Tag Archive for Johnny Monell

When there’s nothing to speculate about, speculate

Around here, this time of year often inspires lots of speculation about inbound freight and what to outfit them in, but it was pointed out to me yesterday that other than the 40-man additions noted below, and the re-signing of three of our own free agents (Neil Walker, Rene Rivera, Yoenis Cespedes), there has been a grand total of zero new names on the sacred scrolls since September.

53Well, one new guy if you count incoming third-base/catching coach Glenn Sherlock, who will replace Tim Teufel in an act of mercy. Sherlock by the way wore No. 53 in a similar role with the Diamondbacks, so he feels more like a real coach and less of guy whose main qualification for the role was a job with the Mets in 1986.

Players? There’s been none. No journeyman catchers with spring training invites, no Rule 5 picks, no lefthanded relief pitchers, no veteran bats on make-good comeback contracts, and of course, no Winter-Meeting-Three-Team-Twelve-Player Blockbusters (WMTT12PBs), which on a chilly December morning like this would warm old the hot stove. In the meantime we’ve seen a few Mets go away: Bartolo Colon, Logan Verrett (we’ll never forget how few craps he gave taking No. 35 still warm from Dillon Gee), and Johnny Monell.

Obviously this will change if and when the Mets get around to addressing the Jay Bruce Question; for now I’m pleased that the team hasn’t given him away for nothing and I’m dubious in general that any relief pitcher ought to be fair value for a flawed but legitimate power bat like Bruce.

19And just maybe, they’re holding out on a secret WMTT12PB. Perhaps Bruce can find a home again — in Cincinnati. Trade him, Lucas Duda and Steven Matz for Joey Votto and a reliever? Votto’s the kind of Olerud/Hernandez type bat this club could really use, David Wright can’t be counted on being anymore, and guys like Conforto and Nimmo might not get the chance to be.

Otherwise, we’re a adequately situated and familiar club that will require a lot to go right again in 2017.

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Make Way for Team UnSexy

The Busiest Mets Offseason Without Any Sex Appeal Ever continued Tuesday when the Mets reportedly reached a 1-year contract agreement with free agent outfielder Alejandro De Aza.

30The lefty swinging De Aza, already a veteran of 5 other organizations, is expected to platoon with incumbent center fielder Juan Lagares and was chosen above other prospective jobbers like Will Venable. I’m not even going to guess what number De Aza is issued but will note that 19 is newly available upon Johnny Monell‘s release from the 40. He previously wore 7, 11, 30, 12, 31 and 45. Actually I’ll guess he takes 30 while Michael Conforto, as discussed below, takes 15.

Being one of those fans who tries hard to understand, if not rationalize, what the Mets tend to do and think we can say that De Aza is a cost-effective solution providing the same general “skill-set” of a Denard Span at a fraction of the cost or commitment and is less likely to miss half a season with a hip injury, and continues an overarching strategy to build on last year’s pennant winning club by minimizing the chances they are as debilitated by injury — rather, by overcoming those injuries — as they were a year ago. That said you have to wonder whether the best strategy might have been instead to trade Curtis Granderson and take your chances re-upping Yoenis Cespedes, entering the Jason Heyward fray or otherwise competing for the top talent.

Those ships however have sailed. Ready or not, these are our guys.

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Two for 2

2Well the moment is upon us and someone’s going to pay the price for the Mets having played fast and loose with uni number assignments.

Dilson Herrera, along with Logan Verrett and Johnny Monell, were recalled following this afternoon’s smashing victory at Washington. While we can expect Verrett to wear 35 and Monell 19 as they had earlier this year, Hererra will be wearing something. That’s because the Mets rather inelegantly issued Juan Uribe Herrera’s No. 2 while Herrera was away rehabbing and playing for AAA Las Vegas.

The Mets roster as of late last Monday night, still lists the two of them wearing No. 2.

As noted previously, I’ve given this matter some thought and suggested
0 could be a solution. Other swipes from the uncalled-for, like Vic Black’s 38 or Danny Muno’s 16, are also possibilities. Then I realized poor Dilson also wore 2 in Las Vegas this season and wondered if he wouldn’t pull a Benito Santiago and alight in 02. Santiago, for you youngins, was a catcher with San Diego who famously rocked No. 09 — he wanted space between the digits for the strap holding his chest protector.

Great win today!

 

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Goggle Up

Don’t look now but the Mets are trying to make the playoffs.

36On Monday they dealt with Oakland for veteran reliever Tyler Clippard, who I’ve hated ever since he Subway Seriesed us as a punk Yankee rookie way back when, and on through several excellent years with the Nationals. Now that he’s on our side I’m naturally terrified he’ll continue to screw us only in a different way but I get that he’d be a good addition to the team, particularly seeing Parnell, Alex Torres and Familia struggle in recent games and Jenrry Mejia be unavailable for the playoffs. He came at the cost of Casey Meisner, a minor league project who might one day make us look bad but is no concern at the present.

