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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Lagares helps Colon, Mets down Gio in DC

It could not have been pleasant for Juan Lagares to spend most of this week confined to the bench, helpless to stop the Mets from spiraling further into a losing muck. Manager Terry Collins kept insisting that Lagares was his starting center fielder, but Lagares didn’t play. A relatively minor two-week slump had effectively stripped him of his job.

On Saturday, Lagares set a rather explosive plan in motion to win it back. Homering, driving in three runs and robbing a home run on defense, Lagares carried Bartolo Colon and the Mets to a 5-2 win over the Nationals.

“I know I can play,” Lagares said. “That’s what I do. That’s what I’m here for.”

Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: May 17, 2014 at 09:06 PM | 38 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: juan lagares, mets

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   1. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: May 18, 2014 at 02:16 AM (#4709018)
Lagares was benched for much of this week for a minislump. On one hand, Lagres has the second highest OPS+ on the team even after that minislump. On the other, his plate discipline was the reason cited for the benching and he's probably been a bit lucky this year with a BABIP in the .375 zone. He's not going to keep his OPS+ around 120 with his peripheral numbers.

Bottom line, he's certainly a plus centerfielder and if he can keep his OBP above .300, he is going to be worth keeping in the lineup.
   2. Lassus Posted: May 18, 2014 at 07:41 AM (#4709032)
Russlan, I'm not going to be as fair. The benching was a mistake made by old people who thought that other old people would do a better job than a young person, because the old people were older.

I can see no other sense in the benching.
   3. bobm Posted: May 18, 2014 at 09:07 AM (#4709040)
All small sample size, but you can't wait if you think you want to fix a demonstrated problem

http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/mets/post/_/id/86827/espn-stats-breaks-down-lagares-at-plate

By Adam Rubin | May 17, 2014 10:44:50 AM PDT

WASHINGTON -- There is no disputing Juan Lagares' success at the plate has slowed down. After a three-hit game on May 4 at Coors Field, Lagares was hitting .338. Since then, he is 5-for-27 in 11 games (six starts).

Terry Collins cited Lagares' propensity to chase pitches out of the strike zone as a concern because opposing pitchers are exploiting it.

[Graphic: A look at the pitch location of Juan Lagares' eight outs on pitches that were outside the strike zone since May 5.]

Still, according to ESPN Stats & Information's Mark Simon, Lagares actually is chasing pitches outside the strike zone (and missing on those swings) at a lower rate of late:

Through May 4 -- 34 percent chase rate, and missed on 39 percent of chases.

Since May 5 -- 31 percent chase rate, and missed on 24 percent of chases.

However, there's more to that analysis ...

Through May 4, Lagares had seven base hits on 46 swings at pitches out of the zone.

Since May 5, he has zero base hits on 21 swings at pitches out of the zone.

The Mets encourage as a philosophy selectivity at the plate -- swinging at pitches in your wheelhouse in the zone to maximize the ability to drive the ball.
   4. formerly dp Posted: May 18, 2014 at 10:25 AM (#4709056)
What's more puzzling to me is the decision to call up Flores, install him as the starting SS for 2 games, and then give the job back to Tejada because the latter managed to string together 2 good games. Collins just does weird and inexplicable things with his regulars. I'm a fan of having Wilmer in the majors, but not if he's going to sit for 5 straight games (apparently, he had whatever strain of ebola was going around the clubhouse last weekend, and wasn't available Sunday, but he should have started at least one game in the Yankee series.

The Farnsworth story seems to have passed without comment on BTF-- any thoughts?
   5. Lassus Posted: May 18, 2014 at 11:57 AM (#4709088)
The Farnsworth story seems to have passed without comment on BTF-- any thoughts?

I hate Farnsworth, but it actually seems pretty pointless to waste a decent situational reliever against righties if you just didn't want him to be closer. So, yeah, honestly, that seemed stupid, too. I guess there was money involved? Was it really so much his decent results weren't worth keeping him around as a ROOGY or whatever?
   6. formerly dp Posted: May 18, 2014 at 12:27 PM (#4709101)
I guess there was money involved? Was it really so much his decent results weren't worth keeping him around as a ROOGY or whatever?
According to Newsday, it saved them $850K:
On March 26, Farnsworth agreed to a minor-league deal with the Mets after they had released him three days earlier. He was called up April 2 and his contract became a major-league deal for $1 million. But unlike most MLB player contracts, it was not guaranteed for the whole season.
That's because of the advance consent clause, MLB's little-known version of the NBA's 10-day contract.
The clause allowed the Mets to send Farnsworth down at any time within 45 days of his first day on the team with his contract reverting back to a minor-league deal at minor-league pay. That deadline was Saturday.
It is something the Mets pushed for in negotiations; Farnsworth didn't have to agree to it, but then the Mets could have simply not signed him. (Farnsworth signed with the Astros Saturday and earned a hold despite being roughed up by the White Sox.)

