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Monday, July 14, 2014

New York Post:  Familar Cry of ‘Ya Gotta Believe’ Begins to Ring out Again

The Mets’ pythagorian record right now is 50-45.  Are they secretly good, or is there a talent-related reason they are so far below that record at 45-50?  Wright, Granderson, and D’Arnaud have all begun to live up to expectations. Murphy is better than expected.  Lagares has continued to perform at a high level. The starters have been solid, though oversold as a team strength.

Conventional wisdom is that with a record so divergent from the run differential, we should expect a strong second half.  Has Sandy been unfairly vilified?

Arbitol Dijaler Posted: July 14, 2014 at 09:49 AM | 44 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 10:43 AM (#4749939)
They look secretly above average to me.

Conventional wisdom is that with a record so divergent from the run differential, we should expect a strong second half.


Well... stronger, yes; you'd expect them to play at a 50-45 pace the rest of the way and finish right around .500. But that might change if, for instance, you expect them to be getting a good player or two back from the DL or up from the minors. Might change the other way if they've been spectacularly healthy, or if several divisional opponents are the ones soon to add good players.
   2. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: July 14, 2014 at 10:46 AM (#4749943)
.500 would be a breath of fresh air for the fanbase. Shades of the historic 2005 season.
   3. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 10:53 AM (#4749948)
To my mind they're playing over their heads, particularly some of the pitchers. On offense, Duda is playing at the top of his range, although the catcher can be expected to hit better going forward. They've also gotten 120 bizarrely unexpected above-average PA from Bobby Abreu, who as far as I can tell didn't even play anywhere last year after washing out of the league.

I just don't think you can be a good team with this offense.
   4. Conor Posted: July 14, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4749963)
To my mind they're playing over their heads, particularly some of the pitchers. On offense, Duda is playing at the top of his range, although the catcher can be expected to hit better going forward. They've also gotten 120 bizarrely unexpected above-average PA from Bobby Abreu, who as far as I can tell didn't even play anywhere last year after washing out of the league.

I just don't think you can be a good team with this offense.


I tend to agree with this, though if you want to be optimistic, Wright is playing at the bottom end of his range. (And he's been hot to even get to a 118 wRC+)

But as a Met fan I think I can begin to see a contending team coming together, maybe as early as next year. Duda is probably at the top end of his range, but he's got a career 120 wRC+ and he's been jerked around the diamond, I definitely think it's possible he might have a little more upside than the career line suggests (not a lot, but a 125-130 wRC+ doesn't seem ridiculous to me to expect for next year) If D'Arnaud is closer to the guy he has been since he was called up (and his track record indicates that he is), the offense is at least coming together. Wright, Duda, Granderson, Murphy, and D'Arnaud. Lagares is probably not a 108 wRC+ guy, but the glove is outstanding, he's a player. Leaves you really needing another corner OF and a SS. If the money and/or trade assets are there to upgrade those positions, you could be looking at a possible contender next year. Hopefully I'm not getting my hopes up too much.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4749969)
But as a Met fan I think I can begin to see a contending team coming together, maybe as early as next year.

If they're willing to spend a little in the off-season, I agree.
   6. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: July 14, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4749974)
They've also gotten 120 bizarrely unexpected above-average PA from Bobby Abreu


Yes, but per bWAR, his defense has him below replacement level. If you thought he was horrid before he took a year off ...
   7. formerly dp Posted: July 14, 2014 at 11:34 AM (#4749978)
The team had a terrible pen at the start of the season; they've managed to restock it with some young arms from within the org. Colon has been up and down, but the other vets have been rock solid when healthy, and after the break, they'll have both Gee and Niese back healthy, neither of whom has done anything unprecedented this year. Matsuzaka has been better than anyone expected, but he'll go back to the pen with everyone healthy. Wheeler and deGrom are both inconsistent, which is fair to expect with young pitchers, but they each have the talent to continue their recent success-- obviously you have to figure on some bumps on the road while they learn.

