Talking Baseball – Who is Your SP8?


Good morning.

We have a new weekly feature here on Mack’s Mets.

We call it ‘Talkin’ Baseball’.

It will be a weekly feature in which a number of the writers here on Mack’s Mets will attempt to answer and we’ll pass those thoughts on to you in one neat package.
We also ask you to send your questions to Talkin’ Baseball to macksmets@gmail.com. This way, we only have to work on the answers, not the questions.

Talkin’ Baseball will post up every Friday, at 8:00am.

So, here’s your first question: -

Let's say two of the top 7 starters (Syndergaard, deGrom, Harvey, Matz, Wheeler, Gsellman, and Lugo) go down for a lengthy period... who and why would be your 5th starter?

David Rubin:  if it includes both Lugo & Gsellman in that number, and we were down to 5, my 6th would be Montero simply because the only other options we really have at that point are Gilmartin, Goedel and Montero. Montero is the only one of the 3 who was ever once considered to be a top talent, and even though he's failed miserably since that time (remember- HE was supposed to be the star, NOT deGrom), I would be most comfortable trying him in that spot first. And wouldn't we need 3 of those starters to go down in order to move one of these to the 5th position? AND- if 3 of those starters DO go down, could someone please put me into suspended animation until next Spring Training? Not sure if I could live through that all again!!!!!!!!!!!

Mack:  I really don't have much faith in Rafael Montero anymore. I like what I see so far in spring training, but pitching in spring training is like having to take the daughter of your father's boss out on a date. It doesn't really count. I would like to think that Sandy could pull a starter out of hat and finally trade off Jay Bruce for someone that could do the job needed. Past than, if I had to go to my pipeline, my vote would be Adam Wilk. I wouldn't panic, nor would I weaken the current pipeline. I'd buckle down, live with the casualties I have, and do the best I can. Remember… most teams would be thrilled with anSP5 that had an ERA under 4.50.

Richard Herr: My answer… three more starters went down this year? Just kill me. Let me see--the Yankees already have Jon Niese, don't they? Trade for Ollie Perez and put him back in as a starter? Where's John Maine when you really need him? No, I'm back to my first answer: just kill me. Seriously, I would hope that it would take a little time to burn out three starters. At the moment, I like the revival of Rafael Montero. We do also have Sean Gilmartin. We could then see how Marcos Molina is doing. Eric Goedell was a starter back in 2013. Am I stretching for an answer? Just kill me.

Reese Kaplan: If the need is 15 day DL or thereabouts, then I would assume the next nod goes to guys already on the 40-man roster -- Montero, Gilmartin or Goeddel.  My preference would be in that order.  Marcos Molina would likely get the nod if it's a long term situation of a month or more assuming he remains healthy and doesn't let Vegas get into his head the way it did for Montero and others. 

Eddie Corona: If we the Mets needed a starter beyond those 7 mentioned, the first to get a shot would be Montero to see if he could re-capture the potential he once had when he was though of higher than Degrom was... I would like to see Chris Flexen... With the Surprising results that our farm system has had with under the radar pitcher (Gsellman, Gant, Bowman, Lugo) Flexen would intrigue me to see if he follows that trend.

Christopher Soto: - Not many teams can say they run 7 MLB quality arms deep when it comes to their SP depths so the Mets are extremely fortunate in that aspect. After #7 though, the quality severely drops off as the closest high level SP prospect in the organization is likely only going to be getting their first taste of AA ball this season. In the event that this “oh crap” scenario does occur….look for the club to turn to Rafael Montero first since he used to have the prospect pedigree. He has also shown some flashes of possibly returning to form this spring. After him it’s Sean Gilmartin, who had a solid uptick in his sabermetric stats in 2016 in Vegas. His K/9 increase by +2.3 per 9 IP and his BB/9 decreased by -1.0 per 9 IP. Although, both guys still struggled significantly with platoon splits. If your trying to get super deep to find the next deGrom, Gsellman, or Lugo…..I would direct you to former 4th round pick Tyler Pill. He received a 2nd chance at AAA-Las Vegas in 2016, after failing to hold his own in 2015, and performed admirably well. He saw his K rate from 5.9 to 7.2 and his BB rate improve from 3.2 to 2.0 without any significant differences in his splits between facing LHB or RHB. Tyler also has the added bonus of being a superb hitting pitcher with a career .362 batting average.

Jack Flynn: - If you're looking for an SP8 in this doomsday scenario, start scanning the waiver wire. One has to assume that there are going to be veteran starters hanging on the fringes of Spring Training waiting for a minor-league deal to develop. There will also be a few veterans cut at the end of training camp, most likely by 65-win teams trying to protect their draft position. It's unusual for the Mets not to have a starter or two like this waiting in the wings, and I suspect Sandy will remedy that before April 1.


Thomas Brennan said...

Replacement Parts….hmmm….

I dunno about the lefties:

• Sean Gilmartin was surprisingly great in 2015, not so good in 2016, and is getting hammered this spring (a homer surrendered (4 in all so far) for every 5 outs secured).

• Mack, Adam Wilk to me seems like “Gilmartin Lite.” He is 23-44 in his last 4 minor league seasons, so he seems to have an Anthony Young thing going on there.

• PJ Conlon? Seems he is not fooling big league hitters, a big leap from the A ballers he dominated in 2016, so I doubt we go there, but it is approaching St Patty’s Day, so a turnaround may be close at hand.

OK, so Rafael Montero is my # 8 (and trying harder). He gave up a run scoring “double” on a hit-and-run on a good pitch down low in the strike zone yesterday – and it should have been held to a single. I like the way he is throwing. And assuming 2016 was an injury-tainted season, keep in mind that in 2015 and 2014, for the Mets, he fanned a really impressive 55 in 54 innings, had an ERA in the low 4’s. If he is healthy and has learned, he could be a # 5 right now for a lot of teams.

Mighty righty Marcos Molina could be tapped, too, if he’s not needed until July. He’s not ready. Ten starts or so might get him there.

Eddie, Chris Flexen to me is behind him at this point, and let me add that Kevin McGowan has shown nothing this spring to warrant possible starter consideration.

I like Chris Soto’s thinking on the amazingly heavy-hitting Tyler Pill – but I am surprised he has not pitched in a single spring inning. Puzzling and not encouraging – one would think he is either hurt or fallen out of the Mets’ orbit.

Gabe Ynoa might have been my guy after Montero, but he was traded for cash, a bit puzzling even if he was unimpressive in his late season Mets call up in 2016.

So I would say Montero, and then like Jack Flynn says, the waiver wire.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

Gsellman's 2016 stat line in Vegas was 1-5, 5.73...

Frankly, I'm really not worried who the SP8 would be. If we lose 3 of our starters, we have a lot more worries to worry about.

Hope you make next Friday morning's question.

Eddie Corona said...

when you think that we could lose 3 guys and still have 4 pitchers of the quality we have (you pick the 4) makes this season a positive out look... And next year we would be One year closer to Dunn, Szapucki, and Molina (possibly more)...

Mack Ade said...

Eddie -

possible entry point to majors:

2018 - Flexen, Knapp

2019 - Conlon, Molina

2020 - Dunn, Szapucki, Merandy Gonzalez, Planck, Harol Gonzalez

2021 - Sixto Torres, Jake Simon, Jordan Humphreys

Eddie Corona said...

Mack I like i and many more drafts to add to that mix...

Adam Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adam Smith said...

Montero first. If it gets beyond that, bring up either Conlon or Szapucki and throw them into the fire.

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