8/9/20

2021 MLB Draft - Izzac Pacheco, Ian Moller, Sal Frelick, Ricky Tiedemann, Josh Hartle

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Good morning.


I know this might seem early, but I have always been known for my draft research and, trust me, scouting is a 52 week business.


This week's five featured players should all be around at the lower level of the first round.

Let's begin. 



Isaac Pacheco   SS/3B   Friendship HS (TX)


Some scouts have Pacheco ranked in the top 20 prospects in the upcoming draft. 

I have him near the middle, but his ranking could tick up if he continues his surge in power.

Has huge power from the left side of the plate. There is even more projected in his future. Excellent bat speed and ++ defense that includes an excellent arm from short (currently projected to remain there).


Was a standout at this year's Perfect Game's National Showcase games. Arm from short to first was clocked at 102.


Created big power to all fields.  Exciting to watch him take BP.




Ian Moller    C    Wahlert HS (IA)   6-1   201   R/R



Moller is primarily a catcher.  Has a very large, athletic frame that shows high level actions and lower set behind the plate.


A rare African-American catcher (there are currently no black catchers in major league baseball) who has a fast transfer and release on all throws. Advanced arm strength. 


Hits from the right with an even stance. Quick hands through his low tension swing. 


Excellent bat speed. Pop to all fields. He can really hit. Has a simple approach at the plate and barrels the ball up consistently. 


Excellent tools across the board.



Sal Frelick   SS/2B   Boston College   5-10   170   R/R


He actually came out of high school at 5-8/155 which strengthens what I have said about drafting high school players... it will take a couple of years to grow, fill out, bulk up, and get pro-like coaching.

He projected very well to grow. Hit with a simple load and shift into contact. Excellent quick weight shift while swinging. Very projectable hitting tools. 

Fielding wise, very smooth defensively. Quick first step. Clean hands. Very quick release. Throws were clocked at 81.

As a freshman at Boston College, he hit .367 with four home runs, 32 runs batted in, and 30 runs scored.

This past season, he played in 15 games before the stoppage, and led the team with 17 runs scored, seven stolen bases, and 11 walks. He also had two home runs.

The Bleacher Report has him going 1.16 in their first mock draft this year.




Ricky Tiedemann


LHP  6-3   195   Lakewood HS (CA)


Was scheduled to be drafted at 17-years old. Plenty of projection remaining.


Big side step coupled with big leg life. 3/4 arm slot. 


88-92 fastball, sweeping break, and marginal curve ball. Plenty of projected velocity down the line. Needs to develop consistency on all pitches.


MLB currently has him ranked 92nd. Finished his high school career with a 2.88 ERA




Josh Hartle      


LHP   6-5   195  Reagan HS (NC)

88-91 FB with run, 70-74 curve , 80-81 slider, and two different breaking balls. Control pitcher first.   

Finished in the 2018 Development League with a 0.90-ERA




Sal Frelick  


 OF   Boston College   5-10   170   L/R


His high school scouting reports had him at 5-8 and 155. He posted a 6.60 60-yard dash and threw 81. Said he had good power and home run potential. Highly projectable hitting tools. 


Also listed him as a smooth fielder with a quick first step and clean hands.


Frelick was a rising star in 2020 until the coronavirus cut his season short. 


He played in 15 games in 2020 and led the team in runs (17), stolen bases (7) and walks (11). He also had two homers. 


Stat line was soft:  .241/.380/.414


Bleacher Report's initial mock draft this year has him 1.16. They also listed him as a shortstop.


His freshman stats were .367, 4-HR, 32-RBI, 30-R




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Mack - Observations - Luis Encarnacion, Brodie's Trades, Jake deGrom

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Good morning.


We welcome former major league pitcher, Luis Encarnacion, to our family of Mack's Mets readers.

Encarnacion was first signed by the Cleveland Indians in 1984 as an International free agent. He pitched for part of eight seasons in the minors, going 45-41, 3.06.

He also pitched in the majors in 1990 for Kansas City, going 0-0, 7.84 in 4-G, 10.1-IP. 

Welcome Luis.



Second... a review of our General Manager's trades since he arrived on October 29, 2018:


The Mets have traded...


