The Morning Report 4.29.2015 | Where's Montero's Change-up?, 6-Man Rotation, Dilson Herrera's Defense, Rare Failure by Torres.


Matt Ehalt | North Jersey Advance Media- The Mets received encouraging signs from spot starter Rafael Montero, who was optioned to the minors after the game for lefty reliever Jack Leathersich. The Mets hoped to see Montero incorporate more of his off-speed pitches and command the strike zone like he has in the minors, and he accomplished both. In his April 10 outing against Atlanta, Montero threw 35 straight fastballs in a relief appearance. Montero threw 54 of his 85 pitches for strikes, and showed a willingness to use his off-speed pitches. He tossed 58 fastballs, 21 sliders and six change-ups, per MLB.com.

(Chris Soto: Montero's slider was better last night but it still concerns me that his bread and butter pitch that got him through the minors, the change-up, is hardly being used. Why wouldn't you use the only "plus" pitch in your arsenal? It is something that he is going to have to rectify because we have seen how inconsistent his slider can be. When it's off....it gets tattooed...which then leads him to using exclusively fastballs.)

John Delcos | Mets Report- The Mets were treated to a solid performance from Rafael Montero to where the idea could be floated of considering a six-man rotation. Doing so would give everybody an additional day of rest. Specifically, the real goal would be to give Matt Harvey an additional day and ultimately preserve his workload. However, could a six-man rotation work for the long term? For something that unconventional to work, it can’t be imposed a month into the season. I suggested something similar in the offseason that would have enabled the rest of the rotation to get into a routine.

(Chris Soto: The six man rotation has its pluses, however, the main case against it is that, in theory, that 6th starter is going to be your weakest guy. So instead of Harvey being thrown out there every 5th day and providing an almost 80% chance of winning, his now only going out every 6th day. It reduces the overall quality of the pitching staff. These "spot starts" by Montero during long stretches of no off-days are actually smart and I give credit to the Mets front office for coming up with the idea.)

Quinn Berry | MetsMerized Online- Herrera, 21, has been a Top 100 prospect in baseball, ranking as high as No. 46 on MLB.com to as low as No. 82 on Baseball Prospectus. But just how good is the Mets’ young second baseman? Can he become an All-Star, as Keith Law predicted, or is he more destined to be a solid starter? Offensively, Dilson Herrera has the bat-speed to make scouts drool. His lightning quick hands should allow him to hit for a good batting average accompanied by solid-average power at the major league level.  His defense [though] leaves a lot to be desired out of a middle infielder. Baseball Prospectus reports that South Atlantic managers felt the youngster’s actions were “stiff” in the field, and Minor League Ball’s John Sickels concurred with those concerns last August.

(Chris Soto: Defensively, I have seen the same things out of Herrera when he was in Binghamton last year. While his hands are soft and his range/first step are good, he just doesn't look smooth at 2B. That said, neither does Daniel Murphy...but rather than rushing Herrera the Mets are taking their time with him and working to improve that fluidity so that he can eventually replace Murphy in 2016.)

Adam Rubin | ESPN New York- Despite heavy usage, Torres largely has been reliable. Tuesday, however, proved an exception. Entering with the score tied for the bottom of the eighth, Torres issued walks to two of the first three batters he faced. "Those two walks cost us big," Torres said. "It's the difference between throwing and trying to 'feel. I was just trying to stick the ball in the zone and make sure to throw strikes instead of just throwing it and it would be a strike. When you try to 'feel,' that's what happens. The balls get sprayed a little bit, which really sucks, because once I got my rhythm ... I was pounding the zone. But that's the name of the game. I didn't look on film, but I don't throw too many two-seam fastballs. I thought it was down. I thought it was good. But he's a professional, too, and he's a good hitter."

(Chris Soto: Torres just didn't have it last night. As he indicates, he was aiming the ball rather than just throwing which tells me he just didn't feel great when he was warming up in the pen. It's too bad cause now fans are going to call for his head even though he's been absolutely solid for us over the past 2+ years. His heavy usage so far this season is concerning though. I would love to see Terry Collins give Robles an opportunity to pitch in a higher leverage situation to see if he can take a bit of the pressure off of Torres.)


Thomas Brennan said...

Did not see the game last night, as I am practicing nightly now for a community theater show starting this weekend (Mack's about to drop me from the 40 man roster, so it's time to try something else....LOL... but did hear Tejada failed to lay down a key sac bunt. Can't imagine Buddy Harrelson doing that. No excuse.

I think a modified 5 man is better. Look for any opportunity to shorten Harvey, deGrom, and Niese starts (say you're up 5 runs after 6) and use Gee or Montero as very active long relievers. So the starting 5 are not thrown off. And add a sixth starter when there is a long stretch of consecutive games, as there was last night.

Herrera is only 21. Very likely he'll become a better fielder than Murphy, night in, night out. Though Murph's dazzler on Monday was a fielding gem.

Ernest Dove said...

