Mack’s Morning Report – 4-14-16 – Logan Verrett, Kevin Plawecki, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom


Good morning.

Nice win yesterday afternoon… I’m not sure #MetsTwitter would have survived a home sweep by the Marlins… kudos to Logan Verrett (6.0-IP, 6-K, 1.29) for giving the Mets the kind of ‘relief’ start they needed during the absence of Jacob deGrom… 7 team hits is better than, well, six team hits… a clutch hit by second string catcher Kevin Plawecki, have given the Mets brass a reason to play him more during another of the many Travis d’Arnaud slumps…

Seriously, no one is a bigger fan of d’Arnaud than I am and I really expects a big year from him, but I can’t think of a better time to split duty with Plawecki and let the two of them duke it out…

Continuing on the phenomena we are watching named Noah Syndergaard, we may be currently watching baseball history. Not only might this be the best pitcher in baseball for 2016, it could turn out to be the best baseball pitcher of all time. I have never seen anyone have this amount of quality pitchers at the incredible speeds that he seems to be able to deliver inning after inning. It’s not just a 100 mile per hour fast ball. That enough to become a start on any team, but it’s the 93-slider and 98-sinkers that jet set this guy apart from the rest of the league.

Syndergaard had total control of his second start, throwing 72 strikes in his 99 pitchers. There was nothing more he could have done to get his team a win. Nothing.

Yes, it’s a small sample, but Syndergaard is leading the league, not the National League, in strikeouts, and second in the league, with starting pitchers with2 or more starts, in ERA.

I know the season has sort of sucked so far this season, but check the schedule and make sure you are tuning in when this guy pitches this year. You might be seeing pitching history.

 Deadspin had a nice story yesterday on Thor –

Syndergaard, for his part, was dominant. He struck out six of the first seven Marlins he faced, and made more hitters swing and miss than any Mets pitcher has in a long time. Young Thor slowed down after the first few innings but he still left the game with 12 strikeouts through seven innings.

His slider was nasty as hell tonight, and he used it liberally as a clinching pitch. Look at all these vexed-ass Marlins shaking their heads and walking back to the dugout.

Dan Szymborski @DSzymborski  - Screw Syndergaard's nickname being Thor.  Thor's nickname should be Syndergaard.

In the minors –

          Columbia got out of Rome early with a 3-2 10 am victory… eight strikeouts by starter Chase Ingram (1.80) and two scoreless relief innings (4-K) by Alex Palsha 

          1B Michael Katz went 1-2 (.304) and Josh Edgin pitched 0.2 scoreless rehab relief (after giving up a run charged to starter Josh Prevost, in St. Lucie's 7-2 win against Dunedin.

           Binghamton beat Harrisburg, 5-1, behind Dominic Smith (2-3, RBI, .176) and starter Rainy Lara (5.0-IP, 0-R).

                     Sacramento beat Las Vegas 6-1. 2B T.J. Rivera went 2-4, double, .263.

Some ‘minor’ highlights going into Wednesday’s games…

Columbia’s 3B David Thompson is enjoying a seven game hitting streak and tied for the league lead with eight runs batted in… Las Vegas’ Matt Reynolds is fourth in the league in hitting (.462), Johnny Monell is sixth (.417), and Ty Kelly is eight (.400)… St. Lucie’s Tomas Nido leads the league with a .474 batting average…

The Mets are crossing their fingers when it comes to pitcher Jake deGrom. Right now, the plan is for deGrom to meet up with the team sometime this weekend in Cleveland where they hope he could throw a bullpen session and check out the lat situation. Me? I wouldn’t push this right now. All the great pitching in the world isn’t going to make this team hit enough to win a ballgame. Just ask Noah Syndergaard. I would simply, and conservatively, using Logan Verrett and Rafael Montero and give deGrom the 2-3 weeks he might need to heal 100%.


Ernest Dove said...

Well...... I was SUPPOSED to be at tradition field tonight but Florida is Florida so I doubt the projected rain goes away :(

Thomas Brennan said...

I have always held back on my approval of Logan Verrett due to his "homer every 9 innings" rate in his minor league career...but he is winning me over. Great start.

Great relief jobs by Robles ( fanning 2 in bases loaded, no out, 0-0 game) and Blevins for falling behind Gordon 3-0 and coming back to get the third out, the game could easily have been lost right there.

Thor was my # 1 fan favorite in my series off articles in Feb and March. More and more fans feel the same way. He is a BEAST.

Vegas has just 7 hits last night...relief pitcher Chase Hutchingson went 2 for 2. Organization's hitting star of the day.

Hobie said...

My biggest takeaway from yesterdays game was Flores' 1B aplomb. Seriously.

bob gregory said...
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Mack Ade said...

a win...

bob gregory said...

Let me say first that I fully support that Collins earned a contract extension.

That being said.....he has demonstrated a dangerous track record of poor decisions when it comes to providing relief pitchers rest.

