Mack’s Morning Report – Thoughts on The 2005 Playoffs

Good morning.

The Mets playoff season is already far past where I thought they would be. I had no plan on writing about any Mets playoff series other than the one they would have the honor of playing against the highest paid team in baseball that just happens to have the top two starting pitchers in baseball. That would have been clearly enough for me this season.

First on the Dodgers…

I offer both congratulations and condolences to manager Don Mattingly, who I do expect to move on from the glitz and gleam of Los Angeles (possibly not by choice).
I have nothing nice to say about Chase Utley so I’ll leave it at that.

P Zack Grienke has opted out of his contract,  SS Jimmy Rollins, P Brett Anderson, 2B Howie Kendrick, and P Jim Johnson are free agents while additional players that could opt out are 2B Chase Utley, P Bronson Arroyo, P J.P. Howell, and P Joel Peralta. The 2016 version of this team should be much different, plus it should be dominated by some of their younger players (like the Mets) like OF Yasiel Puig, C Yazmani Grandal, SS Corey Seager, and OF Joc Pederson (though many feel that Puig will never play in Dodger blue again).

But enough of the Dodgers.

Here’s my random thoughts on the Mets right now:

The Mets played this series basically without any production from either 3B David Wright or 1B Lucas Duda. My guess is ‘The Captain’ and his contract will not become an issue next season, but Duda could be banging his head right now that he walked away from the negotiations table before the season started. The Mets may want to consider signing a two year stop gap until prospect Dominic Smith becomes ready. Yes, Duda can hit come long home runs, but he seems incapable at times of doing little else.

(While we’re on the subject of stop gap first baseman, did you ever consider resigning one of your top players (and, so far, playoff hero) for a couple of more years to play there? No one bleeds orange and blue more than Daniel Murphy and, IMO, he’s easily worth half of what the Dodgers pay Kershaw.
You get the best of both worlds. You can call up heir apparent Dilson Herrera, who you hope someday can hit as well as… err… Murphy. Murphy plays his best defensive position and his all-star bat remains in the lineup.)

Yes, the Mets are a little short right now on experienced middle infielders; however, they might want to consider moving Murphy to first for the Cubs series and inserting Kelly Johnson on to second base.

The Bartolo Colon out of the pen thing seems to be working and I would expand that to more use of Jon Niese, even if it was to only pitch against one batter per game. You’re not going to do anything to hurt these two guys arms at this point in both the season and their career. They both easily represent two of the best twelve pitchers on the team and would be perfect set up men for any combination of Addison Reed, Tyler Clippard, and Jeurys Familia.

Matt Harvey is set up to start both game one (10-17) and game six (10/24). Steven Matz goes in game two (10-18) and game seven (10-25). My guess is that Noah Syndergaard will pitch game three (10-20) while Jacob deGrom will pitch only game four (10-21).

And lastly...

The Mets paid Bobby Bonilla more this season ($1.2M) than any of their 4 NLDS starters (deGrom, Syndergaard, Harvey, Matz)


Ernest Dove said...

Its crazy how Mets can now officially take into. Consideration one's playoff performance on their team when it comes to contracts and long term commitment going forward.

Thomas Brennan said...

Playoff perormance is so important, Ernest, in evaluating what you've got, I agree, Ernest.

Mack, I am on board (as of right now) With re-signing Murph and putting him at 1B. A bat like his that will make opponents sweat all the time is a real positive, and he has charisma and is articulate. I could see him as a future Mets broadcaster...and maybe a manager.

We have a middle infield surplus in the minors approaching New York like a big storm. First, Dilson is ready. Second, before 2016 ends, Smith could be ready. He is ahead of where Conforto was this time last year

Rosario, McNeil, Cecchini, Guillorme in 2017-18. Reynolds may bounce back in 2016.

So, as of now, I see Duda as expendable surplus in 2016, and would think he could be part of a creative, impactful trade that could help carry this team in years to come.

Maybe Lucas explodes in the next 2 series and cha yes that whole equation. We live in fascinating times.

If Wheeler comes back really healthy in the 2nd half of 2016, he could join what would be perhaps the best starting 5 (as of a specific point in time) in major league history. As of a point in time, Harvey and deGrom could esily be like prime Seaver, Thor like a young Clemens, Matz like a young Jerry Koosman, and Wheeler like a young Nolan Ryan. What a foundation to build on. Exciting.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

As for Wheeler... let's remember his scouting reports were higher than Harvey at the time they were both at the same level in the minors. I have no doubt he will be back.

I also know that there is no rush now that the Mets have established the 4 starters already in the rotation and still have Niese.

Michael S. said...

Echoing Mack - Re-sign Murphy for 1B, trade Duda.

Unless Duda has aggravated that back injury and no one knows about it, he has looked awful. DeGrom too better ABs vs Greinke than he did.

Thomas Brennan said...

Michael, if Duda is still hurt, they need not tell the world, just sit him vs. Lefties like Lester. Play Cuddyer at first instead, IMO. If the back is barking, how could rest not help.

