From Tom Seaver to Dwight Gooden to David Wright, A look at the New York Mets past, present and future.
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Mets GM Sandy Alderson continues to add pieces to the Major League club and he recognized the team was short a late inning reliever. Late Saturday, he added veteran Addison Reed to the bullpen for 2 minor leaguers. Reed has been a closer for both the Chicago White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks, saving 101 games from 2011-2014. He had a rough start in 2015 ,losing the closer job and was demoted to the minors. After regaining form in the minors, Reed was great when he was recalled-1.65 ERA with no home runs allowed with 16 1/3 innings. Ideally, he slides into the 7th inning role and can pitch the 8th or 9th when either Tyler Clippard or Jeurys Familia need a blow. Reed can also serve as a lefty specialist- he has held southpaws to a .242 clip in 2015. The big picture here is Mets skipper Terry Collins has some options and arms in late inning slots. Clearly, Alderson has seen the value of a strong and deep relief corps in recent postseason play.
Mets Notes: OF-1B Michael Cuddyer has been dynamite since returning from a knee injury. He has been both productive and clutch in August, hitting .375 with 2 HRs and 8 RBI in 48 at bats. Having Michael Conforto, Juan Lagares and Kelly Johnson as bench outfield options does not hurt either… Familia has been incredible in August(8 for 8 in save opportunities, has not allowed a run) and was throwing a 96 MPH splitter and 100 MPH fastball. Good luck, Hitters. Jeurys has 35 saves and should break the team club record of 43….The Mets will call up 4 position players Tuesday as part of the September 1st roster expansion: INF-OFs Eric Campbell and Eric Young Jr, C Kevin Plawecki and OH Kirk Nieuwenhuis. All 4 of these players have been with the team before and fit great as back-up bench types. Young Jr. could be a hidden gem here after the team reacquired him in a trade with the Atlanta Braves. He is an elite base stealer and could win this team games in the postseason. The Mets have 2-3 pitchers on the DL who will also be added to the team in September, led by Bobby Parnell, Steven Matz and Erik Goeddel.
Anytime a team wins a championship, they need breaks with health and so forth as well as good fortune. Often you see crazy and/or historic things happen and their fans think “This could be our year.” Monday night in Philadelphia was one of those nights for the New York Mets. Pitcher Jacob de Grom had a rare rough outing but he is bottom feeder of this story. The team’s captain, 3B David Wright, playing for the 1st time since April 14, hit a blast into the upper deck in his 1st at bat. When the franchise’s guy since his call up in 2004 does that you think Hollywood is writing the script. That home run was one of a team record 8 with only Ruben Tejada and de Grom being the only starters not to leave the yard, with 2B Wilmer Flores hitting 2. The Mets hit 15 extra base hits, a franchise high and won 16-7. This team has that look and to me, The Flores trade/non-trade- game winning homer episode might have turned the worm. The trade never happened and the Mets got a better return for lesser price. And New York has not looked back. #DANGEROUS
STAT OF THE YEAR: Mets are 50-8 when scoring 4 or more runs.
The New York Mets rode an offensive onslaught in their first 2 games in Denver vs the Pitching poor Colorado Rockies and a great outing from spot starter Logan Verrett Sunday to sweep the road series. Yoenis Cespedes had a 3 homer, 7 rbi game Friday and the entire lineup punished Colorado pitchers Saturday with 8 doubles and the team batted around one inning without recording an out. Both wins had identical 14-9 scores. Sunday, the team sat Matt Harvey for a start to preserve #33 for October and into the future but Verrett made Mets fans forget about the Dark Knight with 8 strong innings allowing 1 run and K-ing 8. When you sit a player and get a great performance from his fill in, this happens in years when you raise a flag and hoist a trophy. Sign of special season, team, year. The 2015 Mets are poised to do special things and the future is bright as well. This was a good weekend.
CAPTAIN COMEBACK: Mets captain and 3B David Wright(Back) is set to be in the lineup Monday in Philadelphia after completing his rehab assignment late this week. He will not be an everday player and the team will manage his back but with players like Juan Uribe and Daniel Murphy being capable 3B, this should not be an issue. Monday will mark his 1st ML game action since Arpil 14th.
METS NOTES: LHP Steven Matz(Oblique) has progressed well in rehab games and should rejoin the team and pitch around Sept 2, per team sources…. 1B Lucas Duda(Back) was placed on the DL after aggravating the injury in Denver. Michael Cuddyer and Murphy can play the spot short term and Duda has flown to California to see some of the doctors who treated Wright…. Quietly interesting trade: The Mets reacquired OF-INF Eric Young Jr from the Atlanta Braves recently. He has been assigned to AAA Las Vegas and will be a September Call Up. Mark my words: He wins a game in the home stretch or playoffs with his base stealing-running prowess.
While the talk of why the 2015 New York Mets success has centered around their dominant pitching and trade acquisitions, do not look past 4 veterans and their part in the turnaround. INF Daniel Murphy plays 2B, 3B and even some 1B when asked and always gives you good at bats and is one of the better teammates you could ever have. Watch him in postgame interviews and he is talks about the other 24 guys- pitchers, so and so’s at bat before his double,etc. #28 is hitting .338 in August with 3 homers and 11 RBI. LHSP Jon Niese has been traded by fans and media 25K times in the last year. Yet outside of a rough May(ERA just under 6 in 6 games), the senior Mets pitcher has 4 sub 3.00 ERA Months and has posted 2.87 and 2.70 in July and August. He has stayed healthy and has 16 quality starts in 23 opportunities. Meanwhile, RF Curtis Granderson leads the team with 22 home runs and has led off the game with a homer a major league high 7 times. The veteran clearly has responded to the hiring of his former hitting coach Kevin Long and been huge. Finally, a former whipping boy of this blogger, SS Ruben Tejada, who has not only shut me up but won me over with solid hitting(.303 post all star break,.260 or better 3 of last 4 months) and consistent defense in the field. He gets a blow from Wilmer Flores on the odd day and has really responded well to a challenge from Mets skipper Terry Collins and grabbed the starting job. Without these 4 stepping up, this team is looking up not down in the standings.
