From Tom Seaver to Dwight Gooden to David Wright, A look at the New York Mets past, present and future.
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The New York Mets added another versatile weapon Monday this time it was an arm as the team acquired veteran reliever Tyler Clippard from the Oakland A-s in exchange for an A level pitching prospect. Clippard was a member of the division rival Washington Nationals from(2008-14) and has pitched in variety of roles out of the pen, mainly as a 8th inning set up man.(He led the majors with 40 holds in 2014) In 2015, he has 17 saves(21 chances) and is 1-3. He has been dominant vs left handed batters( .100 this season, .183 career) and gives a deep pen reinforcements and options. Remember Jenrry Mejia is ineligible for postseason play due to his PED suspension and he is the current bridge to closer Jeurys Familia. This another indicator that the Mets and GM Sandy Alderson are going for it in 2015. The team has also been linked to big name bats like Cincinnati Reds RF Jay Bruce, Milwaukee Brewers CF Carlos Gomez and Colorado Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki. Again, I am not for a move that costs one of the big 4 pitchers but I would trade Zack Wheeler, Juan Lagares and prospects for an elite bat under club control thru 2016. Ideally, I would look at 2 more small moves- one for a Outfielder who can play all 3 spots(Brewers Gerardo Parra, Padres Will Venable come to mind) and an everyday SS(Brewers Jean Segura, Chicago White Sox Alexi Ramirez) then attack in the offseason after we get a better idea where captain-3B David Wright is at.
Stating the obvious but adding Kelly Johnson, Juan Uribe and Michael Conforto has improved the offense. Lets be honest, adding a ham sandwich would due the same but you took at bats away from overmatched bench and 4A players and gave them to two pros who can play multiple positions. And Conforto comes as advertised. He has a great approach at the plate and brings intensity to the field defensively, he has already had two minor collisions with other Met Outfielders. This is not Mantle, Aaron and Mays but the Mets do not need that with their pitching. They need efficient offense and these 3 can be part of a winning formula. They also create competition and players do not want to be Wally Pip. Factor in that C Travis d’Arnaud is close to rejoining the team and if Wright comes back, wow. NY METS: DANGEROUS.
The Mets and Manager Terry Collins finally got some reinforcements late Friday night when the team traded two prospects to division rival Atlanta for 3B Juan Uribe and INF-OF Kelly Johnson. This move allows Collins to mix and match his lineup and with current Met infielders like Daniel Murphy, Ruben Tejada and Wilmer Flores being able to play multiple positions, numerous options. Uribe, who gives the team David Wright insurance, has hit .272 with 8 home runs and 23 rbi, is 36. Johnson,33, can play all over the place, is batting .275 , clubbed 9 home runs and driven in 34 runs. Both are free agents at the end of the year. This move gives the team pro bats and after you see a player like John Mayberry Jr. batting cleanup, you see obvious need for offense. These small moves could have big consequences for a pitching loaded Mets team. More importantly, they maintained their own major league roster and did not give up any major prospects. The team could still add a big bat in the Outfield and an everyday shortstop. Zack Wheeler’s name has been rumored in trade talks.
The Mets have promoted top prospect OF Michael Conforto and placed OF-1B Michael Cuddyer on the 15 day DL with a knee injury. Conforto is one of the top 10 hitting prospects in all of baseball, according to ESPN analyst Keith Law and was New York’s 1st round pick in the 2014 draft. The 22 year old Oregon State product had two hits and threw out a runner at home plate in the MLB Futures Game earlier this Month. Mets skipper Terry Collins will give him regular playing time and still get others like Kirk Nieuwenhuis and John Mayberry Jr work as well. In Other words, If Conforto plays well, he is here to stay.
With the 2nd half underway and trade deadline coming a week from Friday, Lets do a medical update on Several Key Mets. First, Michael Cuddyer continues to try to avoid the DL with his ailing knee and team doctors are hopeful after he changed medicines Thursday. If he is placed on the 15 day, the team could call up top prospect Outfielder Michael Conforto from Double A. Good news on C Travis d’Arnaud(Elbow) who started his rehab assignment today and could rejoin the club next week. The goal is to get him 25 at bats in minor league games before suiting up for the Mets. Captain David Wright has ramped up his back rehab and done some baseball related activities, he will continue to do so next week but in New York, not Florida or California. LHP Steven Matz will have is partially torn lat muscle re-examined by doctors this week and we will have more information after that. Meanwhile, LHRP Jerry Blevins(Broken arm) will also see a doctor Monday and could be cleared to start throwing.
The New York Mets have announced their 2nd half rotation as they begin a vital stretch to close out the Month of July. Rookie Noah Syndergaard will open up in St. Louis followed by veterans Jon Niese and Bartolo Colon. This means that the Mets will have Jacob de Grom, Matt Harvey and Syndergaard will be in line to pitch vs the 1st place during next weeks battle with the 1st place Washington Nationals. I cannot emphasize enough how important the end of July is, the team’s performance will help dictate how active the Mets are with the July 31st trading deadline approaching.
