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 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.
Good news on the Steven Matz front after a medical exam Monday in New York. No ligament damage and he should be ok heading forward, according to various media reports. The talented lefty and team should provide an update Tuesday and he could rejoin the rotation this weekend. VERY good news for both the Mets and Matz, who has been held back by health issues for most of his career.
The New York Mets just ended a 17 game in 17 day schedule segment and a 11 game 3 city West Coast trip 4-7. The pitching has remained strong even minus Steven Matz(elbow) and with Matt Harvey struggling while the offense- overly reliant on the long ball- has been hit and miss. Michael Conforto, Curtis Granderson and David Wright have all gone cold and are not drawing walks. A positive? Catcher Kevin Plawecki has really stepped up offensively and looks like someone who could be an everyday option behind the plate. I am not overly concerned. This is a good baseball team and over 162, EVERY team has rough patches and slumps. My major negative of the week has nothing to do with wins or loses. It is about the lack of someone- ANYONE- on this roster hitting Chase Utley with a baseball. That guy injured a Mets player with a dirty,late slide that MLB reviewed and put in a rule to prevent more injuries from similiar plays . The Mets job now is to increase injury totals by 1 name– Chase Utley. That guys needs to pay and pay dearly. The Mets look soft and will until they drop this guy. I hope the team took notice of what the Texas Rangers did Sunday. Learn, remember, respond.
Almost half way thru May and the Mets injury and injury list is starting to grow. Super utility infielder Wilmer Flores(Hamstring strain) has been placed on the DL and LHP Steven Matz(elbow) will skip a start due to soreness. The team is being cautious with all of their young starters and the southpaw has the worst injury history of any of their prized arms. Logan Verrett, an invaluable member of this team, will take his next start and the team will redetermine Matz’ status from there. He reportedly felt 100% better today and I am not overly concerned, both team and pitcher have learned for last seasons Lat muscle fiasco and are being smart. Meanwhile, 3B and team captain David Wright(Back) is battling a creaky shoulder and Noah Syndergaard recently got his elbow tested out between starts. He should get it tested more often, he was throwing 100 in the 8th and hit 2 home runs while driving in 4 in Wednesday nights win.
Anyone who watches the New York Mets knows how popular rotund veteran pitcher Bartolo Colon is with fans, teammates and broadcasters. When the 42 yr old hit his 1st major league home run Saturday night in San Diego #40 broke the internet and led off sportscasts nation wide. But more importantly it showed two key elements to why this team has become one of the better squads in MLB: The players genuinely like and support each other. Pitchers, position players, staff all celebrated like THEY hit that ball over the wall in Left. That counts for something. Baseball wise, the guys have bought in and work. Last year, assistant hitting coach Pat Roessler and skipper Terry Collins made it a point of emphasis for the pitchers to improve offensively. The pitchers worked, showed up early for batting practice and saw results. Colon, a notoriously bad hitter, had a career high 7 hits. Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard hit home runs while Jacob de Grom and Steven Matz continued to be good sticks. First thing I thought of when the ball landed in the 2nd deck was the hard work Bartolo and his teammates put into this thing. As someone who prides himself on being a grinder, very cool to see.
One of the really cool things about being a Mets fan is the quality of the radio and television broadcasts. We have Gary and Josh on WWOR radio and Gary, Keith and Ron on SNY and WPIX, and I never miss a game. The TV guys made an excellent point the other night in regards to the current Mets team being a set, everyday lineup- in other words, a classic American League team. This team has 8 set players and the only one who get regular days off is 3B-captain David Wright(Spinal condition) . Wilmer Flores is a super sub in the infield and Juan Lagares and Alejandro De Aza are excellent 4th and 5th Outfielders. The Catching spot is influx w Travis d’Arnaud hurt and not close to returning but this is a set team that relies heavily on power and pitching. The team has scored more than half its runs via home runs. However, this team has played in some odd and bad weather and I believe more 2 out hitting and doubles will occur when it heats up. Think Earl Weaver’s late 60s-70s Baltimore Orioles. Also some 86 Mets to them as well.
The defending National League Champion New York Mets closed out April 15-7 and are one of the hottest teams in baseball. Many factors ranging from overall pitching and power are cited as causes but one of the more under appreciated and reported is the all new double play unit of SS Asdrubal Cabrera and 2B Neil Walker. Cabrera FINALLY gives the Mets an everyday option at a spot that has become an albatross since Jose Reyes left town. He makes routine plays, has better range than people think and is a solid major league bat. Meanwhile, trade acquisition Neil Walker is competing with red hot rookie Michael Conforto for the Mayor of New York. A pro’s pro who is viewed as an offensive equal and defensive upgrade to former Mets INF Daniel Murphy, Walker ended April with career month high of 9 home runs and has been steady Eddie defensively. Both of these players can hit all over the batting order and help give Manager Terry Collins and the Mets their best infield since 2006.
