Mack’s Morning Report – 3-22-16 – Dilson Herrera, Noah Syndergaard, The Hardball Times, Mets Catching, Jacob deGrom


Good morning.

Congratulations to the country of Columbia who qualified for a slot in the 2015 World Baseball Classic (WBC). It was especially sweet when they won that game with a go ahead home run in the bottom of the 8th inning by the Mets Dilson Herrera.

Mets pitching coach Dan Wathen got relief pitcher Antonio Bastardo right back to the back mounds to work on correcting some of the things that might be creating his 8.10 ERA this spring. Matt Harvey was back there also working on his stuff.

Astrubel Cabrera got out early to field ground balls.

Kristie Ackert - Cabrera said ground balls went well. He feels good. See how he feels tomorrow.

Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz will start the Mets' games in Vegas against the Cubs on March 31 & April 1.

Adam Rubin - Terry Collins says Noah Syndergaard is likely to pitch in Game 2 of the season in K.C., but it may just be in relief.

Mack – This is a variation on the theory I wrote about last week. The Mets will have three days off over the first five days of the schedule this year. It also sets up a scenario where the Mets 5th game of the season, which normally would be the scheduled second start for Harvey, would take place on April 11th, nine days into the season. Pitching Syndergaard in relief on April 5th fits in perfect with a first start on April 10th.

Later on yesterday,  Adam Yorke had a different version of this scenario which would have Syndergaard starting Game 2 and Jacob deGrom coming in for relief in that game.

Obviously, we may either have to wait this out for a better definition by TC.

Washington has released LHP Darin Gorski.

Bobby Parnell so far this spring:  2.45/1.91, 7.1-IP

From The Hardball Times -

        Will the Mets build on 2015 and go all the way this year?

The New York Mets surprised a lot of people last season by winning the National League East division and making it all the way to the World Series. They did so with a mostly young, elite starting rotation and the key members of that rotation remain intact. Not only that, but the young big three — Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard — have more big league experience than they did a year ago. Harvey is now a full season removed from Tommy John surgery and posted a 2.71 ERA in 2015, and the combination of Harvey, deGrom and Syndergaard posted a 2.81 ERA. What’s scary is that all three have the potential to be even better in 2016, should they remain healthy. And we haven’t gotten to Steven Matz, who was phenomenal in his six late season starts or soon-to-be 43 year-old home run hitting machine Bartolo Colon. They will likely be the fourth and fifth starters, at least until Zack Wheeler comes back from his Tommy John surgery (he’s expected to return before the All-Star break).

On the offensive side, the Mets lost postseason hero Daniel Murphy to free agency, but don’t feel too bad for the boys from Flushing because they still have masher Lucas Duda, who is hoping to replicate his 2014 and 2015 campaigns when he hit 30 and 27 homers respectively, Yoenis Cespedes, back after many people thought he’d leave due to free agency, and the captain, David Wright, who is hoping that 2016 is a better season health wise than 2015.

We’re going to be honest here: If the Mets’ starting rotation improves upon 2015’s performance in 2016, the offense may not need to score much.

 Fangraphs on Mets catching –

        #7 – Mets - In one sense, last year was a little frustrating for d’Arnaud, because injuries cost him so much playing time. In another sense, it was a positive year, because there are signs of an offensive breakout. His ISO pushed north of .200, which is a hell of a thing to blend with above-average skills in the field. Now, just to be something of a wet blanket, d’Arnaud faced the worst opposing pitchers of everyone in baseball who batted at least 250 times, according to Baseball Prospectus. You can understand how the Mets faced some weak competition down the stretch, and that boosted the team’s various offensive performances. But it’s not like that means d’Arnaud was a total mirage. He got help, but he’s good. He’s good, he’s healthy, and he’s 27.

If something does go awry with d’Arnaud, Monell might be the first reserve, but it’s Plawecki who could develop into another regular. He went and had himself a miserable 2015 — big-league paycheck and everything aside — but Plawecki has been a minor-league weapon in the past, and if he returns to the minors it’s in order to get regular playing time. To put this simply: It looks like a steep drop-off after d’Arnaud, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be.

            For what it’s worth, Jacob deGrom’s velocity was down again yesterday for the third straight game. Just 90-93, but he still seems to be very effective… four scoreless innings, five strikeouts and a 0.90-ERA.

             This could simply be conservative approach after having a lower back issue earlier in camp (pundits point out that his current velocity is exactly where it was last year at the same point in camp).

Marc Carig - Heard from a scout who says deGrom looks like he’s taking it easy out there today, since he could see Marlins plenty in regular season.


Thomas Brennan said...

Not worried about Jake. He is smart to conserve bullets.

Dilson having a terrific WBC. Good for him.

A day closer to Wheeler returning....remember when we felt that way about Harvey?

Plawecki will be a fine big league catcher.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

I hope you're right about Plawecki. It would make things so much more simple if we had two good ones

Reese Kaplan said...

What about the concept of Plawecki spending April in Las Vegas while Monell handles the backup duties? I think it makes sense as he would otherwise rot away on the bench.

Mack Ade said...

Reese -

It's sad when the only chance you have of playing every day is either if your catching mate gets injured or if you are sent to the minors

Thomas Brennan said...

I still think Plawecki got rushed to the bigs in 2015 and had a serious sinus issue that affected his play in 2015. He is past both, and I bet we see him hit .260.

I'd like to see rosters expanded to 26 if, for nothing else, to allow a 3rd catcher. Monell said he worked with Long to shorten his swing a bit, and his K's this spring are down. He is most likely a major league caliber 3rd string catcher, if not better - but due to roster composition, hard to see him getting much major league daylight in his career.

Hobie said...

I'd like to see one of these guys be able to occasionally play another position (1B in particular).

Another thought is if the SP becomes as dominant as we think/hope, is a 6-man BP and 3 catchers a possibility?

Thomas Brennan said...

If we do score better than last year, Collins may yank his starters quicker to preserve them, making it hard to not have 7 in pen.

Thomas Brennan said...

If we do score better than last year, Collins may yank his starters quicker to preserve them, making it hard to not have 7 in pen.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

I love your lists regardless of who are on them.

Thomas Brennan said...

Thanks, Mack, and I will have to update my fall 2015 prospects list soon...with guys like Martires Arias and Darrel C off to other pastures

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

Can't wait.

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