Talkin’ Baseball – Moving Forward


Good morning.

This week’s question…

This week has been a mess for the Mets. We don’t have to go into specifics here, but the fact remains that poor pitching and key injuries makes it real hard to believe that this team is heading to the Promise Land this season. Add to this the fact that Washington seems uncatchable.

The question is simple…

Gavin Cecchini, who is projected to be the future Mets second baseman, was recalled this week.

If you were Sandy, would you begin the process NOW, slowly or not, of building your 2018 team via trades, reassignments, and releases?
And if you would, what are some of the things you would do?

Richard Herr says –

           Mack, it looks like you asked your question about a week ago, when the Mets were staggering. Now we're giving our answers when they're on an upsurge. The attitude has changed. It's way too early in the season to throw in the towel. Halfway mark? Maybe, but only if the team really sucks. If they're hanging around .500, it's too early then.

But the question is a good one that brings out the fact that the Mets are busting at the seams with young players who need to play. At this moment there's no way T.J. should sit. Nimmo and Cecchini need to be looked at in major league competition. Granted, some of them probably will play given the Mets' hideous record on injuries.  We also have to see if the older players can hold up. Jose and Grandy  are still on the Interstate with their batting averages. We can't wait much longer for them to come round.

Let's keep a firm grip on that towel, but not throw it in yet. Also, keep looking for a trade that might be out there that could benefit both sides.  

Tom Brennan says –

           I think how they handle personnel will be completely contingent and dependent upon how they sit in the wild card rankings.  Get a Wild Card and the World Series can be yours.  The nationals are starting to feel like the Mets 1986…seems like the division title is an extreme long-shot already.

So with the Wild Card a real possibility, I would proceed slowly. With the infield (assuming Duda returns in the next few days) already having him, Flores, Walker, Rivera and Reyes, the Mets have had a lot worse.  Cecchini can tide them over until Cabrera returns so that Rosario passes his mid-June Super 2 date.

Of course, it the wheels begin to fall off, Rosario could be rushed up.
Let’s hope Harvey is shamed into pitching with fire and a chip on his shoulder so that he could make a good trade value at the deadline.

Casey Wentworth –

           That is a superb question to ask.

Personally, I did not see all this 2017 new mess coming. The Mets had seven or eight possible good and young starters to begin the season, minus Stephen Matz. So no, I didn't see this nightmare with the starting pitching for 2017 happening again. I felt like the Mets had it covered. But we missed Big Bart. He was a "glue guy" here evidently. The Uncle.

In the field and batting wise. Too many NY Mets started out slowly and was allowed to start every game. Now a couple are coming on stronger. This team isn't a great batting lineup. It lacked a leadoff batter from the get-go in 2017. Michael Conforto and Jay Bruce have been stellar. Keeping Bruce a NY Met as been very important thus far to this lineup.

The Gavin Cecchini move is the right move. This team lacks one more major sparkplug type player. I think Gavin could be that. Plus, Brandon Nimmo has been leading off down at Vegas lately and doing well.

The Mets would lose (very little) by moving Plawecki, Lagares, and Flores soon via trade. They need a starting catcher here still and they have no catcher down in either AAA or AA that can right now assume this role.

At the AAA level, I like McGowan, Smith, Rosario, Nimmo, and Taijeron. I could see all getting a shot here if the Mets do not very soon cement their consistency of play to an acceptable level. There is no reason to have seven out of eight starting fielders acquired via trades and free agency from other teams, and be losing the way this team has thus far in 2017. So yeah, I would absolutely bring up the best AAA NY Mets players, when ready for such a promotion, and then trade the veteran players here not playing well thus far. Sometimes it is the hunger and not so much the talent. These older vets are not hungry enough anymore I do not believe. There appears to be very sense of urgency to win ball games here.

I do blame the manager too, as well as this GM's failure to draft better players to restock their own MiLB system. It's unacceptable.

Because of the frailness of this 2017 NY Mets baseball team, meaning the amount of injuries sustained per season, Mets brass may need to be now looking at any possible player promotions from within their AAA and AA teams to the next level.

AAA: McGowan, Taijeron, Nimmo next batch maybe. Nimmo leads off and plays with high energy.

AA: PJ Conlon to AAA Vegas.

Maybe lose: Lagares, Flores, Plawecki via trades soon.

Overall, the Mets could use perhaps one more real homerun batter added into their offense. But is that guy within their own top two levels of their MiLB system?

Here's a desirable lineup:

1B Bruce 2B Cecchini SS Cabrera 3B Walker LF Cespedes CF Nimmo RF Conforto C Tom Murphy via trade (anyone else out there)

SP: deGrom, Wheeler, Gsellman (nice outing of late), Robles, Mateo (or someone else from within their system) This until Noah and Stephen get back. Trade Harvey.

