Mike and Jill asked -
Hey Mack, long time and no talk.......I need less work and more baseball in my life! I hope all is well with you.
A few days ago, I had an idea and I wanted to run it by you for your thoughts and perhaps give you a topic for a post.
In the likely event that the Mets extend Lucas Duda's contract, first base will be locked up for the foreseeable future (five years or more). Couple that with the likely loss of David Wright for an extended period (maybe for good) and that creates a new opportunity for Dominic Smith!
Smith is still very young, he is known for his great defense at first base (not that much different from a fielding perspective and reaction time when you compare that to third base) and could be taught to make the throw across the diamond. He is also a couple of years away, so he has time to transition.
His offense (high average, gap power, maybe more) would play better at third and our system is devoid of talent at third base in the middle and upper levels.
What do you think?
Mack – Mike/Jill, I tell you, it’s hard to formulate a plan with this team when players keep dropping like flies. In one day today (I wrote this awhile back), we’ve learned David Wright is a lot further away that even Sandy Alderson knew (he was visibly shaken with the news), then Vic Black goes to pitch rehab in Vegas and stinks up the place, followed by Daniel Murphy going out of the game with a quad strain that will shut him down 2-4 week.
It’s been a tough day in Mets-land.
Regarding Duda and Dom… here’s my first spin. Let’s hope the Mets didn’t screw this up by not finalizing the extension before the 2015 season starts.
Quick story… I’m managing sports at WIP-AM in Philadelphia and Villanova basketball coach Rollie Massamino wants to finalize a renewal for his weekly post game show that airs on our radio show. We had paid him in the past $50 per show and he was holding out for $75. On my side was the fact that the NCAA Final Four was starting that week and he needed to get on the road to play in a 16 seed entry, the lowest in the tourney. I laughed at Rollie and said to go out there and do his best and if comes home with the title we’ll work out a deal to his liking. If not, we’ll renew for two years at $60 a show. He agreed and hit the road… in 1985… the year they wound winning the whole thing.
Massamino never did return any of telephone calls after that and I eventually was transferred to WNEW-AM in New York City.
You sometimes get only one chance to get something done and, if you don’t capitalize on it, no one will ever give you credit for the hard work you had done. I could have had the coach of the NCAA winner under contract for $60/week if I did my job correctly.
As for Smith, let him enjoy the success he’s having at the A+ level. I don’t see a Duda-Smith issue until 2018.
Frank asked –
Mack, have you heard anything about the progress of Zack Wheeler and what was his ETA to return?
Mack – Hey Frank. No, I haven’t and that’s normal for the Mets. They just don’t talk about things like this. I assume he is not working out in the St. Lucie camp because, if he was, someone like Adam Rubin would be writing about it.
Regarding Wheeler’s ETA, I believe it was July 2016.
Michael asks -
Thanks for the replies Mack, I hope you're feeling alright. If Becerra can keep progressing that Dickey trade will go down as one of the most lopsided in history and could be Alderson's masterpiece.
We can't really shift Gavin to the OF and his bat is really coming around. I was hoping a move to 3B might be easier on him. I like Flores but Cecchini seems like the more well-rounded player.
1B Duda, 2B Herrera, SS Rosario, 3B Cecchini
Mack – Beccera is starting to really look like a future major league outfield. He also won’t turn 21 until after this season.
He’s already showing the kind of power in the ‘Sally’ League which is rare to find… tied for 7th in home runs and 2nd in slugging percentage.
I can’t see him finishing this season in Savannah. The Mets have so few potential star prospect outfielders in their system (especially with Brandon Nimmo always falling on the disabled list). My guess is he will end the season in St. Lucie, hit around 15 total home runs for the season, and probably start off 2016 in Binghamton at 21-years old.
Michael also asked –
Do you remember in 2004 when Wright started out on fire in AA and was in the majors to stay by the end of the year? I'm getting that feeling about Conforto this year.
Mack – I do remember that. I think Wright batted either 6th or 7th that first game.
I’ve said this before… I think a lot of Conforto’s chances of becoming a Met this season are based on whether the team continues to compete for a playoff spot and if one of their current starters go on the disabled list.
Still, my guess is he’ at least a year away.