Mack’s Morning Report – 5-16-16 -Matt Purke, Rafael Montero, NL East Race


Good morning.

I came across a name yesterday that put a smile on my face.

Back in 2011, there was a 6-3 lefty out of TCU that was projected as the first overall pick on most mock drafts…

Matt Purke was the darling of the 2011 draft until his shoulder problems began. It cost him most of the pre-draft season in school and drove down his being picked in the draft to the 3rd round (96th pick overall) by the Washington Nationals (he still got a $4mil signing bonus).

I never expected the Mets to take a chance on him because they just don’t draft like the Nats do (see Lucas Giolito), but I cringed every time a name was called out when the Mets time came up before the Purke pick… 

Brandon NimmoMichael FulmerCory Mazzoni

Purke eventually pitched five seasons in the Nats system, though he never did pick up a baseball the year he came out of college. His five tear minor league stat line was unimpressive: a mere 58G/44starts, 10-18, 4.54 and only 174-Ks in 214-IP. The Nats eventually cut fish and Purke signed this season with the Chicago White Sox.

So far, his relief work at the AA level has been mildly impressive… 10 games, (one start), 0-0, 2.30, 14-K, 15.2-IP (though much improvement is still needed on the 8-BB). Still, it was an article in MLBTR that caught my eye this week that brought a smile to my face. The White Sox had promoted Purke to the major leagues.

We wish my favorite 2011 pick well and we’ll keep an eye on him this season.

Well, it seems that, after another Matt Harvey difficult start and a Logan Verrett blowup, we’re back to trying to find an answer for the supposedly world’s best rotation (sic).

Another name to throw back in the pot might be Rafael Montero, who has another excellent outing Saturday night for Las Vegas in their 1-0 loss played in Oklahoma City… 6.0-IP, 2-H, 0-R, 7-K, 2-BB, seasonal ERA down to 3.94.

Yes, I do swing back and forth on this guy, but I still feel his major league talent is being wasted in the minors. I still like by backend 7-8-9 bullpen idea a few years ago of Montero-Familia-Mejia, but we all know what happened to that pipedream.

Anyway, keep your eyes on Montero every fifth outing of the 51s season.

The 2016 baseball season is starting to get far more interesting for Mets fans than last year. 2015 was basically a two horse race to get to the NL East crown and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be that easy this season. We were just in first place, now we’re in third, and, as of close of business Saturday night, we’re only two games out of fourth.

I pretty much have tunnel vision when it comes to this sport, so I have no idea why both Philadelphia and Miami are both playing so much better this season. I’m sure it falls into the same category Texas, the Cubs, and the Nats fell into before… you will eventually draft a bunch of top prospects if you continue to suck and get early picks in drafts.

Add this to a team (Mets) that currently is both hitting and pitching at a sub-par level and this creates the kind of competitive situation we are seeing right now.

Last year was too easy. Washington just continued to sit on their hands and allowed the Mets to build up an unsurmountable divisional lead. This doesn’t look like what’s going to happen this year. This could easily be a four horse race with each team playing each other three and four games series for the rest of the season.


Thomas Brennan said...

Good for Purke. Like that Purke is getting his opportunity, I hope to soon see Montero and Sewald in the majors. They like Purke (perhaps more so) deserve to be up here.

Bad trip...and we return to Mad Max and Magnificent Murph.

Too many guys like Duda Brandy, Wright, and Harvey subpar...throw in a few bad calls and hello, tailspin.

Brian Joura said...

The Phillies are 14-3 in one-run games. That type of luck is simply not going to hold up. They're 14th in the NL in runs scored.

Mack Ade said...

Tom/Brian - This has been a bad run for the Mets and the calls by the umps surely hasn't helped.

I welcome any games against either the Nats, Phillies, or Marlins, regardless where the games are plays. The 7 train boys will ake them sound like a home game anyway

Anonymous said...

I am encouraged by Montero's recent starts. My guess is that he is too, and maybe that's even more important to a player who has had his confidence shaken. If he can continue to pitch well, he should be strongly considered for the next spot start, though I think you can still make an argument for Verrett or Gilmartin.

To me, Verrett feels like a mirage, I'm just not excited by his arsenal. Gilmartin could be a starter now. At least I think so, maybe, possibly. With Montero, who knows! Right now, he's doing exactly what he needs to do. Throwing hard, getting innings, and knocking on the door.

It feels like either Harvey or deGrom (or both) might need a rest. When pitchers talk about feeling "uncomfortable," that sure sounds like code language to me.

Mack Ade said...

Anonymous -

I agree. The team seems to be in a general funk and yet they are close to first place.

There seems to be something wrong with deGrom this year. Strikeouts way down

Anonymous said...


Sorry, I forgot to put my name on that "anonymous" post.

James Preller

Mack Ade said...

James -

That's okay James... sometimes I wish I could stay anonymous :)

Dallas said...

Yeah, I agree with Brian, the Phillies record is a bit of smoke and mirrors. Their -30 run differential will come back to swing the other way unless they make some trades to bolster the team. Mets either tied or won 8 straight series, they were due for some bad luck, it just sucks when the bad luck has to do with the umping more than playing. I think the quickest way things get turned around is if Harvey finds his groove. The hitters will rebound. Be interesting to see how long a leash De Aza and Flores get. I wish Herrera could be tried out at 3rd so we could find him some playing time.

Thomas Brennan said...

I am all in on Herrera. Campbell made that much tougher of late to consider.

Mack Ade said...

It seems to me that there is no scenario for Herrera this season except for a September callup

Thomas Brennan said...

Then let Dilson hit 30 homers and hit .330 and force his way in

Hobie said...

September for Dilson I'm afraid unless a serious injury to Walker.

Machiavellian reason: less than 52 on the 25 man = an extra year of control.

Metsiac said...

How long can we keep both Verrett and Gilmartin, but no backup SS.? We don't really have anyone on the 40 who looks ready for promotion, so IMO a trade is coming soon. A MnLer on our 40 for a veteran backup IFer who can play SS. Could happen before tomorrow night's game.

Stubby said...

It's still early, but the recent tailspin does seem to imply (combined with last year's results) that d'Arnaud--not Wright, not Grandy, not Cespedes, not anyone else--is the key to the Mets offense. Given his frequent trips to the DL, that's a bit worrisome.

Reese Kaplan said...

@jamespreller -- I had opined on Saturday that bringing up the man stretched out to be a starter who'd been mowing everyone down with aplomb to work out of the bullpen and to take the long reliever and force feed him into the rotation put two people into the wrong roles. No one offered any thoughts when I pointed that out. Obviously you and I are in synch.

As far as Metsiac's idea to waste resources to trade for a backup middle infielder, you have Reynolds and Rivera both available in AAA. If the backup player is getting a lot of starts, that means a big problem with either Cabrera or Walker. THEN you could look at a trade. Not now.

bob gregory said...

What about when the offense was clicking in the recent past this year?

bob gregory said...

What about when the offense was clicking in the recent past this year?

Metsiac said...

I'm NEVER in favor of "wasting" resources. But last year, we traded for two excellent bench pieces in Uribe and
Johnson without "waste". There are guys on the 40 who have little value to us (such as Alvarez) who should have enough value to someone else to get someone in return. A good trade benefits both teams, which is why no one's crying over Fulmer's success as long as Yo is helping us.

Reese's favorite scapegoat of the past few seasons (R.T.) could probably be had for one of our expendable MnLers. 😈

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