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 Post subject: The 2018 Elegy
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:22 am 
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FG version (via Dan Szym):

The Results
Everything went amazingly well… for two weeks. The team started out 11-1, sweeping the Marlins, Nationals, Phillies, and only dropping one of three to the Cardinals. The five aforementioned pitchers started games exclusively for the Mets until Jason Vargas returned from injury in late April.

Amusingly, this wasn’t even by design, with the team making Matz and Wheeler fight for a rotation spot with Vargas in the spring, and Wheeler only ended up receiving those April starts because both Vargas and Seth Lugo were injured. In late March, the team even hinted at moving Wheeler to the bullpen.

How the Mets used Wheeler reflects one of the fundamental issues of the organization. Wheeler has had an up-and-down career, but like Gonzalez, Vargas was just given a job, no questions asked, while the Mets showed casual disinterest in the player with more upside. It was similar at first base: you can be down on Dominic Smith, but the Mets just didn’t appear to be all that curious about what he could do.

As a result, a lot of the team’s high points from 2018 arrived almost accidentally. Brandon Nimmo had a .379 on-base percentage in 2017, but the Mets constructed their outfield such that Nimmo was able to get at-bats only when Conforto hurt his shoulder. In the end, an injury to Cespedes was required for Nimmo to get any regular playing time.

It took an Asdrubal Cabrera trade for the Mets to show an interest in taking a longer look at Jeff McNeil in a lost season. The abysmal Reyes, meanwhile, got an extended run at third base while Frazier was out with sore ribs. Peter Alonso hit 36 homers in 2018, and rather than let him get a taste of MLB pitching, the club decided they wanted to see if Bruce, sub-replacement as the starting right fielder in 2018, could also be a sub-replacement first baseman.

But there’s good news, too, in that — even if the Mets showed a bit of an old-school veteran obsession — they did play quite well over the second half of the season, going 38-30 (a 91-win pace!), largely by virtue of the core talent whom the Mets ought to be prioritizing. Conforto, McNeil, and Nimmo were the three Mets hitters with an OPS over .850.

On the pitching side of the equation, deGrom better be the first starting pitcher with just 10 wins to claim the Cy Young Award, with a 1.70 ERA and 8.8 WAR to go with 269 strikeouts in 217 innings. Wheeler actually had a lower ERA than deGrom after the All-Star break at 1.68 versus deGrom’s 1.73.

What Comes Next?
The good news for the Mets is that the team has a lot of core talent, but the question — as always — is if they can truly identify it and build around it. They arguably don’t even need to add another starting pitcher this offseason.

The Mets are a large-market team, but because of their ownership situation, they’re frequently run like a middle-market club that can’t afford to invest in players who will make an actual difference. The Mets are the type of club that strongly resists cutting bait on a Jay Bruce or a Jason Vargas, even when that’s the best move for the organization long-term. It’s a team that should be in the Manny Machado market this winter, but almost certainly will not be.

It’s also a team, similar to the Orioles in recent years, that doesn’t really know where they’re going other than not wanting to rebuild. Alderson’s health concerns left a gaping chasm in the organization, leaving the team with a three-headed front office of Omar Minaya, J.P. Ricciardi, and John Ricco — and ownership that is anything but hands-off.

Jeff Wilpon blamed the lack of spending on Alderson publicly while Tim Britton of The Athletic reported that Alderson wasn’t even allowed to hire more full-timers for the analytics department.

The Mets have talent, but they need a real plan and a GM/president/whatever with real authority to execute a plan. Neither the talent or the revenues are deep enough that the Mets can squeeze by easily with their current slapdash approach.

Way-Too-Early Projection – Jacob deGrom
Let’s just bask in all this deGrommy goodness.

