From Tom Seaver to Dwight Gooden to David Wright, A look at the New York Mets past, present and future.
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Mets ace Jacob deGrom sure took advantage of the rest over the all star break and threw a complete game 1 hitter in Sunday’s 5-0 win vs the Phillies in Philadelphia. deGrom had never pitched into the 9th in his entire career and was throwing free and easy in 90 degree temps. #48 has not had his plus, plus stuff all year but has pitched— PITCHED. Today he had his stuff and looked 100%. This is a big deal heading forward with Matt Harvey gone for the year and both Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard battling health issues. Play the lottery if you had Bartolo Colon as the most reliable Mets starting pitcher. The win secured a series win(2 of 3) and sets up a rematch of the 2015 NLCS between NY and the Cubs in Chicago.
Mets Notes: Mets all star OF Yoenis Cespedes(Leg) finally returned to the lineup Sunday but not to his customary CF. He played Left and according to both skipper Terry Collins and #52, this is probably permanent. The good news? Juan Lagares, an elite CF, had a really good series in Philly and is a viable option to play 75-80% of the games in Center. The team has recalled Michael Conforto from Las Vegas after hitting .340 + post demotion. How the playing time is doled out will be interesting as the Mets do not have an ideal centerfield option on the team. Hence the good feelings with Lagares. Make note that Brandon Nimmo(sent down to clear roster spot for Conforto) has experience in Center at the minor league level. Veteran Alejandro De Aza , having a tough year offensively, also figures into the Outfield mix.
Mets Manager Terry Collins announced their starting rotation for the opening 5 games of the 2nd half of the season. All star Bartolo Colon will open the series in Philadelphia. Logan Verrett and Jacob DeGrom will follow vs the Phillies. Lefty Steven Matz opens the 2015 NLCS rematch in Chicago vs the Cubs and All Star Noah Syndergaard will pitch game 2 in that vital series with Colon closing it out.
With the AL winning tonights MLB ASG, Lets hand out some Mets awards and look forward to the 2nd half.
Team MVP: Yoenis Cespedes— no further explanation needed. This is an average offense with him, without him, it is offensively average.
Team CY Young: Jeurys Familia- been perfect all season and pitched out of some messes. One of the elite closers in the game. Good teammate too.
Team MVP 2: Trainer Ray Ramirez- The team has been battling injuries in all areas all season and this guy needs a break. Pitchers, outfielders, Infielders, catchers, heck,even Terry Collins.
Underrated: Team defense. Offseason additions Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera give the Mets their best middle infield defense since the Ordonez- Alfonso tandem of the late 90s. Good sticks and locker room guys as well, Walker with kids-fans and Cabrera adds flavor in the dugout. James Loney has been as advertised at 1B, slick fielder.
Good: This team hits homers, pitches and catches the ball. Think Earl Weaver late 60-s-early 70s Orioles teams. The Mets also own the Chicago Cubs.
Bad: With the season ending injury to Matt Harvey, injury scares to both Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard turns a perceived strength into a potential weakness. Mets fans need to go to church and thank god for Bartolo Colon.
Ugly: Losing, games, series, etc to an awful Atlanta Braves team is a disgrace. Makes me nuts. Daniel “I am sorry” Murphy hitting Mets pitching and ANY Mets batter hitting with runners in scoring position. The last 10 days or so vs the Nationals, a team I KNOW this team can beat, has made me crazy. That team is not that good!!!!! And… Chase Utley.
Nice but too nice: Syndergaard throwing at Utley and MISSING him. Right idea, bad execution. HIT HIM. Mets fans do not care about winning, they care about hurting him. Yes, what he did is that bad. Mets beat Dodgers when it counted. Now hurt him. Like he hurt a Met. With a cheap play that the sport banned and rewrote rules for.
Commentary: The 1st half of the 2016 season has been both thrilling and taxing. The Mets pitching is so good they are in almost every game. With the recent additions of Kelly Johnson and Jose Reyes, the team has enough quality infielders to offset the serious injuries to both David Wright and Lucas Duda. A key heading forward is some combination of Juan Lagares, Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto must turn it around to give NY a good 3rd and/or 4th Outfielder. The team needs another reliever to help Addison Reed and lefty specialist Jerry Blevins in the important set up role in front of Familia. I like Logan Verrett but view him as a spot starter-fill in guy. The Mets could use another low end, low risk starting pitcher to give them depth until Zack Wheeler is back. Which is not a certainty. I like the potential of this team heading into the 2nd half but I also prioritize the health of the young arms and the Mets need to balance that with the drive to win. In other words, do not push and injure these pitchers when you do think you can win it all. No team has had a group of arms at this age at the same time in the history of baseball.
