Mack’s Morning Report – 2-28-16 – Ruben Tejada, Neil Walker, Robert Gsellman, The Cubs, Zack Wheeler


Good morning.

There has been some attention on infielder Ruben Tejada on the second day of full team practice. He was asked what his reaction was to the new sliding rules, but he had to come to camp only to find an article written about him by  Kristie Ackert that focued on the speculation that Tejada may be moved to save part of his $3 million dollar salary.

I don’t know if they still have this, but a table was always set up inside the clubhouse for players to pick up the morning papers and see what the beat press had written the night before.  Someone told me the table was eliminated after I stopped going to camp, but, let me tell you, starting your day off reading a negative article about yourself doesn’t give you much incentive to talk to that same reported when you are approached in the future.

Neil Walker -

“It’s cliché, but the thought process is what it is. It’s day to day. It’s series to series. You go into a three-game series, you win two of three, that’s a success. You win three of four, even better. The thought process stays the same, to not get too high, not get too low. Find some way to stay in the middle.”

            Mack – Boy, how many times have I said this?

The key to getting to the playoffs is winning the majority of series you play against other teams. You simply can’t win them all. What you can do is shrug off a loss, take a long shower, and start to get ready for the next day.
There’s one more thing.

You have 22 games to play in April, 15 of which will be played against National League teams that finished 2015 with a below .500 win-loss record.
The only series the Mets may not have a projectable chance of winning would be the opening two games series against the World Series champions Kansas City Royals. Obviously, we’d be thrilled with a tie here.

Andrew Beaton  on Robert Gsellman -

On this Mets team, Gsellman’s skill-set could prove useful in several ways. For one thing, pitchers who can get outs by inducing contact often keep their pitch counts lower. For example, Bartolo Colon—the one starter in the current rotation who doesn’t throw especially hard—threw the fewest pitches per inning among the most heavily used pitchers in baseball last year.

More important, Gsellman can keep opposing batters off balance. The ability to fool hitters by changing speeds is an invaluable one for any pitcher, and in this case, he can provide that contrast to the rest of the Mets’ staff. Basically, it’s harder to hit an 87mph slider after you’ve faced Syndergaard’s 97mph heater.

Mack – I wish Gsellman well, though I have to tell you that he and his buddy, John Gant, treated me with no respect during the Savannah Sand Gnat pre-season luncheon, and the next day when I interviewed Gsellman one on one.  He was absolutely bored with my presence and couldn’t wait until the interview was over.

Gsellman turned out to be the last Mets interview I ever did.

Yoenis Cespedes had his left shin and upper arm wrapped during live batting practice.

Bleed Cubbie Blue is a well read Cuns blog through the SB Nation network. Here’s what they said about the New Yok  Mets -

                       The Mets' outfield defense? Uh... I dunno, but I don't think Cespedes is really a center fielder. He has to play there to get Michael Conforto's bat in the lineup, since Conforto plays only left field. Curtis Granderson doesn't have the range he once did in right. The Mets do have a solid defensive outfielder in Juan Lagares, who'll get a lot of playing time.

You no doubt have heard about the lifetime suspension of Jenrry Mejia, who was supposed to contribute to this Mets pen. They'll be OK without him, as Jeurys Familia became a very good closer in 2015 and the Mets added Antonio Bastardo to a solid setup corps anchored by Addison Reed.

It may only have been 10 pitches, but they were the most important 10 pitches(off the front of the mound) that Zack Wheeler has thrown in a long time. Everything was reported to go off without a hitch.


Anonymous said...

Andrew Beaton writes:

>> Basically, it’s harder to hit an 87mph slider after you’ve faced Syndergaard’s 97mph heater.<<

This is one of those things that people say as if it were true, but there's really no evidence of it. In fact, I'm calling BS.

Not saying that Gsellman can't be an effective MLB pitcher. But it won't be because of who pitched the day before.

James Preller

Thomas Brennan said...

If I were a Gsellman, I would never act bored in an interview.

Like that bullpen.

Go Zach go.

Ernest Dove said...

interesting take from the Cubs blog. Didnt Grandy just finish top 3 in gold glove category?
Dont they have a catcher playing left field to 'get his bat in the lineup'.

Thomas Brennan said...

Neil Walker has the right attitude…and there will be a lot of times they win 2 of 3 and 3 of 4. some sweeps too

Mack Ade said...

James -

I agree. Be thrilled you aren't hitting against the flamer... choke up, hit a little more from the weight of your rear...

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

they were just outwardly making fun of me at the lunchen so I wnt out of my way to single one out for the talk. I passed on Gant when he said to no to an extensive piece I was doing for the local newspaper about his Savannah heritage (interviews with school coaches, etc. I had permission of Gant's father but the son passon it the last week of the season

eraff said...

Im in agreement with JP--- it's A Big Adjustment to Hit an 87mph Pitch when you saw a 97 the pitch before.

A Tricky Junkballer or knuckler is disruptive in their own right---not because the guy who pitched yesterday threw hard.

Thomas Brennan said...

Mickey Jannis, anyone? He's got plenty of junk he'd like to distribute.

Joe D. said...

Hi Mack, thank you for the mention the other day. Hope you are feeling better and here's to another fun and exciting Mets season in 2016. Keep up the great work and LGM!

Metsiac said...

Once Wheeler returns, it's likely that Big Bart will be that "different look" RP to turn things around as needed before going to the late-inning heat. He did just fine in that role in tbe post-season.

Reese Kaplan said...

Or he could become trade bait at the deadline.

Stephen Guilbert said...

Gsellman is also the last interview I did with a Mets player. While I appreciate the time he took to chat with an amateur writer, his responses made it a bit difficult to justify even posting the interview. He's a quiet guy it seemed and had zero responsibility to be more loquacious but I agree with Mack. Some people simply have a better attitude towards the media.

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