ROSTER MOVE - Columbia

Please note the following New York Mets minor league transactions.

Effective Friday, June 30, 2017

                - INF Colby Woodmansee transferred to Columbia from the GCL Mets

Reese Kaplan -- Blow It Up And Start Over

For most contending teams the revenue generated by ticket sales primarily takes place as the season begins with only the nosebleed seats generally available on game day.  Towards that end, putting fannies in the seats is not as important at this time of the year as is ancillary revenue that results from TV ratings, merchandise sales and the perception that your team is not only going to contend in the near future but also a desirable place at which to go to work. 

On the latter part, the Mets are probably not doing as much as they can.  Think about it.  If you are a free agent right now and say the Houston Astros and New York Mets made equal offers to you, where would you go?  The club did nothing to improve itself over last year, they have a reputation for being penny pinchers (or as least spending their money oddly), their manager can’t get out of his own way, and just when they were poised to take over the city they let the Yankees beat them at their own game yet again. 

Cries for a new ownership always fall upon deaf ears as it’s unlikely the Wilpons are interested in conceding defeat.  Cries for a new front office won't happen unless Sandy Alderson chooses to retire since he will take credit for bringing them to the World Series in 2015 and the post season in 2016.  Cries for a new manager may possibly finally be heard, with a scintilla of hope for change in the off-season, though it’s still going to be a painful July through September. 

So what can be done between now and the bitter end to generate some interest in the ball club and to evaluate players for the future?

  • Trade away the folks who for sure won’t be here next year – Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda and Jose Reyes.  Take whatever you can get by paying a portion of the salaries of the first two.  Think lower level prospects with high upside (like when you picked up Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard).
  • Play Wilmer Flores every day at a set position.  See what happens.
  • Ditto T.J. Rivera.
  • Promote Dom Smith and let him play 1B every day except against the toughest lefties (and that means Clayton Kershaw, not any shlub who happens to face 1B when winding up).. 
  • Promote Amed Rosario to play shortstop every day (and batting leadoff, not 8th).
  • Promote Kevin Plawecki to play 1B against tough lefties and catch occasionally.  See if he’s finally learned to hit or if you have to start with a blank sheet of paper at catcher.
  • Pitch Rafael Montero until he finally convinces you he either has it or he doesn’t have it.
  • Ditto Robert Gsellman (when healthy).
  • Ditto Seth Lugo.
  • Move Paul Sewald into the 8th inning reliever role and if you do wind up trading Addison Reed, let him be your closer until Jeurys Familia returns.
  • Hold onto Jay Bruce until the 11th hour and see if you can hold up another team for more than a Dilson Herrera type.  You want an organization's top 5 prospect.
  • Ditto Addison Reed.  Same level of prospect here.
  • If you do wind up trading Bruce, then play Brandon Nimmo (and when he recovers) Juan Lagares in a platoon.  See what you have.
  • Offer the $2 million you would have to pay to decline Adrubal Cabrera’s option as an incentive to get something for him in return.  I'd go for more AA or lower types.
  • Replace Fernando Salas in the pen with Tyler Pill or Kyle Regnault.  Neither can possibly be worse.
  • Learn to play small ball.  With Duda, Granderson , Cabrera and possibly Bruce gone, you can no longer rely on the all-or-nothing approach.
  • Pray for a miraculous recovery of Neil Walker by July 15th so he has 2 weeks to showcase himself for yet another trade opportunity.  Be prepared to kick in a lot of salary as he’s overpaid.  Get more farm system enhancements.  
Will this type of team be better than the one you have now?  Probably not…but it will at least be more interesting to watch and may move some of those unsold nosebleed tickets while generating higher TV ratings as people will be curious about the new blood finally getting a chance to play. What’s the worst that could happen – they’d play sub-.500 ball?  Take a look at the record now WITH Granderson, Bruce, Reed, Reyes, Cabrera and Walker.  What’s the absolute worst?  You battle the Phillies for the number one draft choice?  That’s a better consolation prize for 2017 than looking up at the Marlins and Nationals while treading deep water.   Besides, you will have something on the order of $85 million to play with during the next off-season.

Talkin' Baseball - Cespedes to the DL?

Good morning.

Here’s today’s question -

Here's a simple question with a possible complicated answer...

We all know that Yoenes Cespedes is playing every day with a bum leg.

We also know that the Mets are reported to have thrown in the towel and are now on the phones wheeling and dealing their expiring contracts.

Question:  Wouldn't this be a good time to shut down, for a while, Cespedes, put him on the DL and call up a possible trade chip like Victor Cruzado?

