Reese Kaplan -- Some Truffles on the Cow Patties


Trends are a tricky thing because you don’t know if they’re sustainable or not.  However, in this superfund site in Queens, there are actually a few encouraging signs to consider when you start thinking about next year.

To begin, Wilmer Flores getting regular ABs has been a good thing for quite some time now even if the guys holding the lineup pencil are too stubborn to acknowledge it.  Over the past 30 days Wilmer has hit .298 with 3 HRs, 6 doubles and 11 RBIs.  He’s also only struck out 6 times.  Imagine that – someone who makes contact!  Unfortunately, he’s proving once again he’s a man without a position as his glove has never caught up to his bat.  Perhaps being an AL designated hitter is indeed the best way to achieve value for his talent.  He’s been tried and more-or-less failed with every defensive option short of catcher.  The skill is there but if he’s strictly a role player on the Mets then he might be worth more in trade.

Newcomer Jeff McNeil is performing like, well, Jeff McNeil.  He was a .300 hitter with power in the minors and he’s a .333 hitter thus far in his 13 game sample in the big leagues.  An OBP of .429 and an OPS of .911 SHOULD mean that the Wilpons and Ricco (or whatever Stooge is put in charge of the 2019 season) can close their checkbooks and enjoy the minimum wage exploits of the new 2nd baseman.

Michael Conforto has been on something of a run production tear during this interval as well, with 4 HRs and 13 RBIs.  That’s while playing with a minor injury as well.  His batting average is still not where you’d like it to be – just .256 for the past 30 days – but it’s a vast improvement over what he’d done earlier in the year. 

Other hot hitters for the Mets lately include pitcher Jacob deGrom, Austin Aoki and Luis Guillorme who is 3-6 in his very limited opportunities. 

Amed Rosario seemingly has hit a wall and his .218 batting average for the past month suggests there’s something endemically wrong here.  Another site’s writer volunteered a very intelligent idea of sending him down to AA to work on his game out of the spotlight and regain some confidence.  Doing it at the AAA level  wouldn’t necessarily mean anything as the hitting numbers are inflated.  You could let Guillorme play SS every day in his absence to see how he does with a prolonged look.  That way you'd know whether or not he could have a bench role going forward.

For what it’s worth Jose Reyes has gotten hot by his anemic standards -- .214 over this period – and Joey Bats needs a new nickname with his .165 average.  After many were anointing Brandon Nimmo an All-Star he’s hit a major tailspin and over the last 30 days has only hit .207 with an alarming 33 Ks. 

On the pitching side of the ledger, you already know what deGrom is doing.  He’s proving to be human after all as his 30-day ERA is UP to 2.01.  Then there’s Zack Wheeler’s emergence as he’s gone with a 2.51 number over the same period.  Noah Syndergaard between injury and illness is at 2.65.  Corey Oswalt is at a respectable 3.68, too.  Perhaps Jason Vargas' latest 1/3 of an inning stinker will open up management's eyes to cut him loose or at least banish him to the pen when Steven Matz returns.

The bullpen has got Jerry Blevins finally pitching like Jerry Blevins – a 2.57 ERA over the past month.  Robert Gsellman is resembling the earlier season version with a 2.92 ERA.  Seth Lugo is neck and neck with a 3.00.  Bobby Wahl gave up his first two runs last night, but Drew Smith is down to a 2.57 ERA.  With Anthony Swarzak out yet again, the Mets may be leaning on Wahl, Gsellman and Drew Smith to see who might be capable of closing games. 

Many call this portion the schedule “Garbage Time” in reference to the meaningless nature of the games as it relates the pennant race.  However, to folks looking to open some eyes and not merely being handed starting assignments due to past success (cough, Jose Bautista, cough-cough, Todd Frazier, cough-cough-cough, Jose Reyes), this time is critical.  Last year the Mets had the opportunity to test drive some of their younger and role players down the stretch but in many cases failed to do so.  Jose Reyes still lead the team in ABs despite his paltry performance and impending free agency.  Gavin Cecchini, Brandon Nimmo and others rotted on the bench.  Let’s not repeat that same mistake in this even more lost season. 


