Reese Kaplan -- Random Thoughts & Quick Hits


Three plus weeks into the season and some quick hits:

Another day and another lackluster start for Matt Harvey…it’s only a handful of games and he’s certainly shown his talent many, many times, but it sure would be nice to see him throw a shutout.

Nice to see Curtis Granderson come to life.  He has that combination of power and good eye that make him a formidable leadoff hitter despite being a low batting average hitter with high strikeout numbers.

The new double play combo has been a pleasant surprise both with their bats and their ability to man the field.  We haven’t seen Walker “pull a Murph” at 2B and after Cabrera’s awful defensive year last year what he’s done at SS has been solid and dependable.

Yoenis Cespedes is earning his cleanup hitter paycheck, leading the team in RBIs and 2nd in home runs to newly acquired Neil Walker.

Michael Conforto showed some excellent indications of what he’s capable of doing when he was first moved into the 3rd spot in the batting order.  He’s going to have some growing pains but he’s looking like he could be that Keith Hernandez type of hitter with more power.

Lucas Duda continues to be streaky as hell, but when he’s on he’s as good as anyone in the game.  If you’re going to put up with the inconsistent stretches know that he can carry you for short intervals.

David Wright has show some flashes of good and flashes of bad.  Right now he’s sitting around .245 which is not what you expect from a $20+ million player.

Logan Verrett is the biggest surprise of the pitching this year.  Pressed into service due to Jacob de Grom’s injury and the birth of his son, all he’s done is posted a sub 0.69 ERA.  The irony is that as Josh Edgin edges closer to a return he may be the odd man out since Terry Collins love his veterans and Jim Henderson is over 30.

Rafael Montero has been flat awful in his couple of appearances but it’s a double edged sword.  You can’t be expected to get dialed in if you don’t pitch, but if when you do pitch you throw gasoline on the fire then you won’t get the opportunity to develop a rhythm.

The same applies to Wilmer Flores on the offensive side of the ledger.  He’s looked very Tejada-like with his bat but with the way Cabrera and Walker have been playing he’s not likely to get many opportunities to get into any kind of groove.

The rest of the bullpen, while not always confidence-inspiring has been more good than bad overall, occasional hiccups notwithstanding.

Alejandro de Aza has had some good at-bats but the overall results in just 20 plate appearances are just a .150 average – probably not what Sandy Alderson had in mind when he extended a $6 million contract to the man.  If he can heat up then perhaps he can be peddled away in mid-year if someone in AAA heats up enough to warrant a promotion.

On the whole, the team is about where you’d expect it to be with the good and bad performances.  Getting Jacob de Grom back means keeping Logan Verrett in the bullpen and Rafael Montero returning to Las Vegas


Ernest Dove said...

Back ailment or not its simply not fun to watch our captain strike out sooo many times per game. Maybe give Wilmer another start at 3B in this Braves series.

Thomas Brennan said...

I echo Ernest. Wilmer has hit some balls to the track. Give him a start.

This may finally be the year, surrounded by so many quality hitters, that Duda's bad steaks minimize and hot streaks lengthen. I have only caught a few of his ABs, but he finally seems to be swinging at more first pitch strikes. Good.

Don't count on AAA hitting from the outfield. Guys are really not hitting there. Maybe that will change soon. I am not real hopeful. There has been an absolute dearth of the HR ball with the Mets' 4 minor squads so far.

Anonymous said...

Wilmer should get 2-3 starts in a row. 3B, then SS, then 2B. Rest is good for everybody, especially Cabrera, who is not a young player anymore. Long season. TC needs to manage the full roster better.

Wright is now striking out at a 40% rate.

21 Ks and 53 ABs.

In postseason: 20 Ks and 54 ABs.

Not good.

At all.

James Preller

Adam Smith said...

Agreed that Wilmer needs to get some starts. I've never been able to shake the feeling that TC flat out doesn't like the kid. Cabrera will be better for us with 450-500 AB's than 550-600.

No mention of Juan Lagares? He's hitting .313 and back to playing gold glove defense. He's another guy who needs more time. I know it's not the popular moment to mention this after he hit 2 HR last night, but Grandersonto too will reward the team if we limit his AB's.

Terry manages scared too often, and when he's scared, he refuses to rest starters and burns out his bullpen. The vets in this team, especially, should be getting 1-2 (preferably 2, for most of them) off days per week. Every week. That's why depth.

Hobie said...

I agree, Grandson spoils us with a HR binge on occasion, but this is a stronger team all around wth Laggers in CF. I keep hearing 3rd/4th hand stories about Cespedes refusing to play RF--if is that really true, I guess I'm for a Conforto RF experiment, but zI would prefer YC there.

Secondly, Wright's K-rate is scary. A decent OBP with a ton of XBH can offset a high K-rate, but David has only one of these. DW & YC have almost identical PA, K's and OBP, but Cespedes has 37 TB to Wright's 22 an hence a 175pt OPS lead and a 14-2 RBIadvantage.

Putting the above observations together has me fantasizing about a Cabrera-Walker @ 1-2 combo, and Grandson/Legares-Wright/Flores-TdA/Plaw at the bottom (maybe even Grandy/Legares in a pre-lead-off 9 spot).

Think I'll watch the Rangers for a while.

eraff said...

To many good players is never a problem---The Manager needs to keep them all ready.

I think the slow start made Collins Shoes tighter---and he stuck with "the first teamers". It is tough to give Wright a Day off--- that cuts you by an available player, because Wright can't come off the Bench.

Wright has looked better than I expected.... but his bat has slowed, and he guesses and Jumps (and strikes out) much more than in his prime.

Mack's Mets © 2012