Please be advised of the following Sand Gnats roster moves:

8/4 - Joe Tuschak transferred to Savannah's DL
8/4 - Chris Flexen activated from DL

Mack’s Morning Report – 8-4-15 – Nats, Spot Starter, Steven Matz, Javier Baez


ESPN had its highest national MLB ratings Sunday night since 2012 & its highest NYC rating for a Non-Subway Series MLB game since 2007.

The three games series against Washington only produced 20 hits in 98 official at-bats. That’s a team batting average of .204, nothing to write home about, but… here’s the difference.

Five doubles, six home runs, and nine walks raised the OBP to .284, the slugging percentage to .509, and the OPS to.793.

A .793 seasonal OPS would rank the Mets first in the entire league, instead of their current ranked 30th .665.

Michael Baron put out one of those Panic City articles about innings limitations for Mets pitchers this season.

The fact is there is no problem.

First of all, Jonathan Niese and Bartolo Colon can pitch until their arm falls off. That’s 40% of the games left this season.

Steven Matz will be back soon and, because he hasn’t pitched much this season, he also will go nowhere near his projected innings restrictions.

And lastly, Logan Verrett and Dillon Gee are a phone call away from rejoining the team and slotting into the rotation.

My guess is Gee, who has much successful experience at the major league level, will be back this season to help eat up innings.

Fangraphs graded the 58 prospects traded at the deadline:
50 FV Group (9): Ranged from 80 to 142 in the Top 200 - Michael Fulmer, RHP, Detroit Tigers Cespedes Trade (NYM) - I compared him to Joba Chamberlain entering the year and Fulmer has improved since then, improving his delivery, command and slider to where he could turn into a 3rd/4th starter, but is close enough that some sort of meaningful big league career is extremely likely.

40+ FV Group (8) - Casey Meisner, RHP, Oakland A’s Clippard Trade (NYM) - 6’7/190 righty is in High-A at only 20 years old and sits 90-93, hittting 94 with three average to slightly above pitches along with projection and plane, but consistency is still an issue.

40 FV Group (12) – John Gant, RHP, Atlanta Braves Uribe Trade (NYM) - Gant has a solid average four-pitch mix and solid feel to project as a back-end starter, thought his skinny frame could limit the amount of innings he can throw.

40 FV Group (12) - Rob Whalen, RHP Atlanta Braves Uribe Trade (NYM) - Whalen flashes an above average fastball and curveball at times, with enough changeup and command to start, but also with 7th/8th inning upside in the bullpen if he can’t develop all the starter traits.

40 FV (12) - Luis Cessa, RHP, Detroit Tigers Cespedes Trade (NYM) -
Cessa will run it up to 95 mph, has a slider, changeup and command that are all average to slightly above and projects as a back-end starter, swing man or 7th inning reliever depending on how the command plays at the big league level.

Steven Matz began to throw Monday (60 feet) and projects out right now to return in September.  Michael Baron reports that the Mets would then return to a 6-man rotation, thus limiting the young arms for the pennant race. Add to this a few spot starts by either Logan Verrett or Dillon Gee and this could all work out.

Patrick Mooney of the  Cubs Insider had an interesting article on the Cubs prospect infielder Javier Baez and how the Cubs manager, Joe Madden, is in no rush to promote him to the majors.

The Mets have the easiest schedule left for the season in the National League and  here is the site to prove it.

DOWN UNDER: Mets Minor League Results - 8-3-15


DOWN UNDER: Mets Minor League Results - 8-3-15

 STAR OF THE DAY: Dillon Gee, Dilson Herrera

HONORABLE MENTION: Michael Bernal, Alex Palsha


Las Vegas  (61-49) 7 - Tacoma 2 

Binghamton  - DAY OF R&R

St Lucie  - DAY OF R&R

Savannah  (58-48) 7- Rome 4

Brooklyn  (23-19) 7 - Lowell 6

Kingsport  - DAY OF R& R

GCL Mets (20-16) - Double Header with Nats

- Game 1 Mets lose 8-4

- Game 2 Mets lose 2-1

DSL METS 1   lost

DSL METS 2   lost

Here's the Scoop:

Las Vegas got a 2nd straight complete game win from Dillon Gee, with 2 runs, 10 hits, and 4 Ks. 

