Quick Notes On First Cuts

The Mets have made their first round of cuts this spring. Let’s go over them with brief commentary.

Robert Carson
Even with Tim Byrdak out for two months, this wasn’t a shocker — not with Garret Olson, Chuck James, Daniel Herrera, and now Josh Edgin in camp (and the team in serious talks with C.J. Nitkowski). Carson did nothing wrong, but he didn’t do anything eye-popping, either. In other words, he didn’t appear to be significantly ahead of the veteran options, so there wasn’t much point in advancing him just yet. Two main issues come into play: first, Carson will benefit more by extra reps in minor league camp, and second, it’s a smart long-term financial move to prevent Carson’s arbitration clock from starting. And actually, it’s in Carson’s best interest to go back down to the minors and continue trying to be a starter than in being pigeonholed as a MLB LOOGY so early in his career — he’s only 23 years old. Finally, by eliminating Carson, the Mets can get longer looks at the more experienced lefties. With Byrdak out, the Mets need to gather as much information as possible on a short-term replacement.

Matt Den Dekker
This one — along with Nieuwenhuis — was mildly surprising, considering that the Mets don’t have a true centerfielder backing up Andres Torres. I thought they would keep one or possibly both around for a few more days. I suppose they came to the conclusion that neither would be starting over Torres, and that they’d rather see these youngsters playing regularly in the minors than part-time in the bigs.

Jeurys Familia
No surprise here, as Familia is not yet ready for prime time.

Wilmer Flores
Again, not a surprise, as Flores has changed positions and is a long way from MLB. It could be argued that he’s a distance from AA, in fact.

Matt Harvey
Although Harvey was taking this spring training seriously, and he believed he could force the Mets into taking him north, there really was little chance of it happening. And though he absolutely appears to have impressive raw talent, he’s a good distance from contributing at the Major League level. I like his mechanics up to his release point, but am a little concerned about his follow-through, which is cut off quickly and puts undue stress on his arm. I’d like to see his legs and back play a bigger part in the deceleration phase of his motion — i.e., letting those larger muscles “put the brakes” on his arm / slow it down after release. Hopefully that’s something the Mets minor league pitching instructors will work on with him. As for his stuff, he has a live fastball with good sink but he clearly needs to work on gaining more consistent command. His secondary stuff is also inconsistent and he telegraphs it. However, with more time and the right guidance, I can see him developing quickly.

Reese Havens
No surprise. Daniel Murphy is the Mets’ second baseman and would be even if Havens hit .800.

Juan Lagares
No surprise. Lagares appears to be a prospect with a future but the future is not now.

Zach Lutz
This one was slightly surprising since David Wright has yet to return to the field and Lutz is one of the few other near-MLB-ready third basemen in the organization. Even though Wright should be back in action shortly, I doubt he’ll be playing more than 5 innings at a time for a while. Though, the Mets have coverage with Justin Turner and Ronny Cedeno.

Jenrry Mejia
No surprise. Mejia is still recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis
See den Dekker above. I guess the Mets want to give all the non-Torres centerfield reps to Adam Loewen and Mike Baxter. It makes sense from the standpoint that the Mets know that both Captain Kirk and den Dekker are more than capable CFers, but they don’t know for sure what Baxter or Loewen can do out there. Personally, I think Jason Bay is a better option than either, but the Mets probably want Bay to focus on getting his stroke back.

Val Pascucci
Once Ike Davis proved healthy, there was little chance of Big Val making the roster. Even if Davis couldn’t play, Val was still a long shot.

Armando Rodriguez
This was was a little surprising, since there seemed to be some buzz around Rodriguez and his live arm. But when you look at the Mets relief corps, there are a number of arms vying for few spots.

Josh Stinson
No surprise. Stinson didn’t show much in his cup of coffee last September and continued that underwhelming theme this spring. He needs to improve markedly and he’ll be better served doing that in minor league camp, with more reps and less attention.

What say you? Were you surprised at any of the cuts? Speak your mind in the comments.

11-12 Offseason

About the Author

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.

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