Time for the Mets’ brass to evaluate this roster

With just 50 games left in the season, and no hope of fighting for the post season, the most important role for the Mets’ front office is to evaluate what’s left of the roster to see who should and shouldn’t be a part of the 2018 team. Lots of questions need answering.

The infield

Is David Wright’s playing career finished? If yes, can we find a way for him to stay with the organization and end his career with dignity? Maybe he has a future in coaching?

Are Dominic Smith and Amed Rosario as good as advertised and ready to be full-time major league players? Where are they best suited to bat in the order?

Can T.J. Rivera avoid elbow surgery and, if so, is he a viable candidate for second or third base?

Can Asdrubal Cabrera play a good enough second and/or third base to warrant picking up his option?

Can we showcase a healthy Neil Walker enough to get a trade partner to bite?

Does it make sense to bring back Jose Reyes as a super utility infielder or is Wilmer Flores sufficient in that role?

Are Flores and Rivera redundant or is there room for two right-handed hitting, weak-fielding reserve infielders?

The outfield

Can Yoenis Cespedes remain healthy long enough to remind us of why we gave him that huge contract?

Is a centerfield platoon of Juan Lagares and Brandon Nimmo a viable option?

Is leadership, versatility and experience justification for bringing back Granderson in a reduced role, at a reduced price?

How does the lineup perform with Michael Conforto in the middle of it where he belongs?

The rotation

Will Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler and Robert Gsellman all return this year? If so, can we get a gauge on how they fit into the plans for 2018?

Can we figure out what the heck is wrong with Steven Matz? Can Seth Lugo avoid elbow surgery?

Can Seth Lugo avoid elbow surgery?

Can Jacob deGrom complete one of the few great seasons for a Met in 2017?

The bullpen

Can Jeurys Familia bounce back and be the closer he was before his injury?

Can A.J. Ramos transition to a setup role?

Beyond Jerry Blevins and Paul Sewald, does anyone else in the pen deserve serious consideration for next year?

The coaching staff

Is Terry Collins coming back next year?

What about Dan Warthen, Kevin Long and the rest of the coaching staff?

If no to any of those, who are the possible replacements?

In light of all the injuries are we really going to let Mike Barwis continue to let these guy pump iron like football players or are we going to bring in a trainer to focus on flexibility and endurance?

General Manager Sandy Alderson has a lot of evaluating to do and a lot of questions to answer. First among them – will he stick with the Mets to help fortify this team and make them competitive again in 2018?

23 comments for “Time for the Mets’ brass to evaluate this roster

  1. BK
    August 11, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Here’s the real test for Mets brass – will they spend some money in the offseason? Because unlike in past seasons, there are several players available (Moustakas, Wade Davis) that match the Mets’ needs.

  2. David Groveman
    August 11, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Rotation 2018:
    1. Noah Syndergaard
    2. Jacob deGrom
    3. Matt Harvey
    4. Steven Matz
    5. Zack Wheeler

    Bullpen:
    CL: Jeurys Familia
    SU: AJ Ramos
    SU: Jerry Blevins
    MR: Paul Sewald
    MR: Erik Goeddel
    MR: Josh Smoker
    LR: Seth Lugo

    Position Players:
    C1: Travis d’Arnaud
    C2: Kevin Plawecki
    1B: Dominic Smith
    2B: Wilmer Flores
    3B: Free Agent (Mike Moustakas, Todd Frazier)
    SS: Amed Rosario
    CI: T.J. Rivera
    MI: Gavin Cecchini
    LF: Yoenis Cespedes
    CF: Free Agent (Lorenzo Cain, Cameron Maybin)
    RF: Michael Conforto
    OF: Juan Lagares
    OF: Brandon Nimmo

    Starting Pitching Depth:
    Rafael Montero (AAA)
    Robert Gsellman (AAA)
    Chris Flexen (AAA)
    P.J. Conlon (AAA)
    Corey Oswalt (AAA)
    Marcos Molina (AA)
    Nabil Crismatt (AA)

    • Metsense
      August 11, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      David, very good starting point but you failed to address the pitching which was the #1 reason the season failed. They should obtain a solid #3 starter, move Wheeler to the bullpen, and demote Smoker. They should also get another set up man and demote Goeddel. This will cost some money to do. I would not make CF a priority and use Lagares/Nimmo. Getting a third base with power to replace Bruce/Granderson/Duda’s home runs is a necessity. You can never have enough pitching and the offense would be okay with Conforto, Cespedes and a power hitting third baseman.

    • Chris F
      August 11, 2017 at 12:23 pm

      Thats a depressing roster David, one headed for a .500 at best season.

      If this ownership and FO cannot replace SP, C, 2B, 3B, and CF with legit major leaguers that can run catch throw and hit, you can kiss 2018 good bye too.

      This team needs:
      SP – Darvish (pitching depth that begins with Montero is a disaster)
      C – Lucroy or some other serious catcher. (We should have gone after Ramos).
      3B – Moustakas
      CF – McCutchen
      2B – perhaps Walker.

      Its gonna cost money to fix this team. I hope that ownership and the FO (hopefully not Alderson) has the gumption to get this done.