The New York Mets and all the other franchises in major league baseball had their 4 greatest players- as selected by fan voting- announced at the All Star Game Tuesday night: P Tom Seaver, C Mike Piazza, 1B Keith Hernandez and 3B David Wright. Let me start by saying I have been a Mets fan since 1980 and I have seen all 4 of these gentleman play. These lists are hard to do but I try to apply rules for tie breakers: I favor home grown players, championships, and good people who excelled on and off the field. After that, I look at traded players making an impact and changing the culture. Seaver is a no brainer(Look at the name of this blog!) and Wright has been the face of this team since he came up in 2004. My dilemma was a final three of Piazza, Hernandez and OF Darryl Strawberry. Piazza and Hernandez were both great, great players and team leaders who gave the team massive credibility the minute they took the field at Shea. Hernandez is the best defensive 1B I have ever seen and Piazza the best offensive catcher of all time. I would favor Keith and this is why: He came the team when they were the New York MESS not Mets and signed here long term. That one move changed the image of the franchise. Piazza was the final piece- think Gary Carter, Bobby Ojeda- to a team that was close to making the playoffs. Let me say this- I LOVE Mike Piazza. Now Strawberry. Maybe the single greatest talent the team has ever drafted, he was amazing to watch and had athleticism coming out of his pours. He teamed with Dwight Gooden to give the franchise the premier young arm and position player in the game in the early 80s. I saw every game he ever played for the team, loved watching #18. But when I make a final list Straws off field issues while with the team have to count for something and I think the fans got this right.#41,#5,#17,#31… The Franchise Four for the New York Mets.
The Mets surprising season has many calling for the team to make a major trade to bolster an injured and flawed roster. Yes, the team has great pitching and has played great at home. But they need 2-3 everyday players- A STARTING SHORTSTOP!!!!!!- to make the postseason. i favor letting guys develop and adding veterans to fill specific roles. If Wright, d’Arnaud and Matz do not come back, it is on to 2016. folks. Nobody wants this team to succeed more than this blogger but I also understand this is a process and when I watched the All Star game a great example of why fans need to patient was apparent. A couple of years ago when the Mets were in rebuild mode, they had a local player in sight to select in the draft. Unfortunately, they spent their 1st round pick(Compensation rules on signing top tier free agents) on a closer and could not make take the player. Good news for Mets fans though, the pitcher was in the all star game last night- Francisco Rodriquez. But he was pitching for the Milwaukee Brewers. That other guy NY wanted to draft? MIKE TROUT.
The National League lost the All Star game 6-3 but the Mets lone all star- pitcher Jacob de Grom- was not a reason why. In the 6th inning(de Grom’s only inning), he struck out the side. On 10 pitches. Here is the list of all the other pitchers in major league baseball history who have achieved this….(CRICKETS). NOBODY.
That is not a typo. Jacob de Grom is the ONLY player in the history of major league baseball to accomplish that feat. I could not be happier for the Mets 2nd yr starter and anyone who reads this blog knows I am bullish on the righty. Heck, I have him on BOTH my fantasy teams!(Matt Harvey too BTW) The young man is special and as a Mets fan it is fun to have others see that. Great kid too. Part of strong present and brighter future!
Captain Kirk had a HUGE Sunday, becoming the 1st Met in franchise history to hit 3 home runs at home, leading New York to a 5-3 win and series sweep over the Arizona Diamonbacks. Kirk Nieuwenhuis,long a favorite of this blogger, had been released TWICE this year, traded and did something no other player in franchise history had done in 54 years. He was hitting .091 going into action today, Thats baseball! More importantly, we have a player who can help this team heading forward as a 4th Outfielder, platoon option. Kirk can play defense and is well liked by his teammates and Manager. These team has veterans on the corners and a young centerfielder who is battling physically. It would not be hard to find playing time for #9 3,4 days a week on this team.
Meanwhile, what a whirlwind of offensive upswing for a beleaguered club. The team went 414 plate appearances between home runs and 9 games without a 4 bagger by players not named Curtis Granderson. However, the Mets have scored 15 straight runs on homers- wnning 4 straight and even pitchers(Matt Harvey) have gotten in on the act. The team tends to hit better at Citi Field and overall the team has played great at their homefield)32-14) after being sub .500 for yrs at their new stadium. Any offensive improvement would go along way towards getting this team into the Post Season for the 1st time since 2006.
The New York Mets promising season has again been detoured by a familiar adversary: Injury. Promising rookie LHP Steven Matz(2-0,1.32 ERA with 14 Ks in 13 2/3 innings in 2 games with 5 rbi) has been diagnosed with a partial tear in his his left lat muscle. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection at the Hospital for Special Surgery in NY and will be shut down for 3 weeks. Best case scenario has the Long Island native back in 5-6 weeks. This news and injury does severe damage to the Mets postseason hopes.
All Star Game: Good news on 1 front from the All Star Game selection show tonight with the selection of starting pitcher Jacob de Grom to the National League team. Closer Jeurys Familia was not picked but made the Final Vote contest. Basically, MLB picks 5 candidates for each league and fans vote online for the final member of each team. #27 is against 3 starting pitchers(led by Los Angeles Dodgers star Clayton Kershaw) and Colorado Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki. He faces a major uphill battle but he has a chance. Not bad for a guy tapped for the 7th or 8th inning when the season opened.
Gutsy win, Trip: The Mets have won 3 of 4 on their current California Trip(Los Angeles and San Francisco) and Monday nights win was a season highlight. Jon Niese, who has been pitching great over his last 5-6 starts, shut down the Giants over 8 frames and the team scored three runs in the 9th win 3-0. New York got hits from Michael Cuddyer, Kirk Nieuwenhuis(Brought back after being released by two different teams!), Johnny Monell and Juan Lagares to secure the victory. The key? Good at bats by all. Worked the count, took ball and swung at strikes then attacked the ball.
Improved “O”: Team is never going to confused with the ’75 Cincinnati Reds but their are positive signs heading forward. RF Curtis Granderson has been hitting for over a month(.333 with 9 rbi in Last 14 games) and Daniel Murphy is Daniel Murphy(Aka Professional Hitter). However,the recent position change(SS to 2B) for Wilmer Flores has helped kick start his bat and he tore it up in Los Angeles over the weekend, going 10 for 13. Lucas Duda and Michael Cuddyer have been slumping as of late but Cuddyer is battling a knee issue and got the winning rally started Monday night. Meanwhile, Duda was given the night off and only appeared as a pinch hitter. The team needs these two to turn if around and hope reinforcements(Namely David Wright and Travis d’Arnaud) return. An everyday upgrade at Shortstop would also be ideal(Jean Segura?!), although Ruben Tejada has played well at the spot.
