Mack’s Morning Report – April 17th - Mayberry, Wilmer, Mejia, A+ Rookies, Leather



Editor's Note - Re the promotions of Eric Campbell and Danny Muno... the Las Vegas 51st still have enough infielders without any additions from Binghamton... Wilfredo Tovar, Dilson Herrera, Matt Reynolds, Alex Castellanos, and Nelfi Zapata can cover second, short, and third, with Brandon Allen on first base.

2B Dilson Herrera is the second youngest ballplayer in AAA-PCL.

SS Gavin Cecchini is the fifth youngest player in the AA-Eastern League.

SS Amed Rosario is the youngest (1st) player in the A+ Florida State League.

1B Dominic Smith is the 4th youngest player in the A+ Florida State League.

SP Marcus Molina is the 8th youngest player in the A+ Florida State League.

You know me. I’m pretty big on conspiracy theories.

Everything I know about (and read about) Sandy Alderson tells me that he’s totally in charge of the day-to-day operations of the Mets. He also has a hell of a temper and the memory of an elephant. Lastly, as Gonzalez Germen (and probably Cesar Puello) has learned, don’t get on his bad side.

Terry Collins told reporters this past Friday that it would be a ‘regular occurance’ for John Mayberry Jr. to start against lefties. Obviously this will cause both Curtis Granderson and Lucas Duda to lose playing time and my guess is most will be lost by Duda.

Here’s the conspiracy theory… does any of this have anything to do with Duda and his agent not agreeing to a contract extension before the beginning of the regular season?

Of course, none of this ever happened so what was the purpose of all this TC drama? My guess is the David Wright injury changed everything and the fact that Duda seems to be carrying the team on his bats right now has kept him in the lineup.

So, was this just a way to light a fire under Duda?

I don’t want to spend a lot of time on this. I’ve been saying this since he arrived in Savannah in 2008. Wilmer Flores is not a major league shortstop. There’s only 30 of them in the world and he’s not one of them. Now, in addition, his bat isn’t carrying him.

I think the Mets will make the playoffs this year, but not if they keep throwing runs back on bad throws to first base. They simply don’t have the offensive strength to spot teams a couple of runs in a game.

I’m not calling for a change… yet. Give Flores the month of April to work things out both defensively and from the plate. Don’t be afraid to throw in a couple of days off for him to clear his head and watch someone else do the job he supposedly is paid to do. Then, on May 1st, rethink this critical position.

Normally, one month is far too short to bench an established player, but Flores isn’t established at anything at the major league level. I’ve said this in earlier posts that this team’s superb pitching and limited offense will create a lot of one run games. Errors will greatly increase the amount of one run loses like the opening game against Atlanta. All steps have to be taken to prevent this from increasing.

Atlanta has proven that the correct move at their shortstop was to first think defensively. The Mets have done the same in centerfield. Neither of these decisions are costing either teams runs. In facts, games are being won because of who’s playing there.

It was hard for me not to run to my laptop the second I was told that Jenrry Mejia was suspended for 80 games for testing positive to dope. In less than an hour he had this incredibly perfectly written statement saying he had no idea how this dope got into his system.

I just shake my head at the stupidity of ballplayers sometimes.

The Mets will survive this, but I’m not sure if I care that Mejia does. He won’t be back until around the all-star break and, hopefully, the back end of the Mets pen is solid by then with Bobby Parnell, Vic Black, Jeurys Familia, and Rafael Montero.
My only hope is that no special role is reserved for Mejia and he’s pushed back to lowest spot on the bullpen totem pole. Make him earn everything back from the beginning and don’t take a job away from someone that plays by the rules.

12:25 - Comment From Bren - How surprised/concerned are you by the Mets skipping Molina, Rosario, and Urena over Low-A to High-A?

12:25 - Kiley McDaniel: A little surprised but probably helps a bit that they’re going thru it together

Mack – Frankly, I never thought about that before. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Mets have these three guys rooming together also.

