Mack’s Morning Report – 6-20-15 - Q and A


Good morning.

Jason asked –

          Mack, I look over this 25-man roster and, frankly, I just don’t see a slot for any new full time bat this season. Do you agree?

Mack –
          You have an interesting point, Jason.

          The Mets are committed to 1B Lucas Duda, SS Wilmer Flores, C Travis d’Arnaud, and CF Juan Lagares long term.

          The Mets also have long term contract commitments to LF Michael Cuddyer and RF Curtis Granderson.

          Lastly, Dilson Herrera is your future second baseman, Daniel Murphy is the best bat you have and will play third until your Captain, David Wright comes back.

          I see what you mean.

          Frankly, I expect the next move the Mets do is activate Murphy. Past that, the only move could be dipping in to a rental power bat to add to the mix.

Conrad asks -

Mack, a few days ago my alter ego posted a comment hypothesizing a Wilmer/Dilson duo continuing to be steady, clutch & sporadically spectacular and a Murphy picking up where we saw him in the last episode… and Wright returns.  WWJD?
You commented: “Like all teams, the stars go first.

 Both Wright and Murphy will slot back in at 3B and 2B.”

My left brain tends to agree.  My right, however, has something else in mind.  Would like your take, perhaps as one of your Q/A columns.

 Play David in RF (LF if you must—David might be more comfortable on his normal side of the diamond—but I prefer his arm to Grandy or Cuddyer’s in RF).  He plays 8/10 games.

 Yeah, I know, that’s a pricey platoon in LF, but the economics in $$/RC might pay-off.  Cuddy plays 6/10, 3B(1), 1B(1) & LF(4), likewise Grandy 6/10 in LF.

 Ceciliani is a late inning def replacement & starts 3/10: CF(1), RF(2)

 Tejada also starts 2-3/10;  SS(1-2), 2B(1-2)

 Flores & Herrera play 17/20, Murph, Duda & Lagares play 9/10.

 I like Johnny M. as LHB back-up C, but that’s just me.

The net difference between left & right-brain squads for August & September is one has Dilson in AAA the other has DFA’d Mayberry.

Mack – Thank you for the question Hobie… I think

I think I can answer all this with one simple answer. In my humble opinion, there is no way the Mets are going to introduce a new position to David Wright in the middle of a season he’s trying to cope with a genetic decease that is, at best, going to hinder his ability to give it 100%.

Daniel Murphy comes off the DL on Tuesday and will slot in at third base. Herrera will remain at second and Tejada will back the both of them up. Past that, the only role left to fill on this team (other than Steven Matz and one more quality relief pitcher) is a quality bat off the bench for pinch hitting and DH roles against the remaining games against American League teams.

No one in the Mets organization is going to tell you this at this point, but this just might be the best you’re getting this year from Wright.

Needless to say, Matz will come up and the offense will continue to be more singles and gap related. Wright will have to have a lengthy rehab in Florida, first with St. Lucie, but don’t expect any experimentation at this point in his questionable future.

John asked - 

Mack, do we have anyone in the system, past Steven Matz, that looks like a sure bet for a rotation pitcher?

Mack - Thanks for the question, John.

Before we answer that, let's remember that Matt Harvey is scheduled to become a free agent in 2019, Zack Wheeler in 2020, and Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, and Rafael Montero are scheduled past that. 

Barring multiple injuries, the team seems set through the rest of this decade.

Past that, things are in 'developmental' stages. No one screams off the pages right now, but there are some pitchers showing signs of life... guys like Michael Fulmer and Robert Gsselman in Binghamton. Rob Whalen in St. Lucie. And Casey Meisner in Savannah. 

My guess is Meisner will develop into a front line starter for somebody someday.


beelzebot to me - 

Hey Mack,

It's impressive what Beccera is doing as a 20 year old, but I think it is more impressive that he is doing it in Savannah.  That place has an awful reputation for hitters over the years.

People are starting to buzz about Lagares surgery, just as he is starting to hit.  To me it seemed like he was finally feeling better, watching him it seemed like that.  Maybe he's not, who knows.  Watching him in April and now, there is definitely a difference.  People love to talk and speculate without ever really knowing how much pain a player is in or is not in, without being his best buddy or wife you'll probably never really know.

I'm a computer science guy so baseball stats always attract me.  But, I think one thing nerds consistently miss out on is a human element.  I see a lot of people saying to trade Colon for whatever they can get.  Sure, always go after the best piece you can, I'm 100% on board with that.  I watch a lot of games and Colon is always in the dugout talking.  There are things stats cannot measure, so if you are not getting anything worthwhile in return, I do not believe in making moves just for the sake of making a move.  My point is sometimes nerds want to move players without considering what that player may be teaching or doing in the clubhouse that you do not see on the field.  There are young guys in the rotation, maybe they need someone like Colon to be around as a mentor.  

As always, feel better!  And keep writing!

Mack - Hey Beelze...

As you know, I live 30 miles from Grayson Stadium and covered it as a sports reporter since 2011.