Dilson is smoking (double, 5th HR, 3 RBIs) and Matt Reynolds had 2 triples.  Nimmo went 2-3 (.200), with a walk and 2 runs scored.

Binghamton off today.

St Lucie off today.

Savannah started Michael Gibbons, and he was so-so: 5.1 IP, 8 H, 4 R.  Bullpen (Vilasmil and Baldonado) was great, as they got the win and save with 3.2 innings of hitless baseball. Vicente Lupo (.202) had a big night with 3-4, 2 doubles, as the Gnats scored 2 in the 7th and 3 in the 8th for the win.

Brooklyn's Kevin Canelon was not sharp and left the Clones with a 5-2 deficit.  The Cyclones hit tonight, though, scoring a total of 5 runs in the 6th and 7th, totaling 14 hits. 

Alex Palsha (0.00) nabbed a tough 10th save. Michael Bernal was 3-4, 2 doubles, 2 RBIs.  Catcher Jose Garcia (.286) was 3-3 and a walk.

Kingsport off today.

GCL Mets completed a July 28 game where Joel Huertas gave up 8 runs.  Mets cut that in half for the final 8-4.

Game 2 was a low scoring loss.

 DSL METS 1: lost 6-4, 3 Met errors

 DSL METS 2: lost 4-1, 3 Mets errors.

 GOAT: Twin 3 error games in the error-strewn DSL.


August 3rd 2015 - Mets 12, Marlins 1


Monday night in Miami, the Met offense EXPLODED for 12 runs on 15 hits, while on the mound Bartolo Colon found his grove, the Mets roughed up the Marlins 12-1.  Tim Koehler started for Miami. After a scoreless first inning, Michael Conforto greeted him with a 435ft three run homer to center, his first major league home run to make it 3-0 Mets.  The Mets scored 4 more in the 5th on a 2 run double by Yoenis Cespedes an RBI double by Wilmer Flores and a fielder’s choice by Kelly Johnson, knocking Koehler out of the box.  The Mets went on to score 3 more in the 6th and 2 more in the 7th.  Cespedes had his breakout game as a Met going 3 for 5 with 3 doubles, 2 runs scored and 4 RBI.  Curtis Granderson went 3 for 5 with 2 runs scored and 2 RBI. Conforto went 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored and 3 RBI. Travis d’Arnaud went 2 for 5.  Colon even got in on the act going 1 for 4.  Christian Yelich was the hitting star for Miami going 3 for 4 with an RBI. He drove in the Marlins only run in the bottom of the 8th. Colon went 8 innings allowing 7 hits 1 run (earned) and striking out 5. He finally snaps his 6 game losing streak and improves to 10-10. Sean Gilmartin pitched the 9th to finish it off. With the win the Mets have now won 5 straight. They are 56-50 overall and 18-32 on the road. Best of all the Nationals lost on Monday so the Mets find themselves all alone in first place in the NL east with a 1 game lead. Tuesday night it’s game two of the set. Jonathon Niese (5-9 3.63) goes for the Mets; Brad Hand (1-2 5.12) goes for the Fish. 


D-Whit - Tomorrow begins Today: Trio of trades transform Mets from Pretender to Contender.


If you look at in a vacuum the Mets gave up too much for Yoenis Cespedes. A combination, however, of the promising circumstances the team finds itself in and a fanbase made restless by a lackluster half decade of MLB played at Citi Field made these shrewd moves imperative. Sure, Sandy Alderson and Tiger GM Dave Dombrowski had a sort of stare down on Michael Fulmer-with the Met GM blinking-but the Gomez fiasco and failed attempts at prying Jay Bruce or Justin Upton away from their respective teams left Alderson with acquiring Cespedes being his best, and frankly, only option. 