The New York Mets rode the momentum of a 3 game weekend sweep of 1st place Washington into a 6 day road trip down in Florida and they played well, winning 4 of 6 and have a 1.5 game lead in the NL East. The improved offense is noticeable after the recent trade additions and a healthy return of C Travis d’Arnaud has also helped. Manager Terry Collins mentioned tonight in his post game how much deeper the team is. This team actually has good players on the bench now and can rest a player and sub in an actual proven major leaguer. A luxury this team did not have 2-3 weeks ago. New York is 8-2 in its last 10 and 60-52 on the year.
CAPTAIN COMEBACK: Mets captain-3B David Wright(Spinal Stenosis) played DH in Class A minor league game and was 1 for 3 with a walk and run. He estimates he will need at least 30 plate appearances before he is ready to play in major league game. He will play the field Tuesday. Mets manager Terry Collins is keeping hopes to minimum and is smart to do so. New York has a battle to fight and they go on regardless of whether the cavalry arrives. This is a serious injury and as much as players and fans love Wright, anything production wise is gravy. Remember the Mets also have protection in Daniel Murphy and Juan Uribe if #5 cannot contribute. Pulling for the Captain!
METS MASH: OF-1B Michael Cuddyer(Knee) was activated from the DL Monday and is not guaranteed a starting spot but will play vs lefties and get some work at 1B as well. He can also play Right to spell veteran Curtis Granderson. The bigger news here is the team kept Michael Conforto with the team and he will still get regular playing time. Eric Campbell was sent to Las Vegas to create a roster spot for the veteran. LHRP Jerry Blevins(Forearm) re-broke his arm and is out for the year after he fell on a curb getting out of a car. LHSP Steven Matz(Oblique) will pitch a rehab game Saturday and throw 25 pitches. It is realistic that the talented rookie could rejoin the rotation after September 1. This is huge news as the Mets would like to curtail the amount of innings each of their young starters throw. Matz return would allow the team to use a 6 man rotation and end the pitch count-innings limit issue.
Yes, the New York Mets are now on a roll after recent trade activity plus the calling up of Outfielder Michael Conforto and stand in 1st place in the NL East. The pitching- particularly the rotation- has been dominant all year and closer Jeurys Familia has thrown at an all star level since April. With the additions of Yoenis Cespedes, Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson, the offense has exploded and given the team a real major league lineup. The one person people do not focus on regarding this team who deserves a ton of credit is Manager Terry Collins. The Mets skipper played without enough major league bats for 2 months, treaded water and kept the team afloat until General Manager Sandy Alderson struck , making the moves to augment a potential power. Collins rallied a slumping 1B Lucas Duda and has SS Ruben Tejada, a whipping boy for fans and this blogger, playing the best ball of his career. He kept INF Wilmer Flores upbeat in a time of crisis and continues to find ways to get him in games. Juan Lagares has battled injury and inconsistency all year and Collins has kept him involved while fielding the best possible team each day. All these additions have slotted guys like Eric Campbell, Uribe and Johnson into key bench weapons. Lagares can be a late inning defender and allows TC to mix and match Cespedes and Granderson in the outfield. What the trades have done is illustrate what those who follow the team have known for a long time: Terry Collins can manage. The leader of the Mets should be a candidate for National League Manager of the year.
The New York Mets used an improved offense and their standard -power pitching- to a huge 3 game sweep over division leading Washington at Citi Field this weekend . Lucas Duda(9 home runs in 8 games) was a one man attack and the team hit 3 homers on 5 pitches Sunday while the big 3-Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Jacob de Grom- all pitched great. As important as the sweep was, the team showed really maturity and toughness in Miami Monday. The Mets played late and got in early in the AM yet destroyed an over matched Marlins club 12-1. That win and a loss by the Nationals puts New York in 1st place ALONE on August 3rd. INCREDIBLE. Offensively this team will never be the 1975 Cincinnati Reds but a solid attack is enough to get this team into the playoffs. The added talent and depth of a Juan Uribe, Kelly Johnson and Yoenis Cespedes achieves this goal and a healthy return of C Travis d’Arnaud gives the Mets a dynamic catching platoon with Kevin Plawecki. RF Curtis Granderson is quietly having a good year and Daniel Murphy could hit on the moon. If Michael Conforto can continue to show the talent we have heard about, this team is scary good and could make fans in Queens real happy in October and all the teams in MLB sad.
METS NOTES: Syndergaard and Duda were named National League Pitcher and Player of the week…. Conforto hit his 1st ML homer Monday and would be at Triple A right now if OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis(Neck) was not placed on the DL post game Monday…. Lots of noise about the Mets and pitch limits with their young arms. Look for the team to use a spot starter here and there before that happens. You do not trade for Cespedes and the others and not try to pitch your best. On that front. LHP Steven Matz(Lat issue) threw off solid ground today and could be back in early September. Meanwhile, Dillon Gee has also pitched well in the minors…Lineup wise, Skipper Terry Collins has two every day infielders: 2b or 3B Murphy and 1B Duda. He has named Ruben Tejada his starting SS with Wilmer Flores getting some work as backup. Meanwhile, Uribe will play 3B when Murphy doesn’t and Flores and Johnson will also get some reps at 2B and OF respectively. Outfield wise, Juan Lagares has been benched with Cespedes playing Center and RF Granderson also getting some work in that spot. Conforto will play in LF at times when Yoenis is at CF. Lagares will play CF vs Lefties with The trade acquisition playing Left. Cespedes actually likes playing Center and told Collins this in meetings over the weekend. Amazing, how in 2 short weeks, a team with little offense or depth got so deep…. Flores is not the only Met who wants to stay in NY after almost being moved at the deadline. P Zack Wheeler had his agent reach out to GM Sandy Alderson then called him himself to express a desire to remain in Queens. A really nice thing to here and a great message from a kid that gets it. His reasoning? I was here when we were bad, I want to be here when we are good. I like it.
