Mack’s Morning Report – 5-29-15 – Brad Wieck, Matt Reynolds, Kevin Plawecki, David Wright, Thor


 Good morning.

2B LJ Mazzilli returns to the active roster on Monday.

photo by MiLB 
It looks like someone in the Mets pitcher coach brain trust made a wise decision in the off-season. Converting 6-9 LHP Brad Wieck before sending him to pitch a full season in Savannah is beginning to pay huge dividends.

His pre-pro career is dizzying. High school, followed by New Mexico (never pitched a pitched due to a blown out elbow), Frank Phillips College (TX), Cisco College, Texas Tech (also never finalized), Oklahoma City University.

What did stand out was his 118 strikeouts in 69.2 innings pitched on his last stop, first as OCU’s closer and then, a member of the rotation.

Wieck was finally able to put behind him his schooling horrors when the Mets drafted him in the 7th round of the 2014 draft. He was immediately signed and reported to Brooklyn, where he pitched in 16 relief outings. His stat line was very impressive: 16-G, 25.2-IP, 39-K, only 6-BB, 1.40, 0.90.

Pitching in Savannah this year was no surprise, but becoming a member of the rotation was. He’s struggled at times but he’s struck out 37 batters in his last three outings (24.2 innings). 

Repertoire – 89-92, 94 fastball, curve, changeup

Summary: Because of his age (23), you may see Wieck elevate to St. Lucie before the Sand Gnats ace on the staff, Casey Meisner. Technically, Wieck is still considered a project, but I’m sure the Mets will show a lot of patience for a 6-9 lefty. Assuming he finished 2015 in St. Lucie, you easily could see him complete his minor league career in 2016 and become a candidate for either the Mets rotation or a trade. 


The one constant we could always count on when we talked about the Mets minor league options in the middle infield was the ability of Matt Reynolds to produce a batting average above the level of .300.

The 2012 second round pick  out of the University of Arkansas started impressing everyone in 2014 at Binghamton, where he hit .355 in 211 at bats. No, this wasn't Las Vegas. It was cold, damp Binghamton and the BA was .355.

He followed this with 267 more at-bats last season in Las Vegas, adding a AAA BA of 'a mere' .333.

This season, everything started out the same and Matt was hitting his usual .300+ pace, and then everybody but your Aunt Lucy seemed to be promoted to Queens to play a middle infield position. No one in the Mets organization went out of their way to offer any explanation why Reynolds continued to be passed over and you just know this would someday result in a mental letdown to his approach to this game.

He's hit at around a .250 pace over the last 10 games (.271 over the last 30 days) and comes in as of Thursday at a seasonal .284.

I've seen this before. We speak so much about how much the mental side of this game is important. I used to watch one of the great Mets minor league players, Josh Satin, go into a funk every time he was sent back to AAA after basically failing to impress anyone at the major league level.

In the case of Reynolds, it wouldn't surprise me if he just has given up a little at ever getting his first chance. He has to hear Gavin Cecchini (AA: .292) knocking at the door, followed by a long line of prospect-like shortstops in the system (Amed Rosario, Luis Guillorme, etc.). 

It's always sad to see when the path to success seems to be over. The Mets need to resolve this before Cecchini is denied a promotion to Las Vegas.

Maybe a call to one of the Japanese teams is in order.

You know, the more I watch catcher Kevin Plawecki fill in for Travis d'Arnaud, the more I realize that the Mets just may have the backup catcher/DH against AL teams player they are looking for. In addition, keeping him in Queens would be the perfect place to showcase him for any possible trade talks for his services.

It's obvious that the Mets could use him for, at least, one game a week. Maybe two. I know the team couldn't risk using him as a pinch hitter, but I still would rather him be around.

This is a team without much offensive depth. In addition, there's nothing in Las Vegas left for Plawecki to do. Keep him here in case d'Arnaud continues taking baseballs off his body.

Sources: insured Wright contract. Once he misses 60 days, team would recoup 75 percent of contract while he is unable to play.

This is interesting...

Now, you have to debate what would be in the best interest here. 

