Mack’s Morning Report – 8-2-15 – Minor League SPs, Zack Wheeler, 2016 Mets


Good morning.

You know me. I love minor league players. Especially starting pitchers; however, I’m also old school and grew up rooting for a team (the Mets) that operated like a big market team and used it’s secondary minor league prospects to secure major league talent.

I’ll miss guys like Luis Cessa and Michael Fulmer, but, in my world, that’s what their true purpose was supposed to be. They have a ton of talent, but not more than the Fab Five ahead of you. If you’re not going to start for the Mets, you might as well help secure hitting talent by being a trade chip.

RIP to Chicago White Sox legend, Billy Pierce, who passed away Friday at the age of 88.

The Pirates designated Deolis Guerra for assignment

I thought it was great to see the Mets throw RP Bobby Parnell right back into the water last night. This whole pennant race will not work unless Parnell, Tyler Clippard, and Jeurys Familia can successfully pull off the 7th-8th-9th inning combo that is going to be needed as the Mets' young starters start to run out of innings left they can throw this year.

Bartolo Colon in July: 5 games, 27.2 IP, 36 hits, 17 runs (16 earned runs), 4 walks, 22 strikeouts, 3 HR, 5.20 ERA, .316/.344/.447 BAA

Jon Niese in July: 5 games, 31.1 innings pitched, 27 hits, 10 runs, 5 walks, 17 strikeouts, 3 HR, 2.87 ERA, .233/.276/.345 BAA

The Mets OF defense is sure looking good. The Céspedes/Granderson combo rank 1st among LF/RF w/ 11 DRS each in 2015 and Juan Lagares is 1st among CF with 58 last 3 years. And when was the last time you saw me quote DRS?

Zack Wheeler told Mike Puma :

“I’d like to be a part of what we have going on here in New York with the other guys on our pitching staff and other players as well. I’ve been here for a few years during the rebuilding stages. I’ve been working my butt off down here to get back to being a better and healthier athlete, and I’d like to stay until we get the job done.”

Mack – As much as I was looking forward to Carlos Gomez being a Met, I think I’m still thrilled that Wheeler remains a Mets and keeps the ‘Fab 5’ together.

There’s a lot of Mets followers (especially some here on Mack’s Mets) that feel that Michael Fulmer is a front end rotation prospect. I don’t. I think he’s back end at best and it could be years before the Mets develop anyone to replace one of these five.

I know you don’t have to be the most talented pitcher to be an SP5 but wouldn’t it be something to see five SP1-2 pitchers in the same rotation at the same time?

Michael Baron had an interesting spin why the Mets considered Wheeler expendable:

By the time Wheeler returns, it will be 2016. But the time he doesn’t have an innings limit, it will be 2018. That’s 2 1/2 years until the Mets can hopefully benefit from Wheeler’s talent again. He went from being a short-term solution before the season to the equivalent of a prospect in Single-A thanks to having Tommy John Surgery in March.

Of course he isn’t a prospect by definition, but he becomes expendable because of his timeline thanks to the quick rises of Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz, plus their control of Jon Niese over the same span.

Mack – But, let’s remember one important thing here. Wheeler called Sandy Alderson and asked that he not be traded before the trading deadline, saying he wanted to remain a Met.

That goes a long way in my book and should in yours too.

So, the trade deadline is over and the 2015 version of the New York Mets has been vastly improved, but when do we start to worry about the 2016 version. Who’s going to play third base if David Wright doesn’t successfully come back? Does the team have to still look outside the organization for a starting shortstop? And, who will be the opening day centerfielder while Juan Lagares is still on the mend?

It’s too early to start breaking out the list of 2016 free agents available for these positions, but it’s not premature for us to start discussing where the Mets might go in these directions. Feel free to chime in.


Ernest Dove said...

Regarding Wheeler,

Depending on how we all trulu feel about Mets ownership, I figured money would be biggest reason they trade off wheeler.
They can no longer take full advantage of his 'cheap' 'cost controlled' years on this team. By the time Wheeler might be at full strength he will be much further along that Arb/Free agency process which is y I figured they were trying to trade him. I hate thinking that way but.........

Jeff C said...

Morning Mack:

We should all chime in today on the Cespedes trade and how we feel. That way you can archive this date and in December look back on what the feeling was at the beginning of August. If the last 2 nights are any indication, I'm totally on board with the moves SA has made. The excitement of a pennant race is great to have for a change. The Mets probably don't resign Cespedes, but at least we are getting a taste. And I agree about having Wheeler for the long term. You can't replace having a SP 1 - 2 on the mound every night.