Wilmer Flores and the New York Mets had an interesting 72 hours and I believe both will be better for it in the long run. The Mets and Milwaukee Brewers were working on a trade involving Center fielder Carlos Gomez for Flores and P Zack Wheeler and the teams were in the pending physical stage. News leaked out to the media mid game Wednesday and Flores became emotional when he believed he was done in NY. Manager Terry Collins was put in bad spot and team leaders like David Wright and Michael Cuddyer had to counsel Flores, who signed with the Mets at 16. Postgame, the trade did not go thru and the team appeared to have egg on its face. Then Friday happened and New York GM Sandy Alderson somehow acquired a better player(OF Yoenis Cespedes) for a lesser package that did not involved ANY of the Big 5 pitchers-Matt Harvey, Jacob de Grom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and Wheeler. The good feeling around the club carried into the start of the vital series vs the division leading Washington Nationals. Flores was given huge ovations in each at bat and got a standing O for a great fielding play early in the game. Then the unthinkable happened, Flores came to the plate with the score tied in the 12th and hit an amazing walk off home run that sent the team and Citi Field into a frenzy. Flores was mobbed at homeplate(see above picture) and the team had a huge victory and great moment for a popular teammate. Players like Curtis Granderson, Harvey and Daniel Murphy could not stop talking about how big this was for both the player and team. As Ron Darling said on SNY said after the homer “The trade that wasn’t made might be the biggest hit all season.”
MESSAGE TIME: The Mets management and ownership take a lot of grief from media and fans, rightfully so at times but credit both with going for it in 2015. They added veteran pros last week(Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson), a high end reliever(Tyler Clippard) and an elite middle of the order bat(Cespedes) to augment a team that is ahead of schedule. They have also kept the foundation of a club that can be potentially dominant for years to come ,intact . More importantly, the players on the Mets know the team is invested in winning and winning now. Should be a fun final two months of the season.
METS MASH: Good news on the Mets medical front as well. C Travis d’Arnaud(Arm) is back with the team and played Friday. Look for Collins to platoon d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki til Travis is ready to catch 4-5 game a week. Wright(Back) continues to progress and could start rehab games this week. He basically is testing his body with baseball related activities to see how his body responds. LHRP Jerry Blevins(Arm) has also been cleared to resume throwing after scans showed the broken bone in his arm has healed. Meanwhile, Jenrry Mejia is gone for 162 after he somehow tested positive AGAIN for PEDs. It was unrelated at the time but the Clippard trade just became huge.
The New York Mets added another versatile weapon Monday this time it was an arm as the team acquired veteran reliever Tyler Clippard from the Oakland A-s in exchange for an A level pitching prospect. Clippard was a member of the division rival Washington Nationals from(2008-14) and has pitched in variety of roles out of the pen, mainly as a 8th inning set up man.(He led the majors with 40 holds in 2014) In 2015, he has 17 saves(21 chances) and is 1-3. He has been dominant vs left handed batters( .100 this season, .183 career) and gives a deep pen reinforcements and options. Remember Jenrry Mejia is ineligible for postseason play due to his PED suspension and he is the current bridge to closer Jeurys Familia. This another indicator that the Mets and GM Sandy Alderson are going for it in 2015. The team has also been linked to big name bats like Cincinnati Reds RF Jay Bruce, Milwaukee Brewers CF Carlos Gomez and Colorado Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki. Again, I am not for a move that costs one of the big 4 pitchers but I would trade Zack Wheeler, Juan Lagares and prospects for an elite bat under club control thru 2016. Ideally, I would look at 2 more small moves- one for a Outfielder who can play all 3 spots(Brewers Gerardo Parra, Padres Will Venable come to mind) and an everyday SS(Brewers Jean Segura, Chicago White Sox Alexi Ramirez) then attack in the offseason after we get a better idea where captain-3B David Wright is at.
Stating the obvious but adding Kelly Johnson, Juan Uribe and Michael Conforto has improved the offense. Lets be honest, adding a ham sandwich would due the same but you took at bats away from overmatched bench and 4A players and gave them to two pros who can play multiple positions. And Conforto comes as advertised. He has a great approach at the plate and brings intensity to the field defensively, he has already had two minor collisions with other Met Outfielders. This is not Mantle, Aaron and Mays but the Mets do not need that with their pitching. They need efficient offense and these 3 can be part of a winning formula. They also create competition and players do not want to be Wally Pip. Factor in that C Travis d’Arnaud is close to rejoining the team and if Wright comes back, wow. NY METS: DANGEROUS.
The Mets and Manager Terry Collins finally got some reinforcements late Friday night when the team traded two prospects to division rival Atlanta for 3B Juan Uribe and INF-OF Kelly Johnson. This move allows Collins to mix and match his lineup and with current Met infielders like Daniel Murphy, Ruben Tejada and Wilmer Flores being able to play multiple positions, numerous options. Uribe, who gives the team David Wright insurance, has hit .272 with 8 home runs and 23 rbi, is 36. Johnson,33, can play all over the place, is batting .275 , clubbed 9 home runs and driven in 34 runs. Both are free agents at the end of the year. This move gives the team pro bats and after you see a player like John Mayberry Jr. batting cleanup, you see obvious need for offense. These small moves could have big consequences for a pitching loaded Mets team. More importantly, they maintained their own major league roster and did not give up any major prospects. The team could still add a big bat in the Outfield and an everyday shortstop. Zack Wheeler’s name has been rumored in trade talks.