            Reese Kaplan says –

Right now, it's time to showcase the possible trade candidates.  That means you need Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson to play as much as possible.  With Michael Conforto coming back with a good series, there's ample opportunity to rest Yoenis Cespedes without trying to shoehorn Victor Cruzado into the lineup.  I'm not quite sure what the fascination with him is.  Brandon Nimmo who is a polarizing figure among fans – a future player, a bust of a draft pick or somewhere in between -- actually has more impressive numbers than does Cruzado and he got a late start playing organized baseball.

Tom Brennan said –

In full respect to Hobie, it is too soon to call up Cruzado.  Why they played him sparingly in AAA earlier this year is beyond me. Another 100 at bats early in the season would've been extremely helpful.
 Cespedes is hitting, with a slug % over .600.  Play him carefully.  But                play him.  Sit Wright instead...oh yeah, he already is sitting.
I would not pass up trades if the  right ones were to materialize. But, just like the Mets have endured numerous injuries, it could be the nationals' turn next. So, it just seems a bit premature to throw in the towel altogether.

Michael Maar said -       
At this point at the end of June, even though I agree it's appropriate for the Mets to put the "open for business" shingle out there, I don't think it's yet time to actually act on player moves that would constitute throwing in the towel.  Just start the conversations with other GMs, but don't yet shut the door on that once-in-every-decade miraculous run.  There's still good talent on the roster.  Don't pack it in yet and make a move like shutting down Cespedes or acting on any trades until we get to the second half of July in the same or worse situation in the standings.

Richard Herr said –

            There's several issues involved here. Let's handle them one at a time.
The Mets should be talking to everyone about trading for their expiring contracts.  Expiring contracts, as in the older players who are going to walk after this year.  They should be talking about Grandy, Bruce, Duda, Walker, Cabrera, Reyes, Salas, etc.  The trades should happen ASAP so we can sooner bring in the players we get from the other teams. However, I don't think that will happen. Sandy has a history of waiting-to-blink standoffs with other GMs to try to get the best value.
Other people, like Cruzado, are in a different category i.e. possible trading chip.  We should also explore those.  They include Cecchini, Nimmo, Lagares, TJ Rivera, Flores, Plawecki, d'Arnaud, etc. These are guys we want to plain, old trade; move them to get a piece of equal value that better fills a need on the ballclub.

Then we come to the issue of Cespedes' injury. Obviously he's still injured. None of us knows what the doctors' report is on his injury, but it appears we're in a very screwed up situation here. We also don't know what management's plan is, but I think management may be of the same mind. I think, since we're throwing in the towel on this season, send Cespedes off to properly heal with the knowledge that he's not going to do some more dumb-assed training that goes against the requirements of his occupation.

LOCK ON THE MONTH BET. Cabrera won't be traded in June. It will only be some time after his July 1 doll promotion night. (I'm writing this on the 26th, and I think it'll be posted on the 30th. However, I'm sure Mack will pass this hot tip on to all of his wagering friends.)

David Rubin says –

           I think that this is a much more complicated issue then it first appears to be.

In a "perfect" world, Cespedes would be riding the pine, healing, rehabbing, and working on strengthening his legs so that he doesn't have additional recurrences of the same injuries (and, by "strengthening" I do NOT mean going back to Barwis' methods) and come back when, and ONLY when, he is really feeling close to 100%. That, in and of itself, isn't realistic because over a 162 game, 7 month season (not including Spring Training nor play-offs) the body is going to feel less than 100% more than half the time. A baseball season is not one of homeostasis; injuries occur, major and minor, all throughout the season, enhanced and accelerated by things like travel, sleeping in various beds, diet changes and issues, daily wear and tear and emotional issues caused by both the length of the season as well as being away from the comforts and regularity of home. So what IS "normal" for Cespedes? Does he know what that feels like, as he's had minor injuries repeatedly throughout his major league career so far? He seems like he always wants to be on the field, and that's to be admired, but the team doesn't need "heroes" - it needs players who can stay on the field as regularly as possible, or, in essence, it needs to attempt to work towards the aforementioned homeostasis that will never arrive.

