The Morning Report 9.14.2015 | Niese Better but Not Good Enough Still, Front End of Bullpen Ready for Playoffs, Harvey No Longer a "Luxury"


Mike Puma New York Post- Jon Niese kept the Mets in Sunday’s game even without the benefit of defensive support.“It was a big step forward, Niese said. “With everything that happened today it was a crazy game, but with a great outcome.” “I thought he pitched better than the results were today,” manager Terry Collins said. “He certainly had much better command and made pitches when he had to, and hopefully that is what you’re going to see from him the rest of the way.”

(Chris Soto: Ehh....it wasn't THAT good of a performance for Niese yesterday. In 6 IP, he still gave up 3 ER on 8 hits with only 3 K's. That's not exactly a dominating performance, nor is it one that will earn his playoff rotation spot back from the recently dominant Bartolo Colon. The Mets would be wise to start using Niese out of the bullpen on his "side session" days just so that he is ready to contribute from there if he is needed in the playoffs.)

James Newman Mets 360- With lineups and starting rotations requiring so much focus and consideration throughout the offseason and during the season, the bullpen is a part of baseball that can be easily overlooked; yet it can make or break you when it comes to the playoffs. If you do not think bullpens are important, look at what happened this past week when the Mets played the Washington Nationals. The formula of Erik Goeddel, Addison Reed, Tyler Clippard and Jeurys Familia is going to become a regularity in the postseason, as Goeddel has shown he can pitch in the big leagues, while the remaining three are extremely productive veterans.

(Chris Soto: The story of the bullpen continues to be the same over the past 2 weeks. Outside of Clippard's stinker this weekend, these 4 guys have been extremely solid at the front end of the bullpen. Unfortunately, everyone else compiling the back end of the bullpen hasn't been so good and that's ok. When it comes to the playoffs, rest is no longer going to be a concern; Getting work in for everyone is not going to be a concern either. Terry Collins is going let his SP throw deep into games and then ride his best 4 arms the rest of the way; As it should be.)

Rob Taub Huffington Post- How many people have a 26-year-old doctor? Lawyer? Accountant? Real estate broker? Not many of us, as most folks in their mid-twenties are just beginning their careers. Matt Harvey is no different. Harvey has a professional career and adult life ahead of him, yet because he's a baseball player, he faces far more scrutiny than most other twenty-somethings. This doesn't make him smarter or more insightful than his peers, yet the rush to judge him has been harsh and merciless. I like the Mets. I like Matt Harvey. I want to see the Mets win -- not just now, but for many years to come. They need a healthy Harvey for that to happen. Keep track of those innings. Take care of the elbow.

(Chris Soto: Ok....these are my final words on the Matt Harvey situation. First off, I don't think anyone is mad at him for expressing concern for his long term health. Why should we? It's a very legitimate concern. However, the process of how he handle it; trying to strong arm the Mets into shutting him down and having his agent argue with the club about the issue publicly, was an idiotic way of handling it. Plus when you add that into the numerous "excuses" he's given after every poor start, it's starting to wear thin on the fans. We are getting tired of hearing about Matt Harvey! As good as he is...guess what? Your not a luxury anymore, your a commodity. Syndergaard is also good, Matz is also good, deGrom is actually better!, and Wheeler has started throwing again. Face it Matt....your not the center of attention anymore....nor should you try to be.)


Thomas Brennan said...

Oddly on Harvey, this season was so fragile up to July 31 that if Harvey had been coddled with reduced innings, maybe we'd have been 4 or 5 further games back, and never got Cespedes, etc., so it worked out for the best. He needs to just pitch. They are well aware of his innings situation and will try to work with him. If I were him, I'd be concerned too. 99% of his career salary lies ahead, if he stays healthy.

If everyone is disgruntled with Matt, how about a trade of Harvey, Nimmo, and Smith for Bryce Harper, who also ruffles some feathers?

Niese is someone I do not want to see starting in post-season. Just not good enough.

I liked looking over to the side of the web page and seeing that big, fat "11" for the magic #.

Charles said...

The bullpen:

I'm very worried that the Clippard/Familia combo is going to be overworked by the time we get to the playoffs. Terry has done a great job since being handed the keys to the Porsche at the deadline, but now that they're comfortably in control of their division, these two boys shouldn't ever enter a game that isn't a save situation.

I don't need the Mets to gain another game on the Nationals, if the Mets are up by 4 or more, KEEP THEM OUT OF THE GAME!

Terry said he's scoreboard watching and if they have a chance to add a game on the Nats, he goes to his horses. That's fine when you're up by 6/7 games. Not 8 and up. The only way this team wins a championship is if those two arms are fresh in October.

Here's hoping Parnell can build off his outing yesterday but to be honest, he can put up zeroes everyday until the playoffs and I still wouldn't put him in a big spot come October.

