Peter Hyatt - So, Why Aren't Kids Playing?


Here is a rumor to consider for those of such hold interest.

Question:  What is behind our current, early August line up?

Answer:  The Mets of 2017 have not yet conceded to playing kids for the future.

 Here is why:

Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins are stalling development of kids, including the reluctant (and not honest explanation) call up of Amed Rosario, the non promotion of Dom Smith and the starting line up that includes 36 year old Curtis Granderson over Brandon Nimmo, of whom some believe can be a quality major league outfielder.

In spite of being August and the Mets not only 15 games behind the Nationals, but a mediocre team at best,

Alderson is banking on Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and company to bring about yet another Miracle run, thereby justifying contracts and line ups for today, and not for tomorrow.  This is buttressed in Sandy Alderson's language that refers back to "September" repeatedly, in the negative.  The emphasis is clear.

Now, on to a more pressing question:

  What is in  best interests  for the New York Mets franchise?

Here is the choice:  A or B

A.  Play veterans now in a desperate win now miracle run to the post season or...

B.  Play younger plays now, with an eye on 2018, including moving even slower on our DL'd pitching staff.

 This would include Dom Smith, Brandon Nimmo, and more at bats for players such as  Wilmer Flores, and possibly giving time to catcher, Kevin Plawecki, who is batting .330 in Vegas and may have found his niche in hitting.

It would have the Mets restrain themselves (and Noah) as they work, not the miracle, but the 2018 season emphasis.  Leave the miracle to others, and limit the natural competitiveness of competitors like Syndergaard, and focus on small, health steps to the future.  Syndergaard is very difficult to reign in, as is Zach Wheeler, though Wheeler's personality type is to follow orders.  Both are very competitive and need restraint.  (I hear that this is not so much a struggle with Matt Harvey, however.)

We must be careful about discouragement, too.

At what point does Plawecki lose hope for promotion while Travis D hits .241 and OPS .717 while not throwing out base stealers?

This was said to be a very real issue for the young, enthusiastic Rosario.

Speaking of discouragement, I'd love to ask Terry Collins a question about human empathy, and  how he thinks Brandon Nimmo felt about all his family and friends out west coming out to the ball park to see him play only to have him ride the bench for the entire series.  For me, this was a perfect snap shot of Terry Collins' inability or refusal to encourage and facilitate the growth of young players.  There was no better time to allow Nimmo to start a game.  This bothered me, a fan.  What did it to do Nimmo?  What did his father think?  Did this endear him and his family to the franchise?

Nimmo's a most positive influence upon others in the club house, in spite of his age.  I do wonder how this impacted him.

The lame ducks have chosen A, while some within management have been calling for B.  (some even wish to see Taijeron, currently batting .282 with 22 Home Runs, but he is not getting enough base on balls for Alderson's sabermetric to warrant call up).

The "B" people want to see others given a shot rather than relying upon known quantities who are not likely to be on next year's roster.

The "A" people are lonely.  It may be that "A" is Alderson, by his lonesome.  He hears the views of others, but only in limited dosages.

Question: How will this change for 2017?

Answer:  Sandy Alderson has told us that it is not "September", meaning, all the Mets need to do is continue to win 3 of 10 games and we will see changes during August.

Objection:  But isn't this a waste of valuable developmental time?

Answer:   For those who are thinking past 2017, yes.

Objection:  But isn't getting at bats for some of the vets important for showcasing?

Answer:  That's been already done.  In spite of hot hitting, teams are reluctant to take a chance on Cabrera, for example, due to his reputation.   Winning psychology in baseball is team atmosphere.  Some teams treasure this more than others. (LA is one, which is why they've taken strong positioning with their own head case, Puig).

Other teams knew that Alderson was reluctant to have Amed influenced by Cabrera and ask themselves if his current hot hitting is worth it or not.

Question:  What about Cespedes? Where does he fit in on all of this?

Answer:   Mets management, in spite of a good road trip (.315) is unhappy with his lack of power and his chasing of bad strikes.  There is internal debate here.

Some say they just don't want to upset him, while others say let's look towards 2018 with him.

 Instead of playing him regularly, the 2018er's want to give him time off, and press upon him the need for health, stretching, flexibility, and so on, for next year.

They are not only up against, "win now" but against Cespedes, himself, who continues to dictate terms of playing to his employer.

