Reese Kaplan -- Injuries & Upcoming Roster Changes


Well, it’s a few days too late for an April Fool’s joke, but the Mets are already down two quality starting pitchers in Steve Matz and Seth Lugo.  The Matz injury wasn’t really a huge surprise given his brittle nature and his previous start in which he was tattooed.  It was obvious something was up.  Lugo, however, may not have come north with the team anyway given Rafael Montero’s strong spring, but the pressure to operate at full bore in the WBC before adequately easing into that role after an off-season of rest likely contributed to what’s being called a partial tear of the UCL. 

All of the sudden the Mets’ bevy of riches with 7 starting pitchers (not counting Montero) dropped to the minimum of five necessary to work a standard turn of the rotation.  The question now becomes who is the next up if another injury befalls a starter before either of the currently disabled pitchers are ready to return?

Despite his shaky showing in the past, the natural inclination would be to hand the ball to Rafael Montero knowing it’s a temporary thing while you try to figure out who is still out there that could provide 5-6 above average innings.  The list is actually fairly credible with quite a few big names unsigned with the season already underway:

  • Henderson Alvarez
  • Colby Lewis
  • Tim Lincecum
  • Doug Fister
  • Jake Peavy
  • Alfredo Simon
  • C.J. Wilson

Then there are the two available Mets’ castoffs – Jonathon Neise and Mike Pelfrey.  (I threw up a little in my mouth while typing these ex-Met alternatives).

My guess is Sandy Alderson is working the phones to try to obtain some starting pitching to park in Las Vegas for the inevitable call up.  As it is, the 51s’ rotation isn’t exactly going to wow anyone.  Sean Gilmartin is on the 40-man roster (for now) but pitched horribly in 2016 after a brilliant 2015.  No one else down there is on the 40-man roster. 

The Mets do seem to have an abundance of relievers, including Paul Sewald, Ben Rowen, Erik Goeddel and others.  Perhaps a team in need of bullpen help would be interested in making a….what’s it called when you give someone to another team and they give someone back?  It’s been so long, my mind’s drawing a blank.   There will be more excess in 2 weeks when Jeurys Familia returns and another relief pitcher bites the dust.  (Don’t sign any long term leases, Mr. Montero or Mr. Edgin). 

Similarly, the Mets have roster decisions to make when some of their walking wounded on the offensive side are deemed ready to return.  One would assume Ty Kelly is booted to coincide with Familia’s return since he’s the one using Familia’s 40-man roster spot.  Whichever of Brandon Nimmo or Juan Lagares is healthy first will likely get the nod and a relief pitcher is sent packing.  When the other is ready to return to action, say bye-bye to Michael Conforto.

Try not to laugh, but what happens when David Wright is ready to play?  I’m guessing poor T.J. Rivera is on his way to Las Vegas since Wilmer Flores has more power and greater seniority. 
However, if you look at the roster in AAA there’s not a lot of room there either.  You have Dominic Smith at 1B, Gavin Cecchini at 2B, Amed Rosario at SS and Phil Evans at 3B.  There’s also Josh Rodriguez and Matt Reynolds in the mix, too.  Hmmn…one might think that aforementioned mechanism for bringing players to your organization might actually work while dealing away from your surplus?

Whether you pray, rub a lucky rabbit’s foot, don’t walk under ladders or whatever other quirky idiosyncrasy you indulge to ensure things break right for you, it’s time to double down on this team and its plethora of injuries.


Thomas Brennan said...

At best, they have 4 2/3 starters, with Wheeler limited to 125 innings. I have an idea - the offense needs to share the load in carrying this team.

Hard to put yourself in anyone's shoes, but if I were Lugo and I had discomfort, I'd have let the team know immediately. Always try to minimize what could turn into a career-altering injury by rest. The flip side of not doing so is truly ugly if he ends up needing TJS.

Gary Seagren said...

Dam WBC will they ever learn

Mack Ade said...

Guys -

There is a question whether Lugo went into the WBC games with this injury. Either way, he hid it from the team which is a deal breaker these days.

David Rubin and I were discussing the option of Big Pelf yesterday and he reminded me how bad he and the Mets parted, also over hiding an injury.

I can not believe we are already saying we are thin on pitching.

Gary Seagren said...

Any comments on signing some of pitchers to long term contracts. The old Branch Rickey theory trade em a year to soon instead of a year to late.

Reese Kaplan said...

I just hope Montero remembers what got home here. This is both a golden and final opportunity.

Sean Gilmartin better get it in gear, too

Thomas Brennan said...

While none of us want to mess with success, in a pinch, Hansel Robles was a starter in the minors, and in his year in Bklyn, including playoffs, his ERA was just under 1.00. Maybe they'd consider stretching him out if things get dire in the Starters Dept and replacing him in the pen with a Sewald.

David Rubin said...

Great stuff Reese! CJ Wilson thankfully is not an option because he retired and as someone who saw him pitch in person at about 20 angel games over the last few years I would never want to see him in our pinstripes. Stretching Robles is something I am completely in favor of because it would be reminiscent of how the old Baltimore orioles used to do things. Montero has always had great stuff and in 2014 he was the guy that everyone thought would be the star addition to the rotation, not deGrom. Ever since he did not get that all role he has come into shape and less than perfect condition both physically and mentally. This is the first time in four years he is where he needs to be in body and mind and I truly hope he becomes the guy that we all thought he could be.

Reese Kaplan said...

C.J. Wilson may have said he's retired, but stranger things have happened. Today, for example, Marshawn Lynch is meeting with the Raiders. Now, whether or not he'd be a better option than what you have in-house or available on the open market is another question entirely.

bill metsiac said...

Robles was notably unsuccessful as a ST, but is doing very well as a late-inning RP. Leave him alone. When Familia returns, Montero is the only one who should go to Vegas and become a SP again.

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