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 27, 2014

Kid Pitchers, Duda carrying team,Impact of Dice K injury, Mets Notes

by @ 8:10 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

The New York Mets just finished a 3 city road trip 5-5 and when you consider that they dropped 2 of 3 in San Diego before taking 2 of 3 from a strong Seattle Mariners team and splitting 4 in Milwaukee vs the Brewers, it has to be considered a success. On an almost nightly basis, they faced high quality starting pitching and had to scratch and claw for runs. In the last 2,3 weeks, Zach Wheeler(5-8,3.64 ERA,1.33 WHIP, One earned run and between 6 and 7 innings last 4 starts) and Jacob deGrom(5-5,2.79, 1.26, 2 earned runs over the last 4 starts) have stepped up huge and given the team a huge lift. Offensively, Lucas Duda(.259,18 home runs, 56 RBI) has never been better. He has hit 4 homers in the past 6 Games, including the game winners in both Milwaukee victories. The team goals continue to change but a .500 season is a legitimate achievement and for a team that has not had a winning record since 2009, feasible.

DICE K DOWN. TRANSLATION:BAD!!!: Do it all pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka(Elbow inflammation) has been shut down and placed on the 15 day DL after his pitching elbow acted up after his most recent relief appearance(July 24th) and he is awaiting further medical tests in NYC. This injury is a big deal. Dice K pitches in a variety of roles(ala Carlos Torres) and with several youngsters approaching innings plateaus, you need as many quality, healthy arms as possible. Underrated injury.

METS NOTES: The 8th and 9th inning tandem of Jeurys Familia(set up) and Jenrry Mejia(closer) has been unstoppable in July. Mejia has converted 7 of 8 saves with a 0.82 ERA and 13 Ks in 11 games. Familia has had a sub 2.00 ERA (and descending!!!) for 3 straight months and has allowed 1 home run all season!!!!!!!…. With Kirk Niewenhuis sent down to Triple A(WHY!!!!!!!!), Chris Young has benefited with more regular playing time and has 4 hits in his last 7 at bats. More good news, It appears that Juan Lagares will get his 500+ At Bats in Centerfield!!!!!!! He plays almost every day now…. The strong run of starts for Both Wheeler and de Grom have become timely due to the recent returns of veterans Jonathan Niese and Dillon Gee from DL stints. Both have not been bad or great but rusty would be a good word. When these two round into shape, look out MLB!

July 20, 2014

Smart and Selective at Trading Deadline, Mets Notes

by @ 6:19 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

I know fans of the Mets, who have seen 5+ losing seasons, want a quick fix and a win now philosophy in Queens. Nobody wants this team to win more than me, I watch every game, every presser, win or lose. I feel like Bobby Ojeda and Jim Duquette are my spiritual advisors-shrinks(SNY Post Game analysts). Gary, Keith and Ron are my long lost Brothers from April to October, The Mets losing kills me. But they are close to being a winner and teams that make a mistake at this point never recover and successful long term. This is what happened after 2006-2008, buy, don-t develop does not work in this sport. That is why I am saying this team needs to be smart and selective with any moves from here til Opening Day 2015. Let me explain. I think the team has 3 above average major leaguers in their everyday lineup: 2B Daniel Murphy, 3B David Wright and OF Curtis Granderson. From there, I would classify two more youngsters as potential solid MLers with tremendous upsides: C Travis d’Arnaud and CF Juan Lagares. Finally, I think you have two players who could go either way and be good players on a division winner or career platoon types: 1B Lucas Duda and SS Ruben Tejada. When you look at this list, do you see many holes? No. What you do see is a need for one Outfielder long term, ideally a corner with the ability to hit Cleanup. I am the president of the Kirk Nieuwenhuis fan club but right now, he is trending towards a 4th Outfielder-strong pinch hitter type with Eric Young Jr. in a similiar role with his speed and ability to spot Murphy at 2B as well. The key is finding that guy- this groups Donn Clendenon, Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter, Mike Piazza, Carlos Beltran or Delgado. Moves-whether it be a trade or free agent- that turned the Mets into a winner. Historically that is how the Mets win. And I trust History and GM Sandy Alderson.