The New York Mets are riding an offensive explosion and have won 9 of 12. New York has scored first in a franchise record 12 straight games and hit 26 home runs over the last 11 contests. New second baseman Neil Walker has 8 home runs(A Career high in any single month) and Lucas Duda is also heating up(4 Home runs). But the difference maker has been rookie left fielder Michael Conforto. Since being placed in the 3 hole 10 games ago, he is hitting .378 with 10 runs, 5 doubles, 4 home runs and 8 rbi. The pitching has been excellent as expected and the return of Jacob deGrom Sunday, gave the team another boost. #48 is a great teammate, locker room presence and team leader. Injuries are now an issue with OF Yoenis Cespedes(Leg) out and #52 had his knee drained Monday. He is close to returning and should avoid the DL. However, often injuried Catcher Travis d’Arnaud hurt his right shoulder Monday and could be headed to the 15 day. More news Tuesday.
Good news on all Mets fronts as the team has taken off offensively and ace Jacob deGrom is set to rejoin the rotation. Since inserting rookie LF Michael Conforto in the 3 hole, NY has punished the Cleveland Indians and Philadelphia Phillies pitching staffs for 33 runs in 5 games. The home run has become a staple with new 2B Neil Walker, 3B David Wright, 1B Lucas Duda and OF Yoenis Cespedes all stepping up big time in the power department. The team has 17 home runs over the 1st 5 games of their current road trip and this offense can be scary good. Meanwhile, ace Jacob deGrom’s new born son Jaxon is greatly improved and has been sent home with his parents. #48 threw 71 pitches in a simulated game Tuesday and his lat injury is no longer an issue. The 3rd year major leaguer is set to rejoin the rotation Sunday in Atlanta.
METS NOTES: Cannot say enough about the job swing man Logan Verrett has done over the past two seasons in emergency fill in starts. In two games started for deGrom, he has thrown 12 innings of shutout ball with 10 Ks and 4 walks while posting a 1.00 WHIP. Invaluable member of the Mets, think of Wilmer Flores as pitcher. Thats Logan Verrett. #HUGE… With deGrom back in the rotation, skipper Terry Collins has decided to move back each starter an extra day to give them rest. Bartolo Colon, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz,deGrom and Noah Syndergaard will throw in that order. Good time for NL hitters to be on the DL. WOW.
Manager Terry Collins might have found his everyday set lineup with rookie LF Michael Conforto jumping into the 3 hole and the Mets exploding for 17 runs in 3 games vs a solid Cleveland Indians pitching staff. Here is the batting order:
RF Granderson, 3B Wright, Conforto, OF Cespedes, 1B Duda, 2B Walker, SS Cabrera, C d’Arnaud, P .
I love it. You split the 3 Mets who bat lefty w Granderson, Conforto and Duda still in the top 6. Neil Walker, normally a slow starter, has been great from day 1 and Cespedes has really picked it up. Wright also looks good and has reached base in 19 straight games. This team looks ready to take off and with the uncertain status of Jacob deGrom and early struggles of Matt Harvey, more offense might be in order. I like this offense and think this team will hit and hit A LOT.
Mets Mash: Yoenis Cespedes(Leg) and Travis d’Arnaud(elbow) both have bad bruises but should be ok. #52 is playing and d’Arnaud will return sometime in the Philly series…. deGrom has received good reports on his infant son and is throwing at the team’s minor league facility in Florida. His side injury does not appear to be problem and he could return over the weekend. More of mental and conditioning issue now than physical but Collins sounded much more optimistic today than Saturday. Always remember TC’s biggest strength as manager of the Mets is his relationship w the players. He gets these guys and had a lot of them in the lower levels.
The start to the season became a secondary story for the New York Mets when Manager Terry Collins announced ace Jacob deGrom(Lat issue) will not make his next start Tuesday but not because of his own health pre game Saturday. #48 and his wife Stacey welcomed their 1st child, son Jaxon, Monday and the little guy is experiencing complications. deGrom has been placed on the bereavement-medical emergency list.
“It’s a real-life situation,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “Certainly we take the game of baseball very seriously, but this changes a lot of things. [deGrom is] such a good guy. Stacey, she’s outstanding. You just sit here the last few days — and those guys in there can all tell you, they do the best to stay in touch with him. We’re all praying and pulling for him. Unfortunately, it’s part of life, and we’ve got to take care of business.”
With the move, deGrom can miss 3-7 days to deal with his family and the team has an additional disabled list option with his physical health due to his side injury on April 8th. RH Logan Verrett, the team super sub, will take the start in Philadelphia. Meanwhile, INF Erica Campbell has been recalled from Triple A Las Vegas. Please keep the deGrom family and Little Jaxon in your thoughts and prayers. Jaxon’s Dad is one of the most popular players on the team , with both the media and fans AND his teammates. Really good dude. Just an awful thing. Illnesses with young children really hit me hard. The Mets have a tremendous locker room and a great group of guys. Times like this test that. Get well, Jaxon. #LGM
The Mets have started the season 2-4 and have not hit much, if at all. Neil Walker looks to have adjusted well to NY and has been the teams best player. Captain and 3B David Wright is rounding into shape after a gradual build up in Spring Training to protect him from his back condition. #5 is starting to look like #5. LF Michael Conforto continues to put together quality at bats and looks to be a long time fixture in Queens. The biggest positive? OF Yoenis Cespedes has started to smoke the ball in the last 2 games and should be ready to go on a tear. I am not concerned about the offense and I think the team will be fine. Few teams have hit early and East Coast in particular have faced some brutal weather. Call me around Memorial day if the Mets are not hitting. This is a good offensive team and they will be fine. And please no messages about what Daniel Murphy is doing. I have stated my opinion on #28 and the front office- same group who brought this organization back- made a decision.
