Talkin’ Baseball – Is It Getting Better Out There?


Good morning.

Let’s get back to one of the favorite features on Mack’s Mets, especially with the writers.

Question –

The Mets have gone 5-5 (.500) in the past 10 games. Robert Gsellman, Tyler Pill, Matt Harvey, and Zack Wheeler all had + outings the last time out. Wilmer Flores and Lucas Duda are heating up. And Yoenes Cespedes, Seth Lugo, and Steven Matz are all due back in the next 10 days.

Are clouds starting to clear up?

Christopher Soto says –

Yes….the clouds are beginning to clear. While the continued offensive surge is nice….probably the most important development over the past few days is the LENGTH that the rotation is beginning to provide. The more innings the rotation eats, the less that the bullpen needs to be used. Less usage = better performance.  You add Steven Matz and Seth Lugo (either in the bullpen or sending Gsellman to the pen) into the mix and you are finally adding some fresh good caliber arms to help the situation out even more.

In addition, every day further into the season we go…..the closer we get to the debut of Amed Rosario. Over the past 8 seasons, the Super 2 point has been on average 2 years and 133 days of service time with the lowest point being 2 years and 122 days. With 183 service days in an MLB season….this means we can conservatively guess that the 2017 Super 2 Deadline should be between June 3rd and June 10th.

So to recap…..by this time next week….the club could change as shown below.

Your rotation is stronger, your bullpen is stronger and more capable of coping with extra-inning games, your everyday lineup is stronger, and your bench is stronger.

Robert Ippolito says –

While there may be a sudden break in the storm, I need to see more before I'm ready to proclaim that the sun is shining. The last outings from Gsellman and Harvey were particularly nice to see, but with ERA's still hovering around 5...call me the skeptic. I mean, Tommy Milone had a good first start, we all saw what happened after. The players returning will be a sight for sore eyes, but I want to see a healthy Cespedes and maybe more than 10 games from D'Arnaud before I start to smile too much. Either way, it's nice to see some wins. Hopefully they are followed by a few more and some healthy lineups. May need to find some more bullpen arms though, Terry is tearing through those guys like paper towels.

David Rubin says –

I don't think it's so much that it's "getting better" as much as it's an adjustment to both the long season and getting used to playing without either their best players or with players who aren't at their best right now.

Wheeler is still adjusting to pitching again, and he looks better by the start but a lot of the progress he showed prior to the injury almost has to be re-learned again. deGrom is still throwing WAY too many pitches and doesn't have that symmetry from start-to-start. Harvey looked MUCH better recently but was it due to mental adjustments or is he finally throwing the ball better because the feeling in his fingers is coming back? We don't know how to put any of these items into its proper file drawer yet, so to speak, because we don't know whether these are problems that will continue throughout the season or if they are going to have an "end-date.

At this point, Cespedes is still not back; Conforto, while killing the ball and logically our only All-Star candidate, is liable to be sat in place of Grandy once Cespedes is back because, well, Terry...Thor will be LUCKY to come back at all at his prior ability this season, certainly not before August one must suspect, and Terry Collins, for now, is still the manager and those above him are still controlling his moves in similar fashion.

In sum, that run they had of positive games, I think, at this point, is just the leveling out of the season. I pray that I'm wrong and that the series with the Brewers will go our way and then we take 2 of 3 from Pitt...and then at that point I might start feeling a bit more confident...

Tom Brennan says –

The clouds are really clearing up if Cespedes' setback is only a minor one.  The soon-returning players, coupled with the improvements in several active players recently, makes this feel like late July 2015 to me all over again.

Thor will replace Wheeler when Zach runs out of innings, and who knows?  We may see Jeurys in September for meaningful baseball.  And the pen has Sewald, baby.  I am back in the positive column.

Eddie Corona

            The troops are returning but that may not result in positive turn of events...

Matz and Lugo are vital to the success of the team but will they need a few weeks to get into a groove? Will they struggle as Harvey has without a long resumes?

Is Gsellman ready to take a step forward and be the pitcher many viewed as a potential Rookie of the year?

The best part is that Cespedes had a track record and has proven over the past 2 summers that he can carry the team for a substantial period.  More runs can only help the pitching staff.

