Mack’s Morning Report – 2-23-16 – Mike Piazza, Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey, Off-Season Ranking, Hansel Robles
Posted by Mack Ade at 8:00 AM
The Mets will have some guest instructors in camp this spring.
Billy Bean (originally a Mets number one draft pick), John Franco, and Mike Piazza will all be there, not particularly at the same time. It’s always great for the kids to rub shoulders with some or baseball’s great ex-ballplayers and this year particularly will be nice to have Piazza around.
Zack Wheeler expects to be pitching off the mound later this week. His adjusted target date to return to the Mets rotation remains July 1st. Remember… he was originally supposed to throw of the mound in January but he and the Mets decided to change that to a similar, more conservative plan similar to the one that Matt Harvey had. Which is fine in my book.
The Mets almost traded Wheeler twice while he’s been recovering from TJS, but all parties seem to be past that. Remember… this guy used to throw up to 97 also.
Gotham Sports Network had a cute story on pitcher Matt Harvey –
Recently, people have been up in arms over debating whether or not Matt Harvey has gotten fat. I see this as a non-issue, because if it is true that Matt Harvey really is getting a little chunky, I think that it is the best off season news we have heard so far.
Baseball pitchers are a lot like peanut butter: chunky is always better than smooth.
Mack – I’ve read a lot of story angles on Harvey but this is the first one that seems to involve peanut butter.
I don’t happen to think that Harvey has a weight problem. He’s a big guy that will probably spend a little more time in the weight room during the season rather than the winter.
I, like the writer, care more about his willingness to become a team player and help the team win a World Series ring. Trust me… he will not disagree with Terry Collins the next time Collins wants to pull him in the ninth inning in a game as important as the one was that he last pitched in.
Fangraphs Fangraphs graded all 30 teams on their off-season –
3. New York Mets - Grade: A- The Mets had one of the weirdest off seasons of any team in baseball. After watching their defense betray them in the World Series, they doubled down on poor defenders, bringing in Asdrubal Cabrera and Neil Walker to cover minimal ground up the middle. Once Yoenis Cespedes fell into their laps, they essentially were all-in on an offense-and-pitching strategy, and while it isn’t necessarily the way I’d prefer to build a roster, the individual moves look smart enough to call it a good winter overall. At the prices they paid for Cespedes and Walker, those deals were too good to turn down, while Cabrera is still a useful player, and he didn’t cost much either.
The team’s strength of dominant starting pitching should help alleviate some of their defensive weakness, and if the line-up hits well, the Mets will be contenders once again. Overall, you have to give the Mets positive marks for their moves this winter; they took advantage of a soft market for hitting and set themselves up for a chance to return to the World Series in 2016, and gave up nothing they’ll miss long-term to do so.
Mets – They did forget to mention the return of Bartolo Colon
Mets Daddy is a blog I occasionally read. Today they called for Hansel Robles to be named as the ‘eight inning guy’ –
Just judging on the statistics, Robles should pitch the eighth inning. However, 31 appearances is a very small sample size to make such a judgment. It’s even more so when you consider that you’re moving him ahead of two established relievers the Mets are paying quite well. There’s so thing else to consider, Robles has dominating stuff.
Robles repertoire includes a 96 MPH fastball, 87 MPH change, and an 88 MPH slider. Each one of these pitches became more effective as Robles learned how to incorporate the quick pitch. That quick pitch is another reason why Robles should pitch the eighth.
Mack – I don’t expect this to happen. The Mets tend to go with experience and both Addison Reed and Antonio Bastardo fit better here.