Clay Ramsey - Kingsport Mets Weekly Recap


Series Covered:

8/9-8/11 vs. Princeton
8/12-8/15 @ Greeneville

Roster Moves:

Wednesday 8/9

Joe Cavallaro vs Joel Peguero

Kingsport wins 7-0

- WP Ryan McAuliffe (1-0) 3.0 IP 2H 0R 1BB 1 K (0.00 ERA)
- Joe Cavallaro 4.0 IP 1H 0R 1BB 4Ks (3.24 ERA)
- Wagner Lagrange 2-4 2 1Bs, 2 RBIs
- Dionis Paulino 1-4 1 R, 2B, 2RBIs
- Danny Hoy 1-3 1 R, HR (first professional), 3 RBIs
- Anthony Dirocie 0-4 3Ks

Thursday 8/10

Ezequiel Zabaleta vs Easton McGee

Kingsport wins 6-5

- WP Pedro Perez (3-0) 1.0 IP 2H 1ER 2BB 1K (6.91 ERA)
- Save: Mac Lozer (2) 2.0 IP 2H 0R 0BB 1K (3.94 ERA)
- Ezequiel Zabaleta 6.0 IP 9H 4ER 1BB 3Ks (5.96 ERA)
- Hansel Moreno 2-3 2 1Bs, R, 1 BB
- Anthony Dirocie 2-4 1B, 2B, RBI
- Danny Hoy 1-3 3B (first professional), R, RBI
- Rigoberto Terrazas 2-4 1B, 2B, R, RBI
- Grabiel Jimenez 1-4 1B, R, RBI Groundout
- Raphael Gladu 0-3 RBI Sacrifice Fly

Friday 8/11:

Aneury Olivo vs Luis Moncada

Game cancelled due to rain; will not be made up

Saturday 8/12:

Game 1:

Christian James vs Yhoan Acosta

Kingsport wins 2-0

- WP Christian James (2-3) 6.1 IP 5H 0R 1BB 9K (3.80 ERA)
- Save: Billy Oxford (1) 0.2 0H 0R 1K (4.50 ERA)
- Rigoberto Terrazas 1-3 1B, R, K
- Wagner Lagrange 1-3 2B, R, RBI, K
- Juan Uriarte 1-3 2B, RBI
- Dionis Paulino 0-3 2Ks
- Anthony Dirocie 1-2 1B, K

Game 2:

Edwin German vs Noel Pinto

Kingsport wins 3-0

- WP Marbin Montijo (2-1) 2.1 IP 2H 0R 2BB 1K (4.98 ERA)
- Save: Aaron Ford (1) 1.2 IP 0H 0R 0BB 1K (1.35 ERA)
- Edwin German 3.0 IP 3H 0R 1BB 3Ks (1.86 ERA)
- Hansel Moreno 2-4 2 1B, 2 R, 1K
- Kevin Hall 1-3 RBI 1B, RBI Sac Fly, 2Ks
- Wagner Lagrange 1-4 1B, RBI, 2Ks
- Raphael Gladu 2-3 2 1Bs
- Rigoberto Terrazas 1-2 1B, R, 2 BBs

Sunday 8/13:

Ronald Sanchez vs Francisco Villegas

Kingsport loses 5-4

- LP Yeudy Colon (0-2) 2.0 IP 3H 4R 1ER 1 BB 2K (4.22 ERA)
- Ronald Sanchez 5.0 IP (Career High) 4H 1ER 5BB 0K (6.83 ERA)
- Hansel Moreno 2-4 2 1B, RBI, R, K
- Rigoberto Terrazas 1-4 2B, RBI, BB, K
- Raphael Gladu 1-2 1B, 2 BB
- Angel Manzanarez 1-3 1B, 2 R, BB
- Anthony Dirocie 1-4 2B, RBI, 2 Ks
- Juan Uriarte 1-4 2B, R, K

Monday 8/14:

Carlos Hernandez vs Gerardo Bojorquez

Kingsport wins 6-1

- WP Carlos Hernandez (3-3) 6.0 IP 1H 1R(0ER) 4 BB 6Ks (4.53 ERA)
- Carlos Hernandez, Ryan Selmer and Mac Lozer combined to only allow 3 hits
- Hansel Moreno 1-4 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 1BB, 1K
- Raphael Gladu 1-4 1B, R, BB
- Rigoberto Terrazas 2-5 2 1Bs, 1K
- Wagner Lagrange 1-5 1B, R
- Juan Uriarte 3-4 3 1Bs, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1K
- Anthony Dirocie 1-4 1B, R, 2Ks
- Angel Manzanarez 1-4 1B, RBI
- Grabiel Jimenez 0-3 RBI Sac Fly, 1K

Tuesday 8/15:

Joe Cavallaro vs Hansel Paulino

Game cancelled due to rain; will not be made up

Week record: 5-1, with 2 rain-outs

Came into the Princeton series 18-27, good for 4th in the Appalachian League West behind Elizabethton, Greeneville, and Johnson City

Exited the Greeneville series 23-28, but still in 4th place, although gaining ground on 2nd place. Johnson City and Greeneville are tied for 2nd

*** Kingsport's victory on 8/10 marked the 1200th win in Kingsport's history***

3 stars of the week:

Bronze Star: Dan Hoy, 2B. Hoy swung a pretty good bat over the course of the week, given his struggles at the plate this season. The Princeton University grad collected his first professional home run and his first professional triple on 8/9 and 8/10. Although he only collected 3 hits in 5 games, he was able to bring his average up 10 points from .159 to .169. His success earned him more playing time as a result.

