The Morning Report 4.7.2015 | Mets Win!, Mejia MRI Bound, No Extension for Duda, New and Improved? Lineup


  • That was a nice win, wasn't it. If you were at all surprised about how well Bartolo Colon pitched yesterday afternoon, then you weren't paying much attention last season. In 31 starts last season, Colon held opponents to 3 runs or fewer in 21 of them resulting in all 15 of his wins. His 5.03 to 1 K:BB ratio was 5th best in baseball last season which was among the most elite of pitchers. He may not be the sexiest of pitchers, but the man gets the job done, and with an improved offense he may be poised for another 15 win season.

Anthony DiComo | MLB.comFor the second straight year, an injury struck the back end of the Mets' bullpen on Opening Day. This time it was right-handed closer Jenrry Mejia, who felt stiffness in his right elbow while warming up for a save attempt during Monday's 3-1 win over the Nationals. "He couldn't get it loose," manager Terry Collins said of Mejia's arm, noting that the team had no inkling of an injury until Monday. "He's had elbow issues in the past. We had to shut him down."

(Chris Soto: Let's not panic yet about Mejia. Remember, he did have surgery to clean out his elbow due to a bone spur so maybe it's just a re-occurence that can be treated for now. Generally ligament injuries in the elbow area do not manifest themselves IN the elbow. Usually the first signs of pain are in the tricep/bicep/forearm areas. )

Kristie Ackert | New York Daily News- 
Lucas Duda did not get a contract extension Monday, but he may be making himself even more valuable to the Mets by waiting. Duda’s agent and the Mets tabled discussions late Sunday night and will likely not resume them until after the season. Duda said he was not disappointed and that he just wants to concentrate on helping the Mets win in 2015.

(Chris Soto: From a business standpoint, it is in Duda's best interest to not sign an extension at this time. If he can duplicate his 2014 performance, he should be able to get close to $9M+ next season via arbitration. Duda is already 29 years old, so any extension is going to lock up his remaining prime years which will limit his marketability when he does eventually become a free agent.)

Fred Kerber | New York Post
It worked, so it looked like genius. The Mets lineup — with David Wright hitting second, with Juan Lagares hitting sixth — was meant to supply a means to get at the likes of Washington’s Max Scherzer. “The goal is to maximize run production and the lineup is geared to do that,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said.

(Chris Soto: The line-up looked....odd...to say the least. However, the massive criticism that was coming from #MetsTwitter before the game even starting was unwarranted. It didn't look pretty at first, but, Scherzer is an elite starter. No matter what the line-up was last night I'm not sure it would have made a difference. However, you do need to give credit where credit is due. Duda was placed in the right spot in the line-up, to come up to bat at the right time of the game, to deliver the big blow that the team needed to win. Like Mack said a week or so ago...."with all the pitching this team has, all you need to do is score one more run than the other guys.")


Anonymous said...

According to Adam Rubin, the lineup came directly from Sandy Alderson. To any serious Mets observer, this comes as no surprise.

It's a little nutty, I think, to praise the lineup for "getting the job done" since they scored 3 unearned runs. It didn't get anything done. But, of course, that had everything to do with Scherzer, who was brilliant.

During ST, we hear how TC is going to bat the pitcher 8th sometimes because he wants to give DW more RBI opportunities -- a better chance of coming up with runners on base. Then Game 1 comes along, the pitcher bats 9th and DW bats 2nd. It's the complete opposite! And, thus, confusing. Which is it?


Christopher Soto said...


I have no idea...I was also against the line-up configuration but unlike #MetsTwitter, I wanted to see what the results were before I bashed it.

I didn't say it "got the job done" that comment was for Colon. I do acknowledge that Duda in the 3 hole was what won the game for us.

Outside of that though....the line-up just looked weird, ineffective and just plain awkward.

Anonymous said...

I am not big on debating lineups, it tends to get overblown. It did look strange.

Murphy batting 5th. Lagares -- who I think could reasonably steal 30 bases this year -- batting 6th. Just a little off, because I couldn't really see the logic of it. Clearly it diminishes David as an RBI threat.

Weirdest of all is Sandy taking a lot of credit for "maximizing production" with a lineup that scored 3 unearned runs. With the SS doesn't blow two plays, the Mets lose 1-0.

I don't think lineup construction really, deeply matters. But yesterday's felt . . . incoherent.

