Peter's Post - Mets Chemistry Elements: Club House and On Field


Lose or Win?

If they lose, the pressure builds to call up Amed Rosario as well as make necessary attempts at change. 

If they win, management will hold pat as egos on the line remain.

If you are rooting for the Mets to make the long term changes now, you must root for them to lose so that Rosario, for example, will be called up.  With yet another error by Astrubel Cabrerra at short, the cries for promotion were muffled beneath the Mets 4-2 win.  

Cabrerra did not hot dog it, but hustled and still threw wide.  In his dropped pop up, he refused to blame the mist though it appeared to be just that to observers.  He is not a man who will make excuses, nor will he sit out until he is 100%.  He wants to play. 

Flores played over Jose Reyes, but the comments from Terry Collins are troublesome reminders of just how difficult it is to get change in the line up. We cannot quantify how Reyes' bat has helped dig the hole the Mets are now in, but we can listen to Collins' reluctance to remove him from the line up. 

Speaking of the hot bat of Wilmer Flores:  

"I told Jose take a deep breath, rest up, because right now he (Flores)  is as hot as anybody on the club.  Right now, one guy’s swinging the bat good, one guy isn’t. I’m trying to get Flo’ some at-bats and see what happens. As long as he’s swinging it the way he’s swinging it, got to get him in there, I thought.”
Without a lesson in Statement Analysis (repetition, Hina Clause in blue), it comes down to this:  An act of Congress was needed to make this change in the verbalized perception of reality from Terry Collins.  
We can debate why this is, but in listening to Sandy Alderson over the years, Reyes' minimum wage salary for the Mets, as a chief bargain hunter "Money Ball fame" mastermind, Reyes is another pet project to show the brilliance of Alderson.  
Sandy Collins knows how to survive Alderson, and proved this by outlasting all other managers in our history.  We've seen others who played regardless of output, until it proved too costly.  
The 33-year-old Reyes is in another slump, hitless in his past 16 at-bats and with just three hits in his last 30 times at the plate.  He had a minor recovery, but returned to the downward career spiral to be overall batting .191 in188 at-bats.
Consider the reluctance that Collins has displayed throughout 2 months of the year, while Reyes has been awful.  Not only is he not getting on baae, his defense has been weak and his base running blunders inexcusable.  At best, he appears distracted but regardless, he has contributed to a team chemistry of failure.  
Credit Reyes with owning the failure to produce and not only accepting the promotion, but remaining up beat and cheering for his teammates. 
The team chemistry issue is complex, and widely ignored by those addicted to statistics.  Here there are two elements:
1.  Clubhouse Chemistry 
This is the atmosphere pervasive in a club house.  Think:  David Wright.  When Clubhouse chemistry is "me first" and "I preserve myself", immediately other players begin to feel defensive of their own careers.  This is why Mets brass steamed when Matt Harvey announced that he might not pitch in the playoffs in 2015.  We've seen Cespedes run his own training and rehabilitation schedule and a 24 year old pitcher refuse to take an MRI.  "Me First" can destroy a team in the clubhouse.  
2.  On Field  Chemistry 
On Field Chemistry is the magic or failure in the moment.  
Remember the 2015 Mets gave a feel, particularly in August, that if they fell behind early, it was almost guaranteed that they would come back and win in dramatic fashion?
This built upon itself, let by Cespedes. 
With Jose Reyes, for example, refusing to pay attention on the base paths, specifically by one paid to burn them up, takes its toll collectively on a team. It demoralizes, in a subtle way, a team, even while it provides an opportunity for another play to step up and "pick up" the failed play, such as Cabrerra's dropped ball was picked up by the home run.  
This is why I have written that the Mets need a hot bat of Yoenis Cespedes in spite of increased run production.  The tremendous home run can fuel on field chemistry, the same way a stolen base can.  
The psychological impact can help fill a pitcher with resolve to concentrate even more.  Tom Seaver was an outspoken (and brash for his age) proponent of on - field chemistry.  Recall what Pete Rose did to attempt to inspire the '73 Big Red Machine when he barreled into 165lb Buddy Harrelson.  It backfired. 
My guess is Rose, with at least 40 lbs on the diminutive short stop,  did not expect Buddy to take up the challenge.  
A call up of Rosario can act as a fuel for chemistry.  It not only sends the opposite signal that Collins' reluctance to bench Reyes did, but it can provide a spark, both on the field and in the clubhouse.  Vets take notice, and non-shortstop players feel the excitement of the new arrival. 
Of course this may backfire if pressure is put on Rosario to be the savior, which is why the NY Post called for his promotion while the Mets are producing runs.  They can bat him 8th in the order.  
Dom Smith is now hitting with power and with Lucas Duda producing, it is best that Smith remain hitting in the atmospheric friendly Las Vegas.  Duda has a history of injuries and Smith will be here soon enough. 
If the Mets implode, we will get change.  If they continue to play mediocre baseball, we delay the inevitable changes that are needed for long term success. 
With Steven Matz and co. making a return to Flushing, I'd love to see Rosario at SS with Flores manning 3rd base, with Reyes used as utility infielder and pinch runner.  


Thomas Brennan said...

Reyes? Let him go, IMO. .190 over nearly 60 games is awful, and has to be a sign of real and major decline.

Call up Rosario - the longer he can play this year, which looks more and more each day as a season washout, the more he will be ready in 2018 to perhaps play at a star level.

Another argument to promote Rosario is the Mets have never had a Hall of Fame hitter who played his career as a Met who was developed in their organization. Wright looked like the one, until health precluded it. I am not saying Rosario is a future HOF, but the sooner he starts to play in the bigs, the more career stats with longevity he can compile. The Yanks have SO MANY, and Jeter and Rivera on the way to the Hall. Let's try to get one homegrown hitter in. Just one.

Reese Kaplan said...

Can't we say that Collins, by playing Granderson and Reyes, knowingly gave comfort and aid to the Nationals and thus impeach him?

Gary Seagren said...

Look as far as team chemistry goes how deflating is it to the team to keep running 2 guys out every night who are hitting under .200 ....FOR TWO MONTHS? I know TC FINALLY had to go to Flores but still didn't commit to Wilmer for any longer than his hot streak lasts and if he doesn't start Lagares tonight he should be impeached.

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