RP: AQdd in maybe Kevin McGowan to assume Hansel Robles' spot.

Reese Kaplan says –

           From the resident doom & gloom voice, you might be surprised to hear me say that I don't think the time is right yet to throw in the towel.  Pitching, like hitting, goes into slumps.  It will self-correct among the healthy arms. 

However, when the trade deadline is approaching you need to reevaluate and decide just how realistic your chances are for a postseason berth.  If it indeed appears you're jousting at windmills, then it is time to let the 2018 crew get their feet wet in a non-pressure situation.  However, that approach will be for naught if the manager is retained as he has shown utter disdain for rookie ballplayers.  What would be the point of promoting a slew of people from AAA only to have them sit on the bench or be put in to hit 8th with no protection in the lineup?  Since your team moving forward is going to be more youth-oriented, you need to accompany it with a leader who is more attuned to and adept at working with younger players. 

As to who should go -- that list is pretty long.  Start with Curtis Granderson (as if anyone would take him), Neil Walker and Lucas Duda.  Since Jay Bruce has demonstrated he can perform in New York it may be worth exploring an extension while you have exclusive negotiating rights to him.  Add Juan Lagares to the list of trade bait. 

On the pitching side I would certainly entertain offers for Matt Harvey, but that's a classic sell-low situation until he proves himself worthy of pitching like, well, Matt Harvey.  I also might entertain an offer for Addison Reed (surprisingly) since he earns more than Familia and will only get more expensive. (Of course, I wrote that before the news that Familia could undergo surgery was announced.)

Christopher Soto says –

           Absolutely not! People forget that each League has 2 wild Card spots and presently….the Mets are only 3 GB the Dodgers/Diamondbacks for 1 of the Wild Card spots.

The team needs to continue their hot hitting and the pitching needs to get their act together and perform the way they are supposed to for as long as they can until reinforcements arrive.  In 3 weeks we could conceivably get Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Cespedes, Duda, Cabby, and d’Arnaud all back from the DL in addition to a possible Amed Rosario promotion.

It’s time for the team to bear down and do everything possible to stay near .500. If they can do that, the team will be in good shape heading into the summer.



Dave Schulps said...

Wow! What a juggernaut the Nats are. Five and a half games up on a decimated Mets team entering mid-September -- oh, sorry, I mean mid-May. Why play the rest of the season at all, since the Nats are immune from major injuries and can't possibly go cold for a stretch? They don't call Stephen Strasburg "Iron Man" for nuthin', you know. And the Mets, no way any of those pitchers will ever turn things around, or come off the DL. And well, like EVERYONE's injured. I mean, it's a legitimate excuse for being 10 games under .500 already. Oh wait, they're one game under .500. How the heck did that happen? If only they had someone waiting in the wings that they might bring up who could maybe give them the kind of boost Trea Turner gave the World Champion Nats last year. No one like that in this organization though. Too bad. Stick a fork in us. Trade everyone with no value for some great players. Fire the manager. All is lost.

Thomas Brennan said...

Remarkably the team rebound was underway...losing Familia for perhaps he entire season will, though, make a Division or Wild Card a whole lot harder than it was starting to look heading into the 9th on Wednesday leading 3-2 and on the verge of making it 9 wins in 12 games.

Of course, the Nats could catch Mets Flu too and start having players drop left and right.

Mack Ade said...

Dave -

Good answer...

Reese Kaplan said...

Our best hope is that Dusty Baker does what he's done in the past -- ruin pitchers. Maybe he should look at some footage of Terry Collins as a refresher course on how to do that.

holmer said...

Dave, that is the greatest response I've ever read on a Mets blog. The sky is always falling in New York and it does drive me nuts. I would have written something along those lines but, unfortunately, I lack the literary/sardonic skill you seem to possess. Great job!

Dave Schulps said...

Thanks, Mack and Holmer, and let's hope you're right, Reese. The loss of Familia is pretty devastating, but not necessarily the nail in the coffin. Maybe someone (Sewald? Robles?) steps up. Maybe a Baldonado continues to blow away hitters in Vegas and turns out to be the real deal. He's 24, so he can't be so raw that they can't prote him one more level. Let's keep it together and Let's Go Mets!

Mack Ade said...

Dave -

I go back and forth on this one... my heart wants to believe that the Metscan rise above this for 2017, but the math isn't there.

We'll see.

We'll get back two pieces... Cabrera and Duda... tonight or over the weekend.

It seems to be that, with Familia down and Lugo and Matz still around a month away, you need your starters to finish 7 innings.

Dave Schulps said...

Could not agree with that last assessment more. It is really the key to success if they're going to compete from here on in, but it's not exactly an impossible dream.

Mack's Mets © 2012