Mack’s Morning Report – 5-1-15 – End of April Tweak


Good morning.

First of all, I want to welcome a new sponsor... and team of writers. 

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April has come and went and the month has given us everything and more.
Frankly, there’s very little I would ‘tweak’ here. I can’t undo injuries and there really aren’t many more major league ready players that could be called up right now. The current starting lineup is the best available to management, the utility players (Anthony Recker, Ruben Tejada, John Mayberry Jr., Kirk Nieuwenhuis) may be under-hitting but they are the best available, and the bullpen is doing the best they can around a slew of injuries.

I didn't enjoy this past road trip, but, going into Thursday night's game against Washington, the team was tied for the best win-loss record in baseball. How can any Mets fan find fault with that?

With that, there are a few things I suggest:

1.     Play RF Curtis Granderson

The Mets can’t sustain the kind of success they have had in April unless the first two players listed here play almost every day. In the case of Granderson, John Maybery Jr. and Kirk Nieuwenhuis are nice subs, but they do not have the game winning potential (both offensively and defensively) as Grandy.

I've been a Mets writer since 2005 and I have not seen a player 'set the plate' better than Granderson does since Jose Reyes. We're now starting to see him get out of his April funk and my guess is he will finish the season above the .250-BA/.350-OBP level

2.     Play 2B Daniel Murphy

No one has hit worse in April than Murphy, but you just know it in your heart that he is workng himself out of this. I also know it in my heart that this is his own fault for rushing back from his spring training hamstring issue. No doctor in the world can tell you if your hamstring is 100% healed. It takes an honest patient and my guess is that Murphy was more concerned about his contract year here than his batting average or the value he would be to his teammates.

He has moved closer to the plate this week which does seem to give him back the ability to barrel up on the ball.

I can't speak for his defensive flaws. He's going to have to improve on them on his own, but this team isn't deep enough in offensive talent to put this guy on the bench.

3.     Move/Keep CF Juan Lagares to/in the two slot in the batting order

Everyone keeps saying that Lagares doesn’t have the patience to bat high in the order; however, the only place he’s going to learn it is by hitting there. I know this guy. No one plays this game with more emotion and he will repay you 1000% if you show you believe in him. Once again I am quoting my heart here, but if you want this guy to hit .290+ for the season, move him up the order.

4.      Keep SP Dillon Gee in the rotation

                   I had this whole section written differently when I started writing this post. I had Gee going to the bullpen and him being replaced by Rafael Montero; however, with the recent arm problems of Montero, let's let him work things out as a Las Vegas starter. I'm going to write a complete post on Gee tomorow, so I'll save some of my suggestions to then, but, simply put, pitch the guy for five innings and then get the bullpen up.

5. Replace Montero as the spot starter with Steven Matz.

                I really don't care out the who super two thing. I want to win a pennant before they ship me off to to the veteran's home. Noah Syndergaard had a dominant last outing, but Matz seems further along at this point.

Let's keep this party going with solid starting pitching.

6.     Replace IF Danny Muno with Wilfredo Tovar

I’ve always been a big fan of having defensive specialist as the guys coming off the bench, especially late in the game. Neither one of these guys are going to get many at bats if they remain in Queens, and their roster slot disappears as soon as David Wright comes back, but Tovar has the ability to win a game with his glove, something I’ve always loved in his game.

7.     Promote OF Michael Conforto from St. Lucie to Binghamton

I know moving a player up a level, after only one month, is usually premature, but it’s obvious that Conforto is eating up the Florida State League (A+). The quicker they place this guy in the same outfield as Brandon Nimmo, the better off it will be for the Mets. Both represent the future of the Mets corner outfielders. Either Gilbert Gomez or Jared King could be sent back to Florida to make room for Conforto.

This would be the only changes I would suggest to a team that seems to be operating on all cylinder. As I said, a little tweaking. That’s all.


Ernest Dove said...

I suggest leaving Conforto in st lucie, at least until my planned trip to see a game on either the 14th or 28th ;)

eraff said...

Dilson has been promited.... who goes??? I'm hunching that it may be Campbell, which is sad for Campbell.

Dallas said...

What a bunch of ugly games we have witnessed over the last week. Head scratcher as to why they didn't promote Dilson immediately when Wright got hurt and go with the same alignment as last year. Campbell was much better at defense this year but he got over exposed as everyone expected. Flores better get his OPS over .800 quick or he wont have a job for much longer...

Christopher Soto said...


We will probably see a reliever be sent down since the bench is currently short a player.

Ernest Dove said...

I assume the leather rocket takes that return flight to vegas.

IBfromWhitePlains said...