Cody Pomeray said...


As to Michael Baron's comments, why would Wheeler be on an innings-limit in 2016? He's coming back mid-season. Shouldn't that have him on pace for the perfect amount of innings? Thanks.

Mack Ade said...

Ernest -

You may be right about Wheeler and you are definitely right about the limited amount of controllable years here.

Given that, and the new bonding relationship he and Sandy may be starting, a decent return from TJS may generate early talks between his aganet and the Mets for an extended contract here.

Michael S. said...

I wouldn't take Wheeler off the trade market completely, but it would take even more for me to want him moved. The guy wants to be here and that in and of itself could translate to better performance. I wouldn't let his loyalty get in the way of acquiring say, Stanton, but he certainly wouldn't be given away at this point. He definitely went up a few notches in my book. Even if we build the rotation without him we could have a wipeout bullpen arm in him as well.

Michael S. said...

For 2016, if we don't re-sign Cespedes, I want a RH RF for the middle of the lineup. I'd also build the lineup in a way that relies on Wright to hit no higher than 6th. That way if he is injured, it doesn't kill the offense.

Mack Ade said...

Jeff C -

First payback of Cespedes...

Grandy doubles and Murphy makes out. Washington would easily pitch to anyone else rather than intentionally walk him to get to a hot Duda. Anyone else could have lined a shot to the 2B who could have stepped on the bag, doubled off Grandy and you never see Duda at bat that inning. Instead, the respect for Cespedes's bat gets him walked to face someone who has already had two home runs in the same game.

This is why you need hitting talent deep in the lineup. You can't pitch to everyone.

Mack Ade said...

Cody -

I don't know what Baron said but I can't see an innings problem in 2016.

2017 yes and 2018 probably/maybe

Ernest Dove said...

Im not necessarily worried about the 2016 or beyond free agent classes.
Like u said Mack, we love us some minor leaguers around here. And guess what. We got us some Cubs type hitting prospects down the pipeline now.
Lets not forget (for the sake of projecting) that while these stud arms get further down the money train process, this team might at the same time be producing 'cheap' 'team controlled' hitting studs.
Conforto, Nimmo, Dom Smith, Rosario and Cecchini will all be taking turns as 'minimum wage' 25man roster guys or high trade value guys to rent a veteran stud of need for a playoff push.
Same scenario, only hitting not pitching.

Thomas Brennan said...

I hated giving up Fulmer, but am happy they got Cespedes. Let's win a pennant.

Vic Black tossed a scoreless inning last nite. Only 1 run allowed in his last 7 outings. Maybe he can help in Sept.

Michael S. said...

Agreed, we're going to need a couple of pricey lynchpins in the lineup surrounded by young, cheap talent.

Gary Seagren said...

First things first....what do they plan to do with Harvey. That will set everything else in motion. As far as YC there is really no other LF I'd rather have and with the savings from our cost controlled pitching staff not signing him because of money is no excuse. This off season will be VERY interesting because now that we finally have a competitive team and if this season stays this exciting how does the FO not continue to "go for it"? For me though I am just going to sit back and as that old Sugarland album title said "Enjoy the ride"

Mack Ade said...

Gary -

Boras will not talk to the Mets prematurely about any kind of contract extension for Harvey. That's not how he works.

As for YC and what the Mets do next, the events of the past 2 weeks is a wonderful start to the Mets returning to the days that money wasn't the primary and only concern.

TP said...

Morning to all,
OK, I'll go on the record regarding Cespedes. On Friday, I was so-so on the deal. Really, I didn't feel great about the Mets given the blow Padres game, the blown Gomez trade (more for the team handling than for the acquisition player), and because Alderson was in panic mode on Friday and threw in Fulmer at the last minute. Now, Cespedes is the perfect piece for their needs, but he still doesn't make them as good as the Nats. A Nat sweep this weekend and the Mets would be 6 back in the division and wild card and would have traded their best two minor league pitchers for rentals.

Fast forward to Sunday...two dramatic wins and a shot at sweeping behind a red hot Syndergaard. The game tonight is absolutely huge. 1 down in the loss column vs 3 and a chance to put some real heat on the Nats. Being one out in the loss with 50+ to go makes the Cespedes gamble a wise one. Being 6 out with 50+ to go not so much. So, Sandy (and I) can thank the pitching, Flores, and Duda for making this deal very worth while.

Anonymous said...

