11/3/15

QUITE A SEASON, LOUSY FINISH by Tom Brennan

13 comments


Boy, oh boy, what a season. But a stroll down the Canyon of Heroes was not meant to be.

I enjoyed writing for Mack and all you readers and commenters. It has been an honor and a pleasure.

Under the "QUITE A SEASON" category, the topic of this missive, many notables:

THE STARTERS:

deGrom was superb.  His accomplishments were as long as his hair.  Love the guy.

Harvey, pitching more innings than any Tommy John alumnus in his year of return with 216 (?) was close to magnificent. I am not concerned with the media nonsense, he was great, don't Boras with the facts, Scottie boy.

Syndergaard oozes imminent greatness, and after his game 3 brush back, Jake said Noah can brush back his hair any time. Noah replied that Jake is welcome on his ark, anytime. Noah is the next Roger Clemens or Bob Gibson, you pick.

Steve Matz got raves from A Rod in the playoffs. Well deserved.  Steve HATES to do badly, and will challenge the 3 above for a Cy Young award in 2016. And beyond.

Zach Wheeler should make a fine #1 starter masquerading as a # 5 starter when he returns from TJS pain-free in mid 2016.

Bartolo Colon went far beyond what most elderly, portly folks can even dream about.  Kudos, Calm Man...and nice 2015 bat.

Jon Niese tried, was adequate, and will be valuable to another team with lesser wattage from its starters.

RELIEVERS:

Amongst the relievers, Jeurys Familia learned a lot in this series and had one heckuva season. He must have read "Being a Closer Is Easy" or some such, because most times, he made it look easy in his first season as closer.

Addison Reed was fine indeed, and Tyler Clippard wore down and may be done as a competent major league reliever. It is a fine line, as Bobby Parnell and Vic Black learned in 2015.

The rest of the pen tried gamely, but was certainly not Royal-ty. It needs a real upgrade to be like the Royals pen and avoid another LOUSY FINISH in 2016. A really strong pen and offense will keep the innings for the starters down in 2016...make it happen, owners.

Oh, I almost forgot Jenrry Mejia: I called him but he said he couldn't talk, he was at the drug store.

INFIELD:

Daniel Murphy was sensational until the World Series, but a suddenly quieted bat and porous game 4 glove helped spell doom.  I'd like him back...at first base. And of course at 2nd and 3rd as needed.

Wright had some great moments, but not enough.  Five years left on his big contract, how many will be competitive?  Captain, or Capsized?  Time will tell.

Wilmer Flores flashed leather late in the season (surprise!), but the AAA RBI Machine of 2013 and 2014 couldn't manage any over the last several weeks...which brought tears to my eyes. He should be better in 2016.  Ruben Tejada was valuable.  Too bad he got Utley-ed. May Utley take up acting and break a leg.

Lucas Duda gives them power, but he seems to not thrive against tougher pitchers and in pressure situations. I was in a bowling league years ago, and in a tight 10th frame, man, I felt the pressure, so it must be crazy intense in a close World Series.  Some guys love it, others, well....

Travis d'Arnaud showed signs of being a big hitter, similar to Duda, but was uneven, hit into a lot of DPs, and leaves his rifle home when baserunners are stealing. He will be challenged by Kevin Plawecki, who was a very solid sub starter as a rookie for many games in 2015. Should be an interesting battle in 2016 as to who starts. Both should stay, and one should grab a 1B glove against lefty starters.

OUTFIELD:

Grandy was magnificent in 2015. My only minor gripe was that he should be able to counter the shift better. See ya in 2016.

Cespedes was mercurial, then minimal. Was it because he was hurt?  Will he be back?  Not sure.  But they don't win the pennant without him...or make the World Series.  So, thank you.   I clamored for his return over the 3 months he was here, but his last 6 weeks or so made me less enamored.

Michael Conforto makes you drool to think what he may well become offensively...which just might be the Mets' best offensive player ever. Very likeable, he really helped in the playoff push, and those 2 homers in WS game 4? Wow.

Juan Lagares - how much did the sore elbow affect not just his defense, but also his offense, in 2015?  Unclear, but he was at best a 4th outfielder in 2015.  If management is confident that he can be repaired in the off season, and they feel his 2015 play was diminished offensively by the bad wing, a Cespedes return is far less likely.

Michael Cuddyer - Just got old, played injured, or both? He looked really old at season's end, so is scary for a $10 million + guy for 2016, which, when it starts, he'll be that much older in.