No one ever accused LHRP Jack Leathersich of not having the ability of striking out opponent batters, but he’s never been able to limit the amount of base of balls due to control issues. Going to Las Vegas just made things look worse and many though he would never turn this around. Well, so far this season, everything looks different:  3-G, 2.2-IP, 0-R, 7-K, 0-BB, 0.00, 0.37. Yes, these are Las Vegas stats. 


Ernest Dove said...

Happy Muno Day everyone!

Christopher Soto said...

1 of 2 things will probably happen today.

A) Erik Goeddel gets demoted to make room for Daniel Muno. This would be the easy move....especially since Goeddel has not been used in a week.


B) Rafael Montero gets demoted to make room for Daniel Muno. In addition, Montero slots into the AAA rotation to be stretched back out to potentially take Gee's job should he failed to produce a quality start for the 3rd straight start.

Anonymous said...

Montero certainly has his supporters. I'd like to see him have some success first.

Last night he threw 29 pitches to 4 batters, two balls were crushed, one guy walked. Most disconcerting, there's seems to be a lot of confusion over what pitches to throw. The slider looks useless and the fastball looks straight but well located. Love the changeup. I don't see results like last night and think, here's my new guy!

As for Gee, why can't people see him for what he is? A back of the rotation innings eater. I think he's thisclose to putting together some quality outings, which for him will rarely be dominant, more like 6 IP and 2 ER. Last night, he made a horrible mistake to Stanton. Just terrible. Beyond that, he pitched well. I am in no hurry to jettison him in favor of a young guy who strikes me as closer to AAA than a regular start in the rotation.

James Preller

eraff said...

James.. SANITY!!! A+

Anonymous said...

Mack-Don't sell out on Flores just yet, lets see if he can become what they were looking for from the beginning, an offensive minded SS, who can provide passable defense. He is not the SS of the future, the question is whether he can be a passable placeholder. He has shown in the minors, much like Duda did, that he can get crazy hot at times at the plate, so lets see if he can build off that hit last night. Also, apart from a couple of bad throws, he has actually shown that he definitely has the arm for SS, it is a matter of how many balls he can get to, how sure his hands can be at the balls he gets to and how quick he is on exchange from field to throw. This team may not need an all star at SS, just someone who can hold the fort down for one year because you have Reynolds, Cecchini, Rosario, Guilmorme and Ramos directly below, which is the best inventory they have any any position. I would like to see Montero go down and begin again as a starter because he just doesn't look like a reliever to me and there is more room at Vegas for a starter than there is a reliever.

Speaking of Vegas, I have to get my minor league jones in because last night was the type of offensive explosion across all levels that I cannot remember ever seeing with the Mets and I follow their Farm as much as I do the big league club. So while the Big League clubs is justifiably making the fans giddy right now, it should not be lost that there is a TON of talent that is starting to flash across all levels, so here is a quick back of the envelope summary of the Farm last night offensively:

54-147 6HR, 12 2B, 38 R, 10 BB 24 K, 5 SB. Good for an organization slash line of .367/.407/.578 and a collective OPS across 3 levels of .982 and there was not one team that carried the load.

Individually speaking, there were a boatload of players with multiple hit games:
4 hits- 1 player
3 hits- 3 players
2 hits- 16 players

Sandy's possessions of Nimmo, Cecchini, Rosario, Conforto, Herrara, Reynolds, Becerra, Stuart and Smith? 19-35 13 R 12 RBI, 3 2B, 2 HR 4 SB

I know it is only one night, but after the past few years drooling over the arms in this organization, there is a ton of offensive talent on the rise and with the big league club looking legit, the future looks very bright.

PS- My breakout candidate in Cecchini is adapting quite well to AA and some of the others who started slow in the first few games are now starting to pick it up and as Mack points out above, several of these players are among the youngest in the league.

Anon Joe F

Dallas said...

James, Gee left with the bases loaded and only 2 outs in the 6th. His line could have looked even worse than it did pretty easily. I think he is better than what he has shown, but his 2 starts have been pretty dreadful.

