8/25/15

The Morning Report 8.25.2015 | Mets Clobber the Phillies, The Captain Has Returned, Are the Mets Good? Or is the NL East is Terrible?

26 comments


Dayn Perry | CBS New York- In Philadelphia on Monday night (NYM 16, PHI 7), the Mets hit 6.3 percent of their 2015 home runs to date. Yep, that's eight homers (and 15 extra-base hits in all), and that's a franchise record. We've already explored the significance of David Wright's clout, and that's part of a roundly improved Mets offense. They're healthy, the depth was improved leading up to the deadline, and of course there's Yoenis Cespedes now in the fold. The Mets have fared much better at the plate in August, particularly when it comes to power. No, they're not going to continue slugging .472 the rest of the way, but this does profile as a respectable offensive alignment moving forward.

(Chris Soto: You have to give credit where credit is due. Everyone knew the Mets offense was the biggest weakness of the club in 2015 and we bashed Sandy Alderson all summer long for being too patient and continuing to trot the same pathetic line-up day in and day out. However, the patience paid off... the Tigers grew discouraged about their place in the standings and became willing to sell Cespedes for a "non-essential" pitching piece. There was also Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe...certainly not slam dunks, but strong pieces that provide depth in case the injury bug strikes again.)



Andy Martino NY Daily NewsAt the beginning of a historic night for the Mets offense, David Wright announced his relevance to the pennant race with one thundering swing: top of the second inning, boom, second deck in left field. With that, the Mets’ weirdly successful August became even weirder. Wright returns to a Twilight Zone, where everything works out for this team. It’s a reality barely recognizable from what the captain has seen for years. “I hope that everyone here is soaking it in, because it’s a lot of fun to be a part of, and there were a whole lot of down years,” Wright said.

(Chris Soto: The Captain Has Returned! Boy was that a bomb or what? Having David Wright back at even 50% strength is a massive improvement over what the Mets have been trotting out to 3rd base this season. The team ranked 29th out of the 30 teams in production from the position so far this season and Juan Uribe wasn't fairing any better than the likes of Eric Campbell, Daniel Muno, and others. His physical presence in the line-up isn't the only thing either. Just having him out there and back in the line-up is a massive boost mentally for the team. Enough so, that we kind of forgotten that one of the Mets best hitters, Lucas Duda, just went to the DL.)



David Schoenfield ESPN SweetSpot- We all know the National League East is a bad division this season, but I didn't realize how bad. The 2015 NL East is 155-210 outside the division, a .425 winning percentage. This stuff matters because of the way baseball's honors get distributed. Regardless of the strength or weakness of your schedule or your divisional opponents' schedule, the team that finishes atop its division gets into the playoffs. It's not about absolute quality; it's about relative quality to your group. So when a division is very weak -- as the 2015 NL East unquestionably is -- I think it's fair to ask a question like, "Are the Mets actually any good, or are they just less bad than the field?"

(Chris Soto: Mr. Schoenfield makes a fair point, the NL East certainly has been a dumpster fire this season. You know what though? Who cares? There is at least 1 division like this every single season. The fact of the matter is, no matter what the talent level in within your division or outside of your division....you still need to beat the other guys. So far the Mets succeeded more than they have failed.)

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Also have to mention the addition of Conforto, who has been very good. I understand and support what TC is doing, but I'd still like to see him get a few spot starts against LHP.

James Preller

Thomas Brennan said...

To Mr. Schoenfeld: the Mets are now that good. Just watch and appreciate.

No weak offensive spots other than Decker, and that will change shortly.

Let's win this thing.Then Mr. Schoenfeld can enjoy the Mets in the playoffs, too.

If Mets played their home games in Philly, how many homers would they hit?

Anonymous said...

Can't believe you are still endlessly complaining about Anthony Recker. Do you even watch him behind the plate? He's excellent. Every time he speaks he does so with intelligence and insight. I really don't think you understand the position he plays.

James Preller

Ernest Dove said...

Crazy what a difference a couple months makes.
After David's homer I absolutely believed the Mets could/would come back and win.
Two months ago I would have cursed at my computer screen at ryan howard and then turned the game off.

Thomas Brennan said...

Hi James

I was referring to Mets offensively. Decker is the only weak link right now. Your other points in his favor I agree with. When Plawecki comes up, there won't be a single weakness offensively. IMO.

Mets are first in the majors by far in both doubles and homers in August, and 2nd in runs behind an AL team. Nice.

Thomas Brennan said...

Hi James

I was referring to Mets offensively. Decker is the only weak link right now. Your other points in his favor I agree with. When Plawecki comes up, there won't be a single weakness offensively. IMO.

