2019 Mets Conglomerate Projections: Seth Lugo

The Mets learned last year that when Seth Lugo is in the bullpen, he is quite effective. They took him out for a bit and he just wasn’t as strong as he was in the bullpen (and the bullpen became so much weaker). Now with Diaz in town and Familia back the load for Lugo could look different.

2018: 101.1 IP, 2.66 ERA, 3.17 FIP, 1.076 WHIP, 9.1 K/9, 2.2 WAR, 3.82 DRA
Career: 3.44 ERA, 3.74 FIP, 1.193 WHIP, 7.9 K/9, 4.56 DRA

If Lugo is as good this year as he was last year, than him with Diaz and Familia could one of the best back of the bullpen sets in the league. Let’s take a look at what projections think:

(Citations: Baseball Prospectus (BP) projections are from the Baseball Prospectus annual which can you can get here. It’s highly recommended. ESPN projections can be found here. ZiPS can be found here. Steamer can be found here. Baseball Reference projections (BR) can found on the players BR page which linked elsewhere on this article. )

Two things stand out: there’s an across the board agreement that Lugo takes a step back worse than his career average and that there is a wide variance of stats. Everyone over 90 is seeing Lugo spend time in the rotation this year, which may be true but the Mets have repeated they won’t do it (although after a certain amount of injuries Lugo as a starter could be their best option). All of the projections that see Lugo making starts are worst than the two that don’t see it.

It’s also not a good sign when the best projection is ESPN as they tend to over-amp player performance.

There’s also this:

2018 Average Projection: 110.1 IP, 4.52 ERA, 4.52 FIP, 1.34 WHIP, 7.35 K/9
2018 Actual: 101.1 IP, 2.66 ERA, 3.17 FIP, 1.076 WHIP, 9.1 K/9

Lugo was so much better than his projections last year. So let’s see if he can outperform again!

Posted in Main Page | Leave a comment

2019 Mets Non-Roster Invitee Preview: Adeiny Hechavarria

A late addition to Mets camp this year, we completely forgot to write a Non-Roster Invitee article for Hechavarria. This seems even more important to go back and do now as there is a chance that he makes this team.

Adeiny has never been known for offense but has been a defensive wiz that Mets became accustomed to playing against him so many times as a Marlin.

Adeiny was originally signed by the Blue Jays in 2010 and was part of the massive trade with the Marlins in 2012 that sent Emilio Bonifacio, John Buck, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson and Jose Reyes all up North. Hechavarria became a fixture in the infield for years before he was traded to the Rays in 2017 (Braxton Lee, who is also a Met, was part of that trade). He was then traded twice in August 2018 first to Pirates and then to the Yankees.

2018 (Three Teams): 321 PA, .247/.279/.345
Career: .254/.290/.345

A couple of days ago we published an 2019 projections article for Hechavarria which can be found here.

When the Mets signed Adeiny it was clearly for depth. With Lowrie and Frazier yet to play at all this spring, Adeiny has a shot to make the team. His main competition is burgeoning fan favorite Luis Guillorme (which Adeiny is attached to – it was his bat that Luis caught multiple years ago that endeared Luis to the fan base). Helping his case, Adeiny is having an average spring. He’s hitting .259/.310/.444 (Luis is just having a monster spring, which is why don’t hear about Adeiny’s). Also helping Adeiny’s case, his natural position is shortstop where the Mets are thin on depth.

If both Luis Guillorme and Adeiny Hechavarria end up in Syracuse though, the infield will have one of the best defenses in the minor leagues.

Posted in Main Page | Leave a comment

Spring Training Game Preview: Nationals vs Mets

The Nationals are coming to the Mets today as the Mets plan on hiding their regular pitchers again. Noah Syndergaard will be pitching in a “B” game while Kyle Dowdy will get a major opportunity to impress coaches this afternoon.

