Mack’s Morning Report – 5-2-16 – Dee Gordon, Michael Conforto, Dominic Smith, Casey Delgado, Robert Gsellman, Enmanuel Zabala


Good morning.

Continuing an annoying subject of mine, Fangraphs  Fangraphs comments on Dee Gordon

That $50 million contract bought out Gordon’s final three years of arbitration plus two years of free agency and a potential third as a team option. It came with a signing bonus of $1.5 million and a salary of $3 million this season, which means Gordon will lose $1.3 million as a result of his suspension. And when he returns, the Marlins will still owe roughly $45 million to Gordon. That extension money is where the current controversy lies.

Earlier this week, Ken Rosenthal talked with multiple players about the current system for suspending PED users, covering a wide range of issues: the efficacy of the system (in light of players who’d been caught outside of testing), the penalty and whether it was too lax, and the possibility of tiering suspensions if a player knowingly took a banned substance. These are thorny issues.

Mack – what you doubters here have to realize that Gordon’s extension easily could have been negotiated while he was under the influence of performance enhancing drugs. And you think that extension shouldn’t be taken away from him?

Yusuf : Hey Jeff, Michael Conforto is off to a great start–tops the league in exit velocity, getting on base, etc. After roughly a half-season of major league plate appearances who would you say is an accurate comp for him?        

Jeff Sullivan: This one took me a few minutes because my mind went blank but then it kept trying to say Alex Gordon? It’s not a perfect comp, because Gordon has better defense and Conforto might have more power, but that seems like the right general area

Mack – Wow. Conforto and Gordon in the same sentence. I don’t want to jinx the kid. I hope the press leaves him alone and lets him build on the beginning of a great season.

Here’s the latest spin by the Mets on them not caring whether Dominic Smith develops power right now 

Mets minor-league hitting coordinator Lamar Johnson: - “The focus is just being consistent. You’ve got to have a consistent approach and a consistent swing. As he matures everything is going to get better for him. Right now, we just want him to be consistent with everything he does because he’s got a nice swing. And when they start talking about power, he hits 30-something doubles per year. That’s pretty productive, I think, when you talk about power numbers. Home runs, that’s something that’s going to happen way down the road for him.”

          Mack – My question… how long is this road?

St. Lucie 5  - Palm Beach 4 - The St. Lucie Mets avoided a sweep by clipping the Palm Beach Cardinals 5-4 on Sunday afternoon at Tradition Field.

The game was exciting with the Mets jumping out to a four-run lead in the sixth then having to hang on for the victory.

Former Independent Baseball players Casey Delgado and Kevin Taylor played huge roles in the victory. Delgado improved to 4-0 in his fourth start. He allowed three runs in six innings. Taylor went 3 for 4 with a home run and three RBI.

Taylor served a two-out, two-run single to right filed off of Jack Flaherty in the third that put the Mets up 2-1. Taylor’s second homer of the year, a solo shot in the sixth, made it 3-1 and chased Flaherty from the game.
Later in the sixth Jhoan Urena drove in Wuilmer Becerra with a base hit. Jonathan Johnson’s two out single to center moved John Mora to third base and Mora scored on an errant throw home by center field Blake Drake. The Mets left the sixth with a 5-1 lead.
The Cardinals roared back with three runs in the seventh. Robby Coles threw a wild pitch that let in a run to make it 5-4 and moved the tying run to third base. Coles recovered by striking out Brian O’Keefe.
In the eighth the Cardinals got back-to-back two out hits but Coles coaxed a ground out to short to keep the Mets on top.
Tim Peterson struck out two in the ninth and worked around a two-out single to notch his first save.
Becerra went 3 for 4 and raised his average to .371. Mora was 2 for 4.
 The Mets snapped their three-game losing streak and moved back into a first place tie with Palm Beach at 14-10.

New Hampshire 3  -  Binghamton 1  -  The New Hampshire Fisher Cats scored three times in the first inning and defeated the Binghamton Mets, 3-1, on a rainy Sunday afternoon at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. The B-Mets were limited to four hits and watched their season-best six-game winning streak come to an end.

