Do you remember the Sonny Liston - Cassius Clay fight?

The favored vet against the upstart, snot nose kid.  Well, the kid knocked the snot out of Mr. Liston.  Similarly, the Mets were dismantled by the young, exciting Braves.

Jason Vargas sure looks like a bargain at 2 years, $16 million, doesn't he?  $16 million, ERA of 16.  Symmetry.

Our other signee pitcher, Anthony Swarzak - I just read they have called off the search for him; search dogs head home.

You sign those two relative bargains instead of re-signing Addison Reed and signing Lance Lynn, you run the risk.

Matt Harvey surely threw at least one good pitch during his outing, although I missed it.  Did you happen to see it?

Happy Jose Reyes, our hitless table setter, now hitting .137.  He was hitting .137 last April 27, too, but he started to find his way then - this year, he's older, so now it takes longer.  But be patient, you're a Mets fan, remember?  We embrace adversity and losing streaks (11 of the last 17, and counting).


I would send Vargas to the minors, cut Harvey, and ask Jose to leave to become a Dominican scout.  What about you? 

With Harvey, don't take as long as it took the Mets to get rid of another budding start-turned-bum named Ike Davis - exile Harvey from Gotham now.

Meanwhile, across the river, the Yanks team that was 9-9 when the Mets were 13-3 are now 21-10 while the Mets are 17-12 - the New York baseball universe is back in alignment.

A friend of mine who thought the Mets would win 70 this year is back to saying, "I told you so."


Mack covers the minors' starters in an article each week - that's just for starters - I got the rest.  

I got the Bats and Pens.

Who is killing it with the stick (not so many) and in the pen (several) so far?  I'll give you the details (stats thru Wed).

Who "stinketh much?"  I'm taking names and revealing stats.

Who might look helpful to the Mother Ship in Queens someday?  If anyone?

Let's do this weekly update, and see where it goes:

Only one place to start:

PETER ALONSO: .393/.490/.762 through 23 AA games.  And 7 doubles and 8 homers. Beast.  And still just 2 miscues!  (Thursday update: Pete was 1 for 2, and 2 HBP; OBP up to .505).


JEREMY VASQUEZ: He is no JV player, Mr. Obama.  Vasquez is .341/.467/.561 in 25 A ball games.  Also 2 errors - he is, it appears, Alonso's Mini-Me.  Very impressive, considering his prior pro resume was a short season in 2017.

Third place:

GAVIN CECCHINI: Just 1 homer, but GC has 10 doubles and a triple and is at a robust .337/.389/.518, with just 3 errors, in 23 games.  200 points more than Happy Jose, if you do the math.  If Jose would just go away....

Who else in Minorville is OK with the bat?

Power bats so far are all crusty AAA vets: Zach Borenstein and Bryce Brentz with 7; Ty Kelly with 6; and matt den dekker with 5 (I can never remember which name starts with a small letter, so I went all e e cummings on matt here). 

Zach B has 22 RBIs (but 33 Ks) in 26 games.  Reminds me of Zach Lutz in that regard.

AAA Phil Evans and Luis Guillorme have picked it up of late, going .256/.333/.449 and .250/.352/.329.  Luis, unlike the Mets' current SS Rosario, knows how to draw quite a few walks, instead one every 2 weeks.  One has to wonder if he'd be better in Queens than the current SS for that reason. 

And veteran Johnny Monell is a recent returnee with a bat pulse as catcher offensively: .286/.380/.405 in 13 games.

AA Jeff McNeil is .277/.365/.615.  (On two more times last night, too).  Can he sustain that while raising his average above his .300+ career mark?  We'll see. 

If he and about 10 other minor league infielders were administered truth serum, they'd all say they're better than Jose Reyes right now.

HIGH A - Ian Strom and Andres Giminez are the lone bright lights offensively, with stat lines of .288/.385/.439 and .276/.342/.425.  They also have combined for 15 of 19 steals, and only 2 errors apiece. 

RF Gene Cone is at .290/.380/.306, but 1 double in 20 games?  Hard to consider that a hot bat, really.

St Lucie, frankly, stinks at hitting (.223).

FULL A - the only other name besides Mr. JV that is acquitting himself well is C Scott Manea, at .292/.469/.479 with no errors in 17 games.  Another week at that pace and he'll skip 3 levels and catch for the Mets.

SPUTTERING BATS - quite a few:

AAA Dominic Smith is at .270/.387/.393 with just 7 XBHs in nearly 120 plate appearances.  Really?