Objection:  But is there really much talent in AA or AAA to mine now?

Answer:   This is a solid objection and pickings are, at best, rather slim.

Does Gavin Cechini have any hope for a shot at playing MLB in the Mets organization?  Do not underestimate the power of hope in harnessing talent.

Could Matt Reynolds be a better utility player, overall, than some of the vets?  Could he be battling Cechini and Flores for 2nd base?

The ghost of Murph has to be exorcised eventually.

Are there other pitchers that have done decently in atmospheric Vegas who could be exposed to big league hitters?

A great place to start is Dom Smith.  He and Rosario should have been up after the contractual issues passed earlier this summer.

We have all evidenced the thrill of watching Rosario's energy lit up the base paths and his child-like love of the game is endearing.

Wouldn't it be great to see him throwing to Smith?

Would it be wise to see where Wilmer Flores, with his potential of hitting 20 home runs and 30 doubles, fit in at a single position where he can work, exclusively upon?

Could we ink Jay Bruce to 4 year, $135 mill, without Cespedes having a melt down?

What could a 2018 healthy outfield of Cespedes, Conforto and Bruce produce?

Terry Collins' devotion to vets in the locker room is a form of self preservation and given his age, understandable, but it is not in the best interests of the franchise.

Against the Dodgers on Saturday, Collins did a late game double switch.  

He had to choose which hitter to pull out.  He could pull out Cabrera, or he could pull out the team's leading hitter, Michael Conforto. 

                               He pulled out Conforto. 

Keith Hernandez puzzled over it for two innings and finally said, "you know, in the bottom of the 9th, Conforto, he team's leading hitter, would be batting fourth..."

The camera showed Conforto doing his best poker face on the bench. 

Although there are not a lot of kids to play, we should consider what we have, rather than the silly miracle chasing, though, I'd love to eat my words here, should a miracle take place, circa September 2017.

The leadership and nerve to develop kids is utterly void and the miracle remains a memory.  

But, Terry Collins remains a popular manager with the vets who've had little to worry about this season.  


Thomas Brennan said...

I go with B. The season is firmly over. Sit the vets. Make room for the rooks.

Yes, Nimmo should have started. To be good to his family, and to him. He was his own worst enemy this year in getting hurt in the WBC. His job was to impress with the bat this spring, period. No running injuries. But he got a bad running injury.

Lagares should be back very shortly - OF crowding increases.

Something has to give - fast. Grandy should go. Smith should be here.

Cecchini and Reynolds - let's see them both be red hot in Vegas right now (only Reynolds is close to that) and come up Sept 1, and get playing time that wouldn't be there if TJ did not get hurt. Plawecki too - he should play a lot. Rene Rivera will be older and Plawecki might be better overall by then.

I read Bruce might be had for 3 years, $48 million. If so, might be money well spent. An OF of Cespey, Bruce, Conforto, Nimmo and Juan. And be ready to trade Lagares if good offers come in this offseason.

Reese Kaplan said...

All we can hope is that Collins does what he did in Anaheim and quit when he realizes he's in over his head and has lost the team.

That won't likely happen, of course, but perhaps for once they will do something smart and when his contract expires they give him a gold watch and wish him well. This season is building on his career losing legacy with the team and he's proven again and again you can't teach an old horse new tricks.

Hear, hear on the "play Flores at one position every day" thought. Shades of Jeff Kent -- why do they have it in their heads that this guy cannot play? He's improving his batting average every season and he's showing 25 or more HR power. For all the Murphy lovers out there, his defensive numbers at 2B are better than the last Dr. Strangeglove who's earning his living with his bat in Washington.

I hear you on Nimmo and don't know what he will become, but if you look at his minor league record what stands out is his ability to draw walks. He doesn't have much power or speed having only hit 40 HRs and stolen 37 bases over more than 4 full seasons worth of ABs. You could live with him sandwiched between Cespedes and Conforto, but I'd rather see Conforto in CF, Bruce in RF and Nimmo 1st man off the bench.

You are also absolutely right about showcasing. If other teams by now don't know what Cabrera, Bruce and Granderson can do, a few extra ABs won't mean a thing. The exception is Neil Walker who is coming off injury. In his case I think other teams want to see if he's healthy enough to compete. Of course, you won't move him unless you pay down significantly on his outrageous salary.