ZiPS Projections – Jacob deGrom
Year W L ERA G GS IP H ER HR BB SO ERA+ WAR
2019 13 7 2.71 30 30 196.0 160 59 18 45 232 146 5.2
2020 12 6 2.81 28 28 182.3 152 57 17 43 213 140 4.6
That’s not quite a repeat, but those projections put deGrom in the top handful in the league. If the Mets aren’t going to build a team around that kind of performance, plus that Noah Syndergaard guy, you kind of want to see them trade deGrom to a team that will get one of the best pitching seasons in team history more than 10 wins.


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 Post subject: Re: The 2018 Elegy
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:10 pm 
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Disagree with the part about Wheeler, Nimmo, and McNeil, as it's extremely "hindsight is 20/20." All have had their share of warts leading up to this season, and to their credit, they all continued to work and grind until they got another opportunity.


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 Post subject: Re: The 2018 Elegy
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:32 pm 
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150 million dollar payroll in which about 100 million was completely worthless

some of it is bad luck injuries (ces, wright, lagares)

some of it was bad moves (bruce, swarzak, aj ramos, vargas)

The new GM if given some flexibility has a low bar to jump over to provide value via free agency or trades that can support a pretty solid core of young players


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 Post subject: Re: The 2018 Elegy
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:21 pm 
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degromination wrote:
Disagree with the part about Wheeler, Nimmo, and McNeil, as it's extremely "hindsight is 20/20." All have had their share of warts leading up to this season, and to their credit, they all continued to work and grind until they got another opportunity.

It's not hindsight since many people brought these issues up very early on... Nimmo especially. It was talked about extensively that the Bruce sign effectively blocked Nimmo from getting regular playing time. Heck, they even optioned Nimmo to Vegas in the middle of April.

And by mid May, people who were paying attention (here) were already all over McNeil. He wasn't promoted up here until for another 2+ months! That was the period the team went into the tank. He could've made a significant difference here in June when the team couldn't score a run. His first game was 7/24!

And wrt Wheeler, it had been noted how they were oddly jerking him around early on and even began the season in Vegas.

These things continue a long pattern of poor evaluation of their own players. It's not something that just popped up this season. Young players traditionally have a hard time getting opportunities here.


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 Post subject: Re: The 2018 Elegy
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 2:31 pm 
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Did everybody see Thor's WAR at the end of the season? One of the highest for a SP in the NL with only ~150 IP.

The Mets have a 3-headed monster atop their rotation.


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 Post subject: Re: The 2018 Elegy
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 2:44 pm 
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I honestly think Calloway is the one that doesn't want any part of rookies. Let's hope the new GM is for giving youngsters a chance.


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 Post subject: Re: The 2018 Elegy
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:33 pm 
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Metsfan980 wrote:
Did everybody see Thor's WAR at the end of the season? One of the highest for a SP in the NL with only ~150 IP.

The Mets have a 3-headed monster atop their rotation.


Funny and many considered this a weird year for him. I think he will be even better. Which may offset any deGrom regression to his career norms. Big 3 is right!

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 Post subject: Re: The 2018 Elegy
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:37 pm 
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HeyNowHK wrote:
degromination wrote:
Disagree with the part about Wheeler, Nimmo, and McNeil, as it's extremely "hindsight is 20/20." All have had their share of warts leading up to this season, and to their credit, they all continued to work and grind until they got another opportunity.

It's not hindsight since many people brought these issues up very early on... Nimmo especially. It was talked about extensively that the Bruce sign effectively blocked Nimmo from getting regular playing time. Heck, they even optioned Nimmo to Vegas in the middle of April.

And by mid May, people who were paying attention (here) were already all over McNeil. He wasn't promoted up here until for another 2+ months! That was the period the team went into the tank. He could've made a significant difference here in June when the team couldn't score a run. His first game was 7/24!

And wrt Wheeler, it had been noted how they were oddly jerking him around early on and even began the season in Vegas.

These things continue a long pattern of poor evaluation of their own players. It's not something that just popped up this season. Young players traditionally have a hard time getting opportunities here.


