Reese Kaplan -- (Not So) Deep Thoughts


Rafael Montero's issue has always seemed to be more mental than physical.  Look at the minor league record.  His WHIP is fantastic and he averaged just 2.6 walks per 9 IP.  Maybe he can't handle the stress of being in the big leagues, but control is not his endemic issue.  

Perhaps he's been told to do something different than what got him to the majors and he went away from what was natural for him early on.  Now if you want to say people who fanned on his pitches in the minors are teeing off on them in the majors, then that's another matter entirely.  I've always felt he was a head case, probably not helped by the dynamic duo of Collins/Warthen, but also not showing the mental toughness to succeed. 

While another good start will have people jumping on his bandwagon, I'm more curious if he has a bad start what happens the next turn in the rotation?  Does he take it in stride like Jacob deGrom or does he crumble as he has in the past?  Of course, given the Skipper's predilection for veterans, Montero's on the thinnest of ice as it is.  He'd probably rather see Kevin Plawecki back on the mound again than give a shot to Montero should Rafael suffer a bad outing,

In oddball news, I just stumbled across a tidbit today about something that happened to the Skipper’s former favorite player, Ruben Tejada last year.  We all (well, all but Terry Collins, anyway) knew he couldn’t hit, couldn’t run, had no power and was at best an adequate fielder.  Add he can’t pitch to his resume, too.  Apparently last year the St. Louis Cardinals threw him into a game in mop-up duty for the 9th inning when they were already trailing.  He gave up a pair of home runs and now owns a career 18.00 ERA as a pitcher.  That’s the difference between winning and losing ball clubs.  Winning clubs see someone who doesn’t get it done and cuts him loose after 34 ABs.  Losing ball clubs give him 1931 ABs before coming to the same conclusion.  History seems to be repeating itself with Jose Reyes. 

A friend (and frequent visitor to this site) opined that Terry Collins brilliantly handled Wilmer Flores and thus gave him the opportunity to develop into the solid hitter he has become.  I countered that when the competition was the likes of Ruben Tejada and Eric Campbell the manager squandered quite a few ABs on people who were vastly inferior.  In this case I’m not going to argue the glass half-full or half-empty side.  I’m just happy he’s hitting and getting the chance to play, though I am sorry it’s due to a multitude of injuries to other players. 

No one has to be happier than Sandy Alderson that Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce are flourishing and thus theoretically attractive to a club in need of some left handed power.  I’m amused by the many fans who have now catapulted themselves onto the Bruce bandwagon after going after him with torches and pitchforks after his less than stellar 2016 debut.  In Granderson’s case, everyone acknowledges he’s a great guy and an asset as a teammate but there better not be a Mets future for him on the playing field (though as a coach or manager at some point is certainly not a horrible idea).  As such, I hope the Mets can pick up a chunk of his salary and move him elsewhere for a prospect.  On the Jay Bruce front, remember all that the Mets gave up to get him was Dilson Herrera who is currently batting just .248 for Louisville, Cincinnati’s AAA team.  At the time he was acquired he was leading the league in RBIs.  This year he’s on pace for 40/100 but don’t expect the second coming of Mike Trout for a half season rental unless you’re willing to roll the dice on someone in the lower minors. 

In the bullpen, the media’s been ablaze with salivating fans ready to push hard to sell the attractive pair of Addison Reed and Jerry Blevins.  Reed, as you know, is a FA at year’s end, while Blevins has a $7 million team option.  For a team holding its starting pitching together with spit and glue I can’t see them moving both of them.  Of the two, Reed is the more likely to go..  The thinking would be that Jeurys Familia will be back either later this year or certainly in 2018.  Reed has succeeded as both a setup guy and as a closer.  Right now Reed earns more money than does Familia and will be due a raise.  Familia is likely going to earn the same in 2018 as he did in 2017.  Blevins will cost less and fills a specific need – LOOGY.

Lucas Duda is an interesting case.  The Mets decided he was the better bet than Ike Davis despite Davis having come off a 32 HR year in 2012.  While Duda can be frustrating when he’s slumping, he can also carry a club when he’s hot.  He plays an adequate first base and actually has proven the Mets right in their choice between the two left handed sluggers.  While there’s not as much buzz about Dominic Smith as their has been about Amed Rosario, the fact is that the team has a superior defensive candidate who will earn minimum wage available next year, so Lucas’ days as a Met are likely numbered.  To another club looking for a lefty half of a platoon (the Yankees, for example), or a team in need of a DH they could do a lot worse.  Like Granderson, the Mets should be prepared to kick in a chunk of salary to sweeten the level of prospect coming in return. 

To some people Asdrubal Cabrera came across, to use Bill Maher’s phrase, “a whiney little bitch” when he demanded a trade rather than play second base to help the ball club.  As usual, there were two sides to the story.  First, Cabrera was willing to make whatever change the team wanted but asked that in return the Mets exercise his option for 2018.  That’s called quid pro quo.  The Mets are not too adept at being pros at anything and balked.  Furthermore, the player first learned of this proposed change the day he was returning from the DL.  For that I place the blame squarely where I usually do – on the white haired guy with the lineup pencil.  Granted, the advent of the cell phone may have passed him by, but even a landline could have been used to reach out and touch Asdrubal  while rehabbing to suggest he might want to prepare to play a new position.  Don’t get me wrong – Cabrera is no angel here and is taking a me-first instead of team-first attitude towards the situation.  Fortunately he’s not letting it affect him on the field as he’s returned with a vengeance which could help the Mets fulfill his wish.  I’m sorry to see it end this way as Cabrera was terrific last year and by all counts is a great clubhouse presence.  He would have been a good mentor to Amed Rosario playing alongside him at 2nd or 3rd next year.(c’mon…you really don’t expect Wright to be back, do you?)