AA Tim Tebow - while Tebow in his rush through the minors has managed to put up OK #s (.229/.308/.371), he has fanned a horrific 35 times in about 80 plate appearances, surprising since he sat at about 1 per game last year.  Can he surmount that difficulty?  he needs to huddle with his batting coach.  (Thursday update: 3 run homer in his first at bat, followed by 3 more strikeouts).

Mediocre (or worse) in AA at the plate:

Levi Michael, Matt Oberste, Kevin Taylor, Jhoan Urena, John Mora, Pat Mazeika, Andrew Ely, and Champ Stuart

If my math is good, that is EIGHT GUYS.  Tebow makes 9.

So, Alonzo and McNeil are spreading all of their destruction with little line up protection.

HIGH A - Disappointing Desi (Desmond Lindsay) is hitting .211 in 20 games.  Also hitting under .230: Jacob Zanon, Anthony Dimino, Michael Paez, Dash Winningham, Luis Carpio, and Brandon Brosher. 

The last 3 of those six are sub-.200.  Hitting nicely, but again not playing enough for my liking, is Dale Burdick (.265/.375/.412 in 40 PAs).  Play the versatile dude!

FULL A - the bats blazed early on, not so much lately.  Among those are Edgardo Fermin (.256, but 30 Ks in 21 games), and Quinn Brodey (.229, 37 Ks in 25 games). 

Blake Tiberi is still solid but he has faded a good ways down to .280. 

The good news on Ali Sanchez is: he's playing, finally.  But just .235/.308/.294 in 10 games.


Overall, VERY hard for me to get excited at what is mostly mediocre, or worse, stick work.


Only one place to start:

TIM PETERSON - 12 games, 14.1 IP, 0.77 WHIP, 24 Ks for Las Vegas in AAA - for that, he should get a medal of honor.

Second Place (tie):

TYLER BASHLOR - 9.1 IP, 1 run, 12 Ks, 4 saves. AND:

JOSHUA TORRES - 7 IP, 1 run, 13 Ks.

Third place:

DREW SMITH - splitting time between AA and AAA, he had one pasting in AAA (who doesn't, except for when Matt den Dekker pitches), but overall, in 14.1 IP, he has fanned 18.

Others doing well:

AAA - Hansel Robles (yeah, him: 5 IP, 2 R); and Buddy Baumann - both in and out of the Mets organization, the recent veteran acquisition is stellar: 10 games, 8.2 IP, no runs, and 11 Ks. And we Metsies love guys named Buddy.

AA - Eric Hanhold and Austin McGeorge - combined, they have 33 Ks in 25 IP.

High A - Ryder Ryan 10 G, 14 IP, 0.86 WHIP, 16 K.  NICE!
Matt Pobereyko, Joe Zanghi and Steve Nogosek have ERAs below 2 (JZ's is 0.00 in 12 IP), and are equally NICE!

Full A - Carlos Hernandez - ole!  Coming up towards Cinco de Mayo, Senor Hernandez is 11.1 IP, 0.79 WHIP, 1 R, 17 Ks.  Also Joshua Payne has fanned 18, with an 0.95 WHIP in 14.2 IP.  I'm not joshing, folks.

The minors pen pals are certainly good - how many will ever see the light of the major league mound, though, well...only time will tell.  Just ask Tim Peterson.

That's it, people!


Mack Ade said...

Morning Tom.

Some thoughts...

1. Can we say 'Cassius Clay'?

2. I like your Dominican scout idea for Reyes. Can we do the same with Harvey and have him scout the LA bar scene?

3. Vargas is an embarrassment. He should give back his pay check.

4. I would dump/DFA/whatever BOTH Harvey and Vargas, eat the paychecks, and promote both Oswalt and Flexen. They can hold the fort down with Syndergaard, Matz, and Wheeler until deGrom returns, who I would give off for one or two slots. Make sure the arm is healed.

5. The secret in this team returning to their winning ways is through the bats. It won't matter who pitchers if you get shut out.

6. Most words in your post attributed to one player... Tim Tebow

Ernest Dove said...

Hey Tom quick news and notes on my beloved Lucie squad.

They cant really hit.....wait what...

Gimenez swing makes my heart sing
Ian Strom has a bionic arm. And I love his dad.
Carpio hits a homer almost every game I go to and plays great defense.
Dunn is a STARTER.
I have zero concrete proof but I'm saying Lindsay has been playing injured for weeks now.
The relievers Ryan, Nogosek, Blackham and Zanghi all can likely handle AA level right now but there's no room.

Hobie said...

I guess Uceta's hiccough on 4/22 (1.2 IP, 3H, 1 BB, 2ER) scratched him from consideration. Other than that though his 8.2 IP, 13K/4BB, 1.94ERA, 1.00WHIP compares with the other RP studs at Bingo. He's the one IMO.

