5/31/17

ROSTER MOVE - And so it begins...

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Please note the following transaction involving the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.

May 31
  • RHP Chris Flexen transferred from St. Lucie (High-A) to Binghamton (AA)
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Tom Brennan- MINORS SPOTLIGHT: KACZMARSKI & MORA

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T. Brennan: METS SPOTLIGHT: KACZMARSKI & MORA

Kaczmarski and Mora....Mora and Kaczmarski...

Interesting similarities between these two chaps.

Both are outfielders.

Both played very well in limited but (to me) unexpected Mets spring training game opportunities.

Both started the seasons with very poor Aprils.

Both, through May 30, are hitting .300+ in May.

Both have decent speed,

Both lack home run pop.

Both are lefty hitters.

Mora is 5'11", 195. Kevin is 6'0", 195. (Kevin has more hair?)

Dr. Evil was asked about them and told Mini-Me that the two were friggin' clones.  Pretty close to true.


John Mora, a St Lucie Met who is turning 24 next week, is a career .273/.364/.382 hitter, who started with the organization with 2 years of DSL ball in 2012 and 2013.  Over his 6 years, he has a modestly successful 72 steals in 129 career attempts.  He has stalled in St Lucie, having hit .246 there in 2016 with 5 homers, and .249 so far this year.  Mora once had 12 triples in a season, a clear sign that he hustles.

One can hope that his solid May (.302) is a sign his High A Ball stall is over.  Defensively, he really tightened it up the past two years and has 38 career assists playing all 3 outfield positions, indicative of a decent arm.

Kevin Kaczmarski turns 26 on New Years Eve, so the AA everyday player needs to stay hot to move fast. Kevin started out with an exclamation point in Kingsport in 2015, winning the batting title at .355 there after being selected in the 9th round.  In 2016, he started slowly for Columbia at .180 for April, but hit .294 the rest of the season split between Columbia and St Lucie, where he hit .301 in 42 games.

While he has just 8 career homers in 821 career at bats, he excels in doubles (50) and triples (17).  Interestingly, a similarly sized Justin Turner, in his 814 at bats with the Mets, had very similar 57 doubles and 8 homers.  Turner added a lot of pop thereafter, showing that it is not unreasonable to think that KK can add power too. 

Aside from slow Aprils, Kevin hasn't stalled at all, and is a bit fleeter afoot than Mora, having stolen 41 of 58 in his career.  

His career .305/.381/.437 mark since turning pro indicates he is ahead of Mora in vying for the majors, but he, like Mora, needs to stay hot to move up fast (worth repeating, so I did).

And by hitting .341 with a .430 OB% in May, he's shot up to .285 very quickly. However, he has just 8 extra base hits in 42 games.

Defensively, he has also played all 3 OF spots, although mostly LF and RF, and is very low on career errors, but has just 12 assists in slightly over 200 career games, so let's put him at slightly above average defensively.

So far, Kaczmarski seems similar to, but perhaps not as good a prospect as, Brandon Nimmo.  With so few career at bats, I could be very wrong, and I hope he proves me wrong in the months ahead and gets blistering hot to prove it.  

Winning the 2017 AA batting title (he still has 60 points to make up) would be a start, as would adding more homer pop to his repertoire.

I wish both these gents the best for the rest of 2017. 
May they both become clones
of current starting major league outfielders -
with BIG pay checks.



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Reese Kaplan -- AL Central Trade Targets (Part 5 of 6)

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Minnesota Twins

I swear they must be doing it with mirrors, as their only true offensive weapon is 3rd baseman Miguel Sano who is hitting for both power and average.  Left fielder Eddie Rosario is hitting .271 but then the rest of the lineup drops to replacement player level very quickly.  Even the normally potent Brian Dozier is hitting just .237 with 5 HRs and 11 RBIs after delivering 42/99 last year.  Ervin Santana has been a one-man wrecking crew with a 6-1 record, 1.50 ERA and batters hitting just .129 against him. Hector Santiago has 4 wins and is pitching to a 3.86 ERA.  Phil Hughes has 4 wins but opponents have a .293 BAA.  Adalberto Mejia and Kyle Gibson aren’t helping much.  Brandon Kintzler is having a surprisingly solid second year as closer after coming to Minnesota.  Veteran Craig Breslow and Tyler Duffy are doing admirable work.  Given the first place standing (by a half game) they might be reluctant to shake things up, expecting that usually solid players like Dozier and Kennys Vargas will eventually get it in gear.  However, the Mets have a surplus of infielders who might appeal to the Twins.  It’s a situation in which Curtis Granderson (with the Mets paying the lion’s share of his salary) might actually be appealing to them if they feel he will turn it on after his slow start as he’s done the past few years.



