Logan Verrett

Bullpen Giving Me a Headache

We all knew the Mets needed to make a roster move to make room for David Wright. We all believed it was going to be Logan Verrett, who was terrific yesterday

Nope. We were all wrong. Apparently, the Mets enjoy shortchanging the bullpen. Verrett is going to stay and Dario Alvarez is going down. The Mets got away with it last week. With the Phillies and Red Sox coming up, you can tell the Mets think they can get away with it again. The problem is they’re tempting fate in more ways than one now. 

Not only are they shorting the bullpen for two days, but they may also have a rotation problem. We don’t know the severity of Bartolo Colon‘s wrist. He’s due to pitch Wednesday against the Phillies, which is also Verrett’s throw day. As we saw in Baltimore, that means Verrett will only be good for an inning. That means Colon better be alright to pitch. 

If he’s not the Mets could have Matt Harvey start on Wednesday instead of Friday. I don’t think they’ll do that because it would defeat the purpose of them skipping Harvey’s start. There’s also no one on the 40 man roster who’s ready to get called up to make a spot start. 

That means Colon has to start and all hands need to be on deck . . . like they needed to be on Friday. Hopefully, Verrett’s inability to go more than one inning won’t be a major problem. Hopefully, multiple innings of Sean Gilmartin and Carlos Torres won’t harm the Mets chances of winning a game in bandbox like Citizens Bank Ballpark. 

No matter what’s going on, I’m starting to get a headache just trying to figure out what the Mets are doing in the bullpen. 

Verrett Had a Humber-dinger of a Game

Eight years ago, the Mets were falling apart at the seams. We saw the team trying to restrict Pedro Martinez’s innings. They had no choice but to use Phillip Humber. Five years later, he would go on and throw a perfect game, but on that September night, he was terrible. The Mets lost the game. They would miss the playoffs that year too. 

Logan Verrett pitched under similar, but not the same, circumstances. The Mets ûdetermined there was an innings limit problem and they skipped Matt Harvey‘s start. Verrett was terrific. He went eight innings allowing one run on four hits with eight strikeouts. He gave a worn out bullpen a rest. Surprisingly, Hansel Robles shut the door in the ninth securing the 5-1 win. 

The Mets scored all five runs in the first three innings. Most notably, the Mets scored two runs in the second inning that set baseball back about a 100 years. Wilmer Flores [standing ovation] was hit by a pitch, and then Michael Conforto singled. With Flores going first to third, Carlos Gonzalez made a throwing error. The ball didn’t get far away enough for Flores to score, but it permitted Conforto to go to second. I still can’t believe what happened next. 

With every Mets fan hoping Anthony Recker would luck into an RBI, David Hale made sure Recker wouldn’t be a factor. On back-to-back pitches, he threw a wild pitch allowing Flores and Conforto to score. I was dumbfounded.  After the baseball we saw this weekend, so was Keith Hernandez. He was actively calling for no more expansion because the plays and players he saw this weekend was terrible. 

He wasn’t wrong. I’m glad the Mets are out of Colorado, and I’m glad they got the sweep. This weekend was like making sausage. You enjoyed the results, but you didn’t necessarily enjoy watching how it got done. 

There’s a lot more baseball left. I plan on enjoying the remaining games during a pennant race. 

Conforto Still Here?

On August 10th, with Michael Cuddyer coming off the DL, the Mets had to decide whether to send down Eric Campbell or Michael Conforto. It seemed both would have to be sent down anyway. Most believed that when David Wright came off the DL, the other player would have to be sent down to AAA. 

I thought it should’ve been Conforto for many reasons. Principally, I thought if you’re going to have to send him down anyway, why not do it sooner to let him really work on some things in AAA where he can get more focused attention. In his infinite wisdom, Mark Simon basically said that we should worry about the second move when the time comes:

https://mobile.twitter.com/msimonespn/status/630832627109335040

It turns out he was right. No one should be surprised because he’s a smart guy and a fantastic follow. Anyway, he’s right because things are a little haywire with the Mets right now. 

The bullpen is a mess right now. Logan Verrett was initially called up to take Bobby Parnell‘s spot in the bullpen. In reality, he was called up for one short relief appearance on his throw day and to make a spot start on Sunday so the team can skip Matt Harvey‘s Sunday start. 
With the bullpen being short, the Mets decided they needed to call-up Dario Alvarez. I don’t know much about him. I’m not putting much stock in his performance last year. It was a small sample size. However, he was ranked as the Mets #22 ranked prospect. After a good start in Binghampton, he moved to Las Vegas where he’s been dominant with a 1.08 ERA, a 0.60 WHIP, and 16.20 K/9. This may turn out to be a great decision especially since Alvarez is a LHP. 

Now, the Mets need to make a make room for Alvarez. Throughout the game on Friday, Gary Cohen suggested it would be Conforto. With him having to go down on Monday and the Rockies throwing a LHP on Saturday, meaning Conforto wouldn’t play, it seemed to be the right move. Then, as Mark Simon said, things began to work themselves out.”

First, Bartolo Colon was hit on the wrist and has a large bump there. It was severe enough that it merited getting an x-ray. Luckily, it’s not broken, but Colon said it did affect his pitching. He doesn’t want to have to skip a start, but I’m not ruling it out at this point. At some point, the Mets may need to consider putting him on the DL. 