Mets are first in the majors by far in both doubles and homers in August, and 2nd in runs behind an AL team. Nice.

Thomas Brennan said...

Decker of course means Recker. My auto spell check likescto screw with me :)

If it keeps misbehaving, I will turn it off!

Thomas Brennan said...

Mets'GCL franchise has 7 homers from players who were not rehabbing in 55 games. Mets hit 8 in one game. Big boys have big biceps.

Reese Kaplan said...

@James -- if the Mets decided to put Anthony Recker on waivers today, would another team claim him? I don't think so. Charlie O'Brien was a great defensive catcher and made a career out of it despite being just a .221 hitter. Recker is not in his league defensively, though he's better than average in that respect, but is a career .189 hitter. Let's not make him out to be Johnny Bench.

Ernest Dove said...

Hey Tom,
Technically, Decker is the name of the owner of GYMUNITY, of whom Mack is nice enough to have listed as a proud sponser of this site. So Mr. Decker thanks you for the mistaken shoutout ;)

Reese Kaplan said...

Decker is also the name of one of the Jets' tandem of talented receivers. Too bad they don't have anyone worthy to throw to them.

Mack Ade said...

The important thing for everything to remember RIGHT NOW that the best team in the NL East is the Mets.

Nothing else matters until the fight for that title is over.

Then, short playoff series can create anthing.

Thomas Brennan said...

And Mack, we have a pitcher with significant playoff experience. His name? Steve Matz. Not major league experience, but he did great the two years he was in the playoffs.

Speaking of Decker, I loved those 2nd deckers last night.

Herb G said...

I was at last night's game in Philly and all I have to say is WOW! Balls were flying out of CBP like rockets. Mediocre teams don't put up 44 runs in 4 games. This team is legit. The transformation at the deadline is amazing. The whole is much more than the sum of its parts. Yogi was right. The game is 90% mental. This team is infused with a "can do" spirit that will not be denied.

Anonymous said...

It feels like there have been at least 100 negative comments about Recker from Tom and Reese this season. The wails for Johnny Monell, etc.

And, okay, that's fine.

But over and over and over again.

So that's why I commented. I don't think that either of you guys understand the role of backup catcher. Sure, it would be great if Recker hit better, but the endless carping is just tone-deaf, IMO. After last night's win? When Recker got brought back up, the cries were loud and plentiful. And, I thought, completely off base. He's caught two games since then, mostly sat, mostly performed the daily duties of working with the staff behind the scenes, supporting the main catcher, and filling in when needed. The two games he caught the Mets lost 3-2 (after Colon went 7 IP and gave up 1 run), and won 5-1.

I wouldn't feel compelled to defend the guy if I thought the complaints weren't so endless and uninformed. It's one thing to say that a guy sucks. But to say it over and over . . . and over and over . . . and over . . .

James Preller

Mack Ade said...

James -

FWIW... +1

Thomas Brennan said...

James, my comments on Recker were primarily at a time when no one on the Mets was hitting, including Recker, and trying to figure out solutions before the team's offense flushed the season down the toilet.

Recker except for one game early was 5-50 with 1 RBI. That deserved criticism. He was part of the extreme offensive malaise. That team-wide malaise has been alleviated, and my reference to Recker today was just to say the team's offense has become almost flawless except for Recker, but Plawecki would alleviate the Mets (with 3 catchers come Sept 1) from having to give him at bats.

Recker would then have a proper role...late inning defensive replacement and occasional pinch hitter. Considering back up catchers over the course of a season would be expected to start 25-30 games, Recker would only fill that bill on a team that could hit.

Monell was, in my mind, a better choice to spot start against tough righty pitchers to give d'Arnaud a blow on those days. If Plawecki were not here, I'd still feel that way.

Stubby said...

I concur that Recker gets a lot of mostly undeserved negativity thrown his way. As does Bartolo Colon. As does Ruben Tejada. As does Sandy Alderson. I would personally right now, prefer to have Recker on this team than Plawecki, Colon in the rotation than Verrett, Tejada at short (with Flores at second). And I'm very happy to have Sandy Alderson as my GM. If nothing else, THIS IS THE TEAM THAT IS IN FIRST PLACE RIGHT NOW.

I don't get the negativity and never have and I wish it would stop. But I'll settle for an apology to all those men when we get to the post-season. Yeah, I know..."don't hold your breath".

Ernest Dove said...

On a side note my buddy ran into Mrs. Recker and their newborn child (rockin a little Recker Jersey) at Coors field.........
We always forget the life factor in all this with these athlete's.
I too can probably argue stats and go as far as to say that no MLB player should be on 25man roster hitting under .200 regardless of position but who am I to judge.