6 “Man”: Matt Harvey is not a fan of the 6 man rotation and has said so publicly but when you see the positive effect it has had on a veteran like Niese and also consider that the other 5 Mets starters are either young and on pitch limits(de Grom, Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz) or been in the majors since 1943(Bartolo Colon), this is the best way to get this group thru the season and into a potential playoff scenario. This is subject to change and when you consider each time they use the 6th man set up they save these arms wear and tear, it also gives the team time to adjust the strategy.
Mets Mash: No update on Lefty specialist Jerry Blevins(Forearm) or d’Arnaud(Elbow) but good news on Wright, who is with the team in Cali. Wright has had real progress with his back and could resume baseball activities this week. A Late July return to the lineup has not been ruled out. The key is seeing how his back responds and keeping him in the lineup without any setbacks. Wright also spoke to Dodgers skipper and former Yankees star Don Mattingly, who also battled back issues. His advice? Use common sense and listen to your body.
Mets Notes: Nieuwenhuis’ recall means Darrell Ceciliani was returned to Triple A Las Vegas. Kirk has a real chance here to grab the important 4th OF job and an opportunity to play 2-3 times a week with Cuddyer struggling. Either way, the team could use another major league ready outfielder with CF Juan Lagares also battling injuries and offensive inconsistency. The Mets have been linked to several teams with movable outfielders….Former closer Jenrry Mejia will rejoin the team Tuesday after serving an 80 game PED suspension and will provide a HUGE boost to the team on and off the field. Consider him a mid season trade acquisition and he is also best buddies with Familia. When you consider these two paired with Bobby Parnell from the 7th inning on, this relief corps is SCARY good…. Meanwhile. Steven Matz was again dominant in his 2nd ML start(2-0,1.32 ERA) and drove in another run. He now has 5 rbi in 2 games.
Last week, The Mets appeared to hit rock bottom after getting swept in the season series by the Chicago Cubs. Fans were screaming about Manager Terry Collins and/or GM Sandy Alderson. Part of the gig but I do not believe that is the real issue. And anyone who knows me realizes how LITTLE respect I have for the Cubs organization. A team that cared little about winning over the last century and focused more on beer and ticket sales. That has changed since they changed owners and hired general manager Theo Epstein away from the Boston Red Sox.(BTW how are the Sox doing since he left town?!). Funny that the Mets seem to hit a low point playing the Cubs. The old Cubs and the current Mets have a similar issue: $$$ and ownership. The impact of the Madoff ponzi scheme has been well documented on the franchise and when you see how talented the young pitching on the Mets is, you have to wonder how in the hell the Wilpon family watches this team and does not give Alderson and Collins help. For 2+ months this team has had several Triple A and 4 A players and wasted tremendous outings from these arms. Prices are prices and trades can backfire but this is almost criminal at times. It is one thing to have the local press hammering you but when USA Today’s Sports Weekly Leading Off column emphasizes these same points, it is not good. Here is the stat that is both scary and damning to Mets fans everywhere: Since 2010, the team has dropped payroll 25%. However, MLB team payroll median has increased 27%. Makes you wonder whether this ownership is fit to run such a talented team and should consider selling to someone who wants to spend to win.
I am working on a bigger column but right now I am penning this post to campaign for two Mets to be selected for the National League All Star team at 7 pm : Pitchers Jacob de Grom and Jeurys Familia. de Grom, the 2014 NL Rookie of the Year, has taken the momentum from his 1st campaign into his sophomore season and been the staff ace (8-6,2.30 ERA, 0.97 WHIP in 16 starts) for the surprising Mets. Meanwhile with the 80 game PED suspension of closer Jenrry Mejia, Familia has grabbed the closers role and been dominant. #27 has a 2-0 record,1.16 ERA,0.81 WHIP and has converted 22 of 24 saves while K-ing 40 in 38 and 2 third innings. These two deserve to be in Cincinnati and are a big reason why the Mets have stayed competitive in the 1st half.
The uncertain injury status of Mets 3B and captain David Wright should force the team to have two separate plans for 2015 and beyond. Let me explain. I believe the team has strong internal options at 2B. Between Wilmer Flores and prospect Dilson Herrera, I think they have the position covered. In a pinch, the team could move Flores back to SS but I see him as a 2B. This team needs to have strong defense in the infield. Shortstop wise, they need to make either a trade or sign a free agent, Ruben Tejada is no more than a backup middle infielder who gets exposed when he plays too much. Now the drama. Lets suppose Wright can no longer play and you need an everyday 3B for both short and long term. Why not Daniel Murphy? The free agent market does not have George Brett or Mike Schmidt on it. The same at SS. Cal Ripken Jr is not walking thru the door. I want to limit my trades and marshall my assets. Murphy is a good offensive player and solid defensively at third. He likes NY and you could lock him up for 3-4 yrs at 7-8 million per. Just an idea.
Mets fans have been hearing about Left handed pitcher Steven Matz for 2 years and he did not disappoint in his major league debut Sunday, leading New York to an important victory and series sweep of the Cincinnati Reds 7-2. Over 7 and 2 thirds innings, the southpaw allowed 6 runs and 2 runs(Two solo home runs including one leading off the game) while striking out 6 while throwing 110 pitches. Matz, a Long Island native, was great for ticket sales and an electric Citi Field erupted when he supplied his own offense with two key rhi hits, driving in 4 runs. The rookie became the 1st major league pitcher in 100 years to go 3 for 3 with 4 rbi in his ML debut. Incredibly, no Met player- pitcher or position player- has EVER had 4 rbi in their debut. Just an incredible day at the ball park and as manager Terry Collins said post game, if Mets fans are not excited about the assembly line of arms this team can throw out on a day to day basis, something is wrong. A lot of winning is on the horizon, Folks.