Cleveland Indians
Michael Brantley is providing his usual brand of production.  3rd baseman Jose Ramirez is quietly actually exceeding All Star Brantley’s numbers.  Center fielder Lonnie Chisenhall and shortstop Francisco Lindor are having solid campaigns as well.  Carlos Santana is having a subpar season that suggests age might finally be catching up to him.  The huge and expensive surprise is Edwin Encarnacion who is sub-Mendoza with just 5 HRs and 12 RBIs at DH.  It looks as if they could use some help in RF, and behind the plate.  30 year old Carlos Carrasco has been Cleveland’s most productive starting pitcher.  Then there is the recent addition of Mike Clevinger who has had two starts and excelled in both.  Other starters have been pathetic including former Cy Young Award winner and All Star Corey Kluber. In the bullpen closer Cody Allen is on his way to his best season ever in terms of saves.  They have FIVE other relievers with ERAs below 2.50, including Andrew Miller, Boone Logan, Brian Shaw, Nick Goody and Zach McAllister.  Andrew Miller would be an interesting target as he’s been one of baseball’s best since 2013 and served a 36-save closer on the New York stage with the Yankees.  He makes $9 million this year and next so again the Mets would have to shed some salary to take on that kind of financial burden with the assumption Jeurys Familia will be back in 2018.  Once again the easy way would be peddling Neil Walker which would potentially help the Indians immensely.  With their surplus of excellent relievers it’s something that they might consider.  Bryan Shaw has a long career with an ERA of 3.00 to show for it.  He earns $4 million which is more to the Wilpons’ liking.  Standing just a half game behind the surprising Minnesota Twins for the division lead, they might be inclined to look for some offense.



Detroit Tigers

They’re hovering around .500 but the team looks as if its lineup is a mess.  Even the great Miguel Cabrera is having a poor season thus far.  Victor Martinez is hitting a respectable .270 but with a single HR and just 18 RBIs.  It’s all downhill from there.   Sure, there’s a little bit of power coming from Justin Upton and the catching tandem of James McCann and Alex Aviles.  Nick Castellanos has contributed 22 RBIs but little else.  They’re missing outfield J.D. Martinez and getting nothing from glove man extraordinaire Jose Igesias who four times before hit .300 but this year is just swinging a .204 stick.  Former Met Michael Fulmer is their current ace with good contributions from Michael Boyd.  Justin Verlander, Daniel Norris and Jordan Zimmerman are all delivering in the 4.50 and above range.  In the pen closer and also former Met Frankie Rodriguez has pitched himself out of a job.  Closing duties now go to lefty Justin Wilson (imagine that – a left allowed to face right handed hitters, too!).  Backing him up are some good stats from Shane Greene, Alex Wilson and Blaine Hardy.  I would gladly take either of those last two off the Tigers’ hands as this entire quartet is pitching to sub 2.00 ERAs.  Wilson and Hardy have the longer track records of success.   



Chicago White Sox

Avasail Garcia is off to a .344 start to lead the Pale Hose.  They’re riding the hot hand with Yolmer Sanchez at 2B who is hitting .324.  You have the usual positive exploits of Cuban slugger Jose Abreu.  Diminutive Leury Garcia is breaking from his no-hit reputation by contributing a .307 AVG.  They’re getting nothing much out of Melky Cabrera, shortstop Tim Anderson, the catching position and 3rd baseman Todd Frazier.  In the starting rotation Jose Quintana is pitching well below his career norms but Derek Holland, Miguel Gonzalez and James Shields are all doing a credible job.  Mike Pelfrey has been pitching like, well, Mike Pelfrey and is part of the problem.  In the bullpen they have been outstanding and likely the reason they’re still hovering close to .500.  Closer David Robertson has people hitting just .156 against him.  He’s buttressed by the efforts of Tommy Kahnle who is logging his second straight solid season for the White Sox, journeyman Anthony Swarzak who has been perfect, veteran Nate Jones, and 25 year old Michael Ynoa.  It is this surplus of quality arms that has many believing David Robertson may be on the trading block.  His $12 million salary for 2017 and $13 million for 2018 make him an unlikely acquisition for the Mets unless the White Sox are willing to take back some money such as Neil Walker.  



