Gary asks - Morning Mack, Quick question about forgetting another bat and instead going after either Kimbral or Chapman for Wheeler +. With Travis's return and maybe Wright at some point along with Matz and Blevins by the end of August the addition of one of those two relievers would give us a killer bullpen to go with our awesome rotation. Your thoughts, Thanks.
Mack – Morning Gary.
Gary, the trading deadline will be over by the time you read my response. In addition, I am preparing this answer while watching the game on Thursday, so what I write here is just a guess at this point.
I think the events in Milwaukee may put the kibash on any other deals being consummated with Sandy Alderson this week. (it didn't...) No one appreciates it when their dirty laundry is written about in newspapers and teams may stay away from SA until after the season is over.
For now, I consider the return of Travis d’Arnaud as good as a trade deadline acquisition. My hopes are that Kevin Plawecki remains on the 25-man squad and catches at least two times a week, keeping the odds of d’Arnaud getting injured again reduced for the remainder of the season.
As for Wright, Matz, and Blevins… sorry Gary. I’ll believe it about these guys when I see them in the lineup.
Harry asked –
Mack, the Mets have a need for a spot starter coming up soon. Any idea who it will be?
Mack – Well, it won’t be Zack Wheeler!
Also, don’t look for Steven Matz to be back by them either.
My guess at this point is Logan Verrett who is being stretched back out in Las Vegas. You will probably see him back in the 51’s rotation in the next few days.
Arnie asks –
Hey Mack, I would appreciate your take on the current Mets bullpen.
Mack – Thanks for the question, Arnie.
I was starting to feel that the Mets pen was rounding out when Tyler Clippard came aboard, but then Jenrry Mejia pushed the stupid button again and the team is still looking for a strong 7-8-9th inning combo.
Bobby Parnell is just not looking like the old Parnell, Hansel Robles does nothing for me, and the Torres boys are underwhelming at best.
I still have hope that Vic Black will come back strong, but the pen may not improve until the playoffs when Jon Niese and Bartolo Colon could join in.
Reese asks -
Who are some of the names that might move during August waiver deals? (Marlon Byrd would be one I'd suspect)
Mack – Byrd sounds like a good candidate though I’m not sure the Mets will be interested in obtaining another outfielder right now. Past him, I don’t have any thoughts on anyone else right now.
If the Mets get d'Arnaud back this weekend and Wright in time for Labor Day, is that enough offense if they fail to acquire another bat?
Mack – Well, things have sure changed since you emailed me this question. We have d’Arnaud back and Cespedes is the left fielder of choice. In one day this lineup has changed tremendously and, frankly, I think there’s plenty of offense, coupled with their ace young starters, to beat Washington in the division.
As for Wright, I continue to not count that chicken until he leaves the nest.
What becomes of shortstop next year? Do they jump Cecchini? Look to the outside? Revisit Flores? Hand the glove to Tejada once again?
Mack – As I understand, the Mets have fell back in love with Tejada so all bets are off here. Remember… the one thing you want from your shortstop is impeccable middle infield defense and Tejada has been churning that out lately.
Cecchini has been hitting, but we’ve learned before that hitting .300+ in the minors doesn’t always translate at the major league level. He also is a highly questionable defensive shortstop. Some even rate him behind Wilmer Flores in this area.
I will say this… someone has to make room for the Mets top shortstop prospect, Amed Rosario, to move up next year to AA. Things could get quite crowded down there.
Going into 2016 the Mets may have Lagares on the shelf, Murphy gone and Wright a big unknown. Right now you can pencil in Duda, Granderson and d'Arnaud for certain. That leaves the middle infield and 3B once again in flux as well as CF and LF. How do you fill all those holes?
Mack – My second baseman would be Dilson Herrera, I would return Ruben Tejada to short, and Michael Conforto to left field.
If Wright can’t come back, the Mets will have to turn to the FA/trade market during the off-season to fill in both that position and a fill-in centerfielder until Lagares can return. I just don’t see Kirk Nieuwenhuis being the right fit here.
Michael Cuddyer would be a very expensive 4th outfielder on my team.
(Doesn’t seem like a very strong lineup, does this?)
With the Mejia suspension does that increase the likelihood of Bobby Parnell returning to the team with a $4 million+ paycheck?
Mack – Tough question to answer. On the surface, it looks like the Mets should take a pass here, but the pen is turning out to look like a growing concern. I don’t expect Jenrry Mejia to be back and this might be a position needs to target in the off-season to secure some help.
As me this question again after the season ends.