The number 666 is associated with the devil. Be that as it may, a .666 OPS is pretty bad. No one on the Mets currently has a .666 OPS but there are plenty of guys who are doing worse. And here they are:

.657 – Mark Canha, 128 PA
.639 – Omar Narvaez, 17 PA
.584 – Starling Marte, 125 PA
.572 – Luis Guillorme, 59 PA
.571 – Eduardo Escobar, 69 PA
.300 – Tim Locastro, 10 PA
.266 – Tomas Nido, 55 PA

That’s 463 PA that are beyond evil. For a comparison, the Braves have 272 PA from players with an OPS of .666 or worse.

The Mets have already upgraded from poor performance at C and 3B. The question becomes what they plan to do with their outfield corners. Marte had a two-hit game yesterday, so maybe he’s going to heat up. Does anyone have similar hopes for Canha? Last year, Canha had a poor year hitting for power, slugging like a backup middle infielder from April to July and then again in September.

This year, Canha has done slightly better in the power department, upgrading from backup middle infielder to below-average league-hitter. He sports a .144 ISO, compared to a .159 league average in the category. Of course, the issue is that your corner outfielders should be providing above-average power, as they should be better than the catchers and backup infielders.

But while Canha is doing better in power, He’s hitting 50 points worse in AVG than he did last year, when he was not really fantastic in the category. He didn’t have 25 points to lose, much less 50. So, do the Mets hope for some positive regression in BABIP from Canha? That’s not an unreasonable position.

Neither is it unreasonable for the Mets to look for a solution that puts Canha on the bench and Guillorme and/or Escobar off the team.

12 comments on “Wednesday catch-all thread (5/10/23)

  • Metsense

    Regarding the corner outfield position: they’re getting old. Marte and Canha are 34 and Pham 35. Marte has 2.80 years on his contract at $57.7m. Cahna has $ 9.2m on his contract and Pham has $ 4.8m remaining on his contract. Obviously the Mets have more invested in Marte so they should play him more than Canha or Pham. The simple solution of this dilemma is play McNeil in the corners, and play Marte the majority of the time in right field, have Canha and Pham split the RH DH and promote Mauricio and option Guillorme. Guillorme will still be in the organization and Escobar would be the utility infielder. Escobar has $7.6m remaining on his contract. Maybe Eppler can trade one of their veterans for “some” value instead of DFA them and promote Vientos.

    • Brian Joura

      The problem with that is Canha has reverse platoon splits. Lifetime, his OPS is 34 points lower against LHP than RHP. Last year it was 99 points worse against LHP. This year he’s slightly better versus lefties, but that has much more to do with him being terrible against RHP than anything special versus lefties.

      Like he is overall, Pham is being saved by his HR versus LHP this year. He has 3 HR in 45 AB versus lefties which is great. Yet even with that, Pham has just a .716 OPS versus LHP. If he’s not homering, he’s hurting you.

  • deegrove84

    You know my solution is to move Canha to the bench and promote Ronny Mauricio. Canha would get more playing time than a typical sub getting spot starts for Marte, McNeil and Nimmo so that everyone stays rested but Mauricio looks too good to keep under wraps.

    That’s the easy action for the Mets to take. The tougher one relates to Mark Vientos and Daniel Vogelbach. Vogey isn’t playing “badly” and he’s been a productive hitter in the lineup but he can only hit righties. Vientos is hitting an absurd number of home runs in AAA and looks ready to be the right-handed half of the platoon but I hate giving a prospect less than a third of the playing time. What do you think about having Vientos get 50% of the starts and 100% vs LHP?

    • Brian Joura

      I don’t have any problem calling up Vientos just to be the righty-hitting DH, much less with additional playing time.

      I wouldn’t have called up Brett Baty to fill that limited of a role. But that’s because I view Baty as an All-Star type player. Same thing with Alvarez, although I wanted him to make the club out of ST as the righty DH and part-time catcher, figuring he would get more starts behind the plate as the season progressed.

      But with Vientos, who already has a full season at Triple-A, this was his best chance to have a role as a contributor for the Mets. If the Mets re-sign Alonso, he’s not starting for the club at either 1B or 3B. And if they move on from Vogelbach, they’ll likely look for a guy who can fill the role full-time, not another RHP-only option. What are the odds they would use Vientos in that role, without at least a look to see how he could handle the short side of the platoon role first?

      I’m not going to blast the Mets for not calling up Vientos right now, although I think that’s what they should do. Pham’s here and he’s shown the ability to hit some homers. Give him some time to hit some more or provide value at times when he isn’t going deep. But I wouldn’t give Pham a whole lot of time, since it seems predestined how this particular story is going to play out.

      • deegrove84

        Some Vientos 2023 tidbits:

        Vientos has not had a full series against a team this season without two home runs being tallied by him.

        Vientos’ OPS is almost 100 points higher vs. RHP this season (typically this is not the case)

        He is under an average of 1 strikeout per game and draws walks in half of his outings.

        All other split stats get a bit silly this early in the season.

  • AgingBull

    I am curious what those who follow this more closely than me think about this notion that I see bandied about on social media: The Mets underestimated both Baty and Alvarez. Specifically, the criticism was that they could not play defense at an acceptable MLB level. After about a month or so, this is turning out to be quite wrong. Are they similarly underestimating Vientos and Mauricio?

    This seems pretty plausible to me. However, I would agree that if the position players were playing to their norm and if the starters were not decimated, this would not even be a topic for discussion.

    What say you?

  • T.J.

    The Mets pitching is pretty awful and unless that makes a dramatic u-turn real soon it won’t matter much if the bats heat up.

    That said, the Mets absolutely cannot let Cahna, Pham, and/or Vogelbach standing the way of Vientos and Mauricio. Vientos especially, he has graduated AAA regardless of not having a home defensively.

    Despite many considering this a World Series team, mostly due to the obscene payroll, I can live with the team coming up short due to pitching health, but then they need to get these kids settled into the bigs and then focus on pitching in the offseason.

    • BrianJ

      “Mets absolutely cannot let Cahna, Pham, and/or Vogelbach standing the way”

      One of these things is not like the other, as Vogelbach is one of three players on the club – along with Alonso and Nimmo – to have an .800 OPS.

      • T.J.

        Agreed. But, if the Mets fade out of contention, I’d prefer ABs going to prospects.

  • John Fox

    Here’s a real catch-all comment: I was watching the Jeopardy Masters Tournament and one of the competitors, Sam Buttrey said he was a Mets fan, and he had had tickets to the epic game 6 of the “86 series.. except being a pessimist, he sold them. At least he was smart enough to keep them for game 7, and he saw that one in person

  • NYM6986

    I’m not a Vogelbach fan but his numbers are certainly adequate when compared to many DH. The problem is that he is one dimensional and watching him chug from first to third last night was almost an out waiting to happen. He is perfectly fit for a LH PH off the bench. Guillorme should be sent down to Syracuse, with Mauricio brought up for 2B, McNeil sent out to LF and Canha to the bench. Not sure why older players just get old so quickly one day, but once you cross the 30 threshold it happens a lot. Just look at Marte. Vientos should spell Alonso at first with Pete playing some days at the DH. Vientos then moves to the RH DH spot and we move Pham out if we need to. Escobar is still a valuable bench piece.
    The bottom line is that some of these moves would not be imminent if we had some consistent starting pitching, something Verlander finally showed up last night. Senga today for an elusive series win, something we did almost every series last season.

  • Woodrow

    The !ets hitting has been terrible and if it doesn’t straighten out it doesn’t matter if the starters get healthy and bounce back.

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