The second component to this question is what any extended absence means to the financial well-being of the organization. I know that i feel 1000% better, as a fan, when Cespedes is in the line-up, whether we are 10 games back or 1 game back.  He's exciting, he's a game-changer, and since he came up with the A's I was raving and ranting as to why a team in New York couldn't "afford" to bring in a talent like him as opposed to the stadium-imposed small market status of the team in Oakland!!!!! When we acquired Cespedes, I reluctantly purchased 2 t-shirts but wouldn't commit to a jersey, as my "retired players pile" of t-shirts and jerseys lately seems to outweigh my current pile. This off-season, I broke down and finally got his jersey, more t-shirts, and have since purchased 3 bobbleheads. What does this mean to the Wilpons??? MONEY - MONEY - MONEY!!!!!!!! With Noah "Thor" Syndergaard out for the majority of the season, the Mets' other main source of merchandising income, things like attendance (home and road) and merchandise sales tend to trend down drastically when stars aren't playing. I was recently at an Angels game, a give-away, "Christmas in June," and on a Friday night the stadium had maybe 28,000 fans in attendance (far less than the announced crowd of 38.000+.) At most Angels games I've been to (about 20 per year) Trout merchandise FLIES out of the 2 gift shops and the various portable stands. There are usually lines full of fans waiting to lay down some cash for Mike's t-shirts, hats, jerseys, bobbleheads, etc...and yet, on this Friday summer night, there were no merchandise lines and the fans stayed away due to Trout's injury. I can GUARANTEE you that, had he been playing, there would've been another 10,000 people in the stands, at the very least, and those stores would have needed restocking ASAP!

Considering the self-imposed financial situation the Wilponzi's have created, losing Cespedes' from the line-up for any reason means less $$$$$$$$$ in their pockets and at this point in time, coming off of 2 very relevant seasons, it's something that they just cannot come back from readily. This offseason there will be 7 players and over $60 million coming off the books; it would be nice (trying not to veer too much into fantasy-land here) for the team to put at LEAST that much back into the team, but with a sparse free agent market until after the 2018 season, we know it's not going to happen. Therefore, maximizing their revenue every game has to remain their number one priority and that means playing Cespedes, even at a health level of 80% would be, from THEIR standpoint, the way they want to move forward.

Look- I have been a RAVING METS FAN for nearly 50 years- I am going to follow this team religiously come heck and high water, happy, sad, mad or emotionally devastated. The difference between what I WANT (a fully healthy Cespedes, even though it's very hard to watch without him in the line-up) versus what the Wilpons want (Cespedes and all stars in there each and every day) is that I am not directly paying their bills, even though my merchandise and ticket purchases from over 3,000 miles away number in the thousands of dollars every year. Therefore, if Cespedes can walk recently well, he's going to be in the line-up. Terry wants to keep his job as long as he can; Sandy wants to work at keeping the organization together through the most extreme set of circumstances over the past 7 years one could imagine; the Wilponzi's want $$$$$$ - and that, in the end, trumps whatever it is that we think may be the RIGHT thing to do. Right, Ryan Church??????
Oh- and one more thing- Cruzado isn't the answer right now. We need to see Nimmo in the lineup if Cespedes is out; we need to see Conforto get an extended look in CF no matter who else is in the lineup; and we need, at this point, to get Grandy into the lineup while he's hot, even if it means moving Bruce to 1B in a rotation and moving Flores between second and third to keep his red-hot bat in the line-up daily, too. We have enough moving parts already in the bigs without needing to add to it, UNLESS we're talking about AMED ROSARIO- and THAT is a story for a DIFFERENT DAY!!!!!



For those of you either with short memories, short on knowledge, short on cash, or just plain short, short season ball in the Mets organization includes the following:
  1. Brooklyn Cyclones - most advanced; generally older
  2. Kingsport Mets - not as advanced; generally younger
  3. GCL Mets - guppies; youngsters getting their fins wet
There are also two developmental teams (DSL 1 and DSL 2), the super-young players of each of which being somewhere between guppies and amoebas - quite a few of their players were born in the 21st century - and are fledgling trainees excluded from today's treatise.  

I hear diapers are still handed out in DSL clubhouses.   Some of the kids will miss sweet 16 parties, too. (Actually, a few DSL guys are doing well, but I won't write about them until well into their season, to see who is truly rising to the fore).

It's early in the 3 rookie league teams' respective seasons, but let's look for early silver linings and performance:

BROOKLYN (2-6): no silver linings thru the first 8 games through Wednesday.  No breakout performers.  Sorry. 

The team, consistent with the bad hitting Brooklyn squads of 2015 and 2016, was hitting just .198 with just 1 HR. The Nationals' affiliate has 12 homers already.  The 38 walks in 8 games by the hitters is the bright spot, I'm sure Sandy Alderson would say, but walks are not that exciting.  The pitchers have a 5.14 ERA.  Very little play by any 2017 draftee so far, so when they join the team in earnest, maybe it'll pick up.

By my count, only 13 of the 2017 draftees have played so far.

