Mack’s Morning Report – 3-27-15 – TJS, Baseball Maverick, Injuries


All reports out of Savannah are that this will be the l of the teams have been at odds with each other over replacing Grayson Stadium just about since the day they bought it. Reports locally are that there are no plans for the city to try and find another team to place an affiliate there, nor do they intend on funding the money needed for a new stadium. They've went through that process and voted it down.

Savannah is a tough down to get progress completed. They've always had half of their head stuff in the ground and have never tried to be anything more than a sleepy version of another Macon, Georgia rather than a smaller version of Atlanta.

I tried to build a radio tower there back in the 1990's and needed the approval of the town council. It never happened. I would have had more success putting a McDonalds in Yemen.

The fans love the Braves and the only night more than 2,000 people attend a game is "Thirsty Thursday". 

I will miss nothing about going to that stadium.

It’s no big secret that the main reason so many pitchers are having Tommy John Surgery is that they are consistently throwing the ball harder than 92 miles per hour.
There’s also been a lot written that there are too many pre-high school kids being coached to add a breaking pitch to their repertoire, putting too much excess stress on their arms before they are fully developed. Repertoire? What is God’s name is a grade school baseball player doing trying to develop a repertoire?

And lastly, very few coaches early on have any concern with the pitch count of the starters on their team, both on and off the mound. The supervision of what a pitcher does in between his official starts is close to non-existent at most of the small town high school levels and simply doesn’t exist before that.

So what does all this lead to?

Well, maybe throwing a baseball has simply become a high-risk job and ripping or tearing tendon or muscle is just the reward for trying to do your job to the best of your (sic) ability.

And maybe it’s the job of a General Manager to stockpile 7-8 pitchers all capable of being part of a major league rotation in case two or three of them go down with a season ending injury. Losing one out of eight seems to be the norm now.

The players with the most talent in leagues for junior high school players are mostly pitchers. And more and more teams will be stocking their system with as much pitching talent they can draft out of the high schools of America. Forget college. The damage may already be done there.

I read Steve Kettmann’s ‘Baseball Maverick’ this past week. Things I learned about the New York Mets and Sandy Alderson included:

-the Boston Red Sox offered IF Chih-Hsien Chaing and pitcher Alex Wilson to the Mets for OF Carlos Beltran. Alderson asked that a young prospect named Rougned Odor be added to the deal, but Boston declined.

In 1965, Alderson joined his father who worked for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), by collecting and coding cables from outside embassies. This job was never disclosed publically before the printing of this book.

Alderson was one of the Marines that stood guarding the body of President Lyndon Johnson while it is was lying in state in the Rotunda for the general public to view.

Under the ‘and you thought Jeff and Fred were tight’ category, the 1979 Oakland A’s went 54-108, had a home attendance of 306,763, had only 653 attend one home game and… owner Charles Finley didn’t attend one single game.

Alderson installed the first weight room in baseball (Oakland).

The Mets passed on drafting Mark McGwire in the 1984 draft, allowing Oakland to pounce (seems the Mets felt that McGwire wouldn’t sign with them, a feeling we’ve heard many times before).

Alderson acknowledged that the Mets lost $70 million dollars in his first year (2011) as General Manager.

Alderson said that the subject of Bernie Madoff was never discussed during his interview for the GM position. “I didn’t raise it. Maybe I should have. The bottom line, I would have taken the job anyway”

He also said “if we sign Jose (Reyes), we are just maintaining the status quo. We’re not improving the team.”

Alderson acknowledged that, as late as 2013, Juan Lagares was still considered behind Matt den Dekker as the top center field prospect in the organization.

Alderson on Ruben Tejada: “Gradually you come to the conclusion that Tejada is just a placeholder. He’s not a long term guy for us.”

A trade of Ike Davis to Pittsburgh was delayed because the Pirates were pissed about how much they had to give up in the Marlon Byrd trade (I was right… many teams ran in the other direction after both this, the Beltran for Wheeler deal, and the Dickey trade. They didn’t want to be the next victim of Alderson’s ability to pull off a decent trade).

Alderson on Gonzalez Germen:  “This guy went on the DL with an abscess. How do you go on the DL with an abscess?”

I recommend the book if you are a Mets fan. I especially recommend it if you are either a Zack Wheeler or Josh Satin fan, because it seems like the same amount of words were spent on them that were written about Alderson.

It was obvious that Alderson agreed to cooperate with the author early on, but direct quotes became very sparse by the end of the book. At that point it almost became a play by play description of both the 2013 and 2014 season.
Still, as I said, you’ll enjoy the insight into our beloved Gee-Em.

Zack WheelerJosh EdginBobby ParnellVic BlackDaniel MurphyWilmer Flores.

