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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July 31, 2012

Mets make no moves at trade deadline

by @ 5:04 pm. Filed under 2012 Mets

The New York Mets did not make any trades as the non-waiver deadline passed at 4 pm EST July 31st. Players like OF Scott Hairston and Lefty specialist Tim Byrdak were names often heard in reports but both stayed in Flushing. This was a good day for GM Sandy Alderson. This team is headed in the right direction and these two players have been a big part of the turnaround. Led by Manager Terry Collins, the Mets have played a gritty brand of baseball and have been a joy to watch. This is not a perfect team but they play hard and battle. The keys heading forward are improving the bullpen from within(Team lost 14 of 18 around the time closer Frank Francisco went on the DL) and figuring out the outfield for 2013. This team is 50-53 and 10 games back in the loss column. 3rd place in the tough NL East and a .500 record are realistic season goals.

July 29, 2012

Ike Davis hits 3 homers in loss, OF moves, Frank Francisco update

by @ 6:16 pm. Filed under 2012 Mets

Mets 1B Ike Davis has really come on in the last 6 weeks of the season and his turnaround appears complete after he clubbed 3 consecutive solo homers at the Arizona Diamondbacks July 28th. After hitting .185 and .154 in April and May, the 3rd year major leaguer hit .264 in June with 6 homers and 24 rbi. The Arizona native has carried those results into July where he is hitting .241 with 9 bombs and 15 rbi. Fans have to be patient with this young man, he missed over 120 games in 2011 with a serious ankle injury and battled Valley Fever in Spring Training. If the Mets can get this talent to continue to play this well in the 2nd half, both the team and player can view 2012 as a success.

UPDATES ON FRANK FRANCISCO AND THE OUTFIELD SITUATION:Some good news on the injury front regarding the Mets closer and an offensive sparkplug both in the outfield and off the bench. Closer Frank Francisco(Left oblique) threw a strong outing in Double A Sunday and could return as early as this week in San Francisco(4 game series July 30-August 2). Since being placed on the DL June 23rd the popular reliever has two more issues with his side and a 3rd with a knee. Mets Skipper Terry Collins does not need to see the big man throw back to back outings before activating him. Bobby Parnell has converted 3 of 5 save opportunities in Francisco’s absence while striking out more than a batter an inning and posting a 2.31 ERA. Meanwhile, Francisco struggled in the early going(7.71 April and 4.76 May ERAs) but was pitching great before the injury. He had saved 10 of his last 11 chances with a 1.76 ERA.

OF-PH Mike Baxter(Collarbone,rib) is set to be activated Monday July 30th and rookie OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis,who has batted .123 since June 16th, will be sent down to Triple A Buffalo. Baxter, a potent left handed bat who was hitting .323 in 65 games, was famously injured saving Johan Santana’s No Hitter June 1st, the first No No in Mets history. Look for Baxter to be eased back into the lineup with Collins trying to see what he has in LF Jason Bay(still struggling in his 3rd season in NY) and rookie spark plug Jordany Valdespin. Baxter could eventually end up platooning with Bay in LF. Nieuwenhuis has struggled after initial success(.325 April,.263 May) when was called up for the 2nd game of the season(CF Andres Torres injured a leg in the season opener) . He is a very good defensive player and does a lot of things well. Look for Kirk and fellow OF Lucas Duda, another OF recently sent down, to be back with the big club in the coming weeks. What becomes overlooked in the struggles of the young Mets outfielders is the strong season veteran Scott Hairston(.261,12 homers, 41 rbi, 5 steals) has put out. He has brutalized lefties all season(.315,9,26) and is one of the few Mets that have hit in the 2nd half(.317, 7 rbi).

July 27, 2012

Matt Harvey delivers dominant performance in Major League debut, Johan Santana update

by @ 12:54 pm. Filed under 2012 Mets

With the Mets in a major slump(1 win in 12 post all star break contests,losers of 12 of 13 overall) and in dire need of a pick up, they got one Wednesday night July 26th in Arizona when their top pitching prospect RH Matt Harvey K-ed 11 over 5 and a third innings to help New York defeat the Diamond Backs 3-1. The Mets 1st round pick in the 2010 draft overpowered batters most of the night with a 98 MPH fastball and Harvey became the first player since 1900 to strike out 10 batters whike collecting 2 hits in his major league debut. Throwing fastballs 68% of the time, the righty struck out the first batter he faced, 3 of the first 5 and 8 of the first 14. Mets skipper Terry Collins was clearly pleased post game, “Electric stuff for sure, ” said Collins,nitpicking only that he would like to see Harvey throw his changeup more often. ” I haven’t seen 98 out of a starting pitcher in quite some time. He’s lived up to exactly what everybody’s talked about.” The Mets and opposition batters will ,hopefully, be talking for years to come.

