2/28/19

Tom Brennan - Early Kids in Kamp - Hitters' Update

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Tom Brennan - Early Kids in Kamp - Hitters' Update

The Mets have their hitting regulars, and we all know who they are...Cano, Ramos, Nimmo, Conforto, Rosario, and others of lesser stature.

Some of the "others" will make it, some will not.

But:

How are the kids doing?  

The ones unlikely to make it, some of whom might surprise us that they are getting in real spring games at all.


INFIELDERS CAN HIT!!!!

Well, we have the first base competition, Alonso vs. Smith, scheduled to go 15 rounds...fine, but who started at first base on Wednesday against the Marlins?  

1B Jeremy Vasquez, that's who.   

With 80 games with Columbia and 45 more with St Lucie in 2018, and a very solid split of .280/.369/.421 in just his second season (and first full season), the 22 year old Vasquez must be liked by the hierarchy to be given a starting opportunity at 1B.  

"JV" no doubt hopes to play for the varsity within the next few years.



So far, Jeremy is 0 for 2, with 3 walks and no strikeouts. That .600 OBP is nice!




JD Davis almost qualifies more as a regular than as a kid, given that he already has major league time in, but I'm giving him some props here.  

So far, through Wednesday, and smelling blood in the water now that two of the elders, Frazier and Lowrie, will be out for a while with boo boos, 2018 PCL batting champ Davis had a heckuva day Wednesday with a homer and 4 ribbies, and is now 4 for 12 - and without a single strikeout.


I dunno about you, but me likes JD.



Davis could easily end up with playing time for the Mets at third base if he keeps on "sticking" with it.




Two other dudes who have played 3B so far this spring are:




Gavin Cecchini and David Thompson.  Gavin's old "E" nemesis reared its head Wednesday, as he made a throwing error and a fielding error.  Stick-wise so far this spring, he is 2 for 6 and 3 walks, though, so he has come to play, it certainly seems.  Go, Gavin, go!




David Thompson wants to bypass Gavin, no doubt, and this particular 3rd baseman slammed a 3 run shot on Tuesday to show "he got game."  But, fair and balanced, he is just 1 for 8 so far.

Luis Guillorme did not impress enough with the bat last year, but so far, so great for Luis this spring: 

2 singles, a double, and a walk in 7 plate appearances.  Keep it up, Luis.  


Staying in the infield, former Mets uber-prospect Dilson Herrera is 0 for 6 and a walk so far.  Hopefully, he can soon start hitting more like Odubel Herrera or Asdrubal Cabrera.




I HAVE TO CATCH, AND HIT TOO??

At catcher, Messrs. Nido, Mazeika, Plaia, and Sanchez have not yet channeled the bat of former catching great Yogi Berra this spring.  The quartet have gone a stinky combined 0 for 15.  Perhaps all are members of a left wing "Cruelty to Baseballs" organization.  Hits are what count, fellas.



MEANWHILE, OUT IN THE OUTFIELD:

In the "don't forget that I'm an outfielder here, too" category, Kevin Kaczmarski is 1 for 3 and 2 walks so far.  Very nice.  Clearly out to make an impression.  I hope he has added some power to his game this off season.

Braxton Lee, from the Marlins, gives the Mets both a Braxton and a Broxton, which could be interesting if both eventually end up playing in the Mets' oufield at the same time. 

The 25 year old lefty-hitting Lee had an off year in the minors and in his brief cup o' Joe in the majors in 2018...

But in 2017, in AA and the Arizona Fall League, he did great, with 173 hits and a split of .314/.396/.387, with some speed.  He is 1 for 5 and a walk and 3 Ks so far this spring.

Quinn Brodey had a mixed season last year in the Mets minors, but the former 3rd round outfielder is 1 for 2 and a walk so far - good to see.


