Tom Seaver Fan Club

From Tom Seaver to Dwight Gooden to David Wright, A look at the New York Mets past, present and future.

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May 29, 2012

Santana Super, Short at SS, Acosta out,More roster moves, Mets Notes

by @ 11:56 am. Filed under 2012 Mets

SANTANA SUPER: Ace Lefty Johan Santana(2-2,2.75 ERA,1.13 WHIP, .184 Batting average against) tossed his best game of the 2012 season May 26th against the San Diego Padres and appears to close to regaining pre injury form. He pitched a complete game, 4 hit shutout while K-ing and walking none. The southpaw has 4 quality starts(6 innings pitched, 3 runs or loss) in 5 May games and the opposition looks silly at times. Cannot say enough how important this is for the Mets heading forward, particularly with veteran Mike Pelfrey lost for the year due to season ending right elbow surgery.

SHORT AT SS: Throughout the major league season, teams have injuries and quite often at one specific position. Recently, the Boston Red Sox had 7-SEVEN- Outfielders on the disabled list. For the 2012 NY Mets, shortstop appears to be the black hole. Ruben Tejada, the club’s everyday SS, has been on the DL after suffering a quad injury May 6th. His top backup, veteran Ronny Cedeno, has a calf strain and has not played since May 26th. Mets skipper Terry Collins has been playing super sub Justin Turner at the position and in Monday’s May 28th loss to the Phillies, Turner joined the walking wounded. After being caught in a run down in the 3rd inning, the fan favorite collapsed in a heap after touching First Base, grabbing his right leg in pain. The replays did not look good and Collins feared Turner tore his achilles tendon. Initial reports have the injury being a ankle sprain with a 2-3 week recovery time, at the minimum. With Turner out(Placed on the DL post game), Collins was forced to move 3B David Wright to SS for the 2nd time in his career. Post game, the Mets called up SS Omar Quintanilla, who will start until the veterans are back. At Triple-A Buffalo, Quintanilla was hitting .281 with 6 home runs and 27 rbi.

METS NOTES: After his rough outing Monday May 28th, the team designated RHP Manny Acosta for assignment. Although possessing a good arm and action, the veteran has not been getting it done and has been getting hit all over the park(1-2,11.86 ERA, 2.27 WHIP in 19 games). The Mets have recalled Chris Schwinden(0-1,11.25 ERA in 2 games) to fill Acosta’s roster spot…..Wright has “cooled” off after peaking at a .415 Batting average last week, he has gone hitless in 4 straight and is now hitting .373 for the year….LHP Tim Byrdak continues to pitch great and has stranded a ML high 23 inherited runners. The southpaw has been unscored on in 25 of 28 appearances… After 2B Daniel Murphy drove in the only run they needed in the 2-0 win over the Padres May 27th, the Mets have scored 104 runs with 2 outs(as of 5/27/12)…. Interesting story to relate, OF Andres Torres(10+ year Up and down Major Leaguer) recently went to Collins and told him this is the closest, best group of guys he has ever played with. Torres was a key member of the 2010 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants… On the injury front, Tejada might be back as early as this weekend according to Collins. Meanwhile, C Josh Thole(concussion) and LHP Chris Young(Arm strength) are both progressing in extended spring training type rehabs. Thole saw live action Monday May 28th for the first time since May 7th. Young threw 6 and third innings,allowing 3 runs and 5 hits while walking none the same day. The Mets plan to have veteran southpaw throw vs either a Triple or Double A club in his next start.

May 28, 2012

Shutout run, R.A. an RX since he moved to NY

by @ 3:07 pm. Filed under 2012 Mets

The New York Mets stand at 6 games over .500 for the first time since July 2010 and a recent run of dominant pitching is a big reason why. During the long 4 day Memorial Day Weekend series(May 24th thru 28th) vs the San Diego Padres at Citi Field, the pitching staff did not allow a run over the final 26 innings. Starters Dillon Gee, Johan Santana and R.A. Dickey combined with the relief corps to put the zeroes up. The back to back shutouts Saturday and Sunday where the first since Last May when the Mets did it to the division rival Washington Nationals.

