Mack – Sunday Thoughts: Vic Black, Andrew Church, Chris Hillard, Jeurys Familia, Mets DH


Mack’s Mets welcomes former Mets pitcher Vic Black, pitcher Andrew Church, and ex-relief pitcher Chris Hillard to its family of followers.


I always wished the Mets would have given Black a minor league contract when he recovered from his injuries.

The 6-3, 185 pound righty has been a free agent since 11-6-2017. His best year came in 2014 when, as a Met, he stat lined 41-appearances, 2-3, 2.60, 34.2-IP. 32-K.

Vic is very active on Twitter and you can reach him at @Vic_Black_2.


The 6-2 RHP Andrew Church was a heralded 2nd round pick in the 2013 draft, out Basic HS in Henderson, Nevada.

He’s been in the Mets system for seven years, stat lining at 87-G, 78-ST, 30-33, 4.84, 1.42, 454-3-IP, 308-K. It included a short-lived retirement in 2018. He returned the following year and ending the 2019 season at the AAA level.


The Chris Hillard sage reminds us of how fragile a baseball career is.

The six foot left was drafted by the Mets in the 38th round of the 2008 draft, out of Itawamba Community College (Fulton, Mississippi), and Meridian Community College (Meridian, Mississippi).

His 4-year minor league line was 49-G, 28-starts (including a 9-1 record in Brooklyn in 2010), 18-7, 3.30. He was promoted to St. Lucie and pitched in only one game, giving up 3-ER in 1-IP. He was diagnosed with a rotator cuff injury and his career came to an abrupt end.

Sad ending to a great career.


https://www.12up.com/posts/mlb-playoff-chokers-kershaw-morgan-canseco-01e8ccvbe49p - MLB.com wrote an article on the 6 biggest chokers in playoff history. Not a list you want to make.

One was:

            4. Jeurys Familia

Before the 2015 World Series, Familia didn't allow a single run in eight possessions appearances. After that series, his name became synonymous with the likes of postseason failures Mitch Williams and Mark Langston. Familia blew three separate saves in one World Series, the first player to ever pull off that dubious feat. The Kansas City Royals won all three games in which he blew a save, and in the NL Wild Card game against the San Francisco Giants next year, he surrender a three-run home run to Conor Gillaspie that sunk the Mets.


https://blogs.fangraphs.com/no-the-mets-do-not-have-a-good-designated-hitter-situation/ Craig Edwards offers his opinion of a proposed Mets designated hitter –

The Mets have a solid team with decent options, but ultimately they are limited in the same way most NL teams are. They don’t have an extra, high quality hitter just sitting around, because that doesn’t make sense for roster planning when there isn’t a DH. They also don’t have extra starter-quality players who can come in to replace a DH-level hitter in the field. They have some good mix-and-match options, but the projections aren’t bullish enough on them to make a significant difference on paper. For the NL that’s fine, but if they have to compete against teams in the AL — particularly the Red Sox and Yankees — they will be at a serious disadvantage.



Tom Brennan said...

Familia as choker: I remember a KC team that was tremendously hard to get strikes past. Syndergaard did by throwing 100 MPH, but they even fouled a lot off him. And one of Familia's blown saves involved the stunningly bad Lucas Duda throw past d'Arnaud that is still orbiting Venus somewhere. Familia didn't get it done - but KC was to me a surprisingly tenacious and dangerous squad. The Mets were a better team - but KC was excellent in that series.

Vic Black and Hillard - Vic got further before his body broke down. With all the talk of flattening the curve these days, I'd like to see baseball flatten the salary curve - so many pitchers get hurt before they can earn big bucks. Pay them more early, cap them somehow later to balance it out.

I still wonder if Andrew Church can defy the odds and have a big league career. Why not?

Zozo said...

I was always a Big Vic Black Fan. Cheers to you Vic!!!

I totally agree with Tom, they should cap the top and spread the wealth.

How are we not prepared with the DH? I think that is a position of excess?

Reese Kaplan said...

I totally disagree with Craig Edwards in his thoughts about the DH. The Mets have drafted and traded somewhat poorly to fill their bench with multiple DH options, including Yoenis Cespedes, J.D. Davis, Dom Smith, Robinson Cano and even Jed Lowrie. No team needs that many players who are not suitable to play the field.

Hobie said...

1- I thought that Vic Black (+ DD. Herrera) trade was going to be in the pantheon of steals...coulda/woulda/shouda. Saw Vic in Richmond (Giants AA) later & thought he's come back. Always liked him.

2- Cano & Yo as the alternate DH's (yes they'll play some in the field too) giving JD & Dom significant AB's strikes me as something to look forward to.

bill metsiac said...

The Mets "don't have an extra high-quality hitter just sitting around'? What team has he been watching? With an OF of Davis-Nimmo-4to, we've got Smith and Yo doing nothing. If Alonso needs a day off, or Ramos, they can DH as well.

It's been discussed all Winter that we have more hitters capable of playing regularly that we have spots for them to fill.

As for Black, I, too, had high hopes for him and hope he can regain his form. Where has he been for the past 3 years? With so many Indy leagues, plus Asia and Mexico, there are plenty of places to play. Hopefully he will take any available opportunity to showcase his skills and regain a path to the majors.

Tom Brennan said...

Agreed with all of the above. DH for the Mets will be a clear strength, more so than at almost any time in their history

John From Albany said...

It was Vic's Birthday yesterday. Welcome aboard Vic. Today's Birthdays: Born on this date: Bill Wakefield (1941); Jerry Dipoto (1968); Bartolo Colon (1973); Jae Seo (1977); Justin Hampson (1980); Wilmer Font (1990)

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