Posts Tagged ‘Omar Quintanilla’

By Steven Inman

Photo by Baseball America

Photo by Baseball America

The Mets have gotten zero production from the shortstop position. Both Omar Quintanilla and Ruben Tejada have both badly struggled offensively. Mets shortstops have a hard to believe .194 average with a .303 OBP, zero homers and an OPS of .526. That wouldn’t be that bad if they were pitchers, which they are not. It looks like a change can finally be coming though with Quintanilla being designated for assignment Wednesday. No call up has been announced but it is widely expected to be infielder Wilmer Flores. The Mets want Flores to play every day so if he really is the call up it would be to play shortstop every day.

Flores was still playing in the Las Vegas 51’s game when the news about Quintanilla broke. The 22-year-old is 1-for-3 on the night with 2 RBI after he hit a double to left. Flores has hit .296 in 28 games in Las Vegas with 25 RBI, five doubles and five home runs. He has been very hot of late. He has also had seven errors in 24 appearances in the field, a majority of them at shortstop.

Ruben Tejada was seen visibly frustrated after Wednesday’s matinee against the Marlins so it seems likely that he is about to lose playing time.

Flores isn’t a shortstop but it makes more sense to try him there then to expect Tejada or Quintanilla would magically get better and start hitting. The definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. That what the Mets were hoping for when they patrolled the same duo at short that badly struggled all of last year. Flores at least has the potential to hit and it wasn’t like Tejada or Quintanilla was lighting it up defensively either.

Of course we wouldn’t be having this discussion if the Mets just did the logical thing and signed Stephen Drew months ago as a free agent. Drew is still a free agent and is now expected to wait until after the draft to sign with a team so he won’t be tied to a draft pick.

Do you want to see Wilmer Flores everyday at shortstop?

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By Steven Inman

David Wright and Daniel Murphy will once again be relied upon to carry the Mets lineup Photo by NY Post

David Wright and Daniel Murphy will once again be relied upon to carry the Mets lineup
Photo by NY Post

It is almost here, the greatest day of the year, Opening Day. Just 48 hours from now we will be enjoying Mets baseball once again. So now it is time to breakdown their upcoming season.

Infield: The infield is the only part of the team that Sandy Alderson didn’t address this winter. Ike Davis likely gets the first crack at being the lefty platoon at first base with Josh Satin. With the team going to play the LA Angels in the second week of the season they will need a DH so Lucas Duda should still see plenty of at-bats early on in April.  Having three first basemen on the roster certainly hurts Terry Collins’ roster flexibility which may need to be addressed at some point.

Ruben Tejada is still here and looks to be the guy at shortstop despite a poor 2013 season and a rough Spring Training to say the least. Wilmer Flores with a strong spring has put himself in a position to be Plan B at shortstop despite being sent to the minors. Omar Quintanilla will make the team as the backup middle infielder.

Travis d’Arnaud goes into the season with a lot to prove but is still just a rookie. He was having a rough spring with the bat until this past week so it looks like he is getting hot at the perfect time for New York. Many expect him to compete for Rookie of the Year in the National League. He likely will start the year down near the bottom of the order.

Obviously the Mets have two quality hitters at third base and second base with David Wright and Daniel Murphy respectively. The duo just needs to stay healthy as they will be expected to continue to anchor the Mets lineup. Murphy needs to improve upon his OBP if he wants to stay a Met long-term.

Outfield: The Mets spent most of their offseason budget on their outfield which looks to have improved. Curtis Granderson was an overpay coming off a lost year but he will certainly help give David Wright protection and put less pressure on guys like Ike Davis and Travis d’Arnaud who can bat lower in the lineup now.