Kansas City Royals

The Royals find themselves with essentially a four-man offense – Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer , Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez.  Considering they are an AL team with 9 spots in the batting order, that’s not good and is reflected in their last place standing.  New acquisitions Brandon Moss and Jorge Soler have been essentially invisible and the usually reliable Alex Gordon is performing at a Curtis Granderson like level with just 13 RBIs and a .152 batting average.  Jason Vargas has been incredible this year with a 1.01 ERA.  Ian Kennedy and Danny Duffy are pitching well enough to rack up wins, but with the Royals near the bottom of the league in runs scored.  Closer Kelvin Herrera is doing an adequate job but he has gotten some good setup support from former closer Joakim Soria, lefties Mike Minor and Scott Alexander.  Joakim Soria is the man to target here for the Mets.  He earns $8 million this year and $9 million in 2018 with a $10 million option for 2019.  Neil Walker would instantly upgrade their offense as would Lucas Duda at DH.  


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5/30/17

Tom Brennan - SPOTLIGHT: HOT METS MINORS BATS

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Tom Brennan - SPOTLIGHT: HOT METS MINORS BATS

In baseball, hotter is better.  
Which Mets minor league hitters are HOT, HOT, HOT?

AAA

Brandon Nimmo - was glacially cold post-injuries, but he has been on base 20 times in his last 10 games.  Hot stuff.  Keep pressing on, brother, thy time shalt cometh.

Amed Rosario - HOT all year, hitting in the .350s.  He went to the doctor and had his temperature checked, and the doc said he was at Super 2 on the thermometer.  Amed grinned.

Dominic Smith - hitting close to .330 with 7 homers and 37 ribbies in 52 games.  A hot Duda stands in his way, tho'.

Xorge Carillo - the catcher is hitting .353 with 10 RBI in his last 10 games. Alas, he has thrown out just 2 of 28 in 2017 - that's not so hot, especially compared to Ali Sanchez.


AA

Kevin Kaczmarski - the former 9th round left hitting OF is swatting .321 in May.  How about .375 in June?

Tomas Nido - last year's FSL batting champ, the catcher is hitting .352 with 14 RBI in 19 May games.  Yeah!


HIGH A

Pat Mazeika - the fellow catcher has cooled a bit, OK, I admit it, but despite a 9 for 40 stretch over his last 10 games, just 3 Ks in that span, so they can't all drop in.  But a lot will.  Could Nido and Mazeika be the Mets' catching tandem in 2019?


FULL A

Dash Winningham - Forget Dash - how about CRASH!  SMASH!  Dude be rippin' with 3 homers and 12 RBI in his last 5 games.  Too hot to touch when men are on base - sizzling like Columbia's noonday sun. He has driven in 36 in 44 games, folks.

Michael Paez - .320/.429/.507 in May.   29 RBIs this season for the 5'8" 175 lb. SS/2B fourth rounder in 2016.  Nice.

Gene Cone - .333 in his last 10 games.  Keep it up, Mr. Cone, and remember that David Cone once went 20-3 for the NY Mets. Another great Cone would be real nice.

Ali Sanchez - Ali continues on his low power 2017, with just 2 doubles, but my suspicion that his early season low batting average would correct itself because he rarely strikes out came thru in May: he is hitting .327 in 16 May games.  He also loves throwing base stealers out - 16 of 29 this year, and 108 of 218 in his career.   Maybe the next Jerry Grote?

Those are the hot 11, four of whom are catchers.
Who will be hot in June?  In honor of June beach weather, let's have at least 13 hot Mets' minors hitters for Ocean's 13.