He did an great job closing games for a bad team two years ago but to me he's still unproven when it counts and the pressure is on. I know he's blown at least one opening day save and my memory is telling me it's actually two. Although I'm not sure about that. On a bad team, that's a big save and I just don't think he has the stones for it.

Michael S. said...

We're still fighting for home field against the Dodgers even if the Nats are essentially out of it.

Mack Ade said...

Thomas -

Your trade for Harper wouldn't work... Smith doesn't hit enough home runs... :)

Dallas said...

I thought Niese did very well yesterday. He had to get at least an extra 6 outs with the horrid defense behind him and the hits that were legit (official scorer was really bad) werent hit very hard. I'm not sure he should have had any earned runs. I was trying to keep a tally as the game went along and I ended up with 11 or 12 extra outs they gave the Braves. It's amazing they were only down 3 runs in the 9th for that amazin comeback. However I agree I would not have him as a started in the playoffs.

I 100% agree on Familia and Clippard. Clippard has been very overworked. He threw something like 40+ pitches recently, got one day off then used multiple days in a row again. I want homefield advantage vs Dodgers but I would rather have these guys rested.

How about skipping DeGrom once? Seems to have done wonders for Thor and DeGrom doesnt seem his dominant self lately. I wonder if a skipped start would give him a shot in the arm.

Anonymous said...

Niese is on the outside looking in, and it will be one of the organization's toughest decisions when it comes to the postseason roster. The right thing would be to honor his long service with a spot in the pen; the correct thing might be to keep folks in the roles they've previously performed all season.

These are going to be tough, gut-wrenching decisions. I'd hate to see him left off, but it may be the wisest move to make.

I don't believe in the notion that it's inappropriate for Matz to work as a reliever because he once had TJ surgery a few years back.

BTW, there's no way Niese gave up 8 hits yesterday; at least 2-3 of those were non-plays by a sleepy defense. Brutal. They didn't actually hit many balls hard. But, yes, it was Atlanta. The stat line doesn't begin to convey what happened on the field.

Matz needs to show us something these last few starts to make the decision easier.

James Preller

Ernest Dove said...

Hey Mack,
The Nats would have to add more to the trade package with Harper in order to acquire Harvey AND Dom Smith ;)

Thomas Brennan said...

Dom Smith is saving up all his homers for the big leagues - watch out in a year or two :)

Thomas Brennan said...

On resting guys - it started yesterday and will continue. The Mets are not going to blow this lead, and so Clippard and Familia and others should continue to get reduced workloads - and I am sure after Thor's great post-rest outing that deGrom will be slated for one. We can still let Jake pinch hit so he can feel like he is part of things.

Thomas Brennan said...

I heard the Nats were interested in that deal until they heard that Nimmo's .354 was not his batting average but his slugging %.

Harper, a few months older than Nimmo, has a slug % 300 points higher than Nimmo, against slightly tougher pitching, I might add

bob gregory said...

I wonder if any if the "hits" will be officially changed to errors over the next couple of days.

Tejada's defense seems to be slipping (focus problem spoken about him in the past?).
Flores's defense not as bad as feared in his 2b/ss switching role.

bob gregory said...

Imagine keeping Both Cespedes & Murphy going into next year.

If Conforto , D'Arnaud and Flores's promising performance the 2nd half of this season are signs of what is to come from them...... wow

Imagine A full season with an offense similar to how it is now supporting the strong young pitching.
Arguably, it could be a recipe for a dynasty.
Before arguing about how impossible it may be because of salaries..
Just take a moment to imagine what the results could likely be.
Would full 3,4,5, or more full seasons of performance be similar to the 2nd half performance of this season?
Just how much $$ would that bring the Wilpons?
Could the Mets become the dominating face of NY sports again as it was in the 80's?
Could the Mets dethrone the Yankees as kings of the NY Mountain?

Pretty exciting rewards if possible.
Worth the risks involved?

Zozo said...

I thought I read back in the day that Blevins might be ready for the postseason?

Anonymous said...

I had to run a bunch of errands and then went to the gym during the game yesterday (Im in CA, so no radio or TV), so when I got home and put on MLB.TV, Lagares was just coming to the plate. I thought to myself, is it even possible that some magic could happen? Juan had a great AB fouling off pitches and when the ball missed Maybin's glove by a mere inches, I kind of moved to the edge of my chair. When Grandy worked out the walk, I felt it was a 50/50 chance they could pull the game out. How crazy is that and how many teams are inspiring that sort of confidence in their fans. Murphy goes long and my odds go from 50/50 to 100/0. This team has been sprinkled with fairy dust and is an absolute joy to watch right now. Forget about meaningful games in Sept. how about magical games in Sept?
Anon Joe F

Reese Kaplan said...

While people are praising the bullpen, the puppet pulling the strings needs a major wake-up call. It was a one-run game when the skipper chose to introduce Tim Stauffer to Mets fans watching from afar. He promptly gave up the tying run. Then when LOOGY Dario Alvarez comes into the game, he leaves him in to face righty Daniel Castro who drives in a run, then he brings in Parnell who promptly gives up a two-run single and Terry Collins is praising him for the great job he did.