"That's 2.5 years before the Mets can hopefully benefit from Wheeler's talent again"
I don't get the logic of that statement. Following that reasoning the Mets aren't currently benefiting from Harvey's talent. It might be true that they aren't fully benefiting from Harvey's talent because he is on an innings limit and occasionally hits some bumps that is likely due to his recovery from TJ surgery. The same will be true for Wheeler but they will benefit from his talent in 2016.

I'm one of those who feel Fulmer could be just as good as one of our fab 5. I probably would not have made the trade. However I'm not totally against it either. Fulmer isn't a certain MLB pitcher he is still a prospect. The reason they traded him is the same reason they were considering trading Wheeler. It is not that they were expendable. You must give quality to get quality. Wheeler and Fulmer had no impact on this year and they need to go for it all now.

I hope we see a fab five rotation but it may never happen. One or more could go done next year. We have three who currently are pitching lights out. They give us a chance to win a series over anyone. The Mets need to do whatever it took to give them a chance to get into that position. I guess if there was no other way to do that I have to contradict myself because I likely would have had to make the Fulmer trade for that reason even though I think it is going to turn out like the Wheeler trade for the Giants.

Zozo said...

I feel we should of went after a centerfielder and a shortstop, just because they are now blocking Conforto. Hopefully they can still upgrade at least Centerfield over the waiver wire, because I have always felt comfortable with Flores at short.
But it was a good trade dead line for Sandy.

eraff said...

The DOYLE ALEXANDER TRADE was an exchange for John Smoltz...an almost 21 year old with some disappointing results at AA--- 7-8. 4-10. He was talented and projectable. Alexander went on to start 11 games for Detroit in the stretch that carried them to a Division Championship.

2 years later, Smoltz started cutting his teeth for Atlanta.

Pitching doesn't stay in place. The Mets will need more starting pitching. Fullmer is 22 and kicking the crap out of AA Hitters, and he has a great arm---his upper projection is as a Frtont Half Rotation Starter.

Don't minimize the fact---the Mets gave up two very talented arms (and some others) to complete their stretch run transformation. ...and I support the moves.

Anonymous said...

I wrote the long 3 paragraph entry above. I know we don't like the no name post here. I forgot again.
Richard Jones
I heard Cespedes is open to playing CF and Collins is going to be moving him into that role. This came from the SNY booth yesterday while I was watching the game. I don't think the Mets are thinking past this year with Cespedes. I think Cuddyer is the one who will be blocking Conforto at the begiing of the 2016 season.

Cody Pomeray said...


"… even though I think it is going to turn out like the Wheeler trade for the Giants"—except Wheeler I believe was the 27th ranked prospect in all of baseball at the time of the Beltran trade (and shot up to 6th the very next year in 2012) whereas Fulmer has yet to crack the top 100 (per MLB.com's rankings).

The above statement obviously makes Sandy look really good. But we'll see.


Robb said...

Baron is wrong. the innings cap or verducci cap is based on never having achieved a certain innings level. It is about not increasing the professional level over 30 innings per season until you hit 190, which is a full season forward. Wheeler has already done that. There is no metrics that ive read about concerned with an innings cap on tjs, with any data postulating either way. also remember baron wrote some of the worst analysis at metsblog and thats saying something.

Jose fernandez isnt on a cap this year and wont be next year. sure they're supposed to limmit it. Harvey is on an innings cap too, sort of. though we havent really seen it.

Matz will be on an innings cap next year, so will thor. its why they wont likely trade niese until the dealine or after next year.

this offseason, id start with the kluber-like extention for DeGrom and resign Uribe. you could do the bumgartener extention for Thor too but that might be pushing it.

bob gregory said...

It is my hope that the addition of Cespedes proves to be a major factor in helping the Mets fight for and win the division champiinship.
I know Met fans that have been starving for a competitive team will rally in droves filling Citifirld, purchasing their Met merchandise and raising tv ratings for game broadcasts.

My hope is that the Wilpons remember what it was like when their fans were genuinely excited and proud of the major league team they owned.

I hope as thus leads to what Mack mentioned above, the organization being able to treat the major league team as a product of their passion and not just a financial business investment.

Mack Ade said...

TP -

Plus remember TP...

1. a very easy Mets schedule the rest of the season

2. d'Arnaud will eventually shake off the rust

3. May get Wright back to further strengthen middle of lineup

Mack Ade said...

Richard -

Cespedes easily has the speed, arm, and range to play CF

Mack Ade said...

Bob -

Everything will change if the Mets win.