James Preller

Thomas Brennan said...

Best wishes for Jennry - hopefully, getting his Samson-like locks cut a few days ago did not render him mortal. We need him.

Colon is a fine pitcher in 75% of his starts, so that's better than a guy who is constantly mediocre.

This line up beat the Great Max Scherzer, who was 39-8 the past 2 years. We'll hit - plenty. Don't overreact to one game.

Duda will likely have big pay days ahead. Not bad for a former 7th (?) rounder who everyone doubted.

TP said...

Mets are the best team in the history of baseball on opening day. It's the other 161 games that seem to be the problem.

Beating the Nats with Bartolo and closing it out with Carlyle is sweet, and we'll savor it as one win in a marathon.

Not to make a big issue out of it, but...the lineup was bizarre...not the batting order so much as it coming out of the blue and apparently dictated by the GM. In some ways, the Mets continue to bumble. Did they bat in the order at all during ST? I don't recall it. No biggie. I just hope Jenri is ok.

Zozo said...

I was one of the many that bashed that lineup and would do it again if that's what they come up with again. The lineup did nothing but mess with Lagares head, which couldn't have helped at all. Lineups are ment to have speed at the front and Lagares is our best option.

Zozo said...

You know what else is very crazy Rick Porcello getting a 4 year $82 million dollar extension. How are we going to afford any of our pitchers with him getting that much? I don't see how he is even worth $15 per year let alone $20 mil a year. WTF?

Charles said...

Ditto zozo

Christopher Soto said...


Yea I did not understand that contract either.

Porcello is coming off a career season which saw him post a +4.0 WAR.

That said, even though he is young on average he hovers around a 4.00 ERA and his K rates are lackluster at around 5.7 per 9 innings.

At best that's a #4 rotation arm worth MAYBE +2 wins a season.

That's worth $10-12M at a maximum. Sox certainly overpaid...

Dallas said...

I love that they mixed up the lineup, if its from Sandy then it means they have people a lot smarter than the lot of us figuring out optimal configurations. I'm all for maximizing every run. It can be hard at times, but embrace change!

Mack Ade said...

Morning -

EVERY lineup is either constructed or approved by Sandy Alderson.

I'm sure this was just an attempt of disrupting the predictable direction Washington thought the Mets would go in.

It's a win against one of the top two pitchers in baseball... take it and, frankly, send a Shake Shack to their shortstop.

James Preller said...

"I"m all for maximizing every run."

Um, who isn't? Actually, what does that even mean? One run equals one run.

The issue is that this is not Strat-O-Matic. Players are individuals, creatures of habit. Bouncing around, if that's the idea, might not yield the best results.

The narrative that this lineup "worked" is what's so crazy. It was one game -- hardly meaningful -- and they scored 0 earned runs.

I'm with TP on this. Not a big deal, but a little bizarre and possibly dysfunctional. I am confused.

The most important thing is putting the right people on the field, and they did that.

Robb said...

On the porcello contract. the comp is Homer Bailey and porcello was coming in with a higher base salary. so it is basically a 5 year 95 mm contract for both of them. Porcello is a year younger. On a first class team with a real number one and a real payroll you are looking at sp 1-2-3 being 60mm per year. however that is broken up once they are past arb 3 for all of them. dodgers will be in the 100 mm range next year for their rotation with 90+% of it going to the first 4.

thankfully this problem is a few years away.

Stephen Guilbert said...

Not sure if it's been stated yet (didn't read the above comments) but Bartolo Colon pitched to a 3.57 FIP (a metric that takes defense out of the equation to find a better value of what a pitcher actually did) last season which isn't dominant but it's .02 away from what Wheeler did last year and good enough for 38th in baseball last year.

He's not going to win the Cy Young again but had he been on the lucky side of his FIP instead of half a run unlucky, he would have been a 3.00 ERA guy last year and would have gotten a CY vote or two. I do think Syndergaard has a lock on Bartolo's spot eventually but he certainly is a reliable, steady veteran presence in the rotation and personally I'd much prefer Gee moved than Colon.

James Preller said...

Just when it comes together for Dillon Gee, he gets knocked back by injuries.

Not arguing who should or shouldn't get traded, but Gee's post-AS break 2013 ERA was 2.74 across 13 starts. In 2014, his pre-AS break ERA was 2.56.

