Mack’s Morning Report – 8-10-15 – Noah Syndergaard, Michael Cuddyer, Travis d’Arnaud, Gavin Cecchini


Good morning.

I found Sandy Alderson's Sunday post game comments very interesting.

He said that he was putting development on the back burner for the rest of the season and the Mets were going to have the best 25 men on their squad until the rosters can increase in September.

Michael Cuddyer is expected to be activated later today and everybody expected for Michael Conforto to be sent back down to Las Vegas, but that could all change after Alderson's statement. Frankly, it would be hard to find anyone that thinks that Eric Campbell is a better player than Conforto. 

My guess is Conforto will not survive the next promotion that looks to be David Wright

Al Jackson http://nypost.com/2015/08/09/the-mets-have-to-learn-lessons-a-computer-cant-teach-them/ on Noah Syndergaard and the rest of the young Mets fireballers:

“See all these young guys. They put more into it, when they should be putting less into it and hitting their spots. That’s more important than an extra mile or two on the radar gun.’’

Mack – Good point made by the highly respected Jackson. I’m sure Thor will continue to work his game around his blazing fastball, but if he can work it to the corners of the strike zone, his success rate will vastly increase, even higher than his recent great string of games.
I’m going to write off his last game and Jacob deGrom’s pitch count trouble in his past two starts as an aberration.

It was interesting to see that the Mets decided not to play (or activate) Michael Cuddyer for Sunday’s game. It could be nothing more than a day game/travel before his last game in St. Lucie. Or the Mets may still be just trying to figure out who the five outfielders should be that they carry next week. Lastly, there could be the Juan Lagares factor and the Mets might be talking to him.

I have a funny feeling I will have more on this before this post goes up.

I agree 100% with Michael Baron’s http://justmets.mlblogs.com/2015/08/09/travis-darnaud-has-been-sluggish-in-his-latest-return-from-the-disabled-list/ assessment of Travis d’Arnaud’s game since returning from the disabled list:

That infrequent play has showed over the last nine days. At times, he’s shown those quick hands and ability to turn on the ball, but for the most part d’Arnaud is off to a sluggish start since coming off the disabled list, going 4-for-23 with seven strikeouts in six games.

His swing looks a little long, which is causing him to miss hittable pitches in the strike zone. It’s simply a consequence of not playing very much this season, and a matter of d’Arnaud finding his timing at the plate. In a way, he’s going through what really is a third spring training in a year, as he’s still building his stamina and strength back up to full season capacity.

I was counting on d’Arnaud of becoming one of the feared members of the middle lineup but that just hasn’t happened yet.

Baron’s suggesting that the Mets should consider sending him to the Instruction League to try to find another position he could play. I have very seldom seen things like this work.

For now, we may just have to wait this out and let Kevin Plawecki spell him when needed.

In the Wild Card race, Pittsburgh owns the first slot with a 64-44 record. San Francisco had their clock cleaned this past week and are now tied (59-52) with the Mets. And the Chicago Cubs, who went 9-1 in the past 10 games are 62-48,  four games in the loss column ahead of the Mets.

The Mets play seven games at home next week… four against the Colorado Rockies (46-62) and three against the Pittsburgh Pirates (64-44).

"I'm a shortstop, there's no doubt about it. I'm going to stick at shortstop. I'll play shortstop in the big leagues for someone. I want it to be the New York Mets because this is the team I got drafted by, but at the end of the day I know this is a business. There's no doubt in my mind that I'm going to stick at shortstop. I'll help a team win a championship playing at shortstop."
          Mack – What can I say? He said all the right things. You have to assume that he will play in Las Vegas next year (what do they do with Reynolds?) and his projected year as a major leaguer probably isn’t until 2017. Maybe by then the Mets will figure out who is going to be their long time shortstop.
          Me? I still happen to think that the Mets need to take a long look at free agent Ian Desmond. He will be coming off a very bad year, especially (early on) defensively) and could probably be signed for a lot less than the $11mil the Nationals paid him this year. Trea Turner will be the Nats long term shortstop so there is no chance they will resign him.

