Reese Kaplan -- Random Mets Thoughts

Word filtered down that the cash considerations extended to the Padres for James Loney was a single dollar.  For years we joked about the Wilpons only shopping at Dollartree…apparently many a truth is said in jest. 

Asdrubal Cabrera has been a pleasant surprise on the defensive side.  He came into the year having posted inferior defensive numbers to Wilmer Flores at shortstop, and while he’ll never be confused with Ozzie Smith out there, he’s played a solid game and is hitting about as expected when he was signed.  He’s on track to meet his career averages.

Neil Walker’s power explosion has him looking to set a new single season high for home runs which is somewhat ironic as Citifield is not known as a launching pad.  With David Wright’s precarious health, he may be more than the one-year stopgap envisioned when Jon Niese was sent whining to Pittsburgh.

Terry Collins rejoined the Mets in the dugout after a medical scare.  While I’m happy for the man not suffering any kind of medical malady, I couldn’t help being reminded of the classic Yogi-ism about going for tests after being hit in the head with a pitch.  Yogi said, “They x-rayed me but didn’t find nothing up there.”

By all accounts Travis d’Arnaud is set to return in a week to ten days.  While it’s too much to put on him to become a middle of the order threat to help generate some runs, whatever he delivers is going to far exceed the offensive contributions of Kevin Plawecki and Rene Rivera.  Most are calling for Kevin Plawecki to head to Las Vegas and keeping the more solid glove/arm guy in Rivera (along with his .143 average).  Pitchers like throwing to him apparently more than they do to Plawecki, so there’s that factor as well. 

Does Michael Conforto have to suck it up, put on his big boy pants and work his way out of his slump?  Or should the Mets send him to Las Vegas out of the spotlight for awhile to let him right his ship while promoting the surprisingly successful Brandon Nimmo?  The guy most labeled as a first round bust has quietly finally put together the kind of solid offensive showing that they’d hoped to see when they took a flyer on him out of Wyoming.  He’s batting .330 with an OBP over .400 and a slugging percentage at .527.  Take some off for the PCL effect, but still it’s encouraging.  He’s already on the 40-man roster, so making this change is easily accomplished.  Nimmo has been playing RF for the 51s, but is a centerfielder by trade.  Consequently he could platoon with Juan Lagares (assuming his thumb is still attached to his hand), with Cespedes back where he belongs in LF and Curtis Granderson collecting a fat paycheck in RF.  Also, if Nimmo does look good and Conforto gets back on track, do you part ways with yet another outfield mistake by Sandy Alderson – Alejandro De Aza?

Bartolo Colon is apparently rapidly becoming the Donald Trump of the Mets.  No matter what he says, no matter what he does, people cheer and applaud.  No one else seems to get that kind of latitude from the fans and the media.  PEDs?  No problem!  Failure to appear in court about your two kids fathered while married to someone else?  No problem!  While the media jumps all over Matt Harvey for being out of shape, in Colon’s case they even created a one-of-a-kind “Bobble Belly” doll to celebrate the man. 

Let’s hear some applause for the job being done by Addison Reed.  When he was acquired last season he was kind of overshadowed by Tyler Clippard.  While it was clear from the start they would not be players for the kind of money Clippard would demand, some expected them to consider non-tendering Reed given his expected salary in the $5.3 million range – more than a full million higher than being paid to closer Jeurys Familia.  However, he did a stellar job in his 17 game trial in 2015 and was rewarded with a new contract.  All he’s done this year over 31 games is to keep his ERA well under 2, giving up less than a baserunner per inning pitched and striking out over 10 per 9 innings.  Wow!

Sandy Alderson uncharacteristically ponied up what the going rate was for two years of young veteran lefthander Antonio Bastardo to fortify the bullpen.  The results thus far have been mediocre after several strong seasons in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.  Frankly I think his future as a Met hinges upon Josh Edgin’s health.  Once Edgin appears ready to take the ball on a regular basis I have a feeling Bastardo will be dangled in trade and let someone else pay the balance of his $12 million two-year contract.    

While the Mets said the right things about giving the bullpen a boost when Logan Verrett was pressed into starting duty, the fact is that that Verrett train has been losing velocity for some time now.  He was once released off the 40-man roster by the Mets and while he’s delivered some quality innings, they likely are happier handing the ball to Erik Goeddel who, when healthy, has turned in major league level performances as good as any middle reliever in the game.  The job is probably his to lose, not just a short term stay due to Verrett’s workload. 

Hansel Robles and Jim Henderson are providing strikeouts when needed and keeping the runs off the board for the most part.  It’s part of a surprisingly solid bullpen that is no longer requiring the Costco-sized containers of Rolaids or Tums every time the phone rings down there.   Combined with Jerry Blevins’ stellar sub 2.00 ERA and nearly 10 Ks per 9 innings it’s refreshing to know the middle innings are covered.