Only 2017 draftees playing in Brooklyn so far are:

3rd Round OF Quinn Brody: 1 for 3, BB

5th round OF Matt Winaker: 0-4

8th round RHP Trey Cobb: 1 scoreless inning, 2 Ks

15th round SS Dylan Snypes: 2-9, 3 BB

18th round 3B Carl Stajduhar: 0-10, 6 K

KINGSPORT (3-2): 3B Rigoberto Terazzas has started out 11 for 20 (.550), so that is exciting.  4 other guys with 17 or more at bats are hitting over .300, but obviously, such early season numbers are poor indicators of future performance. Pwer-wise, RF Anthony Dirochie has 2 homers and an amazing 10 ribbies in 5 games, and C Juan Uriarte also has 2 early homers.

Strong very early pitching performances by Ronald Sanchez, Christian James, and Carlos Hernandez.

Only 2017 draftees playing in Kingsport so far are:

10th round RHP Steve Villines: 1 IP, 3 H, 0 R

21st round LHP Aaron Ford: 1 perfect inning, 2 K

26th round 1B Gavin Garay: 2-11, 1 BB

27th round RHP Billy Oxford: 1 IP, 2 R, 2H, 2 K

28th round 1B Jeremy Vasquez: 2-8, 3 BB

31st round RHP Ryan Selmer: 1 perfect inning, 1 K

33rd round RHP Mac Lozer: 1 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 1K

GULF COAST METS (1-2): Guillermo Granadillo is an early 7 for 14; Anthony Dimino, who was tearing up St Lucie earlier this year before he got hurt, has played a few rehab games there and presumably will resurface with St Lucie shortly.  Also playing there in rehab is 2016 5th round SS Colby Woodmansee and highly regarded 19 year old OF Ricardo Cespedes

2017 draftee (37th round) Joshua Walker tossed 2 perfect innings Wednesday and fanned 2.  Mike Gibbons got roughed up a bit in his first outing since he pitched briefly in his 2015 debut season, presumably another recovering Tommy John victim.

A GCL Mets pitcher named Jaison Vilera pitched 5 perfect innings, fanning 6 on Thursday.  Nice!  Just as nice? In 30 innings in the DSL in 2016, the 6'1", 200 RHP was 4-0, 0.59.

Actually, as one can see, it is a little too early for many short season ball silver clouds to be forming.  I expect to do another update on the rookie teams' silver linings in a few weeks, and may look at and update around this time next week as to which 2017 draftees are playing, for which of the teams, and how they are doing.



Please note the following transactions involving the Binghamton Rumble Ponies

June 29:
  • OF Kevin Taylor placed on Disabled List, retroactive to June 27
  • RHP Chris Flexen activated from Disabled List
       OF Gene Cone transferred to Columbia’s disabled list

                - OF Ian Strom transferred to Columbia from Short Season-A Brooklyn

RELEASED - 3B - Eudor Garcia

I'm reaching out to him in hopes of an interview.

Peter Hyatt - Matt Harvey: Party Central

Early on, he appeared to have gotten the memo:  you are not the Dark Knight and your career may fizzle and he lost about 10lbs of fat. 

This past weekend while rehabbing his dead arm, the NY Post caught him focusing his work on his elbow joint, bending it repeatedly.   

Harvey's love of alcohol is stronger than love of baseball and the NY Post has spotted him running tabs with the boys in the Hamptons rather than the utter dedication to the sport that his talent deserves. 

As a rookie, he burst onto the scene and was immediately beset by media. 

When he opened his mouth, he scared Met executives. 

He did not talk about winning, nor his fast ball, nor New York fans and the potential for World Series;

He spoke about, in this order:




Of course, the interviewer went with it and let him talk.  He was almost childlike in his love for the 3 above with few words thrown in about baseball.  

His parents only showed their own modernist bent:  rather than being the voice of reason, their leftist progressive views reaffirmed their pride in his love for all things alcohol. 

Harvey is a world class athlete which means that the body fat under the chin and around the middle got there by overcoming the stress of vigorous workouts. 

Alcohol, in excess, produces an increase in estrogen in men.  One need only to look back upon last year when the Mets deliberately produced some photos of bloated Harvey for media to understand the message sent to him:  get a grip.  Everyone sees the excess weigh under the chin and around the middle.  When one can weight lift and run and still gain body fat, alcohol is usually the culprit.  It takes a considerable amount of alcohol to overcome the exercising in anyone, but a great deal in an elite professional athlete. 

Harvey has a window of opportunity in life to make a fortune, but it is a small time frame and getting even smaller.  Thus far, he has, since 2013, not taken advantage of it.  He just wants to be Derek Jeter, sans the whole baseball success part.  