The Mets got some great All Star Game news Friday when veteran pitcher Bartolo Colon, a HUGE fan favorite, was selected to join the National League team by NY and NL skipper Terry Collins. Bart supplies comedy and good humor to fans but also can pitch, works hard and competes. Underrated veteran component on this club. The good feeling did not carry into the game Friday night as both the Mets top player and pitcher went down with injuries. OF Yoenis Cespedes strained his quad and Starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard left early with a tired arm. Both are out of the remaining games in the 1st half and the All Star game but should be OK heading forward. #52 missed 5 games in 2015 with a similar injury and will rest during the All Star break. Thor will make the trip and throw in San Diego before the team determines when he will pitch. The elbow that flared up within the last 10 days to 2 weeks was a non issue per Noah and Collins. Both players would have started this game as Yoenis was voted in and Noah was a good bet to open the game on the mound. Heath is science and science can be unpredictable but the Mets appear to have dodged a major bullet with their two stars.
The troubling and injury plagued season of starting pitcher Matt Harvey has officially ended with a release from his agent Scott Boras stating he would undergo surgery to repair the Thoracic Outlet Syndrome he is dealing with in his right shoulder. The highly controversial righty has had an awful season with up and down performances and this move is probably best for both Matt and the Mets. I am not a Harvey guy but will stay away from the personal attacks UNLESS Boras and his camp fuel the fire with leaks and misinformation. Which as already started as we have the he could not feel his fingers BS stories coming out. We have heard nothing but he was healthy all year. I am waiting on the Mets caused this because Matt pitched too much last year. I have been thoroughly consistent with my stance on Matt Harvey for almost a year: He is team killing cancer who needs to be moved and cleansed from the Mets locker room. He cares about getting paid and himself only not the Mets and winning. I say this with all sincerity, this team will be better off without him. Think Addition by subtraction, a reverse David Wright.
Today’s doctors visit in St Louis confirmed that Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey is suffering from Thoracic Outlet syndrome and is now in the decision making process phase of treatment. He can have season ending surgery or have an injection that can help him pitch to complete the year. Surgery is more than likely inevitable either way. The Mets and Harvey will make decide after the next couple of days. I vote and believe that #33 should have the operation now. I am not a fan of Matt and his “show” but I think the last 15-18 months have taken a toll on him mentally and physically. He needs a break and this surgery gives him hope. I think a lot of the demise of the Dark Knight is noise and talk. This procedure ends that. For 6 months. The Mets will start Logan Verrett in his place and this is an opportunity the popular swing man to shine.
Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey was placed on the 15 day DL postgame Wednesday with right shoulder discomfort and is seeing a vascular specialist in St. Louis Thursday. The team is concerned that #33 could be suffering from Thoracic Outlet syndrome, which is basically a blockage of either blood vessels or nerves between the neck and armpit. Obviously this would greatly impact a major league pitcher and explain a lot of Harvey’s 2016 struggles. The Mets and Matt will get a lot of answers after today’s meeting with the renowned Dr. Robert Thompson. I will update this story as more information becomes available.
The defending National League Champion New York Mets had 3 players announced for next weeks major league All Star Game. OF Yoenis Cespedes was voted in by the fans while Pitchers Noah Syndergaard and Jeurys Familia were picked by the managers-players. All 3 deserve to go and interesting fact from tonight’s SNY broadcast(Thank you, Gary and Ron): 4 of the Mets 5 starting pitchers have been All Stars. Only Steven Matz has not gone(He will)- Bartolo Colon, Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom have also appeared in the midseason classic. Always good to see your team have strong representation in this game. #LGM
The New York Mets rallied from a 6-0 deficit 4th inning deficit to defeat the Miami Marlins 8-6. The entire lineup battled and put together great at bats, this was not the usual Homer Happy Mets. They did hit two homers but they used outs to advance runners, worked counts and competed. This was a good sign overall and I sense a tremendous upturn in the club. Let it be noted that the team has not lost a game with Captain David Wright in the building. #5 cannot play or even be in the dugout but he is a HUGE part of this ball club. The recent return of Juan Lagares(Thumb) and a healed Curtis Granderson(Quad) gives this team a nice Outfield rotation and this is with Michael Conforto in Las Vegas! C Travis d’Arnaud has also started to heat up and puts together quality plate appearances each AB. He is also decent with the pitchers. LOL. Postgame, the team announced former Met star Jose Reyes is enroute to NY and will be activated prior to Tuesday’s game. The sad thing? A good player will be sent down to the minors or released. This shows how good this Mets team is.
COMMENTARY: Not all the news from Monday’s game was positive. Matt Harvey was bad again. He has that defeated Matt Harvey look to him. He looks lost and confused at times and I am on record saying he should be in Las Vegas. Not for a vacation. To regain his confidence and swagger. My disdain for this guy has been well documented. I want him gone, wanted him gone and view him as a bad guy and teammate. He is also a potential trade ass-et(Pun intended) and his struggles do not aid him or the Mets. Half the time he pitches, he looks like a gun fighter minus ammo. This guy used to pitch with a presence and attitude. He was the man. Now he looks and acts like a boy and boys go to Summer Camp. Send him to Vegas, Mets. For Harvey, for your team. This is a positive environment and 75% of the negative vibes are from #33. Remove him. Like Terry Collins did today in the 4th inning.