IN OUR NEVER TOO YOUNG SEGMENT:


Sebastian Espino - he ain't 19 yet, but the young shortstop singled in his one at bat.  Amed Rosario looked a little nervous there (chuckle) - but it had to be a thrill for the 18 year old to get that hit.  Fellow SS Ronny Mauricio, still just 17, is 0 for 1.

Andres Gimenez did not hit well in the AFL last fall, and is 0 for 5 so far.  He informed me he is not part of the Cruelty to Baseballs organization.   So far, I am taking him at his word.

OF Anthony Dirocie had a nice season in rookie ball last year (.274/.375/.447), and is 1 for 1 this spring.  Beats 0 for 1, any day.  Keep up the good work, AD.


LASTLY, THE NO HITS YET CLUB:


Sam Haggerty (0-3, and a walk) and Tim Tebow (0-4, but hitting solidly, so I am told).  

Luis Carpio, Stanley Consuegra, Blake Tiberi, and Matt Winaker are all 0 for 1 so far.  The good news is if they get a hit in their next at bat, they are hitting .500!


Yep, it is early, but it is still fun.  

A WISH FOR SUCCESS FOR ONE AND ALL!

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Mike Freire - Projected Lineup (Early Spring Edition)

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Good Morning, Mets' fans!

By the time you read this article, the Mets will be roughly one week into their Spring Training cycle and they will also have several "games" under their collective belts. I try not to read too much into Spring Training statistics and performances since players are likely working on fundamentals and other aspects of their game and straight wins and losses are secondary.

However, you can start to get a glimpse into how the team's 25 man roster may look once Spring Training is over and the team heads north for the regular season.  There are a few complicating factors, such as early injuries (Brandon Nimmo, Jed Lowrie), along with the likely "service time manipulation" that will take place for a certain slugging first baseman. But, it is still a worthwhile exercise, in my opinion.

**On a side note, is it just me or does the team seem to have a bit of an injury "curse" hanging over their heads?  It might be coincidence, or even something much more sinister, but can we catch a bit of a break already?  Injuries galore, not to mention unusual "under performances" (Jason Bay) have been all too consistent of late and it has started early this year with the aforementioned injured players.  Perhaps an exorcism is in order?

Back to our original topic.......here is my take on what the Mets' Opening Day roster might look like (players in bold are "locks" for a position, while regular text indicates a "battle" for the listed position);
PC -Ed Delany

C1 - RAMOS
1B - FRAZIER (subject to change, pending Alonso's arrival)
2B - CANO
SS - ROSARIO
3B - LOWRIE (if healthy, if not, then maybe McNeil or Davis)
LF - McNEIL
CF - NIMMO
RF - CONFORTO 

C2 - D'Arnaud, Mesoraco, Nido
CI -  Davis, Smith, Rivera
MI - Guillorme, Hechavarria, Herrera, Espinosa, Cecchini?
OF4 -  Lagares, Broxton, Blanco, Davis, Liriano
OF5/UTIL - One additional slot,depending on how Mickey crafts his bench

SP1 - DEGROM
SP2 - SYNDERGAARD
SP3 - WHEELER
SP4 - MATZ
SP5 - Vargas, Dowdy, Flexen, Lockett, Oswalt 

LRR - Gsellman, Smith, Dowdy
LRL - Zamora, Avilan, Wilson
MRR - LUGO
MRL - Avilan, Zamora, Wilson
SUR - FAMILIA
SUL - Wilson, Zamora, Avilan
CL -  DIAZ 


Some basic observations;

1.  Lowrie's status will have a pretty big impact on the roster.  IF he is unable to start the season with the team, then there will be quite a bit of shuffling that takes place, plus someone like Dominic Smith getting one last shot.

2.  Similar situation with Nimmo, although his injury is not as serious and he is supposed to be back much sooner.  IF he is not back in time for the start of the year, then someone like Lagares or Broxton may be moved to the starting lineup and a fringe player (Blanco, Davis, LIriano) might make the club.

3.  Pete "The Pounder" Alonso will likely be on the big league roster within a few weeks, which will impact the bench as Frazier will no longer be in the every day lineup.  Should Pete make the roster out of Spring Training, then that issue will be decided in Port St Lucie.