Post baseball?

Expect Harvey to be a cartoon version of himself, still living off The Dark Knight persona, perhaps fighting sexually transmitted diseases and undergoing various surgeries to remove fat to maintain vanity, dressed embarrassingly to both hide his weight and look younger.  Think lots of ostentatious jewelry and the open neck shirt with male pattern balding and too much cologne.  Perhaps a pendant with "DK" to distract from the drooping chest.  

A pathetic finish to stunning potential unrealized.  

The Mets must hope to get a few good starts out of him in order to trade him. 

I still think Colorado would still be best for him.  

He is and always has been, Me First and gives a Mea Culpa, weak on Mea, only when forced to by circumstance. 

He is a nightmare employee on a team where there are a few such trouble bringers.  

Coddled from the beginning, Mets brass know that the inability to reign in players is always bad for internal discipline, change must come. 

The Mets are very low on personal responsibility and holding players accountable, but really big on being bullied themselves, via their own weakness.  

With any hope of long term success, a cultural change is needed in Flushing.  

Mack – Your First Look At The 2018 New York Mets

We have to first ‘go back’ to July of 2017, where this whole process began.

July 2017 –

Sandy Alderson is asked to resign as General Manager. He refuses to do so, so the Mets fire him. He then refuses to leave his office and barricades himself into the home bullpen of CitiField. Local police and fireman are called to the scene where he is eventually removed and arrested.

Phil Jackson is hired to replace Alderson as General Manager. His first action as General Manager is to deny Charles Oakley’s access to Mets home games. When reached for comment, Oakley has a perplexed look on his face, stating ‘I’m a Yankees fan’. 

Special Assistant to the General Manager, J.P. Ricciardi resigns in protest and it is decided internally that Senior Vice President, Baseball Operations & 

Assistant General Manager John Ricco will oversee the trading period this month and will oversee the daily operations until Jackson gets up to speed.

David Wright takes offense to both the above actions and announces that he will retire and accept whatever the Mets and their insurance company can work out as a payback. Jackson offers Wright a future position with the team, which he abruptly declines.

Lucas Duda is traded to the New York Yankees for OF prospect Dustin Fowler. Fowler is assigned to AAA-Las Vegas.

Astrubel Cabrera and Addison Reed are traded to the Boston Red Sox for 3B prospect Rafael Devers. Devers is assigned to AAA-Las Vegas

Gavin Cecchini, Travis d’Arnaud, and Matt Reynolds
Fernando Sales, Jose Reyes, and Neil Walker are designated for assignment.

Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce are traded to the LA Dodgers for 2B prospect Willie Calhoun. Calhoun is assigned to AAA-Las Vegas.

Tim Tebow hits .220 in July for St. Lucie, with two home runs and eight runs batted in.

August 2017 –

           Tebow is promoted to AA-Binghamton.

Jackson holds a press conference, slamming his own organization for keeping him out of the loop during the trading processes. He says he is immediately putting Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, and Yoenes Cespedes on the trading market.

           Jackson is fired as General Manager and is replaced with Geraldo Rivera.                He promises to remain out of the limelight, which would be a first in his                    career.

The Mets begin the process of building the new Mets. They promote 1B Dominic Smith, 2B Willie Calhoun, SS Amed Rosario, 3B Rafael Devers, C Kevin Plawecki, and OF Dustin Fowler. All become starters for the remainder of the season.

As for the pitching, emphasis is placed on their health in 2018. Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler never pitch another inning in 2017. 

Matt Harvey is designated for assignment after being caught by The New York Post’s Page Six photographers of him dancing half nude on the top of a table in a Brazilian disco in The Hamptons. A trade is worked out with the Yankees for the best they could get, P Giovanny Gallegos, who is assigned to AAA-Las Vegas. 

The rest of the Mets starters (deGrom, Steven Matz, Jacob Lugo, Rafael Montero, Robert Gsellman) will have strict pitch limitations for the remainder of the year, regardless of score. Gallegos will be the emergency SP6 on call from Vegas.

Tebow hits .220 in August for Binghamton, with two home runs and eight runs batted in.

September –

            Tebow is promoted to AAA-Las Vegas.

            Rivera is fired as General Manager of the Mets. Jay Horwitz is named interim GM for the remainder of the season. He names Adam Rubin as the interim Press Secretary.

            The Mets quietly start fighting out the Philadelphia Phillies for the top pick in the 2018 draft.

            The Mets fire manager Terry Collins, pitching coach Dan Warthen. Bench coach Dick Scott is named interim manager and Las Vegas pitching coach, Frank Viola, is promoted to the Mets pitching coach position.