This is a team that got essentially nothing out of C, LF, CF, and SS for much of the season. They have been unwatchable for long stretches at a time. But with d'Arnaud coming around and Wright hopefully no longer playing hurt (cortisone shot over the ASB), and with the Youngs pushed to reserve OFs, I think it's reasonable to expect them to improve a bit at those positions. I've been reluctant to come back around on Tejada, but he's got a .380 ob% since May 11, and even though that's a bit inflated by IBB, he's not as dependent on them as he was in that first month. Alderson has said that Flores and/or Reynolds could be up in the second half to help the production out of the SS spot.

The difference this year, to me, is that the starters seem to be going deeper into games, meaning that the bullpen should hopefully be a little more fresh going into the second half. Hopefully that'll help.

I'd be happy with a .500+ record in 2014, but on the whole this is a youngish team where it counts, and there's room for players at key positions to take steps forward.

ETA: Abreu's line is right around where it was 2010-2012: .252/.352/.392 then (pushed up by a .435 slugging in '10) vs .267/.352/.381 now. It's impressive that he's doing it at 40 after a year off, but not out of line with what he had done in years previous. Of course, the fact that the Mets have had 122 PAs to give him is a sign that things went terribly, terribly wrong with Plans A, B, and C at the corners in the first half...
   8. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 11:50 AM (#4749993)
To me Tejada is just someone you want to try to replace.
   9. formerly dp Posted: July 14, 2014 at 12:01 PM (#4750006)
To me Tejada is just someone you want to try to replace.
For next year, sure. But right now, the plan seems to be letting Flores get regular ABs at Vegas and prioritizing fielding over hitting at SS. If the rest of the offense is producing, they can live with a weak-hitting, high OB%, glove-first guy at SS. They have Herrera and Reynolds coming up through the org as replacements going into 2015. As I've said in the past, I would be totally good putting Flores at SS for a month and seeing how it goes, but with the team playing well, they're not going to mess with the formula.
   10. Jeltzandini Posted: July 14, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4750023)
This slightly below .500 team might secretly be a slightly above .500 team. What happens next will blow your mind.
   11. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: July 14, 2014 at 12:17 PM (#4750029)
We need to talk about deGrom a little bit. Prior to this season, he was definitely less well thought of than Wheeler, Syndergaard, and Montero and he's had the best season so far. He's 26 but he's only been pitching for like 5 years so he might have some more upside than the typical guy his age. He has good enough stuff that he can be a good starter.

Syndergaard has been pitching in Las Vegas so his ERA is ugly. His k/9, k/bb ratios are pretty good. HR/9 is OK but h/9 is pretty awful. Hard to say what that means in LV. Montero is having a little bit of a lost season. Not great in his MLB debut, been hurt. Wheeler has had an up and down year. Still shwoing the potential and his peripherals are better than his performances. I'm not unhappy with his year so far.

Dillon Gee continues to be awesome.

dArnaud has been better and finally looks like he'll be a starting calibre catcher. Perhaps some slack has to be given considering how much time he has missed the last few years. Plawecki has been good so far this year although better in AA than AAA. Good year so far.

Wilmer Flores continues to be purgatory. Puello has been awful although perhaps a little bit better recently.

Steven Matz is suddenly in AA and has pitched quite well. Could be ready sometime next year.

Matt Reynolds and Dilson Herrera have had really good years and could arguably replace Murphy/Tejada as soon as next year.

Brandon Nimmo is seemingly the only outfiled prospect the Mets have. Has been really good overall this year.

The Mets aren't going to make the playoffs this year but overall this has been a good year so far. I actually think the future is relatively bright.

I really am interested on what the Mets will do regarding Murphy before next season. I'd actually like to see them move Murphy if they can get good value for him, doesn't have to be great. Same thing with Colon.
   12. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: July 14, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4750053)



This slightly below .500 team might secretly be a slightly above .500 team. What happens next will blow your mind.


