Thanks Mark Phelan For The Kick In The Ass

Sometimes I need a kick in the ass and I got one today from reader Mark Phelan, who wrote my “obsession” for David Wright contributing to the Mets “screws up” my ability to recognize how troubled this lineup really is. Well, Mark, I don’t agree with you on the word “obsession,” but I am hoping Wright can go out on his own terms, which is rare for an athlete.

“Hoping,” after all is a right for any Mets fan.

WRIGHT: Staring into dark future. (AP)

WRIGHT: Staring into dark future. (AP)

If the Mets sign Todd Frazier that tells me they are convinced Wright is done. If they sign Jose Reyes it tells me they also are holding out hope.

Nonetheless, let’s take a look at their troubled lineup:

CATCHER: They are trying it again with Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki. There’s nothing inspiring about that prospect. Talk about beating a dead horse.

FIRST BASE: The fact they are considering a reunion with Lucas Duda says they aren’t thrilled with Dominic Smith. That they brought back Jay Bruce to play some first base also says they aren’t happy with Smith. That they won’t play Wilmer Flores there tells me they want him off the bench, which is stupid.

I would also like to revisit what I wrote during the World Series that they passed on Cody Bellinger in the draft.

SECOND BASE: Asdrubal Cabrera? That tells me they don’t want to spend the money on Jason Kipnis. Cabrera is injury prone and we’ll see Flores there soon enough. Cabrera also says they won’t give T.J. Rivera a chance. Two words: Daniel Murphy.

SHORTSTOP: Amed Rosario is there to stay, but he has problems throwing as he continues to pump his glove, which takes time. He has a lot to learn about playing the position. Offensively, he has a lot of speed but poor plate discipline and strikes out too much. Ideally, he has the speed to be a leadoff hitter but has too many holes in the offensive part of the game.

THIRD BASE: Frazier or Reyes or Cabrera? Of the three, I’d take Frazier. That means the Wright Era would officially be over unless he moves to first. At that stage of his career, it would be difficult. Back to Rivera for a second. Because he’s being ignored it says the Mets aren’t sure of him physically. The black hole at third has long been a Mets’ tradition. This time it underscores GM Sandy Alderson’s terrible decision to get rid of Justin Turner.

LEFT FIELD: Yoenis Cespedes had six great weeks in 2015, which seduced Alderson into bringing him back, completely overlooking his absence during the World Series. Cespedes did hit homers in 2016, but not enough to warrant his injuries, lack of hustle, and drama. The Mets represent Cespedes’ fourth team before the age of 30 says a lot, but something Alderson ignored. As imposing as he can be when healthy, Cespedes has too many leg injuries. He was brought back to play center but now refuses, in large part because of his pulled muscles. Cespedes hustles when he feels like it, which pisses me off no end. The worst part of the Cespedes’ $110 million contract is it screws up the Mets’ budget. Will Cespedes be ready for Opening Day? Who knows?

CENTER FIELD: It’s Michael Conforto if healthy. If not Juan Lagares will start. The Mets gave Lagares a multi-year contract but have no place to put him. He has the speed to hit leadoff, but like Rosario doesn’t have the plate discipline. He’ll likely be the Opening Day starter because Conforto might not be ready.

RIGHT FIELD: Hello again, Mr. Bruce. Did the Mets panic or did Bruce because of the slow market? They should never have traded him. As of now, he could be their lone power hitter in the lineup.

BULLPEN: Alderson traded Bruce, Curtis Granderson, Duda and Addison Reed for relief help but none of the five relievers brought in turned any heads last year or threaten to make the roster now. Reed remains unsigned. Closer Jeurys Familia is recovering from surgery; AJ Ramos was spotty in his window of opportunity and Jerry Blevins is the overworked situational lefty. Hansel Robles is a nightmare and the rest are all questions. Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo could find their way into the bullpen if they don’t end up in the rotation.

STARTERS: It’s Jacob deGrom and a bunch of questions. … Can Noah Syndergaard recover from a torn lat muscle caused because he foolishly thought lifting weights would help him get stronger so he could last longer in games? The problem with Syndergaard’s high pitch count is because his command is inconsistent. Just throw the damn ball, stay off Twitter and don’t think so much. … Matt Harvey never became the ace we all hoped. Harvey needs a big year because he’ll be a free agent next winter. Odds are he’ll leave to give us the memories of one fine moment in 2013, followed by hiding an injury leading to surgery and subsequently landing on the disabled list and bitching about where he’ll rehab.There’s also the stories about him dating the Supermodel of the Day. However, his lasting image will be shouting down Terry Collins in the dugout in the ninth inning of Game 5 to stay in the game, which he subsequently blew. … Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler are coming off injuries. You can substitute Gsellman, Lugo or Rafael Montero at any time. … This rotation has yet to pitch a complete full cycle.

BENCH: Flores is still searching for a place to play and a backup outfielder is needed if it isn’t Lagares. … There’s no power threat for the late innings.

MANAGER: Mickey Callaway is unproven but comes with Terry Francona’s endorsement. Nobody knows what he can do under pressure. Let’s hope his ideas about keeping the rotation healthy pan out.

So Mark, there you have it. This is my take on the Mets’ lineup which doesn’t include Wright. When you look at the rest of the lineup please indulge me the thought of hoping arguably one of the three best position players in Mets history can come back despite it being a long shot. When you look at the Mets, the only proven position is Bruce in right.