On the other hand, Jeurys Familia is starting to give people Armando Benitez flashbacks of a guy who is either going to strike you out or implode.    You can’t argue with the 21 saves, but the strikeout rate is down, the WHIP is up and batting average is not anywhere near the .207 of 2015.  For a guy with so much success, he still makes me more nervous than anyone else out in the pen. 


Tom Brennan said...

Lots of middle of the lineup injuries have the Mets averaging 2.88 runs per game over the past 32 games, 92 runs in total. Amazing they've gone 14-18 in that stretch. Daniel Murphy at 1B would have had a consistently active bat in the line up when the team goes into its Death Valley swoons. VERY missed.

Nimmo's #'s are much more impressive when one realizes that he started 10 for 55 with 2 doubles. His numbers are very similar to Ceciliani's last year, so he might sputter like Darrell did if Brandon is called up, like basically every offensive player they have called up the past few years. There is some sort of disease in play here. Bring back Bernard Gilkey.

Rene Rivera's .143 average makes me long for the return of Anthony recker...after all, .180 is so much better. Again, Johnny Monell has been hot - could it have hurt to try him? He's hit .321 with 18 extra base hits in 35 games in May and June. The Mets' problem is offense. Maybe he'd have added some.

I did hear Sandy say that TJ Rivera is having a great season - which means he is being thought about.

Taillon had it easy last night - wouldn't any good pitcher against a AA lineup?

Tom Brennan said...

Cecchini game winning homer - last few days, he has tripled his homer total and now has 3.

Sean Gilmartin threw 120 pitches last night over 8.2 IP in going to 7-3. I guess he is fully stretched out.

He is channeling Bartolo - in 11 starts, he has been awesome in 8 (11 earned runs in 48 innings) and awful in the other 3 (23 earned runs in 15 IP).

Here are Nifty Nimmo Numbers: In his last 39 games, spanning about 175 PAs, .380/.462/.640. Works for me.

Reese Kaplan said...

I think the frustration is bubbling over. In the most recent press gathering when Skipper was asked about the offense he said it's not his job to get new players. All he can do is try to get something out of the cards he's been dealt. Is trouble brewing in paradise between Collins and Alderson?

Tom Brennan said...

Reese, it has to be frustrating, but in fairness to Alderson, to lose Wright, Duda, TDA all at the same time for prolonged periods, and having Walker, Cabrera, Lagares, and Cespedes missing some games too, it has been a deluge. And who would have thought Plawecki (who I thought in pre-season would be hitting .260), Flores, and de Aza would be so ineffective? And who would have thought that once again, minor league offensive call ups would contribute almost nothing?

But Alderson needs to act quickly, especially since it seems Wright is headed towards season (career?) ending surgery. Don't waste these arms. Jonathon Lucroy?

bgreg98180 said...

The Mets gambled this year. They gambled on the health of Wright, Duda, D'Arnaud, & Lagares. They gambled that Granderson would continue his 2015 performance and not revert back to his 2014 performance.

Each of these players demonstrated a need for caution and concern going into this season.
Unfortunately, the team is stuck now. Lagares is the only one of these gambles that they have not been significantly hurt by.

Duda and D'Arnaud's replacements are not producing anywhere near what the Mets were expecting from these important offensive starters.

It was very debatable what should have been expected in offensive productivity by Wright going into the season. The cautious approach was low expectations of a 2nd, 6th, or 7th place hitter.
It appeared that the Mets took the high side of the cautious approach counting on him in the 2nd spot of the lineup......Flores seems to be able to meet these expectations as Wright's replacement at least......maybe

Those that pushed to "sell high" on Granderson during the off-season seem to be justified so far.

The Mets entered the season gambling. Much can be debated regarding how wise each of these gambles were....

Most unfortunately..... there isn't much that can be done at this point to fix a plan that has lost this many gambles to its starting lineup.

Reese Kaplan said...

Bartolo Colon is the obvious one you'd want to trade given Wheeler's imminent return, but the value of him isn't going to bring back a star quality hitter. Trading Matt Harvey would. You're obviously gambling that Wheeler can deliver quality innings, Syndergaard's arm won't fall off, de Grom pitches like de Grom and Matz is just in a two-game slump. Or you could keep everything as is and hope your pitcher hurls a shutout every night because if you're two runs down it's pretty much all over. Me? I do something rather than nothing.

Tom Brennan said...

Agreed. Trade for a real bat

Tom Brennan said...

Agreed. Trade for a real bat

Tom Brennan said...

Nimmo time? Taijeron would surely say "I can hit. 200.". TJ would say, "I could hit. 300."

Tom Brennan said...

Nimmo time? Taijeron would surely say "I can hit. 200.". TJ would say, "I could hit. 300."

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