Can't wait to see who steps up.  FUEGO!!






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Tom Brennan - SIGNS OF METS REVIVAL

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Tom Brennan - SIGNS OF METS REVIVAL


Baseball is a game of peaks and valleys, and it is often the darkest just before dawn.

I think dawn has arrived for this flailing Mets team.  It is time for the roller coaster ride north, and to stop flailing and start wailing on the opposition.

Already, this Mets team has climbed from hitting sub-.220 and as of pre-game Monday had climbed to .245, and their 246 runs in 48 games compares very favorably to the 2nd highest scoring team, the Rockettes, who have scored 21 runs but in 4 more games.

The team is tied for 9th in homers with 67, but only 8 HRs behind the leaders, and all but one have played more games.

And Cespedes should return very shortly - might they have the best hitting team in the majors then?

Duda?  Hot. ,286/.426/.592 in May.

Granderson?  Hitting .263/.360/.526 in May, as my Old Man Hitting Tracker now has a smiley face.  Even Reyes has improved, and if he does not keep it up, Rosario is ready.

Bruce?  12 HRs and 34 RBIs in 45 games is delightful.

Conforto?  Comeback player of the year?  Terrific.

Walker? A scintillating .330/.381/.557 in May.  Playing like a $17 million guy should.

Flores, the Rivera boys, hitting well.

Pitching has been a horror show - worst ERA and WHIP of any team in the majors - but clear signs of life emerge:

Jake deGrom - masterful of late.  Even with the bat.

Zach Wheeler and Matt Harvey - both rounding into strong starters.

Rob Gsellman - showing some of that 2016 form recently.

Steve Matz - annihilated his AAA opponent on Sunday - he is ready to rock, replacing a fire starter currently on the staff (Montero?)

Seth Lugo?  A fine 6 innings, 7 Ks in AA on Sunday - just one shaky inning - if he feels good, he is probably ready to rejoin the Mets, perhaps as a starter, in 5 to 10 days. He will replace another weak link.

Paul Sewald - out of desperation, he got called up.  In May, he has thrown 19 innings, allowed 3 runs, fanned 24, and walked just 3.   Sewald is the Mets' Reliever of the Month, unless you want to give that to the outstanding lefty Jerry Blevins, and Sewald is looking like a true asset in the pen.

My take?  June will bring us a top 5 hitting Mets squad, and a pitching staff producing around middle of the pack or better, no more of this last-in-baseball stuff.

Those signs of revival are right before us.  Sunshine will predominate.  Mets fans will smile again.  

And Reese....maybe Terry Collins will get hot, too!  Never too old to learn.

QUESTION: would you call up Matz to start for the Mets next weekend after his brilliant Vegas outing of 5 perfect innings and 8 Ks?  And Lugo or Gsellman?  Who then becomes your 5th starter?  I say Gsellman....what say you?


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5/29/17

Tom Brennan - MINORS SPOTLIGHT: METS "FAN" CLUB

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Tom Brennan - MINORS SPOTLIGHT: METS "FAN" CLUB


The Mets had two prospects with prodigious strikeout rates in 2016 and prior years who are no longer playing in 2017: 

Ivan Wilson and Vicente Lupo.  

They combined for 763 Ks in 1,871 ABs (40.7%).  Add in all plate appearances, including walks, and their shared number drops closer to 35%, still way too high.   The Ks did these 2 power hitters in.

Simply put, and quite obviously, striking out a lot does not help one to reach the majors.  The more contact the better.

Guys with high strikeout rates in 2017 (strikeouts per plate appearance) as of the middle of last week, in descending % order, include these current Mets Minors folks:

Brandon Brosher Col.: 24 of 54 (44.4%)

Vinny Siena PSL: 50 of 126 (39.7%)

Jeff Diehl PSL: 39 of 107 (36.4%)

Jay Jabs, Col.: 24 of 68 (35.2%)

Champ Stuart AA: 39 of 112 (34.8%)

Desmond Lindsay Col.: 44 of 137 (32.1%)

Wuilmer Becerra PSL: 55 of 180 (30.6%)

Jose Medina PSL: 24 of 80 (30%), mostly at Columbia.