There can be no excuse made that makes Collins decision to pitch Jim Henderson in yesterdays game acceptable.

Considering Henderson is
(1) returning from injury serious enough to keep him out of baseball for a full year
(2) pitched 2 days in a row
(3) just 1 month into the season and pitching in cooler temperatures
is bad enough.

Collins compounded this by not taking Henderson out after 1 batter, or even 2 batters. No Collins continued to keep Henderson pitching in a situation that was becoming more and more stressful even after the radar gun was clearly showing a marked decrease in his velocity.

This kind of decision is dangerous. Dangerous for yesterday's game. Dangerous for Henderson's short term and long term health. Dangerous for the Mets bullpen short and long term. Dangerous to the Mets team for the rest of the season.

Somebody in the Met organization seriously needs to sit Collins down and make clear that these types of decisions are not acceptable.

Keep in mind, I fully believe that Collins is invaluable to this team and the family structure it so richly profited from to reach the World Series last year. I believe he should be just as valuable this season.

I do have to point to another area somebody in the organization needs to engage Collins in a conversation about.

That being his rewarding players with playing time.
Considering the offensive drought the Mets have experienced to start this season, Plawecki's battle back from an 0 - 2 count and success in driving in the game winning rbi's yesterday deserves a reward.

Plawecki should know already that he will be starting Friday's game.

Unfortunately Collins track record in similar situations over the past few years does not leave me confident he will make this obvious decision.
He has not demonstrated an understanding of just how valuable rewarding a player in this way routinely benefits that individual players performance and the incentive and comfort it provides to the team as a whole.

Eddie Corona said...

Logan Verrett has proven to be a valuable commodity and should have been the 5th starter all along... (I am in the minority but have felt that Colon's 7.5 mil contract was a misappropriation of funds).

We should work to build up Logan Verrett value to the point where he is a Adam Warren type.

Casham Leveraged Warren to the Cubs For Castro... We should be looking to leverage Verrett for similar value... (Ideally in the mold of a young 3B prospect a la Dilson Herrera)...

Thomas Brennan said...

I agree with the points made on Henderson - just look at Leathersich last year - abused in Vegas and straight to Tommy John. Agree Collins needs to treat his bullpen more gingerly, even with a day off coming up.

deGrom should be DL-ed and Verrett should take his next start.

I am not in the least surprised that Flores looked good at first - if you can play SS, and focus on all the things a 1B has to do, which I presume he has been, most of it s/b easy for him.

I also agree - reward Plawecki. He should get 1/3 of the starts until one of the 2 gets hot.

Robb said...

I'll say this again, there are 3 things you need to do in new york to be a successful manager.

1. manage the clubhouse
2. manage the game
3. manage the media

and Collins continuously shows that in reality managing the game is the least important. as ridiculous as it sounds, as long as he keeps the clubhouse and works well with the media Im more then ok with that. theres enough talent to overcome his weird panic bullpen moves, strict platoons and adherence to veterans egos.

but seriously, how panicked did pitching henderson and familia almost two innings feel.

bob gregory said...

Regarding Leathersich last year:

The way that was handled....it was almost like the organization knew the elbow was close to going and the decision was made to try and hurry the inevitable.

bob gregory said...
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Adam Smith said...

Terry's decision making tends to get worse and worse as the pressure builds. And Terry feels pressure a lot. Pitching Henderson there was inexcusable. Using Familia there for five outs was almost as bad.

Flores may not be a league average SS - though he's better defensively at 2B than Murphy ever was - but he is a better player than a lot of people give him credit for, and he did look terrific at 1B. I think he could be an excellent defensive corner infielder.

Lagares needs more playing time than he's gotten thus far. Yes, even against RHP. It's early, I know, but...

Thor is unbelievable. The power is world-class, but his command while pitching with that power is otherworldly. Wondering what the record is for K/BB ratio for a guy with 200+ strikeouts.

Reese Kaplan said...

I'm glad to see some other voices pointing out that the emperor has no clothes.

Anonymous said...

gotta be Pedro 99 and 00. 313k/32BB and 284k/28BB. Those are flat out crazy any year, but to do it back to back at 5"11/170lbs at the height of the steroid era just about makes them among the best years of all time
Anon Joe F

Hobie said...

I agree with Robb's triage of managerial spheres--clubhouse, media, and in-game--with the latter having the least impact.

Beneath that, I've always thought that in the NFL, the top & bottom 5 teams are there on talent and a steep S-curv from floor to ceiling where coaching is the difference between contention and playing out the string. In baseball it's much gentler curve from the dismal to the successful with talent the overwhelming determiner of position.

And on top of the managerial triage, the in-game decisions tend to come down as no-brainers (50%), coin flips (40% - to be debated by arm chair managers in hind-sight), and only the last 10% decided between "strokes of genius" and "brain farts" (pitching Henderson). Even if Terry partitions that last 10% (of the 30% in-game sphere) 1/9 vs a LaRussa 9/1, it doesn't matter that much.