ESPN’s Keith Law, whose opinion I respect, criticized both the Storen and Cespedes moves, but, particularly the latter, however he misses the point. Law compares how the Cubs held onto their hitting prospects while the Mets traded future pitching for rentals. That comparison is wrong because the Cubs hitting prospects are a better compared to the Mets big 5. Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, et al are the Cubs foundation just like Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndegaard, Stephen Matz, and Zack Wheeler are the foundation  of the Mets. Michael Fulmer, John Gant, Casey Meisner, Rob Whalen and Luis Cessa, talented as they are, do not make up the core of the team. So Law was wrong in that assessment. 

The fear is that the farm system now becomes thin in quality pitching prospects. Losing that depth below Flushing hurts some, sure, but let’s face it, New York has no real need of reinforcement starters until 2018 or 2019, depending on how they handle Harvey and the future arbitration years of the 5 aces. If the team can’t produce at least one top line SP1 or 2 prospects by that time then something went terribly south down on Sandy’s farm. Another concern some may have is what happens if injuries strike one or more of those five aces in 2016 or beyond? You can’t predict the future or anticipate the worst, that’s not a winner’s attitude. 

There’s always pitching out there either internally or externally to fit in a piece here or there when or if needed. That holds true with relievers as well. It’s what perennial contenders do, fill in the holes of the foundation here and there, when necessary. That's what the Mets are now. Contenders. Sandy Alderson’s intent was build a contender on the arms of a dominant front five and to his credit he stuck with that vision. He held onto his five jewels (though in Wheeler’s case barely) despite numerous tempting trade offers involving names like Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gomez among others. He didn't give up spare change for the guys he just brought in but the Mets had an embarrassment of riches on the hill and could afford to spend future talent on today’s needs. The New York Mets have officially entered an era of being yearly contenders. The long cold winter of Mets fan discontent is over. Summer is here and the time is right for a pennant drive in One-Five.

Mack’s Morning Report – 8-3-15 – Nats Confident, Future Starters, Tim Stauffer, Travis d’Arnaud


Good morning.

After being swept by the Mets, the preseason World Series favorites were now co-tenants of the NL East penthouse, sharing the space with a team that hadn’t posted a winning season since Shea Stadium crumbled.

In the disappointment, and likely disbelief, there was no different feeling about how the standings would look in October, with Sunday’s losing starter, Jordan Zimmermann, stating facing the upgraded Mets is no more challenging than it was a month ago.

“I wouldn’t say it’s any more difficult,” Zimmermann said. “You make your pitches, you can get any of those guys out over there. Tonight was one of those nights where I made two mistakes and it looks a lot worse than it really was.

“We’re fine. We’re going to bounce back and there’s nobody in here that’s panicking right now.” - http://nypost.com/2015/08/03/nationals-not-worried-new-look-mets-no-more-difficult/

                      Mack - I guess these are all the right things you have to say after getting your ass handed to you for three straight games, but I can't see why anyone on Washington would want to keep their Bryce Harper-led arrogance out there in print so the Mets can hang their words on their lockers when they come to tow for the last three games in October.

All those recent gut wrenching loses and we're tied for first in August... whodda thunk it?

Jeurys Familia in July: 13 games, 6 saves, 3 blown saves, 13.2 innings pitched,14 hits, 7 R, 2 BB, 12 SO, 2 HR, 4.61 ERA, .255/.293/.455 BAA

Carlos Torres in May: 8 games, 11 innings pitched, 11 hits, 3 runs , 2 walks, 14 strikeouts, 1 homerun, 2.45 ERA, .275/.302/.400 BAA

Sean Gilmartin in July: 6 games, 6.2 innings pitched, 9 hits, 3 runs , 3 walks, 10 strikeouts, 0 homeruns, 4.05 ERA, .333/.400/.370 BAA

Bobby Parnell in July: 9 games, 8 innings pitched, 12 hits, 8 runs, 5 walks, 3 strikeouts, 0 homeruns, 9.00 ERA, .375/.459/.469 BAA

