Posted by Ernest Dove at 8:00 AM
WAIT, ARE THOSE RUNS THE METS ARE SCORING?
Don't look now, but the New York Mets are starting to look like a playoff contending baseball team again. This team is built to hit homers, get adequate defense from veteran players, and dominate on the mound. And hey, guess what, all three phases have been starting to rev up the engines.
MR CONFORTO, WELCOME TO THE 3 HOLE MY FRIEND
In what seemed like almost a shocking move by the veteran friendly skipper old Terry, Michael Conforto was snuck up into the #3 spot in the batting, and he DELIVERED. Immediately you can see just what kind of talent Conforto truly has, especially with a solid and now recently red hot Yoenis Cespedes hitting right behind him. What strikes me the most so far and in the past year from Conforto is his plate discipline. He will obviously, like all players, get fooled now and again by a great pitch, but overall Michael is working the counts into his favor. From recent games you can see teams continue to try the shift. You can also notice that some of the pitchers have tried throwing breaking stuff early in the count against him in the hopes that they can get ahead 0-1 or 0-2, but Michael has been showing a great eye at the plate, and has found himself in certain situations, such as yesterday's 3-1 count at bat, where the pitcher is forced to throw in the strike zone, and Michael uses his vision and bat speed to drive the ball. Look for Mr. Conforto to spend a lot of time hitting in this spot, even though Terry Collins has already continued to preach patience and development in regards to Conforto, and continues to publically discuss plans to move Conforto either down from or even out of the lineup altogether against opposing lefties. Let's see how much pressure comes upon Terry should Conforto continue hitting for average, power and drive in more runs as the weeks go by.
HAS ANYONE BEEN PAYING ATTENTION TO THAT GUY AT SHORTSTOP?
Remember when the Mets overpaid for a veteran shortstop coming off a down year? The guy with zero range, and who would not last the 2 and especially 3 years in New York before all hell broke loose? Well.........He's now hovering over .290 in batting average, over .350 OBP and has been playing solid defense, making the routine plays, showing a strong arm, even making a few beautiful plays with juuuuust a bit of range, and turning some really solid double plays with fellow veteran and undervalued defensive force Neil Walker ;) And hey, he hasn't even hit a homer yet. Wait until the double digit homers for the year start flying.
CALM DOWN EVERYONE, THE CAPTAIN WAS BENCHED FOR NO CRISIS REASON
Word out of New York is that David simply was given the day off, and Mets will look to utilize the day of rest in order to make plans to have David play every waking second of the upcoming series in Philly, where David's entire career has been spent mashing the ball in that stadium. Look for the David to man 2B and be back in the 2 spot for the series.
FAMILY ABOVE EVERYTHING FOR DEGROM AND METS UNIVERSE
After word got out about Jacob deGrom, his wife, and their newborn son having 'complications' all of Mets universe got a reminder of real life. Long story short, the recent reports now have the baby 'improving'. And, based on recent comments made by Terry Collins himself, the 'lat issues' is apparently not even an issue anymore. It appears that Logan Verrett will make another start in place of Jacob, and then there appear to be plans for deGrom to take his spot right back in the rotation during the next go around. We at Mack's Mets, along with our writers and readers, will continue to send nothing but prayers, grace and good vibes to the deGrom family.
SOMEONE SHOULD PROBABLY MENTION A FEW POSSIBLE CONCERNS WITH METS
So far Wilmer Flores has not been very SUPER in the utility role. Defensively, Wilmer to be performing admirably, making the plays needed, with some special praise and acknowledgement needed and deserved for his recent start at first base. However, offensively, Wilmer only has 1 hit on the season. And has my friend Scot has been pointing out for awhile now, Wilmer seems to continue to have trouble with pitches on the outside of the plate. Pitchers seem to continue to make every effort to avoid any pitches down and in at all costs against young Wilmer, and he needs to continue to work on adjustments.
The bullpen was used heavily in the recent week. In my opinion there appear to be possible personal concerns for some of the pitchers being counted on for multiple innings, and for back to back and then back to back to back nights. The Mets no longer have rubber arm Carlos Torres. And Sean Gilmartin is currently dominating AAA ball (I'll get to him in a second). As the great Keith Hernandez pointed out in a broadcast earlier this year, it's all about 21 outs from the starters. And the previous Matz start, along with all of the Matt Harvey starts and the occasional ooops Bart start, the bullpen has already been overused as if it were August and the team was fighting for contention into September call up support. Here's to hoping deGrom rejoins the rotation, Verrett goes back to being the long man, and both Matz and Harvey start pitching into the 7th innings consistently.