BENCH:

Awful until the late trades, solid thereafter. The new acquisitions provided some big knocks, like the Kelly Johnson blast off of Strasburg that helped crush the Nats. Love Uribe.  Several bench guys combined in July were hitting worse than the pitchers. Cannot happen again.

MANAGER:

Terry Collins won manager of the year. Deserved it. He came in last in the World Series manager vote, though. Toss the Book, Terry.

That's my random thoughts on "Quite a Season", folks.  A guy could write a whole lot more about these fellas.

Thursday, the Lousy Ending portion of my season recap.

I would be remiss not to add that management recovered in late July, but CANNOT half step this off season. Magnificent starters are a real strategic advantage. Don't squander it.  Build with the intent to DOMINATE in years to come.




13 comments:

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

There is a lot of this team that is already slated to be gone from this team.

The good news is the starting pitching will still be there.

Right now, current projected salaries in 2016 with the current crew, including ARB raises, will be around 100K.

The 2016 future of this team may be based on how much more they intend on spending

Thomas Brennan said...

True, it is weird, Mack, that being in the World Series leaves no time to decompress before the process of dealing with 2016 has time urgency.

They can't spend foolishly, but they got lots of extra $$$ this year, so they need to spend a lot and not hope it all works out in the bargain basement shopping bin again. It didn't last year when they shopped cheap. It took several pitching prospects being traded to fix their mistakes.

My brother brought up wanting Andrew Miller so bad for Mets last winter. Imagine Familia and Andrew Miller out of the pen? Maybe I'd be watching a ticker tape parade today on a lovely day in NYC.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

KC (like SF and St. Louis in the past) have proved the value of a deeply talented bullpen, something the Mets do not have.

They have one tough decision to make with who they have left and that's Reed. He makes a lot of money for the role he plays.

One more thing about salaries...

The Mets will probably spend at least $4mil more to Harvey through arbitration. This raises the bar too

Reese Kaplan said...

For a guy who lives by the "Dance With the One Who Brung Ya" philosophy, it was puzzling to see guys like Gilmartin, Goeddel and Robles who excelled much of the year be minimalized or not even put on the roster.

Alexander Han said...

Tom, thanks for this overview. I agree with most all of it. IT's funny, seems most of Mack's Mets is agreeing right now. Things must be pretty obvious. Or we've all just succumbed to group think.

I also think we should resign Murph if we can get him for 3 years and $45 or so. We absolutely need infield depth. sure, Murph has his flaws but no one's perfect, we know what we're going to get from him, he's one of us, he is a Met and that counts for a lot.

As for Cespedes, that's a tough one. I'm also disappointed by his lack of adjustment after mid-September, his inability to snap out of his funk. And of course his fielding. But then I look around and I wonder where we will get someone better. I would offer 4-5 years and $70-$100m, whatever the market is. But not more than that.

But we won't win diddly without a Murph and a Cespedes type hitters in the lineup. Where are we going to get them any cheaper?

Alex

Thomas Brennan said...

You're right, Alex. If no Murph and Cespedes, better be a real Plan B. Reese, Gilmartin good but not world series good enough. Plawecki too. At leat that is how Terry saw it. Robles hit hard his first outing probably scared Collins

Mack Ade said...

Alex -

You will quickly come to love Dilson Herrera at second base. Trust me.

There is question how he will adjust to major league pitching, but things will settle down at second base if the Mets chose to use him there.

However... me? I trade for Starlin Castro (broken record)

Alexander Han said...

Mack, I already love Herrera at second. I'm sure he's going to be great. I'm just thinking of depth. We need lots of depth at 3rd and actually I agree with Tom's idea to put Murph at 1st. I've had enough of the Doood. (he had one last chance to redeem himself in the bottom of the 9th of game 5)

Alex

Thomas Brennan said...

Maybe Duda thought there were 3 outs and he was throwing the ball to a fan a souvenir? Just kidding, just kidding.

Michael S. said...

You have such a crush on him

Michael S. said...

I'm with you. I was already on the fence because of his disappearing acts. After watching him literally throw the game away I don't want him in a Mets uniform again.

TP said...

Tom,
Thanks for your contributions this season, very enjoyable.

Thomas Brennan said...

Thanks, Michael S and TP.

Duda could be really good, despite "the throw", if he were more aggressive with the stick. He often "works the count" into strikeouts. I have grown pessimistic that he'll ever do it.

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