Viper said...

The obvious answer for me is "C".

Sandy the "Genius" will tell Collins "The imbecile in the dugout" to play the veterans in order to showcase them for a killer trade.

Bruce is not getting a large contract as he is not desirable for whatever reason. That he is still a Mets player with his stats proves that. All being equal, I would rather have Bruce instead of Cespedes.

Gary Seagren said...

After this weekend's disaster how could anyone think we have a snowball's chance in hell of making the post season. All your thought's are spot on but perhaps this is all a play at making sure we end up with a protected top 10 draft pick next year. My question to all is posted on the last post by Thomas Brennan

Gary Seagren said...

A bigger question is what free agent will want to come here anyway? Like I posted before when you look at the Dodgers and then think there's only 2 players on our team that would start for them: Degrom who would be a 3rd or 4th starter and Conforto in center that pretty much says it all. Now if this is all a play for Machado in 18' to round out an infield of Smith, Flores/TJ, and Rosario with YC, Conforto and Bruce in the outfield I could live with that but we would still need much better pitching and of course another manager.

Longtimefan1 said...

Mets do stupid things like veterans over youngsters despite a lost season, but it makes no sense whatsoever to claim Mets still believe they're in playoff hunt. They do not.

I think they're trying to play the veterans in hopes of trading one or more.

Regarding Flores and TJ Rivera. Neither has shown the defensive ability of a bona fide starting player. They are liabilities and one has partially torn elbow ligament who may require surgery.

The other - Flores is now 26 and continues to show slow feet and long arm action. Is liability everywhere but first base. That's a problem knowing that first base is not available with Smith on the horizon.

The Mets should insist that Wilmer works his tail off this offseason improving his quickness and throwing motion. If he wants to have a chance to compete for full time second baseman, third base, etc, or in some kind of 4-5 day a week utility role around the infield, he must improve in every way defensively. Doesn't matter how strong his arm is if it takes forever to release the ball.

Now Nimmo - enormously frustrating to see the young man on the bench, rotting there in favor of Granderson.

And even Cespedes who has gotten fat, is playing poorly, without full effort and ought to sit a few a few games a week.

It's time to close the door on Terry Collins and most of his coaching staff. He's lame duck, has nothing meaningful to say postgame but ridiculous soundbites that he doesn't seem to believe. He's constantly protecting his players and chocking on his words formulating broken sentences.

Among the young pitchers, there's a culture that de-emphasizes contrition and true accountability. We need pitchers who give a damn and believe failure to be unacceptable. Mets need some veteran arms to model and mirror responsibility and demand it from the inexperienced.

Robb said...

terry collins is a bad game manager. I dont believe that sandy alderson thinks the mets are in this, he's too good at math for that. I dont know why granderson or bruce are playing over nimmo.

in terms of bringing all the kids up there is a number problem and you would have to cut people and i dont think thats in their plans. they currently have 4 guys for 2 spots (walker, cabrera, flores, reyes) and 5 for 6 for 3 in the outfield. its a bad situation. and the guy in charge of the lineup isnt helping.

also hes going to ruin sewald for next year by pitching him every day.

they need to bring up dom and play nimmo in cf a couple times before sept.

Thomas Brennan said...

Long time Mets fan...great point on pitchers...failure IS unacceptable.

Viper said...

As long as the veterans are around, Collins will play them because the kids need rest and the veterans don't. I guess Collins is so old he can't remember how much energy you have in your 20's.

If these Mets are bad again next year they should seriously consider trading not only deGrom but Syndergaard as well and start over on a new core. But I don't want the resident Genius to be the one putting it together because we will end up with the same kind of team. Slow, defensive challenged and with no heart or leader.

Peter Hyatt said...


Re Bruce over Cespedes;

there may be an executive or two who agree with you.

The early TV announcement that "all players will be put on waivers" was deliberate and cued to our announcers.

Hence, some with their fingers crossed firmly, had hoped the Mets may have been financially, in your position, but there were no takers.


Pablo Grullon said...

I still find it baffling that jay bruce with the numbers hes put hp this year, has no market. As for Collins, nothing new under the sun. He will ride with his veterans for as long as he can and wait til midway thru september before be lets nimmo get amy action

Mack's Mets © 2012