3/4/16

Mack’s Morning News – 3-4-16 – Mets vs. Nats, Yoenis Cespedes, Neil Walker, Astrubal Cabrera, Dash Winningham

11 comments



Good morning.


John Franco will be a Mets guest instructor from March 7-11. So will  Mookie Wilson from March 21-25.


The Mets played their first pre-season game on Thursday vs. Daniel Murphy’s new team, the Washington Nationals. Everybody enjoyed their reunion, but baseball is baseball and on to the game –

Max Scherzer opens as Nats pitcher… first pitch vs, Mets since his 2015 no-hitter… Mets go down 1-2-3 (Plawecki, Krauss, Campbell) in second…

Rafael Montero opened up the game as the Mets starter… Ben Revere led off the first against Montero with a single… steals second… Murphy walks… Bryce Harper RBI single (still no out)… Anthony Rendon single brings home second and third run… Clint Robinson walks.., no outs in first 5 batters… gets Danny Espinosa to strike out… Reed Johnson single makes it 4-0… Montero done after one inning: 1 inning, 4 hits, 2 walks, 4 runs. 39 pitches, 36.00

Michael Conforto has bloop opposite field single in first against Scherzer but first inning ends with no further damage… Conforto adds a second single in the fourth…

Wilmer Flores ended the first inning with a bullet to Rendon but play that included wild throw created third out…

Gabriel Ynoa comes in to pitch second inning… 2nd inning: flyout, single, Murphy inning ending double play started by Dilson Herrera… Ynoa follows this up with a perfect 1-2-3-4th inning… and continues with a third scoreless inning…

Ex-Met Yusmeiro Petit replaced Scherzer… 1-2-3-in the third…
Wilmer Flores hits a ground rule double in the fourth… playing third base today and ‘looking comfortable’…

Kevin Plawecki scores Conforto in the fourth with a sac fly…
Eric Campbell is hit by a pitch in the fifth…

Dario Alvarez comes in for the fifth… walks first batter… strikes out Matt den Dekker… walks three of the first four batters in the fifth… fielders choice makes it 5-1…

Paul Sewald in to pitch the sixth… Trea Turner greets him with a home run (6-1 Nats)… Steven Drew two out single makes it 8-1…
Dominic Smith made an excellent defensive play to end the sixth… follows with hit in the seventh…

Mets go down 1-2-3 in the seventh…

Singles by T.J. Rivera and Johnny Monell in the eighth… Travis Taijeron’s RBI double makes it 8-3… Danny Muno ground out makes it 8-4…

Jeff Walters in to pitch the bottom of the eighth… de Dekker’s single makes it 9-4…

Final:  Nats 9-4

Highlight – Michael Conforto is off to a good start this spring…

          Pitching Star – Stormy Pimentel – 1-IP, 0-R, 2-K, 0.00

Downer – Rafael Montero  (I don’t expect Montero to get a long rope this spring. Sure, they’ll give him a chance to start in Las Vegas, but, if he fails here in spring training, this might be the last time you see him pitch for the parent team as a starter. He seemed to only be missing by around an inch each pitch, but an inch is a lot to first string players in the majors… and that’s who he faced in the first inning of this game...


The Dodgers have a newly developed pitching problem. Do you think there is any chance that a deal could be done by the Mets for a second level prospect for Montero? )



Tomorrow’s starter in Port St. Lucie is Logan Verrett



P Jon Niese for Pirates on Thursday - 2IP, 5H, 4ER, BB



P Jeremy Hefner pitched two innings for St. Louis on Thursday and got the win.



Sir: Still calling for major regression from Yoenis Cespedes? Or, do you think him playing where he is happy is enough to motivate him to play to the level he did last season?

Eno Sarris: I just don’t see that he changed much other than a few more fly balls. NL guys going to figure out the book and pitch to him and he’ll be good, but not last year again.

                  Mack – I disagree.

        I see him part of a much stronger, much deeper Mets lineup that will not allow opposing pitchers to pitch around him.



Anthony McCarron writes about the Mets new double play tag team –

Everyone around the Mets knows how important the keystone combo is. Heck, Cabrera and Walker are even going to be on the cover of the Mets’ first program at Citi Field this year. The two posed in full uniform for the photos Thursday at Tradition Field; neither was scheduled to play in the Mets’ Grapefruit League opener against Daniel Murphy and the Nationals in Viera.

