Mets Notes: Josh Satin, new relievers, Darin Gorski

In four seasons in the minors Josh Satin has a .307/.397/.467 line, including a .325/.423/.538 line at Double-A last year. He’s a little bit like Daniel Murphy in that he can hit but he’s not an exceptional fielder. Also like Murphy, Satin has experience playing numerous positions, having played 1B, 2B and 3B last year in the high minors.

Satin is getting an extended look in Spring Training, with 20 ABs so far this year, just three away from a team-leading total. He has not been overly impressive, with a .573 OPS, but a simple two-hit game would do wonders for his overall line with this small of a sample size. Regardless, his most likely destination is Triple-A. However, one has to wonder if he would make the major league bench stronger with his inclusion.

His career path is somewhat similar to Justin Turner, who happens to be the man whose spot on the Mets Satin is after. Last year Turner did not make the club out of Spring Training, but he came up early in the year, got hot at the right time and ended up with 487 PA. Turner held his own with the bat but because he was such a poor defensive player, he wound up with a 0.3 bWAR, essentially a replacement player.

This year in camp, Turner is being groomed as a super sub, seeing action at 1B in addition to his usual time at 2B and 3B. So let’s see – Turner is a guy who can hit but not field, one the team is trying to work in all over the infield. That sounds a lot like Satin. The question is which one of the two is a better hitter? Turner gets the nod right now due to his major league success last year. But it wouldn’t surprise me if the answer turned out to be Satin in the long run.

NEW RELIEVERS ARE STRUGGLING: Much was made this offseason how the trade of Francisco Rodriguez last year at the All-Star break really hurt the team’s record. Sandy Alderson thinks the team would have finished over .500 if they didn’t trade their closer and he spent nearly all of the team’s available money on the bullpen, bringing in Frank Francisco, Ramon Ramirez and Jon Rauch. The Mets are pinning high hopes on that trio, but the early results are a bit ugly. They have combined to allow 17 hits and 3 walks in 9.2 IP with a 9.31 ERA. On the bright side, they have combined for 9 strikeouts.

RACE TO REPLACE BYRDAK IS ON: Assuming the Mets pick a lefty to fill Tim Byrdak’s spot on the roster, rookie Josh Edgin is making a strong case that he should be the man. In 3 IP, Edigin has 5 Ks, has only allowed 1 H and has yet to give up a run. After being viewed as an org solider, Edgin turned heads last year by posting a 1.50 ERA with 27 saves split between two Class-A clubs. He also notched 76 Ks in 66 IP. Drafted as a senior out of Division II Francis Marion in 2010, Edgin turned 25 in the offseason. But any lefty who can throw 90 mph is worth watching and an opportunity exists now that did not at the start of camp.

BACKUP OUTFIELD SPOTS IN DOUBT: The Mets figured to decide on their fifth outfielder during Spring Training. That plan got knocked over when Scott Hairston, who figured to be the fourth outfielder, came down with an oblique injury that has kept him off the field. Fortunately, both guys expected to battle for the fifth spot are having strong camps, so if Hairston is not ready to go on Opening Day, the Mets appear covered.

Adam Loewen leads all players on the team with 23 ABs and Mike Baxter is right on his heels with 21. Loewen has an .838 OPS while Baxter checks in with a .745 mark. That would appear to be a big edge for Loewen but a further look into the numbers shows some weird things going on with the 6’6 converted pitcher. Loewen is 7-23 with a HR and 11 Ks. That means his .304 Spring AVG. is built on a .545 BABIP.

GORSKI GETS SHOT IN MAJOR LEAGUE GAME: I am on the Darin Gorski bandwagon and ranked him as the team’s eighth-best prospect heading into the 2012 season. Last year Gorski had a breakout season at Hi-A but most people dismissed it because he wasn’t highly regarded coming into the year and he was old for his level. But Gorski is a lefty with three pitches, including a 90-mph fastball. He saw action in a major league game, pitching against the Tigers last week. Some defensive miscues led to a bases-loaded situation, but Gorski escaped without allowing a run by striking out the final batter he faced with a 92-mph fastball. He is not a soft-tossing lefty.

