The Morning Report 3.9.2015 | Flores, Niese, Reynolds, Nieuwenhuis All Looking Good, Yu Darvish and Tommy John Surgery, Tony Clark on the Mets


Mike Puma | New York Post - "On Sunday, Flores made two strong defensive plays and delivered an RBI single against the Red Sox, providing more hope for team brass he fits at shortstop.
“It is what you’re supposed to do; a couple of backhanded plays and I made a strong throw and everything went real well today,” Flores said after the Mets’ 6-3 exhibition loss at Tradition Field. At the plate, Flores is 5-for-11 (.455) over four Grapefruit League games.”

(Chris Soto: Defensively, Flores has been a bit spotty to start the spring but it's still early and guys are getting their legs under them still. Flores performance this weekend was very encouraging and should give fans confidence. He launched a shot into deep left center field that looked like it was heading out but the wind held it back. Even if he ends up grading out as a below average defensive SS, the upgrade in offense he provides over other MLB SS's will be more than enough to make up for it.)

Bill Madden | MLB Daily Dish - "Niese became the fourth of the Mets’ projected five starters to make his Grapefruit League debut Sunday and, like Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Bartolo Colon before him, accounted himself well until running out of gas in his third inning off work after throwing twice as many pitches than his three rotation counterparts. But more importantly, and in tune with all the happy developments going on here, Niese’s 52 pitches were PAIN FREE. "I felt great....I haven’t thrown that many pitches in a while. … Last year, I was just trying to find an angle where it didn’t hurt.

(Chris Soto: Again....it's still very early in Spring Training.....but....I'm not sure how you don't get excited about this team with what we have seen so far. Niese was fantastic during his 1st 2 innings of work before he gassed out. He looked liked the 2012 version of himself that went 13-9 with a 3.40 ERA while holding batters to a .240 avg. The velocity looked good, the movement looked good, and more importantly, the arm looked healthy.)

Ted Berg | For The Win “We monitor everything,” Clark said when asked about the Mets’ specific case. “It is an opportunity for us, as we monitor, to learn, understand and appreciate the dynamics of any one particular club at any particular time. To the extent that a club has a plan and is functioning according to that plan, depending on what those considerations are and how they manifest themselves according to the payroll and the play on the field, we will interject ourselves where necessary. Rest assured, whether it’s New York or anywhere else, we watch very closely what is happening and often times have conversations that don’t end up on the front page but are happening behind the scenes to understand what is going on.”

(Chris Soto: No one seems concerned about how the Mets rebuilding process went.....except irrational Mets fans. The Players Union, player agents, the MLB Front Office, all understand the processes that Sandy Alderson put into place to try and get this team salary balanced again. The team is now primed and ready to compete for the next couple years as well as have space to extend core players to lucrative, yet fair, extensions.)

Joel Sherman | nypost.com “The sad word circulated throughout the game Saturday that Yu Darvish likely needed Tommy John surgery. However, Darvish’s injury should not have been a reason to think further about dealing Gee. It should motivate the Mets to keep him. After all, the Mets’ rotation currently consists of the majors’ oldest starter, the anti-Adonis, Bartolo Colon, 41; the dubious shoulder of Jonathon Niese; two Tommy John surgery survivors, Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom; and the power stylings of Zack Wheeler. So if Gee were dealt, the Mets would have to hope either Rafael Montero, Noah Syndergaard or Steve Matz is major league-ready now."

(Herb G. It certainly looks like Gee will start the season in the Mets’ pen. Alderson has tried to move Gee over the winter, and continues to try during the spring, to no avail. He clearly would like to send Gee packing, if he can get the return he seeks. (Isn’t that always the case with Sandy? Holding out for maximum return. It’s worked before.) Sherman, however, makes good sense here. Rookie pitchers, like Thor or Matz, or even Montero, although they may eventually have outstanding careers, are rarely that effective in their debut years. (A tip of the hat goes to Jacob deGrom.) So, if the Mets are to be contenders in ‘15, perhaps Gee is worth the $5.3 million insurance premium.)

Mike Puma | nypost.com  “Matt Reynolds has wasted little time getting noticed this spring. “He’s probably not that far away from playing in the major leagues,” general manager Sandy Alderson said Saturday, a day after Reynolds hit a ninth-inning walkoff homer against the Tigers. “He looks solid, confident in the infield, so he’s done a nice job.” The Mets are expected to begin the season with Wilmer Flores at shortstop, but Reynolds would like to make the decision difficult. “I came in here with the attitude I’m going to compete my [butt] off to try to win the job,” Reynolds said.”

