Mack’s Morning Report – 1-22-16 – Travis d’Arnaud, Nevin Ashley, Dominic Smith


 Good morning.

Back on January 13th, Christopher Rinaldi of Fangraphs wrote on Travis d’Arnaud -

The real key to the 2016 Mets offense is Travis d’Arnaud. d’Arnaud is oft-injured, but when he is not he is a great player. He could be the best catcher in baseball, but he may also cobble together a half-season of play, losing multiple battles to the disabled list. d’Arnaud provided 2.3 fWAR and 1.7 bWAR in 2015 while only playing 67 games. When he plays he is an elite catcher, and a very good hitter, ranking 3rd in wRC+ (.131) and wOBA (.355) for catchers, trailing only Buster Posey and Kyle Schwarber. A full season of d’Arnaud could exceed the value of Cespedes in 1/3 of a season…by a lot.

Mack – Bob Gregory and I have discussed the ‘oft-injured’ d’Arnaud ad nauseam and I agree with him that his past injuries have hurt the Mets, but d’Arnaud finished the season without a major injury since the all-star break and this just may be a peak into his future.

I also consider the past d’Arnaud injuries a series of bad luck play outs which easily could never happen again.

What d’Arnaud does need to do is work harder at his defensive game. Kansas City picked him apart by running on him throughout the World Series.

The Mets signed a new catcher last week.

Nevin Ashley is a 30-year old that played last year for the Milwaukee Brewers (20-AB, .100). He also hit .306 in 337 at-bats (8-HR, 61-RBI) for their AAA affiliate, Colorado Springs (PCL). He has a lifetime (10 seasons) .263 minor league average.
Ashley was originally drafted by Tampa Bay in the 6th round of the 2006 draft. I expect him to play 2016 in Las Vegas.

Jonathan Mayo put out the MLB Pipeline All Defensive Team and the Mets 1B Dominic Smith made the first team –

First base: Dom Smith, Mets - While Smith, also from that 2013 first round, is a first baseman only, he has great hands and footwork around the bag to go along with an accurate arm. Infielders are going to love throwing to him at the big league level.
They also list Smith as the 92nd top prospect in baseball, which I found a little conservative. Other Mets on their top 100 list are P Steven Matz (15th), OF Brandon Nimmo (71st), SS Amed Rosario (82nd), and SS Gavin Cecchini (90th).

Mack – Everyone seems to be in total agreement that Smith will be a positive addition to the Mets, possibly on opening day 2017.


Bob Sugar said...

Love Dom Smith. He's gonna be a player for us.
This article above on TDA is something I don't agree with. I think Travis is overrated as a whole. He's not a dangerous hitter or an impact offensive player. My opinion is that he had great minor league offensive numbers that he won't come close to matching in MLB. If he avoids injuries he is a average ball player with some offensive pop.

Christopher Soto said...

Cespedes is currently speaking with Mets front office this very second.

Club is refusing to go past 3 years but is now negotiating a 3 year deal with an opt-out clause after year #1

Zozo said...

Everywhere you read it seems he wants to stay, just give the kid his payday.
Write in contract
1) when we think your injured, you can't go out and play other sports.
2) take BP when we want you to
3) only one cigarette break per game
4) hustle everything out
5) you will play any outfield position we want you to play
The guy is in elite shape and really never had been on the DL and most important is a 2 way player. These are the guys that deserve the $20 + million dollar contracts. Show him the money

Thomas Brennan said...

If he stays injury-free this year, we'll finally see what Travis is made of.

I totally disagree with rating Nimmo at 70 and Smith at 90. We'll see if I am wrong. Next year, Smith will be a 20.


Ashley, Monell and Carillo seem to be decent talents in case of catcher injury to tap into.

Ernest Dove said...

Hey Bob

I respectfully agree with you on Dom Smith and disagree on Travis.
Travis, as Mack pointed out, finished out the year and into the playoffs actually staying on the field and maybe its time we believe in him. And if he gets normal everyday workload at bats this season he will easily be one of the top 3 offensive catchers in the NL. His power is undeniable. As a non expert I had issues with him always trying to hard to swing at every first pitch in count but he can work on that stuff.........what u can't teach is that ability he has to smash ball dead center.

bob gregory said...

If 3 years is ok.... why not 4 or 5 years??
Heck you can even structure the extra years as player or team options.

Have years 4 and 5 have team and player options. If the team picks up the option it is at a higher price and if the player picks up the option it is at a lower price.

Anonymous said...

I love Travis, guy is a hitter, plain and simple.

I did think he wore down at the end of the season. Terry Collins is not very good at resting players; he waits until they are completely out of gas.

Thomas Brennan on the MLB rankings: Their approach is to put a lot of weight on a player's proximity to the MLB level. To their way of thinking, sure, a kid down in Rookie Ball might be a more exciting prospect than a solid guy at AAA, with much more upside, but they will still give credit to the guy who has made it through the system. I think that's what you are seeing with Nimmo and Smith, and personally that makes sense to me. I remember you ranked a recent draft pick like #6 for the Mets. Some LHP, Woten, I think. He's thrown 11 professional innings at a very low level. These professional analysts would never, never do anything like that. They like to see performance.