The Mets turned 131 double plays last season and only four teams — the Nationals, Cubs, Rays and Angels — made fewer. Across baseball, the average was 146, according to baseball-reference.com. The Braves led with 186 and Walker’s Pirates were second with 178.

Mack – I’m not sure when we will get to see these two guys play together, but it might be today.

Great pitching staffs create ground balls and great infields turn double plays.



 David Conde with an exclusive interview with prospect 1B Dash Winningham

Winningham is a talented ball player with a very bright future in baseball.  With the Mets limited with true first basemen in the system, his jump to the majors will depend on how well he continues to develop.  Nothing is ever guaranteed in this game, but from how he has adjusted so far with everything that has come his way, Winningham is in a great position to continue striving at all levels.

Mack – Look for Winningham to start this spring for Class-A Columbia and he could easily finish the season in St. Lucie.

We all assume that Dominic Smith is the Mets future first baseman and we are all still waiting for Smith to add some more pop. You don’t have to wait with Winningham. He already led the Appalachian League in 2015 in home runs.

11 comments:

Thomas Brennan said...

Any guy with "winning" in his name like Dash Winningham already has a head start to success.

Cespedes will have a big year - Kevin Long is working with him to use all fields. I bet that pays huge dividends.

Montero - I'd just write this one off. He needs to do better next time. I'd be loathe to trade him right now unless overwhelmed.

Paul Sewald's struggles highlight the issue with him as to whether he has enough command to do great in the minors but not so good in the bigs. Again, it was just one game.

Conforto 2 hits - have to like that. I expect big things from the young man in 2016.

Anonymous said...

I have 1 comment on the double plays made or not made!! With the Mets pitching staff there shouldn't be a lot of double plays made cause there won't be a lot of guys on the bases! Also Cespedes in Centre Field will be better this season than last? Cause he will have all off-season and spring training to prepare for it

bob gregory said...

A Hefner sighting?
Good for him.

I must have missed news of him being resigned.

Ernest Dove said...

Conforto will make multiple all star teams throughout the remainder of this decade......
I only know Dash from box scores but they are really nice box scores.
I can't wait to be back at tradition field on Sunday for the game. Long live those Dove LIVE FROM LUCIE pics and posts !

Brian Joura said...

So, of the bottom five teams in Double Plays turned in 2015, four of them finished with a winning record and the fifth was 80-82. Two of these five teams won 90 or more games.

It doesn't seem to be an impediment to winning to have poor DP numbers.

I agree with the first commenter about Montero. There's no need to overreact to a poor first Spring Training outing. If the next three outings are all like this one, then it will be a different story.

Mack Ade said...

Brian -

I hope he gets three more in this camp.

Adam Smith said...

Montero basically hasn't pitched in nearly a year. I'd give him until at least June in Vegas before making any judgements.

By the way, reports out this morning that Cespedes was taking grounders at SS next to Cabrera (and looking quite impressive). Now, obviously he's not a SS, but it's not the craziest thing to wonder if he might be able to play a little 3B. Arm and bat would both be plus for the position, we certainly have a need over there and will for the next several years (and a very suitable CF to plug in), and while I'm a huge Wilmer fan, he can only play one position at a time, and that position, at least right now, and at least vs lefties, will likely be 2B. Would you rather see Tejada or Campbell over there than Yoenis? Just a thought.

Mack Ade said...

Adam -

Cespedes played golf yesterday with Jeff Wilpon. Maybe it was his idea :)

Metsiac said...

I agree with Adam about Montero. Judging him based on one inning after missing a full year borders on the ludicrous. Let's revisit him in June before looking to deal him.

As for total DPs, how many opps were there with a domimant staff that was at or near the top in Ks and baserunners allowed? It's very hard to turn a DP if no one is on 1B and the ball isn't put into play.

Metsiac said...

That should be "FEWEST baserunners..."

Reese Kaplan said...

@Tom Brennan -- Winningham is not a name guaranteeing success...at least that's what Mets history shows (though he spent more time in other uniforms):

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/w/winnihe01.shtml

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