DOWN ON THE FARM........
Speaking of Sean Gilmartin, he threw a gem yesterday for the Vegas 51s, going 7 shutout innings, only giving up 3 hits, and striking out 8 in the teams 3-0 victory against Fresno. 1 of the 3 runs driven by the 51s was courtesy of Matt Reynolds, who was 2-4 with 2 triples on the day. Reynolds currently sitting at a .274 batting average on the year.
Brandon Nimmo has continues a slow start to the season. Nimmo has recently been installed as the teams leadoff hitter, but right now is sitting at .229 BA. As for our anointed 2B of the future, young Dilson Herrera has reportedly been battling minor injuries since the beginning of this early season, often being the teams DH when possible, and just now getting back to playing in the field. Look for Dilson to simply just get healthy, and then start keeping track of his stats. The king of spring, Travis Taijeron, went 2-3 yesterday with 2 RBIs, and is hitting .276 now to start the year. Young Gavin Cecchini went 0-4 and is currently only hitting .200 in the early going and was hitting down in the 7th spot for the game.
To go with the shutout theme, the BMets also pitched a shutout in AA ball, winning 4-0 against Erie. On the prospect watch side of things, L.J. Mazzilli went 1-3 with a triple and 2 BBs, but right now is currently hitting .241. My hero Dom Smith went 0-5, and is hitting.......cough....... .194 right now. After a rough start out of the bullpen this year, Akeel Morris locked down the 9th for the BMets with a perfect inning to end the game, recording one strikeout.
Wait, did someone mention shutouts? well.......... the St. Lucie Mets lost 13-0 to Brevard County and only managed 2 hits in the game. Of note: Champ Stuart had one of the hits, and he also just recently hit a homer for the Lucie team this past week. His average currently sits at .238, a stat which has recently been brought up in the past few games. Rosario went 0-3 with a BB and 2 Ks and is not at .298 on the season. Also on the prospect watch Jhoan Urena, still possibly just working his way back from a lost 2015 season, was 0-3 with a K and is only hitting .158. On a somewhat positive note, the other hit in the game went to Wuilmer Becerra, who from what I understand has missed games in the recent week, so it's good to see him back on the field.
As for the Columbia FireFlies, they notched 11 hits and 5 runs, but fell 11-5 to Greenville. Ivan Wilson appears to now continue to start striking out at an alarming rate again, with two more Ks on the day. Recent high draft pick Milson Ramos, one of the many SS's in the system now, is hitting .179. The star on the prospect scene to start the year down in low A ball right now is David Thompson. The 3B was 1-2 with a BB, and is hitting .324 on the season with ALL KINDS of extra base hits to start the year. Let's keep an eye on THIS David, not only in the stats but also in simply checking the internets to ensure he is playing 'everyday' and if not determine any reasons behind it (reported extensive medical history on the stud power bat coming out of college which is why he fell into the 4th round of the draft).
Speaking of College, did someone mention FAU SS prospect C.J. Chatham (yup, im bringing him up again). He hit his 4th homer of the season for the #16 ranked fighting owls in a loss today. Coming into the game, C.J. was hitting .380, his BB/K rate is about equal right now, and I believe this 2 run homer puts him at 30 RBI's in 33 games. A recent article published in the local Florida newspaper (SunSentinel) has reported that the once lowly recruited (FAU only program to offer scholarship at the time) player has entrenched himself in the middle infield and middle of the order for the Owls, and has been popping up in the top 150 to top 200 range in all major MLB draft prospect rankings right now in America. Me personally, I am making it my life's mission to campaign for C.J. to be drafted by the Mets at pick #100 ;) The 6 foot 4 Chatham is capable of playing 3B, has history as a player in the outfield, and oh by the way has reported been clocked at 96MPH with a fastball, so perhaps a switch back to pitching would not be out of question for C.J. as a professional.
Thank you for reading...... Please feel free to comment on any of the above topics brought up, or just start a new one....As long as we talking Mets baseball life is good. .............................
(Get healthy Mack)..................................