This part seems a little shady:
Alderson said the Mets simply preferred Matsuzaka and Jose Valverde to Farnsworth when they needed a roster space to add one of their prized young pitchers.
But when asked if the decision to option Farnsworth was guided by finances, Alderson said: "I guess what I would say is that there's a financial element to every decision that we make."

I would prefer having Farnsworth around over Valverde, but the difference probably won't be that pronounced.
   7. Lassus Posted: May 18, 2014 at 12:42 PM (#4709109)
I would prefer having Farnsworth around over Valverde, but the difference probably won't be that pronounced.

I guess I would disagree. On a scale of 1-10, if Farnsworth's a 4, Valverde's still a 2.
   8. formerly dp Posted: May 18, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4709121)
I guess I would disagree. On a scale of 1-10, if Farnsworth's a 4, Valverde's still a 2.
My point was more that the Mets seem intent on moving to an arrangement where they're not using either in high-leverage situations. We'll be seeing Familia and Mejia in the 8th/9th, and deGrom would be in the mix there too if Gee hadn't gone down. German was striking out a batter an inning before he went down (Dice-K's got a higher k rate, but has walked 15 in 17 innings).
   9. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: May 18, 2014 at 03:21 PM (#4709165)
[4] Flores was supposedly sick for a little more than you're saying, but your point still stands. I'm sick of looking at Tejada.
   10. formerly dp Posted: May 18, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4709167)
Flores was supposedly sick for a little more than you're saying
Did not realize that-- read about it on Sunday but then didn't see another mention of it. Tejada has looked better at SS over the past week (aside from the error today), but in his limited time there, Flores hasn't looked appreciably worse. And the microscope's definitely focused. If the org has decided his best shot at being a Met is at SS, he should be playing every day there *somewhere*-- and I don't think he has much more to prove with the bat at AAA.
   11. Lassus Posted: May 18, 2014 at 03:44 PM (#4709171)
I don't see the point to putting Flores at a position that he can't play.
   12. formerly dp Posted: May 18, 2014 at 04:00 PM (#4709176)
I don't see the point to putting Flores at a position that he can't play.
After watching him at Vegas for the first month and a half of the season, the club thinks he can handle it. Hernandez and co. have been positive on him so far. And Flores has logged, by far, more games at SS than any other position (478 at SS, 107 at 2B, 91 at 3B, and 19 at 1B). Tejada had 3 good games (or what count for good games, after setting the bar low enough that anything short of an o-fer goes in the "good" column), and is hitting .190 on the year with an OB% that only manages to look not disastrous because of 5 intentional walks.
   13. Lassus Posted: May 18, 2014 at 07:26 PM (#4709262)
No, I understand all that about Tejada. My statement in #11 is utterly independent of Tejada. I'm not sure that if Tejada gets hit by a bus tomorrow their best bet is Flores at SS. If he had almost 500 games at SS, why was it presented as such a WELLLLLLLLLLLL I guess we'll put him at SS, but..... I mean, that was the mood of the news.

I'll be happy to put him there, but I do wonder if it's going to work.
   14. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 18, 2014 at 07:40 PM (#4709270)
"I guess what I would say is that there's a financial element to every decision that we make."

Haven't the Mets been denying that for the last few years?
   15. formerly dp Posted: May 18, 2014 at 07:53 PM (#4709274)
If he had almost 500 games at SS, why was it presented as such a WELLLLLLLLLLLL I guess we'll put him at SS, but..... I mean, that was the mood of the news.
I'd be curious to know what changed their thinking-- I don't think Flores got as big and powerful as they were projecting, and they did ask him to work on his conditioning over the winter to prepare for the move back. From all accounts, Flores is Tejada's mirror in terms of work ethic (if we take people in the org at their words on both; I've never understood the complaints with Tejeda, but they keep coming up repeatedly, and he's gotten worse at baseball instead of better).
I'll be happy to put him there, but I do wonder if it's going to work.
It's an open question, no doubt. But they're not going to get an answer to it by starting Tejada ahead of him, and I guess I'm still of the mindset that the real push toward contention will come once Harvey returns in 2015.

Wheeler needs to get right quickly. I'm confident these are just small bumps along his path to awesomedom, but it still hurts going over them.
   16. boteman Posted: May 18, 2014 at 11:36 PM (#4709321)
Lagares carried Bartolo Colon and the Mets to a 5-2 win over the Nationals.

