NEWS & VIEWS: Spring Training Roundup — Turner, Harvey, Wheeler, Montero, Jordany, and More!

Jimmy:

Today I’d just like to leaf through the pages of metsblogosphere and get your reaction to various items. Did you see that the Mets might be shopping Justin Turner? I know, who writes this stuff? It’s like the setup to a joke.

Mike:

You can have this one.

Jimmy:

If we get offered one of those Keurig B40 Elite Brewing Systems — you know, with the patented K-Cups and 2 brew-size options — I think we’ve got to say yes. Like Justin, it would be very popular in the clubhouse.

Would the Mets accept this in a trade for Justin  Turner?

Would the Mets accept this in a trade for Justin Turner?

Mike:

Those are great but the coffee is very expensive, that is how they get you. Sandy should be looking to package Recker too and get a case or at least some loose K-Cups. You know, think out of the box.

Jimmy:

Terry Collins gave his big speech on Monday, firing up the troops. Collin Cowgill was so revved up, he told Mike Puma of the NY Post, “I’m looking forward to some more meetings like that.” I’m not kidding; that’s what he actually said.

Mike:

No wonder they are shopping Turner. Is there any doubt that Cowgill is chomping at the bit to handle the pie duty?

Jimmy:

I was morosely thinking this morning, how is it going to look if Zack Wheeler out-pitches Matt Harvey this Spring? I mean, it’s a 50-50 chance, right? Is there any way in the world that Wheeler forces his way on the big club? I’m not buying that he’s not ready. It’s a money issue. But how much are the Mets really saving? He gets a big raise — hopefully, fingers crossed — one year sooner, maybe? You also have to consider the present moment, fan interest in the team, SNY ad revenues, ticket sales.

Am I the only one who is worried that Zack  Wheelers seems to be losing all his hair?

Am I the only one who is worried that Zack Wheeler seems to be losing all his hair?

Mike:

There you go again, Jimmy, thinking like New York is a big market with major revenue opportunities. You are such a silly guy.

Jimmy:

Not silly, Mike. Drunk! It’s an important distinction. I know I’m spinning my wheels with this, it’s hopeless. With Super 2 rules, I’ve seen estimates that guys won’t be called up until early July. Last year, Harvey got 20 starts in the minors and 10 for the Mets before he was shut down. We got 60 innings out of him. If we hold Wheeler back, he’ll only be able to contribute an estimated 70 innings for the big club. It’s frustrating. I know, I know, “Patience.” I just wish this organization operated with a touch more urgency.

Mike:

Felix Hernandez was not held back. Neither was Zack Greinke. In Greinke’s case it ended up looking dumb as the Royals could not afford him when he was fully blossoming. So I understand what is going on intellectually. But I joked up above and now mention it seriously, this is not Kansas City. From a pure dollar and sense standpoint, Mets prospects should be called up the second they are ready. Like David Wright and Jose Reyes were. I’m not yet saying Wheeler is, but if he pitches lights out this spring why would you possibly hold him back? Ezra Meir-Zimbler has a tough enough job.

Jimmy:

Rafael Montero is making some noise already, inspiring Pedro comparisons. Mack Ade thinks he’ll be the star of the year’s camp. When Mack talks, I listen.

Rafael  Montero's electric fastball and great command is already turning heads down in Florida.

Rafael Montero’s electric fastball and great command is already turning heads down in Florida.

Mike:

I’m not excited yet. He’s already 22 and never pitched above A-ball. Fulmer looks so much more interesting to me, 19 years old and he had great numbers already at a similar level. Fulmer runs in place for two-and-a-half years he is right where Montero is now.

But I’ve never seen either of these guys pick up a ball, and I value Ade’s opinion. I’m just wary, that is all.

Jimmy:

So Murphy got hurt because of his new swing. He’s finishing with only one hand on the bat now, which resulted in pain in his right intercostal muscle (which I believe is somewhere off the coast of Peru), one of those nagging discomforts that tends to linger for weeks. I guess this gives Poor Reese Havens, Brandon Hicks, and Jordany Valdespin an opportunity to impress.

Jordany Time!

Jordany Time!

Mike:

Murphy did the one hand thing for a while last year too. It seemed to sap what little power he had, so I’m surprised that experiment was back. Maybe this will shelve it for good. I hope so. If Murphy never tries that again maybe this will be a blessing in disguise.

Jimmy:

Vinny Cartiglia reports that Andrew Brown has an “awesome beard.” Um, let’s see. Oh, hey, six Mets got engaged this off-season! I guess that’s enough news for the day. Where’s my Zima?

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14 comments

  1. Bartleby says:

    LoL … I love how you guys have come to a consensus that you’re “not buying that [Wheeler]‘s not ready” …

    hey, whaddya know: I’ve never seen the guy pitch before and couldn’t pick him out of a police lineup and the guy has thrown THIRTY-THREE TOTAL INNINGS EVER ABOVE AA-ball but I’m going to go ahead and declare that the Mets front office has no clue what they are doing or what they are looking at, developmentally (b/c God know it looks like they REALLY screwed up with Harvey’s promotions last year): THIS GUY IS READY TO PITCH NOW! … (is that how the thinking goes?)