3 comments for “Mets Notes: Josh Satin, new relievers, Darin Gorski

  1. March 16, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    Good rundown on a bunch of important topics, Brian. Here’s my take:

    Turner & Satin both have options, so it’s possible the Mets could switch back and forth as needed. Turner gives you an emergency SS, too, which is a plus. But he’s also struggled to adjust to the league after the league adjusted to him. We’ll see. I think the smart money probably has Satin starting in AAA and Turner making the squad out of ST, but Satin is one of just a handful of minor leaguers still in big league camp, so they clearly want to get a look at him. And if David Wright has to start the season on the DL, Satin & Turner may both be on the Opening Day roster.

    As for the struggles of the pen, keep in mind that for a number of reasons, Spring Training stats are virtually irrelevant as indicators of performance in the upcoming season. Outside of Byrdak, the pen seems healthy so far, which is far and away the most important thing right now. I’m fine with it.

    I love that Edgin is turning some heads and getting some ink. I’ve been excited about him since drooling over his numbers and talking to people who had seen him live early last year. So it’s been a treat to get to see him out there. But IMO, he should start the year in Binghamton. He’s got major tools, but he’s still working on locating his pitches and developing his changeup. And he’s still never thrown a pitch above single A. I’d plug Garrett Olson (or one of the other minor league FA options) into Byrdak’s spot until he’s back and ready to go.

    For the bench, I prefer Baxter to Loewen for the backup OF job if Hairston starts the year on the shelf. ST numbers don’t mean a thing, so I’d make the call weighting recent in-season numbers much more. Baxter’s 2010 numbers (he spent most of 2011 on the DL), were excellent (.301/.382/.517), and came in Portland, in a park that suppresses power, whereas Loewen’s gaudy 2011 numbers (.306/.377/.508) came in Vegas, which routinely produces some of the most artificially inflated power numbers in the minor leagues (Brad Emaus was also a Vegas-slugger). Also, from the little I’ve seen of each player, Baxter looks like the better fielder, and he has options remaining. Although it’s not like the decision, either way, will be making or breaking the 2012 club. As you mention, it may be moot, since the Mets may need both of them right away anyway.

    As for Gorski, I’ve resisted valiantly (or pigheadedly) but I’m slowly becoming a believer too. The added velocity makes him a completely different pitcher. I give him, and the staffs in Savannah & St. Lucie, all the credit in the world, because he looked like nothing much in 2009-10. And now he’s probably the best prospect in the Mets’ (admittedly weak) 2009 draft class.

  2. Metsense
    March 17, 2012 at 7:45 am

    When the Mets revamped their bullpen it was an improvement of what they had. Fransisco is just an average closer and the Mets could have done a lot better than Rauch for the money. Ramirez seems to be the true upgrade and may be the eventual closer if given the chance.
    I agree with Chris that Satin should start at AAA, The acquisition of Cedeno made Turner very expendable and it surprised me that he wasn’t traded to the Rockies last winter.
    I also agree with Brian that the Mets don’t need a lefty for the sake of a lefty in the bullpen. They should go with the best arm. A LOOGY is a luxury, and a not needed one. As for Edgin, I have seen him pitch and he could be something special. There is no need to rush him. Let him have some success at AAA first. The backup outfield situation has been mishandled all winter. The whole lack of depth on this team is worrisome. Finally, players like Gorski, Lagares and Turner all seem to produce even though they don’t have the “tools” because these tools are on the “inside”. I would rather have them in my system than the Milledges and Martinez’s that are all potential but no results. If you produce at AAA you should at least be given the chance.

  3. Brian Joura
    March 17, 2012 at 8:20 am

    The club views Cedeno as the backup middle infielder and Turner as the backup corner infielder. Turner would be the emergency SS but I would be shocked if he plays a game there this year.

    As for ST numbers, they are mostly for show. But it would be nice if one of the three new guys was having a good camp…

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