Silver Star: Christian James, RHP. The New York Mets' 14th Rounder has had a great season for the KMets this year, although he has had a couple poor outings. He is this week's silver star for 2 reasons: 1) his success and 2) his outing on 8/12 (final line above). To this point in the season he has logged 42.2 IP, 18ER, 14BB, and 43Ks, keeping in mind he was just in high school last spring. If he keeps this season up, I wouldn't be surprised if he makes it to Brooklyn before the end of the season.

Gold Star: Hansel Moreno, SS. This week's gold star was a toss up between Moreno and Rigoberto Terrazas. Moreno wins it this week because he increased his average while Terrazas's average decreased. Moreno played in 5 of the 6 games and in 4 of those he logged multi-hit performances. His average went from the mid .220s to right around .250. In thw week he compiled 7 hits in 18 ABs which is around a .389 clip. Moreno has had a high K rate this season, but only struck out 4 times total this week. He also launched his 3rd Home Run this season.





Effective Thursday, August 17, 2017

- INF Colby Woodmansee transferred from Columbia to advanced-A St. Lucie

- OF Jacob Zanon transferred from Columbia to advanced-A St. Lucie

- RHP Harol Gonzalez activated from Columbia’s disabled list and transferred to Advanced-A St. Lucie

- RHP Gabriel Llanes activated from Columbia’s disabled list

- LHP Jose C. Medina transferred to Columbia from short-season A Brooklyn

- RHP Placido Torres activated from Columbia’s disabled list and transferred to short-season A Brooklyn



SP Briam Campusano was promoted from Rookie-GCL Mets to Rookie-Kingsport

SP Harol Gonzalez came off the Rookie-Kingsport DL and was promoted to A+ St. Lucie





The Mets signed over 30 of its 40 draftees in 2017. 

Where you are drafted is only loosely correlated with how you’ve performed. 

For instance, my 1 thru 3 performers were drafted in the 21st thru 27th rounds.
Everyone’s performance overall so far?  Well, since you asked:
Some very good ones, but a lot of mediocre and weak ones.

Overall draft? C-, in my humble opinion.
Let me rank them based on performance so far – stats through Tuesday:
CODES: BK = Brooklyn, KP= Kingsport, GCL = Gulf Coast Mets 
  1. 27th rd Jeremy Vasquez - 1B - BK & KP: 161 ABs, .317, 13 doubles, 7 HRs, 32 RBIs
  2. 22nd round Joshua Payne – RP – 13 IP, 20 K, 1 BB, 0.54 WHIP
  3. 21st round Aaron Ford – RP – 13.2 IP, 21 K, 4 BB, 0.90 WHIP
  4. 10th round Stephen Villines – RP – BK & GCL: 17 IP, 0 BB, 27 K, 2.60 ERA
  5. 9th round Cannon Chadwick – RP – BK: 18.2 IP, 27 K, 0.96 ERA, 1.55 WHIP
  6. 16th round Raphael Gladu – LF – GCL: 25 G, .293/.365/.402
  7. 24th round Joe Cavallaro – RP – GCL: 16.2 IP, 21 K, 4 BB, 2-1, 3.24 ERA
  8. 8th round Trey Cobb – RP – BK: 1-1, 3.00, 18 IP, 17 K, 1.06 WHIP
  9. 7th round Conner O’Neil – RP – BK: 0-2, 3.24, 16.2 IP, 1.38 WHIP, 19 K
  10. 23rd round Jose Sierra – RP – GCL: 5.2 IP, 0.00 ERA. 2.12 WHIP, 5 K
  11. 35th round Kyle Wilson – RP – GCL: 5 IP, 1.80 ERA, 5 K
  12. 1st round David Peterson – SP – BK: 2.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K
  13. 5th round Matt Winaker – LF: 21 G, .268/.402/.282
  14. 3rd round Quinn Brodey – OF: 44 G, .244/.297/.327, 8 of 10 steals
  15. 27th round Billy Oxford – RP – GCL: 2-1, 4.50 ERA, 16 IP, 16 K, 1.44 WHIP
  16. 33rd round Mac Lozer – RP – GCL: 3.71 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 17 IP, 15 K
  17. 31st round Ryan Selmer – RP – GCL: 0-1, 2.12, 17 IP, 7 K, 1.41 WHIP
  18. 2nd round Mark Vientos – SS – GCL: 17 yr old, 37 G, .233/.309/.346
  19. 4th round Tony Dibrell – RP – BK: 5.68 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 4 HR, 12.2 IP, 15 K
  20. 6th round Marcel Renteria – RP – BK: 1-1, 9.00 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, 13 K, 8 IP
  21. 26th round Gavin Garay – 1B – GCL: 24 G, .207/.286/.232, 34 K
  22. 15th round Dylan Snypes – SS – BK: 15 G, .178/.351/.178 (40% K rate)
  23. 18th round Carl Stajduhar – 3B – BK: 30 G, 47 K, .160/.263/.300, 3 HR
  24. 36th round Robbie Kidwell – C – GCL: 5 for 41, 14 Ks
  25. 37th round Joshua Walker – RP – GCL: 1-0, 8.31, 1.27 WHIP, 8.2 IP, 7 K
  26. 39th round Noah Nunez – RP – GCL: 1-1, 6.75 ERA, 8 IP, 1.38 WHIP, 2 K
  27. 13th round Nate Peden – RP – GCL: 0-1, 7.71 ERA, 7 IP, 2.43 WHIP  
  28. 20th round Yadiel Flores – RP – GCL: 0-0, 5.79 ERA, 4.2 IP, 2.36 WHIP
  29. 29th round Liam McCall – RP – GCL: 0-2, 7.94, 5.2 IP, 2.29 WHIP, 4 K
  30. 40th round Ronnie Taylor – RP – GCL: 8.10 ERA, 3.1 IP, 6 BB, 4 K
  31. 12th round Bryce Hutchinson – RP – GCL: 1.2 IP, 5 runs allowed
  32. 11th round Jack Schneider – ain’t played yet


