Anthony Seratelli and the state of the Mets’ bench

Anthony SeratelliAdam Rubin suggested in a recent ESPN article that Anthony Seratelli stands a chance of being a 31-year old rookie with the Mets come April. Many people are rooting for him to succeed and no wonder since this is a heartwarming tale for a career minor leaguer who is well-versed at playing first-base, second-base, shortstop, third base, and the outfield. He has put up a .385 OBP over the last two years with the Royals’ Triple-A system, as well as 39 combines stolen bases and 28 combined home runs. He seems like a versatile weapon to have on the Mets bench.

However, there are some holes. Watching Seratelli play this past Saturday, he was fluid in the field and he handled both shortstop and second-base well. At bat though, he seemed very out of sync. On his last 0-2 count, the guy seated next to us actually said, “And now he is going to swing at some garbage out of the strike zone.” To which, Seratelli promptly did for his third K that afternoon. Dumb luck? Sure. But there was no denying that he looked bad at the plate.

Of course there is the argument to be made that pitchers are often ahead of hitters at this point during spring training, and perhaps it was just nerves over trying to impress. All of that is valid, and no one is suggesting that someone not get a fair look throughout the long spring. However, Rubin’s article, combined with Seratelli’s short, rough start of 0-7 doesn’t make Mets fans feel any better. Couple that with Terry Collins saying this early into Spring that both Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lannan stand a better chance than Jenrry Mejia at being the fifth starter, and one wonders if that 90-win season memo has been passed around the office enough.

This is not meant to disparage Seratelli, Matsuzaka, Lannan, or anyone else in the Mets organization. This is merely a question about how serious the Mets are about competing this year. According to Collins, Mejia may start in the bullpen to build his innings. In theory, this sounds great. But didn’t we go through all this already, and didn’t it delay Mejia’s process a few years?

Seratelli was certainly not nearly the only player who struggled during Saturday’s game. Zach Lutz also struck out three times, and Josh Edgin’s got hit almost as much as Rocky Balboa’s face. Kinks to be worked out in spring? Sure, we can go with that. But if any of these guys have a bad spring, because let’s face it, none of them are seasoned veterans, would you feel comfortable with a bench or a pen consisting of mostly Triple-A players?

Again, we don’t know what the front office knows, and perhaps a guy like Seratelli is a diamond in the rough. On Saturday, only the eye test was available to us. We also watched Lucas Duda’s homer soar to right field, and then we watch him make an error on a double play that could have ended a big inning for the Marlins. So instead we looked to the dugout to see if we could see a more promising future. It’s only spring, and it was only one game. But after nearly a decade of sour games, it would have been nice to see a little more looking toward tomorrow from this Mets club early on. Instead, we got beat by a backup Marlins team that looked like the Harlem Globetrotters compared to our Washington Generals. And it looked to be such a nice weekend, too.

7 comments for “Anthony Seratelli and the state of the Mets’ bench

  1. Joe Gomes
    March 4, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Said it before and will say it again. The Mets are the dumbest organization in all of baseball.
    From the owners own down to the imbecile in the dugout. Yes, Sandy has made some smart trades but is Chris Young worth 7.25M? Is signing Dice K and Lannan worth not giving a promising arm like Mejia’s a chance at the rotation? Is paying for Farmsworth, Valverde better than just paying Hawkins what he wanted? Aside from Wheeler and Syndergaard, where are the position players coming up that have been picked by Sandy and the other Stooges? Is it me or does Collins say a different thing everyday and all for the wrong reasons? Is anyone surprised that he favors the veteran Dice K or Lannan over Mejia who pitched stellar last year? What’s the point of having high end arms if you fail to give them a chance when ready to pitch? how does a starter who is schedule to pitch around 150 innings in 2014 pitch more than that out of the BP? How does Sandy increase Mejia’s value to the Mets or in a potential trade by pitching him out of the BP? how do you favor a veteran who will likely be traded or that won’t be here for the long term over a potential front line starter? Now the rumors are starting that Familia may not make it so that Collins the Imbecile can bring either Valverde or Farmsworth instead.

    Simply put, there are no word to properly discribe the stupidity in this organization. 4 years after the Ivy League educated GM and still no sense of direction and holes at 1B, 2B, SS, LF, BP and depending on performance, C, CF.

    • since68
      March 4, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      I just read an interesting article on why Mejia shouldn’t start in April. So far, his max innings is 100. If he increases the normal 30 innings, they wold need to shut him down some time in July. If they start him in the pen they could hold down his inning until they need a starter.

  2. Jerseymet
    March 4, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    And how is he better than Jason Turner?

  3. Metsense
    March 4, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    well said Joe Homes.
    If Mejia starts in the rotation from the beginning then when he nears his innings limit he could go to the bullpen and Thor could take his place in the rotation.
    Oakland has been getting an edge with their deep bench. The Mets sign Drew and Tejada is your bench and the team now has depth. The Mets don’t operate like a competitive ball club.

  4. Jerry Grote
    March 4, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    When I was a young man, my mentor told me the the most important part of the meal was the cheapest … a good cup of coffee. Because it was the last touch, it would inevitably be the thing a customer would remember.

    Outside of Duda and Satin, the team used up 1477 (!!!) plate appearances that resulted in an OPS of 603. Spoiler alert: I’m making the numbers seem worse than they are. After all, I’m including OQ’s 589 OPS as a starter instead of Tejada’s 519.

    Let’s take a quick look at a team that spends about as much as we do: the Pirates. Take out their two best “bench” players (Byrd, Tabata). You wind up with a similar 1367 ABs, but a combined OPS of 670.

    That winds up being the rough equivilant of putting out two full time ball players that are just a touch under league average and two AA/AAA ball players. Or … the difference between

    Winning 94 games or
    Winning 74 games. (save me, I know that’s not the only difference)

    Don’t cheap out on the coffee, Sandy. We’ve had that meal before.

  5. tommyb
    March 5, 2014 at 7:34 am

    I am seeing a few glimpses that Alderson may be about to swith from stockpiler to aggressor, such as a recent interview I read with DiPodesta. It seems darkest just before the dawn – hopefully that is the case here.

    While Seratelli struggles offensively, Muno has not.

    Yes, Danny hit just .249 in AA last year, and yes, he has no AAA. But in his last 75 games in AA after May last year, he was great after a terrible April and May.

    If you doubled that 75 game output to project out to 150 games, he had an on base % over .400, 118 runs scored, 84 RBIs leading off (much without suspended Puello and with a badly slumping Dykstra) and plenty of extra base hits, including HRs. And steal some bases.

    He has started very well offensively this spring…a long shot to join Mets out of spring training, but let’s see, if they acquire a Drew or someone else to start at SS, if perhaps Danny has a shot at utility player opening day. A guy can also improve over the winter, and maybe he is more ready now for the bigs than anyone gives him credit for.

    I’d prefer him as a utility guy over Tejada, since he has more power and likely will be a better on base guy, and has more speed, so keep an eye on Danny in 2014.

    • Metsense
      March 5, 2014 at 7:54 am

      And if Tejada gets hurt, do you want Muno (or Tovar) as your starting shortstop? A competitive, 90 win team would not take that risk. A competitive, 90 win team would sign a Drew and have Tejada as a better than average middle infield backup just in case Drew or Murphy get hurt. If Sandy believes he has a 90 win team then he should insure that one injury doesn’t derail this World Series Express. (sarcasm intentional).

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