If they are secretly a slightly above .500 team, consider my mind blown.
   13. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4750075)
For next year, sure. But right now, the plan seems to be letting Flores get regular ABs at Vegas and prioritizing fielding over hitting at SS. If the rest of the offense is producing, they can live with a weak-hitting, high OB%, glove-first guy at SS.


I don't know; per b-r he's an average-fielding SS, nothing more. Perhaps the other metrics say something else. But if that's the case then I really do need more offense from him.
   14. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 01:38 PM (#4750077)

I really am interested on what the Mets will do regarding Murphy before next season. I'd actually like to see them move Murphy if they can get good value for him, doesn't have to be great. Same thing with Colon.


I love Murphy as a player but b-r kills him on defense, to the point where he doesn't really help very much. 1.5-2 WAR, 3 in a good year.
   15. Conor Posted: July 14, 2014 at 02:06 PM (#4750087)
Tejada seems like a roughly average defender at SS, maybe a little better? maybe a little worse. He's glove first in the sense that he isn't Flores.
I think Murphy is ok at defense; Fangraphs like his glove better. 3 WAR last season, on pace for a shade under 4.5 this year.

I'd really like to see Flores play. He's killing the ball in Vegas, I think they need to get an idea of what they have with him. If he hits well in the bigs, they can either use him as trade bait, or try and shop Murphy and put Flores at 2b.
   16. Lassus Posted: July 14, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4750089)
The Mets aren't going to make the playoffs this year but overall this has been a good year so far.

LORDY you realists are no fun at all.
   17. Greg K Posted: July 14, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4750119)
I really am interested on what the Mets will do regarding Murphy before next season. I'd actually like to see them move Murphy if they can get good value for him, doesn't have to be great. Same thing with Colon.

Before this season I was kind of hoping the Jays went after Murphy for their gaping hole at 2B.
   18. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 02:54 PM (#4750129)
I don't think the Mets can afford to be trading away above average players right now. They need more talent, especially on offense, and Murphy is one of their better, more consistent, hitters.
   19. formerly dp Posted: July 14, 2014 at 03:08 PM (#4750136)
I don't know; per b-r he's an average-fielding SS, nothing more.
The Met broadcasters have talked extensively about how Tejada really turned his fielding around after the first month of the season; subjectively I've been really impressed by his glove the past couple of months after wondering why he was on the roster with the way he handled SS in April. Right now, he's the only SS on the roster, though, and giving him a day off from time to time wouldn't be the worst idea.
I'd really like to see Flores play. He's killing the ball in Vegas, I think they need to get an idea of what they have with him. If he hits well in the bigs, they can either use him as trade bait, or try and shop Murphy and put Flores at 2b.

Since the demotion, .356/.380/.726, with 28 RBI in 18 games. Overall, in 154 games at AAA, he's at .322/.360/.548 with 52 2B/3B and 27 HR. They have been playing him mostly at second and third recently, so it looks like Tejada's the man at short for now. That indicates a Murphy trade is pretty likely...still not sure how I feel about dealing him, guess it depends on the return. Alderson's haul for a month of Marlon Byrd is starting to pay some big dividends, if he can time a Murph/Colon deal right, they'll be in very good shape.
===
Before this season I was kind of hoping the Jays went after Murphy for their gaping hole at 2B.
And now? I don't know that the Jays have the types of players the Mets would be after, but Colon/Murphy would help the Jays a good bit in their playoff bid, especially with Lind, Encarnacion, and Lawrie all hurt (is Lawrie ever coming back? seems like he's been on the DL forever...).
   20. Good cripple hitter Posted: July 14, 2014 at 03:15 PM (#4750140)
And now? I don't know that the Jays have the types of players the Mets would be after, but Colon/Murphy would help the Jays a good bit in their playoff bid, especially with Lind, Encarnacion, and Lawrie all hurt (is Lawrie ever coming back? seems like he's been on the DL forever...).