Mets fans are reeling on #MetsTwitter, blaming everybody in the organization about what’s happening in camp this spring, but is this an exclusive problem that only the Mets seem to have every season?

We’ve all seen all the charts and studies about today’s pitchers that throw the ball over 92 miles per hour Tommy John Surgery is an epidemic shares by all 30 teams in the league and no one, I repeat, no one can make a young pitcher throw a baseball at less speed than he is humanly possible to throw it. TJS will happen and it will probably happen to at least one more Mets pitcher this season. First, get over it and, second, be happy that Sandy Alderson recognizes this and decided to hold on to his excess pitching prospects this spring. Yes, the rotation will miss Wheeler, but Dillon Gee isn’t chopped liver.

Regarding Black, Murphy, and Flores, you are going to have players dinged in camp if you play them. I know it sounds stupid, but you can’t play your first regular season game with a squad that hasn’t played a single inning of spring training baseball. Pitchers are going to throw too hard and strain something (they don’t tear it every time). Hitters are going to over-swing and pull something. And batters are going to foul pitchers off their ankles regardless of how well they are in shape.
Stuff like this happens to every team, but the only teams that are overly affected by it are the ones with limited depth. I believe that all but two of these guys will be back
100% by, latest, May 1st, and the Mets have good enough secondary players, if needed, to hold the fort down.


Thomas Brennan said...

Met minor leaguers will be happy to move on from "historic" Grayson Stadium (historic why, exactly, historically bad)? They will not miss the Grayson Graveyard, where long fly balls go to die.

I still think Dekker will be good - but Lagares may just become great.

Gee ain't chopped liver - but if Montero tosses another gem, the chopped liver may be in the bullpen fridge.

I previously related the story of my brother, who was a nasty lefty in High School (1 game was a 1 hitter with 17 Ks) who threw daily in 3 different leagues and anywhere else guys wanted to play - until he killed his shoulder about the time he turned 18. Coaches need to restrain the good ones - many don't know better.

Going off on a tangent, my 4 favorite spring training underdogs (Reynolds, Muno, Monell and Dekker) in a combined 170 at bats are .330/.400/.560. Tough decisions ahead as cutdown day approaches.

Lastly, Matt Bowman was showing there is another arm that can do harm on the farm - and like Pill, he hits too (1 for 2 yesterday)

Mack Ade said...

the Bowman spot start was interesting... sort of a showcase I would think

eraff said...

Bowman reminded mne of a "Japanese Pitcher"-- all windup and hiding the ball--- plays well to a sub 90's assortment with location and changing speeds.

He'll never be surprised by a loss of velocity---he will scrap to get a chance---it's tough to believe in 5'10 and 88mph

Anonymous said...

Right now, the only change from the rotation is that Wheeler is replaced by Harvey.And it looks like Harvey is healthier than the '14 Wheeler. deGrom will provide a full season, and Gee and Niese should be healthier than their'14 selves.

Adding Montero and Parnell should help the pen, leaving the LHRP situation as the greatest concern. Gilmartin has looked solid since his early games, but we likely need more.

Hobie said...


Who owns the Gnats franchise? The keep the same PDA if they move?

And there is (was anyway) a MacDonald's in Yemen.

Thomas Brennan said...

Gilmartin may be the lefty, but do not let stats fool you on what Dario Alvarez has done this spring. One terrible outing (4 runners, 4 runs, no outs).

But in his other EIGHT games, he has thrown 7 innings, 3 hits, 2 walks, 8 Ks, no runs. Awesome.

Mack Ade said...

Anon -

I still think one of the LHRP is still on another team

Mack Ade said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mack Ade said...

Hobie -

Grant Morain

bob gregory said...

Maybe a pitcher like Bowman needs to be looked at in new light given today's Propensity for Power Pitching injuries.

A pitcher that can pitch effectively with less power should have increased value. A lesser concern of injury and ability to possibly pitch more dependably start to start, month to month, and year to year can create better team stability.

PasthedivingFlores said...

Does anybody have a link to a radio broadcast of today's game? Ty.

TP said...

Great column, especially love the comp of putting a Mickey D's in Yemen. Good stuff.

The Met injuries seem to be in line with what other teams are facing. Two TJs is rough, but these injuries did not pop up out of nowhere like the Harvey TJ. Mets knew these guys were iffy. Alderson absolutely needs to add a LHP for the pen from outside the organization before opening day. Anything less is unacceptable.

Thomas Brennan said...

@ Bob Gregory: I think Bowman could start in the majors today. He seems really mature, smart, and focused. He should have real trade value.

Mack Ade said...

TP -

Thank you

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