Mets Notes: Jacob deGrom(Lat) will skip his next start Wednesday and the team can place him on paternity leave or the DL(Due to MLB rules, one or the other) if his side does not respond. It appears to be a minor issue, soreness more than injury. Logan Verrett will pitch in #48’s spot. Jacob and his wife are having their 1st child in Florida, Mrs. deGrom went into labor Monday and Dad was enroute late in the afternoon …. Adding to the de Grom drama, was the unfortunate outing by Steven Matz(less than 2 innings) that gashed 3 relievers and put the team on alert for help Tuesday. The good news? Noah Syndergaard is throwing Tuesday. He is decent…. Walker and SS Asdrubal Cabrera have looked excellent defensively at 2B and SS and been a huge plus so far.
TC trouble: I am a big Terry Collins guy, anyone who reads this blog knows this. I love the man and his passion, he brings a lot to the table, he works, takes bullets for the guys and the players like and respect him. But he continues to cater to Matt Harvey and it pisses me off. This has cost this team game(s) including an important one in the World Series. This is the guy who wanted to quit after 185 innings last year. He wanted the ball in the 9th in Game 5 of the WS although he had K-ed 1 more batter than you in the last 3 innings. Now he wants to pitch every 5th day. His routine is more important than the team and other starters. Well, Terry caved. AGAIN. And Steven Matz- who will be here AFTER 2018- got his head caved in. He had not pitched in 10 days and looked like it. But Matt is happy and 0-2 with an almost 5 ERA. The team is 2-4. I am sure Matt cares. He doesn-t and that is my problem with him. This is a likeable group with a good locker room. One guy can ruin that and put this team in the tank. TC should know better and needs to realize he has this generations A Rod in his rotation. A guy who tries to say the “correct” team thing but does not buy in or care about anything but his own stats and money. This guy disgusts me and I am pissed that our manager cannot figure this clown out. Bozo with a big red nose.
National League East
1- NY Mets-See Previous Post
2- Washington Nationals- I do not love this team but someone needs to finish second in this horrific division… A lot of names, stories, individual talents but not the best on field performance…Have Gone thru a couple of managers and Dusty Baker is good at dealing with ummm difficult people, situations. Might be a good fit…. Solid team with no obvious holes but bullpen does not excite me and Outside of Bryce Harper have no real power threat…. Stephen Strasburg has to be great in a walk year for this team to make the playoffs….Daniel Murphy will help this team because he is a pro and great teammate. As a Mets fan, I both understand why he is gone and why it was best for both sides. But I don-t like it as a fan of old #28. IF THAT MAKES SENSE?!
3- Miami Marlins- See my 1st sentence regarding the Nats and place it here for 3rd place…. I am a Don Mattingly guy and I think he got screwed in LA. Good landing spot for him….. This might be the best defensive team in the NL. Speed, athletes, range….. Jose Fernandez gives them an ace and huge advantage over The Braves and Phillies….. A.J. Ramos should be strong in 1st full season as closer….. Giancarlo Stanton the top pure power in the sport… Fun to see Barry Bonds, the single greatest player this blogger has ever seen, back in the game. Apparently, he is the only guy in the history of the sport to be accused of doing PEDs… Free agent signee SP Wei-Yin Chen might go to church everyday and twice on Sunday after leaving Camden Yards for his new home in Miami. Name the bet and I am win he cuts his home runs allowed in HALF!!!
4- Philadelphia Phillies- Bottomed out in 2015 with full fledged tank and rebuild….. Outside of long time slugger 1B Ryan Howard, all kids and young veterans taking the field…. Have some athletes and pop…. 3B Maikel Franco could hit 30 homers in 2016… This rotation needs a lot of work and the bullpen traded its new stud closer(Ken Giles) in the offseason. Lots of 11-7, 9-6 games coming… If you are going to be bad, this is the way to go: play kids, dump $$$ deals and trade veterans. You make some good decisions, the 2015 NY Mets happen.
5- Atlanta Braves- Bring your Baseball America players handbook and buy a scorecard when attending Braves games… Wow… How the mighty have fallen…. Any pitching coach who allows Freddie Freeman to get a big hit in this lineup should be fired and removed in shackles immediately… This offense is, in a word, offensive.NOTHING!!!!….This team has some solid vets and should move them. AJ Pierzynski and Nick Markakis are the difference between 98 and 104 losses and the 2nd or 1st overall pick in the 2017 draft. If you are going to be a bear, be a grizzly. LOSE!!!!.. RHSP Julio Teheran can pitch and will be this years Shelby Miller. Pitch well, have 20+ quality starts and win 5 games on this garbage team…. Great times in Flushing, NY. Mets great, Braves brutal.
National League Central
1- St. Louis Cardinals- I love this team and organization, led by manager Mike Matheny…….. Had a lot of injuries to key players last year and that killed a 100 win team in the postseason….Best rotation in the division and only the Mets can compare in the NL….Injury to offensive SS Jhonny Peralta might help them shore up defense, a player like Jedd Gyorko might be huge….Two break out candidates: OF Randal Grichuk and 2B Kolten Wong…..Deep talented bullpen… This team and the San Francisco Giants should be the model and other MLB teams take them for granted. They should be picked to win EVERY Year.