He's been out for three weeks and they said he'd be out for 3-6 weeks. Last report I can find says he'll "hopefully" return by the end of July.
   21. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: July 14, 2014 at 04:16 PM (#4750190)
We have this discussion every few weeks it seems but I continue to have mixed emotions about Tejada. He does have an OBP heavy 89 OPS+ and has been averagish to a little bit better with the glove. He's 24 years old and is playing SS. Obviously, his BA is poor and he has no power but a .350 OBP is still a .350 OBP.

I'm really ambivalent about trading Murphy. He is one of the best Met hitters/players. He's a good guy to keep around and the Mets should be able to afford it. I am intrigued by Herrera/Reynolds though and he blocks them.
   22. billyshears Posted: July 14, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4750194)
I don't like the idea of trading Murphy for the reasons Russlan mentions in #21, but Murphy is one of their most valuable and yet most replaceable commodities. I think they have to deal him if somebody offers a Top 50 prospect. I wouldn't accept less than that though.
   23. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 04:37 PM (#4750203)
Obviously, his BA is poor and he has no power but a .350 OBP is still a .350 OBP.


Buoyed by the 9 IBBs. Take those out and his .353 OBP drops to .332.

(Not that it's completely fair to do that -- it's not like we're doing this for the other hitters he's being compared to -- but 9 IBBs is a lot and they happen simply because he is crappy enough to have to bat 8th, in front of the pitcher.)
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4750210)
I don't like the idea of trading Murphy for the reasons Russlan mentions in #21, but Murphy is one of their most valuable and yet most replaceable commodities. I think they have to deal him if somebody offers a Top 50 prospect. I wouldn't accept less than that though.

In that case, I think you're keeping Murphy. He's not going to be a sexy trade candidate.
   25. formerly dp Posted: July 14, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4750227)
Buoyed by the 9 IBBs. Take those out and his .353 OBP drops to .332.
This is definitely worth keeping in mind, and a point I made repeatedly earlier in the season, but it's also worth noting that 5 of those IBB came in April (including two in one game), when Met pitchers where literally hitless for the season. In April, 5 of his 12 walks were intentional. Since May 1, he has drawn 29 walks, and only 4 of those were intentional. If you exclude the IBB, he's walking at a rate just a tick higher than his career average.

Right now, we're seeing the best he has to offer, and it's not great, but acceptable for a player who costs next to nothing. I don't know WTF was wrong with him in 2013 and in April; but he looks like a totally different player at the moment. I'd still push him to the bench in favor of Flores for the rest of 2014, but there's something to be said for having a solid glove at SS when you have a defensively challenged 2B and are leaning on your pitching to win you games.

Duda will be interesting to follow for the rest of the season-- if he hits like he did in the first half, he's worth keeping a spot open for next year. Weirdly, he heads into the break with the same OPS+ he finished 2011 with, and a comparable number of PAs. But if he falls back a bit, and Flores continues to develop, then just putting Wilmer at 1B might be their best path forward.
   26. Conor Posted: July 14, 2014 at 05:10 PM (#4750238)
I don't 100% know for WAR counts, but fWAR has him at .6 WAR over 81 games. So if he never missed a game all year, something like 1.2 WAR. The OBP is nice, but he's slugging below 300. Seems like the definition of a guy you should be actively trying to replace.

Duda will be interesting to follow for the rest of the season-- if he hits like he did in the first half, he's worth keeping a spot open for next year. Weirdly, he heads into the break with the same OPS+ he finished 2011 with, and a comparable number of PAs. But if he falls back a bit, and Flores continues to develop, then just putting Wilmer at 1B might be their best path forward.