Trying not to be Debbie Downer, in my unlearned opinion, anything over 25% is a danger zone for future success.    Everyone's bad boy, Dave Kingman, was a strikeout king in his day, yet fanned just 24.4% of his plate appearances. And that rate was tolerable when he was hitting 500+ foot HRs. 

And it gets tougher in the majors...Eric Soup Campbell struck out only 14.4% of the time in AAA, but a far higher 23% in the big leagues.

In fairness, some guys like Medina and Lindsay are young for their level, which no doubt helps to spike the K rate.

One guy typically on the list each year has improved and is not on it, but deserves special mention: AAA Super Slugger Travis Taijeron has fanned just 41 of 172 plate appearances in 2017 (23.8%), far better than in 2016.  I'd like to see him get that down to 20%, a level at which I believe his chances for major league playing time go up. (Unfortunately, right after I wrote this, he fanned 8 times in 3 games, so 20% may be unreachable).

As a final note, at the other end of the strikeout spectrum, Pat Mazeika fans only about 9% of the time, Gavin Cecchini sits at around 12%, and career-wise, the just-called-up righty Tyler Pill comes in at a smidgeon under 10%, incredible for a pitcher.

Low whiffs are a key to future whiffs of big league success.




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Mack's Morning Report - Terry Collins, Promotion Time, Sam Carlson

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Good morning.


Terry Collins

We on Mack’s Mets have been telling you for quite a while that Terry Collins does not pull the shots on this team. 

We’ve especially singled out the issue of filling out the lineup cards and pointing out that the decisions who plays where and when have come from the troika of John Ricco (Sr. VP of Baseball Operations), Sandy Alderson (GM) and J.P. Ricciardi (Special Assistant to Alderson).

Now, even more is coming to light and Collins might be being axed out of being involved in the reporting of injuries to the press.  See this story

Maybe Collins and Sean Spicer can get an apartment together and tell each other all the things they are being kept in the dark about.



Betsy Helfand‏  @betsyhelfand -  LHP Dave Roseboom hurt his foot during a game in RR. Was placed on DL yesterday. Lopez said he was "probably going to be out for a while."



Promotion Time –

            We’re getting close to June 1st (no, I’m not talking ‘Super 2’) so promotions within the pipeline should start to begin soon.

There’s no absolute science here. 10 starts is the norm for a starter to earn an extra stripe, but some have risen far before that and many definitely far later. Half the batters rise when there is an injury while there just doesn’t seem to be any predictable pattern with relievers.

            Other factors are age and team needs.

            Here’s my thoughts on some of the guys that should be moving soon –

SP P.J. Conlon – Conlon has a 3.02-ERA/1.04-WHIP after nine starts in Binghamton and we all know that the current Las Vegas rotation is from hunger. Corey Oswalt is probably not far behind Conlon, but he’ll be the first to go.

RP Tim Peterson -  Is there something wrong with this guy that I don’t know about? He’s pitching 1.23/0.61 for the Romper Roomies and he’s dying of old age at 26. I mean, we screw up every other reliever we have by sending them to Nevada, why not Peterson? The only downside would be that he only has 13 appearances so far.

SS Luis Guillorme – let’s stay in New York State… eventually SS Amed Rosario is going to be promoted from Las Vegas to Queens. Guillorme will then fill that open slot with the 51’s. This also will allow JC Rodriguez to move from St. Lucie to Binghamton and give Cody Woodmansee more shortstop time in Florida.

SP Andrew Church – Some starter is going to have to move up soon from St. Lucie to Binghamton. Marcos Molina and Chris Flexen just returned to the Lucy rotation and there will be two gems (which we’ll talk about more later) heading there soon from Columbia. There’s been starters with better mid-season stats (9-starts, 3.81, 1.33), but he has pitched better since an ERA high of 5.10 on May 4th. We can slip nicely into Conlon’s open slot in Binghamton.

RP John Magliozzi – Magliozzi has earned a promotion into the open slot that will come open in the Binghamton pen when Peterson is promoted to Vegas. His stat line so far this season for St. Lucie is 16-appearances, 3-1, 2.77, 0.96, 26-IP, 21-K, 5-BB. Like Peterson, the only reason that could hold him back is the number of appearances so far, but the Vegas pen is failing and the best at each level needs to step up.