The Mets have promoted top prospect OF Michael Conforto and placed OF-1B Michael Cuddyer on the 15 day DL with a knee injury. Conforto is one of the top 10 hitting prospects in all of baseball, according to ESPN analyst Keith Law and was New York’s 1st round pick in the 2014 draft. The 22 year old Oregon State product had two hits and threw out a runner at home plate in the MLB Futures Game earlier this Month. Mets skipper Terry Collins will give him regular playing time and still get others like Kirk Nieuwenhuis and John Mayberry Jr work as well. In Other words, If Conforto plays well, he is here to stay.
With the 2nd half underway and trade deadline coming a week from Friday, Lets do a medical update on Several Key Mets. First, Michael Cuddyer continues to try to avoid the DL with his ailing knee and team doctors are hopeful after he changed medicines Thursday. If he is placed on the 15 day, the team could call up top prospect Outfielder Michael Conforto from Double A. Good news on C Travis d’Arnaud(Elbow) who started his rehab assignment today and could rejoin the club next week. The goal is to get him 25 at bats in minor league games before suiting up for the Mets. Captain David Wright has ramped up his back rehab and done some baseball related activities, he will continue to do so next week but in New York, not Florida or California. LHP Steven Matz will have is partially torn lat muscle re-examined by doctors this week and we will have more information after that. Meanwhile, LHRP Jerry Blevins(Broken arm) will also see a doctor Monday and could be cleared to start throwing.
The New York Mets have announced their 2nd half rotation as they begin a vital stretch to close out the Month of July. Rookie Noah Syndergaard will open up in St. Louis followed by veterans Jon Niese and Bartolo Colon. This means that the Mets will have Jacob de Grom, Matt Harvey and Syndergaard will be in line to pitch vs the 1st place during next weeks battle with the 1st place Washington Nationals. I cannot emphasize enough how important the end of July is, the team’s performance will help dictate how active the Mets are with the July 31st trading deadline approaching.
The New York Mets and all the other franchises in major league baseball had their 4 greatest players- as selected by fan voting- announced at the All Star Game Tuesday night: P Tom Seaver, C Mike Piazza, 1B Keith Hernandez and 3B David Wright. Let me start by saying I have been a Mets fan since 1980 and I have seen all 4 of these gentleman play. These lists are hard to do but I try to apply rules for tie breakers: I favor home grown players, championships, and good people who excelled on and off the field. After that, I look at traded players making an impact and changing the culture. Seaver is a no brainer(Look at the name of this blog!) and Wright has been the face of this team since he came up in 2004. My dilemma was a final three of Piazza, Hernandez and OF Darryl Strawberry. Piazza and Hernandez were both great, great players and team leaders who gave the team massive credibility the minute they took the field at Shea. Hernandez is the best defensive 1B I have ever seen and Piazza the best offensive catcher of all time. I would favor Keith and this is why: He came the team when they were the New York MESS not Mets and signed here long term. That one move changed the image of the franchise. Piazza was the final piece- think Gary Carter, Bobby Ojeda- to a team that was close to making the playoffs. Let me say this- I LOVE Mike Piazza. Now Strawberry. Maybe the single greatest talent the team has ever drafted, he was amazing to watch and had athleticism coming out of his pours. He teamed with Dwight Gooden to give the franchise the premier young arm and position player in the game in the early 80s. I saw every game he ever played for the team, loved watching #18. But when I make a final list Straws off field issues while with the team have to count for something and I think the fans got this right.#41,#5,#17,#31… The Franchise Four for the New York Mets.
The Mets surprising season has many calling for the team to make a major trade to bolster an injured and flawed roster. Yes, the team has great pitching and has played great at home. But they need 2-3 everyday players- A STARTING SHORTSTOP!!!!!!- to make the postseason. i favor letting guys develop and adding veterans to fill specific roles. If Wright, d’Arnaud and Matz do not come back, it is on to 2016. folks. Nobody wants this team to succeed more than this blogger but I also understand this is a process and when I watched the All Star game a great example of why fans need to patient was apparent. A couple of years ago when the Mets were in rebuild mode, they had a local player in sight to select in the draft. Unfortunately, they spent their 1st round pick(Compensation rules on signing top tier free agents) on a closer and could not make take the player. Good news for Mets fans though, the pitcher was in the all star game last night- Francisco Rodriquez. But he was pitching for the Milwaukee Brewers. That other guy NY wanted to draft? MIKE TROUT.
The National League lost the All Star game 6-3 but the Mets lone all star- pitcher Jacob de Grom- was not a reason why. In the 6th inning(de Grom’s only inning), he struck out the side. On 10 pitches. Here is the list of all the other pitchers in major league baseball history who have achieved this….(CRICKETS). NOBODY.
That is not a typo. Jacob de Grom is the ONLY player in the history of major league baseball to accomplish that feat. I could not be happier for the Mets 2nd yr starter and anyone who reads this blog knows I am bullish on the righty. Heck, I have him on BOTH my fantasy teams!(Matt Harvey too BTW) The young man is special and as a Mets fan it is fun to have others see that. Great kid too. Part of strong present and brighter future!
Captain Kirk had a HUGE Sunday, becoming the 1st Met in franchise history to hit 3 home runs at home, leading New York to a 5-3 win and series sweep over the Arizona Diamonbacks. Kirk Nieuwenhuis,long a favorite of this blogger, had been released TWICE this year, traded and did something no other player in franchise history had done in 54 years. He was hitting .091 going into action today, Thats baseball! More importantly, we have a player who can help this team heading forward as a 4th Outfielder, platoon option. Kirk can play defense and is well liked by his teammates and Manager. These team has veterans on the corners and a young centerfielder who is battling physically. It would not be hard to find playing time for #9 3,4 days a week on this team.
