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nmigliore

Official 2014 New York Mets Thread

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nmig, did you ever see Bob Boone (Aaron Boone's and Bret Boone's dad...Bob's dad was also a major league 3rd baseman)?  He was probably one of the best defensive catchers in MLB history (not a terribly good hitter, but not too bad for a catcher).  He was known for being one of the best framers ever...there's some video of him stealing strikes that are pretty unbelievable.   

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nmig, did you ever see Bob Boone (Aaron Boone's and Bret Boone's dad...Bob's dad was also a major league 3rd baseman)?  He was probably one of the best defensive catchers in MLB history (not a terribly good hitter, but not too bad for a catcher).  He was known for being one of the best framers ever...there's some video of him stealing strikes that are pretty unbelievable.   

 

I have not. But this got me thinking of how Baseball Prospectus, during the season, posts a series that highlights the best and worst catcher frame footage, in the form of .gifs, for each week. It's pretty cool to see - much like you say about Boone, Jose Molina's ability to steal strikes is incredible to watch. The measurements are pretty precise too, as they use PitchFX to measure the distance the pitch was from the strikezone (in other words, they can measure which framed strike was the most outside of the zone, which framed ball was most inside, etc.). 

 

I have to see if I can find some Boone footage though.

 

Edit: Here is an example from late last season of the Baseball Prospectus series I was talking about above: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=21855

 

Jose Molina and Jonathan Lucroy even have their own sections because of how great they are at it.  :lol:

 

Molina3.gif

 

Check out who is #1 for the best pitch frame of that week, too. 

 

Ben Lindbergh, the author of that series, has offered high praise for d'Arnaud as well:

 

D'Arnaud is a different story. Not only has he caught, but his receiving skills have already received some serious praisefrom his pitchers. Matt Harvey went so far as to suggest that d'Arnaud has Molina-like qualities, and d'Arnaud himself revealed that he emulates Russell Martin's ability to make the low strike look good (something we've heard Martindescribe). That jibes with what Jason Cole told me this spring: that a pitcher friend of his had raved about d'Arnaud having the strongest wrists he'd seen, enabling him to throw sinkers below the zone for strikes throughout the game. According to Max's method, he was two runs better than average in a combined 26 games between Double-A and Triple-A this season.

After his start against Atlanta on Tuesday, Mets starter Zack Wheeler said, "When the balls are down, he does something that makes them look like they're strikes. It's ridiculous. I had a couple that I threw and I knew they were balls, but they looked like strikes after he framed them up." This is what he was talking about: the lowest strike d'Arnaud has received so far.

 
...
 
D'Arnaud is quick to bring the ball back into the strike zone, but he doesn't disguise that movement quite as well asJonathan Lucroy (for comparison's sake, check out the third Lucroy GIF below). The snap back is slightly exaggerated, which is something an umpire could pick up on, but the body is still. We'll see what the stats say over a larger sample, but according to Brandon McCarthy, pitchers can get a good feel for a catcher's receiving skills quickly. And d'Arnaud's batterymates are already big believers.

 

 

Edited by nmigliore

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Good to know that d'Arnaud brings some important skills to the table in case his bat takes time to develop. 

 

I could be wrong but I kind of remember Posada not being very good in this regard...he used to drop a lot of balls that were right in his mitt...I remember thinking "for a guy who's a CATCHER, he seems to have trouble actually catching".

 

And of course, there was the time poor Geno Petralli had to catch knuckleballer Charlie Hough...7 passed balls in one game. 

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Good to know that d'Arnaud brings some important skills to the table in case his bat takes time to develop. 

 

I could be wrong but I kind of remember Posada not being very good in this regard...he used to drop a lot of balls that were right in his mitt...I remember thinking "for a guy who's a CATCHER, he seems to have trouble actually catching".

 

And of course, there was the time poor Geno Petralli had to catch knuckleballer Charlie Hough...7 passed balls in one game. 

 

It took Posada a bit of time to fully develop.  I remember in what was maybe his second or third year in big leagues, there was one game where I could swear Maddux struck out Posado something like three times in a row on maybe 12 total pitches.  Maddux was obviously at the top of his game at that point, but I can't recall a hitter looking so absolutely clueless in an at bat. 

 

If it were late 80s/early 90s George running the show at that time, Posada would have been traded for Rob Deer.  Either that, or Stick Michael would have had to trick George into saying there was no deal to be made, kind of like what he's reported to have done with Bernie. 

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I was more referring to his catching...I just remember him dropping more strikes and other very catchable pitches that is normal for a catcher.

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I was more referring to his catching...I just remember him dropping more strikes and other very catchable pitches that is normal for a catcher.

 

Even in his prime, he was never considered a great defensive catcher, which probably had something to do with a tendency to drop balls, but I can't remember anything like that specifically.  He wasn't Piazza bad, but it seems something like below average. 

