Mack’s Morning Report – 3-23-16 – Brownies, Fred Wilpon, Lucas Duda, Hansel Robles


Good morning.

It’s tough to concentrate on writing about baseball today after all this Brussels crap.

With the new marijuana laws in effect major companies are looking for ways to cash out.

Empire Sports is reporting Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies plan to sell food items which contain marijuana at concession stands during games next season.

The first item on the list? Pot  Brownies

Mack – Tasty.

Yahoo’s Jeff Passan said that Mets owner Fred Wilpon was one of the toughest interviews in baseball -

“I’m not sure the last time Fred Wilpon, the Mets owner, gave a substantive interview. Maybe five years ago with The New Yorker? Either way, he never talks because he's an owner and nobody can force him to answer questions about his ties to Bernie Madoff and the ruinous effect they had on one of the most important franchises in baseball. MLB has protected the Wilpon family for years with loans and high-ranking positions on committees. Wilpon learned his lesson from that New Yorker story on the dangers of honesty.”

Mack – The good news about all of this is he hasn’t added anything new to these negatives and it has allowed his son and Sandy Alderson to run the team.

 Fangraphs continues his series on positional power rankings with first base -

#9 – Mets –

 Is Lucas Duda the most underappreciated player in baseball? I don’t know. You tell me. Actually, don’t, because you don’t know either, because it’s an impossible question. But yeah, he’s pretty darn good, and maybe he’s not appreciated enough; that throw in the World Series certainly won’t do him any favors in the “do irrational fans on Twitter like this player or not” department. Duda fits the mold of the player whom casual fans underrate — good on-base percentage, good power, low batting average. If you get wrapped up in batting average, you might not think Lucas Duda is very great. If you get wrapped up in batting average, though, just know that you should know better.

Wilmer Flores hasn’t played first in the past, but he’s worked on it this spring with help from Keith Hernandez and seems ready to go as New York’s super-utility infielder. While Flores’ glove work at shortstop is less than ideal, it stands to reason that someone who can handle shortstop at the major-league level shouldn’t have many problems with the glove work at first. The scoops and stretches may be another story, but Flores’ athleticism and bat against lefties could serve as a nice spell for Duda and the Mets.

Mack – It’s good to see Duda get some positive national press.

Frankly, I’m still not sure how much actual time we are going to see Flores playing first base. I expect Eric Campbell to make the 25-man because he can play both corners (backup for David Wright) of the infield and left field as well. This is what you look for in a utility player, not his success in producing a 300+ BA.

And, on to  second base -

To replace their previous left-handed bat-first second baseman, the Mets traded for Walker, a switch-hitting bat-first second baseman. Only Walker isn’t a particular good hitter from the right side, so he should probably rest against a lot of southpaws, meaning that the Mets new second baseman might end up also being effectively a left-handed bat-first second baseman. Of course, Murphy was a perfectly useful piece for the team, and Walker should be as well; you don’t have to be a great defender when you can hit like these two can.

And the Mets have enviable depth. Flores looks like a perfect platoon candidate for Walker, at least on days when he’s not covering for David Wright at third base, and the projections think Dilson Herrera could be perfectly capable of handling the job himself if need be. Walker is probably just holding the job for 2016 while Herrera gets more seasoning, but it could be interesting to see how the Mets handle the position if Herrera forces the issue; he might be good enough to do just that.

Mack – Another Herrera fan! I’m starting to really like these Fangraphs guys.

The bill banning smokeless tobacco at Citi Field and Yankee Stadium has passed (which ironically came on the same day as the brownie story)

One good thing to take away from the Yankee loss... RP Hansel Robles pitched a dominate inning of relief where he struck out the side.

One troubling thing to take away from the Yankees loss was TC coming down on the latest Steven Matz flop.  http://nypost.com/2016/03/22/terry-collins-calls-out-steven-matz-after-latest-spring-flop/   

Ben Badler ‏- It's great that Rob Manfred says he wants to build youth league fields in Cuba. They should be doing it already in the Dominican Republic.


Tom Brennan said...

Less appreciated than Lucas Duda is Johnny Monell, hitting .400 this spring. Matt Reynolds also. Kidding aside, if Duda swings at more fat zero-strike pitches, the love of fans will expand geometrically.

Radical Islamic jackasses should take up baseball instead...eliminating them is an alternative.

Matz will be fine. Robles is racking up the Ks.

Overall, happy with how spring is progressing.

Don't Brownie and Drive.

Ernest Dove said...

I really haven't seen much spring games unfortunately. How's wilmer even played any actual innings/game at first base?

Mack Ade said...

Ernest -

I believe he hasn't

Anonymous said...

Serving edibles at a baseball game is a terrible idea. In general, the dosages vary considerably and the effects and tolerance is significantly different than the smoking kind. I can almost guarantee that one fan has a very public meltdown when the have an adverse reaction to the brownies and it will cause exactly the kind of black eye that legalization has avoided thus far in CO. It is almost a certainty.

as far as Duda, I still think that he has room to get better, particularly on batting average. I think he can hit upwards of .270 and smash up to 35 HRs. Lucas is a sensitive guy who took longer in the minors to develop, especially when it comes to taking too many pitches. He was also streaky in the minors, but when he gets going, there is practically no stopping him. My biggest wish for Lucas is defensively, where he needs to learn how to properly stretch for throws, instead of coming off the bag and tagging the runner. He does that all of the time and he is really bad at it. The Mets don't have any Gold Glove arms around the infield, so Duda has to up his game to get more outs.

Anon Joe F

Anonymous said...

Lucas needs to find a way to deal with the shift. If he can't they'll continue to shift him to death and his numbers go with it.

Metsiac said...

Robles another hitless scoreless IP today. Just a walk and a K.

And Big Bart 6 scoreless. 3H,
0W, 6K.

Can we stop worrying about him for a while?

Mack Ade said...

Metsiac -


Stubby said...

One way for Lucas to "deal with the shift" is to hit it out of the park. Haven't yet seen a shift that can take that away.

Tom Brennan said...

Mack and Metsiac...Colon was very good, but listening to only part of the game, I heard 3 balls hit to track off of him. So that is what he will continue to do, I'd imagine.

IB said...

Stubby - Can't argue with that!

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