Stephen Guilbert - Logan Verrett Exemplifies Everything that is Right with Alderson's Regime--And What's Wrong


Logan Verrett's Sunday performance may never be considered one of the great pitching performances of the 2015 Mets--a team saturated with good starting pitchers--but make no mistake. It was.

One run in eight innings in Coors Field with one walk against eight strikeouts is just about as good as you can be in Denver's thin air in the dead of summer. Not only did this start give the first place Mets a needed victory on a day the Washington Nationals also won but it also gave needed relief to a taxed bullpen and allowed an innings-conscious GM a day to skip his a start for his one of his star pitchers as well. Sunday's win for the Mets was huge. Logan Verrett came through in a way we all hoped he would but I think few actually expected.

Logan Verrett also represents the puzzling decisions this administration has made. Logan Verrett also represents the uncanny ability this administration has to develop pitchers.

This was not Logan Verrett's first exposure to big league baseball. In fact, in a small sample, Verrett had been one of the most effective relievers the Mets had thrown out there in 2015. Yet, despite his success, he was yanked between Triple-A and Flushing and between starting and relieving all season. Despite his success and despite out-pitching the likes of Noah Syndergaard in their respective auditions at Triple-A Las Vegas, Logan Verrett seemed nothing more than an option to be demoted when roster flexibility was paramount--and not a pitcher actually worth a roster spot despite results that might say otherwise.

What puzzles me about the Alderson administration is contrast and Verrett's situation is a perfect microcosm for my frustration. They're about winning but they demote one of their only effective non-Familia relievers for most of the season. They're about player development but surrender a mid-first round draft pick to sign Michael Cuddyer. They're about defense but they regularly play Wilmer Flores at shortstop and keep their best offensive and defensive option for second base at Vegas. They're about sabermetrics but continue to pitch LOOGYs against righties (why Sean O'Flaherty has a roster spot at this point is beyond me).

Alderson and his crew have done a good job to build this franchise back to a winning and Logan Verrett certainly exemplifies the embarrassment of riches the Mets have at pitching but the decisions they make for the big league club still make me scratch my head. While I love that Logan Verrett was not demoted after his gem on Sunday, he will also be transitioned to a bullpen role yet again instead of earning the 6th starter spot after a phenomenal and season-altering start. This is where I cannot make sense of the organization. After the trade for Cespedes in which the Mets sent a brilliant and dominant starting pitching prospect to the Tigers for a 60 game rental, 2015 has to be about winning. Why give a half a dozen more starts to a veteran that clearly has nothing left in the tank? What is it that Alderson feels he owes Bartolo Colon that makes him risk a division title over pitching this guy over someone like Logan Verrett?

At this point in the season, the thought process should never once be about anything other than winning ball games. If that means moving Bartolo Colon to the bullpen, you move Bartolo Colon to the bullpen. If that means benching Michael Cuddyer, you bench Michael Cuddyer. If that means keeping Michael Conforto, you keep Michael Conforto. If that means promoting Dilson Herrera despite three options at second base, you promote Dilson Herrera despite three options at second base.

Logan Verrett just earned the job as the 6th starter on this ball club for the time the organization feels it needs one. I don't care that it means benching, demoting or cutting Bartolo Colon. Alderson made it clear that 2015 was a "go for it" year when he traded Michael Fulmer for Yoenis Cespedes. So go for it. Logan Verrett is clearly the better option than Bartolo Colon at this point because he is simply the better pitcher than Bartolo Colon at this point. While the start on Sunday was inspired, I doubt that Alderson does the right thing here. Just hope it does not cost us more valuable games while the Nats make their push back towards the NL East title.



Mack Ade said...

Stephen -

Welcome back.

I agree with you 100%.

Verrett immediately should be earning the 6th starter. Matz can become one and replace Colon, who could be relegated to the pen for the remainder of the year.

TC said after the game though that Verrett will now become part of the back-end of the Mets pen, not rotation.


Dallas said...

Stephen I could not agree more. This fascination with Colon just boggles my mind. Every game counts, home field advantage for the NLDS should not be discounted either. The Nats have a long hill to climb but they have the talent to do it, these Colon games matter. He got away with one in Colorado.

Tom Brennan said...

Like I posted earlier, Colon is 5.66 his last EIGHTEEN starts. EIGHTEEN is a lot. I agree with Stephen. Why not move Colon to pen, and give Logan another try. Maybe Colon needs a rest too. If Logan were to start again and falter, switch back.

Greg B said...

If you look at just about every G.M. they do some things good and other time u wonder what were they thinking. All in all Alderson and his staff have done a great job.

Anonymous said...

One of the things that I have personally learned over the past few seasons and been, perhaps, a greater understanding that in the real world of MLB, things do not happen as quickly as they do in the Metsblogosphere.

For example, we'll see a need for X . . . call for urgency and immediate action . . . and 6 weeks later that change eventually occurs. Because when all is said and done, Sandy Alderson usually does the right thing. He just doesn't move as quickly as we'd like. That could be because he's too patient -- too slow -- or because he's operating in the real world where things simply take time.

