Mack’s Morning Report – 3-18-16 – Matt Harvey, Darrell Ceciliani, Astrubel Cabrera, David Wright, Bartolo Colon


Good morning.

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.


Tom Brennan said...

Matt will go 20-5. Thor will go 21-4. Who is better, up to the fan.

Not worried about Matz. Next start, if bad, I will be a little concerned.

I am baffled why Ceciliani was let go.

I think David starts 3B on OD.

Ernest Dove said...

Aren't the Mets starting year in kansas city with the DH? David can play the first two in that role.

Tom Brennan said...

That could be the ticket, Ernest.good point.

Tom Brennan said...

That could be the ticket, Ernest.good point.

Mack Ade said...

you're right, Ernest...

Reese Kaplan said...

DH -- Definitely Hobbled? Doesn't Heal? Damned Health!

Reese Kaplan said...

On an unrelated and less snarky note, SNY is reporting that the Cardinals may be offering Matt Bowman back to the Mets (or should I say the 51s?) He's had some minor injuries and not impressed them this spring, so his Rule V tenure could be coming to an abrupt halt.

Mack Ade said...

would we have to take him back or can't the team just release him?

bgreg98180 said...

Regarding the strong arguments to give Harvey the extra start at the beginning of the year.

Remember the big picture. Long long long season. Harvey will get plenty of starts. In the big picture, no real incentive to get an extra start or two in during the first month of the season for him.

All of these young pitchers pitched more innings than they have ever been used to last year, thanks to the amazing post season journey they took.

Give them every opportunity to conserve themselves this season, so they can hopefully be ready for a repeat performance into the playoffs.

Reese Kaplan said...

You certainly could, but if you take a look at his minor league numbers, he was cruising right along up the ladder until hitting the wall in Las Vegas in 2015. It was a rather impressive set of stats prior, but then so too was Darin Gorski looking good until Vegas destroyed him:


Ernest Dove said...

As usual I go with my own personal non expert opinion based off what I've seen LIVE and in person when it comes to players.....
As far as bowman, I just can't help but remember all the HARD HIT balls I've seen against him out here in lucie during spring games in the past. Perhaps he just can't miss enough bats or miss the sweet spot of major league bats.
Either way there's no problem if Mets take him back. Maybe try him in vegas pen.

metsiac said...

Mack--- The claiming team would have to OFFER him back, at which point he'd have to clear waivers before the Mets could reclaim him. There's no requiement to take him back, though. If the Mets decline, then any team could sign him t ok a MnL deal withouy the Rule V restrictions.

Tom Brennan said...

If I am Bowman, and Mets want to re-sign him, I learn the knuckler. He is a good athlete, maybe he could pull that off. He does get hit too hard too often. I was surprised Cards took him.

Mack Ade said...

I was surprised when Bowman was taken in the Rule V draft. He never seemed like more than a AAAA player to me.

The Mets have far enough pieces in the Vegas pen - pass on him

Hobie said...


I thought he's Met property unless the Cards keep him on their 25-man. The Mets could TRADE him to the Cards in a MnL deal or for cash, or could DFA him (in which case he would have to pass through waivers in order to be released).

I say keep him if the Cards don't want him..

Tom Brennan said...

Hobie, Bowman really got hammered last year - unless they see a real chance of turnaround, I agree with Mack. Let him go.

Metsiac said...

Hobie--- doesn't work that way. Last winter Verrett was taken in the Rule V by Baltimore (?).They decided not to keep him, and Detroit claimed him off waivers. When they decided not to keep him, he cleared waivers and THEN was returned to the Mets.

Metsiac said...

Here's another example from yesterday:

The Braves have returned Rule 5 selection Evan Rutckyj to the Yankees, according to an announcement from New York. He obviously cleared waivers given that he’s going back to the New York system, indicating that the rest of the league passed on a chance to step into his Rule 5 rights.

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