Mets Preview by Brew and Orange blog (4/22 Game Thread)

A few days ago I was contacted by a Mets blog, Brew and Orange, to answer some questions about the Braves and Atlanta’s beer scene. Those are the kind of questions I was born to answer, so I leapt at the chance. They were kind enough to do the same for me. Here follows a series preview of the Mets series, with questions current as of Monday, April 18.

Q: David Wright is still getting on base at a good rate, but his power outage is still continuing. How worried are you about him?

A: He’s been making some solid contact, so I’m not too concerned about the power quite yet. In fact he just hit one right off the top of the huge left field mini-Green-Monster in Cleveland on Saturday, and hit two cheapies in Citizens Bank on Monday. Certainly if my options are getting on base and staying healthy or power and continued trouble with spinal stenosis, I’ll take the former. As long as he bats second in a lineup that follows with Conforto, Cespedes, and Duda, there will be plenty of others who can get him in via home run.

Q: A year after silencing doubters with a terrific 2015 campaign, Curtis Granderson raising all of the old worries from 2014. He’s 35. Is this just a slump?

A: A lot of folks are comparing his 2016 start to his 2015 start, which was an equally horrific 1-27, using the old “and look how that turned out!” line. I think it’s going to be hard for him to replicate his 2015 success, and will more likely be pretty streaky this year. That being said, recent returns have been markedly better, slashing .286/.348/.619 in his last 6 games.

I think a lot of it can be explained by the old adage of how hard it is to his a spherical ball with a cylindrical bat. In 2014, Granderson had a BABIP of .265, well below his .300 career average, which is right on line with where you would expect it to be. 2015 saw his BABIP return to .305, and he had probably the third best season of his career. So as long as his luck is in line with where you’d expect it to be, he probably won’t regress too far off last year’s results.

Q: You’re the defending league champions, but you’re already four games behind the Nats. Obviously it’s way too early to panic, and you still have incredible pitching, but with only 37 runs scored through 11 games, is the offense this team’s weak point?

A: I do think that would be the area of concern, yes. It reminds me of June 2015 (which featured a Braves 4 game sweep in Atlanta), where a 2 run deficit felt pretty much insurmountable. Then again, there were a lot of at-bats going to the likes of John Mayberry Jr., Eric Campbell, and Michael Cuddyer at that point, so I think we’re better positioned this year. I suspect our one-run record is going to loom larger than it might for other teams.

Q: How good can Matz and Conforto be this year?

A: Matz is probably the best 4th starter in the Major Leagues. It’s been fun to watch Mets fan play the game of ranking our starters, because it’s such an embarrassment of riches. When he locates his fastball, his secondary pitches become very difficult to hit. I think he’s primed for a solid year.

Conforto, though, is a legit star in the making. It took Terry Collins all of 10 games to move him up to the 3 hole, and he should be there all year. He’s an incredibly natural hitter, and has surprised scouts with his average to above average defensive skills. It’s too bad he’s not eligible for Rookie of the Year (missed by 40 at bats) because he’d be a shoo-in for this year’s award.

Q: Who is the prospect you’re most looking forward to seeing later this year?

A: Interestingly, the cupboard’s a little bare on prospects with the graduations of deGrom, Matz, Syndergaard, Conforto, etc. Along with that, (happily) there’s not much of a specific glaring hole on the 25-man roster for a prospect to knock the door down. Of those waiting in the wings, I’m most excited to see what Dilson Herrera can do at second base in a full time role, but if that happens before Neil Walker’s departure for free agency this coming Winter, I’d have to assume something went very wrong. He’s shown decent range and some pop at the bat in limited cups of coffee, and it’s pretty clear he’ll be expected to take the reigns for Opening Day 2017.

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51 thoughts on “Mets Preview by Brew and Orange blog (4/22 Game Thread)”

  1. Good job…sigh…embarrassment of riches indeed :*(

    I was perusing the scores last night when I saw a lop-sided 16-0 Cubs win and clicked on the box score. I couldn’t figure out why they’d left in Arrieta to pitch a complete game until I looked at the hit column. Oh, and Kris Bryant had 2 homers. There’s an embarrassment of riches in Chicago, too. The only consolation is that David Ross caught the no-hitter. Good for you Rossie.

  2. Looking for positives. Players who have performed well through the first 15 games:

    Nick Markakis
    Tyler Flowers
    Matt Wisler
    Arodys Vizcaino
    Jhoulys Chacin?

    Drew Stubbs leads the team in homers. Oy…

  3. Re: Matz. I did a double-take when I read “best 4th” as “4th best”–but no doubt the kid can pitch.

  4. Sigh, I can remember when the likes of Kevin Millwood, Denny Naegle, and Steve Avery were being talked about as the best 4th starters in the ML.

  5. Through a small sample size of three starts, Wisler is performing similar or better than Shelby Miller did last year in ERA, H/9, W/9, and K/9. Wisler is, of course, giving up about twice as many gopher balls, and his FIP is about a half a run higher. Wisler will be a good pitcher. I’m very confident of that.