METS NOTES: Over the last 7 games, Curtis Granderson has been the lone wolf and the ENTIRE Mets offense. He is hitting .462 with 4 home runs ans 6 rbi….. I have hammered INF Ruben Tejada a lot on these pages and let me tell you something. That guy deserves a ton of credit and has almost embraced a super utility man role– he has played SS, 2B and 3B this season and will take over at SS with the return of Daniel Murphy Tuesday in a reshuffled infield. Tejada has always been a good defender but this season we have seen him take a much better approach at the plate and he consistently puts together good at bats even when he makes an out. He makes the pitcher work and is an pain in the butt. He is one of the more unsung heroes on this team.
The New York Mets top prospect,lefty pitcher Steven Matz, is set to make his major league debut Sunday at Citi Field. A Long Island Native and life long Mets fan, he is a good bet to have a lot of fans in the stands. This is a big day for the franchise as the teams other three recent hyped pitching call ups- Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard- started their 1st Ml games on the road, Matz is doing in front of the home fans. The lefty brings a great minor league track record(24-20 in 66 games over 5 yrs) and has been impressive pitching during 2015 in the hitter dominant Pacific Coast League for Las Vegas(7-4,2.19 ERA in 15 games). The promotion of Matz will also impact all the other starters as the Mets will go with a 6 man rotation. This makes sense as 4 of the teams starters( Matz + Harvey, Syndergaard and Jacob de Grom) will face innings limits due to youth. Bartolo Colon could show up in January,throw 6 innings after sitting at home and be effective. Meanwhile, Jon Niese is a pro who will adjust and probably benefit from an extra day. He has battled arm issues for much of his career. HUGE move and key to the Mets postseason hopes.
Meanwhile, Mets all star 2nd Baseman Daniel Murphy(Quad) should return from the Disabled List Tuesday and will change the structure of 3 of the 4 Infield starters. #28 is a natural Third Baseman and will assume that role with captain David Wright still out with his back injury. Short Stop Wilmer Flores, who has hit but has been up and down defensively, will switch to 2nd and Ruben Tejada, easily the teams best defensive infielder, will man SS. These moves all should make the team better defensively and aid the pitching staff. The Mets will never be a great team offensively so defensive improvement and run prevention is a good route to go.
The New York Mets have played almost exactly 70 games and are about a .500 team. They have excellent young pitching- particularly of the starting variety- but are not a good offensive or defensive team. In the last 5 games(all losses), they have 6 runs and New York has scored 1 run or fewer 17 times. They have an offensive oriented kid shortstop who is learning the position in the majors and probably costs the team a 2-3 runs a week. Their lone elite defender is playing with a bad elbow and neither corner outfielder will remind anyone of Dwight Evans(Google him!). Since starting 15-5, they have gone 21-30. People are calling for Manager Terry Collins head or for GM Sandy Alderson to make a major trade.
What do I say to Mets fans? What I have been saying all year- this is a good team- when everyone is TOGETHER. They have been down 2-3 starting position players since April – and not just any guys- the franchise Third baseman-captain, all star Second Baseman and promising young catcher, who was coming into his own. The team treaded water with kids or 4 A types without making a silly move to jeopardize a promising future. Take any team in MLB and strip them off what the Mets have lost and have them play for 8 weeks. 21-30 might be better than most. Recently this team had between 12-14 players on the disabled list. Look, I would like this team to add players to help but you know what? Billy Beane, Brian Cashman,Theo Epstein, Andrew Freidman and the like are not stupid. They know what the Mets need and what their assets are. Alderson is not dealing from strength, he is dealing from weakness due to injury. That is when you don-t make a trade!
Lets play a game here and fix the Mets. I can give you any, ANY two major league players without subtracting ANYONE from the Mets 40 man roster. Give me a player and position. Look at the Mets team. They have talented young players at catcher and First as well as Center Field. Wright and Murphy man 3B and 2nd. Two veterans under long term deals are the corners with two prime prospects on the way(Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo). You can scream and holler all you want but the Mets will not and should not do ANYTHING major until they know where Wright is long term. If he can play this year, you add a Ben Zobrist multi-position type. If not, then veteran stop gaps such as Aramis Ramirez make more sense. And as far as Collins goes, people need to calm down. Look at what he has to work with- depleted everday lineup, young arms who he must monitor to avoid more Tommy John Surgeries! The man has to almost manage to win 1-0. It is insane to scream for his head, they guy deserves medals!
I am as frustrated as anyone with this team but I realize why this is happening and believe that this team cannot win with this many guys out. If the health does not improve, adding Tom Seaver, Sandy Koufax and Randy Johnson would do nothing. The field lineup is crippled and killing this team. This will not change until those people return. If they do not comeback, 2015 is a lost season. Yell, swear, throw things, call for heads, these are facts and the reality of the 2015 Mets season.
METS NOTES: SP Dillon Gee has been put on waivers after the team failed to trade him and if he passes through, he will be optioned to Triple A Las Vegas…Both Travis d’Arnaud and CF Juan Lagares are dealing with elbow injuries. d’Arnaud suffered a hyper extension after a collision at the plate vs the Braves Saturday and should return Tuesday after receiving treatment. Lagares’ situation is more of a rest and monitor issue with the same joint he has issues with late in 2014. He could eventually need Tommy John Surgery if the elbow does not improve… Meanwhile, Closer Jeurys Familia(Groin) was out the last 2 days of the Atlanta series and the team should have an update Tuesday. This does not appear to be serious and more of a cramp issue… Collins suggests that when Jenrry Mejia(50 game PED suspension) returns he would do so in a set up role.
