The Morning Report 9.3.2015 | The Harvey Plan is the Right Plan, Lost Season for Vic Black, Conforto Continues to Platoon in 2015


Matt Vaccaro New York Post- Harvey had started the game brilliantly, had clearly lost a yard or two on his fastball, had lost a little bite on the other pitches. After a month of otherworldliness, he had merely been of-this-world-liness. The Mets were fine with that. Identifying Harvey for what they believe him to be — their horse, the nucleus around which their precise October plans reside — is more essential. And as his strength sapped, we might have seen that a vulnerable Harvey still can be a valuable Harvey. “This is the time of year we’ve talked about, that he’s talked about,” Collins had said before the game. “One of the things we had discussed all summer long, when all the innings things started to rear its ugly head, Matt said, ‘I’m pitching in the playoffs. If we get to the playoffs, I want to be able to pitch.’ ”

(Chris Soto: There is now talks about skipping Harvey again during the month of September just to be sure that he will have innings left over for October should the Mets hold on and get there. It's the smart move and the correct one at the same time and Harvey seems to finally be on board with the plan. Secretly, the front office is hoping that the team continues to put the peddle to the floor and lock this thing up before the last week of the season. If they can, it will allow them to essentially bench deGrom, Syndergaard, and Harvey for another turn through the rotation to make sure they are fresh for the start of the playoffs.)

Joe D. Metsmerized Online- When I first learned that the Mets had traded Marlon Byrd to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Vic Black and Dilson Herrera, I remember an article on FanGraphs entitled Vic Black, Pirates Closer of the Future. I became a huge Black fan almost immediately. He had an electric 4-seam fastball and a great slider that came down and in to left-handed hitters, potentially making him a solid crossover reliever in the near future. I had high hopes for him. So it was kind of sad to hear that the Mets had outrighted him to Triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday, which essentially means he was removed from the 40 man roster. A herniated disc in his neck as well as a shoulder strain sent him to the DL and derailed his season.

(Chris Soto: I was very surprised that Black not only was DFA'd off the 40 man roster...but actually cleared waivers. There are a number of rebuilding teams that could certainly use a strong young arm to anchor their future rotations. The fact that he cleared means that GM's all around the MLB are afraid about just how much damage he has sustained from his injuries over the past 18 months. Like Joe said...it really is a shame to see so much talented be limited due to poor health. Hopefully Black can recover some more over the off-season and earn a spot back on the 40 man roster next year.)

Adam Rubin ESPN New York-  New York Mets manager Terry Collins consistently has said that rookie left fielder Michael Conforto will not be a platoon player during his career. Still, because of the presence of righty-hitting outfielders Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Cuddyer and Juan Lagares, the lefty-hitting Conforto essentially will be a platoon player this season. “We’ve brought people in here that hit lefties, that have a career record of hitting lefties,” Collins said. “And right now that’s what we’ve been doing, and I’m going to stay with it.”

(Chris Soto: Look...there is no doubt that Conforto is going to be a special player for the Mets for at a bare minimum the next 6 seasons, However, the Mets have guys on the roster right now that crush lefties. There's no sense letting those guys ride the pine.....like Keith Hernandez says "Play to Your  Strengths!" Having Conforto in vs righties and other guys in vs lefties it working really well right now so if it aint broke....don't fix it! There will be an everyday job for him in 2016.)


Anonymous said...

On Conforto, I get the logic, but I'd still give him some looks vs. LHP.

Lagares can sit those out.

I think TC has done a great job keeping everybody involved and in sync. All pulling on the same oar. He's done this with a strict platoon. As I've said from the beginning, I'd like to see him now react a little bit to what he's seen, and loosen up the formula for LHP and RHP.

Not up in arms about this, but Conforto > Fat Lagares.

James Preller

Ernest Dove said...

I also have no issues with Conforto platoon. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence in him or him needing experience. .....its a playoff run. Hes a rookie. Its now post sept 1 with the roster expansion. No need to hit certain lefties against lefties and certain righties against righties.
Although what I was definitely not happy with was terry collins decision to remove a hot Conforto from last nights game, with a 3 run lead, to have EY Jr pinch run. Made no sense to me.

Anonymous said...

On the substitution, TC was likely going with a defensive alignment in the OF in the 8th anyway, and it was unlikely that Conforto would get another AB. No problem here.

Back to platoon: Kershaw is on fire right now, just lights out. There's a scenario where the Mets face him twice in the NLDS. I don't know if I want to look back in 5-10 years and see the Mets lose a couple of low-scoring games while Michael Conforto sits on the pine and watches.

Remember when Homer Simpson, managing a stacked softball team, pinch-hits for Daryl Strawberry because they brought in the lefty?

We should get the chance to see how he performs against LHP. And Conforto should get an opportunity to earn that playing time.

James Preller

Ernest Dove said...

BTW I can't believe I've waiting this long in the morning to comment on Bryce Harper, everyone's pain in the ass, literally experiencing a pain in the ass.

Herb G said...