Alex Torres in July: 8 games, 9.1 innings pitched, 7 hits, 9 runs (5 earned runs), 8 walks, 6 strikeouts, 3 HR, 4.82 ERA, .206/.357/.500 BAA

Hansel Robles in July: 9 games, 10 innings pitched, 6 hits, 2 runs , 3 walks, 11 strikeouts, 2 homeruns, 1.80 ERA, .176/.243/.412 BAA

We here at Mack’s Mets need to take a step back and try and rank the top five starters left in the Mets minor league affiliates, based on projected time that they could be ready to play at the professional level. Let’s face it, the system has been hit pretty big sending key pitching out to secure 2-month rentals that will hopefully turn this team around and make the playoffs.

I’m going to ask Tom Brennan to peek in on what I’m writing here and add his thoughts as well.

For now, my thoughts are based on pitchers I expect to come back next year, meaning, no Dillon Gee.

1.        Rafael Montero – ETA: 2015 – I still think Montero has middle of the rotation potential, but we may have to wait this one out. Also, there still is a chance he could first begin in the Mets pen again.

2.        Zack Wheeler – ETA: July 2016 – Definitely SP1-3 starter. Frankly, I see very little pressure on him in 2016, a year he probably will return as the SP5.

3.        Gabiel Ynoa – ETA: July 2016 – The next three guys all have the SP5 potential most pitching staffs are looking for. The 22-year old is 8-7, 3.81 (19 starts) for Binghamton this year. Also, could be the next trade chip.

4.        Seth Lugo – ETA: July 2016 – The 25-year old is 6-5, 3.55 (18 starts) for Binghamton this year. Another possible trade chip.

5.        Robert Gsselman – July 2016 – Only 21-years old and 11-5 this year for St. Lucie/Binghamton. Remember this name.

Tom Brennan - no team can promote a Syndergaard and Matz, and trade Fulmer, Cessa, Whelan, Gant, and Wieck and not take a real step back in minor league pitchers having major league potential.  That said, I like 4 of the 5 in Mack's list - except for Wheeler, who really is a disabled major leaguer.  If Montero had not been injured virtually the whole year, he'd almost have been in the same boat.

So I'd swap them out of the list for 2 other minor leaguers a bit further down the food chain.  Martires Arias and Logan Taylor

I add Arias, thinking of him as a very tall dude who developed slowly, was in rookie ball the start of last year...and has gone 12-4 since, with an ERA of 2.00.  He threw one excellent start in St Lucie, then was sent back to Savannah, which seems puzzling.  My guess is they want him pitching in Gnats playoff games (what they did with Matz there).  I think he moves fast starting next year, ETA of mid-2017 as a starter (if needed), pen arm, or trade bait.

Logan Taylor had a Fulmer-like stretch of injuries, but the 23 year old in St Lucie has had only one bad start in his last 10 games and is pitching healthy in 2015, so he is clearly progressing.  I see him as trade bait this time next year, similar to John Gant, and ML ready as a back end starter in 2017.

Two that are further away are Marcos Molina (only if healthy) and Max Wotell, this year's 3rd rounder who is just 18 but has hit the ground running in relief in the GCL: 5.1 IP, 1 H, 10K.

The Mets signed a new starter this week.

Tim Stauffer was signed to bolster the depleted Las Vegas rotation. The 33-year old ex-2003 first rounder (4th pick overall by San Diego) has pitched for 10 seasons in the majors, going 33-34, 3.94. He hasn’t started since 2011 when he went 9-12, 3.73, in 31 starts, for San Diego.

Travis d’Arnaud http://www.pressconnects.com/story/sports/2015/07/31/task-gets-taller-mets-michael-conforto/30930727/ talked about the difficult transition from the minors to the majors:

"When you've got guys out there who are major-league pitchers who know exactly where the ball is going every time, it's hard to hit when your mind is not on the pitch. There are so many different things that go on, especially in New York City, that can distract you or that can take your thoughts away from a pitch coming at you. For me, the key was to just remember it's baseball and just have the same approach and same routine every day."

