Question 5 – Should Sandy Go Pitcher Shopping?


Good morning.

Teams throughout baseball are currently filling in their rosters with pro-level players that they can stash at their AAA affiliate and keep them there as an emergency chip. The Braves just signed 1B Ryan Howard. The Mets brought in OF Desmond Jennings.

We’ve all watched from a distance the great starting pitching depth of our beloved team get thinned out in the past 10 days. We’ve also watched Rafael Montero, originally designated as our emergency SP6 (Lugo and Matz already on the bench) get off to a rocky start.

Pitchers go down. Just yesterday, the Angels might have lost their ace Garrett Richards.

Question – Should Sandy Alderson add an additional starter to the Las Vegas affiliate who has major league history and could help in a pinch?

            Christopher Soto says -

He absolutely should! There is never any harm in having more depth. The MLB quality guys still left on the free agent market are Jake Peavy, John Danks, Colby Lewis, Doug Fister and Ryan Vogelsong. The only problem is…..It takes 2 to tango. Most these guys who are worth signing are still holding out hope for major league deal. In addition, when someone looks at the Mets current rotation and the fact the Matz and Lugo could conceivably be back within 6 weeks….the situation doesn’t look all too attractive for these older guys. Plus….who wants to “audition” in Las Vegas?

Richard Herr says –

Should Sandy sign some more major-league-experienced pitchers for Vegas? Yes, he should! Can he sign any? I don't know. Any guy worth his salt is going to look for certain things. He's going to want a team that has a pretty iffy 5th starter to begin with, and not much else after that. He'd want to sit on a Triple-A team where he could show off his stuff. He'll probably want some guaranteed money. Look at what the Mets could offer. Their first five are quite strong, with a couple of guys down with an injury that's going to last a few weeks, not months; they've also got Montero on the roster. The Triple-A team for the Mets is Las Vegas, where pitchers go to have their pitches bashed around all over the park. And the money?...

Of course it would be really stupid of the Mets to try to slot Montero in for an emergency start. After all, you know how his mind works. He pitched a bad inning the other night. That's going to just sit there and fester in his mind. It's going to weigh him down and weigh him down. He's going to wind up thinking he can't possibly even throw the ball as far as the plate... Oh! Wait a minute! That's what we're thinking!

I don't know. What could we do if an emergency came up? Use Montero? Give Adam Wilk a shot?

All I've got to say is I'm glad this didn't happen to us last year. I mean what could we have done then? Who could we call on? Gsellman? Lugo? We didn't have anybody!

Gary McDonald says –

He definitely should, but I don't think he will.  Sandy will let it play out (Matz & Lugo) and then see where it goes from there.  If down the stretch he fills he needs another starter, I wouldn't be surprised if he went to the Braves  and brings back Colon or even Dickey.

Reese Kaplan says –

I'd listed possible pitching targets in an article earlier this week.  There are several experienced pitchers who are more often good than bad, including Henderson Alvarez, Colby Lewis, Tim Lincecum, Doug Fister, Jake Peavy and Alfredo Simon.  The AAA rotation is pretty awful at this point with Sean Gilmartin representing the curdled cream of the crop.  Adam Wilk might be someone worth watching but another veteran arm or two certainly couldn't hurt.  In addition to simply inking free agents, it would behoove the GM to consider TRADES as a way of changing the makeup of the roster.  We're light on starting pitching, but deep in bullpen guys and middle infielders.  Perhaps there is a team in need of one of those two commodities. 

David Rubin says –

I've always been a "pitching first, second & third" kinda guy and I have always subscribed to the notion that you cannot have enough pitching. I really anticipated Sandy signing some interesting arms to minor-league deals this off-season when realizing that the Las Vegas team would not have much in the way of starting pitching. Doug Fister is somebody who I have appreciated for a long time but of course he would have no reason to sign a minor-league deal unless he was still on the open market in June. Perhaps they could offer him a $3 million deal to be on standby if he would agree to go to Las Vegas. 

However, the Wilpons still own the team so the possibilities of that happening are zero. The Angels had no choice but to sign a bunch of 4-A pitchers like Petit and there really is no arms out there right now who would sign a minor-league deal knowing that their path to the majors will remain blocked with this club. Therefore we have to look at the trade possibilities, and Sandy can be considered cautious when it comes to making deals. I still have no idea why we gave away Ynoa do the Orioles for cash when he should have been the SP-1 in LV. I don't have a specific name in mind but I would definitely love to see one or two arms picked up to have at the ready in Vegas.

One more thing- pitching in Las Vegas does NOTHING to help a pitcher show his stuff to get a call back up to the majors- in fact it does the exact opposite. Vegas is a great attraction for everything EXCEPT pitching, so more than likely if Sandy wanted to add any depth there he would have to do it via trade.

Tom Brennan

With Steve Matz and Seth Lugo both suffering serious injuries, I would certainly shop for 1 or 2 viable starter alternatives.  Any further losses will really impact this team if there is no seasoned replacement(s), so it makes a lot of sense for the Mets to be proactive here.  The Mets minors, today and possibly for all of 2017, have NO major league ready starters, in my humble opinion.


Thomas Brennan said...

Three points:

I did not see Montero last night, but he was what, 2 2/3 scoreless? After 9 great outings out of 10 outings in spring training, I am not ready to write him off one bit. I still think he is a viable 6th starter. We are spoiled by having elites, everyone else is too quickly seen for their flaws.

I said Vegas had no pitching, but Ricky Knapp threw 6 innings of one run ball against what is most likely a potent El Paso squad - they hit over .300 last year. So maybe he is a more traditional minor league call up quality type.

Shoulda kept Ynoa.

Thomas Brennan said...

Thinking relief for a second, Smoker was awful last night. Mets don't need 3 lefty relievers, so my guess is they stay with him, but Sewald is ready otherwise.

Thomas Brennan said...

One last note, regarding Zack Wheeler last night. Mike Puma said it very well: "The Mets probably should have expected this from somebody pitching on 924 days’ rest. Zack Wheeler had a forgettable return to the mound Friday, surrendering five earned runs over four innings on a brutally cold and windy night at Citi Field that had no semblance to the tropical paradise in which he had won his job this spring. Wheeler’s fastball had early juice, but commanding his off-speed pitches was a challenge, and pretty soon the Marlins were jumping on his heat."

To my point of yesterday - why play so many games at night in "brutally cold" early April?

Reese Kaplan said...

Do you mean the manager erred in his decisions who to play and who not to play? Say it ain't so!

Thomas Brennan said...

Reese, kind of sums it up!

Reese Kaplan said...

The Paul Sewald era begins today. Ty Kelly sent packing to Las Vegas.


When I saw Wheeler go out on a bitter cold night in April it brought back memories of TIM Leary in Chicago some years back. That was a day game but bitterly cold and he threw to hard and got hurt. Hind sight is 20/20 but perhaps another starter should have gone in the game. Still I don't remember this many night games so early in the season.

Thomas Brennan said...

Gary, you are so right. Play mostly day games in April, at least on Saturdays and Sundays.


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