Mack’s Morning Report – 4-24-15 – Mets/Nats Injuries, Playoffs, Wilpons, Thor, Soup


Many baseball experts think that the difference between who wins and who loses the NL East will be who gets injured and how long they are lost for.

Both the Mets and Nationals have started this season with multiple injuries to key players. We know the Mets that have been lost, but let’s not forget RHRP Chris Stammen (torn flexor tendon), LF Nate McLouth (shoulder surgery), 3B Anthony Rendon (left knee sprain), and CF Denard Span (core muscle surgery) have gone down for the Nationals.

Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs said about the Nats:

“Something like two pretty major injuries could put them in a dogfight with the Mets. The Mets, of course, have had their own injuries, so that’s a problem, but it’s clear the Nationals are top-heavy. Injuries are the key to that division having an actual race worth paying attention to.”

I’ll throw something else in. Promotions from within your system, like starting pitchers Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, and Rafael Montero, may also be the difference, especially in the second half of the season. I have no idea who’s next in line for the Nats, but they can’t project as high as these three do.

Dave Cameron/Fangraphs also took a nice stab at the Mets chances of making the  playoffs .

The question is just how deep can you go into the Mets system before you literally run out of decent players to replace all the regulars going on the disabled list?
I can’t see this team continuing any degree of .600+ percentage winning unless veterans like Curtis Granderson and Daniel Murphy begin to put together a decent season. Two of the team’s top .300+ hitters have now been lost (David Wright, Travis d’Arnaud) and you can’t expect rookies like Kevin Plawecki to pick up the slack.
It will still come down to superior starting pitchers, timely hitting, and holding on for dear life when the pen takes over.

I had a ‘healthy’ discussion with one of Mack’s Mets readers, ‘Zozo’, over on Twitter this past weekend about his support to the guys that bought those billboards outside CitiField asking for (calling for) the Wilpons to sell the team. No billboard in the world is going to get this done, but Zozo and his supporters seem to think that the Wilpons are the first owners of a baseball team that didn’t open their books to the fans.

I wish the Wilpons would sell the Mets. I really do. But, as a native New Yorker, I find the whole billboard thing insulting. Is the whole Madoff/Ponzi stuff relevant anymore? The team is playing better, the payroll is over $100mil, and fans have returns to the home games.

Sure, mistakes were made in the past, but no one thinks that the Wilpons put themselves in their past financial situations on purpose. From that point on, you practice good business sense and good business sense is spending less than you have coming in. If fans like Zozo and his billboard guys think that’s lying to the fan base, I’m not going to be the guy that can change how they think.

No one liked the owner of the Yankees and Knicks either, but their fans didn’t embarrass the players on that team by buying a billboard outside of Yankee Stadium or The Garden.

I think it’s bush and, since this is my column, I can say that.

There was an interesting article  here on Noah Syndergaard earlier this week in the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper.

I found the Wally Backman quote interesting:

“He’s improved since last year. He’s grown up. He might be coming in with a little chip on his shoulder this year. He’s determined to prove to people that he’s really that guy.”

Neither Syndergaard (2-starts, 7.2-IP, 6-BB, 1.96-WHIP) or Steven Matz (3-G, , 15.1-IP, 11-BB, 1.43-WHIP) have both started off the 2015 season with control problems though Matz has produced a lower ERA (2.93) than Syndergaard (4.70).

And lastly…  Karl de Vries on Eric Campbell

“But for better or for worse, Campbell is going to get his shot for an extended period of time. Wright is going to be sidelined for at least the next two weeks, probably three, and although the team could theoretically move Daniel Murphy to third base (or Wilmer Flores, for that matter), manager Terry Collins so far has shown an aversion to shaking up his double play duo. Campbell is nothing more than an NL-only play, to be sure, but he’s credible and versatile enough to find his way onto a handful of rosters in deeper leagues.”

    Mack – I really like what Campbell has done since his return to Queens. I especially fell in love with his ability to hit a long fly ball that sacrifices a few runs home at a critical time in two games. The injury-riddled Mets are going to have to manufacture some runs around great starting pitchers if they want to stay in this fabulous position they find themselves in so far this season. Campbell does very little things pretty in the field but, so far, he hasn’t cost the team a game. Frankly, his timely hitting might have won at least one of them. That’s enough for me right now.


Thomas Brennan said...

Campbell was a guy on absolutely no one's radar in mid-2013, except for a few die-hard members of the Campbell household. Good for him.