Shortstop Phillip Evans’ fielding error to start the first opened the door for the Fisher Cats. Rowdy Tellez skipped an RBI single up the middle and Matt Dean followed by lacing a run-producing double into the right-field alley. Jorge Saez ripped an RBI single into left to cap the big frame. Gsellman faced eight batters and needed 35 pitches to survive the first.

Gsellman settled down after the rocky start and answered back with four scoreless innings. After the Fisher Cats opened the game 4-for-8 at the plate, Gsellman held them hitless in their next 11 at-bats. The righty set down the final 10 batters he faced as he battled through the fifth inning.
Fisher Cat starter Luis Santos held the B-Mets to one run over six innings in his fourth career Double-A start. The righty put down six straight before Xorge Carrillo started the third with a double to the left-field gap. Jared King put the B-Mets on the board, and earned his first RBI of the season, by slicing a double down the left-field line. Santos capped his day, and preserved the New Hampshire lead, by setting down 12 of the final 14 batters he faced.

Danny Barnes mowed down all six B-Mets he faced after taking over in the seventh. Wil Browning worked a perfect ninth to earn his second save. The Fisher Cats pitching staff retired the final 12 B-Met batters in order and prevented any runner from getting past first base after the third inning.

Gsellman (1-1) allowed three runs, all unearned, on four hits over five innings in his first loss of the season. Santos (2-0) struck out seven and issued no walks to pick up the win.
The B-Mets (11-10) continue their road trip and start a four-game series against the Portland Sea Dogs on Monday night at 6:00 PM. LHP Andrew Barbosa takes the mound against RHP Teddy Stankiewicz. 

POSTGAME NOTES: The B-Mets took two of three from the Fisher Cats during the weekend series and earned their third series win…Jared King went 2-for-3 and registered his second consecutive multiple-hit game…Binghamton’s two through six hitters combined to go 0-for-18

Kannapolis 5  -  Columbia 4 - The Fireflies endured their first rain-shortened game at Spirit Communications Park and fell to the Intimidators Sunday afternoon, 5-4. The rain delay lasted 35 minutes and the game was called after seven innings. In his Fireflies debut, outfielder Enmanuel Zabala scorched two doubles and scored a pair of runs.

The two teams traded runs during the game's early stages. Columbia (13-11) got on the board first when David Thompson's ground ball brought J.C. Rodriguez home. Kannapolis (10-14) knotted the score up at 1-1 in the third. Dante Flores grounded a single off the first-base bag that allowed Tyler Sullivan to score from second base.

The home team turned to the newest addition to its roster in the bottom of the third. Zabala stroked a double down the left-field line off of lefty Tanner Banks (W, 5-0). Fellow Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, native Rodriguez followed suit by ripping a two-bagger to right field that scored Zabala and gave the Fireflies a 2-1 advantage.

The Intimidators wasted no time to even the score again. In the top of the fourth, Daniel Gonzalez plated Brad Strong. It was the only earned run Columbia's Joe Shaw allowed in his five innings of work.

With the game tied, 2-2, going into the sixth, Johnny Magliozzi (L, 1-1) replaced Shaw. After Magliozzi allowed consecutive hits to the visitors, the right-hander then let up a three-run home run to Micker Adolfo.

The Fireflies rallied for a run in the sixth and seventh innings to pull within one score. That included Dash Winningham driving in his 11th run of the season with a single.


Ernest Dove said...

Time for the resident Dom Smith lover to chime in in 3.....2.......1..........

Think of it this way: remember when Duda hit for average early in professional career? Remember how his power blossomed and his avwrage died in the years since?

Dom is the anti Duda. Dom not only makes more contact consistently than Duda but he OFTEN goes opposite field, both on the ground and in the air.
You sure as hell won't see a shift be put on by opposing teams when he's up because he can hit it ANYWHERE on the field. Thats a good thing.

Thomas Brennan said...

i echo Ernest, because Smith does not turn 21 until mid-June...but this is the year, if I were him, I would show that there are the equivalent of 40 doubles and 20 homers in that bat - or it might add a year to his upwards journey.