No. I'd like to elaborate, but I've tried three times to make up a response regarding all three, and I can't do it without sounding mean. The amount of appearances lost by not speeding up their timelines, even in a completely unrealistic matter, was minimal at best. They were asked to win their jobs.... they did.... the end.


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 Post subject: Re: The 2018 Elegy
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:42 pm 
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piazzafan wrote:
I honestly think Calloway is the one that doesn't want any part of rookies. Let's hope the new GM is for giving youngsters a chance.



I honestly think Collins is the one that doesn't want any part of rookies.

I honestly think Jerry is the one that doesn't want any part of rookies.

I honestly think Willie is the one that doesn't want any part of rookies.

I honestly think Howe is the one that doesn't want any part of rookies.

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 Post subject: Re: The 2018 Elegy
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:47 pm 
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degromination wrote:
HeyNowHK wrote:
degromination wrote:
Disagree with the part about Wheeler, Nimmo, and McNeil, as it's extremely "hindsight is 20/20." All have had their share of warts leading up to this season, and to their credit, they all continued to work and grind until they got another opportunity.

It's not hindsight since many people brought these issues up very early on... Nimmo especially. It was talked about extensively that the Bruce sign effectively blocked Nimmo from getting regular playing time. Heck, they even optioned Nimmo to Vegas in the middle of April.

And by mid May, people who were paying attention (here) were already all over McNeil. He wasn't promoted up here until for another 2+ months! That was the period the team went into the tank. He could've made a significant difference here in June when the team couldn't score a run. His first game was 7/24!

And wrt Wheeler, it had been noted how they were oddly jerking him around early on and even began the season in Vegas.

These things continue a long pattern of poor evaluation of their own players. It's not something that just popped up this season. Young players traditionally have a hard time getting opportunities here.


No. I'd like to elaborate, but I've tried three times to make up a response regarding all three, and I can't do it without sounding mean. The amount of appearances lost by not speeding up their timelines, even in a completely unrealistic matter, was minimal at best. They were asked to win their jobs.... they did.... the end.


How did Nimmo 'win his job'? In many organizations, he would have sincerely won a regular 2018 job with his 2017 play, but how did the Mets reward him..? by signing Jay Bruce and sending Nimmo to Vegas. Nimmo only got an opportunity this year bc Cespedes, Bruce and Lagares were out for long stretches of time. Had all gone according to plan, Nimmo would have been on the shuttle and gotten labelled as a nice player but probably a AAAA guy.

Regarding McNeil, most organizations would have called him up in June when the teams was on life support. Nope, "we need to see more from him" was Sandy's take when asked about him at the time. We're not talking about a 23 year old whom you're afraid to rush. McNeil is 26. You can't even say there is a service time issue to justify holding him back. It's just idiotic.


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 Post subject: Re: The 2018 Elegy
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:13 pm 
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Yea, nothing abnormal at all about any of these three situations.

I'm not doubting that you were calling for these moves. But I am doubting that you are taking into consideration the situations at the time, the small amount of appearances the more conservative approach actually cost these players, and the reality that it's easy to call for the aggressive move when you have no real skin in the game.


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 Post subject: Re: The 2018 Elegy
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:27 pm 
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degromination wrote:
Yea, nothing abnormal at all about any of these three situations.

I'm not doubting that you were calling for these moves. But I am doubting that you are taking into consideration the situations at the time, the small amount of appearances the more conservative approach actually cost these players, and the reality that it's easy to call for the aggressive move when you have no real skin in the game.

What are appearances that you refer to?

And funny thing about referring to past remarks, we have this thing here - old threads that people can look back thru.

Heck I'm certainly not alone in saying that the team's actions (Bruce signing) oddly cut off Nimmo way back at the time. And a lot of people were touting McNeil's very real looking breakout back in May.

And I also don't know what you mean by having 'no real skin in the game' or what this has to do with making observations about the team.

While you may or may not have been on these pages at the time, it's not fair to say that others weren't.


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