The one that actually hurts the Mets the most right now is Neil Walker.  Not only are they saddled with his outrageous $17.2 million contract, the fact he’s on the DL at the time when he could have been showcasing his abilities and enticing another club in need of a 2nd baseman suggests that he’s here for the duration.  You can’t trade a player on the DL and even if you could, how much could you expect to get when the opposing club doesn’t know how soon Walker will return? 

A man I’ve derided as the Hispanic version of Anthony Recker is quietly putting together what could be the finest season of his big league career.  Rene Rivera has always been solid behind the plate and in working with pitchers to call a good game, but his bat is speaking volumes (by Rivera standards, anyway) this year.  He’s slated to be a FA and given the fragile and unrealized state of Travis d’Arnaud’s talent, the club can ill afford to let Rivera depart.  I’ll take my crow slow roasted with red wine and garlic.  Offer to extend the man a contract now before he gets to the open market. 

The other Mets free agents to be –Jose Reyes and Fernando Salas – would be classic cases of addition by subtraction.  Reyes is STILL looking up at the Mendoza line yet STILL is playing nearly every single day.  Salas was brilliant late last year but the bloom has most definitely come off the rose in 2017 as he’s letting opposing players hit ..294 against him with a deplorable amount of walks and an ERA approaching 6.00.  Cutting ties with Reyes is easy – promote Amed Rosario.  Cutting ties with Salas is a little tougher.  They’re already scraping the bottom of the barrel with  the recent promotion of career 4.22 minor league pitcher Chasen Bradford.  They’ve already promoted Erik Goeddel, too.  They still have the immortal Neil Ramirez in the majors.  Josh Smoker is still hurt.  After that the cupboard in AAA is pretty empty unless they want to try to convert Tyler Pill into a reliever. 


Thomas Brennan said...

Montero's thin ice got much thicker as soon as Gsellman joined the endless disabled list pulling his hammy. Now MONTERO must take advantage. Gsellman's 6.16 ERA is no major loss at this point.

Flores - could not agree more. The Mets squandered at bats on bums that Flores could have gotten to show if he could have been another Jeff Kent, or just a utility player.

I would consider trying to re-sign Bruce if he could be gotten for 3 years, $50 million. He has been far better than I anticipated. Salas can go, at any time. Take Nose Reyes with him.

Rosario has hit .230 for June. Maybe he DOES need more minor league at bats. Flores hit better in AAA than Rosario has.

Thomas Brennan said...

Not Nose Reyes, hah hah, but dancing Jose Reyes

Mack Ade said...

Morning Reese -

1. I don't look for Montero to step up. I'll settle just for stepping in.

2. The Mets currently have 42 loses. That ties them for the 6th worst record in 2017; however, with a little soft work, they could end the weekend for third worse.

Zozo said...

Reese I would trade everyone of them especially Blevins. He would bring something good back.

Trade Duda and Reed to Skanks for either Fowler or Frazier and Their backup catcher

Trade Harvey, Cabrera and Blevins to Red Sox for their top 3rd base prospect raphael devers

Trade Bruce to Cubbies/ Brewers/ Rays/Angels for a prospect

Trade Familia and Walker if they ever get back from the DL to whom ever and get the most you can back in return

There you go Sandy here's your blueprint lol

Zozo said...

I want a top 3 pick in next years draft, keeping my fingers crossed?

Thomas Brennan said...

Zozo fire sale! Sounds like a prescription for a cratered 2018. I'd instead keep Bruce unless they have someone better on their radar. I like Cespedes, Bruce, Conforto as a starting OF, with a solid defensive type like Lagares (Cruzado?) to round it out.

Reese Kaplan said...

With rookies potentially slated to play 1B and SS, it might make sense to try to extend Jay Bruce rather than trade him. Of course, the Mets are not in the habit of doing that during the season and thus squandering their unique bargaining position. They are also probably reluctant to go the QO route after getting burned by Neil Walker. Consequently if he chooses to leave they will get nothing.

Zozo said...

Trade him and if he really likes it here you can resign him. I would prefer not to mess with Conforto anymore and just give him right field until Cespedes contract runs out in 3 years. Either obtain a young Centerfielder to go with with Lagares and Nimmo or sign/trade for one in offseason. I am happy with a Lagares/Nimmo platoon for next year.

Zozo said...

I would prefer a speedster that can play defense in Center and steal me some bases.

Anonymous said...

I thought Anthony Recker WAS the Hispanic Anthony Recker. Until I read this I seriously thought he was Hispanic.

Reese Kaplan said...

Born in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Anonymous said...

One can be born in Allentown and still be Hispanic. True he doesn't have a Spanish last name but there are Hispanic people who don't have Spanish last name. Just his look I suppose made me think that.

Mack's Mets © 2012