Mack’s Morning Report – 4-26-15 – Kevin Plawecki, Curtis Granderson, SP5


There are many Mets that are stepping up during this incredible April and one is the ‘fill-in’ catcher that is replacing the injured Travis d’Arnaud.

Rotographs had this to say about Kevin Plawecki earlier this week:

Kevin Plawecki, NYM – d’Arnaud’s injury is particularly upsetting for Mets fans because he was off to such a great start, but Plawecki might actually surprise in his stead. Kiley McDaniel had him second among Mets prospects with 50 raw power and some hitting upside (future 55 hit, 45 game power). He had two nice seasons across four levels in 2013 and 2014 with quality plate discipline shown via an 11% strikeout rate and 8% walk rate in 940 PA. That approach yielded a .307 AVG and .833 OPS with 19 HRs and 144 RBIs in the two seasons. He wasted no time showing getting started in the majors with a 2-for-4 debut on Tuesday night. I think he could be one of the sneakier pickups for those ailing behind the dish.

Mack – The key here is keeping him healthy. His backup, Anthony Recker, is already suffering from a bone spur in his elbow, anf the talent level will drop off quickly if something happens to these guys.

I immediately liked what I saw in Plawecki when he got to Savannah and he looks like he has played behind the plate in Queens for years.

THIS is why you don’t trade your #2 prospects by position. Injuries happen in every sport and the Mets wouldn’t be where they currently are without these quality secondary players.

And here’s another article from Fangraphs, this one with some interesting facts about Curtis Granderson:

It’s hard to believe the current incarnation of Curtis Granderson could show up, by default, at the very top of any FanGraphs leaderboard for positive reasons. Yet there he is: the Grandy Man leads all National League outfielders in chase rate (O-Swing%), at 16.7 percent. Only Brett Gardner and the fabled Joey Votto have offered at fewer non-strikes than Granderson among qualified Major League hitters. Granderson has seen 128 pitches outside the strike zone. Of those pitches, he has swung at 21 of them. And of those swings, he has made contact with 17. For the mathematically disinclined, that’s a grand total of four swings and misses on pitches out of the zone. That’s the fewest of any hitter who has seen at least as many pitches as Granderson has.    

          Mack – Interesting…

I am sure that every Mets fan would be much happier if every Granderson walk was at least a single. We’d all be saying he’s having a great season.

The fact is he’s making pitchers pitch to him, he’s getting on base, and he’s making excellent defensive plays.

I’ll take it.

There's been a lot of speculation who should be the current SP5 in the Mets rotation. Dillon Gee (3-starts, 17.2-IP, 5.60) came up with his first quality start this week, which has taken the pressure off him a little. 

Rafael Montero did very little to help his cause in Las Vegas after giving up five earned runs in the 7.2 innings (5.87) he threw in his first two starts.

My guess is Montero will still be brought up for his spot start, but that might be the limit to his major league stint for awhile. Just a guess.

       Montero started Las Vegas' 8-7 win over Reno on Thursday and promptly gave up a leadoff home run in the first inning. Though the 24-year-old right-hander retired the next nine batters, he ran into trouble in the fourth, when he allowed three more runs. 

Montero ultimately threw 74 pitches through five innings and surrendered four earned runs on six hits with four strikeouts. In his first start with the 51s on April 19, Montero yielded one run on two hits and a walk while striking out three in 2 2/3 innings. 



Thomas Brennan said...

I'd rather have Rafael Montero, though, than CC Sabathia, wouldn't you? CC is a 300 pound anchor doing his best imitation of an aging Mickey Lolich.

I will repeat what I and others have said: if Plawecki does well until d'Arnaud comes up, keep them both on the team. You want to win the pennant, so having a #1 catcher EVERY SINGLE DAY out there, fresh, has to equal more wins. More wins = Pennant.

I was listening in the first inning to Sterling and Waldman, as I was getting a better radio signal: both agreed on something - Duda's homer left the park "in a nanosecond." Respect for power from those who have sen plenty of it over the years. Duda is about to explode as a slugger. We have the Dark Knight - we have the Incredible Hulk too, and he is about to get nasty.

Campbell is making Wright have unsettling dreams about Wally Pipp.

Grandy is gonna do just fine. This time last year, I was appalled. He is making great contact, using more of the field, and hits will continue to fall.

Ernest Dove said...

I assume Montero will do ok against the Marlins.....regarding his aaa starts, I guess we can argue the confusion of being a reliever and then thrust to starter in the dreaded PLC.
Although Matz is doing just fine out there thank u

Thomas Brennan said...

