Mack’s Morning Report – 5-24-16 – Lucas Duda, Dom Smith, Ty Kelly, Matt Harvey, Mets Bullpen, Yoenes Cespedes


Good morning.

No one was expecting the projected two month loss of 1B Lucas Duda, but, at the same time, you don't screw around with a fracture in your back.

It still amazes me how fragile baseball players are, but, that being said, we have to move on and figure out what to do.

Number one, you can't rush Dominic Smith. He may be the future at first base for the Mets and you have to let him go through 2016 as, first, a member of the Binghamton team, and lastly, Las Vegas.

We're down three players now... Duda, Wilmer Flores, and Travis d'Arnaud, but word I got today is Flores will be back come the beginning of June.

He and Eric Campbell may be our first basemen for awhile. Another option could be moving Neil Walker to first and calling up Dilson Herrera. 

The one thing that's obvious is we will probably have a reduced power output from this position.

What's your thoughts?

Do you hit the waiver wires or try and put together a trade for another team's fodder? 

Chris Carter? Mark Reynolds? Kelly Johnson?

Let's discuss...

- David Thompson transferred from Columbia Fireflies to the Disabled List.

- Luis Ortega transferred from Short-Season A Brooklyn Cyclones to Columbia's active roster.

Albert: Are you a Dom Smith fan? What kind of player will he be in the bigs?

Eric A Longenhagen: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/eric-longenhagen-prospects-chat-5-20-16/  - I am, think he’s an above average everyday 1B.

Mack – I am particularly influenced by the writers on Fangraphs about Mets prospects and it’s good to see another positive blurb on Smith.

I know it’s too early, but, with the Duda back issue, one can wish this was all happening one year from now.

Let’s talk Ty Kelly.

          Kelly is a 27-year old switch hitter out of UC Davis and was a 13th round draft pick in 2009 by the Baltimore Orioles.

          Kelly played parts of five seasons in the Orioles system and went on to play in the systems of Seattle, St. Louis, and Toronto. He was granted free agency on November 18, 2015 and the Mets signed him eight days later.

          Kelly has played numerous positions, but never first base (he pitched one game). He’s primarily a third baseman, with second base and left field being additional positions he has spent a lot of time playing.

          His 8-season minor league stat line is .280/.383/.382/.765 (.274/.385/.387 in AAA), but 2016 in particular has been a rewarding season in AAA at Las Vegas (.391/.481/.548/1.029).

Two scouts http://www.nj.com/mets/index.ssf/2016/05/mlb_scouts_offer_jarring_criticism_of_mets_matt_ha.html   had two different thoughts on Matt Harvey’s problems this season –

          Scout to Kernan: "There's no deception in his delivery. He is throwing across his body and the hitters are getting a good look at everything. There is no fear factor, no intimidation.

          Scout to Cafardo: "He's got a confidence problem. When your fastball doesn't have the normal velocity it affects some guys, and clearly it affects Harvey. He's got to learn to pitch when he's not throwing 96-97, which is easier said than done. If you're not getting swings and misses like you once did, that can play havoc on you mentally."

Mack – Let’s face it… the media is going to write about Harvey until he throws a gem. As I’ve written since early on when Harvey was pitching great and then was visibly upset on a fly ball that Juan Lagares played badly, his head just doesn’t seem to be on correctly this year.

Is he still upset about the last pitch he made in 2015? Is he pissed about all the attention that Noah Syndergaard is getting?

I don’t know, but there is something wrong here that is more than ability and mechanics.

Second baseman Dale Burdick was promoted to Binghamton

Brain Mangan https://thereadzone.com/2016/05/19/the-mets-bullpen-has-been-the-leagues-best/ wrote a great story on the league leading Mets bullpen –

                  So far this season, the Mets bullpen is 2nd in ERA, 1st in FIP and 3rd in xFIP. Their collective strikeout rate of 10.32 K/9 is 2nd in the majors, and their gap between strikeouts and walks (K-BB%) is 3rd. They’ve been good across the board, inducing swinging strikes (6th in MLB) and preventing home runs (1st in MLB).

