The Morning Report 3.19.2015 | Montero vs. Gee, Wright's Health, Ligaments, Tendon, and Pitches per Inning ...Oh my!


Marc Carig | NewsdayBefore a torn ulnar collateral ligament wiped out Zack Wheeler's season, the Mets worried about a different issue in his troublesome right elbow: a torn tendon. The tendon tear, a source told Newsday, is what prompted Wheeler to undergo platelet-rich plasma therapy twice this offseason. Doctors hoped the treatment would speed up healing and allow Wheeler to keep pitching. They thought that the rest and the PRP would allow it to calm down," the source said. "And it didn't... For whatever reason, it didn't help, it didn't take.".

(Chris Soto: Alderson, the front office, and even Wheeler's agent all continues to deny any wrongdoing in regards to how they handled Wheeler. Since everyone is on the same page, guys are now digging around trying to find any ounce of evidence to show that the club was negligent in some regards. The fact of the matter is...all long as doctors say that a player is good to go, and the player himself understands what's going on with his body and still wants to play, who are we to say otherwise? )

Matt Vavaro | Amazin Avenue- In Rafael Montero, the Mets have a major-league-ready starter whose profile mirrors Gee’s. Like Gee, Montero is a finesse pitcher who relies on pinpoint control rather than overpowering stuff. The only difference: Montero is younger, his stuff is better, and his ceiling is higher. Over these next two and a half weeks, the Mets should give Montero every opportunity to prove that he belongs in the team’s rotation to start the year.

(Chris Soto: Vavaro makes an interesting case for Montero over Gee. Montero's pure stuff is certainly better and the last few starts of last season were certainly encouraging enough to give him a chance at displacing Gee. However, what I saw first hand last season is a guy who struggled to keep himself composed with runners on base and failed to trust his stuff. Montero's pitch usage information, via Pitch F/X, will show that he got away from his bread and butter which was his fastball/change combination. Instead he tried to use his slider more often and it got destroyed last season.)


Stephania Bell | ESPN- On the same day, the Mets were on the verge of receiving bad news with regards to Wheeler, there was also good news to be found. Veteran third baseman David Wright hit his first home run of the spring. It also happened to be his first home run since July 2014. It didn’t just creep out of the park either. It was a smash over the centerfield wall, a signal perhaps that the power that eluded Wright and his injured left shoulder in the second half of last season might just be returning.

(Chris Soto: I've seen multiples videos of the David Wright so far this spring and I have to agree with Ms. Bell.....Wright looks VERY Healthly. His entire approach this season has been going up the middle and to the opposite side of the field and he is driving balls successfully. The home run he hit was a 430+ ft monster to dead center. The swing he put on it looked like a vintage Wright swing from his 2012 MVP Caliber season. If this team is going to compete for a playoff spot, it will depend on how well Wright performs.)

Brian Mangan | The Read Zone- Many have criticized the organization for allowing Wheeler to throw too many pitches, in line with a lot of the new conventional thinking about pitch counts. However, as I have tried to explain, simply counting pitches without counting the number of pitches per inning is meaningless. There is a huge difference between 110 pitches over 5.1 or 110 pitches in a nice relaxing complete game. In fact, here’s the bottom line: since 2005, no pitcher has been pushed to throw as many pitches over as few innings as Zack Wheeler was. Not one.

(Chris Soto: I found this to be an extremely interesting read. I continue to hold on to my idealogy that no matter what we do, no matter what we track, or how we handle our guys......pitchers are going to break no matter what. That said, Mangan lays out an interesting concept that Wheeler has been the most inefficient pitcher of the last decade and the unusually high pitches per inning has a connection to his injury. I can't say that I deny it, but the information he lays out does have a fatal flaw....Only Chad Billingsley and Scott Kazmir eventually injuries.)


Tom Brennan said...

Nolan Ryan had high pitch counts per inning too, and he held up pretty well - for 3 decades.

Wheeler probably internally knew he was likely to end up in Tommy Johnville, but he also realized he needed to establish his major league career before the inevitable happened, and so he pushed on. He reached that goal. He is established, if not perfected.

He will have all this major league time accumulated (already and when he returns), likely return from surgery healthy, and hop back on the ultra-ultra-big money gravy train. So let's not get all crazy with Sandy and company, it's a business and everyone played this out like businessmen.

Wheeler played it like a future multi-millionaire.

Tom Brennan said...

On Rafael Montero, hopefully he and his 1 1/3 innings to date turn up again somewhere.

In terms of his 2014 with the Mets, every player has to adjust to a higher level - I think he did most of that adjusting in his 44 innings last year. I think, if healthy, he will be very good this year - with the Mets. As a pen guy or starter if someone falters.

Ernest Dove said...

Montero stopped being a 'minor leaguer' awhile ago. Its a shame he still has no permanent spot here. But the Mets know a lot more about him then me, so they gotta have some kind of plan here with him to succeed long term somewhere with them.

Dallas said...

I thought Brians post at The Read Zone was very interesting as well. Its funny because Wheeler did remind me of Leiter in his last year or two with the Mets where he pitched decent but rarely finished the 6th or 7th inning because of the high pitches per inning. The thing is what can you do about that? Let Wheeler pitch only 4-5 innings? Then his value is greatly diminished. I always found Wheeler a little more painful to watch because he was so inefficient with his pitch count compared to guys like DeGrom. I have a feeling he is going to be replaced quickly by Matz and/or Thor in the depth chart and will end up more the Mets 4 or 5 pitcher which isnt a bad problem to have.

Reese Kaplan said...

Montero from a pitching perspective reminds me very much of Wilmer Flores from a hitting perspective. In the minors the guy did pretty much everything you could ask of him but the team had no plan for him at the major league level once his first taste of the bigs didn't result in him becoming an All Star. Hopefully, like Flores, the Mets will eventually realize what they have in Montero and give him a chance to succeed.

Mack Ade said...

I guess in the pecking order that the SP5 slot is Gee's to lose first...

Reese Kaplan said...

Using my analogy, that would make Dillon Gee the equivalent of Ruben Tejada who they kept trotting out there when there was a better option all along :)

Mack's Mets © 2012