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 almost sent down OF Michael Conforto to the minors earlier this week and give him some more time. The time was up Saturday and he was sent to Las Vegas. Super prospect Brandon Nimmo has been recalled and will play LeftField. Conforto had a great April(.350 plus batting average) but has completely fallen off(.119-.182-.237 BA-OBP-SLUG) in June. I still think this kid will be a great player and believe this is best for everyone involved. Nimmo is a top of order guy who ideally hits either 1 or 2 in the lineup. The 1st draft pick of the Sandy Alderson era in the 2011 draft, he hit .328-.409-.508 in 63 games in Vegas. Meanwhile, not official word on the Jose Reyes front but that looks to be a done deal as well. I love this activity and sense of urgency the Mets are showing. Big reason why this team has survived with all the injuries and so forth. Players like James Loney, Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera have been huge for the club and show this front office has a clue.
Numerous media outlets are reporting the New York Mets and Jose Reyes will reunite after the former all star and batting champion clears waivers at 1 pm Saturday. Reyes has served his 52 game suspension for domestic violence but would still need to get some work in the minors for conditioning and the team would like him to focus on Third base, although an ideal role for him would be as a super utility guy, spelling Neil Walker, Asdrubal Cabrera and Wilmer Flores in the infield. He would greatly upgrade the team’s speed and give them a late game base running threat. It should be noted this move does not appear to deter the Mets from looking at Cuban free agent 3B Yulieski Gourriel as a potential long term replacement for Captain David Wright. Ideal world for me is signing both players, they do different things and at this point in his career, Reyes is a part time player.
The New York Mets got a good medical report on starting pitcher Bartolo Colon(Thumb) to open Wednesday but waited word on Zack Wheeler(Elbow) all day. Colon will not miss any major time with his bruised digit but have not determined if he will make his next scheduled start. Mets skipper Terry Collins has him penciled in to start Sunday. Meanwhile, Wheeler had sensory nerve irritation in his surgically repaired elbow and was given a cortisone injection. #45 can resume rehab when the sensation disappears. The drama was added and hit DefCon levels when both Noah Syndergaard(elbow) and Yoenis Cespedes(wrist) went to the hospital post game Wednesday. Thor’s exam reveled no structural damage and he was given anti-inflammatory medication. No word on whether #34 will take his next turn. Cespedes has a mild sprain of his wrist and was also given a cortisone injection, he is listed as day to day. Any injuries to ANY of these four right now is scary and incredibly, the Mets seemed to have dodged bullets with all of them. But this has been a STRESSFUL time for fans in Queens.
The New York Mets have been linked to two free agents who could fill the hole created by the injury to 3B David Wright and one has roots in Queens. SS Jose Reyes, who could play either 2B or 3B, has no role in Colorado and is about to clear waivers. The Rockies are on the hook for his huge contact and #7 can hit. But his trademark superior athleticism is no more and defense is now a major weakness. And he has been charged with domestic violence. I vote no. BTW I was never a huge fan. David Wright guy. A name do I like is Cuban free agent Yulieski Gurriel, a 32 yr old , 15 year pro, who is an elite bat and many including Mets star Yoenis Cespedes rave about his talent and character. He would cost up to 11-12 mill per over 2-3 years. The issue here is with all the injuries, two players who has functioned offensively are 1B James Loney and INF Wilmer Flores. Unless I am bringing in George Brett and Don Mattingly, I want these guys to play. Wilmer is a Met and deserves a chance to play. I also like Loney on this team, pro bat. If the reports on Lucas Duda(Back) do not appear promising, I will revisit this stance and look to add a booper. The two guys who do need to step up are Curtis Granderson(Has heated up recently) and Michael Conforto(close to being sent to Las Vegas).
HITTING HURTING: The New York Mets offense has struggled mightly due to injuries and slumps but I also believe an issue is the approach and dependence on home runs. Every major league player is different and has his style. The Mets have a lot of quality sticks and a good no great hitting coach in Kevin Long. That’s why it is maddening to me to see this team not hit, AT ALL. A LOT. This team does not rally and is the slowest Mets squad I can remember, ZERO speed. They either homer or make outs. No in between. When a pro like Neil Walker comes in and becomes Jeff Kent, I wonder if this is good. This team misses a Daniel Murphy-Keith Hernandez get hits, hit doubles, get on base, do not strike out type. Variety is good and right now this team is too easy to attack and stop. And this blogger does not have an answer.