On a day when the Mets career of Dillon Gee more than likely ended and the club received good news on both David Wright and Daniel Murphy, The team staged an amazing two run, two out rally in the 11th inning to win 4-3 vs the red hot Toronto Blue Jays(11 straight victories). Earlier on Monday, the team DFA-ed Gee(0-3,5.90 ERA in 7 starts) who can be traded over the next 10 days or be sent down to Triple A Las Vegas. Sad to say but Gee is not good enough to be in this rotation any more and deserves to pitch for a team where he can start. Meanwhile, Murphy could be back with the team by this weekend and GM Sandy Alderson stated that 3B-captain Wright(Back) could return by the all star break(Early July). On the field, the team got a great outing from rookie starter Noah Syndergaard(2 hits, 1 run(on a 1st inning homer ), 2 walks and 11 Ks over 6 innings) and got 2 out RBI hits from 1B Lucas Duda and SS Wilmer Flores to complete the comeback. Hats off to 3B Ruben Tejada whose hustle and heads up base running kept the rally alive after he did not give up on a potential game ending double play run down, staying in the play and allowing Michael Cuddyer to reach 1st. Just a great, great win and the Mets are developing a reputation as comeback kings(17 comeback victories, 2nd in all of MLB).
The New York Mets are a different team in 2015 and Sunday’s win over the division nemesis Atlanta Braves showed why on all levels. The team rallied twice from big deficits of 5-1 and 8-3, engineering a 7 run turnaround in a thrilling 10-8 win on Banner Day at Citi Field. The Mets hit 4 home runs , 2 of them from recent DL reinforcements- C Travis d’Arnaud and 2B Dilson Herrera. Meanwhile, spark plug OF Darrell Ceciliani hit his 1st career homer, a bomb into the 2nd deck in right, to kick start the rally. None of this matters if the bullpen- led by underrated Sean Gilmartin’s effort- does not come in and shut down the opposition. The Mets are not the 1975 Cincinnati Reds offensively but with d’Arnaud back and INF Daniel Murphy close in his rehab, this team can score enough to win 90 games. The return of d’Arnaud- who has the makings of a star- has energized the lineup and over the last 10 days or so, the backup OFs Ceciliani and John Mayberry Jr. have stepped up and made plays . With veterans like Curtis Granderson and Michael Cuddyer on the wrong side of 30, this is vital in the outfield. Again, this team is different and when you hear Ron Darling- who played on some TEAMS- comment how up the bench is during the SNY telecast, that should open eyes. This team should be doing more than that now. The 2015 New York Mets are GOOD!
METS NOTES: RP Bobby Parnell(Tommy John rehab) appeared in two of the 3 Braves games and while appearing rusty, he got outs and adds a valuable late inning arm and veteran presence to the bullpen…. With Herrera’s athleticism showing up daily, he is a good bet to stay at 2B even when Murphy returns from the DL. Good news, however. The Mets have an opening at 3B and Murphy is a natural third bagger. Look for #28 to take the job fulltime with the status of captain David Wright(Back) still very much in question…..The team went with a brief 6 man rotation to get the 3 kids(Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard) and 2 vets(Bartolo Colon and Jon Niese) an extra day and poor Dillon Gee paid for it. Over 3 and 2 thirds, he allowed 11 hits and 8 runs while looking out of sync. This is what happens when you take a career starter and put him in the pen without regular work. Feel bad for a good teammate and guy but more than likely best for Gee to be traded in a package for an asset……With several minor moves involving births and bereavements, backup C Anthony Recker has been temporarily sent down to Las Vegas. This move makes sense for this week with the team about to play 2 games in Toronto where they can DH d’Arnaud and let Kevin Plawecki catch. Recker will more than likely be back up by this time next week……Anyone who underestimates the value of both a stud closer and Jeurys Familia to the 2015 Mets did not watch the Mets brutal 5-3 loss Saturday. Terry Collins gave #27 the day off after the birth of his 1st son and the team could not hold a 3-1 led in the 9th using a combination of relievers. Mixing and matching is nice innings 6 thru 8 but their is a reason a select few get the final 3 outs of the game…..I am not a huge stats guy but try this one on for size: de Grom allowed a homer to professional Mets killer Braves 1B Freddie Freeman Saturday. That was the 1st bomb he has surrendered at Citi Field in 16 home starts. INCREDIBLE.I tell people this all day and all night, I love Matt Harvey and he will be great again but right now, de Grom is the best pitcher on the Mets. And it is not close.
So the Mets got no hit last night, they lost to a team that has won 3 World Series in the last half decade. Is the world ending? NO…. Just the opposite. The team is in 1st place. On June 10th. They have 13 players on the DL. 3 of them are set to rejoin the team this week, led by C Travis d’Arnaud, who was playing phenomenal before breaking a bone in his hand. Reliever Bobby Parnell will add a veteran arm to a talented bullpen while 2B Dilson Herrera can mix and match with Ruben Tejada to stabilize the middle infield and bench. The team started 15-5 but is 13-17 in its last 30 and 10-19 on the road. At times the team appears to not be able to hit themselves out of a paper bag but their pitching and ability to scratch and claw has kept them in contention. Fans need to relax and not campaign for a panic move. This team is set up to be good for years, if not great. Google Scott Kazmir if you want to make a foolish, rush move. The Mets have young players with major upside at C,1B, CF, 2B and SS. Let them grow. Look at Lucas Duda. How has he panned out? Pitching buys you time. And I know the Mets have not played in the postseason since 2006 and they barely missed in 2007-2008. But a big reason why that group did not advance was the lack of a farm system and young talent to add to David Wright and Jose Reyes. The 2015 version of the Mets have arms and players coming as either reinforcements and/or trade pieces. Have a coke and smile and enjoy the ride!
