The Mets recently made a bunch of moves releasing minor league coaches and instructors. Among those to go is former Met Tim Teufel, who served the organization in a variety of roles. This past season, he was the minor league infield coordinator. None of us have any idea if Tuefel was not particularly good in this role or if he was let go because of ties to the old regime. Neither one would be surprising.

Back in January, after watching a Knicks national telecast with Jeff Van Gundy as one of the announcers, I was struck by a thing Van Gundy said, which essentially was every team had invested heavily into player development so at the end of the day, how much guys improve is determined by how much work they put in.

How much work are Brett Baty and Mark Vientos putting in to improve their fielding? We heard that Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto were defensive liabilities and that Juan Lagares would be stretched if asked to play center field in the majors. Were these scouting reports wrong or did the three players put in the work?

No doubt it’s unfair to judge Teufel by the defensive reputations of two prospects. Their poor fielding reps may have been completely unrelated to his dismissal. But, if I were the minor league infield coordinator, I’d pay extra attention to guys on the cusp of the majors who were supposedly lacking in the area which was my responsibility.

10 comments on “Wednesday catch-all thread (10/19/22)

  • ChrisF

    I cant help but wonder about Zack Wheeler and how much he has changed since leaving the Mets. As we see a parade of lower level folks being axed today, after seeing what Wheeler just did versus against the Padres, one cant help but imagine about the lack of talent identification, but more importantly development. This ties in directly with the forthcoming crew of high prospects, like Alvarez, Baty, Mauricio, and even Vientos – will they reach their potential in Queens.

    Returning to Wheeler, one must be astonished at his changes since leaving NY. He was one of our “aces” yet barely ever could manage a full season of quality pitching. He struggled in early innings, accruing large pitch counts, and not giving QS after QS. THe change in his metrics in PHL is staggering (post TJS where he lost 15 and 16):
    17, IP=86, ERA+=79, WHIP=1.587, ERA=5.03
    18, IP=182, ERA+=112, WHIP=1.124, ERA=3.25
    19, IP=195, ERA+=103, WHIP=1.259, ERA=3.48
    20, IP=71, ERA+=154, WHIP=1.169, ERA=2.92
    21, IP=213, ERA+=150, WHIP=1.008, ERA=2.78
    22, IP=153, ERA+=144, WHIP=1.039, ERA=2.82

    Add to this his K/BB ratio has nearly doubled.

    I did not advocate for bringing back Wheeler. At the time he seemed extremely expensive for a mid-rotation starter. Nothing in his numbers as a Met (except for streaks where he was great) foretold more than occasional dominance, yet here he is as good as anyone we can throw out there, and pretty durable. He pitched much better than anyone we threw at SD.

    So is the curious case of Zack Wheeler (who I was super lucky to meet at a Mets game in ATL one time), just a change of scenery win for for PHL or did they see something greater that they could correct that was just invisible to Mets coaching?

    Id like to know what people think.

    • BoomBoom

      I thought he was pretty damn good his last 2 seasons and dominant for long stretches at a time. But the Wilpons were cheap and I don’t think he wanted to sign with us anyway. Apparently in 2015 when he was on the IL, they basically told him if he wanted to see the team play in the world series, he had to buy his own tickets to which he reportedly said, “I’ll never forget that.”

    • Brian Joura

      This is clearly a case of why you should look at advanced numbers. Wheeler had a 4.2 and a 4.6 fWAR in his last two years with the Mets. And what did he do this year with the Phillies? He posted a 4.1 fWAR.

      The Wheeler story has absolutely nothing to do with development. It’s a complete failure of Brodie Van Wagenen to know what he had. BVW didn’t think Wheeler was worth what the Phillies gave him. He’s been worth considerably more.

      • Steve_S.

        Exactly, Brian!

      • Mike W

        Good solid pitching is tough to come by. Where would we be if we resigned Wheeler and coughed up the money for JT Realmuto? Now we are looking down the barrel of four starters walking away and no really promising young guns coming up soon from the minors.

        We really need some crafty moves this off season to fill a roster with players to win 100 games again. Basically, we need at least three bona-fide starters, one of which may need to fill deGroms shoes, a center fielder, a power bat to complement Alonso and several bona-fide relievers. That alone feels like a rebuild. It may be very difficult to refill the empty roster slots with players who may equal what the players who may Leave did.

        It sure will be interesting.

      • ChrisF

        Wheeler’s bWAR for the same years was:
        17 bWAR=0.2
        18 bWAR=3.6
        19 bWAR=3.3

        20 Does Not Count
        21 bWAR=7.5
        22 bWAR=5.0

        There is no evidence that Wheeler was going to be what he is on the Phillies. He’s made a massive jump in Philadelphia.

        • Brian Joura

          This is a comically bad take.

          You’re shown the exact evidence you’re looking for, you throw out something else and then claim, “There is no evidence…”

          C’mon Chris – this Politician Debate 101 stuff doesn’t work here.

          • ChrisF

            Not at all. WAR is a sort of “joke” because it is calculated in the eye of the beholder – that bWAR and fWAR are not the same basically says that its a semi-quantitative expression loaded with all kinds of squish. ERA is ERA, not dependent on who calculates it.

            On the Mets, Wheeler was barely the player we see in Phl, just like the performance numbers I posted originally.

            Essentially what you are saying is we should stop looking at things outside of fWAR, which I find ridiculous. No matter the version of WAR you use, those other hard numbers changed dramatically in PHL, dems the facts!

            • Brian Joura

              If I said someone was lousy and you said – look at his bWAR, I would do just that and revise my position. I don’t think bWAR is as good as fWAR, but it is good.

              I used to play fantasy football with this guy who would draft off this online service. And then, he would compare everyone’s draft off the same service and he always came out with the highest grade. But he never won the league in the 11 years he was in before he gave up. He never could understand if you use the same inputs, you’re going to get the same answer – that his draft was great.

              bWAR is using ERA. You can’t post his ERA and then his bWAR and then say – see! Or else you’re making the same error as my fantasy football friend.

              FIP-based fWAR gets you to a better answer because it strips away the good fortune of ERA and gets you to the quality of pitching that the player actually did. So you could tell in 2018 and 2019 that Wheeler was elite. And not let him walk because you didn’t understand that his performance was better than just his ERA.

  • Footballhead

    I second Brian’s ascertain that BVW completely failed regarding Wheeler. I know that none of us will ever know the “inside scoop & thinking” behind managements decisions regarding personnel, but why such a culture of potentially alienating useful players exists to begin with? I thought the decision to not retain Wheeler was bad, and will haunt us even more as he continues to improve and sticks it to us. Will letting Walker go also be such a mistake? How about Bassitt?

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