METS NOTES:Noah Syndergaard has been moved back in the rotation to Wednesday and veteran Bartolo Colon will throw tonight in game 1 of the World Series rematch. This sets up Thor to pitch twice vs the division leading Washington Nationals in the next 2 head to head series . Syndergaard is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA and 23 Ks in 20 innings over 2 starts vs the Nats…. LHP Sean Gilmartin has been recalled to replace injured RP Jim Henderson(shoulder) today and will be in the Mets pen… C Kevin Plawecki has been sent to the Minors as Travis d’Arnaud(rotator cuff) is back and the club wants KP to play everyday. He will in Vegas. Meanwhile, defensive specialist Rene Rivera, who has been a god send, will serve as the primary back up. His work with all the pitchers, particularly Matt Harvey, has been outstanding… Be on alert in this Royals series: Lots of bad feeling from Syndergaard dusting Royals leadoff man Alcides Escobar in Game 3 of the World Series. Thor is hitting Wednesday. Danny Duffy is starting for the Royals. No Ventura but you get the feeling it does not matter. If the Royals do anything to #34, the Mets and Citi Field might erupt. Make that definitely.
The New York Mets appeared to right the ship late last week when they won the two final games vs a tough Pittsburgh Pirates team. But any momentum from those wins was destroyed over the weekend as the awful Atlanta Braves somehow swept the Mets in NY. I know about injuries and slumps but this is unacceptable. The pitching was ok- particularly the starters- but nobody is hitting and Michael Conforto is a prime candidate to be sent down to Las Vegas with a sub .200 batting average since the end of May. Manager Terry Collins openly talked about roster and lineup changes postgame. This weekend was awful and I know things are magnified when you do not hit but this cannot and should not happen. That needs to change and change fast or this team will not be playing meaningful games in September let alone October.
New York Mets 3B- Captain David Wright underwent surgery on a disc in his neck Thursday and is out indefinitely. Wilmer Flores will have a real opportunity to win this job short term and has been hitting well since the Captain went down. Dependent on how well Flores plays, the Mets could save resources to add another position instead of a long or short term answer at 3B. The team has been without 1B Lucas Duda and C Travis d’Arnaud(Will return next week) for over a month and could fill both slots with one move: Jonathan Lucroy. The Mets have played almost over 150 games without Wright in the last 2 years and fans have to be seriously concerned about his long term health as both a player and person. Very cruel that the franchise face cannot help a team that has finally matched his talent. Here is the statement from #5:
“After trying every way to get back on the field, I’ve come to realize that it’s best for me, my teammates and the organization to proceed with surgery at this time. My neck simply did not respond to any of the treatments of the past few weeks. While incredibly frustrating and disappointing, I am determined to make a full recovery and get back on the field as soon as I can to help the Mets win. I greatly appreciate the support of my teammates and our fans throughout the last few weeks.”
CF Juan Lagares, who was in real position to earn some playing time with the team slumping and beat up, was placed on the DL due to his ongoing thumb injury Thursday. #12 will try the rest- rehab route ala Wright and see how the joint responds before deciding on surgery. Good news in the game tonight as LF Michael Conforto(Wrist) and 2B Neil Walker(Back) returned to the lineup and hit back to back homers in a victory. Side note: Walker, A career 2B in a free agent walk year, has volunteered to move to 3B if the club needs him with the injury to the Captain. UNBELIEVABLE.
The New York Mets recent lineups have featured 2-3 opening day starters with 2B Neil Walker(Back) and Michael Conforto(Wrist) now joining Captain David Wright(Neck), 1B Lucas Duda(Back) and C Travis d’Arnaud(Rotator Cuff) in the MASH unit. The team is struggling to score with all the injuries and leaves OFs Curtis Granderson , Yoenis Cespedes and SS Asdrubal Cabrera as the only members intact from the opening night April 4th batting order. Heck, even Juan Lagares could not start tonight with a serious dental problem. The Mets should get a better on where Wright is by the end of the week according to GM Sandy Alderson. The Captain is currently in California meeting with his back specialist to determine whether to get season ending surgery or continue with rest and rehab.