(Herb G. It certainly looks like Reynolds is intent on making his case. Of course, this early it is a miniscule sample, but in 4 games he is hitting .444 with a 1.278 OPS. His problem is his glove. Were he a better fielder, he would have a legitimate chance to unseat Tejada as the backup shortstop.)

Kristy Ackert |  nydailynews.com “Kirk Nieuwenhuis is out of minor-league options but he’s full of confidence. Nieuwenhuis continued to build on an impressive start to the spring, going 3-for-4 in the Mets’ 6-3 loss to the Red Sox at Tradition Field. In four games, he is now 9 of 15 (.600) with two doubles. “Well he’s just swinging very good,” Terry Collins said. “He came in with a determination to be the fourth outfielder here.” With no options left, Nieuwenhuis would have to make the 25-man roster out of camp, if the Mets don’t want to risk losing him on waivers.”

(Herb G. Nieuwenhuis may actually make the team on merit. Most Met fans seem to be pulling for den Dekker to win the other bench outfielder spot. But if Nieuwenhuis continues his hot spring, he will get it hands down. Hmmm, is a 2016 bench of Nieuwenhuis, den Dekker, Campbell and Reynolds just a pipe dream?)


Hobie said...

>> Hmmm, is a 2016 bench of Nieuwenhuis, den Dekker, Campbell and Reynolds just a pipe dream? >>

Nice, but:
There would have to be a Mayberry flop for that to happen...and if Jr does flop we could hang on to Puello and option Campbell.

Plus, hard to imagine Ruben cut and even harder traded.

Anonymous said...

My opinion after this weekend games:
- Leathersich, Cecchini, Montero, Tejada, Carrillo, Niese NEGATIVE
- Conforto, Flores, Reynolds, Matz, Nieuwenhuis, Campbell POSITIVE

Thomas Brennan said...

It is to early to start trending guys, I think. Especially this spring. Guys hitting over .300 total 48 for 96 (.500). Guys under .300 are 14 for 114 (.122). Mayberry's .889 on base % is unlikely to continue :)

I'd give it another week.

Kirk, though, is making quite a statement. I read he shortened his swing (a la Dekker) and got adjusted to sporadic/pinch hit duties last year. He may make me eat my pervious words of hate. (Don't hate him, just the idea that he gets the call because he is out of options). With him, I'll probably not just eat my words, but also eat a lot of Special K.

Muno has been on 6 of 9 times - but he is off the radar screen unless he pushes that to 18 for 27, because of Reynolds, Flores, Herrera and Tejada. Too much decent talent for him (no Joe McEwings to try to beat out and the job is yours for Danny). Tejada, though, is 0 for 9 - he should have come to camp fat and out of shape.

So many pitchers get hurt in spring, Gee may be headed elsewhere before long to replace one. Montero had 44 big league innings last year, enough of an audition for me to be #6 guy.

Flores is going to hit great this year - I really believe that. We just need to give Wiley Flo a chance.


TP said...

At this point in time it is about staying healthy and gaining confidence. So far so good.

I agree that Gee should not be given away, as the Met rotation is just as at risk as any other for an injury. It will also depend on how Montero, Syndy, and Matz are looking as well.

Thomas Brennan said...

Anonymous, you left out Robles in the negative column. A three run bomb in one inning of work ought to earn him the thumbs down.

Carillo is 2 for 3 with 2 RBIs, so not sure why you have him as "negative"

Christopher Soto said...


I'm curious why you have Niese in your negative column.

eraff said...

It's nice to see production, but the big issue for Newee is to show that production within an approach that is different from his 35% strikeout rate. He has no value or projection with a 35% Rate-- if not, he's just a guy who's better than the spring training pitchers.

eraff said...

It's nice to see production, but the big issue for Newee is to show that production within an approach that is different from his 35% strikeout rate. He has no value or projection with a 35% Rate-- if not, he's just a guy who's better than the spring training pitchers.

Anonymous said...

Thomas, on Saturday he went 1 for 1 but his work behind the plate was weak.

Anonymous said...

Also you're right I forgot Robles my bad!

Thomas Brennan said...

Gotcha on Carillo reason - I wonder how the Mets' catchers and would-be catchers (d'Arnaud, Recker, Carillo, Monell) rank defensively compared to one another? I am not that familiar with Monell or Carillo's defensive games (or maron for that matter, but he is at least a year away from real conversation as a possible major leaguer), but Monell would likely be better than Recker offensively if he were strictly used against righties while d'Arnaud rested, and Carillo has made great strides offensively the past 2 years (his stats don't reflect his high level of ABs in winter ball the past 2 years). So how they stack up defensively is key. Recker is OK, but strikes out way too much and his average is Mendozaville.