Pitchers:  

Justin Dunn -  2020: MLB - 1-ST, 0-0, 6.00

Gerson Bautista 2019: MLB - 8-G,  0-0, 11.00

Anthony Swarzak2019: MLB - 59-G, 3-4. 4.56

Adam Hill - (A) 2019: 26-G, 23-ST, 7-9, 4.38

Bobby Wahl 2019:  3-G, 0-1, 11.57

Neraldo Catalina - (Rk) 2019: 11-G, 1-ST, 3-3, 2.14

Simeon Woods-Richardson - (A/A+) 2019: 26-ST, 6-10, 3.80

Anthony Kay - (MLB) 2019: 3-G, 2-ST, 1-0, 5.79

Jason Vargas - 2019: (MLB-2 teams): 30-G, 29-ST, 7-9, 5.77

Blake Taylor - 2020 (MLB): 4-G, 6-IP, 0.00  

Jordan Humphreys - 2019 (Rookie-TJS Rehab): 2-ST, 0-0, 4.50


Catchers:  

Scott Manea - (A+) 2019: 328-AB, .235, 12-HR

Kevin Plawecki - (MLB) - 158-AB, .222



Infielders:  

Luis Santana - (A-) 2019: 186-AB, .267

Felix Valerio - (Rk)  2019: 176-AB, .306


Outfielders:  

Jay Bruce - 2019: (MLB ) - 145-AB, .221, 12-HR 

Jarred Kelenic - 2019: (A/A+/AA) - .291, 23-HR

Ross Adolph - (A) 2019: 238-AB, .223

Kenedy Corona - 2019 (Rk-A-): 219-AB, .301, 5-HR


The Mets received:

Pitchers: 

Edwin Diaz - (MLB) - 2019: 66-G, 2-7, 5.59

Walker Lockett - (MLB) - 2019: 9-G, 4-ST, 1-1, 8.34

Wilmer Font - (MLB 3-teams) - 17-G, 6-ST, 4-5, 4.48

Marcus Stroman - (MLB) - 2019: 11-ST, 4-2, 3.77

Catchers:

Austin Bossart - (AA) 2019: 260-AB, .196


Infielders: 

Robinson Cano - (MLB) 2018: 390-AB, .256


Cody Bohanek - (A+/AA) 328-AB, .226

Sam Haggerty - (MLB) - 2019: 4-AB, .000


Outfielders:  

J.D. Davis - (MLB) - 2019: 410-AB, .307, 22-HR

Keon Broxton - (3 teams) 2018: 228-AB, 

Jake Marisnick - (MLB) - 292-AB, .233

Billy Hamilton - (MLB) - 2019: 275-AB, .211



Fangraphs on baseball's most irreplaceable players - 

1. Jacob deGrom, New York Mets (-11.0%)

The Mets brought in Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha this the offseason to add depth to the rotation, depth that proved immediately necessary when Noah Syndergaard having Tommy John surgery. 

Marcus Stroman’s torn calf has tested that depth even further, though the team received the good news that he’s already recovered sufficiently to be throwing simulated games. 

Even assuming Stroman comes back fine in the near future, though, losing deGrom, who ZiPS projects to finish second in the majors in WAR among pitchers, would be difficult to overcome. deGrom can dominate any game he’s in and despite the oddball offseason, his velocity’s actually increased by a couple miles per hour. 

The Mets can’t replace deGrom’s performance because, literally, nobody can.


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Tom Brennan - Pins and needles, needles and pins, it’s a happy man the grins

7 comments

 "

PINS AND NEEDLES, NEEDLES AND PINS.


AAGGHH!!!


How many of you remember Ralph Kramden on the Honeymooners saying, “Pins and needles, needles and pins, it’s a happy man that grins?”


Which worked for him for about 10 minutes before the explosion of nerves hit him. Followed by the explosion of mouth. 


Kind of like last night’s Mets game. We were hoping in playing against the smoke and mirrors Marlins that the Mets would’ve put up at 10 run first inning and coasted to victory, had us grinning throughout, but victory was not so easy. 


Pins and needles, needles and pins. We’re Mets fans.  Grinning don't come easy.


Winning pitcher (2-1) David Peterson fell behind 1-0 early then the Mets moved it to 4-1. And we were happy men grinning. Then to 5 to 1. I walked away from the TV set for a bit and lo and behold it’s 5 to 4. 