3B Jhoan Urena –  Here’s your first tough decision. It’s obvious that Urena has earned the promotion… 171-AB, .333/.386/.719. The 22-year old ex-prospect has been around for a while and has fought through injuries and slumps to get back on the horse. Now all he has to do is push David Thompson to the Binghamton bench while he once again becomes the favorite someday to replace David Wright on third in Queens.

C-1B Patrick Mazeika – You just can’t put a lasso on these Stetson boys, can you? Mazeika is making quite a name for himself in Florida, hitting .325 for St. Lucie. His 3-year pro totals are .328/.425/.485/.910, but his slugging percentage this season has gone from .402 to .532 and his OPS has risen from .816 to .937 (2016 Columbia to 2017 St. Lucie). The real interesting thing is his moving to first base after the injury to Peter Alonso. Where do you play him in Binghamton? First base and return Matt Oberste to a DH? Tomas Nido who has been hitting better lately? Nice problem.

SP Merandy Gonzalez – The 21-year old Gonzalez has been amazing: 8-GS, 6-1, 1.75, 0.84, 51.1-IP, 46-K, 9-BB. My guess is 10 starts will still be needed to move him along with his buddy in the next paragraph. Gonzales needs a couple more years to mature (keep him away from Vegas!!!) and we may just have a buddy back end starter here!

SP Jordan Humphreys – Gonzalez may be a buddy back end but Humphreys looks like a front-ender. His 8-start stats are spot on: 7-1, 1.57, 0.70, 51.2-IP, 65-K. I really believe in his guy. So much that I have moved him to the #2 position on my prospect list.


Sam Carlson

We’re 14 days away from the first round of the 2017 baseball draft and various mock pundits have been posting the name Sam Carlson as the player that the Mets will chose in the draft.

Carlson is a 6-4 Burnsville HS (MN) LHSP that will most probably not be picked by the 19 teams that will pick ahead of the Mets. His fastball sits 94-96 and was clocked recently at 99. Do you have any idea what a 99 mph fastball from a lefty looks like when you standing in the box?

His three-pitch repertoire includes a 75-curve and a chang-eup, but it’s the fastball that has attracted scouts to his Burnsville starts.

Keith Law has him as the 15th top prospect in the draft

Tuck his name away with the others I have given you. We may be writing more about him come June 12th.

Follow Up

           Hudson Belinsky‏ - @hudsonbelinsky  -  I'll take a few draft questions here now. Be warned: I will shamelessly plug @BaseballAmerica articles in responses.

Mack‏ - @JohnMackinAde - Hudson, how far do you think Seth Romero is going to fall?

Hudson Belinsky‏ - Biggest question mark in the first round. I think Romero will still be a high pick.  
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5/28/17

ROSTER MOVES - Binghamton

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Please note the following transactions involving the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.

May 28:
  • RHP Casey Delgado placed on Disabled List, retroactive to May 27
  • RHP Mickey Jannis activated from Disabled List

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DAVID RUBIN: THAT'S ALL I CAN STANDS...I CAN'T STANDS NO MORE!!!!!!

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Happy Sunday, folks. 

Happy except for that game we call Mets' baseball. 

In 1979 I EXPECTED to lose most games- the team stunk and was drifting way past meaninglessness. This, however, was NOT a season where anyone thought this would be repeated- and that's what injuries, a tight player development budget and bad game-management can do to a team! 

I know it was Terry Collins' birthday on Saturday, but if the team REALLY liked him they would fire him now, pay him what he's owed and let him leave the rubble behind (much of it caused by his own hand, of course!) Let David Wright forget about trying to come back to the team on the field, unless he is going to be interested in being the teams' next manager!! 

