Mack’s Morning Report – 5-3-16 – Noah Syndergaard, Michael Conforto, Juan Lagares, Amed Rosario, Bartolo Colon


Good morning.

John Harper wrote a good story on the problems Noah Syndergaard is having with base runners stealing on him –

Surely not; if anything, the Mets are better off downplaying the stolen bases and encouraging their 6-foot-6 righthander to embrace his Thor mentality, which was on such ferocious display in his first three starts of the season.

As it is, Syndergaard may already be concerning himself too much with that part of the game. He made a point of seeking out Jacob deGrom for advice on holding runners, after studying how deGrom froze runners in Saturday’s game in part by varying how quickly — or not — he delivered to the plate.

Mack – Sure, there is a problem here and Syndergaard’s delivery is much slower than most other pitchers in baseball… remember all the time everyone spent blaming Travis d’Arnaud on this issue first?... but the main issue should be reminding this guy how special he is and the rare ability he has to keep runner off base in the first place.

Get this kid to concentrate on his pitching, not what’s going on around him. It really doesn’t matter who gets to second if the next batters facing Thor strike out.

Well, the secret is out. Michael Conforto got his own article on Fangraphs Fangraphs -

A casual stroll down the stacks of the FanGraphs hitting leaderboards for outfielders yields many interesting takeaways, but perhaps none more interesting than this: among the top 10 outfielders by wRC+, there’s a 23-year-old who played only 45 games above High-A before being called up to the majors last year. He came into this season with the expectation of being a left-handed platoon bat, and now he’s leading the majors in hard-hit rate and hitting third every day in the sixth-best offensive lineup in baseball. A year can change a lot of things, and it has changed more for Michael Conforto than for just about anyone else in baseball.

Mack – This is a good, deep article and should be read by all Mets fans. It ends with –

Right now, there’s a good way to get Michael Conforto out: put a left-hander on the mound. Short of that, take your best guess, because the book is already outdated.

I disagree. The more you play Conforto against a left-hander, the quicker he will become a well rounded all-star in this game.

I feel sorry for Juan Lagares.  NJ.com does point out that Lagares is making the best out a limited situation, but this guy definitely deserves more than this. –

The 27-year-old right-hander started in right field for only the 10th time in his career and batted leadoff, as the Mets opted to sit Curtis Granderson but kept Michael Conforto in the lineup against tough left-hander Madison Bumgarner.

Lagares converted an eight-pitch at-bat against Bumgarner into a leadoff single in the first and later scored the Mets' lone run of the game on David Wright's RBI single in the seventh. Despite starting only seven games this year, Lagares is now batting .306 (11-for-36) with two doubles, a triple and two RBI in 2016.

Mack – I was wrong about Lagares. I believe he’s a starter in this game and a definite CF gold glover. It’s simply a shame there’s no place in the lineup for him.

Keith Law on SS Amed Rosario

I think he stays at shortstop. He's got crazy bat speed, too, and you can't teach a kid that kind of skill. You can improve his plate discipline, you can improve his approach, but one thing you can't improve is the physical tools and he's got tools across the board that I think are going to make him a future All Star.

Mack – We’ve talked about a lot of ‘prospects’ that could someday wind up the long term Mets shortstop… Cecchini, Reynolds, Carpio, and the five guys still coming out of the DSL teams.

My money remains on Rosario, the 20-year old that should be heading soon to Binghamton. He’s batting .305 for St. Lucie and tied for 5th with 16-RBIs (in 23-G). He’s also 3rd in slugging percentage (.537) which comes from three home runs and five triples.

Did I say he is 20 years old?

Boy, I can’t wait until 2018 when he’s on short with Dilson Herrera on second.

And lastly...

I had written a whole segment on how I feel that the Mets might be missing an opportunity here in not making Logan Verrett the SP5 until Zack Wheeler can prove he's ready to come back. I suggested that Bartolo Colon be moved to the pen which I'm sure, as a team player, he would go along with.

Then he pitched last night against the Braves...

Err... never mind.


Anonymous said...

Bartolo had a nice game last night, but those Braves are a toothless bunch.

Funny about Herrera. Isn't it fair to wonder if the Mets should just sign Neil Walker at the end of the season? I understand that it would be a lot cheaper to go with Herrera -- and maybe that allows you to sign Jake or Noah or whatever -- but it's hard to believe that Herrera will be as good in the short-term.

This decision does not have to be made today, but I'm not assuming that Herrera is automatically there in 2017.

Read today that Nimmo is platooning in Vegas. Is that true?

One last thing about Bartolo, and I say this just to be factual & realistic, not with any acrimony. When I read the outrage over guys like Dee Gordon and Meijia -- and various others -- let's not forget that Bartolo is on that same list, maybe worse.

One clue is when anyone is referred to as an "ageless wonder."

If you recall, Bart's career was in free fall from 2006-2011, he couldn't stay on the field. His arm was shot. For years! The career was dead in the water. In 2012 he had a NY surgeon fly to the Dominican Republic for surgery -- a man who had previously injected HGH into patients during similar surgery. He denies that he did it with Bart. Let me ask you: Would you have surgery in the DR instead of NY? Unless, you know, the rules were different? Bartolo was later suspended for 50 games after failing a PED test.