I hope the bullpen keeps it together until guys get healthy. Imagine telling someone before spring started that 5 guys you'd think were key to pen success would all be out injured or suspended, and the Mets would be 13-3. I am an optimist but would never drink that kool aid, but here we are.

Mack, I think Grandy and Murphy will do just dandy in the weeks ahead.

One last note: I think Collins should have gotten Robles in at least 1 game before the subway series. Talk about jitters. The game Gilmartin got the 9th inning DP, Hansel could have been brought in for the final out with a solid lead and no one on.

eraff said...

Tom---I've been "on" Campbell for a few years... I saw him play at AA versus Reading and Trenton a few times. He stood out as a guy who was would have a Big League shot---he didn't look like a star, but he was pretty complete.

The positional versatility that he added--- outfield and other IF positions--- was the big key.

When you look at AA and AAA and you see guys "playing out of position", they're wearing the "new gloves" and adding a tool to get to the 23rd-25th bench position.

Castellanos is trying to do that now. Satin couldn't do it, and I always favored Soup over Satin...speed, defensive flex, etc.

Ernest Dove said...

The bullpen has been interesting to say the least.
The thing is, this Mets rotation has consistently gone into the 7th-8th inning just about EVERY night, so obviously thats why guys like goeddel and Robles have been nowhere to be found.

Mack Ade said...

Campbell doesn't do things particularly pretty but he gets the job done

Mack Ade said...

Ernest -

and THAT's the secret of having a great pen... have a great rotation

if they go into or come out of the 7th inning, much less strain on the pen who can then throw 110% with a fresh arm

Thomas Brennan said...

Hopefully, the Mets can avoid the temptation of over-pitching Familia. He is super valuable, and it sure would be nice if Parnell and Black would get healthy to back him up.

Anonymous said...

Mets have done way better than expected but this lineup is going to catch up to them sooner or later. No way can the Mets sustain this without having Granderson hitting at a power position.

Today is actually a great time to change the lineup and bat Granderson behind Cuddyer. Grandy can break out at Yankee Stadium.

Lagares, Murphy, Duda, Cuddyer, Granderson, Flores, Soup, Plawecki.

Zozo said...

Hey Mack
You are entitled to your opinion and I am as well.
Do I think these billboards will force them to sell, No.
Do I think these billboards have caught ownerships attention, Hell YES!
Was I happy with the way they went about free agency this winter or last, NO. Were you?
Do I think they should be responsible with the their payroll, Yes.
Should they have a budget, Yes.
Is it the fans fault that they lost their money, No.
Is it fair that we get put in a holding pattern while we repay their losses, NO.
Do I believe this is BUSH League, HELL NO!!! Why is it? It is not towards the players, but ownership. I am rooting for my team on the field but off of it ownership isn't doing the job. How much better would this team been if they had Andrew Miller or Matt Kemp? And please don't just go off of this streak they are on, go off an entire year. Those are the 2 guys I would have liked to have paid this past winter and last year it is well documented that I was all in on Robinson Cano. I believe they have set us back a year and not acquired our Kieth Hernandez/Gary Carter of this era to bring us to the next level.
The Wilpons have made their money in real estate over the years and I believe they continue to do so. Since the Madoff mess have they charged their tenants the same high amount of rent as before? And if so have they cut back the service provided these tenants? Did they not make repairs to any off their buildings or did they just put a bandaid on it and hope to fix matters another day? Did they shut off the heat? That would be in slumlord territory I would think? I would hope they would not do any of that but basically they are our version of slumlords to us Mets Fans.
This is my opinion and won't back down til they provide services that match the money that they are asking for to attend games. If they want to keep payroll where it is just lower the price of admission to correspond To what they are shelling out.
Should I stop supporting this worthy cause because the season has started, NO I won't!!!
Should they support the players that we are all rooting for with a better players if they are available without money constraints. YES YES YES!!!

Zozo said...

Here is one of the posts on the billboard website for your reading pleasure.

We love the Mets and believe the owners are not responsible stewards of the team. Their poor financial and operational decisions have placed the team into a position where they no longer invest in a manner of placing the Mets in a successful situation. The owners manage the team in a manner to keep it as a family heirloom. The owners goal is to invest in real estate, not a MLB competitive roster. They wish to develop the surrounding Citi Field area with a new shopping mall and condos, if the team is successful it is in spite of their decisions.
Why Join Our Campaign?
It's time for Mets fans to stand up and demand better with the use of media. We were told to be patient while the owners righted their ship from the 2 Ponzi schemes they were embroiled in. We have seen the owners successfully lower payroll by 65% and trade the Mets valuable players for prospects. Those prospects are now ready to compete on the major league level and ownership is not doing their part to acquire the pieces to properly complement them. As fans we were patient and kept up our end of the bargain while the owner's are not keeping their promise.

