No matter the severity of his current injury, it now sure seems like a foregone conclusion that we will not see Noah Syndergaard around these parts in 2014.
I know you’ve felt from the outset that Noah would not come up this season, but now the complication of this injury certainly makes it seem less likely. We will see what happens.
The first time we ever discussed Lucas Duda, on October 24, 2012, I concluded the post with the following:
“In the end I see Duda very much like Huskey and Milligan before him. A flawed platoon player with some pop who has a major league career during his younger pre-free agent years and an endangered species after that.”
If I could edit that I would now write, “who has a major league career on some bad teams during his younger pre-free agent years and an endangered species after that.”
And what a shame that the Mets are those bad teams. Anyway, I hope Lucas isn’t spending all his money, because his clock is ticking loudly.
Opportunity knocked in a big way and, to date, he never got off the couch. I imagine him snarfing a bowl of popcorn, hollering, “Mom! Somebody’s at the door! MOM??!! THE DOOR!!!”
When I finally made it out to the ballpark, all of the defensive shifting was astounding to see. You don’t always get the full view on TV. It has become dramatic, and quite commonplace. And, I’m sorry, but these players take batting practice every day, they really can’t figure out how to place a decent bunt down? It wouldn’t have to be a great bunt, just keep the ball in play. These shifts are taking hits away from hitters, balls slammed up the middle are becoming routine outs. The antidote seems simple to me, why isn’t it happening?
Not just the bunt, but simply going the other way every once in a while, old-fashioned bat control, shooting the ball through the hole.
I’ll start with two factors: 1) From what I’ve read, the shifts have had a profound effect on offenses around baseball. There are guys out there who count and calculate this stuff — I’m always a little dubious — but they’ve put numbers on the amount of hits taken away by the shift. It’s a lot. Some hitters have been really hurt by the shifts, which are on a dramatic rise all over baseball.
2) Babe Ruth has been credited with changing the way batters swing. There was a time, before the long ball, when hitters genuinely tried to “hit ‘em where they ain’t.” You see that remnant in BP at some places: 5 to LF, 5 to CF, 5 to RF. Situational hitting. As baseball changed, that skill got de-emphasized. Players concluded that it was better to keep the power swing, the home run potential, rather than surrender to the shift. That was the Ted Williams method, anyway, but Ted was a pretty special player. Maybe now there’s a new opportunity for the Felix Millan-type hitter (though, of course, they don’t put the shift on against guys like him). Good topic, very interesting, I’m glad you brought it up. In an article I read just this morning, the writer was speculating about the limits of old-fashioned scorekeeping. What does a 5-3 mean when David Wright is standing close to second base? Or a 4-5-3 DP? So as the demands on infielders change, we may see greater value on the adaptable defender — for example, a third-baseman who can play a passable short for a few plays a game.
If we are going to have replay than managers should be automatically ejected if they leave the field. For the wistful folks, you are not going to see any more Earl Weaver histrionics, those days are now over. The only reason these guys are coming out now is to stall, and it’s dumb. Football coaches don’t run on the field with their flags in their pocket waiting for a signal from the press conference. I thought that was what baseball wanted, to emulate football?
It’s absurd. Tom Verducci just wrote a piece that lists 12 ways to speed up the game. I think the notion that these guys have to wait for full season to evaluate replay is absurd. We can all see the obvious abuses. Tweak it on the fly, make it better now, today.
Following Dave Hudgens’ farewell tour (the Derek Jeter of hitting coaches), Sandy Alderson jumped on the Michael Kay show to do some quick damage control. I taped it to make sure I had everything accurate if he said anything interesting, but mostly it was just another boilerplate Alderson interview. One thing I did pay attention to was when he was asked why he signed Chris Young for the money he did, when he did. The first thing Sandy said was he was looking for someone who played centerfield. In fact, he mentioned Young being able to play centerfield three times as justification. Including justification for the urgency of the signing, as Young was signed very early in the process. The words, “protection for centerfield,” came up a lot.
What that means is Alderson looked at the roster and decided playing Lagares every day was riskier than Tejada. Riskier than Duda/Davis. After seeing Lagares play center the way he did last year, for the major league minimum, he thought the teams biggest area of need was center. Knowing, certainly, that the overall budget would be small. And remember, if this team had committed to Lagares and not brought in Chris Young, they still had Kirk and Matt den Dekker in the organization. Both of them are better defensively than Young, both hit from the left side, both would have been playing for the minimum. Both have a little pop, just like Chris Young, and both would probably hit .200. Just like Chris Young.
The payroll was discussed at length with Kay, and I agree that is the biggest current issue. But if this team is ever going to spend freely again, is Sandy Alderson the guy you want doing the shopping?
Dave Hudgens thinks so, I’m not so sure about that.