R.A Dickey has been a god send for the Mets since joining the team in 2010 and Sunday was another good example. The 37 year old pitched his 7th quality start in a row(6 innings or more, 3 earned runs or less) while K-ing 10 in 7 and a third innings during the 2-0 win. The knuckleballer became the 1st Mets starting pitcher since Pedro Martinez in 2006 to strike out double digit batters in back to back games. He has 29 Ks in his last 3 starts, tying him for the 2nd highest total over a 3 game span during the 2012 major league season. In 3+ years with New York, Dickey improves to 25-23 with a 3.13 ERA in 69 games(67 starts). More importantly, he brings stability and a pro’s approach to a team that has not been easy to play for at times during his stay. The Mets should make every effort to keep him in Flushing for years to come.

May 20, 2012

Wright’s amazing season continues, Bench boost, Good suicide, Bullpen issues

by @ 6:30 pm. Filed under 2012 Mets

THE WRIGHT STUFF: With the Mets surprising season(22-19 as of May 20th) success,talk has to start regarding 3B David Wright’s amazing start. His batting average stands at .412 while he has 29 runs,14 doubles, a triple and 4 homers to go with 24 rbi annd 4 steals. His defense has been stellar and fans have seen Wright step up big time in a more forceful and noticeable leadership position; both on and off the field. Simply put, I think the two people most responsible for the Mets start are Wright and Manager Terry Collins. Both should be early favorites to win the National League MVP and Manager of the Year.

ROLLERCOASTER RELIEF: Rough patch over the past 2-3 weeks with the bullpen struggling, noticeably veteran closer Frank Francisco(1-3.7.56 ERA, 10 saves in 12 chances) and set up man Jon Rauch(6.75 May ERA after 2.53 April). Both are Pro’s Pro’s and will get back on track. The end of Sunday’s contest(6-5 win at Toronto on May 20th) gave Mets fans hope: After allowing 2 runners to reach, Francisco threw major gas to strike out the side and earn the save. On a positive note, RH Ramon Ramirezx(2-1,4.30) seems to have found his stuff after a tough April(2-1,5.40 eRA), the 6th year ML has been strong in May(2.79 ERA,11 Ks in 9.2 innings). Lefty specialist Tim Byrdak(2-0,3.09 in 24 games) has been great from Day 1 and RHP Bobby Parnell(1-0,2.84,19 Ks in 19 innings) seems to have turned the corner after a tough end to 2011. The right appears here to stay and Collins has used him successfully in several different roles. The Mets made a smart move to help Byrdak and ease his load when they recalled LH Robert Carson earlier this week. First of all, he has plus stuff(Almost a K per inning in Triple A) and is a big dude(Listed at 6’4,240). More importantly, he gives Collins another lefty in the pen, which is vital in the National League and more importantly, the NL East.

ALL 25: The Mets have had some injuries to everyday players starting with CF Andres Torres going down in game 1. LF Jason Bay, C Josh Thole and SS Ruben Tejada have all been on the DL but the team has continued to play solid ball. A big reason is the bench, role players as well as minor league call ups like OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis and INF-OF Jordany Valdespin(recently sent back to AAA). However, guys like INFs Justin Turner and Ronny Cedeno as well as Catchers Mike Nikeas and Rob Johnson have pitched in. Veteran OF Scott Hairston has killed left handed pitching(.333, 3 homers, rbi in 45 at bats) and hit for the cycle earlier this season. The biggest boost to the bench core has to be OF Mike Baxter, who leads the Majors in pinch hits(8 for 17, .471 average, 6 rbi), and is hitting .390 overall with 8 rbi. Collins has looked for ways to get him more at bats and if struggling 1B Ike Davis(.163,5 homers,15 rbi) does not start to produce, look for Baxter to see more time.

METS NOTES: The Suicide squeeze play is one of the most exciting in all of baseball and the Mets stopped and executed it in the same game May 15th during a 3-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field. Nickeas grabbed a poor bunt attempt in the 2nd, threw to 3rd and Wright to complete the play and kill an early Brewers threat. Cedeno, who has really helped this club with Tejada out, put down a perfect bunt to score 2B Daniel Murphy in the 7th…. The team has placed veteran swing man Miguel Batista(lower back) on the 15 day DL. Batista(1-1,4.26) was pulled in the 3rd inning of his start May 19th after the back tightened up. RHP Jeremy Heffner(3-2,2.72 ERA in 7 AAA starts) came in and did a great job in an emergency situation, allowing 4 hits and 2 runs over 5 innings to a strong Blue Jays lineup. Collins plans to keep the rookie in the rotation but the Mets recalled Chris Schwinden temporarily to fill Batista’s roster spot.

