Year of Decision
Posted by Richard Herr at 11:00 AM
Year to Go For It
Year of Decision
Year of Decision
This is the third in this series. I am not only doing an assessment of each player’s coming year, but also charting what should happen with them when 2018 rolls around and we start thinking about that year’s roster.
This posting covers:
David Wright - (This is what I said before the shoulder impingement. That report is too new to have specific medical assessment.) Got to start here. David is the first domino that makes all the rest fall into place. We have to figure out how many games he’s going to be able to play, and then we’ll get everything else straightened out. On opening day he figures to be taking extended spring training. That tells me a lot. If David can’t make the opening bell, he’s going to be limited. Once he’s with the club, how many games can he start in a week? Four? I’m going to say he starts 80 at 3rd base. Throw in another 20 DHing in the interleague games. Then another 20 where he pinch-hits. That’s 120. Let’s set that as the base line. The optimist in me says .280, 14, 60.
The outlook for 2018 - Another $20M. Who knows what else physically.
Jose Reyes - The second domino. Figure he gets the other 80 games at third base. Give him 20 others relieving Cabrera and Walker. About 10 pinch-hits. Center field? Everybody says no, before he even looks at a fly ball. Let’s remember that there’s another guy on this team who converted from shortstop to outfield, Juan Lagares. Everybody wants 500 ABs for him; I think it’ll be more like 400. .270, 10, 40, 20 SBs.
The outlook for 2018 - Free agent. He’s not being primarily paid by Colorado in this year, so he won’t be making 500k. He turns 34 in June. I think he’ll be back but more as a sub.
Asdrubel Cabrera - Got to remember he had a career year last year. The big surprise was how good he was in the clubhouse. There’d been some whispering after he spent 2014 in the dysfunctional Nats’ clubhouse. Should do another 140 games. .270, 18, 65.
The outlook for 2018 - Can anyone say Rosario? With the club having a low-cost $8.5 M option, I can see Sandy exercising it, for Asdrubel to cover things like 2B and 3B. This is another David domino.
Neil Walker - The second of the three spinal column operations from last year. That will have to be monitored, but otherwise he should be a mainstay in the lineup, on the field, and in the clubhouse. Also offer some first base options. .270, 18, 70.
The outlook for 2018 - Free agent. If the rest of the infield stays healthy (which is not guaranteed), I could see where he’d be allowed to walk. Exercising the option on Cabrera would be cheaper. Unless, of course, Neil can play center field and bat leadoff.
Lucas Duda - Third one coming off spine surgery. Delayed in spring training with a couple of cortisone shots in his hips. The Chicken Little contingent of sports reporting and Mets fans said the sky is falling and Lucas hasn’t recovered from the surgery. Uh, guys, he played some games back in September. He’s a little sore. There are worries that Lucas could lose a little rotation power a la Don Mattingly. I think it’s less of a problem with Lucas, because he can clear the fences in center and left. As a matter of fact, if Lucas sprays the ball around the field, he’ll probably have a higher batting average. Lucas should also think swagger. Don’t take that first-pitch fastball down the middle. .250, 26, 84.
The outlook for 2018 - Free agent. Can anyone say Dom Smith? Unless Lucas monsters up in 2017 and agrees to a hometown contract, he goes. Maybe the hedge is re-signing Walker. I’ll miss Lucas. He can hit some monster shots.
Wilmer Flores - Terry Collins’s Rodney Dangerfield, he doesn’t get no respect. We have been able to discover so far that Wilmer racks off of lefties. We know he doesn’t do quite as well against righties, but we can’t tell for sure how he might hit against them because the minute he has an oh-fer against a righty, Terry sits him. I keep remembering what a prodigy he was in his teen years. All of the nay-sayers are going to whine about his fielding. They did the same thing about Daniel Murphy. How did that work out? Given there’s going to be fever charts all over the Mets infield, I think Wilmer might actually get 400 at bats. .270, 20, 60.
The outlook for 2018 - ARB 2. The scramble in the Mets’ infield is going to hit at this time. Hard to tell where all the chips will land.
T.J. Rivera - He’s always hit, wherever he’s played, including last year in the majors. He is currently the Mets’ seventh infielder, though some guys are higher than him on the shortstop depth chart. On the other hand the position was manned by Kelly Johnson in a few games. I’m seeing Terry putting him in the outfield in ST games. If they send him to AAA, the only reason they can possibly give is to see if he can win the PCL batting title twice. However, T.J. is one of the guys we’ve got to hold onto until we see just how healthy the infield is. I’m sure he’ll see call-up time when somebody goes down.
The outlook for 2018 - Team control. I think he deserves the chance to start for a major-league team. I’ll discuss trades when I talk about Sandy.
Gavin Cecchini - He finished a lousy third in the PCL batting race. He’s had problems fielding at shortstop, his original position. (I know if I say Murphy again, you’re going to be bored to tears.) And there is Rosario. Gavin’s moved to second. He’s one of those good OBP batters that the front office supposedly favors. Not much power, but we’ve got a bunch of those kind of guys. Maybe having a few batting average people around, like Gavin and T.J., would raise the RISP which has been awful. He’s going to start the season at Vegas, where he will battle T.J. for the batting title. Should see some time in the bigs.
Outlook for 2018 - Team control. He will probably be in the mix. He should find a home somewhere.
Matt Reynolds - He doesn’t have the numbers that a lot of other people have, but he always does--am I going to say this?--nice. I know Terry has a preference for him, especially fielding at short. Is he going to replace Eric Campbell? In Vegas, he’s going to be bundled in with T.J., Gavin, and Rosario on three positions. Maybe some of them play some outfield.
Outlook for 2018 - Team control. He’s going to see a lot of guys passing him, going up to the majors. He looks like AAAA.
Ty Kelly - This guy is very versatile, but doesn’t do anything well. His status with the club was indicated when he was outrighted to Vegas to make room on the roster. He’s another one of those guys Terry seems to like. The Mets’ depth is going to send him to LVA fighting for some playing time.
Outlook for 2018 - Team control. He’s going to be close to being crowded out.
Infield outlook for 2018 - To summarize: end of this year, Duda, Walker, and Cabrera are free agents albeit Asdrubel’s got an option. David is probably off seeing some specialist, unless he absolutely can’t take to the field. If things work out, Rosario’s at short, Smith’s at first. But we all know how things always work out for the Mets. Reyes probably gets re-signed, but he does turn 35 during this year. Wilmer will be there and you’ll also have T.J., Gavin, and Matt vying for the sub rolls. If he does well in 2017, Walker will probably be re-signed as a hedge against a number of things, particularly first base.
Whenever Richard Herr isn’t solving all the Mets’ problems, he spends his time writing humorous science fiction novels.
You can see his books at https://www.amazon.com/Richard-Herr/e/B00J5XBKX4.