Mack’s Morning Report – 4-10-17 – Arms Break Down, Current Status of Quality Starters, Ex-Mets


Good morning.

Just working my way back from a weekend trip so I apologize for the lack of material in this report. My next one will be longer and more informative.

Arms Break Down

Why does it always seem like we are the only team that loses a vast majority of our starters every year? We’ve only played a handful of major and minor league games and we already have lost a shitload of them (Anthony Kay, Steven Matz, Thomas Szapucki, Seth Davis, Chris Flexen, Seth Lugo, Josh Prevost,Michael Gibbons).
Do other teams go through this too?

Well, I’m not privy to press releases from other teams, but I do have contacts with some of the guys that run baseball blogs on other teams and they say that ‘their teams’ go through the same mess we do every year. Arms break down and it is the reason we keep saying you can’t have enough quality pitchers. Two weeks ago we were loaded. Today we are thin. Unbelievable.

One MLB executive has estimated that 75% of American born players within their system didn’t specialize in baseball until 16. This is completely different with Latin kids. They do nothing more than field grounded and throw rocks against walls.
And who keeps count? Is there anyone putting your high school freshman on a program that only allows him to throw a 100% velocity for ‘X’ amount of pitchers each week? We know there is no such programs for Latin kids under 16. They’ll throw at full speed every night until the sun goes down.

I’m a particular big fan of college arms, but I hate the whole ‘Friday starter’ program. Your best pitcher only pitches once every seven days and pitch counts are run up well over 100 pitches a game. How do you add up every time you throw a baseball since you were, let’s say, 10 years old, add the curves you attempted to throw years before your arm was ready to throw them, and then put them in a professional system that has no room for error.

I don’t have a solution for this other than keep signing and drafting the best arms your scouting system can determine.

Current Status of Quality Starters

So, where are we if all the guys named above would be out for the whole 2017 season?

In my opinion, here are both your current pitching stars, and the ones on DL that would pitch at a particular level if they were to come back:

            Mets – Syndergaard, deGrom, Harvey, Wheeler, Gsellman, Montero,  (Matz)
AAA – Rickey Knapp, (Lugo)
            AA -   P.J. Conlon, (Flexen)
            A+ - Justin Dunn, (Szapucki)
            A – Harol Gonzalez, Jordan Humphries, Merandy Gonzalez, (Anthony Kay)

Past the Big-8 of Syndergaard through Lugo, it’s pretty thin. There is no one else in the system from this list that could step up and pitch quality innings in Queens this season.


Baseball released their first official minor league transaction list, which include a couple of cuts we have mentioned before.

C Josh Thole – Arizona released and then resigned him to a minor league contract. I always liked Josh, though I always looked at him to be a good backup catcher in the pros, rather than a successful starter. He did everything he could do to stick in this game. Changed his hitting stance, taught himself to catch the knuckler. I wish him well in life.

RHP Cody Satterwhite was released by Baltimore. He was extremely successful for Binghamton in 2014 (48-G, 2.33), hit a roadblock in 2015 at Vegas (57-G, 4.38), and hopped a plane over to Japan in 2016.

1B Michael Katz was released by Baltimore. Katz was a 9th round pickin 2014 by the Mets and played through the system until his departure after last year with St. Lucie (329-AB, .219).

2B Danny Muno was released by the Tigers. Tom Brennan will lead the                       services this Sunday.

LHP Jon Niese was released and then re-signed to a minor league contract. My guess is this will be the last we read about this guy. I care more about the news that Barry Manilow has outed himself than listening to this guy bitch anymore.

OF Alejandro De Aza was released by Oakland. Hit only .205 last year for the Mets. I would tout him as a Vegas pickup, but he hits (barely, it seems) from the left.

RHP Jeff Walters was released by Tampa Bay. Walters did not have a good                 year last year for Vegas (56-appearances, 5.89).

1B James Loney was released by Texas. Loney was there last season when we needed him (343-AB, .265) and I wish him well in the future, though, at 32, there’s a good chance that his playing days are over. Japan?

RHP Dillon Gee was released by Texas. This one really stings me. I got to know Dillon when he irst becamse a member of the Mets organization and stayed Facebook friends through his Mets career. A hell of a guy.


Thomas Brennan said...

Mack, Danny Muno will, I guess, head overseas. When Kim Jong Un heard he refused to play in North Korea, though, Un went ballistic. Doesn’t he always?

Kidding aside, one thing the Mets do not lack is infield depth. He (like many marginal guys) had a very brief chance, failed, and was not good enough to get any more. Way it goes. Meanwhile Ruben Tejada is off to a hot start (2 for 5) in 2 games as a part timer in the minors. Terry is watching him closely, Reese :)

If Dillon Gee has anything left, maybe he would consider Las Vegas. My guess is he is hoping for other offers.

Speaking of pitchers, Syndergaard was OK last night, I guess – can we still trade him, though, for Anthony Gose? Just curious :)

Richard Herr said...

Hey, Tom, if something works once, it makes sense to keep trying it. Therefore, let's trade Syndergaard for Dickey.

I find it amazing that nobody in the whole of professional baseball has figured out a more effective system for preserving pitcher's arms. I see an indication that topping the 95 MPH barrier seems to induce a lot TJSs. It seems to point out the limits of the human arm.

I don't know if I buy into the idea of specializing earlier, Mack. After all, a generation ago, the players who pitched 300 innings were also 3-letter athletes in high school. A lot of people are pointing to the early specialization as the reason why so many arms are "overused" by the time they hit the majors.

Do Latin players last longer because they can play the game year round? (This is said by a guy who grew up in Rochester.)

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

Does that mean either Muno or Un has to go nuclear?

bill metsiac said...

Tom mentioned Ruben. I've been wondering where he is. The Mets certainly have no room or need for him, but I hope he succeeds somewhere. Since that Utley slide it's been all downhill for him. He was with the Yankees in ST, and I haven't read anything about him being released or seen his name in Columbus box scores.

Who's he with now?

Mack Ade said...

Richard -

You can't compare what was thrown 20-25 years ago to what's coming down the pipe now. It easily averages at around 10 mph difference.

I covered local scholastic baseball for 8 years and, trust me, local coaches could care about the value of their players past their commitment to that team. THIS is where the process should begin.

There is nothing we can do about what happens in Latin American countries.

Mack Ade said...

Bill -

Yankees AAA affiliate Scranton

Anonymous said...

There was a rumour last week the Mets were looking at Doug Fister

bill metsiac said...

Thanks, Mack. I'm stuck in the Dark Ages, I guess. How many years has it been since the Yankees AAA team was in Columbus---25?

Mack Ade said...

Bill -

Hey, I'm still going to Vero Beach and looking for the Bums

Reese Kaplan said...

I find it fascinating that a team that thinks it has the tools to get to the World Series wasted time on ABs to the likes of Loney, Tejada and others while giving innings to Gee, Niese and others. Hmmn...when other clubs looked at them they weren't even deemed worthy of making their minor league squads yet our resident genius with the lineup pencil felt they were starting caliber players.

Thomas Brennan said...

I knew I would get Reese going by mentioning Ruben.

Mack, Muno and Un might both go nuclear. Only one is crazy.

Hobie said...

Wilmer should be the regular 3B. Just sayin'

Thomas Brennan said...

Wilmer should be the regular 3B. It platoon at 1B vs lefties. Get an All righty line up in vs lefties

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