So I'm not quite as worked up about this outrage as others.

Specifically, I've hated the second year of the Colon contract from day one. I always viewed it as a terrible mistake and a poor use of financial resources. That said, I understand that caution here in simply dumping him (I don't believe he has any value in the pen whatsoever). It's a hard thing to do to a man, especially one who is respected in the clubhouse. Which is not to say you can't do it, just that you want to be sure of the timing of the thing. I see Colon on a short leash at this point. The club would love to see him eek his way through the remainder of the season, but they won't sit idly by and allow him to destroy everything they've worked for. I think that right now they are hoping, fingers crossed, and quietly making Plan B.

Both Mack and Stephen are calling for an immediate 6-man rotation and I don't agree with that. I am not in a hurry to limit deGrom's starts, for example. It is enough, for now, to know that Verrett can give them a spot start when needed. Hopefully Matz comes back and is effective. To me, that's the timing of a move for Colon. I think he gets 3 more starts to plead his case. Knowing Bartolo, one of those starts will be a gem, further confusing the issue.

Anyway, I mean to say: I've been impressed and pleased that SA has shifted the timetable to the right now. He's made decisive, necessary moves. I see the Colon issue as bubbling under right now. The preference right now if for him to pitch well enough to keep his place in the rotation. Verrett's arm in the 7th inning should be a real plus; I'm not eager to yank him out of that spot. The pen is an area of greater immediate need than the starting rotation.

We are going to have to wait and see. I don't fault the organization for taking the current approach.

James Preller

Metsiac said...

I a week, Matz should be back. Are we better off with him as the #6 and Verrett anchoring a struggling pen, or vice versa? A SP would help us every 6 days at best, while a solid RP could help 3+ times in that period.

Colon would be useless in the pen IMO, but what about giving his spot in the rotation to Matz and using Bart as a spot starter/long man, so we'd have a "5+" rotation. Bart wouldn't pitch every 6th game, but could fill the role Verrett did yesterday. IMO that's the best combo for him, Steven and Logan.

Unknown said...

Okay - let me inject a little dose of reality on Mr. Verrett. There have been a lot of guy making first starts that pitch well because there is no book on them yet.

Before I do I will qualify that I hope he looks like he did yesterday the rest of the season, however, his minor league stats in no way suggest that that will be the case.

In 464 minor league innings, he has a 8.94 H/9 and a 1.20 WHIP -- both are respectable, but neither screams "stud pitcher"

In regards to Verrett "out pitching" Syndergaard in AAA - there 2014 stats were somewhat similar (Thor - 10.42 H/9 1.48 WHIP Verrett - 10.44 H/9 1.37 WHIP) - there is one major difference though - Thor is three years younger - a world of difference between 21 and 24 in the minors.

Also, this year Thor in 29 AA innings - flat out dominated (6.07 H/9 0.94 WHIP) where Verrett has been much more human in 53 IP (8.49 H/9 and 1.26 WHIP)

That said Backman said that Verrett is a much better pitcher this year than last and the AAA stats back that up.

But we need to step back before we anoint him the deGrom or Harvey or Syndergaard.

Also, if the bullpen is right now the most shaky part of this team, why would we commit to pulling Verrett out of the pen down the stretch?

Put him in the pen where he can give you 1-2 strong IPs - he seems to be one of the pitchers with the ability to go back and forth without it impacting his performance.

Frankly I think we may be a better team with Jeckell and Hyde Colon in the rotation and Verrett in the pen -- realize the only reason Verrett was sent down was to stretch him out to start - and the only reason that happened is because Matz has been on the shelf.

I am very happy with what Verrett did yesterday and I hope that he continues to dominate this season - however, I really don't expect another start anywhere nearly as dominant as this past one.

Unknown said...

BTW - RE Cuddyer - he has already been benched against RHP - he may get more opportunities with Duda on the DL -- he has only started 6 games since coming off the DL

Dallas said...

Lew, I don't really think Stephen or anyone was anointing him the next DeGrom/Thor. I think we all realize that he isnt going to go out and throw 8 innings of 1 run ball on a regular basis. However its reasonable to conclude he would pitch better than Colon because pitching better than Colon doesn't take all that much to do. Cut Colon and you open up a roster spot to bring back Alvarez or anyone more useful. You may be right, he could be a solid addition to the pen, hopefully Sandys people are crunching the numbers on this.

Should not that Verrett's WHIP is very close to 1.0 from June-August of this year in about 60 innings with a good ERA considering where he has had to pitch. Give me all the more confidence that he can outpitch Colon.

Anonymous said...

also, noah posted an absurd .378 babip against last year in AAA. verrett performed better only if ERA is all you look at

Ernest Dove said...

I don't see Colon being of use in the bullpen either because honestly every time on the mound, every at bat, he is one imperfect pitch location away from giving up a homer off that 87-89mph fastball.