Thomas Brennan said...

Nice recap.

Brandon Nimmo deserves a full year of playing almost every single day to see what he can do. I think part of his swoon was when he got hit by the pitch on his hand, so let's see where he ends up. So far, so good, really.

There has been some recent discussion here on whether Alonso should even be promoted this year. I think it is natural to see a prolonged slump and assume a lack of readiness. He, however, pulled out of that slump on July 19.

Since then, in 17 games, 24 RBI, 6 doubles, a triple, 6 homers, .362, 8 walks. Huge.
Unless he has a major swoon in the last 4 weeks of the AAA season, it would be an insult not to call him up at AAA season's end, if not sooner.

Reese Kaplan said...

Insult, yes. Prudent financially to the Cheapons, no.

Gary Seagren said...

The absolutely brutal player additions from last winter will haunt us well into next year and beyond but to still be playing Joey Bats and Reyes only means maybe there is a plan and it's lets tank this thing for a better draft position.....oh wait that can't be because it actually makes sense. The new GM will have his hands full no doubt because does he trade Jake or Thor for a prospect package knowing our biggest offensive weapon won't be available till probably August at best and possibly 2020 and look to build for 2020/2021 or try and compete next year under the Wilponzies financial limits.

Thomas Brennan said...

How is Jay Bruce? Is he another guy who will eventually need surgery?

Gary, they can tank this team also by cutting the Joses and calling up guys like Kaczmarski and eventually Alonso - I do not expect those two to make the Mets better this year. They's stil effectively "tank."

I still think getting his feet wet in 2018 will help Alonso in 2019, who clearly could be our opening day 1B at this rate.

Richard Holmes said...

One of the big mistakes the Mets front office makes consistently is they listen to people like us and the media and allow those opinions to guide their actions. As a wise coach said once "if you listen to the fans in the stands, soon you will be a fan in the stands." Let me preface my thoughts-I believe in the patient development of players. Last July bloggers and the media were clamoring for an immediate call-up of Dom Smith and Amed Rosario. Smith did not produce, he missed his first pre-season game this then got hurt. He is now persona non grata and since then he has been surpassed by the new up and coming star. Rosario fared better but has struggled recently and some bloggers want him to be sent down. Was Rosario ready last August? maybe not. but the brass listened to the wrong people. Going back in Mets history a similar clamor was for Strawberry to be called up. The Mets were run by baseball people and Strawberry started 1983 in Tidewater. Gooden made the roster at 19 because Davey Johnson, a baseball guy, insisted Gooden was ready (at least physically). Wright and Reyes were two other examples of being ready when the baseball people said they were ready and not before. I'd like to see Alonso get a September call up but it should not be permanent until the baseball people, not you and me, determine he is ready

Michael Freire said...

VERY intrigued by McNeil's start and hopeful that we have 2B figured out for a few years on the cheap, as you say.

Not as happy with Rosario! What the heck is going on here? He has the talent to be the future at SS, but he isn't
playing like it right now. Maybe a break (a demotion) will get his head right?

Reading the last paragraph or two really shows the amount of garbage that is on this roster right now. A MAJOR
housecleaning is in order......hopefully the new GM agrees.

Anonymous said...

The NY Mets played an impressive 13 hit game against the Miami Marlins and won 6-2 for their effort. Zach Wheeler pitched very well again, surrendering just two runs in seven innings, while gathering eight strikeouts. His ERA is now a respectable 3.82.

At Binghamton, Mets newcomer Kilome pitched against Rocky and his Flying Squirrels and took the loss. But his stats were decent. In 6.2 innings Kilome had ten strikeouts and surrendered just six hits.

In the American League, the Red Sox won again coming from behind against the Baltimore Orioles, 19 to 12. Hike. Three more homeruns for Boston in that game. While Tanaka and the Yankees took it on the chin again, this time to the big tough Texas Rangers. The Yankees are now nine games back of the first place Boston Red Sox.

Mack's Mets © 2012