What happens if the doctors rule that Wright is unable to play professional baseball anymore and Wright decides to 'retire'. Does he still get the full package he signed with the Mets while, at the same time, the Mets can recoup 75% of future dollars through their insurance policy?

My understanding is that no monies are paid unless Wright refrains from all baseball activities for 60 consecutive days. I'm sure the last thing Sandy Alderson would care to do right now is answer a bunch of questions regarding the details of this, but they probably will all be asked by the time you read this.

Me? I just want my captain back at third base, playing next to my new superstar, Wilmer Flores.


That was pretty impressive.

And I'm not taking about the pitching.

Noah Syndergaard's 3-3 at the plate on Wednesday qualified, to me, an additional pinch hit bat on the bench.

The home run was legitimate... dead center. And his .444 seasonal batting average, no matter how small the sample is, still needs to be respected.

What I will find curious is if the Mets decide to bat Thor, instead of using a DH, when he comes up against his old team, Toronto, next month.

Still, this whole 6-man rotation is starting to make more sense to me in a season that is dominated with talented pitchers. Syndergaard, like deGrom and Harvey, have innings restrictions and pitching 3-4 less outings this season will only help them, and the team, in the long run.

The more one of these guys look impossible to trade, the easier it is to get to some day move one of the 'other guys' like Rafael Montero, Dillon Gee, or Jon Niese.

It seems to me that the Mets now have three A+ front end starters that are not for sale. Steven Matz could be the next one. And Zack Wheeler (remember him?) will be back mid 2016 to remind us of his claim.



Thomas Brennan said...

Morning, Mack.

Reynolds 0-4, 3 Ks last nite. He's got to snap out of it, and replace Tejada.

Wilmer may just turn into a superstar. Jeff Kent did, and nobody liked him As a Met.

What folks may forget about Thor is he never got to hit in games in minors. On one of the rare occasions he did, 3 weeks ago, he had the same offensive game as he did the other day: 400+ foot HR to dead center...400+ double...and lined single. He may be the best young hitter in the organization.

Good to see Mazzilli back. May he hit the ground running. Unfortunately, Jeff McNeil will have in LJ one more obstacle to promotion. Jeff has hit .395 with a .443 on base % and 7 for 7 in steals over the last 32 games for St Lucie.

Matz is hitting .350, too. Young stud arms that will be well above average hitting pitchers too.

Last, and it s/h/b first, Plawecki should stay up. We have the playoffs to shoot for, and Recker is a zero at the plate most of the time. Plawecki is a professional hitter who is also a better catcher than most bloggers anticipated. Maybe K Plaw over Recker wins us 2 or 3 more games than Recker, and we make playoffs by 1 game. I keep him.

Thomas Brennan said...

And I am a Brad Wieck advocate. Absolutely. Promote him next month to St Lucie, please.

Mack Ade said...

I will be leaving the Charleston VA hospital this morning and travelling home. Will be back on the blog around 2pm

Ernest Dove said...

Hey Thomas im a huge Jeff McNeil fan now.......for a couple reasons, after watching game last night.

Thomas Brennan said...

Great...look forward to your thoughts and observations on McNeil today, Ernest.

Anonymous said...

Disagree with you as far as Plawecki is concerned. He should be sent back to Vegas where he still has work to do. He should not be a backup in the ML for the Mets. His value will be better showcased if he is playing everyday.

Harvey, deGrom, Syndergaard, Matz, Wheeler is sweet indeed and I can't wait to get rid off headcase #1 Niese and usable back end starter Gee. Trade them for OF prospects. And as much as I enjoy watching Colon, I would trade him too because if the Mets are going with a 6 man rotation, Matz can be brough up or Montero can take that spot.

Christopher Soto said...


LF Michael Conforto has officially been promoted to AA Binghamton

Anonymous said...

According to WAR stats, there's almost no way in the world that a backup catcher can make the difference in 2-3 wins, at least not according to the SABR types who do that kind of analysis.

But more to the point, I'd send Plawecki down to AAA where he can get another couple of months of everyday playing time.