COMMENTARY: I am a big Kelly Johnson(reacquired late last week) guy and he is a great bench presence, allowing Wilmer Flores to play almost daily at one of 4 infield spots. But this team needs a big bat desperately or the Washington Nationals lead will reach double figures by the end of the month. That’s how beat up and depleted the Mets field team is. I suggest 2 moves— trade for C Jonathan Lucroy from the Milwaukee Brewers. He is an elite backstop who hits and is signed thru 2017. I would also call up OF Brandon Nimmo and DFA Alejandro De Aza, I want the 5 outfielders on this team to be Granderson, Conforto, Cespedes, Lagares and Nimmo. I want athleticism, offense and energy. When we are playing the Pittsburgh Pirates, I want to see an OF like that! I am waiting on the medical updates on Walker because he is could be a key part of a 3rd move if he checks out. I would consider moving Neil to 3B and calling up Dilson Herrera to be the everyday 2B. These team needs a kick in the pants and we have both internal (2 kids getting things done in Las Vegas) and external options. The time has come for the team to be both active and reactive.
Mets skipper Terry Collins has been medically cleared and will be fine to manage this Tuesday after a health scare this weekend. The 67 yr old manager felt ill pre game Sunday ; was admitted to a local hospital in Milwaukee and under went several tests. All came back negative OR positive and the popular Collins is free to travel back to NYC and resume baseball activities. TC is one of the good ones in the game and this is REALLY good news for both the manager, team and sport.
Lots of news regarding the team as they finished the 2nd leg of a 3 city, 10 game road trip in Pittsburgh tonight: The team is waiting to see how CF Juan Lagares(Thumb ligament injury) responds to swinging the bat and will then make a determination on whether to DL him or not. Expect some movement on this by Friday, finger injuries produce a lot of swelling and pain…. The Mets offense continues to struggle and looks inept at times when they do not homer. OFs Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto(great game tonight including a 2 run 8th inning homer that tied the contest) need to step it up and strangely, 1B James Loney has provided a small spark by just being efficient and not trying to hit 7 run shots. Loney is what he is : A Pro…. Team reacquired veteran INF-OF Kelly Johnson Wednesday and he provides offense and versatility to a team that needs both. Ideally, he is a super sub -a role that Wilmer Flores had until injuries drew him into starters minutes. Unlike some of these called up kids, Johnson has done it and has experience and relationships within the NY Locker room…. I am a big Neil Walker guy and these last 3 days illustrate why. He is from Pittsburgh and the fans of his former club love him. He got the Mayors treatment all series and never said no to any media or fan request. A pro’s pro– someone a certain pitcher on this team should look at and emulate. Terry Collins joked postgame that the poor guy had to be happy to leave and get some rest…. Rene Rivera will draw most of starts at Catcher over rookie Kevin Plawecki due to his great defensive play and rapport with pitchers…. Nice to see rookie and long time minor leaguer Ty Kelly hit his 1st major league home run tonight. Huge for both the player and team. Unfortunately, Kelly is a strong candidate to be sent back to Las Vegas to make room on the roster for his name sake, Mr. Johnson. Tough business and game, Baseball.
The New York Mets won Friday night in Miami vs the Marlins 6-2 and the star of the game was Noah Syndergaard, who threw 7 strong. However, the bigger story was the contributions of 3 key pieces and how they factor heading forward. The Mets lost their captain, 3B David Wright, for an extended period Friday(Herniated disc) and he joins 1B Lucas Duda(Back) and C Travis d’Arnaud(Shoulder) on the DL. Amazingly, all 3 of the replacements for the 3 Mets stars homered last night- as James Loney(1ooth career), Rene Rivera and Wilmer Flores left the yard and drove in all 6 NY runs. Loney and Flores will both play a lot and Wilmer , who has struggled to find consistency in a bench role, has an opportunity here. Rivera continues to perform and do great work with the pitchers and should platoon with Kevin Plawecki MINIMUM at this point. Just a great, great night for a team that will be without #5 til Late August at the earliest. The team announced David Wright will rest for 6-8 weeks as he tries to avoid surgery for a herniated disc in his neck.
According to numerous media outlets, Mets captain-3B David Wright will be placed on the 15 day DL Friday and miss an extended period with a herniated disc in his neck. The team has not confirmed the reports but the move makes sense as #5 is battling a spinal stenosis, a serious back condition and has not played since homering in 3 straight games last week. The team will reportedly recall INF Matt Reynolds from Triple A Las Vegas and pair him with Wilmer Flores to replace Wright. The Mets and their fans have to come to grips with the fact that their most beloved and longest tenured player’s career is in serious jeopardy as his team is ready to contend for years to come. Just a tough, tough day all around.