Peter Hyatt - Mets V Yankees: Why It Matters


When competitive baseball is played, the fans win.  

It is the most exciting baseball to watch, at the highest level in the world and it is terrific. 

The Yankees v Mets 2017 is not meaningless in spite of the standings where the Mets are all but done.  We learned just how important this rivalry is to Sandy Alderson when he gave a weak statement about trading with his cross town rival.  Likening it to trading with a division rival is called an "incongruence"; meaning, hey, it doesn't fit and you're not fooling anyone. 

Alderson recognizes what we all do:

There are Mets fans;

There are Yankee fans;

and there are those who will buy tickets to whichever one is winning.  It also helps to have the most press, which creates buzz, which can create ticket sales.  The most efficient buzz is in winning. 

So in this sense, Alderson is competing for ticket sales with the New York Yankees.

Now, the GM takes this series very seriously, so the manager is going to as well.  Then, there is the trickle down to the club house:  these are professional athletes; some of whom have professional athlete pride. Not all, but most do.  You see this when they run hard, dive for a ball, or take even meaningless standings games seriously.  

The intensity is felt by the owners, management, players and fans. 

It produces some exciting baseball to watch. 

Aaron Judge. 

Question:  What's not to like about this monster sized kid?

Answer:  that he doesn't play for us.  

That's it, though, as even in his rookie year, he has established a reputation as a power hitting, team first, stand up guy...all at the ripe age of 24.  He has little interest in Page Six, supermodels, fettuccine, and beer; he just wants to win. 

On the other side is sweet all-field hitting Michael Conforto, another mature and respected  young man who has established himself, against the wisdom of the New York Mets, as an All Star.  

As Judge has been in a horrific slump, he has Joe Girardi behind him; a player who knows what it means to be able to work through them.  Girardi leads hard and seeks to win. 

Behind Conforto?  Not so much.  Terry Collins' "surprise" that Michael Conforto made the All Star team, itself, came as a surprise to the rest of us.  Terry Collins leads softly and seeks to placate veterans. 

When this schedule was first made, the thought of sending Matt Harvey to the mound at Yankee Stadium likely caught the attention of more than a few baseball executives.  Harvey's longing to be Dereck Jeter, outside the base paths, is well known.  

Let's hope if he's not pitching for us, he's serving up gopher balls in the thin atmosphere of Colorado, rather than with our rivals.  

The rivalry matters.  

Ask Jake DeGrom.  

Ask Yoenis Cespedes. 

We might even ask Amed Rosario.  My guess is that not only does he know the rivalry, but he's loving it.  

Let's hope that the 2018 rivalry will be more than just professional pride, but a war between two exciting teams, competing for both the post season and for filling seats.  


Peter Hyatt - Astrubal Cabrera's Antics on SNY TV Broadcast

how dare the Mets not inform me of their minor league player strategy

Did you hear Brandon Nimmo live  during the Friday Mets- Phillies game interviewed by SNY?

It was an interesting interview punctuated by Astrubal Cabrera throwing seeds at him.

  It's a typical routine when the SNY camera goes live.

Except that this interview was a bit longer than the norm, and except Cabrera would not let up and be satisfied with just  throwing sunflower seeds at Nimmo. 

Cabrera needed more.  

Cabrera's desperation for TV attention, notwithstanding, Nimmo gave us insight into Cabrera and his relationship with the team.

In deception detection, we teach listening.  

With a straight face, "its all in good fun", Nimmo reassured the NY audience. 

 He is a 24 year old mature athlete who is dying to get on the field, but is relegated to pinch hitting only, while Collins continues to play vets in a season lost, and Alderson has only promoted after much pressure and the lost season.  

