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, 2014

Time for Change: Mets fire Hitting Coach Hudgens, Cut Valverde

by @ 4:59 am. Filed under Uncategorized

Anyone who reads this blog knows I believe it is winning time for the Mets. No more rebuild, lets clear the payroll, etc… It is time to compete and win more than you lose. Well, clearly New York GM Sandy Alderson agrees because he fired a good friend in hitting coach Dave Hudgens, who has served in that capacity since 2011. After a strong April, the team has been awful in May and the lack of offense is glaring. The Mets have averaged 3.7 runs per game and hit .256 as a team in the Month. The home numbers are more glaring: .222 average, 18 home runs and 86 runs in 28 games. Prior to the game Monday, the team ranks offensively: runs(23rd), average(25th), OBP(21st), and 29th(Slugging). Meanwhile Monday marked the 12th consecutive day the team has scored 5 runs or fewer. Numbers aside watching this team hit is frustrating as hell. Double plays, bad at bats, approaches and a lack of execution. Mets batters get worse with runners on and do not make productive outs. Hence the teams 28th ranking with the bases loaded. The team has promoted Veteran coach Lamar Johnson, who has served the team for 11 seasons, the last 10 as the clubs Minor League hitting instructor. Previously, he was the hitting coach for the Milwaukee Brewers(1995-1998), Kansas City Royals(1999-2002) and Seattle Mariners(2003). What effect will this move have on the field? Remember the Mets have an organizational hitting plan: take pitches, draw walks,make the pitcher work,etc. The hope is a different voice for the same message brings change. Think a new chef for the broth.

In the 2nd headline of the day, the Mets cut veteran reliever Jose Valverde 10 minutes after he blew a save and the game Monday May 26th. This move is a good sign for several reasons. First, Valverde,by all accounts a great teammate, cannot pitch anymore. He looks like a shot fighter. His innings will now go to a good young arm and someone like Vic Black(Who was added to the roster after Valverde was released) or Josh Edgin, who has a future with this team. Secondly, nothing kills a young team and pitcher more than a late inning reliever blowing a game. When you have a Rafael Montero, Zach Wheeler and Jacob deGrom pitch their ass off and some gas can blows the game, it is like losing two. Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee and Jon Niese are not on their first rodeo, they have been around the block. But a bad bullpen kills kids. Add to this the struggles of the offense outlined above and you can see why this mix was a toxic elixir. Finally, this also means Alderson likes the kids he has in the pen and while a John Lannan, Kyle Farnsworth and Valverde are gone, they did their job and bought the Mets kids valuable time to be ready for the big show. Brighter days ahead!

May 24, 2014

Position battles at SS, OF and Pen key to remainder of Season, Mets Notes

by @ 10:59 am. Filed under Uncategorized

While the stated Goal of the 2014 Mets entering the season was set at 90 wins by GM Sandy Alderson, another factor outside of wins and losses should be looked at. And I am not sure if a win total is right approach. To me, the foundation for what this team is about was set in the last 100 games of 2013.(Club went 50-50) Real on field progress and corner stone players being developed… The David Wrights, Daniel Murphys, Jon Nieses and Dillon Gees fans know— but the Zach Wheelers, Juan Lagares, Travis d’Arnauds and Ruben Tejadas are either part of the solution and/or problem as this team approaches contention. How good these young guys are and how the perform will determine future moves and trades as well as how fast this team contends for postseason play. You know how I can tell this team is getting better? Fans are excited to watch games and EXPECT the team to win games. In the brutal NL East minus an ace who started the All Star Game for the National League in Matt Harvey. 90 wins or 78….. That is progress. I watch every inning of every game(Note lack of hair) and this team is competitive and coming. HARD. And like in 1984, when they do hit they will not disappear and hit for a long time. Listen to Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez and Bobby Ojeda on the SNY broadcasts and you can here it in their voices and tone. The days of the Mets being cannon fodder for the rest of MLB is coming to close and is ending. Whether they have a massive jump(Think Tampa Rays or Pittsburgh Pirates) or minor(Kansas City Royals) will be determined by the kids you see between the white lines on a daily basis.

As I mentioned above, The Mets are set at 3B(Wright) and 2B(Murphy), 1B(Lucas Duda) and C(d’Arnaud) are manned by developing young talents and have strong backups on the roster in C Anthony Recker and INF-OF Eric Campbell. This team must somehow find an internal option at SS or make a trade. This is why I love the recent recall of INF Wilmer Flores and installing him at the spot. His body type is not ideal for SS-long and tall- and he does not appear to be the most graceful fielder. But you know what? He gets it done and hits wherever you bat him. I think Tejada is a ML player but not a 145-150 start guy. Flores might be a 150 guy. Playing him helps us find out. As far as the Outfield goes, I think 2 of the 4 need to play everyday. Curtis Granderson is killing the ball in May(.310 average with 5 home runs,14 RBI and .963 OPS) and makes $15 million. Juan Lagares might be the best all around player on this team and does something almost every night to help you win. He needs to be in Center every night. I love both Chris and Eric Young Jr but neither is an ideal play 162 guy, platoon them and lets prepare to add another vet or prospect in 2015. I like- no LOVE-what this team is doing in the Pen with guys like Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia tossing big, high leverage innings with guys like Jose Valverde and Daisuke Matsuzaka filling holes. In recent years, a Jason Isringhausen or Latroy Hawkins served as veteran mentors to Bobby Parnell. Love this set up.