Through gritted teeth, Mets fan were muttering, “Pins and needles needles and pins, it’s a happy man that grins” as another loss to the personnel-challenged Marlins looked possible. 


Of course there was a happy ending last night, as the Mets stretched it out to 8 to 4 win as the final. Sighs of relief were heard all over the metropolitan area, as the Mets moved to a still sub par six and nine. 


One nice observation is that JD Davis does not look like a flash in the pan for one year; the dude is stroking the ball like 2019 never ended, including his homerun last night, and flashing leather too. 

 

David who? We got us a JD at third base now. That 3 run shot in the 7th gave us breathing room, and gave him David Wright-like numbers: .319, 3 HRs, 11 RBIs. 


Stellar. Grins all around.


Pete Alonso hit another laser beam home run to left field. Signs of life from big Pete, but I’m hoping that Alonso starts blasting those home runs to center and right center soon, like last year, then we will really know that he’s back to being Pete.


Jeurys Familia was looking all too familia as compared to his woeful 2019 season, with his ERA jumping to 5.68, eerily close to last year’s 5.70; hopefully, we will see better than that from Familia in the near future.  


The rest of the relievers, including thankfully Rob Gsellman pitched well.


Let’s hope for all grins and no pins in today’s Mets-Marlins tilt.  This way, we won't be getting needled by all our Yankee fans friends and relatives.

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8/8/20

Reese Kaplan -- Hear Me Out Before You Raise the Pitchforks!

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Back in 2013 the Mets under Sandy Alderson’s leadership drafted with the 11th pick overall and chose one California-based first baseman by the name of Dominic Smith.  Given his heft some questioned whether or not he would amount to the type of major leaguer worthy of that first round draft pick.  No one questioned his ability to hit, no one had an issue with his fielding.  Red flags were raised about his lack of home run power, but overall it seemed a fairly solid pick.  However, given the tradition of big boppers at first base, many were disappointed that the Mets went halfway instead of looking for a true slugger.

He began his minor league career with an age 18 rookie league season in which he hit .301.  While that should have generated smiles, the detractors were quick to point out that in his 203 ABs he only hit 3 HRs and drove in 26.  That latter number would extrapolate to 78 RBIs in a full season but the HRs would fall under double digits.  Ouch!


The following year in A ball he had over 500 ABs and it was not all peaches and cream.  The batting average dropped 30 points.  The RBIs only totaled 44 and he hit just 1 HR for the full season.  It began to look as if the critics were 100% right in their skepticism about how Alderson used his precious draft selection.  In fact, many were already starting to tally others available who might have been better.


Maybe it was time to get adjusted, maybe it was maturity, or maybe it was better coaching, but as he moved up to A+ at age 20 things started coming together for the big man.  He hit over .300 again, this time reaching 79 RBIs, but the power was still pretty shy with only 6 long balls.  However, it was encouraging to see the positive results and he continued his minor league journey onward and upward.


His first year in AA made people start to take the man somewhat seriously.  He was again over .300 at this higher level of competition, but showed he was valuable in the middle of the order with double digit home runs at 14 and 91 RBIs.  Perhaps Sandy’s selection wasn’t so silly after all.


In 2017 he logged his first season at AAA and the batting average swelled to .330.  The home run total increased to 16, though the RBIs were a bit down at 76.  Still, a .330 hitter with double digit power and Gold Glove type defense at first base was certainly worth considering.  John Olerud made a career that way.  


Fast forward to the present day and it appears that Dom Smith will split time between the outfield and DH as this 2020 season continues.  53 HR All Star, Home Run Derby Champion and Rookie of the Year Pete Alonso is entrenched at 1st base.  Solid hitter but questionable fielder J.D. Davis needs to find at bats as well.  So what will the Mets do in the future?


(ducking and hiding)


Would it make sense to insert Dom Smith at his natural position of first base and trade Pete Alonso for a king’s ransom?  Yes, I know, true sluggers don’t evolve all that often and he’s become the x-rated face of the franchise alongside the more professional Jacob deGrom.  However, if you asked what the return would be for Smith or Davis, then compared that to what the return would be for Alonso (2020 horrific showing notwithstanding) it would appear clear you’d get a lot more for the man who coined the LFGM slogan.  