JOHAN SANTANA UPDATE:LHSP Johan Santana(ankle) has begun long tossing and will throw off the mound sometime in the middle of next week according to Collins. Mets Minor League strength and conditioning coach Mike Herbst will travel to New York to monitor the southpaw’s progress. Barring setbacks, Santana will return to the rotation around August 8th and 9th.

July 26, 2012

Duda, Nickeas sent down as Harvey prepares to make ML debut for deflated Mets

by @ 7:00 am. Filed under 2012 Mets

As I previously reported, the Mets sent down struggling RF Lucas Duda earlier this week but he is not out of the teams long term plan according to Manager Terry Collins. The Mets skipper said Duda was playing out of position in Right and his defense was beginning to hurt the slumping club so the slugger will play Left and First Base at Triple A Buffalo. Collins blamed himself for the situation and expressed belief that Duda will work his way back to the big leagues. Meanwhile, the Mets sent down offensively challenged back up C Mike Nickeas July 25th and recalled veteran defensive backstop Rob Johnson, who has been praised by Buffalo Manager(and ex 80s Met 2B) Wally Backman and many of the younger pitchers at Triple A. The move is not coincedental to the promotion of top pitching prospect Matt Harvey who credits Johnson with his strong season in the minors. Harvey makes his ML debut Thursday night July 26 at the Arizona Diamondbacks. A quick scouting report on the promising righty: throws 4 pitches with his average fastball at 92-94 with life in the zone,topping out at 98. This season he has focused on developing his change up which is in the mid 80s. His slider averages at 81-84 and he likes to blend in a 12 to 6 curveball to keep hitters off balance.

METS NOTES:OF-INF Jordany Valdespin amazingly has hit a team record 5 pinch hit homers. The talented youngster has 22 rbi in 96 at bats and clearly has a bright future…. LHRP Tim Byrdak and C Josh Thole had issues July 25th after Byrdak allowed a 2 run homer to Mets killer Washington Nationals 1B Adam Laroche. Byrdak shook off the catcher off twice then missed location on the shot. The southpaw then stared into home plate and the two had calm words in the dugout. Byrdak’s wrath then went towards Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen(who actually called the pitch) but later apologized post game, taking responsibility for the pitch and his behavior. Collins attempted to nip this(and any other descension) in the bud post game saying he wants to the team to “the right way” and be accountable…Byrdak and OF Scott Hairston’s names have come up in trade talks while in today’s(July 26th) Daily News MLB writer John Harper writes the Mets turned down a trade offer from the San Diego Padres involving right reliever Luke Gregerson for NY 2B Daniel Murphy… The Mets are now 1-11 since the All Star Break and have lost 12 of 13

July 23, 2012

Santana placed on DL as Mets lose 9 of 10 with pitching depth taxed

by @ 10:14 pm. Filed under 2012 Mets

The 2012 New York Mets have officially hit rock bottom, losing 9 of 10 games after the all star break. With back to back extra inning blowups by individual relievers, the team has dropped to 47-49 and needs to right the ship or the promising first half will soon be a distant memory. The bullpen has been a source of concern all season and the unit has a 6.51 ERA post ASB but what magnifies this weakness is ineffective starting pitching. When the starter gets run early, the relief corps is taxed and overused. As Mets skipper Terry Collins frequently states he likes to decide when he uses a reliever not have the starter determine it. With the team putting ace lefty Johan Santana(6-7, 3.98) on the DL this weekend with a bad ankle , the rotation is missing 3 of their top 5 starters(60%) that broke spring training. Mike Pelfrey(Tommy John surgery) and Dillon Gee(blood clot) are done for the year and no team can sustain these type of injuries to key members of the starting staff. Santana’s arm is reportedly fine and the Mets front office is approaching the southpaw cautiously. The ankle was originally injured covering first base July 6th and he has gone 0-3 with 13.40 ERA in his last 3 starts.