Chris Young is the X-Factor for this Mets team. He is coming off a lost year for the AL West champion Athletics but has looked very good offensively and defensively this spring. He doesn’t have the elite outfield arm he once had but is still a good outfielder. It will be important for him to adjust to Citi Field’s unique dimensions quickly especially playing in a corner outfield spot, a position he isn’t all that familiar with. Young was given a 1-year “prove it” contract so he has a lot to prove to not just the Mets but to all of baseball this season. He was still given $7.25 million however and for a team like the Mets with a very small payroll ($87 million) they badly need him to produce. When Eric Young Jr. is in the lineup Chris Young will bat 5th and when Juan Lagares is in the lineup Chris Young will likely bat leadoff. Lagares should play every day as his defense is just too good to keep on the bench. There has been a power struggle between Collins and Sandy Alderson on which outfielder should play more. Collins wants EY Jr. in their as he doesn’t believe anyone else can hit leadoff on this team. Both outfielders should see a lot of playing time.

Starting Rotation: Obviously the talk about the Mets starting rotation is about the guy who isn’t here and that is Matt Harvey. He expects to be back before September but it would be very irresponsible for the Mets to let Harvey rush back like that. Besides who know if they will even be in the race that long. At the top of the Mets rotation is a pair of strike throwers in Dillon Gee and Bartolo Colon. Both have looked good this spring and could be ready for big seasons.

As the only left-hander on the staff Jon Niese must stay healthy if the team has any desire to stay in contention. Zack Wheeler continues to fly under the radar and if he can throw enough strikes, could be a candidate for the All-Star team in Minnesota this season. Wheeler has a dynamic arm. Daisuke Matsuzaka will start the year in the minors but will be used as rotation depth if Jenrry Mejia struggles in the fifth spot or gets injured.

Bobby Parnell has lacked the velocity he needs to be an effective closer Photo by NY Daily News

Bobby Parnell has lacked the velocity he needs to be an effective closer
Photo by NY Daily News

Bullpen: The Mets bullpen is their biggest weakness and will likely become their downfall this season. It all starts with the closer and Bobby Parnell doesn’t look like the same guy that was an All-Star candidate last summer. His velocity is down big and the team is already talking about him not pitching anything more than back to back games. Jose Valverde will be relied on to start the year as the 8th inning guy. He is an older pitcher and is a prime suspect for overuse to start the season should he have a few successful outings. Remember this is a guy who was released by Detroit last season, a team that was desperate for bullpen help.

Scott Rice will be depended on heavily as well after a strong rookie campaign. He is also a suspect for overuse as he was overused badly by Collins in 2013 and scouts have all said his velocity has been down as well. John Lannan will hope to assist Rice in the lefty specialist role, a role that Lannan has no experience in. Jeurys Familia has an elite arm and it would a major surprise if he isn’t near the back end of the bullpen by Memorial Day, likely as the 8th inning guy. Collins wants to ease Familia into that role.

Bench: The Mets bench will be very interchangeable. It will include one of EY Jr./ Lagares and two of Satin/Davis/Duda. It also will have backup catcher Anthony Recker as well as Omar Quintanilla. Andrew Brown is expected to make the team as the 5th outfielder until they need the roster spot for Jon Niese.

Prospects: The Mets have many prospects that will make their major league debuts in 2014. Unfortunately due to service time, none will make their debuts any time soon. Rafael Montero is the pitcher closest to the big leagues but likely won’t be up until mid-June for arbitration purposes. The same goes for Noah Syndergaard. We have already seen Wilmer Flores but the infielder will be up after the first infield injury or if Tejada struggles. He is not in the minors because of service time simply to get an opportunity to play every day. Jack Leathersich is a left-handed reliever the team thinks can get big league lefties out soon.

Projection: 80-82 Third Place This Met team looks better than the past few years because of depth. If they lose a starter early on in the season they don’t have to go to an Aaron Laffey or someone like him. They have legitimate pitching prospects in the system. The N.L. East is not what it once was but the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves both have much more talent than the Mets currently. Also if the Mets find themselves in it at the trade deadline, do they have the money to go take on a contract to go get the hitter they likely will need? The Mets are improving but this doesn’t look to be their year.

