10/31/17

Guillorme and Nido Named to AFL All-Star Team

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#PitchersB/THtWtDOBParent Club
30Yency AlmonteS-R6'3"205Jun 4, 1994COL
61Adbert AlzolayR-R6'0"179Mar 1, 1995CHC
22Kirby BellowL-L6'1"220Nov 14, 1991ARI
96Brennan BernardinoL-L6'4"180Jan 15, 1992CIN
59Tyler CyrR-R6'3"200May 5, 1993SF
61Samil De Los SantosR-R6'4"175Jan 8, 1994LAA
44James FarrisR-R6'2"210Apr 4, 1992COL
72Gerson MorenoR-R6'0"175Sep 10, 1995DET
32Tanner ScottR-L6'2"220Jul 22, 1994BAL
34Justus SheffieldL-L5'11"200May 13, 1996NYY
37Jake StinnettR-R6'4"202Apr 25, 1992CHC
#CatchersB/THtWtDOBParent Club
21Aramis GarciaR-R6'2"220Jan 12, 1993SF
7Tomas NidoR-R6'0"210Apr 12, 1994NYM
#InfieldersB/THtWtDOBParent Club
39Yordan AlvarezL-L6'5"225Jun 27, 1997HOU
15David BoteR-R5'11"185Apr 7, 1993CHC
99Thairo EstradaR-R5'10"185Feb 22, 1996NYY
14Jake GatewoodR-R6'5"190Sep 25, 1995MIL
13Luis GuillormeL-R5'9"199Sep 27, 1994NYM
13Ryan MountcastleR-R6'3"195Feb 18, 1997BAL
20Sheldon NeuseR-R6'0"195Dec 10, 1994OAK
#OutfieldersB/THtWtDOBParent Club
12Braxton LeeL-R5'10"185Aug 23, 1993MIA
2Corey RayL-L5'11"185Sep 22, 1994MIL
14Victor RoblesR-R6'0"185May 19, 1997WSH
45Chris ShawL-R6'4"235Oct 20, 1993SF
29Kyle TuckerL-R6'4"190Jan 17, 1997HOU
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Tom Brennan - EARLY '60'S METS STARTER FLASHBACK

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Tom Brennan: EARLY '60'S METS STARTER FLASHBACK


Halloween is an appropriate time to reminisce about early 1960s Mets starting pitching.


Not that the pitchers were bad, by and large. 

The teams they pitched for were NIGHTMARES, though.

LET'S REMINISCE ABOUT 6 OF THEM:

ROGER CRAIG:

Here is a guy who was 59-52 in his career as a non-Met.  Here is a guy who, in pre-Mets 1958-1960 was 21-9 with an ERA under 3.00.  

Here was a guy who had a decent 4.14 ERA as a Met.  

Yet he was an awful 15-46 spanning 1962-1964 as a Met, with 64 starts and 22 relief appearances.  Why 15-46?  

The Mets truly stunk then.  Would the 1963 version of Roger Craig, when he went 5-22, have been in the Mets 2017 rotation?  Sure - after all, his ERA that year was a fine 3.78. 

AL JACKSON

Jackson was another victim of the early Mets.  The lefty, in painful 1962, was 8-20 despite a not-terrible 4.40 ERA.  The next season, a much better 13-17, with a 3.96 ERA.  Overall as a Met, he was 43-80 (.350 win %) spanning 138 starts and 46 relief outings, and his Mets' ERA was 4.26.

The rest of his career?  24-19, ERA in the low 3's.  Clearly demonstrating that pitching for the early Mets was hazardous to one's health.

Could Al Jackson of Mets lore have been a starter for the 2017 Mets instead of, say, Raffy Montero, who sported a 2017 ERA of 5.52 and a Mets career ERA of 5.38?  You're smart - what do you think?  Don't wait for me to give you all the answers.

JAY HOOK

Jay Hook was lousy.  Period.

As a Met in 1962 and 193 (and a few 1964 innings before his career ended), he was 12-34, 5.22.

With his other prior team, Cincy, he was 17-28, 5.23.

So, the same ERA got him a .378 win % with Cincy, just .262 with the lowly Metsies.

Jay "up, up, and away" Hook allowed 111 home runs in just 753 career innings.  He made hitters happy.  He made managers queasy, and they gave him the hook often.  Jay did, though, manage to complete 15 of his 56 Mets starts.

Could Jay Hook have pitched in the 2017 Mets rotation?  Only if you think Tommy Milone and Adam Will were welcome additions to the Mets' 2017 starting rotation.