I also agree that a backup catcher can be all defense if the starter and lineup around him every time he plays is strong.
Just as a HEALTHY 2014 Lagares could have hit .240 and nobody would care if the rest of the guys were strong offensively.

Metsiac said...

Let's not forget that in July, BEFORE the new guys came aboard, the Mets had a brutal stretch of 16 games, mostly on the road, vs the 3 Division leaders plus the Giants, sandwiched around a series with AZ.

In the 16, we were 8-8, taking a back seat to no one. It ain't just the East.

Isn't it time to give a little credit to the most underrated Met of all, the mgr? If we get deep into the P-S, or even the WS, he should be the odds-on fave for MOTY.

Think that might stifle the boo birds?

Thomas Brennan said...

Stubby, anyone who is negative about the Mets now would be crazy. This team is going for it. Hitting is contagious, and there is now hitters in abundance. Mets won't score 49 runs every 4 games, but Sandy's laudable moves to revitalize the sputtering offense were a master stroke. The hitters now feel like they can collectively hit against, and overcome, the it opponents.

I wish teams, again, could carry 27 players. 13 pitchers, 14 position guys, or 12 pitchers, 15 position guys, as team's when I was a kid carried 15 position players. I'd be happy with Recker, very happy, as a 3rd catcher.

I don't fail to appreciate these guys have lives, families, etc. And put years into this career. Baseball screws so many fringe players by keeping it at 25 when they carry 2 or 3 more pitchers than they did in the 1960's.

It is very cheap and cold to those offensive guys to keep it at 25. Keeps guys like TJ Rivera out of the majors. Same with miserly minor league salaries. Baseball should change.

Ernest Dove said...

Id love to see more guys on active roster. Or even do what they do in football and basketball which is to activate and deactivate guys as often as possible. Always weird to have starters just chill in dugout, bullpen or wherever with no plans to see game action for at least 4days.
Obviously games would be extra long with extra pitching changes throughout game but might help in health department....

But I guess it is what it is. There are rules for a reason.
In soccer (the biggest sport in the world) you get 11 guys on field and 3 substitutions. If a guy gets thrown out of game, u play a man short thereafter. If u use all 3 substitutions and a guy on field gets injured u play a man short even though theres others standing there in sideline.

Thomas Brennan said...

To add to the previous thought, offensive players in 1965: 20 teams X 15 guys = 300

Pitchers in 1965: 20 teams X 10 guys = 200

Offensive players in 2015: 30 teams X 12.75 guys = 383

Pitchers in 2015: 30 teams X 12.25 guys = 372

So as an estimate, offensive players have only added 83 major league roster spots, while pitchers have added about 170. Given population growth, it is much harder to get an offensive major league spot than it used to be, meaning a lot of guys who'd have made it if there were still 15 offensive slots on each team would instead languish in minors, quit, or get just a brief cup of coffee in bigs. My take is that is a shame for those guys.

Mack Ade said...

I have to agree with Stubby here (did I say that?).

There is absolutely no reason anyone should be complaining about anything right now, but you should have read the #Twitter people yesterday after the 3-run HR in the first inning.

It was 'deGrom sucks', and 'we lost this one' and all sorts of stuff like that.

there are good games and bad games, but the current Mets 25-man squad is alright in my book until rosters increase on Sept 1st.

Stubby said...

Thomas, I have mixed feelings about increasing the roster size. You know as well as I do that MOST teams would MOST times fill the extra spots with more pitchers. And, no, I don't think you can put a cap on how many pitchers a team can carry, either. Saying you HAVE TO put offensive players in the extra spots won't work, either, since they'll just remove two position players from the 25 to get their extra arms.

But on Minor League salaries, I am with you 100%. THAT is a true life scandal and I do not understand why nobody ever talks about that. Sure, its hard to engender sympathy from some who wish they could be playing ball for a living, but some of those guys are on food stamps, for Christmas sake. And its all a lottery that most of them will lose. You COULD be the next $10 million dollar man. Or your arm could fall off and you're working at 7-11 the rest of your life. Baseball has an obligation to take at least "ordinary care" with those kids and that means, first and foremost, a respectable salary.

Thomas Brennan said...

Stubby, true that teams would try to manipulate things if the rosters went to 26 or 27. We'll just ask Iran to monitor it for us LOL.

I think that AAA MINIMUM annual salary s/b $100K; AA $80K; high A $ 60K; mid A $50K; rookie leagues $35K. This is 2016, for Pete's sake. Those levels would certainly not be excessive.

Guys who make AAA are near the pinnacle of a very competitive profession. They should not be paid like dogs.

Mack's Mets © 2012