Nimmo's reassurance that it was all in "good fun" showed that Brandon Nimmo felt that there was a need for reassurance and commentary.  

Brandon Nimmo is a smart young man. He has, in his personal subjective dictionary, a vocabulary in excess of 25,000 words.  From that dictionary, he must choose:

a. what words to use
b.  what verb tenses to use
c.  where to place each word next to each other to make sense;
d.  what information to yield, what information to withhold
e.  what order to place the information to reflect priority 

This happens in less than a micro second in time, as the brain processes to the tongue what words to use.  

"Its all in good fun" is what Nimmo's brain produced, in less than a micro second,  while being interviewed live (no script to follow) during something that is done on all the SNY in dugout interviews.  

When something is just fun, it is unnecessary to state.  When someone tells you something that appears to be unnecessary to say, it is, in fact, necessary to state.  

The context of saying such was also unnecessary since this is routine.  

This "is all in good fun" is unnecessary to state, making it important. When something is all in good fun, there is no need to make this assertion.  When some doubt may exist, like in school or in a dorm, it becomes necessary.  

Cabrera continued, including trying to poke his face in to the camera.  He began to make body movements to catch the cameraman's attention and was an all out jack ass while he team was struggling to overcome the last place Phillies.  

It continued and it escalated.  

Finally, Nimmo , after addressing the touching experience of riding the pine in Colorado where 30 to 50 family and friends came to see him play,  Nimmo felt the need to, again, tell the audience that what Cabrera does is "all in good fun" even though he had already explained the behavior.  

Repetition increases sensitivity. 

By stating that which is unnecessary, he invited scrutiny.  By having to repeat it, it turns to persuasion or "the need to persuade" that the club house is positive and what Cabrera does is positive.   

It affirms what I have heard for months and what NJ reporter truthfully reported:  Alderson did not want Cabrera's extroverted personality poisoning the youthful exuberant Amed Rosario.  (Rosario comes from a stable home). 

 Cabrera is a big pain in the arse  and is, at best, tolerated by players, avoided by others, and much disliked by some.    

He had to start the "I take off your helmet" after home runs because he was trying to keep his camera exposure high. All players celebrate and seek to have fun.  Some take it to the point of self absorption.  

Here is a great story for you about how one New York Met manager handled such a thing from a book on Gil Hodges: 

"During the 1969 season, after a Cubs victory, Chicago third baseman Ron Santo began a routine of jumping up as high as he could and clicking his heels together. The fans loved it, but it was considered unprofessional under baseball’s unwritten code that you should never show up the opposition with gestures. That July, after the Cubs won the opening game of the three-game series with the Mets at Wrigley Field, Santo did his jump-and-click routine. The next day, before the second game of the series, Santo and Mets manager Gil Hodges brought their team’s line-up cards out to the umpires. Santo, well-aware that he was breaking one of baseball’s unwritten rules, turned to Hodges and said, “… the only reason I click my heals is because the fans will boo me if I don’t.”  

Hodges replied, “You remind me of Tug McGraw. When he was young and immature and nervous, he used to jump up and down, too. He doesn’t do it any more.
How marvelous it would be for baseball in general to see a culture of leadership return to Major League Baseball! 

It is not just Cabrera and not just the Mets.  The change in culture in baseball is constant; it is the specifics of some of these changes that is catching the attention of more and more observers. 

Cabrera is a "me first" player in a world of players struggling mightily for both playing time and wins.     It was fun at first, and when early losses piled up it was even a relief.  But it got old and grumblings surfaced about Cabrera's need for attention.  

Think he is a team first, team favorite guy?

Go to SNY. 

Can you think of anything more fun than seeing a 9th inning go ahead home run by someone who just hit his first major league dinger?

Go to video.  

Watch the replay of Amed Rosario's home run and you will see, perhaps for the only time this year, Cabrera look towards the ground, and not take off Rosario's helmet.

Have you ever seen Cabrera not do that, even while on deck?

Brandon Nimmo is a gentleman.  He is young, mature for his age, but he is a competitive athlete who needs playing time.  He watches as a lame duck contract 36 year old plays, batting .220, game after game.  The excess of Cabrera not only led to defense by Nimmo but Nimmo was interviewed again by radio, this time he was interviewed about his interview.  For a third time, he defended Cabrera, heightening the sensitivity.  

Curtis Granderson is a gentleman and an inspiration in the clubhouse.  He is a lot of fun, which is enjoyed because he works so hard at winning.  He is respected and he encourages young players, even when displacing them.  He should be retained by the New York Mets after retirement for player development.  He's intellectual and he is ethical. 

Read Lucas Duda's account at the Player's Tribune, about Grandy for some personal insight from a non-writer introverted private man.  

It's touching in spite of its dearth of description.  

Granderson pops up to the infield.  

At 36 years of age, by the time the ball is caught, he is almost at 2nd base.  

When he speaks, players listen. 

When he jokes around, he does so to help players relieve pressure. 

We do not know his value in the club house, but young men like Nimmo and Conforto give us insight, as did Duda.  

He is a great man to have around for both Rosario and Dominic Smith.  