JACK FISHER

Jack avoided the Mets until 1964, but he pitched 4 years for them.  Four LONG years.  He went 38-73 for them, including an 8-24 nightmare one season in which his ERA was a pretty darned decent 3.94!

In the rest of his non-Mets career he was a much better 48-66.  His career ERA in total was 4.06 spanning 1,976 innings.  Pretty darned decent.

Could the 8-24 Fisher have pitched in the 2017 Mets starting rotation?  The answer is an obvious YES.

BOB MILLER

Big bad Bob was a really bad 1-12 for the Mets in 1962, and 3-14 overall.  His ERA?  A relatively good 4.41.

The rest of his career?  He toiled for 9 other teams - and was  66-67, with an ERA of 3.20!!!  Shows what an awful team can do to a good pitcher.  Could he have started for the 2017 Mets?  No doubt.

CRAIG ANDERSON

Sometimes, a pitcher can get PTSD.  Anderson's major league career started in 1961 with the Cardinals in 1961, when he was 4-3, 3.26 in 39 innings of fine short relief.  After that, shell shock:

In 1962 with the Mets, he was  3-17, 5.35.  OUCH!  After that, he was 0-3 as a Met, making his Mets career 3-20, 5.56.  If he jumped on a time machine from 1962 to 2017, and asked if he could start for the Mets, what would I have told him?  Warp somewhere else, please!


So, in my book, 4 of those 6 (Craig, Fisher, Jackson, and Miller) would have been welcomed to this Mets team with open arms.  With the 2017 so-so Mets defensively still being far better afield than the 1960's fumblers, and with the 2017 squad being far superior offensively, these 4 guys, who combined for a 99-213 win loss record for the early Mets, would have been winners for the 2017 version.




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October recap and thoughts- Clay Ramsey

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Well, the Mets season ended at 70-92, and I know we all thought the season would go better with the roster we had. Unfortunately,  we dealt with a multitude of issues that we all remember quite well. The Mets have already been busy this month preparing for the 2018 season. Here's a bit of what has happened this month.

- Starting off with hiring Mickey Calloway as the new manager after the retiring of Terry Collins. The Mets pitching staff really struggled in the 2017 season and hiring a former pitching coach as manager can help us out a lot.

- AFL- We have some people tearing it up down in Arizona. Especially Matt Pobereyko and Kevin Kaczmarski. Some of you know that Kaczmarski is my favorite Mets prospect, others don't. Kaz is just a guy who has a willingness to strive and get better as the years go on. Kaz will provide the good contact bat; although not necessarily any power, but not everyone can be a power hitter. Don't be surprised to see Kaz get some time in the bigs in 2018, especially if we see injuries in the outfield. As for Pobereyko, he had a lights-out year in Columbia. His time in the AFL hasn't been any different. He is a good strikeout pitcher who might skip St. Lucie altogether. I expect to see him in Binghamton to start 2018.

- Next, for the rounds of cuts. Most of these cuts were warranted as not everyone can fulfill their big league dreams, but there were some guys who I was surprised they let go. The main one being Placido Torres.  The Mets 8th Round draft pick from 2016 was released after really just one year in the organization. Torres tore up D-II College Baseball playing for Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tennessee. Torres debuted about 30-40 miles north for Rookie-level Kingsport where he posted a sub 4 ERA coming out of the bullpen. After the 2016 season, he basically disappeared. He pitched in all of about 5 games in 2017. My only assumption was that he got hurt. Still makes no sense to release a player that had so much upside. I was kinda surprised when the Mets released Gunner Kines and Marty Anderson. I'm aware that these UDFAs have a short leash, but these 2 should've been given at least the 2018 season.

- The World Series is about to wrap up and free agency will get underway and I will be willing to bet that the Mets will make some sort of big splash, but we will get to that when free agency comes.
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10/30/2017 Winter League Results | Mets Bats Quiet in Arizona, Off-Day for Caribbean Leagues

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Arizona Fall League

Surprise Saguaros 6 - 3 Peoria Javelinas
Mesa Solar Sox 8 - 4 Salt River Rafters
Scottsdale Scorpions 2 - 3 Glendale Desert Dogs
  • SS Luis Guillorme: 0 for 4
  • LF Kevin Kaczmarski: 1 for 4, K, Caught Stealing
  • 3B David Thompson: 0 for 3
  • C Tomas Nido: 0 for 2, RBI(6)

