The Morning Report - 3.10.15 - Wilpon is unhappy, Wheeler is happy, Edgin's velocity down.


Joel Sherman |  nypost.com “It wasn’t a vintage George Steinbrenner moment. The Boss would have entered the manager’s office with more bluster. . . Fred Wilpon does not swagger in the same way, do bombast naturally. So there is more reading between the lines that Wilpon decided to stop by Terry Collins’ office for 25 minutes after a few bad Mets moments recently, including a 13-2 trouncing on Monday by the Marlins. And the subject of the meeting was problems with the team. Not dinner reservations. “He expects a much better team,” Collins said. 

(Herb G. It is refreshing to see Fred Wilpon expressing his disappointment in the Mets recent performance so early in spring training. Too many Met fans have accused the owners of not having the desire to win. It is clear to me that Fred, Jeff and Saul want a winning team, and want it badly. That they are committed to a process that has demanded patience, is not indicative of an indifference to winning. Whether it is due to the necessity of dealing with a lack of resources (English translation - money) or a fundamental belief that the best way to build a winner is by drafting and trading for outstanding young talent rather than giving seven figure contracts to aging stars, (or a bit of both) the Mets’ owners have acquired the enmity of a large segment of the fan base in the process. Perhaps if Wilpon displays his desire to win more visibly and more frequently, fans will begin to come around. Nothing, however, will convince the fans to appreciate the owners‘ commitment more, than putting a winning team on the field this year, and playing some baseball in Queens this October.)

Michael Hurcomb |  CBSSports.com Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler took the hill for the first time this spring Monday against the Marlins, and when the dust settled he finished the afternoon sporting a 32.40 ERA. Wheeler's outing got off to a great start, as he retired the side in order in the first inning on 10 pitches. He even had a strikeout of Derek Dietrich. However, it quickly unraveled for Wheeler in the second inning. He had two strikeouts within the first four batters he faced, but he loaded the bases before Reid Brignac and Jordany Valdespin had run-scoring singles. "I was happy with the outing overall, I did hit two batters and walk a couple but it's still early. Fastball command was a little off. I was trying to go in a lot but it was taking off on me a little bit. I was having a hard time throwing down in the zone with my fastball.”

(Herb G. Wheeler‘s statement is the ultimate example of putting a good face on a bad situation. OK, It‘s true that pitchers are working on a variety of issues in early spring training. They are still working out the kinks. So there is no cause for alarm in Zack‘s horrible outing. Let‘s see how he adjusts his game and pulls it all together as the spring progresses.)

Adam Rubin |  ESPNNewTork.com “Terry Collins is concerned with Josh Edgin, the lone established lefty in his bullpen. For a second straight spring training, Edgin’s velocity has sagged. Edgin was summoned to face consecutive lefty batters Jordany Valdespin and Derek Dietrich on Monday and served up back-to-back run-scoring triples. Edgin’s fastball velocity sat at 88-91 mph. Edgin’s fastball averaged 92.4 mph last season.“What you look for right now is not necessarily anything more than making sure his velocity gets up. That would be right now a concern -- the fact that his velocity is not there yet. That’s going to be something we’ve got to certainly work on long-toss-wise, arm-speed-wise, because that sets the tone for everything“ Collins said. 

(Herb G. This seems like much ado about nothing to me. We went through the same scenario a year ago, and Edgin eventually got his velocity back to where it needed to be. True, he had to spend some time in Las Vegas to get it up there. Now, a year later, he (and the coaching staff) should have the information and experience to get it back up where it needs to be in time for opening day.)


eraff said...

Velocity Drops are generally solid warning signs...Repetitive instances even more so.

I'm less worried about Wheeler--it's a "go throw 50 pitches, whatever they look like" deal. he does need to harness his command/mechanics-- that's a known problem. I'd rather he got punded on "decreasing stuff" on his later pitches, rather than setting it up with walks and HBP's.

Thomas Brennan said...

My brother reiterated to me, before yesterday's Edgin outing, how he'd have loved to see the Mets spend $$ on Andrew Miller rather than Cuddyer. The lefty pen is a bit unnerving right now - far too early to panic - but the yanks got their pen man, and we'll have to sweat this lefty thing out a bit.

Edgin ought to up the velocity, let's hope it is not an underlying injury.

Of the other lefties, Leathersich has inspired no one so far, and Dario Alvarez was a great story in 2014, but one wonders (despite 2 good innings so far) if he is ready for more than AAA, which is 3 levels above where he started last year. Gilmartin also inspired no one yesterday. And
Scott Rice is iffy at best, and would almost be an admission of being willing to gamble on mediocrity.

