Mack’s Morning Report – 2-23-16 – Mike Piazza, Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey, Off-Season Ranking, Hansel Robles


Good morning.

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.


Benjamin Weisfelner said...

Guessing that Bill Bean comment was a joke?

Mack Ade said...


He is coming into camp and he was a NY Met first round draft pick in 1980. Played six years in the Mets org. including two visits to Queens.

I just spelled his name wrong and left the 'e' off at the end.

My bad.

Ernest Dove said...

Mets have one other special guest at camp today....... ME

Adam Smith said...

Robles will eventually be the 8th inning guy, but if it happens this season, it's more likely because something went wrong (An injury, ineffectiveness). I love the kid's arm, his attitude and his future. It'll be a luxury to have him in the 7th this year - though I think he could work his way up to "8th inning guy when Addison Reed needs a day off" pretty quickly. Hoping to see big things from Josh Smoker as well this spring, not least because I want to buy a Met jersey with J Smoker across the back (hey, I live in Oregon, it's legal here.)

Reese Kaplan said...

It wouldn't be the first time Billy Bean made it to spring training with the Mets. Former Met neanderthal Daniel Murphy had a problem with it last year:


eraff said...

Billy BEANE was a Mets DRaft Choice.... Billy BEAN was not!!!!!

eraff said...

Billy BEAN.... NOT A MET!!!!!! Billy Beane...a Met!!!

Billy Bean...The Gay Guy... Billy Beane---NOT the Gay Guy!!!!

Billy Beane...Former Met Pick...Runs The A's

Billy Bean.... Detroit Pick... Part of Baseball's "Inclusion Program"

Thomas Brennan said...

Mr Bean is a great actor, since we are on the topic of Beans. He'd make a great 3rd base coach.

Robles could close for some teams. We have a strong pen.

Hopefully TDA can give us a Piazza year.

I love Matt Harvey more, knowing he loves peanut butter. I believe Bartolo Colon owns a peanut butter factory.

When Zach returns to the Mets, NYC will be locked in a high 90s heat wave, courtesy of 5 flame throwing starters.

Bob Sugar said...

Who pitches opening day for the Mets?

Mack Ade said...

Billy Bean

Mack's Mets © 2012