Mexican Pacific League
- No Games Scheduled


Venezuelan Winter League
- Bravos de Margarita 1 - 5 Tigres de Aragua


Dominican Winter League
Tigres del Licey 5 - 3 Leones del Escogido


Roberto Clemente Puerto Rican League
Side Note: Regular Season will start January 8th, 2018.
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Tom Brennan - TEN GUYS I LEFT OUT OF MY TOP 50

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Tom Brennan - TEN GUYS I LEFT OUT OF MY TOP 50

Even in an organization with as relatively weak a minor league system as the Mets had at the end of 2017, when you have 7 minor league teams and two DSL teams, that's a slew of players, so some guys you'd like to get in the top 50 miss out because, well, 50 is only 50. Here are 10 I left out of my top 50 that others might not have left out of theirs:

Greg Guerrero - I know, international bonus baby, famous name, you all think I should have him in my Top 10, don't you?  Sorry, ain't happening: GG has hit just .236 with just 13 doubles and a triple in 390 DSL and GCL at bats in 2016 and 2017. Only 19 next year, but sorry, he has not earned his way into my top 50.  You can have him in yours if you'd like.  I'm guessing his uncle Vladimir only did as well as he did due to Russian collusion, at least that is what I heard on CNN.

Michael Paez - Columbia's best of a bad bunch hitters before a mid season promo, but the diminutive IF hit just .200 with a sluggish .270 slug % for St Lucie in 63 games.  I need to see better if he is to be included in my top 50.

Matt Pobereyko - he had his first real minor league season with Columbia after the Mets picked him up. Did very nicely, too...2-2, 3.14 with 53 Ks in 34 IP.  But he turns 26 in December, and one has to wonder if his ceiling is Beck Wheeler-ish. He needs a great 2018 to really become relevant. (Great in the AFL this fall too, as pointed out by Joe Namath).

Kelly Secrest - about to turn 27, he is a nice bullpen lefty whose ceiling may be high minors.

Kyle Regnault - probably should be in my top 50 after a great relief campaign in AA and AAA, going 7-0, 2.78 with 66 Ks in 64 IP, but he is turning 29 and was not called up to help a beleaguered Mets staff in September, so I am not sure enough about him to make my top 50.

Dash Winningham - a first baseman with Columbia, it is hard to have a 21 year old with over 40 homers and 200 RBIs already not be in your top 50, but 2 straight seasons in Columbia hitting in the .230s leaves something to be desired.

Ryder Ryan - the most raw of the relievers acquired in Mets trades in 2017, Ryan had a 3-4, 4.14 season with 62 Ks in 54 IP in A ball. Just 22 this year and early in the process of refining his trade craft, he likely climbs into the top 50 in 2018.

LJ Mazzilli - a dumb 4th round in 2013, considering that Cody Bellinger was available at the time. He has hit .225 in 100 AAA at bats, and has a mediocre career line of .268/.338/.378, making Danny Muno look like a Hall of Famer.  And Mazz turned 27 in September, so even having him in my top 60 is generous. My take is when his playing days are over, only one L Mazzilli will have ever reached the majors, his proud papa.

Austin McGeorge - he really should have been in my top 50 - my apologies. In 31 games in Lucie and Columbia, the 2016 7th round reliever was fantastic: 2-2, 1.78, 0.99 WHIP, with 66 Ks in 51 IP.  He is clearly my # 51 who should have been my # 41.  I'll make it up next year, Austin - avoid Tommy John surgery (you see, somebody has to) and you are my #1 prospect next season.

Dave Roseboom - pitched poorly in AAA early in 2017, then needed season ending foot surgery, which may have been the cause of his pitching struggles. In AA in 2016, the lefty reliever was simply  awesome: 1-1, 1.87 in 52 games, 14 of 15 saves. Looking for him to have a healthy rebound in 2018.

Some special mention guys , but not included in the top 60: Ricky Knapp - stunk in AAA, but it is Vegas, after all; Al Baldonado - ditto; Logan Taylor - all the acquired relievers could hurt his future chances of making the Mets; Aaron Ford - 33 Ks in 21 innings, but throw 50 innings and I'll consider it; Dale Burdick - like him a lot - next year, he is in my top 20; and Anthony Dirocie, only because with the presumed departure of Travis Taijeron, he is literally the only Mets minor league OF with home run power (pretty astonishing). Trouble is, he fans more that Taijeron..

