If a well-respected baseball man from another country – who had no idea who any of the players were nor what their status was – was put in charge of the Mets and given 100% freedom to pick and choose who started, who played where and what role they had on the team, what would the Mets look like? Let’s break them down into groups, focusing on the hitters:

No doubt starters – Alonso, McNeil, Rosario, Nimmo, Conforto
Likely starters – Ramos, Davis

It seems next to impossible to believe that Robinson Cano would be viewed as a likely starter. Now, maybe our veteran baseball guy (let’s call him VBG) would decide that Davis shouldn’t be in the infield and that Cano was a better choice than Luis Guillorme to start at 2B. But in that case Cano would be a starter by default, the best of the bad choices and certainly not a guy you wanted to write in the lineup. It would also be curious to see how VBG would handle Yoenis Cespedes. Would he view him as someone who should log a majority of starts, even playing at less than 100%? It’s hard for us to be objective about Cespedes because we’ve seen firsthand what he can do when playing. But VBG wouldn’t have that handicap. Maybe he’d prefer Dominic Smith‘s bat. Or Jake Marisnick‘s glove.

On the pitching side, the biggest question with the starters would be if VBG saw Seth Lugo as a starter or not. If no, it’s pretty obvious who the five guys should be. If VBG thinks Lugo should start, then it would be at least a little curious if he would prefer Rick Porcello or Michael Wacha to start.

But the biggest question would be how the bullpen roles will shake out. With no allegiance to Edwin Diaz do you see any scenario where VBG would install Diaz as the team’s closer on Opening Day? It seems almost unfathomable to me. It seems more likely that Lugo or Dellin Betances would get that spot. Diaz would be battling with Jeurys Familia for 7th inning guy, rather than top dog in the pen. Now, it’s not hard to imagine things breaking a certain way once games started where Diaz would ascend to the closer’s role. That kind of thing happens all of the time in MLB. But to start the season with the job?

18 comments on “Wednesday catch-all thread (7/22/20)

  • Mike W

    Mets signed Lagares and Brian Dozier to minor league deals. Stroman may miss his first start with a calf problem.

  • Andrew Callahan

    Stroman hurting ? ………Well ain’t that just wonderful !

  • Name

    If VBG had a list of top 20 decisions to make, whether or not Lugo starts or relieves wouldn’t even cross his mind.

    2019: 2.70 ERA as a reliever
    2018: 2.30 ERA as a reliever, 3.91 as a starter
    2017: 3.00 ERA as a reliever, 4.76 as a starter

    I also don’t see why it’s unfathomable to choose a 26 year old coming off 1 bad season versus choosing a 32 year old coming off 1 major injury season. The last time they were both good was 2018 and one is 6 years younger.

    • Brian Joura

      The question isn’t whether Lugo is better as a starter or a reliever. The question is – Is he a better starter than Porcello and/or Wacha?

      As for Diaz and Betances, while Diaz holds the age advantage, that’s not nearly an important edge when you’re looking to maximize a 60-game season. In the last three years, Diaz has a 3.47 ERA and a 1.048 WHIP. In the same time frame, Betances has a 2.76 ERA and and a 1.126 WHIP. We have to see if Diaz looks better than last year’s terrible numbers and if Betances looks healthy. The results from Spring Training/summer camp are not good with Diaz. Spring Training, Betances didn’t have the velocity. Rumor has it that his velo was much better in the summer camp appearance versus the Yankees, but I didn’t hear a number.

      • Eraff

        I believe you’d need to compare whether the team needs what Lugo is likely to bring in a wide ranging relief role versus what he’d deliver as a Starter…and his likely replacement on either side of those choices.

        He’s been valuable and lights out in the Pen… I wouldn’t conclude that He merely needs to be better as a Starter versus Wacha or anyone else.

        • Brian Joura

          I’d agree with this to a point. If Lugo would give you a 4.00 ERA as a SP and Wacha a 4.25 in similar total of innings – then I’d say Lugo was more valuable in the pen. But there’s definitely a point where you don’t keep putting a worse pitcher out there.

          He’s being wasted in the pen if the guy starting fails to give you 6 IP and gives a 5+ ERA with the short outings.

      • Name

        “The question isn’t whether Lugo is better as a starter or a reliever. The question is – Is he a better starter than Porcello and/or Wacha?”

        If the premise was to look a the pov of a guy who had no preconceived notions of the players, why would this thought cross his mind? Lugo has had a lot of success as a reliever and not a lot as a starter. And he hasn’t made a start in since June of 2018. Why would a rationale unbiased person take the risk of converting him back as a starter? Even if he looked at his minor league numbers as a starter they were average at best.