            Rosters eventually are expanded and key secondary prospects are invited to Queens to get a taste of their future. They include pitchers Marcos Molina, P.J. Conlon, and Corey Oswalt, plus catcher Tomas Nido.

            Tebow is promoted from Binghamton directly to Queens. The Mets brass designate a 5,000 seat portion of their upper deck to be called ‘The Tebow Tribe’. The section is developed to create a healthy competition with the T7L section in left field; however, it turns out to be a basic street fight before the games even start. Tebow and Brandon Nimmo are brought in to quiet things down, especially with the more religious fan base of The Tebow Tribe. It doesn’t work and eventually, both sections are shut down. The negative effect of this, especially the loss of The T7L fans, is devastating. The home attendance drops to less than 10,000 a game as the team passes the Phillies in amount of loses in the season.

            The season ends. For some reason, the Mets win the last three games of the season and wind up with the #2 pick in the 2018 draft. Horwitz is asked to retire and Rubin takes over the Press Secretary on a permanent basis.

            Tebow hits .220 for the Mets in September, with two home runs and eight runs batted in.

Tom Brennan: Silver Linings - Cruzado, Plawecki, Oswalt

The Mets made a smart move earlier this month.  They released fading veteran Desmond Jennings, who had well over 200 mediocre plate appearances, freeing up an outfield slot to allow VICTOR CRUZADO to play everyday. 

 The Cruzer has not disappointed, with 4 RBIs in a comeback win Tuesday night and hitting .323 in about 100 at bats.  He missed April and part of May with an injury, and the 6'1", 210 switch hitter needs to stay healthy to prove that he is a lot better than last year's .261 average at Binghamton.  

He also needs to ramp up his power, as his speed game does not overwhelm, with just 34 of 60 in steals in over 1,800 plate appearances.  Stay healthy over the remaining 65-70 games and prove you should be in the Queens 2018 outfield equation, Cruzer.

KEVIN PLAWECKI - a name well known to Mets fans, Plaw has failed to hit in his at bats with the Mets over the past few years. He was shuffling in Vegas too, but has been on fire of late, pushing him up to .325/.357/.547. Maybe the bad is finally getting to major league quality...time will tell.  Disappointingly, he has gunned down just 3 of 19 would-be base stealers in Vegas, so that alone clouds his future as a MLB catcher, in my opinion.

COREY OSWALT - many pitchers' names come up in Mets minors conversation...Corey not so much.  But his name should be.

He tossed several shutout innings in a 2-0 Tuesday night win and has established himself as the ace of Binghamton's staff.  He stands at 5-3, 2.13 after 12 starts.  Even better, over the last 10 starts, the hard throwing 6'5" righty is a spectacular 5-1, 1.40.  Drafted out of high school in 2012, and injured several times since, the healthy 23 year old is showing that he is not far from getting his shot in Queens.  

He certainly seems promotion-worthy to Vegas now, but maybe they don't want to screw him up, too, by sending him there.  Former teammate Al Baldonado had a 0.00 ERA in 11 outings earlier this year, followed by a 7.52 ERA in 17 Vegas outings.  Vegas is hazardous to a pitcher's health.

CRUZADO, PLAWECKI, OSWALT - 3 silver linings.


Lots of media attention as Tim Tebow made his St Lucie debut....only hitting. .220, when will the circus act end, some said. Well, the big man stepped up even bigger on day 1, going 3 for 5, including a 2 run jack and a walk.  Don't misunderestimate Mr. Tebow, I always say.

Mack’s Morning Report – 6-29 – Selling Short, Astros Want Jacob, Yanks Needs

Good morning.

Selling Short

So, the wait is over. The Mets have put out the white flag and they will attempt to sell off all the players that have their contracts running out at the end of the season, or other players they really don’t want around next year and hope they could find someone to take on the remainder of their contract. The problem with this is, at the same time, all other 29 clubs know exactly what you are attempting to and, frankly, all they want is one of the precious chips you have left in top end of your system worth keeping.

I suggest some ways of going here –

1.     Start the process by putting together your ‘no trade’ list and email it out to all 29 clubs. Let’s not waste any time or energy discussing a possible deal for Jacob deGrom, Michael Conforto, or Amed Rosario. It simply isn’t going to happen.

2.     Don’t expect another team to trade you one of their top prospects that’s ready for the jump to the majors on opening day 2018. Rebuilding takes at least a year (we don’t need another 5-year plan) and the selling off of guys like Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Addison Reed, and Lucas Duda could get us a really good AA prospect at either third base, centerfield, second base, or even a level 1-3 starter.

