Mack’s Morning Report – 7-20 – Q and A, Yoenes Cespedes, T.J. Rivera, Red Sox Trade


Good morning.

Riley sends this question to me –

            Afternoon Mack. Long time reader since your ‘FU’ days.
            You seem to have a good beat regarding where, who, if, and when certain starters are going to emerge from the pipeline.

            Do you have a forecast we can look forward to in the next few years?

                        Mack – Hey Riley. Yeah, I miss those Flushing University days. Made a lot of great Mets friends there like ‘Hobie’ and the late, great Johnny Lowe.

First thing first… this is all a guess. Remember… we went into this season sure we would have seven starters, five of which were great. What did that get us?

My guess is Noah Syndergard, Jacob deGrom, and Steven Matz are safe to return to, and equally pitch well, in Flushing.

I’m sure that Seth Lugo, Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, and Robert Gsellman will attempt to do everything thing they can to hang on, but I’m sure “the new Mets manager” next year is not going to look in the rearview mirror.

I see two pitchers that will come into play in 2018.

Chris Flexen looks like a no brainer. All AA crosscheckers say he’s ready. His once one-pitch 91-96/mph repertoire is now up to four pitches, the last being the change-up his game so desperately needed. I see Flexen as I have seen him since the day the Mets stole him in the draft… a slam dunk.

Corey Oswalt seems to be quietly becoming the next Mets rotation surprise. He was a 7th round 2012 prep pick that really hasn’t had a bad season he has pitched for the Mets (six years). He’s your factory built 6-4 righty that’s throwing Binghamton this year as a 23-year old. He did lose half a season last year to a shoulder injury but shows no sign of any recurrence. I don’t have Oswalt as a slam dunk, but he will be ready sometime in 2018 to fill in an empty slot that could develop.

Yoenes Cespedes –

            I starting to jump on the Peter Hyatt train regarding this dude.

            Saturday’s exit in the sixth inning was, in my opinion, another attempt to stand out at everyone around him for the wrong reason. Once again, it looked like Cespedes made his own decision to take himself out a game that he felt was already won. Was it? Who the hell knows at this point.

            Only two things could get us away from all this anti-Yo talk. One, would be a 10 game winning streak, which just isn’t going to happen. The other would be a couple of trades so we could start building the 2018 version of this team.
            Either way, Cespedes will be a Met.

            Get used to this crap long term.

T.J. Rivera

            MLBTR.com reported that the Boston Red Sox are interested in either Astrubel Cabrera or T.J.Rivera as a solution to their need this season at third base.

            Here’s what they said about T.J. –

Rivera, who at 28 is younger than Cabrera and won’t even be arbitration eligible until after the 2019 season, has survived a low walk rate (3.9 percent) since debuting last year to post quality numbers at the plate. Through 311 PAs, including 202 this year, Rivera has batted .315/.348/.469 – a line that’s either 15 percent or 17 percent better than league average, depending on whether you prefer OPS+ or wRC+. As such, he joins Harrison in looking like someone who’d be rather tough to pry from his current employer.

Mack – Look, on my ‘perfect’ Mets team, Murphy and Wilmer Flores would be my two long term utility infielders. I have no problem with a trade with Boston, but they don’t have a single blue chip prospect that’s ready to play major league baseball in 2018.

Now, offer me two lower level prospects like RHP Shaun Anderson and RHP Gerson Bautista and we have a deal.

And lastly

            It seems that recent events, that included the Yanks stepping up and solving their first base problem, have caused the Boston Red Sox to turn to the Mets to find a solution to the lack of their infield depth. They’re scouting us for Wilmer Flores, T.J. Rivera, and Astrubel Cabrera while, at the same time, alerting the entire media world that 3B prospect, Rafael Devers.

            A good General Manager ought to be able to get two good future chips back for one of the above mentioned guys, and here is a list of five Boston prospects that should be targeted (and what MLB.com says about them) –

LHP Jay Groome – ETA: 2019 - Groome's 6-foot-6 frame is built for durability and he uses it to generate good downhill plane on his pitches. His athleticism enables him to repeat his clean mechanics and fill the strike zone. He has the potential to become an ace if his makeup issues don't get in his way, and he could be the best pitcher signed and developed by the Red Sox since Roger Clemens.

3B Bobby Dalbec – ETA: 2019 - While Dalbec lacks speed, he improved his range at third base in 2016 and most scouts think he'll be able to stay at the hot corner. There's no question that he has the arm for the position after he maintained a low-90s fastball and an effective slider while opening his junior season as the Wildcats' closer and finishing it as their top starter. He topped all Division I pitchers with 41 strikeouts during the NCAA tournament and allowed just two earned runs in three CWS starts.

3B Michael Chavis – ETA: 2019 - A high school shortstop who became a full-time third baseman in instructional league after his pro debut, Chavis has improved with experience at the hot corner. He's not the rangiest third baseman but has a strong arm and should be at least an adequate defender. There are some scouts who think he could become a second baseman in the Dan Uggla mold.

RHP Mike Shawaryn – ETA: 2019 - His fastball usually runs from 90-94 mph, though it dipped as low as 86-88 mph early last spring. His sweeping slider might be his best offering, missing bats against both lefties and righties, and he also has feel for a deceptive changeup with fade. There's some debate as to whether Shawaryn will remain a starter in the long term. Helping his cause, he throws a lot of strikes and has a strong, durable build that allows him to maintain his stuff into the late innings and over the course of the season. But some scouts don't like his arm slot and the effort in his delivery, and his fastball and slider could become plus pitches in shorter stints.

RHRP Jake Cosart – ETA: 2019 - After operating with an 88-92 mph fastball in his two seasons as a pro starter, Cosart recaptured the velocity he flashed at Seminole State when he moved to the bullpen. He now works at 94-97 mph and can hit 99 with some natural cutting action. He has scrapped an ineffective changeup in favor of a splitter that shows potential and is better than his soft curveball. There's a lot of effort in Cosart's delivery, which hampers his control but does bolster his deception. He's finding the strike zone more easily since coming out of the bullpen, though he'll always be much more about power than finesse. Now that he's attacking hitters with better stuff, he has the upside of a set-up man.


Thomas Brennan said...

You left the great Rafael Montero out of your starter equation - surely an oversight :)

If Flores or Rivera get traded, it better be for real prospects.

NY Post article today seemed to feel that (once again) the Mets are not in advantageous positions to sell. Figures.

Reese Kaplan said...

That is because people who want to make deals are aggressive, not passive.

Thomas Brennan said...

Alderson had lots to deal this year - if he fails to do it well, shame on him.

Trade vets, get good prospects, bring up ours, get a good draft slot.

Hope 2018 is a lot healthier.

Thomas Brennan said...

Mack, Flexen can be a slam dunk in Queens this September too, unless Thor, Familia, Harvey and Gsellman all return and he does not get the opportunity. I'd make room for him to have that opportunity.

Wheeler will most likely be shut down. He is up to 81 high pitch count innings already - so I'm guessing maybe he pitches thru August.

Robb said...

At this point I just want to clear out the parts that wont be back. That means moving on from cabrera (trade, cute, whatever). Getting a return for bruce, bc i dont think you can get one for granderson. You should be able to get a future piece or two low level pitching prospects for Duda. After that, its about getting real value for Reed. If its a bundled scenario great, if not cool too, but he would actually make a difference for most contenders.

Turn the page. Rosario should be up before the next homestand, hopeful smith too. put nimmo back into cf and roll forward.

Also, theres nothing to stop the mets from resigning Reed/bruce if they want to after the season, given the payroll it wont be because of money, just valuation.

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