Mack’s Morning Report – 3-19-16 – Ruben Tejada, Hansel Robles, Travis d’Arnaud, Zack Wheeler, Wilmer Flores
Posted by Mack Ade at 8:00 AM
Keith Hernandez’s Moustache: Many in Mets-land are knocking the move to release Ruben “Pastrami Sandwich” Tejada. Does it really matter? He was third-string at best. Am I wrong in thinking Matt Reynolds or Gavin Cecchini can provide whatever 2016 Ruben Tejada would have provided even with a major injury that would have opened the door for more playing time?
Eno Sarris: The defense was never better than aight and the patience was a mirage born of hitting eighth, IMO.
Mack – Ehh… both Mets fans and writers need to more on from this one…
Fangraphs on –
Hansel Robles - Robles debuted last season and worked his way into a fairly prominent role. Owner of a 96 mph fastball and a plus slider, he checks all the boxes for a relief ace. The fly ball pitcher was a little too homer prone for my liking, but we’re talking about a small sample. With an expectation of 10.00 K/9 and 3.00 BB/9, Robles is a better backup closer than Addison Reed or Antonio Bastardo. Jeurys Familia probably won’t be going anywhere barring injury.
Mack – Robles has pitched well so far this spring (3.38), though many other candidates for the 2016 pen have done better (Familia: 0.00, Verrett: 1.50, Reed: 1.69, Henderson: 1.69, Blevens: 1.93).
What stands out is the fact that he is tied for the most strikeouts (7/5.1IP), beating guys like Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, and Jacob deGrom.
Let’s remember that Robles debuted last year as a 24-year old and produced a 3.67-ERA in 57 appearances. He also produced 61 strikeouts in 54 innings.
Yes, he needs to improve on some control issues and he also needs to keep more of those fly balls he dishes up inside the stadiums, but I agree with this writer that Robles may be the future closer for the Mets if something bad happens to Familia.
A ‘Bold Prediction’ from Ben Duronio -
Travis d’Arnaud is a top-2 catcher - Injuries put a detour on d’Arnaud’s breakout campaign and have often been an issue, but I predict d’Arnaud is healthy this year and hits as well as he did last season over a full year. His .218 ISO last year was 60 points higher than Buster Posey’s and his wRC+ was only 7 points lower than Posey’s 138 mark. His on base skills have improved, the lineup is better around him now than going into last season, so watch out for d’Arnaud this year to be the top catcher in the non-Posey division.
Mack – Finally, some of the outside writers are starting to realize that the only thing that has prevented d’Arnaud from breaking out as a star in this game are the ticky-tacky injuries he had early on in his career. Oh year… one more thing… he needs to throw out more runners at second, but he’s worked long and hard at this during the off season (he was particularly embarrassed how Kansas City made him look in the Series last season.
I think we’re going to be very happy here this season… 20-25/HRs… 70-80/RBIs… .280 range BA.
"I have Twitter, TV, so I do see everything. I'm not one of those guys who gets jealous. I couldn't care less about what people say or think about me, but at the same time it motivates me, have a little chip on my shoulder, which is fine.
"I know my potential. I'm just hoping this thing comes back like it is supposed to and I can perform and be healthy this year.
But that means it’s getting closer for me. I've been thinking about it a lot more as it's getting closer. In three months I'll probably pitch in (minor-league) games and in four months I'll be hopefully back up there, so it's coming up quick."
Mack – This is what you want to hear from Wheeler, who still, down the road, has the potential to wind up the SP2 on this team.
Michael Mayer - Carlos Torres allowed three runs in one inning yesterday for the Braves including homeruns to Wilson Ramos and Jayson Werth. Tyler Clippard gave up four runs yesterday to the Cubs and retired only one batter.
Paul Kastava bold predictions –
Wilmer Flores will have over 550 PA’s - With Asdrubral Cabrera potentially starting the season on the DL, David Wright needing more rest than most regulars, and Neil Walker struggling against lefties, there are a few scenarios where Flores receives extended playing time in the infield. With the lack of middle infielders available, Flores could be a nice sneak pick who hit 16 HR’s in under 500 AB’s. The Mets have an aging left side of the infield that will need their rest, and Flores is the clear choice to get those reps, especially with Ruben Tejada recently released. Given a substantial amount of at-bats, 20 home runs is not out of the question.
Mack – Paul could easily be right here and he didn’t even figure in any at-bats Flores would get as the backup first baseman.