Mack – d’Arnaud looks a little rusty out there right now, but I’m sure he’s going to come around by mid-August and add to the strength of the middle lineup.

The Mets next ten series:

Miami, Tampa Bay, Colorado, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Colorado, Philly, Boston, Philly, Miami.

A nice story on recently added St, Lucie knuckleballer Mickey Jannis http://www.astrometsmind.com/2015/07/the-mets-added-indy-league.html

DOWN UNDER: Mets Minor league Results - 8-2-15


Three Mets squad allowed a total of 5 runs, but scored zip.

DOWN UNDER: Mets Minor league Results - 8-2-15

 STAR OF THE DAY: Tom McIlraith, Mickey Jannis

HONORABLE MENTION: Martires Arias, Dilson Herrera


Las Vegas (60-49) 4 - Tacoma 6

Binghamton (59-48) 0 - Richmond 2

St Lucie  (54-52)  7 - Clearwater 2

Savannah (57-47) 0 - Asheville 2

Brooklyn  0 (22-19) - Batavia 1

Kingsport  (19-20)  6 - Greenville 1



Vegas went with Matt Bowman (7-10). He is now 7-11.  Pitched OK with 2 runs on 8 hits in 5.  Chase Hutchingson gave up 4 in the 6th, Dilson got Vegas on the scoreboard with his 3 run Jack bottom 6 (appears he is heating up). A Reynolds RBI in the 9th drew them within 2 for the final score. Nimmo hitting .118, folks.

Bingo scored zero, so they lost. Matt Koch surrendered the game's 2 runs in 3 innings. Cecchini and Rivera each had 2 hits.

St Lucie sent Jannis to the hill today. He pitched very well, with 7 innings of 4 hit shutout ball, and the Mets scored 7 runs in the first 2 innings...and so an easy win was had.

Savannah went with Martires Arias today. 6 innings of strong 2 run pitching, but like Binghamton, you score no runs, you lose.  A scoreless inning apiece from Luis Mateo, Montgomery, and Peterson.

Brooklyn hoped to generate more offense today, entering today' s contest hitting just .218. Dropped 2 more points...team can't hit.  Flexen allowed a run and 9 runners in 4.2 IP...one too many runs and took the loss.

 Kingsport started Tom McIlraith today, who entered the game with a 1.93 ERA. He left after the innings with an ERA of 1.82 and improved to 3-0. Well-balanced K Met offense made it an easy win.




 GOAT: B Met, Gnat, and Cylcone hitters not hitting. And Chase Hutchingson.

August 2nd 2015 -- Mets 5, Nationals 2

Sunday night at Citi Field, The Mets behind Noah Syndergaard erupted for 5 runs in to bottom of the 3rd inning as the Mets sweep the Nationals with a 5-2 win.  Syndergaard may be Thor, but the Mets offense brought the thunder. Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the third Curtis Granderson, Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda abused mistakes by Jordan Zimmerman for a 5 run inning. Granderson clubbed a 2 run shot, his 17th on the year to make it 2-1. Murphy followed immediately with a solo shot his 7th for a 3-1 lead.  Next, Yoenis Cespedes singled to left for his first hit as a Mets and Duda struck again with a 2 run homer his 21st on the year and 9th in 8 games to give Syndergaard the 4 run cushion. The Nats scored their first run in the top of the first when Anthony Rendon hit a line homer to center that hit just above the orange line for a 1-0 lead.  In the 6th Yunel Escobar connected for a solo homer, his 6th on the year to make it 5-2.  Syndergaard went 8 strong innings allowing 7 hits 2 runs (both earned) and striking out 9.  He improves to 6-5 and his ERA falls to 2.66. Tyler Clippard pitched the 9th for his 1st save as a Met.  Zimmerman took the loss falling to 8-7. With the win the Mets sweep the Nationals for the first time since 2009. They are now 55-50 overall and 38-18 at him and are in a virtual tie for first place in the NL East. Monday the Marlins come to town. Bartolo Colon (9-10 4.96) looks to continue the streak for the Mets.  Tim Koehler (8-7 3.38) goes for Miami. 




OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis has been placed on the disabled list

OF Michael Conforto has been recalled from AAA-Las Vegas


Mack’s Morning Report – 8-2-15 – Minor League SPs, Zack Wheeler, 2016 Mets


Good morning.

You know me. I love minor league players. Especially starting pitchers; however, I’m also old school and grew up rooting for a team (the Mets) that operated like a big market team and used it’s secondary minor league prospects to secure major league talent.

I’ll miss guys like Luis Cessa and Michael Fulmer, but, in my world, that’s what their true purpose was supposed to be. They have a ton of talent, but not more than the Fab Five ahead of you. If you’re not going to start for the Mets, you might as well help secure hitting talent by being a trade chip.

RIP to Chicago White Sox legend, Billy Pierce, who passed away Friday at the age of 88.

The Pirates designated Deolis Guerra for assignment

I thought it was great to see the Mets throw RP Bobby Parnell right back into the water last night. This whole pennant race will not work unless Parnell, Tyler Clippard, and Jeurys Familia can successfully pull off the 7th-8th-9th inning combo that is going to be needed as the Mets' young starters start to run out of innings left they can throw this year.

Bartolo Colon in July: 5 games, 27.2 IP, 36 hits, 17 runs (16 earned runs), 4 walks, 22 strikeouts, 3 HR, 5.20 ERA, .316/.344/.447 BAA

Jon Niese in July: 5 games, 31.1 innings pitched, 27 hits, 10 runs, 5 walks, 17 strikeouts, 3 HR, 2.87 ERA, .233/.276/.345 BAA

The Mets OF defense is sure looking good. The C├ęspedes/Granderson combo rank 1st among LF/RF w/ 11 DRS each in 2015 and Juan Lagares is 1st among CF with 58 last 3 years. And when was the last time you saw me quote DRS?

Zack Wheeler told Mike Puma :

“I’d like to be a part of what we have going on here in New York with the other guys on our pitching staff and other players as well. I’ve been here for a few years during the rebuilding stages. I’ve been working my butt off down here to get back to being a better and healthier athlete, and I’d like to stay until we get the job done.”

Mack – As much as I was looking forward to Carlos Gomez being a Met, I think I’m still thrilled that Wheeler remains a Mets and keeps the ‘Fab 5’ together.

There’s a lot of Mets followers (especially some here on Mack’s Mets) that feel that Michael Fulmer is a front end rotation prospect. I don’t. I think he’s back end at best and it could be years before the Mets develop anyone to replace one of these five.

I know you don’t have to be the most talented pitcher to be an SP5 but wouldn’t it be something to see five SP1-2 pitchers in the same rotation at the same time?

Michael Baron had an interesting spin why the Mets considered Wheeler expendable:

By the time Wheeler returns, it will be 2016. But the time he doesn’t have an innings limit, it will be 2018. That’s 2 1/2 years until the Mets can hopefully benefit from Wheeler’s talent again. He went from being a short-term solution before the season to the equivalent of a prospect in Single-A thanks to having Tommy John Surgery in March.

Of course he isn’t a prospect by definition, but he becomes expendable because of his timeline thanks to the quick rises of Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz, plus their control of Jon Niese over the same span.

Mack – But, let’s remember one important thing here. Wheeler called Sandy Alderson and asked that he not be traded before the trading deadline, saying he wanted to remain a Met.

That goes a long way in my book and should in yours too.

So, the trade deadline is over and the 2015 version of the New York Mets has been vastly improved, but when do we start to worry about the 2016 version. Who’s going to play third base if David Wright doesn’t successfully come back? Does the team have to still look outside the organization for a starting shortstop? And, who will be the opening day centerfielder while Juan Lagares is still on the mend?

It’s too early to start breaking out the list of 2016 free agents available for these positions, but it’s not premature for us to start discussing where the Mets might go in these directions. Feel free to chime in.
Mack's Mets © 2012