Mack’s Morning News – 2-5-15 - Middle Infield, Lucas Duda, Marcos Molina, Victor Black


Good morning.

Anthony DiComo wrote about the Mets middle infield –

Adding Cabrera and Walker does more than give the Mets a pair of durable veterans up the middle. Trickling down to manager Terry Collins' bench as well, those moves gel together to give the Mets platoon advantages on a near-daily basis, allowing them to deploy their entire set of infielders in situations that suit them. Consider: Flores, who becomes the primary backup at no fewer than three infield positions, slugged .600 against left-handed pitchers last season but only .358 against right-handers. Limiting his exposure to the latter should allow the Mets to upgrade their overall middle infield production -- and that's without mentioning the benefits of limiting Flores' defensive innings at shortstop.

Mack – Let’s face it… nobody loves to juggle players more than Terry Collins and he has to wake up every morning with a woody thinking of all the lineups he can come up with this season.
God… I just had a visual of that…

 Matt Cerrone on Lucas Duda and his passing on a long term extension a year ago -

This season, Duda was able to avoid arbitration by agreeing to a $6.7 million salary. If Duda regresses, the Mets will likely come out ahead by having those talks break down a year ago and not having Duda under contract for 2018. If Duda has a good season in 2016, he'll probably get close to $10 million in 2017, after which he'll be a free agent. And, of course, if he is terrible this year, the Mets can non-tender him after the season and not have to pay him.

The Mets are probably hoping Dominic Smith, who will be 22 years old at that point, will be ready to take over at first base when Duda is able to test the open market. I suppose it's possible the Mets begin considering whether to move David Wright to first base, as well.

Mack – Cerrone points out that everybody will probably win out here. Duda will be making around $10mil a year when he hits free agency and Smith will take over at first base as early as possibly next season.
And, as we all know, they both hit a ton of home runs… (for you, Dove)

 Teddy Klein on Marcos Molina

1. Marcos Molina - Ht: 6’3″ Wt: 188  Level: GCL & St. Lucie Mets  B/T: R/R  Age: 3/8/1995  Age Dif: -2.9 - Statistics: 44.1 IP, 9 games, 8 games started, 4.26 ERA, 49 hits, 11 BB 36 K

Profile: An athletic pitcher, Marcos Molina took the New York-Penn League by storm in 2014 as a teenager. However this year was a different story, being skipped to High-A, but struggling with an elbow injury and was ultimately shut down and then underwent Tommy John Surgery. At his best, Molina has a 92-94 mile per hour fastball that touches 96 that he pounds the zone with that is joined by a plus changeup and an above-average slider.

Molina’s delivery however is a worry since it relies on arm-speed and has little movement in his bottom half, which might create arm strain with overuse. We’ll see if he’ll hold together after Tommy John Surgery and reach his potential of a front-line starter.

Level: Rehabbing from Tommy John Surgery

Mack – I agree with Teddy that Molina has the potential to be the top pitching prospect in the organization, but it is simply too hard to project someone that is going through this kind of surgery and rehab.
The success of mostly all starters is velocity and it’s well known that something like this never comes back to the pre-surgery levels. We’re going to have to give him the 2016 season to heal and wait until 2017 to see what we have here.

And lastly… final words from ex-Met Victor Black -

As some of you may have gathered my time with the New York Mets is at its end. I didn't play for 10 years nor was I an All-star or contributor to last season’s amazing run BUT I'll never forget my time playing for the greatest fans/city in baseball. From walking the streets of Manhattan, to riding the 7 Line daily to Citi Field I was given moments I'll remember for my lifetime. See I get why a lot of people picture New York as giant skyscrapers, crazy taxis and busy, busy people BUT what gets the bad rap are exactly what make this city the greatest: it's the PEOPLE of New York. They are what make it "New York". I remember a moment during the All-star break in 2014. I had stayed in NYC for the break to just enjoy the city. I decided one night to go see a movie at the AMC Empire 25 theatre off 42nd. What's funny is I couldn't tell you what movie or if I had even enjoyed it but what happened next is why I get a bit teary eyed still to this day. You see I was walking out around 11 pm or so and had come to W42nd & 8th Ave and was waiting for the light to change so I could head home. Upon crossing the street there was an older gentleman in a ball cap walking the opposite direction as we passed each other I heard him say "Nice first half Vic! We are happy you are with us. Best of luck in the second half." I didn't love this because I was recognized rather because it was at its most intimate and simplistic level a perfect example of how the people of New York are. You were kind in welcoming me to YOUR family and I'll always have blue and orange running in my blood. New York captured my heart and nothing can ever take that away. You gave me a gift, experiences and moments I'll cherish forever. I'm counting the days till my next visit in whatever capacity it may be. I love you New York!


Unknown said...

Mack - I don't Terry can get a woody without the blue pill - so only a mtophorical image!

Unknown said...

Bummer last year went south for Black - I hope he catches on and has a good year - seems like a great kid

Zozo said...

To bad they don't bring back Black on a minor league deal

Tom Brennan said...

If Vic Black's health was as strong as his heart, he'd be a superstar. May his pitching health improve drastically, and if not, all the best in your future endeavors, Vic. You are total class.

Smith will turn the HR Corner in 2016, although he may never make Kiner's Corner.

Wishes for health for Marcos Molina, but I predict that before he returns to pitch in a game, Luis Mateo will stand on a big league mound.

Duda makes $10 million, he will finally be able to afford lunch. He must eat like a rhino.

Terry will have a Louisville Slugger all season with this team.

Mack Ade said...

Thomas -

How many ounces?

Richard Jones said...

T.J. Surgery could end up the best thing that ended up happening to Mateo, Molina, and maybe even Wheeler. Harvey improved his delivery during is 15 months of rehab and his delivery wasn´t that bad. I have read that Wheeler is also working on improving his delivery. Imagine what it could do for Mateo and Molina who have terrible deliveries.

Mack Ade said...

Richard -

Naturally, I hope Wheeler heals first and best, but I'd gladly take two out of three.

Brian Joura said...

It's certainly possible for velocity to return to pre-TJ levels.

FanGraphs had Matt Harvey with an average fastball velocity in 2013 of 95.8 mph. In 2015, that number was 95.9

There were stories floating about that amateurs were having the surgery hoping to get a velocity bump.

Ernest Dove said...


Unknown said...

Wow very impressive note from Black. When his playing days are over they should hire him for their PR dept. Best of luck on the rest of your career Vic and don't we wish ALL players had the same mind set.

Buddy3 said...

Great kid. His mechanics and stuff must have really gone south for the Mets not to over a minor league deal. Wish him the best.

Isn't it amazing how more and more of the Mets young players want to be Mets and stay here long term. Time will tell with Thor, Matz and Wheeler if they really sign long term deals, but is very encouraging.

Good luck Vic and I hope we see you in the Majors again.

Mack Ade said...

My guess is that Black's career's far from over.

I talked to him recently and he said his arm was 100%.

Mack Ade said...

Victor Black liked your Tweet
3h: Mack’s Morning News – 2-5-15 - Middle Infield, Lucas Duda, Marcos Molina, Victor Black - @Vic_Black_2

Tom Brennan said...

Babe Ruth had a 54 oz. bat, Mack, and Terry was a big Babe fan.

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