2- Pittsburgh Pirates(Wild Card)- This team is in the wrong division and I feel for the fans… Best defensive Outfield in the game, elite manager in Clint Hurdle….. Solid, workman like rotation led by Gerrit Cole…..Excellent, underrated signing at 3B with David Freese, a pro-s pro…. This team could use another top 3 starting pitcher and should target one at the deadline…. .Jordy Mercer gives them Jung Ho Kang(Leg) insurance at SS and invaluable depth…. Pitching coach Ray Searage does a masterful job with his guys and is a big reason why this pen is so good. Mark Melancon has become an all star closer under his watch.
3- Chicago Cubs- Every year the media falls in love with a team and I don-t understand why and pick against them. Raise your hand, Cubs!!!!…. Position player wise, I like this group- good depth, athletes, veterans, kids– but I do not like the rotation upside and if Jake Arrieta has any drop off at all, they are in deep trouble…….Mix and match pen led by closer Hector Rondon…. Manager Joe Maddon uses all his guys and has about 15 good position players, so NL ball ideal for this roster… For all the positives, do not have a true CenterFielder and Kyle Schwarber is not going to remind anyone of 1993 Barry Bonds in Left….. This team needs another pitcher. Sonny Gray?
4- Milwaukee Brewers- In rebuild mode with some good veterans led by OF Ryan Braun and C Jonathan Lucroy surrounding lots of kids…..Young pitching could struggle in offensive division with so many small parks….Both righties Jimmy Nelson and Taylor Jungman have promising futures….. Bullpen could be very good with LH Will Smith and RH Jeremy Jeffress strong late in games…. Lucroy could fetch a big return at the deadline, Braun as well to speed up rebuild….1B Chris Carter might hit 50 homers and strike out 250 times with 500 at bats
5- Cincinnati Reds- Position player group is solid but with this pitching staff, they better be… Wow…. Lots of kids and Homer Bailey returning from Tommy John surgery….. Going to be a long, long year in the Queen City…1-4 of Billy Hamilton, Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce can and will produce…. This bullpen could also enhance Rolaids sales….. Infielders Eugenio Suarez and Zack Cozart better than you think….C Devin Morasco was a top 10 C pre injury and should bounce back
National League West
1- San Francisco Giants- Love this team and its veteran leadership….. The Entire infield and star C Buster Posey are home grown developed players….5 pro starters with additions of free agents Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija, a reclamation project for pitching coach Dave Righetti…. CF Denard Span , a great signing, gives them a true lead off man and centerfielder. Also allows them to use Angel Pagan as a 4th OF, ideal for an energy guy at this point in his career…Love SS Brandon Crawford… RF Hunter Pence is the key to this team, he plays 150 games, this team wins division.
2- Arizona Diamondbacks(2nd Wild Card)- Team added two top 3 starting pitchers to an underrated field team… Zack Greinke is a franchise changer and Shelby Miller keeps you in almost every start. Combining these two with a full healthy Patrick Corbin and this is the best top 3 in the division…. Paul Goldschmidt is the top 1B in the game and a top 10 player overall… I would pick this team to win the division but the awful late spring injury to the team’s 2nd best player-CF A.J. Pollock(Elbow)- is huge….Love the trade that brought SS Jean Segura to Arizona… Closer Brad Ziegler leads a deep talented pen with several young power arms and late free agent signee Tyler Clippard, one of the better “holds” (aka set up men) in the sport .
3- Los Angeles Dodgers- You lose Greinke and sign two starters to replace him. I think that is a sign this is a big negative… I do like Scott Kazmir and Kenta Meada…. Completely insane that 4 of the top 5 Dodgers starting pitchers are southpaws… The good news? Clayton Kershaw is decent…. I like the everyday team and think RF Yasiel Puig might respond to coaching change… Team had a ton of injuries in the spring…. Most scouts rave about kid SS Corey Seager…. Closer Kenley Jansen is a beast and animal, all in one. #BadDude … Huge payroll but lots of names and shadows of former selves on this roster
4- Colorado Rockies- Love the field team and some bullpen pieces but they have the worst rotation in this division- BY A LOT….. As I said, I would take this everyday player roster over 75% of MLB. Players, Players, Players. Led by 3B Nolan Arenado, RF Carlos Gonzalez and CF Charlie Blackmon, this team can hit, run and field……Jorge De La Rosa is the veteran #1 SP and competes, lots of kids behind him led by John Grey….. Love the potential of SS Trevor Story…. Trade for Jake McGee should be huge for relief corps…. Big fan of 2B DJ Lemahieu’s bat and glove… Team should be fun to watch, with any pitching, this is a .500 team
5- San Diego Padres- Padres where my NL version of Seattle in 2015- they made tons of offseason moves, I liked and picked them, they went 30-132…. This lineup could not score in Vegas on Prom Night… Wow…. Bad, bad, bad offensive team…. Should catch some balls and run some but they are not going to challenge the ’61 Yankees anytime soon…. I like veterans Matt Kemp and Derek Norris. They do not like hitting in San Diego… Pitching staff is good, particularly top 3 starters of Tyson Ross, James Shields and Andrew Cashner… For valuable prizes, name the Padres Manager!… Pray for my University of Michigan Buddy, Jeff Byle. He is one of the leaders of the Padres broadcast team. #LONGYEAR
1- Toronto: Tremendous every day lineup with power and depth as well as good defense…. Have 5-6 players who are among the top 10 at their position in the game, led by RF Jose Bautista, 3B Josh Donaldson and C Russell Martin…. Underrated pitching that has added a fully healthy Marcus Stroman to top of rotation and trade acquisition Drew Storen to deep pen…. Team has good athletes with 3-4 base stealing threats in a sport that has lost both power and speed in the post PED era…. Manager John Gibbons has this team on right track