Smith is going to need strong role models and allies in the club house.  

The Mets need to unload Cabrera, one way or another.  

I often disagree with Sandy Alderson, but his concern about Cabrera being a net negative influence on Amed Rosario was well advised.  We can debate who and why it was leaked to media, but it shows both an awareness and a concern.  This is something Metsie fans appreciate. 


Tom Brennan - WHEN A LOSS IS A WIN


Tom Brennan - WHEN A LOSS IS A WIN

Sometimes you win when you lose. 

Did you get that feeling last night?

Our best arm, Jake D, was OK but not at his best against, frankly, a dangerous Yankees line up.

So he lost.

Tom Seaver used to kill everybody - except hard-hitting Pittsburgh and Big Red Machine teams.  Sometimes he controlled them, sometimes they got to him.  It happens.  Tip of the cap to the Yanks. 

Forget the Yanks, even the best teams most times still lose 60 or more games each year - that's baseball.  You lose a lot.  Jake is really good, but can't win them all.  Especially when 3 key bats (Bruce, Duda, Walker) were just moved, which weakened the opponent the Yanks beat last night.

However, the future success of the Mets has much to do with whether the new kids in town - Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith - are as good as advertised AND can handle pressure.

I would call going into Yankee Stadium and having Smith hit an opposite field 2 run shot off Sonny Gray a WIN.

And Amed hitting a 2 run shot off of Greased Lightning Aroldis Chapman a WIN.  Kind of like that time Mike Piazza took 100 MPH Billy Wagner deep in a key spot years back.

Because it is an indicator that we have the key shortstop and 1B positions on the Mets in great hands, with inexpensive, cost-controlled players that give the Mets financial flexibility.

I am not saying the 2 won't have growing pains - but maybe they won't.  Success can accelerate the trend to more success, and last night, both were successful.

So we lost - but we won.  You can't always say that. 

And we can still win a very good draft slot this year with losing, and that can become winning.  After all, we lost just enough in recent years to be able to draft Smith and the magnificent Michael Conforto

Yes...Losing can be painful, but later it can become a win. 

Reese Kaplan -- Look at Me, I Can Play Centerfield


With the ongoing payroll purge underway many people are hypothesizing about how to spend the money.  Wouldn’t a Mike Moustakas look good at 3B?  How about a Jonathon Lucroy behind the dish?  What about Yu Darvish on the hill?

Today what I’d like to examine is the big question about centerfield.  Since 2014 that position has belonged in part or in full to the soon to be departed (well, from the Mets, anyway) Curtis Granderson.  In the words of J. Peterman on the old Seinfeld episode, “Thank you for a job…done.”  Yes, he showed power and the ability to draw a walk, but the 40 home run days were never seen and the stolen base was pretty much a thing of the past as well.  He averaged 23 HRs, 60 RBIs and a .239 batting average over his Mets tenure.  While those numbers are not too bad for someone batting leadoff as he’s done for much of his time here, the thought behind the $60 million investment was a middle-of-the-order hitter which he has not provided.  Others might argue if you assign a value of $7 million or so per WAR then his 2.6 WAR average as a Met has him fulfilling the cost of his contract.  Regardless of which side you’re on, he is likely not going to be here next year, so it raises the question about who will.

Many people remember fondly the 2014 season during which Juan Lagares was a .281 hitter and Gold Glove winner who flashed occasional power and a little bit of speed.  It was growth on those attributes that led the Mets to extend his contract for several more years, escalating dramatically in price each year as they ensured themselves a post-season berth every year for the foreseeable future.

Well, like the injuries that derailed Lagares’ career, the Mets’ collective plans to be competitive into October have gone up in smoke.  Lagares continues to get more expensive and each year since the World Series appearance in 2015 the Mets have taken steps and then sprints backwards. 

2017 was no better for Lagares than 2016 in terms of his health.  His latest has been a fractured thumb which only this past weekend allowed him to return to the major leagues.  He is having a disappointing year to say the least.  He’s not even yet had 100 ABs, with 2 HRs, 8 RBIs, 2 SBs and a .266 AVG.  After his arm betrayed him earlier in his career, that part of his game returned, but then so too did Michael Conforto and as a result playing time has been as hard to find as a well­-rested pitcher in a Collins bullpen.

A lot of people are clamoring for a strong defensive presence in centerfield with both Yoenis Cespedes and Michael Conforto showing the offensive abilities to handle the corner roles.  Many folks say, “Hey, go with Lagares.  He’s here, he’s under contract and he’s already won a Gold Glove!”

To that I would say you’d be buying into the fallacy of a sunk cost.  Juan Lagares will cost $6.5 million in 2018, $9 million in 2019 and then require either a $9.5 million option in 2020 or you let him leave as a free agent. 

What do you get for the $15.5 million remaining on the two years of his contract?  IF, and that’s a huge pre-qualifier, he can stay healthy, then he averages per year .259/6/44 with 10 SBs.  I know baseball payrolls sometimes seem like they are paid with Monopoly money, but jeesh, for $7.75 million per year I’d expect a lot more.  The challenge to whomever is making the personnel decisions is to bundle Juan Lagares with perhaps one or more of the “valuable” relievers Sandy Alderson just acquired and get another team to bite before you’re on the hook for the rest of that ridiculous contract.