Meanwhile, what a whirlwind of offensive upswing for a beleaguered club. The team went 414 plate appearances between home runs and 9 games without a 4 bagger by players not named Curtis Granderson. However, the Mets have scored 15 straight runs on homers- wnning 4 straight and even pitchers(Matt Harvey) have gotten in on the act. The team tends to hit better at Citi Field and overall the team has played great at their homefield)32-14) after being sub .500 for yrs at their new stadium. Any offensive improvement would go along way towards getting this team into the Post Season for the 1st time since 2006.
The New York Mets promising season has again been detoured by a familiar adversary: Injury. Promising rookie LHP Steven Matz(2-0,1.32 ERA with 14 Ks in 13 2/3 innings in 2 games with 5 rbi) has been diagnosed with a partial tear in his his left lat muscle. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection at the Hospital for Special Surgery in NY and will be shut down for 3 weeks. Best case scenario has the Long Island native back in 5-6 weeks. This news and injury does severe damage to the Mets postseason hopes.
All Star Game: Good news on 1 front from the All Star Game selection show tonight with the selection of starting pitcher Jacob de Grom to the National League team. Closer Jeurys Familia was not picked but made the Final Vote contest. Basically, MLB picks 5 candidates for each league and fans vote online for the final member of each team. #27 is against 3 starting pitchers(led by Los Angeles Dodgers star Clayton Kershaw) and Colorado Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki. He faces a major uphill battle but he has a chance. Not bad for a guy tapped for the 7th or 8th inning when the season opened.
Gutsy win, Trip: The Mets have won 3 of 4 on their current California Trip(Los Angeles and San Francisco) and Monday nights win was a season highlight. Jon Niese, who has been pitching great over his last 5-6 starts, shut down the Giants over 8 frames and the team scored three runs in the 9th win 3-0. New York got hits from Michael Cuddyer, Kirk Nieuwenhuis(Brought back after being released by two different teams!), Johnny Monell and Juan Lagares to secure the victory. The key? Good at bats by all. Worked the count, took ball and swung at strikes then attacked the ball.
Improved “O”: Team is never going to confused with the ’75 Cincinnati Reds but their are positive signs heading forward. RF Curtis Granderson has been hitting for over a month(.333 with 9 rbi in Last 14 games) and Daniel Murphy is Daniel Murphy(Aka Professional Hitter). However,the recent position change(SS to 2B) for Wilmer Flores has helped kick start his bat and he tore it up in Los Angeles over the weekend, going 10 for 13. Lucas Duda and Michael Cuddyer have been slumping as of late but Cuddyer is battling a knee issue and got the winning rally started Monday night. Meanwhile, Duda was given the night off and only appeared as a pinch hitter. The team needs these two to turn if around and hope reinforcements(Namely David Wright and Travis d’Arnaud) return. An everyday upgrade at Shortstop would also be ideal(Jean Segura?!), although Ruben Tejada has played well at the spot.
6 “Man”: Matt Harvey is not a fan of the 6 man rotation and has said so publicly but when you see the positive effect it has had on a veteran like Niese and also consider that the other 5 Mets starters are either young and on pitch limits(de Grom, Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz) or been in the majors since 1943(Bartolo Colon), this is the best way to get this group thru the season and into a potential playoff scenario. This is subject to change and when you consider each time they use the 6th man set up they save these arms wear and tear, it also gives the team time to adjust the strategy.
Mets Mash: No update on Lefty specialist Jerry Blevins(Forearm) or d’Arnaud(Elbow) but good news on Wright, who is with the team in Cali. Wright has had real progress with his back and could resume baseball activities this week. A Late July return to the lineup has not been ruled out. The key is seeing how his back responds and keeping him in the lineup without any setbacks. Wright also spoke to Dodgers skipper and former Yankees star Don Mattingly, who also battled back issues. His advice? Use common sense and listen to your body.
Mets Notes: Nieuwenhuis’ recall means Darrell Ceciliani was returned to Triple A Las Vegas. Kirk has a real chance here to grab the important 4th OF job and an opportunity to play 2-3 times a week with Cuddyer struggling. Either way, the team could use another major league ready outfielder with CF Juan Lagares also battling injuries and offensive inconsistency. The Mets have been linked to several teams with movable outfielders….Former closer Jenrry Mejia will rejoin the team Tuesday after serving an 80 game PED suspension and will provide a HUGE boost to the team on and off the field. Consider him a mid season trade acquisition and he is also best buddies with Familia. When you consider these two paired with Bobby Parnell from the 7th inning on, this relief corps is SCARY good…. Meanwhile. Steven Matz was again dominant in his 2nd ML start(2-0,1.32 ERA) and drove in another run. He now has 5 rbi in 2 games.
Last week, The Mets appeared to hit rock bottom after getting swept in the season series by the Chicago Cubs. Fans were screaming about Manager Terry Collins and/or GM Sandy Alderson. Part of the gig but I do not believe that is the real issue. And anyone who knows me realizes how LITTLE respect I have for the Cubs organization. A team that cared little about winning over the last century and focused more on beer and ticket sales. That has changed since they changed owners and hired general manager Theo Epstein away from the Boston Red Sox.(BTW how are the Sox doing since he left town?!). Funny that the Mets seem to hit a low point playing the Cubs. The old Cubs and the current Mets have a similar issue: $$$ and ownership. The impact of the Madoff ponzi scheme has been well documented on the franchise and when you see how talented the young pitching on the Mets is, you have to wonder how in the hell the Wilpon family watches this team and does not give Alderson and Collins help. For 2+ months this team has had several Triple A and 4 A players and wasted tremendous outings from these arms. Prices are prices and trades can backfire but this is almost criminal at times. It is one thing to have the local press hammering you but when USA Today’s Sports Weekly Leading Off column emphasizes these same points, it is not good. Here is the stat that is both scary and damning to Mets fans everywhere: Since 2010, the team has dropped payroll 25%. However, MLB team payroll median has increased 27%. Makes you wonder whether this ownership is fit to run such a talented team and should consider selling to someone who wants to spend to win.