Yesterday Hector Santiago was given the same opportunity with Jacob deGrom pitching in the “B” game and things did not go well for Santiago who allowed 6 runs off 7 hits in 0.2 innings (to that point he allowed 1 run in about 6 innings of work). The bad situation for him turned into a longer opportunity for other players to pitch. Coleman threw 2.1 scoreless innings. O’Rourke through 2.0 scoreless and Bashlor allowed 1 run over 2.0 innings (from 4 hits).

Kyle Dowdy was selected in the Rule V draft from the Indians organization, he is part of a group of pitchers battling for the last roster spot on the team. If the Mets decide that he is not a fit on the 25-man roster, he’ll be returned to the Indians organization.

MMO did a detailed write-up on Dowdy after the winter meetings. The basic goal of carrying a pitcher like Dowdy is he could eat innings. The Mets aren’t looking for him to be lights out but just be a level of redundancy for pitching depth so if an unexpected injury happens, the Mets don’t have to consider moving Lugo/Gsellman. Baseball America reported that Dowdy has seen a velocity increase this spring, going from 88-94 to 95-96, touching 99 a few times. Dowdy credits the change to using a weighted ball.

Spring Training games haven’t been so kind to Dowdy. Over the 4 major league games he has pitched in, totaling 4.1 innings, he has allowed 7 runs, 6 earned off 9 hits and 4 walks. So, today is a big day for him.

Other Things To Watch For:

  1. Yesterday we noted that despite hitting his second homer of the spring, Conforto was having a slow spring in the idea of consistently getting on base. Well he went 1-2 yesterday with a walk and a homer so now he’s batting .244/.292/.400 and my streak of saying something in this section and the opposite occurring in reality stays intact.
  2. Alonso hit his 4th homer of the season leading pretty much the entire world to conclude that he’s one of the best 25 men in camp. So let’s see what the Mets do with that. He’s now hitting .356/.396/.644 over 48 PAs.
  3. Robinson Cano continues to put together an amazing spring. He went 2-2 with a walk yesterday including a double moving his spring line to .457/.486/.686 over 37 PAs.
  4. The Mets have 8 spring training games left before Opening Day. Mesoraco went 1-4 yesterday. Dominic Smith went 0-4 yesterday (but he’s having a tremendous spring). This is probably not, and shouldn’t be, the universe where the Mets carry 3 catchers and 2 first basemen so as much as they are each competing with other people in their positions right now, they may be competing against each other. The injuries to Lowrie and Frazier give the upper hand to Smith right now in my opinion.

Let’s Go Mets!

Posted in Main Page | Leave a comment

2019 Mets Conglomerate Projections: Robert Gsellman

Robert Gsellman debuted when the 2016 Mets desperately needed another starter and he was a key reason why the Mets went on a run to close out 2016 with enough wins to get a wild card spot.

Last year, with the specter of the big four being able to pitch together + Jason Vargas at the top of the rotation, Gsellman and Lugo were pushed to the bullpen. On the whole this was a tremendously positive move for both of them and the Mets have committed all spring to keeping both in the bullpen this season.

2018: 80 IP, 4.28 ERA, 3.95 FIP, 1.300 WHIP, 7.9 K/9, -0.3 WAR, 4.38 DRA
Career: 4.38 ERA, 4.17 FIP, 1.396 WHIP, 7.1 K/9, 5.03 DRA

In every category listed above, Gsellman did better last season. The hope is that trend continues with his second year of consistent bullpen use. The computers see Gsellman putting up these numbers:

(Citations: Baseball Prospectus (BP) projections are from the Baseball Prospectus annual which can you can get here. It’s highly recommended. ESPN projections can be found here. ZiPS can be found here. Steamer can be found here. Baseball Reference projections (BR) can found on the players BR page which linked elsewhere on this article. )

For the most part, the computers agree! They think with the extra year of age and consistency of role he’s going to put up better numbers than he did last year. Baseball Reference is predicting nearly an identical line (which for a reliever I would count as an improvement rather than a step backwards). I actually don’t remember the last time I saw this many projections agree that a reliever will do better. This is exciting!