Last night was a sellout for the Wilpons. I assume tonight will be the same.

In addition, tonight will be the 3rd game in a row that will be televised nationally.

Big bucks in a Nts-Mets series if both these teams are 1-2 in the standings late into the season.

Anonymous said...


I think if you polled GMs and scouts Fulmer would be a top 100 at this point. Mayo does his list twice a year. He does not see everyone of those players enough. At the end of last year Fulmer wasn't a top 400. A lot of people who make those list want to see success longer than Fulmer has been successful before moving him up into the top 100. I see a pitcher who was slowed down by non-arm injuries finally being healthy. I take what he has done over the last 2 month as a full indicator of who Fulmer is as a pitcher not what he did the past few seasons when he was hurt.
I think you would have to go into the top 30 or 40 before finding a pitcher that trows as hard as Fulmer and has anywhere near the results Fulmer has had this year at the level he does.
I was looking through the top 100 and I'm seeing 21 year old A level pitchers with ERAs in the high 3s. I watched Fulmers last 8 games. I saw 95-96 MHP fastballs that were hitting the corners late in games. He has a hard slider with a lot of late brake on it. TA caught him in a rehab start and he said he was shocked at how good Fulmer is. The 2 a year prospect list aren't always on the money. The Tigers insisted on Fulmer over other top 100 prospects like Nimmo
Richard Jones

Cody Pomeray said...


I agree. You definitely have to look beyond those rankings. And I'd have to think Fulmer belongs in the top 100 right now too. How high, Idk. And yet to be completely fair about it, he might update the list twice a year but one of those times was about a week ago.

"The Tigers insisted on Fulmer over other top 100 prospects like Nimmo"—how do you know this? I know they liked Fulmer and insisted upon him but isn't it possible Nimmo was ruled out early and completely off the table? Idk either way.

Zozo said...

That's good to know, hopefully he does well in center...

Anonymous said...


I was going by Dombrowski's press conference. He is the Tigers GM. He said Fulmer had been off the table but he was the guy they needed to make the deal work with the Mets. Nimmo could have been off the table also but they could have insisted on him but they did not. They insisted on Fulmer. After being told Fulmer wasn't available on three separate occasions SA came back to him willing to include Fulmer and that put the Mets ahead of the other teams seeking Cepedes.
It's hard to be certain and it really doesn't matter. Time will tell us how good Fulmer is. Hind site may tell us it was a bad trade. At this moment the Mets needed to take that risk. I believe the big three gives them a chance and the Mets needed to support that here and now.

Dallas said...

I agree, I think people are delusional to think Fulmer isnt easily in the top 100 with his performance at AA this year. Hasn't he outperformed all of our top 5 at that level?

I think as a defensive response to make ourselves feel better about the trade we say he is a minor leaguer that is a RP or backend starter :)

I agree this would have looked really really bad if we had gotten swept by the Nats like we did by the Braves when we traded Kazmir. So far its working out thankfully. I really hope they open the coffers this off-season for Cespedes. Anyways I'm not against the trade if they make the playoffs or resign him.

Anonymous said...

Forgot to add my name again. I need my computer back.
Richard Jones

Gary Seagren said...

I love what SA did. We've been yelling for years for the FO to do something and they finally did. I don't know how much better he could have done frankly and here's a question for you all.... would you swap Wheeler for Fulmer? ...I wouldn't.

Dallas said...

Honestly I would consider swapping Wheeler for Fulmer. Wheeler only pitched 7 innings or more TWICE last year. Often taking a 100+ pitches for 4-6 innings. Plus we basically get two more years of Fulmer since his service time hasn't started yet. Recovery from TJS is also no sure thing. Come mid next year I think we will see both in the show and we will know then.


Anonymous said...


I think the Wheeler Fulmer question is a good one. I think it is close than a lot of people think. Dombrowski was asked if Wheeler was considered in the Cespedes trade and he refused to answer that question. Both have there questions. Will Wheeler be as good post TJ? Parnell hasn't been so there is no guarantee. Will Wheeler ever find command of his pitches the way Harvey and deGrom have? Will Fulmer ever develop a plus third pitch? Will Fulmer's command last? I think I would go with Wheeler. Not current but long term the order I have the fab 5 are 1. Syndergaard 2. Harvey, 3. deGrom and Matz tied 5. Wheeler. deGrom is already 27 and he is currently the best but I feel he will have less Cy Young type years than Syndergaard and Harvey.
Richard Jones

Adam Smith said...