The New York Mets picked a great time to play the best series of the 2016 season and The defending National League champs swept the NL leading Chicago Cubs in a 4 game series by a combined score of 32-11. Sundays game was the highlight as the team hit 5 home runs and scored 7 runs in the 2nd to chase Cubs ace Jon Lester in a 14-3 win. 3B Wilmer Flores became the 2nd Met in franchise history to collect 6 hits and he also hit 2 home runs. I was very concerned about this team as it trailed in the opener early 3-0 before Yoenis Cespedes hit a ball to Pluto for the farthest home run in Citi Field. #52’s blast landed in the 3rd deck and went an estimated 475 feet. The minute that ball “landed”, the Mets dominated. The Pitchers pitched like the Mets pitch- GREAT. But the offense was not the typical homer happy approach(Until Sunday!!!) as rookie call up Brandon Nimmo, C Travis d’Arnaud and 1B James Loney all stepped up in the sweep. Season long stand outs- 2B Neil Walker and SS Asdrubal Cabrera- also chipped in and do not forget recent trade add Kelly Johnson, who adds so much off and on the field. The key now is the Mets sustaining this approach and play over the final 81 games of the year. As a point of reference, NY stood at 41-40 in 2015. Today? 44-37.
As the New York Mets prepare to square off with the Washington Nationals in a battle for 1st place in the National League East, I have updates on four players. OF Juan Lagares(Thumb) is ready to start his rehab assignment and is feeling better. SP Zack Wheeler(Tommy John Surgery) had no issues after throwing long toss and had no issues, he is back on his rehab schedule and should rejoin the big club sometime after the All Star break. Meanwhile, LHP Steven Matz(Elbow) has bone chips in his throwing arm and will see a doctor before he starts Wednesday. This is the type of thing a pitcher can attempt to play thru with pain management and common sense. Finally, team executives led by General Manager Sandy Alderson, watched Cuban free agent Yulieski Gourriel private work out in Florida and the potential Met 3B posted pictures online of himself in Mets garb. From his lips to gods ears.
The New York Mets signed their franchise leader in triples and stolen bases Saturday and Jose Reyes is back home. GM Sandy Alderson brought back the player the team inked at age 16 and in the NY system for 12 seasons. He is a huge fan favorite who does carry the domestic violence incident from this offseason but is known around the game as a good citizen. He will report to Brooklyn and play Sunday for the Cyclones. The Mets want him to play Third, 2nd and some Outfield. Reyes needs to get some work at Third and in the outfield, where he has never played before. The team hopes after 7-10 days he will be ready to rejoin the big league club. This is a win, win for the player and Mets. It was not long ago when Reyes and David Wright where the saviors of an exciting and upcoming Mets team.
The New York Mets almost sent down OF Michael Conforto to the minors earlier this week and give him some more time. The time was up Saturday and he was sent to Las Vegas. Super prospect Brandon Nimmo has been recalled and will play LeftField. Conforto had a great April(.350 plus batting average) but has completely fallen off(.119-.182-.237 BA-OBP-SLUG) in June. I still think this kid will be a great player and believe this is best for everyone involved. Nimmo is a top of order guy who ideally hits either 1 or 2 in the lineup. The 1st draft pick of the Sandy Alderson era in the 2011 draft, he hit .328-.409-.508 in 63 games in Vegas. Meanwhile, not official word on the Jose Reyes front but that looks to be a done deal as well. I love this activity and sense of urgency the Mets are showing. Big reason why this team has survived with all the injuries and so forth. Players like James Loney, Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera have been huge for the club and show this front office has a clue.
Numerous media outlets are reporting the New York Mets and Jose Reyes will reunite after the former all star and batting champion clears waivers at 1 pm Saturday. Reyes has served his 52 game suspension for domestic violence but would still need to get some work in the minors for conditioning and the team would like him to focus on Third base, although an ideal role for him would be as a super utility guy, spelling Neil Walker, Asdrubal Cabrera and Wilmer Flores in the infield. He would greatly upgrade the team’s speed and give them a late game base running threat. It should be noted this move does not appear to deter the Mets from looking at Cuban free agent 3B Yulieski Gourriel as a potential long term replacement for Captain David Wright. Ideal world for me is signing both players, they do different things and at this point in his career, Reyes is a part time player.