Wow, things are going so well for the team and they're catching so many breaks, but when it comes to head-to-head managing, I fear for the post-season.

Dallas said...

Not to nit pick, but I would hardly call Granderson botching a routine popup a knock on Parnell. He did pretty well, they said he had been working extensively with Warthen, hopefully its paying off. I agree however that bullpen management is not his forte.

Thomas Brennan said...

Anyone ever hear what happened to Robles not returning to the team Sat nite?

In fairness to Terry, if you don't have Familia, Clippard, and Robles available, you are using the pen (and he used 4 guys, right?) with your fingers crossed. Hopefully Torres' calf injury gave his right arm a much needed blow and he is good to go.

Mack Ade said...

Regarding 'resting players' -

IMO, the decision will be made by committee based on each player's need for rest.

Example: Cespedes thrives on playing so look for very little rest.

I'm sure the Mets are hoping that the majority of the 'magic numbers needed to clinch will come quickly, especially from Nats losses, but even then, they will try to continue to win to set up home field advantage through the NL playoffs.

Metsiac said...

As talented as he is, I'd find it hard to root for Harper, and even if we lose Yo, corner OF is not a position I'd trade Harvey for.

That said, a player reportedly available "for the right price" whets my appetite a LOT! Anyone here would do Harvey even up for Dee Gordon? Hits, runs and fields superbly. Could be the true leadoff hitter here for many years.

S. Finch said...

I'm in the trade Harvey for the right package camp. But dee Gordon!!? No no no no no! That would be selling astronomically low.

bob gregory said...

Can not agree strongly enough.

Thomas Brennan said...

Interestingly, Mets have 18 pitchers on the team right now, so rest is definitely the plan for our key guys.

I'd be curious to see if the 2 remaining guys on the 40 man roster that have not been called up, Akeel Morris and Gabe Ynoa, get called up. I'd be extremely surprised if Ynoa does - his performance was not major league worthy this year. I think it would be a good gesture to Akeel to call him up. He was very effective in AA down the stretch - reward the kid - and get him into a blow out game against a weaker hitting team if there are any of those left.

After July, including playoffs, he threw 17 innings, gave up 6 hits, walked 9 (too high) and struck out 23 in AA. He deserves it.

Thomas Brennan said...

Just noticed that Mets are up to 13th in runs scored and likely will end up in the top 10, as they are close to several teams above them.

Amazingly, after 6 weeks of sheer hitting, they are still only 26th in batting average. The reason why the latter is so low is Kirk, Campbell, Dilson, Monell, Muno, Recker, Mayberry, and Ceciliani have combined to go 119 for 655 (.181). Sandy was so right to acquire functioning bats.

James Preller said...

Ha, ha, ha.

Reese is complaining about Collins again. On a day with the team doesn't field -- and the pen actually does well -- and Collins successfully rests his entire postseason pen.



>> While people are praising the bullpen, the puppet pulling the strings needs a major wake-up call. It was a one-run game when the skipper chose to introduce Tim Stauffer to Mets fans watching from afar. He promptly gave up the tying run. Then when LOOGY Dario Alvarez comes into the game, he leaves him in to face righty Daniel Castro who drives in a run, then he brings in Parnell who promptly gives up a two-run single and Terry Collins is praising him for the great job he did. <<

Stauffer was brought up to do exactly what he did yesterday. Alvarez successfully pitched 1 1/3 the other day, good to see him go beyond strict LOOGY role. Parnell's hit was a pop fly lost in the sun.

The goal was to rest the pen . . . and they still did well . . . and the team still won.

When the takeaway is to whine about Collins, well, I really think you've missed a terrific season.

Metsiac said...

Yes, he was right to acquire them, but why did he wait until Terry was forced to endure a AAAA lineup until late July?

It's truly a credit to Terry that the team was .500+ for four mmonths.

Joshua said...

I'm in the James Preller camp. Reece, it's time to move on from the TC hating. We all know your feelings. If he royally screws something up in the playoff, feel free bust out the told-you-sos, they will be well deserved. For now though, can we just stay relevant to, and enjoy, the ridiculousness occurring during Mets games on a nightly basis?

Thomas Brennan said...

@ Metsiac, I think the AAAA players you refer to had to be tried out. I still think some will be good e.g.Ceciliani if he can ever stop with the hamstrings. But the pressure was on due to the whole team struggling to hit, and it is harder to try to crack the bigs In that scenario, unless you are a Conforto, whose HR yesterday reminded me of early Mattingly.

Compound that with everyone's sense that the Nats would wake up one day and go on a streak like the one the Mets have been on...but they failed to.

They probably figured if we're close end of July, somehow, they'd then pull out the stops withdeals for the Mets to make a real run. They did, and the pieces came together amazingly. That's my take anyway. They waited to do big moves in late July to sucker punch the Nats. It worked.

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