May 17, 2012

Mets awarded 2013 All Star Game, The Wright thing?

by @ 8:22 pm. Filed under 2012 Mets

The New York Mets and Citi Field have been awarded the 2013 Major League Baseball All Star game,which will take place July 16,2013. This marks the 9th time New York City has hosted the Mid Summer Classic and the 2nd time the Mets organization has served as Host, the other being in 1964. The announcement was made Wednesday May 16th with NY City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and Both Wilpons, Fred(CEO) and Jeff(COO) present. The game should provide and economic boost to the NY economy with Mayor Bloomberg’s office estimating over $190 million in business revenue as well as an additional 175K tourists. The Game has become a 2-3 day event with the ML prospects game, kickoff gala and home run hitting contest the night before. This is both a tremendous opportunity and honor for the Mets organization who have an amazing new stadium as well as an improving, competitive on field product to promote.

THE WRIGHT THING: The Mets and Brewers had an interesting incident in an otherwise nondescript 8-0 New York defeat May 15th. After Milwaukee’s star LF Ryan Braun was hit by a pitch following a home run, Mets skipper Terry Collins choose to remove his franchise player and hottest hitter, 3B David Wright. Wright became incensed in the dugout but returned minutes later to smooth things out with his manager. Collins explained post game that he was looking to protect #5 from retaliation and fear of injury(Wright broke a finger earlier this season) was also part of the decision. The star 3B was clearly willing to take one for the team and continues to show why he is the leader of the Mets with or without the “C” on his uniform. David was fine post game and the two expressed their mutual respect for each other.

May 13, 2012

Extension for Wright?,Tim Byrdak, Injury updates

by @ 10:05 pm. Filed under 2012 Mets

The Wall Street Journal reported the Mets are preparing to offer 3B David Wright a long term extension during this season, possibly this summer according to a May 13th article. The team holds a $16 million option on Wright for 2013 and Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson told Brian Costa from the WSJ that #5 will not be traded at the deadline as many fans have feared. Wright is having a huge year (.400, 4 home runs, 21 rbi, 1.080 OPS) and has also stepped up in more of leadership role with a very young ball club around him. As I said preseason, extending Wright should be a top priority and goal #1 for the remainder of the season.

BRILLIANT BYRDAK:Situational lefty Tim Byrdak(2-0,3.48, 0.87 WHIP, .171 Opponents batting average) has been a vital cog to the Mets rebuilt bullpen and has been called upon to get some huge outs by Manager Terry Collins. With 20 appearances in the first 33 games, he is on pace to appear in 98 games and would break the club appearance record. The veteran is tied for 3rd in all of MLB with 8 holds(Basically getting outs to set up the closer for the 9th) and has been a godsend for a relief corps that has been up and down in the first 6 weeks.

INJURY UPDATES: LF Jason Bay(Left rib) will be examined this week at Citi Field after being placed on the DL April 24th. He has limited to riding a stationary bike. Meanwhile, SS Ruben Tejada is rehabbing his strained right quad in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Ronny Cedeno has taken over as the everyday SS in his place, as planned. No further update on C Josh Thole but he does not appear to be a good bet to return soon after his 7 day Concussion DL stint is over.

FLU BUG: 1B Ike Davis, LHSP Jon Niese and 3B Coach Tim Teufel are the latest Mets to be infected by the Flu. Davis did not start Sunday May 13th and the team was looking into whether he was suffering from food poisoning. The team moved Daniel Murphy to 1B for the first time in 2012 with Jordany Valdespin manning 2B in Murphy’s place. Teufel also sat out Sunday’s contest with Bench Coach Bob Geren taking over in the coaching box. RF Lucas Duda missed three games and lost 10 pounds earlier this month while back up C Mike Nickeas was so sick that the team told him to stay away from the ballpark. P Chris Schwinden also was ill when he was up with the big club.