    • Michael Geus says:

      I stated above that prospects should be called up when they are ready, not right after the arbitration deadlines pass. If Wheeler shows up a day or two into July, then that sure looks like the game to me. Maybe no, maybe it’s an annual coincidence.

      Harvey looked great post promotion, nothing to argue about there.

      • Bartleby says:

        right… VERY VERY rarely are organizations comfortable checking the “yup — he’s totally ready” box after a mere 33 innings of work at AAA. There is nothing suspicious about that. It’s just smart business (from a developmental and asset protection standpoint). Moreover, the Mets have 5 very capable starting pitchers on the MLB staff, as is, so it’s not as if there is a glaring need right now, either.

        There are PLENTY of REAL things to get pissed off at the organization for… there’s no need to try to turn one of the front offiice’s more measured, prudent tacts into a negative just b/c we are cranky and impatient and feel like we’ve been waiting forever, already

        • I believe he’s ready. I do. A year ago the consensus was that he was more advanced than Matt Harvey. Last year, at mid-season, the comments on various Mets blogs were FILLED with nervous people who were terrified of “rushing” Matt Harvey. As if he were some Faberge egg that should be left on a shelf. As if something terrible could happen to him. So we heard that Harvey still needed to work on location, and perfecting the change, and on and on. But my belief — and yes, this is a LEAP of FAITH, in February I can’t be proven right or wrong, no matter how cocksure your reply — is that when you’ve got a pitcher who has demonstrated all the talent, then you continue his development at the next level. Not that he’s a “finished product,” but that he’s ready to learn at Citi Field against major league hitters. He’ll be 23 in May. He’s thrown 322 innings, with 347 K’s at roughly a 2.5 K/BB ratio.

          Obviously, that’s not the plan. And I submit that it’s because of financial, rather than baseball, reasons.

          • I’m sorry, one of the glitches here is that my name sometimes gets crossed out as a BLUE BAND. (Depends if I’m on Safari or Firefox, and which computer I’m using.) So to be clear, this is me, James Preller, replying. I’m sorry that you feel our questioning of the handling of Wheeler shows us as “pissed off,” “angry,” and “cranky.” I don’t feel that way. Neither does Mike.

            Clearly, the way things are set up now, the plan was that there was no way Zack Wheeler would come up this Spring. It’s not at all terrible that he’ll be in reserve. We have two highly-paid pitchers, in Santana and Marcum, who are strong candidates for injury. In the best world, I hope the Mets can trade one of them come July.

            Before he got injured last season, my hope was that the club would flip Gee for a hitter. Now he needs to re-establish his value. If things break well, he might become a very marketable chip who appeals even to the small market clubs.

            People think free agency too often. There’s little out there next off-season. We will need to acquire outfield talent through trades. It will be an interesting year.

            As far as “measured and prudent,” that’s not my big worry. I feel like Sandy has those qualities pretty well covered.

  2. Actually, the Mariners did hold Felix Hernandez back. He made just 12 starts his first year, pitching 84 innings. They kept him under 200 innings for each of the next two seasons after that. Basically, they’ve developed him perfectly. I hope the Mets will do the same with Wheeler.
    Also, this is only spring training. Unless Wheeler averages about two strikeouts per inning, whatever he accomplishes in the spring has to be taken with a grain of salt. I think he’ll be better off with more time in the minors. He’s still working on his change-up. And again, it’s not like the Mets will be competing for a playoff spot this year, so giving Wheeler an extra eight starts or so in the Majors this season will hardly make much difference in the long run.

    • Bartleby says:

      Bingo. Bingo. Bingo.

      thank you

    • Felix Hernandez got 12 MLB starts at age 19. At 20, he started 31 games and he threw between 190-200 in 2006-08. For crappy teams with nothing to play for. So, the innings count shows some judicious care & handling. But at 20 he had a regular spot in the rotation. He threw a TOTAL of 88 innings in the minor leagues.

      And you said they developed him perfectly.

      • Well, the Mets are likely to be a crappy team with nothing to play for this season, so, again, if he ends up with a dozen starts this year, then a full season next year (keeping him a bit under 200 innings), that would seem to be a prudent timetable. As I stated, this would be similar to the timetable the Mariners used with Hernandez, which has worked out quite well. Also, I think a player’s age is less important than the timetable of how he is introduced to the Majors, how much he pitches in Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, etc. Just because Wheeler is now the same age Hernandez was when Hernandez started breaking the 200 inning barrier, doesn’t mean that he’s ready for a full workload yet.

  3. SIDE NOTE: I’m surprised no one has written in and said, “Not so fast. I really think we can get more than a Keurig B40 Elite Brewing System.”

  4. Ike says:

    “Sandy should be looking to package Recker too and get a case or at least some loose K-Cups. You know, think out of the box.”

    Why package Recker?

    • Thanks for stopping by, Ike, we’re glad to welcome a new voice to the conversation.

      Mike was joking that Justin Turner might not be enough on the trade market to bring back the Keurig B40 Coffeemaker and the extra K-Cups, so figured that adding Recker to the package might sweeten the deal.

      At this point, call us cynical, it’s hard to see Recker as an upgrade of Nickeas.

      And the Mets love coffee.

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