It's not just Campbell who's been exposed, it's the whole infield. The D has been abysmal, losing game after game and frustrating otherwise good pitching. I sure don't have the answer, but, to state the obvious,it's pretty hard to be a contender when you can't field the ball. Pitchers get frustrated and the fight seems to die on the field.

Ernest Dove said...

I agree with everyone regarding defense.......
It effects every part of the game.
Degrom went from pitching a shutout to losing in a blink of an eye. Errors and botched DPs lead to extra outs, extra pitches thrown and the entire team being thrown off their game.
I keep hearing over and over that wilfredo tovar is NOT a major league hitter, but tejada is not hitting, Wilmer is around .250ish with a sub .300 OBP and its my opinion they have cost more games then have won.

Anonymous said...

The troubling thing is that neither Herrera nor Reynolds is considered a plus defender. In fact, Reynolds isn't a SS as far as I can tell.

At what point will they just stick Tejada back there? You know that Terry wants to do it.

When Wright first went down, I thought they should slide Murphy over to 3B and bring up Reynolds for 2B. Campbell is not a good baseball player. He's Mike Baxter. You want him to be good, you wish he could be good, but he's not MLB good.

I really have no idea what they do when Wright gets back. Or how they deal with Flores, who has a major league bat but is also a 2B.

Feels like a mess right now, today. Sandy needs to sort this out sooner rather than later. What if Herrera hits?

James Preller

Mack Ade said...

I obviously wrote this before the promotion of Herrera.

I see the Herrera promotion as a Sandy knee jerk reaction to what's going on in the field. The problem, as stated, is, he is not a defensive genius and does nothing to make Wilmer Flores a better shortstop.

Probably Leathersich goes back to Vegas.

Thomas Brennan said...

I Wondered why Herrera was pulled after 1 AB last nite. Glad it wasn'f another injury. Bring Matz up too. Herrera has hit over .400 since game 3, so hopefully he is a positive addition. I still see Tovar as essentially = Tejada, but without the big league experience.

I was a big Flores proponent, but the D has been worse than I would have thought. Might need to change soon, as we crossed Mack's April 30 "start to tweak" point.

Anonymous said...

Bring up Matz and do what?

James Preller

Dallas said...

Its funny because people are talking about panic. Well, these games against the Nats are important and 2 of our 3 best hitters are on the DL and our infielders forgot how to field. I think panic is the wrong word, but you have to make adjustments and calling up Dilson seems pretty logical to me. Improves the offense and makes a small improvement to the defense at 2nd. Flores probably isnt going to turn his defense around in the next 2 weeks. Hopefully his bat heats up and you can consider trading him to a team looking for a 2nd baseman?

Dallas said...

I think we need to also revisit trading one of Gee, Niese, Colon while they are hot. Now is when you can get the most value for one of them and it lets us move towards the future with Montero/Matz/DeGrom. Gee, Niese, Colon are all serviceable but you have to make the move at some point.

Mack Ade said...

Dallas -

I want to keep pointing out that it takes two to tango.

I'm not sure anyone wants the services of Gee, Niese, and/or Colon and I definitely don't think it would get us the kind of top shortstop needed.

The entire league understands that the Mets underbelly is shortstop.

It is going to cost the Mets a lot to fill that void with a guy like Atlanta has.

Steve from Norfolk said...

Flores was better than this last year. If I had to make a guess, I'd say he's pressing. He knows what's riding on this year. and he knows he's on a short leash.I hope he can get over it quick, because he won't get another chance here. Sandy won't trust him to handle 2B if he messes this up.

I like Mack's idea of calling up Tovar. He's at the least equal to Tejada's best, but Tejada hasn't played at his best for a couple of years. Use him as a defensive replacement when we have a lead after the 6th, and he will be fine.

S FInch said...

For what it's worth, I think FLO is going to be fine. No doubt, he has looked terrible thus far, but we know:

A) Based on scouting reports and past looks he can field balls hit at him. I agree with Steve, he is pressing and these recent ugly errors shouldn't be the norm

B) He can hit. He is a top ten offensive shortstop so far this year and he has been struggling. I think he has significant offensive upside.

I still think he is what Sandy & Co. thought he was going into the season. A bad SS, whose offensive upside should overcome his defensive deficiencies.

If we had other options, i would be all for it, but I simply dont see Reynolds, Tovar, Tejada as legitimate answers. It's clear the Mets need all the offense they can get.

Steve from Norfolk said...

The promotion of Herrera is, and should be, a wake-up call to Flores. My guess is, he's got 2 weeks to pull out of it Then, it'll be Reynolds turm. If Reynolds doesn't make it, and quickly, say goodbye to Thor and a few others, maybe even Murph if Herrera does alright. Rumor has it the Brewers will be ready to start dumping soon. Jean Segura isn't the best, but he's above leagus average, and he's got good offense, too.

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