I would sign him for two years and then turn the position over to Amed Rosario.


Anonymous said...

The Mets are facing a bunch of left handed pitching. My guess is Cuddyer will start these games. They might want to rest him. When better to do that then when facing a right handed pitcher. Who do you want to fill in for Cuddyer when facing a right handed pitcher? Conforto or Campbell. I would go with Conforto. Three weeks of coming off the bench at the MLB level vs 3 weeks of regular at bats in Vega is not going to hurt his development.
I don't know when to expect Wright. It is not like he is coming back from a short DL stint. He basically needs a full spring training type of program. It wouldn't surprise me if he doesn't come back until September but it could be in a week.
Richard Jones

Mack Ade said...

Richard -

Well, as I've said before, I will truly believe in the return of Wright when I see him at third base

Thomas Brennan said...

Conforto over Campbell is my vote.

Let's sweep the Rocks at home. Boot them back to Colorado after a 4 game sweep with a Rockettes kick.

Conforto swung thru some tight 95 + heaters...welcome to the bigs, where almost every pitcher is better than the best in AA...by a whole lot.

Gavin Cecchini is .314/.445 despite a .208 June swoon. Hitting .373 since June 1. Has 25 errors, but none lately. No errors last 10 games, just 2 in his past 21 games.

If he fixes the fielding, and he seems confident that he can remain at short stop, then he has to be considered in the mix for the shortstop position by late 2016. That is some emerging bat. Still just 21.

Thomas Brennan said...

Correction: Gavin is .373 since July 1.

Joe D. said...

Just wanted to stop by and say hello. Hope everything is well with you Mack and that you're enjoying the season so far. It's great to be playing meaningful games again especially this late in the year. LGM

Bob Sugar said...

Strong report this morning. Gavin's our next SS. Like his confidence. Interesting how Reynolds never got a sniff of the big club this year.

Mack Ade said...

Hey Joe -

It has been a long time since we talked playoffs, hasn't it?

Mack Ade said...

Sugar -

I keep saying that the experts down in St.Lucie know a lot more about these players than we do.

Somehow, they never projected Reynolds to get out of AAA and now they seem right.

I will be interesting what they do with him in 2016.

Lew Rhodes said...

Mack - I don't think that is totally fair to Reynolds - he missed the May call up because when the Mets needed someone he was in his only slump of the year.

Then later when the Mets needed someone, he had a bad elbow - he spent a few weeks just DH'ing and then went on the DL -- without that injury I think he would have gotten a shot.

Plus, what I recall hearing is not that he isn't going to make it in the MLB - it is that he isn't an everyday SS at the ML level and his likely outcome is as a utility player - given the way he hit in ST and at AAA this way, I think that is likely still the case.

Ernest Dove said...

I assume Mets are in no hurry to promote cecchini to the bigs. Team already has Plawecki, conforto and Dilson finding their roles here. Theres only so many inexperienced players you can have on team at the same time IMO. plus Nimmo is at AAA level now.

Lew Rhodes said...

As for Cecchini - I think this kid is the real deal - glad he is getting his defense straight - he has always been a hitter - he was victimized by criminally low BABIP the past couple of years - but he had a .149 ISO in Savannah - that's legit power for a SS.

Also, he is still only 21 -- 4 years younger than the average AA player - I am not ready to give up on him just yet.

Maybe is works this way - he takes over short for 2-3 seasons but fills out and develops more power and moves to 3b to take over for Wright - and Rosario becomes the everyday SS.

And to put things in perspective:

Cecchini as a 20 year old in 68 St Lucie Games - .236/.325/.352 - .677 OPS with a ridiculously unlucky (especially for the minors) .259 BABIP

Rosario as a 19 year old in 84 St Lucie games - .263/.306.350 - .656 OPS with a average .323 BABIP

So, Cecchini showed better plate discipline and power than Rosario in A+ ball (yes Rosario outhit Cecchini in Brooklyn but again his BABIP was 25 points higher)

Yes, Gavin was a year older, and that makes some difference, but not drastic of a difference.

