The facts are the facts. Eric Campbell is just not a very good Major League Baseball player. With that said, I’m alright with the Mets keeping him on the 40 man roster.
Over the past two seasons, the 28 year old Campbell has played 156 games. In those games, he has played every defensive position except centerfield and catcher, and he’s trying to become an emergency catcher. For a part time basis, he’s passable to barely passable at each of these positions. While he’s not great at any position, you can put him in for one game and feel like he’s not going to cost you a game.
Offensively, he’s hit .231/.317/.328. Not that good. His OPS+ is 84, which means he’s not a league average hitter. Looking at his wRC+, he’s at 88, which again means he’s below average. Add all this up, and he’s got a -0.1 career WAR again meaning he’s a below average player. Now that I’m done confirming everything you know about him to be true, here’s some additional information you may not have considered.
Campbell is actually a good pinch hitter. For his career, Campbell has had 54 plate appearances hitting .293/.426/.390. Remember that earlier this year, he had a key go-ahead pinch hit that helped the Mets win a game. He hits the ball hard (statistically speaking). He ran into some bad luck last year with a BABIP of .230, which suggests he hit into a lot of hard luck last year. If those base hits start falling in, his 2015 season looks much better. With BABIP typical being .300, you can expect that better outcome next year.
With all that said, Campbell was left off the roster for both Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe. With the Mets, Johnson hit .250/.304/.414. His OPS+ was 99. His WAR was 0.3. His wRC+ was an 87. As a pinch hitter, he’s hit .209/.341/.309. This makes him a very average baseball player.
On the other hand, Juan Uribe hit .219/.301/.430 for the Mets. His OPS+ was 102. His wRC+ was a mere 104. His WAR was 108. However, unlike Johnson and Campbell, he really only plays third now. He did begrudgingly play some second, and he was uncomfortable playing first.
Campbell will most likely be paid something in the vicinity of $500,000 to $600,000. Johnson was just paid $1.5 million next year. I’m presuming Uribevwould fetch around the same amount now. For a bench player who is expected to pinch hit and be versatile, is Johnson really that much better than Campbell? Would you want a bench player who has little to no versatility like Uribe? Are Johnson and Uribe a million dollars or more better than Campbell? I’d argue no.
Even if you believe they are, that’s a reason you sign them to be a utility players on the major league 25 man roster. Campbell is going to be on the 40 man roster being stashed away in the minors in case of an injury. Overall, despite fans ire, Campbell has real value to this Mets team, and he has earned his spot on the 40 man roster.
Does that mean you put yourselves in a position to lose a potential star in the Rule 5 draft to keep Campbell? Of course not. A million times no. However, before getting upset about Campbell consider the following:
- The Mets still have one extra spot on the 40 man roster;
- Ruben Tejada is rumored to be a non-tendered candidate, but the Mets will keep him waste a spot on the 40 man roster; and
- There are other players like Darrell Ceciliani who are much worse than Campbell taking up roster spots.
So, yes, Campbell is a flawed player. That’s why he’s a minor league depth player. It’s why he’s a bench player at best. However, he’s not the worst player on the 40 man roster, and he’s not the reason that the Mets may lose Wuilmer Becerra and Matt Bowman in the Rule 5 draft.
The reason is because the Mets chose to gamble by exposing them or by keeping worse players like Ceciliani on the roster. Campbell has earned his spot on this roster and may yet help the Mets in 2016.
Remember when #PanicCity was a thing? I do too. It was justified then. When Sandy Alderson bestowed the moniker on Mets fans, here was the previous night’s starting lineup:
- Curtis Granderson
- Ruben Tejada
- Lucas Duda
- Michael Cuddyer
- Wilmer Flores
- Darrell Ceciliani
- Kevin Plawecki
- Jacob deGrom
- Dilson Herrera
Look at that lineup. The number two and five hitters rotate in the eighth spot, at least until Tejada went down. The number three hitter bats fifth. The cleanup hitter is on the bench. The seventh hitter is a backup. The sixth and ninth hitters are not on the playoff roster.
This is a different team than that one. This team was one out away from winning Game One. They had a bad game against an erratic pitcher, who has pitched well against the Mets in the past. Why must it be more than that?
We just watched our young pitchers now down an incredible Cubs offense. We know good pitching beats good hitting. It’s the reason the Mets are in the World Series. This isn’t the same old Mets offense. They can actually hit now.
The Mets are getting a needed day off to collect themselves. They’re going to set things straight. They’re going out tomorrow, and they’re going to play their best game of the year. Then they’ll go out in Game 4 and do the same thing, and so on and so on.
Ya Gotta Believe!
I’m sure you’ll hear several times over the next week that the Mets are 0-7 against the Cubs. It’s not indicative of what will happen in the NLCS.
