The Morning Report 9.1.2015 | Conforto Continues to Shine, Duda Not Ready for Activation, Addison Reed Ready to Secure the 7th, Nationals in Free-Fall


Anthony McCarron | NY Daily News- Michael Conforto had an eventful night in the Mets' 3-1 victory over Philadelphia Monday, from homering to open the scoring to more of his trademark patient at-bats to a play that served as reminder that the technology age is changing the game. He finished the night 2-for-2 with a walk and is now batting .293 with a .928 OPS and has reached base in 13 consecutive games. "We continue to very quietly talk about what a good player this guy has a chance to become," Mets' manager Terry Collins said after the game. "He's an outstanding hitter. He's got a great swing."

(Chris Soto: After seeing Conforto in Binghamton a few I had no doubts that he could hit around .250ish with some pop immediately, however, I could have never imagined him just fitting right in and crushing the way he has so far. A .293 AVG?? I thought that was his peak! A .928 OPS, Nope....never would've pegged him for that either. How about the good defense he has displayed? Hah...we were all told he was a below average defender and yet he's posted a +3 DRS so far which across a full season equals a +20.3 defensive UZR. A mark only the most elite of OF'ers even sniff.)

Mike Puma New York Post- The Mets’ first-base shuffle might continue longer than the club originally anticipated. Lucas Duda’s stiff lower back hasn’t progressed as quickly as the Mets would have hoped, leaving it unclear if he will be in position to return from the disabled list Sunday when he is eligible. “We don’t have any day in mind, be he hasn’t hit — he is still tracking [pitches],” manager Terry Collins said. “I don’t know how close he is. I know he gets his therapy inside and goes out and he’s doing what he should be doing. He’s played catch, so that was a good sign. He played catch [Monday] and tracked another 250 balls off the machines so he is doing stuff, he just hasn’t swung the bat.”

(Chris Soto: This is one of the view pieces of bad news the Mets have been dealing with during the 2nd half of the season. Yea....the team is doing well right now. However, if the club is going to continue to succeed and push into the playoffs, they are going to NEED Lucas Duda's power in the middle of this line-up. Having Duda hitting behind a guy like Cespedes or Wright will make pitcher's think twice about working around them as they certainly don't want men on base with Duda's 30 HR power behind them.)

Anthony DiComo Mets.com-  Addison Reed stepped into a Mets uniform for the first time on Monday. Bobby Parnell should return from the disabled list on Tuesday. With those two, and with Jeurys Familia and Tyler Clippard in tow, the Mets will spend September with four relievers boasting significant closing experience. If the bullpen was a significant concern for the Mets during the second half of August, manager Terry Collins is convinced it no longer is. "They're very good, all of them," Collins said. "When Bobby's healthy, he's dynamic. So it's going to make a big difference for us as we move into September, and we've got a lot of options and a lot of mixing and matching we can do with some quality relievers."

(Chris Soto: I'm not sure if I would go as far as saying it's no longer a concern....but Addison Reed certainly makes me feel a little better about the 7th inning. Reed struggled mightily in the month of June and ended up losing his closer's job to Brad Ziegler, but it wasn't that long again when he was considered one of the top young emerging closers in baseball. The stuff is certainly still there, in fact it seems almost seems normal since throughout his entire career he has always struggled in June. Hopefully the Mets have found lightning in a bottle here.)

David Schoenfield ESPN SweetspotThere's a time to recognize that baseball is a long, six-month grind and as a manager you have to be aware not to burn out your bullpen. Then there's a time to play with a little more urgency. That time is now for the Washington Nationals. When Ryan Zimmerman hit a three-run home run off St. Louis Cardinals reliever Kevin Siegrist in the top of the seventh to give the Nationals a 5-3 lead, the Mets had already won to momentarily increase their lead. This is the kind of game the Nationals had to win, just to keep pace. Piscotty singled. Peralta singled. Score tied. Both batters had two strikes on them but Janssen couldn't put them away. Williams watched his bullpen implode because he didn't want his eighth-inning guy to get four outs. It's bad baseball. It's bad managing. And yes, it was bad relief pitching. 

(Chris Soto: Boy are the Nationals in trouble! The magic number continues to dwindle, the bullpen is fading, the dream rotation isn't getting it done, and the media continues to turn on them. Bryce Harper isn't worried though... Well, he certainly should be! The Nats are now 6.5 Games Behind the Mets and with the Cubs and Pirates running away with the wild cards spots, they need to wake up and start playing better or else they'll be left out of the playoffs completely.)


Anonymous said...

I thought Bryce Harper was 100% correct when he said he wasn't worried about the Mets. Wasn't thinking about the Mets. His focus on was entirely on the Nationals winning games, that's what he meant. It's weird that he's gotten criticized for that comment in some quarters.