Besides the above paragraph, I also want to address the rumors about the Mets trading Bartolo Colon. First of all, the reason this is happening are many but the keys are these facts: 1- He is a proven veteran 2- He has an affordable contract thru 2015 3- He is an excellent teammate and locker room guy 4- He plays for a team with a “surplus” of pitching. The first 3 statements are undeniably true. But a flaw exists with number 4. With the return of veteran Jon Niese(Tired pitching shoulder) to the rotation, He joins Dillon Gee, Zach Wheeler, Jacob deGrom and Colon in the 5 man unit. Both Gee and Niese have had health issues throughout their careers and this season while Wheeler and deGrom are youngsters who will be monitored and more than likely limited late in the year. The Mets are blessed to have an option like Daisuke Matsuzaka on their staff, the guy can pitch today, Tuesday, Thursday and twice on Sunday. EFFECTIVELY. But my point is if you deal Colon, you are banking on health and good fortune and it is never a good idea to tempt fate. Wait until the offseason when you have a better idea where Matt Harvey is, where Jeremy Heffner is, how Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero close out 2014 in Las Vegas. Now if someone wants to give you Carlos Gonzales, Giancarlo Stanton or Troy Tulowitzki, I would carry Bartolo to Denver or Miami and die but that is not going to happen. He is an asset, use him correctly. Worked with Carlos Beltran(Wheeler), R.A. Dickey(Syndergaard) and Marlon Byrd(Vic Black). Work that magic, Sandy! But be smart!

METS NOTES:In order to clear a roster spot for Niese, veteran reliever Buddy Carlyle was DFA-ed. Dice K will move to the pen to help the relievers….. d’Arnaud has really responded well to hitting in the Five hole. He is hitting .275 with 2 homers and 8 RBI in July. Mets fans should be very excited about the future of catching in Queens with Travis and Kevin Plawecki(.310 combined in AA,AAA) tearing up the Minor Leagues…. With this roster, I love the lineup Terry Collins has penciled in: Granderson, Murphy, Wright, Duda, d’Arnaud, Niewenhuis-Young,Lagares, Tejada, Pitcher…. BTW, after an historically awful April, Granderson has been great. Check his Stats. He is on pace to hit 20 home runs with 80 RBI and 90 walks. A year after missing 90 games, changing leagues and making a major home ball park adjustment. Money well spent.

July 15, 2014

8-2 Homestand sparks Mets as the All Star Break looms, Medical updates on Wright, Niese and Harvey, Team Notes

by @ 5:52 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

The New York Mets enter the All Star Break at 45-50 but have been playing a better brand of baseball in June and July. The recent 8-2 record in the final home stand before the ASB revealed the team strengths: pitching- both in the rotation and relief corps- and depth of position players. The Mets do not have Hank Aaron but guys like Chris Young(Yes, the guy I have been killing since May), Kirk Niewenhuis(.989 OPS in 46 at bats since recall in June) , Eric Campbell(.833 OPS, Hits wherever he plays) and Eric Young Jr(25 steals in limited role, strong energy guy) have contributed when called upon. Improved at bats daily from the likes of 1B Lucas Duda(.282 Avg-.352 On Base-.480 Slugging- 14 Homers, 49 RBI) , SS Ruben Tejada(.350 On Base from a guy who hits 8th regularly in the National League is HUGE!), C Travis d’Arnaud(.263 with 2 bombs, 6 RBI and .817 OPS in July) and CF Juan Lagares(.293 average,15 doubles to go along with Gold Glove caliber D) lengthen the lineup and have been noticeable to the naked eye. Clearly the new hitting approach from Lamar Johnson has made an impact. The Pitching even minus rotation stalwarts Jon Niese(Tired throwing shoulder) and Dillon Gee(Lat muscle strain) has been great and the mix of veterans- Bartolo Colon(4-1, 2.57 ERA in June) and Daisuke Matsuzaka(Fills ANY role, 3-3,3.55 ERA in 26 games with 9 starts)- joining the Kids- Zach Wheeler(5-8,3.90 in 19 starts) is becoming more consistent from start to start, remember he is in his 2nd major league season! and the staff revelation- Jacob deGrom(3-5,3.12 in 12 starts with 10 quality starts(6 Innings or more, 3 earned runs or less) to give Mets fans hope for the 2nd half, 2015 and beyond. If you want to make Mets fans smile, mention to them this is all minus #33, the Dark Knight. They will smile.

HEALTH HELP: Post game Sunday July 13th, 3B and team captain David Wright received a planned cortisone shot in his left shoulder to aid in the healing process from the rotator cuff injury he suffered in Late June. The team sat him for 8 games without a stint on the disabled list and he has responded with hot streak: .364 average, .447 On base, 2 Homers, 4 doubles, 7 RBI in 9 games. All systems appear go for Niese to rejoin the rotation on the opening West Coast trip in San Diego and Seattle to start the 2nd half. He threw without issues Sunday July 13th and will have another session Friday before being cleared to start vs Seattle July 21st. Meanwhile, Matt Harvey(Tommy John Surgery) has started to throw on flat ground and has been told by the team to not throw from the mound until after July. Harvey has had his patience tried during this tough rehab but a recent study by his agent Scott Boras showed pitchers coming back from TJS should wait 14-16 months before pitching in a game. Harvey had his procedure October 22, 2013.

