Mack Ade – Wilfredo Tovar, Wilmer Flores, Cuban Smugglers, Phillip Humber, Tim Teufel


Good morning.

MLB Trade Rumors had a blip about SS Wilfredo Tovar signing a minor league contract with the St. Louis Cardinals –

Shortstop Wilfredo Tovar appears to have signed what is presumably a minor league deal with the Cardinals, as the infielder himself tweeted a thank you to the organization for his latest opportunity. The 25-year-old Tovar came up through the Mets system and made a pair of brief MLB appearances in 2013-14, collecting three hits in a tiny sample of 22 plate appearances. Once rated as one of the Top 15 prospects in the Mets’ system by Baseball America (and thrice rated as that system’s best defensive infielder), Tovar spent the 2016 campaign with the Twins’ Triple-A affiliate, where he served as their primary shortstop. Defensive prowess aside, Tovar doesn’t bring much to the table offensively; he hit .249/.301/.327 with one homer in 494 plate appearances at Triple-A last year, although he did chip in 29 steals (in 38 attempts) when he managed to reach base.

          Trust me… if you’re writing about Tovar, it’s a light Mets week.
I never shared the feelings of some of the Mack’s Mets writers that thought this guy would play someday fulltime in Queens. He has great speed and was considered as the top defensive infielder in the organization, but that and $16 will get you through the Holland Tunnel. BTW, does it actually cost $16 ONE WAY to go through a tunnel now to Manhattan? I remember when it was three bucks… maybe even less.

And, isn’t it more exciting talking about tunnels than Tovar?

 NJ.com  an update on last year’s Wilmer Flores injury –

                                      Mets infielder Wilmer Flores is recovering well from his wrist surgery.
Flores, who had the hook of the hamate bone in his right wrist surgically-removed in October, said he has resumed working out and expects to begin hitting soon.
"It's been five weeks now," Flores said Monday in an interview on SNY. "I'm already working out and everything but I think I can start hitting in like a week maybe. I'll be definitely ready for spring training."

I hope Flores returns this spring at a 100% level. He offers much flexibility in the infield, is a great clubhouse guy, and still qualifies as a decent trade chip in a package for a right-hand power outfielder. I never thought he was much of a shortstop which probably in the long run helped him make this team. Strange, huh?

You gotta read this story from local10 about Cuban smugglers in Mexico (why did I know that Mexico would be involved here) –

A smuggling ring held Cuban baseball stars at gunpoint in Mexico, threatening to kill them if they tried to escape before signing lucrative contracts with Major League Baseball, according to U.S. prosecutors.

On Tuesday, federal prosecutors described how Cuban baseball stars like Chicago White Sox first baseman José Abreu and Miami Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria endured kidnapping and extortion on their way to stardom in the United States.

It's the latest evidence that the MLB's influx of talented Cuban players often relies on a shadowy underworld of armed thugs, stash houses and the world's most dangerous drug cartel, Los Zetas

          It’s shit like this that has to be cleaned up in this area of the world. These are kids playing baseball. Jeez.

Did you ever wonder what happened to Phillip Humber ?  He retired –

Philip Humber‘s story is only slightly better. The third overall pick in the 2004 draft, Humber was traded to Minnesota in the Johan Santana deal, but he became better known as a poster child for the pitcher abuse at Rice University. As Michael Baumann wrote in 2013: “In 2004, three Rice University pitchers were drafted in the first eight picks. All three — Philip Humber, Jeff Niemann and Wade Townsend — suffered shoulder injuries shortly after turning pro.” But the story had a brief happy coda.

Like Ludwick, Humber struggled to establish himself in his first five years in the majors, accruing a 5.26 ERA in 51.1 innings for three different teams. He signed  the Chicago White Sox as a 28-year-old free agent in 2011, and he finally had the year everyone was hoping he’d have when he was first drafted: 26 starts, 163 innings, a 3.75 ERA (85 ERA-), 3.2 WAR.

The next season, on April 12, 2012, he twirled the 21st perfect game in major league history.

          And I read this week that Santana is going to try and pitch this fall and work his way back into the game. More strange shit.

Tim Teufel, who was recently replaced as Mets 3B coach, will remain with the organization as a roving INF instructor and club ambassador.

This is such a good idea for both the Mets and his family. I know Tim has a house/condo in St. Lucie and what better place to live with your wife than on the water.

Teufel went through multiple Mets minor league levels as a manager and he always has had the respect of the players he coached there. It wouldn’t be a Mets spring training without Tim leaning on his bat, waiting to hit a fungo fly ball to one of the catchers.


Mack Ade said...

(hello?.... (echo)

Thomas Brennan said...

Interesting timing, the Cuban part of your article....Fidel dies the next day. Want to write one about smuggling players out of North Korea now, maybe that connection will work again!

Wilfredo is a fringe slap guy - all such guys should immediately go to the gym and add 30 pounds of muscle. Could it hurt?

Humber shows two things: 1) how missing a pick by one slot can hurt (Verlander), and 2) how fragile pitching talent is.

Mack Ade said...

Vandy is famous for burning out SP arms

Mack's Mets © 2012