The New York Mets got a good medical report on starting pitcher Bartolo Colon(Thumb) to open Wednesday but waited word on Zack Wheeler(Elbow) all day. Colon will not miss any major time with his bruised digit but have not determined if he will make his next scheduled start. Mets skipper Terry Collins has him penciled in to start Sunday. Meanwhile, Wheeler had sensory nerve irritation in his surgically repaired elbow and was given a cortisone injection. #45 can resume rehab when the sensation disappears. The drama was added and hit DefCon levels when both Noah Syndergaard(elbow) and Yoenis Cespedes(wrist) went to the hospital post game Wednesday. Thor’s exam reveled no structural damage and he was given anti-inflammatory medication. No word on whether #34 will take his next turn. Cespedes has a mild sprain of his wrist and was also given a cortisone injection, he is listed as day to day. Any injuries to ANY of these four right now is scary and incredibly, the Mets seemed to have dodged bullets with all of them. But this has been a STRESSFUL time for fans in Queens.
The New York Mets have been linked to two free agents who could fill the hole created by the injury to 3B David Wright and one has roots in Queens. SS Jose Reyes, who could play either 2B or 3B, has no role in Colorado and is about to clear waivers. The Rockies are on the hook for his huge contact and #7 can hit. But his trademark superior athleticism is no more and defense is now a major weakness. And he has been charged with domestic violence. I vote no. BTW I was never a huge fan. David Wright guy. A name do I like is Cuban free agent Yulieski Gurriel, a 32 yr old , 15 year pro, who is an elite bat and many including Mets star Yoenis Cespedes rave about his talent and character. He would cost up to 11-12 mill per over 2-3 years. The issue here is with all the injuries, two players who has functioned offensively are 1B James Loney and INF Wilmer Flores. Unless I am bringing in George Brett and Don Mattingly, I want these guys to play. Wilmer is a Met and deserves a chance to play. I also like Loney on this team, pro bat. If the reports on Lucas Duda(Back) do not appear promising, I will revisit this stance and look to add a booper. The two guys who do need to step up are Curtis Granderson(Has heated up recently) and Michael Conforto(close to being sent to Las Vegas).
HITTING HURTING: The New York Mets offense has struggled mightly due to injuries and slumps but I also believe an issue is the approach and dependence on home runs. Every major league player is different and has his style. The Mets have a lot of quality sticks and a good no great hitting coach in Kevin Long. That’s why it is maddening to me to see this team not hit, AT ALL. A LOT. This team does not rally and is the slowest Mets squad I can remember, ZERO speed. They either homer or make outs. No in between. When a pro like Neil Walker comes in and becomes Jeff Kent, I wonder if this is good. This team misses a Daniel Murphy-Keith Hernandez get hits, hit doubles, get on base, do not strike out type. Variety is good and right now this team is too easy to attack and stop. And this blogger does not have an answer.
METS NOTES:Noah Syndergaard has been moved back in the rotation to Wednesday and veteran Bartolo Colon will throw tonight in game 1 of the World Series rematch. This sets up Thor to pitch twice vs the division leading Washington Nationals in the next 2 head to head series . Syndergaard is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA and 23 Ks in 20 innings over 2 starts vs the Nats…. LHP Sean Gilmartin has been recalled to replace injured RP Jim Henderson(shoulder) today and will be in the Mets pen… C Kevin Plawecki has been sent to the Minors as Travis d’Arnaud(rotator cuff) is back and the club wants KP to play everyday. He will in Vegas. Meanwhile, defensive specialist Rene Rivera, who has been a god send, will serve as the primary back up. His work with all the pitchers, particularly Matt Harvey, has been outstanding… Be on alert in this Royals series: Lots of bad feeling from Syndergaard dusting Royals leadoff man Alcides Escobar in Game 3 of the World Series. Thor is hitting Wednesday. Danny Duffy is starting for the Royals. No Ventura but you get the feeling it does not matter. If the Royals do anything to #34, the Mets and Citi Field might erupt. Make that definitely.
The New York Mets appeared to right the ship late last week when they won the two final games vs a tough Pittsburgh Pirates team. But any momentum from those wins was destroyed over the weekend as the awful Atlanta Braves somehow swept the Mets in NY. I know about injuries and slumps but this is unacceptable. The pitching was ok- particularly the starters- but nobody is hitting and Michael Conforto is a prime candidate to be sent down to Las Vegas with a sub .200 batting average since the end of May. Manager Terry Collins openly talked about roster and lineup changes postgame. This weekend was awful and I know things are magnified when you do not hit but this cannot and should not happen. That needs to change and change fast or this team will not be playing meaningful games in September let alone October.