One thing you have to consider (if he’s still here) is that Brodie Van Wagenen appears not to embrace people who are bigger than he is.  Witness the termination of Edgardo Alfonzo.  As outlined yesterday, the Mets have a ton of holes to fill for 2021 and oddly have a surplus at 1st base.  Would a trade of the Polar Bear fill multiple holes at once?  Would it make sense?  There are not many chips available to trade who would net what Alonso would.  Is this the time the Mets do what the Red Sox once did with Babe Ruth?  It didn’t work out for them.  Would it work out for the Mets?  Do they have the courage or stupidity to make that kind of deal?  New owners will certainly have their say. 


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Tom Brennan - HOW BAD ARE THESE METS?

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HOW BAD EXACTLY ARE THESE METS, ANYWAY?

The Mets to me did the impossible, as are the Marlins doing the impossible.

After all, how do the Marlins, already a bad team and then devastated by more than a dozen corona virus cases which threw the team into a whirlwind, find themselves at 7-1 to start their season?  How do they start a pitcher in his MLB debut who had never pitched above A ball, and he goes 2 2/3 innings and fans 6, including Jeff McNeil twice?

How do the Marlins win despite being fanned 16 times, a sign their patched together line up collectively is not ready for MLB caliber pitching?

How do the stinking Mets lose 4-3 to this team?

How, unless they are far worse than I ever thought they'd be, as they slide so effortlessly, so easily, to losing 9 out of their last 13 after the obligatory opening day win.  We've seen this team effortlessly, easily lose over the years, all too many times, like last year's long, dismal mid-season stretch.  

How the heck bad are these guys?  And why should we watch?

I was busy last night and turned it on early and they were down 4-1.  I watched the Marlins kid pitch a bit, then watched the news instead.  

I turned it on again when they pulled within 4-2 in the 8th on an error with bags full.  

I did not want to watch and be disappointed again, so I turned it off right there.

Woke up this morning and. sure enough, they could not push across the 2 extra runs that inning to tie it up.

And inexplicably, unacceptably lost to a AAA team, 4-3.

How bad are these Mets?

Why should we watch?
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8/7/20

Mets360 - Finding and plugging the holes for the Mets

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With more than 20% of their games played so far, the Mets are in last place in the NL East with a .385 win percentage and a 5-8 record.

While it isn’t too late to storm to the top, several things have been hurting the team and need to be addressed so that the losses can become wins. Too, losing two games in the last inning with your best reliever blowing the save aren’t going to help things, but other things have been a more consistent problem.

One is the RISP production: Second to last in the majors and that needs to be fixed, although it appears the fix has started. Those long swings that the Mets were taking have started shortening. In Sunday’s game, Pete Alonso took a 3-2 pitch and served it to right for a two-out base hit to plate a run. That was smart hitting and the Mets need to embrace that thinking.

The second most worrisome stat is the Mets were second to last in fielding efficiency before Wednesday’s defensive clinic and are still 25th after it. To this topic on Sunday, Luis Rojas bluntly said, “We can’t keep giving them extra outs each inning.” He’s right and the numbers back it. The Mets’ starters’ ERA is 4.71, but their FIP is 3.66 and their xFIP is 3.77. The relievers’ ERA is 5.33, but their FIP is only 4.23 and their xFIP is 3.88, despite the sad state of Dellin Betances and Edwin Diaz. The overall team ERA is 4.97, 24th in MLB, but their 3.82 xFIP is 11th. The bad fielding is also producing hits at a .309 BABIP, 4th highest in MLB.


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Mike's Mets - Happy Baseball

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The Mets played their best game of the season last night [Thursday]. They still failed miserably in bringing home runners in scoring position, but just about everything else they did was a huge upgrade over most of their previous efforts, particularly the defense. After being almost unwatchable for most of their first dozen games, last night's win was compelling and rather fun. At one point I actually thought to myself, oh yeah, this is why I love baseball. That moment came in the Nationals' half of the fourth inning when the whole game turned on a couple of great defensive efforts.

Until that half inning, the game wasn't looking like anything that was going to make me happy. The Mets had first and third with no outs in the top of the first, and only managed a single run out of it on Dom Smith's sacrifice fly. Porcello gave that lead right back in the bottom of the inning, and I thought to myself, here we go again. But it wasn't quite déjà vu, because even though the Mets squandered baserunners in the second and third innings, Porcello put up a couple of zeros.