    The lack of power and Teheran continuing his downward trajectory is extremely alarming. Teheran, mentally, just may not be a guy who can “lead the staff”. He may simply struggle to be the guy that the buck stops with, and while some may disagree, I think that’s real. The Jake Arietta’s and Clayton Kershaw’s are extremely rare, but I think Teheran is more a #2 starter than a staff ace. A dominant #1, Teheran, Wisler, a lefty, and Blair will be an excellent rotation for years to come. Maybe Newcomb or Fried can be the lefty, and the rest of the pieces get traded.

    Who hangs up first: Jake Odorizzi for Ozzie Albies, Tyrell Jenkins, and Braxton Davidson.

  6. @6, you serious with that trade? Why would we need Odorizzi? We have 2 mediocre mid-rotation righties in Teheran and Wisler, and more coming with Ellis, Gant, and Blair (and Jenkins). Lord what a haul that would be for TB.

  7. Yeah, maybe I’m being a local fan boy of Odorizzi. He had a great year last year, and I’ve seen quite a few great outings by him. Of course, I could say the same for Teheran. I just think that Braxton Davidson sucks and it’d be ideal to sell high (or just not rock bottom), Jenkins may not turn into much, and a double-A (now) second baseman for an established, potential front-line starter seems to be the market.

    OK, Odorizzi for Newcomb, Gant, and Davidson.

  8. I’d have to do @10. Newcomb projects to be better than Odorizzi if he puts it together, but that’s a big IF.

  9. We’ve got 7 guys that “project” to be 2-5 starters within the next 12-18 months, and then even more 18+ months out. Then you have FA monies, and you know we’re not going to break the bank on a FA frontline starter. Trade some of them while their “projections” are high for someone that is actually currently very good. That’s all I’m saying. You have to trade some of these guys, and they will.

  10. When will Simmons be ready, June? We need to call up Marksberry and cut EOF.

    Is it possible we could move Adonis to LF and call up Ruiz and some point this season?

  11. Ruiz is only what, 21? And his AAA surge is being driven by some ridiculously high BABIP stats – I mean like .450ish absurd. BUT, if he keeps up a decent level of production, I could see him with a September call-up.

  12. It is difficult to hit .377 without an absurd BABIP, but I’m very happy to see Ruiz doing so. I haven’t seen any games, but it’s hard to believe it’s all of ducks and dribblers. Gotta be squaring some stuff up.

  13. And, to be fair to Rio, he did have a good August last year after a horrendous start to 2015. Maybe he’s figured it out, and we can decide what to do with the hot corner.

  14. Would that be your reflex-flex-flex-flex?

    You are hungry like the wolf for that moment…

    You might just come undone…

    hey-o…

  15. I don’t feel like 3B offense is high on our list of current problems. It might be after 500 ABs…no doubt…but for now, hasn’t Adonis been one of our only decent hitters?

  16. I work with a chick named Rio and I’m always narrating her actions in song. HER NAME IS RIO AND SHE ROLLS THE SILVERWARE, ect. It’s possible that I am very annoying to work with.

  17. Mark of a bad team: when you lose a series or especially get swept, the commentators talk about how you were “in every game”. Just not being blown out is a moral victory.

  18. Norris looks incredibly hittable tonight, at least when he throws strikes. This could get ugly early. Of course throwing errors don’t help.

  19. Hard to believe that at 31 and being one year removed from success that Norris could be done but… welp.

  20. As bad as Norris looked and with an extra bullpen arm, you have to hit for Norris there. I will be surprised if he makes it through the 3rd.

  21. This conforto can scald the baseball. We should trade teheran for him. The Mets could use a 6th starter.

  22. After giving up 7 more runs tonight, Touki Touissant’s ERA sits at a cool 12.66…which I guess goes to show that 10 million doesn’t go as far as it used to?

  23. I had that Pat Kelly card. Didn’t pan out, but then nothing much about card collecting in ’91 did.

  24. Was Kelly Johnson correct to stay on third when Norris bunted towards first early in the game?

    No one talked about it on the broadcast or here…surely he should have gone?

  25. Michael Conforto
    dispatches a pitch at a hundred and twelve and a quarto
    Freddie Freeman
    we don’t want to ask, even.

    would you trade one for the other, again even? right now…one is an athlete.

  26. #40 – reports are he was topping out at 87-88 tonight. That’s not a good sign. He used to be in the mid to upper 90’s.

  27. @44

    …two of them, back to back..the first was the first pitch he saw – Norris was very lucky; the noise of the second @112 was literally shocking…you would know more than me the intricacies of trading contracts – the larger point is just him and what he showed last night following on his late season production last fall – i ain’t ever seen/heard anything quite like that, twice over. Mark him down,the young Corleone.

  28. two for one…

    Travis d’Arnaud
    said i and the Norseman must go
    here’s 48 year old Kilimanjaro climbing Cy Young Dickey
    the intellectual skills needed to make this deal were very tricky.

    well, we got his brother…

  29. I only found out this week they are now ‘rubberizing’ some drag strips…in my day you were not treated so kindly…the point being, of course, all this bitching about the sun not being hot enough, one type of grass not mating properly with another, the dirt not ‘settling’, the errors amassing, egos demolishing, can all be overcome by purchasing the the odd 50 gallon drum or two.

    Pour liberally, flatten somehow and allow to harden by March 31st. 30 days use only. The Baltimore Chop assumes historic proportions.

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