Mack’s Morning Report – 4-5-16 – David Wright, Las Vegas, Michael Conforto

Good morning.

I was still attending to my 85-year old mother-in-law down in Florida on Sunday so I sort of mailed in Monday’s report on my 10 predictions for the season, rather that mention anything that happened on Sunday night.
One of the ten points I made was –

I think that 2016 will continue the sad, long journey of decline in David Wright’s game. It won’t have reached the ‘Tiger Woods pulling out of The Masters’ stage yet, but it will become quite obvious that the Mets are going to have to look elsewhere for someone to play third base in 2017.

Yeah, I know, Sunday was only one game, but he was lost out there, both with his bat and a slow attempt to throw out a bunt that has always been a trademark Wright play. Forget the slide to first. That slows up the chances for a safe call, No, Wright didn’t get to the ball as quick as was needed and as quick as he has over the many years he has turned this play.

I’m sorry I’m right here. My nickname given to me by teammates was’Clete’ (for Clete Boyer). This too was my premier play and I know how deep one must play this kind of play if you want to be successful against a premier bunter.

But, tell you what. Let’s give him the bunt play and get back to the strikeouts. Wright was totally outclassed the entire night 0-4, 2-K, 4-LOB.
Like I said… only one game… but this could be a big problem this year.
I would monitor this very closely if I was Terry and Sandy and I would begin a subtle drop out of the top five slots in the lineup if thigs don’t turn around by the end of, let’s say, April.

We could at least give a man that has done so much for out team April, right?

The Las Vegas AAA roster was announced total –

Starters (4) - Rafael Montero, Seth Lugo, Gabriel Ynoa, Sean Gilmartin          

Relievers – (9) - Paul Sewald, Josh Smoker, Dario Alvarez, Zack Thornton, Chase Huchingson, Eric Goeddel , Stolmy Pimentel, Chasen Bradford, Jeff Walters   
        Catchers (3) -  Johnny Monell, Nevin Ashley, Jeff Glenn

        1B (1) - Marc Krauss  

        2B (2) - Dilson Herrera, Danny Muno  

        SS (2) - Gavin Cecchini, Matt Reynolds    
        3B (1) - T.J. Rivera     

OF (4) - Brandon Nimmo, Roger Bernadina, Ty Kelly, Travis Taijeron   

Two of the ‘missing here (and could show up in Binghamton) are SP Robert Gsellman and RP Akeel Morris.

We should have Binghamton’s roster before that night’s game who should have a killer infield of Dominic Smith, LJ Mazzilli, Amed Rosario, and Jeff McNeil.

The Mets released P Brian McMinn.

OF Desmond Lindsay will not play opening day for Columbia, suffering from leg issues and a possible concussion after being beans recently.

RHP Matt Blackman hit the DL with fracture in the right elbow.

It’s funny… I was researching for my next Sunday mock draft analysis and I ran across Jim Callis’ 2015 mock draft. Here’s who he had for the fourth pickin the  

          4. Cubs: Michael Conforto, OF, Oregon State

The Cubs covet pitching, but if Aiken and Rodon aren't available, they likely will take a position player over Kolek or Nola. The Cubs would bypass Jackson to take Olympia High (Orlando, Fla.) shortstop Nick Gordon if they consider only talent. They're also mulling a discounted deal with one of four college position players, then using the savings to sign pitchers taken later in the Draft. Conforto and Kennesaw State catcher Max Pentecost are higher in Chicago's pecking order than Indiana catcher/outfielder Kyle Schwarber and North Carolina State shortstop Trea Turner.


Hobie said...

Hmmm. Maybe we get to see that Las Vegas 3B at some point? :-)

Ernest Dove said...

I've heard rumors about Mets leaving Rosario back to start April with st lucie mets again. Has their roster come out yet?
If that happens it will be my lifes mission to go watch Rosario and Guillorme share an infield LIVE and in person.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Wright has earned April.

I keep hearing that response, "It's only one game." And of course, that's nonsense. It was 38 games last season, plus a long postseason (where he was horrendous), and a spring training where he couldn't get himself on the field. This has nothing about "one game," which is why your criticism is fair and valid.

My hope is that he can be adequate this season, though far below his established levels of play. The glove is what scares me the most. The Mets can carry a punch-and-judy 3B in the lineup; defensively, if the guy can't throw -- and I see no evidence that he can -- it will hurt this team over and over again.