The Mets scratched out a second run in the top of the fourth, but also left men on base. In the bottom of the frame Soto singled leading off for the Nats, and it just kind of felt like Porcello was going to cough up the lead, maybe even worse. Then, after a flyout, our old friend Asdrubal Cabrera singles to right field, Soto's motoring to third, and the game is going in the wrong direction fast. Michael Conforto (in RF where he's pretty good, not CF where he's not) makes a great throw to third, but Soto beats it. It's going to be first and third, one out - only Soto overslides third, Andres Gimenez makes a heads-up play and keeps the tag on him, and there's two outs with a man on first. J.D. Davis makes a great play on a ball that Thames hits that looks destined for the left field corner, then throws him out from his knees, and the inning is over.

I thought I might have been in the Twilight Zone for a minute, but then I realized that I was watching a Mets game where good defenders were playing the right positions. Porcello seemed to realize it, too, because he started looking relaxed and pounding the zone with sinkers. He didn't allow another baserunner as he became the first Mets starter to pitch 7 innings. It was almost stunning.

Injuries basically forced the Mets into fielding a good defensive team and, at least for one day, they reaped the rewards from it. They still left a zillion guys on base, and the game was a nail biter all the way through, but they won the game in a manner that was actually fun to watch despite the continued struggles plating baserunners.

As good as Porcello wound up pitching in that game, it really felt like it could have gone a completely different way if those plays weren't made behind him in the fourth inning. It was so obviously the turning point of that game. If - and I stress the word if  - the Mets can string a few good performances together and climb back in the race, that inning might prove to be a major turning point on the season. Either way, after a lot of bad baseball over the first couple of weeks of the season, that game was a joy to watch.

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Tom Brennan - Mets Shut Outs and Walk Off Hits Over Time

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With all of the months of sheltering in place and down time, I got me to doin’ some thinking.  Like...I got curious as to how the Mets have done over time with:

1) shutouts (for and against) and 

2) walk off hits (Mets and opponents). 


First, though, what time period? What about since the Mets’ last World Series winning season in 1986?


That, to save you the math, is 34 L..O..N..G years.

Almost, it seems, as long as sheltering in place was (feel free to wash your hands for 20 seconds before finishing this article, of course).


First, how about those shut outs, Howie Rose?


Knowing how strong the Mets pitching has been collectively since 1986, one would expect more shutouts by the Mets than against them.

If that is your assumption, you are as smart as I thought you were, and you are correct.


From 1986 to 2019:


The Mets threw 376 shutouts 11.06 shutouts per season), while being shut out just 304 times (8.94 per season), a positive average difference of 2.12 shutouts per year.  

It sounds a lot greater to simply say that the Mets threw 72 more shutouts during that period.


The best year was the pennant-winning season of 1988, when Mets’ pitchers fashioned an amazing 22 shutouts, while Mets hitters were only shut out 6 times.  The World Series favorite Mets that year, sadly, lost game four of the World Series, when the Mets led 4-2 going into the 9th, only to have Mike Scioscia hit a 2 run, tying shot in the 9th, followed in the 12th by a Kirk Gibson walk off, pivoting that series to the Dodgers.


Moving on, the worst year was 2004, with just 6 shutouts thrown, and 12 shutouts suffered.


In the era of the Mets’ fab 5 of Harvey, Wheeler, deGrom, Matz, and Syndergaard (2012-2019), the Mets surprisingly have averaged just one more shutout by its pitchers than shutouts against Mets hitters (12 vs. 11).


Walk-off hits?  A love/hate relationship!



Those thrilling wins and agonizing losses occurred 255 times by Mets hitters and 266 times by opposing hitters, about 8 times each per season on average.  

The best "walk off" years were put up by the fine 2006 Mets team, with 11 walk off wins vs. just 5 walk off losses, and the 1999 team (8 wins, vs. just one walk off loss).


In both 1993 and 1994, two shaky years, the Mets had back-to-back negative 5 seasons. In fact, from 1992-94, the Mets were a negative 14 in walk offs those 3 seasons. 