Consistent, positive results from Lugo, Gsellman, Familia and Diaz would mean a lot for this team this season, let’s see what happens!

Posted in Main Page | Leave a comment

2019 Mets Non-Roster Invite Preview: Andres Gimenez

We thought we were done with Mets Non-Roster Invitee articles but there are actually three more to do. We accidentally skipped the #1 prospect in the Mets organization (embarrassing), we forgot to add Adeiny Hechavarria to the list and Carlos Gomez was signed after the series wrapped up before the end of February, so over the next three days we are going to catch up and fix this!

Andres Gimenez was the #17 prospect in the Mets organization in 2017 according to Baseball America and then shot up to the #1 prospect in the Mets farm system the following year. (He’s still holding that #1 prospect in the 2019 book that was just published).

Gimenez’s name was mentioned a lot early this off-season when the Mets and baseball pundits were trying to pontificate a way for the Mets to acquire JT Realmuto. One plan was to trade Amed Rosario and replace him with Gimenez. In this universe, Andres Gimenez was not going to be ready opening day, and to be honest we’ll be surprised if he gets called up before late 2020.

He’s not projected to have the same bat as Rosario but his athleticism is what got him the ranking as a Mets top prospect. He was invited to major league spring training, like other top prospects in recent years to get a look at major league hitting and so major league coaches can get a better look at him.

We also already profiled him back in December, so if you want more on his playing ability head here.

In major league spring training games this spring he had 18 PA’s and hit .250/.333/.500 with a homer a double. The knock on him has been his power so it was nice to see him flash it. He’s only 20 and should be going to Binghamton so maybe pay him a visit this year!

Posted in Main Page | Leave a comment

Spring Training Game Preview: Mets @ Nationals

The Mets have fallen to 3 games below .500 in games that don’t matter as they face the Nationals today in a game that really won’t matter from a starting pitcher perspective. As we’ve discussed each of the last two game previews, the Mets are starting to hide their regulars from the Nationals/Marlins thus Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia and Justin Wilson will all be pitching in the “B” game today.

This means the remaining pitchers fighting for the last roster spot, plus some pitchers already assigned to minor league game will get more work today and some late spring exposure.

Mets Lineup:

  1. Brandon Nimmo (LF)
  2. Pete Alonso (1B)
  3. Robinson Cano (2B)
  4. Michael Conforto (RF)
  5. Dominic Smith (DH)
  6. Jeff McNeil (3B)
  7. Amed Rosaro (SS)
  8. Devin Mesoraco (C)
  9. Keon Broxton (CF)

Starting Pitcher: Hector Santiago

Things To Watch Out For:

  1. Hector Santiago gets an opportunity to show the team where he belongs on the depth chart. The Newark native has pitched 6.0 innings in major league games in Spring Training over 4 games allowing 1 run from 4 hits and a walk while striking out an outstanding 11 batters. Lets see what he can do when he’s not limited to 1-2 innings of work.
  2. Ryan O’Rourke is the only other lefty available for the Mets today. In 6 games and 6.1 innings this spring he has allowed 2 runs off 7 hits and 4 walks while striking out 8. So great ERA at 2.84 and an ugly WHIP at 1.737.
  3. Robinson Cano had a great day at the plate yesterday and now in 37 PA’s this spring, he’s hitting .457/.486/.686.
  4. Michael Conforto has had a bit of a slow spring but hit his second spring homer yesterday changing his hitting line to .244/.292/.400 in 48 PAs.
  5. Today marks another game where Smith and Alonso, who are both competing for the same spot, are in the same starting lineup. Smith as the DH has hit .400/.462/.543 in 40 PA’s and Alonso the first basemen has hit .356/.396/.644 in 48 PA’s.

Let’s Go Mets!

Posted in Main Page | Leave a comment

2019 Mets Conglomerate Projections: Jeurys Familia

For the first time since Jenrry Mejia got suspended, Jeurys Familia will not be expected to be the closer the for the Mets. Familia has had an unfair reputation since the 2015 post-season when the Mets collapsed in several world series games late, generally because the defense fell apart. All Familia has done since that point is be dominant.

