Reese Kaplan -- Players Not Pulling (or Hitting) Their Weight


Back in the 1970s when Dave Kingman was a part of the Mets, no one could have predicted he would be the archetype for the kind of hitter the owners coveted – the all-or-nothing slugger who would strike out in over 1/3 of his ABs yet when he connected the ball was likely to go a long way. 

I remember distinctly that the Daily News coined a new baseball stat in his honor as recognition of his anemic batting average.  It was called “Players That Don’t Hit Their Weight” in which they would equate the batting average number with the player’s girth.  Now, granted, at 6’6” and a rather slender 210 pounds, Kingman had a little leeway to bat as high as .210 to get off this list. 

Unfortunately, the very slim Jose Reyes tips the scales at 195 according to most reports yet at the moment even after getting a rare hit this past weekend is sporting just a .180 average.  The sad part is that he’s on a hot streak of sorts that raised him up to that less-than-lofty level. 

Amed Rosario is certainly not setting the world on fire with his .236 average and erratic play in the field.  However, his errors seem to be more mental than physical.  Reyes, 56 points lower in batting average has less range at this stage of his career as a shortstop than does Wilmer Flores and that’s saying something. 

(Sidenote:  Todd Frazier is listed at 220 pounds as of Sunday morning is hitting .220).

We have all heard from lead Stooge John Ricco that the team is now going to retool rather than rebuild.  How has that worked out for you in the past 8 years?  The team is not nearly 1 or 2 players away.  They are about half a roster away from being competitive.  For all of the platitudes about how good it will be when Yoenis Cespedes (ha!), David Wright (double ha!), Jay Bruce (ugh!) and Jason Vargas (double ugh!) get back, the fact is that it creates a problem in that your two hottest hitters currently are Wilmer Flores who will once again be relegated to the bench and by Mets’ anemic standards, Jose Bautista, whose .255 as a Met may not look like much but on this AAA offense that is among the best.  When Bruce and Cespedes return, the club doesn’t have the cojones to start the players contributing the most but will instead revert to allocating starting assignments by salary.  That means two of Brandon Nimmo, Wilmer Flores and Jose Bautista go to the bench to make room for big ticket duo. 

To hear the Stooge at the microphone, there are no plans of selling high on Jacob deGrom to rebuild the club into something respectable.  He did says that it’s possible to move folks beyond those who have expiring contracts.  Let's hope that means Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak, Jason Vargas and Todd Frazier, but in reality he's talking about trading Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Steve Matz and Zack Wheeler.  That strategy would seem highly counterproductive as they would not net the returns that either deGrom or Noah Syndergaard would.  You can’t entertain offers for Syndergaard until he has a few major league starts to demonstrate he is once again healthy and dominant.  He has more years of control left, so moving deGrom is the smarter move.  What team in contention (or even out of contention) wouldn’t want the guy leading the league in ERA?   My only hope is that it's posturing...."No, we have NO INTENTIONS of moving Jacob deGrom" simply as a ploy to increase the asking price. 

Please don’t repeat the David Wright mistake and lock up an aging player when you are not willing to spend money like a big market team.  Accept your small market persona and instead replenish with younger (and yes, Jeffy and Fred, cheaper) talents around which to build for the future. 

You want to shed salary?  Go for it!  Find takers for Asdrubal Cabrera, Jerry Blevins, Jeurys Familia and others who are going to be free agents.  Then you can see what some of the younger players can do with a 60-day audition in the big leagues.  As it is, they’re likely going to demote the forever benched Dom Smith.  Make room for him.  Cut the dead weight.  Start with Jose Reyes.  Decide what you’re going to do with Anthony Swarzak and Jason Vargas.  Why keep trotting out players who hurt you each time they pick up the ball? 

Mack suggested that the tone of the lead Stooge's press conference on Saturday confirmed that expect more of the same as it’s been since 2015.  He’s unfortunately right. 


Thomas Brennan said...

I read the article with...ahem...a heavy heart.

If Dom Smith drops to 125 pounds, he should be able to hit his weight.

Blow it up, start over.

Viper said...

The Mets always seem to be opposed to doing a full rebuild which what they need. Instead, they don't spend on the big ticket players but expect to win every year with the same results.

What this GM-Trifecta should do is listen to offers for both deGrom and Syndergaard and see where that would get the team in terms of players. Then add to that from within or free agents.

But as usual, they are stuck with veterans that don't seem to be in any hurry to come back and join this joke of a team. The true colors of both Bruce and Cespedes have come out.

Sandy "the Genius in his own mind" traded all the veterans last year for relievers. I am so happy that it has worked to perfection as usual.

If Rosario, Flexen and others are an example of what we have coming up from the minors, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Instead, it a very hard black rock that the Mets will be smashing into.

Mack Ade said...

Does anyone here really think that this ownership 'team' is going to hire an outsider with a new plan that has nothing in common with the way these dinosaurs have operated in the past?

Come on.

Reese Kaplan said...

Mack's right. Ricco will get the nod for the full time gig after paying some lip service to an exhaustive search for external candidates. Their modus operandi has been to stick with what doesn't work or to double down and bring back what hasn't worked in the past.

Met Monkey said...

On the bright side, Mets players are hitting well above their BMI. That's about 28.6! So throw more dog on the fire and keep taking those Reggie Jackson Rosario cuts at the ball!

Reese Kaplan said...

So today's idiocy concerns the Todd Frazier DL stint. Apparently they feel it's OK to create a 40-man roster spot for Drew Gagnon to pitch tomorrow but promoting Jeff McNeil to play 3B every day doesn't make sense...however starting a .180 hitter with the defense range of a fire hydrant does. Oh, and let's not forget...we get more Ty Kelly. The season is saved!

Met Monkey said...

Maybe mailbox;*)***

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