Notes & Thoughts: On Leathersich, d’Arnaud, & Backman

Here are today’s pertinent news and notes…

Jack Leathersich promoted to AAA Las Vegas:

Jack Leathersich, who had been striking out the World in AA Binghamton, has been promoted to AAA Las Vegas.  Leathersich, 22, struck out an eye popping 55 batters in 29.1 innings pitched while in AA to go along with a 1.53 ERA and 1.19 WHIP.

Mar 18, 2013; Jupiter, FL, USA; New York Mets catcher Travis d

A few days ago on WFAN, general manager Sandy Alderson hinted that Leathersich might skip AAA entirely.  At the same time, he noted that Leathersich still needed a little more work on his control.  I’m not sure how any pitcher can be properly evaluated in the hitters haven that is the PCL, but Leathersich is nevertheless on his way there.

While Leathersich is a lefty, it should again be noted that he has severe reverse platoon splits.  This isn’t a guy who should come up to the majors and serve as a lefty specialist.  He fares much better against right handed batters, and should be utilized with that in mind whenever he’s called up to the big leagues.

Travis d’Arnaud rehabbing, will have checkup Monday:

Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud, who has been rehabbing a broken bone in his left foot, will meet with Mets doctors again on Monday for a checkup.

d’Arnaud has been in Port St Lucie working on “strength and range of motion.”  A few days ago, it was reported that he’d be cleared to begin running in two weeks.  d’Arnaud noted on his twitter account that he’d “know more” after his doctor’s appointment on Monday.

What’s the deal with Wally Backman?

A day after Bob Klapisch wrote a piece suggesting that Wally Backman’s audition for Mets manager could be underway, Dave Lennon of Newsday wrote a piece that stated the exact opposite.  The majority of the article is about Terry Collins, and the only portion of it relevant to Backman is below:

 

Not only is Collins safe, there have been no conversations about Wally Backman as a potential replacement, either for this year or beyond. In fact, Backman’s bold guarantees this week about fixing Ike Davis have rubbed some in the organization the wrong way after so much time and effort trying to help Davis at the major-league level.  When asked about the possibility of Backman eventually taking over for Collins, one person familiar with the situation replied, ‘There’s zero chance of that happening. Zero.’

This is just my opinion, but I don’t buy into the above blurb.  The article asserts that “there have been no conversations about Backman as a potential replacement,” but doesn’t note if anyone else has been discussed.  Nothing concrete can be inferred from that (even if the part about Backman not being discussed is accurate).

Further, the idea that Backman made “bold guarantees” about Ike Davis is absurd.  His exact words were “we’ll get him right.”  It’s laughable to think a manager who’s been given the task of fixing a broken Ike Davis is rubbing people the wrong way by being optimistic about correcting Davis’ flaws.

Lastly, the claim that there’s “zero chance” of Backman becoming the manager seems like utter nonsense.  Before the 2011 season, Backman was not only interviewed for the major league managerial job, he received a second interview.  In order for one to buy that there’s “zero chance” of Backman becoming the manager, you’d have to believe that Sandy Alderson interviewed him twice in 2010 purely for show.  I don’t buy that.  Since 2010, Backman has risen from short season A ball to AAA, while doing everything the club has asked of him.  We’ll just have to wait and see how this plays out.

 

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Topics: Jack Leathersich, New York Mets, Travis D'Arnaud, Wally Backman

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