Wilmer is killing the ball in AAA, but I have a hard time getting excited about his bat at first.
   27. formerly dp Posted: July 14, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4750264)
In that case, I think you're keeping Murphy. He's not going to be a sexy trade candidate.
I don't know that this will necessarily be the case. As Alderson has shown repeatedly, timing is everything. The key is finding a team with a logjam in the OF and a gap in the infield-- I don't think the Mets necessarily have to deal for a prospect here.
==
Wilmer is killing the ball in AAA, but I have a hard time getting excited about his bat at first.
I'm inclined to agree with you, but you have to assume that if he was pulling the plug on being a MI, he could add a bit more power at the expense of some athleticism. The Mets asked him to work on his flexibility this winter so he could head into the season as a SS. I don't think he's a finished product yet; he's never had a stretch like the one he's having now at AAA. The lack of walks, however, would be more of a concern at 1B than at 2B/SS, and the Mets project Smith as the org's long-term answer there anyway.
   28. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: July 14, 2014 at 06:23 PM (#4750325)
I don't 100% know for WAR counts, but fWAR has him at .6 WAR over 81 games.

Fangraphs WAR is a little bit lower because it has him giving back half a win on the bases. That seems excessive. I agree that we should discount his walk rate but we can't pretend they can't happen. Even IBBs mean that you are clearing the pitcher's spot.
   29. Walt Davis Posted: July 14, 2014 at 06:29 PM (#4750332)
The objective view on Murphy is that he's 29, he's an FA after next year, next year is gonna cost you about $8 M, he's having one of the best seasons of his career, he's defensively limited and you've got a potential in-house replacement with Flores (if they're giving up on him at 2B). He's not a guy you want to sign to a long-term extension. It's pretty much a no-brainer trade situation for a team like the Mets.

Obviously you don't give him away and several contenders are looking for 2B help (or possibly 1B/3B help) ... and you can trade him in the offseason/next year if you don't get an offer you like.
   30. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 14, 2014 at 06:45 PM (#4750340)
Wilmer is killing the ball in AAA, but I have a hard time getting excited about his bat at first.


career AAA, 154 games, 668 PAs
.322-27-139

yes I know "triple crown" stats are not that useful... but still pretty looking
.322/.360/.548

now the "bad" news

The Mets don't play in Tidwater/Norfolk anymore, that's Las Vegas, PCL

The league is hitting .274/.343/.425
the team is hitting .285/.373/.466

J.P. Arencibia hit .301/.359/.626 there in 2010
Delwyn Young hit .337/.384/.571
Andy LaRoche hit .309/.399/.589
Bubba Crosby hit .361/.410/.635
George Arias hit .308/.365/.651
Mel Nieves hit .308/.403/.564 (at age 22)

and Brett Lawrie hit .353/.415/.661 (at age 21)
David Cooper hit .364/.439/.535
James Loney .380/.426/.546 (age 22)

Ching-Fen Chen spent 4 years there: .283/.356/.525
   31. Banta Posted: July 14, 2014 at 06:58 PM (#4750349)
I think Murphy for a decent established major league outfielder is the way to go. Flores to second. Colon for a shortstop or outfield prospect.

I really think that a respectable bat with Lageres and Granderson is pretty good outfield next year. I believe in Duda and some other lefty hitting entity to be adequate as well. A rotation of Harvey, Wheeler, Niese, Gee, and deGrom, provided Harvey returns at something close to previous form should be good enough, even none of the others take a step forward. I fully expect the Mets to compete next year with a couple tweaks. I've been skeptical of Alderson, but I think he's a ######' A deadline deal away from putting this thing together.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think they're going to run away with anything, but I expect 85 to 88 wins. And that's enough to make things interesting.
   32. PreservedFish Posted: July 14, 2014 at 07:18 PM (#4750363)
Is Jake DeGrom actually good? I keep expecting him to get tattooed.
   33. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: July 14, 2014 at 07:25 PM (#4750365)
deGrom's 26 but he's only been a pitcher for like 5 or 6 years. Hard to predict how good he is considering his track record is not overwhelming but that could have been part of the learning curve. He looks like he's got the talent to be a 95-105 ERA+ pitcher.
   34. bobm Posted: July 14, 2014 at 08:17 PM (#4750396)
For single seasons, For 2014, Batting 8th (within Batting Order Positions), (requiring PA>=100), sorted by greatest On-Base% for this split