So, thank you, Mark, for reading, your comments and being my inspiration today. Personally, I think Wright is done and I nailed it with the lineup.

4 thoughts on “Thanks Mark Phelan For The Kick In The Ass

  1. Geez, it sounds like you need a little sunshine there .. Actually, I have always had the glass half-full outlook and enjoy looking at and thinking about comments of this nature. I don’t like to get into a lot of bashing on things I cannot control, so here is my half-full view of the team as it sits:
    Catcher: Health is key- if d’Arnaud and Plawecki can stay generally injury free, together they make a league-average or slightly better duo. I don’t think they need to do anything else here except figure out who is the third catcher or have some idea of a plan if one of the two gets hurt.
    1st Base: Let Smith play. Supplement him with Flores if necessary, but give him the position and leave him alone for at least the first half of the year.
    2nd Base: To paraphrase Alderson of a few years ago: “What 2nd baseman?” Actually I think i posted earlier, I’d love to see Guillorme win the position out of S/T.
    Shortstop: As you point out, he needs growth offensively and defensively, but they have to go with him and he will grow with it.
    3rd Base: Is Wright done? Sure looks like it. . that is kind of the albatross hanging around now. I would like to see Frazier. Not so much a fan of any of the other options out there (i.e. Nunez, or Castro). I see posts like wait for Machado or Donaldson. . they are laughable – not happening. Frazier would add protection in the lineup, some good OBP even if the BA is not optimal, and reasonable power as well as clubhouse presence and leadership.
    Left Field: Cespedes has to keep the legs and the attitude on the field. If he can play 140-150 games this year, he’ll put up the numbers.
    Center Field: This falls into the “It Depends” bucket. Conforto if and when he is healthy. If he cannot play for a month or so, then I have no issues with a modified Lagares/Nimmo platoon.
    Right Field: Bruce .. nothing more to be said.
    Starting Pitching: I am optimistic that both Matz and Harvey will be solid this year. I really thing Harvey will come back to be at least a solid #3, and Matz has always had the potential to be that as well, possibly more. One from Wheeler, Gsellman, Lugo, and Montero grabs the last spot . .thinking either Gsellman or Lugo is most likely.
    Bullpen: Need another lefty – Tony Watson is the guy I’m hoping for. Probably have enough late inning depth with Familia, Ramos, Swarzak, Blevins, and the host of pitchers still around – Seward, Robles, Smoker. I actually think Wheeler would make a good candidate to join this crowd.
    Bench: Lagares and Nimmo fill a couple outfield spots well, but the infield depth is pretty thin. At this point, it’s Flores, Rivera (will he start the year after TJ surgery?), Cecchini, Reynolds. The other wild card is Wright. Even if Wright somehow makes the roster, they need some better infield defensive backup. None of the forementioned strikes me as key role players for championship caliber teams.
    Other: There is no speed on this team. No true lead-off hitter or even anyone on the bench that can come in a pinch-runner in the bottom of the ninth to help on the bases.
    It seems they have too many players on this team that ‘graduated’ from AAA that they can’t get much out of (see the bench infielders list and back end of the bullpen) . can they send them to Las Vegas or trade them? I’m not sure of their options, but it doesn’t seem like any of them would have much value in a trade.
    It will be interesting to see if any of the arms they got in trades last year will be helpful (Rhame, Callaghan)
    I think as of now, even if healthy, needs some very good fortune to even vie for a wildcard. I do not see them manufacturing enough runs to stay with the better teams. There will be a lot of 4-3 and 3-2 games, i’m afraid.

  2. Thank God for the Marlins and their new-boss-same-as-the-old-boss ownership.
    As a wise man once told me” Pray for the best, expect the worst and take whatever you can get.

  3. This Wright drama needs to end one way or another by the end of spring! We’d all love to see him return and even be just mediocre. Maybe he’ll be a somewhat of a feel good story for 2018 but don’t count on it.
    Now as for the rest of the lineup…..
    the bar has been set so low recently in MLB for catchers that our dynamic duo of Travis and Kevin makes me cringe!!
    Dominic smith deserves a steady chance to prove himself but we’ve got a few safety nets with Bruce, Wilmer and even Wright with perhaps another modest aquisition still to come. I have a feeling Reyes will return to play some second if they stick with Cabrera at third and dont sign a Frazier or one of the available free agent second basemen. Rosario needs to shine in his first full season at short.
    the outfield is set and just needs to stay healthy and produce.
    The same thing for the starting pitching. But our new manager has his hands full with this bullpen which at best can be slightly above average and at worst miserable.

  4. I hope we are finally done with Jose. He sucks. Really. Move on.

    David is done. He was sad one several years ago. I know as the captain and all star and all that, but he has chronic debilitating injuries. He’s not coming back. If he did he would suck.

    Catcher. Seriously? We are fielding minor league catchers here.

    First. Smith has a lot to prove. It was troubling that for a good def3nsive player he had so many issues defensively. But never fear, we have this years’ version of Jose to save the day. Another cast off veteran on minimum salary will save us at first.

    We have a lot of internal options here because we are broke. There is wilmer and tj and cecchini.

    Outfield. Everyone but jay is hurt. What’s the issue?

    Pen. All those players we traded last year netted a pound of used jock straps.

    Starters. Assuming Thor is good we have 2 of them. World Series bound!

    Bench. Seriously? Sandy wouldn’t know a bench if it kicked him in the ass.

    Coach, we have an unknown.

    It’s spring. Let’s play. It was 60 deg the other day.