Mack’s Morning Report – 5-20-16 – Matt Harvey, Daniel Murphy, John Gant, Phillies Pen, Gary Ron & Keith


Good morning.

Nine runs in less that three innings is a horrible outing for any pitcher. For Matt Harvey, it could be season changing.

My hopes here is that the Mets shut Harvey down for some phantom injury, giving him some time to clear his head and go to the Port St. Lucie complex and work on his delivery. We're going to need him in the second half of the season and, for now, Logan Verrett could fill in.

A staff of Syndergard, deGrom, Matz, Colon, and Verrett is still better than most of the rotations in baseball.

FromTheRedSeats @metsnark  - Right now looks like Mets should have resigned Murphy to play 1B and back up 3B. Then trade Duda. Too late.

Mack – Hindsight is always 20/20… I believe that the ‘qualified offer’ was the way for the Mets togo here, but, frankly, I don’t remember what developed after that. Did the Mets approach Murphy’s people past the QO offer and try and sign him to a longer deal or did Murphy approach the Mets? A thid option here was neither approached the other and all parties went their separate ways. I don’t remember (please bring me up to date…).

Right now, with Murphy’s high batting average, improved field play, Wright’s recurring injuries, and Duda’s continuing disappointment, this looks like a bad dead/decision by the Mets.

The Atlanta Braves have recalled ex-Met pitcher John Gant. Gant has been 3-0, 2.97, in six games, 5-starts this season for the AAA-Gwinnett team. He also was 0-0, 7.04, in four previous games for the parent club in Atlanta.

More on David Wright

        Wright to ESPN –

"The back thing is just something that I'm going to have to get used to because it's not changing. But I feel like I can play at a much higher level than I'm playing at right now. I think that there are certainly some things I'm having to make adjustments with as far as preparation, as far as playing schedule, that I'm going to have to get used to. But when I go take the field I expect to play much better than I am right now. Today, in particular, I'm fouling off pitches I should be hitting. I'm swinging at some balls. It just seems like those pitches that are kind of borderline out of the strike zone, I chased a few of them today. It seemed like every at-bat I had pitches to hit and just fouled them off instead of putting them in play. The biggest thing I took out of tonight is I don't like hitting 0-1, 0-2. Those pitches I do get to hit early in the count, I'm putting good swings on them, just fouling them off. I need to find a way to put those pitches in play so I don't have to get down 0-1, 0-2."

I bet a lot of us have been wondering what the heck are the Phillies doing duking it out with both the Nats and Mets for first place. Well, check out this  Fangraphs article that features ‘baseball’s best bullpen –

One thing you notice is the Phillies’ record. It’s awfully good. Another thing you might notice is the run differential. Even since those first four games, the Phillies have had a negative run differential. As I write this, they’re between the Padres and the Yankees. They’re easily the team that’s most outplayed its BaseRuns estimated record. I don’t need to tell you what those things can mean, and I’m not real interested in going over that. I don’t think anyone needs to be convinced the Phillies aren’t this good. It’s just — I mean, we know that. But it’s amazing the Phillies have this record in the first place. How have they gotten to this point? How have the Phillies so overachieved? They’ve had the best bullpen in baseball.

Mack – Can they sustain this kind of pitching with a basically ‘no name’ pen?  Time will only tell.

Fangraph’s Top Broadcasters Ranking 

                  3. New York Mets - Main Broadcasters: Gary Cohen, Ron Darling, and Keith Hernandez

Ratings (Charisma/Analysis/Overall): 4.7, 4.5, 4.7

Three Reader Comments

• “A subtle but important part of the broadcast is that the three know their limits…. What’s more, [they] seem to genuinely like each other. Letting the others speak isn’t a chore and comes out of a genuine curiousity of what the others have to say.”
• “Their analysis doesn’t get too deep into sabermetrics, but they do provide rational scouting and mechanical explanations for things that happen in the game.”
• “They don’t spout old-school nonsense about complete games, clogging bases, or unwritten rules of conduct, nor do they glorify the ‘back-in-my-day’ approaches to the game.”

Notes - The ratings for the final three broadcast teams were mostly interchangeable when this same exercise was conducted four years ago. They remain that same way now. A number of respondents suggest that one of the defining characteritics of the Mets triuvirate has been their capacity to render the club’s games tolerable even during lean years. Which, that seems like a fair litmus test. Certain telecasts are almost certainly improved by a strong on-field team. It speaks to the skills of the broadcasters, however, when they’re able to remain palatable even under miserable conditions.

          Mack – Kudos to the boys…

Kirk Nieuwenhuis has a .396 OBP over 36 games for the Brewers... Also has a 1.1 WAR which would make him 3rd among Mets position players


Thomas Brennan said...

Pardon me for being long here:

Harvey is a conundrum…he needs to pitch to a weak hitting team – like the Mets – to get back on track.

Wright said he really does not like hitting with 0-1, 0-2 counts. Duda should HATE those counts and resist them at all costs, but he doesn’t. We’ll see if Wright resurrects. It is good to see he is positive that he can do better.

May I suggest an alternative besides Eric the red and Matt Reynolds? TJ.

IF TJ Rivera had a slow start in his first 4 games of the season. In the last 31 games, though, he is hitting .380 (after 4 for 5 last night) with 33 RBIs and a remarkably low eleven strikeouts (contrast with David Wright). His 36 RBIs are 5 more than anyone in the PCL – with 15 XBHs, so much for him being a punchless slap hitter.

He is hitting .425 with runners on base, and is (at.358) just 3 points out of having the 2nd highest average in the PCL.