New York Mets 3B- Captain David Wright underwent surgery on a disc in his neck Thursday and is out indefinitely. Wilmer Flores will have a real opportunity to win this job short term and has been hitting well since the Captain went down. Dependent on how well Flores plays, the Mets could save resources to add another position instead of a long or short term answer at 3B. The team has been without 1B Lucas Duda and C Travis d’Arnaud(Will return next week) for over a month and could fill both slots with one move: Jonathan Lucroy. The Mets have played almost over 150 games without Wright in the last 2 years and fans have to be seriously concerned about his long term health as both a player and person. Very cruel that the franchise face cannot help a team that has finally matched his talent. Here is the statement from #5:
“After trying every way to get back on the field, I’ve come to realize that it’s best for me, my teammates and the organization to proceed with surgery at this time. My neck simply did not respond to any of the treatments of the past few weeks. While incredibly frustrating and disappointing, I am determined to make a full recovery and get back on the field as soon as I can to help the Mets win. I greatly appreciate the support of my teammates and our fans throughout the last few weeks.”
CF Juan Lagares, who was in real position to earn some playing time with the team slumping and beat up, was placed on the DL due to his ongoing thumb injury Thursday. #12 will try the rest- rehab route ala Wright and see how the joint responds before deciding on surgery. Good news in the game tonight as LF Michael Conforto(Wrist) and 2B Neil Walker(Back) returned to the lineup and hit back to back homers in a victory. Side note: Walker, A career 2B in a free agent walk year, has volunteered to move to 3B if the club needs him with the injury to the Captain. UNBELIEVABLE.
The New York Mets recent lineups have featured 2-3 opening day starters with 2B Neil Walker(Back) and Michael Conforto(Wrist) now joining Captain David Wright(Neck), 1B Lucas Duda(Back) and C Travis d’Arnaud(Rotator Cuff) in the MASH unit. The team is struggling to score with all the injuries and leaves OFs Curtis Granderson , Yoenis Cespedes and SS Asdrubal Cabrera as the only members intact from the opening night April 4th batting order. Heck, even Juan Lagares could not start tonight with a serious dental problem. The Mets should get a better on where Wright is by the end of the week according to GM Sandy Alderson. The Captain is currently in California meeting with his back specialist to determine whether to get season ending surgery or continue with rest and rehab.
COMMENTARY: I am a big Kelly Johnson(reacquired late last week) guy and he is a great bench presence, allowing Wilmer Flores to play almost daily at one of 4 infield spots. But this team needs a big bat desperately or the Washington Nationals lead will reach double figures by the end of the month. That’s how beat up and depleted the Mets field team is. I suggest 2 moves— trade for C Jonathan Lucroy from the Milwaukee Brewers. He is an elite backstop who hits and is signed thru 2017. I would also call up OF Brandon Nimmo and DFA Alejandro De Aza, I want the 5 outfielders on this team to be Granderson, Conforto, Cespedes, Lagares and Nimmo. I want athleticism, offense and energy. When we are playing the Pittsburgh Pirates, I want to see an OF like that! I am waiting on the medical updates on Walker because he is could be a key part of a 3rd move if he checks out. I would consider moving Neil to 3B and calling up Dilson Herrera to be the everyday 2B. These team needs a kick in the pants and we have both internal (2 kids getting things done in Las Vegas) and external options. The time has come for the team to be both active and reactive.
Mets skipper Terry Collins has been medically cleared and will be fine to manage this Tuesday after a health scare this weekend. The 67 yr old manager felt ill pre game Sunday ; was admitted to a local hospital in Milwaukee and under went several tests. All came back negative OR positive and the popular Collins is free to travel back to NYC and resume baseball activities. TC is one of the good ones in the game and this is REALLY good news for both the manager, team and sport.
Lots of news regarding the team as they finished the 2nd leg of a 3 city, 10 game road trip in Pittsburgh tonight: The team is waiting to see how CF Juan Lagares(Thumb ligament injury) responds to swinging the bat and will then make a determination on whether to DL him or not. Expect some movement on this by Friday, finger injuries produce a lot of swelling and pain…. The Mets offense continues to struggle and looks inept at times when they do not homer. OFs Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto(great game tonight including a 2 run 8th inning homer that tied the contest) need to step it up and strangely, 1B James Loney has provided a small spark by just being efficient and not trying to hit 7 run shots. Loney is what he is : A Pro…. Team reacquired veteran INF-OF Kelly Johnson Wednesday and he provides offense and versatility to a team that needs both. Ideally, he is a super sub -a role that Wilmer Flores had until injuries drew him into starters minutes. Unlike some of these called up kids, Johnson has done it and has experience and relationships within the NY Locker room…. I am a big Neil Walker guy and these last 3 days illustrate why. He is from Pittsburgh and the fans of his former club love him. He got the Mayors treatment all series and never said no to any media or fan request. A pro’s pro– someone a certain pitcher on this team should look at and emulate. Terry Collins joked postgame that the poor guy had to be happy to leave and get some rest…. Rene Rivera will draw most of starts at Catcher over rookie Kevin Plawecki due to his great defensive play and rapport with pitchers…. Nice to see rookie and long time minor leaguer Ty Kelly hit his 1st major league home run tonight. Huge for both the player and team. Unfortunately, Kelly is a strong candidate to be sent back to Las Vegas to make room on the roster for his name sake, Mr. Johnson. Tough business and game, Baseball.