And lastly, Fangraphs http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/yoenis-cespedes-is-still-playing-like-a-superstar/ proves once more that, if you have nothing to write about, try Yoenes Cespedes again –

                  Last winter, coming off the best season of his career, Yoenis Cespedes hit the free agent market, and promptly heard crickets. He watched David Price and Zack Greinke break $200 million in early December, and then saw Jason Heyward set the market for outfielders with a $184 million deal a week later. And then he sat and watched a bunch more pitchers get paid, while he, Chris Davis, and Justin Upton sat around waiting for offers that never came. Finally, in January, all three eventually found homes, but Cespedes was unable to land the big deal he was looking for, instead taking a three year deal from the Mets that gave him the chance to hit the market again this winter, if he so chose.

A quarter of the way through the 2016 season, Cespedes opting out of the last two years of the deal is now a foregone conclusion; the only way he wouldn’t hit the market this winter is if the Mets re-do his deal before he gets there, or if he blows out his knee between now and October. Cespedes has not only carried over last year’s second half surge, but he’s even somehow building on it.
          Mack – So, do you agree?

          Is this the last year Yo is a Met?


Thomas Brennan said...

It better NOT be Yo's last season as a Met - win a World Series and pay the man.

As I note in my 10 AM, Ty Kelly hit a putrid .223 in AAA last year. Nice to hit .391 this year and be ready when they needed a guy. Wonder why not TJ Rivera, who has played more 1B and is close to .380, a hotter hitter recently, and 40 RBIs.

If Duda had waited even 2 months, it might have been Smith Time - remember that Conforto got a quick call up last year around that time. Another 60 games might have gotten Smith ready enough. I wonder if he is thinking if there was anything he could have done differently to be more ready. I think he is hitting .277 right now.

Mets' pen is great - no complaints - but I still drool at Yank trio of Betances, Miller, Chapman - 82 strikeouts and just 8 earned runs in 47 IP. Can't have everything.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

Big difference with age on Conforto and Smith. Conforto's college experience I'm sure was a factor.

Thomas Brennan said...

Good point, Mack. Age matters.

Here is a question: TJ Rivera has played 9 games at 1B this year without an error, and 34 in his minor league career with just 1 error. He has hit .400 with 38 RBI's in his last 36 games. Career .323 hitter and .341 since the start of 2104 (Kelly a career .280, although he walks more). So...

Anyone have thoughts on why Rivera was bypassed for Kelly? Is it that Kelly is a switch hitter? Kelly was hitting slightly higher this year at .391, and a better on base % this year, but hit a mere .226 in 371 at bats in AAA last year.

Thomas Brennan said...

Gavin Cecchini - out since May 6 - anyone know what is wrong with him?

bill metsiac said...

As Ricco said yesterday, the Mets do NOT plan to fill the 1B gap from within. Names like Loney and Johnson have come up, and I'm sure others will come up. I'd like to get Johnson back, because he's versatile and can be the LH bench bat we need once Lukas returns.

As for Yo, if he has the kind of season that would encourage him to forego the final 2 years of his Mets contract, this does NOT mean he's gone. The Mets now have the money, and should have the desire, to compete with others. And don't discount the fact that he LOVES playing here. Not that he'd give us a "discount" necessarily, but other things being equal, if the Mets match other offers, he'll be ours.

But let's see if he has that kind of season. And hope he does, whether or not he stays.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

I am very perplexed at how Rivera is treated by this team. He definitely deserved the promotion ahead of Kelly simply based on versatility. He's done nothing wrong ever since he's joined this organization.

I will say this... the Mets have a long history of not promoting players they signed as undrafted players out of school

Mack Ade said...

Bill -

It's going to take a big, BIG contract

Mack Ade said...


Rivera isn't having a good year like Kelly... he's had a good CAREER

6 minor league seasons stat line: .323/.370/.428/.798

bob gregory said...


A few weeks ago I asked you how long you thought it would be before Alderson might (if at all) start to approach Cespedes about extending his contract.

Any changes to your thinking?

Congratulations to Wright for his homerun last night! It is nice to see any and all good things that he accomplishes on the playing field given all the effort he puts in, just to step foot on the field.

bob gregory said...

Regarding Rivera:

I certainly hope there is something more that the front office is looking at, other than walk rate that is influencing their decision to choose Kelly over Rivera.

Dallas said...