I am working on a bigger column but right now I am penning this post to campaign for two Mets to be selected for the National League All Star team at 7 pm : Pitchers Jacob de Grom and Jeurys Familia. de Grom, the 2014 NL Rookie of the Year, has taken the momentum from his 1st campaign into his sophomore season and been the staff ace (8-6,2.30 ERA, 0.97 WHIP in 16 starts) for the surprising Mets. Meanwhile with the 80 game PED suspension of closer Jenrry Mejia, Familia has grabbed the closers role and been dominant. #27 has a 2-0 record,1.16 ERA,0.81 WHIP and has converted 22 of 24 saves while K-ing 40 in 38 and 2 third innings. These two deserve to be in Cincinnati and are a big reason why the Mets have stayed competitive in the 1st half.
The uncertain injury status of Mets 3B and captain David Wright should force the team to have two separate plans for 2015 and beyond. Let me explain. I believe the team has strong internal options at 2B. Between Wilmer Flores and prospect Dilson Herrera, I think they have the position covered. In a pinch, the team could move Flores back to SS but I see him as a 2B. This team needs to have strong defense in the infield. Shortstop wise, they need to make either a trade or sign a free agent, Ruben Tejada is no more than a backup middle infielder who gets exposed when he plays too much. Now the drama. Lets suppose Wright can no longer play and you need an everyday 3B for both short and long term. Why not Daniel Murphy? The free agent market does not have George Brett or Mike Schmidt on it. The same at SS. Cal Ripken Jr is not walking thru the door. I want to limit my trades and marshall my assets. Murphy is a good offensive player and solid defensively at third. He likes NY and you could lock him up for 3-4 yrs at 7-8 million per. Just an idea.
Mets fans have been hearing about Left handed pitcher Steven Matz for 2 years and he did not disappoint in his major league debut Sunday, leading New York to an important victory and series sweep of the Cincinnati Reds 7-2. Over 7 and 2 thirds innings, the southpaw allowed 6 runs and 2 runs(Two solo home runs including one leading off the game) while striking out 6 while throwing 110 pitches. Matz, a Long Island native, was great for ticket sales and an electric Citi Field erupted when he supplied his own offense with two key rhi hits, driving in 4 runs. The rookie became the 1st major league pitcher in 100 years to go 3 for 3 with 4 rbi in his ML debut. Incredibly, no Met player- pitcher or position player- has EVER had 4 rbi in their debut. Just an incredible day at the ball park and as manager Terry Collins said post game, if Mets fans are not excited about the assembly line of arms this team can throw out on a day to day basis, something is wrong. A lot of winning is on the horizon, Folks.
METS NOTES: Over the last 7 games, Curtis Granderson has been the lone wolf and the ENTIRE Mets offense. He is hitting .462 with 4 home runs ans 6 rbi….. I have hammered INF Ruben Tejada a lot on these pages and let me tell you something. That guy deserves a ton of credit and has almost embraced a super utility man role– he has played SS, 2B and 3B this season and will take over at SS with the return of Daniel Murphy Tuesday in a reshuffled infield. Tejada has always been a good defender but this season we have seen him take a much better approach at the plate and he consistently puts together good at bats even when he makes an out. He makes the pitcher work and is an pain in the butt. He is one of the more unsung heroes on this team.
The New York Mets top prospect,lefty pitcher Steven Matz, is set to make his major league debut Sunday at Citi Field. A Long Island Native and life long Mets fan, he is a good bet to have a lot of fans in the stands. This is a big day for the franchise as the teams other three recent hyped pitching call ups- Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard- started their 1st Ml games on the road, Matz is doing in front of the home fans. The lefty brings a great minor league track record(24-20 in 66 games over 5 yrs) and has been impressive pitching during 2015 in the hitter dominant Pacific Coast League for Las Vegas(7-4,2.19 ERA in 15 games). The promotion of Matz will also impact all the other starters as the Mets will go with a 6 man rotation. This makes sense as 4 of the teams starters( Matz + Harvey, Syndergaard and Jacob de Grom) will face innings limits due to youth. Bartolo Colon could show up in January,throw 6 innings after sitting at home and be effective. Meanwhile, Jon Niese is a pro who will adjust and probably benefit from an extra day. He has battled arm issues for much of his career. HUGE move and key to the Mets postseason hopes.
Meanwhile, Mets all star 2nd Baseman Daniel Murphy(Quad) should return from the Disabled List Tuesday and will change the structure of 3 of the 4 Infield starters. #28 is a natural Third Baseman and will assume that role with captain David Wright still out with his back injury. Short Stop Wilmer Flores, who has hit but has been up and down defensively, will switch to 2nd and Ruben Tejada, easily the teams best defensive infielder, will man SS. These moves all should make the team better defensively and aid the pitching staff. The Mets will never be a great team offensively so defensive improvement and run prevention is a good route to go.
The New York Mets have played almost exactly 70 games and are about a .500 team. They have excellent young pitching- particularly of the starting variety- but are not a good offensive or defensive team. In the last 5 games(all losses), they have 6 runs and New York has scored 1 run or fewer 17 times. They have an offensive oriented kid shortstop who is learning the position in the majors and probably costs the team a 2-3 runs a week. Their lone elite defender is playing with a bad elbow and neither corner outfielder will remind anyone of Dwight Evans(Google him!). Since starting 15-5, they have gone 21-30. People are calling for Manager Terry Collins head or for GM Sandy Alderson to make a major trade.