Thus concludes my 35 articles covering my Mets prospects.  Hope you enjoyed it and perhaps learned a little something about these guys.  Let's draft better going forward, shall we? 

Speaking of drafting, my 9 part, groundbreaking, earth shattering (LOL) series of articles on Mets drafting efforts over the past 10 years STARTS FRIDAY.

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10/30/17

Tom Brennan - IS MICKEY JANNIS DICKEY II?

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Tom Brennan - IS MICKEY JANNIS DICKEY II?

Mickey Jannis is a member of that highly limited, weird and whacky club - KNUCKLEBALLER KLUB.

The righty was a former 44th rounder in 2010.  What did he have to lose by throwing the knuckleball?

The Mets signed him in 2015, and in 2015 and 2016, he pitched some in A ball and a lot in AA - and stunk, with an ERA around 5.60.

In AA in 2017, he showed marked improvement: 

8-7, 3.60 in 21 starts.

But full season 2017 stats don't tell the full story.

In July and August 2017 in AA, and now in the Arizona Fall League, he has tossed a total of 59 innings, allowed 51 hits, 11 walks, fanned 45 and put up a 2.28 ERA.

I wonder if he just might turn out to be a truly rare species: 


SUCCESSFUL MLB KNUCKLEBALLER.

People thought RA Dickey was nuts.  Then he won a Cy Young.  Then he got rich.  It is my understanding that Jannis throws around 90, so mastery of the knuckler just might lead to Dickey-like future results. 

I will assume Jannis isn't taken in the Rule 5 draft and is still in the Mets fold in 2018: given the Mets' pitching miseries in 2017, maybe Jannis keeps right on improving and arrives in Queens sometime in 2018. 

He does turn 30 in December, but RA Dickey's Mets debut as a knuckleballer came when he was 35.  


In the Knuckleballer Klub, Jannis is a mere babe. 

Time to spare.  He just has to knuckle down.






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DAVID RUBIN - DREAM A LITTLE DREAM WITH ME

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As a kid growing up in the 60's and 70's, the business side of baseball wasn't something I thought about, as to me it was still a game. That changed, of course, forever on June 15th, 1977, when my team, my New York Mets, who I dreamed about all year long, traded our franchise player, Tom Seaver, in what came to be know as the "Midnight Massacre." My dad had the very unenviable tasks of first, informing me of the deal, and, second, explaining to me why it happened and how money and jealousy and a prickly sports-writer and a tightwad managing Director had a hand in taking from me, from us, my favorite player of all time! 

Fast forward, and through almost 50 years of (consciously) being a Mets' fan (although I saw my first game in 1968 at the tender age of 4), we've experienced every excuse for NOT getting the player of our dreams!!!! Whether the name was Gary Matthews, Dave Winfield, Alex Rodriguez, Vladimir Guerrero or Aroldis Chapman; and whether the reason was $$$, $$$, Madoff & the Wilponzi's, or $$$, the result was the same- feeling like a second class citizen in a small market instead of a first class team in the biggest market in the world!!!! 

One thing I've learned- there are just going to be teams that don't win, often or at all, and too often the owners are making too much money to truly care about their fans, let alone the outcome of their team once many of them have made their money for the season. I have given up on the Wilponzi's ever acting like great owners could, or should, and the fact of the matter is, if the team spends above $130 million dollars on the 2018 payroll, it will be a miracle of MAJOR proportions.

So- for those of you, like myself, who have grown beyond frustrated with the spending "habits" of our current ownership group, let's have a quick run of "What Would the Team Look Like if the Fans Were in Charge!!!" Now, since it's baseball, and since we have to live with the many strikes against it the organization has weathered under the current owners, we can't just go out and spend crazy money at every position overnight and sign an all-star at every position. In fact, that strategy has rarely worked - from basketball (beyond a "big 3") to baseball and for almost every team sport that is played. However, there are MORE than enough reasonable things that the team COULD do if, indeed, you or I inherited a few billion dollars tomorrow and suddenly forced the Wilpons to sell to us. Hey- the name of this post IS "Dream A Little Dream With Me" after all!!! 

Here's my plan, under my first day of ownership of the New York Mets as I build towards the 2018 season. But first, just a few notes- we want to win now, in 2018, because no one knows how long we've got left on this big blue marble and waiting is just getting OLD! We do NOT have the bank account that the Dodgers did when their new ownership group took over the team, so we're not going to take on bad contract after bad contract- if we take on dollars, something you'll see that I plan on doing, it has to be for contracts that matter NOW!! Also, we are NOT going to wait until after the 2018 season to make all of our big cash outlays- as I said- the object is to win in 2018!!!!!! Finally- we have to be reasonable. The Angels are NOT trading Mike Trout no matter WHAT anyone offers. So we stay away from the absurd or even the slightly absurd, as best as possible.

