Mike Friere - Are We Good Enough? (Part Two)

The term "emotional roller coaster" is an interesting one and it is usually saved for people who enjoy some drama in their lives.   I am sure that everyone reading this article can think of a few people in their lives who match this description.  However, the term can also be used to describe larger groups of people (teams) and how their erratic performance can feel like you are riding a roller coaster.  Our very own Mets DEFINITELY meet that standard and the early portion of the 2018 season is visual proof.

Thinking about this turned my thoughts to the current roster and if it is truly "good enough".  What that means within the context of this article is "playoff or championship caliber".  If that isn't clear enough, ask yourself how many of our players would play a prominent role on a contending ball club, like the Astros, for example. 

In short, if the player in question would find a spot on a "good" roster, then they are "good enough".

This will be the second edition in a series of articles that will look at the Mets' roster and attempt to ask the question "are we good enough" from top to bottom.   This is a valuable exercise because it will highlight exactly how much work the Front Office has to do to get the team where all of us would like them to be.

Part One took a look at the Catchers on the Mets' roster, which was a bit on the scary side.  However, right after I submitted the article, the Mets dealt for Devin Mesoraco from the Reds which should be a upgrade in the short term (maybe this will continue as each article gets released).

For Part Two, let's move to our right and address First Base.

Here is a list of players who have played First Base (or have been on the roster), at some point in 2018;

Adrian Gonzalez (current starter) - 26 Games

Wilmer Flores (utility role) - 14 Games

Jay Bruce (regular outfielder) - 1 Game

Dominic Smith (AAA starter) - Zero Appearances

Much like the Catchers, do you see anyone on this list who would start for a contending ball club?  If it were 2010, then Adrian Gonzalez would be a "building block", I suppose.  However, at this point, I do NOT think this position is "good enough" and it is also in dire need of an upgrade.  Identifying an issue is easy enough, but how do the Mets fix the problem and how long will it take?

1.  AG will play the rest of the 2018 season on a minimum salary contract (if you    don't count the money that the Braves are paying him), before testing free agency or exploring retirement in 2019.  I will admit that he has played better then I thought he would (.751 OPS, 5 HR and 21 RBI) but he is still sporting a negative WAR for the year, which means he is a replacement level player at this stage of his career.  The Mets should let him walk after the season (if not sooner) and seek an upgrade at the position.

2.  For some folks, WF is the "poster child" for young players that have potential, but are simply not given an opportunity to develop.  He has played in several different spots this year, to include 14 appearances at First Base.  Despite the hype, he has also produced a negative WAR for the 2018 and a rather pedestrian .703 OPS (granted not all of which was accumulated at First Base).  He has one year of arbitration left (2019) before he reaches free agency in 2020.  He is a nice guy and a solid bench piece, but I don't see him on the roster beyond next year.    

3.  Jay Bruce has been a pretty solid Outfielder for his career, but for some reason the Mets have played around with the odd idea of converting him (partially) to First Base.  He has exactly 16 starts in his decade long career at the position, so it's not like he has a long track record of success.  Maybe it is a way to keep his bat in the lineup and give his foot a rest?  An entire article could be written on whether or not the Mets should have brought him back, but I don't see him offering anything more then an occasional "fill in" appearance at first base for the rest of his three year contract.

4.  Dominic Smith was supposed to be the future, but a poor/injury related start to Spring Training basically put him in Mickey Callaway's "dog house" and he has been in AAA, biding his time.  I hate to judge someone before they are given a chance, but I just get a feeling that he isn't going to be the savior that we all hoped.  I would love to be proven wrong, but I see a James Loney type of player who could start for an average team, but not what you want as your primary option on a contender.

Farther down the "ladder" there are a couple of interesting names, such as 23 year old "Pounding" Pete Alonso in AA and 21 year old Jeremy Vasquez in low-A.  One or both of them may supplant DS as the future at the position, but I don't think it will be in time for this season, or even the start of the 2019 season.

The question then becomes, what do the Mets do until one of the prospects are ready? 


Thomas Brennan said...

I do not know why, every time I ask myself if the Mets are good enough, and for a moment think they are, the song "What Kind of Fool Am I?" flashes through my head.

First base right now is subpar.

Smith has a get-out-of-doghouse antidote - start hitting like Jeff McNeil. His .277/.386/.412 in 32 games for Vegas ain't screaming "CALL ME UP!" By comparison, AAA El Paso's Franmil Reyes is hitting .346/.442/.738 with 14 homers. Smith has TWO homers.

