Mike - Roster Construction Possibilities - Part One


I am going to present my thoughts on this topic over the course of several articles, since each section requires some explanation and things would become a bit lengthy if it was presented as one piece.

The idea for this series of articles came about while listening to fellow Mets fans discuss what the Mets "need to do" in the off season in order to return to relevance.  Some would argue that a complete roster overhaul is necessary, while others feel that only a healthy season from our pitching staff will be the key to success.  Like most topics, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

So, in order to figure out what our favorite team needs to do, it makes sense to take stock of what is on hand first.  Sort of like grocery shopping......you take a look in the pantry before you make a list to take to the store.   Additionally, you also need to have a general framework with which to work.  Using our grocery store analogy, you likely have a series of meals planned out ahead of time and you craft your list based upon what you are trying to accomplish.

The alternative is to go shopping on a whim without any consideration for what you are trying to accomplish.  A cart full of random, expensive ingredients that don't accomplish your goal may look nice at the checkout counter, but it won't work out when the time comes to execute your plan.

Most teams employ a similar framework for roster construction, like so;

Starters - C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, LF, CF, RF

Bench - C2, MI, CI, OF4, OF5

Rotation - SP1, SP2, SP3, SP4, SP5

Bullpen - LR-R, LR-L, S-R, S-L, SET-R, SET-L, CL1

***I will explain the roster designations further as we move along, in case the letters don't make sense.

***I also understand that we may be moving towards an eight man bullpen, so you would swap one of the bench pieces for the extra arm.  For now, I am going to proceed as though we are constructing a more traditional roster.

Now that we know what positions need to be filled, we can take a closer look at what the current team has "in the pantry", so to speak.

You can break the current roster down into three subsections;

1.  Foundation Pieces

2.  Support Pieces

3.  Replacement Pieces and/or Voids

For Part One, let's take a look at who the Foundation Pieces are.   In my book, a player in this category is someone that the team is counting on to perform at an above average level and to serve as a leader.  You are happy to have this player on your roster and you don't spend any additional time trying to upgrade or replace this player for the coming season.  Most successful teams have a collection of this type of player, but they do not usually comprise a majority of a team's roster.

Some would argue that you can't really write an article on the list of Foundation Pieces that exist on the Mets' roster.  Why?  Because it would be so short that it would be better served as a "tweet".   Joking aside, after reviewing the current state of the roster, I count FIVE Foundation Pieces, as stated below;

LF -  Yoenis Cespedes

RF -  Michael Conforto

SP1 - Noah Syndergaard

SP2-  Jacob DeGrom

CL1-  Jeurys Familia       

By my count, that is 25% of our roster, which would seem to be a bit on the light side (especially for a "large market club", but that's an article for a different day).   I suppose you could argue that David Wright would qualify as the sixth Foundation Piece, if he was reasonably healthy and able to play a significant amount of the time.  However, I think that ship has sailed and I am not going to include his name in this section.

I think there may be a few more Foundation Pieces on the roster, but they need more time to develop and to navigate the learning curve that exists between AAA and MLB.

Looking at the list above and the overall roster framework, it is apparent that Sandy has some work to do.  What we have in this section amounts to a nice start.  Not many teams have two "aces", two power hitting corner outfielders and a dominant closer as a starting point for their roster, so the pantry is definitely NOT bare.  However, due to injuries or "other issues", four of the five names on that list delivered less then what was expected from them, last season, so there is an element of uncertainty moving forward.

In the next few sections, we will review who fits as a Support Piece and as a Replacement Piece.  I will close the series with any outright Voids that exist on the roster and a quick summary that will include one possible plan or a list for Sandy to "take to the store".


Mack Ade said...

Mike -

I look forward to the complete series.

There will be a million different opinions about this but the names you have listed so far are correct.

I would have added Ramos, but that is me.

bill metsiac said...

I'd probably include Ramos, too, but I'd put Blevins up there for sure.

Viper said...

Sandy has been at it for 7 years and for 7 years the Mets seem to have the same question marks. Manager, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, CF, C, SP3, SP4, SP5, relievers.

How is this possible? easy, cheap owners, way overhyped Genius GM has been, bad organization devoid of quality mentors to teach the young players coming up.

Now the Genius GM has learned a new trick that he is implementing for the last couple of years, insulting his own players. Quotes like "what outfield, with Nimmo in RF, we didn't feel we needed Stanton or something like that".

As the architech of this mess, Sandy should see himself in the mirror first because he has been the biggest failure and the reason the Mets still stink.

Reese Kaplan said...

Don't be surprised to see Jeurys Familia traded as he's in his final year and by Mets standards earns big money. Sandy will play a shell game, shuffling setup guys using closer by committee if Ramos is not up to the task. After all, you can't possibly pay close to $9 million for a reliever, right, Sandy?

Expect Harvey gone for the same reason...possibly d'Arnaud and Flores as they are hitting their prime earning years.

Maybe we should have a bake sale or something :)

Eddie Corona said...

Wish I saw this article earlier... great job and looking forward to the rest of the series...
I agree with the list and am surprised based on the definitions of foundation, replacements and support pieces that Rosario didn’t fall into foundation... only reinforces my fears

Tom Brennan said...

Too few foundation pieces. Yanks clearly, for instance, have more. An injury or two, when there are just 5, can be a huge setback, as in 2017.

Tom Brennan said...

Reese, I love bake sales.

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