3.     Go into the process with only two goals… get younger and shore up the defense. We’re not trying to win the playoffs this year. We’re just trying to make room for quality at-bats for guys like Rosario and Dominic Smith, so we can what we have here.

4.     Don’t worry if you have to deal off an additional player, like a mid-level minor league pitching prospect, to get the right deal done. Let’s remember all those pitchers traded to get us to the playoffs a couple of years ago, do most of us really know what they are doing now? For example… let’s say a team is willing to trade you a AA-top level chip that you can finish the season in Vegas and see if he has what it takes to make it to Queens on opening day 2018. The team wants Duda, but they won’t do the deal unless you throw in one of many mid-level starter prospects from AA and below. I would jump on this deal no matter how one sided it might look on the surface. I lost a first baseman I had no plans for only one of many talented pitchers I had in the pipeline, and the upside is I received a rare third base chip I thought I could never get my hands on.

5.     Shut down as many members of your originally projected rotation, even if it takes phantom trips to the DL under the name ‘arm fatigue’ (nice word for ‘pitching like shit’). We’re not trying to lose games on purpose here, but getting one of the top five picks in the next draft serve two purposes… one, you get one of the five picks. And two, in the second round, you get one of the 31-35th best picks in the draft. And so on… and so on.

Just some suggestions.

Astros Want Jacob

            Okay, so I hear that the Houston Astros are interested in trading for Jacob deGrom.

            Now, this isn’t some burn out that is in the end of his last contract in Queens. No, this is one our young, team controlled ballplayers that just may be the SP1 of the staff going forward.

            There’s no way, right? I mean this is baseball, not a business, right?

            This would be like saying that Amazon would buy Whole Foods, right?

            Well, every player has a price… even deGrom… so we should let John Sickels break out three of the top prospects in the Astros pipeline that we might cut a deal for –

Francis Martes, RHP, Grade B+: Age 21, Dominican right-hander acquired from Marlins in Jarred Cosart trade; 3.30 ERA in 125 innings in Double-A with 131/47 K/BB, just 104 hits; fastball up to 99 and consistently at 94-95; has developed a plus curveball to go with it; change-up still inconsistent but has progressed well enough to project him as a starter; control is fine for a young power arm with this kind of stuff although command within zone still needs a bit of work; needs time in Triple-A but has upside of a number two starter. ETA late 2017.

Colin Moran, 3B, Grade C+: Age 24, hit .259/.329/.368 with 10 homers, 47 walks, 124 strikeouts in 459 at-bats in Triple-A; went 3-for-23 in the majors; has the opposite problem to J.D. Davis: good past reputation as pure hitter bur with questionable power; he tried to add more power in ’16, resulting in a much higher strikeout rate but no boost in performance; defense has turned out to be very good at third base but he has to hit more than this. Perhaps he should forget about power and just concentrate on OBP and batting average. ETA 2017.

Kyle Tucker, OF, Grade B+: Age 19, first round pick in 2015; hit .276/.348/.402 in 373 at-bats in Low-A then .339/.435/.661 in 59 at-bats after moving up to High-A; combined for 32 steals, 50 walks, 81 strikeouts; pure hitter with above-average power and very good strike zone judgment; should provide high OBP with at least solid batting averages and could well be a .300+ hitter; power will depend on how much he fills out 6-4, 190 pound frame; could be something like John Olerud as a hitter; that is, John Olerud with 15 steals a year and good defense in right field, or perhaps Shawn Green if home run power maximizes. ETA: 2019.

And lastly

Yardbarker has this spin on the Yanks needs for first base –

First base reinforcement - First base is one position that has been especially awful in terms of production this season for the Yankees. Greg Bird won the first base job out of spring training and was expected to share platoon duties with Chris Carter throughout the season, however, things have not turned out as planned so far. Greg Bird was injured shortly after the season started, but was minimally productive in his time while healthy. Carter, on the other hand, played 57 games for the team and hit just .204 with eight home runs before being designated for assignment last week. Sure, the Yankees can put their faith in youngsters Bird, and Tyler Austin, but it would not hurt to bring a reliable veteran. Names like Matt Adams, Eric Hosmer, Yonder Alonso, and Lucas Duda have been thrown around the rumor mill as targets for the Yankees’ dilemma at first. The hope is that Austin and Bird can perform to their greatest potential and save the Yankees from making a move, but if necessary, the Yankees have plenty of ammo to strike a deal as the deadline approaches.

            Mack – The Mets need to continue to play Duda every day and showcase him for a possible trade here. 