4.  ALL of the bench spots are in a state of flux!  The upcoming games will have a large say in how the bench is configured.  I would focus on players that offer value (multiple positions) OR a specific skill (speed, power or defense), as in inside track on figuring this out.  The middle infield spot is the most wide open, but my money is on Adeiny Hechavarria at this point.

5.  The fifth starter's spot is also up in the air, in my opinion.  I think Vargas has the inside track, but that is not a guarantee.  The rest of the contenders lack any sort of pedigree, but what if someone like Rule V pick Kyle Dowdy is "lights out" for the month of March and gets the nod?  Or, if BVW capitalizes on the depressed value of the free agent market and brings in a Gio Gonzalez, or Dallas Keuchel?

6.  The bull pen is looking pretty solid and positioning is the only major issue left to resolve.  I think Justin Wilson becomes your late inning lefty, with Luis Avilan and Daniel Zamora filling in as situational lefties and/or long relief lefties, as needed (that is assuming they carry three left handed pitchers in the bull pen).

We will need to keep an eye on this topic as Spring Training proceeds towards the end of March, since things can change dramatically from week to week.

What's your take? 



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2/27/19

Syracuse Mets Announce Details for March 2nd Open House, Individual Ticket Sales for Inaugural Season, and Major Announcement

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PRESS RELEASE - 



SYRACUSE, NY – Opening Day of the Inaugural Season for the Syracuse Mets is almost here, and the Mets are welcoming the community to NBT Bank Stadium for their 6th annual Open House on Saturday, March 2nd, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. This year’s Open House will provide fans the first opportunity to purchase individual game tickets for the 2019 season. The event is free and open to the public and will include a major announcement regarding the 2019 season.

During this year’s Open House, fans can hit in the Mets’ batting cages, take a tour of the team’s clubhouse and stadium, and grab brand new Syracuse Mets gear at the team store. There will also be auditions to sing the National Anthem at a Syracuse Mets game. Those walk-in auditions will run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., and no appointment is necessary.

At 10:30 a.m. in the Hank Sauer Room of Legends, there will be a Q&A session with Syracuse Mets General Manager Jason Smorol. The session will include information about the 2019 promotional schedule. This is also the time a major announcement regarding the 2019 season will be announced.

“Open House is a fun tradition that we are continuing as the Syracuse Mets,” said Smorol. “It provides a great opportunity to interact with our fans that we have missed all offseason. Our Open House will help build the excitement that so many people are feeling for this historic Inaugural Season of the Syracuse Mets.”

Beginning March 2nd, fans can purchase individual tickets for Opening Day, as well as the other 69 home games at NBT Bank Stadium. Flex Plans, Flex Plan Plus packages, and season tickets are also available for purchase.

Flex Plans are $85 and include 10 undated vouchers that can be redeemed at the Mets' ticket office for any regular-season Premium Field Box (Level-100) or Reserved Box (Level-200) ticket. Flex Plan Plus packages are $160 and include all the same benefits as the Flex Plan, along with 10 parking passes and a $50 food voucher. On Opening Day, the price of Flex Plans will increase to $100 and the price of the Flex Plan Plus will increase to $175.

Tickets can be purchased at the Syracuse Mets Ticket Office or over the phone, 315-474-7833, during regular business hours (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), or online anytime at SyracuseMets.com.

For more information on the Open House or ticket plans, contact the Mets office at 315-474-7833 or email Michael Tricarico at mtricarico@syracusemets.com.

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Tom Brennan - NOLAN ARENADO: GETTING PAID FOR INFLATED STATS?

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NOLAN ARENADO: GETTING PAID FOR INFLATED STATS?


Man, if I played big league ball as a hitter, let me do it in Colorado!

Nolan Arenado signs an 8 year deal at more than $30 million per year.

How's he hit?  GREAT!  Yes indeedy - awesome!