First off, the 1988 Mets beat the Dodgers 10 out of 11 times. Secondly, this is a completely different Mets team. Here is a breakdown of the players who have played against the Cubs this year:
Juan Lagares 1-9 with 1 BB, 1 double, 2Ks
John Mayberry, Jr. 2-12 with 2 RBI, 1 double, 2 K
Daniel Murphy 9-25 with 1 BB, 3 doubles
Michael Cuddyer 2-17 with 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K
Lucas Duda 7-25 with 3 R, 2 BB, 2 RBI, 3 HBP, 1 double, 1 HR, 12 K
Wilmer Flores 4-23 with 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 double, 2 HR, 2 BB, 3 K
Kevin Plawecki 3-17 with 2 RBI, 4 K
Curtis Granderson 5-24 with 3 BBs, 2 RBI, 1 double, 6 K
Dilson Herrera 2-11 with 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K
Ruben Tejada 1-18 with 1 BB, 8 K
Eric Campbell 0-3 with 1 BB, 1 K
Overall, the Mets had a combined 70 ABs from players not on the playoff roster. They went 9-70 against the Cubs this year. There were an additional 50 ABs from players on the playoff roster, who are either on the bench or are platoon players. Those players went 6-50. Of a total of 171 ABs, 120 of them went to players who will not be in the starting lineup in the NLCS. Therefore, how can you glean anything from these games.
As you may notice, there are no ABs from David Wright, Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Conforto, or Travis d’Arnaud. That’s half of the position players in the current Mets starting lineup. This is more than enough to turn an 0-7 deficit to a winning record.
I’m confident the Mets changes will be enough to make it to the World Series.
Look, this is Sandy Alderson’s team. He decided to keep the players he kept and trade the players he traded. He pulled off the trades and signed the free agents. However, he was able to do a lot of what he did because he was left with good players after Omar Minaya was terminated.
Here are the players in the 40 man roster who have a link to Omar Minaya (asterisked players are players obtained with players combined by Minaya and Alderson):
Eric Campbell – 2008 draft pick.
Darrell Ceciliani – 2009 draft pick.
Jacob deGrom – 2010 draft pick.
Lucas Duda – 2007 draft pick.
Jeurys Familia – 2007 amateur free agent signing.
Wilmer Flores – 2007 amateur free agent signing.
Erik Goeddel – 2010 draft pick.
Matt Harvey – 2010 draft pick
Juan Lagares – 2006 amateur free agent signing.
Steven Matz – 2009 draft pick.
Jenrry Mejia – 2007 amateur free agent signing.
Akeel Morris -2010 draft pick.
Daniel Murphy – 2006 draft pick.
Bobby Parnell – 2005 draft pick.
Hansel Robles – 2008 amateur free agent.
Noah Syndergaard – part of Dickey trade (see d’Arnaud).
Ruben Tejada – 2006 amateur free agent.
Again, these players are in the roster because Alderson kept them. The decision of who to keep and trade is important. That is what makes them Alderson’s players and team. Additionally, while It was Alderson that hired Terry Collins, it was Minaya who brought him into the Mets organization.
However, it is important to truly acknowledge Minaya’s role, especially when he has been unfairlyand wrongly marginalized.
You see I was on the same Jet Blue flight as Omar Minaya. The photo with this post was Minaya and me in the terminal before the flight. He was accessible to Mets fans who wanted to shake his hand and take a picture. No one, and I mean no one, had the “courage” to mock him on the flight.
Additionally, this should dispel the notion that Minaya left the Mets with a depleted farm system. On the contrary, he built a strong farm system that helped make up this team. Minaya had his faults, and he probably deserved to be fired when he was. That doesn’t mean we should ignore his work.
It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t extend our gratitude to him for what he left behind.
Yesterday, the Mets acquired Addison Reed. Erik Goeddel is on the 60 day DL, and he’s in the middle of his rehab assignment. Finally, the Mets need to make room for Eric Young, Jr. At a minimum, this means the Mets need to make three moves on the 40 man roster, and two of these changes must be made before September 1st.
Previously, I wrote a fairly lengthy piece on the issue. I won’t regurgitate the analysis here. You can click the link and read it. Instead, I’ll list the players who may see themselves removed from the 40 man roster in the order of what I think is most likely:
If I’m correct, three of these players will be gone. Now, there is the possibility, the Mets can designate Eric O’Flaherty for assignment, thereby clearing room for Reed on the 25 and 40 man rosters. O’Flaherty has been bad with the Mets, but he’s been put in tough spots by Terry Collins.
Keep in mind that O’Flaherty is the only true LOOGY the Mets have right now. He’s only supposed to pitch to lefties. He hasn’t been treated that way by Collins. For his career, lefties hit .208/.271/.270. This season those numbers are .258/.333/.290. He’s been worse this year, but there is still evidence in the numbers that the Mets should stick with him.