The New York Mets won Friday night in Miami vs the Marlins 6-2 and the star of the game was Noah Syndergaard, who threw 7 strong. However, the bigger story was the contributions of 3 key pieces and how they factor heading forward. The Mets lost their captain, 3B David Wright, for an extended period Friday(Herniated disc) and he joins 1B Lucas Duda(Back) and C Travis d’Arnaud(Shoulder) on the DL. Amazingly, all 3 of the replacements for the 3 Mets stars homered last night- as James Loney(1ooth career), Rene Rivera and Wilmer Flores left the yard and drove in all 6 NY runs. Loney and Flores will both play a lot and Wilmer , who has struggled to find consistency in a bench role, has an opportunity here. Rivera continues to perform and do great work with the pitchers and should platoon with Kevin Plawecki MINIMUM at this point. Just a great, great night for a team that will be without #5 til Late August at the earliest. The team announced David Wright will rest for 6-8 weeks as he tries to avoid surgery for a herniated disc in his neck.
According to numerous media outlets, Mets captain-3B David Wright will be placed on the 15 day DL Friday and miss an extended period with a herniated disc in his neck. The team has not confirmed the reports but the move makes sense as #5 is battling a spinal stenosis, a serious back condition and has not played since homering in 3 straight games last week. The team will reportedly recall INF Matt Reynolds from Triple A Las Vegas and pair him with Wilmer Flores to replace Wright. The Mets and their fans have to come to grips with the fact that their most beloved and longest tenured player’s career is in serious jeopardy as his team is ready to contend for years to come. Just a tough, tough day all around.
Matt Harvey pitched easily the best game of his season Monday after being awful over his last 3 starts(10+ ERA) and lead the New York Mets to a 1-0 win over the Chicago White Sox. #33 looked like his pre-2016 self with 98 MPH stuff and the mound presence and I am the man personality that made him the talk of the town and major league baseball. He allowed 2 hits over 7 and after a rough weekend series vs the interdivision rival Los Angeles Dodgers gave some of the beat up members of the pen a day off. More importantly, Matt Harvey looked and sounded like Matt Harvey during and after the game. The Mets need this and Matt needs the Mets. Anyone who reads this blog knows I am not the president of the #33 fan club and never will be. But we have a business relationship at this point and it is based on him being a good employee to the team. He was today and this was a big step for both Matt and the Mets. Lets hope it continues.
Mets Mash: Not all good news from Citi Field Monday. Captain David Wright missed his 3rd straight game with neck pain and the 3rd Baseman disclosed postgame he is suffering from a herniated disc in his neck and will have a better idea about where he is after seeing specialists Tuesday. A stint on the DL for #5 remains a probable option and with the return today of Wilmer Flores and addition of 1B James Loney, the Mets have some options in the infield. However, the team has to be concerned about long term health of Wright, who is as tough as they come. The man famously played for weeks with a broken back on team headed no where. Cruel world we live in when a guy who represents everything good about people and sports stays with a team that rebuilds around him then sees his body fail him when the roster matches his ability.
1986 Mets: With the weekend celebration of 1986 World Champions, I wanted to talk about this group. I became a fan of the Mets via my Father ,Jim Flannelly. My parents divorced when I was 8 and my Dad moved around a lot due to his job. He settled in the greater NYC area and we started going to Mets games in 1983. Both being native New Englanders, you have a better chance of seeing us at a KGB recruiting station than in the Bronx. Midway thru the season, the team added a super star in 1B Keith Hernandez and called up RF Darryl Strawberry. They had some promising players -mostly pitchers- on the come- Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling, Len Dykstra and Roger McDowell. The major league team had some decent pieces too-OF Mookie Wilson, 2B Wally Backman and Ps Ed Lynch, Doug Sisk and Jesse Orosco. They added a veteran 3B in Ray Knight. The future was bright. In 84, they stepped up huge and new skipper Davey Johnson was a big reason why. Only a brilliant season by a veteran Chicago Cubs team prevented the Mets from making the playoffs.
GM Frank Cashen saw how good this team was , adding a vital piece when he traded for C Gary Carter, a future Hall of Fame Catcher, in the winter. The team battled again in 85 and lost the division in the final week of the season vs the St Louis Cardinals. Gooden became the best pitcher in the sport and Darling slotted in as a ideal #2. Howard Johnson teamed up with Knight and SS Rafael Santana to mix and match in the infield. Hernandez-Carter-Strawberry became a potent 3-4-5 middle of the order that also went lefty, righty, lefty and the heavy lifting was done. Young pitchers like Sid Fernandez and Rick Aguilera showed they belonged in Flushing full time and internal improvements had this team looking strong for 86. Cashen was again busy during the winter and added smaller pieces than Hernandez and Carter but still huge in LHP Bobby Ojeda and 2B Tim Teufel. 1986 would be different.