But how does he hit on the road?

Not too bad.  But to me, not the stuff of $30 million per year for 8 years.

On the road - career: just .263/.318/.469

Kinda look like Wilmer Flores' road numbers.  

.274/.308/.431 - pretty darned close, I'd say. Amazingly close, I'd say.

Of course, given the Citifield horrible hitting environment, Flores was (as anyone paying attention would expect) much worse (career) at home than on the road: .249/.297/.418.

So, Arenado should kiss the Coors Field infield dirt in thanks for inflated hitting stats.  And Flores should be happy to kiss it goodbye.

Of course, Flores is no Arenado in the field.

Lots of folks say Arenado is a PHENOMENAL FIELDER.  All those Gold Gloves.  True enough.

However, if the oft-defensively-criticized Pete Alonso were around, he might just point out that Arenado has made 79 career errors in 867 games - for 3rd base, that averages out to about 15 errors per 162 games - Pete would probably snicker a bit.  I know, I know, I'm just being picky here.

Main point, though...

Arenado has a huge home field advantage.  

Huge.  How huge?

As huge as his new pay check.
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Reese Kaplan -- Mets Taking "Break A Leg" Literally

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What would a Mets team be without a plethora of injuries befalling them?  This year is off to a roaring start in that regard, just a week into spring training and we have both newcomer Jed Lowrie and holdover Todd Frazier down for the count.  Travis d’Arnaud has yet to make an appearance, so the feeling is his surgically repaired arm is not quite ready for prime time.  So what do these issues do the projected roster coming north?

Third Base

It was pretty much assumed that should Jed Lowrie need a day off or succumb to injury then Todd Frazier would take his customary place at the hot corner.  In a situation somewhat reminiscent to the Mets losing their starting and backup catchers in rapid succession last year, they’re now down two veteran third basemen.

Perhaps the most encouraging news coming out of this situation is the word that Jeff McNeil is NOT going to be shuttled back to the infield right now, but will instead use most of spring training to hone his skills as an outfielder.  He's played over 1300 innings at 3B in the minors, so that makes so much sense it makes me wonder how long it will last. 

Picture -- Ernest Dove

So who is now in the mix for this position?  One would have to assume J.D. Davis whose natural spot is third base would be the front runner.  He is coming off a PCL batting title, BVW gave up a lot to get him, and he’s on the 40-man roster.

The second option would be long forgotten TJ Rivera.  He can most definitely hit, he won’t embarrass you in the field, but the question lingers about long throws across the diamond on his surgically repaired arm.  Still, should Lowrie and/or Frazier begin the year on the Injured List, then don’t be surprised to see Rivera come north with the team as a starter or on the bench. 

Behind him you have a number of non-roster options including Gavin Cecchini, Luis Guillorme, Adeiny Hechavarria and David Thompson.  Thompson is the only natural third baseman of this crew and probably has the most potent bat as well.  Showcasing Gavin Cecchini might be in the team’s interest if they could flip him for someone else’s disappointing prospect.  Guillorme and Hechavarria will likely field the best but not provide much with the bat.

Picture -- Ed Delaney

Catcher

This one is pretty easy, though it will take some roster shuffling.  Devin Mesoraco was resigned specifically because he worked so well with the major league staff last year.  Obviously Wilson Ramos will get the lion’s share of the work, but Mesoraco who is here on a minor league deal will likely get the nod to come north thereby allowing Tomas Nido to work on the offensive side of his game.  We’ve already speculated about others who might get dropped from the 40-man roster to create space, including Jacob Rhame, Drew Gagnon, Tim Peterson and Paul Sewald. 

Picture -- Ernest Dove

Further Roster Impact

The man everyone is drooling about, Pete Alonso, becomes more likely to start the season with the big club if the Mets are indeed in search of a right-handed power bat to replace Frazier who was slated to play 1st base.  Still, if it’s only for a few weeks they could muddle through with Dom Smith taking 1st base and preserving that precious year of financial control by holding Alonso in the NY state capitol until the end of April. 