He'll be back. Or traded. But he'll development more down there, IMO. It would be a disservice to sit him on the bench at this moment in his career.

James Preller

Michael S. said...

Yep, about time.

Now, do we let him build comradery with Nimmo and Cecchini and move them together (relatively) as the other two are also performing well and should see AAA this summer. Or, does this pave the way for Nimmo to LV sooner than later?

Reese Kaplan said...

Anthony Recker does a disservice every time his name is penciled into the lineup. I'd rather see Monell who hasn't had time to prove his lack of worth unlike the older and more futile efforts of Mr. Recker.

ZachBoyer said...

I know this is a bit off-topic. But I wanted to ask something about Niese. Shouldn't his start Saturday be of some importance? If he turns in another stinker, that will be four bad starts in a row. But yet it never seems as though he's in jeopardy of losing his spot. He never bounces back from errors. And he seemingly is never able to hold a lead. Shouldn't there be some more urgency where Niese is concerned?

Michael S. said...

They'll let him pitch until the super2 passes. Then Matz will come up and Niese will be dealt.

ZachBoyer said...

Couldn't that be July, though? People talk about Gee a lot. Gee had two GREAT starts right before he went on the DL. Niese had been bad lately.

Mack Ade said...

Anonymous -

Re: Plawecki... yeah, I don't expect many of you to agree with me here.

Re: NIese - the problem with trading him is finding a General Manager that wants him

Mack Ade said...

Michael -

Re Nimmo and Conforto -

I don't see either one having anything to do with the other. Nimmo needs to first get back to 100%

Mack Ade said...

Zach -

It's my belief that Sandy and Company liked to sets their goals and stick to their plans for a specific amount of time.

The 6-man rotation of Harvey de-Grom Syndergaard, Colon, Gee, and Niese seems to be etched in stone at least through the all-star break (baring injuries). I can't see an opening for Matz even if one of these guys go down. That would mean they all would have to chance their routine again back to a 5-man rotation. You can't keep screwing around with young arms.

I'm afraid, in the case of Niese, you need to just root harder when he pitches and have your pen rested.

Thomas Brennan said...

James, don't know how they measure WAR, but if Recker were to start 25 games for the rest of the season and hit .170, while Plawecki hit a lower K .260 the rest of the way, I could x see the rally-extending effect of those extra hits perhaps changing a few losing games to wins.

Great on Conforto.

True on Niese. 16 earned runs in 3 starts covering 16 innings will reduce value. Still, he is only signed thru 2016. Whatever it took, if Niese continues to struggle, put Matz in his spot mid June. Then either DL. niese (because if he stinks, it is likely due to injury) or if necessary release him if the perception is he is turning into a lefty Sean Marcum. Don't let him pitch injured and capsize this season.

Of course, a healthy Niese is a solid major league starter. So was Sean Marcum. Once.

Thomas Brennan said...

Reese, pull some strings and get Akeel Morris promoted please :)

Anonymous said...

Thomas, I'm not big on measuring "wins" in general, and typically don't like the one sum statistics like WAR that people tend to quote. But in this case, you stated that KP was worth 2-3 more wins as a backup catcher than Recker.

For one, I don't think any backup catcher is worth 3 wins above replacement in MLB.

For another, Plawecki's OPS is .580; Reckers is .670. Recker has a higher OBP, a better SLG, and a stronger arm.

I don't think Recker is the better player, but it's hard to see that Plawecki as a sub is going to blow the guy out of the water, as you suggest.

Hobie said...

If Matt Reynolds becomes our Cal Ripken, I’ll be overjoyed. I’d settle for a Ron Hansen, or a Don Kessinger.

But if you’re talking about replacing Tejada as an INF UT, I just don’t understand why (besides the few of us here who occasionally take note) there is virtually no mention of TJ Rivera. It’s not like he just came out of nowhere for a 2-week binge.





Of course I due know why—he’s an undrafted free agent for which no ones reputation is at stake, And I don’t want to dump on Matt, butt his AA blast-off was rocket assisted by a .425 BABIP.

Mack's Mets © 2012