There are 33 games left in the season. With the expanded rosters, O’Flaherty should never see a righty except when there’s one beside him warming up in the bullpen. If you can’t get O’Flaherty right in the final 33 games, you can leave him off the postseason roster. Once you DFA him, he’s forever gone. He’s no longer an asset. You can’t work with him to improve. It’s better to keep him now rather than move him two days before you could’ve kept him with expanded rosters.
The better choice is Logan Verrett. The Mets seemingly wanted to see if he could be a seventh inning option, but that plan went away with a spot start. Sure Verrett made two appearances since; one good, one terrible. With Steven Matz being a good bet to join the rotation soon, and the trade for Addison Reed, there appears to be no room for Verrett on the 25 man roster for the time being.
The other realistic option with options left is Hansel Robles. He has trouble with the strike zone at times. However, he’s got good peripheral stats, and he’s shown he can give some length. Accordingly, I’d send down Verrett. He would then be available 10 days later or September 9th. This is enough time for another start or a few relief appearances.
As for Goeddel and EY, I wouldn’t take any actions on the 25 man roster to accommodate them. Rather, I would wait the two days and call them up when rosters expand on September 1st.
Therefore, while there are three 40 man decisions to be made, the Mets really only need to make one move with the 25 man roster. Here’s hoping they keep O’Flaherty Nd get him right for the playoffs.
As of today, the Mets 40 man roster is full with Erik Goeddel and David Wright on the 60 day DL. Since players on the 60 day DL do not count towards the 40 man roster, two players will have to be removed from the 40 man before Goeddel and Wright can be added.
The first decision could potentially come on August 11th, when Goeddel is first eligible to come off the DL. The Mets can send down Hansel Robles, who has options, but that only solves the 25 man roster issue. As of today, here are the people who are on the 40 man roster, who are also not on the 25 man roster:
- Dario Alvarez
- Vic Black
- Jack Leathersich
- Steven Matz
- Akeel Morris
- Logan Verrett
- Gabriel Ynoa
- Johnny Monell
- Anthony Recker
- Dilson Herrera
- Danny Muno
- Wilfredo Tovar
- Darrell Ceciliani
- Michael Cuddyer
- Kirk Nieuwenhuis
In deciding who to remove, there are a couple of important factors to take into account:
- This player will be exposed on waivers allowing any team to claim that player, and
- A player must be on the 40 man roster as of August 31st to be eligible for the postseason roster (there are loopholes however).
Immediately, you can rule out the pitchers. They’re young, under control, and will be snatched up by another team . . . even Vic Black. That leaves eight players for two spots.
Next, we can eliminate Michael Cuddyer and Kirk Nieuwenhuis from consideration. Cuddyer is set to come off the DL soon. Nieuwenhuis is a possibility, albeit remote right now for the postseason roster. We’re done to six players.
I would next eliminate Dilson Herrera, who is seen as the second baseman of the future. This is especially important with Daniel Murphy, Kelly Johnson, and Juan Uribe set to be free agents. We’re down to five players: Monell, Recker, Muno, Tovar, and Ceciliani. Here’s where things get tricky. You can make cases for all of these players to stay or go.
I’ll start with the catchers, who have been awful this year . . . absolutely terrible. I’m expecting the Mets to move on from both of these players in the offseason. However, we need to remember Travis d’Arnaud has been injury prone. You don’t want to him to go down and have no playoff replacement. At a a minimum, one catcher must stay on the roster. Possibly both.
Up next are the young middle infielders. Admittedly, they have both been pretty bad in very limited major league experience. Accordingly, you can’t use that experience as the sole reason to outright that player. It should be noted neither player is a top prospect in the Mets organization. I think both are candidates, specifically Tovar, who is behind Matt Reynolds, Gavin Cecchini, and Amed Rosario on the organization’s SS depth chart.
Finally, we have Ceciliani, who played decently with the Mets this year (even if he was a little exposed). It should be noted he was passed over in the last two Rule Five Drafts. I don’t imagine his limited playing time changed the minds of the other 29 teams. Furthermore, with Nieuwenhuis being on the bubble for the postseason roster, there’s no chance he would even see the field. In my opinion, this makes him the most vulnerable.
Now, I have no connections whatsoever, but I would believe Ceciliani and Monell are the two players who will be moved to make room for Goeddel and Wright. You could easily interchange that for Recker and Ceciliani or one of the middle infielders. However, I think Ceciliani and Monell are the two least regarded players on this list.
Further complicating matters is Rafael Montero, who is also on the 60 day DL. Terry Collins recently went to talk to Montero to encourage him to ramp up his rehab so he can help the team. If Montero is coming back, the Mets are going to have to make yet another roster move. I believe at this time, the middle infielders would definitively be in danger of being removed from the 40 man roster. My guess would be Tovar, but then again, I could be wrong.