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Even in his prime, he was never considered a great defensive catcher, which probably had something to do with a tendency to drop balls, but I can't remember anything like that specifically.  He wasn't Piazza bad, but it seems something like below average. 

 

Piazza was a lot better defensively than people think.  He couldn't throw base-stealers out and had terrible footwork in that regard (and it got worse as he got older), but otherwise he was actually pretty good. 

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Niese leaves after 2 innings. Super.

Here we go again..

Edited by nmigliore

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Left elbow discomfort for Niese.

Ugh.....

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Niese will not be ready for opening day. Best case scenario he misses a month. Worst case he's out for the year with some elbow surgery.

 

Now we might be left with Lannan/Matsuzaka for far too long. This is utterly unacceptable. Is Jason Marques out there? Somewhere?

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I'm done with Niese.  It's too bad...he's a reasonable #4 and a lefty to boot, but the friggin' guy is just too damned fragile.  Can't provide innings either, even when healthy.  I'm not going forward with a guy who's practically become a guarantee to miss starts every season. 

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Niese will not be ready for opening day. Best case scenario he misses a month. Worst case he's out for the year with some elbow surgery.

 

Now we might be left with Lannan/Matsuzaka for far too long. This is utterly unacceptable. Is Jason Marques out there? Somewhere?

 

Good thing to come out of this is that Montero or Syndergaard might get an opportunity that much more quickly now.

 

What sucks most about Niese getting hurt is that he could've been traded in a package for someone else, especially if he had remained healthy all year.  He's a known health-risk now...his value is probably in the toilet for the foreseeable future.

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Niese seemed to severely downplay it, for what it's worth -- said he was removed out of precaution, wanted to keep pitching, his velocity was fine, elbow bothers him near the back not near UCL. Still going for MRI, but still, that's something.

 

If Niese has to miss time -- and I mean actual time, not missing Opening Day and then returning when the Mets need a 5th starter -- this better get Mejia in the rotation. At this point it's basically a lock Dice-K makes the rotation; even if Niese were healthy it looked liked Dice-K had good odds of beating out Mejia. PLEASE do not give me Dice-K with Lannan now. I will seriously throw up at a Colon, Gee, Wheeler, Dice-K, Lannan rotation. YUCK. 

 

CR: re: Niese's value - yeah, as of now it's in the tank, but the good news is that it's March, not November. He'll have the entire season to recoup his value. It could just be some soreness, he misses little to no time, and throws 180 or more Niese-like innings. I mean, I wouldn't bet on that bet right now, but the point is now isn't really the time to be worried too much about his trade value; it's not like he was going to be traded before the season began or something.

 

I'm not "done" with Niese, I still like him more than Gee when healthy, but there's no doubt his fragility is becoming more and more bothersome. But tis the story with pitchers and how infuriating they can be. I feel like everyday there is another pitcher falling victim to arm problems; you have the Atlanta pitchers (Medlen needs Tommy John again, Beachy might need it too); Jarrod Parker and AJ Griffin of the A's are dealing with elbow problems; today it was announced Patrick Corbin, the DBacks' ace, needs Tommy John. All of that within, what, 5 days? The human arm wasn't made to throw baseballs.

Edited by nmigliore

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nmig, the problem I see with Niese's trade value later (and that's what I was referring to...I'm pretty much assuming he's going to be here all season, healthy or not) is that now he's a "repeat offender", as far as injuries go.  If he could've gotten through this entire season healthy, maybe a deal with him plus a prospect or two could've landed the Mets a useful player this off-season.  Now I'm extremely leery of making Niese anything more than a secondary part of any trade if I'm a team looking to deal with the Mets...like I've said, he's a starter that doesn't provide innings when healthy and is not a great bet to stay healthy for an entire season.  He's the kind of guy a team might look to buy low on at this point, even if he gets through most of the season in relatively good health.  Two MRIs in the space of a few weeks have pretty much clinched that. 

 

We've always agreed on Mejia...the 90-win proclamation is a joke and we all know it...2014 is about answering questions, not contending, and one of the questions that needs to be answered is can Mejia be an effective major league starting pitcher for an entire season?  I don't need to see that question ignored so we can see a dead-end guy like Lannan pitch.  Maybe Mejia will suck, but let's find out so we can determine how he factors into 2015 and beyond. 

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Of course....

 

Opposing scouts predict Mets would put Matsuzaka and Lannan in rotation and Mejia in pen if Niese were to miss any significant time.

Edited by nmigliore

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Of course....

 

Opposing scouts predict Mets would put Matsuzaka and Lannan in rotation and Mejia in pen if Niese were to miss any significant time.