                                                                
Rk   I             Player       Split Year  G  OBP GS  PA BB IBB
1         Alcides Escobar Batting 8th 2014 33 .389 33 127  7   0
2            Ruben Tejada Batting 8th 2014 47 .366 45 175 28   8
3           Brian Roberts Batting 8th 2014 36 .358 35 134 12   0
4        Alejandro De Aza Batting 8th 2014 35 .357 33 126 11   0
5            Jordy Mercer Batting 8th 2014 43 .353 43 168 11   5
6              Alex Avila Batting 8th 2014 29 .347 25 101 10   1
7            David Murphy Batting 8th 2014 29 .343 29 108  9   0
8           Leonys Martin Batting 8th 2014 41 .341 37 140  8   1
9             DJ LeMahieu Batting 8th 2014 71 .331 71 269 21   6
10          Yunel Escobar Batting 8th 2014 44 .331 43 173 20   2
11         Alexi Amarista Batting 8th 2014 34 .330 32 112  9   2
12          Tyler Flowers Batting 8th 2014 32 .330 32 115  9   0
13            Aaron Hicks Batting 8th 2014 35 .328 35 132 22   0
14            Jeff Mathis Batting 8th 2014 31 .308 29 109 12   2
15             Cody Asche Batting 8th 2014 31 .304 29 115 12   2
16          Brandon Hicks Batting 8th 2014 29 .303 28 110 17   3
17      Andrelton Simmons Batting 8th 2014 34 .300 34 130 10   3
18     Adeiny Hechavarria Batting 8th 2014 42 .298 42 161  9   1
19             Mark Ellis Batting 8th 2014 29 .298 27 105 10   3
20            Zack Cozart Batting 8th 2014 62 .293 62 239 14   3
21            Drew Butera Batting 8th 2014 30 .290 29 107  9   0
22           Jose Lobaton Batting 8th 2014 38 .284 37 141 12   1
23          Darwin Barney Batting 8th 2014 43 .267 41 148  7   2
24        Jonathan Schoop Batting 8th 2014 39 .238 37 148  4   0
25        Eduardo Escobar Batting 8th 2014 27 .212 27 105  6   1
Rk   I             Player       Split Year  G  OBP GS  PA BB IBB


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/14/2014.
   35. Lassus Posted: July 14, 2014 at 08:29 PM (#4750405)
The league is hitting .274/.343/.425
the team is hitting .285/.373/.466


Yeah, I was waiting for someone more in the know than me about Vegas to post this. I'm still doubtful.
   36. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: July 14, 2014 at 08:35 PM (#4750410)
I'm surprised they send their pitching prospects to Vegas at all. Syndergaard and Montero have both been knocked around, and it seems like a recipe for forming bad habits to compensate for the lunar environment. The difference in hitters' caliber between AA and AAA isn't so much that it's worth subjecting young pitchers that matter to a place with a HR park factor of 116 (!).
   37. formerly dp Posted: July 14, 2014 at 08:49 PM (#4750417)
#34-35: this just highlights the need to move the AAA team out of Vegas. Surprised they've allowed it to go on for this long; it just makes it impossible to get a good read on both your young pitchers and your hitters.

WRT Flores: before his recent run, I think there was cause to be suspicious of his performance at AAA. But since the demotion, he's done precisely what you want to see a young prospect do in a hitter's park-- just go out and hit the #### out of the ball on a daily basis. His 2013-14 isn't really out of line with his 2012, when he hit .300/.349/.479 as a 20 year-old in St. Lucie/Binghamton-- BA-driven line with moderate power for a corner infielder.
   38. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: July 14, 2014 at 10:11 PM (#4750451)
While it makes intuitive sense that pitching in LV would hinder a pitcher's development, I wonder if that's actually the case. Harvey, Wheeler, and deGrom have been able to largely overcome pitching in LV. Montero and Syndergaard have struggled but there are a million reasons why a young pitcher might struggle.
   39. Walt Davis Posted: July 14, 2014 at 10:15 PM (#4750452)
I think Murphy for a decent established major league outfielder is the way to go.