2- Baltimore: Excellent Manager -GM combo with Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter,,,, This team can hit 200 homers and Buck has a habit of finding platoons and players on that roster who step up… Average rotation that needs Ubaldo Jimenez to contribute more over 162… Stud closer in Zach Britton and elite 8th inning bridge Darren O’Day… Manny Machado is decent…. Keep on eye on P Kevin Gausman
3- Tampa Bay: Easily the best rotation and farm system in the division….. Always seem to figure out the bullpen, going back to Joe Maddon teams w Brad Boxberger(41 saves) out til midseason, this is huge…. I am the president of the Evan Longoria fan club…. Team catches outs and they have elite defenders all over, led by CF Kevin Kiermaier and 1B James Loney… This team adds a bat(Carlos Gonzalez? Jay Bruce?) they can be the 2015 Blue Jays and surprise folks
4- NY Yankees: Team with very few players under 30 took a major hit when promising 1B Greg Bird went down for the year… Starting pitching has health issues but could be decent with Michael Pineda being a swing guy for 78 or 88 wins… Pen should be historic but Aroldis Chapman is suspended early and Andrew Miller broke a bone in his wrist this week…. Two underrated moves over the last year have added Didi Gregorius and Starlin Castro to the middle infield. Dustin Ackley and Aaron Hicks are great reclamation projects who can help a team with limited 400 AB roles.. Joe Girardi walks around like a Drill SGT but can manage and is underrated around MLB
5- Boston: Fans are about to learn that Ben Cherrington was a small part of the problem… This team has a 200 mill payroll and no top 2 or 3 Starting pitcher and is starting 2 fringe major league players at 3B and one OF spot…. They did improve their pen with addition of Craig Kimbrel and added an overrated ace in David Price(Google postseason stats)…. Roster and payroll structure is deplorable. Have 4 kids starting(SS, 2 OFs and C) yet team has tons of questions and two guys with big deals and little to no value… Apparently, Theo Epstein and Terry Francona had a clue
1- Kansas City Royals: This is the most complete top to bottom everyday field team in MLB- speed, defense, hitting, power…. 5 tool kings— This team won World Series with Alex Gordon, the team leader, missing major time… Elite bullpen…Competitive, solid rotation with Kris Medlen a potential surprise…. GM and Manager tandem of Dayton Moore and Ned Yost get this team, market and the sport…. You appreciate this team more when you watch them, I learned this the hard way with a BRUTAL World Series loss. DEATH BY A THOUSAND PAPERCUTS
2- Cleveland Indians(Wild Card): Pitching, pitching, pitching… I watched a team that had less hitting than this team stay afloat for 4 months with dominant young arms make moves in July to march to the Pennant…I love the Manager and he will earn his check this year until stud LF Michael Brantley(Shoulder Surgery) returns… Need veterans such as Mike Napoli and Juan Uribe to be what they are: Pro’s!!!… Best top 3 rotation in AL led by Corey Kluber… Love closer Cody Allen…. Potential superstar in SS Francisco Lindor,
3- Minnesota Twins: Good, solid team in all areas with a good blend of vets and kids… No real stand out flaws or strengths, do everything well, nothing great… Manager Paul Molitor did an unbelievable job in 2015. In April this team looked like it would win 50 games in Double A. Barely missed the playoffs…. Brian Dozier might be the best 2B in the game… Miguel Sano will hit a ball this year that NASA will pick up… Bryon Buxton meet Mr. Trout, Mr. Trout, Bryon…. Add a big time pitcher here and this team wins 90
4- Chicago White Sox: Environment was bad BEFORE Laroche controversy…. Not good to be on the “other” team in town when they are good and you are down…. 4 of 5 Starting pitchers are southpaws… Chris Sale could strike out God… In the wrong division, this team is not that bad…SS Tim Anderson is THIS close to being here…. I love Robin Ventura, always have, always will… Todd Frazier and Brett Lawrie are not only good players but energy guys. Frazier hits 40 on this team… With breaks, this team can contend
5- Detroit Tigers: This team is a great example of the Dan Snyder- Jerry Jones NFL philosophy that NEVER works…. No plan, no patience, no development…. I loved their offseason UNTIL they signed Justin Upton. This team REFUSES to play kids and just signs names. Run like a fantasy team…. The good news? Tigers pen should finally be good w K Rod, Mark Lowe and the Wilsons….. The Bad? The starting pitching is OK. And I am Jordan Zimmerman fan. Vital that Justin Verlander and Anabil Sanchez give them 65 starts… JD Martinez one of the top 5 moves of the last 3 years. HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM!!!!… 1ST manager fired a race between John Farrell and Brad Ausmus
1- Texas Rangers(AL Champs): 2nd best rotation in the AL with Cole Hamels , Yu Darvish and the underrated Derek Holland… Love the every day team with 3B Adrian Beltre among the top leaders in the game… Man crush for skipper Jeff Bannister…. Team hits, fields and can run…. Bullpen lacks a true defined closer but JB figures it out. Shawn Tolleson is this generations John Franco- minimal stuff, brass balls, tremendous results… Deep team that battles u for the full nine… Very good organization
2- Houston Astros(2nd Wild Card team): Fun team to watch: They strike out and hit homers. ALL OF THEM….Very good pitching top to bottom with ace Dallas Keuchel leading the way…. Full year from Carlos Gomez(Trade) and George Springer( Injury) will be huge… New closer Ken Giles(Trade) is the best pen arm you have not seen. Pitched in the witness protection program known as Philadelphia… Carlos Correa can win the MVP. In 2016… How do they respond to being the hunted not the hunter?