What is your ideal roster scenario if indeed your start the year minus Lowrie and Frazier?

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2/26/19

Mack – New Weekly Post

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Good morning.



PC - Anthony Ksy
Bobby Kay, brother of Mets prospect pitcher Anthony Kay, and I follow each other on Twitter. He ‘liked’ a ‘From The Desk I put on Mack’s Mets last week, which featured a blurb on his brother.

I contacted him and told him to tell his brother that he has the support of all the writers here on Mack’s Mets.

He shot back:

          Bobby Kay - @BKayZone  -  Replying to @JohnMackinAde
I love your guys support! Thanks man we appreciate it

The six-foot lefty throws a 95 fastball, sitting in the low nineties. His 3-pitch repertoire included a change-up and a curve.

Kay’s K/9 ratio fell drastically last season from 10 starts in A-Columbia (10.13) to the 13 starts in A+ St, Lucie (7.59). There also was in increase of walks (BB/9: 2.86 – 4.56). This is what we call a basic control problem.

Anthony had TJS four months after being drafted and did not pitch in his first professional season.

Brother Bobby dropped a tweet might help clear up the control thing:

          Bobby Kay - @BKayZone - Replying to @JohnMackinAde

I think the change up is going to be back with a vengeance this year 👌

If Anthony can master the change-up, to go along with his killer fastball, well… let’s keep an eye on this and see what develops in April.



The Mets resigned 25-year old catcher Natanael Ramos, brother of Wilson. He played nine seasons in the Mets chain, ending with 44 at-bats for Columbia. My guess is he will play for the St. Lucie Mets. I only have one other catchers (Carlos Chambers) on the board there.



Tim Kurkjian - @Kurkjian_ESPN

Michael Cuddyer met teammates in his first camp by dazzling them with card tricks. Years later, he did a trick for new Twin/locker mate Luis Castillo, who was so shaken and scared by the amazing trick, he moved his locker across the room, away from Cuddyer



Week one and two in college baseball have come and gone, so we have to take a quick look at eight starters that could make a difference this June:

          RHPs:

          Tyler Dyson – Florida           -        3.1-IP, 1-ER, 4-K, 4-BB
                                                                   4,1-IP, 2-ER, 3-K, 1-BB

          Tyler Baum – North Carolina  -     6.0-IP, 2-ER, 7-K, 0-BB, WIN

          Ryan Zeferjahn – Kansas     -        5.0-IP, 2-ER, 6-K, 2-BB, WIN
                                                                   4.0-IP, 0-ER, 5-K, 1-BB

          Alek Manoah – West Virginia  -    6.0-IP, 1-ER, 13-K, 0-BB
                                                                   6.1-IP, 0-ER, 8-K, 2-BB, WIN
          LHPs:

          Zack Thompson – Kentucky  -      4.0-IP, 0-R, 9-K, 3-BB
                                                                   5.2-IP, 4-ER, 8-K, 2-BB
                                                                  
          Nick Lodolo – TCU               -        5.0-IP, 2-ER, 2-K, 1-BB, LOSS
                                                                   7.0-IP, 2-ER, 10-K, 0-BB, LOSS

          Adam Laskey – Duke           -        (did not pitch)
                                                                  
          Graeme Stinson – Duke       -        3.0-IP, 0-R, 6-K, 0-BB, WIN
                                                                   4.0-IP, 0-ER, 7-K, 2-BB

Pitcher of the week has to go to Manoah, who struck out 13 of the 18 batters he faced two weeks ago and 21-Ks in 12,1-IP collectively.



Spring Training finally arrived this past week and some observations on Game One  

First thing about spring training games… 


You don’t judge your team by their win-loss record here. It is all about individual performances.


What you want to watch is how certain ‘on the bubble’ players do here. It’s obvious if they end the spring hitting .600 which direction they are going. But, if another has 35 errors his ride continues on, past Queens, to Syracuse.