Any guy who can carry Bartolo Colon has earned my respeck!!
   17. formerly dp Posted: May 19, 2014 at 09:27 AM (#4709395)
Ruben's down to .185/.302/.222, good for a 53 OPS+. Going back to last year, he's now got a .196/.274/.247 line in his last 95 games.
   18. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: May 19, 2014 at 10:34 AM (#4709426)
I don't see the point to putting Flores at a position that he can't play.


This reminds me a little of when Murph started at 2B. Everybody knew Murph had a decent bat and he didn't really have a spot in the field with 3B blocked. He's settled in and become a passable (though by no means good) second baseman, and his bat is an advantage there. While putting Flores would only compound the defensive shortcomings (seeing eye grounders would be fruitful and multiply!), I'd be willing to live with that since it'd be a net plus over what we have.
   19. Lassus Posted: May 19, 2014 at 10:43 AM (#4709430)
This reminds me a little of when Murph started at 2B. Everybody knew Murph had a decent bat and he didn't really have a spot in the field with 3B blocked. He's settled in and become a passable (though by no means good) second baseman, and his bat is an advantage there. While putting Flores would only compound the defensive shortcomings (seeing eye grounders would be fruitful and multiply!), I'd be willing to live with that since it'd be a net plus over what we have.

This is definitely a good point. But there it seemed there was always an element of "hey, you never know, he could do it" with Murph at 2B because, well, he had never really done it before, so you REALLY had no idea. With Flores (to me, maybe, and nobody else) the way he was proposed at SS was so lukewarm after he'd already played there a ton it's simply kind of difficult for me to be excited or intrigued by the prospect.

BUT, given how crap crap crappy Tejada is, it's basically moot - it's hard to imagine the defense and offense won't work out to be better than Tejada. Despite my love of Ruben and my FO-fueled impression of Flores, it's time for a switch.
   20. formerly dp Posted: May 19, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4709454)
With Flores (to me, maybe, and nobody else) the way he was proposed at SS was so lukewarm after he'd already played there a ton it's simply kind of difficult for me to be excited or intrigued by the prospect.
I think that's probably a widely shared attitude. But I think a few things happened with all of the moves: 1) Wright was no sure bet to stay in the org, and IIRC Flores was moved to 3B as a potential long-term replacement, maybe a bit sooner than his performance warranted, 2) the move to 2B was an experiment, once they locked up Wright, to try to find him a spot and possibly make Murphy expendable (they weirdly profile as similar players, at least in terms of slash line and defensive limits), and 3) I think Alderson, during the Reyes era, really thought Tejada would be a .350 OBP player with better defense than Jose, and that's part of what made Reyes expendable-- Alderson at one point indicated that he didn't think there was a $15-$20M dropoff in performance from Reyes to whoever would take his place, and at the time, Tejada was the only successor.

Not saying that people didn't always talk about Flores as someone who would need to be moved off SS-- just pulled out my BPro from 2009-- after comparing him to Miguel Cabrera: "like Cabrera, Flores will grow out of the position, but the bat is good enough to play anywhere". Well, the second part of that statement definitely isn't true, and I also don't think he grew as much as was expected, but maybe not: 6'3" 175 lbs in the 2009 Bpro, to 6'3" 205 lbs according to B-ref.
   21. billyshears Posted: May 19, 2014 at 11:43 AM (#4709475)
This season has really gone south in a hurry. Nothing that we needed to happen to make us feel better about the next 3-4 years has actually happened.
   22. formerly dp Posted: May 19, 2014 at 12:06 PM (#4709492)
This season has really gone south in a hurry. Nothing that we needed to happen to make us feel better about the next 3-4 years has actually happened.
Puello hit .444/.542/.722 this past week. I know he was pretty terrible for the first few weeks, but it's a long season and he's adjusting to a new level. Nimmo's at .331/.462/.450. Other than that, I got nothing...
   23. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: May 19, 2014 at 12:19 PM (#4709504)
Jacob DeGrom and Rafael Montero making their debuts in the big leagues? Mejia showing flashes as both a starter and a reliever? Gee and Niese pitching well? Syndergaard more than holding his own in AAA?

I'm pretty confident that the Mets are going to have a pretty good pitching staff over the next few years. Not so optimistic about the position players.
   24. Lassus Posted: May 19, 2014 at 12:23 PM (#4709508)
We're 3 games under .500. That's just not that far south. I mean, it's crappy, but it's not THAT awful.
   25. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: May 19, 2014 at 12:34 PM (#4709516)
It would be helpful if Wright would start hitting.
   26. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: May 19, 2014 at 12:56 PM (#4709537)
Dilson Herrera is hitting .317/.358/.403 as a 20 year old 2B in the FSL.
   27. formerly dp Posted: May 19, 2014 at 01:27 PM (#4709557)
We're 3 games under .500. That's just not that far south. I mean, it's crappy, but it's not THAT awful.
Yeah, it's a winning streak away from respectability, the Dodgers have looked pretty mediocre against all of their not D-back opponents, the D-backs' pitching should make even the Met hitters look good, and the Pirates are struggling.
   28. billyshears Posted: May 19, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4709580)
We're 3 games under .500. That's just not that far south. I mean, it's crappy, but it's not THAT awful.