Matt Harvey pitched easily the best game of his season Monday after being awful over his last 3 starts(10+ ERA) and lead the New York Mets to a 1-0 win over the Chicago White Sox. #33 looked like his pre-2016 self with 98 MPH stuff and the mound presence and I am the man personality that made him the talk of the town and major league baseball. He allowed 2 hits over 7 and after a rough weekend series vs the interdivision rival Los Angeles Dodgers gave some of the beat up members of the pen a day off. More importantly, Matt Harvey looked and sounded like Matt Harvey during and after the game. The Mets need this and Matt needs the Mets. Anyone who reads this blog knows I am not the president of the #33 fan club and never will be. But we have a business relationship at this point and it is based on him being a good employee to the team. He was today and this was a big step for both Matt and the Mets. Lets hope it continues.
Mets Mash: Not all good news from Citi Field Monday. Captain David Wright missed his 3rd straight game with neck pain and the 3rd Baseman disclosed postgame he is suffering from a herniated disc in his neck and will have a better idea about where he is after seeing specialists Tuesday. A stint on the DL for #5 remains a probable option and with the return today of Wilmer Flores and addition of 1B James Loney, the Mets have some options in the infield. However, the team has to be concerned about long term health of Wright, who is as tough as they come. The man famously played for weeks with a broken back on team headed no where. Cruel world we live in when a guy who represents everything good about people and sports stays with a team that rebuilds around him then sees his body fail him when the roster matches his ability.
1986 Mets: With the weekend celebration of 1986 World Champions, I wanted to talk about this group. I became a fan of the Mets via my Father ,Jim Flannelly. My parents divorced when I was 8 and my Dad moved around a lot due to his job. He settled in the greater NYC area and we started going to Mets games in 1983. Both being native New Englanders, you have a better chance of seeing us at a KGB recruiting station than in the Bronx. Midway thru the season, the team added a super star in 1B Keith Hernandez and called up RF Darryl Strawberry. They had some promising players -mostly pitchers- on the come- Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling, Len Dykstra and Roger McDowell. The major league team had some decent pieces too-OF Mookie Wilson, 2B Wally Backman and Ps Ed Lynch, Doug Sisk and Jesse Orosco. They added a veteran 3B in Ray Knight. The future was bright. In 84, they stepped up huge and new skipper Davey Johnson was a big reason why. Only a brilliant season by a veteran Chicago Cubs team prevented the Mets from making the playoffs.
GM Frank Cashen saw how good this team was , adding a vital piece when he traded for C Gary Carter, a future Hall of Fame Catcher, in the winter. The team battled again in 85 and lost the division in the final week of the season vs the St Louis Cardinals. Gooden became the best pitcher in the sport and Darling slotted in as a ideal #2. Howard Johnson teamed up with Knight and SS Rafael Santana to mix and match in the infield. Hernandez-Carter-Strawberry became a potent 3-4-5 middle of the order that also went lefty, righty, lefty and the heavy lifting was done. Young pitchers like Sid Fernandez and Rick Aguilera showed they belonged in Flushing full time and internal improvements had this team looking strong for 86. Cashen was again busy during the winter and added smaller pieces than Hernandez and Carter but still huge in LHP Bobby Ojeda and 2B Tim Teufel. 1986 would be different.