I flipped on the radio for a minute during a recent game and they were talking about Alonso - both said they believed that he had passed Smith on the 1B prospect chart. I hope to see Pete up in Citifield by August. Why not? Toronto will promote 19 year old AA player Vlad Guerrero by then.

Thomas Brennan said...

Interestingly, a former (now 31) Mets 1B named Eric Campbell is playing for the normal hitting part of the PCL in New Orleans. He is hitting .345/.432/.464 in 32 games there, as part of the Marlins organization. Much better than Smith. And one of the worst teams in baseball has not called Eric up. Why should we call Smith up?

An unrelated note: Juan Lagares' toe injury yesterday was kind of flukey, but when you are given a chance to play with Cespedes on the DL, and you are down 9 runs, why get that close to the darned wall in the first place? Because of that nice catch, the Mets only lost by eleven runs. Who cares? But now you're hurt - A..G..A..I..N.

RULE # 1 in baseball, Juan: STAY HEALTHY.

Mack Ade said...

We are not good enough.

Anthony Carnacchio said...

Trade everyone

Reese Kaplan said...

We here in El Paso bid adios to Franmil Reyes. He got called up to the Padres.

Eddie Corona said...

I did not expect us to fall this fast... I did not believe this team was going to be success this year but a hot start can carry you to a good season. We have washed that away... This team is flawed and full of holes...
Yes it time to be bold (i seem to say this often) Trade asap anyone not named Thor and Degrom (possibly conforto to) to clear every ounce of salary off.. then Look to make a huge deal for either Thor and degrom for huge pieces. the other is the one and only aces.

Then (and this is why i said no to Bruce, cabrera and Fraizer) You Sign Machado and Harper... Yes that is a pipe dream with the coupons... But with those 2 you have something to watch... This team is not a fun team...

Anonymous said...

Mets win again!

Last night on SNY Classics. It's unreal, a win every single night. 2015 last night, boys heading to the dance. I can still remember.

Flash forward, today...

All this annoying chatter from all the people who never played this game beyond possibly (maybe) a Little League level. Noah Syndergaard and Jake deGrom being suggested in trades to everywhere including the NY Yankees. My response is simple, "Are you people frickin' nuts? Do any of you know anything about this game?"

I know these losers want to sell advertising space for their websites, TV shows, and newspapers, and so they yell from the rooftops this insanity. This is precisely why I try my best never to watch or listen to any of their idiot shows. Yes, I understand that screaming stupid stuff from the mountaintop is a way to get fools to listen and watch their foolish programs, but I am not one. Sorry.

The right way to get this Met train totally back on track again is not by subtracting your rotation's two very best starters (in the top five or six Mets starters ever) in Noah Syndergaard and Jake deGRom, who by the way have together amassed 75 wins and 51 losses regular season, hold a combined 2.90 ERA, and have (so far) totaled 1266 strikeouts in just 1140 innings. It just would make no sense.

Noah is just 25 years old, Jake 29. You cannot replace this type of talent, and it doesn't matter really who you get back in trade because there are absolutely no guarantees in any trades that I have ever seen. Things can go bust in other words once a player gets to your team after a trade. You want names here, Mickey Lolich, Kevin McReynolds, and Vince Coleman for starters. All were supposed to be great once here like they were on other teams. Sure, it's that simple to do.

Next post will outline my thoughts on how to upgrade the 2018 team possibly.

Thomas Brennan said...

Dom Smith hit last night - keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Okay, we're back...

The suggestion to trade Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom revolted me. It was that incredibly uncalled for and idiotic. My only question is this one actually, "Is this the elementary school's best reverse psychology approach to make things better?" Are you kidding me? I for one hope not because it is pathetic. But to blame Syndergaard and deGrom, two of this Mets organization's top six starting pitchers ever, is truly ridiculous a suggestion to me.

Back to now...

The problem here isn't Noah and Jake, the problem is that players this team was really counting on to make this a Championship team, have not really totally come through (yet) due to in part to both their own inconsistency issues and under-achievements, but also due to so many injuries. This has clearly stalled out this team's progression to the dance post 2015 against Kansas City.

So now what Einstein?