This is offense only - I know Rosario is a much better defender, but Cecchini's bat may end up as better than Rosario's - they are at least a lot closer than I think some people realize.

Mack Ade said...

Lew -

Excuse me if this sounds harsh, but you're starting to equate minor league stats into the majors. It doesn't work that way.

You know me. I love prospects. But I will always go first with someone that has already proved themselves at the major league level.

I still believe the Mets should look outside their organization for a SS.

Kevin S said...


I agree that taking a run on Desmond on a 1-year deal would make a lot of sense. If I were him, I wouldn't sign anything longer than that. Out of the current playoff teams. The Mets and Cubs would have the biggest needs as SS. The Cubs has 10 internal options but could easily make a 1 year play for Desmond.

I'm really just hoping that free agents are excited about possibly coming to Queens to play alongside this pitching staff.

Mack Ade said...

Kevin -

That's the way the plan is supposed to work

Thomas Brennan said...

One year for Desmond gets my vote. Get Cecchini some more grooming, and if there is a need next year, say in June, I think he'd be ready.

Michael S. said...

Nimmo over 11 games since promotion - .324/.415/.441/.856

Mack Ade said...

Thomas -

Desmond's agent would probably go for one year so he could redeem his career as a Met.

It would also give Rosario a full year at AA-Binghamton and we'd get a better comparison with him and Cecchini in Vegas

Mack Ade said...

Michael -

Another bat that doesn't hit homers.

What do we do with Nimmo in 2016?

Thomas Brennan said...

Mack, I agree. By opening day 2017 Cecchini could be our 3B (add some more power) and Amed At SS.

Michael S. said...

Mack - I've always thought of Nimmo as a 1/2 hitter who will top out at 10-12 HR but have decent BA and high OBP.

I'd start him at AAA again in 2016 and promote (if earned) to be a backup OF for the rest of the year. Long-term we're going to need a Grandy replacement and I'd love to get out from under that contract a year early to pay our pitching.

Cody Pomeray said...

Rubin Tejada is my SS for 2016. I let Cecchini and Rosario battle it out from there. Desmond is an unnecessary move.

Kevin S said...

Desmond is 29 right now. Has had 3 straight 20 HRs / 20 SB seasons. Despite having a poor year, still on pace to finish around 20 HRs again but the SBs are down. Statistically, he's been an average for his career. On a 1-year deal, he can't hurt you. If he rebounds awesome. If not, then Ruben slides back in.

Signing him and resigning Cespedes would be an incredible offseason in my opinion.

Lew Rhodes said...

@Mack - no equating MiLB stats to MLB stats (I wish it worked that way!)

The best way I found to get a sense of the comparison is to use the major league equivalency calculator. My comments on Reynolds were based on his numbers compared to the league and position -- and recall, he had a torrid spring that opened a few eyes -- there is no way he hits at the level he has in AAA in the PCL no less.

@Everyone else - Desmond can go elsewhere unless he wants to sign for $5 million or so -- his OPS has dropped every year since his break out 2012 - his K-rate has also gone through the roof - he has lost AB's this year because of his performance, but otherwise he would have hit the dreaded 200K plateau.

I am starting to think his 2012 was a bit of an outlier - and, yes, his 2013 / 14 numbers were good - but they were far from spectacular.

I am not sold on him getting back to a .750 OPS again

Lew Rhodes said...

Campbell demoted - Conforto kept with the big club.

Can you say - we are ALL IN

Michael S. said...

He has definitely been on a downward trend

Michael S. said...

Great, I hope he survives the DW return as well.

James Preller said...

Cuddyer gets a lot of grief in some corners of the Mets universe, but I'm glad to see him back. He should be a nice addition, team can use a good RH bat. Like him in a part-time role with PH duties. He's not that far removed from an NL batting championship. There's still some line drives in that wood.

The key is to use him correctly.

As for Eric Campbell, he'll be back in September. He's already slept in more nice hotels than anyone could have reasonably expected.

Michael S. said...

d'Arnaud can be so frustrating, there are 25-30 HR and 80-100 RBI in that bat...here's hoping he can stay healthy.

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