It's not so much the overall performance as the way the team has gotten there that is concerning. Murphy has been the best offensive player, but he is about to get expensive and he is also the position player for whom we have the most readily available replacement (Flores). Niese and Gee have been excellent, but their peripherals don't really support their performance. What the team really needed was for Wheeler and Mejia to step up, Granderson to approximate some version of his 20011-2012 form, Duda to hit like a decent 1b and for Tejada to be a cromulent SS. None of that has happened. Lagares seems to have made some progress, but the team doesn't seem to want to play him all that much. The record looks ok, and it's a long season, but so far none of the long term questions are any closer to being answered in a good way.
   29. formerly dp Posted: May 19, 2014 at 02:13 PM (#4709604)
Lagares seems to have made some progress, but the team doesn't seem to want to play him all that much.
This confuses me. Collins has a weird fetish for the Youngs, neither of whom are anything more than placeholders. Lagares has an OPS north of .800, the other 3 are in the .600-.650 range. Don't get it at all.

I thought Granderson had turned the corner, but not at all, and Duda's making me pine for some Ike Davis (.263/.378/.382 since the trade, not setting the world on fire...).
   30. Lassus Posted: May 19, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4709610)
This confuses me.

I'd switch that to "infuriates".

It is depressing that no one who is supposed to be able to hit is actually able to hit.
   31. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: May 19, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4709616)
To be fair to Eric Young, he has been scoring runs. His baserunning adds value that his OPS isn't going to show. Lagares should be the starting CF but Young has been playing OK where he should get AB at the expense of the other Young and Granderson.
   32. PreservedFish Posted: May 19, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4709630)
Lagares should play every day. Granderson should play every day. The Youngs should be platooning. That is all.
   33. Lassus Posted: May 19, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4709631)
Collins Bristles at Lagares Questions
''He has been an everyday player,'' Collins said. ''He got into a little bit of a funk. It's not like I sat him for seven days. I sat him for two days, for cripes sake. We're getting a little carried away here. Somebody gets a day off and it's like the sky's falling in. It's not. He's the center fielder.''
''In my opinion, this is what the market is here. If I give Grandy a day off, he's 'benched.' If I give C.Y. a day off, he's 'benched.' If I give Juan a day off, he's 'benched.' That's not really the case. I know you've got to sell newspapers, so do what you've got to say,'' Collins told reporters.
   34. Mark S. is bored Posted: May 19, 2014 at 02:52 PM (#4709636)
Dilson Herrera is hitting .317/.358/.403 as a 20 year old 2B in the FSL.


Gavin Cecchini is hitting .268/.335/.418 as a 20 year old SS in Savannah.
   35. formerly dp Posted: May 19, 2014 at 03:22 PM (#4709665)
The Youngs should be platooning. That is all.
CY's a career .260/.362/.470 hitter against LHP. The other Young is about even in his career splits, but he's hit better as a lefty this year.
==
I would be more sympathetic to Collins if he were telling the truth:
I sat him for two days, for cripes sake.
He sat 4 out of 5 games, under the auspices of trying to get more offense into the lineup, in spite of the fact that he has been their best-hitting OF for the entire season. I don't think Lagares' line so far is indicative of his ability, but there's nothing in Chris Young's recent past that suggests he's any better.
   36. Lassus Posted: May 19, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4709730)
Yeah, I want to be sympathetic to managers getting questioned daily, but Collins' responses really don't give much to work with.
   37. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: May 22, 2014 at 12:49 PM (#4711463)
So, ehh, this team sucks huh?
   38. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 22, 2014 at 01:47 PM (#4711522)
So, ehh, this team sucks huh?


Be a pessimist, stuff like this won't get you down and a pessimist, unlike an optimist, can be pleasantly surprised...

Dilson Herrera is hitting .328/.366/.433 as a 20 year old 2B in the FSL.

How's his glove anyone know? all I could find are scattered comments about him not likely sticking at SS....

What about Jeff McNeil? He's been old for his leagues but not TAHT old, now at .335/.416/.452 in his career

Steven Matz drafted in 1999 is now up to 180 pro innings, and has a 199/69 k/bb and a 2.35 ERA (only 5 HR allowed in 180 ip)

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