Thomas Brennan said...

It is true, Mack. We could have 5 #1 caliber starters, 3 or more of whom could be top tier # 1 starters. Better than starters in 1969 or 1986.

Mack Ade said...

I don't expect Duda to wake up this playoff series (or next one?), but, even if he did, I would rather put a QO out there for Murphy.

Guys, Murphy is one of the quality bats in baseball and loves being a Met. Don't create another Jose Reyes situation. He would be a great stop bap first baseman.

Ernest Dove said...

I also dont understand how team can be willing to give $21mil to cuddyer but not $16mil to murph for next year.
This is not the NFL with a salary cap so WINNING teams that reach the NLCS in baseball shouldn't have to start losing talented players over a few extra million (that have probably been made in playoff ticket sales and tv revenue this postseason already anyway)

Michael S. said...

I wouldn't tell anyone either. I'm just leaving open the possibility that he's hurt and not just lost.

Michael S. said...

I make no predictions, but I hope Mets fans keep in mind and expect our pitchers to know - for all the thunder in the Cubs' bats, Bryant, Baez, and Soler all project out to 200+ strikeouts over a full season. Rizzo seems to be the only one with plate discipline...and the Mets have superior pitching on paper.

Gbaked said...

I was with you until the rotation.

No way Matz starts game 7.

Ernest Dove said...

The thing about all-or-nothing hitters is that if they go 1-4 with 3 Ks and a 3 run homer that might win the game...............
Its playoff baseball......Harvey is on normal rest. He should have 'unlimited' pitch count (100-120) and so he shouldn't have to 'pitch to contact' to stay in the game........pitch to STRIKEOUT in playoffs.

bob gregory said...

I like Murphy.
But I want more offense from my first baseman.

2nd base? 3rd base? Fill in at first base sometimes???? Sure. Sounds good.
Full time 1st baseman though??
No thank you.

Hmmm... now any chance of getting Votto??
Or.. move Wright to first base?

Mack Ade said...

GBaked -

Yeah, I'm just guessing past Game 1.

Everything will next hinge on where Syndergaard can be slotted in.

Mack Ade said...

Bob Gregory -

I said stop gap first baseman until opening day 2017.

Ernest Dove said...

If anything the Mets can take their chances next year with Dilson at 2B, Wilmer at SS , cconforto in LF and Lagares in center...............if something big is needed like say........well.........a Cespedes type rental, the Mets can offer one of their half dozen or so talented middle infield prospects.
They don't have to shell out $100mil contracts to anyone right now to play for the team.

Ernest Dove said...

Oh and duda at first for another shot one year arb deal

Thomas Brennan said...

As long as Murphy did not get a ridiculous contract, if we needed to go 3 or 4 years, he'd have a tradeable contract, even if we had to eat a small part. We just need to avoid albatross contracts like Santana and Bay. We need a potent offense to give us perhaps a decade-long run if we play this right. Average to above average offense with THIS pitching? Wow.

Adam Smith said...

I think that folks are being too quick to want to dump Duda. He clearly wasn't healthy for part of the year, and might be hurting now. The guy carried the team for most of the second half last season, and looked even better the first two months this year. When he's going well, you can't pitch to the guy, and 25-35 HR guys are very hard to find these days. Add to that he showed improvement hitting lefties for much of this season, plays an above average 1B, and will be on another reasonable,one-year contract next season. I'd re-sign Murph (for the QO if he'll take it) but unless they think that his back will be a long-term issue, I'd also keep Duda.

Dallas said...

There is no way DeGrom doesn't go two games in this series. Also find it hard to believe Thor couldnt go game 2 from pitching one inning of relief (though I get they had him up a few times). It will have been two days rest since then. DeGrom has to go game 3 & 7 I think. However they make that happen.

Mets need Cespedes in CF. Lagares is not the answer. They need to upgrade another position if they don't get Cespedes. I like Flores but that is a spot still needing of an upgrade if it can be found. However like this year they may not have the options they want. Will be interesting to see how Wheeler/Niese/Verrett/Montero play out for the 5th slot. Nice to seem to have that covered.

Charles said...

I'd love them to resign Murphy. He's a gamer.

At the same time, it isn't the end of the world if they don't. Our two best positional, home grown players in the last 20 years were Reyes and Wright.

Both got big money, only one with the Mets, and both haven't come close to living up to the deals they got.

Murphy will never get that type of deal, but just as an insurance policy against David's back, the Mets should sign him. He's also be a wonderful back up if Herrera can't figure out the majors quickly.

Money wise, I think Murphy is very likely to command at least 10 million a year. And I think he'll get at least 3 years. I could see the Giants signing him for third base.

He seems like the type of player they love. A gamer and team player. A winner.

I doubt the Mets retain him and my only question is wether the Mets have the balls to offer him a QO. I could see Murphy accepting a one year 16 million dollar contract. I think how the rest of the post season goes, and how well Murphy continues to shine, will have a lot to do with how this all plays out.

Mack's Mets © 2012