    • TexasGusCC
      August 11, 2017 at 2:12 pm

      David, I like you’re thinking but must agree with Metsense that a reliable arm would be great and Wheeler as a setup man would be nice.

      Too, Montero is out of options this year so you’d have to put him through waivers to send him to AAA and I don’t think he’d make it.

      TJ Rivera may miss next year if he can’t throw and needs surgery.

      Lastly, I would start with a Nimmo/Lagares platoon and upgrade it in July if necessary. Just like 2015 with Cespedes.

      • Chris F
        August 11, 2017 at 2:45 pm

        I’m troubled by the notion of just moving Wheeler and company to the pen. Wheeler in particular is notorious for opening innings of >20 pitches. He’s wild…all over the place. That does not sound like the characteristics of the strike pounder a reliever needs to be right out of the gate. If he really needs 9 outs to settle down, then relieving ain’t his gig.

  3. Koos
    August 11, 2017 at 10:02 am

    Flores! Give the guy the rest of the season to show if he is a ML hitter. Start him every day a t second,third and first. Give the guy his shot. If he can’t play a position trade him this winter to an AL team.

    • Chris F
      August 11, 2017 at 12:17 pm

      He’s had far more evaluation time than needed. He is what he is: a guy that can run into a few HR but unable to play any position in the field. He’d be perfect for some AL team that does not need to witness what poor position player he is. Any Mets team that has Flores as a starter is headed for another washout season.

      • TexasGusCC
        August 12, 2017 at 9:58 am

        Since the All-Star break, Flores is slashing .321/.361/.750 with seven home runs in only 56 at-bats. He has started 14 of the Mets 26 games in the second half.

        The biggest improvement for Flores this season has been his hitting against right-handed pitching though. Coming into 2017 he had a career .661 OPS against righties in 905 plate appearances.

        In 2017, Flores is hitting .284/.330/.483 with nine doubles, triple and eight home runs in 191 plate appearances vs right-handed pitching.

        With is current OPS at .829, Flores has improved on his OPS for the fourth straight year in the major leagues.

        • Jimmy P
          August 12, 2017 at 10:05 am

          If only he could field.

          I like him a lot.

          Still unconvinced he’s an everyday player on a good team, but he’s an asset on a smart one.

  4. ent3c
    August 11, 2017 at 10:50 am

    The big issue is whether TC comes back. If he does, you can’t keep veterans like Granderson and Reyes around, because he will overuse them at the expense of younger players.

  5. Steevy
    August 11, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Josh Smoker?Why Is here now,never mind next season.

  6. Jimmy P
    August 11, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    I’d start by setting out to build a dominant bullpen. Right now I see Familia, Ramos, and Blevins. That’s it. Fortunately, a couple of pieces might be in-house, with Wheeler and Gsellman/Lugo. I’d look to add to high-quality late-inning type arms to that. Need to accept that pitchers are going to go 6 many, many times in today’s baseball — and we don’t need worn-out starters come the playoffs.

    Cain/McCutcheon in CF is interesting to me.

    Wish I liked 3B options better. Todd Frazier sucks, another guy with a .220 BA. Haven’t we seen that movie before?

    An additional starting pitcher makes sense. I don’t think he has to be top-tier or very expensive.

    No on Reyes. His head’s not right.

    I’m not sure that Rosario or Smith will survive the 2018 season without being sent down at some point. I believe in Rosario’s talent, but he’s 21 and could really struggle with the bat. If he starts feeling utterly lost . . .

    LaCroy at C makes sense, even though he has mysteriously declined this season in the art of framing pitches.

    Club needs to spend some money, get serious about winning. Not enough to replace the big money coming off the books; need to go beyond that and become Top Ten payroll team. It’s where they should be anyway in this market, and it’s what they need in order to be successful. The farm sucks.

    Also: Need a new manager, new coaches, new culture. Wish they had new GM, but I don’t think he’s going anywhere.

  7. Jimmy P
    August 11, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    I feel badly for Wilmer Flores.

    I know he has his virulent haters here. I agree that he can’t play 3B or SS. Believe he probably can’t play 2B very well either, but seems less criminal over there. But not good enough on a pitching-first team. And feel he doesn’t quite do the job offensively to play 1B. The proverbial square peg.

    But once again, it looks like he’s going to be forced to sit for another “better” option who very likely won’t hit as well. It’s not like good players are coming in and taking his job.

    Look at the splits this season, btw:

    .284/..330/.483
    .292/.298/.562

    Overall OPS of .829.

    Now he’s going to move over for D. Smith. We’ll be happy if Smith matches those numbers in 2018. Duda is a career .800 OPS guy and many of us consider him to be a good offensive player.

    I know Wilmer’s not perfect, and I’m not even advocating for giving the guy an everyday job, just that I *feel* for him. He just can’t get any traction.

    I’d like to see him regularly at 2B and see for myself how that looks across 30 games. God knows it is a waste to play Walker, Cabrera, and Reyes there over Wilmer. I don’t see that happening. What this team sees in Reyes at this point is beyond me.

    If Wilmer is going to be replaced, I just wish it would be by a better player. And yes, I get why D. Smith has earned a shot.

