Ernest Dove - Talking Eric Young Jr and the Mets 40 Man Roster Options


  Hey, look who's back. Good old EY. In what seemed like a really quite move the Mets re-acquired the OBP base stealing EY JR to........well, possibly get on base and/or steal bases.

  After a previous stint on the Amazin's that included all kinds of social media arguments and hoopla (both online and within my own family) between those who wanted EY playing everyday, and those who wanted him barely playing at all, he is now back.  I am willing to admit that I myself was not a fan of EY Jr. playing everyday for the Mets, even though the team lacked a leadoff hitter.  I understood the need, and I understood his tendency at times to draw that important walk and add some spark to the entire team by running those bases.  But it just didn't seem right to have a player like EY play as an everyday left fielder on a major league roster.

  But 2015 is completely different.  And the role of EY Jr. can now truly be more defined and specific. He still is who he is.  In 77 major league at bats this year for the Atlanta Braves, he was hitting .169.  In 71 minor league games, EY has a .346 OBP and 24 stolen bases.  And after I remember a few rumblings and rumors out west about the Los Angeles Dodgers supposedly holding speed camps for their September run, the Mets themselves simply went back to the old well and brought up(back) some solid speed for the same reason.

  Its obviously been decided within the organization that Curtis Granderson is the leadoff hitter.  And he's been having a very solid bounce back year.  And he has even shown some flashes of speed at times throughout the year.  However, the stolen bases are still not coming in bunches with Grandy, or this entire team.  After showcasing speed close to this time last year, Juan Lagares is just showing to be himself in 2015, with his bat, his glove, or his quickness on the bases.  And for all the jokes about Murph pulling a Murph (ok, I'm one of them) I've also noticed that he is not stealing bases either.  Add in the guys like David Wright who I safely assume will not be testing pitchers by swiping many bags in September, and what this all means is that Mets can sure use that speed on the bench.

  We've had a little fun coming up with options, which include the curious case of actual 40 man roster spot having Wilfredo Tovar, and the outside the box thinking guy of St. Lucie struggling offensively outfielder Champ Stuart.  However, the Mets have continued to leave Tovar down on the farm the entire season, and with the additions of those major league hitters right before the deadline, the Mets now truly find themselves to no longer be in a position to cut too many guys of their current 40 man.  However, I can possibly try to put in my 2 cents on the subject and take a looksy at what's doin on that roster right now.

  For me, it seems a no brainer to have Eric Young Jr. on the roster come September.  Regardless of major league stats the fact remains that EY Jr. has been a major league player, has major league experience, and still has some major league speed. However, he is currently not on the 40 man roster.  So, where do the Mets start to go here?

  In no particular order, I've put together a list of pitchers and hitters on the 40 man roster who may contribute to the Mets playoff push, add a tool here or there to the roster during the stretch, and also possible some who may not be around for the ride.

Wilfredo Tovar

Mr. Tovar appears to be in a tough situation here. It seems like he's been on the 40 man roster forever, and yet during this entire season filled with injuries and poor defense the young man has yet to crack the 25 man during the 2015 season.  So perhaps its obviously all about the perception that he simply can't hit major league pitching.  Well, right now what if I told you that he was hitting .424 in his last 10 AAA level games?  Yup, its the PCL where everyone can seem to hit.  But that does still kinda sound impressive.  He also has just 40 strikeouts in 357 at bats at the level.  I've tried to play expert evaluator and insider with this guy to figure out the reasoning behind the long stay on the 40 man for the slick fielding shortstop.  I've come up with my own theories about possible need at the minor league level, especially in the crazy environment on Vegas, to have an above average fielder around.  I've also thought about the idea of Mets possibly just having him here in case of an emergency which would specifically involve the health of Ruben Tejada, who despite the improved play of Wilmer Flores is still far and away the only true legit shortstop the Mets have on their 25 man roster. But we are now heading onto September. Ruben has had a pretty darn solid year.  Wilmer has started to improve. And there may no longer be a need for Tovar on the 40 man roster much longer, especially when the Mets will finally have to make a decision also on a guy like Matt Reynolds going into the off season.

Dario Alvarez

Well, here comes Mr. low A ball to majors himself.  Yes, he was pretty much awe struck during that first go around in the majors, but things have looked a lot different for him at the next highest level throughout the 2015 season.  In his last 10 appearances out in the dreaded PCL, he's pitched 8 2/3 innings.  He's given up 4 hits and has 16 strikeouts. Nobody is obviously hitting him during this time but its still worth noting the .143 BA against that lefties have off him during this time.  And stats in AA level are even more ridiculous with lefties hitting at a .111 clip down there.  However, Dario only made a cameo appearance for the Mets this year despite all the issues with needing a LOOGY and he couldn't even find his way into a game.  Perhaps one way or another Dario will be on the Mets come September-ish (Go 51's playoffs).  The Mets will have the opportunity to utilize Dario as a true LOOGY and ONLY pitch him one batter at a time regardless of situation, bullpen guys already used, and game schedule the rest of the way.