The NY Mets organization as a whole are not devoid of their own organizational player possibilities. For instance here, this list of players I think very close to being here a member of the NY Mets:

1. SP - Nabil Crismatt (R), PJ Conlon (LP)
2. RP - Joshua Torres (R), Tim Peterson (R), David Roseboom (L)
3. 1B - Peter Alonso, Dominic Smith
4. 2B - Jeff McNeil, Gavin Cecchhini, Luis Guillorme
5. SS - Luis Guillorme (Andre Gimenez in 12-24 more mos.)
6. 3B - David Thompson
7. OF - Patrick Kivlehan (soon maybe Tim Tebow)
8. C - None, they are all here already

Five pitchers. Three second basemen. Maybe trade possibilities. Others trade possibility players not on this list above, like maybe Marcus Molina and Corey Oswalt if the team decides not to keep them. I for one believe that both Nabil Crismatt and PJ Conlon could quite possibly be here really, really soon and starting. If David Roseboom and Tim Peterson keep progressing as we have seen so far in 2018, they too are on the frontdoor doormat ringing the bell for entry.


Don't give up on what has been started here. The pitching staff with these two pitchers (deGrom and Syndergaard) included is what got this NY Mets team to the dance in 2015. Remember that. These pitchers have not changed at all really, just some of the other players names on the backs of shirts have changed. This NY Mets 2018 team is not so much a rebuild, but rather an honest reassessment and tweaking of player personnel.

Some of the players on this team's 25-man roster have been here a long, long time. Some have done well and others maybe not so good. Maybe the later have not been able to reach and then hold onto the management's expectations for them coming out of MiLB. For this later group, maybe it is the right time to let them move on and then fill their roster spots with maybe some of the names above that I just mentioned.

I wish there was a 100% sure-fire way to tweak this, but there is not. But removing Noah and Jake from this team's rotation is a recipe for catastrophy and the people suggesting such a thing must be Yankee fans at best.

Anonymous said...

And finally this...

I forgot to mention on the last posts list for the Outfield Bryce Brentz, who would probably be up on any other MLB team right now. He is having a very nice 2018.

The Mets have (including Brentz and maybe Kivlehan too) seven big league outfielders all tolled. Count them yourself, Cespedes, Bruce, Nimmo, Conforto, Lagares, Brentz and Kivlehan. Seven. A team only needs maybe six, if you count one guy down in AAA in case of injury to one with the Mets parent club's five. So right there could be a trade piece.

With Oswalt and possibly Molina, the Mets have seventeen possible pitchers vying for a twelve man pitching staff. Common sense dictates having at least two of these five pitchers down at AAA Vegas as insurance. The rest are tradebait.

At the catcher position...

This is where it gets fun, I would seriously consider acquiring a high level catcher (and these are not easy to find) possibly using some of the surplus above that I just mentioned. Marlin's JT Realmuto comes to mind and he has been explored here by these NY Mets as far back as April I realize.

Maybe some day this roster idea? Who knows for sure, it is just an idea really.

1B Peter Alonso, 2B Jeff McNeil, SS Amed Rosario, 3B Todd Frazier, LF Yoenis Cespedes, CF Brandon Nimmo, RF Michael Conforto, C JT Realmuto SP: Jake deGrom, Steven Matz, Noah Syndergaard, Nabil Crismatt, PJ Conlon, Zach Wheeler (making six starters, and I tried to go left then right handed, left again ti mix things up) RP: Jerry Blevins, Tim Peterson, David Roseboom (fingers are crossed here), Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, and Jeurys Familia Bench: INF - Luis Guillorme, Dom Smith, OF - Brentz, Kivlehan C - Plawecki

Anonymous said...

Around the Bases...

a. Can MLB teams even make trades right now? I am not certain. Let me know back here.

b. On Darrell "Buddy" Harrelson, my childhood idol along with Clint Eastwood...There isn't a whole lot of new information coming out on Alzheimer's Disease cures lately. Coconut Oil at the University of Oxford is making the rounds online after some research there, but it has a negative side effect too I have read. Cannabinoids are being used but check first with your doctor.

There are 44 million Alzheimer's Disease sufferers worldwide, with 5.3 million right here in the United States. It's all about a bad amyloid protein that clumps up the brain neurotransmitters wirings similar to the heart artery plaque substance in arterial sclerosis.

I read awhile back that using red wine apple vinegar in like a bottle of spring water can help with memory loss some and it is good for other things too. One thing is it can kill and control gut bacterium often associated with the start of other serious diseases. But do your own online research first to make sure. And remember to always ask your doctor before trying anything on your own.

Studying like gamma waves might be an idea too, as is that "Flickering Light Therapy" I have mentioned prior here. Gamma waves operate at like a 40 hertz level. The amyloid protein buildup lessens the amount of gamma waves in the hippocampus, the memory center of the brain. May want to look up https://blog.alzheimers.org.uk/research/flickering-lights-gamma-waves-and-alzheimers-disease/

All The Best to my hero and Long Island Duck Master Mr. Buddy Harrelson!

Mack's Mets © 2012