Posted by Mack Ade at 10:00 AM
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.