The 86 Mets had it all. They won 108 regular season games- They had 4 –FOUR- 4 bench clearing brawls. They even won those. They led the majors in curtain calls after big homers and made the opposition nuts. The #1 thing I take from that team is EVERYONE on that team contributed. EVERYONE. And they NEVER gave up. Dykstra became a top lead off man and Kevin Mitchell could play any position and be effective. Former Met Lee Mazzilli was brought back and gave them another great pinch hitter to pair with Danny Heep. I could go on and on. This current Mets team reminds me a lot of that group in that everyone has a role and does it. Time and time again, the 86 Mets battled- the two playoff series they won- vs the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox- give you some of the greatest baseball games of all time. And today, Mets fans get to see 3 members of the 86 team almost nightly- at 3rd base coaching the Mets(Teufel #11) and in the TV broadcast booth(Keith #17 and Ron #12). I think that is pretty cool. And the 86 Mets where pretty cool to watch. Thanks, guys. #LGM
The New York Mets finally threw at Chase Utley Saturday night and he spent the rest of the evening hitting balls over the fence. Utley famously broke the leg of NY shortstop Rueben Tejada’s leg with a dirty, late and cheap slide in game 2 of the 2015 ALDS and Mets fans have been screaming for retaliation for over a year. Well, Noah Syndergaard threw a pitch directly behind Utley in the 3rd inning and was promptly ejected without warning. Mets skipper Terry Collins, as mad as you will see him, came out and was promptly sent to the showers with Thor. To magnify things, Utley then homered in his next 2 at bats and drove in 5 runs. Amazing how this sport changes a rule and knows what Utley did was awful yet the Mets try to exact revenge and get punished more than #26 does. Great sport. Utley is a great, great player who kills the Mets but he is also dirty player who needs to be held accountable for how he plays. The Mets should throw out him til he does not get up. And then throw at him again. Hit him tonight, Bartolo.
Mets notes: The Mets made a minor trade Saturday that could turn out to be major as they acquired 1B James Loney from San Diego Padres for cash. Loney, an excellent defender and contact hitter, has hit .285 over his 9 year + career and bats left handed. He will platoon with Wilmer Flores at 1B while Lucas Duda(Back) heals and rehabs….. Captain David Wright(Back) was out Saturday with a sore neck and the team is having this issue examined by doctors over the next 24 hrs. #5 has homered in 3 straight contests… Flores(Hamstring) is set to rejoin the team and was traveling to NY Sunday after completing his rehab assignment Saturday… Larger column coming but awesome to see the 1986 World Champion Mets team being honored over the entire weekend. Anyone who watches the TV broadcasts gets a dose of Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez nightly but getting the best team in franchise history together is always a good thing.
The New York Mets have not learned and continue to make the same mistake over and over again. They trust Matt Harvey. The problem is Matt Harvey doesn-t even trust himself anymore. And it is written all over his face. David Wright, the team’s unquestioned leader, has publicly stated he needs to learn to face the music when times are good AND bad. Not allow his manager, rookie catcher Kevin Plawecki and teammates to answer for his lousy outing. More importantly, the Mets need to stop treating this guy like he is Tom Seaver. He was great. For about a year. From his call up in 2012 to when he was injured in 2nd half of 2013. Other than that, he was good. In 2015. Now? He has been awful. 6.08 ERA. He asks for and receives special treatment. Where was the outrage over the other 3 kid pitchers innings limits in 2015? He is only Member of the Mets who is allowed to stink and stay with the big club. He belongs in Las Vegas and is hurting the team. But the Team is more concerned about Matt Harvey’s feelings and psyche. That concerns me and should concern Mets fans everywhere. Being a bad teammate, guy and player is a bad combo. Notice how nobody is talking about Curtis Granderson hitting under .200? Why? Great person. Proven track record. #33 also is developing a track record and it is not good. Neither is Matt Harvey right now and that is bad for the New York Mets.
Matt Harvey’s big test came back an F Tuesday as the Washington Nationals pummeled him again for the 2nd time in a week for 5 runs in 5 innings(3 Home runs) and his status for his next start is now in play. Even Terry Collins- the President of the Matt Harvey fan club- sees that this guy is not right right now and he is not a major league pitcher. Let alone one on a team that is trying to win the World Series. He has zero confidence and mound presence and his starts are becoming embarrassing. As a long time Mets fan, this whole Dark Knight nonsense is an energy drain. Matt did this, Matt did that,etc. Matt could not get Little Leaguers out today. It is May 24. His ERA is 6.08. If his name was Harvey Matt, he would be in the minors. Part of #33’s problem is he brings a lot of this on himself. He made a stink about his pitch totals, the 6 man rotation, etc last season. He famously campaigned to finish Game 5 of the World Series. The Mets need to take charge and be the Boss of Matt Harvey, not the other way around. Like major league hitters are his boss now. He is hurting the team and himself. Unless he is injured , send him to Las Vegas. Wally Backman and Frank Viola are tremendous attitude adjustment coaches.
