Mack’s Morning Report – 1-29-16 – OD 25-Man, 2016 Defense, Cespedes in CF, Klapisch


Good morning.

Here are the current 26 players that the 25-man opening day roster has the be chosen from:

1B  Lucas Duda (Flores)
2B Neil Walker (Tejada)
SS Asdrubal Cabrera - Ruben Tejada - Wilmer Flores
3B David Wright (Flores)
C Kevin Plawecki - Travis d'Arnaud
OF Alejando de Aza - Curtis Granderson - Juan Lagares - Michael Conforto - Yoenes Cespedes
RP Addison Reed - Antonio Bastardo -  Eric Goeddel - Jerry Blevins Jeurys Familia - Logan Verrett - Sean Gilmarton
SP Bartolo Colon - Jacob deGrom - Matt Harvey - Noah Syndergaard - Steven Matz

In addition, relief pitcher Hansel Robles has to complete the 3-game suspension he received last October 1st for throwing at the head of Philadelphia’s Cameron Rupp, so I anticipate there will be one players on this list that won’t be around after the first week.

My guess…Verrett or Goeddel. 


It didn’t take long for writers like Dave Cameron to start saying that all the moves the Mets made in this off season suck –

They let Daniel Murphy leave, but instead of going for a better defender, they instead traded for Neil Walker, another bat-first second baseman whose range at second base leaves a good bit to be desired. And rather than pursue a pure shortstop to serve as an upgrade over Wilmer Flores, the team signed Asdrubal Cabrera to a two year deal, despite the fact that he ranks dead last in UZR among qualified shortstops over the last three years. It’s actually possible that the 2016 Mets middle infield will have less range than the 2015 Mets, which is kind of hard to believe.

And now, with the re-signing of Cespedes, the Mets are looking at an outfield defense that will almost certainly be quite a bit worse than the one they ran out there a year ago. With Juan Lagares getting 1,000 innings in center field and the team giving some playing time to glove-first guys like Kirk Nieuwenhuis       and Darrell Ceciliani, the Mets actually ranked 5th in outfield UZR a year ago, and 4th in defensive runs saved from their OFs. The Mets outfield was the main reason why the narrative about the team’s weak fielding wasn’t entirely true.

Mack – As I said last Saturday afternoon, I’m getting off this negative bandwagon until after I see how this team gels together for at least the month of April. And, I’m especially not going to knock Cespedes who was named the American League Gold Glove left fielder last season with 11 defensive runs saves (four more when he became a Met).

As for the middle infield, you’re going to have to show me that these two guys are worse than Flores and Murphy.

But Dave Cameron wasn’t the only Fangraphs reporter that wrote a featured article on Yoenes Cespedes. Jeff Sullivan

I don’t think Cespedes has a chance of finishing at +15, mind you. Something like Ozuna seems more likely, and something like Ozuna would be just fine, because the Mets know Cespedes will hit enough, and his defense shouldn’t be a killer. Despite his physical gifts, he’s not a graceful defender, and sometimes that’ll be exposed when he’s playing in the middle. Hits will drop in, and a few will probably clang off his glove. Yet because of the arm, Cespedes will hold his share of runners, and he should also throw a few out. He should have the arm that Lagares, last year, had taken away from him. So I don’t quite think we’re looking at another Choo. And, one more time, that Choo team won 90 games anyway. That’s what the Mets’ll be shooting for.

If, for whatever reason, the arm just doesn’t carry over to center, that’ll be a thing. Lagares is still around, however, and that’s helpful. And Cespedes is going to have time to work on his routes and to work on his reads, and this is an opportunity he hasn’t really had. This spring will be nothing like spring 2012, so he ought to look more polished. He’s never going to look that polished, defensively. But the power arm makes up for defensive shortcomings, just as the power bat makes up for offensive shortcomings. Yoenis Cespedes is a hell of a powerful player.
                     Mack – Frankly, I think this is the best problem the Mets ever had.
I would start most games with Conforto in LF and Cespedes in CF. I would then change this for the last three innings to Cespedes in LF and Lagares in CF. I would use de Aza as my first PH bat off the bench.
                      But that’s just me…

          But mostly, the Mets have money again. Real money. I may have to lie down.

Mack – I never thought I would ever read a Mets article by this guy that was both pro-Mets and pro-Wilpon. You may want to reprint this one and say it fur further reference. It’s something we may not see for a long time.


Thomas Brennan said...

Verrett and Goeddel - I agree, likely the first to go off the 25. What a strong team - no marginal guys once Robles returns.

Cameron is a noodlehead. Cespedes will rise to the task defensively, and I like the range of the infielders...the power range of hitting doubles and homers. Cameron probably thinks Wilfredo Tovar should be starting at SS. And Flores defensively was commendable after early season jitters.