I know I was effusive when Eric Campbell tore up AAA, then floundered when called up to the big club. Maybe TJ (who, unlike Campbell, has hit at every level he’s played at) would similarly meet a tough reality if called up. But I just wonder if TJ instead could hit .270 up here, with doubles and an occasional homer. He could take some Duda and Wright starts.

The parallels between TJ and successful former major leaguer Jeff Keppinger (something I wrote on last year) keep growing in my mind.

BTW, Ty Kelly homered and is still leading the league at .407, 46 points higher than # 2. And Travis Taijeron is 4th in PCL RBIs with 29 after a 3 run shot last night (sadly, the 45 Ks in 37 games remains his last hurdle and hardest).

Montero was not great (5 IP, 8 H, 4 R) last night, BTW, after being staked to an early 6-0 lead.

Murphy, as I have repeated here, was someone I badly wanted re-signed and put at 1B, with a trade of Duda. Ownership remained too enamored with the budget to do that – it would have added several million to the budget, you see.

But….Murphy (as I wrote last fall) is the kind of player I anticipated would put CONSTANT pressure on any pitcher, and make the whole line up better by upping its pressure-on-the-pitcher quotient, for which there is no stat.
I remember when Seaver was Seaver in his prime, and he had to face the Big Red machine and the Pirates. Both were hitting heavy teams that put constant pressure on pitchers, and they were Seaver’s brush with mortality back then.

I remember watching one Koosman game against the Pirates, where I could see his stuff was great, but he got shelled (constant pressure)– he said as much after the game, that he had the best stuff of his season, but they just hit everything – the Pirates then were a high pressure offense, so tough a line up to get through.

Duda has occasional bursts, but frequently evaporates, providing little pressure on the opposing pitcher. Not trading him and not re-signing Murphy were mistakes. Oh, and by the way, over his last 54 games (playoffs and this season), essentially 1/3 of a 162 game season, he is hitting .380 with 16 doubles, 2 triples, 13 HR, and 38 RBIs.

Duda? Over the same period, 52 games, .230 (39 fewer hits), 7 doubles, 8 HR (that’s 16 less XBHs), 27 RBI. Quite a huge gap. And huge mistake.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

Quite the comment

Robb said...

everytime wright strikes out, i feel like i want to yell get the bat off your shoulder. its a though he is saving his swings for that one pitch he is able to hit a homerun off of even if a hanging breaking ball comes down the plate. I think he needs to become that contact hitter he was when he was young, now that he is in the two hole and go for oppo field doubles, not pulled homeruns.

first thin id do with Harvey, is let him pitch to Rivera the next time. Sometimes you just need the defense first catch back there. and trust a pitch calls.

Its not that the stuff is gone he's getting hit with major league stuff which is odd bc half the number 3s in this league would kill for the stuff that comes out of his hand.

Thomas Brennan said...

Mack, I tend to write longer posts when the Mets struggle. Not pretty right now.

Tell Matt not to turn into Joba Chamberlain - Joba looked like a god early, but has been quite mediocre after his 2nd season. Toughen up. Blow people off the plate. Snarl. Be Matt Harvey, man.

Gary Seagren said...

Thomas I totally agree with you and add to that the fact that Duda could have signed an extension and the Nats should have signed YC putting us firmly in 4th place right about now. When our best pitcher and best player and Captain are performing like they are with no end in site we have big problems and it's only May. Couple that with the fact that instead of having TJ and/or Kelly up to try to provide some more offense we're again stuck with Campbell and Reynolds getting AB's so does that mean Mayberry Jr. and Recker should be here soon. There has to be some flexibility in the 40 man to make this happen.

Gary Seagren said...

Thomas to your second post and not wanting to be Donnie Downer here but I remember Steve Blass the Pirate ace back in the day suddenly couldn't find it and it ended his career at 30.

Brian Joura said...

My recollection about the way the Murphy situation played out is that the Mets never offered him a long-term deal. I think he expected them to and then had to scramble at the end.

I like Nieuwenhuis and I wish him nothing but the best. But we've seen this movie before. He gets hot for a month and hits everything in sight and then goes an extended stretch where he can't but a hit. Right now he's got a .385 BABIP and we know that won't last. He batted .310 his first 129 PA in the majors. Finished the year with a .252 BA.

Mack Ade said...

To all -

I haven't enjoyed the Mets season so far; however, the team is 4 games above .500 and only 2.5 games out of first place.

That ain't bad for a team that 'sucks'.

Gary Seagren said...

Mack 4 games above .500 now but with the Harvey, Wright, Grandy and Duda situation coupled with our upcoming schedule we'll see how this all shakes out soon enough.

Mack Ade said...

True Gary -

This could be a very depressing last season for me on Mack's Mets

Hobie said...

I agree with Thomas now as I did in fall when it was 20/20 foresight. It was never a question of Murphy at 2B long term--it was 3B (and IMO 1B to a lesser extent).

Since I'm reliving the fall, I'll also reiterate the concept of selling high on Grandson then. I still think the strongest lineup is a Conforto-Legares-Cespedes OF with Juan in CF.

Thomas Brennan said...

You're right on that outfield, Hobie. A healthy Lagares' superlative defense is very valuable.

Reese Kaplan said...

@Mack -- I'm with you on the phantom injury/get him out of Dodge front on Matt Harvey, but differ in your solution. Since you would have a roster spot open up anyway, I'd go with Gilmartin 1st, Montero 2nd and Verrett a distant 3rd.

Thomas Brennan said...

Reese, I agree

Reese Kaplan said...

We may be getting our wish. Ed Coleman is reporting Gilmartin is on his way to NY which means someone is going on the DL since he was just optioned out and the rules would otherwise force him to remain in AAA for 10 games.

Gary Seagren said...

oh boy Harvey is starting next against the Nats so whats the plan if he is shelled again Sandy and company?

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