Mack’s Morning Report – 3-18-16 – Matt Harvey, Darrell Ceciliani, Astrubel Cabrera, David Wright, Bartolo Colon
Posted by Mack Ade at 8:00 AM
It came as no surprise for Matt Harvey to be named the opening day starter . He easily has been the best pitcher in camp so far this spring and I expect that to remain that way.
Look, I love Noah Syndergaard, but Harvey has easily been the best pitcher on this team since the day he has placed a uniform on. Sure, he’s had a few bad games, but this team will succeed or fail depending upon this guy.
The season opens against the Kansas City Royals on April 3rd and then (strangely) the Mets have three off days in the next four games. It looks like Jacob deGrom is going to miss the first week of the season due to the birth of his baby, so the first four games on April 3rd, 5th, 8th, and 9th will be Harvey Syndergaard, Steven Matz, and Bartolo Colon.
What will be interesting is the game on April 8th against the Phillies will take place with Harvey having five day’s rest. The next day game against the Phillies would constitute six between starts.
There is a strong argument here to pitch Harvey twice before deGrom, Matz, or Colon even step on the mound.
Outfielder Darrell Ceciliani has been a big success down on the farm ... and down on the ranch.
As a 2009 New York Mets draft pick, Ceciliani has put together some excellent seasons in the Mets farm system, culminating with a callup to the major leagues for 39 games last year, then being traded to the Blue Jays on Feb. 2. His performance so far at spring training has been so impressive that Toronto manager John Gibbons says there’s a chance he’ll be named the club’s fourth outfielder when the regular season starts on April 3.
I saw that Terry Collins, Sandy Alderson, and Astrubel Cabrera all expect the Cabrera injury to be long gone by opening. Boy, it sure would calm down the Ruben Tejada fans that feel rejected if Cabrera could be justifying his salary by being in the lineup and playing (at least) errorless infield (a hit or two wouldn’t hurt either).
Keep an eye on what positions Wilmer Flores played the next two weeks. I really don’t expect David Wright to be ready on opening day and, if Cabrera is projected to be ready on opening day, keep Flores playing third base, keep Neil Walker on second, and fill in at short with buys like Matt Reynolds, T.J. Murphy, and Danny Muno. Then, make the proper decisions as opening day gets closer.
Catcher Nevin Ashley dispatched to minor league camp
OF Marlon Byrd signs minor league deal with Cleveland.
Jacob deGrom (3.0-IP, 1-H (Stanton double), 30-P, 22-strikes) was relieved by Steven Matz… Matz looked bad again, giving up three runs in four innings. Pre-season ERA now up to 7.00.
David Wright played in a minors game today. He went 0-for-3 with a sac fly. That makes him 1-8 before moving on to the Grapefruit League today.
Wright on his condition –
“It’s frustrating, but it’s out of my control. I learned a long time ago: You can control the things that you can control. And this is something that I can’t. I can give myself every opportunity to put myself in a position to play, and give my back every chance possible. But there are going to be some days where it’s just not possible.”
Mack – As I’ve said, I can’t see how Wright will be ready on opening day, but do I know…
Marc Carig - Jacob deGrom had no back issues. Glad he pushed the start back and took the extra time
It was nice to see Travis d’Arnaud’s bat start to wake up a bit. He now has seven runs batted in for the eight games he has played in. He ended his day with a rising .261 batting average and is 100% healthy.
Mike Puma - Collins says the Mets might carry fewer than 7 relievers to start year. Could mean both Reynolds and Campbell make it even if no Cabrera DL.
Mack – We have to remember that Hansel Robles can’t serve out his suspension unless he is activated and on the 25-man. You add to that the three days off in the first five days of the season and they could easily start Matt Harvey in the 1st and 3rd game, and then Noah Syndergaard in the 2nd and 5th game. This would allow a guy like Bartolo Colon to start the season for the first eight games of the season as a middle reliever.