The average Mets fan have heard what a graveyard it is, but you have no idea how this year's heat has even made it worse. We have been under a heat advisory from 11am-7pm for 12 straight days and it is expected this will continue for, at least, two more weeks.

Through all this, the Mets still make these kids hit the field by 2pm and go through a full routine of practice, running cones, etc. Through all this, Beccera has only improved his game. You have to take this guy serious as a possibe corner outfieler in 2018.

I know Juan Lagares. No one wants to play this game more than he does, but no longer can turn his back to this injury. He, and the Mets, are going to have to deal with it. 

My guess he will remain in the lineup as long as the team is in a pennant race.

Past that, it's under a knife with a projected return of around June 2016.

As for Colon, he gives up a lot of runs, but he wins more games than he loses. Is that because the team plays better with him on the mound? I don't know, but I don't think there's much of a market out there for him. I see him finishing this season as the 5th starter and, if the team makes the playoff, he will go to the bullpen as the long man.

Michael Scannell asks - 

1 - Michael Fulmer seems to be back on track.  With no room in the rotation and with scouting reports saying he'd be best suited for a relief role, if he has a future in NY it will likely be in the pen.  Does he profile as a middle reliever or can he become a late inning power arm?

2 - Hypothetically (this gets a little crazy, I know), if the Marlins are going to blow it up and they make Stanton available would you make the following deal for him in the offseason?:

NYM: Stanton, filler
MIA: Flores, Plawecki, Herrera, Smith, Becerra, Montero, lower level pitching  prospect (high boom/bust)


The initial reaction is that the Marlins would want a top pitcher for him but I would approach it from this angle instead.  They already have some young high ceiling pitching and can trade Yelich to add pitching.  What they can't do is deal anyone besides Stanton to bring in a haul like this to fill 5 out of their 8 positional spots as well as arm talent in Montero and the unnamed pitcher.  They get:

- Flores - potential 30 HR/90RBI SS or 3B
- Plawecki - top catching prospect
- Herrera - potential AS 2B
- Smith - potential AS 1B
- Becerra - potential power corner OF
- Montero - starter or reliever
- Pitching lottery ticket

Harvey and deGrom are going nowhere.  Wheeler is too much of an unknown with his TJS.  That leaves Thor and Matz.  They'll ask for one or both.  This would be my counter.  We're not giving either up but we'll give you a starting lineup.

This is a quantity vs quality decision because all the players the Mets would be giving up are quality pieces...they're just not ace pitchers.  With Cosart, Fernandez, and the younger arms on the way, the Marlins don't 'have' to get a pitcher from a Stanton deal.

The Mets would be taking a hit here as all the players dealt have high upside.  But, we're going to need a new franchise face and we can fill in what we need to.  You could see a lineup from 2-6 that features:

SS - Cecchini
LF - Conforto
RF - Stanton
1B - Duda
Ca - d'Arnaud

If need be, Murphy can stay, hit 7th and play 3B.  At that point, it wouldn't hurt to have LJ Maz play 2B and hit 8th as the rest of the lineup would be so dangerous.  Hell, Tejada could go back to 2B if he's the 8th hitter and we'd be fine.

Mack - Hey Michael... 

Fuller will come of age during a period in which the Mets really won't need a starter. I think he's still far from either being projected as a star or as a major chip in a trade, because of his injury history so far.

That being said, you asked the question... I see no problem with the trade you proposed for Stanton. I get to keep my top pitchers and I wouldn't lose either Nimmo or Conforto as prospects.

I think Miami might not be a seller this year. No one is eating up this division and their young pitching could make them a contender after the all-star break.

My Stanton will end his career in Miami.


Thomas Brennan said...

Hey Mack

I started sweating just reading about your heat alerts.

One other prospect pitcher to consider: in 9 AA starts, covering 56 innings, just 39 hits, 10 walks, 44 K's. ERA 1.44. Who?

Luis Cessa.

Yep, he has 2 bad starts besides the good ones that I did not count in those #s, but I like to toss out the outliers when looking at a guy.

He has to have passed Gabe Ynoa (who Collins just the other day mentioned when talking about the org's good young pitching, despite a very troublesome 2015 so far - does Collins pay attention?)

I would love the Stanton deal as presented...but teams rarely do quantity for extreme quality deals,unless you are the Mets trading Tom Terrific.

Boy, I jumped on the Cecchini bandwagon when he was smoking hot. But after a huge game on June 5, he has gone 4 for 43, and in the past two years, covering 168 starts , he has a staggering 43 errors at SS. Wilmer Flores in majors and minors at SS in 2014 and 2015? "Only" 22 errors in 143 starts. So Cecchini, in terms of errors, is much worse - and we hate Willie Flo at SS now. Fields like that, Gavin will never make it.

Ernest Dove said...

How much longer to hang our hats on this 'first place' team? Its only June. Cant live off that 11 game win streak forever.

Dallas said...

We all know about last nights debacle made up in the 8th where a combo of Tejada, Flores, Collins threw away the brilliantly pitched game by DeGrom.