This Cespedes stuff is going to make for a distracting day.

James Preller

bob gregory said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bob gregory said...

I'm sorry but this situation seems completely an Alderson pride situation.

Cespedes doesn't fit Alderson's insistance of high OBP first, second, and always priority.
Alderson resisted trading for Cespedes and explored all alternatives until he was made to trade for him.

I hear the rumors of Cespedes not being a good team mate,
BUT Collins and Syndergaard both endorse his return to the team and have made statements that seem to indicate they appreciated Cespedes as a team mate.
It certainly looked during the season that Granderson enjoyed Cespedes as a team mate as well. Just look at the many pictures of Granderson and Cespedes doing their leaping hand claps that were common at the end of games the team won.

What ever "selfish" actions Cespedes is being accused of, it certainly doesn't seem that some of the more "old school" team mates and coaches of the Mets are bothered by it.

It certainly seems that Alderson is the one most bothered.

Why does it always seem that the front office that Alderson is the leader of, seems to run smeer campaigns in order to justify why they are not pursuing or letting players go?
Remember Turner and Murphy received the same kind of treatment.

Mack Ade said...

Don't think that Washington is trying to crowd up their outfield... they're just thinking ahead regarding the probably DH change for the NL

Thomas Brennan said...

If we gave Cespedes 5 years, and wanted to move him after 2 years, the contract would most likely be very moveable. Sign him plese.

James, thanks for your perspective.

S. Finch said...

Bob, do you have any evidence whatsoever that SA or the Mets front office is behind a Cespedes smear campaign?

Some things where said on both sides following Turners departure, butbi don't remember hearing a peep regarding Murphy.

All the rumblings straight from the source were baseball reasons: better defense, etc. Etc. Your extreme dislike of Alderson appears to create stories and scenarios that have no factual basis.

Robb said...

if he was a centerfielder, he'd already have his 6 year deal. stop trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. you cant have 3 guys playing fulltime in left and right.

sure he hits, but your team is built on pitching and will be. That's where the allocation of resources needs to be 2 years from now, let alone 4. the entire mets starting rotation this year will cost less then what the Reds will pay Homer Baily, who might not make the mets rotation. think about that. The mets payroll will end up 10% higher then last year and continue down that path.

bob gregory said...


No team can win reliably without balance.

Yes, the Mets team has great pitching.
No team can win without offense though.

Simply, The Mets are a better team with Cespedes playing CF and LF like he did last year. If he can also get time in RF.....even better.

Do you have a better alternative available now? What would it cost if you do? More money? More prospect talent?

Improve the team.
Stop trying to make baseball about having the team that performs the best while spending the least.

Mack Ade said...

Let me simplify something here...

Regardless of who else is in the Mets outfield, is it better with Cespedes in it?

The answer is yes.

bob gregory said...

S. Finch

Please don't mischaracterize.
I personally admire and respect Mr. Alderson.
I am sure that he is a wonderful person as well.

I believe strongly that Alderson has been instrumental in rebuilding the Mets organization.
I am amazed at how Alderson has shifted a front office administration from one that seemed to leak information continuously without care or thought into a steel trap.
Alderson should be admired at just how professional his front office has been at keeping all information "in house" leaving bloggers and most reporters with nothing to report on but speculation.

However, occasionally there are these "slips". It always seems to be that the "slips" occur in situations like Turner and regarding Murphy being a "Net-Negative". Most recently regarding Cespedes being "selfish".
I believe I already illustrated how the Cespedes issue does not make sense considering in put from his very team mates on the Mets.

I believe also, yes, it was best for the Mets organization to move on from Murphy. That could have been done by simply thanking Murphy, acknowledging how lucky the Mets have been to benefit over the years by his contributions and stating that the organization is looking to evolve its roster in a different way.

Now if you are demanding me to offer 1st hand accounts of specific Met front office members or Sandy Alderson himself stating there is a smeer campaign,
I admit, I can not provide those things.

I would though counter by asking anybody to provide the same kind of proof that the roster decisions Alderson chooses to make are all because the Wilpons hold him back. Proof that Alderson would prefer to sign some of the other players that would greatly benefit the Mets, attempted to make his case to the Wilpons as to why the team needs them, and was told NO! by the Wilpons, even after Alderson attempted to fight for such a player.

Bob Sugar said...

you speak softly today but carry a big stick

Mack Ade said...

Thank you, Bob.

We've signed one 'bastard'this week...

Hopefully, we finish the week out with another one.

Robb said...

if you want to rob peter to pay paul be my guest, but you arent going to pay both.

Metsiac said...

I see a potential dilemma a year from now, though a pleasant one, involving Smith and Duda. Suppose Lucas continues to improve this season and gives us 30+ HRs and 90+ RBI, while Dom has.a fine season at Vegas. No platoon is realistic since both bat LH. Dom is a fine defender, but Lucas is more than adequate. And neither can play another position, so unless the DH rumors become real we can't play both in a game.

I don't know how it'll play out, but it'll be fun to watch.

bob gregory said...

Argument over.

The Captain has spoken.

D. Wright has publicly stated that he wants Cespedes back.

bob gregory said...

Well, D. Wright certainly isn't behind any questions regarding Cespedes being a good team mate.

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