    • Chris F
      August 11, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      I don’t hate Flores, I hate that the Mets are compelled to play him. He can only be who he is, and he seems like a nice guy, team first player. Nothing bad about that. The problem is, as you point out, he’s a square peg. He has no position in the field he can be trusted at. So we really want to see a rookie at SS (who almost certainly will be sent down some time next year for a spell) and a boat anchor playing 2B? That will be one of the worst DP combos imaginable. Throwing all that on Rosario is not smart. If the Mets want to be solid up the middle, a venerable strategy, then putting Flores at 2B is raising the white flag. He’s not good enough at 1B to be a defensive whiz kid, and I don’t think he carries enough bat to cover his defense. And Dom Smith will be playing 1B. What was left unsaid is this: Flores bats the best coming off the bench. The more he gets regular time, the worse his numbers get. I’m ok keeping him, but I’d much rather see him traded and give the utility position to TJ assuming he can play. I think TJ surgery recovery for position players is much shorter than for pitchers.

      At 8M$ it’s hard to see the Mets passing on Cabreras option I’m sad to say. The infield definitely needs a veteran anchor to hold the rookies solid. I’d rather have walker as I think he’s an all around better player, but in the land of $, I suspect we aren’t done with Droobs.

      • George
        August 12, 2017 at 8:14 am

        Cabrera sure looked slow on the bases last night. We need to move on from our old players and certainly increase the athleticism of this team. I hope we are seeing the last of Cabrera.

      • Jimmy P
        August 12, 2017 at 10:18 am

        It’s not at all clear to me that Smith will be better than Flores at 1B.

        But at the same time, I don’t see Wilmer as the answer as an everyday player at any position. First base may be his best shot if the offense can continue to improve.

        The expression is that “the bat plays.” To date, he’s come short of that conclusion.

        It may be that on a different team, a more athletic team, Wilmer’s weaknesses could be absorbed more readily. But he seems to embody all the weaknesses of the organization. I don’t want to see the Mets commit to slower and worse defensively, I want to see them move in the opposite direction. Not what I want in a middle infielder.

        He’s a terrific bench player.

        Might be traded this winter.

        At same time, Smith/Flores combo might be an interesting way to go next season, especially if smart manager would be willing to think on his feet rather than live by a strict by-the-numbers platoon. An old-fashioned battle for playing time with no predetermined outcome.

        I think Nunez is an interesting option for 3B next season, though I don’t have a strong read on him as a player. I know what he’s been, I don’t have a feeling for what he might become.

  8. Eraff
    August 13, 2017 at 8:46 am

    The Only Position “Name Free Agent” that I find interesting is Moustakous….Lorenzo and Lucroy are more Fading than Fabulous, and Frazier is as one dimentional and limited as the guys they have—his 750’ish OPS is not a “Solution”—and enough of his Clubhouse Presence…Pass!!!

    That lands us squarely on the “if only they would spend money Myth”— the “Open your Wallet era” is Gone….it’s been gone for a while—there is very little Prime Cut on the Market.

    I’m in big favor of some trades and small moves that will position the team as a Contender. Pending Pitching Health—a team that is “Finishable” thru the trade deadline–Please–Do Not Win The Winter!!!!!

    Finally…on Flores—- really good teams have guys like this who are effective in 400-450 “well chosen at bats”– stop bemoaning what he Isn’t. He’s a “Nice Piece on a Smart Team”, per Jimmie P–Correct!!! Or he’s a trade piece for something you need—he’s one of the few tradeable guys they have

    • Metsense
      August 13, 2017 at 9:27 am

      Moustakis should be the primary positional target. A #3 starting pitcher or better and another set up man as good as AJ Ramos would solidify the pitching staff. They need to address their apparent weaknesses.

  9. Eraff
    August 13, 2017 at 8:53 am

    OF—- Ces, Nimmo/Juan, Conforto
    3b— Moose
    ss- Rosario
    C- Travis
    ib- Dom/Flo
    2b- Reyes/Cabs?Flo

    Extras– Plawecki, TJ

    Wild Card–J Bruce

  10. TexasGusCC
    August 13, 2017 at 10:40 am

    They aren’t signing Moustakas, nor should they. The reason they aren’t signing him is the insurance money on Wright. In order to keep the insurance money coming in, they need to keep the con going that he may come back, so they need to sign a utility guy that can handle third. The most obvious choice is Reyes, who will sign cheap to stay a Met, and he will practice there and stay there all year.

    The reason they shouldn’t sign Moustakas is he is another windmill at the plate and his range is a punchline. I actually would prefer Todd Frazier on a two year deal than Moustakas.

    • Eraff
      August 13, 2017 at 10:44 am

      waiting out a short and advantageous deal on Frazier?…. ok, but he’s almost as good as what you already have

      • TexasGusCC
        August 13, 2017 at 2:18 pm

        My point Eraff. Plus, we need to continue the farse that Wright is “rehabbing” to collect the insurance money. Do you really see them signing a real third baseman? Frazier can be signed as “a corner guy” and thus fit in at third 135 times or so.

        It comes down to who is better: Frazier or Reyes?

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