News And Views: 5th Starter, Jake deGrom, Nagging Calves, 2 Bombs from Curtis, and More

Dice-KMike:

Let me start with this, since its something that I know won’t bother you. Terry Collins hints the main competitors for the fifth starter job are Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lannan.

Jimmy:

If only they’d stop calling it a “competition,” I’d be better with it. How about “coronation?” All I can say is that if draft and development is really our strength, then how does retarding the growth of our brightest prospects help that plan? These guys need to develop against major league hitters. But, sigh, that’s the Mets being the Mets. They disappoint the fanbase as a matter of policy.

Mike:

Next up from me is the “news” that the Mets told Jhonny Peralta they had a little problem with Ruben Tejada. That sounds like the nicest thing anyone associated with the Mets has said about Ruben in over a year.┬áThat got me thinking about shortstop and I have good news. There is no way Tejada is going to be our Opening Day shortstop. No GM would ever knock a player to the fanbase over and over again as Sandy did with Ruben and then bring the guy back. It’s like last year, when Sandy said, “What outfield?” Everyone knew that was a signal he was going to get busy. It’s not like we opened the year with Cowgill in center and Duda in left in 2013.

Jimmy:

Oh, snap!

Mike:

Jake deGrom showed more velocity than I expected.

Jimmy:

And hair! That was my look as a baseball-playing teenager in the 70s. But I did not have his deGromvelocity. Nice body, good motion. (Yep, I’m still talking about the hair.) To my eyes, he grooved a few that got missed, but I thought it was encouraging overall.

Hey, I’m sure you saw that Mike Piazza is in camp. Travis d’Arnaud is appropriately stoked about it.

Mike:

Yes, that is great. I’m happy to see that the Mets and Piazza are working together.

Jimmy:

Calf injuries are all the rage. Strained obliques are so last year. Everybody is feeling tightness. No real concern except for . . . Bartolo. It’s exactly the kind of minor, nagging injury you worry about from him.

Mike:

There is a lot riding on those tires.

michelin man

Jimmy:

I read somebody who said, “Don’t count out Kirk as a useful 5th outfielder.” Oh dear Lord, help us. Can’t this team ever move on? We’re in our third season of Omar Quintanilla. Are we still compiling data? Kirk needs to go away.

Mike:

Yes, we seem to have a hard time saying goodbye to these guys. Andrew Brown is still hanging around Port St. Lucie as well. Mack from Mack’s Mets was pointing out the other day that some Japanof these guys might have to be shipped all the way down to Binghamton. Players such as Puello and Vaughn need to move up the chain, Las Vegas has roster limits too. A guy like Kirk, I guess he is auditioning for the Japanese scouts. Because it’s over here. That’s life, that’s baseball.

Jimmy:

I hope it’s over for Kirk in NY, but I’m not ready to bet on it. Not with this organization. Do you have any first impressions of Anthony Seratelli? My hope has been that the Mets will give Wilmer Flores a chance in an expanded version of the Turner role, but Seratelli is 31 years old, so: big advantage. No one will ever mistake the 2014 Mets for a youth movement. In fairness, Seratelli could be the new Marco Scutaro, an under-the-radar guy with quiet talent. Seratelli put together a terrific season last year at Triple-A for KC, 11 HRs, 24 SBs, .395 OBP in 487 PAs.

Mike:

I love the fact that Anthony Seratelli is not Omar Quintanilla. Quintanilla 3 is the worst idea since Jaws 3.

Jaws 3

Two home runs from Curtis Granderson yesterday, two bombs. I know, it’s spring training, I know, it was the Astros. But it was still a nice sight.

 

 

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8 comments

  1. since68 says:

    I prefer Lgares in cf
    I prefer Flores at ss if the D is acceptable
    But, If Mejia is limited to 130 innings, isn’t it better to put him in the pen for the start of the year, limit his innings, then let him finish as a starter, instead of shutting him down in July?

    • Mike says:

      Meija is an interesting situation to me. He has always been steadfast that he is a starter, but I’ve never gotten the idea the team agrees. If he makes the team in the bullpen I’m O.K. with that. If he gets sent down to Vegas that is another thing.

    • I don’t even know how anybody in the organization calculates the innings for Mejia — he barely pitched last year. So 130 seems pretty arbitrary to me, a number they pulled from . . . thin air. We could also question whether 75 innings in relief, under the bullpen guidance of Collins/Warthen, would actually be easier than, say, 150 as a starter.

      I don’t know the answer to these questions. Realistically, sure, I’d slap a “Proceed with Caution” sign on his back.

      I do feel it’s been a confusing ride for this kid, bouncing around, injured, never properly valued. Now he’s a reliever? Again? Has he adjusted to that role? I mean, okay, that may be where he belongs. But just make that decision! It’s a different role, a different mentality, with entirely different physical demands. This is a prized prospect, a guy with an electric arm. It feels botched.

      Typing today, I like Montero as my #5, Lannan in the long reliever role (if he earns it), Dice-K as insurance in Triple-A, and Mejia in the pen if that’s deemed appropriate. Things can and will change.

  2. Alan K. says:

    For what it’s worth, Strawberry stated a few years ago that Mejia could be another Rivera with the movement on his cutter. As for Flores at SS, the question goes beyond defense-he still needs to show he can hit big league pitching. The best thing might be having him play 3B at Las Vegas, and hope he can put up big numbers and make himself as an attractive trade chip. If the Mets are serious about making a leap forward, they should sign Drew.

    • How does Flores show he can hit ML pitching in Vegas? He put up an .880 OPS there. Everybody seems to believe in the bat. Last year, and all during the season, the debate was whether he could play 2B or not, with reports about “heavy feet.” Too slow to play outfield even. Now he the equivalent of P90X for 8 weeks and maybe he’s a shortstop. It’s confusing. Not to mention that fact that the timing is strange: They just realized that maybe he should exercise? He’s been in Mets the system since age 16. He strikes me as another mismanaged guy — and a second baseman.

  3. DD says:

    The first time I heard of Bartolo Colon was as a star of the Indian’s Kinston team in the mid-1990’s. Baseball America ran a photo of him; swear to God, he was near-thin back then. Yes, people do get fat; but pro athletes, whose entire place in the world absolutely depends on their ability to perform physically? I could never understand it; it would be like, oh, Ron Jeremy suddenly showing up fat.

  4. Reese Kaplan says:

    How would Seratelli fare as a STARTING shortstop on this team? He offers power, speed and OBP. What exactly does Ruben Tejada offer again…?

    Also, there is a nice set of head scratching trivia questions coming out Thursday at Mack’s Mets penned by yours truly that drive home a point about this team’s approach to youth.

  5. Eraff says:

    Back to Starting Pitchers….. and the 5th starter….

    The Mets have SIX quality guys/Young Prospects capable of providing a Full Workload: Niese, Wheeler, Gee, Colon, DeGrom, and Montero.

    Mejia peaked in the low hundreds(innings) before his arm problems…and before TWO surgeries. I’ve gotta believe that he’s on a “Watch and Hope” schedule, and I can’t believe he’ll do more than 140-150 innings.

    Syndergard should be on a 150’ish pace.

    I believe they’ll keep Lannan as a swing….maybe Dice as a 5th—that’s to start the season. Montrero will get regular work at AAA, instead of getting bumped for weather in April. Syndergaard will also start at AAA….DeGrom?—anyone’s guess.

    They can peel off Dice or Lannan Later.

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