Well, what about Brandon Nimmo?  You remember him (even if Terry Collins doesn’t).  He’s had only about 100 ABs over two partial years in the big leagues and hasn’t exactly set the house afire.  His greatest attribute is apparently his ability to take a walk.  That could be parlayed into something wonderful if he could run like an in-his-prime Jose Reyes, but he’s not that swift afoot.  He has not demonstrated much power at all.  He’s a decent corner outfielder and a work-in-progress in centerfield.  By Mets standards, his greatest attribute is his price which at around major league minimum means he’s the holy grail of baseball entities – controlled cost.  Whether or not the team once again places cost above winning is yet to be seen.  His minor league numbers show about 10 HRs, 60 RBIs and 9 SBs with a .280 batting average per 500 ABs.  Like Lagares, it’s not awful, but it’s far from great.

So what about going outside the organization?  There are surely free agents worth considering, right? 

The key word here is “worth” as the selling price for ballplayers (assuming they would want to come to a team in total disarray) can be steep.  Occasionally you’ll see a bargain slip through like Nelson Cruz once settling for a pay cut to $8 million for the 2014 Baltimore Orioles and delivering 40 HRs and 108 RBIs.  However, the more frequent development is paying a slugger something on the order of $138 million on an 8 year contract extension and in the first year getting rewarded with just 18 HRs and 58 RBIs. 

One name you’ll hear floated around is Jarrod Dyson who got to spend some time on a national stage with the Royals run to the World Championship.  He’s earning a modest $2.8 million and could provide some strong base running speed (30+ steals) but he has no power and is just a career .260 hitter.

The man the Mets let get away and then almost landed for a teary Wilmer Flores is set to be a free agent.  Carlos Gomez is probably somewhat overpaid at $11.5 million as he’s been trending downward for a few years now in terms of his speed.  He’s got 11 SBs this year in about half a season’s worth of ABs which is not terrible but he’d once been a 40 SB threat and that’s about a 50% reduction in swiping bases.  Although he’s hitting a modest .251 (close to his career .256 average), he has hit 14 HRs with 42 RBIs in just 303 ABs.  There’s something there and he used to have the reputation for being a plus fielder.  However, opinions have changed on that as well. What would it take to land him?  I’m thinking he’d be looking at 3 years and $42 million as an absolute starting point but that package is probably overly optimistic for the acquiring team.  After all, an inferior player in Dexter Fowler got a 1 year deal from the Cubs in 2016 for $13 million and then landed a 5 year deal for $82.5 million ($16.5 million per year).  I don’t see it as a good investment for a 32 year old already slowing down.  Fowler’s numbers are eerily similar this year to what Gomez is doing with even less speed.  I can’t see him expecting anything less.  Please pass.

Lorenzo Cain is also well known to the Mets from his 2015 World Series appearance.  Having spent virtually his entire career with the Kansas City Royals, he was an All Star and finished third in the MVP voting while helping lead the Royals to humiliating Terry Collins’ Mets while establishing his career highs in HRs, RBIs, AVG and tying for SBs.  Unlike his rival from the Rangers, his numbers have continued to be strong with a 17 HR, 76 RBI, 30 SB average over 162 games during the past three years.  He achieved this productivity while hitting a robust .296.  Having only once in his career having fanned over 100 times, he’s the kind of plus defender and contact hitter the team has been lacking for quite some time.  Unfortunately, this $11 million man is going to be cashing in as one of the huge prizes of the free agent lottery with a contract demand likely in the 5 year, $100 million range for a guy whose game is heavily dependent on his legs.  He’ll turn 32 during 2018 and you’d be on the hook through age 37.  I would be interested if you could construct an average annual value at a higher rate but a term of no more than three years – say 3/$66 million.  Would he bite?  Probably not. 

Finally, my dark horse candidate to replace Juan Lagares is the recovering-from-injury Ben Revere.  While playing for the Phillies he was a lock for six straight seasons to hit .300 and steal more than 35 bases.  He was hurt last year in Washington and lost CF to rookie SS Trea Turner playing out of position.  He was picked up on a low cost $4 million deal for the Giants and improved but not to his previous levels.  He’s hitting in the .250s but in 230 Abs he has 17 SBs, well on a pace to approach 40 for the season.  (As a sad reminder, the Mets team leader in steals is 35 year old Jose Reyes with 14 in an extra 150 Abs.  I’m thinking a similar $4 million deal could land Revere again and at age 29 his legs probably have 3-5 more good years in them.  Just as importantly, the Washington Nationals GM said he’s one of the strongest defensive outfielders in the league. 

My recommendation would be to jettison Juan Lagares and perhaps Brandon Nimmo, sign Ben Revere with an eye towards a 4th outfielder role and still make a play for Lorenzo Cain.  With Revere you get superior speed and equivalent defense to Lagares, and Cain provides you with another high contact hitter to go along with Dom Smith as you transition away from the all-or-nothing formula that’s failed. If Cain balks, there's always his teammate Moustakas who might want to grab the Wilpons' Benjamins.The Mets have some candidates for 2B and 3B in Flores, Rivera, Asdrubal Cabrera and Gavin Cecchini (plus Jose Reyes as a utility player).  I would argue CF is a greater position of need than 3B.  