3- Los Angeles Angels: Good field team with veterans, guys in prime… Mike Trout is decent, team should catch the ball(SS Andrelton Simmons!!!!!!) and score runs… Unfortunately, this division is loaded and have concerns about the pitching-Think they have a lot of #3 Starters and not much upside. In this division, this is the worst rotation. By A LOT. .. Andrew Heaney is a difference maker and if the young pitcher takes off, he can bring team from 75 to 85 wins…. Love young players such as RF Cole Calhoun and DH C.J Cron…..Closer Huston Street severely underrated and a team leader
4- Seattle Mariners: I loved this team going into 2015 and they proceeded to make me look bad. VERY bad. Went about 20-142….Have excellent starting pitching and 3-4 very good sticks…… Need some of these reclamation projects and platoons to work out. OFs Nori Aoki ,Seth Smith and Leonys Martin should catch the ball and I like Adam Lind as a 2nd level offensive option at 1B… Need Robinson Cano to be Robinson Cano…Taijuan Walker is my pick for break out AL Pitcher… Nelson Cruz could play on Pluto and hit HRs.. Kyle Seager is the best 3B you have not heard of… Like SS Ketel Marte a lot
5- Oakland A’s: If Billy Beane can win with this team, they ought to make a movie about him. Ooops, Never mind. … Beane is on the right path here with this group of kids and young vets but they are 2-3 years away in this league and division…. Rotation, led by ace Sonny Gray, could keep them in games….. Outfield could be very good with trade for power hitting LF Khris Davis joining returnees CF Billy Burns and RF Josh Reddick. .. Team could move C Stephen Vogt anf INF Jed Lowrie at deadline for kids…. Beane added several veterans to last years bullpen mess and if these guys pitch to what their baseball card says, this team could win 78-81 games.
NY Mets(World Series Champions)
I do not stutter or mince words. And I picked this team to win 90 games in 2015. THEY DID. I also picked them to make the postseason. THEY DID. The New York Mets will win the 2016 World Series. Here is why.
1- Pitching, Pitching,Pitching- 48,33,34,32,40,45…. Load, repeat, Load, repeat
2- Improved Infield D- Asdrubal Cabrera and Neil Walker are underrated defenders and pro’s pro’s. Simply turn outs into outs, not adventures.
3- Michael Conforto: Put him down for 300-20-90. And I am being cautious. Love this kid. Mark my words: Will be hitting 3rd regularly by May 1st.
4- TC: How Terry Collins did not win the MOY award is a high crime. I throughly enjoyed watching him put an Awesome Bomb on the guy from the Cubs who did in the NLCS.
5- Agony of Defeat: The Royals lost a tough WS in 2014 and used that as a rally point in 2015. HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF.
6- The Closer: I love Jeurys Familia. You should too.
7- BAD company: Two teams in this division are among the 5 worst in MLB. Thats 38 games. Miami? Flip a coin. Washington is at a crossroads. THE EAST IS OURS!!!
8- Sandy Alderson: Our GM is pretty good. Others realize this.
9- Deep Depth: Position players and pitching wise, this is the deepest Mets team I can remember. 1986?
10- Mid Season addition: Zach Wheeler
11- Yoenis Year: He is here for 162. Pitchers BE AFRAID
12- Captain America: The best leader in the sport is at 3rd Base and David Wright playing 130 games or more is the difference between winning 95 or 105. BACK BEHAVE.
13- For Forde: We all lost an Angel in Shannon Forde. She is pulling strings still from above.
14- BIG Bullpen: This group could be special and we actually have lefties in it! Full year of health from Jerry Blevins and Josh Edgin plus Addison Reed and Antonio Bastardo, WOW!
15- HISTORY help: The last time the Mets won the WS? 30 years ago. 1986. Mike Piazza is going into the Hall of Fame this Summer. The stars are aligning. #LGM
Hansel Robles (SUSPENDED)
Alejandro De Aza
Matt Harvey is ok after a medical scare and set to pitch Sunday night vs the World Series Champion Kansas City Royals. #33 had blood in his urine caused by a clot in his bladder. Harvey’s arm is fine and he will start opening night. Noah Syndergaard, who famously buzzed the tower in the World Series, will pitch Game 2 Tuesday while Jacob deGrom draws the home opener April 8th for the National League Champions at Citi Field.