Yesterday Mark Simon -- who is not my favorite -- pointed out that Wright can't go to his right. So he suggested that Wright play closer to the line. Okay, fine, whatever. But now consider that the Mets have a SS who can't range in either direction. That's a gaping hole between 3B and SS, every game, every inning, every pitch.

David Wright has become the crafty veteran pitcher who has lost his fastball, lost the bite on his slider, and is now trying to get by on guile. He's going to have to guess a lot. In the end, it's all just sad. Such a great player and a great Met. I hope this doesn't get ugly.

James Preller

Tom Brennan said...

Maybe we see Wright retiring soon? Way too early to speculate, I know. For a much more serious reason, Yankee fans were shocked in 1939 when Lou Gehrig suddenly had to call it quits. Sometimes, guys' careers end in mid season. I doubt he will, as he sees a World Series ring in sight, but we'll see if he can still play major league caliber ball. I still think he can.

Never realized it, but Gehrig only struck out 790 times in nearly 9700 plate appearances. From 1927 to 1937, he scored an average of 143 runs and knocked in an average of 153. He must have really been a wonder to watch.

bgreg98180 said...

For me.....

Wright has been too prone to striking out the last few years to be in the 2nd spot of the lineup (back issues or no back issues)

High avg and or high OPS are wonderful for any hitter, including the 2nd spot of the lineup

BUT, in my opinion, that 2nd place hitter has to be able to reliably put the ball into play (while avoiding double plays of course) so there is a chance to move the leadoff hitter over or get on to provide rbi chances for the middle of the lineup.

Mack Ade said...

Ernest -

I have not seen the St. Lucie roster yet, nor have I received the press release which I get each year. It obviously has to come out before Thursday's game.

Mack Ade said...

James -


I've told this story a number of times.

I played third and moved better to the whole... so I would hug the line and my shortstop, Paul Altruda would play deeper at a step of two closer to second... you make these kind of adjustments to make things work better out there.

Mack Ade said...

Bob -

For me, it doesn't seem that pitchers have to try and pitch around Wright anymore nor do they try and specifically pitch to his (Cespedes- pitch him high in the strike zone) weak zone.

Deep breath... maybe he gets 2 hits tonight.

Brian Joura said...

But the key point in the bunt play was that it wasn't a premier bunter -- it was Eric Hosmer, who since 2008 has one sac bunt to his credit. I'm sure he has a few bunt hits but it's not a modern day Brett Butler we're talking about here, someone who is known for bunting.

That Adam Smith said...

Look, we've all been told that Wright will have good days and bad days with his back. Is it possible that Wright's back was acting up Sunday night, but that he felt it was important to be on the field for the opener? Particularly since there are so many days off this week? Having seen him look OK in some late spring games, I'm going to chalk Sunday up as a game that he might not have played in if it was May 3rd instead of April 3rd.

eraff said...

Bob-- ALL of Baseball is playing Situational Defense with a variety of shifts and specific Pitching and pitch selection.

The Offensive approach/response is far lagging---the KC's are way ahead on Situational OFFENSE. Hosmer's Game 1 is a demonstration of a Terrific Ballplayer--- several Situational Offensive Plays, nice glovework and baserunning---All the While, the "Boothy's" are debating whether he can ever hit 30 HRS...!!!!!

Hosmer hit 18 HR's/35 Doubles...an 822 ops.... 93 RIBS.... Gold Glove Defense. He's THE GUY YOU WANT AT TRE PLATE WHEN YOU NEED SOMETHING GOOD!!!! He's a Latter Day KIETH HERNANDEZ----- but they're wondering if he'll ever hit 30 HR's...???... I suspect he also doesn't speak French.

James Preller said...

Two comments:

Mack, yes, 3B shifts, and SS shifts, but that creates a bigger hole up the middle. There are adjustments, certainly, but also costs that come with them.

Eraff, yes, great point. I believe that with the advent of defensive shifts, we will see the return of the complete hitter who can go the other way, for example. That is, an offensive adjustment. The old line sounds glib, but it's true: "Hit 'em where they ain't." More and more, baseball will reward those hitters who can do exactly that. How can exhibit bat control, who have more that "one swing" in their arsenal.

And hitters will learn it only when it becomes valued -- and it taught at the lower levels. I think it might be too late for Curtis Granderson, but I truly hope that Michael Conforto can learn how (and when!) to take what the defense gives him. Sure, Ted Williams powered through the shift. He was a 500-HR guy and, well, Ted Effing Williams. The rest of them are going to have to figure it out.