Do scouts hate on Rivera? Does he have a problem fielding? No one selected him in the rule 5 draft either so clearly no MLB team thought he was worth having on the MLB roster. Maybe with the way he is hitting now they would change their minds. Is Ty going to get a chance or will the Mets trade for someone before he does? Is there a point where you consider Ty or Rivera over Flores? Going to be interesting to see how this all shakes out.

Zozo said...

I know you guys are going to say no but a Reyes reunion might help us out.
You play Reyes at third and move Wright to first.
We have Wright for X amount years so we might as well preserve him as much as possible.
Plus this team is to reliant on the long ball, so put Reyes at the top and we have some small ball back to our lineup once again.
Plus he should come pretty cheap in regards to money and who is dealt for him and he is back in his comfort zone of NY.

Reese Kaplan said...

We may be overthinking it. It may be that with Duda gone they felt they needed another guy who could hit from the left side and Kelly is a switch hitter. Rivera is a righty.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the big fuss over 1B and Lucas Duda. Is not like Duda was killing the ball or batting close to 300. So what the Mets would be replacing is a 230 hitter with power when he hits it.

So why trade even more youngsters when the Mets will have Flores back in a week or so? Why did the Mets bring up Ty Kelly over TJ especially when you consider that Kelly has not played 1B and TJ has? somehow I think that the "Imbecile" (Collins) must have gotten involved in the decision.

Why is Reynolds here again? Here is a perfect example of a player who is here because he was on the 40 man roster. TJ is way more deserving and useful to the Mets.

Thomas Brennan said...

I agree. Reynolds has not really hit since spring training 2015, when I thought he was coming fast but proved otherwise, while Rivera has done nothing but hit (to be redundant, an amazing .341 since the start of 2014) so I'd have him up here over Reynolds, hands down and in a heartbeat.

Dallas said...

Whats the downside of replacing Reynolds with Rivera? If we actually lose Reynolds I'm not sure its a loss. If he gets pulled off the roster we probably wont ever see him on it again.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mack:
Yesterday I brought up the idea of moving Walker to 1st and calling up Hererra! I still like that idea, but was curious what you thought of David's response when asked if he would move over to 1st?
I personally don't want them moving 2 guys around on the infield!
Do you think Conforto trying his hand at 1st is worth a gamble? with the help of Keith! If not and they are going out of the organization,id go with Loney
Solid guy with a great glove, would fit in well with the infield as situated


Dallas said...

I like the Conforto at first idea because it gets Lagares into the game more often and he can be a dynamic player. I think pretty much everyone thinks its a bad idea to have DW doing extra work with his back trying to learn a new position. Something to consider in the off-season.

Mack Ade said...

Bob -

Back from my VA checkup.

I think conversations between Alderson and Cespedes' agents have already begun.

Mack Ade said...

Steve -

I don't see Wright making any in-season position changes. He's having a hard enough time right now playing his natural position.

Zozo said...

Wright at first makes too much sense. I don't care if it's in season or not, he will hurt us less at that position then he does at 3rd.even if he has never played it before.

IB said...

I've always felt that good teams need good D at 1st base. It's a take charge position. Moving Wright or, especially, Comforto sounds like a really bad idea. Maybe Walker could handle it.

Funny, somebody at another site jokingly played with the idea of trading for Ike. Hmmmmm. Maybe it's not the worst idea! Rent a glove and who knows, a possible great sports story - The Fall and Amazing, Amazing Rise of Ike Davis!!

I can dream can't I?

IB said...

BTW - Went to the game Sunday. Place was packed, which was nice to see.

One observation made by several fans was how wide David Wright has become, which you don't really see on TV like you would standing 20 ft away. He's big. And he looked pretty rough out there. He should have been charged with 2 errors.

A combination of DW and an inexperienced 1st baseman doesn't sound to good.

Gary Seagren said...

Still don't get the man crush for Campbell. To me it reminds me too much of the first half of last year and why TJ isn't already here is baffling enough but lets just be thankful we didn't sign Duda long term last year.

Gary Seagren said...

also hope everything was good after your VA visit Mack

Thomas Brennan said...

Funny, looked at Ike Davis' AAA #s other day...awful... until he exploded and went 9-14 with 2 Homers in his last 3 games. Stranger things have happened.

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