Jack Flynn says -  

The clouds are clearing up in terms of the players available to put on the field, but there are still clouds over the training staff and the front office. This is the second straight season where the Mets have been badly compromised by injuries. Part of that comes from employing injury-prone players - here's looking at you, Travis d'Arnaud and Steven Matz - but some of these injuries are not so easily explained. It's great that the Mets are finally approaching something close to full strength, but it still doesn't explain why so many players were on the disabled list in the first place.

Why did Noah Syndergaard come back from the off-season with 17 pounds of muscle and the concept that throwing harder meant pitching more effectively? Why was Yoenis Cespedes handled the way he was before finally being put on the shelf? Do the Mets know for sure that Seth Lugo's partial UCL tear was a result of pitching in the World Baseball Classic? You cannot assume that it's ALL bad luck - but how do you quantify the responsibility to be laid at the feet of the training staff and/or the front office?

Reese Kaplan says – 

I was impressed that under-performers like Hansel Robles and Rafael Montero were sent packing. I am also pleasantly surprised that the Skipper us starting to trust rookie Paul Sewald. What doesn't impress me is how little playing time the only other ,300 bat than Michael Conforto is getting. Also, I'm sick and tired of Tom's old men in the lineup daily.

 If some appropriate tweaks can be made (and some mid-season trades to replenish the minors) then another miracle is possible though not probable.


Thomas Brennan said...

Regarding Amed Rosario and Jose Reyes, we often look at player additions and subtractions in a coldly calculating way. To that point, there is more to consider. I went to yesterday afternoon's game and between innings, they had Grandy on the big screen speaking at one point between innings, and at another, Reyes was doing this dance routine on screen with fans mimicking him.

So they are invested in these guys in terms of marketing the team, while Jose (hitting .193 a full third of the way into the season) particularly would be better off being released in lieu of Rosario, but the Mets using him in their marketing pitches makes that much tougher. Jose has charisma, missing in so many Mets players.

I still think Rosario will come up - I just think TJ Rivera will get demoted and Jose will remain.

Little things kill this team. When, like early in the game yesterday, the count is 3-2 and 2 outs, and Duda is on second, he should not get easily gunned down at the plate even if d'Arnaud's single was hit hard right at the LF who made a great throw...you HAVE to score from 2nd when you are running on the pitch. And Reyes and Bruce should not strike out looking in the 9th inning in a one run game.

Thomas Brennan said...

One sign of clouds dispersing would be Robles getting right and returning...he got obliterated pitching for Vegas last night. No help there.

Mack Ade said...

Robles is a perfect example of losing your mental approach to this game, not your God given talent.

Thomas Brennan said...

Robles won't be back until it is clear his implosions are a thing of the past. The Mets need to move out the old AAA weak relievers and start pushing other guys up there; if, like Al Baldonado when they get promoted, there are growing pains, so be it. The old, weak guys in AAA will never get to Queens. Develop guys more quickly who might get there.

Anonymous said...

@Soto.....I like your adjustments, but I would keep TJ Rivera over Reyes, if it were up to me.

One thing to consider, the Mets are currently 23-29 on the season, which is a 0.442% winning percentage. There are 110 games left in the season, so there is time to right the ship.

However, in order to simply finish 0.500% for the year, they will have to go 58-52 the rest of the way, which will not be good enough for playoff spot.

I think getting to 88 wins would put them in the wildcard conversation, so to do that they will have to go 65-45 the rest of the way, which is a 0.590% winning percentage! In other words, that translates to a 95 win team if they played at that level for the entire year.

With all of the drama surrounding this team, I just don't see that happening.


Jack Flynn said...

Another issue is that the Mets are carrying eight relievers, which is just overkill. Cespedes will replace Matt Reynolds upon his return, but the eighth reliever should make way for Rosario when he is recalled. TJ Rivera is more valuable to the Mets than an eighth reliever, and it's an area that really exacerbates the problems with Terry Collins's bullpen management. Addison Reed (as closer) and Jerry Blevins (as set-up man/Mike Marshall clone) are the only two relievers in the bullpen right now that should be restricted to one inning of work. Everyone else has to be conditioned to get four or more outs in every appearance. (Whether they can get those four outs is another matter entirely!)

Thomas Brennan said...

Hey jack...Collins went with Blevins and Salas for more than 1 inning yesterday, and he has done it a lot recently with Sewald, so that should help keep guys from pitching every night.

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