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 27, 2013

4 areas the Mets must focus on for the remainder of 2013

by @ 1:25 pm. Filed under 2012 Mets

The New York Mets and their fans realize this roster is not the 1989 Oakland A’s- although they share the same GM, Sandy Alderson. This is a rebuilding team and both the front office and realistic followers see that. When you view this team on a daily basis you do see some positives and core pieces— SPs Matt Harvey and Jon Niese, 3B David Wright, 2B Daniel Murphy and Closer Bobby Parnell- as well as some potential fits- OFs Lucas Duda, Jordany Valdespin and Mike Baxter, SP Dillon Gee and Jeremy Heffner and struggling 1B Ike Davis. Alderson and his talented front office added some solid vets in all areas to help the transition and most notably C John Buck, Relievers Latroy Hawkins, Brandon Lyon, OFs Marlon Byrd and Rick Ankiel as well as SP Shaun Marcum have contributed. Having pro-s like Buck and Hawkins around a young, developing squad helps. The great Mets teams of the 80s had established stars like 1B Keith Hernandez on board from day 1 and added more leadership in players like C Gary Carter and 3B Ray Knight. This group has Wright who has seen both the good and bad but has been with the team since 2004. His well respected voice carries weight but David could use some help on and off the field. Lets look at 4 areas the Mets should focus on over the remainder of the 2013 campaign.

OUTFIELD:2 Months into the season and when fans turn on SNY, You are almost guaranteed to see Lucas Duda in left field. Byrd plays about 80% of the games in right and centerfield has been a coin flip. Baxter is a solid bench option who has shown to be a a great pinch hitter. Valdespin has tremendous raw talent and provides both speed and talent yet also might get himself or a teammate killed due to his on field antics if he plays everyday. Recent call up Juan Lagares tore up Triple A but has struggled in the majors. Sorting thru this group and identifying both short and long term solutions at this position should help determine the direction the 2013 Offseason will go. For almost 30 years, home grown Outfielders have been few and far between. Outside of Darryl Strawberry, names like Jay Payton, Jeromy Burnitz and Mark Carreon do not remind many of Mantle, Mays and Snider. Ideally, a switch hitting center fielder who could bat leadoff would be great. If you want to make a Mets fan mad, ask them how Angel Pagan is doing.

BULLPEN:I love Parnell closing and seeing this homegrown power arm grow into the role has to please Mets fans. As erratic as the starting rotation has been, the taxed relief core sports 5 options with sub 4.00 ERAs. The top 5 Mets in games pitched have all been solid, led by Lyon and Hawkins, top 7th and 8th inning set up men. Lefty Scott Rice has been great vs southpaws and Greg Burke has posted a zero ERA in 7 May appearances. This group has held it together but needs help. Rice has been used a lot due to Josh Edgin’s awful April(sent down after 9.64 ERA) and the Mets called up fellow lefty Robert Carson. Veteran reinforcements are on the way as well with ex Met relief standouts Lefty Tim Byrdak and Pedro Feliciano continuing to rehab from injury. Both appear good bets to join the Club by midseason. This position group has improved in 2013 and a huge chunk of the credit goes to Manager Terry Collins as well as Alderson, who made several subtle moves in the offseason.

ROTATION:I think New York has a #1 and #2 starter in Harvey(LOL) and Niese(signed long term) with super prospect Zack Wheeler(Good bet to be a June call up) on the horizon. Dillon Gee has struggled in his first season back from major surgery and has been up and down. Meanwhile, Veteran Marcum has improved after coming suffering some minor setbacks in spring training and pitched 6 innings or more in his last 3 starts and struck out 19 in his last 13 frames. Gutty and gritty Heffner has battled(4.76 ERA in 9 starts) and pitched better than his 0-5 record indicates. This group has excellent potential and could be dominant for years to come

INFIELD:Wright and Murphy are rocks-dependable players both offensively and defensively. Murphy has added noticeable power and has an OPS hovering around .800. Wright is Wright and very few players in the sport carry the weight of an organization and fan base better. Mets fans do not have a lot to be thankful for but #5 is a good place to start. Now for the bad stuff. 1B Ike Davis, who many felt would take off into superstar status after his strong 2nd half in 2012(20 homers-41 rbi,.255 avg) , has been awful in all phases, hitting .158 with a .496 OPS!!!!!!!!! He recently started to struggle with his once solid defense going South. Rumors continue to circulate that he could be sent down to Triple A Las Vegas anytime. However, recent changes in his swing and a huge game winning hit Sunday night(5/26/13) vs the rival Atlanta Braves have kept him around. Davis is known as a good guy and excellent teammate and you see this when other Mets routinely pull for him. Hope- NO PRAY- he turns it around! Meanwhile, SS Ruben Tejada’s stuggles have been a secondary story due to Davis’ more headline grabbing issues but he is hitting .218 with a .556 OPS. He was struggling defensively as well in April but has improved in May. A .263 career hitter, he has slumped to .188 in May after posting a .247 clip in April. Getting both of these homegrown talents turned around would do wonders for the Mets today and tomorrow.

