Mack’s Morning News – 5-24-15 – Random Thoughts


We’re getting closer to the third time that Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria blows the lid off his team again. He decided earlier this month to fire his manager, and since he’s still already paying now two ex-managers, he replaced him with the General Manager that hasn’t ever played or coached a baseball game in his life. We all remember what Loria has done in the past and how long are existing contracts like the ones that exist for 3B Martin Prado, 1B/OF Michael Morse, LHP Michael Dunn, LF Christian Yelich, and, of course, RF Giancarlo Stanton going to stand?
Whatever future that was/is being built for this team has been around contracts for Yelich (through 2022) and Stanton (through 2028). A Yelich deal could probably get Miami three ‘under control’ minor leaguers that would be paid the minimum. A Stanton deal could bring in an Army division.

It’s not a matter of if or when. This blow-up is going to happen sometime this season.

Photo by Mack Ade 
David Wright has been diagnosed with spinal stenosis in his lower back. This does not go away. I had to be operated on my lower back for this around 15 years ago and my entire lower region had to be re-built into a cage-like device.

I now suffer from the same stenosis in my neck which caused me semi-retire from this site. 

Many sports stars have had to retire early from this. 

One was the Mets Lenny Dykstra. 

Another was ex-New York Giants running back David Wilson.

Stenosis doesn't go away. It's basically genetic and limits one ability to perform for the remainder of your life.

This is very bad news for the Mets and, frankly, it's time to right now start looking for both a long and short term solution to this problem.

It would seem to me that team officials need to sit down Wright and see what he feels about season ending surgery. Forget baseball. This is a person's life we are talking about.

I would also move Daniel Murphy to full time third baseman for the remainder of the season. 

Next, I would consider promoting Alex Castellanos (3B, 1B, LF, RF - .301) from Las Vegas He currently leads the team and is 7th in the league with nine home runs.

Long term, I'm in a fog right now. Nothing seems to be going right for these guys. What's next, d'Arnaud get hit by a truck?

Thank God Alderson and Company kept his excess pitching. He's going to need all these guys to get, or stay, healthy, and then market some of them for, possibly, a new long term third baseman.

I'd like all of us to discuss what this team should do right now...  not panic? Trade a pitcher? Fire whoever know that Wright had this problem?

And where do we go from here now that the team looks like it is out of gas?

Let's talk about this today.

The Sand Gnats sent this statement out earlier this week:

  "Today we announce that 2015 will be the last season of professional baseball in Grayson Stadium."

This was followed by Michael Baron:

"The Mets and Savannah Sand Gnats announced they will move their South Atlantic League affiliate to Columbia, South Carolina for the 2016 season."

This has been a rocky relationship since it began in 2007. I remember sitting in the press table next to the radio announcer and the then owner (always drunk) show up with his son and make the booth guy turn the mike over to him for the play-by-play.

I'm not sure how a baseball team can speak for the entire baseball world, but that's what General Manager John Katz is like. Plus, sending this statement out in the middle of the season is sort of stupid. Maybe the team should direct their energy to piss poor record this team is churning out.

My guess is the team winds up in Columbia where they have played before.

Look, let's face it. This is an entirely different team when either Jacob deGrom or Matt Harvey is pitching. You never have the feeling that you're going to lose those games, even when they have to come out of the game without a lead.

We have this kind of expectation for Noah Syndrgaard, as we did for Zack Wheeler when he first came up. Steven Matz is supposed to be the next one to make us feel this way. 

Thursday's game seem to open up once Lucas Duda hit his second home run of the game. The next two batters, Daniel Murphy and Michael Cuddyer, singled. Even John Mayberry got on base.

I'm telling you, everybody plays this game better when you have quality 'bats' hitting just before you and right after your spot in the lineup.

Michael Scannell asked - 

What's more important to the Mets, Lagares' defense or having d'Arnaud and Plawecki in the lineup?

While there's no denying what Juan brings to CF, I worry about his ability to be a run producer over the long haul.  The pitching staff is so good that I think they could live with a decent CF if it meant having a more productive lineup.

They obviously need runs.  They're 16-2 when scoring 4 or more runs.  Travis has the look of a 20-25 HR hitter with 85-90+ RBI.  I worry about having one of our best hitters playing such a dangerous position.  With Plawecki, not only can he handle the catching position he's only shown flashes of the hitter he can be.

I believe d'Arnaud has the athleticism to move to a corner OF position, potentially squeezing Lagares out with Conforto and Nimmo on their way up (I'm a much bigger believer in both than it seems many are).  I'd love to have all 3 (Travis, Plawecki, Lagares) but with our pitching being as strong as it is I wonder if a d'Arnaud/Plawecki duo is better for the team overall than Lagares/d'Arnaud.  I wonder about the potential for a Conforto/Nimmo/d'Arnaud OF.