May 10, 2012

Red hot Mets sweep Phillies in PA, win 5 of 6 despite injuries

by @ 1:33 pm. Filed under 2012 Mets

The New York Mets continue to play solid baseball despite being down 3 everyday players and stand at 18-13 on the year as off May 10th. The team just swept the 5 time defending NL East Champion Philadelphia Phillies in Pennsylvania for the the 1st time since 2006 and have won 5 of 6 overall. Two trends have carried them early in the season, the offensive depth and bounce back of the club. The Mets have a major league high 11 comeback wins(two in the Phillies series) and consistently do major damage with two outs. The starting pitchers have not been great but they keep the team in the game while pitching coach Dan Warthen and Manager Terry Collins have done a great job with the rebuilt bullpen. I usually do not like to make assessments before June 1st but I believe the 2012 New York Mets can and should compete for a postseason birth. This is a tough, resilient bunch that has taken on the personality of their skipper and team leader(3b David Wright), they grind and battle for 27 outs. More importantly to Mets fans, this is a group that is both easy to watch and root for. Lets look at some important news stories regarding the club.

Outfield: Rookie Kirk Nieuwenhuis(.304,2 homers,10 rbi, 16 runs) has been outstanding since joining the team in game 2 with both his bat and glove. With the return of CF Andres Torres, the rookie has moved to LF and continued to contribute. Torres, who is an excellent defensive player, has hit .367 with a homer, 7 rbi and 6 runs in 8 games since coming off the DL. He has taken to the Mets patient plate approach and Collins has moved both around the lineup depending on the matchups. RF Lucas Duda has been consistent and provided power(4 homers, 16 rbi) from corner outfield spot. Collins might have some interesting lineups when regular LF Jason Bay returns from his rib injury.

Injury Bug: Besides the injury to Bay, the team has lost two of their 2nd year players to injury in the last week. SS Ruben Tejada(.305,8 rbi, 14 runs), who was doing a splendid job taking over for the departed Jose Reyes,was placed on the DL May 7th with a strained right quad. Meanwhile, C Josh Thole(.284,homer, 7 rbi) suffered a concussion after a collision at home plate May 7th and was placed on the New seven-day DL created by MLB for concussion injuries. If Thole, who still has some dizziness issues, is not improved after the 7 days, he can be placed on another seven-day DL or he can go on the regular 15-day list. These are both big losses and important members of the club heading forward but the team has depth at both spots- Justin Turner and prospect Jordany Valdespin can play SS while back up C Mike Nickeas and veteran Rob Johnson will fill in short term. Meanwhile Collins would like 7 year major leaguer Ronny Cedeno(Knee tendinitis) to take over at SS when he comes off the DL sometime in the next week. He would allow Turner and Valdespin to stay in their usual super sub roles and give The Mets weapons off the bench. Ideally, Cedeno will start until Tejada returns.

Jordany’s Big Night: Valdespin’s first major league hit was both memorable and important. The hit was a game winning three run homer off of Phillies all star closer Jonathan Papelbon in the Met’s 5-2 win over Philadelphia May 7th. Prior to the at bat, he was 0 for 6. The story gets better. The ball ended up in the hands of a 8 year old boy who is a big Phillies fan. The young fan, Andrew Wixted, contacted the Mets and returned the ball to the team. The 24 year old rookie now has a present to give his Mother on Mother’s Day. Good job, Jordany and even better job, Andrew!

Pelfrey’s rotation spot: When the team lost RHSP Mike Pelfrey to season ending elbow surgery, the team’s lack of starting pitching depth was exposed. Call up Chris Schwinden struggled, was sent back to Triple A and Collins decided to give long time veteran Miguel Batista a shot to fill the rotation. After struggling in his first start May 1(2 and two third innnings, 3 hits, run, 4 walks at Houston) he rallied May 8th vs the Phillies(5 and a third innings, 8 hits, 4 runs(2 earned), 2 walks) to help the Mets win. Batista will get at least one more start with RHP Chris Young(Shoulder) just starting minor league rehab and minor leaguers such as Jeremy Hefner, Jenrry Mejia, Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler not being major league ready at present date. This is an issue that fans need to focus on, keep track of how the team does in these starts. If this team does not make the playoffs, this might be a big reason why.

Murphy’s improvement: Most followers of the Mets knew 2B Daniel Murphy could hit but many thought he was a glorified DH playing in the National League. However, he we have seen a marked improvement in his play defensively at 2nd base. I believe the addition of Tim Teufel to the coaching staff, a member of the 1986 World Champions, has helped Murphy tremendously. The former Triple A manager was an excellent defensive 2B and has tutored Murphy, who is a known worker. Daniel almost makes a hi-light type play nightly now and Teufel’s influence cannot be understated.

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