May 22, 2013

Harvey a huge bright spot but Mets continue to flounder

by @ 8:37 pm. Filed under 2012 Mets

Fans of the New York Mets realize exactly what the 2013 team is– a total rebuild job- and have been patient as they continue to struggle on an almost nightly basis. They have seen some positives(#1 SP Matt Harvey, Closer Bobby Parnell and C John Buck), progress by potential young core pieces(LF Lucas Duda and 2B Daniel Murphy) and they still have the face of the franchise(3B David Wright). Recent improvements by starting pitchers Jon Niese and Dillon Gee are keys with super prospect Zack Wheeler on the horizon. However, the massive regression by former fan favorite 1B Ike Davis has taken a lot of the wind out of Mets fans. His sub .150 average and 500 OPS has now translated to the field where the once top flight defender is regularly making physical and mental errors.

What the Mets are attempting to do is very hard for a big market team- Trying to win with young, home grow talent,acquired in thru either trades or the draft. The Free agent splashes of the Omar Minaya era are over with the Madoff scandal and financial status of club ownership well documented. Money or no money, several of Minaya’s moves worked— OF Carlos Beltran,Closer Billy Wagner and SPs Tom Glavine and Pedro Martinez are just some– and combined with Wright and SS Jose Reyes to give the Mets a nice 5 year run. Trades brought LHSP Johan Santana and 1B Carlos Delgado but injuries to key players, September collapses and a lack of depth killed this team. GM Sandy Alderson has added some veterans to aid the transition- Buck, OF Marlon Byrd, SP Shawn Marcum and recent acquisition OF Rick Ankiel- are stop gap, bridge type players who will help a Travis D’Arnaud, Wheeler, Corey Vaughn and Rafael Montero when they join the big club. Still, this team is hard to watch and fans are dying for a winner. Faith in Alderson and his long term plan- the best route for this club to be successful long term- keeps that candle of hope alive.

May 9, 2013

Mets see some answers but more questions as Season enters 6th week

by @ 11:57 am. Filed under 2012 Mets

The 2013 Mets have had some players step up(SP Matt Harvey, C John Buck, OF Mike Baxter, INF-OF Justin Turner, Closer Bobby Parnell and 2B Daniel Murphy) while others continue to be enigmas(1B Ike Davis, SP Dillon Gee and RP Josh Edgin) in the season’s opening weeks. The Offense does not have much power and speed but some how the team is 15th in runs among the 30 ML teams. The vast of majority of Mets who get the most at bats draw walks and work counts, as recently as last week the team led MLB in pitches seen per at bat, with a number just above 4. The lack of pitching depth-particularily in the rotation with dual aces-LH Johan Santana(Shoulder Surgery) and Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey(Off-season trade) gone- has been glaring and has taxed an overmatched and overworked bullpen. The NY staff ERA ranks 23rd in the game yet the starters(16th) numbers are much better than the relievers(27th). However, when you look at the inning pitched numbers(starters 28th, relievers 9th) you can understand why the relief corps have been hit so hard. Overuse is the number one way to expose a bullpen.

The Mets are currently 13-17(May 9th) and entered the season with major issues in the outfield, rotation and bullpen. Amazingly, I feel the Mets pen is potentially the most correctable and promising. I like Parnell(3-0,0.84 ERA, 3 saves in 5 chances) and he has taken a major step up mentally in 2013. The top 5 relievers in games pitched all sport sub 4.50 ERAs and veterans Latroy Hawkins(2.57 ERA in 15), Brandon Lyon(4.38, 15) and Scott Atchinson(4.11,16) have helped stabilize the unit. Long time minor leaguer southpaw Greg Burke has been a godsend, going 1-1 with 1.76 ERA in 18 games. A key for this group is the progress of RH Jeurys Familia(3.48 ERA in 10 1/3 innings) and LH Josh Edgin(sent down to Triple A end of April after posting a 9.64 ERA in 11 games) during the remainder of the 2013 campaign. Edgin showed tremendous promise after a late season call up in 2012 and was awful but Familia has power stuff and just needs to maintain his control to be an effective 8th inning option.

Offensively, as bad as 1B Ike Davis has been(.165 April with 4 home runs and 8 rbi), Baxter and Buck have been outstanding. A salary “throw- in” to the Dickey trade, Buck has been great behind the plate and with the bat(.236, 10 HRs, 29 RBI). Baxter is a baseball player(as Mets Manager Terry Collins likes to say) and contributes every time he plays. He has a .371 OBP and LF Lucas Duda(.391 OBP, 7 homers) has also consistently put together good ML at bats. The power-speed combo that OF Jordany Valdespin provides(2 HRs, 4 steals) intrigues me and veteran OF Marlon Byrd(.253,2, 12) has helped stabilize the team. Meanwhile, INF Justin Turner has been so impressive(.392 avg,.833 OPS in 43 at bats) that Collins is trying to find him playing time in the outfield. 3B David Wright continues to be David Wright(.298,.970 OPS, 5 HR, 23 RBI, 6 steals) and set the tone for the most exciting win of the early season when he parked the top closer in the game(Atlanta Braves Craig Kimbrel) to tie the game in the 9th last week.

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