I'm a traditionalist but this is one instance where I'd welcome the DH.

Michael -

I no longer worry about Lagares. I worry about the players the Mets surround him with.

I don't think that Lagares has the ability to be a big run producing outfielder, but that's okay in my book. I have to have his defense on this team of sub-par defensive players.

On 'my team', baring injuries, and not considering pitching) I have a catcher (d'Arnaud), first baseman (Duda), third baseman (Wright) and a centerfielder (Lagares). That's four of the eight starting positions.

I 'think' I have a second baseman (Herrera), but it will take the year of 2016 to confirm this.

I still don't know what to make of when it comes to Flores, Granderson, and Cuddyer. I do think they all would be very much more valuable if d'Arnaud and Wright were playing every day and hitting somewhere in the 2-6 slots in the lineup.

Regarding Plawecki, I've said this a number of times. There simply isn't that many talented catchers in baseball. They move off this position early in their college career. In addition, you don't see a lot of high school catchers drafted high. Injuries and bad knees dominate this position.

If you refused to deal one of the 'big four' starters in your system (Harvey, deGrom, Wheeler, Syndergaard) than Matz and Plawecki are your number one and two trade bait players. 

You have to give something to get something.

No, I love Lagares, and you could get a couple of very good players for him in a trade, but I would keep him on my team.



Michi L. said...

First I would shift Flores to 3rd. Better defense and maybe hes more relaxed and is hitting better as well.

2nd. Call the Brewers. They are sellers, make the most of it.
Call the for Segura and Braun!! We just need Brauns prescence and Cuddyer is just not enough.
With Segura we finally would have some speed. By the way Segura and Herrera could be a pretty exciting tandem. The Brewers need a ace, ande we have potential ones.
Offer something like: Matz, Gee/Montero, Reynolds/Cechinni, Nimmo, Plawecki

Our lineup: Segura, Grand, Braun, Duda, dArnaud, Murph, Flores, Pitcher, Lagares

Would say better than the current one

Mack Ade said...

Hey Michi - been a while

I'm going to stay out of all these trade scenarios and see what you guys come up with first.

Frankly, I'm REALLY upset about the state of this team right now.

I can't see getting my head on straight until I get a couple of wins...

Thomas Brennan said...

Michi, I like the Braun idea. Worth considering. Also like Flores to 3B if Wright is truly impaired and out long term.

Mack Ade said...

Michi/All –

You all know me and I am very seldom at a loss for words, but what’s going on with this team right now is just spooky. This is a team that is actually running out of ballplayers to put on the field.
I really enjoyed the early April success and it caught me completely off-guard. I think the Mets did a great job of playing off each other and all the luck that goes in each game all seemed to go their way.
Now, the complete opposite is happening and the team looks like a bottom feeder rather than a pennant or wild card contender.
Strangely… no, bizarrely, there is still good news. The Mets are still operating as a team above .500 per cent. I don’t know for how long, but this is where they are right now.
I only have one suggestion to Terry Collins at this point in the season… try not to reposition as many players as you can. The more your current players can player at the position they have been accustomed to play, the less mistakes are going to be made.

Michael S. said...

Wright's done . Of not now then later. Trading for Tulo makes sense now. He's needed at SS now and 3B in the near future. My infield in a year or two is:

1B - Duda
2B - Herrera
SS - Cecchini
3B - Tulo

If the Marlins are going to blow it up I'd call about Stanton as well. This window with our pitching is finite and the loss of Wright has to be made up. We were one bat away from being serious contenders and now we're two. A lot of options have to go back on the table now. There is no getting off the pot.

Adam Smith said...

As I mentioned late last night on another thread, my guess is that next year's Infield looks like Flores at 3rd, Cecchini at SS and Hererra at 2B. I think you can win with this (it would help if there's a slugging corner OF somewhere). With Cecchini looking like a different hitter this season at AA, I wonder if they might try looking at this starting at the All Star break this season.

Michi L. said...

With the news of David I really belive Flores is our 3rd baseman for the next few years. Of course I would love Tulo and the idea of shifting him to 3rd later in his career makes absolutly sense.
I just prefer 2 bats like Braun,Segura for about the same price than Tulo

Michi L. said...

But in the end I just want some major talent for this pitching stuff. The last 10 games were so brutal to watch and Iam sick of 6 singles per game.

Steve from Norfolk said...