James Preller

Bob Sugar said...

Good read. With the Mets playing the Phillies and the Nats playing the Cardinals in St Louis this would be a great time to push the lead to 7.5 games. That's rings nicely this late in the year. Surprised Parnell is even discussed here. He was basically batting practice and needs the off season to get healthy and get right. Hopefully I don't see him again.

Christopher Soto said...


Harper probably shouldn't be receiving flak...but the timing of the comment followed by his team's failure to live up to expectations makes it look really bad.

Thomas Brennan said...

Hopefully Parnells 2 weeks off and throwing angle adjustment helps him. Sometimes all it takes.

Conforto was quite a draft pick. Keep rolling,

Job a Chamberlain would prefer a Nat-free playoff. Me too. Hopefully the Nats play very little meaningful Sept baseball.

Anonymous said...

I am not a Harper fan, but I've been (overall) impressed by his comments this year. He was very complimentary about Harvey and has been respectful of the competition all season. He made a huge mistake in his excitement about getting Scherzer -- give us the rings now -- and I'm sure that's a lesson he's learned. I don't care for him, and I think he may be too young & self-involved to be a leader, but he's had a hell of a season.

That's a team that needs to 1) fire Williams; and 2) look at team chemistry.

Rendon, to me, is potentially one of the superstars of the NL, and he's been largely derailed by injuries this season. And Werth is the guy who plays the game right, as the cliche goes, just a solid ballplayer, but he's been hurt and looks like just a shell of his normal self. It's hard to lead when you are on the DL, then hitting under .200. Dernard Span may be a more pivotal player than I realized.

I find that team fascinating. I've said it before, but they really remind me of the '87 Mets, a team that never could get it going.

James Preller

Ernest Dove said...

No time like the present for Mets to pull full speed ahead in this chase. Hows about a 4 game lead going into that last 3 game series with Nats?
Give Mets chance to rest the studs and set up the playoff rotation.

Oh and regarding conforto, you know the kid they didn't want on the team this year, good luck taking him out of the lineup against ANY opposing righties, even come playoffs ;)

Ernest Dove said...

Raise ur hand if u would love to see the final mets nats series include a mets three game rotation of Colon, Verrett and either one of Niese/Torres.

Anonymous said...

Love Conforto.

He needs to play 150 games next season, but that's an issue for another day.

James Preller

Dallas said...

I'll be honest I really like Harper's swagger. I agree with James, he has been respectful in his comments about the Mets generally. He didn't pull a Cole Hamels and call us chokers etc. I would love to have the guy on my team. I think its fine to have confidence in his team, things just didnt work out they way everyone expected. The guy seems to play with some fire and is still just 22 putting up MVP type numbers? I just find it hard to make him a villain. Guys like Utley/Rollins/Hammels felt easier to hate.

Anyways enough about Harper. I was reading some Rubin tweets and it looks like Matz will be rookie eligible next year and possible Conforto as well depending on how many more at bats he gets this September. Having a full year of those two will be exciting.

What do you guys thing about Herrera? Should we be worried that he is hitting only .330 in AAA? A place where MDD, Kirk, Monell, Campbell can do the same? Do the Mets give him a full time role next year mixed in with Flores/Tejada for the 2nd/SS positions?

Lew Rhodes said...

@Ermest - I would so love to have the Division wrapped prior to that series - just to get the stud pitchers lined up right

@ Conforto - he is exceeding all of our expectations - however here is something to chew on:

A 20 year old Mets rookie in 1988 put up this line in 29 games: .321/.364/.596

He was a highly ballyhooed prospect who, while having a solid career was no more than a solid player in his career - and not with the Mets

Guesses? (No looking it up - I gave you enough hints)

But, whenever a late season rookie tears it up, I keep this guy in mind to temper my enthusiasm

Also, Conforto is being massively set up for success by TC - he has a whopping 5 AB's vs. LHP

So yes, he is crushing RHP and it is very impressive - but we need to see him succeed against LHP before we go crazy

(This is just me tempering my own enthusiasm!)

Anonymous said...

Conforto is doing what I hoped he would do. Clearly was a hitter from day one, and I wanted the Mets to bring him up earlier. Kid can play.

Regarding a previous comment: I'd be willing to start Herrera at 2B next season with Wilmer in a super-sub role. (He should also learn how to play 1B.)

That said, it could be argued that Wilmer can put up .290 BA with 20 HRs next season.

So Sandy has a tough decision to make. For me, I think the Mets are best if Herrera can play that position full-time and Wilmer get 400 ABs as super sub.

Michael S. said...

I think Conforto has more sand than Gregg Jeffries (I didn't look it up lol). His problem was arrogance and pissing off the entire locker room of vets on that team. Conforto has different stripes.