Rafael Montero is a major league STARTING pitcher. 2016 rotation of Harvey degrom Montero matz thor soesnt sound terrible. And things always play itself out regarding a possible wheeler return in the summer.
Also of note the coaching staff can't pretend that the torres boys, buddy and Familia are the only relievers in the bullpen. If gilmartin goeddel and robles can't get outs then they shouldn't be on an mlb roster. I know every game is important but u gotta trust who ya got to get outs and don't wear out anybody

Reese Kaplan said...

Was it really necessary to rest THREE starting players in the same night to give Montero virtually no shot of winning? The three hitters all came in with .100 averages and despite getting a hit apiece from Recker and Nieuwenhuis, they remain there.

Anonymous said...

It's important to rest players.

By all accounts, they were an exhausted group.

You can quibble about whether Flores should have sat or not, but that's only a quibble. He took that pitch off his ankle the other day, we don't know his condition, and, well, Tejada is on the team. Recker had 11 PAs going into the game; Cuddyer is currently a mess and needs consistent rest. In all three cases, the moves upgraded the defense behind Montero. Team is a little thin right now, missing two crucial RH bats.

James Preller

Lew Rhodes said...

For some reason, I cannot get my comments to post from my cell phone.

Which explains my long absence!

I agree with Reese - you can't rest three starters at a time - it was a poor decision by Collins.

Plus, doesn't Plaweki have ALOT more experience catching Monterro - like, the bulk of last year?

And, frankly Nueinheis has no business being on a contending ML baseball team - he is right on his career norm 30% K-rate without the other skills to support such a high rate

He seems like a great kid, but I would rather have Mack's boy Castellenos on the big league bench

Mack Ade said...

Lew -

The Mets need to consider putting Alex Castellanos on the 40-man and bringing him up, but he's a righty and Mayberry has a mil contract

Mack Ade said...

This was only Carlos Torres' second un-quality appearance in the season... both against the Marlins.

He has pitched well for the Mets so far this season.

Anonymous said...

On Carlos Torres: I think the issue was that he obviously didn't have it and TC sat on his hands.

On Castellanos: I'm not seeing the attraction, frankly. Mayberry crushes LHP, that's why he's on the team. Haven't seen many LH starters yet. Combined with Lucas holding his own, Mayberry hasn't had much of a chance to succeed.


Mack Ade said...

JP -

You can't crush LHP if you're sitting on the bench.

Frankly, he's doing very little of anything this year.

Castellano gives me a singles hitter and someone that can play both corner outfield positions and most of the infield positions... a REAL utility player

Mayberry is a one dimensional power bat

Christopher Soto said...

While I would love to agree with Mack in regards to dropping Nieuwenheis and bringing up Castellanos ..... unfortunately it is not doable.

Nieuwenheis is the only player on the 40 man roster capable of playing good defense CF in case something were to happen to Lagares.

The only spot Castellanos could possibly take is Campbell's who is performing admirably in Wright's absence.

Mack Ade said...

Chris -

You are right about Kirk.

It's just that the utility players are so unproductive this year at the plate.

It takes a lot of talent to sit on your hands spitting nut shells out of your mouth game after game and then being asked to deliver a key hit at a critical time

TP said...

Agree on Robles - let's see what he can do.

Lew Rhodes said...

Not sure why I thought Castellanos was a switch hitter - I am just pissed that they kept Neuinhies over MDD

Lew Rhodes said...

Not sure why I thought Castellanos was a switch hitter - I am just pissed that they kept Neuinhies over MDD

Stephen Guilbert said...

Sorry Soto but how is Rafael Montero's "only plus pitch" his change up?

Christopher Soto said...

Scouting grades on his pitches were

Fastball- 55 (above average)
Slider- 50 (average)
Changeup- 60 (plus)
Control- 60 (plus)

I wouldn't call his fastball plus as it is played up by his plus control ability to spot in on the corners.

Anonymous said...

Lew, I don't think Kirkkkkk gets the Mets Blevins in that trade.


Thomas Brennan said...

Hey Lew, Castellanos wants to switch hit. He'd switch hitting in Vegas to hitting in Queens in a heartbeat :)

Thomas Brennan said...

Kidding aside, they may want to start thinking about Kirk going, to be replaced by Castellnos OR Monell, to replace a lefty bat with another lefty bat. Monell is not an OF, but they can work around that.

Stephen Guilbert said...

The grade on every single pitch includes ability to locate. His fastball is his best pitch. Maddux's fastball was an 80 grade.

ZachBoyer said...

I don't think Torres (Carlos) profiles as an 8th inning guy (although he's usually pretty consistant?). I wish Terry had brought Robles in with 2 on/1 out. Also is anyone else concerned about Lagares' arm? I am … at least a little. But excited to see Leathersich up. Waited years for this! I'm sure he has too.

Christopher Soto said...

@Zach Boyer

I agree that Torres is not a good fit for the 8th inning. He has more value in our medium leverage situations. This is where having Black and Parnell coming back really could have a benefit.

Robles was brought in for an EXTREMELY high leverage situation last night and just blew Giancarlo Stanton away...that was impressive. He did struggle in his 2nd inning of work though.

I am not as concerned about Lagares arm as I am about his aggressiveness. He seems more reserved this year on balls hit towards the edges of his range. This may be the organization asking him to be more careful due to the lack of CF replacements with Den Dekker gone now.

Mack's Mets © 2012