I think that if a guy gets hit with a PED violation and has signed a big contract, it should not be all on the team. The Players Association (good luck) should agree that after a player returns from his suspension, the rest of the contract get a 20% haircut. So, in Dee's case, he'd lose $8.5 MM due to the suspension, and since he'd still stand to make about $41MM for the rest of his contract, 20% off would be another $8.2 MM off.

Mack Ade said...

I write this way about Smith so I can get at least two comments every morning :)

Anonymous said...

The PED/contract stuff is enormously complicated, and I resist the simple solutions.

Here's a question:

If the Marlins' GM was alone in a room, after all is said and done, would he still want Dee Gordon locked up for the next 4-5 years or not?

I don't know the answer to that, but I certainly don't assume that the Marlins would be better off without him.

Folks have pointed out that this all comes back to the CBA and the Player's Union. We would all like to live in a world where "cheaters never prosper," but, um.

Marlon Byrd was released by the Red Sox in 2012 at age 34. Suspended for PEDS. He played in Mexico. Signed as a minor league free agent with the Mets, resurrected his career, and subsequently earned more than $16 million dollars. PEDS work! Were we all rooting against him when he played for the Mets? I don't recall it. Are we hating on Bartolo?

Do I think Byrd talks to other players? Do I think he ever whispered to, say, Justin Turner, "I know a guy . . ."

Do you guys remember the JT that played in NY for three seasons, slugging .356, .392, .and .385? He went over to LA and slugged .493 and .491 and nearly came away at the NLDS MVP? A transformed player. He's making $5 million this year and will be a free agent.

I can't say with certainty that he took PEDS. This isn't a legal statement. But do I suspect he did? Sure, yes, absolutely. I don't understand how anyone wouldn't suspect it. This is the world we live in, and millions upon millions of dollars are at stake.

If DW went down late in the season, I could imagine a lot of folks calling for the Mets to trade for him. And if he came here and hit like he's done the past two years, we'd stand and cheer.

Lastly, nothing in Sandy Alderson's past suggests that he cares in the least. He enjoyed a nice run with the Bash Brothers in Oakland, looking the other way and winning championships. The team benefitted too.

It's a mess.

Oh, and btw, just to annoy some of you (and for full disclosure), I also suspect that Piazza might have dabbled during his career. It's certainly possible. He's still one of my all-time favorite Mets. Complicated times.

James Preller

Mack Ade said...

James -

You and I are on the same side of the page on this issue. It is everywhere and it doesn't look like it's going away; however, that doesn't mean baseball shouldn't address it with a uniform penalty for usage.

Me? The least I would do is suspend a player for the remainder of the season they are playing in, or 80 games if there are less than 80 games left in a season.

bob gregory said...

If... and let me stress the word IF.....

Dom Smith, for whatever reason does not pan out as a prospect......

Combined with Nimmo and Cecchini as early first round draft picks over the past few years......

That is not a good track record.

Conforto does help to bring the average of success look better....
but still 25% success rate while dealing with the horror show the Mets were during those years....Tough...

Thank goodness things have changed on the Major league level so positively.

Mack Ade said...

Bob -

All four of those picks were high in the first round and should have been no brainers

Reese Kaplan said...

You win some, you lose some -- Reese Havens, anyone?

It's so hard to predict what a player will do 4+ years down the road when the level of hitting, pitching, fielding and baserunning is so much better than what they have seen thus far in their careers.

Football player Dave Meggyesy wrote a book called "Out of Their League" in which he raised an interesting point. He reminds you when you criticize how a player is doing that all of us know one guy who was the best on the block at his sport. Then there was another guy who was the best in the neighborhood. Then there was another guy who was the best on his team once you moved into organized sports. Then one guy who was the best in his school. And one guy who was the best in the district/region. Then one guy who was the best in the state. Then that guy maybe goes to college where he finds out that everyone on the team was also the best in his state, too. And maybe he continues to develop and succeed until he's best on his college team...and so forth. So when you see a player developing in the minors or struggling in the majors you have to realize the odds he's already overcome and the level of competition he's facing.

No wonder PEDs are so rampant.

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