Since that mysterious revival, Bartolo has earned more than $32 million dollars. No wonder why he smiles too much. Today he's practically the jolly face of MLB, a beloved figure, a leader in the clubhouse, and on and on it goes.

And also, clearly, a cheater.

These are complicated times. Check your ethics at the door.

James Preller

Thomas Brennan said...

Bart is Bart - never forget it. 220 wins are not accidental. Some guys just know how.

Thor should NOT panic - if it takes him a few months to slowly improve on holding guys, that's OK. Pitching like a freak is what needs to be his main focus.

Easy to throw a guy under the bus early in the season - I was edging towards it with Cecchini. As I note in my 10:00 AM article, Gavin is up 100 points in 8 days. he has my attention.

Also at 10:00 AM - see my comments on Wuilmer Becerra.

Juan (and de Aza) may just have to settle for now with being part timers on the best darned team in baseball. Lagares may want to think about getting his World Series winning share. Guys do get hurt, and there are DH games, and the days of injuries happening and painfully turning to the likes of Eric Campbell and Kirk for extended stretches are both unacceptable and OVER.

Brian Joura said...

Colon has made five starts this year and four of them have come against teams with a bottom-four offense in the NL. His other start was against the Indians and he needed 97 pitches to throw 5.1 IP.

Colon doesn't control the teams he pitches against, and wins against the dregs are important, too. But let's not make out his good start to be more than what it actually is.

Last year he started 6-1. Of course, six of those first seven games were against NL East clubs and the seventh was a home game against an Orioles squad that had Jimmy Paredes, Delmon Young, Caleb Joseph, Travis Snider and Everth Cabrera in their starting lineup.

After that quick start in 2015, Colon was 8-12 with a 4.43 ERA.

Mack Ade said...

There won't be a second half of this season for Colon in the rotation. That will be handed over to Wheeler.

James - I never said that Colon shouldn't have received the same suspension I am recommending for all offender...

Thomas Brennan said...

Bartolo did have a 4.13 ERA last year - but ERA is merely an average. If a guy pitches more or less like 4.13 all year, he will be very mediocre.

Bart was either very bad (infrequently) or very good (frequently) and as such was very valuable most of the time.

He had 6 AWFUL games in which he surrendered 40 earned runs in 24 innings. In the others (25 starts plus a few relief outings) he had a 2.63. If they had real hitting all of last year, maybe he is 18-9.

Adam Smith said...

Lagares should be playing 3-4 games per week. But unless we get out to a ten game lead, Terry will play Granderson and Cespedes 150+ games. The advantage of having a guy like Lagares as a 4th outfielder is that you can play him regularly, and keep your other guys fresh and hopefully feeling good into the postseason. Same deal with Flores and Walker/Cabrera/Wright. (same deal, in fact with the bullpen). But Terry manages scared at the slightest hint of pressure.

They messed with Gooden's delivery trying to get him to hold runners on too. It was a disaster for Doc. Tread with caution here. Conforto makes me happy.

Anonymous said...

Crazy stat of the day:

RH batters are hitting .357 against Bartolo in 2016 . . . and yet he's faced more LH batters. Managers not reading the memo, still attacking the RHP w/ LH batters even though it plays into his strength.

But, again, .357 BA is pretty scary.

FYI: Tonight, Niese vs. Arrieta!

James Preller

Thomas Brennan said...

Bartolo so far is 3 for 22 with RISP. he is a winner.

Anonymous said...

I like Bart.

But I think it is crazy to think of him as anything other than a back end of the rotation innings eater. Calling him "a winner" just seems, I don't know, kind of silly.

We all saw what he did last season against the NL East and against everyone else. A tale of two cities.

Tom's point about his ERA is not particularly powerful. You can say that about any pitcher. It's earned run "average" for a reason. Batting "average." If you start to cherry pick, then the "average" has no meaning whatsoever. However, I do think you can address this, at least crudely, by looking at "quality starts." In 2015, Bartolo was ranked 32nd in MLB -- tied with guys like Michael Wacha, Lance Lynn, Corey Kluber, Johnny Cueto, James Shields, etc.

He was two behind Matt Harvey. Four behind deGrom. One ahead of Jonathon Niese.

In other words, maybe that stats isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer in terms of differentiating quality.

It is fun to watch Bartolo carve up the crappy teams, that's for sure. A winner? At this point, the data tells us that it depends upon who he's pitching against.

We do know that he's a cheater. But who cares! Right?

James Preller

Reese Kaplan said...

If, as Mack suggests, the Mets started Logan Verrett and moved Bart to the pen until Wheeler returns, then I'm sure Sean Gilmartin will remove our founder and managing editor from his Christmas card list. After all, he was even more impressive than Verrett and got a one-way ticket to Las Vegas. Down there he's got a 1.66 ERA and 25 Ks in 21 IP.

It's a nice problem to have...and it continues with Josh Edgin needing to be activated on Sunday and Erik Goeddel at 2.57 (though with poor control)...

Mack's Mets © 2012