think another surgery awaits him down the road and he could turn out to be the Mets next Mike Pelfrey.
I don’t think it will be Wheeler, who seems to be on his way to a pretty decent career and, my guess is that the ace of this staff will turn out to be deGrom, who has both the talent and potential to be a superstar.
And then there’s Thor, whose TC proclaimed ‘hook from hell’ has only produced a 4.00+ ERA in AAA. Syndergaard could easily turn out to be the bust we’re talking about here.
And that brings us to Matz, who I have seen pitch. Others have said in the comments section on this site that he was not impressive last season (one game?)… he’s not ready and probably needs the entire year of 2015 to stay in the minors and work on his secondary pitchers.
Will he be as, one scout said in Marc Carig/Newsday’s recent story, “as impressive as any lefthanded pitching prospect I saw in 2014"?
Well, he doesn’t have to be. Only one pitcher has to be the ace of the staff and Matz already looks to be talented enough to take the place of Jonathan Niese as the lefty in the rotation. The question now is just when.
Oh… that same Carig story said that another evaluator was quoted saying that Matz may be on par with Syndergaard as two of the best pitching prospects in all of baseball.
Call me a cynic. Say I’m getting old and crusty. And feel free to accuse me of rubbing all that Mets blush off the rose, but I find that now that I write only once a week, and I spend more time picking the words that I truly feel and not worrying about what I was writing or who I was going to piss off.
It’s like the time I spent countless hours writing a feature story on bust Mets starter Tobi Stoner. Yes. Tobi Friggin Stoner, who wouldn’t say two words in the hallways of Grayson Stadium to me and I was trying to impress him with the literally equivalent of oral gratification
Right now, here’s what I know:
Number of balls thrown in the majors by Syndergaard – 0
Number of balls thrown in the majors by Matz – 0
What the Mets won’t have to worry about is deGrom, who could go down as one of the life time ERA+ leaders in the game... I see Wheeler settling into one of the better SP2’s in the league while Harvey is the debatable time bomb.
As for both Syndergaard and Matz, it will take both the 2015 season in the minors and the 2016 season in the majors to set up any chance for an accurate prediction as to the long term future of both these guys.
Boy, I’m hoping I’m big time wrong here.
I know that spring training has started now and much of our analysis can shift to each days events, but there still seems to be a considerable amount of concern about which Mets starter is going to pitch how many innings over the 2015 season.
Isn’t there an easier and simpler way for the Mets to evaluate their starters by turning into a two-fold process?
Why not put a plan together where all six Mets starters rotate within a five man rotation for either the first half of the season up to the all-star break, or until certain pitchers reach the 200 innings count. Oh, they’re not all going to get there in time, but it would give us a better statistic to judge,
What if, oh, let’s say, Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler, and Matt Harvey all average together seven innings per start over their first 15 starts. That’s 105 innings each in a schedule that, on paper, would look to translate as at least one-third of the starts they could be capable of throwing this year (counting playouts).
Add one more factor… all 30 starts end: 24-21, 3.25, 1.10.
My guess is that Bartolo Colon and Jonathan Niese would be pitching at one level lower and let’s say they pitch an average of six innings per game, and go 8-7 during their 15 games pitched.
(note: in a perfect world, some of these game will be tied at the end of either six or seven innings and the actual win or loss could fall on a relief pitcher)
We now have a collective 75-games, W-L of 32-28, and ERA in the 3.50 range, and a WHIP under 1.50.
Wouldn’t this be a much better place to formulate what you are going to do in the warm months after you have this kind of spring, and it’s results under your belt?
I’m telling you… it’s hard for me to believe that formulating a plan on March 2rd about now many pitches Harvey is going to throw in the 2015 season isn’t premature. Sit back down around the end of July and see how many pitchers you still need from all the members of your original rotation.
One of these guys are going to be struggling while another will be attempting to hide a throwing injury.
This is where Dillon Gee and Rafael Montero can become effective, as the first wave before the SEAL team of Noah Syndergaard and, possibly, Stephen Matz.
You seem to have nine pitchers that can collectively give you the 100-190 innings per pitcher needed to get through a successful season.
It is really going to matter who leads this team in throwing unjured pitchers in to properly strung catching mits, while. at the same time the opponent batters miss the majority of the baseballs thrown there way. This is how you win baseball game and who give a flying fuck how that game was won.