POST MORTEM:Stats do not lie and here are the Mets numbers post all star break: 1-9 record, 4.5 runs per game, .283 average, 6.24 starters ERA, 6.51 Bullpen ERA

ROSTER MOVES: Mets have made several moves over the last week, most involving pitching. Righty pitchers Jeremy Hefner(July 21st) and Elvin Ramirez(July 22nd) have been recalled while veteran swing man Miguel Batista was DFA-ed July 22nd. Heffner will take Batista’s spot in the rotation while the team has called up top prospect Matt Harvey to start at Arizona Thursday. Meanwhile, Jason Bay(Head) was activated of the 15 day DL July 17th and homered in his first game. Since then, he has gone 2 for 15. INF Omar Quintanilla was also DFA-ed then traded to the Baltimore Orioles July 20th. Good to see Omar,who filled in when regular SS Ruben Tejada was injured earlier this year, be rewarded and traded to a good team.

METS NOTES: closer Frank Francisco(Oblique) was scratched from his rehab assignment July 23rd due to discomfort in his right knee. Thankfully, new closer Bobby Parnell is one of the few relievers pitching well…2B Daniel Murphy is red hot, collecting 11 hits in his last 15 at bats. He also has 30 doubles….After getting smoked Monday night(4 runs over a third of an inning in the 10th inning of the 8-2 defeat to Washington) , the Mets optioned Pedro Beato to Triple A to make room for Harvey. The club also has called up RHP Manny Acosta, who was dominant at Triple A(2.28 ERA in 25 strikeouts and 4 walks in 28 innings over 17 games), after being hit hard in NY earlier this season(1-2,11.86 ERA in 19 appearances). No word on a corresponding roster move but the Mets reportedly considering sending down struggling RF Lucas Duda(.198 in last 25 games)…. 9 of 10 is bad but when you factor in that New York lost to the Chicago Cubs BEFORE the break, they have technically lost 10 of 11.

July 16, 2012

Injury updates and 2nd Half keys

by @ 1:16 pm. Filed under 2012 Mets

Some medical updates on several key Mets players including closer Frank Francisco and the entire starting Outfield. Closer Frank Francisco(strained oblique) was shutdown during his rehab assignment Friday July 13th after the injury flared up. Their is no timetable on when he will resume his rehab according to Mets Manager Terry Collins. LF Jason Bay(Head) looked good in Triple A Buffalo on Saturday and Sunday,collecting 3 hits and is on track to join the big club in Washington Tuesday. RF Lucas Duda(Hamstring) is having leg examined by team doctors today in New York but he is unlikely to go on the DL. The 2nd year major leaguer is hitting .137 with a homer and 2 rbi in his last 15 games. Meanwhile, CF Andres Torres(Back) appears fine after the all star break and is one of the Mets hottest players, collecting 6 hits in 10 at bats in the Atlanta series.

2ND HALF KEYS:

1- DAVIS AND DANIEL:We all have seen the amazing 1st half David Wright put together and how he has carried this club offensively. A key for the this team in the 2nd half, and the future, are the bats around him. Two names come to mind- and they both started to pick it up as the All Star Break approached- 2B Daniel Murphy and 1B Ike Davis. Murphy should hit .280-.300 and be a tough out nightly(Hitting .351 in 10 July games). Davis has really turned it around and even when he was hitting sub .200 his home runs usually came with men on base. For the year, he is now hitting .204 with 13 homers and 50 rbi. A strong June(.264, 6 homers and 24 rbi) has put the young power hitter back on the path to stardom. Other secondary support bats such as Bay and Duda could also make this lineup deadly.

2- IMPROVED OUTFIELD OFFENSEThrough health and ineffectiveness, the Mets have not gotten ideal production from their starting outfielders. Bay and Torres both missed over 50 combined games and Duda is now hurting. However, rookie Kirk Nieuwenhuis played great in the first 6 weeks and Scott Hairston has been among the top bats on the club particularly vs. left handed pitching(.295,9 homers, 21 rbi in 105 at bats). Mike Baxter(.323,10 rbi in 65 at bats) also filled in amiably before seriously injuring himself saving Johan Santana’s no hitter with his diving catch June 1st. Meanwhile, INF-OF Jordany Valdespin provides speed and power(two things the Mets could use) and the Mets have given him playing time in the outfield recently. How Collins manages this group is a key issue in the 2nd half.