What say you?




August 15:
  • RHP Ricky Knapp transferred from Las Vegas (AAA) to Binghamton (AA)
  • INF Dale Burdick placed on Disabled List
The Mets released P Fernando Sales

The Mets purchased OF Travis Snider from Texas for cash

The Mets traded for RHP Neil Wagner

Mets activate RHP Robert Gsellman

Mets place P Seth Lugo on 10 day-DL (shoulder)

Hey, the Mets are Spending Some of That Money After All

For those cynical fans among us who thought that the Mets would simply pocket the $9+ million obtained thus far net in the salary dump deals (plus the acquisition of A.J. Ramos), fear not.  They are pumping it right back into the organization to improve now and for the future.

Today the Mets announced they acquired Neil Wagner, another relief pitcher with poor control and an ERA close to 5.00.  He's apparently filler for AAA with the recent promotion of Kevin McGowan.  (And no, he doesn't pitch like Billy).

In a separate deal they acquired the services of Travis Snider, formerly of the Pittsburgh Pirates and two other clubs.  He's probably expected to fill some of the offensive void left in Las Vegas when Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith made their long overdue trips to Queens.  At least Snider has been hitting a little -- currently at .294/9/44 for Round Rock.

Yup, it's good to see the Wilpons and Sandy Alderson are indeed serious about improving the club.  Who'da thunk it?



It is hard to meaningfully rank minor league players based on YTD stats in any given category, as players get promoted into and out of any respective minor league level during any given season (see how I used "any given" there twice?)
But Pete Alonso, despite missing 44 of Florida State League St Lucie's 119 games to date, is tied for the league lead with 16 homers (Jhoan Urena has 9)....leads in slugging % at .532 (Urena is at .427)....and is second in RBIs at 57 (tied with Jhoan Urena, but Urena has played in 42 more games).
Pete also sits at 10th in doubles despite his many missed games (Jhoan has a league-tying 34 doubles so far). 
Both Pete & Urena are averaging 29 doubles per 100 games.
Both sit within a few points of one another in the .280's in hitting.  Pete is 10th in the league at .284, despite a slow start which saw him hitting just .160 over his first 22 games. 
And Urena is 13th in the league in steals, with 17 in 20 attempts.
If you were to double Alonso's number of games to project his stats, from 75 to 150 games, you'd get 44 doubles, 32 homers and 114 RBIs.  In a relatively tough league to hit in, those numbers are relatively tough to overlook.  Pretty jaw-dropping, actually. 
Over his last 8 weeks (June 19 through August 14), Pete has been unreal - 14 homers, 20 doubles, and 51 RBIs and hitting .333 in a little over 50 games.  Staggering, frankly.  The kind of stats you find from prospects on some other baseball organization's team.
Jhoan Urena is doing well.  A nice step forward this year for the 22 year old switch hitter in 2017.
But I really have my eye on Pounding Pete. 
A Beast is emerging.


Peter Hyatt - Optimism for the 2018 New York Mets


A scenario for Spring 2018 to consider as Hope Springs Eternal. 

Spring Training, 2018 was set to begin on February 20th, but the New York Mets pitchers, led by Jacob DeGrom, had all been there two weeks earlier, focusing upon fundamentals and conditioning.  

DeGrom and Wheeler, two fierce competitors, joined Steven Matz in the off season in strengthening and flexibility training, but were careful to limit the work, eat well, and got plenty of rest. 

Dominic Smith showed up 15 pounds lighter, with no dangerous rapid weight loss.  The additional paycheck from 2017 gave him the ability to circumvent late night fast food and hire a cook. He will never be lean without sacrificing strength due to his genetics, but showed up in great shape. 

Amed Rosario was another early show.  He was like a little kid Christmas morning; he just could not stay home in bed.  

He carefully added 5 lbs of muscle to his still immature 6' 1" frame and is even stronger.  He worked on his backhand, but also did wind sprints to increase his explosiveness out of the box and for base stealing. 

Michael Conforto arrived, rested, in shape and ready to pick up where he left off.  

Tomas Nido, catching prospect who spent the last few games slugging in Vegas, came hungry to make the team. 

Jeureys Familia arrived too, looking to reclaim his closer spot.  

Addition by subtraction, some of the "distractions" have been shipped out, left unsigned, or will start the season on the DL.  There is a fresh wind blowing in Florida that the eager players can sense.  

But the best of all was not the commitment to health showed by the bruised, battered and DL'd New York Mets who came early and ready for the 2018 season.  

Best of all was the grizzled dead panned face of their new manager.  

***** ******* was hired to reclaim the club house, bring his old school Marine-like discipline, and give back the Mets the team first, self sacrificing, fight in the trenches for each other mentality that had been so sorely lacking.  