Not surprisingly, the Mets were 65 games below .500 in those 3 seasons, one of which was truncated by 49 games due to a strike.

Hopefully, this article was not a shut out from your perspective, and now it is time for me to walk off.  

See ya!!


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Reese Kaplan -- 2021 Season Should Be Team's Focus

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So what have we learned about the NY Mets for the upcoming 2021 season?

Well, to begin, the many injuries (and one defection) have suggested that the club is in need of a major overhaul.  After all, the blueprint going into the season included a great many folks like Jeff McNeil, Robinson Cano, Noah Syndergaard, Jake Marisnick, Robert Gsellman, Jed Lowrie, Rene Rivera and even Yoenis Cespedes.  That whole scenario is, of course, out the window.  

Going forward, you know that Marisnick, Lowrie, Rivera and Cespedes are no longer in the mix.  Michael Conforto will be playing for his long term future.  Ditto Noah Syndergaard (when he’s able to return perhaps at the 2021 All Star break).  The same applies to Brandon Nimmo as well.  


What that leaves behind for a foundation of sorts includes Pete Alonso, Amed Rosario, J.D. Davis, Jeff McNeil and assorted uncertainties.  So far youngster Andres Gimenez has piqued both the club’s and fans’ curiosity as to what he can become.  He’s a very solid defensive player with excellent instincts on how to field his position.  He’s certainly not embarrassed himself with the bat either.  

The issue with Gimenez is what to do with him.  He surprised folks with his preparedness.  He was a hot bat in the early years of his minors, then dipped down to .250 last season in AA but upped his HR output to 9 and stole 28 bases.  He followed it with a solid .375 Arizona Fall League performance and it appears in this short sample that he’s still showing strong contact.  

Many people are advocating moving Amed Rosario to centerfield and opening up the premier defensive position of shortstop for Gimenez.  Offensively Rosario seems capable of taking over that role.  Others like Juan Lagares and Billy Hamilton migrated from shortstop to centerfield, so it’s not a weird idea.  


Or course, doing so would then create another problem.  The Mets would have Conforto, Davis, Nimmo and Smith all in need of at-bats.  Alonso you figure is firmly entrenched at 1B and Robinson Cano’s contract has him in the lineup at 2B.  The only solution here would be the implementation of the DH slot which would create a home for one of the lesser defensive players.  If you keep all of the above and have an infield of Alonso, Cano, Gimenez and McNeil, then your outfield needs to include Davis, Conforto and Rosario.  Does that make Nimmo that odd man out?  Or do you insert Davis at 3B and McNeil in the outfield.  That still makes Nimmo OF number four.  

The real issue for 2021 is pitching.  Right now Jacob deGrom is solid.  Steven Matz is here (for better or worse).  After that the club has no other starters.  Wacha and Porcello are on one-year deals.  Stroman becomes a free agent.  Syndergaard won’t be ready when April rolls around.  You could promote David Peterson and, if necessary, Franklyn Kilome, but that starting rotation is pretty thin.  You might find them reupping one of the FA acquisitions from 2020, but there needs to be both health and consistency before doing that.

In the bullpen it’s almost as bad.  You have the Edwin Diaz under control and the third of three years with Jeurys FamiliaSeth Lugo will still be there, but then it’s a bit murkier.  Dellin Betances is likely back.  After that it’s pretty much an open audition.  Drew Smith is probably on the radar.  Justin Wilson is a free agent again.  Robert Gsellman has been gone (and not really missed).  Paul Sewald is one of those folks who never consistently translated his minor league prowess to the majors.  Others are possible but strength may have to be imported from outside the organization.  


Of course, the last big cog to answer is the position of catcher.  There is an option for Wilson Ramos who continues to prove he can hit the ball, but isn’t much help to the pitchers behind the plate.  None of the minor league catching prospects has been able to put together enough offense to match their defensive skills.  There will be a huge name in J.T. Realmuto looking for megabucks if the Phillies let him hit free agency.  It’s pretty murky as to who will don the tools of ignorance.  

Of course, with a new owner looming on the horizon, all things are totally unpredictable.  Will they look to reinforce what’s there?  Will there be a radical rebuild?  Will there be a sell-off of increasingly expensive players to free up payroll dollars for new acquisitions?  Or will the new owners just keep wishing and hoping like the Wilpons do?

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