I have to add an oft-repeated point...after Recker, there is not a large drop off. Monell may be a "drop UP" compared to Recker.

Ernest Dove said...

I know the biggest pro Recker supporters would point out his liking by pitchers behind the plate...........
Well, barely a week in, and outside of a few poorly placed pitches by degrom, the staff seems to be doing just fine thank u with plawecki back there.
Since Plawecki seems to be born and bread to make contact, wouldn't it seem logical that he can handle non consistent starts and still hit when called upon?
I agree with Tom that it has to be a good thing to play EVERY game the rest of the season with a starting catcher who can produce with a bat in his hand.
I mean, what else can Plawecki learn at aaa level as a college draft pick with entire baseball career of making contact and having a good eye already?

Richard Jones said...

"THIS is why you don’t trade your #2 prospects by position."

I mostly agree with this. You certainly don't give someone like Plawecki away. If I were getting an All-star in return, who would play everyday, at a weak position. I would pull the trigger. I keep using Tulo as an example although I would rather have someone with a more stable health record.

Flores is now looking decent so no rush. The way Plawecki is playing I think d'Arnaud might be #2 not to long from now.

Richard Jones said...


I would point to Campbell last year. He was red hot in AAA. The Mets called him up he remained red hot. They reduced his playing time and he became ice cold. Plawecki hasn't hit well in AAA. He hit .283 last year and just .216 this year. He was starting to get hot when the Mets called him up but those number show he is capable of getting cold. Sitting helps player get cold, especially young ones. H still has less than 200 at bats at the AAA level. He still has a lot to learn.

Ernest Dove said...

Good point Richard

I just want this playoff contending team to put the best 25guys they got on the roster.
In the end i assume Mets take advantage of the whole 'team control/service time' stuff and send Plawecki back down once TDA returns. Let Plawecki be number one catcher at either level throughout 2015 and worry about a possible good problem next year

Thomas Brennan said...

Interesting that d'Arnaud won't be back for (best guess) 3-4 weeks. If Plawecki excels, he won't be going anywhere is my uneducated guess.

Mack Ade said...

I'm not going to spend any time predicting or speculating what the Mets will do behind the plate when d'Arnaud is ready to return.

The rule is you get your position back.

Mack Ade said...

Richard -

would you trade Plawecki for Dee Gordon?

Steve from Norfolk said...


I would have to agree with Richard about enough playing time for both Plawecki and D'Arnaud if we keep them both up. It could cause BOTH of them to go cold from to much pine time. Ernest's solution is the right one. If we're in comtention, bring Plawecki up again Aug. 31 so he's playoff-eligible.

Steve from Norfolk said...

If I may post an opinion on your question for Richard, I wouldn't. Not with Herrera coming up. Unless you want him for SS. I don't remember if he was moved from SS because he grew out of the position, of for expediency. I think, if and when we trade Plawecki, hecan be the center of a package to get us our power OF.

My question for you is, do you think Plawecki could end up making D'Arnaud the one on the trading block?

Mack Ade said...

Steve -

It is going to be close to impossible to trade d'Arnaud to anyone what with his injury history. Call it bad luck or not, it still exists.

BTW - I'm syre I would do the Gordon deal either and, yes, the long term needs are power outfielders.

The question then becomes are the Mets ready to pay for them.

Mack Ade said...

Steve -

re: Gordon deal - I meant 'I'm not sure I would do that deal either'

Mack Ade said...

Steve -

The problem about a future trade of Plawecki is that there is no one currently in the system that seems to have the potential to be a successful starting major league catcher.

Having two catching prospects (dD and Plawecki) is very rare and we should be thrilled they are both here, but history says that d'Arnaud will go down again and, without Plawecki in the wings, the talent falls off really quick.

Charles said...

Not sure we'd need to trade Pawlecki for a power OF. Seems to me that those OF positions are set for a minimum of two years and with the combo of Nimmo/Conforto both being ML ready by then it seems unlikely they'd trade him for that.

This team seems set at all positions right now and I'd simply like to keep the depth. We're winning because of that depth right now so why trade it away?

Steve from Norfolk said...

If we keep both D'Arnaud and Plawecki, at least one of them needs to learn another position so they can get enough playing time to keep their bats in shape. Also, in my opinion, 1B is out - Duda's just getting too good to keep out of the lineup very much. Maybe one or both could learn some 3B or LF, although LF seems like too much running for a catcher.

Steve from Norfolk said...

One more thing - making a backup out of Plawecki would be a total waste of his talent. If we are worried about D'Arnaud's injury history he would be the one to be the backup catcher. I think they may prove to be equal on offense.

Mack Ade said...