The stretch run/post season is definitely NOT the time to experiment with Conforto or to give him some experience facing lefties. There's plenty of time for that in 2016. Meanwhile, put the guys with experience and the track record facing southpaws, and play to win every game.

Mack Ade said...

Morning guys -

I'm very sorry to hear about Vic Black. I hope he can make a full recovery and work his way back to the Mets pen next season.

I don't want to rain on the 2015 parade, but there will be a lot of work needed next season to rebuild a relief squad that, this season, has been shaky at best.

TP said...

Good morning all.

Chris - agree 100% that platooning Conforto right now based on the strength of the team is the right thing to do.

Mack - the 2016 pen will need some work, but I don't see an overhaul. For what it is worth, they control Reed (and Parnell). They'll definitely need a legit 8th inning guy that can close, and a legit lefty, and Edgin will be returning. I do think Robles has potential, and as he matures and gains experience will be more effective.

Anonymous said...

If the Mets don't add him back to the roster, he becomes a FA at the end of this year, so not to sure he will be back in Vegas next year.
Anon Joe F

Mack Ade said...

TP -

Is that true about Reed?

Anonymous said...

Regarding the Conforto platoon, let's start with some facts:

>> Conforto hit .333 against left-handed pitching and .303 against right-handed pitching this season with Double-A Binghamton before his promotion to the majors.

So far with the big-league team that trend has held almost identically, albeit in a small sample size. The young slugger is batting .310 vs RHP and .330 vs LHP with the Mets. <<

And know that by sitting Conforto, you are playing Juan Lagares or Michael Cuddyer.

In June, when it became clear to me that the run-starved Mets needed to call up their best-hitting prospect ASAP, the chorus of disagreement was nearly universal. He'd be ruined!

But the truth is, this kid is a ballplayer. The best player to come up through the system since David Wright, and now you insist on turning him into a platoon player? Without even giving him a chance to continue to do what he's already done: bash lefties.

The argument has moved to the point where those who didn't want to bring him up now don't want to play him against LHP.

The kid is a star and he can change the game with one swing of the bat.

James Preller

Michael S. said...

I'd rather play Conforto every day but I understand the platoon given the OF depth and the pennant race. Next year, he's our ED LF with no platoon. Sandy can configure next year's roster taking that into account.

Thomas Brennan said...

Mack, not to worry about future bullpen. We get a well rested Jennry Mejia back for the final 2 months of 2016. No innings limit LOL.

Anonymous said...

One more thing about the lineup vs. LHP.

Granderson: .164/.228/.250
Cespedes: .195/.262/.381

Meanwhile, Conforto has 6 ABs against LHP this year. Six.

Lagares gets his starts, and he has an OPS vs. LHP of .762. No bad.

But do we really believe that Juan Lagares is a better hitter than Michael Conforto?

Where's the logic here?

James Preller

Mack Ade said...

I'm still not sure who fills out the lineup card anymore.

My spin...

I want Cespedes and Granderson to play every day.

Christopher Soto said...


TP is correct. Addison Reed is under team control for an additional two seasons.

That said he's Abitration Eligible. Probably won't get too big of a raise this off-season.

Forecast 2016 salary: $5.5M

Herb G said...

Yes, true about Reed, but not so about Parnell. He is a FA this winter.

Mack Ade said...

Very happy about Reed.

Reed, Familia, Gilmartin, Robles...

Good start.

Herb G said...

Let's start by agreeing that Conforto is an outstanding hitter who will be a star in the future. I believe most of us here were ecstatic when he was brought up. That said, he is still a rookie and therefore a somewhat riskier bet than the veteran RH hitters when it comes to facing lefties. Do you really want to bet on his .762 OPS (inflated by 1 walk in 7 PAs) when you could be playing Cuddyer, with his .874 OPS, or even Lagares and his .756. I'll stick with the platoon down the stretch.

Michael S. said...

I'd bring back Clip and add Edgin to that group. The bullpen could be very good next year.

Lew Rhodes said...

Don't forget Goeddell also

Our pen is already nearly set

Lew Rhodes said...

Don't forget Goeddell also

Our pen is already nearly set

Anonymous said...

Herb, again, my point is simple and it's surprising that you disagree.

Conforto has gotten 6 ABs against LHP. His history indicates that he can handle it. The Mets manager just announced that he won't get any starts against LHP.

As in: none.

In what world does that make sense? Curtis Granderson can't catch a few of those days off? He's hit .162 against them for the year.

And for my money, I say Conforto is a better hitter than Lagares, period. Why not find out? Why not give him some starts, here and there, and see what happens? There's everything to gain and nothing to lose.

Do you think Cuddyer should take Conforto's ABs next season? You don't seem to. Why are you so satisfied for that to happen this year, all the time?

I think it's ridiculous to limit this future all-star in this way. Terry simply doesn't want to SEE him in the game against LHP. Ever. That's the decision. I find that incurious, to say the least. A lost opportunity that possibly diminishes the firepower of the 2015 NY Mets.

Why be so content to bury this kid?

James Preller

Mack's Mets © 2012