Mets skipper Terry Collins has named Matt Harvey his opening day starter after talking with all 5 starting pitchers Thursday. #33 will take the mound April 3rd at the World Champion Kansas City Royals, the very team that rallied vs Harvey and closer Jeurys Familtia in the 9th inning of game 5 to tie and ultimately win the World Series. The rest of the rotation has not been set and Jacob deGrom has been dealing with some minor ailments as well. Pencil in Noah Syndergaard for game 2.
METS MASH: SS Asdrubal Cabrera(Knee) continues to make good progress and has been riding a stationary bike. Collins thinks he will have his shortstop in Kansas City. David Wright(Back) also looks good and appeared to move free and easy in his 1st game this weekend. As he stated, this is not an injury, it is a condition. Think diabetes, not an ACL. If managed correctly, Captain America can contribute. Finally, INF Ruben Tejada was released and quickly signed by the St Louis Cardinals. I want to wish Ruben well, a good guy who does not fit the current Mets roster and goals.
The New York Mets infield heading into the final phases of spring training has question marks with 3 veteran names and the team could open the 2016 with a different look. 1st, SS Asdrubal Cabrera(Knee) could miss the opener but should be fine short and long term after straining a tendon sliding in camp. Wilmer Flores, who is destroying the ball in Florida, would assume the starting role if Cabrera is not ready in Kansas City. Ruben Tejada would be another candidate to draw playing time but the team has placed him on waivers and with several teams needing middle infield depth, The shortstop more than likely has played his last game in Queens. Rookie Matt Reynolds could make the team as a super utility Ben Zobrist type. Finally, Captain David Wright(Back) will make his spring training debut Friday and has made good progress in camp. Mets skipper Terry Collins would like to get the 3B into 12-14 games prior to the season opener. The team and Wright have used a cautious approach in camp and ramped up his activity gradually as he played in 38 regular season games and the entire postseason with spinal stenosis. The Mets would take 120 games out of #5, 140 would be heaven for the team, player and fans. The good news for all involved? The team is much better equipped to compete with or without Wright ,due to improved depth.
The New York Mets and much of the baseball world is mourning the death of Senior director of Public Relations Shannon Forde this weekend. The beloved Forde lost her battle with breast cancer after serving the team since 1994 and leaves behind a Husband and two children. Since joining the Mets right out of St. John’s University, she was a vital member of the teams day to day operations. All members of the media loved her, since the news of her passing away, both print and electronic media has been inundated with praise. Mets legend Mike Piazza expressed sorrow on twitter and David Wright, who was particularily close with Forde, was hit hard. The Mets will host a memorial service Wednesday Wednesday March 9th at Citi Field at 3 pm for Shannon.
Mets skipper Terry Collins’ biggest strength as a manager is player relationships and the clubhouse. He knows his guys, tells them the truth, backs them publicly and looks out for them-short and long term. When the Matt Harvey controversy could have destroyed this team in September, TC controlled it. Wilmer Flores was traded- then not- and Terry Collins was there. The Mets captain missed over 100 games, this manager circled the wagons and kept this team afloat. As the defending National League Champs approach the 2016 season, TC had this message: Last year was fun, we had a great year and team, it means nothing in 2016, we need to play and play well. Both Collins and Wright have used the team that defeated them in the World Series-The Kansas City Royals- as the bench mark: Lost an incredible World Series then came back to win the next year. A lot to like about this team but count internal leadership-from both Collins and Wright- as major plus. This team is in good hands with Captain America and TC.
Spring Training is opening around MLB and pitchers and catchers are reporting. Preseason magazines are out and Managers and team executives are doing interviews. Something funny has happened: The other 31 teams know who the New York Mets are and it scares them. The leadership team in Washington is actually addressing them by name and citing history over the past 5 years. Hey guys, The Mets beat you like eggs in August and September when it mattered last yr. You guys slapped around Gee,Pelfrey and Niese for years. Guess what? Slap around Harvey, de Grom and Thor. Days of hope and faith are gone and replaced by reality and this is it: The New York Mets are damn good and should be favored to win this division. Heck, I think they can win it EASILY. This team has dominant pitching from top to bottom, great chemistry and returns almost every key player 1-8. As great as 2105 was for the Mets and their fans, the club battled injuries and anemic offense for 2/3rds of the season. The team has added depth and confidence ,expecting greatness. THEY SHOULD. #LGM
DEEP DEPTH: The Mets pitching depth is well documented and Zack Wheeler(Tommy John Surgery rehab) will join the rotation at some point in the 2016 campaign. The bullpen has a great balance of veterans and left/right as well as potential reinforcements in Triple and Double A. However, the group of everyday players this team has as it enters Spring Training is the number one reason why this team can and will improve. The resigning of Yoenis Cespedes makes Juan Lagares and Alejandro De Aza 4th and 5th Outfielders. That is good- they are platoon types. Playing mix and match with these two, Yoenis, Michael Conforto and Curtis Granderson should not be hard. As example: Juan hits LHs, De Aza does not. Note this: Conforto played some RF in College and the team told him he could play some RF this spring. Key is keeping everyone healthy, productive and happy. The infield also has improved and with the additions of Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera to start at 2B and SS, this allows Wilmer Flores to fill a Ben Zobrist role of super utility guy who can fill in at any spot. This is key to keeping Captain David Wright(Back) healthy and productive thru the postseason. Ruben Tejada can draw the odd start at SS and be a trade chip. Cs Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki have also expressed their desires to help out at either infield corner on days off to maximize depth. KP has played some 1B and this would help justify keeping him in NY as opposed to Triple A, where he could play everyday.