The tough decision what do you do with someone who could do both at the same time. 

                                                                                     
PC - Ernest Dove
I’m going to watch this Pete Alonso thing real closely this spring. When asked if he was going to send down Pete at the beginning of the season, our General Manager said: "We don't want to miss out on winning the division by one game or two games because we didn't break camp with the best 25 guys." I’m going to hold him to that statement (whatever that means) when this team goes north.

          Well… he didn’t take long to show us the good and bad of his game. He hit the first pitch in the first game of his major league game over the left center fence that seems to exit as soon as it was hit. I can’t imagine the outcome of a pitcher that could be hit in the head by a shot this hard.

          But… it did follow the other part of his game. Questionable defense. You can practice taking 1000 grounders but you still have to catch a ball thrown by your shortstop. He didn’t from Amed Rosario in the top of that inning, laying two runs on starter Walker Lockett.


Another thing worth noting about the first exhibition game is P Anthony Kay’s debut. Not only did he show off his 90 grade pick off move, but his fastball sat 94-95 for the entire inning he pitched (0.00).


I particularly was interested to see the inning pitched one of my past favorites, Chris Flexen. He looked extremely trimmed down and the ++ curve was still there. He did give up a little, and threw a tad too many pitchers, but if he continues to pitch like this during ST, he should be a major factor in Syracuse this season.





And what about those David Peterson numbers? 1.0-IP, 4-H, 1-BB, 3-ER. In his defense, he could have escaped early if the ump called a strike correctly and a hit only got through the infield because the positioning of the infielders was wack, but, as the say, 'it is as it is'.




Still, it has to be disappointing for someone this well thought off in the organization to start off this spring. 

I haven't read any explanation on this so I guess we should write this off to a slip out of the gate. It's not like the Mets are going to give up on the big guy, right?









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Tony Plate - Pete Alonso Competing for The First Base Job

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Pete Alonso is competing for the first-base job along with Dom Smith and Todd Frazier

He got off to a good start with the bat by hitting a two-run homer against the Atlanta Braves in the New York Mets first spring training game. 

He hit 36 homers with 119 runs batted in with a .975 OPS at two levels in the minor leagues last season, but the Mets did not call him up, because of his defensive deficiency at first base. 

Alonso, who has good power, is determined to work hard on his defense and play the best he can consistently through the remaining five weeks of spring training.

The Mets had a surprise visit last week at their spring training complex from Alex Rodriguez who was touring the team’s complex. The hundreds of fans along the fence that were waiting for their favorite player immediately took notice when Alex came out. 

He conducted an interview with general manger Brodie Van Wagenen. He also chatted with Jeff Wilpon, Terry Collins, Ruben Amaro Jr and some of the players. Alex and Mickey Callaway go along way back, because they were former teammates with the Texas Rangers.

PC - Ed Delany
Tim Tebow, who GM Brodie Van Wagenen thinks has a chance to make the opening day roster, played in Sunday’s 10-1 loss to the Houston Astros. 

Tebow started in left field and came to the plate with two runners on and hit a shot to left-center which was caught by a diving Myles Straw. 

Prior to that, Tebow tried to make a diving catch in the outfield which he thought he had, but the ball came out of his glove after he took a tumble and hit the bleachers or chairs. 

In 2018 he played for the New York Mets Eastern League Affiliate-the Binghamton Rumble Ponies and was named to the Eastern League All-Star Team in his second full season in the Mets minor league system.

PC - Reese Kaplan 
Another prospect that is trying to make a name for himself is third baseman David Thompson. In his last full season, he hit 16 homers for Double-A Binghamton in 2017. 

He was in major league camp last spring, however he spent most of 2018 rehabbing a broken left hand and had elbow problems which was caused by a bone spur and chips that had to be removed.  He played 22 games for Triple-A Las Vegas last season before the injuries came. 

He was invited to minor league camp this year and hit a three-run homer in a 3-3 tie with the Houston Astros on Monday.









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