Not likely to happen in-season -- contending teams don't trade performing players* -- but maybe off-season. Still, we don't seem to see too many deals like this these days.

*The Dodgers would probably be happy to get out from under some chunk of Ethier/Crawford but I can't see the Mets wanting to take that on and the Dodgers don't have any real short-term need for Murphy.
   40. formerly dp Posted: July 15, 2014 at 08:52 AM (#4750531)
the Dodgers don't have any real short-term need for Murphy.
Not with Uribe continuing to play so well at 3B...I just don't see a match there. Looking around the AL East, the top three teams are each looking more than a little thin at 2B. Do any of them have nearly-baked OF prospects to deal? Doesn't look like it at first glance. The Reds have a short-term need with both Votto and Phillips out, but that leaves someone the odd man out when they come back.
   41. Lassus Posted: July 15, 2014 at 08:56 AM (#4750533)
I'm not super super attached to Murphy, so if we can get good pieces, I'm fine with a trade. I'd kinda prefer someone established rather than prospects, but that's just me. At the same time, nothing come up and we keep him, I'll also be pleased. Win/win! And, boring.
   42. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 15, 2014 at 10:25 AM (#4750578)
His 2013-14 isn't really out of line with his 2012, when he hit .300/.349/.479 as a 20 year-old in St. Lucie/Binghamton-- BA-driven line with moderate power for a corner infielder.


He hit .289/.336/.463 in St Lucie, league was .255/.326/.373, roughly neutral park, works out to an OPS+ of 127.
He hit .311/.361/.494 in Binghamton, league was .260/.330/.392, slight hitters park, works out to a 133 OPS+
He's hit .322/.360/.548 in Vegas, league has been .271/.342/.417, hitters park, works out to a 129 OPS+

Of course the level of competition is higher in the PCL than the FSL, so holding serve as he's been promoted is a good thing- but 129 OPS+ in AAA is roughly equivalent to a 100-105 OPS+ in the majors- but with his glove, if he's gonna have a career he really needs to continue improving- especially if his future does not involve the middle infield.


   43. formerly dp Posted: July 15, 2014 at 10:41 AM (#4750586)
Of course the level of competition is higher in the PCL than the FSL, so holding serve as he's been promoted is a good thing- but 129 OPS+ in AAA is roughly equivalent to a 100-105 OPS+ in the majors- but with his glove, if he's gonna have a career he really needs to continue improving- especially if his future does not involve the middle infield.
Thanks for those numbers. Do you weigh 2014, when he's a year older, a little heavier than 2013? He's up nearly 60 points in slugging this year, with a BA and OB% roughly the same as it was last year, and he's at an age (less than a month from 23) where it's not uncommon for players to add more power-- some of his doubles from last season are homers this year.

At the end of the day, he's got to do it at the ML level, and a hot streak in either of his trials would have probably earned him a full-time gig somewhere on the diamond.
   44. billyshears Posted: July 15, 2014 at 11:04 AM (#4750599)
Looking around the AL East, the top three teams are each looking more than a little thin at 2B. Do any of them have nearly-baked OF prospects to deal? Doesn't look like it at first glance.


If Murphy is traded, I think the focus should be on getting value, rather than on any given position. OF help is nice, but Lagares and Granderson should be penciled in, so there really is just one open spot. One open OF spot shouldn't be so hard to fill that we need to make it a specific target.

In my more delusional moments, I hope the Mets trade Murphy for Dylan Bundy. We know Alderson proposed this before (and it was turned down), but I believe the Duquette brothers are of the same ilk, and the family really does owe us one. This is the Orioles' time - they really do need to pull out all of the stops and go for it.

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