At this point, if a change of some sort isn't made, that old Wilponzie--logic will come back - there will be less fans buying tickets, and far less showing up for tickets already purchased, which means a great decrease in sales of food, merchandise and parking dollars. It also means severe decreases in ratings, which right about now is the ONLY thing the Mets can still claim to hold over the head of the cross-town Yankees. That loss in revenue will mean that the Wilpons, in spite of losing over $60 million in payroll coming off the books after this season, will claim poverty once more, and sell the fan-base a barrel of garbage once more wherein they declare that they were right in the first place and without the increased revenue streams produced by attendance, purchases and ratings they could not possibly spend any of the $$ coming off of the books back on the team. 

Then they will promote the fact that some great young players are about to take over key spots on the roster, as per their plan, and that once the team becomes competitive again they will go right back to spending the big bucks (which they don't have) once again. It all serves merely to indict one Bud Selig, the former Commissioner and, shockingly (not shockingly) Hall-of-Famer, who practiced cronyism in letting his good buddy, Fred Wilponzie, keep the team while not solving the A's ballpark/territorial issues but putting in place a new ownership team in Los Angeles who proceeded to spend over a billion dollars so far to create a long-term, contending ballclub. 

Bitter? You're DARN RIGHT I am bitter. And so should every one of us reading this post today, especially those who are over 50 like me, and yet another year further away from 1986- that very same year that Jeff Wilpon would like us all to forget because HE had nothing to do with the team (but, like today, he still wears diapers to protect his clothing from his regularly scheduled hissy-fits!) Sadly, after years of believing in Sandy's "grand plan",  the reality is that, no matter how well-planned it was, you cannot contend with injuries and the heavily-overbid foreign market without having sufficient funds to see the team through the tougher times,like the ones we are currently facing. It's a fool's errand to blame Sandy for that; in fact, in spite of his HORRIBLE game-management, Terry DID  once take us to the World Series (although let's not discuss how he helped lose that for us, too!) 

I can only hope that one of 2 things will happen- either Sandy will get too fed up and an entirely new front office will be put in place, including all medical staff/procedures, management, marketing, etc while Sandy simply oversees the transition and then retires to spend his days (well-earned) with family; or, two, the Wilpons will completely blow up the team, as they are in the process of doing, and then there will be no choice but to have MLB put them onto the market and sell them to the highest bidder. Either way, be prepared for more turmoil, more tsures, more teeth-grinding, more tenacious tirades and, sadly, less victories!!! How long is it until football season?

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend- for this one, for the first time since I am about 4 years of age, I won't be watching baseball for the next two days. Hmmmm...I live in Southern California- what, oh what, is there to do out here??????????
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TOM BRENNAN- MINORS SPOTLIGHT: MET SLUGGERS

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TOM BRENNAN - MINORS SPOTLIGHT: MET SLUGGERS


There really are precious few sluggers in the Mets' system.

Who are our

2 good young'uns: Dash Winningham & David Thompson.

Dash should change his name to Smash, Mash or Bash.


The 21 year old, a 6'2", 225 lb. first baseman that bigger Tim Tebow might refer to as Tiny, is now in Columbia.  

Dash has knocked in 180 runs in 1,041 at bats, with 66 doubles and 33 homers.  While he is just a career .242 hitter so far, those power numbers truly stand out.

The good thing for him is, at 21, he has ample time to strengthen his batting average and perhaps even add further power.  Another good thing is that his strikeout rate is reasonable, at 241 so far in 280 games.

David Thompson - like Smash err I mean Dash Winningham, Thompson loves RBIs.  137 of them in 778 at bats is impressive indeed.  He started slow in AA year, hitting an anemic .171 as late as April 29, but has cranked it at a .320 pace since then.  He certainly is a future Mets 3B candidate.  He is ERRORLESS in 35 games at 3rd in 2017, very impressive (compare to Jhoan Urena below).


Mike Paez - a diminutive power hitting SS drafted in the 4th round 2016, the red hot Paez was hitting .292 through Monday with 5 homers and 14 other extra base hits in just 38 games.  He has hit .325 since he filed his taxes on April 15.  He also sports a nifty .381 on base % this season.


Mike is definitely one to watch.





Pat Mazeika - heck, man, I have written about this lefty career .330 hitter with the explosive bat before I learned to spell his name correctly, and I have written about him afterwards too.  I may start spelling his name Pat Amazing.  Pat is having an MVP year for St Lucie.