 

Sandy, Terry and Co. need to be grilled big-time by the local beat writers if they make that decision, because I need to hear from them why that decision could possibly make any sense.  Show me a "90-win" team that has both Dice K and Lannan in their rotation.  Who knows, maybe Mejia turns out to be the next Jason Jacome (if you don't know him, he's a lefty starter that had a nice run a little like Mejia's to end the '94 season, then basically did nothing after...in fairness, he was not considered to be a big prospect), but WHY NOT FIND OUT?!  Jesus, the Mets don't think it makes sense to see what he can do after last year?  So fvcking stupid. 

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It's amazing how the Mets pitching rotation has become like the Devils defense...hype up the kids then play crappy vets when it's time to make a choice.

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This also shows you how bogus the team's "commitment to winning in 2014" is. 90 wins was always a big joke, but it's like they're not even trying. If they really wanted to do everything possible to contend and/or field a competitive team, the 4th and 5th starters would be some combination of Mejia, Montero, and Syndergaard, not two stiffs.

 

I mean, it's like spring training can cure all the ills of how horrible these pitchers were in the recent past. John Lannan had a 5.33 ERA in 14 starts with the Phillies last season. The year prior, he made 24 starts to a 4.30 ERA.... in AAA! Dice-K had a near-4 ERA in 19 starts in AAA last season and has a 5.41 ERA at the MLB level since 2009. These guys stink. 

 

Shifting gears to another spring training "battle", Lagares had another spectacular defensive day yesterday; made a great catch in CF and later threw out a runner at the plate. It's going to be a travesty if Eric Young starts over him, although I get the feeling we'll see both outfielders play pretty often, at least early in the season, regardless of who is the nominal Opening Day starter. 

Edited by nmigliore

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It's amazing how the Mets pitching rotation has become like the Devils defense...hype up the kids then play crappy vets when it's time to make a choice.

 

Good one!

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This also shows you how bogus the team's "commitment to winning in 2014" is. 90 wins was always a big joke, but it's like they're not even trying. If they really wanted to do everything possible to contend and/or field a competitive team, the 4th and 5th starters would be some combination of Mejia, Montero, and Syndergaard, not two stiffs.

 

I mean, it's like spring training can cure all the ills of how horrible these pitchers were in the recent past. John Lannan had a 5.33 ERA in 14 starts with the Phillies last season. The year prior, he made 24 starts to a 4.30 ERA.... in AAA! Dice-K had a near-4 ERA in 19 starts in AAA last season and has a 5.41 ERA at the MLB level since 2009. These guys stink. 

 

Shifting gears to another spring training "battle", Lagares had another spectacular defensive day yesterday; made a great catch in CF and later threw out a runner at the plate. It's going to be a travesty if Eric Young starts over him, although I get the feeling we'll see both outfielders play pretty often, at least early in the season, regardless of who is the nominal Opening Day starter. 

 

Montero and Syndergaard is all about Super Two, which is clearly indicative of a team still thinking pennies over wins.  Most Met fans are OK with that, because it feels like even the Wilpons can't fvck up the near-future with all of the arms coming up (though any lingering questions from 2013 BETTER be solved by the end of this season.  That means if EY, Ike, Doofus and Tejada suck next season, all of them are distant memories by Opening Day 2015.)  But Met fans aren't dummies.  We've seen enough contenders to know that teams who think they are going somewhere don't entertain the thought of Lannan and Dice filling out their rotation...especially BOTH!

 

re:  EY, it's so sad that this guy figures into 2014.  I just hope he fvcks up so royally that the Mets have no choice but to DFA him.  Lagares needs to play.  EY is a dead end. 

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Great news on Niese:

 

JUPITER, Fla. -- Left-hander Jonathon Niese has been cleared to resume throwing after undergoing a favorable medical examination in New York, multiple sources with ties to the team told ESPNNewYork.com.

 

Niese underwent an MRI and was examined by team doctor David Altchek on Monday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, a day after departing a Grapefruit League game against the St. Louis Cardinals after two innings with elbow discomfort.

 

Niese received a cortisone injection in the back of his left elbow to address inflammation, but was informed his ligament is fully intact. He is expected to resume throwing Wednesday.

Edited by nmigliore

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Why do I get the feeling with Niese this is going to be a Ryan Church type fiasco where he's being mishandled and misdiagnosed? How exactly does a pitcher come up lame twice and get pronounced fine?

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That is good news, but somehow I don't think we're quite out of the woods yet with Niese.

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I pretty much agree, 7. Still not betting on Niese holding up a full year, but the fact there is no structural damage in his elbow nor shoulder is relieving. Can't say I wasn't worried about Tommy John yesterday. 

Edited by nmigliore

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Is anyone going to be surprised when Niese goes on the DL this season?  Really feels like it's only a matter of time with him, with the way his spring has gone. 

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