Vic Black

Well, seems like the PTBNL in the old Marlon Byrd to Pirates trade (I think it was him not Dilson) has had a strange couple of years with the ball club.  He has seemed to continue to show what perhaps has always shown during his professional career.  An ability to throw very hard, but also very wild.  Vic of course has joined the huge laundry list of arms with injuries on the Mets this year.  But what we can't forget is that Vic has long since been cleared for play and is now officially just another minor league ball player.  He could have been called up weeks ago but he has not.  In his last 10 games for Vegas, he has pitched 7 2/3 innings. He's given up 10 hits, 9 walks and 9 strikeouts.  So here's my thoughts on this.  The Mets seem VERY pleased with what they see in Dilson Herrera and his future with the team.  The Mets have seen more and more guys come into their own at the major league level pitching wise, including Hansel Robles and Logan Verrett, and their may be more arms either on the way, up the ladder and/or needed to be protected on the 40 man this coming offseason.  So, does Vic Black and his potential still have a place on this team?  And if not, would you use the 40 man spot right now to fill a spot during this stretch run?

Erik Goeddel

I admit (again) that I was one of the nay sayers with regards to this young man.  I questioned the Mets decision from the very beginning to keep him on the 40 man while giving up Logan Verrett.  But hey, I admit I was wrong (and look we have Verrett again anyway).  the LIVE ARM of Goeddel definitely looked pretty darn solid in the bullpen for the Mets.  And he now appears to pretty much ready to be fully cleared and ready to go for major league action come September.  I have no problem with Goeddel keeping his spot and helping this team out for the run.

Akeel Morris

Speaking of Dario, I mean Akeel, here's a guy whose life as an A ball to major league did not work out well.  I'm sure we can argue all day about the decisions made by Terry Collins, which include having Akeel make his debut against the middle of the Toronto Blue Jays order.  But it is what it is.  The organization called him up.  And Terry found a time to bring him in to help the team, because he was officially a major leaguer and not there to take up space in the bullpen bench.  But the nightmare is now over.  And after seeming to carry over that struggle back in the minors, Akeel has looked great again lately, In his last 10 outings, spanning 15 innings, he's given up 7 hits and has 15 strikeouts. However he's remained at the AA level.  So, come September, do the Mets really think that he can now handle major league hitters, during a playoff stretch run, having still not gone against AAA guys?  Either way, I clearly don't see the Mets clearing his 40 man spot at this point.

Eric O'Flaherty

 Oh O'Flahery.  the last minute pick up LOOGY has well......done the opposite of what a LOOGY would do.  Everyone has seemed to hit this guy.  Righties, Lefties, Switch hitters regardless of their strong side/weak side.  It hasn't mattered.  However, from the very first day he started out in Marlins Park (I was at the game) he hasn't really been put into his actual role.  His first appearance he induced a flyout from the opposing lefty to end an inning.  There you go, he did his job.  However, the Mets, while blowing out the Marlins at the time (let's not go back what happened in the 9th of that 8-1 game at the time) decided to bring him back out to face more guys (yes a lefty) to start the next inning. Well anyway September is coming, and more pitching help is on the way.  I guess we now argue all day about whether or not a Dario Alvarez, or even another farm hand lefty named Smoker could help the team in this specific role.  But again we are talking about AA ball guys vs a major league pitcher.  For me, the jury is still out on O'Flaherty.  If he happens to be released before this article even posts then I wont be disappointed (other than having wasted a paragraph and a few seconds of your time reading it).

Carlos Torres

  Oh Carlos...if you look up the phrase 'rubber arm' there's a picture of Carlos in it.  The 'older' AAA prospect who made good as a Met not too long ago is now showing signs possibly of wear and tear.  Many a fan has asked for his head in the past couple of months.  So what should the Mets do when September roles around and spots to accommodate guys like EY Jr., Goeddel, possibly Vic Black and others come?  A healthy return of Steven Matz and the ongoing need (IMO) of Bartolo Colon to eat innings means that the value of Carlos may truly be diminished during the stretch run.  So, should the Mets continue leave him and his 25-40 man spot in tact?  I for one would not be too distraught if he was not around.  I still love him as a player, and appreciate what he's done for this team during bad times, but I'm not sure there's a place for him come 2016, and unless the Mets quietly try to release a guy like Colon right before the playoffs, im not sure what kind of role Carlos can play these last couple of months.

Johnny Monell / Anthony Recker

  Well, long story short, who stays, who goes prior to September 1?  I'm pretty good with Math, but not very good with MLB Math and needs at every position on a 40 man roster.  From what I gather, I don't hear a lot of arguments of those in favor of carrying 4 catchers on a 40 man roster.  Obviously the Mets are going strong with a primary catcher with a history of injuries, but they also now have a solid true hitting backup with Kevin Plawecki.  So again it comes down to Recker and Monell.  We can play the whole righty/lefty game.  We can play the veteran rookie game with these guys. We can argue the personal catcher thing between Recker and Colon.  We can also say that every time behind the backstop catching this pitching staff is another day of experience and knowledge that Recker has.  And that knowledge is extremely beneficial and vital.  I'm going with Recker, regardless of what happens with Colon going forward and into the playoffs.