3-BULLPEN BLUES:Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson made several moves to bolster this group and the results have been inconclusive. Francisco has been good as closer but his injury situation really hurts a club that lacks relief depth. Big Jon Rauch is a pro and has pitched like it. RH Ramon Ramirez also missed time with injuries but has improved every month since being traded to New York in the offseason and has not allowed in earned run in 8 and 2 third innings since rejoining the club in Late June. Veteran(20+ year pro) swing man Miguel Batista has been a staff saver, filling in all over the staff-starting,setting up, janitor- you name it. The health of the remaining starters and what management wants to do with the Dillon Gee rotation spot will greatly determine Batista’s role heading forward. Lefty specialist Tim Byrdak has been outstanding all season and Collins has been concerned about overuse. That’s why the recent addition of fellow lefty Josh Edgin is so vital. A power arm(6 Ks in 2 and a third innings) who was welcomed to the Mets by a Chipper Jones home run(Welcome to NY, Kid!), the youngster looks like a keeper and should greatly aid a unit that needs it.

METS NOTES:How important is Davis to the Mets? As off July 16th, the Mets are 43-29 when he starts. They are 2-13 when he doesn’t…… Led by R.A. Dickey and Santana, the Mets are 4th(Out of 30 teams) in MLB in Quality starts(6 innings pitched, 3 earned runs or less)…Baxter(collarbone,rib) had two hits Sunday during his rehab assignment in Single-A and does not appear far away from rejoining the club… New Mets closer Bobby Parnell allowed an earned run July 14th for the first time since June 14th, covering 9 appearances…. SS Ruben Tejada continues to make fans forget Jose Reyes in the field and with his glove. The 2nd year ML is hitting .328 with a .379 On base and appears at home in the leadoff spot for the Mets. In 10 July games, Tejada is hitting .390 and has a .979 fielding percentage for the season in 44 games.

July 12, 2012

1st Half review, Santana Ok-ed to start Sunday

by @ 7:46 pm. Filed under 2012 Mets

The New York Mets have ridden strong starting pitching, timely hitting and solid chemistry to a strong 1st half that has them contending for their first post season birth since winning the National League East in 20006. R.A. Dickey and Johan Santana have led the rotation while new closer Bobby Parnell and Lefty specialist Tim Byrdak have paced the pen. 3B David Wright has been great in the field, with the bat and leading this group from day 1 of the season. The Mets are 3rd in the NL with 394 runs despite lacking great power(12 out of 16 NL clubs in homers) and speed)(15th in steals). How does this happen? The team as a group hits for average(7th), takes walks(2nd) and makes the entire opposition pitching staff work. This has helped the team produce with 2 outs, where the Mets have scored 189 runs. When you consider the Mets have scored 48% of their runs with 2 down, that is an amazing stat.

SANTANA STARTS SUNDAY,BAY CLOSE: Lefty Johan Santana, who threw the franchise’s first No hitter earlier this season, had no issues with his ankle throwing Thursday and will follow LH Chris Young and Dickey in the rotation Sunday at Atlanta. Meanwhile, LF Jason Bay(Concussion) went 0 for 3 with walk in a full 7 inning rehab game at Port St. Lucie. Manager Terry Collins wants him to appear in a game for Triple A Buffalo before he is activated off the 15 day DL.

July 11, 2012

Report: Gee to have surgery Friday, Could throw in 6-8 weeks

by @ 7:40 pm. Filed under 2012 Mets

According to ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin, RHSP Dillon Gee will undergo surgery to repair in artery in his shoulder Friday after which Gee can resume throwing in 6-8 weeks. Let the countdown for a the Major League debut of Mets highly totted prospect RHP Matt Harvey(7-4,3.39 ERA in 98 a third innings with 102 Ks and 42 walks at Triple A in 18 starts). Veteran Miguel Batista will fill the 5th spot until otherwise announced but the Mets might have their hand forced with anymore injuries to their starting rotation which has carried the team thru their surprising 1st half performance.