Part of the reason he has never shaken that reputation is his WHIP. In his career it’s 1.211 but you probably already knew that because it feels like there is someone always on base when he pitches, the inning can never be easy. He still cuts through runners on base and gets the job done, many times as a Met having to go beyond one inning (thanks to Terry Collins‘ bullpen management).

Last year the Mets traded Familia to the Athletics and it felt like the Mets got hosed in the trade deal (they have since traded one of the two players, Bobby Wahl to the Brewers and got Keon Broxton out of it, so the trade seems a little more fair now). Last year Familia put up these numbers:

2018: 72 IP, 3.13 ERA, 2.65 FIP, 1.222 WHIP, 10.4 K/9, 1.4 WAR, 3.94 DRA
Career: 2.73 ERA, 2.92 FIP, 1.211 WHIP, 9.4 K/9, 3.58 DRA

Going into last year, Familia was the main player in the bullpen with Gsellman and Lugo as an experiment. This year Familia has Diaz, who is the star, and Gsellman/Lugo have figured out how to pitch in the pen. The pen is much stronger and won’t have to constantly rely on Familia to bail them out. Here is how computers see Familia’s 2019:

(Citations: Baseball Prospectus (BP) projections are from the Baseball Prospectus annual which can you can get here. It’s highly recommended. ESPN projections can be found here. ZiPS can be found here. Steamer can be found here. Baseball Reference projections (BR) can found on the players BR page which linked elsewhere on this article. )

A 3.29 ERA from our set up man would be great for 2019. Normally I would be concerned from a high leverage reliever having a 1.24 WHIP, but Familia’s career WHIP is 1.21, it’s just how he pitches.

As a side note Familia is an odd case with projections. Generally for players who have been in the league a long time, the projected stats are close together. Look the variance though! It’s wild!

Posted in Main Page | Leave a comment

Spring Training Game Preview: Mets @ Marlins

Happy Saturday! Today might be the last day for a while you see a starting pitcher for the Mets in a major league game. Yesterday we discussed how often the Mets are playing the Marlins and Nationals over the next week, so in response, as they do every year around this point, the rotation starting with deGrom tomorrow will be doing their final tuneup in “B” games on the backfield.

But that’s all for tomorrow! Today is Jason Vargas day! which is weird to say positively! More on that after the lineup:

Mets Lineup:

  1. Jeff McNeil (LF)
  2. Pete Alonso (1B)
  3. Robinson Cano (2B)
  4. Michael Conforto (RF)
  5. JD Davis (3B)
  6. Travis d’Arnaud (C)
  7. Amed Rosario (SS)
  8. Juan Lagares (CF)
  9. Jason Vargas (P)

Starting Pitcher: Jason Vargas

Things To Watch For:

  1. Jason Vargas makes his 4th start of the spring and so far he’s been fantastic. In his first three games of Spring he has allowed 1 run over 8.1 innings with 8 hits and 2 walks while striking out 8. More of this please!
  2. Travis d’Arnaud continues to work his way back with another day behind the plate. I wonder if we’ll start to see him, Mesoraco and Wilson split time between the A and B games to catch the regulars.
  3. The Mets are back to giving Jeff McNeil reps in the outfield. He’s probably still the opening day third basemen. JD Davis is getting the start at third today as he tries to push his way onto the roster. In 45 PAs this spring he’s hitting .286/.333/.429.
  4. If Jeff McNeil is the starting third basemen, then Juan Lagares will be starting in the outfield. In order for this to be the situation, he will need to outhit JD Davis to force McNeil to the infield. Right now he’s not doing that. Lagares in 40 PAs he is hitting .184/.205/.237. Alternatively, he would need to outhit Keon Broxton who is hitting .273/.467/.318 over 31 PAs.
  5. In case you forgot, Pete Alonso is having a great spring. In 43 PAs he’s hitting .375/.419/.700.