I have a couple of thoughts/theories:
1. Sandy really, really didn't want to lose Cessa AND Fulmer for a rental, and was prepared to wait until 3:59 waiting for Detroit to blink (they really had no choice but to move him for what they could get.). It was Wilpon (knowing that not getting this done would have made them less popular than the Lion-killing dentist) who actually blinked and pushed (ordered) Sandy to call back and say yes 30 minutes to deadline time.
2. There is a good chance they could have gotten it done without including Fulmer.
3. I'm not 100% certain that, gun to his head, Sandy wouldn't have rather included Wheeler than Fulmer, or that the Tigers didn't prefer Fulmer to a guy coming off TJS, But optics (particularly after talking about "The Wheeler Phone Call") made Fulmer easier to trade.
4. They almost certain gave up much more than anyone else was offering, and while Cespedes is almost certain to walk for nothing, we are likely to see Fulmer enjoy a long, and possibly dominant career as a starter.
5. There was no one else out there (Gomez possibly excepted) who would have given this team the lift - on the field or psychologically - that Cespedes brings, albeit for one two month shot.
6. Even knowing all of this - and despite the fact that I'm already concerned about our 2016 offense, particularly since we likely no longer have the pitching prospect depth (and Niese becomes close to untouchable now until at least next season's deadline)
to pull off a big trade this winter, I am giddy about the next two months of baseball.
7. I love me some Wilmer.

Michael S. said...

If he does, do we get Conforto back?

Ernest Dove said...

Maybe im crazy but I see Mets as being better than Nats right now lol.
Nats obviously have Harper, but they've got guys not meeting their usual expectations this year, due to injuries, development, age, all of the above or whatever.
Mets have history of getting to strasberg. Gio looked inconsistent against them. Their shortstop is more cringe worthy right now ghanr Wilmer, etc.
Their guys may get healthy. So can TDA, Blevins and even possibly David.

Long story short Mets can win division in 2015.......can't worry about next year.

Mack Ade said...

Guys -

My thoughts on Fulmer/Wheeler -

I have seen so many pitchers impress me at the AA level and never make it at any decent level in the final end.

So far, Wheeler is way ahead in this race and I believe he will prove out to be a good acquisition for the Mets.

As for Fulmer, he's been an ex-Met for less than a week and you can't even buy a seat at CitiField. :)

Zozo said...

Next move should be getting Krod back and it shouldn't cost too much.

Cody Pomeray said...

I think Wheeler/Niese/Montero/Verett is still really good pitching depth for that 5th spot next year, probably more so than, Idk, about 29 other teams?

Pitching prospect depth still includes: Bowman, Ynoa, Gsellman, Lugo, Molina (whose injury hopefully heals by the time Harvey does or does not bolt), et. al.

Pitching prospect depth lost to trades: Mazzoni, Whalen, Cessa, Fulmer.

Depth lost to TJS: the once-promising Tapia, Black Taylor (for whom Ike Davis was traded), Leathersich, possibly Molina, Edgin.

Did I miss anyone? I feel like those lost to TJS make the trades hurt a little worse. TJS is still e big Mets-specific problem. But overall I still feel like we're in substantially better shape then most.

Cody Pomeray said...


Herb G said...

I love the fact that they feared YC so much, but I is a very sad comment on the Nats scouting dept. Cespedes has never hit lefties well and this year worse than ever. Duda has been hitting them well. Duh!

Anonymous said...

For 2016
deGrom, Harvey, Syndergaard, Matz, Wheeler, Niese after that would come Gilmartin in my book. I really like what I have seen from him. The Mets can't send him to the minors to stretch him out this year because he is a rule 5 pick. He clearly isn't a fab 5 type pitcher but he would be a solid #5. Montero could change that if he get healthy but I don't know about him right now.
Richard Jones

Cody Pomeray said...

Herb G,

I noticed that as well. Surprised their scouting didn't know that. Was maybe more surprised neither Gary nor Keith mentioned the heavy reverse splits.

They also gave Wilmer the first inside fastball he's seen in weeks.

Erik said...

Parnell seemed to be throwing harder yesterday. I saw a him hitting 96mph a few times.

Since I'm in the DC area, I had to listen to the Nats TV crew. One thing they kept bringing up Friday and Saturday, is that Citi Field was rocking the way Shea used to.

Herb G said...

Let's keep those reverse splits a secret just between us. Don't want the other teams to catch on.
I'm so excited. I just can't hide it. I'm about to lose control and I think I like it.

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