Montero looked really really sharp in his first outing, but hasnt impressed me much since. Hope to see him back on track too.

I'm not sure the Mets are offensively challenged. Murph and Flores arent hitting at all yet but they are scoring runs. They faced some dominant pitching in the early games. I think they will be in the top third of runs scored this year.

Any thoughts on this TJ Rivera character? Seems to really be tearing up AA, at what point does he get a look at AAA or is the depth chart just blocking him?

Anonymous said...

If Gee gets one more batter out, or maybe faces the guy he owned in the previous two ABs, he throws 6 IP and gives up 3 ER. By definition, a quality start.

It didn't work out that way, agreed, but he was very close. Montero walked a guy with the bases loaded who previously struck out twice on six pitched.

James Preller

Anonymous said...

On Montero, so far:

The slider is a joke. It barely moves and he has zero confidence in it.

He has two pitches and for some reason can't figure out which to throw.

That outside fastball, though perfectly located, is very straight. The anti-Wheeler.

Love the changeup. Why won't he throw it? And I realize that the blame might be shared with Warthen & d'Arnaud, but it's still perplexing.

Two pitches and there's still a lot of confusion on the hill.

I'm saying: Chrisopher might be right about AAA -- the timing suggests that management may have seen enough -- but it's not because he's getting ready to replace Gee. It's more likely that Black is getting ready to replace him.

Jmes Preller

Mack Ade said...

Joe F -

I can't help myself about Flores. He simply is not a shortstop and he doesn't hit well enough consistently to make up for his lack of expertise in the field

Thomas Brennan said...

Dallas, on T J Rivera, he just hits and hits...not with power, not a lot of walks, but I'd think right now, some major league team that is not hitting a lick (haven't looked) could use him right now. 172 hits and .358 since the beginning of 2014, and about .370 in AA in a lot of at bats as part of that. He's a Bronx kid, so the Yanks ought to nab him in a trade.

We just got too many MIF's for him to be the next Jeff Keppinger for the Mets, I'm afraid to say.

I'd definitely give Flores a mimimum of 2 more weeks - they're winning, he hit a bomb, knocked in 3...when everyone in a line up can hit, pressure is off everyone, and they'll all have a hitting party.

In fact, unless Reynolds ignites in the next two weeks, even if Flores struggles a bit, let it ride. In 2013, Flores hit lousy in April in AAA. I thought he'd never hit, where he was I think the youngest starter in the league. Then he went ballistic with the bat as soon as May arrived....RBI per game the rest of the season, .350. I think he'll hit a lot...and it is about to happen.

Mejia has more than the guys you listed to worry about, Mack. Leathersich, like you said, may have finally clicked, and he always has done well vs. righties. So Mejia may be traded unless pen arms are falling off, when he is ready to return. And who knows if his elbow inflammation will return or not. Hope not, but the suspension has folks forgetting that right now.

Mack Ade said...

Chris -

I just don't understand why Montero didn't have the confidence to throw his signature pitch when it was needed when he first came in

Mack Ade said...

James -

Gee has weird stats so far this year.

Take away the balls he threw for HRs and we'd all think he is doing a great job

Anonymous said...


I cringe when folks quote stats this early in the season. He looked very good last night, though the Stanton pitch was monumentally stupid. Otherwise, he looked calm and in command . . . for a backend guy. More of an ongoing concern for Gee is that he runs out of gas consistently. After 90 pitches, there's nothing there, over and over again. I view him as a perfectly fine #5 starter, with room for improvement.

James Preller

Mack Ade said...

James -

I agree with you on Gee, especially until someone stronger comes along.

I don't think anyone should get too worried here. He will give the team around 6 innings and give up 3 innings. That's what he does.

eraff said...

Sharing the Giddy of the big Vegas Breakout last night---Curb the enthusiasm!!!---the prior evening saw them strike out SEVENTEEN TIMES!!!