The Mets flashed up that DeGrom leads the majors in ERA since June 19 of last year! DeGrom isnt in the top 5 of ERA this year but he really should be. He has had to make so many additional outs that arent factored into his ERA and he has been pre-maturally pulled by Collins a few times where the bullpen has immediately served up the base runners. For some reason that is beyond my comprehension they didnt give Flores an error on the play in the 8th and charged the run to DeGrom.

Mack Ade said...

To all -

I turned the game off the second the 2 runs were given up and abandoned my minor league report as well. Thankfully,Tom picked me up on that one and finished it.

Hopefully, I'll bounce back but I'm having real problems focusing on this team right now.

Ernest Dove said...

I hear ya Mack. ...... too much nonsense.
Even watching game on sny broadcast, even our guys (for example) are shocked whenever a runner doesn't take the easy extra base whenever ball goes to Grandy in right.
Its also at a point where literally every hard grounder that goes 'past a diving flores' comes with same question: would most other SS have gotten to that ball for an easy put out.
And tejada has great hands but he's not a 3B.

Thomas Brennan said...

That guy for Braves got torched in his last AAA start. We make him look like Greg Maddux. Sickening.

Mack Ade said...

Ernest -

I've said it for years... Flores is too slow to complete the play. He looks good most of the time out there but other professional shortstops like Simmons would make 95% of these plays.

Ernie, I don't see anyone to lead this team out of this fog right now. If your manager is going to pull the ace of the squad while he's still pitching a shutout, what does that say?

No one seems to have the ability to pick up a bat and tie up a game.

Where the hell is Duda?

I don't know... my 'Random Thoughts' piece is done for tomorrow (without any of this drama) and scheduled... I make take a few days off to concentrate on my health (had a 43 low blood sugar around 10pm last night that became a little bit of a crisis).

I'm losing my focus on this team, folks. I'm sorry.

Anonymous said...

I don't presume to have all the answers, but a good place to start would be FIRING TERRY COLLINS' ASS! (actually his entire body). Take away the hot start to the year and we are the same mediocre team.......nothing has changed under his so called leadership.

This team needs a kick in the pants and a new direction........Mike

Reese Kaplan said...

The shrewd A.J. Preller, GM of the San Diego Padres, just fired his long time manager (with a winning record), Bud Black, to promote from within his AAA manager Pat Murphy, formerly of my adopted hometown El Paso Chihuahuas. Hmmn...the precedent has been set for a path to follow...

Thomas Brennan said...

Feel better, Mack. Low blood sugar, high blood pressure...the result of rooting for the NY Anemics

Thomas Brennan said...

Hey Mack, you asked where Duda is. Someone just saw him wander into Ralph Cramden's apartment, saying " LULU, LULU!". Seems to be sleepwalking a lot lately.

Mack Ade said...

Thank you, Tom.

I have the shell of the minors report done and it is scheduled on the site.

The daughter and grandkids are coming over for a Father's Day dinner at 6pm and I'll look in at it after they leave

Mack Ade said...

Mike -

none of this is working for me right now...

the players don't seem to be major league quality...

the lack of defense is unspeakable...

and the day to day management is simply horrible...

This is a 3rd place team that just happened to have an 11 game winning streak at the beginning of the season... nothing more

and, no matter how many names Thomas throws out at you from the system, there is no one down there that's ready to help this situation this year.

Only the Red Sox may have more wasted salary that this team

ZachBoyer said...

Mack, do you even root for the Mets?

LOL hypocrite …

bob gregory said...

Here's a thought.
Andre Ethier.

Provides cf insurance and possible help in lead off spot.

Still might be able to have Dodgers cover some salary (less so than before season started)

Mack Ade said...

Zach -

I understand your concern.

The answer is a little complex.

Yes, I have rooted for the Mets since they were formed in 1962, but, I also consider myself a sportswriter who 'covers' the Mets (which I actually did for Morris News Service from 2011-2014).

The death of a sportswriter is to write like a fan. Instead, you must construct what you write as a professional and offer fact as well as opinion based on what you see in front of you.

Is Reese Kaplan a fan of the Mets? Of course he is, but he's not a fan of Terry Collins.

I use my posts as an opportunity to be quite neutral. Tommorrow's 'Randon Thoughts are like that (other than my thoughts on the un-professional premature removal of Dillon Gee's number)

In comments, I have an opportunity to 'air it out' with the rest of you.

Does all this make me a hypocrite? I don't think so, but what I do know is that I would never ask you or anyone else on this site such an insensitive question.

Mack Ade said...

Bob -

Also... there's a whole team of under-achievers with bad contracts on the Red Sox.

I don't think the Mets are going to add another big contract to help solve 2015's problems.

Yes, I believe they would trade a bad contract for another one... Granderson for Ethier works for me... but I don't think anyone wants Grandy anymore.

I don't have the answer for 2015.

Mack Ade said...

To all -

I've gone way over the top here today.

Look, I had a bad night, my blood sugar is out of control, and I'm in terrible pain. And, it's all coming out in today's writing about a team I truly love and care about.

I'm going to close the computer now.

See you all next Friday.



Thomas Brennan said...

And happy Father's/Grandfather's Day, Mack, as well as any other readers to whom it applies.

Michael S. said...

Feel better Mack!

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