The National League Champion New York Mets suffered a setback over the weekend when reliever Jenrry Mejia failed a drug test and was banned for life. This is the ex closer’s 3rd PED suspension in less than a year and he joins all time hits leader Pete Rose in permanent banishment. Mejia was serving a 162 game ban for a positive test for Boldenone and Stanozolol and his recent exam produced a 3rd strike for Boldenone. This is a sad day for both the team and player but MLB needs to look at the high amount of suspensions for foreign players being caused by language and cultural barriers. You have to either have a serious problem-addiction or not be very bright to fail 3 drug tests in this time frame. Feel bad for Jenrry, who is a good guy. His return would have been like a midseason trade acquisition.
Mets Notes: With camp approaching, the Mets have a stated goal of 130 games for Captain David Wright to play. I would take 120 and be happy. His health only enhances and magnifies the new super utility role for INF Wilmer Flores, who can play ANY INF spot…. RF Curtis Granderson(Thumb surgery) will be good to go when Spring Training opens… SP Matt Harvey has expressed a desire to sign a contract extension with the team. #33 contract is up after the 2017, he is arbitration eligible for the final 2 seasons(2016-17)
Simple, direct- Similiar to TC’s with a switch off 2 people:
RF Curtis Granderson-L
2B Neil Walker-S
3B David Wright-R
CF Yoenis Cespedes-R
1B Lucas Duda-L
C Travis d’Arnaud -R
LF Michael Conforto-L
SS Asdrubal Cabrera-S
This is versus RH pitchers and I would think by midseason, Conforto will move up and assume a larger role. This team is deep and has guys who can hit all over. Deep and with depth. You can draw up 8-10 orders with this group and the key is spreading out the 3 LH sticks within the top 7, ideally 6. To me, Neil Walker a huge key and addition. Always liked this player.
Mets skipper Terry Collins revealed his initial lineup idea as the NL Champion New York Mets approach spring training:
1. Curtis Granderson, RF
2. David Wright, 3B
3. Yoenis Cespedes, CF
4. Lucas Duda, 1B
5. Neil Walker, 2B
6. Michael Conforto, LF
7. Travis d’Arnaud, C
8. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
TC spoke of this lineups depth and versatility as well as bench options. I am trying to draw up my own and having a hard time. #LGM
The New York Mets front office, fans and supporters of strong baseball discipline won late Friday night when OF Yoenis Cespedes resigned with the club. The deal is officially 3 yrs/75 million with full no trade language but is really a 1 year 27.5 million deal due to an opt out clause. This is a great, great day for the Mets and their fans. The team has had a strong offseason but was still missing an obvious power bat in the 4 hole. Cespedes can also play CenterField when Michael Conforto is in Left and veteran Curtis Granderson mans right. This signing also indicates the commitment of Ownership in dollars and actions. The Mets had a stated goal of a $115-120 million payroll. With this contract as well as the signing of top lefty reliever Antonio Bastardo Wednesday, the team salary numbers are in the $140 mill range. Just an awesome sign and signing for the team. Incredibly, Cespedes reportedly turned down a 5 yr/100 million deal from the division rival Washington Nationals for this short term deal and the comfort of a team he fell in love with. Just a great night and start to the weekend for the Mets and their fans.
Been in interesting week for the Mets and not just because of the election of Mike Piazza to the Hall of Fame. GM Sandy Alderson made his first public appearance and comments since news broke of his cancer diagnosis in November. The Mets leader seemed to be in good spirits and talked with the media about a wide range of topics. In summary, he likes this team and the payroll will be around $115 million. Alderson lost a top lieutenant when assistant GM Paul DePodesta left the team to work for the NFL’s Cleveland Browns this week. But otherwise,it was good to see Sandy.
Losing Daniel Murphy was inevitable with the trades and signings of the recent weeks but it was still hard for Mets fans. #28 is a good guy and fan favorite who came up in the system. He was a natural 3B who tried to play the OF and ended up at 2B, he showed up everyday, worked hard and became an all star. He was also a team leader who always promoted his teammates and talked them up to the media(Just YouTube ANY Murph interviews). This made it especially tough for Mets fans when Murph’s deal with the division rival Washington Nationals became official this week. And I am a Neil Walker guy! I am also a Daniel Murphy guy and wish the team and his reps could have figured out a way to keep him in Queens. This is an example of the business of sports.
The Mets would still like to add a veteran reliever(Tyler Clippard? Antonio Bastardo? Matt Albers?) and 1B-OF type to replace retired Michael Cuddyer in a bench-platoon role. Names like Ryan Raburn and Steve Pearce have been linked with the Mets and make sense. The team is close to set and should have a balanced ,solid 25 man roster that will provide skipper Terry Collins with a lot of options off the bench and out of the pen. I will write more about this in the coming months but two players to focus on are Outfielders Juan Lagares(My pick for a BIG comeback season in 2016) and Michael Conforto(My man crush- he could be INCREDIBLE for this team- think David Wright in 2004). Very exciting times for Mets fans as 2016 spring training draws near.
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