The 86 Mets had it all. They won 108 regular season games- They had 4 –FOUR- 4 bench clearing brawls. They even won those. They led the majors in curtain calls after big homers and made the opposition nuts. The #1 thing I take from that team is EVERYONE on that team contributed. EVERYONE. And they NEVER gave up. Dykstra became a top lead off man and Kevin Mitchell could play any position and be effective. Former Met Lee Mazzilli was brought back and gave them another great pinch hitter to pair with Danny Heep. I could go on and on. This current Mets team reminds me a lot of that group in that everyone has a role and does it. Time and time again, the 86 Mets battled- the two playoff series they won- vs the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox- give you some of the greatest baseball games of all time. And today, Mets fans get to see 3 members of the 86 team almost nightly- at 3rd base coaching the Mets(Teufel #11) and in the TV broadcast booth(Keith #17 and Ron #12). I think that is pretty cool. And the 86 Mets where pretty cool to watch. Thanks, guys. #LGM
The New York Mets finally threw at Chase Utley Saturday night and he spent the rest of the evening hitting balls over the fence. Utley famously broke the leg of NY shortstop Rueben Tejada’s leg with a dirty, late and cheap slide in game 2 of the 2015 ALDS and Mets fans have been screaming for retaliation for over a year. Well, Noah Syndergaard threw a pitch directly behind Utley in the 3rd inning and was promptly ejected without warning. Mets skipper Terry Collins, as mad as you will see him, came out and was promptly sent to the showers with Thor. To magnify things, Utley then homered in his next 2 at bats and drove in 5 runs. Amazing how this sport changes a rule and knows what Utley did was awful yet the Mets try to exact revenge and get punished more than #26 does. Great sport. Utley is a great, great player who kills the Mets but he is also dirty player who needs to be held accountable for how he plays. The Mets should throw out him til he does not get up. And then throw at him again. Hit him tonight, Bartolo.
Mets notes: The Mets made a minor trade Saturday that could turn out to be major as they acquired 1B James Loney from San Diego Padres for cash. Loney, an excellent defender and contact hitter, has hit .285 over his 9 year + career and bats left handed. He will platoon with Wilmer Flores at 1B while Lucas Duda(Back) heals and rehabs….. Captain David Wright(Back) was out Saturday with a sore neck and the team is having this issue examined by doctors over the next 24 hrs. #5 has homered in 3 straight contests… Flores(Hamstring) is set to rejoin the team and was traveling to NY Sunday after completing his rehab assignment Saturday… Larger column coming but awesome to see the 1986 World Champion Mets team being honored over the entire weekend. Anyone who watches the TV broadcasts gets a dose of Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez nightly but getting the best team in franchise history together is always a good thing.
The New York Mets have not learned and continue to make the same mistake over and over again. They trust Matt Harvey. The problem is Matt Harvey doesn-t even trust himself anymore. And it is written all over his face. David Wright, the team’s unquestioned leader, has publicly stated he needs to learn to face the music when times are good AND bad. Not allow his manager, rookie catcher Kevin Plawecki and teammates to answer for his lousy outing. More importantly, the Mets need to stop treating this guy like he is Tom Seaver. He was great. For about a year. From his call up in 2012 to when he was injured in 2nd half of 2013. Other than that, he was good. In 2015. Now? He has been awful. 6.08 ERA. He asks for and receives special treatment. Where was the outrage over the other 3 kid pitchers innings limits in 2015? He is only Member of the Mets who is allowed to stink and stay with the big club. He belongs in Las Vegas and is hurting the team. But the Team is more concerned about Matt Harvey’s feelings and psyche. That concerns me and should concern Mets fans everywhere. Being a bad teammate, guy and player is a bad combo. Notice how nobody is talking about Curtis Granderson hitting under .200? Why? Great person. Proven track record. #33 also is developing a track record and it is not good. Neither is Matt Harvey right now and that is bad for the New York Mets.
Matt Harvey’s big test came back an F Tuesday as the Washington Nationals pummeled him again for the 2nd time in a week for 5 runs in 5 innings(3 Home runs) and his status for his next start is now in play. Even Terry Collins- the President of the Matt Harvey fan club- sees that this guy is not right right now and he is not a major league pitcher. Let alone one on a team that is trying to win the World Series. He has zero confidence and mound presence and his starts are becoming embarrassing. As a long time Mets fan, this whole Dark Knight nonsense is an energy drain. Matt did this, Matt did that,etc. Matt could not get Little Leaguers out today. It is May 24. His ERA is 6.08. If his name was Harvey Matt, he would be in the minors. Part of #33’s problem is he brings a lot of this on himself. He made a stink about his pitch totals, the 6 man rotation, etc last season. He famously campaigned to finish Game 5 of the World Series. The Mets need to take charge and be the Boss of Matt Harvey, not the other way around. Like major league hitters are his boss now. He is hurting the team and himself. Unless he is injured , send him to Las Vegas. Wally Backman and Frank Viola are tremendous attitude adjustment coaches.