Now - on to the plan!!

First, I congratulate myself on such a great hire in Mickey Callaway (although I would have hired Gabe Kapler if I had the chance originally) and I immediately bring in a top flight group of coaches that includes Sandy Alomar Jr (bench), Jason Bere (pitching coach), LaTroy Hawkins (Asst pitching coach), Kevin Long (returning hitting coach), Glen Sherlock (returning 3rd base coach) and Perry Hill (first base & infield coach)- after paying $500,000 to the Marlins to release him from his contract. 

Second, I sit down with Derek Jeter and congratulate him on making his first big trade as owner, as he and Gary Denbo leave our offices via their Maybach limousine (don't worry- WE paid!) The Marlins receive a star to base their PR campaigns around, for the next 3 seasons, and acquire starting Outfielder and Cuban ex-pat Yoenis Cespedes, along with second base prospect Gavin Cecchini and pitchers Tyler Pill and PJ Conlon to the Marlins for star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton and second baseman Dee Gordon.

Third, I sit down with David Wright and pay him out his entire contract, in installments, after making a deal with him to forego playing again and accepting both the insurance settlement (for us) and a lifetime contract with the organization in a role that he will determine (that is NOT manager or GM). 

Fourth, I erect statues of Tom Seaver, Casey Stengel, Gil Hodges, Carter lifting Orosco, Mike Piazza and David Wright outside of Citi Field, in a beautiful monument park that is built as a small scale Shea Stadium to house them.

Fifth, I sign Todd Frazier to sign a 3 year, $48 million dollar contract to play third base for us and replace some of the leadership we lost with Wright's retirement.

Sixth, I bring back reliever Addison Reed on a 2-year, $18 million dollar deal and Outfielder Jay Bruce on a 3 year, $63 million dollar deal, hedging my bets in case Michael Conforto doesn't bounce back quickly enough and to ensure that Familia isn't relied upon too much, too quickly while giving Callaway a "big 4" in the 'pen of Familia/Ramos/Reed/Blevins. We'll leave it up to Mickey to decide who gets the nod for the other spots in the 'pen, and we allow him the chance to decide upon the rotation above and beyond our "top 2" of Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. It will be HIS job to get the most out of our prized arms, so it's only fair that he has a say in deciding which arms he's willing to bank his career (and our standing and $$) on in order to bring a championship back to NYC!

Seventh, I bring in the most cutting edge equipment and doctors, to ensure that simple things like scans aren't taken for granted nor ignored due to cost, and also enabling our coaches to obtain the most important and ground-breaking information possible, you know, like OTHER big league teams in big markets do!!! I know- you can't believe it either!!!! The words "Mets" and "cutting edge" in the same sentence- NOT something any of us ever thought we'd live long enough to hear!!!!

Eighth, I let Curtis Granderson know that, as soon as he's done playing once and for all, he's got a job waiting for him as our permanent community ambassador and also set about hiring 12-15 former Mets players and utilizing them throughout the community to create goodwill. Yes- we WILL recognize that other teams actually played in Queens PRIOR to Nelson Doubleday selling (sadly) his share of the team to those dreaded Wilponzi's!!! 

Ninth, we hire additional, top level coaching talent at all levels of the minor leagues to ensure that the talent we draft and develop will continue to develop and not stagnate under the watch of the wrong people. That also means that every minor league team will have healthy, quality clubhouse spreads and that each team at every level will be first class all the way.

Tenth, and finally, we will sign SHOHEI OTANI with the promise to work him into the line-up and the rotation, under the careful watch of Callaway, Bere and Long and we add some major promotions to the schedule, from giving away Otani jerseys to bobbleheads and everything in-between!!!!

Funny enough, even with all of these signings, we'd still be well under the $200 threshold (one of Manfred's favorite words) and have a very competitive team for the next 2 seasons.

Okay- I've dreamed enough for one day- now it's YOUR turn!! You can make 10 changes/additions/subtractions to the organization - what would YOU do with your newfound power??? We'd love to know- so fire away in the comments section and remember to try to keep it as "real" as possible - after all, we don't want this to turn into a nightmare, do we??? (Sorry- couldn't resist!!)
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