On a different site I complimented KC's scouts -- and their willingness to put that info into practice on the field. They identified the weak arms of Wright and Duda. They saw that Wright was no longer an offensive threat and decided not to walk him, but to go after him with heat. They saw the shift and went with the bunt. Overall, what we are seeing is a well-coached team. A winning organization.

Anthony Carnacchio said...

Matt Harvey for Nolan arenado

bgreg98180 said...


You are looking to move Wright out immediately?
or , just spit-balling in case Wright retires early some day in the future?

eraff said...

Jim... I'm not sure that I'd so much insist that all of my hitters try to replicate Hosmer's approach and abilities--- but, we now have all hitters trying to emulate guys like Bautista! Ok, if you're Bautista, BE Bautista!!!

The truth is that most guys would be more productive driving the ball to all fields while giving up the Max Swing Long Ball Approach---Duda Comes to Mind. Certainly Conforto can hit 20 or so HR's and remain a Full field threat. That's a midline between driving the ball where it's pitched and hitting it where they aint...but its a productive midline for more ballplayers.

As for Hosmer... I fail to see the "hole in his game" for the lack of 30 HR's. 50 some EB Hits IS Power... and I'm sure he dials up a Bambino once in a while---likely, in appropriate Hitter Count/Game Situations.

Metsiac said...

The description of Hosmer here reads a lot like multiple opinions I've seen of Dom Smith, anothrr projected Keith clone. We may see him here in September if he gets off to a solid 1st half at Bingo and moves to Vegas for July/August. Mack feels his ETA is '18, but I don't see that unless he regresses this year.

As for 3B, if he has a solid season with the bat and as David's sub, Wilmer should be next in line there. That was his regular position in the minors since the Mets moved him off SS a few years ago.

Mack Ade said...

Metsiac -

FWIW, I covered the Savannah Sand Gnats for the 3 seasons Flores played there... exclusively at SS.

I don't think he played a game at third until St. Lucie, but I could be wrong.

Anthony Carnacchio said...


I think by the deadline were gonna see that wright is busting his ass balls to the wall but, the sole preparation to get ready for games is going to be his demise. He takes 1/3 of his normal reps pre game and it shows. I'm the biggest David wright fan but it might be time for him to ride off into the sunset.

Mack Ade said...

Anthony -

You have played the game.

You know it shouldn't take this long each day to get ready to play...

bgreg98180 said...

Having to do what Wright has to do, just to get ready to play a game is a chore.

Having to do that before every game and whatever maintenance he has to do on even the off days for 7 to 9 months of a baselball season (+ pre and post seasons) is a monster of a commitment and effort.

There is not enough praise that can be written or said about Wrights love for the game and his internal drive to continue to perform at levels that he is setting for himself.

I have sympathy for Wright as he the cost in effort continues to mount at such a monstrous level, while the performance continues to decline.

For me, his work ethic and commitment to being a part of the Mets has earned him a place on this team and in the organization for as long as he may want one.
What that part is, of course is not set in stone. The reduction of his role as an every day player and his slide down into the 6 through 8 positions of the lineup are realistic plans that need to be made, assessed and monitored on a continual basis from last season forward.

Keeping an open and honest dialogue between the organization and Wright could be one of the most important issues facing the Mets organization during this phase of the Alderson Era.

Stubby said...

So it's the 7th inning of Game Two and David is 1 for 2 with 2 walks and 2 stolen bases, so far. Can't speak to his defense, since we don't get televised Mets games in the Carolinas, but I don't see any errors on the board.

So could we please, please, please CHILL on the funeral processionals, huh? You know, People magazine said Abe Vigoda was dead in 1982 and he managed to live and work for another 33 years. David will be just fine. I wouldn't just give him to the end of April; I'd give him the whole frickin' year. THAT'S what he's earned. And there is still no one on the team I'd rather have up with the game on the line. Meanwhile, Conforto is 0 for 3 today. OH NOES!! Send him to Triple-A! He's finished in this league!

Its 162 game season and you're never going to get through it if one game has you reaching for the Pepto and jumping to dump the face of the franchise and pushing for his retirement (to be replaced by what exactly? Eric Campbell?). On the other hand, let me know what fantasy leagues you play in, because fantasy owners like that make it easy for the rest of us.

Anthony Carnacchio said...


He looks slow and methodical in the field, weak and mechanical at the plate. Errors or not it takes him three hours pre game just to get ready to participate in his pre game. He doesn't get as many reps and he's slow as hell. Getting on base against chris young who throws as hard as some high school pitchers doesn't impress me, when he can get around on a guy consistently on 97 then maybe we can talk about David wright being able to compete again