The Mets hit 4 home runs(Start the Parade! A total often for this club in a week!) and got another dominant outing from starter Jacob de Grom(The Best pitcher on this team BTW) to conclude the weeks 2 city West Coast trip at 3-4. More importantly, the injury ravaged team(13 players on the disabled list) is in 1st place in the National League East for the 2nd time this week and returns to Citi Field Tuesday after an off day Monday. I cannot say enough about the players on this team and the coaching staff led by manager Terry Collins. They show up and punch the clock regardless of who or who is not in the lineup and play. HARD. That is all you can ask for as a fan and this group COMPETES.
REINFORCEMENTS: Some good news internally(More in the next paragraph) and the lack of diagnosis for captain David Wright’s back are the biggest issues here. Pitching wise, the team is deep and talented. With Wilmer Flores really stepping up offensively and playing solid defense, I do not think shortstop is a major issue anymore. Credit GM Sandy Alderson and his staff for their faith and projections with the young SS, who they viewed as an offensive player at a defensive spot ala the St. Louis Cardinals Jhonny Peralta. The team is set at 1B, C and 2B with a stud young player in CF(Juan Lagares) and two veteran corner outfielders with both money and years left on their deals in Michael Cuddyer and Curtis Granderson. 3B and the health of Wright are biggest everyday issue. Eric Campbell and Ruben Tejada have been god sends at the spot but are not George Brett. Ideally, a player who could play 3-4 positions- a Ben Zobrist- would be ideal or if Wright is lost, I would look at the Red’s Todd Frazier. This team could use a 4th Outfielder who could play 2-3 days a week as well to give the vets or Lagares a blow. Offensive improvement is vital for this teams postseason hopes, the team is 28th in run production since the 11 game win streak of April.
METS MASH: 3 players close to being back this week while another star bat goes on the DL in 2B Daniel Murphy. Murphy(Quad) could be out a month while rookie 2B Dilson Herrera(finger), C Travis d’Arnaud(Hand) and RP Bobby Parnell(Tommy John rehab) should rejoin the big club during this weeks homestand. Herrera’s return could help the bench as well with either the rookie, Tejada or Campbell being out of the lineup. C Kevin Plawecki(Virus) and OF John Mayberry Jr(Heel) should be Ok in this homestand. Meanwhile, RP Vic Black(Neck) completed his rehab and has been optioned to Triple A Las Vegas to build arm strength and confidence.
METS NOTES: Collins has decided to scrap the 6 man rotation for the normal 5 and one of the veterans(Jon Niese or Dillon Gee) will be placed in the pen or traded. Bets should be on Gee……..Lagares appears to be healthier on this trip after dealing with an elbow issue…. de Grom is 4-0 with a 1.24 ERA in his last 5 starts…. Closer Jeurys Familia might be the team MVP and has been dominant, converting 17 of 18 save opportunities…. People need to relax and realize the team has 6 weeks or so til the Trade Deadline. Lets see how d’Arnaud and the 2B situation pan out and ,of course, the injury with the Captain resolves itself before we trade Sirloin for spam,OK?… One concern and I am saying this in the 1st week of June. This team has 3 pitchers under pitch limits in de Grom, Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard as well as 87 yr old Bartolo Colon. 6 man rotation for 2-3 weeks eliminates that need by itself. Fans in Queens will not be happy if these guys miss starts in September over innings numbers. Nor will this Blogger! Nationals fans still waiting for those Series rings sitting Strasburg earned them. OOOPPPS.
The New York Mets and their captain,3B David Wright, received awful news this week when he was diagnosed with spinal stenosis, a condition that has caused several pro athletes to retire. Spinal Stenosis causes the spinal column to narrow and is very painful. Wright is being treated by back expert Dr Tom Watkins in Los Angeles as well as the teams medical staff and doctors from the Hospital for Special Surgery. This is a serous injury but treatable and controllable to an extent. When the doctors told The Captain what he had, they told him not to Google it. He did. When he joined the team in California, #5 said he would return to the lineup sooner than later and he was between moods of serious and joking with teammates. Currently, he is in rehab with weekly advancements and tests with Watkins and his team but not close to returning. The Mets and GM Sandy Alderson need to have an idea as the trade deadline approaches how to fill this hole at 3B if Captain America is out long or short term. Ben Zobrist(Short) and Todd Frazier(Long) are two names that fit that slot in order. Meanwhile, Ruben Tejada has taken off at 3B and is hitting .483 with 6 RBI in the last 7 games. Manager Terry Collins challenged him to take the role in has hit him out of the 2 hole from day 1 and he has prospered. On a personal note for both Wright and Mets fans, this stinks. This team is finally good and the franchise face who stayed, took losing and signed here long term to rebuild is now fallen by an awful condition. Reminds me of what Don Mattingly faced with the early 90s Yankees teams, his bad back made him an average player and he had to hang it up. The team won 4 World Series in a short span after #23 hung it up. Lets hope Wright, who turns 33 in December, does not meet the same fate. Good player, great leader, better guy.
The New York Mets went 13-15 in May and stand at 28-23 on the year as they start a 2 city West Coast trip in San Diego and Arizona(4 games) over the next 7 days. 50 games or post Memorial Day is always a good gauge and fans should be excited with this fact: If the season ended today, the team would be in the postseason as a wild card. The Mets are a half game behind the Washington Nationals in the division with 12 players including their captain-3B, starting Catcher, top lefty reliever and opening day closer(PED suspension) all on the disabled list. As a reference point, the team was 1 game below .500 at this time in 2014. Two months down, 4 more to go, should be exciting.