Gee released from Hospital, No timetable for return, Mets redo rotation

by @ 12:32 pm. Filed under 2012 Mets

Mets SP Dillon Gee has been discharged from NY Presbyterian Hospital after a clot in his shoulder was resolved, according to the team Wednesday July 11th. Gee and several doctors will consider his numerous treatment options over the next couple of days. The Mets did not offer a timetable for his return although it would be a good bet that he is done for the remainder of the 2012 campaign. On the field, due to the 4 day sabbatical during the all star break as well as normal travel days, the team does not need a 5th starter until July 21st. The Mets will recall LHRP Josh Edgin(3-2,3.89 ERA in 39 Triple A games) to fill Gee’s roster spot before Friday’s game.

With Gee on the DL and the club looking to give ace LH Johan Santana(minor ankle issue) as much rest as possible, the team has realigned the rotation coming out of the break. In the 3 game series vs the Braves in Atlanta, veteran LHP Chris Young will start Friday followed by the best pitcher in the NL, R.A. Dickey Saturday. Dependent on how Santana feels after throwing off the mound Thursday at a Citi Field workout, he will pitch either at the Braves Sunday or at the Nationals Tuesday. Jon Niese will start whatever game Santana does not. If Young feels good after his start, Skipper Terry Collins will throw him again Wednesday in D.C. Collins has stated veteran swing man Miguel Batista will fill Gee’s role. With all of the breaks within the schedule, the Mets will not -barring injury- need a 5th starter until July 21st when they host the Dodgers at Citi Field.

July 10, 2012

BREAKING METS NEWS: Dillon Gee hospitalized with blood clot in pitching shoulder, Placed on DL

by @ 10:37 am. Filed under 2012 Mets

Serious medical situation breaking regarding one of the Mets young pitchers this morning with RHSP Dillon Gee(6-7,4.10 ERA) hospitalized in a NY hospital due to a blood clot in the artery in his pitching shoulder. Gee won his last start Saturday July 7th vs the Cubs(1 run, 7 hits in 8 innings)but complained about numbness in his fingers Sunday July 8th. Doctors broke up the clot with a catheter and the righty will remain hospitalized for the next couple of days. Their is no timetable for Gee’s return but the team has placed him on the 15-day DL while veteran RHSP Chris Young(2-2,3.41 in 6 starts) moves up to take Gee’s start Friday in Atlanta vs the Braves.

July 9, 2012

Mets surprising first half stung by second snub at All Star Game

by @ 6:01 pm. Filed under 2012 Mets

Fans of the New York Mets have to be very excited with the performance of their team in the season’s first half which has them on the cusp of a post season birth at 46-40. The team has played great ball under the leadership of skipper Terry Collins and General Manager Sandy Alderson. 3B David Wright is a serious NL MVP candidate and has led the way with a mostly home grown roster. LHSP Johan Santana tossed the first no hitter in the history of a franchise that has been based on elite pitching. But the best overall performer on the Mets might just be knuckeballer R.A. Dickey(12-1,2.40,123 Ks) , who has been the best pitcher in the NL from game 1 to the break. That’s why it is an absolute outrage that this man is not the starting pitcher for the National League in Tuesday’s All Star game. NL Manager Tony La Russa-WHO DOES NOT EVEN ACTIVELY WORK IN MLB- made this decision and it is a disgrace. Dickey is one of the top stories in the game and the fact that the AL does not have a single knuckleball pitcher gives Dickey an added advantage. Of course, If La Russa was working in the sport, he would know that. After the fan voting fiasco with the “great” SF Giants 3B Pablo Sandoval somehow passing Wright at the last minute, Mets fans could feel both anger and disrespect. They are right, no pun intended. What makes this even worse is the fact that La Russa has Collins on his coaching staff. What the blank do you think Terry said?! Terry should say I resign… again, MLB blows a no brainer because the sport is run by people with little or no brains. Complete and total disgrace.

July 8, 2012

Been on Vacation— Mets enter All Star break at 46-40

by @ 5:32 pm. Filed under 2012 Mets

Been on “vacation” due to work being done on the site but will post columns this week breaking down the team at the All Star break, the 1st half and the prognosis for the 2nd half. The biggest news while we where away has to be the selection of both RHSP R.A. Dickey and 3B David Wright for the National League All Star team ,The game will be played this Tuesday, July 10th in Kansas City. Much more to come after the exciting first half of action that saw the Mets become one of the more surprising teams in all of major league baseball, posting a 46-40 record and closing out the 1st half in contention for a NL wild card birth. More to come later this week! ENJOY THE BREAK!

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