METS NOTES: d’Arnaud(Concussion) is passing all the medical hurdles and is close to starting a minor league rehab assignment… The team cut veteran reliever Kyle Farnsworth within the last 10 days and he was signed by the Houston Astros. The long time reliever, who has pitched for about 75 teams, was pissed when the Team cut him and publicly stated he was looking for a team that plays the Mets. Relax, fans— this man is not going to remind you of Mariano Rivera…..While neither Rafael Montero or Jacob deGrom has won in their first 2 starts in the majors, they have both pitched well and have promising futures… Campbell is a name to keep an eye on. He can hit and looks like his skills- gap,contact hitter- translate well on this team. Skipper Terry Collins keeps finding ways to get him on the field and he can really help this team with his stick.

May 14, 2014

Mejia move, Hello Montero, Mets Notes

by @ 12:32 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

As the team approaches the 40 game bench mark, GM Sandy Alderson and skipper Terry Collins continue to adjust the roster and specifically the pitching staff. Within the last week, Rafael Montero(starter) and Jacob deGrom(bullpen) have been recalled from Triple A Las Vegas with Montero(4-1,3.67 ERA, 1.15 WHIP in 8 starts with 41 Ks and 18 walks) set to make his major league debut Wednesday May 14th at Citi Field vs the Yankees in the 2nd phase of the Subway series. This move was designed to help the Mets in two spots. The organization has put an innings limit on Jenrry Mejia(Roughly 125) and Montero will take his rotation spot. Mejia has already made the transition to the pen and will potentially be an 7-8th inning setup option or closer. Jenrry has tremendous talent yet has battled arm issues in his minor league career and tends to lose it midgame when he is starting. This is a win-win for both the organization and player. The Mets bullpen could use a talent infusion and Mejia could become a dominant reliever. No less an authority than Darryl Strawberry compared him to Yankees great Mariano Rivera in Spring Training 3 years ago.

Montero is one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball and has been called Mini Pedro by scouts and team officials. PEDRO MARTINEZ. Or the guy with everyone in their prime and peak, this bloggers pick for the starting pitcher I want on the mound. Tough act to follow but this guy is legit. And a good sign for both the players and Mets fans that they are bringing up a kid in May. Why? They are close to winning and are going for it. No more reclamation projects or looking to avoid Super 2-s. With this talent about to debut, The Mets also have P Noah Syndergaard on the horizon and the pitching the team has raved about will soon be on display in Queens.

METS NOTES: The team altered their bench in the last week when they assigned INFs Josh Satin and Omar Quintanilla to Triple A Las Vegas and recalled INFs Eric Campbell and Wilmer Flores…. Collins is rolling with a closer by committee approach and game by game you could see Jeurys Familia(Odds on favorite), Mejia or Daisuke Matsuzaka earn save opportunities. Terry has done a tremendous job with this group and does not get enough credit for handling his relievers… Late Breaking Mets news: As I type, Dillon Gee has been placed on the DL with a lat strain(Bad injury) and deGrom will take spot in the rotation Thursday vs the Yankees. Updates to follow. Sad for Gee, who is having an All Star level season. Check his Stats since last May. INCREDIBLE.

May 7, 2014

Improving Outfield, Bleeping Bullpen

by @ 8:21 am. Filed under Uncategorized

The Mets are hovering around .500 in the amazingly tough NL East and two areas they attempted to focus on in the offseason are a major reason why in both a positive and negative light. NY GM Sandy Alderson signed two free agent outfielders in Chris Young and Curtis Granderson to around roughly 20 million per year combined in the fall of 2013. Young missed the early portion of April with a leg injury but has looked good and is hovering around .270 with good power and defense. Meanwhile, Granderson is starting to come around after a brutal start(sub .150 with some dreadful at bats). The success of these two is vital to the clubs postseason chances. Anyone who reads this blog knows I am the President of the Juan Lagares fan club. When these 3 are healthy and playing this group gives the Mets an elite combination of defense, power and speed. It also allows Mets skipper to use Eric Young Jr. as a bench weapon and spot starter. When you factor in a veteran stick like Bobby Abreu to get an odd day or vital late pinch hitting AB, this group can be deadly.

As much confidence as I have in the Mets outfielders, I have the exact opposite feeling regarding the additions to the relief corps. Names like Farnsworth, Valverde and Dice K(Occasionally) regularly send me to the bathroom to never return during games. I guess their are reasons why in a reliever starved era these 3 were offered minor league deals in January. LOL. Cannot say enough how damaging the injury to closer Bobby Parnell was to the Mets 2014 fortunes. And I know Bobby was not going to remind anyone of Bruce Sutter but he was a solid guy this team developed. Ask fans of teams like the Detroit Tigers how much a bad bullpen-closer can kill a team. Hold on, the Red Sox just hit another grand slam vs the Motor City Kitties relievers in the 2013 ALCS. Give this team a healthy Parnell with this group of starters and Collins and Pitching Coach Dan Warthen can figure out innings 7 and 8. Now those two must piece together 9 outs instead of 6. That is a big difference. I would do one thing immediately- put Jenrry Mejia in the pen and name Dice K(Daisuke Matsuzaka) the 5th starter. Mejia has amazing stuff but loses it FAST around 75-80 pitches. (He has blown up in the 5th his last two starts) This would help both the rotation and relief corps. And my mental health.

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