The concern as always is what uni number Clippard will wear with his geeky goggles, seeing as his customary 36 is occupied by Sean Gilmartin and his previous No. 19 belonging to recently demoted catcher Johnny Monell.

44But as we’ve seen twice this year already, there’s little they won’t do. There was the Logan Verrett 35 thing, then more recently they simply gave No. 2 to Juan Uribe without even notifying Dilson Hererra (that we know of). So the prediction here, suggested by a reader below actually, is that Clippard gets 36 and Gilmartin takes the vacant 44. Playoffs is serious business!

Woke up this morning to the stunning Tulowitzski news and allowed visions of a Jose Reyes reunion to colonize my mind for a bit but I don’t think it can, or necessarily should, happen. How about Lagares and a pitching prospect to Milwaukee for Carlos Gomez?

Later afternoon update — Clippard’s been issued No. 46. So much for more vicious speculation.

 

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Hey Nineteen

19Less than a month into the season and we’ve already seen promotions for the two guys who caught my eye in spring training: Since-demoted infielder Danny Muno and now, lefthanded-hitting third-catcher dynamo Johnny Monell.

Monell, as he’d modeled during Spring Training, takes the largely undistinguished uni No. 19 which I associate most strongly, for whatever reason, with Ron Gardenhire. Though Tim Foli wants in the picture too. Irascible TV personality Bobby Ojeda is still the most accomplished of the 35 guys who have worn 19 for the Mets, a group whose luminaries include diminutive relievers Daniel Ray Hererra and Tom “The Blade” Hall and fat one Heath Bell; outfield disasters Roger Cedeno and Ryan Church; Lenny Harris, who specialized in pinch-hits; Mike Hessman, who specialized in minor league home runs; and Anthony Young, who specialized in losing.

Welcome aboard, Johnny. We need all the help we can get.

2The move by the way followed the reintroduction of Dilson Hererra to the Mets lineup and a recasting of last September’s arrangement whereby Dilson manned second base and Daniel Murphy third base. I think it’s pretty clear that Murphy’s days as a Mets starter are nearing their end. If he becomes the left-handed pinch-hitter that Kirk Nieuwenhuis isn’t this year or Johnny Monell might be, great. If not?

Great article by Sporting News scribe Jesse Spector on the curious, rarely issued No. 69, worn more often by Pirates than by all other teams combined.

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Monell, Muno and the Mets

19Non-roster invitees seldomly push aside established guys during Spring Training but you wonder how tempted the Mets might be this year.

I’m thinking specifically of the reserve roles in the infield and behind the plate, where it would seem either one of Johnny Monell or Daniel Muno might not be a bad idea, given the unique makeup of the club otherwise.

I didn’t give much thought to Monell when the Mets acquired him as a minor league free agent in November. But his left-handed power and 393/433/750/1.183 line in a handful of Spring at-bats was intriguing enough to make me take a second look, only to discover that he’s a Met Legacy: His father, Johnny Sr., was an outfielder in the Mets system for six years in the 80s, reaching as high as Class AAA Tidewater. Johnny Jr. was also once drafted by the Mets but chose not to sign; his road here included cups of coffee with the Giants and Orioles.

From what I’ve read (and heard) defense isn’t Johnny’s strong suit and his very aggressive approach might not fit with the club’s philosophy, but, look: If he hits 200 points less than he’s doing now, remains a so-so defender, and still provides the occasional thump, you’ve got Anothny Recker, only a left-handed version, and given the Mets’ prevailing righthandedness, that might be a useful thing to have. Can he fake it as an emergency third baseman or outfielder? Maybe then you can carry both.

74The other guy on my mind is Muno, who snuck up on me by virtue of being assigned a Spring Training number (74) 10 digits higher than the one he had last year. Like Monell, Muno is a lefty (actually a switch-hitter) in a pack of righties vying for a backup infield job (Ruben Tejada, Matt Reynolds, Eric Campbell, etc). Daniel Murphy‘s injury could in fact exacerbate that need.

Muno’s also having a solid spring, hitting .400 although in a very small sample, and unlike Monell, is a guy whose approach at the plate is appropriately Sandy: A career .395 OBPer in four minor league seasons, and began to show some power last year with 14 home runs in Las Vegas. Plays three positions. Switch hits. Gets on base. That’s a good guy to have on your team. Trade in that lineman’s number for … how about the vacant No. 1.

Whether either of these guys would be worth risking a Recker or Tejada on simply to have in hand when the bell rings is something for the suits to decide but I would hope they’re thinking about it. I remain pretty bullish on the 2015 Mets.

 

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