COMMENTARY:Finally, My feelings and stance on Matt Harvey has not changed since he pulled the innings limit BS with the team late in 2015. I think he is a team killing ass. He was a talented ass before this season. I can tolerate that. And this is a good no great locker room with a mix of vets and younger players that works. But this guy has a lot of A Rod in him. 24 men plus 1. Its always about Matt. And I want to thank Matt for validating everything I have written about him with his behavior AFTER he got his head handed to him AGAIN last night. Captain tough guy, The Dark Knight,the man who started an All Star Game at Citi Field, plunked Chase Utley for being Chase Utley,etc dressed and did not face reporters post game. Instead, he left his catcher Kevin Plawecki- with 1 year in the majors- to answer for his failures. If I was on this current Mets team, #33 and I would have had a fist fight last night. You can be a lot of things but being a lousy teammate is not one of the them. And that is the bigger crime than being a crappy pitcher. Matt Harvey is both.
The New York Mets lost 1B Lucas Duda Monday for at least 4-6 weeks due to a stress fracture in his lower back. The Mets have several internal options and can mix and match while their power hitter heals. Rookie Ty Kelly, an 8 season 27 yr old minor leaguer, has been called up and was leading all of minor league baseball with a .391 average and .478 On base. He is a super utility guy and gives Mets skipper Terry Collins another bench option. As a point of reference, Captain David Wright missed 58 games in 2011 with a similiar injury. Eric Campbell played 1B Monday and Wilmer Flores will also get some work at the spot when he returns from his rehab assignment later this week. Wright and LF Michael Conforto’ s names have also been mentioned. Do not minimize this, this is a hit for a team trying to win the World Series.
The New York Mets await a follow up exam on slugging 1B Lucas Duda and his ailing back Monday and whether this is a short or long term issue could go a long way in determining the teams course of action. Team orthopedist Dr David Altcheck will provide a 2nd opinion before the Mets release a statement but Manager Terry Collins did not paint a pretty picture postgame Sunday. The team would be wise to look at several internal options regardless of the outcome for now and here are just a few of the top of my head: Eric Campbell and Wilmer Flores(in rehab stint this week, back by end of the week) if the reports are good, 10 days to 2 week type thing. Keith Hernandez is not coming down from the booth. These two are super subs and can hit a bit while providing solid D. If this is a month or longer, I would move Michael Conforto to First and put Juan Lagares in Center 75-80% of the time. This makes you better defensively in the outfield with a gold glove in Center and Left(Yoenis Cespedes is an excellent LF). Another idea is giving some work to David Wright at 1B. This should be easier on his back and shoulder and both Campbell and Flores can play 3B. I did not even explore the trade market but you I have painted the picture here: the Mets have options for the loss of Duda.
Mets Notes: Matt Harvey will start Tuesday vs the Nationals after they beat him from pillar to post last week with the hope that his professional pride will kick in and he will step up. My feelings on this guy are well established but right now, the team needs him to right himself and perform. Jacob deGrom is not 100% stuff wise but goes out and pitches effectively and competes. #33 should watch, learn and execute. Bartolo Colon and Steven Matz will pitch the other 2 games in Washington in the 1st road series between these teams since the Mets went in and took over the Division lead in September of Last year with many late rallies and home runs.
The Mets and their former ace Matt Harvey got their asses kicked Thursday night by the Washington Nationals 9-1 to lose 2 of 3 in the first season series . The Mets are not hitting and they made some errors in the 3rd but the story tonight was the shelling of Harvey(9 runs in less than 3 innings). Listen, anyone who reads this blog or talks to me knows I am not a Matt Harvey guy. He is about himself and about his next contract not this team or winning. But this was hard to watch tonight. He had no answer and looked shot mentally. He literally looked like a lost soul on the mound. Matt Harvey. The Dark Knight. With zero confidence. With zero hope. Mets Manager Terry Collins, a big Harvey guy, also seemed short of answers postgame sighting everything from his spring training health scare to last years inning totals. Again, he claims this is not a physical thing but more about execution and belief. Listen, Harvey and his representatives did not handle the Mets sudden success well last year but he did pitch innings totals way above expectations and you have to wonder if that bill is now due. This was tough to watch as a Mets fan. #33 will never be invited over for Xmas dinner at the Flannelly household but my expectation for him is to be a good major league pitcher. Right now, you have to wonder if he is better suited for a visit to Las Vegas or the DL. Looks like a shot fighter.
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
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