Wheeler's outing reminded me of some Seaver spring stinkers of years past - but when Tom Terrific hit opening day, he was more than ready.

I like the Kirk/Dekker duel so far. Kirk (.600 on base %) still has the edge but Dekker (.438) has done some very good things in the early stages too. Wonder if Mets might carry both lefties if they continue like this? Of course, Campbell is at .600 OB% too so far, so he is a likely favorite to stay.

The only ones not hitting so far are core starters Wright/Cuddyer/d'Arnaud, who are 3 for 29. But it is early.

Jeff Roland said...

munchkin Collins is worried about velocity on March 9th. genius

Zozo said...

I am in total agreement with your brother, he would helped this young pitching staff tremendously.

Christopher Soto said...

Kudos to Herb.

I logged on to put this together this morning and he pretty much already touched on everything that happened yesterday.

A few points to make....

A) Zack Wheeler was fantastic yesterday until he hit the same wall that Niese also hit yesterday. After around his 25-30th pitch, the mechanics began falling apart, the arm slot changed and it got ugly. To be fair though, Chase Bradford came in an poured a whole gallon of gasoline on the fire. I expect he'll be better next time out on March 15th with an anticipated wall of around 50 or so pitches.

B) Josh Edgin's velocity is certainly a concern...but he seems like one of those guys who just takes longer to get going into the season then others. Its amplified more by the fact that Gilmartin and Leathersich have not been very good. We easily forget though that the team was just fine last year with only 1 lefty reliever...both Vic Black and Carlos Torres have been effective against both lefties and righties in their careers to date.

Thomas Brennan said...

Scary Edgin update, per Matt Cerrone SNY:

Josh Edgin is scheduled to have an MRI on his elbow Tuesday, according to multiple reports. Edgin, who is the only established left-handed reliever in camp, said his whole arm is uncomfortable

Christopher Soto said...

Well things def just got a bit more interesting in camp......

Christopher Soto said...

Gilmartin and Rice's chances of making the team just increased 10 fold

Thomas Brennan said...

Let's say Edgin is out indefinitely...Niese to pen? One way to work off the starter surplus.

Christopher Soto said...

Niese's "stuff" is not really a fit for the bullpen....plus it leaves you without a lefty in the rotation.

You ideally want guys with at least 1 plus pitch in the bullpen spots.

Niese has 4 average ones

Christopher Soto said...

I think it's more likely that you see Gilmartin and Rice try and hold down the spot.

Unless the rumored Gee for Rex Brothers trade a while back has some legs.

For what it's worth....Brothers has 1 IP and 1 K so far.

Hobie said...

I’ve often thought this LOOGY thing is overblown unless he’s positively lights-out against LHB. A LHP with above average stats against LHB, but can’t get RHB’s out is a mediocre pitcher at best. I would have liked Miller too, but not as just a LOOGY (even that word annoys me). TC’s penchant for L/R matchups is by far more frustrating than his lineup machinations.

I’d be fine with Mejia, Familia, Black, Torres, eventually Parnell (and I’ll throw in Montero) to hold the fort at the back end. And I am still thinking piggy-backing Neise with Harvey for the first two months, even given an all-RH rotation that includes Gee, is the way to go to jump-start the season.

TP said...

Alderson did a lousy job this winter from the lefty pen arm standpoint. This group is way way too thin, and even a healthy Josh Edgin does not have quite enough MLB success to be counted on. Shame on Sandy.

Reese Kaplan said...

Given the way Collins uses lefties I think you can muddle through for a few months with some combination of Alvarez, Gilmartin and Rice. If it's something that requires TJS then the team needs to make a move.

Thomas Brennan said...

Of the fab 4 righty pen guys (Mejia, Black, Parnell and Familia), only Familia was significantly worse vs. lefty hitters (.293 vs. .134 vs. righties). Parnell (2013) and Black allowed lefties to hit around .210. Mejia allowed .239 vs. .289 vs righties. Carlos Torres was just .218 vs lefties in 2014, .262 vs righties).

Surprising - so overall, they did virtually the same against lefties and righties, so that will help if Edgin vanishes for a while.

Lon Forbes said...

Given that Josh threw with the velocity he is now throwing while in Savannah and still was lights out, he can still be productive pending the return of his top speed. He almost miraculously added about 5 mph in the offseason after leaving here and thus was promoted to the top. The portly one (as Toby dubbed him) knows how to pitch and I am confident that he will produce.

James Preller said...

When oft-injured Josh Edgin getting hurt causes concern, it's a sign that your team is too thin in LHP.

Over his career, Edgin has never pitched more than 32 IP in the Major Leagues during a season. Suddenly, over the winter, he became "the man" in some people's minds.

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