What do I say to Mets fans? What I have been saying all year- this is a good team- when everyone is TOGETHER. They have been down 2-3 starting position players since April – and not just any guys- the franchise Third baseman-captain, all star Second Baseman and promising young catcher, who was coming into his own. The team treaded water with kids or 4 A types without making a silly move to jeopardize a promising future. Take any team in MLB and strip them off what the Mets have lost and have them play for 8 weeks. 21-30 might be better than most. Recently this team had between 12-14 players on the disabled list. Look, I would like this team to add players to help but you know what? Billy Beane, Brian Cashman,Theo Epstein, Andrew Freidman and the like are not stupid. They know what the Mets need and what their assets are. Alderson is not dealing from strength, he is dealing from weakness due to injury. That is when you don-t make a trade!
Lets play a game here and fix the Mets. I can give you any, ANY two major league players without subtracting ANYONE from the Mets 40 man roster. Give me a player and position. Look at the Mets team. They have talented young players at catcher and First as well as Center Field. Wright and Murphy man 3B and 2nd. Two veterans under long term deals are the corners with two prime prospects on the way(Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo). You can scream and holler all you want but the Mets will not and should not do ANYTHING major until they know where Wright is long term. If he can play this year, you add a Ben Zobrist multi-position type. If not, then veteran stop gaps such as Aramis Ramirez make more sense. And as far as Collins goes, people need to calm down. Look at what he has to work with- depleted everday lineup, young arms who he must monitor to avoid more Tommy John Surgeries! The man has to almost manage to win 1-0. It is insane to scream for his head, they guy deserves medals!
I am as frustrated as anyone with this team but I realize why this is happening and believe that this team cannot win with this many guys out. If the health does not improve, adding Tom Seaver, Sandy Koufax and Randy Johnson would do nothing. The field lineup is crippled and killing this team. This will not change until those people return. If they do not comeback, 2015 is a lost season. Yell, swear, throw things, call for heads, these are facts and the reality of the 2015 Mets season.
METS NOTES: SP Dillon Gee has been put on waivers after the team failed to trade him and if he passes through, he will be optioned to Triple A Las Vegas…Both Travis d’Arnaud and CF Juan Lagares are dealing with elbow injuries. d’Arnaud suffered a hyper extension after a collision at the plate vs the Braves Saturday and should return Tuesday after receiving treatment. Lagares’ situation is more of a rest and monitor issue with the same joint he has issues with late in 2014. He could eventually need Tommy John Surgery if the elbow does not improve… Meanwhile, Closer Jeurys Familia(Groin) was out the last 2 days of the Atlanta series and the team should have an update Tuesday. This does not appear to be serious and more of a cramp issue… Collins suggests that when Jenrry Mejia(50 game PED suspension) returns he would do so in a set up role.
On a day when the Mets career of Dillon Gee more than likely ended and the club received good news on both David Wright and Daniel Murphy, The team staged an amazing two run, two out rally in the 11th inning to win 4-3 vs the red hot Toronto Blue Jays(11 straight victories). Earlier on Monday, the team DFA-ed Gee(0-3,5.90 ERA in 7 starts) who can be traded over the next 10 days or be sent down to Triple A Las Vegas. Sad to say but Gee is not good enough to be in this rotation any more and deserves to pitch for a team where he can start. Meanwhile, Murphy could be back with the team by this weekend and GM Sandy Alderson stated that 3B-captain Wright(Back) could return by the all star break(Early July). On the field, the team got a great outing from rookie starter Noah Syndergaard(2 hits, 1 run(on a 1st inning homer ), 2 walks and 11 Ks over 6 innings) and got 2 out RBI hits from 1B Lucas Duda and SS Wilmer Flores to complete the comeback. Hats off to 3B Ruben Tejada whose hustle and heads up base running kept the rally alive after he did not give up on a potential game ending double play run down, staying in the play and allowing Michael Cuddyer to reach 1st. Just a great, great win and the Mets are developing a reputation as comeback kings(17 comeback victories, 2nd in all of MLB).
The New York Mets are a different team in 2015 and Sunday’s win over the division nemesis Atlanta Braves showed why on all levels. The team rallied twice from big deficits of 5-1 and 8-3, engineering a 7 run turnaround in a thrilling 10-8 win on Banner Day at Citi Field. The Mets hit 4 home runs , 2 of them from recent DL reinforcements- C Travis d’Arnaud and 2B Dilson Herrera. Meanwhile, spark plug OF Darrell Ceciliani hit his 1st career homer, a bomb into the 2nd deck in right, to kick start the rally. None of this matters if the bullpen- led by underrated Sean Gilmartin’s effort- does not come in and shut down the opposition. The Mets are not the 1975 Cincinnati Reds offensively but with d’Arnaud back and INF Daniel Murphy close in his rehab, this team can score enough to win 90 games. The return of d’Arnaud- who has the makings of a star- has energized the lineup and over the last 10 days or so, the backup OFs Ceciliani and John Mayberry Jr. have stepped up and made plays . With veterans like Curtis Granderson and Michael Cuddyer on the wrong side of 30, this is vital in the outfield. Again, this team is different and when you hear Ron Darling- who played on some TEAMS- comment how up the bench is during the SNY telecast, that should open eyes. This team should be doing more than that now. The 2015 New York Mets are GOOD!