METS NOTES: CF Juan Lagares(Elbow,side) has been beat up but continues to play spectacular defense and hustle. Meanwhile, 1B Lucas Duda, the teams top power threat, has a sore and swollen knee after being hit by a pitch and could be out 2-3 days…… One negative pitching wise is veteran Jon Niese recent starts. In his last four outings, his ERA has risen from 1.95 to 4.92 and he has allowed 22 runs(20 earned). The good news? No physical issues….. Rehab wise, Travis d’Arnaud(Hand-wrist) will resume his rehab this week and relievers Vic Black and Bobby Parnell have progressed in their games and could return Mid June…. Have to tip your cap to Ruben Tejada, one of my personal whipping boys. Manager Terry Collins played him all weekend at Third and he produced out of the 2 hole and flourished defensively ….Captain David Wright(Back) will meet up with the team in San Diego and Collins mentioned to the media pregame Monday night his status heading forward could determine the defensive alignment of the Mets infield. Minus Duda, who is solid defensively at 1B, the club has a lot of interchangeable parts with the likes of Wilmer Flores, Tejada and Daniel Murphy all having the ability to play multiple positions. Murphy’s free agency(Up after the season) and the return of a healthy Dilson Herrera add to the intrigue….. Congrats to Bartolo Colon, a HUGE fan favorite, for his major league leading 8th win…. A team, trade partner wise to look at: The Milwaukee Brewers. Have 2-3 things the Mets could use short and long term: 3B, SS, Corner OF, again, dependent on the health status of Wright. This team DESPERATELY needs a 4th Outfielder after Kirk Nieuwenhuis did not produce and was traded
The 2015 New York Mets are not the ’75 Cincinnati Reds and that is ok. This team has been bad since 2009 and rebuilding. Watch this team for a week and you will see a plan in place and POSITIVES. Obviously, the young starting pitching with Matt Harvey, Jacob de Grom and impressive rookie Noah Syndergaard stands out with Steve Matz and Rafael Montero a plane trip away in Las Vegas. Closer Jeurys Familia leads a talented bullpen that has 2-3 regulars on the DL. Infield wise, 1B Lucas Duda is blossoming into an All Star and very quietly SS Wilmer Flores has turned it around after struggling early defensively. The Outfield is starting to come with veterans Michael Cuddyer and Curtis Granderson providing a steady hand and more offense. CF Juan Lagares is beat up physically but catches everything and gives you quality at bats. Long term, two of the teams top prospects are OFs Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo, who should be major league ready when both Cuddyer and Granderson’s deals expire. The current Mets are not winning 100 games but they are coming and coming FAST.
The New York Mets have had some poor seasons recently and many bad days but Saturday May 23rd might have been a topper since the final day eliminations of 2007-08. The two faces of the franchise-3B and captain David Wright and staff ace Matt Harvey- were hammered- on and off the field. First, Wright, who has been rehabbing from a hamstring injury that caused him to develop lower back pain. Turns out that spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal column, is the cause and the Captain will be shut down from baseball activities for a week and take medication as well. Wright will also do some core and back stabilization exercises. If the Captain is back by the All Star Break, I would be surprised. Stenosis can be a serious condition and helped end the careers of both Don Mattingly and Len Dykstra but the Mets do not believe this situation is that dire. Meanwhile, Harvey had the worst outing of his young career, allowing 7 runs in 4+ innings. From pitch one, He did not have command and he gave up towering home runs to Pirates stars Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez in the first two frames. Mets fans should not be overly concerned with the Dark Knight, prior to Saturdays outing, he allowed zero runs over 16 innings.
METS NOTES: C Travis d’Arnaud(Hand) will begin a minor league rehab assignment this week while relievers Vic Black and Bobby Parnell are both progressing and have been moved up to Double A…. Personal favorite Kirk Nieuwenhuis was DFA-ed earlier this week and replaced by OF Darrell Ceciliani. Kirk was just not hitting and/or getting enough playing time to straighten himself out…. SS Wilmer Flores is starting to play better defensively and continues to hit….. Both Lucas Duda(Hamstring) and Juan Lagares(Side soreness) are out of the lineup Sunday…. With Noah Syndergaard pitching well and the team trying to get both Jacob deGrom(Shoulder, Hip) and Harvey(1st season post Tommy John Surgery) thru the season, the team will go with a 6 man starting rotation after Dillon Gee(Groin) completes his last minor league start. This also cannot hurt Bartolo Colon who is 135 in baseball years…Duda’ success vs Left Handed pitching is a testimony to his hard work and commitment. In 2014, he hit .180 with 2 homers vs Southpaws. This year he has 4 long balls and his hitting .400 in 45 at bats. Mets SNY broadcaster and ex Met great Keith Hernandez has coached up the 1B and it shows…. When you listen to other teams announcers talk about the team and how insane it is that the Mets have 12 players on the DL, you smile. So True. Pirates TV guys talked about this for 5 minutes Saturday.
METS MASH: Both Captain-3B David Wright(Hamstring-Back) and C Travis d’Arnaud(Hand) have progressed and started resuming baseball related activity. Wright did everything but swing a bat while the backstop did hit. Do not plan on seeing either before June. Meanwhile, Dillon Gee(Groin) appears close and has looked good in rehab starts. Relievers Vic Black(Neck) and Bobby Parnell(Tommy John Rehab) have pitched OK in the minors and are steadily building up arm strength.