If generally healthy, 90 wins for this team is a low end.

Ernest Dove said...

Im also done with the negativity. ................
The middle infield has legit veterans with offensive power and they are not too old that can no longer field positions they've played all this time.
Yeah it'd be great to have an all defense no offense shortstop wizard and a solid 2B defensively but there has to concers with TDA health, Wright health, Duda consistency, etc. Plus the Mets had no guaranteee they were getting cespedes back when they made those moves.
Im predicting Mets win the division again. Simple as that.

Charles said...

With Bastaro and Blevins, I think Gilmartin may be the odd man out. Especially come May/June and Edgins comes back from TJS.

They won't want or need that many lefties in their bullpen.

Concerning Cespedes, his defense only became an issue last year, a glaring one anyway, in the first at bat in the World Series. Before that, his bat is what made him so valuable and I'd imagine that bat will still rule the day.

I think these writers are forgetting something. And that's Harvey, deGrom, Thor, and Matz. These pitchers are the Mets best defense against their opposing team. And with their offense, which I think will prove legitimate in terms of producing runs, the Mets should easily be able to take series after series, against pretty much any team in baseball.

Ernest Dove said...

EXACTLY Charles.......

Whats the theory: win at home and at least split on the road?

Well how about 4 game road series against team where the opposing team faces Harvey degrom thor and matz. Regardless of range and offense I'll take my chances that mets can at least win 2 games

Mack Ade said...

Ernest -

The only negativity this season should be individual play either in the field or at bat. Even then it should be tempered.

We have the team to win. We need to stay behind them.

IB said...

I think some excellent points have been made here. This team is going to score 5 runs a game and, with this staff, unless you field 9 Throneberry's (sorry Marv) you're going to win 90+ games.

The "negativity" thing boggles my mind sometimes. I guess I bottomed out watching all those late 70's games, reading Dick Young's poison pen pieces about Seaver and Kingman - gagging on my food at the thought of Linda DeRoulet or the despicable M Donald Grant.

They rebuilt. They're very good. Can't wait for ST.

Mack Ade said...

IB -

Please don't ever bring up the name of Dick Young again :)

I forgot all about that ass.

Reese Kaplan said...

Not to nitpick but you have Torres on your roster and he's already been DFA'd

Adam Smith said...

Torres DFA, so either traded or in Vegas. Verrett in The Vegas rotation as insurance. I really wish they would consider switching Conforto to RF and Grandersonto Left. I think that Grandy is a better candidate to sit vs lefties, and I'm more comfortable sliding Cespedes over to left than right - primarily because it sounds like he's more comfortable there as well.

IB said...

Sorry Mack! I promise! It's funny now but in real time those were some dark days.

Anthony Carnacchio said...

Rockies just dfa'd christian freidrich, sign him up on a minor league deal and send him to Frankie V to work the kinks

Mack Ade said...

Reese -


Metsiac said...

The best thing about Mr. Young is his very appropriate first name. ��

I go back to the Brooklyn Dodgers days, when he was actually a well - regarded beat writer for them. I don't know what turned him sour after the Mets were born.

Metsiac said...

Obviously the Mets of '16 are emphasizing Offense over Defense, whether or not they acknowledge it. There's no doubt that Lagares and Tejada are our best defensive options at their positions, and Flores just might be better than Walker at 2B.

Since our pitchers are near the top of the majors in fewest balls in play, the approach makes sense.

Jeff said...

I would add Marty Nobles to the writers I hated to read. And his Hall of Fame ballots are a joke. He was a big, Piazza had some acne so no vote for him.

On the defense side. I heard Nelson Figueroa on the radio the other day talking about the Mets additions. When he talked about Neil Walker he explained that his defensive metrics were misleading because the Pirates used extreme shifts that had Walker playing near the 1st base foul line at times and balls that made it thru counted against his range. Figgy was very optimistic on Walker's ability to play D.

Mack Ade said...

I'm not sure if Nobles still covers the Mets but he did in 2007 and 2008 and he was an ass.

Struted around the clubhouse like he was the Big Kahuma... tried to control every press conference... just a big ole fart.

The rest of the beat press wanted nothing to do with him

Stubby said...

I think Gilmartin opens in the Vegas rotation. He was pretty good out of the pen last year but, as a Rule V guy, we had to keep him in the majors. But he has always projected as a solid rotation guy (the Braves drafted him in the first round, after all, and you don't usually spend a first round pick on a reliever). I think, long term, they see Gilmartin as a starter...so its on to Vegas for him, barring injury to some other key arm.

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