Kevin Davidoff wrote what I felt was a very disturbing story about 1B Lucas Duda.
Davidoff started the interview by saying that, it was in his (Davidoff) opinion that Duda is the most hated, under-appreciated player in New York.
Is that good? Being hated but under-appreciated at the same time? And is it the job of Davidoff to try and be the Woof Blitzer of the NY Mets beat press and set back this fragile soul after all the time it too for Duda to build up his confidence?
The rest of the article tried to stroke Duda but, trust me, I have met this guy and knew about his confidence problems that were heightened with his slow, inward personality.
You don’t motive guys like Duda by telling them that people think he sucks. Duda is a guy you have to massage his back not stick a bat up his ass.
Slow start coming up.
Continuing from yesterday, Baseball Prospectus mentioned another young player we should keep an eye on in 2016 –
Ricardo Cespedes, OF - When I was first sketching out this list in late Fall, I had a great “The Mets still have a Cespedes” quip queued up here. But then the team re-signed Yoenis, so it's no longer relevant. The younger Cespedes very much is. He was the Mets big signing out of the 2014 July 2 class, and although Ali Sanchez is the better prospect at present, Cespedes will show you plenty to dream on. He can show you some pull pop that should spread to all fields as he ages, and like many of the Mets younger prospects, has a better plate approach than most teenagers. If you were more confident he's a center fielder long term, you might even be able to find a spot for him above, but he doesn't really have the straight-line speed to profile there. Neither does the older Cespedes, mind you, but he does have some other things going for him.
Mack – I wrote a lot about this kid in the past two seasons and, frankly, I expected much better numbers than he has put up so far (2014, DSL: .227 – 2015, GSL: .224). He’s still very young and will play 2016 as an 18-year old. I’d either hold him back at the GCL level which gives him the chance to also work with the organizational coaches there, or send him to Kingsport and see what happens there.
Anthony DiComo @AnthonyDiComo - Matt Harvey described Terry Collins as "sparky" in delivering his annual fire-and-brimstone speech this morning.
Matt Harvey reported that his slider is back.
Adam Rubin @AdamRubinESPN - Terry Collins told Mets today about subtle areas they can improve, including baserunners taking an extra base and pitchers advancing runners… said deficiencies with the Mets may be the youth of bench and the need to identify another late-inning reliever… said Mets' pitchers were good driving runners in. He wants hitting behind runners/bunting to improve… says he sees polished slider and late life on fastball with Matt Harvey that didn't exist last year. Sees another this year… Collins also mentioned pitchers holding runners and catchers retiring base stealers as an area for improvement.
Zack Wheeler will throw off the mound for the first time today.
Craig Edwards wrote about contract extensions and Jacob deGrom -
Perhaps the most ideal candidate for an extension on this list is Jacob deGrom. He is a year away from arbitration, but will not be eligible for free agency until after the 2020 season. He is older than others on the list (27), but not too old to be considered for an extension. There’s also the relative modesty of his original signing bonus, and the fact that he’s stated publicly his willingness to consider an extension.
Mack – This seems like a no brainer and even deGrom seems to think this is a good idea (“I’m a little bit older, so I might be more willing to do something like that”). Let’s get it done.