Strengths: Starting pitching, Depth

Weaknesses: Bullpen, Shortstop, Payroll flexibility

Breakout Candidates: Travis d’Arnaud, Wilmer Flores, Zack Wheeler, Dillon Gee

Regression Candidates: Jon Niese, All of the first basemen, Curtis Granderson, Bobby Parnell

  1. Washington Nationals
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  5. Miami Marlins

By Steven Inman

Photo by Wall Street Journal

Photo by Wall Street Journal

With the non-tender deadline coming up at midnight, the Mets have non-tendered Omar Quintanilla and Scott Atchison. Both were arbitration eligible and are now free agents. The Mets 40-man roster now stands at 38. Despite playing significantly more than expected last year Omar Quintanilla didn’t stand out. Quintanilla, 32, hit just .222 with just 2 homers. Quintanilla was actually worth negative WAR last season. Atchison, 37, went 3-3 with a 4.37 ERA last season in 45 innings. He wasn’t that bad but wasn’t worth a roster spot at this point. There is mutual interest in Atchison coming back to Queens at a lesser price.

These two moves weren’t a surprise in the slightest as both players are easily replaceable. A Mets source said this may not be the last you hear of a Met being non-tendered before the day is over. That would surprise me but the Mets 40-man may need to make some more moves before the day is over. Keep in mind dozens of new players will be free agents at this time tomorrow.

By Steven Inman

For the first time as Mets general manager, all the spotlight now turns to Sandy Alderson

For the first time as Mets general manager, all the spotlight now turns to Sandy Alderson

In what was arguably a mirror image of 2012, the 2013 Mets season is over. They finished with the same record they had in 2012: 74-88. They did manage to finish higher than fourth place in the NL East for the first time since 2008- a consolation prize of sorts. We have been told by the entire front office for two years now that the Mets plan is for 2014. Well, the next time the Mets play again it will be 2014.

The team has so many holes but has the financial flexibility they haven’t had in a very long time to fix those holes. If they use the money wisely on the right players, this can be a playoff team next season. Here are the holes they absolutely must address.

1. Shortstop

The Mets came into the season not sold on Ruben Tejada and it turned out that they were right about him. Tejada came into camp overweight, didn’t hit and worst of all, made too many errors that cost the Mets a few games in April. They have no depth at the position and were forced to play Omar Quintanilla every day for most of the year. They gave Wilfredo Tovar a look in September, but he is more of a utility guy.

Unlikely to go back to Detroit, Jhonny Peralta makes sense for the Mets

Unlikely to go back to Detroit, Jhonny Peralta makes sense for the Mets

There are a few options here in free agency but no perfect solution. Stephen Drew will be available and I profiled him as a free agent hereJhonny Peralta will also be a free agent but he is coming off a 50-game suspension for PED’s and he is below average defensively. He has pop though and must be considered. Speculation has increased on Troy Tulowitzki becoming a Met but the Rockies don’t match up well in a trade with the Mets. I wrote about the Mets odds of getting Tulo here.  Other trade possibilities could come from the Diamondbacks who have Chris Owings and Didi Gregorius and Arizona doesn’t seem to favor one over the other for 2014 yet.

2. Outfield

Outfield should be a little easier to fill than shortstop because there is a lot more depth in free agency. Shin-Soo Choo is the headline name and the Mets will be involved in his market. Other options include Nelson Cruz, Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury. The Mets are going to need two outfielders – most likely for left and right field. The likely scenario is the Mets sign one outfielder and trade for another. However they are very uninterested in trading top prospect Noah Syndergaard in any deal.

3. Starting Pitcher

Without Harvey (we should know by November) the Mets will need to sign a veteran starter to give them innings. Matt Garza is the headline name but the Mets will be looking for a guy who is looking for a lot less money. Free Agent Options include some pretty big names that have fallen upon hard times, Josh Johnson, Tim Lincecum and Phil Hughes are a few names the Mets will consider. Old friends Shaun Marcum and Mike Pelfrey are also free agents but neither is likely to see a reunion in Queens any time soon.