        Again with Diaz – i think our biases are coming into play here. You said it was unfathomable that someone would choose him. To me unfathomable is <5% . I think if you polled 100 people that number would be higher than that for the reasons i cited so it wouldn't be "unfathomable" but rather "not likely"

        • Brian Joura

          I’m pretty certain Lugo would approach our guy with no preconceived notions and tell him he wants to be a starter.

    • TJ

      Name,
      Clearly Lugo’s record shows that he is a legit back end pen guy and a middling starter. However, I do think it is reasonable to think he could now be better as a starter than he was at the beginning of his career…no guarantees, but it wouldn’t be overly surprising.

      So, if Diaz, Familia, and Betances are the quality versions of themselves, and any one of the starters not named deGrom are struggling, Lugo stepping in makes a lot of sense. And if he performs well as a starter, he may just stay there in 2021. Lots of ifs, as usual, but there is a scenario where it makes sense.

  • Chris F

    Stroman and Gman to DL

    • TJ

      Yup. It’s time for Met baseball. Stroman week to week in a 60 game season like month to month in a full season. Lugo as starter odds getting better by the hour.

      Welcome back Juan! Wilmer can’t be far behind!

  • HOF19

    Sny Network guys wondered if make trade with Orioles …… Some writers fell That Asher Wojciechowski might be better than Wacha

  • Mike W

    Wow, what a pitching staff to start the year.

    deGrom
    Matz
    Wacha
    Porcello
    Pot Luck

    Watch how fast the bullpen gets burned out when some of the starters get shellacked.

    The Dodgers extended Betts. Their farm system is stacked. They have Lux who looks like a stud. And they have three top pitching prospects in May, Gonsolin and Josiah Gray. Looks like they will be winning for a long time.

    Besides our 2019 and 2020 draft prospects, what potential impact prospects do we have?

    Well, I rooted for them in the late 70’s and I l’ll root for them now

  • Metsense

    With Stroman on the IL I would be intially turn to Oswalt because Lugo is needed in the bullpen until Diaz and Familia prove that they are consistent and Betances is healthy. If the bullpen solidifies that is when Lugo could be considered to enter the rotation. Sad to say, right now, I have more confidence in Oswalt than Diaz.

  • Brian Joura

    30-man roster is available

    https://www.mlb.com/mets/roster

    14 pitchers/16 hitters

    Guys on the fence who made the club: Oswalt, Sewald, Shreve, D. Smith, Strickland, Gimenez, Nunez

  • Brian Joura

    “Major League Baseball and the players’ union agreed Thursday to expand the playoffs from 10 teams to 16 for the pandemic-delayed season, a person familiar with the deal said, a decision that makes it likely teams with losing records will reach the postseason.

    snip

    Sixteen of the 30 teams will advance to a best-of-three first round: the first- and second-place teams in every division and the next two clubs by winning percentage in each league. Those winners move on to the best-of-five Division Series, where the usual format resumes. The final four teams are in best-of-seven League Championship Series, and the pennant winners meet in the best-of-seven World Series.”

    https://sports.yahoo.com/ap-source-mlb-players-agree-expand-playoffs-16-204817558–mlb.html?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_content=socialflow&utm_campaign=yahoosports&utm_medium=social

    • Name

      Boy fans are sure gonna love when a team squeaks in with a 27-33 record and manages to get lucky for 2 games against a 45-15 club.

  • Eraff

    Regarding Lugo….. we’re all familiar with Value and Valuation, but we may not agree on the standardized measures.

    Lugo has 344 MLB innings pitched …with a WAR of 7. In 1973 and 1974, Nolan Ryan Pitched 326 and 336 innings respectively. In those years, he finished 2nd and 3rd in the CY Young…. he had a 7.7 and then a 5.9 WAR

    I’m not in Love with stats and/or advanced stats…..and I’m certainly not in high regard of Cy Young Voting…… but based on the comparison, Seth Lugo has been absolutely fantastic!!!!

    The entire concept of WAR is to ask whether you could Replace a Guy efficiently…… and maybe we are undervaluing the Reliever versus the starter—certainly the pay scale is undervaluing Lugo because he has been neither a Starter nor a Closer.

    They may want to find out what he looks like as a Starter, based on the fact that He will certainly look to go where he can start when he’s able—but that doesn’t really answer the question of his best use with this team

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