Steve, Charles -

Look, these are good problems.

I would let the catcher thing play out but I'm old school... I would give d'Arnaud the starting job the day he got back and increase the backup role to more than just day games before night games... maybe a minimum of 2 games per week.

As for the outfield, we are set through 2016... and it looks like Conforto is developing the kind of power we had hoped for. Remember... he rated out as the TOP pop potential OF hitter in that draft.

Nimmo seems like a spray hitter but I like Charles' idea... keep developing from within

Steve from Norfolk said...

Hopefully Herrera's range will allow him to help make up for Flores lack of range - that seems to be Wilmer's only shortcoming. What he gets to, he can make the play.

Ernest Dove said...

No need to trade either catcher in 2015 because they both cheap and under team control.
U see how Montero keeps getting bounced around levels. Maybe not great for his talent and development, but he's stuck being major league ready for a team with too much major league talent at his position.

Richard Jones said...


No, I wouldn't trade Plawecki for Dee Gordan.
It would probably take a Russell for me. I don't think I would be able to trade Plawecki straight up. I would not want a fair trade straight up. I want someone better than Plawecki because of his position. If Flores starts to disappoint that could change.

Richard Jones said...


I agree with you. We don't need to trade either right now. All what I'm saying is that their not untochables. If I were the Mets I would have to be blown away by an offer but if that did happen I would make the trade. It is easier to find a backup catcher than an all-star player. It would take an all-star caliber player to make me pull the trigger.
My feeling about the Mets now is that we put someone solid out at every position but at most positions we can easily improve. At some positions we're stuck because of contracts.

Thomas Brennan said...

I have to add an oft-repeated point...after Recker, there is not a large drop off. Monell may be a "drop UP" compared to Recker.

Thomas Brennan said...

I have to add an oft-repeated point...after Recker, there is not a large drop off. Monell may be a "drop UP" compared to Recker.

Anonymous said...

Oft-repeated? I'll say.

James Preller

Anonymous said...

My take is that the Mets play out the 2015 season with the expectation that they are making the playoffs and competing for a championship.

Neither of these catchers gets traded.

Come the winter, I'd listen to offers.

The Dee Gordon example is a bad one for me, as I don't think he's anything special nor does he address need. And that's what it would take to deal a solid starting catcher: something special in return.
In the meantime, I don't see this as a topic with any urgency at all; a non-issue.

James Preller

Derek McKnight said...


Glad to see you doing a limited morning report again.

Its April 26 we are 7 games in front of the juggernaut of the Nationals with key guys hurt. We have spent the whole day about who the BACKUP catcher should be. WE have a first round draft pick raking in High A making management look silly for putting him there. Our next up pitcher in AAA went 7 hitless innings the other night.

These are problems Yankee and Cardinal fans have year in and year out. I enjoy everyones opinion here, one of the main reasons its one of my first reads in the morning and afternoon. But can we please as cynic Met fans please enjoy this month.

I am seriously considering buying the MLB TV package because I think this season will be special. This from someone who swore I would never do that again. :)

Mack Ade said...

Derek -

It's great hearing from you again.

The only reason we're spending so much time on Plawecki in this post is because the subject of this post is...
Kevin Plawecki.

BTW... Conforto hit #6 today.

Thomas Brennan said...

After a fine spring, Monell up to .361. After a lousy spring, Recker hitting....Zero. Oft-repeated. I'll stop when Anthony gets a hit. It's OK, we're 19 games in, take your time.

eraff said...

Recker has 340 ab's over 2 seasons--- 13 HR....46 RBI.

He's a solid defender... he's acclimated and productive in a limited, sporadic role.

What do you think a good backup Catcher looks like?

The Great Monell had a .665 OPS at AAA as a 28 year old...c'mon!...this is the next big move to make the team better???

Thomas Brennan said...

Recker strikes out like the dickens, though, and my guess is he'll just keep doing it. Guys who strike out so much and hit so little average wise are offense killers, although I completely agree he's had some big homers over the past few years.

But when you strike out so much, you can turn into Rick Ankiel freefall pretty easily.

It likely will be an academic subject, as I think Plawecki stays when d'Arnaud returns. If you are gunning for a pennant, having two grade A catchers for 162 games is a distinct advantage.

eraff said...

you're gonna give up the Jonny Monell Drive?..... I confess DISAPPOINTMENT!!

I assume he was part of the 900 runs projection?

Thomas Brennan said...

Hey Eraff,my 900 runs projection was over 2 years (no wait, 2 1/2).

And I have to say nice things about Johnny Monell. I'm the Godfather to his 12 kids and 22 grandchildren :)

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