Rumble Ponies to Send Five to All-Star Classic

PJ Conlon, Luis Guillorme, Tomas Nido, Corey Oswalt and Kevin Taylor will represent the Binghamton Rumble Ponies at the 2017 Eastern League All-Star Classic on July 11 & 12 at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester, NH. The group, comprised of players all in their first seasons at Double-A, represents the first class of Mid-Season All-Stars in team history.

Conlon, the Rumble Ponies lone left-handed starting pitcher, earns his second straight Mid-Season All-Star nod. The southpaw ranks second in the league in strikeouts (71) and innings pitched (89.0). In a span of four starts, Conlon tossed two seven-inning shutouts, including a one-hitter against New Hampshire on May 6.

Guillorme will play in his first professional All-Star game. The slick-fielding middle infielder has backed up his highly-regarded glove with offense as a Rumble Pony. Guillorme is hitting .293, the second-best among qualifiers on the Rumble Pony roster. His 13 doubles, put him on pace for a career-high in extra-base hits.

Nido is a Mid-Season All-Star for the third straight season. The Rumble Ponies catcher was an All-Star with Savannah (Low-A) in 2015 and St. Lucie (High-A) in 2016. Nido has hit .283 since May 4. His five home runs are two shy of a career high.

Oswalt has shined in his first season in the Rumble Ponies rotation. In a dozen starts, the righty has compiled a 2.13 ERA, the second-lowest in the league. He ranks fourth in both WHIP (1.15) and opponent batting average (.231). Oswalt is a Mid-Season All-Star for the first time since 2014, when he received the honor with Brooklyn (SS-A).
Taylor is heading to his first professional All-Star Game after a long journey to Binghamton. The Ponies outfielder spent three years in the Dodgers organization before playing two seasons of independent baseball. Now in his second season as a Mets farmhand, Taylor ranks 10th in the league with a .308 batting average. His .401 on-base percentage puts him second in the league.

Gary McDonald - Master Plan Revealed

After long and exhausting searching I think I  have discovered Sandy Alderson’s Master Plan for the New York Mets, and the 2017 season.  It is a wonder that I, and every other Mets fan did not discover it sooner, as it is right before our eyes, but nonetheless, it is obvious.  I was curious to know why the Mets were so hesitant in bringing up Ahmed Rosario.  We now know what Sandy Alderson said was the reason, needs more seasoning, don’t want him to be the savior of the team, and on and on.  And then it happened the announcement came out,  the aha moment.

This from ESPN.com:

The New York Mets are promoting Tim Tebow from low-A ball to St. Lucie of the high-A Florida State League.

He batted .222 with three home runs, 23 RBIs, a .311 on-base percentage and a .340 slugging percentage with 69 strikeouts and 23 walks in 212 at-bats for the Columbia Fireflies. Those aren't numbers that usually lead to a promotion.
Later on the report says:

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson announced the move before the major league club's game in San Francisco.
"It's not like he's tearing up the league, but at the same time, all of the indications are positive in terms of various things we look at: chase rates and exit velocity," Alderson said. "The bottom line is the average isn't there, but he's improving."
"Clearly, it's a step up," Alderson said. "I certainly think he can handle it."
This is Alderson putting on his PT Barnum hat and selling us some snake oil.  He won’t bring up Rosario because he needs the roster spot for Tebow, who he plans to bring up to the Mets eventually.  Nobody fills seats like Tebow and this is what Alderson is counting on.  If the Mets fall further out of this race , and attendance starts to fall off, he has  Tebow to hopefully but fannies in those seats.  After watching the team Alderson  has assembled, it may be time for him to go. I'm not a Tebow hater but I don't believe he deserves to be promoted , and while Alderson has made some good moves, I believe it is time for a change of personnel and philosophy for this Organization.

Back to reality.
This from the NY Post:
Anthony Young, a Mets fan favorite who is known as the owner of baseball’s longest losing streak, passed away Tuesday at the age of 51, the team announced.
In January, it was reported Young had an inoperable brain tumor. Early Tuesday, former teammate Lenny Harris tweeted Young was in a coma, and later in the day, his passing was announced by the Mets.
“Anthony was a true gentleman,” Turk Wendell, a former Mets pitcher who participated in the team’s fantasy camp with Young the last several years, said in a statement. “At this year’s fantasy camp, he told us he had a brain tumor. That was Anthony. He never ran away from anything.”

Anthony Young was a good pitcher with incredibly bad luck.  He suffered throught the worst losing streak you could imagine and never gave up.  He did the same in his recent fight .  And now his fight is over.  

RIP Anthony.