Anonymous said...

One of the misguided arguments for keeping Conforto down in AAA -- besides the ludicrous "500 ABs" concept -- was that it would hurt his development.

Further, it was said by some that it would be better if he played everyday in AAA than if he sometimes sat with the Mets.

But just look around. Comprehend the education this kid is getting right now, just sitting in that locker room, experiencing a pennant race, watching David Wright prepare for a game, being a teammate of players like Uribe, Colon, Murphy, Cespedes -- players who all might be gone next season.

Playing on this team now has offered him lessons on a daily basis that could and should shape his entire professional career.

But most of all, why I wanted him here so badly, was because I believed he could help the Mets win games. We watched that awful offense almost destroy the season while our best hitting prospect toiled in AA, tearing it up.

The trades get more press & accolades, but for me I'm really glad that Sandy finally relented and brought up the hitter we needed so desperately. His arrival, along with Cespedes unexpected eagerness to play CF, helped put Lagares on the bench against RHP where he belonged.

James Preller

Mack Ade said...

Say what you will about Harper... and I've said plenty... but, at his age, he's probably the best player in baseball.

(I didn't say the best interview)

Adam Smith said...

@Dallas, Herrera's still going to be just 22 next season. I'd have him up with the idea of getting him 80-120 games at 2B (depending on how he's hitting. Let him get his feet wet and his game adjusted without the pressure or the grind of playing every day. Fortunately, with Wilmer around - who can play all over the IF (he really should bring a 1B glove with him to spring training) and the need for DW to get plenty of rest (if he's even healthy), and Tejada - who I believe will still be here, also able to play 3 positions, there's plenty of options. Assuming Murphy is gone (I'd give him the QO in a take it or leave it deal), I might even entertain the idea of bringing Uribe back on a one-year deal. also love the idea of keeping everyone on the IF fresh all year by playing them all 4-5 games per week, rather than every day. I think that's a winning Infield.

Mack Ade said...

Adam -

Dilson Herrera is one of my top prospects... had him #1 for 6 months and now is #3 on my list...

but hasn't Wilmer Flores earned the starting 2B position this year?

Metsiac said...

Mack---I'm not sure if you're referring to the 2B job this year or next, but IMO he has NOT "earned the starting 2B position". He's definitely shown enough to be in the mix, but until he can get his BA well above .250 and his OBP well over .300, he hasn't "won" anything yet.

Natale DiDonato said...

Typical Met fan here. I love Conforto but he's yet to face lefties. That being said, his numbers and approach against righties should sustain a good overall bat with plus defense. I can't believe how great this all is and we have all those shortstops around around the corner!

Robb said...

I think youre going into next season with a 4 headed hydra of wright, herrera, flores and tejada. assuming flores can play three positions. so he splits the 2b and ss job and picks up one of the days per week wright gets off. so in theory there are 324 games per year at ss/2b. 108 per player probably plus 20 for wrights days off plus the inevitable 15 day dl for one of them, would give all around 120 games, herrera 130 and flores probably around the 140 mark tejeda around the 100. so 370 total including pinch hitting or defensive replacements.

fyi right now flores has played 118 and tejada 87, including def and pinch hitting

Ernest Dove said...

Well for what its worth im also ok with Mets going into 2016 with Wright, Tejada, Flores and Herrera all on the 25man roster. Let the brain trust figure out what to do with playing time.
Unless some team blows the mets away with an offer for somebody and perhaps cespedes is not resigned etc. So that might become a factor depending maybe on Lagares health or even teams thought ongoing regarding Duda or something.

bob gregory said...

Are you referring to Flores???
Flores batting avg is over 260 currently.

Or are you agreeing with Mack because Herrera's major league batting avg is below .250?

Reese Kaplan said...

@Tom Brennan -- step back off the ledge, but word has come down that Danny Muno has been outrighted to Las Vegas in order to create a 40-man roster spot for Eric Young, Jr.

Mack Ade said...

Guys -

We're just not going to agree on shortstop in 2016.

I think Tejada is 'okay' but I'm starting to think of this team of being a lot more talented than 'okay'.

The Mets need an upgrade here and no one in the minors is ready yet.

The Mets need to take a long hard look at Cecchini in the off season. If they truly believe that he will step to the plate like Conforto seems to be doing, then you stay with the 3-headed monster named Ruban Flo-herra.

But you have to start laying all these prospects against both right and left handed pitching.

Dallas said...

Guys, I almost never criticize TC but his managing of the bullpen tonight was really embarrassing. He let a winnable game become unwinnable. He owes everyone at the stadium their money back. I just can't get over his use of his worst 3 relievers in a 2 run game letting game get completely out of control.

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