The earliest arrivals were told to expect nothing short of eating, drinking, and sleeping baseball for the next 8 months, and that celebrations would be held off until October.  

Fun, he told them, is winning.  

The squad loved it.  

Hope Springs Eternal. 

Tom Brennan - THE REST OF 2017


Tom Brennan - THE REST OF 2017

The Mets have dumped on their 2017 season so far, due to just way, way too many lengthy injuries, and now they have dumped 4 major Mets hombres in the past few weeks:

1) Lucas Duda - I always felt he could be better than he was, but he wasn't bad, and if not for the elbow injury this season, likely would have been close to Jay Bruce numbers.

2) Addison Reed - two wonderful seasons - you can stop back if you like, Mr. Reed.

3) Jay Bruce - hated him this time last year.  Then I loved his play in 2017.  Back in 2018?  Whaddya say, Jay?

4) Neil Walker - he had to go and pull his hammy after 6 very hot (Daniel Murphy hot) weeks.  Very good when healthy.  Maybe our 2018 third baseman?

Beyond those 4, I still think another team will swoop in and nab Grandy (getting $100,000 cheaper by the day) and perhaps Cabrera (a quality bat and reasonably versatile).  Perhaps save another several million smackers there.  Grandy has to be attractive, since he has had about a .385 on base % after his miserable April and 16 homers in 260 at bats, and has successfully experienced lots of playoff pressure (51 games, .339 OB%, .459 slug %).  Attractive.

Only one major leaguer came to the Mets in another deal - AJ Ramos.  We lost Merandy Gonzalez, and while he has allowed just 3 runs in 14 innings since the trade, his 7 Ks continues a trend of lower strikeouts in High A ball (just 31 in 50 innings), so I wonder if he will experience headwinds in AA, AAA, and eventually the majors if he is not missing enough bats in A ball now.  Another Gabe Ynoa

Ricky Cespedes, the second player traded to the Marlins, is off to a poor start for the Marlins minors since the trade.  So I rate the Ramos trade GOOD.  We, after all, need a strong pen in 2018 to support what could be a suspect starting rotation.

So - if Grandy and Cabrera both leave and the 4 departed turn into the 6 departed, there will be plenty of playing time for Brandon Nimmo and Flying Juan Lagares in the outfield to either up their trade value or get them more ready for 2018, most likely as reserve outfielders.  Maybe the Mets will do a decent thing and promote Travis Taijeron and his 351 extra base hit bat to the majors in September for at least a cup of coffee.

& will Cespedes finish 2017 like a beast? Conforto hit 35?

Infield-wise, we'll get to see lots and lots of Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith, and that is good (always fun to follow quality rooks when they debut); also by September 1 should get to see more as to what Gavin Cecchini and Matt Reynolds can do with more consistent playing time. 

Gavin is hitting mid-.290's in 39 games since the start of July, and hence seems to be coming around (and is still only 23), and Matt has hit well in Vegas (.325/.396/.500 in 31 games), and perhaps with more MLB playing time over the next several weeks will show us more...one of those 2 ought to be a 2018 utility player...either would have to show an awful lot to be considered for a 2B starting slot.

Catching-wise, we know what Rene Rivera can do, so let's sit him and call up Kevin Plawecki on September 1 and have him split time with Travis d'Arnaud all September.

K Plaw has failed his Mets hitting auditions so far, but his .329/.379/.531 in 61 AAA games is indicative of a possibly very much improved bat arriving back in Queens in September.

Pitching-wise, it's good to see Kevin McGowan get called up.  5-1, 2.35 in 84 innings in 2016, and 5-4, 4.06 for Vegas in 2017, with nearly a K per inning over 2016 and 2017.  4.06 in Vegas is medal-worthy.  Perhaps he can be a serviceable Mets pen arm in 2018. 

Besides him, it is great to see Chris Flexen getting lots of opportunity to start after his promo from AA, and perhaps Corey Oswalt will get a chance too, in September, given his fine season in AA (especially when you overlook his first few shaky starts of 2017). 

Lefty Kyle Regnault has had a very solid relief year in AA (15 IP, 2-0, 1.17 ERA) and AAA (3-0, 3.41 in 37 IP) with 54 Ks in 52 innings - why can't he in September replace Josh Edgin as the Mets' lefty back up to Jerry Blevins.  I also look forward to seeing how Paul Sewald finishes a very solid rookie season.

Of course, we should be getting back Harvey, Thor, Familia, and Wheeler over the last 7 weeks of 2017, which should give us either great hope for 2018 (esp. Thor and Familia) or a chance to objectively evaluate further in 2017 their potential for usefulness in 2018 (Harvey, Wheeler).  I personally am not a fan of Wheeler, just saying.

And will we see some "bid thee adieu" pinch hitting appearances by David Wright?  Bring your Kleenex.

And at this point, it would take a miracle, but do we see Tim Tebow in September?  Tebow, by the way, turned 30 yesterday and was on base 3 times.  That, though, was on a night where St Lucie had 18 hits and 10 walks, so it appears all of them celebrated.

2017 should still be interesting in its own way...
just not "playoffs interesting". 

Mack's Mets © 2012