MMO Mailbag: Callaway’s Honeymoon, Gonzalez’s Expectations, 2018 Draft

When relaunching the MMO Mailbag there was some initial trepidation as you never know if you, the readers, are as excited about an idea as we the staff are.  After seeing a lively discussion following last week’s mailbag, and seeing the questions we received over the past week, we are happy to bring you the second installment of the new and improved MMO Mailbag:

Tierlifer Asks . . .

If the Mets get off to a slow start or when his first losing streak happens, how soon does the Callaway honeymoon end with all his positivity he’s preaching in camp this year?

(Note: This comes from one of his biggest fans early in his career and loved the hire.)

John replies . . .

Personally, I believe Callaway is going to get a lot more rope than a Mets manager would typically get.  Because of them pushing the Astros to Game 7 in the ALCS and due to their offseason, the beginning of the season will be all about the Yankees.  It will be the Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge show.  It will be about how Aaron Boone is doing replacing Joe Girardi, who many believed got the most out of that young Yankees team.  It will also be about Gary Sanchez‘s continuing to learn how to catch what should prove to be a questionable Yankees starting rotation.

This means assuming Callaway doesn’t begin his managerial career like Willie Randolph did, Callaway’s honeymoon period will be longer than most.  However, I do believe if there is an area to keep an eye on with Callaway it’s how he handles his bullpen.

He has already said he is going to use his best relievers in the highest leverage spots, which isn’t always the ninth inning.  There may come a stretch when he uses Jeurys Familia before the ninth and someone like Anthony Swarzak or even Hansel Robles blows the save.  It’s at the point when we can expect Callaway to receive some heat because, at least according to more traditional fans, it was Callaway’s “attempting to reinvent the sport of baseball” that cost the Mets the game.  String a few games like that together, and the honeymoon will definitely be over.

Cormac L asks . . .

I’m a huge fan of the website and thank you guys for doing all the great work that you do.

I was just wondering, what are the realistic expectations for Adrian Gonzalez? I have always been a huge fan of his, but I know with his back issues he may not offer much anymore. Also, is there any chance the Mets look at a Lind/Duda if Gonzalez doesn’t show much in the next couple of weeks?

John Replies . . .

It’s funny you mention this because, over the past week, I wondered aloud on Twitter as to when the Mets should give Lucas Duda a call.

Yes, I know it is still early in Spring Training, but things aren’t exactly looking good right now with Gonzalez.  He has started Spring Training going 1-6 with two strikeouts.  As noted during the telecasts, he needs two hours with the trainers before the game just to get onto the field.

With that said, I’d be shocked if the Mets look into what is still a shockingly deep free agent first base market with Duda, Adam Lind, or even Mark Reynolds still available.I think this is a fairly clear indication the Mets are ready to go with Gonzalez to start the season with Dominic Smith waiting it the wings.

In the event Gonzalez is the Opening Day first baseman, neither ZiPS or Steamer are bullish on Gonzalez.  ZiPS projects Gonzalez to hit .263/.326/.412 with 13 homers and 47 RBI.  Steamer has Gonzalez hitting .255/.326/.423 with nine homers and 29 RBI.  Based on what we have seen so far this Spring, you’d be hard-pressed to argue with these numbers.

Puddy Asks . . .

Assuming the top prospects Madrigal, De Sadas, Hankins, Turang, and McClanahan are off the board, who should the Mets consider drafting at #6 in the 2018 MLB Draft?

John Replies . . .

Honestly, I’m not a draft expert.  With that said, I believe is it’s too early to begin mock drafts and pinpointing players.  For example, look at last year’s first-round draft pick David Peterson.

At this point last year, no one had him pegged as a first-round pick.  However, as noted by Mike Lopresti of NCAA.com, Peterson began working with new Oregon Ducks Pitching Coach Jason Dietrich, and he became a much better pitcher.  That led to the Mets using their 20th overall pick to get him; a pick many believed was a steal.  According to Keith Law of ESPN, the Mets actually drafted the 58th best prospect in all of baseball.

All this despite Peterson not really being on the radar for the first round last year.

That aside, since you are interested in specific players and evaluations, I encourage you to read Teddy Klein’s excellent write-up on MMN about which players the Mets should target with both their sixth pick and their 46th pick in this June’s draft.

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Hopefully, you enjoyed this mailbag as much as I enjoyed answering your questions.  Keep the questions and comments coming and make sure to send them to AskMMO@metsmerizedonline.com

About John Sheridan 712 Articles
John was raised to be a Mets fan by birth, and now he is raising a Mets fan of his own. He also uses Sabermetrics to either confirm the proverbial eye test or to see if we're seeing things with Mets colored glasses. He looks forward to bringing this perspective to MMO. His work, including the tales of raising his son a Mets fan, can also be seen at MetsDaddy.com.