NOTES: Matt Harvey has not allowed a run over his last 2 starts(16 innings) yet does not have a win…. Tough break literally for 2B Dilson Herrera(Thumb) who suffered a broken thumb during infield drills last week. The rookie will be re-examined in 3 weeks… With all the injuries to the bullpen(Buddy Carlyle was the latest to go on the DL with back spasms this week) , the Mets have 5 relievers on the DL(Technically 6, Jenrry Mejia is serving a PED suspension for 50 games). The positives? When all these arms are back, Manager Terry Collins will not lack options. Veterans like both Torres'(Carlos and Alex) and rookies Erik Goeddel and Hansel Robles have been particularly impressive with elevated roles…… Team will have an interesting decision to make rotation wise with rookie Noah Syndergaard looking so impressive in two outings when Gee comes off the DL…. Team playing well but a potential weakness(4th Outfielder) might need to be addressed. John Mayberry Jr had a game winning hit tonight but both he and Kirk Nieuwenhuis are really struggling with the bat. Depth with two corner OFs being over 30 is a big deal. Curtis Granderson and Michael Cuddyer cannot play 162.
Baseball draws us in because you never now what you can will see you come to the ballpark. Saturday nights Mets-Brewers game further illustrated that point. New York had lost 5 straight and looked lifeless in a blowout loss Friday night. Terry Collins makes a subtle move- he moves the pitcher(Jacob de Grom) to the 8th hole – and the team exploded for a 14-1 victory, set off by a 10 run inning. I ripped the move pregame and de Grom had 3 hits(2 in the big inning) and SS Wilmer Flores hit a grand slam out of the 9 hole. The entire team responded and put together good at bats throughout. Sunday, the team continued its offensive up swing and won again 5-1. Veteran outfielders Curtis Granderson and Michael Cuddyer had big offensive days. Again, the more games you watch, the more you learn and the more you learn what you don-t know. In essence, how the games will turn out. That is why we watch and I write.
The recent struggles of the Mets over the past 2 weeks have magnified weakness(Lack of offense, infield defense,bullpen depth) while amplifying strengths(Starting pitching, Overall farm system). The team has lost 4 straight, 5 of 7 and gone 7-12 since winning 11 straight in April. Why is this happening? First of all, they have played some good teams– Washington(A team picked by most to win the National League) and The Chicago Cubs(a team the exact opposite of the Mets- Lack proven pitchers, tons of talent on the field) as well as the surprising rival Yankees. Secondly, the injuries to franchise cornerstones (3B David Wright and C Travis d’Arnaud) as well as 3-4 pitchers has forced the club to extend and expand the roles of several players who are not ready to be in those positions. In a month, a Kevin Plawecki, Erik Goeddel and Hansel Robles could be Las Vegas and d’ Arnaud, Vic Black and Bobby Parnell will be in those game changing moments. However, this team should be playing better and be more mentally tough. Recently, when anything goes wrong in an inning, the team seems to struggle to recover. Poor Jon Niese(1.95 ERA entering Thursday) has been particularly victimized by poor defense(Team has made 10 errors with the lefty on the mound) and does not have the high end talent and stuff needed to escape 4 out innings.
Niese’s struggles are more about physical talent than mental, Jon is tough and has pitched with all kinds of ailments sine joining the Mets. However, his issue got me to look more at the rosters makeup. Think about this team and assume everyone is healthy- outside of Daniel Murphy and Niese, who would you consider to be in the prime years? Lucas Duda is 29, right on the edge. Wright is over 30, SS is a mess and yet to be determined. Juan Lagares is a kid and the corners are two former all stars who are great locker room guys and pros but are not Barry Bonds and Tony Gwynn in 2015. Pitching wise? Kids and the fountain of youth, Bartolo Colon. Niese and the walking trade rumor Dillon Gee are the vets of the staff. Again, pros but not Seaver- Koosman or Gooden-Darling. The positives? Clearly Mets GM Sandy Alderson has two high end prospects coming in Outfielders Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto, both former 1st round picks. So, in summary, relax, enjoy the process and realize that this team is coming but more than likely not complete. The future is bright, present better but not great. Team is competitive and with some breaks-better health, this team is playing in October. BELIEVE!!!
A groin strain has caused veteran starter Dillon Gee to the disabled list and opened a rotation spot for the Mets top prospect RHP Noah Syndergaard. The big righty is set to make his major league debut Tomorrow at historic Wrigley Field vs the Cubs in Chicago. Syndergaard joined the club in Philadelphia over the weekend to help him get acclimated to the big leagues. This is a huge day heading forward for the organization for 2015 and the future, Syndergaard is one of the 3 arms in the minors- RH Rafael Montero(Been up and down last calendar year) and LH Steve Matz(Been dominant at all levels) the others- who will either be part of the pitching staff or moved to fill an important hole.
METS MASH: Third Baseman-Captain David Wright(Hamstring) has no issues with his leg but dealt with some lower back pain earlier last week and should be resuming baseball activity today. C Travis d’Arnaud(Hand) is set to have his broken hand examined Tuesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC. If the bone has healed, he can start rehabbing immediately. Meanwhile, reliever Bobby Parnell(Tommy John rehab) threw a bullpen session May 7th and will resume minor league rehab assignments this week.
METS NOTES: As amazing as Bartolo Colon’s season has been(He became the 1st 6 game winner Sunday), one stat shows how great he has been: In 7 starts(46.1 innings), he has struck out 40 hitters and walked 1…. ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2 to 1 is usually an acceptable Strikeout to walk ratio, 3:1 excellent. What is 40 to 1?!…..With Wright over 30 and having battled injuries over the past 3-4 years, The Mets should consider using Daniel Murphy- who can play 2B and 3B- as a super utility player ala Ben Zobrist. You get to rest #5 and keep top prospect 2B Dilson Herrera in the lineup 4-5 days a week. Just an idea…… The New York Mets starting pitchers have the top ERA in all over major league baseball at 2.99. The 2nd place team has a 3.20 ERA. The relievers check in 6th with a 2.51 ERA and they have converted 15 of 16 save opportunities.
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