It has come true. David Wright is now a part-time player. A great bench player with power, but he won't be able to play full time for long, depending on how far his stenosis has progressed at present. One thing is sure - the more he plays full time, the shorter his career. Why not start turning him into a Ben Zobrist? He could cover every position in the infield, and probably both corner outfield positions. We could play him maybe three days a week, and have his power bat on the bench the other days. He'd be the best utility man in baseball, and could conceivably have a full career If we tried to keep him a full time player, we'd have to move him to 1B, and then what do we do with Duda? Go to a Wright/Duda platoon? What a waste!

Stubby said...

Well, I'm sure I'm all alone in the "don't panic" camp. I "love" reading these trade scenarios. You can't package up 6 OK guys for a superstar in today's market (unless its a walk year). You want Braun? Might have gotten him cheaper at one point. Now, its going to cost you Syndergaard. You want Tulo? It's going to cost you Syndergaard. You want Stanton? Syndergaard MIGHT get them to the table, but its going to cost you a lot more than that. If you're not ready to deal Thor, you're not ready to deal. Period. Matz being a lefty, I'd rather hang on to him anyway.

I'd make some preliminary calls and see if there's any interest in the A.L. for Flores as a DH. But I don't think I'd do too much until closer to the break. At the end of May, nobody is "desperate" for much of anything. Everybody's still trying to figure out where they are. Look to trade major pieces now and its you that looks desperate. They'll see you coming and fleece you good.

If I was going to do anything now--me--I'd bring Guillorme up today. Let's have a look. Rosario might still end up being the guy. His game's a little more complete. But I know the best shortstop in the organization today is Guillorme. I think having him at short would save you runs and give your pitchers a mental boost. I don't know that Flores would be any better, defensively, at third, but I might give it a try.

A losing streak in baseball is like quicksand. The more you struggle to get out of it, the sooner its going to eat you alive. Fans and management both need to stand behind the team AS IS, right now. Tell them they're doing a great job and, overall, we're happy with how they've been playing. Hell, management should give them all bonuses and tell them to have fun out there. As Tug McGraw would have said, You Gotta Believe! Until you do, you're always going to lose.

Steve from Norfolk said...


Read this:

The rest of the title of this article is: "What is spinal stenosis?".

One of the last sentences: "Complications can include numbness, weakness, incontinence and paralysis.".

I don't think he's going to mess around with this.

bob gregory said...


You want to bring up to the major league level, Guillermo??
And yet you think you are in the "don't panic " camp???
The Wilpons/Alderson have really crushed a once proud NY fan-base.

John Looby said...

Flores to 3rd, Murphy 2nd and I bring up Tovar to play SS.

Reynolds comes up as soon as he starts hitting again and replaces either Tejada or Tovar.

We're stuck with the outfield we have.

The bench is a black hole. Soup is most productive there and I guess that I stick with Ceciliani for the time being.

If this malaise continues until the AS break, I reassess the whole thing. I start to off load what I can.

Steve from Norfolk said...


Think we could pry Matt Davidson away from the White Sox? I hate the thought of trading Thor, but what choice do we have? Jhoan Urena is way too far away to even consider for a couple of years.

Michael S. said...

Like I said, a lot more options have to be on the table now. Players I wouldn't have dreamt of trading should now be in the discussion.

Stubby said...

Steve, what does any of that have to do with anything I said? I'm not waving off Wright's condition--just saying you move forward (we already haven't had him most of this year).

Bob, I said "IF" I was going to do ANYTHING. And his name is Guillorme. He can field at the major league level already--that's never been the question. With the best of them. Ask anyone who has seen him play. The question has always been whether or not he could learn to be a passable hitter. I'm old school. My shortstop doesn't have to hit if he's a plus with the glove. And, although Luis is looking passable at the plate in the low minors, I don't think he'll ever hit at the major league level, so what are you losing and what are you gaining? Right now, he's a better fielding shortstop than anyone in the majors. Best the Mets have seen since Ordonez.

Overall, as I said up front, I'd probably do nothing until the break.

Furthermore, Bob, how can you blame David Wright's health issues on Alderson and Wilpon? They didn't give him his genetic back condition. Alderson and Wilpon "crushed" nothing. They rebuilt a franchise that Omar dismantled. You could do so much better? Go buy a team and prove it. It's so easy to criticize from the cheap seats. "Fans" like you do far more damage to the club than Alderson and Wilpon.

bob gregory said...

Stubby You are correct Alderson /Wilpon did not give Wright his back issue.
Going into this season it was poor planning to rely on Wright as the main offensive cog due to his age & recent injury trend.
Is it better to be a fan that would like to enjoy progress into playoff games after 5+ years?
A fan that just always accepts leadership that does not build a team that is progressing toward playoff games after 5+ years?

Thomas Brennan said...

"One of the last sentences: "Complications can include numbness, weakness, incontinence and paralysis."."
Sounds like what happens to Mets AAA scorching hitters when they come up to Queens.

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