COMMENTARY:Finally, My feelings and stance on Matt Harvey has not changed since he pulled the innings limit BS with the team late in 2015. I think he is a team killing ass. He was a talented ass before this season. I can tolerate that. And this is a good no great locker room with a mix of vets and younger players that works. But this guy has a lot of A Rod in him. 24 men plus 1. Its always about Matt. And I want to thank Matt for validating everything I have written about him with his behavior AFTER he got his head handed to him AGAIN last night. Captain tough guy, The Dark Knight,the man who started an All Star Game at Citi Field, plunked Chase Utley for being Chase Utley,etc dressed and did not face reporters post game. Instead, he left his catcher Kevin Plawecki- with 1 year in the majors- to answer for his failures. If I was on this current Mets team, #33 and I would have had a fist fight last night. You can be a lot of things but being a lousy teammate is not one of the them. And that is the bigger crime than being a crappy pitcher. Matt Harvey is both.
The New York Mets lost 1B Lucas Duda Monday for at least 4-6 weeks due to a stress fracture in his lower back. The Mets have several internal options and can mix and match while their power hitter heals. Rookie Ty Kelly, an 8 season 27 yr old minor leaguer, has been called up and was leading all of minor league baseball with a .391 average and .478 On base. He is a super utility guy and gives Mets skipper Terry Collins another bench option. As a point of reference, Captain David Wright missed 58 games in 2011 with a similiar injury. Eric Campbell played 1B Monday and Wilmer Flores will also get some work at the spot when he returns from his rehab assignment later this week. Wright and LF Michael Conforto’ s names have also been mentioned. Do not minimize this, this is a hit for a team trying to win the World Series.
The New York Mets await a follow up exam on slugging 1B Lucas Duda and his ailing back Monday and whether this is a short or long term issue could go a long way in determining the teams course of action. Team orthopedist Dr David Altcheck will provide a 2nd opinion before the Mets release a statement but Manager Terry Collins did not paint a pretty picture postgame Sunday. The team would be wise to look at several internal options regardless of the outcome for now and here are just a few of the top of my head: Eric Campbell and Wilmer Flores(in rehab stint this week, back by end of the week) if the reports are good, 10 days to 2 week type thing. Keith Hernandez is not coming down from the booth. These two are super subs and can hit a bit while providing solid D. If this is a month or longer, I would move Michael Conforto to First and put Juan Lagares in Center 75-80% of the time. This makes you better defensively in the outfield with a gold glove in Center and Left(Yoenis Cespedes is an excellent LF). Another idea is giving some work to David Wright at 1B. This should be easier on his back and shoulder and both Campbell and Flores can play 3B. I did not even explore the trade market but you I have painted the picture here: the Mets have options for the loss of Duda.
Mets Notes: Matt Harvey will start Tuesday vs the Nationals after they beat him from pillar to post last week with the hope that his professional pride will kick in and he will step up. My feelings on this guy are well established but right now, the team needs him to right himself and perform. Jacob deGrom is not 100% stuff wise but goes out and pitches effectively and competes. #33 should watch, learn and execute. Bartolo Colon and Steven Matz will pitch the other 2 games in Washington in the 1st road series between these teams since the Mets went in and took over the Division lead in September of Last year with many late rallies and home runs.
The Mets and their former ace Matt Harvey got their asses kicked Thursday night by the Washington Nationals 9-1 to lose 2 of 3 in the first season series . The Mets are not hitting and they made some errors in the 3rd but the story tonight was the shelling of Harvey(9 runs in less than 3 innings). Listen, anyone who reads this blog or talks to me knows I am not a Matt Harvey guy. He is about himself and about his next contract not this team or winning. But this was hard to watch tonight. He had no answer and looked shot mentally. He literally looked like a lost soul on the mound. Matt Harvey. The Dark Knight. With zero confidence. With zero hope. Mets Manager Terry Collins, a big Harvey guy, also seemed short of answers postgame sighting everything from his spring training health scare to last years inning totals. Again, he claims this is not a physical thing but more about execution and belief. Listen, Harvey and his representatives did not handle the Mets sudden success well last year but he did pitch innings totals way above expectations and you have to wonder if that bill is now due. This was tough to watch as a Mets fan. #33 will never be invited over for Xmas dinner at the Flannelly household but my expectation for him is to be a good major league pitcher. Right now, you have to wonder if he is better suited for a visit to Las Vegas or the DL. Looks like a shot fighter.
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