Reese Kaplan said...

Campbell is what he is -- a AAAA player who gets exposed by playing too much. Personally I'd have rather seen them promote Castellanos or Herrera when Wright went down but the former isn't on the 40-man and at the time the latter wasn't hitting. He's, of course, been on fire ever since. Even as they're currently constituted I'd rather seen Muno playing every day than Campbell as he has both more pop and more speed.

Mack Ade said...


I agree with you on Familia.

I'm hoping the Mets aren't playing any different right now because of the streak.

I'm not even sure who the 'backup closer' is right now.

Mack Ade said...

Zozo -

Re: Do I believe this is BUSH League, HELL NO!!!

I never said this was a BUSH League.

I said that taking billboards out and embarassing your team to the rest of the league is bush

Mack Ade said...

Reese -

I agree with you on the long range ability of Campbell. I simply love how he has filled in for Wright and he deserves all the praise in the world.

Reese Kaplan said...

Noah Syndergaard is less of a "Thor" and more of a "Kenny Powers":



Thomas Brennan said...

Thor needs to chill. Bring that fire out to the mound and make the batters dance like Drysdale used to. Plunk a few. What the heck. Just stop tweeting...tweeting is for the birds.

Thomas Brennan said...

Zozo, ownership may pay for having not signed Andrew Miller this weekend. Let's hope the lefty fireballer (who my brother was screaming for the Mets to get this past winter, bucks be danged) does not come back to haunt them.

Zozo said...

Ok you said insulting and bush? That's what I got out of it?

Mack Ade said...

Zozo -

Look, I didn't expect what I wrote to make your day, but you didn't make the decision to create these billboards.

You support that action and I disagree with you, but I agree that the Wilpons should sell the team, but that's not going to happen.

I just don't like the wasted energy on these actions.

Zozo, I apologize if you think my post was directed against you. It wasn't.

Mack Ade said...

Thomas and Zozo -

One more thing...

I think we should all stop looking back and bitching and moaning about who the Mets didn't sign in free agency.

They did what they did and they their budget didn't allow for more (again, I'm sorry I keep coming up with this 'stay within the budget' thing but that's how the business world works).

I am VERY UNHAPPY with the fact that the Mets didn't sign specific players in both the last two off seasons, but I don't even know if they or their agents wanted to be a Met.

My suggestion now is to move on andtarget all our efforts... and comments... to the FUTURE of this team... (I'm starting to sound like Mark McGwire)

Steve from Norfolk said...


Your parallel between the Wilpon's tenants and the fans doesn't fly. Here's why. The tenants didn't move out and remove income from the buildings. The fans quit coming to the games, reducing the amount of money they had to work with.

The team is a separate business from their real estate ventures. If they mingle funds too freely, if one has to bankrupt the other one might go down with it. The Mets just had to go through something any team that gets free agent or aging player top heavy has to do - rebuild. Four years is not an overly long time for a complete rebuild like we did. Cutting and running because the team declines for a few years is what a Yankees fan does, not a Mets fan.I remember when this team was REALLY bad, like the early 60's.

These players are ready to contend - yes. But the two things we really need, a really offensively and defensively good SS and a first class slugger, weren't out there. Tulo just had hip surgery. Matt Kemp has been awful for a few years now. We only get to go for these guys once -we have GOT to be right. As for the bullpen, I don't a lot of holes. What if we had picked up Andrew Miller, and he'd been on the mound instead of Blevins? We started with a good bullpen, and we still have one. Just because we didn't pick up a "name"player doesn't mean who we have doesn't do the jobIf you are getting the opposition out, how do you get better?

I read what your billboard says, and your text sounds like a personal opinion, not a proven fact. You have read Howard Megdal's book too many times.I certainly can not support you. What do you think the players say to each other when they see that coming into the ballpark? It sure isn't inspiring, and it sure doesn't get them up for the game. It might give them a chuckle as they shake their heads.

Steve from Norfolk said...

Excuse me if my post is a little scattered. I was VERY tired, and unfortunately doesn't allow you to edit posts once you have. Hope I made my point OK.

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