Speaking of the DL, Lucas Duda had to be pulled from the game with an aggravation of the same back injury. According to Adam Rubin, it may be Duda who winds up on the DL. It should be noted with the Mets not putting Duda on the DL when the problem first arose, they got a PH appearance, two games at DH, and six full innings at 1B. If he was initially placed on the DL, he would’ve been ready to come back on August 28th. Presumably, he would’ve been in better shape and not susceptible to a relapse. Instead, the Mets will get three games from Duda between August 13th and September 6th. Yet again, they’ve botched an injury situation. 

With Duda presumably going to the DL, Conforto gets a reprieve. I wish the Mets would let him bat against lefties. It doesn’t make sense that they don’t, especially when they let Curtis Granderson do it. However, that’s another argument to re-hash at another time. 

Let’s hope Colon and Duda get better. Let’s hope Conforto begins to produce better than his .224/.333/.448 triple slash line. Let’s hope Alvarez is effective. Mostly, let’s hope the Mets start reacting better to player injuries. 

Why Didn’t Anyone Pitch a Good Bullpen Idea?

When the Mets assembled this front office, they were all touted as geniuses. Apparently, everyone just disregarded J.P. Riccardi’d tenure in Toronto and Paul DePodesta’s brief tenure in Los Angeles. The only known contributions from the two of them is the Colin McHugh-Eric Young, Jr. trade

The reason I bring this up is everyone in the whole organization is acting like idiots right now.  We all agree that the Mets needed to do something with Bobby Parnell. Some wanted him released. I wanted them to give him time to get himself right. Seemingly, the Mets found a terrific option: put Parnell on the DL and call-up Logan Verrett to take his place. Only that’s not what happened

What happened is they brought him up to make a spot start for Matt Harvey on Sunday. Yup, they called up Verrett to pitch one very quick inning on this throw day, Wednesday, and then make a spot start on Sunday. 

Where was the genius that said, “maybe this is a bad idea?”  Who said, “let’s delay putting Parnell on the DL until Sunday so as to not short change our bullpen one arm Friday and Saturday?”  How come no one thought, “is there an another option, like Vic Black, that we can call up and have available until Sunday?”

This mismanagement is unconscionable. Keep in mind you’re not just shortening your bullpen for two games, you’re also doing it in Colorado with your three worst starting pitchers. This is like going to Iceland in December and saying, “I have a heavy sweatshirt, why would I need a winter coat?”  It’s not like the entire country is one massive glacier in the Artic Circle. Oh, it is. Well then I’ll bring a winter hat. 

Keep mind, the Mets are also shortchanging their bullpen going to Philadelphia. It’s not like Verrett will pitch Sunday and be available on Monday. The earliest he will be available would be Wednesday. So essentially, the Mets called up Verrett to shorten the bullpen for at least five games. How does this make sense?

All of this also ignores the insanity of how this team has handled Matt Harvey this season. We all knew there was going to be an innings limit issue. Did the Mets hold him back a month to restrict his innings? No. Did they decide to sit him after two rough May outings? No. Instead, they’re choosing to sit him in the middle of a pennant race when he’s been pitching really well. 

Maybe they send down Verrett after Sunday’s start and recall Black or someone else. Maybe there is a move I’m completely missing. I doubt it. 

Overall, I don’t know what the Mets are doing right now. When they act like this, I’m not sure they even know what they’re doing either. 

Parnell Finds Out His Arm Hurts

After a number of bad outings, the Mets decided it was time to make a changeLogan Verrett is going to take Bobby Parnell‘s place in the bullpen. 

It was decided that Parnell would go on the DL with arm fatigue. This is a good move because Parnell had been effective earlier in the year, and he probably just needed some time off. It’s good the Mets didn’t DFA him because you don’t throw away a potential asset.

What this also signals to me is how the Mets have mismanaged the innings limits of their young pitchers. Look at how easy that was. Just throw a guy on the DL. No real excuse needed. If they did this at some other time, like when Matt Harvey had some rough outings, we wouldn’t be talking about reintroducing the six man rotation in September. 

Instead, we would be talking about what to do with Bartolo Colon. We would be talking about whether Steven Matz should go to the bullpen. No, we are instead talking about who’s going to be the seventh inning reliever. It’s too late in the season to leave this unanswered. 

It’s also the result of uninspired thinking. The Mets never truly pivoted from the failures of Vic Black and the suspensions of Jenrry Mejia

Hopefully, Verrett, a player the Mets were alright subjecting to the Rule 5 draft, will be the seventh inning answer. I would like the Mets to consider Matz. I wouldn’t rule out Parnell once he decides his arm no longer hurts. 

Mets Have “40” Decisions to Make

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:

  1. Dario Alvarez
  2. Vic Black
  3. Jack Leathersich
  4. Steven Matz
  5. Akeel Morris
  6. Logan Verrett
  7. Gabriel Ynoa
  8. Johnny Monell
  9. Anthony Recker
  10. Dilson Herrera
  11. Danny Muno
  12. Wilfredo Tovar
  13. Darrell Ceciliani
  14. Michael Cuddyer
  15. Kirk Nieuwenhuis

In deciding who to remove, there are a couple of important factors to take into account:

  1. This player will be exposed on waivers allowing any team to claim that player, and
  2. 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 MurphyKelly 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 ReynoldsGavin 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.