METS NOTES:Cannot emphasize enough how important it is for the Mets to do well in the opening series out on the West Coast. This team has turned the page and is playing solid ball in all areas. Winning at Citi Field has been a major issue since the team moved their in 2009. The Mets have won 12 of 18 at their spacious home. Their style of play(pitching, defense, speed) translates well to the road and they need to continue to put up W-s…. Colon’s name is coming up a lot in trade rumors and part of this is based on the Mets pitching depth— Dice K can both start and relieve and with Gee and Niese back healthy, the team has extra pitching. However, part of what has helped this team turn it around is that depth. Also anyone who watches this team consistently will tell you how big a locker room contribution both Colon and veteran Outfielder Bobby Abreu(.275 avg, .356 On base, 14 RBI in limited role) have made on this club.I would only trade Colon in a deal that helps this team win today and in 2015. No 18 year old kids, the time to win is NOW!!!!… Manager Terry Collins has announced the rotation to open the 2nd half: Colon, Gee, Wheeler then TBA(Niese) and TBA #2(Bet on deGrom). The team is guarded about young Jacob, who has a set innings limit(185) and is over 110 with his combined numbers at Triple A and with the big club. Cannot say enough about the value of Dice K. HUGE for this team…. When you look at the Mets team, they have 2 long term holes to fill- and I am beginning to come around on Tejada- Shortstop and LeftField. Mark those two spots down for any major trade and/or free agent move. Colorado Rockies Superstar SS Troy Tulowitzki would make me very happy. I am not a fan of Cubs SS Starlin Castro and often cringe when I see the Mets linked to his name. Bad attitude, stats driven guy… The Mets relief corps has really stepped up since the outing of several overmatched veterans- I will not type their names- and the team features 6- SIX- relievers with sub 3.00 ERAs entering the 2nd half. Led by Vic Black(1.69 in 23 games) and Lefty Josh Edgin(1.76 in 25), this unit has been deadly for the opposition.

July 7, 2014

Daniel Murphy Lone Mets ASG selection

by @ 11:35 am. Filed under Uncategorized

Mets 2B Daniel Murphy has been selected as a reserve for the All Star Game next week in Minnesota. “Murph” is hitting .294 with 20 doubles, 7 home runs and 35 RBI plus 11 stolen bases. He is 2nd in the National League in hits after doing the same in 2013. Murphy thanked Mets 3B Coach Tim Teufel(A 2B on the 1986 World Championship team), SS Ruben Tejada and former Met infielder Justin Turner for their help in the transition to 2nd after he played 3B and some OF previously. Very well deserved honor and now it is time for the Mets and Murphy to get together and sign an extension!

July 6, 2014

Niese DL-ed, Wright back, Trade Murphy?, Internal Improvements, Mets Notes

by @ 3:18 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

Mets ace Jon Niese(Left shoulder strain) was put on the DL Sunday July 6th in a precautionary move. Niese, staff best 2.96 ERA, has seen his velocity drop and sitting him thru the All Star break will give him extra rest and help him recharge for the 2nd half. Manager Terry Collins said post game Sunday that he is penciled in to start in San Diego when the team comes back late next week. The rotation spot will be filled by Dillon Gee(Lat strain) who will come off the DL to start Wednesday. Meanwhile, RHRP Buddy Carlyle will join the pen to give Collins and Pitching coach Dan Warthen an extra arm for the next 2 games.

WRIGHT BACK:Captain David Wright(Rotator Cuff strain) returned to the lineup Saturday and appears fine. He was supposed to return Friday but a run of bad weather did not allow him to work out in the field and the Mets wisely erred on the safe side when they held him out. He collected a hit for the 11th straight game and was his usually active self defensively.

TRADE MURPHY?: I am seeing lots of reports,rumors,etc of the Mets potentially trading 2B Daniel Murphy. My response? ARE THE METS NUTS?! This team is poor to average offensively and Daniel Murphy has from day 1 been this teams most consistent hitter. Is he the greatest defensive player? No but he works hard and 2B is not his natural position. He might be the one hitter on this team who has adjusted well to Citi Field, #28-s hitting approach fits it to a tee. Gap to gap, power alleys, doubles instead of home runs. If the Mets use the we cannot afford him excuse, the Wilpons should sell this team. This is the type of player you keep around, you developed him and he is established. Now if someone wants to trade me say Troy Tulowitzki or Giancarlo Stanton in a package with Murph, that is different. But Daniel Murphy is part of the solution, not problem. He should be the Mets representative at the ASG! The Mets should talk about EXTENDING HIM, not trade him!

INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS: To follow up my point on Murphy, one of the things the 2014 New York Mets bring to the table is hope. Hope for the future. We have seen and heard about the pitching- a Wheeler, deGrom, Montero, Syndergaard- but look at the position players. C Travis d’Arnaud has been on fire since he returned from Las Vegas and just looks like a brand new man with the bat in his hand. Hats off to Las Vegas Manager Wally Backman and his staff for working with the slumping rookie . Meanwhile, 1B Lucas Duda, SS Ruben Tejada and CF Juan Lagares all have shown they can be everyday contributors and could be huge pieces of a pennant winning Mets club. Finally, take a look at the relief corps and you will not start swearing. No more Valverde, Farnsworth and the collection of gas cans that poor Collins was handed in the season’s early Months when closer Bobby Parnell blew out his arm in the first week of the season. Jenrry Mejia(5-3,3.98 ERA, 8 of 9 save opportunities, 23 games in relief) has grabbed the closer job while Jeurys Familia(1-3,2.18,42 ) is setting him up in the 8th and Vic Black(1-2,1.50) and Josh Edgin(1-0,1.23,23) have all been amazing since Mid May. Suddenly, the Mets pen is a a weapon, not liability.

METS NOTES: Veteran Bartolo Colon(8-7,4.04) is another name that will come up in trade discussions and the Mets would be wise to keep him around. If you watch the team consistently, he is a team leader and good influence in the locker room. Also take into account the health issues a Niese, Gee,etc have dealt with and giving away a quality veteran arm who brings reliability to a staff is not a wise move… Rookie Eric Campbell struggled defensively at 3B filling in for Wright but can hit(.340, 8 doubles, home run and 9 rbi in 94 at bats). Look for Collins to try and find a role for this bat…. RHP Carlos Torres is a team MVP type. Niese left his last start(July 4th) after recording 1 out and Torres took the ball(4 and 2 thirds inning for the team ). He takes it a lot and saves the staff consistently. The swingman is 2nd to Familia in appearances with 40…. I am tired of saying this and he is nice guy but OF Chris Young(.199,.625 OPS) should not be on this team. SNY play by play man Gary Cohen almost said it on air the other night. You are playing short a man with him on the team. I do not care about his salary and what it means for the team. He cannot play. Give his ABs to Eric Young Jr, Kirk Nieuwenhuis(LOVE HIM!) and/or Campbell. This team is trying to win and Chris Young is not part of the future. He should not be part of the present either… OF Curtis Granderson ranks 2nd in the NL in walks with 52, hence his recent use in the leadoff spot.

July 1, 2014

RIP Frank Cashen, Wright Update

by @ 11:36 am. Filed under Uncategorized

Mets Fans in my age range( I am 42) took a big hit Monday when Former Met General Manager Frank Cashen passed away at the age of 88 after an illness. Cashen(Served as GM from 1980-91) took over one of the worst franchises in baseball in 1980 and turned them into a model organization and World Champion in 1986. He selected Darryl Strawberry with his 1st draft choice, he traded for Keith Hernandez and Gary Carter and promoted a little known skipper named Davey Johnson thru the minors. I could go on and on. Just to give you an idea of his impact on this team when you tune into SNY, think about these facts: He hired Gary Cohen(Play by Play voice), traded for Hernandez, Ron Darling and Bobby Ojeda!!!!!!!! Cashen favored power- pitchers and home run hitters- a style he brought from his former club, the Baltimore Orioles. Known as a player friendly GM who cared about his men away from the field, Both Ojeda and Hernandez shared stories about the man last night on air. Ojeda was going to be traded in 1990 and Cashen told him he would move him to California where he was from because he was a “good” Met. Ojeda was playing for the LA Dodgers. Cashen also promised Hernandez he would trade him away if he did not like it in NY after being shipped to Queens in mid season 1983. Keith never forgot that and signed on long term when he saw the pipeline of arms on the way. The 86 team? Everyone knows about Straw and Doc… Sid Fernandez, Darling and Ojeda all Cashen trades and helped form the strength of the Mid 80s Mets powerhouse clubs: The starting rotation. 3b Ray Knight(World Series MVP), INF Howard Johnson,2b-Current 3B Coach Tim Teufel and 1B-OF-PH Lee Mazzilli all were added via transactions and had huge roles throughout their stay in Queens. Cashen added another starting pitcher in a minor deal prior to the 1987 season, David Cone! Just an amazing executive who turned the Mets into winners. Great, great baseball mind and better man, RIP Mr. Cashen.

WRIGHT UPDATE:Mets 3B David Wright(Left shoulder) will not go on the DL but is not with the team in Atlanta. He is resting and rehabbing in NY and is out til at least Friday July 4th at the earliest. A good sign medical wise is the Captain did not require a cortisone shot. The Mets struggle with #5 in the lineup and without him the team is almost crippled. Hope and pray he is back ASAP!

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