A very impressive run from, I think, an underrated pitcher.

With Bartolo, I am always factoring in resource allocation. He gets $11 million in 2015 and, to me, that was money poorly spent given the team's strengths and weaknesses. Though he had the worst ERA among starting pitchers last year, he wasn't at all bad for a backend starter.

Dallas said...

James, what evidence is there that bouncing around a lineup might hurt results? Lets go with none. However if computer crunching proves that you can squeeze 10 more runs per year based on the construction of the lineup, I'll take that. 10 runs could be few games in the right spot. One our two games can make quite a difference in WC spot. I don't buy into David Wright falling off the rails because he is batting 2nd instead of 3rd. I would rather go with metrics vs worrying about ego bruising or getting out of the habit of hitting 1-2 spots away from what people think is the normal lineup.

Zozo said...

You are right it shouldn't bother Wright, but they keep messing with these kids every year. They are building up their confidence levels and then they confuse the heck out of them. We need some speed on this team and I for one would like to see what Lagares has at there.

Stephen Guilbert said...

I wrote a long research article about why Wright should bat second. Well, in part. It was about lineup optimization in general but batting Wright second is absolutely the right move. Just because something is done a certain way across the league or for a long time does not mean it's the right way to do it. There is a lot of data that not only supports what I just said but definitively so. This is a "well maybe it does, maybe it doesn't". Having a good hitter second is more important than having a good hitter third, especially if it's a high OBP sort of player, which Wright is.

Stephen Guilbert said...

Dallas is spot on with this. Beyond the Box Score ran the numbers and simple lineup optimization can get you an extra win a season. Just from filling out the lineup card the right way. For a team that has a small margin for error, a win might make all the difference.

Just a suggestion for some members here, do a little bit of research on lineup optimization, run value batting order data, and general precedence for run production based on hitter profile. I think you'd be surprised at what you'll find and interested in the topic.

Dallas said...

Maybe because I never played any organized baseball but I can't wrap my head around why moving a players around in the lineup a few spots would confuse, mess up or ruin their game in any way. I guess stars with egos could throw tantrums, but if they were a star to begin with hard to believe hitting 5th instead of 3rd will hurt their game. The Yankees batted Jeter 2nd last year despite his drastically reduced capabilities (.256/.304/.313) because they worried about his ego, not to mention it was the way things were always done. They probably cost themselves a few games because of that. I agree with Stephen. There is a reason the A's(moneyball teams) have played well on shoe string budgets because they challenge the norm all the time to exploit the inefficiencies of those stuck in their old ways.

Stephen Guilbert said...

It doesn't, Dallas. Especially not with a player like Wright, the only one with the track record and clout to even think about moaning about something that petty. Wright just wouldn't do it, nor would it get to him.

I think this is blown way out of proportion and as someone who does understand lineup optimization, I was pretty happy with yesterday's lineup. Eventually I would like to move Granderson down in the order because I don't like wasting power leading off but overall I liked it. It also takes some pressure off of Flores, Lagares and d'Arnaud all of whom are still quite young. Terry had a lot of success working Duda into higher leverage spots in the batting order last year.

Anonymous said...

I never said that it would mess up David Wright at all. Mostly, I don't care very much. But I do think it's strangely inconsistent of the organization to talk about batting pitcher 8th, etc, to get David more RBI opportunities, and then turn around to bat him 2nd. Again, the two thoughts are in opposition. Which is it?

I do believe that players get comfortable in roles and that these things effect them. So there's Murphy to consider, and Lagares, and Granderson.

FWIW, I've always liked great hitters in the #2 spot. I imagine they will flip it around against LHP.

Thomas Brennan said...

As long as Terry doesn't bat Bartolo in the leadoff spot, it's all good. Kidding aside, interesting discussion.

I will add, and I appreciate Colon, I believe outfielders reeled at least a couple of home run balls in with great catches. We'll see how prone he is to the long ball In 2015.

He sure was good Monday, though.

Thomas Brennan said...

With those HR catches, I meant last year.

Stephen Guilbert said...

Because it doesn't matter if the pitcher hits 8th or 9th. The data we have, which is conclusive, says that the second hitter comes up in leverage situations with the same impact as the third hitter but more times...because they hit second and not third. So you want the better hitter hitting second than third.

Let's listen to the data we do have instead of ignoring it for norms that none of us can explain.

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