Reader Mailbag

A reader poses the question, "Why do we say nothing about TJ Rivera?" (assuming in reference to possible options at 3B for the Mets).

I've written quite a bit about the man who does nothing but hit at every level he's played.  TJ Rivera could certainly help the all-or-nothing (and mostly nothing) offense of the Mets.  He's a contact hitter who, for the first time in his career is being put into an RBI slot in the batting order which is somewhat unusual given his dearth of power.  He's responding well while hitting .363 with 7 HRs and 52 RBIs.  The RBI number is enticing even more so than the batting average which many will write off as a side effect of the Pacific Coast League's notoriously hitter friendly environment. He was second on the team in hitting behind Ty Kelly (recently promoted in place of Juan Lagares). That should show you that minor league stats have to be taken with a grain, if not a whole silo, of salt.  For further evidence, consider the AAA exploits of people like Eric Campbell and Kirk Nieuwenhuis who proved that there is indeed a big difference between AAA and the majors.

However, at the same time you have to wonder when you have guys like Kelly Johnson who is a career .250 hitter (the very essence of a replacement level player) getting chances ahead of someone with the potential to be better.  While it's clear the manager has a strong preference for mediocre veterans over rookies, apparently so too does the GM.  It's a timid approach which says, "If a veteran fails to produce, it's a tough week for him" whereas when a rookie fails to perform he's written off as unable.  They will point to the track records of a guy like Johnson as evidence of what he's capable of doing despite having seen up close last year he delivered his career average .250.  It's that same type of lazy, cowardly approach that leads to the acquisition of guys like James Loney who couldn't make the roster of not one but two last place teams.  He's also coincidentally hitting .250 without power.  I'd have to think that give a fair trial (not just one start or 10 ABs in a month) that a TJ Rivera could have delivered at least as much or more than these replacement level players.  Now it appears that Johnson will mercifully be relegated to a bench role unless still more injuries occur, but Loney is out there every day ineffectually trying to replace a 30 HR hitter.  Slugger Travis Taijeron is in the same boat.

What's even more annoying is the refusal to put David Wright and Lucas Duda on the 60-day DL which would open up two spots on the 40-man roster.


Thomas Brennan said...

A team run by idiots. That was our family conversation last night.

Thomas Brennan said...

We discussed again why allow Daniel Murphy to go to your arch rivals the Nats (George Steinbrenner would never have), and AN extremely versatile guy like Murphy when you know you have China Doll Wright at 3rd, and a bevy of call ups from AAA or in Conforto's case AA who succumb to the " can't hit in Queens" curse. A hitter like Murphy who can hit thru thick and thin, shortening team mega-slumps.

And a coach like Tim Teufel who throws away games but once played for the Mets.

And drafting a Cecchini when Giolito is there to be drafted by your arch rivals.

Imagine 2016 with no Cespedes? We got far too close to that. We got lucky there. Imagine if the Nats had signed him instead. We'd be 20 games out.

Anonymous said...

Simply put, the Mets are a bad team right now led by a Genius in his own mind GM and an over the hill manager. As you pointed out, 2 spots can be opened by putting Wright and Duda on the 60 day disable list but why do anything that makes sense? For these idiots, it is better to play shorthanded than admit that for the 3rd straight year, the Mets lack of depth in the minor leagues and bench has been exposed.

Two players that can potentially bring speed and a much needed power bat are ignored in Reyes who could cost next to nothing and Gurriel who can be had for just money.

Internally the Mets can add TJ Rivera and Taijeron to the roster but won't because that makes sense and thereby won't be done.

The Mets as usual are playing down to the level of competition but always seems to manage to do just a little worse which is why the so called aces of Harvey, Matz and deGrom couldn't beat a last place team.

The resident Imbecile in the dugout may just have a real excuse this year in that he currently doesn't have any player capable of producing on a consistent basis.

And finally, in the Mets world it means that common sense will be the last thing that will be explored. Right after the Mets are last in the NL east.
Conforto will still be here, Johnson will still be a starter along with Looney Tunes and the speed of Reyes or even Herrera won't be with the Mets. Gor forbid they do something bold and sign Gurriel.

What are the chances that the Mets trade Wheeler for a player who will be a FA at the end of 2016? Go on Sandy, show us all how over rated you really are.

Reese Kaplan said...

My brother from another mother said it well, though I would point out that Gourriel's strength is his ability to hit and get on base. He's always hit for a very high average (most recently .500). The fact some of those hits go over the wall is a bonus. This team needs baserunners.

Thomas Brennan said...

To Mets' ownership...Be Bold, We Fans Are Getting Old. Don't Fold and Leave Us Out in the Cold.

Mack's Mets © 2012