Thomas Brennan said...

With Cleveland, Atlanta, and Philly in next 9, minimum 6-3 needed

Anonymous said...

Plawecki can't hit. He's not anywhere close to the hitter that d'Arnaud is.

Yes, nice that he got a grounder through a drawn in infiend. It was hit so weakly that it barely reached the outfielder on a roll.

Meanwhile, Travis hit LHP for a 1.100+ clip last season. He should play against LHP, and it was a mistake -- poor planning -- to sit the struggling catcher in that spot.

He's the Mets #1 and you do not, IMO, start yanking guys around because the backup got one lucky hit. Even if KP went 2-3 I'd be against it. Travis is our catcher. You don't bail on the guy after 5 games. A manager must have a steadier hand.

I'm always surprised by the people who wildly over-rate Plawecki. He didn't even hit in Vegas. I am not saying he will never be a solid hitter -- I can't know that for sure -- but I'd bet on it.

James Preller

bob gregory said...

Hobie & Robb....

I would like to add to your "Triage of Managerial Spheres"
1. managing player health
2. managing player talent (both growth & maintenance)

These are the problems I brought up.
1--- Henderson's health
2--- Plawecki's reward.

I guess an arguement can be made to fit these into different parts of your Spheres....

You know....upon thinking more about this.... I have to say... your Sphere break-down sounds reasonable and justifiable as things are looked at day to day and week to week....

BUT....I dare say....things are never that simple. Especially things that deal with real live people and all of the social, emotional, and physical aspects involved when combining a large group of people into an interconnected unit.
The fact is....just one in-game decision in a single game could have incredibly huge ramifications upon the entire team unit.

Leaving a pitcher like Henderson in the game like Collins did yesterday could.... and mind you I stress COULD...(not saying will)....
if circumstances combine in just the right way cause a mess of unintended interconnected Yuckiness.

Leaving Santana in the game a few years ago to pitch the 130+ pitches in his no-hitter....follow the snowball of effects that resulted the rest of that season and into the next season for not just Santana, but also the Met team.

Henderson could also, worst case scenario.... make a snowball of unintended Yuckiiness.
Henderson's repaired arm becomes damaged. For Henderson this could result in a week, or month, or season lost to injury. It could even result in the end of his career.

As far as the team goes, Henderson was showing signs of returning to his pre-injury form. Pre-injury Henderson was an effective closer that would provide this year's Mets team something they were looking for, a reliable late game reliever that could help the team to many wins. If returned to form Henderson could have easily slid into the spot that was projected for Mejia.
Now, I am sure that if such a worst case scenario were to occur, other pitchers sitting in the Mets bullpen will sympathize. What will go through their minds when over the course of the season their arm starts to feel a bit off? Will they become tentative? Will they make decisions based on this tentativeness from game to game, week to week, month to month, or even pitch to pitch as they mentally tally the stress their arms are being placed under and question whether they can trust the manager to protect them?

We like to label things. Organize. Simplify things so they are easier for us to manage.
Sometimes these tendencies cause us not to notice how some small things actually have many many connections that exponentially increase their effect on the whole of the unit.

Anonymous said...

Plawecki, career, vs. LHP: .119 BA.

OPS under .450.

Not the day to rest d'Arnaud. Collins should have flip-flopped it, playing KP the night before the day game.

But, sigh.


bob gregory said...


Respectfully, its not a matter of over-estimating or under-estimating Plawecki's potential or D'Arnaud's.

Keep in mind, D'Arnaud is not going to play 162 games.
He has also not done much offensively yet this season.

There is no statement being made here about Plawecki or D'Arnaud's over all ability or who should be the team's starting catcher.

It is simply a matter of creating and supporting a culture that rewards performance and results.

Robb said...

I think they are doing a disservice to Plawecki by not having him catch everyday in vegas and crush the ball. Im not sure he's really an everyday catcher yet. TDA just seems to be one of those guys that tinkers too much. he'll get going he does hit the ball hard a lot.

as for TC, he does panic a lot. especially with the bullpen

football is a game of match ups and adjustments. which is why coaching matters so much, baseball less so. the front office by personnel dictates far more on the in game then in football.

TC is more a stay the course type manager then innovator

My Line up against a righty:


get TDA out of the 8 hole, if you must you could flip flop waler and granderson, but cabera is well suited on this team to be hitting 8th. i say that as a compliment as he dont give af about where he hits.

Thomas Brennan said...

If you want d'Arnaud to catch, say, 85% of the games, send KP down, call Monell up to start against some righties. Couldn't hurt KP (except in the wallet) to do that.

Anonymous said...

The Mets have played 8 games, Plawecki has caught 2. That seems about right to me.

Clearly, the Mets don't like something about Monell. They don't think he can catch, because obviously as a LH bat he's a perfect backup catcher (offensively). They don't like him behind the plate, or with the pitchers, or something. And to me, that's much more important than his modest uptick offensively. He's not a good player.

James Preller

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