Anonymous said...

Jeez, Vargas, a very rusty, feel pitcher with an uncomfortably healing-up hand in new surroundings, I just am not ready to give up on-but AAA for now would sound ok if degrom is really ready. Harvey is done. Jose aint helping ahmed. Sorry jose. Ahmed needs competition. Get Oswalt up here, too. Again, this team thinks being proactive is an admission of their own ineptitude, they prefer to wait like sages until too late. Wins and losses do count!

Thomas Brennan said...

In reverse order:

Hobie, Adonis Uceta hiccough got him kicked off my island - just for this week, hopefully.

Ernest, I agree on Gimenez - looking good - but he is no Vlad Jr. Can we kidnap Guerrero and hold him hostage as a Met for the next 20 years?

If Lindsay is playing hurt, he should go on the DL.

If Carpio hits enough homers, he'll be hitting .200.

Mack, when I saw Vargas before his first start in an interview, I saw a guy who made Jeb Bush appear to have VERY HIGH energy. He can't damage the Mets in AAA - let him earn his way back - I would not release him - if we do, he might win 18 for the Yanks, and we'd have to sign Tommy Milone again.

As I mentioned the other day, a very fine career major leaguer, Hunter Pence, now 35, was not hitting, so the Giants sent him to AAA. Does Jose Reyes have compromising photos of Jeff Wilpon that are keeping him here? Is his counseling of anti-walk Amed Rosario helping? Let's move on from hapless Jose.

Somewhere Dillon Gee is laughing.

Thomas Brennan said...

Mack, if I were doing minor league updates for a team that was not relatively devoid of prospect talent, Tim Tebow would get very little press. It is, though, amazing, that he has fanned 38 times in about 85 ABs and is still somehow hitting .230 - will the Ks go down and he'll suddenly surge, or will the experiment end in a flurry of strikeouts? We should know within the next month or so.

If the Mets don't right the ship, they'll need him to sell tickets in September.

Anonymous said...

Release Reyes
Harvey will be better thoracic outlet is about no feeling his pictures will be better later in the year
Conforto had no real rehab assignment so it'll take him time
Vargas is a finesse pitcher who will get better
Release egg on and platoon Bruce and Flores at first bring up Gavin

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

just joshing on Tebow

Thomas Brennan said...

Anonymous, thanks for your comments. My reply:

We presumably are still desirous of winning a pennant. Thus, we 9as a marginal playoff contender) cannot have two guys like Harvey and Vargas (and Reyes) sabotaging our season while they figure themselves out. Harvey should go down - he'll get more innings to figure things out - or, like Ike Davis, never figure things out and go away.

Vargas - if we can send him down, what would it hurt to give him 2 or 3 AAA starts? Or stick him in Harvey's role in the pen until he straightens himself out.

If we expect to win 70 games, just keep using them until they come around - we'll lose anyway.

Thomas Brennan said...

Mack, I know you're just kidding - but Tebow's Ks are a real likely indication of his baseball mortality. Except in an organization that will need him to sell tix in Sept.

Imagine if we had Vlad Jr along with Alonso in our system - we'd all be singing a very different tune.

Anonymous said...

The dark desperation of the moment creeps into the lifeless sarcophagus as it lays devoid of purpose or emotion awaiting the next NY Mets game to begin.

Anonymous said...

Tom, this is getting bad, "I see dead people", bad. It's like it will not ever stop devouring, bad. And the maggots are all smiles circling, bad.

Okay, okay, enough theatrics for now. So what can this team actually do (right now) to find solution. Oh, sweet Lordie, solution.

I could honestly be wrong here Tom, but this team doesn't just need tweaking anymore. It needs a little more.

My suggestion of yesterday maybe is beginning to make some sense, even to me: 1b Bruce 2b Cabrera SS Cecchini 3b Frazier Lf Cespedes Cf Lagares Rf Nimmo C Max Stassi SP: Syndergaard, deGrom, Lutz, Wheeler, Conlon. RP: Blevin, Gsellman, D. Smith, Ramos, Trade for a Lefty set-up of worth and value, Crismatt, Familia Bench: INF Kelly, Flores, OF Borenstein, Brentz C Nido

This is not a time to panic or create self doubt, but rather this is a time to find solution. This team needs to get back to a more calm place winning more games. It happens.

Anonymous said...

Anyway and without kidding, I still believe in this team a lot. It just needs to regroup and work out a few kinks in its armor. If it means a short stint down in the minors for some to accomplish this, then do it and do it now while it is still early on in the season.

The Mets are in second place, not last, and successful tweaks can make this a whole different team come Playoff time, when it all counts most.

Mack's Mets © 2012