METS NOTES: RP Bobby Parnell(Tommy John rehab) appeared in two of the 3 Braves games and while appearing rusty, he got outs and adds a valuable late inning arm and veteran presence to the bullpen…. With Herrera’s athleticism showing up daily, he is a good bet to stay at 2B even when Murphy returns from the DL. Good news, however. The Mets have an opening at 3B and Murphy is a natural third bagger. Look for #28 to take the job fulltime with the status of captain David Wright(Back) still very much in question…..The team went with a brief 6 man rotation to get the 3 kids(Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard) and 2 vets(Bartolo Colon and Jon Niese) an extra day and poor Dillon Gee paid for it. Over 3 and 2 thirds, he allowed 11 hits and 8 runs while looking out of sync. This is what happens when you take a career starter and put him in the pen without regular work. Feel bad for a good teammate and guy but more than likely best for Gee to be traded in a package for an asset……With several minor moves involving births and bereavements, backup C Anthony Recker has been temporarily sent down to Las Vegas. This move makes sense for this week with the team about to play 2 games in Toronto where they can DH d’Arnaud and let Kevin Plawecki catch. Recker will more than likely be back up by this time next week……Anyone who underestimates the value of both a stud closer and Jeurys Familia to the 2015 Mets did not watch the Mets brutal 5-3 loss Saturday. Terry Collins gave #27 the day off after the birth of his 1st son and the team could not hold a 3-1 led in the 9th using a combination of relievers. Mixing and matching is nice innings 6 thru 8 but their is a reason a select few get the final 3 outs of the game…..I am not a huge stats guy but try this one on for size: de Grom allowed a homer to professional Mets killer Braves 1B Freddie Freeman Saturday. That was the 1st bomb he has surrendered at Citi Field in 16 home starts. INCREDIBLE.I tell people this all day and all night, I love Matt Harvey and he will be great again but right now, de Grom is the best pitcher on the Mets. And it is not close.
So the Mets got no hit last night, they lost to a team that has won 3 World Series in the last half decade. Is the world ending? NO…. Just the opposite. The team is in 1st place. On June 10th. They have 13 players on the DL. 3 of them are set to rejoin the team this week, led by C Travis d’Arnaud, who was playing phenomenal before breaking a bone in his hand. Reliever Bobby Parnell will add a veteran arm to a talented bullpen while 2B Dilson Herrera can mix and match with Ruben Tejada to stabilize the middle infield and bench. The team started 15-5 but is 13-17 in its last 30 and 10-19 on the road. At times the team appears to not be able to hit themselves out of a paper bag but their pitching and ability to scratch and claw has kept them in contention. Fans need to relax and not campaign for a panic move. This team is set up to be good for years, if not great. Google Scott Kazmir if you want to make a foolish, rush move. The Mets have young players with major upside at C,1B, CF, 2B and SS. Let them grow. Look at Lucas Duda. How has he panned out? Pitching buys you time. And I know the Mets have not played in the postseason since 2006 and they barely missed in 2007-2008. But a big reason why that group did not advance was the lack of a farm system and young talent to add to David Wright and Jose Reyes. The 2015 version of the Mets have arms and players coming as either reinforcements and/or trade pieces. Have a coke and smile and enjoy the ride!
The Mets hit 4 home runs(Start the Parade! A total often for this club in a week!) and got another dominant outing from starter Jacob de Grom(The Best pitcher on this team BTW) to conclude the weeks 2 city West Coast trip at 3-4. More importantly, the injury ravaged team(13 players on the disabled list) is in 1st place in the National League East for the 2nd time this week and returns to Citi Field Tuesday after an off day Monday. I cannot say enough about the players on this team and the coaching staff led by manager Terry Collins. They show up and punch the clock regardless of who or who is not in the lineup and play. HARD. That is all you can ask for as a fan and this group COMPETES.
REINFORCEMENTS: Some good news internally(More in the next paragraph) and the lack of diagnosis for captain David Wright’s back are the biggest issues here. Pitching wise, the team is deep and talented. With Wilmer Flores really stepping up offensively and playing solid defense, I do not think shortstop is a major issue anymore. Credit GM Sandy Alderson and his staff for their faith and projections with the young SS, who they viewed as an offensive player at a defensive spot ala the St. Louis Cardinals Jhonny Peralta. The team is set at 1B, C and 2B with a stud young player in CF(Juan Lagares) and two veteran corner outfielders with both money and years left on their deals in Michael Cuddyer and Curtis Granderson. 3B and the health of Wright are biggest everyday issue. Eric Campbell and Ruben Tejada have been god sends at the spot but are not George Brett. Ideally, a player who could play 3-4 positions- a Ben Zobrist- would be ideal or if Wright is lost, I would look at the Red’s Todd Frazier. This team could use a 4th Outfielder who could play 2-3 days a week as well to give the vets or Lagares a blow. Offensive improvement is vital for this teams postseason hopes, the team is 28th in run production since the 11 game win streak of April.
METS MASH: 3 players close to being back this week while another star bat goes on the DL in 2B Daniel Murphy. Murphy(Quad) could be out a month while rookie 2B Dilson Herrera(finger), C Travis d’Arnaud(Hand) and RP Bobby Parnell(Tommy John rehab) should rejoin the big club during this weeks homestand. Herrera’s return could help the bench as well with either the rookie, Tejada or Campbell being out of the lineup. C Kevin Plawecki(Virus) and OF John Mayberry Jr(Heel) should be Ok in this homestand. Meanwhile, RP Vic Black(Neck) completed his rehab and has been optioned to Triple A Las Vegas to build arm strength and confidence.
METS NOTES: Collins has decided to scrap the 6 man rotation for the normal 5 and one of the veterans(Jon Niese or Dillon Gee) will be placed in the pen or traded. Bets should be on Gee……..Lagares appears to be healthier on this trip after dealing with an elbow issue…. de Grom is 4-0 with a 1.24 ERA in his last 5 starts…. Closer Jeurys Familia might be the team MVP and has been dominant, converting 17 of 18 save opportunities…. People need to relax and realize the team has 6 weeks or so til the Trade Deadline. Lets see how d’Arnaud and the 2B situation pan out and ,of course, the injury with the Captain resolves itself before we trade Sirloin for spam,OK?… One concern and I am saying this in the 1st week of June. This team has 3 pitchers under pitch limits in de Grom, Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard as well as 87 yr old Bartolo Colon. 6 man rotation for 2-3 weeks eliminates that need by itself. Fans in Queens will not be happy if these guys miss starts in September over innings numbers. Nor will this Blogger! Nationals fans still waiting for those Series rings sitting Strasburg earned them. OOOPPPS.
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