4. Bullpen

In his time as Mets general manager Sandy Alderson has built three bullpens and all three have been significantly below average. This would have been more noticeable this year if the team was able to score more. Even if they fix the offense, this bullpen blows more than its fair share of games and that can be demoralizing for a young team. Bobby Parnell  will be the closer if he is healthy but he is coming off neck surgery and Terry Collins said Parnell has already lost 30 pounds since surgery which was just a few weeks ago. His return to form is not 100% guaranteed so bringing in a few late game options wouldn’t hurt.

There is mutual interest between the Mets and LaTroy Hawkins in bringing the reliever back for a second season in Queens but he will be 41 and the team will need more than just him to add to their bullpen.

Over the next few months there will be a lot of rumors, some fact and some fiction and BrokeMets will be there to break down what makes sense for the Mets in what should be a busy offseason for Sandy Alderson.

How should the Mets approach their offseason?

By Steven Inman

In our last BrokeMets post we talked about how Ike Davis and Lucas Duda will be eligible for arbitration this winter. That led to a @BrokeMets twitter question by a fan asking who are the other Mets eligible for arbitration this winter. Well here is the full list.

images

Despite a rocky start, Dillon Gee is having his best major league season and will get paid for that in arbitration this winter

First Timers

Dillon Gee

Justin Turner

Eric Young Jr.

Lucas Duda

Second Timers

Ike Davis

Daniel Murphy

Omar Quintanilla

Bobby Parnell

Eric Young Jr. will be back as a 4th outfielder next year and won’t make a lot through arbitration. There is a good chance that Quintanilla is non-tendered with the hope of bringing him back in a utility role closer to the league minimum but the other guys are all expected to return. None will break the bank but Murphy and Davis are starting to get expensive through arbitration. If i were the front office i would seriously consider long term deals with Murphy and Dillon Gee. Murphy has had another strong season and is rated as a three win player by WAR despite his so-so defense at second. Middle infielders are hard to find these days and Murphy was the only hitter in the Mets lineup this season that could be depended on from April to September. Gee is finishing his best major league campaign and guys who throw a lot of innings like Gee does, usually get paid handsomely. His first time through arbitration isn’t a big deal it’s the next few times that could be a problem for the team.

 

By Steven Inman

The Mets have been without Ruben Tejada for months now after he was hurt and then optioned to Vegas. Tejada has really turned it on in Las Vegas and looks ready to contribute at the big league level.

I think it is important to use these last two months to see if Tejada is your shortstop next year. Omar Quintanilla has been a solid glove and deserves to stay on this team as a utility man but he’s hitting .229 for the season. Quintanilla is not a long term answer anywhere at the big league level, Tejada might be.

The 23-year old Tejada went 4-4 yesterday for Triple A Las Vegas and is hitting .337 down there. With just two months left in the season, the Mets should recall Tejada and see if he has improved offensively and defensively since his demotion.

Can Tejada hit enough to be more than just a utility guy? We will never know if he stays in the minors.

 

By Steven InmanimagesCAU5LIB3

The final stop in Ruben Tejada’s rehab assignment will be Triple A Las Vegas where he will go Monday. Tejada was placed on the disabled list on May 30th with a strained quad.

Terry Collins said a few days ago that Tejada will have to hit very well to earn his job back from Omar Quintanilla.

“There’s no reason why we’re going to take [Quintanilla] out of the lineup unless it’s fatigue. He’s played very, very well offensively and defensively.”Collins said.

Tejada badly struggled the last time we saw him, batting .209 and struggling defensively.imagesCADQ3WP8

The idea that journeymen Omar Quintanilla who is batting .238 with a .288 OBP, two home runs and  nine RBI in 101 at bats, could replace Tejada means that the Mets don’t seem to think Tejada is a long term piece.

Remember that the Mets signed Quintanilla because they thought they were trading Tejada to Arizona.

We speculated here at BrokeMets that Alexei Ramirez could be the Mets shortstop next year but it’s become clear that the Mets don’t feel like Tejada is the long term answer at the position despite being only 24.