Thomas Brennan said...

And of course Plawecki in the mix of catchers above.

Reese Kaplan said...

Terry Collins is in mid season form already. The media is rife with stories this morning about Flores' great day in the field and his solid work with the bat, so naturally he's not in the lineup today. Instead he gives the start to Ruben Tejada at SS (what, he hasn't seen him for the past 5 years???) and puts Gavin Cecchini who he hasn't seen at DH.

You can't make this stuff up.

Christopher Soto said...


It's spring training.....

Guys are getting swapped in and out every game.

In Flores' case he played 3 straight games.

Thomas Brennan said...

I personally even think Muno is better than Tejada at this point. Edge to Muno offensively, with more pop and speed and likely at least as good an on base %, edge to Tejada defensively. Hopefully Danny keeps getting ABs to show another reason why Tejada is expendable.

Not expecting Danny on this team, but he would be insurance as a utility guy if we have middle infield injuries to anyone.

Hobie said...

I'd like Muno too as a UT if needed for a DL spell of either Tejada or Wilmer mainly because he's a SWH (and I want Reynolds to work regularly with Herrera).

I guess Tovar would get the call in that case since he's on the 40 man, Of course there's the invisible TJR too :-(

bob gregory said...


Notice that Collins slotted Tejada up in the 2nd spot of the batting order.
While he buries Flores deep in the 8th hole.

That is what bothers me more about Collins.

Thomas Brennan said...

Hobie, I still feel very badly for TJ Rivera - he is a good guy who has a good bat who is stuck behind several guys. The Muno switch hitter point is huge. Tovar has a lot of similarities to Tejada, and one has to wonder if he is as good. Might be better fielder, weaker bat.

I don't want any more weak bats myself. Everybody needs to hit.

Thomas Brennan said...

Bob, Tejada is a table setter, which is why he is hitting 2nd. He'd be better off setting tables in the Mets clubhouse. I want a real hitter in his place - hurry up, Matt Reynolds.

bob gregory said...


Collins just frustrates me with how he has stuck Flores in the 8th spot of the lineup.

Flores seems to be a much better batter with runners on base and rbi opportunities.

8th spot of the lineup seems like a waste

eraff said...

1. 8th spot is ST means nothing---likely that the pitcher never hits

2. You Hate Tejada???...get a Grip---he needs to be ready to play SS...because He IS going to play alot...that's just a fact.

Anonymous said...


I would agree with you and I do agree that spring training alone does not mean much.

The problem is the track record from Collins..... all of those regular season games last year.

Guess where Collins stuck Flores.
over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again and again.......

eraff said...

8th is a tough spot for a young hitter...it's almost exclusively tactical with very few "just go up there and swing the bat" opportunities.

That said...with all the hopes about Flores, he is the least accomplished offensive player in the lineup, and he runs like a fast chair.... ONLY Lagares hitting 8 can push him to a different spot in the order, and it better not be lead off.

Show me your lineup--who hits 8?

Christopher Soto said...

We all know that its only March 9th, right?

Still a ton of line-up experimentation going on thus the reason Tejada is batting 2nd and Murphy 5th.

How about we let Spring Training run its course before we go jumping off cliffs.

As a side note...ouch did Wheeler get lit up after hitting the 40 pitch mark. JUST LIKE NIESE yesterday!!

Chase Bradford poured fuel on the fire and Sean Gilmartin is getting beat up by lefties....aka not good.

Scott Rice and Familia with solid 1-2-3 innings as a plus and Cecchini with a solid double down the line.

TEJADA FINALLY GOT A HIT! and then got replaced by the more talented Reynolds.

Mack Ade said...

Everyone -

Let's remember that EVERY inning of every pre-season game has been planned on paper... what pitcher will pitch... who follows them in the game... how many innings or pitchers they will pitch... etc.

Nothing that happened on Monday should be shocking to anyone, nor should it have been shocking if the Mets won by over 10 runs... consider all of the first half of pre-season games as just the means to work out the kinks in your game and establish some kind of training program game to get your opening game plan in order.

Start taking these a little more serious around March 15th when some of the minor league players are returned to the other side of the complex and pitchers increase their innings.

There aren't many plans for player surprises here unless someone really blows up.

Thomas Brennan said...

Mack makes a good point...but 2 of my Faves did well today. Reynolds a hit in 2 ABs and Dekker rising to the Kirk challenge with a walk, single, triple in 3 PAs. cecchini even managed a double.

Mack's Mets © 2012