Let’s Go Mets!

Posted in Main Page | Leave a comment

2019 Mets Conglomerate Projections: Edwin Diaz

Edwin Diaz is arguably the most important addition the Mets made this off-season. He’s young and one of the best closers in the game. The Mets gave up a ton to get him (and Robinson Cano, but the talent loss in the trade was to get Diaz).

The Mets the last two seasons have gone through mini-firesales where they trade everyone they can for top 15 to top 30+ type pitching prospects that throw hard, hoping to overhaul their bullpen. So far they’ve had mixed results but no bonafide stars have emerged. To compete in 2019, the Mets decided to complement Lugo and Gsellman with Diaz and a reunion with Familia. On paper, the four of them represent one of the stronger bullpens in the division.

2018: 73.3 IP, 1.96 ERA, 1.61 FIP, 0.791 WHIP, 15.2 K/9, 3.2 WAR, 1.77 DRA
Career: 2.64 ERA, 2.56 FIP, 1.016 WHIP, 14.2 K/9, 2.28 DRA

Diaz’s career line is fantastic but his 2018 is unbelievable. He just had a tremendous year on the mound last year. Think about how good deGrom was last year. Jacob posted a 1.99 FIP, Diaz has a 1.61. Just statistically speaking, it is incredibly difficult to get that number so low. His WHIP was just tremendously low, two tenths lower than his career.

Here’s what computers think he’ll do for an encore:

Increases across the board from last year’s numbers, but very few pitchers have put up a season like Diaz did last year and followed it by an even better season. It’s been a while a since the Mets have had someone in the pen with an ERA around 2.5 and a WHIP below 1. If he puts up numbers closer to that average line the Mets could be in very good shape.

The lineups across the division, minus the Marlins got a lot better last year. The Mets pitchers have more difficult batters to face. They retooled with Diaz, and now we’ll have to wait and see if it was enough.

This is the first time in a while though the Mets have an exciting closer that is marked as marquee (Familia was great but for some reason never got that label). He is going to be a star.

Posted in Main Page | Leave a comment

Spring Training Game Preview: Nationals vs Mets

The Mets play against the Nationals today, the Marlins tomorrow, the Nationals on Sunday, the Nationals on Monday, the Marlins on Tuesday and the Marlins on Thursday. Essentially, in their last 10ish days of spring training games they are playing half of the NL East over and over and over again. This is routinely the argument made for the Mets moving their Spring Training facility to avoid this. Anyway, don’t be surprised over the next week if Mets pitchers who should be in major league games end up in the backfields in minor league games instead.

Mets Lineup:

  1. Brandon Nimmo (LF)
  2. Jeff McNeil (3B)
  3. Robinson Cano (DH)
  4. Wilson Ramos (C)
  5. Dominic Smith (1B)
  6. Keon Broxton (CF)
  7. Amed Rosario (SS)
  8. Luis Guillorme (2B)
  9. Rajai Davis (RF)

Starting Pitcher: Steven Matz

Things To Watch For:

  1. Matz will make his 4th start of spring training today. Over his first three he has allowed 5 runs over 8.2 innings while striking out 7. In his last outing he allowed only 3 hits and no runs over 4.0 innings, so hopefully today is another step forward in that direction. He should be pitching between 5-6 innings today.
  2. It is becoming increasinly likely that Frazier and Lowrie will not be ready for Opening Day, so McNeil is at third again today. In 28 PA’s this spring he has a .321/.321/.571 line.
  3. Wilson Ramos continues to make me smile. In 27 PAs he has a .360/.407/.480 line. I’m so excited to see him the regular season.
  4. Seth Lugo and Luis Guillorme are quietly having an amazing spring. We talked about Lugo yesterday. Luis is hitting .417/.533/.625 over 31 PA’s this spring.
  5. Robinson Cano is hitting .414/.452/.655 over 31 PA’s spring. Beautiful!

Let’s Go Mets!

Posted in Main Page | Leave a comment