The only way to avoid removing anyone, and risking losing a player, is to make a trade with another team. The problem there is if these players had value to other teams, they would have been moved already. Specifically to Ceciliani, we’ve seen teams pass on him a number of times. There is also the possibility that the player to be named later in the Eric O’Flaherty deal is one of the aforementioned 15 players making part of this post moot. However, I think that is unlikely.
Overall, the Mets have a lot of important decisions to make with an eye towards who they want on the postseason roster. It’s fun to be a Mets fan again.
Now, we’ve seen these Mets for the past 50 plus seasons. They face a spot starter, emergency starter, or rookie pitcher, and they struggle at the plate. Tonight, it was Brad Hand.
Personally, I knew the Mets were in for a tough night when I saw Angel Hernandez on the mound. For the uninitiated, the Mets have a history with him. This is mostly because he’s a bad umpire.
Luckily, Jon Niese pitched very well. He kept this team in the game while they struggled against the 1-2, 5.12 ERA Hand. In fact, the Mets didn’t score until Adam Conley came in the game. It took a Wilmer Flores [standing ovation] double and nice slide (good job by Niese directing him where to slide) to tie the game on the Ruben Tejada single.
For the second time this year, Eric Campbell bailed out Terry Collins for some questionable moves. Collins had Flores bunt with two on and no out in the eighth. Flores popped out [polite applause], and Tejada couldn’t deliver. Campbell then got the go-ahead bloop hit, right over the outstretched hands of Hechavarria, scoring Lucas Duda. Juan Lagares gave some breathing room with a two run RBI triple. The rally ended with a Curtis Granderson RBI double, which stretched the lead to 5-1.
Tyler Clippard and Jeurys Familia had a bumpy eighth and ninth respectively. However, they didn’t give up a run.
Despite winning this game, Collins’ decision making was very questionable. Look, I know I’ve been the one pounding the drum that Terry Collins has been using the platoon system; however, you cannot use it to sit Michael Conforto. When he was called up, the Mets took on the responsibility of playing him everyday. If he’s not going to play everyday, they should bring up Darrell Ceciliani.
No matter what the Nationals do tonight (they’re currently tied at three in the eighth), the Mets will remain in sole possession of first place. Just don’t tell Bryce Harper.
When I first started this blog, much of the focus at that time was on why everyone thought Michael Conforto should be called up to the majors. Back then, it was assumed the Mets were not going to add offense thereby making him the only source of offense available. We’re not in this world right now.
After the trade deadline moves, the Mets now have a major league roster of major league hitters. So far, Terry Collins has shown he intends to play the following everyday: Lucas Duda, Daniel Murphy, Ruben Tejada. Curtis Granderson, and Yoenis Cespedes. Prior to the Cespedes trade, he seemed to have a Kirk Nieuwenhuis/Juan Lagares platoon, but he seems to have done away with that.
Once the Cespedes trade was completed, Granderson and Cespedes have played CF. In turn, Lagares and Nieuwenhuis have been on the bench. Kelly Johnson has played a corner outfield position in those games. These are the games Nieuwenhuis would’ve started as the Nationals were throwing righties. We now know Nieuwenhuis is injured.
However, what we don’t know is if Collins has eschewed the CF platoon for more offense. If so, I’m not sure that was the right move with the return of Duda’s bat, Granderson continuing his good year, and Cespedes’ bat. They are no longer as desperate for offense as they used to be. Now, they need to sure up their outfield defense, especially when their pitchers give up a lot of flyballs. To his credit, Collins is using Lagares as a late inning defensive replacement.
With Nieuwenhuis going on the DL, his spot on the roster has gone to Conforto, who must play everyday. If he’s not playing everyday, he needs to be in Las Vegas. This means the Mets OF for two weeks, minimum, must have Conforto in left, Cespedes in center, and Granderson in right (barring Michael Cuddyer coming off the DL). At the very least, Conforto is a step up from Johnson defensively. However, it is nowhere enough of an upgrade to justify sitting Lagares’ glove.
The natural question is who should the Mets have called up, if not Conforto. That’s the problem. For all the moves, there are still some holes in this organization, especially from a depth perspective. Begrudgingly, I would’ve called up Darrell Ceciliani. You don’t need him to play everyday, and he can play all three OF positions.
I would further endorse this decision as it seemed the Mets were fine with Johnson playing the corner outfield positions during the biggest series of the year. Let Ceciliani be the 25th man while the major leaguers play everyday. Let Conforto play everyday in the minors and come up in September for the stretch drive (like they should do with Kevin Plawecki).
So while I initially endorsed calling up Conforto, I am now against it. My opinion has nothing to do with his 0-12 streak. He looks like he can play. I was very impressed with him. I’m just saying the dynamic of this team has changed and so has the need for him. I only wish the Mets would change their mindset.