Christopher Soto said...


Concerning point....

Montero's fastball velocity was WAY down last night. Pitch F/X regularly had him at 93-96mph but last night he was hovering between 88-92mph.

His change-up's effective is heavily dependent on his fastball. There was just no speed differential between the two pitches. Last night his change varied between 80-87mph

Mack Ade said...

Chris -

And, his cutter/slider was a mess.

You really had to pitch bad to get a walk out of that home plate umpire last night

You can't send him down. The Mets have to give this guy some time to develop some confidence in the pen. With Thor and Matz next up, and then Wheeler, there is no rotation future for this guy anymore.

Anonymous said...

I agree, again, with Mack. However, it's complicated. Black is getting ready (though I suspect Parnell is a long ways off). Goeddel goes down, fine. But can't lose young Gilmartin this soon after he's been so effective. Maybe this guy is a spot starter down the line. And Buddy Carlyle just gets the job done, hate to release him (no options on the Farm).

So while I agree the Montero is potentially a key to this bullpen -- and deserves time to work it out -- the Mets have a numbers problem to address. They need a 5-man bench, IMO.

James Preller

Mack Ade said...

James -

I'm not sure if the 4 man bench was a stroke of genius or just good old fashioned luck, but it worked.

It won't forever.

The important thing is the fact that the Mets starters are pretty much stretched out now for 100 pitchers, no they should be able to pitch into (at least) the 7th inning. You don't need 8 relievers anymore.

You have to have two lefty and two righty options on the bench plus a reserve catcher. You have to.

Thomas Brennan said...

@ Eraff - it was 15 Ks that nite, although to Wally, it seemed like 17. 3 each from High K guys Taijeron, Allen and Kyle Johnson, so it is almost expected that if that trio plays, Ks will be high. Also, 2 by Bowman. Vegas will hit a lot. And some guys will fan a lot.

Mack, they need 5 on bench - I could understand it for the first 10 games, in case of a few 19 inning type games like the Yanks had...they gambled, basically got away with it.

Anonymous said...

Some guys just aren't relief pitchers.....maybe they need the routine of a starter or they don't handle the shorter/unexpected duration of relief appearances.

Montero's best stats come as a starter, not a reliever.

Despite how convenient it would be for the Mets, he belongs in a starting rotation (Vegas for now, in place of Gee in another few weeks).


bob gregory said...


That is a valid consideration you bring up.
Additionally, Collins did not do Montero any favors there either.
Collins knows relief is new to Montero and that Montero sees himself as a starter.
Bringing him in after runners reach base and are in scoring position when he could have taken Gee out earlier just makes it harder.

Christopher Soto said...

Montero has been demoted.

Richard Jones said...

From what I understand, Mejia will not be able to play in the playoffs. When he comes back he can't have any significant role. You want the playoff players to get comfortable in their role. That alone would limit Mejia's role to almost nothing. Fill in for someone who is on the short term DL.

Two years ago I wanted Ike instead of Duda. Not because I thought Ike was any good. I thought he was the better of two very bad options. I never was more wrong in anything baseball related. Now I think Duda is the best position player the Mets have and I can't think of to many 1st basemen I would trade him for.

Steve from Norfolk said...


I did some checking on Meija's option status, and according to tpgMets, Meija is out of options, but cannot refuse an outright assignment to the minors. My question is: Do you think Sandy is THAT mad???

Dallas said...

Sandy has almost 3 months to cool off and he isnt that dumb. He can pawn him off near the trade deadline if he has to. Muno was also suspended for PEDs as was Colon, so clearly its ok unless its on Sandys ML watch?

Also to follow up from earlier "If Gee gets one more batter out, or maybe faces the guy he owned in the previous two ABs, he throws 6 IP and gives up 3 ER. By definition, a quality start."

6IP and 3ER may be a QS from a stat stand point but it also makes you a well below average pitcher with a 4.5 ERA in pitching rich era. Back when runs scored in droves it was a better indicator.

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