The Morning Report 3.2.15 | The Superstar Coach, Cuddyer in LF?, Duda's Health, Jimmy Rollins


Kevin Kiernan | New York Post - "After his first Mets press conference here, [Kevin] pulled Long aside and asked him what Mets hitter has the best chance to become better this season. Long didn’t hesitate. “Murphy,’’ he said. “A batting title is not out of his grasp. He’s got a lot of pop and a lot of potential. There is more ability in there and we are going to try to draw it out." Long said he believes Murphy not only can hit for a higher average but can add power to his swing as well, so that is the best of both worlds increased power and increased average.

(Chris Soto: Reports out of camp have been nothing but positive for Kevin Long so far. Scouts are seeing improved usage of Murphy's lower half which is allowing him to drive the ball with more power to all fields. Long has been a slam dunk signing so far. Along with Murphy, Nimmo, Granderson, and Duda have also reportedly improved on their swings thanks to Long's instruction. We'll see how much effect it's actually having when games start this week.)

Joe D. | MetsMerized - "You may have been surprised that Michael Cuddyer is deaf in his left ear due to a childhood virus. He has barely played left field in his career because of it, but is willing to give it a shot after he was told that manager Terry Collins is considering the idea of keeping Curtis Granderson as the right fielder.“I hate to take anything away from Curtis; he played very well out there,” Collins said. “And to now say, ‘Go play left,’ and Michael has never played right in Citi Field is difficult.”

(Chris Soto: The main reason for the proposed move of Grandy from RF to LF is because his below average arm sapped any defensive value gained from his glove/range. That said, Cuddyer's arm is not much better and quite frankly, RF is not the easiest of positions to play in Citi Field with the way the wind swirls. Deaf or not...I would actually put Cuddyer in LF for one simple reason...Juan Lagares. Granderson himself has pretty good range whereas Cuddyer's is below average. Lagares has a quicker step and moves faster to his right thus is able to cover more ground going in that direction to help out Cuddyer.)

Danny Abriano | Rising Apple - "Mets manager Terry Collins told reporters that Lucas Duda should begin hitting off a tee this week, with the expectation that Duda will start taking batting practice next week. It was reported on February 26 that Duda would not swing a bat for a week, which should mean that Wednesday or Thursday is the targeted date for him to begin hitting off a tee."

(Chris Soto: Teams are generally much more cautious with injuries in Spring Training thus the reason Duda has not swung yet. That said the timing makes sense based on the info we have so far about Duda needing a week off after injuring his oblique some 3 weeks before that. Intercostal strains generally take 3-4 weeks to heal completely so everything seems to be in order. If everything works right, we should see Duda in a Spring Training game around March 15th-ish)

Jerry Crasnick | ESPN New York - "Jimmy Rollins spent a lot of years with the Philadelphia Phillies antagonizing New York Mets fans with his swagger and competitive spirit. He was among a select group of opposing players that fans in Flushing Meadows most loved to hate. But when Rollins assembled his choice of preferred offseason trade destinations, the Mets ranked surprisingly high on his list."This was my No. 1 landing spot," Rollins said from Los Angeles' spring training camp, "and I considered the Mets to be No. 2. They have some arms over there -- oh my gosh."

(Chris Soto: Wow...and here we thought Rollins would never play for the Mets. This tells me one of two things. A) that the Phillies were asking for an astronomical price from the Mets for Jimmy Rollins, which, he rightfully didn't pay. Or B) the Phillies never wanted to trade Rollins in division to begin with. That something that the average fan doesn't understand. Trades within division, where you face the team 19 times in a season, rarely occur. This was no different.)


Thomas Brennan said...

The article on Kevin Long and Daniel Murphy is the latest of many encouraging articles, which support why 90 wins should be achievable. I still think 740 runs in 2015 is reasonable...this is one more reason I feel that way.

Duda should be fine...needs patience to avoid a costly setback. Plenty of time to get ready. Maybe Jayce Boyd gets a window to show what he can do, for the future. He could be a nice Sept pinch hit bat to have in a pennant race.

TheCuddyer/Gandy defense article is why I think we'll see a lot of Dekker out there this year, whether he is on OD roster or not.

As Jimmy Rollins says, we have an Oh My Gosh pitching staff...with room to improve. Nice.

Zozo said...

The guy can't hear out of his left ear and Grandy has no arm, to me it seems to logical. Maybe that's why Collins doesn't want to do it? I hope I am wrong but I can see a Beltran/Cameron collision but this time it will be in Leftfield because the guy couldn't hear Lagares call him off the ball.
Collins put Grandy in Left and bat him 6th stop making stupid moves.

Anonymous said...

James Preller writes . . .

Nobody loves Kevin Long as much as Kevin Long -- this guy seeks the spotlight more than any hitting coach I've ever seen -- the early love affair with this guy is ridiculous.

The first guy to have a good year will be all because of Kevin Long's coaching. He'll let us know, too.

I think he was a good hire, but I've watched this guy's act for many years. Me, me, me, me, me.

Reese Kaplan said...

Long sounds like the hitting coach equivalent of Rick Peterson.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree on Long, a hitting coach should not be seeking so much attention and making such bold statements about batting titles, adding power and mentioning Lagares name in the same sentence as Cano, even though it was taken out of context. I think Sandy should tell him to calm down and be careful with some of the statements, he is setting expectations very high based on just a few weeks and team wide slumps are going to cause an even bigger distraction if they happen because of all of his yapping. They are telling the players to temper their words, I think the hitting coach (yes, the friggin hitting coach!!) should heed the same advice
Anon Joe F

Christopher Soto said...

Hey IMO....

I don't care how much he talks....as long as he gets results and from the sounds of it....(although its only spring) so far he's getting results.

Say what you want about Rick Peterson....but he's considered one of the best pitching coaches in the game.

James Preller said...

Christopher, it's not only "only Spring," they haven't even played an intrasquad game yet.

The praise Long for his "results" is a little over the top at this point, since they are based on virtually nothing.

Again, I don't think he's a bad hitting coach. I just think he's a media whore, and always has been. He likes taking credit for Jeter, Cano, etc.

Every 6-year-old who takes hitting lessons learns about "squashing the bug" and using the lower half to generate power. If Long has the ability to get through to these guys, that will be his genius. But it's not like he's going to be saying anything that hasn't been said by many, many others. He's just a hitting coach.

Let's see how it goes. Right now, IMO, you are drinking Kevin Long's Kool-Aid.

BTW, did Rick Peterson really do such an awesome job when he was here with the Mets (2003-2008)? I didn't notice. Let's ask Heath Bell.

Christopher Soto said...


For what it's worth I am agreeing with you in my comments.

I also want to see results in ST games before I go "Coo Coo for Cocoa Puffs." I am just regurgitating what team scouts and reporters in St. Lucie have been seeing. From their viewpoints, Long has SO FAR had a positive effect on a couple of guys.

Charles said...

I absolutely LOVED Rick Peterson and the Mets should have never fired him. Talk about a guy who knows everything about pitching. He was and is a genius.

Anthony Carnacchio said...

Long's confidence is welcomed. His swagger that he brings will help boost the confidence of his students. Everybody knows that confidence is what makes great hitters. Some cockiness will do this ball club good

Mack Ade said...

I'm writing about Long this upcoming weekend

Anonymous said...

Look forward to it, Mack.

James Preller

Mack's Mets © 2012