Eric Campbell

  NO SOUP FOR YOU ?  What to do with the very versatile Campbell?  He can play a ton of positions in a pinch.  And he can, as a role player, come up with some big hits once in a while.  He no longer has to start....well......at all for the remainder of the season.  However, would you have him back come September and remain on the 40 man roster at the possible expense of somebody else?  With the additions of Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe, I'm just not sure there's a spot for Campbell on the 2015 Mets. So question is whether or not you risk exposing him to the waiver wire to free up a 40 man spot.  Well, does he make sense for the 2016 Mets?  Can he truly help the 2015 Mets?  For me, if a guy like Goeddel or EY Jr replace a guy like Campbell on the roster I will not shocked or disappointed. I do still consider Soup a major league caliber role player, and I hope he continues to earn a living playing the game of big league ball one way or the other.

Danny Muno

  well.......sigh.........Tom........sigh....... the good news is that Danny is still a switch hitter.  he also does have some speed and some pop........he also (despite the random playing time) did not really show much of any of his tools and ability at the major league level.  I guess I do feel like he might even be the first guy to lose his 40 man spot (unless Mets release O'Flaherty all together before that). I would wish Danny (and Tom) well.

Kirk and Darrell

Gotta lump them together.  One has more power.  They seem to have equal defensive ability.  One seems to spray the ball around more.  They both seem to look very overmatched at times vs major league pitching.  they are both lefties.  They can both of use to a team in September, but again its not about having the luxury of extra guys.  It's about a certain 40 man roster crunch and whether or not certain guys coming off non 40 man spots need to take the place of one or these guys.  In my humble opinion, as much as I love the scrappy Darrell, Kirk has hit some major bombs off of major league pitching.  And his streaks are of no concerns for a guy who will barely play anyway.  So, for me the edge goes to the guy who would more likely hit a rocket as a pinch hitter and possibly steal a game down the stretch for the Metsies.

I want sure whether to add him or not but I believe that prospect Gabriel Ynoa remains on the 40 man.  I certainly don't see him on the team participating come September, so it's more a question of his long term value on the team and willingness for team to expose him to waivers.  I'll just randomly state that Mets want him in the organization so perhaps his spot is secure.

Well, I guess that's it... .....you guys can please please please add any names like, come up with other thoughts, theories, ideas and strategies that might work.



Mack Ade said...

An excellent recap.

Thomas Brennan said...

I'm a fan of Dan the Man Mini, but yes, his 40 man spot is in jeopardy. Disagree on Ceciliani. He is on the rise in a break out year...we have seen Kirk, and I do not think he is my guy over DC. I could see Darrell being a good #3 or #4 OF. Decent power, 30 steal potential. Kirk is a #5 / AAAA.

If we could carry 3 catchers, as I've said before, I like Monell's lefty bat. His .346/.411/.507 in 247 AAA at bats is impressive. If he had enough ABs to qualify, he'd be first in batting average and 2nd in OBP in PCL.

Mack Ade said...

Ernest -

The medical staff here at Mack Met's continue to administrate to Tom's continued use of quoting PCL stats and all attempts of curing of him of this malady have failed.

Anonymous said...

I amazed how the Mets continue to recycle the same manure players while deserving youngsters like Cecciliani who also features plus speed get left behind.

Ernest Dove said...

And we all love Tom for it........

Anonymous said...

This is off topic, but I saw something on twitter earlier of something tweeting a screenshot of some tweets Nimmo favorited, one of which is saying "It'll be disgusting if Wally keeps starting EY over Nimmo" and another of which says "Bad news is that Wally is playing EY over Nimmo". So not trying to read too much into it but definitely seems Nimmo is in Wally's doghouse and he's starting to get sick of it.

Ernest Dove said...

God only knows whats happening out in Vegas. Wally seems to care less about 'rookies' than terry Collins.
Im in no way stating, for example, that Jayce Boyd is a top prospect, but he's been a solid consistent hitting to contact guy since he was drafted. He changes positions and now has been completely buried on the bench. Nimmo when playing bats 8th so he gets less ABs/experience. We ready know about the bullpen usage of guys ge trusts out there.

And regardless of outcome of cesar puello he was buried upon joining vegas last year even as a former 5 tool hotshot player.
But who knows.........
Id bat Nimmo 2nd every game he was there this year

Anonymous said...

I also read this on Amazin Ave earlier about someone who went to a Vegas game the other day

"Brandon Nimmo: What the hell is Darrell Ceciliani doing as DH with Taijeron in the OF and Nimmo on the bench against a mediocre RHer? I guess I understand playing Kirk and EY, but DC1 at DH is just inexcusable. Nimmo actually looked like he was sulking a bit in the dugout, pacing a lot and not interacting with his teammates much, and he gave Wally a wide berth the entire game. Maybe he’s hurt and probably I’m reading way too much into what I saw, but he seemed to be moving around just fine and was in uniform looking ready to play. It sure seemed like he’s in the Wallyhouse."

The whole "sulking" and "not interacting with teammates" parts seem to be really out of character for Nimmo. At least from i've seen with how he interacted with guys in AA, and his friendship with guys like Conforto, Cecchini and Herrera he must be really unhappy with the situation in AAA right now.

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