The Morning Report 3.31.2015 | Gee v. Montero, Monell's Strong Spring, Mets in Win Now Mode.


Kristie Ackert | New York Daily News- A day after Dillon Gee made his case, Rafael Montero made his pitch on Monday for the fifth spot in the Mets’ rotation. The 24-year old righty tossed six scoreless innings as the Mets beat the Marlins, 7-1, at Tradition Field. Montero gave up two hits, struck out six and did not issue a walk.“That is what everybody has been telling me about him,” Terry Collins said of Montero. “Last year… we did not see the command of the stuff that we had heard about. We’ve seen it the last two times, against two very good teams.“I think we may have to make the best judgement we can make as we get toward the weekend of who it’s going to be,” Collins said.

(Chris Soto: This is turning out to be quite the battle as Dillon Gee and Montero continue to match scoreless innings. Montero's command has significantly improved year over year and it seems like he spent a significant amount of time receiving instruction on how to improve his slider. In the past, we viewed the pitch as more fringe average as a complement to his plus change-up and fastball, however, this season it's looking like a legitimate 3rd plus pitch. I still think Dillon Gee will win the #5 SP job...especially now that the Mets have shored up the left side of their bullpen without sending Gee as part of the packages.)

Peter Kerositis | nytimes.com“...known more for his left-handed power bat than for his glove, (Johnny) Monell has impressed the Mets this spring after signing with the club as an off-season free agent and arriving as a non-roster invitee. In Grapefruit League play, Monell had converted 42 at-bats into a .357 batting average and four home runs through Sunday. “We’ve been very, very happy with what we’ve seen,” Mets Manager Terry Collins said of Monell. “Johnny has handled himself very well, and he’s going to get some more playing time this week.” 

(Herb G.: Is there a real competition between Recker and Monell for the backup catcher‘s job? It would be nice to think so. Monell has had a stellar spring, while Recker has been so-so. If Recker is the backup, it would mean that we would only have one lefty hitter on the bench, while Monell could provide a second bat from the left side, something that could definitely come in handy late in games. Monell is more than 2 years younger. Their minor league stats are fairly similar (.273/.351/.461 vs. 264/.347/.448). Although his average hovers around the Mendoza Line, Recker has much more MLB experience. He has spent 2 years with the Mets, earning the trust and respect of the pitching staff, and his defense could make a difference in a close game.)

Mike Vorkunov | nj.comTwenty four hours ago, the Mets bullpen lay with uncertainty. They had no definitive left-handed option. No healthy pitcher for the seventh inning. And three open spots remaining. By now, that has changed. The Mets made two acquisitions Monday. They traded for left-handed pitcher Alex Torres from the Padres and lefty Jerry Blevins from the Nationals. Each is penned in for the bullpen and will add about $1.9 million to the Mets payroll. In Blevins, the Mets acquired a pitcher who has allowed just a .594 OPS to opposing left-handed hitters for his career...And in Torres, the Mets now have a left-handed pitcher who has proven capable against right-handed hitters, allowing a .540 OPS to them for his career. "These two guys present a little different profile for us," general manager Sandy Alderson said. "On the one hand we have Blevins, who is a left-on-left, and we think Alex Torres is more of a guy who can go longer. 

(Herb G.: Kudos to Alderson. These are two fantastic trades. I am not taking any credit for the Blevins trade, but I did send Sandy an email on March 17 imploring him to give Montero a legitimate shot at earning the #5 spot in the rotation and suggesting Blevins as the best candidate for a trade for a lefty reliever, with lots of supporting stats. On March 19 he actually sent me a reply, saying merely “Thank you.” I don't, for one minute, think I influenced him to make that trade, but he has surely come through on both counts. Now, it looks like we go into the season with an extremely strong bull pen, with possibly 3 lefties where days ago it looked like we might have none.)


Zozo said...

I wish we could have given up someone else instead of MDD, but good deals all around yesterday.
Who from the 2014 draft do you hope is not the player to be named later in that deal with San Diego?
Also hoping we trade her for something good and keep Montero in that 5th spot in the rotation.

Christopher Soto said...


I have a feeling it's going to be LHP Brad Weick or LHP Kelly Secrest.

Reese Kaplan said...

Don't know what happened to my comment, but here we go again...

@Herb -- since you have Sandy's ear, whisper to him that Montero is a better pitcher than Gee, Muno offers more assets than Campbell and Monell has looked better than Recker.

Also suggest he trade Ruben Tejada to get back that $1.9 million in salary he just acquired. :)

Tom Brennan said...

I'd like to see Muno, Monell, and Montero (in rotation), the 3Ms.

Don't be surprised if we go 0 for 3, Reese. Quintanilla may still get cut somewhere and picked up.

Stephen Guilbert said...

Very cool about your Blevins suggestion.

Reese Kaplan said...

Hey, if the Braves cut Eric Young, Jr. it could be a reunion tour.

Christopher Soto said...


I think you'll be surprised to hear that not only is EYJ making the Braves team....but he is also expected to be the full time starting CF and lead-off hitter.

Mack Ade said...

I expect Montero to go to the pen due to the Black/Parnell situation.

Herb G said...

@Reese - I don't really think I have Sandy's ear, although he does reply to my emails every once in a while. In any event, I did shoot off an email to him this morning congratulating him on the trade, and suggesting that he give Montero the #5 job as well as touting Muno and Monell for jobs on the bench. I just forwarded you a copy of that email. Let's see what happens. We'll know by the end of the week.

Herb G said...

@Mack - I suspect you are right, although Gee would be a satisfactory sub for Montero in the pen if Raffy is chosen for the rotation.

TP said...

Good conversation. I would be leery of dealing Gee at this point...I like having too many good players, especially when they are pitchers. They can't count on the health of Big Bart and Niese, or frankly any starters. I give Gee the nod to start the year at #5 just because I think it is easier to move Montero in should Gee falter or be dealt. I do think Dillon will be dealt if the starting 5 stays healthy and Syndy or Matz push the issue at AAA.

I too wish the Washington deal could have included someone beside MDD, but you have to give up to get. Kudos to Alderson, For the first time in 5 years, I think they will start the season without any glaring holes, with upgrades soon on the way via health/performance, and with the chips to add to the team should someone stumble or get hurt. They are not in the Nats class, but they are a legit team for the first time in a long time.

Ed Mayer said...

Just got back from PSL and it's hard not to be excited about our METS. The four games we went to,Mets won all four by a 35-6 score.They look like a confident bunch.

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