Jhoan Urena - one level down from Thompson, the 22 year old Urena is hitting robustly in St Lucie (.337/.432/.491), but his highly error prone ways continue, with 12 errors at 3B this year in 30 games, and a mind-blowing 105 in 350 games at the hot corner in his career.  A switch to 1B (which he has played) or the outfield (which he has not) may be in order.

Travis Taijeron - ol' reliable is putting up strong numbers again for Vegas (.304/.400/.569 in 43 games).  His 41 Ks is a distinct improvement, and he has done it mostly against righty pitchers.  I still see a career in the bigs for him primarily against lefties, against which he is a fierce hitter with a lower strikeout rate.  317 career extra base hits in just 2,333 at bats (1 every 7.3 ABs) is very impressive.


Those are your boppers in the minors, people.  Hopefully a few will make a Conforto-like impact.  Because we love Mike.

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5/27/17

RIP Gregg

3 comments


Died at his home here in Savannah, Georgia
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ROSTER MOVE - Seth Lugo

2 comments


Please note the following transaction involving the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.

May 27:
  • RHP Seth Lugo assigned to Binghamton (AA) on Major League rehab
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Tom Brennan - MINORS STARTERS TO PROMOTE

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Tom Brennan - MINORS STARTERS TO PROMOTE

The Mets struggle with their major league pitching quality.

Many starters in the top 3 minor league levels are journeymen. Heck, Vegas was pressed into starting Beck Wheeler after promoting Tyler Pill to Queens.  Beck's results were far from pretty.

So why not be aggressive in promoting superior young, exciting performers?  Pitchers are fragile, don't waste their bullets in the minors, I always say.

Here are several I would promote immediately, or very soon, if not sooner, because the Mets will anyway, sooner or later:


AA to AAA:

PJ Conlon - already pitching in AA after not much more than 1 brilliant season in the minors, Conlon hit a bit of headwinds in starts on April 20 and May 18, giving up 5 runs in 3.1 IP in the first, and 5 in 6 innings in the latter.  How would he respond after each?  

He responded BIG TIME.  Two 7 inning shutout starts in which he allowed a total of 4 hits and a walk.  He is not a power pitcher, but has still managed to fan 48 in 53 IP through Thursday, going 5-2, 3.02, making him 17-5, 1.86 in his career.    Good golly, Miss Molly.

My take?  He is ready for AAA - right now.  Hand him his plane tickets, please.

Corey Oswalt: having struggled a few times with injuries since becoming a Met minors pitcher in 2012, he has had 8 healthy starts in 2017.  So how does a healthy Oswalt pitch?  Like Roy Oswalt.   

Corey has gone 4-3, 2.25 with 41 Ks in 48 IP.  He may warrant a bit more time in AA, to show this fine pitching is indeed the real deal, but the 23 year old 6'5" righty (a fine 29-16 in his career) should be singing Viva Las Vegas soon.



High A to AA:

Marcos Molina: the highly regarded 22 year old is back from TJS and has pitched well in 2 outings.  If he can build upon that in his next 2 or 3 starts, I'd send him up to AA and challenge him. He'll meet that challenge.

Nabil Crismatt: already having one fine AA start under his belt last season, Crismatt's last 4 starts have been brilliant: 26 IP, 1 earned run, 30 Ks.  

The 22 year old righty sure seems ready for more Binghamton cooking.  Promote him before he embarrasses any more FSL teams.

Chris Flexen - after a very solid 10-9, 3.56 season for St Lucie in 2016, he needed knee surgery this spring, the Tommy John survivor from prior to 2016 has pitched well in two outings so far in 2017.  What I said about Molina applies to him: a few more tune ups and send him to AA.



A to High A:

Chris Humphreys: pitching like an elite stud, 7-1 and striking out the world, he is wasting his time at this level.  Promote him immediately.

Merandy Gonzalez: the only difference between Humphreys and Gonzalez is that Chris fans more than Merandy.   And he is only 6-1.  Promote him immediately.  

These two Fireflies studs are 13-2, and both have ERAs slight above a run and a half per game.  Move on up!!

And that's just the starters.  Some relievers are ready to move up too.  An article for another day.
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